Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Mexico Book Awards Needs Your Vote

Nearly everyone likes to vote for their favorite things—and here is a chance to vote for a book about New Mexico or written by a NM author or published by a NM press. The Library is taking part in the New Mexico Book Awards contest to help select the People’s Choice Award. There is no limitation on when the book was published—and it can be an adult or children’s book, fiction or non-fiction. Ballot boxes are at all locations—if you do not see it, just ask a staff person. You can vote until Labor Day, but no ballot box stuffing, please.

What a decision to make when one has the books of Rudolfo Anaya, Tony Hillerman, Willa Cather, Michael McGarrity, Oliver La Farge and literally thousands of other possibilities one could vote for. Other names keep popping into my head—Pen La Farge, Marc Simmons, Pat Mora, Miriam Sagan, Arthur Sze . Check out the Library’s list of books in our Southwest Collection at the Main Library if you want to see the range of Southwest authors. Go to the Home page About Books and Literature Southwest Collection. One vote—that’s the hard part.

Bollywood, Sudoku and speed dating.

What do Bollywood, Sudoku and speed dating have in common? They all have been legitimized by Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, and added to their annual list for the newest edition. The new words the last few years have been much more based in popular culture and less high culture. Smackdown, telenovelas and DVR have joined the elite new additions. Also new is IED (improvised explosive device), an abbreviation brought about by the war in Iraq and too often heard these days on the news. My mother loved words. All words. She had taught in a one room school house and had no funds for materials and games for her students, so she created word games. She would also challenge my sister and I to know word definitions. We created a game for long winter nights where, with a huge dictionary on the table, one would find an obscure word and challenge the other players by presenting three possible definitions. One of the definitions had to be the real one from the dictionary. It became so competitive, my sister and I would bet our chores that had to be done on the farm. If on a hot streak, I might not have to feed the calves or chickens for a week! Here’s an example of the game: gneiss (pronounced “nice”). Is it a) a form of ice crystal that is formed only at below minus 20 degrees b) a metamorphic rock made up of light or dark bands c) a rare mountain mammal with bat-like wings found in Indonesia. Well? You’re on your own. Want to place a bet?
PCH at Main Library

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bottom Shelf Books

I figure that somewhere around 10% of the library's collection is on the Bottom Shelf. For many of us less-than-nimbled, this presents either a back or a knee problem. (Back pain books are not on the bottom shelf, at least at Main.) To introduce you to some of these bottom shelf treasures, we've lined up a small sample, right here, for armchair browsing.

This particular sample came from the Arts section of the Main Library; what we here call "the 700s". We'd be happy to retrieve any for you. Place a hold today and we'll have it ready for you ASAP.

Links below take you directly into our catalog...

Christo and Jeanne-Claude : wrapped Reichstag, Berlin 1971-1995
The most beautiful gardens in the world by Alain Le Toquin
Moorish style by Miles Danby
The Flowering of American folk art, 1776-1876 by Jean Lipman
Trompe l’oeil : creating decorative illusions with paint by Roberta Gordon-Smith
The visual dance : creating spectacular quilts by Joen Wolfrom
The story of painting, from cave painting to modern times by H.W. Janson
The Mexican muralists in the United States by Laurance P. Hurlburt
Gustave Moreau : between epic and dream
Photographing your artwork by Russell Hart
Lee Friedlander : sticks & stones : architectural America
The book of Exodus : the making and meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ album of the century by Vivian Goldman
The Rolling Stones : 365 days by Simon Wells
Modoc : the true story of the greatest elephant that ever lived by Ralph Helfer
That’s all folks! : the art of Warner Bros. animation by Steve Schneider
National rhythms, African roots : the deep history of Latin American popular dance by John Charles Chasteen
Taboo : why Black athletes dominate sports and why we are afraid to talk about it by Jon Entine
Better runs : 25 years’ worth of lessons for running faster and farther by Joe Henderson
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Internet Safety

Every day we hear or read of the dangers of the internet, especially for children. A very computer knowledgeable friend with a bright, outgoing 12 year old spent a long time worrying about their safety because an on-line “friend” got their daughter to give out her home address, school and other information on line. And their computer was in the kitchen/family room where everyone was always congregating.

To help parents, The American Library Association has safe internet use tips for parents, teens, and kids. Tips for parents with kids using the internet, at home or at the library include :
• setting reasonable expectations
• being open and talking with your children
• having online activity take place in a central area of the home
• and asking children to share blogs and online profiles with you.
• knowing your child’s passwords
• let them know never to share personal information

Check out www.GetNetWise.org for more information. The website www.blogsafety.com has lots of information about safe blogging for teens. The American Library Association advises teens to be:
• anonymous
• protect personal information--never give out an address
• avoid in-person meetings
• to think before posting

Help on dealing with cyberbullies is available at www.cyberbully411.org Tips for kids include ignoring or blocking the bully, changing information if someone has hacked into your profile, and talking to a trusted person when upset about what has been said. For more information visit ALA’s website at: http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/woissues/techinttele/internetsafety/internetsafety.cfm

You can make your child’s internet use safer with these tips.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Fun

The summer is upon us and many thoughtful parents are trying to come up with fun things to do with their kiddos. Remember that having fun with your kids does not have to mean going out and spending money on entertainment. Try some of these family-building projects with your kids this summer:

Plant a tree, vegetables, or a flower garden

Make a gingerbread house or decorate some cookies

Build a fort

Collect local flora and fauna and find out their names

Make a scrapbook, home movie, or time capsule

Hot? Go to your neighborhood swimming pool!

What People Are Reading

What books have people got their noses stuck in these days—or what was the most recent book from which they extricated their nose to answer my question , “What are you reading?” I decided to send out a poll to a random sample of people around the continent, the only thing in common being that, well, they know me, just to see what books they were reading. I hoped that something might spark my own interest, and I also wanted to share the info with the world for inspiration. I was thrilled to see that nearly everyone listed more than one book being read simultaneously. Most of these the Library owns, but if we don’t and you’re wild to read one of them, just fill out a blue card at any reference desk and voila! We shall hunt it down for you.

From Santa Fe, New Mexico:

Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
Micah by Laurell K. Hamilton
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
Rant: the Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
How to Heal Toxic Thoughts: Simple Tools for Personal Transformation by Sandra Ingerman
Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton
This Thing Called Life by Ernest Holmes
Trail of Tears:the Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation by John Ehle
The Trinity by Leon Uris
Redemption by Leon Uri

From Marlborough, Connecticut:

Title Deeds by Liza Campbell
The no 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger

From Memphis, Tennessee:

Memoirs Historical and Military by Antoine de Pas, Marquis de Feuquieres
Military History of Europe by Williams Biggs
Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power by Victor Davis Hanson

From Victoria, British Columbia:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

From Portland, Oregon:

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

From Bronxville, New York:

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

From Pecos, New Mexico:

The New Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are by Dr. Kevin Leman
The Worst Hard Time :The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

From Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

All six of the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling in preparation for the seventh:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Navigator (NUMA) Files by Clive Cussler

From Meriden, Connecticut:

The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Potter Parking Problems!

When journeying to your local Library Potter Party, take a cue from Hogwarts Express and experience the far superior mode of transportation we in the States call the bus. (aka Santa Fe Trails.) Broom parking, no problem.

Harry Potter, Harry Potter and...

A reporter asked us if we thought Harry Potter books had changed the reading habits of kids. Recently a TV news report said no, a study of kids who read for fun in 1999 compared to 2005 was unchanged. Maybe so, but Harry Potter has reenergized readers—how does one account for the 325 million Harry Potter books in print in the world or the 12 million copies published of the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book? J.K. Rowling’s books have energized a generation of new readers—and built up their muscles because they carry the 700 plus page books around with them!

For those in withdrawal after they have finished the series, some have told me they are going to reread the whole series and some have chosen to read the British editions to pick up nuances not in the American versions. ( Why publishers chose to do an American edition still raises my hackles, as if kids in the US can’t figure out what a “bonnet” or a “windscreen” is in British English. )

But what to read? I find the Brits have always had the edge in that sort of tale—Alan Garner’s Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequel, The Moon of Gomrath are great reads. The summary for Weirdstone reads, “A young girl and her brother are catapulted into a battle between good and evil for possession of a magical stone of great power that is contained in her bracelet.” And of course on the lists of recommended reads are J. R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, depending on the reader’s age. Other suggestions? Of course, ask a librarian, your human search engine.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Indiana Bones at Southside

“Indiana Bones” told exciting stories to a group of 46 children and adults recently at Southside Branch in conjunction with Summer of Reading. The program was sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Go to the website www.santafelibrary.org for a complete calendar of programs.

Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter

Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter. This Friday, July 20th, we are celebrating the release of the final Harry Potter novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The first program is at 10:30am at Southside Branch, and 2:00 pm at Main Library. Then on Saturday, July 21st 10:30 am at La Farge Branch. Everyone is invited to come in costume! http://www.potterparties.com/costumes.

Also the children are invited to make a wizard hat. Refreshments will be served. For the occasion, the popular Uncle Dave will tell wizarding stories..scary!! Door prizes will include Harry Potter movie posters, and certificates for copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book.
On Amazon, there is a countdown of the release to the second with a Harry Potter store feature and also includes contests, links and interviews. http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=1084186 So put on your “Harry-best” costume, and come to the party. Contact phone number at Southside is 955-2828, for Lafarge you can reach us at 955-4863, and 955-6783 at Main. See you there!
cover of book

Friday, July 13, 2007

Audio Books

Are you tired of waiting impatiently for a new book to become available, leaping for it as soon as it shows up in the catalog, and then finding yourself the two hundred and forty seventh hold? How did all those people get there before you!? Okay, maybe it’s just me who thinks this way. But here’s an alternative – all of those yummy new titles like The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, or A Thousand Splendid Suns,come not only in traditional book form but also in audio book form, and they don’t get nearly the number of holds. Sure, you can’t exactly read ’em in the tub, but hey, you can listen to them while driving. So if you have a CD player,you might want to think about grabbing a CD version of the latest hot title just for a change. It makes commutes go faster, and has way less of a wait. And sometimes the accents and silly voices the narrators put on in all earnestness are quite hilarious.
cover of book
cover of book

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Boys

A new title in the 7-Day books is The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden. It has a clever premise, what to do on a dull Sunday afternoon and is based on what they did as kids, pre-videos and pre-cell phones. It is all about curiosity and simple adventures. Not all activities should be unsupervised, but there is enough to tweak the interest of the most jaded child. But I personally take them to task for its title—girls take part in the same adventures, have many of the same interests and read the same adventurers’ books. Boys do not have the corner on Harry Potter or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or Lord of the Rings. I guess I’ll have to write my own Adventurous Girls Book of Secrets and Fun to balance it all out. Now, who knows what to do when you meet a mountain lion? And how to make papier mache monsters? Those will be in my book.

cover of book

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Goodbye and Good Blogging

MB at Reference is being too modest about her involvement in the creation, birthing as it were, and raising of Icarus from infant to full blown blog. In professional library circles, and beyond, Miriam’s blog has received well-deserved recognition and accolades. Miriam Bobkoff has been our internet guru, nudging, cajoling and pressing all of us to technologically bring the Santa Fe Public Library into the 20th and now the 21st Century. Her curiosity, librarian-honed skills, knowledge of patrons and potential patrons’ interests helped bring fascinating posts to the blog. We will miss her as a colleague, top notch librarian and blogger extraordinaire.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Chilly Reading for Hot Summer Days

Reading in the summer does not seem like a chilly activity to some, but then they have not read the right books. For children, or adults with a willingness to explore kids’ books, the description of the bitter, winter cold, with no relief in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter will make you think you are in the middle of a blizzard. Or read a chapter or two of Richard Atwater’s hilarious Mr. Popper’s Penguins to get the cooling effect. For adults, if you want to be chilled to the bone, read Robert Falcon Scott’s trek to the South Pole in his journal, Scott’s Last Journey (edited by Peter King) or Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air to experience Everest. You will become immersed in the chill of winter even if it hits 106 degrees.
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*Waving* : Hello and Goodbye

Hi. This is Miriam Bobkoff, mb at reference, and I've been the library's principal blogger since we began Icarus 30 months ago. I'm leaving SFPL and leaving Santa Fe, moving to the Pacific Northwest. I thought I should step out from behind the curtain before I go, to tell you "Bye bye, and thank you so much for being here."

I have truly loved talking with you all, and I'm going to miss you like crazy.

yes, you've seen this picture before...
Pacific Ocean, north of Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park

Monday, July 02, 2007

Southside Materials are Holdable

   You may have had some difficulty placing holds on Southside materials and requesting pick-up at another branch. No longer- all circulating Southside materials are now "holdable" and can be picked up at all library locations!

Don't forget if you log into your record before you start you can enter multiple holds without having to reenter your information.

And We'll Have Fun, Fun Fun...

1ɯʇɥ.dı1ɟ ʇɐ pǝɯɹoɟɹǝd ǝq uɐɔ uoıʇɐɯɹoɟsuɐɹʇ ssǝ1ǝsn ɟı buıʇuɐɥɔuǝ sıɥʇ ¿sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ noʎ uɐɔ

(What's it good for? Well, nothing. Does it have to be good for something?)

One of our readers sent us a link to a file converter service called Zamzar. We have no way to test whether it will handle Mac files as claimed, but it tidily turned a .pdf to a .doc , and might be worth a try if you are confronted with an attachment you can't open or make use of.

Are you paying attention to security on your PC? Got your firewall and viruschecker up to date? Late last month there were news stories about the FBI's efforts to curb the hijacking of PCs by bot software. Think it surely doesn't apply to you? Those 'ecard from a family member' emails you may have been seeing in your spam trap are a good example, and there's an interesting article which explains exactly how that one works.

Our reader who especially likes mapping and search engine sites sent us a link about the new feature of google maps which allows you to customize your map directions by dragging the line to add cities, etc. Very cool. A serious time-sink for map freaks. You could spend hours building loops around the Jemez Mountains, and dragging the route to Salt Lake City around through various parts of the Four Corners.

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

P.S. The library will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cruisin' the Library Blogs

Hey hey, it's Canada Day. We don't need to pull together a bunch of links for you, because Austin Public Library has already done it. (*Waving to our reader in White Rock, BC*)

There are some lovely blogs out there—
(Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) joined the iPhone madness yesterday by checking on how their own web pages display on its web browser (librarian.net also immediately checked the display of her website on a friend's iPhone and blogged it) ;
    Burbank Library Blog has been posting book reviews, and has a special interest in literacy ;
    a lot of the library blogs we frequently visit are featuring their summer reading programs (as have we, for that matter); Saint Joseph County Public Library went ahead and just featured Summer ;
    Bradford County's (FL) construction blog continues to document their new building's progress with great good cheer; Lafayette Public Library (LA) is nearly finished;
    Redwood City Public Library's (CA) LibLog as usual has interesting links that illuminate, as their cutline says "technology and its effects on libraries... and library users" ;
    Don't forget to check the New Mexico State Library's new blog; and our neighbors down the road at Belen Public Library aren't blogging, but are tracking their construction on flickr, and have a MySpace page.