Mailbag: Balboa Branch children's section should be renamed to honor Joan Dugan

How about keeping this most important place in the hearts of not only the residents, but also the hundreds of vacationers throughout the years, and while we are at saving the Balboa Branch library, how about naming the children's section """the Joan Dugan Memorial Children's Library?"""

Joan was the Balboa Branch children's librarian from 1968 to 1992, and if it really does take a village to raise a child, she was a major part of the village.

She, along with the others who included, Mr. Balboa (Wayne Moses), the firemen, all the people who worked at the Balboa Pharmacy (including my son) and the various neighbors and friends felt that it was part of their duty to watch out for these children. However, there was no one who knew and loved children more than Joan Dugan.

Joan told great stories to students from Newport Elementary who would troop down the boardwalk to one of their favorite places — the Balboa Branch — to see one of their favorite people, Joan. Frankly, she would tell not only tell the little kids stories, but fascinate the older kids with her summary of teen books. More than once, she convinced adults to read certain books.

She knew the name of every child who ever came into that library. When I taught at Newport Elementary, she more than once convinced a non-reader to read one little book that she knew that they would love. Then they became hooked on reading and on Joan herself. Kids who sometimes felt a little alone would find a home where they could read, or just hang out with Mrs. Dugan.

Adults depended on Joan too. She ordered special books for teachers, and parents could always find a sympathetic ear as well as wise advice about books and anything else. She became a little bit of a psychologist from time to time. She was a resource like no other, and was better than Google. She could find anything.

Mrs. Dugan retired in 1992 and passed away several years ago. It's true that Joan Dugan is gone, but we still have the Balboa Library. Let's keep it where it is, exactly how it is but change the name to honor this woman.

What do you think?

Sandy Asper

Newport Beach

Hurley exhibit ended early

I was disappointed April 2 when my wife and I tried to visit the art show hosted by Hurley. My disappointment starts with the Pilot's inability to accurately report the time of the exhibit. Instead of ending at 10, as reported by the Pilot, the show ended at 9 p.m. As we arrived at 9:15 p.m., my wife was rudely turned away by a Hurley employee, who once he saw a man was with her, quickly changed his tune — a classic bully mentality. Both the Pilot and Hurley failed in the most basic ways: the Pilot in their job, and Hurley in common decency. Clearly Hurley and their parent company, Nike, have lost a customer.

Andrew Barnes

Costa Mesa

Editor's note: The show was scheduled to take place until 10 p.m., as reported in the Daily Pilot, but guests were not admitted after 9 p.m.

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