As I interact with members on a daily basis, I often hear how grateful they are for a welcoming library and open stacks where they can browse, find comfortable chairs for reading and space to write or work. They appreciate our blazing fast and secure Internet, helpful staff and access to professional librarians for answers to their research questions.
The Library’s collection of some 160,000 print volumes, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, tens of thousands of ebooks, emagazines, ecomics and eaudiobooks, reflects the reading tastes of MI members over the past 164 years. That pursuit continues as our professional librarians gauge member interest and scrupulously select titles added to our collection. We also welcome member purchase suggestions
The Mechanics’ Institute is not a research library, at least not in the same way that other institutions that collect primary source materials are; but, as one of the oldest continuously operating libraries in California, with a justifiable reputation as a real reader’s collection, our bookshelves hold incomparable riches. All of us, whether we’re writers or readers, have stories about that accidental but fortuitous discovery on the shelf, the hidden gem sitting next to the book you were actually looking for. It’s the best kind of serendipity.