Friends of the Libraries: Ready for a triple-size library?

Things may be happening on the library front. The city is considering exchanging the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library (7,500 square feet) with the Neighborhood Community Center building, which would make the library three times as big.

The meeting room capability of the community center would be moved to the then-empty library building. This would give our city the opportunity to have an expanded children's area, a teen center, study and meeting rooms, and space for collections of books, CDs, movies and more. There would be room for many of the programs that we have either not been able to have or have held in spaces that compromised other library activities.

And for Costa Mesans who generally don't like taxes, this would get the most bang for their buck.

Admittedly, I have been aiming for a library bigger than this. But considering the pros and cons, this would do great things for our city. I am hoping that the public gets on board with this idea as we work to create a first-class library building. If you have questions, I would be glad to discuss them with you.

In the meantime, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation is continuing to check out other libraries to see how they do things. And we are checking print publications as well as the Internet for the latest ideas.

If you have visited a library lately and think it has something we should be aware of, or if you have found articles, photos and more that you think we should see, pass the word. You can email costamesalibr@gmail.com or write to P.O. Box 2864, Costa Mesa, CA 92628. This is a good chance to get your ideas heard. So speak up.

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At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

Learn how to eat better and be active in five nutrition classes designed for parents during the month of March. Each class includes a food demonstration. The classes are in English and Spanish and will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. The first class is March 6. No signups are required.

AARP will offer free tax preparation at this library on select Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon until April 10. Sign up in person at the reference desk to receive the necessary paperwork.

Toddler Storytime is at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 and March 3. Duplo Play Day will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Feb. 25 and March 4. Stories, finger plays, songs, crafts and more are featured in Family Storytime, held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 and March 5. Children are welcome to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed toy. For more information on these programs, call the library at (949) 646-8845.

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At the Costa Mesa Technology Library

Meet with volunteers who can help you learn basic computer skills, navigate the Internet, create and use email accounts, print documents and images and more. Sign up for a one-on-one learning session by phone at (949) 515-3970 or on site. Walk-ins are welcome too. Classes are at 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Preschool Storytime in English and Spanish and with videobooks and headphones will be available for ages 4 to 8 at 11 a.m. Feb. 25. Because of limited space and equipment, this event will be held to eight participants chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.

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At the Mesa Verde Library

Bring your children ages 2 to 5 for stories, finger plays and songs at 11 a.m. Feb. 25 and March 4. Immediately following Preschool Storytime is Crafts and Activities for Preschoolers. Activities may include simple crafts, games or outdoor fun like bubble days, scavenger hunts and sidewalk chalk. Toddlers are welcome with an accompanying adult. Older siblings are also welcome. For more information, call (714) 546-5274.

There is one week left to celebrate Library Lovers Month at the Mesa Verde Library.

Through February, books will be put on display with blank covers to hide the title and plot information. After you check out one of these books blind and read it, submit a brief review. You will get a free voucher to the Friends of the Library Bookstore. There is a limit of one voucher per week.

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 OC Public Libraries.

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