Pass It On

Tidbits and treats from the Sunnyvale Public Library Reference Division

Read-Along Shakespeare September 27, 2007

Filed under: Programs,Shakespeare — svref @ 1:09 pm

 globe theatre

Gather with other fans of Shakespeare to read the plays and enjoy them in a very personal way. Typically meets the first Monday of every month.

Monday, October 1, 7 p.m. – Hamlet (second half)
Monday, November 5, 7 p.m. – All’s Well That Ends Well
Monday, December 3, 7 p.m. – Troilus and Cressida


Tales from a double-decker bus September 26, 2007

Filed under: Audiobooks,Fiction,reader's advisory,Technology — svref @ 3:07 pm

photo by didbygrahamAn old college friend recently moved to the United Kingdom and recounted on his blog a story about listening to his iPod while riding on one of those iconic red double-decker buses. On the iPod was a podcast of a story about a survivor of the 2005 London bombings. My friend felt a powerful connection, listening to this story while “floating through the city” in which the events had taken place. What an experience!

While my friend’s tale may have been serendipitous, here’s an idea for manufacturing your own total experience. Next time you travel, consider taking along a downloadable e-audiobook related to the place you are visiting.

Perhaps you’ve already experienced the breathless pursuit of the Priory of Sion in Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code (view book/audiobook/e-audiobook/movie). You might experience it anew during your next trip to Paris. Or maybe you laughed along with Miles and Jack on their wine country adventure in Rex Pickett’s Sideways (view e-audiobook/movie/screenplay). Why not bring them along when you go exploring Santa Ynez Valley?

The Sunnyvale Library has lots of other outstanding audio titles available for download to your computer or digital device. You can find more information about listening to e-audiobooks on our eBooks page by clicking to “Califa Digital Books”.

Like my friend, you might also enjoy finding podcasts that match your interests. You can start by checking out the Library’s growing podcast site, Oh, and contrary to popular belief, you do not need to own an iPod or any other MP3 player to download audiobooks or listen to our podcasts.

Have you had a total audio experience like my friend? A great book/trip combination to share? Tell us!

[photo thanks to didbygraham]


“The War” Coming to PBS September 23, 2007 September 14, 2007

Filed under: History,PBS,Television — svref @ 3:53 pm

On September 23, 2007, “The War”, a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, will air on PBS. This 15 hour series has taken six years to make. The series focuses on the World War II experience from the American perspective and uses four American towns—Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California and Luverne, Minnesota. The story is told by people from these four communities who talk about their experiences in World War II and how their lives were changed.

Additional information may be found at the PBS site. Local broadcasting information and news about other related programs may be found at San Francisco‘s PBS station, KQED. This site also provides broadcast information for San Jose’s PBS station, KTEH.

In addition to the film, PBS has created several ways to experience this series. They have started a “Share A Story” online project for people to share experiences about World War II, both at home and on the battlefield. KQED has a portal for viewers to submit these experiences:

Additionally, the Library of Congress and Veterans History Project have formed a partnership with PBS and Florentine Films. Ken Burns and PBS have asked the Veterans History Project to be the repository of interviews of World War II veterans by citizens.

Also, visit the Stories of Service site to learn about the intergenerational storytelling program where youth and adults help World War II veterans to produce brief videos about their experiences.

Stop by the Library to see our books and movies about World War II. The following titles are a sample of newly published books that the Library has added to our World War II collection:

Christ, James F.
Battalion of the Damned: the 1st Marine Paratroopers at Gavutu and Bloody Ridge, 1942
The story of how the 1st Marine Battalion (with its1st Marine Parachute Battalion) attacked Gavatu Island and fought to take over the Guadalcanal airfield in May 1942.

Jeffers, H. Paul
Onward We Charge: the Heroic Story of Darby’s Rangers in World War II
The story of Col. William O. Darby who formed an infantry battalion modeled after the British Commandos and this battalion’s role in the Allied invasion of
Algeria in 1942.

Lange, Dorothea
Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of the Japanese American Internment
The U.S. Army censored the majority of Lange’s photographs of the internment of Japanese-Americans because they did not reflect the image the federal government wanted to portray of Japanese-Americans.

Olson, Michael Keith
Tales from a Tin Can: the USS Dale from
Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay
The first oral history of the warship that was at both the bombing of
Pearl Harbor and the Japanese surrender at Tokyo Bay.

Paldiel, Mordecai
The Righteous among the Nations
Contains over 200 biographies of rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. These people have been awarded the honor of The Righteous Among the Nations.

Thomas, Evan
of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign
The Battle of Leyte Gulf from the perspective of two American and two Japanese officers.

Ward, Geoffrey C.
The War: an Intimate History, 1941-1945
The companion volume to the seven part series “The War”.


The California State Library has joined with PBS to promote “The War”.


What’s in a Name?

Filed under: Business,Patents & Trademarks,Uncategorized — svref @ 3:39 pm

How do you choose a business and product name and why is it important?  How do you know if it’s all right to use a particular name?  These are just a few of the kinds of questions a business owner may ask about naming a business and product. 

Generally, the public identifies and distinguishes a particular business from its competitors by the company and product names.  The entire good will and reputation of a company is associated with its name and the names of its products and services.


For help in creating an appropriate name for your business and products, understanding the legal aspects, learning how to spread that name in the world, and how to gain insight into the power of branding; take a look at some of the following books found at the Sunnyvale Public Library and also at some online resources:


 Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business and Product Name  by Stephen Elias includes step-by-step instructions written in everyday language to guide you in choosing a name, conducting a trademark search, registering a trademark, understanding trademark law, and resolving disputes.

Crafting the perfect name:  the art and science of naming a company or product by George Burroughs Blake.  The name a new enterprise, whether it’s a new company or a new product, can have huge influence on its success.  Examples of good names and bad names are highlighted and an eight-step strategy is presented to help you arrive at the one perfect name.


Naming Your Business and Its Products and Services by Phillip G. Williams introduces some ideas to consider when choosing a name, highlights some dangers in selecting a name, and briefly discusses legal aspects of names.


Brand sense: build powerful brands through touch, taste, smell, sight and sound     brand sense

by Martin Lindstrom                       

and Philip Kotler. 

According to the authors,

it’s not enough to present a product or service visually in an ad, distinctive brands need to deliver a full sensory experience.  You will find many examples and a new perspective on branding.




Brand Warfare, 10 Rules for Building the Killer Brand by David F. D’Alessandro.  The question of how to use a brand is addressed in a series of simple principles that brand-builders can use in any market.  The author cautions that many companies fail to recognize that a brand includes everything a company does, not just the information it wants to communicate to consumers.


eBrands:  Building an Internet Business at Breakneck Speed by Phil Carpenter is a thoughtful guide to creating truly durable brands in the electronic marketplace.  In-depth interviews with more than forty company executives and industry experts reveal successful strategies for building brand awareness. by Deborah Kania is an American Marketing Association publication that explains what makes a Web site powerful and how to develop an online branding strategy that fits seamlessly with your marketing plan. 

Why Johnny Can’t Brand; Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea by Bill Schley and Carl Nichols, Jr.  Why many good companies fail to differentiate their products from their competitors’ products is the question addressed by the author.  The surprising answers will be found in this book along with the prescription to fix the problem.   

Wordcraft:  the art of turning little words into big business by Alex Frankel.  Read an in-depth look at how companies name themselves and their products.  You also will learn about the world’s largest naming firm and professional namers, who are responsible for inventing words that eventually become part of our everyday language.






Following are some online resources for naming a business and product: 

Small Business Administration’s “Name Your Business” states that there is more to choosing a name than simply finding one that sounds good and that you like.  Thought must be given to state and local requirements and making sure you don’t infringe upon the rights of someone else’s business name.”  You’ll find links to an article on how the business structure affects business names, trademark FAQs, the Secretary of State offices, the federal trademark search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site, and also included is a brief paragraph on domain names. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization presents articles on why trademarks are relevant to the success of a small and medium size enterprise, how to create or select a trademark, and conducting trademark searches. 

At you will find articles on choosing the best name for a business, mistakes to avoid when naming a business, how to protect the name, and why a good business plan can help you name your company.

In “What’s in a Name?” at  Desktop Publishing, five small businesses explain the reasons behind their business names.  Also, there are links to tips and brainstorming help for naming a design business.


At  Small Business Information, Darrell Zahorsky discusses “The 10 Commandments of a Great Business Name.”


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a searchable database of pending and registered federal trademarks, information on filing a federal trademark, and online filing with instructions.


All About Trademarks by Gregory H. Guillot is dedicated to trademarks and trademark law.  Learn how trademarks are acquired, protected and used. Explore trademark links and links to related sites.


The Boomer’s Guide for Retirement Planning: A Selective List September 5, 2007

Filed under: Books,Business,Financial Planning,Nonfiction,research — svref @ 4:00 pm

With nearly two to three million baby boomers retiring every year now, there’s no wonder we have a steady influx of retirement planning books coming out!  Subjects such as retirement plans, Medicare/Medicaid, reverse mortgages, relocation, planning for long-term-care, financial planning, and working after retirement are but a few subjects to consider.  The Sunnyvale Public Library offers educational resources that cover a wide range of quality information these subjects.  The following is a selective list of titles that will start you on your way to an all-around healthier and happier retirement plan:

   Pond, Jonathan. You Can Do It! The Boomer’s Guide to a Great Retirement. 332.024 P (2007). 

If you’ve ever listened to Mr. Pond’s special PBS programs on a PBS channel, then you know how thoroughly delightful and extremely informative he is on the subject of financiial planning in general, and retirement planning in paricular.  He covers investing for retirement, “budgeting for people who hate budgets”, deciding when and where to retire, doubling your retirement income, and much, much more!

 book jacket Weisman, Steve. Boomer or Bust: Your Financial Guide to Retirement, Health Care, Medicare, and Long-Term Care. 332.024 W (2007).

Journalist Weisman (from radio’s A Touch of Gray) takes on the challenge of explaining to boomers how things stand at present, starting with money. He describes retirement plans, investing, annuities, income taxes, reverse mortgages and the effects of age discrimination, then covers planning for long-term care, including home care, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, and insurance.

book jacket Bolles, Richard Nelson.  What Color is Your Parachute? For Retirement. 332.024 B (2007).

Steve Bolles has written the perennial favorite, What Color is Your Parachute?, for many years.  It’s considered a standard for folks trying to discover their niche in the work environment.  Bolles returns to readers with a slight twist on his theme – retirement planning from a “parachutist’s perspective”. 

book jacket Rosenberg, Renee Lee.  Achieving the Good Life After 50: Tools and Resources to Make It Happen. 646.79 R (2007).

Ms. Rosenberg provides a “life skills guide” for achieving a holistically better life after the beginning of mid-life.  She provides good resources to educate her readers to seek that goal.

book jacket Ruffenach, Glenn  The Wall Street Journal Complete Retirement Guidebook: How to Plan It, Live It and Enjoy It. 646.79 R (2007).

No other paper in the financial arena has a much prestige as the Wall Street Journal, and this handy guidebook for us laypeople lives up to our expectations!  Mr. Ruffenach hits many of the subjects eluded to in the introduction to this selective list, and provides a wealth of information worthy of us boomers! 

– These are just five titles in our collection of retirement resources for you.  Many more await you at the library.  Come by and explore many more treasures to enhance your retirement!