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  Archived Posts From: 2012


Delmarva postcard collection and more

Written on: August 23rd, 2012 in Blog Posts

The Corbit-Calloway Memorial Library in Odessa has a fabulous collection of over 9,000 artifacts chronicling the rich heritage of the Delmarva Peninsula. 

Check out the postcard collection online and see the rest of the collections in person at the library!

According to the library, “Picture postcards, most popular in the first part of the twentieth century, often depicted aspects of American culture that were not captured in any other medium. This collection offers views of Delaware that have changed over time or no longer exist.”


Q: “Do you know of any good, online homework help resources?”

Written on: August 19th, 2012 in Q & A's

Q: “My child is getting ready for back to school and we’d like to know if there are any good online homework resources that you’d recommend?  Does the library offer anything like this?”

Back to school is buzzing!  It’s great that you are thinking ahead to find out about what Delaware Libraries can offer for your family’s upcoming homework needs.  We have a few online resources that are handy, authoritative, and easy to use.

Let’s start with our main Ask a Librarian Delaware portal.  Here we have a ‘Favorite Resources‘ page that is freely accessed and gives a list of librarian-reviewed sites.  You’ll see links that help with homework, such as for math, science, Delaware government, and the correct way to cite for a paper, to health and Delaware legal resources.

Another excellent gateway to tools you or your student may find helpful is through our Delaware Libraries’ site.  Just click on the Delaware Library Catalog link .  You’ll have readers’ advisory assistance at your fingertips, right at the bottom of the catalog’s page, giving recommended reading links for children, teens and adults and top best seller lists, such as the New York Times.

When searching on the catalog for library items, you’ll see relevant recommendations within the search results, too (see the image below).   Just click on the book cover of an item you’re interested in.  This will bring you the details of that item.  Part way down the web page you should see, “Reader Ratings and Reviews” and below that, “You Might Also Like These…”

A third feature on the Delaware Libraries’ site is located through the eMagazines & More tab.  Here are more options for reading recommendations through Novelist, a database that features Lexile ratings, too.  Novelist streamlines searching and like all Delaware libraries’ databases, offers non-commercial, authoritative information.  These are powerful tools to help with biographies, history, science and more.

If you or someone you care for have homework help needs, feel free to ask a Delaware librarian, anytime in person at your local library, or online through our live online  Ask a Librarian Delaware library service at:

We’re glad to be of assistance and online, we’re 247!  Welcome back to school!


Q: “What is the value of a book?”

Written on: August 12th, 2012 in Q & A's

Q: “After my mother passed away, I found a few old books in good condition packed away in her attic.  How do I determine their worth?”

You are right to think that rare and antique books are sometimes of value, and it’s good to check!  There are some great resources online that can help you evaluate whether you’d like to have a professional book appraiser assess them.

The Internet Public Library has a good starting place with a guide called “Finding Used and Rare Books and Their Prices.”  This resource is focused upon finding expert assistance both online (such as through the Smithsonian) and for locating a rare book seller for consultation.

Scouting sale prices from reliable rare and antique booksellers can also help you gain a sense of whether the items you found are of some value.  Of course, there are important determining factors such as the books’ condition, type (hard or soft back), publisher, whether it’s signed or not, the edition, and market value.   Keeping this in mind, you can still obtain a general idea.   Here are three well-known sources:

As commercial book sellers, however, their selling price is not necessarily the value of the book itself.  People grow attached to certain books, from the memories they might bring and to how the stories and information have affected their hearts and minds.  We also learn a lot from each other through the written word and libraries provide an important, free avenue down that literacy and information road!

If you’d like to learn more about rare and antique book values, or if you have other questions, Delaware librarians are very happy to assist you anytime, in person or online through our Ask a Librarian Delaware 247 chat service.   We love helping our Delaware patrons, anytime!




Q: “How many books does the average American read a year?

Written on: August 5th, 2012 in Q & A's

Q: “How many books does the average American read per year, and has this been affected by the rising popularity of ebooks?”

There are some considerations for how to determine the annual number of books read, such as age and whether the books are cracked open for a homework assignment or for pleasure.  And yes, ebooks have changed the way we’re consuming authors’ works, from novels to cookbooks.

In April, 2012, the Pew Internet and American Life Project published a study centered around ebook usage.  This indepth report gave us a lot to think about regarding the shifting trends to incorporate technology with published works and how we’re accessing these…and how often.

The study, called “The Rise of e-Reading”, consists of six parts.  Interestingly, the report states that “Book-reading habits have changed over time. In broad strokes, fewer people are reading books now than in 1978…” (Pew clarifies that the data from years’ past comes from the Gallup polls, and that wording of these polls is sometimes slightly different.)

Pew goes on to state that the average reader of e-books read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months; the average non-e-book consumer read an average of 15.  But again, age and motivation for reading make an overall effect, since, according to the report, Americans 18 and older read on average 17 books each year.

Parents often read to their children many picture and chapter books a year.  Summer reading programs sponsored by most US public libraries also have a positive effect on the number of books a child or teen may read for pleasure, while schools promote reading through class work and incentives throughout the year.

Despite the variables, the rise of ebook reading continues as more Americans opt for an ebook reader or device that can support a digital book format.

Where can all these readers get good recommendations?  Americans tend to ask friends, family members, and neighbors for suggestions, according to Pew, but remember that libraries have  excellent Reader’s Advisory tools!  One you might like to try is through our LibGuides.  Another is through Novelist, a  powerful database that offers suggestions with the click of your mouse.  Next time you are in the mood for something and would like help finding the right book, ask a librarian.

No matter what your question is, Delaware librarians are very happy to assist you anytime, in person or online through our Ask a Librarian Delaware 247 chat service.   We love helping our Delaware patrons find new treasures and information, anytime!