Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Authors on People's Minds

On M. J. Rose's blog she has a list of the Most-Googled Authors over a three day period. These are not bestsellers, necessarily, nor classics, nor the most-circulated authors, nor the authors currently in most demand. They are just the authors people are hearing about. Whatever it may mean.
       Here are the top 10: David Sedaris - Chuck Palahniuk - Michael Chabon - Nick Hornby - John Irving - Dave Eggers - Haruki Murakami - Bret Easton Ellis - Arundhati Roy - David Foster Wallace. (The links take you into the catalog; results are sorted with the most recent on top.)
       The next ten are: Jonathan Safran Foer, Ian Mcewan, Jeffrey Eugenides, Zadie Smith, Douglas Coupland, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Lethem, Neal Pollack, Orhan Pamuk, Amy Hempel. [Neal Pollack? The others we have in the catalog, but who is Neal Pollack? Guess we better go ask Google :-) ]
       Palahniuk, McEwan, and Hornby are on the New York Times Bestseller list, and on the Booksense (independent booksellers') list. Most of the others also have current books. Here's a fairly spooky array of covers... is it somehow indicative of what kind of authors get buzz on the web?
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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Having spent the weekend with great nieces (Great in all senses of the word!), these almost three-year old cousins, one an adopted Chinese (now Chinese American) and one a Mexican American, both engaged me with singing “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and insisted that Aunt Pat read to them. Nursery rhymes and storytelling crossed all lines of nationality and age. This is what our libraries must continue to do—-bring the love of books to children, engage the families and make their families welcome whether they speak Chinese or Spanish or any other language. Hannah and Alexandra would expect nothing less from their Aunt Pat.
     Posted by pch
[photo]: two little girls

Monday, June 27, 2005

For Firefox Users

The proportion of visitors to our web pages who are using the Firefox browser has grown to more than 11%. (Microsoft's Internet Explorer's share of users is down over the last few months from 95% to about 78%.)
       With that many Firefox users, at least some of you must be working on web pages. There is an absolutely terrific extension for Firefox written by Chris Pederick, called Web Developer. It adds to the browser a toolbar that has some breathtaking features. (Literally. I was sitting in a roomful of techies and semi-techies, and when they saw a screenshot of Web Developer's "Display ID & Class Details", half the people in the room gasped, or murmured to their neighbors.) You can use it to examine any web pages and play with any style sheet, as easily as working with your own pages, to see how designers do what they do.
       Reminder: we have Firefox search plugins for the library's catalog at

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Programs This Week

First, some pictures from Carolyn Newell's "Exotics of the Rainforest" program at the La Farge Library last Thursday. Those birds! They were drop-dead gorgeous!

Programs are always free.

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005, 10:30-11:30 AM
Create a Banner
School Age Craft Program. Call 955-4863 to register.
La Farge Library

[photo] Terry Alvarez
Thursday, June 30th, 2005.
Terry Alvarez, gypsy storyteller
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM, La Farge
2:00 pm - 3:00 PM, Main

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Summer Bandstand 2005

Starting Tuesday, July 5th, with performances by Matthew Andrae and the Alex Maryol Blues Band, there will be free live music on the Plaza Monday through Thursday evenings, 6-8 PM; and noontime music Tuesdays and Thursdays. The complete schedule is available online.
       What a great idea. Thanks to everybody: Santa Fe Bandstand is funded by the City of Santa Fe, the New Mexico Tourism Department, the Santa Fe Community Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation. Production is by Outside In and a steering committee that has striven to include a wide range of performers who represent the diversity and wealth of talent of the local music scene of this region. Sponsors include the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the City of Santa Fe Visitors and Convention Bureau, the New Mexico Tourism Department, the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the Santa Fe New Mexican, KBAC and SCF Channel 8. Sound by Welter Systems.

Friday, June 24, 2005

How Are They DOING This?

One of the many places where people are playing with Google Maps is Google Sightseeing ("Why bother seeing the world for real?"). Contributors hunt up particularly telling images from areas where the satellite files are good enough for close zooming.
[photo] the library But you don't need Google Sightseeing to do it. You can get Google Maps' satellite view to show you every tree on Cerro La Jara in the Valles Caldera. [photo] the PlazaVisit the place where the arroyo goes between the cliffs at Diablo Canyon. Or follow the course of the east fork of the Jemez. Find Black Mesa from the air again. See the library from the air, and the Plaza (where there seems to have been a tented event on the day the satellite camera came by.) To fly across the landscape as your hand moves, just hold the mouse button down.
[photo]Diablo Canyon [photo]East Fork
Well, ok, seeing it for real is good too. Cerro La Jara:
[photo] cerro la jara
The link to Google Sightseeing came from Paul Miller at Common Information Environment.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Opera

Opening night for the Santa Fe Opera is imminent (July 1). This year's five operas are:
  Turandot, by Puccini
  The Barber of Seville, by Rossini
  Lucio Silla, by Mozart
  Peter Grimes, by Britten, and
  Ainadamar, by Golijov.
       We have at the moment recordings for Peter Grimes, Turandot, and Barber of Seville, and are scrambling to get the other two. This may not be possible in the case of Ainadamar, about which the opera website says, "The 2005 season closes with the first fully staged production of Ainadamar (“The Fountain of Tears”) by composer Osvaldo Golijov and librettist David Henry Hwang." Same story on the libretti: we have libretti in hand for Turandot, Barber of Seville, and Peter Grimes, and are in pursuit of the other two. Ask for the libretti at the reference desk at any library branch.
       Need to do some serious reading up? We have a ton of books about opera, both for circulation and for reference, including at Main Library the New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Or just let Desirée Mays do your reading up for you, and check out her Opera Unveiled 2005. We just bought a pile of them, and they will be in the catalog and ready to check out in a day or so.
       This is cool. The Amazon website has sound clips for recordings of Peter Grimes, Barber of Seville, Turandot, and Lucio Silla.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


This looks like a useful new tool : an acronym search engine to help navigate our acronym-beset world. The search engine is called Acronyma. At the moment it has 436,326 entries in English, and a few thousand each in six other languages.
       We also have the print reference source, Acronyms, Initialisms & Abbreviations Dictionary. It has more entries and is much more authoritative. Give us a call if there's an acronym you can't puzzle out.
       Thanks to Tara Calishain at Research Buzz for this item.


This is a message from Michelle J. "Shelley" Nolde, the City of Santa Fe's Wildland/Urban Interface Specialist:
       "Greetings. After a wetter and cooler spring than we’ve had for the past few years, the possibility of having a serious wildfire here in Santa Fe is once again very real. The grasses and flowers that grew so green are now curing out, and can ignite very easily. A fast moving, wind-driven fire is very possible these days, as the temperatures are high, the humidities are low, and the wind is blowing. Thunderstorms are possible today and tomorrow, so mother nature could start a fire, and human-caused fires are always a possibility.
       "PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL WITH FIRE, AND URGE ALL YOUR FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS TO DO THE SAME!       "If you live in the "wilder" parts of town, please consider moving your woodpile, wood furniture and other flammable items away from your house. Remember that a forest fire can "throw" burning materials ½ mile or more from the main fire, so an ember from a distant fire could still cause trouble at your house.
       "For more safety tips on forest fires, and a lot of information about bark beetles, drought and landscape choices, please visit"

Monday, June 20, 2005

Programs This Week!!!

Summer's here and the time is right for coming to library programs!!!!

Programs are all free.

On Tuesday, June 21st, 2005, 2:00-3:00 PM, there's "Create a Banner," a craft program for school age children at the Main Library. Call 955-6783 to register.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 1:30-2:30 PM at the Library Bookstop, Mary Ellen Gonzales will be telling bilingual stories.

On Thursday, June 23rd, 2005, Carolyn Newell will be returning with her "Exotics of the Rainforest." Yes, real critters. Birds, snakes, bugs! She's be at La Farge, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM; and at Main, 2:00-3:00 PM.

Please come!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Terrific Titles

Some of us are aficionados of great titles. Here are a few of the terrific titles or subtitles we've run across lately in our collection:        Do we mean to be recommending these books? Not necessarily. It's the title as a short composition form in itself which we are appreciating. But we know Bird by Bird and The Secret Knowledge of Water to be as good as their titles. And Bukowski is always Bukowski.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Cormac McCarthy

cover of bookWe promised we'd let you know when you'd be able to place holds on Cormac McCarthy's new novel. The order just appeared in the catalog: No Country for Old Men.
       Go for it. (There's no rush, the publication date is July 19; we might have it exactly then, but not before.)

New Words and Etymology Online

Among the new words which the Oxford English Dictionary has added to OED Online are ankle-biter (n.), bogart (v.), clip art (n.), techno-shamanism (n.) and tikka masala (n.), and wuss (n.). And under 'buyer' they've added 'buyer's remorse' (n.).
       There's an Online Etymology Dictionary out there to play with, too.
       (As you probably know, the winner of the Friends of the Library's Spelling Bee for the past three years in a row has been Sven Redsun. We think he probably knows the OED by heart.)
       Thanks to Librarian in Black for both of these. She in turn credits Phil Bradley for finding the Etymological Dictionary...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Books in Chains

In today's New Mexican, the generationNext section has an essay by Luke Kuzava about banned books, "Illicit knowledge? Read a banned book this summer and see what the fuss is about". Among the titles he mentions are Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima; The Catcher in the Rye; Of Mice and Men; and other familiar titles. As Pat Hodapp, SFPL's director of libraries, says in the article, "With the amount of books that have been censored across the country, it's not too unlikely that you've read at least one."
       The online version of the article omits a very useful link which Luke gives in the paper story, to the American Library Association's pages about banned and challenged books. ('Challenged' means books someone has asked be removed from the library or school. 'Banned' is when the books are actually removed.) The covers shown below are from their list of the ten most frequently challenged titles in 2004. Looking at authors rather than titles, the fourth most frequently challenged author last year was Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.

Posted by pch
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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Today Is Bloomsday

At 6:30 PM this evening, at 318 Sena Street, "James Joyce in Santa Fe" will be presenting their annual Bloomsday Celebration. There will be readings, Irish music by Gerry Carthy, group singing of "Love's Old Sweet Song," and other festive activity.
       Joyceans around the world are celebrating today: it is the 101st anniversary of the fictional day in which the events of James Joyce's Ulysses took place.
       We have lots of pertinent resources, works by Joyce, works about Joyce, etc. But you don't study Joyce on Bloomsday-- you party!!

People Are Reading

A recent Gallup Poll found that "About one in every two Americans is currently engrossed in some type of book". The details are locked away for Gallup Poll subscribers, but some of their numbers appeared in an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor: "A Gallup poll taken in May found that 47 percent of Americans on any given day are reading a book. This is up from 37 percent in 1990, and 23 percent in 1957. The median number of books read in a year is five."
       Don't you just love these numbers? They are So Very Not what pundits assume. Our library card holders average five check-outs per year, quite consistent with the survey numbers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Trailing Clouds of Glory

Wordsworth. All of Main Library's books by William Wordsworth are checked out. It's a mystery, what could have brought him to several people's minds at the same time.
       The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth (1888) is available online in full text from the Bartleby site. The library has works by and about Wordworth, and about the English Romantic poets of the 19th century. The allusion above is from "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood", probably the poem best remembered today. Well, that one and the daffodils.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Audio and Video

We just updated the lists of media materials. There are 1200 DVDs, cover of book3800 Videos, 2400 audio books on CD, 2900 audio books on cassette, and 1650 music CDs. That's titles. Since in some cases there are multiple copies, the number of ITEMS we have in these categories is higher, a total of 15,881. (These lists live on the catalog start page.)
       A lot of these materials were purchased by the Friends of the Library, who raised around $60,000 for the library from their book sales last year, and from the General Obligation Bond funding which you all voted for overwhelmingly in 2002. We can't thank the Friends enough. And thanks to you and your fellow citizens, who understood, when you got into the voting booth in 2002 and again in 2004, that the State's libraries need support.
       The DVDs in particluar circulate feverishly. Pollock has already been out 32 times this year.
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Monday, June 13, 2005

Bears -- Fiction

I was looking up Paddington books, cover of book and more or less idly (a mouse with a mind of its own? a twitchy right index finger?) clicked on the subject heading: Bears -- Fiction. Wow. 431 hits. Well, all those Paddington books and all those Berenstain Bears... and so many children's book authors have done bears: Pinkwater Hobbs Hoff Peat Seuss McPhail McCully Hest Carlson Minarek Bunting Asch Milne :-)
       There are surely more fiction titles for grownups about bears than we can tease out of the catalog. We found a hunting story (The Last Hunt); Faulkner's The Bear, which is in Go Down, Moses (but the catalog doesn't say so); Audrey Schulman's dynamite novel about a polar bear researcher, The Cage; a Western, Shadow of the Grizzly; a YA novel, Ben Mikaelsen's Touching Spirit Bear...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Publishing Industry News

R. R. Bowker informs us in a number-packed press realease that U.S. Book Production Reaches New High of 195,000 Titles in 2004; Fiction Soars. Adult fiction, poetry & drama; religion, personal development, travel & domestic arts categories also increased. (?Domestic arts??) "Adult fiction now accounts for 14% of all titles published in the U.S., the highest proportion since 1961. New poetry and drama titles increased 40.5%." They also say that publishers in 2004 shifted away from the political. This might be so, but is not reflected in what our readers of non-fiction checked out most often in 2004. The Most Popular Nonfiction Titles, 2004 are available from our About Books & Literature page, and the list is still heavy on the politics and world-affairs topics.
       Please try to remember those big-number facts the next time you hear someone wailing that people don't read anymore. OK?

Friday, June 10, 2005

Above Black Mesa

A patron came to the reference desk the other day who hoped we had a book of Barbara Richardsonsatellite photos of New Mexico. Well no, we said, we don't have a book that would do the job, but we can probably find what he needed on the web.
       It turned out he wanted to see Black Mesa from above. We looked it up in topozone, just to get the coordinates, and plugged them into terraserver. By golly, easy as that. Another view from terraserver.
       The patron also wanted information about its religious and historical significance, but didn't have time to wait while we hunted in various books about the Pueblo Revolt for details about San Ildefonso's refuge on Black Mesa in the aftermath of the Revolt. So he left, but we kept hunting. The most detailed description we found among the books the library owns is in Archaeologies of the Pueblo Revolt : identity, meaning, and renewal in the Pueblo world / edited by Robert W. Preucel (in the chapter by Rick Hendricks, "Pueblo-Spanish Warefare in Seventeenth-Century New Mexico").
       There's a Marcia Keegan photo of Black Mesa on the Clear Light Books web site. Or search google images for many more.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Trafficking in Persons

Resource Shelf has found this report on slavery, formally, the fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report.
       An excerpt: "These data showed that, of the estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 80 percent are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors. The data also illustrate that the majority of transnational victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. With a focus on transnational trafficking in persons, however, these data fail to include millions of victims around the world who are trafficked within their own national borders."
      We don't seem to have a good contemporary book on the subject. There's one out there, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Bales, which we will try to order, and see what other resources its bibliography might lead to. We did find a fact sheet at the United Nations web site.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


A while ago it was announced that the British children's author Geraldine McCaughrean is going to write an 'official' sequel to Peter Pan. We have a couple dozen of her titles in the library, mostly myths and retellings. I read her juvenile novel The Kite Rider, a historical set in China at the time of Kublai Khan, to see what she's like. It was a good solid story, but it's hard to imagine she can channel J. M. Barrie.
       These days many kinds of novels come in series, so that if we don't want to let go of a character we can spend more time with them over and over, by the hand of the original author. But borrowing other authors' characters remains a respectable if not always successful literary move. Jean Rhys wrote a novel, The Wide Sargasso Sea, from the point of view of the unlucky Mrs. Rochester in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Lots of people have borrowed Sherlock Holmes, including Michael Chabon in his 2004 novel about a boy, a parrot, and the great detective, The Final Solution: a Story of Detection. Gone With the Wind has an authorized sequel, Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett, and a seriously unauthorized parallel story, The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall.
       A number of sequels to Frances Hodgsdon Burnett's The Secret Garden have appeared, though the library doesn't have any of them in the collection. Someone once donated a beat-up paperback of a sequel written for adults--Mary Lennox as a middle aged woman estranged from her children and she had married Colin and should have married Dickon or perhaps vice versa--and it was really terrible. (I can say so since I don't remember either author or title...) We do have a sequel to Heidi, Heidi Grows Up by Charles Tritten. I haven't dared look at it.
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Monday, June 06, 2005

Book Sale! Join Us!!

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library will hold their Summer Book Sale at the La Farge Library, 1730 Llano Street, on June 11 & 12. There are no member-only hours, the whole sale is open to the general public.

Saturday, June 11, 10:00 AM - 4 PM
       Hardcover $1.00
       Feature Film Videos $1.00
       Paperbacks $.50 or 3/$1.00
       Records & Children's Books $.25
       Cassettes, Videos & CDs $.50
       (Additional Books Offered at 1:00 PM)

Sunday, June 12, 1:00 - 4:00 PM, Bag Day. $2.50/bag (The Library is open ONLY for the book sale, no regular services available.)

       In 2004, the Friends raised over $60,000 on book sales to support purchasing new books for the Library.
       Thank you for your support!
Posted by Pat Hodapp, Director of Libraries

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Federal RSS Feeds

Marylaine Block found this one (and Steve Cohen at Library Stuff pointed it out) : a page that gathers together many federal RSS feeds.
       Library Stuff also noticed that we can now set up RSS feeds on specific searches in PubMed, which will be a very handy export option; there's a Howto page. (I just set one up for 'hantavirus'. We'll see how frequently new items come along.) PubMed is a citation database; for access to (a much smaller set of) full-text articles, try PubMed Central.
       Feed? We found a reasonable explanation at Chetan's Monologue. A description of how to get started using Bloglines for your feed reader is on the Librarian's Index site. Or try the explanation at FaganFinder, which offers a three word summary...

Friday, June 03, 2005

Reporter Again

This week's Santa Fe Reporter has a terrific cover story by Zane Fisher, "Cyber fe : Can Santa Fe conquer its digital growing pains before it's too late". There are interviews with local techno-entrepreneurs, a list of wireless hotspots, and some very funny lines: "...who wants to set a dark-future, cyberpunk thriller in a short brown town in the middle of nowhere?"
       By the way, if you're planning to vote in the Reporter's Best of Santa Fe survey, please consider voting for the Friends of the Library in the 'Best Non-Profit' category. The Friends raised over $60,000 to purchase new materials for the Library in 2004, as well as financing children's programming and staff education.
       Then, when you get to the 'Other' box at the end of the survey, please write in the category "Best Use of Your Tax Dollars", and nominate the Santa Fe Public Library. :-) Consider this: Santa Feans checked out an average of 10 items each, which would have cost over $ 250.00 if they had purchased them. And our free public internet stations were used about 121,000 times last year. Really, we're a bargain.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Librarian As Geek

We belong to the big library network, OCLC. Their WorldCat database reflects the collections of about 54,000 libraries, lists about 56 million separate titles (books, archives, audio, video, etc.), with 983,212,703 million 'holdings' (libraries saying they own one of those aforementioned titles). 983,212,726... 983,212,864... 983,214,372...
       Huh? You can watch WorldCat grow. You can entertain yourself by staring, entranced, while first the Free Public Library of New Jersey adds Eka ja de cinagari by Bakula Dave (in Gujarati), then Colby College adds a recording on CD of Frontier by Yoshida Kyodai, then the Kansas State Library adds a document called State Government from the Kansas Legislative Research Department, then...
       Well, ok. So you might rate the spectacle as barely better than watching your laundry go 'round. But for librarians it's addictive.
       You do have access to the whole WorldCat database, but only from inside the library. The link is in the bottom right corner of the table at the top of the Internet Starting Points.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

O'Keeffe Museum in the News

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is above the fold on Journal North today (here's a link to the New Mexican story -- the online Journal now requires a subscription to get beyond the headline). The Museum will be taking over the extensive holdings of the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation.
       The O'Keeffe Museum's website is not wonderfully generous with images of paintings. You can get to paintings (and photographs of O'Keeffe) through Google images or Yahoo images. And of course we have lots of books in the collection, both biographies and books about (and containing) her work.

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