Life is weird, great and dangerous. – Henry Rollins


RAWR! Get fit before summer temperatures rise to 4,000 degrees and you’re able to cook pot pies on the bumper of your car. One of your friendly neighborhood librarians (and achiever of the five minute plank –I’ll believe it when I see it) will help you burn at least one burrito worth of calories this Easter Sunday (free parking!) at the Central Library. Whether you’re burpee champion of the Pacific or can’t run a mile, come exercise with us!


Sunday, April 5, 2015
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk. – Paul Klee

Photo of me and my niece in Barcelona. She’s big enough to walk but she had broken her leg just before leaving the states. Poor kid.

Mid-March already? Zounds. Time to begin planning our 3rd Annual Midtown Ramble! As you may be lucky enough to know, every May we take our alt+library book club on the road. The first year we read The Geography of Bliss and shared our “happiest places in Sacramento”. Last year we read A Field Guide to Getting Lost and shared the places in midtown we have discovered when lost. And this year, we are reading Tracks and we want to know where do you go to be alone? Experience has taught us to narrow our scope when planning so like last year, please share a spot between H & P and between 20th & 28th. Not familiar with that area? Go wander now!

Email your stop suggestions to You have until April 30th. I will put together a cohesive map and route, plus our starting point and share on meetup. We will end our walk very near to the start point so don’t worry about having to trek back to your car. Comfortable shoes, a water bottle, an attention to detail – bring these and we’ll see you there! You are welcome to bring anyone you like along (they don’t even have to read the book!) This is my favorite alt+library book club meeting every year because I love 1) walking 2) in my neighborhood and 3) discovering new places.


The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. – Alan Watts

Soooo, it’s been a minute since we posted last. Oops. Much change has happened with the alt+librarians. Jess is now down at Central library. Lori is starting a small business. Our alt+Friends have almost all graduated from library school and gotten library jobs. (Congrats, former Friends!) But we are FAR from finished. In fact, we have just secured a VERY alt+library program. Central Library (828 I St, Sacramento, CA) is hosting Sister Spit – the queer spoken word troupe – on Sunday April 5th at 7p. I hear you asking yourself, “however can I get a ticket to this incredible event?” Sillies. It’s a library program. It’s FREE! You just get to show up!

We’re also looking at rebooting alt+fitness but now for downtown. I have your votes – people want an evening workout. Great!I can do that! As soon as logistics get sorted, I will have programs posted on our meetup. These are just a couple of great alt+library offerings we have for now. We ALWAYS have our monthly book club and our annual walkabout book club is just a few months away. (I’ll be asking for location submissions soon.)

What else do you want? Comment and let’s see what magic we can make.


I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. – Neil Gaiman

Image from

Image from

If you know where that quote is from, good on you! You can find it at the Sacramento Public Library, of course. But we would love some feedback from you on what programs, what days, what times you want to have happen in 2015. Because now is the time for planning and no one wants to miss out on this sweet sweet alt+library action! We’ve selected our books, I’m planning the workouts, we have our big splash ideas rolling around. Maybe we’ll see you at Broke A$$ Holidays and you can tell us your thoughts in person! If not, enjoy your holidays and we’ll see you in the newly minted year.

Two of my very favorite things, together at last—sustainability and beer!
Author and craft brewer Amelia Slayton Loftus shares her expert knowledge about brewing delicious organic beer in this introduction to her book, “Sustainable Homebrewing: An All-Organic Approach to Crafting Great Beer.”

 Dec. 9, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Sustainable Homebrewing” author Amelia Slayton Loftus (adult)
Central Library–West Meeting Room
828 I St., Sacramento

Loftus has brewed organic beer for almost two decades, and operated a certified organic homebrew store from 1997 to 2011. Her book covers topics including:

  • Reasons to brew organic
  • Issues to consider when buying equipment
  • Organic ingredients—what makes them different, how to get them and how to make substitutions

The author will answer questions after the presentation. Staff from the Sacramento homebrewing supply store Brew, Ferment, Distill will sell copies of the book at the event.

Hope to see you there!



Continue reading

Give me a museum and I’ll fill it. – Pablo Picasso

From Brian Selznick’s “Wonderstruck”

Our conversation last night at the alt+library book club about Wonderstruck and museums in general still has me thinking today. When I was reading Fragrant, I came across the quote comparing Pinterest to the latter day cabinets of curiosity. And per our discussion, I started to wonder what I would put in a cabinet, leave hidden in an artwork like the Panorama, or what building I would choose to use as a marker of self. (City Lights, for the record.)

What would you put in YOUR cabinet of curiosities? How would your curate your collection of self? Comment below!

Also mentioned last night, Joseph Cornell and Rhyolite. Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Hyperbole and a Half for next month! Another heavily graphic read; look at some pictures, yeah?


It’s around the table and in the preparation of food that we learn about ourselves and about the world. – Alice Waters

Sacramento is becoming a farm to fork capital. Slow food, sustainable farming – these are the sort of terms being used more and more frequently in the local lexicon. October is the annual Vegan Chef Challenge where a variety of restaurants offer a separate vegan menu for the month and diners vote on their favorites. (I only managed to make it to The Porch this year though, dang it.) This awareness of food, where it is coming from, what processes each item goes through on the way to your belly, is something that alt+library is interested in and we have had several raw or healthy eating programs over the last couple of years. Since we’re coming up on some serious “eating holidays”, we invite you to join us for Go Raw: Holiday Edition. If you loooooove a big fat roasted turkey, you get DOWN with your bad turkey-eating self. If you are interested in exploring some unusual raw variations on the more traditional fare, come sample the recipes we’ve collected and see what you think. (These are not mutually exclusive positions – you can dig cooked meat AND raw foods.) Holidays get heavy so keep your belly light and happy! As always, check out our meetup for upcoming programs and we hope to see you soon!


(There will definitely be dessert. Maybe even two.)

My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here. – Jim Henson

The holiday season is upon us. Our Halloween book shelves are emptying out. Items checked out today are now due back in mid-November. Library of Things voting is getting WILD. So we’ve added a mellow day. An all-day Jim Henson marathon! Libraries will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on 11/27 and 11/28 but we understand that by 11/29, you need to get out of the house. Arcade Library will be showing “The Muppet Movie“, “The Dark Crystal“, and “Labyrinth” starting at 1030a. You’re welcome to dip on and out, watch as much or as little as you like. (If you can’t make it in, the links to request a copy from the library are in the titles above.) Though I’m starting to think maybe some Charlie Brown holiday classics are in order . . .

What are your go-to holiday books/movies/music?

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky. – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Though today I think that luster is actually just the much needed rain. Surprisingly rainy days are very quiet in the library – I would think everyone (read: me) would want to be curled up in the library with an absorbing book. But AUTUMN! We at alt+library have an action-packed couple of months coming up for you:


Saturday 10/4 – alt+fitness Zombie Survival Aerobics AND (yes, AND!!) BollyWOW! at Arcade

Wednesday 10/15 – alt+library book club: The Cater Street Hangman at Coffee Garden

Friday 10/17 – the ever spooky annual Haunted Stacks at Central


Saturday 11/1 – alt+fitness Hairobics at Arcade

Wednesday 11/19 – alt+library book club: Wonderstruck at Coffee Garden

Saturday 11/22 – Go Raw: Holiday at Arcade (mmm, samples)


Saturday 12/6 – alt+fitness Holidaze Yoga at Arcade

Sunday 12/14 – Broke A$$ Holidays at Arcade (make a thing!)

Wednesday 12/17 – alt+library book club: Hyperbole and a Half at Coffee Garden

Also also also! LIBRARY OF THINGS! What, on earth, is a library of things? Why, exactly that! You, our lovely library users, get to vote on what “stuff” you want to see circulate from Arcade. Vote here. alt+library users – we want to see you. Get involved!

/jess (I used a whole lot of exclamation points. Dang.)

My sister and I had a library card when we could pass off something as a signature – Geraldine Brooks

September is National Library Card Sign-up month and alt+library wants to get you back into a branch. Or a virtual branch. Did you know you can check out and download up to 10 virtual items with your Sacramento Public Library card? You can. Or get free museum passes to a variety of local spots? You can. Or learn a new language using Rosetta Stone for free from home? Yes indeed, that too. Need information on how to fix your car? Use your library card to access the Chilton‘s database. And of course at Arcade Library, you can use our Design Spot’s 3D printers or modeling and design software. You don’t even need a library card for that.

Seriously, a library card can be the most valuable card in your wallet. When was the last time you used yours?


UPDATE: Holy cats. You can stream video too. I work here and MY mind is blown.