Archive | April, 2011

Electric Bills Too High? Find Out How Much Home Appliances are Costing

Kill-A-WattSunnyvale Public Library has Kill-A-Watt (KAW) meters to lend out!  You can now check out a meter for up to 3 weeks from the Library’s Information Desk.  Plug the meter into a wall socket and plug any appliance into the meter; the meter tracks the amount of energy used by the appliance.  You can project the electrical cost for using various appliances and figure out how to save on your energy bill.

If you have already used a KAW meter, please complete the linked survey below.  This program is made possible through collaboration with Silicon Valley Energy Watch, a partnership between the City of San Jose and PG&E.  Thank you!

The Kill A Watt™ Library Lending Program wants to hear from YOU!

Help us make our program even better.  Since we began lending Kill A Watt™ EZ meters to Santa Clara County residents in early 2010, thousands of you have checked out meters for use in your home or business. What was your experience? How could it be better?  Please let us know!  Go to, scroll down to the Kill A Watt™ section, and click on the survey link. If you don’t have online access at home, you can use a computer at your local library.

Thank you for participating.  If you have any questions, please contact us at or (408) 975-2531.  We look forward to continuing to help your community save energy, save money!   Here is the direct link to the  Kill A Watt meter survey:

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Pulitzer Prizes

Lots of great titles in this year’s batch of Pulitzer Prize winners! Check our library catalog for these gems.

Fiction winner: A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

History winner: The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, by Eric Foner

Biography winner: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Poetry winner: The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, by Kay Ryan

General nonfiction: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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Holmes Lives On

Many authors have borrowed Arthur Conan Doyle’s great Sherlock Holmes for their novels, but few are satisfying to fans of the original. There are, however, a few that I find enjoyable.

I particularly like Laurie King’s series with the smart, but arrogant Mary Russell. Mary who is more than a match for Holmes has a series of ten books and there will be an eleventh in September.

Others that I felt were very good include:

Mitch Cullin’s  A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005).

Michael Chabon’s  The Final Solution: a Story of Detection  (2004)

Jamyang Norbu’s  Sherlock Holmes: the Missing Years (2001)

Donald Thomas  The Execution of Sherlock Holmes (2007)

Theodore Riccardi’s  The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (2003)

If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes and are on the hunt for more books, here is a fun site that has plot descriptions, characters, locations, and publication data about an amazing number of pastiches:

Posted by SK

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National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!  It was first established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as way to pay tribute to the legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets.  Celebrate the beauty of language by checking out some of our many poetry books.  Some of my favorites include collections by Roger Housden such as Ten Poems to Open Your Heart and Chasing Rumi.  Or try The Best American Poetry, 2010.  Let the words roll off your tongue, the images fill your head and the emotions touch your heart.  Or, just for fun, go to and have them send you a poem each day this month. 

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New Circulation Notices Via Text Message

Would you like to receive circulation notices via a text message?

After you modify your My Account Patron Information by entering your e-mail/cell phone information, you will receive library notices via e-mail and multimedia text message including:

  • Items you requested that are ready for pickup
  • Items due soon
  • Overdue items

To add your cell phone information, log into your account and click on the “Modify Personal Info” button.  Follow the instructions provided for your cellular carrier.

Note: While there is no charge from the Library for this service, you may see a charge for incoming text messages at the standard rate applied by your cell phone carrier, depending on your plan or package.

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