Monday, February 27, 2006

Cruisin' the Book Blogs

The Putnam editor who does BookAngst 101 says that the book he so much enjoyed editing last year, Dope by Sara Gran, has now appeared. It must be getting some buzz: there are already several library patrons waiting for it. He has an annotated blogroll of other book blogs, and Agent 007 on Publishing immediately caught our eye.

What else is going on? reviews a children's picture book, Memories of Survival. Yes, it's already on order. After a period of being stuck, having no idea at all for the next book, Sandra Scoppetone has kickstarted her writing process with nothing more to go on than the titles of 100 noir films for her chapter titles. The Waterboro Lib Blog has found us Locus Magazine's recommendations for the best fantasy & science fiction novels of 2005--(we don't have them all, but we do have a good many of them. Check the catalog for availability)-- and pointed us to an article in the Guardian that includes J. K. Rowling's list of 10 books every schoolchild should read (?should have read before finishing school??): Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl; Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe; David Copperfield, Charles Dickens; Hamlet, William Shakespeare; To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee; Animal Farm, George Orwell; The Tale of Two Bad Mice, Beatrix Potter; The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger; Catch-22, Joseph Heller. Hmmmm...

The What's New in Online Books page at U. Pennsylvania is mostly boring, boring, but tells us indirectly that Max Brand is now out of copyright: Project Gutenberg has posted several Brand titles this month. Read Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind if you're interested in crime fiction. Grumpy Old Bookman has a young-author story that he got in turn from GalleyCat. Beatrice has a seductive piece about a poet named Amy Gerstler and, yes, we have the book cited, Bitter Angel. Take any literary blog's list of other blogs--have we mentioned the Litblog Co-op lately?--and start wandering. Keep this in mind: we count on our library users to remind us to buy the books you learn about and want to read that aren't in the catalog yet.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Let The Good Times Roll

travel guides and Mardi Gras beadsGoing on six months ago, we were addicted to the New Orleans Times-Picayune online; to Gulf Coast web cams; to images of caravans of buses leaving their flooded city behind... Hard times; and hard times aren't over.

But for the moment, it's Mardi Gras. The parades have begun. (Parade schedule.) is offering a parade cam (and others).

Yes, it's true: all our guides for the whole Gulf Coast are out of date, for Louisiana and for the media-forgotten swathe of destruction all along the shore and deep into the forests of the South. Put on your Mardi Gras beads to keep in mind all those folks whose lives are going to need a lot more than six months to be put back together.

P.S. The 2006 Annual Conference for the American Library Association will take place in New Orleans as scheduled at the end of June. This is an enormous convention, as many as 20,000 attendees; only a handful of cities have facilites and hotel accomodations which can handle it, and the venues are booked years in advance. It would have been a considerable financial blow to the city if ALA had cancelled, or scaled it down; and the decision to proceed full tilt with planning was made very soon after Hurricane Katrina.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Steel on the Skyline

construction photo
Southside Library continues to grow. The architect's notes are just in, and include the following: "Steel studs are up along the north wall of the building. Structural steel is being erected throughout the building. The retaining wall along Country Club was poured. Two of the cistern pads have been poured. A meeting of the cistern suppliers, landscape architect, and architect will be convened at the project site in the near future to discuss the submittals. Details for the layout of the South Patio and Children’s Patio were reviewed. There were comments and these are being finalized."

The building is going to look pretty impressive from down on Jaguar Drive... Construction progress photos are always available on the progress page.

construction photo

Friday, February 24, 2006

Bye Bye Bye Sweeney Bye-Bye

Well, it's not going to be a spectacle like the implosion of Pruitt-Igoe, but the Sweeney Convention Center is coming down on Monday afternoon. We received the following message from City Hall: "After many, many years of discussing, planning, studying, shelving the studies, restudying, working the numbers, reworking the numbers, etc. the demolition of Sweeney Center will begin Monday February 27 at 2:00 p.m. with Mayor Delgado driving the bulldozer to make it Sweeney Center's 'last bash.' Please mark your calendars and watch a bit of history unfold. Members of the Sweeney family have been invited and many of you may have played basketball there when it was a gym, or can recall some fabulous city employee Christmas parties, Fiestecitas, and other events.

"Around the fall of 2007 there will be a beautiful, state-of-the-art 72,000 square feet civic center with an underground parking garage that will more than double the current parking capacity..."

"See you Monday at 2:00 p.m.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wow. Does It Again.

There's an amazing composite image of the International Space Station transiting in front of the moon at

Also, the Hubble Space telescope has confirmed the existence of two additional moons of Pluto. The news is published in the February 22 issue of Nature. Only the summaries of the formal papers (1) (2), and a commentary, are available free online. Press release summarizing the discovery.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Los Cinco Pintores

This is one of those perennial reference questions. What are the names of Los Cinco Pintores? The short answer:
Josef Bakos,
Fremont Ellis,
Walter Mruk,
Willard Nash,
Will Shuster.

Los Cinco Pintores ("the five painters") were among the earliest artist groups in New Mexico. On December 21, 1921, the group held their first exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. They lived in a compound of buildings up on Camino del Monte Sol, and were sometimes spoken of as "the five nuts in the adobe mud huts." It seems silly to post about them without showing you images of their work, but there are copyright constraints. One image you are already very familiar with: in 1924, Will Shuster designed the original Zozobra figure, which is recreated and burned every year as part of Santa Fe's Fiesta.

Los Cinco Pintores are discussed in many books about Santa Fe's art history. We have a little pamphlet put out by the Museum of New Mexico, Los Cinco Pintores, by Edna Robertson (but the reproductions are black and white.) Two of Sharyn Rohlfsen Udall's titles have material about the painters and color reproductions, Santa Fe art colony, 1900-1942 and Modernist painting in New Mexico, 1913-1935. (There's a Fremont Ellis painting on page 47 of the former that I'd happily give house room to, any time.) We have a biography, Will Shuster : a Santa Fe legend, by Joseph Dispenza and Louise Turner. Bakos appears in the exhibition catalog Modernist themes in New Mexico : works by early Modernist painters.

On the web you can read a little about them at Collector's Guide and in the New Mexican. Images and biographical information online at at Owings-Dewey Gallery for Bakos ; Ellis; and Will Shuster. For other glimpses of some of their work try at for: Ellis; Nash; Shuster; and Bakos. Also, Bakos is at Walter Mruk is harder to find. If there's an image out there on the web, we couldn't find it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

StoryTime on Tuesday

The Pre-School StoryTime groups at the La Farge Library are having a wonderful time every Tuesday morning. They will continue through April 25th and you can register any time. Last week the 4-5-6-year-olds read The boy who loved bananas, by George Elliott; He came with the couch, by David Slonim ; I ain't gonna paint no more! by David Catrow; and Picasso and Minou, by P. I. Maltbie. For a craft activity they made a Minou painting with a fancy cat collar. The librarian particularly recommends Picasso and Minou, "even for adults who want to read a lovely little story."

To register or for more information, call the La Farge Children's Room at 955-4863.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Message from the Urban/Wildland Interface

The City of Santa Fe Fire Department Wildland/Urban Interface Specialist sent us the following message:

"Our current wildland fire danger is very high, and with the winds howling outside, we all need to be extra vigilant! We had great moisture last year, which means we grew more grass, which is unusual for this area. Grass and chamisa are VERY easy to ignite, and the winds can “push” the fire across the landscape with incredible speed. Preventing wildfires is a job for ALL citizens.

"Here are a few tips:

  • Please encourage everyone you know who burns wood in their fireplaces to check to see if they have a spark arrester (screen) on the roof vent to prevent embers from flying around and landing on the grass. If not, talk to a professional fireplace person to ensure they install the correct screening.
  • Get out your weed whacker and cut any grass near your home.
  • Move firewood (and anything else flammable, including outdoor furniture cushions, wood furniture, etc.) away from your house. Put the firewood on the uphill side of your house (or inside the garage), away from the prevailing winds.
  • Don’t park your car in tall grass (the catalytic converter can get hot enough to start grass on fire)
  • If you smoke, please stay in a building or inside a car in wild, brushy or grassy areas. If you go camping, be extremely cautious with fire and stoves.
  • Be very careful with anything that creates sparks, including welding equipment, chainsaws, dirt bikes, barbecue grills, etc.

"Smokey Bear and I thank you for your extra care and vigilance. It will be a dangerous spring until we get more rain or snow."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Library Open on Presidents' Day

City and State offices are open on Monday, February 20. (We'll get the holiday back on the day after Thanksgiving.)

It's usually a very quiet day because people assume we are closed. So y'all be sure to drop by.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Mystery Readers' 'Best' List

At the end of every year, the participants in DorothyL, email list for mystery readers and writers, post their top ten 'best' reads for the year. There are a lot of people with serious reading habits in this community, and it's always interesting to see what they decide were the best they read. Someone assembled it all in an Excel file, and these were the books are mentioned most often in people's 'best' lists for 2005:
Bloodlines by Jan Burke
To The Power of Three by Laura Lippman
Dead Run by P.J. Tracy
The Closers by Michael Connelly
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King
Fleshmarket Alley by Ian Rankin
Strange Affair by Robinson, Peter
Pardonable Lies by Winspear, Jacqueline
Eight of Swords by Skibbins, David
Hard Truth by Barr, Nevada
Entombed by Fairstein, Linda
To Darkness And To Death by Spencer-Fleming, Julia
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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Swimming Against the Tide

Tax time. We are hearing about more and more libraries who are no longer being sent paper forms to distribute, or couldn't get as many as they got in the past; the Post Office at this moment does (or does not) have the commonest forms (it keeps changing). The IRS office, where you can in fact get paper forms, has moved twice and is now as far south as it can be and still be in Santa Fe. (Here's a map link for locating the IRS office, or see Where to Find Federal and State Tax Forms).

What's going on? They're apparently making the paper forms harder to find on purpose. In 1998, in the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act, Congress called for 80 percent of all tax and information returns to be filed electronically by 2007. "TITLE II--ELECTRONIC FILING SEC. 2001. ELECTRONIC FILING OF TAX AND INFORMATION RETURNS. (a) IN GENERAL- It is the policy of Congress that-- (1) paperless filing should be the preferred and most convenient means of filing Federal tax and information returns; (2) it should be the goal of the Internal Revenue Service to have at least 80 percent of all such returns filed electronically by the year 2007."

By October 2003 about 40% of 1040-filing taxpayers were filing electronically from their home computers or through tax preparers. According to an article in Government Computer News, by April 2005, for tax year 2004, the proportion was up to 60%. To get this article from the Gale database, call the library for the password. Those of us who want to continue to file on paper, or are a-technological, are swimming against the tide.

Last year e-filing was free for anyone going through the IRS' online free filing page, even though the page leads you to commercial services. This year it remains free for anyone with less than $50,000 adjusted gross income; above that level, one will have to pay the fee of whichever service they use (or buy a suitable program for their home PC.)

We have a lot of tax links on our Government Information page. We have State forms, and the Federal reproducibles (xerox master copies). You can print them off the web (see the tax links). If you are a senior, or are an individual or family with income under $37,000, Tax Help New Mexico can help you file.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Look! A Wall!!!

photo: first wallSouthside Library progress. This wall is the front face of the building. If you know the site, you can spot where the front doors will be.

The architects' notes include: "The steel studs up and going on the north wall of the Café. Structural steel should start getting erected on Tuesday with the arrival of the crane. Forming has begun on the retaining wall on Country Club. The backflow preventer has been installed at the water service. Cistern C and D pads have been poured... The Architect will provide grading drawing for the Children’s Patio so that work may continue."

Other construction photographs are always available on the progress page; and we have pictures from a walkabout on day #160, February 7.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Minds Stuck All Over With Mental Notes

In case you made a mental note during the now-departed football season to find out how they do that 1st and 10 yellow line...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Drought Numbers

Santa Fe's reservoir system is at 58%. Ordinarily we might think, 'It will fill up when the snow melts,' but there's no snow.

Some of the discouraging places to look at the situation are :

  • What we really need to know is what the SNOTEL machines know. Here's a graphic for the Quemazon snotel in the Jemez, and for the Santa Fe snotel (up by the radio towers on Tesuque Peak, elevation 11,445').
  • A summary Snow-Precipitation Update, current as of February 11, has the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range basins collectively at 21% of average, but the Santa Fe basin at 5% of average. Five percent.
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor graphic shows our region moving back up to level D2 (Severe) since last week.
  • The Seasonal Drought Outlook shows drought expected to intensify through April.
  • New Mexico Reservoir Storage is confusing. They've been refilling El Vado Reservoir...
  • There's a six-page PDF file from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, Drought Status for January 2006 which says that in early January the snow pack in the Sangre de Cristos was 23% of normal.water supply outlook
  • A Water Supply Outlook map from National Resources Conservation Service for February 1 shows our area at under 50% of normal (that's the red region on the image at right.)
  • The quick glance forecast for Rio Grande flow at Otowi Bridge for the period March-July is forecast to be 40% of average.

We found an interesting website, North American Drought: A PaleoPerspective, that includes a 2000-year rainfall reconstruction for New Mexico.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

First Amendment Rights and Intellectual Freedom

On Thursday, February 23rd, Valerie Nye, who is Serials Librarian at College of Santa Fe's Fogelson Library, will speak on the topic "Outposts of Intellectual Freedom: Libraries Protecting Our First Amendment Rights." This is the third lecture in College of Santa Fe's Spring 2006 Faculty Lecture Series, and will take place in the CSF Forum, at 4:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Nearly half of all high school students surveyed in 2004 believe that newspapers should not be able to publish stories without government approval, and 75 percent of these students believe, falsely, that flag-burning is illegal. In this decade, rights to privacy and intellectual freedom are eroding, and librarians are on the frontline in the battle to retain Americans' rights to read, learn and have access to government information. Nye will discuss some of the campaigns waged on behalf of intellectual freedom and the important role that New Mexico libraries serve in the protection of our First Amendment rights.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

StoryTime Is Back In Session!!

cover of bookThe winter cycle of Pre-School Story Time began again at the La Farge Library on February 7th, and will run through April 25th. Registration is open. StoryTime meets on Tuesdays. There will be two parallel sessions: Storytime for 2 & 3-year olds from 10:30 to 11 AM; Storytime for 4-5-6-year-olds from 10:30 to 11:15 AM. To register or for more information, call the La Farge Children's Room at 955-4863.

This week started StoryTime out with a big penguin splash. They read Helen Lester's Tacky the penguin; The little penguin, by A. J. Wood; Penguin Post, by Debi Gliori; and The Emperor penguin lays an egg, by Brenda Z. Guiberson. La Farge reports, "We assembled an arts & crafts penguin project, and decorated it with snow. It was a lot of fun!"

The younger group read Who Took The Cookies From the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass, and No More Cookies by Paeony Lewis.

photo: three critters on a PC
Some friends nestle together in front of the puppet theater

Friday, February 10, 2006

Lists and Lists and Lists

The lists of media materials--DVDs, videos, books on CD, books on tape, music on CD-- and the What's New lists have all been updated. These lists are all refreshed about once a month, and can always be found on the entry page of the library's catalog.
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Likewise, the Books You're Willing to Wait in Line For-- at the moment the books the most people are lined up for are

--and also the Large Print lists are freshly updated.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Black History Links

We have updated the list of recent Black History titles in our collection; it now covers books and media materials published in roughly the last four years. This list is always available in the "Of Local Interest" section of our About Books and Literature page.

This being Black History Month, there are as many resources out there in as many different places as you might like to look. Thomson-Gale, the reference people, have some brief biographies; or you could look at Infoplease's very nice array of links; or visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Archive.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Once They Start Putting Up the Steel

Structural steel is being delivered this week at the Southside Library site. We won't get to see it whole in the same way ever again...
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Monday, February 06, 2006

LitBlog Co-op Says: "Read This"

GarnerThis season, the LitBlog Co-op's "Read This" pick is Garner by Kirstin Allio. The other nominated titles were Other Electricites by Ander Monson, All This Heavenly Glory by Elizabeth Crane, Sabbath Night in the Church of the Piranha by Edward Falco, and Divided Kingdom by Rupert Thomson.

The participating weblogs who are part of the LitBlog Co-op are listed a bit down their page in the lefthand column. They are planning to have online discussions, interviews etc for one week on each of the five

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Shape Shifter

Yes!! A new Tony Hillerman novel, The Shape Shifter, is scheduled for publication on June 1st. It is still too far away for us to have it in the catalog yet. We'll let you know when you can start lining up for it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tenth Planet

discovery image of 10th planetThe tenth planet, if that's how it ends up being classed, is in the news again this week. A team of researchers has published a letter in Nature, reporting that its diameter is about half again as large as Pluto. Still more clearly a planet, even though so far away and with such an inclined orbit? Or will it inspire the demotion of Pluto and we'll end up with only 8 official planets?

2003 UB313 does not have a name yet. Its principal discoverer, Michael Brown of CalTech, calls it Lila; news stories call it Xenia or Santa. First its status (planet or no?) must be resolved, then it gets a real name. Which won't be any of the nicknames it has had so far.

Research on the far regions of the solar system beyond Neptune is one of the hot areas of astronomy right now. We have a quite informative book, Beyond Pluto : exploring the outer limits of the solar system by John Davies. Though it was published in 2001 and events have proceeded rapidly since then, it clearly describes research into the Kuiper Belt, the objects called Centaurs, the scattered disk objects, other sorts of far dim bodies. The original paper published by Brown, Trujillo and Rabinowitz in Astrophysical Journal formally announcing the discovery of 2003 UB313 is available online; and Brown has a very informative and more conversational webpage, The discovery of 2003 UB313, the 10th planet. There's a nice graphic of its orbit at Wikipedia.

At the moment, Xenia 2003UB313 is about 97 Astronomical Units from the Sun, that is, 97 times as far from the sun as earth is.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Mid-Winter Book Sale

photo: books stacked on a tableDon't forget to check out the Friends of the Library's book sale this weekend at the La Farge Library.

This is the bargain sale. Sale hours are Saturday, February 4th, 10 AM to 4 PM -- (Hardcover $1.00; Movie Videos $1.00; other cassettes, videos and CDs, $.50; Paperbacks $.50 or 3/$1.00; Records & Childrens's Books, $.25) --
and Sunday, February 5th, 1 PM to 4 PM. Sunday is Bag Day, all items are $2.50 per bag.

All proceeds from this Book Sale go to support the Southside Library Campaign.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Meeting Wednesday on Ideas... Encourage Walking. The Santa Fe Walks Task Force has asked us to help get the word out:

"The Santa Fe Walks Task Force, a committee made up of city, state, educators and healthcare professionals, is hosting its first public meeting Wednesday February 1 from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. in the community room at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3321 Rodeo Road. Refreshments will be served.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the health benefits of walking for persons of all ages, the benefits of walking to reduce pollution from vehicles, and to gather ideas to encourage more people to walk.

The task force was created last year as a result of the adoption of a resolution from the City Council. For more information on the meeting or how to get involved call Anne McLaughlin, Planning and Land Use Department Director, 955-6617.

The Friends of the Library are providing a complimentary pedometer to all who attend.