Saturday, May 30, 2009

Altered Books

There's been a thread in one of my social networks about "altered books". It sounded intriguing, but I had never heard of "altered books" before. The first thought that ran through my mind was, "Is that like altered pets? How would one alter a book?" So, being a librarian and in need of a fun research challenge, I went in search of more information. Here's what I found:

There is a large community of altered book artists, with individuals featuring their own and others' work. (Do they alter book artists, too?) Wikipedia has published an article, and images on many web sites illustrate the artists' rich imagination. There is an International Altered Book Artists Society. And they have defined an altered book as follows:

It is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be ... rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned...

Examples from a group of altered book artists are featured on this Altered Books site, which expains thusly:

Cut the bindings off of books found at a used book store. Find poems in the pages by the process of obliteration. Put pages in the mail and send them all around the world. Lather, rinse, repeat.

A simple Google search yields even more examples at the British art e-zine Altered Books Cam, and instructions for creating your own altered book at Altered, and even a lesson plan for middle school students from Princeton Online.

Is this a book form the library might collect? Probably not. Or maybe. Depending. We do have books about altered books.

I'm still struggling with the idea because of the hard lesson delivered to my back-side as a toddler after I color-coded the table of contents in my Real Mother Goose. Times change, I guess!

TheGoingGreen's altered book image is used with permission.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

On This Memorial Day Weekend...Sacramento History Photo of the Week: Issue No. 17!

As a young resident of Alkali Flat at 1315 “H” Street, Hugo Frank Wallner was a 1913 graduate of Sacramento High School and a bank teller at the California National Bank. In February 1916, the 25-year-old won an adding contest at the Travelers Hotel on Fifth and “J” Streets. He was able to list an amazing total of one hundred checks in one-minute, thirty-one seconds. A few years later in the spring of 1918, Wallner was married to Miss Freda Caldarella. Just weeks after marrying, Wallner was dispatched to France, serving as a clerk in the 91st Infantry Division. Although holding a task that would seemingly keep him out of harm’s way, Wallner was sent into combat in September of 1918. According to his Lieutenant, he died of wounds suffered during an attack in the Epinonville sector of the Argonne. This made him one of the over one-hundred Sacramentans – and the only Alkali Flat resident – to die in the Great War. His heartbroken Freda never remarried and died in San Francisco in 1983.

This 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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sacramento History Photo of the Week: Issue No. 16!

This March 1942 photo shows a recently modernized Globe Mills building. Its renovation – started in August 1941- came via the Federal Government’s wartime plan to increase grain storage capacities and overcome nationwide shortages. At completion, the building’s 46 signature silos measured 125 feet in height and, at capacity, could hold up to 500,000 bushels of grain.

At five-stories-high, Globe was perhaps the highest profile of Sacramento’s four flour feeds. By the mid-1930s, the city’s grain industry, drawing off nearly 73,000 acres of Sacramento County grain stands, was producing well over 3 million dollars in product. Just prior to the Great Depression, Sacramento’s roughly 200 mill workers could rely on a gainful wage of between $4.00 and $4.25 an hour.

This 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.

Sunday, May 17, 2009



Hace algunas semanas atrás el Festival del Cine Latino Americano de Utrecht en Holanda arrancó y fue declarado un éxito tanto en ventas como en el número de aficionados del cine latino americano. En años pasados muchos países europeos y asiáticos han creado festivales presentando nuevos géneros cinematográficos de muchos países pero el más destacado y abrumador son los de América Latina. No cabe duda que países con largas historias cinematográficas como Francia, Italia, Japón y los Estado Unidos tengan una gran ventaja con respecto a la propaganda de nuevas películas, y los más interesante del Festival de Utrecht es que están luciendo la producción cubana titulada Omertá. Hagan click en el enlace arriba para leer la nota relacionada al festival.

¡Gracias y les envío un abrazo muy grande!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Esta telenovela mexicana es basada en la telenovela la cual se estrenó en la Argentina con el título Floricienta. Yo no soy muy afanado a las telenovelas especialmente de esta índole pero muchos de nuestros socios quienes acuden a nuestros sucursales les encanta ( y ahora veo por qué! íMama mía!)
Esta telenovela se trata de una linda chica quien posee mucho talento y ambición pero carente de recursos económicos. Visita la mansión de una familia germano-mexicana y se encuentra cara a cara con su príncipe azul. Esta historia es la de Cienicienta pero situada en la Ciudad de México actual. Las chicas son hermosas, los chicos guapos ;y todos son simpáticos y tiernos cuando se encuentran en la calle de pura chiripada.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Got Work?

On Wednesday, May 6th, the Central Library held its first ever job fair, and it was a success! Fourteen different groups arrived, offering volunteer opportunities, training, and (best of all) jobs. Yes, there really are people hiring, even in the current economy. In fact, Sacramento START needs to fill positions at 64 sites. (So if you like children...)

Attendees included Macy's, Sacramento START, California Highway Patrol, Sacramento Police Department, Prepaid Legal, SETA, American River College, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and California Conservation Corps. Look for more information on employers to come!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

World Walking Day, Friday, May 8

The weather is drying out and warming up just in time for today's World Walking Day observance. Locally, the Sacramento Walking Sticks is hosting an evening walk tonight near the State Capitol beginning 5 - 6:30 p.m. and finishing by 9 p.m. The event is free. If you love to go a-wandering, this is a friendly group that welcomes all walkers and strollers and dogs!

For those who are serious about their recreation, or who want to use walking as a way to improve their fitness, Sacramento Public Library has a good collection of videos, print and audio books to help get you started.

There's also a nice grab-bag of items in our downloadable collection. And for those who would like to keep up with the latest walking techniques, equipment and health news, look for articles in our Health and Wellness Resource Center (Sacramento library card and PIN needed if you want to view either of the above at home.)

Let's get movin'!

Mandy No Good's photo used with permission.

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Sacramento History Photo of the Week: Issue No. 15!"

Nisenan Village on the American River. The Nisenan or Southern Maidu formed the earliest Native American presence in Sacramento. Dating as far back as 11,000, pre-common era, this hunting, gathering and fishing culture occupied the villages of Momol on the northern-most edge of Alkali Flat, near Richards Boulevard, and Sa’cum to Alkali Flat's southern frontier, below what is today known as Cesar Chavez Plaza. What is more, a 2003 excavation of the area containing the current City Hall, at the intersection of Tenth and “H” streets, yielded enough evidence to suggest that the site may have been used as a hunting/fishing camp. No surprise, knowing the proximity of the camp to Sutter Slough, an inlet that attracted fauna.

This image 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.

Friday, May 1, 2009

SPL in Second Life

As if having only one life to live isn't enough, I've been playing around in Second Life recently. I answered a request from a UCLA faculty member seeking someone from a public library to complete a panel addressing her library school class. The topic: information literacy instruction.

Information literacy instruction, or ILI, is a fancy way of saying "teaching people to find information and know whether it is appropriate or correct for their purposes." The instructor wanted a variety of viewpoints, so there were representatives from college and community college libraries, private and public schools, an art institute and a hospital library. And a public library - Sacramento Public Library! That's me in the picture, in my Second Life persona, Annot8 Greatrex. (Los Angeles Public Library was represented by a poster in the display area.)

I talked to the 21 students about our diverse users (compared to the relatively homogeneous users at schools and colleges), our web site, research guides, computer classes and other programs, and one-on-one instruction. I also mentioned that we host class visits and talk to community groups, and that the Wonder Wagon bookmobile visits community events like the recent Pacific Rim Festival. Afterwards, we gathered on the lawn next to the "open air auditorium" for the poster session.

The other seven presenters were from Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Alaska, Minnesota, and California. There was a poster from a library in Chile. We all were able to talk to each other in real time in Second Life. Hmmm ... think of the possibilities ...