Friends of the Libraries: Catching up on World War I history

I just finished Frederic Morton's "Thunder at Twilight: Vienna 1913/1914." The detail surrounding the many people involved in that slice of history building up to World War I is amazing.

I knew that the death of Crown Prince Archduke Franz Ferdinand had led to the war, but this book, with its accounts of the activities of many countries' politicians and the culture of Vienna at the time, explains what was going on so well that you almost feel as though you are there, following the characters around. I guess I will have to read his earlier book centered in Vienna, "A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889."

Members of the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries and the Costa Mesa Library Foundation, together with staff from OC Public Libraries and the city of Costa Mesa, have been busy planning how to lay out the space for an anticipated move to larger facilities. The thought of finally having space for teens and children's programming, as well as study rooms, meeting rooms and more, is exciting.

Hopefully, in two weeks, there will be more to report. In the meantime, many of us have been busy looking at what other libraries have done with their spaces. If you have ideas to share, let me know. Contact me at

So many people are getting ready to travel in the next few months that our passport service and photo business at the Dungan Library has been really busy. I sometimes ask where people are planning to travel, and though many are going to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, others are traveling all over the world. It makes volunteering as a passport receptionist or a passport photographer very interesting.

If you would like to get in on this fun, contact me at the above email address. Most of our volunteers work either two or four hours a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All Orange County public branch libraries will be closed Sunday.


At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

Toddlers and preschoolers are welcome to attend Toddler Storytime from 11 to 11:30 a.m. April 21 and 28 for stories, finger plays, songs, crafts and more. No registration is required.

The family activity Duplo Play Day will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. April 22 and 29. Children and their families are welcome to visit one of the Duplo tables in the library lobby. Use your imagination to build your own unique creation!

Family Storytime, at 7 p.m. April 23 and 30, will include finger plays, songs, crafts and more. It is open to children of all ages and their families, and no registration is required. Children are welcome to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed toy.

At 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, children and their families are invited to read to licensed therapy dogs. Bring your favorite book and read to Fido and friends. No registration is required. If you have questions about this or other programs at this library, call (949) 646-8845.


At the Mesa Verde Library

Preschool Storytime for children ages 2 to 5 will be held at 11 a.m. April 22 and 29.

Toddlers are welcome, with accompanying adult of course. Older siblings are also welcome.

Registration is not currently required. This activity is followed both days by Preschool Craftivities, activities that may include simple crafts, games or outdoor fun like bubble days, scavenger hunts and sidewalk chalk drawing. Call the library at (714) 546-5274 if you have questions.


At the Costa Mesa Technology Library

On Tuesdays from 11 to 11:45 a.m., children ages 4 to 8 can participate in Video Storytime. The program, offered in both English and Spanish, provides children with headphones to listen to videobooks. Prizes will be awarded.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m., meet with library 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 in person or by calling (949) 515-3970. Walk-ins are welcome too.

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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