Storyteller Olga Loya captured the attention of a group of young Burbank residents Thursday at the Northwest Branch Library. In between folk tales about snakes, and stories about her own family, Loya encouraged the children to tell their own stories.
"How many of you have ever been to a wonderful party?" she asked. "How many people have ever been to a terrible party? I want you to turn to the person closest to you and tell them a story."
Phoebe Kellogg, a 4-year-old library patron, contributed a song. "Hey it's Franklin, coming over to play," she chortled.
Phoebe, at home leafing through the pages of the most recent children's magazines, said the liked taking home books from the library. "I got some books last time," she said. "I read them all." It's not just regular library members like Phoebe that National Library Week hopes to encourage, Paziak said.
"We try and get people who may not use the library on a regular basis to come in," she said. But Burbank's libraries are not suffering from lack of use. Circulation has been steadily growing. In the past year, more than a million books and movies were checked out.
"We really hit the jackpot this year," Library Assistant Joan Cappocchi said.
Cappocchi attributed the continuing success of the libraries to the services they offer in addition to leasing books.
"Some of our success can be attributed to our audio visual," she said. "And the fact that there's free Internet access ? some people come in for the computers."
Even the theme of National Library Week, "Change Your World @ the Library," emphasizes the library's foray into the digital world.
"The 'at' symbol is a big thing now," Cappocchi said. "It makes people think, 'oh, ok, maybe they have computers there.'"
The library has also been expanding its reach through events and program, Cappocchi said.
To end the week, the Buena Vista Branch Library is hosting a Jane Austen Tea at 2 p.m. today, complete with tea, scones and an actress portraying Jane Austen.