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OCTOBER 31, 2006
Cover to Cover
One of the avenues we use to encourage reading is our half-hour book discussion show, Cover to Cover, broadcast on local public access television. If you live in the community and have access to cable channel 25, you may catch Cover to Cover at these air times. You may also view Cover to Cover via streaming video, or see a list of past selections discussed on Cover to Cover from links on this Web page.

Happy reading!

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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OCTOBER 29, 2006
Fall back...
Now that it's six months after spring forward, it's time to set your clock back one hour, replace the batteries in your smoke alarm and bring your used batteries to the Library for recycling!

That's right, the City of Monterey has set up a small recycling bin in the front lobby off Pacific Street for used batteries (not car batteries but almost all other kinds). Look for the little plastic bin near the phone, bring in those used-up battteries and help keep potentially toxic waste out of the landfill. Thanks!

posted by Kim BB

Categories: Director's BlogIn the Know

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OCTOBER 26, 2006
A Good Scary Book
"I am here master, command me” reads the back cover of this spooky book – a perfect book to get in the spirit for Halloween! Enter Stephen, a new kid in town. Stephen is a loner and there are lots of rumors about his background and family. He meets and befriends Davie, a good Catholic boy whose weekly confessions are stealing cigarettes from his father and alter wine from the church. All that changes when he gets to know Stephen better and learns of Stephen’s powers. Together, they create a clay monster that they bring to life. Is the monster responsible for the death of a neighborhood bully? If so, then surely Davie and Stephen are guilty too. More questions are asked than answered in this powerful, eerie book.

Read more reviews or place a hold on Clay by David Almond.

posted by Debbie

Categories: Staff ReadsTeen Zone

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OCTOBER 24, 2006
Once again, librarians to the rescue!
Not only is that a quote from a satisfied customer (and a banner hanging in the Library) - it's a shout-out to the many enthusiastic and engaged librarians attending this year's Internet Librarian conference just down the street.

It's exciting to have this much energy focused on library service, community-building and technology - right around the corner from the Library. A special thanks to all the bloggers who connect overscheduled non-conference goers (like me) with a minute-by-minute account of the conference sessions.

My entry title is also an appreciation of the benefits that conference-goers provide to a local economy. This was brought home to me last week in an elevator in New Orleans - where I overheard a local gentleman thank a fellow conference attendee for coming to New Orleans - and then say "And you know, the librarians were the first. Back in August they had their conference here - they were the first to start us back."

Go librarians!

posted by Kim BB

Categories: Director's BlogIn the Know

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OCTOBER 24, 2006
Picture this...
On Saturday, October 21, the Library conducted its third "Shades of Monterey" Photo & Story Collection Day. We invited community members to bring their family photo collections to the Library, where trained volunteers looked at the photos, selected ones based on the criteria we provided, and then interviewed photo donors to gather information and stories about the people and activites depicted in the photos. The photos were then scanned by a professional photographer and the originals returned to their owners. The photos and stories are now part of the Library's local history archives.

The idea behind this project is to document day-to-day life in Monterey and preserve the images and stories of the people who have lived here over the years. We anticipate creating an exhibit of some of these photos in the coming year.

Twenty-three volunteers helped interview and select photos from the albums of forty-four local families. There was much excitement in the room as these photo treasures were uncovered and family stories were retold. Friends and strangers came together in this great community project and, in all, we collected almost 400 photos and stories. That's what we call a big success.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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OCTOBER 18, 2006
Kim BB in NOLA*
*That's New Orleans, Louisiana (as I learned a short time ago).

The view from my window today is not Pacific Street, falling leaves or fire engines - it's the curve of the Mississippi and the sweep of a struggling city steeped in a complex history. I'm here for a national summit on historic preservation, and the glamour and grit of the French Quarter showcases both the multi-faceted past and the rebuilding of a shattered present for the future.

What's Monterey's library director doing in the midst of expert historians and preservationists? Gathering and sharing! I'm hearing from lots of hard-working experts from around the country (and gleaning many ideas for better preserving and interpreting Monterey's diverse history). And describing Monterey's many initiatives and programs to preserve and share community memory. In Monterey, the Library is an integral part of this important community effort.

Sadly, I won't be back home in time for "Shades of Monterey" this Saturday, 10/21/ 06 - an open invitation of a day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Library's Community Room) to bring personal photos of people and events to be scanned for inclusion in our local history room archives. Trained volunteers will be helping Library Special Services Coordinator Jeanne McCombs and Archivist Dennis Copeland gather the names, dates and stories that each photo portrays.

If you have any such photos at home I hope you'll consider bringing them to the Library on Saturday. Your stories and photos are important parts of our community's memory. Visiting with New Orleans residents who mourn homes and lives lost, who speak wistfully of belongings and memories destroyed, reminds me of the importance of this work - preserving and documenting Monterey's past for Monterey's future.

posted by Kim BB

Categories: Director's BlogIn the Know

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OCTOBER 18, 2006
Presence of the Past
This past Sunday, Historic Monterey wrapped up its annual History Fest in high style with The Friends of the Monterey Public Library's 3rd annual House Tour. Five beautiful private homes, each representing a different architectural style or historic period, were open to the public. Docents and homeowners were available at each home to talk about the various points of interest, and tell the stories of the people who built or lived in the homes, over the years. I had the privilege of working as a docent at one of earliest Victorians on West Coast - a lovingly restored 1870 home, rich in history, and filled with beautiful period furniture. In addition to the private homes on the tour, was La Mirada, once the humble adobe of Mexican General Castro, which was later transformed into the magnificent estate of screenwriter Gouverneur Morris. La Mirada is now part of the Monterey Museum of Art. Two other historic landmarks fleshed out the tour, Colton Hall Museum and the Royal Presido Chapel.

This fun and educational House Tour will translate into over $4,500 in books, library materials, and library programs - a real gift to the community from the Friends of the Library and the participating homeowners.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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OCTOBER 18, 2006
Revenge or Forgiveness
During the Jewish time of forgiveness, I read Patrice Vecchione's book Revenge or Forgiveness; an anthology of poems. It includes poetry from Shakespeare to Walt Whitman to the Library's own Victor Henry. It has poems about topics in the news - war, terrorism, the death penalty, and abuse, as well as poems about interactions between friends and lovers. One of my favorites is "First Memory" by Louise Gluck.
Long ago, I was wounded. I lived
to revenge myself
against my father, not
for what he was --
for what I was; from the beginning of time,
in childhood, I thought
that pain meant
I was not loved.
It meant I loved.

posted by Karen

Categories: Staff ReadsTeen Zone

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OCTOBER 17, 2006
A Good, Good Book
Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery Sy Montgomery is a well-known naturalist and a writer who lives with her husband in rural New England. She has neighbors who raise pigs and, being the kindly sort, they rescue their litter runts and keep them safely in a separate sty. But this season they are overrun with runts, so they ask Sy if she will consider adopting one of the runts. Not just any runt, but a special case: a tiny, sickly one, no bigger than a house cat, with every disease known to the barnyard. Sy and her husband agree to adopt the tiny spotted creature, knowing that he probably won't live long. But with their love and constant care, Christopher Hogwood, as he is named, does a strange thing: he begins to thrive. Thirteen years and 750 pounds later…

This is a charming story of the healing power of love and of building community around an oddity. It's also the story of a woman who has always been more comfortable with animals than humans, who is now learning to enjoy close, lifelong friendships - all because of a good, good pig.

posted by Jeanne

Category: Staff Reads

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OCTOBER 17, 2006
Live Homework Help
Know anyone who needs help with homework? A new Monterey Public Library program lets students fourth grade and up connect to professional tutors online for free? It's available in English every day 1-10 pm and in Spanish Sunday through Thursday 1-7 pm. We've already heard from an 8th grade Algebra student who says "I can't believe all the individual help I'm getting." A college calculus student says "I understand it now" Another student says "They went over my essay and gave me some good pointers". Try it out!

posted by Karen

Categories: Teen ZoneIn the KnowLibrary Tech

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OCTOBER 13, 2006
Book News
There are many ways to learn about great books to read, for example, you can ask a librarian! But if you enjoy reading publications dedicated exclusively to the newest books, you might like to check out "BookPage". This monthly publication includes articles about some of the hottest new books in all the various genres, with plot summaries, critical reviews, news from the publishing world, author interviews, a "Mystery of the Month", "Debut Fiction", and best new books for children and teens. Each month you can find out about some of the latest books available on CD. And at this time of year, you can get some great ideas about books for gift giving.

Here's even better news. You can pick up a free copy of "BookPage" at the Library. When you do, be sure to turn to the customized back page, where you'll get news about Monterey Public Library's upcoming literary events, including book discussion groups, storytimes, storytelling programs, and author visits. Happy reading!

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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OCTOBER 7, 2006
Cannery Row Suite
I attended the 49th annual Monterey Jazz Festival over the weekend of Sept 15-17, and enjoyed an historic moment when 85 year-old jazz legend Dave Brubeck brought the crowd to its feet with his MJF commissioned piece "Cannery Row Suite". This 30-minute opera is based on characters from John Steinbeck's famous novel, including Doc, Dora, Mack, and Lee Chong. Amazingly, given the length of the piece, Brubeck captured the flavor of a time and place that Steinbeck knew well, and later fictionalized. He also managed to pretty well summarize the plot of the novel, and relate many of Steinbeck's underlying ideas about humanity and the interdependence of living beings.

I contacted the Monterey Jazz Festival to find out if there are any plans to release a recording or DVD of the Suite, but they said, "Sorry, there are no such plans at this time." Their best suggestion was to keep checking the Monterey Jazz Festival Web site to see if anything changes.

In the meanwhile, we'll just have to settle for reading John Steinbeck's classic Cannery Row - a book well worth re-reading.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowStaff Reads

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OCTOBER 5, 2006
National Archives Month
October is National Archives Month, and a great time to learn more about the Library's California History Room and Archives. This resource is dedicated to collecting and preserving information on local, regional and early California history, with a strong emphasis on the history and culture of the Monterey region. The collections include early California and local history books, a newspaper clipping file, magazines, journals, scrapbooks, albums, maps, correspondence, business records, AV materials, over 20,000 photographs, and much more.

Throughout the month, a special exhibit with examples of the California History Room's rich and diverse holdings will be on display in the Library lobby.

The California History Room is open to all researchers. For more information contact Library Archivist Dennis Copeland at 831.646.3741 or e-mail copeland@ci.monterey.ca.us.

posted by Jeanne

Category: In the Know

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OCTOBER 4, 2006
Read a good book lately?
Hungry for more? Come tell others about the books you've enjoyed and hear about tasty titles others are reading! Bring a bag lunch (or not) and your appetite for reading. The Hungry Readers book discussion group meets in the Library the first Thursday of the month at noon. Admission free, and so are the tea and cookies!

posted by Inga

Category: In the Know

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OCTOBER 4, 2006
Easier PALS login!
You no longer have to enter your name to log in to the PALS Catalog or search Library databases from home. To protect your privacy, your library card number and a PIN or password are required. If you don't have a PIN, you can create one the first time you log in.

Why would you want to log in to a library catalog?

  • See what you have checked out.
  • Renew items online.
  • See what you have on hold and waiting for pickup.
  • Check if there are any fines or other charges on your account.
  • See when your Library Card must be renewed.
  • Place holds and recommend new titles without re-entering your personal information.
  • Request Library notices by mail or email or update your email address.
  • Save searches and receive an email message when a new title matches your search.
  • Rate titles to share your opinions with other library customers.
  • Use Your Reading History to save a list of the titles you have checked out. (The PALS system saves this information only after you request it.)
More options are coming soon for logged-in PALS users.
Log in to Your PALS Account

posted by Doug

Category: Library Tech

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OCTOBER 3, 2006
A new leaf
On this third day of October I arrived at the Library with a pumpkin-colored sunrise and left in a darkening swirl of leaves (from the trees) and bats (from the sky). Stepping into the crisp air from my car was just like biting into a fresh-picked apple. And the lopsided moon that followed me home reminded me of a child's drawing - round on one side and unevenly sloped on the other.

Hard to believe that September's calendar page has turned, and October is already three days old. And yet, as happens every fall about this time, the youth books on autumn leaves and apples are checked out, the winter cookery books are looking more inviting and the gardening shelves are missing the native planting guides.

I'm starting my fall must-read list - as the days grow shorter and the nights stretch out. What's on yours?

posted by Kim BB

Category: Director's Blog

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