Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let's Celebrate How We Blew Things Up By Blowing Things Up

Around 9 o'clock on Sunday people will gather together in grassy fields and rooftops across the country (and in Santa Clara) to watch the kinder, gentler side of the destructive fury found in cannon fire and gunpowder. Good times!

Don't get me wrong, I love fireworks. Who doesn't? That percussive thump that hits you in the chest a split second after the blinding dazzle of the rocket exploding... it's like monosyllabic poetry: "BOOM. Boom, boom BOOM." But it has always struck me odd that we would celebrate winning a war in which cannons and gunpowder did so much damage with cannons and gunpowder. It's like celebrating your recovery from hypothermia by taking an ice bath. Granted, the rockets are aimed up as opposed to at you, but still... it's a little weird, no?

We are certainly not the first or only group of people to celebrate important events by blowing things up. Long, long before the United States was even an twinkle in Great Britain's lustful eye, the ancient Chinese had mixed a few chemicals together and created the beginnings of modern fireworks. Originally they were just noise makers to scare away unwanted spirits. Over the years though, they became more sophisticated, more colorful, and, well, more noisy. I don't know whether or not spirits still find them frightening, but it is scientific fact that they terrify every dog within a ten mile radius.

So this Sunday, lock up the pets, grab a coat and join pretty much every Santa Claran as they descend upon Central Park to enjoy the boom. Maybe you'll even make some of your own monosyllabic poetry to accompany it (i.e. "ahhhhh").
posted by jw

Friday, June 25, 2010

Man's Best Friend

Dog with green toy bone
We hope you didn't think we forgot about you when we posted about cats the other week. It's your turn today.

Does it seem like there has been a lot of focus on dogs and dog training in the media? There are entire TV shows devoted to educating us on our furry friends. Don't know what kind of dog is right for you? Easy! Watch "Dogs 101," which talks about different dog breeds and their characteristics. Is your dog barking every time the doorbell rings? Well, Cesar Millan ("The Dog Whisperer") or Victoria Stilwell ("It's Me or the Dog") probably has some great advice to quiet your pup. Want to see a dog be transformed from a shelter dog to a wonderful family pet? Watch "Underdog to Wonder Dog."

Don't have cable? Don't worry! Find all of the dog resources you need at the library! Here are just a few examples. Titles marked with an * can be found in the adult section of the library:

Dog Breeds

Want to learn more about what type of dog might be best for you and your family? Take a look at these resources:
Dog by Juliet Clutton-BrockDog on pink Jeep

Dog by Matthew Van Fleet (Picture book story)

*Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile

*The Illustrated Guide to Dog Breeds by Mike Stockman

*The Uncommon Dog Breeds by Kathryn Braund

General Dog Facts

What do you need to know to care for your dog? What do they eat? How much exercise do they need? Learn more with these resources:
About Dogs by Bruce Johnson (NEW!)

Dog Days by Beth Gruber

Dogs and Puppies by Jinny Johnson

Everything Dog: What Kids Really Want to Know about Dogs by Marty Crisp

Jobs for Dogs

Dogs are not only just Man's Best Friend, but they can also help out in the community. Check out these resources to see what dogs can do!
Dog says readA Dog's Gotta Do What a Dog's Gotta Do: Dogs at Work by Marilyn Singer

*Dogs with Jobs: Working Dogs around the World by Merrily Weisbord

Hardworking Puppies by Lynn Reiser (Picture book story)

Morris and Buddy: The Story of the First Seeing Eye Dog by Becky Hall

Police Dogs by Frances Ruffin

Seizure-Alert Dogs by Margaret Fetty

Therapy Dogs by Linda Tagliaferro

Media - Facts (DVDs)

Learn facts about dogs.
*131st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

*Dog Whisperer: Stories from Cesar's Way

*Dogs: Choosing, Caring, and Training by Revodition

*Drool School: Family Dog Training by Amy Robinson

*The Loved Dog: The Loved Way of Dog Training by Tamar Geller

Media - Fun (DVDs)

Have fun watching these movies that feature man's best friend:
Bolt movie cover102 Dalmatians

All Dogs Go to Heaven

*Best in Show


Cats & Dogs

Clifford the Big Red Dog. Clifford Saves the Day

Hotel for Dogs

*Marley & Me

Training Your Dog

Be sure your dog is a good canine citizen!
*ASPCA Dog Training by Bruce Fogle

*Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog and Your Life by Cesar Millan

*Dog Training for Dummies by Joachim Volhard

*It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet by Victoria Stilwell

*The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do around Dogs by Patricia McConnell

Other Community and California Dog-Friendly Resources
Dog as lizardCarmel, CA - Did you know that Carmel, CA is extremely dog-friendly? Want to get away with your family and your dog? Try a mini-vacation to Carmel, where dogs are king. Think: pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, beaches, etc.

Ed Levin County Park - This Santa Clara County park in Milpitas has a "expansive off-leash dog park for large and small dogs."

Humane Society of Silicon Valley - Visit the Humane Society to find a new best friend (with your parents' permission, of course!). The organization also accepts food, time, and money donations to support their effort to adopt rescued animals. - Looking to adopt a pet? Ask your parents, and maybe you can find a new friend through Petfinder.

Reed Street Dog Park is the only Santa Clara City park that allows dogs to run off-leash. Visit this park with your furry friend and socialize with other dog owners!

San Jose Dog Parks - Give your dog some exercise, and look for dog parks in San Jose!

Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority - Their mission is to "ensure the well-being of both animals and residents in our communities by delivering high-quality, responsive and cost-effective animal control services."
Please visit the Youth Services desk and ask a librarian if you want help finding any resources about dogs!

Posted by ws (formerly wk). All photos, except for Bolt and Dog Whisperer DVD covers, are personal photos of ws's 4-year-old rescued Silky Terrier.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I've Got a Fever and the Only Thing That Will Cure it is More Vuvuzela

Just over half a year ago I wrote a blog post that went something like this: soccer fans... what a bunch of headcases. And to those headcases I would like to apologize. I get it now. Well, kind of.

The World Cup has begun, and with it are masses of people who have suddenly started caring about the sport (including me). Much like how everyone becomes a gymnastics expert every four years during the Olympics, the World Cup brings out a dormant spirit in people that impels them refer to "soccer" as "football," "games" as "matches," and a weak pass as a "pathetic display... an utter disgrace to his country." Statistics are discussed. Past glories are recounted. National pride is displayed. Sleep patterns are disturbed due to a 9 hour time difference.

Which is why I found myself at a pub this morning at 7AM to watch the U.S./Algeria game (don't worry boss, I was just drinking coffee). Unlike most of the people there, I have but a shaky understanding of the game's rules. I know that, without the aid of your hands, you are to move a ball about a field and kick it into a net. I also know that when this happens, the people watching the game must celebrate as if every loved one they ever lost has come back to life riding glowing white unicorns while it rains gold. Unless, of course, you are rooting for the opposing team. In that case you place both hands on the top of your head and make a noise like a dying whale. You then repeat this ritual for 90 minutes. It's fun when you are in a crowd, but a little awkward when you are in your apartment at 4AM.

In a couple of weeks though, once one nation comes out on top and the sound of vuvuzelas stop haunting our dreams (or in the case of my friend who went to South Africa to see the games, if the vuvuzelas haven't made it impossible for him to hear anything from here on out), we will go back to forgetting all about soccer until 2014.
posted by jw

Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2010

This year's Study, the fourth in a series, provides you with national and state-level data and benchmarks of technology resources. Authored by the America Library Association Office for Research and Statistics and the Center for Library & Information Innovation, the study draws on information provided by thousands of rural, suburban, and urban libraries in every state; by state library agencies and from interviews with library staff in select states.

The study is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Library Association. This digital edition is co-published by American Libraries magazine.

You can read "Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2010" in the easy-to-read Zmag web browser format, or download it as a PDF for offline reading. Just click here to get started.

posted by mb

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flower Arranging Demonstration

Join us Monday, July 26, 2010 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Cedar Room at Central Park Library for a demonstration by Christopher Citti of Citti's Florist. Discover how to decorate with flowers in your home and for special occasions. Centerpieces, bowl, and glass floral designs will be presented. Learn about color, shape, and flower compatibility. Participants will receive flowers for their homes.

To reserve a space at this free library program, stop by the Reference Desk, or call (408) 615-2900.

Try these books: Fast flower arranging by Jane Packer
Flower arranging in the French style by Pierre Brinon
Arranging flowers from your garden by Cynthia Brix

posted by mb

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's the Best Day Ever, Dad!*

Back in May, we took a look at some books in honor of Mom. It's Dad's turn! Here are some books with fathers or father figures for different Youth Services age groups:

Ages 0 to 3

Daddy All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas

Daddy, Papa, and Me by Lesléa Newman

My Dad and Me by Alyssa Capucilli

Spot Loves His Daddy by Eric Hill

Tell Me One Thing, Dad by Tom Pow

Ages 3 to 6+

The Daddy Mountain by Jules Feiffer

A Father's Day Thank You by Janet Nolan

Grizzly Dad by Joanna Harrison

It's the Best Day Ever, Dad! by Brook Shields

Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros

Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild

Beginning Reader

Dad Goes to School by Margaret McNamara

Father Bear Comes Home by Else Minarik

To the Rescue! by Mercer Mayer

Grades 2 through 4

Amber Brown is Green with Envy by Paula Danziger

The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean by Alexander McCall Smith

Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary

Grades 4 through 6+

All Shook Up by Shelley Pearsall

So Totally Emily Ebers by Lisa Yee

Tracking Daddy Down by Marybeth Kelsey


Borderline by Allan Stratton

The Last Exit to Normal by Michael B. Harmon

Suckerpunch by David Hernandez

If you'd like more suggestions, please visit the Youth Services desk and ask a librarian!

*Blog post title is from the book It's the Best Day Ever, Dad by Brooke Shields. Posted by ws (formerly wk)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Changes to Library Hours

To make the best use of City resources during the economic recovery, the Library's hours of service will be changing effective July 6, 2010. Library staff appreciate your patience, understanding, and cooperation.

Central Park Library

Mon. - Tues. 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wed. - Fri. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sun. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Periodicals Desk

Mon. - Tues. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wed. - Sat. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sun. 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Mission Library Family Reading Center

Mon. - Tues. 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wed. 12:00 noon - 8:00 p.m.
Thurs. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Fri.-Sun. CLOSED

posted by mb

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Parking Alert! Swim Center Event this weekend

The 43rd Santa Clara International Invitational Swim Event will begin this Thursday, June 17, 2010 and conclude Sunday, June 20. Because of the big demand on parking for the swim meet, parking in the library's underground parking garage will be limited to library card holders. Read more about the event here.

If you are coming to the library, feel free to park in the underground garage, just have your library card ready to show to the parking garage attendant before entering.

posted by mb

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shrink Your Lawn

Join Master Gardener Angie Chiappa, for a program on adding beautiful low-water native plants or Mediterranean plants to reduce your lawn and save you water expenses. Want to get year-round bloom or find plants that attract birds or butterflies? Angie can help.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 6:00 - 7:30 pm in the Redwood Room at Central Park Library

Sign up by calling (408) 615-2900

Tuesday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m., learn even more about California Native Gardening from Alrie Middlebrook of the California Native Gardening Foundation and Middlebrook Gardens. More details to come.

In the meantime, try these books:

Success with water-saving gardens by Graham Clarke 635.9525 C59
Gardening the Mediterranean way by Heidi Gildmeister 635.9525 W42
Designing California native gardens by Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook 635.951 K25
Butterfly gardening: creating summer magic in your garden created by the Xerces Society 635.967 B98

posted by mb

Friday, June 11, 2010

Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

Cat and DomoCalling all cat lovers: Did you know that June is "Adopt-A-Cat Month"? The American Humane Association wants to see as many cats as possible get a loving home. In addition to watching the TV show "Cats 101" on Animal Planet, use the library to learn the facts, read stories with cats in them, and borrow movies to watch on your DVD player. Titles marked with an * can be found in the adult section of the library:

Cat Breeds
Calico's Cousins: Cats from Around the World by Phyllis Tildes

The Ultimate Cat Book by David Taylor

We're Having a Kitten!: From the Big Decision through the Crucial First Year by Eric Swanson

General Cat Facts

Cat reading*The Cat Encyclopedia

*The Cat Fanciers' Association Complete Cat Book edited by Mordechai Siegal

*The Cat Owner's Problem Solver by John Bower

*Catalog by Bruce Fogle

Cats: How to Choose and Care for a Cat by Laura Jeffrey

Do Cats Hear with Their Feet?: Where Cats Come From, What We Know about Them, and What They Think about Us by Jake Page

Cat Fiction for Older Kids

Fashion Kitty and the Unlikely Hero by Charise Mericle Harper

Fat Cat of Underwhere by Bruce Hale

Polo's Mother by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Shadow World by Jane Johnson

Warriors series by Erin Hunter

Cat Picture and Easy Reader Books
Alex and LuluAlex and Lulu: Two of a Kind by Lorena Siminovich

Cat by Matthew Van Fleet

Cat the Cat, Who Is That? by Mo Willems

Chester's Masterpiece by Mélanie Watt

Chicken the Cat Clean Up by Sara Varon

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Frankie Works the Night Shift by Lisa Westberg Peters

Mr. Pusskins: A Love Story by Sam Lloyd

Posy by Linda Newbery

What's That, Mittens? by Lola M. Schaefer

Media - Facts (DVDs)
*Big Cats

*The Ideal Companion: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cat

*Understanding Cats with Roger Tabor

Media (Fun)

Have fun watching some of these cat-centric DVDs at home.
The Adventures of Milo and OtisThe Adventures of Milo and Otis [DVD]

The Aristocats [DVD]

Cats & Dogs [DVD]

Garfield [DVD]

Lolcats - If you haven't heard of this yet, it's a website where you'll find lots of cute pictures of cats. The best part? The captions. Try writing your own or amuse yourself by seeing what others thought up.

Iggy investigates an iPad - Technology is fun for cats, too.

Nora plays the piano! - Do a search on Youtube for "cat" and "piano," and you'll be surprised what's out there.

Other Community, California, and Worldwide Cat-Friendly Resources
Cat in WindowThe Cat Fanciers' Association - A non-profit organization that has the largest registry of pedigreed cats in the world.

Humane Society of Silicon Valley - Visit the Humane Society to find a new best friend (with your parents' permission, of course!). The organization also accepts food, time, and money donations to support their effort to adopt rescued animals. - Looking to adopt a pet? Ask your parents, and maybe you can find a new friend through Petfinder.

Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority - Their mission is to "ensure the well-being of both animals and residents in our communities by delivering high-quality, responsive and cost-effective animal control services."
Please visit the Youth Services desk and ask a librarian if you want help finding any resources about cats!

Posted by wk

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Sierra Nevada in the words of famous authors

Join us Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Redwood Room for a discussion with the editors of The Illuminated Landscape, a new collection of essays, poetry, and stories by well-known writers such as Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Mary Austin, Wallace Stegner, Gary Snyder, T. Coraghessan Boyle, and Ishmael Reed. Readers will also find original works from local authors which reveal how important the Sierra has become to our cultural psyche.

Called a "book that belongs on the best-of-the-best of Californiana," by W.R. Swagerty, Director of the John Muir Center at the University of the Pacific, The Illuminated Landscape will be available for purchase and signing.

Editors Gary Noy, history professor and Director of the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies and Rick Heide, a member of the San Francisco Bay area publishing community, will discuss how they selected authors and they will read favorite passages.
This program is co-sponsored by publisher Heyday Books, Santa Clara University's California Legacy Project, and the Foundation & Friends of Santa Clara City Library.

Sign up by calling (408) 615-2900 or stop by the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of Central Park Library.

posted by mb

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Patience of Patients

After spending a little time in the emergency room the other day, I've learned a few things:

1) The order in which one gets seen by a doctor seems to be decided by the same formula as what becomes a top story on cable news. The guy who has a superficial, yet dramatic looking cut on his forehead gets seen quickly. As for Mr. Three-Day-Long-Unexplainable-Chest-Pain, he's waited this long to see a doctor, a little bit more won't hurt (in the metaphorical sense of course).

2) Despite what TV shows like to portray, the only thing "exciting" about an emergency room is trying not to catch whatever the person sitting to the left or right of you has. (I generally try to sit next to the person with the most obvious and non-communicable aliment. Heavy bandaging is usually a good sign. Though considering point #1, the turnover at those seats is far higher than the ones by the guy sniffling in the corner.)

3) Would it kill someone to design a waiting room that isn't depressing to be in? Sorry... poor choice of terms. But really, if you are going to be there for ages (please see point #4 to prove that this is a literal statement), the room you sit in should not be oddly dark at all hours with a paint color best described as pea green gross. It's already bad enough your body hurts; your eyes shouldn't have to as well (unless, of course, it was your eyes that landed you there in the first place) .

4) Time becomes plastic in a waiting room. Quantum physicists should study the mutations of time while sitting in an uncomfortable, hard plastic chair. I'm pretty sure its "fabric" is getting stretched a bit.

5) Being slightly of the hypochondriac variety gives you many opportunities to relearn these lessons. Many, many opportunities.
posted by jw

Friday, June 4, 2010

Be SAFE this Summer!

Image: Don't put sparklers in your mouth.Did you know that June is National Safety Month? National Safety Month is the National Safety Council's effort to reach their goal of saving an "additional 10,000 lives and prevent 1 million injuries" by 2014. [source] Visit the display in the Youth Services section of the library for more information.

Some things to keep in mind so that you stay safe this summer:
  • When riding your bike, know and follow all trafic rules! Learn hand signals for turning left and right, ride with traffic, and wear reflective clothing and a helmet.
  • Always supervise children near water. In 2005, there were 3,582 fatal unintentional downings in the United States, averaging ten deaths per day. [source]
  • Limit time in the sun. Too much sun can mean sunstroke. If you need to be outside in the heat, wear a hat and sunscreen and reapply frequently. Drink lots of water!
  • Next month, July 4th brings fun things like fireworks and sparklers. Parents, please supervise all children!
Check out a book or visit these websites to learn more about summer and year-round safety:
“On the Path to Good Health” is supported by Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

Posted by wk

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Come to the party Saturday!

Water Your Mind Read is the theme of this year's Adult Summer Reading Program. Join us for the launch party this Saturday, June 5 from 1-4p.m.

How does it work?

Sign up (between June 5 and July 17), read 5 books, turn in your reading log (between August 2 and August 28) and get a prize! All finishers will be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate from Orchard Supply Hardware and Barnes and Noble bookstore.

Check the Summer Reading web page for up to date information on programs and speakers and prizes. June 29th from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Angie Chiappa, a Santa Clara County Master Gardener will present "Shrink Your Lawn."

posted by mb