Friends Of The Library: Costa Mesa library hosting book sale

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 27 and noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 28, you can browse and buy books in the Community Room at the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library, 1855 Park Ave., Costa Mesa. There are lots of really great books at bargain prices. For information, call the library at (949) 646-8845.

Three story times are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Aug. 31, enjoy a free Family Movie Night. There's also an extra one at 2 p.m. Aug. 30, along with the Mystery Book Club meeting at 6:30 p.m. The book is Ross MacDonald's "The Way Some People Die."

For more information, call (949) 646-8845.

At the Mesa Verde Library, "First Man-Powered Flight" is Tuesday and "Happy Birthday Mary Shelley" happens Aug. 30. Call (714) 546-5274 for more details.

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Libraries – Part of Solution to Community Challenges

"Keeping our minds alive and healthy is the most important step we can take to ensure a civil society," says Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "We are all facing difficult questions about how best to use limited resources. Our country has a great asset in its libraries and museums. Their infrastructure reaches nearly every community in the U.S., with expert staff, great content, technology and physical spaces, and most importantly deep knowledge about community needs. Libraries and museums are hubs for civic ingenuity and part of the solution to many of our most important community challenges."

What Hildreth didn't say is that just as we have to feed our minds — and our bodies — to keep them healthy, libraries also must receive support from the communities they serve. Certainly this means monetary support, but more than that it means being interested, getting to know their services, their staffs, and volunteering if you are able.

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Budget for Libraries is Based on Use

Did you know that the amount of money allocated to the public libraries in Costa Mesa is affected by the actions of Costa Mesa residents? Part of the budget is based on usage, so each time a resident goes outside the city to use another library equals less money for the Costa Mesa libraries. "They didn't have the book I wanted," you say. You can order the book through Costa Mesa — it is probably available in the Orange County Public Library system, or one of their cooperating libraries — and pick it up there a few days later.

Is this an inconvenience? Yes, a small one. But each time you order a book from somewhere else, it is like a drop of water wearing down our own libraries. We do need larger libraries so that we can carry more titles, but unless we use our own libraries more, those who can make this happen think there aren't enough people in Costa Mesa who read or care about the libraries we have. It is a case of "Catch 22" and the only way to stop this chain of events is to check out lots of books from our Costa Mesa libraries.

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Master Plan for Library Services for Costa Mesa

In 1998, the city paid for a study of library services in Costa Mesa, usually referred to as the Arroyo Report. That report confirmed that the city had a big deficit in library space. More than 10 years later, the deficit is even larger. To get out of this hole, we need a master plan that is specific in its vision for library expansion and building a central library in Costa Mesa. I hope you will contact our City Council and tell them you back this idea. The Costa Mesa Library Foundation has said it will help fund a master plan for libraries in Costa Mesa, but it is important that the city plays a leading role in this project.

MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa Libraries.

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