Monday, April 30, 2007

What the SNOTEL Knows

The SNOTEL on top of the mountain shows that late snow brought us a good snowpack to start the summer with.

(the graphic at uwyo shows last year's data as well, but is not from a Federal site so you'll have to click on the link to see it)

Other places to look: New Mexico reservoir storage ; the Seasonal Drought Outlook from NOAA (looks good around here!); the USA Drought Monitor ; Southwest snowpack (wow, look at how anomalous our good fortune is); another view of the same reality ; a lot of other possible ways of looking at it, from USDA NRCS.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


The list of the titles with the most holds has shifted a great deal again. Jonathan Kellerman, Maeve Binchy and Tami Hoag are the authors in highest demand. All three are always popular--but not usually at the top of the list.

Of course, another way of looking at it is that we already have enough copies of a lot of the most popular authors' new books, so long waiting lists don't develop. Certainly compared to library systems in larger places we do very well. We try to keep it at five holds per copy, and buy more when we need to. (And are helped out by donated copies as people who absolutely can't wait buy the books, read them, and pass them on for the library's eager readers to enjoy.) In some places, libraries keep the ratio at 10 to 1 or even higher; and in very large systems people are always finding themselves #65 or #82 for the latest book by their favorite author. That only happened to us once--for The Da Vinci Code. This week, the top of the list is:

The full list is always on the web page as Books You're Willing to Wait in Line For, and on the front page of the catalog as Current Popular Titles. At the moment it hasn't been updated--this is a good chance to see how the present list compares to the top of the one run at the beginning of the month.
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Friday, April 27, 2007

Arbor Day is Today!

It's time to plant a tree or go to to find major events for this day.
If you can't plant a tree, come to the Main Library at 2pm and check out Snake Conservation and Awareness with Jan Macek.

The Edgars

Earlier this week the Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2007 Edgar awards. They have a dozen or so categories, but the essential news is that the winner for Best Novel is The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin ; Best First Novel by an American Author is The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson ; Best Paperback Original is Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara.

It is often the case with awards that the short list of nominees is a more useful guide to finding a good book to read than the particular title singled out to win. Only time will sort out the judges' choices. Meanwhile, explore the Edgar nominee lists on the MWA site, and use your own judgment. We already own most of the titles.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just Added To The Database

We've updated the Just Added to the Database list. As usual it is full of interesting and seductive-looking titles. Southern Arizona mystery author Betsy Thornton has a new title, A Whole New Life. 1001 gardens you must see before you die has a cover so lucious we'll give you a separate pop-up link. A lot of interesting or odd-duck nonfiction titles (e.g., World party : the Rough Guide to the world's best festivals). Several dozen techie titles, more than usual. Less general fiction than usual.

We sorted the list by format. Look at the end for the newest Large Print titles, audio, and video.

The other What's New lists have also been updated.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pat Mora and El Dia de Los Niños

You may have noticed that Pat Mora is reading at Southside Library on Saturday at 11:15 AM, as part of the El Dia de Los Niños events this weekend. Ms. Mora is known nationwide as a leader in establishing "El Dia" as a celebration in this country, and she presents workshops supporting bilingual education throughout the country. Pat Mora was the recipient of the 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award.

A Santa Fe resident, Ms. Mora is also a good friend of the Santa Fe Public Library. She recently donated a complete set of her books to the Southside Library. Her books encompass picture books for children, poetry for children and adults, non-fiction books, and teacher resource books. Many of her books are published in Spanish and bilingual editions. Her titles include the greatly loved picture book Tomás and the Library Lady, winner of the 1995 Tomas Rivera Award, and Doña Flor : a tall tale about a giant woman with a great big heart. Her most recent publication is Marimba!: Animales from A to Z.

Some of the other titles she donated include:
The Bakery Lady/La Senora de la Panaderia
A Birthday Basket for Tia
This Big Sky
Confetti: Poems for Children
The Desert is My Mother: El Desierto es mi Madre
A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Inez
Love to Mama
Maria Paints the Hills
Pablo's Tree
The Song of Francis and the Animals

Pat Mora has provided a wealth of good reading for Santa Fe. It is through the generosity of many of our authors that the Library can provide the materials so requested by the public.

To learn more about these and other books by Pat Mora see her website.

The Scroll

bumper stickerOne of my colleagues thinks that interest in the Kerouac scroll must be a generational thing, since he doesn't care at all. Me, I have history of a sort with manuscripts typed on rolls of teletype paper, and the museum is open on Friday evenings, so I hurried over after work.

The whole west wing of the museum echoes with the clatter of typing. I thought at first it was a recording, but it was way better than that: at the entry to the exhibit there is a room with old Underwood typewriters, and visitors are encouraged to compose either haiku (a bunch of Kerouac haiku are hung on display) or road narratives, and pin them to the wall. Type type type. Type type type. There is a film on continuous loop, apparently a shortened version of "What Happened to Kerouac". There are enormous blowups of the pictures from Life Magazine of an impossibly handsome Kerouac sitting by his typewriter, holding up the scroll as if reading. There are display units with photos and books of other Beats, and a display panel about Kerouac's associates' New Mexico connections. The sound of typing from the anteroom stops, begins again. Type type type. Type type type.

There is a long long case diagonally down the middle of the room, with the first thirty-six feet of the manuscript unfurled. I don't know if it has been opened to different parts of the story in different cities, but we get the beginning. He composed it with the real names. Neal is Neal. The paper is almost transparent, and the grain of the cloth on the floor of the case shows through behind the typing. Even if one weren't bending over sideways trying to read across the lines at an angle without leaning on the case (which might set off an alarm), it would be hard to read. With or without bifocals. As presented, impossible. I went to the foot of the case where I could at least read straight on instead of sideways. The thirty-sixth foot is the part where Kerouac is picking cotton for two dollars per hundred pounds. I read until I was practically standing on my head trying to puzzle out the last visible letters as the paper wrapped around the glass dumbbell holding the rest of the novel. Type type type type type.

The museum has a billboard, along I-25 northbound from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. The same text as the bumper sticker above. Be sure to tell your friends about the exhibit. The Palace of the Governors is free to NM seniors with ID on Wednesdays, to all NM residents on Sundays, and to everyone on Friday evenings. Good pix in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Really Unsafe Day for World-Class Authors

Today is Shakespeare's birthday (1564).

It is also Shakespeare's death anniversary (1616), Cervantes' death anniversary (1616), and Wordsworth's (1850) death anniversary. Perhaps if you are any sort of author you want to be careful today.

Another Busy Week

Books and Babies registration begins today. See previous post for details.

Wednesday, April 25th.. Main Library Story Time. Join Janice Nelson, Storyteller, Wednesday, April 25th at 10:30 for our snake in handfinal session of Story Time. All ages and their adults are welcome. (Story Time will start up again on June 15.)

Celebration for National TV Turn-off Week

Monday, April 23rd Paul Glickman – The Great Paulissimo – 7:00 pm La Farge – magic show
Wednesday, April 25th Paul Glickman – The Great Paulissimo 7:00 pm La Farge – pajama story time (Children are invited to attend this special story time in their pajamas and bring their favorite picture books. Mr. Glickman will read a selection. Refreshments will be served.)
Friday, April 27th Jan MacEk 2:00 pm Main Library "Snake Conservation and Awareness". This wildly successful program is coming back!

El Dia de Los Niños, El Dia de los Libros
(The day of the Children, The Day of the Books)

Saturday, April 28th at Southside
Sunday, April 29th at La Farge
Monday, April 30th at La Farge
details in last Thursday's post

Books and Babies Registration Opens

Registration begins today for the next cycle of the Book and Babies program. It will be running on Wednesdays at La Farge Branch Library, 10:30-11AM, and on Thursdays at Southside Branch Library, 1:00 - 1:30PM. Call La Farge at 955-4863 or Southside at 955-2828 to register or for more information.
Books and Babies flyerBooks and Babies flyer en Espanol

Friday, April 20, 2007

Saving Keystrokes, Saving a Click

If you place a lot of holds, you probably have already discovered that it's much more efficient to log into your record before you begin to search. Then you don't need to keep re-entering your information each time you want to place a hold, or for that matter go into a database or make changes in your record.

If you have gotten your card fairly recently, it already is set to deliver your holds either to the branch you have expressed a preference for, or the branch where you got your card; and you don't have to keep telling the system where you want the books. For older cards you can set this yourself and then from now on that will be one less click every time you place a hold. Log into your record. Click on 'Modify Your Personal Info'. Choose your preferred pickup location from the pulldown menu. (Don't worry, you can always choose to change it). Enter. Yaay, one less mouse click in your life.

Poetic Image (Program Reminder)

Poetic Image Poetry Workshop

Space is still available to participate in "The Poetic Image Poetry Workshop" with Santa Fe Poet Laureate, Arthur Sze, on Saturday, April 21, 2007. The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Southside Library Branch, 6599 Jaguar Drive. Call 955-2820 for registration.

This FREE two-hour poetry writing workshop is for participants ages 13 to adult. The workshop will include a discussion of Chinese poetry – the structure of Chinese characters, along with a focus on how visual images often carry emotional weight. There will also be an in-depth look at a poem by the great early poet T’ao Ch’ien. Participants will have time for group discussion and will generate poems of their own during the workshop.
The workshop is offered as part of the Poet Laureate program, a project of the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission. Funding is provided by First National Bank of Santa Fe, the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and generous donors. The Poet Laureate program is designed to enhance the presence of the literary arts in Santa Fe and create a focal point for the expression of Santa Fe’s culture through the literary arts.

A Perfect Occasion To Use Advanced Search

Q: Yesterday someone asked, "What Star Trek books are in right now???"

A: Go to Advanced Search in the catalog. Tell it you want "star trek" in Any Field. Click on the checkbox 'limit search to available items'. Choose which location. Choose format Books. Hit the Search button. Voila!
There's heaps of them in at the moment. Maybe not so popular anymore. :-)

This search strategy can be adapted to all kinds of specific desires. Try using advanced search to ask for what you want.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Night Program Reminder

On Thursday, April 17th. 7-8 p.m. On Harper Lee. Professor Alice Lee Petry will discuss Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird within the context of "one novel" authors. Main Library, 145 Washington Ave.

El Dia de los Niños/Libros

Dia de los Niños/Libros (Day of the Child/Book) Festival and Celebration
This year is the tenth anniversary of El dia de los niños/El dia de los libros, Children's Day/ Book Day. "This is a day to celebrate our children, the importance of books in their lives, and our diversities of cultures," said Gail Schuler Santa Fe Public Library Youth Services Manager. Three days of events are planned. (Pardon the small print, there's a lot to squeeze in.)

Saturday, April 28th

   The Santa Fe Public Library will be holding a celebration at the new Southside Library, 5699 Jaguar Drive, for families on Saturday, April 28th,
the Fangura Kids Marimba Band will be performing from 10:15 to 11:15 am. They will assist Pat Mora in the reading of her new book Marimba!: Animals A to Z. Ms Mora will present her works from 11:15 to 12 noon.
   Pat Mora is a well known children’s author who specializes in bilingual English and Spanish Books. Her engaging book, Thomas and the Library Lady, won the Tomas Rivera Award in 1995. Ms. Mora is known nationwide as a leader in establishing “El Dia” as a celebration in this country. She presents workshops supporting bilingual education throughout the country.
   Mary Ellen Gonzales is a native New Mexican who is dedicated to bridging the Anglo and Hispanic cultures through storytelling. Her stories of Northern New Mexico give the gift of a broader understanding our state’s unique history and culture. Ms Gonzales will be telling her stories from 2:30 to 3:00 pm.
    Youth who have participated in this year’s ArtWorks poetry project will be reading their work at 1:30 to 2:30 pm. This year, ArtWork’s teaching artists collaborated with SFPS classroom teachers to provide students with poetry writing workshops given in conjunction with Santa Fe Poet Pat Mora. ArtWorks is a program developed by the city of Santa Fe Arts Commision in response to the community’s call for arts programming in the elementary schools.
   For more information about these programs call the Southside Library at 955-2828 or check or check our webpage at

Sunday, April 29th

At the La Farge Branch:
   Join the opening of the Reading/Literacy Space at La Farge Branch. The Grand Opening will be held 1:00-4:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. the ceremony will begin with a blessing of the site by a Native American Shaman. Speakers will include Dr. Sandara Rodriguez, College of Santa Fe; Adam Chavarria, White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans; and Norma Garza, U.S. Department of Education.
   From 2:00-4:00 p.m., three reading circles featuring Native American, Hispanic, and Western storytellers for children and adults. Storytellers will include Councilor Karen Heldmeyer, Tessie Naranjo, Juan Blea, Valerie Espinoza and Patricia Hodapp. During this time booths will be set up to distribute information, free books, provide face painting, and refreshments.

Monday, April 30th

At the La Farge Branch:
   3 to 5:30 p.m: Lots of activities for children, adults and families celebrating books and reading. Come play and read in the new fairytale reading playground. Participate in workshops for all ages. Listen to original stories and poems by DeVargas Middle School students. Join a reading circle. More!
   5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Listen to prominent New Mexicans read with students from Salazar Elementary School in a round-robin read-a-thon of a children’s book (bilingual). Readers include Mayor Coss, Representative Tom Udall and others. Join in!
   7 to 8: pm: Storytelling by Joe Hayes, one of America’s premier storytellers--a nationally recognized teller of tales from Hispanic, Native American and Anglo cultures. His bilingual Spanish-English tellings have a distinctive place among America’s storytellers, and his books and tapes are popular nationwide.
These Dia de los Niños events and programs are co-sponsored by Santa Fe Public Library, Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Public Schools, and New Mexico CultureNet.

Telephone Renewal Machine is Fixed

Once again you can renew your items by calling 955-6987. The telephone renewal system, which had gone off to the computer hospital, is back on the job. If there is nobody waiting and it's not overdue, you can renew an item two times.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Circulation and Search Numbers

In the first half of April, 60% of all renewals and 60% of all holds were placed from outside the library, by library users logged into their records.

About 40% of all catalog searches were done from outside the library. If you judge by the number of searches which yield no hits (what the statistics program calls 'search with no direct retrievals'), remote users have slightly better luck at constructing searches that find them Something. We try not to look very closely very often at the lists of 'no direct retrievals' searches; it's too late, the people are gone, we can't help them find what it looks like they wanted... Still, there are always interesting things to be learned about what people want. By far the most frequent title searches in the past 40 days were series of kids books: American Girl, The Zack Files, Wishbone, Scary Stories... For stand-alone titles, the most frequent searches were Hoot, Mindfulness in Plain English, Infidel, and Blood and Thunder. And the most frequent subject search in the same period was quilts.

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First Class Visit at Southside

Here is a picture of Mr. Rueda's 5th grade class, visiting the Southside Library. Lydia Wren, children's librarian at Southside, says, "Mr. Rueda’s class was our first group of students on a field trip. They had a tour, played a biography challenge game, and checked out books. They were very excited to learn about all that the library has to offer and we enjoyed meeting them and look forward to seeing them again. They brought money to make a donation for the new library and get their class recognized with their name on a brick. Last year Mr. Rueda’s class did this as well.

"All the days we have available for school groups to visit have already been booked through the end of school, which is May 30. We are thrilled to have such an enthusiastic response from the teachers."

first class visit

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pulitzer - It's The Road Again

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced this week. The Letters & Drama prizes are as follows:
  The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
  The Race Beat : the press, the civil rights struggle, and the awakening of a nation by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff
  The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher by Debby Applegate
  Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey
  The Looming Tower : Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Busy Week

The Friends of the Library Spring Booksale is happening right now, Saturday and Sunday, April 14th and 15th.

On Tuesday, April 17th, there are two programs. At the Main Library Stephen Allten Brown, author of Shadows of Chaco Canyon, will be giving a talk at the Main Library. His novel is set in Chaco Canyon in the year 1130 A.D., and Mr. Brown will show images and discuss the canyon and its people. 145 Washington Avenue, 7PM. At the Southside Library, also at 7PM, storyteller Mike McCartney will be presenting his "Indiana Bones" program, as part of the National Library Week celebrations. 5699 Jaguar Drive, 955-2828.

Thursday, April 19, 7-8 p.m. On Harper Lee. Professor Alice Lee Petry will discuss Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird within the context of "one novel" authors. Main Library, 145 Washington Ave.

Friday, April 20th, 2 p.m., storyteller Mike McCartney will again present "Indiana Bones", at Main Library, 145 Washington Ave., 955-6783; and Saturday, April 21st at 1:00 p.m., at La Farge Library, 955-4863.

Also Saturday, April 21st, Santa Fe Poet Laureate Arthur Sze will conduct a free two-hour poetry writing workshop, Poetic Image. This is sponsored by the Santa Fe Arts Commission and the Santa Fe Public Library. Space is limited. Please call 955-2820 for registration. Southside Branch, 6599 Jaguar Drive. 1-3 PM

Friday, April 13, 2007

National Happenings in Children's

NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK is April 15th -21st. Join Mike McCartney "Indiana Bones" presenting stories about unfortunate events, a la Lemony Snicket. Tuesday, April 17th, 7 pm at Southside, Friday, April 20th, 2 pm at Main and Saturday, April 21st, 1 pm at La Farge.

NATIONAL TV TURN-OFF WEEK is April 23rd - 29th. Join Paul Glickman, "The Great Paulissimo" for a magic show at La Farge Library on Monday, April 23rd.

Come to La Farge Library at 7 pm on Wednesday April 25th in your pajamas and bring your favorite picture book to hear Mr. Glickman read a selection of these books. Refreshments will be served.

The Main Library welcomes back Jan MacEk and her snakes on Friday, April 27th at 2 pm. If you missed them last time come for some "Snake Conservation and Awareness".

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Freezing Holds (...say what?)

This is hard to explain, easy to do, and—if you place a lot of holds—an extremely handy catalog function.
Suppose you have a lot of holds placed and you are about to go away for a couple of weeks. Or suppose you have a lot of books already checked out and you are secretly hoping that    none of your lots of holds are going to come in soon. You can actually control the flow, similar to how you can manipulate your Netflix flow.

Log into your record, display your holds. Notice the row of checkboxes along the right side of the list. Check the ones you want to freeze, and then click on "Update list". What will happen is that the system will skip over you when your turn comes up, but later when you unfreeze them, you will return to your place in the queue.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Book Sale This Weekend

photo of sale preparationsFriends of the Library Book Sale : The Spring Booksale will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15, Main Library, 145 Washington Ave. All books and materials were donated to the Library.

Friends members have the opportunity to have first selection from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Memberships start at $10.00 and are available at the door. The sale opens to the general public at 1:00 p.m. both days.

The Southwest Room has individually priced better books and selected materials. The Community Room book prices are a bargain!
   Hardcovers $1.00
   Paperbacks $.50 Cassettes, Videos and CDs $.50
   Sunday is bag day—we provide the bag-- $2.50 per bag

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Donald Hamilton, 1916-2006

News is being passed around the mystery world that Donald Hamilton died last fall at age 90. A long-time Santa Fean, Mr. Hamilton had spent the last 10 years of his life in Sweden, where he was born. As Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime wrote, "We've lost a number of giants of the mystery field over the past few years -- Mickey Spillane, Ed McBain, and Richard S. Prather, among others -- and Donald Hamilton is very much of that caliber. He sold more than 20 million books during his lifetime. But unlike Spillane, McBain and Prather, all of whom were widely remembered at the time of their death, Don's passing has sadly gone unremarked."

We have but a few of Donald Hamilton's westerns and mystery/thrillers left in the collection. As paperback originals, they do not have much chance of surviving decade after decade on the shelves. But we try to add them back in as they appear in the donated books; Hamilton was one of our authors.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Kerouac Kerouac (II)

A press release and some programming information have come in:

"On the Road : Jack Kerouac and the Writer’s Life

"The manuscript of On the Road, Jack Kerouac’s defining novel of the Beat generation, is coming to Santa Fe. This is no ordinary document—it is a 120-foot scroll that travels with a bodyguard. The scroll's nation-wide tour will make a stop at the Palace of the Governors on Friday, April 13, 2007, and will engage audiences for six weeks, to continue on its way after Monday, May 28.

"On the Road is Kerouac’s attempt to create a stream-of-consciousness novel. In the spring of 1951, he sat down at his typewriter and wrote nonstop for three weeks. The product was a 120-foot, single-spaced document with no paragraph delineations or page breaks. "It may come as a surprise to learn that Kerouac had a deep appreciation for such great authors as Thoreau, Whitman, and Hemingway, and that he saw himself as part of an American literary tradition," said Tom Leech, curator of the exhibit and director of the Palace Press.

"Kerouac sent the scroll out for six years attempting to find a publisher. Then, in 1957, Viking agreed to publish On the Road—but only after much squawking about the scroll's editorially-challenging format. After publication, the manuscript was tucked away for over forty years. It came to light in 1999 and went to Christie’s auction house. There it was put on the auction block in 2001 and it was sold to Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts.

"The story of the scroll might have ended there. Irsay, a collector of Pop memorabilia could have put it on a shelf for another forty years. Instead, he decided to share it with the world. In 2004 it began touring the United States and has been exhibited from coast to coast. When the scroll travels, it is accompanied by Jim Canary, the head of Special Collections Conservation for the Lilly Library at Indiana University. Canary is responsible for the care of the scroll along with the installation of the custom case that houses the scroll while it is on view. Thirty-six feet of the scroll will be displayed during the exhibition at the Palace of the Governors.

"2007 is the fiftieth anniversary of the book's release, so it’s fitting that the original manuscript will be criss-crossing the country, influencing an entirely new generation. “Personal history always intersects with public history. This exhibit invites people to examine history in a personal way, to take what they know from their own experiences and see how it fits into an historical context,” said Leech.

“The public response to the scroll has been tremendous,” said Jim Canary, the scroll’s caretaker. “Each venue has done a great job of presenting evocative exhibits and events that feature the Kerouac story in a different light. There really seems to be a sense of gratitude that the scroll has been made available for people to see. Most surprising to me is the interest children have taken in the scroll. They may not know anything about Kerouac but they are very impressed by the work itself.”

"Leech believes that On the Road’s impact can still be felt in New Mexico. 'The Palace of the Governors continues its theme of looking at books and literacy as an influence on culture. Our two previous exhibits, Making History and Lasting Impressions, featured books about, or created in, New Mexico,' Leech said. 'On the Road is a book that, while it only mentions New Mexico in passing, nevertheless had real impact on the state's cultural landscape. Much of what we think of as counterculture, what many people associate with New Mexico, came in on the same bus as On the Road.'

"This manuscript is on loan from the collection of James S. Irsay. © Estate of Anthony G. Sampatacacus and the Estate of Jan Kerouac."

Stay tuned, more events are being planned. So far there will be:

Friday, April 13, 5:30 PM
Exhibition Opening
Jack Kerouac and the Writer’s Life
The manuscript of On the Road, Jack Kerouac’s defining novel of the Beat generation, is coming to Santa Fe. This is no ordinary document—it is a 120-foot scroll that’s traveling the country on its 50th anniversary. The scroll’s nation-wide tour will make a stop at the Palace of the Governors and will engage audiences for six weeks.

Saturday, April 28, 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Dia de Los Ninos/Dia de Los Libros
Held in the Palace of the Governors Courtyard; free.
10:30–11:30 am – “Poetry Shenanigans” by Danny Solis
11:30 am–12:15 pm – Velvet Rope Readings
12:15–2:45 pm – Poetry Slam
2:45–4:00 pm – Velvet Rope Readings

Thursday, May 10, 7:00 PM
"Kerouac is Back, Jack" writer’s series
Featuring renowned beat poets and writers Joanne Kyger and Michael McClure; with introductions by John Brandi, a New Mexican poet. Kyger and McClure will give informal talks and poetry readings. At the Saint Francis Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, 107 W. Palace Avenue, Santa Fe. $6 per person; tickets at the door.

Wednesday, May 23, 7:00 PM
“Kerouac is Back, Jack” writer’s series
Featuring renowned beat poet and writer Gary Snyder; with introduction by Jack Loeffler. Snyder will give an informal talk and poetry reading. At the Lensic Theater, 225 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe. $10 per person; Lensic box office.

Kerouac Kerouac

It's almost here but there's still very little information. The Palace of the Governors web site says, "Jack Kerouac and the Writer's Life. View the original On the Road manuscript and experience Jack Kerouac’s defining novel of the Beat generation. The 120-foot scroll celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year, criss-crossing the country and re-igniting the spirit of those who know it and inspiring future generations. The scroll will be on display Friday, April 13, through Monday, May 28, 2007. For more information, contact Tom Leech at "

There's a somewhat out-of-date website about the On The Road scroll at Empty Mirror Books, and a spectacular high-resolution image of part of the scroll from the website of the University of Iowa, one of the first stops on the tour. The file is very large, but it is really worth waiting for the full image to arrive on your screen... We have, of course, heaps of book by Kerouac and about Kerouac, and about the Beat Generation (and lots more).


One of our readers sent us this story from the New York Times, an interview with Saad Eskander, director of Iraq National Library and Archive. Mr. Eskander also has an online diary, maintained on the website of the British National Library.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reminder: Closed Today For Easter Holiday

All three libraries are closed today. We will resume our normal hours Monday.

Have a good holiday.

Harry Has a Cover

cover of bookThe cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released recently. (Very nifty bit of web coding on the publisher's site. How do they do that magnifier trick?) As usual, the British/Canadian editions come in adult and children's versions, both different from what we will see on the Scholastic edition.

We found ourselves having a parking-lot conversation with someone who sports a "Trust Snape" bumper sticker, wondering about just what J. K. Rowling is going to do to end the series. Will she dare to make an entire globe full of readers unhappy? Etc. And this for a book still more than three months from publication. Only thirteen holds so far. We've ordered 30 of them, so if you put your hold on soon you'll get your copy in the first wave, on July 21 exactly.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cruisin' the Library Blogs

Redwood City Public Library (CA) always has interesting links on their blog, Liblog; recently they pointed to a fascinating piece by usability guru Jakob Nielsen on what Life-Long Computer Skills schools should be teaching. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (KS)'s Papercuts is featuring posts about National Poetry Month right now. Last week, the La Grange Park Public Library (IL)'s Off the Shelves found a terrific resource, the New York Times' Newsroom Navigator.

More? Waterboro Public Library's (ME) H2Oboro Lib Blog, always a reliable source of literary news and book talk generally, lets us know that British author Michael Dibdin has died, and points to a full obitiuary in the Telegraph. A bit further back in time they had links to a couple of terrific articles about identity theft (1)(2). Buena Park Public Library District (CA) doesn't post as often as some library blogs do, but what's on top at the moment is a link to a great find, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Definitive 200 top albums. It's a very nice-looking blog, too. The Southlake Public Library (TX) does author birthdays fairly often. Framingham Public Library (MA) has a Young Adult blog.

We could go on almost indefinitely, but will end with not a library blog but a librarian blog with a great title, Disruptive Library Techology Jester, who gave us a link to an audio file on a delightfully blue-sky topic, the Economics and Feasibility of Mass Book Digitization.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hard Science

and not-so-hard science. The gray whale migration has reached Alaska, according to the Journey North Gray Whales page.

While we weren't looking, the tenth planet was officially defined as a dwarf planet (in the re-classification decision that also demoted Pluto to the same status) and was formally named Eris (pronounded EE-ris). Too bad it couldn't stay Xena.

On its way by Jupiter, the New Horizons Pluto Mission got    a fabulous portrait of Jupiter's moons Europa and Io, showing volcanic plumes on Io's rim. They took this one just for pretty, a space enthusiast having suggested it to them as an image that would be possible to capture along the spacecraft's path. That's Tvashtar volcano whose plume is so large it is visible even in this thumbnail image. Earlier the New Horizons scientists released some nice atmospheric detail from Jupiter.

Here on earth, a research vessel, the RSS James Cook, is studying the mid-Atlantic Ridge and a curiously missing bit of the earth's crust. An interview with the lead scientist turned up on Living on Earth.

And, just lovely, if not exactly science: watch the Multiple Kite World Champion Record Holder demonstrate a bodily grasp of physics that would do a Quidditch player proud.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The "Report-a-Pothole" Hotline is 955-2411

Woo hoo. This Press Release from the City is just what you want to hear. "City wants residents to 'Report-a-Pothole'

SANTA FE, NM—City street crews have been working diligently to repair the potholes that have plagued Santa Fe drivers the past several months due to the unusually moist winter. However the city Streets and Drainage Maintenance Division is asking for motorists’ help in reporting potholes that haven’t been filled yet. The 'Report-a-Pothole' hotline is 955-2411, staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Callers are asked to provide the street name, address or landmarks for an approximate location."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April is National Frog Month

cover of book cover of book cover of book cover of book Do you want the words to Big Blue Frog or need to buy a frog lamp? Just visit for this and a lot more.

Holiday Hours

All three libraries (oooh, it's so nice to have three again) will be closing at 1 PM on Friday, April 6th. All three will keep their normal hours, 10 AM to 6PM, on Saturday, April 7th, and will be closed on Sunday, April 8th.

The library's holiday calendar for the year is available on our web page.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What Google Does

The news flap which arose earlier this week—that Google Maps' satellite images of New Orleans were pre-Katrina (1)(2)—has now been resolved as Google has replaced the earlier-but-sharper images with post-Katrina pictures (1)(2).

Coincidentally, we ran across this youtube montage of Katrina imagery this morning. The soundtrack is apparently an Aaron Neville recording of a Randy Newman song, Louisiana 1927 (see notes on a different youtube video). If you want to read about that 1927 flood, John M. Barry's Rising tide : the great Mississippi flood of 1927 and how it changed America isn't much in demand anymore, there are several copies on the shelf.

One of our readers—the one who often sends map links— sent us this much more frivolous bit of google-mapping: directions for how to get from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Cambridge, UK. Watch out for step 11: 'Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 3,462 miles'. We think it must have been inserted by a Google-ian with a sense of humor. Most requests for transatlantic driving directions don't work, and the ones that do (Miami, Florida, to Cadiz, Spain, for example) first take you up to Cambridge for exactly the same swim.

Monday, April 02, 2007


We have updated the list of the titles with the most holds. This month there are a lot of changes: a lot of new titles climbed onto the list and already have a bunch of people waiting for them; and the very top of the list also has changed. The top dozen or so high demand titles are:Some of the titles which were not on the list last month: Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy and The double bind by Chris Bohjalian, both already near the top of the list and shown above; Infidel by Aayan Hirsi Ali; Calvin Trillin's About Alice ; Alexander McCall Smith's new Ladies Detective title, The good husband of Zebra Drive; Wild indigo by Sandi Ault, a New Mexico title; Aryn Kyle, The God of Animals, a Colorado title; —and Joan Didion's The year of magical thinking is back on the list.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pencils, We Need Pencils (Again)

If you're cleaning out your desks, we could use your stray bits of pens and pencils... Just bring them to the reference desk at the Main Library, and we will shower you with gratitude.

No Foolin'

It's April 1st and we are not going to play jokes. We looked in Chase's Calendar of Events, a reference book which comes out annually, and found quite a good explanation of how we got lumbered with a holiday on which it is ok to mislead and mock people... Chase's says, "April Fools' Day seems to have begun in France in 1564. April 1 used to be New Year's Day but the New Year was changed to Jan 1 that year. People who insisted on celebrating the "old" New Year became known as April fools and it became common to play jokes and tricks on them. The general concept of a feast of fools is, however, an ancient one. The Romans had such a day..."

Wikipedia has various other possible explanations.