Friday, July 30, 2010

Food for the Mind, not Cookies

We do have more than books though...

If you're having trouble viewing the video, click here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teen Reading

Along for the RideOne of the best things about the internet is how much easier it's made sharing information and opinions across geographic boundaries. Aside from Amazon reviews or comments made on blogs and YouTube, online tools have made it much easier for librarians to compare and share all kinds of information to help us provide you with better resources. Whereas we used to rely on magazines like Library Journal or pricey conferences for this sort of sharing, now we can just click on a link and read what a librarian friend has to say about an author, a program, or a policy.

TeensAs the Santa Fe Public Library has been building up its Young Adult, aka Teen, book collection, I've been paying special attention to the recommendations from my Teen Librarian pals around the country in addition to traditional resources like YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association). Aside from getting information from emails and Facebook posts, one of my fave librarians has a column devoted to Young Adult fiction. Her most recent recommendation is Sarah Dessen's novels, and other topics include Award Winners, Booklists, and Book Reviews. While the librarian's location in Upstate New York makes her Local Author posts a little less local to us, it's interesting to read about a lively teen literary scene in another part of the country.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pleased to meet you,

Won't you guess my name?

The Master and MargaritaIt's a hot May in Moscow in the 1930s. The Muscovites are a bit edgy from the chronic housing shortage, stifling weather, and excess vodka consumption. But then a strange "foreign visitor", Woland, and his even stranger retinue put on a Variety Act that involves shenanigans such as taking off the emcee's head and putting it back on. Who is this foreign visitor, and why is it that anyone who crosses him winds up dead, in an insane asylum, or even worse, in Yalta?

If you're a bit stifled by our own hot weather, check out The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It's not as frivolous as I've made it sound, and it is textured, funny, and very rewarding. The translation by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor is highly recommended, and has useful notes to help explain some of the cultural and linguistic quirks of this time and place. There's also a fantastic web site from Middlebury College that includes a timeline, character descriptions, and maps.

As you run to the library to check it out, I hope I'm not giving too much away by revealing that Mick Jagger wrote "Sympathy for the Devil" after Marianne Faithfull gave him a copy. Who knows, perhaps it'll inspire you to write your own song, or at least be wary of black cats drinking vodka.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bringing the Library Home

Goodnight MoonWithin the past year, several friends and family members have brought new readers, aka babies, into the world. A lot of conversations now revolve around raising children, not just in terms of basic survival, but in terms of education, aspirations, hobbies, and personality. Even though many of these babies can barely sit up, the parents are already talking about how they're going to make these kids readers.

I Wish that I had Duck FeetThe Santa Fe Public Library has also been talking about this for quite some time, and implementing programs to help these young parents out. There's Books & Babies which introduces kids as young as 6 months to books and reading. After graduating from Books & Babies at the age of 2 years, young bibliophiles can then move on to the weekly PreSchool Story Time. And for children who read year-round in school, there's the Summer Reading Program to provide literate fun and stave off the "Summer Slide".

In addition to programs, every branch has a great collection of picture books, easy readers, and chapter books to appeal to kids of all tastes and levels. However, when I found myself promoting the Children's Collection to one new mom, her reply that she prefers buying books on Amazon made me stop and think. Even though her baby isn't a year old yet, by the time he's running around the house he'll be surrounded by his own personal library. At some point his mom will take him to the public library for story times and stacks of books, DVDs, and CDs, but before he even reaches pre-school he'll have access to books that he can call his own.

Miss Nelson is BackAccording to this New York Times Op-Ed, children who have books at home, or a "personal library", have higher reading scores than those who don't. And this Washington Post column links to a study that "suggests that children who have 500 or more books in the home get, on average, 3.2 years more schooling than children in bookless homes. Even just 20 books makes a difference."

Building a home library for a kid doesn't have to be expensive. Hand-me-downs from friends and family, yard sales, used book stores, online shops like Amazon, and the Friends of the Public Library's book stores and book sales are all great places to find inexpensive books that a child can read and love. So take the kids to the library where they can join in the programs and browse the shelves, but when they start checking the same books out over and over, getting them their own copy can be a priceless investment.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seeking "Art on Loan" Proposals

Phoenix Rising: Out of the AshesThe City of Santa Fe Arts Commission is seeking submissions for the seventh annual Art on Loan Program Exhibition. The Art on Loan Program facilitates the temporary display of privately-owned art on City-owned property. Artists working in media suitable for outdoor display are encouraged to apply. The submission deadline is Friday July 30th, 2010. Please contact the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission at 505-955-6707 or email for the necessary proposal materials.

In addition to engaging local artists, the Art on Loan Program helps to ensure that all areas of the community have public art work on display. Over fifty art works have been placed in rotation around the city since the inception of the Art on Loan Program in 2002. Most pieces are installed for about one year.

Artwork selections are made by the Art in Public Places Committee, which consists of six Santa Fe community members. Lenders of the artwork are responsible for installation and insurance.

For more information about the Art on Loan Program, the Art in Public Places Program, or the Arts Commission, please call (505) 955-6707 or email

Photo is "Phoenix Rising: Out of the Ashes", a four-painting suite with a media projection overlaid by Max Almy and Teri Yarbrow. It is currently on display at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, courtesy of the artists and Eileen Braziel Fine Arts.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Spanish Market Book Sale

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library are hosting a Special Book Sale for Spanish Market!

Join the Friends for a sale of donated, used books on Western and Spanish topics.

Southwest Book SaleSaturday, July 24
9:30 am - 2:30 pm

Sunday, July 25
9:30 am - 2:30 pm

In front of the Main Library
145 Washington Avenue

All sales benefit the Santa Fe Public Library.

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Out of AfricaJust like Isak Dinesen who wrote “I had a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills” in Africa, I had a farm in the Kalamazoo River Valley in Michigan. Just as Dinesen could not forget her farm, neither can I forget mine.

Ours was a small farm, with wheat, oats and corn to be planted and harvested. And the staple of the farm, hay. Some hay was just grasses, but the crème de la crème were Alfalfa and clover. Every stand of hay was cut and raked out to dry. How we managed to get it mown and conditioned, teddered, raked, inverted, baled, and hauled still amazes me. The farmers were the best weather people ever—they could tell if they could or couldn’t cut hay due to the morning dew on the growing crop; and hopefully could tell when to quit the field in the afternoon when rains could come and wait for Mother Nature to favor them again. We understood the saying, “Make hay while the sun shines.”

A farm friend emailed me that he had baled 800 pound hay rolls last week; and another farmer did 1800 pound rolls—a total of 150 rolls to jockey into position to store out of the weather. The machines are amazing today. When I baled hay as a child and teenager, I sat in the hay dust and tied wires around the hay to form bales. The wires were sharp, and one bounce of the baler or mis-poke of the wire and I would be cut. Even through gloves. Today I can still trace the scars on my fingers and between them. But hay fed cattle and cattle were our biggest “crop.”

This past month huge 18-wheeler flat bed trucks have been coming through Santa Fe with their loads of hay. I can tell it is an early cutting, not as lush as future cuts, but it doesn’t matter. They come from Durango, Alamosa and north of Taos. Green gold. As I pull alongside a 16 wheeler on St. Francis, I am tempted to put out my hand and just feel the hay. I am sure I make the drivers nervous as I edge close to them. The aroma of that hay is like the aroma of green chilis roasting in Santa Fe in the late summer.

But it is much easier to be nostalgic about the farm now that the closest thing to my raising farm crops is my patch of millet by my front gate for the quail to eat. I am so proud that my friends carry on the traditions on the farm and with the automatic balers they should for a long time.

by PCH @Main

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zoo-to-You Van Visits

Zoo-to-You is a traveling state-wide conservation program of the New Mexico BioPark Society which includes slides and biofacts for kids in addition to animal ambassadors including birds, reptiles and mammals.

Visit the Zoo-to-You at the Library:

La Farge Branch Library
Monday, July 26,
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Main Library
Tuesday, July 27
10:30 -11:30 a.m.

Southside Branch Library
Tuesday, July 27
1:30-2:30 p.m.

The event is free and sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

Don't Miss Books and Babies!

A 6-week program for babies 6 months to 2-years-old and their caregivers.

TripletsOngoing Sessions

La Farge Library
10:30 to 11:00 am

Southside Library
10:30 to 11:00 am

It's never too early to start your child on the road to reading.

Your child will enjoy books, songs, and finger games from the comfort of your lap.

To register and for more information call
Southside Children's: 955-2828
La Farge Children's: 955-4863

WheelchairThis is a free program sponsored by the Brindle Foundation.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Public Art at Main

Urban Fruit Tree
The Main Library is now displaying Urban Fruit Tree by Jean Wells in the front garden at 145 Washington Avenue. This new piece is part of the City of Santa Fe's Art on Loan Program. The tree is about 16 feet tall and 11 feet wide, depending on what is affixed to the branches.

Urban Fruit Tree
Colorful as the whimsical Urban Fruit sculpture on loan by the Art in Public Places is, it is most disturbing that it is very likely that every adult and child will quickly and accurately recognize and name the food products on the tree. In a recent Jamie Oliver television series, The Food Revolution, on the bad eating habits of Americans, second grade children did not recognize fresh grown potatoes, pears, tomatoes and other everyday fruits and vegetables. But they did recognize them once they were cooked and processed or deep fat fried. Even kindergarteners could name tater tots, French fries, tacos, burgers and pizza.

Maybe parents could use this art sculpture to play a game with their kids — name a fruit to replace every glittering urban “fruit” on the sculpture. The result might surprise them.

Urban Fruit Tree

By PCH @Main
Photos by AM @Main

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Celebrating the Bicentennial of Margaret Fuller:

A Presentation By Michael Barnett

Margaret FullerThursday, August 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Main Library Community Room
145 Washington Ave.

Margaret Fuller (May 23, 1810 – July 19, 1850) was an American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with Emerson, Thoreau, and the American transcendentalism movement. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States, and today she’s considered one of the guiding lights of the first-wave of feminism.

The Bicentennial hopes to raise awareness of Margaret Fuller, so that her story may inspire people of all ages to think independently, express their thoughts clearly, defend their convictions with courage, learn through dialogue and the free exchange of opinions, believe in the equality of all people, and be open to change.

Michael Barnett works as a theologian, educator, and teaching artist/poet. For nine years, Michael has spoken and taught on the Transcendentalists in Unitarian Universalist and liberal churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. His article, "The Awesome Pen of Sarah Margaret Fuller", was published in the Winter 2010 issue of the Universalist Herald.

This event is free and open to the public.

Daguerreotype of Margaret Fuller by John Plumbe, 1846

Monday, July 19, 2010

Awash in the Inland Sea

Sea Creature CraftThe Santa Fe Public Library Summer Reading Program, Make a Splash! Read!, has been a smashing success. We have over 950 kids signed up at all 3 branches. With a packed schedule of crafts, performances, storytimes, and art workshops, kids have been finding out how much fun it is to read.

One of the crafts this summer was Sea Serpent: Create Your Own Sea Creature. Even for desert-dwellers, the call of the ocean depths sparked incredible creativity and imagination. The smile on this boy's face as he holds his stingray says it all.

Be sure to check out our Summer Reading Page for even more programs, and don't forget to register for the End-of-Summer Party at your branch. Most of all, pick up a book this summer!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our New Poet Laureate!

Joan LoggheJoan Logghe has been named the Santa Fe Poet Laureate for 2010 - 2012!

As an inauguration, a Passing of the Pencil Ceremony will take place on Monday, July 19 at 7:00 PM on the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand. After the legendary bass player Freebo plays, there will be a passing of a giant yellow pencil named FUTURE, from the outgoing Poet Laureate Valerie Martínez to Joan Logghe. Each poet will read one poem to celebrate poetry and the Poet Laureate position. FUTURE, the honorary pencil, is a sculpture by Kathleen McCloud, an artist with Ernesto Mayans Gallery of Canyon Road. The public is invited to attend the Bandstand performances and to honor the Poets Laureate of Santa Fe.

SofiaJoan Logghe works at poetry in community, off the academic grid in La Puebla, New Mexico, where she and her husband, Michael, raised three children and built three houses. Her books include What Makes a Woman Beautiful, Twenty Years in Bed with the Same Man, Sofia, and Rice. More information is available on her website.

The Poet Laureate program is designed to enhance the presence of the literary arts in Santa Fe and create a focal point for the expression of Santa Fe’s culture through the literary arts. More readings and events are being planned, so stay tuned!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Slide

LearningExpressLibraryWorried your children will fall down the "summer slide"?

We’ve got a solution for that!

Through the library’s website, you can access LearningExpress Library. There you will find sections to help students of all ages brush up on reading and math skills in a self-paced environment. If you've also slid down the summer slide, LearningExpress has GED test prep, job skills, and practice tests for various careers.

Just because you have slid down the slide, doesn’t mean you can’t go back up it!

If you have any questions about this great resource, just call or visit your local Reference Librarians.

by DB @SS

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Celebrate the Centennial with Books

New Mexico CentennialTo celebrate the impending centennial of New Mexico's statehood, The New Mexico Book Co-op, the fabulous folks behind the New Mexico Book Awards, is sponsoring a contest to find the 100 Best Books in New Mexico. There's no mention of having to be a current New Mexico resident, and you can vote once for up to ten books. If this sounds like an overwhelming responsibility, you have until midnight on January 6, 2011, to read through your favorites and decide.

New Mexico Book Co-opWhat are their criteria for possible bests? According to the site:
" The books you vote for must have either been written about New Mexico, by a New Mexican author, or published by a New Mexico company. They must have been published before 2000 because a great book needs a little time to gather reaction and a fan base. Please put the author’s name on your nomination because we don’t want to make a mistake. "

If you need some reminders about that great book you read a dozen years ago, or if you'd like to read more New Mexico books and don't know where to start, you can check our listings Of Local Interest literature, or browse the Southwest Collections at all of the Santa Fe Public Libraries.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Historical Project

for the San Miguel Church (Mission Church)

San Miguel MissionOn Old Santa Fe Trail, just south of DeVargas Street, sits the San Miguel Church, also known as the Mission Church. This past year the Church has begun a renovation—much of it done by volunteers. Currently volunteers are making adobe bricks and also putting clay on walls—not the easiest job in 90 plus degrees, as my husband can tell you. Each brick consists of sand and straw, mixed to just the right proportions with water. Then the adobe is hauled in wheelbarrows to the adobe forms. There the adobe is pressed in, all by hand of course, and checked for any gaps. After the first drying, the brinks must be inspected for cracks, and if okay, are turned over to dry evenly. Oh, did I tell you each brick weighs about 40 lbs?

Coordinated by Cornerstones Community Partnerships, they work to preserve architectural heritage of community traditions in New Mexico and the Southwest. If you haven’t visited the Church, take time this summer for a tour. Often Brother Lester will be there to tell you of all the historical artifacts on the walls and altar and the ghosts that have been observed. A beam in the ceiling is carved with the date of 1598.

Better, sign up for a stint helping to preserve this amazing Mission—they have volunteers in their teens to seniors, so you have no excuse. And if you've ever wanted to learn how to make adobe bricks, this is your opportunity! Be a part of history — volunteer.

San Miguel ScaffoldingSan Miguel Interior - 1880
Photo on top: volunteer on scaffold - - Photo on bottom: Interior from 1880

by PCH @Main
Photos courtesy of Cornerstones Community Partnerships

Monday, July 12, 2010

Santa Fe Sister Cities

Thursday, July 15

Santa Fe Sister Cities announce a Community Event: Cuba Caravan to visit Santa Fe for the first time as part of Pastors for Peace 21st Non-Violent Challenge to US Blockade of Cuba
4:00 pm: Welcome Ceremony at the Santa Fe Plaza.
Music by the Cuban Band, SAVOR.

6:00 pm: Reception at Westminster
Presbyterian Church, 841 West Manhattan Ave.

7:00 pm: Program at Westminster Presbyterian Church
Free and open to the public.
Donations will be gratefully accepted.
Over 100 Pastors for Peace volunteers from the US, Canada and Europe will challenge the US blockade and travel restrictions against Cuba at the US - Mexico border on July 21st. They expect to collect 100 tons of humanitarian aid during a two-week caravan that will converge in McAllen, Texas before traveling on to Cuba without US treasury department licenses. They intend to deliver school buses, construction tools and materials, educational supplies, medicines, and medical supplies gathered in communities throughout the US and Canada. “We must continue to keep the pressure on -- to end the blockade, to normalize relations with Cuba, and to engage in dialogue based in mutual respect, rather than our insisting on undermining Cuba's sovereignty” declared Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., Executive Director and founder of IFCO, a 42-year old ecumenical agency.

The 21st Friendshipment Caravan will traverse 13 separate routes across the country stopping in 45 US states and six Canadian provinces. Along the way the caravan will be hosted in 130 communities who support a new US Cuba policy based on respect and non-aggression, including this first time visit to Santa Fe.

This ecumenical initiative is a project of IFCO, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, and has delivered 3,120 tons of urgently needed assistance to the Cuban people.

For more information contact:
Julie Bystrom, Santa Fe Sister Cities Liaison, (505) 955-6707,
or Bernard Rubenstein, Cuba Sister Cities Liaison, (505) 989-7237,

Friday, July 09, 2010

It just takes a sentence

Bulwer-LyttonI'd be lying if I said that I wait all year for these. Honestly, I completely forget about them until the annual winners are announced, and then I savor each and every monster morsel of a sentence. And what, you might ask, am I talking about? The Bulwer-Lytton Awards!

While none of them start with "It was a dark and stormy night...", it is that immortal clause that inspires terrible brevity year after year. These sentences all tell a story, hopefully in the worst way possible. This year, the winners in Detective and Science Fiction stand out as gems. But that's enough out of me, lest I accidentally win the Purple Prose award.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Free Shuttles to Folk Art Market

No Parking on Museum HillMuseum Logo

The seventh annual International Folk Art Market will draw thousands of visitors to Museum Hill this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and market-goers can park for free and take a free shuttle to Museum Hill. Park at South Capitol Station off of Cordova Road or park at the PERA parking lot off of Paseo de Peralta and take the free shuttle bus to the market. The free shuttles are provided by the City of Santa Fe.

There will be no public parking at the museum complex for this event. Camino Lado, Camino Corrales and Camino Pinones will be closed to all traffic except local residents. Cars parked illegally on these or any streets near Museum Hill will be subject to a citation, towing, or both.

Shuttles will begin taking passengers at 5:30 p.m. to the Folk Art Market Opening Party on Friday and the last bus will leave Museum Hill at 9:15 p.m.

On Saturday, buses will leave South Capitol Station and PERA parking lots beginning at 6:30 a.m. for the Early Bird Market. The last bus will leave Museum Hill at 5:00 p.m.

Sunday buses will begin loading passengers at 7:45 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at PERA and South Capitol. The last bus will leave Museum Hill at 5:15 p.m.

For more information, logon to or call 955-2012 or 955-6581.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Meet the Author Series

Garcia Street BooksWhile it's wonderful to have the quiet, private, dialogue with a writer that takes place when you read a book in a cozy corner, it's even more of a treat when you get to meet the author in person and have an open, many-voiced dialogue with them and other readers. To facilitate this great experience, Garcia Street Books has teamed up with the Inn and Spa at the Loretto for a new Meet the Author Series. The first in the series featured award-winning author and local favorite Luis Alberto Urrea on Sunday, June 27. A library staffer in attendance reports that it was a fantastic event, attended by all ages, and is a harbinger of fantastic programs to follow.

While many of the events are free, some of them, such as the August 5 Luncheon with Bob Shacochis, do have a fee to attend. Other upcoming events include John Hofmeister discussing his book, Why We Hate Oil Companies: Straight Talk From An Insider, on Wednesday, July 14, from 5:00-6:30pm; and artist Judy Chicago presenting Face to Face: Frida Kahlo at a November 14 Luncheon. Be sure to check out all the details for this new series at the Garcia Street Books site and join in the dialogue!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Spiral Life

A Book Discussion by Jean C. MacPhail

Spiral LifeThursday, July 22, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Main Library Community Room
145 Washington Ave.

Every twenty years or so, Jean MacPhail's life completes a pattern of events that repeats itself over the next twenty years. But the pattern moves into a different dimension, creating a “spiral”, moving “upward” through different “colors” of experience. In A Spiral Life, she writes about the first two loops of the spiral, from birth in Scotland through an early career in art, qualification as an M.D., and entering a Vedantic convent in San Francisco just before her fortieth year. Visit A Spiral Life for more information.

This event is free and open to the public.

Monday, July 05, 2010

What’s In a Story?

The Santa Fe Public Library, in cooperation with the Storydancer Project, presents “What's in a Story?” The programs combine story and movement and shares intercultural wisdom stories. The program is presented in English and Spanish.

Registration is required for these free workshops. Call your local library to sign up.
Southside Branch Library, 6599 Jaguar Drive, 955-2828
Saturday July 10, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm (5 to 7 years old)
Saturday July 10, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm (8 to 12 years old)

Main Library, 145 Washington Avenue, 965-6783
Saturday, July 17, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm (5 to 7 years old)
Saturday, July 17, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm ( 8 to 12 years old)

La Farge Branch Library, 1730 Llano Street, 955-4863
Saturday, July 24, 1:30- 2:30 pm (5 to 7 year olds)
Saturday, July 24, 2:30 - 3:30 pm (8 to 12 year olds)

Sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library.

Friday, July 02, 2010

New Bandstand Season!

Clan TynkerLast week, a patron asked if there's a printed schedule of all the events on the Santa Fe Plaza and bandstand. For anyone who's been downtown lately, there's almost always something going on there, whether it's a visiting a capella choir at lunch or some impromptu drumming and bellydancing. It's quite a treat to take a quick break and wander around to hear and see what's going on, especially with a chocolate egg cream or other warm weather treat.

Thankfully, for those folks who like to make planned trips to the heart of the city, the official Santa Fe Bandstand program starts on Monday, July 5. Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening from 6 - 8:30 p.m., and every Monday and Wednesday afternoon from noon - 1:30 p.m., live music will be on the Community Bandstand until August 19. The Bandstand features all kinds of local, national, and international acts, and is a great place to take the family, out-of-town visitors, or just run into friends that you haven't seen in a while. One of my favorites is Clan Tynker, performing at 6 pm on July 5, because what goes better with ice cream than fire juggling?

So be sure to check out the Bandstand schedule and get your summer entertainment at this free series.

Photo courtesy of the Clan Tynker website.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

July Library Exhibits

Main Library
Acrylics & Multimedia
by Kate McCarthy

La Farge Library
Summer Reading Program Display

Southside Library
Radiant Nature
Mixed media, based on large-scale photographs
by Eve Munson

For more information, check our Art page.

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