Blogs

See you at Foster on 12/8!

Two big events on Sunday the 8th at Foster Library!

Sounds of Second Sunday:
The Barrelhouse Wailers from 2-4 p.m.
             Author Talks:
Sue Fries from 5-6 p.m.
                   

Theodosia Burr Shepherd

 

Theodosia Burr Shepherd was born in Keosauqua, Iowa.  She was the daughter of Augustus Hall, a lawyer who later became Chief Justice of Nebraska.  She married W.E. Shepherd on September 9, 1866, and they moved to California for her health in 1873.  In Ventura, Theodosia developed the California flower seed industry, starting in 1874.  She began by swapping seeds through a ladies’ magazine.  After a few years, she expanded her property and began growing flowers for their seeds.   In 1881, she sent a package of seeds to Peter Henderson of New York, one of the nation’s leading nurserymen, who encouraged her to grow seeds and flowers in the Ventura climate. 

She built a business, the Theodosia B. Shepherd Company, which annually issued a retail catalogue and two wholesale lists. She received encouragement and accolades from W. Atlee Burpee, founder of the Burpee seed company, as well as other well know horticulturists.  At one point she was known throughout the United States as the “Flower Wizard of California”.  Theodosia’s hope was that her daughters, and other women, would find an alternative to the drudgery of housework by becoming involved in growing flowers and selling seeds. She wrote and lectured on plant life, her hybridization work, and her success as a pioneering woman in the seed industry.    She was a remarkable woman well ahead of her time.  She died September 6, 1906 in Ventura, California.

Remnants of her gardens can still be seen on the grounds of the E. P. Foster Library, as well as in the parking lot behind the library.  A banana plant and two strawberry trees near the first floor back entrance of the library were once part of Theodosia’s garden.   A Norfolk pine grows between the upper and lower parking lot and there are a few palm trees as well.

 


If you would like to find out more about Ventura’s unique history, Foster Library is a good place to start.

Resident Photographer - Aleta Rodriguez

Rescheduled! Makers - 3D Printing at Foster Library


Rescheduled to TONIGHT!  3D Printing: Modeling Software Comparison

Come to the Topping Room at E.P. Foster Library on Tuesday, December 4 from 8 to 10pm to learn more about 3D Printing. This month, we'll be comparing modeling software.

Included:

  • A review of TinkerCad which we covered last month
  • A look at OpenSCAD and Blender to help you find the development program that fits your idea
  • Computers will be available to try out some of the software
  • Bring a thumbdrive in case you start something you want to take with you!

The presentation will take roughly 30-40 min. with the remaining time open for projects -- why not tell a friend and share this?

Get a discount on the Reagan Library Spy Exhibit!

Discover and explore the secret world of spies at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum!

Grab a bookmark/coupon at any of our Ventura Country Libraries or use the discount code: "VC Library" when purchasing online for admission to SPY: The Secret World of Espionage** - the exhibit is at the museum through March 9th.

Experience an up-close look at recently declassified CIA, FBI and KGB secrets and artifacts - including items that inspired the academy award winning film, Argo.

Navigate through an actual laser field, create your very own spy disguise and come face to face with the gadgets, tools and techniques used by real life spies.

** Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer expires February 28, 2014.

Wrapping up Foster Con

After months of planning, revising, and more revising, our first ever Foster Con has come to a close. Thanks to the hard work and support of those behind the scenes and in front, our event was, I think, a success. It certainly wasn’t without some hiccups, but it turned out pretty good for a first effort. I’m already thinking of ideas for next year.

Thanks to the Directors Initiative grant, in a matter of months we were able to bring together local vendors, artists, and very special guests to present our own version of a comic con. With donations from the Friends of the Library, Diamond Comic Distributors, and IDW, we handed out over 250 goodie bags to adults and children. The candy sushi was a big hit with the kids and our airbrush tattoo artist, Miss Celeste, treated folks to tattoos resembling our own library card. The photo booth was also popular with kids and parents alike, dressing up in props to have their photos taken.

Our very special guest, Sergio Aragones gave an amazing talk about his work, answering questions, taking photos with guests, and even signing autographs. He gave so generously of his time, and fans young and old listened eagerly as he talked about his many adventures. It was so delightful to see fans meeting him for the first time, just wanting to shake his hand. He spent time with everyone, even the littlest of fans. I’m so very grateful he agreed to take part in our event. I must say, he was a big part of our event’s success.

The art contest didn’t quite go as planned, but the costume contest turned out to be a hit. Thanks to our volunteer, Sami, we got some adults in on the act. They showed up in some great costumes. I really liked Tony Stark and Doctor Who. With the help of our emcee, Amber, and judges, Robert Seaton and Linda Terry, the costume contest was well-received.

Both Ralph’s Comic Corner and Seth’s Games and Anime had vendor tables, selling comics and collectibles. Local comic artist and writer, Andres Salazar, came to promote his graphic novel Pariah, Missouri. He was kind enough to donate a copy to Foster Library, and I plan to review it as soon as it’s ready.

All in all, it was a good first effort. Sure, we may have hit a few snags, but we made it work out. In the end, the kids had a really good time, lots of graphic novels where checked out, and I got to meet a comic legend. Not bad for our first year.

Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

Books Awards from the American Library Association

Each January during their winter conference, The American Library Association (ALA) gives out many acknowledgements and awards to books and authors.  Three of those awards are:

The Caldecott Medal:
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children in the previous year.  The first award was given out in 1938 to Animals of the Bible, a Picture Book illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop; text: selected by Helen Dean Fish (Stokes).  The 2013 is This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press).

The Newbery Medal:
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The Newbery Award became the first children's book award in the world. Its terms, as well as its long history, continue to make it the best known and most discussed children's book award in this country. The first award was given out in 1922 to The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright) and the 2013 is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

The Michael L. Printz Award:
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.  The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.  The award-winning book may be fiction, nonfiction, poetry or an anthology.  The first Printz award was given out in 2000 to Monster, by Walter Dean Myers (Harper-Collins). The 2013 winner is In the Darkness by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury).

E.P. Foster Library will be taking votes from patrons for the 2014 winners.  What books do you feel are worthy to win these awards?  Cast your votes!  Boxes will be available in November and December on the Children’s floor to cast your ballots for these prestigious awards.

Seabirds

As a coastal community, Ventura has an abundance of seabirds.  The most common birds are California Brown Pelicans, ducks, various breeds of seagulls, grebes, and cormorants.  If you spend any time at the beach, though, you may also notice some smaller birds near the shore. 

Sanderlings tend to be the smallest shore bird, are usually found in groups, and generally run back and forth on the beach as the tide ebbs and flows looking for small prey.  You might be entertained by their antics and the “peeps” they make as they skitter back and forth across the sand.  Black Bellied Plovers are a bit larger, a little darker in color, and have a slightly shorter, thicker bill.  In breeding season they have a striking black belly.  The Marbled Godwit is larger still and has a very long bill, suitable for finding food in the wet sand near the waterline.  If you are fascinated by the abundance of waterfowl on our coast, Foster Library can help you identify the different species with a number of books about birds

-Resident Photographer Aleta Rodriguez

-- Honoring Veterans Day - libraries are open --

W. Michael Blumenthal discusses his book From Exile to Washington at Ojai Library

Come to the newly renovated Ojai Library on Tuesday, November 19 from 6 to 8pm to hear former U.S. Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal discuss his book From Exile to Washington.

Mr. Blumenthal was the 64th United States Secretary of the Treasury in the Carter administration, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bendix, and later Burroughs/Unisys. Currently he is the President and Chief Executive of the Berlin Jewish Museum (the largest Jewish museum in Europe).

In a riveting memoir that spans the course of seven decades, Mr. Blumenthal documents his extraordinary life. As an observer and participant of some of the century’s milestone events, he tells the story of those influential political affairs that played a part in shaping the 20th century through the lens of both history and his own remarkable experience.

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