Monday, December 31, 2007

Dancing in the New Year

Recently at the Main Library six year old Mikayla Johnson, of Taos Pueblo, danced for the patrons and the Portal Program Native American Artists and their children. Her Hoop Dance and her Fancy Shawl dances struck awe in the watchers and won everyone’s heart. The audience was asked to join in a Circle dance of friendship. Although many were too shy or not sure of what was expected, many of us moved to the beat of Robert Evan Trujillo’s (Mikayla’s father) drumming and singing while holding hands in friendship. May all of us experience the joy of watching a child do what they love and be open to the Friendship Circle.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Top Ten

Everyone has TOP TEN lists this time of year—top ten movies, top ten singers, etc. There are so many they have little meaning any more.

I have always a done a top ten best things that happened in the last year, no not climbing Mt. Everest or winning a Pulitzer award, just ten things that made the last year special. Think about it, you more than likely will think of more than ten things in your life that should be remembered and commemorated.

Years ago I had a staff member who started to compile a list at my suggestion. The next day she came to me all distraught because she had only won 7 writing awards in the prior year and could not think of three more accomplishments! I reminded her that she had helped teens write stories, giving them confidence in their own words. She had gotten married on a mountain top in the snow! And those were just two of many special times and accomplishments. I am keeping my personal list to myself, but the Library TOP TEN is hard to narrow down to ten!

So what is my TOP TEN list for 2007? One is very obvious,

1. The Grand Opening of the Southside Branch Library to thousands of community members.

2. The Parade bringing new books to the new Library with the Mayor in the cab of a 16 wheeler and school children cheering as their Library books rolled by on the truck.

3. The hugs of Friends of the Library when they saw what they had accomplished in raising money for the Library.

4. The words of the Ohkay Owingeh prayers for the new Library.

5. The Children of the Portal Native American Artists at their annual exhibit and sale, thanking the Library for hosting them; what talented children.

6. The gifted Taos Pueblo hoop dancer, Mikayla Johnson, age 6, who danced into the hearts of staff and patrons as she danced in the lobby of the Main Library.

7. The pictures of people in the Library drawn by a staff person’s daughters, which I proudly display in my office.

8. The special back door, after hours tour with our Fire Chief‘s delightful four daughters who are avid readers.

9. The Library’s and my special friend Angela Matzelle’s enthusiasm and energy in raising funds and friends for the Library.

10. And all the great staff who accomplished more than they thought they could and did it with a smile.

Oh, and I get to cheat…here is number 11

11. All of our wonderful patrons who know that it means to have a free library available to them and appreciate the resources we provide.

Now it’s your turn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Teen Mystery Party at Southside Library

Question: What do 32 Teens, Friday night at the Southside Library after hours, a mystery and pizza have in common?

Answer: The first Teen Mystery Party sponsored by the Library and the Teen Advisory Board!

The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and the Library staff planned and coordinated the first Teen Mystery Night on December 7th, after hours, at the Southside Branch.

Thirty two teens took part, dividing into groups to solve the mystery. The Library had several “crime” and clue scenes for the teens to explore and come up with who they think committed the crime. In addition, 20 adults, pre-teens and staff and volunteers were at the event. Teens came in costume—prom dresses or detective outfits and even Cleopatra arrived to walk through the Library in her Egyptian finest.

Teens were from Capital and Santa Fe High School, homeschoolers, De Vargas Middle school and Ortiz Middle school.

While waiting for the judges to review the Teens solutions to the mystery, the teens enjoyed ice cream sundaes and got to know one another. Winners were Darla Maley, first place and Candace Sena and Devon Dominguez, second place. Brandon Hurtado was the lucky teen who won the prize drawing. Winners were given gift certificates to local book stores.

The TAB is looking into creating more fun events at the Library. Currently the TAB meets every other Thursday and the new Teen Book Club meets on alternate Thursdays. Call 955-2828 for information. All programs are Free due to the sponsorship of The Santa Fe Community Foundation, LANL Foundation and the Buckaroo Ball.
Photos by LRich and TTow

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Deck the Library and Join in the Santa Fe Spirit

The Parks Department did their part to make the Library look festive; they put up evergreen garlands on the Main portal posts and on the Main Library sign. Special thanks to the crew! The entire City is looking festive.

Library staff enjoyed a Hanukah feast last week thanks to a staff member, and menorahs still grace the children’s rooms. Books on holiday festivities are still available. Why not start a tradition of reading a favorite story to your family this holiday season?

If you missed the lighting of the trees on the Plaza over Thanksgiving weekend, there are still many Holiday festivities to take part in. Friday night, December 14 the Palace of the Governors will host their Holiday Festivities, a gift to the City. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. at the Palace on the Plaza.

Saturday is the first day of the Children of the Portal Artists show and exhibition at the Main Library. In its third year, the event hosts about 75 talented Native American children, age 6-17. The sale will be held from 10:00 a.m.-4:00p.m. on Saturday and 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday. A special addition will be a hoop dance by 6 year old Mikayla Johnson, a Taos Pueblo Native American in the Library lobby at Noon.

And on Sunday, the Palace of the Governors hosts Las Posadas. As it gets dark, about 6 p.m., hundreds follow Joseph and Mary as they move around the Plaza and beg for someone to take them in, just as Joseph and Mary sought shelter in Bethlehem. Each year a different church provides the procession and the choir. Candles are provided for the walk. At each side of the Plaza, the Procession stops to sing and beg for a place to stay. As the Procession stops, the Devil curses and laughs at the poor procession in the cold. As the Procession reaches the final side of the Plaza, once again the Choir and followers beseech for Mary and Joseph to be taken in. As they face the doors of the Palace of the Governors, the doors are flung open and all surge forward in to the courtyard to share biscochitos and hot cider. Everyone is invited to join in this lovely start of the holidays.

And of course the Canyon Road Walk on Christmas Eve draws thousands of people. A special treat is the complimentary hot cider and posole at the Mission Café and Sweet Shop on East De Vargas, just east of the Mission Church—and music is played on their patio. Meet your friends there. And be sure to thank the servers—we are volunteers helping spread the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slow Snow Going

The City, Santa Fe Public Schools and the County all have 2 hour snow delays today—it is a winter wonderland out there. All three library locations pulled enough staff to open at the regular time of 10:00 a.m., and as usual people were waiting in the parking lot and outside the doors. Our patrons are loyal.

But more loyal are the staff who took a leap of faith that they could get to work and started out early. Our custodian at Main set out in fog from Pecos at 3:30 a.m. Our staff lives from Albuquerque to Espanola, Pecos to points west, only a couple could not make it in. The rest bravely set off and with few grumbles, made it in and opened on time. Kudos to all the staff.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Place Names of New Mexico

“Place names are the language in which the nation’s autobiography is written.” Bob Julyan uses this quote from former secretary of the U.S. Board of Geographical Names, Donald Orth to begin his book, The Place Names of New Mexico. The book, a standard reference on the state’s geography and history, incorporates more than 7,000 names of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo-American origins. The entries tell the story of New Mexico and its people.

Mr. Julyan will be presenting a lecture on The Place Names of New Mexico in the Main Library’s Community Room on Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. The lecture is made possible by the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library. The lecture is free and open to the public. Come join us for the tour.
cover of book

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Book clubs

Are you one of many who’ve read such books as The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants, Eat, Pray, Love, or The Memory Keeper’s Daughter? Have you ever thought about how these books have shot to the top of best-seller lists and attained commercial success? Have you read one of these books and really needed to discuss it with others, or are you one of the lucky ones who’ve encountered these books in a book club?

While book clubs are nothing new, their prevalence and influence on the publishing industry is. Books like The Kite Runner owe much of their success to the promotion by book clubs. Publishers are sitting up and taking notice, often sending boxes of preview copies to book club coordinators, hoping that a few of the new books will become the next Eat, Pray, Love. The traditional author tour is being replaced by visits, phone calls, and web chats between authors and book club members.

People from all over the country are starting up book clubs, and millions more read the monthly selection from the most famous book club coordinator of them all, Oprah. When I lived on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis, there were several book clubs to join, even though there was often only one copy of the book for all the members to share!

If you’re interested in starting a book club, Book Clubs Resource has a wealth of information. If you already belong to a book club, Book Group Expo will help you take the next step. AuthorBuzz has a variety of tools to find out about good book club reads and author information. And to read up more on the changes book clubs have brought about in the publishing industry, read Joanne Kaufman’s piece in the November 19th New York Times.

The LaFarge Branch has a Mystery book club that meets at 10:00 am on the 3rd Monday of each month, and a Detective Agency book club that meets in the afternoons on the 3rd Monday. The Friends Book Group meets the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Main, and the Teen Book Club meets at the Southside Branch every other Thursday at 4:00 pm. And, of course, check with your local branch to get a copy of your book club’s latest pick.
Posted by AM at Southside

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Children of the Portal Holiday Sale

On Saturday, December 15, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m and Sunday, December 16,1-4 p.m the Children of the Portal Holiday Sale will take place in the Community Room at the Main Library. This annual event features young Native American artists who exhibit and sell their art. All are part of the Portal Program of the Palace of the Governors.

On Saturday, 6 year old Mikayla Johnson, a hoop dancer from Taos Pueblo, will perform a traditional hoop dance at Noon.