June 2010

Summer learning loss has been well documented.  Children can lose up to 2-3 months of skills they have learned in the previous school year, with math, spelling and reading the most vulnerable. Fortunately, parents have a great ally to help stem that loss: your public library!   One of the major missions of the library is to provide both the environment and the resources to keep kids reading, especially over the summer.  This is why our flagship summer reading games are so important:  it offers kids and parents a fun incentive to keep kids turning those pages.

The game empowers kids to make their own reading choices while the library provides incentives (aka prizes) to make it fun. Every summer the game has a theme—this year the theme is Make a Splash—READ.  Kids pick up a game board and for every 30 minutes they read, they will get to spin a dial that tells them how many spaces they can move forward on the path to prizes.

We are fortunate to have many wonderful partners who make our reading programs special. Prizes are a mix of “stuff” and free experiences; the first prize for kids includes passes to the Lawrence Hall of Science, Chabot Space and Science Museum and the Charles Schulz Museum.  The final grand prize includes a book bag and the child’s choice of a FREE book.  These are brand new books, not used, purchased with funds that have been supplied by the Dublin Friends of the Library.

In order to provide the environment that entices children and families to the library, we offer free summer programs every week.  Wednesday is program day, with the following programs still to come:

June 30th – make a patriotic craft!  Create a 4th of July themed door hanger

July 7 – Author, Oliver Chin introduces his cartoon characters the Octanauts and shares some cartooning tips

July 14 – Crafts with Christie

July 21 – Magic Dan

July 28 – Make a turtle craft and vote for your favorite bookmark entries in the contest

August 4 – Puppet Art Theater

All programs are at 1:00 with a repeat performance at 2:00 (craft programs repeat at 2:30). Free tickets are required and are handed out starting at 12:30 pm in front of the library on the day of the program.

My favorite image for this summer happened on the very first day we started taking signups for the reading game—this was a girl of about 11 or 12 walking around the library her arms loaded with books.  Suddenly a memory flashed in my mind of what it was like to have long (endless!) summer days with nothing to do but lose yourself in a book.  Ah, heaven!


Knit One, Purl Two, Dublin’s Drop-In Knitting Circle, is celebrating its one year anniversary!  We have been meeting monthly in the Library Program Room since last June.  Our group includes between 10-20 knitters.  It is an opportunity to come together and be with others while enjoying the process of crafting.  Beginners can come and get a lesson on knitting basics.  Intermediate and advanced knitters can come and provide inspiration and encouragement to others.  This is a great environment to revive your interest in an abandoned or difficult project.  We even have a stash of donated yarns to choose from.  We encourage beginners to bring their own knitting needles (size 8 or 10).  If you are would like to join us, we will be meeting in the Library Program Room from 2:00-4:00 on the following Saturdays during 2010:   July 24; August 21; September 4; October 16; November 13 and December 11.  For more information you can contact Pam Blades at 925-803-7273 or pblades@aclibrary.org.

On Saturday, June 5th, Dublin Library hosted three local mystery writers from “Sisters in Crime”, as an introduction to our  Adult Summer Reading Program, “Female Sleuths”. 

Sisters in Crime is an international organization of writers, readers, booksellers, librarians, agents, editors, reviewers and teachers interested in promote the professional development and advancement of women crime writers to achieve equality in the industry. The organization was founded in 1986 by Sara Paretsky with other women mystery writers.  It now has over 45 local chapters around the world.

Our three local authors were Claire M. Johnson (“Beat Until Stiff” and “Roux Morgue”),  Ann Parker (“Leaden Skies”, “Iron Tires”,  “Silver Lies”), and Priscilla Royal (“Chambers of Death”, “Forsaken Soul”, and “Justice for the Damned”).  With your blogger acting as moderator, they each discussed what got them interested in writing mysteries, which books they have written so far, their main sleuth characters, and which mystery authors they like to read for their own pleasure.   

Our Adult Summer Reading Program, entitled “Female Sleuths”, runs from June 14th to August 14th, 2010. 

The rules are simple: 

1) Read or listen to a book which features a female sleuth, private eye or detective. 

2) You can check out reading suggestions and share your favorites at summerreading4adults.wordpress.com

3) Fill out an entry form for each book you read or listen to and drop it in the entry box at the display near the public access computer terminals.

4) There is a weekly drawing for a prize.  Participants can win only once. 

Congratulations to our first winner, Wendy N.!

Last weekend, I went with my husband to see “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” at a cinema in San Francisco.   The film showed a year in the life of this iconic comedian, who is still happiest when she is on stage at the age of 77. 

In the King James Version of the Bible, Proverbs 17:22, one finds “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” 

We all need a good laugh to get by and some of the biographies of famous comedians past and present make for very good reading.  Here are some of my own recommendations, which are all available through the Alameda County Library:

700 Sundays / by Billy Crystal                                                        B CRYSTAL, B

All my best friends / George Burns; written by David Fisher         B BURNS, G

American on purpose : the improbable adventures of an unlikely patriot / Craig Ferguson

                                                                                                          B  FERGUSON, C

The amorous busboy of Decatur Avenue : a child of the fifties looks back / Robert Klein                                                                                                         B KLEIN, R 

Bob Hope, a life in comedy / by William Robert Faith                  B HOPE, B 

Bouncing back : I’ve survived everything– and I mean everything– and you can too! / Joan Rivers                                                                                                B RIVERS, J

 Buster Keaton remembered / Eleanor Keaton and Jeffrey Vance ; afterword by Kevin Brownlow ; Manoah Bowman, photographic editor ; photographs from the collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences                                                    B KEATON, B

Charlie : the life and art of Charlie Chaplin [videorecording] / written and directed by Richard Schickel ; produced by Richard Schickel, Doug Freeman, Bryan McKenzie ; a Lorac production

                                                                                                          DVD B CHAPLIN, C 

Curly, an illustrated biography of the superstooge / by Joan Howard Maurer   B HOWARD, J

Ellen : the real story of Ellen DeGeneres / Kathleen Tracy                      B DEGENERES 

Fanny Brice : the original funny girl / Herbert G. Goldman                    B BRICE, F

The great one : the life and legend of Jackie Gleason / William A. Henry III   B GLEASON, J

It’s always something / Gilda Radner                                                      B RADNER, G

Alameda County Library provides free access to electronic books and audiobooks. These electronic books can be accessed from home; the audiobooks can be downloaded for listening at home.

The eBook and eAudiobook databases available through Alameda County Library are Learning ExpressSafari Tech BooksTumblebooksLibriVox,  and NetLibrary.

To use eBooks and audiobooks you need:

  • An Alameda County Library card.
  • Access to the Internet.
  • The appropriate software for the device on which you wish to access the digital book.

To find an ebook or eAudiobook, select the ebook program you would like to search, log in with your Alameda County Library card, then search for your title. Titles are listed in our catalog but note that you must return to the main library webpage , select a database and log in with your library card.

NetLibrary’s ebook collection includes a wide variety of general interest titles along with Cliffs Notes, Nolo self-help law books, computer books, and career books. These titles are “checked out” to read online (not downloadable).

NetLibrary’s eAudiobook titles have both fiction and nonfiction for adults, teens and children including best-sellers, book club favorites, timeless classics and award- winning literature. Titles may be downloaded with a variety of devices. A list of compatible devices are maintained here.   About 50% of the titles are available for iPods. Just note the icons listed in the title’s “Show details” which tells you which devices may or may not be used and the format.  For the month of May 2010, for example, 29 eAudiobook titles have been added to NetLibrary’s collection.  There are currently 2157 eAudiobook titles available through NetLibrary.

There are no waiting periods for any titles. A name and password of your choice is required for eAudiobooks. Look for the “Create a Free Account” link in the upper right of the NetLibrary homepage.

Among the 29 titles added to NetLibrary during the month of May 2010 are:

“Cat of the Century” by Rita Mae Brown, narrated by Kate Forbes

“Ulysses” by James, Joyce, narrated by Donat Donnelly

“The Teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Castaneda, narrated by Luis Moreno

“Cottonwood Whispers” by Jennifer Erin Valent, narrated by Kate Forbes , and

“Warbreaker” by Brandon Sanderson, narrated by  James Yaegashi.

Starting September 7 Dublin Library’s hours will change.  We will be closed on Fridays, Tuesday and Thursday nights and Wednesday mornings.

Dublin Library is a jointly funded by the City of Dublin and Alameda County.  It is operated by Alameda County Library.  The City currently funds 31 hours of service out of the total of 59 hours that the Library is open.  Last year, the City was able to use one time strategies plus their reserves to cover a $3 million shortfall. Those cuts  were mostly invisible to the public and included not filling positions, freezing city pay and other strategies.  For the coming 2010-11 fiscal year, the City has an estimated shortfall of between $3.1 million to $4.6 million dollars.  The City has worked very hard to find ways to reduce spending that would have minimal impact on public services, but they have reached the point where that is impossible. In a budget workshop held last April, the Council reviewed recommendations from City staff that included cuts to the library, park maintenance,  community events such as  the annual Christmas tree lighting and services offered to seniors and teens.  The recommended reduction to the library was to cut the Library’s schedule by 14 hours. (By the way, you can view the video on demand of this and all city council meetings at http://www.ci.dublin.ca.us/minutessummary-new.cfm?PL=gov&SL=maycc.)

The Library also tries to do everything we can to minimize the impact of cuts on the public. That’s why when we reduce hours we look to those times that are the least used and also try to balance things out programmatically.   In Dublin’s case this is Fridays, Tuesday and Thursday nights and Wednesday mornings.  We also look at the hours that our neighboring libraries are open and consider the impacts on serving the schools as well as the working public. 

 I want to assure people who attend well-loved programs such as Mother Goose on the Loose, that we will reschedule those events to other days. 

Please note that the City is still funding 17 hours of library service including Sundays.

 Starting September 7 library hours will be:

Sunday                 1:00-5:00

Monday               10:00-8:00

Tuesday            10:00 – 6:00

Wednesday       Noon8:00

Thursday             10:00 6:00

Friday                   CLOSED

Saturday              10:00-5:00

For more information on the City of Dublin’s financial situation see:   The City of Dublin’s Special Budget Report. Financial Trends and Challenges. Prepared by Paul S. Rankin, Administrative Services Director.


We are elated to showcase a whole new series of student artwork courtesy of Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE).  This local organization raises much needed funds for the schools by sponsoring an annual student art auction.  This year, with support from guest artists and teachers, students in Dublin schools once again submitted an amazing and colorful array of art.    DPIE received 175 submissions; twenty-six  pieces were selected as first prize winners representing every grade level.  These pieces went to local frame shops who framed the art in preparation for the auction.  Pieces that were selected for 2nd place were professionally matted and also auctioned off at the big event on May 22.   But that still leaves a whole lot of wonderful art worthy of display.  So, as one of the community members asked to participate as a judge, the library selected another 62 pieces for a library art collage to be displayed in the children’s area. In selecting the art, every grade level from kindergarten through adult is represented and every kind of subject from crocodiles to pencils!    The children’s area looks pretty fantastic with all this art posted, so do come by and admire the creativity of Dublin’s students.  And a special thanks to DPIE staff Amy Miller, Director Janet Lockhart and all the DPIE Board members who are so supportive of the library as an exhibit space for student art.