By Phoebe Wall Howard
As the Mill Valley Library continues to look to expand on its wide range of programs, its two biggest supporters – with some help from the Mill Valley Film Festival – are holding an annual benefit to keep the film nights, art lectures, poetry readings and children’s storytime coming.
The 4th annual “Beyond the Book Bash” is set for Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at 142 Throckmorton Theatre. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased online at mvlf.org.
The evening includes music, book readings, a margarita bar and local gourmet foods with wine pairings. It is hosted by the Mill Valley Library Foundation, Friends of the Mill Valley Library and the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Master of Ceremonies Josh Healey, a comedian and storyteller, will introduce: Bestselling fiction writer Glen David Gold; Singer/Songwriter James Nash and Friends; Award-winning author of books for children, Mac Barnett; Sundance Fellow screenwriter Chinaka Hodge; Sound artist Tania Ketenjian and a surprise performance or two.
“It will be diverse, dynamic and genuinely special evening," event producer Tom Corwin said.
Over the past three years, the Mill Valley Library Foundation has dispersed more than $170,000 in private contributions to the Mill Valley Public Library. The funds underwrite the popular First Fridays wine and entertainment series and other after-hours events inside the century-old library and in the amphitheater under the redwoods. The public-private partnership is considered a civic model by elected officials searching for solutions in response to state budget challenges.
Stacey Silver, co-chair of the event, said, “My kids love checking out the DVDs, especially ‘Charlie Brown's Christmas.’ They love PJ storytime and looking out the big picture windows at the redwoods.”
Ken Broad and his wife Jackie, whose leadership continues to strengthen the library’s extensive film collection, are again co-hosts.
Paula Reynolds, chairman of the board of the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, is a return sponsor, too. “The library's travel guides and travel literature inform our best trips, our favorites being to India for four weeks in 2011 and recently Berlin and a Rhine River Cruise."
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Julian Guthrie, who is doing a national book tour now, is a new library sponsor. Her son, Roman, 7, said, "The books we get from the library are really good. We check out books where chapters end with cliffhangers. I like the Origami boat making. I like the bookmark contest. I was a finalist as a first grader, and I'm going to enter again this year."
His mother added, "We moved to Mill Valley 1 ½ years ago from San Francisco. Our two favorite things in Mill Valley? Old Mill Elementary and the library … The way it looks and feels, the light in the children's room, the view of the redwoods, and the sense of fun. I know it's a success when my son runs to the library's front door. My life is so much about the written word, and this is a place that embraces and nourishes readers and writers."
Vera Meislin, president of the Foundation board, acknowledged that while cities across the country face tough choices, Mill Valley is fortunate to be able to rely on private funding from charitable families to provide additional programs and resources that help make our library among the very best in the Bay Area.