Noe Valley Voice September 2010


Turning the Page in September

By Susan Higgins
Noe Valley Adult Services Librarian


September is a time of transitions. We lose most of our foggy summer days and enjoy the warmer days of fall. We return to our old routines. Kids adjust to being back in school or deal with the anxiety of starting school for the first time. We ourselves may be thinking of returning to school or feel motivated to pursue new interests. The Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch Library on Jersey Street (and the library as a whole) is full of resources to help children, teens, and adults adjust to transitions and learn new skills or hobbies. Here is a sampling to ease you into fall.


Books on Coping with Change

- Authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath offer a new approach to overcoming the fears of personal and organizational change in Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. 

- In Be the Hero: Three Powerful Ways to Overcome Challenges in Work and Life, personal development expert Noah Blumenthal shares tips on becoming more positive and productive.

- Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, the classic bestseller by William Bridges (now in an expanded edition), provides practical strategies for minimizing the disruptions caused by workplace change.


Preparing for Entrance Exams

- The library website contains online practice tests for college preparation and graduate school entrance exams, including the SAT, GRE, LSAT, and GMAT. You’ll find them in the Learning Express Library. From the library home page click on “eLibrary” and then on “Articles and Databases.” Scroll down to the Learning Express Library or click on the database category “Education and Social Science.” Use your library card number and PIN to log in and start studying.


Language Learning: New Online Resources

Also in Articles and Databases at you’ll find two new programs for learning languages:

- Mango Languages teaches conversation skills in 22 languages. Choose a basic course if you want to cram for a short trip, or follow a complete course to move beyond basic language skills. Mango also offers English courses for speakers of 15 different languages.

- PowerSpeak teaches vocabulary and grammar for specific situations such as meeting people, dining out, leisure time, shopping, communicating with hotel staff, and getting around in Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and English (for Spanish speakers).


Back-to-School Fiction for Teens

- Happyface by Stephen Emond is the story of a troubled, socially awkward teenager who moves to a new school and tries to reinvent himself.

- Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford is the humorous first-person story of Will

Carter’s first year of high school.

- Annie moves from Connecticut to Ala­bama and learns to adjust to a new school and southern customs in The Debutante by Kathryn Williams.


Picture Books for Preschoolers

- Beloved character Maisy guides children through a typical day at school in Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins.

- Kindergarten Countdown, written by Anna Jane Hays, uses rhymes to count the days until the first day of school.

- Yoko the kitten learns her letters and numbers in English and shows her teacher and classmates how to write their names using Japanese calligraphy in Yoko Writes Her Name by Rosemary Wells.

- Ella the Elegant Elephant is anxious about the first day of school and wears a good luck hat in this book by Carmela and Steven D’Amico.


Back-to-School Fiction for Older Children

- In Rumor Has It by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens, seventh-grader Audrey wants to be friends with a new girl at school and starts a slam book to find out if the new girl likes her.

- In Best Friends and Drama Queens by Meg Cabot, 9-year old Allie is no longer the new girl when a girl from Canada joins her class. But problems start when the new girl starts telling everyone what to do.

- Third-grader Holly adjusts to a new school and a new stepfather who has four cats in The Trouble with Cats by Martha Freeman.

- Eight-year-old Mallory changes schools and struggles because her mother is the new music teacher in Back to School, Mallory by Laurie Friedman.


San Francisco Reader’s Corner

- You can share in a book that others in the city are reading by checking out Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun, the 2010 One City One Book selection. It is a riveting nonfiction account of a prosperous Syrian-American father of four who chose to stay in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in order to protect his house and business.

- The San Francisco Library’s bi-monthly book club pick is The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. This debut novel tells the story of 28-year-old San Francisco private eye Isabel Spellman. Equal parts Sam Spade and Bridget Jones, Spellman is a damn good investigator—if only her dysfunctional family would back off and let her do her thing.




Seminar on Social Security

- Nervous about retirement? A representative from Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management will offer a free public seminar titled “Maximize Your Social Security Retirement Benefits” on two dates: Saturday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Tuesday, Oct. 5, 6 to 7:30 p.m. To sign up, call Jocelyn at 415-955-3717 or email 


Toddler Tuesday

- The Noe Valley Library sponsors Toddler Tales—stories, rhymes, movement, and music—on Tuesdays, Sept. 7, 14, and 28, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m., and from 11 to 11:30a.m. The program is aimed at children 18 months to 3 years old, but all ages are welcome. On the third Tuesday of the month—Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 10:15 and 11

a.m.—the library hosts Family Films, short films based on picture books. Remember to park your baby stroller by the elevator.


Noe Valley Book Club

- The next meeting of the Noe Valley Library’s Book Discussion Group will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. New participants are welcome.


All events take place at the Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Library, 451 Jersey Street between Castro and Diamond streets; 355-5707.





Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch Library

451 Jersey St., 355-5707

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Eureka Valley–Harvey Milk Branch Library

1 José Sarria Ct. (3555 16th St.), 355-5616

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Glen Park Branch Library

2825 Diamond St., 355-2858

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat

10-6 10-6 12-8 1-7 1-6 1-6


Mission Branch Library

300 Bartlett St., 355-2800

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