Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lamanda Park Library

I stopped by to take pictures of the Lamanda Park branch library on a Friday. Lamanda Park is closed on Fridays and Sundays. In fact, many of the branches have reduced hours and it's a good idea to check the website before you go.

The empty parking lot at Lamanda had a forlorn look to it. Peering in the windows at the unused chairs and neatly shelved books made me sorry the collection is neglected two days a week. But if the world is having a recession (and I do believe it is) and if Pasadena is part of that world (and lordy, yes, I do believe we are), then let's do ourselves a favor and look at the positive side. Maybe we should consider ourselves fortunate that we get to keep our libraries. Perhaps cutting hours in some of the branches is how the city manages to keep them all open. (Except the Santa Catalina Branch, which is being remodeled.)

It's remarkable, when you think about it, that our taxes pay for this service and a library card gives you free access to the entire Pasadena library system, and that of Glendale as well. (You also have two more days to renew a lost library card for free. A good way to celebrate Banned Books Week.)

I notice each of the libraries has its own unique programs. For instance, there's a Lip Reading and Memory Enhancement class on Wednesdays at Lamanda Park. You won't find that at the other branches.

This from the website: "The first Lamanda Park Branch opened in 1922, in a small room in Emerson School. The second was at the present site, but was a relocated section of the old library from Raymond and Walnut. The current building, designed by Pulliam, Zimmerman and Matthews, Architects and Planners, was completed on October 14, 1967 and is 6,200 square feet. Branch staff can accommodate English, Spanish and American Sign Language speaking patrons."

I think that's pretty good, even if it's only five days a week.

25 comments:

Dina said...

Your many branch libraries are really something to be proud of.

Irina said...

I read your post about libraries and Sharon's (about new library building in Phoenix Daily Photo) and get so proud of you.

Speedway said...

Looks like a great place to sit under a tree, read a book then, when finished, go get another one.

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm just glad that at a time when some American cities are cutting library funding entirely, Pasadena sees the importance of these outposts of literature and learning.

Latino Heritage said...

Thanks Petrea for writing so beautifully about our libraries.

Each branch, in addition to the general collections, has aspects of their collection that "reflects the diversity of the surrounding neighborhoods".

Lamanda Park, being close to agencies that serve folks with different needs of access has materials that serve that purpose. Santa Catalina , near Bungalow Heaven, Dundee Heights, and Historic Highlands has its Preservation Corner.

Laurie said...

Librarians are some of the true heroes of the world!

I haven't been to this branch yet. I get pretty sequestered in the South Pasadena Public Library, but every time I go to a Pasadena branch I find a hidden treasure.

Were you as much of a library kid as I was, Petrea? Seems like half my memories of youth were of hours spent in the stacks. I still remember crying when I was 6 because I realized I'd never, ever read all the books in the library even if I started then and tried my whole life. (Sigh!)

Petrea Burchard said...

It makes sense, LH, for the branches to have different collections.

Pasadena's not that big and it's easy to get to the different branches, but if you really can't do it the library will have a book delivered from one branch to the branch that's more convenient for you.

Laurie, as a kid I loved reading and spent a lot of time at the library, mostly in winter. In the summer I was out riding horses and running in the river.

Margaret said...

I am always sad to hear about cutbacks at libraries. They serve such a vital community service.

Laurie said...

Petrea, I used to take my books into the woods behind my house in Texas. We called the wild, brambled area "the way back." I would go into the way back and climb on a big boulder under a live oak to read. Only downside: the threat of rattlesnakes!

dive said...

You are so lucky to be blessed with so many wonderful libraries, Petrea. Over here the Tories are trying to kill ours off with horrific cuts (right-wingers don't read). Librarians are up in arms and their communities are marching right beside them (including me, as you know).

Petrea Burchard said...

Margaret, I don't like cutting funding to libraries either. I guess I'm comparing us to places I heard about that are cutting library funding entirely.

Laurie, I had a cubby hole above the garage bathroom that could only be reached by a ladder. I had a guitar up there, and books, and of course a note pad and plenty of pens.

Dive, I like to think reading is popular in Pasadena no matter which side of the political fence one is on. I don't have statistics, but it's that kind of town.

Speedway said...

While libraries are rich sources for reading and research, cutbacks in funds also hit in other ways. My local library has seen a surge in people using the library's computers for job searches and applications, as well as social services.

As more info is available only on-line, it also makes it more difficult for people who don't have PC skills or the funds to buy one of their own, thus increasing the chasm between the poor and the not-so-poor, etc.

Petrea Burchard said...

True, Speedway. I read an interesting post about that today by Seth Godin: http://bit.ly/r03lIH

Just as there was a time when horse-drawn carriages were no longer manufactured, just as there was a time when the Pony Express was (quickly) defunct, people lose jobs when their skills are no longer needed. Although this is happening on a massive scale it is not new. We must constantly prepare for what's next, like it or not.

tom@morethanpepper.com said...

looks like a great place for a quiet read

Laura said...

This brings back memories of when I was working in the bank building on Colorado and Altadena. I workeda six-hour shift, so I didn't take a lunch but I did take a short break to walk down to the library park with a sandwich and a book. It was very serene.

Petrea Burchard said...

It does look like a good spot, doesn't it, Tom? And I believe Laura confirms just that. So close to that bank building, too. I'd like to see some business in that building soon.

Cafe Pasadena said...

This vintage building looks familiar. Is this the library on Altadena Dr, just south of Colorado Bl?

Petrea Burchard said...

You've got that right, Cafe.

Bellis said...

I've never really noticed this library and its shady park. I admit that I get my audio books from the Central Library where there's a large selection, and return them to a branch library, where's there's easy parking. Most of the people in the San Rafael branch seem to be on the computers.

Julie said...

Memory Enhancement class? I could sure use one of those.

A friend of mine gave me this link and I immediately thought of you and Banned Books Week:

The 12 coolest libraries in the world:

http://tinyurl.com/5ucpk47

Ms M said...

A fitting tribute for this library -- and the great library system you have there.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, Ms. M. This has been fun for me. I printed out a list of the library branches and began seeking them out. This is one I hadn't been to before.

I'd have been here sooner but I've been perusing Julie's link and gawking. WOW. Must look.

Here's another favorite--small but beautiful:
http://www.wellscathedral.org.uk/history/library-archives/

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, I took pictures of the San Rafael branch (exterior). I may post them but--I don't know, maybe I didn't find the angle. It's not a very interesting building, is it?

Gina said...

Last time I was at the Lamanda Park branch was sometime last year for a huge book sale - $1.00 per bag of used books. I walked out with four bags of books to read and give away. Now that's my kind of shopping.

Petrea Burchard said...

Gina, you remind me one of the best gifts I ever received was from my sister (whose name is Gina, by the way). She sent used books for Christmas--copies of all the books she'd read and loved that year. I'm still enjoying that gift. A library book sale is a great way to support the library and give gifts.

I don't know if all the branches have these sales. Pasadena's Central Library has a book sale on the second Saturday of every month.