Friends of the Libraries: Striving for a larger library in Costa Mesa

The Costa Mesa Library Foundation is holding a fundraiser for a larger library in the city on May 17 at the Wyndham Hotel in Costa Mesa. If you have misplaced your invitation, or for some reason didn’t receive one, you can visit to purchase tickets.

Respond by May 10.

Included in this event is the foundation’s 2013-14 Favorite Teacher Award. Four finalists will be competing: Cindy Fernald, Denise McKenzie, Rebecca Millam and Misty Smith. A $1,000 gas card will be raffled off and silent and live auctions promise lots of really great items. For more information, call Barbara Steck at (714) 658-2879.

As you have probably seen in the Daily Pilot, county library personnel, city of Costa Mesa staff and members of the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries and Costa Mesa Library Foundation met with an architect several times recently to develop preliminary drawings for the possible conversion of the Neighborhood Community Center building to a library.

Doing so would more than double the amount of library space we have in our town. In addition to a much larger children’s area, a teen’s room is also in the plans. Study rooms, meeting rooms and even a room for autistic children are being considered, as is space for a computer lab — though other computers will be available, as now. A study session was held April 29 to discuss several items, and the City Council wisely directed staff to go ahead with seeking more conceptual work.

For years, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation has found it hard to raise funds for new library space because people felt that if the city had no financial stake in the project, it just wouldn’t happen. Some people likened this to a black hole for their money.

Now, however, the city is definitely in there, and I am hoping that Costa Mesans will join the foundation in raising funds for this library project. We don’t want another generation of children to miss out on the services a larger library can provide. Check out the foundation’s website at for more information.


At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

Last month, a zine workshop was held for adults. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. May 17, the zine workshop is for those of school age. Attend and learn all about self-made zines. Some supplies will be available to make one of your own, but feel free to bring materials as well. Call (949) 646-8845 for information.

Toddler Storytime, with stories, finger plays, songs, crafts and more, will be held on May 5 and 12 from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Toddlers and preschoolers are welcome, and no registration is required.

The Duplo tables will again be awaiting you and your children from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays.

During Family Storytime, at 7 p.m. May 7 and 14, children of all ages are welcome to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed toy. The event will feature stories, finger plays, songs and crafts.


At the Mesa Verde Library

There is a new game in town, and it is called “Storytime with a Twist.” Kids will get to hear stories and be active as Abby Schachner, a certified yoga instructor, translates familiar picture books into yoga-inspired movement and action. This is safe and fun for children and parents of all ages. It will be held at 1 p.m. May 10. For more information, call (714) 546-5274.

On May 6 and 13, Preschool Storytime will be held at 11 a.m., with Preschool Craftivity following at 11:30 a.m. Registration is currently not required.

The Friends of the Library Book Club meets every third Monday of the month. This time, the book to discuss is “Life After Life,” by Kate Atkinson. For information, call the bookstore at (714) 438-0517.


At the Costa Mesa Technology Library

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4 and 5 p.m., volunteers will help you master basic computer skills. Sign up for these one-on-one learning sessions at (949) 515-3970.

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.