Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You Are Free2!

“Free to what?”


“…I’m sorry, I’m not following you. What is it that I am free to do?”

"That’s the question. What are you Free2 do?”

“Perhaps I’m free to find someone who can explain this better.”

Okay, at first blush the large colorful posters stating “Free2” might be a little confusing. But it is purposely vague and ponderous (oh, those crafty advertising folks). The Free2 campaign is an attempt to raise awareness about what libraries give you freedom to do. We’re not just talking about checking out DVDs on the cheap, though that is part of it. More so, it’s about how libraries can help enhance your life.

Thousands of people walk through our doors everyday. Each and every person is free to… well, something. We'll leave that part up to you to decide. You’ll see words such as “connect,” “succeed,” “create,” and “explore” on the posters. These are just jumping off points. Maybe you are free to: hunt for ancestors, understand the temper tantrums of your Napoleonic two-year old, improve your language skills, cheat death, study, space out while you should be studying, enjoy public art, or make a ton of unnecessary noise (keep in mind we will feel free to shush you should you do that last one).

But here I am again filling in the blanks for you. Now it’s your turn to let us know what you are Free2…

posted by -jw-

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lisa Lutz Book Talk: The Curse of the Spellmans

West coast author Lisa Lutz will discuss her new novel, The Curse of the Spellmans, on Wednesday, May 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Central Park Library’s Cedar Room. This new book follows her funny irreverent 2007 debut, The Spellman Files. Izzy, a zany licensed private investigator, works for the family detective business in San Francisco. Come hear Ms. Lutz talk about the antics and capers of this hilarious dysfunctional family of sleuths! Her lively story of suspicion, eavesdropping, and surprise should appeal to both teens and adults.

Sign up for this free author event at the Reference Desk, or call (408) 615-2900.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Google Search Class is Back!

Daniel Russell from Google is back by popular demand!

Learn how to use internet search and internet resources for schoolwork and home use. The class is friendly and paced to your speed. Demonstrations and practice sessions develop techniques for effective search query formation and evaluating the trustworthiness of web information. Sharpen your web searching skills by learning from expert from Google.

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 search.

This class is for beginning and intermediate level web searchers. Come and bring your Internet search questions. It will be a fun 2 hour class!
Hurry and Sign up at the Technology Center (408) 615-2951.
Date: Monday, May 5th
Time: 9:30 am - 11:30 am

Friday, April 25, 2008

El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros

Go ahead! Turn off your TV, your computer, your cell phone, your games, your radio, and your music! Find a comfy place to sit, and READ TO YOUR CHILDREN! El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day) is coming on April 30. This is the date that the Association for Library Service to Children has chosen to celebrate the importance of books and reading in the lives of children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

You can start reading to your child as soon as he or she is born. It's best if you can choose a regular time each day, such as after dinner or at bedtime. Every night, you and your children can look forward to sharing a new book or an old favorite. Whoops! Maybe you don't know what to read, or how to keep your child's attention. Your children's librians can help. Just visit the Youth Services Desk for great tips on reading aloud to your family and suggestions for books that will interest infants, toddlers, preschoolers, children, 'tweens, and teens. (Here's a hint for sharing a book with a child who already knows how to read: Why don't you read one page, have your child read the next one, and keep on going until the book is finished.)

In honor of Children's Day/Book Day, Ballet Folklorico will present a special family program on Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m., in the Redwood Room. Admission will be on a first come, first served basis, as space and safety regulations permit. Please plan to arrive in plenty of time to secure parking. Latecomers will not be admitted.

posted by jtb

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are We Friends?

How you define the word “friend” largely depends on what generation you belong to. Traditionally the term has been used only for close acquaintances or people you have at least met face to face. But in today’s modern lingo, a friend can also be a person, place, or thing that is digitally linked by a social networking program with another person, place or thing. Yes, we have reached an era where two buildings can be friends. Isn’t it heartwarming?

So won’t you please be this building’s friend? If you have a Myspace account, you can be. Just stop by our page and click “be my friend” (located directly in front of the dancing stick figure).

What will this friendship be like? Don’t worry, we are not too needy. There will be no midnight phone calls or sob stricken heart-to-hearts. Instead, we’re there to support you. Much like our website, you’ll be able to find out about storytimes and upcoming programs, access your account and the catalog, and do many other such library-y sort of things. But more than that, it also supplies a space for you to interact with us, other SCCL patrons and a variety of interesting people.

So stop by and say hello. Let’s be BFF… or something like that.
posted by -jw-

Monday, April 21, 2008

Favorite Books

Plato and a platypus walk into a bar: understanding philosophy through jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein is just one of the books recommended by library staff for April. These are the favorite books we have read or, in the case of Plato..., listened to. Laugh out loud as you learn world philosophy. They call it philogagging.

We don't all read nonfiction, science fiction fans may like Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks or read a book in Spanish La cocina del azafrán by Yasmin Crowther ; traducción de Encarna Castejón but if you prefer English, you're in luck The saffron kitchen.

See all the Featured lists. Not only are there favorites, but new videos, audiobooks, books and Popular Picks. The last is a list of the 30 most requested books in the library. Our book discussion group books for the year are listed, too. To learn more about this group, call (408) 615-2916.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Learn about Computers - Fun and Free

Here in Santa Clara County there are 2 places to go and learn about the history of computers, the silicon chip and how computers work. They are fun and free! One of the places is the Intel museum in Santa Clara. The museum has educational, interactive exibits full of learning for both children and adults. Check their website for more information, operating days and hours:

The other free local computer museum is the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. They have several exibits about the development of the silicon chips, computers, storage, history of computer chess and others. For more information and operating hours, visit their website:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Celebrate Urban Birds

Join the Library Youth Services staff at the City of Santa Clara's Arbor Day/Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 25 on the grounds of the Triton Museum.

The Youth Services staff will be presenting information that will help children learn to identify and appreciate the different types of birds that live in our community. Families are encouraged to "Celebrate Urban Birds," with a national program that is sponsored by Cornell University. Have fun learning about birds at . Then spend 10 minutes outside, watching the birds in your neighborhood. Report your observations to "Celebrate Urban Birds." Your participation will help the scientists at Cornell as they continue to analyze the urban bird population in California and Santa Clara County.

Want to learn more about birds? Just bring your family to the Youth Services desk. We'll show you books about eagles, owls, falcons, hummingbirds and chickens. We'll also give you tips about great bird watching locations in Santa Clara County. There's only one question we can't answer: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

posted by jtb

Monday, April 14, 2008

Too many magazines and light bulbs?

Don't want to dump magazines you no longer want in the recycle bin? Trade them for store credit at Bookbuyers in Mountain View.

Have other things piled up? Each city has its own rules for what can be dumped. City of Santa Clara residents visit this site. If your city won't take what you have, or you're interested in seeing that something be re-used not dumped, try Santa Clara County's own source for recycling, Center for the Development of Recycling. There's also Freecycle, or Craigslist for giving and finding free items.

Protect our ground water and wildlife from noxious chemicals. Recycle your fluorescent light bulbs, including compact bulbs & straight, circular, spiral and U-bent tubes, for free at area stores.

Try these books for other ideas:

Don't throw it out: [recycle, renew, and reuse to make things last] by Lori Baird and the editors of Yankee magazine

Hey Mr. Green: Sierra Magazine's Answer Guy Tackles Your Toughest Green Living Questions
by Bob Schlidgen


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Central Park Library!

This month, Central Park Library celebrates its fourth birthday. Help celebrate this event by visiting Central Park Library on Monday, April 14th between 5:00 and 7:00 PM, or on Thursday, April 17th between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM for cake and party favors generously provided by the Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara City Library. Library staff and members of the Foundations and Friends will also be on hand to answer questions about the programs and services of the Library.

Please join us in wishing Central Park Library a very Happy Birthday!

posted by kks

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I want to buy.....

Are you looking for a digital camera, MP3 player, LCD TV, laptop, phone and don't know where to start? First, check with friends and relatives and see what they have and their recommendations. Go on the internet and do a search on the item you are looking for, such as laptop or laptop reviews. Sites such as is one of my favorite ones. They have reviews of the latest technologies, videos and comparisons. Another site is

After you decide on the item you want to consider getting, you may want to go to sites such as and to check their prices and the opinions and ratings of people who already bought the item. And, of course, check your local stores to actually see it, compare prices and check their return policies.

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Drop Everything and Read" Day

Saturday, April 12 is "Drop Everything and Read" Day, in honor of author Beverly Cleary's birthday. One of the author's favorite characters, Ramona Quimby, calls it "D.E.A.R." Day. The website for this event is:

The Youth Services staff will have plenty of Beverly Cleary books on hand for D.E.A.R. Day. Stop by the Library and join the fun.

Here's what Ramona has to say about her favorite holiday:
"I hope that you, D.E.A.R. friend, will be reading too. Everybody can do it! All you need is a book, your family and 30 minutes together."

posted by jtb

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wireless@ Mission Library

You can now connect to the Internet at Mission Library using wireless for FREE! Bring in your laptop; search for available access points, select SCCL and click on Connect.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chariots of Ire

This afternoon, the Olympic torch will pass through the hands of 80 people along San Francisco’s Embarcadero on its only American stop towards the Beijing Games… or it may be forced to take the MUNI.

The city (or as the folks in San Francisco prefer- the City) hopes that the relay will be peaceful and successful, but protests are expected. And if the events in London and Paris are any indication, expectations are high.

But this is nothing new. The Olympics have been well acquainted with controversy many times before. Past Games have been boycotted, propagandized, politicized, and terrorized. But despite that, they continue (albeit with consistently more awkward television coverage each time).

And mainly they continue because of the amazing athletes who compete. Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay), Mary Lou Retton and her haircut, Greg Louganis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Dan and Dave (remember them?), the list is far too long. Sometimes the political ambience makes their victories more poignant and sometimes it fades in the background.

Today’s torch run will be full of political statements from all sides (and probably some that don’t even have a thing to do with the issues at hand… we are talking about a city that loves a good protest opportunity after all). How this will affect the Games in August remains to be seen. But one way or another, they are bound to be eventful.

posted by -jw-
picture by SF Chronicle/Kim Komenich

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pulitzer Prizes Announced

Pulitzer Prizes awarded for 2008 books can be found at your library!

Some of the winners are:

Fiction: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Juno Diaz

History: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe

Biography: Eden's Outcasts by John Matteson

General Nonfiction: The Years of Extermination by Saul Friedlander

Poetry: Time and Materials by Robert Hass

Read more about them by selecting the More Information button when you have followed the link to each online book record.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Little Heathens Book Talk

Join writer Mildred Armstrong Kalish as she talks about her book, Little Heathens, in Central Park Library’s Cedar Room on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. A former professor of English who currently lives in Cupertino with her husband, Millie was born on a farm in Iowa in 1922. This wonderful memoir of a rural childhood during the depression years is full of charm and humor.

Little Heathens was chosen as one of the ten best books of 2007 by the New York Times, and has received many glowing reviews!

Join us for an entertaining and enlightening evening with local author Millie Kalish—reserve a space for this free book talk at the Library’s Reference Desk, or call (408) 615-2900. This event is co-sponsored by Santa Clara City Library Adult Services and the Sunnyvale-Cupertino branch of the American Association of University Women.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Magill's Medical Guide

If you would like to learn more about medical diseases or disorders, try our Magill's Medical Guide. You will find the printed encyclopedia in our Kaiser Permanente Health and Wellness Collection.

You can also access the online version of Magill's Medical Guide from within the Central Park Library or the Mission Library. To access the online guide search for Magill's Medical Guide in our catalog and then click on the Connect to link within the catalog record.

The Health & Wellness Resource Center is another electronic resource for researching diseases and conditions. You can access it from within the library or from home with a current Santa Clara City Library card. You will find it on our Research Databases page.

Another resource not to be overlooked is MedlinePlus a free Web site from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus contains a medical encyclopedia, information on prescription and over-the-counter medications, a resource for locating new clinical trials of drugs and treatments, and additional resources.

posted by mlg

Friday, April 4, 2008

Stop Underage Drinking

Find out why drinking even small amounts of alcohol is dangerous for children and teenagers by logging onto:

This interactive website, which is designed for parents, caregivers and children, ages 9 through 13 years, explains that it takes only 30 seconds for a drink of alcohol to reach the brain of a young person. Permanent damage can be caused instantly.

Books and literature about alcohol abuse are on display this month in the Youth Services "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and the Youth Services exhibit for children and families is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

posted by jtb

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Healthier Alternative to Siphoning Gas From Your Neighbor's Car

Whoever makes those plastic numbers that gas stations hang up to display their prices is going to make a fortune soon. It’s not long until massive amounts of the number 4 will be needed for stations across the country.

So with that in mind, I’m guessing you’ll be seeing more people with funny head gear and spandex suits moving down the sides of the road. That’s right, I’m talking about bicycles.

For years your co-workers have been saying how much better it would be if “we would all commute to work by bike. It’s healthier. It saves the planet. It’s more f…” and you would tune out while they gab on about how amazing they are. You’d be thinking how delicious your bagel was. Maybe nod your head to the talker and mutter an “um hhm” to show that, no, you really are paying attention.

But, alas, they were right (well, maybe not about being amazing, but at least about being healthier and doing their part for the environment). And now that the gas pump meter spins like a slot machine every time you fill up, you are thinking that riding a bike more often seems like a pretty good idea. After all, there is that old thing in the corner of your garage. It may take some fixing, but you’re handy. And who would not look cool riding this beauty into the parking lot?

Answer: no one.
posted by -jw-

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Myths & Facts About Memory Loss

Do you care about someone who is experiencing memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer's disease? The Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends and Kaiser Permanente are pleased to present Myths & Facts about Memory Loss, with Dr. Myo Min Aung on Saturday, April 5th from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Central Park Library Cedar Room.

Dr. Aung will help dispel myths and provide factual information about levels of memory loss as we age. This event is free and open to the public.