And Now You Know: Halloween History

How did we come to observe Halloween? There are several explanations for the existence of the holiday, but here is one plausibility.

Over 2,000 years ago, the Celts of Ireland and all over Europe considered a day corresponding to November 1 the beginning of their calendar year. On November 1, they held a feast called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). Samhain was the most important holiday of the Celtic year.

The Celts believed that ghosts, demons, fairies, and the souls of the dead mingled with the living  on Samhain. To protect themselves from unkind spirits, they left out sweets for the spirits to eat and disguised themselves in scary masks to trick the spirits.

The púca is a fairy of Irish folklore, able to change form and commonly taking the form of a yellow eyed horse.

The púca is a fairy of Irish folklore, able to change form and commonly taking the form of a yellow eyed horse.

As centuries passed, people from around the world added their own twist to Samhain. Catholic missionaries in Ireland promoted Samhain as a day to honor dead saints and called the day All Saints’ Day or All Hallows. The night before All Hallows became All Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Halloween wasn’t popular in America until millions of Irish immigrants came to America in the 1800s, many of them fleeing Ireland’s potato famine. Americans began to dress in costumes and go from house to house asking for food or money, and by the late 1800s, there was a movement to make Halloween into a holiday about community rather than about ghosts, demons, and witchcraft. As a result, Halloween lost much of its supernatural and religious connotations by the turn of the century.

Cramped and overcrowded conditions on ships that sailed from Ireland to America caused so many deaths that the ships were called "coffin ships."

So many died in the cramped and overcrowded conditions of ships that sailed from Ireland to America that the ships were called “coffin ships.”

Today, Halloween is a huge consumer holiday in America. In 2012, Americans spent $8 billion on Halloween candy, costumes, and other related items. $8 billion! This year, the National Retail Federation predicts that the average American will spend $77.52 in honor of Halloween.

Want to learn more? Check out one of our excellent titles on the history of the holiday.

Are You Ready for an Earthquake?

At 10:16 a.m. on 10/16, the library will participate in the Great California ShakeOut. More than 20 million people across California will participate in this drill. Everyone inside the library at that time will be asked to “drop, cover, and hold on” and then evacuate the building. After the drill, we will resume library service. Thank you for your understanding as we become better prepared for major quakes.


In-N-Out + The Fault in Our Stars

In_n_out_logoTeens and kids, if you love to read and if you love In-N-Out, then do your happy dance! From now until November 15, you can get free In-N-Out burgers for reading. AWESOME! Read on for the details.

Read a book, and then stop by the reference desk to pick up an index card. On the card, write the name of the book, its author, and why you recommend the book to others. When you turn the card in, you’ll receive an In-N-Out coupon AND a chance to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of The Fault in Our Stars. You’ll receive an In-N-Out coupon for only your first book recommendation, but you can submit as many recommendations as you’d like for multiple chances to win the autographed copy of The Fault in our Stars.

Kids Ages 4-12
Stop by the children’s room to sign up. For every five books you read, you will receive an In-N-Out coupon. You can receive up to three In-N-Out coupons.

Get reading, and get eating! YUMMY!

AARRR! Ahoy!

Ye, mateys! September 19 be Talk Like a Pirate Day.


Avast! Ye be a landlubber? AARRR! If ye have want to speak like a swashbucklAARRR, try Mango Languages, availAARRRble at the Buena PAARRRk LibrAARRRy. All ye need is ye librAARRRy cAARRRd.

If you had trouble understanding what you just read, here is a rough translation. September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. If you are not a pirate but want to learn to talk like a pirate, then try Mango Languages, available through the library’s website. All you need to log in is your library card. If you have any questions, call us at 714-826-4100 ext. 125, or stop by the reference desk.

And to close, here is a pirate joke for your amusement!

What is a pirate’s favorite Christmas carol?

pirate santa
Drum roll please…

We Three Kings of Orient AARRR!

New DVDs

need speedcesarlonenonstopheavenk19bad wordsunderdivergentlocke

Final Harry Potter Published This Day

hp covers
On this day seven years ago, July 21, 2007, the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter series was published. I still remember reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows through the night and then feeling a sad weight in my stomach as I closed the back cover on Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the magical world they inhabited. O! The finality of it all!

Imagine my surprise when, a couple weeks ago, J.K. Rowling posted a new short story about Harry and the gang on the Pottermore website, shocking and elating millions of readers and eventually causing the site to crash. Haven’t read the story yet? You can read an excerpt here.

The story is sparking speculation that a new book or movie could be in the works. What do you think? Will we see a new book or movie? Do you want to see a new book or movie?

New E-books

Check out the newest additions to the library’s e-audiobook collection!  If you need more information about setting up your device, start at our digital library at: or contact the Reference Desk at: 714-826-4100 ext. 125

Sergeant Stubby  Unbreak my heart Michael Jordan  most dangerous animal of all  Lets just say  hiltons  Carsick  Aviators  10 percent happierThink like a freak

Chase the Dog Returns!

Our beloved Chase the Dog is returning for the Read to a Dog Program!
Every Tuesday between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
beginning May 6 until August 26
your child can come read to Chase and then choose a toy from the treasure chest. No sign up is necessary; just come on Tuesday evenings!

Please call the library at 714-826-4100 an hour before you come just in case the program needed to be canceled for the evening.

This Just In: DVDs en Español

Reportero  No  Santo y el Blue Demon  Marcelinopanyvino-PosterArt El Senor de los Cielos  corazon-indomable-poster-oficial  876122003140  Narco Cultura

Give Blood, Give Life at the BPLD

Monday, April 28
11:30 am – 5:45 pm

Please sign up online at
and use the sponsor code BPL

All participants will receive
a buy one get one free sub from Quizno’s
– a voucher for 2 discounted tickets to an LA Galaxy game
– 2 discounted tickets to select LA Kings hockey games

- 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the Laugh Factory