DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

January 2008

Jan 31 2008

Relax with a … game!

by Jimmy L

Most computer games give me a headache, but there is one website that I love for its soothing, relaxing Flash games: orisinal.com!  Even though these webgames are exciting and challenging, they are also visually appealing and comforting.  Make sure you turn your speakers on.   I haven’t played all of these yet, but it seems like they are all kid-friendly and may be a nice break from the other violent games they may be playing.  And one last warning: some of these can be very addictive!

Orisinal1 Orisinal3
Orisinal4

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Jan 30 2008

Recent Winners for Kids and Teens!

by Heather O

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Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd wins the Newbery Medal honoring the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.

This year’s winner for the Caldecott Medal for the best picture book is: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards recognizing African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults this year were: Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Elijah of Buxton, and Ashley Bryan, who illustrated and wrote Let It Shine.

Margarita Engle, author of The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, and Yuyi Morales, illustrator of Los Gatos Black on Halloween, are the respective winners of the Pura Belpré Award honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books.

The National Book Award in the category for young people’s literature was awarded to Sherman Alexie for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

The Green Earth Book Award sponsored by the Newton Marasco Foundation, honors fiction books published in America that promote environmental activism or inspire appreciation for the environment. This year the O.R. Melling book for young adults The Light Bearer’s Daughter.

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Jan 29 2008

Community Art Bulletin Board

by Ev S

Did you know that the Chamblee Library has a Community Art Bulletin Board?  Local schools, day cares, and other children’s organizations can have their artwork on display for about a month.  If you would like to know more, please call the Chamblee library at (770) 396-1380.

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The other day my husband (a high school lit teacher and fellow book nerd) asked me, “How can I find out about author appearances in Atlanta?”  I turned to him, shocked, since I forward him an email about author appearances at least once a month or so.  “More than the ones I already send you?” I asked.  “Yeah,” he said, “I mean, I wish there was somewhere to find a list of everything coming up all over Atlanta.”

It occurred to me that others might be wondering the same thing.  So I’ve compiled a list of different places you can go to find author events in the local area.  The list is in no particular order, and feel free to add a comment suggesting something I might have missed.

Access Atlanta
Access Atlanta is available in print and online from AJC. The site has an events search box–simply scroll down to “book events” and click “GO” for events all over the metro Atlanta area.
http://www.accessatlanta.com/

Creative Loafing
Click on Atlanta to enter the local site.  There’s an event search but it’s kind of clunky for book and author searches, since it mainly focuses on film, art, and music events.  Try going farther down the page to the “Do It This Week” tab, and click on “All Events.”  This brings up a more simplified search box to the left of the page where you can try searching for keywords like “book,” “books,” or “authors.”
http://www.creativeloafing.com/

Georgia Center for the Book
The Georgia Center for the Book presents nearly 100 author events each year bringing some of the finest writers from around the nation and the state for free public programs.  Dekalb County Public Library serves as the host location for GCB.
http://www.georgiacenterforthebook.org/auth.htm

The Literacy Center and The Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
(formerly known as the Center for Southern Literature)
The Literary Center (formerly known as the Center for Southern Literature) preserves the legacy of Margaret Mitchell through weekly literary events, creative writing classes for adults and youth, and the facilitation of Poetry Out Loud in Georgia.
http://www.gwtw.org/events.html

Emory University
http://www.events.emory.edu/

Agnes Scott College
http://www.agnesscott.edu/eventsCalendar.aspx

Oglethorpe University
http://www.oglethorpe.edu/news/

Borders Books & Music
Check store inventory and upcoming events at up to six of your favorite Borders stores when you create a “My Stores” list. Enter your city, state, or zip in the form to get started.  I tried this myself and it seems to work best from this page, rather than from “Events” or “Store Locator.”
http://www.bordersstores.com/mystores/mystores.jsp

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Jan 25 2008

Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog

by Amanda L

What is a blog?

I didn’t really know what a blog was
until we began creating one for DCPL. Our director talked about what a blog is
in our first blog entry.  Since first hearing about
blogs, I have been doing some exploring and experimenting with them. There are
several sites that allow you to create your own blog for free. Some of the most
popular sites are bloggerwordpress, and livejournal.  I
currently write two blogs for my own personal enjoyment. One is a way to share
my life with my distant family and friends. The second is documenting my family
stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. You can add
pictures and videos to share with your audience. This allows many family members
to feel like they are participating in your life in a more dynamic way. If you
are interested in learning how to blog, the library has several books. Here is
a sampling: Blogging for Dummies, The Corporate Blogging Book, and We blog: publishing online with weblogs.

I have started finding blogs out there to keep up with the library
profession and other types of blogs to help me perform my current job better. I
found many of my first blogs by word of mouth and then most bloggers will list
their favorite blogs on their sites. Recently, I have been using an online tool
called bloglines.com to keep up with the numerous blogs I am interested in. This
site allows you to catch new blog entries without typing the address of each
blog. The site also allows you to search for other blogs using keywords.  So if
you are interested in blogs concerning Atlanta you can search for either entries about Atlanta or blogs with a direct focus on Atlanta..
Some of my favorite library related blogs are Librarycrunch, David Lee King, and Tame The Web.  Other blogs that I
check out frequently are Coaching Tip: The Leadership blog, The Practice of Leadership, and Metroblogging Atlanta.

Are you blogging? What are some of your favorite blogs (beside DCPLive of
course!)?

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Jan 24 2008

Persepolis Comes to the Big Screen

by Jimmy L

Persepolis
Two of the best books I checked out of the library last year were the graphic novels/memoirs Persepolis and its sequel Persepolis 2: the story of a return by Marjane Satrapi, so when I found out recently that the books have been made into a movie, I was thrilled! Marjane is 9 years old in the story, and we see her grow up in war torn Iran. She goes through many of the same trials that people all over the world go through when growing up, including rebelliousness and finding an identity. But she has the added challenge of trying to lead a normal life while living through the Islamic Revolution. Marjane has a unique visual style, and both graphic novels are a pleasure to read and flip through. Instead of using actors, the movie is in the style of the novels, with more original drawings and animations by Marjane.

With all the things happening over in the Middle East these days, it’s nice to see something from the perspective of someone who is from that area. I was attracted to the many hardships and differences she had growing up, but even more so by how similar our experiences were, even though we grew up worlds apart! It’s a very moving and personal story that I would recommend wholeheartedly to everyone.

The movie will open at the Landmark Theater this Friday, January 25th. You can also find out more information about the movie at the official Persepolis page.

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Jan 22 2008

Step Into the Atlanta Time Machine

by Chris S

Sears_2_1950_2While doing some snooping on the web for old Atlanta buildings, I stumbled across the Atlanta Time Machine.  This amazing site has many many now and then photos that let you see just how much our fair city (or metro area, if you prefer) has changed over the years.  There are pictures of houses, commercial buildings and streets, with the “now” photos each taken from the same point of view for easy comparisons.  There are also pop culture references, including pages on the Dukes of Hazzard (filmed in Atlanta and Covington) and Smokey and the Bandit.  If you’re an Atlanta native (a rare animal nowdays), there are pages on Officer Don and the Popeye Club, a WSB-TV show that ran from the mid-1950s through the 60s and many other ways down memory lane.  Enjoy yourself, but if you’re looking at this at work – beware!  Once you start looking you won’t be able to stop!  :-)

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Mlk1 All DeKalb County Public Library branches will be closed on Monday, January 21 in observance of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.

You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.

You don’t have to have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.

You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve.

You don’t have to know Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity” to serve.

You don’t have to know the Second Theory of Thermal Dynamics in Physics to serve.

You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love, and you can be that servant.

Excerpted from “The Drum Major Instinct”, a sermon by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968. Available on CD and print in A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Courtesy of The King Center.

Catalog Links:

Biographies and other books about Dr. King

Books by Dr. King

Library Databases (remote access requires valid DCPL card and PIN):

Biography Resource Center

The African American Experience

Related Links:

The King Center

The Nobel Peace Prize

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

The King Papers

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Jan 20 2008

GoodReads.Com

by Laura the Librarian

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“Now what was that book so-and-so told me about?”

“What was that book I meant to read?”

“Have I read this already?”

Does this sound familiar to you?  It does to me. Over the years (and especially since I became a librarian), I have made several attempts to track my reading adventures with little to no success.  I have started book “journals” in both pen and pencil; created spreadsheets; set up databases; and even created my own old-school mini card catalog (OK, so I only actually created three cards before I got frustrated and abandoned the project). The point is that I have never been able to track my reading in an effective manner, nor in a way that enabled me to share my reads with anyone else.

Enter Goodreads.com

With their stated goal of making “reading fun again”, Goodreads.com is a great way to not only track what you have read, are reading, and want to read; but a way to share it with friends too. Organize your books by virtual shelves you create; rate and review your books; join reading groups; and comment too. At a loss for what to read? Check out a friend’s list and find inspiration.

Lots of fun to navigate, a great way to remember what you’ve read, and for librarians (or anyone) a great readers’ advisory tool.

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Logo from Goodreads.com website

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One of the best all-in-one websites I’ve used is www.gacollege411.org .

Screenshot Of gacollege411.org

This website is specific to Georgia colleges and universities, but there are other partner sites, which I’ll mention again a bit later.

I recommend beginning with the Getting Started tab on the far left. It won’t take long to look through these links, and the information on how to use the site is very helpful.

The multi-colored tabs along the top take you directly to specific sections. Here are some of the highlights:

  • College Entrance Requirements are in the Student Planner section.
  • In the Career Info section, you can match your interests to different college majors using the career key feature, or match jobs to the kind of major each requires using the Student Career Matching Assistant.
  • There are other ways to match schools and your interests in the Comparative View and Matching Assistant sections under the GA Colleges tab. You can even take virtual tours.
  • Under Applications & Transcripts you’ll find a feature that uses information you store in the website to fill out your applications to Georgia colleges and universities.

Notice those links on the left under Getting Started; here you’ll find sections on College Test Prep and the HOPE Scholarship. I like the design of this site and the helpful ways in which they give you more than one place to find the information that you need.

Also interested in colleges and universities outside of Georgia? If you click on the Georgia Colleges tab, there’s a link to sites for schools outside the state. If you save information using that neat application feature, it remains usable in the other sites.

You might also visit CollegeSource Online, which is bookmarked on our Databases page. Here you’ll find an online version of college catalogs, so that you can search from one source rather than going to several different college or university websites. To see this database, go to http://www.dekalblibrary.org/search/cdrom.ssi and click on the link for CollegeSource Online under the Tests and Careers menu.

Also, feel free to visit your closest library branch for some great print reference resources.

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