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Try Something New - In the Kitchen!

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If your household is anything like ours, you probably have your stable of go-to recipes when it comes to lunch, dinner or deserts. You know, those tried and true recipes you can always count on.

But what happens when your child - who had been a fan of macaroni and cheese, as well as cheesesteaks and milkshakes - heads off to college and returns from their first semester as a vegan? You could complain about it and tell the child to eat noodles and rice when they’re home. Or, you can head to the catalog of the Mercer County Library System, which offers a huge variety of vegan cookbooks.

Whether you’re looking for a vegan breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even a desert, there is a cookbook in the system that offers delicious dishes for the vegan - as well as the non-vegans - in the house. The resource has been a valuable one in our home and we’ve gone back to it often. In the last year, it’s safe to say we’ve checked out dozens of these cookbooks. And based on the way they seem to come…

Read Your Way into March Madness

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My journey to becoming a college basketball fan started out while attending graduate school in Indiana. I was getting a degree in Student Personnel Administration, which would lead me to (what I thought would be) a life of working on college campuses. I was surrounded by die hard fans of Coach Bobby Knight, and basketball season was treated as a sacred time of year. (To get a glimpse of what I’m talking about, just watch Hoosiers.) A classmate insisted I read John Feinstein’s A Season on the Brink, so I could gain a better understanding of the local basketball mentality.

During my time in student affairs, I had the opportunity to work on college campuses where the month of March turned towns into a frenzy of excitement. My favorite day of the year was the first day of the NCAA tournament. The anticipation in the air was palpable. If the school’s team was successful during the tournament, streets would fill with students, faculty, and community members in one huge celebration. Yes, it…

Celebrate Introverts

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March 16th – 22nd is National Introverts Week.

This week is all about celebrating introverts and breaking the stereotypes and stigmas associated with introversion. Author Matthew Pollard (The Introvert’s Edge), founded this week to encourage introverts to be proud of themselves and to prove they can be just as successful as their extroverted counterparts.

So, what is an introvert? Introverts, as described by dictionary.com, is a shy person, or a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings.

Well, this doesn’t make us sound good at all! Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/) has a great list of personality traits that are common to those of us who are introverts.
You prefer time to yourself Staying in with a good book, crafting, watching movies or any other solitary activity is an ideal way to spend time. MCLS can help with all of these activities, with both materials in our branches and through our virtual branch. You can stay curled up on …

Who Rescued Who? - Children’s Books about Pet Adoption

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In my last blog, I discussed how we used books to help our children get through the heartache of losing our dog.  Since then (and after a lot of persistence from our sons!) we decided to welcome a new pet into our lives.  It was very important to me that my kids grow up with an animal to take care of.  I always had a pet as a part of my family and really wanted my children to have the same bond, as well as understand the responsibility needed to care for a pet. This time around, it was also important to our family that we adopt a dog in need of a home.  There are so many wonderful rescue organizations in our area that do remarkable work trying to help homeless animals find a loving home.  We rescued our puppy through the Amazing Mutts Puppy Rescue.  They are a great organization that takes dogs from high-kill shelters in Texas and brings them to New Jersey to stay with foster families and eventually finds them their forever home.

I arrived at the pet store where the rescue organization…

Literature, Language Learning, and News Databases

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Welcome to part five of our series outlining our database offerings at Mercer County Library System.  As in previous posts, I want to comment that the word database should not be looked at as meaning some giant electronic storage area for academic journals – today’s databases are so much more!  It is also worth noting that there are some hidden resources in these databases - you might not think a database covering a certain subject would be appropriate for you, but you may be surprised.  For example, our post on business databases included a database that covers markets and provides excellent up-to-date country studies, just the type of information students need to complete a social studies project on getting to know a country.  So please read on and discover our literature, language, and news databases, you never know what you will find!

Bloom’s Literature – This database is based on the extensive and popular literary criticism series by Harold Bloom and is an excellent resource for …

Books to Get You Thinking

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The world today faces the critical challenges of widening income inequality, slowdown in economic growth, and trade wars - all juxtaposed against the threat of climate change. The benefits of technological breakthroughs, innovation and economic growth in the past few decades have largely stayed confined to certain geographical areas and occupations while the exponential growth in the use of fossil fuels has resulted in global warming.  As we look to economists, scientists and technology experts to provide us with solutions, there are several outstanding books that give a lucid perspective on how to make sense of the complex nature of the challenges we face and what kind of economic, social and institutional policies are needed to reduce and eliminate existing poverty levels. Here we highlight the research of three eminent scholars who discuss the dynamics of the economic systems responsible for where we are, and what governments could do address the most pressing economic constraints …

Adult Craft Programs at the Library

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Programs that have recently been increasing in popularity are the adult craft programs at the library. There seems to be a burgeoning demand for creative activities to be offered for a growing number of adults. Crafting and creative projects are not just for kids - adults are wanting to learn new techniques to let their creative side flourish.

The crafts being offered at the Mercer County Library branches are fun, open to all skill levels, and are what patrons have been calling their "me time." There is a wide range of variety in the crafts as well. There are painting classes, knitting, DIY crafts, and much more to choose from. I have had the opportunity to attend some of the adult craft classes and, really having no talent, still managed to create pieces that I am proud of and I had so much fun!

I don't know how to sew, knit or paint, and really do appreciate the people who have an aptitude for making pretty things. When I signed up for my first "paint a canvas&qu…