Friday, November 28, 2008

New Mexico Book Association Holiday Fiesta

Friday, Dec. 5th

5:30 to 7:30 pm.
The Lodge at Santa Fe

750 N. Saint Francis Drive
(505) 992-5800
Ticket information:
(505) 231-1755 or (505) 988-7214

New Mexico Book Association's Annual Holiday Fiesta takes place at the gracious Southwestern-style and very convenient Lodge at Santa Fe (just north of downtown). Every New Mexico literary (and related) business, author, writer, reviewer, and book lover is invited to our annual holiday gathering. (Attendees will reconnect with compadres and comadres they may not have seen for months!)

International Women's Writing Guild, Recursos' Southwest Literary Center, New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, N.M. Book Co-op, Narrative Art Center, PEN-New Mexico, SouthWest Writers, and WordHarvest are co-hosts of the Holiday Fiesta, and members and friends of those organizations are invited to this very inclusive book and literary gathering!

New Mexico Book Association is the only statewide non-profit organization serving all book and literary professionals.

More info:
Richard Polese, Executive Director
New Mexico Book Association
(505) 983-1412

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Vegetarian Cooking for EveryoneIn warm-weather months, it's possible for me to be well-fed on a light vegetarian diet with a lot of raw foods. Once it gets colder, my inner carnivore comes out in full force, tearing through poultry and seafood until I get to, and exceed, the red meat stage. There are also those times when there's, say, too much amaranth or squash in the house, and it's nice to try new things.

VeganomiconFortunately, the Library has a lot of cookbooks for every end of the voracious spectrum. For the vegetarian end, there are classics like Laurel's Kitchen, modern classics such as Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and the soon-to-be classic Veganomicon. Also recommended are any of the Moosewood cookbooks.

Fannie Farmer CookbookFor cold-weather cooking, I get tried-and-true recipes from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook and Joy of Cooking. Jacques Pépin's Simple and Healthy Cooking is also good. For a taste of the Mediterranean, there's Mario Batali's Simple Italian Food. Dinner can take me around the world with Chinese, Thai, Indian or tapas. When I need to brush up on an old favorite or try a dish a new way, there are plenty of New Mexico cookbooks at all Libraries.

And for dessert... ah, I think dessert can wait until spring. We still have all the holiday feasting to get through, after all!

[The writer would never let dessert wait until spring. - Ed. ]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Library Facts

The Library Facts page has been updated.

Did you know...
  • You checked out 548,218 items
  • We have 360,562 items, many of which can be checked out
  • We answered 221,532 Reference queries
  • 143,989 people used our computers
  • 13,485 children attended 454 programs
  • You held 1,964 Community meetings in our Libraries
  • We're open 177 hours a week

Many of the figures are based on the last fiscal year, from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, while others were updated with recent statistics.

Check out the Library Facts and Statistics page for more fun Library facts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday Closings

For the Thanksgiving Holiday, all Library Branches will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28.

The Libraries will resume normal hours on Saturday, November 29.

Main Library
145 Washington Ave.
Wild Turkey505-955-6780
Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday: 1 - 5 pm

La Farge Library
1730 Llano St.
Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Closed Sunday

Southside Library
6599 Jaguar Dr.
Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Closed Sunday

Photo courtesy of NWTF

Monday, November 24, 2008

2008 New Mexico Book Awards Winners

Milagro Beanfield WarThe winners were announced at the Book Awards Banquet at the MCM Elegante in Albuquerque on Friday, November. 21st.

Some highlights:

There is a PDF list of winners on the New Mexico Book Co-op site.

Furry (and other) Critters

Pets in AmericaAccording to the Pet Food Institute, pet ownership is on the rise. Despite the expense of pets, many people are falling for and bringing home that cute puppy, kitten, bird or fish. As the weather has gotten colder, it's become more common to see someone with a young puppy snoozing on his or her lap in social and even work situations. Even the most powerful man on earth is shopping for a puppy. While we won't go so far to say that this is a trend, there's definitely something pet-loving in the air.

If you're considering a new critter in your household, a great place to start is the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society. They have regular adoptions around the city, low-cost spay/neuter clinics, and training and behavior classes. If you're strictly of the feline persuasion, Felines and Friends looks for both adoptive and foster cat lovers. Also spread the word to friends, family and coworkers; they might know of a new litter or rescued animals.

Adopting PetsOnce you've taken the plunge, the Library can help you learn to live together with books about different breeds, and care, feeding and behavior of your new pet. If you still can't get a pet due to allergies, long hours, expenses and other reasons, you can always enjoy them vicariously through a puppy cam or kitty cam.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Multimedia Book Signing Event

Book Cover The Santa Fe Public Library Presents

The Little Cat, the Wonderful Witch, and the Clever Mouse

Children's book author and cellist Lisa Marie Stuart and illustrator Lori Potter celebrate the release of their new book.

Saturday, November 29
2 pm 'til 4 pm

Main Library
145 Washington St.

Call 955-6783 for more information.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Annual Holiday Book Sale

Book Sale Set-upTwo Library Branches

Main Library
145 Washington Ave.

Southside Library
6599 Jaguar Dr.

Saturday, December 6
10 am - 4 pm

Open to the Public
One Day Only
Gift Quality Items

All Books Individually Priced

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 cookbooks to stocking stuffers, this is the sale of the year!

Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

All proceeds from the sale of these donated books go to support the Santa Fe Public Library.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Be obscure clearly." *

Writing Down the BonesThe act of writing is a curious thing. We mark down symbols that represent sounds, objects, emotions and concepts according to seemingly arbitrary rules and conventions. We assume that the people who read them will know the same sounds, objects, emotions and concepts that are in our minds.

Whether we write for joy, compulsion or money, there are a plethora of resources to ease or enhance the writing process. For the basics, every Library branch has dozens of books on grammar and vocabulary, as well as dictionaries and thesauruses. Once you know the basics, you can delve further into the nuances of writing with style, usage and punctuation. While there are specific rules, you can bend them to make your writing reflect your voice.

Eats, shoots & leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation Once you've written an essay, story, novel, screenplay or poem, you may want to share it with others. The Library has the Writer's Market series and other resources to help you identify which magazines or publishers might best match your style.

There are useful online resources as well. SFPL has links to book trade information, lists of local resources including workshops and publishers, reference sources and online dictionaries. has pages for fiction writers and poets. There are also great resources for online publishing.

On writing: a memoir of the craft But if you've learned the rules, workshopped and written till your brain is numb, and you still haven’t published, you can find solace on the Literary Rejections on Display blog. If you prefer something more inspirational, these quotations about writing are full of gems.

* - E. B. White

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Annual Mayor's Food Drive

The City of Santa Fe is again seeking public support and donations to the Mayor’s Food Drive. Every year, the city sets out to provide a holiday meal for as many families we can. Now more than ever this food drive is needed to ensure that families negatively affected by the economic downturn and high food prices have access to a holiday meal. Every donation counts, no matter how big or small, and will go toward the purchase of a turkey or ham and a gift card to a local grocery store. Help us make this holiday special for someone this year.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the Mayor’s annual food drive contact Laneia Marie Gallegos at (505) 955-6917 or The Mayor’s food drive is only accepting checks for store gift cards; food banks will take non-perishable foods. Whole Foods is also directly accepting donations to the Mayor’s Food Drive.

Community Gallery

Call to the Community for Exhibit Theme Ideas for the Community Gallery

The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission’s Community Gallery at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center offers an open call to submit theme ideas for future programming of the Community Gallery. This call is to help the Arts Commission create and feature exhibits that appeal to the full community of Santa Fe in 2010 and beyond.

Exhibits will run for three months:
January - March
April - June
July - September
October - December

Submission Requirements:
Exhibit themes should offer the widest inclusion for contemporary and traditional arts in all media from jewelry to furniture to ceramics, both 2-D and 3-D (and everything in between). Each theme will feature, on average, thirty artists per exhibit with each artist submitting one work for display and sale.

Selection Criteria:
Exhibit themes contributed for consideration should meet at least three of the following five criteria:
1) Coordinate with significant local cultural or social events.
2) Provide an opportunity for local artists to expand their professional exhibition experience and enrich professional disciplines through meeting press demands, interacting with the public, performing demonstrations, assisting in workshops, etc.
3) Be grounded in some historical context which further defines the culture of Santa Fe and New Mexico.
4) Offer educational opportunities for the community to better understand local art, artists/artists, artistic processes or art history.
5) Collaborate with a minimum of two local community organizations to offer the widest inclusion of the public and create a synergistic forum for the advancement of the arts.

Submissions may be mailed to:
City of Santa Fe Arts Commission
PO Box 909
Santa Fe, NM 87504-0909
Attention: Gallery Manager

or emailed to

Submissions will be accepted through December 31, 2008 for 2010 exhibits.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Library Board Openings

The Santa Fe Public Library is seeking applicants for its Board of Directors. The Board is appointed by the Mayor and serves as an advisory board to the Director of Libraries. Applicants are requested to submit a letter of interest and a résumé for consideration. The two positions will represent the City of Santa Fe. The applicants must live in the City of Santa Fe. The Library Board consists of seven members and meets monthly.

Please submit application letter and résumé to:
Main Library
attention M. Finley
145 Washington Avenue
Santa Fe, 87501
The applications close on December 10.

Craft a Gift

Main Library Children's Room

Wednesday, November 26th

Wednesday, December 10th
Make a gift the old-fashioned way! We will sponge-paint wrapping paper and gift bags, make candles out of wax beads, pot holders on a loom and more.

Show up to both times if your shopping list is long!

This program is free. Call 505-955-6783 for more information.

A History of Service

One of our staff members found the First Annual Report of the Mayor of Santa Fe, April 1st, 1910 through March 31, 1911, in our files. The Mayor was Arthur Seligman.

What a treasure trove of facts and explanations of the missions of the City in the area of services. What caught my eye was the amazing work of the Woman’s Board of Trade and the exuberant praise of their work, in particular as “women of civic usefulness.” It states that “The Plaza and the Library are monuments to the womanhood of Santa Fe.”

Interestingly enough, they received from the City Treasury $467.67 from the 1 mill levy for library purposes and "$250.00 for caring for the Plaza". But there is more - the City asked and was given from the Woman’s Board of Trade a gift of “not less than $500.00 to pave San Francisco Street on the south side of the Plaza.”

The Mayor then took the opportunity to thank “these good, hard working women for their ready response to the call for aid and the spirit that permeates them in not only this assistance but whatsoever they undertake.”

When the Sena Family gave a major gift to the Southside Library, they recalled that their grandmother had made and sold lemonade and cookies on the Plaza in support of the Library at about this time. I’m surprised that the women did not pave San Francisco themselves!

A few little tidbits that were curiosities:
  • Memorial Arch—“I (the Mayor) recommend that the Memorial Arch, designating the end of the Santa Fe Trail and for which I understand an appropriation was made by the Legislature some years ago be completed at the earliest possible date and any suggestion that will bring the arch to a reality will be appreciated.”

  • Saloons and Public Dance Halls—“I respectfully wish to call your attention to the subject of saloons and public dance halls. I am satisfied after making a personal investigation that there should be new legislation by the Council which will result in better regulations in the form of public place.”

  • The Public Press—“The power of the public press has been put to good use in Santa Fe and this important at field of co-operation is highly and keenly appreciated, as its aid in trying to get matters out of this village rut, and to make Santa Fe a city beautiful and one of law and order, has been invaluable."

The Woman’s Club and Library Association is still supportive of the Library, as are the Friends of the Library who host book sales and staff the library book stores with volunteers. Maybe it is time for another lemonade stand and bake sale for the Library. But no more street paving, thank you.

by PCH @ Main
Photo: "East Side of Plaza, Santa Fe, N. M." 1866. from the National Archives.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The Best Book of the MoonThe moon has been an obvious topic of conversation over the past few days. Incredibly bright and large in the sky, it's also being blamed sotto voce for all manner of ill-temper or havoc here on earth.

Talking about the moon led to talking about the phases of the moon, and I found myself trying to explain that you can tell if the moon is waxing or waning depending on which side is small, accompanied by cryptic hand gestures in the air. Just when folks were worried that I'd become a lunatic, I found this site that clearly illustrates that when the moon is smaller on the left, it's waxing. When it's smaller on the right, it's waning.

Besides the internet, whenever I'd like a brief introduction to a topic in the natural world, the first place I go is the Children's Room. The books are easy to read, entertaining, factual, and best of all: full of pictures!

Library Hours

It can be confusing to keep track of library hours, especially since all 3 branches are different. Each branch has a handy bookmark that lists our hours and phone numbers for your convenience. We also have them listed on our website. It's also that time of year to remind you of our Holiday hours. We have them posted until January 1, 2009, with next year's full schedule of holiday closings to be posted by the end of this month.

Main Library:
Mon. - Thur. : 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 P.M. to 5 p.m.
The Children's room closes at 8 PM Mon-Thurs.

La Farge Library:
Mon. - Wed. : 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thur. - Sat. : 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Sundays.

Southside Library:
Mon. - Thur. : 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Sundays.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It’s Only an Hour’s Drive to Las Vegas, right?

Insiders Guide to Santa FeWhile shopping last week, I encountered a British couple trying to decipher American products at the grocery store. I casually said, “No Marks and Spencers here, unfortunately.” ( I was referring to the equivalent of Smiths in England.) I led them to heavy whipping cream for their tea and talked “good bread.” They were shocked by the low temperatures, but then they can purchase coats.

But it was the last two questions that I was presented with that told me they did not have a good travel agent.
“Is it true that Las Vegas is only an hour away? We want to see Vegas.” I explained the differences in NM and NV; I hope they were okay with info on local casinos.
“And isn’t there a hopper plane here that we can book to fly over the Grand Canyon?” Now that was tougher.

I did give them good directions to the Main Library where we have maps, trained staff and free internet computers. Helping the tourists is all part of the job here. For some of the staff it is the most rewarding part of a reference shift, being goodwill ambassadors to the world.

by PCH @ Main

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sustaining Homeownership in Hard Times:

An Event for Homeowners

Saturday, Nov. 15
10 a.m. to 12 noon

Genoveva Chavez Community Center
3221 Rodeo Rd.

To help address residents’ concerns about the continuing housing and related financial crisis, the City of Santa Fe and The Housing Trust will provide a free seminar intended to address homeowners’ questions, concerns and problems. Professional advice on foreclosure prevention will be given free of charge.

For more information, call (505) 989-3960.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Zimmerman is Back

UNM Libraries LogoIn April 2006, a fire damaged a large part of the University of New Mexico's Zimmerman Library basement, including its wonderful journal collection of over 3,000 titles. The UNM librarians made the best of a bad situation, and turned the reconstruction project into a renovation. When the basement officially reopened this past April, improved study spaces and group study rooms were part of the celebration.

The project hasn't been without problems. In November 2007, a pipe broke after the new carpet was installed and most of the renovations completed, flooding the basement with as much as 6 inches of water in some places. Some of the books sustained water damage, but were quickly freeze-dried to prevent mold and further damage.

As librarians, and many of us former UNM students who logged hundreds of hours in the Zimmerman Library (especially the basement!), we're thrilled that it's open and even better than before.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Radio Reader

Desperate PassageSeveral mornings a week, I'm greeted at work by a colleague asking me, "Did I pass you today?" I take the bus most days, and this co-worker drives right by my stop in seeming oblivion. I can't really blame him, however, because from 8:30 to 9:00 am when we're both commuting to work by various transports, he’s listening to The Radio Reader on KANW, 89.1 FM. This radio program began in 1936, and the half-hour format of a man reading from a book demands attention and a good memory. After I get passed on the road, I get to hear a synopsis of the morning's show when I finally do arrive at work.

The Airmen and the HeadhuntersDick Estell, the third permanent reader in the show's history, selects recent fiction and non-fiction works to read from. The book is read in its entirety over the course of several weeks. Over the past few months, I've been able to hear second-hand synopses of Desperate Passage, about the ill-fated Donner party stranded in the Sierra Nevada, and The Airmen and the Headhunters, about a World War II air squadron lost in the jungles of Borneo. Estell is currently reading Where the River Ends, a novel about a married couple coping with terminal illness. However, the works aren't always this serious. Estell also read a biography of Milton Hershey the chocolatier recently, and reads a lot of fiction, like John Grisham. If you've been on the hold queue for a new audiobook, you might want to check the next book. Or if you want something on your morning drive besides news, music or traffic, tune in for your own bit of storytime.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day: In Remembrance and in Hope

Armistice DayToday most governmental agencies in Santa Fe, including the public libraries, are closed in observance of Veterans Day. Veterans Day is one of the few federal holidays that has not been made a “Monday” holiday because of its association with a particular date -- November 11th. Today marks the ninetieth anniversary of this date in 1918 when, at 11:00 am, the armistice signed by Allied and German commanders in a railroad car (pictured) in northern France took effect and the guns of World War I were silenced. Over four years of carnage and terrible destruction, costing millions of military and civilian lives, had ended. All was, finally, quiet on the western front.

Because it was this armistice, not the subsequent peace treaties, that actually halted the fighting, November 11th came to be known as the end of “the war to end all wars." In the United States it was called Armistice Day until 1954; across the Atlantic it became Remembrance Day -- a day to honor the memory and sacrifice of the war dead. As noted in this blog last week, many nations observe an official "Two Minutes Silence" on this date at 11:00 am, to encourage people to stop their routine activity and pay quiet respect to those who gave their lives repelling aggression.

World War I did not end all wars; in fact, the punitive terms of the 1919 peace treaties helped give rise to the vastly more destructive, and this time truly global, World War II. Other wars and conflicts have continued to erupt since the conclusion of World War II more than sixty-three years ago. World peace, even in this new millennium, seems a forlorn ideal. But what happened, or more precisely what stopped happening at 11:00 this morning ninety years ago has inspired people since then, especially on this date, to hope and pray for a permanent silencing of guns and a lasting peace. Do take two minutes today, at 11:00 or some time of your own choosing, to pause and join the world in its yearning for peace.

by RG @ Main

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Book Sale

Books for Sale La Farge Library
1730 Llano St.

November 22 and 23
Open to public:
Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm, Bag Day
Discount Books Only
Friends of the Library Membership not required
For this sale only, buy one Hardback & get the next one free.

Hardbacks $1.00
Videos $1.00
Paperbacks $.50 or 3/$1.00
Cassettes, Records & Children's Books $.25
Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Call for Artists at Southside

The Southside Branch Library, at 6599 Jaguar Drive, is accepting applications from artists interested in showing their work for one month. Applicants should live in the City of Santa Fe or Santa Fe County and be eligible for a Santa Fe Public Library Card.

Please pick up and return the forms at the Southside Reference Desk. The Art Committee will review and schedule art displays for 2009 on Wednesday, November 19th.

Please contact Christina Dunkin at 505-955-2823 for more information.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Delivered Right to You

In addition to subscribing to Icarus via RSS/Atom feeds, you can now subscribe to Icarus by email. Signing up is simple. Just look for the box on the right that says "Subscribe via email", type in your email address and click "Subscribe". You'll have daily blog posts delivered right to your inbox.

So in addition to the latest Library news, you'll be plugged in to event and program announcements, book news, and timely discussions of all your favorite topics.

Your email information will not be shared with anyone, and this system is not connected to your library record.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Literacy Coffee with the Mayor

Mayor Coss held his monthly Morning Coffee with the Mayor this week. He established this tradition soon after being elected. There is always a pertinent topic dealing with issues in Santa Fe that will draw dozens to almost 100 concerned citizens and workers in the area being discussed.

This Coffee focused on literacy and a wide range of providers and concerned community groups attended. Someone asked me if I attended every one as they had seen me at several. I do try to attend in order to get the Library’s message out about our resources and ascertain ways that the Library can be more involved to serve the community.

The Library’s literacy efforts begin with infants in caregivers’ arms hearing stories and learning finger plays. We try to engage the entire family in this pre-reading program.

The statistics on literacy just in Santa Fe County were staggering—almost one half of Santa Fe County residents read at below the 5th grade level. Of 13,000 students in the Santa Fe Public Schools, almost half are early English language learners. It is estimated that in New Mexico, 50% of the population is functionally illiterate.

But the good news is that once an adult took part in a literacy program, many got jobs. One out of five adult students who enrolled in a literacy program was no longer receiving public assistance. The connection between literacy and the economy is clear. Literacy is tied to quality of life—not just for the learner, but their family and the community.

The New Mexico Coalition for Literacy and Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe train volunteers and work to enroll those who need help. Some businesses in Santa Fe provide their staff with time off to work with literacy volunteers on the job site. What a win-win situation.

So if you can volunteer or donate to Literacy or have your business host a class, you are taking a step for a better community.

by PCH @ Main

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Vampires and Werewolves and Devils, Oh MY!

The Vampire Party for Teens at Southside, held after hours on Friday, October 17, was a smashing success with 45 teens in attendance! The event was part of The Santa Fe Public Library’s Celebration of Teen Reed Week: Books with Bite. Refreshments were served and prizes were given out for Trivia and Costume contests. Pictured here is one of the winners of the Costume Contest as she begins her walk down the runway.

Teenagers are invited to get involved. Currently we have a Teen Book Club and Teen Advisory Board which meet on alternating Thursdays at the Southside Library from 4:15-5:30. Let your voice be heard by joining our group and helping to plan the next big event!

Photo and Story by LW at SS

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

2008 Library GO Bond Passes in New Mexico

Thanks to our voters who passed this year’s GO Bond Issue “B”. Statewide, 347,795 voters supported public, school and academic libraries, 32,714 from Santa Fe County.

Libraries in Santa Fe County will receive over $510,000, with Santa Fe Public Library receiving about $169,000 to spend on books, DVDs and software for your use!

A Local Literary Lion

SkinwalkersThe boy who made dragonfly : a Zuni mythDance hall of the deadThe great Taos bank robberyThe Jim Chee mysteriesNew Mexico Rio Grande and other essays

Writer Tony Hillerman passed away on October 26. Although not a native New Mexican, his love and understanding of his adopted state are evident in the many works from his 30-plus year writing career. Best known for his Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mystery novels, Hillerman was an ambassador of the cultures of New Mexico.

Tony Hillerman won several awards for his writing, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Dance Hall of the Dead, and in 1991 he received the title Grand Master for lifetime achievement from the Mystery Writers of America. His favorite award was from the Navajo Nation, when in 1987 he was named the Special Friend of the Dineh. The City of Santa Fe has issued a resolution to honor him.

You don't need to be a mystery reader to enjoy Hillerman. He's written memoirs, travel books and mythology. But for non-mystery buffs, his novels are compelling, engrossing, and dangerous to read on a stormy autumn night.

Remember the Guy

Guy Fawkes I admit it: I like the strange, uncelebrated and unsung holidays. For years I kept the traditional winter holidays to a minimum, only to have a big to-do every Groundhog Day. Independence Day celebrations are usually quiet, while Bastille Day gets more attention. After living in the British Commonwealth of Nations for a couple of years, I became enamoured with Boxing Day.

So it should be no surprise that I'm wishing you all a fiery Guy Fawkes Day, also known in Great Britain as Bonfire Night. It commemorates a failed plot in 1605 to blow up the English Parliament and depose King James I. Guy Fawkes, one if the conspirators, was caught and executed. Bonfires, fireworks, and effigies of Guy are burned on the evening of November 5th all over Britain.

While other holidays have gotten more press time, Guy Fawkes has inspired some interesting books and one movie. For a straight history, there's Antonia Fraser's Faith and treason: the story of the Gunpowder Plot. If you like mysteries, Carola Dunn's Gunpowder plot: a Daisy Dalrymple mystery uses a Guy Fawkes celebration as its setting. Graphic novelist Alan Moore was born on November 5th, and Guy Fawkes Day plays a major role in his well-known V for Vendetta, which was made into a movie by the folks who brought you The Matrix. He has also written a novel without pictures, Voice of the Fire, which traces November 5th in Manchester, England, from prehistoric times to the present.

So if you are looking for something out of the ordinary to commemorate, just start chanting "Remember, remember, the Fifth of November..."

Gunpowder PlotFaith and TreasonV for VendettaVoice of the Fire

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Adult Literacy Coffee with Coss

Coffee with Coss to Focus on Adult Literacy
Thursday, Nov. 6

The next Morning Coffee with Mayor Coss will be held Thursday, Nov. 6 from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, 200 Lincoln Ave. The focus will be on adult literacy and the forum will be held in coordination with the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy (NMCL) and the Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe (LVSF). According to statistics derived from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, about 46 percent of adult New Mexicans read below the 5th grade level and one out of five of those is functionally illiterate.

The NMCL nurtures grassroots volunteer adult literacy programs all over the state. Additionally, the NMCL has provided training to 22,680 volunteer tutors who have worked with approximately 69,450 adult learners since its inception 21 years ago.

Anyone with experience or interest in this topic is invited to attend.

Morning Coffee with Mayor Coss is an interactive forum established in June of 2006 to promote communication between city government and members of the community. Each Coffee focuses on a specific topic of importance to the community. Through these Coffees, the city is able to hear comments, concerns, and ideas from community members in order to address specific concerns and make informed decisions on how to best serve the public.

For more information on past or future Coffees, please contact Laura Banish, City of Santa Fe Public Information Officer, at (505) 955-6046.

Veterans Day

There are 13,000 veterans in Santa Fe County. Although the official Veterans Day is November 11, the City is hosting a Parade to honor all veterans on November 9 at 10:00 a.m., going from Murales Road to the Veterans Memorial Monument Bataan Building on West De Vargas St. between Galisteo and Don Gaspar . Mayor Coss invites all to attend. Click here for a Parade Map, and here for Mayor Coss's letter in PDF format.

Although many people stop for a minute on November 11 at 11:00 a.m. in respect, I suggest that you take more than a minute to talk to a veteran. I always call my two brothers to talk to “my favorite veterans” on Veterans Day. They still surprise me with bits and pieces of their military careers that they now feel more comfortable to share.

Flying into London one year, the pilot came on the intercom to explain that we were not to be surprised if in the terminal we saw people standing silently as we went to passport control. It was November 11th and we were landing at just about 11:00 a.m. There in the terminal were hundreds of people standing still, some with hands over their hearts until just past 11:00 a.m. In just about every lapel was a red paper poppy in honor of all veterans, but particularly WWI veterans. All over the City poppies were being sold for a donation to veterans services. I bought two in honor of my brothers and wore them proudly. I think we should revive the tradition in Santa Fe as it serves as a visual remembrance and honors all veterans.

Monday, November 03, 2008

"Beyond Borders" Storytelling

Cynthia Dobson will tell bilingual stories at
Southside Library
6599 Jaguar Dr.
Tuesday, November 18th
Starting at 4:30 pm
The program is for elementary school-aged children and their families, and no registration is required.

This storytelling event is leading up to Tellabration, an international evening of storytelling held on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving. Tellabration is sponsored here in the United States by the National Storytelling Network