Friday, January 30, 2009

Coretta Scott King Book Award

The American Library Association has announced the winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award, just in time for Black History Month, which is celebrated during the month of February. This award is presented annually to a black author and a black illustrator for an outstanding, inspirational, and educational contribution to literature for children and young people published during the previous year. The award-winning book is We Are the Ship: the Story of Negro League Baseball, written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. This book also won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, which honors the author of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the previous year.

Kadir Nelson's paintings have been exhibited throughout the world, and he is the author of many books for children. In fact, two of his paintings will be featured on 2009 commemorative U.S. postal stamps.

We Are the Ship: the Story of Negro League Baseball, is filled with Kadir Nelson's full-color paintings of legendary African American baseball heroes, such as Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. The stories of the gifted athletes and the racial discrimination they endured is chronicled, from the beginning of the Negro Leagues in the 1920s through the 1940s when Jackie Robinson "crossed over" to major league baseball.

You'll find We Are the Ship: the Story of Negro League Baseball, as well as other books about famous African Americans, in the Black History Month display in Youth Services.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh, I was meaning to get to that, but...

Today, on the 196th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice being published, I would like to make a confession: I have never read it. Moreover, I doubt I ever will. And furthermore, I will stop lying (or abruptly changing the subject) when someone asks me if I have.

To my mind, Pride and Prejudice is one of those books that, if you are a “reader”, people assume you have read. When you tell them that, actually no, you have not read it, they tilt their head to the side in a way that says, “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said you were a reader, but apparently you merely pointed out that you were literate. My bad.” Even though that look stings something fierce, you must give them points for being both prideful and prejudice. It truly is impressive.

Other classic books I have perhaps fudged the truth about reading so as not to receive “that look”:

Atlas Shrugged- (lied about this one at a punk show so as not to be bested by someone with three entirely separate protrusions of hair and a jacket made of bike tires)
Anna Karenina- (lied about this one to a date who had just begun it. I told her it was a wonderfully heartwarming story and not at all tragic or sad)
In Cold Blood- (lied about this one to my sophomore English teacher so as not to get detention… but I suppose that would have given me ample time to read it)
In Search of Lost Time- (lied about this one because I wanted someone to know I was lying to them so they would know that I knew they were lying to me. No one has read all seven volumes of this mammoth.*)

Fact is, there are roughly a billion books out there you won’t have a chance (or a desire) to read. So what if Ulysses or Crime and Punishment don’t make the list. It just means you read something else. Maybe even something Mr. Smug-Arched-Eyebrow hasn’t read.

* Statistically speaking, this is not true. People have read In Search of Lost Time, but know one knows who these people are.

posted by -jw-

Monday, January 26, 2009

February free classes in the Library

Join us February 3 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. for Advanced Internet Skills taught by Google Research Scientist, Daniel Russell. He will demonstrate tricks and tips for getting better results when you search using Google. Students should have take a computer search skills class or have equivalent life experience.

The Morningstar Mutual Funds computer class will show students the basics of using Morningstar Investment Research Center to find information of mutual fund investments. Business librarian, Mark Graham, will teach this hands-on class on Thursday, February 5 from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Email Basics is being offered Thursday, February 19 from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Set up an email account with assistance in this class. Email Beyond the Basics, covering managing your email and attachments, will be offered March 5.

Come Thursday, February 12 from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. for Internet/Catalog Basics for practice searching the Internet and learn to find movies, music and books using the library's catalog. Or come on Thursday, February 26 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. to the Internet Search Strategies class and improve your search skills.

posted by mb

Saturday, January 24, 2009

FREE Tax Assistance at the Library

Starting Saturday, February 7th, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) will be offering FREE tax assistance to members of the community, particularly those with low and limited income, individuals with disabilities, and non-English speaking and elderly taxpayers.

If you would like to meet with a volunteer please come prepared with the following:
• current year’s tax package and/or label
• all forms (W-2, 1099s, etc.)
• information for other income
• information for all deductions/credits
• copy of last year’s tax return
• proof of account for direct deposit of refund (e.g., voided check)
• Social Security cards for you, your spouse, and/or dependents
• valid photo I.D. for yourself and/or your spouse.

This free service will be offered by VITA volunteers in the Cedar Room at the Central Park Library location of the Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates: February 7, 14, 28; March 7, 14, 28; and April 4. For more information: (408) 817-6703, (408) 817-6232, or the IRS at 1 (800) 829-1040, or visit the IRS website.

For other Santa Clara County locations, see Silicon Valley VITA sites.

posted by Reference

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy

On Monday, January 26, millions of people throughout the world will celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Ox. Parades, firecrackers, music, dancing, feasts and excitement will be enjoyed in Bay Area communities as time-honored traditions are followed to bring good luck and good fortune in the coming year. Chinese New Year, by Saviour Pirotta, is one or the many juvenile nonfiction books that describe this exciting time of year. Colorful photos introduce children who borrow this book to the significance of Chinese New Year customs and celebrations.
The Dancing Dragon, written by Marcia K. Vaughan and illustrated by Stanley Wong Hoo Foon, is a picture book with a surprise ending. You'll be caught up in the colors, noise and excitement as you follow a dancing dragon in a Chinese New Year parade. Gung Hay Fat Choy!
posted by jtb

Friday, January 16, 2009

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”
Without a doubt, the most frequently asked question during the last few weeks at the Youth Services desk has been, "Where are your Martin Luther King books?" We are happy to report that the juvenile nonfiction shelves that usually hold our biography books about Dr. King now stand empty. The books have been checked out and are in the homes and schools of children who are eager to learn about Dr. King's place in U.S. history.

As the decades roll by, it becomes clear to those of us who work with children that Dr. King has not been forgotten. His message is still heard by students of every ethnic background. Ask any elementary school child if they know what person said, "I have a dream." They'll all be able to tell you that it was Dr. Martin Luther King, and that he stood for freedom and equality for all people.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stay Pale Lonelyboy. Stay Pale.

This weekend I went to see a vampire film. No, I didn’t go see that one. I went to see the other one. The one in Swedish named after lyrics from a Morrissey song. While Let the Right One In is presumably about a vampire (it’s never explicitly said… though if sleeping through the day, drinking blood, and bursting into flames when exposed to sunlight doesn’t make you a vampire, then I’m not really sure what that condition would be called), its main theme is about being an outsider.

In recent years, popular culture has made vampires quite the sympathetic characters. And good for them really. For far too long it’s been all Nosferatu, Tom Cruise, and Gary Oldman’s shockingly ugly hairdo. You know, things you wouldn’t want to be around.

Working a different angle, authors like Charlaine Harris, Christopher Moore, and MaryJanice Davidson have been making vampires more… umm, human? Isolated and lonely, these characters are just as confused about their lives (or perhaps more accurately- their deaths) as anyone else. Sure, these insecure and flawed vampires are not particularly scary, but at this point, “frightening” vampire stories have kind of lost their bite.
That’s not to say Let the Right One In is without its frights. It has your requisite violence and gore and a climatic scene almost as unsettling as the one in There Will Be Blood. But in the end, perhaps the most disturbing part is how gentle a story it is despite, or maybe even because of, all the carnage.
posted by -jw-

Monday, January 12, 2009

Brian Copeland Brings His Story to You

Join us Tuesday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Redwood Room to hear KGO radio personality, actor, and comedian Brian Copeland talk about his book, Not a Genuine Black Man. It is the 2009 selection for the Silicon Valley reads program. This memoir about growing up in San Leandro in the 1970s as part of one of the first African-American families in San Leandro is both funny and poignant. The book provides a valuable, eye-opening look at the meaning of race and how one's surroundings affect who we become in life.

Take part in Silicon Valley Reads and hear Brian Copeland discuss his thought-provoking story. Sign up for this free library author event at the Reference Desk, or call (408) 615-2900.

The Library thanks the Foundation & Friends of Santa Clara City Library for its generous support of this program.

Copeland begins a series of community appearances Tuesday, January 13 at Campbell Public Library.

posted by mb for jb

Friday, January 9, 2009

Free Parenting Class at the Library

Parents of young children are invited to attend the free parenting classes that the Library co-sponsors with Santa Clara Unified School District and other local agencies. Two classes will be offered next week:
  • Monday, January 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the Cedar Room--Jean Wilson, Santa Clara Unified School District parent educator and preschool instructor, will present a parenting program, "Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?" She will help parents determine whether or not their child is ready to enter a kindergarten program, or whether he or she would benefit from an extra year in a presechool setting. She will examine various aspects of physical and emotional development that are important for children who are entering kindergarten.

  • Tuesday, January 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the Cedar Room--"Sibling Solutions," will be presented by Hand in Hand, a Bay Area organization based in Palo Alto that fosters healthy parent-child relationships. This program will help parents find solutions for some of the sibling rivalry situations that are present in many families.

Reserve a space in the parenting programs by visiting the Youth Services desk or by calling 408-615-2916.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Not So Fun Way to Spend Two Weeks

Getting the flu is like getting mugged. It’s quick and violent and catches you off guard. For days after, you are shaky and a little afraid to leave your house.

A cold however, is a progressive attack. Something akin to the escalating aggression of a schoolyard bully. A sneeze points out your vulnerability and from there, it’s on! Over the next week or two, the cold will bop you on the nose making you speak funny, steal your lunch money (redistributing it towards many overpriced cold remedies) and publicly humiliate you (Sniffling? Red rings around your nose? So very attractive). And then it will lose interest in you and move onto someone else… probably a friend you complained about being sick to.

Of course, everyone has their folksy wisdom about what cures a cold or flu. And there are many theories on how to catch a cold as well (I’m pretty sure it has more to do with being around sick people than being in the rain without a coat… sorry mom). In the end though, despite almost drowning in a sea of orange juice, taking enough airborne tablets to choke a horse, and keeping a positive mental attitude, I just can’t seem to shake th… a… a… achoo!
posted by jw

Monday, January 5, 2009

Job Hunting Help Computer Class

Looking for assistance with your job search? Join us for a new computer class Thursday, January 22, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. in the Technology Center, Job Hunting Help! The class will cover finding job prospects, providing you with many possible job list web sites, including valuable local resources. Come prepared to use the computer to find what you need with the assistance of library staff.

Because many of you have asked, we will also cover the mechanics of creating an electronic resume (bring one along) and sending it to a prospective employer or company web site. Extra time allows for you to practice and get your questions answered.

Some of the best books in the library will also be available.

the guide to Job Searching (pictured above)

Knock 'Em Dead The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin Yate 2009

Insider's Guide to Finding a Job by Wendy Enelow

Networking for Job Search and Career Success by L. Michelle Tullier.

Sign up by calling (408) 615-2900 or stop by at the library's Technology Center or 2nd floor Reference Desk.

posted by mb

Friday, January 2, 2009

Get Up and Get Moving in 2009

If you live in Santa Clara, you can be sure that there's a park in your neighborhood. In fact, there are 32 parks in Santa Clara, plus 4 public swimming pools. We hope your family will "Get Up and Get Moving in 2009" with frequent visits to our City's parks and playgrounds. Central Park, the largest facility which is pictured at left, surrounds the Central Park Library with 52 acres of grass, playgrounds, picnic areas, sports and aquatic facilities.

Visit the Youth Services Department for maps and complete lists of all Santa Clara's parks, pools and playgrounds. We also have books about family fitness in our January "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit that encourages children and families to "Go OUTSIDE and PLAY!"

Physical fitness, along with plenty of outdoor activity, is vital for children of all ages. In fact good health and physical activity is important if children are to succeed in school. Jack O'Connell, California's Superintendent of Public Instruction, recently stated:
" Our children deserve the very best education we can offer and they will get the most out of school—and out of life—if they are physically active and fit. Physical fitness is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it’s an issue that affects everyone. children are our most precious resource and if we fail them, we put the future of our state in peril. We cannot and will not let this happen.”
Swimming, soccer, baseball and softball are a few of the youth sports that also are available for boys and girls in Santa Clara. Many of these organizations are listed on our Santa Clara City Library Community Information Network. Additional information about youth sports and activities can be found in the 2009 City of Santa Clara Recreation Activities Guide.
posted by jtb