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Showing posts from November, 2014

What New In WiFi

If you have gotten caught up in holiday shopping and have laptops or tablets on your list of things to buy, you may be noticing sales pitches pushing the new 802.11ac wireless. The first thing to come to mind for most shoppers is, what is that and if it is new, what do I have now and do I need to upgrade? Let’s take a look and answer these questions for you.

First, what is 802.11ac? This number refers to a standard developed by the IEEE, which is an electrical engineering society that has branched out to include a lot of different technologies and serves as the organization that sets the standards for a lot of those technologies. In the case of wireless networks, the 802.11 standard makes it easier for different manufacturers to make products that work with each other since they all have to perform in a certain way to meet the standard. The good news for consumers is there is less hassle since we do not need to check if a certain router works with our laptops, they should all just…

Laws and Codes: Where do you find them?

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Over the course of the last several years, many governmental bodies at the Federal, State and local levels have made available to the public, free of charge, a plethora of legal materials online that can provide significant assistance for individual research. The body of legal material provided in this fashion continues to grow year by year, as governmental entities work to provide useful information on a far more comprehensive basis than would have been seen even just a few years ago.

In this blog entry, we will present a variety of reliable legal sources available to the public, and where they can be found. We would only caution that, as is always the case with legal materials, although the provisions to which you will be directed are authentic, consultation of only one source may not answer completely a legal question or resolve an issue. For complex matters, it is always best to consult professionals in this area in order to understand fully the various legal considerations tha…

November is National Diabetes Month

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According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes; another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is estimated at $245 billion.

The Mercer County Library System owns several brand-new books about diabetes, as well as cookbooks to inspire you to create nutritious, delicious and healthy food if you suffer from this disease:

Diabetes & Heart Healthy Cookbook: More Than 160 Delicious Recipes for Everything from Snacks to Desserts
By the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association
Diabetes puts people at a very high risk of having a heart attack or stroke. To address this problem, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association created a heart-healthy cookbook for people with diabetes. Now, it is back in an all-new expanded edition, including new recipes, twists o…

Is This Book Appropriate?

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Recently I was talking with my cousin about her 3 daughters - an 11 year old and twin 13 year olds. They had seen the movie and read the book The Fault in Our Stars by author John Green. The girls wanted to read another book by this author called Paper Towns and my cousin wanted to know whether or not it was appropriate for them. This is a question that I am often asked at the library…is this book appropriate? Short of reading every book that their tweens and teens want to read, what is a parent to do when trying to find age- and content-appropriate books for their kids?

One resource that I use and often refer parents to (as well as my cousin) is a website called Common Sense Media. According to their website, “Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.” When you look up a particular title, the first…

STEM @ Your Library

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Nationwide, schools are responding to the critical role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education plays in the future of the United States. In order to grasp and retain children’s interest in the Sciences, schools are using unique methods to incorporate STEM subjects in their curricula, giving students opportunities to discover and apply STEM concepts. Libraries often provide programming to compliment schools’ learning objectives (e.g. a Summer Reading Program, Book Clubs, etc.), and the Mercer County Library System is stepping up its STEM game as well. Many MCLS branches offer fun-filled programs that give children, from preschoolers to high school students, opportunities to explore, learn, and apply STEM skills.

Programs, workshops, and events revolving around STEM topics are continually being added to branches’ schedules. Use the library’s program calendar to see what programs are currently offered, to find out additional information about each even…

Books to Get You Thinking Holiday Edition I

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The cool crisp air, the deep colors of the foliage, and the lengthening evenings signal the beginning of Fall, a season unique in its beauty and colorful splendor.  It is also time to celebrate with friends and family and to start thinking of gifts to exchange with all the special people in your life.  With a wide choice of genre and subjects to choose from that are certain to please just about everyone on your list, books make the perfect present.  This month's selections cover books in the nonfiction, biography and memoir categories while my December column will feature fiction, cooking and entertainment titles.

Non-Fiction

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolutionby Walter Issacson
Walter Issacson, well known for his powerful biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, now provides a compelling history of the digital revolution, its evolution over the ages, and the brilliant men and women who were behind it. He trace…

Q-ing Up Data on Your Phone

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You have probably seen QR codes in all kinds of places and, if you even noticed them, either
wondered what they were or simply thought they were part of some new design trend. You may be surprised to find out they can help you in a number of ways, from taking you to a website that offers more information about the object to which the code is affixed to offering a coupon for the store you are visiting. The example to the right is a code you will see in our library branches and it will take you to the library catalog.

What is a QR code and why do we see so many? The codes are like a barcode, they are a unique set of symbols that connects to some form of online data, such as a website, photograph, video clip or audio clip. The codes can be read by barcode readers or apps on a cell phone or tablet using the device’s camera. QR codes have been around since 1994 and were used primarily in manufacturing and warehouse applications where barcode readers were already in use. Around 2005,…

World War I Commemorated by the Publishing World

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One of our November holidays, Veterans Day, falls on November 11. In the Commonwealth countries it is called Remembrance Day and Jour de l'Armistice in France and Belgium. Regardless of the name, why do many countries celebrate this same holiday on this same day? Because it commemorates the date that ended World War I (or “The Great War” as it was called at the time) on the European Western Front: November 11, 1918.

The war did continue on in Eastern Europe and other parts of the former Ottoman Empire. However, for the United States, the British Empire, the French and the Belgians, that first horrific modern war was over! One of the deadliest conflicts in history, it resulted in major political changes in Europe and influenced many nation-state revolutions. Despite another name that was used at the time, “The War to End All Wars,” it also set the stage for World War II.

After the Second World War, the holiday began to commemorate all veterans of all wars, as so many people lost t…