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Showing posts from December, 2012

Comic-Books, a truly American Literary Format

Many of us are able to remember the first time we truly connected to a book as readers. These books may have been introduced into our lives by a family member, or a friend or a teacher at school. Although I am not exactly sure how comic-books snuck into my repertoire (although it was most likely through my cousins who were prolific comic-book readers), I vividly remember reading and collecting them before I even started first-grade. Having grown up in former-Yugoslavia, many of these books were Italian imports (books like Alan Ford, Zagor, and later Dylan Dog, Martin Mystère), beloved and translated into my native language. Other comic-books I loved at this time included Lucky Luke, The Adventures of Asterix, and later Modesty Blaise. Comic-books provided me with an interesting story narrative aided by entertaining pictorial images essential for the development of an enthusiastic reader. I didn’t read books, I devoured them.
I currently work as a Youth Services Librarian at the West W…

Happy Holidays from MCLS

As 2012 comes to a close I look back with bittersweet memory. 2012 has been difficult for so many in so many different ways - the constant strife in the Middle East, the uncertainty of the economy here at home, and Hurricane Sandy, which devastated so much of our beloved shore and coastal regions. We lost a longtime friend and colleague, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian Sally Drake, and we all watched as the horrors of the Newtown, Connecticut massacre unfolded. Most of us felt as if our hearts broke wide-open that day.

Still others of us have dealt with personal medical issues, job loss, and family crises. Just as we were about to lose our faith in humankind with stories of political shenanigans, price gouging and looting after the storm, we were humbled by tales of heroism, such as the young teacher, Victoria Soto, who shielded her students from gun fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but lost her own life by doing so.

My daughter is currently hooked on the television show…

New this season--Christmas themed books by our favorite authors!

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Looking for a good book to curl up with while you are in the Christmas spirit?  Here are 7 new books filled with holiday cheer!  Most are quick reads (perfect for this busy season) by easily recognizable authors.

Angels at the Table: A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas Story by Debbie Macomber
Macomber’s three angels are back for another joyous and whimsical holiday novel.  It’s an angelic intervention where the angels, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, help people in trouble while getting in trouble themselves.

A Winter Dream: A Novelby Richard Paul Evans
This newest story by Evans’ is a modern retelling of the biblical story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.   If you are going through troubles or know someone who is then this may help lift up your spirit.

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs
Beginning on a train at Christmas time in turn-of-the-century Scotland, this tender love story grapples with the emotional ups and downs people feel during the …

What’s New in the Catalog

Several updates have been made to the library catalog since the new version was released last year.  Many of the new features that have been added enhance searching and ways to manage your account online.  To help you get to know these changes better, here is a run-down of what to look for when searching:

Zero (null) searching. If you enter nothing in the search box and hit search, you will get a list of everything the library system owns, with the most recently released items first.  If you also pick a media type (DVD, Books on CD, etc.) from the All Fields drop-down box and then do a null search, you get a list of the most recently published items that have been added to the system.

New book lists and USA Today bestsellers.  In the middle rotating book display, we now offer the USA Today bestsellers and new book lists in the drop-down.  We currently offer new lists for fiction, picture books and young adult books with more lists planned for the near future.

Sort by.  Once you have don…

Chill Out And Read!

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Slow down this busy holiday season and be better prepared with gift ideas from the following lists.  The right book from one of these lists might just turn your child or teen into a lifelong reader!  Preview quality books using these three websites and tap into what interests your child.

The American Library Association 2012 Notable Children's Books

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)lists books on fiction, non-fiction, poetry and picture books, published in 2011.  Selected ages are birth through age 14.

YALSA's Teens' Top Ten

Who better to know what teens like to read than teens themselves? Selected ages are twelve to eighteen years.

Reading Rockets

An outstanding compilation of many lists, which include award winners, books by themes, lesson materials, and so much more!

Once you make your book selection you can encourage your child to participate in the winter reading program, offered at some of the branches of the Mercer County Library System during Dec…

Books To Get You Thinking - Special Holiday Edition

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The chill of  the December air brings along with it Holiday cheer,  time spent with family and friends,  and  hours spent curled up in front of the fireplace with a favorite book. It’s also the time to start working on your Gifts List.  For just about everyone on that list, books make the ideal gift providing countless hours of reading pleasure long after the excitement of the Holiday Season is behind us ! To help you find just the right title here is a selection of books both fiction and nonfiction that is likely to please every taste.



Non Fiction

Why Does the World Exist by Jim Holt                                                                                                                               This fascinating book addresses the fundamental question of why the universe exists. Traveling across London, Paris, Oxford, Pittsburgh and Austin, Texas Holt interviewed a host of scholars – philosophers, cosmologists, and practitioners of religion looking for the answer to the fu…

Employment and Test Prep Resources Available Through MCL Website

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The MercerCounty Library System offers patrons a variety of resources geared to help them find career positions and employment possibilities, sharpen occupational and business skills, and prepare for a wide range of examinations and assessments to further their education or plan a career change. 

Ferguson’s CareerGuidance Center offers in-depth information for students and others seeking to explore career possibilities.  The database contains material on hundreds of career paths spread across sixteen industry groups.  In addition to descriptions of individual career responsibilities Ferguson’s provides background on educational, certification and licensing requirements, abilities and skills needed for success, and projections for growth in specific occupational areas.  The descriptive profiles for each occupational area introduce the reader to subdivisions within each occupational heading and what one can expect to find in the course of following that career path.  Information and guid…

The Search for the Perfect Live Christmas Tree (and the Perils Therein)

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When I was growing up in 1950s Queens, we always had a real Christmas tree.  I’m not sure why we never had an artificial one; it may have had to do with the fact that fake trees just looked so fake back then. But I think the primary reason was that every year, in mid-December, the empty corner lot near our house turned into a mini-forest of pre-cut conifers piled against the cyclone fencing. We didn’t have a car, so a tree lot we could walk to was a gift we weren’t going to refuse.
So every year, on an icy evening (for some reason I remember it always being below freezing) about a week before Christmas, my father, sister and I would bundle up and walk the two blocks to 84th Street to pick out our Christmas tree. We took it seriously; tree after tree was grabbed, shaken out, and held upright while we eyed it critically. Eventually we'd find one that was absolutely perfect! (i.e., we were starting to get really cold) and my father would shoulder it (which gives you an idea of its siz…