Menzel is the new director of the California
Center for the Book (CFB), which has its
offices on the UCLA campus.
CFB is affiliated with the Library of Congress,
and it is supported with a Library Services and
Technology Act grant administered by the
California State Library.
The CFB sponsors and promotes book and
reading-group programs in libraries throughout the
state, including the popular “Women of
California Center for the Book director Mary
Menzel and State Librarian Susan Hildreth in State
Librarian's office March 2006.
is the current president of the UCLA
School of Library and Information Studies
She earned her MLIS degree at UCLA in 2003.
She also holds a BA degree from
University, where she majored in creative writing and
library career began at an elementary school in
, where she worked as a volunteer before enrolling
at UCLA to earn her library degree.
A native of northern
California, she has resided in
New York City
says that as director of the CFB her principal
goal will be to put a wide variety of
reading-promotion tools into the hands of
tools include the popular “book club in a box”
programs, author visits, and guidelines on “one
city, one book” programs.
want book groups to reach out to different
populations, especially young adults and people
with limited English,” she says.
Menzel also says that she would like to
place more CFB programs in rural libraries and
those in small towns throughout the state.
example of a CFB offering is a current program
that makes it possible for libraries to sponsor
book groups featuring graphic novels.
Participating libraries receive ten copies
each of ten different graphic novels, along with
fliers, posters, and an essay on the history of
the graphic novel, all of which make it easy for
librarians to initiate a book group that appeals
to teens. “We’ll
even pay the postage when you return the books to
us,” she added.
A similar program featuring mystery novels
by female authors, “Women of Mystery,” has
proved extremely popular at public libraries in
every region of
CFB is also the
coordinator of the annual Letters About Literature
program, a national competition that invites
schoolchildren to write letters to the authors of
their favorite books. This year over 4,000
began work at the CFB late in March, and in May
she flew back to the Library of Congress in
to meet with directors of other Centers for the
Book from various states.
more information about the
for the Book contact Mary Menzel, director, at
(310) 206-2464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.