News from the San Carlos Library

By Sue Hotz

We love our patrons

It’s February, and love is in the air. We love our patrons and encourage all of you to become members of the San Carlos Friends of the Library. Annual membership levels begin at $5; lifetime memberships are only $250. Members can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere while purchasing books the afternoon before our monthly Used Book Sales.

Historically, Valentine’s Day had a dark beginning. Pre- and early-Romans celebrated Lupercalia Feb. 13–15, a debaucherous spring festival intended to stave off evil spirits, and bring health and fertility to the town’s inhabitants. During the third century A.D., Emperor Claudius II, on Feb. 14 in different years, executed two Christian men, both with the name Valentine. The Catholic Church elevated these men to sainthood, and in the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14, Valentines’ Day, combining the saints’ day with Lupercalia, in an attempt to stop the latter’s bacchanal celebrations. Fortunately, the holiday grew sweeter with its romaticisation by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Hallmark Cards.

“How Do You Know When You Know?” author Dr. Ellen Quick (Courtesy SCFOL)

‘Robotics Showcase Extravaganza’

Robots are not just the purview of “Star Wars” — move over R2D2.

Many of the schools in the Patrick Henry High School cluster support robotics teams where students are involved in every aspect of building robots and entering them in regional competitions. Last year, the Patrick Henry High School Patribots robotics team won a regional competition and went on to compete nationally in Houston, Texas. Robotics teams help young people develop skills in engineering, coding and construction.

Saturday, Feb. 24, the San Carlos Branch Library will partner with the Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation to host Robotics Showcase Extravaganza from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Robotics teams from local schools will display and explain their creations in the library’s lower parking lot located on the corner of Jackson and Golfcrest drives. Please do not park in the lower lot until the robotics showcase is over.

Inside the library, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m., there will be an Interactive robot craft. From 1–2 p.m., the Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation will give a “How to Start a Robotics Team” presentation.

Come and see what the kids can do, learn how to get your children involved, and how to start your own robotics team.

Art show

Feb. 6–March 1, Zandy Gilmaher will display her richly colored oils in the Winer Family Community Room & Art Gallery. Don’t miss Gilmaher’s rendition of South Pasadena’s 2005 Rose Bowl Parade Float. It includes her self-portrait as part of the parade’s audience; she is the one wearing a SDSU sweatshirt.

February’s show will also include selections from Gilmaher’s “Dance of Life,” and “California Spring” series. A reception for Gilmaher will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, noon–2 p.m. in our Art Gallery. Refreshments will be served.

Books for your reading list

Feb. 23, 2–3 p.m., join author Dr. Ellen Quick, a clinical psychologist and board certified coach, for a conversation on personal decision making, “How Do You Know When You Know.”

Dr. Quick’s highly acclaimed book presents ways for you to recognize what you truly want, and offers flexible guidelines to use when facing a decision or complicated situation. Her book also describes the process of choice. Dr. Quick invites questions during this interactive discussion.

March 8, 12:30–2 p.m., the Library Book Club is discussing “East of the Mountains” by David Guterson. Guterson’s second novel is the story of a retired Seattle surgeon, Ben Givens, who upon being diagnosed with terminal cancer, decides not to burden his family with his final days, but plans to end his days during a last hunting trip in the Northwest wilderness; then fate intervenes with a car accident. The story develops via flashbacks of Ben’s life.

Free Speaker and OASIS programs

Feb. 9, 2–3 p.m.: “Acupuncture & Health,” will be presented by TJ Morton L.Ac, MSTOM. This presentation focuses on why people use acupuncture, what are the scientific theories as to how it works, and what medical issues the World Health Organization believes it is able to treat, including: stopping pain anywhere in the body, improving digestive function, relieving stress, reducing fatigue, and treating gynecological and menopausal issues.

OASIS: Feb. 16, 2–3:30 p.m.: “Fall Prevention & Home Safety” will be presented by Scripps Health injury prevention expert, Paige Colburn Hargis. Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors. Hargis will supply information on how to make your home environment safer from falls.

Youth special events

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2:30–3:30 p.m., join us and the Center for World Music’s artist and educator, Nomsa Burkhardt, to learn about “South African Music & Dance.” You will be introduced to the languages, stories, folk music, and dances of the Zulu and Xhosa peoples.

This performance is part of a Black History Month celebration to introduce, inform, and educate kids about one of Africa’s many cultures, as well as to pay homage to the history of the African-American experience.

Challenge Island:
‘Catapult Cove’

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 4–5:15 p.m., kids ages 8–12 will build a catapult that can fling a soft object across the room and hit a target. They will become familiar with the concepts of stored energy and elasticity as they work to improve their catapults. Registration is required; call 619-527-3430.

Weekly events for youth

Ages 3–8 on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. enjoy yoga and storytime.

Youth under age 18 can enhance their chess skills on second and fourth Tuesdays from 5–7 p.m.

Wednesdays, “After School Special” for ages 4–9 starts at 2:30 p.m.

Thursdays, ages 3–8, paint and glue to their own whims at Process Art at 4 p.m.

Friday is pre-school storytime and art from 10–10:45 a.m.

1000 Books before Kindergarten is a citywide literacy program for pre-readers, ages 5 and under. Register online at

Dates to remember

Feb. 13: Mardi Gras

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday

Feb. 16–19: No school for San Diego Unified

Feb. 19: Libraries CLOSED for Presidents Day

Feb. 21, 4–5:30 p.m.: SCFOL monthly meeting

Feb. 24, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.: Robotics Showcase Extravaganza in lower parking lot and inside the library.

March 2, 1:30–3:30 p.m.: Friends of the Library only, Used Book Pre-sale. Join SCFOL during the sale

March 3, 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m.: SCFOL Monthly Used Book Sale

— Sue Hotz is board member and publicity chair for the San Carlos Friends of the Library. Reach her at

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