Friends Of The Library: Children will love these library events

For mystery fans who like to read books set in California, the book to be discussed at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Donald Dungan Library in Costa Mesa is "Dead Game" by Kirk Russell. Books are available at the checkout desk for the month prior to the meeting. For more details, ask the Information Desk or call (949) 646-8845 and ask for Samantha. The library is at 1855 Park Ave.

There are at least two upcoming events at the Mesa Verde Library that those of you with children will want to know about. The first event is from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m. Thursday.

At that time, the Sunshine Storyteller, Ina Buckner-Barnette, will tell some amazing tales that will "ignite your imagination, tickle your funny bone and help you shine like the sun."

Children will travel the globe with participatory stories and song without leaving their seats. Families may sign up for this interactive program at the children's desk.

The second event, Read OC — Family Reading Time, takes place on the second Thursday of each month, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This is for families with at least one child younger than 5, and is for parents as well as their children. There will be stories, crafts and a free book for each family. The Mesa Verde Library is at 2926 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa.

For those of you whose children may need a particular classic book for a reading assignment, the Friends' bookstore behind the Mesa Verde Library has a whole bookcase full of them, and there is a very good chance you will find what you need. The price will probably range between 50 cents and $1. The store is open every day except Monday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A Dr. Seuss Storytime took place last month at the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library. A costumed Tina Cahill read "The Cat in the Hat" to the delight of the 40 children and parents in attendance. The children then decorated cookies with frosting and sprinkles — and celebrated their work by eating them.

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Libraries serve many purposes

There is a lot going on in our three Costa Mesa libraries.

And it is not just people using the computers — although the computers are almost always in use in all the libraries. People are checking out books; students are doing homework; people of all ages are doing research for projects; there are people working on English as a second language; there are programs for children and for adults; librarians are answering reference questions; helping people find books and other information; there are groups meeting in the Community Room at the Dungan Library; people are buying used books at both of the Friends' used book stores; and at the Dungan Library; people are getting passport photos and applying for passports.

And to come full circle, people are getting help in their use of the computers. Not just how to operate them, but also how to navigate through the slough of Internet garbage to get what is wanted.

So when I hear people say, "We don't need libraries anymore because we have the Internet," I have to laugh. When I hear that all books will soon be electronic, I don't laugh because a lot of them will be, but it is going to be a long, long time before all books are available in electronic form.

It may be longer yet before die-hards will finally give up and read books without paper. And though people are doing a lot of "socializing" online on Facebook, real human contact will not go out of style. As the song goes, "people need people."

Well, I do get wound up talking about libraries. And I know there are a lot of Costa Mesans who feel the same way. A public library is the one source of education that serves everybody of all ages, rich and poor, equally.

But a library can only do this well when it is supported by the public it serves. So, you out there, you lovers of books both paper and electronic, you parents of children who need to become better readers, you lovers of knowledge shared, please become involved with your libraries. They need you.

MARY ELLEN GODDARD wrote this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa libraries.

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