California Center for the Book has new director
Mary Menzel is the new director of the California Center for the Book (CFB), which has its offices on the UCLA campus.
The 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 Mystery” program.
is the current president of the UCLA School
of Library and Information Studies Alumni Association.
She earned her MLIS degree at UCLA in 2003.
She also holds a BA degree from
library career began at an elementary school in
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 librarians throughout
“I 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
began work at the CFB late in March, and in May she flew back to the Library of
more information about the