Category Archives: Libraries

What are Tech Tuesdays?

A cartoon picture of a computerTuesdays are Tech Tuesdays at the Burlington Public Library!  Library staff is available every Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for extended questions and instruction.  These are not a formal classes, but an opportunity to work one-on-one with library staff to get an answer to your personal computer and tech questions.

Feel free to bring your e-reader, tablet, phone, or laptop!  This is your chance to learn to download ebooks and audiobooks, or try out a new software program or Internet application. We also can coach you in word processing skills for your resume, uploading and downloading photos, cut/copy/paste skills, online test taking, career research, email, general troubleshooting, and any other tech questions you bring.

Tech Tuesdays are free and open to the public, so drop by some Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and we can help to de-mystify your tech experience.

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Filed under Adult programs, E-books, Libraries

Big Library Read: a Global e-Book Club

BigLibraryRead300x250Overdrive, one of our e-book vendors, is hosting a Big Library Read.  People from 35,000 libraries worldwide are simultaneously checking out and reading the same book: Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky.

According to the reviews I read, the Four Corners of the Sky is “a long but satisfying tale of crime and death foretold”, with an “ambitious blend of humor, mystery, adventure and sentimentality.”  The plot follows “navy pilot Annie P. Goode, [who] comes home for her 26th birthday to her doting aunt and uncle in Emerald, NC, exactly where her con man father, Jack Peregrine, left her 19 years earlier. But Jack’s urgent message that he’s dying and needs Annie to fly his old Piper Warrior to St. Louis upends her life. Annie agrees, hoping finally to learn the name of her mother.”  However, the book is not for all tastes — one reviewer said that “this long novel could have used some serious editing, and a love scene or two between Annie and her Sergeant Hart would have been a welcome relief from the extensive Peregrine family history and the overuse of the f word.”

Not sure about the book?  You can use your library card number to find reviews of the book, or find a different ebook from the Washington Anytime Library.

If you are a Twitter user, you can discuss the book using the #BigLibraryRead hashtag.

– Jane S.

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Filed under E-books, Libraries

The ducks have landed!

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Every year (for the past 20+ years!) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsors an art competition to select an image for Federal Junior Duck Stamp–a collectible stamp that is sold to support youth conservation education programs.

K – 12 students from all over the country submit “duck art” for their state’s competition; then first, second, and third place winners are selected in each age group. The “Best of Show” is selected to compete in the national Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.

For the next month or so we have 24 of the paintings that were submitted for this year’s state competition–including the best of show winner that went on to the national competition. Come in and check them out–they are pretty amazing, and beautiful.

For more information on the Junior Duck stamp program go to: www.fws.gov/juniorduck 

And here’s this year’s winner: duck stamp art winner

 

~Janice

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Filed under Art, Libraries

Zombie Awareness Month

Zombie sillhouetteMay is Zombie Awareness Month, and so every Thursday this month, we will be showing you ways to use the library to learn more about zombies.

Zombie Awareness Month happens in May because it is the month that provided the setting for the 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, the film that launched the zombie film genre.  Here’s the story of Night of the Living Dead from the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culturean online encyclopedia that the library subscribes to.

In October 1968 a low-budget horror film titled Night of the Living Dead, directed and cowritten by the independent filmmaker George Romero, opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, far from Hollywood and the mainstream cinema. Shot in the Pennsylvania countryside using mostly amateur actors and boasting ludicrously low production values, Romero’s short black-and-white film nevertheless managed to leave its first viewers disturbed, even traumatized[…] Decades later the film is considered a classic. Recognized for its cultural significance, the film was placed in the National Film Registry in 1999 by the Library of Congress.

You can read the full article, complete with a still from the movie, here. If you have a library card, you can use the St. James Encyclopedia yourself to find articles about famous and influential movies, music, authors, and shows — both with and without zombies.

— Jane S.

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Filed under Databases, Libraries

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

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Cinco de Mayo, do you know what it’s all about? I found this information in the  Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, which is available online through Cengage Learning (see Reference A-Z on the library homepage).

“Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican national holiday commemorating the triumph of the Mexican army over the French on 5 May 1862, the battle of Puebla. General Ignacio Zaragoza led the Mexican army, consisting of about 2,000 conscript soldiers, to victory over a French force of some 6,000 well-equipped professional soldiers commanded by General Charles Latrille, Count of Lorencez. The battle was part of a campaign by the French to place the Austrian Archduke Maximilian on the Mexican throne and to establish an American empire. Although the French were ultimately successful in defeating the Mexicans and imposing Maximilian, the Mexican victory at Puebla, in the face of inadequate manpower and weaponry, inspired the Mexican nation to fight with new determination. Mexico, in honor of the victory, made Cinco de Mayo a holiday and an important national symbol. Cinco de Mayo has been celebrated for many years in the United States, especially in the Southwest and other areas with substantial communities of Mexican origin. It is often confused with Mexican Independence Day (16 September).”

So, now you know–go celebrate!

PS For a great local commemoration check out the Cinco de Mayo celebration at West View Elementary School, today (Saturday) from 2-8 pm.

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Filed under Celebrations & holidays, Libraries

He’s mad and he’s not going to take it anymore.

Are you familiar with the author James Patterson?  If not, you’re the only one… he writes an amazing number of books, from tweens to adults: quick-reading thrillers.  He’s also quite an active advocate for reading, and last weekend, he took out a full-page ad in the New York Times.  (Click on the image to enlarge.)

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What do you think?   Are books and libraries at risk?  What should happen?

—  Mary Beth

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Filed under Authors, Books, Libraries, Reading

Random or reliable?

 

internet vs. database

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Filed under BPL services, Databases, Internet, Libraries

It’s time to rhyme!

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April is National Poetry Month, and here at the library we’ve got a great display to help you celebrate. It’s filled with a variety of poetry books–from children’s to classics.

Do you have a favorite poem or poet? Or maybe a favorite poetry memory? My grandmother was a member of the generation that read and memorized poetry in school, and she shared some of those poems with my sister and me. And on my book shelf at home there’s a book of poetry that she gave me. I might just take it down this month and page through it–perhaps rediscover a poem that grandma shared with us.

 

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Filed under Libraries

April @ your library

April is a great month to love your library.  National Library Week is the 14-20, and National Volunteer Week is the 21-27.  We celebrate both with gratitude.

The best way to love your library is to use it.  Come check out some books, attend our free programs, and enjoy this incredible building.  Better yet, bring a friend who isn’t aware of all the marvels inside our doors.

Check out our online calendar to learn about April events!
Notice the Friends of the Library book sale on the 26th and 27th, too.

 

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Filed under BPL services, Celebrations & holidays, Libraries, Library events

Overdue fees: be shameless.

Here’s a funny article about a book returned to the New York Public Library… 55 years overdue.  It was returned anonymously, which started me thinking about one of my pet peeves.

Why do some people have this weird shame around overdue books?   So often people approach the desk with this hangdog look on their faces.  “I think I have some overdue fines,” they mutter, a little embarrassed.

Well, stuff happens.  Bringing a library book back a couple of days late, on the scale of things that fill our lives?  It just can’t rate that high.
I think it bothers me because it harkens back to those days when (some) libraries were bastions of sternness and judgment… which can’t have been good for anyone’s reading life.
So listen, friends: overdue fines are just little reminders that the library wants its stuff back for someone else to use.   It doesn’t say anything about you except that, like everyone else in this culture, you’ve got too much on your plate.

55 years late?  Well, that might be a different story….

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—Mary Beth

 

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Filed under Books, BPL services, Libraries, Staff