One of the questions that I'm often asked is "where do you see libraries in 20 years?"

Well, that's a big question with a lot of layers; but I do see the rapid influx of technology making societal impacts on a grand scale. Many of these changes have made their way to the library. So today, I'd like to just touch on digital media. Twenty years ago, people didn't have a device in their pocket with almost instant access to every question. Some people may be reading this on a device we only dreamed of then. Reference books and magazines were much more popular 20 years ago - today they are dropping publication. You couldn't find the answer to a question by just shouting "Hey Alexa," "Hey Google," or "Siri can you tell me..." I remember reading the World Almanac & Guinness Book of World Records every year as a kid so that I could stay up to date on facts.

At the heart of much of this also lies in the way we can control or access what we buy. The "First Sale Doctrine" allows you to buy a copyrighted physical item...let's say a a DVD, music album, or books... and share it with your neighbor or resell it. Libraries have historically operated off of First Sale Doctrine - buying copies of books or accepting donations, and then lending out to our neighbors (you!). Independent used book stores operate off of this doctrine and allow you to buy items at a discount. However, digital content doesn't really fall under First Sale Doctrine. Items you buy online - songs, games, eBooks, etc. are often just leased. This means you cannot always lend them or resell them. Once you cancel your streaming account, you lose all of your content. For libraries, this means that we operate under a whole different ballgame when it comes to digital media with fewer and fewer companies controlling the market. The 501c3 online library Internet Archive has been in litigation with publishers about what this means for you - the consumer and library member.

There is a loss of serendipity with these changes.

Bookstores have a hard time competing, and in turn, smaller or newer authors and musicians get passed over. Search algorithms help you find "what you might like" based on your search history and what you buy online - but also take into account what companies want you to read or watch. Digital news, shows, music, and books are increasingly going up behind paywalls.

My heart truly hopes to see a renaissance where people look up from their devices, and see the world around them. Digital media is definitely a tool, and expanding information access is a great asset! But let's not get caught up in our silos. Serendipity in libraries is a great thing - what have you come across just walking through the stacks or strolling through our neighborhoods?

In 20 years, I see libraries that focus on the hyper-local, and have access to collections that celebrate what makes their community unique as a key to existence. Here in Monterey, we have access to beautiful historical collections that can tell our stories for generations. I hope that legal precedence catches up to digital content so that information access is expanded for all. Digital and physical collections both have a place in out future.

Cheers - 
Brian Edwards, Library & Museums Director


Beat the heat and join us for MPL’s first
(of many) Community Meet and Greets with the new Library and Museums Director, Brian Edwards:

THIS SATURDAY, September 10th
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM 
MPL Lobby

If you can't make it this Saturday, don't worry!
We've got your covered. Catch Brian another day:

Friday, September 16th
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM 
MPL Booth on Alvarado Street, Monterey
MPL will have a booth all day
Brian will be there from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Wednesday, September 21st
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM 
LaMesa Stop - Fleet and Family Support Center
1280 Leahy Road, Monterey
Brian will be there from 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

(Rumor has it Brian might even dress up as a Superhero) 
Thursday, September 29th
10:15 AM 
MPL Children’s Area 

Thursday, September 29th 
4:00 PM 
To all those dog lovers out there, we are super stoked to host, in partnership with the SPCA of Monterey County, the PAWS TO READ program.

Does your child have a RUFF time reading? Or just love hanging with our favorite four legged friends? Students in grades Kindergarten and up can sign up a for a 10 minute slot to read your book of choice to a therapy dog every second Thursday of the month.

Upcoming dates:
TODAY, September 8th
Thursday, October 13th
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
MPL Community Room 

Please arrive 10 minutes before the start time and wait in the children’s area for your designated time slot. 
Nothing is free nowadays! Except…a LIBRARY CARD!

Authors Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel get loud for libraries as honorary chairs of Library Card Sign-Up Month 2022. 

Top 10 reasons to get a FREE Library Card:

  1. Books galore!
  2. DVD’s and movies from the convenience of your couch
  3. Free State Park Passes to borrow
  4. Ukuleles to play - for real!
  5. Laptops to use with free wifi at MPL
  6. Bookclubs to join (walking book club and monthly zoom)
  7. Access to MPL’s History Room
  8. Kids and teen activities (story time, crafts and more)
  9. Enter the raffle for new book Loud Mouse
  10. It’s just super cool!

New and current library card holders can also enter for a prize drawing for the Menzel sisters' new book Loud Mouse. Raffle tickets are available at the library help desk and at all Bookmobile stops. Winners will be drawn and contacted October 1st.

Calling all teen crafters! From Fall Wreaths and 3D Printing to Crochet potholders, get your creative juices flowing at MPL’s new pilot Teen Craft Club!

Wednesday, September 14th &
Wednesday, September 28th 
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
MPL Community Room 
Free snacks!

All teens welcome. No registration required unless otherwise noted.
Historian Tim Thomas takes us on a magical tour looking at the cultural history of Monterey's rich and always fascinating fishing industry. 

Monterey was a fishing town, and everything was fished from abalone to rockfish to sardines. People came from all over the world to make their living fishing the bay. Join us for an exciting program titled Dancing on the Belly of the Shark: Fishing for History on Monterey Bay:

Thursday, September 15th
 4:00 PM
MPL’s very own Bookmobile Coordinator extraordinaire has a very special talent and she wants to share it with YOU (that is, if you are a kid aged 7-10) - IT'S SEWING WITH MERI

Saturday, September 17th (every 3rd Saturday of the month)
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
MPL's Community Room

Registration is required. Sign up here!


Monterey Public Library Friends & Foundation is calling for applications for the 2022-2023 Board of Directors. 

The MPL Friends & Foundation Board aims to represent and reflect the diversity of Monterey, and seeks participation from all facets of our community. The Board is looking to fill 3-5 board member positions for next year, with particular skills needed in:
  • Social media promotion & communications
  • Fund Development
  • Event planning
To apply or to contact us with questions or suggestions, please email 

Applications must be submitted by Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. 

PS - Don't forget Pizza With A Purpose! A portion of the meal will be donated to the MPL Friends & Foundation.

Wednesday, September 14th:
California Pizza Kitchen
1100 Del Monte Center Drive, Monterey 
11:00 AM - 9:30 PM 

NOTE: Diners MUST mention the Library fundraiser or bring this flyer. For ONLINE orders - note "Library Fundraiser" in the note/memo field.

For more information, check out

Thank you MPL Friends & Foundation for hosting this event and helping to support the Monterey Public Library.
MPL Hours of Service:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sidewalk Holds Pickup:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 AM to Noon (door near library driveway)
Tuesday: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM, Wednesdays: 12:30 PM - 5:45 PM
Call (831) 646-3710 or click Bookmobile for details.
Monterey Public Library | (831) 646-3933 |