Renovated Public Library Plans a Busy Summer

Mark Totten
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
La Cañada Flintridge library manager Mark Totten displays the new computers in front of the adult area of the library. The budget for the deferred maintenance project was $532,000, officials said.

The La Cañada Flintridge library, which closed on March 30 for maintenance, is scheduled to reopen on Monday, June 24, and its summer programs are set.
Manager Mark Totten said he is looking forward to going back to work at his accustomed library. He has been working at other branches of the Los Angeles Country Library, including those in La Crescenta and Stevenson Ranch, but is eager to return.
“We miss our community,” Totten said last week at the local library, which sat empty because work was still being completed in the meeting room and not all of the furniture had arrived.
The budget for the deferred maintenance project was $532,000, county library marketing director Geraldine Lin said in an email.
“The main thing people will notice that’s different is the new carpet,” Totten said. “It’s good, because the old carpet was installed in 2002.” He said the new edition consists of individual panels, which will be easier to replace in the future. Its predecessor was installed in long rolls.
Other changes include the ceiling with fireproof tiles, lights, new computers for the children’s and adult areas and new furniture.
The children’s area has been completely reconfigured, Totten said, with a play area and more shelves for books. New murals have been put up and will change with the season.

Sarah LoVerme
Photo by Wes Woods II
Sarah LoVerme, the children’s services librarian for the La Cañada Flintridge library, shows off the reconfigured children’s area. LoVerme created the murals, which includes one with Pete the Cat, also on the carpet.

“I like to have seasonal changes because I get excited when the seasons change,” said Sarah LoVerme, the branch’s children’s services librarian, who created the paper murals that include an image of Pete the Cat. It’s near a carpet featuring the same character.
“He’s a rock star right now in the children’s world,” LoVerme said of Pete. “He’s very popular. We read a lot about Pete in story time. I really wanted Pete the Cat [in the mural] because everybody knows who he is.”
Totten said 15 people work at the library — five full-time and 10 part-time staffers. All of the part-timers ended up at La Crescenta during the LCF branch’s closure while the others worked in San Fernando and Stevenson Ranch or wherever there was a need, he said.
“I always use the analogy we’re like substitute teachers,” Totten said. “I was in Stevenson Ranch for a while, too. You just kind of take your work with you.”
There are 80,000 materials at the library, including books, DVDs and audio books.
“Audio books are extremely popular here because people commute,” said Totten, adding that JPL workers are among the patrons who look for such books.
Rosemary Hook, president of the Friends of the La Cañada Flintridge Library, said her organization supports the branch with semiannual book sales and can’t wait for the reopening.
“Everyone is eager for the library to open,” Hook said in an email. She said a tentative book sale was scheduled for Monday, July 29-Saturday, Aug. 3, because a spring book sale had to be canceled.
Totten said that on Wednesday, June 26, two days after the reopening, there will be an open house celebrating the American Library Association naming the Los Angeles County Library system the library of the year. He expects Monday to be even busier.
“When I was in La Crescenta working [recently], I went out in the public area and every person from La Cañada who knew me — every one of them — said, ‘When are you reopening?’”
LoVerme said the local staff has gotten attached to its patrons.
“A lot of them have grown up coming here,” she said. “I know little kids whom I’ve met when they were infants. We have a very long-standing relationship with our customers. I miss them. I’m really looking forward to seeing them. I know there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation of us reopening.”

La Cañada library Summer programs include:

3:30-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, and Wednesday, July 17: Paws to Read, featuring animal stories geared toward children and families
10:15-10:40 a.m. and 11-11:25 a.m. on Mondays from July 1-29: Baby-Toddler Storytime for ages 0-3
3:30-4 p.m. on Mondays from July 1-29: Smarty Pants Storytime for ages 3-5
3:30-4:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 2: Party Puppet Show, part of the summer reading program for children
3-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9: Kids Creation Station, part of the summer reading program for children
2-3:30 p.m. Friday, July 12: Wearable Technology, part of National Summer Learning Week, for children (age 8 and older) and teens
3:30-4:15 p.m. Tuesday, July 16: The Magic of Tony Daniels, part of the summer reading program for children ages 5-12.
11-11:45 p.m. Monday, July 22: Twinkle Time Concert for Kids, ages 3-12
4-4:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 30: Annie Banannie Wacky Alien Balloon Show for ages 5-12
3:30-4:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5: Juggling Show with David Cousin for ages 5-12
3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6: Ice Cream Social for ages 5-12
3-4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20: L.A. Kings Storytime featuring Bailey and the L.A. Kings Ice Crew
The Friends of the La Cañada Flintridge Library made possible the puppet show, Creation Station, Tony Daniels, concert for kids, alien balloon show, juggling show and the ice cream social programs, officials said.
The library is located at 4545 N. Oakwood Ave.
For more information, call (818) 790-3330 or visit

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