Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Reading Program for Kids

Tomorrow starts the Summer Reading program for Kids!!! Yea!! This year the program is called Be Creative @ Your Library and is full of fun things to do!

Stop by any Las Vegas-Clark County Library District branch on or after June 1 to pick up a reading log or download and print the Reading Log. Keep track of the books you read from June 1 - July 31 on your log to earn prizes. For every five books or hours of reading, you'll select a prize from our Summer Reading Program treasure chest. Keep reading and when you have reached 20 books or 20 hours, you will earn a gold medal and be entered in the Grand Prize drawing for a chance to win a $50 gift card from Borders. One Grand Prize winner will be drawn from each of our 24 branches.

Did you know that you can also read books online or listen to eAudio books or watch eVideos from our eBooks To Go site or from our great databases?! There is a great Database called Bookflix and there are some great books that you can read and listen to! My favorite is Curious George Rides a Bike and it's partner book all about Monkeys!

Some of the great activities planned for the summer include Mad Science, which is an amazing exploration of science, a Craft Buffet and the ever popular DJ Tony!!

I know you are going to have a blast doing all these fun things, so be sure to stop into your favorite branch to get more information! Have a great summer!!

Summer Reading Program for Teens

This year's program is called Express Yourself @ the Library and it starts tomorrow! There are going to be a ton of things to do all summer long at libraries all over the district! You can start now by designing a bookmark. The winning design will be produced and distributed in all District branches during Teen Read Week in October...very cool huh?

On June 1st you will be able to download your Reading log and then let the reading begin. For every five books or five hours that you read, you can select a prize from the Teen Summer Reading Program treasure chest. Complete 20 hours or 20 books to earn your final prize and a chance to win the Grand Prize, a $50 Target gift card. A Grand Prize winner will be drawn at each of our 24 branches.

Did you know that you can also read books online or listen to eAudio books or watch eVideos from our eBooks To Go site. Ender's Game is one of my favorites and it is available both in audio and dowloadable book form.

Some of the activities we are planning include Get Your Game on with the XBox 360 and Wii games, Yu-Gi-Oh! Summer Tournament and a Reader's Theater, which allows you to practice your acting skills!

I know you are going to have a blast doing all these fun things, so be sure to stop into your favorite branch to get more information! Have a great summer!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Art Competition - Over the Rainbow

As part of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender month celebration, the Clark County Library District is proud to present Over the Rainbow.

When: June 1st from 10a-5p and June 2nd from 10a-8p
Where: Centennial Hills Library
Venue: Art Gallery

Over the Rainbow is a juried art competition featuring 2D and 3D work, created to encourage the participation of the public in showcasing their creativity in the Visual Arts in celebration of GLBT Month. A single juror process is utilized for awards and for the selection of the work for exhibition, from young adults (6th-12th grade) and adults. The juror this year is artist, art critic and teacher, Susanne Forestieri.

There will be cash and ribbon awards. Three entries per person maximum. Size limitation: 5'X6'. For information, contact Gallery Services at 507-3659. Entry form on the District's web site as of May 1.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Library Event - Gravity

In honor of the birth of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, May 25th is National Tap day! Come help us celebrate that legacy when the West Las Vegas Library presents Gravity.

When: May 30th at 2:00pm
Where: West Las Vegas Libary
Venue: Theater

The International Tap Association sponors this special day to honor the truly American form of dance. Come and enjoy the performance of Gravity featuring L. Blake as he pays homage to the man who started it all, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

Co-sponsored by the City of Las Vegas, Art & Community Events Division. Free and open to the public. For more information, please call 507-3989.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This is Water

In this season of graduations and commencements, endings and beginnings, I want to recommend this print version of a commencement address given by novelist David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in Ohio in 2005, called This is Water. He died in 2008. It was the only commencement address he ever gave.

If David Foster Wallace had given this speech at UNLV, he might have titled it, “This is Sand” or “This is Dust” or “This is Heat.” The idea is that most of us go through life largely oblivious to the true reality of our surroundings. We become obsessed with superficial aspects of our existence and miss what is completely obvious to an outsider. The value of education is not just in teaching us how to think, but in teaching us what to think about.

David Foster Wallace walks the reader through a memorable exercise of leaving work after a long day and getting stuck in traffic. The challenge is to see the situation from the other people’s perspectives. It is useful to think of potential, compassionate explanations for their behavior because, even if the explanation is not the real one, it serves to remove ourselves from the center of our own attention. For example, he describes a Hummer driver on a cell phone, darting through traffic. I’ll leave you to think of a compassionate explanation.

The book also appeals to me visually. The layout is obviously intended to mimic the pacing of the speech and it is quite effective. This leaves fewer words on some pages than there are in the title. The 136 pages make a very quick read.

I recommend this book to any Beginners, young or old, to anyone seeking a new start in life, to anyone seeking greater consciousness or social conscientiousness.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Movie Review - Valkyrie

My mom (the history buff) called me right after they saw this movie in the theater and said you HAVE to see this movie! I remember saying “Sure, sure Mom, I will get right on that,” which, of course, I didn’t. I don’t really do war movies. Wow…am I sorry I didn’t see Valkyrie on the big screen!

Title: Valkyrie
Director : Bryan Singer
Starring: Tom Cruise
Video Release Date: May 19th, 2009

Valkyrie tells the true story of Operation Valkyrie or Operation Walk├╝re which took place on July 20, 1944. This plan was the culmination of attempts by the German resistance to remove Adolf Hitler from office and to negotiate peace with the Allies. Unfortunately, as history books tell us (just so you know I am not spoiling anything) the plot fails. It resulted in the arrest of over 7000 people by the Gestapo and 4980 executions.

I will say that I have become a little disenchanted with Tom Cruise in recent years, but in this movie he absolutely shines. I could absolutely believe that he was a German officer who was driven to save the honor and people of his country from the madness of the Nazi regime. The acting was amazing by the entire cast, which was full of brilliant names including Eddie Izzard, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, and Terrance Stamp to name a few.

The action and tension were planned perfectly to escalate until, despite the fact everyone knows how it ends, you are on the edge of your seat, hoping that they are able to succeed and assassinate Hitler. It was beautifully filmed and written. I would highly recommend this film, even if you are like me and tend to shy away from war movies.

We have several good books and documentaries on this sujbect and there is now a German Resistance Memorial to the people were executed for their part in the plot if you are interested in learning more!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday’s New DVD releases

Every Tuesday we get the newest DVD releases and you can request them! These titles are usually very popular, so be sure to get your requests in early! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. See the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for next week, the 2nd of June!

Defiance - Daniel Craig. Daniel Craig stars as Tuvia Bielski, one of four Jewish brothers who escape from Poland into the forests of Belarus during World War II to lead a band of resistance fighters and create a safe haven for Jewish refugees. The real-life sanctuary established by the Bielski brothers saved more than 1,000 Jews from persecution and death.

He's Just Not That Into You - Ginnifer Goodwin. Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson lead an all-star cast in this adaptation of the bestseller that follows an ensemble of characters dealing with the pitfalls of love and human interaction.

Revolutionary Road - Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the novel by Richard Yates and set in the mid-1950s, this story follows the Wheelers, a young couple in suburban Connecticut who tries desperately to confront the problems in their relationship while raising two children. Despite their best intentions, the couple's intense arguments send them into a downward spiral.

This week's release with the most requests: New in Town with 503 requests!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meet the Authors - Chicken Soup for the Las Vegas Soul

The very first Chicken Soup for the Soul was written by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen and sold over two million copies. Now the series of books has over 105 titles and there are now over 100 million copies in print,in 54 languages world-wide. The topics range from adopted souls and caregiver souls to teen age and pet owner souls and continue to be very popular items with our patrons.

Please join local authors Tena Thompson, Morgan St. James, Linda O'Connor and Darlien Breeze as they discuss their contributions to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, learn how the selection process works and why we need chicken soup for the souls living in Las Vegas.

When: Wednesday, May 27th at 6:30pm
Where: Clark County Library
Venue: Jewel Box Theater

There will be books available for purchase and the authors will sign them after the presentation. Be sure to come early as we expect this to be a popular event! See you there!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Library Resources - GLBT Info Guide

Did you know that the Library's website has a large selection of Infoguides? InfoGuides highlight relevant library materials and services, online databases and local community resources for each diverse topic covered. They are prepared by Library District staff members.

The month of June is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender month and the Infoguide has been recently updated with some great information!

One of the great books I was able to find is The Riddle of Gender by Deborah Rudacille. The author of "The Scalpel and the Butterfly" offers a timely examination of the transgender movement that calls into question some of the most fundamental assumptions about gender identity.

I also included a lot of books for younger audiences. There are picture books, easy readers, chapter books and young adult books. Of course, And Tango Makes Three is on the list, but other less known books included are The Sissy Duckling and It’s Okay to be Different.

There are a large number of selections especially for the teen audience. I was especially intrigued by Empress of the World by Sara Ryan. This groundbreaking novel tackles teen sexuality head on. Nicola Lancaster spends a summer at a program for gifted youths who live like college students for eight weeks. During that time, Nic becomes friends with beautiful blonde Battle Hall Davies. She's everything that Nic isn't, but startlingly, the two soon become more than friends.

We have also added some great new websites and resources to the info guide. is a news source that specifically targets stories pertinent to the GLBT community. We Are Family is a social connection website for GLBT parents and soon-to-be parents and their families that provides activities both for education and fun. The Medline Plus link offers a special page because gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have special health concerns besides the usual ones that affect most men and women. On this page you'll find information about these specific health issues.

I hope you take time to explore all the information that we have made available on this great infoguide!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Books, Movies and More - Upcoming DVD Releases

Did you ever wonder how those 705 people ahead of you on the list for Paul Blart: Mall Cop found out about the DVD release before you? Well, now, through some tricky computer finagling, we have started a Bookletter called Future DVD Releases. This list is updated weekly and has the newest movies the library has on order. You can add your name to the mailing list and be among the first to request the newest DVD's before they are released!

If you love movies as much as I do, you can also subscribe to the other bookletter lists that we put together on a monthly basis. The New DVD-Feature films list highlights all the new movies that we received in the last month. I always check that one to see if there are any interesting films that I missed.

Another great list, From the Silver Screen, highlights a specific actor each month. This list not only provides their movie titles, but other resources that are available about the actor. This month is the ever popular Charlie Chaplin.

You can add your email address to as many of these lists as you like, and it is easy to let us know if you want it removed at anytime.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Library Resources - Meeting Rooms

Are you in charge of a community group or need a place to have a bridging ceremony for your Girl Scout troop? All of the libraries in the Las Vegas Clark County Library District have meeting rooms available for rent. You can find the information about each meeting room by first clicking on the Locations and Hours link on the front page of our website. Once you get there, choose the library at which you would like to have a meeting, say for instance, the Sunrise Library.

On each of the separate library pages, there will be a link called Auditorium, study room, story room, gallery. This page actually has a lot of historical and architectural information about the libraries. You can see when the library was built, who the architect, how many parking spaces the library has, and the square footage of the meeting spaces.

Each of the libraries as a scheduling and production services staff person who will assist you with reservations, prices and accommodations available. Many of the libraries have kitchens attached to the meeting room that makes preparing and serving refreshments easy. The prices for the meeting rooms are very reasonable and you couldn’t ask for a better venue than your public library!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Movie Series!

Did you know that several of the Las Vegas Clark County Library District branches have regular movie series besides the randomly scheduled single movies that most branches have? These series usually present critically acclaimed movies or special themes. You can see the upcoming schedules in our bi-monthly Highlights available either on our website or in print at the library branches.

Here is a listing of the current movie series:

Clark County Library:

Tuesday afternoons at the Bijou. Every Tuesday at 1:00pm in the Theater
5/26 – The Birds
6/2 – The Great McGinty
6/9 – Sullivan's Travels
6/16 – The Lady Eve
6/23 – The Palm Beach Story
6/30 – Hail the Conquering Hero

Tuesday Evenings. Every Tuesday at 7:00pm in the Theater with monthly topics
May – Directorial Debuts Film Series
5/26 – Strictly Ballroom
June – Acting Out Series (as part of the GLBT Month celebration)
6/2 – The Times of Harvey Milk
6/9 – The Sum of Us
6/16 – Stonewall
6/23 – Ma Vie en Rose
6/30 – Caramel

First Thursdays of the Month – CineVegas from the Vault. 7:00pm in the Theater. Highlighting movies from the CineVegas Festival. The 2009 Festival is June 10-15!
6/4 – Red Doors
7/2 – Happy Birthday Harris Malden

Rainbow Library

Moonlight, Movies and Music
6/12 – Mama Mia!
7/3 - Independence Day

Don’t forget about all the other movies the district shows throughout all the branches. Many times, these are the most recent DVD releases that you can see for free, without waiting on a long request list!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cookbook Review - Food 2.0

In his trendy new cookbook, Food 2.0, Charlie Ayers, who started as the chef for Google when it was just a start up company with only 40 employees which eventually grew to 1500 employees, brings you healthy and environmentally conscience recipes in a beautifully photographed volume.

Title: Food 2.0
Author: Charlie Ayers
ISBN: 9780756633585
Genre: Nonfiction - Cookbook

After he completed school and worked in several upscale restaurants in the New England Area, Chef Charlie came to California to experience new tastes and ingredients. He landed a job catering for the Grateful Dead, and during that time he helped with many other concert productions. However, he really blossomed as a 2.0 chef when he won the cooking contest that gave him the job at Google.

His bosses at Google gave him free range, but demanded good and fast food for their employees. He came up with recipes that were not only healthy and environmentally conscience, but also provided the employees with the energy they needed to work in highly demanding environment.

Chef Charlie has written his book to teach how to eat more organically, with recipes that are easy and quick to prepare, yet full of energy to get you through the day. He offers advice on shopping, storing and eating raw as well as cooked foods. The recipes are not complicated and there is a wide variety of foods that are certain to be pleasing to a wide audience. My only criticism of the book is that the recipes don’t come with nutritional values listed. I would definately recommend this book if you are interested in learning to eat healthier and higher energy food.

Also, check out our infoguide on Cooking! You will find a wealth of informative links and books!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday’s New DVD releases

Every Tuesday we get the newest DVD releases and you can request them! These titles are usually very popular, so be sure to get your requests in early! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. See the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for next week, the 26th of May!

The Closer: The Complete Fourth Season - Kyra Sedgwick. Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) now has more than murderers giving her a hard time. An ambitious newspaper reporter keeps getting in the way as he tries to get a story on the Priority Homicide Division. The result: disaster for the squad. Although Brenda and her team chalk up a string of successes (including catching a child's killer, a drive-by shooter and a murderer who sets Griffith Park ablaze), the reporter's unflattering tell-all marks the end of the PHD. But don't ever count Brenda out. She brings her staff to the newly formed Major Crimes Division for assignments with expanded jurisdiction that extends to con artists, kidnappers, predators and, of course, killers. All of L.A.'s worst are going to meet L.A.'s best.

New in Town - Renee Zellweger. The weather isn't the only drastic change for high-paid consultant Lucy Hill when she's sent from her home base in South Beach, Fla., to a small Minnesota town to improve the productivity of a local manufacturing plant. The town's residents also take some getting used to, especially the ruggedly handsome union boss who's doing his darnedest to make sure that Lucy doesn't cut any jobs.

This week's release with the most requests: Paul Blart: Mall Cop with 766 requests. It only just beat Valkyrie which has 723 requests.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Movie Review - Bride Wars

I love chick flicks, especially ones starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. I find both of these actors can hold their own in starring roles and usually enjoy watching them quite a bit. However, this movie was a disappointment to me.

Title: Bride Wars
Director: Gary Winick
Starring: Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson
Video Release date: 4/28/09

This is a story of two women who met as young girls and grew up best friends. They constantly dreamed of their weddings together and planned each other’s perfect day. Each of them obsessed about being married at The Plaza in New York City. They are both proposed to by their boyfriends and all of a sudden, the race is on.

They go simultaneously to the same, very famous wedding planner, who has two separate dates available at the Plaza…Huzzah! But, as fate would have it, there is a booking mistake and they end up with their weddings on the same date, which just doesn’t work. Their friends would be divided and they couldn’t be each other’s maid of Honor.

From there, a friendship of twenty years disintegrates very quickly as they each play very mean tricks on each other. I found this to be a little unbelievable. The tricks they play are nasty beyond what you would do to your enemy, much less a childhood friend. I also found it unbelievable that their mutual friends didn’t try to help them more.

Some of the scenes are very funny and the predictable lesson is still a valuable one. As I said, I love both of these actors, I just wish the writing had been better. I would highly recommend Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane and Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, if you would like a taste of why I like them so much.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

House of Many Ways

Charmain is a respectable girl who adores books. She is never allowed to do anything that is not considered respectable by her parents and her life can be rather boring. However everything is about to change and it will all seem like a story out of one of her books.

Title: House of Many Ways
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Great Uncle William (also known as the Royal Wizard of Norland) is sick and Charmain is chosen to look after his magical house. She has never taken care of anything (not even herself) in her life and suddenly she is left in charge of a very challenging magical house. This sudden change allows her to summon up the courage to write to the king and offer her services for the royal library. Charmain finds herself keeper of a magical house and Assistant Librarian to the king in a matter of days. Just when she begins to get the hang of it, Peter, a would be apprentice, shows up and makes her clean the dishes and do the washing!! Peter and Charmain soon find that they are in the middle of a magical world that is coming apart and they must do something to stop it!!

This is a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle so it features Sophie, Wizard Howl and a small surprise. I loved this book, couldn't read it fast enough!! It definately continues the story of Sophie and Howl but that is the secondary story as it mainly focuses on Charmain and her discoveries. In general this book is exactly what fans of Diana Wynne Jones have come to expect, a magical tale full of mystery and self discovery.

Author Read-alikes: Diane Duane, Garth Nix, J.K. Rowling,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Favorite Reads – Staff Picks

Every month, my boss sends out my favorite email…"What are your favorite books that have to do with…". She then uses responses from staff members from all over the library district to put together a bookletter called Staff Picks. I love this bookletter because everyone’s tastes are so diverse that the book choices range from classics to the most eclectic.

The current list’s theme is favorite Read-Aloud books because The Association of Booksellers for Children announced the E.B. White Read Aloud Awards shortlist, the winners of which will be announced in June. My favorite book on that list is a pop-up book by Robert Sabuda (whose books I collect) called Cookie Count. Other books included the favorite standbys of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein but also some unusual choices like Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton.

Some of the past lists include favorite pet books, what I wanted to be when I grew up and cooking memories. I will let the cat out of the back and give you a sneak preview of the next list, which are favorite short stories or anthologies. My suggestion is from Orson Scott Card called Maps in a Mirror and it will be interesting to see what my other colleagues will suggest. Be sure to sign up with your email address on the mailing list to see what interesting books appear on the list!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Title: All-Star Superman Volumes 1 & 2
Author: Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
ISBN: 9781401211028 & 9781401218379
Genre: Superheroes, Graphic Novel

The impossible has happened: Lex Luthor has finally beaten Superman. An overexposure to solar radiation is slowly destroying Superman’s body. However, because he is Superman, he isn’t going to slip quietly away. Before he goes, he still has time to perform a dozen super-feats, resolve his relationship with Lois Lane, and save the world one last time.

Superman has been published continuously for over seventy years, and you would think that there are no new stories to tell about him. However, writer Grant Morrison tells stories that make everything seem fresh and new. While he draws on familiar themes and elements—Superman on the Bizarro world, a tour of his arctic Fortress of Solitude—he doesn’t make them feel as if he is deliberately revisiting them to trade on nostalgia. Separate from the ongoing stories told in the regular monthly Superman comics, this is a self-contained classic, a complete story perfect for readers familiar with the basics of Superman who want to read a good story without needing a Master’s degree in Superman minutia.

While Morrison fills his story with super-feats, he understands that the “Man” part of Superman is every bit as important as the “Super” part. In this story, Superman isn’t a hero because he punches things with super-strength. He’s super because of the inspiration he provides. While the super-feats he performs give the story a feel like an updated version of classic myths, it’s the human bits that stand out. It’s Lex Luthor berating Clark Kent for being a meek, nerdy coward without noticing that Clark is protecting him with his superpowers. It’s Superman bringing Lois Lane to his Fortress for her birthday. It’s Superman taking a break from his epic battles to tell a suicidal girl she’s stronger than she thinks. It’s Frank Quitely’s artwork, mixing the fantastic and the mundane effortlessly, giving the reader wild alien vistas and creatures alongside humans who look like the sort of people you’d see on the street.

In over seventy years, there have been a lot of great Superman stories. But if you have to pick just one to read, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Library Event – Climbing Family Trees

If you are ready to take a journey to your family’s past, then please join us for a beginner’s workshop on Heritage Hunting. Author Tracey B. Long who co-authored the book Climbing Family Trees will be teaching you how to start the sometimes complicated task of putting together your family history.

When: Thursday, May 14th at 7:00pm
Where: Clark County Library
Venue: Jewel Box Theater

This will be a high energy, fun presentation that will teach you how to “get a leg up,” “branching out” and “going out on a limb.” We expect this to be a popular event, so be sure to come early. If you are unable to make this class, there are going to be two more workshops this month:

When: Sunday, May 17th at 4:00pm
Where: West Charleston Library
Venue: Conference Room

When: Saturday, May 23rd at 2:00pm
Where: Spring Valley Library
Venue: Conference room

Come rest with us under the shade of the info tree before you begin your own climb!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Library Event - UNLV Jazz Concert Series

Are you ready to Swing?! Join us tonight for the final concert of the 2008/2009 season of the UNLV Jazz Concert Series!

When: Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00pm
Where: Clark County Library
Venue: Theater

Throughout the year we've featured some of the best musicians from UNLV's Jazz Studies Program and this is sure to be the best as they wrap up the concert season. These have been very popular events, so be sure to get to the theater early for good seats!

Asian Culture Festival Review

I was lucky enough to make it to the Clark County Library to take part in the Asian Culture Festival this last Saturday, 9th of May. Over 900 people attended! There were lots of fun things to do for children and adults alike. Several of the booths were teaching Origami and I had a blast watching kids play Pineapple bowling! There were also Manga coloring sheets as well as several different Anime Screenings.

There was yummy food available as well as hula and kick boxing demonstrations in the courtyard. In the large conference center there was a display of Dongba Painting by Mingjun Liu (which is still on display at the Clark County Library) and Hayao Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli Movie Poster Art. My favorite poster was from Princess Mononoke.

I felt especially fortunate, however, to witness the Chinese Tea Ceremony, by the Shanghai Tea Institute. The beautiful tea specialist performed the Dai People’s Puer tea ceremony. It was the Chief Clay Pot tea ceremony specifically, which is reserved for visiting nobles. The announcer gave a little history of the Dai region of China as well as explained each step of the tea ceremony. He said that Puer tea is the oldest form of tea in the world.

If you weren’t able to come to the festival, but still want to take part in the Asian Pacific Heritage month celebrations, you can join us for the following events that are listed in our Events and Exhibits section!

May 14th - Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month storytime
May 16th - Wonderland Karate demonstration (as well as future dates
May 19th - A is for Asia Storytime (as well as future dates)
May 23rd - Ancient Art of Origami Storytime
May 27th - Luau Celebration Storytime
May 31st - Takako Hasegawa Music Recital

We would like to thank all the organizations that helped make this event possible, as well as the library staff and volunteers for all their hard work!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday’s New DVD releases

Every Tuesday we get the newest DVD releases and you can request them! These titles are usually very popular, so be sure to get your requests in early! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. See the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Here are the releases for next week, the 19th of May!

My Bloody Valentine - Jaime King. Haunted by the mining-related massacre that took place there on Valentine's Day a decade ago, Tom returns to his hometown to find some closure. But no sooner does he arrive than a pickax-wielding madman begins a new bloody killing spree. Now, many suspect that the murderous miner has returned to claim his final victims -- including Tom.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop - Kevin James. Kevin James stars in this comedy as Paul Blart, an overzealous security guard who finds himself in way over his head when he attempts to thwart a criminal mastermind's plot to rob an entire shopping mall.

Valkyrie - Tom Cruise. Wounded in Africa during World War II, Col. Claus von Stauffenberg returns to his native Germany and joins the Resistance, becoming involved in a daring plan to create a shadow government and assassinate Hitler. Soon, events dictate that he become a central player -- and he finds himself tasked with both leading the coup and personally killing Hitler. Based on true events.

This week's release with the most requests: Taken with 524 holds!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heroes of the Valley

Halli Sveinsson is not your typical child of the valley. He still believes in the old ways of honor and revenge. When his beloved uncle is murdered in front of him Halli takes matters into his own hands which leads him down a path he would have never suspected.

Title: Heroes of the Valley
Author: Jonathan Stroud
ISBN: 978-1423109662
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The world of Halli Sveinsson is split into thirteen houses, each one with their own hero. Halli's hero is Svein, the greatest hero of them all. He grows up hating his parents' traditions (as many of us do) and wishing that he could have lived in the heroes' time. When he meets Aud of Arne's house at one of the yearly gatherings, Hallis' life changes. She does not believe the troll stories and desperately wants to escape the boundaries of the Cairnes. After Halli inadvertently avenges his uncle, the house of Hakon comes after him. The epic battle at the end leads Halli and Aud to the answers they have so desperately been seeking but they aren't what they expected them to be.

I really like this book but the end wasn't what I was hoping for. The story of Halli and Aud sort of drift off but perhaps this means that another book is in the works. The world of Halli and Aud are what I would imagine the Vikings to have lived in our own ancient times. It is an interesting comparison and reflection on our world and how far we have come since those ancient times.

Author Read-alikes: Shannon Hale, Jenny Nimmo, G.P. Taylor,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Movie Review – Frost/Nixon

I was 11 years old in 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned as President of the United States and only 14 when he gave this interview to David Frost. So, in order to do this review, not only did I watch the film, I researched a little about both Watergate and this historical interview.

Title: Frost/Nixon
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Michael Sheen and Frank Langella
Video Release date: 4/21/09

Frankly, I had low expectations of enjoying this film. Even though it was directed by Ron Howard, I expected something dry and kinda boring. I have to tell you that I was very wrong. I enjoyed this film quite a bit.

This historical drama starts out reviewing the events of Watergate and the resignation of Nixon. At the time, David Frost was conducting lighter celebrity interviews including the Bee Gees. He became fascinated with Nixon’s story when he realized that 400 million people from all over the world watched him resign and decided that he would ask Nixon for an interview.

What follows is the fascinating story of both Frost’s and Nixon’s camp separately working to get their own agendas into the interview. Nixon hopes that the interview will pave the way for him to become politically active again, by explaining away all of his misdoings and highlighting the strengths of his term in office. And, of course, Frost hopes to wring a confession and an apology out of the former president, which would skyrocket the ratings and reputation of him as an interviewer.

Both Frank Langella and Michael Sheen reprised these parts from their stage performances of the Broadway play of the same name by Peter Morgan. The acting was amazing and the pace of the plot was fast enough to hold my attention. I would highly recommend this film to anyone that enjoys historical drama or is interested in the Nixon era.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Library Events - Classical Guitarist Peter Fletcher

Come and Celebrate Mother's Day at the Clark County Library by bringing Mom and Grandma to a wonderful guitar concert! The talented classic guitarist Peter Fletcher visits the LVCCLD on the return from his very successful nationwide concert tour.

When: Sunday, May 10th at 2:00pm
Where: Clark County Library
Venue: Jewel Box Theater

He will also be performing the next day:

When: Monday, May 11th at 2:00pm
Where: Centennial Hills Library
Venue: Multipurpose Room.

I remember when this performer came the last time, people were entranced by his music. The concert will be featuring selections by Bach, Handel, Weiss, Reusner and other celebrated composers. Free admission and open to the public. Peter's newest CDs, Music Of Four Centuries and Peter Fletcher Plays Baroque Music For Guitar, will be available for sale and signing after the concert. For more information, please call 507-3458.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Library Events – Asian Culture Festival

The month of May is Asian Pacific American Month and we are celebrating by sponsoring the Asian Culture Festival! There are going to be some amazing and beautiful sights that you are not going to want to miss!

When: Saturday, May 9 from 11:00am – 4:00pm
Where: Clark County Library

There are going to be more than 20 exhibits, craft booth and vendors available. Some of them include the Japan America Society of Nevada teaching Japanese calligraphy and origami, the Kanak, Attack Boxing Club, the Asian Chamber of Commerce as well as information about Asian healing arts, Chinese meditation and a Henna booth.

This is the entertainment schedule:

11:30 am – Chinese Tea Ceremony
12:45 pm – Yoga and Meditation Demonstration
1:00 pm - Martial Arts Demonstration
2:00 pm - Polynesian Dance
2:45 pm - Meditation Exercises
3:00 pm - Taiko Drum Concert

This is one of our most popular events and the weather is forecast to be gorgeous! Bring your entire family to help us celebrate and learn about all the different cultures that will be represented at this Festival. I will be seeing you there!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Paradox of Modern Iran

It is hard to imagine a country with a more negative reputation among Americans than Iran. It is hard to imagine a person more qualified to explain Iran to Americans than Hooman Majd. Now in his 50’s, Majd is the son of an Iranian diplomat and grandson of an Ayatollah, and also a distant relative of reformist former President Khatami. Majd has made a career as an executive at Island Records in New York.

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ : The Paradox of Modern Iran is largely based on several months that the author spent in Iran in 2005 and 2007. Fluent in English and Farsi, a friend once told Majd that he is the only person he knew who “was both 100 percent American and 100 percent Iranian” (8).

Majd explains:
  • Why most Iranians, even reformers, support Iran’s right to nuclear power because of a centuries long feeling that Iran has had its rights as a nation usurped.

  • How Iranian tradition and government practice actually make a sharp distinction between acceptable behavior in the public and private spheres, with much more tolerance in private than is commonly thought in the West.

  • How the Islamic Revolution of 1979 can be seen as being about social class as much or more than about religion.

  • Why a Jewish Iranian man living in Los Angeles who admires President Ahmadinejad—in some respects.

  • How estimates put the drug addiction rate in Iran at around 10%--largely opium addiction.

  • How satellite television is illegal but nearly everyone has it.

  • How the highest rated Iranian television program in 2007 was a historical miniseries about an Iranian diplomat who helped save French Jews during WWII.
Though he himself is not religious, Majd quotes Ayatollah and former President Rajsanjani saying, “If you want to understand Iran, you must become a Shia first” (146). Obviously, there are other perspectives on Iran, but this book seems to provide one of the most even-handed that I have seen.
This is the most fascinating book I have read in over a year. I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Library Events - Bristlecone Storytelling Festival

Clark County School District in partnership with the Las Vegas Clark County Library District is please to present the annual Bristlecone Storytelling Festival! From the whisperings of the bristlecone trees, the tales of old are told...tales of adventure, memories, magic, laughter and tears, and of distant places and time. Discover how this oral tradition continues as we pass down stories from generation to generation.

Each year students in fourth, fifth and sixth grade students first prepare in their own classrooms for this festival by orally telling each other stories. No props or costumes are allowed as this event celebrates our oral traditions. The students then choose from amongst themselves who will represent them in the Festival which is presented both at the Libraries and at individual schools.

This year the event is being held at three libraries from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.

West Charleston Library: May 5th, May 6th, May 11th and May 13th
Whitney Library: May 12th, May 14th
Sunrise Library: May 19th, May 20th

Please join us in support of teaching our children the importance of our oral tradition as well as self confidence at one of these festival dates. Please arrive early as seating is limited.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday’s New DVD releases

Every Tuesday we get the newest DVD releases and you can request them! These titles are usually very popular, so be sure to get your requests in early! Check the Library Catalog and add these popular titles to your book bag. See the bottom of the post for the answer to last week's contest!

Taken - Liam Neesom. While vacationing with a friend in Paris, an American girl is kidnapped by a gang of human traffickers intent on selling her into forced prostitution. Now, her father, Bryan, a former soldier, must pull out all the stops to save her.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - Rhona Mitra. A prequel to the first two Underworld films, this fantasy explains the origins of the feud between the Vampires and the Lycans. Aided by his secret love, Sonja, courageous Lucian leads the Lycans in battle against brutal Vampire king Viktor.

This week's release with the most requests: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with 1034 requests!