Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nature, Science, and Wildlife Conservation

Northern Californians can revel in a renewed sense of pride in our region's devotion to nature, science, and wildlife conservation this weekend when the reborn California Academy of Sciences opens the doors to its new home in Golden Gate Park. And while people will wait hours in line to take advantage of the free admission on opening day, here at the Magazines and Newspapers Center you can get a free fix of Nature, Science, and Wildlife Conservation any time the library's open.

Nature is a stalwart weekly science journal that publishes original research from a broad range of disciplines. You can look here for research-paper-quality articles, rigorously reviewed, with plenty of footnotes provided. About half of this journal is dedicated to research papers, the other half to news and opinion pieces, which make for interesting reading for anyone with even a passing interest in science. We have a full run of Nature, going back to 1869 [!], in this case available in paper. If you'd like to look at really old issues, give us a call at 415-557-4400 and let us know in advance so we can retrieve them from remote storage before you come in.

Science is the publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is considered to be one of the most prestigious multidisciplinary science journals in the world. Published weekly since 1880 (we have issues going back to 1883), Science consistently publishes original research from some of the most important names in science. This is heavy-duty stuff: Look here for footnotes, peer-reviewed articles, and technical charts and diagrams. The writers don't pull any punches with their use of technical language, so a reader should have either some scientific knowledge or some reference books handy. (Don't worry, we have a bunch of encyclopedias at the library.) This is highly respectable writing, and an excellent place to look for authoritative new scientific research and fodder for research reports.

Wildlife Conservation stands apart from the rest of this bunch for a couple of reasons: First, it focuses on one facet (albeit a huge facet) of science; and, it is written by journalists rather than researchers. These differences mean that, though the content may be less groundbreaking and authoritative, it's probably more interesting for people without much knowledge of scientific language. In other words, the Kermit the Frog quote from the August 2008 issue probably wouldn't cut muster at Science or Nature, but it's welcome here. Look in Wildlife Conservation for thoughtful features about animals that are facing difficulties in the modern world, and for some positive coverage of efforts to save those species from disappearing. Wildlife Conservation comes out once a month, and you can find the current issue on display in the reading room. Back issues are available upon request from the friendly pages at the Fifth Floor page desk.

A little knowledge about the world around you can make your trip to the California Academy of Sciences, to the beach, or to the forest that much more interesting, and we here at the Magazines and Newspapers Center have plenty of magazines to help you get up to speed on important issues of nature, science, and wildlife.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Library Program: A Crash Course in City Directories - September 27, 2008

On Saturday, September 27, 2008, the Herb Caen Magazines and Newspapers Center will present a free program on city directories and their relevance in genealogical research. The program will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room located on the Lower Level of the Main Library.

The program description is as follows:

Long before phones and phone books, local publishers were printing city directories for thousands of metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada (and elsewhere). These directories were usually published every year and contained a listing of most of the residents as well as businesses, churches, elected officials, newspapers, etc. in larger cities and towns and often the surrounding areas. This workshop will show how you can use city directories to determine family relationships, land ownership, occupation, spouse’s name, race, address, nearby relatives and much more, and why using city directories should be a part of every genealogical project. We’ll look at city directories in print, in microform, and online.

Lisa B. Lee, a board member of the California Genealogical Society, is the guest speaker.

This program is supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unleash the Power of Your Library Card

Did you know you can use your library card for more than just checking out books? Perhaps you might want to indulge in some contemporary literary stories and eclectic articles from the New Yorker, browse through popular movie reviews from Entertainment Weekly, or stay up to date with computer tips and technologies from PC Magazine. While the periodicals in the Magazines & Newspapers Center cannot be checked out, you may borrow selected titles from the first floor of the Main Library and your local branch library.
  • Can’t find a book in our library catalog? Try Links+ to borrow books from another library outside of San Francisco.
  • Are you a connoisseur of classical, contemporary, or folk music? Explore our recently purchased music databases.
September is national Library Card Sign-Up Month. Unleash the power of your library card. For more ideas, check out 52 Ways to Use Your Library Card for each week of the year.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Find your Inner Chef

From the bottom shelf of the pantry behind the many cans of tomato products, we can always find our forgotten and overlooked recipes. Hidden in magazines are also some forgotten and overlooked recipes. These recipes often provide a different perspective on cooking. Whether it be cooking for the masses or cooking with local flavors, many non-cooking magazines have regular sections containing great specialized recipes.

If you look in …

…you’ll find a section on recipes that help you cater for the holidays.

Restaurants and Institutions
…you’ll find a section on surprisingly simple recipes from well known United States restaurants.

…you'll find a section on recipes to help you lose weight, stay fit, and eat healthy.

Wine Enthusiast
…you’ll find a section on recipes to pair with every type of wine.

Wisconsin Trails
…you’ll find a section on delicious recipes that you can do yourself.

To bring out your inner chef, come to the Magazines and Newspapers Center of the San Francisco Main Library.