Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Southside Opening Day Collection Update

Technical Services (Cataloging & Acquisitions) and the Library’s librarians are busy selecting materials for the Opening Day Collection of books, DVDs and CDs for the new Southside branch. Meetings with vendors specifying exactly how we want our materials prepared for the shelf have been on-going. This is a time-consuming process that requires a great deal of documentation, samples being sent back and forth, and constant communication. We are working with several vendors that are providing shelf ready materials for us. The vendors will be storing the materials in their warehouses, and delivering them to the new branch right before the opening (sorted in rough shelving order) in trailers, ready to put on the new shelving.

The new Southside materials will be cataloged on our database, and as the items are added they will show to our patrons on the catalog. Since these items are “Unavailable”, no holds will be allowed until the branch opens.

The first step in the ordering process for this project was to send the vendors a list of current materials that we have here at Main and La Farge branches, so that we can get an additional copy for the new branch. The vendors are then providing us with selection lists based on our criteria to buy additional titles. The children’s and adult librarians are choosing titles in Fiction, all of the nonfiction Dewey ranges, Biography, Reference, and areas of special interest for the Southwest collection. The new Southside branch will have a higher percentage of Spanish language materials, and will also focus on K-12 to serve our young patrons from the surrounding schools.

An additional component to the new collection are Gifts. Santa Fe Public Library receives some incredible gift books and media, and the selectors are busy setting aside lots of great materials for the new branch. These are being processed “in house” by our Technical Services department, and then put into storage boxes until we open. The Bookstop collections will also be incorporated into the new branch. Our goal is to have 78,000 items on the shelf by opening. This should about half fill the shelves, leaving us plenty of room for growth.

This week’s report shows that we have 1700 items completed for Southside showing in our catalog. We’ll keep you posted on the growing total!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Multi-Searches and Map Mashups

One of our readers confesses to spending heaps of time exploring mapping mashup sites and multi-search-engine sites. As he travels fairly often and uses public internet access in libraries all over the country, one of the mashup tools he recommended is Libraries411: Public Library Directory, Locator and Maps.

(It doesn't show great accuracy about us, actually; the little marker for the Bookstop is placed out in the middle of nowhere off West Alameda Street, and the web address is wrong. We'll write to them...)

For multisearch tools try Mr. Sapo; or Turboscout; or the very simple Twingine, which shows you Google and Yahoo results side by side. This might be a good place to mention again the Best Search Tools Chart at Infopeople. They keep it up to date.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Field Report Just In

Finally, pictures of concrete arcing down out of the sky... Southside Library is making progress. The architects' notes earlier in the week said "a. Plumbers are setting the floor drains based on the discussions with the Architect. The floor drains at the showers are recessed for a mortar bed. Other floor drains are set based on the slope from the corners of the bathrooms, as indicated on the drawings. b. Electricians are still working on under-slab work. Contractor expects to pour the remaining slabs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, along with the retaining wall foundations and drop inlet."

The pictures, when they came, plainly show the big pour taking over all activity...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Arthur Sze and Pat Mora

The fairy dust of recognition has drifted down on two distinguished local authors. Congratulations to both!!

Arthur Sze has been chosen Santa Fe's Poet Laureate. Arthur has been publishing poetry in New Mexico for a long time, and worked with the library a few years ago to offer three cycles of community poetry workshops here at the Santa Fe Public Library and at the Institute of American Indian Arts; the workshops followed through with the publication of anthologies of some of the work, Retinal Exchange (1998), Signs and Portents (2000), and Audible Fire (2002). There's a profile of Arthur at the Academy of American Poets website; and of course there were news stories when the appointment was announced.

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Earlier this week it was announced at the American Library Association's midwinter conference that Pat Mora's book, Doña Flor : a tall tale about a giant woman with a great big heart, illustrated by Raul Colón, has won the 2006 Belpré Prize for Colón's illustrations and was named an honor book for Mora's narration. The Pura Belpré Award, "established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."

Children's librarians all over the country watch for the ALA announcements of the Newbery, the Caldecott, the Belpré, and other prizes; and rush to be sure they have enough copies of all the prize-winning books in their collection. We're working on that ourselves, but of course already had plenty of copies of Doñ Flor and others of Pat Mora's books, because she is one of our own local authors.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Challenger Anniversary

Challenger Explosion
It doesn't seem like it could be so long ago. The Space Shuttle Challenger blew up twenty years ago tomorrow, on January 28, 1986. According to the formal description on the NASA website, things went
Challenger Crew
wrong within a fraction of a second of the launch at 11:38:00 a.m. EST, culminating when "(t)he Explosion 73 seconds after liftoff claimed crew and vehicle."

Of course you can find lots more NASA material about the Challenger accident, including a link to the JSC photo database.

Our own mountain range, the Sangre de Cristos, contains a memorial of this event: at the northern end of the range, across the state line in Colorado, is a part of Kit Carson Peak which was re-named Challenger Point in memory of the astronauts who were lost; later another eminence in the same massif was named for Columbia.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Mexico's Book World

The New Mexico Book Association has just published the 3rd edition of their directory and book resource guide, New Mexico's Book World, and they are making the whole 140 page book available free online. It contains chapters with listings for New Mexico publishers; book organizations; booksellers; publishing services; libraries, etc.-- and a ten-page essay by Lynn Kline surveying New Mexico's literary past. (Did you know that Robinson Jeffers was a regular visitor at Mabel Dodge Luhan's home in Taos?)

They will update the website version every couple of months. Their monthly newsletter, Libro, is also available free online.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What People Want to Read, III

The list of last year's most popular authors is available on the website. The 100 authors on the list, taken together, by themselves constituted 12% of all circulation. The dozen names at the top of the list (sorted to show newest titles first):
Nora Roberts
Tony Hillerman
Alexander McCall Smith
Robert B. Parker
John Grisham
Janet Evanovich
James Patterson
Stan and Jan Berenstain
Dr. Seuss
J. K. Rowling
Mary Pope Osborne
Marc Tolon Brown

In years past the children's authors have been mixed in at the top, but this year the top seven are all authors for adults, and the next five for children. There is a brief discussion at the bottom of the list. If you are at all interested in how publishers think about popular fiction and what is expected of top-selling authors, you might like to read Tess Gerritsen's blog piece, Cranking Them Out.

The 2005 Most Popular Non-Fiction Titles list for 2005 is not ready yet, but the topmost title is just too interesting not to mention: it's Jared Diamond's, Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Favorite Children's Book Animals

Have you seen those wonderful new 39-cent stamps?

These are the authors/books:
Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
E. B. White, Charlotte's Web (Wilbur the Pig)
Dr. Seuss, Fox in Socks
Lucy Cousins, Maisy the Mouse books
Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
H. A. & Margret Rey, Curious George Flies a Kite
Ian Falconer, Olivia
Leo Lionni, Frederick

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Eric Foner and Taylor Branch (and Dennis Banks)

The third volume of Taylor Branch's monumental history, At Canaan's edge : America in the King years, 1965-68, has just come out, to good reviews (and received a lot of coverage over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.) Another book new this winter which is of great interest to readers of modern American history is reconstruction scholar Eric Foner's Forever free : the story of emancipation and reconstruction. It contains a number of photo essays which are in effect a parallel text, a small book contained within the larger.

Though the catalog's subject headings sometimes look uninviting, using them to wander the library's collection really gives you the experience of serendipity that people often think was lost when the old catalog cards went away. If you begin clicking on the subject headings of one of the books just mentioned, you soon find yourself led in surprising directions. Take United States - Race Relations, sort with the most recent on top, and you find yourself on the first screen with as many titles about Native Americans as about African-Americans. Civil Rights Movements United States History 20th Century turns up, among other titles, Francisco Rosales' Chicano! : the history of the Mexican American civil rights movement. Or you might keep running into Dennis Banks' memoir, Ojibwa warrior : Dennis Banks and the rise of the American Indian Movement. Click. Click. A new book from UNM Press, Unaffected by the Gospel : Osage resistance to the Christian invasion (1673-1906) : a cultural victory by Willard Hughes Rollings. Clickety clikety. Tijerina's autobiography. Click.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

La Farge Book Sale

The Friends of the Library are having another great book sale! Please plan to come to La Farge Library on Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5, 1730 Llano Street.

Saturday hours are 10 am - 4 pm; Sunday hours are 1 - 4 pm. Sunday is Bag Day - all bags $2.50 each (bags provided). The sale is open to the public, so please bring your friends.

See you there.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Addicts of the New

Many library users (and librarians) haunt the New Books shelves, and pay close attention to the audio books and DVDs which have just arrived. To make this easier, all the What's New lists have been updated. These represent mostly recently purchased materials; but also include donations, replacement copies which are not new to the system, and titles which have JUST been ordered. A number of really current books on CD have just turned up in the database. Examples in the cover images below. If you search the catalog by call number for CD, then tell it to sort with Newest First, it will have to think about it for quite a while, but then will show the most recent dates on top.

You can always place hold requests on the materials which have not arrived yet (and on the ones other people are already standing in line for...)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Weather's More Like Spring

We don't have architects' notes this week, only the photos; but clearly the sea of concrete which will underlie the floor of the Southside Library is continuing to grow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What People Want to Read, II

These are books people asked for at the Main Library reference desk, in part of a recent afternoon:
Ahab's wife, or, The star-gazer : a novel / by Sena Jeter Naslund
The red tent / Anita Diamant
Making the mummies dance : inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art / Thomas Hoving
The botany of desire : a plant's-eye view of the world / Michael Pollan
Raising Cain : protecting the emotional life of boys / Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson
Reviving Ophelia : saving the selves of adolescent girls / Mary Pipher
three Walter Mosley titles, none of them the current one
The valley below / Alice Lee Marriott
Life Planning In New Mexico / Merri Rudd.
two Fred Alan Wolf titles
Chocolate : a bittersweet saga of dark and light / Mort Rosenblum
a David Frawley title, Yoga and the Sacred Fire, that we don't own though we have others of his books; we put in an interlibrary loan request for it
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Nobody Home

photo: empty library
Today's a holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. The libraries are closed. See you all tomorrow.
photo:a desk in the reference office

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Save It Twice

The Friends of the Library will be selling 3.5" diskettes in their Bookstore at the Main Library for the users of the library's computers. During hours when the bookstore is not open, diskettes will be available at the reference desk. The cost is $1.00.

A long time ago one of the staff of the city's computer department told us this: "There are two kinds of users. Those who have lost data, and those who haven't lost data YET." Keep yourself in the second column by making sure you have two copies of every important file. The one on your harddrive AND the backup copy. Two backup copies, even. If your only PC is the one you use at the library, save it TWICE, to two different diskettes, or email yourself a copy as an attachment. Diskettes die, sometimes with the only copy of important newly revised documents on them. Bypass this trouble by saving early and often :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What People Want To Read

The list of titles with the most holds on them has been updated. It's always on the web page as Books You're Willing to Wait in Line For. (In house, we call it 'the manyholds list.')

Knowing about what people want to read is one of the most fun parts of our work. Here's the top of the list.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

A Million Little Corrections

cover of bookFor the last several months, Santa Fe readers have been standing in line for James Frey's memoir, A Million Little Pieces. It was an Oprah book club pick, and people ask for it all the time. But is it really a memoir? It appears, based on recent news reports detailing investigations begun by the website The Smoking Gun, that the book's account of addiction and recovery is partially... um... made up.

Which, of course, wouldn't matter to anyone if it had presented itself as a novel, and may still not matter to readers who find the story meaningful. Books are often not what they seem, or as presented. Forrest Carter's wildly successful The Education of Little Tree (a true story) was not a memoir of a Cherokee boyhood, but a work of fiction. Edmund Morris's Dutch : a memoir of Ronald Reagan was 'told' by a fictional narrator, and some reviewers (and library catalogers) felt it would better be considered historical fiction. Danny Santiago, the hypothetical young Hispanic author of Famous All Over Town, turned out to be an established writer named Daniel James who had been blacklisted in the McCarthy era. Go Ask Alice was not the diary of an anonymous very young teen, but was produced by a woman named Beatrice Sparks. There was never a Carolyn Keene.

It will be interesting to see if the high profile attack on Frey's fidelity to fact will decrease the demand for the book.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Holiday Hours

The libraries will be closed on Monday, January 16, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. (We'll keep our normal hours over the weekend.)

The library's holiday calendar for 2006 has been posted on our web page. It is always available from both the news page and the About the Library page.

PS The usual reminder: the catalog, the magazine and newpaper databases, and the webpages never close. Available 24 x 7 x 365.

A Sea of Concrete

Southside Library. The southeast portion of the slab (main portion of the stacks area) was poured on January 5. The southwest portion of the slab (Young Adult Study Room) was poured on Monday January 9. The finishers were out power troweling and hand troweling. More radiant tubing has been placed, and the majority of the stem wall installation has been placed. Construction photos always available on the Southside Progress page.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pre-School StoryTime

photo: critters on a dictionary
Registration is open for PreSchool StoryTime at La Farge. StoryTime meets on Tuesdays; the next cycle will begin on February 7 and run through April 25th. There will be two parallel sessions: Storytime for 2 & 3-year olds from 10:30 to 11 AM; Storytime for 4-5-6-year-olds from 10:30 to 11:15 AM.

For more information call the La Farge Children's Room at 955-4863.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Friendship and Memory

You probably saw it in the news: a librarian in London found a handwritten copy of a poem by Byron which is not otherwise known in manuscript. The story on BBC explains about the find and its context; the Guardian article includes the text and a (smallish) facsimile.
       It's big news all over the literary world. A search in Google on the first line of the poem, "Absent or present still to thee", yields hits on the story in many different languages...

Monday, January 09, 2006


Work continues to progress at the Southside Library. We hope to have pictures of a big pour a little later this week.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Waterboro, Redwood City, and Green Lake

Among our favorite library blogs are Sites and Soundbytes (from the Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake, Wisconsin), the Waterboro Lib Blog, (Waterboro Public Library, Maine) and Redwood City (CA) Public Library's Liblog. Green Lake is a reliable source of interesting and useful websites, for example their New Years' post about Firefox Hacks You Must Have. Redwood City is strong on technological topics. And Waterboro does mostly literature, authors, books, but also informative websites and anything that catches their fancy. There are lots more worth a visit. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has a lively-looking new blog, PaperCuts.
       Waterboro, among other many other library blogs, pointed out all the year-end book lists at fimoculous. Sites and Soundbytes found a dynamite animated knot-tying site. La Grange Park (IL)'s Off the Shelves reminded us to post a link to the USPostal Service's new rate chart. (The rates went up today. You need $.02 more on those bills you forgot to mail yesterday.)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Taxpayer-Funded Research

Peter Suber's SPARC Open Access Newsletter (SPARC: Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) comes out at the beginning of every month. The new issue details developments in Open Access to taxpayer-funded research. There is a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in December which would REQUIRE open access to articles published in the Scientific/Technical/Medical journals if the research was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. "Over half of the non-classified research funded by the federal government is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services."
       The bill got little press--attention being on other Congressional issues such as the ANWR flap and the renewal of the sunsetting provisions of the Patriot Act. But it is an issue of great importance to the scientific and scholarly communities, and to libraries and library users. This is knowledge the public has already paid for, largely locked up behind prohibitively high subscription prices, journals that cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars per year.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Nothing But Trouble

cover of bookIf you're not going to the Friends of the Library annual meeting on Sunday, you might want to turn up at Garcia Street Books. Michael McGarrity will be signing his tenth mystery, Nothing But Trouble, at 3 PM. Garcia Street Books, 376 Garcia Street.
       McGarrity is a local superstar, and sets his stories in various areas around the state. This one takes place in the bootheel country. We've ordered six copies. Though the distributor usually manages to get hot new books to us at the same time they launch in stores, we haven't gotten our copies yet. But they will be here any minute, so go ahead and place your name on the waiting list.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pencils, We Need Pencils (Again)

If you're cleaning out your desks, we could use your stray bits of pens and pencils... Just bring them to the reference desk at the Main Library, and we will shower you with gratitude.
       Old 3.5" diskettes, too. We can reformat them and give them to computer users whose time is up and who have no way to save their work...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Who Knew?

On the public librarians' email list, PubLib, we spent the last day or two of 2005 thinking up literary couples, to help out a colleague who hoped to make a display about them. Oh, there were the ones who work together (Stan & Jan Berenstain; the Thurlos, the Thoenes) and the ones well known in history (the Shelleys, the Brownings, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Leonard and Virginia Woolf). But the real fun was in the couples that elicited immediate return emails asking, "Really?"
       Here's a short sampling from a very long--and still growing--list:
   Kate Wilhelm and Damon Knight
   Annick Smith and Bill Kittredge
   Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman
   Kathryn and Colin Harrison
   Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein
   Anne Bernays and Justin Kaplan
   Harold Pinter and Antonia Fraser
   Michael Frayn and Claire Tomalin
   Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman
   Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne
   Margaret Drabble and Michael Holroyd
   Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
   Dashiell Hammett & Lillian Hellman
   Shirley Hazzard and Francis Steegmuller
   Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt
   Nicole Krauss and Jonathan Safran Foer
   Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini
and, one for us old fogeys, Robert Lowell and Jean Stafford.
       Sorry not to give you catalog links for them all. It would take absolutely forever. Just enter whomever right here:

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tolkien's 113th Birthday

Today would be J. R. R. Tolkien's 113th birthday. The really big occasion will have been two years ago when Tolkien-ites celebrated the author's eleventy-first (the age Bilbo was at the opening of The Hobbit)... "a rather curious number and a very respectable age for a hobbit."
       With the help of Chase's Calendar of Events, every day is a special day. Tomorrow is Sir Isaac Newton's birthday, and the earth is at perihelion, the point in its orbit when it is closest to the sun.

Friends of the Library Annual Meeting

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library will hold their Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 8th at 2:00 p.m. at the Main Library, 145 Washington Avenue.
       The public is invited to attend the naming of the Edward H. Tatum Community Room. The late Mr. Tatum was a generous supporter of the Library. He was a former librarian, author and bank president, serving as the president of the First National Bank of Santa Fe from 1962-1968 and 1971-1973.
       Immediately following the Annual Meeting, there will be a presentation by adventurer Greg Bemis. For the past 30 years Bemis has been a Director, Chairman and principal owner of The Ocean Corporation, the world's leading educational facility for commercial divers. He has carried on extensive research and investigation of two of the world's greatest maritime disasters, the Lusitania, sunk in 1915, and the Estonia, sunk in 1994. His interest in the oceans has been a guiding influence in his life.
       Refreshments will be served. The program is free and open to the public.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Prize-Winning Director :-)

photo from newspaperDirector of Libraries, Patricia Hodapp, won second place in the New Mexican's holiday essay contest. (Last year it was first place, but we're not bragging...)
       It was in the paper on Christmas Day, or you can read the story in the Proquest newspaper database (call the library for username and password.)