Thursday, April 24, 2008

Top 10 list: What I’ve learned from working with teenagers

(with a nod to David Letterman)

10. There are different variations within the style known as Gothic.
9. Food is very helpful for loosening up a gathering.
8. Nobody likes to be told what to do.
7. Work only as much as you must and spend the rest of your time hanging with your friends.
6. Most people have their own favorite beverage and they are pleased if you remember what it is and provide it.
5. Sometimes you just can’t stop laughing.
4. Books about vampires and werewolves can teach us about making transitions in our own lives, especially those monstrous transitions involving hormones.
3. A sense of humor goes a long way.
2. Creative arts are a wonderful outlet, especially if you are feeling a lack of freedom in some area of your life.
1. Hug your friends when you say hello and goodbye.

Photo by LR at Southside.
Posted by LW at Southside.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Artist Round-up at the Southside Library

The Southside Branch Library, at 6599 Jaguar Drive, is accepting applications from artists interested in showing their work for one month. All applicants must be eligible for a Santa Fe Public Library card and live in the city of Santa Fe or Santa Fe County. Applications for exhibits are available at the Southside Reference desk and should be returned there. The Art Committee will then set a date to review and schedule art displays for 2008-2009 in the beautiful new branch of the Santa Fe Public Library.

For more information contact Christina Dunkin at 505-955-2823.

Posted by CD at Southside.

Clouds over Pedernal by Patricia Hodapp will be part of the May exhibit at the Southside Branch Library. Check the Library's News Page for more information on art exhibits.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day is Everyday

People get fired up for Earth Day, they start composting, reusing plastic bags or use reusable ones, and perhaps fill up that handy plastic water bottle from the tap or distilled water. Kudos to them.

But in my childhood, every day was earth day. This was nothing to be complimented, it just was a way of life. Never light a fire or candle from a match if there was already a source of fire already available—my mother would use a twig and catch a flame from the wood stove to light a candle. That was a match saved.

Peelings from carrots and potatoes and other vegetable matter was either fed to chickens or composted to help build up the soil. Even left over tea leaves from the pot were returned to the earth. In one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books, she mentions when out on the prairie her mother carefully buried the shells from boiled eggs, because it was important not to leave trash or a “footprint” where we have been on this earth.

The “junk drawer” at our house turned into a junk box, hidden under a small table in the kitchen. What a resource for any project or problem! Balls of twine, half candles, odd nuts and bolts and of course, rubber bands and twist ties. Popsicle sticks and the button box could be found there too. And of course we reused wrapping paper and bows. Nothing was wasted.

Even today I am reminded of her recycling as I search through her recipes for a special one, and find it written on the back of a used envelope.

To justify getting a plastic bag at the grocery store, mother felt she had to use it 9 times. “Just like the nine lives of a cat”; it was our responsibility to extend its usefulness in this world.

Her overriding philosophy was, if you wasted something in this life, it would be a part of your personal hell. She pictured being in hell needing a plastic bag and the devil laughing and showing her a time when she used a plastic bag once and threw it away.

So happy Earth Day to all. My mother did her part for everyone. Now it is our turn.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch Recognized for Commitment to Environmental Awareness

In celebration of Earth Month 2008, Seattle’s Best Coffee at Borders-Sanbusco recognized the Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch for their commitment to green and sustainable living. The new library branch, a true example of “green” architecture, is energy efficient with rainwater harvesting, cistern storage, radiant heat, and natural light, which all boost the energy efficiency of the building.

The Santa Fe Public Library was recognized at a small reception on Wednesday, April 9th where Borders Sales Account Representative Ramon Ernesto Cruz presented the library leadership team with the “Earth Month Community Stewardship Award.” As a special treat, library staff were able to celebrate their hard work with coffee and bakery goodies.

Seattle’s Best Coffee is proud to recognize the Santa Fe Public Library Southside Branch as an outstanding community organization,” said Seattle’s Best Coffee district manager Kim Novak. “The Library’s environmental efforts help make a difference in the greater community for today and our future.”

Photo by TT at Southside
Left to right: Harvey Monroe, Jr., Architect; Haley Wigent; Patricia Hodapp, Director of Libraries; Ernesto Cruz; Susie Sonflieth, Director of Branches..

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ballistas and Onagers and Catapaults -Oh My!

The other day I was at the Information desk at Southside and a young 12 or 13-year-old boy walked up and said, "I want a book about Ballistas and catapults and Roman Army siege equipment."

And I thought, ah, what a sophisticated young boy, he already knows basic Roman Army equipment tables. It was the kind of reference question we librarians crave. Now it just so happens that in our new books, we just received The Rise and Fall of Ancient Rome, which sure enough, has the information on Ballistas, and Onagers, and other catapults. So it was instant gratification time, as he got the book he wanted. I already had it in mind when he asked.

And it was also a lesson for me as a librarian to never underestimate the sophistication of the reading public. One may think one has an idea about what the general public goes for, in terms of reading material, and general interest vs. more scholarly works, and then one meets with daily surprises.

As a matter of fact not only have we received some new books on Ancient Rome and Greece, a plethora of new books have been coming in recently. Some of them are new in the sense of coming out in 2007 or 2008. Some of them are new in the sense of being a new addition to the Southside collection. And there are some that are new in the sense of the whole Santa Fe Library system has not had these titles before. We have many new DVDs, new Spanish books, and other new nonfiction and fiction. So whether you are interested in finding out about Onagers, or want to see some new fiction titles, check out what’s new at your library.

PS: For those who haven’t been staying on top of the weapons of the Roman Army, a Ballista is like a very large man-sized crossbow that shot 6 foot spears and rocks. An Onager is a medium sized catapult which could be operated by 3 men. Each century, a group of 100 men, had one ballista assigned to it.

Posted by JP at Southside.

National Library Week

Those who are avid library users don’t really need to be reminded that April 13-19 is National Library Week, for them it is always Library Week!

This year’s theme is “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library”, and renowned actress Julie Andrews is the honorary chair. The Southside Library has a special display to celebrate this week. More information is at the American Library Association website

Did you know that the Santa Fe Public Library owns 317116 books and

6492 DVDs, 3304 Books on CD and 3267 music CDs?

Did you know that you can borrow books from other libraries (InterLibrary Loan) for free?

Did you know the Library has a total of 46 internet connected computers for your use at the three branches?

Be sure to stop in a library this week to enjoy all there is to offer.

Posted by AEM@Main

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wright May Not Be Right for All

When growing up on a subsistence farm, with no running hot water and an outdoor toilet, even cutting our own wood for an old furnace, I never even thought about the differences between my friends’ homes and mine. Friends were friends, some rich and some middle class, but none as poor as our family was.

Recently while reading about Frank Lloyd Wright, I remembered the wide gap between my friends’ homes and my farm home, in southern Michigan. My best friend lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the Acres, outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The house wrapped around a hillside and had all the Wright trademarks, stone floors, stone walls, high windows—it looked like it was a part of the hillside. Her neighbor’s house, one of eight in the planned Wright community, had an oak tree in the center of their house, glassed in with the rooms surrounding it. Classic Wright.

How odd it must have been for my friend AW to have visited me and have had few amenities, plus having to help feed the calves and chickens. She never commented, and on my part, I think I preferred our rag rug covered floors and creaky stairs to the second floor bedroom over the cold, stone floors of Wright’s masterpieces. I sometimes wonder if my friend is as nostalgic about her Wright home as I am about the 1920’s white clapboard farmhouse under the walnut trees where I was raised.

Wright is described as creating organic homes, the real view of American architecture. That may be true, but the heartland is dotted with clapboard farm houses, not as integrated with the landscape as Wright’s, but surely as important in the lives of those who lived there.

If you are interested in learning more about Frank Lloyd Wright come into the Library and check out the many titles,(non-fiction and fiction) we have about his architecture and life.

cover of book cover of book

Sunday, April 13, 2008


One of my favorite times of the week is Friday afternoon. Many years ago, I started setting time aside on Friday afternoons, when most people are thinking ahead to the weekend, I look back over the week to thank those who made my week easier or special.

At that particular job, a colleague laughed when I suggested she write thank yous and said “no one deserved thanks, no one had helped her” that week. Really?

I reminded her of the UPS man who was only obligated to deliver to the first floor and took 20 boxes to her office. Oh, and the restaurant owner next door to our office who treated us to cheese enchiladas, even bringing them to our office on a snowy day. Oh, and not to forget that I had baked homemade cake for the staff for Monday’s staff meeting. I don’t think any of that made an impression on her, she was one that felt people SHOULD do things for her. I disagree.

This past week Councilor Miguel Chavez awarded the Southside Library’s Endowment with $5,000 from the distribution of his remaining campaign funds. A big thank you.

An artist who showed in the Main Library’s art gallery gave the funds from the sale of three of his paintings to the Library.

A big thank you.

A poet who provided a reading to an enraptured public thanked the Library for hosting him by writing a check. A big thank you.

Seattle’s Best Coffee named the Southside Branch an award winner in their Green Buildings awards. A big thank you.

Legislators Representatives Lucky Varela, Jim Trujillo and Peter Wirth who supported the La Farge Branch renovation with $80,000 in funding.

But, thank you’s are not always just for money or awards. They are written to those who go a step beyond. Like the staff members who are always there when there is an event or bakes a cake for a staff person’s birthday or whose husband is always supportive, even hauling stages and boxes!

It’s never too late to write a thank you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Poetry Month

I thought about PH’s blog entry about the daffodil and William Wordsworth and it took me back to last summer when I visited Grasmere in the Lake District of England. The daffodils were long since gone but William Wordsworth's home still stands.

I also thought this would be fitting since April is National Poetry Month.

VII - I wandered lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodills;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:--
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gaz'd--and gaz'd--but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

Posted by MVS

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hug a Rug

This last Wednesday Southside Library finally received the area rug for the Children’s area. Our LenguaLink Bilingual carpet arrived just after Preschool story time program. The carpet introduces children to a second language. Familiar pictures with both Spanish and English words surround the rug, while children can learn to spell and count with the Spanish alphabet and number lines. We are proud to show off our new carpet to all our patrons and are looking forward to introduce the rug to the families in our Preschool story time program Wednesday morning. The carpet was generously purchased by the Friends of the Library.
Posted by TT at Southside

Friday, April 04, 2008

Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day with your family and children on Saturday, April 19. Choose your branch or attend all the programs!


11:00 am to 12 noon

Demonstration & Education
Assistant Dogs of the West
La Farge Branch Library
1730 Llano Street

12 noon to 3:00 pm
Demonstration &
Adoption Opportunities
SF Shelter & Humane Society
Southside Branch Library
6599 Jaguar Drive

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Demonstration and Education with live birds
Santa Fe Raptor Center
Main Library
145 Washington Avenue