October 2007


October 21 –  27 is National Friends of the Library Week, a promotional campaign of the national organization known as FOLUSA — Friends of the Library, USA.  FOLUSA helps all the different library support groups and Friends groups that exist throughout the country with ideas on how to promote their library and their group.

 Let me tell you a little about Dublin Library’s Friends.  These are people who volunteer their precious time to help raise money, awareness and provide community support for the Dublin Library. 

We are very lucky to have quite a special group of people working with the Dublin Friends.  President Eileen Billik and Treasurer Noreen DeVito are here every single week.  Eileen volunteers at the library in addition to her duties as the President; Noreen drops by to check the mail and write checks. She writes checks for library programs, like our Family Sing-Along program coming up this Saturday or for things like tee shirts we are in the process of buying to advertise Dublin Reads.  Where do they get the money?  They work hard at it…putting on booksales twice a year and stocking the Starbucks(among other things) over on Regional St. with donations. Connie Archer visits Starbucks every week re-stocking the Friends bookcase with new donations.

Eileen, Noreen, Connie, Judith, Betty, George and Fritz are weekly busy in the Friends storage area evaluating, sorting and categorizing books for the next booksale. 

Last Fall the two day booksale garnered just over $4,000 for the Library.  Coming up in December they are planning a one day only holiday booksale selling paperbacks, children’s books and beautiful, nearly new specially priced books.  If you are looking for some bargain gifts for your holiday gift giving, come on by on Saturday, December 1st between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00. 

With money earned at booksales the Library is able to offer a rich assortment of programs that would be impossible otherwise: for example  this past year we  bought  an AWE early literacy computer station for the children’s section.  At $3,000 this computer station has 26 programs offering math and early reading gamesMother Goose on the Loose for children.  The Friends purchased all the supplies and materials needed to start Mother Goose on the Loose, a highly successful early literacy program that now occurs twice a week. The Friends are the primary sponsor of Dublin Reads, providing funding for the books, and just about all the Chautauqua programs. They fund summer children’s programs and the two adult book discussion groups.

In the PR materials that FOLUSA has on their website is a sample proclamation in praise of Library Friends groups.  Paraphrasing that proclamation, here are a  couple of my favorite phrases from it that I think really epitomize Dublin’s group:

“Friends raise money that enables our library to move from good to great.”

“The work of the Friends highlights the fact that our Library is the cornerstone of the community.”

“The Friends gift of time and committment to the Library leads to positive engagement and the betterment of the community.”

This week while you are in the library, look for some special bookmarks the Friends have printed for National Friends of the Library Week, with great quotes about libraries.  On Wednesday and Thursday, library staff are bringing cookies, cake and tea to thank our Friends.

If you love libraries and/or have benefited from some of the programs that the Dublin Friends have funded, consider becoming a member or even just use this blog as a forum to say “thank you.”  Dublin’s Friends care about their community and their library and we take this opportunity to voice a resounding Thank YOU.

So thank you Eileen, Noreen, Fritz, Barbara,Connie, Karin, Jean, George, Judith, Carolyn, Betty and all the many folks who come out and volunteer to help with the booksales.  We salute you!

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octcraft07-003.jpgoctcraft07-001.jpgoctcraft07-002.jpg Eerie Halloween noises played in the background as children created black and orange seasonal garlands with bats, pumpkins, yarn and gobs of glitter glue. The children had a great time expressing their creative sides.

We sure hope you’ll join us December 14th when we’ll usher in winter with a snowflake craft, get in on the fun!

LOL @ your library!  That’s the theme of the 10th annual Teen Read Week (Oct 14 -20, 2007), sponsored by the Young Adult Services Division of the American Library Association. The Dublin Library is joining with thousands of libraries across the country to encourage teens to celebrate this year’s theme “LOL @ your library” by reading humorous books and graphic novels “just for the fun of it”.  Feed your funny bone and check out our display of humorous books in the Teen section of the Library.  Let us know what makes you laugh by answering our Teen Advisory Board’s Question of the Month posted on the bulletin board in the Teen Area.  Check out the nominations for the 2007 Teens’ Top Ten Books at www.ala.org.teenstopten/ and vote for your favorites during Teen Read Week, October 14 -20. Need some good book suggestions? Check out these for LOL:

Alice I Think by Susan Juby. 15 year old Alice has been homeschooled aliceithink.jpgby her “hippie” parents.  When she starts at a public high school she has a few opinions to share in this diary.

Sunshine Rider: The First Vegetarian Western by Ric Lynden Hardman. I’m already hooked just by the title. Sunshine Rider How could a character in a western possibly be vegetarian?? 17 year old Wylie Jackson leaps at the chance to join a cattle drive but finds himself assigned to the chuck wagon and to keeping an eye on the pesky cattalo (a cross between a buffalo and a cow).  Somewhere in the mix, Wylie turns vegetarian!

 The Adventures of Blue Avenger by Norma Howe. David Schumacher created the comic book hero the Blue Avenger when he was 13. At 16, after the death of his father, he decides to legally Adventures of Blue Avengerchange his name to the Blue Avenger and seriously set about righting the wrongs in the world.

Do you have something to recommend that will have us LOL?? Tell us!

This photograph is Jacob Harlan who, along with other family members, traveled with the Donner Party in 1846.  Coming up this Sunday, one of his descendents, harlan_250.jpgWilliam Harlan, will be speaking at the Dublin Library, talking about the Harlan wagon train and the forces that contributed to their successful arrival at Sutter’s Fort, 10 precious days before the Donners. Those 10 days made all the difference; the Harlans arrived during the same rainstorm that became the blizzard that trapped the Donners in the mountains.Their story is described in Bernard AugustinDeVoto’s book The Year of Decision (owned at Castro Valley Library and Fremont Main), and in a new, recently published book Eyewitness to the Settlement of the West, by Bruce E. Mowday. The photograph of Jacob Harlan is taken from Mr. Mowday’s website.

 The Harlan Family eventually settled in Yerba Buena (San Francisco), opened the first general store in the gold diggings in 1848, and landed in southern Contra Costa County in 1852; in fact the county line with Alameda County ran right through their ranch house! 

Mr. Harlan gives a fascinating talk about the Donner/Harlan wagon trains and subsequent fortunes of the Harlan family.  This is the first in a series of Chautauqua programs celebrating Dublin Reads.  Please join us, Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. in the Library’s Community Room!

Lions and tigers and books, oh my! 

snow-mountain-passage.jpgHave you seen “wild” copies of Snow Mountain Passage and Patty Reed’s Doll in your neighborhood?   The library has released over 30 copies of the books that are hopefully moving from house to house throughout the Dublin.  These wild books have a label on the inside front page that says: 

I’m not lost…I’m a Dublin Reads book! 

Books were released at the library and the Dublin Heritage Center.  We’d like to track the movement of these books so if you have one or have passed one along, please comment on this entry and let us know where the book has traveled so far! After you’ve read and released the book be sure to participate in a discussion group.  The next one meets Thursday October 18 at 12:30 in the group study room at the library.

This week, I’m reviewing Full Metal Panic!, an action-adventure series available at the Fremont Main and San Lorenzo library branches.

Full Metal Panic! is one of the best of the anime genre that features young men and Full Metal Panic2women piloting giant robots. It’s a well-balanced combination of fish-out-of-water humor set at a Japanese high school, and military action sequences, distinguished by excellent plotting and well-rounded and interesting characters.

Sousuke Sagara is a teen-aged mercenary soldier who’s part of Mithril, a privately-funded anti-terrorism organization in an alternate-universe near-future setting. (In this world, the Soviet Union still exists, but the People’s Republic of China does not, having split into two warring countries, North China and South China.) Originally from an imaginary Central Asian country similar to Afghanistan, Sousuke was a child soldier fighting a Soviet-led invasion, trained as an assassin and sent out into the field at the age of seven. Later on, he was recruited by Mithril, and at 17, he’s both one of Mithril’s youngest members and also one of the most experienced in terms of actual combat.

Full Metal Panic1He and two of his companions are sent to Japan to serve as covert bodyguards for a schoolgirl named Kaname Chidori, who may be one of the Whispered, who are a small group of humans with a mysterious psychic link to advanced (and possibly extraterrestrial) technology.

Because of Sousuke’s age, he’s sent undercover to Kaname’s high school as an exchange student, where he’s definitely a fish out of water. (His commanding officer also seems to think it would do Sousuke some good to experience normal teen-aged life for a while.) At the school, Sousuke endures several weeks of mishaps and misunderstandings, while forging a tentative friendship with the girl he’s been assigned to protect. Meanwhile, leads on Kaname’s possible abduction prove to be mere, untracable rumors.

Finally, Sousuke and his teammates are told their assignment has ended. As a parting gift for a job well-done, Sousuke is granted leave and permitted to join his high-school class’s field trip to tropical Okinawa before resuming his regular duties at Mithril.

When the class plane is hijacked and diverted to another country, Sousuke may be the only one who can save Kaname from becoming the object of experimental testing on Whispered subjects…

Half a high-school comedy, and half a fairly gritty adventure series, Full Metal Panic! is compelling and very well-done.

Given his background, Sousuke is the most interesting of the characters–while at the high school, he appears to be a harmless, somewhat bumbling military nut mostly because he’s forced to pull short and pretend he’s just a regular student time and again. He’s fully aware that the other kids think he’s weird and stupid, and he is becoming more and more miserable with every false alarm.

But once the hijacking begins, he’s free to revert to his real self–a competent, highly-Full Metal Panic3experienced soldier.

Unlike many other action series featuring teen-aged heroes, Sousuke actually *does* kill or seriously-injure people in the course of his job, and the series doesn’t shy away from depicting this.

Kaname Chidori is a strong female character, athletic and no-nonsense and surprisingly cool under pressure. After being kidnapped, she nearly succeeds in freeing herself before Sousuke shows up, and later on, when his rescue mission has gone horribly wrong, her Whispered abilities help save the day. Once she discovers that Sousuke really is more than just a military-obsessed high school kid, she befriends him, and provides him the first taste of a “normal” life he’s ever known. She also finds herself slowly falling in love with him…

Is this series appropriate for your child? FMP is a hard action series that includes bloody violence (one early episode features a man being shot in the head) and sexual innuendo (though nudity is shown only in silhouette and there are no sex scenes). This show is probably most appropriate for older teens.

mother-goose-on-the-loose-004.jpgMother Goose on the Loose is a hit with the tots and the moms & dads, just look at all the smiles! This program offers children the opportunity to listen, love and learn language while exploring music, rhythm and nursery rhymes. Folks gather in the picture book area of the library on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 and Friday afternoons at 1:30, won’t you join in the fun?