In times of economic hardship, public health and social crisis, and widespread misinformation and disinformation, libraries are more important than ever. As a department of the City, the Monterey Public Library is primarily supported by the City General Fund. However, City budgets are always limited, and there are valuable library programs and services that can’t be provided with public funds alone. In fiscal year 2020-21, the Library General Fund budget has been cut up to 60% as the City copes with a $31 million revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Friends of the Monterey Public Library was established in 1999 by a group of far-sighted citizens who recognized that an exceptional Library requires community support. For two decades the Friends generated support for the Library through its membership program, fundraising events, and grants, contributing over $700,000 to support library programs and services.
In January 2020, the Friends Board voted to become the Monterey Public Library Friends and Foundation. The new name signifies an expanded mission: seeking larger donations, bequests, and endowment gifts to enhance library services now and for generations to come.
In the past 20 years, the Friends have raised funds to:
- provide hundreds of programs for kids, teens, and adults
- add thousands of books, audio books, DVDs and ebooks to the library collection
- establish the MPL Endowment
- furnish the youth area in age-appropriate, child-friendly style
- conduct community engagement, outreach, and media campaigns
- purchase California History Room furniture, lighting and window treatments.
- present awards to recognize student scholarship for the Monterey County High School Poetry Contest
- provide a Story Center Listening Station and a 3-D printer
- improve library signs and book carts
Board of Directors
Diane de Lorimier, President
Jerry Giamona, Treasurer
Amy Reed, Corresponding Secretary
Bill Wojtkowski, Vice-President
Anne Ylvisaker, Recording Secretary
Library Board of Trustees Advisor: Harish Joshi