February 7, 2012
Henry Miller Memorial Library is all grown up: Big Sur Land Trust has donated the half-acre landmark on Highway 1 to the library's foundation.
Miller's friend, Emil White, donated the library to BSLT in 1981 and directed it until his death in 1989. BSLT took over for five years, then shifted control to current director Magnus Toren, who created the nonprofit Henry Miller Memorial Library Foundation in 1998. The foundation has operated the library for the past 14 years, but BSLT has been the official landowner.
"Under Toren's leadership, the library has come into its own as an important cultural institution, becoming over the years a thriving center for the arts in Big Sur, home to film, music and other live events," a BSLT press release states.
The official transfer puts the library's stewardship fully into the foundation's hands. "The board's commitment is first to protect the watershed at the library, then to serve the Big Sur community as a cultural resource, and finally to serve people from all over the globe as a destination wherein they can read a book, see a show, or just be inspired sitting amongst the redwoods," Henry Miller Library Board President Maria Teutsch states.
The shift also puts the foundation in charge of a $50,000 septic upgrade after county health officials cited the library last summer for a bathroom shortage. The library is now working to raise the funds in hopes of installing the new system early next year.