Showing posts from May, 2009

The Great Flick from The Great Book: Quo Vadis?

Just in at the library: the 2 DVD special edition Quo Vadis . This 1951 American blockbuster film about Ancient Rome and winner of 8 Oscar nominations, takes a look at the trials and tribulations of 1st century Christianity and challenging dating. Starring Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr, with 30,000 extras (real folk, not animated), lions, it was filmed on location. The patrician tribute Marcus (Taylor) falls for the Christian slave woman (Kerr). Nero is not pleased and the lions are hungry. From Henryk Sienkiewicz ‘s late 19th century Polish novel by the same name, Quo Vadis (the book) helped propel the Sienkiewicz to the 1905 Nobel Prize for Literature. And, do you remember your high school Latin? Quo Vadis means Where are you going? By the way, there are other Quo’s around: Quo Vadis (1902) French silent movie, co-directed by Lucien Nonguet and Ferdinand Zecca Quo Vadis (1912), silent film from Italy, directed by Enrico Guazzoni. The production values may seem primitive even

2009 Beard Award Recipients @ MCL

Earlier this month, chefs, restaurateurs, architects, journalists, authors, and others were honored at “the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries,” the James Beard Foundation Awards. The JBF Awards were first referred to as “the Oscars of the food world,” by Time magazine. MCL’s collection includes several of the 2009 JBF Book Award winners available for you to check out and enjoy. Whether you are a culinary wizard, a beginner in the kitchen, or simply a dedicated fan of food and culture, these award-winning books are worth a look: Note: Clicking on the titles below will take you into the MCL Catalog for additional information about each book. Cookbook of the Year Category & Single Subject Category Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient by Jennifer McLagan American Cooking Category Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook by Martha Hall Foose Baking and Dessert Categor

And the Blue Ribbon goes to…!

Floating toolbars and cascading menus are so passé! Instead Office 2007 gives us The Ribbon, which is what the wide band that runs across the top of your document is called. You may scramble around trying to find the location for all the familiar options that you once had at your finger tips, but stop and look at the Ribbon. The Ribbon will show you all the features and commands that you never even knew existed. The Ribbon comes with seven tabs. Each tab has certain commands that are grouped together. From the Home tab, the Font group gives you the option to change case, size, color or a different font for your document. While the Paragraph group lets you customize the spacing options for your document and provides even more commands within easy reach, like adding Bullets, sorting numerical data or alphabetizing selected text. You want to insert something on your document? Just click the Insert tab and you have the option to insert tables, charts, pictures, text boxes or a header/fo

Let’s Get Wild

Not sure how to spell a name or want to expand your search results on the library catalog to include similar words? You can do both in the library catalog by using substitution and truncation in your search terms. The ? can be used as a substitute for letters in a word and $ can be used to truncate, or shorten a word. Here are a few examples to help you learn how use these handy search helpers. Substitution is a useful tool if you’re sure about the spelling, but want to expand your results where a word can have two different spellings or you want to search for similar words at the same time. The best example of a case where you might want to use substitution is if the words women or woman will both yield relevant results. For example, let’s say you want to look for items by title that are related to women’s history. In this case, you can do a title keyword search for wom?n history and you will see results such that include History of Women and A Woman of History. Be aware that you c

Picture Books That Tickle Your Funny Bone

According to Milton Berle, “laughter is an instant vacation” and who couldn’t use a vacation? Especially when it’s free! The picture books listed below are guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal Published by Chronicle Books, 2005 This is the story of a little pea who has to eat candy for dinner every night or else he will not get his dessert. There’s only one problem, Little Pea hates candy! However, he manages to get down five pieces (the required amount according to Mama Pea and Papa Pea) with a sound of hilarious disgust after each piece. His reward for complying is a big bowl of spinach for dessert, his favorite! Also check out Little Hoot and Spoon written by the same author and equally as amusing. Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke Published by E.P. Dutton, 1988 This is the story of a chicken named Minerva Louise who is intrigued by “the house with the red curtains.” Once inside, this naïve hen mistakes both the fireplace and a flowerpot a

Turn to Your Library for Job Search Assistance

The Mercer County Library System holds an extensive collection of resume and cover letter books to help you in your job search during this economic downturn. Additionally, some branches, including Ewing and Lawrence, offer special instructional sessions to help you with these job-hunting staples. To get you started, here are five basic tips for writing an effective cover letter: Make it easy for the person reading to understand just “who” you are Highlight your most relevant achievements Tailor each letter to the company to which you’re applying and explain why you want to work for it Keep it short Make it neat, clean, and well presented. Two books in particular worth checking out are Cover Letter Magic and Gallery of Best Cover Letters . A piece entitled “A Cover Letter is Not Expendable” recently appeared in The New York Times and offers valuable tidbits for turning an ordinary cover letter into an extraordinary one! - LShrager

Tell Us Your Story

We invite you to be a part of a statewide campaign by sharing how the library has helped you, your family, your organization, or your community. The Mercer County Library System is participating in a storytelling campaign , which is sponsored by the New Jersey Library Association and the New Jersey State Library . People from all over New Jersey are submitting stories as to how libraries have transformed their lives. Stories range from the library serving as a place for quality family time during difficult financial times to a woman passing the U.S. citizenship test with the help from English as a Second Language classes hosted at her local library. Even I have a story; when I had my first child in 2007, I had been living in the Mercer County for only five months. In order to simply get out of the house and be around other adults, I started attending the Baby Story Time at my local MCL branch. I regularly attended the weekly program, and I began to mingle with more and more other mo

Notes from Storytime

Vroom! Vroom! Cars have wheels, the make great noises, and they are all around us. Here are some titles to roll away with as well as some suggestions to make the stories interactive. Reading with activities are a great way to strengthen pre-literacy skills and children of all ages can participate. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen: Jack makes some improvements to the standard car model including a swimming pool, a snack bar, and jet engines! (ages 4-7) Tip: Ask fellow readers what they would include in their dream car. Then draw pictures of the crazy designs. Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root: On a hot day one family sets off for the lake, but their old car keeps losing parts. What will they do? (ages 2-5) Tip: Each time the car breaks down ask readers if the car is stuck for good and what solutions might be found. Have them join in the sounds the car makes when it starts up again. Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia: Big, bright cars rush around with lots of noises! (ages 2-4) Tip

Books to Get You Thinking…

It seems that the signs of a rapidly shrinking economy are all around us. Every day brings more bad news. What are the underlying causes of this crisis? What can be done to put the economy back on track? Are we facing a return to the Great Depression of the thirties? If you’re looking for answers, your library system has several books that you can delve into… Many of us know Paul Krugman as a prolific New York Times columnist. He is also a Nobel Laureate and a faculty member at the Department of Economics, Princeton University. In his most recently published book, The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 , Paul Krugman analyzes the current global financial crisis and details the steps that can be taken to reverse the downward spiral of income and employment and a shrinking worldwide economy. What is fascinating is that Krugman had published an earlier work in 1999 that dealt with the faltering economies of Latin America and East Asia in the eighties and nineties. Now

New York, New York, It’s a Wonderful Town

It may be obvious to New Yorkers that The Bronx is up and the Battery's down, but if you are not one of those people who ride in a hole in the ground, check out PARK IT! NYC COMPLETE GUIDE TO PARKING GARAGES . This compact new guide includes 24 colored maps and covers over 1,100 garages -- with entrance details, hourly rates, hours of operation, and more. And, if you have made it all the way to the parking garage, what are you going to do then? The famous places to visit are so many, So the guys would say, I know my grandpa wouldn't miss any in just one day Gotta see the whole town Well, take a look at TIME OUT NEW YORK for sights, hotels, restaurants, shops, arts & entertainment. On a budget? Who isn’t now? Check out FROMMER’S NYC FREE & DIRT CHEAP . Find out where to get falafel, catch a jazz show, and see some Tibetan art, among hundreds of other things. And what’s rough about THE ROUGH GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY . Nothing! Covers everything from Poe’s Cottage t