Blogs

Photo of an artificial Christmas tree lit at night on the First Baptist Church hill in San Jose in December of 1964.
In November of 1965, my family moved into the Meadowbrook housing tract (now Canoas Garden ) in the southeast corner of of Willow Glen . The tract is sometimes referred to as “Birdland” because of all the streets named after birds ( Nightingale, Redbird, Hummingbird , etc.). One unique feature is its location at the foot of a hill that is part of the San Juan Bautista Hills. This group of hills lies between Almaden Expressway and Monterey Road and is home to the Oakhill Cemetery , County Communications , Communications Hill (with the cell phone tower), and the First...Read more...
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Early literacy can take place anywhere, anytime. There are a number of ways to make everyday activities fun learning experiences. Also, young children can get restless on public transportation. Whether you are in for a short or long ride, try one of these activities to make the trip more entertaining for everyone. Counting objects - You can work on basic concepts like counting, colors and shapes by having your children describe, list or name objects they see outside their window. Have your child count all the red cars they pass on the ride. Before getting aboard, ask them to guess...Read more...
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the knitting answer book
Maybe you’re looking to a DIY Holiday gift exchange, or maybe you’ve just always wanted to learn how to knit and you’re not sure where to start. Do not fear- SJPL can help you become a proficient knitter quickly. As someone, who personally taught myself to knit through YouTube videos and books, I know that it can be done. When starting with the very basics, it is advisable to find a great foundation book. Books such as The Knitting Answer Book and Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-to-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes are really great at...Read more...
audiobooks
Many of you may be traveling by plane, train or automobile during the holidays this month. Why not grab an audio book narrated by one of your favorite actors to make the ride a little more enjoyable. You can visit any of our branches to checkout the audio CD or download the audio book to your preferred device. For Families Kate Winslet narrates Matilda by Roald Dahl & The Mr. Gum Collection by Andy Stanton Anne Hathaway narrates the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot Jeremy Irons narrates James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Neil Patrick Harris narrates the...Read more...
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Covered California logo
If you bought health insurance last year or early in 2014 through the Affordable Care Act and are thinking about making a change OR if you need to buy health insurance for the first time, you can do that now. The enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called ObamaCare, is open until February 15, 2015. In California, the agency that manages health insurance is called Covered California. Their website is www.coveredca.com . The website can help you figure out how much each plan will cost you and if you will get a discount because of the amount of...Read more...
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Death comes to Pemberley book cover
Prolific British mystery novelist Phyllis Dorothy James (better known as P.D. James) died on November 27, 2014 at the age of 94. In 1920, she was born a little too late to be one of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction's Queens of Crime (they were Agatha Christie , Dorothy L. Sayers , Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh ). But she was definitely a Queen of Crime in her own right; a worthy successor to their crowns. She is best known for her mystery stories featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh. There are 14 novels in the Dalgliesh series,...Read more...
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Hunger Games cover
The newest installment of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay: Part 1 has just come out! If you're like most fans, you've probably already seen it this weekend, maybe even more than once. But now, you're wondering what to do with your life while waiting for the next movie? To sooth the empty space in your heart, one of my favorite suggestions is Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. In the future, everyone receives plastic surgery and becomes a "Pretty" on their 16th birthday. When Tally's best friend Shay runs away right before their operation, Tally must find her and turn her in,...Read more...
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code and glowing light
Many of us spend a large part of our day on computers. We use the internet for work and pleasure and download the newest apps on our smart phones. All of these apps and websites seem to operate flawlessly using a sort of magic that many of us don’t understand. If we have an idea for our own app, program, or website we might not have the tools needed to make that dream come to fruition. In order to create, we have to have a certain skill set; understanding computer programming languages. Luckily, in today’s world the tools needed to...Read more...
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In November and December, look for this fun activity at your local SJPL branch. Recommended for children 8 and above, the one-hour program involves making crafts that explore how things like light, color, and patterns can play tricks on your eyes. It’s a science and art project all rolled into one! Actually, it’s three projects. Make your own to take home: Thaumatrope ​ The word thaumatrope is derived from Greek words meaning “miracle turner.” It’s a disk with a picture on either side (for example, a bird on one side and a cage on the other). When the disk is...Read more...
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A photograph of the Nishioka building in 1989.
I lived in San Jose Japantown back in the 1980s. I used to enjoy jogging around the area in the evening, and one of the places I used to jog past was the Nishioka Fish Market on Sixth Street near Taylor. It’s a beautiful old brick building, built in 1929 by Ichimatsu Tsurukawa for his Ideal Laundry business. Unfortunately, the depression hit soon after, and Tsurukawa’s business didn’t flourish as he’d hoped. He eventually sold the business to one of his Filipino workers, Ben Ragsac, who downsized the business and moved it to a smaller location near the corner of...Read more...
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