Saturday, May 31, 2014

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is what is the Post-Boom? (hint: think literature, Latin American Literature)

Friday, May 30, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Here we have The Annual Report of the Los Angeles County Pioneers from 1914 (  The report runs to 47 pages and includes a roster of members that includes names, addresses, occupations, dates of residence in the state and the county.  Includes advertisements.  One article I found interesting compared the current cost of items (in 1914) to their cost in 1849 (gold rush days). The 1914 prices were much less though our current prices beat both those years hands down.

Take a look.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: Great women in sportsThe question was who was Althea Gibson.  Althea Gibson was a tennis player.  She won singles and doubles championships at Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958 and won the U.S. Open in those same years.  Gibson was the first African American person to win a tennis title.  To quote from my source “Gibson forged into the previously all-white field of women’s tennis with the conviction that racism could not stop her, and she handled difficult situations with grace and earthy humor that brought her a firm following among American sports fans.”

The question (and answer) were taken from p. 186 of Great Women in Sports by Anne Janette Johnson.  The book was published by Visible Ink in 1996. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Arroyo Book Club Pick for June….

Book Jacket for: 1491 : new revelations of the Americas before ColumbusThe Arroyo Book Club will be reading 1491 by Charles C. Mann for our June meeting.  Copies are available so stop by the library to check out yours.

To quote directly from the book summary:
In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man's first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.
It sounds fascinating.  See what you think and then join us at 3:00 on June 28 to share those thoughts with the rest of us.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Events for the Week of May 26…

We will be closed Monday, May 26 to observe Memorial Day.  Things going on at the library during the rest of the week include:
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (5/28) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (5/29) at 3:00
  • Fun w/ Tablets program also on Thursday at 4:00
  • Como Utilizar la Internet Class on Thursday at 5:30
  • Desktop Publishing Basics Class also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (5/30) at 3:30
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Paws to Read….

Join us this summer for an animal themed summer reading program with plenty to do for everyone.  The program runs from June 6 through August 2 at all the LAPL branches.  Here at the Arroyo Seco Branch our schedule is packed… 

FOR THE YOUNGER PACK (Toddlers/Preschoolers)
Storytime every Wednesday @ 10:30 a.m. featuring animal stories, songs and rhymes
The Green Ambassadors visit storytime on June 25 with a recycling truck!

FOR THE OLDER PACK (Kindergarten-5th Grade)
Thursday Programs @ 4 p.m.
June 12 --- Summer Reading Club Kick off with Reptile Family!
June 19 --- Paper bag Animal Puppets Craft
June 26 --- Audubon Center of Debs Park presents Mammals
July 3   --- Surprise Program!
July 10 --- Animal Survival Science Fair
July 17 --- Bubblemania!
July 24 --- Newsprint Animals Craft
July 31 --- Finale Party w/ pizza, raffle and games

Tuesday Programs @ 4 p.m.
June 10 --- Tigertainment Sword Fighting!
June 17 --- Candy Making
June 24 --- Cupcake Decorating
July 1   ---  Make a Fuzzy Critter
July 8   ---  Thor’s Reptile Family
July 15 ---  Gift Bag Decorating
July 22 ---  Surprise Program!
July 29 --- Wrap Party! Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Tuesday Movie Matinees @ 1 p.m.
June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29

Friday, May 23, 2014

Trivia of the Week...

Let’s turn to the world of sports for this week’s question: who was Althea Gibson?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Continuing our recent thread of Lummis inspired historical documents today we have The Works of Chas. F. Lummis (  This 14-page booklet gives a brief biography of the man and then proceeds to provide a thorough bibliography.  Each book includes a thorough synopsis.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TOW (& Answer)

The question was what was the Gist exploration.  To quote directly from our source:
Book Jacket for: A dictionary of American history
On 31 October 1750, Christopher Gist left the vicinity of Cumberland, MD, crossed the mountains, and descended the Ohio until just east of its falls (Louisville).  He became the first English explorer to traverse central KY Before ending his journey on 18 May 1751 in Yadkin Valley, NC.

The question (and answer) were taken from p. 159 of A Dictionary of American History by Thomas L. Purvis.  The book was published in 1995 by Blackwell Publishers Inc. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Stone Cold

Book Jacket for: Stone coldStone Cold by Devon Monk continues the adventures of Shame Flynn and Terric Conley.  In this book we find a world where magic works.  Magic used to work really well but, in the back history of this book, it was gentled so that now only some can use magic to its full extent.  Shame and Terric are among those who can and must work together to defeat a rogue magic user.   The book is the second to feature Shame and Terric and not the first to be set in the particular universe portrayed.  I found it reasonably interesting and would recommend it to people who like magic/fantasy novels. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Events for the Week of May 19…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Teen Program (Mask Decorating) on Tuesday (5/20) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (5/21) at 10:30
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (5/22) at 3:00
  • Fun w/ Tablets program also on Thursday at 4:00
  • ComputaciĆ³n Para Principantes Class also on Thursday at 6:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (5/23) at 3:30
  • ComputaciĆ³n Para Principantes Class on Saturday (5/24) at 2:00
  • Arroyo Book Club meets on Saturday at 3:00.
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Forcing the Spring

Book Jacket for: Forcing the spring : inside the fight for marriage equalityForcing the Spring by Jo Becker is an in-depth look at the court fight to overturn Proposition 8.  It is a surprisingly riveting read.  I picked it up meaning to only read a couple of pages on an aspect of the case I found intriguing and wound up reading the entire book.  It begins with election eve in 2008 when it was clear that proposition 8 had passed and follows the actions of the lawyers and plaintiffs in the challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.  Along the way it picks up and discusses the DOMA case (because the two were argued together at the Supreme Court). 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the path to marriage equality and say that you’ll like even if you don’t normally like legal type stories (a I number myself among). 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Websites I Like….

This website is one that I recently discovered.  I don’t know how much I like it yet but I admit that I find it vaguely fascinating.  It is called Find Sounds ( and does just what it says.  Want the sound of water dripping for whatever reason? Hoping to learn the songs of various birds? Use this site to find audio clips of just those sounds.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Book Jacket for: IndexingIf you’re searching for a different look at the whole fractured fairy tale scenario give Indexing by Seanan McGuire a try.  In this book we follow the exploits of a team from the ATI Management Bureau.  The ATI Management Bureau is in charge of making sure that the memes (typically found in fairy tales) don’t break free and infect the larger tale that is reality.  So if a girl reports bears hanging around her house, they investigate… if two children are lost in the woods, it is their job to find them… if a pale girl with dark hair is about to take a bite out of an apple it is their job to stop her.  Of course this is only the backdrop to the story.  The actual story involves our team combating treachery within their organization and winning out over the tropes that define each of them.

This is a clever book, easy to read, and enjoyable.  Pick it up if you like fantasy that is not serious. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

This week’s question was what is phonolite?  Phonolite, also known as clickstone, is an aluminum-potassium-silicate mineral used in the production of glass.  It is a variety of feldspar.  It has a soft greasy feel, and varies in color.

The question (& answer) were taken from p. 617 of the Materials Handbook by Brady & Clauser.  The book was published by McGraw-Hill in 1991.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Events for the Week of May 12…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

History of Highland Park….

More on Lummis today… This time we have a Lummis Scrapbook (  Here you will find 19 pages of photographs.  The photographs are of the Lummis property & the people who find themselves there.  The photos are all from the early 1900’s.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Los Angeles Times Historical Archives

This month’s electronic resource of the month is one of my favorite databases.  The Los Angeles Times Historical Archive permits users to access digitized reproductions of every edition of the paper issued between 1881 and 1990.  You can view it at the article level as well as at the whole page level and are given a number of ways to search for what you want.   I have always really liked this database for completely non-scholarly things (though it is exceptional for scholarly things too).  For example, if you are looking for an interesting way to wrap a birthday gift for a friend you could pull up and print the front page from their date of birth and use that.  It’s also kind of fun to look through older editions of the paper for the advertisements instead of for the articles.  I’ve often thought history teachers could make a fun, educationally relevant assignment out of that particular activity.

The Archives are accessible from any computer via the Library’s web page, though you will need your library card if you are not on a library computer.  Go the library’s web page ( and click into the Research & Homework section and then scroll down to the L’s ( to find it.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Backward Glass

Book Jacket for: Backward glassBackward Glass by David Lomax tells the tale of a mirror that connects to itself through time.  Basically the “one” chosen for a year can enter the mirror to go ten years up time or down time (this only works in the year of a decade that ends in 7).  Other complications occur to make the use of the mirror more complicated and to allow/disallow actions that allow the mirror travelers to travel much further in time.  The narrator of our tale is Kenny Maxwell from 1977.  He moves into the house that holds the mirror & finds the body of a baby secreted in the wall.  He then joins forces with other mirror travelers to try and figure out how the baby died & prevent that death.  The story expands rapidly from there.  It is quite the adventure tale though I must quibble… the plot point that prevented the characters from figuring things out was one character who was incapable of simply running through an explanation of what had happened to him.  I believe the author was trying to describe the character as crazy and hoping that would serve as an explanation for why he didn’t just say exactly what happened.  This connection didn’t ring true for me because the character had no problem doing other things and so I was left with a really awkward character who caused a lot of grief because he refused to string two coherent sentences together.

I did finish the book in the end and found it interesting despite its rather large character/plot hole.  All in all, it’s probably a book that is best suited to teen readers. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

History of Highland Park…

Lummis Day is a big thing in this neck of the woods so with Lummis Day approaching let’s look at some related documents.  Today I bring you a tourist type brochure (  This brochure, titled Charles F. Lummis Memorial House, provides a guide to the property and includes a quite lovely illustration of the house.  Take a look at it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Events for the Week of May 5…

Things going on at the library during the week include:
  • Teen Tissue Flower Construction Program on Tuesday (5/6) at 4:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (5/7) at 10:30
  • Introduction to Library Web Tools & the Internet Class also on Wednesday at 12:00
  • STAR Reader on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (5/8) at 3:00
  • Fun w/ Tablets program also on Thursday at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (5/9) at 3:30
  • Mother’s Day Craft program for Kids on Saturday (5/10) from 12:00-2:00
  • VIVA Poetry event also on Saturday at 3:00
You can always check the Branch Page ( on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar ( where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: Gemstones of the worldThe question was what mineral falls at the softest end of the Mohs scratch hardness scale?  Talc (is the answer).  It has a measure of 1 on that scale and can be scratched with a fingernail.

The question (& answer) are taken from p. 19 of Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann.  The book was published by Sterling Publishing Co. in 1998.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Game Day….

What are your favorite games to play?  Which do you play alone & which do you need other living people to play?  If we were to arrange a game play day here at the library what games would we have to offer for you to be interested in coming?

I will confess that my favorite game is Scrabble.  I have some computer & phone versions so if I can’t talk my companions into playing with me I can always play against the machine --- which I do --- daily.  Another game I like is cribbage.  My grandmother used to play with me which makes it a very nostalgic game for me.  Lately I’ve been playing an online game called 2048 (  It is a very simple number game that is surprisingly addictive.

So let’s hear from you on two topics:
  • What game or games should I set up for a entertaining GAME DAY at the library?
  • What is your favorite game in general (type unspecified)?
You can try using the comments on the blog page to respond or you can email your thoughts to or catch us on twitter @ArroyoSeco5.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

¡Viva! Poetry Event…

Join us for another Lummis Day poetry extravaganza.  This year’s event, Poetry from the Windows – With Treats will come to our branch on Saturday, May 10 at 3:00. 

If you missed the April 19th walking tours with poets reading their own poems posted in shop windows along Figueroa through May -- here's your second chance. 

Winners of The Arroyo Arts Collective's "Poetry in the Windows" contest, will read their work.

Participants include Liz Gonzalez, Mary Fitzpatrick, Cece Peri, Lois P. Jones, Yvonne Estrada, Kim Dower, Helene Cardona, Sherman Pearl, Mary Torregrossa, Erika Ayon, Tom Kagel, Charles Hood, Linda Albertano, Candace Pearson, Victoria Melekian, and this year's recipient of Beyond Baroque's George Drury Smith Award, Bill Mohr.

Refreshments provided by Fresco Community Market.

Everyone is welcome!