Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Wanderlust Librarian | Drive the car , unload the car, and tune out

Camping is one of those little luxuries that everybody should try at least once. I started my camping career pretty late in life. It was about 10 years ago and my friend invited me and Scout to spend a long weekend in Bodega Bay. Having never camped, I brought a borrowed tent and an additional (borrowed) sleeping bag.

Camping: evoking memories of singalongs by the campfire, s'mores and the woods, waking up and looking grungy (and liking it!)

This looks like a house. Seriously. There's a side table. :/

Glamping: real beds, a couch, a heater and something resembling a living room under something resembling a gigantic tent

I've done my share of tent camping. I'm proud to say I've learned to cook outdoors (thanks to my friend inviting me to many camping trips and cooking alongside an amazing chef), pitch a tent (albeit with help) and build an effective campfire (thanks YouTube!). 

Our (tent) cabin in the woods
The beds were comfy! 
A while back, I went to the Big Basin Redwoods Campgrounds in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my daughter Scout and our friends Emma and Taylor. It was a long ride but worth every foresty minute. As the crow flies, it's about 40 minutes outside of San Jose...but as the car rides 25 miles per hour around windy mountain passes and blinding sunlight, it felt like 2 hours away from creation! It was one of the only times I've felt nauseous driving. Like a small child, when I got to the campsite, I was cranky, hungry... and needed a nap. Luckily, I was met with a tent cabin. A no frills wooden structure with 2 queen beds and a wood burning heater. Emma and Taylor had arrived before Scout and I did so they had set up a lot of the standard camping things.   

This left us time to do other things like cook great food and hike. This bloggess did NOT go on a hike with her friends and offspring. I stayed behind and cleaned camp. And read Gone, Girl. And napped. And made a sandwich. And napped. 

Oh.. and I scared away a big crow that was trying to attack our food. When it flew towards me, I ran away. 

C O O K I E!!! 
Camp oven! 
Lizzie brought her trusty camp oven. It's an amazing metal box that goes over the camp stove. The stove heats the oven and you bake things as you would at home. We had biscuits for breakfast and dinner and she made a huge, warm cookie that we had for dessert by the fire. It was fabulous. It broke the monotony of the smores that most people enjoy (we had them on another night). 

New Polaroid pictures are teeny tiny! 
Camping is always about relaxing in the quiet, having fun and enjoying the company of friends and family WITHOUT smartphone interruption. It was hard to not have pictures to share at the very moment things happened, but we survived. Taylor brought a Polaroid camera. Yes... they're back! We were able to take pictures of us and give them to the Camp Host next door as a Thank You for being so sweet to us over our stay. 

Our pictures are few but the memories are abundant! Take a camping trip nearby! The library has some fantastic books to help you plan your outdoor adventure.

Outdoor adventure is...outdoors! 

Do you have any camping tips or questions about our trip? Leave them in the comments below. 


The Bloggess
The picture is blurry, but the food was fantastic! 
Trees. Awesome. Smell. Good. 

Scout on a log. Over a bog. Being weird. 

A pretty waterfall on the hike

Book Bucket List | Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

I love October.  It's the beginning of fall, it's finally cooling off, and we have the holidays coming up.  This year, the county wide reading program, One Book One San Joaquin is also in October!  This year we are featuring the Gothic classic, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.  For kids, we are promoting an awesome picture book by Adam Rex called Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich.  There are many stories and poems in this book and the art is pretty amazing.  This book has been flying off our shelves here in Manteca and will also be the theme to many craft programs throughout the county.

If you want to get in the spirit of Halloween and celebrate this creative book, join us at one of our Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich programs!

Friday, October 10 at 3:30 pm - Cesar Chavez Central Library

Tuesday, October 14 at 4:00 pm - Manteca Branch Library

Thursday, October 16 at 4:00 pm - Tracy Branch Library

Monday, October 27 at 6:30 pm - Mountain House Branch Library

So come to your local branch and check out your copy of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich.  Also check out our website for more One Book, One San Joaquin program information!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Learning | Ombudsman


Recently, a co-worker stumbled across the word ombudsman while she was helping the customer look up some federal government job titles.  We talked about what an odd word it is.  

I remember an Ombudsman's Office at my undergraduate alma mater; it helped people get through red tape with things like housing, financial aid, legal matters, and so forth. But I never really looked up the word, and wondered where it came from.

I did look the word up in the dictionary; you will find the definition and etymology at the end of this post.  I'm hiding it at the end, because I want to show you a few things about using SSJCPL's website,

Consulting the library catalog

I started by searching the catalog. I used both the classic and shiny new beta catalog, and found the same results in each of them. (Try out the shiny new catalog, and let us know what you think! We are still testing it and tweaking it a little bit, but it won't be long before it's the default search on our site.)

The only result from a keyword catalog search for ombudsman was

The catalog suggested trying the term ombudspersons, which yielded a 1973 document from the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare: Child advocacy : report of a national baseline study

Monday, October 6, 2014

Just Life | Parent's Guide To The Common Core

If you are as clueless as moi about the new common core system in schools, I got good news for you.

At Troke, we just received these books called " A Parent's guide to common core."

Here are these books.

Since I have a 4th grader and I don't know anything about this new common core system, I feel lucky to come across these books by accident. 

Don't forget that you can place any of these books on hold and pick it up from your local library in just a few days.

I hope you find these books useful.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha