- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter is a true story about a young teacher, Luis Soriano, who has a passion for reading. He travels into the remote villages of rural Colombia with his biblioburro to bring books to children and spread knowledge. Luis Soriano is a true inspiration to all librarians and teachers.
Father's Day is coming up on Sunday, June 19. Want to make dad feel really special? Why not surprise him with a homemade gift? Check out Father's Day Crafts by Fay Robinson which offers ideas for crafts young kids can make for Father's Day.
Did you know that the Friends of Santa Teresa Branch Library have an ongoing, year-round book sale? Want to see the Library's Community Room or Tech Center facilities? Did you know that we have a quiet study area and reservable study rooms? Or perhaps you haven't visited the Library since it reopened in 2010?
Follow along this Library tour, brought to you by Santa Teresa Branch Library teensReach volunteers Ajay, Andrew, David, Hector and Joth, as they walk you through the building highlighting the special areas and services available at the Santa Teresa Branch Library.
Mo Willems is one of my favorite authors of children's books. He has authored the Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, and Cat the Cat series, to name just a few. (People may not realize that he also created the series Sheep in the Big City for the Cartoon Network, and The Off-Beats for Nickelodeon's Kablam channel. He also spent four years as the head writer for the children's animated series Codename: Kids next Door.) Willems has just published another charming book Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator about a little girl named Amanda, Alligator, one of her stuffed toys, their relationship and their ability to make new friends. This book also includes a touching "chapter" about the real value of friendship. I think this will be another popular addition to Willems' wonderful repertoire. This book has already become a favorite among staff at the Santa Teresa branch. With the Summer Reading Celebration starting soon, why not come visit us and check out all of Mo Willems' books!
At the Santa Teresa Library Branch today, May 25th, two members of the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose put on a duet for the benefit of the patrons at the library. Judy Yarbrough and Ann Spector played the violin and viola for forty-five minutes in the afternoon next to the tech center. Roughly five pieces of music were played, starting with a three-part piece by Joseph Heydn, and moving on to a piece by Mozart. They ended with a piece not intended for the violin called “The Easy Winners” by Scott Joplin. This last music was challenging, but they brought it off very well.
Although the announcement had been made over the loudspeaker several times, there were very few library patrons who showed up near the tech center at the beginning of the performance. As the music wafted through the library, however, more of a crowd began to gather. The Santa Theresa Branch was not particularly busy to begin with, but the gentle music overtook the stacks of books and brought a sense of calm throughout the library. More people came until the chairs were fairly filled. People looked up from their mysteries, their Facebook searches, and worrying about their overdue fines to listen to something different going on. There were few interruptions as people respected the musicians for the most part, and the crowed that had gathered by the end clapped with appreciation at the end.
This is another aspect of how the library can provide more than books to the community. The library is a place where so much more can—and does—happen. This was intended to promote a new event for the orchestra—“The Music of Portugal,” being presented on June 5th. Their music represented something on another level here in the library. In the company of books we found company in each other. We were all taking a break from our books, from our reading, and our computers. Anne and Judy invited us in through the music, and we listened. It was a delightful diversion on a dreary Saturday afternoon, and I thank them for it.
You have probably already planted your summer crop, but you may need some more tips to make for a successful summer harvest. Our library has many excellent gardening books for many needs, including pest control, herb care, and organic growing techniques.
I know that we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I admit a cover caught my eye recently. It belonged to Rescue Ink, written by Rescue Ink and Denise Flaim. Not a viewer of the TV show on the National Geographic Channel, I had never heard of this unique group of volunteer animal rescuers. Behind the curve, that’s me.
Based in Long Island, New York, the group consists of ten men who are street tough but who have a soft spot for animals. They are not afraid to knock on the door of the local nasty who’s known for abusing his pit bull, and tell him to cut it out. They educate those who are willing to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership, in order to turn neglect into care. They organize searches for lost or stolen animals. They accepted a donated vehicle that didn’t run and turned it into a full-service animal ambulance. Together, these guys have helped or rescued hundreds of animals, mostly dogs and cats, but some horses, pigs, and other animals, too.
The story of the group’s founding and the men’s personal histories were fascinating. I learned a lot, too, about some forms of abuse that I’d never heard of before: the inhumane practices of Mexican slaughterhouses that buy unwanted American horses for meat, to get around the law banning the practice in the US. Also, I didn’t know that Amish country is the location of so many puppy mills. The Rescue Ink website is currently down, but I did find a Facebook page.
This book got me thinking about animal rescue awareness. Most kids naturally love animals, so picture books such as Fleabag, Finding Susie, and The Dog Who Belonged to No One have a natural appeal. They encourage empathy with the additional message that there are unwanted animals out there who need homes. There is a series of chapter books called Vet Volunteers, and a whole host of other fiction for kids. And, of course, there are fun library visits by Furry Friends and Canine Companions, many of whom are rescued, with their "reading to dogs" events at West Valley, Willow Glen, and Santa Teresa branch libraries. Pets certainly enrich our lives. If a family is looking for a special pet, the San Jose shelter is a good place to go. Spread the love!
Thank you to the Santa Teresa High School Band! Meddle With Music: A Teen Library Invasion on Saturday, May 14 was a hit! We saw over 200 people watching and listening to the Santa Teresa High School Jazz Bands, Jazz Combos, Saxophone Ensemble and Ukulele Ensemble.
We were also happy to see so many teens in the Santa Teresa Branch Library. There were teens everywhere: checking out books; getting library cards; playing music; encouraging their friends in the band and in the children's area reminiscing over favorite picture books from childhood. We would love to have any or all of the band members back to play again in the Library.
The Library received many positive comments on the program from both staff and customers. Thank you Santa Teresa High School students and band instructors for making this such a special day at the Library!
San Jose Public Library services discussed in-between bands included:
The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller
When she was in grade school, Laura’s teacher gave her a book and said, “I think you’ll like this one”. The book was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Reading it began a lifelong love of the Narnia series of C.S. Lewis that has still not left her in adulthood. Indeed, who would not want to be part of Lewis’ creation, where animals talk, magic thrives and the world has yet to be discovered? Unlike the extensively detailed adventures in Lord of the Rings, there is more imagination and less detail in Narnia. This makes it more appealing to younger readers, and perhaps lays the groundwork for those readers to enjoy Tolkien’s work at an older age.
There were two things I particularly liked about this book. The first was that the author glossed over the nature of Lewis’s religious beliefs, which were quite strong. Much has been written about C.S. Lewis’ piety, and it was not the intention of this book to delve into that subject. The second was the real focus on the author’s love for this series, and of many other people’s reactions as well. Lewis intended that these books would draw young readers to Christianity, but if that was the intention then this fact was lost on the author. She was far more drawn to the people, to the magic and to the wonder of this marvelous fantasy land than to the allegory that Lewis had envisioned himself. This is, I think, the correct attitude to have in any work dealing with the land of Narnia. This is the type of love that classics are made of: wanting to become part of the author’s world, to be engaged by what he wrote but not necessarily what he intended to write about. The author makes an important point as part of the book when she goes back to see where C.S. Lewis grew up, and tried to find the landscapes that might have inspired Lewis’ creation. Despite visiting the same countryside, the author could not see where he might have drawn from life to create Narnia’s geography. That’s okay, however—Narnia existed in the mind of the creator, and that’s really all we need to know.
I read this book because I had recently read “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to my 11-year-old daughter. I also had a deep love for the series as a child—I even played Aslan in my 3rd grade play (the other kids wanted me to be the witch, but the teacher vetoed that idea). This book reawakened my love for Narnia. I realize now that I might have done my daughter an injustice by pointing out some of the things that Lewis wanted to say about moral attitudes and beliefs. The important thing, as the author points out, is to enjoy the story. It is really up to the reader to draw what they want from it regardless of who the author is. As Stephen King once pointed out, “It is the story, not he who told it”. The fact that these stories have persisted as favorites over the decades certainly indicates that we can all gain something from them—even if they aren’t what the author had originally intended.
“The mind is the forerunner of all experience.”
For one deeply depressed, agoraphobic woman with the unusual name of Byron Katie, four simple questions (posed to her stressful thoughts) have made all the difference. They are:
She contends that these straightforward questions can transform your approach to almost any seemingly unworkable situation. The San José Public Library audio book, Your Inner Awakening (a 6-CD set) by Byron Katie allows you to sit in on her fascinating method of self-inquiry -- one that has subsequently benefited both her and many people throughout the world.
Take a page from Socrates and further your quest for self-knowledge with the library's wealth of audio books! Its easier than you think: all nonfiction titles can be requested and sent to any branch, simply with your library card and PIN.