Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Reading Program Awards

Children and Teens who are registered in the 2009 Summer Reading Program are invited to pick up their prizes in the Cedar Room, beginning on Monday, August 3 and continuing through Monday, August 31.

Gift books and certificates, for those who have earned them, will be available for pickup at the following times:

Mondays, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 2:00-8:00 p.m.
Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 2:00-8:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, 2:00-8:00 p.m.
Thursdays, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Fridays, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Sundays, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Please remember to bring your completed reading logs. Beautiful new books for those who completed the program were purchased with funds donated by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends and the Mission City Community Fund. Each eligible child will be able to choose a gift book to keep and enjoy. Eligible teens will be receiving gift cards, also through the generosity of the Foundation and Friends.

Thanks for attending our summer activities and events. Watch for our fall program schedule, which will begin on September 14.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If San Francisco Calls... Tell Him I'm Busy

Telephones have come a long way. On this day in 1914, transcontinental phone service was established (though the big photo opt call with Alexander Graham Bell didn't occur until later that January). Up until then, it was all carrier parrots, pony express riders transporting voices in mason jars (or "messages in a bottle" if you prefer), and giants getting paid to bellow "calls" back and forth from the Rockies to the Appalachians. And poor Utah, mercilessly mocked for being the nation's largest "dead zone" in Verizon ads of the time (then known as Verizon Wireplus).

Now my voice instantaneously travels to a satellite in space before getting beamed back down to ask my friend in France, "Whatcha doing? Huh? Rien? Cool." And I get frustrated because the connection is spotty. I don't think I'm properly awed by what is occurring. My voice is going... to... space. Space! Every phone call I make should start with singing a hymn for science and technology. Instead I grumble about having to call someone back. Someone on the other side of the world. Boo-hoo.

Granted, all this has lead to the death of the proper letter. Letter writing is so old fashioned, you might as well be using ink pots and wearing a monocle while doing so. If it weren't for bills and the forests of junk mail delivered everyday, the USPS would wither and fade. They try so hard to get attention with their "fun" commemorative stamps, but in the end we all know that's just a desperate attempt to drum up business. Sad really.

Iphones, Skype, rotary cell phones... the list of our fancy-shmancy communication devices could go on and on. Now if only they could spend some time trying to improve the sound quality of the phones. Mine still sounds like Graham Bell's original model.
posted by jw

Monday, July 27, 2009

Adult Summer Reading Prizes

Have you finished reading 5 books? Keep on reading and when you have finished, bring your book log to the library. Prizes can be picked up between August 3 and August 31.

Come to 2nd floor of the library to the Periodicals Desk in Central Park Library or Mission Library Family Reading Center at 1098 Lexington Circle
to get your prize.

Monday, July 27th at 6:00 p.m. is the showing of the film Ocean's Twelve in the Redwood Room. This free movie is one we think you will enjoy. It is a little over two hours long.

The prizes for the Adult Summer Reading Program finishers may be picked up at the Periodicals Desk during its open hours:
Monday-Tuesday: 10 a.m.-12 noon, 1-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m.
Wednesday: 1-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m.
Thursday-Friday: 10 a.m.-12 noon, 1-5 p.m.
Saturday: 1-5 p.m.
Sunday: 2-5 p.m.
and at the Mission Library Family Reading Center during open hours:
Monday & Wednesday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

posted by mb

Friday, July 24, 2009

6 Weeks of World Music!

Janetta Coleman will give the final performance in our 6-week series of free multicultural family concerts at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 27 in Central Park Pavilion. Get ready to enjoy the lively rhythms and dances in the African tradition.

The Prabath Academy for Music and Performing Arts began the series on June 22, with classical Indian dancing.

Okasan and Me, on June 29, featured Japanese songs and traditions.

Our July 6 program starred the Fuego Nuevo Ballet Folklorico dancers, with Aztec and colonial Mexican dancing.

The audience joined Swift Cloud on July 13 in a celebration of Native American drums and dancing.

The fifth performance in our series was by The Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra, featuring young musicians with their traditional Chinese musical instruments.

Want to see movies of our last 5 weeks of concerts? It's easy! Just click here and you'll be linked to the new Videocast/Podcast section of our Library website.

Our multicultural programs are sponsored by the the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends. Visit their website to find out how you can help support the 2010 Summer Reading Program. Your generosity could help bring exciting programs back to Central Park Pavilion next summer.
posted by jtb

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mad Science at Mission Library

Ever wonder "how did they do that?" while watching a movie? Learn the science behind the secrets at the Mad Science show "Movie Special Effects" on Wednesday, July 29 at 7 pm at Mission Library Family Reading Center. This program is free, requires no registration, and is open to children of all ages and their families. The performance will be outside, so bring a blanket to sit on the grass.

Summer reading events at Mission Library are sponsored through a generous donation by Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends member David Stringer-Calvert.

Mission Library is located at 1098 Lexington Street, near Santa Clara University. For more information, call 408-615-2964.

posted by spb

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Breather: One Reader's Lament

A while back ago, I made a promise to myself not to mention zombies or vampires ever again in this blog. These are my fallback topics, the ones I write about to show that I have nothing to write about. But today, I have something to write about... and unfortunately that something is zombies. Go figure.

I just finished the book Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne. Three sentences into it I developed a massive headache. You see, the narrator of this story is a zombie. Let me repeat that... he's a zombie. Slight problem there: ZOMBIES DON'T THINK! Even if it was written in the third person this would pose a significant challenge.

When lumbering down the street, Andy thought, "Brains brains brains brains braaaaaaiiiinnsss."

To avoid this dilemma, the author has thrown years of zombie lore out the window and made them sentient beings. This is fascinating idea if handled properly. It could be like the breakthrough (and subsequent overuse) of the fast moving zombie from 28 Days Later. This is not that. To make sentient zombies, you have to confront two issues.

First, history is against you. Going back to the voudou (or voodoo) origins of the zombie concept, the "undead" (or as the case has been made, highly drugged) weren't known for their free will. Perhaps they could think, but they weren't quite "thinking" at that point. So begins the popularization of the non-thinking (or at least single minded) zombie.

Secondly, the science is against you. Yes, I realize it's ridiculous to speak of science when discussing something as imaginary as zombies. Ridiculous yet necessary. I won't get into specifics here (due to the gross factor) but the author doesn't address this topic in a satisfactory way.

Now, all purist bellyaching aside, the book is a fun read. There is humor, romance, even a political stance. Just don't think too hard about it. (See what I did there? "Don't think?" Yeah... it's come to that.)
posted by jw

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Wordy Shipmates

If you are looking for an intriguing, engaging view of some of the oddball founders of our country, read Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates or better yet listen to her read the book. Sarah is an NPR contributor who can be sarcastic and witty in a way that wakes up history.

The wordy shipmates were the people who left England for religious freedom in 1630 and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She read their many letters, pamphlets and sermons and can explain the debate to create a new society. John Winthrop, John Eliot, Ann Hutchinson and Roger Williams all had strong convictions. Hutchinson just wouldn't stop talking and it got her banished. Williams was unbending in his views and it got him exiled and made him a difficult husband and neighbor. His courage of conviction got us religious freedom for all faiths and the separate state of Rhode Island. Winthrop was busy banning opponents but behind the scenes he worked to help the poor and make exile more comfortable for the dissenters.

After reading this book you won't see Puritans in quite the same way. Sarah concludes that the downside of democracy is a "suspicion of people who know what they are talking about."

posted by mb

Friday, July 17, 2009

Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra

Talented young musicians performing traditional Chinese music onstage at Central Park Pavilion will create a lively evening for families at the fourth in the series of summer outdoor multicultural programs offered by the Santa Clara City Library Youth Services Department. The free concert, featuring the Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra, will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 20.

The orchestra, which was invited to perform at three top music conservatories in China in 2004, was founded in 2000 by Gordon Lee, a Chinese music educator. The musicians range in age from 9 to 17 years. They have performed throughout the Bay Area and have won numerous awards. Concerts by the orchestra provide opportunities for Bay Area audiences to hear music played on traditional Chinese instruments.

The Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends are sponsoring the series of multicultural concerts that are part of the "Be Creative @ Your Library" Summer Reading Program.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baby, I'm on Fire... No, Literally I'm On Fire!

Last year I went up to the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco with my father. We were just chatting away in line when a fireball (and subsequent shockwave) shot out from an old-fashioned firetruck parked down the road from us. I was probably a football field away, but the heat was intense (and welcome considering the cold morning). We both looked at each other, massive grins on our faces, and ran over to the firetruck like school children towards a swingset.

This was my introduction to Oakland's Crucible. The group, outside of their public pyrotechnic performances, holds classes that teach adults and kids various skills which involve fire to some degree or another (ie. blacksmithing, welding, glass blowing, etc.) And once a year they have a multi-day party showcasing the more spectacular side of what they do. That party starts tonight.

I could list a lot of what they have going on, but it would probably be easier to just say a noun or verb and add "with fire." Such as dance... with fire, opera (based on a children's book)... with fire, or snail car... with fire (seriously). Yes, some of this is pure novelty, but the attempt is to get people drawn into the skill and craft behind the amusement factor.

Under normal circumstances, playing with fire generally ends poorly. But watching professionals do it? That sounds like a pretty hot idea (ba dum cha! Groan).
posted by jw

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Nils Peterson and Symphony Silicon Valley Singers

Monday, July 20, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Central Park Library Redwood Room.

Come hear Silicon Valley Poet Laureate Nils Peterson talk about and read his poetry, and perform with the Symphony Silicon Valley Singers at this Adult Summer Reading Program event. Nils Peterson is a professor emeritus from San Jose State University, co-founder of the Poetry Center of San Jose, and a singer with the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale. This program is made possible by the generosity of the Foundation & Friends of Santa Clara City Library and National Semiconductor.

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

written by jb posted by mb

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Resume Writing, Internship, Career and Job Resources

Resume writing just got easier with the addition of our new COIN Career Library July 1. Santa Clara City Library patrons can create a resume with Resume Builder or use the Career Planning checklist to improve their careers. Try the COIN Career library for articles on how to find and qualify for internships in the U.S. and abroad. Read information on myths about cover letters, and how to find summer jobs. Watch a video describing a career from the Video Library in the Resource Center.

Also new to our collection of databases is Business Source Complete with over 1200 journal articles and other full text content about corporations. Prepare for your interview by researching the company. Knowing the key principles guiding the corporation will impress your interviewer and make you stand out among potential employees. I checked Safeway Inc. on Business Source Complete and found a statement from CEO Stephen Byrd describing company goals:
- Quality and Innovation
- Outstanding Value
- Unique Customer Experience

ReferenceUSA is another excellent source for information about companies. Job seekers can also use Learning Express Library for practice taking tests, preparing resumes and improving interview skills.

Try our databases by selecting RESEARCH DATABASES from our web site or come in and use the database-only computers on the 2nd floor of the library. As always, ask our friendly staff if you have questions.

posted by mb

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Swift Cloud Drum

Swift Cloud Drum, representing many Native American Indian nations, will present a free performance on Monday, July 13 at 7:00 in Central Park Pavilion., the fourth in the Santa Clara City Library's series of summer multicultural programs for families.

Billy LeBeau, from the Cheyenne River nation, will be leading the drummers and commenting on the symbolism of the dances and chants that will be performed by authentic Native American dancers in traditional costumes. Swift Cloud Drum performed to enthusiastic crowds in 2007 and 2008 in the Library Redwood Room. One of the drummers is Kevin Guerito, from the Dine' Nation (Navajo), who is also a Santa Clara City Library Assistant in the Circulation Department.

The Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends sponsor the multicultural programs in Central Park and all of the exciting Summer Reading Program activities that are underway in the Youth Services Department. There's still time for the children and teens in your family to sign up for our annual Summer Reading Club. Just click on the link above, register for the program, print your reading log and make reading part of your summer fun.

The Foundation and Friends have enabled us to offer a special program for teens: If you're a teen reader, in 7th through 12th grade, you can earn a $10 gift card to Borders just by enrolling in the program and reading 5 books before the end of August. The last day to enroll is July 18.
posted by jtb

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Questionable Characters

As a kid, one of my school projects was a "Hero Report." Being children, we picked the obvious people from the Pantheon of (Almost) Unambiguous Moral Character: presidents, ball players, and scientists. I picked Al Capone. Needless to say, he was not P(A)UMC approved. My teacher was a bit concerned about me.

While this misguided admiration did not lead me into a life of crime, it did begin my fascination with the idea of the questionable folk hero. I was hardly alone in this interest. But finally after ten years of people putting on bad Jersey accents and saying "Ohhhh!" the gangster thing got played out. Pop culture needed a new anti-hero archetype to focus on.

The junkyard of history being filled with marketable outlaws, it didn't take long. For a while, it looked like it was going to be Wild West gunmen. But then the economy went down the tubes. Cue the Depression Era Bank Robbers!

With their cute nicknames and character quirks (like being psychotic), these criminals might have been able to break out of prison, but they couldn't escape the imaginations of the American public (or press). They became romantic heroes... with a body count.

The outlaw hero is something of a fading notion these days though. I'm trying to think of who has achieved that sort of status in this era. There aren't many, but I'm imagining there are probably a few hero reports out there with the names of Biggie and Tupac in them. And I'm imagining there are probably a few teachers fretting about that.
posted by jw

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Research Databases for you

Our contract with Gale which provided many databases ended June 30. Our new contract provides an expanded version of EBSCOhost databases which we think you will like even better.

Now there is exclusive, full text access to Consumer Reports from 1984 to the present with no delay in posting articles.

Besides the addition of many full-text magazines and journal articles, Newspaper Source Plus lets you search newspapers. Consumer Health Complete has news and reports on health topics. COIN Career Library has an easy-to-use resume builder and plenty of information for college bound students, including a College Finder and ACT/SAT quizzes. Research business topics using Business Source Complete.

If you were using Gale's General OneFile try MasterFilePremier, Opposing Viewpoints users can now try Points of View Reference Center and Literature Resource Center users can open Literary Reference Center.

Take a look at the complete list of new resources on our RESEARCH DATABASES page and try something out. As always, ask a librarian if you need any help. Come to the 2nd floor Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900 or email Ask a Librarian.

posted by mb

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ballet Folklorico Fuego Nuevo

The Ballet Folklorico Fuego Nuevo will bring the sights and sounds of Mexico to the Central Park Pavilion stage on Monday, July 6, at 7:00 p.m., the third in the Library's series of free multicultural events for families.

The program will begin with dancers in Aztec costumes and feather headresses, demonstrating some of the traditions and dances that have survived for generations in Mexican culture. Mexican folklore from the pre-Hispanic and Colonial periods will be highlighted through dramatic music and artistry by the popular dance company that performs throughout the Bay Area.

Our multicultural programs, as well as our other Summer Reading Club activities, are sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends. Don't miss the fun! Click on the Library's homepage and read about our activities.
posted by jtb

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Record Number of Adult Summer Readers!

She doesn't look excited but we are. So far 535 of you have signed up for Adult Summer Reading!

Register online between now and Saturday, July 18th, if you haven't already, read 5 books and get a prize.

Come join us for an evening of poetry and music on Monday, July 20 from 7-8 p.m. in the Cedar Room. Nils Peterson, Santa Clara County's Poet Laureate and Symphony Silicon Valley Singers will be here. Monday July 27 you are invited to view the film Ocean's Twelve in the Cedar Room from 6-8:30 p.m. Sign up for both of these programs by calling (408) 615-2900.

Need suggestions for reading? Try those listed below or come to the 2nd floor Reference Desk and pick up a list for Fiction, Nonfiction, Fiction with an art theme, great series reads or Chinese Language books. Ask and we can help you find these and other great books in audio, downloadable or print versions.

The Beach House by Jane Green
A heartwarming tale of how a land-rich but cash-poor 65 year old widow saves her home by taking in summer boarders.

Black Will Shoot by Jesse Washington
A razor-sharp first novel that offers a searing look at the rap industry. Designated Suspense Fiction.

Bone People by Keri Hulme
An unusual novel, set in New Zealand, concentrates on three people: Kerewin Holmes, a part-Maori painter, Simon, a troubled and mysterious boy, and Joe Gillayley, a Maori factory worker who is Simon's foster father.

posted by mb