As we mentioned in our last issue, progress does have its challenges. LAPL administration wisely decided to move quickly on voter-approved library expansions and renovations, both to make sure improvements were implemented and to keep costs within funds allocated by the l998 Library Bond measure. This, however, necessitated closing a number of libraries simultaneously.
Platt Branch met the challenge with increased hours (in June 2000) to accommodate the anticipated peak periods and longer travel times between branches. A self-checkout system was installed earlier to speed standard transactions. Parking was doubled and access improved. Additional library materials are continually being ordered to satisfy the demand created by more library users. Five new computers have been installed for patrons’ use. And most important, Platt’s staff has been vastly increased to serve patrons’ circulation and information needs and to get books back on the shelves.
But by March, only nine libraries--Platt, Canoga Park, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills, Mid-Valley Regional, Panorama City, Van Nuys, Studio City, and Sunland-Tujunga branches--will be serving an area usually covered by twenty. If Pacoima Branch reopens in February, as scheduled, the ratio will improve overall. Still, unavoidably long commutes, long check-out lines, busy reference phones, and waits for requested books will continue until West Valley libraries begin reopening at the end of the year.
There is a bright side: Platt Branch patrons have been significantly compensated for inconveniences by the quality of the library's expanded staff. The new librarians are highlighted on the opening page of this issue.
Since our last Newsletter, the Platt Library display case has had three very interesting collections for your viewing pleasure.
Gourd Art by Charlene Smith, Fern Wesley, and Tony Graves provided a creative and imaginative November display. It was fun to look at each gourd and see how it had become a work of art.
December brought us holiday Origami decorations made by Cathy Ortiz and The Valley Origami Club. These folded pieces of paper were an intriguingly colorful collection.
For January, Shirley Wu, a Platt Library Friend and patron, put on display some of her artifacts from China. This year is The Year of the Horse. Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 16th.
Adult Librarian Janet Gast (818-340-9386) and Harriet Strauss (818-888-7766) are coordinating the cabinet displays. If you have a special interest or collection that you would like to share with the Platt Branch Library community, please contact either of them.
Harriet Strauss, Past President
Tuesday, January 22, library patrons--especially our middle and high school patrons--were pleasantly surprised by a departure from our usual meet-the-author and children’s programs.
Neither “high-brow” nor juvenile, rap artist and storyteller INQ performed an afternoon concert aimed directly at teens, but speaking to the concerns of all ages. While entertaining audiences with his extraordinary rhyming abilities, INQ inspires young people to create their own rap words and music with his thought-provoking lyrics and humorous anecdotes. A rousing good time was had by all. Such a good time, in fact, that no one worried about the fact they might be learning something.
Dan Cormier and Vicki Clarke, Young Adult Librarians
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SCHOOL READING PROGRAM
|Hamlin Street Elementary School is recruiting volunteers to read one-on-one with students for their “Wonder of Reading” school library.|
|The program is designed to instill the love of books in children who are struggling readers. Free training will be provided.|
|Hamlin School is located at 22627 Hamlin Street in West Hills.|
Platt Children’s Librarian
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