Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone (left) listens while Friends board member Bob Ferguson (right) pitches placing Dore Capitani’s sculpture, Mary Austin reading Dickens, on library grounds. Other Friends are in the background. Photo by Marshall Smith

Grant Hamel, Hamel Contracting of Murrieta, builder of the new Idyllwild Library in Strawberry Plaza and construction Superintendent Dave Celani previewed the new library’s bright and airy interior. On Friday, June 22, 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone and members of the Friends of the Library walked through the structure for the first time since interior walls, and windows had been installed.


Stone expects the library will open in early September and he plans a formal opening ceremony later in the month.

The most heard comment among attendees was, “It is so bright and looks so much bigger with the walls in place.”

Friends board member Bob Ferguson said, “This is so much more than we expected. It never occurred to me when Joe Coronet [previous owner] told me he was open to discussing sale to the county that this is what we’d eventually have.”

Attendees complimented interior colors, the organization of the space, and the uplifting ambiance the high ceiling and ambient light provide. “The county’s choice of architects was outstanding,” said Ferguson. “They worked so closely with us and listened to all our suggestions. And we made our suggestions after visiting other libraries and seeing what worked and what didn’t.”

Supervisor Stone first went to look at the framing for the interior fireplace, a bit of mountain ambiance he had suggested. “Can’t you see sitting here, snow falling outside, with the fireplace glowing?” Everyone seemed pleased.

Gabriella Dapeer (left) hands a flyer protesting the sacking of Teresa Brouwer to Brenda Freeman, representing County Librarian Barbara Morrow Williams. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Library staff
Not pleased was a group, led by Gabriella Dapeer, protesting the apparent dismissal of longtime librarian Teresa Brouwer after 22 years with the library as well as two volunteers who quit earlier. Wednesday, June 20, was Brouwer’s last day.


County Librarian Barbara Morrow Williams stressed, when asked about Brouwer’s dismissal, that Library Systems and Services of Germantown, Maryland, the company with which the county contracts library staffing and administration, has handled hiring, firing and administration of county libraries for 15 years. Neither she nor the Economic Development Agency has authority over those matters. Neither Betsy Messtmore, LSSI’s Human Resources supervisor, nor West Coast Administrator Mark Smith would comment on or confirm Brouwer’s status.

“I was laid off,” Brouwer said, and said she saw no possibility of returning.


  1. We can see again how hiring contractors by government agencies allows the government to conveniently escape commenting on anything questioned by the people.. Government agencies AND private companies conveniently escape direct liability just as in Iraq when our soldiers were electrocuted while taking showers in the field by the faulty electrical installation of pumps by a contractor, a VP Dick Cheney company. ACCOUNTABILITY? There is less than ever…by vote of the majority, YOU! I still prefer coffee over TEA at "parties…" Good luck finding parking at the new library! Maybe some "contractor" has plans to pave over the creek.

  2. The Riverside County Library System, including Idyllwild Library, is NOT a county run library as all staffing and administration is handled by a private corporate interest headquartered in Germantown, Maryland. It is called Library Systems and Services, LLC and is an international mega corporation. I would also assume that it has lobbied American governmental agencies heavily to contract with them for the sake of "efficiency." Additionally one would also assume that it has contributed heavily to the campaigns of various political entities and, now especially, unlimited amounts as the result of a recent Supreme Court decision which treats DOLLARS as PEOPLE. I am a former (Master of Library Science) San Francisco city and college librarian. Of course I wish the new library the very best for the sake of the community. I am astonished that so few people are unaware of the above fact concerning administration and personnel.

  3. Where are the so called "FRIENDS" OF THE IDYLLWILD LIBRARY in this matter of the unceremonious removal of the library staff? I would be ashamed to be among them in their silence at this juncture. The entire matter was handled entirely unprofessionally and the community should be outraged by it. It was all about a new building and a feather in a Supervisor's cap as can be ascertained thus far. Where is the transparency?

  4. I'm so appalled at the librarian of 22 yrs being let go. I can't understand this entire thing. What was the reason for letting this woman go. Some explanation is needed. I don't want to see Idyllwild change at all. I've been coming up here for 60 yrs. My Grandparents bought a place called Paradise Lodge when I was 6 mos. old. It no longer is there, it burned down. Anyway I agree with what Frank said for sure. Getting a nice library I don't object to, that's wonderful. But, letting the old staff go for no apparent reason makes no common sense. To think this is political horrifys me!!