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Celebrating Women of Science

The theme for Women’s History Month is Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  It seems particularly appropriate for Silicon Valley where so many men and women work in the STEM fields.  As I looked through the list of honorees and nominees chosen by the Women’s History Month Project, I was surprised to see a name I recognized.  Mildred Dresselhaus is an Institute Professor and Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering (Emeritus) at MIT.  She has received many awards over her long career, including the National Medal of Science in 1990 in recognition of her work on electronic properties of materials as well as expanding the opportunities of women in science and engineering.  I would probably have not known about her except that I happened to meet her daughter at a musical event last year.  She had just come back from Norway where she watched her mother receive the 2012 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience.  What interested me is that her mother is now in her eighties.  She had become a scientist when very few women were encouraged to enter the STEM fields,  much less have a career at all.  An article in the New York Times includes a very interesting interview with Mildred.  She entered MIT in 1960 when only 4% of the students were female.  Today, about 40% of the students are women.  Thanks to the work of Mildred Dresselhaus and others, women are becoming more accepted in scientific fields but there is still progress to be made.  Here are a few titles to inspire you:

Unlocking your brilliance



 Unlocking your brilliance: Smart strategies for women to thrive in science, technology, engineering and math by Karen D. Purcell



Breaking into the lab



 Breaking into the lab:  Engineering progress for women in science by Sue V. Rosser



She's such a geek!



 She’s such a geek!: Women write about science, technology & other nerdy stuff edited by Annalee Newitz & Charlie Anders

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Preserving Local History

Libby towerFor more than a decade, the Library has been collecting and recording stories from residents about their past experiences and memories of living and working in Sunnyvale. Using new technology, library staff created “mini-documentaries” about times gone by, preserving these slices of history for generations to come. Storytellers told about what it was like working in the fruit industry, living in Sunnyvale during World War II, attending local schools and enjoying neighborhood block parties, making local history come alive with their lively tales and colorful pictures. View these stories on the Sunnyvale History page.

The Library is once again embarking on a quest for stories, this time focusing on immigrants to Sunnyvale from India, China, Japan, Korea, Nicaragua, Russia and other countries, especially in the last 40 years. Recording the stories is easy and fun.  Library staff will interview you, scan any photos you might have and put them together to make a movie of your experiences. We’ll even give you a DVD to take home and share with your family. If you’d like to participate, visit the above mentioned Sunnyvale History page on the Library’s website. Fill out the application and we will contact you. And don’t be shy, everyone has a story to tell!


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Love my new e-reader!

GlowlightI finally made the leap and bought a Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight.  I had resisted buying an e-reader for quite some time; after all, I work in a library and have books at my fingertips every day.  But when Barnes & Noble came out with the Glowlight feature, I began to see possibilities.  I was a little concerned about buying books since that is something I rarely do.  So, I justified my first purchase by starting with a relatively hard-to-find book by an older author, Nevil Shute, titled No Highway.  It’s a great book, by the way, especially if you’re the engineering type.  And that’s when I fell in love with my Nook.  I could read it anywhere!  No longer was I bound by having to sit near a light.  I could read out on the patio, camping,  in the car or in bed at night.  No more reading by flashlight as I have been known to do in the past.

As soon as I finish No Highway, I will turn to the Overdrive collection offered by the library.  I’ve already spent time exploring Overdrive since the other librarians and I are asked about it often.  There are long waiting lists for newer titles, but I checked the box labeled “show only available copies” and found many books that I could read right away.  There are a few steps to take to prepare your e-reader to download these books, but once that’s done, sign in and you’re on your way.  The help page on Overdrive is quite good and we have a short video tutorial that is helpful as well.  (Scroll down the “How do I…?” page to find the tutorial.)

Is this the end of the printed book for me?  I don’t think so, at least not yet.  My Nook is great for reading novels, but I’m not so sure how I would like it for books on decorating, cooking, or knitting. Another problem is that some of the major publishers are not giving libraries access to their new titles in digital format.  The American Library Association is quite concerned about this and some libraries, such as Sacramento Public Library have been very  proactive about the situation.  We will be watching  closely to see how it all plays out.

One last thing, if you haven’t taken a look at our e-reader petting zoo and tried out the other e-readers on the market, you should take a minute to do so.  They are all just a little bit different and just as I think the Nook with Glowlight is perfect for me, you will find one that is perfect for you.  And of course, stop by the Info Desk and let us know what you think.


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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Did you know that Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, authors of the famous seventh inning stretch song, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, had never attended a game when they wrote the song in 1908? In fact it would be 20 years before Albert attended a game and 32 years before Jack did! The song wasn’t heard at a ballpark until 1934, when, according to Wikipedia, it was played at a high school game in Los Angeles. It was believed to have made its major league debut sometime later that year.

Today, thanks to television, we can enjoy the thrill of the game and sing during the seventh inning stretch in the comfort of our own homes. If you become addicted to the game, as many of us are, extend your enjoyment by visiting the 796.357 section of the Library. There you will find books about famous players, such as Joe Dimaggio, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays and famous teams such as the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants. Also, you can read about how to play the game, how to coach the game and how to manage the game. Scattered throughout the fiction collection, you will find many captivating novels about America’s favorite pastime. Here are just a few to get you started.

Baseball Baseball: A Literary Anthology, edited by Nicholas Dawidoff
A lively mix of stories, poems, memoirs, news reports and insider accounts about all aspects of baseball.



Bullpen gospelsThe Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst
Experience the lighter and darker sides of the life of a minor league pitcher as he awaits the call to join the big leagues.



Joe Dimaggio56: Joe DiMaggio and the last magic number in sports by Kostya Kennedy
Recounts Joe DiMaggio’s streak in the summer of 1941 and how it found its way into countless lives.




Art of fieldingThe Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
The lives of five people are profoundly affected when a throw by star shortstop Henry Skrimshander goes disastrously wrong.



CalicoCalico Joe by John Grisham
This story, based on the Cubs and Mets 1973 season, follows the divergent paths of Joe Castle, a rookie hitter for the Chicago Cubs and Warren Tracey, a hard-throwing Mets pitcher.

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Grant Information Center

Foundation Center The Library is pleased to announce that it is now a Cooperating Collection of the Foundation Center. This is exciting news because it means that library users now have access to the Center’s wealth of information about grants and grantmakers in the U.S. and around the world, all for free! The collection includes grantmaker directories, books on fundraising and nonprofit management, and resources to assist in the grant seeking process. Also included is access to three online resources that are accessible at our Grant Information Center page from a Library computer.

In addition to these great resources, the librarians will receive training to better guide you in your search for grants and throughout the year classes and webinars will be offered to the general public. Sunnyvale Public Library will be THE place to come for information about grants!

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