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How to Prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse and Other Potential Disasters

Preparing for Disasters Book CoverOn Tuesday, April 5th at 6:30 PM, the Edenvale Branch Library will present a program on disaster preparedness that takes a step back from real disasters by focusing on a "zombie apocalypse."

This is a great way to plan for those more earthly disasters like storms, earthquakes, and power outages with the added fun of pretending it's to keep away the zombies. We'll show families how to keep their kids involved in disaster planning by making it all about zombies.& Children and teens might not feel comfortable putting together a disaster plan while thinking of actual emergency situations. By putting the task in the form of a zombie apocalypse plan, valuable planning can be accomplished that can be used in any emergency situation.

This program will be repeated at other libraries.

Spring Fling Egg Hunts

Now that the rains have come and gone it is finally beginning to feel like Spring! For many, this season is the start of spending lots of time outdoors and making new friends--so why not combine the two? The San José Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) is hosting a series of Spring Fling Egg Hunts and Events citywide throughout this month . The events, all of which are open to the public, are designed to promote outdoor activities and healthy exercise. The Spring Fling will have everything from Rabbit Runs to Egg-on-a-Spoon Skate Races. Please visit for more information. For questions, contact Mona Favorite-Hill at 408-793-5589 or

Willow Glen Wags (Tygon)

Tygon listens to a young readerThe second and fourth Thursdays of the month are two of my favorite days, because dogs and books come together at Willow Glen Branch Library for our popular Reading to Dogs program. I always enjoy seeing Sassy and all the Furry Friends. On March 24, Willow Glen had a brand new visitor, the tall and handsome Tygon. He arrived with a bandage on one leg because he was still recovering from a bad spider bite. With any luck, his recovery will include the discovery of super powers. He already has super speed--Tygon is a Greyhound, and he used to be a racing dog. In fact, Tygon was one of the last dogs to race in Kansas, before the last dog-racing track was closed down. But that was two and a half years ago; since then, Tygon has been enjoying a more leisurely life in California with his human, Patrice.


It could be said that Tygon is a teacher's assistant at Willow Glen High School. His favorite subject in school is chemistry. He also enjoys being a Furry Friend, which lets him meet lots of new people, especially children, with whom he is unfailingly patient and tolerant. At ninety-five pounds, Tygon is on the large end of the Greyhound scale; his roommate Onyx is fully grown at only sixty pounds. I found out that Greyhounds often enjoy sleeping on their backs. This unusual canine behavior is called "roaching." For more information on this fascinating breed, take a look at your local library for books about Greyhounds. To meet Tygon in person, youngsters can come to Willow Glen on my favorite days and read him a book.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

Book cover of Incredible InsectsGet a chance to learn about the amazing powers of insects on Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m at Rose Garden Library. Come find out who has special UV vision, who has super strength, and who can. leap a tall building (compared to their own size) in a single bound! Join us for a fun presentation about Super Bugs in our everyday lives.

Posted by Nancy Donnell on Mar 26, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

The Beat Goes On...

Cover of Jamari's DrumDo yourself a favor and come for fun to Santa Teresa Branch Library to Drummm, Saturday March 26th at 2 pm.  Jeni Swerdlow brings rhythm and action with audience participation. 

Posted by Rachel Collier on Mar 24, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Talking to Kids about Disasters

Cover of Terrorists, Tornados and TsunamisWith all the footage of Japan coming across the media, parents of children are going to be asked some very serious questions about the earthquake, tsunami and the aftermath. It seems the younger your children are, the more you want to protect them from devastating news like this. 


Here are some resources that might help:


FEMA has a website about disaster readiness for kids that walks you through the steps of how to make a disaster plan for your family.


FEMA also has a webpage devoted to helping parents and teachers help their children cope with disasters. It is comprised of a quick overview of how different aged children cope, what their needs are and how to help them.


Terrorists, Tornados, and Tsunamis: How to Prepare for Life's Danger Zones by Lt. Colonel John C. Orndorff and Suzanne Harper. This book takes all sorts of dangerous situations and explains what they are and how to be better prepared to handle them if they should occur. A really good book for middle schoolers.


Eight Days: A Story of Haiti by Edwidge Danticat.  This novel describes one child's experience during and after the earthquake in Haiti.


DVD - How and When to Dial 911 - situations when a child should dial 911 and what to do in case of an emergency.


More books on earthquakes for children

More books on tsunamis for children


Stories y Cuentos

The Willow Glen Branch Library offers several one-on-one and small group reading opportunities for kids each week. Join us Tuesdays at 4 pm for Stories with Barbara. Barbara is a retired teacher and dedicated volunteer who loves reading with children. Wednesdays at 2:30 pm drop in for Stories with Nancy. Nancy is also a retired teacher and she is always eager to read with all kids. Join us also on Fridays at 3:30 pm for Stories with (Cuentos con) Priyanka. Priyanka is a high school student and volunteer who will read to your child in either English or Spanish.


Los viernes a las 15:30 Priyanka lee a los niños en la biblioteca Willow Glen. Priyanka es una voluntaria y un estudiante de la escuela secundaria. Ella puede leer a su hijo en inglés o español.

Willow Glen Wags (Snickers & J.D.)

Snickers visits WG Feb 24 2011

 J.D. and Snickers are a beautiful pair of "golden girls," say Russ and Sandy, the proud humans of the household. The dogs, both Golden Retrievers, were rescued when their first families could not keep them. Snickers (left) came to live with Russ and Sandy nine years ago, through the NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue. Later, Russ and Sandy adopted J.D. (her initials stand for "Just Dog"), who used to live in southern California with a family that was just too busy to pay attention to her. Now, they all live together in beautiful Los Gatos and enjoy nice long walks around their neighborhood. The golden girls love to make friends wherever they go...and the girls  go to a LOT of places, because they are both official ambassadors of Furry Friends Pet-Assisted Therapy, which visits care facilities and hospitals, retirement homes, community centers, and libraries. When the Furry Friends visit the Willow Glen Library, you might see one or both golden girls listening to young readers and hoping for tummy rubs between books. 


J.D. visits WG on Feb 10, 2011One question I've heard is, "How does reading to dogs help kids?" Bay Area Parent has a great article about how much pets give back to people in its March, 2011, issue.


Golden Retrievers have long been one of the most popular breeds, ranking in the top five favorite breeds in America (according to the AKC) and in the top ten in the UK and Australia. This breed is known for its intelligence and sweet nature and has been featured in many popular books and movies, as well as quite a few television shows. Interested in movies? Try the Air Bud series , Bailey's BillionsThe Gold Retrievers, A Golden Christmas, and many more. Read or watch Homeward Bound, a novel about three lost pets that was turned into two successful movies by Disney. Kids may enjoy the Boomer picture books and the Buddy files, a series of chapter books. Adults can find Koontz's The Watchers and The Darkest Evening of the Year in book, audio, or electronic formats.  For nonfiction about this beloved breed, type "Golden Retriever" in the SJPL catalog search. You'll end up with 63 results, and those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Friday Fun @ King Library

Book cover of Birds by Samantha GrayWell it's a new month which means a new series of Friday Fun activities at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. We have a great line up of activities. On March 4 we're Making a Memory Quilt. There's Going Wild! Kids' Nature Program on March 11 with a visit from the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge; during this program we'll be learning about birds with stories and fun activities. On March 18 it's The Art of Japanese Calligraphy with Hikaru and on March 25 we'll Make a Mural we can go to visit at the Children's Faire that takes place on Saturday April 16 at Discovery Meadow Park. Please join us as Friday Fun is always a great way to start off the weekend! See you there! All of our Friday Fun programs begin at 4:00PM and take place in the Exploration Room.

A Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration

Graphic for Read Across America and the Cat in the HatEvery year the National Education Association sponsors Read Across America events.  This year local teachers from the San Jose Teachers' Association will visit Vineland Branch Library on Tuesday, Mar. 2 from 4-5:00 and will read their favorite Dr. Seuss stories.  Join the fun ... come and celebrate the joy of reading and the wonderful silly stories of one of America's favorite children's authors.