Wilshire Librarian Brings New Energy to Program

Madeleine Ildefonso has been Branch Manager and Senior Librarian at Wilshire Branch since April 2013, but already feels at home here.

There’s a new dynamo at the Wilshire Branch Library and her name is Madeleine Ildefonso.

Full of spunk and innovative ideas for the  small historic library on the corner of St. Andrews Place and Council St., Ildefonso has already made herself at home with both the people and the place since she moved to the branch four months ago.

“Did you know there’s a large Bengali population living in the area that regularly uses this library?” she asked the Buzz from her office piled high with paperwork and books. She’s already been invited to dinner at the home of some library patrons, and knows many of those perusing the library by first name.

The Wilshire Branch has a lovely "secret garden" in the back that is used for school groups and could be used for community meetings.
The Wilshire Branch has a lovely “secret garden” in the back that is used for school groups community meetings.

“The Friends of Wilshire Branch would love to recruit more volunteers from the community,” she said.  “We want to grow the fundraising arm, but also to try out some different kinds of community activities.” The Friends of Wilshire Branch meets the second Tuesday of the month, 6pm at the library. Ildefonso hopes that more young families will get involved as library projects can include children as well as their parents.

Ildefonso said the library’s wish list includes a projector for the community room, and expanding outreach programs with innovative programs such as starting a Seed Library.  Implemented elsewhere, a Seed Library would allow patrons to pick out seeds at the library in the spring, plant and grow the flowers and vegetables, let some of them go to seed, and finally return new seeds to the library in the fall. A different kind of library to be sure, but one that can tap into community interests and library resources as well.

Ildefonso is particularly excited about sharing some of the benefits of having an LAPL library card. “You can check out a lot more than just books from the shelves,” she said. Zinio  allows patrons with a library card number FREE digital download of magazines to their computer or tablet. “The interactive National Geographic magazine is amazing!” shared Ildefonso. Hoopla offers something similar, allowing one to borrow free digital video, music and audiobooks with a simple sign up with your library card number.

This Saturday, August 24th, the Wilshire Branch will be having a very special Book & Bake Sale – selling brand new art books donated to the branch by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. But we’ll let Madeleine speak to that herself in the short video below:

Book & Bake Sale
Brand new art books from LACMA on sale
Saturday, Aug 24, 2013
10am – 3 pm
Wilshire Branch Library
149 N St.Andrews Place (at Council)
Friends of Wilshire meets 2nd Tuesday of the month, 6 pm
Contact Deborah Willis for more information about joining Friends


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About Julie Grist

Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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