Friday, February 26, 2010

Dora and Thomas and Berenstain Bears, Oh My!

Is your toddler or preschooler obsessed with famous classic (Beatrix Potter, Berenstain Bears, and Babar the Elephant, etc.) and/or modern TV or storybook characters (Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Tank Engine, Froggy, etc.)? If so, have we got a place for you!

Take a look at our character wall. It's located in Youth Services next to the cushioned seating in the picture book section. Hint: Look for the large Arthur and Clifford cutouts on top of the shelves. We've grouped characters together so that your little ones can easily find their favorites.
So, next time your child wants to see his or her favorite characters, visit our character wall.

Posted by wk

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Amish Quilts and Quilting Resources

Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown is a book and an exhibit currently showing at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco through June 6, 2010. The quilt image pictured was copied from a postcard purchased at the exhibit.

Ellin Klor, librarian and quilter, will talk about the quilts on Thursday, March 18th following a quilting computer resources class taught by Mary Boyle, also a librarian and quilter. In the hands-on computer class, using the Internet, you will learn how to find quilting friends, quilt stores, fabric, tools, and classes both locally and nationally. The presentations are free and begin at 9:30 in the Technology Center and will continue at 10:30 in the Sycamore Room. Sign up when you are in the library in the Technology Center or at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor or call (408) 615-2900 during library hours.

posted by mb

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learn to Use ReferenceUSA Database

Would you like to learn to use the library's ReferenceUSA database? A ReferenceUSA employee will teach the basics of using the database. The class will be held on Monday, March 22nd at 9:30 a.m. at the library. If you would like to attend, please call or come to the 2nd floor Reference Desk to sign up. The phone number is (408) 615-2900.

When: Monday, March 22nd, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Library Technology Center
Santa Clara City Library
2635 Homestead Rd.
Santa Clara, CA

ReferenceUSA is an electronic business directory. You can use it to find the top managers of a company, create lists of companies in the same industry, or research companies. A company listing typically includes:

- Company contact information
- A narrative description of the company
- List of the top managers
- List of competitors
- and more

If you would like to search ReferenceUSA, go to our Electronic Resources web page and click on the ReferenceUSA link. You can search the database remotely or within the library. You will need your library card number.

You can also access our Electronic Resources page by beginning at our home page. Click on the Research/Resources link and then select Electronic Resources from the drop-down menu.

Posted by MLG

Monday, February 22, 2010

Last Train from Hiroshima Author Duped

Author of The Last Train from Hiroshima, Charles Pellegrino, admitted to being duped by Joseph Fuoco, who claimed to have substituted at the last minute for James R. Corliss, as the Enola Gay's flight engineer. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 never flew on the bombing run and he never substituted for Corliss. He had claimed to the author that there was an accident before the bomb was dropped that was kept secret in which an American was killed and others irradiated. The real flight engineer's family, scientists, historians and veterans are denouncing the book and calling Fuoco an imposter. Corliss died in 1999, but his family preserved the documentary evidence of his participation in the historic flight.
"I am stunned," Pelligrino said. "I liked and admired the guy. He had loads and loads of papers, and photographs of everything." Pelligrino will rewrite parts of the books for paperback and foreign editions. Read more in the New York Times article.

Learn more about the Enola Gay and the bombing of Hiroshima with this book and DVD.

Enola Gay DVD 940.5425 E59
Get a look inside the bomber that helped bring World War II to a stop.
Duty: a father, his son and the man who won the war by Bob Greene
Journalist Greene learns what World War II meant to men of that generation. He becomes friends with Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay and comes to understand his father, also a World War II veteran.

posted by mb

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Want To Learn About...Everything!

Does the new reader in your family have a desire to learn everything possible about puppies? Baseball? Trucks? Volcanoes? Amelia Earhart? Unlike our Easy Reader collection of fiction books located under the large "Cat in the Hat" character, our nonfiction (aka "true books") are mixed into the rest of the Juvenile Nonfiction collection and are categorized by subject. Each subject is assigned a special Dewey Decimal Number.

The best way to find one appropriate for your new reader is as follows:
  • Pick a topic of interest.
  • Either search the catalog for that topic to get the number of the section or ask a Librarian for help.
  • Once in the right section, scan the shelf and look at the bottom edge of each book's spine (that's the side of the book that has the title printed sideways).
You are looking for books with one of four different colored labels: blue, green, yellow, or red.

If you see a book with a blue label, it means that the book is generally appropriate for those just beginning to read. The words and sentences are short to give them a good reading foundation. For an example of a "blue" book about puppies, try the book called Puppies by Kelly Doudna.

If you see a book with a green label, it is meant for a child who is ready for two-syllable words and short stories. An example of a "green" book about puppies is Puppies by Alice Twine.

The books with a yellow label are for more practiced readers who are ready for short chapters. For a "yellow" book about puppies, try Puppy, a DK "Watch Me Grow" book.

Finally, the books with a red label are the most sophisticated of the Easy Readers. They contain concepts and words for those who are just about ready to read longer chapter books. An example of a "red" book about dogs is Dogs by Kathryn Stevens.

If you want more Easy Reader nonfiction book suggestions about a certain topic, please remember that the Youth Services Librarians are always here to help. Just ask.

Posted by wk

Monday, February 15, 2010

President's Day Holiday, February 15, 2010

The Santa Clara City Library will be closed today, February 15, in observance of President's Day.

Come back Tuesday, February 16, for regular library hours; Central Park Library opening at 9:00 a.m. and closing at 9:00 p.m. and Mission Library and Family Reading Center opening at 10:00 and closing at 6:00 p.m.

posted by mb

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Upcoming Computer Classes at the Library

Bring a friend or family member and come to a free computer class. All classes are held in the Technology Center, located on the first floor of the library. Sign up when you are in the library or call (408) 615-2900 during regular library hours. Check the library calendar to get more details and see other events.

  • Email Basics, Thursday, February 18, 9:30 - 11:00
  • Introduction to Facebook, Tuesday, February 23, 9:30 - 10:30
  • Tips on Searching Ancestry Library Edition, Thursday, February 25, 9:30 - 11:00
  • Medical Research Using Medline Plus, Thursday, March 4, 9:30-10:30
  • Internet/Catalog Basics, Friday, March 5, 9:30-10:30
  • Internet Search Strategies, Thursday, March 11, 9:30-10:30
  • Learning Express Library, Tuesday, March 16, 9:30-10:30
  • Quilting Resources, Thursday, March 18, 9:30-10:30 and more
  • Email, Beyond the Basics, Thursday, March 25, 9:30-10:30
posted by mb

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Technology Aide Employment Opportunity

Do you enjoy working with the public? Do you have good computer skills? Santa Clara City Library is currently recruiting for a Technology Aide as needed position. The Technology Aide provides assistance to the public with the use of library computers, electronic resources and audio visual equipment. Other responsabilities include helping the public connect to the wireless network, help with Microsoft Office documents, help with room setups and maintaining the public computers.

This is an hourly position with no benefits with approximate 15-19 hours per week including weekend, night and some holiday work. Please check the Library's website for more information, deadline and application forms.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Celebrate Teen Tech Week and Enter to Win an iPod Touch!

"Read This Book!" Commercial Contest
(for students in grades 7-12 who possess a Santa Clara City Library Card)

Create a video advertising a book. The most creative and persuasive (see rules for more details) commercial will win an iPod Touch and $50.00 gift card. All eligible entries, except the first place winner, will be entered into a drawing for one iPod Touch and $25.00 gift card. The deadline to enter is March 15. Winners will be announced on March 16th at 7 p.m. at a reception where all winning videos will be shown. Videos will also be posted online. Rules, guidelines and all forms available below.

Need a way to film your commercial? Make an appointment or drop by on Friday, March 12 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Appointments will be given priority.

For more information, contact Nan Choi at or call 408.615.2920. This program is generously supported by the Michael J. Kirsch Foundation.

Contest Rules and Guidelines (pdf)

Contest Entry and Release Form (pdf)

Posted by wk, text from the teen site.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Geoffrey Chaucer: Patron Saint of Florists and Cardmakers, Scourge of the Lonely

"Valentine's Day is just a Hallmark holiday." Not true! Well... actually it is kind of true but not really. Let me explain.

The historical Saint Valentine is something of a cipher. Seems there were a number of martyrs with the name Valentine (or Valentinus as it would have been in Latin). At the time of their deaths, not a lot was documented about them. They must have done something to become saints, but to paraphrase Pope Gelasius I, God only knows what. So when the name starts popping up later in history, the stories are divergent about who he was and what he did. But one thing is for certain, romance was not his gig. Not yet at least.

That can be pinned directly to Geoffery Chaucer. You know, the Canterbury Tales guy? The one who wrote things in an imaginatively spelled form of "English?" (As my high school literature teacher told me, "standardized spelling is the price of technology"... Chaucer obviously had few expenses in that regard.) Anyhow, he must have been a popular writer in his time since it only took him two lines in a poem to forever change the perception of Saint Valentine and his feast day. Those two lines being:
"For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make."
Doesn't it just make the heart flutter? Yeah, me neither.

But thanks to Chaucer's dodgy knowledge of English birds and their mating habits (doesn't happen much in February), the concept stuck. And with it came greeting cards. Well, not in Chaucer's day, but in the Victorian era it was all the rage. They were handmade, elaborate, and sentimental objects of meaning. Then the Americans got the greeting card bug. But, as per usual, we like efficiency and started cranking out generic cards by the thousands to meet demand (some statistics put Valentine's Day cards in the billions per year... a curious amount considering the generalized disdain most people hold for the "holiday"). So now Valentine's Day cards are like "sweetheart candies," they are tacky and tasteless yet absolutely expected.

And all of this was brought on by a man who couldn't even spell "Valentine" properly. Go figure.
posted by jw

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Find a Good Read

Are you looking for a good book to read and are out of ideas? Try NoveList Plus to find a good title.

If you have an author whose writing you enjoy, see - if he/she is listed in the Author Read-alikes section of NoveList Plus. For example if you enjoy David Sedaris's humorous writing style, read his listing in Author Read-alikes. Within his listing you will find other authors you might enjoy.

If you don't find an Author Read-alike for your author, browse the Award Winners, Recommended Reads, or What We're Reading section for more book suggestions.

If you would like to find a book for your teenager or younger child, try NoveList K-8 Plus. Look in the Recommended Reads and Award Winners sections, for books which might captivate your young reader.

You will find NoveList Plus and NoveList K-8 Plus on the Library's Electronic Resources web page. To get to the Electronic Resources page begin at our home page. From our home page click on the Research/Resources link. From the drop-down menu, choose Electronic Resources.

Posted by MLG

Friday, February 5, 2010

Heart Smarts for Healthy Heartbeats

February is "National Heart Month." Did you know that your heart is a muscle the size of your fist and that you need to exercise it just like you would exercise your arms or legs? Exercise helps keep your heart muscle strong so that it can keep pumping blood to and from all your body parts. Every day, try to be active for at least an hour, which can be broken into 15-minute blocks. Here are some fun activities that give your heart a workout, whether you're at recess, at home, or at a park:
  • Play tag
  • Do push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks
  • Have a relay race
  • Play on the jungle gym
  • Play soccer
  • Ride your bike
  • Jump rope
  • Make up your own obstacle course
  • Play kickball
  • Play basketball
  • Go swimming
In addition to daily exercise, it's also important to eat healthy grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein so that your body gets all of the essential nutrients. Try to avoid unhealthy fat found in lots of junk food and typical fast food.

Don't forget to drink water! Drinking water regularly (6 to 8 glasses or 1.5 to 2 liters per day) keeps your heart working properly and keeps your energy up.

Learn more about keeping your heart healthy by visiting The American Heart Association's website or or by visiting our "On the Path to Good Health" display, which is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Library Foundation and Friends. Come to the Youth Services desk for help finding books or DVDs related to heart health.

Posted by wk