Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Millionth Visitor!

One Millionth VisitorWe celebrated the Millionth Visitor of the year at the Southside Library this morning. Debra Bridwell was the lucky person to step through the doors of the newest branch of the Santa Fe Public Library and be greeted by Library Board President Jennifer Jaramillo. Library staffers from all three branches were also on hand to congratulate the winner. Ms. Bridwell, who is a teacher at the Flores Del Sol Head Start, came to the library for storytime with her students.

On discovering that she was the lucky library visitor, Debra Bridwell remarked, "Being the one millionth patron is wonderful due to literacy being important. I frequent the library with my family. It's an honor!"

Ms. Jaramillo stated, “I am proud to be the president of the Santa Fe Public Library Board and even more proud of the 50 front-line staff who perform their duties so efficiently and with great spirit to welcome the 1,000,000 visitors at their locations year-round. This is truly a milestone and a testament to the wonderful patrons who continue to count on our library staff and services.”

One Millionth SignWhile only one patron could be the One Millionth Visitor for fiscal year 2008/2009, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who walks through our doors every day. It is your support that makes the libraries so successful. If you weren't one of the million people last year, come on in to any branch and see what you're missing!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Independence Day Library Closings

All branches of the Santa Fe Public Library will be closed on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

The Main Library will be open on Sunday, July 5, from 1-5 pm.

All libraries will resume regular hours on Monday, July 6.

Friday, June 26, 2009

State of Shock

Goin' Back to IndianaAs a child of the seventies, but more importantly as a child with a sister nine years older than myself, I was introduced to the Jackson Five at an early age. Off the Wall was the first vinyl album I ever owned (and I have never forgiven the girl who borrowed it & never returned it, or the kindness of my dad in buying a new copy for his inconsolable daughter), and when my sister finally surrendered to my pestering & gave me her copy of ABC, pressed the same year I was born, it was an enormous coup. Kids at my school were loving on the nameless-faceless who did one-hit-wonder disco songs by that time, but I held fast to my adoration for that little kid fronting the band of his brothers, despite the fact that most of my school mates didn’t know who Michael Jackson was in that lull between the J-5 and the blockbuster Thriller. (Got to Be There, anyone? Music and Me? Yes, I have them all, and I still know all the words.)

Regardless of what scandals happened in his personal life, regardless of how you view the individual, Michael Jackson made a contribution to music that transcends whatever weirdness we all might have perceived from the tabloids and the court dates, and truly earned the title King of Pop. While we may never quite get past all the things we’ve heard about him (and I for one just cannot imagine why anyone would ever actually buy the remains of the Elephant Man), my guess is that his music is more important than his freakiness, and all the chairs will continue to empty out in the dance clubs when “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” comes on.

by AA @Main

Knock it off!

Newbery MedalI had to withdraw a book last week and it is still bugging me. Now, withdrawing a book is a fairly common occurrence. A child might get her breakfast jelly stuck between two pages of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or drop Goodnight Moon in the bath. (Don’t take your library books in the tub please!) We try to take care of books, but sometimes jelly happens. This time it was different. You’ll probably want to sit down before I say this. If you feel faint, put your head between your knees and take deep breaths.

Here goes: Some well-meaning but entirely misguided soul sat down with a Newbery Award-winning Library book and neatly applied Wite-Out® over every single “bad” word. It must have taken hours to scan the entire text! I heard you gasp from way over here and I know that all you library lovers are just as shocked as I was. For this reason, I will direct the rest of my comments specifically to the person with the big empty bottle of Wite-Out®.


Dear Book Defacer,
As a parent, an educator, and a Children’s Librarian, I agree that we should protect our children from the ills of society when possible. I even personally submitted a Request for Reconsideration once, which is the correct way to call attention to library materials that might somehow endanger a child. However, I feel compelled to point out that if your child goes to school and/or watches television, he or she is likely to be exposed on a daily basis to worse language than he would find in this book.

The most worrisome thing about your action is the example you are setting for your child. What you did is a crime. It is called defacing public property. For future reference, the Library has a system in place so that you can voice your concern, a system that any Librarian will courteously explain to you. Just so we are clear, the book you vandalized was thrown away and a fresh copy purchased. You just cost your Library, which gets its funding from taxes, $25 so you could deface a book.

Your Local Children’s Librarian

And while I’m at it:

Dear Writer in the Margins,
Please stop.
A Fellow Reader

By lw @ ss

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Walking Talking River

Santa Fe RiverSince last spring's knee surgery, I haven't been able to indulge in my hiking habits enough. It's a tough constraint to deal with, since the trails around Santa Fe and the natural beauty throughout New Mexico are some of the best reasons to live here. Recently, finally, I got the green light from medical personnel to embark on a short, not too steep, hike.

Short? Not too steep? That ruled out the Atalaya trail and other trails that I've hiked before. Instead, I decided to immerse myself in nature again with a riverside walk. I had a sunny hour on Memorial Day weekend, and set out along a dirt path on the riverbank. Imagine my surprise when I found that there was water in the river! Children were in bathing suits, wading and splashing and creating sandy structures. I was able to get down to the riverbed itself, gaze at the foliage, listen to birds and insects, and, I admit, talk to the river.

Rivers are my favorite bodies of water—soothing, conducive to contemplation, and if it's swimmable, a lot of fun. Perhaps this has led me to the strange compulsion to talk to the river whenever I'm near one. (Is it really much crazier than talking to your malfunctioning computer or the slow car in front of you?) The next week, I hiked to a place where the water rips through sandstone, chatting away with the river the whole way. I spent the week after that looking forward to continuing the conversation. I got to the river, and it was gone! In its place was a rain-damp riverbed, but no river. I was sad, angry, and probably a little loopy, talking to the soggy sand instead of wild running water.

Rio en Medio WaterfallI admit that my background is in history and literature, not water rights or riparian ecology, but it seems that turning the river on and off like that just isn't healthy or helpful. Have I read Siddhartha too many times? Maybe reading Desert Solitaire last summer, on a couch with iced and elevated knee rather than in wilderness, has caused lingering emotional trauma.

Thankfully, there are local organizations that work on these issues, without the dubious logic of an anthropomorphic river. The Santa Fe Watershed Association's Santa Fe Living River Initiative is working with the City of Santa Fe to have a living, running river year round. In the meantime, I may just have to brave a hike to the Rio en Medio waterfall to converse with some wild running water.

Photo of the Santa Fe River courtesy of the City of Santa Fe website.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nifty Catalog Features

Since we implemented our new catalog interface, we've been getting questions about where some of the old information is located. We've also added some new features that weren't available on the old catalog.

If you're looking for new books in the library, click on New Book Lists on the right-hand menu. We have lists of new Children's, Teen/Young Adult, Mysteries, Southwest, and general books. If you want to browse new CDs, DVDs, or Large Print, the place to go is the Media & Large Print link. If you want to read and watch what everyone else is reading and watching, be sure to check out the High-Demand Holds link.

If you'd like to search for newspaper and magazine articles, the Find Articles link will take you to our subscription databases. If you need to search for items in other libraries, use the WorldCat link. If you need help, we have a Help link in the upper right-hand corner of every page.

As always, feel free to email us, call us, or stop by if you have any questions. Stay tuned as we get ready to roll out even more useful search tools this year!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Q: What has 1014 eyes?

Library Fun!A: The 507 children who signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading program in the first week!

There is still plenty of time to sign up and attend the dozens and dozens of programs sponsored by the Friends at the libraries. And there is plenty of time for your child to become eligible to win a bicycle at his or her branch library, just for reading!

Just visit any of the Santa Fe Public Libraries to sign up—and all the programs are free. You might not get another chance to get such nifty balloons, but you'll definitely have as much fun!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hoaxes and Heists

Museum of HoaxesFor those of you who can't get enough misinformation and disinformation, the World Wide Web is arguably the best invention of all time. If you've already devoured Snopes.com, the Museum of Hoaxes is a great site with up-to-date information about hoaxes and other unusual current events. It's set up like a blog, as opposed to Snopes's directory format, so logging on just a few times a week can keep you abreast of many of the wacky things this world has to offer.

Museum of Hoaxes also delves back into the history of various hoaxes, almost a shadow history of the development of mass media and modern technology. For example, the April Fool's Database describes pranks going back before 1700. A must-read is the article about the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, an interesting commentary on the power of television and burgeoning globalization. Leaving all sociological issues aside, this site is also very funny.

If practical jokes don't seem practical enough to you, check out HeistArtist. As the global economy struggles to recover, heists of all sorts are on the rise. The blog is sorted through types of heists, so you can read up on fake beards or getaways. For a bit of history, classic heists are also featured. The site is pretty new, but with content being added regularly it should be possible to satisfy some true-crime cravings on a frequent basis.

Friday, June 19, 2009


♪And the living is. . . easy.♫

SummertimeThis Gershwin tune from Porgy and Bess is an unofficial anthem of this sunny (let's hope!), languid season ahead. There have been dozens of recorded versions of Summertime, from Billie Holiday to Booker T. & the M.G.'s to Janis Joplin. It's also a standard that's played by many a jazz or blues band the world over probably each and every night.

♪Fish are jumpin'/And the cotton is high...♫

There are two reputed origins for this song: a Ukrainian lullaby, Oy Khodyt Son Kolo Vikon, and African American spirituals such as Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child. A coworker and I once had a goodhearted argument about which song it resembles more. He of the classical music background argued for Ukrainian Lullaby, while I went off on a tangent about Sweet Honey in the Rock.

♫One of these mornings/You're gonna rise up singing♪

NPR has a short piece on what makes the song so evocative. There's also a sound clip of soprano Roberta Alexander singing Bess, with Zubin Mehta directing the New York Philharmonic. As a comparison, listen to what Sam Cooke does with the song.

As the season goes on, keep your ears open. You could hear "Summertime" played on a violin outside of Ecco, floating through the doors of a restaurant, wafting through the air from a scratchy record player. . .

♪So hush little baby/Don't you cry♫

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FACT – Tons of Texture

Fine Arts for Children and Teens (FACT) will be leading three art-making workshops titled “Tons of Texture” for the Santa Fe Public Library in July. Throughout these library workshops, FACT instructor Tara Santini will guide participants on exploration of texture: what it is, the difference between visual and tactile texture, and how to use various techniques to create texture.

Lessons are kid friendly and fun for the whole family. All art materials will be provided for these free programs. The programs are for children ages 5 to 12 years old and registration is required because class space is limited. Parents are encouraged to attend with their child.

Southside Branch Library
“Mazes: Using shapes, textures, and colors to describe a journey”
Tuesday, July 14
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

La Farge Branch Library
“Landscape Collages: using colors and textured papers to describe what we observe in a landscape”
Wednesday, July 15
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Main Library
“Texture Printmaking without a Press: Using found objects to create unique prints”
Thursday, July 16
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It was twenty years ago...

Walt Whitman...this month, that I received my high school diploma. Ten years ago, I rejected the invitation to my high school reunion without a second thought. This year, however, I was excited about it, even planning on it.

What brought about the change of heart in ten years? Was it my stint in the interim as a high school librarian? The revelation that Sister Eileen and Sister Isabel were profound influences on my life? Had I finally forgiven Sister Regina for turning me off the Great Grey Poet for a dozen years when she dwelled on—oh horror of horrors—Walt Whitman's hotness? Or did I just want to see how everyone's doing, especially Andrea and Trish, who have seemingly fallen off the face of the planet?

Regardless of my motives, I was excited when I opened an envelope from my alma mater this spring. My twenty-year high school reunion was scheduled for...never? Apparently the school has been struggling to keep its doors open for twenty years, and the class of 2009 is its last. Coincidence? So while there were plans for goodbye picnics and the like, I opted instead to push aside the idea of the high school reunion.

Graduation CapI don't have any deep ties to the College of Santa Fe, but I have friends who do. Likewise, St. Cate's here, or the University of Albuquerque. Alvord's doors are still open, but for how long? I can commiserate with those people who have looked at a school as a summary of a life chapter, as a fixed point in time, even if the experience itself wasn't all rosy. Take away the school itself, and where do you go from there?

They recently had the Capital High graduation at the Convention Center, and it was great to share an elevator with so many proud parents and elated students. I offered each of them a congratulations, because while high school usually isn't rocket science or a graduate degree, it's a tough time. High school graduation is the closest thing mainstream American culture has to a rite-of-passage to adulthood. Well, there is the driver's license, but I don't see the MVD shutting its doors anytime soon.

So, to all the Class of 2009, Congratulations!

And to everyone heading to a high school reunion, say hi to Trish and Andrea for me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arts Awards Nominations

City Accepting Nominations for Annual Arts Awards

The City of Santa Fe is seeking nominations of individuals or organizations that deserve an award for their outstanding work in the arts through the 2009 Mayor’s Recognition Awards for Excellence in the Arts. This award recognizes individuals and organizations which have made significant, ongoing or legacy contributions to the success of the arts in Santa Fe.

Nominations of youth artists (aged 21 and under) who have demonstrated artistic excellence and achievement with a deep commitment to the arts are also considered for the Melissa Engestrom Youth Artist Award. The public is invited to submit nominations of outstanding young individuals who deserve special recognition even though they are not yet well-established in their careers.

The arts play a very important part in the cultural and fiscal health of Santa Fe. Join Mayor David Coss in recognizing those individuals who have contributed to the success of Santa Fe’s arts community. This year’s awards are sponsored by Century Bank.

A nomination form can be obtained through the Arts Commission site or by contacting the Arts Commission office at 955-6707 or artscommission@santafenm.gov. The deadline for submitting nominations is Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Current Commission members and recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts within the last five years are ineligible. Please note that there is no need to submit multiple nominations for one person or organization. One thorough nomination will ensure consideration by the selection committee.

More information about the 2009 Mayor’s Recognition Awards for Excellence in the Arts, nomination forms, and a list of past recipients, can be found on the Arts Commission site.

Monday, June 15, 2009

recycling all things

RecyclingFor those of us who've started our spring cleaning a wee bit late, we're finding that there's a lot of stuff in our abodes that no longer needs to be there. While the usual options of give, donate, sell, are good for a lot of items, some need to just, you know, Go!

Whether you need information about day-to-day recycling or getting rid of that big stuff, Earth911 is a useful tool for locating recycling centers and methods. You can search by type of item to be recycled, and pop in your zip code or town for the closest facility near you. The site also has up-to-date news on trash and recycling issues.

Freecycle LogoIf you have some stuff that is salvagable, Freecycle is a great network to check out. Via e-mail and a message board, you can post descriptions of items you're giving away, or check out free items up for grabs. According to their site, "everything posted must be FREE, legal and appropriate for all ages". As someone who's been following the service for a while, this is definitely a good description.

For unplugged recycling, the Santa Fe New Mexican offers the Otra Vez: Trash to Treasures supplement weekly. The listings are also available on the City of Santa Fe site, and is a free service in conjunction with Keep Santa Fe Beautiful.

Of course, one of the ways to reduce recycling, thus making Spring Cleaning not something to postpone until the beginning of summer, is to simply buy less stuff. By the way, let me tell you about this great shop I found while on a cleaning break . . .

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wireless In the Library and Out

WiFi Free SpotAll branches of the Santa Fe Public Library have wireless access. It is free to use, and does not require a login or password. We have more information about our wireless connection Here.

If you're looking for a free wireless connection when we're closed or when you're elsewhere in New Mexico, WiFi Free Spot is a good site for this information.

You can always stop by the library and ask the Reference Librarians for more information. Or, you can call us at 505-955-6780 or email us at library@santafenm.gov.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Reading Update

We've added more events to the Summer Reading Program: Be Creative at Your Library.

Devi Borton - FAM JAM! - Music Together ®
A foundational music and movement program for children ages newborn to kindergarten and the caregivers that love them. Registration is required.
Great PaulissimoThursday, June 18
Main: 10:30 - 11:15 am

Friday, June 19
La Farge: 10:30 - 11:15 am

Saturday, June 20
Southside: 10:30 - 11:15 am

Paul Glickman - Magic Show
"The Great Paulissimo" will present a special magic program for kids. This program is free. No registration required.
Wednesday, June 24
Main: 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Wheelchair SymbolFor more information, check out the Summer Reading Program site!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spelling Bee

Bee CombWatching the national youth spelling bee finals, the talent was amazing. Each speller seemed to have a set plan to give them time to think and a pattern to help them figure out their spelling of an obscure and challenging word. One contestant “wrote” the word on her hand with her finger. The spellers ask for the word origin, figure of speech, its use in a sentence, and any other possible pronunciations before setting out to spell the word.

I recently read about the word “set.” A simple word, but "set" has the largest number of meanings -- the Oxford English Dictionary has 26 pages devoted to this little three-letter word. Now that would slow down the spelling bee.

For fun, our family used to play “dictionary.” One starts with a word and then takes one of its synonyms/or second meaning and looks it up. Then from that word, another synonym is chosen and it is looked up. Try it—it is as convoluted as playing telephone or gossip, where the word changes every time someone passes the word they think they heard on to another.

Here are some examples. A mead can be a potent drink or a meadow. A meadow is also a lea which is also a grassland which is also a prairie. I’ll have another glass of prairie, please.
A joke can also be a jest, gag or jape as a noun and chaff as a verb. Chaff can also be rubbish or trash, banter or persiflage. Persiflage? My little dictionary did not meet the cut to give me a definition there. I guess I’ll just chaff with my friend a little.

The Santa Fe Public Library’s spelling bee for adults is held in the fall. No standing up to be embarrassed; it is a written spelling bee where you can be just as embarrassed by someone grading your paper. “You didn’t know how to spell chassis?” It brings back the 5th grade all-school spelling bee, making me flush 40 years later. I will now never forget the words calvary and cavalry and I will never be in a stand-up spelling bee again if I can help it.

by PCH @Main

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

2009 Bandstand Schedule

Ballet Folklorico AspenStarting July 6 until August 20, the Bandstand on the Santa Fe Plaza will be the hub for music and entertainment. You have a choice of some lunchtime fun, Mondays and Wednesdays from Noon - 1:30pm, or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evenings from 6 - 8:30pm.

This year's lineup features music and dance for every taste: rock, blues, salsa, bluegrass, mariachi, opera, and the list goes on. Check out the Bandstand Schedule and mark those can't-miss events on your calendar.

The Bandstand is hosting a raffle for prizes, with a Yamaha Vino scooter from Santa Fe Motor Sports as the Grand Prize so you can head downtown in style.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Summer Overstock Sale

Books for SaleJune 27 & 28

Main Library
145 Washington Ave.

Open to the Public !
(No Members-Only Hours)
10 am - 4 pm
Sunday: 1-4 pm

Main Southwest Room:
Special Books (Individually priced)
Main Community Room: Discount Books

Sunday: Bag Day in Main Community Room
All discount books sold by the bag—the Friends provide the bag--$3.00

Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Last Chance for the IMPACT Survey

The Santa Fe Public Library has been offering access to the IMPACT Internet Survey since Friday, May 22. The last day for the survey will be on Monday, June 8.

As of May 27, over 40,000 people around the United States have completed the survey! Please make sure your voice is added to this number. Just look for the following button on the library website, and click away!

Survey ButtonThanks to those of you who've already taken the survey. We'll keep you posted on the results!

Southside Story Time

Storytime CraftOur spring session of Story Time was awesome at the Southside Library. A regular PreSchool Story Time usually hosts 15-18 preschoolers. Southside’s programs regularly had 90-100 attending! All staff on hand pulled this off successfully every week.

PreSchool Story Time is geared to 2 to 5-year-olds and their families. The children are introduced to classic rhymes, songs and stories, along with learning numbers, letters, colors and shapes. Staff use oversize children’s books to read aloud to serve the huge numbers of patrons that attend. Of course we instill fun as a main goal, along with introducing these youngsters to the magic of books and reading.

Kids love the animal, astronomy, and puppet crafts that complement our reading themes, especially when they get to color, cut and paste to make crafts after story time. Feathers, beads and stickers adorn these creations in their own individual way.

Our programs are varied--we celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday and invited a guest from the New Mexico School for the Deaf to show us sign language. Families socialize after story time, check out books, and enjoy their library experience to the fullest. And what is a story time session without reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino. Come by and visit!

The Summer Story Time Schedule is:

La Farge Library starts June 9th
Tuesdays from 10:30 -11:15 a.m
Call 955-4863

Southside Library starts June 10
Wednesdays from 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Call 955-2828

Main Library starts June 12
Fridays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Call 955-6783

by TT @SS

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Big Blue Bug!

The World's Largest Lincoln!

Stonehenge Imitations rampaging all over the landscape!

If you're itching for a roadtrip this summer, but want something besides the interstate & a visit to that cousin in Phoenix, Roadside America is a wealth of information about the old, weird, crazy places on this landmass. You can search by attraction, or click on a state and browse all the interesting things off the beaten path. Clicking on New Mexico shows some highlights as well as a link to a comprehensive list on the right. I tested how comprehensive it was by seeing if it featured my favorite roadside attraction, Tinkertown just south of Madrid on the way to Sandía Crest. I wasn't disappointed.

Many of the attractions have official information about location and hours and admission and such, as well as visitor reviews. They also list "Nearby Offbeat Places" so you can plan a day, a weekend, or a fortnight tooling around looking at strange things. You can also search by theme, such as Pet Cemeteries or Big Fruit.

Even if car troubles, family obligations, or tight wallets (or all three) are keeping you home this summer, this is a great site to check out just to see all the wild, wacky, weird possibilities.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Long-Overdue Accolades

Selected Stories Canadian short-story master Alice Munro has been awarded the 2009 Man Booker International Prize that recognizes overall achievement in fiction. The prize has "literary excellence" as its sole consideration, and is available to fiction writers of any nationality.

There has been press over the past decade about the decline of the short story. And while the 77-year-old writer has won her share of literary prizes, she expressed surprise at winning this award. Unofficially, her long-time readers are happy that Ms. Munro has finally gotten the recognition she is due.

Past winners of the Man Booker International Prize are Chinua Achebe and Ismail Kadaré. Contenders for this year's prize included Peter Carey, E.L. Doctorow, Mario Vargas Llosa, V.S. Naipaul and Joyce Carol Oates.

Monday, June 01, 2009

June Library Exhibits

Main Library
Letters of All Kinds
by Eliza M. Schmid

La Farge Library
Scenes of Santa Fe & Beyond
by Larry Kerbs

Southside Library
A Materialistic View:
Threads and Prints

Art Quilts and Silkscreen Prints
by Colleen Sizemore

For more information, check our Art page.

For upcoming events, check our Calendar and Children's pages.