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APRIL 21, 2009
Heartfelt Thanks to Library Volunteers

April 19-25 is National Volunteer Week 2009, a project of the Points of Light Institute, during which volunteers nationwide are honored for the contributions they make to their communities.

At the Library, we employ over 20 volunteers on a regular basis. Some of their activities include assisting with the Born to Read program, Storytime and other children's activities, facilitating writing workshops and book discussions, assisting staff with keeping books in order on the shelves and available for check-out, delivering books to homebound readers, and caring for the Library's indoor plants. In addition, the Library is fortunate to have an active Friends of the Library, a team of volunteers who engage in a wide range of fundraising activities including an annual Monterey House Tour, Chocolate & Wine Tasting benefit, and book sales. The Friends not only raise funds, but they create fun, build community, and are advocates for the Library.

During the summer months, the Library welcomes teen volunteers who earn community service credit and gain job experience assisting with a variety of tasks including support of the annual Summer Reading Program. California History Volunteers assist the Archivist with caring for and making accessible valuable historic resources that preserve our community's memory. Finally, our Library Board of Trustees donate their time and talent to providing leadership in areas of library policy, advocacy, strategic planning, and fund development.

The Library staff takes this opportunity during National Volunteer Week to say a heartfelt "thank you" to each and every one of our volunteers. The Library serves over eleven hundred people on an average day, and provides the community with information, recreation, and resources for life-long learning that inspire, delight and educate. We simply couldn't do it without our wonderful team of volunteers.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know


APRIL 7, 2009
The Three Silly Billies or "Show Me the Money!"

This month's selection from Tumblebooks is The Three Silly Billies written by Margie Palatini and Illustrated by Barry Moser. Can you find the traditional tale of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" hidden in this story? The characters are there, but joined this time by Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Bears and Jack.  Take a look at the book and tell us what you think. (Be prepared for a couple of puns :)

With a lot of things changing around us, now seems like a good time for pooling our resources and cooperation efforts. Your family may not be "carpooling" in exactly the same way as the Three Billies, but what ideas have you come up with for teamwork with others to reach a common goal? It could be money saving ideas, of course, or something totally different.  We'd love to hear about it!


posted by Sarah

Category: Lets Talk Books


APRIL 3, 2009
Library Board Chair Maxine Reneker's statement at the March 19 Community Town Hall Budget Forum

I am writing today as Chair of the Library Board.
A cut of 20% of the Library’s budget, over half a million dollars per year, is under consideration in the budget prepared by the City Manager for the fiscal year beginning in July 2009. In the material prepared for public information, there is a statement that we would still have library service that is the envy of our neighbors.  I wish to state that, although we would still have some of the wonderful services provided by the Library staff under the new budget, the cuts that are proposed are not OK. They are at a deeper level than many city departments and they come after the Library received a deep cut in its budget over the 2002 to 2005 time period.
Ironically, the Coast Weekly survey voted the Monterey Public Library the Best Library in Monterey County for 2008.  Even cutting the Library budget by 10%, we are almost ensuring that the Library will not win this award in future years. 
Here are some of the impacts:

  • 22% reduction in staff hours
  • Closure one or two days per week  and further reduction in service hours on the other days
  • 30% reduction in books and other collection purchases. 3-4 month wait for high-demand titles
  • Overdue fines increased to 50¢ per day for adult materials and 25¢ per day for youth and teen materials
  • Elimination of Interlibrary Loan service
  • Elimination of Stories for Adults and other cultural programs for adults 
  • Elimination of California History Room outreach and community collaborations. Very Limited acquisition of local historical resources
  • Fewer programs for youth and teens

In times of economic downturn, citizens turn to the Library for information, recreation, and web access. When hard times mean hard choices for families and people of all ages, the Monterey Library fills essential gaps. Whether the need is for online homework help for a re-entry college student or a child struggling with geometry, a family movie on DVD that gives a working parent and kids a few hours of togetherness or a reference book that provides an answer that is literally a matter of life or death, the Library is there to help.
Programs for teens are important in a time and place where we as a city are experiencing more gang activity; reducing Library hours will cut into these services to our teens.
California has a rich legacy of information and materials in our state. Eliminating interlibrary loan will cut off Monterey citizens from these resources unless they are willing and able to travel to the libraries where they are held. In some cases, those libraries are out of state or even the country. Sometimes libraries lend only to other libraries, not to individuals directly, so that the information needed will not be available at all.
Our California history room has preserved well over 150,000 items for posterity. It is a wonderful collection of materials of California local history, and reportedly the most accessible and best organized archive in the whole county. We educate people on the history of the city and the region. People come from long distance to access the photographs, interviews, maps and documents in the collection. The outreach involved in identifying and obtaining historical materials is one of the important ways that the Library reaches out to the community; these outreach programs are a source not only of materials, but often of additional funding. These activities are vital to the preservation of the city's history and many materials may be lost forever, if we don't collect and preserve them now.  Eliminating acce

posted by Doug

Category: In the Know