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    •   35th Bookstore Anniversary
   Margaret Wallace -Bookstore Co-founder (1930-2017)
    •   Leo Politi Bronze Sculpture unveiled
   Library Park Guided Tree Walk
is Established


•  Friends Newsletter
Annual Report 2015                                                      
        updated 10-2017



The 21st



JANUARY 21, 2018
4:00 p.m.


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                                   The following youth programs have been funded in full or in part by the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library


If fractions have you flummoxed, algebra makes you allergic, history has you hysterical, or long division leaves you dazzled, the South Pasadena Public Library can help you with its online tutoring service.

From any Web-enabled computer in the library or at home, a student can click on the Live Homework Help link on the library's Web site at www.cityofsouthpasadena.us/library and engage in controlled online chat with a math, English, science or social studies expert. Students and tutors can also work on an interactive white board, share educational Web sites and send files back and forth for a rewarding learning exchange

Funded by grants from the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library and the Library Services and Technology Act, the Live Homework Help from Tutor.com has assisted nearly 4,000 South Pasadena students over the past few years.




Ned Colletti, will discuss his just released bestseller, “The Big Chair: The Smooth Hops and Bad Bounces from the Inside World of the Acclaimed Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager” for an Author Night on Monday, November 27 at 7 p.m. Mr. Colletti  is currently Senior Adviser to the President of theDodgers, Andrew Friedman, and an on-screen analyst for postgame shows on SportsNetLA. Ned was general manager of the Dodgers from 2006 through 2014. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the team's entire baseball operations, including all scouting, player personnel and player development activities. Ned will be in conversation with Houston (not an Astros fan) Mitchell, a topnotch  LA Times sportswriter who authors the popular “Dodgers’ Dugout” online newsletter.

Ned Colletti is one of the great American baseball lifers --who surprisingly didn’t grow up with die-hard sports-oriented parents.  But as a youth in  Franklin Park, Illinois, Ned grew to passionately love baseball, due in great part to the influence of his uncles, devout Chicago Cubs fans. Ned began his Major League career in the front office of the Cubs and was there for their National League East titles in 1984 and 1989.

Colletti joined the San Francisco Giants in 1994 as Director of Baseball Operations and was promoted to Assistant General Manager in October 1996. The Los Angeles Dodgers hired him as GM in 2005. During his 9-year tenure, Colletti had a higher winning percentage than any of his peers in the National League. During his extraordinary career, Colletti has also worked with such luminaries as Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, Dennis Eckersley, Nomar Garciaparra, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly Jeff Kent, and of course, Vin Scully. He has also been closely involved with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen, Cody Bellinger, and Yasiel Puig. The list of greats and near greats in Colletti’s inner circle could stretch on and on, but in “The Big Chair” Ned candidly and colorfully reveals up-close observations from so many of his behind-the-scenes encounters and dealings.

“The Big Chair” has been accorded 19 reviews on Amazon.com, all of them 5 Stars, the highest cumulative rating possible. It has also received rave reviews in major publications from coast to coast. None other than the Wall Street Journal has declared it “an important contribution to 21st-century baseball literature. . . Mr. Colletti’s book might be even more groundbreaking [than Moneyball] in some ways.. . . [Colletti] has a gift for entertaining storytelling. . . These are stories modern general managers rarely tell…”

The free, fun event is ideal for baseball fans of all persuasions, including Dodgers fans still trying to get over the 2017 World Series Blues and those that can hardly ‘wait ‘til next year’. The free event is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, The Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse. Special thanks to G.P. Putnam’s & Sons and 210eastsound. Autographed books will be available for purchase.

The Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. 
Admission is free of charge and doors will open at 6:30 p.m.  
No tickets or reservations are necessary, but space is limited. 
Free parking is available after noon at the Mission-Meridian Parking Garage
located adjacent to the Gold Line Station at 805 Meridian Avenue.


On July 31, 2017, the Friends Bookstore celebrated its 35th Birthday with a ceremony that featured members of the South Pasadena City Council, the Library Board of Trustees, Friends members, and an assortment of bookstore fans and Library staff members.  A commemorative bronze plaque recognizing the four Bookstore founders, nicknamed the ‘Fab Four’, was unveiled and birthday cake, lemonade, and wine were served by the Friends Hospitality Committee.  The two surviving founders, Margaret Wallace and Dorothy Cohen were in attendance and all smiles. Dorothy continues with her great volunteer support of the bookstore. Mark Langill, official historian of the Los Angeles Dodgers, offered words of praise for the bookstore co-founders and displayed the book he purchased as a youngster that first sparked his interest in baseball, which eventually led to his dream job. 


During its storied lifespan, the Friends Bookstore has encouraged the donation of many fine items from the community that have been added directly to the Library collection. The Bookstore has also continually saved the best of their new and nearly new donations for their annual Holiday Book Sales. They Bookstore volunteers have also conducted silent auctions and special sales of various types.

In 1981, the *Fab Four banded together to give birth to the Friends Bookstore. They obtained unneeded library bookcases to furnish the store and, through the generosity of the United States Postal Service, worked in the cramped basement of the Post Office in South Pasadena for 18 months. They solicited and picked up donated books and sorted them in the cramped, stuffy quarters. During that time they also sorted and priced books to stock the small retail space on the second floor of the expanded, renovated library when it opened on July 31, 1982.

In the early years of the Friends Book Store, a good month might bring in only about $300, but the sales volume, the clientele, and the revenue have been built up over time, but the great prices have been a constant. During the last two years, more than $100,000 was raised for the Library by the Bookstore, despite the disappearance of a great many other bookstores in Los Angeles County and beyond. Through the years the Friends Bookstore has not only sold uncountable thousands of books of all sizes and types, but also phonograph records, audio and video cassettes, laser discs, CDs, DVDs, and even jigsaw puzzles. Before they could be sold, of course, all of these items had to be sifted through, sorted, and priced.  
At any given time, the size of the bookstore  is fluctuating due to the time availability of its many dedicated volunteers. Those interested in volunteering for the Friends of the Library Bookstore are requested to call (626) 441-5294.

*The Fab Four banded together to give birth to the Friends Bookstore:
Sally Swan, Bev Engler, Margaret Wallace, and Dorothy Cohen.

Margaret Emily Wallace, 87, a longtime active member of the South Pasadena community, passed away on September 12.  Margaret was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1930 to Henry Carlyle and Lois Mary (Dyekman) Sandusky and was the youngest of four siblings.  Though she considered herself a Californian, Margaret cherished growing up on her family’s Colorado farm. She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and in 1953, she married Dale Thomas Wallace and they moved to Los Angeles before settling on Edgewood Drive in South Pasadena in 1960. Until her passing, Margaret lived there for 57 years. 

Margaret is survived by daughters Leslie Ruth and Kelly Carlyle Wallace, grandson Charles Trendacosta, brother Craig Sandusky and his wife Vonda, sister Mary Lois Aspinwall, and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by husband Tom, eldest brother Samuel Sandusky, and son-in-law Albert Charles Trendacosta.  Memorial donations in honor of Margaret Wallace may be made to the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

While her children were in school, Margaret served as president of the PTA and volunteered in the Marengo School Library.  Margaret also worked tirelessly to fight the 710 Freeway extension. Nevertheless, Margaret was most proud of her role, along with Beverly Engler, Sally Swan and Dorothy Cohen, in creating the Friends Bookstore in the South Pasadena Public Library. It continues as a 7 day a week, all-volunteer operation and has raised about $1.2 million for library improvements since it opened in 1982. 

She was an active member of the community.  She and neighbor Ann Camil started a 4th of July block party that was a tradition in the neighborhood for 50 years.  She loved family, gardening, good food, and to-do lists.  She was a fixture at beloved grandson Charlie’s baseball games and is remembered for her optimistic outlook. 

Memorial gifts may be made to the Friends of the South Pasadena Library. 

The South Pasadena Public Library has added a
newly cast bronze Leo Politi sculpture:
"Sister Reading Book to Brother with Dog
Looking On"
that will henceforth adorn its
Oxley Street entrance between its two main doors.
The sculpture was commissioned from Lester Harries of Sanger, California with funds donated from the Discretionary Funds of Members of the South Pasadena City Council, Ellen & Joe Daigle, and Library Trustee Andy Lipmann. The sculpture installation project is a continuation of the Library's Celebration of the lasting Artistic Legacy of famed California Artist Leo Politi.

Leo Politi (1908-1998), an iconic LA artist and children's book author and illustrator, also created the wonderful mural in the Library Children's Room in 1957. Leo reinvented it for the Library's expansion project in 1982 without asking for a fee. Today, it's the oldest remaining of all of Leo Politi's public murals.

Leo Politi was born in Fresno, California on November 21, 1908. When he was 6 years-old he and his family returned to Northern Italy. From his youngest days Leo was passionate about drawing and when he was only 15 he was awarded a scholarship to study for 6 years at the Royal Palace of Monza, near Milan. Leo returned to Fresno after graduation and began his literary career in 1938 with "Little Pancho", a children's book.

Over the course of the subsequent 58 years Leo Politi achieved worldwide fame as an artist, muralist, author, illustrator and wrote 20 more widely-acclaimed books. In 1950 he was honored by the American Library Association with the Caldecott Medal for "the nation's most distinguished children's picture book." Leo also painted many famous public murals, including those in Downtown Los Angeles' Olvera Street and Chinatown --and his first, in the Children's Room of the South Pasadena Public Library. Leo was accorded many other prestigious accolades during his storied career, including having a public library in his hometown named after him. A park and an elementary school in Los Angeles also bear the Leo Politi ' name. On March 26, 1996 Leo Politi passed away and his importance as an artist has only continued to grow ever since.

(l to r)
Joe Daigle, Senator Carol Liu, Congresswoman Judy Chu,
Mayor Diana Mahmud, and Ellen Daigle

Posted 3-24-2016...
South Pasadena is an official Tree City U.S.A. and is nicknamed “The City of Trees.” During the Summer of 2014, author and educator Dr. Matt Ritter of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo conducted a very fascinating, well-attended Author Event in the Community Room based on his book “A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us.” Afterwards he led the audience on a Tree Walk In the Library Park during which he described all 17 tree species that can be found there. The walk concluded at the Library’s magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree that is known as “The Library Tree.” The gigantic tree was planted by Bill Kloezeman, Sr. while South Pasadena’s Carnegie Library was being moved to the center of Library Park from its previous location nearer to Diamond Street.

A Memorial Bench honoring Beverly Engler, Friends Bookstore Co-Founder, was also recently installed overlooking The Library Tree, a spot favored by readers of all ages, children at play, teens hanging out, meditation practitioners, musicians, and many others. The beautiful bench was donated by the Engler Family. So that others can enjoy the Tree Walk and learn more about the trees in the Library Park, 17 small, descriptive signs containing both the botanical and popular names of each tree have just been installed. They were donated by the Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens and use Dr. Ritter’s tree identifications. Dr. Ritter’s Library Park Tree Walk Map will soon be posted on the South Pasadena Public Library and Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library websites.

For a view of the "The Mighty Library Tree"
please click here.
For a PDF copy of the "Trees of the South Pasadena Library" please click here.
Posted 4-29-2015...................


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