Friends of the Libraries: Celebrate books with Literary Orange

April 04, 2013|By Mary Ellen Goddard

I want to remind you that Literary Orange is happening Saturday at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine. Walk-in registration is $70, and that includes breakfast and lunch.

You will hear authors J.A. Jance and Tatjana Soli give their keynote talks and be able to choose from six morning and five afternoon sessions featuring panels of authors on various genres. You will have the opportunity to see writers' latest books and get them autographed if you wish. Call Jane Deeley at (714) 893-5057 or e-mail for more information. It is a great event. Hope to see you there.

Libraries or coffee shops

Someone I know was recently quoted in another newspaper as saying that "maybe libraries aren't part of the future" and in a personal blog that "as a community living room," a corner coffee shop would do as well as a library. Maybe he needs to join some of the "life" in a library and find out what is going on in these vibrant places.


Since I am involved with our Costa Mesa libraries, I can tell you that they are busy places. People are not only browsing the shelves and checking out books, but they are bringing their toddlers and preschool children to special story hours where these young people learn not only the contents of books, but also how to socialize with others.

They learn concepts — words and numbers, for instance — and this helps to give them a great start once they enter school. The reading programs for elementary students and teens provide similar support. And there are programs designed to help parents read to their children. Knowing how to do this could also help a parent encourage a child to do his or her homework. I don't see how a coffee shop fits in here in educating our children.

And there are often classes teaching adults other things they need or want to know, like how to download an eBook from the library's collection. Or how to sell things on eBay. Or how to compose a resume to get a needed job. Or how to use a computer to do genealogical research or to simply send an email.

Or they might join a book discussion group, which stimulate the mind as well as provide contact with other people. Or listen to invited speakers on topics as different as space in closets and space in the universe. I'm sure I have just touched the surface of things that can happen in a library. Could you squeeze these things into your coffee shop?

At our libraries

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