News from PG Friends

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Garden Party cover image

The May 19th Secret Garden fundraiser for the Pacific Grove Public Library Renewal Project was enjoyed by over 50 people, and raised almost $4,000. Many thanks to Ken and Margaret for the beauty of “The Orchard”, Weekend Plans Event Co. for the rustic chic decor and refreshments, Fionna Floral  for the lovely arrangements, Monterey Bay Master Gardeners, Denise and her hammered dulcimer, and especially Kelley Williams for the photographic memories.

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Cherie Stock - The Comfort of Books

Built for Books, a four-month celebration of libraries, learning and philanthropy, honoring the 110th anniversary of the founding of the Pacific Grove Public Library in 1908, opens with a juried art exhibit and reception on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the Pacific Grove Public Library.

Special events throughout April, May, June and July include monthly architecture walks and talks at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds, a community poetry creation event with noted poet and Herald columnist Patrice Vecchione, a lecture by Asilomar historian Aubrie Morlet and a birthday celebration for all ages at Jewell Park on the date of the Library’s grand opening in May.

“Books are our best, our wisest and most faithful companions. They instruct, they entertain and console us…they are the bridges that span the centuries” proclaimed Horace Platt at the dedication ceremony to begin construction of the Pacific Grove Public Library.

The citizens of Pacific Grove have greatly benefitted from philanthropy, in legacies lasting more than a century, contributed by Andrew Carnegie to found a free public library and Phoebe Hearst to found Asilomar, and supported by many citizen donors and volunteers over the years. A Pacific Grove Library Renewal Project is underway, with contributions from a public-private partnership being raised to renew, renovate and restore the historic Carnegie library. A recent partnership at Asilomar has restored historic features and the return of the original Julia Morgan outdoor deck design to the Phoebe Hearst Social Hall.

“We are looking back with appreciation and forward with anticipation,” explained series co-creator Cathleen Gable. “We are celebrating our history, heritage, and a renewed commitment to continue these legacies at the Library and Asilomar.”

Series sponsors are the Pacific Grove Public Library, the Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library, the Pacific Grove Public Library Foundation, California State Parks and the Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds.

Friday April 6 - Friday July 6 Juried Art Exhibit

Pacific Grove Public Library
550 Central Ave. Pacific Grove

Juried art work provides multi-dimensional, unique visions of creativity inspired by books and words.

Friday, April 6, 5:30 to 7:30 pm Artist Reception

Pacific Grove Public Library
550 Central Ave. Pacific Grove

Free, opening reception for juried art show. Refreshments and Award Ceremony.

Saturday, April 21, 10 to 11 a.m. Asilomar Architecture Walk and Talk with California State Parks Interpreter Lisa Bradford

Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Ave. Pacific Grove

Free. Meet at the flagpole.

One of three monthly tours focused on the lasting legacy of learning and architecture at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds.

Friday, April 27, 5:30 to 7 p.m. A Poem in Your Pocket with Patrice Vecchione

Pacific Grove Public Library
550 Central Ave. Pacific Grove

Free to Friends of the Pacific Grove Library members/$10 charge to non-member

Celebrate National Poetry month before it’s gone with poet, nonfiction author and teacher Patrice Vecchione. Patrice will perform a selection of poems from around the world and chat about the value of poetry in our lives. You’ll leave the evening with poems to carry you through your joys and challenges. And you, too, can be a poet! Patrice will lead the group in the writing of a group poem to celebrate the library.

Saturday, May 12, 1 to 3 pm Library 110th Birthday Bash in Jewell Park in Pacific Grove

Central Avenue, next to the Pacific Grove Public Library, 550 Central Ave. Pacific Grove

Celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Pacific Grove Public Library with birthday cake and lemonade, art projects and fun events for all ages. Meet Architect Karin Payson, of Karin Payson architecture + design, who is overseeing the Library Renewal Project. Tour the Library and hear about plans for the renewal of the historic Carnegie rotunda, renovation of public spaces and restrooms to ensure ADA compliance, improve accessibility and usability. 

Saturday, May 19, 10 to 11 am Asilomar Architecture Walk and Talk with California State Parks Interpreter Lisa Bradford

Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Ave. Pacific Grove

Free. Meet at the flagpole.

One of three monthly tours focused on the lasting legacy of learning and architecture at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds.

Friday, June 15, 5:30 to 7 pm Founded by Philanthropy Library Lecture Program by Aubrie Morlet, Historian

Pacific Grove Public Library
550 Central Ave. Pacific Grove

Free to Friends of the Pacific Grove Library members/$10 charge to non-member.

Learn about Asilomar's history of architecture and philanthropy from Asilomar’s historian and resource manager.

Saturday, June 16, 10 am to 11 am Asilomar Architecture Walk and Talk with California State Parks Interpreter Lisa Bradford

Asilomar Conference Grounds
800 Asilomar Ave. Pacific Grove

Free. Meet at the flagpole.

One of three monthly tours focused on the lasting legacy of learning and architecture at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds.

Friday, July 6, 5:30 to 7:30 pm Closing Reception

Pacific Grove Public Library
550 Central Ave. Pacific Grove

Free, closing reception for juried art show. Refreshments and music.

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On the rainy night of Thursday, November 16, an overflow crowd assembled in the Pacific Grove Library to hear Steve Hauk talk about his new book, Steinbeck, the Untold Stories. Scott Bauer, Library Director, welcomed the attendees with words of appreciation for the Friends of the Library, the event’s sponsors. In her introduction of Steve, Barbara Moore, Chair of the Meet the Author Committee, expressed wonder at the breadth of his achievements – fine art gallery owner, journalist, and writer of film scripts and plays.

When the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas was being dedicated, Steve’s art gallery mounted an exhibition of art related to the California settings of Steinbeck’s stories and novels. The exhibition was such a popular and critical success that Steve became permanently associated with Steinbeck and Steinbeck’s life story. He and his late wife, Nancy, began receiving documents and artifacts related to Steinbeck, sometimes anonymously, and he was told many stories about Steinbeck, his family and associates, and the real-life counterparts of the characters in Steinbeck’s writings. The title of Untold Stories is, thus, a literal description of its contents.

Steve’s account of the history of the material in his book was accompanied by digital projection of some of the documents he had been given. A number related to the purchase and shipment of guns by Steinbeck, who had received threats on his life and believed he needed a gun for personal protection. Other images showed the settings for the stories and C. Kline’s evocative illustrations in the book.

During the refreshment and sales period that followed, Steve graciously wrote personal dedications in his book for purchasers.

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Laura Kleiss, the daughter of Dusty Kleiss, was thrilled to introduce the authors of Never Call me a Hero, Timothy and Laura Orr, because it gave her a chance to honor her father, Dusty Kleiss, the subject of the Orr's book.   The discussion focused on the special character of research on military history.  Attendees had another chance to eat some of the cake celebrating the publication of 'Life in Pacific Grove'.

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Scott Bauer

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.”

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First Saturday Book Sale

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.

Adult Books

    Hardbacks: $2
    Trade Paperbacks: $1
    Mass Paperbacks:  $.50

Children Books

    Hardbacks: $1
    Paperbacks: $.25

DVDs: $3

Audiobooks: $3

Music CDs: $.50

Specially Priced Books -- as priced

Donating books:

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: 

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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!

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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.

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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

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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!