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NEW LIBRARY HOURS for Mondays and Thursdays
starting on October 31, 2016 - see bottom of page.
•  Up Coming Events   Up Coming Youth Programs

•  News

       S.P. Author/Actor Greg Sestero
         donates award-winning book
New L.A. Guidebook Spotlights Library's Leo Politi Mural
       Library Park Guided Tree Walk is Established

    •    Heather Hinton -
In Memory   
    •   Scott Van Sant  - In Memory 
    •   Beverly Engler - In Memory

•  Friends Newsletter

Annual Report  2015                                                      
        updated 02-03-2017




The 20th


March 26, 2017
4:00 p.m.
Read more




Read more



                                   The following youth programs have been funded in full or in part by the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library


Click here for
program details

PDF page

If fractions have you flummoxed, algebra makes you allergic, history has you hysterical, or long division leaves you dazzled, the South Pasadena Public Library can help you with its online tutoring service.

From any Web-enabled computer in the library or at home, a student can click on the Live Homework Help link on the library's Web site at www.cityofsouthpasadena.us/library and engage in controlled online chat with a math, English, science or social studies expert. Students and tutors can also work on an interactive white board, share educational Web sites and send files back and forth for a rewarding learning exchange

Funded by grants from the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library and the Library Services and Technology Act, the Live Homework Help from Tutor.com has assisted nearly 4,000 South Pasadena students over the past few years.


FYI--You and your members are cordially invited to the Community Forum on Budget and Priorities
Saturday, March 11, 2017

You and your members are cordially invited to the Community Forum on Budget and Priorities on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Library Community Room, 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena. The purpose of the Community Forum is for the public to provide input on the order in which "high-priority" projects should be tackled by the City in Fiscal Year 2017-18. The ad for the Community Forum is attached.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 9:00 a.m., and concluding at 12:00 p.m. Parking is available at the School District Parking lot.

For more information: go to www.southpasadenaca.gov/CommunityForum, or contact the Management Services Department at (626) 403-7210, or cmoffice@southpasadenaca.gov.

Jenna Shimmin
Senior Management Analyst
Water Conservation and Environmental Programs
City of South Pasadena
           COMING - March, 2017


One Book, One City Project
in South Pasadena focusing on Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"
Throughout the month of March, the South Pasadena Public Library & the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library present a 'One Book, One City’ Project focusing on Ray Bradbury’s enduring masterpiece “Fahrenheit 451”.
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was born in Waukegan, Illinois to a family that moved to LA in 1934 in a jalopy. In 1947 Ray started publishing his stories and his second book "The Martian Chronicles" gained a following among Science Fiction readers. In the early 50s, he wrote "Fahrenheit 451" in UCLA''S Lawrence Clark Powell Library, named after the South Pasadena native. The book came out to rapturous reviews, became a classic, and still sells more than 50,000 copies per year. Bradbury went on to write more than 50 acclaimed books and 200 short stories. In Ray's later years he visited South Pasadena many times for events at both the Fremont Centre Theatre and South Pasadena Public Library.

Studies show that reading for pleasure reduces stress, heightens empathy, and makes brains more active. Community-wide Reading Programs extend these benefits by creating opportunities for readers to enjoyably explore a great work of literature together and discuss the issues that are relevant to our lives.
Reading and Discussion of ‘Fahrenheit 451” Book,
March 8 at 7 pm

in the Library Community Room*
with Actor and Bradbury Associate Robert Kerr.
Presentation of Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” Play,
March 16 at 7 pm

in the Library Community Room*
with the Pandemonium Theatre Company.
Reading and Discussion of “Fahrenheit 451” Book,
March 20 at 7 pm

in the Library Ray Bradbury Conference Room**
with renowned Actor and Author Duffy Hudson.
Performance by acclaimed Actor Bill Oberst,
March 24 at 7 pm

in Library Community Room* of Ray Bradbury’s “Pillar of Fire”, a precursor to “Fahrenheit 451”.
Screening of classic 1966 “Fahrenheit 451” motion picture,
March 30 at 7 p.m.

in Library Community Room*. Directed by Francois Truffaut and starring Julie Christie and Oskar Werner.

Many copies of the “Fahrenheit 451” book, as well as many other books and other materials by and about Ray Bradbury, are available for checkout at the South Pasadena Public Library.

South Pasadena Public Library
(including Ray Bradbury Conference Room **) - 1100 Oxley Street
Library Community Room* - 1115 El Centro Street
South Pasadena, CA 91030



Greg Sestero of South Pasadena is the author, along with Tom Bissell,
of the 2013 award-winning book
The nonfiction memoir is Greg's spirited recounting of the wild adventures he experienced while working with Tommy Wiseau, a mysterious self-made man who somehow came up with $6 million to spend making and promoting the notorious film, THE ROOM. Even though THE ROOM found a huge, devoted cult audience, it has been called by critics "gloriously awful" and "possibly one of the worst films ever made".
On the other hand Sestero's book, THE DISASTER ARTIST about the making of the movie, has garnered glowing reviews from prestigious publications around the country, including THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. It has also been accorded 491 ratings by readers on Amazon and averages five stars, the absolute highest composite rating possible. The recorded version of THE DISASTER ARTIST narrated by Greg was chosen as a finalist for the 2015 Audie Awards for Best Humor Audiobook. It was also highly praised by THE HUFFINGTON POST and PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY.
THE DISASTER ARTIST is currently being made into a major motion picture entitled THE MASTERPIECE, directed by and starring James Franco. The cast also features Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Sharon Stone, Bryan Cranston, and Allison Brie -- who attended South Pasadena High School before starring in numerous films and on TV's MAD MEN from 2007-2015.













New Los Angeles Guidebook Spotlights Library’s Leo Politi Mural
by Steve Fjeldsted, Director of Library, Arts, and Culture

A steady stream of guidebooks for LA sightseers is published regularly by a variety of authors, obviously comprised of newcomers and out-of-staters who don’t seem very familiar with the city. Their descriptions too often recycle the same old recommended spots on their very well-beaten paths. The Hollywood Sign, the La Brea Tar Pits, Olvera Street, and Universal Studios are just a few examples of the points of interest that can be found time after time in such visitors guides to the City of Angels.
A just-released book “111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss” is authored by Laurel Moglen and Julia Posey, both Angelenos. They declare that they intend to lead readers “beyond the Red Carpet reputation and Tinseltown trappings” to many of the city’s most interesting and unexpected cultural opportunities. Their lively, colorful book presents one page of text and a companion photo of each unusual destination taken by San Diego photographer Lyudmilla Zotova. It’s a breezy, fun armchair tour that will lead the curious to a wealth of mostly unusual, sometimes quirky, places to visit in LA. These spots range from Philippe’s, home of the first French Dip sandwich, to the Museum of Broken Relationships.

The maps at the back of the book pinpoint each selected location. Not surprisingly, the majority can be found in Downtown LA or on the Westside, but quite a few are nearby, such as Cindy’s Diner in Eagle Rock and Judson Studio in Highland Park. Pasadena offers five of the locations, one of which, the Mount Wilson Observatory, is actually located well outside the city limits. Among those usual Pasadena points of interest not listed are the Gamble House, Old Town, The Wrigley Mansion, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Caltech. Instead, it’s the Bunny Museum, the Front Porch Homestead, and the Pasadena City College Swap Meet. However, the Norton Simon Museum is included. It should also be noted that the #78 Pasadena Model Railroad Club is actually in the City of Los Angeles.
Only one library location was selected by the authors as one of the 111 hand-picked ‘can’t miss’ spots and it’s not to be found in San Marino, Cerritos, or Downtown LA. That lone library selection is also the only South Pasadena spot spotlighted in the book. The Farmer’s Market, The Bissell House, the Adobe Flores, and the Garfield House are not to be found, not are any of the other 20 Cultural Heritage Landmarks besides the Library (although the Trina Turk outlet store at 1030 Mission St. is briefly cited in one of the captions).
The South Pasadena Public Library is the proud home of #59 of the “111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss”, the untitled mural by Leo Politi in the Children’s Room. It’s the earliest remaining Leo public mural by Leo Politi
The mural was first created in 1957 after Politi was already a famed children’s book author and illustrator. Politi went on to paint other famous murals in LA on Olvera Street, in Chinatown, and in Downtown.

What’s surprising is that the Politi mural at the South Pasadena Library varies greatly from the one Leo originally painted for the Library. Leo was asked to touch up the mural for the Library’s 1982 grand opening of its expansion project. He generously accepted the project without asking for a fee. Initially expecting to only be spending only a couple of hours, he ended up devoting weeks and completely transforming the artwork.
The differences between the 1957 and 1982 murals are remarkable. The earliest version depicts two minimalistic young figures reading with a cat by an accommodating tree. The update adds a third youthful figure with a dog replacing the cat, and more contemporary flowing lines and brighter green hues. In both paintings birds are chirping merrily in the tree’s branches. In January of 2016, a newly cast bronze Politi sculpture entitled “Sister Reading to Brother with Dog Looking On” was unveiled in front of the Library’s main entrance on the Oxley Street side of Library Park during a ceremony which capped off several well attended ceremonies in the Community Room also featuring an exhibit of Leo Politi original paintings.

Using funds from the Rotary Club of South Pasadena,
the Library has ordered a checkout copy of “111 Places in Los Angeles
That You Must Not Miss” for its Golden State Collection.
The copy of the book donated by the authors will become part of the
permanent Local History reference collection.
Posted 11-16-2016.....        .....
Library Operations Study Approved by City Council

For full 17 page report available
on SP City website
- Click here



On May 4, 2016, the South Pasadena City Council approved the “South Pasadena Public Library Operations Study, Final Report, April 12, 2016” by Library Consultant Joe Matthews. Many of the recommendations presented in the Library Operations Study include efficiency improvements to services and can be implemented within the FY 2016-17 budget. The other recommendations of the study are intended to be implemented over the next three years.

The first year priority recommendations include improvements to the Library’s Wi-Fi coverage and speed. The cost of providing broadband fiber optic connectivity will be covered by the increased Library Special Tax revenues during FY 2016-17, and a $24,000 grant from the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) project of the California State Library. The CENIC grant will help offset computer hardware costs associated with the Wi-Fi upgrades and broadband connectivity expenses. Replacement of some of the Library computer workstations called for in the LOS has already been incorporated into the City’s Information Technology budget. The Library has also allocated funding to expand electronic resources (e-resources), in the form of e-books, databases, and downloadable audio and video, in the Library’s FY 2016/2017 Proposed Budget. Staff is currently evaluating flood remediation for the Library and may go out to bid in early FY 2016-17.

The Library will add more computer workstations, including laptops and handheld devices as funding becomes available. The Library will also request additional funds in future years to implement self-checkout stations and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) capabilities for its collections of books, CDs, DVDs, etc. Other recommendations to be implemented in the subsequent years include funding for a Space Planning Consultant to assist with furnishing and décor upgrades.

Library Consultant Joe Matthews presented the “South Pasadena Public Library Operations Study Preliminary Report, Draft, February 5, 2015” to the Library Board of Trustees (LBT) during their February 24, 2016 and March 10, 2016 meetings. It was approved at the latter meeting. Consultant Matthews previously conducted interviews with a variety of library staff, community members, LBT, and members of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. Consultant Matthews also conducted field trips with the LBT and staff members to the various nearby public libraries.
    Posted 6-23-2016
South Pasadena is an official Tree City U.S.A. and is nicknamed “The City of Trees.” During the Summer of 2014, author and educator Dr. Matt Ritter of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo conducted a very fascinating, well-attended Author Event in the Community Room based on his book “A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us.” Afterwards he led the audience on a Tree Walk In the Library Park during which he described all 17 tree species that can be found there. The walk concluded at the Library’s magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree that is known as “The Library Tree.” The gigantic tree was planted by Bill Kloezeman, Sr. while South Pasadena’s Carnegie Library was being moved to the center of Library Park from its previous location nearer to Diamond Street.

A Memorial Bench honoring Beverly Engler, Friends Bookstore Co-Founder, was also recently installed overlooking The Library Tree, a spot favored by readers of all ages, children at play, teens hanging out, meditation practitioners, musicians, and many others. The beautiful bench was donated by the Engler Family. So that others can enjoy the Tree Walk and learn more about the trees in the Library Park, 17 small, descriptive signs containing both the botanical and popular names of each tree have just been installed. They were donated by the Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens and use Dr. Ritter’s tree identifications. Dr. Ritter’s Library Park Tree Walk Map will soon be posted on the South Pasadena Public Library and Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library websites.

          For a view of the "The Mighty Library Tree" please click here.
          For a PDF copy of the "Trees of the South Pasadena Library" please click here.
Posted 4-29-2015...................

For the month of April, the display case inside the Library main entrance exhibited selected archival materials on airships from the personal collection of Heather Campbell Hinton, a longtime resident of South Pasadena who passed away on February 2, 2016. Dirigibles and blimps are types of airships that can navigate through the air under their own power. Dirigibles are massive structures filled with lighter-than-air gas bordered by rigid metal frames. Blimps are much smaller, are filled with helium, and are collapsible except for their rigid noses. Some of Heather’s collection of photos, posters, books, and more comprise the archival materials that were in the display. One of the photos is of the experimental dirigible of Roy Knabenshue who took brave adventurous folks for rides over the Raymond Hotel in the early 1900s.

Heather Campbell Hinton was born in 1939 in Pensacola, Florida and received a BA in International Relations from USC in 1961, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Heather received her MA from Harvard in 1964 and led two groups of students to the USSR through the Experiment in International Living program. Heather worked at the RAND Corporation as an analyst from 1966 to 1974. In 1974 RAND published Heather’s research work “Controversy in Soviet R&D: The Airship Case Study”.

Heather became a strong advocate for the South Pasadena Senior Center. Her efforts eventually led to the construction of the handicapped access ramp in the South Pasadena Senior Center Activity Room. She was
also an outspoken advocate for the ADA ramp for the Library Community Room that was installed in 2013.

A memorial service in Heather’s honor was held at the South Pasadena Senior Center on Saturday,
April 23rd at 6 pm.

Memorial Service
for Scott Van Sant on Saturday,
April 16 at 2 p.m. in Community Room

Scott Van Sant (1937-2016) was a valuable Library volunteer for 12 years. Starting in 2010 Scott was also a member of the Friends Bookstore desk staff, and he regularly picked up and hauled large book donations to the Library for the Friends. In addition, Scott served with the Friends Holiday Book Sale Committee, and helped price fine books that had been tucked away throughout each year for their annual fundraiser. Scott was also a member of South Pasadena Beautiful for 25 years. In 1980 Scott’s wife Janet became a Founding Board member of SPEF (South Pasadena Educational Foundation) and Scott actively and continually supported the highly successful organization.

Scott Van Sant was born on October 5, 1937 to Jean Scott MacMillan and Benjamin Clarke Van Sant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He had two older siblings, Sandra and Nick, and his fraternal twin Clarke. Scott passed away peacefully on March 21, 2016. He is survived by his brother, Clarke Van Sant, his three children - Toni Clevenger, Michelle Van Sant Chamberlain, and Michael Van Sant, as well as four grandchildren - Kai, Audrey, Caitlin, and Christopher. Scott moved to Altadena at the age of 7 with his mother and siblings. He attended John Muir High School in Pasadena.

Scott and his wife Janet Stephanie Van Sant moved to South Pasadena in 1966 to raise their three children and it would be the place where they chose to live out the rest of their lives. Scott loved his family, the outdoors, skiing, and collecting antique clocks. A public memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 16th at 2 p.m. in the Library Community Room located at 1115 El Centro Street. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to South Pasadena Beautiful, Friends of South Pasadena Library, South Pasadena Educational Foundation, or a charity of the donor’s own choosing.


Jane T. Cavenagh is a very spry 98 year-old who recently retired from the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library's all-volunteer Bookstore after more than 20 years. Jane was on the Library Board of Trustees and served as President for four terms between 1993 and 1998. Jane previously taught for many years at South Pasadena Middle School, South Pasadena High School, Riverside Junior College, and UCLA. She later worked as an administrator for seven junior colleges.

Another great milestone in Jane's remarkable life occurred in 1929 when she was a 14 year- old schoolgirl. She saved a 5 year-old boy from drowning in Pirate's Cove at Laguna Beach. He was walking on the base of a steep cliff that jutted out to the ocean. After he fell, Jane picked him up and a large wave knocked them down, carrying the boy out to sea. Jane rose to her feet, waded 30 feet toward the boy, and was swept off her feet once again by choppy waves which carried the boy even farther out.

Jane at 98 with her medal


Jane at 14 with her heroism medal...
Jane swam to the youngster once again, and grasped him and swam them both back to the base of the cliff, only to have a large wave separate them again. Jane was carried out 25 feet and she saw the boy in the waves 35 feet from her. She swam to him again and carried him to the shore where his mother had fainted. The boy was unconscious, but he recovered. During her act of bravery Jane injured her back and sustained severe cuts. Soon afterwards she was awarded a medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and the funds enabled her to later attend college. Jane went on to earn a B.A. and an M.A. at UCLA and was the first woman admitted to Stanford Medical School although she didn't enroll.

Longtime South Pasadena resident Beverly Engler passed away on December 27, with her family nearby, after a long battle with cancer.

Bev and her husband Mark married 57 years ago, beginning their lives together in San Francisco. They moved to South Pasadena with their children Mark, Suzanne, and Marcy in 1966.

Bev was a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer in the community, including serving as President of the Monterey Hills School PTA, a frequent PTA committee member, an active SPEF fundraiser, a Little League concession manager, and a leader within her children's Scout troops.

Bev also co-founded the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library Bookstore, where she devoted thousands of volunteer hours over nearly 30 years. The fundraising auctions and book sales Bev helped establish and manage attracted book collectors throughout the state. She was honored for her service with a Volunteer of the Year award by the California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners.

Bev was an avid reader, an accomplished baker, and an award winning quilter. She also enjoyed playing golf with family and friends at Oakmont Country Club. She discovered a love for travel early in life, visiting Cuba in the 1950s, and traveled to many parts of Europe and Asia with her husband and family. However, she most enjoyed the beach, and it was her annual trips to Kauai with her husband, children, and grandchildren that brought her the greatest joy.

In addition to her husband and children, Bev is survived by her daughter in law Mary, son in laws Hunter and Michael, and grandchildren Jaime, Peter, Kelly, Logan, Shelby, Haley and Whitney.

Donations may be made in her memory to the
Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library/Beverly Engler Memorial Fund.


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FOL paper publication editions
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2007 - 2015
The South Pasadena Public Library
is located at 1100 Oxley Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030


* NEW HOURS for Mondays and Thursdays
Approved by the South Pasadena Public Library
Board of Trustees will be in effect
starting on:
Monday, October 31, 2016
  Monday 11:00 a.m.
9:00 p.m.
NEW HOURS * Monday 10:00 a.m.
6:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m.
9:00 p.m.
11:00 a.m.
9:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m.
6:00 p.m.
NEW HOURS * Thursday 11:00 a.m.
9:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m.
6:00 p.m.
weekend hours
10:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m.
  1:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m.

Posted 9-28-2016

Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library • 1100 Oxley Street - South Pasadena, CA 91030

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