Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blended Genres

Library Journal had an interesting article this month called "Crossing Boundaries: The Pleasures of Blended Genres". In it, the editor & members of the 2010–11 Reading List Council (RUSA’s committee to select the best genre titles of the year) recommend 6 novels that "while too blended to exemplify the best of a genre, undoubtedly offer readers of all genres great ­pleasure".

The novels are:

The City & the City by China Miéville ("fantasy novel–cum–hard-boiled detective story")

Mister Slaughter* by Robert McCammon ("part thriller, part historical fiction, and part horror tale", this is McCammon’s third Colonial adventure involving Matthew Corbette-the other 2 are Speaks the Nightbird & The Queen of Bedlam)

Who Fears Death* by Nnedi Okorafor ("Quests and magical apprenticeships are familiar fantasy elements, but this moving and unique novel also features strong touches of literary fiction and a far-future setting more often found in SF.")

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni ("The scholarly blending of biblical and mythical lore as well as historical and political references greatly enriches this contemporary epic fantasy while the multilayered plot and sustained suspense also make it an adrenaline-paced thriller.")

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake ("blending women’s and historical fiction")

The Passage by Justin Cronin ("a grand mix of horror, apocalyptic SF, and thriller")

Have you read any good books lately that blended genres?

Or, for the list of the top genre titles of 2011, check out the RUSABlog (RUSA is the American Library Association's Reference & User Services Association).

*not in the ABC Libraries' catalog

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yes, You Can Write a Script in April!

From the website: "Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or 'best' scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner's Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact."

The Info

Who: You and everyone you know. No experience required.

What: 100 pages of original scripted material in 30 days. (Screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels are all welcome.)

When: April 1 - 30. Every year. Mark your calendars.

Where: Online and in person (if you want!). Hang out in the forums, join your fellow participants at write-ins, and make friends by adding writing buddies online.

Why: Because you have a story to tell. Because you want a creative challenge. Because you’ll be disappointed if you missed out on the adventure. Because you need to make time for you.

How: Sign up. Tell everyone that you are in the Frenzy. Clear your calendar. (U.S. participants: Get your taxes done now!) Start some wrist exercises. Have fun!

The 5 Basic Rules of Script Frenzy

1) To be crowned an official Script Frenzy winner, you must write a script (or multiple scripts) of at least 100 total pages and verify this tally on

2) You may write individually or with a partner. Writing teams will have a 100-page total goal for their co-written script or scripts.

3) Script writing may begin no earlier than 12:00:01 AM on April 1 and must cease no later than 11:59:59 PM on April 30, local time.

4) You may write screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, comic book and graphic novel scripts, adaptations of novels, or any other type of script your heart desires.

5) You must, at some point, have ridiculous amounts of fun.

For books on writing screenplays, try a subject search in the library catalog under Motion Picture Authorship or Television Authorship. For tips on creating a graphic novel, check under Graphic Novels - Authorship.

There will be 3 Script Frenzy write-ins at the Cherry Hills Library on Saturdays in April: on the 16th, 23rd & 30th, from 2-5 p.m. Join us if you're looking for a place to write or a place to meet with other Script Frenzy participants for help getting started, to discuss plot problems, or just get a little support!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free Online Courses

I know the word "free" often makes us all sit up and take notice-after all, who doesn't like being able to get something for nothing? Well, I have discovered that there are a plethora (I have loved that word ever since I first heard it spoken by El Guapo in The Three Amigos) of free online education courses from the article, "How to Go to College for Free", in Reader's Digest. The list in the article was not extensive, but I took the author's advice and searched the web for "Free Online Courses" and was blown away by the number of educational opportunities that are available to anyone willing to take the time to devote to expanding their knowledge.

First, I must mention the library has a huge CD and DVD collection of free courses that can be found by typing in "The Great Courses" as a keyword search in the catalog. At this time there are over 493 items! Some of the selections we have are, "The Origin of Civilization", "The Medieval World" and "Building Great Sentences" to name a few.

There are also databases through the library's Resource Center that customers can access using their library card from their home computer. Some of the great learning tools you can use are:

--The Learning Express Library has hundreds of tests that can be taken to brush up on skills for college or different careers that require tests such as police officers, civil service, or nursing.

--Our BYKI language database allows you to practice on 80 different languages.

--The Global Road Warrior allows you to study different countries and cultures

--and, our huge collection of Info-Trac databases have thousands of articles from newspapers, journals, and magazines on everything from pop-culture to physics.

The author of the Reader's Digest article, David Hochman, really pumped up my geek factor and through my own Google search I found so many websites dedicated to providing open courseware that I couldn't wait to try them all. I managed to contain my enthusiasm and whittled my ever-growing list to what I think are some of the best, which are: One of the best websites out there! Not only is there access to free educational courses, but there are hundreds of links to audiobooks, podcasts, and over 300 hundred movies that you can watch online. Click the link on the right side of the page under the caption "Videos and Movies", then click "Free Movies Online". You can watch classics such as Bringing Up Baby, Moby Dick or Yellow Submarine. The "Intelligent Videos" link will take you to an A-Z listing of documentary websites, some of which include the "Australian Screen Archive", the "Europa Film Treasures" or "Snagfilms", which has a huge offering of films. is a wonderful learning site for people of all ages. It has math lessons ranging from developmental math to trigonometry. Science lessons to include, chemistry, biology and cosmology. All done in video no less! Underneath the video it will have links to download or get exercises. This site has courses from art to writing, with many of the them taught by some of the country's top scholars, such as Donald Kagan from Yale, Walter Lewin from MIT and Michael Sandel from Harvard. has hundreds of educational puzzles-math games, word games, strategy games and a section on reference and resource, plus daily puzzles and even a section for juniors.

Also, for you Apple enthusiasts out there that may not have yet run across iTunesU, this is another great application that can be used to learn online and can be accessed right from your device or on your computer through the iTunes software.

These are just a small sampling of places on the internet where you can get free courses to help further your education or to help enrich your life, so the next time someone asks if you know what a quasar is or how the Hawaiian islands were formed you will be able to answer without a blank look on your face!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is upon us!

Ignore for the moment the fact that there was ice in the bird waterer last week, and that we may still get a freeze well into April.

Gardener’s spring is upon us, that time when the buds are swelling, the earthworms are shallow under the mulch, and gardeners get distracted if they spend too much time indoors on the weekends. Some of the fruit trees are already in bloom (and we cross our fingers that they won’t get nipped by a late freeze), many bulbs are starting to emerge, and a fine winter crop of gardening catalogs are awaiting attention.

At the Libraries, we are seeing many gardening books checking out as people plan their gardens. We are also seeing new and increasing interest in what has come to be called mini-farming – what one book* defines as “becoming more economically independent on a small holding.” Another name for mini-farming is backyard homesteading, which reflects the pioneer spirit and desire for independence that leads people to grow their own food.

Mini-farming encompasses not only high-yield vegetable gardening but also raising chickens and other livestock, food preservation, disaster preparedness, and self-reliant living – all of the old-timey rural skills that were once common across America.

To help people brush up on these skills or learn them anew, your library has developed a new resource: the Mini-Farming LibGuide (LibraryGuide).
In the Mini-Farming LibGuide you will find selected library items and links to useful City of Albuquerque and Extension Service resources. Follow the helpful list of links on related subjects to search your library’s Encore search & discovery engine for titles on those subjects.

Here are a few of those subjects:

biodynamic gardeningbuild a chicken coop
canning foodcommunity gardens
country recipesdisaster preparednessfood preservationgrowing your own foodkitchen gardens
old-fashioned recipesraised bed gardeningraising chickensrural home economicsself-reliant living
self-sufficiencysustainable gardeningurban farming

The Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System is here to help you in your quest to grow good food for your family, and make the most of your land!
* The Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm & Garden Log Book by John Jeavons, J. Mogador Griffin and Robin Leler

Written by Scott, ABCLS Staff Member.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Looking for new movies? New music?

We get a lot of questions about borrowing media, especially DVDs & music CDs. How many can you check out on one card? (Ten DVDs. Up to 15 audiobooks & music CDs, combined.) How do you find them? (Most non-documentary films are filed by title. Non-fiction movies & music CDs are filed by call number.) Do you have a list of all the movies at this branch? (No. You can look up in the catalog a featured list of all the movies in the system, but it's a long list. You can do a keyword search with the word "videorecording" & limit to a branch instead of "view entire collection", but it's still pretty unwieldy for browsing purposes.)

To find movies in the catalog, you can search by title, director, & actors, or subject headings such as "Comedy films". To find music in the catalog, you can search by artist name, album title, song title, or subject headings like "Rock music". Also check out our Search Tips for more catalog searching tricks, or just stop by any Reference Desk & ask for assistance.

A lot of times, though, you're probably wondering if ABC Libraries have the latest blockbuster, an indie film you missed because it only showed here for a week, or an album by a band you just heard on the radio. Something that just won an Oscar or a Grammy. In short, you want to know what's new. What the library system just added.

Now you can! We now have New on DVD & New Music guides that customers can access to see what the library system just ordered. New on DVD will feature the latest adult & children's movies that we've acquired, updated monthly. New Music shows you the music CDs that ABC Libraries have ordered in 2011, divided into genres like "Pop/Rock" & "Latin/World". The New Music guide will also be updated monthly, so keep checking back for new titles!

We hope you enjoy these new guides. Don't forget, you can also suggest a purchase if there's an item (book, DVD, or CD) that you would like to suggest! (This is not a guarantee that it will be purchased.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Publishing Pie: An Author's View

An interesting PowerPoint presentation by one of our literary heroes, Margaret Atwood.

Visit her Margaret Atwood: Year of the Flood blog to read more about it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Furniture for Bibliophiles

What reader could not use this chair? Available from Glasgow's Timorous Beasties for only, um, £4,360.84. La Bibliochaise is made of wood & leather, water varnished in black and white as standard. (Other colours are available upon request.) La Bibliochaise can hold 5 meters of books.

Or maybe you'd prefer The Bookinist?
How about the Dondola?

Also check out: This Into That, for furniture made of books; the Reading furniture by Remy van Oers; the pyramidal shelf; the Book Nest Sofa; or the Bookseat. Or, try making your own! Check the catalog under the subject heading Furniture making.

If you can afford any of the pieces mentioned in this article, perhaps you'd like to drop in at New York City's concept luxury boutique hotel, Library Hotel. "Each of the ten guestroom floors at the Library Hotel in New York City are dedicated to one of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System: Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion." Here's their Writers Den/Bookmarks Lounge:

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Japan Disaster

There is a lot of news out there about Japan, & abcreads does not purport to be expert on the situation, but we do offer some links of interest.

Parents! In the wake of the news about Japan, are your kids asking you about natural disasters? You can find books @ your library to teach them about earthquakes & tsunamis, or consider checking out Good Answers to Tough Questions about Disasters by Joy Berry. Adults might also want to read about Disaster relief.

For more information on Japan, you could search the catalog, check out the library's database Global Road Warrior or visit the CIA-World Factbook.

Also consider:

Japan tsunami - before and after pictures
These GeoEye satellite photographs give an idea of the destruction in the wake of the tsunami along Japan's coastline.

Japan earthquake: Aid flows in from across the world
Even the mayor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar City told Reuters on Sunday the city is donating $50,000 to the "sisters and brothers" of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami. "I know $50,000 is not a lot of money for a country like Japan but it is a show of appreciation from the Kandahar people," said Kandahar Mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi.

Media: World must learn lessons from Japan disaster

Relief options

Japan Disaster Relief: Where to Give
A list of organizations contributing to the relief effort. You can even text to donate!

Google Crisis Response

Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake

To Help Animals in Japan:
There are several organizations that will take your donations to help the animals affected by the devastation in Japan. Go to the Conscious Cat website to find the following organizations: World Vets, American Humane Association's Red Star Animals Emergency Services, The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, The Animal Refuge Kansai, Japan Cat Network with Heart Tokushima and Animals Friends Niigata which has formed the Japan Animal Rescue and Support, and finally, the Animal Miracle Network Foundation.

Miscellaneous science

Quake Moves Japan Closer to U.S. and Alters Earth’s Spin

Japan Earthquake: Doomsday? Or Just a Restless Earth?
Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Haiti: Scientists Say No, There's Not a Trend; Read Why

Why earthquake-prone Japan relies on nuclear power

The National Library of Medicine has resources that may help with understanding the health issues related to the devastating Japan earthquake, tsunami and possible nuclear power plant disruptions. Resources from NLM, US federal agencies, and other key resources are listed on the new topic page “Disasters in Japan 2011”.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Literary Links

10 Literary Novels for Genre Readers
"There are plenty of guides to gateway books for literary readers to discover SF/F, but very few to introduce primarily genre readers to literary works they would find enjoyable. And so, in the spirit of reconciliation, I've compiled this short list of books that fill the gap between speculative and so called realistic fiction."

The Indie Sci-Fi & Fantasy Bestseller List (February 23rd)

2010 Agatha Awards Nominees
The 2010 Agatha Awards will be given for materials first published in the United States by a living author during the calendar year 2010 (January 1-December 31), either in hardcover, as a paperback original, or e-published by an e-publishing firm. The Agatha Awards honor the "traditional mystery."

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will
"Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'"

Books That Rocked Your World at 16 But Fall Flat Now
"[T]hese are a few of the books that knocked you off the roof when you were a kid, that fall flat to re-read right now (plus a few suggestions on grown-up alternatives)."

Cult Books That Need to Be Adapted for the Big Screen
"It’s been a big few weeks for cult novels getting their own film adaptations. A New Yorker profile of Guillermo del Toro earlier this month provided a window into the preparations for the director’s version of the H.P. Lovecraft novella At the Mountains of Madness. Over the weekend, we got out first glimpse at the unintentionally hilarious-looking, Tea Party-approved Atlas Shrugged movie. And yesterday, the news broke that Michel Gondry is taking on Ubik, one of Philip K. Dick’s weirdest books. All of that got us thinking about some of our favorite cult novels that are dying for big-screen adaptations. Check them out, and add your own..."

Fictional Feasts: Mouth-Watering Moments of Literary Gastronomy
From turducken to hot chocolate with chicken sandwiches.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Science Corner: Best Sci-Tech Books of 2010

Big science is the term given to those global, high-tech, multi­laboratory, billion-dollar research enterprises that tackle the very frontiers of scientific knowledge. Two of the largest Big Science initiatives ever undertaken are the Human Genome Project and the construction of the CERN nuclear research particle ­accelerator. While the advanced research flows from these projects into scientific journals and technical papers, the basic concepts and practical implications are finding their way into popular science literature, as [this] list...proves.
~Gregg Sapp, "Best Sci-Tech Books 2010"


The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century by Dickson Despommier


Pandora's Seed: The Unforseen Cost of Civilization by Spencer Wells


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean


The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow


How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate by Jeff Goodell


The Story of Stuff: How our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health--and a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard with Ariane Conrad


The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine by Francis S. Collins

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee


The Science of Liberty by Timothy Ferris


Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife


The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant


Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg


How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like by Paul Bloom


Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery by Stephen J. Pyne

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach


Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives by Thomas French

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Americans in Paris 1903-1939 by George Wickes

If you are interested in Paris: The Luminous Years, but not sure what that period entails, this is the book for you. Americans in Paris, written in 1969, is a wonderfully informative guide to the people, the places, & the artistic movements of this era, although it might well be subtitled Who Gertrude Stein Knew (the author is either a big fan or just got a lot of his stories from her writings).

The book is split into sections, including "E. E. Cummings & the Great War" & "Man Ray, Dada & Surrealism". Each section begins with a brief timeline. The section "Ernest Hemingway in Montparnasse" includes a lot of details of the "little magazines" that were so influential during this period. "Virgil Thomson & Other Musical Saints" has a lot of information about Les Six, Nadia Boulanger, & Stravinsky. I was also thrilled to find out from "Henry Miller Down & Out in Paris" that he arrived in Paris in early 1930, so now I can include Henry Miller in my reading challenge books this year!

I did question that the book contains a chapter about George Antheil, a young composer whose early promise never really came to fruition, but only briefly mentions Isadora Duncan, one of the most famous American expatriates from that time, but that was really my only caveat. I'm not sure who George Wickes is (I found George Wickes, professor in the department of English at the University of Oregon in Eugene, listed online-however, this book was not in his bibliography), but he's penned a really interesting study of the arts in Paris from 1903-1939. Sometimes literary criticism, sometimes historical, sometimes a little bit gossipy, Americans in Paris was an entertaining read.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meet Some Amazing Women in March!

Sometimes you have the time to savor a novel or a juicy non-fiction title, but other times you just want something that you can devour in quick bites whenever you have a few free minutes. Collective biographies are great if you enjoy meeting a variety of fascinating people. In honor of Women’s History Month, here are some books that contain collections of short sketches about interesting women. And if any of these women pique your interest and you want to learn more about them, check to see if we have a full length biography. Some of these books may be shelved in the children’s section, but don’t let that dissuade you. You won’t want to miss out on meeting these outrageous, uppity women.

If you want to meet some of the most famous and influential women who have ever lived, check out Herstory: Women Who Changed the World or Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought).

Perhaps you would like to meet some of the lesser known, more eccentric women of history. Then you should check out a book in the “Uppity Women” series or the “Outrageous Women” series. The “Uppity Women” books are written for adults and include Uppity Women of Ancient Times, Uppity Women of Medieval Times, Uppity Women of the Renaissance and Uppity Women of the New World. The “Outrageous Women” books are written for a younger audience (but still well worth a look for grownups) and include Outrageous Women of Ancient Times, Outrageous Women of the Middle Ages, Outrageous Women of Colonial America and Outrageous Women of Civil War Times.

If you are in the mood for tales of adventure and daring, check out these tales of explorers and trail blazers: No Place For a Lady: Tales of Adventurous Women Travelers; Women of the World: Women Travelers and Explorers; Off the Beaten Track: Three Centuries of Women Travelers; Women Explorers of the Mountains; Women Explorers of the Air and Women Explorers of the World.

And if you would like a tale of a brave and innovative woman to share with a child this month, check out one of these excellent picture book biographies: Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa; Alice Ramsey’s Grand Adventure; Mother to Tigers; Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman and Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel.

You won’t regret taking a few minutes to meet these amazing women.

Written by Laura of the Erna Fergusson Library staff.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Brave New World: Dystopian Fiction and Film

Perhaps you may have noticed the tremendous amount of post-apocalyptic books, movies, and video games available. Why the upsurge in these depressing views of the future? Theories range from the inundation of information in our lives, 24 hours a day from around the globe, to our increasingly public digital lives, now available to anyone, including the government, on the internet. Pessimistically, the world is going to implode, explode, or become a mass experiment by some government or another.

Whatever the cause for these views, the end result of this media trend is not necessarily negative. Teens report feeling more aware of how good they really have it: iPods, Facebook, and family, but also medicine, law, and SHOWERS. Another upside to any apocalypse paranoia is an excuse to start learning old fashioned skills like sewing, canning, and survivalism.

The name for this genre, Dystopia, comes from Thomas More's use of Utopia, meaning nowhere in Latin, and the Latin prefix dys, meaning bad. If you want to escape the relative calm and stability of the present, check out these dystopian offerings:

1984,by George Orwell
Anthem, by Ayn Rand
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
Shades of Gray, by Jasper Fforde

Blade Runner
Children of Men
A Clockwork Orange
I am Legend
Mad Max
Minority Report

Friday, March 4, 2011

ABC Libraries' International Collection

In 2009, voters approved a City GO Bond to fund library materials for the International District, thanks to a campaign spearheaded by Rey Garduño, Albuquerque's City Councilor for District 6. In February, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries unveiled the new collection of materials printed in several international languages.

ABC Libraries is proud to launch this fabulous new collection, featuring materials for both adults and children, written in Spanish, French, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin Chinese languages. The collection was unveiled at San Pedro Library, but they will float to other branches. If you don't see the materials at your branch, check the catalog & place holds! Look for the blue globe on the spine.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

E-book readers--what are your rights?

Do E-Book Users Need a Bill of Rights? (Librarians Think So) -- from the New York Times

HarperCollins, a large publisher, has placed new restrictions on e-book lending--a library that has licensed a title may only loan it 26 times before the file ceases to operate, and the library must buy the title again. This has caused an explosion of conversation about the nature of the medium, the rights of buyers, and the rights of the copyright holders.

On the side of the borrowers, e-books cost roughly the same--to us--as hardcovers, plus some maintenance fees. The only limit on a hardcover is how many circulations it can take before it falls apart (generally more than twenty-six). Is it fair or reasonable to charge several times for an electronic copy? And what about the DRM (Digital Rights Management) software, which is already limiting ownership on the part of the buyer? People have already put money down on their readers, and their tax money has already bought the book once. Shouldn't that be the property of the stakeholders, and not a capriciously loaned item, to be recalled at the previous owner's whim... possibly before the hold list has even been exhausted?

On the side of the creators and publishers, digital formats are far easier to copy and distribute widely--with no loss of quality--than traditional paper formats, which makes piracy inevitable. Futher, paper copies are often bought in bulk, which means paying for several copies, anyway, and some, due to accidents or malice, won't make even close to twenty-six circulations before a replacement becomes necessary--not a danger with e-books. Publishers are already in financial trouble... if they can't have some way to bring in profits, how can they stay in business and pay their authors? (Not every author gets Stephen King sized advances; most can't give up their day jobs.) If intellectual property can't be held in some manner--never mind the draconian measures being proposed in some quarters; this is a matter of any control at all--then how can creators be fairly compensated for their work?

Where do you stand? What are your thoughts on this subject? The library would very much like to know!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ask Us!

If you've been to the ABC Libraries' home page or one of the branch library pages, you've probably seen a box like the ones pictured above. Perhaps you've wondered how to use them, or why. The Need something today? box will do a keyword search limited to the branch page you're searching from, but you can ask pretty much any question using the Ask Us! box. It's like having a reference librarian on call!

In case you haven’t had a chance to take advantage of Ask Us! yet, here’s how it works. As you type in a question, you will see a menu of similar questions that have already been answered. Click on one of the menu questions and you will get the answer right away. This is great for the basic questions like “What do I do if I lose my library card?” or “What does error message OXC00D2711 mean?”

If the question hasn’t been asked yet, you can provide your email address and submit the question, and you will get an email when as soon as a librarian finds the answer. Or, text a question to 505-819-3563 and we'll send you an answer via SMS! (If you want to call us, use 505-768-5141, or call 311.) Currently, 40% of questions are answered within an hour. Over 90% are answered within a day. Once the question is answered, it becomes part of the public database, so the next person to ask it will find the answer instantly-unless it is a question about a specific account, request for an obituary, or other inquiries of a sensitive nature.

What kind of questions have we answered? Here’s a sample of recent ones:

--Can I transfer books to a closer library?
--What is the average temperature for the month of March?
--Can my child read to a dog at Griegos or North Valley?
--Does the History of Bedford,etc, counties PA [974.8/History] contain an account of the group from Lewistown who migrated to Everett about 1860-1870.
--Do you have old Albuquerque phone directories?
--How can I reach Doctor Oz TV online?