Support the Library

Over 300,000 people visited the Monterey Public Library last year, to read, connect, discover, and pursue their dreams. With the help of individual donors, just like you, books were added to our shelves, research databases were acquired, young children joined our community of readers, teens learned safe online skills, and adults enjoyed life stories shared.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has kept our doors closed since mid-March, we are still here. We have never stopped answering the phone or responding to emails. We were delighted in June to add “Sidewalk Service” — contactless pick-up of your requested holds. It has been wonderful to see your familiar faces again, even masked!

Though we cannot say when we will be able to open our doors again, your philanthropic support has never mattered more than it does today. Gifts have always enhanced City funding and helped us provide lifelong learning in ways that would not otherwise be possible. The ongoing support of community members like you determines what the Library is today—and what it will be in years to come. Every dollar that is given makes a difference.

Ways to Give

You can support the Monterey Public Library by making a gift to either:

  • The Monterey Public Library Friends & Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. See: 
  • The Monterey Public Library, a 170(c) organization. See: 

To discuss supporting the Monterey Public Library or for questions:
Please telephone or email Mary Jane Perna in the MPL Fund Development office at (831) 646-5632, or

Child holding otter
Family group
Patron holding book

Planned Giving

A charitable bequest is one of the most meaningful legacies you can provide for your loved ones and for your favorite organizations. Through a bequest you can make a gift to the Monterey Public Library, while also realizing your personal, estate, and financial-planning goals. For more information about ways to make a planned gift and create a legacy, see MPL Friends & Foundation — Planned Gifts.

Building the MPL Endowment

Whether made outright, or planned as part of your estate and realized after your lifetime, gifts to fund the Monterey Public Library Endowment create a powerful legacy. Learn more or contribute to the Library’s endowment here: The MPL Endowment.

1849 Legacy Society

The Monterey Public Library’s 1849 Legacy Society recognizes those donors who have made gifts to preserve California’s First Public Library for the future.

The Society acknowledges those who:
  • have made a gift to the MPL endowment
  • have made plans for a bequest, trust distribution, or other deferred gift to the Friends & Foundation or MPL
  • were charter members of the original “1849 Society,” which commemorated lifetime gifts of $1849 to the endowment

1849 Legacy Society members join a distinguished group of individuals who originally established the Monterey Public Library in 1849, bringing the first collection of 900 books—in English and in Spanish—around Cape Horn to the Port of Monterey.

Members receive invitations to all special events and Insider Updates. In addition, members’ names are listed, in perpetuity, in a permanent Legacy Society display at the Library and on the Library’s website here.

Please consider letting us know that you have made a provision for the Monterey Public Library in your estate plans by filling out and returning the 1849 Legacy Society Confidential Notification.

For information about the 1849 Legacy Society, please telephone or email Mary Jane Perna, Interim Fund Development Officer, at (831) 646-5632 or email

Other Ways to Give

For more information about

  • making a gift from a donor-advised fund
  • matching gifts
  • supporting the MPL through Amazon Smile

see MPL Friends & Foundation — Ways to Give.