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JULY 24, 2008
Record-setting Summer Reading Party

Wednesday night was the summer reading party for families.  This annual event culminates the youth summer reading program, though there is still time to wrap things up if you missed it.  Over 500 people attended,  enjoyed games, crafts, snacks at the Ladybug Cafe, music by the Banana Slug String Band,  and a beautiful night at the Monterey beach location of Adventures by the Sea.

It was the biggest summer reading party ever.  217 kids received a free book, certificate, and free pizza coupon.  As of that night, over 18,000 books have been read this summer, already a record.  Thanks to everyone who helped to make the party a fun time for all!

There was a little snafu;  the City Parking Division had kindly agreed to no ticketing for this event, but word did not get to one individual.  If you came out of the party to find a ticket on your car in the Marina Wharf lot , we're sorry.  Please bring it to the Library asap, so we can take care of it. 

The party is only the beginning of the end of the summer reading program.  Kids can continue to receive their final prizes until August 9.  Cool links and activities will remain on the web site for a few weeks.  Storytimes, including PJ storytime and Baby and Me rhyme time continue through the end of July.  Teen and adult summer reading programs continue as well.

Help us to evaluate the summer reading program.  Give your feedback right here or email us  

posted by Karen

Category: In the Know


JULY 19, 2008
A new way to learn a second (or third) language

Mango Languages
Mango... no longer just a tropical fruit. Mango Languages is the name of our brand-new* language instruction subscription program at the Library. As Library cardholders, just log on and pick your language to start a lesson.

*Mango will replace Rosetta Stone, which will no longer be offering services to libraries.

Languages available include:

Brazilian Portuguese French German
Greek Italian Japanese
Mandarin Russian Spanish
ESL Brazilian Portuguese ESL Polish ESL Spanish

The Mango application uses Flash video and audio recordings to guide users through 100 lessons in each language. Each lesson consists of a conversation shown with text on the screen as well as with audio, and you can move easily back and forth through the dialog. While the layout is simple, there are several optional elements, including the narrator and various shortened lessons. Try it for yourself, and please let us know what you think.

posted by Ben

Categories: Library TechIn the Know


JULY 12, 2008
Summer Vacation in a Book

Sometimes that summer vacation just doesn't work out, but if you find just the right book, you can have a satisfying summer getaway just the same. Read what my friend Sharon Randall has to say about this in her recent column.

This summer, I haven't been able to get much further from home than Elkhorn Slough, which is a very nice place, but not exactly a trip to the Bahamas.  Nevertheless, I have spent time in the English countryside circa 1935 with the delightfully eccentric Mortmain family by re-reading Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle.  I also spent thirty years with two generations of an Indian family as they create new lives in America by reading Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake. Before that, I joined Elizabeth Gilbert in Italy, India, and Indonesia in her memoir Eat, Pray, Love.  

I haven't decided what my next reading journey will be, but there is a small stack of possibilities on my bedside table just waiting to take me on another wonderful vacation.  Happy summer reading!

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads


JULY 11, 2008
Teen Movies at the Library
Tomorrow, at 2 p.m., marks the first of our three consecutive Saturday Teen Movies in the Library's community room. While I cannot divulge the film's title due to copyright restrictions, I can tell you it is one word, starts with a J, stars Ellen Page, and puts a new spin on teenage pregnancy. Copyright law is funny about those kinds of technicalities.

Rather than over-exciting our teen readers with the wealth of information the Library has on copyright and intellectual property, I would much rather highlight our small, but growing, collection of Teen Movies. These include screen versions of classic books, recent teen movies, anime, and informational videos, just like the ones below.


So, when you come to the Library over the next three Saturdays at 2 p.m. to see the movies teens voted for, make sure you leave a few minutes to browse the video collection. See you at the movies.


posted by Ben

Categories: Teen ZoneIn the Know


JULY 10, 2008
What We're Reading

We're right in the heart of summer now, prime reading season when you have a few spare hours! Do you have any juicy titles to share for the summer? Here are a few that the check-out desk staff is enjoying...

People of the book  People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Little brother   Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Love the one you're with  Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

No country for old men  No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Miracle at speedy motors   Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith

Fourth comings  Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

Who killed cock robin   Who Killed Cock Robin? by Kevin O'Malley

Mysterious benedict society   Mysterious Benedict Society by Trent Lee Stewart

Olive Kitteridge   Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Tipping the velvet  Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Extras  Extras by Scott Westerfield


Driving lessons  Driving Lessons (movie)

New England White
posted by Catrina

Categories: Staff ReadsTeen Zone


JULY 3, 2008
Want to catch some REAL bugs? (not JUST for kids!)

You may know that you can sign up for the summer reading program on our  "Catch the Reading Bug" web page, but did you know that you could find out what it takes to be a young bug wrangler, too? The Fun Links and Activities section of the page is full of interesting and exciting things! There are links for learning about bug identification, building bug traps - from simple baked potato bug traps to complicated water bug traps - and links that help you solve "buggy" problems.

Do you like art? Then you won't want to miss the colorful super up-close bug photography pages from Dennis Kunkel and MicroAngela. Love to play games on the computer? Check out the "Hunt the Bug" link for a fun one! Feel like a spa day? We have a link to recipes for at-home spa treatments made with bee-you-ti-ful honey... For the gardeners, there are beneficial insect pages and for the cooks there are links to bug INSPIRED recipes - tasty treats for the whole family!

We'd love it if you would let us know what you think of the activities and links - we sure think they're fun!

posted by Sarah

Categories: In the KnowTeen Zone


JULY 3, 2008
New Family Collection
Have you seen the new Family Collection?  It is a collection of (so far) about 50 books for parents of young children.  Funded by a California State Library grant (Early Learning With Families @ The Library) and with support from the Friends of the Monterey Public Library, this collection focusses on ages 0-5, play, reading, and brain development.  The new collection is conveniently located next to the picture book area.  Free pamphlets and wall toys were also added with ELF funding.  We have applied to expand the ELF project next year.  You can see the collection in the catalog if you search by call number "FAM".

posted by Karen

Category: In the Know