Archive for February, 2013

Have  you  explored  our  links  under entertainment, recently? A lot has been added in the last week.

Under music we just added Music Online From Alexander Street Press. It is a huge collection that can be searched by artist , genre, instrument, and includes a large number of playlists. You can make your own playlist, too.

To get into this database you will need your library card.

However, my new favorite is in the movie section and it is called IndieFlix.


Indieflix is a database full of independent films that can be streamed to you computer.Some are classics like Nosferatu but there are also a number of new films . You can search by genre ( including Zombies), film festival, or even length of film.

To get into this database, you will need to create a username and password, and then do it a second time. Yes, it is a double log in. Happily, they can be the same and my computer (and ipad ) remember my sign ins.

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 There are so many, many good books published each year. How do you choose? You could ask friends, read the latest reviews, browse the new books. Or, you could use my favorite database, NoveList Plus, available through the Alameda County Library.


NoveList logo of boy reading under tree

Lately, I’ve become a fan of historical fiction, where I can immerse myself in past worlds and times. Currently, I’m traveling to ancient Egypt in the 18th dynasty, thanks to NoveList’s recommendation. Nick Drake has written an outstanding trilogy:  “Nefertiti: The Book of the Dead;” “Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows;” and finally, “Egypt: The Book of Chaos.” Drake’s writing style is “richly detailed,” something I appreciate. I also like mysteries so I get to meet a new detective from this series, Rai Rahotep, a “Seeker of Mysteries,” who investigates.

NoveList lets you search by genre: you can choose from more than 20 lists of historical fiction ranging from Ancient Worlds to World War II.

Or, you can choose titles from other genres such as mystery, fantasy, horror, science fiction, fantasy. And you’re not limited to fiction; you can explore non-fiction too.

In addition, you can search by type of writing style: “richly detailed,” “compelling,” “engaging,” for example. Other searches include tone and storyline.

When you find a title you might like, you’ll also get a short description – and information about the writing style, tone, pace, and storyline.

If you’re logging on from home, you’ll need to have your library card ready in order to log in. Here’s the navigation: Our library Home page > Research > A – Z Resources > N > NoveList +.

With NoveList, you’ll always have something to read, tailored to your tastes.

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Go Red for Women!


While we are nearing the end of the month, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass to mention that this is American Heart Month. It’s likely that you or someone you know is dealing with heart disease. Did you know that heart disease is the  number one killer of women and kills more women than all cancers combined?  I found this out first-hand when a lovely lady who used to do my taxes, dropped dead suddenly from a heart attack. It was quite a shock, and got me wondering about heart disease, and what we can do to fight it.

Luckily for us,  the American Heart Association has created a website just for women. It’s called Go Red for Women, http://www.goredforwomen.org/, and it’s packed full of useful information.  On the first page, there is a short quiz which asks your age (decade only!) and what you want to know about heart disease.  Then it creates an action plan. I’ll give you my own example:  I am a woman over 60, and I want to live healthy. I clicked “I want to go Red”, and then it came up with my action plan:

1)Eat this, not that, healthy food options

2 Get your heart score

3)Good nutrition-Defense against heart disease

4)5 ways to navigate fast food menus like a pro

5)7 Resolutions to improve heart health in 2013

Each of those topics lead to links that give you strategies, recipes, and so much more.  There are so many things you can do, like quitting smoking, that can make a difference in your heart health.  I found this so useful that I have created a shortcut on my desktop so that I can quickly access the information this site contains.

Women do so much for their families and others, so February is a good time to pause and think about taking care of yourself.  I have a long ways to go to live more heart healthy.  However,  awareness and supportive information is a good start.  Join me in Going Red for Women!

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Are you in grades 6-8? Do you like to read books and discuss what you’ve read (and have a lot of fun?) Consider joining Tween Page Turners. We meet once a month (the last Wednesday of the month) from 4-5 pm in conference Room A. We read a different book each month, and sometimes we read Advanced Reader’s Copies (books that are not yet published) and review them for the library. We currently are about half full, and are looking for new tweens to join us! If you are interested, please stop by the Children’s Desk to pick up a copy of the bookfor the next month’s meeting.

If you would like any further information, or have any questions, please email Mary Ayers at mcayers@aclibrary.org.

Some of the recent titles we’ve read:

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Secret of Platform 13 by Iva Ibbotson

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

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Feel like spending your Saturdays at the library?  Do you like standing in front of a group of people eager to listen to your every word?  Have an interest in passing on your knowledge to others?  Well, if you are 18 or over, you might want to consider being a Computer Skills Co-Instructor at the Fremont, Newark & Union City Libraries.

Most classes are hands-on and take place from 10:30-12:30 at the three branches.  Classes range from Microsoft Applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) to social networking technologies (Skype, Google Docs, Pinterest etc) as well as library databases.  Classes begin in April and end in November and initial training takes place on Saturday March 9th from 10:30-12:30 at the Fremont Main Library.  We are looking for adults (18+) with the following qualifications:

  • An understanding of computers and familiarity with Microsoft 2010 applications.
  • Understanding of social media and of new emerging technologies
  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Willingness to learn new technologies and ability to adapt to the use of different electronic devices
  • Ability to organize projects and revise or create class curriculum
  • Excellent oral communication and written skills
  • Ability to communicate instructional concepts in an easy to understand manner.
  • Must enjoy working with the public and with adults of all ages and skill levels.
  • Patience and a sense of humor are required.

Click here for the application and full details: 2013_computer skills_application


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Growing Up in America Exhibit

Check out the “Growing Up Asian in America” display, second floor, Fremont Main Library for the entire month of February.

Growing Up Asian in America is one of the largest celebrations of Asian heritage in America. Every year, over a thousand Bay Area students in kindergarten through grade 12 submit artwork, essays and poems. The 2012 theme was bridges in honor of the 75th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge.

This year’s contestants submitted works about bridges and what they can symbolize or do for us. A bridge can help us cross over an obstacle, like a river or a busy street. It can help us get through a problem or challenge in life. A bridge connects two things—like people, places or ideas. Even a person can be a bridge. You might cross a bridge when you go on a journey or trip, learn a new language, move to a new place or a new school, or make new friends.

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Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.
Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that’s their way of justifying putting things off.

The bright side? It’s possible to overcome procrastination—with effort … Read more on Psychology Today

Books on Procrastination @ Library

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Mary Lincoln’s Dressmaker

With all of the interest in Abraham Lincoln (it being Lincoln’s birthday today, plus the current Steven Spielberg film Lincoln with Daniel Day-Lewis in the titular role out in  theaters), there’s a book that lives in the children’s section (Biographies) about a very interesting figure in history: Elizabeth Keckley. Not familiar with the name? The book is Mary Lincoln’s Dressmaker-Elizabeth Keckley’s Remarkable Rise From Slave to White House Confidante, by Becky Rutberg (Walker and Company, 1995.)  As you can see, it is not a recent title, but it’s a buried treasure waiting to be read. And parts are hard to read: Elizabeth (also known as Lizzie) spent the first 37 years of her life in slavery, and those she lived with were not always kind. But her talent in dressmaking enabled her to buy her freedom, and that is how she became the dressmaker for  President Lincoln’s wife, and later, her friend and confidante as well. (It couldn’t have been easy: Mary Todd Lincoln could be temperamental. On page 53, it said that President Lincoln paid one of the servants “an extra dollar a week to put up with Mrs. Lincoln’s demands.”)

If you are looking for an interesting read, try Mary Lincoln’s Dressmaker-Elizabeth Keckley’s Remarkable Rise From Slave to White House Confidante, by Becky Rutberg.

Elizabeth Keckley

Elizabeth Keckley

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Today marks the 2nd day of the Chinese New Year which fell on Sunday, February 10 this year. According to the Chinese tradition, celebration will last for 15 days until the Lantern Festival.

As usual, Fremont Library hosted a big celebration with our community on last Saturday, the New Year’s Eve. If you were not one of the spectators, here are some photos for you to enjoy:

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Kung Hay Fat Choy!

恭喜發財! 蛇年行大運!!

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Daybreak Trio

Daybreak Trio

The Daybreak Trio performs in the Fukaya Room at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 16.  Daybreak Trio plays a variety of styles:  soft jazz, Cajun, Latin, original arrangements, world music selections.  Group leader Wayne Siligo, jazz and pop guitarist, vocalist, saxophonist and blues-harp player, was a tenor soloist with the Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose symphonies.  He played three nights weekly for 16 years at Papillon French restaurant on Mission Blvd., Fremont, and is now music director at the California School for the Blind, also in Fremont.  Markus Choo, keyboardist and award-winning musician-CSB graduate, is the accompanist for the school Glee Club.  Completing the Daybreak Trio is David Grandstaff, percussionist, guitarist and vocalist and teaching assistant at the CSB.

So, mark your calendar now:  Daybreak Trio, 2 p.m. Saturday, February 16, at the Fremont Main Library.  Check the online calendar regularly at http://bit.ly/V1WFhI and use the “Remind Me” button to automatically receive an emailed reminder of your chosen events.

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