Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mango Basic

Are you planning a vacation or business trip overseas? Learn some basic words and phrases of the language of the country you will be visiting with Mango Languages. Mango Languages is a web-based language learning resource available via the Library's website.

You can learn basic Urdu, Mandarin, Spanish, or nineteen other languages with Mango Basic.

To use Mango Languages go to the Library's home page and click on the Research/Resources link. From the pull-down menu select Electronic Resources. On the Electronic Resources page click on the Mango Languages link. Within Mango Languages select Mango Basic.

If you have more time to learn a language and would like to learn more than the basics, try Mango Complete.

If you need assistance, please - call or come to the Reference Desk. Our phone number is 408-615-2900.

Posted by MLG

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Library Holiday Hours

Santa Clara Central Park Library will be closed today, Thursday, December 24 at 5 p.m. and re-open Monday, December 28 with regular hours, from 9-9 Monday and Tuesday and 12-9 on Wednesday. Thursday, December 31, the library will close at 5 p.m. and open again on Monday January 4 with our regular hours.

The Mission Family Reading Center at 1098 Lexington Ave. will also close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 and be open its usual hours Monday & Wednesday, 10-9 and Tuesday, 10-6, Dec. 28-30.

posted by mb

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bobby Darin, Bea Arthur, Berkeley, and a Beggar's Opera

My grandparents were Bobby Darin fans. Many times while in their house, his records (literally records... the big, black, flat discs) would be playing in the background while we did chores. I always liked the song "Mack the Knife." It was catchy and I was fascinated by sharks at the time (it happened to be the second word in the song and that's really all it takes to like something when you are four).

It wasn't until I was older that I realized how amazingly violent the song was. For all the people who grew up in the 50's that claim the music of today glorifies violence, please refer to the lyrics of "Mack the Knife." Your summer jam of 1959 was a murder ballad, or at least a ballad about a murderer.

Anyhow, years later while watching a doomed sitcom (doomed since it featured more "sit" than "com"), I noticed a Threepenny Opera poster in the back of the set. Knowing nothing about it, I found a copy of the 1954 cast recording. Not only did I learn that Mack the Knife originated from this (rather twisted) play, I also found it starred Beatrice Arthur... Bea Arthur from the Golden Girls! Sadly, I was equally excited to learn that Angela Lansbury was in Sweeney Todd. What can I say? I watched a lot of "old people shows" when I was growing up.

There is a version of the play being staged in Berkeley currently that I'm tempted to go see. This would require me breaking an oath I made to shun small plays after seeing a community theater version of Romeo and Juliet some years ago. You see, I wasn't informed that it was Romeo and Juliet... in Space (oh, how I wish I were kidding). It scarred me for life. But I'm pretty sure Mcheath is still wielding a knife and not a laser ray, and Jenny is still singing about being a pirate and not a space pirate, so it should be safe.
posted by jw

Monday, December 21, 2009

What device do you use to listen to books?

Some of you who are shopping for gifts have asked us which devices are compatible for using our digital book collection.

The library has a great collection of books to listen to in the CD format. You'll find them on the first floor after the videos and music CDs. You can search for them from home by using the term audiobooks in the Subject field.

We also have downloadable digital books which can be read and listened to on ipods, Mp3players, the Sony Reader and other devices. For more information read about it on the Overdrive Compatible Devices pages.

Find digital books on our website by putting electronic books in the Subject field. You can also find books by going to the Northern California Digital Library website. Santa Clara City Library belongs to this regional group and we share this large pool of downloadable digital and audiobooks for you to use.

If you need help in the download process watch a video found on our Tutorial page. Happy shopping and listening.

posted by mb

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Make a Gift to Your Library

The Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends asks that you make a gift to your Library this holiday season.

Funds donated to the Foundation & Friends are used to benefit your library in many ways, including children's programs, collection materials, databases, literacy programs, and investing in the Library's endowment. Your gift truly does make a difference in the quality of the Library.

You can donate online at http://www.lovethelibrary.org/ or mail a check to: 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

Many thanks to all of you who have supported your Library this year.

Posted by MLG for MD

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kids' Booklists

Ever come to the library to find books for your 3-year-old? Kindergartener? Sixth grader? Need a book that won a Newbery or Caldecott Medal? Don't know which book might count as "science fiction" for a book report? Look no further. We have a page dedicated to booklists in all of these categories and more.

Click on one of the lists to view the list online, then click the name of the book to see the book in our catalog and/or place a hold. If you prefer to print a list, many of our lists are available as PDFs and can be printed at home or from any library Internet computer. Once you find a book, often the same author writes other books for the same age or in the same genre, so the lists are a great starting point for you and your child.

Of course, you can always get help from any Youth Services librarian in person, so remember to use us as a resource, too.

Happy reading.

Posted by wk

Friday, December 11, 2009

Graphic Novels: More Than Just Pictures

Wham! Thwap! Bam! When you think of these sounds, you may think of traditional comic book magazines. We have some more traditional comics like Spider-Man and Batman in book form where multiple issues are grouped together. We also have modern graphic novels in teen and children’s. A graphic novel is a longer work of fiction told with pictures in comic form. Think traditional comic book, but longer with generally a beginning, middle, and end.

The new graphic novels can take many forms:

Take a look at both our teen and children’s graphic novel collections and ask a Youth Services Librarian for recommendations. KaPow!

posted by wk

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Make a Gift to Your Library

The Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends asks that you make a gift to your Library this holiday season.

Funds donated to the Foundation & Friends are used to benefit your library in many ways, including children's programs, collection materials, databases, literacy programs, and investing in the Library's endowment. Your gift truly does make a difference in the quality of the Library.

You can donate online at http://www.lovethelibrary.org/ or mail a check to: 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA 95051.

Many thanks to all of you who have supported your Library this year.

Posted by MLG for MD

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanks for the (Hideous) Sweater (Which I Plan to Burn the Minute You Leave) Aunt Gracie!

It should come as no surprise that SCCL's resident grouchy Gus doesn't like Christmas. In part this stems from working retail when I was in high school. 10 hour days of canned Christmas music on an endless loop, rude people yelling about the lack of our marzipan selection (I didn't even know what marzipan was, let alone the need for a selection), and sweeping up the broken items customers destroyed in their consumerist frenzy... including a repeatedly, and suspiciously, beheaded giraffe statue.

Aside from that, there is the whole gift thing. It's not that I am against gifts. Finding that perfect something for someone is a great feeling. And show me someone who doesn't like to get gifts. No, that's all fine and dandy. It is the sometimes obligatory nature of Christmas gifts that bum me out.

Chances are, you buy a number of gifts for people each year that A) you hardly know or B) would rather not know. But you buy them a gift because you fear they will buy you a gift. The absurdity of this situation is that they are only buying you a gift because they are afraid you will buy them a gift. And what do you get for the person you feel obliged to buy a gift for? You get them an ever so personal gift certificate of course (which has become the modern day equivalent to fruit cake).

To save myself from having to deal with this awkward phenomenon, I introduce a Machiavellian plan around the beginning of November. I find a horrific "Christmas sweater" over at Savers (no doubt made with love by some kindly aunt and abandoned with disdain by some ungrateful nephew). I then show all the possible-obligation-gift-givers the sweater I got for "my friend so and so" (who does not exist). I say this without any irony or hipster winkiness. This thereby calls into question not only my taste level, but my abilities as a gift giver. Suddenly everyone decides that gifts aren't necessary that year. "Really, just getting together for dinner is enough." Problem solved.

Of course, I can't use the Christmas sweater trick every year. That would be too obvious. So last time it was a taxidermy rat. Year before that, a cinder block I found in a parking lot. Unfortunately, this has led people to believe that I have a fondness for small stuffed mammals and building materials. Which isn't too much of an issue until they feel obligated to get me a birthday gift.
posted by jw

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Morningstar Investment Research Center Webinar

Rebalance your portfolio for 2010 in just 30 minutes. Christine Benz, Morningstar's Director of Personal Finance, will present a training over the Internet.

The training will be on Wednesday, December 16th, from 1 - 2 p.m.

You will need a computer with Internet access. If you are working at a computer in the library, you will also need headphones to plug into the computer to hear the presentation.

To register send an e-mail to librarytraining@morningstar.com. Mention that you use Santa Clara City Library. Morningstar staff will reply with instructions on attending the training.

For more information ask at the Reference Desk or call 408-615-2900.

If you would like to explore the Morningstar Investment Research Center database, it is accessible via our Electronic Resources webpage.

Posted by MLG

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jan Brett's Winter Wonderland

Open one of the magical, winter-themed picture books by author-illustrator Jan Brett and you'll be swept into a sparkling, white world where you'll breathe frosty air, trudge through crunchy snowdrifts, and meet captivating children and their furry friends. You'll settle into the warm glow of a cozy, country cottage, filled with handmade rugs, rustic furniture and the tempting aroma of freshly-baked gingerbread.

Jan Brett, who has more than 34 million books in print, lives in Massachusetts. As a child, she spent hours reading and drawing. As an adult, she and her husband have traveled to many parts of the world for her research on the locations that appear in her books. Here's what she says on her website:

"I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real. . . From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

The Valentine Bears, which was one of the earliest books illustrated by Brett, was written by Eve Bunting and published in 1983. Brett used only two colors, a soft tan and a muted cherry red, to highlight the Native American costumes worn by Mr. and Mrs. Bear, who share honey and crunchy dried beetles during a special Valentine party in their cozy den, deep in a wintry forest.

In contrast, The Three Snow Bears, retold and illustrated by Brett in 2007, depicts creamy white polar bears in an Artic world of blue ice and white snow. The Inuit people in the story wear furry, warm clothes trimmed in authentic designs and bright colors.

Take a look inside a Ukranian cottage as you read the story that unfolds in Brett's retelling of The Mitten, a folktale about some michevous forest animals who find a child's lost mitten.

Visit Scandanavia and watch the antics of some pesky trolls on a snowy mountain peak in Brett's The Trouble with Trolls. While some of the story's characters are climbing past snow-clad fir trees and skiing down steep slopes, the trolls are having a party in their underground burrow. Brett paints incredible detail and humor into the borders of her pages.

And that's all she wrote. . . Thanks for reading my online articles during the past two years. I've tried to spotlight some of the special collections and services that are unique to the Santa Clara City Library, with frequent focus on my particular areas of interest and responsibility, our multicultural holiday books and our "On the Path to Good Health" program. You'll be meeting a new Youth Services writer next week. She has many ideas, and she's ready to share them with you.
I'm signing off. . . jtb

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Futbol?

Remember that scene in Gladiator when they are sitting behind the gates preparing to go out into the arena? How the sound of hundreds of voices created an incoherent roar that seemed to promise some future misfortune? Two weeks ago I found myself in a Paris metro station hearing that exact noise from the street above me. And like the gladiators, I had no choice but to go out into it.

But alas, I was not bound for death or glory. Rather I needed to get to an apartment which happened to be behind a crowd of Irish football hooligans 500 strong beating on anything that passed them by. They were in town to watch a playoff game and decided to start the party 22 hours early. Take note Sunday morning tailgaters- that's real dedication!

However, it's a dedication that I can't comprehend. What possesses an adult to paint their face, wear a leprechaun hat and a flag as a cape, and spend the entire night singing completely out of key at the top of their lungs in the middle of a street littered with broken bottles (besides the obvious answer of alcohol)? Is the act of watching a few people kicking a ball around on the grass worth this much effort?

Apparently in every country but America, it is. Round here, most suburban kids play soccer for about 2 years and then forget the sport exists. Which is why we seem to have a glut of "soccer moms" but few soccer fans beyond a certain age. Most everywhere else though, soccer (or as it is so confusingly called by 98% of the world: "football") is like religion.

And thanks to a pretty boy (who could break my bones like chalk) and his wife, America started to get the spirit as well. But it hasn't quite caught on yet in a major way. We still prefer the "run two feet and fall down" version of the sport. Which is fine seeing as that game has its own overly obsessive brand of face painting, cheer singing, heavy drinking, viking horn/cheese hat wearing, hooligan. And they generally are polite enough to do all that in a parking lot early in the afternoon as opposed to yelling under your window until 5 AM. So that's a plus.

posted by jw

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Make your holidays bright!

Come visit our display of holiday books on the 1st floor. You will find books on the history and traditions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Year's Eve. There are also plenty of books of holiday stories, cookbooks, decorating and crafting ideas. Check them out.

Here are some websites with more holiday information:

The American Antiquarian's site explains the origins of Christmas, the Evolution of Santa, The Christmas tree and Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The PNC Wealth Management Co.'s Christmas Price Index shows a video explaining the cost of the items in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carol if purchased with 2009 dollars.

Mexican Traditions for Christmas or Tradiciones Mexicanas para La Navidad.

Principles Practices of Kwanzaa: Repairing and Renewing the World is the theme of Kwanzaa for 2009. Learn more at the official Kwanzaa website.

Here is a holiday wish from the Solstice tradition:

"May your celebration of this season of holidays draw deep from the abundant joy, fierce hopes and enduring traditions of all of our ancestors. "

posted by mb for ba

Friday, November 27, 2009

Low-tech Toys: Powered by Imagination

Can kids have fun with toys and games that don't require batteries, electricity, keyboards, speakers, and display screens? Visit the Youth Services "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit during the month of December for tips on ever-popular gifts that are "powered by imagination" and sure to please the boys and girls on your holiday gift list.

A teddy bear or a cuddly stuffed animal might find a permanent place in the heart of a young child. Steiff, one of the companies that manufactured teddy bears in the early 1900s, is still in business today. If money is no object, you can order beautiful, imaginative stuffed animals directly from steiffusa.com. (If the white, limited-edition 2009 Christmas bear is out of your price range, look for more suitable stuffed animals at other locations.)

Be sure to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website to be certain that any toy you choose is safe and developmentally-appropriate for the child on your list.

The entire family can enjoy hours of fun with dominoes, card games and board games. Watch the children develop patience, sportsmanship and strategy as they learn to play some of the classic games that have been popular for generations. Have you forgotten the rules to your favorite game? No problem. Find the rules for hundreds of card games on http://www.pagat.com./ You'll find old favorites like Rummy and Canasta, as well as newly-created games and Solitaire. Many websites have rules for domino games, such as the Domino Chickenfoot Game, and other vintage games, including Chess and Backgammon.

Check out http://www.puzzlehouse.com/ for challenging 3-D puzzles of the U.S. Capitol Building and the Eiffel Tower. They'll keep youngsters and adults happy and busy for days. Another source for innovative puzzles is http://www.bitsandpieces.com/

Thanks to the Kaiser Permanente and the Library Foundation and Friends for support of the "On the Path to Good Health" exhibits.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Library Resources Available from Home

The library will be closed for the next few days. Our doors will be shut however you can still use our digital resources. To see what is available start at our home page. Click on the Research/Resources link and then select Electronic Resources.

Below are some of the things you can use or explore from our website.

Try downloading an audiobook to your iPod or MP3 player. You can download audiobooks from our Califa Digital Books collection.

May be you would rather enjoy a story book with your child. Watch and listen to children’s books on your computer using TumbleBooks.

Have you always wanted to learn to speak a foreign language? Try Mango Languages. Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese are some of the languages you can learn.

Does your son or daughter have homework to complete over the vacation. Try Student Resource Center, World Book Online, or Literary Reference Center from our Electronic Resources page.

If you want to be ready with a list of good books to read when we open on Monday, try NoveList Plus. Browse the Recommended Reads or What We’re Reading sections of NoveList Plus for recommended books.

Posted by mlg

Monday, November 23, 2009

Free Library Computer Classes

On Thursday, December 3, from 9:30-10:30 we will teach our regular monthly Internet/Catalog basics class. Come with your questions about the new Encore catalog interface for finding library materials. You can also learn the basics of using a web browser and finding things on the internet.

Come join us for Email Basics on Thursday, December 10 from 9:30-11:00. We will help students sign up for email and learn to us email. Bring your questions.

Any questions, just ask when you are in the library or call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb

Friday, November 20, 2009

Season's Readings

Will you be buying books as gifts for the young readers in your life? Susan Baier, our Youth and Extension Services Manager, has just compiled a holiday gift guide with books that are sure to please the children and young adults on your shopping list.

She suggests that you consider The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney’s 2009 wordless book that tells the familiar Aesop’s fable with detailed watercolor paintings that will appeal to children in preschool through 2nd grade.

If your preschool child loves trucks and dinosaurs, then Dinotrux by Chris Gail is bound to be a sure-fire hit.

Sloppy Joe, by David Keane, is the clever story of a young boy who is always disheveled and messy. Children ages 4 through 7 will laugh at Joe’s antics as he slurps, spills and gets gum stuck in his hair.

Popular series of books for older children are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Magic Tree House, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and Alex Rider Adventure.

Don’t forget about recently-published nonfiction books, such as the Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion, by Teen Vogue, and Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, by Brian Floca.

Susan presented her “Season’s Readings” booklist at the Santa Clara DAR Chapter meeting at Mariani’s Restaurant. Stop by the Youth Services desk for a copy of her list and for other book recommendations for young readers.
Posted by jtb

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking for Historic Photos of Old Santa Clara Valley?

Try some of these websites compiled by Mary Hanel our Local History Librarian.

Calisphere California Digital Library, University of California, search by place (Santa Clara or San Jose, for example; or topic: Santa Clara County Orchard or Mission Santa Clara)

Silicon Valley History Online Historical images contributed from these institutions: California History Center at DeAnza College, History San Jose, Intel Corporation Museum, San Jose Public Library California Room, San Jose State University Special Collections, Santa Clara City Library Heritage Pavilion, and Santa Clara University Archives. Browse by broad topic category or use search box for a specific place or topic.

ClaraVision Images from the archives of the University of Santa Clara. To browse, click on "View the Collection" or to search by topic, click on "Search the Collection" and enter keywords.

Hooked on Los Gatos Images from the photograph collections at Los Gatos Public Library, search strategy is the same as Silicon Valley History online--i.e., browse by broad topic category or use search box for a specific topic.

Mountain View Public Library Photographs from the Library and Historical Association are integrated into the library's main catalog--you may search by subject or family name. However, to browse the library's photos that have been digitized, use a call number search starting with the characters: PHL or use PHA to find the Historical Association's digitized photos.

Palo Alto Historical Association Photograph Collection Images from the photo collections of the Palo Alto are located in Palo Alto Public's Main Library. Use the search terms or the browse function.

Sunnyvale Public Library Digital Archives A small collection of images that can be browsed by broad category, including Canned Fruit Industry and Moffett Field are found here.

History San Jose Online Exhibits Click on the Exhibits and Collections tab on History San Jose's homepage. Visit these exhibits: Lou's Village, Cannery Life, Neighborhoods, Label Legacy and Dairy Hill.

posted by mb

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Encore! Encore!

Encore is the new search interface for the Santa Clara City Library catalog. Encore acts like a Web search featuring new ways to quickly narrow, or refine, your results.

Encore searches terms as a keyword search (i.e. John Smith gets searched as "John" AND "Smith"). If you do not see what you are looking for in the search results use the “Refine by” options to narrow the results of your search. You can also narrow your results by selecting a tag under the “Refine by Tag” section. Search results can be sorted by relevance, title, or date.

When you enter a search term into Encore, not only can you search the catalog for relevant items, you can easily extend your search to selected databases. On the lower right side of the result screen is an area called "Articles and More." By clicking on the right yellow arrow in that section, Encore will search five databases. The five databases searched are Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, MasterFILE Premier, NoveList Plus, and World Book Student.

As you browse the catalog, you can create a temporary list of items by clicking “Add to Cart” for each item selected. Once the list is created, select “My Cart” at the top right of the page to e-mail the list to capture your selections. Make sure to e-mail your list before exiting Encore; once you exit, the Cart is emptied and the list is deleted.

Please visit our tutorials page for an audio visual tour of the new catalog.
The previous catalog is still available and may be accessed by clicking on the "Classic Catalog" link.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photos of Santa Clara's Historic Houses and Landmarks Presentation

Correction: Mary Hanel will be the speaker for the Tuesday night, Nov. 17th, Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society meeting. She will speak about photographs of Santa Clara's historic houses and landmarks.

Where: Santa Clara Central Park Library, Cedar Room, 2635 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Speaker: Mary Hanel, Local History Librarian

Topic: Photos of Santa Clara's Historic Houses and Landmarks

Mary Hanel, Local History Librarian, will present a PowerPoint slide show developed by Gabriel Ibarra, "Photographer of Light" showcasing lovely historic homes in Santa Clara that he has researched and photographed. Samples of historic photos of old Santa Clara from the Library's Heritage Pavilion photo collections will be on display. Mary Hanel will also review which archives and libraries have extensive Santa Clara County historical photo collections and provide web addresses for those that have scanned and put some of their collections online.

Our meetings are free and open to all who are interested in family history or just history. Come and join us for coffee, tea and cookies.

For more information on future meetings please visit our website, www.scchgs.org.

Ted Wilson Home on Winchester Rd., Santa Clara, circa 1910

posted by mlg

Friday, November 13, 2009

National American Indian Heritage Month

Authentic Native American Indian arts and crafts, representing several regions of the country, are currently exhibited in the display cabinet at the Youth Services information desk. There are examples of hand-woven blankets, bead work, sculptures and musical instruments. The exhibit honors National American Indian Heritage Month which occurs annually during the month of November.

The theme of this year's heritage month is: "Pride in Our Heritage. Honor to Our Ancestors."

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior,
"What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose. . . . In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including "Native American Heritage Month" and "National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month") have been issued each year since 1994."
Our Youth Services display offers descriptions about each of the exhibit items. Our librarians can find you books and information about Native American cultures, civilizations, arts and crafts.
posted by jtb

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Help for the Under and Uninsured in California

Californians for Patient Care believe that healthcare is a human right. Visit its CalPatientCare website or MyHealthResource and find a variety of local, statewide and federal service and resources for the uninsured and underinsured including:
  • Free or low cost healthcare services and programs
  • Community clinics (not-for-profit)
  • Senior and Veterans programs
  • Free cancer screening programs
  • Maternal/Child health services
  • Prescription assistance
  • Homeless resources
posted by mb from jh

Monday, November 9, 2009

Honor Veterans at Central Park in Santa Clara

Both Central Park Library and Mission Family Reading Center Library will be closed Wednesday, November 11 for Veterans Day. Computer systems will be upgraded so no library services will be available. Wednesday, November 12, there will be limited computer services. Read more on our website.

Join Assemblymember Paul Fong and keynote speaker, Staff Sergeant Denny Weisgerber USMC Retired Navy Cross & Purple Heart recipient, Korea at 3:30 p.m. at the Santa Clara Veterans Memorial in Central Park at 909 Kiely Blvd. Handicap parking and wheelchair assistance are available in the employee parking lot at the Community Recreation Center. For more information about the ceremony or how to have a brick installed at this memorial to honor a veteran contact James Lee at (408) 296-2512.

posted by mb

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wash Your Hands!

Now, in the midst of the H1N1 flu pandemic, it's essential that we take measures to protect ourselves and our families from infection and illness.

Here's a statement from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Hand washing is the single most important prevention step for reducing disease transmission.”

Everything you touch has GERMS that were left there by other people. When you touch an object, you pick up GERMS. (Yuck!) Just think about this: Who else touched the doorknob, the toilet, the water faucet, the telephone, the book, the pencil, the mouse or the keyboard?

Cleaning your hands, with sanitizer or soap and water, is the ONLY way to stop those GERMS.

The November "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit in Youth Services features literature that explains the importance of hand washing. November is "National Healthy Skin Month." The exhibit is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.
posted by jtb

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Finding Magazine Articles

Are you looking for magazine articles for a report or an article you read but no longer have?

A good place to begin your search is MasterFILE Premier. It contains the full-text of articles from nearly 1,700 general interest magazines. You will find magazines such as Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, and Consumer Reports. You can access the MasterFILE Premier database from home or within the library. You will find it on the Research Databases page of the library's website.

May be what you are really looking for is an academic journal article or a peer reviewed article for your college class, then try the Academic Search Complete database. You will also find it on the library's Research Databases page.

posted by mlg

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prepare for Your Graduate School Exam

Are you planning to go graduate school? Are you preparing to take a graduate school entrance exam?

If you will be taking the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT, take practice tests using Learning Express Library. Learning Express Library offers practice exams for each of these tests via the Library’s website.

To begin using Learning Express go to our home page and click on the Research Databases link. On the Research Databases page click on Learning Express. Your first time at the site create a username and password. Use your library card bar code number as your username. This will allow you to access Learning Express from home or other locations away from the library.

We also have test preparation books which you can borrow. To see books available in our catalog click on one of the following links.

posted by mlg

Friday, October 30, 2009

Arielle Nadler Caldecott Collection

Each year, the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, awards the Caldecott Medal to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. This award, which has been presented annually since 1938, is named in honor of Randolph Caldecott, a 19th Century English artist who illustrated 16 children's books that were popular in Victorian England. Each year, for eight consecutive years, he illustrated two books that were published at Christmas time.

The Santa Clara City Library features books that have been honored with the Caldecott Medal in a special collection, the Arielle Nadler Caldecott Collection, which is dedicated to the memory of Arielle Nadler, the stillborn daughter of Judy Nadler, former Mayor of the City of Santa Clara, and Jerome Nadler, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge. Arielle Nadler was buried in Santa Clara in April, 1989. She is survived by a twin sister, as well as an older sibling.

The Arielle Nadler Caldecott Collection is located in the Picture Book section of the Youth Services Department. Each year, the Caldecott Medal book is added to the collection, which can be read and enjoyed in the Library by patrons of any age. Copies of all the Caldecott Medal books, from 1938 to the present, are included in the Arielle Nadler collection. Ask a Youth Services librarian to help you find this collection that is filled with favorite books such as Make Way for Ducklings, the 1942 Caldecott Medal winner by Robert McCloskey; Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, the 1976 winner that was illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, and Snowflake Bentley, the 1999 winner that was illustrated by Mary Azarian.

posted by jtb

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tips for Trick or Treat and parties

Find them at a new web site for food safety from the federal government.

Ask questions, get good information about safe food preparation and learn about food illnesses.

posted by mb

Santa Clara Historic Home Tour 2009

Early bird registrations, saving you $5 on a general admission ticket, for the Home Tour end this Friday, October 31. Home tours take place Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday, December 5, Noon - 5 p.m.

Visit the Santa Clara Historic Home Tour website and purchase tickets.

This year's featured homes are:
  • James K. Davis House, a recently renovated Stick Eastlake Victorian mansion once owned by a blacksmith who came to Santa Clara in 1875
  • Rollie M. Proctor House, a wooden Pioneer-style house owned by a prominent furniture store owner
  • Maloney House, a Queen Anne cottage once owned by a farmer connected with Laurelwood Farm
  • Bacigalupi House (pictured above) It was built for the daughter of an Italian immigrant family and originally located at 901 Grant St. which is now 3100 The Alameda, this home was restored as part of a Jesuit Community Residence project and moved to its present location.
  • Gothic Revival, circa 1880. Representing one of the earlier styles of homes during the 19th Century in Santa Clara, this is one of the few remaining of this style. (Refreshments will be served here.)
Find out more by visiting the Santa Clara Historic Home Tour website.

posted by mb

Monday, October 26, 2009

Find that video!

The number of adults watching videos from videosharing sites has nearly doubled since 2006. Fully 62% of adult internet users have watched video on these sites, up from just 33% who reported this in December 2006.

19% of all internet users use video-sharing sites to watch on a typical day. In comparison, just 8% of internet users reported use of the sites on a typical day in 2006.

Read more from the actual Pew Internet study:The Audience for Online Video Sharing Sites Shoots Up.

Okay, so how do you find what you want to watch? Of course, you know about YouTube for finding videos. The Librarian in Black recommends that we try VideoSurf, a metasearch for video that looks at videos on Hulu, CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central, and MetaCafe. It’s got a nice suggest-as-you-type feature, and the search results are quite good. Here is a sample search results page for a search for the recent FX show, “Sons of Anarchy.“ The site offers great sorting options, “quick refining,” faceted searching, results embedding, permalinks, a Save Search/Alert feature, and a lot more. They offer a Firefox extension, APIs, and more tools, too."

posted by mb

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How long does a CD Last?

As I was reading an article about the San Francisco Library and their collection of 4,000 LP records I noticed one line that caught my attention. It said “Records are a much better long-term format than a CD. CDs eventually self-destruct,". I started to wonder how long does a recordable CD last. I went to Google and searched the question.

It seems that there are a number of conditions that affect the life of a CD such as moisture, CD quality, heat, burning process, material used for making the CD, the position it is stored. According to studies they last 2-5 years for most users. So, how do we store all the family photos and documents we want to save for future generations?

When it comes to digital photos, the Library of Congress suggests a three-pronged approach: save them to discs or USB flash drives, upload them to online storage sites such as Flickr.com, and print out copies with archive-quality ink. Then, when CD-Rs, flash drives, or websites become outdated, move everything to their replacements.

Also, know that blank CD-Rs don't last as long as used discs -- think five to 10 years shelf life. That may be plenty of time, considering the speed of overturning technology. CDs may feel like 8-tracks in five years.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Teen Writing Contest Winners

A reception in the Redwood Room on October 19 honored the winners of "Read Beyond Reality. . . Step into Your Future," the Santa Clara City Library's 2009 Teen Writing Contest. The competition, which was was open to students in grades 7 to 12, was sponsored by the Library's Foundation and Friends in celebration of Teen Read Week.

Winning essays will be posted on the TeenNet page of the Library's website.

The grand prize winner, a high school senior who received a cash award of $100, is Justine Tran.
Other high school winners are:
  • Sandeep Chanamolu, first place

  • Noama Iftekhar, second place

  • Brandon Taylor, third place

Middle school winners are:

  • Margarita Patio, first place winner

  • Rachel Kiefer, second place

  • Amanda Cobb and Angelee Winn, third place

Congratulations to all of our contest participants!
posted by jtb

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upcoming Morningstar Webinar

Learn how to use the Library's Morningstar Investment Research Center database to help you rebalance your investment portfolio. Attend an upcoming webinar by Christine Benz of Morningstar.

The presentation will give you investing ideas for 2010. It will also show you how to use Morningstar Investment Research Center to help manage your portfolio.

The training will be on Wednesday, December 16th, from 1 - 2 p.m.

You will need a home computer with Internet access and a telephone to hear the presentation.

To register send an e-mail to librarytraining@morningstar.com. Mention that you use Santa Clara City Library. Morningstar staff will reply with instructions on attending the training.

Christine Benz is Morningstar's Director of Personal Finance, Editor of the Morningstar PracticalFinance newsletter, and author of the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds and Morningstar's 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances.

For more information ask at the Reference Desk or call 408-615-2900.

If you would like to explore the Morningstar Investment Research Center database, it is accessible via our Research Databases webpage.

Posted by mlg

Monday, October 19, 2009

Keep Medications out of our water supply

Traditionally, many people simply flushed old, unwanted medicines down a toilet. Unfortunately, some of these pharmaceuticals have found their way into the environment because they have not been removed during the waste treatment process. These pharmaceuticals can have a lasting negative effect on plant and animal life.

Please dispose of household hazardous waste properly by setting up an appointment to drop-off your materials with the County Wide Household Hazardous Waste Program (CWHHWP). Contact the County at: (408) 299-7300.

If you are over the age of 59, call Heart of the Valley (408)241-1571 to make an appointment with our local Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) for pharmaceutical waste removal. Volunteers will come to your door in a collaboration with Santa Clara Police and volunteers.

If you live in neighboring communities, check about local rules.

San Jose residents also use the CWHHWP. Sunnyvale residents can drop off unused medicines at six local fire stations.

Station 1 – 171 N. Mathilda Ave.; Station 4 – 996 S. Wolfe Road
Station 2 – 795 E. Arques Ave.; Station 5 – 1120 Lockheed Way
Station 3 – 910 Ticonderoga; Station 6 – 1282 N. Lawrence Station Road

If you have further questions, call the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety desk officer at (408) 730-7110, TDD (408) 730-7501.

posted by mb

New Fuel Economy Ratings Available

The EPA has posted fuel mileage guides for new cars. The Find A Car site lets you search by vehicle class, make, MPG, cars that don't need gasoline and Best & Worst MPG. Check it out before you go shopping. The library also has the printed version of this publication and Consumer Reports and other companies' car ratings at the Consumer Table on the 2nd floor behind the Information Desk. We have Kelley Blue Book guides at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor if you are thinking of selling and want to put a price on your car or check out a price before buying a used car.

posted by mb

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tuesdays in October--Look Out!

It was 5:04 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, 1989. This writer had just finished her shift, and she was preparing to leave the old Central Library. I don't need to tell you what happened next. The Loma Prieta earthquake struck at 5:04 p.m., but I soon made it home to Kearney Avenue. We gathered in our front yards and cheered as neighbors and family arrived home safely, one by one. We listened to our car radios, which were our links to other Bay Area cities and neighborhoods. Finally, when everyone was cold and hungry, we all went back inside our homes, which were suddenly dark and unfamiliar places. We made our way past fallen cereal boxes and kitchenware and began searching for flashlights. I actually received three incoming phone calls that night. The first was from a friend in Southern California. The second and third were from Beth Svee, the former Santa Clara City Librarian. Ms. Svee had reported to the City's emergency command center, along with other key City executives. She was calling to place me on alert. She asked me to stand by, and to be ready to report to an emergency location. Fortunately, she called back later in the evening and cancelled the alert. However, here was one member of my family who was not frightened by that 7.1 magnitude earthquake. My son was practicing football on the Wilcox High School field, and he did not even feel the ground shaking.

Those of us who reported back to work at the Library the following day will remember Ms. Svee's leadership that morning and in the days that followed. She brought us all together, spoke to us and assigned us to various tasks as we all worked to get the books off the floor. On the morning following Loma Prieta, I was sent to the Mission Library, where, surprisingly, very few books had fallen. Ms. Svee made several trips to Mission that day, as telephones were not working. By the next day, the Bookmobile was on the road again. As we visited our regular sites in the community, we saw damage that was never reported by the news media, and heard many firsthand accounts of our Bookmobile patrons' earthquake experiences.

Fast-forward to another Tuesday in another October. It was 8:04 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, 2007. Performer Megumi had just finished her "spooky stories" program in the Redwood Room. This writer was helping Megumi load her materials into her car. Megumi and I didn't feel anything, but we heard some loud noises. When I returned to the Library, I was confused as our pages began asking, "That was a big one! Did you feel that?" Yes, there had been another earthquake. In a few seconds I was answering another phone call from another City Librarian. This time, the lady giving instructions to close the Library was Karen Saunders, the City Librarian who retired last summer. As we left the Library, we were all thankful that no damage had been incurred in the earthquake, which was described as "moderate," with a 5.6 magnitude.

Watch out for Tuesdays in October!
posted by jtb

Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth

When will your baby get her first tooth? According to charts provided by the American Dental Association, she'll probably be between 6 and 10 months old when she "cuts" her first tiny tooth. It will be sharp and shiny, in the middle of the gum line on the bottom of her mouth. Her top teeth won't appear for another two months. By the time she is 3 years old, you can expect her to have all 20 of her primary teeth.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry emphasizes that the primary teeth are very important to your child's overall health. Most children's primary teeth will start to loosen, and children will likely "lose" their first teeth when they are 6 or 7 years old as the bigger, stronger permanent teeth break through the gums and push the primary teeth out of the way.

The dental associations urge you to take good care of the primary teeth, as they enable your child to chew her food properly. They are also important in speech development, and they save space for the larger permanent teeth.

Visit the Youth Services "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit for October, with books and literature about the importance of caring for your children's teeth. We also have charts that explain the average ages when children can be expected to "cut" their primary and permanent teeth. October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Our "On the Path to Good Health" exhibits are supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.
posted by jtb

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Grants from the Foundation & Friends

The Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends granted out $14,780 for library programs including funding for publication of the READ Santa Clara book of learner writings, a slatted kiosk display, literacy outreach to children living in shelters in Santa Clara, and the endowment funds. For details, visit the Foundation & Friends website at: www.lovethelibrary.org.

Written by md

Posted by mlg

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Staring Contest With the Blank Page- Blank Page Wins

I'm going to let you in on a little secret today. Since it's just you and I speaking in private, I feel at liberty to make this confession: I'm struggling with writing these thi... What do you mean you "knew that already?" That's rude. When someone lays the truth out on the table, even something painfully obvious, you're suppose to make a gentle face and say, "oh, is that so? I didn't notice."

Whatever. Moving on. I have a case of writer's block like you would not believe. Yes, I realize I only write three semi-coherent paragraphs a week (if that). And yes I realize the topics are... "eclectic." But nothing is coming to me. I've been told to write about so many things (i.e. the mathematical correlation between cute animals and their suitability as a food source, the social ostracism faced if not toeing the nouveau-ecolutionary's thin green line, and yet more about zombies), but like a bad organ transplant, the ideas aren't taking. Actually, to stretch that thin simile even farther, they are being actively rejected leaving my brain (the heart of the mind?) to flat line.

"Shake it off," say all the books. Shake it off? That wasn't helpful advice when I broke my arm in little league and it feels about as useful now. Writing your way through writer's block is like sleeping your way out of insomnia. The harder you try, the worse it gets. But then again, if you've been keeping track of the paragraph count, it looks like I've made it to three. Which means I'm done. Which means I've written through my writer's block. Which means I've shaken it off. Hurrah and whatnot!
posted by jw