Wednesday, May 31, 2006

sumer is icumin in

At the Main Library we see a lot of visitors all year long, but in the summer the extent to which we serve tourists is really noticeable. Judging by the number of visitors coming to the desk, it is Definitely Summer Now. A couple of summers ago we kept track for a while, asking the internet users whether they were city residents, county residents, or from Elsewhere. These are the numbers we collected:
    Main: City users 50%, county 9%, other 41%
    La Farge: City 70%, county 22%, other 8%
    Bookstop: City 68%, county 22%, other 11%
The Library considers itself a front line for visitors, providing access to computers for airline e-tickets, changes of reservations, email; offering maps and tourist guides; recommending personal favorites such as: Restaurants: Del Charro or La Choza for those on a budget, or Mucho Gusto or El Farol. And easy treks outside of town—-St. John’s, the Audubon Society, etc. And best day trip, Ghost Ranch. And answering questions such as, "Do you have the Opera schedule? Where is the O'Keeffe Museum? Where can I go kayaking? Is the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad running?" (Yes!!!)

This post has a soundtrack, the old English round "sumer is icumin in". Go to the full soundclip link for the best effect. The words are kind of nice too. 'Groweth sed and bloweth med and springth the wude nu. Sing, cuccu!' (The seed grows; the meadow blossoms, and the wood alivens anew. Sing, cuckoo!)

Monday, May 29, 2006

T. C. Boyle, James Lee Burke, Kos, Francesca Lia Block, Travel Guides and More

The list of titles Just Added to the Database has been refreshed. We took out most of the kids books, most of the donations of older titles, most of the replacement copies of things trying to disappear. What's left is a pretty seductive list of mostly new fiction, nonfiction and media materials. Crashing the gate : Netroots, grassroots, and the rise of people-powered politics / Jerome Armstrong, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. High lonesome : new & selected stories, 1966-2006 / Joyce Carol Oates. Basta! : land and the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas / by George A. Collier with Elizabeth Lowery Quaratiello. A new edition of Digital video for dummies / Keith Underdahl. New fiction by Monica Ali, James Lee Burke, Stephen Booth, John Hanamura, Irène Némirovsky's Suite française.

And a couple of hundred more.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Righty Rock

If this were the beginning of April, we'd think it was an April Fool's joke. The National Review Online has a story about The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs. The full article is in the June 5th print issue of National Review (which has arrived, and is in the magazine room), but if you read the online version you can follow the links to Amazon and find a 30-second soundclip to use as a reminder for any of the songs which have somehow slipped out of your pop-culture memory bins.

The phrase 'Righty Rock' came from some blog discussion of the list, maybe at Slate. But I've lost the link and can't find it again.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Holiday Weekend Reminder

empty libraryBoth libraries (and all City government offices) will be closed for Memorial Day, Monday May 29th. We will be open Saturday and Sunday as usual.

The library's annual holiday schedule is always available on our web pages.

30-Year TV/Smithsonian Deal

The House Administration Committee held a hearing Thursday on the deal which the Smithsonian Institution has made with CBS Showtime. There's a good Washington Post story with links in the sidebar to earlier stories. Or read about it, back when the news broke, at the New York Times; at BoingBoing; at ALA; or at

PS While hunting around for the Showtime story, we found the news that Nora Naranjo-Morse (1)(2)(3), a sculptor from Santa Clara, had won the design competition for an outdoor sculpture at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. For a look at her work, we have her 1992 book Mud Woman : Poems from the Clay.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Something Definitely New (Gyp Sheathing...)

From the architects' May 22nd Field Report for Southside Library: "Work in progress: Masons are working on the pilasters, bancos, and stonework at the South Patio. The concrete crew will be starting to layout the footings for the east patio. Steel framing is ongoing, finishing up with some soffits. Sound attenuators are expected to be delivered to the site and installed this week. HVAC ductwork is being installed. Electrical is being installed. Plumbing is starting with supply lines. Some areas of gyp sheathing are going up on the outside of the building."

A full sequence of construction progress photos is always available on the progress page; these particular images might not appear there for a day or two.

construction photo
construction photo

NM Fire Info

A new interagency web page pulls together wildfire information for the whole state. Terrific map base. Take a look at how it pinpoints the small fire in Rio Nambe.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Bob Dylan is 65 years old today.

What The Times Book Review Said

That array of covers on the Sunday New York Times Book Review starts many rabbits of thought. Keeping in mind that the question was very explicit ("What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?") and you could only name one title, the most interesting aspect of the results is that the assembled writers and critics cast multiple votes for five different Philip Roth novels; three different Don Delillo novels; two different Cormac McCarthy titles, one containing multiple novels... Yes, Toni Morrison's Beloved had the most votes; but the only other woman fiction writer on that cover is Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping). The only mentioned title we don't own is Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son. (There are 9 others of his titles in the catalog. Does that count?)

Winner and runners-up:

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Monday, May 22, 2006

Dick Francis Has A New Book Out

Mystery readers know that when Dick Francis's wife (and collaborator) Mary died six years ago, he announced that he would not be writing any more. This was a big change, as he had produced a book every year for decades. But the happy news has been floating around the mystery community that he did in fact get back to work, and Under Orders is scheduled for a September 12 release. It's too soon for us to order it--there isn't even a cover image yet-- so it is not in the catalog, but you can be sure we will get it as soon as we can.

Article about Francis from the Guardian.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Catalog Down on Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 23rd, we'll be installing new server hardware for the catalog system; the library catalog will be down for at least a few hours and perhaps all day. Please call the library if you need help finding something. We ourselves won't have catalog access either, but might be able to figure out how to find what you need. :-)

You won't see any immediate difference in either the catalog or the services available to you; but over the next few weeks a lot of changes will begin to appear, both to what you can do and to our behind-the-scenes work.

This Year's Crop

apricotsThe apricot trees on the lawn at City Hall have some fruit, but it is not nearly as plentiful as it was last year. What fruit there is will be safe to pick and eat right off the trees when the aprocots ripen, as they are never sprayed.

Meanwhile, birds are singing and wearing their brightest breeding plumage, gardens are flowering, and hikers are out getting their last taste of the mountain trails before the National Forests shut down because of fire danger. On Upper Pacheco Canyon Road (roughly, straight up the mountain between Rio En Medio and the Ski Basin) there were elk (elk!) the other evening, munching away on the grass at the edge of Vigil Meadows (see Google map). map showing where the elk were On this side of the mountain, and so low? No, we didn't believe it either, and emailed the Public Lands Information Center. The wildlife officer wrote back, "Yes, they were elk. They move around a lot, can travel as much as 25 miles a day unlike deer which will spend much of their lives within a mile of the place where they were born. Elk are grazers (deer are browsers) and prefer cool, north-facing, heavy-timbered slopes during the day." The red + marks the spot.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

'The Moral Imperative to Scan'

Earlier this week librarian bloggers were pointing to the article in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Kevin Kelly's Scan This Book! It's probably this year's big 'universal library' story. What's on the cover of the magazine is not the title but a précis: "What Will Happen to Books? Readers take heart! (Publisher, be very, very afraid.) Internet search engines will set them free." The link we've given you is from the New York Times website, and if that access expires, it will remain available from Proquest-- call the library for the login and password.

We have so far only skimmed the article, but quite like the little graphic on the top of page 49 in the print version. "When books are digitized, reading becomes a community activity," it says at one end of a snakey branched line. "Bookmarks can be shared with fellow readers. Marginalia can be broadcast. Bibliographies swapped." And then, "You might get an alert that your friend Carl has annotated a favorite book of yours. A moment later, his links are yours."

Nice. But I always also keep in mind what library thinker Walt Crawford wrote in 1998: "Paper persists." That ever-arriving electronic future still isn't quite here yet.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Workers On Site...

Southside Library news from the architects' Site Report: "Materials on Site: 2/3 of the required Mountain Rose stone; cold steel framing; gypsum sheathing; concrete block; rebar; galvanized metal deck. Workers on Site: structural steel; steel framers; concrete crew; fire sprinkler crew; HVAC crew.
construction photo
"Work in Progress: Masons are building the pilasters at the South Patio. Stone work is continuing. The CMU wall is going up at the Staff Patio. Steel framing. A welder is working on the southeast portal. HVAC is being installed. Electrical and plumbing are ongoing. The concrete sidewalk extension for the 2' widening of the sidewalk is mostly complete."

construction photo

Construction progress photos are always available on the Progress Page.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One-Way Streets Map

   Beginning Wednesday morning May 24 several streets downtown will become one-way to accommodate staging areas for the construction of the New Mexico History Museum on Lincoln Avenue. The full map says in the bottom left corner that these traffic patterns will be in effect until construction of the museum is complete. Some of the affected streets are being re-striped to allow for more parking. Between the construction of the convention center and the construction of the new museum, look for continuing changes downtown. (Notice that for the moment, Washington Street in front of the library is not affected.)

Earlier plans had the street changes beginning on Monday the 22nd, but the new pattern is now planned to begin on the 24th.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Social Networking & DOPA

We received the following message from Geri Hutchins, Federal Programs Coordinator at the New Mexico State Library. Although we don't receive any Federal funds for internet access and would not be directly affected, this is a matter of great importance for many school and public libraries.

"If you receive E-Rate funding or any federal funds that are used for Internet access, the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 (DOPA) would affect your library. A good summary from LawLibrary Blog DOPA would amend the provision of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 254(h), that was enacted by the CIPA - the provision that requires schools and libraries that accept E-rate discounts to filter obscenity, child pornography, and material that is 'harmful to minors' (the last only when minors use the school's or library's computers). DOPA would add other items that would have to be filtered when minors use computers, namely 'commercial social networking website[s] or chat room[s] through which minors - (aa) may easily access or be presented with obscene or indecent material; (bb) may easily be subject to unlawful sexual advances, unlawful requests for sexual favors, or repeated offensive comments of a sexual nature from adults; or (cc) may easily access other material that is harmful to minors.'

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cassini Comes Through Again

rings, Titan, EpimetheusAh. NASA has offered us a gorgeous image of Saturn's rings against the background of Titan (Epimetheus also visible).

We have been receiving images of the outer planets since the Pioneer 10 spacecraft emerged from the asteroid belt and encountered Jupiter in 1973. (I still have the issue of Scientific American with that first image on the cover.) The scale of the knowedge we have gained and the beauty of the imagery which science has brought us over the past 30 years is stunning.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

RefQ: The Founding of Santa Fe

This is a fairly frequent reference question: someone will call up and ask for the exact date Santa Fe was founded. (We think the purpose of the question is astrological...) Would that there were a firm answer! The only firm fact is not the one they want: according to city records, Santa Fe was incorporated on 17th June, 1891. As to when the Spanish established a settlement here and founded the city, not even the year is certain. The city emblem says 1610. The Place Names of New Mexico (revised edition, 1998), mirroring other scholars, says that in 1609 Don Pedro de Peralta began moving the colony from San Gabriel to "an abandoned Indian pueblo" on the present site of Santa Fe, and since the move took some time, 1610 is the accepted date; but mentions that "an obscure conquistador named Juan Martinez de Montoya may have established a plaza there as early as 1608."

Well, yeah. The date moved back and back again in the last decade or so based on letters found in an archive in London (1)(2)(3)(4). Juan Martinez de Montoya established a settlement he called 'Plaza de Santa Fe' here apparently well before 1608. In ?1605? As Tom Chavez said, "Could it be that Santa Fe was founded when Oñate was away discovering the South Sea, in 1605? Is that possible? Yes, it is. So, from those documents, Santa Fe was founded at the latest 1607, and maybe as early as 1605, before Jamestown." That would leave only St. Augustine (1565) as an older permanent settlement of Europeans in the New World.

Not everyone acknowledges the new information. "Despite debate, Santa Fe's founding date as the seat of the Spanish colonial province remains 1610" says a 2004 article. On the other hand, even the Virtual Jamestown timeline gives us 1605. The City's emblem still says 1610 but it's wrong; and the State's tourism web site (wrong); and the file card in our 'Hard-to-Find' File (wrong).

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Packing A Library

sealing a box of booksThe Library Bookstop is no more. Sunday May 7th was the last day of operation for our little Mall branch. (The staff gave 'hugs' and 'kisses' to the patrons. Chocolate of course.) Library staff and volunteers worked like crazy for four days, and by Thursday afternoon the whole collection was taken care of. The 7-day books and media materials have been shifted to La Farge, a good many worn-out and out of date materials were discarded. The whole rest of the collection will go into storage until the new Southside Library is ready and they are melded with the 60,000-odd new items which are being purchased for Southside.

Hold books which were requested for pickup at Bookstop will be sent instead to the La Farge Branch, 1730 Llano Street. 955-4862. And yes, beginning this Sunday and until Southside opens, La Farge will be open on Sundays from 1-5 PM.

packing action
boxes packed
packing action

Friday, May 12, 2006

News About the Zimmerman Library Fire

On Thursday the University of New Mexico web site posted an update on Zimmerman Library. Excerpts: "There was a fire in Zimmerman's periodical area on Basement Level 1 on Sunday night, April 30... University administrators are planning to reopen Zimmerman Library to the public sometime in June. The ground floor, second and third levels will all be opened while cleaning and repair of the basement level is underway... Physical Plant administrators say a 7500-square foot area of the upper basement level on the eastern side of the building was completely destroyed... Clean-up of Zimmerman's first, second and third floors has begun and is expected to continue through mid to late June. Each book and shelf must be dry wiped. All ceiling tiles are being replaced and all the walls cleaned... Materials from Zimmerman's second and third floors are available for paging..."

Their catalog has already been updated to show which materials may be paged and which not (example) (example) from the closed building, as the University scrambles to help its students and faculty keep on with their academic work despite the disaster.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

!!Reading on Friday!!

Last minute program announcement!!!
Main Library Presents:
Friday, May 12, at 2:30 PM in the Main Library Children's Room, our very own Director, Pat Hodapp, will be reading Crazy Hair Day by Barney Salzberg.
large cover image

The Children's Museum is sponsoring readings all over town on Friday and Saturday. First Lady Barbara Richardson will be reading at the museum at 10:30 AM Friday, and Mayor David Coss will be reading there at 1:30 PM. But those people will have big enough crowds. Please come hear Pat read at 2:30 PM!!

What's-New Lists

The lists of What's New have been updated for May.

You may have noticed that we pay a lot of attention to what's new. We read reviews, keep track of what's forthcoming, order as much as we can afford of the newest titles by popular and/or high profile authors... It's not that the new books are the only things people read, but an awful lot of our most passionate readers always have books they are waiting for. The image that we use on our holiday posts says "Library Closed" to us ever so strongly because there is nobody standing there browsing the 7-day bookcase. If we were open, there'd be a person or two in the picture.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


photo of balloons
Today is our director's birthday. We partied energetically from 9 AM until opening time. Happy Birthday, Pat!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Manyholds List

The list of current popular titles, the titles with the most holds on them, has been updated. It is always available from the catalog entry page.

This month only 8 nonfiction titles appear among the 55 titles with six or more people standing in line for them, though Kevin Phillips' American theocracy : the perils and politics of radical religion, oil, and borrowed money in the 21st century and Joan Didion's The year of magical thinking are in the top ten. (The Didion has been there for months.) Other nonfiction on people's radar includes Cobra 2 : the inside story of the invasion and occupation of Iraq / Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor ; Eat, pray, love : one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia / Elizabeth Gilbert ; A new earth : awakening to your life's purpose / Eckhart Tolle ; and Misquoting Jesus : the story behind who changed the bible and why / Bart D. Ehrman.

The other forty-odd high demand titles the passionate readers are waiting for are mysteries and general fiction. Personally, the one I'm holding my breath for is Donna Leon's Through a glass darkly. I can hardly wait for my next trip to Inspector Brunetti's Venice...

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Monday, May 08, 2006

New Date for Catalog Downtime

The installation of the new catalog server has been postponed to May 23rd, so we will NOT be down on Thursday. We'll warn you again closer to the scheduled date.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Academic Search Resource(s)

Microsoft has a new academic search engine in beta, at So far it covers only three fields, computer science, engineering, and physics. They intend to expand it to additional areas of knowledge. The SPARC Open Access Newletter has a good discussion of its features, and links to a number of comparisons to Google Scholar. (He doesn't have a direct link to this part of the newsletter. It's the second section in Top Stories from April 2006.)

In a lighter vein but still a useful tool: while seaching for photos to enhance the fun of reading Sherill Tippins' February House, we ran into a 1937 image of W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood & Stephen Spender at Britain's National Portrait Gallery, reminding us that everybody was young once. The gallery is fun to explore. There's even a drawing of D. H. Lawrence by Lady Dorothy Brett which must have been done when they were in Taos... (Much of the material in February House is about Brits such as Auden and Benjamin Britten, but a lot is also about Carson McCullers' first year in New York after she achieved fame at an impossibly— and perhaps forever— young age.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Southside Again

Work in progress at the Southside Library this week (from the architect's Field Report): "Decking is going down in the Staff Area. Columns and beams are being placed in the West Portal. Colored concrete is going to be poured at the patio grade beam. Grey concrete is being brought in to finish off some column bases and other miscellaneous concrete. Digging is continuing in the parking lot. Conduits are being placed for pull boxes required for possible expansion. Fire sprinklers are being hung in the northeast portion of the building. HVAC ductwork will start going in at the northeast portion of the building. Metal studs are going up."

Construction progress photos are always available on the progress page. We're been tracking the project since August, just before work began.

construction photo
construction photo

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Flash News : La Farge Sunday Hours

Beginning May 14th, the La Farge Library will be open on Sundays from 1-5PM. These hours will be in effect until further notice.

This will help to maintain a Sunday library presence in the southern part of town during the time between when the Bookstop closes and the Southside Library opens. La Farge is at 1730 Llano Street. Their phone number is 955-4862.

Bookstop was opened in 1989 as a "temporary" location for our southside patrons while the LaFarge Branch was being renovated. We know people have enjoyed having access to a library at the Mall over these last 17 years but Santa Fe's south side has grown so much the Bookstop could no longer meet the need. "Santa Fe deserves a new state of the art library and we look forward to welcoming everyone at our new facility," stated Susie Sonflieth, Library Services Director for Branches.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hornby Island Eagle Cam

We've been falling down on the job and haven't sent you to the Hornby Island Eagle Cam. Ten million people a day are tuning in to watch the adult eagles and wait for the egg to hatch, perhaps any day now. Except when the male and female change places, you don't get to see much action. The audio is wind on the microphone, except for the occasion eagle scream. Hornby Island is in the Strait of Georgia east of Vancounver Island, to the northwest of Qualicum Beach on this map.

Haven't been able to get in at all today. Probably because there's Ten. Million. People. Per. Day.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Countries for Grownups

We had someone looking for information about East Timor. We have one book, but it's not current enough (1998) for a country that was first internationally recognized as an independent state in 2002. What to do...

The first place to look (in printed material) for extremely detailed and concise information about any country, in impossibly tiny type, is the Europa World Year Book. It's updated annually, and is especially strong in a summary narration of recent history. (East Timor is in the T's, for Timor-Leste.) Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook is more accessible, and includes information from the State Department's Consular Information Sheets (though if things are changing, the Information Sheets are more current online). Another useful source for up to date information about countries is the World Today Series, provided the country is in one of the volumes we carry. For quick current facts about a country, even very tiny (or, from our point of view, obscure) places, try the online CIA World Factbook.

Tiny country? Try Vanuatu; or Akrotiri; or even Bassas da India, a French possession which goes 'awash' at high tide. The map is the coolest.