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Friends Of Oboler Library

Events     Newsletter (archives)     Membership


Organized in 2003, Friends Of Oboler Library is supported by nearly 100 founding members. We would like to invite you to become a member.

So what is a friends group? Many libraries have friends groups that support the library. Most groups have a two-fold mission:

  • To provide programming about books, libraries, reading, and literacy to members and the community
  • To assist the library in raising funds for special projects and on-going endowments.

Programs can include events to honor ISU authors, talks by other regional and national authors, trips to plays, special tours, and other "literary" events. Fund raising can include dinners, book sales, and auctions. The library will also provide publications and announcements to keep you informed of our collections, exhibits, and activities.

Friends Of Oboler Library Newsletter

Read the latest Friends Of Oboler Library newsletter, FOOLSCAP (pdf format, archived issues can be found here)

Why "FOOL"?

The Friends of Oboler Library is an organization dedicated to the promotion and support of the Eli M. Oboler Library at Idaho State University. Founded in 2003, the organization’s membership is drawn from both the university and civic communities. Its activities include fund-raising events and public programs that explore issues of current political, social and scholarly interest.

Intellectual freedom is an issue that is of particular concern to the organization. The Library’s namesake, Eli Oboler, was a nationally-known advocate for intellectual freedom. His erudite yet impassioned writings attacked censorship in all its guises, and extolled the benefits of unfettered thought and expression. It is not inappropriate, therefore, that the acronym for Friends of Oboler Library, “FOOL, is also a sobriquet for the jester who, in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, was a regular member of royal courts. The jester, though only a servant and entertainer, was granted a unique privilege: the right to openly criticize the nobility and even the king himself. In other words, only the fool could, with impunity, speak truth to power.

Libraries feel a kinship with the fool, for they, too, are purveyors of both entertainment and uncensored opinion. And they, too, believe that it is only when all viewpoints are aired that the truth may confidently be known.

Many of the public presentations sponsored by FOOL deal with intellectual freedom issues, and the organization has created a special library collection that contains previously-censored materials as well as works dealing with the history of censorship and current threats to free expression.

To learn more about FOOL, you are welcome to read the latest issue of the organization’s newsletter, Foolscap, which contains information about upcoming events. For more information about all events sponsored by Friends of Oboler Library, visit their events web page, or to find out more about membership, visit their membership web page.


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209