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, 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 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:

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nov. 12 Internet Basics Class Cancelled

Santa Clara City Library will be upgrading computer hardware and the computers will not be available that morning for the Internet/Catalog Computer Basics class, Thursday, November 12, 2009, from 9:30-10:30. Internet/Catalog Basics is taught every month throughout the year in the Technology Center at Central Park Library. Call (408) 615-2900 or check the Calendar of Events for future class listings.

posted by mb

Monday, October 5, 2009

How do I get started researching my family history?

Santa Clara City Library is a great place to begin working on your family history. The library has a large collection of books and materials that are kept on the 2nd floor of the library in the Heritage Pavilion accessible whenever the library is open. Come in for a tour of the collection and pick up some beginning guides. Try these:
Your Living Family Tree by Gordon Burgett or
Secrets of Tracing Your Ancestors by W. Daniel Quillen

Begun more than 50 years ago, the Santa Clara Historical & Genealogical Society works closely with the library in assisting interested family history researchers. They moved their books and resources to this library and continue to purchase books, provide volunteer consultants, and volunteers in many other capacities here. We also have a Local History and Genealogy librarian, Mary Hanel.

Sign up for the free Beginner's Fall Seminars on Saturday, October 10, 2009 from 1-4 p.m. and Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 1-4 p.m. both in the Redwood Room on the1st floor of the library. Register by sending a message to or leave a message at (408) 615-2986. There are also sign-up sheets in the Heritage Pavilion

Learn more about researching Civil War ancestors on Saturday, October 24 from 1-4 p.m. in the Redwood Room.

Many digitized records are freely available on government web sites, such as the U.S. Dept. of the Interior's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database or the U.S. General Land Office records.

posted by mb

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fire Prevention Week

"Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned" is the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week, coming October 4-10 and sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association.

Be sure to visit the Youth Services department for information about fire safety. You'll find our fire truck book shelf filled with books, stickers and brochures that will help your family learn how to "Stay Fire Smart."

Here are five steps to fire safety:
  1. Every family member should learn the floor plan of your residence.

  2. You AND your children need to know at least two exits from every room. Would your children know how to escape through a window if the door became inaccessible?

  3. Do you have smoke alarms? Are they working properly?

  4. Set up a meeting place outside your home.

  5. Practice your emergency plan. Stage regular fire drills in your home.

Children are never too young to learn how to protect themselves from danger!
posted by jtb