Forget art. Put your trust in ice cream.–Charles Baxter, The Feast of Love


Jeni Britton Bauer’s first cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, was a James Beard Award winner, a New York Times bestseller, and transformed the way people make ice cream at home.  If you’ve had ice cream at an alt+ program it came from this book!

In her new cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, Jeni turns her bold and inspired ideas to a wider array of desserts, delivering 100 dazzling recipes for one-of-a-kind ice cream-centric sweets.

June 24, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts with cookbook author Jeni Britton Bauer

Central Library
828 I St.

Come learn new recipes that play with texture, temperature and color. Discover breakthrough new tricks with dairy-free and soft-serve ice cream and frozen custard. Jeni will share the stories behind her flavors and offer samples of some of her seasonal summer ice creams!  In addition to scooping ice cream at this event I plan to use this opportunity to beg Jeni to open a shop in Sacramento.


I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve. – Charles de Montesquieu

Happy Summer Reading! No, seriously, have you signed up in your local library? Summer Reading is the biggest programming push of the entire year. Every branch has tons of activities and displays and everything else you could hope for going on RIGHT NOW. For those of us who (happily) don’t own children, there is still plenty happening. So often adults dismiss summer reading programs as “for kids” but that is WRONG-O! Did you know that “adults who read build up a much larger “cognitive reserve” than those who don’t—meaning they can hold on to mental sharpness much later into old age”? You could also win an iPad mini by participating. Looking for some title suggestions? Check out the alt+library book club previous picks. Or the Great Reads on the website. Or just walk into a branch a look around! Judge a book by its’ cover. There is a book for every person, every subject, every interest. Supporting summer reading programs supports libraries. You know the places that let you take home thousands of dollars worth of merchandise for weeks at a time? Yeah, us. Stay cool this summer and treat yourself to a book. And a popsicle. Or ice cream!

Book-to-Action: Hackathon!


Here’s your chance to dive into the maker movement while giving something back to the community.  As part of the library’s Book-to-Action series you’ll help design and build an interactive Rube Goldberg-style machine to be displayed at the Arcade Library’s Design Spot.  We’re putting the ideas in David Lang’s book, Zero to Maker, into action.  The device will inspire people of all ages to learn more about design and engineering.  Don’t worry if you’ve never built anything before—you’ll have help!  All of the following events take place at HackerLab (1715 I St.), the region’s premiere makerspace and co-working venue. Please RSVP at

May 31, 10:00 a.m.—Tour HackerLab and machine design

June 7 & June 8, 10:00 a.m.—Workshop safety: procuring, planning, pre-assembly of parts

June 21, 10:00 a.m.— Mini-hackathon to assemble the machine


Book-to-Action is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

Art is for everybody. – Keith Haring








Last night we enjoyed our second annual Midtown ramble, the May meeting of the alt+library book club. Attached are some images of the discoveries we made when we got “lost” on our walk route. Turns out the Sacramento actually has a dedicated program for art in public places! I had no idea. Growing up in AZ, there was a surprising commitment to public art. I remember a lot of works on the Phx freeways. And Tucson has a thriving local arts community as well. (Though lately I have a hard time admitting I’m from AZ; the politics are embarrassing.)IMG_5316[1]

Libraries and public art are often linked. There is art in, on, or around all of SPL’s branches. One of the most visible pieces is the giant book at the North Natomas branch. When I was the supervisor at the North Sacramento library, we were knitbombed (which was AWESOME). And, of course, libraries are always having art programs for all ages. My question for you is: what contribution have YOU made to public art? Are tattoos a form of public art? Check out War Ink if you think so. What’s your favorite piece of public art – hidden, easily visible, whatever – here in Sacramento?

IMG_5312[1]Also – next month’s book is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly as we are partnering with the Sacramento French Film Festival and will be hosting a showing of the movie at the Arcade Library on July 2nd. Punk Rock Aerobics on June 7th. Some fun queer activities for Gay Pride Month. All of it will end up on meetup, of course. Just look there.


Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking. – Antonio Machado

” . . . the wisest phrase for this activity is the Latin solvitur ambulando (‘it is solved by walking’), attributed to St. Augustine.” – The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux.

Tada! Courtesy of one of our own librarians, we have a starting place. We’ll start at the University Art Center on 26th and J (2601 J St) at 7p on Wednesday May 21st for our Midtown Ramble. If you are still missing a copy of our selection, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, email or comment to request one.

Let’s get lost and see what we find!

By the French artist Oakoak.


If you want to print your own map, thank Downtown Grid and go for it. Midtown Map

Move over Grumpy Cat…


Meet Sacramento’s most famous cat.

To celebrate the summer reading theme “Paws to Read” Sacramento Public Library will be hosting a real reading heavyweight: Norm Lopez. Stop on by Central Library Sunday, June 8th at 1 pm to meet the Mayor of Midtown and sign up for the Summer Reading program! In addition to hanging at the Sacramento Public Library, Norm will also be promoting the summer reading program with a little free library at his normal spot in midtown.

Get out your poodle skirt…

Capital Decades50

We’re celebrating the 1950s in Sacramento for this year’s Capital Decades series! As with previous years, the library is offering engaging programs every Tuesday in May that are beyond the usual history lecture – we want to explore what day-to-day life was really like in Sacramento during the decade.  I am happy to announce that this year we will partner with Sacramento Modern (SacMod) on displays and our May 13 program (Gretchen Steinberg will share some great images and facts about Sacramento fallout shelters).  We will be screening a rockin’ Elvis movie for Classic Movie Night on May 6, exploring the Cold War and atomic era on May 13, talking about the sights and stories of the decade with native Sacramentans on May 20, and showing a rarely-seen Sacramento Chamber of Commerce film from 1950 on May 27.  All programs will take place in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  Also, there will be 1950s displays designed and installed by Sac State intern Kaitlyn Crain and SacMod at Central Library throughout the month.  For more details about the series, visit

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. – George Bernard Shaw is our Maker event – Author and maker David Lang will be at Arcade Library to talk about his book, Zero to Maker, maker culture, and answer questions.  While you’re here, tour the Library’s 3D printing lab–the Design Spot. See our rainbow elephant, bird mobile, the Hex Flex, and more!

But what do YOU want to make? Lunch? The world a better place? A 3D printed candy box? People smile? A crocheted doily? Come in to the library, we can help you make almost anything. My heart’s desire is to make people love the library as much as I do.

And vegan coconut lime rice pudding. It’s delicious.


We’re still accepting submissions for the Midtown ramble in May – email to include your spot! Don’t forget to get a copy of A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

The wild nerves of your poems will translate straight into my tongue – D.M. Thomas

They’re HERE! Just picked up my box of books for World Book Night. Lori and I will be handing out free(!) books on Wednesday April 23rd somewhere in the midtown area. Check the meetup for details. So – speaking of sharing the joy of words – HAPPY NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! I’ve been sharing poems with a couple of friends on a near daily basis. My favorite Emily Dickinson, illustrating so perfectly the experience of the current warm weather, is below:

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed

I taste a liquor never brewed,

From tankards scooped in pearl;

Not all the vats upon the Rhine

Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,

And debauchee of dew,

Reeling, through endless summer days,

From inns of molten blue

 – Emily Dickinson

Banksy image

Any favorite poets or poems? Share in the comments! We’re also still looking for spots for our midtown ramble in May so by all means email me or post in the comments. Also, big things are in the works for your alt+library. UNEXPECTED things. So blow your dandelions and wishes in our direction.


Heeeeeeey. Love alt+library? Wanna be our Friend? Find out more!

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. – Henry David Thoreau

Delicious springtime has come around again and we are beginning to plan our second annual Midtown ramble in conjunction with the alt+library book club. May’s selection is A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit so we’d like to share the best places in Sacramento you’ve found when you were lost (intentionally or accidentally).  Our parameters are smaller this year: between H & P and between 20th & 28th. Not familiar with that area? Go wander now! Find what you can find, something that delights or astonishes you. Be a tourist in your own hometown. Our walk will be Wednesday May 21st – start place to be shared soon. Please email your location suggestions to so we can construct a route.


You just NEVER know what you might find when you wander!
Image courtesy of Street Art Utopia.