Summer Reading Kicks off with great performance from the Alphabet Rockers

It’s officially summer again; and that means Monday night should be spent in Central Park Pavillion at the Summer Reading Family Fun Night!

Tonight, at our opening event, Keypoint Credit Union presented a check for $15,000 to the Santa Clara Library Foundation to provide the funding for many of the Summer Reading programs.  And, then, several hundred adults, teens, and children enjoyed a program from the Alphabet Rockers!  A really cool toddler mosh pit of dancers formed at the front of the stage!

Next Monday, June 16th at 7pm will be Karen Quest Cowgirl Tricks.  Be there or be, well, less entertained!



Karen Quest Cowgirl Tricks!

Author Talk: California’s Great America [Images of Modern America]

Date:  6/9/2014

Time:  6:30 PM – 7:45 PM

Great America BookIn May 1972, actor Fess Parker of Davy Crockett fame announced plans for a huge theme park complex in Santa Clara. Eventually, the Marriott Corporation joined the effort.  Parker later departed, while Marriott pressed on.  Marriott’s Great America opened its gates on March 20, 1976. It featured a variety of family and thrill rides on a grand scale plus live entertainment.  From Marriott Corporation to the park’s current owner, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, Great America has entertained and continues to entertain millions of guests.  Author Steven W. Wilson, the Northern California regional representative of the American Coaster Enthusiasts and creator of the website: GREAT AMERICA parks will discuss the stories, archives and photo collections he explored in the process of researching this book.

Sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library, this lecture is free and open to the public.  The book will be for sale and the author will sign books following the presentation.

New Artwork in Teen Area from Sister Cities Visitors

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You are invited to come and take a look at the artwork that has been installed in the Teen Area. Back in March, 12 middle school students from Sister City Izumo, Japan brought artwork to the library. It has been framed with funds from the Foundation & Friends and is now hanging above the Anime/Manga collection. It’s quite fantastic!

Summer Reading is Here!

Summer Reading
Summer Reading starts this Sunday, June 1st, and the Kickoff Party is Saturday, June 7 from 1pm -4pm. You can sign up online to receive your reading logs.  Reading logs for children, teens and adults will also be given out at the Youth Services & Reference desks.
Go to sign up for Summer Reading!
Important dates:
Sign up online June 1 – July 12
Turn in reading logs July 21 – August 17

Santa Clara Rotarians Support the Library

Rotary BooksA big shout out to the Santa Clara Rotary for supporting the Library!  Rotarians purchased the books on the table, had them signed by club speakers each month and donated them to the Library.  As if that weren’t enough, they donated the proceeds of book purchases at a presentation by author Robin Burcell.

From left in the photo are Foundation & Friends Executive Director Maria Daane, Rotarian Andy Ratermann, and City Librarian Hilary Keith

Upcoming Book Talk on Mary Bennett Love

Author Talk: Quite Contrary by David J. Langum, Sr.

The Story of Mary Bennett Love, a 19th Century Santa Claran


Date:  6/24/2014 6:00 PM – 7:45 PM
Cost:  Free and Open to the Public
Location:  Central Park Library Margie Edinger Room

Mary Bennett Love was a legendary and colorful character who settled in Santa Clara in the mid-1840s — a very turbulent period in the history of the Santa Clara Valley. Six feet tall and over 300 pounds, Love was described in her own time as “an American lady of Amazonian proportions”.  She is profiled in the City’s Sesquicentennial book, A Place of Promise: The City of Santa Clara 1852-2002.  Now, a full length book on this remarkable woman has just been published by Texas Tech University Press.  David J. Langum, Sr., a Law Professor at Samford University in Alabama and the author of eight other books of legal history and biography has written this new book titled, Quite Contrary: The Litigious Life of Mary Bennett Love.

Though illiterate, Mary knew the law thoroughly and used it to her advantage, squatting on public land and engaging in dozens of lawsuits to advance her interests.  Her love life was quite tumultuous.  Harry Love, her second husband, a California State Ranger and the slayer of the notorious bandit Joaquin Murrieta, died at her bodyguard’s hands. He is buried in our City Cemetery.

Quite Contrary is the first full length book to focus on Mary Bennett Love.  Come to hear about the writing of this intriguing and entertaining history book.  Learn why Mary is representative of the relationship people had with the law in pre-Gold Rush California and the ways in which Mary paved the way for future female entrepreneurs.

The program is sponsored by the Santa Clara City Library.  This lecture is free and open to the public. The book will be for sale the author will sign books following the presentation.

Mystery St. Christopher Medal from WWII Solved Using New Digital Microfilm Scanner in Heritage Pavilion

What do you do when you find an old St. Christopher medal mounted on a plaque reading “Presented by the City of Santa Clara” in a box of WWII momentos?  A resourceful woman from Oregon in this situation contacted local history librarian Mary Hanel.  Mary and volunteer Josie LeRoy did some research on St. Christopher’s medals in WWII and discovered that not only did men wear them on chains, but chambers of commerce often supplied them for military vehicles, such as tanks.  Josie was able to search through digitized copies of Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce scrapbooks, finding a mention of two articles about the donation of the St. Christopher medal to a unit from Camp Beale.  (Ironically, the scrapbooks were digitized with funding by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends several years ago.)


Using a new digital microfilm scanner, funded by both the Foundation & Friends and the Genealogy Society, Mary was able to pull the old articles from the San Jose Mercury Herald on microfilm, crop them and email them to the Oregon woman all in one step.  The woman was so excited to learn more about her father’s past.  Thank you to Mary and Josie for solving the mystery and sharing the story with us!

Look What Your Donations Do!

Your donations and purchases make a big difference!

This month, they funded:

  • New Spinning Racks for the Paperback Collection (Which Will Soon be Filled with New Paperbacks)Spin Rack
  • 200 New Children’s DVD’sDVD
  • Adult Summer Reading MaterialsPaws to Read
  • Easy English Times – our ESL Conversation Club NewspaperEasy English Times
  • A Portable Sound Systemgo_getter02

Don’t Let Cancer Stop You!

Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Date/Time: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:00pm
Location: Margie Edinger Room
Presenter:  Dr. Joseph Hastings, Board Certified Radiation Oncologist
Learn about what you can do to lower your risk of developing certain cancers.  Better awareness and early detection increase the chance of successful treatment.Free and Open to All

Presented by Kaiser PermanenteKaiser_InCommunity_logoBlue

White Estate Makes Generous Gift to Library

Joanne White, a longtime Santa Clara resident and employee of Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, made a gift of $20,000 to our libraries in her estate.  She had used the Santa Clara libraries for over 35 years.  According to her trustee Alison White, she “believed in the freedom to read, educate, and inspire.  She felt those to be human rights and knew the public libraries were a vital key in providing those resources and more.  This is her way of saying thank you for all your facility had to offer and to help ensure it can continue it’s vital purpose in the Santa Clara community.”

Half of her gift will be used at Mission Library and its literacy programs, and the remainder will be divided evenly between the adult and children’s offerings at the Central Park Library.  We have just informed the librarians about the generous gift, and look forward to sharing some of the special things they will use the money for in future posts.

It is heartwarming to hear how well the Santa Clara City Library served Ms. White during her life, and we are honored she chose our library for such a generous gift.