Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"tildar . ‘Poner tilde’ y ‘atribuir [a alguien o algo] una característica negativa’. La nota denigrativa va introducida por de (y no por como): «Teme ser tildada de ambiciosa» (Chacel Barrio [Esp. 1976]). Es incorrecto su empleo con adjetivos de significado positivo: «Un actor tildado de sexy como George Clooney» (Hoy [Chile] 15-21.12.97). Tampoco debe usarse con el sentido general de ‘calificar’: «Gilberto Siura, un evangélico, fue llevado [...] nada menos que al Vaticano, en lo que podría tildarse como una singular cita ecuménica» (Caretas [Perú] 26.6.97).tildar. "

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Students: Help Us Help You!

Remember the scene in Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise tells Cuba Gooding, Jr. to, “Help me help you.”? If not, it’s because I’m old and you don’t have cable. Yet the quote is spot on. We librarians are asking students to help us help you, because we honestly want to help you. Somewhere along the line you go from seeing me as Marian the Librarian---please, I have much better clothes---to Helen Keller, Miracle Worker. So here is something you can do for us to make all of our heroic lives easier:
Order your required summer reading books.
I know, with four whole weeks left of vacation, you believe there’s plenty of time to get them, but the start of school, like middle age, has a way of creeping up on you. If you wait three more weeks to check out the four books you are required to read you’ll quickly discover one book on the shelf, two were due back three weeks ago, and one was selected by Oprah’s Book Club and has 500 holds on it, meaning you’ll get it in time to read while shopping for Christmas presents.

Monday, July 28, 2008

RINCóN LATINO: Actividades de la Semana

Se llevarán las actividades siguientes en el sucursal Central para la semana 28 de julio al 3 de agosto. Toda actividad es gratis y estará en inglés. Llame 916-264-2920 para más información o registrarse:

Niños de 2 años
  • jueves, 31 de julio @ 10:05am, la Hora de los "Toddlers"

Jovenes 13-18 años
  • martes, 29 de julio @ 5:30pm, Locura del Cine, lea el libro, vea la película: Red Eye por Carl Ellsworth

Preparación para el Colegio
  • sabado, 2 agosto @ 8:30am, Practica del Examen SAT, llame para registrarse

para la Familia
  • sabado, 2 de agosto @ 11:30am, Arte de collage, estilo de Eric Carle con el grupo ArtWorks

Friday, July 25, 2008

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Central Library

  1. Stairs for indoor exercise even when it's hot and/or smoky outside.

  2. Historical collections of city directories and Sacramento telephone directories.

  3. Licensed online materials you can use without reserving an Internet computer, and printing is free.

  4. Fun programming for all ages.

  5. Conveniently accessible via public transportation (choose "libraries" from the drop-down list, and scroll down to Sacramento Public Library Downtown).

  6. Quiet study area on 4th floor.

  7. Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Union, and the New York Times back to the 1850s - perfect primary sources for students.

  8. Free parking downtown on Saturdays, Sundays, and after 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

  9. Computer classes on most Wednesdays and some Saturdays.

  10. A great staff who knows the collection and can help you use it well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What I'm Reading: The Next Thing On My List

"The Next Thing On My List" by Jill Smolinski. New York : Shaye Areheart Books, 2007.

I just finished this charming novel and found it grew on me slowly, but touchingly. The premise was very different: June feels responsible for the accidental death of her passenger, Marissa, and decides to complete the "20 things to do before my 25th birthday" list Marissa leaves behind. However, as the plot and characters developed, I grew genuinely fond of them all, and found myself relating to them as real people.

The unexpected aspect, for me, was the thoughtfulness June evokes in the reader as she works hard to complete the list before Marissa's birthday. That thoughtfulness spilled out of the pages and into my life, as I reflected on some of the questions June raises about the meaning of life, of death, of family, of friends, - and most importantly, of self.

Sacramento Public has only a few copies of this title, but it is also available through our Link+ partner libraries, should ours be all checked out. Jill Smolinski is also the author of a previous novel, "Flip flopped".

Friday, July 18, 2008



"Quizá o quizás aparece bajo la primera forma en el siglo XIII, pero ya figuraba en el Cantar de Mio Cid como quiçab:
Moros e christianos de mi han grant pauor.Ala dentro en Marruecos, o las mezquitas son,Que abran de mi salto quiçab alguna noch:Ellos lo temen, ca non lo piensso yo.

Es una alteración de la antigua expresión familiar qui sabe ‘quién sabe’, con origen en el latín qui sapit.Quizás es posterior: aparece sólo a comienzos del siglo XVI, aunque Corominas señala que los clásicos consideraban vulgar esta forma usada en este texto de 1508 de Lucas Fernández:

'Si tú pides la alcauala, quizás que la partiremos.'
El etimólogo catalán señala un fenómeno curioso, verificado en la segunda mitad del siglo XX en Cuba y en el Río de la Plata, que consiste en una regresión al antiguo ‘quién sabe’, junto con una tendencia a abandonar quizá(s): Quién sabe iremos o quién sabe no lo vea."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Practice Tests and Computer Skills Tutorials

Staff Services Analyst, Accountant-Auditor, SAT, CHP Patrolman - these are county and state tests that are hugely popular with library borrowers. When a test is coming up, copies of these and other practice tests fly off the shelves, not to return until the test is over.

There is a way to practice without having to visit a library and track down a test book: Learning Express Library. This is a database of civil service, education, and career tests that anyone can use in the library - no Internet needed - and can also be used at home if you have a library card in good standing. The library pays for the subscription, and you can use it for free! You can practice at your convenience, your place in the test is saved and you can come back to it later. You also have the option of taking a timed test. Your answers are scored and evaluated.

The big bonus and hidden gem of Learning Express Library: Computer Skills Tutorials! If you want to learn about Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and other common computer programs, here's a chance to do it at your convenience. Ask the staff at the reference desk in your branch to show you how to find it on our Database Page.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bug Break

I hate bugs!
Though I realize our summer reading theme is “Catch the Reading Bug,” if I see one more bug I am going to scream! I hate bugs, loathe spiders, don’t care for worms or all their germs, but whenever I open my e-mail I discover yet another person has sent me a picture of a hissing cockroach or a tarantula. And these aren’t the happy Miss Spider’s Tea Party versions of insects. No, they’re the real, ugly, horrible, I-can’t-believe-such-a-thing-exists pictures. People, I was already scared half to death after looking at last month’s Visa bill. Are you trying to complete the job?
Do you know what non-human creatures I like? Bunnies, doggies and kitties. To stop myself from having a complete nervous breakdown at being surrounded by bugs, I watch videos of cute animals on YouTube. These two “talking” cats are totally adorable. If you have time, watch the translations. Enjoy your bug free moment.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Librarian

"You're so lucky to work in a library. You must get to read a lot of books all day!" Yeah, and the view from the vantage point of a library school student (me, [mumble] years ago) was equally disconnected from the reality of what it takes to deliver library service to the public.

So what does this librarian do all day? I'm glad you asked! This week, in response to the Librarian by Day's, challenge, over a dozen library staff from across the country will be detailing their workdays on their blogs. I could never pass up a challenge, so tomorrow through next Sunday, I'll be taking my show on the road, virtually speaking. You can get a peek into my work day at Annot8ions, and compare it with the workdays of the other participants at Library Day In the Life. (Thank you, Civil Librarian, for the invitation!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Travel Guides---Get One Or Starve!

Last week I attended the American Library Association’s annual conference in Anaheim. Overall it was nice. There were vendors to visit, classes to attend, amusement parks to see.
Meals to skip.
If you thought gas prices were high, check out Anaheim’s resort area food prices. By day three I was freaking out from daytime starvation until I could make it to that night’s cocktail party. After staggering out of a hotel coffee shop I sent the following text: “Nine bucks for a sandwich. No chips. No drink. Will look like Amy Winehouse by the end of the trip.”
I’m still shocked over the sheer audacity of charging nine bucks for poultry sliver on dehydrated bread. My Anne Klein skirt didn’t cost nine bucks! If you’re going to charge nine dollars for a sandwich, at least throw in a neck rub, or make fresh sandwiches and bring them to our tables. Instead they expected weary travelers to grab sandwiches off their refrigerated shelf and wait in a line longer than the one for Space Mountain.
I didn’t get the sandwich.
I didn’t get much of anything unless it was included with my registration fees.
Everywhere I turned expensive food greeted me. And after checking out the fruit stand inside Disneyland, I realized Snow White was not put into a coma from a poisoned apple; she choked upon discovering the happiest place on earth charged $1.75 for fruit.
I should have borrowed a travel guide.
Instead of wondering if the cookies were driven over in Hummers, which might justify their $3 price, I could have eaten real food for decent prices. You’d think I’d have figured out the whole borrowing books thing, but until recently, Central Library's travel guides were on the fourth floor. Due to my love of high heels, I avoid higher floors whenever possible. But thanks to rearranging a few things, travel guides are now located in their Central Express. No more walking up four flights of stairs! So before you go on your vacation, daycation (or staycation), get a travel guide and never fear starvation.

Monday, July 7, 2008


¿Han ustedes pensado en hacer algo que nadie haya hecho posteriormente? ¿Tener un pensamiento único el cual nadie ha pensado nunca en la historia de la humanidad? Pues el protagonista de la nueva novela de Carlos Ruíz Zafón "El Juego del Angel" se encuentra en tal situación cuando un editor misterioso le propone hacer precisamente eso : escribir un libro el cual nunca se ha escrito en la historia del mundo. La historia toma lugar de nuevo en el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados en el famoso districto Raval de Barcelona. En la ya famosa novela del mismo autor "La Sombra del Viento" (10 mil millones de ejemplares fueron vendidos mundialmente) el mismo panteón fue vislumbrado tanto como la librería de "Sempere e Hijos." En esta novela reaparecen y juegan papeles como si fuesen caracteres de hueso y carne. "El Juego del Angel" toma lugar en los años 20 en una España todavía no desgarrada por la Guerra Civil y la Segunda Guerra Mundial y la Barcelona del autor es un reflejo de una paz ansiosamente esperando el martillazo de una guerra todavía imprevista.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Finer Focus: The Sum of All Fears...and I'm Not Talking About the Book

Forty years ago this month, a landmark treaty was signed. The United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and 58 other nations signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. With decades passing, India, North Korea, Israel and Pakistan have all "joined the club" - so to speak - in that, although not having signed the NNPT, but they've acquired (albeit dubious with North Korea) the ability to blow things up with nuclear means.

So, where does this leave us? Well, since the thaw of the Cold War, the balance of power that held things together since WWII has shifted into asymetrics. We sit back, watching a few conventional wars, but there are several - like nine - countries that have the ability to cause mass tragedy with the push of a button, few of them checking the other, save a faint application of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD in mind. This doesn't even consider the prospect of terrorism. The issue is real and may not affect us as much as it may affect our children. Religion, the environment, the grab for natural resources, and plain human error are have to be considered variables.

The library holds a solid collection of books relating to the topic of Nuclear Non-Proliferation. The subject heading that will gather relevent titles is "Nuclear nonproliferation." You might also consider taking a look at what our periodical indexes/databases have to say about the topic by going - with library card number and PIN - to EBSCO.

Oh, Sacramento? Are You Ready for YOUR closeup???

Central Library just completed its first cycle of digital stories for the current fiscal year. More than twenty-five star-studded expressions of truth and – as Cronkite would say – “the way it was” in the lives of several Sacramentans. Movie houses, the beauty of adoption, family, guide dogs, Sacramento’s Celtic/Pagan community, the heritage of our city’s trees, skim the veritable surface.

Most of the films lasted no more than 5 to 7 minutes and took on different forms: first person testimonial, third person narrative to name a few. See all the stories from the California of the Past project by going to:

If you have a story that you’d like to share with your fellow citizens, you can do so by calling 264-2920 or going to to submit an online application.

Try this fantastic tale - right out of the backyard - on for size:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Answer: 76,998

Question: How many telephone calls did Central Librarians handle between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008?

It has been many years since we had the ability to accurately count calls to the Telephone Reference Desk. The new telephone system installed last spring has been counting for a year, now, and here's what we learned:
- Total talk time: 2,539.7 hours.
- Busiest month: January (7,542)
- Slowest month: November (5,349)
- Busiest time: 10-12 a.m.
- Slowest time: 7-8 p.m.
- Average wait to speak to a librarian: 1.5 minutes.
- (Red face, here) Longest wait in the hold queue: 28.5 minutes.

These were among the questions that crossed our desk recently:

Q. What are the health care benefits of federal public officials?

A. Slate reports that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is administered by the United States Office of Personnel Management. OPM reports it covers over 4 million federal employees, retirees and their families, and the government pays about 75% of the average premium. Benefits are listed on the Program's web site, and there is an interactive map to discover local coverage by state.

Q. What are the Postal Service rules/specifications for the format of business reply envelopes?

A. For this, we went straight to the horse's mouth. The United States Postal Service web site has a downloadable "Quick Service Guide 507a" that answered the question exactly.

What do YOU want to know? Call 916-264-2920 and we'll do our best to find the answer to your question.