Friday, September 30, 2005

13 Ways

In 2001, while working on the book which became her novel, Good Faith, author Jane Smiley got stuck at about manuscript page 260. cover of bookConfused. Lost in a dark wood, as she put it. She closed the file on the book and decided to read a hundred novels. Her new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, is the result--twelve thoughtful and wonderfully written chapters about the novel, and then brief discussions of the hundred--or more as she proceeded associatively through her project--books she read. Yes, the table of contents lays them out in a list, so that reading groups and serious readers can go right to rummaging for ideas about what to read. The reviewer at Christian Science Monitor, Maureen Kehe, immediately counted up how many of them she had read. (45, but she had to cheat a little.)
       Books about books and reading are not every reader's cup of tea, but we have a good many of them and they get a fair lot of use. The subject heading Books and reading--United States pulls up a selection; or try these ; or books about book groups, or book collectors, or owning a bookstore; or very particular reading programs like Phyllis Rose's The Year of Reading Proust. Or 'best books' books like Eleanor Gehres' The best American novels of the twentieth century still readable today (great title!).
       Maybe this kind of thing works for you, and maybe it doesn't. But we do know that by far what our users read the most of are novels--general fiction, classics, mysteries, and their cousins. Adult fiction is about 25% of what we own, and more than 30% of circulation, and that doesn't even include authors like Louisa May Alcott (yes, Little Women is on Smiley's list), Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall, or the Harry Potters, since it was simpler to run the stats on adult books only.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sudoku At Last

We've been waiting for sudoku to come up here locally. Libraries elsewhere have been fretting about should they buy sudoku books, but despite it being the rage on the subways of Tokyo and for all we know Paris and Chicago, so far not one single person had mentioned it, nor played it anywhere we could see.
       Well, we saw someone playing online, at websudoku. Tried it. Yup, addictive. Just testing the link we nearly got caught up again.
       But a book? Wouldn't people check it out and work the puzzles? Is there sudoku theory?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Living Portraits Update

We just found out that at the program Wednesday night (September 28), Living Portraits of New Mexico Artists, the artists themselves will be here for the showing of the new New Mexico CultureNet films about them.
       The film screening is scheduled at 6:30 PM in the Main Library Community Room, 145 Washington Avenue; and Lonnie Vigil (potter), Beverly Singer (filmmaker), and Roxanne Swentzell (sculptor) will be there.

Great Whooper Picture

The whooping cranes we posted about on September 3 continue to make progress. There's a terrific photo of five young whoopers following the vehicle the whooper people call 'the trike'. It looks like a dream. Wish it was ours to pull into the blog here, but you'll have to go to the Journey North website to see it. (Notice how the pilot is wearing a crane suit. If the young critters are human-tame, they will be at risk.)
       What about New Mexico's own Big Impressive Birds? Based on the bird count records on the Friends of the Bosque site, the sandhill cranes might begin arriving any time now.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Poetry Reading Thursday Night

cover of bookThe Santa Fe Poetry Broadside, an online poetry magazine, has published a print anthology covering the first six years of its work. The title of the book is Just Outside the Frame and the editors--Miriam Sagan and Miriam Bobkoff-- are hosting a gala poetry reading to celebrate, at the Main Library of the Santa Fe Public Library Thursday evening, September 29, beginning at 6:30 PM. A dozen or so of the book's 55 poets will read.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Living Portraits...

On Wednesday, Septemer 28, 2005, New Mexico CultureNet will present Living Portraits of New Mexico Artists, featuring films on Lonnie Vigil (potter), Beverly Singer (filmmaker), and Roxanne Swentzell (sculptor). The film screening is scheduled at 6:30 PM in the Main Library Community Room, 145 Washington Avenue.
        These are the first three of a planned series of films. Nice pictures of the three artists, and clips from the films, are available on the CultureNet page about the project.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What's New(est)

We have lately updated the lists of newest Large Print titles; the videos, DVDs and CDs added to the database in the past couple of weeks; and the most recently added materials with 2005 publication dates.
       It's not that only the new things matter, either to us or to our patrons. But the new things are the ones people are waiting for--getting them in makes more people happier sooner. Garth Nix has a new one; Jan Karon has a new one; Christopher Paolini's Eldest is finally here. P. D. James, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon. Haynes Johnson. Greil Marcus has a Bob Dylan title. In fact, lots of new nonfiction. And so forth.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Blog Search

Woo hoo. Google has a new blog search. Actually, if you click on that "more" link above the search box, you will find more special searches and other options than you probably imagined are there...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Citing Sites with Sights

The somewhat blurry image below was screen-captured the other morning from the WildCam Africa webcam at the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. It is so dry there right now that it has a very familiar look to New Mexico eyes, but the sounds you hear through the webcam's audio are
elephant at Mashatu
entirely nothing-like-here! We had some even better images--a baby elephant nuzzling under its mother as they stood in the pond, a crocodile rushing from the bank down into the water--but they went to electron heaven. You have to be patient to catch wildlife on the cam--but watching a wild elephant spray water from its trunk is certainly worth investing some waiting. Thanks to National Geographic for this new online toy.
       Meanwhile, it is the height of the season for salmon in Johnstone Strait, and therefore for viewing the orca there. Patience while visiting the Orca-Live site is also likely to be rewarded with sights and sounds from the wild world.
       NASA wants to show us the view 'Spirit' found when it finally arrived at the rim of the hill on Mars that it had been climbing for months (Science News story about the event), and some fascinating new images from Saturn's rings taken by Cassini (take a close look at the bigger version of the one called 'Passing Lane'. A graceful demonstration of physics in motion.)
       Alas, there don't seem to be any pictures available from the release of three more California condors to the wild in Pinnacles National Monument. There's supposed to gonna be a condor cam. Hope they hurry up with it. There's a nice pic of the release site, but no cam.
       For both Orca-Live and WildCam Africa you need to have RealPlayer installed. You can watch them on the library's public internet machines.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fire in Madera, Pine & Angel Canyons

The fire whose smoke is visible over the area is called the Pine Canyon Complex and is burning 6 miles west of El Rito. The Forest Service's Southwest Coordination Center reported on Monday that "A mandatory evacuation was ordered for homes along Forest Roads 110 and 559 with evacuees being sheltered at the County Rural Events Center near the interesection of Highways 554 and 84." Tuesday morning's news says it is now 10% contained.
       To stay up to date on developments, look for updates on the SWCC site, check the online New Mexican, and KOB TV, whose website is often fast with breaking local news.

Popé in the National Statuary Hall

A statue of Popé, the leader of the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, will be installed in the National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol Building later this week. The statue is the work of Jemez Pueblo artist Clifford Fragua. Its installation the culmination of almost 30 years' effort to bring this part of New Mexico's history to the national capital. Sunday's New Mexican had a long story, still available online as of this posting. Look for more news stories after Wednesday’s ceremony.
       We have a number of books explicitly about the Pueblo Revolt; more recently published history books (older ones give it short shrift, generally) about New Mexico, the Spanish presence in the New World, and the North American West have extensive material on the subject within them. Colin Calloway's One Vast Winter Count has a chapter, with a good bibliography.
       (New Mexico's other statue in the the National Statuary Hall, installed in 1966, portrays US Senator Dionisio (Dennis) Chávez.)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Managing Landscapes and Watersheds...

The Jemez y Sangre Water Resources Summit and Workshop : Managing Landscapes and Watersheds for Water Resouces will be happening at Sweeney Convention Center on Wednesday and Thursday, September 21st and 22nd. It's FREE (but they do want you to register so their will have a head count).
       Sponsors of the event include Los Alamos National Laboratory Water Research Technical Assistance Office, City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, and Emerald Earth. Participating partners include Earthworks Institute, New Mexico State Forestry, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Office of the State Engineer (OSE), Northern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club, and River Network.
       The program schedule has been posted. There's hardly any topic more important in Northern New Mexico than water. We look forward to hearing about some of these programs, and slipping down the street to collect handouts at the Convention Center.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The City's Employee of the Month

Fran Fresquez, the Acquisitions Library Assistant in Technical Services, was just chosen as Employee of the Month by the City of Santa Fe! Ms Fresquez was honored at [photo] Fran with mayor   the 9/14/05 City Council meeting and presented with a lovely wall plaque, a check, and a bouquet of flowers. The staff of the Library had signed a petition nominating Ms Fresquez for her exceptional service. She worked "out of job class" for 13 months, taking on the responsibilities of Acquisitions Librarian while that position was empty. She also continued doing her regular job tasks. This was a difficult transition, as the former Director of Technical Services also retired during that time. Ms Fresquez took the initiative to find out the necessary procedures and answers to get the job done. She kept the Library’s financial records in excellent order, helped the new Director of Technical Services get up to speed, and earlier this summer trained the newly hired Acquisitions Librarian. We are grateful to have such a wonderful and dedicated employee on our staff. Congratulations Fran, on a job well done!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Setting Up the Book Sale

setting up in the community roomThe Friends of the Library are busy this afternoon setting up for this weekend's Fall Book Sale, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 at the Main Library, 145 Washington Ave.
       As always, our Friends members have early access on Saturday from 10 am - 1 pm. Please come and bring friends! Even if they are not members they can join at the door and receive this early-bird privilege while supporting the Library. Then the sale is open to the general public from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
       On Sunday it's Bag Day for $2.50 per bag in the Community Room from 1-4 pm and individually priced treasures can be found in the Southwest Room.
       Don't Miss It!

Thursday, September 15, 2005


librarians prepare for the groundbreaking

gold shovels

(one of the shovel crews...)
kids waiting

dirt flying

(The actual first-shovelful event was taking place while the librarians were carting balloons to the far corners of the future building, getting the cookies and juice ready, and meeting-and-greeting. Meanwhile, two future library users who Just Can't Wait for Southside got the building started.)
really the first shovelful
More pictures.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

SpaceWeather says that the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) kicked out by sunspot 798 might make auroras so spectacular they reach as far south as we are. "If this incoming CME does hit Earth's magnetic field as hard as forecasters expect, auroras could appear in places where they are seldom seen: California, Arizona, Texas and elsewhere. Stay tuned for updates." Mmmmm, last time I looked at the globe, we are between Arizona and Texas, so stay alert if you're into skywatching.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rising Tide

cover of bookNews commentators keep talking about the Mississippi flood of 1927, and referring to the 1998 book Rising tide : the great Mississippi flood of 1927 and how it changed America by John M. Barry. We do have the book, but at this point there's a whole flock of people lined up to read it, and it's long (won't turn over fast). We'll try to get another copy or two.
       (We continue to add to our 'Katrina Disaster' links on the Internet Starting Points. Librarians around the country are working hard to collect information sources and make them easy to find.)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Busy Week

[photo]street signWednesday, September 14th
Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Southside Library
9:30 AM, corner of Jaguar Drive and Country Club Road, in Tierra Contenta

Thursday, September 15th
Author Bobbi Salinas will share slides of her book The Three Little Pigs: Nacho, Tito, and Miguel
In English for the Bilingual Story Hour, La Farge Library, 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. To register call 955-4863.
for 3 and 4 year-olds.

Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18
Friends of the Library Book Sale
Main Library.
Saturday 10 AM-4 PM, members only 10 AM-1 PM
Sunday 1 PM-4 PM, bag day
Membership available at the door

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Dorms Like Palaces

'Dorms like Palaces' is one of the funnier categories in Princeton Review's Best 361 College Rankings. Loyola College in Maryland ranks first for palatial dorms. The rankings are based on student surveys.
       We will order the print version of this guide, but meanwhile the whole thing is available online. We do have other peer-evaluation college guides, such as Insider's Guide to the Colleges from the Yale Daily News, and the Fiske Guide; and of course the standard comprehensive directories like Peterson's Four-year colleges, Barron's Profiles of American colleges, and the College Blue Book. These books, and a whole lot of materials about financial aid, are available in the reference section. Ask at the desk.
       There's also a small array of pertinent links, including practice SAT tests, in the Education section of our Internet Starting Points.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

'Ripping Good Stories'

The discussion of genre and literature went on for quite a long time on DorothyL, the mystery readers' email list; just before it faded out, it had moved on to the question of 'classics'. As one of the participants said, "... for those who don't read anything labelled 'literature' please don't judge it all by the idea that we 'have' to read it because it is good for us. Thomas Hardy, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Dante, Homer, Charles Dickens, the Brontes etc. all write ripping good stories ;) I think many of those classic types in their own time were considered a kind of 'genre' romance/comedy/travellers etc. writer."

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dance Dance Dance

The Fiesta Court and library staff dancing in front of the circulation desk:
[photo]fiesta court
       As a visitor shouted into his cell phone after holding it up towards the musicians, "Can you hear it? This is in a library!!!!!"

Library Hours during Fiesta, September 8-9-10-11:
  • Thursday, September 8th, Main Library will close an hour early, at 8 PM.
  • Friday, September 9th, Main and La Farge will close at 1 PM, the Bookstop will not be open.
  • Saturday, September 10th, Main Library closed; La Farge open 10 AM - 6 PM, Bookstop open noon-6PM
  • Sunday, September 11th, Main Library closed; Bookstop open noon-6PM

The library's full schedule of holiday closings is available from the About the Library page.
[photo]fiesta court enters singing
The Fiesta Court enters singing...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Whooping Cranes

sandhill cranes at Bosque del ApacheLong-time New Mexicans probably remember when whooping cranes could be seen on the Bosque del Apache in the winter. In an effort to create a second flock as a backup against disasters that might befall the primary flock, whooper eggs laid by captive birds were placed in the nests of the flock of sandhill cranes who migrate here in the winter. At one point there were as many as six whooping cranes travelling with the sandhill crane flock. Long-term, the experiment failed, in effect because the whoopers did not breed with each other (they thought they were sandhill cranes). A brief description of the experiment and the other crane flocks is available at International Crane Foundation.
       Since 2000 a new effort has been under way to establish a second migratory flock of whooping cranes. This one involves raising little whoopers at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, and then teaching them a migration route to Chassahowitza National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Over the past several seasons the flock has grown to 42, and there are 21 additional chicks from this year's crop presently being taught to follow an ultralight so they can be led on the crucial first migration south to learn the route. You can follow the migration from the education site "Journey North". The photos are always very entertaining.
       Of course we do have books about cranes. A few good ones are Cranes : the noblest flyers : in natural history & cultural lore by Alice Lindsay Price; Steve Grooms' book about the sandhill cranes on the Platte River, The cry of the sandhill crane; and Peter Matthiessen's The birds of heaven : travels with cranes. (In general, our books about whooping cranes are not recent enough to reflect all this new activity.) Also we have the lovely feature film Fly Away Home (about leading a group of Canada goose chicks to North Carolina with a home-made plane), and the hit documentary Winged Migration.
sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache
Sandhill cranes at dusk over the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

'Requiem for the Videocassette'

One of our readers pointed out a story in The New Mexican's new Sunday magazine entitled 'Requiem for the Videocassette', a combination of sentiment and statistics reproduced from the Washington Post.
       Although we don't buy VHS titles anymore, we continue to add desirable titles when they turn up in the donations, and they are still in high demand by local library users. We still have about 4600 VHS tapes in the collection, and so far this year they've circulated about 16,000 times (or about 3.5 times each).
       The lists of media materials--DVDs, videocassettes, books on CD and cassette--have just been updated and are available from the catalog.
       Some of the recently donated VHS tapes include Guitar Lessons ; the Jimmy Stewart features Made For Each Other and Pot of Gold; the dog training video, Leashless; Il barbiere di Siviglia ; the film Kate & Leopold; and many more. Alas, no cover images available.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Fiesta at the Library!

Wednesday, September 7 at 1:15-1:45 p.m. La Fiesta Royalty will be joined by Mariachis at the Main Library. Join in this fun time!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Holiday Reminder

The libraries will be closed on Monday, September 5th, in observance of Labor Day. We will keep our normal hours on Saturday and Sunday.
       September is going to be a busy month for the library. Be sure to check on the news page for event and holiday infromation.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Opening Day Collection : How It's Done

Technical Services (the department of the Library that orders, catalogs, and processes library materials) is gearing up for the Opening Day Collection for the Southside Branch Library. We have a $1,000,000 materials budget, and will be ordering over 50,000 new items. This is an enormous project for a Library system of our size, and we will be relying on our vendors and their outsourcing services to make it happen. Outsourcing means that the vendors we buy the bulk of the materials from will provide them “shelf ready”. They will catalog them, put mylar jackets on them, stamp them, and label them according to our specifications. In addition, they will store the materials free of charge until the new branch opens. Before the Grand Opening, the trucks will arrive, with the materials packed in rough shelving order.
       We will be ordering everything from the latest reference materials to picture books. There will be a good selection of Spanish language materials, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. So there should be something for everyone! Even though most of the materials will be provided shelf ready, the ordering, invoicing, and profiling of the specifications will keep us super busy. Right now we’re ordering the extra barcode labels and working with our vendors to set up profiles. They will then send us selection lists according to our specifications. We will also be ordering extra copies of many of the materials that are currently in our system – like the classics.
       The items for the new branch will be added to our catalog as they are processed, but they will not be visible to the public. After all, we don’t want people placing holds on material that are sitting in a vendor warehouse. Once the new branch opens, all the new materials will magically appear on the catalog (thanks to the marvel of technology) and be available for use.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans Phone Numbers

To inquire about those in the New Orleans area who did not evacuate:
American Red Cross, (866) GET-INFO
     other contact numbers (from the website of the New Orleans Times-Picayune)