Thursday, January 22, 2015

Friends of Crowell Public Library Meet the Authors Series: Christopher J. Lynch: One Eyed Jack

Thursday February 26th 7:00 p.m.

The Friends of Crowell Public Library’s Meet the Authors series continues with Christopher J. Lynch, a lover of crime fiction, whose debut novel, One Eyed Jack (Your Secrets Are Safe With Me), is a hard-boiled thriller about a professional blackmailer named “John Sharp,” a man who knows how to keep a secret – for a price. But when a routine case of infidelity takes an unexpected detour, he soon finds himself caught in a tangled web of double-blackmail, commodities manipulation, and trying to rescue the woman that had once been his target.

Some reviews from
“This book is entertaining right from the first sentence. You will be drawn in by the humor, the creative writing approach, and of course the subject matter.”
Elizabeth Silver 5 of 5 stars

“This tangled web is a quick read and an engaging novel. I believe it has good writing and a great balance with fascinating incidents and suspense… readers will like the impressive debut novel that Christopher J. Lynch has crafted in an uncertainty of what may or may not happen in this page-turner.”
Jeannie Walker 5 of 5 stars

Los Angeles native Christopher J. Lynch has written for numerous local and national publications and short stories. He recently co-wrote and published an authorized biography of the iconic child actor Ken Osmond, (Eddie Haskell from the TV series Leave it to Beaver) Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy. Chris is an avid cyclist and a mountain climber with successful summits of Mount Whitney, Mount Shasta, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, and has recently completed a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. He counts as one of his greatest accomplishments the successful training and leading of nine blind hikers to the summit of 10,000 foot Mount Baldy, the highest point in Los Angeles County and the third highest peak in Southern California. A documentary film is being made of this adventure. He's a member of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles chapter, as well as Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

This event is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served. With wonderful Friends like these, the authors keep coming at Crowell Public Library!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tea-One Tasting: The Spectrum of Taiwan Oolongs

Thursday February 19th, 7:00 p.m.

Start the new year off on a refreshing note! Come to Crowell Library on the lunar new year and learn all about the processes that result in the “Spectrum of Taiwan Oolongs.” Every year our favorite Ambassador of Taiwan Tea, Thomas Shu and his lovely wife Josephine Pan, take a group of professionals to Taiwan for a tour that explains the production aspects of oolongs that so many enjoy. Learn about the amazing craftsmanship involved -- the picking, withering, oxidation, fixation, rolling -- every step that results in producing the different types of oolongs. From lush gardens to tea cups! And of course samples will be available to savor!

At past workshops with Thomas, patrons have learned to savor and appreciate teas like fine wines. They explored the aromas of an array of teas that can soothe or stimulate, but always tantalize the taste buds and elevate one’s well being. Thomas Shu has presented tea workshops for almost every university in California and other institutions, such as Princeton, Duke and Harvard. He is a third-generation tea specialist from Taiwan, where his family has been conducting tea business for more than sixty years. He works with many major tea companies and importers from Asia, Europe, and the United States. It was in 2007 that Thomas received the honorary title, “Ambassador of Taiwan Tea,” from Taiwan Tea Manufacturers Association in recognizing his dedication and contributions for the industry. He is one of the founding members and board directors of American Premium Tea Institute, now known as Specialty Tea Institute. Thomas and Josephine are founders of Taiwan Tea Institute in Los Angeles, as well as hosts for Azusa Tea Club, a monthly meet up.

As every year, there are surprises in store: this year it involves a Taiwan puppet show for the celebration of Lunar New Year 2015!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

LA Opera Talk: Gioachino Rossini’s Barber of Seville

Sunday, February 8th, 2:00 p.m.

Dashing Count Almaviva has lost his heart to the spunky Rosina, whose doddering guardian is determined to marry her himself. It’s Figaro to the rescue, as the resourceful barber conjures up wacky schemes and strategies to unite the young lovers. Rossini’s razor-sharp musical wit glints through every scene of this delicious comedy, one of the most playful and popular in the entire operatic repertoire. Learn more about this beloved opera on Sunday, February 8th at 2:00 p.m. in Crowell Library’s Barth Community, when Community Educator BOB EMIRHANIAN will provide facts, insights and audio highlights. This program will be a wonderful introduction to the music and story of the Barber of Seville. Bob will be discussing the composer Rossini and his place in music history, as well as the librettist and playwright Beaumarchais.

Opera is not just magnificent music, dance and theater with astounding sets on a beautiful stage. An opera can sweep you away to foreign lands, take you back in time, dazzle you with pageantry and bring history to life. It is literature, social studies, cultural diversity, multiple languages and most of all, it is exciting! Come explore the world of opera through LA Opera’s education programs. Opera has something for everyone.

Bob Emirhanian taught Economics for over ten years and was a Senior Planner for over 37 years at the State of California Department of Transportation. He has been giving opera talks together with his wife Betty for over 14 years. This program is free and open to all opera aficionados and first timers. Light refreshments will be served.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Learning English

Six Fridays:
February 6, 13, 20, 27 & March 6, 13
1:00-2:30 pm

If you or somebody you know is a beginner in English, and wants to improve, this free six week class will help all participants make progress. Richard Bourell, creator of a 20 DVD set of English instruction and accompanying workbooks, will lead the class. His method is to concentrate on listening and conversation skills so that students can interact in English, building vocabulary and confidence. The class will not dwell on grammar, but will encourage students to learn English through real life situations and dialogs. Study books and DVDs will be furnished for free while they last.

RICHARD BOURELL has been teaching English for almost forty years, locally and globally, and is the author of the Video Language DVD series, and In English, a video and workbook-based ESL series. He has taught for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the American English Institute in Mexico City, the Richard Lewis School of Languages in Paris, Huntington Park Community Adult School and the ELS Language Center in Los Angeles. His students have come from all over the globe: Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Korea and Japan. Now Mr. Bourell is reaching out to the community and offering his course for free, a fabulous opportunity for patrons of Crowell Public Library, so don’t miss out. Interested learners must register in advance by calling the Library at (626) 300-0777, extension 579.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Library Open House! Snow at Lacy Park!

Saturday, January 24, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The Crowell Public Library Foundation, Friends of the Library and Library Staff invite one and all to celebrate the Library’s seventh anniversary with an open house on Saturday, January 24th. Stop by to see the wide variety of services and programs the library has for seniors, teens and kids. Did you know the Library offers passport acceptance and test proctoring? Library visitors can see the work of artist Debbi Swanson Patrick in the Crain Art Gallery, named after long time librarian, Carolyn Crain. Learn about the Meet the Authors series, sponsored by the Friends of the Library and take advantage of the great bargains in the Friends Book Shoppe. Seniors can see a demonstration of Dakim Brain Fitness, made possible by the Library Foundation. Dakim is a clinically tested computer-based program with a touch screen that anyone can use. The Foundation has also recently donated 36 new library computers, all equipped with Window 8.1, 24 inch monitors and the complete Microsoft Office Suite of programs.

In the children’s area, there will be face painting from eleven to two, and a demonstration of the new Early Literacy Station donated by Library Trustees Mary Hsu and Debra Sadun. This is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for children ages 2-8 featuring more than 70 educational software applications spanning seven curricular areas. At 10:45 there will be bi-lingual storytime. At noon, the annual bookmark contest winners will be announced and kids can enjoy a magical performance from Abbit the Average at 2pm. Outside there will food trucks for all: The Pudding Truck, Don Chow’s Tacos and Slammin’ Sliders.

Down the street at Lacy Park, enjoy a day of fun in "Snow Marino!" Fifty tons of snow will be delivered for sledding, snowballs, and snowmen. Parents can watch their kids ride the train, or slide down the giant slide. Coffee, kettle corn, and food will be sold. To participate in Snow Day, a wristband will be required. Pre-sale wristbands will be available for $7 at the Recreation Department. Admission at the door is $9. Children two years and under are free. For more information, please call the Recreation Department at (626) 403-2200. Celebrate San Marino Community Services on Saturday, January 24th!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Helping Hands for Hand-Held Devices

Three Upcoming Saturdays:
January 31, February 28 & March 28
2:00-4:00 pm

Electronically savvy students from San Marino High School will be available on three upcoming Saturdays from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Crowell Public Library’s Thornton Room to help people figure out how to use their hand-held devices. People can sign up for any or all of the free sessions. Many people have iPods, Androids, tablets, iPhones, and other gadgets, but can’t figure out all of the features. The teen volunteers are familiar with many of the concepts behind these devices, so even if they haven’t used a particular gadget, they may be able to help a person figure out what to do.

This program was initiated by San Marino High School junior Chunbill (“Billy”) Liu who grew up surrounded by gadgets, but noticed there was a technology gap with people who did not have that advantage. Billy approached Librarian Rex Mayreis about closing this gap, while getting in some community services hours for himself and his friends, but has continued the program because there is such a need. The Los Angeles Times covered a session last year and posted a video about it at

If you are frustrated with online and telephone support options, come to Crowell Library and work with a living, breathing techie that will help you “bond” with your device. There’s nothing like one-on-one assistance to help solve problems and tackle sticky widgets.

To reserve your spot for this program, please call 626-300-0777, extension 579 as soon as possible. There are a limited number of teen volunteers, so slots will fill quickly.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jazz & Swing from A to Z PART II: The Story of America's Music

Six Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
beginning January 29, 2015

Dr. Thom David Mason, USC Professor of Jazz Studies at the Thornton School of Music, returns with a new six-session course sponsored by the USC Emeriti Center College. This time the wildly popular class will offer these scintillating topics:

January 29: The Benny Goodman Story
February 5: The Big Band Stars: Gene Krupa & Lionel Hampton
February 12: Glenn Miller: Icon of the Swing Era
February 19: Harlem Stars of Jazz & Swing
February 26: Singing Jazz & Swing
March 5: Frank Sinatra & the Rat Pack
Thom Mason was chairman of the department of jazz studies at the USC Thornton School of Music from 1983 to 1996. During that period he created the bachelor of music, masters of music and doctor of musical arts programs in jazz studies. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses and served as academic advisor. He is a saxophone, clarinet and flute specialist and has played with such notable artists as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Jack Sheldon, Louis Bellson, and Ernie Watts. 1996 he received the Jazz Educator of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society. His multimedia presentations are filled with music excerpts, rare photos, film clips, humorous stories and live demonstrations that stimulate, educate and entertain.
There is no charge for this course, but reservations are required. Hep cats can save a spot by calling the library at 626 300-0777. Please note: because Part I of this class was so popular, the Library has booked the SAN MARINO CENTER next door for Part II so there will be plenty of room!