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Winter 2016

We're so pleased that you've opted to receive the electronic edition of OFF THE SHELF.  We have moved to an electronic format to save money and natural resources. We hope you like it! Of course, you can always unsubscribe and elect to receive this in paper. There are also print copies in the library.
Emmi Itäranta to speak on Feb. 27  in 
Silicon Valley Reads program

A uthor Emmi Itäranta and her book Memory of Water will be featured in a free program co-sponsored by the Friends of Los Gatos Library on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m. This Silicon Valley Reads selection is a speculative novel set far in a future where extreme water rationing affects the lives of individuals and a village community.

"Chance of Rain" is theme of Silicon Valley Reads 2016 which highlights two books from an emerging literary genre, eco-fiction (also called climate fiction).

In Memory of Water, the world has changed following prolonged periods of extreme weather conditions and wars over scarce resources. Water is strictly rationed by the military in 17-year-old Noria's village, and her knowledge of a secret spring puts her and her friends in danger. Itäranta wrote this debut novel in Finnish and English and it has garnered numerous awards since its publication in 2014. Translation rights have been sold to 17 territories around the world.

Itäranta is also the first Author in Residence in Silicon Valley Reads' 14-year history. During February and March, she will visit dozens of local schools for presentations and workshops, sponsored by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, as well as participate in public programs designed to engage the community in dialogue about the potential consequences of climate change.
Benjamin Parzybok, author of Sherwood Nation, the other featured Silicon Valley Reads book, is scheduled to speak at more than a dozen public events.

In addition to the two novels for adults, there are two companion books for young people: Water Is Water (grades K-3) by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin, and The Storm in the Barn, (age 10 and up) written and illustrated by Matt Phelan.

Silicon Valley Reads is presented by the Santa Clara County Library District, the San Jose Public Library Foundation and the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Each year, the program collaborates with community organizations to promote reading and literacy and to engage the community in dialogue about themes in a selected book or books that are relevant to Silicon Valley. An extensive schedule of events is offered throughout Santa Clara County with activities for all age groups. For more information on Silicon Valley Reads, visit the website

Emmi Itäranta presentation

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2 p.m.
Los Gatos Library Grand Reading Room
100 Villa Ave, Los Gatos

In This Issue
Stay in the Loop!
Keep up with the latest bestseller lists, local history, what's going on at the library and a wealth of other information by subscribing to any or all of the 14 e-newsletters offered by the library. All you need to do is to go to the link below and select the newsletters you would like to receive.
Stay Connected
Do It Again Please!
The Friends have changed their Facebook and Twitter Accounts. Even if you friended or followed us before, please do it again. Just click on the icons below and you're in our new locations. Thank You.
Join Us!
Tuesday Evening Book Club
3rd Tuesday of the Month
6:30 p.m.
Los Gatos Library

The Tuesday Evening Book Club will discuss Memory of Water on Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the library. All are welcome. For more information, phone (408) 354-6894. 
Toni Blackstock, President
From Our President

by Toni Blackstock

If you haven't visited the Friends of the Library Bookstore, you are really missing something! Volunteers, coordinated by Marlene Rodman, have put in countless hours, and the store is beautiful. Two additional shelving units have been installed and the books are now organized into many categories and sub-categories. Of course the bookstore would not be possible without the amazingly generous people who donate the books. Keep in mind that all books in the store have been donated.

Mailing costs for Amazon listings-managed so efficiently by Carol Hamilton and her staff of volunteers-are absorbed by the purchasers so our expenses are few. Proceeds from the sales have helped to fund children's summer programs, teen programs, the donor-wall upgrade, Silicon Valley Reads, the popular Literary Fair, the Bestseller Collections, and books for adult book clubs.

Currently, our main concern is signage. The bookstore's location next to NUMU is ideal in many ways but we still have people telling us they had trouble finding us or asking where the museum is located. The Town Council will be addressing the issue shortly.

Recent Friends events have included a Literary Fair featuring more than 25 local authors and the well-attended holiday music program. In February, we will again participate in Silicon Valley Reads, and are planning to have a very special speaker at our annual meeting in May.

Thank you so much for your support! Without our members and those who support the bookstore along with many people who have made generous donations, we would never be able to do all that we do for our town and our community.

Cheers to our bookstore volunteers

by Marlene Rodman, bookstore operations

Thanks to our devoted volunteers, the Friends of the Los Gatos Library contributes approximately $5,000 per month to ongoing programs and acquisitions for the library through our bookstore. Some of the best deals in town can be found at the store located at 110 East Main St., where prices are as low as 25 cents and no more than $10. We have a tremendous fiction section, a large selection of children's books, and nonfiction books in many categories, including history, art, self-help, biography, travel, cooking, and much more, plus DVDs, classical CDs and records, art prints and sheet music.

Currently there are 35 bookstore volunteers, but we are always looking for more people to sort books, staff the store and do Amazon sales. If you're interested, pick up an application in the bookstore.

Bookstore Hours
Noon-5 p.m.
Thursday through Sunday
Mark Your Calendar for
Upcoming Special Sales

April 9-10
Aug. 6-7
Nov. 5-6

Children's Programs

by Jennifer Laredo, division manager/teen librarian,  & Catherine Gildea, children's librarian

The Youth Services Team at Los Gatos Library is pleased to announce our second quarter of Be A Book Family programming. We've set out to help families build a practice of reading and discussing books together. Every quarter, we curate a collection of titles around a particular theme and suggest related conversation topics and activities. We have four different age levels in the program, to support each family's individual reading journey. This quarter, we're highlighting books about families, celebrating all the stories that come from our homes and loved ones. There is a shiny new display of books in the Children's Room, new challenges online, and of course many different ways to engage with the books and with each other. In our first quarter, 80 families signed up to read with us. We are hoping to double that number this winter. Families can sign up on our kids' web page,, or at the desk in the Children's Room. If you haven't already, become a Book Family, sign up today! And be sure to put these upcoming fun events, funded by Friends of the Library, on your calendar:

Movie Night
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m.
See a movie on the big screen in the Children's Room.
Ages 6+

Magician Mike Della Pena
Monday, March 30, 4 p.m.
Come be amazed by magic and extraordinary illusion!
Ages 5+

Wild Things
Thursday, April 16, 4 p.m.
Come see wild animals up close, learn about their habitats, and find out how you can help protect animals like these!
Ages 4+
Registration now open for
Young Writers Workshops

by Rita Baum 

Friends of Los Gatos Library will sponsor the annual Young Writers Workshops for aspiring authors, ages 8 through 12, on Saturday, April 2, 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The workshop will be held in the community room of the Los Gatos Adult Recreation Center, 208 East Main St. 

Fliers and registration forms for the workshops are available in the library's Children's Room or online at To register, deliver or mail a completed registration form and a check for $15 written to Friends of Los Gatos Library, 100 Villa Ave, Los Gatos, 95030. Classes are limited to 15 students. 

Workshop leader, Cheryl McKenzie of Los Gatos, will open the world of character creation and plot development to participants. Cheryl, a published author of fiction for young readers, writes under the name C. Lee McKenzie. Her popular middle-grade novels include Alligators Overhead and its sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster. She also writes young adult novels, including Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets

Signed copies of Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster will be available at a special workshop price of $10 for those interested.

Participants should bring a bag lunch to the Saturday workshop. Friends of the Library will provide journals and all writing materials plus water, juice drinks and cookies. Students will receive confirmation of registration by phone or email. For more information call the Friends message line at (408) 399-5700 or email Friends of the Library at .

Library installs 
new check-in system
During its December holiday closure, Los Gatos Library installed an Automated Materials Handling (AMH) system which was made possible by the Clelles Ness Trust Fund.  This new system allows for real-time check-in of materials returned by library patrons.  

The library's goal is to get items back on the shelves faster, to decrease the number of items missed during the check-in process, and to have items immediately taken off a patron's account. Each library item is outfitted with a RFID tag which is read by the AMH system. When an item is returned, it is automatically checked in, travels on a conveyor belt, and is sorted into the appropriate bin, saving considerable staff time. Once items are returned, patrons have the option of printing a receipt. They will also receive an email from the library confirming that the items have been returned.



Book delivery to homebound

Taking books to the homebound is a hugely valuable library service with a big impact. Hap, is pictured here with a Volunteer in Policing, who will be delivering books in the future. Hap was thrilled to have books to read because she cannot get out to borrow them anymore. Books are delivered in canvas bags supplied by Friends of the Library. 
Book Pedal-er Mobile Library coming this spring

by Heidi Murphy

With collaborative funding from the Friends of the Los Gatos Library and the Pacific Library Partnership, the Los Gatos Library will be launching the Book Pedal-er this spring. This electric-bicycle-powered mobile library will be used to enhance service and outreach for both the library and the Friends.

According to the Town of Los Gatos' 2020 General Plan, almost 30 percent of all households in Los Gatos have at least one child under the age of 18. Also noted in the General Plan is the growing number of persons over the age of 65. "In 2010 the median age of the Los Gatos population is estimated to be 45 years, while in 1970 it was estimated to be 30 years." Our residents are growing older and are choosing to remain in Los Gatos and make this beautiful town their retirement home. At the same time, Los Gatos is known for its high-ranking schools and more families are choosing Los Gatos as a place to raise their children. We are seeing a continued growth at both ends of the age spectrum. This means the library will need to find new, innovative ways to serve this growing majority. The Bike Pedal-er project will help foster curiosity in our growing population of young library users as well as serve our growing population of seniors who need help taking advantage of library services closer to their homes.

The library has two existing programs-Be a Book Family and homebound book-delivery services - aimed at these separate populations that will be enhanced by the addition of the Book Pedal-er Mobile Library. Be a Book Family is a Los Gatos Library family-reading program, funded by the Friends, that encourages parents and caregivers to read with their children from birth through the middle-school years. The Los Gatos Library Book Pedal-er Mobile Library will allow us to expand this program into schools and local businesses. Our homebound book delivery service is currently a partnership between the library and the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department. This service is limited to two routes per month due to the time constraints of our Volunteers in Policing staff. The Book Pedal-er Mobile Library will allow us to reach more seniors and senior living facilities in our town.

The Book Pedal-er Mobile Library will allow library staff to bring books, movies, Internet access, and entertainment out to the general community as well. We will be able to promote the Friends and the library by attending community events such as farmer's markets, Shakespeare in the Park, music festivals, sporting events, bicycle races, and other community gatherings. During these stops, we will be able to issue new library cards by harnessing mobile WiFi technology. Our integrated library system, KOHA, is web-based, which will allow us to help patrons with their accounts and easily provide the same services we provide inside the library. We will be able to check out materials to users, market library resources such as eBooks, and educational databases, and bring curious members of the community together by showcasing an eye-catching electric bicycle and custom-built bicycle trailer that houses hours of entertainment and instruction. The Friends can use this same setup to sell used books and publicize Friends membership, programs and the bookstore.

The Los Gatos Library/Friends of Los Gatos Library Bike Pedal-er, will look something like the San Francisco model pictured. It will be labeled with the logos of Los Gatos Library and the Friends of the Library. We look forward to this new outreach opportunity this spring.
An outstanding evening
with Judy Bingman

by Mary Brence Martin

Oohs and ahs and smiles of delight filled the packed room on Sept. 28 when Judy Bingman showed her amazing wildlife photographs at a Tuesdays With Friends program. Judy, a former physical education teacher and band director at Los Gatos High School, wowed the audience with her presentation titled "Photography from Seven Continents."
Polar bears, tigers, jaguars,
 owls, hummingbirds, tiny frogs, Icelandic horses, snakesand other wildlife filled the screen as Judy told 

stories of her picture-taking adventures. On one trip to Africa, for example, she hiked uphill for more than three hours, three days in a row to spend an hour-which cost $500 each time-to capture breathtaking images of mountain gorillas.

On her forays she totes more than 45 pounds of camera equipment, and this motto: "Each time I take a photograph, I celebrate the life I love and the beauty I know and the happiness I have experienced." 

If you're interested in finding out more about her adventures, take a look at her blog at  But better yet, try some adventuring yourself. Her advice for anyone hesitant to step out of their comfort zone and travel, is, "If you have a chance, just go! Do it!"

The Los Gatos Town Council Chamber was packed on Dec. 4 for the Friends annual holiday music program. The audience enjoyed holiday music performed by gifted young musicians of the San Jose Youth Chamber Master Flute Ensemble; duets by teacher-conductor-flutist Teresa Orozco and guitarist Orlando Castro; and numbers by the San Jose Metropolitan Band Flutes Performers. The evening concluded with a sing-along of seasonal favorites. 

Los Gatos history e-newslette r

Volunteers Lyn Dougherty and Trish Smalling Goldfarb work in the library's local history room.

I f you are interested in the fascinating history of, Los Gatos make sure you're signed  up to receive  the quarterly e-newsletter researched and written by a knowledgeable group of volunteers who work in the library's local-history room.

The January 2016 issue features "Cat Walk" by Lyn Dougherty; "Los Gatos Library Death Records Collection" by Betty Chase; "The Birth of Los Gatos Part II" by Trish Smalling Goldfarb; "A Short History of The Historic Almond Grove " by Richard Katz; "Remembering Dora Rankin" by Jeanette Rapp; and "Residents of Los Gatos Before Recorded History" by Kathy Morgan. 

To subscribe, go to and click on the box for " Los Gatos Library Local History News." (You can also subscribe to other newsletters, including "Los Gatos Library News.") If you need help signing up, email Melissa Maglio at  and she can add you directly.
ESL Conversation Club
Meets at Library

by Christopher Ota, librarian

The ESL Conversation club is enjoying great success each week with a regularly attending group of new English language learners. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the club took on a new volunteer, Sandra Shillitoe, who has had many years of experience in ESL instruction. Sandra has teamed up with volunteer Diane Goldberg to develop a fun and rewarding ongoing adult program. The ESL Conversation Club attendees practice English speaking and listening through a variety of games and discussions. The Los Gatos Library is pleased to have Sandra and Diane volunteering to make a lasting connection with the English-language-learning community.

Peggy Conaway authors
new Los Gatos history book 

Author Peggy Bergtold Conaway, former director of the Los Gatos Library, spoke about her new local-history book, 
Images of Modern America - Los Gatos, at a December event sponsored by the Friends. The book is available for checkout at the library, or you can purchase a copy in the Friends bookstore or on Amazon.