Monday, December 31, 2007

Stamp Collector news

Linn's Stamp News and Scott Stamp Monthly are periodicals found in our 2nd floor Periodicals Pavilion. They are currently on display on top of the shelving for easy access. Come and take a look!

The newest copies are available for reading in the library but older issues can be checked out for a week and renewed for a week.

The library also has Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers 2008 and Standard Postage Stamps published by Scott for 2008 in the Reference section at 769.56 S42 on the 2nd floor of the library near the Information Desk.

The stamp on the left will be issued in 2008 according to Linn's Stamp News.

Santa Clara City in the 1890's

Some fragile issues of the Santa Clara Journal newspaper from December 1890 through December 1899 have been microfilmed and are now available in the Heritage Pavilion at the library. You can also find microfilm of most Santa Clara newspapers from 1901 through 1980.

History is brought to life when looking at the news of Santa Clara from more than 100 years ago. Of course, our genealogists will be looking for death notices and obituaries with information to unlock the mysteries of their relatives from that time.

The Foundation & Friends of the Santa City Library and proceeds from a past Santa Clara Historic Home Tour have made this valuable addition to our collection possible.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

USB Flash Drive - 10 Free Mini Apps

Do you carry a USB thumb drive with you at all times? You can get a lot of capacity for not much money, and keep your drive right on your keychain. These are great for backing up critical files, transferring files between computers, and more.

WEbWorker Dailylists 10 tiny little apps, perfect for adding to your thumb drive “office” or just for running quickly and efficiently from your hard drive.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Catholic High School Entrance Exam - Test Preparation

Is your child taking a Catholic high school entrance examination in January? If your child would like to take practice exams to prepare, try our LearningExpress Library electronic resource.

Your son or daughter can take practice tests with a valid current Santa Clara City Library card from your home computer or from computers within the Library.

To take practice exams click on the Research Databases link on our home page. Then click on the LearningExpress Library link. After you login you will find the Catholic high school entrance exam practice tests under the Middle School Skills Improvement section.

You can also view the Catholic High Entrance Exam: COOP/HSPT test preparation book in PDF format. You will find it in the E-books section of LearningExpress Library. We also have test preparation books which can be checked out.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Year-End Giving

The Foundation & Friends of the Santa Clara City Library is pleased to announce that it has received over $10,000 in donations toward its goal of $15,000 during the 2007 holiday season. We're still hoping to reach our goal by the end of the year, so please consider making a tax-deductible donation by Monday, December 31.

These donations will be used to sponsor special events at the Library, to purchase new materials, and to fund several community outreach programs during 2008.

The easiest way to make a 2007 donation is to call (408) 615-2987, or to visit our website and click on Donate. The check donation form at the bottom of the page can be printed and mailed to the address provided.

If you have any questions about the Foundation and Friends, or about making a contribution, please contact Maria Daane at (408) 615-2987.

Thank you for your support. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Maria Daane, Executive Director

Foundation & Friends of the Santa Clara City Library

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Gift of Literacy

“I believe that it does not matter what age you are, you can always learn to read and write. Especially for a person like me who is 59 years old and still learning to read and write. I don’t give up…Without the library program, I would not be where I am today. I have not reached yet where I want to be, but I am getting there.” This was written by an adult learner for Read Santa Clara’s new book of learner writings, In Our Own Words, Volume VII. The library’s adult literacy program trains volunteers to tutor English speaking adults who seek to improve their basic reading, writing and math skills to achieve their goals as family members, workers, community members and lifelong learners. To find out how you can help, please call (408)615-2956.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Looking for a Phone Number?

Are you searching for a phone number for a business or person in the United States? Try our ReferenceUSA database. It contains listings for 14 million U.S. businesses and 135 million U.S. households. You will find ReferenceUSA on the library's Research Databases Web page.

You can also search and find a company's headquarters address and phone number. Business listings include the company's top executives, estimated annual sales, number of employees, credit rating score, corporate family tree, and 800 toll-free phone number if available.

Next time you are looking for a phone number try ReferenceUSA.

For assistance in using ReferenceUSA call the Reference Desk staff at 408-615-2900.

100 Notable Books

Need some holiday gift ideas? Looking for a recently published book to read? The New York Times 100 notable books for 2007 is available to read online. The print edition of the Book Review is available to check out from the Periodicals Pavilion on the 2nd floor of the library.

Little Heathens, reviewed in July (click on the link to read the review), is written by a local author, Millie Armstrong. It tells the story of her hard luck but joyful childhood in 1930's rural Iowa. There are lots of recipes and remedies. I especially like the Applesauce Cake recipe. She will be at the library April 16, 2008, to talk about her book. If you would like to reserve a copy of her book to read or any book, please call the library(408) 615-2900 or look for it in the library's catalog.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lyrical suspense set in Turkey

Meryem, a fifteen-year-old girl, lives in a rural village on the shores of Lake Van in Eastern Turkey. Her simple life changes dramatically after her uncle, a sheikh , rapes her. Her cousin, who has recently returned from war, is assigned the duty of killing her for the shame she has brought on her village. Not knowing her future, she and her cousin leave the village and travel for days to Istanbul. All that she sees opens her eyes but she comes to realize that she may be killed. Read Bliss by Zulfu Livaneli to find out what happens.

Book reviews and more information about the book and other books and authors can be found in the NoveList electronic resource.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Be curious, Learn something new

Join us for free classes in 2008! New this year are Business Databases, covering Business and Company Resource Center and Reference USA, two valuable electronic resources available free at the library and remotely. Back by popular demand are Value Line Research Center, with outstanding investment research reports, Health Resources, Quilting Resources, with real quilts and a segment on becoming more adventurous with color, Email Basics and Ancestry Library Edition, for finding your ancestors.

Each month there will be an Internet Basics class and an Internet Search Strategies class. Basics is for beginners, but we do ask that you are familiar with using a mouse. Not ready to use a mouse? Ask a family member, a friend or a staff member at Santa Clara City Library to open Mousing Around, a mouse practice program for you to get started. Internet Basics is sometimes taught in Chinese. Internet Search Strategies will help you learn more ways to find information on the Internet.

Get a copy of the new schedule in the Technology Center or at a public service desk. If you are planning to attend, call (408) 615-2900 or sign up in the Technology Center or at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor when you visit.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Need Help Preparing for a Test?

Are you preparing for the GED, SAT, or GMAT? Would you like to take practice tests to prepare? Try Learning Express Library. You can access Learning Express Library via the library's Web site either from home or within the library. It contains practice tests for many standardized tests. Once you complete a test you will be given an instant online score with detailed explanations of the answers.

Electronic versions of test preparation books are available via Learning Express Library. Look for them under the e-books subject area. The e-books are in Adobe PDF format.

In addition to practice tests you can also take skills improvement courses. If you want to improve your English or math skills, try one or more of these courses.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Heritage Homes

Santa Clara has several historic homes in the area known as “ Old Quad.” The Mission Library at the corner of Lexington and Main Streets was the first public library building in the City of Santa Clara, built in 1955. For those interested in preserving and restoring their historic homes, the Mission Library has a special collection of 143 titles, as part of the Heritage Homes collection. Issues of the Old House Journal are also available as part of the collection.

PEN Oakland National Literary Award

The Eighth Promise: An American Son's Tribute to His Toisanese Mother by William Poy Lee was chosen by PEN Oakland as its nonfiction winner for the 17th Annual National Literary Awards. PEN Oakland winners address the diversity and uniqueness of American culture and represent new voices of American literature. This is the story of a young man born in San Francisco and his mother's connections to her ancient homeland in Southeast China.

Hear a performance reading of the book, Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Visit the author's website for more information on appearances.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan, has chosen The Eighth Promise for their 2008 one city, one read program.

The Janus Windows: Art at the Central Park Library

Take a moment during your next visit to view the beautiful works of art on display throughout the Central Park Library. David Smith is one of seven artists whose art is enjoyed and valued by library members and staff. David’s work is comprised of 28 glass panels collectively titled The Janus Windows. The panels combine letterforms representing the written word with an overlay of numbers representing the digital transference of information. The sequence of 0s and 1s is the binary translation of the word “information.”

Portable art – Check out the library’s outstanding collection of large format art books located in the Quiet Study Pavilion.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Library URL Changes Today!

Please note: Santa Clara City Library web addresses will be changing on Dec 5, 2007:

New Library Catalog
New Library Homepage

Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Library IT

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wrap up a toy that's safe

Is there a child on your holiday gift list? Will you be shopping online, or trudging with crowds in the malls and the warehouse stores? Youth Services urges you to keep toy safety in mind while you are making your list and checking it twice. December is "National Safe Toys and Gifts." Our December "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit gives some tips on toy safety.

Front page headlines during the past several months have brought toy safety to everyone's attention. Here are some websites that will help shoppers make sensible choices for the children on their holiday gift lists. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers information on product recalls and safety issues. The American Academy of Pediatrics website gives some suggestions about toy recalls and age appropriate gifts for children at various developmental levels. The San Jose Mercury-News website has a holiday gift guide with tips on popular toys and gifts. Their archives contain information on recent toy recalls.

Want to know where to play Bingo?

The Community Information Network (CIN) is a library-produced database which will guide you to many resources available in the Santa Clara area, including where to play Bingo. Just put in the keyword Bingo and you will find your answer.

CIN is a free online directory and guide to local organizations and programs. There is information on local clubs, schools, sports, parks, health organizations, nonprofit organizations, municipal government and more. Recent additions to the database include the Cherokee Community of Silicon Valley, Girls for a Change, Bookshare, and the Eating Disorders Resource Center.

CIN is on the Library’s home page – look on the left side and click on Community/CIN.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Computer Class: Create 2008 Calendars

Have some pictures of a recent family trip? Or pictures from your new baby, kids sports, pets or hobbies? Would you like to start putting those pictures into beautiful calendars to give as gifts? Learn how to use these pictures to create calendars using Microsoft Powerpoint.

Come to this class and learn how to create CD Calendars to give as gifts to family or friends. Learn how to use Microsoft Powerpoint and calendar templates; insert, edit and format pictures; and, finally print and display your final work.

Friday December 7, 2007—9:30 to 11:00 am

Basic Computer skills, using mouse and keyboard.

What to bring:
Digital files of at least 12 pictures in jpeg format in a flash drive or CD.

Call the Technology Center at (408) 615-2951 for more information or assistance with preparing your pictures.

Sign up for this FREE class in the Library Technology Center or by calling (408) 615-2951.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Adult New Reader

The library has a special collection of high interest easy to read materials for adults who are seeking to improve their basic reading and writing skills. The collection called Adult New Reader has both fiction and non-fiction books on diverse topics as well as audio books and special newspapers written for adults learning to read, such as News for YOU. The books have colored dots on their spines to indicate their readability level.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blue Ribbon Fiction

Our new first floor display features award winning fiction. Selected works of authors awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature are also included. Reread an old favorite or browse serendipitously; you might just discover a hidden gem.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Free hands on computer class Thursday

Join us for our free Internet class Thursday, November 29 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Technology Center. Searching methods and tips, finding maps and businesses, and finding reliable medical information are some of the topics to be explored.Sign up by calling (408) 615-2900 or stop by at the Technology Center or 2nd floor Reference Desk.

Serial killer with a heart

Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter, and Dexter in the Dark are a series of suspense novels by Jeffry Lindsay featuring a killer who has his own way of seeing that justice is served. Dexter works analyzing blood for Miami-Dade Police Dept. but stalks killers who slip through the system and stops them. Dexter is devoted to his own moral code. Darkly Dreaming Dexter was dramatized on Showtime in 2006.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Want to dress up your photos?

And don’t have Photoshop or Picasa? There are some online programs that can let you fix the most common issues like, cropping, image size, exposure, red eye, and many more. Here are just a few:

Read more about some of the above online photo editing programs at:

Large Print

The library offers a collection of popular titles in large print to help visually impaired patrons who find it difficult to read books printed in small font sizes. There are collections of large print titles at both the Central Park Library and the Mission Library Family Reading Center. Click here for a list of the titles in large print available at both libraries.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You’ve searched the library’s catalog, and the book you want is not available. Select the button “Repeat Search in Link+” and you may be just one click away from locating that elusive book. Link+ is a union catalog of contributed titles from participating academic and public libraries in California and Nevada. Santa Clara City Library members may borrow books listed as "available" in the union catalog. For more information, please click on Link+ Requesting.

Monday, November 19, 2007

National Book Awards Announced

Interested in reading fine literature by American writers? The 2007 National Book Award winners were announced on Tuesday, November 14:

The National Book Awards, given to writers by writers, were established in 1950 to recognize literary excellence in American literature and to raise the public’s awareness of great writing by fellow Americans. To learn more about the awards and see a complete list of finalists, click on the link above.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

History at your fingertips

The Carmelite Monastery in the 1930's and other pictures of Silicon Valley of long ago are available at your fingertips through Silicon Valley History Online.

Santa Clara City Library contributed more than 100 photos in 2005 and recently added several more including the one at left.

Postcards, maps, letters and other items can be found in the database. The California History Center at DeAnza College, History San Jose, Intel Corporation Museum, The California Room at San Jose Public Library, San Jose State University Special Collections, Santa Clara University Archives also contribute materials.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Native American Drums

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month!
Ages 5 through adult. Tuesday, November 20th at 7:00 p.m. Central Park Library Redwood Room. Native American drum group, Swift-Cloud, performs traditional songs and drumming accompanied by Native American dancers. Learn about the songs and dances of some of our nation's First Peoples. Seating is limited. Please arrive early. No registration required. For more information, please call (408) 615-2916.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Did you know there are an estimated 93 million adults nationwide who struggle with everyday tasks that require reading and writing? (National Assessment of Adult Literacy)

These adults have limited literacy skills due to a variety of reasons. Many suffer from a learning disability, such as dyslexia. What makes the dyslexic brain different? What methods hold out hope for dyslexics to improve their reading and writing skills? Overcoming Dyslexia: a new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level by Sally Shaywitz, explains how neuro-imaging techniques have helped researchers answer these questions. Click here for a list of resources in the library about dyslexia.

Need a list of companies?

Try our ReferenceUSA database.

To learn to create company lists try searching for retail grocers in Santa Clara. Go to our Research Databases page. Select ReferenceUSA. Select the U.S. Businesses Database then click on the Custom Search tab. Check the YP (Yellow Page) Heading or SIC and City, State check boxes, then click on the Create Search Form button.

Did you find fifty-five retail grocers in the city of Santa Clara?

If you need further assistance, call a reference librarian at 408-615-2900.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Find your Cherokee ancestors

Discover your Cherokee heritage at a free genealogy workshop Saturday, November 17 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room, on the first floor in the library. You will explore the Eastern and Western Tribal rolls, and Indian applications as well as books on Cherokee research from the library's genealogy collection. Presented by the Cherokee Community of the Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Foundation and Friends Booksale November 17

Looking for that perfect holiday gift? Visit the Foundation and Friends booksale on November 17 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Redwood Room. Over 5,000 books will be available for purchase and all are reasonably priced at just $5.00 per bag of books. Proceeds from the booksale benefit the Library.

Variety is ...

... the spice of life. Check out a variety of material from the library: magazines, books , CDs, DVDs and audiobooks. Members may have a maximum of forty items checked out at any one time. Magazines, CD-ROMs, and videos have specific limits of five each, and it is a maximum of three when borrowing DVDs.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Free class on the basics of the Internet Thursday

Learn to find information on the Internet by using exact URLs and search engines, like Google. There are plenty of computers so students can learn by doing. Come to the Technology Center this Thursday, November 15 from 10 a.m. -11 a.m.

Spread the word to those you know who would like to learn the basics of the Internet or find a friendly place to ask questions. Let us know who is coming by signing up in the Technology Center or at the 2nd floor Reference Desk or by calling (408) 615-2900.

It is helpful if students know how to operate a computer mouse. If someone needs practice, try this practice program, Mousing Around.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Have a USB Flash Drive?

A Centennial Software study found that 66% of owners of USB Flash/thumbdrives report losing them. Additionally 60% of those reporting loss say that the drive stored private data.

Here are simple solutions to protect the data on the lost media:

1. Some newer flash drives have built-in encryption. Windows users should look into using something like TrueCrypt(
2. Password protect sensitive documents
3. Put it on a lanyard or key chain
4. Create a document that will have your email contact
5. Check new products coming out with PIN's such as Corsair' Flash Padlock (

Friday, November 9, 2007

Looking for magazine articles?

Do you need information before buying a mattress? Are you writing a paper on stem cell research, the Iraq war or the current situation in Pakistan? Are you looking for a review for your book club?

Gale General OneFile, an online collection of magazine, newspaper, and journal articles is available free from the Library's Web site. More than 11,000 journal and magazines are indexed and the full text of the article is available for over 6,000 of them. Find OneFile from the Library's Web site, by choosing Research Databases, find Magazines and Newspapers and selecting General OneFile.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reading Edge

Mission Library has a machine called "The Reading Edge" which can scan and read aloud books, newspapers or periodicals that are placed on it. This machine is helpful for those who are visually impaired or learning disabled.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Four out of five stars?

On a scale of one to five stars, how would you rate the last book or movie you checked-out? A new feature allows members to rate items in the library’s catalog, including books, movies, CDs, and magazines. You may change or delete your ratings by clicking on the My Ratings button offered on your library account page. Get started today by clicking on this link: Ratings Help.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Library Staff Favorites!

Have you ever wondered what books the library staff are reading? We love to share our favorite titles each month in the Staff Favorites list! Check out some of our November picks!

If you see a book you'd like to know more about in our catalog, click the "More Information Button." Often summaries, book reviews, and first chapters will be available!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bay Area Most Energetic

Sperling’s Best Places ranks the Bay Area as the most energetic of U.S. cities. Bay area residents rank in the 90th percentiles for both walking and cycling to work, moderate and vigorous exercising, and were near the top when it came to feeling generally healthy. Residents had the study's lowest body mass index (BMI) scores. The Bay Area ranked as the top spot when it came to recreation opportunities too, having the highest scores in natural resources and fitness facilities. Sperling’s book Cities Ranked and Rated is part of the library’s reference collection.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Finding Biographical Information

Do you want to find out more about a famous artist, scientist, world leader, or sports star? Our Biography Resource Center electronic resource contains brief biographies, narrative biographies, magazine articles, and websites on well-known people. Here you will find information on famous individuals living today and also from throughout history.

Search for Claude Monet or someone else you have always wanted to know more about. See if you can find out about Steve Young’s experiences as a freshman college football player. Steve was a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Read Santa Clara

Our library is not only a place where patrons come to "read to learn" but also to "learn to read." Read Santa Clara is the library's adult and family literacy program serving English speaking adults who wish to improve their basic reading, writing and math skills. The literacy program's trained volunteer tutors provide over 3000 hours of free literacy instruction to 100 adult learners each year helping them achieve goals as diverse as helping their children with schoolwork, filling out job applications, reading health information or writing letters.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quaking in the Stacks

The 5.6 earthquake of October 30th caused a noisy, shaky time at the library. Shaking was felt especially strongly on the second floor. Some quick thinking children ducked under desks. Books were tossed on the floor. Take a look at the USGS website for recent information on the earthquake and its aftershocks. Books are back on the shelves here and there is a display of books on the second floor on earthquake topics.

My Reading History

Ever wonder who wrote that great book you borrowed a year ago, but you don’t remember the title? Use the My Reading History “opt in” feature on your My Account page to keep track of titles you have checked out. For complete information, please visit:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Library Blog

Welcome to the new Santa Clara City Library blog!

New posts will appear on a daily basis, so be sure to check this spot for up-to-the minute information about programs, services and staff picks for recommended reading.

Feedback is welcome by entering comments in the Suggestions mailbox.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook

Need a dentist? Do you wonder how your dentist measures up to other dentists in the Bay Area? Try Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook, a monthly, thoroughly researched publication that can be found on the 2nd floor Consumer Table, just behind the Information Desk. Not only are dentists covered, one can find information on plumbers, garage door installers, you name the type of service or product and you may well find it in Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

King of the Beach

Are you interested in volleyball and looking for a good read? Try The Sand Man: an autobiography by Karch Kiraly and Byron Shewman. Karch is one of the top men's volleyball players of all time. He grew up in Santa Barbara and graduated from UCLA. He has Olympic gold medals in both indoor and beach volleyball. This fall he retired from the AVP professional beach volleyball tour.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New Books

Did you know that Mission Library has a browsing collection of fiction and non-fiction best sellers? You cannot place a hold on these new books but you are welcome to visit the Mission Library and find titles you may not find elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Keycards Now Available

New keychain library cards are now available. For a small fee of $1.00, you may replace your current library card with a combination keychain / full size library card. Please see Circulation staff at either the check out desk or Welcome Desk to exchange your library cards.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Financial Newsletter

The library now subscribes to the monthly newsletter Morningstar Practical Finance. If you are interested in your personal finances and financial planning, you might take a look at it on your next visit to the library. Recent articles have covered choosing a financial advisor, managing risk in retirement, and tips on funding college. You can check it out at the Periodicals Desk for use within the library.