Friday, December 28, 2012

Job Seekers All Day Event

It's back - the all day event for job seekers and those who are looking to advance in careers. There's been a little shake-up in the program and some very good news - Monrovia businesses are participating in this one with actual job openings to announce. As always, this event fills up very fast.

To read full descriptions of the three segments and to sign up, go online to
It's best to sign up, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Saturday, January 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Old Year is Winding Down...The New Year is Winding Up

Having survived the Mayan apocalypse, it's now time to survive the over-indulging portion of our midwinter festivities and gear up for our New Year resolutions. As this week winds to a close, a timely reminder that the Library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, December 31 and January 1, so Library staff may polish up their resolution lists too. Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Elephant Babies

We posted before about one of our intrepid Library Board members deciding to do a wonderful thing and then share it with the library. So far she has fostered three orphaned elephants and is in the process of adding a fourth. Three of the elephants are on behalf of the library.

The two we've already fostered are in the center of the picture. They are Barsalinga and Leymoian.

Let's start with Lemoyian. Roughly 3 months old when he was brought to the preserve, he had fallen down a well. His distraught mother tried to get him out over the course of several hours but was forced to flee at the approach of a herd of cattle and humans. A Masai who happened by stayed with the calf until help arrived. If he hadn't been by the well to stave off young boys who heard the commotion, the baby would have been used for spear practice. The search for his mother was in vain. Just look at him now.

To learn more of his story and see pictures of the rescue and aftermath, go to sheldrickwildlifetrust

Barsalinga had an even harder time. He was a mere 2 weeks old when he was found near his mother who was so wounded from poacher's guns that she could barely move. The mother had to be euthanized as she could not be saved. Her baby was thankfully saved and brought to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where he is slowly recovering.

To view the complete story and see his dramatic rescue and many more pictures, go to sheldrickwildlifetrust

Once the new kid arrives, we'll add to our reports. In the meantime, look forward to more stories as they thrive and grow.

Holidays are truly upon us

Just a reminder, gentle reader, that next Monday and Tuesday, December 24 & 25, the Library is closed. We hope everyone enjoys the holiday celebration of their choice.

Then the following week we have a repeat performance of Monday and Tuesday being closed, this time to ring in the New Year. Please keep it safe out there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Would You Run Into Your Favorite Author In Your Favorite Bookstore?

We've just added a new book to our collection with the wonderful title, My Bookstore: Writers celebrate their favorite places to browse, read and shop. This is basically a collection of special essays by a wide variety of authors who have clear memories and preferences about their homes away from home - the bookstore. (Not a single big chain store in the lot). A fascinating read and insight into how writers view the world.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Highlights From Festive & Classical Sounds

We want to thank our musical guests who provided a cheerful ambience that filled the library with a festive mood and sounds today.  To those who were able to attend, we hope you enjoyed it as much we did.  As always, we want to share some of the highlights of the event.   

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Head's up for special closing

We are always reluctant to close the Library and it pains us to announce we will be closed to the public on Thursday, December 13. We re-open Friday at noon as usual.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Climate Change or Global Warming...We're in for Weird Weather

In the vein of extreme weather patterns, we have two more books in our new books area that beg to be read.

The first is Global Weirdness, an easy to understand compilation of weather facts broken down into 4 basic sections: what the science says, what's actually happening now, what's likely to happen in the future, and how we can avoid the risks in future.

The second book is Changing Planet, Changing Health. Climate change doesn't just affect polar bears. It's affecting the patterns of disease around the planet. Lest you think it's all doom and gloom, think again. The book also delivers innovative solutions for shaping a healthy global economic order in the twenty-first century and beyond.

The third book isn't really about weather extremes or climate change per se. It's about the engine of our little portion of the universe. The Sun's Heartbeat is about something we take for granted as rising in the East and setting in the West. For instance: did you know there is a second sun lurking beneath the solar surface? This is basically a tell-all biography of the sun - well as least as much as science knows to tell all. And it's not just stuffy science. It actually has a chuckle or two scattered here and there.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Books from Trees Become Books to Trees

One of our very talented staff members really knows how to turn a page - literally. To decorate the Adult Services Reference Desk, she took book pages, turned them into cones, and then shaped those cones into, you guessed it, a tree. Add some glitter, and voila - the perfect holiday decoration. Another staff member folded cranes out of old quilt books and added them to the scene. Remember kids, if you want to try altering books at home, just make sure they're your own books and not library books.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Novel T's Book Club

The Novel T's are discussing Wild on November 27 @ 6:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room.           Don't be shy...feel free to join us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spoiler Alert: It ends with the Library being closed

Just a reminder that the Library is closed for the next 4 days:

Thursday when everyone will be stuffing themselves on Thanksgiving dinner,
Friday when far too many people will be stuffing themselves into very crowded stores, Saturday when people will be stuffing themselves on left-overs, and
Sunday when people will realize they can now hardly stuff themselves into their clothes.

See you again on Monday, November 26. The doors open at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Elephants in the Library

OK, well not exactly in the library, but on on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation preserve in Kenya. One of our Library Board members has fostered two elephant orphans on behalf of the Literacy Services and Youth Services. She is also fostering one for herself. This allows the preserve to nurture the babies until they're able to go back into the wild to rear families of their own.

Stay tuned for pictures and more information on these two (large) bundles of joy named Lemoyian and Barsilinga.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

'Tis the Season

We're approaching the holiday season where back-to-back holidays consume our energy and time (not to mention expanding our waistlines). We at the library also like to celebrate various traditions. We have book collections in Youth Services devoted specifically to different holidays. Right now, Thanksgiving books are a super-hot commodity. On the adult/teen side of the library, various cookbooks and decorating books are devoted to the holiday season. Now if zombies are your year-round idea of a holiday thing, we can accommodate that too. And zombie hoard threats not-withstanding, have fun out there.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Extreme Weather

 Did you know that tsunamis and tidal waves are not the same thing? Regardless, would you know what to do in the event of a hurricane, like Hurricane Sandy that just slammed the East Coast, or a flash flood, earthquake, tornado or tsunami? Whether you believe in global warming or not, it sure seems like the weather is more extreme lately. Storms like Sandy are called "the storm of the century." Earthquakes are doing more damage. Winter comes earlier. Extreme Weather by Bonnie Schneider, a meteorologist for CNN and HLN, teams up with experts from FEMA and NOAA to talk about the phenomenon of extreme weather and how to be more prepared to survive in the event you encounter it. She describes the science, adds a big dollop of first-hand survivor accounts, and goes on to give tips on how to beat the odds in the event of a catastrophe. Given that the "big one" is only a matter of when, not if, in Southern California, this book is worth the read. The call number is 613.6 SCH and is currently shelved with the new books in the library lobby.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Closed for the Holidays

We are lucky to have a dedicated following of library users in our community so it's always disppointing when such a go-to place isn't open. So you don't make a trip to locked doors, here's advance warning for closures in November.

Veteran's Day:  Monday, November 12

Thanksgiving:    Thursday, Friday & Saturday, November 22, 23, 24

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Job Search Workstation and Resources

California State Library awarded Monrovia Public Library a grant to develop a Job and Career Center providing a valuable resource to the community. The job center provides a dedicated workstation for job searching, completing job applications, and filing for unemployment benefits, resume writing and test preparation. The workstation supports Microsoft Office 2007, resume software and online services (Cengage Learning’s Career Transitions, Testing and Education Reference Center, and Career E-Books; and Brainfuse’s JobNow, Business Soft-Skills and Hoovers’ Library Solution) to aid job seekers.

The workstation is available during library operating hours. Patrons must have a valid Monrovia Public Library card to use the service. The Adult Services Librarian uses a designated library card to log on to the computer.   Job seekers may sign up for one 90 minute session per day. Patrons may sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance or telephone reservations accepted. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dia de Los Muertos masks and flowers

Discover Your World Series presents a program to learn about the Day of the Dead while painting a mask and making paper flowers. Bring the whole family for this fun event.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall Book Sale Continues....

Thank you for supporting our Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale.  It is your contribution that makes our programs come to life and to our community.  The Community Room is open this Sunday for our book sale, so please come back (and bring your friends and family) to take advantage of the last minute sale of goodies starting at 3:00 pm! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Book Sale

Falling leaves, crisp autumn air and guessed it...time for the Friends of Monrovia Library Fall Book Sale. Books, DVDs, CDs, and other goodies, all at giveaway prices. The famous $2 Bucks a Bag sale starts at 3:00 p.m. on the second day. Support the library by buying what you know you can't have too much of.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Television Mirrors Culture

This past Saturday, John Vorhaus talked about his funny adventures in working overseas, from Russia to Nicaragua, and the comedic tools he used to transcend cultural barriers.  There were aspiring writers in the audience who relished Mr. Vorhaus insights and humor.  The audience were treated to "Married with Children," t.v. series in Russian and Romanian.  If you missed the opportunity to attend the workshop with Mr. Vorhaus, you can still check out his books.  We have most of his works in the library. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

HUTdogs and Social Media Made Simple

MJ Finstrom and David Finstrom (sister-brother team), the owners of HUTdogs -- they teach businesses and nonprofits how to master the basics of online social media marketing tools.  Yesterday, they focused on both the strategy and the “how to” of using today’s marketing tools.  

Participants were able to apply tips presented directly to their own business FB page during the business bootcamp by using their laptops.   If you missed out on the Social Media Marketing Made Simple workshop, you can check out their other FREE workshop held at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce next Wednesday.  Here is the link for more info:  Register for HUTdogs Workshop

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

But It's Funny in Russian with John Vorhaus

Mark your calendar, schedule your Blackberry, get it on your iPhone. John Vorhaus is back to tell all about TV production, writing sitcoms, and helping you with your creative work.
Click on image to enlarge.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What's so funny?

John Vorhaus talks about sitcom writing in Russia and other adventures. Join us for a very funny afternoon learning the inside secrets of television production from Russia to Nicaragua.
Saturday, October 6, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Library Community Room, Free.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Social Media Marketing and Facebook Bootcamp

You're in luck. If you missed the last Social Media Workshop, we're having another one. This one is in 2 parts. Part One is free and Part Two does have a fee. But with individualized coaching, where else will you find such good value? 

Click on image to enlarge.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chip Jacobs' True Crime

A murder mystery takes place in Monrovia's backyard and Jerry Schneiderman is there to crack it. Book sales and signing after the program.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

True Crime with Author Chip Jacobs

Bumbling hit men. Burning corpses. A threatened son. Life in hiding. Want to know more? Find out Tuesday, September 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Community Room.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gangster Rock - The Movie

This movie rocks, and then rocks some more. Taiwanese with English subtitles.
Click on image to enlarge.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gangster Rock - It's Not What You Think

Join us for a film from Taiwan. Gangsters, musicians. What's not to like?

Thursday September 6, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Library Community Room, FREE
Sponsored by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), Press Division

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Digital Assassination

Currently in our new book area is something everyone who has business, works for an organization, has a Facebook account, or leaves their house should read. The title is Digital Assassination: protecting your reputation, brand or business against online attacks by authors Richard Torrenzano and Mark Davis. They start by pointing out that character assassination is as old as human beings and then go on to describe how the digital age has made it easier than ever to indulge. They go on to tell you what you can do to protect yourself. Read it. Take it seriously.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Octopus: The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate

If the underwater animal kingdom had colleges and one was equivalent to Stanford, it would be full of marvelous, odd-looking creatures called octopus. These wonderful invertebrates learn, adapt and adjust behavior based on information they gather and interpret at a rapid rate. They also have distinct personalities identifiable to the humans who choose to observe them. They even come in an astonishing range of colors. Learn more by checking out the new book area in the lobby for Octopus: The Ocean's Intelligent Invertebrate.

Monday, August 13, 2012

We Have Winners!

As the last gasp of Summer Reading Club and all things summer, including the triple digit heat, come to an end, it is not too late to show the winning entries for our first ever altered book contest. The judges, who shall remain anonymous...but you know what good Samaritans you are...kept coming up  with a tie. Even the tie-breaker judges kept coming up with a tie. That just says the entries were that good. So, for your viewing pleasure, the winners:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Reading Club Picnic

This year was a special Summer Reading Club in more ways than one. First, we took the stress out of getting prizes by allowing readers to set goals and get their goal prizes at any time. No more rushing to the library before the end of the week. Secondly, we emphasized prize tickets for a big drawing at - you guessed it - the Summer Reading Club Picnic. And though we always love to see everyone have a good time at the culminating event of the summer, for the first time, you don't have to be present to win. We'll call you if your name was drawn.

So what's in it for you if you come to the Picnic? Well, Old Town Pizza is selling slices and soda. Part of their proceeds support Monrovia Library. Kohl's is setting up a craft corner for face painting and other fun things to do. Of course, then we have recognition of our key, very generous donors, contest winner announcements, and prize drawings. And if that isn't enough, Street Beat brings a high energy performance of alternative percussion. (Sounds LOUD).

Festivities start at 5:00 p.m. Don't forget to bring a blanket, and if you don't like pizza, some yummy dinner. We'll see you at the Rotary Club Bandshell in Library Park.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Powerful Stories

Last Saturday was a rare treat. DJ Phatrick and Ali worked magic. Not only did they teach basics of multi-track recording and production, they did it in a powerful way with stories elicited from two brave members of the audience. Though the stories were short, they described the pain, anger and bafflement at people causing others pain for no other reason than their ethnicity. This workshop wrapped up our CA Reads programs. We used Farewell to Manzanar and the internment of American citizens just because they looked Japanese as our springboard. The ensuing discussions and stories at each program in the series remind us of the constant vigilance and work democracy requires. Thanks to Patrick and Ali for the lesson that with technology, we all have the ability to share and have our voices heard. Thanks to them for a wonder afternoon at the Library.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We're Judging, and Judging, and Judging....

So all the altered book entries are in. The judges are taking a very hard look and frankly, it's hard. You'll know the results of the top three teen winners and the top three adult winners at the Summer Reading Club Picnic on August 9. It starts at 5:00 p.m. at the Rotary Club Bandshell on the west side of Library Park. If you can't attend the picnic, don't stress. Winning entries will be showcased on this very blog soon after.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DJ Phatrick and Digital Storytelling

Back by popular demand, DJ Phatrick and friends demonstrate, with your help, digital storytelling. This incredible workshop wraps up the CA Reads - Searching for Democracy series featuring the book Farewell to Manzanar and other stories of the Japanese internment during WWII. This is a don't miss event - so don't miss it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

More Books...It Just Keeps Getting Better

The exciting thing about an altered book contest is the amount of talent the community demonstrates when given the chance. Three more dynamite entries arrived on Saturday. I know the judges are going to have a hard time picking out winners.

Reminder: Deadline for all entries is July 28 (this coming Saturday) at 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Rare Find, The Rare Talent

Taylor Swift wasn't worth $15,000.00 per year to a big music label and they let her go. J.K. Rowling was passed over by at least four publishers rather than pay her a $5,000.00 advance. While these are two glaring examples, this pattern is repeated daily in business. Spotting exceptional talent takes a whole new way of thinking according to author George Anders. His book, The Rare Find: Spotting Exceptional Talent Before Everyone Else, covers the pitfalls of benchmarks and explores how to assess those round pegs for square holes. It gives insight into companies that are nimble and innovative enough to look for new hiring paradigms. This book is fascinating and enlightening for both job-hunters and employers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do you believe in magic? Ghosts? Big Foot?

Check out our new books area for Guy P Harrison's 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True and release your inner skeptic - or reaffirm your convictions. Harrison brings up the biggies like Bigfoot, UFOs, and ghosts. He also finds other things to discuss, like whether you're born smart or not, witches, and doomsday predictions. See what he says about your pet belief.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Storytelling, Music and DJ Phatrick

That's right. DJ Phatrick is back and bringing lots if equipment along with his posse to give a workshop on digital storytelling. The grand finale of the our CA Reads - Searching for Democracy Series, DJ Phatrick lends his hip-hop beat to underscore something that concerns us all. Since April we've been exploring the ramifications of the forced internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and what that meant to a country founded on democratic principles. Rousing discussions have led to heartfelt memories. These can now be told by podcasting and other digital means and DJ Phatrick will show us how. Don't miss this event. All ages are not only welcome, but highly encouraged to come.

 Saturday, July 28, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., Library Community Room FREE

Sign up by going to (see link to right), find the calendar icon, find the date and click on the program. It's so simple and you'll get an email reminder 3 days before the program.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Altered Books Contest Submissions are Coming In

Works of art called altered books are already starting to come in for display before judging. Yes, you have until July 28 to submit your opus, but why wait? Let people have a good look at your creative side. Just bring your altered book to the Adult Reference Desk and we'll take care of the rest. Remember to write your name, phone number and whether you are 18+ or under 18 on the book.

These are our awesome first entries.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Social Media Made Simple - A Brown Bag Workshop

Learn strategies and best practices to get the most out of your social media activities, including an introduction to social media channels, how to evaluate what’s right for your business or organization, how to create good content for marketing campaigns and how to balance social media marketing with email marketing.

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Reserve at Adult Reference, call 626-256-8274 or sign up online at Walk-ins are welcome.

This program was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, and by the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Odd Jobs

The book is called Odd Jobs: How to Have Fun and Make Money in a Bad Economy. Abigail Gehring, who apparently is not afraid of change or trying new things, tested 24 of the 101 jobs listed. The book is beautifully organized and gives critical information like what you do, what you make, what it costs to get started, what skills or paperwork is required, perks, downsides and websites to check out. She also adds the personal touch of describing her own experience with some of her more challenging jobs. Does Lipstick Reader sound like fun?

The book is currently in the business and career collection.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Libraries: A Digital Bridge

Bill and Melinda Gates support libraries. To show how technology enhances libraries, and not, as some nay-sayers keep touting, detract from them. These stories play out all over the nation, including Monrovia. Watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Speaking of Success

All too often these days, with the economy still stuttering and life disruptions happening with job loss, it's nice to hear the flip side. We've seen some success stories and the Library is a key player in them. One gentleman came in every day, in full suit and tie, to job hunt on our public access computers. His diligence paid off and when he was suddenly called for an interview, he was ready to go. And yes, he got the job.

But it gets better. Jeff Lambert, the Library's business expert, gives and hosts an all-day workshop that covers everything from dealing with the EDD for unemployment benefits to giving a good interview. For those who attend, it can turn a life around. Here are some of the results:

Case 1: Two women quit their jobs because of sexual harassment. They thought they couldn't file for unemployment because they quit instead of being laid off or fired. Jeff urged them to try because the hard and fast rule of receiving unemployment benefits is losing your job through no fault of your own. They applied and will be collecting checks soon.

Case 2:  One gentleman spoke to Jeff about being given, in his words, the royal runaround, by EDD. Jeff connected him to LA Works, one of the presenting agencies, and they helped him through the process. He was grateful to both Jeff's program and library partner LA Works.

Case 3:  A young man attended the Ace the Interview and Dress for Success segment of Jeff's all-day workshop and dropped by later to tell him he had a very successful interview, resulting in a call-back for a second interview. He said he practiced the tips provided in the workshop which increased his confidence.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Enduring Spirit

Today a former computer student dropped by with a very special gift. Not surprisingly, it was a book donation. We're a library, we take book donations all the time. This particular book was very different, very special. For a start, she wrote it herself. OK, you muse, what's so special about that? She has polio. Confined to a wheelchair - totally paralyzed from the neck down. In order to write her book, she has to blow into a special gizmo attached to her laptop so she can type. She also mentioned she wouldn't have been able to finish the project if she hadn't taken our computer classes.

Her slim volume is inspirational, uplifting and at times just heartbreaking. It is currently being cataloged and processed for the collection and I urge everyone to consider reading it. Polio is almost eradicated. There are many doctors who have never seen a polio patient. Bonnie's story is therefore that much more instructive and eye-opening.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Between the (book) Covers

Adults and teens have an exciting opportunity for Summer Reading Club this year. Teens meet reading goals for prizes, and adults report book titles for raffle tickets. So far, nothing new, right? Well, hang on, because you're about to read words you never thought you would see in a Library blog post.

This summer, you're invited to take our discarded books and do the unimaginable: fold them, paint them, tear pages out, cut them into shapes, stamp them, glue them, re-bind other words, transform them into altered works of art. In fact, we're so confident in the creativity of our Summer Reading Club participants, we'll be awarding prizes for the three best altered books in two categories: Teens (13-17) and Adults (18+).

Summer Reading Club starts June 11 and ends August 4. All entries must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 and prizes will be awarded at the Summer Reading Club Picnic on Thursday, August 9.

Don't be shy, let's see what you can do. If you need inspiration, stop by the Adult Reference Desk to view samples from our talented TAB members and staff.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The sound of music...USO style

 Bugle Boy from Company B

at arms

Saturday's USO Show in Library Park was a grand treat. Nostalgic, sure. Rockin' out to Mustang Sally, who knew? A soulful rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters, oh my. And for those veterans who actually served their country, there was a great military medley to cover all branches of the service. We lucked out on the weather too. Warm with a mild breeze like a gentle fan. To top it off, every generation attended, along with a few cute dogs too. Thanks so much to the Monrovia League for sponsoring this terrific salute to warriors past and present. It added to the general festivities of Monrovia Day in the Park.