Author's Blog

Virginia Sanchez  – 1985-1992 again 2006-2014

I started as a Page at the Main Library in 1985, working for Laurie Wills, then Page Supervisor. Glenda Williams, then a Page, showed me how to sort and shelve. After a couple of weeks I, along with Helen Bati, Glenda, and a couple of others were offered promotion to “Clerk-NC”. I was thrilled. $7.21 an hour still seems like a lot of money. I learned how to operate the old switch board, process ILL requests, as well as all things needed at the Circulation Desk. After a year or so I took the Clerk’s exam and passed. I competed for and received the posting to Los Altos Branch, working with Lynda Fritz and Dannette. I worked there for over six years, and Lynda was a second mom to me. […]

Louise Mazerov – 1987-2003

The one thing I remember most about my 16 years at Long Beach Public Library is the wonderful staff I was privileged to work with. Pages, Clerks, fellow librarians, and all support staff  worked hard to give the best service possible to the patrons. There were, of course, some who would drive you crazy (no names!) but even some of those would go above and beyond many times. Whether we were cleaning up after, another, flood, hosting inspirational speakers or the bug lady, rearranging the entire collection or upgrading our computer system, everyone worked hard, ate lots of treats, and still warmly greeted the public. I sort of fell into librarianship, not knowing what I wanted to do after getting my BA in political science. Luckily I got into the […]

Suzanne McMillan – 1987-2011

I have so many wonderful, fun and funny memories of LBPL,  its staff and patrons. Here are a few of my favorites: – Being from another library system, when I first started at Main Library as a brand new Department Librarian, I had a lot to learn about the pecking order at LBPL. Supervisor’s meeting was a great place to learn. I had not been at LBPL for even a month before we had a “Pied Piper” program where the Pied Piper led dozens of children on parade throughout the whole Main Library, upstairs and down. At the supervisor’s meeting the following week, Barbara Davis announced in no uncertain terms that the program was a “disgrace”, and if her grandchildren had attended a program like that, she would have sued […]

Kerry Martin – 1987-2004

Working for the library was one of my favorite jobs, and I’ve had quite a few. A very worthwhile place with a lot of worthwhile people. One time Tien Tran, Charlotte Blaire-Reynolds, Greg Reynolds and I went to a movie Tien wanted us to see. A Star Wars movie was playing at the same time and I thought about going to see it again instead, but Tien dragged me along and I’m glad he did. It was about a kid who could see ghosts but you didn’t realize that until the startling end of the movie. Wow! That night as I was getting ready to hit the sack I looked through my patio window blinds as I always did, and if I would have seen someone looking through the window […]

Eleanore Schmidt – 1989-2008, City Librarian 1998-2008

THE NEW MARK TWAIN NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY FROM DREAM TO REALITY: 1958 – 2007   A 50 year old dream was realized at the grand opening of the new Mark Twain Neighborhood Library in 2007 with three “firsts” for Long Beach : · 1st 21st century library · 1st neighborhood library to be built in over 35 years · 1st LEED (“green”) public building (LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Among the many dignitaries attending the opening was Mark Twain himself. He rarely leaves the Elysian Fields but made an exception for this very special occasion. The story of how the library came to be built is full of twists and turns with many challenges along the way but seemingly always guided by a guardian angel. A new library […]

Ed Mascarenas – 1989-2018

            It is always hard to lose a loved one, especially one who has become part of your “at work family.”  It is even more difficult when that “work family” member dies suddenly.  Such was the case with Edward Lee Mascarenas, who we all knew as Ed.  He was at work on a Thursday, and died the following Saturday, February 3, 2018, of the flu.             Ed was born on July 3, 1971, in Harbor City, California, and began his career at Long Beach Public Library on August 14, 1989 as a Page.  In November 1991 he was promoted to Library Clerk, working mainly at the Main Library, but happily accepting deployment to neighborhood libraries as needed. He was a music lover and a “go to” person if you wanted […]

Charlotte Blaire-Reynolds – 199?-to date

“A Summer Picnic Remembered” by Charlotte M. Blaire-Reynolds    When I was very young, a teen, I began my career with the Long Beach Public Library. The staff was really a close knit bunch, from Administration to Pages. Everyone interacted and everyone cared about the library and each other. It was a wonderful time. We had a decent amount of staff, who all felt valued. Communication was good. The library thrived because staff were happy and took pride in their jobs, therefore patrons were happy. I hear it was even better before I got there.    When I started with LBPL, co-workers had a bowling league, and there were many parties on and off site. Morale was high.    I attended my first professional baseball game and first hockey game with Library staff; […]

Shirley Knudson – 1991-1994

Water, Water Everywhere On President’s Day, 1992, a City holiday, I received a phone call at home telling me there was water coming from the library onto the Plaza. I called Michael Williams, the Custodial Supervisor and asked him to call in his crew. The water was coming from a broken fire line under the library building. The assumption was that the water had been leaking for sometime and finally reached capacity and burst under the windows in the Children’s Department. Water was ankle deep in Children’s and it was literally raining in the Government Publications backroom. Once the water was turned off, City Hall maintenance and fire crews moved vulnerable equipment and began wet vacuuming the water. The next morning we contracted with a company who specialized in flood […]

Evelyn Matzat – 1993-to date

I was hired in May of 1993 to work in Literature and History, the department which Claudine Burnett headed. In the department, we each had different areas of responsibility. Mine was to construct every month two lists, one of new mysteries, one of new non-fiction history from which the 11 branches and Main would select their purchases. The lists were constructed from Publishers’ Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus. My job meant that I had to immerse myself in the two areas of the Library I loved the most, mysteries and history. Each of us also took our turns at the L&H reference desk on the south side of the main floor. I remember so distinctly the day I was manning this desk, working on my lists and occasionally turning to […]

Rubi Sobieski – 1994-2005

Cleaning the Staff Refrigerators You may remember that in the late 1990s every department was assigned one day each month to clean out the refrigerators in the staff lounge – not always a pleasant job to remove leftover or forgotten food! Needless to say, sometimes cleaning day was “accidentally” forgotten, thus making the job even more distasteful for the next person. Well, it was Stace Aspey’s turn that fine June day, but Stace must have been expecting the worst, so he dressed for the occasion. When he walked into the administration office wearing goggles, a masks over his nose, a full-body cover-up, shoe covers, rubber gloves and carrying a bucket, he had Cordelia Howard (Director), Eleanore Schmidt (Main Manager) and the Administrative staff in stitches laughing. I still chuckle to […]