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Showing posts from November, 2017

Are We There Yet? Kids’ Media Items to Make Your Car Ride a Breeze

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The holidays are just around the corner and our mouths are watering for favorite homemade dishes. We look forward to getting together with family and friends for another year of great memories when, all of a sudden, we remember that 3 hour car trip to grandma’s house!  With the kids!  How can we keep them entertained in the backseat so that we do not lose our sanity before talking with Great Aunt Mildred?

That is where the library comes in!  When most people think of libraries, the first thing they think of is books. If you have a child who gets carsick easily or one who is not reading yet, print books are not the way to pass the time on a long car ride. Thankfully we offer a variety of audio/visual materials to entertain and educate your child.

One of our most recent additions to children’s multimedia is the “Vox Book.” Vox books are like traditional read-alongs where your child can follow along on the page as the story is read out loud. However, Vox books have a built-in audio playe…

Read the Book!: Interview with local author Ame Dyckman

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As a youth services librarian, I get super excited when I find a great author whose books I love to share with my story-time patrons as well as my own children.  It is even better when that author is someone as wonderful as Lawrenceville resident Ame Dyckman.  I knew Ame as a patron at the Lawrence Branch before she became a published children’s author.  It has been amazing and inspiring to watch the journey her career has taken.  Her books are fantastic and the characters she creates are as warm and endearing and fun as her own personality. She keeps both children and adults engaged and wanting more.  From the beginning of her career, Ame has made numerous appearances at the Lawrence Branch, promoting her latest books and participating in library children’s programs, including our Valentine’s Day program in 2015.




Ame was kind enough to answer some questions for us about her path to becoming a New York Times best-selling author and what role the library plays in her writing career.

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What's In A Name?

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One of the obstacles I have encountered when researching my family tree is the number of ways a surname may have changed. For instance, Reeser can be spelled Reiser, Eickhoff can be spelled Eikhoff, Koogler can be spelled Kugler - and those are just a handful of instances. So why does the spelling of names change?

I see a couple reasons for this. First, language is not static, it is constantly changing. Some names, like words, are just archaic – much like reading an old King James Bible or Shakespeare. For instance, we no longer use words like “Thee and Thou.” Spelling changes may also depend on the country of origin and language it was written in at the time. Even today, a name originating in a different country may lose its original meaning and spelling in another country based on sound and/or ease of writing.

At this time of year as we get close to Thanksgiving, we think of Pilgrims and Native Americans. During the winter of 1620, many crew and passengers had died aboard the Mayflo…

EGGcellent Art

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My dad is a mechanical engineer, a college professor, a husband, a grandfather, and an absolutely amazing artist.  Along with using different mediums such as watercolor and acrylic to paint on canvas and paper, he uses oil paint to created intricate scenes on a very unusual and extremely delicate surface--egg shells!

His paintings have been displayed in various venues such as university museums, public libraries and, of course, our home as long as I can remember.  There is such a sense of pride when someone walks into our home, sees his paintings and exclaims in surprise as they notice his signature at the bottom corner of each piece. People are often astonished because he is known for being very technical and down to earth.  He tends to keep his artistic side hidden and only when his artwork is viewed do people get a chance to see another side of him.

The painted egg display in our home is very high up on the mantle because of its extremely fragile nature. Not many people have seen s…

Holiday Helper

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As the year draws to an end, it is time for our yearly holiday tech rundown. Whether you are looking for a gift or not, this time of year sees a lot of new releases that are worth taking a look at if you keep an eye out for the latest in technology. It is no surprise that the big names this year once again include Apple and Nintendo with the typical categories of video games and portable devices being the hot ones.

As in the past two years, the home smart speaker/assistant category is already loaded with new offerings from the typical players, as Amazon and Google have both issued updates to their lineups. Google added the Home Mini earlier this fall as a competitor to Amazon’s Dot and companion to the full-sized Home personal assistant. The Home Max version is also available, built to deliver a better sound experience for the music lover, where the original Google Home was made to compete more in the personal assistant category. Amazon expanded their offerings to include video, …

Your Mother Should Know: The Still-Relevant Beatles @ MCL

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Though I am not your mother, I am old and I like the Beatles, just as she does (probably). Ask her. But maybe she never told you about them, possibly because you don’t call enough even though you were always her favorite (don’t tell the others!)? Point is, call your mother—is that too much to ask?

But in case Mom never told you, allow me:

If you type the word “Beatles” into Mercer County Library’s catalog, it will return 2261 resultsNote 1Or did on November 2, 2016. If you do the search today, you’ll probably get even more hits because the Beatles remain pretty consistently popular. The Beatles: hits-makers still.:
The phrase “Taylor Swift”, in comparison, yields 99 results, easily reducible to 83 if you maliciously and intentionally misspell her first name “Tailor”, but why would you do that, unless you’re one of those intentionally malicious types? Misspelling “Beatles” as “beetles”, on the other hand, returns 1853 results, proving … um, what, exactly? Well, this, maybe: The Beatles…

Books to Get You Thinking Holiday Edition I

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The grey frosty mornings of November, the red and gold leaves softly falling off the branches, the early sunsets, and lengthening evenings are all a gentle reminder of the approaching holiday season. Along with that realization comes the nagging sense of panic about all those gifts that must be readied for the holiday.  Cast all those worries aside - books make the most perfect gift and, to help you get off to an early start, here is a list of books that would make perfect gifts for just about everyone on your list! Non-Fiction and biography titles are featured in our list this month but, for those who prefer fiction or cooking and entertainment, keep a look out for the next edition of Books to Get You Thinking!

Non Fiction

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand Forby David McCullough

Acclaimed historian David McCullough has authored several bestselling biographies and  hosted the PBS television series The American Experience. In his new book, McCullough goes back to the man…

Flame Con 2017

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Most people have heard of Comic Cons - the annual convergences of all things comics, games, movies, and more!  They are basically Nerd Nirvana, and hundreds of thousands of people across the country attend them (over 200,000 fans made their way to the Jacob K. Javits Center this year for the NYC Comic Con.)   Comic Cons however, are not the only major conventions out there that cater to “geek” media.   There is also Gen Con, Wonder Con, Book Con, and Anime Expo, but in 2015 there was the first ever Flame Con - an exclusively queer Comic Con to highlight and promote the contribution of LGBT+ people in Geek Media.

I have been lucky enough to attend Flame Con since the beginning, and in 2017 held my first panel: Writing Out Not Down: Speaking Authentically to Teen Audiences, where I spoke with authors Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil), Mackenzi Lee (A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue), Alex London (Proxy), and Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End).  The panel focused on…