Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Websites I Use…

From time to time I’ll get a question along the lines of “what is the largest blade length knife I can legally carry on my person?” or “I’ve been charged with (fill in a code number here) what exactly is that?” or “I want to browse through the California Penal Code book.”  In these & similar cases I generally refer the patron to this website (  Here you can find all the California Codes updated to include the most recent complete legislative year.  You can browse into a particular code book or search within one (or more) books.  Very handy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Arroyo Book Club Selection for November…

[Medium bookjacket]The book selected for the November meeting of the Arroyo Book Club is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  This biography of Lincoln explores, in particular, his relationship with his cabinet & his co-opting of the skills and abilities of his erstwhile rivals.

Stop by the branch for a copy of the book and then join us to discuss it on November 24th at 3:00.  Everyone is welcome.

Trivia of the Week….

Our question this week ... What does hasso refer to?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Events for the Week of October 29…

Things going on at the library this week include:
  • Teen Sugar Skulls Program on Tuesday (10/30) at 4:00
  • Baby & Toddler Storytime – Special Halloween Edition – on Wednesday (10/31) at 10:30
  • Computer Basics Class on Wednesday at 12:00
  • LACMA Art Class for Teens also on Wednesday at 4:00
  • LACMA Art Class for Kids and Families on Thursday (11/1) at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (11/2) at 3:30
You can always check the searchable calendar of events on our website to keep abreast of programming at any of the branches of the Los Angeles Public Library.

TOW (Answer)...

The question is – when was the first Indian Head issued?  The answer is in 1859.  This penny does not actually have the image of an Indian head on it, rather it has a representation of Liberty wearing an Indian headdress. 

The question (and answer) came from The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins edited by Kenneth Bressett and published by Whitman in 2007.

Friday, October 26, 2012

History of Highland Park...

This “Look back through history” ( published in the Metro Herald on 1/10/85 takes a look at the history of Highland Park from its days as a part of the Rancho San Rafael to its annexation into Los Angeles.  Also mentioned are some notable locations to visit (these locations remain notable today). 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dark Currents

[Medium bookjacket]Dark Currents by Jaqueline Carey is a quick, easy read.  It is perfectly suitable for those looking for momentary diversion.  It follows the adventures of a police file clerk in a small Michigan town.  The thing is, of course, that that’s not all she is.  She is also hellspawn and working for Hel keeping paranormal beings in line.   If you’re looking to kill a couple of hours and you enjoy urban fantasy give this book a try.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Websites I Use…

One source that can be surprisingly helpful at the reference desk (and is great in any event) is the Project Gutenberg ( site.  Project Gutenberg makes free ebooks available for download.  They are free because they are out of copyright.  This has proven extremely useful on a number of occasions because the classic titles that are the focus of school assignments are often out of copyright.  I can’t remember the number of times I’ve had a student in the library, the night before they needed the book, looking for a title that was checked out.  Since they needed if for the next day (take the lecture about procrastination as a given) it was too late to see about getting a copy from another library.  In this case I always check for the book on Project Gutenberg and (if it’s there) show the student how to access and read the title either on their computer or on their ereader.  The site has saved the bacon of many a student.

Of course I also use the site to find interesting titles to put on my own ereader.  Most (but not all) books published before 1942 are out of copyright so the pool of books that are potentially available is huge.  I’d say this is a go to site for anyone who has an ereader.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Code Name Verity

Book Jacket for: Code name VerityIn Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein we have yet another very good book that is also terribly, terribly sad.  It is the story of two girls who went to war (WW2) and what happened to them.  One was a pilot and one was a secret agent.  I’m not going to go into details, I’ll just recommend you get yourself a copy and see what happened.

This is a book I would highly recommend.

Trivia of the Week….

When was the Indian Head first issued?  What do you know about it?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Events for the Week of October 22…

Things going on at the library this week include:
  • Baby & Toddler Storytime on Wednesday (10/24) at 10:30
  • LACMA Art Class for Teens also on Wednesday at 4:00
  • LACMA Art Class for Kids and Families on Thursday (10/25) at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/26) at 3:30
  • Arroyo Book Club meets on Saturday (10/27) at 3:00.  We will be discussing Watchmen by Moore
You can always check the searchable calendar of events on our website to keep abreast of programming at any of the branches of the Los Angeles Public Library.

TOW (Answer)....

To answer the question – what is a sommelier…

A sommelier is a wine waiter.  The term comes to us from the French.  The question, and answer, were found on page 403 of the Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases, edited by Jennifer Speake, published by Oxford University Press in 1997.

Friday, October 19, 2012

History of Highland Park....

Have you ever wondered about the history of the Arroyo Seco Branch Library?  Here is a newspaper article ( from the Highland Park Journal, published on 11/14/1947.  The article takes a look at the history of library services in the neighborhood and the construction of the first building built at 6145 N. Figueroa St. It includes a picture of that original building.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trivia of the Week....

This week’s question is (really very easy): what is a sommelier?

(sorry for the belatedness of this post ... I'm running a bit behind this week)

Dark Magic

[Medium bookjacket]Dark Magic by James Swain is another book that I was unable to finish.  It sounded very interesting when I picked it up… A magician, who is also psychic, works with a group of similarly talented individuals to prevent future crimes & other misfortunes.  Unfortunately, it comes across as though it were written by a 14 year old girl (not to slam 14 year old girls but I’m a bit too old and jaded for that brand of sugary naiveté).   Finally after one too many passages like
“But now he cheated, and took a tiny peek at her thoughts.  What he saw made the cold leave his bones and his heart race.  Liza loved him with all her heart, and all her soul.  If he was going to survive this, it would be with her by his side.” (p. 150)
I called it a day and gave up.  Not a book I’d recommend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TOW (Answer)....

To answer the question What is the source of the quote "never laugh at live dragons" ?

It comes from the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and is found in Chapter 12.  The question (& answer) are taken from page 700 of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations edited by Angela Partington.  The book was published by the Oxford University Press in 1992.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Teen Council / Temporary Tattoos…

Join us for our monthly Teen Council Meeting this Tuesday (10/16) at 4:00.  Teen Council is where you can go to provide your input into how the library is doing, sign up & do your volunteer hours, hang out with congenial people, etc.  This particular Teen Council meeting has the added bonus of some extra programming…. There will be a professional tattoo artist who will be treating everyone to the temporary tattoo of their choice.  We will also have the make your own pin station set up early so that if you want to make yourself a most excellent pin you can.

Teen Council meetings are open to grades 5-12.  Teens 15-18 years of age are eligible to sign up for volunteer work.  Plan to come & pass the word around.

Events for the Week of October 15…

I'm off tomorrow so I'm going to post the schedule of events for next week a bit earlier then I normally do.  So... Things going on at the library this week (the week of 10/15) include:
  • Teen Council w/ Added Air Brushed Tattoos on Tuesday (10/16) at 4:00
  • Arts & Crafts Make a Vote Pin Project on also Tuesday at 4:00 & 6:00
  • Baby & Toddler Storytime on Wednesday (10/17) at 10:30
  • LACMA Art Class for Teens also on Wednesday at 4:00
  • LACMA Art Class for Kids and Families on Thursday (10/18) at 4:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (10/19) at 3:30
  • Friends’ Book Sale on Saturday (10/20) from 10:00-2:00
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets Computer Class also on Saturday at 2:00
You can always check the searchable calendar of events on our website to keep abreast of programming at any of the branches of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Professionals

[Medium bookjacket]The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen is an interesting book.  I wound up finishing it, mainly I think because I wanted to see how it would end, but I never really liked it.  It was a well-plotted book and even well written... the problem is the characters REALLY put me off.  The book features a quartet of professional kidnappers, a hit man who’s after them because they made a mistake and kidnapped someone with some influence in the mafia and a pair of law enforcement officials.  Point of view switches among the participants.  Unfortunately, the kidnappers, who I believe the author thinks are likeable rogues, come across as incredibly self-centered sociopaths.  At no point do you want them to get away with anything and you spend all the portions of the book that are spent looking at their point of view wondering why the author’s bothering --- it doesn’t make them more sympathetic.  Throw in the author’s awkward portrayal of relationships and all in all this is not a book I’ll be recommending. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Arts & Crafts…

Stop by next Tuesday, October 16th at 6:00 for another Arts & Crafts Hour.  Join us, this time, for a get out the vote themed arts & crafts project. We'll create customized pins... lovely enough to wear anywhere... each with its own community conscience.  Bring your creativity.

This program is built on the themes of community and democracy found in the book Paradise Built in Hell (July's  Arroyo Book Club selection). This program is for people of all ages so join us -- everyone is welcome.... 

“This project is part of Searching for Democracy, an initiative of the California Council for the Humanities in partnership with the California Center for the Book and the California State Library, and made possible with funding from BayTree Foundation, the Seedlings Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

EBooks & the Library…

Do you have an eBook?  Are you aware that you can check titles out from the library that download to your eBook?  Well you can & it’s very easy.  Start by visiting the library’s eMedia page ( 

Go first to the e-Media Help link on the left hand menu bar, browse into My Help, and specify your device.  You will be presented with a step-by-step guide of the things you need to do to get started borrowing eMaterials.  (Don’t worry – it’s very easy).  By the way, if you have problems, the help feature available here is actually very comprehensive & very usable.  So far it has been able to help me answer every weird, out of the blue, question I’ve been asked by patrons.

Once you’ve figured out the process for your device you can check out up to 10 electronic items at a time.  Things you might want to know:
  • The library does not have unlimited access to each ebook.  They’re like regular books in this regard so it is possible that all the copies of a book you are interested in are checked out.  In this case you will be presented with the option of joining the waiting list.  If you join the list you will be sent an email message when it is your turn to have the item at which point you will have 4 days to log in and check it out.  You can wait for up to 10 items. 
  • If you don’t want to wade through titles that have waiting lists limit your search to those titles that are “Available Now”.  Note the Available Now radio button underneath the search box.
Finally… good news for those of you with a Nook Color or a Nook Tablet… There is now an Overdrive App that let’s you use your Nook to go to the library’s website, locate a title you’re interested in, check it out, and download it immediately to your Nook via your local WiFi connection.  No more using your computer as intermediary.  You’ll find the free app in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store (and you will need to get it from them for this to work).

If you have any eMedia questions don’t hesitate to stop by the library anytime and ask at the Information Desk.  If you want specialized one-on-one help, consider taking advantage of Drop in Computer Lab on Fridays at 3:30 – eMedia is fair game for these sessions – just bring your reader and your question(s).