Willow Glen News

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Stay Connected Through NeighborwebSJ!

Want to know more about what is going on in your neighborhood?  Is there an interesting story in your community you want to tell everyone about? Have a community event you'd like to promote? Then you need to take a look at NeighborwebSJ.com!


Launched in August 2010, NeighborwebSJ is a convenient way for SJ citizens to connect with City Hall, various other community organizations, as well as with fellow residents.  There are many useful resources available on this one site including a community calendar, information about the Strong Neighborhood Initiatives around the city, and a laundry list of important links. There are also articles about current events where citizens can interact with each other by commenting on these pieces.  It's a great way to become an advocate for your community on your computer! 


Looking for other ways to get involved in your community? Why not try volunteering at the library?  We have plenty of volunteering opportunities for ages 13 and up. 

The Magic Half

Book cover of The Magic HalfIn The Magic Half, eleven-year-old Miri is stuck in the middle between two sets of twins. With older twin brothers and younger twin sisters, she feels left out and anything but special. Miri comes to find out she’s more special than she realized – perhaps even magical – after her family moves to an old house in the country and she discovers a small piece of glass taped to the wall in her attic bedroom. Miri looks through it and is transported to the same room in 1935. There she meets Molly, who is living in the house with her cruel aunt and abusive cousin. Together the girls devise a plan for Miri to return to the future and take Molly with her. Author Annie Barrows, who also wrote the Ivy and Bean series, combines just the right amounts of suspense, mystery and magic in this time-traveling tale for children in the middle grades.

ESL Conversation Clubs at YOUR Library!

Why is practicing English a good idea?


Show your family that learning is for all ages. Learn so that you can help your children learn.


Come to the San José Public Library’s ESL Conversation Clubs.


Come with your friends to this FREE Conversation Club. Tell your family about this club and bring your neighbors. ESL Conversation Clubs are a safe place to talk and learn. Everybody talks!


Try the following websites - see how fun learning can be:




Career Transitions

Career Transitions logoAre you looking for a job? Could you be considering a new direction professionally? Career Transitions is an excellent database available from San José Public Library. You can access it at your local branch or via your own internet service at home. You just need your library card and pin number.


You can discover things you'd like to potentially do by taking the guided Interest Assessment survey. This is easy. All you do is select: Like, Dislike, or I Don't Know to a number of inquiries regarding your interests. (This takes approximately 10 minutes) From your responses you will receive ratings in different career areas. By clicking on one of these categories you can get an idea of what options are available and what level of preparedness is involved. Input states you'd consider for job opportunities and find out what the future forecast is in any given field.


Career Transitions also offers: Resume Preparation, How to Improve My Chances, and the ability to conduct job searches by title and location. Resources are available for the unemployed. This database and other resources are available at your local library branch. Stop in and Check Us Out!

Butterflies in the Glen

Exhibit of St. Christopher School butterflies at Willow Glen LibrarySpring is here at last, and butterflies have come to visit Willow Glen Branch Library! The kids of Room 1B at St Christopher School have created these beautiful watercolor works of art and generously shared them with the Library. They have been fluttering above the picture books in the Family Space since mid-March, brightening the spirits of staff and Library customers alike during the last few weeks of rainy weather. Thanks to the wonderful young artists and to their teachers, Mrs. Lang and Mrs. Zeitler, for all their work. If your class is interested in displaying artwork in the Willow Glen Branch Library, come in and talk to one of the staff members.

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.

Recipes of the West

Cover of "The Sunset Cookbook"For Christmas last year I received The Sunset Cookbook. It’s from the editors of Sunset magazine and contains over 1,000 recipes from their archives. Recipes like “Oven-roasted Fall Vegetables,” “Classic Pesto” and “Steamed Clams or Mussels in Seasoned Broth” cover the basics. Then there are more complicated dishes, like “Shiitake and Edamame Salad with White Miso Vinaigrette,” “Caramelized Carrot Risotto” and “Roll-your-own Vietnamese Summer Rolls” that will satisfy the more accomplished cook or someone willing to take on a challenge. There are also plenty of poultry and meat recipes if you are so inclined, though I’m not.


There’s a great section on grilling, including a spread on “Cooking (and Eating) from Nose to Tail.” I have tried hard to ignore this page but you may enjoy it. More in line with my taste is “The Griller’s Guide to Vegetables,” which gives the grilling times and instructions for a variety of vegetables.


There are recipes for breads, muffins, cookies and mouthwatering desserts. I made the “Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes” for my mom’s birthday and they were a success. That recipe is from Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake in San Francisco, and many other recipes in the book come from restaurants and Sunset readers.


I like the sidebars with quick recipes, like “Stir-fried Brussels Sprout Leaves” and “Fava Bean Puree.” Then there are informational pages like “A Guide to Asian Greens” and “Meet You at the Farmer’s Market” and a section on western wines. I love the book’s focus on fresh produce and the emphasis on western ingredients. As a California native I’m proud of our state’s agricultural heritage and love Sunset magazine of its emphasis on the western U. S. This cookbook lives up to the Sunset name and I’m sure it will provide me with tasty recipes for years.  

A Personal History of Operation Pedro Pan

Cover of  Learning to Die in MiamiIn 1962, in a program known as Operation Pedro Pan, 14,000 Cuban children left their homeland and came to the United States, alone, as refugees. The United States government helped settle these children with family members, friends and in foster homes in Miami and other areas of the country. Carlos Eire, now a professor of history at Yale, was one of these children. He first wrote about his story in the memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, which vividly recalled his life as a son of privilege in Cuba and the hard life that followed in the United States. His latest memoir, Learning to Die in Miami, focuses squarely on Eire's experience from the moment he and his brother arrive in Miami until his mother joins them in the United States years later. Eire struggles with the Cuban part of himself, trying to kill it off so he can be fully American, but also doesn't want to completely lose that part of himself. This is a good companion book to Waiting for Snow in Havana but may also be enjoyed on its own.


If this sparks your interest, you may want to learn more about Operation Pedro Pan and its background. You can start with these library materials.

Learn a New Language

mango languages logoThe San Jose Public Library offers you the convenience of learning a language from your home computer, laptop or any mobile device with access to an Internet connection. There are 34 different languages, plus English, to select from in Mango Languages. In addition this database offers a translation feature where you can type in a word or phrase and it will respond with the equivalent in the language of your choice. The individual, learn-a-language lessons can be done at your own pace where you can pick up where you left off upon your next log-in. There are "cultural notes" recommending when one might use certain greetings and phrases.  I enjoyed using the Narrator option where a speaker reads each lesson page along with the words being learned. Reinforcement was gained along with learning as I went along and was asked to repeat phrases that were previously covered.


This is a wonderful program and is free to you. On our homepage just click on the "Research" square in the lower left hand corner. This will bring you to the next page where you choose "Find Articles Online."  It is here you will find among the list of Subject Specific Resources our Learn a Language link. Check it out!  ¡Buena suerte! 

Rare Insight into the Beatles

Cover The Unreleased BeatlesIn The Unreleased Beatles, author Richie Unterberger examines the group from a unique perspective. That is to say he explores the huge amount of material that that Beatles did not intend for public consumption (i.e. bootlegs, out takes, alternate recordings, rare film footage), but is available if one looks hard enough. A great opportunity to look behind the scenes while the Beatles developed their craft.

Posted by Michael Dines on Mar 18, 2011 | Comments: 0 |