- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
The Almaden Community Center is offering a Genealogy and Family History Class beginning on January 2. The class will meet only on Tuesdays at 9:30-11:30 AM and will continue through February 13.
Learn how to find out about your ancestors. This class will give you the tools you'll need to discover those missing links. Pamela Erickson will be your instructor.
$34.00 for Almaden Community Center members
$42.00 for non-members
How To Sign Up:
Please call Bekah at 408-268-1133.
The 39 Clues have ended, but a new series has started. This is the second book in the Cahills vs. Vespers series. As with the other novels, different authors are tackling different books in this series. Jude Watson has written A King's Ransom (AR 6.0, Level 4.2).
The suspense continues, as Vesper One continues to hold the seven Cahills hostage. Vesper One's identity still remains safely hidden from the Cahill siblings, but for how long? As Greg Korman introduced in the first title, The Medusa Plot, Amy continues to worry about Dan's state of mind. Dan continues on his dark path (are we entering Star Wars territory here?) as he assembles the thing that he thinks will save the others.
Meanwhile, Atticus makes a reappearance with his brother, Jake, who turned over information about the Cahills to Interpol. Will Atticus help his former friend, Dan? Will the Wyomings continue to impede Dan and Amy's progress? Who is AJT and what is AJT's connection to the Cahills? Read the book and find out!
Pam Munoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising (AR 6.0, Level 5.3) follows a resilient character during the time of the Great Depression. Esperanza, a child of privilege, learns about corruption and class disparity when her father dies in Mexico. Escaping from Mexico to Southern California, Esperanza and her mother must eke by, dependent upon the kindness of their former servants.
Esperanza must learn everything from scratch, much to her embarrassment. She continues to cling to her feelings of superiority, until her mother falls victim to a local illness. Confused and frightened, Esperanza must labor to provide for her sick mother despite a growing movement for labor equality by the Mexican immigrants.
This book is inspiring and thought-provoking. If you have an interest in historical fiction or if you are curious about the Mexican immigrant experience, this book is for you!
The King Library staff donated many books today to support the children of adult learners in Partners in Reading (PAR). PAR trains volunteer tutors to help adults improve reading and writing. PAR is holding a book drive until January 20 so kids can start home libraries and families can read together. Some of the titles shown here will be given to kids in PAR's family literacy program Together We Read. If you would like to donate, please bring a new, unwrapped book to your branch library or to the King Library. Please mark it Partners in Reading book drive. Thank you for promoting lifelong learning.
December has always meant gingerbread for me. Every December my mother and grandmother would bake wonderful German cookies and cakes filling our home with the sweet and spicy scent of ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg as the cookies and cakes were baked in preparation for the Christmas holidays. One of my favorite cookies was lebkuchen; a form of gingerbread that is made throughout Germany and is often cut in star shapes and glazed with a thin coating of sugar flavored with lemon. Gingerbread in the English speaking world has a different consistency, but still retains the intoxicating scent and the warm bite of molasses and ginger.
Gingerbread has a long history. An early form of gingerbread can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who used it for ceremonial purposes. Gingerbread made an appearance in Europe when 11th-century crusaders brought the ginger spice back from the Middle East. The first gingerbread man is credited to Queen Elizabeth I, who presented visiting dignitaries with a gingerbread man baked in their own likeness. If you are a gingerbread aficionado check out this website : Ultimate Gingerbread to learn more about the history and lore of gingerbread. In addition here are some gingerbread books to explore:
While trying to think of something to blog about today, I wondered how people might happen upon these blogs we write.
Some people are not as computer-literate as others. They happen upon these informational articles by accident. They don’t realize they are searching the site when they enter those keywords and hit. Hey, they might not even know what a “keyword” is. If this sounds like you, Congratulations! You have found a blog!
To be thorough, I went to Merriam-Webster to get you a definition of a “blog.” To spare you any overload of techno babble, I’ll paraphrase their definition to simply “an online journal.” If you would like to learn to “blog” yourself, you can find books in the San José Public Library on how to “blog.” But even after limiting the results to “print material” in “English,” you’ll still get several pages of results, so I’ll list a few to start you off:
This book starts you off with blog basics, choosing software, deciding what to blog about, turning it into a business, getting followers. This is for people at a very basic level of computer knowledge. It’s very step-by-step.
This book is a little more jargon-y than the Dummies book, so if you’re new to all this you might feel a little lost. It provides more practical help on things like naming your blog and other “how to work it” issues. It starts out with a history of blogging and her list of the top ten worst domain names is astonishing.
This book is also a little more on the techie side, but it’s arranged in a very simple manner. This book seems to have more on the design and display of your blog, which is surprising since it has the most basic layout and design of the three I’ve listed here.
In his newest book, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, best seller author James Gleick explains the history of information starting from ancient Africa where the drums could transfer the information across generations or across many miles an hour.
Then came Alphabet and scripts, and with the advent of electricity came telegraph, telephone , television and of course computers. He also introduces key figures who contribute in our understanding of information, including Babbage, Ada Byron, Morse, Turing and Claude Shannon who gave new meaning to the ancient word” bit” and who is the creator of the information theory.
Then we enter the information age which sometimes makes people feel like they are drowning in the deluge of technologies and what they carry with them: information. He explains his understanding of this age and the fact that by overcoming the physical boundaries of information transfer technologies as they are now, once again our whole world will change. This is an interesting and informative book, which our library also has the audio version. Check it out and see why libraries are more important than ever in making vital information accessible to all, and in helping you get to exactly what you need in the midst of this information tsunami.
Late January marks the first anniversary of the death of noted author and social activist Howard Zinn. He was 87 when he died of a reported heart attack while swimming during some traveling with his daughter.
Dr. Zinn always looked to me to be the impish grandpa each child deserves. As a mentor, he appeared to live a full life, working on social issues important to him through his research, writing and activism.
As we enter yet again another U.S. Presidential election year, let’s take another look at Howard Zinn his legacy, and the revisionist history that he leaves us.
Perhaps the book he is most widely recognized for is A People’s History of the United States, first published in 1980 and now a commonly used text in high school history courses! According to the New York Times, this book had a first printing of just 4,000 copies and was no conventional historical account, concentrating instead on "what he saw as the genocidal depredations of Christopher Columbus, the blood lust of Theodore Roosevelt and the racial failings of Abraham Lincoln."
This seminal work spawned a sequel: The Twentieth Century: A People’s History as well as versions written for young people: A Young People’s History of the United States, Volume 1 and A Young People’s History of the United States, Volume 2.
Dr. Zinn, a contemporary of left-wing activist and MIT professor Noam Chomsky, “made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture,” according to Chomsky. “He’s changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way. I really can’t think of anyone I can compare him to in this respect,” Professor Chomsky said in the Boston Globe online upon Dr. Zinn’s death.
A little bit about Howard Zinn, courtesy of the Boston Globe online: Born in New York City in 1922, he attended New York public schools and was working in the “Brooklyn Navy Yard when he joined the Army Air Corps where he worked as a bombardier in World War II, receiving the Air Medal and attaining the rank of second lieutenant. It was during this time that Zinn courted his soon-to-be wife through the mails before marrying in 1944. After the war, he worked a series of menial jobs before entering New York University on the GIP Bill, working nights in a warehouse loading trucks. He was awarded masters and doctoral degrees in history from Columbia University.
In 1956, Dr. Zinn joined the faculty at Atlanta’s Spelman College, becoming chairman of the history department. During this time he became active in the civil rights movement, serving on the executive committee of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and participating in numerous demonstrations.
In 1964, Dr. Zinn joined the staff at Boston University, becoming full professor in 1966 where the focus of his activism became the Vietnam war. He spoke at many rallies and teach-ins, drawing national attention when he and the Rev. Daniel Berrigan went to Hanoi in 1968 to receive three prisoners released by the North Vietnamese.
In 1988, Dr. Zinn took early retirement to concentrate on speaking and writing, including writing for the stage. On his last day at BU, he ended class 30 minutes early so he could join a picket line and urged the 500 students attending the lecture to come along. A hundred did so.
Dr. Zinn’s memoir, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train is available through your local library in both book and DVD formats.
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.
13 Gifts (AR 13, Level 4.5. Order through Link+) by Wendy Mass continues the birthday book series. Be forewarned, fans of the birthday books, the author has written a darker-toned story from the other two titles.
The main character of this story, Tara, has been sent to Willow Falls because she committed a prank at school that has resulted in her suspension from school for two weeks. Of course, she soon runs into Angelina, the supernatural character who helps kids to find themselves. In this novel, Angelina has some serious lessons to teach Tara; she makes a dire prediction about Tara's future.
The caveat? She needs to find thirteen items before she turns 13 in two weeks! Luckily, Tara befriends characters from the other two novels: Leo, Amanda, Rory, and David. Does Tara find all of the items in time? Read the book to find out.