Showing posts from February, 2010

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel!

Use preset templates in Word and Excel and save time and effort when creating new documents or workbooks. MS Word and Excel feature a variety of built-in, preset templates that can be used as is or you can tweak it and customize the template to fit your taste. You can use the templates that are installed in Word or Excel or you can download free templates from Microsoft Office online. Templates in Word Open Word 2007 Click on the Office button and then click New . From the New Document dialog box, under Templates , click Installed Templates . You will find plenty of templates with a variety of design options for creating documents whether it’s a blog post you are creating or a resume. If you click on a template you like in the navigation pane on the left, you will see a thumbnail image in the preview panel on the right. If you like what you see, you can double click the same image or click C REATE to open the template. Once the template opens as a document, enter your own data i

eBooks are Here!

Mercer County Library is pleased to announce the arrival of eBooks to our collection. Through our parternship with other area libraries, ListenNJ now provides downloadable eBooks along with our downloadable audio book collection. The initial collection features over 400 titles with more being added monthly, including works by popular authors such as James Patterson and handy non-fiction titles such as The 250 Job Interview Questions . eBooks are electronic versions of a print publication and can be read on a Mac or PC as well as an eBook reader, such as the Sony Reader or Barnes and Noble nook. Many eBooks feature re-flowable text which allows a user to resize the text and alter the display to fit any screen size. In order to read eBooks downloaded from ListenNJ, you will need to download free software from Adobe, called Digital Editions . Once the software is installed, just log on with your library card and download a book - no matter the time of day, since ListenNJ is a 24/7 serv

Garden State Teen Books Awards 2010

Each year a committee from the Young Adult Section of the New Jersey Library Association nominates books based on teen appeal and quality of writing from the previous year's "Best Books" list. Ballots are created and distributed to New Jersey school and public libraries. Then it is up to the teens to vote and choose the winners. The teens have spoken and this year’s winners are: FICTION: GRADES 6-8 Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick “Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding myste

President's Day

February brings us Presidents’ Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, and Washington’s Birthday, making it the perfect month to read up on the 44th President of the United States. Here is a selection of books about Barack Obama: Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics by Paul Louis Street Author Paul Louis Street, who was on the ground throughout the Iowa campaign, looks at Obama in relation to contemporary issues of class, race, war, and empire, and considers him in the context of our nation’s political history, with comparisons to FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton, and other leaders. Game Change : Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin Two of the country’s leading political reporters use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change reads like a fast-paced novel, an intimate portrait of some of th

More Winners!

More children’s book awards have been announced. This is the 40th year of Coretta Scott King awards. These celebrate books written or illustrated by African Americans for children and are sponsored by the American Library Association. Author Award Winner Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, is about an escaped slave who becomes a widely respected officer—wild west style. Author Honor Book Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis, is about a teenager who serves in the segregated U.S. women’s army during WWII. Illustrator Award Winner My People illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr., uses text from a poem by Langston Hughes. The pictures are beautiful photographs of children and families. Illustrator Honor Book The Negro Speaks of Rivers illustrated by E. B. also features a poem written by Langston Hughes. - Miss Emily

Books to Get You Thinking

The morning of January 10th 2010 dawned just like any other day but in just a few short hours the world was about to witness the horrors of a natural calamity that would destroy the fabric of an entire country. An earthquake that measured 7. 0 on the Richter scale struck the Haitian capital of Port-au- Prince, bringing death and widespread destruction to a country that was already amongst the world’s poorest. The eyes of the world have been focused on the horrors and the devastation that has followed the earthquake and foreign aid from all corners of the world has been pouring into Haiti. As the challenging task of rebuilding a broken and shattered nation looms ahead, a myriad questions arise about Haiti- the country, its people, its traditions and culture, its government and history. MCL has a rich collection of books covering the different faces and facets of Haiti for you to check out: Ha iti: Politics, Government and History The Uses of Haiti by Paul Farmer - A physician and pr

From Russia With Love : Pushkin & Gannibal

When you think of Russia, what comes to mind? If you are of a certain age, the 1963 James Bond movie From Russia With Love starring Sean Connery or Ian Fleming’s novel by the same name – a Cold War story with elaborate duels between the British and the Russian intelligence agencies. By the way, this was one of President Kennedy’s favorite reads. However, before James Bond, there is and was Russian literature and its earliest great classical poet and author, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) . Pushkin lived a short but extraordinarily dramatic life, composing the first great masterpieces of Russian poetry and short stories, before he was killed in a duel. Pushkin: a Biography by T.J. Binyon recounts the poet’s life in all its tawdry, romantic detail –Pushkin’s reckless gambling, several duels, exile for inflammatory poetry, alcohol and drug excesses, and womanizing. Not to mention his art. Despite all his excesses, Pushkin managed to compose the first masterpieces of Russian li

The American Presidency Project

The yearly list of “Best Free Reference Web Sites” always provides me with new tools for my research arsenal. Each year, a national committee , comprised of librarians, reviews and evaluates web sites based on c riteria , such as quality, depth, and ease of use. One in particular from 2009’s list seems appropriate to share with our readers, especially for the month of February: The American Presidency Project . John Woolley and Gerhard Peters, both of the University of California, Santa Barbara, launched The American Presidency Project web site in 1999. The site’s searchable archive contains over 87,000 historical documents, such as executive orders, proclamations, speeches, and transcripts from press conferences. In addition to historical documents, the site also provides current information, such as President Obama’s approval ratings . Along with fully transcribed speeches and full-text documents, users can access audio and video files of notable speeches. Take advantage of the