Santa Clara County Library District introduces Distinguished Authors Series


As I See It


For a while, we haven’t heard distinguished authors speak to us in person! In fact, we rarely have the chance to invite them and them accepting our invitation. This fall, the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) will introduce to us distinguished authors Sonia Nazario, John Carreyrou, and Susan Orlean who crafted their works through meticulous, extensive, and detailed research and reporting. They will be scheduled in various venues for residents to have a chance to meet with them in person.

This was reported by Assistant County Librarian Chris Brown, reporting for County Librarian Nancy Howe during the regular meeting of the Library Education and Advisory Commission (LEAC) last month. “The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) will be introducing the first Distinguished Author Series featuring acclaimed best-selling writers who have captivated us, challenged us and fostered curiosity in us,” he said.

Nazario is the author of award-winning bestseller Enrique’s Journey, which tells the story of a Honduran boy struggling to find his mother in the US. She spent 20 years reporting social issues including hunger, drug addiction and immigration issues. She is a graduate of William College and UC Berkeley and started writing for Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. She is scheduled to speak at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center on October 22, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Wall Street Journal John Carreyrou, who wrote the award-winning book Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup will speak on October 30, 2019 at the De Anza Visual Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

Journalist and best-selling author of The Library Book Susan Orlean will speak on December 11, 2019 at the Campbell Heritage theatre at 7:30 p.m. She explored the history, power, and future of libraries, while delving into the mysterious fire that nearly destroyed the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986.

We can hear from the three-famous authors firsthand and gain a deeper insight into their stories, and how they crafted their works through in-depth research and exemplary reporting.

Prior to the distinguished author’s series, City Librarian for Milpitas Stephen Fitzgerald reported that Milpitas Library presented the author of the best-selling novel The Nigh Tiger last Wednesday, September 18, 2019, Yangsze Choo. This book was Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick for April, 2019, as well as Amazon’s Spotlight Pick for Best Book of the Month, February, 2019. He added that the library has been a haven of activities lately signaling the end of the 2019 summer season!

Compared to last year, he reported that circulation went up from 172,654 in August 2018 to 179,211 this year, August 2019. Total library visits by library users also went up from 57,454 last year to 58,177 this year. It has been an upward trend for the library in almost all aspects of its library operations.

As to the 2019 summer reading program, Fitzgerald said “it was another success this year and patrons of all ages had a great time reading and taking part in the many events at the library.”

This year, there were 5,069 children, 338 teens and 1551 adults who took part in the summer reading totaling 6,958 patrons who participated in the summer program.

“Library staff did an amazing job creating opportunities to inform and register members of the Milpitas community,” Fitzgerald said.

The Library Commission, during the meeting presided over by chair Yu-lan Chou formally approved its work plan for 2019-2020 incorporating activities like the annual essay writing contest for Milpitas students, commissioners attending local library conferences, and the hosting of the California Public Library Advocates (CPLA) symposium slated during the spring of 2020 between the months of April and May, among others.

The commission also discussed celebrating Filipino-American History Month/Larry Itliong Day which they intend to incorporate in their 2020-2021 work plan to celebrate it annually during the third week of the month of October next year. For this year on October 26, 2019, the Milpitas Library will sponsor a simple celebration showing a 30-minute movie/documentary on the Manongs (FilAm farmers) with emphasis on the Delano Grape Strike of 1965 staged by the 1,500 Filipino farm workers led by labor organizer Larry Itliong working for better wages and better farm labor practices. A community mural showing FilAm farm leaders led by Larry Itliong side-by-side with famed labor leader Cesar Chavez in their quest for better farm labor practices in the early 90’s resting in the walls of the Children’s corner of the Milpitas Library.

The commission-sponsored celebration next year will be more extensive highlighting the history of Filipino-American contributions to the California labor movement and how the California government and Congress are re-writing history incorporating the contributions of the unsung heroes composed of 1,500 Fil-Am farm workers in the grape farms led by Itliong. A community-mural showing the pictures of FilAm leaders in their quest for farm-labor equity hang at the wall of the Children’s Corner of the Milpitas Public Library.

The 2019-2020 work plan of the commission, which was duly approved in their last regular meeting, will be presented to the City Council in their next regular session for approval.

Then by May or April next year, the commission will be approving their work plan for 2020-2021 fiscal year to be subsequently approved by the City Council too.

The city council liaison for the commission is former Vice Mayor and current council member Carmen Montano, who herself was a former vice-chair of the commission before she was elected to the city council. Current chair of the commission is Yu-Lan Chou while the vice chair is Ha Phan. Other commissioners include former chair Elpidio R. Estioko, Hellie Mateo, Nonnie McDonald, Dana Arbaugh, and Teresa Hoang.

SCCLD serves the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County and the cities of Milpitas, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, and Saratoga.

The 13 libraries under the library district are busy serving library users with two of the libraries opened the whole week, including Saturdays and Sundays. And… one important feature the Milpitas library is doing is the processing of US passports, a feature residents clamored for. It has been going on for a year now!

The library has a lot to offer! Let’s patronize it!

(Elpidio R. Estioko was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email author at