Monday, May 30, 2005

Google's Library Projects

On searchenginewatch, Gary Price posted a clear description of the Google initiatives which reach into bookish territory (Google Print and Google Library Program); he gives a good foundation for understanding the current news about the copyright problems Google is moving itself into. We will hear lots more about this topic.
       The Chronicle of Higher Education has a good article about the letter to Google from the Association of American University Presses, and Business Week also has a story that includes the full text of the letter. (Whoa. Long and formal.)
       As we posted earlier in the month, Wade Rousch's illluminating article, "The Infinite Library", gives us a lot of thinking points on this subject.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Reporter's Best of Santa Fe Survey

From now through June 12, you can vote in the Best of Santa Fe 2005 survey on the Santa Fe Reporter's website.
       This is a pretty big deal for the winners. Carlos Gosp'l Cafe and French & French Sotheby's are distributing little cards encouraging you to vote for them. We mention this because the instructions on the back of the card include a plug for us: "Computer terminals are available and open to the public at the Santa Fe Public Libraries". Thank you, we appreciate the mention!
       The Reporter's website gets better all the time. They have their classifieds online, the restaurant guide, the full text of cover stories archived since July, 2002, and the Annual Manual (but not, alas, the current one. Hey, Mme. Editor, even an old Annual Manual is useful, but please can you get the online version updated?)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Lost Kerouac

The headlines say it all.
"Lost Kerouac play found in Jersey City Warehouse
'Lost' Kerouac play resurfaces after 50 years
Release for unseen Kerouac play.

       Santa Fe is, by the way, still on the schedule for the typescript scroll manuscript of On the Road to come to the Palace of the Governors in 2007. Hunting around for the dates (which are apparently not set yet) we ran across a spectacular hi-resolution image of part of the scroll. Thank you, thank you, University of Iowa.
       There's a lovely web tour of cover of bookthe Denver locations that figure in Beat history, written and photographed by Andrew Burnett and Steve Hansen, on the Denver city web site; and a nice website about the scroll at Empty Mirror Books. And of course we have plenty of books by and about Kerouac and the Beats in our catalog. (All eight copies of On the Road are out at the moment, but you could place a hold on it.) The little cover image is for Atop an Underwood : early stories and other writings.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cassini Freak

The Cassini mission false color image of Saturn's ringsto Saturn arrived in June of 2004, and isn't in the news anymore. But the little (22 feet high and 13 feet wide) spacecraft is still on the job and doing science every minute. It's hard to decide which recently released image to point you to. This one? That one? Or the mosaic full portrait of Saturn?
       This post could be entitled "The Pleasures of the Web, part III". Or, "Science Live". With weather sites (or here) showing us every move of major storms; live solar xray images (or here); Web cameras showing us wildlife and auroras and tides; NASA pages like the Cassini pages, giving us images we'd once have had to wait months for and then only see if someone nearby had a subscription to Scientific American; earthquakes; and on and on: choose your science, and then luxuriate in the information you can find out there. PS They banded and named the peregrine babies yesterday. :-)

Monday's a Holiday! (Yaay!)

The library system will be closed on Monday, May 30th. It's worth mentioning that the catalog and the magazine databases will continue to be available. It's quite lovely to have these 24x365 options to offer.
       The full holiday calendar for 2005 is available on our 'About the Library' page.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Water News

Well, we certainly had a wet winter, the wettest for 10 years. The City's reservoir system is 95.5% full. The State's reservoirs are much improved, the Rio Grande's flow is 8,790 cubic feet per second at Embudo, the newspapers are giving us flood stories daily.
      Here are some other sites for looking at the current situation: the New Mexico State Basin Outlook Report (from NRCS), Southwest Climate Outlook (from CLIMAS), Seasonal Drought Outlook (from CLIMAS), the Weekly Snotel and Snowpack Precipitation Report (from NRCS), the Hydologic Outlook from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.
graph: Palmer Drought Index for New Mexico
      None of this tells us, particularly, whether the drought cycle has ended or whether we've just had a wet year. A terrific article from University of Arizona's CLIMAS unit (Climate Assessment for the Southwest), "Will the Drought Continue?" addresses this very question. It's got some very interesting graphics.

Just One Yummy Title After Another

In the last couple of days we have added a whole lot of titles to the collection. Some are donations and are already in hand, some are freshly ordered and will be coming along soon. You can place holds on any of them.
       We've set up a shortcut list in the catalog that contains most of them. It's in order by author, mingling old and new, adults' and children's, and maybe a media item or two...
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Mexico News Plus

state library logoAmong its several special services, the New Mexico State Library is a State and Federal document depository. They are your most important resource for government information, and for finding the people who know how to find that information.
       They have a nifty page, New Mexico News Plus ('Instant Access to Government Reports, Legislation, Federal Court Decisions, Statistics and Regulations Mentioned in the News'), where they hunt down, and link to, the online documents which come up in the news. Today's entry, for example, has links to forest fire information, the U. S. Senate's cloture rule, the partial birth abortion ban, grey wolves, and more, all of which were addressed in today's news.
       The State Library is one of the nineteen libraries in Santa Fe. We have a list of Santa Fe's library resources on our web page.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Finally Have Photo!!

Barbara RichardsonMrs. Barbara Richardson, First Lady of New Mexico, was the honored guest at the New Mexico State Library’s Summer Reading Kick-off. The event was hosted by the LaFarge Branch on May 3rd. Local classes attended to hear Mrs. Richardson read a poem and read the story “The Printer.”
       Santa Fe Public Library's Summer Reading program begins with a party on Tuesday, June 14th, 2005, 2 PM, at the Main Library. Please come!
       Mrs. Richardson is also the Honorary Co-Chair of the Santa Fe Public Library’s Southside fundraising campaign.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Storks of Caridad

Florence WeinbergFlorence Weinberg will be at the Main Library on Monday, May 23, at 7 PM, for a talk/reading/signing from her novel The Storks of La Caridad. Storks is the third in series of mysteries about Fr. Ignaz Pfefferkorn, set in a monastery in NW Mexico in the later 1700s.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Firefox Search PlugIns

For those of you using the Firefox browser we have made catalog search plug-ins for the author, title and keyword searches. 10% of you are now using Firefox. (The plugins should also work for Mozilla and late Netscape.)
       Another efficient way to search the catalog via Firefox is to create a Smart Keyword that works directly from the address bar. This works for any page with a search box. Right click in the box. Choose 'Add a Keyword for this Search', and pick a short keyword. Voila! For example, right click in the catalog's Title Search box. Set up 't' for a Smart Keyword. Now you can just type 't bird by bird' in the address bar and Firefox will rush off to the catalog and find you Anne Lamott's wonderful writing book. There are more detailed instructions for Smart Keyword available from NOBLE, a Boston-area library consortium.
       Thanks to Corey Seeman at University of Toledo for the plug-in code. He in turn based it on work done by Thomas Dowling at OhioLink. And thanks to the The Shifted Librarian for starting the conversation that led to the people who knew how.

That LANL Blog

On NPR this morning there was a story about LANL: The Real Story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

...thrilled and fascinated...

Lev Raphael, a novelist and reviewer whom I really respect, said in passing a while back, "... it's still thrilling to find a book or writer you adore and to be able to share your enthusiasm and excitement, your passion. Books I've recently been thrilled and fascinated by: Joseph Kanon--Alibi (mystery); Tom Reiss--The Orientalist (biography with a touch of mystery) ; Azadeh Moaveni--Lipstick Jihad (memoir)."
       Well, yaay, the library has all three.
       Kanon is a local connection of sorts, his first big book was the 1997 thriller Los Alamos, about the making of the atomic bomb. It was wildly popular around here.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Peregrine Babies

The five peregrine falcon hatchlings on the Falcon Cam, the first of whom came out of the shell on May 9th, are big enough for us to sometimes make out what they are up to. Keep checking, and you'll get to see them being fed, as was happening just now (see picture below). Funny little things, aren't they?
screen capture of falconbabies

The LitBlog Co-op Says : 'Read This'

The LitBlog Co-op, a cover of bookgroup of 21 literary bloggers, have posted their first collective recommendation: Case Histories, a novel by Kate Atkinson. The announcement has already accumulated 63 comments, and we can expect lots more discussion.
       They say about their first selection, "Over the course of the next week we will post a schedule for author and editor visits, as well as a moderator-led discussion. Additionally, next Monday May 23 we will post The Minority Opinion, in which LBC members who were less enthusiastic about the selection can weigh in. And then on the four subsequent Mondays we will share the titles of the other four books we considered, as described by the bloggers who nominated them."
       There's a list of participating blogs on the page, which might work well as a beginning taste of what's out there in the literary blog world. There doesn't seem to be a hint about how frequently they are going to do this.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Replacement Copies

There's 80,000 of you, you check items out half a million times a year, and books are not immortal* (though sometimes their contents are). The physical items get eaten by dogs, checked out and never returned, read to tatters, unaccountably lost. Though the on-order lists we post for you to look at usually are limited to titles which have come out in the last year or two, The New is not all we add to the collection. All the time we are shopping for (and/or happily fishing out of the donated books) replacement copies and titles that fill gaps.
       Just lately these replacement copies and orders have included James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son, several Babysitters Club titles, several Boxcar Children mysteries, a nice fresh copy of O. Henry stories, Spiral Dance by Starhawk, Robert B. Parker's Ceremony, Rebecca West's The Birds Fall Down, and several Agatha Christie titles.
       If you notice a gap like one of those above--an Aldous Huxley title we don't have anymore, a missing volume in a science fiction series, a book we hypothetically have but it's never in--please let us know.
       * Well, most books are not immortal. There are a few items in the collection which have circulated supernatural numbers of times without wearing out or having grape juice spilled on them. The grand champion item is a copy of Dr. Seuss's And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street which went out (and came back) 162 times since we automated in 1988 and an unknown number of times before that. The runner-up item is M. C. Beaton's Death of a Snob, with 156 circulations. Some credit probably goes to the publishers when this happens : they've made a really strong book!!
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Sunday, May 15, 2005

It's Summer Reading Time!

The full schedule of Summer Reading activities is now available online, summer reading logo
and print copies of the schedule can be picked up at any of the Library branches.
       There are lots of activities planned throughout the weeks from June 14th through July 29th -- magic shows, storytellers, puppets, craft programs, parties, and LOTS of encouragement to read read read.
       A very important part of Summer Reading is the Reading Buddies program. This free program is designed to help children keep up their reading skills over the summer months. Children meet with a "Buddy" twice a week for one hour at the library to be coached and encouraged in their reading.
       Adults and older children (age 11 and up) are needed to be trained as Reading Buddy Helpers. To get more information on how to sign up to be a Reading Buddy, or information on Summer Reading registration and programs, go to the Summer Reading web page, or pick up a schedule and the Reading Buddies flyer at the Library.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Valles Caldera

caldera, from LandsatWednesday's Journal North informed us via big black headline that "Valles Caldera May Blow Again", though the article itself doesn't say that. The pertinent quote: '"The caldera tends to erupt about once every 100,000 years," said geologist and retired Los Alamos scientist Fraser Goff. "So on that kind of basis we Valle Grandeprobably won't expect another eruption for another 50,000 years or so," he said.'
       There's a lot of good information on the web about the Valles Caldera, and since the establishment of the Valles Caldera National Preserve, great swathes of that beautiful country are being made accessible for hikers. The elk, the forest, the meadows, the river... paradise. Look for some links on our New Mexico & Southwest Links page.
elk in Valle Jaramillo
Elk in Valle Jaramillo

New Mexico's Crypto-Jews

For both visitors and residents, the topic of New Mexico's Crypto-Jews is of great interest. Earlier this week, as often, some folks from out of town came by to see what information we might have on the subject.
       We have a few books in the collection which are relevant, none addressing the local aspect very directly. In addition, Henry Tobias's A History of the Jews in New Mexico, The Cross and the Pear Tree : a Sephardic Journey by Victor Perera, the little picture book Stones of Remembrance : the Historic Jewish Cemetery in Las Vegas, New Mexico, Trudi Alexy's The Marrano Legacy,and Judith van Giesen's mystery novel Land of Burning Heat also may be helpful in their very different ways.
       We keep a file folder of clippings from the local paper and of copies of magazine articles, such as Stanley M. Hordes' article "The Sephardic Legacy in New Mexico: A History of the Crypto-Jews" (from Journal of the West, October, 1996), Barbara Ferry and Debbie Nathan's "Mistaken Identity? The Case of New Mexico's 'Hidden Jews'" (from Atlantic Monthly, December, 2000), and Seth Ward's "Converso Descendants in the American Southwest: A Report on Research, Resources, and the Changing Search for Identity" (1998 Conference of the European Association for Jewish Studies), which is also available in full text on the web.
       Lastly, on our Local History web page we have gathered a number of links to websites with bibliographies and further links.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

McDonald's and Coca-Cola

street signThe Library is very excited to announce that Coca-Cola and McDonald's are launching a promotion to sell pedometers to benefit the Southside Library fund raising Campaign. The goal is to sell 20,000 pedometers -–the campaign starts this Saturday, May 14. The pedometers cost $1 and will be on the Value Menu.
       Coca-Cola has generously donated the pedometers so that 100% of the sales will be donated to the Library fund.
       Join us at the Urban Jam Workshop at the McDonald's located at 1621 Pacheco Street on Saturday, May 14 from 11:00 - 1:00 to help kick off this promotion. Stop by to check it out!
       Public Service Announcements about this coke logopromotion will begin airing on KBAC FM 98.1 six times per day for one month starting Saturday. Listen for this...
       "Get in step with Coca-Cola and McDonald's to support the Southside Library Campaign. When you purchase a pedometer from the McDonald's Dollar Menu, 100% of the proceeds will go to the new Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch. Visit a participating Santa Fe McDonald's today. Your support speaks volumes!"mcdonald's logo
       McDonald's has also printed tray liners that will be put on all customers’ trays in Santa Fe area McDonald's that highlight the promotion and provide information about the South Side Library fund raising campaign. The combination of these activities will provide great outreach and help to spread the message of the new Southside Library and the Library Campaign to the Santa Fe community!
posted by pch

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

BIG Database of Books : RedLightGreen

On our Internet Starting Points are links to four big bibliographic databases:
RedLightGreen - Research Libraries Group - 45 million titles
Library of Congress catalog - 12 million titles
University of California - 8.5 million titles
WorldCat - 53 million titles
From the point of view of InterLibrary Loan, WorldCat is the one that counts : it's the network of 40,000 libraries that we belong to, from which we can borrow the things you need that the library doesn't own. But you can only get into it from inside the library.
For messing around with at home, and for the sheer delight of its features, try RedLightGreen, the book database of the Research Libraries Group. RLG is only a few dozen libraries, but they are the real big gorillas in the forest--Harvard and Yale, Cornell and Columbia, the British Library and Oxford--and their collections are enormous, and a great joy to fish around in. (If you find what you need, you can get us to borrow it by InterLibrary Loan.)
Why do I love RedLightGreen? 1) Your first results screen will neatly lump together editions for you. (Look up 'thoreau walden'. The first display tells you '307 editions published between 1854 and 2004 in 13 languages' exist in the RLG libraries) 2) It pulls out all the subject and author headings from a list of hits and arrays them down the left side of the screen, so you can choose to narrow your search without having to fish around among the hits. (Look up whales canada'. You get 243 results, too many to pick through. From the subject heading display you choose 'Whaling Arctic Regions' and voila!) 3) If you set up a login, you can tell it what your home library is and get it to search in our catalog to see if we have the book you've found out about, and 4) email yourself citations in one of four formats. 5) They have a Firefox search plugin.
Links to articles about RedLightGreen, including a nifty demo/tutorial from Princeton.

Monday, May 09, 2005

in Just-    spring

the cottonwood tree
It's just absolutely spring in Santa Fe, as green as it gets in yards and driveways, and the trees leafing out so fast they are thicker in the afternoon than they were in the morning.
       The allusion in the title is e. e. cummings poem, "in Just-". Our spring is different here, it isn't mud season. It's apricots already grown to the size of fat fuzzy green cherry-pits, irises and lilacs, apple trees blooming, and green green green. University of Toronto's Representative Poetry Online has a dozen other cummings poems, and a profile. And of course we have lots of print copies of his work.
PS. Looks like a good crop of apricots on the south lawn at City Hall this year. They're safe to just pluck off the trees and eat on the spot once they're ripe, because they're never sprayed.

Falcon Cam

The first hatchling (called an eyas if you're talking about falcons) came out this morning in the peregrine falcon nest on the Kodak building in downtown Rochester, NY.
       Yaay, yes? The cam page suggests we keep an eye out, as the other eggs might hatch any time. Wikipedia has a nice article about the peregrine if you want to read up.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Yahoo Video Search

As you know if you follow any techie news outlets (or Google News), Yahoo's video search is out of beta test. They think it's ready for prime time.
       We tried "valles caldera", "valle grande", "jemez mountains" and "sangre de cristo" without scoring any hits. Fooey. 'elk "New Mexico"' got some clips from hunting outfits, but no footage of the Caldera. Then we tried "santa fe" and got mostly railroad clips. Then we tried "Miami Vice" (yikes, I didn't just admit that in public, did I?): a few hits.
       As soon as we figure out what it's really useful for, we'll let you know.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

If This Were a Race... (Most Popular Titles)

These are the ten titles with the most people waiting for them at the moment:cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book
       In this short list there are several interesting things to notice. The Mermaid's Chair rocketed up out of nowhere this month, clearly a reflection of the great success with reading groups of Sue Monk Kidd's earlier title, The Secret Life of Bees. The Kite Runner, too, is in demand with reading groups, and has been continuously since its publication in 2003. There are three mysteries from long-established authors--Robert B. Parker, Nevada Barr, Elizabeth George-- and two heavyweight non-fiction books looking at the world at this very moment, likewise from authors with firm reputations, Jared Diamond and Thomas L. Friedman. (Malcolm Gladwell's title, though also non-fiction, is interesting but not 'heavy'.) The most popular books among Santa Fe readers at the moment are definitely not solely pop fiction.
       A longer list of the books you're willing to wait in line for is on our About Books and Literature page.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


By the time we mentioned Resource Shelf last week, Shirl Kennedy had posted a new Resource of the Week, Houghton Mifflin's Reader's Companion to American History. We won't try to excerpt her detailed description of what's available there for history lovers and how to get at it. Read her description, and then go play with it.
       Another great resource for history buffs is, well,, among other things a collection of digitized historical newspapers. Go to primary source material, the online newspaper archives, then browse around the date folders. You might find a gem like the death of Enrico Caruso on August 2, 1921 ("'Golden Voice is Stilled in Italy"). This link came from Sites and Soundbytes, the blog of the Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake, Wisconsin. They also have a KidsLit blog.
       One of our colleagues found a mapping site that does a somewhat whimsical list of world cities. Once the city is displayed you can change the language to English, and navigate around the map of the city by clicking on a compass rose. Still looking at the world, there's a fabulous project at Geograph British Isles, an attempt to involve as many people as possible ("...a free and open online community project for all") in getting a geographically representative photograph from each square kilometer of Great Britain. Delicious browsing here. Can you imagine if there were a project like this for the US?
       There is no thread to this post, just some more sites that could have gone into the post last week about the pleasures of the web. What, you've got work to do and information to find and no time for pleasures? A while back Sarah Houghton, the Librarian in Black, reminded us about the Infopeople Search Engine Chart. Dense with information about finding information. Do you need just one little trick for improving your search results? Put quotes around your phrases, then choose the phrases carefully, and by golly you can find ANYTHING.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Summer Reading News

The Summer Reading program is on its way. Registration for volunteer helpers for the Reading Buddies program begins on Friday May 13 (call 955-6783 or 955-4863), and training for the volunteers will be on June 8,9,10. Reading Buddies volunteers help at the Library twice a week for an hour, coaching a child with his or her reading.
       Paul Glickman's 'Bookworm' puppetTuesday, June 14th at 2 PM is the actual summer reading kickoff date. Come to Little Readers Day with Puppeteer Paul Glickman at the Main Library, and sign up for summer reading. Aren't you just dying to meet Mr. Glickman's puppet friends and find out about the craft programs, shows, prizes and parties?? And it's all free. Last year SFPL signed up 453 readers for the Summer Reading program and over 1250 attended programs!
       The full schedule of activities should be ready in a few days. Meanwhile the first few programs are listed on the library news page.
       With libraries across the country working on Summer Reading programs to keep children reading, parents of pre-Kindergarteners should take a look at the Scholastic website's Countdown to Kindergarten. Check out their easy to use Readiness Timeline of "MUST DOs", and fun skill-building books, toys and games. Not sure what books are best for pre-readers? Ask your local librarian for suggestions and enroll in a pre-school story time.
       Sorry to show you Mr. Glickman's old friend Bookworm again. He's our favorite.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Infinite Library

A while ago we posted some links to information about Google's digitization project and the Million Books Project. A very interesting article in this month's Technology Review, "The Infinite Library", written by Wade Roush, discusses some of the practicalities of the Google project and its implications both for the libraries who are directly involved, and for the future in which all librarians and library users will find themselves.
       Definitely worth looking at.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Poetry Reading on May 5th

Rae Marie Taylor will be reading at the Main Library on May 5th at 7:00 PM.
       Ms. Taylor is a vibrant poet and visual artist, who counts the Rocky Mountain/Rio Grande area of Colorado and New Mexico as her homerange. Rae's concern for the earth, the trials of men and women, and the spiritual health of our contemporary lives gives shape to her work.


That's how many printed sheets our workhorse HP LaserJet 4050TN printer at the Main Library has cranked out since it was born almost six years ago. The printer service guy provided this number when we said something about it having done "millions of prints". Though not in fact "millions", 658,430 seems to be a large enough number. The machine gets the hiccups now and then, but it's still going strong.
       Computer users at the library can print up to 10 pages a day free.
       You probably don't care about this number as much as we do, unless you happen to be counting on printing a document at Main. But we think about our printers a LOT.