Showing posts from June, 2016

Tech Tips: hoopla

hoopla has released some great new content and their collection of music, movies, television shows, eBooks, audiobooks, and comics is constantly growing. There is something for everyone with this service, all you need is your library card.

If you are new to hoopla or haven’t used the service in awhile take some time to read our blog post – Find Out What All The Hoopla is About! to learn the basics about this streaming service.

Here are some features that will enhance your usage of hoopla:

If you ever need to check to see if hoopla is working properly, but did not want to waste one of your ten monthly checkouts, hoopla has you covered. When browsing audiobooks, movies, music, comics, and eBooks, you can select to have the items displayed by collections. In each of these media types there is a collection of demos. These demos work just like regular items – except these you can checkout and view to see how they display on your web browser or device, or to check to see if something i…

My Kingdom for a Bar of Chocolate

Recently, there has been a lot of frightening news about an impending chocolate shortage in the world. I know, scary stuff, right? But truthfully, chocolate has become its own food group in most households. Besides being delicious, desirable and necessary at times, it makes you feel good by releasing endorphins in your brain. With so many benefits, it is truly a super food (at least for me)!

However, due to drastic weather pattern changes and unsustainable farming techniques, cocoa is becoming very scarce. There has also been a steep increase in demand for the delectable delight. Previously, many countries that were unable to afford luxuries now have disposable income that is being spent on chocolaty goodness, thus raising the demand for what has now become a staple in almost everyone's diet. As a result, people around the world are eating more chocolate than farmers are able to grow. And can you blame them? Cocoa comes in all different tastes and textures,
ranging from the …

Books to Get You Thinking

The Man Booker Prize has long been recognized as a symbol of excellence in English literature. Instituted more than four decades ago, the prize has brought “recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction”. Over the years the jury has consisted of not just acclaimed authors, literary critics, poets and academicians but also of journalists, broadcasters and politicians. In 2016, for the first time, we saw the idea behind the Booker Prize extend beyond English writing to encompass international writing. The Man Booker International Prize was to be awarded to the finest work of global fiction translated into English and published in the United Kingdom. This year, 155 outstanding novels were nominated in the Long list. Six books were shortlisted and, on May 16, the winner was announced by a panel of five judges, including:  Boyd Tonkin, writer, journalist and critic from the Independent; David Bellos, Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University; and …

Happy Audiobook Month! And to Celebrate Here Is a List of the 2016 Audie Winners – The Best in Audio Books!

June is Audiobook month - bet you did not know that - and, to celebrate, we bring you a list of the 2016 Audie Award winners. What are the Audie Awards you ask? Well, the Audie Awards recognize the best achievement in audiobook and spoken word production and presentation for the year. It is sponsored and run by the Audio Publishers Association, which is a not-for-profit trade association of audio production companies. The Audies have been given out at a presentation event for the last 21 years. When you listen to an Audie Winner, you are not only hearing good writing, you are also getting the best narration and production values the Audiobook and Spoken Word industry has created for the year. Here is a link to Audiofile Magazine’s overview of this year’s Audie Award Winners.

This year’s winners include:

Audiobook of the Year

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher
A psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally enta…

Keeping In Touch with the Library

Mercer County Library System offers a variety of ways for you, our patrons, to keep up with all the news, program offerings and latest new releases in books, music, and DVDs at MCLS. Here is a list of ways you can connect to the library.

First, you may have seen notices around the library or a note on your checkout receipt regarding our email notification system. With email notification, patrons will receive an email notice when they have a hold available for pick-up, a courtesy notice three days before an item is due, an alert once an item becomes overdue and starts accumulating extended use fees, and a courtesy notice when the library card needs to be renewed. Signing up to use the service is simple: Just stop by your local branch and ask any circulation staff member to add an email address to your library account. If you currently do not have an address on file, we do mail overdue postcards, but will no longer be doing so after December 31, 2016 so make sure to give us your ema…

Your Great-Great-Grandchildren Will Thank You

I am a family history buff. I actually do not like the word “buff”; it is kind of cutesy and overused, but it is a fair description of the level of research at which I feel competent . . . actually, maybe “avid amateur” is a better term, but that is an extra 7-letter word, and I know one is supposed to keep one’s writing brief and to the point, and I am trying to do that, so I will stay with “buff”Note 1You see what I did there ....

The family history I am working on (i.e., sporadically bingeing at until other aspects of my life inevitably intrude) consists of the lines of all four of my first grandchild’s grandparents.

The first time we visited our co-grandparents after G’s birth, I brought along my iPad with the latest app. I showed them my family history, and asked if they might happen to have any photos they could share of their own parents and maybe grandparents, or any stories that had been passed down, dates of weddings, etc. – the usual starting points. To my as…

Every May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Although the month of May is set aside each year to promote awareness of mental illnesses and those who suffer from them, as well as their caregivers, the potentially devastating effects of mental illness are a problem that we should all be aware of year round. This is especially true because mental illness is still greatly stigmatized in our society as well as around the world. Even the health care industry faces some difficulties correctly treating the mentally ill, as patients are reluctant to seek help or provide accurate reports of symptoms. Some doctors report feeling under trained in how to recognize and diagnose mental illness. All of these topics were covered in an article that appeared in Psychology Today in 2013.

About 26% of American adults have a diagnosable mental illness. Some are mild and may require only medication and/or counseling, while others are severe and require short or long term hospitalization. The Kim Foundation is a website with a good general overview o…

Summer Reading Program Past and Present

School will soon be out for summer vacation, and parents will be searching for fun and educational activities to keep their children busy during July and August. When I think back on my childhood summer vacations, I have very fond memories of going to the Washington Branch (now Robbinsville Branch) of the Mercer County Library System. My brother and I would always sign up for the annual Summer Reading Program. I would check out my books and could barely wait to get to the car before I would begin reading them. When we returned to the library, I loved sitting with Mrs. Greenberg, the Branch Manager, and telling her all about the stories that I had read. I still remember the summer that we got to choose an eraser during each week of the program. My favorite was a hot pink skateboard! Now, as the Youth Services Librarian at the Robbinsville Branch, I get to plan the Summer Reading Program and I love asking the children at my branch about all the wonderful books that they have read!
This …