Chocolatespoon: Emily’s Musings

Archive for the ‘Libraries/School’ Category

Phew! The Third Annual Silicon Valley Puzzle Day is over and done and was — by all reports — a tremendous success! Saturday was packed full of workshops and a Puzzle Party fundraiser for our new Library Foundation and then Sunday we had sudoku and crossword tournaments (plus bonus rounds of killer sudoku and cryptic crosswords). I know that I had a fantastic time and will need a few days to recover and do all the data entry and other clean-up tasks.

Here are a few photos from the event — more are up on Flickr

Clara and Emily at Puzzle DayTyler and Shachar @ the Puzzle PartyReady to startSudoku Final RoundGetting ready to start the tournamentFinal Crossword RoundTyler, Lisa, emily, Byron and Thomas

It was so much fun to work with Lisa and all our committee members and volunteers to pull this off.  Special thanks to my Mom who spent every minute of the weekend working on the event as well.

Those of you who know me recognize that in the weeks leading up to our annual Silicon Valley Puzzle Day event (this year on Feb 7 – 8 ) I tend to get a bit obsessed with crosswords and sudoku and the posts and links here get very puzzle-dominated.  Well, we’re definitely in full gear right now as we count down the last 2 weeks before the main event, which this year has grown to be an entire weekend of puzzle fun!

In addition to the workshops (all day Saturday, Feb 7) and the crossword and sudoku tournaments (Sunday, Feb 8 ) — to which we’ve added bonus competitions of Killer Sudoku and Cryptic Crosswords — we’ve added two more events to the lineup:

Free showing of Wordplay, the documentary starring Will Shortz, Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, the Indigo Girls, and more, that inspired us to start Puzzle Day (and which is one of my favorite movies). Attend this new Puzzle Day event to get in the puzzling mood with your friends and neighbors at the showing this Saturday, Jan. 24, at 3 pm in the program room of the Morgan Hill Library.

• Also new this year, come to our Puzzle Party on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 6pm to 10 pm at the Morgan Hill Ramada Inn. Tickets are $40 each and benefit the newly formed Morgan Hill Library Foundation. Whether you’re a puzzle lover who wants to rub elbows with four-time American Crossword Tournament Champion Tyler Hinman, or just want to enjoy the company of fellow Morgan Hill residents who support the library, it promises to be a wonderful evening.  (Check out this great WIRED article about Tyler)

More information about all of these events are available at – and of course you’ll be hearing a lot more about them from me here.

We’re starting a new library foundation so I’m starting to collect some inspiration from other library foundation web sites before I build ours…  Here are a few:

Big Cities (hey, we can dream)

San Jose Library Foundation
“The San José Public Library Foundation provides advocacy, financial support and innovative leadership to transform San José’s public libraries into vibrant learning centers.”

Library Foundation of Los Angeles

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles supports and enriches the capabilities, resources and services of the Los Angeles Public Library. We accomplish our mission through fundraising, advocacy, and innovative programs that benefit our diverse community and promote greater awareness of the Library’s valuable resources. Our support complements, but does not supplant, the City’s responsibility for funding the Los Angeles Public Library’s operations.”

Multnomah County Library (Portland, OR)
A strong public library system is the very foundation upon which a community builds for the future. The Library Foundation mobilizes private support to enhance Multnomah County Library’s leadership and innovation, helping the library address emerging community needs and trends. The foundation’s vision is that every person builds a relationship with learning and libraries that lasts a lifetime. Through this relationship, every person can have access to all of the tools needed to succeed in life.”

Chicago Public Library Foundation
Since 1986, the Chicago Public Library Foundation has worked with the City of Chicago to enrich the Chicago Public Library by funding book acquisitions, special collections and community-based programs.”

Phoenix Library Foundation
“The Foundation was created in 1997 to raise money for Library programs and services.  We support reading programs for children and adults, purchase computers and fund programs that help people learn to use technology, and furnish spaces that make the Library a great place to curl up with a good book.

While tax dollars keep the lights on, buildings open, and materials on the shelves, the Library can be so much more.  That’s what the Foundation does — it makes a good library a great one — with your help.”

Seattle Public Library Foundation
“Your gift to The Seattle Public Library Foundation supplements public funding and creates a first-rate Library system. This means an outstanding collection of books and materials, the technology and tools to access a world of information and more diverse programs for children, teens, adults, and people with special needs.”

San Antonio Public Library Foundation
“The Mission of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation is to support the Public Library and to increase the awareness and use of the Library through financial support and programmatic efforts, thereby enhancing the community’s appreciation and utilization of the library as a cultural and educational institution.”

Smaller Libraries/Towns

Palo Alto Library Foundation
“The Palo Alto Library Foundation spearheads major fund-raising campaigns to bridge the gap caused by shrinking municipal budgets and the growing needs of Palo Alto’s aging libraries. Working in cooperation with other library-serving organizations, we ensure that Palo Alto has sufficient financial resources to “create a vibrant, modern library system that serves the diverse needs of everyone in our city — from young to old, and from North to South.”

Hemet Library Foundation
“The Hemet Library Foundation is a non profit, non partisan, volunteer group of local citizens dedicated to soliciting and managing funds for charitable purposes for the enhancement of the Hemet Public Library for all members of the community. ”

Burlington Library Foundation
“The Burlingame Library Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the highest level of service, programming, and infrastructure at the Burlingame Public Library.  The Foundation’s fund raising efforts are supported through contributions from individuals and small businesses in the community.”

Ridgewood Public Library Foundation

“To develop a basis of perpetual financial support to ensure that our Library will always provide outstanding information, education and culture in a user-friendly, state-of-the-art facility. “

Estacada Public Library Foundation
“Our mission is to ensure excellence in library services for the benefit of the greater Estacada/Eagle Creek community.

The Estacada Public Library Foundation welcomes gifts from individuals, families, businesses and non-profit organizations who wish to demonstrate their love for books, the Library and our community”

Walnut Creek Library Foundation
“The mission of the Walnut Creek Library Foundation is to raise private funds to supplement public funding of both Walnut Creek libraries in order to ensure that our libraries can serve as indispensable information resources with free and convenient facilities and services.”

Mt. Kisco Public Library Foundation
“The Foundation for the Mt. Kisco Public Library, Inc. was established in 2005 to support the Mount Kisco Public Library, the library’s special projects, and the growing needs of the community.”

Yuma Library Foundation
“The Yuma Library Foundation raises major funds and community awareness to support, enhance and expand public library capital items and related services in Yuma County. “

Cedar Park Library Foundation
“The Cedar Park Public Library Foundation, founded in 1993 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation, is committed to assist the Library in achieving excellence and to develop business/ community support through financial assistance for Library initiatives.”

Mountain View Library Foundation
“The purpose of the Mountain View Library Foundation is to provide funding to enhance the information center for our diverse community, providing a dynamic place to share resources and ideas, to find joy in reading at all ages, and to experience the power of lifelong learning.”

Falls Church Library Foundation
“The Mary Riley Styles Public Library Foundation Trust will solicit contributions from the public for the purpose of supporting the mission of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. The Foundation will work closely with the Library Director and the Library Board of Trustees to identify unmet needs. It is intended that the Foundation support will supplement, not replace, regular taxpayer support for the Library.”

Cupertino Library Foundation
The Cupertino Library Foundation was established at the request of the Cupertino City Council in 1994 at a time when the library system was experiencing severe budget cuts. The Council asked two Library Commissioners, Allan Bidwell and Charles Liggett, to gather board members and to establish a foundation to match the requested funds from the City to maintain Library hours and to continue the purchase of books and also specifically to raise funds for the Library.

The organizational meeting of the Foundation was held on January 26, 1994, where Edward Jajko was elected the first Board President. The Friends of the Cupertino Library loaned the start-up money needed to process the application for tax-exempt status and the costs of preparation

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization. Its stated purpose is To raise money to enhance the Library. It seeks major donations from corporations and the business community and from other foundations as well as individual donations and planned gifts and bequests. Most recently, and again at Council’s request, the Foundation has successfully concluded a 4-year effort to raise from the community the $1.2 million to help furnish the new Library so that Council could construct the best building possible with City funding.

The Foundation has established an endowment fund for the future financial needs of the Library and has produced a brochure entitled, How You Can Help the Library through a Planned Gift, available at the Library or downloadable here in PDF, with information on planned gifts, gifts of stock, real estate, life insurance, deferred giving, charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable remainder annuities, charitable lead trusts, and bequests.”

Heading off this morning to attend Internet Librarian, one of my favorite conferences and really the best one for the work I do. My colleague Karen and I will be speaking on Tuesday at a session on “Revitalizing Content in the Enterprise” about how our team “promotes research and library resources to audiences around the company through as many channels as [we] can, including blogs, wikis, mailing lists, RSS, surveys, social bookmarking, old-fashioned tabling, and other methods.” We’re also hosting a dine-around for special/corporate librarians (which was one of the first ones to fill up!)

I missed last year’s conference (being busy having a baby and all) and am excited to get to go this year!

Morgan Hill Library Birthday Party Poster Contest Winners

Originally uploaded by chocolate spoon

Today we celebrated the first birthday of the Morgan Hill Library with a birthday party sponsored by the Friends. My role was to run the poster contest, where we encouraged kids to draw a picture illustrating what the library meant to them. We got some great entries and I put up a display in the group study room which will be up for the next couple of weeks (hopefully). The top entrants will get prizes (once I pull them together) and their drawings will be made into a calendar (once I get a chance to scan them all in). The kids submitted some really great and creative drawings and a bunch of us had the difficult task Thursday night of picking our favorites.

The party was fun — there was a puppet show, the unveiling of two new robot sculptures for the children’s area (purchased with Beyond Books Campaign funds), a storyteller, and a Guitar Hero tournament that drew a big crowd. The library was decorated with balloons and party hats and we gave out cupcakes and cookies to everyone. It was quite festive and fun to see lots of people we knew stopping by. Clara seemed to particularly enjoy the balloons and I let her have a cookie (which she ended up mostly wearing.) We sold commemorative bookplates (for a $10 donation) and I picked out a children’s book about kittens to put Clara’s name in and a cook book for S.

I was a bit sad to have skipped BlogHer for the party (I had registered ages ago before the birthday was scheduled… hopefully I’ll get to go next year!) but I’m glad Clara and I could spend the day playing at the library.  It would have been a lot of fun to get to go to the Mommy-blogging panels this time though…

Hurray to Lisa for the nice letter in the MH Times about joining the Friends for National Library Week!!

Celebrate National Library Week by joining Friends of the MH Library

Dear Editor,

Next week Americans will celebrate National Library Week and the invaluable contributions that libraries, librarians and library volunteers make to our community every day.

The American Library Association reports that library use is up nationwide, continuing a decade-long trend. The Morgan Hill Library is experiencing record usage in large part due to the beautiful new facility that opened last July. Community Librarian Rosanne Macek reports that for the first six months in the new building, circulation is up 30 percent, new library cards are up 81 percent, visitors are up 24 percent, and reference questions answered are up 18 percent.

If you value your local library, why not celebrate National Library Week by joining the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library? Memberships start at $10 and help to pay for speaker’s forums, author events, summer reading programs, bestseller collections, and much more.

Even more than donating your money, you can make a valuable contribution to your local library by volunteering your time with the Friends. Whether you have computer skills to share, can take a shift at our used bookstore in the library, or want to help with special events like Puzzle Day, the Friends can use your help. Learn more about joining the Friends and our numerous volunteer opportunities by visiting the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library web site at

There’s no better way to support your local library and celebrate National Library Week than by helping your library’s best friends.

Lisa Pampuch,

Morgan Hill

President, Friends of the Morgan Hill Library

The Westport Library turned 100 years old with a big celebration yesterday (chaired by Mom). There are some nice photos on Westport Now including one of 99 year old man cutting the ribbon (he’ll be 100 soon) and the grandchildren of the woman who cut the ribbon 100 years ago (when she was 6). Looks like it was a fantastic event! The celebration also included things like children in grades K-12 being invited to imagine what the Westport Library may be like in 2108, 100 years from now! They have a nice list of 100 reasons to use the library as well and an upcoming Altered book exhibit and auction. Fun!

The MH Times came through with a nice front page article of the library’s opening (though unfortunately didn’t print the photo we had submitted of the costume contest winners). They also printed a very friendly editorial about the opening, which concluded with:

What’s also impressive about the building of this new library is the teamwork that occurred to make it happen, from the Friends of the Morgan Hill Library, led by avid reader Carol O’Hare, to Morgan Hill’s Redevelopment Agency and the county library system.

From inception to completion, these groups worked together keeping that vision in mind to offer Morgan Hill residents a source of knowledge, scholarship, learning and information.

To date the Friends have truly demonstrated they’re friends of readers, literacy and education by raising a quarter of a million dollars. That money paid for the impressive bronze sculptures, paintings and other unique art elements found in the building. The library is the only one in the Santa Clara County library system that has a permanent collection of art, thanks to donors.

Morgan Hill’s new library is a perfect example of how when a community works together it can accomplish great things. It will go a long way to addressing the literacy needs of a growing city and helping parents expose their children to reading and learning.

Yesterday’s grand opening of the new Morgan Hill Library was simply amazing. We expected around 1500 people but estimates for actual attendance are around 4000!! It was a beautiful day (hot, but not terrible) and pretty much everything went exactly as planned. It was really amazing to see the place packed with so many people! I can’t wait to see the official numbers (the gate count was around 3900 but apparently that is much lower than the actual crowd because when people come in as groups they often count as just one person) and to find out how many books were checked out, how many new library cards were made, etc.

We kicked off with a Taiko drum group, cookies, and face painting. Then a trumpet fanfare, boy scout flag ceremony, and then a round of speeches from the major, city council, librarian and other dignitaries. Everyone kept their speeches short and we opened the library at 12:04 (one minute earlier than scheduled!)

The Reading Passport game was a huge success and we ran out of the ~800 passports we had made by about 2:30 (the game was that kids had to go around to 6 different areas of the library and collect a sticker at each, then return to our table in the lobby for a prize) and gave out all the prizes we had (and there were TONS to start with). Germar the Magician played to packed rooms for both of his shows and was wonderful and funny. We had 29 people compete in the costume contest and gave everyone prizes. The grand prizes went to a Winky the House Elf, a Pansy Parkinson and a Cat in the Hat.

The party wrapped up at 4 and I ducked home for a few chapters of Harry Potter before returning at 6pm for the volunteer thank you pizza party. We were all pretty exhausted but thrilled at how everything had gone.

Trumpet FanfareCommunity Librarian Rosanne Macek2007 Jul 21 058If you give a mouse a cookie...

More photos are here. I’ve created a Flickr Group for the event and hope that other people who were there will share their photos so we can have a big pool of them to see. Paul posted some really great ones yesterday.

Checking out the new automated sorting machine

Tonight was the preview party for the new library (which, if I haven’t mentioned it enough, will open next Saturday, July 21). It was a lovely event with about 100 people, a string quartet and very nice food. The place looks amazing — all the art is installed and the displays are up and everyone just absolutely loved it. We all got to try out the new automated materials return machine, which is very cool. The whole Puzzle Day gang was there of course as well — some of whom I haven’t seen for months (and of course everyone started asking when we’re going to have the next one!)

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