March programs at the Library


Storypalooza for Read Across America — Saturday, March 6 / 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with Read Across America, an initiative that focuses on creating a nation of diverse readers and motivating children to read. Join us for these special family programs. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica.

The Buster Balloon Show — 11 to 11:35 a.m. Register via Zoom – Join Buster Balloon for comedy, magic, balloons, and fun as he shares some of his favorite children’s books. Space is limited.

Take & Make Dr. Seuss Surprise Craft — 12 p.m. / Access via YouTube – http://youtube/user/SantaMonicaPL. Pick up a surprise craft kit at any Curbside Pickup location, beginning Monday, March 1, then watch this how-to video to make your craft. For ages 3-10 and available while supplies last.

Take Home a Book to Keep — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / At Curbside Pickup. Pick up an easy-to-read book to add to your home library. One book per child; available while supplies last. Available at Curbside Pickup on Saturday, March 6.

Art & Science: Cayton Children’s Museum Project Kit — Monday, March 15 / At Curbside Pickup. Through play with watercolors and natural elements, such as salt, kids learn the basics of color theory and the mixing of colors, while reflecting on the diversity of their communities. All materials are provided in the kit and are available while supplies last.

Dial-A-Story —Access 24/7 via telephone at (424) 610-8600. Are you looking for a fun way for your children to hear exciting stories? Check out Dial-a-Story. New stories are recorded by librarians each week, in English, Spanish, and Mandarin, and can be listened to by phone at any time of day.

Llama y escucha un cuento — Disponible las 24 horas del día, 7 días de la semana por teléfono marcando al (424) 610-8600 ¿Está buscando una forma nueva y divertida para que sus hijos escuchen historias emocionantes? Use nuestro nuevo servicio Llama y escucha un cuento. Los bibliotecarios graban cuentos nuevos cada semana en inglés, español, y mandarín, y se pueden escuchar por teléfono en cualquier momento del día.

Reading-2-Go Kits — Take books wherever you go. Available for check out in March, Reading-2-Go kits are themed backpacks that contain a set of five early literacy books and a CD, DVD, or toy. Kits include suggested activities to extend learning. Available in English, Spanish, and Amharic. For more information, call (310) 458-8600, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Building Blocks for Kindergarten with SMPL — Access via YouTube – Watch short bilingual English/Spanish video segments that focus on kindergarten-readiness skills through reading and activities. Track Building Blocks activities your child completes through the virtual platform Beanstack and earn points towards a prize drawing for book packs.

Construyendo los Cimientos para el Kinder con SMPL — Acceda por YouTube – Únase a nosotros para ver breves segmentos de videos bilingües en inglés/español que se enfocarán en habilidades específicas de preparación para el kinder a través de actividades interactivas y de lectura. Rastree las actividades de Building Blocks que su hijo complete, a través de una plataforma virtual llamada Beanstack y gane puntos para un sorteo de premios para paquetes de libros. Para registrarse en este programa gratuito, vaya a


Ocean Park Branch Book Group Discussion — The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats by Daniel Stone. Saturday, March 6 / 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A fascinating look at the adventures and legacy of nineteenth-century botanist and food explorer David Fairchild. Register to attend this program by emailing

Main Library Book Group Discussion: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett — Monday, March 15 / 7 to 8 p.m. Old wounds are reopened when a secret affair that breaks up two families in the 1960s is shared decades later with an author who uses the story as the basis for a new novel. Register to attend this community-led discussion by emailing

Mystery Book Group Discussion: Trace Elements by Donna Leon — Tuesday, March 16 / 7 to 8 p.m. A woman’s cryptic dying words in a Venetian hospice lead Guido Brunetti to uncover a threat to the entire region in this twenty-ninth novel in the series. Register to attend this program by emailing

Montana Avenue Branch Book Group Discussion Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress by Candacy Taylor — Wednesday, March 17 / 7 to 8:30 p.m. Counter Culture celebrates the best diners and coffee shops, as well as the career waitresses who work there, as neighborhood institutions bringing communities together. Register to attend this program by emailing

Mindful Meditation — Thursday, March 18 / 7 to 8 p.m. Curious about mindfulness meditation and how it might help in stressful times? Experience the pause that refreshes with longtime meditation teacher Henry Schipper. Beginners and experienced meditators are welcome. 30 minute meditation plus Q&A. Register to attend this program by emailing

Notable Fiction Book Group Discussion: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips — Saturday, March 20 / 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. One August afternoon, on a Russian shoreline, two sisters are abducted. When the police investigation turns up nothing, echoes of the disappearance reverberate across the tightly woven community. Register to attend this program by emailing


These series of classes are taught by Adult Education Center instructors. Students must be 18 years or older to attend. Enrollment is through the SMMUSD Adult Education Center, located at 2510 Lincoln Blvd., Room 203, Santa Monica, 90405. Contact Olga Saucedo at (310) 664-6222, ext. 76203 or to enroll.

Citizenship Classes

Mondays / 12 to 2:30 p.m.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

ESL, Multi Level LOW / Fridays / 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

ESL, Multi Level LOW / Saturdays / 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

ESL, Multi Level HIGH / Mondays / 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Place a hold – at or by calling (310) 458-8600 – to pick up items at your preferred location: Main Library, Pico Branch, or Montana Avenue Branch. Wait to receive the email, text, or phone notification that your hold items are ready, then drop in to pick up your items at your selected location. When picking up items, please bring your library card or photo ID, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. Upon arrival, follow the directions on the posted signs.

Pickup locations and hours

By popular request! New curbside service hours on Wednesdays, starting March 17.

Submitted by Karen Reitz


SMC’s Drescher Planetarium Presents Free, Live Virtual Shows on SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Solstices and Equinoxes

Santa Monica College’s John Drescher Planetarium continues its Friday evening events in March 2021 with free, live virtual shows presented online at The friendly presentations will provide updates on SpaceX and Blue Origin activities, as well as an overview of equinoxes and solstices.

The Friday evening shows are at 8 p.m. and are preceded by a streamlined, virtual digest of the popular Night Sky Show at 7 p.m., offering the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, and the chance to chat with and ask planetarium lecturers astronomy-related questions.

The planetarium is exploring a variety of ways to present its shows while the Santa Monica College (SMC) campuses are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the planetarium is using the Zoom platform. To attend the shows, the Zoom software version 5.0 or higher must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at

The March 2021 shows are:

• Friday, March 5 & 12, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “A SpaceX Overview – Landing Boosters, Building Starships, and Filling the Sky” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. Elon Musk may be an unconventional figure, but there is no disputing that his companies, like SpaceX, have radically transformed the fields in which they operate. The show will bring the SpaceX efforts into focus and discuss its fast-paced programs, including the operational, reusable Falcon boosters and Dragon spacecraft, the rapidly evolving Starship/Super Heavy launch vehicle system, and the Starlink Satellite internet constellation. Free. Zoom at

• Friday, March 19, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “TILT! Equinoxes and Solstices Explained” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. With the Vernal Equinox approaching on March 20, most city dwellers are only vaguely aware of what the equinoxes and solstices actually are. The show will try to remedy this disconnect from the natural world, as well as dispel some myths, like the egg-standing-on-end story. Free. Zoom at

• Friday, March 26, at 8 p.m. (following The Night Sky Show at 7 p.m.): “Blue Origin – On the Radar at Last?” — Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon. Blue Origin, one of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ companies, has been developing its own reusable rocket engines and boosters, test flying a suborbital passenger capsule for commercial use, and working on a lunar landing system. The company also won a contract to supply booster engines to United Launch Alliance for the new Vulcan launch vehicle. That same engine will power Blue Origin’s New Glenn, scheduled for first flight late this year. (Note: This show repeats April 2.) Free. Zoom at

More information is available online at or by calling

310-434-3005. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Santa Monica College is a California Community College accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Submitted by Grace Smith


Public Library Participates in “Read Across America”

As part of “Read Across America,” an initiative on reading that focuses on creating a world of diverse readers and motivating children to read, the Santa Monica Public Library presents Storypalooza on Saturday, March 6, 2021 with these special programs:

“The Buster Balloon Show!” — Saturday, March 6 / 11 a.m. / For Families / Live via Zoom. Join Buster Balloon for comedy, magic, balloons, and fun as he shares some of his favorite children’s books. Register in advance on Zoom.

Take & Make Dr. Seuss Surprise Craft — Saturday, March 6 / 12 p.m. / Access video via the link below. Get a craft kit at any of the library’s Curbside Pickup locations beginning March 1st, and watch a how-to video to make your craft. (While supplies last.) Access the video at

Take home a book to keep! — Saturday, March 6 / 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / At Curbside Pickup locations. Pick up an easy-to-read book to add to your home library. (While supplies last.)

Each year, National Read Across America Day, inaugurated by the National Education Association, is celebrated on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The Santa Monica Public Library presents our event supporting early literacy on the first Saturday of March. This event is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica.

Storypalooza is free and you do not need a Santa Monica Public Library card to participate in the programs.

While the Library buildings remain closed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 we are here to assist you. Contactless curbside pickup service is available at Santa Monica Public Library. We encourage you to visit our Online Library and access the Library’s many digital services that are available 24/7. Questions? Call us at (310) 458-8600 or email Staff are available Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm, and look forward to connecting with you.

Submitted by Ann Wilson, Youth Services Librarian