Blogs

Origami Math Genius @ Foster

Are you interested in teaching or learning math in novel ways? Then join us at E.P. Foster Library on Saturday, March 28, for a special STEM presentation!

Speaker BiJian Fan will talk about OMG (Origami Math Genius), a curriculum built around origami math developed to integrate art and science into K-12 education. This program integrates fun, hands-on activities into learning.

This free event begins at 11 a.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about this innovative system!

Ventura County Library Week, 1952

 

Librarians Exclaim: “Something For Everyone!”

-Official Slogan of First “Library Week,” March of 1952

On February 26, 1952, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution proclaiming March 10 to 16 as “Library Week,” celebrating the contributions of libraries in Ventura County. A week later, Mayor Edwin Lee Gardner II of Ventura County released the official announcement to the right, appearing in the March 8 edition of the Ventura County Star Free Press.

Saved clippings from this paper remain in our archives, proudly displaying the accomplishments of the Ventura County Library System in 1952: unveiling new technologies, gadgets, and collections; the previous year’s statistics; highlighting various employees and little-known positions; giving special attention to the book mobile; and describing many exciting activities and events that would be happening over the week to come.

“Something For Everyone” is the declared slogan and special collection displays are prepared, the doors to back-building operations are opened and tours are organized to demonstrate every aspect of library operation, including a 7:30 evening tour on Monday to kick off the celebrations.

Holdings: 217,983
Circulation: 379,148
Miles traveled by Bookmobile: 45,000
Branches: 19

Now as we approach the end of the sixty-third anniversary of Ventura County Library Week I can reflect on how many things have changed and how many have stayed the same. Then, as now, we celebrated our Spanish language and special media collections (though now including DVDs), we continue to promote and innovate with adult and children's programming, and while the dearly-beloved bookmobile is no more, our daily deliveries of requests taken from branch to branch combined with special digital archives freely available through our eLibrary continue in spirit much of the bookmobile's purpose. 

Sixty-three years later we can still proclaim our old slogan with pride, that indeed there is “Something For Everyone,” but more, as our new services continue to grow, “Take Your Library Home With You!” seems equally apt. So grab a book, eReader, or laptop, and wherever you are celebrate with us this special occasion and remember a unique and essential part of our city: your public library.


Alan Martin, Your Friendly Reader


Minute to Win It @ Foster

On Friday, March 27, the Teen Advisory Group (TAG) at E.P. Foster Library will host a special event on the second floor of the library.

Minute to Win It will include a series of minute-long games that’s sure to include something for everyone. There will be prizes for the winners in addition to the thrill of participation!

This event begins at 5 p.m. on the second floor. Stop by for some excitement and good times!

Read Along With Us

Would you like to participate in the Big Library Read?

Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates will be available to borrow without any wait lists or holds from March 17 - March 31. Customers from 20,000 libraries can read Dr. Bates' story of teaching Shakespeare in a supermax solitary confinement prison and how she formed a lasting friendship with a convicted murderer.

Join the largest eBook club! Book discussion guide pdf here.

  Book cover Shakespeare Saved my Life

What to Read Next?

Where do you look when you have finished a book and
loved it so much you just have to have another like it?

Where can you search by genre?

What book comes next in your favorite series? 

Reading Suggestions in our eLibrary is a 
great place to begin.  Select NoveList and explore the options.

Searching our catalog? Look for Novelist content. You will find it under the available copy information. Open the drawer and there will be suggestions for your next book.

Need help? Phone your local library for assistance.

 

Saticoy Library has Another Happy Winner

Another winner of the ‪‎Reagan Llibrary‬ contest picked up their ticket! "I'm most excited about seeing the 1956 XKSS owned by Steve McQueen!" One of only sixteen ever built!

Novelties: “The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins

When it comes to memory, what is real and what is imagined can be difficult to distinguish, particularly when we find ourselves in times of great stress or emotion. Our minds take what we encounter and build narratives around the facts, narratives which make sense to us or that we find interesting or comforting. This phenomenon can be immensely useful for an author who wants to keep the reader in suspense; the use of an unreliable narrator is one of the best ways to keep an audience guessing—and turning the page. This month Novelties takes a look at three titles which carry the reader along on a bumpy ride full of mysterious disappearances and stunning revelations.

  The Girl on the Train (2015) is Paula Hawkins’ debut novel, and it has already generated enough buzz that many expect it will be adapted into a film in the near future. Her main character is Rachel, an alcoholic who is struggling to keep her life together after losing her marriage and her job. Rachel, in a desperate attempt to experience a type of vicarious bliss, constructs a vivid backstory for a couple she sees during her morning commute, imagining them as a “golden couple” reminiscent of Rachel and her husband prior to their divorce. The couple lives a few doors down from Rachel’s former home, where her husband and his new wife, Anna, are happily raising their new baby. But Rachel’s fantasy is upended when she witnesses the golden woman, Megan, kissing another man. Megan goes missing shortly thereafter, and Hawkins begins to reveal how Megan and Anna, both seemingly living ideal lives, each have their own demons to struggle with. Rachel becomes involved in the ensuing investigation into Megan’s disappearance, with her alcohol-addled narration combining with sections from Anna and Megan’s points of view to form a complex but riveting plot. A rich psychological thriller full of twists and surprises, The Girl on the Train promises to be well worth the read.
Reviews of Hawkins’ novel almost uniformly compare it to our second title, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This 2012 sensation made an incredible splash, so much so that by 2014 it had been released as a feature film starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck. Gone Girl likewise deals with a failed marriage from multiple points of view: the somehow both charming and boorish husband Nick and the picture book-perfect wife Amy (who is literally the subject of a series of books, Amazing Amy, written by her parents). Amy’s disappearance shocks their community, but the sympathy directed toward Nick swiftly turns to suspicion as his lack of alibi and evasive answers to police questioning increasingly paint him as a man with something to hide. Present-day narration by Nick alternates with diary entries from Amy that detail the history of their relationship from its charmed beginning to its ugly demise, ending with Amy so scared for her life that she tries to purchase a gun for protection. Flynn reveals the truth behind the crime in a manner which may feel predictable and yet still manages to deliver some serious reveals. Although it wasn’t her first novel, this dark portrait of a twisted marriage put Flynn on the map as a master of multiple perspectives and unreliable narration.
Losing You (2005) by Nicci French (actually married writing duo Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) rounds out this month’s trio. In it we meet Nina Landry, a divorced mother trying to rebuild her life. She has a new boyfriend and a new home, though the speed of life in the remote Sandling Island—far from the bustle of London—gives ample motivation to escape to more exciting locales. That’s exactly what Nina and her family are planning to do when her daughter, Charlie, goes missing after a party. At first the police are slow to act, believing that Charlie’s absence is the result of normal teenage rebellion and assuring Nina that she will turn up soon. As Nina learns that her daughter had been keeping certain secrets from her, her instincts lead her to push the investigation forward, even when it means acting on her own. The case plods on until evidence surfaces suggesting that Charlie may have been the victim of foul play. French manages to artfully convey Nina’s helplessness in the face of unsympathetic authority, as well as the panic and frustration of a mother who knows in her gut that her child is in danger. The narrative is undivided by chapters, which some readers found annoying but many felt contributed to their inability to put the book down until its thrilling conclusion.

The Girl on the Train is available as part of E.P. Foster Library’s New Fiction collection. Flynn’s Gone Girl and French’s Losing You are each available as well in the Fiction section. You can also check out NoveList Plus in the Reading Suggestions section of our eLibrary for more titles like these—or for something completely different! If the title you’re after isn’t on the shelf, check our catalog for additional copies at other branches or place a hold online or by calling the library. 

 

Puzzled out by Ronald Martin.

March is Women's History Month

Suffragettes  

Weaving the Story of Women's Lives

 Accounts of the lives of individual women are critically important because they reveal exceptionally strong role models who share a more expansive vision of what a woman can do. The stories of women’s lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience. Knowing women’s achievements challenges stereotypes and upends social assumptions about who women are and what women can accomplish today. 

For videos, biographies and historical information look in our eLibrary.  

Gale PowerSearch is a great place to start along with Biography In Context, Gale Virtual Reference Library and World Book.

Vencolibrary.org, your research partner 24/7


Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields @ Foster

Coming up on Wednesday, March 18, E.P. Foster Library will host a screening of a documentary about veterans and sustainable agriculture.

Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields looks at how soldiers returning home from combat are able to find opportunities to both rebuild their lives and enrich their communities by providing access to local, organic, healthy foods.

This free film screening is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. in the Topping Room. For more information, contact the library or visit us on Facebook!

Polar Bears of Churchill with Prof. Tommy Dickey, UCSB

 

Churchill, a town in Manitoba, Canada on the Hudson Bay,
is host to a large seasonal polar bear population making it the
"Polar Bear Capital of the World".

Professor Dickey will share pictures and videos of these
marvelous animals as well as information about their
behavior, habitat and the threat they face from climate change.

Saturday, March 21 at 2pm, Ojai Library

 

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