By Mary Ellen Goddard
11:59 AM PDT, July 22, 2014
A better-educated society tends to be more comfortable financially. So it was no surprise to see the report on voter turnout in last Sunday's Orange County Register — although voter turnout was not my main interest.
Two graphics showed "Residents with master's degrees" and "Median household income." Costa Mesa ranked lower than our neighbors to the south and east. Whatever reason you might give to explain this statistic, it is a fact that we can raise the educational level in our town, over time, by stressing the importance of education — for all ages.
And where can anyone get an education? Well, in our libraries, of course. We need to get behind our libraries, to make them as strong as can be. How can you do this? You can volunteer with the Friends of the Costa Mesa Libraries (call  438-0517) or the libraries themselves, you can donate your gently used books to the bookstores at either the Donald Dungan Library or the Mesa Verde Library, and you can donate money to the Costa Mesa Library Foundation (call Barbara at  658-2879), which is raising money to get much-needed library space in our town.
At the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library
The Donald Dungan Library will present Bilingual Digital Storytime, a once-a-month event, at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Then from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, Cowboy Ken Frawley will present an energetic and participatory program with songs, stories, historical facts and trick roping.
On Tuesdays, July 29 and Aug. 5, from 2 to 6 p.m. is Duplo Play Day. Children and their families are welcome to visit one of the Duplo tables in the lobby. Use your imagination to build your own unique creations.
On July 30 and Aug. 6 from 7 to 7:30 p.m., join library staff for the Tales and Toys Family Storytime with stories, finger plays, songs, crafts and more. The event is open to children of all ages and their families, and no registration is required. Children are welcome to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed toy.
And for the grand finale of the summer reading program at this library, plan to see David Skale, a magician and comedian who began studying the art of magic at age 7 — about the age of many of the youngsters who will be attending his performance. The program is scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 4.
You won't want to miss the films being shown at the library. At 6:30 p.m. July 29, the program will feature Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 film "North by Northwest," and on Aug. 5, Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 film "Breathless" will be shown. For the children, the library will show "Sleeping Beauty" on July 31 and "The Jungle Book" on Aug. 7, both at 4 p.m. For more information, call the library at (949) 646-8845.
At the Mesa Verde Library
Reading with a dog has been shown to encourage children and improve their reading skills. Your child will have the chance to participate in a one-on-one session for five to 10 minutes at 2 p.m. Saturday, reading to a dog. The program is sponsored by the OCSPCA.
From 1 to 3 p.m. July 29, bring your children to the Mesa Verde Library so they can make a superhero cape and mask, dress up and then be photographed with a backdrop and label as a defender of the innocent — or a villainous villain. Participants may come in their own superhero costume. This is a free program and all ages are welcome.
At 1 p.m. July 31, your child can participate in the Digital Read Along, Read Aloud.
Celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Program with activities, refreshments and a rocking musical concert on Aug. 5. Sidewalk painting begins at 12:30 p.m. This is also the last day to claim all prizes. For questions, call the library at (714) 546-5274.
At the Costa Mesa Technology Library
Meet with volunteers who can help you learn basic computer skills, navigate the Internet, create and use email accounts and more on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. Call the library at (949) 515-3970 for more information.
MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the OC Public Libraries.