Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Storytime Session Ends

Fingerprint flower
Thank you all for attending our spring storytimes! We've enjoyed having you! Our spring session ends on Saturday, May 8th, so have a great break. Feel free to host your own mini-storytime by visiting the library, grabbing some picture books, and making yourselves comfortable at the tables and at the Preschool Pavillion. Look for our summer programming beginning the week of June 21st.

Feel free to try this easy spring craft for ages 4 and up. The idea and instructions are from Kaboose, with slight modification.

Fingerprint Flowers
What you'll need:
  • Construction paper
  • Acrylic/non-toxic/washable paint
  • Green chenille stems, pipe cleaners, or straws
  • Scissors
  • White craft glue
How to make one:
  1. Cut out simple flower shapes from construction paper.
  2. Dip child’s finger into paint and dab off excess, then press onto each petal. Dab a contrasting color into the center of the flower.
  3. Cut chenille stem, pipe cleaner, or straw in half.
  4. Glue chenille stem, pipe cleaner, or straw to the back of the flower.
  5. Display your pretty flowers in a flower pot, vase, or plastic bucket/pail.
  • While this is a simple craft, if you are working with smaller children you may want to cut out the flower shapes ahead of time.
  • You can use plain white paper and colorful paints if you don’t have construction paper.
See you this summer!

Posted by wk

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Back After My Wedding Day

Most people who live in this area believe the hype about how wonderful the weather is here. We are blessed with consistently sunny skies and t-shirt temperatures, right? Possibly so, unless you are trying to plan an outdoor event. Then you get weather like we've had over the past few weeks. A sort of Zeusian temper tantrum of wind and rain and sun and heat. It makes no sense. Which is why the popularity of the late April wedding is so confounding.

It would appear many people want to get hitched in fields of freshly bloomed flowers. It's a beautiful image until you take into consideration that A) allergy sufferers will be crying from the start of the ceremony to the end (not happy tears either) and B) the only thing in bloom could be the brightly colored canopies of umbrellas.

Suddenly, in preparation, the groom becomes a scholar of meteorology and the bride is pouring over historical weather data to see the ratio between sun to rain on the chosen day. Both can't sleep from a reoccurring dream involving a freak storm flooding the marriage meadow. Rafts are rented... just in case. They begin to record the Weather Channel on their DVR and only speak in 10 day forecasts. It gets grim. All this odd behavior ultimately leads to friends referring to the couple behind their backs as a "high pressure system."

You may be able to plan every other minute detail of the big day, but the clouds might choose to come whether they are on the guest list or not. They are just inconsiderate that way (kind of like that crazy uncle who always brings a sketchy friend to family gatherings). So over the next two weeks as I go to a number of weddings, I will cross my fingers, bring the sunscreen and the scarf, and hope my fan will function as a paddle... just in case.
posted by jw

Friday, April 23, 2010

Celebrate the Earth!

I Love Earth
Yesterday (April 22) was Earth Day! Earth Day started in 1970 when Gaylord Nelson "proposed the first nationwide environmental protest 'to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda.'" [source] Colleges and universities across the country organized protests to fight against the poor state of the environment.

Today, we still celebrate Earth Day each year by raising awareness of the environment to engage people in creating positive change.

This year, celebrate with the City of Santa Clara by attending the Arbor Day/Earch Day Celebration (description from the city's calendar):

April 23, 2010 (today!), 10:00 AM
Triton Museum grounds
1505 Warburton Ave
Santa Clara, California

The year 2010 will mark the 22nd year that the City of Santa Clara will be presented with a Tree City U.S.A. award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, recognizing Santa Clara for its effective tree care program, which includes an integrated pest management system, increased tree plantings, continuing education for City tree crews, and computerized irrigation for all landscaping throughout the City in public rights-of-way and medians. Arbor Day/Earth Day will include guest speakers, information on tree care, and ideas on things everyone can do to help preserve the earth’s natural resources. Members of the City Council, the Parks & Recreation Commission, and children from local schools will attend. For more information, call (408) 615-3080.

Learn more about what you can do for the Earth by checking out some library books:
As always, please visit the Youth Services Desk if you need help finding a resource about the Earth!

Posted by wk

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Central Park Library Closed Wednesday, April 21

Due to emergency water main repairs, the Central Park Library will be closed on Wednesday, April 21st.

Telephone reference service will be available 12 noon to 6:00 p.m. Just call (408) 615-2900.
Account information and telephone renewal will be available between 12 noon and 9 p.m. by calling 615-2970.

The Mission Branch Library will be open regular hours, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located at 1098 Lexington Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95050.

posted by mb

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Google Offers Search Classes in 3 Languages

Google Staff is offering 3 Internet Search classes in Chinese, Spanish and English during April and May. The classes will cover search and techniques to improve your search skills. The classes are being offered in the Technology Center, Santa Clara City Library.
The dates are:

Chinese Google Search Class - Tuesday, April 20, 6:30 pm to 8 pm

Spanish Google Search Class - Tuesday, May 4, 6:30 pm - 8 pm

English Google Search Class - Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 pm - 8 pm

You can call the Technology Center at (408) 615-2951 to sign in or stop by the desk. It will be a fun class!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Health Display: Stop Underage Drinking

No Drink Picture
April is Alcohol Awareness Month! Visit the display next to the Youth Services desk to take a look at books and learn the facts about alcohol and underage drinking:
  • Alcohol can harm your brain that is still growing and developing. Your brain keeps growing until your mid-20s!
  • Alcohol affects a teen’s or tween’s ability to make good decisions.
  • You have the right to say “no” if someone offers you an alcoholic drink.
  • Sometimes kids, teens, and tweens say that they’re drinking even when they’re not. Don’t believe everything you hear.
  • Alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, slowed reflexes, memory lapses, and even blackouts.
  • It is illegal to possess alcohol if you are under the age of 21.
  • A standard drink in the United States is equal to 13.7 grams or .6 ounces of pure alcohol or 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor like vodka, gin, or rum.
  • As a teen or tween, you are able to join a group such as Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD), a “a peer-to-peer education, prevention, and activism organization dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, teen violence, and teen suicide.” For more information, visit their website at
Check out a book or visit these websites to learn more about the effects of alcohol:

“On the Path to Good Health” is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

Posted by wk

Thursday, April 15, 2010

News for Job Seekers

This morning's Job Hunting Help computer class is over until next time (Thursday, May 27, 9:30-11:00) but there is important news to share.

Microsoft has a program called Microsoft Elevate America which offers vouchers for training for Microsoft Certification exams and free online training for basic computer skills. Read more on our local job help center's website, Don't miss visiting there if you need a job, a review of your resume, help with interviewing skills or networking opportunities.

Speaking of networking, go to the Sunnyvale Library on Monday, April 19, from 1-4 p.m. for a NOVA Volunteer Fair. Meet with community service providers from across the Bay Area, learn more about volunteer opportunities, expand your network and explore your talents an passions. Pre-register by sending an email with your name to

Remember we can help you with free computer time (90 minutes a day) for uploading resumes, filling out applications, researching companies and other job hunting work. Good luck. It only takes one job.

posted by mb

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I've Read (A Review About) That Book

This may come as a surprise to some (and if you happen to be one of those "some," I apologize for blowing your mind), but library employees have not read every book in this building. Shocking, I know. But when you break down the numbers (one reader vs. a trillion books... trust me, I've counted), there's just not enough time.

"But you work in a library. You must get to read all day, right?" Wrong again, Joan Q. Public. Like any other job, it is frowned upon to kick your feet up on the desk and lose yourself in a novel. Like any other job, that's a good way to not work somewhere anymore. We don't even get to do that on National Library Workers Day. (Which came and passed yesterday without anyone bringing me flowers or giving me a hug. I had to resort to giving myself a card. It was sad.) Here (i.e. the library) is where I read book reviews to stay knowledgeable about what's new and see which books I want to bring home with me.

And I do bring them home, but rarely do I get a chance to actually read them. Small things like feeding oneself and making sure the apartment doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders can put a damper on dedicated reading time. So the books stack up and test the structural integrity of the shelves. They stare accusingly at me when I pass.

So instead of a list of good books I have read, here are some books that I have checked out and am excited about reading but will most likely not get to. Which, confusingly, means I'm excited to not read them.

-The Poisoner's Handbook: Like CSI New York, but with bowler caps, no rubber gloves, and every mystery ends with "... and he was killed by... POISON! (dah dah dahhhhh)"

-Insectopedia: Often we forget about how much contact we have with insects. Then a book like this comes around and you won't be able to forget it no matter how much you want to. No matter if it gives you nightmares and keeps you awake scanning the walls for spiders. Nope, you'll be doomed to think about it.

-Still Life- Adventures in Taxidermy: We've already gone over this one.

-The Story of Stuff: In efforts to prepare for a move, I should read something that will make me feel guilty about all my worldly belongings resulting in the donation of everything I own. I will then have to repurchase "everything" when I realize I owned very little to begin with.

-Total Oblivion, More or Less: Because the premise sounds absolutely bonkers.

Should I actually crack the cover on any of these, I will let you know.
posted by jw

Monday, April 12, 2010

Celebrate National Library Week!

This year's theme is Communities Thrive @ Your Library.

For adults a NASA ambassador is presenting an update on the space program, Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook is entertaining and you can learn how to plan your estate this week. Job Hunting Help is Thursday's computer class. All of these programs are free. Special Youth Services programs can be found in a previous blog post.

Didn't know about these program early enough to sign up? Sign up for eNotify from the library's website and get messages ahead of time alerting you to programs and classes or just visit our website and follow the Calendar links.

Santa Clara City Library appreciates you and we hope you appreciate us. Recognize library workers on National Library Workers Day tomorrow.

posted by mb

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New at the Library: Public Scanner

The Santa Clara City Library has a dedicated public workstation for scanning purposes. Patrons are able to login to this station and scan documents or pictures for editing, printing or emailing.

If you have a document that you need to edit but do not want to retype it, you could scan it and use the software to convert it to Microsoft Word for editing purposes. Or, if you have a document that you need to fax, you can always scan it and send it via email using one of the public computers and your email account.

The scanner station is located across from the Technology Center.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Special Youth Services National Library Week Events

April 11-17, 2010 is National Library Week! We've scheduled some special events at the library for kids, families, and teens.

Mad Science LogoPreschool Science Workshop with Mad Science of the Bay Area "Animal Friends"
April 13, 2010, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Central Park Library - Cedar Room

Learn all about animals and animal families. Make different animal sounds and noises. Discover why animals have different types of coverings, and feel fur, feathers, and scales. Make your very own animal mask to take home. Visit their website to learn more about them. *Photo from their website.

Ages 3 to 5 only. Space is limited for this program. Sign up at the Youth Services Desk or call (408) 615-2916 beginning April 1st.

Randel McGee and Groark photoRandel McGee and Groark
April 15, 2010, 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Central Park Library - Redwood Room

People quickly relate to this loveable yet mischievous dragon as he stumbles through the mishaps of life. Randel McGee is always close by his side to point him in the right direction when he goes off course. Their hilarious antics and frolicking high energy leave audiences in stitches. For more information about Randel McGee and Groark, visit their website. *Photo from their website.

Ages 4 and older. Space is limited for this program. Please arrive early to find parking. Doors will close immediately after the program begins.

Book coverTeen Movie and Pizza
Wednesday, April 14, 4:00 PM
Central Park Library - Redwood Room

Come to the library and watch the movie based on the book New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. It stars Robert Pattinson as Edward, Kristen Stewart as Bella, and Taylor Lautner as Jacob.

Teens in grades 7-12 only. Sign up at the Youth Services Desk.

If you'd like to learn about National Library Week, visit the American Library Association's website.

In addition, April is National Poetry Month. Read about it on the Academy of American Poets official website. Check out our children's poetry section (numbers beginning with Juv 811), or ask a Youth Services Librarian for help finding a poetry book that you'll enjoy.

Posted by wk

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Santa Clara Children Living in Transitional Housing to Receive Book Collections

The Family Literacy program is thrilled that, through the support of the Library’s Friends and Foundation, we received a $1500 grant from the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation. We have used the money to buy more than two hundred books for children and families living in transitional housing in our community. Priya, our Family Literacy Coordinator, will package them in new “Read-to-Me” book bags. We will deposit them at two Santa Clara sites, Sobrato Family Living Center (serving families in transition) and HomeSafe (serving survivors of domestic violence.) Families will borrow the bookbags and exchange for new ones as they wish. On our next evening visit to the Sobrato Center, Priya and I will share the books with the families.

I had so much fun choosing a huge variety of books for all ages, from infants to young teenagers, including board and picture books, folktales, science topics, biographies, and mythology. We know that parents will enjoy reading them aloud to their children, and that older children will read them independently. These new wonderful books will help engage and entertain our families, especially during the long days of school breaks and vacations.

Lois Lenski won the 1946 Newbery medal for Strawberry Girl. The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the most distinguished American children's book published in the previous year. She was also the author of many classic books for children such as Cowboy Small and The Little Airplane, and illustrated the Betsy-Tacy series written by Maud Hart Lovelace (which I loved as a child). Ms. Lenski had a life-long concern that good books be available to all children. In pursuit of that goal, she established a foundation to provide grants to public libraries, school libraries, and non-profit agencies serving disadvantaged populations. The Santa Clara City Library was very fortunate to be one of nineteen recipients this year.

posted by EBK

Text Message Us a Question

You can now text message us questions via your cell phone.

Text message us at the phone number 66746. Start your question with the keyword “sccl” (e.g. sccl What time do you close tonight?).

We will text back an answer to your question. We respond to text messages Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. excluding holidays.

For convenience you might add the phone number, 66746, and our keyword "sccl" to your cell phone's contact list.

Please - note that your standard cell phone provider message rates apply.

Posted by MLG