Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Storytime with the LA KINGS Ice Crew and Mascot BAILEY!!

WEDNESDAY August 15th 2:30-3:30
 At Cypress Park Branch

Join us for a fun filled event with your 2012 Stanley Cup Winners LA KINGS Ice Crew and Mascot Bailey as they take you on a fun journey through Z is for Zamboni a Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier.  Learn about your LA Kings and take pictures with BAILEY! Everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"An Evening of Mass Education" "¡Ban This!" Book Signing

       By now some of you have read or at least ordered Santino J. Rivera's latest book, "¡Ban This!: The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature". Those of you who have know the importance of not only the words on it's pages but the idea behind putting the book together in the first place. We hope you'll click on the link we've provided and well, let's just say, "We hope you're ready for what you're about to read and just like Levar Burton used to say,  " don't have to take our word for it". Check out a couple of reviews left on Amazon.

     Mr. Rivera enlisted the help of 38 other Xican@s, well known authors and new voices alike, to join him in fighting back against those who have set out to ban books and censor culture and edit history. 

     We've posted an interview (which you can read here) with Mr. Rivera to promote this amazing collection of but why stop there? 

     Nationally syndicated columist, and friend of the Cypress Park library, Gustavo Arellanosuggested we hold a "¡Ban This!" reading   here at the branch and see how many of the book's contributors we could gather on one night to show up, read the pieces they contributed and in turn spread the word further about this amazing book. 

   We couldn't agree with him more so our reading is scheduled for Sept. 11th from 5:00-7:30pm and so far our list of contributors/readers includes
                                              Rodolfo Acuña

Santino J. Rivera

Gustavo Arellano 

Lalo Alcaraz

Gina Ruiz

Karina Oliva-Alvarado

Jim Marquez

Frank Mundo

Annemarie Perez
                          Jessica Lopez Lyman 
Miguel Jimenez
Odilia Galván Rodríguez
Art Meza
Jonathan Gomez
                                                Matt Sedillo
David Cid
Alejandro Morales
Francisco X. Alarcon
Frank S. Lechuga
Adrianna Simone
Mario Barrera
Sara Inés Calderon

          It looks like the book's contributors are just as excited about this reading as we are. More are confirming almost every day and we'll add them to this post and let you know as they do. You can RSVP on our Facebook event page here.  

    You are not going to want to miss this event BUT just in case getting here is geographically impossible, remember you can still join us online at

Just added

Stickers commemorating "An Evening of Mass Education" will be sold for $3 each or 2 stickers for $5. All proceeds from sticker sales will be donated to "The Friends of The Cypress Park Library" and will help fund future library programs. Stickers are approximately 4x6 inches. Buy some stickers and get them signed by as many of the event's readers as you can.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This Week at the Library (July 23-28)

2- 4:30pm "Used Book Sale"
The "Friends of The Cypress Park Library" holds a small book sale every Monday in the community room. This one isn't as big as the one they hold Saturdays but it's just as important and proceeds fund library programs and some materials. Please join us.

3:30-5:30pm "Grandparents And Books"
Books come alive for kids when they share the fun of reading with GAB library volunteers. Grandma Sara will be here reading to the kids.

2-3pm "Infant/Toddler Story Time/ Summer Reading Club"
Miss Alicia will read stories to the children and we’ll also be making dreamcatchers. This free program is for children up to the age of 12.

4-5pm "LACMA Family Art Program"
Children and families join us and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for our art weekly family art classes. Learn about various artists and learn art through various mediums.

"Teen Summer Reading Club Night at the Library "*Sleepover""
Come in pajamas as we read scary stories, make S'mores at a scary (pretend) sleepover... IN THE LIBRARY!

12-1pm "Grandparents and Books" 
Books comes alive for children when theyshare the fun of reading with GAB library volunteers. "Grandpa Allen" will be here reading to the kids.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Poster Giveaway

Christopher Nolan's Batman saga comes to an end this weekend. To celebrate the final countdown for The Dark Knight Rises theatrical release, we here at The Cypress Park Library are planning to give away a poster a day all this week.

Awesome posters, right? So how can you win them?!?
Every day this week we will be Tweeting a secret Batman related word. What you have to do is be the first person to come into the library and tell the secret word to one of our librarians. That's it! Each day will be a different word; the first person to come say the word will walk out of here with an epic DKR poster. 

Saturday we will celebrating the release by choosing the first three fans who show us their DKR movie ticket stubs.

If you miss the secret word on Twitter, we will also be updating this blog post with each day's secret word, starting with Monday's:

Monday's secret word is Batarang. 
Tuesday's secret word is Baine.
Wednesday's secret word is Gotham.
Thursday's secret word is Alfred.
Friday's secret word is Wayne.

So come on in and win.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Poster Giveaway #2

         We'd first like to thank everyone for their participation and enthusiasm during the contest for the first set of posters. Our facebook page was visited and the post was "liked" by people all over the world.
We've decided to do something a little different this time. In an effort to save money on shipping we're opening this contest to locals only.
Here's how to win:

1. Post a picture of yourself  in front of your favorite LAPL branch and tweet it to us. We're also on Instagram so if you post it there, just tag us (@cypressparklapl) and we'll see it. Make sure we can see the name of the branch in the photo. Please submit only one photo, multiples entries will not be counted.

2. We'll be picking and announcing a random winner on July 24th

3. Limit one photo per person. 

4. This contest is open only to residents of Los Angeles.

5. Remember to make sure the name of the LAPL library/branch is visible in the picture. 

Here's an example. Katie in front of her favorite branch. :) 

We look forward to seeing yours. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tony's Two Cents (July 10th)

            Hey guys, I hope you liked my last review with the guest post by my sister, Brianna Marie. Well this week I’m actually going to review… WAR and Tower of Power. I think you would remember these bands if you lived around the 70’s. You can also hear WAR’s song, "Low Rider" if you watch the George Lopez show. These portray a mood of up-beat funk! Their lyrics and musical style have influential to many artists and song writers.

            The band Tower of Power was formed in the summer of 1968 and was intended to be an American R&B-based horn section band. My personal favorite album of theirs is “What is Hip?”. Their songs show the understanding of true love or true thought of mind. They show these lyrics in the song “You’re Still a Young Man”. This song says you have a whole life to live so don’t waste it on one girl. The chorus says, “You’re Still a Young Man so don’t Waste your time.” This can be a lesson to young people on dating. This band is so great their lyrics are very powerful with truth. There’s a song called “There is Only So Much Oil in the Ground”. It shows the world is evolving  everyday and we need to take notice. and change our ways. I  suggest you listen to this album. It’s not available at many libraries but "Soul Vaccination" is and it's a live versioncd with many good songs. Once again the album this called “What Is Hip”.

            Okay, I’m pretty sure some of you guys have heard of the band WAR. This band portrays more of funk type of mood. I like this band because they can change the genre of each song like “Low Rider” = Latin Rock, “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”= Rock and “Slipping into darkness”= Funk. A lot of people know the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” but only know the “Why Can’t We Be Friends” part. If they would listen to the song more and listen to the lyrics you can hear a lesson it tries to show you. The song, “Why Can’t We Be Friends” shows a truce between two people in conflict and a resolution that should be solved. There’s a song called “The World Is a Ghetto” which shows the world changes each time you blink but it's still true today. It can relate to the Tower of Power song because it shows you need to use your potential to uplift your community. The funk shows that an average person can do whatever they want to. It puts a soulful thought into your mind to relax and live life.

Well guys, I hope you liked this review and make sure to stay tuned for the next one. Bye!

Anthony Meza is a regular patron at our library. He enjoys playing video games but making music is his main interest. You can keep up with his short stories at

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Poetry at the Española Library

      In Española, New Mexico there is a literary movement happening.  One part of this movement began three years ago. A group of artists, musicians, writers, academics and community activists gathered to bring back an old, time honored space known as resolana. La resolana is the southern facing wall of a structure where the warmth of the sun hits. The ancianos would gather to discuss the days events, politica, share oral history and many other topics.

       The idea of creating the group Resolana came from David Garcia. The inspiration came from the book "Resolana" by Miguel Montial, Tomás Atencio and E.A. Tony Mares.

     From the group came a chapbook titled Declamacíon. The chapbook is a collection of writings by local poets, some veterano poets such as Adán Baca, Beata Tsosie-Peña, David Martinez and others. New writers such as Angelo J. Sandoval.and others contributed to Declamacíon. The chapbook was published in the summer of 2009. A second edition chapbook was published in the winter of 2011. Currently the group is working on the third region of Declamacíon III, which will feature new poets such as Amanda Salinas and other poets and writers from the Norte.

       In the summer of 2011 Adán Baca in collaboration with the Española library began a monthly poetry raading dubbed Poetry at the Española Library. For the last year Poetry at the Library has featured many poets, to include Ara Cruz from Denver, Co., Ana Martinez from Santa Cruz de la Cañada, NM, Luis Peña, wife Beata Tsosie-Peña from Santa Clara Pueblo, NM, David Martinez from Chimayo, NM, Amanda Salinas, from Chimayo, NM, Angelo J.  Sandoval from Cordova, NM, brother and sister Adán and Pilar Trujillo from Chimayo, NM, Loretta Trujillo from Santa Fe, NM, Rudolfo Serna, author of the book "Tierra Psycho", and Joseph Cidillo from Dixon, NM, and Andrea Serrano from Albuquerque, NM.

      Poetry at the Library hosted the release of Declamacíon II on May 8th, 2012. The library and Poerty at the Library have created a space for young and old to share their truth through poetry, spoken word and many other forms of writings. Events for Poetry at the Library can be found on our Facebook page Poetry at the Library (Española Poetry Explosion), also visit for photos and information.

      In Albuquerque, NM there is another poetry event called Speak, Poet: Voz, Palabra y Sonido hosted by Andrea Serrano. The event takes place at El Chante: Casa de Cultura. There is a strong connection between Albuquerque and Española's poets. Connections include common history, ideas, friendships, to name a few. El Razafotografista's blog works with both venues to promote the events and to capture the poets as the speak their truth and share their stories.

We'd like to thank Angelo J. Sandoval for being such a huge supporter of his library and libraries in general and for sharing what's going on at his branch with us. We at the Cypress Park Library are always looking for better ways to connect with our community and it looks to us as Española Public Library has a great thing going. We knew we had to spread the word and we look forward to the release of Declamacíon III. 

If any of you are interested in copies of Declamacíon, there are two ways to get one. Feel free to email Resolana at  or you can also reach Campana de Esperanza Fotography (El Razafotografista) at

Friday, July 6, 2012

"¡Ban This!: An Anthology of Xican@ Literature"

       If you're familiar with our blog or our library in general you'll also be familiar with the name Santino Rivera. There's no way around it. Despite being on opposite coasts, separated by seven states and almost 2500 miles, this author and indie book publisher is one of our biggest supporters. He's been a great friend of the library so we couldn't be more thrilled to help promote his latest project and help get the word out because,well, that's what we do here at the library. We get the word out. :) 

        "¡Ban This!: An Anthology of Xican@ Literature" is just a few short weeks away from being released and has already got a lot of people talking, tweeting and writing about it. It seems opinions are like library cards. Everybody's got one. A lot of people have something to say and believe us, Santino is no stranger to criticism. We ask him all about his latest book. Check it out.

Art: Interesting title. Three words that immediately stand out to me are "Ban", "Xican@" and "Literature" and that makes me think "Arizona" and that's a scary thought. Tell us about where this idea and title came from and what you set out to accomplish by printing this book.

Santino: Initially, this book did not start out as a response to the book banning that has occurred in Arizona, specifically Tucson. I wanted to create a book of Chicano/a lit because there aren’t that many books like that in existence. What originally inspired me to do this was reading Penguin’s Anthology of 20th Century Poetry, edited by Rita Dove. That book received a ton of negative criticism because Dove, a Black poet/editor, decided to buck the trend of putting the same old poets in the anthology and instead included some lesser known writers this time, namely people of color. And while I greatly admired what she did, the book still lacked any definitive Chicano/a presence aside from Sandra Cisneros, Alberto Rios and Lorna Dee Cervantes.

I asked myself: why are Chicano/as not more well represented in literature? Why do we not have more anthologies? And why are more of us not included in these so-called “definitive” collections? Well, I knew that none of the major publishing houses were going to create a book of strictly Chicano/a lit any time soon. Sure, there have been a few “Latino” anthologies but none of them (at least none that I know of) concentrated strictly on Chicano/a lit…which, surprising to many, there is a lot of.

So, I began crafting an idea about how to pull a book like that off, all the while, the news from Arizona kept getting louder and louder. The next thing I knew, a public school district in Tucson had banned books, namely Chicano/a books and that became the catalyst for the book. I started talking about the idea with some author friends and Luis Alberto Urrea (who is in the book) suggested that I publish a book in response to book banning. He said something along the lines of, “You should make a book and tell them: ban this, mother fuckers!” Thus, the title was born.    

I took the original idea about creating a Chicano/a lit anthology and married it with the idea of making a book in response to the censorship of Chicano/a literature and that all became the formula for ¡Ban This! I wanted to make a book of defiance! I wanted to shove the book in Jan Brewer’s face and say: Ban This!

As for what I set out to accomplish, for one I wanted to create an anthology of Chicano/a literature in response to there not being any. I think that’s pretty huge within itself. I also wanted to publish some up and coming writers as well as some established ones. I think it’s important that we are recognized in the arts and not just by other Chicano/as. Being a publisher, I have always wanted to create books that I myself would want to read – this is one of them. I think it’s wrong that in most mainstream bookstores there is but a single shelf dedicated to “Hispanic” literature (not to mention it’s in the social studies section) and that those books are deemed “specialized” whereas so-called “American lit” gets space in the giant rows of literature. Why?

I am a strong believer that our stories and our experiences ARE American stories and American experiences. I don’t want to look for Lalo Alcaraz books in the “Hispanic” section of a bookstore; I want them to be with the other art books. I don’t want to have to ask the bookstore to help me find Luis J. Rodriguez’s books; I want to find them with all of the other general literature. The time has passed for us to be considered “specialized”. Chicano/as lit should be on everyone’s shelf.

I have taken it upon myself as a publisher and a writer to market this book to the mainstream. This is a huge challenge and I will need all the help I can get. If our books can make mainstream headlines by being banned then so should our books make mainstream headlines by being read, reviewed and purchased.

I have also made it a personal goal to take some of the proceeds from this book and donate them to the kids in Tucson that had their books taken away from them. I still hope to do that depending on how well the book does.  

Art: Why the “@” in “Xicano” instead of “o”? 

Santino: This is such an interesting a great question because it has already sparked some controversy online regarding the book. The word ‘Chicano’ by itself is politically charged. There are quotes by authors that say the same thing about the word “Chicana”. These two words mean so many different things to different people and if it’s one thing that I noticed in my research, it’s that everyone has an opinion and many like to include both the female and male forms of the words, a la “Chicano/a”. I did this in this very interview to illustrate this very point. Some people also like to exclude people by refusing to acknowledge a gender. You can say (or not say a lot) by using a “o” or an “a” when it comes to Spanish.

The word “Xicano” is a modern twist on “Chicano”. I identify with the X very strongly, so much so that I permanently inked it on my skin when I was much younger. To me, it symbolizes that the movement has gone beyond the one in the 60’s and 70’s – a movement that I have much admiration and respect for – a movement I was born from. It brings the Chicano/a movement into the next century – into the future, or the digital age if you will. I can say or write “Xican@” and include everyone because the @ character is meant to represent all genders. And believe me when I say that the modern Xican@ movement is representative of all genders and all walks of life. I refuse to let anyone tell me differently. The “@” is inclusive of all within the movement and even those who don’t consider themselves a part of it. There are men, women and those in between whom identify with the “@” and if that makes people uncomfortable then that’s their problem with progress, not mine.  

You can write a dissertation on this very topic and I don’t want to go too deeply into that here but I will say that that one of our biggest issues is arguing over self-identity. We have a self-identity crisis. Just look at the news on any given day regarding “Latinos” or “Hispanics”. The arguments go in circles and then die out – all because we can’t agree on what to call ourselves. I wanted this book to be representative of the movement that includes Chicanos/as from all walks of life and from everywhere, all with different experiences. We are extrememly diversified and there is NO rule book on what it means to be Xican@. I think the writing in the book reflects that in a very positive way and I am very proud of it.

The book is not meant to be the ‘be all, end all’ of Xica@ literature. It is my interpretation of it and I think it’s a great start. The book is meant to shine the light on talent that often gets overlooked and ignored. It is meant to forge alliances and call people together into the new age – Neo Aztlán as my friend would say.

So, I’m not sure if that answers your question or not but I can tell you that those that would question the “X” and the “@” should read the book. I think the authors provide a more than adequate answer. I am excited that this book is coming out and I am eager for people to read it. I hope that people from all walks of life give it a chance. This is a fantastic book and one that I believe shows the world that we are embarking on a new Xican@ renaissance, which is a very American thing.    

Art: Saying I'm looking forward to reading this book is the understatement of the year. Can you tell us who's in it?

Santino:  There are so many talented people in this book it really is kind of mind blowing that I was able to pull them altogether. Like I said in the intro to the book, everything came together with a little bit of magic. Some of the authors in the book include Luis Alberto Urrea, Francisco X. Alarcón, Rodolfo Acuña, Gustavo Arellano, Mario Barrera, Lalo Alcaraz, Luisa Leija, Andrea, Lizz Huerta, Matt Sedillo, Sara Ines Calderon, Karina Oliva and a slew of others. There are 39 authors total in this book and their work is very diverse. When I was soliciting authors I told them they could submit anything they wanted and that it didn’t necessarily have to be about Arizona. That worked out beautifully because the book has a great mix of political stuff, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, essays and art. There is something for everyone in the book including Chicano/a science fiction. Try finding that at Barnes & Noble!

I had to continually pick my jaw up off of the floor when some of the authors agreed to be on board. It was quite a feat to pull it off and it reinforced the fact that this book was a good idea – it resonated with both big name
I have created a book with some of my literary heroes in it and that feels amazing. It legitimizes my aspirations as a publisher, which is huge. I am also very pleased to have given many unknown and aspiring writers the opportunity to be included in a book like this. One of my taglines early on in my publishing career was to be the “voice of the voiceless”. With everything that has transpired in Arizona and abroad, I feel that I have done just that and it feels great.

Art: From the moment you mentioned this idea, how would you describe the kind of feedback you've received on it and did that slow you down in any way?   

Santino: The feedback that I received was mostly positive and encouraging so it really lit a fire underneath the whole project and kept me motivated. There has also been a fair amount of criticism regarding that book and I am ok with that because it’s the nature of the business. I have said that I think this book will delight many and also cause a shit-storm with others due to the title and the subject matter. Again, I’m OK with that. If anything, both types of criticism keep me motivated. I like being told I can’t or shouldn’t do something. Or that I should be doing something a particular way or that I should seek so and so’s approval for something. All that stuff is great and pushes me further in what I do. I have always been like that – it’s what drives me. That’s what’s so great about independent publishing – there are no rules or restrictions or gate keepers as far as creating a book goes. I love that kind of freedom. 

Art: I'd like to thank you for your time.

Santino: You're welcome. I would like to thank Cypress Park Library for reaching out and supporting independent and Chicano/a authors and artists. You guys rock. Your community is very fortunate to have such an active and aspiring library. 

Art: Thank you.  Okay, one last question. Where can we get our hands on this book?

Santino: The book will be available at all major online book retailers. The retail price for the book is $19.95. I’m sure places like Amazon will discount it however. I will be selling a limited amount of autographed books myself for $25 a pop, which includes shipping. Again, I am asking people to request the book at their local bookstores, libraries and schools.  

You can read another conversation we had with Santino Rivera here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is The Electric Car?

         Scott DuPont, who co-directed and co-produced this documentary will join us for a special screening here at the library. The film features several actors, scientists, engineers and activists, all of whom contribute their thoughts and explanations regarding electric cars and electric vehicle technology.

Cam (left), Ken and Scott, the men behind the film. 
         This entertaining film will trace the early history of EVs and continue forward 100 years later to follow the re-birth of an entire industry It also presents an inside view of an industry expected to grow to over $200 billion in revenues the next 15 years and features interviews with key manufacturers, vendors, drivers and pioneers in the EV industry, and many more

         This film is not just for EV enthusiasts or those passionate “Green” consumers, but will be an exciting journey for all audiences to go “Back to the Future!” 

  The screening will begin at 6pm on July 31st. Hope to see you. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Tony's Two Cents" (July 3rd )

         Hey guys it’s Tony and I’m sorry for not doing a lot of reviews. I’ve had a lot of work in school but the good thing is I’m out. The other day I got a request from readers, “Xicano007” and “S.J. Rivera”. They suggested I do a review on “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.


            So I gave it a listen and I like it. The sound of the album is really unique. The songs are really nice because the music puts you in a different state of mind like a visual world.  The album’s mood is relaxing, calming and almost hypnotic. You don’t find that in most of today’s music. When you listen to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" you just want to sit back and relax. It put me at ease. If I had to compare this album to one by another band, my first thought would be “The Beatles” but this album had more of a rock effect to them . For example, the song “Us and Them” is similar to the song “Woman” by John Lennon because of the tempo and rhythm. I recommend getting the album but DO NOT download it. Come get it at Cypress Park Branch Library.
Well guys stay tuned for my next review on a band called WAR. 

Anthony Meza is a regular patron at our library. He enjoys playing video games but making music is his main interest. You can keep up with his short stories at

Hello readers,
                    My name is Brianna Marie. This is my first review and I’m super excited to share my opinion about this lovely album with you all. I will be focusing on Fiona Apple’s album, “Extraordinary Machines.” This album was made in 2005 and a review has been a request of, “Ms. Monica Loves”. To start off, I would like to acknowledge the hard work, passion, and heart Ms. Apple interprets into her music. There are many aspects such as personality, emotion, and various voice ranges that make this young artist unique. Moreover, I would like to emphasize how well she does in fitting her voice range in between intervals of the instruments.  For instance, a bass can be playing way down low, while her voice is high up in a whole different range. Yet, she manages to blend in.

           Much like Adele, many of the lyrics Ms. Apple writes are relatable to love/hate relationships. Some songs are about overcoming obstacles and keeping your head held high. Other songs may be about how you may sometimes feel that others get the best of you. Fiona’s lyrics are unique, thoughtful, and extraordinary. She uses many analogys that I think you will find amazing. The great thing about this album is that each song has a different tone and storyline. Some songs are slow paced, while others may be more upbeat and non-repetitive. I highly recommend you go check it out and experience the wonderful music of Ms.  Fiona Apple.

Brianna Marie is a 14 year old musician, writer and artist. You'll find her in our library just about as often as you'll find her onstage performing with her school band. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

This Week at the Library July 2nd - 7th

2- 4:30pm "Used Book Sale"
The "Friends of The Cypress Park Library" holds a small book sale every Monday in the community room. This one isn't as big as the one they hold Saturdays but it's just as important and proceeds fund library programs and some materials. Please join us.

3:30-5:30pm "Grandparents And Books"
Books come alive for kids when they share the fun of reading with GAB library volunteers. Grandma Sara will be here.

2-3pm "Infant/Toddler Story Time/ Summer Reading Club"
Miss Alicia will read stories to the children and we’ll also be making crafts. This free program is for children up to the age of 12.

We're closed today in observance of Fourth of July. Be safe. :)

4-5pm "LACMA Family Art Program"
Children and families join us and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for our art weekly family art classes. Learn about various artists and learn art through various mediums.

"Teen Summer Reading Club /  Watch A Scary Movie Night!"
4-5pm Teens, join Paula and watch a Scary Movie that will send Chills down your Spine! 

12-1pm "Grandparents and Books" 
Books comes alive for children when theyshare the fun of reading with GAB library volunteers. "Grandpa Allen" will be here.