Building Blocks for Kindergarten with SMPL: These short bilingual English/Spanish video segments focus on kindergarten-readiness skills through reading and activities. Track completed Building Blocks activities through the virtual platform Beanstack and earn points towards a prize drawing for book packs.  Register here:  Access via YouTube:  

Dial-A-Story: Access 24/7 via telephone at (424) 610-8600. New stories are recorded each week in English, Spanish, and Mandarin, and can be listened to by phone at any time.

Snoozer’s Storytime Adventures: Mondays: May 2, 9, 16 & 23 / 12 p.m. Checkers Library TV presents Snoozer’s Storytime Adventures, a virtual series that brings children’s books to life with an uplifting story, craft, and song. Access via YouTube:

Take & Make Kit: Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month: Available beginning Wednesday, May 4. This kit highlights the history, heritage, and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Through activities such as origami, lantern making, and rangoli sand art, kids and families can construct unique and vibrant creations to display at home. Organized by the Coalition of Asian & Pacific Employees of Santa Monica. Pick up at the Main Library Youth Services desk, Pico Branch, or Montana Branch. Available while supplies last. 

Mindfulness Storytime with Julz: May 7 / 10:30 to 11 a.m. / Main Library, Health and Wellness Coach Julz Kerr introduces mindfulness and the importance of being present through interactive stories, breathing exercises, and activities for the whole family. Ages 3 & up. Space is limited. Register:

Storytime at Cayton Children’s Museum: Thursday, May 12 / 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. / Cayton Children’s Museum, Santa Monica Place. Join us for fun stories, songs, and fingerplays. After storytime, enjoy the museum for FREE!  Registration is required:

Take & Make Kit: Understanding Emotions and Reducing Stress: Available beginning Monday, May 16. This special Mental Health Awareness Month kit includes supplies to create and color a Feelings Cube, a Mindfulness Labyrinth, and other activities for children and teens. Pick up at the Main Library Youth Services desk, Pico Branch, or Montana Branch. Available while supplies last. For ages 3 & up.

Teens & Adults

Mental Health Awareness Month: Online Challenge: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Talking and sharing about mental health can be tricky, but we’re here to help #BreakTheStigma. Lower your stress level by reading a good book and check out resources to help you on your mental health journey. Log your reading and activities to earn badges all month long. For grades 13 & up. Register:


Parenting While Black Series: Reclaiming, Centering, and Affirming Our Joy in Raising Black Children: Mondays, May 2 & 16 / 12 to 1 p.m. / Access via link below. This webinar series offers a safe and welcoming space to hold conversations for and by Black families. All are welcome to join and engage in these powerful conversations! Moderated by Eurnestine Brown, Ph.D., Director of Relational Equity and Belonging at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center.  Register:

Roads to Respect: Keeping Kids Safe: Thursday, May 12 / 6 to 7 p.m. This workshop is for parents and caregivers of elementary school children and focuses on child safety and prevention of child sexual abuse. Family conversations around body safety can be done without fear or discomfort. Presented by Kimberly R. White from the UCLA – Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center. Register:


Ocean Park Book Group Discussion The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles: Saturday, May 7 / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The newest novel from the author of A Gentleman in Moscow debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It follows four boys on a ten-day road trip as they leave Nebraska for a better future in New York or San Francisco. NPR calls the book “a joyride”. To register, email

Music Center On Tour presents: Korean Classical Music and Dance Company: Thursday, May 12 / 3:30 p.m. / Main Library, Central Courtyard 

This splendidly costumed ensemble boasts a rich and varied repertoire of exciting dances presented with the grace and elegance characteristic of an ancient traditional dance form. The performance also includes traditional music played on authentic Far Eastern instruments. For all ages. To register, email

Main Library Book Discussion Group: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner: Monday, May 16 / 7 to 8 p.m. A family’s journey to bury their matriarch in her chosen resting place is recounted through fifteen different viewpoints in this Modernist Southern Gothic masterpiece. To register, email

Mystery Book Group & Author Discussion Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manansala: Tuesday, May 17 / 7 to 8 p.m. Working in her Illinois family’s Filipino restaurant backfires when a woman is accused of murdering a restaurant reviewer. The first book in a new culinary cozy series. Q & A with the author at 7 .p.m. To register, email

Montana Avenue Branch Book Group Discussion The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd: Wednesday, May 18 / 7 to 8:30 p.m. The story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who ran her father’s plantation outside Charleston in the 1700s and struck a bargain with the plantation’s slaves – they would teach her how to make indigo and she would teach them to read. To register, email

Notable Fiction Discussion Group Zorrie by Laird Hunt: Saturday, May 21 / 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Spanning an entire lifetime, this elegant short novel offers a profound and intimate portrait of the dreams that propel one tenacious woman onward and the losses that she cannot outrun. Register, email:

The Library will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observance of Memorial Day. Library programs are generously supported by The Friends of Santa Monica Public Library. All programs are subject to change. Have questions or need help? Library staff are available during open hours. Contact us at (310) 458-8600 or 

Submitted by Kathy Lo