Sunday, February 27, 2005

Not counting the World Book

The most popular non-fiction titles last year--not counting the World Book Encyclopedia, which actually came in first--were:Are we seeing a pattern here? Six of the ten are titles about politics or public affairs.
          The full list of the hundred or so top titles is available on our web site. Five authors have more than one title in the top 100 : Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Eckhart Tolle, Elaine Pagels, and Philip McGraw.
          So, um..., if we take all their titles together (instead of looking at individual titles), who are were the nonfiction authors with the highest demand last year? Stay tuned for the answer.

Friday, February 25, 2005

New Mexico Weblogs

New Mexico Magazine has a list of New Mexico blogs. There aren't any libraries on it. In fact, we haven't been able to find any New Mexico libraries out here yet.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


From the Department of Totally Entertaining Useless Information Tools: the frequency of baby names sorted by year. I think they're trying to sell us a book, but who cares... thanks to Joho the Blog for this link.

Just Ordered Yesterday

Watch for these two terrific children's books:
cover of book
Acoma poet Simon Ortiz's The good rainbow road = Rawa 'kashtyaa'tsi hiyaani : a Native American tale in Keres and English, followed by a translation into Spanish; and Jeanette Winter's much-talked-about The librarian of Basra : a true story from Iraq.
     The most-recently ordered DVDs are the 20th anniversary release of Purple Rain, and the mountaineering film, Touching the Void.
     Of course, they haven't arrived yet; but the links above take you to the catalog, where you can place holds on any of these items.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mad for Web-Cams

My new favorite is Penguin-Cam, at the north end of the Antarctic Peninsula. If there are no penguins in the view right this minute, try the slide-show.
    There are some webcams closer to home, though they never have penguins. There's the Santa Fe Plaza Cam, presently accessible from the Santa Fe Hotels page. KOB-TV's cam page shows a number of cams around the state, as well as some further afield (Zion National Park is looking good this morning). There's cams in the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad yard in Chama (scroll to the bottom of the page to see the cams), in Valdez near Taos, and at a few ski resorts (try Taos Mountain), but Ski Santa Fe doesn't seem to have one.

Monday, February 21, 2005

It's a Holiday, But...

Yes we are open on President's Day. City and State offices remain open today, and employees get their holiday in November on the day after Thanksgiving.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Rain Snow Hail

According to the US Drought Monitor we are still in hydrologic drought, but there are terrific animations on the Drought Monitor page where you can watch the affected areas shrink week by week.
    Other informative sites:
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center;
New Mexico State Engineer's Office (especially the NM Drought Status Maps);
New Mexico Reservoir Storage from the USDA.
    These and other drought and water resources are in our New Mexico and Southwest Links.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Book in Today's Paper

There's a nice story in today's New Mexican, in connection with the 8th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count, about a book by Mark Obmascik, The Big Year : a Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession. We have another terrific book on the same subject (the birders' "Big Year") with a similarly revealing subtitle, Kenn Kaufman's Kingbird Highway : the Story of a Natural Obsession That Got a Little Out of Hand.
    Ready for some birding yourself? Look in the stacks around the 598's in the non-fiction. Sibley has become the standard guide, it's the one they suggest at the bookshop in the Bosque del Apache.

Click, Clack, Moo (the DVD)

The absolutely most recently added DVD in the system is The Magic School Bus : Creepy, Crawly Fun! (and no, it's not ready to check out yet, but you could put a hold on it). The most recently added feature film is the 2004 release on DVD of the film made from Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn (also not ready to check out yet). There's a list of all the DVDs we have on our website, updated fairly often.cover of book
    So what about Click, Clack, Moo : Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin? We do have an animated version on DVD; I haven't seen it so I don't know whether to recommend it. But the book is really REALLY really funny.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Really Good Stuff

There's an awful lot of useful, entertaining and authoritative web sites out there. The trick is to find them. LII, The Librarian's Index to the Internet, is a terrific search resource, and posts a weekly list of websites they have just added to their database, New This Week. This week's 'New', for example, includes links to Paleography, a tutorial about reading old handwriting, from the British National Archives (itself a great find); Ian's Shoelace Site, which includes the World's Fastest Shoelace Knot; a whole raft of fashion-related sites; and a brief History of the US Income Tax (sigh).
    They have an email list you can sign up for, and an RSS feed. It's like the old days of URouLette, but with only the good stuff coming up on the wheel.

Monday, February 14, 2005

It's Going to Happen...

The Southside Library is scheduled to break ground in the late spring this year. While stomping around in a very large, very muddy empty lot it was hard to match the actual place to the site plan and floor plan, but this is probably a picture of about where the book stacks will be for adult circulating books. There should be a very nice view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the future parking lot.
photo of some juniper trees

Where is it?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

What Is Your Group Reading?

We like to hear about the books people are reading. When groups get together and decide to read a chosen book or author we sometimes notice this when all of one title or many books by one author are checked out. We love it!
     Oprah's Book Club recently has read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. One local group here is reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Another group has chosen Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. We've heard that there is a group which is reading the entire Finnegans Wake by James Joyce out loud (this may take years!) and they are also reading Ulysses. There is a Mystery reading group but what they are reading is a mystery.
     Tell us what your group is reading. We'd like to know. E-mail us at:

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Ten Most-Requested Books

We call 'em requests, or holds, or reserves. Taking the hold requests, and filling them, is extremely satisfying, because we know we are giving people EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT. Right now the ten books with the most requests on them are:
A longer list is on the website as Books You're Willing to Wait in Line For , and we update it about once a month.

If You Read, or Write, or Want to Publish

We just ran across a terrific and detailed article which might be of interest to, well, almost anyone, The Truth about Publishing. It was written by the Australian novelist, Ian Irvine. The citation came from novelist and screenwriter Lee Goldberg, who got it from reviewer Sarah Weinman. Are we having fun yet?

Thursday, February 10, 2005


The Friends of the Library will have their Third Annual Adult Spelling Bee - "It's written, not oral!" - on April 3, 2005. Organizer Carol Lachman promises the words are easier this year. Last year's brain-benders included 'clinquant' , 'triskaidekaphobia', and 'kakistocracy'. Details and appplication on the library's web site.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What They're Reading

Over at Technorati, where they track about five million weblogs, they've invented a Book Talk page, tallying the most mentioned books in the blogosphere. AllConsuming does the same kind of thing, and makes it clear what time interval it is talking about. Technorati says the most talked about book is Hugh Hewitt's Blog : Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World. Which we don't own (yet). All-Consuming says it's Malcolm Gladwell's Blink : the power of thinking without thinking. Which we do own. You can place a hold here.

Tax Time

This year anyone may file their Federal taxes online for free. The trick is you must start at the IRS's free efile page, and from there choose one of the providers whose entry says it is free to all taxpayers. Then in fact it is free. If you are planning to do it from one of the library's machines, a.) be sure to bring all your information with you, including LAST YEAR's Adjusted Gross Income, which the process will ask you for near the end; b.) be sure to sign up for a one-hour machine; and c.) and consider doing it at the La Farge Branch where the work stations are larger and more private.
I myself did it the other morning, using TurboTax on the Web. It worked, and it was free.

Why Are We Here?

Answer #1: The Pew Internet and American Life Project did a study in November which found that "8 million American adults say they have created blogs; blog readership jumped 58% in 2004 and now stands at 27% of internet users; 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online; and 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs.
So the real question is, why did we only just get here?

Answer #2: Years ago and in a different community, Issan Dorsey used to tell us an old Napa State Mental Hospital joke. Someone asks, "Why are we here?" And everyone in the room shouts in chorus, "Because we're not all there!!" Considering how much undone work we at SFPL have at any given moment, we are certainly not-all-there if we are launching a blog!!