Community Interest – October 2007

Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine “Community Interest” October 2007.

Napa City-County Library

Napa City-County Library Plans Wine and Hospitality Collection
Periodicals Overhaul Offers Room for New Reference Section
By Louisa Hufstader

This fall, prepare to witness some changes in the periodicals room at the Napa City-County Library on Coombs Street: back numbers of magazines, currently shelved in boxes, will move to newspaper-style “lift-up” racks displaying the current issue on top.

The switch, expected to begin later this month, will make room not only for a wider selection of titles, but also for a new special reference collection with a uniquely Napa Valley angle.

“The staff has been noticing the strong interest in wine and hospitality—restaurants, gourmet cooking—both locally and from tourists,” explains library director Janet McCoy.

“We had a sense there was a real strong community interest in it. But the challenge for a special collection is, where do you put it that’s special?”

The upcoming periodical-room upgrade provided the solution: The room’s eastern side, now housing magazine back issues from A to R, will soon become the home of the library’s new Wine and Hospitality Collection.

For the first time, library patrons interested in viticulture, enology, wine connoisseurship—and the many jobs available in these and associated industries like the hotel business—will have one place to search or browse for knowledge on everything from grape-growing to running a bed and breakfast.

Drawn from both existing library books and new acquisitions, the Wine and Hospitality Collection will include more than 500 books, magazines and non-fiction movies such as “The History of Wine” and “Mondovino.” (For feature films like “Sideways,” you’ll still need to consult the library’s main DVD collection.)

Titles in the collection will span the realm of interests from the casual to the professional. Library associate Helene Crane has been ordering guides to everything from choosing a restaurant location to building an investment portfolio with wine; but she says there will be plenty for the everyday wine-drinker as well.

“Enjoyment is a very large portion of it,” says Crane, whose eyes sparkle when she talks about the possibilities of the new collection she’s helping to build.

It was longtime Napa librarian Anne Moya who first sparked the idea of assembling a unified collection geared for the viticulture and hospitality professions.

“Agriculture is enormously important to Napa,” says Moya. “And the public is much more interested because of the boutique wineries and because of the tasting rooms that have developed over the past five to ten years.”

Moya’s cause was bolstered earlier this year by a pair of Napa Valley Register business columns citing some impressive job numbers: Hospitality, now the second largest industry in the county after wine production, employed more than 17,500 people in 2004, with a payroll exceeding $500 million—figures expected to grow by 22 % by 2008.

Another 8,000 employees worked in the local food and beverage service industry. All told, visitors to the Napa Valley are estimated to spend a billion dollars a year on dining, drinking, wine and lodging.

Library leaders found those figures compelling, and gave Moya and Crane the go-ahead to begin assembling the Wine and Hospitality Collection. (Now the library’s head of technical services, Moya is also charged with the job of cataloguing the new section she inspired.)

Once the new collection is installed, “I expect to hear sounds of delight,” from patrons, says Moya. “Because it’s serendipitous – that’s the purpose of having it in one place, so they can look through and find things they didn’t even know were available, and get very excited, I hope.”

If your own delight in the new collection takes audible form, never fear: Moya and Crane won’t shush you. At the Napa City-County Library—a dynamic community center that’s also a top destination for tourists—what’s golden isn’t silence, but information.

http://www.napavalleymarketplace.com

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