Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Great American Read

The Great American Read is an eight-part television and online series on PBS, designed to spark a national conversation about reading and books. The book list contains 100 titles or series that have inspired, moved, and shaped Americans over the years. As part of your summer reading journey, why not read these books, and then vote for your favorites?

The Great American Read premieres tonight on PBS, and voting opens at 8 pm EST. If you go to the website, you can see the 100 titles that were chosen, take the quiz to see how many you have read (and brag about it on Facebook or Twitter if it's a big number), and post your story about the novel (it doesn't have to be one of these) that has had the biggest impact on your life.

What we're reading: Historical fiction

Last week, I went looking for a weekend book on the New Books shelves, and found The Tuscan Child, by Rhys Bowen. I had only ever read some of her Molly Maguire series, which are lighthearted historical fiction/mystery mash-ups about a girl from "the auld country" (you could guess Ireland by her name) and her experiences once she emigrates to New York. I didn't realize, until I checked the front pages of this book, that Bowen has also written a couple of other mystery series, as well as a couple of stand-alone novels, of which The Tuscan Child is one.

This was also a combination of historical fiction and mystery, but not a mystery novel, per se. Instead, it reminded me of the books of Kate Morton: A young person discovers some kind of mystery in the life of an old person of her acquaintance (usually a relative, but not always), and decides to research this mystery to see if it can be solved, often after the old person has died and can no longer reveal the details, but sometimes because the old person doesn't want to talk.

In this book, Joanna Langley has come from London to the English countryside to arrange the funeral details of her father, Sir Hugo Langley, who has died suddenly after a long estrangement from Joanna. Joanna knows that he was a pilot during World War II, and that at one point he was shot down over German-controlled territory in Tuscany, but he never talked about the war and she knows none of the details. In going through his belongings, she finds an unopened letter addressed to one Sofia Bartoli, which had been mailed to Tuscany 20-some years before, but had come back to him, forwarding address unknown. Inside the letter, she discovers something startling that may potentially affect her future; since she is already at loose ends, being unemployed and a recent victim of a difficult break-up, she decides to travel to Tuscany to see if she can find this Sofia, or at least ferret out more details regarding the contents of the letter.

I enjoyed this book; while I compared it to Kate Morton's writings, it isn't as long nor as painstakingly detailed as her books, which many would consider a good thing, since although her writing is wonderfully lyrical, getting through her books is sometimes a slog. The Tuscan Child had some nice moments of suspense, as the story flipped back and forth between the 1940s and the 1970s, and also some romance included in both time periods, although none of it was over the top. But I think the thing I enjoyed the most was Joanna's brief sojourn in Tuscany; I could picture myself being welcomed into the kind and expansive Paola's tiny but immaculate guest house, and learning to cook wonderful Tuscan meals under her tutelage. I hope Bowen writes more in this vein.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Summer Reading Club for Grown-ups

You didn't think we'd forgotten you, did you? Of course not! We have a summer reading club for grown-ups, themed the same as the teen program ("Reading Takes You Everywhere"), and filled with programs to attend, fun things to do, and, of course, reading!


Sign up at burbanklibrary.org anytime between May 15 - July 30. Everyone who is registered will be entered in four random drawings, which will be held on four Fridays: June 1 and 22, and July 6 and 20.

Read throughout the summer, filling in your BOOK BINGO card (printed on your brochure) as you go. Post online book reviews of books you liked, loved, or hated. Come to the library for free movies, outdoor concerts, and entertaining and informative programs (calendar also printed on brochure). Have fun, enjoy your summer, and READ!

Turn in your BOOK BINGO card at any reference desk by July 31, and you will also be entered in our grand prize drawing for one of two 32GB Kindle Fire HD 10 tablets! (You must be registered and also have turned in your completed Book Bingo card.)

We hope to see YOU at the library this summer!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

This week at the library...

Central Library, 6:30 p.m.

Le Petit Cinema presents...
Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. 105 minutes / rated PG

Central Library, 10:00 a.m.

A Conversation Group

Practice your English language skills, make friends, and learn about different cultures. This group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Literacy Room on the second floor. Drop in or call for information. 818-238-5577.

Central Library, 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a relaxing evening of Coffee & Coloring. We provide the colored pencils, crayons, and coloring pages, or you can bring your own. Stop in, sit down, relax, get creative.

Buena Vista Branch, 5:30 p.m.

Join us for our Spring Fling. This annual get-together with Friends and library staff members will feature a catered light supper in the meeting room of the Buena Vista Library. A short business meeting will follow. Please RSVP to reserve your spot by May 16th. Email us at friendsburbanklibrary@gmail.com or call one of the bookstores during business hours (BV – 818-238-5635 or Central – 818-238-5636).

Central Library, 10:00 a.m.

A Conversation Group

Practice your English language skills, make friends, and learn about different cultures. This group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Literacy Room on the second floor. Drop in or call for information. 818-238-5577.

Northwest Library, 4:00 p.m.

For kids in Grades K-8. Call 818-238-5640 to sign up. Wear running shoes and comfy clothes to enjoy wacky outdoor games with Gamemaster Dave Skale. Summer crafts, outdoor games, and much more!

Central Library, 2:00 p.m.

Friday Matinee presents...

Based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer, Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. 140 minutes / rated R

Buena Vista Branch, 10:00 a.m.

Learn how to create a basic functional or chronological resume, and how to format the resume to best sell your skills and experience to potential employers in this class.

At the end of the session, learners will be able to:
  • Identify the primary sections of a resume
  • Describe the differences between chronological and functional resumes
  • Define common style elements in a resume
  • Identify the differences between an objective and a profile statement

Central Library, 10:15 a.m.

A program for preschoolers and their families. Join us for a fun introduction to movement, coordination, rhythm, and dance! We'll be dancing using shaker eggs & scarves and listening to music.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Summer Reading Club for Children

"What is Summer Reading Club?"
There are three main components to our Summer Reading Club (SRC) for children up through sixth grade this year:

SRC Reading: Children read books on their own time at their reading level and submit book reports online for prizes. Prizes are awarded to kids after their 1st, 3rd, and 5th book report. If all five book reports are completed, they get a free book and a certificate of completion.

SRC Meetings: There will be free shows at each branch on different days of the week/times of day (see below). If you attend 5 of 6 shows, you will be able to enter a raffle to win fun prizes.

SRC Rock Art Contest: Since this year's theme is LIBRARIES ROCK!, kids can find and paint their own rocks (no larger than 4 inches in length) and submit them to the branch where they are registered for SRC no later than Friday, July 6th. They will be on display at each branch for the duration of the summer programs.

No aspect of the SRC is mandatory. You and your children can participate in as much or as little as you like! Some might prefer to stay at home and do the book reports online, while others will opt to come to the library for books and live performances – hopefully most will choose to do both!

“Who Can Join?”
Anyone can take part in our summer programming! You don’t have to be a Burbank resident or even have a library card to participate – although having a library card will be necessary if you want to check out books.

Programming for kids in kindergarten and younger and their families:

Summer Storytimes
Northwest Branch: Mondays @ 10 am
Central Library: Wednesdays & Fridays @ 10 am
Buena Vista Branch: Tuesdays @ 10 and 11 am

Family Shows
Northwest Branch: Thursdays @ 10 am
Central Library: Tuesdays @ 3 pm
Buena Vista Branch: Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm

Programming for kids entering 1st-6th grade:

Summer Reading Club
Northwest Branch: Fridays @ 6:30 pm
Central Library: Thursdays @ 3 pm and 7 pm
Buena Vista Branch: Wednesdays @ 11 am

“Why Join?”
  • Prevent “Summer Slide” and keep up your reading/writing/comprehension skills during the summer months.
  • A great opportunity to read for fun… and earn cool prizes!
  • Enjoy family-friendly entertainment/activities and meet new people in your community
  • It’s FREE!

“When Does It Start?”
Signups will be available on May 15th along with the teen program, but the official children's sign-up date is May 21st. The children’s program begins the week of June 4th and lasts six weeks through the week of July 9th.

Signups are online through our web page. If you don’t have access to a computer at home, you can sign up at the library.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sign up your teens!

Burbank Public Library runs summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults. Sign-up for the teen program begins today, May 15th, and is for teens in grades 7-12. Please consider signing up your teens, or presenting the option to them as something to do with their summer.

This year's theme is "READING TAKES YOU EVERYWHERE," and there are some awesome crafts, events, and programs planned for teens over the course of seven weeks, from June 11th to July 28th. Teens can SIGN UP by going to our website and clicking on the registration link on the home page.

The first thing your teens need to know is, signing up implies no commitment. Our summer reading program for teens is purely voluntary, and they can dip in one toe or plunge into everything. They can do online tasks for points and prizes; attend one program or all of them; write a book review or two; or do absolutely nothing. So if they have a busy summer of camp, work, or summer school planned, that doesn't mean they can't participate in the summer reading program to whatever degree they wish.

We're going with a travel theme this summer, so everything is about location. We'll be reading books about road trips, fantasy worlds and far-flung planets; making maps based on the stories contained within those; creating travel journals for ourselves so we can keep track of our journeys; and venturing inside some video games to hear about how their creators build the worlds you love to inhabit.

Summer wouldn't be the same, of course, without a few sessions of Book Café, complete with cappuccino, cookies, and book-talking!

To wrap up our summer. our TAB (Teen Advisory Board) is again hard at work on a lock-in murder mystery for teen players to solve. This year's murder takes place on board a luxury cruise liner, and is entitled "Death on Deck."

Here is a link to the teen program's brochure, that includes a calendar of all teen summer events. We hope your teens will join us on this summer's adventure! Research has shown that teens who read over the summer break avoid the dreaded "summer slide" (the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of long holidays); so send your teens to us this summer and feel confident that they will approach the new school year with skills intact! (And they will also have big fun!)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

This week at the library...


Central Library, 7:00 p.m.

Opera Talk presents...
Larry Verdugo, from LA Opera’s Community Engagement Program, will provide a multi-media presentation and discussion of the opera.

Based on the melodramatic, medieval-styled play by Victor Hugo, LA Opera’s production of Verdi’s Rigoletto continues the run of an opera that has never left the stage since its premier in 1851. Rigoletto, act by act and scene by scene, packs in more hit tunes and, of course, melodramatic excitement than almost any other Italian opera. Verdi melds these musical pleasures with the shadowed tale of a deformed jester, his hate for the noble court that surrounds him, his desperate attempt to escape responsibility for his crimes, the jester’s own self loathing, and, perhaps more to the point, Rigoletto’s love for his fragile 16-year-old daughter.

Central Library, 10:00 a.m.

A Conversation Group
Practice your English language skills, make friends, and learn about different cultures. This group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Literacy Room on the second floor. Drop in or call for information. 818-238-5577.

Central Library, 12:00 noon

The Brown Bag Book Club meets the third Tuesday of each month. Please email staff at ReferenceCentralLib@burbankca.gov with any questions.

The club has read and will discuss This is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel. Bring your lunch and join them!

Penn and Rosie are a close, loving couple, living in Madison, Wisconsin with their five boys. But it becomes evident before long that their youngest, Claude, feels like he should have been born a girl. So how do these strong, supportive parents go about helping their son live as the person he wants to be?

Buena Vista Branch, 4:00 p.m.

Family Films presents...
Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington the bear is a popular member of the community who spreads joy and marmalade wherever he goes. One fine day, he spots a pop-up book in an antique shop -- the perfect present for his beloved aunt's 100th birthday. When a thief steals the prized book, Paddington embarks on an epic quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy's big celebration. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond.

Central Library, 7:00 p.m.

The club has read and will discuss Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase, by Jonathan Stroud. This club is for enrolled teens only. The May meeting is the last of this school year; to be included on the list for this club for next year, email melliott@burbankca.gov.

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

The Scene of the Crime Mystery Book Club meets the third Tuesday of each month in the Storytime Room at the Buena Vista Branch Library. Pleasse email referencecentrallib@burbankca.gov with questions.

The club has read and will discuss Murder in an English Village, by Jessica Ellicott, the first book in a new series about two ladies--the very British Edwina and the too American Beryl--of a certain age who refuse to let society’s expectations hold them back from bringing a killer to justice.

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

Family Night presents...
Enthusiastic biologists combine rescued wildlife and science in a fun and informative way to bring the life sciences . . . to LIFE! Meet some amazing "Animals From Around the World!"

Central Library, 10:00 a.m.

A Conversation Group
Practice your English language skills, make friends, and learn about different cultures. This group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Literacy Room on the second floor. Drop in or call for information. 818-238-5577.

Northwest Library, 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a bilingual storytime with stories, songs, and rhymes in English and Spanish. There will be a short video at the end of the program.

Vengan para una hora de cuentos bilingüe con cuentos, canciones, y rimas en inglés y español. Habrá un video corto al final del programa.

Central Library, 7:00 p.m.

Not your mother's book club...
Genre-X is a book club for Millennials and Gen-Xers to hang out, drink coffee, and read short, interesting books. We meet upstairs at the Central Library. In May we will be discussing My Favorite Thing is Monsters, a graphic novel by Emil Ferris.

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, this is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.

Buena Vista Branch, 3:30 p.m.

An art program for kids in Grades K-3 with an adult. Learn about the artist Henri Matisse - and create your own masterpiece! This program is FULL.

Northwest Branch, 4:00 p.m.

Sign up for the book club exclusively for 4th and 5th grade students! Call 818-238-5640 to be added to the list. We meet once each month during the school year and read and talk about some great books. This will be the last meeting until September.

Buena Vista Branch, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Interact with robots and learn how your child can join this exciting STEM program! Our Robotics Open House will feature students from ages 9-18 from local robotics teams, along with their robots. Drop in and visit with members of the FIRST Robotics Competition Team, 980 ThunderBots.

Children's story times resume on June 4, as part of the Children's Summer Reading Program at the library. Watch here or check our online calendar for details soon!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

This week at the library...

Buena Vista Branch, 6:30 p.m.

Twilight Cinema presents...
Determined to uphold the nation’s civil liberties, Katharine Graham, publisher of The Washinton Post, and hard-nosed editor Ben Bradlee join forces to expose a decades-long cover-up. But the two must risk their careers –– and their freedom –– to bring truth to light in this powerful film with a celebrated cast. 116 minutes / PG-13

Central Library, 5:30 p.m.

Established by Burbank Municipal Code, the seven Council-appointed members serve a four-year term. It is their mission to work with staff in an advisory capacity to ensure the optimum operation of the Burbank Library System, to represent community concerns and suggestions to the Library staff, to act as liaison between the Library and the City Council, and to represent and promote the Library and its undertakings.

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

The book club has read and will discuss Starflight, by Melissa Landers. This book club is for registered teens only. This is the last meeting of the 10-12 Book Club for the school year; if you would like to be included in this club when it starts up again next fall, please email melliott@burbankca.gov.

Buena Vista Branch, 10:00 a.m.

Are you an internet novice in need of more information? If so, sign up! Learn basic internet terminology and how to navigate a browser, locate a website, identify common domains, and stay safe while searching. Sign up at the Buena Vista Branch Reference Desk or by calling 818-238-5625.

At the end of the session, learners will be able to:
  • Name at least one internet browser and identify its major features
  • Open a new browser tab without shutting the tab that is open
  • Search for a business and access its website
  • Perform a simple keyword search to locate information


BABY STORYTIME (under 12 months):
Northwest Branch: Thursdays @ 10:00 a.m.

Registration is required. Please call 818 238-5640 to sign up. Spring session began on April 5 and ends on May 10. Songs, stories, and rhymes for children under 12 months.

(under age 3):
Buena Vista Branch:
Tuesdays and Wednesdays @ 10:00 a.m.
Central Library: Fridays @ 10:00 a.m.

Due to limited space, sign-ups are required at the Buena Vista Branch and the Spring Sessions are FULL. Plan to visit Toddler Storytime on Fridays at Burbank Central Library - no sign-ups required.

This program is geared to children under age 3 and their caregivers. The Spring Session for Tuesdays will run through May 8, 2018.

Storytime plays an important role in promoting early literacy and the love of books, learning, and exploring the world. Storytime programs expose children and their parents and caregivers to books, simple songs, finger plays, rhymes, and crafts.

(ages 3-5):
Northwest Branch: Wednesdays @ 10:00 a.m.
Central Library: Thursdays @ 10:00 a.m.
Buena Vista Branch: Fridays @ 1:00 p.m. (Rhythm & Reading)