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1100 Oxley St.
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California, 91030

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•  Up Coming Events   Up Coming Youth Programs
South Pasadena Public Library
Is an official Cooling Center
during Heat Waves
•  News
    •  Library Volunteers Honored - March 21, 2014
Library's Public Art Restoration Project Is Also a Rescue Effort
    •   Rotary Club Purchases Book in Honor of S.P. Supt. of Schools
 Donated Collection by Barbara Lois Simpson 
"Great Books" donated by Petra Galindo
   Autism Spectrum Disorders - NEW BOOKS
"Self Growth Collection" - 200 new titles
    •  "California Reads" Grant Awarded to SPPL & FOL
    •  SP City Image Award presented to FOL Restoration Concert   

    •  Jane Cavenagh Retires from Bookstore
    •  SPPL Circulation TOPS 450,000
    •  Ray Bradbury Confrence Room Inaugurated
    •  Yvonne Voisin Remembered
    •  Sally Swan Memorial Fund
 Austin Ichinose Memorial Music Collection
•  Friends Newsletter
Annual Report 2013
    updated 9-16-2014




2014 - 2015 Season

September 21, 2014


Read more

2014 - 2015 Concert Schedule
Read more


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


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.

       COMING - September 11, 2014

The entire community is invited to a 9/11 Remembrance Event in the Library Community Room on Thursday, September 11 from 5:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The event will feature remarks by Mayor Marina Khubesrian, M.D., an address by author, playwright, and veterans' advocate Dr. Bruce Solheim, and 2 beautiful songs by professional musicians Charles Frichtel and Mark Hatch. Also featured will be the South Pasadena Police Department Honor Guard and South Pasadena Police Department Reserve Chaplain Dan Bricker.

From September 11 through November 11

the Library will also be engaging the community in reading "What It Is Like to Go to War" by Karl Marlantes. 50 copies will be available to be checked out from the Library. The "One Book, One City" reading project is called "War Comes Home" and will feature three other public events in the Community Room at 1115 El Centro Street.
Wednesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.
"Forrest Gump" Screening with film historian and author Manny Pacheco.
Thursday, November 6 at 7 p.m.
"What It Is Like to Go to War" Book Discussion Program with actor, writer, and director Duffy Hudson.
Tuesday, November 11 at 7 p.m.
Concluding Event with GRAMMY winning musician and proud Navy veteran Sam "The Sham" Samudio and N.Y. Times Bestselling Author and National Book Award nominated Peter Collier discussing his latest "Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty."

Please note:
The Library will be closed on November 11 for Veterans Day on November 11,
but the Community Room will be open for the Concluding Event.

For the 3 programs above, doors will open at 6:30 p.m. No tickets or reservations are necessary

The "War Comes Home" project is sponsored by South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, Cal Humanities, and California Center for the Book. Special thanks to the South Pasadena Review, the South Pasadena City Council, the South Pasadena Community Services Department, and the South Pasadena Police Department.
       COMING - September 18, 2014


A free public screening of
"The Byrd Who Flew Alone:
The Triumphs and Tragedy of Gene Clark,"

will be presented in the South Pasadena Public Library
Community Room on Thursday, September 18.

It will be the Los Angeles premiere for the much-praised
2013 documentary about the life and work of the immensely
talented singer and songwriter of The Byrds. Their first single
"Mr. Tambourine Man" soared to Number 1 on the charts in 1965 when Beatlemania was at its peak. The Byrds' distinctive
blending of folk and rock was a strong American response
to the British Invasion, and they became one of the era's
most iconic bands.


Gene Clark at Wally Heider Studio
in San Francisco in 1972

Gene Clark at the Troubadour in
West Hollywood , 1972
The film's Producer and Co-Director Paul Kendall will be on hand from England to introduce his compelling biopic which includes rare footage
of Clark, and insightful recollections from family members, associates and former musical colleagues, including David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, and Barry McGuire. Kendall began the ambitious project because he felt that Clark has never been given the credit he deserves as a musical trailblazer.

Gene Clark (1944-1991) grew up in the Kansas City area, as part of a family with 13 children. He played in local bands as a teenager and was discovered in a KC folk club at the age of 18 by the New Christy Minstrels. Leaving the group, he moved to LA, where he became a founding member of The Byrds and was soon seen by millions, sporting a Prince Valiant haircut and shaking a tambourine on their TV appearances on 'The Ed Sullivan Show', 'Hullaballoo',and 'Shindig.' Despite being one of the quintet's lead singers and, initially, its most accomplished and prolific songwriter, Clark was never completely comfortable in the limelight or with the life of a rock star in LA. His fear of flying, a requirement of the whirlwind touring schedule of The Byrds, combined with some tensions within the group, hastened his exit at the peak of their success.
Clark moved to Mendocino in Northern California after breaking more new musical ground with country-rock pioneers Dillard & Clark. He only occasionally re-emerged over the following years to record albums --either as a solo artist or as a member of a group-- which he only belatedly chose to promote. As a result, none of his post-Byrds releases were big sellers, even though they were first greeted with enthusiasm by a cult fan base. Now they are widely recognized as unsung classics.
Today, Gene Clark's reputation, as both a singer-songwriter and a musical innovator in several genres, is continuing to grow and most of his albums are back in print. His influence has been strongly felt, from Poco and The Eagles, right through to contemporary bands such as R.E.M., Wilco and The Jayhawks. But perhaps more than anything, Clark's most enduring legacy will be his substantial canon of great songs. Bob Dylan once called him "one of the three best songwriters in the world" and his compositions have been covered by Tom Petty, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and Iain Matthews, to name but a few.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will begin
at 7:00 p.m. with a half hour live set of Gene Clark songs performed by Carla Olson and David Plenn.
They will be joined by Rick Clark-one of Gene's brothers, Pat Robinson of CRY (a Gene Clark group), and Paul Lacques from the top alt-country group
'I See Hawks in LA.'
Carla collaborated with Clark on the 1987 album, 'So Rebellious a Lover.' That album, like so many others by Clark, has achieved enduring status, and it was his biggest post-Byrds seller. Carla grew up near Austin, Texas in the 60s admiring Jackie DeShannon and Mary Travers as musical role models and she was a fan of The Byrds and The Rolling Stones. She first made her mark on the national music scene in the 80s with The Textones, the band she founded, before working with the likes of Ry Cooder, Don Henley, former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, and Bob Dylan.

David Plenn

Carla Olson
David Plenn's musical career began in 1968 when he was signed to A&M Records while still in high school. Shortly thereafter he began performing, recording, and producing albums withsinger/songwriter Jerry Riopelle. A song he co-wrote was recorded by Kenny Loggins on his multi-platinum 'Nightwatch' album. Later, David co-wrote "The Forecast (Calls for Pain)" for Robert Cray. David went on to write many songs featured in TV shows. David has also performed or recorded with many famed artists, including Fleetwood Mac's John McVie, Linda Ronstadt, Dusty Springfield, Joe Henry, and Van Dyke Parks.

Following the performance by Carla and David and Special Guests, Paul Kendall will introduce his feature-length film and be joined by Special Guests for a Q&A at the film's conclusion.
New illustrations by local artist Scott Gandell
The event is sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena
Public Library, The Bissell House Bed & Breakfast, and Rockaway Records. Special thanks to Videotheque,
S & B Sound, Scott Gandell, South Pasadena Mercantile, and the Dinosaur Farm.

No tickets or reservations are necessary and refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.

       COMING - September 25, 2014

The South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC), in partnership with the South Pasadena Public Library and Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, presents its 4th Annual
"End of Summer Concert Celebration" on
Thursday, September 25th from 5:00 to 6:30 pm
at 1115 El Centro Street in the Library Park outside of the Community Room, adjacent to the Farmers' Market.
The free concert will feature the
Mark "Pocket" Goldberg Trio
The MPG Trio includes Debra Dobkin On Drums & Vocals, who's played with Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, and Jackson Browne, among others, and Nick Kirgo on Guitar & Vocals. He's played with Les McCann, Terry Evans, Barry Goldberg and many more.
Mark "Pocket" Goldberg
For decades now, Mark "Pocket" Goldberg has been a respected "Roots" bass player on upright & electric) and had the honor of playing with some of the most talented artists of his day including Mick Fleetwood's Blue Whale (with Joe Walsh & John Mayall), Floyd Dixon (with Roscoe Gordon & Charles Brown), Willie Dixon (with Luther Tucker & Cash McCall), Finis Tasby (with John Lee Hooker & Lowell Fulsom), Barry Goldberg (with Mick Taylor & Terry Reid), Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Canned Heat (with Harvey Mandel & Junior Watson), Screamin' Jay Hawkins (with Bo Diddley, Jr.) Joey Bonamassa, (with Stephen Stills & Earl King) and Rosie Flores (with Greg Leisz & Skip Edwards).
"Goldberg has dug deeply into the traditions of the blues, he knows the heartbeat of the blues as emanating from a stand-up bass, and he knows how to write a great song. He knows great records are about precision, sure, but more about the groove, the performance, the soul and swing of musicians interacting" - Paul Zollo, - Blue Railroad.
"Mark performs with a wonderful sense of humor and panache; a true musician and player, not to mention a writer with intelligence and pathos. A man who studies his work and manages to finalize his ideas in music." - John Rhys, BluePower.com.

SPARC advocates for and promotes the arts in order to recognize local artists as a rich resource within our city, and builds appreciation and understanding of the value of the arts in the community. It does this by partnering with other community organizations to produce cultural events such as music concerts, dance performances, visual art exhibitions, interactive public participation projects, and literary and media arts programs. It also works for increased access to arts education for students within the South Pasadena Unified School District. SPARC believes that the arts enrich our lives and are vital to the social, educational and economic well being of South Pasadena. The concert is also supported by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.



City of South Pasadena • South Pasadena Public Library
Cooling Center Policy, September 9, 2013

The purpose of this policy is to raise public awareness of the City’s offerings of cool temperature environments that can be beneficial to the public during heat waves. This policy is not intended to override any policy set by the State of California, County of Los Angeles, or our local fire department. The Library’s intention is to help safeguard members of the community from the dangers of excessive heat.


Heat waves have claimed more lives in California over the last 20 years than all other declared disasters combined. Heat waves do not always strike victims immediately, but can also slowly take their toll on vulnerable populations.

The National Weather Service initiates its Heat Index Program Alert procedures when the high is expected to exceed 105° - 110° (depending on local climate) for at least two consecutive days.

On July 27, 2013 the Library Board of Trustees approved the Library as an official City of South Pasadena Cooling Center during its regular hours of operation. The Library joins the Senior Center as an official Cooling Center. The two facilities are next door to each other but have different hours. The Senior Center is for older residents while the Library is designed for residents of all ages.

City Guidelines for Cooling Center Operations

1. Staff will check the week’s weather forecast and post notices to notify the public if the Cooling Center Policy is to be deployed.

2. The National Weather Service, www.wrh.noaa.gov will be monitored to determine the forecasted temperatures.

3. The Cooling Centers will be annou nced to the public when temperatures reach 96° or higher. Notices will be placed at the Senior Center, and the South Pasadena Public Library entrances, and sent via an email blast.

4. The Center and the Library shall provide cold water and comfortable seating to the public. The Library, of course, also offers a broad array of education and entertainment options, including books, magazines, newspapers and computers.

5. Regular programming or services will not be canceled or changed due to the Cooling Center Policy being activated.

6. Throughout the summer, the Cooling Center policy will be placed on the Library website, in the Friends of the Library newsletter, and on the City’s Facebook page in order to notify the public.


The South Pasadena Rotary Club and the South Pasadena Public Library continue to expand "The Golden State Collection." The project is a partnership to improve the Library's collection of checkout books on California-related subjects. The collection consists of a broad assortment of titles for all ages on California history, travel, geography, nature, food, fashion, gardening, sports and much more. Brochures listing many of the titles are available at the Library.

Many of the entertaining and informative Golden State Collection selections are on display in the Library in the unit across from the Reference Desk. Each title can be checked out for 3 weeks, just like most other library materials.

The Rotary Club's lunch meetings are usually held in the South Pasadena Oneonta Church Tower Room on Tuesdays at noon. After each week's meeting the guest speaker selects a Golden State Collection title and signs its custom bookplate featuring the Rotary logo and motto, "Service above self." Each book is then donated to the Library in his or her honor.

South Pasadena Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Geoff Yantz was the guest speaker at the
Rotary meeting on September 9.
The book donated on behalf of Dr. Yantz
to the Library is
“The Orange and the History of California”
Photo by David Boule.


Posted 9-9-2014
Barbara Lois Simpson passed away peacefully on June 22, 2014 after a short illness with her family by her side. An elegant, beautiful, and loving lady full of grace, courage, immense loyalties, deep friendships, and devotion to her family and community, she will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Barbara Simpson was born to parents McIntyre and Lois Faries, who were long-time South Pasadena residents and later residents of San Marino. Judge Faries was Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and former South Pasadena-San Marino Schools board president.

A 50-year resident of San Marino and, later, Pasadena, she is survived by her daughter Andrea L. Simpson and grandson Christopher R. Myrdal, and son Eric K. Simpson, his wife Barbara, and grandchildren Katherine L. Simpson and Alexander K. Simpson. She was a graduate of South Pasadena-San Marino High School, attended Occidental College for two years where she was a member of the Alpha Sorority, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California at Berkeley. A devoted life-long reader with sparkling wit and intellectual curiosity, she also attended years of post-graduate courses at The Claremont Colleges. Her extensive book collection brought her great joy and she wanted to share it with her community.

Accordingly, a truckload of beautiful books from her personal collection has recently been donated to the South Pasadena Public Library. Barbara Simpson’s donation is especially strong in the areas of biography, mysteries, and book collecting culture. Many of the books will enhance the Friends of the South Pasadena Library’s Bookstore sales and its Holiday Book Sale coming up in the fourth weekend of November in the Community Room. Many more of her books will be added directly into the Library’s checkout collection with bookplates acknowledging her donation—a list of some of the titles is below.

Daughter Andrea Simpson and the
truckload of donated books
Barbara Simpson held a life-long, deep belief in the value of the arts and music for children and families, which is reflected in her over fifty years of community volunteer service, including being past president of the San Marino League, and the Huntington Middle School and Carver PTAs. She served on the boards of the San Marino Guild of the Huntington Hospital, and Pasadena Philharmonic Society, as well as being past chairman of the San Marino Celebrity Series and Art Walk. Her wide-ranging community volunteer activities included the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena Guild of the Children’s Hospital, the LA County Arboretum, and the Society of Fellows of the Huntington Library.
   A sampling of the books to be added to the South Pasadena Public Library collection:

    American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation-How Indian           Spirituality Changed the West by Philip Goldberg
    Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by the Dalai Lama
    Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry
    Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on The World's Greatest
          Mystery Novels

    The Churchills: In Love and War by Mary S. Lovell
    Editions & Impressions: Twenty Years on the Book Beat by Nicholas A. Basbanes
    Ideal Man, The: The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War by
          Joshua Kurlantzick
    Living With Books by Alan Powers
    Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change by
          Edmund Phelps
    My Bookstore Ed. by Ronald Rice and Booksellers Across America
    Pablo Neruda: On the Blue Shore of Silence, Poems of the Sea
    Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures by Robert
          K. Wittman
    Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey
    A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World by Nicholas
          A. Basbanes
    Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists by Anthony M. Amore           and Tom Mashberg
    Stolen: The Gallery of Missing Masterpieces by Jonathan Webb
    Taste: Acquiring What Money Can't Buy by Letitia Baldrige
    Thieves of Book Row: New York's Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who           Stopped It by Travis McDade
    When Red is Black by Qiu Xiaolong


Posted 8-20-2014


Petra Galindo with her “Great Books”
and her photo of Dr. Mortimer Adler

Recently, a surprise arrived at the Library when Petra Galindo, a South Pasadena resident of almost 20 years, dropped in and stated she wanted to donate her set of the “Great Books.” She was moving and packing her books while prioritizing what to keep. She realized that her “Great Books” set needed to be where more people would have access to them.
She also discovered that the South Pasadena Public Library no longer possessed a set and wanted others to have access to them and find inspiration from them as she had. Her entire ‘near mint’ set is being added to the library collection. Three boxes of her other book donations have gone to the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library for their bookstore and special sales.

Ms. Galindo said she felt like the South Pasadena Public Library had been “her library” since she first moved to the city in 1995. The South Pasadena Library was also where she first encountered the writings of Dr. Mortimer Adler, one of the co-editors of the “Great Books,” published in a 50+ volume set by Encyclopaedia Britannica. Its individual writings were compiled by the co-editors, Dr. Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins, to encompass the works of the great thinkers of Western culture. The “Great Books” collect writings by authors from Greek antiquity to the turn of the 20th century. The set opens with Homer and Plato and continues through Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, and Kafka.

Ms. Galindo recalled when she first came upon Dr. Adler’s classic, “How to Read a Book” at the Library in 1996. After being profoundly moved, she sought more of his books from the Library, including “The Time of Our Lives--The Ethics of Common Sense.” That led her to contact Dr. Adler, who was still alive and teaching at 95 ½ years old. After meeting Dr. Adler in 1998, she participated in his Executive Seminar of the Aspen Institute in 1998, as well as several other seminars with him prior to his death in 2001.
One of the many reasons Petra still admires Dr. Adler so much is because of his Syntopicon, an outline of the 102 “Great Ideas” contained in the “Great Books.” Adler spent 2 years at a manual typewriter writing an essay for each one of the “Great Ideas,” beginning with “Angel” and ending with “World”. The Syntopican, part of the set donated to the Library, provides links showing where readers can find the “Great Ideas” threaded throughout the set.

Petra said she “bought the set after Dr. Adler died in June, 2001 because by then I realized the value of having these books, as well as the Syntopicon, as reference materials at home. They really belong in a library and I can still come and use them where my journey to learning really began with Dr. Adler as my guide and teacher. I can't think of a better home for these books. I know Mortimer would be pleased!”

Petra Galindo, L.C.S.W., is a Psychiatric Social Worker with the School Mental Health Unit in Los Angeles Unified School District. Currently, she is the Mental Health Consultant with Education Support Center (ESC) East, one of 5 administrative areas in the district. Petra provides mental health consultation and education services for school administrators and their staffs, as well as crisis response services. Petra has her Master of Social Work degree from University of Southern California. Prior to her working for LAUSD, she worked for several years in the Psycho-Social Program in Hematology-Oncology at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. She has a large extended family, including 2 sons and 5 grandchildren. Petra adds, “They all love the South Pasadena Library too.”

Posted 9-2-2014  ....

It seems like Autism is almost everywhere these days, and that's because it is. The incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) has exploded: increasing somewhere between 2000% and 4000% in only 25 years. Nationally, Autism now affects an estimated one in every 100 children across all racial and socioeconomic lines. The exact causes of ASD are unknown.
Locally, the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library started a partnership more than 4 years ago with the Institute for the Redesign of Learning (known as the Almansor Center) and the Kiwanis Club of South Pasadena, to present the 'Raising Abilities Collection,' more than 75 up-to-date books for various ages on Autism. A brochure listing most of the titles in the series is available at the Library.
The new titles recently ordered for the collection are:

Targeting Language Delays: IEP Goals & Activities for Students with Developmental Challenges
Lucky Dogs, Lost Hats, and Dating Don'ts
Solving Sleep Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Frazzled Families
Essential First Steps for Parents of Children with Autism: Helping the Littlest Learners
Teaching Social Skills to People with Autism: Best Practices in Individualizing Intervention
A Picture's Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism
Talking is Hard for Me!: Encouraging Communication in Children with Speech-Language Difficulties
Speaking of Apraxia: A Parent's Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Body Talk: Teaching Students with Disabilities about Body Language
Moving Out: A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities
Try Reading Again: How to Motivate and Teach Older Beginners, Age 10 and Up
The Boy's Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes during Puberty
The Girl's Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes in the Tween Years
When Down Syndrome and Autism Intersect: A Guide to DS-ASD for Parents and Professionals
Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parent's Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning

Posted 8-19-2014
The Library Board of Trustees conducted their annual
Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on March 21
to honor the 200+ supporters who so generously donated
their time, skills, and energy to advance the institution during 2013.
Together they contributed more than 10,000 hours.
Mayor Marina Khubesrian, M.D. presented the City Council Proclamation declaring the date 'Library Volunteer Day in South Pasadena.' Mayor Pro Tem Robert Joe, and Councilmembers Diana Mahmud, Michael Cacciotti, and Richard Schneider, M.D. joined City Manager Sergio Gonzalez in the front row. Congresswoman Judy Chu; Brendan Durrett, President of the Library Board of Trustees, and City Librarian Steve Fjeldsted presented Certificates of Recognition to Co-Volunteers of the Year, Kristen Dubé and Donna Potts as Trustees' Vice-President, Ed Pearson; Secretary, Constance Lue and Trustees Ann Penn, and Andy Lippman, who helped organize the event, looked on with the large, appreciative audience.

Congresswoman Judy Chu Greets All of the
Volunteers and Guests

Mayor Marina Khubesrian, M.D. Presents the Proclamation"

Charles Fleming inscribes his book for newfound fans”
Charles Fleming, author of Secret Stairs, delivered a riveting Keynote Address that charmingly revealed some of the reasons the staircases of Los Angeles have been so magical for him and so many others. Published in April, 2010, the book hit #5 on the Los Angeles Times paperback bestseller list. Charles has reported on the entertainment industry since 1987, as staff writer and columnist for Newsweek, Variety, LA Weekly and The Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and as a freelancer for Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Time, New York Magazine, US, McCalls, Los Angeles, California, and many other publications in the U.S., the U.K. and Japan.

Kristen Dubé (l), Donna Potts (m), are honored by Congresswoman Chu

Both Volunteers of the Year come from the leadership ranks of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library. Kristen Dubé is a lifelong resident of South Pasadena and the past two-time President of the Friends. She started working behind the scenes as bookkeeper for the Friends Bookstore 15 years ago, a position she still enjoys. Currently in her final year on the Friends Board, Kristen has also served as Secretary, Vice President Financial Officer-Endowments, Membership Chair, and President. In 2009 she was Treasurer for the successful Yes on Measure L- Library Special Tax campaign.

Donna Potts was raised in La Canada, but has lived in South Pasadena for 50 years. Donna taught Biological Sciences at San Gabriel High School for 34 years, was Science Department Chair for 14 years, and was honored as Alhambra District Teacher of the Year in 1991. She retired in 2005, and began a new phase of life. In 2005, Donna began volunteering in the Friends Bookstore as a substitute, and also worked one shift per month. In addition, in 2006, she began working as a Processor of books for the Bookstore, and soon became the Vice Chair of Schedules/Minutes on the Bookstore Steering Committee. She records and distributes minutes of the meetings, updates the staffing schedule and, with other members of the Steering Committee, makes Bookstore policy and procedural decisions, and helps to plan and work at special book sales throughout the year.

The colorful 20 page Volunteer Recognition booklet was distributed to all in attendance. It featured original artwork by South Pasadena artist Scott Gandell and was designed by his partner Anneline De Croos. It contained a special memorial tribute to dearly departed longtime volunteer Yvonne Voisin.

posted 3-28-2014
The Official Unveiling for the restored bas relief masterpiece "The Children's Hour",
on March 21 was certainly a long time coming.
The celebration on the Library Patio was also one that would have
been completely unnecessary until about 6 years ago.

Congresswoman Judy Chu (l) and Mayor Marina Khubesrian, M.D. Pull the Curtain
About 50 residents gathered to watch and applaud last Friday as Congresswoman Judy Chu and Mayor Marina Khubesrian, MD tugged on the curtain to reveal the recently restored 1930 stone casting by celebrated sculptor Merrell Gage that features an image of a father reading to his three daughters. The image is bordered with the words "Comes a Pause in the Day's Occupation That is Known as The Children's Hour," an excerpt from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's classic American poem, "The Children's Hour." Mayor Pro Tem Robert Joe and Councilmembers Diana Mahmud, Michael Cacciotti, and Richard Schneider, MD smiled with approval along with City Manager Sergio Gonzalez, as several photographers snapped pictures of the 600 lb. artwork.
In 2008 the Library launched Phase I of its Exterior Beautification Project, bringing wrought iron park benches to the entryway area of the Library, while removing sago palms, waste receptacles, and the bookdrop from the front door. Phase I also brought a new sculpture, urns, landscaping, and the brick patio. Phase II is now complete and the patio area is further equipped with ADA-compliant tables and benches, provided by the Setzler Family "In Memory of Linda and Eddie Setzler." It also showcases the restored "The Children's Hour" created by the Kansas-born sculptor shortly after he arrived in Southern California. Merrell Gage also created many other artworks which surround the South Pasadena Library, all of which were paid for with local funding.

The value of the artwork has increased through the years because Merrell Gage went on to become one of the top American sculptors of the 20th Century, while creating many other masterful artworks around Los Angeles and beyond. Gage served on the 1932 Olympic Sculpture Committee, headed the USC Fine Arts Department, and was the recipient of an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short" in 1955. His personal papers now reside in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Gage's most magnificent creation for the South Pasadena Library, "The Children's Hour," once hung above the Library Children's Room, but was apparently broken around 1981 during the Library's expansion and renovation. It was then encased in concrete, buried by the front door, and almost completely forgotten. As the Library began its planning of Phase I in 2008, devoted Library user Andy Castellano, who's no longer with us, was the first to point out that the piece was by Merrell Gage. By then it was worn, chipped, and gouged.
An appraiser confirmed that the piece not only possessed local historical and cultural significance, but national importance as well. The South Pasadena City Council provided the first $25,000 for the ambitious project. That covered the majority of the costs of the restoration, the structural engineering calculations, the crafting of the giant brackets, and the installation of the piece itself. A portion of a bequest by the Estate of Martin E. Mullen, Jr. was also used to cover some of the costs.

Even with South Pasadena's strong cultural traditions of preservation and fine arts, residents haven't had that much of their own public art to enjoy. But with the City's rescue of the Gage piece de resistance, locals have a classic artistic marvel to savor. The "Children's Hour" was nearly lost forever, but its timeless artistic themes of the power of family, reading, and togetherness can now inspire countless generations to come.
posted 3-29-2014

Merrell Gage, Southern California’s Iconic 20th Century Sculptor
article by
- Steve Fjeldsted, City Librarian -
click here for article
The Rotary Club of South Pasadena and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library have provided funding for the Library to launch the "Self Growth" project, an up-to-date collection of books on popular psychology and personal development. The Friends and the Rotary Club previously partnered for the "Fitness for Life" project, which brought a fresh supply of books and DVDs on exercise, fitness, and athletics into the collection.

The "Self Growth Collection" offers practical materials to help readers further develop their talents and potential and improve the quality of their lives. The 200 new titles showcase the thoughts of many of the top-notch self- help writers to support human development on an individual level. The collection will help local residents to address many of the personal challenges that face us all, to solve problems and, sometimes, to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

· Co-Dependency
· Addictions
· Mental health
· Anxiety
· Ethics
· Depression
· Shyness
· Schizophrenia
· Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
· Behavior Modification
· Self-Esteem

  · Bipolar Disorder
· Memory Improvement
· Eating Disorders
· Obesity
· Suicide
· Therapy
· Hypnosis
· Relationships
· Self-Hypnosis
· Parenting
· Child Psychology
· Learning styles
  · Death & Dying
· Anger Management
· Aging Issues
· Bullying
· Stress Reduction
· Interpersonal Dynamics
· Leadership Building
· Phobias
· Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
· Motivation
· Identity Crises
All of the "Self Growth Collection" materials are affixed with a custom bookplate acknowledging all three project partners. Many of them are in a display bin near the New Books on the first floor of the Library. All of the books can be looked up in the Library's online catalog by searching "Self-Growth" as a "Series." They can also be looked up by author, title, and subject. A brochure containing listings of selected titles is available at the bin and throughout the Library.
  posted 3-29-2014...

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.
The Friends of the Library Bookstore is open 7 days a week, upstairs in the Library. Their hours are Mon., Tues., Wed., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thurs., Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat. Noon to 4 p.m.; and Sun. from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Yvonne Voisin, a former president of the Friends of the Library and active in the Friends Bookstore for more than 20 years, died March 17 while convalescing after a short hospitalization. Yvonne, who had been honored as a Volunteer of the Year by the Library Board of Trustees, also served as publicity chair for both the Concert Restoration Series Committee and the Friends Board of Directors and had been very active in other civic organizations.

A resident of South Pasadena since 1969, she was born in Poole, England in 1930 and married Geoffrey Voisin, a native of the Channel Island of Jersey-in 1952. Their son Michael was born in 1953. Geoff's sales career with British European Airways took them to Chicago and Los Angeles where twin daughters Laura and Samantha were born in 1962. Yvonne was divorced in 1974.

From 1974-1989 she served as Public Relations Director for the American Cancer Society's greater Los Angeles region. In 1989 she formed her own consulting company, Voisin Communications. Yvonne was active in many Service Organizations; in 1979 she joined ALTRUSA, serving as local president six times, at one point producing their local newsletter and was currently serving as local treasurer. While serving as president of PIRATES (Print Interactive Radio and Television Educational Society)from 1994-1996, Yvonne was integral in keeping the organization solvent and focused.

In 2000 she received their highest accolade, "The Golden Buccaneer Award" for outstanding service within PIRATES and through Voisin Communications to the public service community in Los Angeles.
For over a quarter of a century she has been at the center of preparation and booking for their every program and event.

Since 2007 she has worked with the Oneonta Club Foundation on their Scholarship program and with
the Language Institute in Pasadena finding lodging for foreign students. Since Oct 2012 she has worked as proofreader for the South Pasadena Review. Yvonne is survived by her three children and grandson Joshua.

Sally Swan was a long-time South Pasadena resident and stalwart community volunteer. Together with Dorothy Cohen, Bev Engler and Margaret Wallace, she was one of the founding members of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library Bookstore. She served on the Friends Board for many years. Sally and her husband Philip Swan sponsored the publication of an illustrated booklet celebrating the new Library building when it opened in 1982. She also served as a member of the Library's Centennial Committee and in 1993, after 23 years as a Library volunteer, she was honored by the California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners (CALTAC) as Volunteer of the Year.

Sally was passionate about gardening, reading, travel and art. She was an accomplished watercolor painter, calligrapher and accumulated a prized collection of illustrated children's books. Traditionally, in December, she would display her collection of antique children's Christmas books. She was devoted to her family, and each January for many years, she donated the funds for the newest Newbery Award winner in honor of her grandchildren, Emily, Audrey and Madeleine Steen.

Since Sally Swan's passing in March 2011, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library have received generous memorial donations to honor their beloved family member, friend and colleague. To date, the Friends have purchased 239 titles for a total of $4,400 from the Sally Swan Memorial Funds. All of these books will include a bookplate identifying them as books purchased in memory of Sally Swan. Specifically, the funds were used to replace aging Caldecott Award winners and to purchase notable picture or fiction books, along with titles related to art and gardening. All of these subjects were particularly special to Sally Swan.

The remaining Sally Swan Memorial Funds, combined with funding from the Estate of Keith L. Stiles and dedicated to the Children's Services Department, will be used for the construction of a Children's Room Entry Mosaic. This architectural mosaic will be designed and constructed by artist Jolino Becerra who recently completed the whimsical and thoughtful mosaic sculpture featured next to the information desk
in the Children's Services Department. The Children's Room Entry Mosaic should be completed by the end
of 2013.


Shown below - random samples from the 239 titles purchased




Earlier in April 2013, the California State Library released its California Library Statistics 2012, the latest of its annual reports on library statistical performance measures, covering the previous fiscal year. The report covers the period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 and 182 public library jurisdictions are profiled. Of these, there are 46 county libraries, 117 city, 12 district, and 6 Joint Power Authority public libraries.
Out of the 182 library jurisdictions, South Pasadena Public Library is in the top 15% in California in per capita checkouts, program attendance, and library visits.

South Pasadena Public Library, with its service area of a mere 3.44 square miles and a population of 25,693, enjoyed the very healthy number of 307,058 visitors during the 12 month stretch. That averages out to approximately 875 visitors for every day that the Library is open --or more than 11 and a half visits per year for every man, woman, and child in the city. These are impressive figures no matter what, but especially because the Library has no dedicated parking spaces of its own. Fortunately, the Library is located in an area where many residents walk, ride bikes, and take public transportation.

The South Pasadena Public Library’s total annual circulation for all materials: books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, etc. is also noteworthy, having exceeded 450,000 for the very first time in 2010-2011. That’s more than 17 annual checkouts per capita. With its circulation at 452,945 items, it rose from 431,573, an impressive increase of about 5% over the previous year.

California Library Statistics 2012 also shows that the South Pasadena Library has 33,862 registered borrowers. That total constitutes about 8,000 more cardholders than South Pasadena has residents. It’s a figure that speaks volumes about local residents’ interests in reading, music, films, cultural events, and lifelong learning. The total is especially remarkable given the fact that the neighboring communities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, and San Marino all have new, very sizeable library buildings, and Pasadena Public Library has 10 facilities.

During 2010-2011, South Pasadena presented 425 programs that drew audiences totaling more than 20,000. The vast majority of the programs, 291 in fact, were for children, although the Library still offered 134 programs for adults. Some of them, it should come as no surprise, were presented for audiences of all ages.



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The South Pasadena Public Library
is located at 1100 Oxley Street
Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
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Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library • 1100 Oxley Street - South Pasadena, CA 91030
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