Thursday, December 31, 2015

January’s Arroyo Book Club Pick….

Book Jacket for: Outlander : a novelThe Arroyo Book Club book for January is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  Outlander is a genre crossing book that can be variously read as historical fiction, fantasy/science fiction, and romance.  Let me entice you with this review from the Library Journal:
Time-travel stories that combine swashbuckling adventure, romance, and vivid historical details don't get any better than Gabaldon's now classic debut. Claire Randall and her husband Frank are taking their second honeymoon in Scotland when Claire stumbles across a mystical stone circle that whisks her back to the 18th century. There she meets the wounded clansman Jamie Fraser and unexpectedly finds shelter and even love while trying to find her way in a tumultuous historical time. VERDICT With vividly drawn, relatable characters and a respectful, loving eye for the history of the Scottish Highlands, Gabaldon's Outlander series launch is a lush, romantic epic.
Some of you may be familiar with the work from the current TV series.  In any event, stop by the library for a copy of the book and join us for discussion on January 23rd at 3:00.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Trivia of the Week...

This week’s question is what might a Native American in New Mexico use as a remedy for a backache?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Library Events in January…

(Mark your calendars accordingly)

The library has some interesting events planned in January.  I thought I’d take a minute and give you a run down so you can plan ahead.  Let’s start with the non-repeating events:

- - - - - - - - - - 
1/4 @ 4:00
Make it Mondays: Edible Jewelry
Join us for a fun craft project that you can eat.

1/9 @ 12:00
Drop in Computer Lab
Bring your questions about computers, tablets, eReaders, or other electronic devices.  We will do our best to help you figure out answers. 

1/9 from 1:00-5:00
ACA Information Table
Do you have questions about Covered California? Do you want to know if you qualify for low-cost or no-cost health insurance?  Stop in to meet with Enrollment Counselors who will talk to you face-to-face to explain your health coverage options through Covered California and help you select the best plan for your medical needs and budget.

1/11 @ 4:00
Make It Mondays: Building Block Challenge
What magnificent structure can you create?

1/19 @ 4:00
Teen Program
Come and join us for our monthly teen program.  Do something fun and share your thoughts about life & the library.

1/19 @ 6:00 
Drop in Computer Lab
Bring your questions about computers, tablets, eReaders, or other electronic devices.  We will do our best to help you figure out answers. 

1/23 from 1:00-5:00
ACA Information Table
Do you have questions about Covered California? Do you want to know if you qualify for low-cost or no-cost health insurance?  Stop in to meet with Enrollment Counselors who will talk to you face-to-face to explain your health coverage options through Covered California and help you select the best plan for your medical needs and budget.

1/23 @ 3:00
Arroyo Book Club
Join us for a lively discussion of the book Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

1/25 @ 4:00
Make It Mondays: Building Blocks
Come wow everyone with your solution to the building block challenge.

1/28 @ 2:00
Drop in Computer Lab
Bring your questions about computers, tablets, eReaders, or other electronic devices.  We will do our best to help you figure out answers. 

1/30 @ 2:00
Storytime at the Park
Join us for an outdoor storytime (weather permitting).  We will be in the park next to the library.

- - - - - - - - - -

Each month the library also has a number of ongoing classes & events.  They are:

Little Ones’ Storytime - - - Wednesdays at 10:30 & 11:30 (for the 1st two weeks, 10:30 only as of 1/20)
Little Ones’ 3 and under & their grownups are invited to join us for stories, music, & games.  We offer two sessions, pick the one that is convenient for you.  

Preschool Storytime - - - Tuesdays at 10:30 (beginning 1/19)
Get ready for kindergarten with stories, puppets, songs, stretches, and rhymes for children ages 3-5.

Baby Storytime - - -  Thursdays at 10:30 (beginning 1/21)
Bounces, rhymes and songs for prewalkers (age 0-12 months) and their caregivers.

STAR Volunteer Readers - - - Available on Tuesdays at 3:00, on Wednesdays at 3:00, on Thursdays at 3:00 & on Saturdays at 2:00
STAR readers present the fun of storytelling and reading to children one-on-one or in small groups. Kids earn a free book to keep after 3 visits. 

Drop in Computer Lab - - - Fridays at 3:30
Bring your questions about computers, tablets, eReaders, or other electronic devices.  We will do our best to help you figure out answers. 

- - - - - - - - - -

Please do not hesitate to call the library at 323-255-0537 if you have any questions or would like more information.  Remember that you can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: The Barnhart abbreviations dictionary
This week’s question was to what does NGF refer?  NGF stands for nerve growth factor and comes to us from the field of biochemistry.

The question (& answer) come from p. 177 of The Barnhart Abbreviations Dictionary edited by Barnhart and published in 1995 by John Wiley & Sons.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Events for the Week of December 27….

The library will be closing early on New Year’s Eve (5:00) and remain closed through New Year’s Day.  We will reopen on January 2.  Events going on at the library this week include…
  • Make it Monday on Monday (12/28) features a building block challenge. Starts at 4:00
  • STAR Reader on Tuesday (12/29) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab also on Tuesday at 6:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/30) --- sessions at 10:30 & 11:30
  • STAR Reader also on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Noon Year’s Eve Party for Kids on Thursday (12/31) at 11:00 (am if that wasn’t clear)

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

LAPL Reads Best of 2015 Lists…

For the past several years staff of the Los Angeles Library have compiled their favorite fiction, non-fiction, young adult, and children’s titles into annual Best of Lists.  The 2015 edition of these lists have been published.  Go to http://www.lapl.org/bestof2015 where you will find the entrance to each of the four lists and give them a look.  You’re bound to find a title that you missed that you want to read.  The listed books provide direct links to the catalog… so when you find that book that you must read you can click over and immediately place a hold.  Convenience that can’t be beat.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Armada

Book Jacket for: Armada : a novelArmada by Ernest Cline was a book that left me torn.  I enjoyed parts of it and it did keep me reading until the end but I kept getting pulled up by factual errors and its characters had very odd, and in my experience, unrealistic relationships.  The book centers on Zack Lightman, a high school senior with a dead father and a serious video game addiction.  Daydreaming in school one day Zack sees a UFO out the window.  This is not just any UFO it is the same as the ships he fights in his favorite game.  Things escalate quickly from there and soon humanity is engaged in a real all-out war with aliens in a scenario that is suspiciously like all the ones depicted in movies & games.  

So… if you like a good 80’s era cheesy movie plot and you can sit still for oddly unhuman, human relationships you might want to give this book a try.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Events for the Week of December 20….

The library will be closing early on Christmas Eve (1:00) and remain closed through Christmas Day.  We will reopen on December 26.  Events going on at the library this week include…
  • Game Day on Sunday (12/20) at 2:00
  • Make it Monday on Monday (12/21) features holiday cards. Starts at 4:00
  • STAR Reader on Tuesday (12/22) at 3:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/23) --- sessions at 10:30 & 11:30
  • STAR Reader also on Wednesday at 3:00
  • STAR Reader on Saturday (12/26) at 2:00
  • Arroyo Book Club Meeting also on Saturday at 3:00

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

TOW (& Answer)...

Book Jacket for: The Encyclopedia of religion
This week’s question was who (or what) is amma?  Amma is the supreme god of the Dogon people of Mali.  Check out the associated creation myth in the source for this question (& answer) p. 237 of Volume 1 of The Encyclopedia of Religion.  The book was published by Macmillan Publishing Company in 1987.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Eye of Zoltar

Book Jacket for: The eye of ZoltarJasper Fforde continues his Chronicles of Kazam with The Eye of Zoltar (see earlier entry at 12/10/13).  I actually think I like this one more then I liked the previous stories in the series though it’s hard to say much about it without giving away important plot points.  Our heroine, Jennifer Strange, has been tasked with finding the eye of Zoltar --- a jewel with the ability to channel wizidrical forces.  To do so she has to travel to a neighboring country known for providing hazardous vacationing experiences.  She brings with her Perkins (a wizard), Colin (a dragon), and Laura (a princess who’s been body swapped into the body of a handmaiden).  Once there they pick up a number of other companions and the arduous adventure begins.

Recommended for those with a taste for amusing fantasy adventure and while you can read this book without having to read the other entries in the series you’ll be missing out on a treat if you do.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Websites I Like…

GCF Learn Free (http://www.gcflearnfree.org/) is a site that offers online tutorials for a number of subjects.  I have personally used it with patrons seeking help with Microsoft office programs & technology more generally.  They also offer reading, math, work & career, everyday life, and mobile devices.  These are simple easy to understand lesson on basic topics for those new to a topic or seeking remedial help.

Recommended for its basic approach to helping you with the office programs alone.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Events for the Week of December 13….

It's busy this week.  Events going on at the library include…
  • CalFresh/MediCal Information Table on Sunday (12/13) from 1:00 to 5:00
  • Make it Monday on Monday (12/14) features holiday wreaths. Starts at 4:00
  • STAR Reader on Tuesday (12/15) at 3:00
  • Teen Program also on Tuesday at 4:00
  • Spanish Book Club meets on Tuesday at 6:30
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/16) --- sessions at 10:30 & 11:30
  • STAR Reader also on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Telescope Night on Wednesday --- starts at 6:00 (assuming the sky is clear)
  • STAR Reader on Thursday (12/17) at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (12/18) at 3:30
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Saturday (12/19) at 2:00
  • STAR Reader also on Saturday at 2:00

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blood of the Cosmos

Book Jacket for: Blood of the cosmosBlood of the Cosmos by Kevin J. Anderson is book 2 of the Saga of Shadows series.  The story is set in the same universe where the Saga of the Seven Suns took place.  In this volume we find the humans & Ildirans continuing the fight against the Shana Rei (aliens intent on destroying all life) and their robot allies.  Anderson, as is his habit, tells the story by hopping around from character to character.  The technique plausibly allows us to follow events across a galaxy wide setting.

The story is quite entertaining and ends (as you’d expect a middle series book to) with a cliffhanger.  Although you could definitely read the book without having read the Seven Suns series you will need to have read book 1 of this series --- The Dark Between the Stars.  The series is recommended for lovers of good old fashioned space opera.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TOW (& Answer)...

This week’s question was what is the Miller Standard?  The Miller Standard refers to the test for obscenity in America.  The standard demands 
Book Jacket for: The encyclopedia of censorship“that the basic guidelines must be (a) whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interest; (b) whether the work depicts of describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law…”
The question (& answer) were taken from p. 189 of The Encyclopedia of Censorship by Jonathon Green.  The book was published in 1990 by Facts on File, Inc.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December’s eResource of the Month….

December’s eResource is FindMyPast.com.  FindMyPast.com is a genealogical research tool specializing in British records.  It features a large collection of Irish documents as well as parish documents.  Parish documents include baptism, marriage, and burial records and coverage dates back to 1538.  Also included are passenger lists of ships leaving the UK, British Army records, and a collection of local records that include school, admissions, workhouse registers, and apprenticeship records.

This particular resource is one that is available ONLY from computers at the Central Library so mosey on down and check it out.  You'll find their hours, directions, and other details here: http://www.lapl.org/branches/central-library.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Events for the Week of December 6….

Events going on at the library this week include…
  • Make it Monday on Monday (12/7) features building blocks. Starts at 4:00
  • STAR Reader on Tuesday (12/8) at 3:00
  • Little Ones’ Storytime on Wednesday (12/9) --- sessions at 10:30 & 11:30
  • STAR Reader also on Wednesday at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Thursday (12/10) at 12:00
  • STAR Reader also on Thursday at 3:00
  • Drop in Computer Lab on Friday (12/11) at 3:30
  • ACA Information Table on Saturday (12/12) from 10:00-2:00
  • STAR Reader also on Saturday at 2:00

You can always check the Branch Page (http://www.lapl.org/branches/arroyo-seco) on the LAPL website for upcoming events or check out the Master Calendar (http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/calendar) where you can search for something specific across multiple branches.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dietland

Book Jacket for: DietlandIn Dietland by Sarai Walker we meet Plum Kettle.  Plum works for a girls’ magazine answering emails sent to the editor Kitty.  Plum is a large woman who has spent her life constantly fighting her weight.  As the book opens she is looking forward to her scheduled stomach stapling and assuming that that operation will solve all her problems.  Things begin to change when Plum notices that she is being followed.  This encounter soon leads to her introduction to a cadre of women who commence changing Plum and her conception of beautiful as well as her expectations of the world.  In the background of the story (& intertwined in some ways) there is a vigilante group that is punishing men (& some women) who have seriously harmed women.  All in all an interesting book and an entertaining read though the author gets a bit carried away from time to time and I wish the vigilantes had proven to be more substantive.

Recommended.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Websites I Like…

If you’ve a fondness for comics and would enjoy perusing the crazy “behind the stacks” antics of working in a library take a look at the comic Unshelved (http://www.unshelved.com/) by Ambaum & Barnes.  Check it out for an amusing (& sometimes unfortunately) true to life tale of working in a library.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December’s Arroyo Book Club Pick….

Book Jacket for: Death by black hole : and other cosmic quandariesThe December Arroyo Book Club pick is Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Although we’ve read science books before I don’t think we’ve every explored the realms of astronomy & physics --- which this book does.  Let me tempt you with the book’s description:
“Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics. The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. "Holy Wars" examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. "The Search for Life in the Universe" explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And "Hollywood Nights" assails the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right.
Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.”

This time around I would like you to read the book with paper and pen in hand and note down discussion questions as you read.  Bring your questions with you and we will take turns using our own questions to direct the conversation.

Stop by the library for a copy of the book and plan to join us for discussion on December 26 at 3:00.