Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lantern Festival Program

Sunday February 4th at 2 pm at the Main Library
Come join Mark Cassells and learn about the Chinese Lantern Festival.
Families welcome. (You can be home in time for the Super Bowl)
Call 955-6783 for more information.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just Before...

The furniture is there, the electronics are being set up, and the first two semi-trailer loads of materials arrive on February 6th. Below, the magazine reading area, the reading area near the stacks, and one of the small study rooms. More pictures on the Just Before page.
magazine reading areareading area near the stackssmall study room

Monday, January 29, 2007

Librarians Look At The World

One of our readers sent us a link to a post at The Shifted Librarian about a librarian who uses a gaming mat for conflict resolution and other purposes in her teen room. One of Jenny (Shifted Librarian)'s persistent themes is the place of gaming in libraries (and I'd never heard of Dance Dance Revolution), we're busy opening a new branch, and we make our own technical progress in tiny increments...

but there's a lot going on out there.

Eric Lease Morgan of University Libraries of Notre Dame, and the listowner of the NGC4Lib (Next Generation Catalog for Libraries) email list, spent the weekend playing with "tagging, automatic classification, and", processing 675 etexts with about eight separate programs, and posting the result to It takes a long time to load, but there it sits, "Food for thought," as Mr. Morgan says, "regarding libraries, books, classification, social networking, the advantages of full text, Web 2.0 technologies, etc."

There are lots of blogs maintained by librarians and technical thinkers for the sake of communicating with their peers. For provocative notions and miscellaneous trains of thought, try LibrarianInBlack, Caveat Lector, Library Tourguide to Technology, Tame the Web, The FRBR Blog,, Off the Mark, Disruptive Library Techology Jester, See Also..., Hanging Together, LitaBlog, the OCLC bloggers, and a zillion more. Each is a gateway to other thinkers; Stephen's Lighthouse led us to a paper by Karen Markey about the future of the Online Library Catalog at D-Lib Magazine. We could go on indefinitely.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Top 2006...

We have done the Top Circulating Authors and the Top Circulating Non-Fiction Titles lists for 2006. The headline news in the authors is Nora Roberts, Alexander McCall Smith, James Patterson, Dr. Seuss, Robert Parker. Not much change there, and probably not much different from many other public libraries. Although on the whole it is more useful to look at nonfiction title by title, we added a section on the non-fiction page for most popular nonfiction authors, to see if it told us anything, and really it does. For adult books, the most popular non-fiction authors in order of circulation last year were:
Sylvia Browne
Deepak Chopra
Thich Nhat Hanh
Joan Didion
William Shakespeare
Thomas L. Friedman
Eckhart Tolle
Dalai Lama
Bill Bryson
C. J. Jung
Malcolm Gladwell
Karen Armstrong
Andrew Weil
Noam Chomsky
Jared Diamond
Howard Zinn
Frances Mayes
Wayne Dyer
Pema Chodron

Almost ridiculously Santa Fe.

Some thoughts on the question of 'most popular' lists are available on both the 2006 Authors and 2006 Titles pages.

Activities in the Writers Room

Recursos logoRecursos de Santa Fe's Southwest Literary Center has a nice page of literary resource links. They have a number of Classes and Events planned for the spring in their Writers Room on Camino de Monte Rey, and want people to know that "The Writers Room is available free of charge for free literary events and on a donation basis for money making events." Give their website a browse if you are interested.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What the SNOTEL Says

We all think that the end-of-the-world snowstorm at New Years magically translated into a permanent water excess, but the SNOTEL on top of the mountain shows that the big storm brought us up to somewhere a bit below the average snow-water equivalent for this time of year.
snotel graph

(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)

Mind you, compared to last year conditions are 'way better. And Santa Fe's reservoirs are at 83%, which is good for this time of year. The state reservoirs are refilling; some are better than 100% of average, and some not.

part of reservoir graph
Other places to look, and draw your own conclusions:the US Seasonal Drought Outlook, which shows us happily free of drought expectations; the same for the US Drought Monitor (but look at how dry Wyoming is). Our hydrologic outlook is good, "The water supply forecast through the spring snow melt season ranges from below normal runoff in the rivers and streams of west central and southwest New Mexico to above normal runoff for rivers and streams that originate in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains." (emphasis added)

Zimmerman Update

We received the following update about UNM's Zimmerman Library, "The UNM Zimmerman Library first floor reference area was reopened on January 16, 2007. We have expanded the public spaces and added many more computers. There is a link on our web page at that goes to our Zimmerman Services Updates page; it links to a Power point: Zimmerman Fire & Recovery Slides 20 through 23 show the new reference area. The students were thrilled by the opening; they occupied nearly all of the new computers within minutes of the cutting of the tape. We’re delighted with this major step in our recovery from the April, 2006 fire." The Zimmerman Services Updates page includes links to a presentation of photographs, and a preliminary list of lost materials.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Library Board Seeking Name Suggestions...

Library Board Seeking Name Suggestions for Southside Library

The Library Board of the Santa Fe Public Library is seeking suggestions for names for the new Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch and for designated spaces in the new branch, which is located at 6599 Jaguar Road.

"The Library Board wants to involve the community in the process of suggesting names. The Library Board plans to announce the name at the branch opening in early Spring," Board President Michele Huff stated.

The Library Board created a naming policy in 2005 to guide all decisions for naming opportunities. Considerations for naming the branch include, but are not limited to, members of the community, literary figures, foundations, donors and Library supporters. The building itself may NOT be named for a living person, a corporation or brand name product. The full policy is attached to this e-mail.

The Library Board also notes that there are designated spaces in the Library which may be named for living persons, or other entities such as foundations, service groups, members of the community, corporations or literary figures.

All nominations will be reviewed by the Library Board and recommendations will be submitted to the City Council for approval. The Library Board is a seven-member Board appointed by the Mayor with representatives from Santa Fe and Santa Fe County.

Nominators are required to submit a one page biography or fact sheet with all pertinent information on their nominee to the Library Board, c/o Maria Finley, at the Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501 by 5 p.m. February 1, 2007. The nominator must include a phone number, address and email address for confirmation or more information. Nominations will not be accepted without the required information.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Program Reminder : ¡Concha!

Thursday, January 25th
cover of book
A Tribute to Concha Ortiz y Pino
Kathryn Cordova, author of the book ¡Concha! Concha Ortiz y Pino: Matriarch of a 300-Year Old New Mexico Legacy, and Ana Pacheco, editor and publisher of La Herencia magazine, will present "A Tribute to Concha Ortiz y Pino" Thursday, January 25, 2007 7-8 pm in the Community Room of the Main Library, 145 Washington Ave. The program honors one of the best-known and most powerful women in New Mexico and her impressive accomplishments.

Whether you are coming to the program or not, stop by the glass display case on the second floor at the Main Library. Nancy Brown Martinez of the Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico, has put together a terrific little exhibit of photographs and documents about Concha Ortiz y Pino and her family. The exhibit will be there until the end of the month.

Donna Leon's Multiple Titles

Just now there were two people waiting for A Venetian Reckoning, and nobody waiting for Death and Judgment. They are the same book, the original British edition and a later American edition. Many Santa Fe readers have set out to read all of Leon's Guido Brunetti mysteries, and bumped up against the alternate title problem. So for their sake we are reproducing here the complete list, in order:

1 Death at La Fenice
2 Death in a strange country

3 Dressed for death
3 (alternate title) The Anonymous Venetian

4 Death and judgment
4 (alternate title) A Venetian reckoning

5 Death in high water
5 (alternate title) Acqua alta

6 The Death of faith
6 (alternate title) Quietly in their sleep

7 A Noble radiance
8 Fatal remedies
9 Friends in high places
10 A Sea of troubles
11 Wilful behaviour
12 Uniform justice
13 Doctored evidence
14 Blood from a Stone
15 Through a Glass Darkly
16 Suffer the little children

PS. The only ones we don't have are #11, which just can't be gotten; and #6. For the latter, again, we just can't get the British edition, The Death of Faith. The American edition, Quietly in their Sleep, will be out in June and we'll order it when we can.
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Monday, January 22, 2007 : The U.S. government's official web portal

spanish logoWe received a press release email from the Federal Citizen Information Center, Office of Citizen Services, U.S. General Services Administration, pointing out that "the official portal of the U.S. government is changing its name -- to is now ; and FirstGov en españ is . continues to offer the same great government services:
Shop government auctions
Apply for government jobs or benefits
Contact elected officials
Get or renew a passport
Renew your drivers license or get vital records
Get answers to frequently asked questions
Find all federal, state, local government information and services "
This is a good move on their part, the new address will be a lot easier to remember... logo

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fun With Book Covers

Remember this news story? We were working on the Just Added to the Database list, winnowing it as we usually do so that it isn't too long and doesn't show too many boring replacement copies for old titles, or series of children's nonfiction, or... And there they were, Owen and Mzee:
cover of book
Well, ok, maybe next time we'll leave more kid's books in the list. At least the ones with wonderful covers...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Last Bests

Here is the last batch of replies we heard from people about the best book they've read in the last year or so, or what reading floated their boat lately.
Thomas Cahill, The gifts of the Jews : how a tribe of desert nomads changed the way everyone thinks and feels
Anne-Marie MacDonald, Fall on your Knees
Gretel Ehrlich, This Cold Heaven : seven seasons in Greenland
mysteries by Dana Cameron ("I'm reading one at home and another at work on my breaks...")
the mysteries of Elizabeth Peters
Carlos Fuentes, This I believe : an A to Z of a life
Anne Bishop, Black Jewels Trilogy
Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series
Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of rivals : the political genius of Abraham Lincoln second vote for this one!
Evan Thompson, Mind in Life : Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind
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New DVDs, CDs, Videos

The What's New Lists have been updated, including the list of recently added media materials. As usual with all these lists, we continue to exclude Southside Library materials (which you can't get hold of until Southside opens), and most children's titles.

There's lots of entertaining DVDs in the current list, not all new, ranging from the 1958 film, The Blob to Peter Magazini's Learn to play the drumset : a professional's unique approach to playing the drumset. Audio versions of a good many 2006 titles, such as Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe's Fury, Isabel Allende's Inés of my soul, Kevin Phillips's American Theocracy, and Cupcake Brown's memoir, A Piece of Cake. And a whole lot of music CDs. This time we've sorted the list by material type. DVDs at the begining, music CDs at the end. VHS and audio books in the middle.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The Manyholds List

The list of the titles with the most people waiting for them, the Books You're Willing to Wait in Line For, has been refreshed. The top dozen or so books people want to read are shown below; there's a higher proportion than usual of non-fiction. The current list is always available from the main page of the catalog (where it's called 'Current Popular Titles', and from the About Books & Literature page.
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Comet McNaught in the Southern Hemisphere

There's an absolutely jaw-dropping photo of Comet McNaught, taken in Aukland, New Zealand, at Go look. This comet's tail is so large and sweeping that observers are managing to spot the further reaches of it in the northern hemisphere sky... Spaceweather has a gallery with many more images.

P.S. The particular photo we are pointing to will only be on top for a day. It's this one by Jamie Newman, and will remain available from the gallery page.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Watch WorldCat Grow (Again)

You can watch a selection of the titles being added to WorldCat, a freshly minted piece of data every eight seconds (during which time several dozen other titles may have been added as well). The page has been redesigned, but the action is just as mesmerizing as when we first posted about it, and more pertinent to us now that you have access to the whole WorldCat database through your library card.

To look up titles in WorldCat, go to the Magazine, Newspaper and Database page, click on "WorldCat from home with your library card" and you are on your way. If you don't have a Santa Fe Public Library card, you can use Open Worldcat. It gives you the same titles, just doesn't give you quite as much detail...

The display tells us there are 1,110,159,021 holdings... there are 1,110,159,195 holdings... 1,110,159,438... 1,110,169,003... What does that 'holdings' number mean? Suppose you are looking for Barbara Ehrenreich's 2005 title, Bait and switch : the (futile) pursuit of the American dream. Two thousand fourteen libraries own it at the moment. One title; 2014 holdings. 74 million titles; 1.1 billion holdings. Like that.

The really amazing thing is that occasionally in spite of 41,000 libraries on the network having among them those 74 million titles (see WorldCat Facts and Statistics), sometimes our Interlibrary Loan librarians are unable to find a title on the network, and so we can't borrow it from out of town for you. 74 million titles and what you want may still be unique. Or it may be added to the database in the next few seconds. Someone just added The house stood forlorn. Legacy of remembrance of a boyhood in the Russia of the late nineteenth century. Illustrations by M. Sochachewskv. Author, Cohen, Joseph J. Pub. Date, 1954 . Was that the one you wanted?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Main Library Storytime

   NEW at Children's in the Main Library
February 7 to April 25 at 10am to 10:30am (every Wednesday) we will be having story time for 4 and 5 year olds. Call 955-6837 for registration or more information.

7th Annual National Storytelling Week 27th January - 3rd February 2007 This occurs in the British Isles but we can celebrate it here too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Community Read

small bookmarkMayor David Coss has invited the whole community to read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in America this winter (January—March 2007) for Read on Santa Fe! Santa Fe's First Annual Community Read. The mayor says "Nickel and Dimed is about changing the way America perceives its working poor. Santa Fe is proud of its accomplishments to support working families. This community read is a great way for Santa Feans to continue the discussion of how to deal with the very serious issue of poverty in our community."

The City will host a series of related community events in March 2007 including discussions and films. Come by the library to pick up a copy of the bookmark (right) with some suggested additional reading.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Corect Speling

screen image from catalog
Spellcheck has arrived in the catalog. It works only in the keyword searches (and, yes, the keyword search includes authors, subjects & notes as well as titles). If you search for 'corect speling', for example, the catalog will cheerfully ask you "Did you mean correct spelling?" and let you either click on that or click on 'more' for additional choices. Search for 'Hawthone scarlet' and it will ask you "Did you mean Hawthorne scarlet"? Click on that and there you are with Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. And so on.

It only works when it works; the words must be in the spellcheck software's database. But it's pretty nifty when it does work. And the array of choices you may be offered have their own poetry...

screen image from catalog

Holiday Reminder

We will be closed on Monday, January 15th, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. See you on Tuesday.
the 'closed' photo

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Daytime Comet

The weather here is not on our side for trying this, but says Comet McNaught is now so bright it is visible in daylight. The website says "The secret to seeing McNaught: Get rid of the sun. You can do this by standing in the shadow of a tall building or billboard. Make a fist and hold it at arm's length. The comet is about one fist-width (5 degrees) east of the sun's position. Try it! Warning: Binoculars dramatically improve the view of the comet, allowing you to see structure within the tail. But please be super-careful not to look at the sun."

Waiting... Waiting...

Soon the building will inhale the staff, the collection, the computers.
construction photograph
construction photograph
construction photograph
construction photograph
construction photograph

Friday, January 12, 2007

Books and Babies

Registration has begun for the present cycle of the Books & Babies program. It will run from January 24th through February 28th, meeting on Wednesdays from 10:30AM--11 AM at the La Farge Library. Call 955-4863 to register.

Books and Babies is a six-week program for babies 6 months to 2-years old and their caregivers. It's never too early to start your child on the road to reading! Come join our play and language group. Your child will enjoy books, and songs, and finger finger games from the comfort of your lap. Oral traditions and books will provide an important pre-reading experience for your child. Learn how everyday experiences can pave the way to learning success in the future.

Registration begins Tuesday, January 15, 2007. To register or for more information call the children's room at the La Farge Branch at 955-4863. This is a free program. ADA accomodations available. Sponsored by the Brindle Foundation.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Manga Makes The Dictionary

Merriam-Webster posted a sampler of new words which are being added to the next edition of their dictionary. Manga, spyware, ringtone, biodiesel -- these make sense as words that won't evaporate. But they also think that "mouse potato", "drama queen", and "supersize" are going to last.

It does help to know the right words for things. We had a little boy come to the reference desk who wanted a book about how to draw anime. He was so clear and articulate about what he wanted that we almost told him we had books about anime but no how-to books, before realizing we needed to ask, 'Anime generally means movies. Is it manga that you want to draw?' Yes. Good. We've got lots in the catalog (any of the 21 'most relevant' hits might work), and there were even several on the shelf. Yaay.

Thanks to Our Descent Into Madness for pointing this one out.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More Bests From Readers in the Neighborhood

We're continuing to hear from people about the best book they've read in the last year or so. Here is today's batch:
Julian Barnes, Arthur & George
anything by Carl Hiaasen
David Dorado Romo, Ringside seat to a revolution : an underground cultural history of El Paso and Juárez, 1893-1923
Monica Ali, Alentejo Blue
the noir mysteries of Ken Bruen
Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States
Karen Russell, St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves second mention of this one!
Steve Erickson, Days Between Stations
Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
Mary Roach, Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers
      Again, we'll order the ones we don't yet have
Sarah Arvio, Visits From the Seventh
Carol J. Adams, The Pornography of Meat
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