Friends of the Library: 'Dumbo' to be screened at library

The Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library just won a $4,500 grant from the Romance Writers of America to buy romance books in English and Spanish. The committee that chose the winner is part of the Public Library Assn.

The grant was a project of the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries working with adult services librarian Samantha Hathaway. The Dungan Library is the only library in the nation to win the grant this year. Friends' President Bob Ooten will present the check to the library to buy both paperback and hardcover books.

The next two weeks feature a number of special activities at our Costa Mesa libraries, in addition to regularly scheduled storytimes:

The first of this year's quarterly book sales will be held Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library, 1855 Park Ave. Prices will be from 50 cents to $1 each until the last hour when it will be "Buck-a-Bag."

Family Movie Night on Feb. 23 will feature "Dumbo" at the Dungan Library. Call (949) 646-8845 for information on the regularly scheduled storytimes and "California Mysteries" Book Club.

At the Mesa Verde Library, 2969 Mesa Verde Drive East, is "Underground Railroad Freedom Quilts," a story and craft program for children between 5 and 12 years old will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m Feb. 24. Sign-up is required. Call (714) 546-5274 for storytime schedules.

All Costa Mesa libraries including the Costa Mesa Technical Library will be closed for the Presidents Day on Monday.

More about our libraries

Libraries are proven to return dividends by raising the profiles of the communities they serve, including income, education, labor market, employment and quality of life. And despite the emergence of the Internet β€” and sometimes because of it β€” libraries will continue to do so.

Public libraries serve all ages, from toddler to senior citizens, rich and poor, equally. They serve employers and employees alike.

These are some of the reasons that two volunteer, nonprofit organizations are working for our present β€”and future β€” libraries. The Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries supports our three Costa Mesa branches of the Orange County Public Library. This past year the group provided more than $85,000 in books and supplies, programming and new equipment to these libraries.

But despite all this library support, Costa Mesa's libraries lack the space required to provide the quality of library services demanded by Costa Mesa residents. There is insufficient space for appropriately sized collections, and inadequate seating to accommodate patrons. There is very limited space to accommodate the libraries' very active children's programs, and the need for more computer access. There are no group study rooms, and the one community room is very small.

The Costa Mesa Library Foundation has been working to raise awareness of this situation and to raise funds to build a new central library that would be large enough to supply the needs of our Costa Mesa residents. It is planned that the interior of the library would be constructed to be easily reconfigured to adapt to changes in media and technology. The library would connect the various segments of our community with its collections, programs and gathering spaces.

At the end of 2010, the foundation sponsored an essay contest and was overjoyed by its success. There were more than 150 entries from Costa Mesa elementary and middle school students. Students were to cover in 200 words or less "Why libraries are important" and "What I would like to see in a new library."

The winner and runner-up from the fourth-grade through sixth-grade category were Maddie Baldikoski and Olliver Ressler, both from Kaiser School. In the seventh-grade through eighth-grade category, Sylvia Catania and Christopher Hutchinson, both from Costa Mesa Middle School, were named.

Ten architectural students from Orange Coast College brought to life 10 of the students' ideas for what to include in a new library. Giovanni Mendoza, Emily Brown and Karla Amaya from Killybrooke Elementary School, Trevor Brown from Kaiser, and Joey Hernandez from Adams were the other students whose suggestions were represented by drawings. It is hoped to make this a yearly event.

MARY ELLEN GODDARD wrote this article on behalf of the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries and the Costa Mesa Library Foundation.

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