Monday, August 31, 2009

Top Five Reference Sources

With our online library catalog we are able to keep track of the number of times we consult or hand out books from our reference desk. With this information we have compiled a list of the five most used sources that we keep at our reference desk. Our work at the reference desk often involves finding concise, factual information for library patrons both on the phone and in person. The following five sources are comprehensive and provide ready answers to commonly asked questions.

We have written in the past about the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, specifically in its online form Oxford Music Online. This 30 volume set is considered the definitive reference source for classical music. It is particularly indispensable for the detailed listings of all the compositions written by major composers.

Popular Music, 1920-1979, subtitled “an annotated index of over 18,000 American popular songs” is an important reference source for verifying the correct spelling of song titles, as well as for providing the names of a song’s composers and lyricists, the year a song was composed, as well as its publisher and the recording artists who made it popular. There are also supplemental volumes for the years 1900-1919, 1980-1989, as well as annual updates from 1990 through 2002.

A Guide Book of United States Coins, now in its 67th edition, is sometimes known as the “blue book” of coins. This annual publication presents the prices that dealers typically will pay for all denominations of U.S. coinage that have been in circulation from the colonial era to the present.

Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide, at 2805 pages in its current edition, is a massive summary of the art auction market. It includes over 320,000 artists providing their dates, nationality, a brief bibliography, as well as price ranges for each artist arranged by medium and size. This source does not take the place of actual auction catalogs, but it does provides a quick, all-in-one summary of the market for an artist’s work.

The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz is now in its 6th edition. Also a thick volume at 1567 pages, this encyclopedia is both biographical and factual. It provides definitions of motion picture terminology as well as entries for awards, countries, and motion picture companies. In summary it’s another excellent all-in-one source.

1) The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians edited by Stanley Sadie. (Grove, 2001).

2) Popular music, 1920-1979: A Revised Cumulation edited by Nat Shapiro and Bruce Pollock, editor. (Gale Research Co., 1985).

3) A Guide Book of United States Coins. (Western Pub. Co., 2010) [latest edition].

4) Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide by R.J. Davenport. (Davenport's Art Reference, 2009/2010). [latest edition].

5) The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz, revised by Ronald Dean Nolen. (Collins, 2008).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Celebrate Jug Band Music!

Got a spasm? A case of the skiffle? Does your jook or your hokum need tweaking? If so, then The California Jug Band Association is here to cure what ails you, for the doctor said ‘Give them jug band music.’

Once a year, the California Jug Band Association welcomes the Bay Area public to celebrate and explore the original American musical form of jug band music. This year’s 2009 San Francisco Jug Band Festival is a three-day affair that includes a full day of music at the Bandshell in Golden Gate Park on Saturday August 15, a multimedia presentation at the San Francisco Public Library on Sunday August 16, and two more evenings of live music on Sunday the 16th and Monday the 17th at Amnesia.

Jug band music is a unique American musical style that developed in Louisville and Memphis at the turn of the 20th century. Jug bands consist of instruments like harmonica, kazoo, banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, washboard, washtub bass, and the eponymous jug (of glass or stoneware). The jug player blows across the aperture often providing a bass ostinato.

Jug Band Music: Certainly Is A Treat To Me! will be presented in the Main Library's Koret Auditorium from 1-4 PM on Sunday, August 16, 2009. The program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. All programs at the Library are free.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crochet at the Main Library's Knitting Club

Knitting is not the only needlework craft that is experiencing a renaissance. Crocheting is also back in style and the library has many new books with fun and easy projects. These are just a few of the titles; more can be found by searching Crocheting as a subject. Don’t know how to crochet? The Main Library’s monthly Knitting and Crochet Club for teens and adults has yarn and hooks for beginners to try out. Our next meeting is Saturday August 15 from 2-4 pm in the Creative Center, second floor. Call (415) 557-4497 for more information.

A Selection of Crocheting Books

The Complete Idiot's Guide To Crochet Projects Illustrated by Marcy Smith. (Alpha Books, 2007).

The Crochet Bible: The Complete Handbook For Creative Crocheting by Sue Whiting. (David & Charles, 2008).

Crochet Stitch Motifs: 250 Stitches To Crochet edited by Erika Knight. (Interweave Press LLC, 2008).

Crochet Techniques
by Renate Kirkpatrick. (Sally Milner Pub., 2007).

Crocheting In Plain English by Maggie Righetti. (Thomas Dunne Books, 2008).

Crocheting On The Edge: Ribs & Bobbles, Ruffles, Flora, Fringes, Points & Scallops: The Essential Collection Of More Than 200 Decorative Borders by Nicky Epstein. (Sixth & Spring, 2008).

Super Stitches Crochet: Essential Techniques Plus A Dictionary Of More Than 180 Stitch Patterns by Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell. (Watson-Guptill Publications, 2007).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Opera Series - 2009

Nadja Michael in Salome, photo by Clive Barda (from the San Francisco Opera website)

Each Thursday at noon throughout the month of August the Art, Music and Recreation Center with the Audiovisual Center will present a series of large screen video presentations of operas. These are abridged screenings (approximately 60 minutes in length) of works that will be performed during the upcoming San Francisco Opera Season.

August 6 - Il Trittico (Triptych) by Giacomo Puccini, consisting of three one-act works: Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Starring Amarilli Nizza, Alberto Mastromarino, Rubens Pelzzari and Andrea Giovanni.

August 13 - Salome by Richard Strauss. Salome is played by Nadja Michael, a role she will play it here in SF Opera. Also starring Falk Struckmann, Peter Bronder and Iris Vermillion

August 20 - La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) by Giacomo Puccini. Starring Barbara Daniels, Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes

August 27 - Die Walkure (The Valkyrie) by Richard Wagner. Eva-Maria Westbroek plays Sieglinde, a role she will sing in SF Opera. Also starring Robert Gambill, Willard White, Eva Johansson, Lilli Paasikivi and Mikhail Petrenko.

The videos will be shown at the Koret Auditorium in the Lower Level of the Library. All programs at the Library are free.

These programs are supported by the Friends of the Public Library.