Friday, August 31, 2007

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is a time when families are getting into routines with school, clubs, practices, busy, busy. It’s also Library Card Sign-Up Month everywhere! Your library card is one of the most important tools to get your families and you off the ground. There are so many things that you can do at your local Santa Fe libraries. Did you know you can fill out paperwork for voter registration? There are computers to access the internet, update your resume, write a letter. You can use a consumer guide to decide on what kind of appliances,cars, foods to buy. There are audio books to borrow for a road trip or commute. Sign up your little ones for a preschool story time or Books and Babies. Post a flyer. See beautiful art displays. Read a local newspaper or one of your favorite magazines. There are movies, music, and let’s not forget the books. If we don’t have the book, chances are we can get it for you, or show you how you can get it. And all these things are free! Link onto the ALA website and find out more.

So come in and get your card if you don’t have one already, stop in and say hi, and get to know your librarians! There is also another website that supports libraries and gives lots of resources and learn more about why people love their libraries.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Zona Fest

Face painting, hair decorations and smiles were evident at the first annual Zona Fest at Zona del Sol, the non-profit consortium across the street from the Southside Branch Library. The family community day was organized by Zona del Sol in partnership with the Library. The Friends of the Library brought Mike Barnes, face painter extraordinaire, Wise Fool stilt walkers and Fungara, a youth marimba band, to the celebration as a part of their commitment to the Library and the community. The Library hosted close to 15 table featuring non-profits who serve the Tierra Contenta neighborhood, everything from Hawks Aloft to Soccer groups to Karate to Rape Crisis and Trauma Center, Santa Fe Community College and Service Dogs.

It was hot, hot, hot, but kids and families came to check out the tents and other festivities. Over 150 people came to see the Clan Tynker performance at 5:30 p.m.—a perfect show to end the day.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Teen Activites at Southside

The weather may be cooling off but things are heating up for teens at the Southside Library. Every Thursday after school, from 4-5 PM there is something for teens--aged 13-18 --to do.

The teen book club meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at 4 PM. This week, Thursday, August 30, teens can get together for pizza and a discussion of Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Next week, September 6, the book club will meet again to discuss Kathryn Lasky’s first book in the Guardians of Ga’Hoole Series: The Capture. You don’t have to sign up in advance but do try to read the book before the meeting so you can join in the discussion.

On the second and fourth Thursdays the Teen Advisory Board meets. Teens have to apply for the Board; applications are available at the library. Several positions for teens are open currently. The TAB is planning activities for teens and helping the library to better serve teens in all kinds of ways. The first TAB sponsored event for teens will be “Talk Like a Pirate Day” featuring pirate games, refreshments, and making pirate flags. This will take place September 19 from 4-5:30 PM. Brush up on your pirate speech and come in pirate costume!

For more information about either the Teen Book Club or the Teen Advisory Board, please contact Lydia Wren at 955-2828.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Exciting things are happening in the night skies

Either stay up really late, or get up by three on Tuesday, August 28th and see the total lunar eclipse. For maps and more info check is another good place to find out what is happening above our heads.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ravenous readers: a dying breed

The Santa Fe New Mexican’s headline reads ”Ravenous readers: a dying breed” in the Wednesday, August 22, 2007 edition. According to an Associated Press poll just released, one in four adults did not read any books in the past year. Based on Santa Fe Public Library statistics, our 74,624 registered library card holders checked out a total of 457,463 items. Yes, that includes adult, teens and children, but it averages 6.1 items per person in a year.

I have to admit that some of us add greatly to that total of books read per person; I have over 6 items checked out as I write this and will most likely hit 7 to 14 in the next week or two. That is not even a blip on the scale for a real biblioholic. Let me share with you that Carrie F. has read 1505 books since 2001. No, not little, tiny books; just books that caught her fancy. She is 30 and tries to read a minimum of 160 books a year and has a special goal of 200 books this year. When I want a really good read, I seek her out AND her list of what she has read and is looking for. But then, any librarian can do the same for you—they read and they read voraciously. And they love to share what they have read.

Who didn’t read a book this year? According to the AP poll, nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. Maybe men do not count it as “reading” when they come to the Library to find a guide on how to repair a car or build a deck. In a recent poll at airports that I conducted (out of sheer boredom), I found that men were reading. They were reading James Patterson and Dean Koontz—and the average age of the airport readers I sampled was 50.

How do you get teens and younger adults to read?? This is the Library’s biggest challenge. So back into the trenches to find ways to encourage reading—buy the most enticing books, purchase relevant books, make it easy to get a library card, host great authors and show people how books can enhance their lives. Librarians know what their job is and we accept the challenge.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New YA Books

For all you teens who thought we didn't care about you, here are some of the new titles ordered especially for you. Check the shelves and catalog as more new ones are coming soon.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Breaking The Code

I’ll never forget the love note that got intercepted by my eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Lehman. She never said one word but her face turned all sorts of exotic colors! Those days are long gone though, as there is apparently no need to pass a note on paper in school anymore. The kids just text message each other on their cell phones right in class. If you can’t convince them to do without their phones in school and the internet afterwards, at least now you can understand what they are saying. BCOZ, AYK, 9 with DD keeps kids safe. Netlingo provides all the acronyms you ever wanted to know, and some you probably didn’t. Be sure to check out their “alarming statistics” link too. Then after you’re good and scared, talk with your kids about the ideas provided in OnGuard Online. Want to know more? There’s a wealth of information at: The American Library Association’s page called “Especially for Young People and their Parents.” TNT! (scnr)

Here are the Top 20 Internet Acronyms Every Parent Needs to Know:

1. POS - Parent Over Shoulder
2. PIR - Parent In Room
3. P911 - Parent Alert
4. PAW - Parents Are Watching
5. PAL - Parents Are Listening
6. ASL - Age/Sex/Location
7. MorF - Male or Female
8. SorG - Straight or Gay
9. LMIRL - Let's Meet In Real Life
10. KPC - Keeping Parents Clueless
11. TDTM - Talk Dirty To Me
12. IWSN - I Want Sex Now
13. NIFOC - Nude In Front Of Computer
14. GYPO - Get Your Pants Off
15. ADR or addy - Address
16. WYCM - Will You Call Me
17. KFY - Kiss For You
18. MOOS - Member(s) Of the Opposite Se
19. MOSS or MOTSS - Member(s) Of The Same Sex
20. NALOPKT - Not A Lot Of People Know That

By LW at SS

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hummingbird warriors

Don’t mess with hummingbirds. Tis the season to see dozens of these aeronautical marvels zip and zing around the butterfly bushes and flowering Russian sage. Rufous hummingbirds, broad-tailed humming birds and some that move so fast only the best birders can identify them. Weighing in at about one quarter of an ounce, they are pure energy. To entice more to our home, we put up a hummingbird feeder, a simple bottle of sugar water that opens into a red plastic plate with special holes. Holy hummers! The first quart of sugar water was devoured in days. My husband has taken up the challenge to make the sugary water and keep some in stock in the refrigerator. More would have been sucked up except for the terror of the feeder, a Rufous hummingbird has decided to defend his territory and drives off all other hummingbirds. The sound of whirling hummingbirds (buzzing insect-like sound) and the tick-tick warning can be heard from dawn to dusk. Their maneuvers would make the most jaundiced birdwatcher applaud. When defending the bird feeder, the hummingbird will swoop going up almost vertical and then head straight down and level out between birds eating on our adobe wall. So far the birds on the wall have ignored the hummingbird wars, but they have had a few feathers ruffled by the close flights.

Currently almost all of our hummingbird books are checked out, but check general bird books of the West to identify your hummers. Take a walk at the Randall Davey Audubon Center on Upper Canyon Road—just make sure when you walk between the two buildings you listen before you step out, or you could have a hummingbird in your ear! Enjoy them now, it is almost time for them to migrate to warmer climates.

By PCH at Main

Monday, August 20, 2007

Unusual Bits of Information from Interlibrary Loans

InterLibrary loans may sound dull, but they are like any other library service and have their unusual requests. Here are some notable bits of information

Heaviest hardcover loaned to another library: The Past from Above: Ariel Photographs of Archaeological Sites by Georg Gerster, weighing in at a hefty 6 lbs.

Smallest book loaned to another library: I Would Have Bought You a Cat, But… by Darby Conley, measuring a mere 3 inches by3inches.
Thickest book borrowed from another library: The I Ching: the classic Chinese oracle of change by Rudolf Ritsema, that would be 851 pages.

Most popular title recently loaned to other libraries: Murder on a Bad Hair Day by Anne George.

Longest title borrowed from another library: Balance: a Study of the Influences of Imbalance and Gyroscopic Inertia Upon the Performances of Bowling Balls in Rotational Motion by Bill Taylor.

If the title you are looking for is not owned by our Library, we may be able to borrow it for you. The Interlibrary Loan Department has access to titles from over 57,000 other libraries across the USA. Please see the Reference Desk librarians for more information. In 2006-2007, ILL borrowed 2,051 books for Santa Fe residents. ILL also loans approximately 1500 of our books to other libraries throughout the year to meet their patrons need.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has announced the appointment of Charles Simic to be the Library’s 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Yugoslavian born Simic has written 18 books of poetry and is also a translator, essayist and Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire. He has also won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. For more information check out the Library of Congress:

The Santa Fe Public Library has a good selection of his works, so check him out at the branch of your choice.

And locally, Santa Fe’s Poet Laureate, Arthur Sze, will be doing a reading with several local poets inspired by wondrous places in the world. Joining Sze will be John Brandi, Dana Levin, Alvaro Cardona-Hine, Carol Moldaw and Allison Hedge Coke on Sunday, September 23, 2007, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., in the courtyard at the Palace of the Governors.

This event is free to New Mexico residents and with paid museum admission. This event is sponsored by the Palace Press and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission. The Poet Laureate Program is funded by First National Bank of Santa Fe and the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.

Arthur Sze is the first Poet Laureate of Santa Fe and is the author of eight books of poetry, including Quipu (Copper Canyon, 2005), The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998 (Copper Canyon, 1998), and The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese (Copper Canyon, 2001). He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

By KS at LF and PCH at Main

Cat Burglar

Everyone has been abuzz about the 100 pound cougar that smashed into a jewelry store on the Plaza earlier this week. We were sure it would have been a female just wanting some jewelry, but it was a male. Everyone downtown has been a little jumpy walking around after dark. Good news is that it has been relocated to Chama. Like they say, wait long enough and you can meet anyone, make that anything, on the Plaza.

Main Children's Room Will Be A'Rockin

Dirk Wales, a local author, will be at Main Children's Friday, August 15th at 1:00pm to tell a story. Then stay to rock and swing and do the hokey pokey.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Foxfire books

While helping answer a patron’s reference question, I was reminded of a wonderful source of information you can find in our libraries. For decades the Foxfire books have brought readers the philosophy of simple living and creative self-sufficiency. The series was built around three principles of Southern Appalachian life: faith, family and the land. In the volumes you can find instructions on how to build a log cabin or how to make a basket or hamper out of white oak splits. You can learn how to churn butter or how to make a corn shuck doll. There are articles on life and customs of Appalachia and interviews with the people of that area. For those wanting to get back to the simple life or for those just interested in it, try the Foxfire books, available at the Library .
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By KS @ La Farge Branch Library

Friday, August 10, 2007

Farmer's Market

What do the words cobbler, slump, Betty, grunt and crumble have in common? They are all ways to serve fruit in a quick dessert—each has a different kind of topping and usually no bottom crust, like a pie has. With the Farmers Market in full swing at the De Vargas Mall this summer, there are many choices of fruit for your favorite dessert. Louisa May Alcott so loved apple slump (a spiced apple filling with a pie dough crust on top that you tap after baking to make it sink) she named one of her homes that had a slanted roof “apple slump”.

Many Santa Feans had doubts about the temporary move of the Farmers Market from the Railyard to the De Vargas Mall, picturing hot asphalt and no parking. But what a pleasant surprise to have an even walking surface, ample room between the booths, lots of parking (except at the peak time of (9:00-11:00 a.m.) and a well laid out space. Peaches, plums and nectarines are at their peak—and most vendors slice up fruit and give out samples. The Santa Fe Farmers Market is open every Saturday & Tuesday, 7am-Noon, outdoors at the DeVargas Center parking lot. Southside Markets (Thursdays, 3pm-6:30pm) began July 5th at Santa Fe Place, formerly Villa Linda Mall.

So what is the difference between a cobbler, slump, grunt, Betty and crumble? Check out our baking cookbooks—basically it is the type of topping which varies on the fruit filling. Your family will thank you for them. Grunt, crumble or by any other name, they are a great way to enjoy this summer’s crop.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Zona Fest! Un Dia de la Familia

Join the Southside Library and Zona del Sol, at Country Club and Jaguar, on Saturday, August 25 from 2:00-7:00 p.m. for a day of fun, food and entertainment.

This community oriented festival will feature puppets, face painters, story tellers, musical performances, animal demonstrations, marimba band, stilt walkers and more! A special performance by Clan Tynker will take place at 5:30 p.m.—free. Lots of non-profit organizations will be there and sponsoring special activities for kids.

Admission is free, although some activities will require purchased tickets. Walk, bike or take the bus to this family event. Please consider our wonderful Southside bus service to get to the Zona Fest event: It’s Rt. 24 (and runs between the Southside Library and Santa Fe Place Mall – via Airport Road).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Back to School

The first day back to school can be a stressful one. Make this year a little easier by visiting Kid’s Health: There you can find ideas for getting along with teachers and other kids, first day jitters, and suggestions for getting organized, staying focused and getting the job done. Scholastic’s website has an interactive page with ideas on how to create a home environment to really nurture reading: The Federal Government also has a back to school website with resources for parents and students of all ages. Here you can find information about everything from kindergarten to financial aid (it’s never too early to start thinking about college!):

Teachers can find help too at Teaching Heart’s Ultimate Back to School Stop: This site is great for new teachers or for experienced teachers looking for a few fresh ideas. Teaching middle school can be especially challenging so you brave souls out there who work with our blossoming youth might want to visit for ideas and inspiration. And last but not least, stop by in person at the any Santa Fe Public Library Children’s room for your free Tool Kit for Hispanic Families: resources to help students succeed in school. This packet is printed in both English and Spanish.

LW at Southside

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Dynamic Duos- They Fight Crime

Looking for inspiration for your next blockbuster movie/graphic novel/mystery series? Take a look at This fun site pairs up the most unlikely crime fighting duos you could ever come across. Each time you try, you get different combinations. For example:

--He’s a world-famous guerilla romance novelist who must take medication to keep him sane. She’s a sharp-shooting tempestuous soap star with the power to see death. THEY FIGHT CRIME!

--He’s a Nobel prize-winning guitar-strumming Green Beret with a robot buddy named Sparky. She’s an artistic cigar-chomping mercenary on her way to prison for a murder she didn’t commit. THEY FIGHT CRIME!

And if you look hard enough you’ll find the library’s secret crime fighter:

--He’s a war-weary devious librarian from a doomed world. She’s a brilliant hypochondriac detective in the wrong place at the wrong time. THEY FIGHT CRIME!

Hmmm, I think some of these have already been written or are in the Fall TV lineup…Have fun crime-fighting!

By KS at LF

Monday, August 06, 2007

Give us This Day Our DailyLit

Read a book on a computer? Never, I said. Never. Give me even a tattered paperback, but online? No. But that was the whole book, downloaded in a lump.

Now there is DailyLit, an internet site for the installment readers. At, you can sign up for e-mailed installments of several hundred out-of-copyright books. Or just like the readers of Dickens who waited at the docks in New York for the last chapter of a Dickens novel, you get your book serialized and sent to your computer. The creators point out that you can choose your time interval (each weekday at midnight, for example), and DailyLit will feed your in-box with the next five-minute dose of Dostoyevsky or Dickens for free. The Library’s copy of Cousin Bette(Betty) by Honore de Balzac is checked out and I was dying to read the first chapter today as I had just viewed the brilliant BBC adaptation of Cousin Bette with Helen Mirren on DVD. DailyLit had it on line—I signed up and received the first installment within three minutes—not willing to wait until my next installment tomorrow for my break, I ordered the next one which also appeared in about one minute. Maybe just one more before my break is over…

You can read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde in 28 well-timed installments, for instance, or The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 205 easy pieces. The press blurb states that the site has attracted about 100,000 subscribers since it started in May—now make that 100,001.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Travel Writing

Travel writing or travel memoirs are a very popular genre among today’s readers. On a recent trip to Bali (now that’s a topic for another blog entry!), I was privileged to hear one of the foremost travel writers speak on the subject of travel writing. To call Pico Iyer a travel writer is to do him a disservice. He is much more than that. He is a shrewd observer of the world and its inhabitants. Whether he is writing of a familiar locale (Los Angeles) or someplace more exotic (Bhutan) he draws the reader into that culture. We have several of his books in the library catalog and you can also find magazine articles he has written in our online periodicals database. Whether you ever get to travel to these exotic locations or not, check out Pico Iyer’s writings and become an armchair adventurer.
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KS at LaFarge

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Indulging Your Inner Megalomaniac

Have you ever felt like your country was in a deplorable state, and you could do so much better running things if only you were in charge? Haven’t we all? Well now is your big chance! The website , inspired by Max Barry’s Jennifer Government (which we have in our very own LaFarge branch!), provides you the opportunity to create your very own country, be it sultanate, fiefdom, jingoistic state, or any of thirty-seven other possibilities. You also choose your governmental type (sensible? anarchic?) and other relevant things such as your nation’s animal (platypus, anyone?). Governmental issues are given to you as often as you designate, offering thought-provoking issues such as freedom of speech, or compulsory voting, which you have to address for your country. (Or you can ignore them, and they build up on you.) It’s a really cool way to play at international politics without anyone actually dying, and reading some of the mottoes of the other countries is well worth the entire experience. (Why didn’t *I* think of “It’s all fun and games till somebody loses an eye”?!)
By AA at Main

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Books, magazines and creepy crawlies

Live parrots, spiders, and reptiles at the libraries-- Carolyn Newell’s Exotics of the Rainforest presentations recently featured all of those creatures. More than just looking at these animals, Newell and her assistant got up close and personal, passed around the animals for the kids to look at, in come cases, handle the creatures. These animals are beautiful, but some are endangered. To learn more about endangered creatures, here are some websites for children to enjoy: ,,, and We also have lots of colorful, informative, up-to-date books on endangered animals at all three Santa Fe Public Libraries. Here’s a list of forty-one endangered plants and animals of New Mexico on the site This site also includes information about conservation efforts and endangered species organizations that are dedicated to saving and preserving the world's most endangered wildlife and plant life.

By TT at Southside

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back to school

Let's See, backpack, crayons, I forgetting something?

Don't start school without the most important item. No, not a backpack. No, not new crayons. No, not new notebooks. The most important thing is your Santa Fe Public Library card!

Stop by any branch location and sign up for a library card--they are good as long as you live at your current address. Parents must sign for children under 13 and you must have proof of where you live. (driver's license, PNM bill, etc.)

The new cards have the minicard for your keychain. Way cool. Then you have the key to thousands of books, DVDs, CDs and books on CD--homework will be a snap with all these resources at your fingertips.

And don't forget, we have free internet computers available so you can do those homework papers and make them look professional.

Now what is the one thing you need before you start school? Your free Santa Fe Public Library card!

Or check us out on the website,

Artwork: Tinwork by Jimmy Romero 2007. Mr. Romero's art work was selected for the Southside Branch Library through the City of Santa Fe's Art in Public Places program.