Librarians Mary Hopf, Barbara Birenbaum and Ziba Perez spoke to the Palisades Rotary Club of the endless possibilities at the Palisades Library at a March 7 luncheon meeting at Modo Mio.
The topic was “What’s Available at the Pacific Palisades Library” and the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You Will Go, was an accurate subtheme.
When some of the Pacific Palisades was hit with power outages during recent rain storms, the Palisades Library became a solace for people without heat, lights and internet. The three described how grateful some Palisades residents were to have access to a computer.
“Give us a call to see if ours [power] is up and then come over,” the librarians said.
If one has a library card, one can check out a “Tech 2 Go” backpack. It includes a chrome book and a hot spot and can be kept for six months. “We have 50 and only about 10 are checked out,” they said.
One Palisadian who had checked out the backpack said, “I’m going to use this during the rainy season, when the power goes out.”
There is also a “cybernaut” at the library, Chris Miehl. He received his bachelor’s degree in music studies at UC Santa Barbara and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in library and information science at UCLA.
He is available Monday and Tuesday between 12:30 and 3 p.m. and will assist patrons with not only computer issues, but how to access and use Overdrive. The library has extensive digital catalog, accessed through Overdrive, that allows patrons to download a near-endless collection of ebooks, audiobooks and magazines.
“If someone doesn’t have a New York Times or a Washington Post subscription, a resident can read it online with a library card,” the librarians said.
There is no charge to meet with Miehl. To make an appointment call (310) 459-2754.
“Hot of the Press,” is another fun idea. New books that have just come in and are considered desirable can be checked out by a resident—but for one week only and then has to be returned. The idea is a resident will easily finish a bestseller in a week.
The most checked out book in the Palisades Library is Death of a Traveling Man, by W.C. Beaton. It has been checked out more than 300 times. “Most books go out 20 to 30 times—unless it’s a classic,” the librarians said.
Hopf said she had never read the book, so she’s put it on her list. Now this editor has put it on a hold with her library card, which is another nifty option available for library users.
If a resident sees a book that interests them, one simply goes to the Los Angeles Public Library site on a computer. Once your card number is on file, one can check out any book, from any of the 72 branches, and it will be sent to this library. A resident is notified when the book arrives.
The downtown library is holding is 150th Anniversary Celebration with events planned through May 6. This branch is celebrating the library’s Sesquicentennial by creating a banner of 150 community book suggestions. Stop by and let the librarians know which book you want to join the rest of those recommended by this community.
If a resident has lost a library card, now might be the time to replace it. For a limited time, there are P-22 library cards.
“It’s really a hot card,” the librarians said, and noted that at many branches there are no cards left, but there are still a few at this library.
More about the librarians:
Hopf, who is originally from Pittsburgh, started working with the LAPL at the end of 1987. She had received her MLS graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Her first position was in the Palisades as the children’s librarian. The Santa Monica resident next went to Brentwood, where she worked as the branch manager for 10 years. She became the Palisades branch manager in 2009.
Birenbaum received her bachelor’s degree at the Cal Berkeley and her master’s in library science from UCLA in 2008. She worked as a substitute librarian before taking the position as the adult librarian at the Hyde Park Branch in 2016. When Palisades reopened in 2022, Birenbaum moved to this branch. She said, “I have lived in the Palisades for more than 30 years, so coming to work in this branch is like a homecoming.”
Ziba Perez is the young adult librarian and will be featured in a future story.