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Better Than Google--I Still Believe

I recently had a conversation with one of our database representatives.  We were discussing the disappointing usage of his product.  Why was it not getting more use?  The rep offered to send me posters and bookmarks, offered to come in and do a demonstration for the staff, and even for the public.  I declined all these kind enticements because, frankly, it would be a waste of time.  Much as I hate to admit it, our databases are mostly under utilized.  This has nothing to do with the quality of the databases, their ease of use, or the spectacular information they contain.  The sad and unsurprising fact is that people eschew the databases to simply "google it".  People google everything and who can blame them?  As a librarian, I find this frustrating and understandable.  A google search is the fastest and easiest way to find information, no question.  But does fast and easy necessarily translate to accurate and reliable?  Heck, no!

Where Did the Audiobooks Go?

 

All the Fiction Audiobooks including mysteries and science fiction have been moved to the end of the Large Print collection on the main floor of the adult area.  All Nonfiction Audiobooks are still in the same location.  Playaways now face the entrance to the adult area of the library.  Please ask for assistance in locating these collections.  Placing our Fiction Audiobooks in the Large Print area allows more room for your favorite authors and titles. As an added bonus, the Romance Paperbacks are now where the Audiobooks used to be.  Just in time for Valentine's Day.

What's Cooking?: Happy Lunar New Year 4011!

Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday in many Asian countries where shops are closed for two weeks to a month. Created for the purpose of counting a 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar, each year is represented by twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac:  rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.   This Chinese Lunar New Year on February 10 is the Year of the Water Snake. Throughout Asia and Chinatowns in the western nations, the streets are lined with people watching the festive parades with lions and dragons dancing to the beating of heavy drums and clanging cymbals, and "embraced" with a relentless spray of firecrackers to scare away malevolent spirits from spoiling the chance of a prosperous and hopeful year.

Beyond Books - The Oscars

 

February is here and that means one thing for those among us who love the movies...it's time for the Oscars!

Amazingly enough, one of the contenders for best picture of the year, "Argo", is being released on DVD on Tuesday, February 19th; five days before the Oscars actually air on Sunday February 24th.  As with all DVD titles, we will have multiple copies of Argo available on its streetdate, the 19th.  Other big titles being released on DVD in February are Alex Cross (February 5th), Flight (February 5th), Skyfall (February 12th), Perks Of Being A Wallflower (February 12th) and The Master (February 26th).

This year the Oscar nominees for best picture are: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

Update on Tax Forms

Following the January tax law changes made by Congress under the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the IRS announced its plans to open the 2013 filing season and begin processing individual income tax returns on Jan. 30. As a side effect of this decision and the Relief Act, the standard 1040 form went under revision and will be shipping late. It can be accessed and printed online by clicking here.

The library will put out all available forms starting Friday, February 1. At this time, we have the following:

Federal

1040 EZ, Schedule B, Schedule E, Schedule EIC, Form 4868

State

IT-201, IT-201-ATT, IT-203,  IT-214,  IT-215, IT-216 

Please note: Form IT-2 has been discontinued.

We have recieved notice from the IRS that we can expect the following forms within a week: Schedule A, Schedule C, Schedule D, Form 8863 and Form 2441.

Better Than Google

Goodbye Westlaw! Hello LexisNexis!  The new year brings us an exciting, new database, the LexisNexis Express Library.  For the past six years, we had subscribed to Westlaw due to the fact that it was a great alternative to print.  Instead of shelves and shelves of McKinneys Statutes and U.S. Code Annotated, we could now access them on-line.  Although some people missed the books, most of the lawyers were happy to use Westlaw, something they used in law school and at work.  Recently, LexisNexis decided to produce a product to appeal to the public library market.  It is not only more affordable, it is more comprehensive (laws and cases of all fifty states are included, not just New York) and it can be used by more than one person at a time.  Although the legal portion can only be used in the library, the business and news modules are available remotely.

Getting To Know You: Standalone SF Reads

Well, It's 2013, and the planet still appears to be in one piece. Time for a new blog entry!

Many people will tell you that good things (and bad luck) come in threes. Speculative fiction stories frequently do; the genre has a strong predilection for trilogies.  But many authors don't even stop there-- there are SF series and sagas that run to double-digits and represent decades of writing.  Some writers don't even finish their story arc within their lifetimes (ahem, Robert Jordan), leaving devoted readers to hope for a worthy successor (and copious notes left by the original author) to finish out the series.

What's Cooking?: Shape Up!

The overindulgent holiday feasting is finally over and the New Year projects the familiar resolutions we’ve come to know every year in regard to our health and fitness.  Where we recently were enticed by the seductive sweets that surrounded us during the holiday gluttony without any guilt, we must now discipline ourselves to withdrawn from this temptation.  After stepping on the scale to see the damage, there will be no delay in cutting out the homemade cookies, banana breads, chocolates, and apple pie that are all sitting in the kitchen within reach.  It is certainly the right time to go back to eating smaller portions to whip us into shape. The bounty of nourishing healthy recipes provides variety and interests.  Never a dull selection.  Although correcting our eating habits to maintain a healthier diet is not easy, there are many sources to help us support a healthy lifestyle eating. 

Blizzard of Good Wishes!

Many thanks to all who donated to the project.  Sandy Hook has been overwhelmed with snowflakes from everywhere!  We have mailed out what was already donated and won't be collecting any more.

To quote a recent Newtown Patch article:

"Connecticut PTSA is deeply saddened by the tragedy that has struck our Newtown community.  We have met with the PTA and community leaders in Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary to offer our assistance at this very difficult time.  They have asked us to spearhead the following efforts on their behalf......Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.  Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school!  Get creative!" This is just one project on the list.

What's Cooking?: Holiday Wintry Drinks

As the holidays approach, preparations get underway as we think about what to serve at seasonal get-togethers.  We check our menu list of appetizers, main and side dishes and desserts.  We tend to overlook those inviting wintry drinks to welcome family and guests, taking the bite out of the cold.  There’s nothing like being greeted with yuletide cheer of toasty mugs filled with spiced cider, mulled wine, or a hot toddy.  Before my guests arrive, I prepare a big pot of mulled spiced cider simmering ready on the stove filled with rich apple cider, cinnamon sticks, orange peels, and whole cloves inserted in wheels of orange slices.  The aroma fills the house luring travelers to the comfort of home.

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