A good week to visit your libraries

In celebration of National Library Week, consider visiting each Estero Bay library.

Six months ago, Jackie Kinsey became Morro Bay’s branch manager. Since moving from Baltimore, she’s worked part-time for the San Luis Obispo City-County Library, two school districts and Cuesta College.

“Understanding we had outgrown our space needs,” she said, “we’ve worked on a new relationship that’s good for county libraries, the city and our many library patrons. As of March 1, we have finalized a new 25-year lease. The city can still use the space, but it’s our meeting room to use. Now it’s a quiet reading room or used for tutoring, discussion groups and meetings. The doors are open for everyone.”

Christine Johnson, the Morro Bay Friends’ president, has two main objectives for April and May.

“Besides continuing the great success of last year’s book sale, we’re trying something new,” she said. “Our book sale Saturday, May 14, is at the Community Center. Friends’ membership and book sales provided $25,000 in direct support in 2010. In this budget year, we must maintain that support. We’re excitedly awaiting our 400th member. We have a few surprises in store for the lucky library supporter.”

Johnson brings worldwide perspective to Morro Bay, having lived in four foreign countries in 18 years. In 2008, her family settled in Morro Bay.

“Each new place we live I find a library to get involved,” she said. “Morro Bay has such great support for the library, and it gives back to the community. Our country’s founding fathers encouraged libraries because a library is where we ALL have equal access to information. Believe me, libraries and information access are not available in every country.”

Meanwhile, branch manager Joe Laurenzi is patiently awaiting approval of the expansion project with funds already raised years ago by Friends of Los Osos Library.

“We are making strides to bring 21st century library innovation to the community,” he said. “One way is with community programs some of the best attended in the county.”

During Library Week, he added, “it really is a time to reflect and encourage patrons to talk about their library with friends and family. We encourage everyone to get library cards. We also honor our employees with National Library Worker Day and set up something for volunteer appreciation. We are doing the Food for Fines Program again this year with the rest of the county.”

Kate Throop, Cayucos Library Friends president, announced the organization will celebrate its first year at 310 B St. from April 16 to 21 with a spring book sale, an open house and puppet shows. On Tuesday afternoon, local authors Evelyn Dabritz, Victoria Doust and Elizabeth Sprurr, and Sherry Shahan will read their works.

Contact Judy Salamacha at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.