Written on: November 11th, 2009 in Blog Posts
Click on the links below to get lists of new items available from the Delaware Library Catalog in various formats (lists will open in a new window):
Written on: November 10th, 2009 in Blog Posts
On October 30th, President Obama officially declared November to be Native American Heritage Month. This year’s theme for the month’s observations is “Pride in our heritage. Honor to our ancestors”. You can read the official proclamation below, or click on the link to download a copy
There’s an official heritage month website, with an abundance of information about the history of Native Americans and their contributions to their country, along with online exhibits and resources for educators.
Of course, there are a tremendous number of great books available from the Delaware Library Catalog on Native American history and culture. You could do a lot worse than Dee Brown’s magisterial and controversial “Indian history of the American West” Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. I vividly recall being shocked and enlightened by this account of history from the side that “lost”- it sparked a continuing interest in the purpose of writing about history and the importance of the survival of unofficial narratives.
The President’s announcement keenly noted the participation and sacrifice of Native People’s in the U.S. Armed Forces, which throughout this nation’s history has been enduring & significant. While many books have focused on the “Code Talkers” who contributed to the success of the U.S. war effort in the Pacific Theater, historian Alison Bernstein argues in her book American Indians and World War Two that enlistment and service in combat by Indian troops was instrumental in the Native American political awakening of the later 20th Century. You can check this book out from a Delaware Library Catalog library or review it at the Google Books website in a limited preview:
Written on: November 9th, 2009 in Blog Posts
Sponsored by the Children’s Services Division of the Delaware Library Association, the winning books are voted on by young readers from a list of nominees prepared by Delaware youth services librarians. This year’s winners were announced on Saturday November 7th:
A couple of boys have the best week ever, by Marla Frazee
Nightmare at the Bookfair, by Dan Gutman
Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Written on: November 9th, 2009 in Blog Posts
In a change of pace for this week’s summary of reviews from the New York Times- this week’s edition included a special on children’s books that contained some must-read titles for all ages. And in my case, some titles that I have read recently and enjoyed a great deal.
I was most moved by Nick Kristoff’s review of 14 Cows for America, the story of a Masai community’s response to the 9-11 attacks. Masai culture teaches that “to heal a sorrowing heart, you must give something dear to your own” and so the tribe gives the great gift of 14 cows to the U.S. people. The most moving thing about this tale is that it is a true story.
Dinotrux? There should be a law against writing a children’s book that combines dinosaurs and heavy construction equipment! But the reviewer liked this obvious boy-bait.
Scott Westerfield (author of Uglies, amongst other very popular titles) most recently wrote Leviathan, and I most recently finished reading this very gripping ‘steampunk’ novel for young adults.
In this first of (at least) a trilogy, British “Darwinists” battle with the industrial-warfare obsessed Prussian “Clankers” for the loyalty of the true heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War One era Europe. It’s a fast paced adventure yarn with tremendous inventiveness- the description of the hulking kerosene-powered war machines of the Clankers versus the genetically reimagined monsters of the British Empire (including the Leviathan of the title, an airship constructed from crossing helium-excreting microorganisms with a blue whale). The moral dualism is fairly trite for an adult reader, I suppose, but it doesn’t get in the way of cross-dressing imposters in his Majesty’s Navy, treacherous Bosnian assassins, and aerial artillery in the form of metallic bat excrement. It’s a good choice for younger advanced readers as well- a challenging, long read but without the more sophisticated themes of a lot of young adult books.
There was also a special feature on Young Adult titles- it looks like the vampiric domination of the best-seller lists in this demographic may be about to be ended- by fairies, no less. It’s not suprising that books with themes centered on transformation, alienation, and forbidden love are clicking with these readers (sounds familiarly like a certain Edward Cullen et. al.) Melissa Marr’s Fragile Eternity and Aprilynne Pike’s Wings amongst several others, receive very positive reviews.
Written on: November 6th, 2009 in Blog Posts
Too funny to ignore- this week’s edition of Parks and Recreation points out why we are a force to be feared:
“[The library is] the most diabolical, ruthless, bunch of bureaucrats I’ve ever seen…They’re like a biker gang, but instead of shotguns and crystal meth they use political savvy…and shushing.”
“The library is the worst group of people ever assembled in history…They’re mean, conniving, and rude…and extremely well read, which makes them very dangerous.”[Caution: the clip below contains ever-so-slightly salty language at about the 0:30 second mark. And do not drink milk while viewing the clip- you may laugh so hard that it comes out of your nose.]
Written on: November 5th, 2009 in Q & A's
A: Yes! All you need is a Delaware Library Card and PIN to read complete issues of Consumer Reports online. It’s even searchable!
Click here and enter your library card number and PIN. Select the date you want from the right to read that month’s issue.
Below are directions on how to search for other magazines and journals:
Now, you are in the EBSCO database. From here, you can read specific issues by clicking the dates to the right. Or, you can select “search within this publication” and then when a new screen appears click search again and advanced search to search for articles and reviews within all issues of the magazine.
Although lots of our magazines and journals are full-text, not all of them are.
Thanks for using Ask a Librarian Delaware. Have a question? Ask us!
Written on: November 5th, 2009 in Blog Posts
Here are some of the most popular subject search terms used in the Delaware Library Catalog during October:
Meanwhile, over at Delaware Tech., returning students were interested in the following:
Written on: November 5th, 2009 in Blog Posts
Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin was recently voted Amazon.com’s best book of 2009- Here’s some more of Amazon’s top 10 titles:
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Crazy for the Storm: a Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollstead
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson
Stitches by David Small (graphic novel)
Here are some selections from the Publishers Weekly top ten:
Written on: November 4th, 2009 in Tech
Here’s a quick guide to custom search options, in response to a question from a library user who wanted to know how to search for videos and DVDs specifically in the Delaware Library Catalog
You can limit your search to a particular library from the main search page, but custom search is very handy if you are interested in a specific item media or type, or want to search within a genre or age group.
(Note: this posting was updated on October 13th, 2010) This month’s Young Adult Library Services, a periodical for library staff who work with young adult and teen users, includes an outstanding article featuring anti-bullying books, magazines, and online resources.
While Delaware schools feature a number of outstanding anti-bullying programs, along with a statutory requirement for school districts to implement, it’s still a national problem that has a terrible impact on children- the NEA estimates that 160,000 children skip school each day to avoid bullying, and it’s the main safety concern of girls aged 8-17, according to a 2003 Harris Poll. For Gay and Lesbian teens, the vast majority suffer some form of bullying on a regular basis, and most do not feel safe at school.
The Delaware Bullying Prevention Association recommends these titles to teachers and parents
UPDATE: The ebook publisher Ebrary recently made these selected titles freely available at their Cyberbullying Information Center, some of which are also available in print through your library
The YALSA article recommends the following novels and short story collections for young adult readers:
One final selection for pre-school and early grades is the multiple award-winning One by Kathryn Otoshi, which mixes fundamental numeracy concepts with a message about difference and acceptance.
The article also recommends a number of websites which provide anti-bullying information to various audiences, including www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org, a kid-oriented site which includes links for parents and professionals; www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.org, which is maintained by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of Health and Human Services, is also aimed at kids and provides worksheets, comics, and animated webisodes dealing with the topic. Online resources on cyberbullying include www.cyberbullying.us and www.stopcyberbullying.org. Finally, the George Washington University’s Hamilton Fish Institute is a clearing house for all kinds of information, research and resources on all aspects of school violence including bullying.
UPDATE: In the aftermath of the Tyler Clemente tragedy there has been a renewed focus on the impact of bullying on gay teens. SafeSchools.org produced this factsheet on the issue (opens in a new window), as did the advocacy group Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). You can view the GLSEN resource page at this link.
Finally, it’s crucial to remind the victims of anti-gay bias: for most, it does get better: Video Testimonials on YouTube