Friday, February 29, 2008

On this Day in 1964

On Saturday, February 29, 1964, the new Santa Clara City Hall and Civic Center at Lincoln and Warburton Avenue was dedicated. This City Hall was built at a cost of $1,445,000 -- paid for from sales tax revenues. It replaced the old city hall at Franklin & Washington which had been in use since 1913. The dedication program, which started at 1 P.M., included music from the Wilcox High School Band and speeches by Mayor Frank Keller and State Senators Clark Bradley and Edwin Regan. Superior Judge Joseph P. Kelly served as master of ceremonies. Following the dedication open house tours were provided to the public.

Public tours concluded near the 79 foot Statue in front of the City Hall which was sculptured by artist Benny Bufano and depicted the concept of the Universal Child, however, the statue’s shape and lines were meant to represent the 1960s missile and space era. Read more about the artist in library books using this subject heading: Bufano, Beniamino, 1898-1970.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Water and paper don’t make the best combination. Much like a badly written noir, the results are generally an unreadable pulpy mess. But books featuring water are an entirely different story. That little trinity of hydrogen and oxygen has played a huge role between the covers of many a book… and also in our new book display.

What would Nemo (not the cute animated fish, but rather the somewhat unhinged submarine captain), Odysseus, Jack Aubrey, or Captain Ahab be without the seas? Jimmy Buffet would be out of business if there were no beaches for the beach bums. And seriously, what else can authors make characters stare into in order to have them seem lost in thought or deeply complex?

Take the rivers out of books and what happens to the fly-fishermen or the unlucky adventurers? You’ll need to write about oceans for a boat cruise to romance. And what is a more scenic place for authors to dispose of bodies?

Please visit our new book display on the first floor to find something that floats your boat.

posted by jw

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Library Landscaping Project

A project to replace landscaping and irrigation around the perimeter of Central Park Library is currently underway. In addition to new plants, grass and shrubs, the project includes improved pathways from the surface parking lot to the Library. During this project, which is expected to be completed in April, surface parking spaces will be blocked for limited periods of time to allow equipment and landscape professionals access to the areas to be landscaped.

Can't find a place to park when you visit the Library? Spaces are usually available in the under-building parking garage. Parking for disabled persons is also available in the garage, with elevator access provided to the Library entrance.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Gardening with Natives and Conserving Water

Learn how to garden with the beauties on the left at the 16th Annual
Water Efficient Landscaping Workshop Series presented by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, starting Saturday, March 1.

If you can't make these workshops, held at the Water District headquarters at 5700 Almaden Expressway in San Jose, join us at Central Park Library, July 23 for a talk and book signing by Alrie Middlebrook focusing on sustainable gardening methods to reduce water consumption. She will have her book available along with first hand information on gardening methods.

Here are some books to get you started: Designing California Native Gardens by Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook, Native Treasures : Gardening with the Plants of California by M. Nevin Smith, California Native Plants for the Garden by Carol Bornstein, and others, Gardening with a Wild Heart : Restoring California's Native Landscape at Home by Judith Larner Lowry.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Name for Investment Resource

Our Library Edition electronic resource has been renamed. It is now Morningstar Investment Research Center. In additional to a new name it has a new interface and has added an industries section. This new section contains performance data for mutual fund categories, major stock and bond indexes, stock sectors, and industry sectors.

If you own a mutual fund, exchange-traded fund (ETF), or stock, try looking up an analyst research report for one of your investments. The reports contain Morningstar ratings of the investment's risk, return, and overall performance. They also recommend what role the investment should play in your investment portfolio.

For additional stock and mutual fund analysis, try our Value Line Research Center (VLRC) electronic resource. You can access VLRC within our Central Park Library whereas Morningstar Investment Research Center is accessible from both within our Central Park Library and Mission Library. You will find both of these electronic resources on our Research Databases Web page.

If you have a question or need assistance, come to the second floor Reference Desk or call (408)615-2900.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Learn About the Switch to Digital TV

You have one year left! By law, television stations nationwide must switch from the old
method of transmitting TV signals known as analog to the newer, digital television (DTV) on February 17, 2009. Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, those who do not own a digital set and get their programming via over-the-air antennas will no longer receive a picture. Viewers who have satellite or cable service will not need a box.

The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores. Coupons for $40 off the cost of a converter are available from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Each household can get two coupons, just make your request at Feel free to come into the library for assistance finding the web site. Later this year we plan to have representative of the National Association of Broadcasters come and speak at the library. Watch for future announcements.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Class Coming in April

New Computer Class: Using Google to search the Internet
Thursday, April 3 Noon - 2:00 pm

Learn how to use the Internet and Internet resources for schoolwork and home use. The 2 hour class is friendly and paced to your speed. The instructor, Daniel M. Russell is a research scientist at Google where he works in the area of search quality, with a focus on understanding what makes Google users happy in their use of web searches. He studies how people do their searches, trying to understand the most common traps and pathways to successful searches.

Come and bring your Internet search questions. It will be a fun 2 hour class! Hurry and Sign up at the Technology Center.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Way With Words

Over 800 million adults worldwide do not have basic literacy skills, according to the UNESCO.

A Way with Words : Literacy Then and Now by Ruth J. Colvin, available in the library's Adult New Reader Collection, describes how she started the largest network of adult literacy providers in the world called Literacy Volunteers of America. Now known as ProLiteracy Worldwide , the organization runs adult literacy programs in 65 countries in the world. She was awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom in 2006 for her tireless work for adult literacy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Like Real Life... but Smaller... and in Primary Colors... Sometimes

Comics… pardon me, “graphic novels,” are not just for kids. Sure, all your favorite superheros from childhood are still alive and trying to save the world (with the exception of Captain America), but comics have become more than just that.

Take Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis for instance. It’s the story of a young girl growing up during Iran’s Islamic Revolution. The only superpowers in this book come from the author’s ability to infuse the humor and idealism of a rebellious child coming of age in a troublesome reality with nothing more than black ink and thought bubbles. Other similarly powerful books are Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Rutu Modan’s Exit Wounds.

For those looking to overanalyze the mundane until it becomes epic, check out Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor or The Quitter. While he is curmudgeonly and caustic, Pekar's books are really a celebration of everyday life. Even if everyday life is sometimes boring.

Navel gazing not your thing? History gets its fair share of ink as well, though perhaps not always in the most accurate of ways. Everyone from Ronald Reagan to Emma Goldman have recently received the bio… wait for it… graphical treatment as of late.

Even if you think you left comics behind long ago as so much child’s play, it may be worth exploring this medium of storytelling again. You might just find yourself, flashlight in hand, turning page after page long into the night to see what happens next.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Silicon Valley Reads: Bo Caldwell’s Distant Land of My Father

Join the Santa Clara community in reading local author Bo Caldwell’s Distant Land of My Father, chosen for the 2008 Silicon Valley Reads program. Ms. Caldwell is returning to give a presentation at Central Park Library on Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Redwood Room. She will discuss her novel, its themes, and writing. Her story begins in exotic Shanghai in the 1930s, and is told in memoir-like style through the young narrator, Anna. The reader learns about Anna’s father’s business dealings in the city, his suffering in prison after the war, Shanghai’s politics, and the family’s emotions after she and her mother flee to California. This fascinating novel is both moving and suspenseful.

Take part in Silicon Valley Reads and come hear Bo Caldwell talk about Distant Land of My Father and her experiences as a writer! Sign up for this free event at the Reference Desk, or call (408) 615-2900. The Library thanks the Foundation & Friends of Santa Clara City Library for their generous support of this program.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Read Aloud Handbook

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stressed that reading aloud to infants and toddlers plays an important role in their brain development. The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease describes why parents and teachers should read to children; how to begin reading aloud and which books to choose and how to create an atmosphere in the home and classroom that welcomes readers. The book, available in the Juvenile and the Adult New Reader collections, lists more than 1,200 new and classic children's titles, from picture books to novels, that are perfect for reading aloud.

World Book Encyclopedia Online

Is your child working on a school report and the Library is closed? You can now view the World Book Encyclopedia from your home computer via the Library's website. World Book Online Reference Center is now available at all Santa Clara City Library locations and from home with a current SCCL library card.

Use this resource to search and view the World Book Encyclopedia online. The World Book Encyclopedia is a good starting point for learning about a new subject such as a country, state, or famous person. It also contains maps of many geographic areas.

World Book Online Reference Center also includes a Spanish-language encyclopedia for students and World Book Kids. World Book Kids is a simple to use online resource for younger students.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A 24 Hour Library in Your Computer

E-books? No one wants to read books on their computer.”

Not so fast Nancy Negative! Many people have found our selection of eBooks to have some major benefits. For instance, say you can’t sleep and find yourself desperate for a book at three in the morning. The library may be closed for another six long hours, but our eBooks are always available. And you don’t have to worry about late fees because the books are automatically “returned” for you when they become due.

Or perhaps you need a particular book but our copy is checked out. Don't give up hope. A digital copy may be available.

And it’s not just eBooks. There is also a wide variety of digital audiobooks and music you can download as well.

Visit our digital books page to find out more.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

On this day in 1907

Alice Hare, a Santa Clara Valley photographer, deeded a number of her historical photographs to the Board of Library Trustees of the Santa Clara Library. An image of her letter is at left. Pictured on the right is earthquake damage at Agnews Asylum in April 1906. It is one of the photographs she deeded to the library.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1859, Alice Iola Schnatterly married James W. Hare in 1877. They raised four sons moving from Pennsylvania to Illinois then to Santa Clara in 1895. Her photography studio was located at 1075 Madison St. in Santa Clara from the late 1890s until the early 1900s. She was a 1904 charter member of the Santa Clara Woman's Club, taking photos of the town's historical landmarks for the club.

Her photographs were displayed in the California Building at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. She won prizes and had photographs in Sunset Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle and promotional brochures. To see more Alice Hare photographs visit Silicon Valley History Online or the Online Archive of California.

Monday, February 4, 2008

February free computer classes for adults

In addition to our monthly computer classes, Internet Basics and Internet Search Strategies, in February you can take Internet Basics in Chinese, Health Resources, and Reference USA. Reference USA is a database of business, healthcare and residential information the library subscribes to for your use. This class will be taught by a Reference USA company representative and it will be held in the evening. Health Resources will be taught by Doris Hayashikawa, Medical Librarian from Kaiser Hospital.

Classes are held in the Technology Center on the 1st floor of the library. See the complete list and more information by opening this link to our web site. Find the class schedule by scrolling down past the descriptions.

Sign up for classes and get more information by calling (408) 615-2900 or by asking when you are in the library.

Learn about the new citizenship test

Citizenship Test Changes

statueoflibertyimgThe questions for the U.S. Naturalization test are changing. On October 1, 2008, naturalization applicants will begin taking the revised test. See the new 100 questions. Visit the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services web site for printable tests, a brochure and Frequently Asked Questions about the new test.

The library has books and videos for preparing for citizenship. These materials are for both the current test and the new October 2008 tests. Borrow brand new study flash cards from the Reference desk for use in the library.

American Heart Month especially for Women

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women? A national campaign to raise awareness of heart disease kicks off in February, American Heart Month. Visit the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's site, The Heart Truth.

Symptoms for women's heart disease are different from men's. Read more, Warning signs.

Check out books, DVDs and information found on the 2nd floor display at the top of the stairs near the Information Desk. Join us for a class on Health Resources on February 21 from 12-1 p.m. in the Technology Center taught by Kaiser Medical Librarian Doris Hayashikawa. Sign up in person or by calling (408) 615-2900.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

New in Technology Center

We have 2 new systems being tested in the Technology Center that include newer versions of Microsoft Office (2003), Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Picture Manager, Power DVD Player and Windows Media Player. These computers also have a floppy drive and a CD/DVD drive. Want to hear some music from the Library's music collection? Just bring a pair of headphones and you are all set to go!
During this trial period, we request that you fill out a small survey to give us your feedback.