Coming Events
   Adult & Youth
 •Annual Report

 Special Sale

Get Involved
 •How to Join


      •   •   •  
Visit the South Pasadena Public Library
1100 Oxley St.
South Pasadena
California, 91030

 SPPL logo


•  Up Coming Events   Up Coming Youth Programs

•  News
     •     Library Park Guided Tree Walk is Established
    •   Beverly Engler

    •   Jazz Musician, Mark Hatch, donates personal CD collection
    •   "Great Books" donated by Petra Galindo
"Self Growth Collection" - 200 new titles
•  Friends Newsletter
Annual Report 2014
    updated 6-27-2015





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 - July 2, 2015

Americans customarily celebrate Independence Day with family reunions, barbecues, fireworks, parades, and patriotic music. This year the public celebration of the holiday will start a bit early in South Pasadena. On Thursday, July 2nd at 6:00 p.m. the Colburn Adult Wind Symphony will perform a free patriotic concert in the Library Park. Last year, on the evening before Independence Day, the Colburn School Adult Wind Symphony unleashed a rousing performance before an enthusiastic Library Park audience.

This year the highly accomplished musicians will again play for about 90 minutes right outside the Library Community Room at 1115 El Centro Street. Their stellar repertoire will include "Fanfare for Freedom" by Harry T. Bulow, "Autobiography" by Robert Russell Bennett, "Hail to the Spirit of Liberty" by John Philip Sousa, and many others. No tickets or reservations are necessary and audience members are invited to bring picnic food and blankets or folding chairs. The South Pasadena Farmers' Market, a mere block to the west, offers its own wide variety of food options.

The Colburn School Adult Wind Symphony performs traditional and contemporary works. The 50-piece concert band led by Dennis Zeisler, a Board member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, is a powerful, sophisticated ensemble of woodwind, brass and percussion players. They have delighted Los Angeles-area outdoor concert-goers for years. The group is led by Dennis Zeisler, director of bands at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA., who has served on the faculty of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia for more than two decades, serving as Director of Bands, Professor of Clarinet and Saxophone, and Chairman of the Music Department.
The Colburn School is a performing arts school located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, neighboring Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Music Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Broad Museum. The acclaimed faculty provides students with the highest quality performing arts education, including a multitude of performance opportunities in a state-of-the-art facility. More than 2,000 students attend classes at the Conservatory of Music, the Community School of Performing Arts, the Music Academy, and the Dance Academy.

The concert for all ages is presented by the Colburn School,
the South Pasadena Public Library,
and the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library.
Special thanks to the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and
the South Pasadena Community Services Department.

        COMING - July 6, 2015

A free screening of the 1962 classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD will be presented in the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room on Monday, July 6 at 7 p.m. Actor Dean Ghaffari will open the event with a brief dramatic reading from the book. Film Historian Manny Pacheco, will introduce the much acclaimed film and conduct a Q & A at its conclusion. The film, adapted from Harper’s Lee’s one and only novel of the same name, is presented in anticipation of her long-awaited follow-up, GO SET A WATCHMAN, to be released on July 14 after a wait of more than 50 years.
In 1963 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD won 3 Academy Awards, including one for Gregory Peck as Best Actor in his unforgettable portrayal of small town lawyer Atticus Finch. . The American Film Institute once named Atticus Finch “the greatest movie hero of the 20th Century.” TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD won Oscars for “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium” and “Best Art Direction—Set Decoration—Black & White.” It also was accorded 5 Academy Award nominations including one for “Best Picture.” The dramatic trial scene is often considered the best of its kind in film history, and one for which Gregory Peck will always be remembered.

The film is based on Harper Lee’s one, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD which appeared in 1960, although it almost was never published at all. After growing up in a small Alabama town, Lee studied law in college and wrote for campus magazines. She moved to New York to work for an airline and took a year off to write the book, loosely based on an event which occurred nearby during her childhood where she grew up a friend of Truman Capote. After graduating from college, Lee moved to New York and worked for an airline from which she took time off in 1957 to write the novel. The experience was so frustrating that she threw the manuscript away at one point. Her agent urged her to retrieve it and when it was finally completed in 2 ½ years and submitted for publication, Lee was warned that the book would only sell a few thousand copies. Nevertheless, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD became an instantaneous success gaining widespread acclaim. It was accorded a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and went on to become one of the biggest selling books of the 20th Century. It has sold more than 18 million copies, has never gone out of print, and has been translated into 40 languages. In 1999 it was selected as the “Best Novel of the Century” by Library Journal and it was accorded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. Told through the eyes of Scout Finch, a 6-year-old girl, the powerhouse book confronts issues of racial prejudice in the Deep South during the Depression as Atticus Finch defends Thomas Robinson, played by Brock Peters, against a bogus rape charge.

During the last 55 years, Harper Lee has been extremely private, staying almost completely out of the public eye, only agreeing to a few public appearances and interviews. A follow-up for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD has never appeared despite unrelenting demand and a few rumors through the years. But that will all change with the July 14, 2015 publication of GO SET A WATCHMAN, a sequel of sorts that uses some of the same characters from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, who are 20 years older. Harper Lee’s manuscript for GO SET A WATCHMAN was actually written before TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and was thought to be long lost forever when her lawyer discovered it. One of the biggest surprises in American literary history occurred when it was announced that the book would be released at last. At first it was suspected that the sequel wasn’t authorized by Harper Lee but that notion was disproven after an investigation. Another journalist tracked down the 90 year-old author who in an assisted living residence and requested an interview. The reply he received only said “Go away, Harper Lee.”

The free event is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library and the Friends of the
South Pasadena Public Library and co-sponsored by the Friends of the Rialto Theatre and Videotheque. Special thanks to ProOutdoorMovies.com who will be showing the film in Blu-Ray on a film festival-sized screen. The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. No tickets or reservations are necessary and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The film is not rated.

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...................
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.

Professional jazz musician, Mark Hatch, a longtime South Pasadena resident, is in the midst of donating his entire personal CD collection, about 1500 discs in all, to the South Pasadena Public Library. Mark recently brought by the first giant batch –about 900 titles the Library doesn’t already own-- which will greatly enhance the Library’s already expansive collection. The CDs will be added to the Library collection in incremental amounts over the next two years or so and will help give the South Pasadena Library one of the most impressive checkout CD collections in the Greater Los Angeles area. In 2015 Mark will also be donating about 400 to 500 CDs of titles already in the Library’s collection to the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library to be used for a fundraiser.
For many years Mark Hatch has been active as a performer, composer, and arranger and for playing the Flugelhorn, a trumpet-like instrument. Mark toured and recorded with the Ray Charles Orchestra, and then served as musical director for Chaka Khan, as well as performing and recording with Rufus, Aretha Franklin, Flora Purim, Louie Bellson, and many others. On September 11 Mark and vocalist Charles Frichtel performed at the City of South Pasadena’s 9/11 Ceremony at the Library.

“This music collection represents my over 30 years of collecting, exploring, and discovering music, both as a musician and as just a listener,” explained Mark. “My hope is that this collection will be a great resource for further musical discoveries and exploration.” “Many of us can look back and remember what a huge part libraries have played in our discovery of the world around us...the fun of one work of art capturing one’s imagination, and then leading to another. It's like a trail that leads from one discovery to the next. I also wanted to donate this collection to the library for all the present and future budding musicians out there. There is a whole world of great music in this collection, just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.”

Posted 11-25-2014


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  ....
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.


Online quarterly newsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for "Between Friends" Email Newsletter

FOL paper publication editions
2007 - 2012


Current edition

    Friends Annual Report 2014 (pdf)


2007 - 2014

The South Pasadena Public Library
is located at 1100 Oxley Street
Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Thursday and Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library • 1100 Oxley Street - South Pasadena, CA 91030
No Top of page Elizabeth Taylor Sean Connery Brigitte Bardot Humphrey Bogart William Holden