Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions, I will . . .

Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions that we attempt to fulfill. Some of them are:

1. Get physically fit.
2. Travel.
3. Save money.
4. Become greener.
5. Read more.

Let’s see how the Magazines and Newspapers Center can help you with these resolutions:

1. Get physically fit doesn’t mean exercising your thumb on the fire button of a video game controller. We have magazines to help you maintain a happy and healthy life: Fitness Management, Heart & Soul, Men’s Fitness, Shape, and many more.

2. Travel doesn’t mean walking to the 7-Eleven down the street. We have magazines to help you explore other countries and other cultures: Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Conde Nast’s Traveler, Holiday Which?, National Geographic Traveler, and many more.

3. Save and/or Invest Money doesn’t mean looking for loose change under the sofa cushions. We have magazines to help you save, invest, compound, and diversify your hard-earned cash: Investor’s Business Daily, Barron’s, Better Investing, Bloomberg Markets, Forbes, Fortune, Institutional Investor, and many more.

4. Become greener doesn’t mean to stop bathing. We have magazines to help you become more eco-friendly, less wasteful, and more energy-conscious: Home Power, Solar Today, Windpower Monthly Newsmagazine, and many more.

5. Read more – Magazines and Newspapers Center – enough said.

New Year’s resolutions are “promises” to oneself to be accomplished over the course of the year. Try not to have too many resolutions. Ask a friend to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions. The Magazines and Newspapers Center has many more magazines to help you with achieving your New Year’s resolutions.

If you have a New Year’s resolution that’s not on our list, please come ask us for assistance to keeping your resolutions in 2008!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Plants

During this cold, wintry season, green and red poinsettias and mistletoes decorate homes, work places, and stores, brightening up the spirit of the holidays as the year draws to a close. Have you ever been curious about these plants and how they acquired their names? Are you interested in which class they might belong to within the grand ecosystem of life? Check out the Science Online database to explore these and other obscure scientific facts:

1. Go to the SFPL Home Page and select “Articles & Databases.” You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to access the databases from outside the Library.

2. Under the Categories side bar on the left, select “Science & Technology” then “Science Online.”

3. In the search box, enter “poinsettia.”

4. Select the first link and discover the scientific name, identify the family class, and view photos of the poinsettia.

5. Run the search again for “mistletoe” and get detailed information on yet another popular plant during this holiday season.

The Science Online database contains definitions, articles and essays, biographies, and experimental pieces in a variety of scientific disciplines including biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, mathematics, physics, space and astronomy, and more. Some of the content is accompanied by diagrams, photographs, and videos.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Online: Magazine Cover Galleries

A popular pastime for people interested in popular culture and history is browsing old magazine covers. Many people continue to perform this activity in our collection of back issues here at the Main Library, but some magazine Web sites allow one to peruse these artifacts from a computer.
Here is a sampling of just a few:

Life Magazine (

Life has a full archive of covers that begin as far back as 1936 . One can search the archive by keyword or date as well as a few slide show collections such as "Most famous Life covers".

Time Magazine

Time also has a full archive of covers that range back to 1923. It also provides keyword searching and have a few featured searches, such as "This Week in History" which shows the covers from issues 5, 10, 20, and 50 years ago.

Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated offers a similar archive that begins in 1954. One can also locate covers by searching for any author of the cover stories. This is available through the advanced search page.

Rolling Stone (

The magazine cover archive of Rolling Stone is another conduit for seeing iconic historical timepieces, starting in 1967.

Vogue UK (

Fashion magazines are another popular subject for cover searches. Vogue UK offers searches by year (going back to 1916), by model, and by artist/photographer.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Furniture and Furnishings

Now that you’ve installed the floors correctly under your feet, and placed the ceiling where it belongs, over your head, what comes next? You decorate!

Gentlemen—Are you looking for that incredible 100-inch, thinner-than-paper, so-real-that-you-can-almost-touch-it picture quality, plasma television set? What about that ergonomic, electronic, full-body massage, leather chair to put in front of the TV?

Ladies—Are you looking to balance understated dramatics with contrast and hue, use concepts of feng shui to arrange furniture, or choose colors to establish mood and harmony?

Before the design of your room looks like “Death Star meets Martha Stewart,” check out Electronic House, Home, Home Theater, House Beautiful, and Interior Design at the Magazines and Newspapers Center for some decorating ideas:

Electronic House - Covers home automation and smart electronic systems that offer more security, entertainment, convenience, and fun.

Home - Emphasizes home design and architecture, including creative yet practical ideas aimed primarily at the average middle-income homeowner.

Home Theater - Dedicated to the home theater market, covering the latest in audio, video surround sound, movies and music.

House Beautiful - Articles cover home decorating and remodeling, architecture, travel, leisure and entertaining, gardening, and other topics.

If you can afford the 100-inch, plasma television set, you might consider:

Interior Design - For professionals who design office, commercial establishment, and residential interiors.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Periodicals Reading Room

During the holiday season when the weather has turned cold and the frenzy of the season has become overwhelming, consider coming into the Main Library and going to the fifth floor Periodicals Reading Room in the Herb Caen Magazines and Newspapers Center. Even on a gray day, the glass-enclosed room is filled with light and warmth.

The Periodicals Reading Room showcases current issues of more than 150 of the library's popular magazines. It is a clean and quiet room where you can linger over your favorite magazines. A comfortable place to sit, study, work and think, it is a sanctuary from the fast pace of the world around us.

The room also contains back issues of local newspapers. If you are interested in a magazine title not on display, check with a librarian at the reference desk or use our Periodical Finder. Current and back issues of several thousand magazines are available at the fifth floor Page Desk.