- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
Summer Reading Celebration is an enjoyable activity that everyone can participate in.
The six-week-long program encourages recreational reading as a family activity.
Part of the Summer Reading Celebration.
Co-Sponsors: Friends of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Friends of the Branch Libraries
with additional support from other community organizations, with additional support from Hotel Valencia Santana Row.
I love my portable, electronic, navigation device. It got a work-out recently while visiting family back east. Besides local attractions and friend's addresses it also listed local libraries for me to visit. If you are wondering how to locate a San Jose library near you and do not have such a device we got you covered. Just go to our homepage > http://www.sjpl.org/ and select Locations. Once you're there you can input your address and find a branch closest to your location. Clicking on the branch, then on the more info link will take you to the branch page where you will find a Google map, driving directions, and bus routes. We hope to see you soon.
The theme of the 2011 Summer Reading Celebration is One World, Many Stories! Starting June 18th, your local San José Public Library location will be having special events to celebrate.
Childhood is a great time to start learning a second language (or continue exposure to a first language). In the month of June, the San Jose Public Library will offer several performances that give you the opportunity to be entertained, while immersing your child& in Spanish.
This bilingual (Spanish / English) show will include songs, stories, music and fun for children age 1-6.
Aztec Pinocchio with Caterpillar puppets
This show tells the story of Maldo the Magician and how he brings to life his little marionette boy, using a butterfly for a heart.
This bilingual performance will take place at:
Hillview Branch Library on Wednesday June 22, 2011 at 6:30pm,
Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library on Thursday June 23, 2011 at 3:00pm,
Dr. Cruz-Alum Rock Branch Library on Saturday June 25, 2011 at 2:00pm,
Colibrí, Spanish for hummingbird, is a duo that presents lively, interactive musical journeys through Latin America. Using an exciting array of traditional folk instruments, Lichi Fuentes and Alisa Peres create a bridge linking children in the U.S. with those in the Spanish-speaking world.
You can enjoy the music of Colibrí at:
Willow Glen Branch Library on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 2:00pm
Almaden Branch Library on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 3:00pm
Dr. Cruz-Alum Rock Branch Library on Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 2:00pm
The San José Public Library also offers a variety of Spanish/English bilingual books for children and parents to enjoy. Here are a few favorites:
Willow Glen Library visitors were recently treated to a delightful free performance by Grupo Folklorico Los Laureles, who presented several dances in the authentic traditional style of Mexico. The San Jose-based dance company offers classes for all age levels; for more information visit Grupo Folklorico Los Laureles website. San José Public Library also has a selection of books and videos featuring Mexican folk dancing that you may enjoy. Check the library events calendar often for other performances and activities of all types -- everything is free and open to the public!
One of the great appeals of the Willow Glen area is that it is such a pedestrian-friendly and canine-friendly neighborhood! Resident dogs enjoy strolling the downtown sidewalks with their owners and sniffing noses with friends old and new. If they get to linger at the table of one of the many sidewalk cafes, or step into a shop with a bowl of water by the door and a jar of dog treats on the counter, that's even better! The adorable Churro is one of those resident dogs. This Chihuahua/Dachshund mix is five years old and started her puppyhood in an animal shelter before her forever family found her.
Did you know that both the Chihuahua and the Dachshund are listed in the top ten dog breeds for children by the American Humane Society? So it's perfect that Churro now belongs to youngsters Sora and Lucas and their doting parents. One sunny but cold spring day, little Churro visited the Willow Glen Branch Library with her family, showing off a pink jacket which protects her from the weather. Pets are not allowed inside the library, but they do occasionally accompany their people here. It's not unusual to see a dog leashed to the bike rack on a sunny afternoon while a customer runs inside to pick up a request--maybe something to read relaxing at a Lincoln Avenue cafe or Willow Street Frank Bramhall Park.
Readers may recall the popcorn flick lead by Sean Connery, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). The film did atrociously in theaters, receiving an embarrassing 17% 'rotten' rating over at www.rottentomatoes.com. I am here to profess that the original graphic novel by known-eccentric author Alan Moore is actually worth your time! I just recently finished Volume I for a class, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. For those unfamiliar with the graphic novel series, Moore takes a rag-tag group of Victorian era literature's greatest characters (including The Invisible Man and Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and blends them together to create a group of elite mercenaries for British Intelligence.
The book is decidedly steampunk in aesthetic, which compliments the source material nicely. It's ripe with references to classic literature that the reader is sure to get a kick out of. One of the most engaging aspects of Alan Moore titles (Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke) are the morally ambiguous natures of a lot of his characters. Even if the protagonists of the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen aren't necessarily virtuous, Moore has a knack for keeping the reader interested and invested in the plot and how these characters interact. It's refreshing to read stories where the players straddle the line between moral and immoral.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is definitely worth a read, and it's still going! Moore is currently finishing Volume III as I type this!
A really good children's book can be enjoyed as much by adults as it is by children. A Long Way from Chicago is such a book... in fact, it's one of my favorite children's books of all time. Set in the Depression era, the book is about a brother and sister who take the train from Chicago to a hick town south of the city to visit their grandma every summer from 1929 to 1935. That first summer Joey and Mary Alice are only age 9 and 7, and they soon find out that "what little we knew about grownups didn't seem to cover Grandma." Grandma Dowdel is a no-nonsense, hard-working woman with little tolerance for people who put on airs or stick their nose into others' business. She's not afraid of using unorthodox means to put fools in their place, often with hilarious results. The short chapters, each a story unto itself, coupled with the book's country charm and ever-present humor, make it a fast read and a good pick for a historical fiction assignment for students fifth grade and up. When you've finished with this book, pick up the equally good sequel, the Newbery-Medal winning A Year Down Yonder, in which 15-year-old Mary Alice goes for an extended stay with Grandma. You may also enjoy the many other books for children and young adults written by author Richard Peck.
For several years, Willow Glen Books hosted a poetry group. As a memorial to this group, editor Pushpa MacFarlane assembled 107 of the poems read over the years, and put them together in the book Remembering: Poems Read at Willow Glen Books: An Anthology. The poems run the gamut from funny to sad, from realistic to romantic, mirroring the human experience. Willow Glen Books was a fixture in the community, and it's fitting that a book like this commemorate the well-loved store.
But local poetry lovers in need of camaraderie, weep not! A successor group, Poetry Center San Jose meets at the Willow Glen Library on the third Thursday of the month at 7pm. So if your soul could use a dash of poetry and good fellowship, join in! Who knows, maybe in time to come, there will be a sequel to "Remembering"! How's "Keep on Remembering" for a title? Willow Glen Library staff members, if you have any more information about this or a related topic which you would like to share with the big wide Internet world, please chime in!
For a bit more information, here is a San Jose Mercury News article about the book.
April 10-16, 2011, was National Volunteer Week. The Willow Glen Branch Library thanked all its volunteers on Friday with a small celebration and tokens of appreciation. Also, Barbara Adams was announced as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for Willow Glen Branch. Hooray, Barbara! Her name has been added to the plaque by the Tech Center. Saturday, the Friends of Willow Glen Library hosted their quarterly book sale. Everyone who donated, worked, or bought items at the sale is appreciated.
I have always loved libraries, and working at the library has shown me how many other people love the library, too. In the face of never-ending cutbacks, staff no longer have the time to devote to activities such as keeping the picture books free of smudgy little fingerprints, or cleaning the Tech Center keyboards with cotton swabs. The city has few resources to spare for luxuries such as patio furniture or very extensive, specialized magazine subscriptions. Children can listen to stories, or read to dogs, and everyone enjoys better, more extensive collections because of all of our volunteers, including the Friends of the Library. Donors, supporters, and volunteers are vital to making the library the place it is by helping with all of the above, plus by assisting staff with crafts and other family-friendly programs, tutor in the Tech Center, and host book clubs. Say "Thank you!" to a volunteer today!
Right now I’m reading Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin in preparation for the upcoming musical at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco. If you’re not familiar with it, the Tales of the City series is comprised of eight books set in San Francisco and centered on Anna Madrigal’s apartment house at the fictional 28 Barbary Lane. The first book opens with 25-year-old Mary Ann Singleton phoning her mother to say she won’t be returning to Cleveland, as she has fallen in love with San Francisco. The reader understands why she loves the city – Maupin shows us the eclectic quirkiness that endears the city to so many. Mary Ann has contact with a diverse cast of characters, including Anna, her pot-smoking landlady; Mona, a bohemian neighbor; and Michael, Mona’s roommate who’s dating Jon, a gynecologist.
The first five books in the series were originally serialized in San Francisco newspapers, and this style makes the books quick reads as the chapters are short and the plot lines are lively. The first book in the series came out in 1978 and while three decades have passed since then, the characters and stories are still fun and engrossing. Since these first novels came out before HIV/AIDS, the characters still frequent bath houses and have lots of indiscriminate sex. However, later books in the series were some of the first to deal with the AIDS epidemic.
I’m eager to get on to the next book, More Tales of the City and I can’t wait to see what the ACT does with these stories and characters.