Thursday, May 05, 2016

Book Clubs--upcoming meetings

On Tuesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m., meeting at the Central Library, the French Language Book Club will discuss Le Quatrième Mur, by Sorj Chalandon.

Please join the Brown Bag Book Club on Tuesday, May 17, when it meets at noon at the Central Library The book the club will read and discuss is The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah.

The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service

Please be aware, should you find it hard to get a copy to read, that Burbank Public Library also offers this title in large print, as an audio book, and for your e-reader.

Later that same day, the Scene of the Crime Mystery Book Club meets at 7:00 p.m., in the story time room at Buena Vista. That club will read and discuss Wicked Autumnby G. M. Malliet.

Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St. Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. Now he has found a measure of peace among urban escapees and yoga practitioners, artists and crafters and New Agers. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident, but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play...

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service

The Genre-X Book Club (not your mother's book club) meets on Thursday night, May 19, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Library. For this meeting, the club will discuss My Uncle Oswald, by Roald Dahl. (Definitely not for kids!) 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Be a Literacy Tutor!

Have you ever wanted to change a stranger's life? Wanted to share your love of reading, but weren't sure how? The Burbank Public Library Literacy Program teaches children and adults how to read, and we need your help! Our next Volunteer Tutor Training will be held May 12, 14, and 21.

Thursday, May 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Want to learn more about our program before you commit? Join us Thursday evening for an overview of the program and a tour of our offices.

Saturday, May 14, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Literacy specialists will present an all-day workshop on how to teach reading. Using our Reading Horizons curriculum, you will learn how to break down multi-syllabic words and why "cat" starts with the letter c, not k.

Saturday, May 21, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Take turns being a tutor and a student, with lots of hands-on practice. Explore our supplemental materials, and learn about our tutor-learner matching process.

Participants must attend all three sessions and pass a fingerprint check before they can begin volunteering as tutors.

Please call (818) 238-5577 for more information and to register for the workshop.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

This week at the library...

Buena Vista Branch, 6:30 p.m.

Please note that while the committee ordinarily meets at the Central Library, this month the location has changed to the Buena Vista community room! (We'll still be cleaning up from the book sale at Central!)

If you want to join the committee, or be a host family for exchange students, please attend the meeting!

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

The club will discuss The Just City, by Jo Walton. This is the last meeting of the book club for the school year; we will resume meetings in September. But teens--register for Teen Summer Reading over the summer. Info coming soon!

This club is for registered teens only.

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

Back by popular demand, Dr. Marc Rayman will give a fascinating and entertaining presentation on the status of the Dawn mission and its use of ion propulsion as well as its two exotic destinations. He will also share the excitement and profundity of controlling a spacecraft in deep space.

Central Library, 2:00 p.m.

Friday Matinee presents...
In 1973 London, playwright Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) develops an unlikely friendship with Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a homeless woman who lives in a van in his driveway for the next 15 years.
104 minutes / rated PG-13


Preschool Storytime:
Tuesday 10 a.m. Buena Vista
Wednesday 10 a.m. Northwest
Thursday 10 a.m. Central

Toddler Time:
Wednesday 10 a.m. Buena Vista
Friday 10 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Buena Vista

Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.,
Buena Vista Branch

Kids in grades K-5 will make their own flying fish known as Koinobori or carp streamers, in honor of Japan’s Children’s Day celebrated on May 5th. Each child will make and decorate a carp kite to fly in the breeze at home! Please wear clothes you can paint in, or bring an apron or old t-shirt to protect your clothes!

Thursday, 1:00 p.m., Buena Vista Branch

Join us for a fun introduction to the rhythm of music, dance and communication.

Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Central Library

Bring your favorite stuffed toy and enjoy stories, songs, a short movie and refreshments.

Բերեք ձեր սիրած փափուկ խաղալիքը և վայելեք պատմություններ, երգեր, կարՃամետրաժ ֆիլմ և զովացուցիչ հյութեր.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m., Central Library

For children ages 2-14 and their families. Children under 9 must be accompanied by
an adult.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Sale Bargains!

The Friends of the Burbank Public Library Spring Book Sale continues, and we're approaching the bargains that some of you have been waiting for:

FRIDAY is Half-Price Day! Whatever you would have paid for it Monday through Thursday, on Friday whatever is left goes out the door for half!

SATURDAY is $3 for a Bag Day! The Friends supply the bag (so all is fair and equitable), and you give them $3.00 for it and then fill 'er up! Such a deal!

The sale is open from 10-5 on Friday, and from 10-3 on Saturday. Don't miss your bargains! And remember that everything you spend directly supports programming and other assets for Burbank Public Library!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What we're reading: Old favorites, part two

When I want a break from keeping up with all the new fiction or teen fiction that I usually read, I revisit authors I read in earlier years, authors whom I find re-readable time and again when I am in the mood for the familiar.

I shared a group of them from the first half of the alphabet a couple of weeks ago; here are four more authors whose books you could check out when that new book you wanted isn't available for another week or two.

Susan Howatch is best known for her long-running series pairing the sacred and the profane, revealing the crises of faith and the ruthless power struggles of priests in the Church of England. This began with Glittering Images in 1987 and continued (so far) through 2004 with The Heartbreaker, but although I enjoyed the first few of these quite a lot, I prefer some of Howatch's earlier works.


My favorites are a pair of books that link the same ruthless and charismatic cast of characters over a period of years spanning the two World Wars in England and America, called The Rich Are Different and Sins of the Fathers. Howatch is a master of the dysfunctional family saga, and she leaves no psychological trauma unturned. But these are also a wonderfully complete and engaging look at the historical period spanning the post-WWI economic boom on Wall Street and the roaring '20s right through to the invasion of Normandy, contrasting English and American lifestyles of the era. They are character-driven, intriguingly narrated in several voices and, despite having been written in 1977, are both modern and relevant in their tone, and have been re-released multiple times.

M. M. Kaye has a series of murder mystery/romances called Death in [fill in the blank], from Berlin to Zanzibar, as well as some straight-up romances set in exotic locales and involving pirates and slave traders and such. But one of her books stands out for me far above the rest: The Far Pavilions. Even though she wrote some of them before and some of them after, I feel like all her other books were rehearsals so she could get everything right in this one.

It's a long and complicated epic with lots of history, and it paints such a vivid picture of India under the British Raj and Britain's incursions into Afghanistan that you can almost smell the dust and hear the bullets whistling past your ears. The hero and heroine are each the products of two cultures, and their status as misfits in both societies draws them together as children and reunites them as adults in a poignant love story that plays out against a volatile background of war and empire-building. The book is 958 pages long, and I have read it three times; I'm sure I'll read it again someday!

Barbara Kingsolver achieved her greatest fame with the book I honestly like the least of her entire list: The Poisonwood Bible, nominated for a Pulitzer and multiple other awards. But before she wrote this serious tome, Kingsolver penned several shorter books that caught at my imagination.


Taylor Greer grew up poor in Kentucky, with the dual goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting out. On her drive west to seek her fortune, she is unexpectedly "gifted" with a three-year-old American Indian girl, who is dumped in her car in obvious need of mothering and more. So Taylor's plans change abruptly, and she puts down roots and begins to build a community to help her care for her new foster daughter, Turtle. This is the story of The Bean Trees; in the sequel, Pigs in Heaven, her daughter witnesses an event that has repercussions for her life with Taylor, exposing her to her heritage and her past. These two books are a wonderful combination of quirky and heartfelt, with lots of humor but also with a serious message about the family you inherit and the family you choose. The third book Kingsolver wrote right around the same time period is Animal Dreams, a love story, an environmental inquiry, and an exploration of Native American culture. I enjoyed all three of these books and have revisited them several times.

Louise Marley has written historical fiction, speculative fiction, and science fiction. I have two favorites: The Glass Harmonica, which has two protagonists in two different time periods, both of whom play the instrument (based on glass cups) invented by Benjamin Franklin (one in 1761 right after Franklin invented it, and one who is a classical musician in 2018), is a lovely combination of historical fiction and ghost story. And The Terrorists of Irustan, which, despite being set in the future on another planet, almost perfectly mirrors the claustrophobic restrictions imposed on women in conservative religious middle eastern countries today. The main character, Zahra, is a medicant and a subversive, hiding feminist heroism behind her silk veil. The story is gripping, real, and relevant, a Handmaid's Tale sort of dystopia.

I have a few more favorite authors with older works to enjoy that I will share in a future post. I hope some of these spark your interest.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

This week at the library...


Find a treasure (or a dozen) and help support our library! The Friends of the Burbank Public Library Spring Book Sale will take place in the auditorium of the Central Library from Monday, April 25 through Saturday, April 30.


Monday, April 25 - 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
(Open to Friends of the Library members only!
But you can join at the door...)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 12-8:00 p.m.
Friday - 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday - 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Funds earned by the Friends go to support library programming, book clubs, and so much more! With every book you buy, know that you are supporting more great events at Burbank Public Library!

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

A special program for TEENS

Managing money and debt--it's a tricky subject. Learn up front how NOT to mess up your credit before you even begin!

Featured are Patricia Garfield, Alyson Edge, and a panel of Burbank teens from the FINANCE ACADEMY at BURBANK HIGH SCHOOL, discussing checking and savings accounts, how credit cards work, and budgeting for teens!
PLUS. . . 
Joanna Tomlinson of the BURBANK CITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, discussing the value of a good credit rating.

This program was created for teens and young/new adults, but they are welcome to bring their "people" with them!

Buena Vista Branch, 6:30 p.m.

Will Social Security be there for me?
At what age should I apply for benefits?
Will Social Security be enough to live on?
How much will I receive? And my spouse?
How can I maximize my benefits?

This is a free educational workshop.

Central Library, 6:30 p.m.

Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month (from September through June) at 6:30 P.M. in the Burbank Central Library auditorium.

Buena Vista Branch, 7:00 p.m.

Join us as composer and pianist Michael Mortilla performs live music to these classic silent films:

The Immigrant, a comedy starring Charlie Chaplin (25 min.)

Broncho Billy and the Schoolmistress
America’s first cowboy star courts a pistol-packing schoolmarm.
(1912, 14 min.)

Legal Advice
Tom Mix falls for a lady attorney
(1916, 13 min.)

Northwest Branch, 4:00 p.m.

Kids in grades 1-8: Join us to make flower pens just in time for Mothers' Day. Space is limited - call 818-238-5640 to reserve your spot.


Preschool Storytime:
Tuesday 10 a.m. Buena Vista
Wednesday 10 a.m. Northwest
Thursday 10 a.m. Central

Toddler Time:
Wednesday 10 a.m. Buena Vista
Friday 10 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Buena Vista

Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Buena Vista Branch

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.
Wednesday, 12:00 p.m., Buena Vista Branch

This storytime is especially welcoming for children on the spectrum and their families who are looking for a smaller, adaptive storytime. This is a small inclusive program of stories, songs, and activities that provides freedom to children with special needs within a structured space. Pre-registration is required, and this session is currently full. To be added to the waiting list please call 818-238-5630.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DIY a success!

Beading Bonanza!

Last Wednesday, patrons of the Burbank Public Library enjoyed a free, fun-filled program at the Buena Vista Branch entitled "DIY Beading Bonanza." Those who attended got the opportunity to create bracelets using a variety of beautiful beads and charms in multiple styles and colors. 

They enjoyed choosing their own beads, and then learning how to string them to create bracelets using simple materials. In addition, they learned about beading resources at the library, in the local community, and online. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and many said they had no idea that beading could be so easy and fun. 

One attendee commented, "This was really enjoyable and relaxing! I could see myself taking up beading as a new hobby." Each patron took home two bracelets and a new appreciation for beading.