Showing posts from August, 2010

Labor Day

Celebrate Labor Day with these books that have work-related themes:

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work
by Matthew B. Crawford
This debut brings alive an experience that was once quite common but now seems to be receding from society — the experience of making and fixing things with our hands. For those who felt hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, Shop Class as Soulcraft seeks to restore the honor of the manual trades as a life worth choosing.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
by Alain de Botton
This exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace beautifully evokes what other people wake up to do each day — and night — to make the frenzied contemporary world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around a deliberately eclectic range of occupations, from rocket science to biscuit manufacture, accountancy to art — in …

Notes from Story Time

Frequently people ask me for craft or story time ideas. I definitely make good use of the craft section at the library, but there are great projects on the internet as well. These are some my favorite online resources:
Bestkidsbooksite I used this a lot when I first started doing story times. Information is divided by theme, listing books, songs and craft ideas, coloring pages, and web links for that topic. The crafts can usually be done with simple materials like construction paper, glitter, or cotton balls.
Dltk’s Crafts for KidsThis site, run by a family, has simple crafts for preschoolers. These are great for an instant project, even for a large group. The most you would need is a paper plate or a cardboard tube.
Crafty Crow This is my favorite idea place right now. It is a blog that compiles ideas from many other bloggers. The bloggers are usually moms or teachers and the projects tend to focus on nature, organic or renewable resources, and creativity.

Family Fun Website for Family…

Books To Get You Thinking

As a book lover I always find it amazing to pick up a book and find myself getting lost in its pages, transported to another world – whether that is an era long gone by, a fantasy creation or some aspect of science, the arts or politics. Writing about the ordinary, authors turn it into extraordinary through the strength of their words. I often wonder what it is about the life and experiences of authors - the creators of these magical pages that empower them to enthrall readers with their writings. This month’s picks are biographies that have been painstakingly researched and written, and provide readers with a window into the fascinating lives of some authors who have captivated and engaged generations of readers.

Pearl Buck in China: Journey to the Good Earth by Hilary Spurling
Pearl Buck, the prolific American author best known for her book “The Good Earth” and a winner of a Pulitzer as well as the Nobel Prize, is the subject of Hilary Spurling’s well researched biography. The author …

Our Green World: The Green Revolution in 2010

Today (August 9) I read in the in the New York Times article India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? that despite the Green Revolution of the 20th century which virtually eliminated food shortages in India by introducing high-yield grains and fertilizers and expanding irrigation, India still has alarmingly high rates of food poverty and hunger -- perhaps 42 percent of all Indian children under age 5 are underweight. Some analysts see this as a failure of the food distribution system – not the food production system. So I wondered what is the state of the world food supply? Why are some of us pretty well fed, if not stuffed, while others are almost starved? There are no simple answers and lots of debate. But if you are concerned, start with some of these: In Stuffed and starved: the hidden battle for the world food systemauthor Raj Patel notes that one billion people worldwide are overfed while another one billion are malnourished and underweight. He traces the politics of foo…


While searching the web, I tend to find websites I want to bookmark (or “favorite”), so I can easily retrieve the site later without having to remember the website’s address (i.e., URL). If I’m on my home computer, and I bookmark a website, I can’t access the bookmark from any other computer. It’s saved in the Internet browser on my home computer. It’s frustrating, especially if you are like me, and you bounce from one computer to another quite a bit.
Delicious is here to save the day! Delicious is a social bookmarking website that allows me to save websites to an online personal account. Sites can be saved as “private” (for your eyes only) or public. From my Delicious account, I can easily access my bookmarks regardless of the physical computer or browser I’m using. Delicious also lets me assign keywords or descriptors (i.e., tags) to sites I’ve bookmarked, so I can quickly search my Delicious account for my bookmarks on a specific topic. To make it even easier, there are a variety of…

Need a little TOC?

Learn to create a Table of Contents (TOC) in Word 2007. A table of contents is a very useful tool, especially if you have to navigate through a long Word document. Creating a table of contents for your document is fun and easy!

Once you have finished typing your document, select the existing headings or the text that you want to use for the TOC. By holding the Ctrl key you can go through your entire document and select all the headings and then apply a heading style that you want to use in your table of contents.

Apply a heading style: From the Home tab, choose Heading 1 or Heading 2 from the Styles gallery. Of course, you can always create your own heading style.

Once you have applied a heading style click at the very beginning of the document where you want the table of contents to be inserted. (The text that you had selected is unselected now and is formatted to display the heading style of your choice).

On the References tab, in the Table of Contents group, click Table of Contents, an…

Getting Help With Windows 7

We’ve all had this happen to us, whether we are the person who needs help or the person trying to help – your PC misbehaves and when you finally get the tech there to look at it, all of a sudden the PC is a perfect little angel. Just once, you would really love to catch one of those null void 0x0008243 error messages or an Excel formula that keeps erasing just so the tech can see that you aren’t crazy and the PC really doesn’t work once they leave your office. Apparently, this is enough of an issue that the folks at Microsoft decided to rig a PC version of a hidden camera in Windows 7 so you can record the PC’s evil deeds as proof (and this is a big help to your friendly neighborhood IT person). Don’t worry, it only records something when you tell it to do so.
The new Windows feature we are talking about today is the Problem Steps Recorder (psr), which can easily be found by clicking the Windows button and typing psr in the search box. In the results screen, you should see the psr pro…

Pass on the Price, Not the Visit

As the dog days of Summer are upon us, you may be looking for something to do with the kids or you might be thinking ahead to those long Fall weekends that tend to sneak up on us. We at MCL have a suggestion - head to a nearby museum and save yourself some money by using one of our free museum passes.

Last October, the Lawrence Branch began offering free museum passes to library members and the program has been so popular, we are pleased to announce that we have added more passes and two other branches, Hopewell and West Windsor, have joined the program. Passes can be borrowed for three days and reserved up to 90 days in advance with a valid library card. Note that passes can be picked up and returned to the refernce desk at the Hopewell, Lawrence or West Windsor branches.

Passes are provided for free due to the generosity of the Friends of the Library groups from the Hopewell, Lawrence and West Windsor Brnaches.

New passes added for 2010-2011 include:
American Folk Art Museum

Check Out What Others Are Reading!

Below is a sampling of the books that patrons who participated in the Ewing Branch’s Adult Summer Reading Program read. You might enjoy them too!

After The Fall
by Kylie Ladd
Steeped in psychological insight and raw emotion, After the Fall follows the origin and fallout of the most passionate of affairs through the eyes of all four characters, unveiling the misunderstandings and unspoken needs that lie beneath our search for love and connection. The narrative moves effortlessly between past and present, painting a nostalgic picture of the two marriages at their most idealistic—the exact moment when like turned to love—and at their most volatile.

“Ladd takes on adultery and its consequences in this accomplished debut… The book is told from multiple perspectives, in lush, often beautiful prose. Vivid language makes each page a joy to read.” —Kirkus Reviews

To Heaven by Water : A Novel
by Justin Cartwright
A wise, compassionate novel about age, loss, and moving forward.

As he moves toward old a…