Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bulletin Boards

River Center

The announcement board at the River Center in Sequim (formally, 'Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park')

At the Main Library, the community bulletin board has everything from tarot reading notices to spiritual healing to Flamenco dance lessons. Our former librarian MB shares this with us from Port Angeles, WA. Maybe when the Santa Fe River runs again we can post it on the bulletin board. For more from MB visit her blog,

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Me

Those of us born before or during the Truman administration may have fond memories of an early TV program called “Kukla, Fran and Ollie.” It was a charming, low-key puppet show, much of it improvised with only the barest outline of a script. Many people considered it to be one of the best shows of the 1950’s, along with Ernie Kovacs. KFO may have been the first instance of children’s television programming that could just as easily be appreciated by adults. Among the show’s many admirers were James Thurber, Orson Welles, John Steinbeck, Tallulah Bankhead, Milton Caniff, and Adlai Stevenson.

I was describing it recently to one of our (much younger) children’s librarians, who naturally suggested it might be available on Well, of course it is, and you can view a sample program from 1954 at

Oh, and for you Ernie Kovacs fans—he’s on youtube, too.

By RG at Main Reference

Friday, September 28, 2007

The War

Ken Burns captured The Civil War so poignantly and dramatically in his series, but maybe I felt that way because my grandfather fought in the Civil War. (Segment 6 was my grandfather’s unit, fighting at Missionary Ridge and marching to the sea with Sherman). The West, another Burns production, gave a great overview of the era. The newest show The War (WWII) tries to capture the feel of the home front, the little things everyone experienced at home. True, I have only seen the first couple of segments, but to me, it did not emotionally portray what the everyday person was going through. Maybe it is because it is still too close, as two of my brothers served. I kept comparing my family stories to those that were told, and although many were universal themes, maybe I was too aware of the hardships personally. I am waiting for my brothers’ reactions and comments, particularly as the third segment followed one brother’s route from Anzio to Rome and into Germany. His one comment recently when asked about The War,was to share that he was at the Coliseum in Rome when D-Day happened. We do not have that in a V-Mail—it was of course censored.

My oldest brother was injured and moved from hospital to hospital, probably 2-4 weeks ahead of any mail or packages from home. It was so painful for my mother to receive his V-mail letters begging from word from home, he was so homesick. Luckily at one of the hospitals he met up with an old high school friend who shared the local paper and some news of home, like stories of their high school football team.. It saved his life.

We lived on a farm bordered by a railroad track. Later in the war, some of the wounded were shipped to a local Veteran’s Hospital by train. Mother got used to the young soldiers jumping off the train when it stopped at the end of our drive where it would switch into the town. She fed them all. They were all so polite and called her M’am. Some just wanted to sit on the steps under the walnut trees and pet our dog Sandy, but they always managed to drink some cold well water and eat a cookie or peanut butter sandwich. We were poor, but no one went away without a little something. But the thing she never got used to was how grateful they were and her response was always, “my boys are over there and I hope someone would treat them the same.” As young as we were, my sister and I could feel the rise of hope in our mother when a soldier walked up the drive from the road—maybe it was one of our brothers. She always asked where they were from and which battle front they had fought in and gave them our name, hoping they had news. We were lucky, both of my brothers came home from that war.

The Library has the Ken Burns book and DVD on order. If you missed it on TV, borrow the DVD and sit with your dad or neighbors who lived through the War, the memories it dredges up may surprise you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

X Marks the spot

Arrgh Mateys! September 19 was International Talk Like a Pirate Day! It was celebrated at Southside with two events: a pirate themed Preschool Story Time in the morning (If you’re happy and you know it, shout ahoy!), and a Teen Talk Like a Pirate Party after school. Twenty-five pirates roamed the stacks and consumed quantities of Buccaneer Brownies, Grog (root beer), and saltwater taffy.

By TT at Southside

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dragons are Real...

Even though there are medieval associations for dragons, no one could say that about our resident, peace loving, house dragon Nod here at Southside Library, especially on International Peace Day. This peace loving dragon “digs” hanging out with the kids visiting the library. He even lets nice kids like Courtney kick back on him and take in a good book. Nod was donated by generous patron, a retired librarian, and volunteer at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. She adopted Nod at The Manhattan Toy Company . There are many materials on dragons at our libraries from Dragonology to the Dragon Tales movie. Come in and visit our libraries, and we can help you get your dragon fix.
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Cats and kittens needing homes

Have you been having a mouse problem this year? Or just want another warm, fuzzy companion, this is your chance for an inexpensive adoption from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter has found there is a huge number of cats and kittens for adoption, more than usual. They fear that without people taking responsibility for their cats now, by next Spring there will be even more homeless cats at the shelter and feral cats in neighborhoods. This is a community problem. To help with this challenge, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter is offering FREE cat spay and neuter and $20.00 cat adoptions September 24th - 30th. Please tell everyone you know

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Code Talkers

During World War I and World War II hundreds of American Indians joined the U.S. Armed Forces and used their traditional tribal languages as codes to transmit secret messages. The National Museum of the American Indian has developed a website, Native Words/Native Warriors, devoted to the Code Talkers of World War I and World War II. The site includes information on native tribal languages (with maps of the distribution of languages across the U.S.), lesson plans for schools, resources for further research, and a chapter on constructing the codes. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this website is another contribution to the long overdue recognition of these American heroes
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Saturday Stories

Are you wondering what to do if it rains again, or even if it doesn't? Steven Pla, master storyteller, will be at Southside Library at 10:30am and La Farge Library at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 22. Adults and children alike, were fascinated by tales of genies, monkeys and trickster tales at Main on Friday, so if you missed that show here's your chance to make it up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Harry Potter, Harry Potter

Librarian friends are the best. When I heard Great Britain was issuing Harry Potter stamps—seven total, one featuring each book cover, who could resist ordering. My former BBC librarian friend did the legwork, ordered the stamps and sent them off to the Library here.

My idea was to order some stamps to use them for drawing prizes for this summer’s reading program—the Library gave away a copy of the new book at each branch for their Harry Potter Day parties. Well, the Brit Postal service was a bit behind on orders—sound familiar Santa Feans?—so we just received the stamps and first day covers. Actually not bad considering they first appeared on July 21 and first day covers are sold out!

I am not a stamp collector, but these are brilliant and are marked first edition. Better than a Harry Potter doll. And the Brit title for the first book is listed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Who ever deemed that American kids could not figure out what a windscreen or boot or going on holiday meant was really daft, to quote my Brit friend.

Later this Fall the children’s departments at all three branches will raffle off a set to readers. May the force be with you—oh, that is my era, not Harry Potter.

By PCH at Main

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library - Recipients of 2007 Piñon Award

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2007 Piñon Awards, an honor awarded by the Santa Fe Community Foundation. The Friends are being honored for the work done on the campaign to build the Southside Library, as well as for the education programs that resulted from the funds raised. The campaign was an unprecedented success.

Please join us to thank and honor our Friends of the Library!

The public is invited to the award ceremony at 6 pm on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at the Lensic Theater. The ceremony and the reception following it is free and open to the public, but it is necessary to RSVP to 988-9715, ext. 3 by September 24th to reserve your tickets.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bio Feedback

While browsing in our biography section one day some interesting thoughts came to mind. We shelve the books alphabetically by the subject’s last name and some interesting juxtapositions come about as a result. For example: John the Baptist has a slew of Pope John’s on one side of him, but on the other he’s up next to Elton John, the musician. Charles Addams, macabre cartoonist, creator of the Addams Family is next to his distant cousin Jane Addams, Noble Prize winning founder of the Settlement House Movement, but on the other side he resides next to the other Adams family—John, John Quincy and Abigail.

While pondering these strange pairings I came up with this thought, strange as it may be—what if at night, late in the dark when the library is closed and quiet,these books came to life and had conversations with their neighboring books? What would George and Ira Gershwin have to talk about with Apache warrior Geronimo? Would Larry King interview Martin Luther King, while Stephen, the horror novelist, listened? It’s something to think about. And I leave you with this thought—if you were the subject of a biography, who would you be next to on our shelves?

By KS at LF reference+

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Storyteller Steven Pla to Present at Libraries

The Santa Fe Public Library will present master storyteller Steven Plá for a passage into the multicultural world of storytelling on September 21st, 2:00pm at Main, and on September 22nd, he will perform at 10:30am at Southside and 2:00pm at La Farge.

Pla has been a popular storyteller for his international storytelling and enrichment work, especially with the children of Zuni Pueblo. His career spans over 30 years in academic, research and school libraries. Pla has over 25 years of telling stories from around the world and believes that storytelling is “a bridge to understanding between cultures”.

Please join us in learning about other cultures through the voice of Steven Plá.

This program is free and open to all ages and school classes are also welcome. Please register at La Farge Library by calling 955-4863, Main Library 955-6783, or Southside 955-2828

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Landlord-Tenant Hotline

In the midst of overwhelming housing woes, a staff person learned about a fantastic resource, the Landlord-Tenant Hotline. Whether you have no heat, a landlord who has nearly killed you with carbon monoxide, or you just have questions about your security deposit, you can call the hotline and leave your name and number, and receive a call-back with the information you need (the staff person received a call back within about eighteen hours); they will even fax you any forms you might require. This hotline is available to tenants and landlords both, so if you rent property and want to know what your rights are, they can help you too. The number is 505-983-8447, or toll-free 1-800-348-9370. Get educated!

By AA at Main

Friday, September 14, 2007

It Bears Repeating

"If you go into the Southside Library,

You’re in for a big surprise…”

That altered line is from the book Teddy Bears’ Picnic by John Bratton, “If you go into the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise.” . It was also the theme from Preschool Story time at Southside library on Wednesday--bears that is. The families enjoyed talking about different kinds of bears, what they eat, where they live, and chanted bear rhymes like “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground”..remember that one? They heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear?. There is a San Diego Zoo site where they have a Polar Bear Cam so you can watch real polar bears! It’s awesome! The kids taught their parents how to growl like a bear, and we discussed how they could find lots of books on bears in the library. In Preschool Story time, bear masks were made, along with teddy bear puppets. Many of the children said they would like to see a real live koala bear or panda bear and I told them about all the animals at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque. They have an excellent website. And the Berenstain Bears are still the all time favorite bear book. If you are looking for one more bear book, do not miss Ilse Minarik’s Little Bear series illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Little Bear will win your heart.

By TT at Southside

Thursday, September 13, 2007

So You Think You Can Spell

The 5th annual Adult Spelling Bee, benefiting the Friends of the Santa Fe
Public Library, will be held on Sunday, October 7th at 2 pm at the Main Library.

The Adult Spelling Bee is written not oral, so spellers won’t have to face humiliation if they do not know how to spell a word and be asked to sit down. I would expect such words as zymurgy, xenon, uxorious and catarrah. No, you do not have to know the word origins or the meaning. Just the correct spelling.

Entry forms are available at all libraries. A prize of is $200 has been provided by the sponsor of the Adult Spelling Bee, Qforma. But the real prize is the bragging rights to being the top speller.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Mouse Tale

Maybe there really is still a mouse somewhere back behind all the boxes and piles of miscellaneous “stuff” on the far wall of our supply room at La Farge.….but somehow the mousetrap our custodian set, has continued to elude our little rodent-visitor or visitors, so far.

Last Friday another staff person called me back into the closet where she was checking her supply lists and asked me to see if she was in fact, truly hearing those scamperings of little feet and gnawings of tiny teeth doing what only little mouse-type creatures do, behind all those shelves of boxes and papers. We both stood quietly, leaning in toward the area from where the sounds of four-legged seemed too be emanating. Oh yes, I definitely heard what she was afraid she’d imagined.

While going to get one more person to listen with us, I stood alone waiting and glancing at the boxes in the corner we were focused on. There were many neatly stacked cartons, some open, some with covers, all carefully labeled with hot-pink paper, listing contents of each container…..there it was, clear as day:


Of course! The explanation! And therefore a full exoneration of all charges of trespassing and of breaking and entering, against the four-legged furry or furries who must have been back there assuming they’d finally found a LEGAL home! One with their name on it!

So…..if we’ve gotta get rid of these innocent little guys, we’d better be using a humane little basket-trap to catch and move them. And then there is the afterthought: maybe we should be careful about our use of the homonym on our labels…..and then there is yet one more philosophical and rhetorical question to ponder: who IS after all, the namesake of whom???????

By EH at La Farge

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meet the Authors-September Programs at the Main Library

Two special, evening programs are scheduled at the Main Library this month.

On Thursday, September 13 at 7pm, Laurie Powers will offer a slide presentation called Pulp Writer, Entertaining the Masses during the Great Depression. Ms. Powers has recently edited and compiled some of the writings of her grandfather, Paul S. Powers (1905–71), in a book entitled Pulp Writer: Twenty Years in the American Grub Street. Her presentation will reveal her discovery of her grandfather as a writer of western pulp fiction, including works like Doc Dillahay (1949) and her subsequent interest in the genre.

On Tuesday, September 25 at 7pm, Stephen Allten Brown will return to the Santa Fe Public Library with the slide presentation, The Mystery of Chaco. Mr. Brown is the author of the recent novel, Shadows of Chaco Canyon, that like this presentation will reanimate the mystery and wonder of Chaco civilization during the period of 800- 1130 AD.

Both programs are free and will be held in the Main Library’s Community Room
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Just when I think Santa Fe Public Library can’t get any cooler …

Just because you are too broke to afford HBO does not mean you have to be left out of all the hip crowds at the cocktail parties who drop references constantly to The Sopranos or Six Feet Under. Perhaps I should only speak for myself, but I have felt completely left out not getting all those pop-culture references about both of these shows. But right now, both complete first seasons of these shows are being processed for this library system as I speak! The second season of The Sopranos is making its way to our shelves as well.

We’ve also gotten in the first two seasons of a show called Deadwood; I haven’t heard of it but it looks like a wild romp through the old West – here is the description: “Set in 1876 in the Black Hills of South Dakota after the richest gold strike in American history has drawn a throng of misfits to an outlaw settlement where everyone has a price. Tells the story of the settlers, who range from an ex-lawman to a scheming saloon owner to the legendary Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.” Elbow me out of the way to put a reserve on this title, folks!

By AA at Main

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This is What Peace Looks Like

As part of the World Peace Conference that was held in Santa Fe, NM, May 2007, Bobbe Besold and Chrissie Orr, both veteran artists/activists, developed, with local youth, a contemporary photographic installation on the theme of peace. The images, electronically printed and applied to panels, create four large folding screens with images on front and back. The panels will be on display at the Southside Library during the month of September. Their final homes will be at the schools and youth shelters where they were created.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cormac McCarthy wins James Tait Black Prize

James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published during the previous year. The winner for the best work of fiction is Cormac McCarthy for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road. The journalist and author Byron Rogers was awarded the prize for the best biography for his book The Man Who Went into the West: The Life of R.S. Thomas. The awards were announced on Saturday, August 25 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Winners are awarded a prize of £10,000.

As always, the shortlist is impressive and filled with authors you may have read before:

Novel Shortlist:

The View from Castle Rock - Alice Munro

The Night Watch - Sarah Waters

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Seven Lies - James Lasdun

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Electricity - Ray Robinson

Biography Shortlist:

Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family And Fatherland
- Carmen Callil

Mellon: An American Life
- David Cannadine

John Evelyn: Living For Ingenuity - Gillian Darley

George Mackay Brown: The Life - Maggie Fergusson

The Man Who Went into the West: The Life Of R.S.Thomas - Byron Rogers

The High Road to China: George Bogle, The Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition To Tibet - Kate Teltscher

Check the Library catalog to locate these titles. For those that we do not own currently, we will be ordering so look in the the catalog to check on the ordering status of these titles.

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