Saturday, May 31, 2008

Don't throw away those old Lp's

Do you have some old LP records that you can't find anymore in the stores? Do you wish you could have them in a CD to play in your car or MP3 player? Well, there is a way to convert them and it's very easy. You will need a turntable, some cables, a computer and some software. I did mine using an old turntable hooked through a receiver/amplifier and Microsoft Plus! software. I also used Itunes to group the songs and burn the compilation to a CD. It is much easier if you have a USB turntable which usually comes with the software to convert the songs to mp3. You can use software such as Audacity, which is free.

Here is a good website with step-by-step instructions:


Friday, May 30, 2008

Prepare a Family Emergency Kit

Since June is National Safety Month, the Youth Services Department has books and literature on display, as well as suggestions about how you can "Play It Safe This Summer" by assembling a Family Emergency Kit that will help keep your family comfortable during emergency situations.

Did you know that the Santa Clara County Public Health Department advises families to keep two weeks of emergency supplies for use during medical emergencies, such as pandemic flu, or natural disasters, such as earthquakes? A brief supply list is available in Youth Services. A complete booklet, "Preparing for the Pandemic Flu," can be downloaded from the Santa Clara County website.

The Youth Services safety display is part of the "On the Path to Good Health" series that is supported by Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends and Kaiser Permanente.

posted by jtb

Monday, May 26, 2008

Formerly known as Decoration Day

Today is Memorial Day and you are probably enjoying a holiday from school or work. Following the Civil War, communities set aside this day as a day of remembrance for those who died in our nation's military service. Many people observe the holiday by putting flowers on graves of family members and servicemen. Find more information about the holiday at U.S. Memorial

You will read there how many Americans use the three day weekend to vacation without thinking about the reason for the holiday. To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to the emotionally moving bugle call 'Taps."

Local services for Memorial Day are listed on the City's website. Come to Central Park at 3:30 p.m. for a moving tribute at the Santa Clara Veterans Memorial behind the Community Recreation Center near Kiely Blvd. and pictured above. Or you can try this book the next time you visit the library:

Sacred ground : a tribute to America's veterans / [compiled by] Tom Ruck is a collection of beautiful photos of national cemeteries and essays and addresses in honor of military dead.


Soldier in the battle between religion and science

Read The Jesuit & the Skull by Amir D. Aczel and learn more about evolution and a courageous scientist who was also a Jesuit priest. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955, defended both the science of evolution and his strong faith throughout his life. A paleontologist, he worked to resolve the ancient conflict between science and religion. His church objected to his public talks and writings on evolution in France, so he was sent to China. There he joined the scientific community that found Peking Man.

The author explains clearly and well, how our knowledge of evolution came about, gathering information from many scientific disciplines. He also makes the work personal by telling us about its impact on the discoverers. For example, Charles Darwin withheld his discoveries for some years, knowing what damage could be done to himself and his loved ones.

After the conclusion of the biography, there is a chapter "What really happened to Peking Man?" discussing the latest activities in pursuit of the bones which have been missing since World War II.

If you find that the book is out or on hold by others just select : from the catalog record. If the book is AVAILABLE in any of our LINK+ partner libraries, you can request that it be sent here for borrowing and returning, at no charge to you. Any questions, just ask when you are in the library or call (408) 615-2900.


Friday, May 23, 2008


What's all the "BUZZZZZ" about?
It's nearly time to "CATCH THE READING BUG" at the Youth Services' Summer Reading Program Kickoff on June 7! Take a look at all the exciting activities that will be offered for children and families this summer. Older kids (those who will be entering 7th through 12th grades in September) will find summer programs planned just for them by clicking on the TeenNet programs section on our SCCL website.

The Youth Services staff is "BUZZING" with summer plans that will encourage children to enjoy reading and visiting the Library all summer. We hope you'll be "BUZZING" in to join us. School will be out, and you'll be free2read!

"CATCH THE READING BUG" will be brought to you with the generous support of these community organizations: Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara City Library, Mission City Community Fund, and Applied Materials Foundation.

posted by jtb

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This Day in an Alternate History

At some point or another, everyone has played the “What If…?” game. The rules are simple: do something unassuming or trivial (i.e. leave your car window down over night) which leads to an unexpected action (i.e. a squirrel gets into the car while looking for a place to sleep) resulting in tragic consequences (i.e. the squirrel takes the car out for a joyride and wraps it around a telephone pole, the car is ruined, the squirrel runs away before the police show up… laughing, I might add). This string of events leaves one to wonder “What if…?” (i.e. what if I hadn’t left that bag of mixed nuts in the backseat?).

Such is the realm of “alternative history” books, albeit on a much grander scale. They all start out with a “what if” question that tweaks reality so that it is still recognizable yet a little off kilter. Think of the camera angle that was used when showing the villains in the old Batman TV show. It’s kind of like looking at the world from that perspective.

What if the Aztecs not only fought off the Spanish, but ended up colonizing Europe? What if England was the explored, not the explorer? What if Charles Lindberg won the presidency instead of FDR? What if Jewish refugees were given land in Alaska after World War II?

What if I had looked through the listing of literary events a week earlier and noticed Michael Chabon, author of the Yiddish Policemen’s Union, was speaking in San Francisco today at 12:30 PM. What if you were reading this at 9:00 AM rather than 3:30 PM? What if I told you he’ll be speaking tomorrow in Walnut Creek?

Okay, so maybe those last ones aren't really history altering questions, but they are worth thinking about all the same.
posted by -jw-

Monday, May 19, 2008

1968 through a 7th grader's eyes

Read The Wednesday Wars if you would like to find out what it was like to be a young teen in the U.S. in 1968. Times were changing as teens rebelled, an unpopular war took many victims and marriages crumbled under the pressure of changing family dynamics. This book brought back memories for me.

Seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood is convinced his teacher hates him. Through their Wednesday afternoon Shakespeare sessions, she helps him cope with events both wildly funny and deadly serious. A 2008 Newbery Honor Book and a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.


Small Business Administration Workshop

Did you know that May is Small Business Month?

On Wednesday, May 21, the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will present a free workshop for the public in the Central Park Library Redwood Room from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Small business owners and prospective small business entrepreneurs will learn how the programs of the SBA can help them start, manage, and grow their companies.

Experts from the SBA and its resource partners will provide practical information on SBA’s three main program areas:
management training and counseling
access to financing
access to federal government contracting opportunities.
Program benefits, eligibility requirements, and application procedures also will be covered.

Before the workshop begins, Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan will read a proclamation declaring May 2008 as Small Business Month in the City of Santa Clara, and calling on “residents of the City to join in recognizing the contributions of small business owners to the community.”

If you are thinking about starting a small business, or if you simply want to expand your existing business, this SBA workshop is for you! To sign up for this free event, stop by the Library’s Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Your Road Trip

Take along some old friends this summer on your family's road trip to Disneyland or Yosemite.

How about sharing your ride with Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harry Potter, or the mice who live in the town of Redwall?

Recorded books can be enjoyed by the whole family. The Youth Services staff can help you find the perfect traveling companion in CD or audicassette format. Mom, Dad and the kids can all "read" the same book, talk about the story and have fun together.

Don't forget that the Library is also a great place to find music CDs for children.

Sing along to Tim Cain, Charlotte Diamond, or Marylee Sunseri. You'll find children's songs that will help keep even the littlest travelers entertained as you roll down the highway.

Your whole family is "free2discover" all the exciting recorded books and music that are waiting for you at the Santa Clara City Library. Have a fabulous summer.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Online Payment of Fines

The library has introduced a convenient way to pay library charges: online payment with a valid VISA or MasterCard. To submit payment:

  • Log into your account from a home computer or from a computer station in the library.
  • Click on the link to view your unpaid fines and bills.
  • Click on the “Pay Online” button.
  • Review the list of charges.
  • To make a partial payment:
    Click on the “Clear All” button at the top of the page.
    Select items for payment.
    Click on the link to recalculate the total.
  • Fill in the blanks with your billing and credit card information.
  • Click on the “Submit” button.
  • Verify that the information is correct and complete. If so, click “Submit.”
A receipt will be sent to the provided email address. You may also click on the “Print” button to print a paper copy. If you print from a library computer normal printing charges will apply.

If you have questions about your account, please contact the Library's Circulation Department at (408) 615-2970.
posted by cp

Monday, May 12, 2008

Small Claims Assistance in Santa Clara County

Did you know that the Santa Clara County Superior Court has a Self Service Center for the public? It is available on the web, in a travelling van called, Court Mobile, and at the Self Service Center, Superior Court 99 Notre Dame Ave., San Jose (408)882-2900 ext. 2926, Monday-Friday from 8:30-4. First come, first served. Plan to arrive before 8 a.m. due to the number of people needing assistance.

Small Claims Court information is one type of legal information found at the Self Service Center.

There is a workshop: How to Start a Small Claims Case being offered on Tuesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown San Jose. Look at the flyer.

Some new titles in the library of interest to those involved in small claims court include:

In addition, the Santa Clara County Bar Association has a low-cost Lawyer Referral Service, call (408) 971-6822 or go to the State Bar of California website to get legal assistance.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Kids, Books and Bugs

You'll be able to "Catch the Reading Bug" this summer at the Santa Clara City Library, but you'll have to wait until Saturday, June 7. That's when sign-ups will start for the annual Summer Reading Club. Don't miss the kick-off celebration, from 1 to 4 p.m. on June 7! Watch for details on the Library website, and get set for a fun-filled summer.

In the meantime, enjoy Children's Book Week , May 12 to 18, with the Youth Services Staff. Here's the schedule for the final week of storytimes for the current school year:

Tuesday, May 13: 10:30 a.m., Preschool Storytime (Ages 3-5 years)
Wednesday, May 14: 7:00 p.m., Family Storytime (All ages)
Thursday, May 15: 10:30 a.m., Baby Lapsit (Ages 0-12 months) and Young Ones (Ages 12-24 months)
Friday, May 16: 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., Toddler Storytime (Ages 2-3 years)
Saturday, May 17: 10;30 a.m., Family Storytime (All ages)

(Baby Lapsit and Young Ones also will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 22.)

Summer programs and storytimes will begin the week of June 23.

posted by jtb

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

42 Down, 8 to Go

Presidential campaigning is an art form. There is a very delicate balance that must be struck to get a candidate nominated. There are babies to kiss, hands to shake, lives to ruin, and money to make. And somewhere in between, you need to get people to know why you’ll make a great president (or at least have other people spread the word).

But if past campaigns have been paintings, this year’s primary race is a mural. It seems to be stretching on and on (and on and on). The plus side to this epic helping of caucuses and cardboard voting booths is that all of the states matter in this primary election (unless you are a republican in any state whose primary was after February. Your horse has already been picked… as for the other candidates: better luck next time). South Dakota is totally stoked on this ego-boosting development.

After June, the non-stop cross-country photo-op fest will really kick into gear as the two presidential hopefuls woo their way through every state in the union (exception: Alaska, poor overlooked Alaska). This is unfortunate for the states of Arizona (definitely), New York (maybe), and Illinois (maybe) seeing as 50% of their elected senators will be posing for pictures, shaking hands, kissing babies, and kind of ignoring what they are supposed to be doing, namely: their jobs. Should they achieve their desired goal, this neglect will be forgiven for at least the first 100 days.

But after the confetti and concession speeches in November, we will have a new president elect and it will all be done with. Well, at least for a month or two before they start to prepare for the 2012 elections.
posted by -jw-

Monday, May 5, 2008

How Does Global Food Inflation Affect Us?

U.S. warehouse retail chains have limited how much rice customers can purchase as prices rise. The price of wheat is also rising and the cost of groceries in general is climbing at an annual rate of 5% this year. How does global food inflation affect what we will eat in the future and what can we do about it? Read your local newspaper and sign in with your library card to search for other articles about the food supply in the library's Gale General OneFile magazine index or Gale Full Text Newspaper Index.

Try these books at the library:

The End of Food by Thomas Pawlick
Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food by Warren Belasco
The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming has Endangered America's Food Supply by Ken Midkiff
Raising Less Corn, More Hell: The Case for the Independent Farm and Against Industrial Food by George Pyle by Richard C. Longworth
Caught in the Middle by Richard C. Longworth
and coming soon to the library:
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Global Economics by Craig Hovey with Gregory Rehmke
Feeding People is Easy by Colin Tudge
Hunger: A Modern History by James Vernon


Friday, May 2, 2008


Stop!!!! If allergies or a cold have got you down, DON'T share your misery by spewing germs every time you SNEEZE or COUGH! Give your family, teachers, friends, librarians and all other associates a break! Learn how to "Cover Your Cough and Sneeze in Your Sleeve!" You'll be doing your part to clean up the atmosphere during Clean Air Month, which is observed throughout the month of May. Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control website at You can even print a PDF "Cover Your Cough" poster that will remind you and your family about the importance of keeping your germs to yourselves and out of the air that is being inhaled by other people!

During Clean Air Month, Youth Services also will be distributing free sets of "Raising Kids Who Don't Smoke" pamphlets. Just visit our "On the Path to Good Health" display, which is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

posted by jtb

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Voter Education Workshop

If you are a homeowner or a renter, there are two statewide propositions on the June 3 ballot that might interest you. Both are initiatives that would limit the government's authority to take over private property. If you would like to learn more about these propositions and candidates on the ballot in the June 3 elections,there is help. You can attend a workshop on Monday, May 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m. when speakers from the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan group that publishes the Easy Voter Guide, will explain the pros and cons of the propositions as well as the candidates on the ballot. The workshop will be at Mission Library, 1098 Lexington Street, Santa Clara.
The last date to register to vote for the June elections is Monday, May 19. Voter registration forms are available at both Central Park library and Mission library.

Morningstar Now Available Remotely

You can now access our Morningstar Investment Research Center electronic resource from your home computer. To access it click on the Morningstar Investment Research Center link on our Research Databases page.

Morningstar Investment Research Center provides analysis and ratings of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and stocks. If you are not familiar with Morningstar, look at their recommended mutual funds list. To view the list click on the Fund Recommendations link from their home page. To learn more about the Morningstar Investment Research Center explore the Help & Education section of their site.

Remote access to Morningstar Investment Research Center has been made possible by the generous funding of the Foundation and Friends of the Santa Clara City Library.

posted by mlg