Archive for February, 2011

Gardening for Wildlife

Never mind about the morning frost on the roofs, tomorrow is March and spring is around the corner. But before you go full-bore into the garden center of your choice, stop and think about the possibilities of using CA natives in your yard. Fremont Main Library has been partnering with the California Native Plant Society for the last year or so to being a series of lecture/slideshow programs for gardeners to the  library. The next program, Gardening for Wildlife, will occur on Tuesday March 8 from 7 to 8:30. Landscape gardener Radhika Thekkath will demonstrate how you can use natives to attract butterflies, birds and other beneficial life without sacrificing color, texture or curb appeal.


California Sister

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Do you have children aged 3 and younger?  Fremont Library will have several storytimes  for the very young – Lapsit, Baby Bounce and the Toddler Time – all resume this week.

Lapsit is for non-walkers.  It is scheduled on every Thursday at 1 p.m. in March.  It lasts about 45 minutes and includes a stay-and-play time. 

Baby Bounce is a 20-minutes program for 23-months old and younger babies who are walking.  There are 3 different sessions to choose from:

  •  Mondays @ 6 p.m.
  • Wednesdays @ 1 p.m.
  • Saturdays @ 12 noon

Our ever popular Toddler Time is going to resume today.  This is a fun storytime for 24 to 35 months old children with one of their parents or caregivers.  Toddler Time lasts about 20 minutes and will also be running thru the month of March.  There are 4 different sessions to choose from:

  • Mondays – 7 p.m.
  • Tuesdays – 7 p.m.
  • Wednesdays – 12:15 p.m.
  • Fridays – 11:30 a.m.

All storytimes will include stories, rhymes, stretches, fingerplays, and songs.  They will be held in the storytime theater in the Children’s section.  Bring your young children with you to these storytimes.  Let’s have some fun together!!

Registration is required for the Lapsit and the Toddler Time To register, you can come to the Children’s Desk or you can call (510) 745 -1421 during library open hours.  If you haven’t done that, you better do it soon because it fills up quickly.

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Come join us at Niles and Irvington Libraries this March as we celebrate taking care of our earth.  We’ll be reading some books like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and doing a fun craft.  We’ll be making collages from old magazines, so bring some of  your old magazines to cut up and make some great pictures!  Our program at Niles is March 1 at 3 PM and at Irvington on March 9 at 3 PM.  The program is especially for children 4-10 years old.  See you there!



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New teen books

Here is a list of teen books I’ve read over the last few month . I’ve  only  listed  the ones I  really  enjoyed.   I can’t promise how often I will do this, but I will be putting longer reviews on our teen blog.

Hacking  Timbuktu by  Stephen  Davis.  Treasure  hunting ,  hacking  and parkour – what  more  could  you want?

Old Photographs by Sherie Posesorski. Phoebe’s life has changed a lot , new stepdad, new baby sister, new school and a long boring summer ahead. But when she meets an elderly lady and tries to figure out why her house was broken into , her life becomes more interesting.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Sam is a college dropout and is working in a fast food place. He feels a bit lost and like he really isn’t sure who he is. Then he finds out. He is a necromancer. Not only that, the head necromancer in town wants him dead. This is a horror book, but it is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. ( It references Mansquito , one of the worst Syfy movies ever. and one of my favorites. )

Gool  and  Salt  by Maurice Gee. I’ve actually just read Salt, Gool is on my to-be-read pile. Post apocalyptic fiction The corporation has taken over, and society is very stratified. Secrets are threatening to destroy the world. Try this series if you liked The Hunger Games.

Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson. Calle has moved 12 times in the last eight years , and remembers her past by the music she has heard. She tries not to make friends, but as the reasons for her mom’s restlessness are revealed, having  friends  can  help.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Mayberry. Fences and  the border patrol  protect the few remaining people from the zombies. Benny , 15, reluctantly follows in his brothers footsteps as a bounty hunter. A scary, horrifying, and touching story after the worst has happened to the world.

iDrakula by Bekka Black. A retelling of Dracula in text and email.

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Soon there will be a real need to go on treasure hunts in the Fremont area just to find, of all things–books!

Recently, Fremont lost my favorite bookstore to the economy when Barnes and Noble closed its store on Mowry. I packed up my discount cards and trudged across the street to join my new favorite Borders at the Hub. Well just as I learned the lay of the land and found my number one pick for hot drinks at Borders here comes the announcement that Borders will be closing 30% of their stores including, can you believe it, both Fremont’s Hub location and Union City’s location near the theatres.

I’m lucky I work at the Library I know where I can  borrow good books while others will be searching high and low.  We are a GREAT asset to find many many of the books you want and need. I only hope that people begin to contribute to the Libraries as a powerful way to keep access to the wide variety of books we all want in our neighborhood. Contributions could be as easy as dropping off books in good condition after you have read them, or donating cash gifts to your favorite department or area in the Library.

I don’t think Borders is being fair by closing the stores based solely on profits, we should let them know that they should look to the future and keep bookstores within a reasonable distance of major cities. The closest Borders will be at 456 University Avuenue in Palo Alto, while the closest Barnes and Noble will be 3600 Stevens Creek in San Jose. That’s a  bit far for me. I’ll have to open an account with Amazon to order books that I just can’t live without, but beware everyone wherever I go the economy soon strikes. Good luck to Amazon here I come…

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Preschool Crafts

Are you looking for a fun art project to do with your preschooler? The last Wednesday of the month, we are hosting a preschool craft at 1 pm. The crafts run for about 30 minutes and each child will take home a completed project. We will pass out *free* tickets to the first 50 kids (ages 3-5) at the Children’s Desk beginning at 12:45 pm.

Today’s craft will focus on spring! We are making cherry blossom trees, a favorite craft with children of all ages. No need to bring any supplies, just pick up your free ticket!


Contact Mary Ayers at mcayers@aclibrary.org or call (510) 745-1408 for more information.

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Homework Crazies

Hey, is your homework driving you crazy?
Solutions are in your library card – really!!
Go to http://www.aclibrary.org, click on “Kids”, then scroll to “Homework Help” See “BrainFuse” A live tutor (often a retired school teacher) is ready to chat with you!!

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Familiar with the Pillsbury Doughboy? The Tribbles from the original Star Trek TV series?  These are both the work of Wah Ming Chang. Wah was born in Hawaii in 1917, but came to live in the San Francisco Bay Area when he was very young.  Wah’s parents ran the Ho Ho tea room in San Francisco, which was frequented by many artists, writers and musicians. During this time, Wah’s family met Blanding Sloan, an artist and set designer. This turned out to be a fortunate meeting, as Wah’s mother  Fai Sue passed away when Wah was 11, and Sloan—who became like a second father to Wah—became his guardian (along with his wife Mildred Taylor) at the request of Wah’s father, Dai Song.  As a child, Wah drew and etched: the newspaper called him “AN ARTISTIC MARVEL.”

Fast forward to 1939: Wah Ming Chang was working for the Disney Studios. Wah made models for such films as Pinocchio and Bambi. In 1940, Wah contracted polio: he had to use leg braces and crutches, but eventually was able to walk again.  In 1942, he married his sweetheart, Glennella.

But wait: there is much more to Wah’s story: read how one of the special effects he and Gene Warren (forming Project Unlimited) did for the Academy-Award-winning film Time Machine went awry. Read about other props and monsters he designed for Star Trek, and much more.  Enjoy Wah Ming Chang: Artist and Master of Special Effects, by Gail Blasser Riley.

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I’m a football fan.  Okay,  not a diehard fan and yes I usually wait until the playoffs to really catch-up to the good stuff, but I do like the game and I’ll watch college or professional football when I have a chance.  Recently with the passing of Ollie Matson, I was reminded of the number of great athletes who faced discrimination in their arena.  Some, like Matson, endured tremendous difficulties and still managed to make their mark and pave the way for others.

Ollie Matson, passed away yesterday.  He was a native of San Francisco and played with the USF Dons in 1951 when, although undefeated, were not invited to participate in a bowl game because two of their players, Mr. Matson and Burl Toler were black.  The team never considered accepting a bid without their full team and were known as the team that was “Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited”.  Eight members of that 1951 team went on to play in the NFL including Ollie Matson.  Mr. Matson also earned two medals in track at the 1952 Olympics and was one of the best all-around players in NFL history, and is a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.  You can learn more about the 1951 USF Dons and Ollie Matson in  Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited by Kristine Setting Clark and from the cstv clip by the same name as well as other clips.

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Preschool Crafts

Do you have a child or children between the ages of 3 and 5? Are you looking for something fun to do once a month with a group of other preschool aged children? Stop by the Fremont Library on the last Wednesday of the month from 1-1:30 pm for a free preschool-age craft project. These crafts are designed with young children in mind and will usually require basic assistance from an adult helper.

Check out our first craft project from January 2011:

We made melting snowmen pictures. They turned out so cute and no two were alike! All craft supplies will be provided at each program.

**Please note: due to the size of our room, we can only allow 50 children to attend each craft program. We will pass out tickets to the first 50 kids at the Children’s Desk 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the program.**

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