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FEBRUARY 22, 2007
The Higher Power of Lucky and the naughty(?) word
Recent articles in the Herald and in the New York Times focussed on negative reaction to the recent Newbery Award-winning book, The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. A small number of school librarians have made the news with their response to a single word in a beautiful book. It would be helpful if the media would focus on the more common role of librarians as defenders of your right to read a variety of material as you choose. We promote examining an entire piece of work rather than judging a book by its cover or by one or a few words. On principle, almost all librarians protect your Freedom to Read and combat censorship. On the other hand, if a bit of press causes greater interest in a book that is judged the best of children's literature, this commotion can't be all bad.

posted by Karen

Category: Staff Reads


FEBRUARY 22, 2007
The 21st century librarian
An amusing ad in my local paper caught my eye this morning. Over the announcement of a housing outreach effort was a graphic of a favorite imaginary character - the "Marian-the librarian" stereotype - a bun-wearing woman with half-glasses perched on her nose, with a row of card catalog drawers arrayed behind her reference desk. As one of my kids might say "That's so 20th century!"

And that's not what I see reflected in my monitor screen, or at the reference desk downstairs. While I am, indeed, wearing glasses (rather trendy bifocals, I like to think :) I'm also sporting a black leather jacket, no bun, (and for the record) haven't shushed anyone in - oh, my whole career as a librarian.

As for the rest of the male and female librarians I know and work with, not a stereotype in sight. The librarians I know are helpful guides for your research and information needs, enthusiastic experts who help develop and share the joy of reading, imaginative proponents of a cultural center for our community.

I invite you to stop by the Monterey Public Library (in person or online)and meet them for yourself - discover our unique, welcoming, and knowledgeable 21st century librarians!

posted by Kim BB

Category: Director's Blog


FEBRUARY 20, 2007
The Big Read!
Everyone’s Reading The Grapes of Wrath. From February 24 through March 31, the National Steinbeck Center leads Monterey County in a Big Read of The Grapes of Wrath. A full program of events will celebrate this classic novel, tease out its themes, animate its characters, and give Monterey County families many different reasons to read – and to talk about – this breathtaking testament to the human spirit. Look for the free Teacher’s and Reader’s Guides, audio CDs throughout the county (or download them at Download the full events schedule, and read more at

The Monterey Public Library is joining in on the fun by hosting a community book discussion. Everyone's welcome to come join us Tuesday March 13th at 7pm in Colton Hall (Pacific Street between Madison and Jefferson Streets). Admission is free and no tickets or reservations are needed. There will even be a special appearance by a character from the novel, Tom Joad!

For more information call Kim at 646.3742 or email

posted by Kim S.

Category: In the Know


FEBRUARY 14, 2007
Reading and Love
It's Valentine's Day, and love is in the air! To my way of thinking, love and reading go together like food and wine, cookies and milk, coffee and donuts, burgers and fries. (Sorry, it's getting close to lunch time.)

Back to reading and love. You can show your love by reading to a child, or to someone who is recovering from an illness. You can show love and concern for others by recommending books to them that will help them with a problem, or by telling them about books that will give them great pleasure to read. You can even show how much you love yourself by unwinding with a good book!

Since it's Valentine's Day, you might like to think about reading a great love story. One of my personal favorites is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. For a trendier, fluffier, romantic romp read Plum Sykes' Bergdorf Blondes. For a story of marriage and enduring love, I recommend Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. For great stories about middle-age love and romance, read anything by Jeanne Ray. And if your taste runs toward non-fiction, try Julia Child's My Life in France, which is filled with the famous chef's passion for La Belle France, her happy marriage to artist / diplomat Paul Child, and her deep love for delicious, well-prepared food. Now we're back to food, so it really must be time for lunch!

Do you have a favorite love story? Tell us about it.

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads


FEBRUARY 14, 2007
Grammy Awards
I watched the Grammy Awards on TV the other night - did you? I'm a big fan of the Dixie Chicks but I wonder if they really should have won five grammys...what do you think?

BTW, I purchase the music for the Library, and I'll be adding the Grammy winners, of course. But is there a title you would like to recommend? We would like to hear your suggestions!

posted by Debbie

Category: Teen Zone


FEBRUARY 2, 2007
Showing off teen magazines
Thanks to the Friends of the Monterey Public Library, there is a new rack displaying magazines in the Teen Zone. There are some new subscriptions too! Dragon is related to Dungeons and Dragons, but also has great images for artists and fiction for fantasy-lovers. Shojo Beat is the female version on Shonen Jump with lots of manga. J-14 has the scoop on the stars. This month Teen Vogue includes articles on Homework Overload, (tennis star) Maria Sharapova, and ideas for valentine gifts and parties. Don't forget the Library also carries Slap (skateboarding), Teen Ink (with writing by teenagers), YO, a teen magazine from San Francisco, and Teen Voices which features the subtitle "Because you're more than just a pretty face". Which magazines do you like? What other magazines should the Library offer? Let us know!

posted by Karen

Category: Teen Zone