Saturday, August 30, 2008

Professional Courtesy

A librarian from a different town mailed us several books with the following note. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

"These were just returned to us by "John Smith's" landlord several months after he was arrested and sentenced to 30 years for numerous felonies. You may have him under a different name since he had several aliases.

Sorry about the condition - ours were even worse."

I'm wondering if some of those felonies were for overdue library books?

Friday, August 29, 2008

6th Annual Adult Spelling Bee: Sept. 28, 2008

The 6th Adult Spelling Bee will be held on Sunday, September 28 2008 at 2:00 pm, in the Community Room of the Main Library, 145 Washington Ave.

The bee is open to New Mexico residents, 18 years or older. As usual, it will be written, not oral.

First prize is $200 from Qforma. (Plus other prizes to be determined.)

The tax-deductible entry fee is $10. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.
Click to download the entry form.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Audio Books and the West

cover of UlyssesAn informal survey (a questioning of friends) indicates that listening to audio books on both coasts is much more infrequent than the same activity in the Rocky Mountain West. There are obvious reasons for this, both of which, in my opinion, are positive reasons for living in the West: we have to drive long distances to go from destination to destination, and while we are driving, because of the relative lack of population density, we can really concentrate on the books we are “reading.” Of course we have to focus on our driving, too.

cover of Pride and PrejudiceRecently I had to drive between New Mexico and Colorado a number of times, and I decided early on that excessive singing along with Led Zeppelin has its limitations. Because the Santa Fe public library has an excellent selection of audio books, I became a frequent patron of that section of the library. I actually looked at both Joyce’s Ulysses and Proust’s Swann’s Way, but I decided that once was enough for both. I listened to Pride and Prejudice even though I’ve read it several times for the beauty of its language, and because I know the story well, it was an enjoyable read. I tried practicing my Spanish using a CD but realized that I might end up on the plains with the antelope or would have to pull over to the side of the road (isn’t that an old John Stewart song? See, the mind wanders far too easily….).

cover of Virgin of Small PlainsMysteries are good for the highways. Two of my favorites are Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard and The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid. While traveling, it’s always good to have several choices just in case one or two don’t work out. I tried listening to a popular writer about Tuscany who should have stuck with writing and avoided recording. Another favorite which I will now have to read on paper that simply needs a deeper examination is Charles Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus.

cover of 1491Those of us who are now hooked on audio books have often had to resort to sitting in the driveway, driving around the blocks for a few minutes, or just giving up altogether and taking the book inside to finish it. We invite you to look at the opulent selection of audio books at all three branches of the Santa Fe Public Library and enrich your life.

by JA @ SS

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Southside PreSchool Story Time

Storytime Crafts This summer, we had a great session of Preschool Story Time which went along with our “Catch the Reading Bug Summer Reading Program” that featured what else? Bugs! There were spiders, walking sticks, butterflies, bees and ants, Oh My! We made rain sticks, door hangers, placemats, and all kinds of cool stuff!

The Very Hungry CaterpillarAnd of course we read stories about bugs such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk, and so many more. We sang songs like “The More We Get Together” and “There’s a Spider on the Wall” by Raffi, and did the Itsy Bitsy Spider finger play numerous times in both Spanish and English.

Miss Spider's Tea PartyThe “Bug Lady” came to visit with her awesome collection of butterflies and moths. Children were introduced to their numbers and their alphabet by featuring a letter and a number of the week with color pages and a sticker craft. At one story time we had an attendance of 102! That was fun!

Itsy Bitsy Spider
Since school is in full swing for the kids starting in September, Southside’s Fall session of Preschool Story Time begins on Wednesday, September 24th at 10:30 am. As this blog goes out, I am having a blast planning the themes, finger plays, songs, stories and crafts. Finger plays and rhymes come to life during circle and large groups as preschool children show word meaning through simple actions and finger movements. Preschoolers develop memory and recall skills as they sing and recite the songs and poems. The holidays are coming up, and as the stores display autumn wreaths, costumes, even twinkle, twinkle little stars, they will be reflected in story time in the coming months.

The program is designed for children two to five years old. Preschool Story Time will be running until December 10th, 2008, with the exception of November 26th for Thanksgiving. You can register your child at Southside by calling 955-2828. Until September 24th, please come by Southside Library in Children’s on Monday at 4 pm to enjoy our New Books Story Time. We feature new books before they go out on the shelves. There are also lots of new books and audios that are coming in all the time. Take a look and see for yourself!

post and photo by TT @ SS

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

London Calling

Big Ben from the Thames A friend left for London last week—she’s the type that had done tons of research and had her travel guides highlighted and filled with sticky notes. I gave her a few must do items, even though she was sure she had all the key notes highlighted or with hot colored stickies.

Here are my “must” do items. They are eclectic, but will give you more a feel to London than a canned tour on a coach:

  • Stop on the sidewalk in London and listen for Big Ben. Simple yes, but I cannot tell you how many friends ran around London for days and never heard Big Ben!

  • Walk across the Thames on the Westminster Bridge and look back at Parliament—then stop on the other side. That is where Monet and Turner stood to paint their famous paintings of Parliament. And walk it not just once, notice the changes in the early morning and at sunset.

  • Take left over lunch rolls and feed the ducks and swans in the lakes in Kensington Garden and don’t forget to say hello to the Peter Pan sculpture.

  • And pet the lions in Trafalgar Square, you will go away saying “Trafalgar Square, Trafalgar Square, I fed the lions when I was there!”

  • Don’t just go into a post office for stamps for your postcards, look for a philatelist shop and purchase older British stamps for your mail—I found a swan stamp for pennies more than a regular stamp to go on a special notecard.

  • And remember to explore those little lanes, and by the way, Bookmakers do not make books to read, they take bets!

  • Look for the blue plaques and stop to read them—the home of Charles Dickens, Sylvia Plath, William Butler Yeats and even the fictional Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street.

  • Attend a jumble sale in St. Martin’s in the Fields crypt, yes bargain sales right over the graves of Knights and Ladies.

My good friend lives in London and even she joins me to tour the city and see it with new eyes when I visit.
Yes, there are amazing art galleries and historic museums, they begin to blend together in one’s mind. But I can assure you, you will long remember the deep sound of Big Ben on a foggy morning.
cover of book by PCH @ Main

Monday, August 25, 2008

La Fiesta at Main Library

Join with La Reina and her Court and lively Mariachis at the Main Library, 145 Washington, on Thursday, September 4 at 10:45a.m. to celebrate La Fiesta! Dancing is encouraged and don’t be surprised as you walk through the lobby and you are swept up by one of Don Diego de Vargas’ men or one of La Reina’s Court members to join in the dances!

¡Viva La Fiesta!

Pictures by PCH @ Main

La ReinaMariachisDancersMariachisPrincesaDancers

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Art Education

cover of book
Recently taking out of town guests to the O’Keeffe Museum, we were surprised to hear a tourist exclaim, “O’Keeffe. That name doesn’t sound Native American. I thought she was an Indian.” No comment. We just went on our way. The exhibit showing now is O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams, a good pairing.

by PCH at Main

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Location Location Location

Inspired by recent tweets from Annapolis, Maryland, and Billings, Montana, I thought I'd see where people are reading our blog and website. Our top five states for both include these four:

  • New Mexico
  • California
  • Texas
  • Colorado

But where Arizona is our #3 for web page views, it's only #8 in blog readership, after #5 Massachusetts, #6 Iowa and #7 New Jersey. Perhaps our tales of desert living are all too familiar to Arizonans?

Some other nifty facts:

  • The Mexican state of Sonora is #6 for web page use among states. Mexico is the #2 country for our website visitors.
  • Folks in London, England, view our website more often than our neighbors in Taos, New Mexico.
  • 3 non-US regions fall into our blog Top 20: Queensland, Australia, Dubai, UAE, and British Columbia, Canada.
  • After the United States, people in Germany are our most frequent blog readers. However, the country is only #9 on our web site.

And a really fun, if bemusing fact:

More people in Albuquerque read our blog than in Santa Fe.

Let us know where you're from!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fall Book Sale!

Main Library
145 Washington Ave.

September 13 and 14

Friends Members Only:
Saturday: 10 am - 1 pm

Open to public:
Saturday: 1 pm - 4 pm
Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm

Southwest Room: Quality Items individually priced
Tatum Community Room: Standard priced items

Bag Day Sunday: Tatum Community Room only $3.00 per bag!

Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

All proceeds from the sale of these donated books are used to purchase new books for the Library.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New US Poet Laureate

The Library of Congress has named the new Poet Laureate of the United States, Kay Ryan.

Kay Ryan PortraitLibrarian of Congress, Dr. James H. Billington, says,

"Kay Ryan is a distinctive and original voice
within the rich variety of contemporary American
poetry. She writes easily understandable short
poems on improbable subjects. Within her compact
compositions there are many surprises in rhyme and
rhythm and in sly wit pointing to subtle wisdom."

Her appointment to the position has garnered, if not controversy, then at least curiosity. Poetasters and critics alike acknowledge that while Ryan's poetry has similarities to that of Emily Dickinson or Marianne Moore, she does not write in what is considered the current style of poetry.

At present, SFPL has one Kay Ryan book, Elephant Rocks. We have several more on order that you can start placing holds on. In the meantime, that catch-all Wikipedia has a great selection of her works and criticism available online.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gadgets that know a lot about your life

Rob Pegoraro wrote an article which appeared in the Washington Post on a new product, Eye Fi Explore. Purchase this little memory card for your digital camera and it slides in like any memory unit. But, get this. It has a WiFi receiver that connects to a database of wireless networks to let you know where your pictures were taken. No, not just the time and date. The place.

Now your cellphone saves your calls, and MP3 players can recite the songs you listened to, but this little gadget gives by default a record of where you traveled and took photos. You can “geotag” your photos. Log on using the company’s software, and you’ll see your pictures alongside a Google Maps view of each photo.

“Photos taken in my house, on my walk to the Metro and between my subway stop and the office all showed up within feet of the correct locations, and Eye-Fi placed a shot from a train platform at Union Station a block or two away. It was almost spooky to see my path plotted on the map like this,” Pegoraro wrote. “Once it uploads your photos, Eye-Fi runs those MAC addresses through a database of WiFi networks compiled by a Boston firm, Skyhook Wireless, that sends cars with WiFi and GPS sensors down one street after another through parts of North America, Europe and Asia.” In his experiment, some photos were incorrectly placed at his friend’s home where they had lived until late last year. Updates and current info out on wireless networks are what makes it work or fail.

I don’t think I am ready for this. I get irritated when my camera prints the day and date on all my photos. Are we too lazy or senile to remember or keep a log of photos we have taken? There was a commercial on the airwaves recently where a young woman questions how much her machines know about her. She worries what the toaster is saying about her to the clock radio. Or was that the camera?

Pick up George Orwell’s 1984, which was written in 1949, if you want to see the future, or is that the present?

Written by PCH at Main

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

La Farge Renovation in the News

Wrapped Books The Journal North published a great article about the current renovations at the La Farge Library on August 18th. Susie Sonflieth, Director of Branches, and Pat Hodapp, Library Director were both interviewed about the history of the La Farge Branch, the benefits of the current renovations, and hopes and dreams for the future of the building.

"It's not often you get to see an entire library's contents shrink-wrapped," Sonflieth said about the process of protecting the library collection from the dust resulting from replacing lights, ceiling tiles and wiring, installing a wireless network and replacing swamp coolers with air conditioning. The La Farge branch has approximately 120,000 books, DVDs, Books on DVDs, and CDs. She also mentioned that the La Farge branch was once referred to as the "south side library", reflecting the enormous growth of the city since the branch's opening in 1978.

Hodapp pointed out how the environmental upgrades in the building will be beneficial for both "the humans and the books", noting that if people are uncomfortable, the books are uncomfortable as well. Every effort was made to make the renovations result in a more energy-efficient and green environment.

The La Farge Branch has about a quarter of a million visitors per year. During the closure, La Farge patrons are meeting their information needs at the Main Library downtown, and the newer Southside Library in the Tierra Contenta development.

Stay tuned for more news about the renovations and La Farge's grand reopening!

photo by Mark Kane

Blogosphere de Santa Fe, v. 2, pt. 2


We continue our study of the lifestyle blogs of Santa Fe:

For a transplant's view of Santa Fe living, Choosing Santa Fe is a personal blog full of photos and reviews of art markets and openings. Going to New Mexico features accounts of local events and living: inside, outside, and everything in between. Less frequently updated is the Santa Fe Blog, probably because the blogger lives in Germany. It's worth checking out for some of the links, and perhaps the poster will resume at some point?

Whether you already live here, or, like some of our readers, intend to some day, the Santa Fe Real Estate Blog is interesting. It's commercially hosted, but for someone who watches home price fluctuations more closely than the stock market, this new blog with an insider's view is essential. As the blog matures, perhaps faithful readers will get discounts on closing costs?

And last, but absolutely not least, is the College of Santa Fe's Fogelson Library Blog. Whether they're promoting new databases, or the 50th anniversary of Smurfday, their blog is the perfect balance of fun and information that each and every library blog strives for.

Let us know if we missed your favorite blog!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Funny Books!

The laughter never stops here in the children’s section! We have had so many funny children’s books pass through our shelves lately that we had to tell you. Here is our list of the top 10 funniest:

Diary of a Wombat
by Jackie French

Who couldn’t fall in love with a wombat, even one that chews holes in your door and digs up your garden? This fictional diary made us laugh and laugh.

I’m Not a Baby
By Jill Mcelmurry
This great picture book cashes in on the humor of children being smarter than adults. No one seems to notice that Leo is no longer a baby. Can’t we all relate to feeling older (or younger) than we really are?

Punk Farm
By Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Check out
Punk Farm really captures the humor and energy of punk music, but delivers it in a fun, kid-friendly package.

By Ian Falconer
Olivia is a typical six-year-old in a piglet’s body. The Olivia books depict the whimsical humor of a kid with tons of personality, possibly like a child you yourself might know.

Chickens to the Rescue
By John Himmelman
Ok, this book is just Funny. As the title promises, the dumbest animals on the planet become superheroes, saving the farm from all kinds of disasters.

The Squire’s Tale (series)
By Gerald Morris
I used to get into trouble laughing during class while reading these books. Even in high school, Morris’s wit captivated me and kept me rolling in my seat. They have a great combo of humor and history.

Stanley’s Party
By Linda Baily
Have you ever wondered what your pets do when you go out? Well, hopefully they aren’t like Stanley-a dog that, left unattended, will take more liberties than a teenager house-sitting.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
By Betty MacDonald
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is as funny to kids today as it was when it was published 35 years ago. Maybe you read it as a child and now you can share the fun with your children.

Good Dog Carl
By Alexandra Day
This adorable no-words tale combines the sweetness of a baby-dog bond and the humor of what goes on when mommy goes to the store. Home Alone meets Napoleon and Samantha.

A Mother for Choco
By Keiko Kasza
While the emphasis of this book is on love and belonging, the attempts that Choco makes to align himself with other animals that share one of his characteristics is sure to keep any child laughing.

Mercy Watson
By Kate DiCamillo
Appropriate as both a picture book and a beginning reader, this joyful story combines familiar elements (the unexpected heroine, the mean neighbor) with a wild telling that lets readers in on the joke.

Amelia Bedelia
By Peggy Parish
As a child, I remember being so frustrated and embarrassed by Amelia Bedelia; Maybe I was transposing my own mother upon Amelia’s character. However, I loved the silliness of Amelia’s “mistakes” even though I didn’t completely understand the humor.

No Fighting, No Biting!
by Else Holmelund Minarik
My parents read this book to me over and over again. Maybe they saw another level of humor in it while reading it to my sister and I. We added a third parallel drama to the book – two bad children reading about two bad children reading about two bad alligators.

by SW @ Main

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night...

Have you ever wondered who penned that immortal phrase? It especially seems appropriate with all the dark and stormy afternoons we've been having.

For the sentence, not the weather, we have Victorian novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton to credit, or perhaps blame. It's just the first phrase of an excessively long first sentence from his novel, Paul Clifford, published in 1830. The full sentence is:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

As a result, San Jose State University has an annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the worst opening sentence of a novel. Thankfully, the entrants do not need to write the entire novel. There are also separate categories for genre fiction, purple prose, vile puns, and others. If this year's winners whets your appetite, we have several collections of winners from years past.

Every year, I secretly look forward to the results of the contest. And somewhat guiltily, as well. This year's winner is Garrison Spik of Washington D.C., whose charming beginning is:
"Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.' "

The entries, winners, runners-up and dishonorable mentions alike, are both amusing and intimidating. After all, for those of us who like to write, would we really want our work to accidentally win this award?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The King's Travels

In the mid 1980s, when a woman claimed to have seen Elvis in a grocery store in Vicksburg, Michigan, near Kalamazoo, a Denver radio station sent a local woman to try to find Elvis. There was a $1 million reward involved. Now you are aware, Elvis died in 1977, by most accounts.

The Elvis hunter was flown to Kalamazoo and searched Elvis’ possible favorite haunts; Malnight’s Bakery (best jelly-filled donuts in the world), Thurman’s Diner (best hamburger and French fries in the world) and even the grocery store where Elvis was “seen.” Theories swirled; some even theorized that he was being kept in an apartment at Upjohn’s Pharmaceutical getting drugs to keep from going bald. Reporting on progress every day to the on-air radio personalities, the Elvis hunter even talked with the woman who had “seen” Elvis, who gave her great details.

On the last day of the search, when the Elvis hunter called into the radio station person to person, the Phone Operator cut in and asked if Elvis had been spotted in Kalamazoo? When told no, the operator chimed in “That’s because he called my supervisor yesterday and told her he was in Battle Creek, MI.” As Battle Creek is the cereal capitol of the world, it was logical that Elvis was there with other flakes. No one got the $1 million, but for our Elvis hunter it was quite a trip.
by PCH @ Main

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blogosphere de Santa Fe, v. 2, pt. 1


After reading all the current events blogs from our last posts, we decided to introduce the lifestyle blogs of Santa Fe:

In the minds of many, the name Santa Fe is synonymous with art. The Watson Online Art Gallery features art images and notices about Santa Fe living in its blog. Everything from prairie dogs to yoga classes are given equal billing in this frequently updated resource.

Also in the realm of culture, Oakley Merideth's poetry blog contains poems, criticism, and vignettes of a young poet's life. The blog is updated only when his college course load permits, but it's worth keeping in touch with.

New Mexico Magazine has also jumped into the blogging fray. it's a great supplement for the magazine's print and online resources. Also, NM Magazine writer Karl F. Moffatt has a great blog about the New Mexican Outdoors.

Let us know if we missed your favorite blog!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Crying in the Chapel

This August 16th marks 31 years since the alleged death of Elvis Presley, and I say “alleged” since there are many books out there which debunk the death of Elvis as a cruel myth. And yes, I have even read a couple. Sadly, these titles are not to be found at Santa Fe Public, but we can grab them for you through our Interlibrary Loan Service, from other libraries around the country who are less skeptical about death hoaxes.

The Elvis Files: Was His Death Faked?

Elvis’ DNA Proves He’s Alive

Elvis Undercover: Is He Alive and Coming Back?

Is Elvis Alive?

Personally, although I’ve read a couple of convincing arguments and even consulted the Magic Eight Ball, I’m not convinced. But then sometimes I like to believe it just because it’s fun. Like the Easter Bunny. And all those pilgrimages to Graceland have an extra je ne sais quoi when one thinks that the perpetrator of such décor is still lurking among us, rather than having left the building … forever.

by AA @ Main

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blogosphere de Santa Fe, v. 1, pt. 2

Current Events

After winning the Santa Fe Reporter's Best Local Blog award, we thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce you to some local blogs of note. There are so many we like, that we'll have to do a few blogs just to tell you about them!

Today we continue our focus on news, politics, and current events blogs:

George Johnson's Dispatches from the Land and Water Wars is more a journal than a blog, as he notes in his title, The Santa Fe Review: a journal of commentary and reportage. An insightful blend of objective news and personal opinion, Johnson keeps his readers informed of the facts and in touch with the ramifications.

In the same vein, but focusing solely on water issues, is Water (b)Logged in Northern New Mexico, by Santa Fe New Mexican reporter and self-proclaimed water groupie Staci Matlock. Personal observations of local water conditions are interspersed with reports of water legislation and science journal articles. An excellent resource for anyone concerned with water issues.

The SF Reporter is also affiliated with blogs: Swing State of Mind features current election coverage, delves into investigative reporter Dave Maas's commentary on current events and the reporting profession, while editor Julia Goldberg's blog inspires us to vote while assuring us that we get much more sleep than she does.

Let us know if we missed your favorite blog!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Library Staffer gets Employee of the Month!

Margret Baca and Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Wurzburger City of Santa Fe

drumroll, please...

Margret Baca!

Nominated by: Fran Fresquez & Henrietta Valdez

Margret is the Director of Technical Services with the Library. Margret was instrumental in working to establish the Southside Branch Library. With Margret’s knowledge of opening day collection, Technical Services was able to process and deliver close to a million and a half dollars worth of material for the Southside Branch Library, that is over 80,000 books, CD’s & DVD’s.

Margret’s knowledge of technology not only supports Technical Services, but the entire library. Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Wurzburger presented Margaret Baca with her Employee of the Month award at City Council on August 11th.

Because of Margret’s unfailing commitment and dedication coupled with her extensive experience, the Santa Fe Public Library has made tremendous and impressive advancements for the benefit of all Santa Fe residents of every age.

Photo by OV
City of Santa Fe

Library Interns

Joe and Justin have a library laugh! If Justin and I were told that we would be working at the Southside library and would like it, we would have to laugh in your face and be like ….. “HA yeah right.” Although it’s quite the opposite.
Who else do you know that gets to go to work and handle exotic animals AND take a photography workshop and get paid?! Well besides exotic animal handling photographers…but we digress. Of course we do shelve and attend to patrons and many other librarian duties, such as shelving, checking in and out books, and not to forget setting up for great programs like Andy Mason, who let us interns play his guitar and sing about Cheesy, cheesy, cheese burritos (which we still sing during clean ups and writing blogs).
When we are done with that we help out the coolest people, who we learn some interesting stuff from. Some things are great to know, while others would only be needed on Jeopardy. Although somewhere in between Sparky putting a 25 pound boa constrictor around our necks, to shelving books on business, we had a great experience that we will never forget, and that you will find is in the non-fiction. (horrible pun very intended)

Justin and Joe…the coolest interns …EVER! (period)

by J & J, photo by TT @ SS

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blogosphere de Santa Fe, v. 1, pt. 1

Current Events

After winning the Santa Fe Reporter's Best Local Blog award (yes, we will keep mentioning that), we thought we'd take this opportunity to introduce you to some local blogs of note. There are so many we like, that we'll have to do a few blogs just to tell you about them!

Today we focus on news, politics, and current events blogs:

Steve Terrell's Blog focuses on local news, politics, and the music scene, which his day job of political reporter and music columnist for The Santa Fe New Mexican suits him for. Whether his daily entry is investigative reporting, or photos and praise of last night's Bandstand act, there's always something interesting to check out on his site.

New Mexico Matters compiles local, state and national news and politics. Everything from the housing crisis, to a uranium plant shut-down, to local tribal issues gets noticed in this current events blog.

Also in the realm of local news and current events is Kate Nash's Green Chile Chatter. Nash, a reporter for the New Mexican, is currently focusing on the Roundhouse and upcoming special legislative session.

Let us know if we missed your favorite blog!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Richardson Recognizes Greatness

SFPL Staff Blogger, Library Director Pat Hodapp, and Governor Bill Richardson at the SF Reporter Best of Santa Fe Awards party.

Having trouble with the video? Click here.


Kite FlyerSeveral children were lucky enough to get a chance to color beautifully designed fabric and wood kites at the school-age craft for the Library's Summer Reading Program. Everyone gets excited when their kite actually makes it into the air.

The first kites, invented in China, were made from wood and named muyuan. The kites they made were huge, and could carry items for advertising. During the Chinese Tang Dynasty, kites were more elaborate, paper had been invented, and bamboo strips may have been tied on the kites. When flown, these kites would make sounds in the wind like a stringed instrument called the zheng. As a result, the word for kite in Chinese is fengzheng. People believed that flying a kite and then letting it go might get rid of bad luck and sickness. Some of the designs held meanings messages of good luck and fortune.

Kites have come a long way, with different designs to stay up in the air longer and elaborate artwork for expression. Maybe I'll try to make a Chinese kite someday. I found a site that makes it seem fun and not too hard.
By TT @ SS, photo by DH

cover of book

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tin Work

We've gotten a request for more information about the tin work at left.

The tin work shown is part of a panel on the southside of the Southside Library by Jimmy Romero of Santa Fe. We informally call it our “great concha belt in the sky” as it glistens in the sun and can be seen all the way to I-25 from Jaguar Road.

This piece, as well as other public art at the Southside Library and around Santa Fe, was funded by the City of Santa Fe's Art in Public Places program.

The tin work is featured on our library cards and brochures. From the Public Art at Southside Library brochure:

"Born into a family of New Mexico tinsmiths,
Romero utilized a time-honored motif as his inspiration
for creating these unique exterior steel pieces.
The scale, 3 1/2' x 5 1/2', is unusual for Spanish Colonial tinwork."

Also, it's a favorite graphic on Icarus, having been featured here, here and here, and probably in some other posts as well!

Please let us know if we're repeating ourselves.
cover of book

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Do you tweet?

It seems as if the whole world is a-twitter! And I don't just mean with this lovely summer weather. Twitter is a micro-blogging program, where people use e-mail and texting to update the world about what's going on. The challenge is that the information needs to be 120 characters or less!

Now, if you're like us, and can't stop every few minutes to text the world about everything we're trying to do, don't despair. We've hooked up our blog with Twitter, so you can have our blog links delivered directly to your e-mail or cell phone. While this will keep you up-to-date on library events, book reviews, community news, and pithy observation, we can't promise that we'll be able to update you on the gelato flavors across the street.

To sign up, click on the link to the right that says FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Senator Bingaman Visits Green Library

Senator Jeff Bingaman visited the Southside Library to experience the greenest public building in Northern New Mexico recently. Earlier in the year he hosted an environmental conference in Santa Fe, and members of Congress, Congressional staff and members of the Canadian Parliament toured Southside Library.

Staff shared the many environmentally friendly aspects of the Library and discussed the public partnership of the Environmental Education Resource Collection, which is a collection of books on the environment, some of which were purchased by funds raised by the InterFaith Task Force. Bingaman and his staff expressed their delight with the building and the programming being done at the Southside Branch.

Written by PCH@ Main

Photo by LR at Southside