Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Voting Reminder

Not sure you'll have time to stand in line at the polls on November 7? Vote early. But time is getting short for early and absentee voting.

Here's the list of early voting site locations.

Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change

Here is the link to the report on The Economics of Climate Change which has been in the news for the past week. It's massive, almost 600 pages. Even the Executive Summary is 27 pages long.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Novelists, Reading

Francine Prose's new book, Reading like a writer : a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them is full of accessible examples, and the pleasures of 'listening' to someone who knows both how to write fiction and how to teach fiction writing. Like last year's Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley, and many similar books about reading by writers, it comes with a seductive reading list. Prose's is called, "Books To Be Read Immediately."

We have lots of less teacherly reading memoirs and books of lists of books. (And a notebook of reading suggestions we keep at the reference desk.)

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Soundtrack Moment

Remember to change your clocks this morning. Starting next year, Daylight Saving Time will expand by a month. As a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the new start date for Daylight Saving Time will be the second Sunday in March (next year, on March 11, 2007) rather than the beginning of April date we are used to; and end one week later in the fall, the first Sunday in November. There's a nice informative website about DST at webexhibits.org.

Maybe when that oh-so-early darkness falls this evening, listen to Tom Waits promise us that you can never hold back spring, and the sun will come back. The link is around, on blogs and websites and being emailed hither and thither: anecdotal proof that a notable proportion of the user population on the web is people of a certain age...

Friday, October 27, 2006

For Now, Call Reference At 955-6794

Main Library is having trouble with the incoming line at the reference desk. We really are open, keeping our normal hours, even if the phone rings busy all the time. Saturday 10-6, Sunday 1-5, Monday 10-9...

Call us at 955-6974.

Southside A-Swarm With Work Being Done

The Architect's Field Report for the Southside Library mentions the following "Work in progress: a. Drywall, taping, and texture. b. Exterior windows are placed. c. Bathroom tile is being set and grouted. Grout should be gray color. The boiler room is complete; combustion air should be done tomorrow. Concrete flatwork is in progress at the north side. Planters are being poured today. Smooth trowel top is required. Electrical work is ongoing. Scratch and brown coat are being put on the exterior of the building. Some color coat is in place. h. EPDM roofing and coping are being installed. They expect to finish EPDM tomorrow and begin metal roof. i. Crusher fines are being installed in the patios. j. HVAC controls are being installed. k. Paint is being applied. No additional red or blue paint will be utilized at accent walls. The red will be utilized below chair rails and control joints only in the lobby, main reading areas, and meeting room. There will be no accent color on the west wall above the public use computers; that wall will be white. l. Soffits and screen wall siding are on site. m. Millwork is underway in shop and on site."

In addition, it lists the following "WORKERS ON SITE: Electrical crew, HVAC crew, Plumbing crew, Stucco crew, Drywall workers, Glazing crew, Concrete crew, Tectum crew, Grading crew, Sheetrock taping crew, Painters, Masons, Landscapers, Roofers, Asphalt crew." Whew!

We keep a chronological run of construction photos on the Progress page. Though the most recent photos are usually here first.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Books and Babies

A new cycle of the Books and Babies Program begins Thursday, November 2nd and will meet on Thursdays through December 7th from 10:30 am to 11:00 am and the La Farge Branch Library. In this six-week program for babies 6 months to 24 months old, children will enjoy books, songs, and finger games from the comfort of their caregiver’s lap. Call 955-4863 to register. Sponsored by the Brindle Foundation.

It's never too early to start your child on the road to reading!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

FYI: GO Bond for New Mexico Libraries

The ballot on Novermber 7th will include General Obligation Bond "C", a bond for New Mexico Libraries. The provisions of the bond will include:
1. $3 million for New Mexico public libraries
To be distributed on a per capita basis to New Mexico public libraries as supplementary funding to purchase books, electronic information resources and the    tools needed to share information. Statewide, this is about $2 per capita, or less than the cost of one book. This proposal has been endorsed with the highest priority by the New Mexico Municipal League.

2. $3 million for publicly funded school libraries
To be distributed both with a minimum per school amount and a per student allocation. On average, this amount will purchase 1-2 new books per student. School libraries are woefully under funded and most science and other dated books are over 10 years old. The NM Task Force for School Libraries, recognized by the Legislature, wholeheartedly supports this effort.

3. $3 million for academic libraries
To be distributed on a formula basis to all academic libraries in the state. This amount will purchase approximately 1 library book, or other materials for each full time student in a New Mexico college or university. This proposal has been endorsed by the NM Consortium of Academic Libraries.

As a result of the Bond which was approved in the election of 2004, Santa Fe Public Library received funding which enabled the Library to begin our DVD collection, buy new public PCs, expand the Spanish language collection, update adult nonfiction books in various areas, and improve the Southwest collection (in particular buying circulating copies of many titles which until then existed only in the reference cases.) Passage of the General Obligation Bond "C" would allow for similar expansion of materials and service at the Santa Fe Public Library, as well at all the public, school, and academic libraries around the state.

Blog Milestone of a Sort

This week we posted our 600th post since Icarus began. 600 mini-compositions whose not-very-secret subliminal theme is "Librarians Love Their Work"—and still going strong.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Joan Logghe and Jeff Bryan at the State Library Today

Tuesday • OCTOBER 24 • 4:30-7pm
"Literary Passions: Southwest Authors and Their Publishers Speak at the New Mexico State Library"
Joan Logghe and Jeff Bryan of La Alameda Press will share their experiences publishing poetry in New Mexico
New Mexico State Library — 1209 Camino Carlos Rey in Santa Fe.

This is part of the "Literary Passions: Southwest Authors & Their Publishers Speak at the New Mexico State Library" lecture series.

Popular Media

The Friends of the Library asked us to figure out which were the most heavily used media materials. It's a little hard to know how to look at it, as the series and multipart titles pile up the most circulations even though individually the sub-parts are not nearly as popular as some of the other titles. Whale Rider towers over all other titles in terms of its popularity, 102 circulations so far this year. We have separated them into two lists, as they are (sort of) apples and oranges. In some cases we have both audio and video versions, which make the numbers higher. Shown in order of popularity.
Single Titles
Whale rider
The Maltese falcon
Winged migration
The Scarlet pimpernel
The Forsyte saga
To have and have not
Coyote waits
Taxi driver
A room with a view
The hours
To kill a mockingbird
The color purple
Life is beautiful
Series & Multi-Part Titles
Foyle's war
Inspector Morse
The Pallisers
Flash Gordon
The Inspector Lynley mysteries
All creatures great & small
The prisoner
Heaven on earth
Jeeves & Wooster
Band of brothers
Monarch of the glen
Blue's clues
Matchstick men
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Monday, October 23, 2006

Perfectly Gorgeous Book About Bridges

We recently received David J. Brown's book, Bridges : three thousand years of defying nature. Much of it is as stunning as the cover photo:
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That one is the Storebaelt Link, in Denmark. The author recommends that we watch the Confederation Bridge web cam at night, to see cars coming and going from Prince Edward Island....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Video Clip of Dr. García Telling About La Llorona

Wow. The New Mexican has posted a video clip taken at Dr. Nasario García's program Wednesday night (October 18).

Friday, October 20, 2006

(E)MailBox Full of Webstuff

One of our readers sent us a couple of book-related links: a wonderful article from the IOBA Standard (Journal of the Online Booksellers Association) about a state of mind many of you will recognize, the desperate quest for the right book to read, Books, Books Everywhere, But Not a Page to Read; and a website called Bookrags. Bookrags is a fee service, but they seem to have scraped a couple of paragraphs of free content off the top of all their pages--author biographies, reviews, etc.-- so you might find enough there to answer your questions.

Spaceweather.com has let us know about two possible sights this weekend: "ORIONID METEOR SHOWER: This weekend, a mild but pretty flurry of meteors will shoot out of the constellation Orion. The source is Halley's Comet. Although the comet itself is far away, ancient clouds of dust from the comet are nearby, and Earth is about to run through them. The best time to look is Saturday morning, Oct. 21st. Dozens of meteors might streak across the sky during the hours before sunrise. Dark skies are recommended! AURORA WATCH: A solar wind stream is heading toward Earth, and it could spark a display of auroras when it arrives on Oct. 20th or 21st."

The Africam at Pete's Pond in Botswana is back; even when there are no charismatic megafauna in view the audio is quite wonderful; Saturn for underwater sound, there is the Palaoa livestream, audio from underneath an Antarctic ice shelf. The Center for Neuroacoustic Research sells CDs of space sound recordings taken by Voyager I & II. Click on each photo for free sound clips of these literally unearthly sounds, true music of the spheres.

Walt Crawford, library thinker extraordinaire, has a good long piece about Wikipedia and the controversies surrounding it. On the mystery discussion list, DorothyL, someone asked how to find out if a song is under copyright and an hour or so later got a useful answer, including a link to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers), the phone number of the ASCAP Clearance line (212) 621-6160, and a link to BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.). The Biomedical Image Awards Gallery has some beautiful images, all real and looking like dreamscapes, and some at least of the images (for example, the knockout picture of aspirin crystals), come with audio files of the scientists talking about their work. The young whooping cranes of the will-be eastern flock are not making very rapid progress, but any day they fly there's at least one seductive photo...

Another of our users sent us The Last Page of the Internet with the remark, "Whew that's a relief." But, you know, I'd sure miss all these entertainments, enlightenments, and (yes) distractions at my fingertips. (The image of Saturn was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on September 15th.)(And yes, all these links came from my email box.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Moving On To Ornamentation :-)

construction photo
Above you see two of the 15 fascia panels which will be along the Jaguar Drive side of the new Southside Library.

The architects' Field Report for October 17 includes the following Work in Progress: "a. Drywall, taping, and texture. b. Exterior windows are being placed. Operable units will be placed this week. c. Bathroom tile is being set and grouted. d. The boiler room is complete; it does not have combustion air. e. Concrete flatwork is in progress on the outside. The Children’s steps have been formed. f. Electrical work is ongoing. g. Scratch and brown coat are being put on the exterior of the building. Some color coat is in place. h. EPDM roofing and coping are being installed. i. Tectum is being installed. j. Base course asphalt is being installed in the parking areas. k. Crusher fines are being installed in the patios. l. HVAC controls are being installed. m. Paint is being applied."

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Book Arts Weekend

Reminder: be sure to come to Eighth Annual Book Arts Group Celebration of the Book hosted by the Santa Fe Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Local book artists will have over 100 handmade books on display. A video on bookmaking techniques will also be shown. The event will be held in the community room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Main Library, 145 Washington Ave.

Come meet some of the artists who work in the art and joy of the book.

High Demand

We have updated the list of current popular titles, also known as 'Books You're Willing To Wait In Line For' (or just, 'the manyholds list.') There's been a great turnover in titles in the last month--titles which were't even around the last time we did the list have rushed to the top. (And we don't know why...) At the moment, the titles with the most people waiting for them are:
  Echo Park / Michael Connelly
  Judge and jury / James Patterson
  Rise and shine / Anna Quindlen
  The innocent man / John Grisham
  Sweet swan of Avon : did a woman write Shakespeare? / Robin P. Williams
  I feel bad about my neck : and other thoughts on being a woman / Nora Ephron
  The book of fate / Brad Meltzer
  Motor mouth / Janet Evanovich
  The collectors / David Baldacci
  The emperor's children / Claire Messud
  State of denial / Bob Woodward
  Under orders / Dick Francis
  The omnivore's dilemma : a natural history of four meals / Michael Pollan
  Conservatives without conscience / John W. Dean

The list is always available both from the catalog opening page (as 'Current Popular Titles'), and from the About Books and literature page (as 'Books You're Willing To Wait In Line For').

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

'As Rapidly As Books Worth While Are Published'

Here's how it went in 1911, according to the March 23, 1911, New Mexican:
headline: new books on shelves...
"The liberal patronage of the public of the new feature of the Public Library , the giving out of the latest works of fiction on the payment of a 'nickel', has brought sufficient revenue the first month to enable the library to add today five of the latest works of fiction that are attracting wide attention. The plan is, that when a book has been taken out a sufficiently number of time to pay for it, then it is placed on the 'free' shelf, but until then, it can be taken out only for one week upon the payment of five cents. This enables patrons to keep up with fiction as it is published, upon payment of the small sum, and incidentally permits the library to add to its books as rapidly as books worth while are published instead of waiting a year to replenish the book shelves." (emphasis added)

Today of course we don't charge for anything, and we order the newest titles weeks in advance of publication so that they can be on hand as soon as they come out. We order materials all year round, about 20,000 titles a year, whereas this clipping implies that in 1911 the library had been 'waiting a year to replenish the shelves.' What has not changed is the relationship between the generosity of our users and our ability to acquire the newest of the new even to this day; because it is the Friends of the Library's booksales, selling the books you donate, that underwrite that early-ordering-of-bestsellers account.

So what were the five books? Alas, ninety-five years later they are all forgotten. Marguerite Andoux, Marie Claire; Cora Harris, Eve's Second Husband; Jesse Lynch Williams, The Married Life of the Frederic Carrols; Pierre de Coulevain, On the Branch; and lastly, Jeffery Farnol, The Broad Highway, which the article says 'critics have pronounced the best story in the English language in 10 years.' It was nevertheless forgotten, but we actually have another book by Jeffery Farnol, The King Liveth, published in 1944.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Author Interviews Archive

Wired for Books has an terrific archive of author interviews, what seems to be hundreds of them.

Wired for Books, a site produced by Ohio University and WUOB with lots of support funding, has a wide array of materials, mostly audio, with such treasures as readings from the Iliad in Greek, and the Aeneid in Latin; a full dramatic reading of Alice in Wonderland; seven full Shakespearean plays (and some sonnets); short stories, other audio and video interviews, and poetry readings. For kids, Beatrix Potter with reproductions of every page, both in English and in Japanese; and also in audio (English only).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dr. Nasario García

On Wednesday, October 18, Dr. Nasario García will present a program, Would You Like To Meet the Devil, Bogeyman, or La Llorona?, at 7 PM in the Community Room at the Main Library. A native of the Rio Puerco Valley and one of New Mexico's leading folklorists, Dr. Garcia will present some of the tales of buried treasures, the devil, the evil eye, the bogeyman, and natural phenomena which were once the keystone of family entertainment in Hispanic villages of northern New Mexico. Loosely gathered under the category of witchcraft, these stories command curiosity and fascination. Everyone, from the very young to mature adults, likes to be spooked.

Free. All ages welcome. This program is made possibly by the New Mexico Humanities Council, the New Mexico Dept of Cultural Affairs, and the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

The library has a number of his books.

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It Has An Outside And An Inside

Southside Library. Coming late January, 2007...
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construction photo

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Orhan Pamuk Wins The Nobel Prize For Literature

It was announced on Thursday morning that Orhan Pamuk has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. You can find plenty of news stories on the Web (1)(2)(3). Wikipedia has an extensive profile, with links to further resourses, including a good number of links to news stories ar about his trial last year in Istanbul for "denigrating Turkishness." Pamuk has been very popular locally since the publication of his novel My Name Is Red in English in 2001.
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Spelling Bee Winners

The Friends of the Library's 4th Annual Adult Spelling Bee—'It's written, not oral—was a rousing success on Sunday. The new champion speller is Virginia Gaines. Second place went to Saul Cohen. Third, fourth & fifth, Jack Huberman, Dorothea Migliori, and Kate Gallagher. Many many thanks to Commodicast for organizing the event this year, donating prizes, and donating the entry fees to the Friends—the real winner was the library!!Alas. A confession of techno-incompetence here: We had nice photographs of the winner and runner-up, but I accidentally reformatted the camera before I got the pictures out of it.

So what do adult spellers spell? Here are the Round 3 and Round 4 sets of words.

Some of these words are awfully obscure... but you could try looking them up in the online Merriam-Webster's

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Anthony Award Winner In Our Midst

cover of bookThe annual World Mystery Convention (Bouchercon) was held in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 27-October 1, and local author Marvin Lachman won the prestigious Anthony Award in the field of Critical Non-fiction for his book, The heirs of Anthony Boucher : a history of mystery fandom. This is a huge honor in the mystery field, and we are very pleased about this accolade for a member of our Marv receiving his arardFriends of the Library. He has won other Mystery awards—including the Raven and the Edgar—for another mystery reference book, The Encyclopaedia of Mystery and Detection.

Other Anthony Award winners for 2006:
Best Mystery Novel: Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger ; Best First Mystery: Tilt-a-Whirl by Chris Grabenstein ; Best Paperback Original: The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman ; Best Short Story: "Midsdirection" by Barbara Seranella ; Best Fan Publication: Crimespree Magazine, edited by Jon and Ruth Jordan ; Special Service to the Field: Janet Rudolph, for Mystery Readers International

Thanks to Iden Ford for permission to borrow the photo from one of her pages of Bouchercon photographs.

The Booker

(Actually, the Man-Booker Prize for Fiction.) Yesterday it was announced that Kiran Desai had won the Booker for The Inheritance of Loss. The other nominated titles on the short-list were Kate Grenville, The Secret River ; M. J. Hyland, Carry Me Down ; Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men ; Edward St Aubyn, Mother’s Milk ; Sarah Waters, The Night Watch. As you can see from the catalog links above, we have most but not yet all of them.

The news stories yesterday made quite a fuss about the fact that Kiran Desai's mother, Anita Desai, was shortlisted for the Booker three times --for Clear Light of Day (1980), In Custody (1984), and Fasting, Feasting (1999) -- but never won.

If you're just looking for something really good to read, you could do worse than cruise the lists of Booker winners and shortlists, year by year.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"...Some Color Coat Is In Place"

This is from the Architects' October 2 Field Report, that goes with yesterday's photographs of the Southside Library: "Work in progress: Drywall is going up. Taping has begun. Exterior windows are being placed. Bathroom tile backer board is going up. Tile is being set. The boiler room is being fitted out. Concrete flatwork is in progress on the outside patios and around the building. More curb and gutter work is being done. Minor electrical work is ongoing. Scratch and brown coat are being put on the exterior of the building. Some color coat is in place. Some gas line work underway."

Hope we get some pictures of that color-coated exterior in the next batch.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Even From the Inside, It Looks Like a Building Now

It was hard to see progress in the weekly Southside Library images, so we let them go by without posting for a couple of weeks. And voila!!
construction photo
construction photo

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Saving Clicks

Catalog changes: We've been playing with how your library record works when you sign in.
  • To protect the privacy of users who sign in to their library record while inside the library (so that passers-by can't read their information off the monitor), your personal information no longer shows on the first screen you see once you have logged in. To see or correct your address, phone, notice preferences, etc. you will need to click on the "Modify your personal info" button.
  • As soon as you are signed in, if you have any items checked out they appear on the bottom of the first screen (saving you a click...)
  • A search box also appears on that screen (saving you another click.)
  • When you are renewing items, you now get a message from the system explaining why not if it can't be renewed. Message appears in red. Watch for it. We are trying to get the system to allow a more informative message, but for the moment at least it is there.
  • Expect more tweaking.

Voter Registration Reminder

We have Voter Registration forms at both the Main Library and the La Farge Library. Ask at the circulation desk.

But time is nearly up. The registration deadline for the November election is Tuesday, October 10, 2006. We will hand-carry any completed forms left at the Main Library over to the County Clerk's office at 3 PM on Tuesday.

Here are some other dates to keep in mind:

  • October 10 (Tuesday) at 5 PM, voter registration deadline
  • October 10 (Tuesday) First day that a voter may vote by absentee paper ballot.
  • October 21 (Saturday) Early in-person voting begins (List of early voting site locations.)
  • November 3 (Friday) Last date county clerk will mail absentee ballots.
  • November 7 (Tuesday) General Election Day

Sunday Is The Spelling Bee; Monday We're Closed

Sunday October 8, 2:00 in the Main Library Community Room. The Spelling Bee has come back! The Friends of the Library board is extra busy this year, so CommodiCast has volunteered to sponsor the 4th Annual Adult Spelling Bee. "(It's written, not oral.)" First prize is $200 from CommodiCast. Entry fee is $10 (tax-deductible). Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Library. Come and watch the fun.

Monday, October 9th. The libraries will be closed in observance of Columbus Day. (The library's calendar of holiday closings is always available on our website.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Reading on Saturday

book coverSaturday, October 7, 10:30 - noon, in the Main Library Community Room. Barbara Beasley Murphy will read from Miguel Lost and Found in the Palace. "Listen to the words, you'll get to know everything..." she says. About what? About the bullies, and the Palace of the Governors, the Fiesta Princess who kisses Miguel, about being from Mexico and being a kid in Santa Fe. Get a chance on a free book to take home with you so you'll have the whole story!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Web Is A Garden...

...filled with strange and wonderful flowers. To mention just a few:

One of our readers sent us a link to a video on YouTube, Free Hugs, which millions of people have viewed and emailed each other about in the past couple of weeks. You only want to watch it if you have a good appetite for sentiment :-)

Then, we went hunting for a Chesterton quote, and discovered that there's a whole cottage industry of G. K. Chesterton web sites out there. The American Chesterton Society. The G. K. Chesterton Page. G. K. Chesterton: the Colossal Genius. The G. K. Chesterton Library. Who knew? And why?

The whooping crane chicks took off on the first flight of their first migration south this morning. As usual, the report comes with a wonderful image (and a little video of one of the cranes dropping out and returning home.)

There's an experimental search interface project called Flamenco at the University of California. One of their demonstration pages is about Nobel Prize winnners, and it's really very nifty. Give it a whirl.

If you've ever run across a piece of 'Lorem Ipsum' in a typesetting book or a web design book, you've probably wondered, what on earth is this and what does it mean? There's a nice explanation at the lipsum page; and Cecil Adams at The Straight Dope also has an answer.

The quote?

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
It's from "A Defence of Penny Dreadfuls."(1). Yes, of course we have a number of Chesterton's books, both fiction and non-. And a couple of (really old) biographies.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What's New

We've updated the What's New lists. They're always available on the main page of the catalog, and are always worth browsing around in.

For some reason there seem to be several Billy the Kid books out recently (easier to find by searching for the subject Billy, the Kid and sorting in reverse date order), including one by Marc Simmons, Stalking Billy the Kid : brief sketches of a short life. Other titles in the Recently Added Southwest Titles list include two new books about the mountains of New Mexico, and Phillip Huscher's The Santa Fe Opera : an American pioneer. The new non-fiction list includes Santa Fe photographer Lucian Niemeyer's study, Africa : the holocausts of Rwanda and Sudan. We've ordered an audio course in Conversational Czech. Lots of mysteries, lots of DVDs and audio CDs. Lots...

When we place an order the titles appear immediately in the database, so for the What's New lists in general, and especially the Just Added to the Database list, the materials may not actually be here yet. But you can always enter a request (hold) for anything which is on order, and we'll let you know when it has arrived and is waiting for you.

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