Blogs

Know Your Pets, and How to Care for Them

Americans spend over sixty billion dollars annually on their pets. The average household spends about $500 a year on pets that range from cats, dogs, and rabbits to exotic birds and reptiles.

With all the time, money, and love we lavish on our pets, it’s important to know how to care for them. Foster Library has many books on cats, dogs, and pets in general to assist you in choosing the best pets for your family and to help you learn how to care for them after you bring them into your home.

Resident Photographer Aleta A. Rodriguez

February is African American History Month

Ventura County Library joins the Library of Congress and many others in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

For starters, in our eLibrary under "Biography":

 * See Biography In Context for articles about famous figures in African American history, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Barack Obama.

 * Explore Chelsea House Biographies - their featured collection this month highlights Black History Month.

 * Browse Gale Virtual Reference Library's "Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History"

 Enjoy exploring - it's all free with your library card!

We have a new catalog in the works! Why not give it a try?

We have launched a beta version of our new Catalog! We are quite excited about it as it has new and more efficient search capabilities than our Classic Catalog.

Once in our classic catalog, find the new catalog by clicking on the tab in the upper right (see <== image). 

After your initial search, see the left sidebar of the search results for filters (include or exclude): authors, other titles, publication year, languages, library, series, etc.

As always, you can request an item and log into your account.

It is a work in progress and we encourage your feedback and participation. Try it out and let us know what you think!
Send your comments to: library.postmaster@ventura.org

For our patrons who wish to download books: By searching with the default setting ("Everything"), you can then limit results to ebook and eaudiobook content by selecting/checking the eBook, eAudiobook, Electronic Resources, etc. filter under "Format" in the left sidebar.

Font to Film: "The Namesake"

Jhumpa Lahiri’s first novel, The Namesake, tells the story of an Indian couple who, joined in an arranged marriage, begin their lives together as new immigrants in America. Their journey begins steeped in the alienation and culture shock that the two encounter as they settle in and begin building a home and family. The novel is ultimately a multigenerational saga, devoting itself first to the young couple, then to their experiences as young parents, their relationship with their American-born children who become teenagers immersed in contemporary culture, and finally the lives of those children as they grow into adulthood themselves.

Lahiri manages to create an engaging narrative which explores the nature of identity both in terms of the ways our cultures shape us and the impact of our names themselves on who we will eventually become. She also captures the ever-present sense of separateness felt by many immigrants with respect to their new countries and children with respect to parents who seem to be from another world—because, in many ways, they are. Her second-generational protagonist, Gogol (arguably the novel’s main character—Lahiri is herself the child of immigrant parents), struggles to build an identity that distances himself from his parents’ world despite having no guarantees of acceptance from the one he is growing up in.

The Namesake, originally published in 2003, was made into a film that was released in 2006. On the one hand, it seemed like a given that Lahiri’s follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies would receive this treatment, although, as one reviewer pointed out, the book has a pace to it which seems too meandering for the screen (in his words, “Not enough happens. Hardly anything happens”). Additionally, the breadth and complexity of both the themes and characters make a conversion to film a risky proposition. Nonetheless, the film, starring Kal Penn as Gogol and Irrfan Khan and Tabu as his parents, was a critical and commercial success, keeping close to the events of the book and bringing many of its most poignant scenes to life faithfully and with striking, even heart-wrenching emotionality. It must be said, however, that there is a sense of brevity about the film that, particularly when compared with the novel, might leave one feeling it ought to have been several hours longer.

The book The Namesake is available to borrow at E.P. Foster Library, as is Interpreter of Maladies, a collection of short stories. The film is also available through the Ventura County Library system; if it is not at your local branch, you can use the “Request Item” option to have it sent to the branch of your choice. The book review mentioned above, originally published in The Kenyon Review, is available through Literature Resource Center, which can be accessed remotely by Ventura County library card holders through our eLibrary.

 

Thoughtfully prepared by Ronald Martin.

The digital bookmobile is back! At a library near you today!

The OverDrive Digital Bookmobile National Tour will make two stops
at Ventura County Library locations in February 2014:

Yesterday - Tuesday, February 11th from 11am to 5pm -- E.P. Foster Library sponsored the event at Ventura Community Park at 910 Kimball Rd. in Ventura, CA. 

TODAY! -- Wednesday, February 12th from 10:30am to 4:30pm -- Ray D. Prueter Library at 510 Park Avenue in Port Hueneme, CA. 

At these free events, readers learn how to download eBooks from the library through interactive demonstrations and instructional videos.

A gadget gallery — featuring a variety of smartphones, tablets and ereaders will help visitors discover portable devices compatible with Ventura County Library’s OverDrive download service. 

Ventura County Library cardholders can also check out and download digital titles anytime, anywhere, by visiting http://vencolibrary.lib.overdrive.com/.

Three super cool artists on Freegal

Freegal is our music database. You can download 3 free songs a week and you get to keep them! Do I need to repeat that? 3 free songs a week. And they are good songs! I use several apps to discover new music and I'm always pumped when I find something FREE on Freegal. I just wanted to share what I have been listening to lately courtesy of Ventura County Libraries.

 

1. Josh Ritter - I like his style. Simple, clear and to the point. I really like the song "Wait for love (You know you will)." He has such a nice voice and his lyrics, while sappy at times, are really sweet.

 

 

2. Passion Pit - "Sleepyhead" isn't my typical style, but I dig it. I listen to it while I workout and it just makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Ok, maybe that's extreme but it's a fun listen.

 

 

3. The Civil Wars - "Poison and Wine" is deep, beautiful and soothing. I just want to listen with a big glass of wine while reading a book in front of a fire. If you don't know The Civil Wars, you should. They aren't making music anymore, but what they did make is good!

 

Freegal does have a Droid app and an Apple app. It's so easy: download the app, find the library and type in your library card number. No passwords or log-ins! Let there be rejoicing in the streets of Ventura.

What about you? What have you found on Freegal?

Sara R

Paper Craft Projects Week at the Ojai Library

Ojai Library through Friday 2-21 from 1pm to 3pm

Weave with paper,

make an origami box,

a giant envelope

and a book

 

"Kids Can!" event lead by award winning paper artist Gail Hercher

Beekeeping 101 at Ojai Library

 

 What's The Buzz? Bees! 

Beekeeping 101 with Casey Abbott

A lecture for beginner and experienced beekeepers

Saturday February 15, 1:00 to 3:00pm

Question and answer session to follow -- outside, weather permitting.


California Drought Conditions

 

The Governor of California has recently declared a state of drought emergency for the state. Locally, Lake Casitas shows sad evidence of the extended lack of rain.

The first image was taken in April of 2006. The second image was taken this past Saturday, January 19, 2014. You can see the stark difference between the two images. As residents of Ventura, we all need to do our part to conserve water while we are in this emergency. Foster Library can help with materials on water conservation as well as books about native plants.

Resident Photographer Aleta Rodriguez

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