Friday, February 29, 2008

a very cool government document

Does anyone out there know that the Economic Report of the President has useful information in it? Admittedly, I didn’t know until recently. As of late I’ve been dabbling in government documents, and I’m learning that there is a lot more to government information than endless statistics, propagandistic posters, and dry transcripts of senate session agendas. Take the above report, for example, the 2008 Economic Report of the President. Chapters include: Year in review and the years ahead; Credit and housing markets, Importance of health and health care, Tax policy, Nation’s infrastructure, and Searching for alternative energy solutions. If you follow the news even a little, you know that these are all pertinent, potent, well-covered, and often controversial topics. If you don’t, well, the first chapter is an excellent read to get up to cocktail-party speed. In need of statistics on income, employment, and production? This book has them from 1959 through 2007. (By the way, don’t forget to boost your grades by including statistics in those research papers you’re writing-- professors just love them.) Maybe you’re concerned about nuclear power or interested in the government’s official perspective on alternative energy sources. Regardless of which sides of theses issues you’re standing on, you’ll find useful information. What about universal health care? Be impressed at the strategic tip-toeing around this subject. Perhaps the most likable part of this government document is that it is readable (albeit with a fair share of jargon). The conclusions and summaries throughout are biased towards pro-growth policies (more is better, to put it simply), and remember that real bracket creep is more of a reality than say, homelessness, as far as this book is concerned. So, while you may need to seek other perspectives, which are probably covered in other government documents, this is nonetheless a positive, accurate and accessible reflection of our current economy.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Sacramento Public Library's' Community Outreach Services was once again out in full force in support of the Yeah Baby Family Expo along with hundreds of other groups featuring the latest baby products such as clothing , toys, nutrition and reading. The event sponsored by Clear Channel spanned the entire weekend enabling SPL's Community Outreach volunteers to reach a wide one - on -one audience.

Some of the events that covered the weekend were a "Beautiful Baby Contest," a "Children's Reading Area," a "Petting Zoo, " a "Diaper Derby," and several seminars covering topics such as Health & Nutrition, Safety, Early Childhood Education and the Importance of Reading to your Child.

Events such as these help our community grow and strengthen the lives of Sacramento's future. Thanks to all who participated and to those who support Sacramento Public Library's commitment to education and leadership.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Your Past, Coming to the Central Library...

The STORY, if not standing so much as a matrix of words, phrases, pauses and hiccups, is a way for members of any given society to connect. A story is also a gift, a piece of yourself, your past, that's imparted to a friend, aquaintance, even a stranger.

Do you have a story to tell? If you do, and you'd like to share it with the world, April is a month to stay on top of. That's when Storycorps, a venture sponsored by National Public Radio, will set up operations in front of the Central Library at 828 "I" Street. The stories - your stories - will be recorded and placed online, with the original recording being archived with the Library of Congress. Over the coming weeks, check back at grandCENTRAL ( for details.

The Sacramento Bee recently ran a story on February 17, 2008, that discussed the Storycorps project. To read that story, please click here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Review: POTUS

Presidents' Day: there is a brief history of the holiday at Infoplease, which helps to explain why some agencies take two consecutive Monday holidays, and others only one. Sacramento Public Library will observe the holiday on February 18.

But about the presidents: the Internet Public Library provides a compact page of information about all the Presidents of the United States (POTUS). It includes information about each of the past presidents, the current President, and presidential candidates running in the 2008 election.

"Give 'em Hell Harry" S. Truman was president when I was born. The POTUS article about him includes a portrait, biographical information, election results, his cabinet and also audio and video clips.

Who was President when you were born? When you were ten? What were the notable events of those administrations? Who were his opposing candidates? How close were the results of the election? Find out on POTUS.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cold War Revisionism

If you think you know the origins of the Cold War and/or the true intentions of the USSR, please take a moment to consider this: the Cold War did not have to happen and was a surprise to many when it did happen; Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union did not want a Cold War; based on his lingering fear of Germany, Stalin wanted his Grand Alliance with the United States and Great Britain to stand up over time; and, based on its domination of, and economic demands at, the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944, the United States was the true aggressor during the forty-year expanse of the Cold War.

Such were the theses floated about during CSUS history professor Arthur Williamson's talk on the Cold War Wednesday night in the Sacramento Room. These not often considered - even refreshing - ideas comprised the engine that drove the talk.

Knowing what most of us know from our Cold War experiences, it's difficult to think of the conflict as anything other than a battle of ideologies and a series of bitter proxy wars. However, with the exception of Great Britain, neither the United State or the Soviet Union possessed empires of any great size; meaning, neither state was particularly aggressive. What's more, each member of this Grand Alliance venerated the rights of man and the element of equality, values that speak to Sir Thomas More's Utopia. So much in common and so much to gain together.

The center did not hold, however, and once parties and coalitions representing communism in France and similar groups representing laissez-fare principles in Poland are outlawed, the dominoes started to fall. At Bretton Woods, the establishment of the IMF and the World Bank, placed the United States in the domineering position vis-a-vis world finances, prompting the Angst of a certain non-signatory in the Soviet Union. So, based on this, who was the true bully?

Were Soviet advances into Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia nothing more than responses to Yankee aggression? After all, Ho Chi Minh chose to be a communist of his own free will years before North Vietnam ever existed. Is it too outlandish to presume that Ho - although greatly aided by Moscow - would have risen to power regardless of the existence of a Soviet Union. With the fall of the pre-War colonial paradigm, inigenous populations had the freedom of choice.

Certainly, 30 million Soviets had given their lives for Mother Russia and the non-Fascist world. Communism bore the brunt of the fight and 'saved the world.' It should not be surprising then that many throughout the world and third-world might embrace the Soviet Union and her egalaterian ideals. In the end, were the Cold War and the Truman Doctrine nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy for a military-commerical-industrial complex wanting the stretch its legs into undeveloped markets? Some say...yes.

A final thought relates to who actually won the Cold War. The world of the late twentieth-century has lost its balance of power and now we live in a reality of asymetric threats. The military-industrial-complex that 'Ike' spoke so forbodingly of is gone and where have the defense jobs migrated? The Euro is growing increasingly stronger and the Dollar is ebbing away. Some even argue that the country' sense of civic and political efficacy is dying a slow death. So go the spoils of victory.

This is not a library endorsement of the thesis, merely a presentation of a viewpoint not commonly considered and one proffered in the February 13 presentation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Feeling a Bit Drafty In Here....

Forty years ago Soviet tanks rushed into Czechoslovakia, while East German and Soviet governments placed a blockade around West Berlin, spurring the famed Berlin Airlift.

Shortly after the end of the Second World War the global community once again prepared itself for the worst. An amicable alliance between the United States and Soviet Union had grown into a battle for global domination.

Join us TONIGHT, February 13 at 6:00 PM, in the Sacramento Room as Arthur H. Williamson, CSUS Professor of History, takes us back to the tumult and tension of the Cold War. Not only will he describe the break-down of the Soviet-American alliance, he will also relate the Cold War to today’s current geopolitical situation.

Registration is required and can be done so by calling 264-2920 or going online at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Coretta Scott King

"And those of you who believe in what Martin Luther King, Jr., stood for, I would challenge you today to see that his spirit never dies.... From this moment on we are going to go forward. We are going to continue his work to make all people truly free and to make every person feel that he is a human being." ~CSK

February is Black History Month and a fine time to celebrate Coretta Scott King. Married to Martin Luther King, Jr., she was herself a passionate proponent of social justice. Her original passion was music; she met her husband while a student at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Her concern over civil rights soon took precedence, and she often led marches and gave speeches right aside her husband. After Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, she determined to preserve her husband’s memory with the foundations for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission in 1968, both of which have materialized. Coretta Scott King practiced non-violence in all aspects of her life. She was a vegan, she opposed capital punishment, she opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and she was an advocate of feminism and lesbian and gay rights. She is a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize. She passed away on January 30, 2006 at 78.

The Coretta Scott King Award was established in 1969 to carry on the spirited determination of equality that Martin Luther King, Jr. spread throughout our culture. It is awarded to outstanding African American authors whose work expel the spirit of social justice through the medium of children's literature. Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (also a Newberry Honor) recently won the 2008 Author Award. Author Honor Books are November Blues by Sharon M. Draper and Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith Jr. The Illustrator Award was given to Ashley Bryan for Let it Shine and the Illustrator Honor Books are The Secret Olivia Told Me by N. Joy and Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon.

It is truly profound and inspiring to look at what two people must of sacrificed to stand up for what they believed in, for what is right and true. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are symbols of perseverance and courage for all of us-- the courage to reflect on the injustices of the past, and the perseverence to grow as individuals and as a society.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Once upon a Thursday ...

Are your children restless and bored? Then our fun and fabulous Once Upon a Thursday series is just the thing for you! Stop by Kids’ Place every Thursday in February at 3:30 for an enjoyable experience you won't forget. Our first program, in which children and teens created beautiful chocolate roses, Valentine’s Day cards and gifts, was a surefire hit! Be sure not to miss out on the rest of our series:

February 14: Mysterious Chocolate
February 21: Mask Making
February 28: Movie Matinee

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hooray for Whitley Heights?!?!?

This librarian's from Oregon. That's where I was born and that's where I grew up. At 6-7-8-9-years-old it was hard for me to get my head around the fact that my home state shared a border with California. Truly, during these formative years, California took on fabled, even mythical proportions - a land where it NEVER rains, where stars can be seen at every street corner, the residence of Mickey Mouse, and, of course, it was the home of Hollywood.

My mother made sure that I visited Mickey when I was nine. I can remember feeling different, more energized, when our train - the Pacific Coast Star Light - crossed the California/Oregon border, and I was disappointed when palm trees didn't suddenly appear and when I couldn't see Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man jogging in his red, polyester sweat suit.

This has significance, for without the advent of a place called Hollywood, my high expectations would have had no place from which to launch themselves. Hollywood was Shangri La, Samarkand, a place of magic, a place where dreams come true. So, while kids become adults, this libarian has learned that California is immense, diverse and so much more than pixy dust and mouse ears. Nonetheless, Hollwood - even just the name - has an allure, and few places have a history so rich and electric.

Enter Gaelyn Whitley Keith, the great grandaughter of Hobart Johnstone Keith, the essential "Father of Hollywood." She wrote a book called, aptly enough, The Father of Hollywood, and spoke to patrons on the evening of the February 6th in the Sacramento Room about her fascinating relative.

H.J. Whitley came to California in the 1880s with an eye on real estate. Along the way, he purchased 500 acres of land, located to the north of Los Angeles proper. It was here that Whitley would develop a residential community, laced with Meditteranean-style homes and a state-of- the-art road system. While it would claim the original title Whitley Heights (complete with hillside sign), it morphed into Hollywood. Whitley's powers of persuasion got monolithic names like Jean Harlow and Rudolph Valentino to appear on Whitley Heights mailboxes.

On principle, I can't tell you how it got its name, but you can certainly read as much in the book, which will be on SPL shelves soon. What was once just Eucalyptus Trees and Orange Groves (really no holly to be found), was built on the back of a fellow named Hobart and his great grandaughter told a lucky group of patrons his story at the library. Look for future programs to be held at the Central Library by going to or by calling 264-2920.


Ladrón que roba a ladrón es la nueva representación de una película hecha en México durante la década de los años 50. Esta versión fue revelada hace algunos meses en los Estados Unidos y en México con mucha atención en ambos países. Esta película es muy pícara con la participación de Fernando Colunga, Miguel Varoni,Julie Gonzalo y el mismo guionista JoJo Henrickson . Pronto tendremos este DVD en nuestras estanterías, pon atención a su llegada.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Reference librarians get asked lots of questions. We may seem really smart, but the truth is, we just have a pretty good idea of where to look for the answer and a pretty good collection of books and other resources at our disposal.

There is lots we do behind the scenes to keep the library's collections current and services fresh. We also spend time keeping up with what other libraries are doing, looking for things we might be able to adapt for our Sacramento service area.

One tool we use for quicker web searching is There is so much good stuff on the Internet now, we needed a better way to organize our bookmarks so we could find useful sites again when we needed them. Our Telephone Reference staff created an Askus account and has been adding bookmarks to it for almost a year. These are web sites we use often to answer your questions. There's a permanent link to our bookmarks in the "Link Depot" in the right sidebar. allows us to share our bookmarks with others - and you are invited to share them, too! They are searchable - just type a word in the big search box in the title line to see what we've found on the topic. (Hint: try searching for taxprep.) If you have a favorite "perfect" web resource, please use the comments to tell us about it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Hoy es SUPER MARTES de las primarias presidenciales, y podrá usted seguir los más recientes acontecimientos de la contienda más importante del siglo en V-me con Jorge Gestoso hoy a las 22:00 hrs . ¿Quién serán los próximos candidatos presidenciales de ambos partidos?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Se cierra el expuesto de arte de vidrio

hosted at

El expuesto "Arte del Vidrio” abrió en diciembre y ha sido extendido hasta el 3 de febrero. El expuesto muestra ejemplos de escultura de vidrio "soplados, grabado al aguafuerte, de mosaicos, formado por el horno y de forma caida" por varios artistas bien conocidos por la región.

El expuesto incluye cuencos formados por soplos y platos de talla muy grande de colores electrizados de Nina Paladino and Michael Hansen, las filigranas de mosaicos de Dorothy Edwards, y los platos de diseños caprichosos de Maggie Jimenez.

El 3 de febrero estarán presente en el sucursal Central algunos artistas para hablar de su piezas antes de que se cierra el expuesto. Se venden las piezas de arte y toda ganacia beneficia la Biblioteca Púbilica de Sacramento. Esperamos verlos el domingo!

-traducido del comunicado de prensa del Departmento de Marketing por amorlibrorum.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's tax time!

It’s that time we’ve all been waiting for (especially if we’re looking forward to a refund)- time to do our taxes. We have everything you need to get started at the Sacramento Public Library—free commonly-used forms and publications, reproducible forms and publications, and IRS and Franchise Tax Board reference books. Free forms are located in the lobby near the check-out area, and reference guides are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Hurry in while supplies last, or use the Internet to print California forms and federal IRS forms.
Some tax-time pointers:
  • Check out J.K. Lasser's your income tax for answers in layman's terms to those tricky tax questions.
  • You may qualify to file your taxes for free through the IRS website.
  • You can file an amendment within 3 years of the original return.
  • Relax, it's just once a year!!