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Showing posts from April, 2011

Bookmarking Services Just as Tasty as Delicious

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Well, back in August of 2010, I sang the praises of Yahoo!’s product, Delicious, a free, web-based, social bookmarking service. In December of that same year, rumors started to emerge that Delicious was a part of Yahoo!’s “sunset list” (i.e., no longer a fit in Yahoo!’s strategic plan). According to news earlier this week, Delicious has found a new home with YouTube's founders, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen's Internet company, AVOS. There is an informative Delicious page, answering frequently asked questions about the AVOS transition. There are promises of a smooth transistion and maintaining Delicious' beloved services, and many will probably stay with Delicious through the transition. I thought it best, however, to follow up my original post with instructions to backup/save your Delicious bookmarks, as well as a few alternatives to Delicious.

First of all, you'll want to export/backup your Delicious bookmarks as a file to your computer! Here's a quick video showing …

Book Clubbing: The Human Stain

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This spring my book club tackled Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, winner of the 2001 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner. Set in 1998, during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the novel chronicles the rise and downfall of Coleman Silk, a classics professor at a small New England college, who has lived most of his adult life as a white man. None of his colleagues, students, not even his wife and children, know that he was born and raised as a black man in a family of mixed white-black heritage. The Human Stain explores the ambiguous borders between truth and deception, white and black, freedom and fate. Can you truly expunge your family and ethnic background and remake yourself in any image - without lasting consequences. Can you will your identity? What is gained and what is lost when you erase your past?

If the American history of racial passing fascinates you, black passing as white, and white passing black, the library holds some fascinating reading for you!
In The Invisible Line: Three American Fam…

It's Easy to Be Green

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Despite what Kermit the Frog might say, it’s actually quite easy to be green, at least when it comes to crafting. With Earth Day right around the corner on April 22nd, it is the perfect time to start thinking green and getting creative with our kids. Why go out and buy new materials when there are plenty of supplies already at your fingertips? Let’s keep the trash out of the landfills and look at things from a different perspective….an old coffee can becomes a drum, an empty egg carton becomes a caterpillar, yesterday’s newspaper becomes a pirate hat, a sock that’s lost its mate becomes a puppet, the pieces of an old jigsaw puzzle become a picture frame, scratched CDs become holiday ornaments, a paper towel tube becomes a telescope, etc. The possibilities for re-using materials are endless if you use a little imagination. Here are just a few of the titles available in the library system’s collection that will help get you started.

Earth Friendly Crafts: Clever Ways to Reuse Everyday It…

Είναι όλα ελληνική σας? Is it all Greek to you? Then Translate!

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Do you have friends that sprinkle bon mots liberally in their text leaving you in a quandary as to the meaning? Have you ever had the occasion when you wanted to wish someone a Happy Birthday in another language? Say in Spanish? ¡feliz cumpleaños! Chinese? 生日快樂!Or even in Greek? Χαρούμενα Γενέθλια!
In these times, when the world is so connected, we may feel the need to communicate internationally. It has become increasingly necessary to be able translate documents, and Word 2007 has just the tool. The Translate command in Word can help decipher documents in various different languages.
Open the document you want to translate. Select a word, the entire document or a portion of the document. Then click the Review tab, and from the Proofing group, click on Translate. A panel will open on the right side of your document. You will see your selected text translated to the default language. To change the translation into a different language, click the drop-down arrow in the To box. Voilà: the…

Memorable Quotes from 3 of the Best Baseball Movies of All Time

“If you build it, he will come.” Field Of Dreams (1989)Based upon the book Shoeless Joe by W.P Kinsella, Field of Dreams tells the story of an ex-hippie farmer who one day hears a voice emanating from his cornfield. The voice says “If you build it, he will come.” Shortly thereafter he sees a vision and comes to the conclusion that the voice is telling him that if he builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield, the late “Shoeless” Joe Jackson (A great baseball player who was banned from the game for taking part in a conspiracy to throw the 1919 World Series) will come to the field to play once again. After he builds the field and “Shoeless” Joe does return, he hears more messages and sets out on a journey to discover what the ultimate meaning of the messages is and to whom the voice belongs.
This film typically makes the short list of movies that make men cry. Interestingly enough the field in Dyersville, Iowa that was built specifically for this film and became a popular t…

Icon’t See My Desktop, Must Be Time For Spring Cleaning

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When the first computers were introduced for home consumers, they were text-driven monsters that required a road-map to navigate. The target audience for these first PCs were people who already used them at work and were used to hunting for files by looking through directories and file cabinets. Mainstream consumers didn’t really catch on to the allure of a home computer until graphical interfaces with icons and pictures were introduced to the market. Now, as technology moves forward, is it time to finally dump the icons? It’s a concept that is long overdue and software companies seem to think the time has come, if you look at the way both Apple and the latest Windows systems are designed, with icons anchored away from the screen. Add the rise of the app, and you can see why you might want to keep your desktop as clutter-free as possible.
First, let’s take a look at design. Apple’s OS has kept a clean appearance for several years, fixing program icons to the bottom of the screen in a h…

The Schneider Family Book Award

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According to the American library Association the Schneider Family Book Award is given to books that “embody an artistic expression of the disability experience”. It has recognized a book for each of three different interest levels annually since 2004. The titles feature characters and their families who deal with a wide range of topics such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy, or Asperger Syndrome.
Here are this year’s winners:
For readers ages 0 to 10:
The Pirate of Kindergarten written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Lynne Avril is a picture book about a Pippi Longstocking look alike who sees double. She struggles in school, but doesn’t realize her vision could be better until the kind school nurse tests her. Fitted with an eye patch, she feels on top of the world.

For middle-school readers (ages 11-13):

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick is from the perspective of Jeffery--whose cancer has recently gone into remission. Now he has to tackle eighth grade, girls, a changing family, and…

Books to Get You Thinking

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On March 11 2011, a powerful earthquake hit the Pacific edge of Japan triggering a deadly Tsunami that brought death and destruction to Japan’s eastern coastland. It critically damaged the nuclear power plant located in Fukushima, bringing with it the threat of a serious nuclear crisis that may haunt the country for years to come. The disaster raises a myriad questions about Japan, its resources and people, about earthquakes, tsunamis and natural disasters as well as the all important question about the future of nuclear energy as a source of power in the 21st century. How will the devastation unleashed by this earthquake and tsunami impact the Japanese economy and its people, and what will it take for them to recover from this catastrophe? What caused this massive earthquake that measured 9.0 on the Richter scale? Can natural disasters such as these be predicted with any certainty? The Mercer County Library has a range of books that would help you explore some of the answers to these…
Since I was a child, I’ve wanted to know what it would be like to live in a small town. I imagined that it would be cozy somehow, like the town in Jan Karon’s books. When I was assigned to work at Hightstown’s public library, I found myself in a cozy little town! As a reference librarian, I sometimes helped people find information about local history. The library has some amazing local history books that can be borrowed. My favorites for this area include:

Hightstown and E. Windsor by Peggy Brennan- a picture collection
Reflections from the Shrine - colorful stories about Hightstown and E. Windsor as long ago as 1850 by John Orr
Deepening the Chasms by James Barlow- a fascinating explanation of clashes between black and white residents in Hightstown and surrounding farms since the 1800’s
Pemberton & Hightstown: A Chronicle of Railroading in the Farm Belt of New Jersey by John Brinckmann
Hightstown Gazette newspaper on microfilm: 1849-1899
It was intriguing to imagine Hightstown 150 yea…