If you haven't been inside a library lately, here's news: Things have changed. More than ever, librarians have gone high-tech in their jobs as gatherers and distributors of information, and they're very much involved in the communities they serve.
Christy Aguirre personifies that profile. She's the supervisor of Sacramento Public Library's Southgate branch. Library Journal magazine recently included her in its list of the library world's 50 movers and shakers for 2013.
In part, the magazine wrote, "Her collaborative efforts have fostered community in a neighborhood that now recognizes its public library as a vital anchor."
"This award is not for me, it's a group effort," Aguirre said.
The Southgate branch is at 6132 66th Ave., Sacramento; (916) 264-2920, wwwlsaclibrary.org. For more information: lj.libraryjournal.com.
Aguirre was on the phone the other day:
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
Connecting people with our library services. That could be books, learning how to download an e-book, or seeing a child's face when (she or he) goes to a book-based "Fancy Nancy" or "Captain Underpants" program.
What's the secret of fostering literacy among youths?
To be excited about learning, and open up the world of ideas and new possibilities to them.
What's the future of libraries?
We ask ourselves every day: How can we remain relevant? A lot people think, "Oh, the library's just where I take my kid." But really we support lifelong learning, and we're moving ahead with technology. We have e-books, downloadable materials and library apps for (smartphones). Libraries are hot spots of activity.
Do you have a library card? No? Oh, you thought you were going to get away with that one! Make sure you get one and sign up for our summer reading program, too.
The sound of books
You can read books in print and online, but don't overlook books by sound. Audiobooks are a growing segment of the multimedia market, and good company on the daily work commute and road trips. Here's a sampling from an audiobook leader, Macmillan (www.macmillanaudio.com). In coming weeks we'll look at titles from Simon & Schuster and Harper Audio.
"Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan: Former Web designer Clay Jannon lands a job at a mysterious San Francisco bookstore, where strange things happen 24/7. Computer-savvy and very funny.
"Z" by Therese Anne Fowler: Zelda Sayre married novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age party was on. Just who was the troubled woman?
"Trident K9 Warriors" by Mike Ritland: The former Navy SEAL turned to training military working dogs for combat. Inside that rarefied world.
"Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer: The second in the sci-fi "Lunar Chronicles" finds three disparate "friends" including a cyborg dodging the wrath of the Lunar Queen.
"Rage Against the Dying" by Becky Masterman: Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn becomes re-involved with the most haunting unsolved case of her career.
Radio fans read, too
Capital Public Radio's book club, CapRadio Reads, will continue at 6:30 p.m. April 9 with a discussion of Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus." The book club hosts free meetings the second Tuesday of each month in the radio station's Community Room, 7055 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento. To register, go to www.capradio.org/books.
CapRadio Reads will host legal-thriller novelist John Lescroart in May.
The Avid Reader in Davis will host several authors during April:
Friday: Mark Corwin for "Words in World Literature"
Saturday: Bill James for "Parnucklian for Chocolate"
April 19: Heather Wood Rudolph and Jennifer Armstrong for "Sexy Feminism"
April 23: Deborah Madison for "Vegetable Literacy"
April 26: Karen Levy for "My Father's Garden"
All events are at 7:30 p.m. at 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.
As a fundraiser for Sacramento Crisis Nurseries, the "Gifting Grandmas" authors luncheon will begin at 11 a.m. April 10 at North Ridge Country Club, 7600 Madison Ave., Fair Oaks. Among the eight authors will be Renee Thompson ("The Plume Hunter") and Judith Horstmann ("The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain").
Cost is $45, payable by check (due by Friday) to FCN/ SCH. Mail to Diane Cooper, 4421 Marble Way, Carmichael, CA 95608. Information: (916) 698-5252, www.crisisnurseries.org.
Gary Noy for "Untangled Shadows," 7 p.m. April 10 at the Sierra College Rocklin campus, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin; (916) 660-7272; $2 to $5.
Call The Bee's Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128.