News & Happenings
Winter 2019

Dear Readers,

Welcome to a new decade! Change is in the air everywhere, so get out your hard hats! Of course, I refer to the long-awaited renovations at the Central Library ! Read more below about where to find your favorite books as the library prepares for improvements to the first two floors. It’s also why the 18th Annual Authors Dinner, for the first time, will be held somewhere other than the Central Library. This year, the dinner will be at the Berkeley City Club. We’re especially thankful for all the authors and our sponsors who help make it all possible. The event sold out early but there are still ways to join in the fun. Thanks to a stellar team of volunteers and many generous donors, a fantastic Silent Auction will soon be live on-line with interesting items for everyone. Donations from our winter appeal are still coming in, a big thank you to all those who made their gifts before the end of the year! And, it’s not too late to make that gift count . As the New Year unfolds bringing all its hope and uncertainty, your public library remains a constant. Though the furniture may change and books find a new place to live, what you need will still be there waiting to be discovered. In the days ahead, there will be many exciting transitions at our library and in our wider world. May the year 2020 bring everyone who loves and needs libraries together, because together we make it better.

Warm regards,
Kathy Huff
Executive Director
Coming to a Branch Near You:
the Charlie Cart!
The NYTimes dubbed it “the bookmobile’s cousin.” The Charlie Cart is one of the newest Foundation gifts to the library, a fully equipped mobile kitchen to be used to teach food literacy and cooking science to children and adults. Complete with a sink, cooktop, oven, and enough utensils for 30 students, the colorful unit is small enough to be trucked from branch to branch. This is a valuable resource for bringing cooking and food science to sites that lack teaching kitchens. Thank you Foundation donors!
Where's the Fiction?!
Don’t worry! With exciting renovations ahead, the Central Library staff members are already making changes that will help us find the books we need and love during the construction period. Fiction moves up to the beautiful, historic Reading Room, where better lighting and more seating makes browsing more comfortable. The Teens will move down to the first floor, and their current space next to the Reading Room will become a haven for Science Fiction fans. The Mystery collection will move to a new 2 nd floor Mystery Room. Meanwhile, the History volumes now in the Reading Room will be shelved down on the first floor, joining the other Adult non-fiction. Complicated? Yes—for a while everything will be in temporary quarters. But nothing’s leaving—and staff will be happy to point you in the direction of your favorite rainy day read.  
Brian Gavin came on board as the library’s new Senior Building Maintenance Supervisor in November— just as the library is preparing for this winter’s construction project. He has worked in marine facility management, and spent five years with the City at the Berkeley Marina—including a year as Acting Harbormaster—before coming to us at the Berkeley Library, where he’ll make sure our venerable library buildings weather the changes in store for them. Brian is an avid cyclist, and a ten-year veteran of the Alcatraz Triathlon. 
In December, the Board of Library Trustees approved a contract to hire an executive search firm tasked with recruiting a new Director of Library Services. A four-month process will follow—including a month of community surveys and stakeholder interviews—with the hope that a new Director will be chosen by late spring. Current Acting Director Elliot Warren, whom you may have met at Foundation events, is looking forward to the library's next leadership chapter and to returning to his position as Deputy Director.
Every year the Foundation puts on a gala evening that raises funds to enhance the Berkeley Public Library. But at its core the dinner is a celebration of local authors, including this year Namwali Serpell, Jenny Odell, Janet Napolitano, Michael Lewis and Leah Garchick— writers who have intrigued us and entertained us and enlightened us about the world. Here’s the complete list of this year’s authors , with a brief bio and the name of their latest books. These books are available at the Library, so check some out! Or, look for them at a an independent bookstore near you.
Just this year, while the Berkeley Central Library is being remodeled guests will assemble in the beautiful Julia Morgan-designed Berkeley City Club to celebrate 24 local authors and support the Berkeley Public Library Foundation. The funds raised that night will contribute to the remodeling effort as well as provide innovations like STEM programs that make our library extraordinary. In 2021 we plan to be back at Central.
Hail the New Year! It’s 2020—doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? It’s time to celebrate a new decade. Why not resolve to give a gift to the Foundation? That gift will help to implement the innovations that the Foundation brings to the library—like the Charlie Cart and the Cornerstones STEM program—as well as a sizable portion of the renovations to Central that are about to begin. Of all your New Years’ resolutions, this could be the one that will make the biggest impact.
Great libraries make great communities!
To make a gift by mail, send your check made out to  Berkeley Public Library Foundation, 2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley CA 94704