Friends of the Library: A central library on our horizon?

Glimmers, at last, of a dream come true!

On Jan. 31, the Costa Mesa City Council's study session included planning for the next five years. In that planning is a Library Master Plan for Costa Mesa, and a marker for debt financing to pay for a new library. Also to be studied is a better way to finance the operational expenses of the libraries in Costa Mesa.

Presumably, this will be further discussed and voted upon in upcoming council meetings. I encourage all of you who are interested in library service in our town to show up at council meetings to let your desires be known.

Use your three allotted minutes. If you can't do this, contact the council members by writing a letter, or e-mailing or tweeting, or whatever mode suits you best.

And if you have ideas of what you want to have included in this planning for libraries, please also contact the Costa Mesa Library Foundation, at P.O. Box 2864, Costa Mesa, CA 92628, or via email at info@CostaMesaLibraryFoundation.org.

The foundation wants your ideas. If you have a group that would like to know more about what a new library can offer our city's residents, ask the foundation to send a representative to speak.

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Essays and posters on display

The four winning essays from the recent contest for school children, sponsored by the Costa Mesa Library Foundation, are to be displayed until Feb. 29 in the lobby of Costa Mesa City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

The essays are about a favorite book. The books chosen by the fifth- to eighth-grade students are "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," "The Giving Tree," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Charlotte's Web." The essay contest winners were Arielle Esparza, Victoria Madrid, Kinani Asuega and Jocelyn Vidal.

Also on display are four posters that were created by students from Orange Coast College's architectural department to illustrate those books. The poster artists from OCC are Richard Machessney, Yessenia Juarez, Chawiat Phanao and Laura Nguyen.

Costa Mesa's libraries will be closed Monday and Feb. 20.

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Donald Dungan Library goings-on

Apply for or renew your U.S. passport at this library. Passport hours are from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, and by appointment from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

The reference staff will be happy to answer questions about forms, fees, necessary documents, time needed to process the application, special requirements for children younger than 16, and anything else.

You can also get your passport photos taken there during passport hours. Call the library at (949) 646-8845 and ask for the reference desk.

A Valentine's Day-themed storytime on Tuesday and the bilingual storytimes on Thursday and Feb. 23 will feature songs, stories and crafts. These programs are at 2 p.m., are free to attend and all children and families are welcome. A snack will be served. On Feb. 21, Family Game Day is at 2 p.m. and Movie Night is at 6 p.m.

The Donald Dungan branch is at 1855 Park Ave. For more information, call (949) 646-8845.

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Mesa Verde Library activities

This library may be small, but it has some nice surprises. For one, it houses a collection of books in Spanish and also a well-utilized Vietnamese collection.

Two raffles will be held this month. To enter the Library Lovers Month Raffle, show your appreciation for all libraries and get a chance to win a $25 gift card. See the front desk for details.

For the Children's Monthly Raffle (ages 12 and younger), see the children's desk for details on winning a new book, toy, stationary and other goodies.

Preschool Storytime (for children ages 3 to 5) will be from 11 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday, beginning Feb. 14. Mr. Erik's Pajama Storytime, for children ages 3 to 8, will be from 7 to 7:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

Lego Wednesday, for children ages 5 to 12, will be from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Make cars, planes, action figures, animals — you decide.

To complete the Valentine/love theme, from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday there will be a school-aged story and craft program to celebrate Library Lovers Month for children ages 5 to 12. As with all these programs, no registration is required. They are free.

The Mesa Verde branch is at 2969 Mesa Verde Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, call the library at (714) 546-5274.

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 Orange County Public Libraries.

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