|posted by Victor|
Two weeks ago, it was my great pleasure to visit the Pacific Grove Public Library on the occasion of their 100th birthday celebration. This is the library that my family visited weekly as my children were growing up – the place where the children’s librarian greeted my kids by name and made them feel right at home. This is the library where my two boys always found armloads of books to fill their curious minds with facts, ideas, and wonderful stories, and a place that inspired them both to become eager readers and lifelong learners.
Because the library has given so much to me and to my family, as I am sure it has to thousands of others over the last century, it did my heart good to see the outpouring of community spirit at the birthday party. Over a four-hour period, over eight hundred people turned out. Friends greeted friends, music was played, songs were sung, cakes were served and everyone was of good cheer. It was also wonderful to hear announced that recent fundraising activities in support of the library, including a children’s "Read-a-Thon", raised over $18,000 to buy new books! Congratulations to the Pacific Grove Library and its wonderful staff, and congratulations to everyone who turned out to celebrate this invaluable community treasure.
|posted by Jeanne|
It's been a few weeks since the Checkout desk staff had an informal book-sharing meeting. We learned, once again, that we read a lot of different kinds of books! We recommend all of these, so come down to the library and check them out!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Life in the Undergrowth by David Attenborough
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Innocent Blood by P.D. James
World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik
Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
Mistaken Identity by Don Van Ryn
Audio and Visual
|posted by Catrina|
Last month, the library conducted a one-question survey from the home page of our Web site. We asked, "Would you recommend the library to a friend?" The choices were "yes" or "no", with a space for comments from anyone who was either on the fence or wished to further explain their choice.
The idea for this one-question survey was roughly based on a book called The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld who, after more than 25 years of studying customer loyalty, discovered that the answer to this one question might very well determine the future of an organization.
This was not a scientific survey. In fact, we received a comment from one survey respondent to the effect that anyone who was hanging around the library’s home page probably wouldn’t do so if they didn’t approve of the library. While there’s some truth in that, it’s also true that we receive both compliments and criticism from the suggestion boxes that the library has online and in-house all the time. So we thought we’d give this approach a try, and offer just one more way for customers to provide us with feedback.
In one week, we received 138 responses to the survey question, with 137 respondents voting "yes" and one "no". While comments were optional, over one-third of the respondents took the time to have their say. Here are just a few of the comments we received.
"Great library! You could do with more audio books."
" I would and I have [recommended the library]! Friendly staff, great website, and materials I can use. Plus it’s centrally located and books can be transferred from other libraries. And the used book sale rack is a great little find! Thank you."
""The online abilities are AWESOME! It is so great to be able to reserve books online, as well as renew books from home. As a working mom, this service is invaluable. Thank you so much!"
"The most current books are readily available and can be easily ordered via the internet. It’s wonderful to be able to read the popular books without having to actually purchase them."
"I use trips to the library as a reward for my 10 year old son. If he gets his homework done in a timely fashion, we take a trip to the library."
"In November of ’86, I visited Monterey with my New York Public Library card in my pocket. My husband-to-be’s idea of a ‘hot date’ was spending an evening touring the area’s libraries – Monterey, PG, and Carmel. I fell in love with the Monterey library and him. In April 1988, I got a husband and a new library card. In April 2008, two 20th anniversaries…"
"I even send out of town guests to the library to get history info, since it is across from Colton Hall. Thanks!"
"Heck yes! The Library…is da bomb! Literacy 4 lyfe. HOLLA!"
"It’s a fantastic local resource – an impressive book and media collection; multiple computers for Internet access; friendly and responsive staff. I also appreciate how the staff is open to buying new books for the collection based on suggestions from patrons."
"Thank you so much for being such an asset to our homeschooling efforts…"
To everyone who took the time to participate in the survey, we thank you. Your comments are helpful to us in understanding what aspects of the library you especially value and what we can do to continue improving services to you.
|posted by Jeanne|
You might recall the recent story about the long-lost copy of "The Treatise on Law Selections" by St. Thomas Aquinas that was last borrowed from the library over 50 years ago. The borrower, who was stationed in Monterey during his military service in the early 1950’s, apparently overlooked the book when he packed up and left Monterey. He recently found the book in the attic of his Ohio home, and sent the book back to us with a very nice note, and a sizeable donation.
Shortly after the story was released by local news media, the library received a call from the Public Affairs office at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. They asked if the library would consider donating the book for display in the Catholic chapel at NPS, which is named for St. Thomas Aquinas. They thought that the return of the book to the library after so many years was very interesting, and that the story would resonate with many military families. In a letter to us from the NPS Foundation’s Executive Director we learned that over the years, "Many items have been shipped with household goods that were not intended to be: bricks, a pot of chili, trash and library books."
The library is delighted that this book with its interesting history is to be given a special place in the St. Aquinas Chapel at Monterey’s Naval Postgraduate School when the school celebrates its Centennial in 2009.
|posted by Jeanne|
|posted by Inga|
The staff here at the library is really dedicated to spreading the word about all the great things that people can do or find at the library. Here’s just one example.
Last week one of our staff (I won’t name names, let’s just call her "Joanne") had a repairman working at her house. When he was finished, she went outside to pay him, and they started chatting. She suggested that he could find out more about the topic they were discussing in a documentary film that she could recommend. She added, that the library even owns a copy of the film and that he could borrow it. The repairman said that he didn’t have a library card. "Joanne" told him that she could fix that. She invited him in, turned on the computer, accessed the library online, let him to sign up for a card, and even placed a reserve on the movie using his temporary library card number.
As he was leaving the repairman noticed a bumper sticker on "Joanne’s" car, which led to a little discussion of the current political scene. As the fellow seemed very well informed, "Joanne" was surprised to hear him say that he had never voted, and that he didn’t even know how to go about registering to vote. She said that she could fix that, too. She told him that something that’s always available at the library is the mail-in voter registration form, and that he could get a copy when he visits the library to pick up his new library card and borrow the film.
So, "Joanne" inspired someone to become a voter, recommended and set aside library material that would help him learn more about a topic of interest to him, and made him a card-carrying library customer. That’s not bad day’s work for someone who was off duty and at home!
|posted by Jeanne|
Last Saturday, high school poets from communities throughout Monterey County, their families, friends, and teachers gathered at the Library. The event was a Library-sponsored reading by the award-winning poets of this year’s Robert Campbell Monterey High School Poetry competition, a project of the Carl Cherry Center of the Arts.
The Library engages the community in the literary arts all year round, but this event is a special opportunity to bring people together in a celebration of poetry, to hear a new generation of creative voices, and to publicly recognize the achievements of these talented and courageous young writers. The poems of thirty-three teenage poets were selected from about 350 submissions to this year’s competition. Each of the award winners read their poem aloud and received certificates, book awards, and cash prizes.
Thanks our friends at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts for allowing us to host this special event, and another big "thank you" to the Friends of the Monterey Public Library for providing funds for cash prizes. Congratulations to all of the award-winning teen poets. Keep on writing!
|posted by Jeanne|