Monday, July 31, 2006

Accessing Databases

This is the Next New Thing in our gradual computer system upgrade: if all goes well, beginning some time tomorrow (Tuesday) you will be able to get in to all of the databases simply by logging in with your library card. About half of all our database usage is what we call 'remote', by users outside the library, so this is going to make life simpler for a lot of people.

Logging in once each time will get you into all the databases as well as to check for your holds, renew your books, etc. Watch for it.

When you do log in, please click on 'Modify Personal Information' to make sure we have your current phone number and email address, and tell us whether you will prefer to get your notices by email, phone, or snailmail. Email notices are coming soon, and we are collecting the data we will need to do it.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Falling Behind on Our Field Reports

The architects' Field Report for Southside Library on July 24th tells us: "Work in progress: Wall insulation and lath is being put on the building this week. Ducts are being run. Data runs are being installed. Power is being installed. Steel studs are being framed up. Interior walls are being framed. Roofers are working on detailing the EPDM roof. Z-furring and insulation as well as dry-in sheet have been built on the high entry roof. The supply and return hot water runs for the heating system are being run. Masons will be working on rock and block at the East Patio. Contractor has been installing backing for equipment in bathrooms and various locations within the building.

'Data runs', that we understand (yaay--the computers will need to be the first things in so that we can inventory those 80,000 items as they come in the door.) But, 'Z-furring'? Now, that's a mystery detail. :-)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Poincaré's Conjecture

cover of bookThere was a really nifty story on NPR this morning about a reclusive Russian mathematician, Grigori Perelman, who appears to have solved a famous mathematical problem called Poincaré's Conjecture. There's plenty of material about it on the web, e.g., (1)(2)(3). A million dollar prize is on offer for the solution of this problem (and another $1,000,000 each for six other problems) from the Clay Mathematics Institute.

There's a chapter about the problem (not the new solution!) in Keith Devlin's 2002 title, The millennium problems : the seven greatest unsolved mathematical puzzles of our time; and a lot about Poincaré (but not the Conjecture) in Einstein's clocks, Poincaré's maps : empires of time by Peter Galison.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Spanish Market This Weekend...

Saturday and Sunday are the days of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art's Spanish Market on the Plaza. As their web page says, "Spanish Market features handcrafted traditional arts by 300 local Hispanic artists, continuous music, art demonstrations and regional foods." There will be entertainment throughout the weekend, both days, good eats, beautiful art to see.

Once again this year, Collected Works Bookstore will be sponsoring a Book Tent at the Market. A full schedule for the author signings is available on the website. The authors will include Pat Mora, Malcom Ebright, Ray John de Aragon, Rudolfo Anaya, Joe Hayes, Margaret Nava...

P.S. Please don't park in our lot and go off to the Market. The lot is for library users only, and you might well get a parking ticket.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

When It Was 1939

While going through some old files to gather benchmarking statistics, we came across a folder labeled "Librarian's Report 1939". It contained typewritten sheets for each month of the year, outlining receipts and expenditures. The heading states "I haveimage from old card the honor to submit the following report:" (I couldn't find the librarian's name or signature anywhere in the file.) The monthly reports are narrative in nature and include descriptions of library programs and story hours, staffing changes, plumbing problems, and highlights of conferences attended.

"Katherine asked for part-time work... so I am teaching her to do the things a substitute would be expected to do. She learns very readily, working two hours a day, but I pay her for only one. I think she will make a thoroughly satisfactory job of anything she is given to do ... When a girl is willing to work an hour a day without pay in order to get the experience, I usually feel she will make good in the library."

ALA conference in June - "The most frequently discussed question at the meetings was the President's appointment of Archibald MacLeish as Librarian of Congress. The majority of librarians were of course opposed to the appointment, but there were a few who felt very hotly on the other side. The union element seemed to be the ones most strongly for him - strangely enough there are unions among librarians in some of the cities."

In 1939 the library charged fines, rentals, and fees, which accounted for approximately $80.00 per month in revenues. Samples entries under expenditures include:

Cement and wire for mending stereoscopes .35
Bill at Cash & Carry .80
Taxi for delivering Mrs. Harvey's magazines .75
Replacement copies of two magazines that got
wet in the furnace room .40
Sharpening 1 knife and 3 pairs of scissors .50
Laundering of office and work room curtains .50
Machine oil .10
Ribbon for Christmas wreath .38

There is also a detailed listing of all the checks that were mailed for library materials, including many familiar vendors like Gaylord and H.W. Wilson. The librarian also lists the checks for utilities. In April of that year the Gas (New Mexico Gas) bill came to $46.31 and the Electricity (New Mexico Power) was $31.76. There were a lot of checks made out to stationary stores, such as the $14.90 for letterhead and envelopes made out to State Record. Our subscription to the New York Times cost $6.00.

The librarian also includes an itemized listing of donor names, and how many books they gave the library. The librarian was also pleased to report that at the end of the year only 34 books were not accounted for.

Total circs for 1939 came to 74,305
(compared to 448,294 in FY 2004/2005)

Total number of items cataloged was 2,134
(compared to 36,468 for FY 2005/2006)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New View

Southside Library is looking particularly lively in this week's photographs. If the architect's Field Report comes along later this week, we will let you know just what they are working on at the moment.
construction photoconstruction photo

Monday, July 24, 2006

Rummaging in the Gifts: Wodehouse? Burton?

Sorting through the donated books. All kinds of things come along. Here's a Charles Mingus autobiography, Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus. It's not in the system yet, but it will be. We have a certain amount of Mingus's music, but so far no books. How about Campos de Flandes by Jose Luis de Juan. I'm not sure what it is, lacking any knowledge Spanish, but it's a handsome and fairly current book. Some web links in Spanish about it: (1)(2). Here's a Barnes & Noble edition of Ed Rice's biography of traveller and translator Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton. We don't really need another copy, though this one is crisp and new. We might as well throw in a link to John Dunning's 2004 title, The bookman's promise. Dunning's book-trade mysteries are extremely popular around here, and the plot of this one turns on a Burton manuscript about a (fictional, I think) journey in the American South at the time of the Civil War. And yes, we have quite a bit of Burton's work.

Which brings us to a little clump of Wodehouse books someone has given us. We have a LOT of P. G. Wodehouse. We don't yet have The Inimitable Jeeves or Jeeves in the Morning. But surely we don't need... "You can't have too much Wodehouse," declares the other librarian on the desk. Oh. OK. In they go.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Saturday, July 22, 2006

There Is A Santa Fe CraigsList

CraigsList for Santa Fe? Yes. It doesn't appear in the list of cities on the CraigsList top page, but if you click on New Mexico, there are separate pages for Albuquerque and Santa Fe/Taos.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Santa Fe Literary Review

Our newest electronic neighbor is Santa Fe Literary Review. This is the magazine of the Liberal and Fine Arts Department of Santa Fe Community College, and this year they have put the entire issue online as well as in print. There are 24 pieces by students, staff, and members of the wider community.

Check in on our other electronic neighbors as well. Cezanne's Carrot, Lunarosity, and Santa Fe Poetry Broadside all put up new work in June.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


small titan imageThe Cassini spacecraft's radar camera has "revealed geological features similar to Earth on Xanadu, an Australia-sized, bright region on Saturn's moon Titan," says NASA. The radar image was made on April 30, 2006. Quicktime movie, detail images (1) (2). The picture at right is from another Cassini image, a June 11, 2006, photograph in visible light of Titan and Rhea together. Details.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Carbon Emissions

If you are trying to stay cool and/or cheerful, we definitely do NOT recommend Elizabeth Kolbert's book, Field notes from a catastrophe : man, nature, and climate change . The book is short, readable, utterly persuasive—and therefore really depressing. It's done, we've wrecked the climate system; and we show no signs that we are going to change our ways fast enough to mitigate the dismal outcome for our children and our children's children.

One of the facts she offered: "The largest single source of carbon emission in the United States is electricity production at 39 percent... (p. 134)" This particularly caught my eye because, since I got DSL, my PC is on and consuming electricity every waking minute that I am in the house. Oh dear... Well... Use the EPA's Personal Greenhouse Gas Calculator to estimate your carbon footprint. Consider your fuel economy. Look at the dismal graphic from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center.

emissions chart

The other day on a librarianly discussion list, NGC4Lib (Next Generation Catalogs For Libraries), Bruce Van Allen pointed out that "the printed-once, read-many-by-many book is far more versatile and energy-efficient than any digital form I've seen or heard discussed. Probably more durable, too. Let's acknowledge the continued economic and logistical superiority of physical books & periodicals over digital docs for: * reading without using more electrical power every single time (Al Gore and the polar bears are watching you); * reading by many people over time without needing any more equipment, printer toner, staples, paper, etc.;..." Thanks, Bruce.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New Library Is Looking Good

Southside Library might actually be on track for a December opening. The architects' Field Report for July 10, 2006, includes: "Work in progress: Wall insulation and lath is being put on the building this week. Ducts are being run. Data runs are being installed. Power is being installed. Steel studs are being framed up. Interior walls are being framed. Roofers are working on detailing the EPDM roof. The supply and return hot water runs for the heating system are being run."

Interior walls? It sounds so imminent. Looks pretty real, too. We're starting to spend a lot of time talking about unloading and shelving those giant trucks full of materials.

construction photoconstruction photo

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Explore Northern New Mexico"

Vista Grande Public Library in El Dorado has let us know about a program they have coming up on Thursday:

"Explore Northern New Mexico" (Vista Grande Public Library, Thursday, July 20 ~ 7-9PM). Santa Fe County residents Kathryn and Dick Huelster, writers and publishers of HIGH DESERT FIELD GUIDES, will provide an inside look at their efforts to publish these essential pocket-size guides to the Southwest. Their program will focus on their most recent publications: "Dance Ceremonies of Northern Rio Grande Pueblos" and "Rock Art Images of Northern New Mexico." The Huelsters will be joined by writer Dennis Slifer who is also a photographer and guide to the Southwest. Call 505-466-READ (7323) for more information."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Standing Room Only

Summer Reading has been an enormous success this year. There were almost 600 children signed up. The Children's Rooms at Main and La Farge are plastered with the kids' reading lists. The special programs are packed with children and grownups.

There is one last program scheduled: Thursday, July 20th, Terry Alvarez, the "Story Dancer" will appear with music, song, dance & stories. La Farge Library — 10:30 AM. Main Library — 2:00 PM. This is open to everyone. Then on Friday the 28th will be the summer reading wind-up, a special party for all the "Reading Dino-Mite" Incentive Club participants. La Farge Library — 10:30 AM. Main Library — 2:00 PM

(P.S. The need for expansion of the La Farge Branch became all too evident as the community room keeps being jammed for Summer Reading programs...)

crowd at Summer Reading program

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

CNN calls it an off-beat story. Many of the bookish and librarianly blogs also rushed to tell us the winners of the annual Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest. The winning entrant, Jim Guigli of Carmichael, CA, actually submitted 60 different attempts. The one that scored: "Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean."

The contest results page gives winners, runners-up, and dishonorable mentions in many categories. Not for nothing is the website's tagline "Where WWW Means Wretched Writers Welcome." Read 'em and snicker.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Ghostly Lives of New Mexico Ghost Books

   The ghost books vanish. They vanish over time without being checked out, and despite the security system; or they are checked out by people who don't seem to exist any more; or are mysteriously mis-shelved. All of Antonio Garcez' Adobe Angels titles vanish; Allan Pacheco's book (Ghosts-murder-mayhem, a chronicle of Santa Fe : lies, legends, facts, tall tales, and useless information) vanishes. These books have a great word of mouth reputation among the students; kids come in and ask for them all the time. Usually we have to suggest that they put a hold on the few remaining circulating copies (which are of course out), and meanwhile offer to let them read a reference copy from the Southwest Room. Often they do just that. (You weren't imagining that kids don't read, were you?)

The books are hard to replace, or maybe impossible now. We thought when Antonio Garcez put all the Adobe Angels titles into one volume, New Mexico Ghost Stories, that we could get a zillion of them and take care of the demand. But the publisher immediately disappeared. And anyway the kids never feel that they are getting the real thing if it doesn't say "Adobe Angels" on the cover.

Other titles: Haunted highway : the spirits of Route 66 by Ellen Robson & Dianne Halicki. Spooky Southwest : tales of hauntings, strange happenings, and other local lore retold by S.E. Schlosser. If you see a used copy around town of any of the titles we've mentioned, ask the bookseller to hold it for us and let us know! Meanwhile, yes, you can always read a reference copy.

cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Being Bookish

Mostly in a public library we are interested in access to the content of books, and not so much in the history of the physical objects and their makers. But two of our readers in the last couple of weeks have sent us links to articles about bibliographic scholarship.

One was an aritcle from Seed Magazine, Dating Books With Biology, about studying the woodblock prints in hand-printed books from the 16th century to deduce which are the later printings based on wear in the blocks over time. The other, from Americana Exchange, invents a new term, The Probability of Appearance, for estimating print runs of certain obscure antiquarian items. The author has a complicated train of thought based on how many exemplars there are in the OCLC database.

One of the more entertaining places to hang out with people who love the objects in the hand as well as the words on the pages is J. Godsey's blog, Bibliophile Bullpen. On Sunday, for example, she informed us that we "may want to build up a collection of endpapers from deceased books"--and offers a one minute video on how to tip in a page.

Lastly, though this is rather a long time from now, it fits right in: mark your calendars for Santa Fe Bookarts Group's Celebration of the Book, on October 21 and 22, Main Library Community Room, 145 Washington Ave. Artists will display their handcrafted books and conduct demonstrations of book making techniques.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gorgeous Birds (and Snakes and Bugs)

picture of turquoise and gold parrotFor this week's summer reading program, on Thursday, July 13th, Carolyn Newell and Exotics of the Rainforest will be at the libraries. Watching one of the small audience members stand with one of the big gorgeous parrots on their head or shoulder is a treat for any age. There are also usually bugs and snakes.

La Farge — 10:30 AM ; Main Library — 2:00 PM.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Construction Tech Talk

From the architects' July 7th Work in Progress report for the Southside Library: "East Patio bond beam has been poured. Perimeter slab insulation is ongoing. Wall insulation is being attached. Ductwork is ongoing. Steel studs are being finished up. Hydronic systems, water system piping is being installed. The majority of EPDM roof has been done. Metal roof areas have not been done.

"Materials on site: Veneer masonry stone, Rigid insulation under stucco, CMU, Roofing – EPDM / Perlite, Steel framing, Steel fence, Sound attenuators, Ducts, Gypsum sheathing..."

construction photo
construction photo

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Help For Those Who Can't Find Anything To Read

As always, the titles which have just been ordered are very seductive. There's Jessica Abel's graphic novel, La Perdida; new mysteries by John Dunning (book-related) and Betty Webb (set in Arizona); What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills; Building green : a complete how-to guide to alternative building methods : earth plaster, straw bale, cordwood, cob, living roofs by Clarke Snell & Tim Callahan; another Katrina book, The storm : what went wrong and why during hurricane Katrina : the inside story from one Louisiana scientist by Ivor van Heerden and Mike Bryan ; Hazel Rowley's literary biography, Tête-à-Tête : Simone De Beauvoir And Jean-Paul Sartre.
cover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of bookcover of book

The not-quite-as-new, the titles people are already standing in line for, start out with the usual authors at the top of the list — Patricia Cornwell, John Sandford, (ok, not so usual: Sweet swan of Avon : did a woman write Shakespeare? by Robin P. Williams), Janet Evanovich, Anne Tyler (Digging to America), Mary Higgins Clark, Alexander McCall-Smith. But it also includes The foreign correspondent by Alan Furst; Everyman by Philip Roth; Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky; The omnivore's dilemma : a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan; Terrorist by John Updike; Michael Connelly's Crime beat : a decade of covering cops and killers.

We try to keep you armed with lists--What's New lists; the lists, guides & suggestions on the Books and Literature page; most popular southwest titles; etc. Still stuck for something that appeals? Ask at the desk and we'll try to help.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Digital Documents Archive Project At the State Library

New Mexico State Library
The New Mexico State Library has a developing project for preserving born-digital State documents. As they say, "Many New Mexico state agency publications are published on the Internet. These publications are online for a short while only and then disappear from public view. It is the New Mexico State Library’s job as head of the State Depository Library System to preserve New Mexico’s history through the acquisition and preservation of our government publications- both in paper and in electronic format."

The growing number of documents are available in the State Library's catalog. If you go looking online for a state document and it seems to have disappeared from its origial URL, it might be worth checking in the State Library catalog.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Astronomical Bits

Pluto's two new moons have been named Nix and Hydra. The student-built dust-collection experiment on the New Horizons spacecraft headed for Pluto has been named Venetia to honor Venetia Burney Phair, who was 11 years old in 1930 when she proposed the name "Pluto" for the just-discovered ninth planet. Mrs. Phair is now 87, and feels honored to have a scientific instrument carrying her name on its way to Pluto. is watching an enormous sunspot making its way across the face of the sun. And this is the best news: the Hubble Space Telescope main camera came back online on June 30, after two weeks of downtime. Since NASA plans no further support missions to Hubble, it's scary when it breaks down. It will be a great loss to science and to wonderment when we stop getting images from Hubble. For an example, look at the gorgeous picture of the Eagle Nebula that illustrates the Sky and Telescope story.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Books and Media For The Shelves of Southside

The Southside Opening Day Collection has been growing at a steady pace. We currently have 26,021 shelf ready items showing in the catalog that are destined for Southside. These materials are currently in storage, awaiting the day we can take over the building from the contractor and start putting materials on the shelves.

These materials include Bookstop items that were transferred after Bookstop closed, lots of wonderful new gifts, and ordered books which have been processed by our vendor B&T. The B&T items are mostly adult materials. Our children's book vendor, BWI, will start adding items this summer. The library's Technical Services staff will also be working on media materials in-house (videos and audiobooks)to prepare them for the shelves.

We currently have another 12,000 adult and 12,000 children's items on order, with more being added every day. Plans are for 80,000 items to be on the shelves at the Southside Branch on opening day!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day Special

On the Dallas Wind Symphony's web pages are several full audio renditions of John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. Their live version is instant memory territory; everyone's high school band played it, and by the last few seconds of the recording you'll be transported back there.

P.S. The library is closed today. See you tomorrow.

What Earthly Use

OK. So Elizabeth George has a new book coming out in September, What Came Before He Shot Her. (Horrible title. Maybe her editor will persuade her to change it.) Carol O'Connell has one scheduled for December, Find Me. They can't be ordered yet, so you can't put holds on them. Where in fact is Tony Hillerman's The Shape Shifter, which we mentioned months ago and which has been twice postponed? Now expected at the end of November.

Not in the database, can't place holds. Anticipation is pleasurable, but do you even want to know about books you can't do anything about for months?? AuthorsOnTheWeb has a list of titles coming out in June, July, August. This is more like useful: we already have them, or they're ordered, or we can order them... Hmmmm. Andrew Holleran's Grief is getting really good reviews; we'd better order it...

As always, let us know about any titles we seem to have missed. We're pretty good about getting the things you ask for.

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Color and Light" --Library Director As Artist

   We don't usually post about the gallery exhibits at the Main Library, but this one is different. Patricia C. Hodapp, our Director of Libraries, reveals yet another facet of herself: a show of her oils and pastels, called "Color and Light", is on display in the Tybie Davis Satin Gallery upstairs in the Main Library for the month of July. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours.

A reception will be held Thursday, July 6, from 5:30 to 7:30.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Optimists Say December

Wet weather (by local standards). The roofing that was in place on the Southside Library kept the concrete slab from being soaked. Curbing and gutters got a field test, and the construction crew found that the curb and gutters in place kept the runoff where it should go, so work was not impeded by our driving rains.
Sometimes the view of the New Mexico sky in these construction photos just grabs the eye... and that sky will always be part of Southside, outside the library's window walls.
Construction photos are always available on the progress page. We're still looking at a January 2007 opening. Or maybe December 2006.

P.S. There's a nice double-page spread about Southside in the "Santa Fe Real Estate Guide" (pages 16&17) that came with today's New Mexican. It doesn't seem to be online, but worth a look if you have the paper handy.

Holiday Schedule Note

Yes, we will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. Other than that, we are keeping our normal scheduled hours. Main and La Farge are open Sunday 1PM-5PM, and Monday 10AM to 9 PM.

The parking lot at La Farge, by the way, is a great place to watch the fireworks show

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Why Log In To Your Record Before You Search?

Of course it's not necessary, but when you want to search the catalog, try logging in first. Already right now
  • You can renew your books.
  • You can look at your holds, and change your pickup location if it's not already someplace waiting for you.
  • You can freeze your holds when you go out of town, so that you don't lose your place in the queue for something you've been waiting for forever.
  • When you place multiple holds, you will not have to reenter your personal information.
  • By going to 'Modify Personal Information' you can make sure we have your correct address, telephone number, and e-mail address, and express a preference for how you want to receive your notices. (Note: we're not going to start telephone and email notices until late summer or early fall, but we need to start collecting information!!)
Then there's the Next New Thing coming to the catalog: Beginning later this summer, once you are logged into your record you will be able to go directly to searching the databases without putting in passwords.