MARCH 17, 2010
Do you want to see what books, CDs, Playaways, and DVDs customers are checking out and requesting most at your Library? Visit the new Popular Titles page.
Categories: Catalog Blog, In the Know
MARCH 13, 2010
The Library is situated in a neighborhood steeped in history and rich in historic buildings. For starters, we are located just cater-corner to one of Monterey’s most important historic buildings, Colton Hall, the site where California’s first Constitution was drafted in October 1849. Immediately adjacent to Colton Hall is the Monterey’s old jail which put out its welcome mat to many a horse thief in its day. Next door to the Library on Hartnell Street is the old James Stoke’s adobe, built in 1833 as a private home, and was once a lively center for Monterey’s social life. For over 30 years, the adobe has been home to a series of popular restaurants, including one soon-to open and which promises to return lunch and dinner service back to the heart of our neighborhood! Almost across the street from Stoke’s (which, by the way, is to be renamed Restaurant 1833) is a building sometimes referred to as “The First Federal Courthouse Adobe”, which sports a plaque dating it back to 1836. There are conflicting records pertaining to the building’s age, but we do know that it was home to Gabriel de la Torre in the late 1840s, and that since the 1960s, it has been home to a succession of commercial operations and professional offices. This building is sometimes referred to as “The Green Adobe “, and it has recently been purchased by the Big Sur Land Trust for their headquarters. Travel a few doors east to 539 Hartnell, and you’ll find s a well-loved French bakery and coffee house, situated in what is known as “The Fremont Adobe” - another misnomer as there is no evidence that General Fremont ever had anything to do with the building. Regardless of its origin, records show that the adobe has been around since at least 1849, and in the words of the late-Edna Kimbro, Historical, Architectural, and Conservation Consultant, it “bore witness to Monterey’s earliest period and contributes to the historic district and cultural landscape.” The latest news about the Fremont Adobe is that the aforementioned tenant bakery has now purchased the building and hopes to remain a longstanding fixture in the neighborhood.
The Library is delighted to be in the company of new and old neighbors who help keep our beautiful and historic district vibrant.
Category: In the Know
MARCH 7, 2010
At the Monterey Public Library, we are living through the challenges that the current recession creates - a $50,000 cut to the collections budget, an aging, leaking building used by an average of 1,100 people a day, and furloughs (and therefore fewer staff some days). In these difficult times, now, more than ever, we are always looking at ways to meet challenges creatively.
During this past budget reduction year, staff from all areas of the Library - Reference/Teen, Youth, California History Room, Support Services, Administration and our terrific Facility Attendant - have been thinking, planning and envisioning together to make the best use of shrinking dollars, limited space and increased demand for services and programs. We have been re-imagining our approach to public service, re-looking at what our collections should be, and how we can better work together as a team.
Phase one has been nearly completed in our main magazine area. We have increased natural light and air flow, developed new seating areas for students, laptop computer users and quiet readers, and improved the vibrancy and attractiveness of our magazine display despite reduced spending.
Phase two will begin Monday with a reduction in the reference shelving and reference collection. Most reference questions today are answered with online sources, many fewer with books from our print collection. Most reference books will be moved to the adult nonfiction area - either made circulating so they can be checked out or shelved together in the broad shelving near the side windows. Signage and staff will be ready to help point the way to our new reference areas.
Phase three will take place in early May. A shared single service point will be developed from the current reference desk area, to encompass reference, youth, circulation/accounts and teen assistance. This larger service area will allow reference/teen, youth and circulation/accounts staff members to work more closely together to provide the very best customer service possible. We will have one main area from which staff assistance can be sought. And a welcoming, coordinated, well-trained and supportive library staff team working together to answer your questions and meet your needs.
We have more ideas on the horizon - and even more creativity, talent and energy to be unleashed from the staff to further transform our building, collections and service. So, as we move through the last weeks of winter, we prepare to "spring forward" to better serve our entire community - even in these challenging times.
Categories: Director's Blog, In the Know