Next time you go to search our library collections you may notice things look a bit different. Yesterday, we launched a New Library Catalog search system that will hopefully make searching much easier and expose new materials you may have missed before.
Not ready to make the switch? Don't worry, our previous library catalog is still available as the "Classic Catalog" - look for the link at the bottom of the screen in the new system. "My Account" is also unchanged and can be accessed from either version of the catalog - just first select the "Login" link in the new catalog and enter your library card and PIN number.
Give the new system a try and please let us know what you think!
If you haven't watched a TED Talk yet, I highly recommend you do! TED is a non-profit devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading" and stands for Technology, Entertainment & Design, an annual conference that started in 1984. Since then, they've created a great video library of short (20 minutes or less) lectures on lots of interesting topics.
The video embedded in this post is a great example of a shorter TED Talk. If you like it, don't stop there! Many of the speakers are also authors and you can follow up a TED Talk with the book! For example, Sir Kenneth Robinson's TED Talk is one of the most-watched videos online. And SJPL carries his book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative.
Watch, then read!
Rachel Lloyd has a dual mission: to empower girls, who, like herself, have been controlled and sold by traffickers, and to challenge misconceptions of popular culture glorifying pimping and teen prostitution. In Girls Like Us, Lloyd alternates between telling her own story of abuse and sexual exploitation, and describing her work with GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Service), the organization she founded in New York City to work with girls ages 12–24 forced into the sex trade. Here she talks about her work in an interview with Rachel Lloyd.
For August 2012, our Online Book Club continues by discussing The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. 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:
KHALED HOSSEINI VIVIDLY DESCRIBES AFGANISTAN. HOW DID HIS DESCRIPTIONS DIFFER FROM IDEAS THAT YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE HAD ABOUT AFGANISTAN?
Before reading The Kite Runner, I knew more about Afghanistan than many Americans. I had spent a month in Turkey, and had met travelers who had gone through Afghanistan on their way to and from India. The departure board at the airport in Istanbul always included Kabul. I actually knew where Afghanistan was, that the terrain and weather were harsh, and that the people living there were fierce and proud. I knew that Asian cultures included many different elements than the cultures of Europe and America.
Later on, I learned about coups, a failed invasion by the Soviet Union, and the imposition of new rules on the people by the Taliban. I saw the United States drawn into the region, and yet another invasion of Afghanistan take place. Each of these were meant to change the national identity of the Afghani people. Each would have limited success.
The Kite Runner provided me with the intimate details of life within Afghanistan. In just one page, I learned about the passage of the Kochi (the nomads) through Kabul. I learned that John Wayne movies were shown, and it was a shock to find out that he was American and not Iranian. I learned that walks through the bazaars could end with rosewater ice cream topped with crushed pistachio nuts, as well as warm Coca-Cola.
One of the great things about this book is its ability to touch its readers and humanize the Afghani people. It has provided readers in America and around the world with glimpses into Afghanistan's peoples and cultures. These moments may seem far more real and personal to people than what they have heard on the news reports. I believe this to be a good thing, indeed.
Recently the San Jose Public Library featured an interesting web resource called Statistic Brain. This website has statistics on a wide range of topics. Partners in Reading looked at the numbers for people in the U. S. and throughout the world who lack literacy.
Some of the appalling numbers are that almost a quarter of the population in this country reads below the 5th grade level and that almost 20% of high school graduates have troubles reading. Another shocker is that 63% of inmates don't read well. There is a strong connection between limited literacy and poor health, crime, and poverty, among many other problems that our society faces.
Statistic Brain also has data on the difference that a high school graduate will earn annually compared to a high school dropout - $14,117.
We encourage you to take a look and also to join Partners in Reading to help adults in San Jose read and write better. Orientation and training start on September 19th, 2012. Please call Partners in Reading at (408) 808-2361 for more information.
It's a Breakup Not a Breakdown is written by Lisa Steadman who is known as "The Relationship Journalist"(TM ) and "a multiple-breakup survivor." With a keen woman sense, the author offers us well-conceived plans to survive a breakup in ten charming chapters. Ten chapters were intelligently laid out (in pink and brown text with occasional pink extracts from Boyfriend Files and Breakup Chronicles), befriended us and gave us the comforting presence of a helping hand.
Lisa covers the major parts of breaking up, such as post-breakup rules, pitfalls of post-big breakup recovery, how to move on, how to live/love your life to give single gals a good name, how to wake up, and how to find your perfect partner. Sometimes the author offers a "Post-Breakup To-Do List" that sounds so humorous and yet is so humanly practical.
Mary Ann Winkowski is "the real life Ghost Whisperer and consultant on the top 30 CBS show Ghost Whisperer." She discussed about how she discovered her gift: she can only see the spirits who linger around and don't go to the Light, then she helps them to go into the Light. She got trained by her grandmother on how to help them. She cannot see the ones who have crossed over to the Light. Even if the ghost speaks a foreign language, she is still able to understand what the ghost is saying.
In When Ghosts Speak, the author brought out to light some truths about ghosts to help us understand more about earthbound spirits:
- The spirit attends its own funeral.
- Ghosts are not ugly or scary as Hollywood movies portrayed; they look normal like the rest of us; they still have desires which they cannot satisfy because they don't have a body anymore. These desires include going to a movie, going to see a show, and/or drinking alcoholic beverages.
- Why some spirits stay behind: some are still attached to materials such as a beautiful vacation home they once had, jewelry, or cars; a spirit who once was famous at a work place such as Hollywood and is still attached to that work place; spirits who used to have a fun work place and still want to perform an old job such as singing a romantic song on stage; some spirits want to seek revenge or pursue justice; some spirits are nosy and don't want to leave; and some are jealous lovers and want to follow the love life of the one they left behind.
- Young spirits are different; spirits of young children rarely come back. They are not attached. They don't have greed.
- Ghosts stay after unnatural deaths, such as in cases of murders and suicides.
- Pets are loyal, even after death, they still come back, and hang around their master.
- Evil spirits are rare, but they are real. Even spirits of "bad" people-murderers, rapists, pedophiles, etc.-are welcome into the Light when they die.
- Dark Spirits are evil, they "are not of the Light", they "do not come from the Light.' They were never human. Black magic (dark witchcraft, Ouija board process, satanism) brings back Dark Spirits, if not performed correctly. The author advises: do not dabble in black arts, do not play with Ouija boards of any type, do not perform spells intended to summon a spirit to grant you greater power or wealth or fame.
In the last chapter, "Living with Ghosts", Mary Ann Winkowski discussed about how people attract earthbound spirits, how to identify spirits around us, how to deal with eartbound spirits or how to protect ourselves from their influence.
You are cordially invited to enjoy Multicultural Music from Around the World. This fun event will take place on Tuesday, July 31 at 6:00 PM in the Community Room of the Edenvale Branch Library.
Let's take a trip around the world through music. Don and Shane will bring music and instruments from around the world for a fun and educational experience!
This delightful musical program is part of the 2012 Summer Reading Celebration, and is made possible by the generosity of the Friends of the Edenvale Branch Library.
In addition to being the first American woman in space, Sally Ride was
an accomplished author of astronomy books for children. You can check out
the juvenile non-fiction written by Ride and her collaborators in the SJPL catalog.
Highway 17 : the Road to Santa Cruz by R Beal is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the history of this iconic roadway and the towns that it once serviced. Beal traces the funding history, engineers and government people involved with the planning and construction of the highway, and towns now gone that once lined the road. As a Bay Area native and one who has used the road countless times, the book afforded me a keen sense of the tremendous effort, expense, and sacrifice that went into the eventual realization of this local landmark called Highway 17.