Showing posts from August, 2015

August is Read-a-Romance Month

Celebrate the joy of romantic fiction with this selection of newly-published novels owned by the Mercer County Library System: One Wish by Robyn Carr Starting a new life as a flower shop owner, former champion figure skater Grace Dillon begins a no-strings-attached relationship with high school teacher Troy Headly. When Grace's past comes back to haunt her, Troy doubles down on their relationship and brings it to the next level. The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall From the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America’s heartland in the Roaring Twenties. Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secr

Getting Started With Windows 10

Windows 10 has been out for almost a month now and many of you are still trying to get used to the changes, so here are a few tips if you are just getting started or want to discover new features. First, let us take a look at the new Start button. If you used Windows 8, you will notice we have only one view, the desktop, so the Start button is no longer used just to toggle back and forth between a start page and desktop. While it does return some of the functions of the old Start button, be aware that it is new enough that it is not the same old one we saw in Windows 7. For one thing, programs has been replaced with All Apps and you will notice clicking that will give you a set of icons and folders which mixes standard programs, like Office, in with modern apps, like The Weather Channel. The old pop-out that showed the various document libraries is also streamlined as File Explorer, click it after clicking Start and then you see Pictures, Music, etc. If you are looking for the Contro

Messing About in Boats

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” So says Water Rat to Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows . And for me, the quintessential books for children about messing about in boats are The Wind in the Willows and Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” series. Ransome began his literary life as a somewhat unsuccessful writer of adult books about London life and Russia before, during, and after the revolution. He was a war correspondent during World War One and later he had some connection with the British espionage agency, M-5. By the end of the 1920s he and his second wife, Evgenia Petrovna Shelepina, who had been Trotsky's personal secretary, settled in England’s lovely Lake District, an area where he had played during much of his childhood. It is not certain if he was writing for children or for his own pleasure, but when Swallows and Amazons appeared in 1930, which was set in

Books to Get You Thinking

The recent financial crisis in Greece has once again brought the entire European Union into worldwide focus. A sizeable number of nations within the Eurozone are facing economic upheaval with low rates of growth, high unemployment particularly amongst younger age groups, and excessive levels of debt. However, it is the small island of Greece that is currently the epicenter of the crisis. With the current ratio of Greece’s debt to GDP a crushing 177 percent, there has been intense pressure to negotiate a bailout package for Greece to avert a major banking collapse and keep Greece a part of the Eurozone. It would be the country’s third bailout in the last five years. As a condition for further assistance, Greece was asked by its European creditors to implement a tighter budgetary policy, tax increases as well as an intensive overall oversight of the country by the European Union. What are the underlying causes of the crisis in Europe? What are the strategies and potential policy solutio

Podcasts: Customized Radio for on the Go

With the growing number of people using smartphones, tablets, as well as other mobile devices, discovery of podcasts and listenership continues to rise Note 1 . Podcasts are digital recordings, which tend to be episodic, available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or a mobile device. A key element to a podcast is its RSS feed, which basically means listeners can subscribe to a podcast and automatically receive new episodes as they become available. (Note: While podcasts can be downloaded and subscribed to, individual episodes can simply be streamed from one’s computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.) If you wish to subscribe to a podcast, in order to have new episodes delivered to your device or computer, you will need a podcasting application software called a “podcatcher.” Podcatchers not only allow you to play your podcasts, but they automatically download (or “catch”) new episodes, as well as let you manage your subscriptions. It is very likely your sm

Low Carb ... Paleo ... Good? Bad?

Probably like me, you have heard of Low Carb and Paleo diets. Maybe a friend or family member is following one of them. Maybe you are modifying your own eating habits after hearing of the possible health benefits of these diets. Food companies, grocery stores and restaurants are promoting new foods and dishes to appeal to low carb and paleo dieters. On their covers, magazines promote articles that support the appealing benefits of these diets - better health, weight loss and eating “closer to the earth.” I have even seen gadgets advertised to turn fresh vegetables and fruits into noodles! (Wheat noodles being a no-no for low carb or paleo eaters.) What is all the fuss about? What is the appeal? As a librarian, with the public culture focus on low carb and paleo diets, I am often asked for more information and I definitely see a lot of books published on the diets and recipes for dishes that follow the diets’ requirements. I will share some titles below. In depth explanations are be

''Little Enough to Ride for Free? Little Enough to Ride Your Knee''

I can remember the subway slogan of yesteryear, ''Little enough to ride for free? Little enough to ride your knee.'' The next BIG slogan The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had was “Step Aside.” What exactly was step aside? It is the exact spot, marked by yellow boxes, where the doors of an approaching subway train stop. The thought behind “step aside” is to allow a speedier exit for those passengers inside, and save time for those outside to get into the train. However, it seems that people crowded around the step aside yellow boxes and caused the same delay for all passengers, proving that urban transportation is too fast and passengers have to stay alert and move quickly. The latest MTA slogan, post 9/11, is “See Something, Say Something.” It is important to be alert to your surroundings and report any suspicious items or activities to a transit worker or police officer. For over twenty years, I took the subway from Brooklyn to New York City and then the L

Travel the Country Bibliographically!

You can travel the country, bibliographically, thanks to the Mercer County Library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department . Library patrons have the opportunity to access a wide variety of books, non-fiction DVDs, and journal articles from libraries throughout the United States, as well as books-on-CD from other New Jersey libraries. The staff of the Interlibrary Loan Department, Krista and AJ, can search library catalogs in most of the 50 states, from east to west, north to south, to find even those very obscure texts owned by only one or two U.S. libraries. If you have your heart set on a particular book but it is only located at the San Francisco Public Library or Harvard University, we can make a request for you electronically. If it is available for loan, the library will have it delivered through the mail, processed and sent to your local branch for free! The form for all interlibrary loan requests, including research articles, books, non-fiction DVDs, and books-on-CD can be a