Showing posts from November, 2010

Holiday 2.0

What do you think the geek on your shopping list would like this year? If you are clueless, here are a few ideas for you, including some tips on what to look for in a gadget. The hot tech gifts this year are eBook readers, tablets, full-body interactive video game accessories, and a pencil (yes, a pencil – but a special one). This year has seen tremendous growth in the eBook market and eBook readers are the most wished for gift this year. The Kindle and Sony Reader had been the only two players on the market at the end of 2009, but were quickly joined by the nook and several other models by mid-2010. The primary concern with an eBook reader is where your gift recipient will get their books. Books offered by many free services, such as the library, require an eBook reader that can display books in the ePub format and use a DRM license file to open those books. Fortunately, most readers fit that bill and the only thing you need to consider is the additional features or accessories for

Children Get Fit with Exercise!

The Thanksgiving feast is now a memory, and the December holidays are upon us! There is yet another banquet of food waiting for us to devour! How can children stay fit during these winter holidays? Exercise! According to the American Heart Association, “about one of three American kids and teens are overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects. Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.” The Mercer County Library System offers a wide selection of CDs and DVDs that can help with exercise or fitness. Check out the resources below from the MCLS collection that can help children begin an exercise/fitness regime. SOUND RECORDINGS You Make Me Feel Like Dancing with The Wiggles The Wiggles can mak

November is Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month

Gluten-free food doesn’t have to be boring! Check out these cookbooks to learn how to whip up incredibly delicious, mouth-watering dishes. Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking By Kelli and Peter Bronski This cookbook is based on the authors’ cooking philosophy that follows four simple rules: the food should be fresh, the recipes should be simple, the meals should be made from scratch, and the food should be delicious. Their more than 250 recipes span the globe, from Italian to Indian, Belgian to Mexican, and Asian to American. More than 70 recipes—including breads, pastas, pizzas, and more than 20 of their desserts, from chocolate chip cookies to carrot cake—showcase their own intensively developed gluten-free flour blend. “This volume's impressive breadth and straightforward instructions make it an essential, horizon-broadening tool for those off gluten.”—Publishers Weekly The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook By Vanessa Maltin Now anyone with celiac disease can spice up their meals ev

Notes from Story Time

Fall crafts are so colorful; I don’t think you can ever have enough! Here are some fall tree ideas designed to increase fine motor skills: Puzzle Piece Tree: If you have a puzzle with missing pieces this is a great way to use them. But you don’t have to this with puzzles. You can grab other colorful odds and ends such as buttons, pieces of yarn, or toy packaging. Start by drawing a trunk, then glue on your mismatched pieces. Veggie Print Tree: Almost any fruits or vegetables will work for this project. I used celery, mushrooms, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. I used inkpads instead of paint so that it would make more detailed prints that dry quickly. Magazine Tree: This is a great way to practice skills with scissors. Just look through old magazines or newspapers for the colors you want. For toddlers, cut an area out of the magazine no larger than your hand and have the toddler cut it into smaller pieces. Glue on as many or as few leaves as you would like. While waiting for you

Books to Get You Thinking - 2010 Special Holiday Edition I

The crisp cool air of November heralds the start of the Holiday season with all its excitement and anticipation. It may also be a good time to get started on your gifts list. Whether you’re thinking about a favorite niece or an uncle you may not have met in years, books always make a great present. Long after the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season is over, books, whether they be mystery, drama, or fantasy hold countless hours of enjoyment in those long cold evenings of winter. This month’s picks include works of nonfiction covering biography, the sciences, business and current affairs, while next month I’ll be looking at fiction titles and Cooking Books. Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson A sequel to the author’s previous bestseller, “Three Cups of Tea”, this book provides the reader with a captivating account of the author’s challenging mission of building schools in the remote isolated northern provinces of Afghanistan . Mortenson builds an elegant case for using school

Enhance Your Book Club Experience

Whether you are interested in starting a new book club group or looking for new ideas for a club that regularly meets, these book club resources are available to facilitate the planning process. Book Club in a Bag The Mercer County Libraries recently launched a “Book Club in a Bag” program. Each Bag provides all the components (and more!) for a successful book club: • Multiple copies of a book title (approximately 6-10 – depending on the title) • Author biographical information • Discussion questions and plot summary • Tips for starting and leading a book club • A recipe for the club’s meeting “Book Club in a Bag” titles are reserved and picked up at the Reference Desk of participating branches. Bags are checked out to one member of your book club group. The kit cannot be renewed, but it can be checked out for six weeks. For a complete listing of titles available via our “Book Club in a Bag” program, please take a look in our catalog . LitLovers Recently, after I was asked to be

All the News That’s Fit to Digg

Ever wonder how those know-it-alls scoop everyone on the latest breaking news or celebrity gossip? Really, does anyone have that much time to surf from one news site to the next on the internet? Chance are, they aren’t doing all the surfing themselves. Instead, they probably use a news ranking website. You’ve likely seen their logos next to a news story on a site like CNN or EW, right next to the e-mail or print links. Clicking on one of these icons basically sends a stat to the news ranking website so users can see what is popular right now or over a period of time. The original news ranking site, Digg , has been making some news of its own lately, mostly since it is falling out of favor with users over a recent website redesign. If you see, like and think others might be interested in an article, website or video, you can digg it and hope it moves up the rankings. You can even sign up for a free account and track your diggs. Even if you don’t have an account, you can still go to Dig

Freeze Panes in Excel!

It’s not enough that if you select your data and then use auto sum Excel will write the formula for you. Excel will also keeps track of the numbers you place in cells so if you define cells to refer to each other, and if you change the numbers in any cell, the equation is automatically updated without you having to rewrite the formula. But my current favorite is the Freeze Panes option. Say you have created a large table of data nicely formatted with labels to identify the data. But your table is so large that the minute you scroll down, all the labels vanish from sight and you don’t know which column holds what data. Or you are in row 200 and all you see are a lot of numbers but you don’t know what they represent since you can’t view the row labels. So starts a lot of scrolling back and forth in order to read the column/row label and then the data! If you want to avoid this constant scurrying back and forth you can lock or freeze the row or column that holds your labels so no matter