Friends of the Libraries: Behind the Mt. Everest climbs

Climbing Mt. Everest is the theme of the program at the Feb. 23 Speaker's Series event sponsored by the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries. Bill Burke, who has reached the summit of Mt. Everest twice, will be the evening's speaker.

Burke has scaled the highest peaks on seven continents and has done this after reaching the age of 60. One of Costa Mesa's own, he is a corporate lawyer, husband, father and grandfather. He will bring some of his climbing equipment to demonstrate its use. The talk will follow a Mexican dinner from Taco Mesa and a very short business meeting. It is not necessary to be a Friends' member to attend.

To make reservations, call Bob Ooten at (714) 545-9613 or e-mail to by Feb. 19. The cost is $8.00 each. It will be held in the Mesa Verde United Methodist Church at 1701 Baker St. at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23.


Fanny Bixby Spencer

Another program that should interest those interested in our city's libraries is sponsored by the Costa Mesa Historical Society. On Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m., Marcia Lee Harris will portray Fanny Bixby Spencer.

Some of you will remember that Fanny and her husband, Carl, were very large supporters of getting a library started here in Costa Mesa in 1923. Fanny paid a portion of the wages of Sarah Conant, our first local librarian, for a number of years, and she and Carl supplied a building for the library — free — for many years. Fanny was a member of the wealthy Bixby family of Long Beach. She was a poet, pacifist, suffragist, child advocate, foster mother and more. You are invited to attend this free program.


Discovering the Library and Bookstore

I was putting in my two hours of volunteer time in the bookstore in the Donald Dungan Library this last Tuesday, taking passport photos and training a new volunteer, when the photo customer who had just come in looked up at the walls of books in the bookstore and said wonderingly, "Are these books for sale?" He said he lived nearby but hadn't been in the library before. I think we will see him again. Before he left, he bought several books!


Libraries Closed for Two Holidays This Month

The Orange County Public Library branches (which includes our three Costa Mesa libraries) will be closed both Tuesday, Feb. 12, and Monday, Feb. 18.


At the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library

"The Beachcomber" by Karen Robards will be the book discussed at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 when the Romance Book Club next meets. Children can practice reading to BARK therapy dogs from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday. Toddler Storytime will be held at 11 a.m. Monday. Bilingual Storytime will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and 21.

In two weeks, I will be able to give you the date of our next book sale to be held at the Dungan Library. It promises to be a big one.


At the Mesa Verde Library

At 11 a.m. Tuesday and Feb. 19, Pre-School Storytime and Crafts will be held in the library. At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, it is the celebrated Lego Wednesday, and from 7 to 7:45 p.m., children can come to Pajama Storytime wearing pajamas (optional) and bring a favorite stuffed toy companion to enjoy stories, songs and activities. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14, those ages 12 and under can attend Origami-Kai and learn the Japanese art of paper-folding, with a bit of Valentine's Day thrown in. This program is presented by the library's favorite origami expert, Kazue.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 20, families can have fun and keep their hands busy with crafts designed to encourage creativity, innovation and imagination. Then, at 3 p.m. Feb. 21, the After School Library Club will meet. This program, for those 8 to 12 years of age, has awesome activities, crafts and projects to encourage creativity and foster familiarity with the library's resources. Sign-ups are required, and you can do so by calling (714) 546-5274.

The Friends of the Costa Mesa Library Book Club meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 25, discussing "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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 branches of the Orange County Public Libraries.

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