Marengo Elementary School

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Marengo Library

Welcome to the Marengo Library Homepage

A lot of fun and learning go on in the Marengo Library, which is home to more than 18,000 great books. Students visit the library each week as a class to hear age-appropriate stories from every section of the library and every corner of the world.  In addition to story time, students are given lessons in language arts and library skills and also have the opportunity to borrow books.

Marengo Library Mission Statement

Marengo Library provides students, faculty and staff with resources that support curriculum, books that foster a love of reading, and an educational environment that promotes curiosity, compassion, empathy, problem solving, independent thinking, awareness of the larger world, and self-reflection. 



What Wonderful Books Will Students Find This Year?


Want to Help?

Please consider volunteering in the Marengo Library this year. Working in the library not only helps the library to run smoothly, it’s a great way to spend time with your child and his/her classmates in a happy, nurturing, and stimulating environment. When children see parents volunteering in the library it reinforces the importance of reading. Plus, it’s fun!   


All new library volunteers are required to attend a training session prior to working in the library. Training sessions are offered at the start of every school year, and on the first Tuesday of every month at 2:20 pm.  Individual training sessions can also be arranged, if necessary. You can email me (Robin Becker, Librarian) at [email protected] and we can set up a time to meet.


To sign up to volunteer in the library go to:


If you have any questions, please contact our Library Liaison, Rachel Garcia Criswell, at

[email protected]



Book Club for 4th and 5th Graders

4th and 5th graders are welcome to join the Book Club.  We start with the California Young Reader Medal chapter books, and students vote on others to read as time allows. If you've got one of those reluctant readers at home, encourage him to join. We have amazing discussions, and it is sooooooooo much fun!


Books for Children and Parents to Read Together

The Marengo Library has a small collection of books that deal with subjects like divorce, illness, adoption and puberty.  These books are available for parents to check out any time.

Art in the Library

Marengo mom and artist, Danielle Ashton, created an art installation for the library using pages from discarded books to create a loop-de-loop design of paper airplanes flying across the back wall of the library.  The installation captures the imagination of everyone who visits the library, and reminds us to let our imaginations soar.
"Bear Wonders"
Danielle shared her time and talent with Marengo a second time, designing and painting these murals for each of the exterior library doors.  In keeping with the paper airplane imagery found inside the library, these murals evoke feelings of wonder and discovery.  What does Bear see?  What might happen next? In books, children find that anything is possible!  Thanks to Danielle for her amazing talent and generosity.
"Marengo's Peaceable Kingdom"

Allen Manzano, the grandfather of former Marengo students, Ben, Tim and Jeremy Becker, created this painting based on Edward Hick's 19th century painting, "The Peaceable Kingdom."  The Native Americans and Quakers in Hick's original work have been replaced by children reading. Marengo students enjoy looking at the surreal and fanciful animals that gaze back at them with a kind of calm curiosity.  Mr. Manzano also added images of peace--olives, a dove nesting in a tree, and even a peace sign on Jeremy's t-shirt--to reflect the peaceful feeling that can be experienced in the library.  A big shout out to Mr. Manzano for his vision and artistry.


California Young Reader Medal

A highlight of the library program at Marengo is our participation in the California Young Reader Medal (CYRM) program. Students read or hear books that have been selected by a statewide committee of teachers and librarians, and vote for their favorites.  Students are invested in the books they hear and read and the program promotes a love of reading, critical thinking, and teaches students the importance of voting. 

The following is a list of this year's nominated books:


Chez Bob, written and illustrated by Bob Shea

The Littlest Yak, written by Lu Fraser and illustrated by Kate Hindley

Negative Cat, written and illustrated by Sopie Blackall

The Scarecrow, written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by The Fan Brothers

Someone Builds the Dream, written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Loren Long


Bartali's Bicycle,written by Megan Hoy and illustrated by Iacopop Bruno

The Elephants Come Home, written my Kim Tomsic and illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Nicky and Vera, written and illustrated by Peter Sis


Across the Desert, by Dusti Bowling

A Game of Fox and Squirrels, by Jen Reese

We're Not From Here, by Geoff Rodkey

The California Young Reader Medal program is another resource for popular titles your students might enjoy.  The site lists all current and previously nominated books and winners. Go to:





ROBIN BECKER, Marengo Librarian

Dear Marengo Families,


Here are a few tips to encourage a love of reading:


Ask your children about what books they are reading or what books they've heard at school.  Children often like to hear and/or read the same story again and again. Repetition is a fine tool for teaching beginners!
Take time to read to your child every day. Read as a family at the kitchen table after dinner. Let everyone take a turn. Talk about what you've just read. Let children make comments and ask questions as you go. 
Reluctant readers can be coaxed to read when you let them choose books that grab their attention. Sometimes non-fiction is the way to go. Is your child interested in sports, cooking, crafts, biographies? Let her interests guide you to books she might enjoy.
Reading magazines and graphic novels or comic books can also be a great way to get a reluctant reader to develop a love of reading.  If she enjoys them, she'll be more likely to try other types of books.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at:
Happy Reading!
If you would like to access the Marengo Library Patron Catalog, please go to the following link:
then click on "Marengo Library" and look for your favorite books in our collection!
South Pasadena Unified School District also subscribes to Britannica School, which offers on-line encyclopedia and other resource materials for students of all levels. Users can also take advantage of the Learning Materials, a collection of educational exercises, activities and study guides.
Log on by going to Britannica School (
Our user name is:  marengo
Our password is:  lions
If you would like resources and suggestions for recommended literature for your students, the following sites and lists can help:
The State of California Recommended Reading List provides grade-specific lists for California students K-12:
American Library Association lists of notable books