Why did the Friends & Foundation launch the Monterey Learns! campaign?
In March 2020, the Library’s doors closed because of the global pandemic. The pandemic’s impact on tourism and the local economy drastically reduced City revenue. As a result, the City reduced the Library’s budget by over 65%, cut the staff by 80%, and eliminated the book budget entirely.
MPL’s needs are extensive: the Director estimates that an additional $2m per year is required to provide Library services, programs, and open hours as they were before the pandemic — plus about $180,000 annually for the collections.
What will be done with my donation?
We are raising funds for:
- books for children, teens, and adults
- e-books, databases, and other media (DVDs, audiobooks, music)
- California History staff and programs
- virtual programs for children
- digitizing historic newspapers
- restoring bookmobile service to senior residences and outlying, underserved neighborhoods
- circulating laptops
- 21st Century circulation technology
What is the campaign goal and how long will it run?
Our goal is $200,000. We have been heartened by the community’s generous response to date. The campaign runs through February 2022.
Does the campaign include renovating or replacing the Library building?
No. The beautiful Wurster-designed Library building is 70 years old, and the plumbing, ventilation, elevators — have all begun to fail. And the Library has capacity issues, from parking to electrical to computer availability.
Fortunately the Library undertook a Facilities Study in 2019, so we have a roadmap and will be able to address these capital needs when City revenue streams recover from the pandemic, and when we are confident the community can partner philanthropically.
If the Library raises money from private citizens, will the City cut its budget by that amount?
No. Donations do not reduce the funding that the City provides. Any donations will enhance the base funding that the City can afford.