Tag Archives: Buena Vista Library

Many Worlds of the Robot Coming to Buena Vista Library

What is the difference between a robot and a cyborg and an android and an avatar? 

There is a lot of fear and fantasy floating around about robots these days (the rise of the machines) and in popular imagination the lines are getting blurred concerning these very different but seemingly associated technologies.

Come and join us at the library for a special library STEM event Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library.  JPL Robotics Engineer Megan Richardson will disambiguate things for you as she surveys the field of robotics in a talk featuring some amazing clips of robots in action.  She will be explaining basic principles about what a robot is, why we build them, and how they work (vision and mobility) as she addresses some common myths.

She will give an overview of current and possible future developments in the field of robotics, and talk a bit about how the technology developed for space is linked to new or anticipated technology advances in our daily living, like the self-driving cars that have been in the news recently.

Ms. Richardson’s specialty is designing and building robots for space exploration at JPL.  She is currently working with the Curiosity Rover on Mars, leading a team that is trying to solve some recent problems with the drill mechanism on the rover.  So you will get to learn something about the excitement and challenges of working in this field from a “working” rather than theoretical scientist.

The library is committed to encouraging young people to consider careers in science, technology, and engineering, and in particular we want to show young women that there is a place for them in these fields, that they can pursue their interests in these subjects and make creative and important contributions the way Ms. Richardson is doing.  The library hosted a program last year on the Rise of the Rocket Girls, a book that featured the women at JPL who had worked behind the scenes on the vital calculations for the space program, and there is much current interest on women who had worked in a similar way on the space program in Florida and the east coast during that same period as featured in the popular current film  Hidden Figures.

Ms. Richardson will be bringing along a special guest to this event, NASA’s little demonstration space rover, Rov-E who we understand is planning to do a few tricks involving the audience.  It should be an informative and fun evening.  All the library’s public events are free to the public.  We think this one is going to be popular, and you might want to arrive a bit early!

CEO of the New York Times to Speak at Buena Vista Library to Discuss New Book

Mark Thompson (Photo Courtesy Kathy Ryan)

Mark Thompson (Photo Courtesy Kathy Ryan)

Tonight, Wednesday September 21 at 7:00 p.m.  Mark Thompson, the CEO of the New York Times will beat the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library to discuss his new book, Enough Said:  What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?”  It’s a subject on everyone’s mind this Presidential election year, and Thompson is uniquely qualified to give us some answers.  He was a long- time journalist with the BBC and eventually became Director General of the BBC.  He has been the CEO of the New York Times since 2012.  He’s been on the frontline, and he’s seen it all.

Why does public language matter?  In Enough Said Thompson argues that the character of our public language is not merely a symptom of deeper and more formative forces in our culture and politics.  He writes, “I want to place it at the heart of the causal nexus.  As much as anything, our shared civic structures, our institutions and organizations, are living bodies of public language, and when it changes so do they.  The crisis in our politics is a crisis of political language.”  He tells us what is at stake, “For some, the instrumentality, the leaching away of substance, the coarsening of expression are essentially cultural disappointments—evidence of some wider dumbing down and failure of seriousness.  For me, the critical risk is not in the realm of culture but that of politics, and in particular, democracy—its legitimacy, the competitive advantage it has historically conferred over other systems of government, and ultimately its sustainability.”  Now that’s something that ought to get your attention.

enough-said-slide1 Thompson takes a critical look at the particular politicians and candidates we expect would be in his purview, but his praise and criticism extend across the political spectrum.  His perspective is independent, his judgments are even-handed.  His tools of analysis are derived from classical rhetorical theory, not politics.  He is unwilling to single out any group—politicians, the public, journalists, or new media technology—as the party to blame for the dismal state of affairs.  In a sophisticated analysis of a problem that has no simple origins or solutions, he traces the dynamic between these groups and parses their share of culpability.  It will not surprise the reader that there is plenty of blame to go around.  Thompson argues for the restoration of rhetoric as “critical persuasion,” and he speaks with eloquence and passion about the role of journalism in sustaining a viable public language.

enough-said-book-jacketThis is an event not to be missed for Burbank’s civic-minded citizens.  The event is free to the public.  You can get a copy of Enough Said at a deeply discounted price at this event, and the author will be happy to sign your book.

Burbank Police Find Body in a Car in Library Parking Lot

The Burbank Police Department received a call  from a city employee around 8:50 Friday morning that there was a person down in a car in the Buena Vista Library Parking lot.

Police Officer Justin Brodrick and Detective Aaron Kay Investigates a Dead Body found in Car at Buena Vista Library Parking lot  (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Police Officer Justin Brodrick and Detective Aaron Kay Investigates a Dead Body found in Car at Buena Vista Library Parking lot (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Police Officers responded and found a male collapsed in the doorway of a Honda Accord and requested Burbank Fire Paramedics.

The lifeless body of a male approximately 40 years-old appeared to be deceased. Detectives were called and the scene was secured.

The Buena Vista Library, which is currently closed while staff scans all books and items, was being used for a retirement breakfast for Library Services Director Sharon Cohen.

Guest in attendance were unaware of the activities unfolding in the parking lot.

Police Forensic Specialist Victoria Payson Investigate Dead Body found in Car at Buena Vista Library Parking lot  (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Police Forensic Specialist Victoria Payson Investigate Dead Body found in Car at Buena Vista Library Parking lot (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Police found that the death appeared to be of natural causes and nothing appeared to be of suspicious origin.

The Los Angeles County Coroner was called and identification and cause of death will be determined by them.

Police  Detective Marsha Laufer investigates a Dead Body found in Car at Buena Vista Library Parking lot  (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Police Detective Marsha Laufer investigates a Dead Body found in Car at Buena Vista Library Parking lot (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Buena Vista Library

The Burbank Public Library invites the public to spend a magical evening outdoors with a live performance of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Saturday, September 20.

Pre-show events begin at 4:00 pm with amazing acrobatic performances by E=MCirque followed by the show at 5:00 pm. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy this free family-friendly performance of Shakespeare outside of the Buena Vista Library located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street.

Shakespeare at Play and the Burbank Public Library present this performance in conjunction with The Big Read grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest. The Big Read is a community-wide program designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment.

For further information, please call (818) 238-5620.

Local Twins Compile New Book “Early Burbank”

For a stroll back in time, pick up a copy of Early Burbank.

Identical twins, Jamie, left, and Erin Schonauer, have compiled almost 200 historical photographs for their book "Early Burbank" being released on April 14. (photo courtesy of Jamie and Erin Schonauer)

Identical twins, Jamie, left, and Erin Schonauer, have compiled almost 200 historical photographs for their book “Early Burbank” being released on April 14. (photo courtesy of Jamie and Erin Schonauer)

There are great historic photographs, such as the first brick building in town, as well as shots of San Fernando Boulevard — one taken in 1913 with horse-drawn wagons along the road and another in 1928 with Ford Model Ts. In the “Media Moves In” chapter, there are photos of Walt Disney discussing plans to build Disneyland and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin from “Laugh-In.”

Burbank identical twins Erin and Jamie Schonauer have compiled almost 200 historical photographs into “Early Burbank”, a paperback book that will be released on April 14.

The book was published by Arcadia Publishing, a company that works with individuals, historians and historical societies to publish books that preserve the history of local communities through its Images of America series.

The authors will give a talk about Burbank’s history and sell and sign their book from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., April 26, at the Buena Vista Library.

The book took more than a year to complete and approximately covers the years from the late 1800s to the 1970s.

The biggest challenge of the book, the authors said, was narrowing down the photos provided by the websites Burbankia and GoDickson.com and organizations like the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn., Burbank Historical Society and Burbank Aviation Museum and those taken by the authors.

Erin’s favorite photograph is in the Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. chapter called “In Bloom.” The float that appeared in the 1939 Rose Parade was titled “Tally-Ho of 1889” and it was built by Burbank public school teachers and students.

“It’s a really fun photo,” she said. “It gives the viewer an inside look at how the float turned out.”

Jamie’s favorite can be found in the aviation chapter, “Come Fly With Me.”

“There is a section about the women who worked at Lockheed during World War II,” she said. “One image is of two women in a fuselage using riveting guns. It shows how the women had to step up and take responsibility to build those big aircraft.”

To choose the book’s topics, they were inspired by images on the city seal that connote entertainment, City Hall and aviation. The authors spent time talking to people with ties to the town’s history. One of those was Lansing White, the grandson of Earl L. White, who started the city’s first radio station KELW in 1927. He also developed the Magnolia Park area.

The three most interesting people they interviewed, they said, were Fermer Kellogg, aviation historian Ron Dickson and Erik Andersen, the historian from the Burbank Tournament of Roses.

Jamie found interesting the stories behind each float and how much work went into them.

Longtime resident Kellogg gave the authors a nice image of Empire China Factory.

“He had wonderful insight into how Burbank was back in the 1920s and about how his father worked at the Empire China Company,” Erin said. “They made china dishes, pitchers and dinnerware.”

Lockheed pilots would often use the seven large kilns as landmarks to locate the runway and sometimes when the planes flew low, the vibration would cause the china to rattle and break, Jamie said.

Ron Dickson provided photos taken in the 1930s of early air racers James Wedell and Roscoe Turner at United Airport, which became Union Air Terminal and then Lockheed Air Terminal.

They plan to continue writing books in the genres of history as well as children’s books.

They grew up in suburbs of Chicago and they decided to become a writing team as a career in grad school at San Francisco State University. They have lived in Burbank for eight years.

The books will be available at arcadiapublishing.com and local retailers.

Burbank to Once Again Open Cooling Centers During Heat Wave

With high temperatures expected through Saturday, August 11, 2012, the City of Burbank is establishing two designated cooling centers.

Residents are encouraged to seek relief from the heat by visiting either the Buena Vista Library
at 300 N. Buena Vista Street or the Burbank Central Library at 110 N. Glenoaks Boulevard. The
Northwest Branch Library on W. Victory Boulevard remains closed for seismic retrofitting until
Spring 2013.

The designated cooling centers will be open during the following regular library hours:

Buena Vista
Mon-Thurs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Burbank Central Library
Mon-Thurs 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on summertime safety and precautions in the extreme heat, visit www.burbankusa.com and/or Hot Topics.

Buena Vista Library
818-238-5620

Burbank Central Library
818-238-5600