Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Learning | Science! It's what's for Summer Reading

Science is the word this summer! We have science-themed programs for adults, teens, and kids. The adult theme is "Literary Elements;" for teens, it is "Spark a Reaction," and, of course, for children, it is "Fizz, Boom, Read!"

This week, let's talk about "Literary Elements," the theme for adults. Most of us realize that the library has books full of scientific facts in the non-fiction and reference areas of the collection. But we have some fiction that's scientific, too.


I cannot think of a better fiction series to link to the "Literary Elements" theme than Camille Minichino's Periodic Table Mystery series.  The main character, Gloria Lamerino, is a retired physicist, who has a second career as a science consultant for the police. (She also happens to be in love with a police detective.) She has an amazing scientific mind and her share of foibles, and interesting friends; what's not to like?

Each book in the Periodic Table series focuses on a particular element, which is central to the solution (no pun intended) to the mystery, for example, "The Nitrogen Murder." These are fun reads, and not too gruesome. Think of them as cozy science mysteries.  

Fun fact: Camille Minichino visited the Tracy Branch Library some years back. There was a library program about mystery writers, and she was on the panel.

Science Fiction

There is another fiction genre that dovetails nicely with this year's theme: science fiction.This genre is chock full of interesting stories and talented writers.  Science fiction stories are based on imagined and/or future worlds. They often feature scientific or technological advances. Some of these worlds portray dystopian societies, for example, Ray Bradbury's classic, Fahrenheit 451, in which books are burned. (Eek!)

Not fiction, but a really good story

Biographies are accounts of real people's lives. I find that reading a biography can be as engrossing as a fictional story.  

For example, read this book by Berkeley neurobiologist Sybil Lockhart: Mother in the middle: a biologist's story of caring for parent and child

Many of us have had the experience of caring for an elderly parent with dementia, and caring for our own children at the same time.  Lockhart's story is especially interesting, because her expertise in neurobiology allows her to alternatively marvel and cringe at the effects of the disease progression on her mother--and at the developmental biological effects occurring in her growing daughters. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Bucket List | Fizz! Boom! Read!

Today is the first Monday of Summer Reading  This is pretty awesome for a few reasons.  First, if you sign up for the summer reading program, you can not only get a prize for finishing card, but you can enter a raffle to win a Kindle!  Where else can you read books to get prizes?  The other cool thing about summer reading is all of the FREE programs happening at all of our branches!

Just this week, we have a number of things going on:

Today! Monday, June 2:

Our Mountain House Branch Library is hosting a Summer Reading Kickoff Party at 5:00 pm.  There will be crafts along with summer reading sign ups where you can get your book bag, bookmark, and a special prize!

Tuesday June 3:

At the Ripon Branch, teens are invited to come to make painted galaxy t-shirts or tote bags!  Supplies will be provided, but if you want to decorate other items, like backpacks or scarves, bring your own!  This program starts at 2:00 on June 3.

At 5:00 pm at the Mountain House Library, they are hosting another awesome program, this time for teens.  In this program, teens will find out about the math behind such art-forms as string-art and M. C. Escher-type tessellations. Teens will also have a chance to make their own art and display it in a "Mathematical Art Show" ending on July 31.

The Summer Reading Kickoff Party at the Tracy Branch Library starts at 3:00 pm.  They're having a special 'tasty' party and signing children, teens, and adults up for summer reading!

Wednesday, June 4:

The Manteca Branch Library is kicking off the Summer Reading program with two shows from Magic Dan!  Come enjoy the magic and sign up for summer reading.  There will be two shows, the first starting at 1:30 pm and the second at 3:00 pm! 

The Ripon Branch Library invites children to the Book Buddy and Paws for Reading Program, every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Teen, adult, and therapy dog volunteers are available to sit and listen to children read.  Alternately, volunteers may also read to the kids.  This is a great way to keep up reading activities over the summer and great practice for reading aloud.

The Escalon Library is hosting several fun Summer Reading Program on Wednesdays in the month of June. Brian Scott's Biblio Spectacular will arrive on June 4th at 3 p.m. 

At the Lathrop Library at 3:00 pm, our local lady clown Miss Sparkles Delight will truly delight children of all ages!  Come enjoy her hysterical antics, stories, and colorful costumes, for free for the whole family! 

Thursday, June 5:

At the Linden Library at 2:30 pm, join us for snakes and more when the Serpentarium comes to Linden to show off all kinds of cool reptiles and animals. Come early for a good seat because this show will be crowded! 

At the Ripon Branch Library at 2 pm, watch as Aladdin thwarts the evil sorcerer, discovers the magical lamp, befriends the powerful genie, and saves the princess.  Traditional music and intricate costumes showcase storytelling from ancient cultures of the Far East. Utilizing dramatic staging, The Fratello Marionettes present this magical tale as it has never been seen before. 

At the Maya Angelou Branch Library, join us at 3:30 to enjoy the Steve Chaney & Corny Crow Ventriloquism show!  Families are invited to join us for the fun! 

At the Cesar Chavez Central Library at 3:30 pm,, kick off the 2014 Summer Reading Club -- Fizz! Boom! Read! -- with an entertaining AND educational event for the whole family! 

At the Tracy Branch Library at 4:00 pm, come watch Rav the Magician turn a room full of kids, into a room full of smiling, clapping kids! Join us as we welcome Rav the Magician to help us get our Summer Reading Program underway. 

 At the Troke Branch Library, join us for the Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party with Eva Fox. Eva and one more clown will come to the Troke Library and will do face  painting and make balloons for children. Popcorn will be served. Come join us and sign up for Summer Reading Program; all ages. 

Saturday June 7:

On Saturday, June 7, the Manteca Branch Library at 2:00 pm, will be offering Crochet with Norma Lynn!  Have you ever wanted to learn to crochet? Learn from local crochet master, NormaLynn Hood! Our teacher will show you the basics in getting started with this fun and informative class! After the program, check out books and other media related to crochet and other needlework projects!

Just Life| When I Go Back To Iran

I was cleaning my files and I came across a picture of me that made me write this blog. I am not sure how many of my coworkers would recognize me in this picture.

As you can see, I am all covered up and you can't see my hair.

You might ask why? Let me explain:

I am originally from Iran. There was an Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979, so shortly after that Islamic revolution, the Theocracy replaced the Monarchy in Iran and everybody needed to abide by the Islamic rules.

Before 1979, Iranian women were allowed to wear whatever they wanted to wear in public, after the Islamic revolution, all women are required to wear Hijab in public.

When I was in Iran, I had to wear a scarf. I was required to wear a long jacket to cover the shape of my body and I needed to wear pants or thick socks.

I didn't have a choice. This was the law of the land. There are even special police who enforces these Islamic laws.

Believe me, you don't want to mess with these special police.

For example, my poor aunt got snatched by that special police while window shopping with her husband and her children. She spent a couple of days in the notorious Evin Prison because her socks weren't thick enough. How crazy is that?

My friend spent a night in prison and received numerous lashes for mingling with boys at a birthday party.

So, whenever they show Iranian women with Hijab on the American television, I just want to inform the American public that most of these Iranian women that you see on your television screen, don't want to hide behind those scarves, but they don't have a choice.

So every time I travel to Iran to visit my family, I cover up from head to toe since I don't have a choice either.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha