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Showing posts from July, 2009

Books to Get You Thinking

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If you’re looking to delve into literary nonfiction you may be interested in three works that recently received prestigious awards from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Harvard’s Neiman Foundation.

Jane Mayer’sThe Dark Side: An Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals received Columbia University’s 2009 Anthony Lukas Book Award. Set against the backdrop of America’s war on terror after September 11th, the book focuses on domestic political dynamics in the context of the new American policies on interrogation methods and detentions that were put in place.. The author skillfully weaves a riveting story around the handful of powerful people who circumvented the system of checks and balances put in place by the Constitution, and the group of government lawyers who raised concerns about human rights and adherence to the Geneva Conventions. Mayer, a staff writer for the New Yorker based in Washington, is well known for her political an…

“Marie Antoinette Had on a White Dress and Her Hands Were Tied Behind Her Back”

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So the London Times reported the execution of the ex-Queen of France on October 23, 1792. “She looked firmly round her on all sides. and on the scaffold preserved her natural dignity of mind”. For over 200 years, Marie Antoinette has continued to fascinate us: her clothes, her court life, and her intrigues. Delve more deeply into the life of the Queen and other women who were part of the French Revolution by checking out some of the library’s historical fiction, biography, and history, plus a few videos – over Messidor, Thermidor, and Fructidor (aka June, July, and August – as the summer months were renamed by the French Revolutionaries).

For the facts, Antonia Fraser’s biography Marie Antoinette the Journey is a good beginning - available in print, audio book on cd, and in a downloadable version from Listen NJ.

For fun with facts, watch the film Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst as the Queen). And then, compare the clothes of Kirsten/Antoinette to the 18th century fashions descri…

What Do I Read Next???

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One of the questions I often get while working at the library concerns helping people to books related to a title they just enjoyed. For example, a parent comes to the Reference Desk and says, "My daughter is not a big reader, but she just read a book she loves. Can you recommend books similar to it?"

More often than not, I turn to NoveList, which is one of our many electronic resources available to Mercer County Library System card holders. NoveList allows you to find books based on criteria from a book you've previously enjoyed. Let's say you or your teenager enjoyed the book, The Declaration by Gemma Malley. By easily searching NoveList, you can find the entry for The Declaration, and see additional information about the book (summary, descriptors/subject headings, reading level, etc.). The book's entry in NoveList includes a link to "Find Similar Books," which allows you to begin selecting the desired criteria for your next book. You can view a short

Take Cover!

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Designing dynamic cover pages for reports can be a lot of work and take up too much of our time. But with Word 2007, creating chic cover pages is a snap.

To insert a cover page, click the Insert tab. In the Pages group, click Cover Page. This will open up a gallery of sample cover pages for you to choose form. Click the one you like and it will be automatically inserted on to your document.

Depending on the design you pick, the cover pages may include graphics and fields for you to enter the data in, such as the date or the title. Type in all the information like date, title and author in the given fields of the cover page you have chosen and, viola, you have a cover page that will grab the reader’s attention.

You can also customize the cover page gallery and add cover pages of your own to the existing gallery. Select the cover page in your document that you have created. Click the Cover Page button and select Save Selection to Cover Page Gallery.Give your cover page a name in the box t…

Catalog Tips

Can I Quote You On That?
Looking for a song, poem or short story and not quite sure how to search for it in the catalog? Try using the single quotation mark and the general keyword search. This is called phrase searching and will allow you to look for a phrase in the contents of an item's full record.
First, pick general from the drop-down box in the search area at the top of the catalog page. Next, type in the title of the poem, song or story in ‘single quotes’ and hit search. In our example, searching for ‘speed of sound’ brings up all the CDs and books that contain either the audio recording or sheet music for Coldplay’s song ‘Speed of Sound,’ and not hundreds of books about speed or sound, which we would get if we searched without the quotes.
While we’re talking about quotes, it is worth noting that the double quotation marks can be used to search for titles that contain what are called stopwords. A stopword is a word that basically tells the computer that the word is not indexed…

“Beach Reads” for Kids!

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Anytime you want to take a trip to the beach just pick up one of the books highlighted below and you will be magically transported. It’s all the fun of the beach without the seagulls or the sunburn!

All You Need for a Beach by Alice Schertle
Published by Harcourt, Inc., 2004
This story outlines all the things you need for a beach: sand, sun, umbrella, bucket and shovel, etc. And just when you think you have everything, there is always something else to add. This book is great fun for reading aloud!




Harry by the Sea by Gene Zion
Published by Harper & Row, 1965
Harry the dog and his family take a trip to the beach where, in true Harry-fashion, he causes quite a commotion by parading around covered in seaweed! This story is an oldie but a goodie.


Miranda’s Beach Day by Holly Keller
Published by Greenwillow Books, 2009
Miranda and her mom spend a great day at the beach. Miranda finds a crab and builds a fantastic sand castle, but at the end of the day the crab returns to the ocean, the castle…

Use the Internet to Maximize Your Job Search

In the past, looking for a job was simple: you would scour a newspaper’s Help Wanted ads and mail your resume and cover letter to a potential employer. Although job hunting has become more complex in the past several years, and more and more people are vying for fewer jobs, the enormous growth of the Internet has resulted in a plethora of web sites catering to job seekers. Here are just a few:

Monster
www.monster.com
Perhaps the most recognizable employment website, Monster lets you search and browse jobs, post your resume, and save your job searches while offering a wealth of career tools and advice.

CareerBuilder
www.careerbuilder.com
This site features “Job Alerts” that enable you to receive daily or weekly e-mails or text messages with the latest job openings, based on your interests.

Yahoo! Hotjobs
www.hotjobs.yahoo.com
You can search for jobs by keyword, company or location, or select a career channel and tailor your search to just the postings in this area.

Dice.com
www.dice.com
This is …

Are we there yet?

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Don’t let the backseat blues happen to you! Check out these suggestions to make those miles in a car or plane fly by.

Across America


Way Cool License Plate Book
By Leonard Wise





Our Fifty States: a family adventure across America
By Lynne Cheney

Puzzles
Where’s Waldo
By Martin Handford

Enigma: a magical mystery
By Graeme Base

Minute Mysteries: brainteasers, puzzlers, and stories to solve
By Jennifer Hirsch

Games
Boredom Blasters
By Susan Todd

Fun on the Run: travel games and songs
By Joanna Cole

Travel Games for the Family
By Marie Boatness

Car sick? Why not listen to a book via: CD, cassette tape, Playaway, or download a book from anywhere in the world (with you library card #) at Listen NJ?

-Miss Emily