Under Cover: Celebrating National Library Week April 13-19

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Library Week poster“A Library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”  – E.B. White

Running April 13 – 19, National Library Week is a celebration each year of all that our public libraries bring to our communities.

Observed since 1958 in book havens across the country, the weeklong festivities aim to honor the contributions of both our libraries and librarians, as well as encourage library use and support, along with a love of reading.

This year’s theme, “Lives Change @ the Library,” is depicted daily in the goings-on at our own public library here in Newport Beach. You need look no farther than the archives of this column to see all the wonderful programs the library offers. Even then, however, you’d only be skimming the surface.

First-rate authors, financial planners, world-class chefs, and celebrity speakers, while fantastic guests, represent only a small portion of what the library brings to the table.

Through story times, classes, and the ever-helpful staff, the library is above all else, a place where learning and curiosity are always fostered.

Of course, Newport Beach is not a town to shy away from a good celebration, and the NBPL, with a little help from its friends, has a great week of activities planned.

The celebration will kick off on Sunday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m., with a special musical presentation at the Central Library. “Sunday Musicale” will feature musicians Mary Palchak and Adam Pettit, as they play “Masterworks for Flute and Guitar.”

On Tuesday, April 15, adults can enjoy a celebratory edition of “What’s Cooking at the Library” called “All About the Cheese.” At this event, attendees will learn about making sensational wine and cheese pairings from cheese expert, Pam Thompson, and her co-presenter, Jim Vorce, wine-buyer for Trader Joe’s. Reservations required.

Children and their families can choose from several special events as well. World-champion juggler, David Cousin, will visit the Corona del Mar branch on Tuesday, April 15, while experts from Sherman Gardens will be on hand at the Central Library on Wednesday, April 16 to help young horticulturists “Spring Into Gardening.”

Thursday, April 17, will bring “Prehistoric Pets” to the Balboa Branch, as patrons enjoy an exciting live animal show.

As an extra treat, the week will see several local dignitaries visit the library as special guest readers for story time, including City Council members Tony Petros, Ed Selich, and Nancy Gardner; Library Trustees Robyn Grant and Ellie Palk; and City Manager, Dave Kiff. There will even be a princess story time featuring a special fairy tale guest.

The celebration will conclude on Saturday, April 19 at 11:00 a.m. with a performance at the Central Library by the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensemble.

The week of festivities highlights from top to bottom all that can be found at our local library. More than just books, the Newport Beach Public Library offers a place for the community to gather with one another, explore new things, and share common interests.

Perhaps the best endorsement for support of the library comes from writer Ann Patchett in the afterword of the new book, “The Public Library: A Photographic Essay,” by Robert Dawson:

“If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy your books, and you have your own computer with which to conduct research, and you’re not in search of a story hour for your children, then don’t forget about the members of your community who are like you but perhaps lack your resources — the ones who love to read, who long to learn, who need a place to go and sit and think. Make sure that in your good fortune you remember to support their quest for a better life. That’s what a library promises us, after all: a better life. And that’s what libraries have delivered.”

For more information on National Library Week, and all the events at the library, please visit newportbeachlibrary.org.

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