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NOVEMBER 26, 2008
The Circus is Coming to Town!

If only that was really the case..... alas, over the Thanksgiving weekend the library has been tented not for the circus, but for termite abatement.  The good news is that we'll be able to say goodbye to our resident termites!  The bad news is that we're going to have to be closed a couple extra days from Wednesday November 26th through Sunday November 30th.  We'll reopen our doors on Monday December 1st at noon!  We'll see you then!  And in the meantime we hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!!

posted by Kim S.

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NOVEMBER 25, 2008
Surviving Difficult Times

Just a reminder, during difficult economic times the Monterey Public Library is here for you. The reference librarians have put together a page of Internet resources to serve as a starting point for anyone in need of help or those just interested finding out  new ways to save money or tips for finding a new job. 

Beyond the websites we have listed, there are also many local agencies that offer a wide range of assistance. If you need more information or resources, please feel free to ask a Librarian.  And if you are aware of resources and links that aren't listed, please share them in the comments!

posted by Kim S.

Category: In the Know

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NOVEMBER 24, 2008
A creative new book discussion group for everyone

Join our new book discussion group where anyone can read the books online and participate online, using the Library's Tumblebooks.  It's quick, easy and fun!

In two short books,  Ish and The Dot, Peter Reynolds has written simple stories about what constitutes art and how easily all of us, especially children, can be discouraged from attempting creative efforts.  We can even doubt our ability to be creative! 

It will take you four minutes or less to read or watch each book.  Then you can join in on the discussion.
   

Look for this big button on the Kids Page. There you can read the two books (or have them read to you).

Here are some questions to think about while you read.  Then let us know what you think.

Who has encouraged - or discouraged - your creativity?  What was your response? 

How can we encourage ourselves (or our children or students) to be more creative?

The summer reading program this year will be entitled "Be Creative@ Your Library" and, for teens, "Express Yourself @ Your Library".  What activities should be offered that will really make a difference?

 

posted by Karen

Categories: Teen ZoneStaff Reads

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NOVEMBER 22, 2008
A Celebration of Leo Politi

 

 Last Wednesday evening, about 50 people attended a talk at the Library by author Ann Stalcup, on the subject of her book, "Leo Politi: Artist of the Angels". She spoke of Mr. Politi’s life and his work as an award winning children’s author-illustrator and artist. The event was part of a statewide celebration of the 100th anniversary of Mr. Politi’s birth.

Monterey has a special connection with Leo Politi, because in 1986, the Library commissioned the author-illustrator to create a mural for the children’s Picture Book Room. When the mural was unveiled, Leo came to the Library for the special event. He was greeted by dozens of admirers, almost all adults, carrying their beloved copies of his books in hopes that he would autograph them. After the formalities of the day were over, his fans lined up while Leo patiently "signed" each and every copy. I had to put the word "signed" in quotation marks, because a Leo Politi autograph was not just a scribbled name, it was a work of art in itself! He drew lovely sketches and wrote warm sentiments in each book.

Last Wednesday was a wonderful evening that brought back fond memories of Leo Politi. After Ms. Stalcup’s presentation, people stayed and stayed to share their stories of Leo and his work, and to visit the beautiful mural in the Picture Book room. By the end of the evening, every one of Leo Politi’s books that were available had been checked out.

One of my favorite Leo Politi books is A Boat for Peppe, which is set in Monterey and has beautiful illustrations of Monterey’s traditions, its fishing boats, and historic adobes. Do you have a favorite Leo Politi book?

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowStaff Reads

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NOVEMBER 21, 2008
Right Place at the Right Time

 

I just had one of those great "right place at the right time" moments

I was in the Library lobby dismantling an exhibit, when a gentleman came in to drop off his old batteries in the recycle bin. After he dumped in several bags full, I commented, "Boy, you’ve really been saving them up!" He explained that he is a teacher whose students bring their used batteries to the classroom and that once a month, he takes them to a recycling location. As we talked, he noticed our blackboard announcement of the upcoming "Science Fair Fun and Success" program. He asked about it and I explained that it was designed to give kids resources and ideas for successful science fair projects, with a little fun tossed in, for good measure.

It turned out that the fellow teaches 8th grade science and he said that this Library program sounded like a great opportunity for his students. He even decided on the spot that he’d give his students extra credit if they attended. As I was handing him a stack of flyers to distribute at school, in walked three of his students. They greeted their teacher who, in turn, told them all about the program. He handed around flyers, and the kids all seemed very interested!

Those young men were probably coming into the Library to do some homework, or to hang out with their friends. But, because of this little serendipitous meeting, they might just end up with a better science fair project. Or with that extra credit, maybe they’ll get a better grade in science. And who knows? Maybe one of them will grow up to be a scientist! Oh, I know I’m speculating a bit wildly, but I truly believe that the Library is a place where people often learn about something that can make a difference in their lives. And, if nothing else comes of this little "right place at the right time" moment, it provided me with an opportunity to remind you of one more thing you can do at the Library: recycle your old batteries!

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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NOVEMBER 15, 2008
A Great Day for Robert Louis Stevenson

Well, the calendar knows it’s November, but someone forgot to tell the weather. It’s unbelievably gorgeous and warm today. I took a walk to the Stevenson House this morning, where the one of our Youth Services librarians performed a Robert Louis Stevenson theme storytime as part of our ongoing effort to take library activities and services into the community. We weren’t expecting to see more adults in the clearly delighted audience than children, but as one woman put it, "We’re all kids at heart."

Robert Louis Stevenson certainly was. Today’s event was timed to coincide more or less with the famous author’s birthday, which has actually come to be known as his "unbirthday". This is because in 1891, Stevenson officially "gave" his November 13 birthday to Miss Annie Ide who complained that, having been born on Christmas Day, she had been deprived of a birthday of her own. Having reached the ripe old age of 41, Stevenson declared drolly that he had no further need of a birthday, and had a legal document drawn up to make the present of his birthday official.

The Stevenson House is a wonderful place to enjoy a reading or to learn more about it’s famous Scots boarder. (Read all about his brief time in Monterey in The Old Pacific Capital.) Stevenson House is also a great place to take a stroll through the gem of a garden where colorful blooms are on display even in the middle of November. It’s a little hidden away, but not hard to find, and well worth the effort.

What a great day for Robert Louis Stevenson! Let's all with him a "Happy Unbirthday."

 

 

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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NOVEMBER 13, 2008
The Big Read

 

On Saturday afternoon we completed the third and final "The Big Read: Poetry of Robinson Jeffers" event held at the Library by the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation. Over the past two months, the Tor House Foundation has conducted readings, performances, and workshops in libraries, museums, schools, and other venues throughout Monterey County. It was a hugely successful undertaking.

I love the whole idea of "The Big Read", which is to get as many people as possible in one community reading the same book, or the same author or poet. Building community around literature and reading is something we do all the time at the Library, and we are delighted when we have opportunities to partner with another organization to bring people together to talk about books and to celebrate reading.

"The Big Read: the Poetry of Robinson Jeffers" is over for now, but it’s not too late to read the works of this great poet. Borrow a copy of his works from the Library and let us know which of Jeffers’ poems you liked best.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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NOVEMBER 6, 2008
What We're Reading

In addition to following this fall's tough economic news and endless political banter (or maybe in substitution of these?), the library staff has been reading a lot. We have a mix of fiction, non-fiction, movies and audiobooks. Let us know what you've been enjoying too!

Books

13 Reasons Why  13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Jane Eyre  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Queen of Babble Gets Hitched  Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot

Pirate4's Daughter  The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

Painted Drum  The Painted Drum by Louise Erdich

Whistling Season  The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist   Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Can you keep a secret  Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

God of Animals 

posted by Catrina

Categories:
Staff ReadsTeen Zone

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NOVEMBER 6, 2008
Monterey Teens Rock Out

Last Wednesday, Monterey teens were among the first in the world to play the new Guitar Hero World Tour in a public library. Chill Time featured the new game, which includes a microphone for vocals, a 6 piece drum kit, and 2 guitars, one electric, one bass.

Clever us, we were standing by with a video camera.

 

The game will return next week, and our beginners will soon become experts. Check out the Monterey Public Library page on Facebook for more Guitar Hero videos and photos.

Finally, if you're not a teen but are itching to rock out at the Library, don't despair. We'll be organizing a family game day soon! Let us know now what kinds of games you'd like to see.

posted by Ben

Category: Teen Zone

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NOVEMBER 3, 2008
Read. Think. Vote.

There are three different ways from which I choose to drive to and from work each day.  Stopping by the bank in the early a.m. today caused me to drive the street less traveled by - at least by me most mornings.  Heading down the hill to the last stoplight before turning on Pacific Street I saw three simple words headlining two sets of windows:

Read. Think. Vote.

A beautiful statement for this time of year - election time - that always makes me feel emotional about being an American.  And a public librarian.  As the bookmark says "Public libraries are both a symbol and a cornerstone of true democracy."  As is voting in free and open elections.

So exercise your right to read, think and vote.  And whatever the way each of us decides (via mail-in ballot or in the privacy of a voting booth), whatever the outcome unfolding when we head to sleep Tuesday night, I choose to hope that, despite our different paths, we will all arrive together, indivisible, when we wake up on the morning of November 5, 2008.

 

 

 

posted by Kim BB

Categories: Director's BlogIn the Know

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NOVEMBER 1, 2008
What's on the Menu?

One staff member provided us with a good photo op when she got into the spirit of Halloween in her giant chicken costume. This also gives me a chance to remind you that the winter holiday season is coming, and no matter what your traditions, food probably figures into them in one way or another. When planning your menus, don’t forget that the Library has a huge collection of books (and magazines) on cooking, baking, and entertaining. Come and check them out!

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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