Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rincón Latino: ¡Libros en Español!

,,Nada" de Carmen Laforet

,,Nada es una novela escrita por Carmen Laforet en 1944, que ganó el Premio Nadal el 6 de enero de 1945 Luego, en 1948 obtuvo el Premio Fastenrath de la Real Academia Española. Llamó la atención no solamente por la juventud de la escritora, que por aquel entonces tenía 23 años, sino también porque mostraba la sociedad de aquella época. Hay quien dice que la novela es autobiográfica. Aunque la novela contiene elementos biográficos, la autora misma escribe en su introducción al cuento dentro de la compilación llamada Novelas (Primera edición 1957 Barcelona, Editorial Planeta) lo siguiente: "No es, como ninguna de mis novelas, autobiográfica, aunque el relato de una chica estudiante, como yo fui en Barcelona, e incluso la circunstancia de haberla colocado viviendo en una calle de esta ciudad donde yo misma he vivido, haya planteado esta cuestión más de una vez".
Es una novela de carácter existencialista en la que Carmen Laforet refleja el estancamiento y la pobreza en la que se encontraba la España de la época de la posguerra. La escritora supo transmitir con esta obra, escrita con un estilo literario que supuso una renovación en la prosa de la época, la lenta desaparición de la pequeña burguesía tras la Guerra Civil."

Blue Moons

Last night as I got home from work, the moon was rising. The sky was clear, the air was cold, and the moon was THAT BIG and brilliant! If the sky is clear tonight, we'll be able to see it again. Everyone's calling it a "blue moon" - but is it, really?

Almost everyone will tell you that a "blue moon" is the second full moon in a calendar month. But it hasn't always had that meaning. An earlier agricultural definition states that a blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons instead of the usual three. ABC News and Associated Press have written similar stories explaining the different meanings of the phrase. The Astronomy site also has a page of links to facts, trivia, and legends about blue moons. Infoplease provides blue moon facts and myths, including an old proverb the Oxford English Dictionary says was first recorded in 1528:
If they say the moon is blue
We must believe that it is true.
What I found missing this year is the story that "Blue Moon" actually was the name of a Dutch trading vessel that returned to port so seldom that the folks named the intervals between port visits "Blue moons". Did I imagine it? Or does that story surface only once in a blue moon?
Just for fun, here's a list of Blue moon reading from the library's catalog - both fact and fiction.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thoughts from Customer Appreciation Day

Customer Appreciation Day(s) were earlier in the month of December. At Central Library we celebrated with the staff sharing their thoughts of why we love our patrons and greeted our patrons with a cookie and an invitation to share their thoughts about why they loved this library. Below are a few thoughts from each.
Why We Love Our Patrons:

  • Hearing kids singing during story time makes my day.
  • They ask interesting questions for us to answer at the Reference Desk!
  • Sometimes they wear colorful socks.

Why Our Patrons Love the Library:

  • Free WiFi&Easy access.
  • There are so many art classes.

  • I can read free comics.
  • The staff is always nice and helpful. We find new resources every time.

Thank you Central Library Patrons!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Holis

I was hoping I could all the staff together to sing this song. However, that didn’t happen. So I guess I’ll have to settle for the Run D.M.C. original.

There's always next year...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Circle Turns: Winter Solstice

It must have seemed to the Ancient Ones that when the sun went below the horizon it might never return. In order to prevent this they first practiced rites that would summon it back. In seeking to capture the light of the sun, fire became of central importance in the majority of these rites. If harbored and protected, fire would remain alive, as a symbol of the hidden sun. Sometimes it was enough to celebrate the return of the sun, at others it was necessary to make sacrifices to the god or goddess who was the source of its light, to insure that he or she returned. It's the legacy of these ancient ceremonies that lies at the heart of our acknowledgement of the solstice. Virtually every festival that was celebrated - or which still takes place today - owes something to these long-forgotten celebrations of the year's turning.

The word solstice itself comes from the Latin sol stetit, literally, "sun stands still," which recognizes that for approximately six days in December and again in June, the sun appears to rise and set at more or less the same point on the horizon, appearing to stand still in the sky.

This year, 2009, in our area the Winter Solstice was celebrated on Monday, December 21st 9:47 am, Pacific Standard Time. We still celebrate the return of the light with song and dance as demonstrated by The California Revels; and your local drumming circle may also have an event planned! Find out more about the Winter Solstice and how you can celebrate at and

A splendid collection of winter solstice tales from many cultures is contained in The Return of the Light by Carol McVickar Edwards. An excellent history and folklore of the Christmas tree is: The Solstice Evergreen by Sheryl Ann Karas; and parents and caregivers who want to educate their children about the winter solstice are urged to read The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer . These and other great books on holiday origins can be found on the Sacramento Public Library Catalog.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


,,Amanecer de un Sueño" de Freddy Más Franqueza

,,Amanecer de un Sueño" es una película española la cual trata de un triplete de amigos quienes se parecen a todos nosotros...buscando la felicidad y el significado de la vida. Pascual es un septuagenario propietario de una tienda quien también se dedica a cuidar a un niño huérfano soñador en un pueblo remoto. Dentro de las monstruosas brumas que rodean a la pequeña aldea como un velo de un sueño, un mundo aparte y distinto vive y muere. Dentro de ese mundo, personajes viven sus vidas...comparten sueños y deseos como si fuesen regalos de Navidad. ¡Disfruten esta película y compartenla con alguien especial!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brittany Murphy, 1977-2009

My favorite Brittany Murphy movie does not happen to be Clueless.

Yes, she was cute in Clueless, and I did love that movie. She was sweet, and a bit tart, playing Tai, the new girl in town who joins the Beverly Hills' under aged in crowd. It wasn't even Happy Feet, though I did watch that film just this past Saturday, much to the dismay of the (male) guests who wanted us ladies to go watch it in the garage so they could watch a football game inside. (Like we were going to pick watching players smash into each other over cute, singing penguins.) Murphy certainly had way more screen/voice time in those vehicles, but my favorite film featuring her happens to be Drop Dead Gorgeous. This movie is horrible in the most gleeful way, poking fun of beauty pageants, small towns, and trying to escape said town, be it via winning a sparkly crown, joining a hockey team, or going to prison. Murphy plays Lisa Swenson, a goofy, giggly necessary after thought younger child. She cheese it up beside future big movie stars Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards and Amy Adams, explaining of her parents, “You know they only had me because Peter needed a kidney.”

I won't print up here what she yelled at her father at the end of the film. That's because I like having a job.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stressed Out?

There are times when I get just a little stressed out. I think it's a combination of no one listening to my instructions to use their indoor voices, and getting sad that I am over 30 yet I still don't have the money to buy an island home in Sweden. (Maybe if I put it on my New Year's Resolution List it will happen, LOL.) Instead of sinking into depression, I either go to YouTube and type in puppies, or to make a visit to Cute Overload. For some reason, no matter how many times I see this video it makes me happy. Enjoy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sacramento history photo of the week number 33!

The two mosaic-clad obelisks on Twelfth Street, one upon entering Alkali Flat and one when exiting, were designed in 1990 by landscape architect John Nicolaus as part of the 12th Street Beautification Plan. The structure at the corner of Twelfth and "H" Streets is pictured above. Longtime Alkali Flat resident and Royal Chicano Air Force member, Juanishi Orosco, was responsible for the artistic concept on the ornamented tiles. The project was funded by the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

The above photo and many more like it 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.

Make sure to also checkout, "Sacrachicano," showcasing historical and current works by some of the RCAF's major artists as well as emerging artists who are carrying on the cooperative's tradition. The exhibit is in partnership with Galeria Posada and is curated by Gloria Burt and the same Juanishi Orosco who created the obelisk above. View the exhibit during library open hours through January 3, 2010.


,,Máncora" de Ricardo de Montreuil

,,Máncora" es una playa en el norte del Perú donde sirve de refugio del mundo para muchos quienes buscan escapar de la realidad. Huír de la ,,maranidad" de un mundo que no toma prisioneros. ,,Máncora" es una película que trata de un trío compuesto de la bella Ximena, el cínico Iñigo y el infortunado Santiago. Los tres se encuentran al azar y lo que toma lugar para los próximos días es una pesadilla de verdad, lo que comenzó como un escape termina siendo una negra pesadilla donde saldrán muertos o moribundos. ¡Suerte para los que tiran los dados!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Using Your Library @ Home and @ Anywhere

The Questions:
  1. It's 8:30 p.m. and your teen has just informed you that she needs 5 newspaper and magazine articles discussing global warming for her 1st period research paper, which is due tomorrow. All the libraries closed at 8. What can you do?

  2. Your 8th grader can't understand his algebra homework - and neither can you! What can you do?

  3. You have volunteered to host an exchange student from Japan for a month in January, and need to learn basic Japanese FAST! What can you do?

  4. You want to find out whether experts think your company's healthy and would make a good investment for your stock options - what can you do?

  5. You've been "downsized" and want to polish your resume and your interview skills so you can NAIL the next interview. What can you do?

  6. You're stopping for lunch enroute to a faraway state and want to find the nearest Macdonald's for the kids' lunch. What can you do?
The answers to all these questions, believe it or not, are the same: use your library! Your library card is the key to information access wherever you are. We make information and services available online, by phone, and by text messages even when the library is closed, so you don't have to arrange your needs around our open hours.

The Answers:
  1. Use our online magazine and newspaper databases - available 24/7 - to find full-text articles you can print and cite for that research paper. We have the Sacramento Bee as well as other newspapers, and over 5,000 online magazines.
  2. On the Kids' and Teens' pages, students in grades 4-college can click Homework Help Now! to get help from credentialled tutors via live chat. Tutors can help with math, writing, social studies, and more!
  3. Mango Languages provides an always-available, never-needs-to-be-returned language lab at home. You'll be fluent in Japanese in no time! Click the Mango link in the General Interests section of the database page.
  4. Morningstar Online, in the Business & Personal Finance section on the Database Page, is the place to go for current, expert information about stocks, mutual funds, and industry information. Morningstar also provides free online tutorials for YOU, our public, in the use of this database.
  5. JobNow, a new service, gives job-seekers tools to assess their interests, revise and polish resumes, get personal coaching on effective interview techniques, and links to career resources.
  6. Info Quest: Txt4Nswrs - Use your cell phone to send your question to an Info Quest librarian. You will receive an answer in just a few minutes. Include the abbreviation SPL in your text, so the librarian who answers knows which library you belong to.
See? It's entirely possible to use the great resources your library provides without even stepping through the door. All it takes is an Internet connection and a library card.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


"La Mujer Sin Cabeza" de Lucrecia Martel

Lucrecia Martel es una cineasta argentina que ha dirigido películas espléndidas como "La Ciénaga" y la internacionalmente aclamada "La Niña Santa" . En "La Mujer Sin Cabeza" la protagonista Vero atropella a un perro en la carretera durante en breve viaje. Pero debido a un peculiar estado psicológico, Vero ha tomado a una mujer por un perro. ¿Poe qué? Pronto veremos.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sacramento History Photo of the Week Number 32!

In 1913, the Sacramento Lumber Company and its fifty employees opened at Twelfth and “B” Streets, where its proximity to the Sacramento River and Southern Pacific facilities kept handling costs low and profit margins wide. Pictured here are two modes of transport within the mill, horse-drawn wagon and, as evidenced by tracks, narrow-gauge engines. In the background is a shed which was designed to hold up to 1,000,000 feet of lumber. The mill was hit by fire in July of 1921, leading to the destruction of well over $30,000 in material. The warehouse, pictured above, was completely destroyed.

The company's primary timber stands, entirely virgin, enveloped Coos Bay, Oregon. The company's specialty was Port Orford cedar, which was brought by boat from Oregon to Sacramento. Similar stands in the Sacramento area had been denuded by the end of the nineteenth-century.

The above photo and many more like it 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.


The Festival of Lights is a celebration of Jewish people everywhere. It is observed for eight nights, on the Hebrew month of Kislev beginning on the 25th day. The holiday is a remembrance of the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after winning it back from a foreign nation. A miracle happened when the oil used in the eternal lamp of the Temple lasted for eight days instead of the usual one which allowed more oil to be made.
Today a special Menorah holding nine candles is the centerpiece of the celebration. One candle is lit on the first night and one additional candle is lit each night with a total of eight being lit on the final night. The ninth candle is used to light the other candles and is called the “shamash” or “servant” candle.
Customs of Hanukkah include eating foods fried in oil like latkes (potato pancakes) and Sufganiyah (jelly filled doughnuts). Playing a game using a four- sided top is another custom for children. Each child has a pile of coins, nuts, candies or some other object to play with. The top is spun and depending on which side is face up, the player either puts in one object, wins an object or nothing happens.
For more information read: “The Hanukkah Family Treasury” by Steven Zorn and Rabbi Joui Hessel; “Eight days of Hanukkah : a holiday step book” by Harriet Ziefert; or “ A Hanukkah holiday cookbook” by Emily Raabe. There are many other books to check out from the library!!
For internet sources go to, or

---By SK

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Today, the National Weather Service issued a warning for a very cold winter storm that is expected to drop snow levels as low as 52 feet (that's Sacramento's elevation.) Yes, that's 52, not 5200! The warning says there is a 100% chance of snow in downtown Sacramento! It began raining about an hour ago, and that should be changing to snow in the very early morning.

Because of the very cold temperatures on Monday, drivers will need to be extra cautious and check weather and road conditions, drive more slowly, and leave extra room between cars on the roads.

Some snow stories to share with the kids
Some books about snow for the curious

Friday, December 4, 2009


"Ladrones" de Juan José Ballesta
Alex y Sara ... Bonnie y Clyde ... "Ladrones" se trata de dos jóvenes españoles que se dedican a pinchar carteras de sus víctimas confiados. Alex es un huérfano infortunado y esa experiencia le ha pintado la vida en colores opacos y crudos. Sara es una guapa chica quien no tiene talento para robar pero se encuentra con Alex y los dos combinan sus talentos para convertirse en una pareja profesional. Después la relación se convierte en una relación amorosa y pronto la novata Sara lentamente se gradúa en ladrona profesional capaz de hacer lo inesperado. ¿Cómo terminará su relación? ¿Seguirán siendo amantes? ¿Sus vidas peligrosas determinarán un final apropiada? ¿o no?