The staff and board of the Biblioteca are looking forward to seeing many familiar and new faces in this beautiful space as the Covid restrictions are slowly and safely rolled back.
For those of you that have used the Biblioteca in the past, you will certainly notice changes. Two men that have supported and guided this institution for many years have chosen to take a well deserved break. Ali Zerriffi, immediate Past President, and Gregory Diamant, At-Large Board member, have helped to navigate the Biblioteca and its programs through some turbulent times. None so challenging and unanticipated as this recent pandemic. Thanks to their leadership we are a much stronger organization. They have instilled financial discipline and overseen the implementation of financial controls in all that we do. The Biblioteca scholarship program has carried on throughout the pandemic and 100 local students are currently benefiting from this program, thanks in part to the good works of these men going back over many years. Additionally, Ali and Gregory must be recognized for elevating the professionalism of the staff and human resources functions with more training opportunities and through their personal mentorship. In the near future, we will be celebrating their accomplishments and hope that you will be able to safely join us. Thank you Ali and Gregory.
You will also notice some physical changes at the Biblioteca as well. Awnings have recently been installed in the main courtyard to provide shade and help to cool the space in the coming hot months. The space formerly used by the Bodega de Sopresas (rummage sale) has been cleared and plans are underway to construct a new art studio in this space that will double the number of children in our free advanced art programs. The final touches have been placed on the renovations of the Teatro Santa Ana that began in 2019. But don’t worry. We are not changing too much! When we are permitted to do so, your favorite old programs and classes will again be offered along with some fresh new offerings as well.
The board is laser focused this year on welcoming everyone back to the Biblioteca in strict compliance with all safety protocols. We will continue to work to make this beautiful space more comfortable and more relevant for you. We look forward to offering some fabulous new programming in our salas and in the Teatro Santa Ana. And of course we will constantly be looking for ways to generate additional funds to help our scholarship recipients. As the staff is able to schedule more cultural events and classes we are going to need more volunteers to help with these activities. Please be thinking about how you might want to get involved.
Several years back, I came to the Biblioteca to do some local research. Until that point, I had only used the Biblioteca during Summer visits for art and dance classes, dropping off and picking up my daughter for her activities. The more time I spent in the building doing my research, the more that I realized that people of all cultures, nationalities, ages, backgrounds, socio-economic levels and with all sorts of different interests congregate in the Biblioteca. Somehow, here in this space, all of this diversity creates a harmony that is exactly what makes San Miguel so special to me.
I look forward to serving as your new board president, working with the Biblioteca staff, executive board and assembly to continue serving our wonderfully diverse community.
I look forward to seeing you in the Biblioteca,
President of La Biblioteca