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Library Presents Culturally-rich African American Programs


The Sacramento Public Library is proud to celebrate Black History Month with more than 50 free programs for children, teens, adults, and families throughout February.


Click to the library's events page to find educational and entertaining cultural programs that include storytelling, book discussions, music and dance, films, crafts, lectures about the Civil Rights era and notable African Americans, exhibits, and more. 

In This Issue
Poe Project
News10's Reading Connects
Library history
Why I love the library
Bee Book Club programs
eBook Discovery Station
Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss
Go Direct signups
Raising a reader
From the Foundation
Authors on the Move
From the Friends
Become a Friend
Friends' book sales
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Library News 
February/March 2013
From the Director


Photo by Kevin Andrew Jones


All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

        ~ Edgar Allan Poe


I tend to be one of those people whose glass is pretty much always half full. It's just easier being an optimist. Besides, when something I really want to happen actually happens, I feel powerful and smart. Don't you?


On January 20 Al Pierleoni of The Sacramento Bee announced Sacramento Public Library's choice for our One Book 2013, the poetry and stories of one of America's greatest writers, Edgar Allan Poe. It was perfect timing since the date was so close to the anniversary of Poe's birth (January 19, 1809). Also, I am sure that it was no coincidence that the Baltimore Ravens defied the experts and won a place in this year's Super Bowl, the very day we officially announced our choice of Mr. Poe.*


The optimist in me says that this literary coincidence is just the ticket for 2013 to be a year of wonder for Sacramento Public Library.


The Library is partnering with The Capital Film Arts Alliance and that local filmmakers of all ages will be encouraged to create works celebrating Poe's works as part of our October programs. We will be announcing additional partners and the full line up of programs within the next few months because we want this One Book to be the best we've ever hosted.


Dust off your Poe, reread The Raven, dive into The Telltale Heart and join us in celebrating one of America's truly extraordinary writers.   It's going to be a great October.


*My sincere apologies to the San Francisco 49ers fans out there. 


Rivkah K. Sass,
Library Director

Poe film and screenplay contest


New to One Book Sacramento is a film and screenplay-writing competition.  The Poe Project, cosponsored by the Capital Film Arts Alliance, invites local amateur filmmakers to create short films based on a Poe work or theme.  A full-length screenwriting competition of an

adaptation of Poe's work is also part of the contest.  Entries are due inlate summer 2013 and cash prizes will be awarded.


"The Capital Film Arts Alliance is very excited about this project in conjunction with the Sacramento Public Library," said Mary Beth Barber, board member for the Capital Film Arts Alliance. "Creative projects and competitions like this bring different parts of the community together, as well as inspire innovation and learning in the new field of digital film making."


For more information about the Poe video and screenplay contest, please contact Barber at (916) 429-5105 or Laurie Pederson at (916) 600-6477 or by e-mail at


In the coming months, the library will announce keynote speakers, The Poe Project contest details, and other One Book Sacramento partners and programs scheduled in October. 


News10's Reading Connects


A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time -- proof that humans can work magic.
     -- Carl Sagan,American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author (1934 - 1996)


Yes they are!  BOOKS ARE MAGICAL!  They can whisk you away on journeys to unimaginable lands, teach you amazing things you never thought possible, and even change how you feel about any number of subjects, which makes books a fundamental part of a child's development.  


Here's what we KNOW.  By the time they're in 3rd grade, children shift from learning to read, to reading to learn.  It's a critical time for youngsters, one of those rare points when they can either be a lifetime learner, or end up struggling through the rest of their classroom years. It's a tipping point that can affect their entire lives... and we can do something to tip the scales in favor of strong kids who are lifetime learners. 

News10's Reading Connects program has partnered with the Sacramento Public Library to make sure our children NEVER fall 

behind, in school or in life.  We want to teach them the same love of reading that we have, but we need your help. 

How can we make this program effective?  We want your ideas, your feedback, and your anecdotes.  Tell us what would help your child learn to love reading more.  Tells us what might help another just as much.  

As we say in our station brainstorming sessions: THERE ARE NO BAD IDEAS.

Share your ideas with me.  Email me directly at We want our kids to excel. Won't you help us?


Mellisa Paul, News10 Community Liaison Director and Sacramento & Company Hostess

The Free Public Library Question


Sacramento's subscription library, out of money and low on subscribers, was offered to the City of Sacramento in 1879.  Whether it would become a free and public library now depended on the will of the people.


The Sacramento Library Association organized as a subscription association faced imminent foreclosure on its new building at 716 I Street. In an act of desperation, the trustees applied to the city to take over the property and assume its debt.  With so few borrowers and a collection consisting of "the worst kind of trash," it would be a hard sell.


In March 1879 Sacramento Library Association trustee Frank Miller was interviewed by the Sacramento Daily Union about the possible transfer of the library to the City of Sacramento.  Miller said, "We think a free library would be an inducement so strong as to interest the people. They would own the library and feel that they had a

 proprietorship in every book and in all the property of the library."


With overwhelming support from the public, the property was transferred on March 31, 1879, and opened to the public as a free library on June 14, 1879.   The transfer accomplished its goal - the library now enjoyed steady support, and in its first year went from 150 paying members to 2,437 borrowers.

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 the Library


I went to my favorite place in the world today!! 

A very dangerous place, I must say.
Where the smell of dry ink and old pages lure me in.
A place where the work of Steinbeck and Hoffman 

welcome me with a grin. 

Where the classics dance on the shelves with a twirl and a spin.
A place where I can't help but reach for a copy of Huckleberry Finn,
Or the one about the goblin who learns that 

true beauty comes from within.

And how can I forget about the scaly fish with the weird tail fin?
Or the book about the violin playing princess from West Berlin.
And so I piled these paperback treasures until they were up to my chin.
And frolicked out the door wearing a big smile, eager to begin.


Ayah Abukhazneh

Southgate Library patron


Editor's note:  Please e-mail your story (100- to 250-word maximum) and a photo to us how the Sacramento Public Library has changed your life at

Bee Book Club and Library present next author appearances


The Sacramento Bee's Bee Book Club and the Sacramento Public Library will present esteemed authors whose books have garnered nationwide popularity.  Both free adult programs start at 6 p.m. with the doors opening at 5:15 p.m. in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library. 


Thursday, February 7: Paula McLain, author of The Paris WifeThe New York Times bestselling book is a deeply evocative story of 

ambition and betrayal.  The Paris Wife

captures a remarkable period of time -- Paris in the 1920s -- and an extraordinary love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley. (Update: this program is full.)


Thursday, March 7: Melanie Benjamin, author of The Aviator's Wife.  Benjamin's novel tells the story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh whose marriage with famed aviator Charles Lindbergh led to a complicated 47-year relationship - revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows.


Copies of McLain and Benjamin's books will be sold by Barnes & Noble Booksellers and signed by the authors at each respective program's conclusion. 

eBook Discover Station launched at Central Library


The Sacramento Public Library card holders can quickly download eBooks through the new 3M Cloud Library Discovery Station on Central Library's first floor.  More than 300 publishers have signed with the 3M Cloud Library offering thousands of more titles which greatly increases the Sacramento Public Library's access of downloadable books.  The 3M Cloud Library also offers a seamless platform for borrowing and reading eBooks.


The Discovery Station is a fun way for patrons to browse the Cloud Library eBook Collection using a touch screen interface. Patrons can also check out and place holds on eBooks from the kiosk, which will then appear on their tablet in the Cloud Library app. 


Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!


Several Sacramento Public Library branches will be celebrating the 109th birthday of Dr. Seuss (otherwise known as author Theodor Seuss Geisel) with parties and special events 

in early March.


One of those special birthday programs will 

feature News10 television anchor Dan Elliott who will 

read aloud the classic Dr. Seuss story, Green Eggs and Ham, at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 2, at Elk Grove Library.  A Dr. Seuss craft program and film showing will follow the storytime.


Find other Dr. Seuss branch parties on the library's events webpage. 

March 1 deadline nears for Go Direct signups


The Sacramento Public Library is helping the U.S. Department of the Treasury to remind federal beneficiaries in this region that Friday, March 1, 2013, is the deadline to sign up for the online payment system.


More than 5 million checks continue to be mailed to federal beneficiaries nationwide each month.  Converting the remaining paper check recipients to electronic payments will save American taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years.


Social Security and other federal benefit check recipients can sign up for direct depositor the Direct Express® card by calling toll-free 1-800-333-1795, visiting , or talking to their local federal paying agency office. The process is fast, easy and free.

  • By taking a few minutes to gather the necessary information ahead of time, most federal benefit recipients can sign up for electronic payments with one phone call.
  • Individuals will need their Social Security number or claim number, their 12-digital federal benefit check number and the amount of their most recent federal benefit check. If choosing direct deposit, recipients also will need their financial institution's routing transit number, (often found on a personal check) account number and account type (checking or saving).
  • There are no sign-up fees or monthly fees to receive benefits electronically. 

Raising a reader


Learning to read begins before children start school.  Help your child develop early literacy skills now: this makes it easier to learn to read once they begin school.  Five of the best ways to help your child get ready to read are:

  • Talking
  • Singing
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Playing

Help your child get ready to read with simple activities, such as talking. Talking with your child is one of the best ways to help develop language and other literacy skills.  Conversations help a child express thoughts, learn what words mean, and gain new information about the world.


Any place is a good place to talk with your child.  All you need is to take the time and ignore any distractions.  Listen to what your child says, answer questions, add new information, and listen some more!


Chances to chat during the day include:

  • Morning routines
  • In the car
  • Waiting in line
  • Before a nap
  • Out on a walk
  • During meals
  • Doing household chores
  • At the store (or library!)
  • During bath time
  • Before bedtime

To learn more about early literacy, and programs for young readers, check us out at 

From the Foundation



1: relationship formed by two or more people or groups who work together for some purpose, 

2: cooperation between people or groups working together.


The Sacramento Public Library Foundation is expanding its partnerships with agencies and individuals in the Sacramento community who understand the critical nature of Sacramento's literacy crisis and who equally understand that working together with others that share similar concerns is important to long term sustainable solutions.


Partnerships are based on trust and mutual respect. We think that is the relationship we have with you, our donors and partners. You trust us with your money to help support library activities in the community and fund programs that forward the whole community through the library. The library has an invaluable role to play in advancing literacy in our community. The library is a rich and free resource that parents can use to further their children's opportunities and educations.


In many ways, the most logical community partnerships are those between schools, preschools, daycare, tutoring groups and the library. These literacy and educational institutions, in which our communities invest untold dollars, don't have a clear path to follow in forging long term relationships. Some library branches have had great success with summer reading by going out to recruit from the schools to get children into the libraries and fight the notorious 'summer slide' in reading skills. Some parents already have a tradition of reading with their children. But those who need help the most often don't see and use the Library as a partner. The Foundation wants to help change that.


You, as donors, are our most significant partners. Join us to facilitate and enhance potential partnerships in literacy. We would like to hear from you. 


April L. Butcher

Executive Director

Sacramento Public Library Foundation

Fun, excitement and mystery at 2013 Authors on the Move


Authors on the Move - the Library Foundation's annual gala event and Sacramento's premier literary event - celebrates its 11th anniversary with an evening of excitement, entertainment and storytelling.  Authors on the Move: There is Still the Story will be held from 5 - 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Sacramento.


Featured speaker, Gail Tsukiyama will be speak about her new novel, A Hundred Flowers, about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Capital Public Radio is this year's media sponsor, and Beth Ruyak of Insight will be the mistress of ceremonies for the event.


The evening begins with a complimentary champagne reception and book signing, followed by a four-course gourmet meal (including a bottomless glass of wine!) and the opportunity to talk with local authors at your table.  The live auction features several exclusive Author experiences, providing one-of-a-kind opportunities for guests to indulge their literary passions.


If you ever wanted to talk to an author and find out what makes them tick, this is your chance.  Participating authors have dinner with the guests, rotating tables with every course and discussing their writing experiences and latest work.


Tickets to Authors on the Move are $200 each ($1,500 for an eight-person table). The event sells out every year, so be sure to reserve your tickets today. Proceeds from the event to toward Foundation operations and the Sacramento Public Library's Summer Reading program.


For more information on Authors on the Move, including the current list of participating authors, or to purchase tickets or make a reservation, visit or call (916) 264-2711. 

From the Friends of the Library


Rare Bible Found at Friends of the Sacramento Public Library's Book Den


Friends of the Sacramento Public Library volunteers recently discovered a rare treasure while sorting through boxes of donated books at their 

Book Den warehouse.  They were amazed to find a Bible signed by 31 members of the 1953 Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, including the manager and coach, and given to Wesley Branch Rickey who was the team's field manager in 1951 and 1952.


In 1945, Rickey became the first executive to break baseball's color line when he signed Jackie Robinson, who became the major leagues' first African-American player in the 20th century.


Friends members remain puzzled how this unique Bible arrived anonymously as a Book Den donation 60 years later.  Initial estimates value this Bible at $600 to $800.


The signed Bible will be on display in the Central Library lobby with other Black History Month exhibit items through March 11.

Become a Friend of the Sacramento Public Library


Become a member of one of the Sacramento area's biggest volunteer groups - the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library.  Invest in the success of the library by donating time and used books, and helping raise funds for library programs, equipment, books and materials.


Families, businesses, and people of all ages may join the Friends.  Those in their twenties and thirties are encouraged to visit alt+library friends for special Friends fundraising opportunities.


Apply online to join the Friends and receive the Among Friends bimonthly newsletter, Friends events calendar, insider news and advocacy alerts, 10 percent discount and members-only preview at library book sales, and an invitation to the Annual All Friends Dinner.


Carrie Sessarego

Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Board Member

Friends' 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 Book Den 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.Book Sale
Branch Friends Book Sales 

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. 

Sacramento Public Library
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA  95814