Libraries should serve as not only an educational resource, but also as a cultural resource for the community, says Ardem Ardashes Tajerian, manager of the Sunland-Tujunga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. And on Saturday, December 10th the S-T Library will host a celebration with music and art to celebrate its 90 year history. At 12:30 p.m., there will be a marionette show, and at 1:30, a ceremony attended by dignitaries to mark 90 years of library services. At 2:30, the 3-piece jazz band “Soul Purpose” will entertain the public and at 3 p.m., there will be a crafts event on weaving. Tajerian sums up the celebration by saying, “We are celebrating the past and looking forward to the future.”
Mr. Tajerian joined the S-T branch in June after a long history in the Van Nuys branch. His idea, in creating this event, was to embrace the history of the Sunland-Tujunga community. “The Los Angeles Public Library has been in the communities of Sunland and Tujunga for 90 years,” he says. “Originally, there were two little stations in both communities. The Sunland station was a storefront at 8412 Foothill Boulevard in Sunland while the Tujunga station was located at 7212 Valmont. In 1952, they were merged into the current location at 7771 Foothill Boulevard in Sunland. This building is the second one on the current site, built when the first needed to expand.”
For those who enjoy reading, a library card is a valuable investment. Not only can you borrow books, music, and movies but you can also access many of the L.A. Public Library’s data bases (there are 183 of them) to peruse newspapers and archives, science encyclopedias, art encyclopedias, biography encyclopedias, and databases for business and economics, careers, and even auto repair manuals. Access to the online resources is via the website: www.lapl.org.
The S-T Library now hosts a collection of 52,000 volumes of books. Over the past three years, about 104,000 visitors have enjoyed its resources each year. In addition to serving as a lending library with books, magazines and newspapers, DVDs and e-books, the branch has many online research data bases available for library patrons, including a free version of ancestry.com (accessible at the library, itself). Additionally, there are educational aids for all age groups from grade show to college, including online tutoring (available in English and Spanish for a variety of subjects), resume preparation services, computer classes, job search databases, and one to one adult literacy classes.
“The libraries of today have changed,” notes Tajerian. “What I want to do with this celebration is let the community know that we have not only traditional library services but also many other new and exciting services.”
One of the ways the library supports itself is through book donations and purchases at its onsite book store, manned by volunteers of The Friends of S-T Branch Library. The bookstore is open most days starting at 10 a.m. and offers quality used books at bargain prices.
Tajerian hopes this outreach event helps lay the groundwork to bring in new library patrons – people who may not be aware of the resources available. “I’d really like to emphasize that this is a hub for education and culture for our community. I want people to know that the library is here for whatever educational or leisure needs they have.”
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