Posted by: Stan Russell | April 6, 2017



Big Sur location temporarily closed; Grand opening of Carmel location slated for May 28th (Memorial Day Weekend)

“We’re doing something to help ourselves and the community as a whole but we need your help!” says Executive Director Magnus Toren

APRIL 6, 2017

Big Sur’s Henry Miller Memorial Library, a nonprofit arts space, community, and bookstore, has been closed since mid-February due to the closure of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.

Faced with a significant loss of income that has already exceeded $60,000, the Library has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help survive this serious hit. The Library will likely re-open mid-May, but to far less foot traffic since vehicle access will remain cut off from the north.

Donations can be made to the campaign by clicking here

Despite these challenges, “We’re not sitting idle on one side of the bridge,” said Executive Director Magnus Toren. “We’re DOING something to help ourselves and the community as a whole.”

That “something” is a new gallery/bookstore in the Barnyard shopping center off Rio Rd. in Carmel.

The gallery will bring Big Sur to “town.” “Books, live music, movies, talks—everything you’ve come to love about the Library but can’t enjoy due to the whims of Mother Nature,” Toren says.

The grand opening gala celebration is slated for Sunday, May 28th, during Memorial Day Weekend. Details to follow.

In late February, when faced with the realization that the Library would be cut off from the world for an extensive amount of time, Toren wondered, “What are we going to do? How can we stay busy how can we stay employed? How can we continue to do our work? It didn’t take long to recognize that we had to move to town if we wanted to interact with people.”

Toren reached out to a friend at the Barnyard and things quickly fell into place. In late March, Toren signed a lease on a 1650 square feet space that “will afford us the chance to do exhibits in a wholly different way” than at the Big Sur location.

“We have, unbeknownst to most,” Toren said, “a deep archive and a treasure of books and art that we’ve never really been exhibiting – now’s the chance to show some of it. The space we have is big enough for good sized indoor gatherings and I look forward to doing film series, music and a speaker series – a speaker series I hope can be focused on the natural and cultural history of Big Sur.”

All that being said, visitors can still expect the Library’s new location to be thoroughly infused with a unique kind of Big Sur mystique and intrigue.

“Someone asked me, ‘Will it be a place ‘where nothing happens’ like down south?” Toren said.

“And I responded, ‘No, something is happening here we just don’t know what it is!”


For more information and to donate to the GoFundMe campaign, click here.

To view and share the Facebook link announcing the GoFundMe campaign and the new location click here.

For press inquiries, please contact Magnus Toren at or 831-667-2714.


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