Saturday, May 30, 2020

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s trivia question asks for the title of a book set in California and featuring a dog.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Science Friday

Of course we can’t forget about the library’s many excellent databases when we consider the question of asking and answering questions about science. Today let’s consider Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. This is available as an ebook from the library’s Research & Homework page ( Find it in the alphabetical list under G.

Grizmek’s encyclopedia provides detailed articles about the animal kingdom and includes illustrations. Perfect for school animal reports or general curiosity (I was just side tracked into two articles worth of fun reading about dogs & cats as I tried to prepare this).

Once you’ve clicked into the encyclopedia from the library’s Research & Homework page look to the right for the “search within publication” box and type in the animal you wish to find and enjoy.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

History of Highland Park

This September 8, 1963 article, Santa Fe demolishes Highland Park depot details the demolition of the local Railway station. Read the article for a brief look into our railroading past.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Trivia of the Week (answer)…

This week’s trivia question asked, how many people are employed in the manufacturing of abrasive products? The bonus question, what is the annual revenue of that particular industry?  Both questions are easily answered with reference to the Business Insights database with a click on the Industries tab. Specifically, there are 24,604 people working in manufacturing abrasive products and the annual revenue is $9,383,240,000.

The information was found in the aforementioned Business Insights. Find this database listed alphabetically on LAPL’s Research & Homework page (

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Virtual Programming for the Summer Reading Challenge - June

The library system as a whole is offering a rich slate of programming for tots, children, teens, & adults during the month of June.  (Note links to platforms at bottom of post)

Monday, 6/1 at 10:00am
Music Mondays: Song Circles with Miss Serena (Early Learners / Instagram Live)

Tuesday, 6/2 at 4:00pm
Snooknuk and the Robot Puppet Show (Children / Instagram Live)

Wednesday, 6/3 at 4:00pm
How to Draw Superheroes with Evan Burse (Teens / Instagram Live)

Thursday, 6/4 at 4:00pm
Laughter: Now More Than Ever (play by Theatre 40) (LA Made / Facebook/Youtube Live)

Monday, 6/8 at 10:00am
Music Mondays: Nathalia's Bilingual Family Concert (Early Learners / Instagram Live)

Tuesday, 6/9 at 4:00pm
Living Treasures from around the World with the Reptile Family (Children / Instagram Live)

Wednesday, 6/10 at 4:00pm
Introduction to Tarot with Marcella Kroll (Teens / Instagram Live)

Thursday, 6/11 at 4:00pm
History and Use of the Sewing Machine and Making Facial Coverings with Frau Fiber (LA Made / Facebook/Youtube Live)

Monday, 6/15 at 10:00am
Music Mondays: Music and Language Circle with Sandra Sandia (Early Learners / Instagram Live)

Tuesday, 6/16 at 4:00pm
Drag Queen Story Hour (Children / Instagram Live)

Wednesday, 6/17 at 4:00pm
How to Make Healthy Smoothies with Acooba Scott (Teens / Instagram Live)

Thursday, 6/18 at 4:00pm
Fleece Jones (LA Made / Facebook/Youtube Live)

Monday, 6/22 at 10:00am
Music Mondays: Baila Baila (Early Learners / Instagram Live)

Tuesday, 6/23 at 4:00pm
Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre (Children / Instagram Live)

Wednesday, 6/24 at 4:00pm
Make Your Own Scrunchies! with Brianna Grothe (DIY Scrunchies) (Teens / Instagram Live)

Thursday, 6/25 at 4:00pm
Floral Design with Casey Schwartz (LA Made / Facebook/Youtube Live)

Monday, 6/29 at 10:00am
Music Mondays: Georgia Frawley (Early Learners / Instagram Live)

Tuesday, 6/30 at 4:00pm
Animal Crackers Stories with Ina Buckner-Barnett (Storyteller) (Children / Instagram Live)

Wednesday, 7/1 at 4:00pm
DJ 101 with DJ Hapa (Teens / Instagram Live)

Thursday, 7/2 at 4:00pm
Drag Queen Trivia (LA Made / Facebook/Youtube Live)


Monday, May 25, 2020

Summer Reading Challenge

This year’s summer reading challenge kicks off on June 1 and continues until the end of August.  The goal of this year’s challenge is for you to read every day.  Read books, ebooks, graphic novels, magazines, read anything! All reading counts. You can earn badges for each six days of reading as well as for exploring the many resources the library has.

Sign up now and start tracking your progress!

Sign up:
Find more information:

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Arroyo Book Club June Pick….

The Arroyo Book Club picked a book out of Project Gutenberg to read for our June discussion.  This month is a fiction month so the book that we picked was A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe.

This classic written in 1722 is an account of the Great Plague of London that ravaged England nearly 60 years earlier. Defoe writes the story as an eyewitness report and the novel abounds in memorable, realistic details.

You will find a downloadable copy of the book here:, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  Those of you who like to use Overdrive will find an “always available” copy there ( The drawback is it will have a due date.

The plan is for everyone to download a copy and spend the first couple of weeks of June reading. I will begin posting questions to discuss on the group’s web bulletin board space on June 16 and will add a new question each day until June 27 (our regular meeting day).  I encourage members to log on each day to answer the day’s question as well as review, and respond to, the answers other members provided for the previous days questions.  We will then meet via video-conference on June 27 at 3:00. 

If you’re not already a member of our web bulletin board space email me at I will send you the details you need to know to sign yourself up. 

Note: if you plan to join the video-conference you’ll need to send an email to so I can get the conference link to you.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s trivia question asks, how many people are employed in the manufacturing of abrasive products? Bonus question, what is the annual revenue of that particular industry?

Friday, May 22, 2020

Science Friday

Another science-tastic tool you can get to from the library with your library card is ScienceFlix. ScienceFlix combines curriculum-driven, leveled content, interactive features, and intuitive navigation into a single, highly-engaging digital resource for students in grades 4 through 9.  In other words tons of videos, articles, topical connections, and thoughtful questions all aimed at the upper elementary, middle school crowd. Interesting to the adult who wants to browse around too I’d say.

Access ScienceFlix from the library’s Research & Homework page ( Find it listed alphabetically in the S section.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

History of Highland Park

This 5/17/1959 article titled “Landmark will be razed for parking lot” talks about the upcoming demolition of Miller’s Hall. Miller’s Hall was the oldest business in Highland Park, having been built in 1885. The article provides a history and pictures of the building.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Trivia of the Week (answer)…

This week’s question asked, what is the presidential order of succession?  The first seven positions in line for the U.S. presidency are as follows: Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General.

This information was found in Britannica School. Find this database listed alphabetically on LAPL’s Research & Homework page (

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Little Photo Tour of Highland Park

Take a quick little photo tour of Highland Park's Figueroa Street.


The photos used to make this clip are all from LAPL's photo collection. You can search or browse the collection yourself with a visit to

Monday, May 18, 2020

Let’s Make Something

(or in this case color)

Today’s project is a bizarre way of coloring that I’ve been doing from time to time. I find it oddly soothing (though I am perhaps an oddball) so I thought I’d share it. You will need a computer and some kind of paint program. I myself am just using the basic paint that comes as a windows accessory. 

Start by locating a coloring page online.  There are tons. You might start with the set of Central Library themed images provided here: Screen clip or save the image then paste or open it in your paint program.  Proceed to use the paint tools to color the image. You may have to zoom in and out to fill in smaller parts. A kind of simplistic task that takes your mind off what you’ve been fretting about and yields pretty results.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s trivia question is what is the presidential order of succession?

Friday, May 15, 2020

Science Friday

The Los Angeles Zoo has prepared a virtual field trip to help all of you with a love of animals and a love for learning more about animals.  It is designed to be easy to use and can be accessed on any computer or smart device.  There is also an accompanying Field Trip Guide. The guide will help you facilitate the field trip and it provides some additional resources and fun activities.  Access both tools from the Zoo’s School and Teacher Engagement page (

Spend an hour (or two) and investigate animal behavior through your own observations. Fun for the budding zoologist in us all.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

History of Highland Park

The article “Highland Park’s Lost River” by Chas. A. Elder details the path of the north branch of the Arroyo Seco River.  This undated newspaper clipping describes the location of the river, provides a brief history, and details what has become of it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Trivia of the Week (answer)…

The week’s trivia question was is the El Segundo Blue Butterfly endangered? What other endangered animals are associated with Los Angeles? The answer is yes. The species was listed in 1976 and is suffering from habitat destruction and because of invasive exotic plants.  The answer was found in Beacham's Guide to the Endangered Species of North America, a LAPL database. The same database can be used to answer the secondary question, use it to search for Los Angeles to get a listing of other entries.

This information was found in Beacham's Guide to the Endangered Species of North America. Find this database listed alphabetically on LAPL’s Research & Homework page (

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Gluck Music

We, sadly, had to cancel a Gluck Music performance shortly before the lockdown began so it brings me great pleasure to be able to share information about the UCLA Gluck Fellows Virtual Concert Series.  Set aside some time and make plans to enjoy quality music from talented students in the comfort of your own home!

The Gluck students are creating video recordings of their performances that speak directly to the audiences at all of their Gluck Program partner sites.  The videos that the students are making are wonderful and unique–sometimes performing instrumental excerpts and solo repertoire, and other times collaborating with their ensemble members in creative new ways. The students also talk about their music, their instruments, and their experiences.

These videos are being organized into themed playlists on the Gluck YouTube channel (once at the channel, click on playlists).  They are posting a new playlist each week so keep checking back.

Playlists already posted? The UCLA Gluck Mariachi Ensemble & UCLA Gluck String Quartet A

Music, as they say, medicine for the soul…. Something we all need these days. Check them out!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Let’s Make Something

Today’s project is a cute little use of old plastic milk containers that anyone in the family could do.  You will need:

  • Empty, cleaned, milk container (the plastic kind)
  • Scissors
  • Colored markers
  • Hole punch
  • Thread, yarn, string or something similar

Use your scissors to disassemble the container into rectangular sheets of plastic (see image below).  Using the scissors again, cut the plastic sheets into small (3 to 4 inch) shapes.  This will be your canvas. I used a circle and a square shape in my projects.

Use the hole punch to make a hole at the top of your small shape. If you’ve no hole punch a family adult could use the stove to heat up a metal skewer to melt a hole. This is what I had to do and it works quite well.

Use your colored markers to draw on your small plastic canvas.  You could freehand this or find an image to trace and color in. I traced the butterfly but drew the dog and the Mondrian colors (see image of finished project at top).

Use your string to hang your finished project up in a convenient window and enjoy.  My example used yarn because that’s all I had in the house but the yarn tended to twist the image so I would probably recommend a less twisty fiber… you can experiment.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Trivia of the Week…

This week’s question: Is the El Segundo Blue Butterfly endangered? What other endangered animals are associated with Los Angeles?

Friday, May 8, 2020

Science Friday

Explore the Science Buddies website.  The site is designed to help you with science fair projects but anytime is science project time – am I right?

Click on the science fair tab and you will be asked some question designed to judge the level at which you wish to work. You can allow the site to direct you to projects it thinks you’ll be interested in or you can just browse.  There are a plethora of projects so you’ll be able to find something regardless of your current level of knowledge or experience.  This is an excellent tool for the interested student as well as the parent looking to get their child interested.  Definitely worth taking a look at.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

History of Highland Park

Did you know the Buchanan Street School started its life as the Illinois Street School?  How about the fact that the Monte Vista Street School was originally the Highland Park School then was renamed the 54th Avenue School before being named the Monte Vista Street School?  Learn all about the fascinating journey of school names through time in our lovely neighborhood in the article “School names, locales, seen changes” by Charles Cooper.  This undated newspaper clipping was published sometime in 1976 before July 4.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Trivia of the Week (answer)…

The week’s question was: are there any clubs and organizations for people who love Irish Setters? How do you get in contact with them?  There are indeed a number of such clubs.  A quick search of the library’s database: Associations Unlimited (Gale) yielded 19 such organizations complete with addresses, phone numbers, and websites where available.

This information was found in the aforementioned Associations Unlimited (Gale) database.  Find this database listed alphabetically on LAPL’s Research & Homework page (

Tuesday, May 5, 2020


Book Jacket for: Babel : around the world in twenty languagesIn Babel author Gaston Dorren takes us on a linguistic tour around the world.  Dorren presents brief, informal surveys of the 20 most widely spoken languages worldwide, focusing on a different quality or aspect of each language he addresses.  I found it fascinating and only wish he had been able to go more deeply, and technically, into each language – though I suppose that would have made the book far too unwieldy.  The book is definitely aimed at the amateur and requires no underlying knowledge of linguistics from its readers.

All in all this is an excellent book packed with information and aimed at the linguistic layman.  Pick it up for an enjoyable and educational read.

Find the ebook here:

Monday, May 4, 2020

Let’s Make Something

Today’s project is both super easy and very useful.  It’s a trick I only discovered recently but love so much that I’ve become something of a proselytizer on its behalf.

Do you have a closet that leaves everything in it with a musty smell? I used to always call this a grandma smell since my own grandmother’s blankets when I visited her were where I first encountered this phenomena.  Once grown and settled into a place of my own I discovered to my dismay that my own linen closet suffered from grandma smell.  Boxes of baking soda failed to solve my problem. But this solution worked for me.

You will need: A clean glass jar, a nail, a hammer, and a container of coffee grounds (as cheap as possible).

Take your glass jar, it can be anything from a jar that held pickles to an empty spaghetti sauce jar, and make sure it’s clean.  Make it more attractive by peeling off the labeling.  With your nail and hammer poke holes in the jar’s lid.  Fill the jar about one-quarter to one-half full with coffee grounds and put the lid on.  Stick the jar at the back of the closet you’re trying to “aroma-fy”.  You might use more than one jar if it’s a larger closet.  I’ve put two in mine. 

It took about a month for things to finally settle down scent wise but now when I pull a set of sheets from my linen closet they have a pleasant, faint coffee odor instead of the dreaded grandma smell.  It’s been about 6 months since I put the jars in and the aroma is still positive so I’m thinking I can go 9 months to 1 year before I need to refresh the coffee grounds.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Trivia of the Week…

This week let’s ask are there any clubs and organizations for people who love Irish Setters? How do you get in contact with them?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Science Friday

Check out the Encyclopedia of Life (  This ambitious website aims to document all the species known to humanity.  You can browse the site's offerings, search for a specific life form, take advantage of the educational tools on offer (including sweet “card” sets), and more.