News from PG Friends
Monterey Herald, August 9, 2017, article by Carly Mayberry.
"Pacific Grove Gears Up for $1 Million Library Renewal With New Director Hiring"
As Pacific Grove prepares to get underway on its ambitious library building and renewal project, city and library officials are also readying themselves to welcome the newcomer who will be overseeing the $1 million project. Scott Bauer, who will serve as the Deputy Director at the Marin County Free Library until Friday, is set to begin as the Pacific Grove Library’s new director on Aug. 21. In his new role, Bauer will facilitate library renovations that include replacing the current false ceiling, reconstructing a corridor addition built in the 1950s that proved to be nonfunctional, re-doing the restrooms, re-painting and replacing the carpet and lighting. Americans with Disabilities Act improvements will also be made. Exact renovation designs for the Andrew Carnegie-designated library that first opened in 1908 are currently being created by architect Karin Payson of Karin Payson Architecture and Design of San Francisco. “It’s going to be removing things that are there that are not in keeping with the fantastic building that it is and restoring the interior of the library to more of it was likely like on its opening day,” said City Manager Ben Harvey, noting the project is one that’s been a long time coming and would not have been possible without the significant efforts and monetary contributions from community and key library stakeholders. Those stakeholder groups include the Friends of the Pacific Grove Library, the Pacific Grove Public Library Foundation and the Library Advisory Board. “It’s truly a collaborative process and partnership and the city would not be able to do this on its own,” added Harvey. About the hiring of Bauer, who Harvey said has 18 years of library leadership and management experience, “We were blessed with a pool of qualified candidates and we really felt he brought the most to the table that would benefit and fit in best with the community,” he said. Bauer, who started working in libraries in the mid-1980s shelving books and subsequently worked his way up the ranks in several different libraries, eventually ended up overseeing the construction of the Redwood Shores Branch Library and renovations of Redwood City’s library system’s main downtown library. He was also involved in the remodeling of six libraries in Marin County. His hiring for the Pacific Grove position was facilitated in part by executive search firm Peckham & McKenney, which cost the city $15,000. “I have a pretty good reputation for keeping in close contact with members of the community and bringing ideas in to the library to better serve them,” said Bauer, who will be paid in the $120,000 range and will take over duties from interim Library Director Doug Holtzman. The retired Holtzman took over after former Library Director Steven Silveria retired in April. Holtzman will continue on in his normal capacity as the library’s part-time Web developer and will also be available for special projects.The renovations that Bauer will be overseeing will cost between $750,000 and $1 million and should commence this spring but demolition could begin as early as January, according to Susan Steele, president of Friends of the Pacific Grove Library. As the only Carnegie building that continues to function as a public library, the structure received additions in 1926 and 1938 followed by two expansions in 1950 and 1978. Just in the past two years, it has had some exterior painting and landscaping done. Inside, the Nancy and Steve Hauk gallery was also completed. Now it’s time for major renovations. “The majority of the work has to be done inside to remove some of the tweaks that were made over the years,” said Harvey. “But you can see the glory that is there underneath some of the layers. The architecture in there is glorious and it’s just being hidden.” Steele, who noted that the renovations are all being privately funded by stakeholder groups and personal donations, said that during the interim construction period, the Library Services department will operate out of another location to be determined. “There’s going to be a fair amount of construction going on and it just seemed to make sense,” said Steele. Harvey said library service will not be disrupted, only changed somewhat during that time period. He also said the end result will be a library brought back to its former glory that will provide better service and be more functional. “Thank goodness for all these stakeholder groups that really want to make a difference,” said Harvey. Bauer is grateful too. “Beyond the beauty of P.G. and the great people there, it’s an educated population that really loves their library as seen through their donations,” noted the incoming Bauer. “If your a library director that’s nirvana.”
Forty-six book lovers gathered on the evening of June 22 at the Pacific Grove Library to hear author Susan Sherman talk about her enthusiastically-reviewed novel, "If You Are There". The evening began with Stacey Wiens of the Library staff providing updates on the Library and its programs. Notable was news that renewal of the library has commenced, with the dual goal of restoring its original beauty and providing 21st century facilities. Then, Barbara Moore, chair of the Meet the Author Committee, introduced Susan Sherman. Sherman’s novel is set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when science was making great advances at the same time that belief in spiritualism was considered legitimate by many. The heroine of the novel is a Polish immigrant to Paris who works for Marie and Pierre Curie as they discover new elements and radioactivity by day, and research spiritualism by night. The author read two scenes, one a gripping narration of a seance being observed by the Curies, and another a touching dialogue between Marie Curie and her servant, the two Polish immigrants finding a relationship as Marie described the stellar constellations. In the question and answer period that followed the author’s talk, the depth of Ms. Sherman’s knowledge about the 19th Century fin de siècle was obvious. She pointed out that photographs of that era are available and said that she makes extensive use of them for background material of her novels. She also noted that she finds the Baedeker travel guides of that time a rich resource for descriptions of life as it was then lived. The evening ended with refreshments and a book signing.
The atmosphere at the Pacific Grove Library was bittersweet on Friday, May 12, as friends and associates celebrated Steven Silveria's retirement. The Friends served up their usual elegant sweet and savory tidbits; the wine flowed; and the harpist played. Tributes to Steven emphasized his vision for the Library's role in the community, expressed most clearly in the creation of the Library Renewal Project. He leaves just as the project begins in earnest, but we know where he lives. And, if we need sage advice, we'll be knocking. Thank you, Steven.
Beginning in 2008, a small group of volunteers, under the auspices of the Friends, began what is now called the “First Saturday Book Sale”. This event, with rare exception, is held the first Saturday of each month from 10am until 4pm in the arcade at the front of the library. Starting in April 2016, the Friends board begins active management of the Book Sale.
Sale books are almost exclusively donations made by library patrons. Book donations are made to the library throughout the month and processed by volunteers for resale. This includes evaluating the books, cleaning the books, and sorting them into various general categories (history/biography, cooking, etc.) The library also receives donations of music CDs, DVDs, and audio books. The book sale has raised over $55,000 for the library book fund. We hope to be able to increase the amount raised annually.
Donations often include old and rare books, sets of books, special production art books, specially bound volumes, and many other unusual books that are evaluated and specially priced.
Trade Paperbacks: $1
Mass Paperbacks: $.50
Music CDs: $.50
Specially Priced Books -- as priced
If you would like to donate books, you may make your donation at the circulation desk at the front of the library. Donated books need to be resalable (very dirty, discolored, mildewed, damaged or detached covers, old text books, old computer books, etc. are not suitable for resale). Please don’t donate books that you wouldn’t consider buying yourself.
Volunteering to help:
Before each book sale, volunteers must move an enormous number of books from storage locations in the library, set up tables for display, and more or less set up a “book store” in the library arcade. This needs to be done before the library opens for business in order to minimize impact on operation of the library. Likewise, at the end of the sale, unsold items must be returned to storage locations for use during future sales. Everything must be returned to storage before the library closes for the day. This is a lot of work and additional volunteers are always appreciated. We can also use volunteers during sale hours to help with purchases and keep an eye out on the inventory. If you can contribute 2 or more hours once a month to help with the Book Sale, please contact Friends' board member and volunteer coordinator Peggy Hansen, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a limited number of giclee prints of a few of Nancy Hauk's paintings. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these prints sold at the library will go to the library's restoration fund. You can purchase these from the library, while supplies last.
Shown here is one of six prints available at the library.
Give a beautiful gift and help the library at the same time!
The Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library has a book club. The club meets the second Monday of each month, unless there is a federal holiday on that date. Meetings are at 2:00 p.m. in the Little House in Jewell Park, across from the Library and the museum.
If you enjoy shopping on Amazon, the online giant has a new way to help your favorite nonprofit in the process. AmazonSmile is simply another access to the same products, prices, and services. When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5 percent of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Once logged in under your existing regular Amazon account, you can pick your nonprofit, as well as change it whenever you wish. In Amazon style, the company provides every possible organization in its menu—including The Friends of the Pacific Grove Library!
Go to www.smile.amazon.com
It’s a daunting thing to meet our heroes. We library fans tend to be book lovers. We tend to feel a deep connection to our favorite books. For mystery fans, especially fans of mystery series novels, there’s a connection to the characters that spans the years; we know these people. And while we feel we have a right to develop certain expectations of our favorite characters, we have no such right to expectations about the authors. The artist, after all, is presenting his or her art, not his or her self.
So, as a long time Anne Perry fan, one of four very lucky library supporters who won the fantasy opportunity of a tea with one of mystery’s most beloved authors, I worked hard to keep the situation in perspective. She’s only a person. I can like her books whether or not I find her a likeable person.
Well, it turns out I’m a fan of Anne Perry the person, too. She was humble, kind, and patient —and one of the loveliest tea companions I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with.
The tea was held at Crema on Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove, a lovely little café/wine bar that proved to be the perfect venue for a fantasy tea. In addition to Anne Perry and her friend Victoria Zackheim, the tea party was attended by library supporters Linda and Robert Felice, Laurie Sheehan, and myself.
The tea and treats were delicious and the conversation was warm, lively and companionable. Anne Perry was gracious, funny, and wise. The guests came away with writing tips (Don’t spend too much time drafting and re-drafting as you compile your manuscript; keep your focus and get that first draft down on paper before you start fiddling with details.), juicy plot hints for upcoming novels (Watch for some good news for Oliver Rathbone in a future novel from her Inspector Monk series!), and words of wisdom (“Courage is a virtue without which all others are at risk.”).
As a relatively new member of the Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library, I sing the praises of the Friends’ “Meet the Authors” committee. They have arranged some truly wonderful events over the years. With a sense of amazement last week, I realized that (thanks to them) I had now met—in person—my two favorite living mystery writers (Anne Perry and Laurie King). I didn’t have to leave my hometown to do it, either. They came to me—to one of my favorite places in the world: the Pacific Grove Public Library.
So thank you, Friends!
As I wrote to a friend the next day, I felt like a child whose storybook had just opened up and a favorite character stepped out into the room with her. I’m still smiling!