Saturday, October 25, 2008

Humor in Politics?

On Saturday, November 1, 2008, the Herb Caen Magazines and Newspapers Center will present a program on the political humor of political cartoonist Khalil Bendib. Meet political cartoonist Khalil Bendib and explore hot-button issues of war, race-relations and immigration. Mr. Bendib will perform an amusing one-act monologue, present a cartoon slideshow and discuss the role of the media in politics.

Khalil Bendib is an award-winning, Berkeley-based political cartoonist and author of Mission Accomplished: Wicked Cartoons by America’s Most Wanted Cartoonist. His cartoons are distributed to over 1,700 small and mid-sized newspapers across the United States as well as alternative media outlets outside of the mainstream corporate media. His work has been published in USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.

A book signing will follow the event. This program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

- Address: 100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
- Location: Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room
- Event Date and Time: Saturday, November 1, 2008 (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Opera Titles in Season

The San Francisco Public Library is currently hosting the San Francisco Opera Guild's 2008-2009 Opera Preview Lecture Series. If you wish to explore the opera world in greater detail through interviews with performers, reviews of productions and opera recordings, calendar listings of festivals, look no further. The Magazines and Newspapers Center offers a selection of international opera magazines for the opera enthusiast. In the pages of the following magazines, you will find articles on various nuances of the opera world.

And with the recent world premiere of San Francisco Opera's production of Amy Tan's The Bonesetter's Daughter, be sure to check out the San Francisco Public Library's On the Same Page book club in November.

The National Opera Association (NOA) newsletter provides information on conventions, workshops, and various NOA opera competitions. Highlights regional news and member institutions and promotes a greater appreciation of opera and musical theatre.

OPERA (London)
Founded by the Earl of Harewood and now in its 58th year of distinguished publication, OPERA offers CD and DVD reviews, feature articles, profiles of opera people, events coverage, UK and international stage and production commentary, and current season highlights and criticism.

This Toronto publication, the only Canadian periodical devoted exclusively to opera, features Canadian opera artist interviews and articles on new productions. Profiles Canadian opera companies. Incorporates special reports from Paris and Montreal, a calendar of Canadian and international stage performance listings, and opera reviews. Includes the CBC Radio Two "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" radio broadcasts schedule.

This French language title focuses on interviews from the world of opera: conductors, directors, singers, costume designers, musicians, technicians, and choreographers. In its third year of publication, Opera Magazine covers major opera productions worldwide, festivals, upcoming performances, and opera CD and DVD reviews.

Published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, with special coverage on the Metropolitan Opera company, this magazine features comprehensive reviews of North American and international productions, recordings, videos, and books. Includes interviews, obituaries, and a calendar of major events. During the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee radio broadcast season, Opera News highlights upcoming broadcasts.

Covers opera news, world premieres, recitals, and festivals. Includes reviews of books and recordings. Features interviews with singers, conductors, and production staff. Includes a comprehensive guide to worldwide festivals and international opera performances.

A quarterly French journal of the Academie Nationale de l'Operette (ANAO) covering a wide breadth of musical theatre, including musical comedy, operetta, musicals, and comic operas. Features opera news, previews, interviews, ANAO programs, festival descriptions, and a special feature-of-the-month.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Researching with RSS Feeds

On Monday, October 20, 2008 at noon, the Magazines and Newspapers Center will offer a workshop on RSS Feeds--"Using RSS Feeds for Real-Time Research on the Web."

What are RSS feeds and how can they help you access the latest, cutting-edge news and dynamically shifting information on the Web? In this workshop, learn how to harness this increasingly popular technology to monitor your favorite news sources, Web sites, blogs, and podcasts.

- Address: 100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
- Location: Main Library, Latino/Hispanic Community Room
- Event Date and Time: Monday, October 20, 2008 (noon to 1 p.m.)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Use NoveList to Pick Your Next Read

I'd like to let you in on a secret. A confession, if you will. You know how you can tell a librarian the last book or two that you read, and, based on that, the librarian can suggest another book or two that you'll probably like? (If you don't, you should give it a try -- it's impressive!) Well, as much as we'd like everyone to believe that we've read every book in the library, that would be impossible. As in just about everything else we do, librarians rely on a combination of our own knowledge and a reliable set of tools to make book recommendations.

We here in the Magazines and Newspaper Center mostly leave book recommendations to the experts in other departments in the library, but we do feel strongly about connecting people with the things they like to read. That's why we're spilling the beans and sharing the treasure-trove of book and author information known as NoveList.

The beauty of NoveList starts with a huge database of records for popular fiction books. Each record has the usual parts-- author, title, publication information, ISBN -- but also book reviews, a link that will automatically search our library catalog to see if we have any copies of the books, and, most importantly, a long list of subject headings.

NoveList uses a bunch of these subject headings (if you're not fluent in librarianese, think of subject headings as tags) so that each book has a pretty specific profile. Here's where the magic happens: NoveList will, at your request, try to match the dozen or so subject headings that a book will generally have with others, and deliver to you a list of other books with a similar group of subjects. You can also choose to exclude certain subjects in the search. That means that if you like Gone with the Wind, but don't care much for the Southern setting, you can choose to exclude that but still retain books that are similar in other ways.

There are plenty of other useful features to this database, including author biographies, recommended titles, guides for book group discussion, and "read-alikes," which are staff-generated lists of books that appeal to similar tastes.

While we work on reading our way through the collection, you should check out NoveList. To access the database, visit our Articles and Databases page and scroll down a bit -- it's in the Literature and Books category. You'll see two versions of NoveList, one for adults and one for kids and teens. If you're not in the library, the database will prompt you to enter your library card number. Once you're in, get ready to discover more books than you'll ever be able to read.

And don't forget that this weekend Litquake launches its 7th annual literary festival with its "Off the Richter Scales" readings to be held in the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library.