Walter Burkhalter, Fontana library director


Have you ever thought of the library as a destination? The library as a place to spend time and not just to pick up and drop off materials? Maybe you don’t think about the library much at all. After all, the internet has all you need, right? But as the old theme song goes, “Wouldn’t you like to get away?”

Here in Fontana, we try to make the library a familiar and comfortable place to be. Food, kids, and conversation are welcome. As a friend of mine says, “We’re not your mama’s library.”

In addition to our comfortable seating areas, we have recently added a few things. Toward the back, we now have three matching tables that can be configured in a number of ways. Whether it’s one-on-one tutoring or games, or even a larger group of 10 or 12, the space can accommodate many needs.

In our children’s area, we have a small table and chairs just right for little ones, as well as an imagination station that is designed for play and creativity. We have also added what we call a maker zone based on principles of STEAM and STEM that allows children from age 3 to middle school to experiment with zentangle, paper crafts, weaving, clay art, and options to create individual pieces of art. Check out our monthly calendar at for exact days and times.

New this fall will be monthly programs. We will be focusing on mind, body, and soul. Dreams, meditation, and food for thought.

Our first program will be presented by Merry Burkhalter, master dream interpreter. Merry is a prolific dreamer, has interpreted many thousands of dreams, and inspires others to unlock their night-time dream messages through mentoring, coaching, and classes. She was released as a master certified dream interpreter in 2005 from the Institute of Spiritual Development. She founded Destiny Dreamz LLC in 2008 and leads teams of dream interpreters all over the world that equip people to identify their life’s calling and to step into their destiny. So mark your calendars for Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. The program will be held in the meeting room of Village Hall, 175 Valley View Drive, just above the library.

The second program, on meditation, will be presented by Blue Lotus Temple. The Blue Lotus is a community temple located just off the town square in Woodstock, Illinois, an hour northwest of Chicago. They welcome all people and faith traditions to practice meditation, learn about Buddhism and share in community together. That program will be held Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. It is currently scheduled at the library, 166 2nd Avenue, but may be moved upstairs to Village Hall depending on crowd size.

Finally, Food for Thought will be presented by our own staff member Sally Lee. Initially the program may focus on hors d’oeuvres or other light recipes. The goal is to create and then discuss the recipe. This program may develop into a regularly scheduled meeting, depending on interest. The first program is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. in the library. Please join us for all three programs or pick and choose what might be of interest.

Other recent changes at the library include speed increases to our public computers and wifi. We’re also happy to say wifi is now available throughout the library.

Stop by, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy what we have to offer. We look forward to seeing you.

Walter Burkhalter is director of the Fontana Public Library in Fontana,