March is Women's History Month


Weaving the Story of Women's Lives

 Accounts of the lives of individual women are critically important because they reveal exceptionally strong role models who share a more expansive vision of what a woman can do. The stories of women’s lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience. Knowing women’s achievements challenges stereotypes and upends social assumptions about who women are and what women can accomplish today. 

For videos, biographies and historical information look in our eLibrary.  

Gale PowerSearch is a great place to start along with Biography In Context, Gale Virtual Reference Library and World Book., your research partner 24/7

Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields @ Foster

Coming up on Wednesday, March 18, E.P. Foster Library will host a screening of a documentary about veterans and sustainable agriculture.

Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields looks at how soldiers returning home from combat are able to find opportunities to both rebuild their lives and enrich their communities by providing access to local, organic, healthy foods.

This free film screening is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. in the Topping Room. For more information, contact the library or visit us on Facebook!

Polar Bears of Churchill with Prof. Tommy Dickey, UCSB


Churchill, a town in Manitoba, Canada on the Hudson Bay,
is host to a large seasonal polar bear population making it the
"Polar Bear Capital of the World".

Professor Dickey will share pictures and videos of these
marvelous animals as well as information about their
behavior, habitat and the threat they face from climate change.

Saturday, March 21 at 2pm, Ojai Library


Morningstar Individual Investor Conference 2015

DIY Investor Day
Strategies for Building Better Portfolios

Get a fresh outlook on the market and practical recommendations from a variety of Morningstar's analysts and outside experts.
Register for free to watch the entire event live online beginning at 7am Saturday March 21st.

Sessions include:

  • Today's Market
  • Making Money Last in Retirement
  • Model Portfolios for Retirement Savers
  • Morningstar Medalists: What Makes the Best Funds Shine
  • Cream of the Crop: Our Favorite Funds in All Flavors
  • Morningstar's Dividend Playbook

Another Successful Foster Con!

Another year—and another Foster Con—has come and gone. Hopefully you were one of the more than 300 people who attended this special event on Saturday, February 28. Now, I know those numbers don’t come close to those of San Diego Comic Con, or even Central Coast Comic Con here in Ventura, but it’s pretty great for a library! So don’t worry, San Diego, we’re not stealing your thunder.

Former Foster children's librarian Star Soto stopped by to help out with this year's event.
It was great to see her again!

This year’s event saw some fun new things, as well as some returning favorites. Candy sushi was once again a big hit. “What does that have to do with comics,” you ask? Not a darn thing, but hey, who doesn’t love candy? We had a great display of comics, newly arrived and just in time for the big event. We also tried something new this year: instead of art and costume contests, we had workshops on comics and cosplay. Carlos Nieto gave a wonderful workshop on making comics, helping every child that came his way. Mac Beauvais, our cosplayer, shared her experience in the world of cosplay, with costumes and props she made herself. Both shared their unique talents, and were well-received by those who attended.

Celeste, our fabulous airbrush tattoo artist, was back for another year, as was Ralph’s Comic Corner and Seth’s Games and Anime. We had new vendors, including Helen Penpen, author of Ivan the Hamster Knight; the Mandalorian Mercs, a Star Wars cosplay fan club; and Arsenal Comics and Games. The Mandalorian Mercs were a big hit with the kids, and they stopped to take photos with everyone. They were fantastic! Also new this year was True Thomas the Storyteller. Throughout the day, he would give a long, loud call for storytelling, and kids young and old came from everywhere to hear his stories.

We had lots of great speakers and vendors show up this year; thank you to everyone who
contributed to making this year's event a great one!

Goodie bags were once again handed out to the kids. We decided to have a raffle, with a wide range of prizes. I must really thank Tim Heague, with Arsenal Comics and Games, for generously donating some very special prizes. I won’t say what they were, since all of the winners have not yet claimed their prizes and I’d like to keep it a surprise!

For those vendors who participated I’d like to give a big thank-you for making this event such a success. For those who attended, I hope you had a good time. For those who didn’t, there’s always next year!


Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

J.L. Hauer: Mixed-Media Art @ Foster

Join us on Wednesday, March 11, for a special presentation on mixed-media art at E.P. Foster Library!

Local artist J.L. Hauer will discuss creating art using reclaimed materials. Examples of her work are currently on display in Foster Library’s foyer and have been featured in various galleries throughout the county and beyond.

This free event begins at 6 p.m. in the Topping Room. Call or drop by the library for more information!

Make Something Beautiful @ Foster

Our Library LAB continues to hold open workshop hours on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. During this time library staff is available to help you learn the ins and outs of our equipment and brainstorm on ways you can incorporate our LAB into your work!

Lately we've had time to play around a bit with our laser cutter and engraver; just last week we rastered out an image captured by E.P. Foster Library's Resident Photographer that was featured on the blog Fun at Foster back in June. The image was burned onto a sheet of quarter-inch birch plywood.

Join us as we continue to learn more about the software and hardware we have available in our LAB! Stop by the library on Wednesday evenings or make an appointment by calling (805) 648-2716.

Art Tales Writing Contest: Enter by April 1, 2015!

Attention local writers: there's still time to enter the City of Ventura's Art Tales Writing Contest!

Up until April 1, 2015, you can submit your writing for this year's competition. E.P. Foster Library is hosting inspirational artwork that you can view on the first and second floor in order to get your creative gears turning.

Contest rules, past winners, and digital representations of this year's art can be viewed on the city's website, and library staff can direct you to the display areas at Foster. Stop by the library and see if these pieces move you!

Shooting the Unexpected

Digital photography has proven to be a very freeing form of taking pictures. Many people are able to take snapshots with their cell phones, which are almost as good as some cameras. However, there are often things hiding in the images you take with a camera that you may not be able to see in cell phone shots.

Your Resident Photographer has often been surprised and delighted by discovering hidden gems in digital photographs she has taken. Last week, for example, I took a photograph of the crescent moon aligned with Venus. I was not aware—until I started processing the image in Lightroom—that I had also captured Mars, a barely-visible reddish dot between the moon and Venus.

Other photos I’ve taken over the years have also held surprises. An image taken of a deer munching grass along the side of the road shows several killdeer in the grass surrounding the deer; I could not see them when I took the photograph. A picture of a peach shows an ant crawling up the side, looking as though he is trying to conquer the world. And there is the photograph I took of a section of barbed wire at Casitas Pass summit: while the lake is blurred in the background, a drop of water shows a fairly clear, inverted image of the lake.

Sometimes the most memorable images are the unexpected ones. With digital photography, you can experiment without worrying about the cost of film. The next time you are out with your camera, or even your smartphone, try moving beyond the selfie or the snapshot. You may be surprised at what you capture.

If you want to know more, E.P. Foster Library has books about photography in general and digital photography in particular. There are videos available through Access Video on Demand, as well as other electronic resources in our databases where you can find additional information.


Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

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