Saturday, April 30, 2005

Summer's Here?

We had an email request for information about bringing a hiking group into the Pecos Wilderness. They want to go to Pecos Falls. It's a little early to be thinking about it, or maybe not. Along about the middle of June it will be the most beautiful place in the world up there on Hamilton Mesa. Meanwhile we've referred them to the Public Lands Information Center. If you're here in Santa Fe, they are worth a visit for maps, books, and good advice. They're at 1474 Rodeo Rd.
fragment of topo map
       It was sleeting when we started this message, though the sun is out now. But it's not too soon to start reading up in the hiking books. The map is from Topozone. To see what it was like up there one recent June 20th: a photo from Hamilton Mesa, looking towards the Truchas Peaks.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Ivory-Bill (and the Climate)

Two science stories were on top of the news this morning. Ornithologists are now ready to confirm a sighting of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas. It was thought to be extinct. The news came out earlier this week. Today the searchers have published a paper in Science Magazine Online, which makes it official: Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) Persists in Continental North America. Science is making the whole article available. There's a detailed description (and J. J.'s painting) on the Audubon site. (In fact, the whole of Audubon's Birds of America is there. Wow.) Three Rivers Birding Club also has a nice page with a picture, description, and link to the only recording of the ivory-billed's call.
       The other story was one from NASA scientists about ocean temperatures and the implications for world climate. Summary of the story is available as a news release, Earth's Energy Out of Balance. Full text of the formal paper, Earth's energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications is available as a PDF. Excuse us if we don't expand this paragraph with lots of links to scientific news about climate change and global warming. It's too depressing.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Pleasures of the Web

We ran across a lovely site about pop-up and moveable books the other day. Someone at University of North Texas's libraries had a brilliant idea--not just to show the collection but to make the moveable books move--, did a whole lot of work, and gave it away to the world.
       Then there are all those nice firm nuggets of information, from people whose job it is to get information out, but now they can deliver it to your desktop with no sweat; examples: the new food pyramid, some demographic info from the UN about large cities around the world, a guide from New York University to U. S. Federal Legal System Web-based Public Accessible Sources, newly released country profiles for Syria and Ethiopia at the Federal Research Division/Library of Congress Country Study site.
       Then there's "4", a thoughtful essay from the blog of Thom Hickey, of OCLC Research, about deliveries to our doorstep (as opposed to our desktop). I read this a couple of months ago and am still thinking about it; and also thinking about the casual web-based miracle that I can find out what the net gods are thinking about...
       The link for the popups came originally from Resource Shelf, and for the UN population site and Federal legal docs from LIS News. These two resources are, like the moveable books site, both professional efforts and also labors of love, from Gary Price and Blake Carver respectively. Other reliable sources for oh-look-what-nifty-tools-are-out-there are Tara Calishain's ResearchBuzz, and LII's New This Week.
       Things are nearly as fizzy out there as they were in the early days of the Web (and before; remember gopher?). A lot of people are giving away what they love as fast as they can assemble the information about it, and we are the lucky beneficiaries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

FirstSearch At Your Fingertips

OCLC FirstSearchThe Santa Fe Public Library used part of the State General Obligation Bond money which New Mexico residents overwhelmingly voted for--(your library thanks you and your fellow citizens thank you)--to buy a large block of searches in OCLC FirstSearch.
       This is a terrific resource, access to 35-or-so different databases with (variously): detailed citations, business directory listings, some (not much) access to full text articles, and--we librarians use this the most--WorldCat, the database of holdings of nearly 40,000 libraries from which we borrow books and articles by interlibrary loan. WorldCat is where you find out what books are out there, anywhere. Then you ask us to borrow them for you by InterLibrary Loan.
       Some of the databases available include Agricola (Materials relating to all aspects of agriculture, forestry, and animal science), Dissertation Abstracts (Dissertations and theses from institutions in North America and Europe), GEOBASE (Worldwide literature on geography, geology, and ecology), PAIS (Database chronicling global public policy and social issues) and WilsonSelectPlus (Full text articles in science, humanities, education and business).
       FirstSearch is only available from inside the library, but it is definitely worth booking some Internet time on one of our machines when you need to do some research. You'll find links to FirstSearch on the magazine database page, and at the bottom right of the table on the Internet Starting Points.

El Dia de los Niños / El Dia de los Libros

On Saturday, April 30th, Mary Ellen Gonzales will be telling bi-lingual stories for school-aged children. She will give the program twice, Mary ELlen Gonzales at 10:30 AM at La Farge Library, and again at 2:00 PM at the Main Library.
       Mary Ellen Gonzales is half Hispanic and half Anglo, making her a "culture bridger." She tells Hispanic stories and puts them into cultural and historical context. Mary Ellen challenges audiences of all ages to think about why things happen the way they do and how they feel about them.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Antsy About Privacy

Recent news stories of personal data theft--about Lexis/Nexis and Choicepoint, personal information at University of Northern Colorado, this week's news about theft of shoe store customers' information from transactions at stores (not even from online purchases)--are spooky enough. But there's lots more to worry about. Consider the article from Wired, "What Search Sites Know About You". Or the pair of articles from virtualchase about "How to Conduct a Background Check" with its built-in implications if you are the object of the check... Genealogists are discussing the problem with mother's maiden name as a security question on accounts as so much family genealogy info is available on line.
       There are websites where you can read about privacy issues, like Electronic Privacy Information Center (they have links to some online privacy tools), (check out the new news about google's "My Seach History" feature), and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, which has a Chronology of Data Breaches Reported Since the Choicepoint Incident that is downright scary.
       Short of unplugging entirely (what? no bank account, no credit card?), what can we do? Center for Democracy and Technology has a Guide to Online Privacy that includes a Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Privacy. Looks like barely a start to me.
       We learned about the Wired article from LIS News, and the virtualchase articles from Resource Shelf.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Magic Show and Pajama Story Time

La Farge Library has two evening programs for very young children next week.
       Monday, April 25th, 7:00 PM, Paul Glickman will offer a magic show at La Farge. It's for very young and elementary school children, and of course it's free.Paul Glickman's 'Bookworm' puppet
       Then on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00 PM, Mr. Glickman will do a Pajama StoryTime. Again, it's for very young and elementary school children. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their favorite picture books to this event. Bunny slippers, too.
       The picture? Mr. Glickman's friend Bookworm. He has lots more friends...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid and All

Our language has incorporated so much of the lore and images created by Hans Christian Andersen, born on April 2, 1805. This year celebrates the 200th year of his birth. His fairy tales brought us The Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. Altogether the library has more than a hundred Hans Christian Andersen titles.
       I believe Andersen would be astounded to find his writings in DVD and cassette form and dozens of illustrated picture books and fairy tale collections. The 1989 Disney film of The Little Mermaid with its wonderful songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken was part of a long tradition of building on Andersen's work. But to really appreciate his language and detail, read any of his stories out loud. Celebrate by reading one his stories—you don’t need a child to read to. Just treat yourself.
       For more information about Andersen, visit the website of the Hans Christian Andersen Center, or read the wikipedia article. The last five decades have not been kind to the 1952 Danny Kaye movie, but some of the Frank Loesser songs weathered very well. I bet many of you grownups remember "Inchworm". No, alas, the library doesn't have the film, or a recording of the music.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Oprah's Book Club & Modern Authors

Oooh, this is so interesting. About 150 authors have written an open letter to Oprah Winfrey, asking her to return the focus of her book club to contemporary authors.
       "Readers have trouble finding contemporary books they'll like. They, the readers, need you. And we, the writers, need you," the letter says. "America needs a strong voice that addresses everyone who can read, a voice that will say, 'Let's explore the books that are coming out today. Let's see what moves us, what delights us, what speaks to us in a way that only fiction does.'
       "Oprah Winfrey, we wish you'd come back."

The letter was delivered to Oprah on April 20th. Links from the letter page will lead you to the list of authors who signed it, and information about Opraah's book club.
       We learned about the letter from M. J. Rose's blog about publishing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Question of the Day

Question: What needs 600 hands, 600 legs, 300 hearts and a love of libraries?
Answer: The new Southside Library! (in the form of 300 volunteers)

Three hundred volunteers are needed to help with planning and street sign
staffing events, special projects, and providing community awareness for the new Southside Library.        Although the Southside Library will not be open until late summer 2006, the Volunteer Committee for the Southside Library has created plans to bring awareness and raise funds for the new branch of the Santa Fe Public Library STARTING NOW!
       What would you like to do to help make this Library a reality? What talents of yours can we tap? Come and share with us at the volunteer recruitment meeting. Volunteers are already staffing information tables at City events, delivering flyers to schools and churches, serving as models for photography sessions featuring library users, raising money and talking to community service organizations.
       Join with family and friends at a Volunteer Recruitment meeting on Tuesday, April 26 at La Farge Branch, 1730 Llano Street at 6:30 p.m. to sign up and hear about the exciting plans and how you can be involved. Age is no limit—we have volunteers age 10 through 80!
       Refreshments will be served. Not sure you can attend until the last minute? That’s okay, just show up. We’ll save a cookie for you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Friend or Frog : Pre-School Story Time

In this morning's Story Time the 2- and 3-year-olds heard Marjorie Priceman's Friend or Frog, and then they did a craft project and made frog puppets. The 4--5-and-6-year-olds heard Big Red Tub by Julia Harman, One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler, Bedtime in the Southwest by Mona Hodgson, Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass, and The animal fair : animal verses, compiled by Jill Bennett. Fun for both the kids and the librarians!
cover of bookcover of bookcover of book

       Pre-School Story Time at La Farge happens on Tuesday mornings, and runs two groups simultaneously: 2- and 3-year olds meet from 10:30 to 11:00 AM; and 4-5-and-6-year-olds from 10:30 to 11:15 AM. It runs in six week cycles. The current cycle began on April 12 and runs through May 17. It is still possible to register. Call the children's department at La Farge, at 955-4863.

Letter to Poets

We received this note from a publisher looking to hear from New Mexico poets:       'Hello to the Blog. I am a Canadian poetry chapbook publisher spending some months in Santa Fe to go to school. I'd like to invite New Mexico poets to send poems to my site, where I publish a feature called "Monday's Poem." It's always wonderful to have new voices there.' Ursula Vaira, Publisher, Leaf Press
Monday's Poem guidelines

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Putting the Newest On Top

How do you do that trick of sorting your catalog results by date?
       Search for an author (or title or subject). Now, notice the search-and-sort bar above the results.
screen capture of sort buttons
Pull down the menu and choose "Newest First".
screen capture of sort buttons
Click on "Sort". Voila!
       If you continue entering your searches into this bar instead of going back to one of the search pages, it will retain your "Newest First" request.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Newest New Orders

Some of what we have lately ordered (the links below get you all of a given author's works in our catalog, sorted by date with the most recent on top; to place a hold, first click on the title you are interested in):
       new mysteries by Philip Craig, Andrew Vachss, Jeffery Deaver (yes, a Lincoln Rhyme novel), Edna Buchanan, Lee Child, Kathy Reichs, Stuart Kaminsky, Sara Paretsky, Olen Steinhauer...
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book
       new novels by Umberto Eco, Michael Cunningham, Melissa Bank, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Adriana Trigiani, Linda Howard, Reynolds Price...
       new non-fiction from the Dalai Lama, Christopher Hitchens, Gerry Spence, and Kinky Friedman; and about Christopher Columbus, about wine, about the Beatles, about Atlantis, about Guantanamo...
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Hidden Away : Business Information

cover of bookHidden away in the Thomson-Gale magazine databases which we (and all libraries in the state) get through the State Library is the Business and Company Resource Center. (Wait! before you click, call the library for the password to use to get into the Gale databases from home). It's much more than a magazine resource. Yes, there are full-text articles in there, from 2000 or more general and specialist periodical titles. But that's only the beginning. There are 500,000 company profiles, with investment reports, rankings, financials, industry overview, company history, etc. as available. This is professional-level business information, coming to us because financial-information giant Thomson bought Gale, the database company which serves the library market.
       It makes interesting browsing. If you choose Advanced Search, then Company Profiles, and ask it for New Mexico as the state/country, it comes up with 1321 profiles. I wish we had known about the Industry Overview feature when we had the library user who wanted some information about the history of tobacco.
       Call the library for the password. Then, starting from the magazine database page, choose "Gale Group", put in the password, and choose Business and Company Resource Center. Other databases can be reached from the same starting point: newspapers, health information, and several other Gale databases as well. And all available from anywhere, once you call us for the password.
       Don't forget that from inside the library you also have access to FirstSearch.

News from the Literary Community

Wahoo! A new lit magazine in town! They sent us the following invitation: "THE SANTA FE LITERARY REVIEW, the new magazine at Santa Fe Community College, will celebrate its first issue on Thursday, May 5, 5-7 pm on campus. Reading by contributors at 5:30, with dessert and coffee. Poetry and short fiction by credit students, non-traditional students, staff, faculty, and the extended community. Join us in the atrium, downstairs in the west wing."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Digital Books Redux

A while ago we posted about Project Gutenberg, the eldest of the electronic text projects on the internet. But there are certainly lots of others. We have links to electronic text sites on our Books & Literature Page, focussing on free texts. SearchEngineWatch had an article last fall which pointed to resources covering both free and fee texts. One of them counts 100,000 digitized texts out there--and the Million Book Project and Google have barely started their digitization projects so far...
       Some of the activity is coming from commercial publishing. A fascinating article turned up about a traditional publisher's venture into electronic books. Baen, a science fiction publisher, has been giving away some texts and making previews of other titles available very inexpensively via the Web, and has found that this practice increases their sale of printed books.
       Eee, this is all so complicated and so important for us as readers and the servants of readers; it's hard to even get near it in a short blog posting. News about yet another aspect, the intersection of ebooks and digital publishing and the print-on-demand market, can be found at It's-All-Good.
       PS. For an inside-academia look at the Google project, try Confessions of a Mad Librarian. For more about the Internet Archive and its Million Book Project, try this Slate article, and a detailed explanation from Carnegie-Mellon University, respectively.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Scribble was the first word I looked up in Webster's Online Dictionary: The Rosetta Edition. Then I tried sanderling. The results knocked my socks off. Definitions, images, rhymes, quotes. The 'sanderling' information includes a migration map, photos, how to spell it in braille, morse code, semaphore, sign language, etc. Rosetta's not finicky about proper names, either. Extensive results for 'Sophocles', and it did a fine job on 'New Mexico'.
       We were led to this astonishing resource from Peter's Digital Reference Shelf for April.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

More about Maps

A while ago we posted about Yahoo Maps having traffic reports. Now Librarian in Black points out that Google Maps has satellite photos.
       Hard to keep up, isn't it? It's almost a relief to know the service isn't perfect. If you look up the library, it points instead to the bank across the street.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Which Web Pages?

The web pages on our site which people most frequently use:
the Home Page (used three times more often than any other page)
New Mexico & Southwest Links
About Books & Literature
Southwest Reference Collection
Internet Starting Points
About the Library
New Mexico & Southwest Links (2nd half)
Library News
Gateway to Magazine Databases
Poetry and Poets of New Mexico
DVDs in the Library
Statistics and Demographic Information
Doing Local History in Santa Fe
       The big mystery is: how are users finding the Southwest Reference Collection page? The link is about three clicks down from anywhere you start, but people are finding it. From where?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Another Country Twice

In England they have something called Public Lending Right, which funnels a publicly funded royalty payment to authors, based on their library circulation. (What a cool idea.) A press release from PLR includes links to lists of their 'top lending authors'. Children's author Jacqueline Wilson is at the top of the list. Who? We do have Jacqueline Wilson in our catalog , but she sure isn't among our first couple hundred most popular authors. Thanks to Gary Price's Resource Shelf for pointing to this item.
       Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, CBC's Canada Reads event this spring gives us another 'Who?' moment. They highlighted five titles, only one of which, Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, our own library already owns. We have of course heard of Leonard Cohen, but don't have his 1966 experimental novel, Beautiful Losers (yikes, what a Cohen-esque title!). The other three authors and works are unfamiliar: Rockbound, by Frank Parker Day (published in 1928); Volkswagen Blues, by Jacques Poulin (1984); No Crystal Stair, by Mairuth Sarsfield (1997).
       It makes you wonder what people are reading in Australia...

Rain Forest Program

Tuesday afternoon there will be a program for school-age children. Carolyn Newell will be presenting "Exotics of the Rain Forest". She'll bring exotic parrots, reptiles and insects that inhabit the rain forest--critters for children to see and touch. Tbe program will be at the Main Library at 1PM, and again at La Farge at 3:30 PM.
       That's Tuesday, April 12th. See you there.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Blogging Books

A lot of the library's readers are into mysteries and crime fiction. One of the most interesting crime fiction blogs is Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind. Interesting publishing gossip, great links to pertinent websites and blogs...
       For general literary gossip, The Grumpy Old Bookman is an entertaining place to go, likewise has a great set of links to take you further into the parallel reality of blogging about print. (He told us a couple of days ago that the Pulitzer prizes had been announced, complained about the lack of vigor in modern Pulitzer choices, and put down one of the titles without having read it, based solely on Amazon reviews. Huh? One of his readers promptly called him to task for that one.) (I'm happy to report that the library already has all the Pulitzer book titles except the drama choice, John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, a Parable. The winning novel, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, has been leading a lively life among the library's readers for some time.)
       Another reliable place to go for literary news is the Waterboro Public Library's ...H2Oboro lib blog, stylishly maintained by Molly Williams and full of a wide range of bookish topics.
       Let us know at if you have some favorite literary blogs and websites.

Book Sale Reminder

Don't forget about the Friends of the Library's Spring Book Sale this weekend. Saturday and Sunday, April 9 & 10, at the Main Library.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Someone asked the other day for a website which shows bestsellers year by year. Cader Books has such a list, covering 1900-1998.
       We found this link on the Minneapolis Public Libray's Bestsellers page. In pointing to several different 'bestseller lists' they are also pointing out that there is nothing canonical about the New York Times' list. Our own "Many Holds" list, or Library Journal's weekly Books Most Borrowed in US Libraries are still other ways of approaching the topic at the core of public library service: trying to understand what people want. (And trying to give it to them.)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Harry, Too

It's not due out until July, cover of bookbut Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is in the library's catalog, and you can put a hold on it. Just keep in mind that you are still going to have a lo-o-o-ong wait before it arrives.

Searching TV

We found this at Redwood City Public Library's Liblog a while ago, and forgot to tell you about it. They quote a New York Times article, "Google and Yahoo Are Extending Search Ability to TV Programs" and explain, "The searching is done on text captured from the closed-captions used on many programs. Google's search will return transcripts from the show (with a still picture); Yahoo's will return 60-second clips."
       Google's (still beta version) Video search is at Yahoo's is already a tab on their main page. I tried some of my standard searches on both services, didn't find anything to speak of; they are still both building their databases. When asked, Yahoo cheerfully provided lots of sites for the video clip of the 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse. But we already knew that one was out there....

Saturday, April 02, 2005

It's In There

cover of book Yes, we now have copies of Rudolfo Anaya's Jemez Spring and of Ian McEwan's Saturday.
       As usual, a quick look through the most recently ordered titles yields some entertaining prospects:        Zorro?

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Browsers Hitting Our Web Pages

The browsers hitting our web pages in March were of course mostly always Internet Explorer, but the growth of Firefox (and Safari) usage can be seen:
Internet Explorer

For purposes of comparison, the same numbers for March, 2004:
Internet Explorer
      Konqueror? iCab?