Light Notes

I'm happy to report the Staff did a great job weeding damaged and outdated materials from the stacks. We're now engaged in the delightful task of restocking shelves cleared by our post-closures housekeeping. Consequently, in answer to queries about current LAPL materials request policies, here's a quick rundown:

Branch Purchases

Platt Branch Staff welcomes suggestions for other book and magazine titles…both circulation copies you'd like available in the LAPL system and reference materials you think should be housed at Platt Branch. In concert with the Friends Board, I'm working out a procedure to expedite patron requests.

 You can help by printing or typing your suggestions on 5x7" cards (one per title), giving the

If a book…


Then give the card to a Reference Librarian, who will check on current ordering status and advise you further.

Building a Community-Centered Collection with Your Input

Obviously, special purchases are subject to budget and shelf-space considerations, the number of requests for a given title, librarians’ discretion, and LAPL's overall acquisitions plan. But Platt patrons’ preferences will be given priority.

Normally, we process requests with regular materials orders, sending them downtown for the most cost-effective acquisition and cataloging. By periodically checking the catalog, you can place a hold when the title appears. If acquired, most titles usually appear within 150 days of receipt.

For special cases where time is critical (or an important reference work is difficult to obtain) and the title is already on LAPL's master future acquisitions list, the Friends will fund purchases directly from a local bookseller. Again obviously, this would have to be discussed at the time the request is made.

Plan to be Part of the Process

This is a lot to remember. For your convenience—if not by the time you receive this newsletter, then soon after—we'll have printed Suggestion for Purchase cards at the Reference Desk and in the Friends Bookstore. Pick some up and complete them at your leisure.

If you have further questions, e-mail me via “Tell the Librarian” on or stop by the Reference Desk.

Lynn Light, Senior Librarian


Meet The Staff

Jack Zafran, Young Adult Librarian reassigned from Fairfax Branch

Arriving at Platt after stops at West Valley Regional, Encino, and Woodland Hills Branches, Jack shoulders serial pinch-hitting with an affable smile…but only until Fairfax reopens. He's been Young Adult Librarian there for 9 years, and while he's a Valley resident, all Platt's charms won't keep Fairfax Branch from whisking him back.

No wonder. As you've probably noticed over the last 8 months, Jack has an easy, laid-back way of getting a lot accomplished. Perhaps that's because his view of his career is just as casual.

He decided to obtain all the necessary degrees, he tells us, somewhere around the time Boro Park Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library turned down his application to work as a library page. He'd rather recall time spent at a Catskill Mountains hotel, working stage lights for “up and coming comedians, including Rodney Dangerfield.” Or winning honors in 6th grade handball. Or the winter he spent near where St. Nicholas is buried in Turkey. Or his very eclectic autograph collection. But you'll have to pound on him to get him to tell you anything about awards won for his writing.

Married to an original Woodstock Music Festival attendee, Jack has three children and a great sense of humor. Friends should get to know him while they can.

What a Delightful and Superlative Show!


Mallori Gottesman as Alice, Taylor Oppenheim as the Mad Hatter, Jeta Vlashi as the March Hare, and Monica Kiilehua as the Dormouse.

Those who missed the Young Americans 4-H group's original production of Alice in Wonderland at Platt Branch last April missed an amazingly creative theatrical event: excellent performances by a cast of eighteen children, great directing, original music, lights, a full set, spectacular costumes—the works! Who would have thought that our Multipurpose Room could slide so completely into the White Rabbit's hole?


Mallori Gottesman as Alice, Kathleen Johnson as the Duchess.

The near-capacity audience that did attend (and very much enjoy) the play has Renee Vlashi to thank. Renee was the Director and Production Designer, and the talented cast (ranging from ages four to sixteen) included two of her children, Jeta and Bronte.

Creative Stage Manager Peggy Christensen, Stage Managers Jennifer Kiilehua and Lynn Joseph,


Sienna Jackson as the Queen, Aidan Kiely as the Knave, Mallori Gottesman, Jeta Vlashi as the 7.

and Composer Marc Gottesman also contributed greatly to the show's success. And without a host of deftly-sewing Moms, the actors wouldn't have looked as if they'd just stepped out of a picture book. 

Young Americans 4-H is a home-schooled group. They met at the library for 6 months to rehearse and work on production. This is the second time the group has offered a free, book-oriented family program for Platt Branch patrons. This time, they have taken the fruit of their efforts on the road. Already, the group has performed at several other libraries in the LA area, with more performances under consideration.

Vicki Magaw, Children's Librarian

Young Adults Programs

Last April we had two very practical, and well-attended, programs for our teen patrons.

Eileen Landacre, Community Service Representative with the LAFD's Fire Safety and Education Office, presented an introductory class in baby-sitting. Using a combination of handouts and videotapes, Ms. Landacre explained basic safety procedures and responsibilities. Topics included emergency number checklists and stages of child development, as well as referrals for a complete baby-sitting training program, which was recommended. Everyone attending received certificates of completion.

A workshop on finding summer employment was conducted by Michael Goldthreat and Michelle Carter,


EDD representatives Michelle Carter and Michael Goldthreat answer questions after the Teen Job Workshop last April.

Youth Counselors with the California Employment Development Department. An interested audience of teens and parents received information about various state programs, as well as EDD contact numbers if they needed career counseling. Mr. Goldthreat spoke of the difficulty obtaining summer jobs, and while offering his office's assistance, he emphasized to those present the importance of doing a great deal of the footwork themselves.

Coming This Summer

Sign-ups for a new Teen Reading Club, tied into LAPL's Reel Books & Movies summer reading program, will begin Wednesday, June 16, with a visit from Tattoo Kool at 4–5:30 pm. Participants will be encouraged to read the original book and then check out the movie based on it. Special Reel Books & Movies programs throughout the summer will include:

Watch the bulletin board for updates and more info.

Jack Zafran, Young Adult Librarian

Presenting—The Egg!!

We are constantly intrigued by the variety of items that Friends members and other Platt patrons collect…and are willing to share with the rest of us. Recently, the collection was a special array of eggcups. What could be more appropriate during Easter and springtime then to ponder the age-old question of chickens and eggs?

Friends member Martha Zoloth loaned the impetus for such contemplation to Platt Branch for the  March/April display. She has been collecting eggcups for nearly 9 years now and has at least fifty unique examples. Our thanks to Martha for so kindly selecting some of her treasures and bringing them for all to view.

If you have something you would like to offer for future display, please contact Lynn Light, Senior Librarian, at (818) 340-9386. Sorry, but displays of a commercial nature are not permitted.

Millie Berger, Past President

Display photo by Dan Strauss

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