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From the Director
Help us guide our library's future with survey


Photo by Kevin Andrew Jones

As this newsletter goes to press, I'll be celebrating my second anniversary as Library Director here at Sacramento Public Library. I knew before I arrived that there would be many challenges and many joys to the job. I have not been disappointed! Like other agencies in the area we are looking at how we can deliver outstanding service that provides excellent value for the tax dollars you entrust to us--we look at how we can impact reading and literacy and how we can get the message out that library service matters more now than it ever did.


In July, we held three community forums to get input from you. We heard that you love so many things about the library - the collections, staff, programs, the ability to borrow easily from other libraries via our Link+ connection, our mobile "app", and just the ability to be in a shared community space to do your work, read a book, use a computer, or even volunteer.


We move into our new budget year facing many uncertainties and some worries. We know we will need to make some tough choices this coming year, and we know that some library services will be impacted. In order to make decisions that try to keep Sacramento Public Library as whole as possible, we need your help. Would you please take a few minutes to answer a brief survey that will help us understand what you think is important?


Thank you so much for using and caring about Sacramento Public Library. We want to provide the best service we can and make the right choices. Only you can help us do that.

Rivkah K. Sass
Library Director
News From the Library

Library Card Sign-up Month: A library card is your key to life-long learning


September is Library Card Sign-up Month and when many youngsters return to school after the summer recess. The Sacramento Public Library wants all children in the greater Sacramento region to have the smartest card of all -- a library card.


Public library programming and books for children make a difference in the lives of students. By providing school-age children with engaging programs and amazing collections, students from all backgrounds become excited and enthusiastic readers.


"A library card has always been the most important school supply of all," says Rivkah K. Sass, library director. "Our 28 library locations are thriving technology hubs that community members rely on as their first or only choice for computer and Internet access. In doing so, our library branches provide children with not only the tools to be literate, but information literate as well,"


"There's a lot happening at our libraries, and the best part for both children and parents - in these though economic times - is that it's all free," Sass added.


To receive a Sacramento Public Library card, please show your photo ID and proof of current address to a library employee.  If you are under age 18, a parent or guardian will need to show ID and proof of address to obtain the card.


If you are a parent or guardian and wish to restrict your child's card so that it cannot be used to borrow R-rated DVDs, please speak with library staff.


Observed since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

"Young Moderns! Have you heard? Have you seen? The special library for young people..." - "A Teen Age Library" written in 1947 by Reta Balcom Campbell for the California Library Association Bulletin


Editor's note: This newsletter issue introduces the first in a series of articles, featuring a portion of the Sacramento Public Library's 154-year history. To learn more about the library and the greater Sacramento region's history, please visit the Sacramento Room archives at the Central Library.


When the Ella K. McClatchy Library for Young People (2112 22nd Street, Sacramento) opened in 1940, it was the first such library in the nation.  Its homey interior welcomed a younger crowd and was designed to contrast with a traditional library reading room.  In addition to comfy seating and attractive displays, there would be no shushing, as librarian Alberta Cronk reported, "The youngsters are encouraged to talk in normal voices and we don't have that awful hush."


McClatchy Library offered a wide range of youth services, including a club room with attached kitchen, story hours and reading clubs, supplementary reading lists for students at all levels, and library presentations in the community.  Youth input was valued.  A council of students representing area schools

McClatch History

Children read in the 2nd floor Children's Room at the Ella K. McClatchy Young People's Library under the supervision of Patricia Ladd (ca. 1945)

suggested book purchases, introduced speakers, coordinated club room reservations, and reported on the library for their school papers. 


Throughout the 1940s, McClatchy librarians Reta B. Campbell and Patricia Ladd tested out new services. In 1946 they began playing records in the evening to the delight of young patrons, "Even though it is not orthodox library work, it attracts them, and who can tell, they might just break down and make use of the book collection at some time."  By 1947 the library had established a Record Room on the second floor. And in 1952 Mrs. Ladd even began a weekly children's radio program called "Today's Hero," which broadcast locally on Saturday evenings, and was popular enough to receive regular fan mail from young listeners.


In recognition of its inventive work, the McClatchy branch enjoyed coverage in Library Journal, the California Library Association bulletin, the magazine of the American Library Association, and even Seventeen. Although the branch transitioned to serving all ages by the late 1940s, its efforts demonstrated the Sacramento City Library's dedication to engaging all members of the community.

Community invited to read and celebrate Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer during annual The Big Read/One Book Sacramento project


Sacramento Public Library is one of 76 not-for-profit agencies nationwide to be recommended for a grant to host The Big Read in Sacramento area communities. The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in cooperation with Arts Midwest, is designed to restore tom sawyerreading to the center of American culture. Sacramento Public Library will host The Big Read/One Book Sacramento project, featuring The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  Book discussion groups, programs and activities based on the book's themes and events will take place from September 29 through October 31, 2011.


This year's The Big Read/One Book Sacramento kick-off event is set for Thursday, September 29, at 6 p.m., in Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library. Robert Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project at the University of California at Berkeley, is the keynote speaker at a special program in conjunction with the Bee Book Club. Hirst will discuss the recent publication The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume One. As an added treat, Twain biographer and actor McAvoy Layne will portray the legendary

McAvoy Lane

Mark Twain biographer/actor McAvoy Layne will appear at the September 29 kick-off event

19th century American writer and humorist.


 "Sacramento Public Library is thrilled to bring The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to life, both for those who know the story well, and for a brand
new generation of Twain readers," said Library Director Rivkah K. Sass. "Our goal is to get our entire community reading and talking about this iconic work." 


NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "Since 2006, nearly three million Americans have attended a Big Read event, more than 39,000 volunteers have participated locally, and nearly 27,000 community partner organizations have been involved. The Big Read's success depends on these commitments of time, energy, and enthusiasm, and I look forward to seeing these 76 communities come together in celebration of a great work of literature."


The selected organizations will receive Big Read grants, ranging from $2,500 to $17,000, to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Readers', Teachers', and Audio Guides.


For more information about The Big Read please visit



Special October 14 family dinner celebrates The Big Read/One Book Sacramento  


Join the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library at the first annual One Book Sacramento Dinner on Friday, October 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Elk's Lodge #6, 6446 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento. The evening's theme of interactive family fun is An Adventure with Tom Sawyer, which features entertainment, games, and prizes.


Bring the kids--their Polliwog Pizza meals will be delivered by costumed frogs! Everyone is welcome to dress as a character from any book of the late-1800s when The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written.



Tickets are $25 for each adult and $10 per child. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Kathi Windheim at (916) 392-0101 or at

Back to school:  Library programs can help kids and teens


Children checking back into school after the summer break also should "check in" at their nearest Sacramento Public Library location. The library offers many programs and services to help students in their studies. Plus, parents may access study and reading guides to aid their children's homework assignments. Many of these services are available through the Sacramento Public Library website.


Homework Help Now: Homework help for children and teen students is only a mouse click away! The library's redesigned Homework Help Now website instantly connects 3rd- to 12th-grade students with expert tutors who can help tackle any homework problem and assist in learning an academic skill or writing a term-paper. Students can access this online service daily, between 1 p.m. and 11 p.m.


Homework Help Now provides: 

  • Conventional Homework Help: Students can submit a question in the online classroom and receive live, one-to-one assistance from a Brainfuse tutor.
  • Skills-Building: This service helps master a concept or skill through state-aligned lessons, presented by Brainfuse tutors in one-to-one online sessions.
  • 24-Hour Writing Lab: Writing instructors help participants become better writers by providing constructive feedback, and other assistance, within 24 hours of receiving a student's submission. Adults can even use this service for resume help.
  • Full Spanish-Speaking Service: Spanish-speaking tutors offer the same online assistance on all Homework Help subjects with the same hours of availability. 

When visiting the Kids and Teens sections on the library web site, there are other useful learning tools online:

  • CultureGrams: Find a country's history, customs, government, and culture, as well as information, maps and photos for U.S. states.
  • Biography in Context: Biographies of individuals from around the world, both historical and contemporary.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context: Today's hottest social issues: Offshore Drilling to Climate Change, Health Care to Immigration, and more! Get the full picture from a variety of viewpoints.
  • Student Resources in Context: News, articles, images, and primary sources to support students in grades 6 - 12.
  • Kids InfoBits (K-5): Kid-friendly articles and information to support students in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
  • Reference eBooks: Information about animals, science, Native American tribes, American decades, the Constitution, and more. 
  • College preparation: College-bound students can improve their chances for being accepted by higher-learning institutions by attending free library workshops scheduled throughout the year. The free classes include SAT/ACT practice examinations with follow-up test reviews by professional academic counselors, learning to write a college admission essay, and tips on obtaining scholarships and student financial aid.
From the Friends   

Friends Book Sales

Find great bargains at the following Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Friendsand branch Friends' book sales:

The Friends of the Sacramento Public Library's Book Den store, selling gently used and collectible books, is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 8250 Belvedere Avenue, Suite E, Sacramento (off Power Inn Road and one block south of 14th Avenue). For more information, telephone (916) 731-8493.

The Book Den has been enjoying its expanded warehouse space.  Now all we need are more books to sell and shelves to put them on.  Your book donations help pay for the library's Summer Reading Program and so many other wonderful library programs and activities.  Thank you for your generous donations, and please keep those books coming.  We also need metal frame warehouse-style shelving.  If you have any to donate, please call The Book Den at (916) 731 - 8493.

By becoming a Friends of the Sacramento Public Library member, you are invited to special preview book sales at the Warehouse, located behind the Book Den store.  The bi-monthly Friends' Warehouse book sales offer more than 75,000 books, all priced $2 and under.

Upcoming Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Warehouse Book Sales: 

  • Saturday, August 6, 9 a.m. to 12 noon (Friends members only); and 12 noon to 4 p.m. (open to the public).

  • Saturday, August 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open to the public).

  • Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m. to 12 noon (Friends members only); and 12 noon to 4 p.m. (open to the public).

  • Saturday, October 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open to the public).

  • Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. to 12 noon (Friends members only); and 12 noon to 4 p.m. (open to the public).

  • Saturday, December 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open to the public).

Other Friends book sale dates include:

  • Rio Linda Library: Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (both days), Food Source supermarket, 430 Elkhorn Boulevard, Rio Linda.
  • Elk Grove Library: Thursday, September 22, 5 p.m. to 7p.m. (Friends only); Friday, September 23, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (open to the public); and Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (open to the public).
  • Ella K. McClatchy Library: Sunroom Bookshop. In addition to donated books and magazines, the bookshop has new aprons, notebooks and mugs for sale which commemorate the 70th year as a Sacramento Public Library branch. The shop's hours are the same as the library's hours.  


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In This Issue
LIbrary Card Sign-up Month
Sacramento Public Library History
The Big Read
Big Read/One Book Dinner
Homework Help Now
From the Friends
Quick Links

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Featured Events

For a list of all events at your local library branch, visit our Events Calendar or call (916) 264-2920


The following is a sampling of programs for The Big Read/One Book Sacramento:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 

The Big Read/One Book Sacramento Kick-off Event


Robert Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project at the University of California, Berkeley, will be the keynote speaker at a special program in conjunction with the Bee Book Club. Hirst will discuss the recent publication of The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume One. Special guest: Actor and historian McAvoy Layne as Mark Twain.


Thursday, September 29, 6 p.m.

Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, Central Library


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Adult Book Discussions:


Saturday, September 10, 10 a.m.

Southgate Library 


California State

University, Sacramento, Associate Professor of English Jason Geiger will lead the discussion of the Twain classic.


Saturday, September 17, 1 p.m.

Fair Oaks Library 


Wednesday, September 21, 7 p.m.

The Coffee Garden, 2904 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento.


Thursday, September 22, 7:30 p.m.

North Natomas Library 


Saturday, October 1, 1 p.m.

Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library


Wednesday, October 5, 10 a.m.

Belle Cooledge Library 


Saturday, October 8, 11 a.m.

Isleton Library 


Tuesday, October 11, 6 p.m.

Elk Grove Library


Wednesday, October 12, 6:30 p.m.

Franklin Community Library 


Saturday, October 15, 2 p.m.

Rio Linda Library 


Tuesday, October 18, 6 p.m.

South Natomas Library 


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Teen Book Discussion


Wednesday, October 5, 4 p.m.

Colonial Heights Library


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Kids' Book Discussion (for ages 5 to 12)


Barbara Kerley, author of The Extraordinary Mark Twain: According to Susy, will discuss the book, how to write a biography, and the importance of reading biographies.

Thursday, September 22, 4 p.m.

Rancho Cordova Library


Big Read

Sacramento Public Library
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA  95814