May 31, 2005

Refgrunt, 5/31

4 hours J tonight, not too busy. Here's some of the questions and books:

sign language
Japanese immigration
Artemis Fowl and the Artic Incident
questions about storytime x3
Surf, Sand and Secrets
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which reminded me that I should reread them all before the movie comes out)
Sarah Plain and Tall
The House of Dies Drear
The Outsiders
comic books
proof reading for the guy I typed for last time (I declined to type more though)
Lemony Snicket #2
Sweet Valley Twins
my opnion on a series about horses (hadn't read them)
Diary of a Young Girl
Magic Tree House books (x2)
When 2nd Graders Attack (which had this great description in the catalog: "Horace Splatty must find the recipe for his sister's superpower cupcakes in order to save Blootinville from Chef Niblle's disgusting Snoodles and Cheaze."
Roald Dahl books
Where's Waldo
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Harry Potter
Abby Hayes
weeded the 636s and pondered why ice cream is at 637.4 (turns out processing dairy is filed there)

Now I'm going to stay up and watch my recording of the second half of Empire Falls...

Posted by Emily at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

The Education of Robert Nifkin

robertnifkin.jpgSnuck in a quick YA one last night/this afternoon before heading to work: The Education of Robert Nifkin by Daniel Pinkwater. I have to keep better track of where I hear about books I then put on hold, purchase or check out (I probably heard the author on NPR)

Its a disturbing but amusing view of high school life in 1950s Chicago told as a long college essay by a kid who became a bit of a beatnik. Its a nice fantasy of getting to escape a horrible mind-numbing high school and really learn (or something).

Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998
Grades 8+, Ages 12-15
167 pages

Kirkus writes, "Falling somewhere between Candide and Holden Caulfield, Robert is an inexperienced but savvy teen, with an ability to land on his feet and capacity for sardonic observations that will have readers rocking with laughter."

Posted by Emily at 03:42 PM | Comments (51)

May 30, 2005

Looking for Alaska

8400904.gifMy professor and Ritchie both had raved about this book in our YA class so I had to give it a try. It was another great YA book with great characters. I laughed and cried.

Miles Halter heads off to boarding school to seek the "Great Perhaps" and finds Alaska Young -- clever, screwed up and sexy -- who pulls Miles into her labyrinth and things will never be the same.

Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Dutton Juvenile, 2005
Ages 9+

Posted by Emily at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

Out and About

For the nice Memorial day weekend, S and I went down to Pinnacles National Monument on Sunday for a morning hike and to Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur this morning for a much flatter walk (plus a nice brunch at the Ripplewood Cafe in Big Sur and a very successful stop at their library's book and bake sale -- probably the only place where I've ever seen used books and deviled eggs sold together... and what was strange was that two different women had brought deviled eggs as their bake sale contribution. Funny, I think I would have made rice krispie treats or chocolate chip cookies myself...)


Big Sur:

Posted by Emily at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

Carrie Press Clippings

Looks like Carrie was in Roll Call this week, according to a comment on a post here:

Colorado Pols
COLORADO Politics, News and Inside Information: Colorado Statesman ...

Lamm seems to be also attracting a fair share of support, including from EMILY's List, the powerful Washington, D.C.-based organization that raises money for Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. Although the group hasn't formally endorsed Lamm, EMILY's List Communications Manager Carrie Giddins said, "We are working very closely with Peggy Lamm on a daily basis and we are extremely enthusiastic about her campaign."

Posted by Emily at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2005

Refgrunt, 5/28

Work today started out feeling like a final exam. I walked in and ALL the computers were down (Internet, Catalog, Circ, you name it) Now I know I'm spoiled and that I rely on computers a bit too much, but doing reference without the catalog is a challenge for me because a) I wasn't a librarian in the days before computerized catalogs so I haven't practiced all that much using the off-line tools and b) because I jump around between 4 libraries, I don't know where everything is by sight like I would be able to if it was my regular job (and this library is the one I work at the least of all of them) But, given that, I felt I managed remarkably well. Luckily I was on the J side for the first two hours, and by the time I had to go work on the A desk, at least the Internet catalog was up so we could use that interface (even if we couldn't use the more useful staff-pac.) The other saving grace was that the library pretty much cleared out when the patrons realized that they couldn't get online (or check out more than a maximum of 5 books each because the circ system was also down) so there weren't that many questions to field.

First, here's some of the sources that turn out to be very useful to have on hand when the systems all go down:

Abridged Subject Catalog
- this is a handy print-out of a ton of different subjects and the corresponding dewey numbers. Of course most of the things I was looking for weren't in it, but it got me close in most cases

Children's Catalog
18th Edition
Edited by Anne Price and Juliette Yaakov
(It was from 2001 -- so it doesn't have the latest books and series)

Best Books for Children
by John Gillespie
7th edition, 2001
This turned out to be the best resource of the bunch, and helped me out in a number of cases.
I like how it divides the materials into categories: P (primary): pre-3; PI (primary/intermediate) 2-4; I (intermediate) 4-6; IJ (intermediate-jr. high): 5-8+; and ALL (all readers): pre-8+.
Its not terribly helpful for biographies though, because it puts them all in 921 and we have them pulled out in a separate section but with the subject number

A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books

Middle & Junior High School Library Catalog

Some of today's questions/books::

pirate mysteries
XP Printing problems (the patron came in with a transciption of the errors she was getting but I don't think I was able to be much help)
dog sledding (sled dogs, 798.8 in Best Books for Children)
Harriet the Spy
3rd/4th grade girl books
Scooby Doo series (this one stumped me but the in-charge Librarian knew I should look in the G paperbacks, and there were a ton under Gelsey)
worms and composting
auto repair
Madeline L'Engle
Lois Sachar
comic books
Artemis Fowl
books by local school kids on display
"Saga of the Seven Suns" series
Fahrenheit 451
The Thorn Birds
Value Line
Alameda County Fair horse racing schedule
Stalin biography
Tales of the South Pacific
Empire Falls
Where is Orchard Hall?
Fairy tales
Native American folktale illustrations
fur elise and Sonata Pathetique by Beethoven on CD
Don Quiote
dropping off books to donate to friends' sale (x2)

Posted by Emily at 07:03 PM | Comments (0)

Empire Falls

Don't forget to watch or TIVO Empire Falls tonight on HBO!

(I have TIVO set to get it since I'll be out, but someone just asked for the book here at the library which reminded me)

Posted by Emily at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)

Alum Rock Transition

Today is the last day of operation for the Alum Rock Library, currently one of the community libraries operated by the Santa Clara County Library. The Alum Rock Library was founded to serve the unincorporated neighborhoods of the east foothill area of Santa Clara County. Over the years, more and more of this area has been annexed into the City of San Jose. Now the library sits inside San Jose city limits and 75% of its users are San Jose residents. The new library will be part of the [City of] San Jose Public Library System.

The new library is set to open on July 9th and will be called The Dr. Roberto Cruz-Alum Rock Branch Library, honoring the founder of the National Hispanic University who died in 2002 and was an inspiration to many. The 26,000-square-foot new library building is being built by the City of San Jose with bond funds designated for the construction of new branch libraries to serve San Jose neighborhoods. The 27-year-old library building will be demolished to make way for additional parking for the new Alum Rock Library.

Posted by Emily at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Betty

Happy birthday today to my sister Betty!!

Posted by Emily at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005


I convinced Emy to take a quick detour after the movie and we checked out the current exhibit at the SJ Art Museum, Blobjects & Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design. I love looking at examples of great design, and there were definitely some very cool things included in this exhibit. If you're downtown it is definitely worth stopping in for! (And the director of the museum was at my table at the Commonweath Club dinner and was raving about the upcoming Caja de visiones/Box of Visions: Manuel Álvarez Bravo exhibit which is supposed to be fantastic. June 18, 2005 through September 11, 2005)

Posted by Emily at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

Mad Hot Ballroom

madhotballroom.jpgWhen Lisa saw this movie a couple of weeks ago in movie-church (aka Sunday morning Talk Cinema), she said that I HAD to go see it. So when it finally opened here I moved it to the top of my list.

The review for Mad Hot Ballroom says its "a kind of Spellbound crossed with Strickly Ballroom" -- two of my all time favorite movies. I'm a sucker for good dance movies, and boy does this one make you want to leave the theater and go dancing!

Points for Emy for being spontaneous and available on very short notice (and for braving downtown!)

I just wish I could find the soundtrack on iTunes, but they don't seem to have it there yet [boo]

You know... there are lots of places to dance around here....

Posted by Emily at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

Staples High School Day

According to Westport Now, CT Governor Jodi Rell proclaimed May 26, 2005, as Staples High School Day in the State of Connecticut (in honor of some science achievements by current students). Pretty snazzy. My sister Annie goes there (I'm SHS '92)

Posted by Emily at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Bad Roads

San Jose's roads are judged second worst in the entire country. In all, five California metropolitan areas rank in the worst 10 in The Road Information Program (TRIP)'s report.

And it turns out we're paying more for car maintenance because of it: "Studies also show that driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration, increasing the frequency of needed maintenance and increasing fuel consumption. The metro areas (500,000 people or more) where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of substandard roads are: San Jose - $689 ($689.38)"

The Gov was even here fixing potholes or something...

Posted by Emily at 06:42 AM | Comments (10)

May 26, 2005

Audio Books

I'm not alone in my new-found enjoyment of audio books:

Loud, Proud, Unabridged: It Is Too Reading!
By Amy Harmon

"Fewer Americans are reading books than a decade ago, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, but almost a third more are listening to them on tapes, CD's and iPods.

For a growing group of devoted listeners, the popularity of audio books is redefining the notion of reading, which for centuries has been centered on the written word. Traditionally, it is also an activity that has required one's full attention.

But audio books, once seen as a kind of oral CliffsNotes for reading lightweights, have seduced members of a literate but busy crowd by allowing them to read while doing something else.

I finished listening to The Keys of the Kingdom #1: Mister Monday in the car today and utterly loved it. I have the second one (Grim Tuesday) sitting in my to-read-next pile and will have to stock back up on some more to listen to when I'm at work at the library on Saturday.

Posted by Emily at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

Outdoor Summer Movies

It's starting to feel like summer (what with Memorial Day around the corner and all). I saw an article about some of the outdoor movies being shown around here and thought I'd blog it so I can find it later since I think it'd be a lot of fun to go:

In Campbell
Every Friday begining June 17th at sundown (around 7:30pm). Series will end in September. Presented in the parking lot of “The Kensington Art Center” and “Orchard Valley Coffee Roasting Co.” in downtown Campbell, CA. FREE, just bring a chair, and a cozy blanket.

Movies & Dates:
06/17/05 - "Grease" (1978)
06/24/05 - "Love Story" (1970)
07/01/05 - "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966)
07/08/05 - "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1969)
07/15/05 - "To Catch a Thief" (1955)
07/22/05 - "The Seven Year Itch" (1955)
07/29/05 - "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971)
08/05/05 - "Yellow Submarine" (1968)
08/12/05 - "Giant" (1956)
08/19/05 - "The Magnificent Seven" (1960)
08/26/05 - "Singing in the Rain" (1951)
September - "Popular Demand" - The audience gets to decide!

In San Jose
All Wednesdays, June, July and August. San Pedro Street between St. John and Santa Clara streets. Concessions are available starting at 7:30 p.m., pre-show begins at 8:00 p.m. and the films begin at dusk. All screenings are FREE.

Wednesday, June 1 - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) G
Wednesday, June 8 - The Philadelphia Story (1940) G
Wednesday, June 15 - Young Frankenstein (1974) PG
Wednesday, June 22 - Grease (1978) PG
Wednesday, June 29 - Psycho (1960) R
Wednesday, July 6 - All About Eve (1950) G
Wednesday, July 13 - Animal House (1978) R
Wednesday, July 20 - Top Gun (1986) PG
Wednesday, July 27 - The Road Warrior (1981) R and Super Speedway (1997) G
Grand Prix Night at Cinema San Pedro!
Wednesday, August 3 - Dirty Harry (1971) R
Wednesday, August 10 - Moonstruck (1987) PG
Wednesday, August 17 - This is Spinal Tap (1984) R
Wednesday, August 24 - Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) G
Wednesday, August 31 - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) PG-13

Posted by Emily at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2005

Commonwealth Club Dinner

I had the opportunity to attend tonight's Commonwealth Club dinner honoring Peter Giles and SJ Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers. It was a really nice event and I sat at a table with people from Adobe and The Tech which was a lot of fun. Its so inspiring to hear about the decades of service people give to their community!

Wouldn't this be a sweet job? I just need to build up 10 more years of non-profit fundraising and management experience... [the fantastic grants director I was sitting next to at dinner mentioned it] Though this sounds intriguing as well...

Posted by Emily at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

Refgrunt, 5/24

Another busy shift (3-9, J) Here are some of the questions/books requested:

Anne Frank
The Beginning by K.A. Applegate
oceans (x2)
home remodeling
Friendship Ring series
5th grade mystery
bamboo rats
Lemony Snicket #5 (x2)
Artemis Fowl
Trojan War
Too Many Secrets
Stolen Bones
The House with a Clock in its Walls
Calvin & Hobbes
Japanese mythology
Helen Keller (x2)
history of chess
Cornelia Funke books
Cheaper by the Dozen
Human Comedy
Incident at Hawks Hill
Locked in Time
Gammage Cup
Trumpeter of Krakow
Mary Kate and Ashley biography
Princess Diana
Michael Jackson
To Kill a Mockingbird
other books like Pat the Cat and Mig the Pig by Colin Hawkins
wooden boats
Ranma 1/2
Filipino families
Dragon Slayers' Academy
Charmed series
photos of Utah
photo of kids sitting on giant lily pads
Lindsay Lohan biography
reading comprehension
piano sheet music
what is the latest Redwall?
The Conch Bearer
2nd grade boy mysteries (ended up with the Mystery of Mr. Nice by Bruce Hale, recommended by Kelly)
Scooby Doo movie

Posted by Emily at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

Reading Article

Lisa sent me this interesting article from Today's Washington Post:

Odds Stacked Against Pleasure Reading
By Valerie Strauss

The extensive required reading in her high school classes -- including Advanced Placement English Literature, where she flew from one classic to another -- left her with no time to pick up books she thought would be fun. And she was frustrated by teachers who offered either too little help in understanding the complex texts or conducted tortured efforts to wring symbolism out of every word.
Allowing students to pick their own books is more than a democratic reading experiment. Studies show that reading achievement is significantly improved when students have an opportunity to choose from a selection of interesting texts rather than being dictated to.

(Thanks Lisa!)

Posted by Emily at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

Cool Lamps

I was hanging out in the library at work this morning for a few minutes before a meeting and was reading through Metropolis, one of my favorite design magazines. These lamps caught my eye -- aren't they cool? Makes me want to drill holes in things...

Note: the site seems to be down right now (Tuesday evening) but they were really cool lamps, so try again later :)

Posted by Emily at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2005


lirael.jpgFinished Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr this afternoon and am showing great restraint by not rushing out right this minute to go by the third book of the The Abhorsen Trilogy right now (I put it on hold at the library so I'll get it when I work there tomorrow afternoon). This is the sequel to Sabriel, one of my top picks from my YA class. And even though the class is done, I have a huge (and growing) stack of other YA books I still want to get to. This is an incredible series and Garth Nix is now one of my favorite writers (I'm listening to The Keys To The Kingdom #1: Mr. Monday in the car and love it as well)

Posted by Emily at 06:44 PM | Comments (64)

Playhouse Reopens

Great photos of the re-opening of the Westport Playhouse on WestportNow today (inside and out) Congrats to Mom on all the hard work she put toward this amazing renovation and the revival of such a great theatrical institution. I can't wait to see a show in the newly improved space! It's going to be so nice to have an actual lobby to stand in instead of huddling outside in the rain! Unfortunately nothing seems to be playing the 3 days I'll be there in June, but now that they'll have shows ALL YEAR, I'm sure I'll make it to something.

Update: and Mom's in the picture here!

Posted by Emily at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

Film Fest

Saw two really good Israeli movies today as part of the Bay Area Israeli Film Festival: "Something Sweet" and "Turn Left at the End of the World"

A heart warming romantic tale of inopportune love between Tamar, a witty, beautiful pastry baker and the oldest of three daughters in a Jewish-Moroccan family, and… her youngest sister’s fiancée. Set against the backdrop of a small MOSHAV (agricultural village) in northern Israel, on the day of the middle-sister’s wedding. Maya (Avital Abrajill), the youngest, arrives to the celebration with Alon, a sharp Israeli businessman living in London. Alon’s enchantment with the close-knit family, the simplicity of village life and serene landscape, opens his heart to an almost unattainable closeness with Tamar, and re-acquaintance with his alienated father.


Commencing just after the Six-Day War and amidst the turbulent climate of social change and post-colonialism in the '60s, "Turn Left at the End of the World" chronicles the relations between two communities -- Indian and Moroccan Jews -- in a remote Israeli desert town through the eyes of two girls coming of age. Nicole (Netta Garti) is a mouthy, flirty, but also naïve Moroccan teenager, and Sarah (Liraz Charhi) is thoughtful, intelligent, if quieter and more removed, whose family has just moved in next door.

I'll definitely want to see their main film fest, October 23 through November 20.

Posted by Emily at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

Botanical Gardens

S and I visited the really impressive Botanical Gardens at UC Berkeley today. I had met some docents from there at a conference a few months back, but had never been up to visit. Its really a gorgeous place with an incredible range of plants. The most spectacular was probably the Puya berteroniana which is only supposed to bloom every 16 years or so. Its located way up on the top of Berkeley's campus and there's a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the rose garden part.


Posted by Emily at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2005


The fun bowling alley in Cambrian has glow in the dark bowling on Friday and Saturday nights and it is SO much fun! Unfortunately my camera batteries died, but we all pretty much glowed in the dark.

Posted by Emily at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

Star Wars!

Heather and Jared are here visiting (yay!) and we all went to a special showing of Star Wars this morning (work had rented out the place) and then sat around at lunch trying to decide what we thought of it. Overall I liked it -- we all agreed it was better than the last two, and we're trying to figure out what it will be like for the next generation to see them in this order rather than in the order we were introduced to them... It is crazy to think that this movie saga has been going on for my entire life and it is now come full circle. I thought that the NY Times Review raised some interesting points but that this one nailed it. Any of the rest of you see it yet?

Posted by Emily at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)


Brian sent along this clipping of our friend (and babysitter from when we were in elementary school) Bellamy:

Columbia has named its 2005-2006 class of ten Knight-Bagehot Fellows for economics and business journalism. Bellamy Pailthorp of KPLU Public Radio in Seattle is among them!

Posted by Emily at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2005

Muppet Alert

The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz is on tonight (ABC, 8pm)

... and speaking of puppets, check out StoreWars [grin]

Posted by Emily at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2005

Post Meetup Musings

Tonight's librarian's meetup reinforced a number of things for me:

1) Mentors are amazing things. It is so wonderful to be able to sit and talk with someone you look up to, who is doing things in her career you would love to one day get to, and hear about all the really cool things that are going on in the field

2) I really really need to get better at remembering people's names and knowing the major players in the field. I have to start getting out there and networking more and figuring out who's who. It really is a very small field and everyone really does seem to know everyone else.

3) Who the director of the library or library system you are working for makes a big difference (not that there are going to be _so_ many choices when I graduate or that many places I'll be willing to live, but I also have to keep this in mind or I'll end up some place that I won't enjoy)

4) I really need to return the materials I borrowed from HQ for my library buildings class (oops)

We're meeting again next month on June 16 -- I hope a few more people will come along!

Posted by Emily at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

Community Involvement

May is community involvement month at work and today we had a very nice volunteer fair with local groups and then a bunch of us spent the afternoon at RAFT putting together kits for teachers to use with their class (all month there are different volunteer opportunities, each one includes the participation of one of the executive team which is a cool way to encourage participation.)

The booths at the volunteer fair were very cool and, for those of you local who are looking for ways to get involved, here are some opportunities that sounded really interesting:

San Jose Family Shelter
Homework enrichment program, M-F, 6-8:30pm
Tutoring, doing arts and crafts, supervising the computer lab and babysitting

Community Solutions
Does a summer school supply drive (and wouldn't the library be a great drop-off point for that?)

(which is right up the street from me)
They have an amazing Literary Arts program with interesting writers and they need volunteer hosts, greeters, etc.

Save the Bay
June 11: Summer Restoration in Palo Alto
June 18: Bair Island Paddle and Restoration

The Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center in Mountain View (I went to one lecture there a few months back with Trish) has a ton of interesting volunteer opportunities in Development, Marketing, Visual Arts, Music in Local Schools, etc.

and lots of other interesting places...

Posted by Emily at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2005

Fun things to do with RSS

Via Librarian in Black comes this cool list of things you can do with rss from There are some great ones in the comments to the post as well.

I'm enjoying getting the weather now, and of course I get my news, comics, updates on what all my friends are doing etc there already. Bloglines is definitely now the one web site I visit most.

Also -- have you been to Google News lately? You can customize the page with custom topics -- so now I have a "library" news category as my top stories which is so cool :)

There are some great flikr tools here -- I'm definitely going to have to play with those some more as well.

Posted by Emily at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005

Refgrunt, 5/17

A long shift (3-9) and another busy night. Here are some of the questions/books:

Secrets of Droon
Arthur chapter books
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Vietnam War
Anne Frank
anime x3
Uncle Tom's Cabin
toddler books by Sandra Boynton
renewing via the cat
Renaissance, Age of Exploration, etc.
Helen Keller
Dragon Ball Z
map of Seattle
Fast Food Nation
Magic Treehouse
Super Diaper Baby
4th grade boy books
Ben Franklin
One Day in the Life of...
Creating Cool Web Sites w/ HTML, XHTML...
praying mantis
CDRom writing tutor
alphabet tapes
Bailey School Kids
Pippi Longstocking
The Gold Dust Letters
Empire Strikes Back
Dragon Rider
HW help on rock worksheets
DVDs for toddlers
gold rush
peanut butter sandwich song
As Far as the Eye Can Reach
case worker exam test prep
James and the Giant Peach
Draw, Write, Now Book 2

Posted by Emily at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2005

Flower Background & Knit Dolls

So one of my current favorite blogs to read is One Good Bumblebee and today she has a post about a cool Japanese store, BG Shop and links to their free wallpaper images and because I'm really geeky I now have desktop wallpaper that matches my Marimekko bedspread :)

Elsewhere, on our knitting group's mailing list people have been talking about the cute knit versions of the folks on the Heart of Gold (one of the many improbable things that happen via the improbability drive) and here's a link with some of the patterns and stores that sell the dolls. They are awfully cute and it was a pretty cool scene in the film (though I think knitting my own is definitely beyond my skill level)

Posted by Emily at 09:24 PM | Comments (0)

Brian Podcasting

Karen pointed out that Brian's podcasting all day from Personal Democracy Forum '05. I'll have to listen when I get home from work...

Posted by Emily at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)


Jane sent along this link to Nancy Pearl's summer reading choices from Morning Edition this morning.

Half Magic, by Edward Eager and The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster are literally two of my all time favorites, ones that I often come back to and reread (Greg even gave me an autographed copy of the Phantom Tollbooth one year for my birthday since the author hangs out at a coffee shop in Amherst we used to go to)

Sabriel, by Garth Nix and Sorcery Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot, by Patricia C. Wrede are two of the ones I included in my YA database for class.

So now I have seven new ones to add to my to-do list!

I've been bad about blogging the last few books I've read, so I'll have to catch up a bit here. I finished Trickster's Queen last night which was just as great as Trickster's Choice and now I'll definitely have to go read the other series from that world (some are about Aly's mother the Lioness). Last week I finished The Kite Runner (as my one adult book "treat" in the middle of all my YA fun) and thought it was really very good. After that I read The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and his Backyard Nuclear Reactor which is a crazy true story about a kid experimenting with nuclear power in his backyard. I listened to The Folk Keeper (YA 56) and Cut (YA 57) in the car and thought they were some of the best of the semester. On this weekend's road trip, we listened to Breakfast at Tiffany's (and three of Truman Capote's short stories: "A Christmas Memory," "A Diamond Guitar," and "House of Flowers") and Einstein's Dreams (which I thought was really wonderful to listen to.)

UPDATE: I blogged this without knowing that I'd go home and find a signed copy of Nancy Pearl's book, More Book Lust waiting for me. Thank you so much Dad and Jane!!!

Posted by Emily at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2005

Sequoia National Park

So, as I wrote before, to celebrate being done with the last assignments of the semester, S and I went down to Sequoia National Park (about 5 hours from here). It really is a spectacular place.

Some of the highlights:
- The trees are amazing

- the wildflowers were gorgeous (and because it had rained so much this season there were tons of them)

-even the rocks are great (some had Native American pictographs)

- we went swimming in a lake

- and, most exciting of all... we saw a bear!!
The sign says, "Caution: Active Bear Area. Do not approach bears. Guard your food at all times." Trust me, we did not try to approach it.

Posted by Emily at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2005

More campaign coverage

LIBRARY tax breakdown
Gilroy Dispatch
"The measures did best in the cities with the highest voter turnout. In Los Altos, where 48.9 percent of voters mailed in their ballots, measures A and B received 83 and 76 percent of the vote. But in Milpitas, where only 29 percent of the electorate cast ballots, both measures failed. Milpitas was the only one of nine cities in the library district to vote down Measure A, and only Cupertino cast more ballots against Measure B."

For the record, in Campbell we had 33.1% turnout and voted in favor of Measure A (75.73%) AND Measure B (67.51%)

Library champion to move in protest
Commissioner sells Milpitas home over Council's action on tax proposals
By Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News
She may be the only person in the country to move because her city council didn't unanimously support spending money on its library.
"Out of nine cities in the Santa Clara County library system, the Milpitas was the only one whose council did not unanimously endorse two recent measures to support library funding. The larger of the two, Measure A, a proposal to continue a parcel tax of $33.66 per single-family home, passed this month with 72 percent of the vote even without the Milpitas endorsement."
"Still, Giordano and Vice Mayor Armando Gomez, who also voted against Measure A, insist they're not against libraries. They are considering breaking away from the county library system. That's because the city is designing a new city-owned Milpitas Community Library, expected to be completed in 2008. The city's redevelopment agency is funding the $39 million endeavor that already is in progress. Both council members said they don't want to continue a countywide tax if the city may end up splitting from the county system down the road and operating its own independent library."

Posted by Emily at 01:35 PM | Comments (52)

May 12, 2005

End of another semester

Just had my last class of the semester -- it was really fun to hear everyone present their library building programs (I designed a new library for Campbell). I treated myself to some Ben & Jerry's on the way home to celebrate and now have to roll up my sleeves and finish the final projects for my other class. Then I'm going away and off-line for the weekend to enjoy being done.

In case you're curious (and so I can find them later), my two final projects were a building program and a database of all those YA books I've been blogging about the past few months (yes, it uses the hay database backend.)

Posted by Emily at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Great Tables

Check out these cool tables at (via mocoloco. I think it'd be so much fun to have an empty one that I could fill with my own stuff. You could collect things all on one color and have a super cool shadow-box like table...

I just love their company slogan: "A world of fun childhood memories brought back as vintage and original home furnishings." What a cool concept.

Posted by Emily at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2005

Refgrunt, 5/10

Another busy night on the J desk. Here are some of the questions/books people were looking for:

The Outsiders (once again, the first question of the night was for a book I read for my YA class this semester)
Clint Eastwood biographies
Panda bears
Boys Against Girls
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3 Pandas Planting
kakapo parrots (there are only 50 left in the world)
Fire Arrow
carpi sun and Hi-C product history and ingredients
Call of the Wild
The Sleeping Murder (actually the patron showed me a piece of paper with 3 ISBN #s, I wish our catalog made it clearer that that is not the information that will help you actually find the book)
The Vile Village
loggerhead shrike (an endangered bird)
Their Eyes Were Watching God
America Girl videos
Lemony Snicket x2
Smantha's Surprise
Cinderella 2
Dairy farms
Miserable Mill
Ancient China
Chasing Redbird
Darren Shan, Vampire Mountain
Miyazaki Movies
Magic Treehouse series

Posted by Emily at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

BobbiLynn Designs

Check out BobbiLynn's spiffy new online store!

Posted by Emily at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Uncle Doug

Happy birthday today to Uncle Doug... and happy anniversary to Uncle Doug and Aunt Barbi!

Posted by Emily at 11:19 AM | Comments (1)

May 09, 2005

Library Bonds

So just as I was starting to worry about funding the imaginary library I'm designing for my final project (it is costing around $14,196,682 so far and I keep thinking of sections I've forgotten), I see this posting on the CLA feed:

Let the Bond Fund Campaign Begin!
Ann Cousineau, Solano County Library Director, has announced the official start of the campaign to pass a $600 million bond for public library construction.
The bond measure will be decided by voters in a statewide referendum. It's slated for the June 2006 ballot. Passing the bond will require a minimum of $500,000 in campaign funds. Raising these funds will require the involvement of every member of CLA both as personal donors and as fundraisers in their communities. (though there's nothing much on the site yet)

Posted by Emily at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2005

Another nice library

For today's fieldtrip, we visited the very nice Santa Clara City Central Park Library (2635 Homestead Road). It is 80,000 square feet, has a nice underground parking garage (120 spots, 110 surface spots), seven service points (welcome desk, circ desk, children's services desk, information/referral desk, reference desk, periodicals service desk, and Heritage Pavillion Service Desk which is in the genealogy and local history area). There are 37,000 linear feet of shelving (7 miles), and over 100 public access computers (including a very nice computer training lab). There's a nice cafe (though the coffee was better at the Vineland branch yesterday) and really nice reading lamps and furniture. Mostly I wanted to go and check out the really nice public art. Here are a couple of photos:

Posted by Emily at 10:17 PM | Comments (18)

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Emily at 09:48 AM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2005

Great bookshelves

Had to share these cool bookshelves:

Saw this on MoCoLoCo today: it's a book shelf that looks like a book (a book with the title "Ceci n'est pas un livre" (ha) You mount it to the wall, stack your books up on top of it, and they look like they're floating there.

these are pretty cool too (i think I've seen those before) There are more here

I know, I know, get back to work on my paper.

And on a related note, aren't these the cutest? Book shaped furniture I saw them at CLA and someone mentioned them on one of the mailing lists I'm on today.

Posted by Emily at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

New Branches

I decided that what I really needed for this paper was some inspiration, so I took a little tour of two of the newest branches of the San Jose Public Library System. The Branch Library Bond Measure, approved in November 2000, provides $212 million over ten years dedicated to the construction of six new and fourteen expanded branch libraries.

The Tully Community Branch Library opened on January 22, 2005 and serves a large and culturally diverse community in south San José. Its 24,300 square feet include a large community room, study rooms, a technology center, family place and Internet Café. (project details, floor plan) It is really one of the coolest libraries I have ever been in. Here are a few photos to give you a taste. They definitely take the idea of merchandising very seriously -- the displays are wonderful. There's a fireplace, lots of places to sit and read or work, group meeting areas, bright colors, great signage, lots of light and great art. The architects came and spoke to our class last week and talked about some of the decisions -- like having two entrances (so it connects to the ball fields) and the barn (to fit in with the historic use of the property).


The Vineland Branch Library (Blossom Hill) opened January 17, 2004 and serves a large and culturally diverse community in South San Jose. Its 24,000 square feet include a large community room, study rooms, technology center and café. (project details, floorplan) It's not quite as vivid as the Tully one, but still a very nice space and the cafe was great (plus, they are having their Spring book sale today) The reference desk was a bit hard to find though... luckily the staff wear name badges.


Posted by Emily at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2005

Missed out

So I was supposed to get a sneak preview of some tv show tonight and then get to give my opinion about it (I mean really, how could I resist an offer like that?) So I carefully made sure I was sitting here at 9pm (I was sitting here anyway since I'm desperately trying to work on my two big final projects before the semester ends), they called over and over again over the last few days to remind me to watch... and then ... nothing! The channel that it was supposed to be on continued to play QVC instead. They called at about 9:05 to say they were having technical difficulties, that I should hang on and they would get back to me. No one got back to me, so I just muted it and went back to work on my paper. At 9:45 they called to get my opinion of the show and I had to explain again why I hadn't been watching. Sigh.

Posted by Emily at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome Thomas!

Congratulations to Brett and Merrystar on their new baby boy (with the fabulous 05/05/05 birthday!)

Posted by Emily at 04:06 PM | Comments (45)

May 04, 2005

Sing Along

This just makes me smile: So Long and Thanks For All the Fish

Posted by Emily at 11:38 AM | Comments (1)

Jury Duty Status: Not

So I took light rail down to the court house, waited in line to get in and through the metal detectors, waited in line to check into the jury area, sat and waited for my panel to be called... and then was told that our case had been settled and we could all go home (it seems odd that they just wouldn't put us on the next one, since we weren't even told that we were assigned anywhere).

I'm actually pretty disappointed -- I did want to serve. But since it was a criminal case and probably would have been 2-3 weeks, it's probably just as well. I at least wanted to get to the questions part. Oh well, back at work now (though I came in really early and got most of my stuff done for the day just in case.)

Posted by Emily at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

News Coverage

Here's some of the news coverage so far:

Voters continue county library tax but refuse to pay more
By Sandra Gonzales
Mercury News

Voters on Tuesday approved one tax proposal to continue funding libraries but turned down another that would have required them to pay more in Santa Clara County's largest mail-only election.

Seventy-two percent of voters supported Measure A, which continues an annual tax of $33.66 on a single-family home for 10 years, generating $5.4 million a year. But Measure B garnered only 64 percent of the vote. That proposal asked voters for an additional $12 a year that would have brought in an extra $1.9 million a year for the Santa Clara COunty library district.

Both proposals needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

And a note about people waiting until the last minutes: "Rosas said more than 400 ballots were dropped off Tuesday with about 3,000 coming in the mail Tuesday. All ballots were tallied by 9:20 p.m. election night."


The majority of voters have cast their ballots and it appears that a measure regarding the Santa Clara County library system appears to be passing and another measure appears not to be passing, according to unofficial results on the county Web site.

Posted by Emily at 06:14 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2005

Election Night, cont.

I raced from Milpitas (where they were watching the returns come in from a nice gathering in the community room) over to Campbell where our steering committee group had assembled. Here are a few photos of the group. It was an amazing group to work with over the past few weeks (and hopefully I will continue to work with many of them at the library)


I loved the centerpiece Jason made:

Terri, Liz and Karen

Katherine always has the best t-shirts (this one says: "In the defense of freedom and literacy libraries are the most powerful weapons we have. Use them!")

And the latest, unofficial semi-final results are:
A passes with 72.04%
B fails with 64.23%

Posted by Emily at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

Refgrunt, 5/3

Another busy Tuesday night (which was good, because it distracted me from waiting for the election results) 4 Hours J, here are some of the questions:

books for 1st graders
Mark Twain on tape and matching book (ended up with The Prince and the Pauper)
interviewed about teenage drug use (I ended up passing her off to the teen librarian because I didn't know the answers to the questions she was interviewing me with)
Junie B. Jones
The Lost Boy
"mettle" which wasn't in the dictionary she was using
coral reefs
The English Roses
Frederick Douglas
And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)
Sponge Bob
Roller Coaster Tycoon
Helen of Troy
Dragon Slayers' Academny
Help I'm Trapped... series
Artimus Fowl
Goddesses series
Cinderella (many versions from different countries/cultures)
Shonen Jump
easy readers x2
3.6 value books from a list (I hate those lists, they're a jumble of fiction and nonfiction, JPs and JEs, and you have to look each one up separately and the parents always want 12 of them)
Scary Stories 3
printing things
Peanut Butter and Jelly song they played in storytime on CD
iSpy books
paper airplanes
The Giving Tree
Spirited Away (they're having a film festival of his works)
Wayne's World
Little Red Riding Hood
Devil's Race by Avi
Dealing with Dragons
Short & Shivery
Ancient Greece

Posted by Emily at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

Good and Bad

Well, the early results are in... and it looks like A passed and B didn't. And it only lost by less than 1800 votes. Its certainly better than it could have been -- if A had lost there would be layoffs, significant reduction in hours, etc. But this means that we will still be closed on Mondays, will not be filling the positions that have been left open from the last round of cuts, and will not be restoring any of the other services that were cut. But we certainly appreciate all the people who did vote yes!

update: here are the 8:30 numbers:

Last Updated: May 3, 2005 8:30 PM
Registration & Turnout
201,103 Voters
Vote Count Percent
Mail Ballot Turnout 72,075 35.84%
DRE Early Vote Turnout 0 0.00%
Total 72,075 35.84%

Measure A
13/15 86.67%
Vote Count Percent
YES 51,113 72.03%
NO 19,847 27.97%
Total 70,960 100.00%

Measure B
13/15 86.67%
Vote Count Percent
YES 44,953 64.21%
NO 25,058 35.79%
Total 70,011 100.00%

Posted by Emily at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

Jury Duty Status

On for tomorrow :)

Posted by Emily at 05:12 PM | Comments (1)

Election Day

Its election day -- we'll find out preliminary results by about 9pm tonight.

There was one last piece in the Marc: Library ballot count set tonight
By Truong Phuoc Khánh

As of Monday, election spokeswoman Elma Rosas said, the registrar had received 68,917 ballots out of a total of 201,103 registered voters, or 34 percent of those eligible to vote in the special election.

The registrar's office will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the election today. The office is at 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2, in San Jose. For more information, call (408) 299-8683.

Posted by Emily at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2005

Brian in Harbus

More great press clippings about Brian:

HBS Democrats Host Political Leadership Workshop
The Harbus Online: The Student Newspaper of the Harvard Business School
By Maria Wich-Vila (OE), Contributing Writer

The final speaker of the day was Brian Reich, who, at age 27, is already more accomplished than some twice his age. Mr. Reich began his involvement in politics at the age of 15, and was the youngest person to ever manage a U.S. Congressperson's campaign. He has also served as former Vice President Al Gore's Briefing Director. He now works for Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, where he monitors the impact of the Internet on the political process. He claims that the Internet is currently "the single most important way to drive discourse," and that future politicians should not underestimate its power as an effective communications tool.
Posted by Emily at 08:56 PM | Comments (1)

Good instructions in the Merc

posted on saturday in the SJ Merc:


Library election ballots must be in by Tuesday

Voters in Tuesday's Santa Clara County Library District Joint Powers Authority Special Election must get their mail-in ballots in by 8 p.m. on election day so they can be tallied.

Voters are encouraged to complete and return their ballots as soon as possible to ensure they arrive at the Registrar of Voters' Office by the deadline. Postmarks are not accepted.

The district includes Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and unincorporated areas.

Completed ballots should be sealed inside the green postage prepaid return envelopes that have been provided. Voters must remember to sign the return envelope themselves, or their ballots cannot be tallied. The registrar has to verify the validity of the ballot by matching the voter's signature on the envelope to that on the voter's registration form.

Voters may return their completed ballots either by mail or in person at the Registrar of Voters' Office, 1555 Berger Drive, Building 2, San Jose, during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. They may also drop off their ballots between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, election day.

For more information, voters may contact the registrar's office toll free at (866) 430-8683; English at (408) 299-8683; Spanish at (408) 282-3077; Vietnamese at (408) 282-3097; Chinese at (408) 282-3086; Tagalog at (408) 535-3916; TTY at (408) 288-9820 and e-mail at

Posted by Emily at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

Jury Status

Jury Status: Still On Call

(not nearly as interesting as Brett's baby status, which we're all monitoring)

Posted by Emily at 10:39 AM | Comments (1)

One Last Reminder

One last reminder that ballots must be RECEIVED by the registrar of voters by tomorrow, May 3rd at 7pm. If you haven't already mailed it in, you can drop your ballot off in person to the Registrar of Voters at 1555 Berger Dr. San Jose, CA 95112 Monday & Tuesday. Ballots received after Tuesday WILL NOT be counted even if they are postmarked on or before May 3rd.

Also, if you wanted to make a small donation to the campaign, it's not too late to do so!

VOTE YES on A & B!

Posted by Emily at 08:44 AM | Comments (54)