Locations and Hours
3355 Noble Avenue
San José, CA 95132
Is brown really the new green? In drought-plagued California, letting your lawn go brown is indeed one way to do your part for water conservation. Another way is to replace water-guzzling grass lawns with plants that require little water and, even in times of drought, will still provide beauty to your yard and home.
Learn all about drought-resistant plants in a presentation by Kathi Cambiano of the Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose. She'll present an introduction to cacti and succulents along with information about how to use them in landscaping and container gardening.
These free programs will take place at:
- Berryessa Branch Library on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.
- Bascom Branch Library on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm in Room 255
Learn even more about this topic by checking out Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens or one of the the library's many books about cacti and succulents found in the Home and Garden section under the call numbers 634 and 635.
The landscaping program is part of library's "Watts the Point" series focusing on themes that address energy and natural resources conversation. Other "Watts the Point" programs include the free availability at all 23 library branches of the Silicon Valley Energy Watch Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Home Energy Saving Toolkits stocked with supplies and measuring devices. The toolkits provide step-by-step instructions on how to measure the energy use and water flow rates of appliances and equipment, and then how to install equipment that reduces energy and water consumption. The toolkits can be checked out with your library card for up to two weeks.
Science helps us to understand the natural world and gives us the tools that help us predict what will happen next. Preschool-aged children are at the very beginning of their exploration of the world. It is hard for us to remember what it was like to see something in the world for the first time. Everything is new, exciting, and seemingly magical. This is the age when children first begin to ask “Why?”. They have an ingrained curiosity as they try and make sense of the world around them. At this stage in a child’s development it’s important that parents and caregivers create a science rich environment; asking questions and developing a child’s critical thinking skills.
At the Berryessa Library we held a six week program called Adventures in Preschool Science. Each week parents and children were invited to explore a topic. Families learned about plants, weather, color, engineering, chemistry, and the human body. Each week I gathered the children at the front of the room and we read a book about the topic (fiction or non fiction). After reading the story, families went around the room and explored the different science stations. Each station had an experiment related to that day’s topic and a sheet of questions that the parent or caregiver could use to engage with their child throughout the experiment. All of the experiments and questions were chosen to help build those critical thinking skills, to give the children an expanded vocabulary, to teach them more about how the world around them works, and to learn new ways of communicating their ideas.
This program was as much about teaching the parents new skills as it was to engage their children. Parents and caregivers can create science rich environments at home without much effort. One of the most simple things you can do is to ask your child questions about the world while going about your everyday tasks. Ask your child what they think will happen when you add eggs to the pan, how do they think rain falls from the sky, what color will it make when you put a drop of red and a drop of blue food coloring in the pancake batter? It’s not about getting the right answer, it’s about asking the questions! If the child doesn’t know why or how, ask them to make a guess. Take the opportunity to teach them why or how something works. If you don’t know the answer either bring them to the library or do research online so that you can learn together.
There are many other ways in which you can create a science rich home environment. You might grow a plant together or go on walks and talk about the plants, the sky, buildings, bridges, and cars. If you have a broken toy or electronic device, take it apart together and see if you can figure out how it works. Check out non fiction books from the library or watch nature documentaries. There is a wealth of simple science experiments to be found online and in our libraries. Above all else, create an environment for your children where they are free to explore and investigate the world around them. Ask and answer questions, try new things, and learn together!
Thinking Big, Learning Big by Marie Faust Evitt
Science Play! Beginning Discoveries for 2 to 6-year-olds by Jill Frankel Hauser
Summer doldrums getting you down? Feeling antsy? Just been kicked out of your house for “accidently” setting the curtains on fire? Are you just in the mood to build something cool?
The library’s Maker Camp is just the thing for you!
With help from Google and MAKE Magazine, we will be transforming the Educational Park Branch into a makerspace. Every Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, the library will virtually host some of the most interesting professional creators behind the scenes of game design, movies, and music. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 pm -1:00 pm, they’ll have the opportunity to create their own maker projects.
Each week will have a different theme, with speakers and projects that will build upon it.
Week 1—Makers in Motion (July 7-11, 2014)
Week 2 —Art and Design (July 14-18, 2014)
Week 3—Fun & Games (July 21-25, 2014)
Week 4—Science & Technology (July 28-August 1, 2014)
Week 5—DIY Music (August 4-8, 2014)
Week 6—Make: Believe (August 11-15, 2014)
The event is free for all but children under 13 will need a parent or guardian with them to use Google+ or participate in the project. Check out last year’s events to get an idea of what we’ll be doing this year. And check out http://makercamp.com/ for more information.
Spaces are limited so sign up now. Contact the Educational Park Library at 1-408-808-3073 to get your name on the list.
Mondays - 11:00 - 12:00 Virtual Maker Meeting (Watch a live broadcast featuring a different Maker)
Tuesdays - 11:00 - 12:00 Virtual Maker Meeting | *12:00 - 1:00 pm Hands-on activity
Wednesdays - 11:00 - 12:00 Virtual Maker Meeting
Thursdays - 11:00 - 12:00 Virtual Maker Meeting | *12:00 - 1:00 pm Hands-on activity
*Participants are encouraged to view the video broadcast at 11 a.m. to get a preview of that day's activity
Recommended for ages 13-18
Participants under 13 must have a parent/guardian present