Dia de los Niños celebrates the Day of the Young Child and was held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Tully Community Branch Library. Beyond just being entertaining for children and their parents, this program featured an emphasis on reading readiness so that parents can prepare their children to read even before they can read on their own. The program also featured a storytime by children's librarian Angela Vu as well as craft activities for the kids.
There is a lot of information on how to live more sustainably. Nevertheless, there are some easy things that people can do in order to help the Earth. The Edenvale Branch Library will present a Simple Steps to Going Green Workshop on Saturday May 7, 2011 from 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM. In this free, interactive seminar, people will learn how they can begin, or continue, down the green path. This workshop will be repeated at the Vineland Branch Library.
Do you enjoy surfing the web? If so, check out The Daily Green, which has many great suggestions for sustainable living. For local information and events, visit Our City Forest and San Jose Green Vision.
The San Jose Public Library has many books for children, teens and adults about sustainable living. Check out these book reviews by fellow librarians:
Encountering the term Mesopotamia in the news, social media, or even surfing the Web, is the reality of facing history and searching for the real historical facts. Then, what is Mesopotamia? Is it a nation, a civilization, a mystery, or is it an art? Realistically speaking, reviewing the history lessons would be the best rationale. Mesopotamia is the term that we have known in the history of the Ancient Civilizations, and it’s an integral part of the Near-Eastern Studies, Oriental Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, or even the Western Civilization. Mesopotamia is the modern nation of today’s Iraq. The country is also called “The Land between the Two Rivers” (Tigress & Euphrates) and it’s the Cradle of Civilization. The valley of Mesopotamia is the home of the great civilizations of Akkadian, Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians empires. This is the land where the alphabet was developed, art was flourished, inventions were created, and the first cities were built. It is the land of Hammurabi that produced the first laws of the land, and it’s the center of a first library in the world which was built here by the Assyrians in Nineveh. In today’s Mesopotamia (Iraq) the existence of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, City of Babylon, the Capital of Nineveh, the treasures Nimrud, and the Iraqi Museum of Baghdad are the witness of this great civilization. Today’s Mesopotamia is the transparency of the great civilizations to humanity and multicultural society with ethnic groups and languages. It is the home of many Arab speaking groups, Kurds, Assyrians Turkmans, Armenians, and others.
This event has been temporarily postponed. Watch for the announcement of a new date. Can you spell zoology? Do you like animals and conservation? Happy Hollow Park and Zoo is hosting a Conservation Spelling Bee. Bring your blankets and come to watch or sign up online to participate. From conservation terms to animal species, the spelling bee will focus on words associated with the natural world and is open to students in 2nd – 5th grade. All participants will receive free admission to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo and should arrive by 1:00 pm. For attendees the program is included in the day's admission to the park. Prizes will be awarded to top competitors.
On Saturday, April 23, 2011, the Tully Community Branch Library hosted a Cambodian Cultural Dance Performance in celebration of Cambodian New Year, which began on April 13. The program featured a variety of traditional performances by dancers who have been practicing every Friday evening at the Tully Library.
Looking to get an emergent reader "hooked" on reading? Check out the BabyMouse series of graphic novels. In her first adventure, BabyMouse: Queen of the World, BabyMouse schemes to get invited to a classmate's slumber party. Seven to nine year old girls will love her wild imagination and love of anything pink. Brother and sister team Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm have created a memorable character and the black, white and pink drawings will entice even the most reluctant readers.
The 2nd annual San José Public Library Scholastic Open will take place in the Santa Teresa Branch Library Community Room on Saturday, July 9 from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm.
2 sections: USCF and unrated. (50 players maximum each)
Schedule: 6 rounds, G/30, round times: 9:30 am, 10:45 am, 12:00 noon, 2:30 pm, 3:45 pm, 5:00 pm.
Half point byes: OK all, limit 2, must commit before round 1.
Tournament Organizers/Directors: Mathew Benson (SA), Chris Black (KL).
Prizes: Trophies to top 3 in each section. All others will receive chess puzzles.
Special Rules: All players must be pre-K through 12 grade during 2010/2011 school year. Players in USCF section must have valid USCF membership at time of event. USCF section must follow USCF rules.
Notes: Swiss tournament. Players will only play others in their section. Please bring clocks, all other equipment is provided. USCF section will be USCF rated.
Registration: Call (408) 808-3068 or register in person at the Santa Teresa Branch Library information desk.
Want to learn more about chess? Find chess books at the library such as Capablanca: A Primer of Checkmate. Or visit chessthings.com where you'll find information about chess activities and education in the Bay Area.
What can you do to protect yourself from identity theft and other scams targeting Senior Adults? Janet Berry from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will be speaking at the Almaden Community Center on May 23 to offer valuable advice regarding safeguards you can take to prevent becoming a victim of elder fraud. Find out about identity theft, telemarketing, email and lottery scams, investment and annuity scams, and social security fraud. Learn more about mortgages, reverse mortgages, foreclosures and power of attorney documents. This free program will be held on Monday, May 23 from 9:45-11:00 am in the Almaden Community Room. Additional information on these topics can be found in many library resources including Frauds Gone Wild! Protecting Yourself from Elder Fraud, Stopping Identity Theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security, and Get it Together: Organize Your Records so Your Family Won't Have To.
Sign up for our One on One Computer Classes on Wednesdays OR for our Beginning Computer Class on Thursdays at Santa Teresa Branch Library's information desk. Our computer assistance is here to help beginners: practice mousing, practice typing, create an email account, learn to use craigslist, or browse the internet.
Every Wednesday from 12-2
Every Thursday from 12-1
In the opening chapter of The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, high school junior Jessica wakes up in the hospital to find that the lower half of her leg is gone, damaged beyond repair in a horrible bus accident that also claimed the life of one of her track teammates. Jessica is devastated. Running meant everything to her, and now she can't even get out of bed. However, her will is strong, and with the help of her loving family and friends, she is quickly on the road to recovery and to walking once again with her new prosthetic leg. But will Jessica ever run again?
As someone who also loves to run and gets what that runner's high feeling is all about, I can't even imagine how crushing it would be to have it taken away. Despite the odds and the setbacks along the way though, Jessica is inspiring, positive, and full of hope. While still recovering and confined to a wheelchair, Jessica ends up befriending a girl with cerebral palsy in her math class named Rosa, and as they become good friends, Jessica makes the connection that like Jessica, Rosa wants to be seen as Rosa, not as the girl with a disability. In the end, you can't help but cheer for Jessica like an excited fan along the track.
While losing a limb would surely be an awful tragedy, this story ends up being a feel-good "best case scenario" of what would happen in the aftermath of such a terrible event, thanks to Jessica's determined spirit and her wonderful support network. Parts of the book are certainly sad, but there are plenty of humorous and heart-warming scenes that keep this from being just another tear-jerker. I also found the bits about Jessica's recovery and prosthesis to be really informative. If you're looking for other inspiring stories like this one, try Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk, or Owning It : Stories About Teens with Disabilities.
Teddy Bear, teddy bear turn around! Bring a teddy bear, a stuffed dinosaur, or any favorite stuffed animal and join the Teddy Bear Picnic Storytime and edible craft at Santa Teresa Library on Friday, April 29 at 3:30 pm.
Possibly, you’ve already heard about Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese; the epic novel that follows its characters from India and England to Ethiopia to New York. I had, too, and was anxious to get my hands on it. Daunted by the long waiting list for the print version, I decided to try out the e-audiobook version. I am so glad I did. For one thing, the waiting list was a whole lot shorter, but more importantly, the audiobook reader, Sunil Malhotra, tells the story beautifully. He convincingly performs distinctive voices for a large cast of Indian, African, British, and American characters. I was taken in and totally engrossed by this skillful narration of a magnificent story. Would you like to hear a sample? Visit the e-audiodownload page for Cutting for Stone where you can play an excerpt.
Readers may recall the popcorn flick lead by Sean Connery, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). The film did atrociously in theaters, receiving an embarrassing 17% 'rotten' rating over at www.rottentomatoes.com. I am here to profess that the original graphic novel by known-eccentric author Alan Moore is actually worth your time! I just recently finished Volume I for a class, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. For those unfamiliar with the graphic novel series, Moore takes a rag-tag group of Victorian era literature's greatest characters (including The Invisible Man and Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and blends them together to create a group of elite mercenaries for British Intelligence.
The book is decidedly steampunk in aesthetic, which compliments the source material nicely. It's ripe with references to classic literature that the reader is sure to get a kick out of. One of the most engaging aspects of Alan Moore titles (Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke) are the morally ambiguous natures of a lot of his characters. Even if the protagonists of the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen aren't necessarily virtuous, Moore has a knack for keeping the reader interested and invested in the plot and how these characters interact. It's refreshing to read stories where the players straddle the line between moral and immoral.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is definitely worth a read, and it's still going! Moore is currently finishing Volume III as I type this!
Water for Elephants is a wonderful story that epitomizes the American spirit in a gripping and beautiful way. Sara Gruen is a talented writer. She captures the authenticity and lore of the traditional circus. There is glitz and glamor in a circus, but Sara also reveals the seedy under belly of abuse and neglect that these performers (animals and humans) have to endure.
The main character Jacob is a veterinarian student who is about to about to graduate from one of the top schools in the country and embark on his exciting career. Jacob was on top of the world, until destiny came and set his fate. Both of his parents were killed and Jacob lost everything including his chance of becoming a veterinarian. He chooses his own path by hitching a ride with a circus train. Set in the depression-era, the story focuses on the difficulties of being successful in the entertainment industry during that time.
When Jacob begins working in the circus, it is soon known that Jacob has veterinarian experience. He is assigned to be the circus’ animal trainer and veterinarian. Jacob finds himself stressed and conflicted with moral dilemmas to ensure the safety and health of the animals (especially the main attraction "Rosie" the elephant). With a tyrannical ring master who is obsessed with ticket sales, many times doing what is best for the animal doesn’t always prevail. Even with all of these elements Jacob and Marlena (the ring master’s wife) begin to comfort each other and they start a forbidden and dangerous affair (this could only mean trouble for Jacob and his future with the circus).
This past weekend I went to see the movie that was made from this story starring two big stars Robert Patterson (Jacob) and Reece Witherspoon(Marlena). This movie exceeded my expectations; they painted a beautiful back drop to tell this dramatic and hopeful story by making sure they unveiled the story moment by moment instead of giving it away right at the beginning of the movie. This created an effect of having you at the edge of your seat the entire time during the film. Kudos to the director Francis Lawrence who, in my opinion, is known for his dark and dramatic imagery of the characters in his films.
If you are interested in this story, our library has many different types of ways to enjoy it. You can download Water for Elephants as EPUB eBook to read on your computer or other device and as a WMA eAudiobook you can listen to on your iPod, and we also have copies in both Spanish and Chinese and in Audiobook CD form.
I recently finished Jonathan Franzen's latest book, Freedom, and couldn't help but want to write about it. The problem is, I know that I cannot do it justice with my less-than-brilliant version of plot description. After reading such a well-written book I hardly feel qualified to even write this humble little blog at all. What I can say, as a sporadic reader at best, is that I normally consider the LENGTH of a book when deciding whether or not to tackle it. And in spite of my preference for short reads, I found myself plowing through this 500+ page masterpiece without wanting to take a break.
Freedom is insightful and honest, infusing politics and historical events into a story which tackles some of the most fundamental and universal of human struggles. It is smart, poignant and witty, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.
Flame and Citron are living on borrowed time. Members of the Danish Resistance, one is increasingly reckless while the other is relying on stimulants to keep himself going. The SS has put a price on their heads, they are uneasy with the missions they are assigned and begin to suspect that their orders may not be coming from London. Flame and Citron has an 86 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
You are warmly invited to a special visit at Almaden Branch Library on Saturday, May 7, at 2:00 p.m. from Julie Riera Matsushima, an advocate for special needs children and author of For the Love of Aimee, her memoir about helping to raise her special needs granddaughter, Aimee.
"Aimee and her twin sister were the first grandchildren born to Julie Matsushima, but the family's joy at birth quickly turned to panic when Aimee was diagnosed with irreparable brain damage. From those first heartbreaking days of Aimee's life, as Julie sat at her bedside in the neonatal intensive care unit, a special bond formed between them. Even at only a day or two old, Aimee drew Julie in with a responsiveness that seemed to defy her grim diagnosis." — book cover
Julie’s book “invites the reader to share in the disappointments, challenges and amazing accomplishments Julie and Aimee experience together during Aimee's first ten years. This incredible book will elevate the awareness of everyone touched by a special needs child to the difficulties facing them.”
This program will be an informative and inspirational visit with a local author, grandparent, activist, and community leader. We hope that you can join us.
Most readers know that Stephen King's novels usually take place in the state of Maine, where the novel Olive Kitteridge (2008), by Elizabeth Strout also takes place, but King broke out of the mold with the popular Duma Key (2008),which takes place in Florida. Many novels take place in New York, both city and state.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), by Jonathan Safran Foer, a moving 9/11 novel, features a child as the main character. Most of the Agent Pendergrast series of novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, such as Cemetery Dance (2009), start in New York City as well, while also visiting, among other sites, Prendergast's childhood home in New Orleans, Louisiana. Gone Tomorrow (2009), one of Lee Child's best thrillers, also takes place in New York.
Moving West, Jeannette Walls' novel, Half-Broke Horses (2009), is based on her grandmother's incredible life growing up in Texas and Arizona. Alaska is featured in the mysteries of Dana Stabenow and in a bleak new novel about marriage and relationships, Caribou Island (2011), by David Vann. Finally, the "granddaddy" of all writers of novels about states, James Michener, wrote one of the best ever, Hawaii (1959).
Sign up now for Evergreen Branch Library’s Teen Talent Show. This contest will be held in the Community Room on Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. Registration packets are available at the Information Desk. Teens, ages 12-18 are invited to perform individually or in groups up to 10. You will have five minutes to share your singing, dancing, comedy, magic or other special talent and win prizes.
First place- $50
Second place- $25
Third place- $10
The first and second place winners will participate in the city wide competition on May 21st at the Almaden Branch Library for a chance to become San Jose’s teen talent 2011.
Agatha Raisin is an amateur detective unlike most you will find in cozy mysteries. She's grumpy, opinionated, and man-crazy. Agatha is in semi-retirement in the English Cotswolds. She thought that was what successful businesswomen were supposed to do when they retired, but she finds it boring and tedious. When puzzles pop up, she begrudgingly sets out to figure out what's going on. She also tries her darnedest to hook up with whichever handsome gentleman lands in her line of sight. Amazingly, she has managed to make a few friends - mostly those who find her ornery temperament a refreshing change. Hilarity happens and she always solves the case - so maybe she's not so unlike all those other cozy mystery heroines, after all. If a cranky, crotchety crone sounds like a character you'd crave, read the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton.
Are you interested in exploring new career options? You are welcome to join B. J. King to embark on your journey on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Edenvale Branch Library Community Room.
Now is the perfect time to explore important questions about your job search:
What kind of job do I REALLY want?
Do I want to change careers?
What is the perfect career for me?
What is my passion?
Other job and career oriented programs that the Edenvale Branch Library offers are:
Tuesdays from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Tuesdays from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
From the opening page, K.L. Going gives the definition for liberate: to set free and to release from control, and from the first page we are introduced to Gabriel, who, according to his best friend Frita, needs some "liberatin'", because he is afraid of everything, including the 5th grade. He is terrified of the 5th grade, and he does not want to be promoted. He says, "I'd rather be alive in the 4th grade than dead in the 5th," for in the 5th grade are Duke and Frankie who pick on him and make his life miserable. So, the summer after 4th grade, his friend Frita, who ain't afraid of anything, takes the matters into her own hands and decides to "liberate" Gabe. He is to write a list of all his fears, and they are going to face them one by one. Leave it to Frita to force him to face spiders and sentipedes, Frita's brother, Terrance, the Evan's trailer, and swinging off a rope swing into a local swimming hole, but little does he know that Frita had her own list and that she might need some "liberatin'". For children grades 4 and up, The Liberation of Gabriel King is a heartwarming story about two children who conquer their fears.
Great Poems for Grand Children (edited by Celestine Frost) is a collection of more than 250 beautiful poems by various poets from around the world. On the list you can find: Lewis Carroll, T. S. Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, Octavio Paz, William Shakespeare, Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman, and many more. Readers will be surprise with such inclusions as Lincoln's Gettyburg Address and an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have A Dream speech. Poems are arranged by subjects, including Nursery Rhymes, Bedtime, Animal Friends, Seasons of the Year, True Love, etc. Intended for reading to children Great Poems will delight grandparents and parents alike with a treasure of magnificent and imaginative verses accompanied by inspiring drawings by Brian Cronin.
Find more Children's Poetry at your local libraries.
In case you hadn't heard, Prince William is getting married on Friday to Catherine Middleton, who he has been dating for years. There will be digital coverage, so if you are so inclined, you can log in at around midnight and watch the nuptials via streaming video. The wedding also has an official website and if you want to send the happy couple your well wishes you can upload a video here.
Snoop Dogg wrote a song for Prince William's bachelor party. There's been some controversy about the title. Well it is a Snoop Dogg song...
Are you planning on staying up late to watch the Royal Wedding? Anybody have a party planned? For myself, I'll be dreaming of the wedding, but not watching it live.
Venture Café Entrepreneurism Workshop Series: Join us for a 5 part series promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship culture and building a community of entrepreneurs. Expert presenters followed with a question and answer period, time for lunch and networking afterwards. Live Webinar. Lunch will be provided. This event will be held at the Santa Teresa Branch Library from 10:30 AM- 1:00 PM, Saturdays, April 30, May 7, May 21, May 28, and June 4. Registration is recommended, please call 408-808-3068 to register and for more information.
Here are two books that are perfect reads if you love dogs or animals. They are also perfect because they are definitely not boring. You will want to keep reading them until the very end. They are that good. They are so good that they both won Newbery Medals. And they both were made into films. So, let me tell you a little bit about these two outstanding books.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is the story of a lonely girl named India Opal (Opal, for short), who finds a big old skinny, scruffy, stray dog in the local Winn-Dixie grocery store. Opal names the dog Winn-Dixie and takes it home to give it a bath, some food and a new home. Opal’s Dad is a preacher and it doesn’t take long for him to fall in love with Winn- Dixie, too. Who can resist a dog that can smile and seem to understand everything you say? As soon as Winn-Dixie enters her life, Opal seems to have lots of adventures and make new friends. Still, Opal is lonely for her mother who ran away when Opal was only three years old. Why did her mother run away? Did she love Opal? What was she like? Opal is always on the quest to find answers to these questions. But, because of Winn-Dixie and her love for him, Opal is no longer paralyzed by these questions and is able to turn her life around in a good way.
Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is the story of a boy and a beagle dog. Eleven-year-old Marty Preston comes across a beagle pup in the woods near Shiloh, not far from his hometown of Friendly, West Virginia. The beagle pup wins Marty’s heart at first sight, but Marty can’t help but notice that there is something not right with the pup. The pup is frightened and cringes when Marty approaches him. Marty soon finds out why. The pup’s owner is beating him and Marty is determined to save the pup he names Shiloh from further abuse. Marty has a lot of difficult decisions to make in his effort to rescue Shiloh. He will encounter danger, adventure and emotional moments as his love for Shiloh propels him onward to do the right thing.
Fleabag by Helen Stephens is the story of a little dog that has no home. This little dog meets a boy who is sad because he has no one to play with. They bond a friendship despite the little boy’s parent telling him to stay away from the dirty flea ridden dog. Unfortunately, their bond is put to a test when the little boy has to move away. See what happens in this adorable story about a dog who always does the right thing even if no one is watching!
Didn’t find the book you were looking for in the San Jose library? Your San Jose library card still may be able to get the item for you, even if we don’t own a copy. Our two services, Link+ and ILLiad (also called "interlibrary loan"), allow you to request items from cooperating libraries across California, or even farther away. Link+ is especially quick and easy to use, and includes all sorts of unusual and fun subjects. Some things I’ve enjoyed through Link+ include:
Buffy Goes Dark, a collection of scholarly essays about the later two seasons of the influential cult favorite TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Zothique, a rare old collection of eerie short stories by Lovecraft-circle author Clark Ashton Smith.
And The Jennifer Morgue, an installment of Charles Stross’ seriocomic tales about sorcerer/spy/computer technician, Bob Howard.
So if you don’t find what you’re looking for in our catalog, click on the “Search Link+” button, and you may be able to get it from one of our neighbors.
We're still looking for more entries for our Teen Photo Contest! If you're 12-18 years old and like to take photos or are just beginning here is a contest just right for you! We're inviting teens to show us why they love the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library by taking a photo showing why this library is special to them! You can print out this PDF entry form and return it to the Children's Room at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library by April 30. There will be cool prizes so don't miss this chance to be a winner. The library has many books on basic photography to get you started or give you ideas. Be creative and take a chance!
The day that you are requested to take an exam for your job is coming but all the books on that career are checked out. What can you do? Don't worry! We have this expanded resourceful database LearningExpress that covers an on careers exams.
You will find practice career exams for the following categories: Air Traffic Controller, Civil Service, Commercial Driver's License, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electrical, Emergency Medical Services, Firefighter, Green Careers, Law Enforcement, Military, Nursing and Allied Health, Legal, Plumbing, Real Estate, Teaching. Please make sure to click on the plus (+) sign to open the sub-categories to explore more advanced exams.
The video below will help you navigate to more career resources in addition to the mentioned database.
M.J. Ryan, life coach and author, shows that (happily!) change is possible at any age in this highly readable and practical book. Ms. Ryan readily acknowledges that change is not easy -- whether it is in our relationships, finding or changing jobs, getting out of debt, exercising and losing weight -- or for that matter anything else! However, in concise and pithy chapters, with surprising empathy, she uses insights from psychology and neuroscience to give the reader the courage and skills to change amidst life’s many ups and downs.
There are so many resources and services on the internet. But you don't know where to start. You can begin by visiting our Teens College and jobs page, which takes you to explore different colleges, admission and finance information. You can also take a practice test on PSAT, SAT, and ACT in the "college testing", Tutor.com SkillsCenter Resource Library for Student Center, or from the LearningExpress Library Tutorials, Tests, eBooks. If you are in a career transition and looking for a job, you can find a variety of jobs on this page too.
Finding engaging books for teenage boys can be tough. When my son wants a book to read, there is a whole list of requirements. The main character MUST be a boy, he MUST be a teenager, and he MUST be cool. The story MUST be exciting, it MUST have explosions, and it MUST be a series. The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz is the perfect option for the tough-to-please-teen. After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6. Follow Alex as he overcomes danger, beats the bad guys, and saves the day!
Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime: A Book of Zombie Love Songs is a marvelous laugh-out-loud anthology that brings new life, or rather, undeadness, to old favorites. Besides the title hit, we have such heart-stopping makeovers as You've Lost That Livin' Feeling, I Bit You Babe, My Undead Love, I Can't Stop Chewing You, Do You Think I'm Tasty?, Killing Him Swiftly and You Blight Up My Life. As the author says in the preface, "Now, when you are forced to kill the one you're with, you can share one last memory of "your" song before you send that slobbering, drooling, gray-matter-munching, shuffling pile of human tissue straight to ..... ".
I highly recommended that we add this book to our UnDead Storytime Box. But you needn't wait for that to relish this fine tome. Reanimate! Put down that brain you're chomping, it won't get cold. Place a hold on Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometime chop chop!
Last week was "National Library Week" and customers were asked to participate in a quiz where they would be entered to win a prize. In addition, customers were asked "What is your favorite thing about your library?"
Here are the responses:
"The fact that I have fun every time I go and it's part in helping the community!!!" -Age: 26
"That I can borrow books and media also the book group that I enjoy, checking e-mails from around the world." -Adult
"Doing homework because the library is a peaceful place to do it." -Age: 10
"My favorite thing about the library is the nice people and books." -Age: 13
"I know a lot of the staff and the library is nice and clean." -Age: 10
"It's cool." -Age: 9
On the eve of Earth Day, I'd like to share just a few of the many ways that the library can help you go greener this year!
1. Kill-a-Watts Available for Checkout
Did you know that there may be vampires lurking in your house? That's right, you likely have "energy vampire" appliances in your house that are sucking down energy, even when not in use. All 19 San José Public Library locations now offer Kill-a-Watt devices and instructions that you may borrow for three weeks. At West Valley, you can grab one in the Home & Garden section. Just check the Kill-a-Watt out and take it home, plug your appliances into it, and figure out how much energy each one uses. You can check out this article for some simple tips to banish the energy vampires. You'll save money on your utility bill AND help the planet!
2. Plenty of Books & Resources
We offer a variety of materials covering many aspects of sustainable living. You can green your cleaning, your construction, your business, your food, your family, and more! Come browse the shelves or check out our electronic resources online.
3. Free Events & Workshops
Prefer to learn in person? Keep an eye out for the various green-themed events that we offer at our libraries. On April 22 at 4pm, Hillview is hosting a timely Green Spring Cleaning Workshop, and on April 30 at 2pm, West Valley is offering an Eating with Seasons Workshop. If you're feeling lost and don't know where to start, try Simple Steps to Going Green, offered at Edenvale on May 7 and Vineland on May 28.
4. Simply Using the Library!
Whether you check out books about green living or not, just using the public library can help you go green. Why buy lots of books that you and your family may only end up reading once or not at all when you can borrow them and share them with other members of our community? Our physical and electronic materials get plenty of use (almost 15 million total last year in circulation!) by the 1 million+ people in the San Jose area. That's a lot of sharing!
So whether it's just remembering to unplug your cell charger when not in use or giving your whole lifestyle a green makeover, we hope that the library will help you to go and stay green this year. Happy Earth Day!
19 hours after Jace leaves home in Chicago, he ends up at his brother's doorstep in Albuquerque with cuts and bruises to his face, less than $4 in his pocket, and a message from Mom: I'll be there on Thanksgiving. Swati Avasthi's debut novel, Split is a gripping story about abuse, frustration, anger, redefining family, and how the strength of this family can get you through things that may seem completely hopeless. The story completely pulls you in from the first pages, the characters are well thought out and likeable, and Avasthi's subtlety about a sensitive topic is appreciated. Chosen as one of this year's Best Books for Young Adults by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association, Split is an excellent read for the older teen reader.
How can you tell if your child is ready for Kindergarten? What do you need to know? Come to this information sharing workshop at Tully Community Branch Library on Thursday, April 28 from 11 AM to 12 PM and help prepared your child for Kindergarten.
¿Cómo puede usted decir si su niño es listo para el jardín de niños? ¿Qué necesita saber? Venido a esta información que comparte el taller en Biblioteca del rama de la comunidad de Tully en Jueves 28 de abril a partir de 11 est a 12 P.M. ayudar a su hijo para el jardin de niños(Kinder).
Con của quý vị đã sẵn sàng để vào Mẩu Giáo chưa? Muốn biết thêm chi tiết mời quý vị đến tham dự buổi chia sẽ tài liệu và kinh nghiệm để chuẩn bị cho các em bước vào Mẩu Giáo. Chương trình hướng dẫn phụ huynh có tại Thư Viện Tully vào Thứ Năm, Ngày 28 Tháng 4 lúc 11 giờ sáng đến 12 giờ trưa.
This fun Piñata craft program will be held in the Almaden Branch Library's program room on Thursday, May 5, at 3:30 pm. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, each child will have the opportunity to make a mini piñata filled with fun prizes! All supplies will be provided for free.
Join us at the Almaden Branch Library on Wednesday, May 18, at 3:30 p.m. as the library is turned into a laboratory for young scientists. Children will investigate chemical reactions with dry ice as they solve a dilemma presented within a folktale. Science with Children's Discovery Museum: Dry Ice stimulates kids to explore the wonders of science. This event is held in the library's program room. For ages 5-12.
Inclusive Story Time will be held on Saturday, April 30 at 10:15 a.m. in the Almaden Branch Library's program room. All children ages 3-8 and their families are invited to participate in this lively and interactive monthly storytime. Children with varying learning styles and abilities learn together in a safe and supportive environment where respect and appreciation for differences is encouraged.
Family Story Time is held on Saturdays at 11:15 a.m. There will be fun stories, songs, and finger plays geared for the whole family. Following the story time, there will be a thirty minute "Stay and Play."
An author is talked into running for office in a remote country district her party is unlikely to win. Videotaping her misadventures on the campaign trail are two hapless filmmakers with their own agendas. Directed by Agnes Jaoui, Let It Rain has a 78 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
For his biography The Invention of Air Steven Johnson has chosen a fascinating subject in Joseph Priestley. He was amazingly productive, working energetically on the cutting edge of science and publishing extensively. At the same time he explored ideas in politics and religion and was remarkably influential. His contributions range from discovering the role of plants in producing oxygen to being one of the founders of the Unitarian Church in England. He had a robust interaction with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The breadth and depth of Priestley's involvement in the intellectual life of his time is truly impressive. It is enlightening to see that intellectually active people at that time expected to be aware of developments in science, politics and religion. Priestley in particular saw progress in each area complementing the others. Steven Johnson does an intriguing job of showing Priestley's links to trends large and small, from geological eras to the advent of the coffee house. (The explanation of the geological reference is that the large deposits of coal in England are linked to the industrial revolution that allowed for technological advances and the wealth the helped support Priestley's research.) It is remarkable to note that in the extensive correspondence between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson after their presidencies, Washington, Hamilton, and Franklin together are mentioned less than 10 times, while Joseph Priestley is mentioned 52 times.
Reading Jackie by William Kuhn explores the Jackie Kennedy Onassis who became a notable editor at Doubleday Publications after the death of her two husbands. Tracing her childhood love of books to the books and authors she nurtured into publication demonstrates a vibrant, multi-faceted, professional. You will meet the woman who is described as:
Will you be taking the SAT test? Find out how you would score on the test by taking a full length practice SAT test for FREE proctored by the Princeton Review on Saturday, April 23 at the Evergreen Branch Library starting at 10:15 am. The test will be held in the Community Room. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at the types of questions you will see on the actual test. Please call the library at 408-808-3060 to reserve a spot. Then get a personalized score report by returning to the Evergreen Library on Wednesday, April 27 at 6:00 pm. Remember that the San José Public Library has many SAT review books that you can borrow.
A really good children's book can be enjoyed as much by adults as it is by children. A Long Way from Chicago is such a book... in fact, it's one of my favorite children's books of all time. Set in the Depression era, the book is about a brother and sister who take the train from Chicago to a hick town south of the city to visit their grandma every summer from 1929 to 1935. That first summer Joey and Mary Alice are only age 9 and 7, and they soon find out that "what little we knew about grownups didn't seem to cover Grandma." Grandma Dowdel is a no-nonsense, hard-working woman with little tolerance for people who put on airs or stick their nose into others' business. She's not afraid of using unorthodox means to put fools in their place, often with hilarious results. The short chapters, each a story unto itself, coupled with the book's country charm and ever-present humor, make it a fast read and a good pick for a historical fiction assignment for students fifth grade and up. When you've finished with this book, pick up the equally good sequel, the Newbery-Medal winning A Year Down Yonder, in which 15-year-old Mary Alice goes for an extended stay with Grandma. You may also enjoy the many other books for children and young adults written by author Richard Peck.
For several years, Willow Glen Books hosted a poetry group. As a memorial to this group, editor Pushpa MacFarlane assembled 107 of the poems read over the years, and put them together in the book Remembering: Poems Read at Willow Glen Books: An Anthology. The poems run the gamut from funny to sad, from realistic to romantic, mirroring the human experience. Willow Glen Books was a fixture in the community, and it's fitting that a book like this commemorate the well-loved store.
But local poetry lovers in need of camaraderie, weep not! A successor group, Poetry Center San Jose meets at the Willow Glen Library on the third Thursday of the month at 7pm. So if your soul could use a dash of poetry and good fellowship, join in! Who knows, maybe in time to come, there will be a sequel to "Remembering"! How's "Keep on Remembering" for a title? Willow Glen Library staff members, if you have any more information about this or a related topic which you would like to share with the big wide Internet world, please chime in!
For a bit more information, here is a San Jose Mercury News article about the book.
A good novel is the antidote to the age of distractibility. A great novel is the anodyne ointment to the senselessness that comprises at least some of everyday existence. Cruz de Olvido by Carlos Cortés is a great-to-superlative novel, thus treats malaise via the written word. Martín is a former Sandinista who returns home to Costa Rica after the assassination of his son. A semi-somebody who “knows everybody” in his small nation, he finds one million U.S. dollars have unexpectedly turned up in his bank account. The author pulls no punches having his protagonist describe corruption in the so-called “Switzerland of Central America where nothing has happened since the Big Bang.”
The novel is not yet translated into English, but it is well worth employing your Spanish reading skills to peruse.
Join us on Tuesday, April 26 at 4 PM at Biblioteca Latinoamericana, 921 South First Street where we will have our monthly meeting of Conversando sobre Libros, discussing this novel. We converse in Spanish, but welcome questions and comments in English.
Two weeks ago I was watching an episode of "Pushing Daisies" where Kristen Chenowith and Ellen Greene sang a version of a song called "Birdhouse in Your Soul." This song was written and performed 20 years ago by the group They Might Be Giants. Well, I had to look up information about this alternative rock group and found out that not only are they performing music for grownups, but they are also writing and performing music for young ones too. They have produced CDs and DVDs that help young children (and not-so-young children) learn about numbers, the alphabet and even science. They have also performed music for television (Blue's Clues) and movies (Meet the Robinsons and Coraline). I think they are a fun group to listen to. Interested in their music? Come visit us and check out some of the the DVDs and CDs they perform on. View the video below to meet the Elements or watch They Might Be Giants introduce us to the elements.
Whiz, bang, POP! These are some of the sounds you will hear when you attend a Mad Science camp this summer.
Mad Science makes science accessible to kids who love the question, "Why?" This summer, visit some of our City's wonderful community centers for some fun and instructive camps involving biology, chemistry, physics, robotics, or aeronautics. Bugs, plants, physical reactions, robots, or space flight are some of the more intriguing camps your avid young scientist will enjoy.
San Jose's Parks and Recreation Department provides a rich and diverse menu of programs each season. This summer, check out the following Community Centers for Mad Science programs:
Almaden Community Center (Don't forget to check out the Library!)
At the Library, Mad Science instructors come with their white lab coats and their boundless enthusiasm for science. Energetic and engaging, these instructors have the best rapport with children!
Mad Science also provides really fun afterschool programs. Ask your school's home and school club if they can help arrange for one of these programs. Kids will enjoy them, guaranteed!
Future blogs will discuss some of the other wonderful summer camps at the City's Parks and Recreation Department.
California Forward, the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley, and San José Public Libraries invite you to Speak Up CA, an important dialogue about our state and its future, and how restructuring the relationship between state government and city and county governments may help move the California in the right direction – closer to its people.
California Forward is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group working to fix state government and restore the California Dream. California Forward believes there is a critical link between many of the problems that threaten our future and our state government, which has become ineffective, unresponsive, and unable to fix itself. We are working to create a "smart" government that’s small enough to listen, big enough to tackle real problems, smart enough to spend our money wisely in good times and bad, and honest enough to be held accountable for results. But we need your help.
Speak Up CA will take place on the evening of Wednesday, May 11 at Dr. Roberto Cruz-Alum Rock Library, and your participation is critical to finding ideas to fix our state. We will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and the program runs 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited, and space is filling up, so please RSVP HERE as soon as possible. If you don't have internet access, you can RSVP by calling 408-674-1371.
You know that soundbite you hear in the news that "the approval rating for the President has gone up 2 percent." Well, chances are the source of those stats comes from the Pew Research Center. This group-described "fact tank" is non-profit and non-partisan. The Pew Research Center not only does public opinion polling about Presidential approval ratings but other polls and social science research. How can information from Pew Research Center help me? Well, you can find out technology, lifestyle, religious, social, and demographic trends. This is a great resource for new and existing business owners to stay up on the latest trends and what consumers are doing, not to mention data for business plans. Dig around their website, there is a lot of interesting information, especially since the Center has seven different research projects.
Baby teeth are causing Polly Peterson so many problems. She is the only one in her third grade class who hasn’t lost at least one baby tooth! Everyone in her class discovers this fact when the teacher prepares a chart showing how many baby teeth each student has lost. The chart doesn’t even have a column for zero baby teeth lost, so the teacher makes one just for Polly.
Then when Polly finally loses a baby tooth, she must decide if she should leave it for the Tooth Fairy. Do third graders still believe in the Tooth Fairy or is it only for babies? All of her problems are complicated even further when the new boy in third grade, Zachary Brown, begins teasing Polly. Soon the whole class starts calling her “Babyteeth.”
Polly in turn finds ways to tease and embarrass Zachary, but then notices that he never plays with anyone during recess. She at least has her two best friends, Amelia and Oliver, who try to make her feel better. Polly begins to realize that both she and Zachary need to behave differently. Can they find a way to get along?
Zoey and her Mom live in an apartment in the city, just the two of them. One day Zoey is surprised to learn that they are going to visit her grandmother. As Zoey packs she thinks about this very surprising news, after all she never even knew she had a grandmother and had certainly never visited her before.
While Zoey’s mother and grandmother discuss in loud voices, Zoey decides to explore the house. Her mother has described her former bedroom, all pink and white and gold. In this room Zoey discovers a beautiful doll house and a tiny doll, dressed like a princess. Suddenly this 3 and one-quarter inch tall doll wakes up! I’m not sure who was more surprised the doll or Zoey!
Zoey is startled and runs out of the room and down the stairs! But the doll, well she is delighted to be awake again. She’s been asleep for a long time, and has even forgotten her own name. While she tries to remember her name the doll waits patiently for the return of her four foot tall servant. She’s had girl servants before and they always returned to care for her. And why not? She is as beautiful as a princess!
And so begins an unlikely friendship between Zoey and a three and one-quarter inch tall doll. The Very Little Princess by Marion Dane Bauer is about more than just this very special doll, it also looks at mother-daughter relationships from the perspective of a young girl.
Are you a Belieber? Do you suffer from a bad case of Bieber Fever? If you can't get enough of Justin (sigh!) you can find him at the library. We have biographies (loaded with photos!), music, ebooks and DVDs all about your favorite pop sensation. Check out Justin Bieber and satisfy your Bieberphile cravings!
April 10-16, 2011, was National Volunteer Week. The Willow Glen Branch Library thanked all its volunteers on Friday with a small celebration and tokens of appreciation. Also, Barbara Adams was announced as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for Willow Glen Branch. Hooray, Barbara! Her name has been added to the plaque by the Tech Center. Saturday, the Friends of Willow Glen Library hosted their quarterly book sale. Everyone who donated, worked, or bought items at the sale is appreciated.
I have always loved libraries, and working at the library has shown me how many other people love the library, too. In the face of never-ending cutbacks, staff no longer have the time to devote to activities such as keeping the picture books free of smudgy little fingerprints, or cleaning the Tech Center keyboards with cotton swabs. The city has few resources to spare for luxuries such as patio furniture or very extensive, specialized magazine subscriptions. Children can listen to stories, or read to dogs, and everyone enjoys better, more extensive collections because of all of our volunteers, including the Friends of the Library. Donors, supporters, and volunteers are vital to making the library the place it is by helping with all of the above, plus by assisting staff with crafts and other family-friendly programs, tutor in the Tech Center, and host book clubs. Say "Thank you!" to a volunteer today!
Winner of an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 2010 and much other acclaim, Inside Job is an analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, from which we will continue to feel the repercussions for many years to come. Prepare to be enraged as you learn of the callous and hypocritical behavior of financial insiders, politicians, and academics, and watch them squirm under the incisive interviews. It's two hours long, but worth every minute.
Right now I’m reading Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin in preparation for the upcoming musical at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco. If you’re not familiar with it, the Tales of the City series is comprised of eight books set in San Francisco and centered on Anna Madrigal’s apartment house at the fictional 28 Barbary Lane. The first book opens with 25-year-old Mary Ann Singleton phoning her mother to say she won’t be returning to Cleveland, as she has fallen in love with San Francisco. The reader understands why she loves the city – Maupin shows us the eclectic quirkiness that endears the city to so many. Mary Ann has contact with a diverse cast of characters, including Anna, her pot-smoking landlady; Mona, a bohemian neighbor; and Michael, Mona’s roommate who’s dating Jon, a gynecologist.
The first five books in the series were originally serialized in San Francisco newspapers, and this style makes the books quick reads as the chapters are short and the plot lines are lively. The first book in the series came out in 1978 and while three decades have passed since then, the characters and stories are still fun and engrossing. Since these first novels came out before HIV/AIDS, the characters still frequent bath houses and have lots of indiscriminate sex. However, later books in the series were some of the first to deal with the AIDS epidemic.
I’m eager to get on to the next book, More Tales of the City and I can’t wait to see what the ACT does with these stories and characters.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman is one of those well-executed stories that has stayed with me since reading it a few years ago. It is an achingly-sad yet touching and beautiful story full of music, love, and loss. Be warned...If you read this book, you will likely cry. Even this typically dry-eyed reader had a hard time holding back the tears during the last few pages (which was awkward considering that I was in the break room at work). But if you are up to the emotional challenge, I encourage you to take it. I'll try not to spoil it too much for you:
Mia is a Portland-area high school senior with a gift for classical cello, dreaming of making it into prestigious Julliard. She has a great relationship with her lovely family, made up of her cool punk rock parents and her little brother. The message that true passion for music transcends genres runs throughout the book, and this is what brings her together with her rocker musician boyfriend Adam, despite their superficial differences.
Unfortunately, it's about to get really, really sad. The book opens with a devastating car accident that leaves the other passengers dead and Mia critically injured in a coma, and the rest of the novel unfolds in out-of-sequence vignettes from Mia's life leading up to the accident. These scenes weave in and out with Mia's out-of-body experience watching her loved ones during the aftermath. Mia has suffered an unimaginable loss, but does she have the strength to stay and endure it? The characters are well-developed and lovable, which makes the emotional connection all the more strong and therefore painful. I absolutely adored her amazing family, and her boyfriend Adam is endearing to astronomical proportions. And yes, the whole post-trauma limbo "Should I stay or should I go?" thing has been done before, but this was done very well.
There's talk that this will be made into a movie, but no info yet about directors or casting now that actress Dakota Fanning has left the project. But guess what? There's a brand new sequel! Again, no spoilers, so I'll just tell you that it's called Where She Went (available now in the catalog), and it's about my dear book-crush Adam.
The Santa Clara County Master Gardeners are an invaluable resource for home gardeners throughout the county. They are a part of the University of California Cooperative Extension program. They can answer any gardening question you may have, simple to complex. The Master Gardeners have always been great supporters of San Jose Public Library, offering free workshops and seminars to our patrons. Find their book, California Master Gardener Handbook, at SJPL and check out their website for even more help.
Neighborhood Watch is a collaboration of neighbors to keep an eye on suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and help protect each other and their property. They normally work in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies. To set up a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, call the San Jose Police Department's Crime Prevention office at (408)277-4133. Check out their website. You can also find books about neighborhood watch programs in our library.
Are you ready to take the SAT? Do you need extra practice? Princeton Review is coming to Tully Library on Saturday, April 16th, from 10:15am to 2:30pm to offer a free practice SAT exam. Participants can pick up their test and go over the answers at the SAT Review session scheduled on Thursday, April 21st at 5:00pm. No preregistration is required for these programs.
Olive Kitteridge, as portrayed by Elizabeth Strout in her 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning book, is a woman we could visualize as someone we know. She is a large presence, both in her stature, and in the ways she impacts the lives of the people who live in a small town in Maine. There are 13 short stories that comprise the novel, Olive Kitteridge. The one common element in all of them, is the relationship between Olive and the characters in each of these stories, about whom you will become terribly concerned, or at least, extremely curious.
So many times I've read a wonderful book, and thought that it would make a great movie. Inevitably, someone will buy the rights and produce it. Whether it is an Oscar contender or not, you'll often hear people say, "Oh the book was so much better!" In the case of Olive Kitteridge, it has been adapted for theater, and I so enjoyed the play. It was presented by Word For Word Theater of San Francisco. The actors were very close to the characters I had visualized, especially Olive who was played by Patricia Silver. This production captured the essence of Olive through only two of the stories and narration. The complexity of all of the characters and stories was impossible to stage in the play's duration. You'll really want to read the book! Frances McDormand, the brilliant Oscar winning actress in Fargo, is going to be in a HBO television production of Olive Kitteridge. If you read the book you'll be able to judge whether the production does justice to this marvelous character and extraordinary book.
Your San José Public Library card is your passport to SJPL's databases, which are invaluable for analysis and reviews of this novel, other literature, or research on other topics. Click on this link to Academic Search Complete, and with your library card barcode, and pin, you will be able to search. Using search terms such as Olive Kitteridge and Strout, your results will include reviews and analysis from the New York Times, Library Journal, Publishers' Weekly, Atlantic Monthly, and many more sources.
Enjoy reading Olive Kitteridge and look forward to comparing your reading experience to the variety of media that will be presenting Olive. With SJPL's databases in literature, you can be ready for your book group's discussion of Olive as she teaches and learns life's lessons.
Fariba will focus her talk on the cultural, religious, and economic influences between modern-day Iran and Afghanistan. Fariba will then answer your questions about these two countries.
Fariba lived in Afghanistan as a child, during the Taliban and post-Taliban years, and has a wealth of information to share with us. Her book Opium Nation: One Woman's Journey Home to Afghanistan is scheduled to be released by Harper Collins later in 2011.
One hundred and fifty years ago on Tuesday afternoon April 9,1861, an armed crowd of thousands, on horseback and in buggies, rode into downtown San Jose, accompanied by a band and at least one cannon. Many in the crowd had been present earlier that morning in front of city hall, where Sheriff John Murphy gave a roll call for a posse to enforce a government order evicting squatters who had illegally settled in the Evergreen district on land claimed as a former Mexican land grant. After dispersing and reassembling at the Evergreen School House, the crowd now returned to the streets of San Jose. Sheriff Murphy drove his buggy into the center of Washington Square (now the site of San Jose State), and surrounded by all, gave a speech. He said he derived his power from the people, but the people had resisted him. The people had taken his power away, what could he do? If they were right, go ahead, but if they were wrong, he wasn’t responsible. He was cheered, and the crowd dispersed peacefully. So ended the “Settlers War,” three days before the firing at Fort Sumter.
This is based on an eyewitness account from the Journals of Alfred Doten in the California Room. To find more California Room resources on the Settlers War including the Governor’s Message and the Squatters Declaration of Rights, go to the California Room index and type in “Settler’s War. “
Friendly counselors? Check!
The Youth Science Institute is conveniently located in both the eastern and western edges of San Jose: Alum Rock Park and Vasona Park. Each park has weekly summer camps throughout the summer that engage different interests: hiking, bike riding, fishing, exploring, etc.
YSI also provides entertaining school shows and library(!) shows. Last summer, YSI brought over live frogs, snakes, and other reptiles for our library audience to "ooh and ahh" over.
If you are interested in camps that are fun, but also educational, YSI is the perfect camp for you! (Lunch not included, but flora and fauna are!) My daughter developed an initial (but ongoing) love of science through YSI!
If you are interested in science, here are some Dewey numbers to keep in mind:
570 Life Sciences
580 Plant Life
Happy reading and experimenting! Don't forget, if you have a super-terrific summer camp you'd like to talk about, add a comment to this post!
Save the date of Saturday, April 23, 2011 for the upcoming Friends of the Edenvale Library's Book Sale in the library’s Community Room. This awesome sale will begin at 10:00 AM and will end at 6:00 PM. Choose from thousands of gently used books and media for kids, teens and adults. All purchases will go to help support programs and events at the Edenvale Branch Library.
You are welcome to visit and like the Friends of the Edenvale Library's Facebook page. There are many different Friends Groups throughout San Jose Public Library that support programs for kids, teens and adults.
Do you enjoy mystery novels, but can't handle the blood and gore? Do you love the puzzles, but hate the violence? Do you prefer the light-hearted to the down-and-dirty? Then have I got a series for you! Pick up the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton, a mystery series where no one is ever murdered! Join Lori Shepherd, a young American woman who inherits a country cottage in the English Cotswolds from a friend of the family whom she thought was just a fictional character from her mother's stories. She uncovers puzzles and mysteries and goes after them with great gusto and merry mishaps. Loads of fun for the fainthearted!
Today playoff season begins for our very own San Jose Sharks. In celebration of what will be their road to Lord Stanley’s Cup, here are some quite interesting facts about hockey, the Sharks, and anything else related.
Let's Go Sharks!
197 years ago on April 14, 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated his title as Emperor of France and was banished to the island of Elba. Within a year he managed to escape from Elba and reconstitute his forces. However, on June 18, 1815 his troops were again defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in what is today the country of Belgium, and he was finally exiled to the island of Saint Helena where he died.
This wonderful cultural event occurs once a year at Tully Community Branch Library. The Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe will perform for us on Saturday, April 23 at 4PM. Come and enjoy the beautiful costumes and intricate dance performances.
I would like to extend a special thank you to the Troupe for their contribution and Happy Cambodian New Year!
Rufus, a fifth grader wants a dog. Now what could be wrong with that; dogs learn tricks, they play games, they hang out with you, sleep at the foot of your bed and protect you and your family from intruders. Dogs are cool! Right! Who wouldn't want a dog? Unfortunately, Rufus' dad; and dad has come up with an endless list of objections such as, they whine, they bark, they lick people's faces, their poop has to be scooped, they eat mice, they can infest the house with blood sucking fleas and on and on and on! Rusfus' mom thinks that Rufus should have a pet, so she goes out and buys a guinea pig, a guinea pig with a spiky white mohawk! Rufus is not too excited about this pet but he doesn't want to hurt his mom's feelings so he decides to give Fido a try; yes he names his guinea pig Fido and Fido starts behaving more and more like a dog! You'll be amazed by what he can do and by the adventures Rufus and Fido have. Read Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings, a fun read about a boy and the pet he comes to love. By the end of the book you'll have to agree when Rufus says to Fido, the guinea pig "What a dog!"
In the 60s and 70s, Larry Niven wrote a succession of Known Space stories which are considered some of the classics of science fiction, combining interesting hard science with fast-paced adventure. Now, like a visit from a dear old friend, he has returned to this fictional universe, in a set of collaborations with Edward Lerner. The new stories, with familiar characters, include: Fleet of Worlds; Juggler of Worlds; Destroyer of Worlds; and Betrayer of Worlds
Four years ago I discovered the Going Native Garden Tour and was inspired to redesign my front yard to feature California native plants. If the idea of waterwise, low maintenance, and bird and butterfly gardening appeals to you, sign up on the California Native Plant Society, Santa Clara Valley Chapter's website for their upcoming April 17th garden tour. It's a great opportunity to peek into expert gardener's front and back yards and to get advice on plant selection and growing techniques. Once you're inspired to try native plants, checkout the SJPL's collection of California native plant books, buy some new plants, and grab your shovel!
Enriching the Lives of Children with Autism, Inc. or ELCA, Inc., has wonderful summer programs at the end of summer for children on the spectrum. Since most children with special needs attend summer school, these camps fall during the peak period when the child might be getting bored with their summer.
Attend the Recess Skills Camp, which explores different games elementary school-aged children play during their recesses and the social skills required to navigate those games. There is also a School Readiness camp for the younger preschool set, who are just getting ready to dip their toes into the lake called "elementary school"!
ELCA, Inc. specializes in the ABA method. To learn more about the Applied Behavior Analysis method, check out these books:
Success Strategies for Teaching Kids With Autism by Wendy Ashcroft
Applied Behaviour Analysis and Autism: Building a Future Together edited by Mickey Keenan
This is Autism Awareness Month! If you have any summer camps to suggest, add a comment to this post. Watch for future posts about other kinds of summer camps. If you would like a particular kind of summer camp (theater, science, etc.) explored, mention this in your comment.
Hey Harry Potter movie fans! Get first dibs on the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows....at the LIBRARY???? Yes, HP fans, rejoice! You can see the movie two days before it's wide release on tax day, April 15! Wow!
Of course, we always encourage reading the book first! There are several differences from the book. Most significantly, Kreacher's "breakthrough" is not developed on film. It was one of the most uplifting scenes in the book, IMHO.
This is all leading up to the movie finale on July 14th! Read the whole series again before that time, though:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Meet all of the characters for the first time)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Learn about the first horcrux here!)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Sirius!)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (The nail-biting Triwizard Tournament)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry, the angry outcast)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Romance is in the air)
To keep up with the wizarding ways, visit some fun HP sites, including:
When Jimmie is elected captain of his baseball team, he decides that he will also become the team’s pitcher. The team is not so sure this is a good decision. They already have Paul, a very skilled and experienced pitcher. Why should Paul be displaced when he has proven to be the best team player for the pitching mound? But Jimmie is the captain, and the team must follow his lead. Jimmie has a lot to learn about being a team captain and he soon finds himself tangled up in a choice he must make between his ego and the welfare of the team. Author Matt Christopher writes one of the most popular sports series for young readers. If you love baseball and fast paced, action stories you will enjoy Power Pitcher as well as all the Matt Christopher sports fiction.
The San José Public Library offers a variety of tools to help you succeed as a parent. At upcoming events offered in both Spanish and English, parents can learn about Fatherhood and Male Involvement (held at Edenvale Library on April 14 and April 21, at Alum Rock Branch Library on April 16 and April 30).
These are only a few of the many classes, workshops and events that the San José Public Library offers for parents.
There is a great show on ABC called: Secret Millionaire. The premise of the show is to have a millionaire pose as an everyday citizen and help with a charity of their choice. The catch is the members of the charitable organization and the people they are helping do not know that there is a millionaire amongst them. The secret millionaire will usually volunteer for a few different charities and by the end they decide where they will donate a significant amount of money. At the conclusion of the show the secret millionaire reveals their true identity and the generous amount of money they are donating to the charity of their choice. This was such a great and uplifting show and I was glad I was able to watch this on television on a particular Sunday night.
If you are also interested in serving your community, you can begin your journey of volunteering here at the San José Public Library by learning about our many volunteering opportunities and then volunteering.
A petty criminal goes too far and is sentenced to hard time in a brutal French prison. Behind bars, he is forced to work for the Corsican faction that runs the place but senses that their dominance may be waning and makes plans of his own. A film by Jacques Audiard, A Prophet was nominated for an Academy Award and has a 90 percent rating at Metacritic.
Mother's Day is May 8 and it's almost here! Join us at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Saturday, April 23 at 3:00PM when we will be making a gift just for Mom. This craft is part of our monthly STUFF! program where we use recycled materials to make beautiful works of art. Our volunteer Chris and her assistant Mickey will be showing us how to make wonderful jewelry boxes that any mom would love to have. All materials will be supplied and remember that parking is FREE at the 4th Street Garage until 6:00PM on Saturdays.
If you're looking for books about Mother's Day the library has a great selection. Check them out and remember to join us for a fun afternoon on April 23.
Law Week honors the role of law in our nation; AmeriCorps Week recognizes AmeriCorps’ impact in communities across the country and acknowledges the contributions of its volunteers and community partners. This year’s theme, “Everyone Should Be Heard,” honors one of the fundamental principles of American law— defending the rights of the accused and everyone getting a chance to tell someone their side of the story.
Tutor.com now offers a mobile app! Tutor.com To Go lets you connect to a professional academic or career tutor right from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Just use the same account information that you use on your computer. Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments.
Do you need to write a position paper on a controversial subject, take part in a debate or just improve your critical thinking skills? With regards to a difficult subject, are you not even sure if you're pro or con?
Points of View Reference Center is designed to help students and researchers understand the broader scope of hundreds of contentious topics like censorship, abortion and factory farming by providing thousands of articles from the world's top political and societal publications.
One of its excellent features is the collection of color graphs and charts that one can use to substantiate one’s arguments in papers and presentations.
Emma Kate by Patricia Polacco is a story about Emma Kate and her best friend. They are inseparable, they do everything together including going to school, riding bikes, going to soccer practice, and they even get their tonsils taken out at the same time! The illustrations are done in beautiful pencil drawings with only a select few vivid color details on every page. With a surprise twist at the end you may want to reread this book!
Young dinosaur enthusiasts will find The Ultimate Dinopedia (by Don Lessem; illustrated by Franco Tempesta) a valuable reference tool for their research or leisure reading. Published by National Geographic Society, this book contains the latest information on more than 600 dinosaurs. Contents are divided into four parts: Discovering Dinosaurs (covering general information such as habitats, family tree, migration, herding, etc.), The Meat Eaters, The Plant Eaters, and Dino Dictionary. Readers of all ages will be mesmerized by this book's beautiful artwork and a wealth of updated information on dinosaurs.
* Find more books by Don Lessem, the "Dino" author!
* Find more books on Dinosaurs
* Find library materials published by National Geographic Society
150 years ago today marked the beginning of the Civil War. On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, marking the beginning of four years of military hostilities between the Union states in the north and the Confederate states in the south. More than 20 years ago filmmaker Ken Burns made The Civil War documentary series that aired over 5 nights on PBS. This series has been rebroadcast many times since. It still remains popular with PBS viewers. San José Public Library also owns this collection so you can watch it without having to wait for it to be broadcast over PBS. Check out our many other holdings about this important era in American history, including a companion book to Burns' series, Geoffrey C. Ward's The Civil War: An Illustrated History/Narrative.
Teens’ Creative Impulses Are Encouraged Through a Fun Activity
That Strengthens Self-Confidence and Poise
SAN JOSE, Calif.— Hey teens! Can you sing? Dance? Juggle? Tell some funny jokes? Show off your unique talent and maybe even win cash prizes by competing in the Teen Talent Show sponsored by San José Public Library.
The activity will have two rounds: regional competitions and a final contest. Regional competitions will be held on the following dates and locations:
Saturday, April 23, 2011
· 12:00 p.m. – Berryessa Branch Library, 3355 Noble Ave., (408) 808-3050
· 2:00 p.m. – West Valley Branch Library, 1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd., (408) 244-4747
· 2:00 p.m. – Santa Teresa Branch Library, 290 International Cir., (408) 808-3068
· 2:00 p.m. – Joyce Ellington Branch Library, 491 E . Empire St., (408) 808-3043
Saturday, April 30, 2011
· 2:00 p.m. - Cambrian Branch Library, 1780 Hillsdale Ave., (408) 808-3080
· 2:00 p.m. - Evergreen Branch Library, 2635 Aborn Rd., (408) 808-3060
Cash prizes of $50, $25 and $10 will be awarded to the top three winners at each of the branch competitions. The top two winners from each location will be invited to continue on to the final contest on Saturday, May 21 to be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Community Room at the Almaden Branch Library and Community Center (6445 Camden Ave.). Winners of the final round will take home $250, $150 and $50 for first, second and third place, respectively.
The competition is open to teens 12 to 18 years old and competing groups may include up to 10 performers. Routines should be indoor-friendly, about five minutes long and appropriate for a diverse audience of all ages. Contestants are expressly advised to avoid including obscene or offensive content. Performances will be judged using a 10-point scale on the following categories: stage presence, originality, audience response, and professionalism. The decision of the judges is final.
Registration packets will be available at all San José Public Library locations. Participants must submit their registration form at the one location where they want to compete. For more information, visit the contest web page at www.sjpl.org/TeenTalentShow or call (408) 808-2175.
About San José Public Library
San José Public Library system (SJPL) is the largest public library system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, serving a culturally diverse population of approximately 1,023,000 in the nation’s 10th largest city. SJPL is recognized across the country for its innovation and leadership in the field and is one of the busiest library systems nationwide, with an annual checkout rate of nearly 15 million items.
A Celebration of Teen Tech Week 2011, “Mix & Mash @ your library”
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Fremont-based group—She Waves the Flag—won the 2011 Teen Tech Week “ Battle of the Bands” concert finale held Saturday, March 19 at the Almaden Library and Community Center. The grand prize for their achievement is a $250 Visa® gift card.
The event showcased emerging musical talent among local youth. Twenty bands competed initially in San José Public Library’s 2011 Teen Tech Week “Battle of the Bands.” Contestants entered the contest by recording a performance, posting it online and then submitting a link to access their performance. All entries were posted on the official Teen Tech Week “Battle of the Bands” web page and viewers were invited to cast their vote online for up to three bands. Over 2,700 votes were cast.
The five bands receiving the most popular votes were invited to continue in the competition by giving a public performance before a live audience and a panel of community judges, which included: Andrew Kutsenda, Pin Up Productions in San Jose; Amy Anderson, Events Manager San Jose Downtown Association and Producer of Music in the Park; Paul Kauppila, Rock Scholar, Music Historian and Radio DJ; and Kat Luedke, Teen Librarian at the West Valley Branch Library.
Second place went to the Conversions, who performed alternative/ experimental rock and was rewarded with a $150 Visa® gift card. Third place was awarded to the young members of The Twinge, who performed indie, alternative rock and received a $50 Visa® gift card. Other bands appearing in Saturday’s live performance included The Gist and Some Random People. Links to the original contest entries will remain posted on the “Battle of the Bands” web page for all to enjoy.
“Battle of the Bands” highlights San José Public Library’s observance of Teen Tech Week (March 6-12). For more information on programs and services for teens, visit the Teens page at www.sjpl.org/teens, contact your neighborhood library or call King Library Youth Services at (408) 808-2183.
The library gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of its community sponsors:
Teen Tech Week
Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and videogames. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries' non-print resources for education and recreation, and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology. Teen Tech Week began in 2007 and has a general theme of Get Connected @ your library.
WHAT: Free live concert featuring five teen band finalists chosen by popular vote during the online Teen Tech Week - Battle of the Bands competition sponsored by San José Public Library. A panel of community judges will use a 10-point scale to rate the bands based on musical ability, originality, professionalism, and stage presence. First place winner will receive $250, second place $150 and third place $50. Live 105. 3 FM will host the event and provide giveaways.
For information, visit www.sjpl.org/battleofthebands or call (408) 808-2175. Click on each band’s link to preview their submission.
WHEN: Saturday, March 19, 2011 from 3-6 p.m.
WHERE: Almaden Library and Community Center – Community Room: 6445 Camden Ave., San Jose
The finalists (see more details below):
WHY: Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association since 2007 and aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and videogames. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries' non-print resources for education and recreation. This year’s theme is "Mix & Mash @ your library." Community sponsors include, Live 105.3 FM and PinUp Productions.
All the bands are from Santa Clara County.
Conversions - Alternative / Experimental / Rock
In their own words: We are a very original sounding band due to the amount of moods, sounds, and genres our music contains. We are all very dedicated to our music and hopefully it shows through each song.
The Gist - Alternative / Classic Rock / Blues Rock / Pop-Rock
In their own words: The Gist of Rock is here! We play it all Alternative, Classic Rock, Blues Rock, Pop-Rock and all. We owe it to Green Day, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Rush, and other Classic and Alternative Rock bands. Come hear the Gist. We want to make it to your playlist.
She Waves The Flag - Pop/Hardcore
In their own words: We started about 3 years ago, but with the constant member changes and genre differences, we like to think we truly started about a year ago. We've played over 50 shows, recorded our 5 song EP and we are going back March 25th through the 27th to record our second 4 song EP. We had over 800 downloads on our first EP and we are constantly giving our strongest efforts to improve our band and expand our music. We really love music and we love making music and playing shows for others to enjoy. We generally do it for others over ourselves. So we hope everyone can get into our music and enjoy it as much as we do playing it!
Some Random People (SRP) - Classic Rock
Band Description: Some Random People (SRP) was formed in the summer of 2010, born out of a common musical interest and love for classic rock. Four schoolmates joined together to plan their assault. After only a handful of practices over a period of a few weeks, their ambitions were realized when they took the stage to play their first show in October, 2010 at the Cupertino Carnival followed by holiday and spirit rally performances at their own and other local area schools. With these victories in their wake, they now look to the future...
The Twinge - Alternative Rock / Indie
In their own words: The Twinge is a band formed of school friends who all share a passion for music. We like to play good ol' rock n' roll, alternative rock, and indie music. We take our influence from classic rock artists like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles and contemporary influence from bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, and Cage the Elephant. We're into everything and appreciate all kinds of music, and are sure you'll enjoy our upbeat catchy originals, solid covers, and unique style.
Small Business Development Centers or SBDC's are located throughout the state and nationally. SBDC's can help you start, manage, and grow your business. We are lucky that we have a SBDC right here in San José. The Silicon Valley SBDC offers many free services including help with business and marketing plans and one on one consulting. So if you are a new business owner or an already established owner looking for some guidance, SBDC can help.
I’ve never been sure what the “Z” in Andy Z stands for. Could be zany, because he’s definitely a little of that. It’s obviously not for zzzzz as in sleeping – Andy gets a group of children moving like few other children’s performers, capturing their imaginations and engaging all their senses. He’s shown here in a lively performance at Willow Glen Library on April 9. If you missed it, don’t despair… Andy will be at Vineland Branch Library on April 16 at 11 a.m., at Almaden Branch Library on April 20 at 11:15 a.m., and at Alviso Branch Library on April 23 at 3 p.m. All performances are free. Check out San Jose Library’s April Events Calendar for more details. To learn more about Andy Z and his unique brand of music, visit his website andyz.com.
The Family Book by Todd Parr is a wonderful book that describes the different types of families people can be a part of. There are many different types of families in this book, but they all have love for each other in common. Very easy to read, so you can read it again and again and try to remember all the differences and similarities of families each time you read it!
Jonathan Franzen's long-awaited novel Freedom lives up to the promise shown in his last novel, The Corrections, which won the National Book Award in 2001. Freedom focuses on the Berglund family of St. Paul, Minnesota. The first 25 pages of the book lay out the family’s story and set up the book’s conflicts. Patty Berglund is a Volvo-driving, home renovating, stay-at-home mom who may focus too much of her attention on her son Joey. Walter Berglund is a bicycle-commuting 3M employee who, we learn in the first paragraph of the book, eventually gets into trouble for working with the coal industry. Joey chafes at his mother’s attention and rebels by taking up with a girl whose mother is Patty’s nemesis while Jessica, the Berglund’s daughter, seems to fade into the background of the story. After all these stories are laid out, Franzen dives into each one, filling in the details of each. I enjoyed each story and though many of the plot twists were out of the realm of believability, it is still a good read.
Freedom has been out for several months and though I had to wait a long time for my hold to come in, there are now copies available at the San José Public Library. You might even be able to check it out and renew it if you need to. And you might need to; this book clocks in at 562 pages.
King is a dog. He’s also a detective, solving mysteries with his human, Kayla. But right now, there is a serious problem, King’s family is missing, and King, well, he’s in the P-O-U-N-D. It looks like he will need to solve this mystery by himself. First of all, like any good detective, King makes a plan. Kayla writes her plan on paper, but King will keep his in his head. And where should he start? Number 1: Escape from the P-O-U-N-D.
By using his nose and being friendly, King accomplishes the first step – he leaves the P-O-U-N-D with a boy named Connor and his mother. They are the perfect humans for King to adopt, at least temporarily since they live in King’s old neighborhood. And so, King sets off to find his family.
Events intervene, and King must adapt his plan to his new circumstances. But even as he solves the current mystery, he never forgets his main objective – find his family.
I was sorry to come to the end of this delightful book, but pleased to see we have two more books available in this series. This book would be a good choice for children transitioning from series titles like Encyclopedia Brown and Katie Kazoo to other juvenile fiction titles.
Anyone who eats in restaurants should find Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl entertaining, and a bit shocking. The author tells of her years as food critic for the New York Times and her efforts to hide her identity as she visits some of the city's most famous restaurants. With the help of friends and associates, she creates a variety of disguises, and assumes a particular identity with each one, in order to find out how some of these restaurants treat ordinary customers. It's incredible how badly she is treated in some of Manhattan's most well-known and priciest restaurants when she shows up in some of her disguises.
Available at San José Public Library as an audiobook, a downloadable ebook, and in print.
Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont is an excellent book for a dog lover at any age. It’s a story about one rainy day and a tiny doghouse that gets very full with lots of different animals trying to stay out of the rain. All of the animals are more than welcome in Rover’s dog house except for one animal that is known for its awful smell and sends all the other animals running into the rain! This book is great for beginning readers because the text is on one side of the page and is also printed in a large font that is easy to read. Phrases are also repeated so hopefully a pattern is noticed and your young reader can start reading along with you!
MedlinePlus is a great place to start when you are seeking information on a wide range of subjects in the medical field. For example, under the Health Topics page, you can search; Body Location/Systems, Disorders & Conditions, Diagnosis and Theory, Health & Wellness, or Demographic Groups.
Do you want to know the effects of a certain drug? It's here. Do you have an upcoming surgery? Find out what preparation is needed and choose from a list of surgical video recordings. What about immunization schedules for children you ask?! You guessed it.
Browsers may also choose English or Spanish language text. (I really like the Merriam Webster search component for when I don't know how to spell what I'm trying to find.) This site has a great collection of interactive tutorials and videos. Wow!
MedlinePlus is just one of the many excellent databases offered by the San José Public Library.
April 12, 2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, or The War Between the States. On April 12, 1861 at 4:30 A.M. the first shots of the war were fired by Confederate forces on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. And so began a terrible conflict between the North and South that lasted four years. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the onset of the Civil War, many events and exhibits will be held throughout the United States. Check out these outstanding Civil War documentaries and books that the library has to offer.
Popular historical fiction based on the Civil War include the following novels :
Alison Arngrim, the actress who played Nellie Oleson in the TV series Little House on the Prairie, has written a biography. In Confessions of a Prairie Bitch she tells with snide humor about life with her wacky family, her time on the set, and her life afterwards, living with the dubious notoriety of such an iconic character. But she is strong enough and smart enough to survive this onerous responsibility (and much more) and laugh about it in the meantime!
It is time to plan your summer vacation. If you have old friends and siblings in a foreign country, visiting that country will make it a meaningful trip. A great place to go is Taiwan, which has the most exotic scenery you can experience. To start planning and preparing for your trip there, be sure to visit the San José Public Library and get a few books and DVDs about Taiwan.
Want to know more about what is going on in your neighborhood? Is there an interesting story in your community you want to tell everyone about? Have a community event you'd like to promote? Then you need to take a look at NeighborwebSJ.com!
Launched in August 2010, NeighborwebSJ is a convenient way for SJ citizens to connect with City Hall, various other community organizations, as well as with fellow residents. There are many useful resources available on this one site including a community calendar, information about the Strong Neighborhood Initiatives around the city, and a laundry list of important links. There are also articles about current events where citizens can interact with each other by commenting on these pieces. It's a great way to become an advocate for your community on your computer!
Looking for other ways to get involved in your community? Why not try volunteering at the library? We have plenty of volunteering opportunities for ages 13 and up.
When I went to visit friends near Las Vegas, they took me to see Hoover Dam. I was astounded by its size, location, and beauty. I couldn’t imagine who had thought of it, and how it was built. Fortunately, I discovered a great book about those things. Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century is written by Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize winning author. The book is a history of the dam, its impact on the American West, and its impact on the entire country. This is an informative, well-written, and highly recommended book available through your local San José Public Library. Check it out!
Are you looking for a safe and supportive learning environment where your child with special needs can interact with peers?
Come join us for a fun and educational Inclusive Storytime with stories, songs, fingerplays and other activities that will engage your child's individual learning style at the Hillview Branch Library on Wednesday, April 13th from 11:30am - 12pm.
We welcome and encourage participation by children of varying backgrounds and abilities in the belief that each child is a valuable member of the community. Children who are learning English are also encourage to attend.
Local Bay Area author, Sara Pennypecker is the creator of the popular Clementine novels, the Stuart books and co-author of the Flat Stanley books, and is back with a new adventure entitled , Clementine Friend of the Week. This is her fourth book about Clementine. The first was Clementine, which is also available as an audio, and was our first introduction to the loveable fruit-named girl who reminded me a lot of another enjoyable literary character, Ramona Quimby. Clementine then appeared in two more books, The Talented Clementine and Clementine’s Letter all which are available at any of the San José Public Libraries.
In the newest Clementine adventure, Clementine, Friend of the Week, third grader, Clementine has been selected as the Friend of the Week in her school classroom. The honor has many important responsibilities such as leading the Pledge of Allegiance, collecting milk money, being the line leader, and feeding the fish. At the end of the week, the third grader will get a friendship booklet signed by all of her classmates telling her how much they appreciate her. Fourth grader, Margaret, Clementine’s frenemy – on again off again best friend, gives suggestions on how to procure compliments so that everyone will write something nice in her friendship book. The following day Clementine starts giving them to every person she comes in contact with, primarily based on physical observations which doesn’t always work out as she planned. Just as Clementine looks forward to the best week ever, things take a turn for the worse when Moisturizer, her beloved cat goes missing. Heartbroken over her missing pet Clementine totally forgets all about her promises. Will she have any friends and will they write anything nice?
Fans of the Clementine series won’t be disappointed in the latest installment of Clementine’s life, her relationship with her family , especially when Clementine refers to her brother as a different fruit each time – how does Pennypecker remember so many names of fruits? Keeping a series fresh is a tribute to an author’s skill and ability to capture the many nuances of childhood life especially being a friend one moment, an enemy the next, and then a friend again all in the same afternoon. Don’t you wish everyone could behave this way?
Fariba will focus her talk on the cultural, religious, and economic influences between modern-day Iran and Afghanistan. Fariba will then answer your questions about these two countries.
Fariba lived in Afghanistan as a child, during the Taliban and post-Taliban years, and has a wealth of information to share with us. Her book Opium Nation: One Woman's Journey Home to Afghanistan is scheduled to be released by Harper Collins later in 2011.
This afternoon when I was returning from lunch, it started to rain, then the rain turned to hail. I have not seen hail since before I moved to California. I think that weather is a fascinating subject to study and here at the San José Public library, we have many types of materials, for all ages, that one can use to learn about the weather. We even have books that offer suggestions for activities to do on a rainy day.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! We may not have moving sidewalks yet, but did you know that there is an international olympics held every year...just for robots?! That's right, it's almost time for RoboGames 2011, coming to San Mateo County Event Center on April 15-17. From their website: RoboGames is the olympics of robots - we invite the best minds from around the world to compete in over 50 different events: combat robots, fire-fighters, LEGO bots, hockey bots, walking humanoids, soccer bots, sumo bots, and even androids that do kung-fu.
Sounds like a fun way to enjoy science and innovation with the whole family! It'll be an exciting precursor to the all-out blast that is the annual Maker Faire, which will be coming soon to the San Mateo Event Center, May 21-22. If you are a young person with a budding interest in robotics or an adult who just loves to tinker, check out the many items we have to offer for beginner to advanced robotics, including these:
Robot Building for Beginners by David Cook
You can start reading this eBook right now on your computer to explore the basics of robot building before you head out into the garage.
How Robots Work by Tony Hyland
This is a nice little book to share with younger children, with easy-to-follow facts and pictures about robots of the past, present, and future.
This may be an older book, but the fundamentals taught in these projects are great for kids, teens, or adults seeking to build their very own robot with exciting (and moving!) results.
This fascinating 4-part documentary that aired on the Discovery Channel explores various recent technological advances in the world of robotics.
With so many robots increasingly among us, perhaps we should also start reading up on all of those science fiction stories about robots...
Did you know that some insects have amazing powers?
Come learn who has special UV vision, who has super strength,
and who can leap a tall building (compared to their own size)
in a single bound!
Every year, we try to make "Children's Day" a fun and educational day for the whole family. This year, let us celebrate our children by giving them a "gift of reading" to begin their educational journey. Join us on Saturday, April 30 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Tully Community Branch Library for great stories, crafts, reading workshops and refreshments!
Hãy đến Thư Viện Tully Ngày Thứ Bảy, 30 Tháng Tư từ 11:00 giờ sáng đến 1:00 giờ trưa để cùng chúng tôi nghe đọc truyện, làm thủ công, trau dồi kiến thức và có một ngày đầy vui tươi cho các em!
Cada año, intentamos reírnos el “día de los niños” y día educativo para la familia entera. Este año, nos dejó celebra a nuestros niños dándoles un “regalo de la lectura” para comenzar su viaje educativo. Ensámblenos encendido Sábado, 30 de abril de 11:00 a 1:00 P.M. en la biblioteca del rama de la comunidad de Tully ¡para las grandes historias, artes, leyendo talleres y los refrigerios!
In The Magic Half, eleven-year-old Miri is stuck in the middle between two sets of twins. With older twin brothers and younger twin sisters, she feels left out and anything but special. Miri comes to find out she’s more special than she realized – perhaps even magical – after her family moves to an old house in the country and she discovers a small piece of glass taped to the wall in her attic bedroom. Miri looks through it and is transported to the same room in 1935. There she meets Molly, who is living in the house with her cruel aunt and abusive cousin. Together the girls devise a plan for Miri to return to the future and take Molly with her. Author Annie Barrows, who also wrote the Ivy and Bean series, combines just the right amounts of suspense, mystery and magic in this time-traveling tale for children in the middle grades.
Three suspicious cats will question your authority to read this delightful new picture book by author Jef Czekaj. As it is clearly explained in Cat Secrets, this book is strictly for cat eyes only!
In order to be allowed access, you will need to pass several cat tests that will have you meowing, purring, stretching, and napping to prove your worth. Along the way, extra observant readers may notice another silent character on the pages who is also trying to get his hands... er, paws on this top secret book.
What is the Weekly Register of New Accounts? Well, it's a list that the City of San José puts together weekly of all the businesses that have registered for a business tax license. The Weekly Register of New Accounts contains the business name, owner(s), business and mailing address, phone number, type of business, and NAICS code. Why would someone want to see this list? Well, folks use it for business/sales leads. For example, perhaps you are a salesperson for copy machines and need to find some new clients. The new businesses on this list would be a good target audience for you to market or sell your product. A new list generally comes out on Mondays. You can view this list at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 2nd Floor. If you wanted to buy your own copy of the list; the City charges a fee for a copy but we have a copy available for viewing.
Bazil survives a shootout between gangs but is left unemployed and has a bullet lodged precariously in his skull. When he identifies the arms manufacturers he holds responsible for his injuries and the death of his father years earlier from a landmine, he plots revenge, Yojimbo style, with some unusually talented friends. A film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs has a 73 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Why is practicing English a good idea?
Show your family that learning is for all ages. Learn so that you can help your children learn.
Come to the San José Public Library’s ESL Conversation Clubs.
Come with your friends to this FREE Conversation Club. Tell your family about this club and bring your neighbors. ESL Conversation Clubs are a safe place to talk and learn. Everybody talks!
Try the following websites - see how fun learning can be:
We just started a subscription to a database, Tuition Funding Sources (TFS). This is a scholarship database (over $41 Billion in awards) that also includes college and career information.
You can get to this database from here: http://sjpl.org/databases#Care
You have to first choose the state you live in, and create a username (email address) and password to get started. You don’t have to provide an address or phone number – those fields are optional. What do you think about this resource? Please let us know in the comments.
Time to start preparing for that big term paper? Literary Reference Center provides useful guidelines for planning, researching and writing it.
Once you’re on the Literary Reference Center home page, go to the Reference Shelf in the upper right hand corner and click on Research Guide. This guide will provide you concise and thorough advice on writing research papers, including:
- Choosing your topic
- Beginning your research
- Taking notes and writing a draft
- Evaluating your information, citing your sources and (gasp!) avoiding plagiarism
And there is even help with the dreaded: my paper is nearly due and I’ve barely started!
What’s nice about this resource is that the recommendations are short and sweet. When you already have plenty of work to do researching your term paper – the last thing you need is to read another book on writing a successful research paper!
On Tuesday, April 5th at 6:30 PM, the Edenvale Branch Library will present a program on disaster preparedness that takes a step back from real disasters by focusing on a "zombie apocalypse."
This is a great way to plan for those more earthly disasters like storms, earthquakes, and power outages with the added fun of pretending it's to keep away the zombies. We'll show families how to keep their kids involved in disaster planning by making it all about zombies.& Children and teens might not feel comfortable putting together a disaster plan while thinking of actual emergency situations. By putting the task in the form of a zombie apocalypse plan, valuable planning can be accomplished that can be used in any emergency situation.
This program will be repeated at other libraries.
Come and enjoy a fun Wii experience for kids on Tuesday, April 12, 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. We will be playing Wii Sports (bowling and tennis). This is a great way to meet new friends, become acquainted with the Wii or show off your Wii gaming skills. This event will be held in Almaden Library's program room. For ages 7-12
Witness by Karen Hesse is a chilling, beautifully written novel set in a small Vermont town. Told from the point of view of 11 different characters and in free verse, this story relates actual events that occurred after the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan in 1924. At the heart of the story are Leanora, a 12 year-old African American girl and Esther Hirsh, a 6 year-old Jewish girl whose families are victimized by the Klan. From these two young girls to the town’s adult citizens, the author has created convincing and distinct voices for each of the 11 characters. It is fascinating to read about the same events as they are told from these very different points of view and to see changes in attitudes slowly taking place.
If you enjoy the powerful format of the novel told in poems, you’re in luck because there are many other excellent poem-novels out there. Here are just a few of them:
And if you liked these poem-novels, here are even more titles.
With the arrival of April 17, hundreds of vintage Volkswagen enthusiasts gather at Kelly Park, San Jose to display their air-cooled Volkswagens. Bugs, Campers, Sedans, 'Things', and other Volkswagen-based cars in a rainbow of colors are parked amid the restored historic homes to be judged by both the attending public and qualified owners. Sponsored by the Golden Gate Chapter of the Vintage Volkswagen Club of America, Kelly Park is considered by owners/collectors as a major, nationally recognized event. If you're looking for a fun event, have the day free, and want to experience a slice of the Sixties, stop by and check out the cool cars!
Now that the rains have come and gone it is finally beginning to feel like Spring! For many, this season is the start of spending lots of time outdoors and making new friends--so why not combine the two? The San José Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) is hosting a series of Spring Fling Egg Hunts and Events citywide throughout this month . The events, all of which are open to the public, are designed to promote outdoor activities and healthy exercise. The Spring Fling will have everything from Rabbit Runs to Egg-on-a-Spoon Skate Races. Please visit www.sanjoseca.gov/prns for more information. For questions, contact Mona Favorite-Hill at 408-793-5589 or email@example.com.
First published in 1943, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry never fails to move generations of readers with its story of love and survival. What begins as the strange meeting of two strangers stranded on a desert, later unfolds into a fantastic tale of planetary voyage by a child who called himself "Little Prince." Now in graphic form with drawings by French comic artist Joann Sfar and translator Sarah Ardizzone, this book will carry reader's imagination to a new horizon and further enhance its messages of human compassion and true meaning of life. This is a book that you cannot read once.
* Floccinaucinihilipilification is one of the longest English words
* All New England states can fit inside the state of South Dakota
* Demodex folliculorum and D. brevis are the two parasites that presently live on your face
* Camels once roamed the American southwest
Those are among hundreds of fun facts you can find in All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge by Kee Malesky, an editorial advisor at NPR. Ironically the author claimed (in her Introduction), "this book does not contain all facts." Fact or fiction? Well you can find out by grabbing this book in your next trip to the library. Read one or more of these delightful "factual" stories on your coffee break.
The Images of Asia series of pocket- sized illustrated books covers interesting and sometimes obscure areas of South East Asian history and culture. Written for the reader who wants a general introduction, each title is 50-100 pages, indexed and contains a bibliography for further reading. Illustrations, both color and black and white are well selected.
Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Berryessa Branch Library, Community Room
From Wikipedia: Chinese knotting (Chinese: 中國結; pinyin: Zhōngguó jié) is a decorative handicraft art that began as a form of Chinese folk art in the Tang and Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) in China. It was later popularized in the Ming. The art is also referred to as Chinese traditional decorative knots. In other cultures, it is known as "Decorative knots."
These days it's easy to see what your favorite author is doing - besides hopefully working on the next great book. John Green is a great example:
I’ve met with my learner a couple of times so far. We go over the alphabet, short words, and sounds, and I have her read from a booklet that I got from the PAR office. I feel that if you are not interested in what you are reading, you won’t be interested in learning so I’ve tried to get some books from the library that I think she would enjoy. This endeavor is a partnership. It’s Partners in Reading. I have to be there to teach, and my learner has to be there to learn. If one or the other is not fully there to be involved in the task at hand, it makes the tutoring that much more difficult. I can’t prepare my tutee to be ready to learn when we meet. I can only prepare myself to help her, and I have seen that sometimes I’m not as focused as I should be. I know that I need to have a plan prepared before we begin to work. That is my responsibility. It takes a certain personality to be a teacher. I’m sure each of us could remember only one or two teachers in our lives who truly had an impact on us. What about the rest of those teachers? Maybe I just want others to enjoy reading like I enjoy it. To Kill a Mockingbird is another book that I have enjoyed in my life. Reading takes to you different places, where there are different kinds of people. I think the one thing that touches me is that we all have similar feelings. No matter where you live or who you are it’s the feelings inside that connect us. I need to be patient with my learner, and be like the turtle, slow but sure. I really believe in reading, and I guess when you believe in something you want to share it with other people.
Will you be taking the SAT test? Find out how you would score on the test by taking a full length practice SAT test for FREE proctored by the Princeton Review on Saturday, April 16 at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library starting at 10:00 am. The test will be held in the Exploration Room located above the Children's Room. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at the types of questions you will see on the actual test. Then get a personalized score report by returning to the King Library on Wednesday, April 20 at 6:00 pm. Remember that the San José Public Library has many SAT review books that you can borrow.
Reminder: Parking is free in the 4th Street Garage before 6:00 pm on Saturdays.
If you're 12-18 years old and like to take photos or are just beginning here is a contest just right for you! We're inviting teens to show us why they love the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library by taking a photo showing why this library is special to them! You can print out this entry form and return it to the Children's Room at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library by April 30. There will be cool prizes so don't miss this chance to be a winner. The library has many books on basic photography to get you started or give you ideas. Be creative and take a chance!
April 8 - Make Your Own Book!
April 15 - Learn the Art of Japanese Calligraphy with Hikaru.
April 22 - Fun with Origami.
April 29 - Snack Smart, learn about healthy snacks plus make a healthy smoothie to enjoy.
Every branch of the San José Public Library offers a monthly Inclusive Story Time. At the Willow Glen Branch it is held on the second Saturday of each month at 10:30 am, followed by Stay & Play. This is a story time especially designed to provide support for children with special needs and is also suitable for all children to attend. At an inclusive story time you will find the same great stories, songs, rhymes and activities that you love at all our story times. The addition of supports like carpet squares, a story time schedule and big books make the story time more enjoyable for kids with autism and other special needs.
If you are looking for more information on help for kids with special needs, Parents Helping Parents is a San Jose parent-directed resource center for children and adults with special needs. The Inclusion Collaborative, part of the Santa Clara County Office of Education, focuses on the inclusion of children with special needs in child care, preschool and the community. At their website you can learn how to find support and information to include children with disabilities in your program or community.
Every branch of the San José Public Library offers a monthly Inclusive Story Time. At the West Valley Branch it is held on the fourth Saturday of each month at 2 pm. This is a story time especially designed to provide support for children with special needs and is also suitable for all children to attend. At an inclusive story time you will find the same great stories, songs, rhymes and activities that you love at all our story times. The addition of supports like carpet squares, a story time schedule and big books make the story time more enjoyable for kids with autism and other special needs.
If you are looking for more information on help for kids with special needs, Parents Helping Parents is a San Jose parent-directed resource center for children and adults with special needs. The Inclusion Collaborative, part of the Santa Clara County Office of Education, focuses on the inclusion of children with special needs in child care, preschool and the community. At their website you can learn how to find support and information to include children with disabilities in your program or community.
The world is a strange and wonderful place, and nowhere is this more graphically illustrated in Daniel Everett's Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes, now available at nine different SJPL branches. As a young man Daniel travels to the Amazon river with his family to learn the language of an obscure tribe of indigenous river dwellers called the Pirahña Indians, and to convert them to Christianity. Their language is not related to any other known language. Parts of it are truly unique: they have no words for numbers, and colors can only be relatively described--green is "the color like grass" or blue is "the color like sky." Time, too, is different--you are unable to describe something from before you are born--the past no longer exists. They have no creation myth, and worship no deities.
They do not have much interest in the world outside of their own area, and to them everything is transitory, even life. They routinely die of diseases that we take for granted in the first world, and their life expectancy is abysmal. Yet, paradoxically, they are considered the happiest people in the world. They live genuinely for the moment and care deeply about one another, sharing communally and having few tribal laws. The book's title comes from how they say good night--they pride themselves on self-sufficiency, and this is expected of everyone in the tribe.
I found myself caring for these people, and learning more about a culture radically different from the one I know. I was also fascinated by Dan's appreciation of what he learned--both from their language and their culture, and how he also changed. In failing to convert them, he finally realized that his beliefs had nothing to offer them--they were already happy just as they were. The author may have lost his family as a result of this unusual revelation, but I think he gained something in the end.
If I have any criticism about this book, it is in the short part at the end on linguistics. I thought that it was too technical for the average reader to appreciate--I certainly got lost by it! After going through the longer sections describing his adventures among the Pirahña Indians, I was hoping to be more engaged by his description of the language.
The best part of this book was learning to see things from a different viewpoint. Oscar Wilde once wrote, "A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to it's former dimensions." This is that type of book. I wish this tiny tribe of 400 well. They may be small, but their unique language and beliefs have much to teach us in a world very far removed from theirs.
David Mitchell, author of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, put his historical research to good use. The many details of the late eighteenth century in Nagasaki, Japan, the workings of the Dutch East India Company, shipboard life, and so on - they're not put there just to impress the reader with the authenticity of the setting. They illuminate the characters and draw the reader into a world that only someone with a great imagination and a way with words (such as David Mitchell) could pull off. The often dense prose and wildly extravagant vocabulary at first made me think that I might not get through the book. Some of the themes are hard to take: infanticide, slavery, and ritual suicide, for example. But then I started to appreciate the richness of the language and the development of even minor characters.
Join the Friends of the Edenvale Library and help support your library. The goals of the Friends of the Edenvale Library are to to focus public attention on library services, facilities and needs; and to raise money to support Edenvale Library programs for children, teenagers, and adults. If you wish to support the Edenvale Library and to find out more joining the Friends, please visit the Friends of the Edenvale Library website.
Come join us for a fun-filled egghunt activity at the Hillview Branch Library on Saturday, April 9th from 11:30am - 12:30pm to celebrate the start of the Spring season! And participate in a drawing for a basket prize. We invite kids (ages: 12 & under) and their families.
¡Vengan acompáñanos en una actividad llena de diversión buscando huevos en la Biblioteca Hillview el sábado, 9 de abril - 11:30am - 12:30pm para celebrar la llegada de la primavera! También, participe en una rifa por una canasta con premios. Invitamos los niños de las edades de 12 o menos y sus familias.
Are you looking for a job? Could you be considering a new direction professionally? Career Transitions is an excellent database available from San José Public Library. You can access it at your local branch or via your own internet service at home. You just need your library card and pin number.
You can discover things you'd like to potentially do by taking the guided Interest Assessment survey. This is easy. All you do is select: Like, Dislike, or I Don't Know to a number of inquiries regarding your interests. (This takes approximately 10 minutes) From your responses you will receive ratings in different career areas. By clicking on one of these categories you can get an idea of what options are available and what level of preparedness is involved. Input states you'd consider for job opportunities and find out what the future forecast is in any given field.
Career Transitions also offers: Resume Preparation, How to Improve My Chances, and the ability to conduct job searches by title and location. Resources are available for the unemployed. This database and other resources are available at your local library branch. Stop in and Check Us Out!
The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger
Advised by her doctors to seek a warmer climate for the sake of her health, Victorian author and translator Lady Lucie Duff Gordon leaves her family and travels to Egypt, accompanied by her devoted maidservant Sally Naldrett. In Cairo, perplexed by their new surroundings, the two women must fend for themselves; their lives change with the hiring of Omar, an Egyptian translator, cook, servant and interpreter. Settling in Luxor, the women adapt dramatically to their surroundings, shedding their English clothing for Egyptian dress. But to Sally’s dismay, a change in clothing does not indicate a change in her mistress’s manners and attitudes.
In these clips, the author, Kate Pullinger discusses and reads from her novel.
Though fiction, the novel is based on a true story. The author acknowledges Katherine Frank's biography A Passage to Egypt: The Life of Lucie Duff Gordon in her credits.
All children ages 3-8 and their families are invited to participate in this lively and interactive Inclusive Storytime at Joyce Ellington Branch Library on Saturday, April 16 from 10:30 to 11:00 am. Children with varying learning styles and abilities learn together in a safe and supportive environment where respect and appreciation for differences is encouraged. Here’s more information about inclusive programs.
In his memoir The Longest Trip Home, John Grogan, author of the bestselling Marley & Me, recounts his experiences growing up in a strong Irish-Catholic family outside of Detroit, and the decisions he makes as he grows to adulthood. It’s a testimony to the power of family throughout our lives. The book is divided into three parts. In part one, Growing Up, Grogan brings to vivid life the adventures and misadventures of his youth as he recounts incidents both hilarious and touching. In part two, Breaking Away, he begins his career, marries, and establishes a family of his own. His life choices and decisions don’t always align with his parents’ faith and values, straining their relationship as they avoid or tip toe around sensitive issues. Finally, as his parents age and their health begins to fail, Coming Home, recounts the author’s reconnection with the love and faith of his parents. It’s a book for adult children who’ve made life choices at odds with those of their parents, but also for the parents whose love for them never wavers. This engaging title is also available as an audiobook, digital audiobook, and downloadable electronic book.
With the recent heavy rains and sunny weather and plant life starting to reappear, spring is finally here! We are celebrating spring at West Valley this April with a variety of interesting and informative events.
Open Space Authority: Wildflowers & Butterflies. Tuesday, April 12 at 6:30pm
The Open Space Authority returns to West Valley with more stunning visuals and engaging information. This time, spring is the thing, with all things wildflowers and butterflies. You won't want to miss these beautiful images! Check these books out for some pointers on how to take your own lovely pictures of flowers and plants.
Alternatives to Lawn Culture. Saturday, April 16 at 1:00pm
Why stick with a boring, water-hungry, and time-consuming lawn when you can explore beautiful, sustainable, and low-maintenance alternatives using native plants? I can't wait for this workshop. My yard is turning into a bit of a jungle after all this rain, and I'd love to explore some different options. Check these natural landscaping books out for some unique ideas before you put on the gardening gloves.
Master Gardeners: Gardening for a Healthy Diet. Wednesday, April 20 at 6:30pm
The Master Gardeners' excellent monthly events shouldn't be missed, and they're back in April with another great and timely topic: vegetable and fruit gardening! Learn how you can start planting now to enjoy the healthy fruits (and vegetables) of your own labors all year long. Start growing!
Our City Forest: Eating with the Seasons. Saturday, April 30 at 2:00pm
After you've learned from the Masters about how to plant your own garden, why not come back and learn more from Our City Forest about the many health and environmental benefits to eating with the seasons? We are fortunate here in California to be able to enjoy many delicious and unique foods during each of the four seasons, and spring is no exception! Try Clean Food or The Harvest Eating Cookbook for delicious recipe ideas.
I don't blame you if you'd prefer to spend most of your time this spring enjoying the great outdoors, but be sure to stop in and visit us for these great events or to pick up some seasonal reads for your next picnic. Happy spring!
Spring is here at last, and butterflies have come to visit Willow Glen Branch Library! The kids of Room 1B at St Christopher School have created these beautiful watercolor works of art and generously shared them with the Library. They have been fluttering above the picture books in the Family Space since mid-March, brightening the spirits of staff and Library customers alike during the last few weeks of rainy weather. Thanks to the wonderful young artists and to their teachers, Mrs. Lang and Mrs. Zeitler, for all their work. If your class is interested in displaying artwork in the Willow Glen Branch Library, come in and talk to one of the staff members.
The New Kid on the Block: Poems by Jack Prelutsky
A collection of funny poems about strange creatures and people such as Baloney Belly Billy and the Gloopy Gloopers.
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Various Authors)
A varied and complete collection of more than 550 poems by various poets, including Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, and Shel Silverstein.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
This is a masterful collection of humorous poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein that will engage readers.
Learn to Write Poems
Haiku Activities : Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids by Patricia Donegan
Introduces the form of Japanese poetry known as haiku, explores the seven keys to writing haiku, and provides instructions for five haiku projects, including creating haiga, or illustrated haiku.
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem by Jack Prelutsky
Featuring personal anecdotes and an abundance of information, this is a humorous guide, filled with poetry exercises, ideas, projects, and pointers that teaches readers how to write poetry.
Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry by Myra Cohn Livingston
Introduces the different kinds of poetry and the mechanics of writing poetry, providing an opportunity for the reader to experience the joy of making a poem.
More Ways to Celebrate
Besides reading and writing poems, here are other ways that you and your child can celebrate National Poetry Month, according to Lily Jones and Skila Brown from www.education.com/magazine/article/Celebrate_Poetry:
And as always, you can ask a Youth Services Librarian to help you find more poetry resources at your local library branch.
It’s hard not to like someone who is quite clear about all of the best things in her life… especially when those things are just about everything! This is the story of Ruby Lu, Brave and True, an exuberant Chinese American girl by author Lenore Look.
The descriptions of Ruby’s life feature her friends, her teachers at school, and her extended family of Dad, Mom, baby brother Oscar, Grandpa or “GungGung”, Grandma or “PohPoh”, and cousin Flying Duck. Some of the adventures Ruby goes through include: Staging magic shows in the backyard for all the kids in the neighborhood, Making new friends at Chinese school, and even learning how to drive! A bonus at the end of the text is ‘Ruby’s Fantastic Glossary & Pronunciation Guide’ – which gives kid friendly descriptions and pronunciations to the Chinese words and cultural items described in the book.
Ultimately you will get a sense of Chinese culture (as seen through the eyes of an almost 8 year old Chinese American girl), family and community. All of it combines to make Ruby a secure, confident, adventurous girl who appreciates the best of everything.