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Tablets – eReaders and General

A lot more people are using smartphones and tablet computers for everything today. Many more than just a year ago. We have resources, both printed and eBooks, for all of the major tablet computers. Here are a few, sorted by type of device.

 eReader – Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire HD for dummies  Kindle Fire HD for dummies / by Nancy C. Muir




Kindle Fire [electronic resource] : out of the box / Brian Sawyer

Kindle Fire [electronic resource] : the book that should have been in the box / Peter Meyers

The Kindle Fire [electronic resource] : pocket guide / Scott McNulty

My Kindle Fire HD [electronic resource] / Jim Cheshire, Jennifer Kettell

Meet the Kindle Fire [electronic resource] / Scott McNulty

Introduction to Android app development for the Kindle Fire [electronic resource] / Lauren Darcey, Shane Conder

Taking your Kindle Fire to the max [electronic resource] / Mark Rollins

eReader – Nook HD

NOOK HD for dummies NOOK HD for dummies / by Corey Sandler





Since both of the previous eReaders/tablets use the Android Operating System, this will be the next section.

Tablet – Android OS

Android tablets for dummies Android Tablets for Dummies




Rough guide to Android phones & tablets The rough guide to Android phones & tablets / by Andrew Clare




Taking your Android tablets to the max [electronic resource] / Russell Holly

Android tablets made simple [electronic resource] / Marziah Karch

Beginning Android tablet programming [electronic resource] : starting with Android Honeycomb for tablets / Robbie Matthews

And let’s not forget the one that fashioned the craze.

Tablet – Apple iPad

iPad the missing manual iPad : the missing manual / J.D. Biersdorfer





iPad mini for dummies iPad mini for dummies / by Edward C. Baig and Bob “Dr. Mac.” LeVitus




iPad [electronic resource] : the missing manual / J.D. Biersdorfer

iPad for boomers [electronic resource] / Brian Proffitt

My iPad [electronic resource] / Gary Rosenzweig

My Ipad Mini [electronic resource] / Gary Rosenzweig

Take your iPad to work [electronic resource] / Brian Proffitt

Have fun and safe computing!

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drinkThough I’m fascinated by all things scientific now, as a child I was intimidated by the numbers and technicalities of science, and stayed that way well into young adulthood. My electrochemical engineer husband now has to bear the brunt of my trying to play catch-up with basic scientific concepts. I constantly bombard him with questions that fourth-graders have mastered: “So, wait, when you take a cold drink out of the fridge and it starts to sweat, that moisture is coming from the air because the water vapor in the warm air is turning back into liquid water when it hits the cold glass?!”  Ergo, I make heavy use of the library’s children’s non-fiction section any time I want to brush up on (or start from scratch about) a topic, whether I need a refresher on how our government is structured or an overview of climate change.

You can never have too many weapons in your knowledge arsenal, so when I stumbled across Wonderopolis recently, I was intrigued. A project of the National Center for Family Literacy, Wonderopolis is a fun and easy-to-navigate treasure trove of learning resources designed for children, parents, and educators of all stripes.

CastleI immediately signed up to receive its Wonder of the Day via email. The next day’s Wonder happened to be #931:  Where is the Biggest Castle in the World? The content included an article and video explaining the answer (Prague), sections including Try it Out (comprising activities like how to build your own sand castle based on a “Physics of Sand Castles” article written by NASA); Still Wondering? (with a link to a nearly two-hour film on castles and their historical significance hosted on the Kennedy Center’s website); and Wonder Words (with hyperlinked tags for further discovery within the Wonderopolis database). Teachers and parents will appreciate the ability to find a Wonder by correlation to Common Core State Standards. Kids can even submit their own Wonder for consideration.

It’s so easy to fall into a rut: doing the same things, talking to the same people, ingesting the same news sources, even forgetting to wonder about anything new. So do yourself a favor, and either sign up for a Wonder to be delivered to your inbox daily, or simply remember that when those little questions pop into your head (Why do zebras have stripes?) you could Google them, but the more enriching option, especially for kids, may be to search them in Wonderopolis.

Happy wondering!



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Talking It Out

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  — Hamlet, Act I, Scene V.

We live in amazing times. Scientists are working on bio-luminescent plants that could replace light bulbs. We’re inches away from the long-promised flying car. And we have successfully cloned a human embryo.

Even here at the Library, we’re offering some pretty futuristic stuff. For instance, did you know you can remotely beam books to your Kindle e-reader? (It’s like a Star Trek transporter for library books). And starting June 1, we’ll be offering 3D printing technology that lets you ‘print’ a model of an object you create. But how can we process all these fast and fabulous changes? Who can we talk to about this brave new world?

Each other, of course.

The Library is starting a Science and Math Discussion Group — kind of like our book groups, but without the book. Instead of discussing plot and character, we’ll be hashing out scientific discoveries and developments. No prior knowledge of a topic is necessary. Come to learn something new, or share what you know, or deepen your understanding through discussion. Because the world is changing fast, and we’re all in this together.

Science and Math Discussion Group meets the third Tuesday of every month, at 7 p.m., upstairs at the Library. Our first meeting is this Tuesday, May 21. We’ll be talking about the Higgs boson.

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Come fly with me?

As one of the children’s librarians I have a bunch of fun.  Children, in case you aren’t aware, think differently than grownups.  But why?  Well according to various “child experts” I’ve listened to over the years, there’s a very good and simple reason.  Small children don’t have the experience and knowledge to figure things out that grownups do.

For instance, if you as an adult are going on a trip by plane, and you’re told that you’ll need to “change planes” you know that you’ll be landing at an airport, walking down the steps, entering the airport and (hopefully) getting on the next plane at another gate.  But a child who’s never flown before wouldn’t know this and would have to try to figure things out with what they know about “change” and “planes.”  I once heard a story about a family who was going to move across the country.  Their young son was very excited about the move once he knew that he got to take all of his stuff, he’d have a big new bedroom, a backyard, and therefore a dog.  As the time for the move drew near and they began to talk of the flight, the little boy didn’t want to go anymore and would cry and scream at the mere mention of it.  Finally they asked him why.  He answered that he didn’t want to have to walk across the wings from one plane to the other because he was afraid he’d fall.  With his limited knowledge about planes he’d decided that changing planes meant…midair and that they would all climb out on the wing then jump to the wing of the other plane to continue their trip.  I would cry and scream too if that were the case.

Everyday we see children of all ages for storytimes, After School Center, various programs, class visits or just to pick out books.  Sometimes they walk right up to our desk and ask for what they’d like.  Sometimes they hide behind mom or dad and get them to ask us.  Sometimes they’re crying.  Sometimes they’re singing.  Sometimes they’re juuuuuust learning to walk and take full advantage of our long aisles to practice, which is about the most fun of all to watch.

Whatever stage your child is in, we undoubtably have programs going on for them.  We have storytimes for babies from birth to 5 years of age.  We have After School Center for children 6 years old to 8th grade.  High school students volunteer their time to help younger students practice their reading and older students with their homework.

To find out about our full schedule go to or sign up for our online newsletter here.

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Everyone Loves a Good Story

I moved four days ago. (I now both work and live in Sunnyvale!) During a lull in the packing frenzy last weekend, I cleared out the fridge and freezer and composed a gigantic one-pot meal from whatever edible hangers-on I could find. I started how I start so many meals – by sautéing onions, ginger and garlic in olive oil. Then I added shredded carrots, diced celery, frozen peas and green beans; then I threw in some leftover cooked rice – both white and brown – and chopped chicken and fried tofu nuggets. Finally, I seasoned the whole mess with soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, the last of some kimchi from 2012, several handfuls of peanuts and sesame seeds, and…voila! I had a dish that you’d find in no self-respecting gourmet cookbook anywhere.

But not only did it use up a crazy amount of leftovers, it was healthy, delicious, and absurdly easy. And as I sat there with my family, surrounded by moving boxes, eating our Last Supper (the symbolism that it was Easter weekend was not lost on me), I thought back over the hundreds of meals I had prepared in that kitchen over the course of the past year since moving to California. It was as if this meal, one made from what were truly the staples of my kitchen, was telling a farewell story about this little nook of a kitchen, a small depression in the footprint of my overall life, perhaps, but still one in which I had spent countless hours standing, chopping, stirring, dancing, all in the service of preparing meals for my family; sometimes accompanied by feelings of peace and calm, at other times frustration and distraction, but always reaching towards gratitude.

Humans are unique among the animals in our ability and our need to tell stories. Each one of us tells stories constantly, if indirectly, through our choices: what foods we nourish our bodies with, what clothes we cover and decorate our bodies with, what friends we surround ourselves with, what books we display on a new home’s shelves. Each of these decisions tells a tiny story about what we as individuals deem important, and by extension what we want other people to know is important to us.

When we think about storytelling in the more traditional sense, we tend to think about books at bedtime and small children on laps, or else about professional performances; or reaching even further back, to primordial times, huddling around fires as predators lurk, dawn a long way off.  Storytelling has been used not only to entertain, but to educate, to instill communal values, to keep the mind off dangers, real and imagined.

April is the month of the big Storytelling Festival here at the library, and it’s in its 24th year! Both professional and amateur storytellers will be spinning tales on April 27th starting at 2pm. Have a family-friendly yarn to share? Contact children’s librarian Kathleen Coleman at 408-730-7312 to see if there are still time slots available.

And coming up even sooner, Saturday, April 6th, master storyteller BZ Smith and champion ukulele player Peg Reza team up to combine music and tales into a magical concoction of fun for all ages.

Being a member of an audience sharing in the performance of a great storyteller is a truly uplifting experience. So come on out to the library for one of these special events, or for both! And so what if you’re running a few minutes late that day, or if the kids’ socks end up not matching, or if your hair doesn’t get brushed? Perfection is overrated, usually boring, and rarely makes a good story.


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