Children's Boutique Keeps Getting Better!


Clockwise from top left, Lynn Durbin, Joan Wagner, Millie Berger, Sharon Schuster, several young shoppers loading up, and Julie Booth displaying Eileen Bernfeld's snowmen.

When a great event becomes a tradition, anticipation often magnifies everyone's sense of festivity and fun. As you can see, that's just what happened with our Children's Holiday Boutique last December. Now in its fourth year at Platt, this kids-only event drew a crowd that came early and nearly overwhelmed Friends volunteers before the doors officially opened.

Fundraising VP Lyall Thompson made sure they weren't disappointed. For over a month, she had teams of friendly elves making gifts. The tables were crammed with beautifully handcrafted items. Each selection was gaily wrapped, quickly! All thanks to the combined efforts of Eileen Bernfeld, Millie Berger, Pam Bieber, Becky & Jenna & Julie Booth, Ruth Bromund, Paula Connolly & grandson Cory, Elaine Corman, Lynn Durbin, Therese Hearn, Charlene Montante, Nancy Reeves, Darris Reilly, Paula Russo, Sharon & Shel Schuster, Harriet Strauss, Joan Wagner, and Lyall (of course) with grandson Jake.

Eileen Bernfeld deserves an extra round of applause for providing boxes full of creativity, which she began crafting soon after last year's boutique. Special thanks are due to Millie (& Ed) Berger, Pam Bieber, Julie Booth, and Paula Connolly for working countless hours designing and shaping their delightful candies, trivets, tote bags, and wee flower pots (to name but a few of many items). Thanks, too, to the Victory 4-H Club kids for helping Julie. And Leslie Frankel of The UPS Store also helped with a generous donation of gift-wrap supplies.

On their end, our young shoppers didn't disappoint Platt's industrious Friends. They enjoyed themselves and, by sale's end, left the tables all but bare. With most items going for 25 and 50, the 4th Annual Children's Holiday Boutique brought a record $218.55 in to Platt Library.

Under the Blue Dome…

At our November General Meeting, Elma Hovanessian spoke passionately about her first book, the critically acclaimed historical novel, Under the Blue Dome.

Explaining the “blue dome” as the sky under which people live and die in storytellers’ traditional opening to a Persian tale, Mrs. Hovanessian described her reasons for writing by quoting George Orwell. She was “Driven by a demon”: obsessed with keeping the past alive for students, preserving nostalgic moments for the elderly, and giving Americans an “open door” to the knowledge needed to understand Iranian culture.


Young Adult Librarian Jack Zafran presents Elma Hovanessian with the Library's promotional poster after the program.

Although the characters and specific tales in this book are fictional, the background events and the details are rooted in her own experiences during pre-revolutionary days in Tehran. In 1976 while attending a UCLA workshop, her professor encouraged her to pull her stories, essays, and articles together into a novel. The research alone took time. The truly hard part, though, she said, was finding a Western publisher willing to take a chance on a novel about Iranians in Iran. She finally decided to self-publish and discovered that gaining distribution was much easier.

No wonder. The sections of Chapter 1 that Mrs. Hovanessian read to “wet our whistle” were compelling. Eager for more, the audience readily participated in the lengthy discussion following the presentation. Do check out the book from the library. You will find it as enlightening as Elma Hovanessian's presentation.

Frona DeCovnick, Program Chair

“Women in History…” with an Altitude

Thursday, February 19, at 7:00 pm, you can get a head start on March's Women in History month, which honors women who've been in the vanguard of historic developments. Our General Meeting program, Women in Aviation, will be presented by Jaye Howes, Chairman of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the 99s—International Organization of Women Pilots.

Jaye earned her pilot's certificate in 1982 and is now commercial instrument rated, flying primarily a 1946 North American Navion single engine plane. This is her second go at being the 99s chairman. Her first stint was for 2 years from 1986 to 1988.

Don't miss this lively speaker on a timely subject! In addition to learning some fascinating details about a field in which women excelled early on, you'll get a broader picture of their status in the skies today. (And we'll all find out how the 99s came by their name—a story in itself.)

Please note the earlier presentation time. The General Membership Meeting will begin at 6:30. Refreshments and informal discussion will follow the program as usual.

Frona DeCovnick, Program Chair

Internet Access Update

The LAPL main website has added links to branch library friends groups’ websites. Previously, the sole link to Platt's site wasn't easy to find at the bottom of the LAPL Platt Branch page under the “Services” heading.

However, since LAPL's Assistant Director of Branches, Betsey Hoage, promised to request improved access at our November Board Meeting, we now have a link to “Platt” on the “Friends of the Los Angeles Public Library” page and a new listing for “Bookstore—Selling used books and operated by the Friends Group” on the LAPL Platt Branch page. Both link directly to the Friends of the Platt Library website home page.

To check out these new links, go to

For the most direct route to the Friends of the Platt Library website, click About LAPL. Then under General Information, click Friends of the Library, and under Branch Library Friends Groups, click Platt.

You can find a link to LAPL's Platt Branch page in the LAPL Site Index, where there is also a link to a list of all branch libraries.

Of course, the LAPL website would be even more user friendly to patrons seeking to join branch support groups if there were a category labeled “Library Friends Groups” on the LAPL home page. But this is a welcome improvement. Hits on Platt's website from the LAPL links rose appreciably after December 1.

Once browsers reach the Friends of the Platt Library's website at, they can quickly access a printable interactive membership form, post messages to the Senior Librarian, check on upcoming events, read newsletters, and take advantage of informational links added to the newsletter articles.

David Perrell, Webmaster

The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
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