Sunday, December 31, 2006

More About The Church

We meant to post this earlier in the week, but it was snowed out:

It was surprisingly hard to find more information about the church at El Macho in the Pecos Canyon. There's a nice article in the New Mexican with a picture of the church and a lot of history of the area, but nothing about the church itself. A digital archive at University of Texas has a 1934 photograph of the school at El Macho but nothing about the church. says it is a Mission of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Pecos.

We spoke to someone in the Southwest Room at the State Library, who said they had been to Las Posadas last week at El Macho; that the church had been used by the miners at Terrero (see that New Mexican article above); that it has no electricity, but is lit by lanterns and heated by a wood stove.

Nothing at the History Library. Nothing in The Place Names of New Mexico, nor in any of the historic churches books we looked in, nothing in the clipping file... well, something. Here is a handout which once accompanied an exhibit of 38 paintings by Betty Grimmer Rosenberger, "The Parish Churches of the Rio Pecos." The handout has a map with a key to the 38 churches, and what it says about El Macho is this: "Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, El Macho. 1857. A member of the Cortez family built this church with other men in 1857 over the ruins of an earlier Indian church. The area was named by the Indians as Macho Creek. The Brothers now own the chapel. El Macho means 'mule'."

Word came from the librarian at the State Library that there was an article in the February, 1978, issue of New Mexico Magazine; and—oh just look at that—it includes five of the Rosenberger paintings, including her painting of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, El Macho. The caption tells us it was then (in 1978) used as a Christian Brothers retreat. The paintings are really quite beautiful. (Request the magazine at the reference desk at the Main Library if you want to see it...)

There may be more information coming. People with relatives who live over that way are getting their Tios to ask the oldfolks in the neighborhood who are involved with the church to tell us what they know about the history...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A List of Favorite 2006 Mysteries

The Chair of Left Coast Crime 2007, the 17th Annual Mystery Fan Convention, has posted her favorite mysteries of 2006, with a few other titles thrown in... Instead of a list from review sources, we thought we'd offer you this somewhat less mainstream selection. Notice that she includes New Mexico author Steven Havill (and that we already have nearly everything mentioned):

"Best Books of 2006"
KILL ME, Stephen White
STILL LIFE, Louise Penny

All very good but not quite "best":
A STOLEN SEASON, Steve Hamilton
TERROR TOWN, Stuart Kaminsky
NO GOOD DEEDS, Laura Lippman
ALL MORTAL FLESH, Julia Spencer-Fleming
NICOTINE KISS, Loren Estleman

OLD MAN’S WAR, John Scalzi
CROSSOVER, Joel Shepherd
FIREBIRD, J Ortega y robertson

??? (the 'in a league of their own' category)
WINTERSMITH, Terry Pratchett
A DIRTY JOB, Christopher Moore

JAMES TIPTREE, JR: The Double life of Alice B. Sheldon, Julie Phillips
MYSTERY MUSES: 100 Classics that Inspire Today’s Mystery Writers, ed by Jim Huang & Austin Lugar

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Friday, December 29, 2006

Road Conditions

The New Mexico Department of Transportation's New Mexico Road Traveler Information Service is being kept fairly up to date. We hope you don't actually need to try to go anywhere, but if you do, please find out as much as you can about roads and weather before making your plans.

Here in town we're up to 18 inches of snow, and it's still snowing.

Yikes! Another City Snow Day

If you've looked out the window, this is not a surprise. The City's new snowreport page says, "City of Santa Fe Snow Day Information. City of Santa Fe government offices will be closed today, Friday, December 29, 2006, because of snow. Happy New Year!"

This means certainly the libraries will be closed today. Tomorrow? Who knows, and it's not clear how or when we will find out. Stay warm, be safe, and call before you venture out to come to the library on Saturday. Main 955-6781. La Farge 955-4862.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Stunning Slideshow of Space Pictures

The New Horizons Pluto Mission is bragging about having a dramatic photo of their launch in a slideshow of 2006 space pictures at MSNBC.) There won't be closeups of Pluto until 2015, but launches are always exciting, and some of the other images in the sequence are really spectacular.
image of M101
Image of M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Biodiversity Conservation

Biodiversity conservation is the subject heading of a new nonfiction book by MIT political scientist, Stephen M. Meyer, The End of the Wild. The chapter titles of this one are particularly dismaying. "Why doing nothing would be worse" "Our moral obligation" "We have lost the wild for now". Marine biodiversity conservation -- Law and Legislation is the sole subject heading for another new book, Killing our oceans : dealing with the mass extinction of marine life by John Charles Kunich. Edward O. Wilson's new book, The creation : an appeal to save life on earth carries the subject headings Biology and Creation. They all seem to be on the same theme: "The human hammer having fallen", in Wilson's phrase—climate change, overuse of resources, habitat reduction, homogenization of the biosphere—what are we to do now for the life that shares our planet with us. There is no going back; what's available to us is to try to abate the trends (again, Wilson's language).

E. O. Wilson is the biodiversity guy, the biophilia guy, (and the ant guy.) He has been writing smoothly and seductively about his passion for life for 40 years. He doesn't think it is hopelessly too late, but we are probably going to lose 25%-50% of all the species on earth, and run out of fresh water, before we get those trends abated. If we do.

It seems almost sinful to enjoy reading about this stuff, but how can you not delight when someone like Wilson wants so passionately to tell us about 'subterranean lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystems (SLIMES)', and that 'It is mathematically possibly to log-stack all the people on Earth into a single block of one cubic mile and lower them out of sight in a remote part of the Grand Canyon,' and about the microscopic inhabitants of microwildernesses, and the results of an appeal he published in 'Notes from Underground, the ant biologists' newsletter.' We had a copy of the new book sitting by our elbow on the desk, so we could write this post, and someone came along and happily grabbed it to check out.

PS. Notice that none of these books would come up if you searched for "global warming" or "climatic change". But the books are out there, and relevant. There are probably others hiding under other broader topics as well.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Running Out Of Things To Do??

There's one more program happening this year: Thursday, December 28th, "Snake Conservation and Awareness" will be happening, 2:00PM - 3:00 PM at the Main Library. Join us for an educational program to learn about and experience snakes. For more information call 955-6837.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Up Pecos Way

Most of our neighborhoods still have snowy streets; but just over the Santa Fe Range, there's not much snow on the ground up along the Pecos River.
El Macho Church
El Macho Church, Pecos Canyon, Christmas Day, 2006

Plenty of water, and ice, in the river.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Holiday

holiday greeting card with vintage image

Yes, both library locations are closed December 24-25. But don't forget that the magazine and newspaper databases, the catalog (renew materials, place holds, browse lists), and the web pages never close.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Good Reading??

We've updated the list of titles with the most holds, and it's more than usually familiar (and largely the same as last month). Some new things have climbed onto the bottom of the list, like Well, and Hannibal rising/ Thomas Harris. But the stuff at the top? Hillerman, Grisham, Connelly, Baldacci, George, DeMille, I mean, who cares???

On the public librarian's email list, we collected people's favorite reads for the year. The list is very very long, so we've printed a copy to put in the bibliography notebook at the reference desk at Main, but won't try to reproduce it online. The heroic librarian who compiled it tells us that the two titles which got many multible votes were the Young Adult title, The Book Thief, and Alison Bechdel's stunning graphic novel, Fun Home : A Family Tragicomic.

OK, what were your best reads this year? Email us, and we'll assemble a list and post it. New books, old books, fiction, non-fiction, whatever. What floated your boat in 2006???

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ver-r-r-y Interesting

Google has released its zeitgeist for 2006, the most popular searches and the most popular news searches. It's always fun to see what people are thinking about, although perhaps a little discouraging to discover that a) there are number of things that the whole rest of the world is searching for that I didn't recognize, and b) our collective taste in news topics is relentlessly trivial (Paris Hilton?!?). Two of the top 10 searches are Spanish language sites. This might be telling us something about the global use of the Net...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Time-Out In Saint Francis's Town

City offices, including the libraries, will be closed today, December 20, 2006, due to inclement weather.

On the corner of the lawn at City Hall, Saint Francis and his friend the prairie dog discuss the weather. It looks like someone has dressed up the prairie dog for the season, as often they do; but all covered with snow like that it's hard to see more than the ribbon scarf...

P.S. The place names book goes on for several paragraphs about Santa Fe, and says that there is no documentation for the idea that the full name of Santa Fe is La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís. On the whole it seems that a place's name, like a family's, should be assumed to be what its people say it is...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Live Search Books

Microsoft recently dove into the books-on-the-web universe with Live Book Search. Read some of the original news stories: (1) (2) (3). They have begun with works out-of-copyright, apparently choosing to tread carefully since Google's scanning project got into so much trouble with the publishing industry; and are offering full downloads in PDF format as an alternative to reading the work online.

ResourceShelf has a detailed discussion, with some comparison to Google Book Search. The Google book search has developed considerably since we looked at it a few months ago; and as of this fall also began allowing full view of out-of-copyright works, and PDF downloads in some but not all cases. If it's got a PDF button you can download it, though it's not at all clear why, though the book is out of copyright and you are able to read or print every page, some still don't allow download.

Resource Shelf earlier pointed to a New York Times article about Google's book search and copyright woes. In anticipation of the Live launch, Forbes put together a special report on books with short articles on books, publishing, and their mutual future; and with a sidebar in which a number of writers finish the two sentences, 'To me books are...', and 'The last significant thing I read was...' Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, who whose Open Content Alliance is another digitization project, was recently interviewed about Google's book scanning, and that video is kicking around the web.

The longer-established sites with full text books are still growing; unlike the big scanning projects they are mostly text-only. Better, in fact, for searching, as the texts tend to have been carefully coded and human-checked. Carnegie Library of Philadelphia has a nice list of sites. Slippery Rock University also has a seductive list of sites.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Slight Change in Holiday Hours

City offices will close at 1 PM on December 22nd and on December 29th. The Main Library will stay open until 5 PM on those days, but La Farge will close at 1 PM both days. So now the schedule for the next couple of weeks reads as follows:

Friday, December 22nd
City offices will close at 1 PM
Main Library will be open, 10 AM to 5 PM
La Farge Library will be open 10-AM to 1 PM.

Saturday, December 23rd
Main Library will be open, 10 AM to 6 PM
La Farge Library will be CLOSED.

Sunday and Monday, December 24th and 25th
Libraries will be closed in observance of Christmas

Thursday, December 28th
"Snake Conservation and Awareness"
2:00PM - 3:00 PM at the Main Library
Join us for an educational program to learn about and experience snakes
For more information call 955-6837.

Friday, December 29th
City offices will close at 1 PM
Main Library will be open, 10 AM to 5 PM
La Farge Library will be open 10-AM to 1 PM.

Saturday, December 30th
Main Library will be open, 10 AM to 6 PM
La Farge Library will be open, 10 AM to 6 PM.

Sunday and Monday, December 31st and Janaury 1st
Libraries will be closed in observance of the New Year

Telephone Notices Have Begun

As of December 18th, people who have expressed a preference for telephone notices are receiving their hold pickup notices by phone. If you've chosen this as your preference, and you did not receive a phone call about your hold, please stop by the circulation desk and let us know. Bear with us as we fine-tune this new function!

If you would like to change your notice preference, all you need to do is log in to your record, and then click on the 'Modify Your Personal Information' button. You will be able to choose mail, telephone or email for your notices.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Raisins Stuffed With Sleeping Powder

This is not very important in itself, but what the 'Net makes possible is so pleasing. Earlier this week on the Public Libraries email list, a librarian asked,
Subject: [Publib] Quails and Sleeping Pills?
Here's one. A lady here wants to find a book she read in junior high, sounds like a YA novel. All she can recollect of it is that there was an incident in the story in which a little boy fed sleeping pills to quails, and when they were asleep, collected them and took them to his father. We can find nothing.
and in about two hours, someone (gleefully) answered to the list
Subject: Re: [Publib] Quails and Sleeping Pills?
Ooh! Ooh! I think I know this one!
Try Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. It's pheasants, and he feeds them raisins stuffed with sleeping powder. I loved it.

When we wrote to ask permission to quote this little exchange, the first librarian replied that he had received the answer by email off-list "within ten minutes or so of my putting the question out there... My response to her was that it was the right book, and the lady who wanted it was still in the building." Is that magical, or what?

And yes, we have the book.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bosque del Apache

This is an odd year. At the beginning of the month, most of the sandhill cranes who usually winter on the Bosque del Apahe National Wildlife Refuge down below Socorro (see map) were still hanging around in fields in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado, feasting on a late grain crop. The numbers are slowly increasing, and the Refuge managers don't seem to be worried, but in the count posted on December 8th there were still only 7620 sandhill cranes; last year there were 12,000 by Thanksgiving. By the December 13th count another 1000 cranes had arrived, but it's more complicated than that: the website says "8600 cranes roost on the Refuge ponds and 5600 are feeding on it during the day. 3000 cranes are feeding in farm fields to the north of the Refuge."
cranes on November 29th
Sandhill cranes at dawn, November 30, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reminder: Children of the Portal Art Show and Sale

Don't forget the Children of the Portal Native American Artists Show and Sale! On December 16th and 17th, the children of the Palace of the Governors Portal Program vendors will be having an arts sale in the Community Room at the Main Library. The hours are Saturday the 16th, 10AM-4PM; and Sunday the 17th, 1-4PM. The kids' parents will decorate the Community Room, and the holiday tree on the balcony. There will be storytellers in the childrens room during the event. The Library is proud to host this outreach program.

Flight Patterns

Are you going to be in the air this season? You won't be alone.

The people on the Next-Generation-Catalog-for-Libraries email list were talking about Casey Bisson having won a Mellon Award for his work on library search software. A link took us to his blog... and the previous post took us to Aaron Koblin's animation of aircraft activity based on FAA data, as posted on youtube. It's extremely nifty. Koblin's website, if you can avoid getting entranced by the entry screen, has more of his work, and a lot more about Flight Patterns.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Looking Good...

... but not ours yet. Figure two months from when we take delivery on the building to Doors Open. And we're close....
construction photoconstruction photoconstruction photo

Remember the Bradford County Public Library, whose construction blog we pointed to a couple of months ago? They are making amazingly fast progress. And not that we're jealous or anything, but they are going to have a butterfly garden outside their children;s room window... Other libraries also blog their construction projects. In Harrisville, Rhode Island the new New Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library is in process. Westbank Community Library in Austin, Texas, isn't started yet (but their blog is ready to track it!); Darien Library in Darien, Connecticut just had their plans approved by the Architectural Review Board (Congratulations!); San Diego is starting a branch but we've lost their blog; and just for fun (big academic libraries are different from you and me), UC Santa Cruz is building an addition on a scale that is practically frightening.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Season of the List...

'Best of the Year' lists are appearing hourly (well, almost). The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2006, for example, has been online for a week and came out in print in yesterday's paper. Their list:
       Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan
       The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel
       Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children
       Richard Ford, The Lay of the Land
       Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
       Danielle Trussoni, Falling Through the Earth : A Memoir
       Lawrence Wright, The looming tower : Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11
       Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower : a story of courage, community, and war
       Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma : A Natural History Of Four Meals
       Rory Stewart, The Places In Between
We'll order the Trussoni. The others are already in the system, and Santa Fe readers are already standing in line for them.

Or try the American Library Association's Notable Children's Books, 2006 and School Library Journal's Best Books 2006 ;'s Top 10 Books of 2006; Washington Post's Book World's 10 Best of the Year ; Slate's The Year in Books ; Publisher's Weekly's Best Books of the Year – Graphic Novels ; and on and on. Too many lists to reproduce here, and way too many for choosing cover images.

As always, if there's a title which is not already in the system that you think we should have, please make a suggestion for purchase, either online or on the familiar blue postcard. We really do get nearly everything that our users ask for. It may be slow, but it happens.

P. S. We found an audio clip of Donovan's 1967 song, "Season of the Witch", which irresistably suggested itself as soon as this post had a title.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Where Will Wheat Grow?

One of our readers sent us a link to a startling graphic showing that the wheat-growing region in North America will have moved entirely north of the US/Canadian border by 2050. The graphic is being passed around on environmental blogs. Its intermediate source appears to be a BBC story, New Crops Needed To Avoid Famines; ultimate credit goes to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, but we can't find the source story or the graphic on their website.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Glamour Hour

Southside Library in beautiful Santa Fe light. The Field Reports tend to have a sameness about them as the contractors' crews work on finishing up and delivering the library to staff some time this month. Our director's commentary includes: "The fascia panels have been installed on the building, facing Jaguar. The staff is calling it the great concha belt in the sky. A gorgeous addition... Cisterns have been placed... Engraved donor bricks were delivered to the site on Tuesday, December 5, and will be placed as the brick walkway is laid in under north Portal on either side of the entrance..."

A second group of donor bricks will be placed in February.

construction photoconstruction photoconstruction photo

Friday, December 08, 2006

Action on the Sun

sun imageBoth Sky and Telescope and are telling us about a very active sunspot region, and the potential for radiation activity (and big auroral displays).

The cause is Sunspot 930, just now rotating into position so that any explosive activity will be directed toward earth instead of off to the side... The sun image above is from the National Solar Observatory on Sacramento Peak, in Sunspot, New Mexico. sun imageThe Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) image from December 5th has a nifty scale at the bottom; yesterday's magnetogram from Kitt Peak (on right), Sacramento Peak's sister facility in Arizona, shows the size of the active area. Both images © National Solar Observatory/AURA/NSF.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December Schedule , and Change in Holiday Hours

There's been a change in our holiday plans: the Main Library will be open on Saturday, December 23rd but the La Farge Library will be closed.

This is one of the least busy days of the year for La Farge; in contrast, it is one of Main Library’s busiest days. (Both branches will be closed Sunday December 24 and Sunday December 31.)

December is going to be very full of activities, so here is a schedule reminder:

Saturday, December 9th
Nancy Bartlit - Silent Voices of World War II: When the Sons of the Land of Enchantment Met Sons of the Land of the Rising Sun
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Main Library, Community Room

Tuesday, December 12th
Clan Tynker Troupe
Specializing in juggling, clowning, and magic
7:00 pm La Farge Branch Library

Wednesday, December 13th
Sherry Bishop - Holiday ornaments
for ages 8 to 12
3:30 - 4:30 La Farge Branch Library
Register by calling 955-4863

Wednesday, December 13th
Clan Tynker Troupe
Specializing in juggling, clowning, and magic
7:00 pm Main Library

Thursday, December 14th
Barbara Beaseley Murphy will read from her book Miguel Lost and Found in the Palace.
12 noon at the Main Library.
Joining her will be Linda Diemand, with her book-in-the-making Michael the Cowcat. She will be
showing the audience how children[s books are made.
For more information call 955-6837.

Saturday and Sunday, December 16th & 17th
Children of the Portal Native American Artists Show and Sale
On December 16th and 17th, the children of the Palace of the Governors Portal Program vendors will be having an arts sale in the Community Room at the Main Library. The hours are Saturday the 16th, 10AM-4PM; and Sunday the 17th, 1-4PM. The kids' parents will decorate the Community Room, and the holiday tree on the balcony. There will be storytellers in the childrens room during the event. The Library is proud to host this outreach program.

Saturday, December 23rd
Main Library will be open, 10 AM to 6 PM
La Farge Library will be CLOSED.

Sunday and Monday, December 24th and 25th
Libraries will be closed in observance of Christmas

Thursday, December 28th
"Snake Conservation and Awareness"
2:00PM - 3:00 PM at the Main Library
Join us for an educational program to learn about and experience snakes
For more information call 955-6837.

Sunday and Monday, December 31st and January 1st
Libraries will be closed in observance of the New Year

Pearl Harbor Bombing Anniversary

USS Maryland, Dec. 7, 1941
Today is the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This photo, of the USS Maryland, and several dozen additional photographs, are available from the Library of Congress's American Memory Collection. Search for United States--Hawaii--Honolulu County--Pearl Harbor and they will pop right up.

The Naval Historical Center has a page with other images. New York Times has a special section; and there's probably other material anywhere you look on the web today.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Children of the Portal Native American Artists Show and Sale

On December 16th and 17th, the children of the Palace of the Governors Portal Program vendors will be having an arts sale in the Community Room at the Main Library. The hours are Saturday the 16th, 10AM-4PM; and Sunday the 17th, 1-4PM. The kids' parents will decorate the Community Room, and the holiday tree on the balcony. There will be storytellers in the childrens room during the event. The Library is proud to host this outreach program.

There's more information about the program (and cute kid pictures) in the New Mexican's Feliz Navidad supplement.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Literary Opportunity

cover of literary magazine
Santa Fe Community College's lit mag, Santa Fe Literary Review, is looking for submissions. They need poems, short fiction, creative non-fiction, and art. The magazine is open to all writers.

The deadline is Jan 15, 2006. Submit the old fashioned way, directly to

Miriam Sagan
Santa Fe Literary Review Faculty advisor
English Dept, Liberal Arts
6401 Richards Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87508-4887
Use an SASE and include your e-mail address. Pass the information on to your writing friends, and thanks!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Southside Library. A light in the stacks; patio detail on the southeast corner; shelving in the stacks area.

construction detail
construction detail

We're on track for a February opening.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Large Print Lists Too...

When we posted last week about updating the What's-New and media lists, we forgot to mention that the Large Print lists are also updated. Although we acquire them much more slowly than the general collection, new large print titles have been added lately. Among the large-print editions of titles published in 2006 which have come into the collection are :
    Sara Gruen, Water for elephants ;
    W. E. B. Griffin, The saboteurs ;
    Amy Tan, Saving fish from drowning ;
    Anne Tyler, Digging to America ;
    Allan Furst, The foreign correspondent ;
    John Banville, The sea ;
and a whole lot more.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Annual Friends of the Library Holiday Book Sale!

The World-Renowned, Annual Friends of the Library Holiday Book Sale!
This is THE Holiday Sale.
Saturday, December 2nd, 10 AM to 4 PM
There will be many gift-worthy items. All items are individually priced.

Saturday only, in the Southwest Room at the Main Library, first floor.
We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Next Catalog Changes

We are continuing to tinker with the catalog, trying to make it more convenient and easier to understand.

The next thing to happen will be that the processing of the holds you place will be interactive: you will immediately see the holds on your record (instead of your having to wonder: did I do it? where did it go?) Of course the process will still require a lot of human intervention, but the first step will be automatic. Behind the scenes there will be a number of other changes in the holds procedures; if you notice anything unusual, please find a librarian and let us know. This is one of our most popular services: we have filled about 25,000 holds so far this year. That's a lot of transactions to change procedures on.

Following that, spell-check will be coming to your keyword searches. If you enter for example 'medevil history', it will ask you "Did you mean 'medieval history'"?, and also let you choose other possibillities from a pulldown list. Try it at Cedarville University or Westerville Public Library, who are running the same catalog software we have.

It's not going to be perfect, but only as good as the database it is checking against. Apparently it knows nothing about any possible misspelling of 'serotonin', for example. But when it works, it will be very helpful.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sherry Bishop Program on Wednesday

Sherry Bishop's second holiday craft program, Illuminated Manuscript Cards, will take place at the La Farge Branch Library on Wednesday, November 29th, 3:30-4:30 PM. This free program is for children ages 8 to 12. Please call La Farge to register, so we can prepare enough supplies.

Sherry will have two more programs in this series, Handmade Gifts on Wednesday, December 6th; and Holiday Ornaments on Wednesday, December 13th. Also at La Farge, 3:30-4:30 PM, for children 8-12.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Fire on the Mountain Once Again This Week

Many people were startled by last week's prescribed burns in the Santa Fe National Forest, the huge column of smoke in the east reminding us of scary fire seasons past. Porfirio Chavarria, the city's Assistant WildLand Urban Interface Specialist, has passed on the following press release from the Forest Service, announcing additional burns for this week, two of which may be visible from Santa Fe:


(SANTA FE, NM)—Next week if air quality, weather, and fuel conditions are favorable, Fire Managers on the Santa Fe National Forest will treat four hazardous fuels areas with prescribed fire.

  • Santa Fe Municipal Watershed Pile Burning, Española Ranger District : The Santa Fe Municipal Watershed burn is located on the north side of Santa Fe Watershed, south of NM 475, North of Nichols reservoir, and east of Hyde Park Estates. Smoke released from the Santa Fe Watershed Burn will be visible from the city of Santa Fe, east of Santa Fe, Tesuque and surrounding areas. Smoke will settle into lower elevations and in drainage areas during the evenings, but should lift by mid-morning.
  • Road 18 Burn, Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District : The Road 18 prescribed burn area is located approximately 16 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Smoke released from Road 18 burn will be visible from the communities of Mineral Hill, Camp Blue Haven, San Geronimo, San Pablo, Gallinas, and Las Vegas.
  • Chaparral Burn, Cuba Ranger District : The Chaparral prescribed burn area is located 3 miles west of the community of Seven Springs. Smoke released from the Chaparral burn will be visible from Rio Rancho, Cuba, Seven Springs, and Santa Fe.
  • Mesa Camino Burn, Coyote Ranger District :
    The Mesa Camino prescribed burn area is located 7 miles northeast of Gallina. Smoke released from the Mesa Camino burn will be visible from the communities of Ghost Ranch, Rio Chama Monastery, and Abiquiu.

For daily progress reports regarding ongoing prescribed burns on the Santa Fe National Forest, please call toll-free: 1-877-971-FIRE (3473)."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lists, Lists, Lists

We've updated all the What's New lists. We're able to present lists which are a lot longer, now that you can browse 50 titles at a time. Even a thousand titles is only 20 clicks.

There's the usual array of seductive things: in nonfiction, a wonderful book about David Hockney, David Hockney: Portraits: and Robert Creeley's last works, taken from the notebook he was working in when he died in 2005, On earth : last poems and an essay ; a well-reviewed biography of William James ; and 600 or so others. In fiction, the good stuff includes Isabel Allende's new novel, Inés of my Soul, which we have ordered in English, large print, audio, and in Spanish ; a new book by Dana Stabenow in the Kate Shugak series ; and Jim Harrrison's new novel, Returning to Earth. New media materials, new Southwest materials, etc.

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We've also tinkered with the media lists, which are always available from the catalog's opening page. The links for DVDs, Books on CD, and Music on CD are now simply catalog searches, and therefore always up to date. Click any time and the catalog will show you--50 at a time--the entire list, including what may have been ordered this morning :-) . These searches are presently limited to exclude the media materials which have been ordered for Southside, since you can't get at them until maybe Valentine's Day. The videos and the books on tape need to have their call number schemes made consistent before a simple search will work, so those are still specially processed data outputs, which are updated only about once a month.

If you log in to your record before you search, you can use the same trick of constructing your own detailed searches, and then save the search as a preferred search (the button will be there when you need it); if you have your search sorted to put the new materials on top and run it every now and again, it will be easy to see if anything new has appeared. Interested in materials "with the subject headings 'climatic change' or 'global warming', no children's materials, published since 2003, sort with most recent on top"? Log in, construct a search, such as the example just described, then save as a preferred search. Run it tomorrow. Run it next month.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Clearing Out the (E)Mail Box

The whooping crane chicks which are following ultralights on their first migration from Wisconsin to Florida are more than half-way there. The best picture of the migration so far is on the Nov. 21 page...

One of our readers sent us links to a couple of book-related sites, JGodsey's wonderful new Literary Stamps blog, and a page about the Voynich Manuscript, "The Most Mysterious Manuscript in the World." Other readers sent us links to Bill McKibben's review of five recent books about climate change: "How Close to Catastrophe," at New York Review of Books; and to an article at a search engine optimization site about Looking for a Library on Google Local. It works pretty well if you look us up in Santa Fe (go to, click on "find businesses", put in 'library' & 'Santa Fe') — we come up right on top. Would presumably work for most places.

More: There's a new children's book award, the Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Award. Why not? The Litblog Co-op does it. (And does anyone understand why it's nearly impossible to make google find 'Litblog Co-op'?) Pan in the Encke gapThe librarians on the Public Libraries email list pointed out a terrific College Rankings page from UIUC that pulls together links to current rankings pages; and a couple of non-mainstream lyrics search sites, Mudcat Cafe and at

The image is from the Cassini spacecraft, a picture of Saturn's moon Pan, which circles Saturn within the rings and keeps the Encke gap open by gravitationally sweeping the ring particles out of its way..

Friday, November 24, 2006

Working in LibraryLand

The most recent postings on American Libraries Online are particularly full of the sort of events which people would like to imagine that libraries are a safe haven from: shooting, tasering, arson...

In general we have been very lucky at Santa Fe Public Library. The occasional irate patron is the most we usually have to deal with.

Another posting on the ALA news site pointed out a story from across the border to the north: Canadian academic institutions offering their scholars the Refworks service are moving scholars' bibliographies and research data from Refworks' own server to a Canadian server instead, where the US government wouldn't be able to use the Patriot Act to examine the scholars' research. If the original news story from the Toronto Globe and Mail has moved to archive and now requires you to have a login (it will at some point), you can get the gist from the University of Alberta's library news, and other sources (1) , (2).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Looking Past the Circulation Desk

The shelving at the Southside Library started going in this week, but we don't have photographs yet. We hear it's really gorgeous (at least to librarians). We'll ask the architect for pictures next week. Meanwhile, looking past the circulation desk toward the main entryway (the front doors are still plywood.)

P.S. Reminder: We are closed both today and tomorrow in observance of Thanksgiving Day. See you on Saturday and Sunday, as usual...

construction photo

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


We have updated the list of the titles with the most holds. As usual, the top of the list is kind of predictable. It's hard to be interested in the demand for the latest books by the usual authors (even those we are personally looking forward to reading): John Grisham ; Michael Connelly ; David Baldacci ; Tony Hillerman ; Janet Evanovich ; Elizabeth George ; James Patterson.

It gets more illuminating further down the list, looking at some of the books with only a few people waiting:

We wasted a noticable amount of time trying to figure out what IS that diacritic in Icelandic author Arnuldur Indriðason's name (Indridason, in case your browser can't handle an eth; authority for reproducing it as a "d" comes from the Reykjavik City Library's page about him...)

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