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Library Newsletter January 2018

Writers Present: Melanie Benjamin with VIP ‘Meet & Greet’ Wine Reception

Melanie BenjaminThe Friends of the Mission Viejo Library on Wednesday, January 31 will host New York Times bestselling author Melanie Benjamin who will discuss her latest release “The Girls in the Picture.”

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center.

“The Girls in the Picture” is a fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood's earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford.

Melanie Benjamin is noted for her other fabulous novels including “The Swans of Fifth Avenue”; “The Aviator’s Wife”; “The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb”; and “Alice I Have Been.”   

For information about attending the VIP “Meet & Greet” Wine Reception with Melanie at 6 p.m. or to reserve general admission seating, visit  For more information, call 949-830-7100, ext. 5105.

Save the date for Grand Opening Celebration of the Potocki Center for the Arts Jan. 20

Mark your calendar for the Grand Opening Celebration of the Potocki Center for the Arts on Saturday, January 20. 

This dynamic community event is from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 27301 La Paz Road. 

Art and life will entwine at this center that has undergone a reinvention – catering to this community’s ever-growing thirst for the arts.

This community celebration will feature creative activities for families; make-and-take projects; and interactive fun with instructors who teach ceramics, painting, drawing and guitar. Dance artist and Saddleback College educator Deidre Cavazzi will lead the “Melt” gallery exhibit, and the event will boast entertainment by Boomer Blues Bistro with Noe Gold as well as offer food for purchase. 

Free shuttles will be available from the Mission Viejo Civic Center.  Stay tuned for more information leading up to this exciting event!

Friends of the Library News

Drum roll … and the winner of the Friends of the Library’s 43-inch flat screen Phillips smart TV is Erin Schimeneck!  Thank you to everyone who supported the library in 2017! 

Mark your calendar for the following fundraiser:

Friends of the Library Purse-Palooza

Members of the Friends of the Library are trying a new, creative way in 2018 to help fund the wonderful programs at our library. On Saturday, May 5, they will host a “gently used” Purse-Palooza purse sale in the Saddleback Room at City Hall.

Friends’ Secretary Kathleen Cunningham is inviting folks to look through their closets and consider donating new or gently used purses now to support this event. They are hoping to obtain 250 purses.

Drop your donation off at the Friends of the Library Bookstore; Kwik Kopy Printing at 28570 Marguerite Parkway; clubElevate at 27855 Santa Margarita Parkway; and High Park Tap House at 23641 Via Linda.

All proceeds from the sale of purses will benefit the Mission Viejo Library!

History of Mission Viejo you probably don’t know

How much do you know about the early years of Mission Viejo? Longtime Mission Viejo resident and local historian Bob Bunyan will make a special presentation Sunday, January 28.  Local history buffs and folks who want to learn more about our City’s roots should mark their calendars for the program that starts at 3 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber, 200 Civic Center.

Bob Bunyan joined the Mission Viejo Company in 1971 as a corporate planner and worked on the development of this community as well as the company’s other projects in Colorado, Arizona and California.  In this role, he assisted with strategic planning throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.  Bob was the last management employee of the Mission Viejo Company after its sale to Shea Homes.   A resident of Mission Viejo since 1971, Bob experienced the growth and maturation of this City and has a unique perspective of its evolution.  He serves on the Orange County Historical Commission and is the author of “Images of America: Aliso Viejo” published by Arcadia Publishing. 

Some topics he will cover include the role Donald Bren played in developing Mission Viejo; how the community was planned; the formation of Lake Mission Viejo; why the Mission Viejo Company stopped building houses; and why it was sold and shut down.

To RSVP for this intriguing presentation, email with your name and the number in your party or call 949-830-7100, ext. 5105.

Free program will help people on their path to becoming a U.S. citizen

Just after the New Year, the Mission Viejo Library will begin offering a new free program designed to help folks interested in becoming naturalized U.S. citizens.

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Beginning January 10, longtime Mission Viejo resident, volunteer and retired U.S. history and government teacher Bob Hayes will lead weekly 1-hour citizenship tutoring sessions at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Mission Viejo Library, 100 Civic Center. The tutoring will help people fill out Form N-400 and study for the U.S. Naturalization Test.  These sessions will focus only on the civics portion of the Naturalization Test (and not ESL). Additional study guides and other materials for new immigrants will be available at the library.

Registration is required and available by contacting librarian Sandy Brimer at

Star Wars Trivia!

Sport your favorite Star Wars-themed costume and head to the Mission Viejo Civic Center for a fun trivia event on January 27.

This free program is from noon to 2 p.m. in the City Hall Saddleback Room, just across from the library at 200 Civic Center.

This fun event for all ages will test your knowledge of Episodes 1 through 7 – giving you the perfect excuse to watch the flicks again! (We promise no spoilers for Episode 8.)

Along with trivia, the event features a costume contest and special appearance by the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costume charity group.  The winners will receive prizes.

You can register your team of up to FOUR players at the library’s adult reference desk or by calling 949-830-7100, ext. 5105.

Climbing the DNA ladder to get over a brick wall

Genealogy researchHave you been thinking about taking one of the DNA tests that are so popular today?  You might have already had the test but aren’t sure how to interpret the results.  How can you identify matches on a branch of your family tree and use that information to break through a genealogical brick wall?

Join Arlene O’Donnell and Barbara Taylor of the South Orange County California Genealogical Society from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, January 20 as they discuss their experiences using DNA to solve mysteries and expand their family trees.  They’ll tell us what they’ve learned along the way and offer tips and resources you can apply to your genealogical research.

This informative program includes free refreshments and takes place at 27979 Marguerite Parkway at Hillcrest Drive (behind the LDS Church). For more information, contact