Crowell Library Lends a Vital Presence to Community’s Life

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK City Librarian Irene McDermott, who has worked at San Marino libraries for 21 years, said the community’s generosity is a key factor in Crowell Public Library’s exceptional offerings to patrons.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
City Librarian Irene McDermott, who has worked at San Marino libraries for 21 years, said the community’s generosity is a key factor in Crowell Public Library’s exceptional offerings to patrons.

Crowell Public Library, now 11 years old, represents a steadfastly popular $17 million investment for San Marino’s residents.
The library earned its name for the $4 million put up by longtime resident Suzy Crowell, but after another $5 million came from the city’s coffers, the rest of the bill was made up by donations from a litany of others. Furthermore, the library is able to invest in system and technology upgrades thanks to continuing donations from the community and through nonprofit groups.
“That’s why we can have nice things,” City Librarian Irene McDermott said wryly, explaining what exactly makes the San Marino library, well, a San Marino library. Continue reading “Crowell Library Lends a Vital Presence to Community’s Life”

Town Hall Focuses on Traffic Solutions

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne explains at a town hall meeting this week how he hopes to address select traffic issues in San Marino and solicits ideas from residents.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne explains at a town hall meeting this week how he hopes to address select traffic issues in San
Marino and solicits ideas from residents.

Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne is working to refine proposals on how San Marino can use up to $32 million in no-strings-attached Metropolitan Transportation Authority money to try to alleviate roadway congestion and stray traffic on residential streets.
In doing so, Throne is hoping to target five areas identified by Metro as problem areas, but in a way that caters more to residents’ preferences than what the agency initially proposed as alternatives to its now-dead 710 Freeway tunnel. Emphasizing the point, Throne told a standing-room-only crowd at the city’s monthly town hall meeting in Crowell Public Library’s Barth Room that Metro’s alternative proposals were “not going to work for a second in San Marino.” Continue reading “Town Hall Focuses on Traffic Solutions”

Panel Promises Homegrown (but Metro-Funded) Traffic Plan

The Public Safety Commission assured concerned residents at its meeting this week that the city is not currently planning to move forward with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority-designed plans to improve traffic capacity in San Marino, and that the city would craft its own plans to address their wishes.
Residents will have a further opportunity to make their desires known at a town hall meeting hosted by the city at 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the Barth Room at Crowell Public Library. Continue reading “Panel Promises Homegrown (but Metro-Funded) Traffic Plan”

Council OKs Hiring Director for Library, Recreation Depts.

The San Marino City Council has voted to fund and hire a community services director, setting up the hiring of a department head who will ultimately have control of both the Recreation Department and Crowell Public Library.
In approving the post, the council directed City Manager Marcella Marlowe at its meeting last week to eliminate the Recreation Department manager position at her discretion, the rationale being that the new director will be primarily focused on that department and that the money to pay for the position has to come from somewhere. Continue reading “Council OKs Hiring Director for Library, Recreation Depts.”

Library Efficiency: There’s a Scanner for That

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Longtime Crowell Public Library employee Lora Smith demonstrates the ease by which library patrons can scan their library card and check out materials using the library’s new radio frequency identification system.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Longtime Crowell Public Library employee Lora Smith demonstrates the ease by which library patrons can scan their library card and check out materials using the library’s new radio frequency identification system.

It seems like a simple addition to the facility, but it is a welcome one for the staff at Crowell Public Library.
The new RFID — radio frequency identification — hardware was recently installed at the library’s checkout desks and at the entryways, and the staff is now well into the Herculean task of placing the system’s corresponding tags
into the nearly 90,000 books and other items circulated from the library. Those tags, which are essentially square stickers on the insides of covers, contain a chip that transmits the book’s information to the system to check it out to a patron.
Continue reading “Library Efficiency: There’s a Scanner for That”

New Library Technology Booked for Crowell

Crowell Public Library hopes to have a new system implemented by September that would expedite check-out times for patrons and help staff keep track of where everything is.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips will be installed in each book, magazine, DVD and CD this year, courtesy of the company mk Solutions. The Library Board of Trustees recently discussed the development in a joint meeting with the City Council. Continue reading “New Library Technology Booked for Crowell”

San Marino’s Crowell Library Turns 10

Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK Bookmark contest winners Kimberly Pan (from left), Caitlin Chwang, Irene Xue, Ken Chen and Ashley Tanaka show off their winning bookmarks at Crowell Public Library’s open house with Linda Chang, Brent Chang and Ann Gluck, whose company the Chang Group was a contest sponsor. Madeleine Cham (not pictured) also was a contest winner.
Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK
Bookmark contest winners Kimberly Pan (from left), Caitlin Chwang, Irene Xue, Ken Chen and Ashley Tanaka show off their winning bookmarks at Crowell Public Library’s open house with Linda Chang, Brent Chang and Ann Gluck, whose company the Chang Group was a contest sponsor. Madeleine Cham (not pictured) also was a contest winner.

Local families and community leaders gathered Saturday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Crowell Public Library. A fun-filled day of activities was sponsored by the library’s board of trustees, Friends of the Library and the San Marino Public Library Foundation.
Early visitors were welcomed with a tour of the library, which was completed in 2008 at a cost of $17 million, $12 million of which was donated by private citizens. Continue reading “San Marino’s Crowell Library Turns 10”