Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gentle Yoga Seminar February 7 6:30 - 7:30

Julie Moore and Nancy Britton will be talking about the many benefits of yoga for body and mind, give a few examples and a short demonstration, as well as getting the audience involved in a few simple poses and breathing exercises.  The presentation will be in the Cedar Room on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, from 6:30 - 7:30.

Julie Moore has been practicing yoga for twenty years and teaches gentle yoga for seniors at the Saratoga Senior Center and Northwest YMCA. Nancy Britton is a yoga teacher and co-owner of Moon Shadow Yoga.

posted for pk by mb

Monday, January 30, 2012

Is Marriage for White People? Author Talk Feb. 6, 2012

In celebration of Black History Month, Adult Services has invited Ralph Richard Banks, the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, to discuss his new book, Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.  The book, described by the New York Times as “important,” by Publisher’s Weekly as “captivating,” and by Kirkus Review as “triumphant,” offers an informative yet engaging examination of the decline in marriage in American society, and especially among African Americans. Professor Banks will highlight the implication of the African American experience for people of all races, and also will talk about the extraordinary media attention the book has attracted. The presentation is on Monday, February 6, 2012, 7:00 p.m. in the Central Park Library Redwood Room.
To reserve a space at this free Black History Month book talk, stop by the Reference Desk or call 615-2900.

posted by mb for jb

Thursday, January 26, 2012

And The Winners Are...

Monday, January 23 was to youth services librarians what the Oscars are to the film industry. While we Californians were still sleeping, the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott winners were announced during the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Newbery recognizes the year's best in children's literature, while the Caldecott honors excellence in children's picture books.

Jack Gantos, author of the popular Joey Pigza series, won this year's Newbery for his novel Dead End in Norvelt. Drawing on his childhood experiences, Gantos writes about a 12-year-old boy (not coincidentally named Jack Gantos) who spends the summer of 1962 grounded until he is tasked with helping an elderly neighbor with an unusual chore.

Newbery Honor books (in other words - the runners up) were Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai and Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin.

The wordless picture book A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka took home the Caldecott Medal. This poignant tale features a spirited young dog who is heartbroken when a bigger dog destroys a favorite toy. This is Raschka's second Caldecott Medal; he previously won for The Hello, Goodbye Window.

Caldecott Honor books were Blackout by John Rocco, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, and Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell.

Many other American Library Association awards recognizing excellence in such categories as young adult literature, beginning readers, juvenile nonfiction, and audiobooks were also announced this week. A full list of winners can be found here.

As always, our librarians are available to help you find these award winning books. We're just a phone call away at 408-615-2916.
posted by SPB

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ESL Conversation Club

Do you want to improve your English conversation skills in a safe and welcome environment? Do you want to meet people from diverse backgrounds and learn about their cultures? Please join the Santa Clara City Library’s new ESL Conversation Club. We will meet weekly on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 AM to 12 PM in the Cedar Room starting on February 8th.
We are also looking for conversation partners to facilitate the club. If you have the passion to help English language learners improve their conversation skills and want to make a difference in someone’s life, please join us!

If you have questions, please call (408) 615-2900.

posted by mb for jh

Monday, January 23, 2012

1040 Central

Find the latest information on filing your federal taxes from the IRS.

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop - January 28 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Come join us for a free workshop to learn about pruning fruit trees, presented by Master Gardener Allen Buchinski.  The presentation will be Saturday, January 28, 2012, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Cedar Room.   Sign up when you are in the library or by calling (408) 615-2900. 

Learn about pruning different types of fruit trees, why, how, and when to prune for both structure, shape and fruit production.  Allen volunteers his skill at the Emma Prusch Park Farm's High Density Fruit Orchard where the trees are kept small and at a reduced height to make harvesting ladder-free!  You can learn more at the Master Gardeners website.

posted for pk by mb

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Healthy Eating Seminar - January 24 6:30- 7:30pm

Start 2012 off by treating your body well!  Join us for a talk from Alice Hancock, a food educator from Whole Foods Market, who will discuss healthy eating from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 24, 2012, in the Cedar Room at Central Park Library.

Sign up at the Reference Desk when you are in the library or call (408) 615-2900.  Walk-ins welcome.

posted for pk by mb

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and PIPA Protests

If the Internet is looking a little spotty today, that's the point. A number of websites (most notably Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing, and that one featuring cute cats with bad grammar) have gone dark today in order to protest the proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation. For the music and recording industry, both bills will serve as new method of fighting online piracy. But many in the technology world see it differently. As summed up by a techie, "It was nice while it lasted, but if this passes, the Internet is pretty well over."

Doom and gloom aside, here's what SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are trying to do. While the Internet is this glorious global utopia where we are all connected regardless of physical boundaries, it's also the darkest, sketchiest alley around. Lawless and anonymous, illegal trade flourishes on the Internet. Since day one, this has been a thorn in the side of people trying to protect copyrights and intellectual property.

Copyright laws only work when there is an ability to enforce them. Should someone be pirating material and distributing it online from inside the United States, there are laws that can hold that person or company accountable (think back to the Napster kerfuffle in 2000). But if the piracy is occurring outside the jurisdiction of the US, there's not much that can be done. Lawsuits and legal action fall apart if both sides aren't playing by the same rules. Should the offending party choose not to come down to your local courthouse to be punished, that's pretty much the end of it. The pirates thumb their noses and continue about their business.

SOPA and PIPA are trying to change that by going after the distribution system that allows piracy to happen. Or, as it's better known "pretty much the entire Internet." The logic is, if piracy outside the country can't be stopped, then choking the entry points will at least stop it from making profits in the United States. Those entry points are search engines (like Google), user content driven websites (like YouTube), pay sites (like PayPal), auction sites (like Ebay), web hosts and a myriad of others. These companies would be responsible for policing their sites (which may be impossible) and could be held accountable for any offending material that's found to be linked to through them.
posted by jw

The problem, as seen by those opposing the legislation, is that the law is not directed towards the producers or users of pirated material. It's aimed at the conduit which carries it from one to the other. It may not be a perfect analogy, but it's like stopping the drug trade by holding the highways personally accountable for everything that rolls across them.

The fear is that user generated content sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia, etc would not be able to meet the requirements of the bills and could shut down either from litigation costs or fear of it. There is also concern that the legislation could limit future Internet innovations. For example, had the bills been in place a decade earlier, a company like Google probably could not have come into existence. Add the specter of censorship and weakened internet security to the mix and you have a very volatile topic.

The entertainment industry and Chairman Lamar Smith of the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary are the main proponents going to bat for the legislation. The bills, according to their arguments, will not affect anyone doing legally allowed things. It will only target people or sites breaking the law. Moreover, it won't harm innovation, but protect it from being stolen and sold on the cheap. Despite that, in the face of pressure from constituents, a number of congressional backers have distanced themselves from the bills in the past few days.

The Internet protest ends at midnight tonight. Wikipedia and all the others will go back to business as usual. Or at least until January 24th when the PIPA bill is set to be voted upon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”  

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

Even though decades have passed since his death, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words and life continues to inspire and resonate with many of us today. His dream changed our nation and made it a place that embraces and celebrates diversity and equality more fully.

Learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s extraordinary life by checking out the library's collection of related books and media and articles.
posted by pn.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Teen Fantasy Picks of the Week

 Enjoy the following popular teen fantasy titles at your library today!
* indicates Series

Cover of The Alchemyst
Sophie and Josh are caught up in a deadly struggle between two rival alchemists over the possession of an ancient and powerful book containing the secret formulas for alchemy and everlasting life.

Cover of Graceling
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa, a young warrior lives in a world where some people are born with unique special skills called "Graces". Katsa however has a dreaded skill of killing and in this adventurous story, she goes on a journey of self-discovery and redemption by trying to save her land from a depraved king.

Cover of Maximum Ride: The Angel ExperimentMaximum Ride* by James Patterson
An exciting adventure and science fiction series about six genetically enhanced children being imprisoned in a laboratory. Eventually, a sympathetic scientist helps them escape and they use their special abilities to survive on their own.

Please see a librarian at your library for more teen fantasy suggestions.

posted by pn.