The Big Read

Welcome from OC Public Libraries!

OC Public Libraries is proud to participate in the NEA Big Read of “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. Funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, the aim of the NEA Big Read is to restore reading to the center of American culture by bringing communities together and connecting them to other people’s lives. Join us September 2016 through May 2017 for exciting programs, book discussions and a culminating meet-the-author event. “In the Time of the Butterflies” is a story of courage, love and the strength and determination of the Mirabal sisters.  

- Helen Fried, County Librarian

Meet Julia Alvarez

Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, she is a poet, fiction writer, essayist and author of world renowned books in each of the genres, including  “How the García Girls Lost their Accents” and “Something to Declare.”

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tustin Library - Time to be Determined        

Meet Matt de la Peña

Matt de la Pena is a New York Times Best Selling and Newbery Medal-winning author for his picture book, “Last Stop on Market Street.” De la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY where he teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

La Habra Library - Time to be Determined          

Join us for a discussion of the NEA Big Read featured work "In the Time of the Butterflies"

As part of the NEA Big Read, OC Public Libraries are sharing the experience of reading the same book. Readers are invited to join together at this special book club meeting to discuss and explore themes that resonate in our own lives and communities. Copies of the book are available at the library for you to pick up prior to the discussion.

 Thursday, January 12, 2017, 4:30pm
Brea Library

Monday, January 23, 2017, 10:30am
Dana Point Library

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017, 1:00pm
La Habra Library

Monday, January 30, 2017, 6:00pm
La Palma Library

Friday, February 10, 2017, 1:00pm
El Toro Library

Tuesday, February 14, 2017,10:30am
Laguna Niguel Library

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 10:30am
Irvine/Katie Wheeler Library

Monday, March 6, 2017, 10:30am
Garden Grove/Chapman Library

Monday, March 13, 2017, 10:30am
Garden Grove/Main Library

Thursday, March 16, 2017, 6:00pm
Irvine/University Park Library

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 5:30pm
San Juan Capistrano Library

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 10:00am
Cypress Library


Cookies and Canvas
Enjoy cookies, while painting a beautiful butterfly masterpiece. All supplies provided. Pre-registration required.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 3:30pm
Foothill Ranch Library

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 2:30pm
La Habra Library

Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2:30pm
Cypress Library

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 2:30pm
San Clemente Library

Wings Warm Up Party
Enjoy all things butterfly!  Create a colorful butterfly crown and custom create your own bright wings.  Face painting, refreshments and crafts offered.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 3:15pm
Ladera Ranch Library


Tortilla Art Exhibit
Admire Joe Bravo’s tortilla artwork. Sponsored by the Friends of the San Juan Capistrano Library.
Sunday, October 2, 2016 to Saturday, November 26, 2016
San Juan Capistrano Library

Latin Dance Lessons
Learn fun and basic Latin dances as we celebrate the culture of the Dominican Republic. No experience needed, wear comfortable clothes and shoes. All ages welcome!
Sunday, November 20, 2016, 2:00pm
Cypress Library

Saturday, November 19, 2016, 9:30am
Saturday, November 26, 2016, 9:30am
Tustin Library


Big Butterfly Bash
Celebrate with OC Public Libraries as we take part in a OC Public Libraries wide butterfly release.  Take home milkweed plants, a favorite of butterflies, courtesy of the Friends of the Ladera Ranch Library. Capture the enchantment of the mariposa by creating a glitter globe.  Enjoy refreshments and the release of the winged miracles.
May 9, 2017, 3:15pm
Ladera Ranch Library


Teen Writing Workshop with author, Elena K. Arnold
Teens will enjoy an afternoon of wrapping their writing around character and world building with middle grade and teen author Elena K. Arnold.
Wednesday, January 11, 3:30pm
Rancho Santa Margarita Library

Laguna Beach Library 19th Annual  Poetry Contest
Submit your poetry inspired by our theme “Seaside Butterflies”. Celebrate the ocean environment we share with the Dominican Republic. Winners will be notified in May and the awards ceremony is scheduled for early June.
Saturday, April 1— Sunday, April 30, 2017
Laguna Beach Library

Teen Journaling
Try it with words, doodles, or poetry.  Use pencils, pens, or colored markers; embellish with stickers, decals, or word art.  But try it. Your journal just might be the best friend you ever have. 
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 2:00pm 
Fountain Valley Library

Teen Dance of Light
Attend one of our workshops and submit your entry to our fine arts contest for photography, poetry, or prose. Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 4, 2017.
Thursday, March 2, 2017—Thursday, March 30, 2017
Rancho Santa Margarita Library


Leading From All Walks of Life
In celebration of Women’s History Month, join our distinguished panelists as they share their trials and triumphs. Do not miss this uplifting and inspirational presentation.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 6:30pm
Irvine/University Park Library


Join us and learn how to download thousands of free eBook and eAudiobook titles available at OC Public Libraries.
Monday, February 6, 2017, 1:00pm
Garden Grove/ Main Library


Have you ever wondered how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? Come to the library and check on the caterpillars, watch them as they double in size every week, make observations in your very own butterfly journal, and create a butterfly craft to take home. Once the butterflies have metamorphosed, we will release them.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017—Tuesday, May 9, 2017

El Toro Library
Garden Grove/Main Library
Irvine/Katie Wheeler Library
Ladera Ranch Library
La Palma Library
Seal Beach/ Mary Wilson Library
Tustin Library
Westminster Library