Showing posts from June, 2009

More Books to Get You Thinking

As a librarian, one of my favorite things to do is browsing through the shelves of books, row after row - some new, glossy and inviting, others well thumbed and timeless in their appeal to generations of readers. Here are some titles that caught my attention this week. I picked them out because they share a common theme of providing an analysis of some of the most pressing socio economic problems in contemporary societies.

Is it possible to have a world where the meaning of poverty can only be found in dictionaries? In his new book titled Creating a World without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus shows that this is indeed possible. He creates a groundbreaking new business model that uses the concept of social business to address the pervasive problem of poverty and hunger that exists in large parts of the world. Social business is defined by the author as an organization that self sustains and thrives through offering employ…

Where in the World is Utopia?

Perhaps you have heard of Islandia? Ecotopia? Nolandia? Rossum’s Island? Fordlandia? All but one is an imaginary land. But which one?

Have you looked up Islandia on the globe – it’s purported to be a small country surrounded by the Mount Islandia massif, rich in mineral resources, whose history is described in length in Austin Tappan Wright’s 1944 classic Islandia and in Mark Saxton’s The Islar, or Islandia Today. Check out Ecotopia, an experimental ecological community that bloomed in the 1970’s, detailed in Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston. Ever study Nolandia, a 16th century European republic, discussed by Sir Thomas More in his 16th century classic Utopia? Will you take a vacation cruise that passes by Rossum’s Island, off the eastern U.S. coast where the early 20th century physiologist, Rossum studied ocean fauna and robotics (documented in Karel Capek’s R.U.R.). Next time you are in South America, drop by Fordlandia, Henry Ford’s (the Henry Ford) immense rain…

Online Social Networking Tips

I started a Facebook account back in 2005 while working in a university as a way for students to contact me for research assistance. Then my Facebook experience morphed into a communication tool with other librarians across the country, as well as internationally. Recenlty, my Facebook world is taking another shift as friends from years past -- college, high school, and even elementary school -- are reconnecting with me via their Facebook accounts.

Facebook, as well as online social networking sites in general, make it simple to stay in touch with friends, as well as to reconnect with old friends. These sites easily allow users to share photos, videos, and personal anecdotes with others. Social networking sites can even facilitate making new friends. For example, in Facebook, people can join “groups,” which is an easy way to make connections with people with similar interests and goals.

As participation in social networking continues to rise, it is important to realize the implications …

Save time with the Quick Access Toolbar

While Word 2007 has done away with toolbars, they have given us the Quick Access Toolbar. The Quick Access Toolbar is situated on the title bar, right next to the Office button. It allows users to place frequently used commands within easy reach so that tools that are added to the Quick Access Toolbar can be accessed quickly and efficiently even when the ribbon is hidden.

The Quick Access Toolbar can be placed above or beneath the ribbon area and is always visible. To move the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon, click the small drop-down arrow next to the Quick Access Toolbar and select Show Below the Ribbon.

There are three ways to customize the Quick Access toolbar:

You can right-click any command on the Ribbon and choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar from the menu.
Click on the drop-down arrow beside the Quick Access Toolbar and select any command you want to install simply by clicking on it.
To view more options that you may want to add to the Quick Access Toolbar, click the arrow bes…

Are You Listening to Me NJ?

Maybe you've seen the signs around the library. Or maybe you saw a card in a book on CD. Or maybe you picked up a bookmark at the circulation desk. So now you're thinking, just what the heck is this ListenNJ? Well, I'll tell you it is one cool, neat library service. It's a free, convenient, cutting edge way to get audio books that you can listen to on your computer, iPod, MP3 player or virtually any other device that can play digital audio files. If you don't have a portable device, the site even has a compatible device section where you can find one that suits your needs and budget.

Brought to you by a group of over 25 area libraries (plus CJRLC and InfoLink), ListenNJ features over 5000 titles ranging from classics to the current crop of bestsellers. The rich collection also includes categories for teens, children, self-help, business and a wide variety of languages in the foreign language learning materials section. For students looking for a reading list title, …

“Be Creative” and “Express Yourself” @ Your Library

The Mercer County Library System will once again be hosting a fun-filled summer of reading and entertainment. The 2009 Summer Reading Program themes are “Be Creative” for children featuring the artwork of illustrator David Catrow and “Express Yourself” for teens featuring the artwork of Brad Sneed. The six-week program begins Monday, June 29, 2009 at all nine branches of the Mercer County Library System and runs through Friday, August 7, 2009. Those who wish to participate can register at their local branch beginning Monday, June 22, 2009.

Upon registering children will receive a log book in which they will record all the books they read throughout the summer. Each week participants can return to their branches with their log books and receive a prize whether they read one book or 100 books! These books can be library books or books from home or the book store. The main focus of the summer reading program is simply just to keep kids reading during the summer months when they are out o…

Your Resume is Now More Important Than Ever

In an increasingly competitive job market, it is more essential than ever that your resume gets the attention your career demands. Although in years past there were just a few basic rules for writing a great resume, today many of these traditional rules no longer apply. The job market is changing, and your resume needs to keep pace. However, the following elements should always go in your resume, regardless of the position for which you are applying or your level of experience:Employment dates: You can increase your odds of a response by including themJob titles, in order to provide a generic identification that employers will understandA core competencies/keyword section to aid employers in the electronic scanning of resumes, a practice that is becoming more prevalentA job objective: Although this is really a personal judgment call, an objective gives the reader focus and clearly defines just what it is you can offerEducation: List wherever it helps your case the mostEndorsements: Us…

Notes from Storytime:

Picture books and music work together well and they are a great way to involve pre-schoolers in the reading with you! Many books lend themselves to singing along, but these are particularly musical:

Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson: (for ages 3-5) Violet loves to play music all day every day, but where are other kids she can play with?
Reading tip: Violet uses all kinds of ordinary objects to make her music. When Violet plays, try to play along with her. Anything can be an instrument--clinking spoons, cardboard tubes, pots and pans, boxes of pasta or rice, or humming on a comb with wax paper over it.

Punk Farm by Jarrett L. Krosoczka: (for ages 2-5) When the farmer goes to bed, the animals rock out all night long with a wild rendition Old MacDonald. Reading tip: Sing along with the animals! Have fellow readers repeat the rock-n-roll sounds back to you—the sillier the better.
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt: (for ages 2-5) A reprise of “This Old Man” featuring big band sounds and instrument…

More Books to get you Thinking

We are now in the eighteenth month of what has been generally accepted as a recession. Not since the thirties have we seen an economic crisis of such severe proportions. There are some signs that the economy may be approaching its lowest point, but we have a long and bumpy road ahead to recovery. I’m adding some more titles to the ones I highlighted last time to help you demystify the complexities underlying the economic turmoil surrounding us. In the three books I’ve selected this time, the authors adopt very different analytical frameworks to address the fundamentals of the crisis and the suggested road to recovery.

In his book titled, Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means, George Soros, a prominent figure in the financial world, analyzes the theoretical underpinnings of the current economic downturn in terms of the institutional framework within which economic growth has been driven over the last decade: this was done largely through credit expansion by banks. Soros traces the beg…