Thursday, March 31, 2005

Santa Fe/New Mexico Day

The Society for Applied Anthropology is holding their 2005 conference in Santa Fe, April 5-10.
       The first day of their conference, Tuesday April 5th, is designated as Santa Fe/New Mexico Day, and they are opening their first day meetings free of charge to residents of Santa Fe and New Mexico. There are lots of juicy topics, and familiar names among the presenters (such as John Pen La Farge, Jill Sweet, Jack Loeffler, Chris Wilson, David Grant Noble).
       Check the conference web page for program details.

Southwest Book Awards : Call for Entries

PEN Texas and PEN New Mexico have called for entries for the 2005 PEN TX/New Mexico Southwest Book Awards competition, looking for published works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction by PEN members. Details are available on the New Mexico Book Co-op web page. The deadline is May 15th, 2005, so take a look soon if you are interested in pursuing this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Robert Creeley, 1926-2005

cover of bookWe have heard through the poetry community that Robert Creeley died this morning in Marfa, Texas. Creeley had New Mexico connections--taught at UNM, lived in Albuquerque and in Placitas in the '60s--and has been a giant of American poetry for the last several decades. Expect to see an outpouring of tributes and memorials.
       We have nine Creeley titles in the collection.

Newly Added Large Print Titles

The twelve most recently added titles in Large Print are       These are mostly 2004 and 2005 titles, and new ones continue to arrive (slowly). We have a list of all our large print titles, presently about 2300 of them; it is updated every month or so.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rudolfo Anaya

On Saturday, Rudolfo Anaya will be reading at Collected Works Bookstore, just west of the Plaza. The reading is at 2PM. Anaya's new book is Jemez Spring, the fourth in his series of mysteries about Albuquerque detective Sonny Baca.
       Jemez Spring is not in the catalog yet so you can't yet place a hold on it. But we should have several copies by the end of the week. Meanwhile we have thirty-eight Rudolfo Anaya titles in the catalog, including the three previous Sonny Baca mysteries.
       If you're into mysteries, be sure to visit our New Mexico Mysteries page. (It also covers Arizona, Colorado, Montana and the rest of the wider west.)

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Monday, March 28, 2005

DRM & Yahoo Traffic

From the Links and Topics Department:
      Andrea Mercado at LibraryTechtonics points out that YahooMaps now has traffic reports. Those guys at Yahoo and Google (and other major portals and search engines) will go to so much trouble just to get our eyes onto their pages--makes it very entertaining for us out here!
      Jessamyn West at has an interesting short posting on digital rights management, a topic it is far easiest not to think about at all... but we must. Onward we go into a forest of legalspeak and long acronyms. DRM, CPRM, UCITA, DMCA, SDMI, DVDCCA, DMCA, DTCP, HDCP.... Oh, help.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Stopping By the Library On a Snowy Morning

on the library lawn

It's 10:40 AM and it's still really very quiet here in the Main Library. Wonder why...

street scene

       Today is Robert Frost's birthday, by the way. Although in readers' minds he is firmly associated with New England, he was actually born in San Francisco. Of course, we have plenty of Frost's work in the library system, and biographies and criticism. The complete text of "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" is available many places online. Here is an authoritative version from the University of Toronto's Representative Poetry Online collection.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Factoids Available

As you probably know, the Friends of the Library are having their Spring Book Sale at the Main Library on April 9th and 10th. But here is something you might not know: before the donated books go to the Friends to be put in the sale, the library selects a great many of them to go directly into the collection. We get wonderful donated books. Our new head of the cataloging department is amazed at the quality.
       Right now 60,000 of the library's 270,000 items, were donations. That is, 22% of the whole collection exists because of the generosity of our users, offering their books (and DVDs, and CDs, and...) for each other to use through the library.
       We've been updating the Library Facts and Statistics page, and temporarily are awash in numbers. Our circulation last year was 464,000 items. That's nearly half a million books out, half a million books back in again--almost a million transactions across the circulation desks. (Then we shelve them so you can find them and check them out again.) Actually last year's circulation was down about 3%. Most of the drop was at La Farge. Bookstop's circulation went up.
       Those 270,000 items mentioned above represent 174,000 separate titles.
       The Main Library is open 64 hours a week, the three libraries together are open 163 hours a week, and our catalog, the databases, and our web pages are available 24x7.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nobody Knows Why

The users of our different branches are often very different in their tastes. As usual, all five of the Main Library's circulating copies of The Myth of Santa Fe: creating a modern regional tradition by Chris Wilson are checked out. None of the four branch library copies are out. As usual, almost all of Main's Charles Bukowski titles are out; but there are a lot in at La Farge. More science fiction goes out at La Farge. In proportion, Bookstop readers read a lot more fiction than either of the other branches.
      What brought this to mind was a donated copy of The Myth of Santa Fe, which I set down on the counter top for a minute en route to be processed. Immediately someone picked it up and wanted to know when they could check it out...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


There was an interesting story on NPR yesterday morning. Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust (and the model for the librarian action figure :-), presented a list of what she called microhistories, illuminating nonfiction books about closely focused subjects. We have all but one of the titles discussed:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Top Biographies Again (Local Version)

Another way of looking at most-popular-biographies (see yesterday's post) is to find out which titles have circulated the most here in Santa Fe. Looking at the numbers collected since we automated in 1988, the highest demand biography/ autobiography/ memoirs are very indicitave of local interests: half are Santa Fe and Southwestern titles--including TWO books about Mabel Dodge Luhan, a memoir and a biography--:       Only one of these titles, Anne Frank's diary, was in yesterday's list of biographies that the most libraries own.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Monday, March 21, 2005

Top Biographies

The big network of libraries we belong to, OCLC, has put together some lists of the titles that the largest number of libraries own, what they call "the 'purchase vote' of libraries around the globe." This is a pretty good way of getting a sense of what people want to read. It's a fairly universal reflex in libraryland: you want, we try to buy. The top entries on their "Biography, autobiography and journals" list:
  • Henry David Thoreau, Walden (22,165 libraries)
  • Plutarch, Lives (21,050 libraries)
  • Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl (18,835 libraries)
  • Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography (16,358 libraries)
  • Tabari, History of Prophets and Kings (14,793 libraries)
  • Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (14,164 libraries)
  • Van Gogh, Vincent van Gogh (13,760 libraries)(they seem to have lumped several Van Gogh books...)
  • St. Augustine, Confessions (12,564 libraries)
  • Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo (11,214 libraries)
  • Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography (10,361 libraries)
We have them all except the Tabari, about which--I'm sorry to say--we were until this moment completely ignorant. We'll order a copy. The readers in those 14,793 libraries clearly know what they are doing...
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book
      P.S. You have access to the OCLC database, called WorldCat, but only from inside the library. Listings for 54,826,796 titles, as held by about 50,000 libraries, are yours to examine. More about FirstSearch and Worldcat in an upcoming post. You will find a link to Worldcat on the Internet Starting Points, but it will only let you in from the library's IP address...

Book Sale & Spelling Bee Reminder

The Friends of the Library have two events coming up. The third annual Adult Spelling Bee will be on April 3rd at the Genoveva Chaves Community Center. The Spring Book Sale will be April 9th and 10th at the Main Library.
      There are a number of programs scheduled for April. Look for details on our news page.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Easter Holiday Hours

In observance of the Easter Holiday, the Main Library and La Farge Library will close at 1PM on Friday March 25th, and the Bookstop will not open at all. All three libraries will be closed on Sunday, March 27th. All three libraries will keep their normal Saturday hours on the 26th: Main and La Farge open 10AM to 6 PM, the Bookstop open noon-6.
      You can pick up bookmarks with library hours, phone numbers, and web page URLs at any of the libraries.

photo of bookmarks and small bears

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Summer Reading : Talking Books

'Talking Books' in Spanish, Navajo, and Braille
This year the Summer Reading Program will have the theme, Talking Books. "If books could talk, what would they say...?" The State Library has planned it in conjuction with the Museum of New Mexico's Lasting Impressions: The Private Presses of New Mexico exhibit. The museum's show presents New Mexico literature "through the work of its artisan printers. On display are books, broadsides, presses and tools of the printers' craft." Joint activities are planned with the Summer Reading program.
      Summer Reading at SFPL will run from June 14th through July 29th. Kids can register at the kickoff party on June 14th. The schedule of activities, parties, craft programs (making books!!), etc. will be ready soon. Ask in the children's room the next time you are in the library.

Friday, March 18, 2005

It's All Over the Blogosphere

How cool is this? Lawrence Lessig, prominent in intellectual freedom law and author of such books as Free culture : how big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity and The future of ideas : the fate of the commons in a connected world has posted the full text of his 1999 book, Code : and other laws of cyberspace online and has set up a wiki to invite any interested parties to collaborate with him in writing an updated version of the book.
      We first saw this posted at the Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc. blog, but it's turning up in lots of places. The library does have Gillmor's new book, We the Media : Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the people --and it also appears to be online, at the O'Reilly site. Click on the link in the catalog

Sometimes You Don't Know Until People Ask a Question

Someone wanted to know where to look for Jodi Picoult's books. It turns out that all her titles at the Main Library are checked out. There are a few copies in at the branches. We knew she was popular, but we didn't know how much!
      Coincidentally, Jodi Picoult's name came up earlier this week. Her 2004 title, My Sister's Keeper, is on the Teen Read Week list; these books were nominated by teen book groups to be winnowed into a Top Ten list by online voting the week of October 16-22, 2005.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Still Looking for Artists

The Main Branch of the Santa Fe Public Library is looking for artists to display their work in the Tybie Davis Satin Gallery, at 145 Washington Avenue. Those interested should bring samples to the Library Art Committee, which meets the first Wedensday of each month, at 2:00 PM, in the Pick Conference Room. For more information, call Media Services at 955-6784.

Eleven Months of Reading

The books that are being handled and thought about have their own wide-awake quality. Haven't you noticed that the books on the shelving trucks, or the books in the sections that have lately been moved around, are somehow more powerful eye-magnets than the ones that have been just sitting there in their places? cover of book
      One local reading group has kindly let us know their 2005 reading plan. (We'd love to hear from other groups. If there's enough input, we could build a Santa Fe Readers' Bibliography.)      Need more ideas for reading groups? Try looking in the 'Lists Guides Suggestions' section on our About Books & Literature page. One great resource it points to is the long list from the Washington Center for the Book, Recommended Books for Discussion. And we keep a notebook of Bibliographies at the Reference Desk.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What's Forthcoming

Authors on the Web has a list of books being released in March and April. It's way too long a list to give you a link into the catalog for each one we own. But look up the titles that catch your fancy, place a hold if you find it, and ask us to order anything you want that hasn't already shown up in the catalog.
      Thanks to mw at h2oboro lib blog for this link.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Cell Phone Drivers

Another great bit of flotsam from Resource Shelf: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the proportion of drivers holding cell phones observed was 3% in 2000, 4% in 2002, and 5% in 2004.
      As of 2004 two states--New York and New Jersey-- plus the District of Columbia have laws banning hand-held cell phone use while driving. The NHTSA paper did not talk about local laws, and gives no indication of how many places may have made it illegal by local ordinance, as Santa Fe has done.

A Small Formal Milestone for Southside

street sign at the corner of Jaquar and Country Club
The Bid Opening for the Southside Library project is scheduled for March 22, 2005, at 2 PM. We're still looking at a Grand Opening on July 5, 2006.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Whole Lot of Questions Going On

Part of an afternoon, some of what people were looking for: cover of book
  • books about Socrates;
  • the poetry of John Keats;
  • books about meditation, and about yoga;
    a biography of George Washington Carver;
  • an explanation of why Europe and Asia count as two continents but Oceania doesn't count at all;
  • books about anger management;
  • a weather forecast, to decide whether to take Interstate 70 or Interstate 80 across the plains;
  • information about the blood pressure drug, Micardis;
  • books for Spanish speakers on learning English;
  • articles from academic journals about genetics;
  • two print references to use in developing their science project;
  • books on American Sign Language;cover of book
  • Barbara Hambly's The Emancipator's Wife, a novel about Mary Todd Lincoln; Anam cara : a book of Celtic wisdom by John O'Donohue; Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival, Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, Toni Morrison's Jazz,
  • and to cancel a hold on Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty.
      They also needed to know how to find the State Attorney General's office, how to attach their Word files to an email, how to ask the printer to print only the part they wanted, and tax forms.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

It's All About Images

New York Public Library has just launched its Digital Galley, "275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library". This enormous institution has a lot of treasures, and they've decided to share. The work is still in progress, their goal is half a million digital images.
      Resource Shelf is featuring the NYPL Digital Gallery this week, and walks you through an exploration of the site. Editor Shirl Kennedy invites us to remember "the first digital images you ever saw online." Oh yes. It was July of 1994 and Comet Shoemaker-Levy was crashing into Jupiter. We had to download those pictures one-by-one ever-so-slowly by ftp through our 2400 baud modem but oh what a knockout on the screen... Memory lane: Shoemaker-Levy on its way in, already fragmented in May of 1994; and, "a necklace of impact sites", July 25, 1994.
      Belated thanks to the guys who invented Mosaic...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Half-Blood Prince Has a Cover

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be published on July 16th. It's been slowly on its way for a long time. You can now see its cover at the bookstore sites. It's not in the catalog yet, but will appear there in plenty of time for you to place a hold on it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mount Saint Helens Has a 'Small Explosive Event'

Tuesday afternoon March 8th, Mount Saint Helens had a small event at 5:25 p.m. PST. "Airplane pilot reports indicate that the resulting steam-and-ash plume reached an altitude of about 36,000 feet above sea level within a few minutes and drifted downwind to the northeast." (from the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, with terrific photographs). The Volcano Cam page has many links leading to updates and information, including the latest Mount Saint Helens Information Statement.

The Newest New Audio Books

We have just ordered, among other goodies, the following unabridged audio books on CD:These are all 2004 and 2005 titles. I can't speak to the quality of the recordings, but as print books these are all very popular titles; and Wolves Eat Dogs was the best mystery I read last year.
      Having just been ordered, they aren't here yet. But you can place holds on them.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Deepak Chopra and Michael Moore

As mentioned below, several authors had more than one title on the list of most popular non-fiction titles last year. So we thought it might be instructive to lump all the non-fiction circulation by author, and see who the most popular authors were.       There are several questions raised by this list. Non-Fiction is a very peculiar umbrella term. As used in our library, it means not-a-novel not-a-short-story. Novels and short stories on one side of the building, all the rest of human experience -- art, washing machine repair, humor, history, new age spirituality, horse training, everything -- on the other. Why should Shakespeare appear in the list above, instead of with all those authors of works of imagination in the fiction list? Should I have left Mozart out because he wrote music and not words? What about those children's non-fiction authors? What is this a list of, really?
      It seems likely that the most popular fiction authors here in Santa Fe differ only in detail from those elsewhere in the country. Probably Nora Roberts and Stan Berenstain rule everywhere. But does our taste in non-fiction have a Santa Fe flavor?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

March 1st Drought Monitor

March 1, Arizona & New Mexico

The graphic above, snipped from the March 1st Drought Monitor, shows the area remaining in Arizona/New Mexico which is still suffering level 3 intensity of hydrologic drought. If you watch the 12-week animation at the Drought Monitor, you can see it shrinking shrinking shrinking until in fact it covers just us. That bright red spot seems likely to disappear by the March 8 report or the March 15 report. Indications are everywhere that we have had a very wet (and usefully effective) winter. Is the drought over? Not an answerable question long-term. (Perhaps not likely.) But certainly things are better for now.
      The Weekly Snotel Snowpack and Precipitation Report, as of Monday, February 28, 2005, shows the Snow Water Equivalent for the Sangre de Cristos at 148% of average. The New Mexico Reservoir Storage Graph shows that the State reservoirs have vastly more water than last year (that's not hard!) and are filling back up (albeit slowly in the case of Heron and El Vado; Abiquiu is at 106% of average). The municipal reservoirs in Santa Fe Canyon are at 76.2% of capacity, with a daily inflow of 5.77 million gallons--and the snowpack hasn't really begun melting yet. (We are still under a Stage 2 Water Alert, three-times-a-week watering, not that you're probably having to water very often right now.)
      The March 4 Hydrologic Outlook from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque says "The first 2 months of 2005 have been the wettest start to any year on record in Albuqueruqe...Santa Fe...Farmington..." (etc.) and "Flow from streams originating in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and feeding in to the Rio Grande should range from 110 percent to as much as 140 percent of normal." (Zowie.)

Free Wireless Points in Santa Fe?

No-o-o-o, alas, not at the library. But we have a little list. Likely there are others we don't know about, and that conditions change now and then in these various venues.
  • CD Café (on Guadalupe)
  • Jane's Cafe (on E. de Vargas)
  • Java Joe's (on Rodeo)
  • Santa Fe Baking Co. (on Cordova)
  • Steepings (W. San Francisco)
  • Sun Mountain Bike & Coffee (in El Centro)
  • Travel Bug (on Paseo)
  • Tribes Coffee House (W. San Francisco, in the breezeway)
  • Zia Diner (Guadalupe Street)
      Let us know if you run across other free wireless sites, so we can add them to the list.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Potsherds Under Griffin Street

One of those speaks-a-1000-words pictures is in today's New Mexican: two potsherds resting on someone's palm. The whole story is interesting (for one thing, it tells us what they found during the excavations last fall across the parking lot that Main Library employees use behind Sweeney Convention Center), but just those two decorated bits of pot whisper, whisper about those who lived here before us, their traces lingering under our feet.

I'm Sure It's Here Somewhere

Minneapolis Public Library put together a good set of resources on memory and memory improvement. We have some of the cover of book
titles they mention--The memory prescription : Dr. Gary Small's 14-day plan to keep your brain and body young; Jean Carper's Your Miracle Brain; Richard M. Restack's Older and wiser: how to maintain peak mental ability for as long as you live--and a good many others, including the 2005 title Age-proof Your Mind, but we'll be using their page as a shopping list. Provided we can remember to check with the distributor to see which are still available. :-)
      Thanks to MPL's What's New blog for pointing to this list.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dr. Atkins Falls Out of Fashion

At least here in Santa Fe, the vogue for the Atkins diet may be waning. All the copies of his books used to be out all the time, with people waiting in line for them. But right now you could probably walk in and find a copy to check out of any of the fifteen Atkins titles in the catalog.

Morris the Elephant (Story Time)

Among the books they read in Story Time this week were a bear story (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., with the wonderful Eric cover of book Carle illustrations), and three elephant stories: David McKee's Hide-and-seek Elmer, Patricia's Thomas' "Stand back," said the elephant, "I'm going to sneeze!" (hmmm, a story whose whole plot may be in the title), and David McPhail's Where Can an Elephant Hide? (the summary in the catalog says, "The jungle animals help Morris the elephant conceal himself from approaching hunters.")
      Pre-School Story Time at La Farge happens on Tuesday mornings, and runs two groups simultaneously: 2- and 3-year olds meet from 10:15 to 10:45 AM; and 4-5-and-6-year-olds from 10:15 to 11:00 AM. It runs in six week cycles. Call the children's department at La Farge to register, at 955-4863.

Searching the Government

There's an interesting article at (itself an interesting site: "Legal and Technology Articles and Resources for Librarians...") about searching for government documents. The article, "Why Google Uncle Sam?" by Peggy Garvin, discusses various search strategies and concludes that is a better place to start than the other search engines that offer government document access, but not by a lot; and that, as always, "When searching the federal government niche, follow the same recommended practice as in general searching: use more than one search engine."
      The site analogous to for New Mexico government information is FindIt New Mexico. We have collected some other useful government links on our Government Information page.

Pictures of Ravens

Another reference question: someone was looking for a particular photograph of ravens she had seen in a National Geographic article about five years ago. According to Geographic's index there was an article about ravens in the right time frame; but when the magazine was fetched up from the basement, none of the pictures looked right. No other articles mentioning ravens (in the index) were listed as published in the right time frame.
      So we tried Google Images and Yahoo Images (as of just lately Yahoo's images database is a lot bigger than Google's). Still nothing that worked.
      Next we tried the area of the stacks where the bird books are. In the end she checked out Bernd Heinrich's Mind of the Raven: investigations and adventures with wolf-birds--not a glossy picture book, but with photos selected to clearly show raven behaviors.
      Readers know Heinrich mainly for his books about his work with ravens, but my personal favorite is his last year's book, Winter World : the Ingenuity of Animal Survival, a riveting description of how a working scientist goes about solving a deep mystery: that teeny tiny creatures--kinglets, bees, the smallest ground squirrels--can survive sub-zero Maine winters.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

SF Reporter Does Blogs

The cover story on this week's Santa Fe Reporter, just out this morning, is "Trolling the Blogosphere". The whole story is online (which is not always the case), including links to local bloggers. (Still no other local libraries or librarians in sight.)

Reference Librarian's Lament

Finally found the answer, and can't find the person who asked! The question: "When will Cormac McCarthy have a new book coming out? It's been a really long time." The answer: No Country for Old Men comes out in July. No, it's not in the database yet, so you can't put a hold on it. We'll let you all know here when it gets ordered, so that you can start lining up for it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan

"Stately, plump Buck Mulligan" is the opening phrase of James Joyce's Ulysses. Project Gutenberg, which has been offering copyright-free full-text books online for free since 1971, reports that this week their etext of Ulysses was downloaded 1011 times, and was their fourth most popular book. See Project Gutenberg's Top 100 page for this week's list.
      It's not all that easy to read an entire (very long) novel on a PC screen, but it's out there, it's free, and Project Gutenberg's one-long-text-file format makes a wonderful way to hunt for a quote you remember and can't pin down! They have a total of 13,000 titles available at the moment, all prepared for online accessibility by volunteers over the past more than 30 years. Try the Project Gutenberg catalog to see what they have.
      Thanks to Waterboro Public Library's blog for pointing out the Top 100 list.