Friday, January 29, 2010

And the Winner Is (Part 2)...

Last week, we featured the 2010 Newbery Medal winner and Honor Books. This week, we'd like to present the 2010 Caldecott Medal winner and Honor Books.

Named in honor of Randolph Caldecott, an influential 19th-century children's illustrator, the Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to "the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year." [source] If the same book is nominated for both a Caldecott Medal and a Newbery Medal, the Newbery Medal Committee decides which ballot is better, since a book cannot remain in both contests.

Here are the books that won this distinguished honor in 2010:

2010 Caldecott Medal Winner

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

A book that's truly a picture book with hardly any words? That's what you'll get when you pick up The Lion & the Mouse, a wordless retelling of an Aesop fable. There are no words on the cover, and the beautifully drawn face entices you to open the book where you will find watercolored and colored pencil illustrations and a strong moral.

2010 Caldecott Honor Books

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee

Read this book for a walkthrough of a family's regular day, including a visit to the local farmer's market, the beach, a restaurant, etc. This family is a representation of all families thro ughout the world. Just a reminder that we are part of a whole.

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Sidman's book combines beautiful illustrations and poetic verse to describe the changing seasons. Experience seasonal smells, sounds, sights through the use of personified colors, where "In Spring, Red sings from treetops" and "In Winter, gray and brown hold hands."

Santa Clara City Public Library recently ordered more copies of these books so that you may become familiar with the newest Caldecott Medal and Honor Books. For the list of all previous winners, please visit the American Library Association's website.

Posted by wk

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Library to present a preview of Mission City Opera's La Boheme

Mission City Opera will return to Santa Clara City Library for the third time in less than a year to give a preview of one of its upcoming operas. Several singers from this wonderful local opera company will present highlights from Puccini's famous opera, La Boheme, on Tuesday evening, February 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Central Park Library Redwood Room. Mission City Opera was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to presenting professional performances of operatic works at affordable prices in intimate settings. The company will perform La Boheme in its entirety February 19-29 at the Mission City Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Clara. If you like opera, be sure to reserve a space at this free preview of La Boheme at Central Park Library. Stop by the Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb for jb

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Only Thing We Have to Fear is... Well, A Lot of Things

Confession: I have stage fright. Now that's not to say that I have a fear of performing in front of people. That I can do. I mean I actually have a fear of stages... the physical objects. You see, it stems from a childhood incident where I was playing a reindeer in a Christmas play. An attention grabbing snowman (who was nowhere near the actress she thought she was) bumped me right off the stage. Preserved on a number of now obsolete camcorders is the sight of the soft, floppy antlers I was wearing cushioning my head on impact (thankfully I wasn't the angel- that halo would be next to useless as a crash helmet). And so I've spent years shunning any sort of raised platforms in order to avoid a repeat of that indignity.

But every once and a while I have to get on one again. It is easier for me to deal with the panic from the back of the stage than it is from the front, edgy part where gravity exerts its force the strongest. And it can't be during December because if I hear any sort of Christmas music, I'll freak out. But it is possible.

Is this a debilitating phobia? No, of course not. But I find that trying to overcome the small phobias first can prepare you to tackle the big ones like spiders and clowns and commitment. I take that back, I don't think I'll ever get over my coulrophobia... that one is just too traumatic.
posted by jw

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Job Search Resources at the Library

There are resources at the library to help with your job search.

Two of these resources are electronic, Brainfuse and Learning Express Library. You can access both of these resources from your home computer via our website or within the library via a library Internet computer or your own laptop. To begin using either of these resources go to our Electronic Resources page and select Brainfuse or Learning Express Library.

Brainfuse's resume lab can assist you in writing your resume. Begin by using their resume templates. Once you have written your resume upload it to Brainfuse. Within twenty-four hours a Brainfuse writing expert will edit your resume and return it to you. If you have questions about your edited resume, you can discuss your questions with a Brainfuse instructor online via their website.

Learning Express Library is another resource which you can use for help with your job search. Learning Express has a Job Search & Workplace Skills Learning Center. This learning center includes online courses for finding job openings, networking, writing a resume, and tips on job interviewing.

At the library you will also find books on job hunting, writing resumes and cover letters, and job interviewing. You will find these under the call number 650.14. An example of one of the books is The Job-hunter's survival guide: How to find hope and rewarding work even when "there are no jobs", published in 2010, by Richard Nelson Bolles. Richard Bolles is the author of the popular book What color is your parachute?.

If you have a question, come to the Reference Desk or call us at 408-615-2900.

Posted by MLG

Non English Language Books at Santa Clara City Library

Most of Santa Clara City Library's books are in English but we do have some in other languages. These are the languages we have:
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Panjabi
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
To find a book in a non English language, in the Classic Catalog try a Call Number search, for example, Chinese 004 D53 or Japanese Fiction. You can also use the Subject Field and type in Vietnamese Language materials to find these books. We also have language learning books, DVDs, CDs, and cassette tapes for learning the languages listed above and many more languages.

Materials for adults are located on the 2nd floor in the Languages Pavilion. Children's materials can be found in the Youth Services area on the 1st floor. Don't forget Mango Languages which is available from our website 24/7. Mango Languages will allow you to follow a self-paced program for learning a language from the convenience of your own computer. Find it on our website by selecting Research/Resources, Electronic Resources, Mango Languages.

posted by mb for jh

Friday, January 22, 2010

And the Winner Is...

This week, the American Library Association (ALA) and its subdivision the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced the 2010 winners of many literary awards. This week, we’ll focus on the 2010 Newbery Medal winner and Honor Books.

The Newbery Medal began in 1922 when Frederic G. Melcher proposed an annual award that would honor the “most distinguished children’s book published the previous year.” [source] Melcher decided to name the award after John Newbery, who was an 18th century English children’s book publisher. Since the first award year, the Newbery Medal has become one of the most prestigious awards for a children’s book in the United States. In addition to naming an annual Newbery Medal winner, the ALSC also names several books as Newbery Honor Books, which are runners-up for the Newbery Medal.

Without further ado, here are the books that won this distinguished honor in 2010:

2010 Newbery Medal Winner

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Meet twelve-year-old Miranda whose life in the late 1970s in New York is really exciting. She receives mysterious notes, jumps back and forth in time, tries to figure out what’s going on with an odd homeless man. Read this science fiction book to take your mind on an adventure.

2010 Newbery Honor Books

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
[on order at Santa Clara City Public Library, but available now through Link+]

Did you know that Rosa Parks wasn’t the only person to protest segregation by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Alabama back in 1955? Claudette Colvin was fifteen years old when she attempted the same thing at the same time. Read this book to learn more about the difference that Colvin made in our country.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Calpurnia (Callie) Tate is a twelve-year-old girl who is interested in science more than needlepoint or other activities that girls in 1899 normally did. Follow Callie as she bonds with her nature-loving grandfather and discovers who she really is.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Join Minli on her quest with a dragon and a goldfish and enjoy some traditional Chinese folktales mixed into Minli’s adventures.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Set in the time of the Civil War, this mostly humorous novel follows Homer P. Figg’s not-so-true stories about his adventures while trying to rescue his older brother from having to join the Union Army against his will. Humor balances out any potentially tense situations.

Santa Clara City Public Library recently ordered more copies of these books so that you may become familiar with the newest Newbery Medal and Honor Books. For the list of all previous winners, please visit the American Library Association's website.

Next week, we’ll feature the Caldecott Medal winner and Honor Books.

Posted by wk

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Research High-Tech Companies

The library offers the CorpTech directory which is a database of U.S. high-tech companies.

You can use CorpTech to:
  • Find contact information for a company
  • Find a list of top executives working for a particular company
  • Create a list of companies in a specific high-tech industry

You can access CorpTech from within the library or remotely with a Santa Clara City Library card. To begin searching CorpTech go to our Electronic Resources page and click on the CorpTech link.

If you need assistance, please - call a reference librarian at 408-615-2900 or come to the second floor Reference Desk.

Posted by MLG

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FREE Tax Assistance at the Library

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) once again will be offering FREE tax assistance to members of the community starting Saturday, January 30, 2010. This free, walk-in service is intended especially for: those with low or limited income, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking and elderly taxpayers
If you would like to meet with a volunteer please come prepared with the following:
  • the current year's tax package and/or label
  • all forms (W-2, 1099s, etc.)
  • information for other income
  • information for all deductions/credits
  • a 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 at the Central Park Library location of the Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road, as follows:
January 30, February 6, 13, 27; March 6, 13, 27 in the Cedar Room from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; February 20 and March 20 in the Redwood Room, 12 noon to 5 p.m.; and April 10 in the Cedar Room from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walk-in assistance only (no appointments)

A list of Silicon Valley VITA sites offering services in 2010 may be viewed by following this link.

posted by mb for tt

Friday, January 15, 2010

Playaway Digital Books

Playaway. Play-a-WHAT? Play-a-WHO? A Playaway is a hand-held portable device that comes pre-loaded with an entire audiobook. All you need is a pair of headphones and one AAA battery, and you’re ready to listen. Another bonus is that you can hook one up to play through your car speakers if you have the correct cable or adapter. Each Playaway can hold up to 80 hours of audio, and you don’t need to worry about downloading the next chapter or changing to a different CD to hear the whole book.

Santa Clara City Library started carrying Playaways in 2009, and they’re located in the Youth Services and Adult media sections. We offer a variety of classic and current titles for a wide age range, including the following (Playaway titles marked with an * are available in the Adult media section):

So, if you’re in the mood to listen to a book, take away a Playaway!

Posted by wk

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio

Would you like to learn how to rebalance your investment portfolio?

Watch the How to Rebalance Your Portfolio in 30 Minutes presentation via the web. The presentation is given by Christine Benz, Director of Personal Finance, of Morningstar, Inc. You can view the presentation from the Morningstar Investment Research Center which is accessible via our Electronic Resources web page.

To view the presentation go to the Library's home page. Click on the Research/Resources link and then choose Electronic Resources from the pull-down menu. On the Electronic Resources page choose Morningstar Investment Research Center. On the Morningstar Investment Research Center home page click on the Help & Education tab. Towards the bottom right corner of the page click on the Rebalancing Your Portfolio link to view the presentation.

If you would like books on asset allocation to help you rebalance your portfolio, you will find them under the call number 332.6 or ask for help at the Reference Desk.

Posted by MLG

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The March of Progress has Some Heavy, Hurtful Boots

Back in my early twenties when I was filled with hope, optimism and bad ideas, I walked away from a promising (and tweedy) future as an academic to open a recording studio in San Jose. It quickly became apparent that my academic future had neither been in business nor economics seeing as the studio failed spectacularly. Had we just poured gasoline on our bank accounts and set them afire, the result would have been the same.

My partner and I were a Laurel and Hardy like team. He was a large, jolly industrial engineer. I was a skinny humorless musician prone to crying jags. Hi-jinks ensued. By working together we imagined our specialties would combine, Voltron-like, to create a knowledgeable audio engineer. We should have also found someone who specialized in reading trade magazines though. The recording industry was teetering on the verge of collapse and we were excitedly buying tons of gear and wondering why there were such great deals happening.

After two years it was obvious we were done for. Anyone with a good computer and some basic (and not so basic) software could now record their own music at that point. Fantastic for musicians, bad for recording studios. So we rewired all the speakers to be microphones and microphones to be speakers and sold them to past clients who wanted to record on their computers (it was a technique we used frequently for audio effects that people seemed to like).

Now I'm looking to record music again and I find myself thinking, "oh, I should just get a good computer." But that feels like a deal with the devil. So instead, I'm going primitive. I'm going to find an Edison cylinder recorder and charge people a fortune to use it. Hey, if tapes are becoming popular again, why not the wax cylinder? While I may have lost the hope and optimism over the years, it would seem that I'm still a fount of bad ideas.
post by jw

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Value Line Research Center

Do you own mutual funds or stocks? Would you like to learn more about your investments?

Try the Value Line Research Center the next time you are at the Santa Clara City Central Park Library. Value Line provides research and analysis of stocks, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds (ETFs). For each investment you will find a one page report. The report includes an overall rating, statistics, and a narrative analysis.

You can access the Value Line Research Center from within the Central Park Library via a library database computer, patron Internet computer, or your own Wi-Fi capable portable computer. It is not accessible remotely.

To access the Value Line Research Center go to the library's home page. From the home page click on the Research/Resources link and then select Electronic Resources from the pull down menu. Then click on the Value Line Research Center link.

To learn more about Value Line click here.

If you have a question or need further help, please - come to the Reference Desk or call 408-615-2900.

Posted by MLG

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Computer Class Added at Central Park Library

Learning Express Library offers students and adults practice tests and skill-building courses. Middle School students may be interested in practicing the admission test for Catholic high schools. High School students may want to take the PSAT. Before your test for a law enforcement job, the military's ASVAB exam or other jobs, you may want to take the practice test here. Tests in reading and writing, math and prep for the GED tests in the Spanish language are also available.

Learning Express Library is free in the library or from the convenience of home with a Santa Clara City Library card. Join us for a free hands-on computer class to test drive Learning Express Library on Thursday, March 16, from 9:30-10:30 in the Technology Center. Sign up when you are at the library in the Technology Center or at the 2nd floor Reference Desk or call (408) 615-2900.

Start now from the library's website open the Research/Resources tab, select Electronic Resources, Practice Tests, Learning Express Library.

Checkout other computer classes and keep up to date using the Calendar on the website.

posted by mb

Friday, January 8, 2010

Get SPORTY in 2010!

The new year can encourage thoughts about getting or staying in shape. The best way to do this? Have fun! Whether it's with family activities, organized sports, or solo sporty activities, turn off the TV and get moving.

"Get SPORTY" is the theme of the January "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit in Youth Services. To celebrate sports and activities, we've put a selection of our sports and activities books on display in the Youth Services area.

Santa Clara is home to many youth sports leagues, such as swimming, soccer, and baseball and softball. The Santa Clara Police Activities League (PAL) offers BMX biking, boxing, judo, bowling, and golf, among other activities. You can find more information about PAL online. Santa Clara City Parks and Recreation Department partners with several local institutions to provide group activities. A complete list of classes can be found in the PDF version of the Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Winter/Spring 2010 Recreation Activities Guide.

If being active is one of your New Year's resolutions, check out these resources, as well as our "On the Path to Good Health" display, which is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Library Foundation and Friends.

Posted by wk

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting Psyched About Science

As happens every year, I have spent the time between Christmas and New Years being sick. January 1st found me lying on my couch, tissue box cradled in my arms like a new born, staring at the television. If how you spend the first day of the year defines the 364 to follow, then things are looking pretty bleak.

On the plus side, the Discovery Channel had a Mythbusters marathon on. Seeing as I would watch hours of that normally, I was pretty content (despite being physically discontent). For those of you who haven't seen the show, they take commonly known urban myths and test them scientifically to prove if they are true or not. For some reason, a large amount of these tests involve a large amount of explosives. So in this sense, the show satisfies both my desire to feel like I'm learning something and my boyish glee at seeing things blown to pieces. Win-win.

It's also made me realize that I need to go back and revisit those small informational pockets named "math" and "science" again. Having been a "word nerd," my skills in those fields dropped off exponentially (see, I know some science-y words) the minute the ink dried on my high school diploma. Mainly, I thought they weren't important to my life. And while I have been able to function relatively well without them, I realize how much more enjoyable the world would be if I had a better scientific foundation.

Sounds weird, I know. But think about it this way- I like etymology (not entomology). I like to dismantle language and understand all its component parts. I think that's "fun." So I'm envious of the folks who can do that with the physical world.

So back to the books I go in the effort to become a more well rounded nerd.
posted by jw

Monday, January 4, 2010

Improve your computer skills in 2010

Have you made a new year's resolution to learn more about computer research, try Facebook or get better at using Ancestry for your family history research? Come to the library for free classes, we can help. The complete calendar can be found on our website. This new website calendar will be updated regularly to show new classes as they become available. Here's the January schedule:
  • Thursday, January 14 from 9:30-10:30 Internet/Catalog Basics, a gentle introduction to using a web browser and how to find materials using the library's catalog
  • Thursday, January 21 from 9:30-10:30 Internet Search Strategies, a more advanced approach to finding websites by subject directories and special topics like mapping
  • Thursday, January 28 from 9:30-10:30 Job Hunting Help,websites for job hunters including local resources and some of the best resume writing and job listing sites as well as technical help in formatting resumes for uploading to websites
Sign up when you come to the library or call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb