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What we’re doing in response to survey responses

Many thanks again to the 242 of you who completed our recent survey about library services. You made us feel very good when you praised us, and your comments for additions, improvements and changes became our “to do” list.

If you missed the highlights of the survey results, please go to our web site at and click on “10/22/09 What you told us in your survey responses” in the upper right Library News box.

Now we’d like to tell you the changes we’ve already made since the survey, and ones we hope to implement in the future. First, the six changes already made, per your request:

• Longer computer sessions — 60 minutes total per day, up from 30 minutes during high season.

• A floor plan collection map in print at the welcome display as well as at the two computer catalog stations.

• A paperback book exchange with no library card required, located inside the library near the ongoing book sale shelf. Gentle reminder: The paperbacks are not meant to be giveaways. The idea is that people will read and return or exchange for something new.

• Computer education programs — The rollout began October 29 and 39 with the Technology Open House.

• Program marketing on KSUT/National Public Radio as well as on our local KWUF radio station.

• Updates and improvements to the library Web site.

Also in response to your suggestions, in the near future we are planning computer training for software and database tutorials, additional adult enrichment and education programming, a seasonal library newsletter starting in 2010, improved accessibility of the library catalog, improved and expanded signage, and a review of our magazine subscriptions to be sure we have what most of you want.

A little farther out into the future, we will do a complete review of our adult fiction and nonfiction titles, and make improvements to our interlibrary loan system and local catalog searching as we join an all-new catalog with neighboring libraries in 2010. Open for discussion in the future — the possibility of meeting space, a movie room and additional hours of operation in the evenings and on weekends.

Thanks again for all your great ideas. Thanks especially to the hundreds of you who mentioned the friendly, helpful staff as a highlight of your library experience. It is a joy to serve you.

Lifelong Learning

This Saturday, Nov. 7, brings the fifth of the fall series of six free Lifelong Learning lectures at the library as San Juan Symphony music director Arthur Post speaks from 3-4:15 p.m. on how fairy and folk tales, myths and fables, tall tales and short stories have inspired composers to write their most engaging and colorful music across America, Europe, Russia and the Fast East.

Christmas Bazaar

This Saturday, Nov. 7, also is the hugely popular Women’s Civic Club bazaar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center.? As always, you’ll enjoy the bake sale, cafe, raffle and a silent auction — and a great variety of goods from a record 71 booths. All proceeds from the bazaar go to the library. We hope to see you there.

New novels

“Crossers” by Philip Caputo is a new novel about the brutality and beauty of life on the Arizona-Mexico border. “The Christmas List” is this year’s inspiring Christmas story by Richard Paul Evans. “Half Broke Horses” is a true-life novel by Jeannette Walls about her grandmother. “Baking Cakes in Kigali” by Gaile Parkin is set in modern-day Rwanda. “The Water Cure” by Percival Everett, a tale of a victim turned villain, is a satire exploring the impact of national excesses on individual conscious.

Books for teens

New fiction include “Once Was Lost” by acclaimed Christian author Sara Zarr, the graphic novel “Stitches: A Memoir” by David Small, “The Adoration of Jenna Fox” by Mary E. Pearson, “Devil’s Kiss” by Sarwat Chedda, “Front and Center” by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, and “Leviathan” by Scott Westerfeld.

Dog books

New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz has two more books about dogs — “Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Animals of Bedlam Farm” and “A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs and Me.”

Books about real people

“American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood” is a biography of the Hollywood icon by film historian Marc Eliot. “The Leader in Me” by Stephen R. Covey shows how schools and parents around the world are inspiring greatness, one child at a time. “Strength in What Remains” by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder details the life of an immigrant to the U.S. who is given help and hope by ordinary people in New York. “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan is a collection of stories about the wisdom and resilience of children. “Official Book Club Selection” is a memoir by Emmy winner, Grammy nominee and comedian Kathy Griffin.

Religious nonfiction

“The Case for God” by Karen Armstrong details the great lengths from the Paleolithic age to the present to which humankind has gone to experience a sacred reality. “Quantum Gods” by Victor J. Stenger explores “creation, chaos and the search for cosmic consciousness.” “Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and How to Get There From Here” by biologist Bruce H. Lipton and Steve Bhaerman looks at how changing our understanding of biology and human history will help us navigate these turbulent times.

More nonfiction

“Stone Chisel and Yucca Brush” is a book about Colorado Plateau rock art by Ekkehart Malotki. “Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Children’s Book by Anita Silvey explores life lessons from 100 notable people from all walks of life. “Guinness Book of World Records 2010” includes the top 100 record-breakers of the decade, and the records that have never been beaten. “Warrior’s Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting” by Douglas Macgregor looks at a battle from Operation Desert Storm. “The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read” by Daniel R. Solin covers investing, pensions, tax deferred accounts, annuities, reverse mortgages and other topics that worry people in these troubled times.

Fantasy and supernatural

“Unseen Academicals” by Terry Pratchett explores what happens when the wizards of Ankh-Morpork’s Unseen University put forth a football team. “A Touch of Dead” by Charlaine Harris is another in the southern vampire series starring telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. “And Another Thing …” is the sixth installment of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series by Eoin Colfer.

Thanks to our donors

For a generous donation, we thank Alene Cole. For books and materials this week we thank Ben Bailey, Kathleen Cangialosi, Marti Gallo, Sharee Grazda, Ron Graydon, Kathy Hamilton, Bamma Laizure, Reyne O’Neal, Robert Olander, Jean Shah and Bev Warburton.

Quotable quote

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), Roman statesman, orator and philosopher.

Web site

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our Web site at