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Teen Talent Show 2012

Show off your unique talent and win prizes, too!


Do you sing, love to dance, do stand-up comedy or have a unique talent??? Compete in our first round of Teen Talent Show competitions to win prizes and a spot at our final talent show event on Saturday, August 11th @ 2pm at at the Almaden Branch Library


Visit a participating library to sign-up!


Registration packets will be available at participating San José Public Library locations. Participants must submit their registration form at the location where they want to compete.

Check out pictures of past Teen Talent Show Competitions



Regional Competitions: Prizes 1st place $50, 2nd place $25, 3rd $10 

Tully Community Branch, July 5th @ 2pm

Edenvale Branch, July 18th @ 6pm

Hillview Branch, July 19th @ 3pm

Santa Teresa Branch, July 21st @ 3pm

Cambrian Branch, July 25th @ 6:00pm

Evergreen Branch, July 26th @ 4pm


Final Competition: Prizes 1st place $100, 2nd place $75, 3rd place $50   

Saturday, August 11th @ 2pm

Join us for the grand finale of Teen Talent Show 2012 at the Almaden Branch Library.

The first and second place winners from our local contests will compete for the honor of becoming the San José Teen Talent 2012.  Come early and bring your family and friends to cheer on your favorite talent!


Cover of Persuasion

Persuasion, Jane Austen's last completed novel, satirizes social status and emotional turmoil with her famed wit and ironic style.  Not just any love story – Penguin Classics has compared the romantic narrative to the well-loved fairy tale, “Cinderella,” in the characters, conflict, and aspects of plot.  However, this tale is distinguished by the resplendence of literary beauty that is both philosophical and awe-inspiring: the impact of the theme, ‘persuasion,’ is recounted in a cleverly woven path that directs the heroine to her eventual felicity. 


Intrigued with the return of her former beau -- Captain Wentworth -- from eight and half years prior, Anne Elliott is placed in the uncomfortable position of remaining in company with him while he is courting another!  Austen displays the pain and agony of his return, the unspoken words, and misunderstandings that continue to evolve and devolve in the plot.  Along with that conflict is an underlying tension from the recommendations of Lady Russell, who discouraged the engagement all those years ago in the first place.    


Gillian Beer explains that Austen was perceptive that the ability to persuade or to be persuaded is crucial in regards to communication.  Beer states: "...  Jane Austen gradually draws out the implications of discriminating 'just' and 'unjust' persuasion."  That is, the narrative displays a profusion of variations of those inducing, or attempting to entice, others—or themselves.  Finally, Beer describes Austen's work as: "… the novel's entire brooding on the power pressures, the seductions, and also the new pathways opened by persuasion.”  Although, erudite in tone, Persuasion is in effect, a treatise on Austen’s personal challenges with similar phenomena in her own familial relationships.  It is one of the most fascinating and enduring novels ever!


A fabulous read! 


Teen Lock-In: The Zombie Apocalypse!

Zombie image

Get ready to own the night! Teens ages 12-17 are invited to spend a fun-filled Zombie themed evening at participating San Jose Public Library branches on Friday, August 3rd from 8pm to 11pm*. Participate in fun and memorable activities such as scavenger hunts, video/board games, craft, movie and more! Refreshments and food will be provided!


IMPORTANT: The Teen Lock-In event takes place at the libraries listed below. To register, you and your parent or guardian must come to the library that you prefer to participate in this event and fill-out the registration form. Please submit the form by Friday, July 27th. Space is limited and all teens must be pre-registered and have reviewed two books for the Teen Summer Reading Celebration to participate.


(*Teen Lock-In will be from 7pm to 10pm at Berryessa branch libraryEvergreen branch library and Santa Teresa branch library.)


Almaden Branch

Almaden Branch Library

6445 Camden Ave.
San José, CA 95120
(408) 808-3040


Berryessa Branch


Berryessa Branch Library (Note: From 7pm to 10pm at this location)

3355 Noble Avenue
San José, CA 95132
(408) 808-3050


Bibloteca Branch

Biblioteca Branch Library

921 South First St.
San José, CA 95110
(408) 294-1237


Evergreen Branch



Evergreen Branch Library (Note: From 7pm to 10pm at this location)

2635 Aborn Rd.
San José, CA 95121
(408) 808-3060


Hillview Branch


Hillview Branch Library

1600 Hopkins Dr.
San José, CA 95122
(408) 808-3033


Joyce Ellington Branch


Joyce Ellington Branch Library

491 E. Empire St.
San José, CA 95112
(408) 808-3043


Santa Teresa Branch


Santa Teresa Branch Library (Note: From 7pm to 10pm at this location)

290 International Circle
San José, CA 95119
(408) 808-3068


West Valley Branch

West Valley Branch Library

1243 San Tomas Aquino Rd.
San José, CA 95117
(408) 244-4747

Book Trailer Contest - June 1 - July 31, 2012

Teens: want to do something more imaginative than just writing a review for Summer Reading books that you have read? Create and submit a book trailer review for Summer Reading, and you could win a Kindle Fire! Upload a short clip, no longer than 4 minutes, to YouTube, providing your review of the book. Be creative!  The contest is open to all participants in the Teen Summer Reading Celebration.


How to enter:

  • Create your own book trailer, reviewing a book that you read for Summer Reading. You can submit more than one video, but each video has to be for a separate book.
  • Post the video on YouTube using the tag: SJPL2012SRC
  • Sign up for Summer Reading here, starting in a few weeks.
  • When you log the book you read on the Summer Reading website, make sure to include a link to your video in the review field.


Entries will be judged on creativity and content by a panel of library staff.


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


Here are links to some professional book trailers:


- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


- The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler


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



Picture of Kindle FirePicture of iTunes cardpicture of Jamba Juice card



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

Entries for the contest must be submitted between June 1 and July 31, 2012.   Winners will be announced in August.

Graphic Novel Making Contest - June 1 - July 31, 2012

logo, Graphic Novel Contest



Congratulations to the winners! - Check out their Work!

Winning Contestants San Jose Public Library Graphic Novel Making Contest















Children up to age 6

1st place: Joaquin Albornoz, age 5, “Joaquin’s Birthday Party”

Honorable Mention: Kapil Kumar age 5 1/2 , “Sharing and Friendship”


Children ages 7-12

1st place: Nathan Koketsu, age 11, “Adventure in the Open Sea”

2nd place: Madurya Suresh, age 9, “The Search for the Sun”

3rd place: Laura Shieh, age 12, “Silver Dandelion”

Honorable Mention:  Audrey Chiang, age 8, “The Firefly and her Glow”



1st place: Apanuba Mahmood, age 14, “Flaming Resolve! – Fleeting Demon Encounter”

2nd place: Huyen Nguyen (Chibi Teresa), age 15, “Phantom Dream Hunter: The Prologue”

3rd place: Sienna Gonzales, age 14, “Colored Pencils”

Honorable Mention: Thu Nguyen, age 14,  “Terra”



1st place: Queena Xu, “Butterfly Wish”

2nd place: Christine Bainbridge, “A Dream”

3rd place: Eric Elemen, “Super Busy Dad”

Honorable Mention: Darren Tat, “Death Match”


For more photos, please vist the San Jose Public Library Flickr site.



If 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, 2012. 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, August 1, 2012There 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 place will receive Art Supplies
  • Children (7-12):  first place $40, second place $20
  • Teens (ages 13-17):  first place $100; second place $70; third place $50
  • Adults (age 18 and above):  first place $100; second place $70; third place $50


Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at a reception to be held at the Berryessa Branch Library on Saturday, August 25th at 2:00 the Community Room. 


Check out the award winning entries from 2011 and 2010. We're discussing last year's winners and other graphic novels in the Online Book Club during June and July.      


Learn how to make your own comic book, graphic novel or manga!  Oliver Chin will be teaching this free workshop for teens at some San José Public Library branches.


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

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.

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. 

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!

Check out the Winners of the Music Video Contest

Did you follow Battle of the Bands this year? Did you vote for your favorite bands?

All the bands had an additional chance at winning a prize this year:

our teensReach members voted for the best videos and here are the winners:


First place:



Second place:



Third place:



Honorable Mention:




Let us know what you think of the videos in the comments!

Story time is a big draw for customers of the San Jose Public Library

storyteller and his puppet

In a recent article by Mary Gottschalk published in the web site, story times at the Willow Glen, Rose Garden, Cambrian and Almaden branches were highlighted.  Librarians Lucia Farnham-Hudson, Mary Cage, Nancy Donnell and Ed Koetitz, were interviewed for the article.  In addition to information on the regular story times, a brief history and overview of the Inclusive Story Times was presented.  For a comprehensive listing of Inclusive Story Times offered by the San Jose Public Library, please consult the online calendar of events


At an inclusive story time you will find stories, songs, fingerplays, rhymes and activities that are tailored for our youngest audience with special needs.  To make the story time more accessable, there are also carpet squares, fidget toys, a story time schedule, big books and other visual props designed to engage the child. 


For more information and advice for parents with children who have special needs, Parents Helping Parents is a remarkable resource.  In addition, the Inclusion Collaborative, (part of the Santa Clara County Office of Education), is a valuable resource for parents and teachers alike.

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