April 2012

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Exhibits

Granada Relocation Center jpg

In honor of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a trio of exhibits is presented by the Cultural Heritage Center at King Library:


For virtual exhibits, please visit the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website, where “The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders…” A treasure trove of exhibits & collection, various images, and audio/video materials is presented here for our learning and enjoyment. And a link to teacher’s resources is provided. We are also informed about the fact that “the month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”


For America's parks and historic places, please visit the refreshing site of National Park Service's Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month where National Register of Historic Places showcases, by inside stories and vivid images, highlighted properties of historic and archeological significance. Angel Island Immigration Station and Manzanar National Historic Site are "the only two National Historic Landmarks commemorating Asian American history..." Half a million immigrants went through Angel Island between 1910 and 1940. More may be learned from the site of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF). Erika Lee and Judy Yung’s Angel Island : Immigrant Gateway to America is a definitive title on Asian immigrant history, and is rewarding to read.


Below are a couple more books for reference:


Image  Courtesy: National Archives.

Image from: National Archives May- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

and asianpacificheritagemonth. gov.


 English Vocabulary cover

San Jose Public Library provides a variety of ESL resources to customers including the print collection, electronic resources, and programming events. The ESL collection at SJPL consists of print books combined with media such as CDs or DVDs, where users would enjoy learning English as a Second Language by reading and listening to words, phrases, grammar and practicing the language in a conversational approach.  Moreover, customers with a valid SJPL library card can download or have access to the ESL electronic resources that are in the eBook formats and databasesESL Conversation Club (ESL CC) is one of the  most popular ESL programming activity at SJPL where users can come and join the ESL Conversation Club sessions and start practicing English in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. By joining ESL CC at SJPL users will interact with others and make new friends and all levels are welcome.

Online Book Club - The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, Week 1

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much coverThis month’s book for San Jose Public Library’s Online Book Club is The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett. This exciting book features the author enmeshing herself in the world of rare books. The book discusses collecting, dispenses facts about rare books and details the dogged determinism of Ken Sanders in stopping a book thief. Partially set in the Bay Area, this book has a wide cross section of interest; book lovers, true crime aficionados and a dash of technology and history. Each week, we'll put forth a different question to prompt reflection on the book and its ideas.  We hope you will participate in the discussion by leaving comments below!


Question for Week 1: What is the underlying relationship between John Gilkey and Ken Sanders?


At first glance, their relationship is like a cat and a mouse. However, I see it a little differently. John has devised ways to steal rare books, and it is up to Ken to stop him. They both treasure the same thing: rare books. John has taken advantage of lax security and has unfortunately involved others (credit card numbers) in his misdeeds. Ken, crusty and individualistic, loves the idea of rare manuscripts, even if he is not that interested in their content. John also loves the rare books, but he is more interested in the status of a fine collection, where Ken has more of a caretaker or commercial interest in the material. They both want the same thing, access and control of rare books. They have a lot more in common than a cat and a mouse have with each other.


See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview upcoming questions

San Jose Public Library's Nominations for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Award Selected

book cover: the buddha in the atticBook cover: The Tiger's Wife

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Oksuka and The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht have been selected and submitted as San Jose Public Library's nominations for the 2013 International  IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.


Thanks to all readers who suggested titles for nomination. 


The 10 titles shortlisted for the 2012 IMPAC Dublin Award have been selected and the final award will be announced on June 13th.

Posted by Lucille Boone on Apr 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Multicultural Books for Little Ones

Are you looking for some books to expose your child to new places and different cultures?  Well, here are some titles/series that you may want to explore. 


Egypt coverThe series True Book covers many countries including Egypt.  The series includes interesting facts about the country without overwhelming children with details.  It starts off with two questions about the country to which the children will find the answer reading the book.  The book has gorgeous pictures and not too much text.  I have found that this book can be read to a pre-schooler without too much editing, and for a 1st or 2nd grader, this series/title would be perfect for reports.  One caveat: this series is an old one so you need to be selective about the titles.  Be sure you find the newer edition.  The library owns many older editions, but the newer ones are better.


What We Wear coverWhat We Wear by Maya Ajmera is a beautiful book of costumes and dress, celebrating children from around the world.  It has a map of all the nations represented in the book and pages of suggestions of what to do with your children to explore different cultures: visit a folk festival, check out a museum, or ask about clothes of the past.  The book has visually stunning photos of children from all the cultures of world, doing different things at different times.  I really recommend everyone to take a look.


D is for Down Under cover

D is for Down Under: an Australia Alphabet is a beautifully illustrated picture book part of a larger series which highlights the contributions of each country.  Part of a larger alphabet series that covers democracy to Fenway Park, many of the authors are famous in their own right.  The books are written in verse with enormous pictures to illustrate the alphabet, and each of the alphabet letters represent one important aspect of the country or culture.  In addition, the pages include detail about the topic which the teacher or adult can choose to elaborate upon and read.  Take a look at this series.  The only unfortunate aspect of this series is that it is not catalogued in a way so that you can find the titles of the series easily.  You must look up the title individually.  On the back of the book, there is a good representative list of the titles in the series.  Also, if you go to the website: www.discovertheworldbooks.com you will find a list of the country books.


True Books and the Discover the World series are shelved in the Countries/States area.  If you have any questions, ask the librarian to show you the section.  You can find a plethora of country books.  Browse at your leisure.

Fun Alphabet Books!

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker, Alpha Oops! the Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis and Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham are three picture books with fun and zany story lines for the alphabet.  I never imagined the alphabet could be so fun.  I read these stories to my pre-school age son, and he loved them.  The pictures are wonderful and the twists and turns between the alphabet characters make the story so fun.  I recommend these stories highly.  LMNO Peas and Alpha Oops! the Day Z Went First are displayed on the concept display pyramid, and Z is for Moose is a new book on the new book display shelf.  Check for these titles at your next visit.  If you don't find them, don't be surprised because they are very popular and may be checked out!

LMNO Peas coverAlpha Oops coverZ is for Moose cover

"Pioneering the Valley” Exhibit at King Library, April and May 2012.

Parade of Gold Dragon jpg

The first Chinese arrived in San Jose in 1850 to work in the fruit industry. The first of the five consecutive Chinatowns in San Jose was formed in 1866 on the location of today’s Market Street; and the last one, Heilenville, lasted from 1887-1931. After the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943 and with a new wave of immigrants since 1965, the Chinese American community in Santa Clara Valley has grown in population (160,000 approx.) and made contributions in the developments in various economic, social, and political fields. 


The exhibit of "Pioneering the Valley: The Chinese American Legacy in Santa Clara Valley" is lovingly presented by the Chinese Historical and Cultural Preservation Society, featuring 14 colorful panels of text and images on the history of Chinese Americans in the Santa Clara Valley from the 19th -21st century. Come visit us soon.  


Another exhibit in tandem with "Pioneering the Valley" at King Library is "Chinese American Women's Club of Santa Clara County: 50 Years Preserving Tradition, Culture, & Community Service." This exhibit is drawn from the source materials of "Chinese American Women's Club of Santa Clara County records, 1962-1999" archived at Special Collections, King Library.  These records "document the organization's promotion and preservation of Chinese culture and service to the larger Bay Area Chinese community."


For more information, below are some books and websites on Chinese Americans:

Image credit: Chinese Historical and Cultural Preservation Society www.chcp.org

Helpful YouTube tutorials for the Nook and the Kindle

There are some very helpful YouTube tutorials for the Nook and the Kindle, in the San Jose Public Library downloads help areas: http://sjpl.org/ebookguide (towards the top of the page) and http://sjpl.org/ebookfaq (at the end of the page). YouTube also has a number of other videos that cover the Nook, Kindle, and even other devices. 

May Day

  The         v      When  I was grCover of "On the Morn of Mayfest"owing up in the midwest it was common for teachers in the elemenary schools to celebrate May 1 and begin looking forward to summer.  Students might bring treats to share with their classmates and teachers might have a small party for the students.  In some countries it is an official holiday.  In Russia during the time of the Soviet Union May 1 was observed  as the International Workers Day and was celebrate with large parades in major cities, like Moscow.   In other countries such as Germany, England and Ireland, people might erect a May Pole, crown a May Day queen, or light bonfires.  For a brief overview of this often overlooked holiday, you can investigate the Wikipedia entry for May Day.        


The San Jose Libray has a wide variety of materials available (childrens books, cookbooks, history books, etc) that talk about May Day.  Check out our catalog if you want to know more.

Posted by Todd Charles on Apr 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Featured Resource on the Web: Marketing Charts


I came across another good website for market research information, as some of you know this kind of information is hard to find, so I am happy to share a resource when I find one. Marketing Charts offers easy to read, um well, charts on varied topics. For instance, did you know more and more moms are using their mobile phones to shop? Why would that be interesting? Well, what if you have this new fabulous baby product that you'd like to sell. This information would tell me that I should probably look into either having a website optizmized for viewing on cell phones or maybe even an app.  I think even if you are not trying to sell anything, you will find interesting factoids on Marketing Charts to get a sense of what the trends are.

What Is That Instrument?

Book Cover: Those Amazing Musical InstrumentsIf you've every wondered what the name of a particular instrument is then we have the program just right for you and your children. Join us on Saturday, April 28 at 3:00PM at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library for the Instrument Petting Zoo! Nova Vista Symphony will demonstrate instruments of the ochestra and then allow children to touch and play many of them. Children will have fun hearing the story of these instruments and how they work together to produce a symphony.

After the program children may be interested in checking out books or DVDs where they can learn even more about musical instruments. You don't want to miss this fun event for children and their parents and remember it is FREE!

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Book Cover: The Best Book of BugsJoin us at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Library on Friday, April 27 at 4:00PM for a special Friday Fun event with artist Paul J. Gonzalez. Paul will help the children make all sorts of bugs out of paper: butterflies, ladybugs, bees, dragonflies and more. Of course if your child wants to learn more about his "green" bug the library has many fun and interesting books chock full of information; click here to see the many titles you can borrow. If your child would like to see these insects in action the library also offers many dvds on the fascinating world of insects. Join us for this fun program and then borrow some great materials. Remember that books borrowed from the King library can be returned to any San Jose Public Library.

Online Book Club - Dubliners, Week 4

Dubliners coverSan Jose Public Library's Online Book Club is a monthly feature that encourages readers to share and discuss a given book each month.  Selections are made based on  local interest and relevance.  


Our selection for this month, Dubliners by James Joyce was chosen to coincide with with a similar program in one of San Jose's sister cities.  During the month of April, residents of Dublin, Ireland are participating in the One City, One Book program sponsored by Dublin City Public Libraries.  We invite you to share your thoughts on Dubliners not only here, but also with fellow readers across the sea.


Question for Week 4: Is Dubliners a modern, international piece of fiction - or is it dated by geographical and historical context?


I believe that Dubliners is an example of modern fiction, both in style and theme.  Undoubtedly the stories do have aspects that may cause them to initially appear somewhat dated.  I struggled myself to understand some of the language and references when I first picked it up.  Yet, many of the themes I most related to, unfulfilled dreams, love and loss, are timeless.  I also think that Joyce's decision to use a single setting to tie together a set of stories involving unrelated characters is a very modern, more forward looking convention.  What do you think?


See more information about this book and previous week's questions

Social Workers in the Library









At King Library: Every 1st and 4th Mondays of the month, 6 – 8 p.m.

Call: 808-2350




At Biblioteca Latinoamericana – offered once a month – every 3rd Wed. of the month 6 – 8 p.m. (Spanish/English bilingual Social Worker available)

Call: 294-1237


Is something happening in your life that you have questions about concerning:


·  Education

·  Emergency Services - food/clothing/housing and crisis support

·  Employment

·  Family Matters - parenting, childcare, divorce, elder issues and domestic  violence

·  Health Improvement - mental, physical and health insurance

·  Immigration

·  Support Groups - men, women and teens



Make an appointment to get a FREE 20 minute session of information and referral or advice, from a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Everyone at some point in their lives could use the advice of a social worker. Our volunteer social workers are offering it - Free of Charge.



Social Workers in the Library, is a partnership between the San José Public Library, San José State University's School of Social WorkNational Association Of Social Workers - California Chapter, and the SJSU School of Library and Information Services.

The Hop by Charlene Byars Moranville

 Product DetailsEveryone knows magic happens when a princess kisses a frog, but why would the smallest and most fearful toad of all want to kiss a not-quite-ordinary girl? What makes Julie special is her love of nature, and her stubborn resolution to find a way to save her pond from being drained and turned into another strip mall. Tad is just a frightened toad with strange dreams, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to save Toadville – journey to a strange city, learn to dance, and even kiss a human girl (yuck!) When these two determined characters meet, magic is bound to happen. Read "The Hop" by Charlene Byars Moranville, it's a fun read for 4th graders and above.

Review by Youth Librarian Intern Cindy Larsen 

April is National Autism Awareness Month


National Autism Awareness Month


My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete



For all ages, My Brother Charlie is a beautifully written, heart packed, brightly illustrated, clear and simple introduction to autism.







National Autism Awareness Month (A few facts)

  • "Autism affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. A baby with autism spectrum disorder may be unresponsive to people, or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time.  A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement." http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm


San José Public Library Resources on Autism:


Social Workers in the Library

Story time


Additional Resources:

Castle - Television Show

Cover of Heat Wave bookCover of Naked Heat bookCover of Heat Rises book


Nathan Fillion, star of the undeservedly short-lived Firefly series, is currently starring in, Castle, a popular series on ABC.  Castle is about a mystery writer, Richard Castle, who teams up with a detective, Kate Beckett, to solve crimes in New York City.  Richard Castle has just killed off the character of his best-selling series, and is struggling with ideas for a new book series. Enter Detective Kate Beckett, a smart and tough homicide detective that becomes Castle’s muse for his next series of books. Castle is able to pull strings with the mayor’s office, and is allowed to follow Detective Beckett on her cases. Although Castle’s non-traditional approach to solving crimes is very different from Detective Beckett’s more conventional approach, the two make a strong team. With witty humor, lots of banter, a bit of romance and a great soundtrack, Castle is an entertaining television program! The show is currently in its fourth season, but the first three seasons are available for checkout at the Library.


In a brilliant marketing ploy, several books “written” by Richard Castle have been published. These books are based on the Castle and Beckett characters and loosely follow some of the plotlines that the characters go through on the television program.  All three books are also available at the Library.

Reference USA: Free Online Trainings

ReferenceUSA logo imge



Reference USA is offering our customers free online training throughout April, May, and June. If you have never used Reference USA before or are an experienced user, you will find a training that will interest you. All you have to do is register online.


24th Annual San José Children’s Faire

Celebrate the Month of the Young Child at the San Jose Children's Faire! 


Saturday, April 21

10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.


The Faire is expected to draw over 5,000 attendees to the outdoor festival, held at Discovery Meadow (in front of the Children's Discovery Museum), in downtown San José.



The theme this year is "Rock, Roll & Read" and features family-oriented stage entertainment, special attractions, and activity booths offering hands-on activities for children ages 2 -12.  Families can obtain information about education, child care, recreational programs and health and safety resources. 


For more information call (408) 808-2617, or visit www.sjpl.org/moyc

SOMETHING ABOUT HARRY! More movies on DVD to become available at SJPL

Good news for SJPL DVD lovers!  SJPL will now be purchasing "rental" DVDs, the DVDs that are released by Time Warner 50+ days after the release date of the full feature DVDs sold to the public but not sold to rental outlets or libraries.  Time Warner announced this difference in their marketing of DVDs in November, 2011.  The rental DVDs feature only the theatrical release movie without extra features, but now library customers will be able to check out these movies following the "on sale" waiting period.  And our first big purchase, of course--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, coming to a SJPL DVD collection soon!

Tìm Trợ Giúp Về Bệnh Nghiện Cờ Bạc

Sign of Asian American Recovery Services, Inc.Quý vị có nhận thức về Cờ Bạc như là một bệnh nghiện có ảnh hưởng tai hại đến chính bản thân và mọi người chung quanh không?


Quý vị có biết Cờ Bạc có thể gây nên các vấn đề xã hội, cảm xúc căng thẳng, và khó khăn về tài chính? Cờ Bạc còn làm ảnh hưởng đến các mối quan hệ, tình cảm, sức khoẻ, và ngay cả việc làm và học hành.


Xin giới thiệu quý vị đến GIFT (Gaining Insight into keeping Families Together) là một chương trình giáo dục và cung cấp dịch vụ tư vấn của cơ quan Asian American Recovery Services, Inc. (AARS)*.


Mục tiêu chung của chương trình GIFT là nhằm giúp cộng đồng nâng cao nhận thức về việc Cờ Bạc Có Vấn Đề cùng những loại nghiện ngập khác và giúp thăng tiến đời sống của những người vướng phải việc Cờ Bạc Có Vấn Đề và gia đình của họ, hầu có thể đạt được một đời sống lành mạnh.


Các dịch vụ bao gồm:

  • Sự Nhận Thức Và Giáo Dục: qua truyền thông/kịch nghệ, các buổi tiếp xúc với cộng đồng, các buổi hội thảo và thuyết trình.
  • Hỗ Trợ:
    • Dịch vụ tư vấn: Cơ quan AARS cung cấp các dịch vụ tư vấn cho cá nhân, nhóm và gia đình.  Ngoài ra, cơ quan còn cung cấp chương trình hỗ trợ ngay tại nhà.
    • Tài nguyên, thông tin: Cơ quan AARS hỗ trợ cộng đồng qua những sự nối kết họ với các nguồn tài nguyên, thông tin hữu ích.

Để được thêm thông tin xin liên lạc (408) 271-3900.


* Mục tiêu của cơ quan Asian American Recovery Services, Inc. (AARS) là nhằm giảm thiểu tỷ lệ vướng mắc và tác động của sự lạm dụng thuốc trong các cộng đồng Á Châu và Thái Bình Dương ở Vùng Vịnh San Francisco.  Văn phòng của cơ quan AARS tọa lạc tại: 1340 Tully Road, Phòng 301 & 304, San Jose CA 95122.

Doris Dillon Children's Library

Doris Dillon sign at AlmadenDoris Dillon Children’s Library

“Doris Dillon believed that reading was the key to a child’s future.” - Pat Dando


Nationally recognized librarian and educator Doris Dillon inspired Almaden students to love reading, learning, and life in a career spanning over thirty years.  Twice named Teacher of the Year by local schools, Mrs. Dillon was known for bringing literary characters to life.  Although Doris Dillon died of ALS in 2001, the Children’s Library of the Almaden Branch, named in her honor, will carry on her legacy, introducing children to the joys of reading for many years to come.

Online Book Club - Dubliners, Week 3

Dubliners coverSan Jose Public Library's Online Book Club is a monthly feature that encourages readers to share and discuss a given book each month.  Selections are made based on  local interest and relevance.  


Our selection for this month, Dubliners by James Joyce was chosen to coincide with with a similar program in one of San Jose's sister cities.  During the month of April, residents of Dublin, Ireland are participating in the One City, One Book program sponsored by Dublin City Public Libraries.  We invite you to share your thoughts on Dubliners not only here, but also with fellow readers across the sea.


Question for Week 3: To what extent does one's birthplace determine one's identity or destiny? Is it less of a factor with today's global economy and communications than it was when Dubliners was published nearly a century ago?


Before reading the book, I thought my answer would be that of course birthplace had a greater impact on one's life and life choices when Dubliners was written than it does today.  Now I am not so sure.  Even though transportation and technology have vastly improved,  I think other factors sometimes have a greater impact on the choices we make.  Joyce's character Eveline had the opportunity to leave Dublin and choose a very different life in another country and yet she chose to stay even though her life there held little promise of happiness.  Perhaps it is not the opportunity to move, but the courage or determination to risk the unknown that is the bigger factor in how one's life plays out.  My father was born in a small Midwestern farming community.  He was valedictorian of a graduating class of 13.  Determined to get an education, he went to college on a scholarship and later finished on the GI Bill.  After graduation and marriage he accepted a teaching job in California and began a career in education far different from the lives of the friends and cousins with whom he'd grown up.  I, on the other hand, had many more options open to me and yet I still live in the same city in which I was born.  Is it because I had choices that I didn't need to move, or is it that, like Eveline, I was not willing to give up the familiar for unknown possibilities?  What do you think?  Is birthplace still as much a determining factor in one's destiny as it was when Dubliners was first published or are there other more critical factors one needs to take into account? 


See more information about this book and preview the next week's question

The First Modern Pandemic

Book cover of The Great Influenza Barry’s The Great Influenza is a history of the 1918 flu epidemic. However, the book is of interest not just as history, but as an education in the science of medicine and the nature of disease. Largely forgotten today, in its era the epidemic was as much of a crisis as the first world war that was being fought at the same time. Barry’s narrative moves along at a brisk pace as he explains how wartime preparation and troop movements altered the progress of the epidemic at the same time that the epidemic forced changes in the conduct of the war. Rural areas far from the fighting, both in the US and elsewhere, also suffered from the ravages of the disease despite never hearing a shot fired in anger. But while the public has largely forgotten, medicine has not forgotten the 1918 epidemic, as in the intervening decades researchers have continued to study samples collected during the plague years, advancing the science of epidemiology against the possibility of future plagues. And Barry seamlessly integrates these modern discoveries into the historical record, creating a rather interesting detective story which traces the origin, spread, and decline of the disease. In an era when world-wide epidemic scares are a feature of the evening news, Barry’s tale of one of the first pandemics is useful as well as entertaining reading.

Posted by Bryan Mills on Apr 13, 2012 | Comments: 1 |

Silicon Valley Reads Continues through April

Cover of The Muslim Next DoorI hope you have been enjoying the variety of programs the library has been able to offer as we have explored the topic "Muslim and American" over the past several months.  Silicon Valley Reads 2012 continues to run through the month of April.  San Jose Public Library will be offering the following upcoming events to engage with others in a discussion of this relevant subject.

Take part in the conversation!  Plan now to attend one of these special events.  Silicon Valley Reads 2012 concludes on April 29 with a closing event to be held at the Santa Clara Central Park Library.

We need your suggestions for the IMPAC Dublin award

Book cover: The tiger's wife  Cover title: Swamplanida Book cover: State of Wonder Book cover: The marriage plot  Book cover: The Leftovers book cover: 11/22/63 Book cover: 1Q84

Have you read 1Q84, 11/22/63, The Leftovers, The Marriage Plot, State of Wonder, Swamplandia, The Tiger’s Wife?

These are  among the best fiction for 2011 as nominated by NPR, the New York Times, Salon, Publishers Weekly and Library Journal.


If you have read any of these, vote for the novel that you think San Jose Public Library should submit for the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Literary award.

Other  titles (novels, not short stories) welcome for submission if published in 2011.

Click on Add new comment below and let us know the title. Our deadline is April 25th.

The Magic of Words

Book Cover: Writing StoriesWords! Words! Words! Children use them to communicate, express their feelings and write stories. The Magic of Words is a special program being offered at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Saturday, April 21 at 1:00PM. Children in Grades K-5 will be challenged to use their imaginations and creativity to create stories. Ashley, a teen volunteer, and her friends will be here encouraging children to imagine and create with a variety of activities: create an origami creature and write a few words about it; take a squiggly line, make it into a picture and then write about it. These are just some of the fun activities that children will be doing. Join us for this entertaining event! All supplies will be provided, just bring your imaginations!

National Library Week!


It's National Library Week and we thought it would be fun to see how people felt about their local library.  Here are the responses that we have received so far:


I love my Library because...of the love of reading I see in young children.

I love my Library because...of the books, movies, and resources!  Also because it brings communities closer!!!

I love my Library because...after all these years I still enjoy listening to story time.

I love my Library because...I love to read!



 Stop by the information desk to pick up a heart and let us know why you love the library!

Posted by Ana Fabela on Apr 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 |













West Valley Book Club's May Pick: Quentins by Maeve Binchy

Quentins coverSJPL's online book club selection for April is Dubliners by James Joyce, and next month the West Valley Book Club will meet to discuss another novel that takes place in San Jose's sister city of Dublin, Ireland. Our book club will meet on Wednesday, May 9 at 6:30pm to discuss bestselling Irish author Maeve Binchy's novel Quentins. Be sure to join us for lively literary conversation!


Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and times when it seemed as if it must close in failure. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way... (from Amazon)

TV at the Library?

Have a day off and want to treat yourself to a marathon of your favorite TV shows? The DVD collection at the Santa Teresa Branch Library has many of the most popular series on television available for check out.  Have you seen the hilarity of Michael Scott unfold on The Office?  How about HBO dramas Six Feet Under or Big Love? Ever want to find out what LOST was actually all about?  Come down to the Santa Teresa Branch Library (or any other San Jose Public Library Branch) and check out our DVD collection at the Marketplace.

Posted by Elizabeth Cashman on Apr 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Kindle Instructional Video For Downloading Library e-Books

This detailed tutorial walks users step-by-step through the process necessary to download e-books available free from the San Jose Public Library and read them on the Amazon Kindle or Kindle Touch. For additional information, please see New User's Guide to eBooks, eAudioBooks, & eMusic and Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Content.


Full Transcript of Naration:




Welcome to the San Jose Public Library's e-Book Tutorial for the Kindle


Please note that this tutorial is for the standard Kindle, but the same features can be accessed by using the Kindle Touch simply by touching the screen instead of using the buttons.


Basic Use and Navigation


To turn on the Kindle, press the button located at the bottom of the device.


The buttons below the screen of the Kindle are: Home, which shows your collection of e-Books; Menu, which pulls up a menu selection; Back, to exit a menu or go back; Keyboard, to pull up a keyboard to type in; and a Directional Pad with a Select button in the middle to navigate your collection.


Setting Up Wi-Fi


To begin, from the Home page, open the Menu and select "Turn Wireless On." Then, from the Menu, select "Settings." Under Settings, select to View Wi-Fi Networks. For our example, we are connecting wirelessly from inside the library, so we will select the name of the library from the list and click to connect. To access the library's free Wi-Fi service, you will be redirected to an agreement page. Use the arrows to scroll down and select that you accept the terms of use. Once accepted, you can use the library's Wi-Fi.


Registering Your Kindle


Now, return to the Home page. From the Menu, select Settings. If your Kindle has not already been registered, select "Register." If you have an Amazon.com account, select that option. If not, select the second option. To enter your email address, press the Keyboard button and use the directional pad to type in your email address. Then press the Keyboard button again and click down to select Password. Then, press the Keyboard button to enter your password. Once finished, press the Keyboard button again and click over and select the "Submit" button. If the Kindle is successfully connected to a wireless internet source, your account will automatically be linked and your name will appear as the registered user.


Note that, if the Kindle you are using is currently registered to a different user, you can deregister it by selecting Settings, "Deregister." You can then register it to a different account.


Note also that, from the Menu under "Experimental," you can use Wi-Fi to browse the internet, including the library's website.


However, for our example, we will be browsing titles through a computer with internet access.


Downloading An e-Book Using Wi-Fi


From the library's homepage (sjpl.org), there is a section for downloadable content, such as e-books. From this page, select "Overdrive." Overdrive's digital library includes a vast selection of titles available for multiple portable devices and computers.  You can either browse the collection or search for a specific title.


For our example, we will click on "Advanced Search" from the top left corner. This allows us to limit the Format to "Kindle Book" as well as to "Only show titles with copies available."


After finding a title you want, next to the Kindle Book icon, select "Add to Bookbag." You can then either browse for more titles or "Proceed to Check-Out." You will then be prompted to sign-in using your Library Card number and your PIN number. Before confirming checkout, you have an option for the number of days you wish to check out the e-book. Once you are done, press "Confirm Check-Out." From the following screen, press "Get For Kindle."


You will then be forwarded to Amazon's website, where you can click "Get Library Book." If you are not already signed-in, you will be asked to sign-in using the same email address and password you used when registering the Kindle earlier. Once you are signed-in, click "Get Library Book." From the drop-down menu, select the device you would like the e-book sent to and press continue. The title will then be available on your Kindle while it is connected to the internet.


From your Kindle, on the Home page, you should see the title you checked-out with the word "New" next to it. If you don't, on the Menu, select "Sync And Check For Items." The side buttons on the Kindle (or touching the side of the screen on the Kindle Touch) advance or go back a page. Depending on the Kindle's settings, titles may appear under "Archived Items" on the second page of the Home page.


After You've Downloaded An e-Book


Now that you have downloaded your first e-book, from the Home page, by clicking on the title, you can read the e-book and advance pages by using the side buttons.


After your check-out period has expired, the title will then say "Loan Ended" and you will no longer be able to read the title.


Note that, from Amazon.com's "Your Account" drop-down menu, you can select “Manage Your Kindle.” From here, you can either, “Deliver An Item” to your Kindle, “Purchase the Book,” “Download and transfer via USB,” “Clear furthest page read,” or “Return the Book.” This allows you to return a book before the due date if you finish early, thus allowing other users a chance to read the title when you are done.


After an item has expired or been returned, you can delete the item from your account if you do not wish to retain it for further reference.


To remove the “Loan Ended” notice from your Kindle, select the title and press the Right arrow button (or, on the Kindle Touch, touch the title and hold). The bottom option lets you remove the title from the device.


Downloading An e-Book Using A USB Cable


If you don’t have access to a wireless internet source, you can also connect the Kindle to a computer using the included USB cable. Then, when browsing e-book titles, you will have the option after checkout to download the title from your Amazon.com account. If a download screen does not automatically appear, check the top of the screen for any security messages and select “Download File.” Then select Save. The file should be saved directly onto the Kindle under the folder called “Documents.” Before disconnecting your Kindle, remember to safely remove your device by using the option from the bottom of your computer screen. The title will then be available on your Kindle with the word “New” next to it.




You can now enjoy reading your e-book or e-books in the palm of your hand.


When done, to turn off your Kindle, press and hold the Power button.


For additional information, please refer to your Kindle User Guide. Also, visit SJPL.ORG to browse e-book titles available for the Kindle from Overdrive.

A Second Look At Tintin

For all the Tintin fans out there: you might have read Tintin books countless times, but

here are something new worth a second look.


Red Rackham's Treasure bookcover Published by Little, Brown and Company by the end of 2011 in anticipation of the Spielberg's movie, these new editions of The Adventures of Tintin are in a smaller, easy-to-hold format.  Each book includes a special section titled The Real-Life Inspiration Behind Tintin's Adventures, which matches book materials  with real places, people, events, etc.  What contributes to the longevity of the series and fascinates generations of young readers is the variety of materials chosen from real events that happened since the early times of 20th Century.  Before a James Bond or a Hercule Poirot there was a Tintin who hopped the world in solving mysteries and battling the villains.  Each Tintin book is a marvelous mind voyage for readers to explore different countries and cultures before the advent of television and the Internet.King Ottokar's Sceptre bookcover


The Black Island bookcover To prepare materials for his books, author Hergé and his team meticulously collect pictures and historical backgrounds to create the stories that are as close to reality as possible.   Now it's your turn to go behind the scenes and discover the secret of these fabulous Belgian comics.  You would be fascinated to know that Hergé sometimes drew himself and his friends in the comics.  He even went to the extreme to create ingenious languages of the characters based on a particular Brussels dialect.  You will find out which real country in the world Hergé used to create his imaginary places where Tintin's adventures unfolded.  These bonus materials in this new edition will surely enhance and renew your joy of reading Tintin's Adventures.


San Jose Public Libraries currently have copies of these Tintin titles in the new Little, Brown and Company edition:
* Red Rackham's Treasure
* The Black Island
* King Ottokar's Sceptre

Online Book Club - Dubliners, Week 2

cover for "Dubliners"The Online Book Club is a monthly feature for San Jose Public Library readers who want to share their thoughts on a chosen book. The books are picked for their local interest and parallels to life in San Jose today. Questions about the book are asked on a weekly basis and we encourage you to post your responses.


For April 2012, Dubliners by James Joyce was decided upon because one of San Jose's sister cities, Dublin, Ireland, presented the book through their library's online book club. Dublin is a large city like San Jose that has undergone constant change, leaving some of the residents bewildered with the choices of life foisted upon them.


Question for Week 2: Joyce described Dublin as a 'city in paralysis'. From your reading of these stories, do you agree?


Another phrase that Joyce used to describe Dublin was "hemoplegia", a body paralyzed on one side. The characters tend to be working class, and their options are limited. In the early stories, some are children, and one dreams of the American west, An Encounter. Eveline had a chance to escape with her fiance, but at the last moment, chose to stay. Farrington, in Counterparts, works for a reputable company that would be a notary nowadays, but he craves strong drink.


In my copy of Dubliners, the book has many photographs of Dublin from the early twentieth century. The buildings are made of brick and the streets are paved with stone. The city is an ancient seaport and, even then, was served by trains. There are ways to get out of Dublin. Joyce spent most of his time in Europe after Dubliners was published. Maybe the cost, and the fear, was beyond most of the characters. He himself was trying to uplift the people by "converting the bread of everyday life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own".  His book has the modern sensiblility of revealing the down side of Dublin, in hopes of awakening the citizens.


See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview upcoming questions

Celebrate “Month of the Young Child” at the 24th Annual San José Children’s Faire

SAN JOSE, Calif.—San José Children’s Faire, to be held 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21st, is expected to draw over 5,000 attendees to Discovery Meadow (in front of the Children’s Discovery Museum) in downtown San José. “Rock, Roll and Read” is the theme for this year’s annual event, which features family-oriented stage entertainment, special attractions, and activity booths offering hands-on activities for children, ages two to 12, in addition to information for families about education, child care, health and safety resources, and recreational programs.


The Faire, now in its 24th year, is a free, one-day, outdoor festival designed to link parents and caregivers of young children with community organizations that serve their needs and is the highlight of the City of San José’s “Month of the Young Child” celebration.


The “Month of the Young Child” is the local extension of the national “Week of the Young Child” celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It was established in 1971 in recognition that early childhood experiences (birth to age 8) lay the foundation for success in school and later life.


On Tuesday, April 3rd, San José City Council proclaimed April 2012 as “Month of the Young Child” in the City of San José, encouraging both individuals and organizations to support this observance.  Additional activities marking San José Public Library’s celebration of the “Month of the Young Child” include:


  • City Council recognition of this year’s recipients of the “Outstanding Contributors to Child Care Awards” on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in San José City Hall Council Chambers.
  • Children’s art displays, providing insight into the imagination and development of young children at the Children’s Faire.
  • More activities at selected library branches may be located by visiting San José Public Library MOYC events .

For more information, visit www.sjpl.org/moyc or call (408) 808-2617

You Belong @ Your Library





Hey everyone its National Library Week, April 8-14!


Celebrate National Library Week with a fun Scavenger Hunt at your local library.  All participants will receive a prize. This program is designed for children ages 6 and up.


While at the library visit the information desk and pick up a heart and tell us why you love your library. 

What Books Should Every Parent Read to Their Child?

Cover of The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix PotterToday on the WIRED blog, Eric Wecks posted a list of 67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10.   It is a great list of books, most of which I can claim to have read to my own kid.  The only argument I have with this list is that each book is linked to Amazon.  I assure you, we've got every single one here at the Library. 


My daughter's favorite books were Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and "How They Are Good to the Green Hat-Eating Horses" from More Rootabagas by Carl Sandburg.


What books would you consider the top ones to read to a child?

WG's 2012 Volunteer of the Year

volunteer_of_year 2012 001


Willow Glen Branch Library is graced with a very supportive community, including some wonderful volunteers. Nearly every month, well over 100 hours’ labor is donated by volunteers, more than half of that by the Friends of the Willow Glen Library. Some FWGL volunteers pull double duty, like Helena Martiyan. Not only does she sort donations and restock the Friends’ book sale nook, she also comes in weekly just to help the Library staff in the Marketplace area, shelving hundreds of DVDs, CDs, Audio Books, and New and Reserved materials. Helena stared volunteering at Willow Glen shortly after the branch re-opened in 2008.


Helena loved her local public library when she was growing up in Manhattan after having moved from Europe at age 7. To a shy child, the library was a welcoming refuge full of her best friends: books. She continued to love books her whole life and made her career teaching writing and literature, including classes for non-native-English speakers. She also worked in several bookstores. In 2005, she moved to California to be near her son and two grandchildren. Now, she makes the time to volunteer in her neighborhood library. That happens to be Willow Glen. Lucky us! Helena was chosen by the branch leadership team to be the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations, Helena!

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a bar, cover Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein became friends while pursuing degrees in philosophy.  Cathcart worked with street gangs in Chicago and later became a hospital administrator, while Klein worked as a writer for television comedies and quiz shows.  Their approach to this book was to sit with a stack of philosophy books and a stack of humor books and look for links between them.  They present a philosophical point and follow it with jokes that illistrate the point.  It is a fun way to jog your thinking.  Here is an example: 


What is fallacious is using respect for authority as the sole confirmation of your position, despite convincing evidence to the contrary. 

Ted meets his friend Al and exclaims, "Al! I heard you were dead!" 
"Hardly," says Al, laughing.  "As you can see, I'm very much alive."
"Impossible," says Ted.  "The man who told me is much more reliable than you."

Posted by Marilyn Stoddard on Apr 9, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder coverAugust ( Auggie) Pullman knew he was different, but that was just how he looked.  “To me, though, I’m just me.  An ordinary kid.” (Page 306)


Auggie was born with not one, but two rare birth defects.  Because of this misalignment of his genes (or as some doctors explained it a “chromosome rearrangement” (page 105)) he did not look like other people.  Some people were frightened of him, some stared at him, while others pretended not to notice. 


All Auggie wanted was to be thought of as an ordinary kid.  He’d been homeschooled all his life, but now as he prepared to enter fifth grade his Mother decided he needed to go to school with other children.  Beecher Prep, Auggie’s new school, was a small private school within walking distance of his home.  And that’s where this story begins as Auggie learns he has been admitted to the school.  Fifth grade classes start in just a few days.


Wonder is not just Auggie’s story, though he’s the center of attention.  It’s the story of his family.  Of how they adapted to his special needs over the years and how now they try to help him adjust to school.  It’s also the story of the other fifth graders in Auggie’s classes, especially the three students who were asked to help him acclimate to Beecher Prep.  There are also teachers and the principal who must overcome their own concerns as they help students accept Auggie as just that ordinary kid. 


This first novel by R.J. Palacio has received widespread positive reviews in many library and literary publications.  An inspiration for this book comes from the lyrics to the song “Wonder” by Natalie Merchant

Didn't Win the Lottery?

Last week when the Lottery Prize was so high, everybody I knew was playing!  Even me, the person who can't stand to gamble, played. 


The reason I like to play the lottery is to have a day or two of really good day-dreaming about what I'd do with all that money....  Think back to what you were dreaming of last week between shelling out a couple of bucks and then realizing you didn't win. 


Stop for just a second and think.  If money were no object, what *would* you do?


Would you pay off your bills?  Set up a college fund for your kids?  Buy a new car?  Go on a trip overseas?  Quit your job and start your dream business?


Now - stop again and think about how you might actually do those things in your current financial situation.  If your dreams weren't of gold-plated cadillacs, you probably could take the steps necessary to achieve them! 


Take a look at some of these books on achieving your goals.



Cover of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals Cover of Dare to Take Charge: How to Live Your Life on Purpose Cover of The Highest Goal: The Secret that Sustains You in Every Moment

Isn't it great that you played the Lottery last week and lost?

Ranger's Apprentice: The Lost Stories by John Flanagan

It is with a certain amount of sadness that I write about the last book in the Ranger's Apprentice series.  Ranger's Apprentice:  The Lost Stories (AR 18.0, Level 6.0) by Australia's John Flanagan is a great end to this adventure-filled series.  This series, seemingly appealing to boys, is appealing to both genders.  I know of a fifth grade teacher who could not put the first book, Ranger's Apprentice:  The Ruins of Gorlan (AR 12.0, Level 7.0), down until the wee hours of the night!


To explain the existence of these short stories, Mr. Flanagan creates a foreword and afterword in which archaeologists unearth these previously unknown tales of the Araluen rangers Will and Halt.  These are auxiliary tales that would not fit within the confines of the ten other books and would not have a complex plot in which to write a whole novel.


But what a treasure trove of stories!  Stories that answer questions that readers may have wondered about!  In these pages, you will find answers to who Will's parents were, how Halt became a ranger, what happened to Horace and Evanlyn, and what happened to Will's love, Alyss.  There are also stories about supporting characters like Gilan, Jenny, and Ebony.  An especially emotionally resonant story is the tale called, "The Wolf," in which we learn the fate of faithful and loyal Tug.


Flanagan also creates an excellent bridge between his Ranger's Apprentice series and his new series, The Brotherband Chronicles.  So, enjoy this last wonderful adventure with Will and his mentor, Halt!

For the Record: Vinyl Rules

cover image of book The Record: Contemporary Art and VinylSometimes a book deserves recognition because, like any object, it resonates beauty, visual admiration, an overall aesthetic charm shall we say. 


This particular book The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl manages to correlate a gem of a book with the appeal of album cover art . . . a clever and appropriate match. In addition to some fine displays of vinyl records as symbols of art and culture we have some great essays from notable writers like Jeff Chang, Luc Sante, and others extolling the virtues of vinyl records in a world that has traded convenience (digital files, mp3) for the true soul of musical representation in vinyl. Well, that's my feeling anyway, let me know if you object or care to dispute the sentiment. So, yeah, I chose to blog this title primarily because it's a great looking piece of book cover art, but it's really much more than that, especially if you have an enduring love affair with vinyl records and remember what it's like to drop that needle to the groove of your preferred auditory vices.


I got my copy through the Link+ catalog (thank you UNLV!) because our one copy was on loan at the moment, so don't forget about the benefits of this great DIY interlibrary loan service.

Pescadero daytrip

If you're looking for a local weekend get away, I might suggest a trip over to the coast to a small town called Pescadero. Located about 2 miles inland off Highway 1 midway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, the little town has a couple attractions well worth the twisty trip over the coastal range; Duarte's Tavern and Arcangeli Grocery.


Historic Duarte's, which opened its doors in 1894, is renowned for its rendition of  Ollalieberry (2/3 Blackberry, 1/3 Raspberry) Pie and Cream of Artichoke Soup. As the James Beard award winning restaurant can be a bit crowded on the weekends (they serve close to 13,000/month), it's best to arrive early and with an appetite! After dining, stroll down the street for a visit to Arcangeli's and their wonderful selection of country breads, marinades, jams, gourmet salsas, and other specialties.


If you're also looking to spend the evening, consider Costanoa Lodge; it's located 15 miles north of Pescadero. They offer an array of accommodations, but my wife and I chose the tent bungalows for our stay. The 'tent' is actually a wood-framed, canvas covered structure with reading lights, heated bed, and night tables. Because the tents are spaced at a distance from one another, you're assured of a peaceful rest with only the sound of the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. The onsite restaurant, Cascade, is also worth recommending. Hard to imagine that all this is only 90 minutes from busy Silicon Valley.

Kids: Celebrate National Gardening Month!

April is National Gardening Month! Help your child discover the fun activity of gardening! Here are some recommended books to get your child excited about gardening:


Gardening Stories


My Garden


My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Imagine how fun it would be to be in a magical garden where jelly beans would grow on bushes and flowers that would change colors and patterns by just thinking of them! Read this book to learn more about this beautiful garden that a creative girl is envisioning.


The Curious Garden


The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

One day, Liam discovers a dying garden and decides to nurture it back to life by taking care of it. As Liam continues to care for the garden, it grows and transforms a barren city into a beautiful, lush place!


Zinnia's Flower Garden



A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer

Spring has arrived and Little Critter and his family work on growing a garden. Throughout this book, watch them take care of their garden by watering the plants, weeding and waiting for something to sprout! Be inspired to plant something in your garden by reading this book!




Gardening Guides


Kids' Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out

Kids' Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out by Cindy Krezel

Work on 18 gardening projects that are easy, simple and fun! Make special projects such as "Great Garden Bowls for Mom" and sand art terrariums! This practical book also includes a glossary and a list of plant resources.


Grow It, Cook It



Grow It, Cook It by Jill Bloomfield

This book combines simple instructions and helpful illustrations on how to plant and cook your own homegrown vegetables. Make delicious recipes including onion and leek soup, giant beanstalk stir-fry, carrot and orange muffins and more! 





Garden by Robert Maass

This book contains colorful photos and information about a different variety of gardens and how to maintain them.





And as always, you can ask a librarian to help you find more gardening resources at your local library branch.

Posted by Peter Nguyen on Apr 4, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Online Book Club - Dubliners, Week 1

Cover of "Dubliners"

The Online Book Club is a monthly feature for San Jose Public Library readers who want to share their thoughts on a chosen book. The books are picked for their local interest and parallels to life in San Jose today. Questions about the book are asked on a weekly basis and we encourage you to post your responses.


For April 2012, Dubliners by James Joyce was decided upon because one of San Jose's sister cities, Dublin, Ireland, presented the book through their library's online book club. Dublin is a large city like San Jose that has undergone constant change, leaving some of the residents bewildered with the choices of life foisted upon them.


Question for Week 1: Who is the most sympathetic and least sympathetic character in Dubliners?


In reading Dubliners, I found no characters without faults, and none that were totally evil. Eveline is very sympathetic, with her trapped life and father taking her hard earned money and spending it in the pubs. Then she meets a man, Frank, who treats her well, but can she break the promise to her deceased mother, to keep the house together? On the dock, preparing to board the boat to Buenos Ayres, (Joyce's spelling), she reaches a painful decision.


There are a number of nominations for the least sympathetic character in Dubliners. In The Two Gallants, Lenehan watches Corley plot to manipulate a young woman into 'borrowing' money, probably from an older relative. Jimmy, in an early auto race story, After the Race, blows some of his parents money showing off to the car owners, but hopefully is wiser after his losing card game. A Painful Case features a rigid Mr. Duffy denying the company of widowed Mrs. Sinico, but then feeling the loneliness of his decision. All of the characters are swept along by their choices; hoping they will change is part of the beauty of Dubliners.


See our Online Book Club page for more information about this book and to preview upcoming questions

Magic and spies and werewolves, oh my!

Furies of Calderon coverLooking for something different? Ever thought about books combining ancient Rome, magic, and big scary monsters? Jim Butcher wrote the gripping Codex Alera series just for you. The setting is a classic low-tech fantasy world (unlike the author’s Harry Dresden files, recommended in an earlier blog). But don't think this is just another Middle-Earth rehash. It's not. Aleran society in the series is based on ancient Roman culture, including challenges to the throne, but there are other fascinating people with their own cultures, too, including a second hominid race, the Marat, and another of large wolf-like creatures called Canim. Aleran political intrigue complicates the plot, but Butcher doesn't skimp on thrills, adding border struggles with the Marat and, later, an invasion of Canim. The furies of the title are elementals that humans can use: to move stone, heat water, or fly, for example. The Alerans will need all the strength they can muster, too. A new invader approaches: the vord, a hive-creature with the potential to destroy everything in its path.


The first book is Furies of Calderon, which you can get in print or choose between book on CD, e-book, or downloadable audio, and the series is complete in six books, all available through SJPL-- good news for people who don’t like to chew their nails waiting a year or two while the author writes the next book.

Re-experience Harry Potter!

Do you love Harry Potter


Do you want to read all 7 books again? 


Have you always wanted to hear Jim Dale read them aloud?


Now all seven Harry Potter books are available to you on your favorite mobile device, e-reader or computer.


Check out our OverDrive Digital Library and experience Harry Potter again!


Cover Image of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneCover art for Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsCover art of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanCover art of Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireCover art of Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixCover art for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceCover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Today is Autism Awareness Day

Cover of School Success for Kids with AutismApril 2nd is Autism Awareness Day.  Recently the Centers for Disease Control published that the incidence of autism occurs in 1 in 88 people rather than 1 in 110 as previously reported.  Just today, Steve Silberman wrote a blog post entitled Autism Awareness is Not Enough: Here's How to Change the World which features responses to the question from a number of activists who are parents of and individuals on the Autism Spectrum.  Their thoughtful insight included should not be missed.


Cover of Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism


At SJPL, we have resources for families with children on the Autism Spectrum and other special needs.  Below are just a few titles available on the topic.


Our Inclusive Storytimes are geared for children of all abilities and everyone is welcome.  Inclusive storytimes have some adaptations that we have made to help everyone participate and have a good time.  Our librarians went through disability awareness and adapted storytime training with staff from Parents Helping Parents, a local organization that specializes in working with families of children with special needs. 


 Cover of Explaining Autism                       Cover of Animals in Translation                            Cover of A is for Autism, F is for Friend

All Reads Lead to Rome

Silver Pigs cover art



It all started with my sister-in-law. She’s a self-proclaimed Romaphile, and she gave me a paperback copy of Silver Pigs, a mystery novel set in ancient Rome. It’s the first in the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis, and it’s great. Private informer Falco tries to be a first-century tough guy, but he falls hard for a smart young lady of a noble Roman family and finds his life becoming more complicated. The author uses tension and humor deftly to keep the reader hurtling through the complicated storylines.


Thieves of Ostia cover artYounger readers will enjoy the Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence. I was lucky enough years ago to hear the author in person at the King Library, and I knew immediately if she wrote as well as she lectured, I would enjoy her books. I was hooked from the first title, The Thieves of Ostia. Twelve-year-old Flavia Gemina and her friends Jonathan, Nubia, and Lupus solve mysteries during the reign of Vespasian. The books are not for the very young, due to some scary situations, and life in ancient Rome is portrayed pretty accurately, blood and all. In the first book, the mystery involves dogs being killed in the port town of Ostia. I recommend this series for middle-school ages and up, including young-at-heart adults. The series has just recently concluded, but Lawrence is starting two new series, a Roman spin-off for younger readers and one set in the Old West.


It looks like Lindsey Davis is still going strong, but inbetween Falco books, I'll probably start reading the Gordianus the Finder series by Steven Saylor, now that my appetite has been whetted for Roman mystery novels. As my “must read” list of authors and series keeps growing, I guess it’s inevitable that I fall behind a bit, but I have added my favorite authors to my account's Saved Searches / New Item Alerts,  added the newer series titles to My Lists, and I hope to catch up eventually. Luckily, all three of these series are available through the SJPL Library, saving me tons of money and bookshelf space!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Scorpio Races coverStiefvater drastically departs from Shiver, her recent popular werewolf romance trilogy, with The Scorpio Races, a unique stand-alone fantasy novel. Every cold November on the fictional island of Thisby, tourists and locals gather for the Scorpio Races. But it's no ordinary race, as these are no ordinary horses. They are capaill uisce  (pronounced CAP-ul ISH-ka), commonly known on the island as water horses, and they are deadly and wild horse-like creatures captured from the sea and brought to race on the shore as spectator sport. During training and racing, it's not uncommon for them to kill each other, their riders, or any other unfortunate soul that gets in their way.


19-year-old orphan Sean Kendrick is a gifted rider and horse whisperer, and he's able to tame the water horses in a way like no other. He's a four-time winner of the Scorpio Races, and he intends to win again so he can finally buy freedom for himself and his water horse Corr from the callous Mr. Malvern's stables. However, 17-year-old Kate "Puck" Connelly is getting in the way. Puck, also an orphan thanks to the capaill uisce , lives with her two brothers in a small cottage, struggling to get by. In an effort to save the house, she hatches a seemingly-impossible plan to enter and somehow win the Scorpio Races with her land horse, Dove. Throw in the fact that she's the first female to ever enter the race, and watch the drama unfold. The chapters alternate between Sean and Puck as they prepare for the race with seemingly endless obstacles in front of them. Who will win? Who will live?


The Scorpio Races was named as a 2012 Printz honor book, and it's a unique tale. Thisby is rural, lacking modern technological conveniences, and reminiscent of a mid-20th century drizzly Celtic isle, but the exact era and location are never revealed, which is why some speculate that this is perhaps a dystopian tale that takes place in the future. The mythical water horses obviously add an element of fantasy, and there is a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.

My Dog, Buddy

book coverWhen other people in the family give Buddy orders, Buddy always does the opposite.  When the boy gives orders, Buddy always does whatever he asks.  His advice is:  "You have to know how to talk to a dog."


The cartoonish illustrations make this book look very cute and fun to read.

Written by David Milgrim.

Grade level: Preschool-K-1.

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