Wednesday, December 31, 2008


¡Feliz Año Nuevo! De parte de la Biblioteca Pública de Sacramento les deseamos un año prometedor lleno de alegrías.

Monday, December 29, 2008


" ALGEBRA" por A. Baldor

"El álgebra ha sido definido como una rama de las matemáticas en la que se usan letras para representar relaciones aritméticas, lo que permite darles un carácter más general, válido para cualesquier números.Esta ciencia surgió en Egipto y en Babilonia, civilizaciones cuyos matemáticos llegaron a resolver ecuaciones de primero y segundo grado, prácticamente mediante los mismos métodos empleados hoy. La tradición de los egipcios y de los babilonios fue retomada por los griegos, sobre todo por los matemáticos alejandrinos Herón y Diofante, quienes alcanzaron resultados sorprendentes en la resolución de ecuaciones indeterminadas especialmente difíciles. Cuando Europa se hundió en las tinieblas de la Edad Media, los árabes continuaron desarrollando el álgebra, «ciencia de la reducción y el equilibrio». Entre los matemáticos árabes se destacó al-Jwarizmi, de cuyo nombre tomó el castellano las palabras guarismo y algoritmo. Fue al-Jwarismi, precisamente, el primero en usar el término al-gabr para designar esta parte de las matemáticas cuyo nombre completo era ilm al-gabr wa l-muqabala (ciencia de las reducciones y de las comparaciones), lo que explica el nombre antiguo del álgebra en portugués: almucábala. En el bajo latín de la Edad Media, algebra se usaba tanto para designar esta parte de las matemáticas como el 'arte de restituir a su lugar los huesos dislocados'. En la primera edición del Diccionario de la Real Academia (Autoridades), 'algebrista' aparece con el significado de «componedor de huesos». "

Eartha Kitt, 1927-2008

Though I'd seen Eartha Kitt in a few movies, I think I'll always remember Ms. Kitt best for her song "Santa Baby." Yes, Christmas is officially over, but since I haven't taken my holiday tree down since 2001 (I'm putting red hearts on it for Valentine's Day), it's never too late (or too early) to have a song about Santa.

Sacramento History Photo(s) of the Week: Issue No. 3


With the 1976 opening of the 143-unit housing development at 8th and 10th and “E” Streets came the unveiling of two mosaic murals by Sacramento artist and activist Armando Cid. The works were commissioned under the sponsorship of the Centro de Artistas Chicanos. “Sunburst” and an accompanying mural, “Olin,” were created at a cost of $11,000. “Sunburst’s” pre-Columbian eagle is significant in that it symbolizes the Aztec sun god Huitzilopochtli who, according to legend, bowed to arriving Aztecs at what would become the civilization’s capital, Tenochtitlan. It is also true that the Aztec referred to themselves as the "People of the Sun." These two gems are nearly as eye-catching as they were 32 years ago (see damage at left of 'Sunburst'), and still resting in 'our own backyard,' so to speak. They're truly worth a look...

These photos and many more like them can be found in the Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room which is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5, and Thursday 1 to 8.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Google Image Labeler

Got a few minutes left in your lunch hour? Feel like contributing to the success of Google's image search? Become a Labeler! Instructions here.

You will be paired with someone else who is using the site at the same time, and you will compete with that person for points by contributing descriptive tags for photos Google will show you. The more matches you share with your partner, and the more specific your tags, the more points you get. Ready? Go!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Chance to view the Freedom Sisters Exhibit!

We know you're busy. It's the holidays. Some of you are out shopping for gifts; others are baking and making presents. And then others are too busy praying for a miracle to come into our library and see the most awesome exhibit we've ever had. But the Freedom Sisters Exhibit is almost over. Sunday, January 4th is its last day on display. To me this exhibit is way more important than making peanut brittle for your second cousin in Des Moines. In fact, taking someone to the exhibit is a gift unto itself. How about instead of baking for your relatives you take them to see the interactive display? Not only will they thank you for the once in a lifetime experience, that's a few less workouts they'll have to do after the holidays because they weren't at home gorging on brownies. So what are you waiting for? The exhibit is available during Central's normal operating hours.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sacramento History Photo(s) of the Week: Issue No. 2

Central Pacific Railroad Hospital, circa 1887. Built in 1869 at the corner of 13th and “C” streets at a cost of $64,000, the CPR hospital was a result of the company’s desire to fill a healthcare and morale vacuum for its employees, many of whom were migrants, solitary, and without sufficient funds to acquire proper care. In fact, by 1883, 125 Irishmen had matriculated though CPR care, as compared to the 65 native Californians who had. Facility and medical costs were funded by a “hospital due” which, by 1890, came out to roughly 50 cents a month. Free care was predicated on injury sustained in service of the CPR. The hospital, which gained the reputation for being one of the finest medical facilities on the west coast, succumbed to fire in 1904.

Thomas W. Huntington, MD, circa 1890. One of the best medical talents in the early American West, Huntington was Staff then Chief Surgeon at the Central Pacific Hospital from 1882 until his death in 1929. His adherence to the principles of English physician Joseph Lister and the early use of antiseptics during patient recovery were groundbreaking. Overnight, Central Pacific deaths from infection from traumatic accidents dropped from 30 to 40 percent to 5 to 7 percent. Huntington also lived in Alkali Flat, first at 515 13th Street, then at 1215 “H” Street.

These photos and many more like them can be found in the Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room which is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5, and Thursday 1 to 8.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


According to statistical studies conducted by both the Cervantes Institute of New York City and the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be 132,000,000 Spanish-speaking inhabitants in the United States by the year 2050. Making the United States, the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world after Mexico. From a population point of view, the United States will be the largest Latin American nation surpassing current birth rates in both Mexico and Peru. In terms of language learning, Spanish language matriculation rates at the secondary, high school and university levels are at their highest.

In terms of library usage, the numbers are growing as Latinos and the Spanish speaking are learning more and more how to use libraries . With this in mind, REFORMA has finally established its' first chapter in the Sacramento area precisely to help the area's libraries in improving library services to the Spanish speaking and Spanish language collections.

The chapter is aptly called the California Gold: The Sacramento Valley Chapter of REFORMA
California Gold: The Sacramento Valley Chapter of REFORMA supports the following goals:

. Development of Spanish- language and Latino- oriented collections and programming

. Recruitment of bilingual, multicultural library personnel

. Promotion of public awareness of libraries and librarianship among Latinos

. Advocacy on behalf of the information needs of the Latino community

.Liaison to other professional communities (CLA, EMIERT, SLALM for example)

.Providing training, education for our members and those interested in serving Latinos
and Spanish Speakers.

The California Gold Chapter will be meeting soon ,so dates and times will be forthcoming. A Facebook and website will also be available so stay tuned!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sacramento History Photo of the Week: Issue No. 1

Starting this week, we will be bringing to you historic photos from Sacramento's historic past that either come from the Sacramento Public Library's Sacramento Room collection or can be accessed through any of our many city/county branches. Along with the photo itself, we hope to provide thoughtful description and discussion on the photo's content and context. Here's today's photo, coming to us from the Library of Congress:

This is a rare, rare photo of China Slough, aka Sutter Slough or most elegantly Sutter Lake, circa 1866. Depending on the extent of seasonal flooding (and it's very high in this photo), the slough lapped upon the western-most boundary of Alkali Flat at 6th or 7th Streets. The oils and solvents of Southern Pacific/Central Pacific Railroad, not to mention the sewage and garbage of the residential community along lower “I,” made the slough both unpleasant to look at and notoriously odorous, prompting the City to plant some 3,000 eucalyptus trees along its banks in 1876/77.

The slough was finally filled in 1910 as part a deal between Southern Pacific and the City: the railroad fills the slough, it gets the land. This view from the Pioneer Flour Mills (located on the eastern bank of the Sacrament River) looks east toward Alkali Flat; the white structure near the upper, left-hand section of the photo is the Ohio Brewery, the spire in the middle, upper section of the photo is the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the far-right structure is the Grace Church.

What had sat as a pristine inlet of the Sacramento River as late as 1849 had, in a short 15 years, become something that most Sacramentans just wanted to forget about. Amazingly enough, as I look out the 5th floor window at Central Library, I'm not sure I feel too differently as I look at the big SP sandbox to the northwest.

The persistent url for the photo is as follows:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

a Great Volunteer Service Day

On Saturday, December 13th, 18 Sophmores of the McClatchy HS Criminal Justice Acadamy (along with their sponsor) performed 3 hours of volunteer service to Central Library. As the coordinator for the day, I had a fabulous time. This group was enthusiastic from start to finish, even to the point of arriving 5 minutes before I showed up at 8:45am. Their accomplishments:
  • Performed 57 wo/man hours of service
  • Replaced and correctly labeled 30+ broken CD audiobooks
  • Cleaned 293 gunky audiobook cases and verified their contents and labeling
  • Recycled most of the Gen. Picture File; Filled 2 large grey (recycling) bins and 3 double loaded carts- representing hundreds of files
  • Labeled with large CEN spine labels 306 books from the World Languages collection (in less than 45 minutes!)
  • Found and sent home to CHS 1 Vietnamese language book
  • Ate 23 muffins

Thank you for your service, Sophmores. I hope you enjoyed the scavenger hunt and that you remember the library when you need help for college or want to find some new sheet music to practice your music skills.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



El Rey de la Montaña es una película que cuenta con las actuaciones del actor argentino Leonardo Sbaraglia (Quim) y la beatífica española María Valverde (Bea). Quim ,buscando su novia, se encuentra perdido en un bosque. De repente, se encuentra perseguido por algún personaje desconocido. Durante su huida por el bosque se encuentra cara a cara con Bea quien también se encuentra perseguida.

¡Resérvanla ahora y encuéntranse cara a cara al espeluznante final!

El Rey de la Montaña Trailer Spanish
by eMaTriKs

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nearest Book Meme

Something fun to try: please post yours as a comment by clicking the "comment" link at the end of this post.

The man grabbed the steering wheel with arms as big as my legs and snarled, "I ain’t gettin’ out!" (Thompson, “Verbal Judo”)

* Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write this sentence - either here or on your blog.
* Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
* Don’t look for your favorite book or your coolest but really the nearest.

Saw this on Stephen’s Lighthouse this evening, and thought I’d better jump on it before it gets old. Noticed it also on a colleague’s facebook page. Fun, fun fun!