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Join the community's biggest book club - One Book Sacramento 2012.  Read the two selected books that celebrate our nation's founding documents, The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, edited by Richard Beeman, Ph.D; and Constitution Café by Christopher Phillips, Ph.D.  Attend many book-themed programs at Sacramento Public Library locations in September and October, including book discussions, performances of actors portraying famous 18th-century framers of the US Constitution, exhibitions, crafts, film viewings and more.

In This Issue
One Book Sacramento
Reading Connects
Summer Reading Wrap Up
100 Years of Tarzan
The Lord of the Rings
Notable Books
Rio Linda Reopens
Library Furloughs
150 Years of Reading
Why I Love My Library
From The Foundation
From The Friends
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Library News
August/September 2012

From the Director


Too many people expect wonders from democracy, when the most wonderful thing of all is just having it.


-- Walter Winchell, American newspaper columnist and radio commentator (1897 - 1972)


Hooray for fall!  A fresh start for school and new beginnings along with cooler nights, add a Presidential election, and we will have plenty to keep us busy. How about if we all take time to learn a little more about the people, the documents and the actions that make us proud to call the United States of America home?


Sacramento Public Library is proud to bring two books to our community this fall to celebrate our country's founding documents, The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, edited by Richard Beeman, Ph.D; and Constitution Café, by Christopher Phillips, Ph.D.  Mark your calendars now for September 27 when Dr. Richard Beeman will help us kick off One Book Sacramento with an entertaining look at the Constitution.


So, if too many political ads are getting you down, curl up with something that will make you glad to celebrate the actions of our Founding Fathers. One Book Sacramento isn't just about reading. We'll have dozens of programs offered in all of our libraries, and a chance to discover the Constitution all over again.


The drafting of the Constitution had a less serious side when Benjamin Franklin made a suggestion at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that the sessions be opened with a prayer. The delegates refused to accept the motion stating that there was not enough money to hire a chaplain.


Rivkah Sass,

Library Director

Do you know your US Constitution trivia? (Answers at the end of the newsletter.)

A) What word that you would expect to see is missing from the Constitution?

B)  How many future Presidents signed the Constitution?  

One Book Sacramento Theme Coincides With Upcoming Elections


Have you ever read the US Constitution?  Many might answer they have read parts of it or know only some of the 27 amendments.  The Constitution is the very backbone of our country; a document we live and die for yet few have knowledge of its actual content.


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, Ph.D; and its companion selection, Constitution Café , by Christopher Phillips, Ph.D.


"As a presidential election year, 2012 is the ideal time to foster community conservations about our nation's foundational documents." stated 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.


The library invites community residents to read the two One Book  Sacramento selections and participate in events online and at library branches, schools and other venues. Book-related programs for adults, teens and children are scheduled September 20 through October 23, including book discussions, exhibits, an essay contest, film screenings, and more.


Highlighted One Book Sacramento programs are planned on the following Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, Central Library:

  • September 20: An Evening with the Founders, featuring actors portraying Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
  • September 27: Sex, Lies and the Founding Fathers: Democracy, the Media and the American Presidency with Richard Beeman, Ph.D.
  • October 18: Constitution Café with author Christopher Phillips, Ph.D. This is a Sacramento Bee Book Club event.

Find more scheduled One Book Sacramento programs at www.saclibrary.org.

Library Partners with News10 and ScholarShare to Promote Early Literacy

Reading Connects is an initiative by News10 to help promote literacy in our community. And now, we're taking it one step further, by partnering with the Sacramento Public Library and Scholarshare to bring you 10 Books to Read!  All year long, 10 Books to Read introduces your child to classic treasures and new favorites, all hand-selected by the Sacramento Public Library to spark children's imagination!


Each month, librarians from the Sacramento Public Library will provide a new list of books based on their accessibility, appeal, and readability. These lists will make it easy to find new books that parents, grandparents, and caregivers alike can read with their children!


News10's Dale Schornack and Cristina Mendonsa helped to celebrate the launch of 10 Books to Read at the Belle Cooledge Library on July 17 by reading from the July list to a crowd of eager children!


To see more about Dale and Cristina's visit and to access the list of 10 Books to Read visit: http://landpark.news10.net/photo-gallery/arts-culture/101914-10-books-read-program-kicks


Mellisa Paul,

News10 Community Liaison Director and Sacramento & Co. Hostess


Summer Reading Programs Wrap Up With Record-Breaking Participation

Sacramento Public Library's Summer Reading program is nearing its end, but the summer reading fun continues through August 16.  Nearly 24,000 community residents, from toddlers to adults, signed up for the Dream Big READ! summer program since June 1.  More than 500 entertaining and educational Summer Reading programs, ranging from story times to crafts, music, dance, book clubs and other activities, were held at 28 library locations. 


"We had one of the highest number of Summer Reading participants this year.  Library staff reached out to local Head Start classes, many of Sacramento City Unified School District's elementary and middle school summer programs, children at the Sacramento Food Bank and numerous other organizations around the county, in addition to all the people who have signed up for Summer Reading at the library," said Lori Easterwood, library programming manager.


Participants received great incentives for getting involved, including a free book or book bag for those who completes the program requirements, and everyone who finishes has a chance to win an iPad or $100 Target gift card in the grand prize drawing.


The 2012 Summer Reading program would not be possible without the support of the Friends of Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Public Library Foundation, and News10, with additional support from Target and Toyota of Elk Grove.

Sacramento Public Library Celebrates 100 Years of Tarzan

The Sacramento Public Library and the Northern California Mangani will celebrate the centennial of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic story, Tarzan of the Apes, at a free two-day conference on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Central Library. The event will feature discussion panels, presentations, film screenings, and memorabilia relating to the Tarzan stories and images.


Guest speakers include authors and Edgar Rice Burroughs historians, Richard and Pat Lupoff; Tom Yeates, Tarzan comic book artist who is currently drawing the Prince Valiant newspaper comic strip; David Lemmo, author of a new history of Tarzan; and several other local collectors, fans and historians who will share their collections and knowledge.


A centennial display of Tarzan books, comics and memorabilia will be on view in the Central Library's first-floor lobby and second-floor Sacramento Room during open hours from mid-August through September 30.

The Lord of the Rings Series Explored at Central Library Programs

Fans of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series and the companion Academy Award winning  movies will enjoy Full Circle: An Exploration of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.  The Tolkien-themed programs will   be at the Central Library, on the first and third Sundays at 2 p.m., from September 16 through December 16.


Each month features one of the classic Tolkien books: September is The Fellowship of the Ring, October is The Two Towers, November is The Return of the King, and December is The Hobbit, just in time for the December 14 release date of the new film by The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.


Several programs will be led by university professors who will explore the epic and myth in Tolkien's books, the moral elements in The Lord of the Rings, and medieval dragon mythology in The Hobbit.  Plus, there will be a The Lord of the Rings fashion show, photo showing of the The Lord of the Rings film sites, and a sword fighting demonstration.  

Classic Literature Series Continues at Central Library

Notable Books, Sacramento Public Library's series covering classic literature and led by English professors (but without the tests, papers or tuition of a traditional literature class) continues on Sunday, August 12, and Sunday, September 9, at the Central Library.  Nancy Sweet, Associate Professor of English at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), will lead a two-part discussion on Edith Wharton's classic book, The House of Mirth.


First published in 1905, the novel tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman torn between a love for luxury and the luxury of genuine love. Professor Sweet will discuss the following aspects of Wharton's acclaimed book:


Sunday, August 12 at 2 p.m.: Having It All in the Gilded Age: Wealth, Marriage and The House of Mirth.  Attendees will talk about Wharton's representations of gender, marriage and "conspicuous consumption."  (No need to have finished the novel at this time as the speaker will avoid spoiling the ending.)


Sunday, September 9 at 2 p.m.: Lily Bart and the Furies: Seduction, Terror, and Self Destruction in The House of Mirth. Following Professor Sweet's talk, participants will break into small groups to discuss the novel.  Former graduate students and faculty from the CSUS English Department will serve as discussion leaders.


Metered street parking is free on Sundays. 

Rio Linda Library Celebrates its Reopeining

Rio Linda and Elverta residents celebrated the reopening of Rio Linda Library on July 17.  Library staff welcomed patrons back to its original building after being closed since mid April for repairs. Opening-day visitors were treated to refreshments and entertained by a balloon artist and face painter.


"We are very thankful for the tremendous support from the Rio Linda-Elverta Recreation and Park District for providing a temporary location for our library programs and bookmobile during the three-month branch closure," said Rivkah K. Sass, Sacramento Public Library director.


Library Implements Furloughs for Cost Savings

Due to funding reductions from the County and City of Sacramento, Sacramento Public Library will be implementing one furlough day per month over the next two years as a cost containment measure. Staff will be furloughed without pay and all Sacramento Public Library locations will be closed to the public on the following dates:

  • Saturday, September 1 (furlough day)
  • Sunday, Setember 2 and
  • Monday, September 3 (Labor Day holiday)
Reading Habits of Sacramento Public Library Patrons Over the Past 150 Years

While some basic reading preferences are perennial, Sacramento Public Library patron tastes over the years have also been quite diverse and reflect the times.  Below are excerpts from reports on reading preferences from past decades.


1862, Monthly report to The Sacramento Union

"Whole number of books drawn, 414; Romance [Fiction], 262; Travels, 26; Biography, 20; History, 27; Essays, 38; Science, 10; Poetry, 8; Religion, 3; Miscellany, 17; Bound Periodicals, 3."


1934, Sacramento County Library Annual Report

"The first and strongest line has been political economy in its various branches...fundamentally a search for the reasons for the present state of economic affairs and the finding of the way out...new inquiry into the mental and spiritual realms of thought...The third line has been that of students who because of economic conditions have been obliged to relinquish or postpone their academic courses: science, history (Russia, China and Modern Europe), literature, psychology, pedagogy...There has been demand from those persons who have sought through books a relief from mental anxiety...fiction, travel, 

Two children check out books at the Mabel R. Gillis branch library (1959)

biography and autobiography, with heavy demand on books dealing with all phases of mines and mining, all phases of aircraft and all phases of radiocraft."


1953, Annual Report from the Branch Department

Topics most requested at the branches and suggested for purchase: "How to raise - chinchillas, mushrooms, mink, parakeets (and train), tropical fish; African violets, camellias, orchids; How to - train dogs, make outdoor furniture, garden furniture, curtains and draperies, slip covers, soap box derby winners; Additional material on ventriloquism, humorous monologues, oil and water color painting, herb raising."


1967, Circulation Department reportMost requested from fiction collection: "Spy, intrigue, mysteries, 'clean' romances, large print books and 'a good "sexy" novel.'"


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.

Why I Love My Library
Children's book author
Heather Spiva

Growing up, I lived a couple of blocks away from the library. My two sisters and I would walk to it from our house every week, load up on books, and walk back with canvas totes full of great reads.  We did this at least once a month during the school year, and almost every week in the summer.
I can't tell you how many times I fondly recall the library today ... the smell of the books, the cool library --an oasis from the Sacramento heat -- the hushed tones.
I suppose it is a huge reason why I'm a writer today, freelancing and writing children's books. In fact, I just published my first book.
Though I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was a young girl, having that library not only close by but open for me whenever I needed it, fed my desire to write, and of course fed my desire for great literature.
I couldn't live without the library then, and I can't live without it now. I still frequent the same library, the Rancho Cordova location.  Only now, I have my own children with me. And if things go right, they'll be visiting the library for the same reasons, for as long as they can too.

Thank you Sacramento Public Library!

Heather Spiva


Editor's notePlease e-mail your story and a photo to us how the Sacramento Public Library has changed your life at stories@saclibrary.org. (100- to 250-word maximum). 

From The Library Foundation

When it comes to fundraising, transparency is the key to success. When I came to the Sacramento Public Library Foundation in 2007, we needed a more transparent financial infrastructure along with more streamlined processes so that donors could have confidence that their support was being used to enrich the Sacramento community. At the same time the IRS was creating higher thresholds of reporting for nonprofit organizations.


Putting into place a finance committee and audit committee was the beginning. Developing policies for our investments, for our endowment spending, and for our financial and fundraising operations was the next step. Hiring arms-length auditors, bankers and investment professionals came next.  And while all of these pieces were being put into place, the staff and board deepened their skill sets both in fundraising and in finance.


As a donor you can be sure, that whether you are making a onetime gift or creating a legacy through your estate, your support will be handled professionally and in the exact manner you direct. Thank you for your support, it matters!


April L. Butcher,

Executive Director

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

The 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 Book DenPower 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.

US Constitution trivia answers:

A) "Democracy."

B) Two, George Washington and James Madison

Sacramento Public Library
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA  95814