JUNE 30, 2010
Kids SEA Lab Workshop - Thursday, July 1st - 3:00 pm
Make and race your own plankton model in the Camp SEA Lab "Race for Life or Death: Plankton's Fight." How do these mighty miniatures survive for even a day? Find out on Thursday, July, 1st at 3:00 p.m. in the Library's Community Room. Limited to the first 30 kids ages 8-12. Join us!
JUNE 19, 2010
A Family Album
For a good read, I recommend A Family Album by Penelope Lively This story is set at a big Edwardian estate in suburban London called Allersmead, where we meet the family of Charles and Alison, their six children, and their au pair, Ingrid, who came to live with the family to help take care of their first born and remained with them for 40 years. The story takes place over a period of time spanning the 1970s to the present.
The mother, Alison, never aspired to anything but raising a large, happy family. She prepares beautiful food and creates fun activities for the children. Over the years, the house becomes something like a museum to the memory of the six children with photos of the kids at various ages, the crafts and drawings made during childhood on display throughout. Charles, a writer, is moody and detached, and spends most of his time hiding away in his study, while Ingrid, the cheerless but steady au pair helps keep the household chaos under control.
The omniscient narrator describes several scenes from the family’s life over the years – a birthday party where one of this children is taken to the hospital in an ambulance, a summer vacationing in a cottage by the seaside, secret games that the children played in the cellar, and the time Ingrid packed up and left, only to return a few months later. Then each of the nine characters is given a chapter to present his or her own memory of events previously described by the narrator. The result shows how a family can, at once, know the other members intimately, and remain very much an individual, often with very different memories of and reactions to shared experiences.
Penelope Lively has a unique gift to convey a saga like this – rich, detailed, and descriptive yet lovely and compact. If you belong to a book group, put this one on your “must read” list because it is very worthy of discussion!
Category: Staff Reads
JUNE 17, 2010
Six Days a Week
For many years, the Monterey Public Library, a department of the City of Monterey, has provided a seven-day a week schedule of services and programs for people of all ages. For the past year, thanks to citywide contributions, these programs and services have continued. In August of 2010, this will change.
Last summer the Council approved a shared effort by the Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) Fund and employee groups to maintain funding for specific city programs, including the Library’s California History Room, Youth Services and Sunday open hours. Thanks to their effort, the community was spared a substantial reduction in library services; story times, local history research and over 30,000 Sunday visits to the Library were continued.
However, this one-time money is ending, and the City’s economic situation has worsened. The cost for continuing all city services at the level they are now continues to rise, while funding declines, affected by decreasing local revenues, unexpected State takeaways, and increasing employee costs. The City’s budget gap for this year and next is $5 million, and growing.
At their meeting, this Tuesday, the City Council approved a budget that includes citywide cuts, from police to planning to building maintenance to the Library. Several Library employees will face layoffs. The Library will be implementing service reductions in the coming months; I expect that by late summer the Library will be closed one day a week with additional reductions in library hours likely. A reduced open hours schedule will be presented to the Library Board at the June 23 meeting at the Library.
These are extraordinarily difficult and challenging times for communities, with no immediate or easy solution in sight. Some residents have suggested a TOT tax increase for November’s ballot, others have recommended further cutting employees, costs and benefits. For the upcoming year, all but one City employee group has agreed to salary concessions; services will be reduced and some employees will be lost.
At the Library - even with fewer open days and hours - we will continue to provide lifelong learning, skilled and service-focused staff, a welcoming community place - inspiration, delight and education for all. For the long-term, the Library Board, Friends and staff are working to enhance city funding and strengthen community investment in the Library through increased giving and endowment building.
I look forward to receiving your comments, questions and suggestions - via this blog, my email at buiburto@ci,monterey.ca.us or my work phone (831) 646-5601.
Categories: Director's Blog, In the Know
JUNE 12, 2010
Summer Reading Program Surprise
Last Friday, we received a call from the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Library in Fitzgerald, Georgia telling us that they had been given some tickets for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. The ticket donor gave them to the southern Georgia library asking if they could arrange for the tickets be distributed to someone who would take some children to the event. The Fitzgerald-Ben Hill Library, in turn, offered the tickets to Monterey Public Library, thinking that we might be in a better position to accomplish this, given our proximity to Pebble Beach.
So, we held a surprise drawing for the tickets the following day at our Summer Reading Program Kick-off Party, and now two local kids will be having a day at this world-class event with a parent in tow. As the mom of one of the ticket winners said of her son, “He will be giving his dad an awesome Father’s Day gift!"
Thanks, Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Library and your donor for your generosity! You made a couple of dads very happy (and some children, too!)
Category: In the Know
JUNE 10, 2010
Mom - I petted a python!
At the Monterey Public Library?
Our Summer Reading Kick-off party started the week off with a SPLASH as hundreds of kids, teens and adults braved the heat last Saturday to sign up for summer reading, watercolor paint, enjoy musical performers, learn about water conservation and chat with a pirate. And the Friends of the Library monthly book sale added to the fun.
Sunday was much more sedate, with a lovely fundraising tea in a historic Monterey garden, catered by the talented Friends to raise money for the Ruth Vreeland Fund - and more folklore materials and programs for kids and adults in the Library. Amy Krupski provided wafting harp music; just perfect for finger sandwiches and tea sipped from delicate china cups. Over $3,000 was raised in memory of dear Ruth.
Tuesday night the tireless Friends sponsored an author's reading for a crowd of over 50 writers, poets and community members. Phyllis Theroux's new book, The Journal Keeper, enthralled the audience; her voice brought her words to life and touched her listeners.
And on to Thursday - "Tree Frog Treks" made their way to the La Mesa Bookmobile stop and the Library Community Room. That's where the large and lovely banana-colored python made its appearance, along with other exotic and sleepy-eyed reptiles, delighting scores of kids young and old.
You never know what adventure might await you - in the lines of a book, the lilt of a song, the quiet of a cozy reading nook - or the aargggh of a pirate, the smile of a friend, the smooth stretch of a scaled python - at the Library!
Category: Director's Blog
JUNE 4, 2010
Maximizing Your Memory--Maintain Your Brain
It’s late at night. You open the refrigerator door and stare into it, as if mesmerized, forgetting what you were looking for. Or you walk from one room to another in your house and halfway there you forget the reason why. Oh, oh! Oh no! You’re running late for an appointment, but you’ve forgotten where you put your car keys. There are four people waiting behind you at an ATM and, all of a sudden, you can’t remember your password. You have an important call to make but discover you’ve left your cell phone someplace. You can’t remember where. In these fast paced times, it’s a challenge to remember everything you need to take care of. Help is on the way. Join Pat Potter, Program Director, at the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California & Northern Nevada and learn tips and strategies for improving your memory. For an afternoon you won’t forget.
Category: In the Know
JUNE 3, 2010
Summer Reading Kick-off Party!
Come, one and all, to our Summer Reading 2010 Kick-off Party! This Saturday, June 5th, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., enjoy the musical stylings of ZunZun, painting lessons with local artist June Poe, a photo booth, snacks, and much more. For kids and teens, get your first chance to sign-up for the 2010 summer reading program, and adults can pick up forms to start reviewing your favorite books of the summer.
The Library will be hopping with all kinds of water-themed activities. There will be indoor and outdoor games, prizes, crafts and lots of fun - this is a not to be missed event for the whole family!
Category: In the Know