“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot
Throughout my entire life, reading has always been a constant. Whether it was in the library at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo studying for classes or at home reading to both of my children, I have always found comfort through the pages of a book. That is why I am so thankful that the Santa Clarita Public Library actively promotes and encourages reading not only for children, but also for anyone who enters the doors of our library branches.
One of the most popular and highly anticipated programs that is dedicated to reading is One Story One City. Throughout the entire month of March, residents are invited to read a featured book and participate in activities, events and crafts related to the story. This year, I am proud to announce that the selected novel is “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt.
This novel follows the lives of three main characters, most interesting of them all, a giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus. The story takes you on a journey into the Pacific Northwest, and explores the themes of loneliness, connection and human interaction with humor and wholesomeness scattered throughout the novel. Be ready to get immersed into a sea of perspectives and enjoy the adventure as you delve deeper into the meaning of life and happiness.
The novel will be available for residents to check out in person or via e-book at each of our library branches. As you read along, be sure to join in on one of the many activities that the library has scheduled throughout the month, like the book clubs.
Held at each library branch, these clubs will discuss themes and characters, and dive into a deeper analysis of the book.
If you would rather get crafty, attend our sea glass wind chime or screen-printing activities at the Valencia and Old Town Newhall branches. Both of these events will encourage participants to get in touch with their creative sides and let them take home a decoration or personal tote of their own design.
For all of our art lovers in the community, get ready to submerge yourself into the sea as the First Floor Gallery at City Hall transforms into an underwater exhibit titled, “Ocean Creatures.” Not only will the walls feature artwork of your favorite aquatic animals, but we will also be hosting an artist reception, all surrounding the themes highlighted in the novel. The event will take place in late March, so be sure to follow the library’s social media pages to get updates.
If you would rather watch an underwater documentary, join us at The Main Theater in Old Town Newhall on March 10 at 8 p.m. for a free screening of “My Octopus Teacher.” This Academy Award-winning documentary tells the story of an unusual friendship between a filmmaker and octopus who lives in a kelp forest in South Africa.
To commemorate the last day of One Story One City, the library will be hosting a virtual conversation with the author, Shelby Van Pelt, via Zoom. Participants can attend the event on March 31 at 6 p.m. at the Old Town Newhall Branch or by joining the library’s Facebook Live. Van Pelt will talk about her novel and answer questions from attendees. You won’t want to miss out on this engaging conversation with the author herself.
I encourage all of our residents to dive into this fun and engaging challenge next month and enjoy reading “Remarkably Bright Creatures.” If you would like to check out the novel, or learn more about any of the accompanying events, please visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com/OneStoryOneCity. Follow the Santa Clarita Public Library on Facebook and Instagram at @scvpubliclibrary.
Mayor Jason Gibbs is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].