Tag Archives: burbank public library

Author Discusses Dynamic Take On Resurrection Of Woolly Mammoth

Woolly mammoths and the science to bring them back from extinction will be the focus of the Burbank Public Library’s upcoming author presentation. Ben Mezrich talks about his nonfiction book Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures at the Buena Vista Branch Library on Wednesday, July 19.

Woolly tells the true story of a group of young scientists at Harvard University, under the guidance of famed geneticist Dr. George Church, sequencing DNA from a frozen woolly mammoth found in the Arctic circle. The scientists have been splicing elements of that DNA into the DNA of a modern elephant in hopes of producing viable embryos.

More than just a tale of genetics, Woolly also focuses on Russian scientist Sergey Zimov and his son Nikita’s Pleistocene Park, a nature reserve in northeastern Siberia. They are testing the hypothesis that over hunting, not climate change, was responsible for the extinction of wildlife and the disappearance of grasslands at the end of the Pleistocene era.

The reserve is populated with Pleistocene-era animals such as bison, yak, reindeer and Yakut horses and could be a home for future woolly mammoths.

“At this moment, three ancient, prehistoric woolly mammoth genes have been brought back to life in Asian Elephant cells,” explained Mezrick. “Although it’s impossible to say for sure, the first woolly mammoth could be born as early as 3-5 years from now, although it depends on a lot of factors. The science is here now.”

woolly mammoth

Woolly mammoth at La Brea Tar Pits. (Photo Courtesy Hubert Kozak)

Mezrich is the author of 18 books, including several New York Times best-sellers. His book, Accidental Billionaires, was made into the movie The Social NetworkBringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions was turned into the movie 21.

Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures was published July 4, and is already in pre-production with Marty Bowen (Twilight, Maze Runner) at 20th Century Fox. Oscar Sharp is writing and directing and plans are for camera work to begin in winter.

“I think the reasons for bringing back the woolly mammoth are a big part of the story; this isn’t Jurassic Park, Church and his team aren’t building an amusement park,” commented Mezrich.

“The goal is to save the environment from a ticking time bomb represented by the melting permafrost at the ring of the world; to bring back a species that we made extinct, in order to fix the environment- it’s a karmic good that’s also an out of the box way of approaching our relationship with nature.”

Mezrich begins his presentation on the book at 7:00 p.m. and will hold a Q & A and sign books afterwards.

Burbank Public Library Apollo 8 Program Features Author Talk

Author Jeffrey Kluger discusses his new book Apollo 8:  The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon with space historian Amy Teitel at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library on Wednesday, May 24, at 7:00 p.m.

“As the years have gone by, and as the history of man in space has been recalled, Apollo 8 is coming to be recognized as a defining moment for man in space,” commented Librarian Hubert Kozak, who put together the program for the Burbank Public Library.

“It was the first time humans left the orbit of earth and ventured into deep space, the first time men left the gravitational pull of the earth and found themselves pulled by the gravity of another celestial body. It was the first time humans saw with their own eyes the other side of the moon.”

The astronauts on the mission, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders, put the Apollo 8 Command Service Module into orbit around the moon and studied and took photographs of the surface for potential landing sites for a future mission.

A photo taken by Anders from the other side of the moon, Earthrise,” became one of the iconic photos of the 20th century.

apollo 8 eathrise

“Earthrise” was taken in 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission. (Photo Courtesy Astronaut William Anders, NASA)

“Apollo 8 was an improvised mission, one that was moved up in NASA’s schedule of Apollo flights in its quest to land a man on the moon,” added Kozak. “Kluger explains how this was prompted by the space race with the Russians, a part of the U.S. Russian rivalry in the Cold War.”

“The mission was riskier and more daring than we knew at the time. When the Apollo 8 mission to the moon was planned, no crew had flown in the Apollo space capsule. The year before, three astronauts, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, had been killed in a fire in the Apollo capsule during ground tests.”

“The Saturn V rocket that would lift the astronauts into space had never put men into space before, and its last unmanned test had been unsatisfactory and engineering adjustments had to be made.”

Kluger interviewed Borman, Lovell and Anders, along with their families, for the book and tells a story that is dramatic, occasionally dark and often humorous.

“This is an inspirational story,” Kozak also said. “The Apollo 8 mission came at another time of deep division in our country, at the close of 1968, a very troubled year in our history with the war in Vietnam, deep racial divisions and widespread political unrest and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.”

“And yet on Christmas eve in late December, the nation was focused on a national triumph, and the largest worldwide audience in television history tuned in to watch men talk to them from the moon and recite the moving opening passages from the Book of Genesis.”

The Apollo 8 program is the first in the Summer Reading Club series for adults, but everyone is welcome to attend the free event. Books will be available for purchase and Kluger will sign books for interested patrons.

A senior writer at Time magazine, Kluger also co-wrote Lost Moon with astronaut Lovell, which Ron Howard made into the film Apollo 13, about man’s first landing on the moon.

apollo 8

Authors Discuss Burbank Farming Past, Present And Future

The co-authors of From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles, Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber, present an illustrated tour of Burbank farming and Southern California’s forgotten history as an agriculture center at the Buena Vista Library on Wednesday, May 3.

“Long before Los Angeles County was the nation’s largest urban center, it was the country’s agricultural heartland, producing an abundance of grain, fruit, vegetables, milk and much more,” explained Surls. “With a special focus on Burbank and surrounding areas, we’ll trace this history from pre-colonial times to the present, including how post WWII development paved over the area’s farm bounty.”

“We’ll show some amazing images from Burbank’s past that will spark discussion about how the current passion for gardening, farmers markets and local food not only ties in with local history, but may also inform the future,” she added.

“Human population has grown from 2 billion to 7.5 billion in the past 100 years and we have an enormous appetite,” commented Kreigh Hampel, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Burbank’s Public Works Department. “By understanding the history of food, water and development, we can better understand the world’s need for secure local food systems.”

“Rachael Surls and Judith Gerber have uncovered L.A.’s agricultural history using their wise insights in urban agriculture, food policy and community gardens,” Hampel also said. “If you think Los Angeles is a food desert, you’ll be delighted to know about the rising focus on healthy soils, local food councils and urban agriculture.”

The library became interested in hosting Surls and Gerber’s presentation on Burbank farming and Southland agricultural history after Amy Hammes from the Burbank Recycle Center showed the film Just Eat It in 2016, explained Librarian Hubert Kozak.

Just Eat It is a documentary about the waste in the food production system from farm to retail to individual households.

“We were surprised by the large audience for this event,” added Kozak. “They asked a lot of questions. It became apparent that this issue resonates not only with consumers and food lovers but also with an entire local network in the community of people concerned about environmental issues and sustainable urban living, including those who are a part of the current urban farming movement.”

From Cows to Concrete makes some of these same connections as it reviews the history of farming in Los Angeles.

“Like all history, it shows us that we have options,” Kozak said. “And among the history programs we do at the library, the ones we like best are those that tell a local story that connects older and younger generations living in this community.”

“Many of us remember growing up in Los Angeles and living in areas that were still in transition from farmlands to suburbia, areas still dotted with open fields and orchards,” he added. “Younger people growing up in this area today just have no idea that the area they lived in was ever anything else, or that life could be lived any other way, and it is important to the decisions they make about their future to know this is not so.”

The illustrated tour of From Cows to Concrete begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

Stephen Engel to Talk About LGBT’s “Fragmented Citizens.”

Author talk for Gay History Month:  Fragmented Citizens: The Changing Landscape of Gay and Lesbian Lives,  Thursday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library.

This is the first year LGBT history has been included in the curriculum of California high schools.  The library wanted to do something that would support the Burbank Unified School District as they implement this new standard.

They are hosting a program that we hope will be useful in explaining to teachers, students, and parents in the district exactly what gay history is, one that explores how it is similar to other late 20th Century civil rights movements, and how it differs.

Stephen Engel

Stephen Engel

Too often thought of as only pride parades and same-sex marriage, gay history has been very much involved with the major changes that have occurred in American society and politics over the last half century.   They wanted to find a speaker that had a broad perspective and who could put gay history in that larger context for a Burbank audience.

In the spring, a book was published that does exactly that.  In Fragmented Citizens:  The Changing Landscape of Gay and Lesbian Lives, Stephen Engel takes a broad overview of the major events and turning points in gay history in America.

Engel’s concern is less with presenting a record of historical events and more with explaining why they happened the way they did, of illuminating the dynamic forces that shaped and drove change.  He is interested in explaining how gay identity was formulated, how gay people became criminalized by law and governing institutions, and in tracing the slow process of disassembly of those formulations and laws in recent years.

The prism through which Engel looks at gay history is that of full citizenship in a democracy, how laws and institutions define what citizenship is and include or exclude people in a society from full citizenship.

Following the twists and turns of gay history illuminates in a larger sense the structure, institutions, and mechanisms of American political development in general.  As Engel shows, the disassembly of legal prescriptions and institutional policies is, because of the way our system of government in America is constituted, necessarily complicated and piecemeal.

fragmented-citzensAs change unfolds, local laws may be at variance with state laws, but consistent with federal laws; federal laws may conflict with state laws; state courts may decide similar issues based on different legal criteria and interpretations; federal courts may decide similar cases applying referencing different Constitutional criteria and leave those disparities unresolved as matters of Constitutional law.

Federal, state, and local agencies that administer policy may make varying interpretations of what they should do in all of these cases.  Policies may vary even within a single branch or level of government.    This is what has happened.  It is what gay people have experienced in their lives.  All of this has resulted in what for a generation of gay people has been a feeling of uncertainty about their legal status, their identity and rights as citizens.  They are a class of “fragmented citizens.”

This is the context in which gay history has unfolded, the landscape in which the quest for gay civil rights has taken place, and it explains some of the feeling of confusion that exists at the moment.  Engel will tell you where he thinks that history is headed.

Burbank Public Library Debuts Free Language Learning App

Since the Burbank Public Library’s recent debut of new language learning programs Mango and Little Pim, library patrons have access to more resources than ever, at the library, online at home or on the go via a mobile app for handheld smart phones and tablets.

“Mango provides instructional courses in 63 languages, including how to talk like a pirate which we put to good use [for] Talk Like a Pirate Day!” commented Sharon Cohen, BPL Library Services Director. “You can also learn English as a Second Language, with courses available in 18 native languages, including Spanish and Armenian.”

Jai Yoo, age 2, checks out a Little Pim language lesson in Spanish at the Burbank Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Jai Yoo, age 2, checks out a Little Pim language lesson in Spanish at the Burbank Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Little Pim is a language program developed for children ages 0-6 and focuses on introductory words for colors, numbers and shapes, in several languages. Mango is focused for conversational language learning, touching on main topics and phrases used by the traveler.

“This program is provided free of charge, thanks to the Friends of the Burbank Public Library,” added Cohen. “All you need to get started is a Burbank Library card.”

Cathleen Bowley and Jenny Darwent from the Central Library's Children's Department get in the spirit for Talk Like A Pirate Day. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

Cathleen Bowley and Jenny Darwent from the Central Library’s Children’s Department get in the spirit for Talk Like A Pirate Day. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

“Each lesson combines real life situations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions,” Cohen explained. “The courses are presented with an appreciation for cultural nuance and real-world application by focusing on the four key elements of language learning: vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.”

Provided by the Friends of the Burbank Public Library, Mango and Little Pim are joined by several additional databases including Ancestry.com and the Testing and Education Reference Center (TERC.)

“Ancestry is a popular genealogy database that allows patrons the ability to find distant relatives or even build a family tree,” said Carey Vance, head of Reference at the Central Library. “It is free and easy to use so we are very excited to offer this new service to our community.”

TERC provides practice exams for SAT, the California High School Exit Exam, AP tests and the PSAT. Additional tests available on the database include civil service exams, ASVAB, GRE, MCAT, U.S. Citizenship information and resume building tutorials.

Two-year-old Jai Yoo learns from a Spanish lesson from the Little Pim language program. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Two-year-old Jai Yoo learns from a Spanish lesson from the Little Pim language program. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“We are so grateful to the Friends of the Burbank Public Library for helping to make all of this possible with their generous support of our research resources,” Vance added. “Ancestry allows our patrons to discover their past while TERC allows them to plan for the future. Mango helps make the present that much more fun!”

On Talk Like A Pirate Day at the Burbank Central Library,  Laura Goldstein from Circulation and Laura Brownell from Reference have fun with the costumes. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

On Talk Like A Pirate Day at the Burbank Central Library, Laura Goldstein from Circulation and Laura Brownell from Reference have fun with the costumes. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

While the Central and Buena Vista libraries have had Early Literacy Stations in the children’s area for the past several years, the touchscreen monitor, colorful keyboard and fun programs continue to be a favorite of young children.

Ancestry.com is only available to library patrons using the computers in one of the three library locations. The TERC database can be accessed with a library card from home or at the library.

Mango can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection as well as with iPhone and Android apps. Patrons can track their progress by registering with their library card.

Jai Yoo, age 2, uses the touch screen on the Early Literacy Station at the Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Jai Yoo, age 2, uses the touch screen on the Early Literacy Station at the Central Library. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Annual Burbank Trivia Challenge Raises Funds For Literacy

The popular Burbank Trivia Challenge returns on September 4, bringing many facets of the diverse Burbank community together. The event raises much-needed funds to benefit the Burbank Public Library’s Literacy Department.

While spectator tickets may be purchased up to the day of the Challenge, teams should register in advance. Team registration and advertising submissions for the program booklet are due Friday, August 22.

The Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal, Warner Brothers and The Cartoon Network have fielded teams in past competitions, along with many other businesses and organizations. The Trivia Challenge typically draws hundreds of attendees from the city.

“During the past year, Burbank Public Library’s Literacy Program has helped more than 50 adults improve their lives by providing free one-on-one tutoring, enabling them to find employment, pass the GED test and even help their children with homework,” commented BPL Literacy Librarian Jennifer Dance.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This year’s featured Adult New Reader, Guillermo, entered our program in September 2012, at the age of 29, unemployed and reading below eighth grade level,” she said. “Through extraordinary hard work with his tutor, Sandra, he is now reading just below twelfth grade level. He improved four grade levels in just over a year, is now enrolled at Glendale Community College and has a part-time job.”

The event generally raises $10,000 to $15,000 for the Literacy Program, providing workbooks, reading materials and other supplemental resources for adult learners and their tutors, added Dance.

“The fundraiser is usually held in the spring, but California Library Literacy Services, which also funds the Literacy Program in Burbank, is celebrating 30 years of library literacy, and asked us to move our event to September,” explained Dance.

The City of Burbank will be awarding the Burbank Public Library a proclamation naming September Adult Literacy Awareness Month to coincide with the Trivia Challenge.

Last year, the BPL tried a Spelling Bee event, but has brought back the Trivia Challenge due to popular demand.

Master of Ceremonies for this year’s Challenge will be Jack O’Neill, a favorite from several past competitions. Previous emcees have included ABC’s Stephanie Edwards, NBC’s Fritz Coleman and The View’s Sherri Shepherd.

“Since this is my first year as Literacy Librarian, this event is a brand new experience for me,” added Dance. “I never attended past Trivia Challenges, so I’m working hard to create an evening that will be fun for all of the guests while also honoring the courage and commitment of the adults who participate in our program.”

“I hope that, at the end of the evening, attendees will have enjoyed themselves and will spread the word about the free services that we are providing,” she also said.

The Trivia Challenge 2014 will be held at the Ritz Banquet Hall at St. Leon’s Cathedral at 3325 N. Glenoaks Boulevard. The festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. and include a buffet, no host bar, silent auction and door prizes, in addition to the main event, along with an appearance by the library’s mascot, Dewey.

Tickets will be available for purchase at Central Library at 110 N. Glenoaks Boulevard for $25 up until September 3 or at the door for $30 on the day of the event. Teams and interested advertisers should contact 818-238-5577. More information can be found on the BPL’s website.

Burbank Public Library Exhibits Selections From Annual Photography Contest

Selected entries from the Friends of the Burbank Public Library’s annual photography contest are currently on display at the Central Library Auditorium through April 16, including the black and white scenic shot by Richard Nelson that was deemed Best of Show.

Every year, the Friends of the Burbank Public Library holds a photography contest for a range of categories, including Digital Creation, Special Effects, Photographer Under Age 12, Posed and Non-posed People, Still Life, Animal, Scenic and Photojournalism.

Best of Show winner Richard Nelson at Friends of the Burbank Public Library 2014 Photo Contest Awards Reception. (Photo Courtesy of Joan Cappocchi)

Best of Show winner Richard Nelson at Friends of the Burbank Public Library 2014 Photo Contest Awards Reception. (Photo Courtesy of Joan Cappocchi)

“The annual photography contest is a wonderful community event and every year I am amazed at quality of photos that are submitted,” commented Joan Cappochi, library assistant. “This year it was especially exciting to see a big increase in the number of photos submitted in the 12 and Under category. There are definitely some children with a great future in photography!”

Entries were due during the month of February and were judged on composition, technique, concept and presentation. Winners were announced in mid-March at a reception held at the Buena Vista Library.

The exhibit is open during regular library hours except when the room is in use. Library staff suggest patrons may want to call the library at 818-238-5580 to check if the photography exhibit is accessible at a particular time of day.

Winners of the Friends of the Burbank Public Library 2014 Photo Contest. (Photo Courtesy of Andre Murray)

Winners of the Friends of the Burbank Public Library 2014 Photo Contest. (Photo Courtesy of Andre Murray)

Central Library Celebrates 100 Years With Jam-Packed How-To Festival

On Saturday, October 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Burbank’s Public Library and Friends of the Burbank Public Library present the free How-To Festival at the Central Library, as part of the yearlong celebration of the library’s centennial. About sixty stations will be set up throughout the Library, with 15-20 minute demonstrations of a variety of skills and other useful information by City departments, local vendors, businesses, nonprofits and individuals from the Burbank area.

Burbank's Central Library. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

Burbank’s Central Library. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Public Library)

Learn how to make a French braid, find your credit score, knit, play chess, extinguish fires, make your own jewelry, change a flat tire, eat with chopsticks, pair inexpensive wines with food and so much more. Food trucks will also be on site for this community event. Enjoy a delicious choice of tasty treats from the Kona Ice Truck, Rice Balls of Fire, Cousins Maine Lobster, Cambalache’s and Baja Mar Seafood.

Other great How-To presentations will discuss earthquake safety, how to create a windowsill garden and how to launch your career in animation. Burbank health food store and restaurant, Full O’ Life, will hold several sessions on healthier eating and improving quality of life. Various yoga demonstrations will be held for all ages. North End Pizzeria owner and operator, Dominic Scarola, will show everyone how to make pizza.

“In the past 100 years, the Burbank Public Library has been a big part of the community. Because the Library is a place where people come to learn things, we thought a How-To Festival would be a fun and educational way for our friends and neighbors to get to know more about the amazing community we live in,” comments Sharon Cohen, Library Services Director. “No matter how our lives change during the next 100 years, there is no doubt that the Library will be here to help the community meet its quest for knowledge and discovery.”

libraryhowtoSearch for your genealogical roots, learn how to compost, how to play the piano in less than 20 minutes or about resources for the blind and visually impaired in the Burbank area. A sign language demonstration, information on iPad basics and how to travel as a foreign exchange student are some other great topics on the schedule. Check out the complete schedule of events and special local instructors here.

Public parking will be available behind the Police/Fire building on Glenoaks Blvd. between Orange Grove and Palm. All public lots across the street from the Central Library between Glenoaks Blvd. and Third St. will also be open.

The Central Library will only be open between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for the Festival. Regular computer and reference services will not be available. The Buena Vista Branch Library will be open regular hours with internet and reference services available.

Author Of “No, David!” Reads To Youngsters At Central Library

David Shannon read from No, David!, his Caldecott medal-winning story, to the younger set and their families on Thursday, September 12, at Burbank’s Central Library. The best-selling children’s picture book author was invited by Burbank Public Library staff for a special event to celebrate the years-long relationship he has maintained with the BPL.

With his book 'No David' Author David Shannon read  at Burbank's Main Children Library. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With his book ‘No David’ Author David Shannon read at Burbank’s Main Children Library. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

BPL Programs and Publicity’s Joan Cappocchi explains the library’s connection with Mr. Shannon, “He has been very kind to the library, and generous with his time. Two years ago, during the city’s Centennial year, we invited him to be a special guest at our Burbank Authors Book Festival. He attended that event, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd and then signed his books. I mentioned to him at that time, that we were planning to offer a few choices for library cards in the future, and would he consider designing one for us. He was enthusiastic and willing.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Local studios Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. all contributed designs for a selection of limited-edition library cards. Ms. Cappocchi created more cards with the city’s original library building and designed a logo for the year. Mr. Shannon provided a colorful design featuring his popular character David for another card. In total, a choice of eight library cards with varying artwork are available from the BPL while supplies last.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Of course, it was such a wonderful design, that I immediately thought of several places we could put it to good use,” Ms. Cappocchi continues, discussing Mr. Shannon’s artwork. “He gave us permission to use it however we wanted, for whatever purpose!”

Consequently, the Friends of the Burbank Public Library are now selling a child’s drawstring backpack for $3 and a coffee mug for $5, both of which feature Mr. Shannon’s character David. The proceeds from the sale of these items go to the Friends of the BPL, which in turn funds all of the library’s programming and many special purchases for the library. Additionally, Ms. Cappocchi turned Mr. Shannon’s artwork into a children’s bookmark, available at all three Burbank libraries.

Author David Shannon was presented a couple of gifts that are being used  with his likeness of one of his books 'No David' (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Author David Shannon was presented a couple of gifts that are being used with his likeness of one of his books ‘No David’ (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

At the special reading on September 12, BPL staff presented Mr. Shannon with a shadow box framing his card and a thank-you assortment of promotional items, including those with his design, acknowledging his support over the years. He also picked up a new library card with Nickelodeon’s “Adventure Time” characters for his daughter.

“I like to think I have a general relationship with all libraries, since children’s books and libraries work hand in hand to get kids reading, but I have a more personal friendship with the Burbank library,” comments Mr. Shannon. “I live in Burbank and my daughter spent many hours there when she was younger, especially in the Reading Club program.”

His latest book, Bugs In My Hair! was published on August 27, is available in stores and will be arriving on BPL shelves soon. He anticipates reading from the book at the local libraries in the fall. Mr. Shannon describes Bugs In My Hair! as “a comical look at the problem of… HEAD LICE!!!”

 

Local Libraries Host Plethora Of Teen Opportunities

Burbank’s public library system continues to provide a wealth of information and resources for local teens, with book clubs, SAT prep classes, writing contests, tech programs and special events and movies geared for the age group. The local libraries also help teens with homework and information on colleges, financial aid, and personal and health issues. All of the Library’s programs for teens are free and open to the public, and are generously supported by the Friends of the Burbank Public Library.

Homework Help Live academic assistance, in all subjects for grades 3-12, is available online from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday, with a current Burbank Public Library card; it’s like instant messaging with a very smart friend. BPL’s webpage offers a variety of resources for homework help at http://bpl.chillco.com/teens/homework-help.The Writing Lab resource allows students to upload a paper they’ve written and within 24 hours, gives feedback on spelling, grammar and content.

Students can also take sample tests, get tutoring and exercises in the Skills Building section, make flash cards and brush up on another language in the Foreign Language Lab. For school assignments, students can browse online databases for Biography, Literature, Opposing Viewpoints and general research. Items in the databases are collected from magazines, newspaper, academic journals and websites.

Book Clubs There are three book clubs (grades 10-12, 8-9, 6-7) and they meet once a month, September through May, and discuss the book each club has chosen. The Friends of the Burbank Public Library purchase paperback copies of each month’s book for the club members. Currently, the book clubs are full, but interested teens may call Melissa Elliott at (818) 238-5589 or send an email to her at melliott@ci.burbank.ca.us, including full name, phone number, email address, and grade, to be placed on the waiting list.

“The teen book clubs have been so popular that three years ago we added a third,” comments Ms. Elliott, Teen Librarian at BPL. “We accommodate 20 teens per book club, and don’t plan to expand further, for two reasons: First, that’s a good number for discussion – more than that and it gets unwieldy. Second, we have a set budget for the book clubs and adding more spaces would overspend that.”

“The waiting list is not long. Usually, we end up accommodating everyone on it,” she continues. “On a personal note, book clubs are my favorite part of the job! I think I can probably say the same for Anarda [Williams, the other BPL Teen Librarian.] We love hanging out and talking with our teens, especially around reading.”

Teen Read Month happens every October and the annual writing contest has been announced; the 2013 theme is Fan Fiction. Teens must submit their 5-10 page story by October 25. The top three stories receive prizes and honorable mentions will also be awarded at the Dia de los Muertos event on November 1.

Technology, Entertainment and More In addition to Teen Tech Month held every March and the Summer Reading Program, BPL also presents programs related to science, language arts and history, plus entertainment, workshops and craft activities. And then, there’s always the latest offerings in books, CDs, DVDs and more in each of the city’s three libraries: Central, Buena Vista and Northwest. For more information on these and other great resources BPL offers for teens, visit their webpage at http://www.burbank.lib.ca.us/teen/programs. Book reviews by Burbank teens and the BPL Teen Librarians, upcoming events and other random items can be found online on the Teen Blog at http://yathinkbpl.blogspot.com/. Those interested in joining the Friends of the Burbank Public Library can find information here: http://www.burbank.lib.ca.us/friends.