As the Library Director at Monterey Public Library, I am privileged to experience the direct and positive ways a public library can answer questions, meet needs and change lives. I see firsthand that library usage keeps rising, across the nation and within the City of Monterey, in response to difficult economic times and even more difficult personal and family choices.
What we are living though is unprecedented - severe financial distress that affects our lives, schools, work, families, neighbors and community. Access to information, skilled assistance, shared resources and creativity - these are more important than ever. And available to all at the library - in books, databases, magazines, CDs and DVDs, through public-use computers and laptops and in the person of friendly, knowledgeable staff here to serve.
During these times, when library use is up and community needs are greater than ever, it is with a heavy heart that I share news of upcoming changes to library services. These are the first effects of the City of Monterey's $7.4 million budget shortfall, and the potential cut of 1/5 of the Library's budget. There will most likely be many others.
Beginning on July 1, 2009, the Monterey Public Library will be open 6-days per week only - closed on Sundays. This will be the first time in over 30-years that the Library will not have a 7-day-per week open schedule. The first closed Sunday will July 5. The lobby book return will be open, and website services will still be available at www.monterey.org/library.
Also beginning July 1, 2009, overdue fines will go up for books and other materials not returned or renewed by the due date. Youth and teen items will be charged 25 cents per day, and adult items charged 50 cents per day.We know this increase in fines may be difficult for some - during the month of June we will be promoting the many ways to avoid late charges - renew an item (in person, over the phone during open hours, by automated telephone renewal or online 24/7), or receive a courtesy notice via email several days before your items are due (make sure we have your correct email in your account).
As June becomes July, and we begin working with a reduced budget, we'll be making other changes and reductions in service. We'll do our best to get the word out to all our customers and visitors as soon as we know - we'll post the most current information on our website as it becomes available. And please keep sharing your comments, concerns and ideas as we move forward into the future. I continue to welcome your input.
|posted by Kim BB|
On April 25, the Library had the pleasure of hosting the annual Robert Campbell High School Poetry Awards in partnership with the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts. The event features an award presentation and a poetry reading by teenage poets from all over Monterey County whose poems were submitted to the competition and judged to be among the best. Over 300 high school poets submitted 450 poems, and 33 were singled out for awards. The award-winners read their poems to an appreciative, full-house audience comprised of family members, friends, and teachers. Each poet was presented with a certificate, and either a book awards, or one of the cash prizes sponsored by the Friends of the Monterey Public Library.
The Library has a special relationship with writers and poets and it is always a great delight to hear new voices of young poets from our own community. It is also inspiring to witness the courage of these young people as they read words that express emotions and thoughts that are very often deeply personal. In a world where there are not always trophy cases filled with awards for teenagers who write, it is heartwarming to participate in this annual opportunity to recognize and honor the talents and achievements of our young poets.
|posted by Jeanne|