Meet Chiko! This nine-year-old is a dog with a job--he's a Furry Friends therapy dog who visits Willow Glen Branch Library, and other places, spreading joy and good will. What do therapy dogs do at the library? They act as a friendly audience to young readers. With a dog's non-critical ear, a beginning reader is more likely to enjoy the learning experience. Chiko is very well-behaved, a requirement for a therapy dog. Plus, this mixed breed is big enough to endure hugs from tots, and he loves kids. Chiko was found in an animal shelter and adopted by Debra, a second-grade teacher who frequently brings him to her classroom. He's been a therapy dog for three years. Children and families are invited to visit WG on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month to read to Chiko and other Furry Friends. Or look for other reading to dogs programs in your area.
When librarian Debbie retired, she began volunteering with the Friends of Willow Glen Library (FWGL), her own neighborhood library. She knew FWGL has been able to purchase furniture, pay for special programs, and even enhance the library’s collections with its book sales proceeds.
One day, Debbie came across donations no one wanted to buy: Readers’ Digest Condensed books, with beautifully decorated hard covers. She'd heard there was a way to make a purse from a book, so she did what any librarian would: research! She downloaded patterns from the Internet and created prototypes to show the Friends. Now, besides selling books, the Friends handcraft one-of-a-kind purses; each takes about 12 hours to create. Book Purses were introduced to the public at the Friends’ April, 2011, book sale. Later, a line of E-book Reader Covers was added. To date, FWGL has sold 72 purses and e-reader covers.
FWGL relies on fabric, notions, and handles donations from members, Internet appeals (a local e-list and Freecycle), friends, and neighbors. Recently, the Friends have struck up a partnership with The Thrift Box on Lincoln Avenue, trading donated items that FWGL cannot sell for items like fabric and RDC books donated to the store. The WG Farmers’ Market and Comerica Bank have assisted with sales, advertising, and networking opportunities. Look for Book Purses and other items at your local Friends' next book sale.
On December 10, eleven new volunteers completed tutor training and have been matched with adults who read or write below the high school level. We hope they enjoy their tutoring experience, because they will be helping adults build literacy skills while becoming more involved in the community. You can become a volunteer tutor as well. Just call Partners in Reading (PAR) at (408) 808-2361 to learn more. The next orientation will be February 1. Many adults are waiting for your help to read the newspaper, register to vote, fill out job applications, and read to a child. You can also visit our website for more information.
For more information about how tutoring can help adults, read this December 15, 2011 San Jose Mercury News article about a learner who is overcoming some difficult obstacles while working on her reading and writing.
Would you like to help families read together and break the cycle of low literacy? You can do that by donating a book to the Partners in Reading (PAR) book drive. One of the most important ways to ensure literacy in children is to read aloud to them every day and read together as a family. In order to do that families need books and home libraries. PAR encourages you to donate a book to help families read and learn together. Drop off your new book at the PAR office in the King Library or at your branch library. Mark it PAR book drive and know that you are helping families.
You can also visit Hicklebee's and buy your book there or you can donate online. For further inspiration you can look at the teen's book list and the kids' book lists. Below are some of the titles that have already been donated.
Read this San Jose Mercury News article about PAR's book drive to learn more.
I've got a fridge full of leftovers and I'm not going to let them go to waste! Let's take a minute or two to go over our leftover options...
Nadia G's Bitchin Kitchen: Cooking for Trouble by Nadia G is the star of a new quirky cooking show and this book brings some of what she shares to the printed page. In this book, she has a recipe for frittata using leftovers.
I regularly use leftover pasta and some fresh vegetables and a couple of eggs to make a frittata for breakfast or brunch. It sounds fancy and tastes great too!
Maya Angelou's cookbook, Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart is a downloadable ebook that has a section on leftovers.
I know I'm going to be putting the ham into a casserole and drench it with barbque sauce to make barbque ham sandwiches later this week. That is sure to be a hit with my meat and potatoes husband!
Cookbooks that focus on cooking once to make many meals are also good places to get inspiration for leftover makeovers... Better Homes and Gardens Make Ahead Cooking does just that!
Now here's your chance to share - What do you do with Your leftovers?
First, let me make it clear that I do not normally dress in medieval garb and go to a wine tasting. Heck, I’m not even a big fan of wine. So, why did I find myself doing exactly that at Castello di Amorosa castle and winery recently? Because I never quite outgrew my love of dressing up, that’s why. When I was a kid, I tried on my Mom’s old clothes and Grammy’s “fancy” rhinestone jewelry; I travelled miles out of my way to attend Renaissance fairs as a young adult, and I still enjoy getting into a costume just to stay home and answer the door on Halloween. I can’t really explain it except to say, costumes are just…FUN!
Unpack your own sense of whimsy this Hallowe’en; it’s just around the corner, waiting to say Boo! I suppose you’ve got your costume already. If not, the Library is the perfect place to get started. Time is short, but you want a costume that will make people scratch their heads? Try The Original Duct Tape Halloween Book by Jim and Tim, the duct tape guys, full of wacky ideas to turn yourself into a refrigerator magnet or the gum on the bottom of a shoe.
Do you sew a little but your budget is lacking? Take a look at The Halloween Handbook: 447 Costumes by Bridie Clark and Ashley Dodd. On the other hand, if you want a more standard costume, but still not store-bought, try Elegantly Frugal Costumes: The Poor Man’s Do It Yourself Costume Makers Guide by Shirley Dearing. This book starts with a piece from the back of your own closet or from the thrift store and will guide you through turning it into a one-of-a-kind costume.
Whatever you do, don’t lose the sense of FUN that you had as a child dressing up and playing make-believe! Even if you do pack it up and bring it out just once a year.
Lately we have had a number of smaller earthquakes in the Bay Area.Last week, when my whole house shook, my husband thought it was the wind.But news reports confirmed a 3.8 quake on the Hayward Fault.
If you do feel a quake, go to Did You Feel It to register your experience.This crowdsourcing tool sponsored by the United States Geological Survey records the data and maps it.You can look back over the past 24 hours or even further back to see where earthquakes are occurring all over the world and also see how many people reported feeling it and how far away they were from the epicenter of the quake.
I’m told you can ask just about anybody who’s over the age of 30 where they were when the Loma Prieta Quake happened in October of 1989. I wasn’t in California then, but I was in 2007 on October 30th when the King Library was shaken so hard that hundreds of thousands of books fell off the shelves.
Are you ready for the next big quake? Have you reviewed your emergency plan with your family? Do you have an out of town relative that everyone can call to relay information if local phone connections don’t work? If you haven't, don't put it off. There is nothing more comforting that being ready just in case something goes wrong. There are many sites with good tips on preparedness and the very best are sponsored by government agencies. Ready.gov and FEMA both have concise and useful information on what to do to stay safe in case you feel the earth move under your feet!
John Wooden's 101st birthday would have been this week, on October 14. So, in honor of him, please take a moment to reflect on his life and what he has done for the game!
Coach Wooden’s Leadership Game Plan for Success: 12 Lessons for Extraordinary Performance and Personal Excellence is a fascinating book to read – even if you are not an athlete or a business major! Wooden teaches the fundamentals for achieving and sustaining success not just on the court, but also in life and at work. This book discusses the pyramid of success and each of the building blocks - what they mean and how to apply them to your life.
Coach Wooden may well be known as one of the best coaches of the 20th century, according to ESPN. Through his leadership and coaching ability, he brought the UCLA Bruins to victory, winning 10 NCAA championships in a 12 year period – with 7 wins in a row, and winning 88 consecutive games. He was named National Coach of the Year 6 times. He was also named as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame (1961) as a player, and as a coach (1973) – the first person in both categories!
Some great Wooden Quotes:
“I don’t care how tall you are. I care how tall you play.”
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
“If you are not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything.”
“Don’t measure yourself by what you’ve accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your abilities.”
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Top of the pyramid of success quote: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
Veterans Day is a federal holiday we celebrate on its actual day – November 11 – which is on a Friday this year. If you have a long weekend, consider spending part of it acknowledging our veterans. As President Barack Obama stated last year in his Proclamation 8598: “On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Americans across this land commemorate the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the liberty of our Nation, the families who support them, and the heroes no longer with us.”
Here are a couple of local happenings:
11K and 1-Mile Healthy Walk. Join others in a national event on November 11. The San Jose National Veterans Day Run is an inaugural event, starting near the HP Pavilion, running along the Guadalupe Trail and ending at the Heritage Garden, pending permit approval. A large turnout of veterans and active-duty personnel is expected. The race begins at 7:11 a.m. Other cities participating are Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and San Diego.
Downtown San Jose Veterans Day Parade, one of the largest Veterans Day Parades in Northern California, is an annual event produced by the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County with support from the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara and many individuals and organizations. The Opening Ceremony for the Parade begins on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month with a memorial ceremony at Plaza de Cesar Chavez on Market Street in honor of the 1918 Armistice of the “War to End All Wars.” The Parade steps off at 12:00 Noon from Delmas Street near the HP Pavilion and travels east along Santa Clara to Market Street. The Parade then proceeds south on Market, passing the reviewing stand at Park Street opposite Plaza de Cesar Chavez near the Tech Museum, and ends at San Carlos Street. This event has been held yearly since 1919!
And, to get yourself and your little ones informed about the meaning of the holiday once known as Armistice Day, check out these materials through your local San Jose Library branch.
· When did Armistice Day become Veterans Day?
· What did Armistice Day commemorate?
· Who proclaimed the first Armistice Day and in what year?
· In what year did Congress declare Armistice Day a federal holiday?
If you shop in the City of San Jose, beginning January 1, 2012 (that's about 4 months away) there will no longer be disposable plastic bags for your merchandise. That means you will need to bring your own bags to put your groceries or other purchases in.
Plastic bags are a convenience that just isn't worth the price on the environment. Did you know that plastic bags are the most commonly found items during creek clean-ups or that Californians use 4 million plastic bags a year? Plastic bags are considered to be dangerous to over 260 species of wildlife including sea turtles who mistake the bags in the ocean for jellyfish and then try to eat them. Swapping out plastic bags for reusable ones is a change that everyone can easily make!
What can you do to get ready for the change?
Recycle your plastic grocery bags by turning them into "yarn" that you can then use to crochet a reusable shopping bag. This is recycling/reuse at its finest. I've made a couple of these myself - they are quick to make and they are flexible and strong! This video shows you how to do it!
Purchase bags at your local store. They are only a few dollars and if you start now buying one a week, you'll easily have enough for your weekly grocery run before the ordinance goes into effect.
Check out the book bags the library friends sell! These bags are built for toting books, but they'll carry your canned goods and loaves of bread just as easily. And you'll be supporting the library as well!