Archive | December, 2011

Cute and Quirky Crafts: A hot trend in 2011

Looking back over 2011, one of the most interesting craft trends to emerge for knitters, crocheters, and felters is a relatively new niche:  the cute and sometimes quirky Amiguruni and Mochimochi.   These tiny anthropomorphized animals, dolls and inanimate objects (knit pianos, and couches, for instance) now populate the landscape of this very imaginative world.   Etsy, the popular online craft marketplace, considers this new niche a best seller.

Amigurumi derives from a combination of the Japanese words ami (crocheted or knitted) and nuigurumi (stuffed doll) and Mochimochi is a descriptive word meaning “squishy” like the traditional sweet made of sticky rice (mocha).   You may want to check out these Amigurumi and Mochimochi authors as  representative of this craft.

Book CoverMitsuki Hoshi’s recent titles both appearing in 2011 are Ami Ami dogs:   seriously cute crochet and Ami Ami dogs 2:  more seriously cute crochet!  (They synchronize nicely with the current interest in all things canine).


Book CoverAna Rimoli has written three titles:  Amigurumi world: seriously cute crochet (2008), Amigurumi two: crocheted toys for me and you and baby too (2009), and Amigurumi toy box: cute crocheted friends (2011).


Book CoverAnna Hrachovec has published Knitting Mochimochi:  20 super-cute strange designs for knitted Amigurumi (2010) and Teeny-tiny Mochimochi: more than 40 itty-bitty minis to knit, wear, and give (2011).


Is there anybody who can resist even a slight smile when saying these titles out loud?   That does seem to be the idea.   Quirky, yes but at least a welcome diversion from the ubiquitous scarf or socks.   This is a quick craft when the basics are mastered, many taking just a few hours to complete.   Enjoy!

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Who is that librarian at the table?

If you go to one of the local middle or high schools, you may have seen someone at a blue table in the quad during your lunch hour. Who is she and what is she doing here? you may have thought.

That is a LIBRARIAN. And she is visiting your school to do a lot of fun and helpful things with the students (that means you!)

The Lunchtime Librarian has flyers about upcoming teen programs. She has information about the Sunnyvale Public Library and what the Library can do for you. If you attend Fremont or Homestead High, she has a laptop and can look up information, check the library catalog or databases for you, or even issue you a new Sunnyvale Library Card!

But the coolest thing the Lunchtime Librarian has is the Book Swap. You’ll see a box of books on her table…really good new and used teen titles, like Twilight or Eragon, or even some manga or cartoon books like Naruto or Garfield. Come on up and look through the box…and if you’ve brought some of your own books that you don’t want any more, you can trade yours for hers, one for one! It’s a great way to recycle books and get something new to read. Her books come from some of the donations given to the Sunnyvale Library, so they are recycled as well.

Here’s the schedule for the Lunchtime Librarian; remember, she’s there during the school lunch period.

Fremont High School:
First and Third Wednesday
on the walkway near the Library entrance.
January 4, 18   February 1, 15   March 7, 21 etc.

Homestead High School:
Second and Fourth Wednesdays
in the back quad near the guidance office
January 11, 25   February 8   March 14, 28 etc.

Columbia Middle School:
First Tuesdays
In the cafeteria quad
January 3   February 7   March 6 etc.

Sunnyvale Middle School:
Fourth Tuesdays
In the quad outside the school office
January 30   February 28   March 27 etc.

So the next time you see her, go on over and say hello. Swap a book or ask a question, and she’ll give you information, a smile and a free bookmark.


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eBooks in the Thousands

Do you have an e-reader, but hate the idea of buying every book you’d like to read?  Well the Library has a great collection of downloadable books that are completely free to Sunnyvale Library card holders.  Our primary source for downloadable books is Overdrive.  In this collection you’ll find bestselling fiction and non-fiction as well as books for young adults.  But look further down our list of eBook options and you’ll see a great resource for classics, Project Gutenberg

 This is a volunteer effort to make available public domain books, which usually indicates they are no longer under copyright and therefore can be distributed without paying fees and getting permission from the original author or their estate.  This means you can get the classics you need for school assignments or save an electronic copy of that ginormous book you’ve always wanted to plow through but didn’t want to hold for hours on end.  A sampling of the classics we have included in our catalog include:


  • Don Quixote (over 1000 pages in print)
  • The Art of War (always checked out of the Library)
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • Anne of Green Gables (and the sequels)
  • and the popular classic novels of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, etc.

The Library has almost 500 titles  PG books listed in our catalog, but there are many more available through the main PG site.  Make sure to read the helpful guide to formats and devices and don’t be surprised when you see that many languages are included and quite a few books have illustrations.

Arthur Rackham illustration from A Christmas Carol

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The Promise

Last summer I met a memorable family. I actually met them in a book but I can assure you that they are very real people.

Alice Ozma, a recent college graduate, penned the memoir The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared and introduced us to her father, children’s librarian, Jim Brozina.

Alice and her father have a wonderful story to share. There was a time when 9-year-old Alice experienced the break-up of the marriage of her mother and father and the departure of her older sister  for  college. Life had changed dramatically for the Brozina family and father and young daughter were spending more time together. And so the librarian dad and his little girl made a pact – they would read together every night for one hundred nights. When the one hundredth night arrived they both felt a little sad. They had met their goal but neither wanted to stop and so they continued for 3,218 days; from fourth grade to the first day of college.

Life was not perfect, there were financial difficulties that Jim admits were “scary,” but reading together or “The Streak” as they called their reading journey provided stability through uncertain times. Father and daughter looked forward to reading together each evening although as Alice grew older there were nights when reading together before midnight was harder to arrange but the two were persistent and never missed a day.

Alice Ozma is an articulate writer who shares many warm and witty stories. It is clear that this father and daughter pair experienced something very unique. Through their mutual love of books and reading they forged a bond which is about more than sharing books.

Read this book and become inspired to read to a child.

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Away on Vacation? Freeze your holds!

Frozen ExtremesAre you going on vacation during this holiday season, but have items on hold and don’t want to lose your place in line in case they come in while you’re away?  Just freeze your holds!

Freezing a hold allows you to maintain your place in the hold list without your hold fulfilling if your turn comes up.  If you become hold number one, patrons behind you will jump ahead, until you return and unfreeze (thaw?) your hold.  At that point, your hold will fulfill when the next copy becomes available.  Please note that you cannot freeze an item that is already on the holdshelf awaiting pickup.

The freeze holds feature is easy to activate:

  1. Log in to your library account.
  2. Click to view your holds list.  You should see a column labeled “Freeze” on the far right of the list with a checkbox next to each freeze-eligible item.
  3. Check the boxes next to all items you would like to freeze.
  4. Click the “Update List” button at the top or bottom of the list.  You will be asked to verify with the text “The following hold(s) will be cancelled or updated, would you like to proceed?”  Click ‘yes’.
  5. You should see each frozen item’s line change color and icicles appear.

When you return from vacation, don’t forget to unfreeze your holds!  Simply repeat the process, by unchecking the freeze box and updating the list.  We hope this feature helps you take one more thing off your mind so you can enjoy your vacation!

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