News from the San Carlos Library, May 19, 2017

By Sue Hotz

Congratulations, Caroline Beail

City-wide winners of the 20th annual Writing for Literacy Essay Contest were announced April 27, at the Balboa Park Club. Pershing Middle School student Caroline Beail was one of this year’s four city-wide, eighth grade winners.

Caroline Beail

Essayists were to write on what book they thought would be worth saving. Beail chose To Kill a Mockingbird,” as the one book she would save if all other books in the world were to be destroyed.

Winning is not new for Beail; as a fourth grader at Dailard Elementary, she was a city-wide winner in the fourth grade division.

Congratulations to all of the participants, their parents and teachers.

San Carlos Branch temporary closure

The completion of the installation of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system at the San Carlos Branch Library will take place between Monday, June 12 and Friday, June 23.

The Branch will be closed during that time and will reopen on Saturday, June 24.

RFID machine

During the closure, our staff will be converting all branch materials from bar-code to RFID tags. The new machines will allow patrons to self-checkout materials in 27 different languages, and will soon also allow them to pay their library fines. Unlike barcodes, RFID tags do not have to be in a specific position for the machines to read them. The system frees up the library staff to assist patrons in all aspects of library services.

During the closure, you may continue to return your materials to our branch using the outside drop slots and boxes. Items you have placed on hold before June 23 will be extended for two weeks after reopening (until July 8). Please place book sale donations in marked bags or boxes and place them on the provided cart or bench by the left-side library entrance. July Book Sale sorting will continue during the closure.

Email addresses

If you haven’t been receiving email reminders about upcoming events, we may not have your current email address. Sign up in person at the library or on the SCFOL website home page.

Thank you San Carlos Area Council

The San Carlos Friends of the Library (SCFOL) wish to thank the San Carlos Area Council (SCAC) for their generous contribution to the San Carlos Branch Library. SCAC directors presented the check to SCFOL President Joan Hayes at the April 26, 2017, SCAC directors meeting.


Through June 1, paintings by self-taught Rachael Retz, a 40-year resident of San Carlos, will be on display in the Winer Community Room & Art Gallery. Join Retz’s family at her Artist Reception on May 20, noon–2 p.m. We thank Retz’s daughter, Teresa Dalton, a teacher at Gage Elementary School, for introducing us to her mother’s paintings.

There will be no June artist exhibit.

Books and speakers

June 8 at 12:30–2 p.m., the Library Book Club is discussing the 2016 One Book One San Diego selection “Waiting for Snow in Havana,” by National Book Award-winning author, Carlos Eire. In 1962, at the age of 11, Eire was one of 14,000 Cuban children brought to the U.S. without their parents as part of Operation Peter Pan. He is now a professor of religion and history at Yale University.

May 26, 2–3 p.m., long time Del Cerro resident Dr. Paul Erickson, will share his mother’s memories of riding on the Orphan Train from New York to Missouri in 1901, at the age of 4.

Between 1854 and 1929, about 250,000 orphans were moved by train from New York City and relocated to live with families in the Midwest and West. Two organizations founded during this period, the Children’s Aid Society and the New York Foundling Hospital (founded by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul) arranged for the placement and transportation of orphan children.

Dr. Erickson will discuss how these placements were made. Dr. Erickson is both a historian and educator, receiving his Ed.D from USC. From 1963 to 1986, he was a professor of psychology in the School of Education at SDSU. His wife taught at Lewis Jr. High. Their two sons live in San Carlos. Please join us to hear about this little known piece of American history from this charismatic nonagenarian.


May 19, 1–3 p.m.: Owen Coyle will help you “Assess Your Assets: Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You?”

June 9, 2–3 p.m.: In the first of this three-part Healthy Habits series, Brandon Harding discusses the “Skinny on Fat: Reducing Fat in Your Diet.” Come learn more about how foods high in fat sneak into our diet and effective ways to reduce them, without sacrificing flavor!

Youth activities

Congratulations to 7-year-old Dailard Elementary student, Justin. His name was drawn from the 98 participants who submitted correct answers to our April “Who Hatches?” SCFOL sponsored scavenger hunt. Justin won a $25 Book Store gift card.

Literature Comes to Life

May 31, 4–5 p.m., Stacey Wein, director of Literature Comes to Life, introduces children to drama. In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, kids from the audience will be invited to act out scenes from the book, “The Empty Pot,” by Demi. All ages are welcome. Luxurious costumes will be provided.

Summer Reading Program

The city-wide Summer Reading Program (SRP) runs from June 15 through Aug. 15. This year’s theme is “Reading by Design.”

Due to San Carlos Branch’s RFID update-in-progress until June 24, our kick-off youth special event will happen on Wednesday, June 28 at 2:30 p.m., when Michael Rayner’s Variety Show makes your whole family laugh with his unique stunts using burgers and parasols!

For the complete list of SRP activities and the June through August parade of kid summer fun, click on the “In a NUTSHELL” article on our website under “Youth Activities-Special Events.”

Dates to remember

May 29: CLOSED, Memorial Day

June 2, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Friends of the Library only, Used-Book Pre-sale

June 3, 9:30-3 p.m.: SCFOL Monthly Used Book Sale

June 12-23: CLOSED San Carlos Branch, RFID upgrade

June 24: RE-OPEN

June 28, 2:30 p.m.: Michael Rayner’s Variety Show

June 15: Summer Reading Program begins City-wide 

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

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