TODAY'S TIP - LANGUAGE LEARNING – Rosetta Stone, et al.

Want to learn a new language? Would you like learning online or listening on CD or other formats? Short of providing you with a teacher, San Francisco Public Library supplies you with a variety of options to meet your language learning style.

To study online with an interactive course, use the Rosetta Stone series, available from SFPL through our collection of databases. From the homepage, click on Articles & Databases, then choose the Education & Social Science category on the left and click on Rosetta Stone Online Language Learning. If you are a first time user, you will need to register. Then choose which language you would like to learn and start an interactive course. You may have to install Adobe Shockwave if it is not already installed on your home computer.

To find language learning CDs, use the Advanced Search feature of the SFPL catalog. Go to the catalog search page, click on Advanced Search. Type the name of the language and “language instruction” in the search box. Then, choose the material type “Spoken CD.” For example, if you would like to learn Italian, you would type “Italian language instruction” in the search box and limit to “Spoken CD.”

If you would like to get a book instead of - or in addition to other formats, you can do the same search as above, limiting the material type to “book.” Also available are video courses on DVD or VHS.

To download a language learning audiobook from NetLibrary via the catalog, follow the same instructions as for a CD, but chose the material type “Spoken eBook.” First time users will have to register. For more information on NetLibrary, see the Tuesday Tip on this Blog.

To download a language course via OverDrive, you can search for a title or browse for one by looking for “language learning” under Audiobook Nonfiction on the left side of the page. For more information on OverDrive, see the Tuesday Tip on this Blog.

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!

Coraline - Teen Movie Day - October 7th

Coraline is a curious young girl who unlocks a mysterious door in her family's new home and enters into an adventure in a parallel reality. On the surface, this "Other World" eerily mimics her own life - though it is much more fantastical. After encountering different versions of her own life, Coraline must ultimately rely on her resourcefulness, determination and bravery to get back home. Animated feature (2009, 100 mins)

Movies for teens every first Wednesday. Ages 12-18. Snacks provided. For more information, contact Marla at (415) 355-2868.
Wednesday, October 7th - 4-6 p.m.

First Monday Movies - This Property is Condemned and Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Shorts - October 5th

In this Depression-era drama, Owen Legate, a railroad executive, comes to Dodson, Mississippi to shut down the railway, leaving most of the town unemployed. Natalie Wood plays Alva Starr, a young woman with big dreams and nowhere to go. Alva can't help falling for Legate (Robert Redford) and their affair ignites the town's revenge. From a one-act play by Tennessee Williams. Directed by Sydney Pollack. (1966, 110 mins.)

Special co-presentation: Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema shares its version of Leading Ladies with a line-up of locally produced shorts by independent filmmakers prior to this evening's feature. Note start time @ 6 p.m.

Monday, October 5th @ 6:00 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP - NetLibrary eAudiobooks & eBooks

In addition to OverDrive, another way SFPL provides patrons with access to digital content is via NetLibrary. The collection provided by NetLibrary includes eAudiobooks (you listen to them) and eBooks (you read them) which can be downloaded to a computer that supports Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher, and transferred to a portable device. Note – only mp3 format eAudiobooks can be transferred to ipods.

To access NetLibrary, go to the San Francisco Public Library homepage, sfpl.org, and click on eMedia, then click on NetLibrary. NetLibrary titles can also be found by searching the catalog. Just look for the “eBook” or “Spoken eBook” icons to the right of the listing. Whether you access the content through the catalog or through the eMedia link, the first time you use NetLibrary for downloading you will have to register for a free account and install the NetLibrary Media Center.

You can check out 10 NetLibrary eAudiobooks at one time for 21 days, then the files will "time out" and no longer be playable. You can renew eAudiobooks once.

There are two different checkout periods for NetLibrary eBooks. Titles that can be read online-only can be checked out for 24 hours. Titles that can be downloaded to your computer or hand-held device can be checked out for 7 days. You cannot renew eBooks, but you can turn them in and check them out again. Only a limited number of pages can be printed from eBooks.

NetLibrary offers audiobooks and eBooks on a wide variety of topics for adults including many classic works and works in the public domain. There is also a large selection of language-learning materials. Titles are available for teens and children as well.

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!

Pinhole Photography Workshop for teens - September 26th

Pinhole cameras reduce photography to its most basic elements and demonstrate fundamental principles of optics in a way that is visual and easy to understand. Students will learn about optics and make their own camera obscuras and then take photos and process them in a mini darkroom created for the library. Instructor - Kira Shemano from RayKo Photo Center. All materials provided. Ages 12-18. Workshop limited to 10 participants.

For more information or to sign up, contact teen librarian Marla at (415) 355-2868.

Saturday, September 26th - 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Native California - Arts & Culture Salon - September 23rd

The Excelsior Arts & Culture Salon hosts a book talk with Dr. Dolan Eargle, author of Native California: An Introductory Guide to the Original Peoples from Earliest to Modern Times. The indigenous groups of this state are undergoing considerable change - much of it in the recovery of almost lost cultures - language, ceremonies, basketry, land, and even tribal members. Dr. Eargle has spent the past 35 years visiting and learning from native Californians and identifying their arts, customs, and beliefs.

Wednesday, September 23rd - 7 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP - Using OverDrive to Download Audiobooks, ebooks, music and video

Do you like audiobooks? Would you like the convenience of listening on your ipod or mp3 player? OverDrive is one of the ways the Library provides access to digital content. OverDrive allows you to download audiobooks, ebooks, music and video onto your personal computer. Then you can transfer them to your portable devices, including the Sony Reader for ebooks.

To access OverDrive, go to the San Francisco Public Library homepage, sfpl.org, and click on e-Library and then e-Books, then click on OverDrive.

Here you can browse audiobooks (and music and video) by category or do a search by title, author or subject. When you find something you want, add it to your cart. If an audiobook is already checked out, you can place a digital hold, and you will be notified by email when the audiobook is available. You can choose a checkout period of 7, 14 or 21 days. At the end of the checkout period, the item will be automatically returned. No late fees! You can check out 5 OverDrive items at a time.

You'll be asked to finish the transaction by typing in your library card number and PIN number. The first time you use OverDrive, you will be prompted to download the OverDrive Media Console, a free software program that displays your audiobooks, cds and videos, and guides you through the process of transferring audiobooks from your computer to your mp3 player or ipod, or burning to cd, if that option is available. A note on burning to cd – OverDrive audiobooks are divided into parts. Each part is approximately an hour in length. To burn a 7 part audiobook, you will need 7 blank cds.

OverDrive offers children's, teen and adult audiobooks. To get an idea of the audiobooks available through OverDrive, here's a list of the most downloaded audiobooks and ebooks in libraries through February 1, 2010. Check it out today!

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!

Yoga for Teens! - September 16th

Come stretch at Excelsior Branch Library! A certified yoga instructor from It's Yoga Kids will demonstrate the fun and healthy benefits of yoga. Please bring your own mat or a towel. Ages 12-18. Space is limited. For more information or to register, please call Marla at (415) 355-2868.

Wednesday, September 16th, 4-5 p.m.


TODAY'S TIP: Borrowing from the Library - How Many? How Long? How Much?

How many books can I borrow? How long can I keep them? What if I return them after the due date?

Patrons can check out 50 items on their library card at one time. This includes books, dvds, cds, etc. Most library materials can be borrowed for 3 weeks (21 days) with up to 3 renewals if no one is waiting. The major exceptions to this rule include video materials (DVD/VCD/VHS) which can be borrowed for one week (7 days) and can be renewed only once. Detailed information on item limits and loan periods is available at http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000004801.

Items can be renewed online, by phone or in person as long as other patrons have not requested the item.

Link+ and Interlibrary Loan materials have special conditions, including different renewal periods and fines for lost materials.

If you do end up with overdue materials, you can find out about fines at our fines and fees page. These fines can paid in person at any San Francisco Public Library location. Credit cards may be used only at the Main Library or online. To pay your fines online, log into your library record from the Library’s homepage.

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!

First Monday Movies - Picnic - September 14th

Hal Carter (William Holden) is a drifter who rides the rails into a small Kansas town with dreams of landing a respectable job with his rich college buddy Alan (Cliff Robertson). Kim Novak is the small-town beauty queen, Madge Owens, yearning for something she can't quite grasp. She is engaged to Alan but she falls for the drifter, as do schoolteacher Rosemary Sidney (Rosalind Russell) and Madge's tomboyish kid sister, Millie. Everything comes to a head at the Labor Day picnic. Directed by Joshua Logan (1955, 115 mins.)

Note: Movie shown on 2nd Monday this month only, due to Labor Day Holiday.

Monday, September 14th @ 6:30 p.m.

Labor Day - September 7th - Libraries Closed!

The Excelsior Branch and all other San Francisco Public Library branches will be closed on Monday, September 7th for Labor Day. Labor Day is the day we pay tribute to working women and men. The libraries will reopen on Tuesday, September 8th.

Boswick the Clown - September 10th

Boswick the clown will bring his magic and juggling show to Excelsior Branch on Thursday, September 10th. The performance includes physical comedy, audience participation, fire juggling, lots of "why did the chicken cross the road?" jokes and acrobatic pratfalls. The show starts at 11 a.m. Children of all ages invited. Space is limited. Call (415) 355-2836 for reservations.

Thursday, September 10th @ 11 a.m.


TODAY'S TIP - Finding Books Published This Year

Has it been a busy year? Do you want to catch up on your reading of recently published novels?
There are a couple of ways to find the most current titles available at the Library. You can view a selected list of the most recent books received by the Library by using the New Title feature from the homepage. Click on “New Titles” then choose the list for fiction books. Lists of new non-fiction books, DVDs, CDs and more are also available on this page.

Or you can search for all books published in 2009 that are available at the Library with Advanced Search. From the SFPL catalog search page, click on Advanced Search. For novels, type “fiction” in the search box, then limit the material type to "book. " You can also limit by language. In the boxes next to “Year: After” type “2008.” This will give you a very large list, so if you choose, you can use additional keywords to narrow the list, like “historical fiction” or “suspense fiction” or “humorous fiction.”

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!