Thursday, May 31, 2007

Summer's Here In Saint Francis's Town

   What a difference a few months makes. Saint Francis on the corner of the lawn at City Hall seems to be discussing the weather with his friend the prairie dog again. It's tempting to try to give the prairie dog a little beach towel, or a tiny-tiny frisbee.

RefQ: The Exact Elevation on the Plaza 6992.76 Feet

Someone called the reference desk to ask for the exact elevation of Santa Fe. There is a National Geodetic Survey marker on the "granite war veterans monument in center of city plaza in center of north side of the base about 1 ft. above the ground... The disk is stamped 'Santa Fe 1933 6989.336'  " So says the NGS Data Sheet.

In 1991 the number was amended. The 'scaled adjusted' height is now given on the data sheet as 6992.76 feet. "The orthometric height was determined by differential leveling and adjusted by the NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY in June 1991. WARNING-Repeat measurements at this control monument indicate possible vertical movement."

Possible vertical movement?! The data sheet link we have here is a local copy. If you want to see it at the source, you can pick your way into the datasheets from the National Geodetic Survey home page , but there doesn't seem to be a way to construct a direct link.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Naming News

Director of Libraries Pat Hodapp is happy to make the following announcement:
The Santa Fe Public Library Board is pleased to announce the naming of the Southwest Room of the Main Library, located at 145 Washington Avenue, for Pedro Ribera Ortega and the Children's Room at the Main Library for Esther Martinez.

"When soliciting names for the new southside library, the Library Board was struck by the accomplishments of many of the nominees whose names were submitted. The Board decided to take this opportunity to honor two of Northern New Mexico’s leaders by naming rooms for them at the Main Library," stated Michele Huff, Library Board president.

Jennifer Jaramillo, Library Board vice president noted, "Both Pedro Ribera Ortega and Esther Martinez have given so much of themselves to the Northern New Mexico communities. The Library Board honors them for their contributions to the rich heritage of New Mexico."

Pedro Ribera Ortega was a well-known teacher, who instilled a knowledge and love of New Mexico in his students. He researched and often wrote his articles and books in the Southwest Room of the Main Library. The Southwest Room was once the City Council chambers and embodies the history of books and research. His popular book Christmas in Old Santa Fe captures a part of the rich, cultural history of Santa Fe. Ribera Ortega was known for his commitment to the New Mexico Spanish language, culture and history. As a teacher at Santa Fe High School, he always encouraged Hispanics to learn their language and history to help them keep their heritage. He conducted research in archives in Spain, Santa Fe and Mexico. He was a founder of the Caballeros de Vargas, which commemorates the return of Governor De Vargas to the Pueblos in 1693, with the annual festival which is held annually as the Santa Fe Fiesta. He also was the recipient of the Mayor’s award for excellence in the arts, the Governor’s Arts Award and was named a Living Treasure of Santa Fe. As a relative stated, "I can picture him hunched over at one of the old tables, reading and writing under the lamp in the Southwest Room; naming the room for him would be very appropriate."

Esther Martinez, also known as P'oe Tswa (Blue Water), was a storyteller and linguist of the Tewa language spoken in the Pueblos of New Mexico. At 94 years old, she received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement. The noted Ohkay Owingeh storyteller, was dedicated to preserving the Tewa language and serving as an educator. Martinez wrote the initial San Juan Pueblo Tewa Dictionary and a children’s book, The Naughty Little Rabbit and Old Man Coyote. The contribution Martinez made to language and cultural preservation has not gone unrecognized. A few of Martinez’s honors include the National Association for Bilingual Education, Pioneer Award (1992), Living Treasure Award from the State of New Mexico (1996), Indian Education Award for Teacher of the Year from the National Council of American Indians, Woman of the Year Award (1997), New Mexico Arts Commission Governor's Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts. Among Pueblo people, Martinez is best known as the San Juan Storyteller. Martinez recently published My Life in San Juan Pueblo: Stories of Esther Martinez.

The Library Board and the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library will hold a special reception for the recipients later in the year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hot New Titles

We have updated all the What's New lists. Before we started winnowing it down, there was a list of 4,519 titles which had been added to the database since March 1. Old titles, new titles, kids' titles, adults' titles, books, media, gifts, special orders, replacements for lost items and all. So we narrowed the time frame, left much of the data out, whittled and fiddled, and the lists are still pretty long. Luckily they are easy to page through since they show 50 titles at a time :-)

There are several new and/or republished titles by Thich Nhat Hahn; a lot of business books and art books in the nonfiction; a short list of seductive southwest titles, such as Understories : the political life of forests in northern New Mexico by Jake Kosek, and Eli Levin's Santa Fe Bohemia : the art colony, 1964-1980. Lots of mysteries, lots of DVDS & CDs, and more.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wow Aerial Photographs

There was a story this morning on NPR about an aerial photographer, Michael Collier. On NPR's website you can see a slideshow of his beautiful Southwestern landscapes...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Last Chance for Kerouac at the Palace

Monday, May 28th, Memorial Day, is the last day to see the Kerouac exhibit at the Palace of the Governors. Then the scroll will move on to its next stop, the Lowell National Historical Park. Lowell, Massachusetts, was Kerouac's birth place, and the Park has made a splendid web page for the exhibit.

The Museum is free to New Mexico residents on Sundays, and yes, it really will be open Monday. Summer Hours for the Museum begin May 28. The museum will be open 7 days a week from Memorial Day, May 28 through Labor Day, September 3.

Cruisin' the Library Blogs

We've been having a lot of fun following the Burbank Library Blog. They find lots of useful and entertaining links. On top at the moment is the news that is making available for free more than 90 million US war records. But don't stop there, further down are links to a fascinating article about password security, Publishers Weekly's survey of the bestsellers of 2006, etc.

Bradford County Public Library (FL)'s construction project has made great progress since we last peeked at it. And so has the Jesse M. Smith Library in Harrisville, RI. West Long Branch (NJ) gives us lots of large cover images. (Makes every title look seductive.) Papercuts at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library points out that today is the 100th anniversiary of John Wayne's birth (!), and gives lots of good links. Sites and Soundbites (Menasha, WI) always has good links.

And onward. The Galway Public Libraries (yes, in Ireland) have a blog. So does Wellington, New Zealand, and the Sutherland Shire Libraries in New South Wales have a slide show pulled in from Flickr that we have to learn how to imitate ASAP.

Enough. There's a huge long list of library blogs on the Blogging Libraries Wiki, some alive, some dead, some entertaining, some boring. Why not just try a few?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Never Assume

When we look at the traffic on our web pages, we always check to see what browsers are being used. About 8% of our visitors use Safari, the Mac browser, so we've always assumed that 8% of our user population have Macs. However, we lately noticed that only a couple of screens down in the statistics array are numbers for operating systems. 12% of our user population is coming in from a Macintosh OS. That's about double the national rate of websurfers using Macs. Our friends who are techies or artists point out that there are lots of both in Santa Fe, and assert that techies and artists prefer Macintosh. We'll try not to make an assumption about the proportion of techies and/or artists among our web visitors...

Update: Roy Tennant, until recently at California Digital Library and now at OCLC, said on twitter, "across a few sites of my media empire, I see a range of 7-plus % to 12% Mac users. I think it's on the rise." So maybe the proportion is everywhere higher in libraryland than out in the wider world.

Holiday Reminder

Monday is Memorial Day. All three libraries will be closed. Be sure to come in beforehand to get your holiday reading, viewing, and listening! We will be keeping our regular hours over the weekend: Main, La Farge and Southside will be open 10AM-6PM on Saturday; Main will be open 1PM-5PM on Sunday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Forty Days of Author Searches Visualized

We've been looking at the search logs, and just put up a visual display of the 300 most frequent author searches in the past 40 days. Cleaning up the data was very instructive: certain names are frequently misspelled, other names always entered with last name only... And surprises: who is this Baglio guy? Did we know how many people are hoping to find Sara Douglass and Gregg Braden?

It displays like this (and making it was the most fun we've had in weeks); go take a look.

City Summer Youth Program

The City of Santa Fe's Community Services Department is still registering children for the 2007 Summer Youth Program. Forms are available at Ft. Marcy AND it is the only place people can go to sign up for the program. We do have the registration forms at the Main Library Reference Desk, and in Main Childrens (but you'll still have to go to Fort Marcy to register.) For information on availability of locations and age groups, call 955-6708.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Library Cards

The new library cards are here. If you received a temporary card in the past few weeks, come in anytime for a replacement card.
The new cards are quite flashy. The image is one of the tinwork fascia panels created by Jimmy Romero for the exterior of the Southside Library.

Reminder: Junkyard Dreams

cover of bookSanta Fe author Jeanette Boyer will be reading from her new novel, Junkyard Dreams, set in Santa Fe. By the subject headings it's about 'automobile graveyards' and 'real estate developers', and ought to be irresistible. Main Library Community Room, 7 PM, Thursday, May 24th.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer Reading Is Icumin In

   It's time for Summer Reading. The theme this year is "Paws, Claws, Scales & Tales", and registration will begin on June 12.

Soon there will be a printed calendar. Meanwhile, early news about the programs which are being planned is available on the Summer Reading Page. For more information call La Farge: 955-4863, Main: 955-6783, Southside: 955-2828.

It's pretty green and summery out there already, so we will give you again the summer soundtrack, the old English round "sumer is icumin in". Go to the full soundclip link for the best effect. The words are kind of nice too. 'Groweth sed and bloweth med and springth the wude nu. Sing, cuccu!' (The seed grows; the meadow blossoms, and the wood alivens anew. Sing, cuckoo!)

"The Day Can Become..."

   This is the poem which Santa Fe's Poet Laureate, Arthur Sze, read at the grand opening of Southside Library, and whose last lines are inscribed into the glass of the clerestory windows. We lost the text on our desk for a while, but here it is: (thank you, Arthur)

   The Day Can Become A Zen Garden of Raked Sand
The day can become a Zen garden of raked sand
or a yellow tanager singing on a branch;

feel the terrors and pleasures of the morning:
in Tianjin all the foreigners are sent to a movie

and they must guess at what the authorities
do not wish them to see; dream a rainy landscape:

the Jemez Mountains breaking up in mist and jagged light
into a series of smaller but dazzling ranges;

to distinguish the smell of calendula from delphinium
is of no apparent consequence, but guess that

crucial moments in history involve an unobtrusive
point flaring into a startling revelation;

now be alive to the flowering chives by the window;
feel the potato plant in the whiskey barrel soak up sun;

feel this riparian light,
this flow where no word no water is.

Monday, May 21, 2007

'Some things are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside'

What these topics have in common (other than librarianly interest) is that the links came from conversations among librarians over the weekend using the social networking website, Twitter. (Hmmm, you can't really get what's happening on Twitter unless you can go to some particular person's Twitter ID and eavesdrop on them and their friends, but I don't want to post it here. David Lee King has a pretty good explanation. So does Kathryn Greenhill.) Along with reference questions, acronym-filled techie laments, project progress reports, lunch menus and text-messages posted from airports and supermarkets—each in the compass of 140 characters or less, and cast in the form of answering Twitter's question 'What are you doing?'—various items caught our eye.

Joshua M. Neff pointed out Neil Gaiman's charming piece about the role of Dr. Who in his childhood. (The title of this post is from his essay.) Steve Cohen of Library Stuff found an article from Harvard Journal of Law & Technology on Social Isolation and American Workers: Employee Blogging and Legal Reform. Karen Schneider highlighted a post on the consequences of the new postage rates for small presses, and her own take on the campaign to save book reviews.

PS It's an interesting compositional challenge to reduce what you're doing (and what you're thinking about it) to 140 characters...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Intellectual Property News...

Publishers Weekly Daily has an article based on an alert from the Author's Guild to its membership, reporting that Simon and Schuster has added new contract language which says a book will not revert to an author's control, for as long as S&S retains an electronic copy in their computer system. "Under the new contract S&S considers a book to be in print, and under its control, so long as it's available in any form, even if no copies are available to be ordered by traditional bookstores." In its alert, the guild emphasized these points: (1) if an author signs the new contract, S&S "will say you're wed to them. Your book will live and die with this particular conglomerate"; (2) authors are advised to explore other options, since no other publisher is seeking the irrevocable grant of rights that S&S is; and (3) if a book is being auctioned, S&S should be excluded from the proceedings unless it agrees to use standard terms."

Galleycat has a discussion with further links, and a followup.

Sky Alert says, "DON'T MISS THIS: When the sun sets tonight, go outside and look west. Venus and the crescent Moon will pop out of the twilight barely 1o apart. It's a spectacular and unforgettable pairing of the two brightest objects in the night sky..." The weather forecast is not on our side for a good chance to see it, but keep it in mind.


The Books and Babies programs are going splendidly. Southside Library has room in the session which will begin on June 14th. Call 955-2828 to register. La Farge Library has room both in the present session and in the one which begins June 13th. Call 955-4863 to register.

Photos by Tina Tow, Southside Library.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bike-To-Work Week Isn't Over...

It's not too late to get in the spirit...
kid bikes at Southside
Tina Tow of the Southside Library children's room spotted this pair in one of the bicycle racks at Southside.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Mountains, Rivers and Haiku: Basho to Kerouac. Whether your interest is in haiku, Kerouac, or John Brandi himself, please come by this evening at 7 PM to hear Mr. Brandi speak on the history of haiku leading up to modern American uses of the genre and Jack Kerouac's contribution to it. Main Library Community Room.
      John Brandi, a native of Southern California, graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1965 with a BA in art and anthropology. In 1971 he moved to New Mexico, published That back Road In, and received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry.
      John is a painter as well as a poet and has held solo exhibits throughout the United States. Among his honors are a Witter Bynner Translation Grant, the Just Buffalo Writers Award, the Portland State University Poetry Prize and numerous poet-in-residence awards from state arts councils. Among his poetry books are: In What Disappears, Water Shining Beyond the Fields, Heartbeat Geography, Weeding the Cosmos and That Back Road In. His works of prose include A Question of Journey and Reflections in the Lizard’s Eye.

The Machine is Us/ing Us

Do you have a spare 4 minutes and 33 seconds? One of our readers sent us a link to a video, The Machine is Us/ing Us (subtitled ' "Web 2.0" in just under 5 minutes') made by Professor Michael Wesch at Kansas State University as part of his Digital Ethnography project. It's apparently been hot around the web for the past couple of months.

Another reader pointed out an article about the quirkily personal Prelinger Library in San Francisco, from the May, 2007 Harper's Magazine. Curiously apposite to Professor Wesch's Digital Ethnography, Gideon Lewis-Kraus's article, A world in three aisles: Browsing the post-digital library, is available in full on the Harper's website, and also from the magazine database; and we have the paper issue if you'd rather.

And if you have a spare half hour or so, there was a discussion of digitization on NPR's Talk of the Town Science Friday earlier this month. It's available for listening. The interviewees were Michael Hart of Project Gutenberg; Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive; and Michael Keller from Stanford University. The really really scary part was when they agreed that the US Congress will continue to move copyright law in the direction of perpetual copyright, and there will be very little left in the public domain in the United States...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cruisin' the Book Blogs

A while back we stopped pointing out the LitBlog Co-Op's quarterly selections (and stopped making sure that each shortlist was ordered for the library.) They seem to range from the boring to the really abstruse... This does not in the least mean that we wouldn't buy any of these titles—or for that matter, any title at all—if you asked us to. Ask at the desk for a "blue card," or enter your request from the catalog.

Some of the other book blogs we lately cruised include Literary Kicks, a website with a long track record (they brag about having been at it since 1994*) now modernized with a blog. The top entry at the moment is about a new adult novel by classic YA author S. E. Hinton, Some of Tim's Stories. They have a sweet essay, Great Chick-Lit of the 70's (or, the Books That Raised Me). Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind is a rewarding mix of publishing industry and crime fiction news, and she has great links in her sidebar. (Well, most of the litbloggers do a good job of leading you outward with links to other bloggers...) Another entertaining blog to track for publishing gossip is M. J. Rose's Buzz, Balls & Hype.

The Waterboro (ME) H2Oboro Lib Blog is as usual full of fascinating links. For example: this definition of 'classic' from the Ex-Classics Web Site: "What is a classic book? Some people confine it to ancient Greek and Latin works; others use it to describe books by Isaac Asimov or Barbara Cartland. Our definition is a book which has been read, enjoyed, and had an influence on people over two or more generations. In the final analysis, there is no other test than survival." And a piece from the Guardian's book blog with the irresistible title, How we ditched sex and fell for thrillers. "About 20 years ago readers became sated with sexy novels - sex was after all no longer the mystery it once was. And that's when the thriller entered the literary mainstream..."

Want more? New Listings from the Online Books Page. Really delicious-sounding YA titles from which we mostly don't have and are going to have to do something about ordering. Grumpy Old Bookman gives us a start on following the discussion raging in both print and the biblioblogs about the dismal direction things are going with newspaper book review sections. One of the participants on The Millions, a literary blog with several authors, maintains a reading queue in the sidebar; and as the author explains, the next book he will read is chosen from this vitual To Be Read pile using a random number generator. (A strangeness worth several exclamation points!!!) Mostly you can start anywhere in the book blog world, follow links from the articles or sidebars, and soon find yourself somewhere congenial.

* P. S. We too claim a long-history-in-web-terms. Our home page went up on September 22, 1994...

Yaay. Now There Is Bus Service To Southside Library!

This just in from the City's Public Works office:
Santa Fe Trails’ Route 24 Service Change Begins
Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Santa Fe Trails will soon implement a newly designed Route 24,    which serves Santa Fe’s southwest bus riders (Airport Road, Tierra Contenta and Santa Fe Community College) beginning Saturday, May 19, 2007.

"'This service change will provide transit service to hundreds of new residences in Tierra Contenta as well as provide frequent service to the new Southside Library,' said Jon Bulthuis, Transit Director.

"Although service will continue along Airport Road, the route design changes will also include the following loop:
Westbound Route 24 buses on Airport Road will turn left at the Country Club Road traffic signal, head south on Country Club road to Jaguar Road, turn right on Jaguar Road to Paseo del Sol West, turn right on Paseo del Sol West to Airport Road, then turn right on Airport Road to return to complete the loop and return to Santa Fe Place Transit Center.
(See attached map.)

"For more information, please contact Santa Fe Trails at 955-2001."

News from the Director

"The three locations of the libraries recorded a total of 70,477 people coming through the doors in April. 37,820 items were checked out.

"Two self-checkout machines were installed, at La Farge and Southside, and patrons are beginning to use them on a regular basis. These machines allow staff to devote their time to patrons with questions or other duties.

"The Summer Reading Program is gearing up for a summer of reading, special programs and fun. The theme of "Claws, Paws, Scales and Tails" will feature pets, real and imagined. The program is funded by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library, which provide entertainers, rewards and a special end of Summer Reading Parties for all participants. The program runs from June 11- August 3rd. A calendar of events and more information will be available sooon.

"The Southside branch is partnering with the Santa Fe Institute (funded by the National Science Foundation) to offer "Project G.U.T.S.—Growing Up Thinking Scientifically" (see flyer)(and website) August 6-17 at the Library. The project is free to any student entering the 7th or 8th grade this fall who has an interest in science, technology, and engineering careers and is interested in developing computer skills. It is free. The program will be taught by Spanish and English speaking instructors. For more information call 988-9685.

"Power Readers, a new program for encouraging kids to read over the summer, is being funded by the Buckaroo Ball, Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation and the Santa Fe Community Foundation. The 6 week program will pair middle and high school students with reluctant readers to encourage reading. The students will receive a stipend for their mentoring work. Both La Farge and Southside Branch will host the program. The grant includes a half time, contract librarian to create and coordinate the program, select materials and supervise the mentors. Another outcome of the program is to create Teen Advisory Boards at both locations to help guide the library in selecting materials and planning programs relevant to teens."

posted by pch at the Main Library

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Postage Went Up Yesterday

   Overall, the changes are complicated, but the biggest basic change is the new distinction between letter-sized mail ($.41 for the first ounce) and business-sized 9x12" envelopes—what the Postal Service calls 'flats' ($.80 for the first ounce). Postcards went up to $.26 . The Postal Service blames it on a decline in first class mail volume, and rising labor and fuel costs.

Also, there will be a Forever Stamp. Provided you want to let the Postal Service hold onto a pile of your money, you can buy a monster supply of stamps which will always be good no matter how much rates go up in the future; then you just need to put them in a place you will surely remember years down the road.

Those Snakes

The pictures from April's Snake Conservation and Awareness program wandered away for a couple of weeks, but now that they are back in hand, we thought you might like to see a sample. Some of the librarians are none too keen on this particular presentation, but the kids love it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Law and Libraries

Geri Hutchins, Federal Programs Coordinator at the New Mexico State Library, has sent us an email full of interesting links:

"Writing in an Age of Silence. In her new book Writing in an Age of Silence, Sara Paretsky claims that the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library asked her to tone down her remarks when she spoke on the night the US invaded Iraq. Library officials vehemently deny the charge, which seems now to boil down to a difference in what each party recalls...." link to news story ; Review of Writing in an Age of Silence. Source: Library Journal, May 3 2007

"MySpace end run in library. Interview with Linda Wilson, City Librarian, Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library (CA) "Wilson: A Monterey Park Police Officer came to me and said that they had a report of a 14-year-old runaway. She had a fight with her mother and took off. They were sure that she was still around, and her friends said that she would come to the library to check MySpace. The officer wanted us to put a block on her library card so that she could not sign-up to use the computers and would come to the Reference Desk to find out why she could not sign-up...." Source: LibraryLaw Blog, May 4, 2007.

"Follow the latest library filter lawsuit. You can now get updates on the latest library filter lawsuit via RSS feed. Justia just added Bradburn et al v. North Central Regional Library District to its featured case list. Read the complaint (i.e. the library doesn't disable its filters upon request) and the answer (the library has always had a procedure in place for dealing with such inquiries), as well as the upcoming schedule (plaintiffs' experts filed by July 6; defendant's experts by August 3)..." (more). Source: LibraryLaw Blog, May 1, 2007

"Library coalition comes down hard on National Security Letters 'A coalition of library organizations which includes the American Library Association (ALA) sponsored a gathering this week in Washington DC to promote awareness and advocacy on a broad assortment of political issues that impact libraries. The ALA's priorities for the National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) include advocating net neutrality, promoting copyright reform, and voicing concerns about the Real ID Act and the Patriot Act.' Source: ARS Technia

"ALA joins anti-National ID Campaign. 'The American Library Association (ALA) has joined a large and diverse group of 43 organizations to launch a campaign against the first national identification system, REAL ID. The groups joining in the anti-National ID campaign are concerned about the increased threat of counterfeiting and identity theft, lack of security to protect against unauthorized access to the document's machine readable content, increased cost to taxpayers, diverting of state funds intended for homeland security, increased costs for obtaining a license or state issued ID card, and because the REAL ID would create a false belief that it is secure and unforgeable. The draft regulations to implement the REAL ID Act are open for comment until 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 8, 2007. To make comments go to or send by fax to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): 1-866-466-5370. Include Docket No. 2006-0030.' Source: ALA, May 1, 2007 "

And, she tell us, the Library of Congress now has a blog. Thanks, Geri.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mouse Tracks

Now and then we take a look at the usage of our web pages. Mind you, the numbers are minute by internet standards, but by far the most frequently visited pages in April were
the home page,
the New Mexico & Southwest Links,
and this blog.
Below there, the numbers drop off fairly rapidly, and some of the pages singled out by your mouse clicks are bafflingly specific. The next most-visited pages are
library hours and locations
Internet Starting Points
Books and Literature
About the Library
the Southwest Reference Collection
Most Popular Authors 2003
Doing Local History in Santa Fe
Poets and Poetry in New Mexico
the Other Libraries section of "New Mexico & Southwest Links"
the Southside Library Page
Southside Library construction photographs

Whenever we look at this, we have to wonder: Where are people picking up that link to the list of Southwest titles which are only in the reference cases, and why do they care? What's special about the most popular authors in 2003, why aren't they more interested in, for example, last year's list?

The other thing we always look at when we think about the web traffic is, what browsers people are using. Our visitors are using

Internet Explorer     70.87%
FireFox     18.98%
Safari     7.80%
The numbers have changed only a very little since last summer, but the trend is still away from Internet Explorer. Firefox and the Mac browser Safari continue to gain ground.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Improvement in Keyword Searching

When you do a Keyword search, or an Advanced Keyword search, the catalog displays the results grouped first by relevance, and within each relevance group in reverse date order (newest on top). Very often this floats what you are looking for to the first screen of results.

Now it also tells you plainly that the results are presently sorted by relevance, and presents the option to change to a title or date sort.

When it does the re-sorting it ignores its notions of relevance and gives you a straight list. (The catalog should always have worked this way, but didn't until the catalog software vendor fixed their programming.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In Praise of House of Rain

Craig Childs, author of House of rain : tracking a vanished civilization across the American Southwest, was in town at the end of last month. He gave a slideshow and talk up at the Wheelwright Museum; every last seat was taken and there was a long waiting list of people who hoped (in vain, in my case) to get in.

Childs is a terrific writer, and a man who hikes the wildernesses he writes about; the application of his unique on-the-ground perspective to questions of Chaco Canyon and Anasazi history is riveting.

There's a passage where archaeologist Jonathan Till is showing Childs and another archaeologist a Chacoan road in Utah. "Till led us down to where flat stones had been wedged, forming a staircase, some of the steps now gone, fallen into oblivion. Till reminded us to be careful. He was talking not about preserving our lives, but about not dislodging any of these placed stones, protecting the route. It had been used rarely in the past eight hundred years."

Or try this one. He has found an olivella shell in the dirt outside the ruin of an Anasazi granary deep in Canyonlands: "In all these years I had never encounted a single shell artifact in Utah, and now I could not suppress an astounded smile, the rush of promise quickening my blood. In my imagination lines of trade routes suddenly fired across the continent, long threads winding through deserts, over austere, cracked mesas to arrive here. It completed a triad for me: feathers from Mesoamerica, bighorns from the canyons, and a shell all the way from the sea... I slipped the shell back into the ground, and the three of us sat on boulders below the granary, looking across the dry mouths of farther canyons."

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

We have, of course, many many books about Chaco Canyon, about Puebloan archaeology, etc. They keep being published, we keep buying them. Some of the newer titles which bear on this train of thought are The great houses of Chaco by John Martin Campbell ; The peopling of Bandelier : new insights from the archaeology of the Pajarito Plateau, edited by Robert P. Powers ; The archaeology of Chaco Canyon : an eleventh-century Pueblo regional center, edited by Stephen H. Lekson ; Puebloan ruins of the Southwest by Arthur H. Rohn and William M. Ferguson ; Canyon gardens : the Ancient Pueblo landscapes of the American Southwest, edited by V.B. Price and Baker H. Morrow.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Zimmerman Fire, One Year Later

The American Library Association's online newletter had an item noting that the fire at UNM's Zimmerman library was a year ago. The University Library's own website maintains an Zimmerman Services Update page; there's a powerpoint presentation there with photos.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


   There is a new icon on the city's web page, a link to the GIS (Geographic Information System) Department's new Online mapping tool.

This is a whole lot of fun to play with. You can choose various layers of information (the list at right shows only some of the options), zoom in and out, learn new things about your own neighborhood (or anyone else's).

Give it a whirl...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

San Francisco 1906 Earthquake

The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley has an amazing collection of interactive maps and pictures of the 1906 earthquake.
If you want to know about Mark Twain, they also have numerous papers about and from him. Check out for a great slice of California history.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Brandi Kerouac Haiku Yes

Mountains, Rivers and Haiku: Basho to Kerouac. On May 17, 7-8 p.m., New Mexico poet and author John Brandi will speak on the history of haiku, leading up to modern American uses of the genre and Kerouac's contribution to it. Come and help us celebrate the Kerouac exhibit down the street!

Main Library Community Room. May 17th, 7 PM

Saturday, May 05, 2007

An Especially Cluttered Email Box

We never gave you the link to the website which designated the Santa Fe River the most endangered river in the country. The actual report has good illustrations for the bad news.

The American Library Association has come up with a report on "The State of America's Libraries". The full document is 19 pages in PDF and full of positive news.

There's a really good long article in Information Today by Jill Grogg and Beth Ashmore about Google Book Search Libraries and Their Digital Copies.

cover of bookThe 'new' J. R. R. Tolkien novel, The Tale of the Children of Hurin, an unpublished prequel to the Lord of the Rings material, edited by Tolkien's son Christopher, is getting a lot of press (1)(2).

A lot of links have come up about the mystery genre. Library Journal has an interesting article about smaller publishers, The Killer Genre : New talent and publishing initiatives for mystery readers ; Booklist just came out with a list of The Year's Best Crime Novels : 2007 ; a website turned up,, that sorts mysteries by location ; and the Palm Beach County Public Library has a though website about mysteries that includes an extensive list of mystery blogs.

One of our readers sent us two articles about searching: from PC Magazine, 11 Ways to Search Without Google ; and Phil Bradley's Finding What You Need With the Best Search Engines. For you skywatchers, he also sent I'm not sure exactly what you'd do with it...

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Reporter's 'Reading Green'

This week's Santa Fe Reporter has an article discussing classic books about the West and the environment. The article is available both in paper and on the Reporter website. We have nine of the ten titles the article discusses, including
Charles Bowden, Killing the hidden waters
Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
William deBuys, Enchantment and exploitation--the life and hard times of a New Mexico mountain range
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge : an unnatural history of family and place
and the other titles whose covers appear below. We will work on getting Charles Bowden's Inferno, which is the one we are missing.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Friends of the Library Bookstore at Southside

Friends' Used Book Store Now Open at Southside

The following hours have been set for the Friends of the Library's Used Book Store at the City of Santa Fe's Southside Branch located at 6599 Jaguar Drive.
   1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
   1 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.
   10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday

Like the store at the Main Library, it is run by Friends of the Library volunteers. (But it's way way bigger!!) All proceeds from the Book Store go to the Library's new book fund to purchase new materials for the Santa Fe Public Library. Book prices are $1.50 for hardbacks and $1.00 for paperbacks; there are also some individually priced "better books" for sale. The store has hundreds of fiction, non-fiction and children's materials available.

Currently Book Store volunteer sales positions are filled at Southside, however opportunities at the Main Library, assisting in sorting books and book store volunteers are available. Call 955-6789 to volunteer.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Open Access

Recently, on the Next Generation Catalog for Libraries email list, one of the participants quoted one of their faculty-member library users as saying, 'I just use WorldCat and Google Scholar'. That works pretty well if you are in a big academic institution that has subscriptions one way or another to the articles that Google Scholar might find for you. Our database offerings (which come mostly through the State Library) are not so broad, and you are likely to need to use Interlibrary Loan to get hold of a lot of the articles you may discover using online tools.

This happened to one of our users recently and he was quite taken aback. "I thought there was Open Access," he said, when we told him he could not have immediate electronic access through any of our databases, but would have to wait for a paper copy to come through Interlibrary Loan. On the whole, somebody has to have a subscription. (For example, both College of Santa Fe and Santa Fe Institute have partial JSTOR subscriptions and would let you get access by coming into their library— but no institution in Santa Fe is paying the $40,000 or so dollars per year for a complete package.) But he was also right that the Open Access movement continues to develop. Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter has a good summary of, not so much where things stand as which way they are moving.