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Tibetan Monks spread the message of world peace as they build a Sand Mandala inside the King Library


Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Phukhang Monastery return to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library November 13-17, 2012 to the spread the message of world peace and compassion as they build a Sand Mandala, an ancient art form from Tibetan Buddhism. 


The creation of a Sand Mandala is meant to generate a profound experience of compassion.  The positive effects of a Sand Mandala are believed to radiate out over an entire region, blessing the environment and the beings therein, as an effort for world peace.  Once created, the Sand Mandala is destroyed in the closing ceremony, as a lesson in the impermanence of all life.  


Ceremonies and construction will take place in the Library Lobby on 4th and East San Fernando St.  This event is free and open to the public. 


Opening Ceremony

Nov. 13:12:00 - 12:30 p.m.


Sand Mandala Construction

Nov. 13:  1:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Nov. 14-16:  10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Nov. 17:  10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Closing Ceremony

Nov. 17:  3:00 - 4:00 p.m.


Check out photos from the Tibetan Monks’ last visit in October 2010.

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San José Public Library Receives 2012 Urban Libraries Council Top Innovators Award

San José, CA—The Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has selected San José Public Library (SJPL) as one of only ten libraries to receive the 2012 ULC Top Innovators Award.  SJPL was selected for its Work Wise literacy program in the category of Education, Literacy & Lifelong Learning.


Work Wise is a vocational ESL and literacy training program that improves the job performance of workers in San José. Through a combination of classroom instruction tailored to the specific industry, and individual tutoring provided by trained volunteers, participants improved their English skills and increased their proficiency on the job. San José Public Library’s adult literacy program Partners in Reading, developed and delivered Work Wise.


“We are proud to be recognized for this innovative program, where 97% of participants improved their competence on the job,” said Anne Cain, SJPL Interim Library Director.  “Workplace literacy is a win-win for employees and employers in San José and we look forward to expanding this service.”


In announcing the 10 Top Innovators, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said the winning programs demonstrate the remarkable work that occurs in libraries every day.  "These programs emphasize the foundations of 21st century library service and demonstrate how public libraries are building community and changing lives everyday,” Benton said.  "We congratulate the winners for their innovation, creativity, and commitment to meeting the changing needs of the communities they serve."


The 10 innovative programs were selected from nearly 200 entries.  ULC, a membership organization made up of North America's leading public library systems, launched the Innovations Initiative in 2010 to capture and showcase creative programs that demonstrate the vital role public libraries play today in community life.


As a 2012 Top Innovator, San José Public Library was honored at the ULC Annual Forum June 21-22, 2012 in Newport Beach, California.  View the 2012 Top Innovators Brochure.


About the Urban Libraries Council

As a membership organization made up of America’s premier public library systems and the organizations that serve them, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has spent more than 40 years enriching urban communities by strengthening their public libraries. While ULC members primarily represent urban and suburban libraries, lessons from their work are widely used by all libraries. ULC serves as a forum for thought leaders sharing best and next practices resulting from targeted research, education and emerging trends. Its programs are recognized for creating new frameworks that invigorate public libraries and their communities.


About San JoséPublic Library

San José Public Library system (SJPL) is the largest public library between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the West Coast of California, serving a culturally diverse population of approximately 946,000 in the nation’s 10th largest city. SJPL is recognized across the country for its innovation and leadership in the field and is one of the busiest libraries nationwide, with an annual checkout rate of more than 13.5 million items through 19 currently operating locations. In 2011, SJPL received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries.  For more information, visit www.sjpl.org.

Dream Big, READ! San José’s Summer Reading Celebration Kicks Off June 1st, 2012

SAN JOSÉ, Calif. ---San José Public Library’s Summer Reading Celebration (SRC) kicks off on Saturday, June 1st, 2012 at all 19 locations. This year’s theme allows children to Dream, Big, teens can Own the Night and adults can stay up reading Into the Night.


Each year 10,000-14,000 participate in the reading celebration and earn prizes as they read making it for a fun and rewarding summer. Signing up for SRC is quick, easy and free.  Once the sign-up is completed, every eBook, audio book and/or book the participant reads or listens to from June 1st, 2012 through July 31st, 2012 will count toward program prize requirements.  One lucky adult winner will have the chance to win the grand prize, a Kindle Fire.  Full prize details are available at www.sjpl.org/summer.   


This year, all are invited to the library’s first ever system-wide kickoff celebration at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 from 1-4 p.m.   The kickoff event invites people of all ages to participate in a scavenger hunt inside the King Library. The scavenger hunt will be divided into three groups: families with small children, teens and adults.  Each group will have their own set of clues and will have to search for hidden treasures inside the library to win a prize. The kickoff event will also feature a community resource fair and plenty of live entertainment.   


Also, the library will once again hold its 4th annual Graphic Novel Making Contest.  The contest is open to all ages.  Entries must be submitted by 8 p.m. on July 31st, 2012 at any San José Public Library location – one entry per contestant.  A panel of library staff and comic industry professionals will judge entries based on content and illustrations.  Winners will be announced during a reception held at the Berryessa Branch Library on August 25th, 2012 at 2 p.m. For full details visit www.sjpl.org/graphicnovelcontest


Not only does the Summer Reading Celebration provide great prizes for reading and fun contests but will also feature more than 100 events for all ages that include live performances, activities and programs.  Check the library’s online calendar page at www.sjpl.org/calendar for event details and listings at all 19 locations. 


The Summer Reading Celebration is made possible with additional support from the Friends of the King Library and branch library Friends groups.


For more information on the Summer Reading Celebration contact your local branch library or visit www.sjpl.org/summer.


About San José Public Library

San José Public Library system (SJPL) is the largest public library system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, serving a culturally diverse population of approximately 946,000 in the nation’s 10th largest city.  SJPL is recognized across the country for its innovation and leadership in the field and is one of the busiest library systems nationwide, with an annual checkout rate of nearly 14 million items.

Top 5 Reasons ...

Conroy Cougar reading to child

Top 5 Reasons to Enroll Your Child into Our Summer Reading Celebration!



1. The number of books read during the summer is consistently related to academic gains. (Bridging the Summer Reading Gap, 2003)


2. Children who read six or more books over the summer gained more in reading achievement than children who did not.  (Bridging the Summer Reading Gap, 2003)


3. One to three months of academic growth can be lost over the summer. (National Summer Learning Association)


4. Students who do not engage in educational activities during the summer typically score lower on tests at the end of summer than they did at the beginning. (Summer Learning Loss: The Problem and Some Solutions).


5. Libraries contribute to the intellectual growth of children during the summer.  (Making the Case for Library Services to Children and Teens, State Library of North Carolina)


You can start to sign up for the Summer Reading Celebration June 1.

Children Summer Reading Celebration - Dream Big, Read!

Summer Reading Program Celebration 2012!

Children (Ages 0-12)



How to Participate ...


1. Sign up at your local library or online starting June 1


2. Achieve your goal by reading alone or with others. 


3. Only those items read between June 1 and July 31 will be eligible.


4. Read 15 books and celebrate your success by coming to the library to pick up your prize book and certificate starting June 16.


5. Read MORE, Earn MORE - receive exciting prizes when you read.


6. Claim all your prizes at the Summer Reading Celebration desk by August 31






Top 5 Reasons to enroll your child into our Summer Reading Celebration!



Summer Reading Prizes for Kids!! 

  • Read 5 books to receive a dream big painting sheet.
  • Read 10 books to color your own star craft
  • Read 15 books to reach the program's reading goal and receive a prize book and certificate.
  • Mystery Grab Bag prizes are awarded after every 5 books read once program goal is reached.



  4th annual Graphic Novel Contest! 

 Part of the Summer Reading Celebration.





Check our calendar page for other FREE activities to enjoy this summer!