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From the Director

Photo by Kevin Andrew Jones

Everyone can Dream Big at the library this summer!


School's out, summer is here and that means it's time to Dream Big and join Sacramento Public Library's Summer Reading program. The program is in full force with more than 500 programs being held in our 28 libraries throughout the summer and fun for everyone, ages 0 to 100.


Reading makes us rich. It helps us develop our imaginations, introduces us to new ideas, new places and new friends. It provides the foundation to help us learn new skills and it doesn't need batteries or plugs. Most importantly the library's summer reading program helps create memories that will last a lifetime. I love it when someone tells me they still have a certificate or prize they won 50 years ago through their participation in the library's Summer Reading program. It was an important achievement that has a valuable place in their hearts. We want kids today to have that same joy.


Help the children you know and love develop memories to last a lifetime. Get them signed up for Summer Reading (and while you're at it, sign yourself up--yes, it's for adults too!), and build a better future for all of us.


We want to express our deepest thanks to the many organizations that help Sacramento Public Library make Summer Reading a success: The Sacramento Public Library Foundation, Friends of Sacramento Public Library, News10, Target, the California Library Association, California State Library and Elk Grove Toyota.


Make 2012 the summer that your family rediscovers the simple joy of reading a good book!


Rivkah K. Sass
Library Director


News From the Library


10 Books to Read list offers children's book suggestions


Scholarshare, Sacramento Public Library and News10 are bringing 10 Books to Read to a library near you.  10 Books is a new local literacy program designed for parents, grandparents and caregivers to read aloud and spend time with their children. Every month, Sacramento Public Library staff will hand-pick a group of books based on their accessibility, appeal, and straightforward plots. 


From classic family favorites to new best-sellers, every book is chosen to captivate any child's imagination.  Click the 10 Books to Read logo to find this month's recommendations.



Two US Constitution reads chosen for One Book Sacramento project


In this year of a major national election, the Sacramento Public Library chose two books for its 2012 One Book Sacramento project: The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution, by Constitutional scholar Richard Beeman; and its companion selection, Constitution Cafe, by educator Christopher Phillips.


"How our national government functions and how it affects our daily lives are important for everyone in our community to understand, learn and discuss. That is why we are so pleased with these two One Book Sacramento choices," said Rivkah K. Sass, library director.


The Penguin Guide to the United States Constitution is a unique and handy guide to the "law of the land." The book features fully annotated copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. Also included is the history of the writing of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases reminding us that specific provisions of the Constitution have changed over time.


A radical in his own day, Thomas Jefferson believed the Constitution should be revised periodically to keep up with the changing times. Christopher Phillips' Constitution Cafe asks Americans, "Is it time to change it?" igniting discussions surrounding our most fundamental rights and freedoms.


Each year, Sacramento One Book asks community residents to read the same book and participate in events online and at library branches, schools and other venues. Book-related programs for adults, teens and children are scheduled mid-September through October.


Library science experiment kits available for family fun and learning


It isn't "rocket science" to check out fun and free science projects you can do at home with your family. The Sacramento Public Library is offering Check Out Science program kits, which can be borrowed for 21 days.  The kits make doing science with your family easy, no scientific expertise necessary. You and your budding scientist can read a nonfiction book from the library's Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading curriculum; then follow the instructions on the activity card. As you do the activity, your scientist can record thoughts, questions, and results in the Check Out Science notebook that is yours to keep. 


"The kit projects require common materials found in most homes to teach fun facts about science. These science projects are fun and educational activities for parents and kids to do together," said Chelsea Couillard, Youth Materials Selector.  There are seven science kits available for check out through the library:

  • Sticky Situations: You're in a sticky situation! You need some glue but you don't have any. Could you make it with stuff you have around your home? What would you use?
  • Solving Dissolving: Have you ever noticed what happens to sugar or salt when you mix it with water? Does it disappear? Solve the mystery like scientists do, by looking for evidence.
  • Outdoor Observations: Have you ever sat and looked at one spot in nature for a long time? What did you notice? What do you think would happen if you looked at the same spot every day? Would it always look the same?
  • Oil Spill: Help! A ship has sunk in the bay and petroleum oil is starting to spread out toward birds and the shore. What should be used to clean it up? You'll test various materials to see what works best and to learn what's involved in oil cleanup.
  • Magnets: Learn about what is and isn't drawn to a magnet then make a cool contraption using magnetic forces.
  • Bird Beak Smorgasbord: What can the mouth of an animal tell you about what it eats? Play a game to help you find the answers.
  • Sky Notebook: What is the weather like today? Look outside and see what you can learn about the weather just by looking at the sky.
  • Modeling Stream: Does a river or stream always stay in the same place? What might make a river or stream change its course? You'll build your own model of a stream and find out.

The science experiment kits were generously provided by the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. Each includes a free pass for a one-child admission to the Lawrence Hall of Science museum.


Free passes are also available for two Sacramento museums through the Sacramento Public Library. Free admission to the Crocker Art Museum is possible when checking out a Crocker Art Pack and passes to the Sacramento Children's Museum are available at Rancho Cordova Library on a first-come, first-served basis.



Thank you, Friends!


Nearly every Sacramento Public Library branch has its own Friends of the Library group whose volunteers host fundraisers, such as book and bake sales, to support their neighborhood library.  However, the Friends of Belle

Thanks to generous donations books like this one can finally retire after two decades and a generation of users

Cooledge and North Natomas libraries recently made significant donations to benefit all 28 Sacramento Public Library locations.


The Friends of Belle Cooledge Library recently donated $3,500 to purchase story time kits for children's librarians throughout the system.  The Friends of North Natomas Library donated $3,000 to buy kids' picture books that will be shared by all the Sacramento Public Library branches.


"We are so grateful to have Friends groups who understand the needs of Sacramento Public Library and who want to make our system stronger and better," said Rivkah K. Sass, library director.



My library is important to me, because...


Editor's note: We would love to feature your story in a future issue.  Please e-mail your story (100- to 250-word maximum) about how the Sacramento Public Library has helped you, along with a photo, to


By Matías Antonio Bombal, Sacramento


The Sacramento Public Library and the Sacramento Room, in particular, have not only been fundamental, but essential for any of the historic preservation work I have engaged in relevant to Sacramento in the past 25 years. This would include my efforts at many of the theatres in the community, such as the Crest, Tower, Guild, and Colonial.


Bombal on K Street

It has enriched my abilities to present valid information on television and radio during my years in broadcast media at Sacramento's KQCA-TV Channel 58 and over five National Public Radio affiliate stations in the past.


Working as a master of ceremonies throughout the state, I am able to study vital materials in order to make the best possible presentations.  Our Sacramento Public Library is remarkable and the staff heroic in efforts to preserve our past and make it available for the future.


As we march forward through time, we are able to learn from the past to build a better future because of this magnificent resource. I am beholden for the access to the treasures there, the source for accuracy in knowledge and its sharing.


From the Sacramento Room archives


Editor's note: The Sacramento Public Library is pleased to regularly feature a snapshot of its 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.


As the Sacramento Public Library has started this year's Summer Reading celebration, it is worth remembering the library has been offering special programs promoting children's literacy for nearly 100 years. Summer Reading goes back many decades, and Children's Book Week, the longest running literacy initiative in the country, was the first of its kind at the Sacramento City Library.


Founded in 1917, Children's Book Week was initially celebrated in mid-November with a variety of activities and exhibits, including book displays, wall decorations, puppet shows, story hours, plays, and special displays in the windows of downtown shops. It was such a phenomenon that Corinne Ruttle of the Sacramento City Library presented a talk at the 1923 American Library Association annual conference entitled, Does Children's Book Week Overstimulate?


1930 Children's Book Week

Children's Book Week was a community-wide celebration. In 1930, more than 30 Sacramento merchants decorated windows centered on well-known books or book characters. Several members of the Community Players delivered a skit on Sacramento's KFBK-AM radio, and students from the Evalan Earle School of Dancing appeared in a playlet for service clubs and parent-teacher associations, portraying such characters as the clown from Toby Tyler; the Mad Hatter, Father William and Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Peter Pan; and the Dutch Boy and Dutch Girl seen in the newspaper photo.


In 1939, the theme was Books around the World; and while young readers were eager to get their hands on new travel and adventure books, Juvenile Department Head Alice Stokes was pleased to report that they still clung to old classics that were their grandparents' favorites, too: Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer and Little Women.


Some things have changed, but much remains the same. Throughout it all, over the past 133 years, the Sacramento Public library has demonstrated its enduring commitment to sharing the joy of reading with children.



From the Foundation  


Boost is an act of giving hope or support.  You care about your community. You love your neighborhood. You love your library. The library is the place children, teens and families use to enhance their education, their reading enjoyment and their community connections. Children and teens are the largest group of users at the Sacramento Public Library and we want to make sure that resources continue to be directed to your community library on behalf of the children and teens. And so we have brought back the branch booster which means you can designate your support to the branch of your choice and 100% of it will be used to increase resources at that branch.  Go to and make your donation today.


Making a donation to additional children and teen materials and programs will help ease the deep cuts we are seeing in our city and county budgets, will show our leaders of tomorrow how valued they are as citizens, and will create more opportunities for hands on learning.


Your support matters!


April Butcher, Executive Director

Sacramento Public Library Foundation


From the Friends   


Be a Friend by Joining the Friends


You can never have too many friends. Have more by joining the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.


 As a Friend, you will help to:

  • support the library through the sale of donated and discarded books and materials
  • provide support for programming for all ages - children, teens, and adults
  • plan and staff the Friends system book sales
  • advocate for the library with elected officials and within the community
  • and much more! 

As a Friend, you will receive:

  • the satisfaction of helping to support our local libraries
  • discounts at the Friends Book Den and system Friends events
  • early entry to the System Friends quarterly sales
  • the bi-monthly Friends newsletter, which lists System and Branch Friends book sales
  • a membership in your local branch library Friends (in addition to your membership in the System Friends).

To join the Friends, fill out their online application.


Find Bargain Book Sales


Find great bargains at the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library and branch Friends' book sales.


Book Den and Warehouse Book Sales


Book DenThe Friends of the Sacramento Public Library host book sales at their Book Den's warehouse six times per year at 8250 Belvedere Avenue, Suite E, Sacramento (off Power Inn Road, and one block south of 14th Avenue). There is a wonderful selection of books and other materials, sorted by category. Prices range from 50 cents for pocket books to $2 for hardbacks. Become a Friends member and enjoy the benefit of early-bird shopping opportunities at all book sales.


The Book Den  store will be open during the Warehouse Sale and Preview. At the Book Den, shoppers can selectfrom individually-priced books, including collectibles, and other materials, with most books priced at $3 and up. The Book Den is regularly open Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call (916) 731-8493.  Click here to learn of upcoming Book Den sales.


Branch Friends Book Sales

 Book Sale

Many Sacramento Public Library locations host bargain sales that feature discounted books, magazines, audio tapes, CDs and more. These sales are hosted by local Friends members whose proceeds benefit their library branch.


Please click here to find upcoming library branch book sales near you.





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In This Issue
10 Books to Read
One Book Sacramento
Science Kits
Friends Donation
Library Stories
Children's Book Week
From the Foundation
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



Toddler Fun with ArtBeast (for toddlers)

Belle Cooledge Library

Thursday, June 14, 9:30 a.m. 


Summer Reading Ice Cream Social (for school-age kids)

Arden-Dimick Library

Tuesday, June 19, 4 p.m.


Bollywood Night (for teens)

South Natomas Library

Wednesday, June 20, 6 p.m.


Stuffed Animal Sleep Over (for school-age kids)

North Natomas Library

Friday, June 22, 5 p.m.


Animals of the World with Wild Things (for families)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

Tuesday, June 26, 4 p.m.


Classic Movie Night (for adults)

Central Library

Tuesday, July 3, 5:30 p.m.


Jungle Joe's Dream Big Show with the California Puppets (for school-age kids)

Sylvan Oaks Library

Thursday, July 5, 3:30 p.m.


Coffee, Tea and Conversation (for adults, ages 55 and older)

Rancho Cordova Library

Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m.


Busy Bee Dogs (for school-age kids)

Arden-Dimick Library

Tuesday, July 10, 4 p.m.


Stay and Play (for preschoolers)

Carmichael Library

Thursday, July 19, 11:30 a.m.


The Magic of Jon Lopez (for school-age kids)

Isleton Library

Thursday, July 19, 3 p.m.


Dream Big: Read with magician Trevor Wyatt (for school-age kids)

Franklin Library

Thursday, July 26, 4 p.m.

Sacramento Public Library
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA  95814