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2013 Book Trailer Contest

Check out the top 3 winning entries of the 2013 Book Trailer Contest below:


1st place (winner of an iPad Mini): Hannah V. -  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


2nd place (winner of a $50 iTunes gift card): Terrick E. - The Things They Carried 


3rd place (winner of a $25 Jamba Juice card): Linh N. - Lord of the Flies


Thank you to everyone who submitted such creative and fun videos!






The San José Public Library invites teens to create a book trailer for our Summer Reading Celebration during the months of June and July. Upload a short clip, no longer than 4 minutes, to YouTube. Be creative! The contest is open to all participants in the Teen Summer Reading Celebration.


How to enter:

Think of a favorite book you read for Summer Reading and envision it as a short video, one that will capture the interest of your audience. Create your own book trailer, reviewing the book. You can submit more than one video, but each video has to be for a separate book.


  • Sign up for Summer Reading starting on June 1, 2013.
  • Post the video on YouTube using the tag: SJPL2013SRC
  • Submit the YouTube link to your book trailer along with your name, age, contact information (either a phone number or email) and your library branch to:
  • All entries must be submitted by July 31, 2013
  • Book trailers may not be longer than four minutes in length
  • Story being reviewed should be a young adult or adult fiction or non-fiction book.
  • Cite all images, video and audio that you did not create

A panel of judges (staff at San José Public Library) will review all entries and select the top three winners, to be announced in August 2013. The panel of judges will use the following criteria when reviewing book trailer entries:


  • Content: Clear introduction; strong hook; summary without dominating narration; fresh and interesting commentary with strong conclusion
  • Voice/Sound: Interesting; well-rehearsed; smooth delivery; holds audience attention; easy to hear narration over soundtrack; voice sounds natural and helps convey meaning; soundtrack adds to tone/feel of presentation
  • Images: Crisp, clear, engaging, enriching, extending details and meaning; appropriately cited.
  • Presentation: All elements (color and graphics) work together seamlessly to create an interesting book trailer

Need some examples? Check out the winning entry from last year's Book Trailer Contest, created by K. Rai.


Here are links to some professional book trailers:



Teens who submit links to their Book Trailer will automatically be entered in the contest. The top 3 winners will receive:


   image of iTunes card   picture of jamba juice card


  • 1st place: iPad Mini
  • 2nd place: $50 gift card for iTunes
  • 3rd place: $25 gift card for Jamba Juice

Graphic Novel Making Contest 2013

Congratulations to all our winners! Check out their work and some pictures from the Awards Ceremony.


Children Ages 6 and Under:

1st place – Shreyas Anand, Age 6, Island of the Robots (Calabazas)

2nd place – Joaquin Albornoz, Age 6, The Inventor (King)

Honorable Mention – Megan Leung, Age 4, What a Teddy Bear Needs (Evergreen)


Children Ages 7-12:

1st Place – Marisa Leung, Age 10, The Fish’s Pearl (Evergreen)

2nd Place – Arianna T. Le, Age 12, Fate Fate (Tully)
3rd place – Cindy Xu, Age 11, The Tale of the Empire State Building (Calabazas)

Honorable Mention 1 – Shreyan Mayukh Mitra, Age 7, Stop It! I Don’t Like It! (Alviso)

Honorable Mention 2 – Nathan Koketsu, Age 12, Aro (Willow Glen)



1st Place – Shirley Huang, Age 14, Midnight Moon (Vineland)

2nd Place – Kelly Lien, Age 15, Was It Innocence? (Evergreen)

3rd Place – Tess Shell, Age 15, Hidden Flowers Circus (Willow Glen)

Honorable Mention 1 – Aeryn Frost, Age 16, Child of Ink (West Valley)

Honorable Mention 2 – Vi Le, Age 17, The Black Book Market (Berryessa)



1st Place – Jared Russell, Colma (Rose Garden)

2nd Place – Kenzi Smith, Blank Spaces (King)

3rd Place – Queena Xu, Finding Our Melody (Edenvale)

Honorable Mention – Michele Cajes, Happiness (Evergreen)






Graphic Novel Making Contest logoIf you have a talent for creating comic/manga style illustrated short stories, you are invited to enter San José Public Library’s Graphic Novel Making Contest for all ages as part of our Summer Reading Celebration, 2013. This contest is sponsored by San José Public Library, Hijinx Comics, San José Museum of Art and TRY Japan Culture Group.



Here’s how to enter …


  • Create your own comic book with a maximum length of 8 pages, including the cover page.
  • Use letter-size paper (8.5 x 11) with black-and-white drawings and text on one side only.
  • Each submission must be the creative and original work of a single individual—the author/illustrator.
  • The contest is limited to amateur authors/ illustrators only.
  • Computer generated images are acceptable as long as they are your original work (no clip art)
  • Consider submitting a photocopy that is an accurate reflection of the original (as submissions are non-returnable).
  • San José Public Library reserves the right to reproduce your work. You can reuse all your work after the contest.
  • Be sure to print and complete the creative works release form. Include your Name, Age, Contact Information and Signature.
  • Entries can be submitted to any San José Public Library location no later than 8p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. 
  • Entries can also be submitted online to as a jpeg or pdf attachment.
  • There is a limit of one entry per contestant.


Entries will be judged on content and illustrations by a panel of library staff and comic industry professionals. All cash prizes will be awarded as gift cards. 


  • Children (up to age 6): first prize $25; second prize $15
  • Children (7-12): first prize $40; second prize $20
  • Teens (ages 13-17): first prize $100; second prize $70; third prize $50
  • Adults (age 18 and above): first prize $100; second prize $70; third prize $50

Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at a reception to be held at the Seven Trees Branch Library on Saturday, August 24th at 2:00 the Community Room. 


Check out the award winning entries from 2012, 2011 and 2010.   


San José Public Library staff members are ineligible to participate.

San José Public Library reserves the right to refuse submissions that are not appropriate for a general audience. This contest is open to all California residents.

We Need Your Suggestions for the IMPAC Dublin Award

San Jose Public Library wants your recommendations for the International IMPAC Dublin award now! (Deadline May 16, 2013)


Is there a novel you read last year that you enjoyed? Nominate it for the IMPAC Dublin award!  


Every year San Jose Public Library, along with other major libraries from around the world nominates a work of fiction written or translated in English published the preceding year for the International IMPAC Dublin Award. From the Long list of recommended books, a short list of 10 books is chosen by a jury of authors. From this list of finalists a winner is chosen and announced the following June.


The book must be a novel, published in English between January 1 and December 31, 2012 or an English translation of a book originally published between 2008-2012.


Post your recommendations below no later than May 16.


For more information on the IMPAC Dublin award:

Preserve Your Personal History at the Library

In celebration of National Preservation Week, San Jose Public Library is offering a way for you to preserve your personal and family memories. Library staff will be on hand to help you scan photographs and documents that have meaning in your life, and perhaps that you would like to share with others.


I have a photograph of my grandfather, a World War II veteran, who passed away last year. My grandmother gave me this image and also shared with me a few stories about how they first met and what their early years together were like. I would like to share this image and her personal stories with my 20 cousins spread throughout the United States. In this way the family memories can be saved and handed down.


Let us help you do the same. We welcome you to attend a Scan Day at any of the following times and places. Please bring up to ten items to scan and we will help you save the digitized images to a CD.


West Valley Branch Library

Thrusday, April 4th 11-1 pm


Berryessa Branch Library

Friday, April 5th 2-4 pm


Rose Garden Branch Library

Thursday, April 11th 11-1 pm


Evergreen Branch Library

Thursday, April 11th 4-6 pm

Garden Ideas - San Jose Style!

photo of mumsThe hills are green and the weather is in turns warm or rainy.  Its time to get out into the garden and get some work done!  I've been walking out and doing a little bit of weeding every morning and today I sowed some seeds. 

March is a great month to get started with the following:  Fertilize trees and shrubs, plant potatoes and summer blooming bulbs like caladiums and elephant ears.


Whether you have a small orchard or a few plants in pots on your windowsill, SJPL has a lot of resources to help you plan this year's garden and give you inspiration!


The world-renowned San Jose Heritage Rose Garden at Spring and Taylor is a great inspiration to rose lovers.  A dedicated cadre of volunteers maintain the garden. Check out this aerial view video of the volunteers hard at work!  How's that for inspiration?  I've only got four roses to prune!



Cover of Wildly Successful Plants: Northern CaliforniaCover of Annuals for Northern CaliforniaCover of The Complete Guide to Northwest Coast Gardening


25th Annual San Jose Children's Faire

25th Annual San Jose Children's Faire Explore the Possibilities, Saturday, April 13, 2013 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Celebrate the Month of the Young Child at the

25th Annual San Jose Children's Faire! 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

10:30 a.m. - 3:00 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 "Explore the Possibilities" 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 1-408-808-2617 or visit

Books to Read to Furry Friends

The San José Public Library has a fun program for kids to practice their reading skills by reading to some friendly dogs, cats, and other animals. It's called Reading to Furry Friends. Kids are paired with an animal for some one-on-one reading time. This is a great way to encourage kids to improve their reading skills and develop relationships with animals.


If your kids need suggestions for what to read to them, here are some fun books that the listening animals might appreciate:


Book Cover of Oh No George!


Oh No George! by Chris Haughton


George wants to be a good dog, but when his owner goes out for the day, he struggles with the temptations that all dogs surely face: digging in the flower garden, chasing the cat, and swiping some cake off the kitchen table.  Will George be good?


Book Cover of Dog's Colorful Day




Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd


Dog is white with a black spot on one ear.  But after a day spent romping, he comes back with a whole bunch of different color spots.  Learn colors and number with this colorful canine!


Book Cover of Bark George


Bark, George by Jules Feiffer


The mother of this George despairs of ever getting her puppy to make the noise that all dogs must: BARK!  A variety of other animal sounds come out of George, so she takes him to the vet to see what the problem is.


Book Cover of Kitten's First Full Moon



Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes  


Kitten is convinced that the moon is a big bowl of milk just out of his reach.  He will try almost anything to get that bowl of milk.  Will Kitten go hungry or will he succeed?


Book Cover of Pete the Cat



Pete the Cat by James Dean


Pete loves his new white shoes.  But as he walks down the street and steps in colorful mess after colorful mess, his shoes aren’t so white anymore.  But that’s fine with Pete, who keeps singing his song and loving his shoes.


Book Cover of What Will Fat Cat Sit On?




What Will Fat Cat Sit On? By Jan Thomas


What will Fat Cat sit on?  All of the animals in this book just hope it won’t be them.  Can they come up with a solution before it’s too late?



If your child wants to read to one of our furry friends, then check out the locations below for dates and times:

Operation Prom Dress 2013

The Office of Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen presents
Operation Prom Dress 2013


Don't let the tough economy discourage students from attending Prom. 

Donate a new or gently used dress today!


Donations are currently being accepted through March 3, 2013.



Stop by one of the following branch libraries to make your donation:

For a full list of participating locations click here.

Congratulations BOTB 2013 Winners

Congratulations BOTB 2013 Winners!


1st Place

Lizard Kingdom Progressive Rock


Lizard Kingdom is heavily influenced by bands such as the Fall of Troy, Ricky Martin, Sha Na Na, Nickelback, Milli Vanilli, and Brian Wilson. In our spare time, we enjoy making balloon animals. Collectively our favorite food is pickles. Our pre-show ritual is we gather around, and run with scissors to display bravery.




2nd Place


Cactus  Experimental/Fusion


"Cactus is a group that plays for the sheer love of all different kinds of music, whether it be jazz, blues, alternative, classic rock, or Motown. Each practice is always different consisting of spontaneous new ideas every time. We enjoy the simple things in life, humor, and acting weird and crazy!"



3rd Place


Half N Half   Indie Rock


“We have been together since Fall 2011, and started out playing covers. But with HALF of us wanting to play this, n Half of us wanting to play that, we finally decided to collaborate to write our own music! “






The library gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of its community sponsors:


  • Live 105.3 FM
  • PinUp Productions
  • San Jose Pro Drum
  • Steetlight Records
  • San Jose Rock Shop
  • Music Village
  • Music Go Round







December is "Safe Toys and Gifts" Month

toysDecember is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, a project led by Prevent Blindness America. The group hopes to educate parents and other gift shoppers through awareness efforts all throughout the month. The rate at which children are being checked into ERs due to choking, eye injuries, or even poisoning is astonishing. Hundreds of thousands of children have undergone unnecessary injuries due to poorly made items and misuse of toys as quoted on


In this holiday season, purchasing age-appropriate Toys helps ensure children’s safety.



San Jose Public Library Resources on Safe Toys and Gifts

San Jose Public Library Programs on Safe Toys and Gifts

Additional Resources: