Saturday, March 31, 2007

Local Slant on Things Literary

Oprah Winfrey has chosen local author Cormac McCarthy's The Road as her next book club selection. His publisher has moved the publication date of the paperback edition forward to like right now, and is producing 950,000 of them.

The Santa Fe Book Arts Group has been developing its web page—they now include photographs of several dozen hand-made book projects on the site.

And, the New Mexico online literary journals Lunarosity, Cezanne's Carrot, and Santa Fe Poetry Broadside have all posted new issues.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


The keyword search in the catalog searches nearly everywhere: author, title, publisher, notes, subjects, call numbers. Then it groups your results by its best guess as to relevance, AND within the relevance groups puts the newest title on top. You can make it fill very particular wishes.

One of our readers sent us this little poem:
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books
is a mile high
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
by the time I read them.
- Arnold Lobel
along with the question, "Isn't he the one who wrote that great book about the pig?"

Well yes, apparently so. A quick keyword search in the catalog —lobel pig—pops up exactly what we want. What's the newest title we have by David McCullough? Ask the keyword search by simply entering his name. It neatly gives all his titles in the first relevance group, arranged with the most recent on top and reaching back to his 1977 title, . Isn't there a Jane Goodall book with hope in the title? goodall hope (Actually there are two.) Do we have a recording of Horowitz playing Chopin ballades. chopin ballade horowitz And so on. The machine isn't always right about what is most relevant, but it works beautifully much of the time... Try asking for what you want and see if you get it. :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lucky You, Story Time

Guest reader Matt Kelly will read about luck, while children of all ages and their adults make rainbow mobiles. See you Wednesday, March 28th, 10:30-11am at Main Children's.

cover of book

One Of Our Readers

One of our readers sent us a very interesting article about map sites. Since we use Google Maps for mapping, we assumed everyone does. Well, no. Google is running third to Mapquest and YahooMaps. (A few weeks ago, this same reader send us a link to some interesting New Mexico maps.)

Another reader sent us Booklist's Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth: 2007. We have only two of them, To dance : a memoir by Siena Cherson Siegel ; and Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese. We'll order the others.

Yet another reader thought you would be interested to read about the surprising number of libraries that lend tools.

This last item didn't come from a reader but right out of the news: the technie news sources are writing that the FCC is going to take up the topic of Net Neutrality.

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Early Numbers

Director of Libraries, Pat Hodapp, sends the following bulletin:

"Friday, March 23, over 250 people attended the Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Celebration. Special guests were Mayor Coss, NM First Lady Barbara Richardson, Representative Jim Trujillo, and former SF First Lady Angie Delgado plus Councilors and School Board members.

"Saturday, March 24: 1700 people attended the festivities (by door count). Southside checked out 1752 items to 451 borrrowers. (as compared to Main’s Main checked out 570 items to 206 borrowers and La Farge’s 575 items to 178 borrowers. 185 new library cards were issued at Southside."

It is a truism in the library profession that when you open a new branch, circulation rises at all branches. It will be interesting to see how the numbers develop.

Monday, March 26, 2007

This Is So Encouraging

You probably heard in the news that the Eastern Flock Whooping Crane project lost seventeen of the eighteen cranes of the 2006 cohort of young cranes in a storm on February 2nd. Despite this setback, the cranes from earlier years are in the process of migrating back north, on their own, and the first wild-born chick in the new flock, Crane #W1-06, successfully followed her parents back to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, arriving on March 20th. The success of the project hinges on the cranes breeding and migrating on their own—so far, so good.

When they tried to establish a flock here in New Mexico by fostering whoopers in the nests of the sandhill crane who migrate between Bosque del Apache and Grey's Lake, Montana, in the end it failed. Those whooping cranes never bred. It's looking better for the eastern flock...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yes Yes Yes, Southside Is Open Open Open

   We got some nice coverage of Southside Library in both the New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal (not available online, alas) today. The New Mexican story has pictures of the ribbon-cutting, and of Santa Fe's poet laureate, Arthur Sze, reading his poem. Friday's New Mexican had an article about the architecture of the building in the Pasatiempo (also not online).

We put together a web page of photos from yesterday's opening ceremony. It begins with some you saw on the blog yesterday, and moves on through the event. There were many speeches. People were very moved by our beautiful library, and each speaker thanked lots of other people for their role in helping it happen.    It was just about the warmest and most cheerful 'official' occasion you have ever seen. Even the people who were there to check out one particular book or DVD waited happily and patiently until the formalities were over, applauding and smiling, until they could get into the stacks.

Today, Saturday, there were lots of events for children: storytellers and crafts and performances and stiltwalkers and lots more. It was very Very very busy, lots of people. (As you can see, the ceilings are plenty high enough for stiltwakers.)

The full run of construction photos chronicling the construction of the library will remain available from the Southside Library page for a while, but not forever. It's already old news.

Yesterday's Tornado in Clovis

Yesterday's strong hailstorm-and-heavy-rain here around town manifested as even wilder weather out to the east. The stormchasers who do recorded the tornado near Clovis yesterday afternoon. They followed the storm for five hours...

Hear the Bells

One of our musical staff members (we have several) is very interested in the Russian bells which are being sent back to their home monastery. There was a story on NPR this morning which had the sound of the bells as background, and there's a website where you can listen to the voice of each individual bell by clicking on it. Story in the New York Times.

Another sound story turned up this week, this one from NASA, about the sound of Saturn rotating...

Friday, March 23, 2007

12:45 PM... the Public Swarms the Desk

Done! We have a library!!

11:37AM... the Ribbon Is Cut

Getting the Ribbon Ready...

Getting the ribbon ready...

We're Set...

Cookies are ready. Chairs for the dignitaries are set up. We are BUZZING.
scheduling class visits

We're Ready...

Ceremonial scissors, speeches & biscochitos at 11:30AM, and Southside Library is ready to check out materials as soon as all that festivity is done.

It's raining at the moment (7AM). "It's supposed to be lucky," says the Director. Hmmmm, we think that's about weddings (the Italian proverb is "Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata" - a wet bride is a lucky bride), but we'll go ahead and assume it applies to new libraries, too. Come see us at our lucky new library, corner of Jaguar Drive and Country Club Road.

street sign

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Video Proof That...

... though energetic, librarians are still dweebs : this week's American Library Association newsletter led us to a little colony of YouTube videos of book cart drill teams. Huh?

The same email also led us to a charming piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education, in praise of interlibrary loan (and physical books); an update on the challenge to graphic novels in Marshall, Missouri--the library wrote a clear policy and then returned the books to the shelves ; a followup cartoon from Carol Lay at Salon about the media-inflated controversy over this year's Newbery winner, Susan Patron's The higher power of Lucky; and, most fun (if I say 'fun' about library stuff does that make me a dweeb?), a link to OCLC's list of the Top 1000 titles, those titles which the most libraries own, which was exported over to, thereby becoming searchable by genre, language and time period...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


We have refreshed the What's New lists. Although the Southside Library materials have been showing in the catalog right along, we had been in the habit of leaving them out of the media lists and What's New lists, since you couldn't get at them. But as of the day after tomorrow, March 23rd, you can in fact check out all those delicious Southside items, so we are letting them appear in the lists.

As usual there is a particular glamour to the titles that were Just Added To The Database. There's more new Scandinavian fiction (The cruel stars of the night by Kjell Eriksson and The blood spilt by Åsa Larsson); new fiction by Khaled Hosseini, Susanna Moore, and Elizabeth Berg; non-fiction with beautiful covers (like Pollen : the hidden sexuality of flowers by Rob Kesseler & Madeline Harley); or long explicit titles (like Blood of the earth : the battle for the world's vanishing oil resources by Dilip Hiro or Implosion at Los Alamos : How Corruption and Cover-ups Jeopardize America's Secrets by Glenn A. Walp) ). And three hundred or so more.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blue Sky, Forsythia and Fruit Blossoms

Spring arrives officially at 6:07 PM Mountain Daylight Time this afternoon, the moment of the Spring Equinox. So far as the plants around town are concerned, it happened about 48 hours ago. The fruit trees and the forsythia in the downtown neighborhoods are in full performance mode; and this weekend there were butterflies up the mountain, on the Black Canyon Trail.

fruit tree on Candelario Street
Fruit tree on Candelario Street
walled yard on Sena Street
Walled yard on Sena Street

Monday, March 19, 2007

Presidential Papers, and Other Legal and Federal News

The State Library's Federal Programs Coordinator, Geri Hutchins, sent an email full of interesting news, including the following:

"House Votes to Overturn Bush Order on Release of Presidential Papers
"After five years of bitter complaints from archivists, librarians, historians, and public advocates, the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 333-93, to repeal Bush's controversial executive order 13233, which gave ex-presidents and their heirs authority to effectively block release of their papers indefinitely. Bush's 2001 order overturned a post-Watergate law that requires the release of presidential documents within 12 years barring those where legitimate "executive privilege" can be claimed. In testimony submitted this month to a House committee, Society of American Archivists' Steve Hensen argued that the order "seriously compromised the basic principles" of government accountability. "In the case of the records of the office of the President of the United States, it is a right that took a long time for the nation to claim fully, but just a quick stroke of the pen to destroy," he said, noting that the discussions about placement of the George W. Bush Presidential Library have brought the issue into focus....
Source: Library Journal, March 16, 2007"

Other topics included news of a library in Virginia that has decided to block access to MySpace; the curious story of an Alaska police department that confiscated a laptop from someone who was using a free wireless connection in a parking lot after hours, accusing the user of 'theft of services'; and a story about the Department of Justice's use of National Secury Letters for access to library records.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The End of Sunday Hours At La Farge

Sunday March 18th was the last Sunday on which the La Farge branch will be open. Main Library will continue to be open every Sunday from 1 - 5 PM.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Children's Storytime

Forget your allergies and come officially welcome Spring with storytime and a craft project, at Main Children's, Wednesday, March 21, 10:30 to 11:00. All ages and their adults welcome.

'Recycling At Its Best'

The next Friends of the Library Booksale will be April 14th and 15th, but donated books come pouring in all the time. What turns up in the sale has already been carefully combed through for what the library might need. We get many added copies of titles we already own in one branch or another, and happily add them in to the collection. But we also get a steady flow of titles we don't already have, which are sent to be put in the catalog.

This week there were a lot of the latter. Since handful of books to be catalogedthey are not in the catalog yet, we can't give you either catalog links or cover images—and unfortunately you can't place holds until they get into the catalog, either. We popped a few of them on the scanner to make a little virtual bookshelf. In addition to those you can see over to the right, we were given all kinds of juicy things: new mysteries by Jimmie Ruth Evans, Best Served Cold & Beverly Connor, Dead Past ; 50+ Great Bathrooms by Architects ; Time-Life, Complete Garden Guide: A Comprehensive Reference for All Your Garden Needs ; Nathan Goldstein, Figure Drawing: The Structure, Anatomy, and Expressive Design of Human Form ; Lynne Garner, The Complete Book of Papercraft: Over 50 Designs for Handmade Paper, Cards, Gift-wrapping, Decoupage, and Manipulating Paper ; Bombay Time, a 2001 novel by Thrity Umrigar ; a book of Mark Strand's poetry that we hadn't had before, Reasons for Moving, Darker, and the Sargentville Notebook: Poems. And many more.

The title of this post comes from a chapter about used bookstores in bookseller/booklover Lewis Buzbee's memoir, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop : A memoir, a history.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Water In The River

The City's Public Information Officer released the following news today (we'll give you the whole thing because at least some of you more electronic souls probably don't read the paper):

"The Santa Fe River is flowing today! Because of the unprecedented amount of precipitation last fall and winter, the City of Santa Fe is managing reservoir releases to the Santa Fe River at a rate of approximately 1 million gallons per day (MGD).

"Currently, the City’s Reservoirs are at 83 percent capacity and the snow melt runoff will fill the reservoirs faster than the city can treat water for the community's potable water supply. If additional rain or snow events occur, the reservoir releases may extend into the month of May and increase up to 5 MGD for a potential fishing opportunity.

"The City of Santa Fe continues to treat and utilize as much of our surface water supply for the potable water supply as is feasible.

"Water Division Director, Gary Martinez, said, 'The planned management release benefits the health of the watershed by recharging the aquifer in the vicinity of the Santa Fe River, providing for the health of the riparian zone habitat, decreasing the fire danger within the Santa Fe River corridor and maintaining flood control for the City of Santa Fe.'

"Martinez emphasized that Santa Fe is still between a drought year and an average year of precipitation [emphasis added] and the city's release of water is only because of managed storage of reservoir supplies and the accumulated rain of fall 2006. According to the U.S.D.A., Natural Resources Conservation Service, the March 1 streamflow forecast for the Santa Fe River is 76 percent of the yearly average. Conservation of water is always in season and something Santa Fe must continuously practice in preparation for any consecutive drought years."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Digital Privacy, Chapter the 999th

One of the librarians here at the Main Library pointed out the spate of news stories today (1)(2) about the risks to personal privacy which are posed by digital copiers. They have hard drives, and therefore retain information about the copies made, unlike older copiers which form a fresh image made out of electrical charges each time the drum inside the machine rotates. (There's a nice description at What's really interesting is that the initial warnings came from an executive at Sharp, a copier manufacturer...

So far, all our copiers are fossils of the old sort...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Printing Changes

Finally, the coin boxes are connected and we will be charging ten cents per page for printing from the public PCs. This is a good thing for people with larger print jobs, because we used to have to set limits and not allow more than ten pages a day. Now you may print as much as you like.

It would be good to get in the habit of checking 'print preview' (click on 'file', click on 'print preview') to see what you are getting before you send a print job either from the web and from Microsoft Word. Otherwise you may find yourself paying for pages you didn't intend, the footers on web pages or a couple of blank lines at the end of a word document.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Southwest Books

One of our readers asked us to update the list of Recently Added Southwest Fiction, which had been rather neglected. The new version of the list includes both children's and adult titles, and may include some titles new to us but not necessarily new.

Coincidentally, the question of New Mexico Mysteries also arose this week. If there is very much new activity, other than additional titles from established authors, we haven't learned about them. Let us know if there are things we should buy. (For example it appears that Texas author L. C. Hayden's Why Casey Had To Die is set in New Mexico. We'll order it. What else have we missed??)

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Busy Busy Busy

This week's shipment to Southside Library was the boxes of materials which have been being processed in the Technical Services Department in the basement of the Main Library. Media materials, donated items, local purchases, special orders, etc., have been accumulating under the lightwell on the Nusbaum Alley side of Main for the past year.
Wednesday the boxes were hauled to Southside, and by Thursday Southside was buzzing with activity; unpacking, checking in, shelving, phones ringing, work on the grounds, the architects guys with unrolled plans,

and meanwhile artists were at work in the front entry and in the children's room...

PS. We realize that this blog has been taken over by Southside Library news. It's a little hard to think about very much else right now. We'll return to something more like our regular programming after the 23rd of March...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Sports Illustrated Decided

Sports Illustrated decided that you would not be able to see the February swimsuit issue in any library, including this one. They didn't ask us, they didn't tell us, they simply opted not to send it. They didn't offer to send us a 1/12th rebate on the subscription price, either. Our magazine person is trying to get our copies shipped. The story has already escaped library venues and is turning up in mainstream media (1).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Top Banned Books, 2006 List

The American Library Association's Office of Intellection Freedom has released the list of the books most frequently challenged in 2006. They tracked a total of 546 challenges—formal written complaints made to a library or (more often) school asking that a book be removed— last year. They estimate that for each occasion reported to their office there may be four or five more that libraries deal with on their own.

The ten most frequently challenged titles were:

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Kidstuff at Main

Wednesday morning, at 10:30 AM in the Main Library children's room, there will be a StoryTime program about trains. Stories and crafts. All ages are welcome. (Bring a parent!)

On Friday, March 9th, from 11 AM to 12 noon, join FAM JAM at the Main Library for a free class of music and movement. Space is limited so call 955-6783 to reserve a space for your preschooler.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race

If you are missing coverage of the Last Great Race go to and get daily updates, videos, commentary, history and much much more. Don't wait too long though, as the mushers and dog teams get faster every year. Visit your library for the story of Balto and the serum run to Nome or books about sled dog racing.
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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Spring Book Sale

setting up the booksale tablesThe Friends of the Library's Spring Book Sale will be on April 14-15 at the Main Library.

What goes in the book sale are the donated books which we don't need for the collection. As we mentioned the other day, 22% of our entire holdings--more than 70,000 items--came out of the gifts. But we don't take all the good stuff for our shelves, and there ought to be plenty of seductive items on the tables at the book sale.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Filling the Shelves

This week the Southside Library received the books which have been in storage since we closed the Library Bookstop, the little branch in the mall. After resting for several months in a fire station storage area somewhere on the south side of town, they are now rapidly coming out of their boxes to be checked in and interfiled with the newly ordered titles already on the shelves.
filling the selves
Next week's shipment will be the items we have been processing ourselves and which are stored in the basement here at the Main Library.
filling the selves
We are getting LOTS of hours of volunteer help. Thank you so much, and keep those willing arms coming.
filling the selves
A full run of Southside Library photos, from before the groundbreaking to the present moment, is available from the Progress page.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cassini at Saturn

   NASA is bragging on some recent images captured by the Cassini spacecraft from high in its orbit around Saturn. They've also go a spectacular movie-sequence of Cassini crossing Saturn's ring plane.

Meanwhile, the New Horizons spacecraft, the one which is on its way past Pluto into the outer solar system, just made its close pass by Jupiter for a gravity assist. There's a very sweet picture of the happy team of scientists celebrating the successful maneuver. New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, but from the scientists' point of view, the launch was not complete until this week when the Jupiter boost gave it the speed and trajectory change which puts it on track for its encounter with Pluto in 2015.