Showing posts from December, 2011

Recommended Websites From A Children’s Librarian

Busy children’s librarians use the internet everyday for professional development, assisting patrons, readers’ advisory, program planning and ordering library materials. Intertwined in the use of the web for work and personal use, are the myriad websites a youth librarian uses regularly to stay in touch with what is going on in the world of children’s librarianship, public libraries, popular culture, children’s literature and forthcoming new children’s books. Without a doubt, there are a dizzying array of blogs, social media outlets, websites and other online tools to choose from. I recommend the following resources to anyone who reads and enjoys using the web for learning, browsing, finding answers and staying up-to-date on current topics. Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, librarian or lifelong learner, I hope you’ll find something new and useful from the links I’ve selected. Mashpedia Mashpedia is an online encyclopedia made up of web documents displaying blocks of co

Use Notes in PowerPoint!

My last blog was about enhancing your PowerPoint presentation by inserting hyperlinks in the slides but I do want to mention a very utilitarian tool that is especially helpful when using PowerPoint: the Notes Pane . Each slide in your presentation has a Notes Pane just below the slide. To access the Notes Pane , from Normal view, look at the bottom of the slide. You will see a “white” area below the slide that says “Click here to add notes.” You can put all your notes on this pane and never have to worry about “cue cards” before your presentation! In the Notes Pane, you can not only type in your speaker’s notes but you can also include any charts, graphs or tables that you might need for your presentation. Any data you put in the Notes Pane does not appear on the slides, nor arethey visible on the screen during the presentation. Moreover, every time you save your PowerPoint presentation, your notes - along with your slides - are saved in the same file. You can enlarge the notes pan

New Holiday Treats

Curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and these just-published goodies that will bring you some holiday comfort and joy. The Christmas Wedding By James Patterson The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died three years ago, Gaby's four children have drifted apart, each consumed by the turbulence of their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married--and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day--she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays. But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise--she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, The Christmas Wedding is a fresh look at family and the magic of t

Net Neutrality – Boring Topic or Something That Might Really Matter?

On November 20, new FCC regulations regarding internet access went into effect and were immediately challenged in court by internet service providers. Previously , both the House of Representatives and the Senate attempted to pass a bill prohibiting the rules from taking effect. The news has left many internet users with two questions – what is net neutrality and do we really care? Net neutrality is the concept that all users have a right to use the internet for whatever purpose they need it for, whether that be downloading video or doing homework, and no one should interfere with a user’s rights to access data and websites. Internet service providers (ISPs) and other critics have voiced concern that media downloads, video in particular, place a strain on the internet’s infrastructure and argue that some sort of regulation needs to be in place, whether it be a legal regulation or extra fees charged to heavy network users, both of which make the internet non-neutral. The FCC rul

Holiday Crafts Right at Your Fingertips…Literally!

As a children’s librarian, I am always trying to come up with new and different crafts to use during storytime especially for the holidays. Sometimes, you don’t have to look far. No further than your own two hands! Here are three different crafts for the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza, that you can make just using your child’s handprints. Come to storytime at any of the Mercer County Libraries branches and you may find us doing one of these crafts or something equally as fun! Handprint Christmas Tree Handprint Hanukah Menorah Handprint Kwanza Wreath These sites also have a lot of great craft ideas for other occasions and themes as well! - Andrea L.

Books to Get You Thinking 2011 Special Holiday Edition II

This month, in pursuit of that perfect book for gift giving, we extend our search from nonfiction to fiction, food and entertaining. From historical fiction, drama and fantasy to healthy cooking, vegan cooking, and entertaining in style, here is a collection of varied titles that may be perfect gifts for just everyone on your list. Fiction Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks In this beautifully crafted and superbly researched historical fiction, the Pulitzer Prize winning author explores life in the year 1660 as seen through the eyes of its narrator and central character, Berthia Mayfield. Set against the picturesque landscape of Martha’s Vineyard, the book is about a puritan family and Berthia’s relationship with the nephew of a Wampanoag chief who later becomes the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. 11/22/63 by Stephen King Stephen king’s newest novel takes readers back to one of the defining moments in America’s history – 22nd November 1963, the day President

10 Non-Traditional Holiday Films

Each of your family members and friends probably have a favorite movie that he or she likes to watch during the holidays. Is it Ralph’s quest for a Red Rider BB gun in A Christmas Story? Or do they enjoy watching George Bailey as he experiences the world as if he never existed in It’s a Wonderful Life? Or is it Elf , which follows Buddy’s transition from life at the North Pole to the “real world?” MCL’s collection contains these holiday favorites, as well as many others that probably don’t immediately come to mind as candidates for holiday season viewing. The more non-traditional route, however, might be just what you're looking for. To get you started, here are ten movies, taking place around the winter holidays: The Apartment (1960) Unrated In an effort to work his way up the corporate ladder, C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemon) lends his apartment out to his superiors, including the company’s Personnel Director (Fred MacMurray), for their romantic rendezvous. Baxter’s plans go awry whe

Book Clubbing: Pride & Prejudice, a Singular Novel in Want of a Re-read

Thinking about reading Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice for your book club. Please do! If you have never read it or remember the novel from high school or college days, it’s a wondrous pleasure to revisit. To mangle the opening line: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a singular novel in possession of a good reputation must be in want of re-read. And to increase your reading pleasure, here are things to explore as you dip into Regency England – the time and place where Elizabeth Bennet, and her four sisters, Jane, Mary, Lydia, and Kitty live, love, dance, flirt, and go about the very serious business of finding a husband. Pride and Prejudice : An Annotated Edition Give yourself some extra time to read the annotated edition of the novel. Chock full of photos and images of scenes from Jane Austen’s era: her homes, places she visited, 18th century paintings, Austen’s portable writing desk, and more. There are notes on all the language and customs that perhaps we no lon

And Tango Makes Three

“While we firmly support the right of every reader to choose or reject a book for themselves or their families, those objecting to a particular book should not be give the power to restrict other readers’ right to access and read that book. As members of a pluralistic and complex society, we must have free access to a diverse range of viewpoints on the human condition in order to foster critical thinking and understanding. We must protect one of the most precious of our fundamental rights – the freedom to read.” Barbara Jones, Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom The American Library Association has declared And Tango Makes Three the most challenged book of 2006 to 2010, with the exception of 2009 during which it was the second most challenged. Published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in 2005, And Tango Makes Three is a children’s book written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole. The book received plenty of attention an