Thursday, December 8, 2011

Patron Appreciation Post

You know you're a patron at the Powassan Library when...
1) You don't have to tell the staff your name when you check out your books. We already know who you are.
2) You find yourself among a group of other patrons outside the front door at 10:15 am. We don't open until 10:30.
3) You race to the computer lab because you want to use Ahab. That computer is already in use.
4) You receive a call from the library saying you have a book in, and you can't remember reserving it. You take it anyway, and you love it. The truth is that you didn't reserve it. we knew you would love it, and took the liberty of reserving it for you. You're welcome.
5) You hear of a book being made into a movie and vow to read the book before seeing the movie. It turns out the rest of the community had the same idea, and you find yourself at the bottom of the list. (See #6)
6) You want to read a book and the library a) doesn't have the book or b) has it but the reserve list is quite long. Instead of making you wait for the title, a staff member lends you his or her own personal copy.
7) You've found yourself driving to the library on a Wednesday only to get there and remember we're closed on Wednesdays. Don't be embarrassed. I work here, and I've done it too.
8) You own and/or have bought someone else a pair of slippers from the library and you absolutely love them.
9) You've shown up at the library with a stash of toonies to pay off some of your fines. You're grateful that the maximum fine is $2.00.
10) You bring your children to the library and they protest that they really don't want to leave because they're having so much fun playing with the touch-screen computer and animals.
11) You receive a call that a book you were waiting for has finally arrived!... ten minutes after you've left the library.

All jokes aside, thank you for being a valued patron of the Powassan Library! We enjoy seeing each and every one of you during your library visits.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Gift Ideas!

Christmas Gift list for the Book Lover

Ah, yes. It’s November 26th. That means only 29 days left until Christmas, and even fewer days to shop for the people on my Christmas list. I know a lot of people find Christmas shopping to be quite stressful, myself included. As your friendly neighbourhood library blogger, I’ve decided to give you, my reader, a special Christmas gift. You even get it early! My gift to you: a list of gift suggestions for the book lover on your list.

1) An eReader -
This is the top item on my Christmas list. (Hint, hint! ... - just kidding) I would recommend reading reviews online to see which device would be the best gift for the intended recipient. If the recipient is not so tech savvy, you'll probably want to select a more simplistic model, but if you feel they'd really take advantage of all the available features, something in colour with Wi-Fi might be best. If you're feeling quite generous, I'm almost positive that anyone would enjoy an Apple iPad!
View eReaders

2) Giftcard -
If you know that they love to read, but you're not positive what exactly they like to read, you absolutely can't go wrong with a gift card. Consider purchasing a gift card for your local gift store, or even get one for an online store such as Amazon or Chapters. This way, you you're giving the book lover in your life something they'll surely enjoy.
Amazon Website
Chapters Website

3) Something You Recommend -
Some of the best books I've read have been recommended to me from my friends and family. If you've read something and loved it, pick up a new copy and pass it on to the intended recipient. Make sure to mention that you've already read it, and loved it. This makes the gift a lot more personal. I'm actually planning on giving the first book in the Hunger Games series to my best friend, as I loved the series and I think she will too! Eat, Pray, Love is another book I have in mind for a close friend. I know she watched the movie multiple times, but I found the book was way better than the movie and I think she'll agree!

4) Bookmark
This gift sounds kind of obvious and simplistic, but I've discovered some bookmarks that are really cool. They're made from metal, and shaped like a hook. The hook end hangs out of the book with some kind of bead or charm at the end. You can make this gift personal too by picking a charm that you feel the recipient will enjoy. You can find these in stores, or on craft sites such as Etsy. The link below will direct you to Etsy.
Etsy Hook Bookmarks

5) Bookends
If your beloved reader has a large book collection, bookends would likely be a greatly appreciated. If you're handly with tools and a paintbrush, you might be able to create your own bookends. If you're not (like me!), these can also be ordered online. Again, you can customize them to fit the interests of the recipient! Below is another link to Etsy, this time I've searched for Bookends.
Etsy Bookends

Hopefully this list of items takes some of the stress out of your Christmas shopping!
Happy Holidays from the Powassan Library

Saturday, November 26, 2011

House of Night Series

Recently one of my co-workers here at the library recommended that I check out the House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. I’d heard her suggest this Young Adult series to many of our young patrons, so I decided to give it a shot. I’m now on the second book in the series and I’m incredibly anxious to read the rest. If you enjoy Young Adult books or know someone who does, the House of Night series is a must read.
The series opens up with the book Marked in which high school student, Zoey Redbird, is selected to become the latest vampyre fledgling to attend the local vampyre academy, the House of Night. The authors manage to put their own unique twist on what life of a vampire (or in this case vampyre) entails. From what I can tell so far, the series will follow Zoey as she learns more about vampyre life, tries to resist her growing lust for blood, and develops into an adult vampyre.

This book is written from Zoey’s perspective in the typical language a sixteen-year-old girl would use. While this might not be enjoyable for everyone, this was one aspect of the book that actually drew me in, as it makes the series so easy to follow. As I said earlier, I'm really anxious to see which direction this series will take!

Happy Reading! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to School!

Today marks the second last day of August, signifying that the summer months are regrettably behind us. The nights are getting cooler, and the days are getting shorter (although the library will be open longer hours). Soon enough, the library will be vacant of children, teens, and students during the daytime hours as they spend their days in class. If you are a parent or friend of a student heading back to school, or if you, like me, are a student yourself, make sure to keep some of the following library services in mind as you take on another year of school.

The CAP Centre – It is nearly impossible to succeed in school without access to a computer. Instructors expect papers to be typed submissions, and ask for research to be completed online. We know that some people don’t have access to computers, or don’t have the privilege of access to high-speed Internet, and so we provide public access computers equipped with the net and recent versions Microsoft Word. Although there is a cost for prints, accessing the computers is free.

Wireless Internet -- If you prefer to use your own computer or device to access the Internet, you can connect to our Hotspot at a cost of $2.00/hr or $10.00/8hrs. The library is generally a quiet place to study and the environment is perfect for getting work done!

Databases – The library subscribes to numerous databases that will prove useful to any student over the course of the school year. Check out the databases that are currently featured on the home page of our website to see just how easy it is to complete research quickly and easily. If your school does has no access or limited access to databases, these sources of information would be highly beneficial to you. Databases can be accessed free of cost by anyone with a library card. Some of these databases can even be used from your home computer. I know I will personally be using these databases in the upcoming school year!

Borrowing/Inter-library Loans/PALS – If you are required to read a certain text and don't wish to purchase it, have a look around our shelves to see if it's available here for borrowing. Books are loaned for three weeks and may be renewed depending if the book is in high demand. If we do not have the book on our own shelves, we can attempt to order it from a different library.

Another service that might be useful, especially for those studying by correspondence, is the PALS partnership that the Powassan & District Library shares with the Nipissing/Canadore's Learning Library. If you have a library card here, you can get a card for the Learning Library free of cost and borrow any of their plentiful materials.

These are just a few of our resources that are beneficial to students. To see what else is available, visit the library and have a look around!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Expand Your Library, Expand Your World

Last fall, the library board announced their plans to expand the library. At that time, many residents of the area and library patrons visited the library asking staff questions about the project, expressing their opinions, and making donations. As the population of Powassan and area tends to expand during the summer months, with cottagers and summer residents, questions regarding the project are being raised once again.

If you're not a library regular, you might question the need of an expansion. Yes, the library seems like it is an appropriate size for a small community. However, the Powassan & District Union Public Library serves more than just the Municipality of Powassan. It is also the library for residents of Chisholm,  Laurier, Restoule, and Nipissing.

If you take a closer look around the premises, you'll begin to notice how materials are cramped together on the shelves making it quite difficult to remove books and put them back. Take into account that we're constantly expanding our collection, and the shelf space seems even more limited.

 If you're here on a busier day, especially during the summer months, you'll notice that the library lacks room for people to sit and read, whether it be a newspaper or a novel. You'll see that patrons with laptops who wish to use our wireless Internet with their laptops often have nowhere to sit. And during the school year, students seeking a quiet place to tackle assignments and finish homework have few places to sit and do so.

I haven't even mentioned the staff work space yet. Imagine three people trying to complete seperate tasks in that area. We practically have to dance around each other trying to get things done.

Ah, yes, spend some time in the library and you'll definitely see an expansion is needed. As soon as possible.

With that being said, another question comes to mind -- When is this all happening?! Well, obviously, we need the money to make it happen first. We've done some fundraising with proceeds going to the addition, and a fundraising blitz is expected to take place this fall. We've received donations (and for that, we're so grateful) that will help speed up the process a little bit. Once we've raised a portion of the money needed, we'll begin applying for grants to assist us with the project. And once that giant step has been completed, the planning and building stages will commence. It's safe to say that completion is years away, however the sooner we garner the funds, the better.

The library has changed so much since its last major structural change in 1982. We now offer services that would have seemed impossible for a library to offer at that time, and I believe our building should change based on the fact that we do have so many things to offer. Statistics will easily demonstrate that membership is constantly increasing, and so we're serving a growing number of people. Circulation of the large (and increasing) number of materials we do have is growing as well, and we're busier than ever! The library plays a vital role in the community, and an expansion will only acknowledge this.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reading Challenge Update E,

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Recently, I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'd already seen the movie, and to be honest, I thought it was just okay. Definitely a good story, but the movie proceeded much too slowly to hold my interest. I saw that Eat, Pray, Love was back on the shelves, finally. (Books made into movies tend to have tons of reserves on them, before and after the movie comes out) I thought I'd check it out, and see if I liked it...

I absolutely loved it, and I found that it was ten times better than the movie! The book delivered the emotions felt by Gilbert more effectively. I really felt like I could understand what exactly she was going through. I was definitely inspired by the guts Gilbert displayed traveling alone to Italy, India and Indonesia. It was inspiring to see how she was able to build a new life for herself and find enlightenment.

I've recommended this book to many of my friends! This is book is now on my "read again" list.

Bossypants by Tina Fey
I've already covered the B for my challenge... But I just finished this book, so I feel the need to blog about it as well!

Tina Fey is a comedian from Saturday Night Live, who also is a producer of 30 Rock. Bossypants is her autobiography. As you can probaby guess from her credentials, this book was hilarious. However, as I was not all that familiar with Fey's career, it didn't do much for me, besides a few laughs.

If you are familiar with Tina Fey, I'd recommend reading this as it gives insight to her career decisions and life stories. If not, I'd probably pass... There was a lot of things I couldn't grasp just because I haven't followed Fey's career.

Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi
This is another autobiography, by another actress, this time the author is Portia de Rossi. In this book, de Rossi wrote about her career and it's implications on her personal life. Though I had no idea who Portia de Rossi was, other than knowing she is Ellen DeGeneres' wife, I was still able to enjoy this book.

The main reason why this different from Bossypants, in the sense that I didn't have to know de Rossi's entire career was because this book explored how her eating disorder and sexuality influenced her career. It was super interesting to see how she dealt with everyday life as a result of this eating disorder. Someone without an eating disorder can't really understand it's implications, yet this book opened that door for me.

Though this book isn't at the top of my "read again" list, I did somewhat enjoy it. I'd give this one a 6/10.

That's it for my Reading Challenge Updates for now. I've read a lot of books in the last little while (a result of the sunny weather!) so expect some updates soon! Hope everyone is having a safe and happy summer!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yet Another Surprise at the Library...

I get laughed at by friends and family whenever they sit in my car. Why? Because they have to be careful not to knock the fishing rod stowed between the seats and they lose valuable leg room to my stuffed tackle bag. Yup, fishing is definitely one of my favourite summer past times. I'm lucky enough to have inherited most of my dad's cast-off and no longer needed tackle and rods, however I know not everyone has an outdoorsman with a surplus of fishing gear in their family.

For those of you without fishing gear, we've got you covered.

How, you may ask, could a library possibly help someone without fishing gear? The answer is simple. We'll lend you fishing gear just as easier as we lend out books, and movies! You can borrow a fishing rod already equipped with line, and a tackle box as well. The tackle box contains bobbers (a lot of bobbers), leaders, various jigs and hooks, sinkers, and a couple of lures. Besides the cost of your fishing licence, you can fish for free!

If you have grand kids in town for their summer vacation, are cottaging in the area, or just want to test your luck with the fish in the Hydro Pond, come check out or rods and tackle. With every rod and tackle box lent out, I personally guarantee you a memorable day... however, I can't guarantee you'll catch the big one!

You never know what you'll find when you set foot in the library!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Top 5 Friday - Databases

We subscribe to a variety of databases and resources, all of which are made available to our patrons through our website. Because there are so many different resources, people often overlook them and miss out on the information these databases can offer. These are the Top 5 Databases/Resources in my opinion in no particular order. Enjoy!

1) Overdrive - Overdrive provides thousands of titles, in audio book and ebook format - which can be lent to any patron for a 7 or 14 day period... all free of cost for you. This is awesome, since books in these formats can be costly. All you have to do is find a book you wish to borrow, sign it out, and download it to your computer or device. If you haven't checked out Overdrive yet, and think it might be something you're interested in, call the library to sign up for our class next Thursday, June 16th at 6:30 pm.

2) Pebble Go - This service is better suited for a younger audience. I use it all the time in my Cybercamps because it is a fun and easy way for kids to learn new things about animals and science. I find that they actually like using this website to learn because of the colourful, child-friendly layout. It is so easy to use, and gives great information. Check it out! Don't forget to enter the username and password, which are listed beneath the icon on our reference database page.

3) Novelist - Novelist is one of the newer services we offer. It gives you a summary, and other information on pretty much any novel you can think of. I like Novelist best because it gives recommendations based on which books or authors you enjoy. It always helps me out when I have a nine-year-old boy come up to me and ask me to find him something cool to read. Novelist also tells you the next book in a series, which can always be handy. If you're a book lover, take advantage of this resource.

4) Ancestry - I, for one, wish I knew more about my ancestry. I plan on delving into a search for my roots... eventually. If you're currently engrossed in a search to find out who your great-great-grandparents or uncover your family history, try Ancestry. It's super easy to use, and the information you can discover on this site is amazing. If you're going to try this out, I suggest coming into the library on a Thursday night at the end of the month when Mary Heasman can help you with your research and show you the tips and tricks of Ancestry.

5) Chilton - I recently became a car owner and I'm sure this database will come in handy at some point in the future. It contains repair and maintenance instructions for all types of vehicles. I think the best thing about this particular resource is that it is readily available on our website and much easier than hunting down a repair manual elsewhere!

This has been another Top 5 Friday. Tune in next week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Top 5 Computer Tips

Introducing.... (Drum Roll!) .... Top Five Friday!

I haven't blogged at all this month, so in an attempt to get this blog back up to speed, I've come up with Top Five Friday!!! Every Friday, I'll compose a "Top Five" list of basically anything. This week, I've put together a list of my Top 5 Computer Maintenance Tips... things that I believe every computer user should do to take care of their computer.

1) Have virus protection.
I'll bet you've heard someone's tragic tale about how a virus infected their computer and wiped out everything, or made it painfully slow. It is sad that a perfectly good computer can fall victim to a virus, however, there are precautions that can help prevent this from happening. The most obvious precaution is virus protection!
There are many different virus protection programs: Norton, McAffee, AVG, and Avast are just a few of them. If you don't feel like spending money on virus protection, download Avast. It's what I use on my laptop and I haven't had any problems with it so far, in fact, it's identified a few threats on my computer. Don't leave your computer unprotected!

2) Don't run unneccessary programs.
You could say I'm a multi-tasker. When I'm at home, I run a lot of programs on my computer.
 I'll have Windows Live Messenger, and Skype on just in case someone wants to chat with me. Realistically, it's usually just my mom sending me a message from the next room. I usually have iTunes on, since I find it hard to function without listening to music. Of course, I have my Facebook open in my Internet browser, but I also have Twitter, Hotmail, Tumblr, and other random websites open on my computer just in case. A lot of the time, I'll have Microsoft Word opened as well, in case I want to make note of something. Of course, I also have Avast running in the system tray. 
I know that this is what my computer can handle, while still running at top speed, but if yours doesn't, close some of the programs running! Especially pay attention to what is in your system tray, which is located at the bottom right hand corner of your screen. The programs located here are continuously running, and you may not even know it. For a while, my computer was running slowly because I had Frostwire open in my system tray without even realizing it. Check out what you've got running and exit what you don't need to have open!

3) Don't download unnecessary programs.
About four years ago, before I had my own computer, my family shared one desktop computer, and that thing was so slow! We each had our own user account, which probably accounted for some of the problem, however, there was a bigger factor slowing us down.
My mom likes to play computer games. Zuma, Word Whomp, Hearts, Solitaire... she plays it all. Turns out she was downloading trials of tons of games, so she didn't have to play them online. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but she didn't uninstall the programs after she'd used the thirty day trial period. There were lots of trials on the computer, and they all wanted to load as soon as we turned on the computer.
The moral of my story is don't download programs that you don't need!  You'll fill your computer up with stuff that only works for thirty days, and then only takes up space. I'm not saying don't download anything, of course you want to enjoy your computer, I'm only suggesting to fill it with programs you enjoy and will use!

4) Start, Shutdown.
If you've never used a computer before, you might treat the power button like the power button on  a TV. 
Yes, you turn the computer on with the button... It's the only way to get it to turn on. However, you should never, never, never shut down the computer with the button. Yes, it sounds a little counter-intuitive but avoiding this will save your files and your computer.
If you interrupt your computer while it's in the middle of doing something, you'll likely lose whatever it is that you're doing. You could also harm the hard drive, and that just doesn't turn out well for anybody. Go to Start, then Shutdown!

5) Clear it out.
Okay, let's just make this clear -- I'm not suggesting you wipe everything off of your computer. I am suggesting that you wipe out the stuff that is not doing anything! And no, I'm not restating my second and third points.
When you delete something off your computer, it goes to the recycle bin. If you've never emptied your recycle bin, do it now! Though you've deleted your files, they're still being held in your recycle bin and are taking up space on your computer, so by wiping those idle files, you're freeing up more space. Space is good!
The same goes for your Internet browser. It keeps track of every site you visit, and holds it in the history. It also keeps cookies, little pieces of websites, that will allow them to load faster next time. Delete your history once in a while to get rid of these pieces that are saved on your computer. Make sure you're not clearing off stuff you want though... and if you accidentally do, I will not be held accountable! Haha.

Hopefully, these tips help you out with your computer, and if they don't stay tuned for next Top 5 Friday... you might learn something useful then!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Room - Emma Donoghue !

Confession: I judge a book by it's cover.

I mean, it's not like I'm opposed to reading tattered paperbacks, or books with super boring, predictable covers, it's just when I see a pretty book, I pick it up. I noticed this about myself years ago, when I find myself constantly selecting the same books off the shelf during every library visit.  Emma Donoghue's Room definitely has a "pretty" cover, and I admit this "pretty"cover is the whole reason I picked up the book in the first place. After devouring this novel in a single day, (shh.. I was on vacation) I was actually a little bit thankful for my sometimes shallow view on book covers. Donoghue's novel definitely lived up to it's cover.

Room is told from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, who was born into a 12x12 shed, which is the entire world as he knows it. The reader sees the world as innocently as Jack does, and feels the emotions of the naive boy as he ventures into a world he has never known. Jack as the narrator is extremely powerful, and even moving. The development of Jack, and the changes in his understanding are what makes the novel so compelling.

I'll admit, the book was somewhat difficult for me to get into. I had a hard time acknowledging that Jack, an intelligent child, referred to a wardrobe as Wardrobe, as though it were a living entity, but that's just me being picky. Once I moved past the fact that Jack was addressing nouns as pronouns, I could appreciate how such a thing contributed to the authentic feeling of the novel. I was literally pulled into Jack's world, Room, and was entirely pleased with how the novel progressed.

I'm not going to provide any more details about Room; you'll have to get a copy of the book and find out what happens! If you've read this novel, feel free to leave a comment below. What did you think of it?


Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well everyone, this will be my last blog post, as my time with the Powassan Library is up. Through these last 6 months, I have met many wonderful people, made friends, shared laughs, and learned. Who else could say that they could paint on windows, make slime, and blow up pop at work?

The Powassan and District Library has helped me grow. I've learned a lot working here, much of which will help me in my future ventures. Not many people can say that they've worked on websites, blogged, and learned a bunch of new technologies while at work. I've gotten to attend meetings (and eaten lots of homemade goodies while at them), assemble computers, make posters, and teach cybercamps.

After working in security for the past two years, the library was definitely a huge change of scenery. But I didn't know that working here would make me so happy. Who knew that this little library; with its (cramped) rows of books (some of which are older than me) could have so much character?! I was not prepared for this little library to steal a piece of my heart. But it has. And it's hard to believe that this will be the last day that I will come in and crack jokes with Alfie, chat with Helen, or laugh with Kristy and Debbie. The library can't get rid of me, even if it wanted to (Seriously.. Doctors are still working on a cure). With that being said; this isn't goodbye, it's see ya later! (Literally, because I live a  block away.. and I have books checked out, so I have to bring them back).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kids, Knowing, and Creativity

Following Jordan's blog post on Three Beautiful Things, I've starting following the TBT blog daily and have also decided to do a library edition.

1. Kids
- When I started school again in January, I took over the Cybercamp on Saturday's. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with Cybercamp: it's 1 hour of learning and fun for kids (and me!). For the most part, I have the regular kid, who I've gotten to know, and look forward to hanging out with on Saturday's. Every week his dad brings him in, and tells me how much fun the boy is having and how great of a job I'm doing. I won't lie, this makes me feel great. It makes everything worthwhile.

2. Knowing
- Part of my job is helping people on the computer. We have a fair amount of patrons that aren't as tech saavy as the majority of our staff here, and it always feels good when I have helped someone after they've stared at the computer screen for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out a solution to their issue. It makes it even better when I don't have a clue as to what I'm doing either, and we solve the issue together! Yeah teamwork! But it's always a beautiful thing to know the answers to things. Who doesn't love feeling smart? (the glasses help the smart look too hehe)

3. My favourite part of the job that has grown since starting, is allowing my creativity to blossom. I get to be creative when it comes to writing this blog, making my cybercamp, doing posters, and especially painting the windows. I have come to love making excuses to paint on the windows.

There you have it, Lisa's 3 Beautiful Things. What are your favourite beautiful library things?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Three Beautiful (Library) Things

Recently, I discovered and was inpired to create a Three Beautiful Things, Library edition.

1.  Meeting new people in the community.

Powassan is a small town, and although you would think that everybody knows everybody, this isn't always the case. The library is a great place to meet new people, and in my beginner computer classes, the same group of people spends five weeks together working together to develop new skills. Recently, I had my last class with a wonderful group of ladies. As they left, they thanked me and expressed how much they love coming here and getting out of the house. This made me smile. This was a beautiful part of my day.

2. Seeing familiar faces.

As all libraries do, the Powassan library has it's fair share of regulars -- people who are in as the library opens to use the computers, restock with new books to read or read the paper. It's not just meeting new people that makes our library enjoyable, it's seeing the same people everyday. They're the ones that help create the sense of community that is so present in our library, and they're the ones we can count on to brighten our day.

3. Presents. (Okay, packages)

Everyday is Christmas at the library. Kind of. Once in a while, we get these lovely boxes and padded envelopes delivered to us, and inside are unopened books - sometimes just one, sometimes ten or more. I love processing these books and seeing what's new. I imagine what kinds of people will read each title, and how it might help or comfort someone. I also enjoy that new book smell!

Sometimes, there's a lot of negativity around. Today, you've likely noticed that an earthquake and a tsunami brutally hit Japan, and other tsunamis are expected to occur. You'll notice that the headlines constantly spotlight people who are unfortunately struggling. I think it's great to focus on the Three Beautiful (Library) Things around you and be grateful for the little things.

March Break Events!

When I was in elementary school, I used to count down the days until March Break. For me, March Break represented a whole week where I could wake up and begin playing as early as possible, and try and stay up late as long as I could. March Break meant building awesome snow forts because I could stay outside longer, and sipping hot chocolate when I came inside to warm up! I have really fond memories of March Break, as I'm sure most people do.

We're offering a couple programs at the library over the March Break because we want all of the children in the area to have the most memorable March Break possible!

For the elementary school audience (ages 6-12), we're offering a Pirate March Break Camp. Cool, right? Kids will do a whole bunch of pirate crafts that will almost make them real life pirates. They will play pirate games and find out more about pirates on the computer. They'll even get to go on a real treasure hunt (within the walls of the library). Even better, this March Break camp is totally free. It takes place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the March Break from 11:00-12:00 pm. If you, or someone you know, wants to sign up, just give us a call at the library as we want to have an idea of how many aspiring pirates will be here!

Of course we want to cater to our teen audience as well, who are also on March Break. Tuesday evening will be devoted to teens, as Jadie McDonnell will be at the library to share her experiences of living in Japan and travelling throughout Asia! If you're a teen who wants to travel, or just learn more about other countries and cultures, this event is for you. Again, this event is free. Also, refreshments will be provided... yum! Drop by at 6:30 on March 15th and check it out.

We hope everyone has an excellent, safe March Break and hope to see all the area kids around the library! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Be Single

So, I'm on my March Break/Reading week this week and have been reading a lot! I just finished the book How To Be Single, which I remember putting the bar code on it in the fall and thinking it sounded interesting. So, with that being said... it was a good book! The author worked for the show, Sex and the City, which is my FAVOURITE show, so the book has a certain SATC feel to it with the girl bonding. I read reviews of this book on Goodreads (which I've become a member of after reading Jordan's blog) and not a lot of them were good, some said it made them feel bad they were single and should get married right away. Give me a break! Julie Jenson, a single thirty-eight-year old book publicist, is on her way to work when she gets a hysterical phone call from her friend Georgia. Reeling from her husband's announcement that he is leaving her for a samba teacher, Georgia convinces a reluctant Julie to organize a fun girls'' night out with all their single friends to remind her why it is so much fun not to be tied down. But the night, which starts with steaks and martinis and ends with a trip to the hospital, becomes a wake-up call for Julie. Because none of her friends seems to be having much fun right now: Alice, a former legal aid attorney, has recently quit her job to start dating for a living; Serena is so busy becoming a fully realized person that she can't find time to look for a mate; and Ruby, a curvy and compassionate woman, has been mourning the death of her cat for months. So, fed up with the dysfunction and disappointments of being single in Manhattan, Julie sets off to find out how women around the world are dealing with this dreaded phenomenon. From Paris to Rio to Sydney, Bali, Beijing, Mumbai, and Reykjavk, Julie falls in love, gets her heart broken, sees the world, and learns more than she ever dreamed possible. Back in New York, her friends are grappling with their own issues -- bad blind dates, loveless engagements, custody battles, and single motherhood. Through their journeys, all these women fight to redefine their vision of love, happiness, and a fulfilled life. It's a great feel good, chick lit book!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Me and Mr. Darcy

Well, I've finished another book: Me and Mr. Darcy. An older (not that old, just 'weathered' from circulation) book that has caught my eye a few times while re-shelving books. Since I had nothing esle on the go, I decided to bring it home since I had nothing else on my plate.

I devoured this book in two days. Nothing else existed. It's typical chick lit, with the storyline about a woman who manages a book store and whose first love is Mr. Darcy (from Pride and Prejudice). She upbruptly books a trip to England on a Jane Austin tour where she is the only person under the age of 50 other than an obnoxious journalist who she hears saying rude things about her. The book then does a Kate and Leopold (see movie) and she somehow goes back in time and meets Mr. Darcy, and throughout the remainder of the book she goes back and forth between times. I'm not going to reveal the rest because I'll ruin it, but it's a nice romantic book that leaves you smiling at the end of it. It's not the ending you would have expected at first, but it's still very satisfying.. in a chick lit, melt the heart kinda way.

Open the Paper, Read a Book

For those of you who don't read the North Bay Nugget, they recently introduced a project to promote reading within families. The project is called North Bay Reads Together; and every Saturday the Nugget will publish chapters from the book called "Three on Three" in section B12.

In theory I believe this is an excellent idea for the local paper to do, but I have an issue with the book. I looked it up on Chapters and it doesn't seem like the kind of book that a lot of kids these days would be interested in. First off, it was published 12 years ago and the trends in novels have obviously changed as the years go by (as does everything else). Other than that, I think that's a great idea to promote literacy in the community, and bringing families closer together by providing an activity to do together on a Saturday.
Perhaps a better choice of book next time?!


Two major parts of working in a library are:
a) Keeping up with books, and
b) Keeping up with technology.

As new books are always being released and technology is constantly changing, this can be a bit of a challenge. I've just found a website that actually combines both books and technology. keeps an online list of what you've read, as well as what you're currently reading. It even records what you want to read in the future. This works out great for me because I constantly pick up books on the shelves and think, I've really got to read that someday, and then of course I forget about the book and never end up reading it.

I have 27 books "on my bookshelf"... so far. 19 of these are favourites that I've already read. Why keep track of books that you've already read? Well, on Goodreads, you can share your bookshelf with friends. The next time one of my friends asks me for a book recommendation, I'll send them to my Goodreads page, where they can see what I've read and what I've rated it. It'll definitely save me a lot of time!

Ì have one book, Shopoholic & Sister, on my currently reading shelf. As I keep reading, I have the option to put in periodical reviews and update other users of Goodreads on my progress so far.

That leaves seven more books, all of which are in my to-read pile. I'm going on vacation soon, and this list will help me decide what books I want to fill my suit case with. As soon as I start reading any one of these books, I'll move it right onto my currently reading bookshelf, and of course when I finish it, I'll rate it, maybe leave a review and move it to the read shelf.

You can follow me on Goodreads at Let me know what you think of the site!

Friday, March 4, 2011


In my last blog, I mentioned that I was currently reading the Shopoholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. Unfortunately, I read books fairly quick, and I know that with only a few books left in the series, it's not going to last me too much longer. So what books should I read next?
I could always turn to the well-read staff of the library for suggestions, or I could refer to one of the new databases here at the library... NoveList. NoveList is the perfect database for all of you who can never have enough books. It's composed of Recommended Reads Lists for readers of all ages who devour books of all genres. So, let's say I'm looking for a book for myself. I'll open up NoveList from the Reader's Advisory page on the website. Next, I'll identify at the left hand side of the page that I'm an adult. I enjoy Fiction, so I'm going to select Fiction A-Z. Now, I'm presented with a list of subgenres from 9/11 and After to Urban Lit. I'm going to go with Chick Lit, because as I've stated before this is what I like to read when I just want to relax.
So, the results are in... and I'm given a whole list of titles that look really appealing to me, which I will probably read... eventually.
Another interesting feature of NoveList is that you can find out what book comes next in a series. At the library, patrons are constantly asking, What comes next?! Now, you can find out by referring to this database. If you locate Series at the top of the screen, you'll be given a list of a zillion different series'. It might take about sixteen days to look through the complete list, so I'd suggest just searching for the name of the series that you're interested in. I've just searched for the Stephanie Plum series, written by Janet Evanovich and I've been given a list of the titles one through sixteen, as well as a review for each of the titles.
This website is extremely user-friendly and super useful for our patrons. Whether you're looking for the next book in a series, looking for a reading suggestion, or trying to find a book for your child (in NoveList K-8) NoveList is sure to help you out! I know I'll be using it in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Step Forward, and Two Steps Back

So, after reading Jordan's blog post on 'The Future of eBooks', I've decided to do what I do best, rant.

As of March 7, Harper Collins is enstating a 26-limit checkout for its eBooks. So after a book, in its digital format, is checked out 26 times a library is going to have to purchase a new license to get another "copy." The lending period for eBooks on Overdrive gives you a maximum of 2 weeks, so you're saying after a year that digital copy should be thrown out? Libraries that manage on a very small budget would laugh in your face on that one. Look at us, recently I've seen books being discarded that are as old as me (23), or books that I read as a kid. We don't throw out books unless we absolutetly have to. Pages could be falling out, the cover could be ripped, it could be stained; yet beggers can't be choosers right? We repair that book until it is no longer possible. Small libraries, or libraries functioning on a small budget; have to pinch pennies, plan carefully in order to get new books or technologies, apply for grants, you name it. Hey, I'm even paid for by a grant! We have to make sacrifices, but it's all for the benefit of our community. I full understand, and support the boycotting of Harper Collins. Libaries took a huge leap foward with the unveiling of this eBook technology, now only to take a few steps back with this outrageous limit. Yes, a paper book has a life cycle, but it certainly is not 26 checkouts.

To play devils advocate, I can sympathize with authors as well, because it IS a loss of income, yet it's not as if the whole world knows about Overdrive (yet). People, (like me) still purchase paper books, or buy a digital copy for my eReader. Not everyone enjoys borrowing a book and having to give it back when they're done; many people still own novels. Espcially with Overdrive eBooks, you have a maximum of two weeks, there is no renewing it, that's your deadline. So yes, it may be a miniscule loss of income, but if you look at how libraries have thrived from this new technology, doesn't promoting literacy seem more valueable? It's not like authors make minimum wage. I've seen the enormous benefit our library has had from Overdrive announcing it's free eBooks,  and I believe that Harper Collins and its agents should walk a day in our shoes to truly understand the outrage in the library community. 

Shopoholic Takes Manhattan

I'm starting to become a liiiittle bit worried. I decided almost two months ago that I would read 26 books by the end of the year, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. Thing is, the last three books I've read have all started with the letter S. Whoops. Looks like I have a lot of reading to do!

The book I've just finished is Shopoholic Takes Manhattan, which crosses off the book beginning with the letter S on my list. This book is part of Sophie Kinsella's light, comedic Shopoholic series. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who was looking for an intellectual, serious read... because this book is the epitome of Chick Lit.

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It made me laugh out loud several times, especially why reading the correspondence between the main character, Becky Bloomwood, and her bank manager. The excuses Becky comes up with in order to sustain her shopping habits, while absolutely ridiculous, are hillarious. I also enjoyed living vicariously through Becky, hearing about her purchases and expeditions through legendary shops like Sak's Fifth Avenue and Barney's (without being saddled with her massive credit card debt!)

I've just started to read the third book in the series, Shopoholic Ties the Knot, and I am pleased to say that it is equally funny as Shopoholic Takes Manhattan.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Change in the Future of eBooks?!

Our staff has been very excited over the last little while to be able to provide our patrons with free eBooks via Overdrive. Basically this is how Overdrive works (for a more detailed explanation, check out our third blog post):
  • You log in with your library card number from the library or home.
  • You pick a book you want to check out in either eBook or audiobook format.
  • You transfer that book to your favourite device, whether it be an iPod, or Sony Reader.
This sounds like a flawless service with over 40 000 titles available in digital format, completely free to anyone with a library card. However, Overdrive was recently faced with a major road block, when Harper Collins announced that they were going to put a limit on the amount of times a book can be checked out, allowing only 26 circulations per title before the book disappears, and needs to be purchased again.

Harper Collins is imposing this 26 check out rule because they believe that since printed books have a certain lifespan that this should be true for the digital title as well. I concede that printed books do eventually need to be replaced... but the idea that a book is discarded and re-purchased after just 26 uses is ridiculous.

One recently popular book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has circulated just short of fifty times, and is in perfectly acceptable condition -- we won't be replacing our paperback copy of this book any time soon. By Harper Collins' standards, though, we should be purchasing our third copy of this book in the near future, discarding two other adequate copies. We have books that have circulated far more than fifty times as well, and still remain on the shelves. So why only 26 checkouts?

This topic, being addressed as Harper Collins Overdrive or #hcod on Twitter, threatens the future of eBooks in libraries. If we are expected to replace a book as frequently as Harper Collins demands, it will be much more cost-efficient to stay with the traditional paper book format, where books can circulate until we deem they are unfit to be checked out.

Another option, which has been embraced by many libraries throughout North America, is to boycott titles by Harper Collins. (You can find more information here: ) Yes, this would be much more cost effective and while this course of action may cause Harper Collins to annul their previous decision, what if it doesn't? And what if other contributors to Overdrive follow suit? eBooks in small libraries really won't be a feasible option.

Our library has not taken any official action in regards to HCOD. We are interested in finding out what you think of the issue. If you would like to assert a position and let us know what you think, please comment below!

If you're looking for more information on this issue, check out the links below:

This is a collection of other blogs written by librarians and non-librarians in regards to HCOD:

Library Journal's report:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bye Bye, Borders....?

Again, I have turned to my Facebook friends for blog posts. My friend Matt (mentioned in earlier posts), replied with "How the Borders book chain is going out of business in the U.S. and what that means for the printed book?"

Here is what I come back with: Upon reading the news articles online; Borders has been failing for years. It's been a slow and painful process, and it's one of those "Finally!" moments. The book store chain filed for bankruptcy protection and would close 1/3 of it's store in the United States and try and get back on it's feet. I say Good Luck. There are way too many competitors out there for the company to recoup the hundreds of millions it's lost in revenue. It's LARGE competitors are:  Barnes and Noble, Walmart, and Costco. It's electronic book competitors are Apple, and Amazon. Borders has been sluggish and unable to keep up with the pack in the rapidly changing industry.

So my answer to Matt is that with Borders closing, it does not affect the printed book in a big way. There are plenty of other places to get printed books, or eBooks for that matter.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reading Challenge! --S--

Don't judge me. I'm one of those Jersey Shore Fans. I had nothing else to watch in my free time and I'm thinking, "What's this Jersey Shore everyone is watching?" I downloaded the first season and instantly got hooked. It's just as drama packed as The Hills (which sadly no longer runs). Yes, I know Jersey Shore is completely stupid... but I can't get enough of it. These people are hilarious! I love watching other people's drama!

So, onto the blog topic. I just finished 'Snooki's' book, A Shore Thing. I recommend this book to all JS fans. It's basically what Lauren Conrad did when she left The Hills. It's "fiction", yet oddly resembles alot of what happened in the show! How odd.... (I wasn't fooled). A Shore Thing does have a lot more fiction in it, and if you watch JS then you'll see resemblances every so often. I enjoyed the book..couldn't put it down (even though I was suppose to help my fiancee build our bathroom downstairs..oops).
Giovanna "Gia" Spumanti and her cousin Isabella "Bella" Rizzoli are going to have the sexiest summer ever. While they couldn't be more different—pint-size Gia [Snooki?] is a carefree, outspoken party girl and Bella is a tall, slender athlete [JWoww?] who always holds her tongue—for the next month they're ready to pouf up their hair, put on their stilettos, and soak up all that Seaside Heights, New Jersey, has to offer: hot guidos, cool clubs, and lots of tequila. So far, Gia's summer is on fire. Between nearly burning down their rented bungalow, inventing the popular "tan-tags" at the Tantastic Salon where she works, and rescuing a shark on the beach, she becomes a local celebrity overnight. Luckily, she meets the perfect guy to help her keep the flames under control. Firefighter Frank Rossi is exactly her type: big, tan, and Italian. But is he tough enough to handle Gia when things really heat up? Bella is more than ready for some fun in the sun. Finally free of her bonehead ex-boyfriend, she left home in Brooklyn with one goal in mind: hooking up with a sexy gorilla for a no-strings-attached summer fling. In no time, she lands a job leading "Beat Up the Beat" [PaulyD?]dance classes at a local gym, and is scooped up by Beemer-driving, preppy Bender Newberry. Only problem: Bella can't get her romantic and ripped boss Tony "Trouble" Troublino [Sitch?] out of her head. He's relationship material. Suddenly, Bella's not sure what she wants. The cousins realize that for every friend they make on the boardwalk, there are also rivals, slummers, and frenemies who will do anything to ruin their summer—and try their relationship. Before July ends, the bonds of family and friendship will be stretched to the breaking point. Will the haters prevail, or will Gia and Bella find love at the Shore?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reading Challenge!--R--

Since I've accomplished everything else on my list tonight, I've decided to update Jordan's Reading Challenge blog! Last week I finished the book "The Radley's" by Matt Haig. I remember stamping and barcoding this book months ago and thinking I wanted to read it, but I completely forgot about it.

I really enjoyed this book. It's kind of a British version of Twilight. But it's a lot less...teen love garbage, and more dramatic. The Radleys, though vampiric in nature, are strictly suburbanites. Peter Radley is the town doctor. His wife, Helen, belongs to the local book club and hosts dinner parties. They have neighbours and a mortgage. The kids go to high school, though they are picked on for being weird. Haig has added some nice touches as to how the vampires manage their condition: They wear a lot of sunscreen, they avoid Italian food due to a garlic “allergy” and, most important, they are “abstainers.” In other words, they don’t drink human blood. Yet they do eat a great deal of rare red meat. Of course, the status quo is altered when the teenage daughter decides to become a vegan, which sets of an exciting chain of events. I won't go further into detail, because I'll ruin the book.

If you like the IDEA of Twilight, but not all the teen mushy stuff, I recommend this read. Think of it as a blend of Twilight, and Nip/Tuck (not the surgery aspect of it... the dramatic storyline of it).

And that covers the R portion of the reading challenge! Next!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Challenge #40

Ten Guilty Pleasures- Books

Some of these choices are indeed something I probably wouldn't share with people; normally. Since I work at a library, I've made this into guilty pleasures in regards to books. It only makes sense.

1.) Twilight Saga: Ahhh teenage love. It's a beautiful thing. I'm not ashamed or embarassed to admit to owning these books. I know a lot of people; ages varying, male and female, who have read these books--and loved them. And then read them all at least once more. I was skeptical to read them at first, and I held off for a while (because I'm extremely stubborn); but I eventually gave in. I devoured the first book. I was hooked. It introduces this beautifully written, teenage love. It reminded me of my own high school love. In a way, I didn't want to give that feeling up, so I literally spent a week reading them..non-stop. And I'm not the only one!

2.) Nicholas Sparks novels: Who doesn't love a love story? Nicholas Sparks novels overwhelm you with romance. Yet, he writes about every kind of love; from family to romantic. The books contains situations and characters that people can relate to. He will always be a favourite of mine.

3.) Jodi Picoult novels: Her books involve love, controversial issues, religion, and law. I originally started reading her novels by picking up My Sister's Keeper, and loved it. I have found that every book has a large law aspect in it, as well as some sort of controversial issue, and of course; love. She's like my female Nicholas Sparks; but add my love of law to the mix as well.

4.) Biography/Memoirs: I have read Dog the Bounty Hunter's biography because I LOVE his show, but it's actually a very insightful book. You learn about his life, his jail time and his family. It makes you think twice about making fun of his mullet and his leather vest, because he's led an amazing life. And he's awesome! I wish I were one of his MANY children, because I would love to be working with him. I'm sure I could pull off a leather vest.....
Another couple of my favourite memoires (that you would probably just briefly glance at in the book store) is that of Cupcake Brown; and Kerry Cohen. Don't just glance over them, they're amazing and insightful.

5.) Books that make you cry they're so funny: Anything written by Chelsea Handler. She's a comedian; clearly it will not disappoint. I've laughed so much, my husband will come upstairs from the basement and ask what is going on; because I sound like a lunatic, laughing alone. Also, if you don't offend easily, read Tucker Max. Two books written purely about his sexual (usually way above the legal intoxication level) escapades.

6.) Books that teach you stuff: Dan Brown books (Davinci Code and Angels and Demons). It's great that they're fiction books but with true facts in them (I got the books with the pictures in them too, which makes it better). Who doesn't love learning?!

7.) Teen books: It's slightly embarassing to admit that I'm a 23 year old and I still read teen books. BUT, I did start reading the series when I was indeed a teenager. The Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging is hilarious. I will continue to buy these books until she stops writing them.

8.) Reading books on my phone. I love my Kobo application. I can't always fit a book into my purse (even though it's really big and could probably fit my dog, it's always full--of what, I don't know) and it's very convenient.

9.) E.B. White books: Classic chilren's books that will always remain on my shelf and in my heart. Charlotte's Web, Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little will be books that I pass on to my children.

10.) Even though I own 2 eReaders and an iPhone; buying books (with paper) just for the feel and smell of a read book.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Killjoy and A Bend in the Road

It’s a relatively quiet day at the library today, (although I’m sure a crowd of people will storm in now just because I wrote that) so I’m taking this rare silence as an opportunity to write the first book blog for the blogging challenge. I posted this challenge in January, and since then I’ve read two books. One of the stipulations of my challenge was, that upon completion of a book, bloggers should write about it. I guess I should be the one to set an example, so I’m going to fill you in on what I thought about Killjoy by Julie Garwood and A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

Killjoy – Julie Garwood

This book was a re-read for me, although it’s been a couple years since I read it last. I love the feeling of re-reading books especially when you don’t remember all the events and the final outcome, but you just know it’s a good book! Killjoy is the third book in a series by Julie Garwood, and although I haven’t read the first two yet, I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything when I read it.

I love how creepy this book is! That might sound weird in a way, but the spooky, unpredictable story line Garwood builds is fantastic. It’s amazing how she was able to come up with a lot of the events in this book. Her characters are super memorable too, which is why I’ve started reading the fourth book in this series. If you love a creepy and shocking thriller, read this book. I love it, and honestly, I’m excited to re-read it a couple years in the future and experience the anticipation that this novel creates all over again.

*The Powassan Library has this book, along with some others in the series.

A Bend in the Road – Nicholas Sparks

I finally got around to reading this book, which I received for Christmas. Although it’s been sitting on my shelves for a short period of time, I think this fills the criteria of a book that’s been sitting on my shelf unread as mentioned in the details of the challenge.

This story was good, but definitely not my favourite of Nicholas Sparks’ novels. While the story was exciting, I felt as though parts of it were irrelevant to the final outcome of the book. If you’re not a Nicholas Sparks fan already, don’t venture into his world of overwhelming romance with this novel.

*The Powassan Library has this book, with a copy in large print as well.

If you’ve read either of these books, leave some comments and let me know whether you agreed with my thoughts or totally disagree!

Challenge Accepted… and Completed!

#59 Twitter is Too Simple – Twitter is Just Right

This post is in response to the Blog Challenge (which you will find two posts below). I’ve decided to tackle #59: Twitter is Too Simple – Twitter is Just Right. That leaves ninety-eight topics for everyone else, including #55: Breaking Down My Favourite Blog where someone can write all about our library blog, and why you love it! I definitely look forward to reading that one!

I picked this topic because I’ve recently had a change in perspective about Twitter. A major change in perspective – as in, I’ve gone from loathing it to using it multiple times daily. I guess I was hesitant to start using Twitter because I’d been devoted and loyal to Facebook for about four years… possibly addicted. Facebook had everything I could possibly want in social networking. I loved the photo sharing, the many ways to communicate and how I could know what my friends and relatives were up to. Twitter didn’t seem to have any of that. There was no chat option, no place to create photo albums… honestly, it just seemed like Twitter was Facebook on a very limited scale.

I probably wouldn’t have even created an account on Twitter, but part of my job here is to provide computer training to those who need it. Twitter is a big thing; you hear about tweeting and twitter not only from friends but also in the news. Of course I’d have to offer a class on Twitter, because people would be interested in it. Cue the Powassan Library’s Twitter registration. At this point, Twitter was just a work thing for me. I tweeted from the library account about library events and such, but didn’t really follow anyone. I guess I still didn’t get the appeal of Twitter. (If you are a Twitter user or think you might become one after my oh-so-inspirational blog post, follow us:

About a month ago, I created a personal Twitter account out of boredom. I followed a couple friends, and a bunch of celebrities who were known for their chronic Twitter use. I downloaded an app for Twitter on my phone. (I have a Palm Pre, and the app is called Tweed for those of you who are interested) Now, I find myself checking my Twitter account almost as often as I check my Facebook. I still use both, but I’ve discovered that on Twitter, my creeping isn’t limited to just family and friends. I follow accounts like awfullibbooks which highlights some of the awful library books discarded from libraries all over. I follow OverDriveLibs, which is a eBook and audiobook service the library subscribes to. Although I’m ashamed to admit it, I am following many of the spotlight loving reality stars that my generation seems to be drawn to. I’m even following northbaynugget where I can get up to the date news updates… cool!

If you’ve tried Twitter and you still feel like it’s too simple, start following some of your favourite celebrities, follow your favourite library (remember, and follow some local business. The more interesting people you’re following, the better your Twitter experience will be! Find out how to share pictures (it’s a little more difficult than on Facebook), and links, and I guarantee you will actually like Twitter.

Happy Tweeting!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Challenge #27

Alright, I'm putting my blog challenge into effect right now. My first topic is #27- How Woman Use Social Media. But I'm changing it slightly. I will be writing about how men AND women use social media... or something along those lines.

While doing research, I came across a few articles that stated that women tend to use social networking tools more than men (57% of Facebook is women), and that women often use social networking tools to make connections and share personal items from their life; whereas men use them as a means to gather information and increase their status. Alright, I'm calling "bologna" on that. I won't disagree about the women, but the men, really?! If by "gathering information" you mean finding out who broke up with who; and by "increasing their status" you actually mean comparing their conquests. Men do NOT use Facebook to gather information; comeon, it's not Google here! You don't go to Facebook to learn about anything other than a person's business.

Even if there isn't much of a difference between men and women when it comes to how they use social media, there is a difference between the age groups and what they are doing. We can all agree that ages 15-24 have the highest and heaviest usage rates, especially when it comes to mobile phones. I'm definetly one of those people. I'll check my Facebook and Twitter anytime...even during class (I know, I know, I should be paying attention; blah blah).

Older people (45+) typically use social networking to keep in touch with family and friends.  I set up Facebook for my grandpa and that's what he uses it for (even though he barely knows how to use it and asks me a million questions about how to do things). But there are a lot of older people who are tech savvy as well (also called Silver Surfers). I have come across videos of seniors who post regular videos onto youtube (Geriatric 1927, and Great Depression Cooking). I think it's fantastic to see that kind of social networking in seniors; considering my grandfather asks me to transfer his digital camera pictures every time I'm over.

Anyhow, back to the original thought; which has changed to how different age groups use social networking for different reasons. That is a textbook example of the Generation Gap: the difference in values and attitudes from one generation to another.  It makes sense that the older people use social media for keeping in touch with people, because it's basically uncomplicated. My generation (X and Y) is consumed by social media; whereas the Veterans (for the most part) are just beginning to step into that massive, unknown world.

Blog Challenge

 Alright, so it's Saturday. I'm sitting here drinking my coffee and waiting for my brain to start functioning, and I'm trying to think of something to blog about; so I start Googling. The Google gods have presented me with a blogger by the name of Chris Brogan and a blog topic of his called 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write. Now my brain is slowly kicking into gear and says "hey, what a great idea, write about this!" So here it is: I'm presenting everyone with a challenge. Since Jordan presented the reading challenge, I'm offering a type of writing challenge; the blog challenge. Starting today, until the end of March (when I finish at the library), I challenge everyone to pick a topic off of the list and blog on it. I present this challenge to the library staff and encourage our readers to participate as well. If you don't have a blog, make one (it's me).

On your marks.

Get set.             


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reading Challenges 2011 - I Challenge You!

Weekly upkeep of a blog, as I've learned, is a difficult task! It's hard to keep things interesting, unique and relevant to the audience. In my search for the next great blog topic, I discovered the multiple "Reading Challenges" online. Avid bloggers from all over have imposed challenges on their blog's followers, and since it's still early in 2011, I've decided to challenge you!

My challenge is a combination of two challenges that I've seen: the A-Z Challenge, and the "Reading from my Shelves" Challenge.

The rules are as follows:

• Read a book with a title that begins with each letter of the alphabet.

• If you have a book that has been sitting on your bookshelf, unread, that book takes priority. For example, I've had The Time Traveler's Wife sitting on my bookshelf for a while, so that would be my book for the letter T.

• If you have a blog -- blog about it! If not, leave us a comment on this blog, and let us know what you read and if you liked it.

• If you read a book you enjoyed, suggest it to someone else!

• You have until the end of December 2011 to complete this challenge... Hopefully you can succeed!

If you choose to sign up for the challenge, leave your name and URL below!

If this challenge does not interest you for whatever reason, a simple search for “2011 Reading Challenges” on Google will provide you with a whole list of other challenges that surely will! Also, check out will help you keep track of books you might be interested in, books you intend to read and books you have already read. Registration is quick and painless!

Best of Luck!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Utlimate Social Climb

Nerd, Bookworm, Dork, Dweeb, Techie, Trekkie, Weirdo. Whatever the choice of word, we all know one. The word and it's meaning has changed over the years; evolved. What we knew to be a nerd in high school is not the nerd we know of today. In high school, nerds are at the bottom of the social food chain; outcasts. Exiled for their superior skills or intellect. Socially rejected. They were the ones who got tripped in the hall and laughed at. They were the same guys that got cheated off of in class, and were spoken to only if it involved homework. Nerds were once portrayed in the media as wearing big thick glasses (probably with tape holding them together), wearing pocket protectors and running around reciting the periodic table. Now, suddenly, they're sexy? I believe two major aspects have fuelled this transformation.

Technology is really important to us. And the people who create it, develop it and know it become more important and are seen more throughout society. Just look at Bill Gates and Steve Jobs: The Ultimate Nerds. The rise and coloassal success of these two is the real life "Revenge of the Nerds." Whose laughing now? The nerds, because they're raking in tons of money using their brains; which they were once teased for. A 4 letter word, and a 6 figure income. Bill Gates was quoted saying "Be nice to nerds, chances are you'll end up working for one."

Television and the media have been exploring the lives of the nerds. The show "Big Bang Theory" has made women look at nerds in a whole new light. They've become attractive to us.  This attraction has grown and spread into the fashion industry (nerd chic) and now everyone loves nerds! Those cliched glasses have become a fashion statement, and cardigans are trendy and not something your grandmother wears. Now it's okay to be attracted to intellectual and smart men, and suddenly librarians are even more sexy (lucky for us who work at the library!)

Since these two aspects is something people see more regularily, we've begun to accept it more and more. We've been conditioned, in a way. Pavlov would be smiling. I'm happy for the nerds! It's the ultimate social climb. Win!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Classic Novels: Defaced or Face-lifted?

I recently reached out to my Facebook friends asking for ideas on blog topics, in which they all let me down; except my super nerdy and incredibly intelligent friend Matt (whom I adore, since he'll be reading this). He sent me some links and offered the idea of modern pop culture changing our perception of classic books.

The links that he sent me were of articles showing the new cover of Emily Bonte's, Wuthering Heights. This new cover looks like it's part of the Twilight Saga and has "Bella and Edward's Favorite Book" on it. Now, I am all for creating a new book cover that will grab someone's attention but this Twilight thing has gotten wwwaaaayyyy out of hand.

The vast majority of people have read the Twilight books (whether they would like to admit it or not). But what does Twilight have to do with Mr.Darcy, Elizabeth Benett, or even Romeo or Juliet? Nothing! It's basically false advertising. Now I'll tell you, one of my favourite movies is Pride and Prejudice(2006) and I'm one of those people who screams "books are always better than movies." I have tried time and time again to read Pride and Prejudice but I never get far. The English always stops me. It's like reading Shakespeare, you have to be able to understand the English. So really, if this classic novel now appeals to the Twilight crazed teens, buying the book probably won't get them far if they can't understand the language it's written in. 

Along with revamped (he he pun intended) book covers, we have also been introduced to (fueled by the Twilight phenomenon, of course)the re-written books of classic novels. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out in 2009, followed by Sense and Sensability and Sea Monsters, Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter. In theory, these books are a good idea; they take away the language barrier of the Old English and add a modern twist that appeals to people. Yet, to play devils advocate; it's lazy writing and kind of an insult to the original author. You wouldn't want to write an epic novel only to have someone just sprinkle some zombies into it and call it their own. Some might say that Bronte or Austin are rolling in their graves at their works of art being defaced.

I also believe that these 'Modern Classics' are a little overkill. It seems like every classic novel has been re-written. Yes, it's so lovely to ride on the coattails of the Twilight phenomenon and milk the idea for all it's worth. But seriously, everything is good in moderation; so stop. I don't want to start seeing Romeo and Juliet turning into vampires and dancing with werewolves while fighting off zombies.

In the end, I sit on the fence with this subject. I believe that the changes made to the classic novels are both defacing them and face-lifting them. Although I personally cannot grasp the language of the classics, doesn't mean I don't respect them. They're classics! You don't mess with the classics!  Yet, if the sales of these books have gone up and people are actually reading them, then that's great! But there's a difference between changing a cover to appeal to people, and re-writing the content of the book and putting your name on the page. But I know that alot of people don't share the same opinion. You decide, let me know. Share your comments.