Light Notes

As you can see from the article in Friends News, the Friends, Platt Branch staff, and the Library Foundation staff produced a very successful just-breaking-author program with Bob Shrum. Some in the large audience came from as far as Simi Valley and Camarillo! As a surprise bonus, former LA City Councilwoman Joy Picus introduced the noted political strategist. Mr. Shrum signed the copy of his book that the Friends purchased for Platt's collection. He was also very complimentary about the attractiveness of the branch and the friendliness of our staff and Friends.

Growing Adult Literacy Program

Susan Casmier, our Literacy Center Coordinator, told me that Platt's adult events help her recruiting efforts. For instance, after attending the Friends' engaging Evening with Carolyn See, three people joined the program as tutors. With this one-on-one program, however, Susan always needs more volunteers. All interested Friends are welcome! P. S.: Susan also needs more referrals of reading-challenged adults.

A Notable Donation

We were all pleasantly amazed by the BUM 1998 Trust's generous gift to Platt Branch—both the donation of an extensive book collection and of $4645. Many, many thanks to Trustees Bea Blondell, Ursula Scarrow, and Kathryn E. Van Houten and to all the Friends volunteers who made this possible. (For the full story, see Fundraising News.)

More Hot Off The Press Books

Thanks also to the Friends for making it possible to vastly increase Platt's Hot Off The Press offerings. Our patrons love this program! (Current bestsellers aren't subject to holds for the first 6 months. You can check out up to two at a time and keep them for up to 7 days—non-renewable, but with no special fees.) Currently, our HOTP circulation is 8th in LAPL's 72-branch system.

Lynn Light, Senior Librarian

Platt Hosts Tutor Training Workshop

The first Adult Literacy Tutor Training Workshop at Platt Branch got off to a rousing start on May 19. Every slot was filled for the full-day session.

Joining our Literary Center Coordinator, Susan Casmier (far left), were (l. to r.) Mary Anne Arensdorf, Mid-Valley Regional Branch Coordinator, Joe Kotzin, volunteer tutor, Sheila Weisberg, Staff Supervisor, and Holly Schoch, Panorama City Branch Coordinator. The workshop covered a general overview of the types of students tutors have encountered, basic approaches to adult education, and training in the Laubach reading method. In a particularly memorable exercise, Sheila presented a reading chart with English words printed in the Cyrillic alphabet. No one, not even two Russian speakers, could read simple phrases like “The boy on the ship” until—after about five minutes of drill—everyone could. This, she said, approximated the experience of the marginally literate (or literate only in another language) students most common in the program. And this is a good example of the program overall: simple, but effective.

Adult Literacy Center

Coordinator Susan Casmier's office hours are:

Mondays & Wednesdays: 10–3, Tuesdays: 12–5, Thursdays: 3–8

She can be reached any time at (213) 623-4078, ext 16590

Upcoming Tutor Training Workshops:

Sat., Sept. 15, 10am–5pm

Mid-Valley Regional Branch

Sat., Oct. 20, 10am–5pm

Cahuenga Branch

Sat., Nov. 17, 10am–5pm

Robertson Branch

Tutors are still very much needed. To volunteer, you only have to
1) be able to make a 6-month commitment to tutor 2–3 hours a week,
2) schedule an interview with Susan, and
3) complete a Tutor Training Workshop.

Tutoring is one-on-one. All students are fluent in English. Our Literacy Center and materials are available during all library hours.

Children's Programs

Just breaking news: Platt Branch has a new reading enhancement program. Read To Me LA emphasizes preschool literacy readiness. Its focus is on parent education and will include the six skills necessary for later reading readiness. Training, lead by Children's Librarian Barbara Mattison, will occur during scheduled Preschool Storytime sessions. Plus, all preschooler caregivers should plan to attend our Kick-Off session on Thursday evening, September 27.

Looking back on a great 4 months: The Friends-sponsored One World Rhythm extravaganza in May nearly had the whole library rocking to the beat of Debbie Keith and Pete Ellison's nifty, calibrated drumheads. What a boisterous crowd!

June brought us the heavily enrolled Children's Summer Reading Club (over 400 sign-ups!) and the first tie-in program: Around the World with the Reptile Family. Which brought us baby Komodo dragons, elder Monitor lizards, tortoises, and B I G snakes. That's Maddy the Boa Constrictor being held by Samuel Tyo and trainer Chrissy Martin.

In July, author/illustrator Stephanie Gwyn Brown presented the art and nuts-and-bolts involved in creating children's books. After an excellent slide presentation, Milo Bougetz-Aulbach, Jessica Munje, and Claire & Grace Ruane duplicated Prof. Aesop Crow's famous pitcher experiment. And as an encore, Stephanie produced drafting forms for us all to “invent” on. A truly together author event!

The August finale, Wonders of Wildlife's Scat Tracker: Nature Detective introduced us to the cutest and most amiable “wild” critters we've ever met (including a possum and a gold-spying pig). Cheryl Rendes also taught the kids a great deal. At right, Emily Flores, the day's Paw-matching Champion, poses with Cheryl and her mother, Irene, Fennit Fox, and Miss Barbara. And of course, the program ended with prizes for prolific readers.

Upcoming Children's Programs

For further information, call Children's Librarian Barbara Mattison at (818) 340-9386.

Adult Programs

Thanks to Friends sponsorship, Platt has 3 excellent, adult-oriented Saturday afternoon events scheduled:

See what happens when patrons tell Adult Librarians Sherry Brent and Elliott Gordon what they prefer? Express your preference by calling them at (818) 340-9386 or dropping by the Reference Desk.

Summer Displays of Books & Crafts

Did you catch Adult Librarian Susan Bougetz's dynamic display of summer reading options? The display case fairly sizzled with her 4th of July array of good choices.

Our second exhibit this summer showcased the artistry of Platt Library clerk Patty O'Bryan. Our multi-talented Patty enjoys making beaded jewelry, throwing pots, and painting watercolors. Patty finds her craft-making “fun, therapeutic, and relaxing”. Thanks, Patty!

Platt's main display cabinet brings interesting non-commercial personal or group collections to our patrons. If you have one you'd like to share, contact Susan Bougetz at (818) 340-9386.

GAB Interactive Children's Reading Program always needs volunteers. 6-month commitment required. Free training provided. Contact Children's Librarian Barbara Mattison at (818) 340-9386

The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
Artwork, photos and information are copyrighted by their respective Authors, the Friends of the Platt Library, and/or Hearn/Perrell Art Associates and may not be reprinted without permission.
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