Monday, December 31, 2007

Dancing in the New Year

Recently at the Main Library six year old Mikayla Johnson, of Taos Pueblo, danced for the patrons and the Portal Program Native American Artists and their children. Her Hoop Dance and her Fancy Shawl dances struck awe in the watchers and won everyone’s heart. The audience was asked to join in a Circle dance of friendship. Although many were too shy or not sure of what was expected, many of us moved to the beat of Robert Evan Trujillo’s (Mikayla’s father) drumming and singing while holding hands in friendship. May all of us experience the joy of watching a child do what they love and be open to the Friendship Circle.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Top Ten

Everyone has TOP TEN lists this time of year—top ten movies, top ten singers, etc. There are so many they have little meaning any more.

I have always a done a top ten best things that happened in the last year, no not climbing Mt. Everest or winning a Pulitzer award, just ten things that made the last year special. Think about it, you more than likely will think of more than ten things in your life that should be remembered and commemorated.

Years ago I had a staff member who started to compile a list at my suggestion. The next day she came to me all distraught because she had only won 7 writing awards in the prior year and could not think of three more accomplishments! I reminded her that she had helped teens write stories, giving them confidence in their own words. She had gotten married on a mountain top in the snow! And those were just two of many special times and accomplishments. I am keeping my personal list to myself, but the Library TOP TEN is hard to narrow down to ten!

So what is my TOP TEN list for 2007? One is very obvious,

1. The Grand Opening of the Southside Branch Library to thousands of community members.

2. The Parade bringing new books to the new Library with the Mayor in the cab of a 16 wheeler and school children cheering as their Library books rolled by on the truck.

3. The hugs of Friends of the Library when they saw what they had accomplished in raising money for the Library.

4. The words of the Ohkay Owingeh prayers for the new Library.

5. The Children of the Portal Native American Artists at their annual exhibit and sale, thanking the Library for hosting them; what talented children.

6. The gifted Taos Pueblo hoop dancer, Mikayla Johnson, age 6, who danced into the hearts of staff and patrons as she danced in the lobby of the Main Library.

7. The pictures of people in the Library drawn by a staff person’s daughters, which I proudly display in my office.

8. The special back door, after hours tour with our Fire Chief‘s delightful four daughters who are avid readers.

9. The Library’s and my special friend Angela Matzelle’s enthusiasm and energy in raising funds and friends for the Library.

10. And all the great staff who accomplished more than they thought they could and did it with a smile.

Oh, and I get to cheat…here is number 11

11. All of our wonderful patrons who know that it means to have a free library available to them and appreciate the resources we provide.

Now it’s your turn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Teen Mystery Party at Southside Library

Question: What do 32 Teens, Friday night at the Southside Library after hours, a mystery and pizza have in common?

Answer: The first Teen Mystery Party sponsored by the Library and the Teen Advisory Board!

The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and the Library staff planned and coordinated the first Teen Mystery Night on December 7th, after hours, at the Southside Branch.

Thirty two teens took part, dividing into groups to solve the mystery. The Library had several “crime” and clue scenes for the teens to explore and come up with who they think committed the crime. In addition, 20 adults, pre-teens and staff and volunteers were at the event. Teens came in costume—prom dresses or detective outfits and even Cleopatra arrived to walk through the Library in her Egyptian finest.

Teens were from Capital and Santa Fe High School, homeschoolers, De Vargas Middle school and Ortiz Middle school.

While waiting for the judges to review the Teens solutions to the mystery, the teens enjoyed ice cream sundaes and got to know one another. Winners were Darla Maley, first place and Candace Sena and Devon Dominguez, second place. Brandon Hurtado was the lucky teen who won the prize drawing. Winners were given gift certificates to local book stores.

The TAB is looking into creating more fun events at the Library. Currently the TAB meets every other Thursday and the new Teen Book Club meets on alternate Thursdays. Call 955-2828 for information. All programs are Free due to the sponsorship of The Santa Fe Community Foundation, LANL Foundation and the Buckaroo Ball.
Photos by LRich and TTow

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Deck the Library and Join in the Santa Fe Spirit

The Parks Department did their part to make the Library look festive; they put up evergreen garlands on the Main portal posts and on the Main Library sign. Special thanks to the crew! The entire City is looking festive.

Library staff enjoyed a Hanukah feast last week thanks to a staff member, and menorahs still grace the children’s rooms. Books on holiday festivities are still available. Why not start a tradition of reading a favorite story to your family this holiday season?

If you missed the lighting of the trees on the Plaza over Thanksgiving weekend, there are still many Holiday festivities to take part in. Friday night, December 14 the Palace of the Governors will host their Holiday Festivities, a gift to the City. The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. at the Palace on the Plaza.

Saturday is the first day of the Children of the Portal Artists show and exhibition at the Main Library. In its third year, the event hosts about 75 talented Native American children, age 6-17. The sale will be held from 10:00 a.m.-4:00p.m. on Saturday and 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday. A special addition will be a hoop dance by 6 year old Mikayla Johnson, a Taos Pueblo Native American in the Library lobby at Noon.

And on Sunday, the Palace of the Governors hosts Las Posadas. As it gets dark, about 6 p.m., hundreds follow Joseph and Mary as they move around the Plaza and beg for someone to take them in, just as Joseph and Mary sought shelter in Bethlehem. Each year a different church provides the procession and the choir. Candles are provided for the walk. At each side of the Plaza, the Procession stops to sing and beg for a place to stay. As the Procession stops, the Devil curses and laughs at the poor procession in the cold. As the Procession reaches the final side of the Plaza, once again the Choir and followers beseech for Mary and Joseph to be taken in. As they face the doors of the Palace of the Governors, the doors are flung open and all surge forward in to the courtyard to share biscochitos and hot cider. Everyone is invited to join in this lovely start of the holidays.

And of course the Canyon Road Walk on Christmas Eve draws thousands of people. A special treat is the complimentary hot cider and posole at the Mission Café and Sweet Shop on East De Vargas, just east of the Mission Church—and music is played on their patio. Meet your friends there. And be sure to thank the servers—we are volunteers helping spread the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slow Snow Going

The City, Santa Fe Public Schools and the County all have 2 hour snow delays today—it is a winter wonderland out there. All three library locations pulled enough staff to open at the regular time of 10:00 a.m., and as usual people were waiting in the parking lot and outside the doors. Our patrons are loyal.

But more loyal are the staff who took a leap of faith that they could get to work and started out early. Our custodian at Main set out in fog from Pecos at 3:30 a.m. Our staff lives from Albuquerque to Espanola, Pecos to points west, only a couple could not make it in. The rest bravely set off and with few grumbles, made it in and opened on time. Kudos to all the staff.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Place Names of New Mexico

“Place names are the language in which the nation’s autobiography is written.” Bob Julyan uses this quote from former secretary of the U.S. Board of Geographical Names, Donald Orth to begin his book, The Place Names of New Mexico. The book, a standard reference on the state’s geography and history, incorporates more than 7,000 names of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo-American origins. The entries tell the story of New Mexico and its people.

Mr. Julyan will be presenting a lecture on The Place Names of New Mexico in the Main Library’s Community Room on Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. The lecture is made possible by the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library. The lecture is free and open to the public. Come join us for the tour.
cover of book

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Book clubs

Are you one of many who’ve read such books as The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants, Eat, Pray, Love, or The Memory Keeper’s Daughter? Have you ever thought about how these books have shot to the top of best-seller lists and attained commercial success? Have you read one of these books and really needed to discuss it with others, or are you one of the lucky ones who’ve encountered these books in a book club?

While book clubs are nothing new, their prevalence and influence on the publishing industry is. Books like The Kite Runner owe much of their success to the promotion by book clubs. Publishers are sitting up and taking notice, often sending boxes of preview copies to book club coordinators, hoping that a few of the new books will become the next Eat, Pray, Love. The traditional author tour is being replaced by visits, phone calls, and web chats between authors and book club members.

People from all over the country are starting up book clubs, and millions more read the monthly selection from the most famous book club coordinator of them all, Oprah. When I lived on the tiny Caribbean island of Nevis, there were several book clubs to join, even though there was often only one copy of the book for all the members to share!

If you’re interested in starting a book club, Book Clubs Resource has a wealth of information. If you already belong to a book club, Book Group Expo will help you take the next step. AuthorBuzz has a variety of tools to find out about good book club reads and author information. And to read up more on the changes book clubs have brought about in the publishing industry, read Joanne Kaufman’s piece in the November 19th New York Times.

The LaFarge Branch has a Mystery book club that meets at 10:00 am on the 3rd Monday of each month, and a Detective Agency book club that meets in the afternoons on the 3rd Monday. The Friends Book Group meets the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Main, and the Teen Book Club meets at the Southside Branch every other Thursday at 4:00 pm. And, of course, check with your local branch to get a copy of your book club’s latest pick.
Posted by AM at Southside

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Children of the Portal Holiday Sale

On Saturday, December 15, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m and Sunday, December 16,1-4 p.m the Children of the Portal Holiday Sale will take place in the Community Room at the Main Library. This annual event features young Native American artists who exhibit and sell their art. All are part of the Portal Program of the Palace of the Governors.

On Saturday, 6 year old Mikayla Johnson, a hoop dancer from Taos Pueblo, will perform a traditional hoop dance at Noon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

New Library Board Member

Mayor Coss announced the appointment of Angelo Jaramillo to the Board of the Santa Fe Public Library. Jaramillo, 31, is a native Santa Fean who was graduated from Highlands. He is currently in a Masters program at St. Johns.

He has published a book, The Darker: Tales of a City Different, and has written a book of poetry to be released in January 2008.

“The Library is delighted to have Angelo Jaramillo appointed to serve on the Library Board. The volunteer advisory Board is key to providing the Library with input from the community and awareness of community needs. Angelo’s commitment to literacy and books plus his knowledge the needs of youth in Santa Fe make him a wonderful asset for the Library Board,” stated Patricia Hodapp, Director of Libraries.
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

And We Think it is Cold in NM!

The cold has arrived. It’s time, if you haven’t already, to make sure your antifreeze is charged up, dig out your gloves and ice scrapers, and brush up your winter boots.

This time of year makes me homesick for Alaska, where I lived from 1993-2001, on the Kenai Peninsula about 200 miles south of Anchorage. There the term winterizing is a bit more serious. Every Alaskan’s vehicle must be equipped with studded snow tires because the road surface is solid ice all winter. State road crews do a great job of plowing the roads but without the metal studs, cars and trucks would have no stopping power. The crews also use a special grader that carves a texture into the ice.

We had at least two solid weeks each year when the temperature went down to less than 20 degrees below zero and stayed there! It was important to have a good supply of wood or coal to burn in case the power went out. Also necessary was a relationship with the local snowplow guy who made his living digging folks out of their driveways, which, believe me, is not something I could do with a snow shovel up there! And of course, one didn’t step outside in the winter without gloves and a hat, preferably one with ear flaps.

I used to run the school library in a village about 20 minutes drive from my house. Often just getting to work was an adventure that provided a serious adrenaline rush! The staff would all congregate at the top of the big hill leading to the village. There we’d shout back and forth through cracked pickup windows about whether the plow had been through yet. Then, one by one, we’d put it in 4 low, first gear, and creep down the hill. In all the time I was in Alaska, school was never cancelled because of the weather! Even in the bitterest temperatures, kids would be bundled up carefully and sent outside for recess. It was important to get out while the sun was shining because of the reduced hours of light.

It might sound horrible to those of you who hate the cold but for me it was a thrill; every day was an adventure. Natural beauty was abundant, the air was bracing, and it was vital to be fully awake and aware. One mistake in temperatures that extreme can lead to another, and two or three mistakes can be deadly so you have to stay on top of your game. People look out for each other in an environment like that. And simple survival feels like an accomplishment.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Children's Book Week

“Rise up Reading” was the theme for Children’s Book Week, November 12th-17th. The Santa Fe Public Libraries rose to the occasion by bringing in to all three libraries Paul Glickman, well loved puppeteer and magician. He performed at Southside Library Saturday the 17th, for children’s book week, which is sponsored through the Children’s Book Council The Southside Library featured a bulletin board book display with some books from Battle of the Books, and children could make a puppet or a crown, or both before the puppet show.

Some lucky children and audience members were part of the magic by going “onstage” with the characters and becoming part of the performance. Over fifty people attended and gave rave reviews. Everyone who attended also got a chance to be included in a drawing for a set of collectible Harry Potter stamps from Great Britain. Patrons say they really appreciate our library efforts to provide great activities to the public on the weekends. It’s a family place.

Posted by TT at Southside

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Library Holiday Book Extravaganza Dec. 1

‘Tis the season for the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library’s renowned Holiday Book Sale.

Annual Holiday Book Sale in the Main Library's Southwest Room.

One Day Sale. Gift quality items only.

The Friends cull all the best donated books all year to fill the sale tables at this special one day book sale.
From art books to children’s books to cook books to stocking stuffers, this is the sale of the year!

Open to the public.
Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Main Library, 145 Washington Ave.

All proceeds from the sale of these donated books are used to purchase new books for the Library.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ten Who Made A Difference

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library were one of ten honorees for the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Ten Who Made A Difference Award. The awards were published appropriately in the Thanksgiving Day edition of the New Mexican. Many of the top volunteers who started working for a new Southside Branch in 1999 were interviewed or featured in the article. Angela Matzelle, Jane Gillentine, Carol Robertson Lopez, Shirley Ortega, Lisa Bemis and Andrea Gross were highlighted, but the names mentioned were just the tip of the iceberg. The hundreds of volunteers who made this possible are impossible to name—more than likely I would leave out as many as I put in. But some people gave so many hours and their talents that I must mention them here: former First Lady Angie Delgado, Pilar Faulkner, Brooke Sheldon, Amy Schiffer, Grace Brill, Jan Duggan, Carol Lachman, First Lady Barbara Richardson, Carol deMontel, Patricia Gonzales McKosky, Rep. Jim Trujillo, Peggy Vasquez, Dorothy Doyle, De Leon Family, Judy Havey and Barbara and Dave Myers, Tony Griego…and the list could fill an entire page! Any one of the volunteers deserved to be recognized on their own merit.

What is even more amazing is that even today, eight months after the Southside Branch opened, we still have the Friends of the Library working on raising funds, lobbying, providing volunteer hours and in general serving as advocates of the Library. The renovation of the La Farge Branch is on everyone’s radar as the branch is outdated and needs upgrades plus more space. Who will help with this endeavor? As Angela Matzelle put it in the New Mexican’s salute to the Friends, “Put on your roller skates. We are not done yet.”

Posted by PCH at Main

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Being a descendant of one of the “Gentlemen Adventurers” on the Mayflower, I have been interested in the realities of the First Thanksgiving. And so, for the enlightenment of us all here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving.

The First Thanksgiving was a harvest festival to celebrate a successful corn harvest. It was celebrated in 1621 with feasting and games and prayer as was common in England.
Some of the food that would have been available to the pilgrims were:
-Fish: cod, bass, herring, shad, eel
-Seafood: clams, lobsters, mussels and oysters
-Birds: wild turkey, goose, duck, crane, swan, partridge, and waterfowl
-Meat: venison and perhaps salt port and chicken
-Fruit: raspberries, strawberries, grapes, plums, cherries, blueberries, dried gooseberries
-Vegetables: peas, squash, beans
-Grain: wheat flour, Indian corn and corn meal, barley ( used mostly to make beer)
-Nuts: walnuts, chestnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, ground nuts
-Herbs and Seasonings: onions, leeks, strawberry leaves, currants, sorrel, yarrow, carvel, brooklime, liverwort, watercress, flax.
-Other: maple syrup, honey, some butter and Holland cheese, eggs.

Foods that would not have been at the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth:
-Ham (the pilgrims had no pigs)
-Sweet potatoes or yams: these had not yet been introduced to New England
-Corn on the Cob: Indian corn was only used for cornmeal
-Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries were available but not sugar
-Pumpkin Pie: The pilgrims may have had a pumpkin pudding but no crusts or whipped cream.

The feast was probably not repeated as a yearly holiday and the pilgrims would probably have not called it a Thanksgiving Celebration. Thanksgiving was first proclaimed a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

Folks in El Paso, Texas claim that the first Thanksgiving day in the United States occurred in El Paso Del Norte in 1598. El Paso celebrates this day with an annual reenactment of Don Juan de Onates First Thanksgiving on the last Saturday and Sunday in April.

Check out some of our Thanksgiving day books and videos at the Santa Fe Public Library. Also check out some of these websites:
Pilgrim hall Museum:
El Paso Regional History:

And which ever version of the First Thanksgiving you choose to celebrate, have a Happy Holiday and spend a few moments thinking about what you are thankful for.
KS @ LaFarge

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New, Longer Southside Library Hours

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 1, library hours at the Southside Branch, 6599 Jaguar Drive, will be extended. The Southside Branch will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

These new, longer hours will give families and school classes more opportunities to visit the branch earlier in the day and give students more time to do their homework at the library in the evening.

The Santa Fe Public Library system has also changed loan periods for their materials.

New Books are now checked out for 14 days, instead of seven, Audio books and music CDs are also loaned for 14 days.
Patrons may checkout four DVDs or Videos (4 total) for seven days.
These changes were made to better serve our patrons’ need for longer checkout times. And anyone who checked out the latest Harry Potter and saw they only had 7 days was frustrated—or read reallllly fast!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Teens in the Library. Seems that everyone is trying to capture the Teen market and libraries are no different. We know that we often have to cajole, plead and entice teens to books and libraries.. But we know once we capture their attention, they do return.

With generous funding from the Santa Fe Community Foundation, the Buckaroo Ball and the LANL Foundation, the Santa Fe Public Library has created a Teen Advisory Board (TAB) to help create the kind of programming that will attract teens to the library. Their first program/event was “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, a day celebrated internationally by the way, which drew 25 faux pirates. And they are active in a bi-weekly book club, reading science fiction/fantasy books.

Coming up on Friday, December 7, an after hours Mystery and Pizza Party is scheduled at the Southside Library from 5:30 until 8:00 p.m. Teens will get to solve the Queen of the Nile mystery and enjoy pizza. And the Teens can wear prom dresses (the murder (?) takes place at a prom) or dress like detectives.

Teens will be acting out the play and other teens will be trying to follow the clues.

I think some of the appeal is being in the library after hours, not many people get to do that and rarely for a mystery! To register or find out more about the Teen Advisory Board, call 955-2828

Posted by PCH at Main.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

National Book Awards

The National Book Awards presented by the National book Foundation were announced on November 14. The Awards are given to recognize achievements in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. The winners receive a $10,000 cash award and a crystal sculpture. The winners for the year 2007 are:

Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke

Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes

Robert Haas, Time and Materials

Young People’s Literature
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The complete list of nominees can be found on the Foundation’s website at

Please check the Library catalog for availability of all of the titles.

Posted by BS at Main

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Holiday Tree Lighting Schedule of Events

The day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, Nov. 23, starts the Holiday Season in Santa Fe. The Holiday Tree lighting on the Plaza begins at 3 p.m. with the Santa Maria Bell Ringers and the tree lighting will be at 6:30 p.m.

3 p.m. Santa Maria Bell Ringers

4 p.m. Live performance by Balle De Folklorio Dancers

5:15 p.m. Girl Scout Choir

6:00 p.m. Speakers

6:30 p.m. Actual lighting of the trees

7 p.m. Live concert by Sol Fire.

Plan ahead and bring a winter coat or blanket for those in need. Volunteers with AFSCME Local 3999 and Local 477 will be collecting blankets and winter coats as part of the 1ST Annual “Locals Helping Locals” Coats and Blankets for the Needy Drive. The two unions are collecting gently used coats, hats, gloves and blankets for babies, youth, adults and seniors. For further information please contact: Vioma Trujillo at 660-3089, or Michelle Gutierrez at 577-6068. It is a time of giving, and what an easy way to support those in Santa Fe who are in need.
Posted by PCH at Main.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Mexico Award Books

I had the pleasure of reviewing new books by New Mexicans and about New Mexico for the New Mexico Book Awards. And I was pleased how many patrons at the Library took time to vote for their favorite all time best New Mexico book this summer.

Last week the 2007 winners were announced in the New Mexico Book Awards. Sponsored by Borders Book Stores and the New Mexico Book Co-op, the New Mexico Book Awards recognizes the best in New Mexico's books. Winning books have been selected in thirty-three categories. The complete list of winners is available at -- click on the link at the bottom of the welcome page.

The winners in each of the categories were honored last week. In addition, special Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Rudolfo Anaya and Tony Hillerman.

What is great about a contest like this, is that I can discover some of the below-the-radar books and authors that others have enjoyed and recommend. Check out the list; New Mexico is a writing state!
Posted by PCH at Main
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Friday, November 09, 2007

Beautiful Libraries

At La Farge Branch Library the staff is dreaming of renovations and refurbishment. To get inspiration we like to look at this site of beautiful libraries around the world:
Take a look and enjoy the gorgeous libraries.
Posted by KS at La Farge.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shhh, this is a hotel

Now this is creative thinking to support libraries! The NY Public Library is partnering with Orient-Express hotels Ltd. to raise funds to renovate their libraries. And, our La Farge branch is being linked once again to the Tino Griego Pool, and the possibility of turning the pool building into classrooms for film related skills. But I doubt we will get income of $750 to $2,000 a night like the new New York Public Library and hotel is projected to charge for rooms. And the 21 Club is attached! I wonder if librarians will get a discount when they stay there?

Here are the facts:

The New York Public Library said yesterday that it had signed an agreement to sell the property and the building housing its Donnell branch in Midtown to Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. for $59 million. The five-story building on West 53rd Street will be razed to make way for an 11-story hotel, but the library will own and occupy space on the first floor and underground under the terms of the deal, the two sides said. Five floors of the hotel will connect to the ''21'' Club on 52nd Street, also owned by Orient-Express.

The construction project is estimated at $220 million. Planners said the hotel would have 150 rooms costing $750 to $2,000 per night and a restaurant on the top floor.

The sale may strike some as an odd mix of culture and commerce, but the library said it had little choice because the branch, built in 1955, was in dire need of renovations that the system could ill afford. Copyright New York Times Company Nov 7, 2007
(With thanks to JK at Main for bringing this article to our attention)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Big Read

In partnership with The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and the National Endowment For The Arts' Big Read,The Santa Fe Public Library will be hosting programs about Rudolfo Anaya's beloved novel, Bless Me, Ultima. Here is where I need to self disclose that I reviewed Bless Me, Ultima glowingly when it was first published and was honored with Rudolfo at a special party when I moved to Santa Fe. I have collected almost everything he has written, from his adult work to his children’s works. This is my favorite banned book author and favorite banned book, and I have read many.

Mark your calendars and check the Library’s website news for future programs:

The Golden Carp and Other Magical Stories in Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me,Ultima.

Enjoy a dynamic performance by Charles Gamble.

Delight in listening to canciones tradicionales performed by Trio de los Baile.

Tuesday, November 27, 6:30-8 p.m. Southside Branch, 6599 Jaguar Drive

After School Programs

Illustrate a Story Workshop

Join professional illustrator Leland Chapin, to learn how to draw stories taken from Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima.

These programs are free and open to the public at the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Dr.,
Wednesday, November 28, 4-5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thoughts on Customer Service: Why We Work in a Public Library

One of the reasons I chose to work in a Public Library, as opposed to a University Library or in a law firm’s library, was the idea of a Free Public Library, i.e., the idea that anyone can use the library with little or no cost. I have been in countries where libraries are limited to those with money, or who are in an exclusive neighborhood or occupation. I love the idea that the knowledge lodged within the Library’s walls is accessible to anyone, and I wanted to be one of the people who opened up the world to others through library resources and programs. The library is not supposed to be exclusive, but inclusive. But if we are inclusive, and welcome all comers, then we who work at the library have to be ready to help all who walk in the doors.

This is not always easy. We get some interesting characters in the library. They come for various reasons—to read, use the computers, check out media, or sometimes just to sit and be safe and out of the elements. If they are not breaking any rules, we welcome them, and I hope that we give them good customer service.

It is easy to give good customer service to those who are like you—someone you can relate to. But how about that young person with multiple body piercings and that interesting tattoo? Or the special needs adult who gets very excited or agitated? Or how about the homeless person who is not the nicest dressed person on the block? I tell my staff that if they can give the best customer service to these “other” people, then they are giving the best service of all. And then sometimes these “different” people give a lot more back to the library.

We’ve had a couple of interesting encounters recently. Both involve people who might be on the fringe of society but who willingly gave of themselves to the library.

The first was a young man who came in asking to do volunteer service here. He was, at first glance, a little odd. He didn’t say much or look you in the eye. But he was eager to volunteer and proved to be very good at what he did. After a while the staff grew to know him and appreciate his hard work. And he began to open up to the staff. He never did say much, and never really looked you in the eye, but we welcomed him. When the staff gave him a birthday card he was so touched he sent a thank you card back. We were sorry to see him go when he reluctantly told us that he had other things he needed to do and couldn’t volunteer here anymore. We told him to come back anytime and help us out. If we had gone with our first impressions of him, we may have turned him away and would have never gotten the benefit of knowing him.

The second case was a homeless man who had been hanging out at the library for sometime. He tended to be dirty and often smelled of alcohol. The staff often had to ask him to leave until he cleaned up. He always came back in, and bit by bit the staff got to know him. One day he asked if he could volunteer. We put him to the task of shelving books and were pleased with his work. He volunteered almost daily and did a good job. He too had begun to respond to the staff and their respectful treatment of him. He was intelligent and had a sense of humor and a great work ethic. He alerted the staff to problems inside and outside the library. Sure there were still days when we would have to remind him where the laundromat was and not to eat or drink inside the building, but he was one of our most productive volunteers.

And he was teaching us a lesson about how we react to those who are different or less fortunate than we are. He was not just someone else’s problem; he was one of the people we are here to serve. He opened our eyes as to how we reacted and treated others, and how much we may miss when we base our views of people only on first impressions.

Thank you to all our volunteers and all of our patrons. You are the reason we are here.

Posted by KS at La F.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

International Space Station New Mexico Flyover

The International Space Station (ISS), hosted by the Johnson Space Center in Houston, is a great site. Here’s the Space station sightings website: Under the Space Station Sightings section you can find out when the ISS will fly over your city. One of the really cool aspects of the website is the Interactive Reference Guide that includes an ISS 360 tour and an up close & personal shuttle docking sequence. In the introduction the speaker calls the ISS…Humanity’s Orbiting Outpost. This is a truly inspiring website. Share it with your kids and friends.

And if you want to host an ISS party, there is a “How to Host a Star Party” section that include decorations, arts & crafts, and even food ideas. The food recipes include treats like Mini Cookie Meteorites and Saturn Sausage Balls. You could even cook these up and go out early in the evening to see the ISS pass by on the horizon here in Santa Fe.

Posted by SS at La Farge

Friday, October 26, 2007

Environment Education Day

The Southside Branch of the Santa Fe Public Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive, will host an Environment Education Day on Saturday, November 3, from 10 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., featuring activities for all ages, including hands on solar displays, climate-related short plays, “ An Inconvenient Truth” slide show, displays and music. Tours of the Southside Branch, the greenest public building in Santa Fe, will take place hourly.

A ribbon cutting will be held at 11:00 a.m. for a collection of library environmental books and materials, which focus on the newly changing aspects of our natural environment. The environmental education resource collection will be available year round for individual and student use. Materials are from the Southside Library collection, which will be supplemented by public donation of funds for new materials.

The Sierra Club will sponsor a CFL light bulb exchange, replacing energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs, starting at Noon. 2000 light bulbs, up to 4 per household, will be traded out. The ATC marimba band will play at Noon.

At 3:00 p.m. Dr. Camilla Bustamante will speak on “Planning a Sustainable Santa Fe.”

The Opening is also a part of the national StepItUp 2 event. For more information call 505-955-2828 or 466-4724
Posted by PCH at Main.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Award Books

By now everyone knows Doris Lessing won The Nobel Prize for Literature; she finally got the big one after winning about every other award out there. I won’t share her initial reaction, as captured by a man with a mike as she stepped out of a London cab. Her official response minutes later was well-crafted and presented in a polite way saying how this was the cream of the crop of awards. But I have to ask, how many of her books since The Golden Notebook have you read?

And The Man Booker Prize went to a long shot, Anne Enright. This Irish writer’s book The Gathering has not been published in the States yet, but the Library will get it as soon as possible. Described as a disturbing look into an Irish family saga, The Gathering, describes suicide, loss and childhood sexual abuse.

Here are the opening lines of The Gathering:

"I would like to write down what happened in my grandmother's house the summer I was eight or nine, but I am not sure if it really did happen. I need to bear witness to an uncertain event. I feel it roaring inside me – this thing that may not have taken place. I don't even know what name to put on it. I think you might call it a crime of the flesh, but the flesh is long fallen away and I am not sure what hurt may linger in the bones.

My brother Liam loved birds and, like all boys, he loved the bones of dead animals. I have no sons myself, so when I pass any small skull or skeleton I hesitate and think of him, how he admired their intricacies. A magpie's ancient arms coming through the mess of feathers; stubby and light and clean. That is the word we use about bones: Clean." (c) Anne Enright 2007

Awards can change writers’ lives. But when looking at new books to purchase, librarians don’t just look for award winners. A wise librarian once told me that librarians have a responsibility when reviewing books for purchase to take a chance on a new writer, give them the boost that may keep them writing. Not every book will be an award winner, but every book has a story to tell and we need to serve as that mentor and guardian of those who write.

Posted by PCH at Main.
cover of book

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Young readers and writers!

Are you in grades 4 through 12? The Library of Congress is sponsoring a competition for you to show off your tastes and writing abilities. The topic is: Authors who have touched your lives in a personal way. You must write a letter to any author explaining how their writing has changed your life or changed the way you view the world.

Winners at the state level will win a $50.00 gift certificate to Target, and national winners will receive a $500.00 gift certificate and a Reading Promotion Grant of $10,000 for your school or public library (wouldn’t that be nice!).

The promotion applies to young readers in grades 4-12. The Deadline for entries is Dec. 14, 2007. To obtain the required entry coupon and a copy of the “how to enter” guidelines, young readers can contact the national program director at or visit the L.A.L. webpage at the Library of Congress:

Posted by SW at Main


“Today’s public libraries are vital community technology hubs that millions of Americans rely on for their first and often only choice for Internet access.” So says a three-year study of Internet connectivity in public libraries called, “Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2006-2007”. The study assesses public access to computers, the Internet and Internet-related services in U.S. public libraries, as well as the impact of library funding changes on connectivity, technology deployment and sustainability.

Some key findings of the study are:

• 99% of public libraries offer free access to computers and the Internet.

• 73% of U.S. public libraries report that they are the only source of free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities.

• More than 14 million Americans use free computer and Internet services at their local public library to get an education, find a job, get government information, access e-mail and other increasingly essential tasks.

These findings don’t come as any surprise to us here at the Santa Fe Public Library. Last year, we counted almost 124,000 users at the public computers at our three branches, and we expect the number to rise in years to come. To sign up (same day only) Contact the Main (955-6781), La Farge (955-4862), or Southside Library (955-2820).

The Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study collected data through surveys from more than 4,000 public libraries, more than 40 Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and focus groups and site visits in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada and Utah. To view the final report, please visit

Submitted by TG at Main Library.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Super Heroes and Graphic Novels

Children and teens, do you think you can draw? Do you want to try it out? Check out the free art workshops offered at the Southside Branch of the Santa Fe Public Library by FACT (Fine Arts for Children & Teens) and sponsored by Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library. Space is limited so you must register. Enrollment is on a first-come first-served basis. All art making materials are provided by FACT.

Please sign up at the Information desk of the Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive. For more information, or to register please call 955-2820.

Create Your Own Comic Super Hero!

For ages 6-8 & 9-12 – come create your own super hero in 2 and 3 dimensions during these two-day workshops.

Ages 6-8 workshops are Thursdays, November 8 & 15 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Ages 9-12 workshops are Thursdays, November 29 & December 6 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

To enroll your child, please sign-up in the Children’s Department of the Southside Library. For more information, please contact the Children’s Room at 955-2828.

Graphic Novel & Manga Workshop

Teens, take on the challenge of creating your own graphic novel in this two-day workshop on Graphic Novel & Manga taught by Aline Hunziker, for ages 13-16. Workshops are Thursdays, December 13 & 20 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Please sign up at the Information desk of the Southside Library. For more information, please contact the Information Desk at 955-2820.

Library a Buzz with Spelling Bee

Can you spell better than a 5th Grader?

38 contestants competed for top spelling honors at the Santa Fe Public Library last weekend. The number almost doubled the number of entrants in 2006. Volunteers and staff of Qforma organized the popular event and raised $880 for the Santa Fe Public Library. Sven Redsun of Qforma organized the event and presented a check from Qforma for $500, as their donation to library programs. Mr. Redsun was a three time winner of the Spelling Bee.

It took 31 correctly spelled words to just reach the sudden death round. The words aorist, zabaglione, tmesis and nacreous helped narrow the field. What I love about this event is that it is written—no standing until asked to sit down in full humiliation. I was a great speller—which has deteriorated over the years and my lack of dictionary use has been aided and abetted by spell check on this very computer. But my bragging rights include only misspelling one word in all of fourth grade through sixth grade spelling bees at Galesburg Elementary school—I will never forget how to spell calvary and cavalry. So close, so close.

The Spelling Bee 2007 prize winners were first place winner Dorothea Migliori, Santa Fe, who quipped, “With a name like that, I had to become a good speller." Other top winners were: second place Daria Labinsky, Corrales; third place Diana Thatcher, Santa Fe. In addition, runners up included Linda Churchill, Tesuque; Elizabeth Lea, Saul Cohen, Marie White and Jack Huberman, all of Santa Fe.

Local businesses generously providing prizes included Qforma, Los Alamos National Bank, Collected Works, Travel Bug, Video Library and Java Joe’s.

I wonder how a fifth grader would have done…

Posted by PCH at Main

Friday, October 12, 2007

Donor Bricks at Southside

What do these names have in common? Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Governor and Mrs. Richardson, Xavier Solares, Pat Mora, and Mary Sidney?

They are etched in the bricks installed in the front walkway at the Southside Branch Library.

And the final donor bricks have been installed! Patrons have to be careful walking up to the entrance to the Southside Branch because other patrons stop suddenly to look at the engraved bricks—some just notice a name they know, others are looking for the names of family and friends. The first set of bricks was installed prior to the March 23 opening day. The remaining bricks arrived last week and are now gracing the entry portal area. So when you come to the Southside Branch of the Santa Fe Public Library, look down before you walk through the doors and see the names of our wonderful supporters. Many thanks to the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library for their fantastic support and creative projects to support the Library. And thanks to those who bought a brick.

Posted by PS at Southside. Photos by TT at Southside

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Lives of Animals

As a recent convert to vegetarianism, I was intrigued to see this book cross my desk today: The Lives of Animals by J.M. Coetzee, a winner of the Nobel Prize in literature (2003) and two-time winner of the Booker Prize (1983 and 1999). At first I thought this book was composed of nonfiction essays, but it is actually partly fiction with several responsive essays included from other contributors. According to the back cover quote, “The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude.” Wow! How could your interest not be piqued!? Big thanks to the person who donated this to our LaFarge branch!
cover of book

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I guess it’s time to pack away the summer sporting gear for the year. I just couldn’t do it, though, without taking one more weekend trip. This time we’re going south to Elephant Butte with hopes that it’s still warm enough down there to swim outside. We’ll take the kayaks, a couple of good books, and the dog, of course. He likes to ride along in the boat.

Speaking of the dog, he was so excited this morning when he saw me putting on my favorite camping clothes and hiking boots, only to be told he had to stay at home. This time I was dressing for the Preschool Story Time at Southside Branch. We played in the tent, sang camp songs, went on a bear hunt, made a craft, and of course read some stories. FUN! Preschool Story time is ongoing at all three branches: Southside: Wednesdays at 10:30. LaFarge: 10:30 Tuesdays and Main: 10:30 Fridays.

I hope you can get out this weekend too. In case you can’t, I’ll eat a s’more for you!

by LW@SS

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Teen Read Week

Have you ever wanted to find out what makes your favorite author tick? As part of Teen Read Week you can do just that. For 31 days in October you can chat live with your favorite teen author. Check out for more details. Then go to your local library and read, read, read.

For some great suggestions on what to read, visit


Friday, October 05, 2007

Create Your Own Loaned Art Tour in Santa Fe

The City Arts Commission has just released its “2007 Loaned Art Exhibit” list and locations of 13 pieces of art placed throughout the City. I suggest you print off this list and plan an art tour—it is a quick and simple way to track down the art and actually may take you to a small park or area you have not visited before.

Two pieces are easy to find, one piece is on a patio at the new Southside Branch Library, 6599 Jaguar Road, and the other is in front of the Main Library, 145 Washington Avenue. Greg Robertson’s granite and blown glass sculpture, entitled “Links #2: Purity,” will be on display on the southeast patio of the Southside Library for the next year. “I feel that artwork that is incorporated into our society stimulates a larger appreciation of art in general, and creates a sense of pride and beauty in our cities,” states Robertson.

“Finding Center ,” by Destiny Allison, steel, 97 ½” x 19”x 24”, courtesy of Crossroads Contemporary and the artist, is located at Main Library, 145 Washington Avenue

Why take this list with you? Well, try to read a plaque as you drive on Airport Road or on Alameda without screeching to a halt in traffic and finding a parking place. With your list you can make a plan ( hey, remember we are librarians!), and walk or bike to one of these spots to enjoy the loaned art.

2007 Loaned Art List and Locations:

Finding Center, Destiny Allison, steel, 97 ½” x 19”x 24”, courtesy of Crossroads Contemporary and the artist, located at the Main Library, 145 Washington Avenue

Links #2: Purity, Greg Robertson, granite and blown glass, 80” x 19” by 115’, courtesy of Two Pears Gallery and the artist, located at the Southside Branch Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive.

Lehra’s Cowlick, Alex Barrett, powder coated aluminum, 7’8” x 5’6” x 4’8”, courtesy of Nussbaumer Fine Aart Gallery and the artist, to be located at the intersection of St. Francis Drive and Agua Fria Street

Fat Happy on Stairs, Barrett DeBusk, steel, 86” x 56”, courtesy of The William and Joseph Gallery and the artist, located at Pueblos del Sol Park, Governor Miles Road at Nizhoni Drive

Manta Mama, Bob Haozous, steel, 4’ x 4’8” x 10’, courtesy of the artist, located at Alto Park, on West Alameda across from Solano Center

American Rocker, Bob Haozous, steel, 7’1” x 6’ x 13’8”, courtesy of the artist, located at Alto Park, on West Alameda across from Solano Center

Zen Form, Bob Haozous, steel, 20’x 8’x 2’5”, courtesy of the artist, to be located at Ragle Park, on Zia Road near the intersection of Yucca Road

Kelp Forest, Helmut Hillenkamp, mild steel, 2’ x 1’ x 5’, courtesy of the artist, located on the Arroyo Chamiso Trail at Yucca Road crossing

TIME MARKER: Love on a Pedestal, Dean Howell, glazed ceramic and welded steel, 2’ x 2’ x 9’, courtesy of the artist, located at the Alta Vista Walkway on St. Francis Drive just south of Alta Vista Street

TIME MARKER: Love on a Pillar, Dean Howell, polychromed ceramic and welded steel, 22” x 36” x 76”, courtesy of the artist, located at the Alta Vista Walkway on St. Francis Drive just south of Alta Vista Street

Slow Climb into Space, Dean Howell, polished steel and natural stone, 3’ x 3’ x 9’ 5”, courtesy of the artist, located at Amelia White Park, Old Santa Fe Trail and Camino Corrales

Be-Bop, Don Kennell, ceramic tile and steel, dimensions unknown, courtesy of the artist, to be located on the southeast lawn of City Hall, 200 Lincoln Avenue

Shaman, Dana O’Donnell, limestone, stainless steel and antler, 84” x 4” x 31”, courtesy of the artist, located in Patrick Smith Park on Canyon Road

Loan proposals are accepted year-round through the Loaned Art Program. However, the annual exhibit is juried in July or August of each year. All submissions are reviewed by the Art in Public Places which considers artistic quality, compatibility with the site, public safety, and environmental impact, along with other factors, as they curate the exhibit. Artists or galleries interested in participating in the Loaned Art Program may contact the Arts Commission at 505-955-6707 for more information.
By PS at Southside and PCH at Main

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Biblioholics Anonymous

Of all the “-holics “ one could be, being a biblioholic is probably only dangerous to your bank account and the cost of purchasing more shelving for your home. That is biblio as in books. I probably should be in a program that will help me with my addiction, but I am unwilling to go. Ah, books. There is nothing as delightful as a well-made book with perhaps deckled pages or a special leather binding, or sigh, marbled end pages. The craft in old books is a joy to see and to hold. And then there is the cachet of who might have owned the book and how it managed to survive through the years.

A used book store in Colorado shared that there were closet biblioholics, young people willing to spend their limited discretionary income on a rare 1600’s book or a page from an illuminated manuscript. Never mind that they lived in the equivalent of a woodshed with electricity.

Coming up in Santa Fe October 5 and 6 is a new Santa Fe Antiquarian Book Fair. A group of local booksellers has organized a book fair, which they hope will not only satiate book lovers, but put Santa Fe on the map as the book capital of the Southwest.

The event will be held at El Museo Cultural, 1615 Paseo de Peralta. The event includes approximately 30 dealers in rare and antiquarian books. On Saturday several authors, including John Nichols, Marc Simmons, Jacqueline Orsini, Martha Egan and Tom Chavez will be available to meet the public. The book fair is being organized by Henry Lewis of Gunstock Hill Books, Shirley Jacobson of Books Unlimited, Rita Robbins, and Steve Kalminson of Maya Jones Books.

The event will be held from 4:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call Henry Lewis at (505) 983-0088 or e-mail

In the age of computers, ipods, blackberries and other electronic gadgets, the book is still in vogue. I think I am in trouble; can I get an advance on my allowance?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Santa Fe Public Library Now Accepting Applications from Local Artists for Exhibits

The Southside Branch and the Main Library are accepting applications from local artists for consideration for exhibits. The Santa Fe Public Library is proud of its commitment to local artists in providing a venue for exhibiting their art.

The Southside Branch, is located at 6599 Jaguar Drive. To be considered for a month show in 2007-2008, the artist must be eligible for a Santa Fe Public Library card, living in Santa Fe or Santa Fe County. To reserve your place to meet with the exhibit committee, call Christina Dunkin at 955-2820. The Art Exhibit committee will meet with artists on Tuesday, October 16, at 4:00 p.m. at the Southside Branch Library. Artists who are signed up are asked to bring three representative pieces of their work for review. Paintings as well as photographic exhibits will be considered. The Library also has glass cases for three dimensional work.

The Main Library, 145 Washington Avenue, is also holding its Art Exhibit Committee for review of art on Wednesday, October 3rd, at 2:00 p.m. Artists are welcome to come and bring their art for consideration. The Main Library holds exhibits in the Tybie Satin Davis Gallery and also has glass exhibit cases for three dimensional pieces. For more information call 955-6720.

Exhibit agreement forms are available at the reference desks at all libraries. Potential exhibitors are encouraged to view the exhibit space prior to signing up.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bulletin Boards

River Center

The announcement board at the River Center in Sequim (formally, 'Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park')

At the Main Library, the community bulletin board has everything from tarot reading notices to spiritual healing to Flamenco dance lessons. Our former librarian MB shares this with us from Port Angeles, WA. Maybe when the Santa Fe River runs again we can post it on the bulletin board. For more from MB visit her blog,

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Me

Those of us born before or during the Truman administration may have fond memories of an early TV program called “Kukla, Fran and Ollie.” It was a charming, low-key puppet show, much of it improvised with only the barest outline of a script. Many people considered it to be one of the best shows of the 1950’s, along with Ernie Kovacs. KFO may have been the first instance of children’s television programming that could just as easily be appreciated by adults. Among the show’s many admirers were James Thurber, Orson Welles, John Steinbeck, Tallulah Bankhead, Milton Caniff, and Adlai Stevenson.

I was describing it recently to one of our (much younger) children’s librarians, who naturally suggested it might be available on Well, of course it is, and you can view a sample program from 1954 at

Oh, and for you Ernie Kovacs fans—he’s on youtube, too.

By RG at Main Reference

Friday, September 28, 2007

The War

Ken Burns captured The Civil War so poignantly and dramatically in his series, but maybe I felt that way because my grandfather fought in the Civil War. (Segment 6 was my grandfather’s unit, fighting at Missionary Ridge and marching to the sea with Sherman). The West, another Burns production, gave a great overview of the era. The newest show The War (WWII) tries to capture the feel of the home front, the little things everyone experienced at home. True, I have only seen the first couple of segments, but to me, it did not emotionally portray what the everyday person was going through. Maybe it is because it is still too close, as two of my brothers served. I kept comparing my family stories to those that were told, and although many were universal themes, maybe I was too aware of the hardships personally. I am waiting for my brothers’ reactions and comments, particularly as the third segment followed one brother’s route from Anzio to Rome and into Germany. His one comment recently when asked about The War,was to share that he was at the Coliseum in Rome when D-Day happened. We do not have that in a V-Mail—it was of course censored.

My oldest brother was injured and moved from hospital to hospital, probably 2-4 weeks ahead of any mail or packages from home. It was so painful for my mother to receive his V-mail letters begging from word from home, he was so homesick. Luckily at one of the hospitals he met up with an old high school friend who shared the local paper and some news of home, like stories of their high school football team.. It saved his life.

We lived on a farm bordered by a railroad track. Later in the war, some of the wounded were shipped to a local Veteran’s Hospital by train. Mother got used to the young soldiers jumping off the train when it stopped at the end of our drive where it would switch into the town. She fed them all. They were all so polite and called her M’am. Some just wanted to sit on the steps under the walnut trees and pet our dog Sandy, but they always managed to drink some cold well water and eat a cookie or peanut butter sandwich. We were poor, but no one went away without a little something. But the thing she never got used to was how grateful they were and her response was always, “my boys are over there and I hope someone would treat them the same.” As young as we were, my sister and I could feel the rise of hope in our mother when a soldier walked up the drive from the road—maybe it was one of our brothers. She always asked where they were from and which battle front they had fought in and gave them our name, hoping they had news. We were lucky, both of my brothers came home from that war.

The Library has the Ken Burns book and DVD on order. If you missed it on TV, borrow the DVD and sit with your dad or neighbors who lived through the War, the memories it dredges up may surprise you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

X Marks the spot

Arrgh Mateys! September 19 was International Talk Like a Pirate Day! It was celebrated at Southside with two events: a pirate themed Preschool Story Time in the morning (If you’re happy and you know it, shout ahoy!), and a Teen Talk Like a Pirate Party after school. Twenty-five pirates roamed the stacks and consumed quantities of Buccaneer Brownies, Grog (root beer), and saltwater taffy.

By TT at Southside

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dragons are Real...

Even though there are medieval associations for dragons, no one could say that about our resident, peace loving, house dragon Nod here at Southside Library, especially on International Peace Day. This peace loving dragon “digs” hanging out with the kids visiting the library. He even lets nice kids like Courtney kick back on him and take in a good book. Nod was donated by generous patron, a retired librarian, and volunteer at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. She adopted Nod at The Manhattan Toy Company . There are many materials on dragons at our libraries from Dragonology to the Dragon Tales movie. Come in and visit our libraries, and we can help you get your dragon fix.
cover of book

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cats and kittens needing homes

Have you been having a mouse problem this year? Or just want another warm, fuzzy companion, this is your chance for an inexpensive adoption from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter has found there is a huge number of cats and kittens for adoption, more than usual. They fear that without people taking responsibility for their cats now, by next Spring there will be even more homeless cats at the shelter and feral cats in neighborhoods. This is a community problem. To help with this challenge, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter is offering FREE cat spay and neuter and $20.00 cat adoptions September 24th - 30th. Please tell everyone you know

cover of book cover of book cover of book cover of book cover of book

Code Talkers

During World War I and World War II hundreds of American Indians joined the U.S. Armed Forces and used their traditional tribal languages as codes to transmit secret messages. The National Museum of the American Indian has developed a website, Native Words/Native Warriors, devoted to the Code Talkers of World War I and World War II. The site includes information on native tribal languages (with maps of the distribution of languages across the U.S.), lesson plans for schools, resources for further research, and a chapter on constructing the codes. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this website is another contribution to the long overdue recognition of these American heroes
cover of book

Friday, September 21, 2007

Saturday Stories

Are you wondering what to do if it rains again, or even if it doesn't? Steven Pla, master storyteller, will be at Southside Library at 10:30am and La Farge Library at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 22. Adults and children alike, were fascinated by tales of genies, monkeys and trickster tales at Main on Friday, so if you missed that show here's your chance to make it up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Harry Potter, Harry Potter

Librarian friends are the best. When I heard Great Britain was issuing Harry Potter stamps—seven total, one featuring each book cover, who could resist ordering. My former BBC librarian friend did the legwork, ordered the stamps and sent them off to the Library here.

My idea was to order some stamps to use them for drawing prizes for this summer’s reading program—the Library gave away a copy of the new book at each branch for their Harry Potter Day parties. Well, the Brit Postal service was a bit behind on orders—sound familiar Santa Feans?—so we just received the stamps and first day covers. Actually not bad considering they first appeared on July 21 and first day covers are sold out!

I am not a stamp collector, but these are brilliant and are marked first edition. Better than a Harry Potter doll. And the Brit title for the first book is listed Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Who ever deemed that American kids could not figure out what a windscreen or boot or going on holiday meant was really daft, to quote my Brit friend.

Later this Fall the children’s departments at all three branches will raffle off a set to readers. May the force be with you—oh, that is my era, not Harry Potter.

By PCH at Main

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library - Recipients of 2007 Piñon Award

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2007 Piñon Awards, an honor awarded by the Santa Fe Community Foundation. The Friends are being honored for the work done on the campaign to build the Southside Library, as well as for the education programs that resulted from the funds raised. The campaign was an unprecedented success.

Please join us to thank and honor our Friends of the Library!

The public is invited to the award ceremony at 6 pm on Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at the Lensic Theater. The ceremony and the reception following it is free and open to the public, but it is necessary to RSVP to 988-9715, ext. 3 by September 24th to reserve your tickets.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bio Feedback

While browsing in our biography section one day some interesting thoughts came to mind. We shelve the books alphabetically by the subject’s last name and some interesting juxtapositions come about as a result. For example: John the Baptist has a slew of Pope John’s on one side of him, but on the other he’s up next to Elton John, the musician. Charles Addams, macabre cartoonist, creator of the Addams Family is next to his distant cousin Jane Addams, Noble Prize winning founder of the Settlement House Movement, but on the other side he resides next to the other Adams family—John, John Quincy and Abigail.

While pondering these strange pairings I came up with this thought, strange as it may be—what if at night, late in the dark when the library is closed and quiet,these books came to life and had conversations with their neighboring books? What would George and Ira Gershwin have to talk about with Apache warrior Geronimo? Would Larry King interview Martin Luther King, while Stephen, the horror novelist, listened? It’s something to think about. And I leave you with this thought—if you were the subject of a biography, who would you be next to on our shelves?

By KS at LF reference+

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Storyteller Steven Pla to Present at Libraries

The Santa Fe Public Library will present master storyteller Steven Plá for a passage into the multicultural world of storytelling on September 21st, 2:00pm at Main, and on September 22nd, he will perform at 10:30am at Southside and 2:00pm at La Farge.

Pla has been a popular storyteller for his international storytelling and enrichment work, especially with the children of Zuni Pueblo. His career spans over 30 years in academic, research and school libraries. Pla has over 25 years of telling stories from around the world and believes that storytelling is “a bridge to understanding between cultures”.

Please join us in learning about other cultures through the voice of Steven Plá.

This program is free and open to all ages and school classes are also welcome. Please register at La Farge Library by calling 955-4863, Main Library 955-6783, or Southside 955-2828

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Landlord-Tenant Hotline

In the midst of overwhelming housing woes, a staff person learned about a fantastic resource, the Landlord-Tenant Hotline. Whether you have no heat, a landlord who has nearly killed you with carbon monoxide, or you just have questions about your security deposit, you can call the hotline and leave your name and number, and receive a call-back with the information you need (the staff person received a call back within about eighteen hours); they will even fax you any forms you might require. This hotline is available to tenants and landlords both, so if you rent property and want to know what your rights are, they can help you too. The number is 505-983-8447, or toll-free 1-800-348-9370. Get educated!

By AA at Main

Friday, September 14, 2007

It Bears Repeating

"If you go into the Southside Library,

You’re in for a big surprise…”

That altered line is from the book Teddy Bears’ Picnic by John Bratton, “If you go into the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise.” . It was also the theme from Preschool Story time at Southside library on Wednesday--bears that is. The families enjoyed talking about different kinds of bears, what they eat, where they live, and chanted bear rhymes like “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground”..remember that one? They heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear?. There is a San Diego Zoo site where they have a Polar Bear Cam so you can watch real polar bears! It’s awesome! The kids taught their parents how to growl like a bear, and we discussed how they could find lots of books on bears in the library. In Preschool Story time, bear masks were made, along with teddy bear puppets. Many of the children said they would like to see a real live koala bear or panda bear and I told them about all the animals at the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque. They have an excellent website. And the Berenstain Bears are still the all time favorite bear book. If you are looking for one more bear book, do not miss Ilse Minarik’s Little Bear series illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Little Bear will win your heart.

By TT at Southside

Thursday, September 13, 2007

So You Think You Can Spell

The 5th annual Adult Spelling Bee, benefiting the Friends of the Santa Fe
Public Library, will be held on Sunday, October 7th at 2 pm at the Main Library.

The Adult Spelling Bee is written not oral, so spellers won’t have to face humiliation if they do not know how to spell a word and be asked to sit down. I would expect such words as zymurgy, xenon, uxorious and catarrah. No, you do not have to know the word origins or the meaning. Just the correct spelling.

Entry forms are available at all libraries. A prize of is $200 has been provided by the sponsor of the Adult Spelling Bee, Qforma. But the real prize is the bragging rights to being the top speller.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Mouse Tale

Maybe there really is still a mouse somewhere back behind all the boxes and piles of miscellaneous “stuff” on the far wall of our supply room at La Farge.….but somehow the mousetrap our custodian set, has continued to elude our little rodent-visitor or visitors, so far.

Last Friday another staff person called me back into the closet where she was checking her supply lists and asked me to see if she was in fact, truly hearing those scamperings of little feet and gnawings of tiny teeth doing what only little mouse-type creatures do, behind all those shelves of boxes and papers. We both stood quietly, leaning in toward the area from where the sounds of four-legged seemed too be emanating. Oh yes, I definitely heard what she was afraid she’d imagined.

While going to get one more person to listen with us, I stood alone waiting and glancing at the boxes in the corner we were focused on. There were many neatly stacked cartons, some open, some with covers, all carefully labeled with hot-pink paper, listing contents of each container…..there it was, clear as day:


Of course! The explanation! And therefore a full exoneration of all charges of trespassing and of breaking and entering, against the four-legged furry or furries who must have been back there assuming they’d finally found a LEGAL home! One with their name on it!

So…..if we’ve gotta get rid of these innocent little guys, we’d better be using a humane little basket-trap to catch and move them. And then there is the afterthought: maybe we should be careful about our use of the homonym on our labels…..and then there is yet one more philosophical and rhetorical question to ponder: who IS after all, the namesake of whom???????

By EH at La Farge

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meet the Authors-September Programs at the Main Library

Two special, evening programs are scheduled at the Main Library this month.

On Thursday, September 13 at 7pm, Laurie Powers will offer a slide presentation called Pulp Writer, Entertaining the Masses during the Great Depression. Ms. Powers has recently edited and compiled some of the writings of her grandfather, Paul S. Powers (1905–71), in a book entitled Pulp Writer: Twenty Years in the American Grub Street. Her presentation will reveal her discovery of her grandfather as a writer of western pulp fiction, including works like Doc Dillahay (1949) and her subsequent interest in the genre.

On Tuesday, September 25 at 7pm, Stephen Allten Brown will return to the Santa Fe Public Library with the slide presentation, The Mystery of Chaco. Mr. Brown is the author of the recent novel, Shadows of Chaco Canyon, that like this presentation will reanimate the mystery and wonder of Chaco civilization during the period of 800- 1130 AD.

Both programs are free and will be held in the Main Library’s Community Room
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Just when I think Santa Fe Public Library can’t get any cooler …

Just because you are too broke to afford HBO does not mean you have to be left out of all the hip crowds at the cocktail parties who drop references constantly to The Sopranos or Six Feet Under. Perhaps I should only speak for myself, but I have felt completely left out not getting all those pop-culture references about both of these shows. But right now, both complete first seasons of these shows are being processed for this library system as I speak! The second season of The Sopranos is making its way to our shelves as well.

We’ve also gotten in the first two seasons of a show called Deadwood; I haven’t heard of it but it looks like a wild romp through the old West – here is the description: “Set in 1876 in the Black Hills of South Dakota after the richest gold strike in American history has drawn a throng of misfits to an outlaw settlement where everyone has a price. Tells the story of the settlers, who range from an ex-lawman to a scheming saloon owner to the legendary Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.” Elbow me out of the way to put a reserve on this title, folks!

By AA at Main

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This is What Peace Looks Like

As part of the World Peace Conference that was held in Santa Fe, NM, May 2007, Bobbe Besold and Chrissie Orr, both veteran artists/activists, developed, with local youth, a contemporary photographic installation on the theme of peace. The images, electronically printed and applied to panels, create four large folding screens with images on front and back. The panels will be on display at the Southside Library during the month of September. Their final homes will be at the schools and youth shelters where they were created.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cormac McCarthy wins James Tait Black Prize

James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published during the previous year. The winner for the best work of fiction is Cormac McCarthy for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road. The journalist and author Byron Rogers was awarded the prize for the best biography for his book The Man Who Went into the West: The Life of R.S. Thomas. The awards were announced on Saturday, August 25 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Winners are awarded a prize of £10,000.

As always, the shortlist is impressive and filled with authors you may have read before:

Novel Shortlist:

The View from Castle Rock - Alice Munro

The Night Watch - Sarah Waters

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Seven Lies - James Lasdun

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Electricity - Ray Robinson

Biography Shortlist:

Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family And Fatherland
- Carmen Callil

Mellon: An American Life
- David Cannadine

John Evelyn: Living For Ingenuity - Gillian Darley

George Mackay Brown: The Life - Maggie Fergusson

The Man Who Went into the West: The Life Of R.S.Thomas - Byron Rogers

The High Road to China: George Bogle, The Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition To Tibet - Kate Teltscher

Check the Library catalog to locate these titles. For those that we do not own currently, we will be ordering so look in the the catalog to check on the ordering status of these titles.

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