Friends of the Libraries: Who is the best teacher in Costa Mesa?

Four finalists in the Costa Mesa Library Foundation's Costa Mesa's Favorite Teacher contest will be announced in mid-April. They will be honored and the winner announced at a fundraising event on May 17 at the Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel.

The foundation thanks media sponsor OC Register Family Magazine, Mesa Water District, The Lab, The Camp, Weichman Realtors, Pacific Symphony, Jess Black Art, Happy Photos and Blackmarket Bakery for their generous support. To become sponsors or to donate to the auction, email cmlibraryfoundation@gmail.com.

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At the Costa Mesa Technology Library

Video Storytime in English and Spanish will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesdays for children ages 4 to 8. Participants will be provided with headphones to listen to the videobooks, and prizes will be awarded.

Meet with library volunteers who can help you learn basic computer skills, navigate the Internet, use email accounts, print documents and images and more at the computer skills workshop offered at 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Sign up by phone at (949) 515-3970 or on site.

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At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

Children and their families are invited to read to licensed therapy dogs at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Bring your favorite book and read to Fido and friends. No registration is required.

Toddler Storytime is scheduled for 11 a.m. March 24 and 31.

Use your imagination to build your own unique creation at Duplo Play Days. Children and their families are welcome to visit one of the designated Duplo tables from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays.

At Family Storytime, children are welcome to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed toy for stories, finger plays, songs and crafts. The activity is open to children of all ages and their families, and no registration is required. The next two sessions are on March 26 and April 2 from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

AARP will be offering free tax preparation Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon until April 10. In-person sign-up at the reference desk to receive the necessary paperwork is required.

Learn how to eat better and be active at nutrition classes for parents from 3 to 4 p.m. March 27. Each class includes a food demonstration and is presented in English and Spanish.

Attend a zine adult workshop with a talk from David McHank of the zine "Perpetually Twelve" at 3:30 p.m. April 12. You don't know what a "zine" is? Neither did I, but I looked it up. Several sources agree that zine is short for magazine or fanzine, and zines are self-publications, motivated by a desire for self-expression rather than profit.

The library will have some supplies available to make a zine of your own, but feel free to bring materials as well.

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At the Mesa Verde Library

The ever-popular Preschool Storytime at 11 a.m. and the Preschool Craftivity at 11:30 a.m. are offered every Tuesday. Toddlers are welcome with an adult. Older siblings are also welcome. Registration is not required.

The Reading for Spring event is ongoing through March at this library. Check out any two books on gardening and receive one entry for a chance to win a gift card to Home Depot. The first prize is $25 and second prize is $10. All others will get a voucher to the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries bookstore.

The PAWS Reading to Dogs program is scheduled for the last Saturday of every month. The upcoming event is at 2 p.m. March 29. Children read a book of their choice to certified therapy dogs, one-on-one, for five to 10 minutes, depending on a child's age and reading level. This activity encourages and improves reading. No pre-registration is required. The program is sponsored by the Orange County SPCA.

Teen volunteers are wanted to shelve books, prepare craft projects, help with children's programs and more. This is only for a school community service hours requirement, not for court-ordered community service. Priority may be given to graduating high school seniors.

The Friends of the Library Book Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 24 in the bookstore behind the library. The March title is "Turn of Mind," by Alice LaPlante. For inquiries, call the bookstore at (714) 438-0517.

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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