Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1st Saturday Book Sale!

Saturday, August 1st is the monthly Book Sale, in the Library arcade. (Hours: noon-3 pm.)

The Library recently received a large donation from a lovingly cared for personal library. Many of these books will be available at this month's book sale. Featured topics include art, travel, gardening.... and a little bit of everything else.

Come pick up a few books for summer reading....or stock up for the winter months ahead.

FYI, the 1st Saturday Book Sales have raised $4446.00 for the Library in the past year. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Library Advisory Board Member

We are delighted to announce that Anthony Pearsall was appointed to the Library's Advisory Board by the City Council on July 15, 2009.

Mr. Pearsall jumped into his role immediately. During the City Council meeting that followed his appointment, he spoke emphatically on the need to maintain General Fund support for the Library and place a parcel tax on the November ballot, designated solely for the Library.

Mr. Pearsall is a Pacific Grove resident and homeowner, with two children who attend Pacific Grove Middle School. His entire family visit the Library frequently, often several times a week.

As stated in his application for appointment:
"As a PGMS parent, a member of the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Pacific Grove, the downtown Business Improvement District, and the Friends of the Library, I am eager to work for the good of this city and the future of one of its central institutions, as a member of the Library Board."

The next Library Advisory Board Meeting will be Tuesday, August 11th at 7 p.m. The meeting is at the Community Center, and the public is welcome to attend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Council Removes Library from List of Budget Cuts & Recommends $95 Library Parcel Tax for November Ballot

The Council Chambers were packed Wednesday night - with passionate and patient Library supporters. It was after 10 pm when the Council began discussion on The Plan for Closing the Long-Term Budget Gap. When it was time for public comment, library advocates of every age lined up to speak. And they spoke eloquently.

Author, Michael Katakis opened comments with a tribute to libraries as the place in a town "where dreams and wonder are stored."

Others echoed his comments. “The library is not just a big building with books…” It’s a place “where children embark on magical trips.” It’s a place for "people who understand the love of exploring.” "People are using library computers to look for jobs." "It's an anchor for families." It’s practically my 2nd home."

Every speaker expressed, in their own unique way, that “the Library is not an extra. It is essential.” “It’s a basic need.” "People need it to nourish themselves."

A 10 year old observed, “What is a city without a library? It’s a disaster.” Older PG residents made similar comments. “When you get down to closing your library, you’re saying, ‘this a is failed city.” “When a town loses its library, it loses it soul.”

Linda Bailey Smith, chair of the enormously successful Read-a-thon spoke for all Library supporters when she addressed the Council. “Sometimes unseen solutions come from taking a stand….I’m asking you to take a stand…. draw a line in the sand….No more cuts to the Library.”

You spoke up. And the Council listened. In a 5-1 vote, they agreed to remove “Close library/Eliminate General Fund support for library” from the Plan for Closing the Long-Term Budget Gap.

Later in the meeting, after midnight, the Council voted to place a $95 Library Parcel Tax on the November ballet. Designated specifically for the Library, this measure would require a two-thirds (66%) majority to pass. The second reading on this resolution will be August 5th. Stay tuned….

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Close Library/Eliminate General Fund support"

As part of the "Plan for Closing the Long-Term Budget Gap", the following strategy is being presented to the City Council on Wednesday, July 15th.

"Based on City Council priorities established in March 2009, library services is of secondary priority, to be pursued upon resource availability after public safety and infrastructure maintenance are secured. Given the minimal hours of operation and staffing levels in place already, we must consider elimination of General Fund support altogether. If this option is adopted, staff would work to determine whether there is an effective model that relies heavily on volunteers to keep the library open at a fraction of the current cost. If such a model appears feasible, the savings from this strategy could be reduced. The City Council will also consider a special tax to continue library operations as a separate agenda item on July 15th. If a tax measure is approved by voters and the City Council wished to keep the library open until special tax revenues would be received in December 2010, this savings option may not be available until the spring of 2010, with full effect not realized until FY 2010/11."

This strategy would save the City $400,000 per year, (out of a $15 million dollar budget).

To express your views on this topic, contact your City Council Members and attend the City Council meeting on July 15th at 6 pm.
(We have been informed that Agenda Items pertaining to the Library may not be discussed until 7:30 or 8 pm due to the lengthy agenda.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Getting By With Less

On July 1st the Library entered a new phase of reduced funding. Changes include:
  • The Library is now open only four days a week, for a total of 24 hours. (Click here to see the new schedule.)
  • Late fines will increase to 25 cents per day for children and young adult materials; 50 cents per day for adult materials.
  • The Thursday morning Storytime program has been cancelled. (See The Children's Calendar for the new storytime schedule.)
  • Interlibrary Loan Service may not continue, (due to reductions in part-time staff). It is temporarily limited to 1 request per person, per week. And the fee will soon be increased to $3 per request.
  • The Reference Desk will no longer be fully staffed. (The recently hired part-time Librarian position has been cut.)
  • Lines may be longer at the Circulation Desk. (A full-time Library Assistant retired and was not replaced.)
  • No money was allocated for books and other materials, so there will be fewer new purchases, and longer waits for best sellers and high interest materials.

The staff deeply regrets any inconvenience these changes may cause you. We are committed to serving you as well as we can, considering the limitations of a reduced staff and budget.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Be Creative with Song!

Be Creative!
Summer Reading Program continues
with musician,
Linda Arnold
Thursday, July 2nd, 12:30 pm