Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Library Tour: San Pedro Branch

From the homage to Diary of a Wimpy Kid in the children's room.

San Pedro is a library that is serious about literacy.  Home to the library system's International Collection, one of the few libraries to feature Storytime for Grownups as well as the more traditional storytime for children, San Pedro ("La República Internacional de San Pedro Sur" on your Summer Reading passport) invites you to join them for entertainment & information all summer long!

San Pedro Library is located at 5600 Trumbull SE-for directions by car or bus, visit the library website. The library has 17 public computers, including two in the children's room. San Pedro also offers many of the standard amenities of the ABC Libraries' branches: fax service; voter registration forms, None for the Road DVDs, & bus schedules are all available, but the branch does not have a meeting room or study rooms. San Pedro does have a magazine swap & accepts donations in their front lobby!

San Pedro is a compact library that fits a lot into its small space! In February,  Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries and Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño dedicated the system's new International Collection at San Pedro, where much of it is still housed.  Previously, the ABC Libraries catalog had Spanish & some Vietnamese titles, but in 2009 voters approved a City GO Bond to fund library materials for the International District that included books in Spanish, French, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin languages. Place a hold on these items, or, better yet, stop by & browse!

San Pedro Library also has a thriving children's section. There are regular storytimes on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. featuring Books and Stories with Digby Bobcat and Book Mark & there are fun displays, including one dedicated to science fair projects.  This branch also keeps puzzles on hand for kids to play with while they're in the building.

Digby's publicity photo & some fan mail for Book Mark!

Our Summer Reading program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias", kicks off with a bang at the San Pedro Library! On Saturday, June 4th, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., there will be stories, games, treats, & a sidewalk art festival. Book Mark will be reading noodlehead stories, stories which "often rely on the 'academically-challenged' to do something so contrary to what is expected that it elicits a laugh...the story often turns, when it is the noodlehead that comes out the winner in the end."  Later in the summer, you can stop by for a variety of events for children, teens, & adults, including, on June 30th, a workshop for teens with a theatrical flair, Acting 1-Basics of Acting. San Pedro staff will be leading this session, using scenes from Macbeth! There will also be Every Child Ready to Read storytimes & a visit on June 22nd from master storyteller Joe Hayes.  Check out the San Pedro branch website for more information on programs, staff picks, & even science project help!

Scooby wants to see your face in the place!

Besides checking out books & programs at San Pedro Library, there are ample reasons to pay a visit to the area! The New Mexico Veterans' Memorial is about half a mile away. The Highland Pool is at San Mateo SE between Zuni and Central, across the street from Wal-Mart. If the kids need to blow off some steam before the library visit, there's Jack and Jill Park just down the street at San Pedro & Bell-with a playground & candy canes for decoration! You can tempt your tummy at Giovanni's Pizzeria (you won't regret it-I speak from experience) or Pho # 1 (ditto), or, if you want some treats to take home, Talin Market is not far away.

Stop by San Pedro Library this summer & get a stamp on your Summer Reading passport! If you have have visited at least four countries (libraries), you will be given a “World Traveler” entry form to fill out, & you will be entered to win a prize at the end of the summer! Meanwhile, we'll see you in the funny pages!

Handmade sign by Book Mark!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Library Tour: South Broadway Branch

The South Broadway Library, also known as the Frances Parrish Library, is located at 1025 Broadway SE, part of the South Broadway Cultural Center. You can find driving & bus directions on the library webpage. The branch, in its current incarnation, was built in 1994.The South Broadway Library was originally conceived as a Model Cities library, designed to serve the unique community needs of the area. It was also designed to be very informal, an antithesis to the other library in the area, Main, even having a bicycle repair shop. However, as the cultural activites were split off into the Cultural Center, the South Broadway Library is now a more familiar library experience.

South Broadway has many of the services that are ABC Libraries' standards, such as public computers, a copier, fax services, and Fiction to Go! In addition, as part of the South Broadway Cultural Center, there is an art gallery, a multipurpose space, and a theater. South Broadway Library regularly schedules family films in this theater. You can take a virtual tour of the Cultural Center online!

South Broadway currently has on display art objects from the New Mexico Wood Turners. They will be doing a demonstration on June 8th. The library also acts as an extension of the South Broadway gallery space, so be sure to take a look at the current exhibit.

Some of the visual pleasures of South Broadway.

During this year's summer reading program, South Broadway has a lot going on. In addition to their kick-off party on Friday, June 3rd from 10 a.m. - noon, events at the branch will include a workshop on Japanese flower arranging, a Giant Coloring Book event, and a Sock Monkey workshop.

In addition to the great things scheduled for the Summer Reading program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias", South Broadway offers a regular storytime, a Mystery Lover's book club, and computer classes. Check out the branch webpage for more details on these events.

While you are in the South Broadway area, consider a trip to Burritos Alinstante (a locally owned family operated New Mexican restaurant since 1989!) or check out the authentic Mexican food at Mujeres en Accion, where every day is a fiesta-both are down the street from the library;  the Barelas Railroad Park Softball field is a quick hop, skip & a jump away; & there are several parks nearby, including the South Broadway Park next door (it has a playground, soccer field, & 2 picnic tables!).

South Broadway has created a printable monthly calendar of all their June & July programs & events...be sure & check it out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25,1977-A Red Letter Day for the Geeks of the World!

Yes, folks, it's the anniversary of the premiere of Star Wars: A New Hope.  Did you stand in line for hours to catch that first glimpse of the Star Destroyer going across that giant screen? Did your eyes widen, your pulse race?  Were you aware that you were part of something that would become a worldwide phenomenon?  From that day forward, Star Wars became ingrained in our hearts and culture.  Enjoy this clip of the trailer and take yourself back to that magical day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Library Tour: Tony Hillerman Branch

When you drive up to Tony Hillerman Library, you can smell roses.  Why, you might ask?  Because the library is itself nestled amidst the rose beds of the Albuquerque Rose Garden.  In fact, library & garden share an entwined history-one might even say they have grown on the same trellis! In 1957, the library (then called Prospect Park) opened; in 1962, the planting of the west section of the Rose Garden began. Since then, the library has been renovated & renamed twice, & the New Rose Garden was opened in 1996.  It's a real Albuquerque beauty spot, &, once you check out your items from the library, you can sit outside on one of the many benches & breathe in the rose scent while you read or relax. On your Summer Reading passport, Hillerman Library has adopted the moniker Rose Island-in homage to the garden but also to their shape, an island (it is on a separate, irregularly shaped block) in the neighborhood.

From the Google Map of the area.
Tony Hillerman Library is located at 8205 Apache NE, located behind the Hoffmantown Shopping Center at the intersection of Wyoming Blvd and Menaul Blvd. on Apache Street NE.-visit the library website for driving directions & bus routes. The library offers many of the ABC Libraries' typical amenities-there are 20 public computers available, a fax service, Fiction to Go (slightly used, recently published fiction titles for sale-$2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks) & materials such as voter registration forms & bus schedules can be picked up here. This branch also offers a Free Magazine Swap! Hillerman Library has 2 study rooms for public use, but no community room.

Inside, the library is bright & airy. Expect to find, in the central area by the Information Desk, monthly "Armchair Adventures" displays.  Each month, these displays of fiction & non-fiction will take you to a different country!  The glass display case by the check-out will feature something related to the "Armchair Adventures" display.  Being an Anglophile, I counted myself lucky to be visiting when England was the country on display, & the case featured some lovely teacups. For Summer Reading, visitors will be able to browse the Novel Destinations display as well, with a collection of books about very interesting places. Also in this area, looking towards the children & teen area, you can see some delightful glass art by Christelé.

Speaking of the children & teen area, you will not want to miss the fun decorations here!  The walls are dotted with many handmade masks (leftover from a past program I believe) & there are cozy places to sit (including these cool cubbies on wheels where you can snuggle with a book & a fuzzy creature) & lots of bright colors.

Of course, while you are at the Tony Hillerman branch, you will not want to miss the displays dedicated to Mr. Hillerman himself!  This branch, which started out as Prospect Park & then in the '80s was renamed the Wyoming Library, became the Tony Hillerman Library in 2008, as this was the library used by the Hillermans who lived nearby on Texas Street. The library's webpage has a tribute page where you can find links to books & information about Tony Hillerman; inside the building, you can browse titles & memorabilia.

Our Summer Reading program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias", is right around the corner, & Hillerman Library has a lot of treats in store for you, beginning on Saturday, June 4th, with their kick-off event, Explore the Sun!  This event will include a Special Solar Storytime, observing the sun with telescopes, meeting local solar scientists & astronomers, a chance to make your own sun dial, & more! Another fabulous summer program offering will be the One Planet, Many Puppets: Storytelling with Puppets and Masks, which is a free 7-week workshop for kids & teens 6-16. In this workshop, participants will explore puppetry traditions around the world while constructing puppets, creating characters, and developing scenes to perform.

Hillerman storytime regulars will recognize Vicky (above, with her puppets)!  You won't find her at storytime during Summer Reading, however-instead, she'll be leading the Puppet Workshop! Read more about Vicky's storytimes on her blog, Paper Plate Muse.

But that's not all that's going on at Hillerman Library! Visit the library web page to find out about all of this branch's events, which include the Stitching Club on Tuesdays, the Who Dunnit? Mystery Book Group, a variety of computer classes, & the Read to the Dogs program (monthly on the second Saturday).

If all these fun things to do at the library & hanging out in the Rose Garden are not enough incentive to pay a call on the Tony Hillerman branch, consider some other local attractions: if you need to do a little shopping, both the Hoffmantown Shopping Center & the Wyoming Mall are nearby; for a outdoor fun, there are 3 parks-Hoffman, Taylor, & Cutler-in the vicinity; & if you need a snack, you can't go wrong with Charlie's Front & Back Door, Le Chantilly, & Relish.  If you're an audiophile, don't miss Charley's 33s & CDs, just down Menaul-they have a great selection.

Lastly but certainly not leastly, Hillerman Library may be the only branch in the system that has this handy print magnifier, for those of you who might not want to strain your eyes on teeny tiny print!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obits & Tidbits

Grief, like Guilt, rushes in and talks apace.
~Stevie Smith

I am a big fan of shows like Six Feet Under & Bones. I like the macabre art of Edward Gorey.  I like to read obituaries. Someday I would like to visit Philadelphia's Mütter Museum, the museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, where exhibits include "the Chevalier Jackson Collection of Foreign Bodies Removed from the Food & Air Passages". I am drawn to the disturbing art of Francis Bacon.

I know I can't be the only one exhibiting this kind of  morbid curiosity.   After all, there are 13 books in the catalog with the subject Obituaries - Authorship - Fiction;  25 books under the heading Funeral Rites and Ceremonies - Fiction; & 19 titles with the subject Undertakers and Undertaking - Fiction.  & those are just the fiction offerings! Most of the non-fiction lean towards genealogy-related tomes (favorite title: Diggin' Up Bones: Obituaries of Deerfield, Fairview, and Miscellaneous Kearny County Cemeteries, Kearny County, Kansas by Betty Barnes) but there are several other tomes you might want to consider, if you are so morbidly included

Here's a list of some of my favorites from the library catalog:


Stairway to Heaven: The Final Resting Places of Rock's Legends  by J. D. Reed

Laid to Rest in California: A Guide to the Cemeteries and Grave Sites of the Rich and Famous by Patricia Brooks and Jonathan Brooks


The Economist Book of Obituaries compiled by Keith Colquhoun and Ann Wroe

The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries by Marilyn Johnson

The Last Word: The New York Times Book of Obituaries and Farewells: A Celebration of Unusual Lives edited by Marvin Siegel

Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers by Alana Baranick


Remember Me when I'm Gone compiled by Larry King

The Book of Eulogies: A Collection of Memorial Tributes, Poetry, Essays, and Letters of Condolence edited by Phyllis Theroux

A Wonderful Life: 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit edited by Cyrus M. Copeland

Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Times edited by Cyrus Copeland


The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris

R.I.P.: The Complete Book of Death and Dying by Constance Jones

Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

Death and Dying in New Mexico by Martina Will de Chaparro

Please also consider a visit to Fabulous Dead People, a column in the New York Times Style Magazine.

I would also like to include a few books that are less about death as a phenomenon & more focused towards providing comfort after a bereavement, especially The Art of Losing, which helped me through a recent period of grief. 

Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those who Have Lost Both Parents edited by Allison Gilbert with Christina Baker Kline

The Art of Losing : Poems of Grief and Healing edited by Kevin Young

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells us about Life after Loss by George A. Bonanno

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Library Tour: Taylor Ranch Branch

"The best view in town."  That's what a Taylor Ranch staff person told me first thing upon my arrival at the branch & I could only concur. The east bank of windows in the Main Room provide a fabulous view of the Sandia Mountains year round and provide fantastic natural light for the building! I found myself this morning in a completely unfamiliar area of Albuquerque, at a branch I had never been to before (a little embarrassing to admit after almost 20 years in New Mexico & almost 7 years working with ABC Libraries).  I am here to tell you that the driving directions from the library website are completely right, & that you don't want to miss visiting the Taylor Ranch Library because it does have the best view in town-among other attractions!

Taylor Ranch Library is located at 5700 Bogart NW in the Santa Fe Village Park at the corner of Unser Boulevard and Montano Road.  This branch opened in November 1989, replacing the original Taylor Ranch branch at Taylor Ranch Road and Montano Road.  The library is open a total of 60 hours a week; it is open seven days a week and until 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday.  Taylor Ranch has 24 public computers in the Main Room as well as four in the Children's Room for children under 14 (parents with small children with them may also use these PCs).  Only Main Library has more internet computers for public use! Taylor Ranch also offers many of the standard amenities of the ABC Libraries' branches: fax service; Fiction to Go (slightly used, recently published fiction titles for sale-$2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks); voter registration forms, None for the Road DVDs, & bus schedules are all available, but the branch does not have a meeting room or study rooms.  Not that there aren't plenty of cozy nooks to study in!  Also, on the south side of the building, there is a covered patio that is used primarily for library programs, but can also be used by other groups, pending approval by the branch manager.

Taylor Ranch Library offers many programs for all ages, including three different storytimes, a monthly Stargazers Party, A Good Yarn weekly stitch group, Music by the Petroglyphs, a monthly book discussion group...I could go on, but you'll probably want to check for yourself on their branch page! Additionally, you can schedule a computer tutoring session (or just get more information about the sessions) by calling (505) 897-8816.

A lot of customers for this branch are families with children & teens, so as you might imagine, they have a great section for that age group, very colorful & lively.  Look for their many displays, including the one on Science Fair Projects that is kept up pretty much year-round.

I caught Taylor Ranch before they had decorated for this year's Summer Reading, but based on the great artwork left from last year's program ("Make a Splash", above), the branch will be something to see! Of course there will be a bevy of special programs at Taylor Ranch (or "Taylorvania") for the upcoming Summer Reading program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias"-including the Library Battle of the Bands. Interested teen musicians, bands, djs and performers should contact Jason at jshoup@cabq.gov or 897-8816. Super Sumo is on the lookout for teen volunteers for the Summer Reading program, as well.

One could hardly mention Taylor Ranch Library without noting its close proximity to the Petroglyph National Monument, but that's certainly not the area's only attraction! The library itself is located in Santa Fe Village Park, where there is a playground, soccer fields, & a dog park. Bring a picnic! Nearby is the Don Newton/Taylor Ranch Community Center at Kachina Street and Taylor Ranch Road, where you can find a plethora of programs for all age groups. After Memorial Day, consider a visit to Sierra Vista Pool-children from 5-14 are even eligible for the Metro Aquatic League, a swimming and water polo league hosted by the City of Albuquerque-and the 10 courts of the Sierra Vista West Tennis Complex.

With so much to do & see, you'll definitely want to make Taylor Ranch Library part of your Summer Reading adventure! Get the Taylorvania stamp on your Summer Reading passport! Don't forget to like them on Facebook! Also, they have a great assortment of booklists, if you need a reading suggestion.

Special thanks to Taylor Ranch Library staff member Ellen for the great tour & providing much of this information!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zoo to You!

As a tie-in to our Summer Reading program this year, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias", ABC Libraries will be welcoming the Zoo to You outreach program to some of the branches!

From the Biopark website: "Get eye to eye with exotic animals and discover the wonders of the natural world without even leaving town! Volunteer docents will introduce you to our animal ambassadors, including birds, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. You can also touch many of our biofacts, such as animal bones, pelts and hides, feathers and other interesting animal items. Presentations last between 30 minutes to an hour and carry the conservation message that our actions matter."

Monday, June 6th - Cherry Hills
Explore our fascinating friends from their feet to their beaks. There are many types of birds and this program investigates how each bird's wings, beaks, and feet are suited to help each species survive.

Tuesday, June 7 - Taylor Ranch
Secrets of Survival
From desert dwellers to the oddities of the ocean...animals are specially suited to survive. Students will examine six distinct habitats and how animals adapt to their environment. Focus on several examples of adaptations, breakdown what a habitat is, and understand what adaptation means. Have you ever heard the word prehensile?

Wednesday, June 8 - Los Griegos
Reptiles and Amphibians
What makes a reptile a reptile? Why is it different than an amphibian? Students will examine reptile and amphibian diversity and the characteristics of each species. Meet a variety of reptiles and amphibians to get a closer look at their interesting characteristics. How would you classify a turtle?

Thursday, June 9 - Erna Fergusson Library
Endangered Species
"To be or not to be?" That is the question for many animals. This program focuses on the importance of preserving wildlife and understanding the basic reasons for the decline of animal populations. Find out the variations between extinct, endangered or threatened. How can we as humans protect our delicate ecosystems?

Friday, June 10 - South Valley
Fur, Feathers, Scales, and Slime
During this introduction to the animal kingdom, students will discover the differences between mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Learn how these four classes of animals are born, what covers their bodies, and the unique characteristics of each. Did you know elephants have hair?

After the initial kick off week in June, there are plans to make smaller programs to set up in an exhibit style at various branches during the summer, including North Valley, Tony Hillerman, South Broadway,South Valley, and Juan Tabo. In June, exhibits will focus on Reptiles and Amphibians; in July, Birds will be featured; and in August, look for exhibits about Mammals.  Make sure to check back at the library's Events & Programs/Storytime page for more information!
Thanks to Jamie S. for the information & especially for putting these programs together!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Future of Special Collections

Library Staff are looking at how we handle the return of collections and services to the Special Collections building at Central and Edith. The building is currently being renovated. We are expecting to get occupancy in June and hope to reopen it in August or September 2011.

We have held a public meeting (April 30th) to seek input from regular customers of the building and the collections housed there which include genealogy, local history, New Mexicana, Center for the Book and archives (such as the Ernie Pyle papers).

Library Staff are considering two options: return all materials (some now temporarily at Main on 5th and Copper) to the Special Collections building or leave part of those materials, specifically genealogy, at Main.
Some key factors that we have to consider:
  • The Special Collections building has run out of shelf space and has little room for future growth of any of the collections. As the sole collector of local Albuquerque history we need to have room for growth.
  • The main stacks at the Special Collections building should be closed to the public and items shelved there retrieved upon request. The main stacks cannot be properly supervised by staff as they include multiple dead-end aisles, multiple access points and are very narrow. Library Staff cannot reasonably assure customer safety in these stacks nor can library staff assure the security of the collections in these stacks.
There are two opposing viewpoints shared by the regular genealogy users.
  • Stay at Main: Many customers prefer genealogy being housed at Main because the hours are better, parking is better, and the space is more open. There are concerns about the bathrooms at the Main library and safety in using the parking garage, as well as the limit of two hours free parking. 
  • Return to Special Collections: Many customers would prefer genealogy be housed at the Special Collections building because of the historic building with all its architectural features and character. There are concerns about the new parking regulations coming into the neighborhood, the possibility of the main stacks being closed to the public, and the collections again being scattered in different rooms.
Library Staff will consider the options and customer comments, and present a plan by May 31st about how we proceed.

[from the library website]

Friday, May 13, 2011

ABQ Ride: Your Ticket to Summer Fun!

There are 40 bus routes in Albuquerque.  How many have you ridden?

I am a big fan of the public transport & hope to take some bus rides rides around our fair city myself this summer (I'll be the one at the bus stop with the parasol to protect my delicate skin, plugged in to my iPod & reading a book).

I was checking in with ABQ Ride to start the arduous process of consulting the system map to find my routes, when I discovered this neat new (to me) service called Plan Your Ride!  It's super easy to use- just enter your starting location & your destination; indicate the desired date and time of arrival or departure; & click on the "Get Trip Plan" and get ready to ride.  For "origin" & "destination", you can even choose landmarks such as high schools, libraries, shopping centers & Rail Runner stations, instead of putting in a physical address.  Alternatively, you could just check a list of popular Albuquerque destinations, from CNM campuses to the VA Hospital to the Albuquerque Aquarium, to see which bus routes serve your destination.

Also, did you know that you can plan a trip on ABQ Ride via Google Maps by simply going to maps.google.com and selecting "Get Directions"? The public transit link is shown each time driving directions are requested by the viewer who may not be aware that transit is even an option. For those using a smartphone, you can download the latest version of Google Maps for free from your respective app store or access it in your mobile browser. A link to Google Maps can also be found on www.myabqride.com.

Not convinced that riding the bus is worth it?  Try ABQ Ride's Albuquerque Commute Calculator & learn how much commuting is costing you a month.  You can compare that with the cost for bus fares & passes here.  You could also be eligible for a Student Bus Pass or Honored Citizen Discount. Also, the Summer Fun Bus Pass entitles students ages 10 - 18 to unlimited bus rides from May 1st - Aug. 31 for only $13.

Looking forward to some late night fun? From June 4th to September 25th, Rapid After Dark (Red Line Only) runs along the Red Line every Friday and Saturday night from 9:00 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.

Don't forget the Park & Ride option!

ADA-certified riders can take advantage of the SunVan, ABQ Ride's paratransit service, provides accessible transportation to persons residing in or visiting the metro area whose impairment makes it impossible to ride the fixed route service. ABQ Ride Paratransit provides curb-to-curb service to and from any address in Albuquerque and most of Bernalillo County.

Last year in May, ABQ Ride had a Strive Not to Drive event.  During this week, ABQ Ride encouraged the public to minimize the driving of single occupancy vehicles and experience the benefits and opportunities of alternative modes of transportation, emphasizing a different mode each day, from carpooling to biking. Watch for it this year!  There probably will be more prize giveaways!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Library Tour: South Valley Branch

The South Valley Library, at 3904 Isleta Boulevard SW, on the corner of Isleta & Camino del Valle, is our next stop. This branch, a distinctive pink building, was built around 1990.  The architects made a real effort to make the building blend in with the community to which it belongs. In a 1993 Albuquerque Journal article titled "Storybook Setting", Steve Brewer said "[t]in roofs & dormer windows give the South Valley Library the look of a New Mexican farmhouse."  In the same article, he basked in the natural light from the windows all around the building & mentioned that the library has "a grassy ampitheater under an arbor like sunshade out back".  A lovely place to spend some time!

South Valley offers many of the ABC Libraries' typical amenities-there are 14 public computers available (including two dedicated Spanish language terminals), a fax service, Fiction to Go (slightly used, recently published fiction titles for sale-$2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks) & materials such as voter registration forms & bus schedules can be picked up here. This branch also offers a Free Magazine Swap! South Valley also has a meeting room & 2 study rooms for public use.


Reflecting the rich diversity of its community, South Valley has a large International Collection, with an emphasis on Spanish materials-including a few spinners of fotonovelas & paperbacks in Spanish. The South Valley Library is also proud to be part of the area's annual El Kookooee celebration. South Valley schoolchildren design models for the figure, which is ceremonially burnt ("to help you burn your fears away", according to El Grito) during the month of October in nearby Rio Bravo Park. The children's models are displayed in the South Valley Library; later, the winning model will be placed in a special case, also at the library. See a picture of last year's El Kookooee on the Weekly Alibi's website.

El Kookooee..Se Quema! Display & models from last year's contest.

Besides El Kookooee artworks, South Valley Library has other interesting displays. Make sure to check out the north side of the building, where you'll find another display case & the library's Freedom Shrine, which includes copies of many famous documents, including Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address & John F. Kennedy's inaugural address.

The staff at South Valley are really gearing up for this year's Summer Reading Program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias"! (Look for the branch on your passport under the name "South Vallandia".) They are planning a series of  World Explorer programs for children age 6-10 to learn about different countries, including Australia, Greece & Brazil, with crafts, food, music & games! Storytime for Preschoolers with Toni-Lynn will be Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. during Summer Reading.  This will be a lively & fun program, featuring music, fingerplays, creative movement, & crafts!  More information on South Valley's upcoming "One World, Many Stories" programs will be forthcoming on their web page.

The flag of South Vallandia.  Their national motto is "Leer es Poder"!

Where can one find the South Valley Library web page? From the ABC Libraries home page, you can click on the link for "Events and Programs/Storytime" (under the heading "Library Services and Programs") to visit the South Valley page, among others. There you can find contact information, hours, directions, featured resources, & information about events at the branch, including their Thursday Night Fiber Fever program!

While visiting the library, you will not be at a loss for things to do in the area! The South Valley Pool & Water Slide is right next door,along with the South Valley Little League Baseball Field & the Rio Bravo Skate Park, not to be confused with Rio Bravo State Park, which is just behind the library. The South Valley Growers' Market, on Saturdays from 8 a.m.- noon, is right across the street at Cristo Del Valle Presbyterian Church. Another must-see in the South Valley area is the Hubbell House at 6029 Isleta Boulevard NW-"a community jewel" located on El Camino Royal that was built in the years following the Civil War. If you get hungry during your visit, there is a paletería, La Michoacana, in the neighborhood; El Mezquite Market (one of 3 in the Albuquerque area at 3765 Isleta Boulevard SW) has a great Mexican deli; & Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen, at 6083 Isleta Boulevard SW across from CNM, is a staff favorite.

For more on the South Valley area, check out the City of Albuquerque website.  Jeff Hartzer's poem "On The Bus" will also take you on a short, but entertaining, tour!

If you stop by the South Valley Library, don't miss their Staff Recommendations! (I liked What Was Lost, too.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Library Tour: Los Griegos Branch

Welcome to the first branch in our tour-Los Griegos!  It is located at 1000 Griegos RD NW, on the southwest corner of 10th Street and Griegos Road in a residential neighborhood. You can find directions from the freeway, by surface street & by bus here.

Los Griegos might look unassuming from the road (I found it easy to miss driving west on Griegos-twice!), but there is a charming walkway nestled amongst the trees.  Once inside, it is light & airy. 

Los Griegos offers many of the ABC Libraries' typical amenities-there are several public computers available, a fax service, Fiction to Go (slightly used, recently published fiction titles for sale-$2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks) & materials such as voter registration forms & bus schedules can be picked up here. This branch also offers a Free Magazine Swap!  Los Griegos does not have a meeting room or study rooms for public use.

A lot of artists use the Los Griegos Library, which is reflected in the display wall at the branch.  There is a two year wait list to be featured!  Right now, puppets from the Puppet Playhouse are on display.

There is a lot of other art to see scattered throughout the library while you are there!  My favorite is this heart:

Los Griegos, one of the first branches in the library system, has a lot of loyal patrons!  One library staff member knows a 50-year-old woman who got her first library card as a child at Los Griegos & it is still her branch library!  & who wouldn't like spending time at Los Griegos?  For instance, it's very kid-friendly:

As you can see, they are already gearing up for Summer Reading with their African drum on display!  The program doesn't start until June 3rd, but you could still stop by before to check out Miss Lin & her miniature guitar at Early Birds Storytime or Big Birds Storytime!

Miss Lin
Each library branch has its own web page, which you can reach from the ABC Libraries home page.  Visit the Los Griegos page to view contact information, hours, directions, featured resources, & event information.  Besides storytime, Los Griegos offers a variety of programs, including Second Saturday Stitching, Los Griegos Reading Group, & computer tutoring. Stop by & inquire about the new book group Los Griegos is starting!

There have been a lot of articles about the Los Griegos neighborhood in the local blog Duke City Fix: check out "Hidden Los Griegos"; "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"; "San Isidro de Los Griegos"; & "Los Griegos" for more information.

Since the Los Griegos Library is in a residential neighborhood, there are not a lot of attractions in the immediate vicinity. However, the branch is about halfway between 4th Street-not too far from Garcia's Kitchen-The Original, the China Phoenix 2 stamp store, the French Riviera Bakery &  the VSA North Fourth Art Center-& Rio Grande Boulevard, where it's just a quick drive to Johndi's barbecue restaurant (at 3851 Rio Grande Boulevard NW), Flying Star Cafe (in the retail plaza that also contains Bookworks, Pennysmiths Paper, & Lily Barrack) & La Montanita Co-op

If you are in the area, make Los Griegos one of your stops during Summer Reading! You can get a stamp for your passport & kick back at this friendly, mellow branch.

More Los Griegos pictures are available on Flickr.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Penguin Threads editions

People who see books as art objects, Rejoice!, or perhaps bemoan the state of your pocketbook. Penguin, as part of their Deluxe Classics series, has commissioned a series of books to have covers based on hand sewn designs by Jillian Tamaki. These covers are embossed to resemble the embroidered originals. The three books in the Penguin Threads subseries, thus far, are Jane Austen's Emma, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, and Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. These books are scheduled to go on sale in October of this year. For larger views of the covers, view Jillian Tamaki's website.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One World, Many Stories: Summer Reading Passports!

The flags of Cherrytopia, Juantapolis, & Taylorvania.

Our 2011 Summer Reading Program is gearing up to start in just about a month-the program will run from June 3rd-July 30th-& I, for one, am raring to go!  This year's themes will be One World, Many Stories for kids; You Are Here for teens; & Novel Destinations for adults. There will be weekly prizes for kids & babies.  There will be weekly prize drawings for teens & adults. There will be grand prizes for teens & adults at the end of the summer. There will be programs for all ages.  We'll have fun, fun, fun until the final reading log/card is rounded up!

Part of the fun of One World, Many Stories will be the addition, this year, of Library Passports!  This year you'll be encouraged to get to know your world through books, but you can also take this time to get acquainted with some different branches in your library system!
See the city this summer! Get stamps in your One Library, Many Stories passport!

If you are interested in a Library Passport, all you will have to do is request one.  You will then take the passport to each ABC Libraries' branch that you visit-each branch is considered a "country"-& get a stamp from each one, such as Cherrytopia (Cherry Hills), Juantapolis (Juan Tabo), & Taylorvania (Taylor Ranch).

If you have have visited at least four countries (libraries), you will be given a “World Traveler” entry form to fill out, & you will be entered to win a prize at the end of the summer!  If you complete your entire passport by visiting all libraries, you will have your photo taken and added to our website!

abcreads knows deciding which "countries" to visit can be a tricky decision.  Maybe you just want to visit ones near you; maybe you'd like to make a special trip, & visit somewhere a little off the beaten path.  To help you decide, in the next few weeks I'll be posting "A Library Tour"-I'll be going to all the branches, taking a few pictures, rounding up some interesting facts for you.  It'll be an adventure for me too-in the 6 years I've worked for ABC Libraries, I've been to most branches at least once, but there are a couple I've never visited. 

If you are interested in participating in the Library Passport program, keep checking back for more details!