Judy Salamacha: New chapter for Cayucos Library

Cayucos has been committed to a community library since 1924, when Grace Minetti decided to convert her parlor to a reading room and open it to the public.

According to many, Minetti was a relentless advocate until the county opened the Cayucos Library at Seventh Street and South Ocean Avenue.

Over the years, Friends of the Cayucos Library historian Vera Wallen reported, it expanded space at the Veterans Memorial Lions Hall then grew to 665 square feet at the Ocean Boulevard location, formerly Girard’s TV.

On Friday, the community will officially celebrate success in its tenacious quest to find a permanent home for the library.

Branch manager Shera Hill hopes the entire community joins Friends of the Cayucos Library for the ribbon-cutting and grand opening at 310 B St., across from Hardie Park.

“The library belongs to the community,” she said. “They funded it through bond elections, fundraising and Friends donations.”

Attendees can expect refreshments and music, library cards will be assigned, and members can check out books and videos and go online with multiple computers. Members can also explore a pilot state-of-the-art children’s computer program and decide when to book the community room for a club meeting. Hill hopes Peter Ladochy’s donated mural will be installed in time for the celebration.

“George Erdelyi (principal of Cayucos Elementary School) listened to the community and offered a ... library (site) after the school’s remodel,” said Friends President Gretchen Ross, who also volunteers Thursdays at 11 a.m. as children’s story-time reader.

Erdelyi offered three primary-grade classrooms adjacent to the school for the 3,000-square-foot library and community room.

“More room means more programs can be developed for children, teens and adults,” Ross said. “We have around 300 Friends and would love more volunteers to help us create and operate new programs.”

“I love that our remodel is so green,” said Hill, who has been librarian at three Cayucos locations. “The Friends donated the skylights and found solid oak library furniture in county storage and decided to recycle and reupholster it.”

Ross announced a Labor Day Weekend Progressive Book Sale and Treasure Hunt on Pacific and Cass avenues to fund more hours for the library, which is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

And speaking of opening events — if you haven’t seen the stunning new Cayucos Elementary School auditorium, don’t miss internationally famed Rudolf Budginas playing a Classically Untraditional Piano Concert on May 14 at 7 p.m., benefiting music and art programs.

General admission tickets can be purchased online at www.pacslo.org.

Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or jsalamacha@yahoo.com.