Joseph Bernt

Joseph Bernt

In the wake of Governor Kate Brown lifting most Covid restrictions, the Cannon Beach Library Board devoted much of its June meeting to restoring library activities and services nearer their levels prior to the arrival of coronavirus sixteen months ago.

The board agreed that the Children’s Room would reopen on July 7 and, starting on July 9, the library would extend limited browsing to four days a week—Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

Also, beginning July 9, public computers will again be available for use by patrons.

While the library was quarantining books, overdue fines were forgiven, but books are no longer being quarantined. Beginning August 1, fines will again be assessed.

Board members concluded that holding a major book sale during the Labor Day weekend was neither safe nor feasible.  Uncertainty about vaccination rates, coronavirus variants and the comfort level of library volunteers and patrons argue against conducting such a large-scale indoor sale at this time.

As an alternative, the book pricing committee is being tasked to expand the number of used books available for sale in and around the library’s book sale room.

Jen Dixon, library office manager, and library members Mary Kerwin, Wanda Meyer-Price and Lynne Murray Stuart are drafting flyers for a campaign to recruit new members and volunteers.

Becoming a voting member of the Cannon Beach Library gives residents, visitors and patrons a voice iin programming, projects and community issues. One benefit of becoming a member of the Cannon Beach Library is monthly membership meetings, brunches and prominent guest speakers from our village and elsewhere on the North Coast.

Library board members also discussed safety issues involved with holding membership meetings and brunches inside the library. The board decided to delay decisions about a return to monthly brunch meetings until more information is available.

I’m certain I’m not the only library member impatient for the return of these monthly brunch meetings, gatherings that make the $10 annual membership fee the best breakfast deal in or out of town..

As a mostly volunteer-operated library, the goal is to reinvigorate teams of library volunteers who make this private nonprofit run. These essential volunteers manage the front desk, help patrons and visitors access library resources and materials, price used books, sort bookshelves, judge writing competitions, select published writers for Northwest Authors Series readings, choose local scholarship recipients and identify new books for the library collection.

Marjorie MacQueen, a longtime library member and volunteer who has identified and purchased new books for the library’s collection since 2003, recently added 10 fiction, six mystery and five nonfiction titles to library holdings. These are now available on the library’s green-dot shelf.

Among fiction titles new to the library are “Hour of the Witch” by Chris Bohjalian, “Legends of the North Cascades” by Jonathan Evison, “Golden Girl” by Elin Hilderbrand, “The Secret Keeper of Jaipur” by Alka Joshi and “Dream Girl” by Laura Lippman,

Other new fiction titles include “The Kobalt Dossier” by Eric Van Lustbader, “The President’s Daughter” by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, “All Adults Here” by Emma Straub, “American Traitor” by Brad Taylor and “Our Woman in Moscow” by Beatriz Williams.

Newly added mystery titles include “Unfinished Business” by J.A. Jance, “The Bullet” by Iris Johansen, “Castle Shade” by Laurie R. King, “How Lucky” by Will Leitch, “The Bombay Prince” by Sujata Massey and “The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides.

New nonfiction titles added include “Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II” by Daniel James Brown, “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth” by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson and Jason Stanford and “The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War” by Malcolm Gladwell.

Two other nonfiction books the library has added are “After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made” by Benjamin Rhodes and “The Last Assassin: The Hunt for the Killers of Julius Caesar” by Peter Stothard.

Shawn Stephenson, a research biologist with the U. S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, will discuss “Tufted Puffin Research Studies of the Oregon Coast,” as part of the World of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 14, on Facebook Live@Friends of Haystack Rock.

Stephenson, a research biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1989, received a Bachelor of Science in Fish and Wildlife from Utah State University and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

During his 32 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Stephenson has conducted contaminant studies for four years at the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement branch in Salt Lake City, seabird studies for 15 years at the Migratory Bird Management branch in Anchorage and continued these seabird studies for 12 years at the Oregon Coast National Refuge Complex in Newport.

Sponsored by the Friends of Haystack Rock and the Cannon Beach Library, Stephenson’s presentation is free and open to the public.

Cannon Beach Reads, the library’s longstanding reading group, will discuss Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”.

Led by John Markham, this discussion of Twain’s satirical critique of modern European culture (and to a lesser extent, of America’s Gilded Age) through the lens of Early Medieval or Late Roman England will occur virtually via Zoom, Wednesday, July 21, at 7 p.m.

Twain was drawn to the satiric opportunities offered by travel literature, a highly popular genre in the late 19th century, particularly by Americans unable to afford the Grand Tour of Italy, Greece and the Holy Land. Several of Twain’s early books exploited the travel genre.

Anyone who has yet to participate in Cannon Beach Reads and is interested in joining this discussion of “A Connecticut Yankee,” should email Joseph Bernt at for information about how to join this Zoom get-together.


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