Bellarmine Library Update

Winter 2016, Published January 12, 2016

African Library Project X4

The Bellarmine Mathewson Library is embarking on its fourth book drive for the organization, African Library Project. This organization was founded by a Portola Valley resident and Jefferson Award Winner, Chris Bradshaw, following a trip to Lesotho in 2004. Bradshaw was overwhelmed by the African students’ desire to learn and the lack of educational resources. Since its inception, the African Library Project (ALP) has grown and now boasts 1,720 libraries started with 1.8 million books.

The Bellarmine Library organized our first book drive with ALP in 2008 for a high school in Swaziland. Following that book drive we completed one for a school in Botswana and one for a school in Lesotho.

The ALP organization makes it easy for people to start a library in Africa. They do all the leg work, and when interest is expressed to build a Library, they will assign a library that has been requested by community leaders in Africa. The African Community is required to provide a secure dedicated space, book shelves and an adult to manage the new library. The responsibility of the American partner is to collect 1,000 gently used or new books at the requested reading level.

Read about our 2016 school below. We will be collecting books from January 19th through March 1st.

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Our School for 2016: Esandleni High School in Swaziland

The book drive that we are starting on January 19, 2016 is for Esandleni High School in Swaziland. Our commitment to the ALP is to collect 1,000 gently used or new books at the 4th-8th grade reading level for this school. There are other stipulations for the collected books, as well. We are asked not to send books that use a lot of slang, books about religious holidays, national U.S. holidays, or adult romance books.

The teachers at Esandleni High School have made a special request for novels. Given the reading level of 4th – 8th grade, the best books would be young adult books, especially science fiction and fantasy. Other good genres would include non-fiction, textbooks for math (6th grade and up), geography, science and reference books.

Please bring your donations down to the library between January 19 and March 1.

In late February or early March, we will be raising the funds to ship the books to Africa by passing an envelope in homeroom for voluntary donations. We will have a basket in the Library for collecting the books starting on 1/19/16, and in March we will pack the books for shipment. Please spread the word. And kudos to Senior, Dominic Peters, who has volunteered as TA in the Library this semester because he wants to be involved in another ALP book drive.

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How Poverty Effects Teens - Some Interesting Resources

If you are seeking some additional material regarding poverty and teens we recommend the website below from School Library Journal. There are a number of book lists, videos and interesting articles addressing different aspects of poverty and students.

Of particular interest is an eight minute video from PBS News Hour which profiles what one non-profit organization is doing to address homeless students in Los Angeles. Watch it here: From Skid Row to high school graduation, Los Angeles supports homeless students’ academic success.

Library teams up with Performing Arts!

At the request of Jeremy Lum, Director of Of Mice and Men, the Library curated a display for the lobby of Sobrato Theatre to coincide with the fall production of Steinbeck's play. The display featured many (but not all) of the books Bellarmine owns by and about John Steinbeck. In addition there was information regarding the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at the SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library and The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. We were delighted to be invited to make this small contribution to the fall drama.
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Free Online Resource of Historic Newspapers from the Library of Congress

Every semester we field a lot of questions in the library from students seeking primary sources for their research projects and papers. We are very proud of the Library’s hardcopy resources as well as the subscription databases we have available to assist students in their quest. But many students and teachers may not know about the amazing free resources available through the Library of Congress website. In this Library Update we feature Chronicling America, an incredible database of digitized historic newspapers.

The Chronicling America collection is a collaboration between the LOC and the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH). Through the National Digital Newspaper Program, Chronicling America makes available enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. The database includes newspapers from 40 states and territories.

Users can browse or search, and through a few clicks narrow their focus to newspapers published all on the same day, in the same region, or the entire country. A quick search for Mark Twain nets over 76,000 pages. When the search is limited to front page only which is a simple check box on the main search page, our query yields almost 10,000 pages. What about just in Missouri newspapers and on the front page? There are more than 500 pages to explore!

Some Quick Facts about Chronicling America:

  • The site features more than 10 million pages from more than 1,900 newspapers.

  • Digitized articles appear exactly as they did in the newspaper including advertisements (always an eye-opener to see those prices!)

  • Publishing date range is 1836 to 1922 at this time.

  • More than 250 Recommended Topics pages have been created, offering a gateway to exploration for users at any level. Topics include presidential assassinations, historic events such as the sinking of the Titanic, famous individuals and cultural or off-beat subjects like fashion trends and world’s fairs.

  • The resource also includes more than 285,000 pages in almost 100 non-English newspapers (French, German, Italian and Spanish).

We encourage you and your students to browse and research this historical treasure at:

In our next Update we will feature something else interesting available through the Library of Congress website – stay tuned!

Encouraging Boys to Read for PLEASURE.....What????

We have been steadily adding to our collection of YA fiction in the Library because we have found that especially freshmen and sophomore boys still have the time and inclination to read outside of their school assignments -- a sure way into any librarian's heart!

Our collection focuses mostly on science fiction, fantasy and dystopian novels but we also encourage students to try books outside their usual genre such as graphic novels and realistic fiction.

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We also promote new and especially popular or noteworthy books on the front counter. Recently we added QR codes to the display books. When the QR code is scanned with an iPad or smart phone the app will take the student to a book trailer. A book trailer is a video just like a movie trailer except to promote a book! Below is our display and the trailer for one of our very popular new books.
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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

New DVDs Available in the Library

Fed Up. An Atlas Films production, Stephanie Soechtig, Director. Call #613.2 F292

California high the great marijuana debate. Ivy Film presents; a two man crew production. Call #615 M335 V

Last Days in Vietnam. American Experience Films PBS presents. Directed and produced by Rory Kennedy. Call #973.0495 L349

New Books Available in the Library


Coffee with Jesus, David Wilkie. Call #232 W683

Encyclical on climate change and inequality : on care for our common home, Pope Francis. Call #261.8 F819

The Francis effect : a radical pope's challenge to the American Catholic Church, John Gehring. Call #282.092 G311

Social Sciences

Writings, W.E.B. Du Bois. Call #301.451 D815

Teen Angst? naaah-- : a quasi-autobiography, Ned Vizzini. Call #305.235 V864

Memory of fire, Eduardo H. Galeano. Call #309.18 G152

Detained and deported : stories of immigrant families under fire, Margaret Regan. Call #325.73 R333

Snowden, Ted Rall. Call #327.1273 R163

Industrial Revolution : social and economic effects, Don Nardo. Call #330.9 N224

The great transition : shifting from fossil fuels to solar and wind energy, Lester R. Brown. Call #333.79 B878

Capital : a critique of political economy, Karl Marx. Call #335.4 M392

Chief Justice : a biography of Earl Warren, Ed Cray. Call #347.73 W287 C

Standing tall : my journey, Spencer West. Call #362.4 W521

Under the sour sun : hunger through the eyes of a child, Hernan Rodriguez Campos. Call #362.7 R697

Manhunt : the twelve day chase for Lincoln's Killer, James L. Swanson. Call #364.152 S772

I am Malala : the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai. Call #371.822 Y82

Where you go is not who you'll be : an antidote to the college admissions mania, Frank Bruni. Call #378.1 B896

The Arts

Black images in the comics : a visual history, Fredrik Stromberg. Call #741.5 S921

American Photographs, Walker Evans. Call #770 E92

Glory and heartbreak : the history of intercollegiate men's basketball in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bernie Schneider. Call #796.323 S358

Literature & Rhetoric

Writing your own plays : creating, adapting, improvising, Carol Korty. Call #808.2 K85

Writing for Comics, Peter David. Call #809 D249

Crediting poetry : the Nobel lecture, Seamus Heany. Call #809.1 H434

San Francisco beat : talking with the poets, David Meltzer. Call #811.54 S237 M4

For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf : a chorepoem, Ntozake Shange. Call #811.54 S529 F6

Critical essays on Toni Morrison, Nellie Y. McKay, editor. Call #813.54 M882 M4

Semicolonial Joyce, Derek Attridge and Marjorie Howes. Call #823.912 J89 A8

The first man, Albert Camus. Call #844.914 C211 F5

Homer and the heroic age, John Victor Luce. Call #883.01 L935

Night, Elie Wiesel. Call #940.53 W651

Born on the Fourth of July, Ron Kovic. Call #959.704 K88

Captive of the labyrinth : Sarah L. Winchester heiress to the rifle fortune, Mary Jo Ignoffo. Call #979.473 I24

Geography & History

Japan. Volume I, the dawn of history to the late Tokugawa period : a documentary history, David J. Lu. Call #952 L926

Modern Japan : a social and political history, Elise Tipton. Call #952 T595

The rise of modern Japan, W.G. Beasley. Call #952.03 B368


Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo. Call #F BAR

Gatefather : a novel of the Mithermages, Orson Scott Card. Call #F CAR

Looking for Alaska, John Green. Call #F GRE

Illuminae, Amie Kaufman. Call #F KAU

Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee. Call #F LEE

Twelve : a novel, Nick McDonell. Call #F MCD

Library of souls : the third novel of Miss Peregrine's peculiar children, Ransom Riggs. Call #F RIG

The sword of summer, Rick Riordan. Call #F RIO

100 sideways miles, Andrew Smith. Call #F SMI

Duplicity, N.K. Traver. Call #F TRA

Brideshead revisited: the sacred and profane memories of Captain Charles Ryder, Evelyn Waugh. Call #F WAU

Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld. Call #F WES