The Cambrian

Hearst boosts library fund

Cambria’s dreams for a larger library received a significant boost recently with a $50,000 donation from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

The community, through Friends of the Cambria Library, must raise $1 million to complete interior construction and equip the new, 5,800-square-foot library building on 1.25-acres of land at 1043 Main St., across from the Veterans Memorial Building.

That money will count as the community’s 50 percent share.


“Hearst has always been and continues to be there with support for the local community,” said Stephen Hearst, W.R. Hearst’s great grandson and vice president of the Hearst Corp.

While dozens of people approach him each month with requests for grants, Hearst said, “This is a good thing for us to be involved in. The bottom line is libraries still have books in them. They provide individuals with enjoyment, research and study. It’s a pleasure to be involved in the grant request and in granting it.”

Hearst family ties date back to the mid-1800s, when George Hearst began amassing land for his

Piedra Blanca Rancho.

Jeri Farrell, president of Friends of the Cambria Library, said, “We are delighted and grateful that the Hearst Foundation stepped up in such a significant way. We cannot complete our beautiful new library until we have raised all the money. It is the Foundation’s hope, and ours, too, that this leadership gift will inspire other local donors to follow suit.”

Media magnate, publisher and philanthropist William Randolph Hearst launched the Hearst Foundation in 1945. In 1948, he established the California Charities Foundation, which was renamed the William Randolph Hearst Foundation in 1951. The foundations operate independently from the Hearst Corp.

Other local major gifts include $15,000 from the Cambria Community Council and $10,000 donations from: Stewart and Constance Edwards of Cambria and La Crescenta; Terry and Jeri Farrell; and Georgianne Jackson. Other smaller donations also have been given.

“We sincerely appreciate all the donations we have received,” Jeri Farrell said. “Cambrians have been great, but we need more gifts, large and small, to make this dream a reality.”

County supervisors are to consider Tuesday, April 13, accepting a $47,200 donation from the Friends group toward the Cambria Library Expansion Capital Project.

New library

The Cambria branch is one of the county’s most heavily used libraries per capita. It has survived for nearly 30 years in increasingly cramped quarters with difficult parking accommodations.

The new facility will more than double the space of the existing library, and will provide more parking, a technology center and enlarged multifunctional areas for children, teens and adults.


The Friends group supports the library and its services for the county’s rural North Coast area. Friends provide thousands of dollars each year for materials and hundreds of volunteer hours every month to keep the library open and flourishing.

The Friends plan several events for 2010, including an adult spelling bee, jazz evenings and dances.

Revised dates for the group’s next book sale, which also adds to the new-building coffers, are Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1.