News from PG Friends
Dear Friends of the Library:
Thanks to Council leadership, and three meetings of public input, a $116,000 increase for the 2020/2021 Library budget was approved at Wednesday's (June 24) Council meeting. Your voices were heard, and made a difference!
This added funding will restore three 3/4 time regular positions, including the children's librarian, to the Library this fall and December. This increase will allow limited library services to resume when all six staff are in place.
As Friends, we will advocate for a speedy resumption of Library services as soon the Library is moved back into the completed Renewed Library, and as soon as the State allows in-person Library service.
We very much hope that Library services will begin earlier this fall, rather than later. December is too long to wait! We all miss our Library, its collections and services, and its wonderful staff, so much.
Our Summer newsletter will have more updates on the Friends and the Library, as well as our annual listing of our current members, Friends and Foundation donors. It should be coming your way in early July.
These are unprecedented times, the very rainiest of rainy days, for our residents and for the Library. The Friends are here to help. We will continue to work with the City, Foundation, Library Board and staff to support PG Library services to meet community needs and community demand.
Enjoy the Summer Reading Program show again or watch it for
the first time on YouTube!
The future of the Pacific Grove Public Library is clearer than it was two weeks ago, thanks to the City Council's request for a "ramp up" funding increase to the City budget. Your voices were heard!
At their June 17 meeting the Council will receive a proposed $116,000 Library increase beginning in the second quarter of the 2020/2021 fiscal year. This will add two 3/4 time Library employees, starting in October, and one 3/4 time Library employee, starting in December, to the three remaining Library staff.
The Friends Board applauds this important first step toward restoring Library services, given the City's current financial situation. We thank the Council for their leadership and continued support for the Library. We recognize the Council and staff's commitment to monitor the budget, and make adjustments as feasible.
We know the remaining Library staff are working hard to move from the Holman back to 550 Central, ensure State health and safety requirements, and develop a new model for limited Library service with 50% less staff when our wonderful renewed library is allowed to reopen.
With Council approval of this increased budget recommendation, and bringing back staff as soon as possible, I believe we are much closer to having in person Library services return to Pacific Grove.
If you'd like to contact the Council and City staff before Wednesday's meeting via email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to send me any additional comments or thoughts via email FriendsPGLib@gmail.com
You can stay informed by watching the twice monthly City Council and quarterly Library Board meetings online. Our website, and quarterly Friends newsletters, will provide more information on Friends and Library activities, and opportunities to help.
The Friends Board will maintain our partnership with the City, the Foundation, and the Library Board to advance the future of the Library for our community. As always, thank you for being a Friend of the Pacific Grove Public Library!
Dear Friends members,
The future of library service in Pacific Grove will be reviewed by the City Council this week (Wed. Jun. 3). It looks grim. And sadly familiar.
A cut of over 50% is recommended for the Library budget, with little to no funds for new books and materials.
Only three employees are recommended for funding. 14 employees have been cut from the 17 that served us last year.
These cuts are devastating to the Library we love, and the hundreds of people of all ages who used it every day.
Over a decade ago, in a down economy, Pacific Grove stopped its library expansion, threatened closure of the library, and eliminated much of the staff.
The Friends led the charge to stop the closure. Children’s Librarian Lisa Maddalena remembers “Children emptied their piggy banks and held lemonade stands to raise money for the library. Citizens came out in droves to support the library.” The Council heard the public. The Library was saved.
A decade later, the long-delayed Library Renewal is nearly complete. The move back from the Holman is planned for this summer, with reopening to follow.
With the cuts as proposed, how can our wonderful renewed library reopen this fall?
As a Friend, you know the Library’s importance to our community:
- to the patrons counting down the days until Shelter in Place ends and they can return
- to those with limited budgets, who rely on library resources, and computers, now more than ever
- to elderly people, for whom the welcoming staff may have been the only human contact that day.
Our library is the heart of our community for people of all ages. The staff encourage children’s literacy, lifelong learning, the joy of reading. They create student success (more essential now with school closures), bring parents together, support families, residents, local businesses, the unemployed, newcomers and visitors.
What services can three staff hope to provide after such drastic cuts, especially under stringent new health requirements?
Our library’s staff and resources are critical to helping our neighbors survive these tough economic times. Without them, what will our community do?
Now is the time to speak up for our Library, to share your support for the Library with our elected officials and City staff, to make your voice heard.
Below is a link to the Wednesday, June 3, 6 pm, Council Agenda report (Item 11E) and instructions on how to to view the meeting online:
Below is are the email addresses to contact the Mayor, City Council and City staff online:
Your comments can also be emailed to me (FriendsPGLib@gmail.com) to be sent to the Mayor and City Council.
I have let the Mayor and Council know that, in these unprecedented times, with difficult decisions to be made, the Friends will continue to support the Library as we can.
Thank you for being a Friend of the Pacific Grove Public Library. As before, our Library needs you!
The Friends and Foundation extend our condolences to library staff member, Crystal Henden, on the loss of her beloved husband Chris. We hold Crystal, their family and loved ones in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
Contributions to support Crystal, Alana and Ethan in their time of need will be gratefully accepted at GoFundMe.
Read the Friends' Winter 2020 Newsletter here. Please check this site for cancelations and other changes since the Newsletter was published.
For the safety of our volunteers and customers, the Friends are not accepting book donations, and the weekday book store at St. Mary's Church is closed. Please check this site for updated information about First Saturday Book Sales.
Library Renewal construction commenced in November 2019 and is anticipated to conclude in September 2020. Monthly construction memorandums, linked on the project website, are issued from the City Public Works Director and provide vital updates on construction progress, expenditures, change orders, project completion percentages, and more!
The January 2020 Construction Memo, detailing all vital construction activities that occurred in January, is now available!
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Library Renewal Project webpage--your one-stop for information pertaining to the interior renovation of the Pacific Grove Public Library! In addition to monthly construction memos, you can find an overview of the project, project evolution and history, a photo gallery of construction progress, funding information and more!
Here are just a few of the newly updated construction photos!