News Column

San Jose Mercury News Sal Pizarro column

September 3, 2014

By Sal Pizarro, San Jose Mercury News



Sept. 03--With a little more than 6,000 volumes under her charge, Stella Huntington was installed as the first librarian of what was then known as the Santa Clara County Free Library, created in July 1914. A century later, the Santa Clara County Library District -- now led by County Librarian Nancy Howe -- lends nearly 10 million items a year, with branches spanning Gilroy to Los Altos and a thriving online presence.

The district is celebrating its 100th birthday with a Sept. 26 fundraiser at the equally historic Hakone Gardens in Saratoga. The 6:45 p.m. event includes dinner and live music by the Bay Area chamber ensemble Black Cedar. Tickets are $100 each, with proceeds supporting the district's bookmobile program. To reserve a spot, contact Tracy Ellenberger at tellenberger@sccl.org or by calling 408-293-2326, ext. 3093.

And for those looking for a different way to help the district celebrate its centennial, the Saratoga Library is hosting an event Saturday to set a world record for having the greatest number of people simultaneously balancing a book on their heads while walking 5 meters, or just under 17 feet. The current record is 998 people.

Besides the record attempt, there will be entertainment, games and crafts at the library at 13650 Saratoga Ave. Check-in for the world record begins at 7 a.m., with the attempt at 9 a.m. You can also preregister online at www.sccl.org/worldrecord.

'WICKED' RECORD: Silicon Valley audiences clearly can't get enough of "Wicked," as the Oz-set musical set a box office record for San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts by grossing more than $1.5 million in its first week of a three-week Broadway San Jose run. The previous record hadn't been around long, either, having been set by "Jersey Boys" just last month.

Broadway San Jose General Manager Nanci Williams says she's thrilled by the response the show has gotten from Bay Area fans -- there were lots of witch hats to be seen when I caught the show last Thursday. And, she added, "Wicked" is bringing a ton of people to the CPA for the first time (and I'm sure she hopes it's not their last visit, either).

There are seats still available for the remainder of the run, which ends Sept. 14. Get all the details at www.broadwaysanjose.com.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.

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(c)2014 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com

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Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)


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