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

April 2009

Apr 29 2009

Get Outside!

by Nancy M

hopscotchSpring is here, and despite the rain and ridiculous amount of pollen in the air, this is the time to get outside and enjoy the warm days before the onset of the sweltering Georgia summer–unless, of course, you’re allergic to pollen. If you don’t suffer from allergies, then grab the kids, head outside, and play some fun outdoor games. What to play, you ask? I recently came across this website and found it loaded with games that I played as a child. Games like Ghost in the Graveyard, Four Square, TV Tag, Capture the Flag and more are all listed with instructions. If you do suffer from allergies, it’s a fun website to look over and reminisce about those school yard days of yore.

The Library also has books that can help motivate you to get outside:

sidewalkgamesSidewalk Games by Glen Vecchione
runjumphideslidesplashRun, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash: The 200 Best Outdoor Games Ever by Joe Rhatigan

What were your favorite games as a child?

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davincicodeThe long-awaited sequel to The Da Vinci Code will be published on September 15, 2009 with an initial print run of five million copies, which is allegedly the largest initial print run in Random House history.  The book is titled The Lost Symbol (formerly titled The Solomon’s Key), and the plot of the story takes place within a twelve hour period of time.

Five million is a lot, but keep in mind that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had an initial print run of twelve million  in 2007.

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Apr 24 2009

What Would Jane Think?

by Lesley B

janepictIt is a truth universally acknowledged, that readers in possession of 6 novels must be in want of more.

I do wonder how Miss Austen would regard the Jane Austen industry, that growing collection of  books and films and blogs about her life and her in-the-public-domain characters. If you’ve read all the original novels and still have a jones for Jane, you might enjoy some of these additions to the Austen brand:

 

  • Jane Austen as a fictional character

The Jane Austen mystery series by Stephanie Barron: Jane and the unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor is the first book in the series. Jane and her sister, Cassandra, solve murders in Regency England.

Becoming Jane:  a 2007 film with Anne Hathaway that offers a mostly fictional account of Jane’s love affair with a penniless Irish law student.

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James:  There’s very little left of Jane Austen’s personal writing. Her sister burned most of her letters. This novel supposes that she kept a private diary detailing a secret love affair.

  • Continuations and completions

The Mr. & Mrs. Darcy series by Carrie Bebris:   As a newly married couple, the Darcys  must solve the mystery around the misfortunes of Elizabeth’s brother-in-law Charles Bingley and his snooty sister Caroline. First book in the series is Pride and prescience, or, A truth universally acknowledged.

Mr. Knightley’s Diary by Amanda Grange: The novel Emma, retold from Mr. Knightley’s point of view.

In a sort of literary hat trick, Joan Aiken:

1) completes one of Austen’s unfinished works in Emma Watson: the Watsons completed

2) invents a new story for Pride and Prejudice’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Lady Catherine’s Necklace

3) writes a sequel in Jane Fairfax, Jane Austen’s Emma, through another’s eyes.

  • Contemporary retellings

Clueless: The 1995 movie with Alicia Silverstone takes Emma to high school in Beverly Hills

Jane Austen in Scarsdale, or Love, death, and the SATs by Paula Marantz Cohen:  Persuasion in a high school counselor’s office, where a woman must face the man she rejected years ago when his nephew enrolls at her school.

Austenland by Shannon Hale:   Not a retelling of an Austen novel, but the story of a woman with a Mr. Darcy obsession, sent to a kind of  literary resort to experience life as one of Jane’s characters.

Someone should build a real Jane Austen resort. There must be room in Florida next to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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April the 22 is Earth Day and nowadays, more than ever, many of us are looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious. Going Green is the popular phrase for all things earth-friendly and eco-chic but the movement to protect and preserve the environment has been going strong for decades.  Today’s the perfect day to consider ways in which we all can do our part to conserve our earth. At the risk of getting all Leonardo DiCaprio-preachy, I’ll stop here and just highlight some of the Library’s great resources on Earth Day and environmentalism in general.

A Few Books That I like:

Living Like Ed: Actor Ed Begley, Jr. has been at the forefront of environmentalism in Hollywood for over 30 years. In his book, he shares his practical and reasonable tips for being more environmentally sound.  Everything in this book is doable but the lickety-split “navy shower” idea is gonna take some getting used to for me. But the planet is worth the sacrificeI guess (sigh).

Celebrating Earth Day: A Sourcebook of Activities and Experiments: Here’s a good book for any junior ecologist. Author Robert Gardner discusses the impact of enivironmental deterioration and offers insight into how we can perhaps turn the tide. Check it out for great earth-friendly projects and ideas.

Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything:  “Going Green” is a good start, but author Daniel Goleman explores how ecologically unsafe many of our purchases–even the “green” ones–can be. This book encourages consumers to dig deeper and make a greater commitment to environmental consciousness.

There are several other incredible books and resources exploring the environment and the crusade to preserve it.  Even if you don’t drive a hybrid car or make your own compost, there are little, practical and inexpensive things that we all can do.

To quote one of my favorite environmentalists: “The power is yours!”–

(so wise yet so awesome!)

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Apr 20 2009

Got Twins?

by Nolan R

The number of twin and other multiple births is on the rise for various reasons, so the chances that you’ve “got twins” is actually a lot more likely than it was twenty years ago.  This year, the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. (NOMOTC) has declared April the first annual Multiple Birth Awareness Month in an effort to create awareness of the special issues facing families of multiples.

When I found out last fall that I was expecting twins, I assumed it was like any other pregnancy–or as my doctor put it–two for the price of one.  I soon found out how wrong I was!  Twin and multiple pregnancies often carry more risks, including preterm labor, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.  Pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and swelling often increase as well.  Dietary requirements are vastly different for multiples because of the way they gain weight, and may require the expectant mother to follow a 3500+ calorie diet and drink a gallon of water a day!

While your doctor should always be your primary source of information during pregnancy, here are a couple of great books at the Library about expecting and raising twins to supplement your knowledge.

lukeWhen You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy by Dr. Barbara Luke:  Dr. Luke’s recommendations have been shown to result in higher birth weights, fewer complications, and healthier multiples.  Includes recipes and nutritional scalise1supplement suggestions.  Don’t let the dietary requirements scare you! 

Twin Sense:  A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins–from Pregnancy through the First Year by Dagmara Scalise:  Includes topics such as preparing for birth, feeding, bathing, baby-proofing, creating the best sleeping environment, and traveling.

Check out these links if you’d like more info on the increase of multiple births or to learn more facts about multiples.  Another great source of information and support is your local multiples group, and you can find a list here.

And just in case you were wondering–we’re expecting two girls in a few short weeks, twins don’t run in the family, and we don’t have names yet!

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Apr 16 2009

What’s Podcasting?

by Jimmy L

podcastingIf you haven’t noticed yet, the library now has a podcasting page, where you can listen, download, and subscribe to our Musical Bookings podcasts and our Author Talk podcasts.  Podcasts, as you may or may not know, are basically audio (sometimes video) “shows” that are available on the internet.  Think of it like a radio show, except you listen to it on either your computer or portable MP3 device.  In fact, many radio shows are available as podcasts, including NPR’s This American Life, Car Talk, and Fresh Air.

But because anybody with a mic and a computer can make a podcast, you don’t have to be Terry Gross to have a  show on the internet.  This has resulted in podcasts that focus in on many special niche interests that would never survive on normal radio, shows like Imprint (a show dedicated to the Twilight series), GolfBetter (dedicated to golf), and Manic Mommies (about motherhood).

I’m ashamed to admit that before last week, I had barely listened to any podcasts.  I imagined badly produced shows featuring 14 year old hosts talking about World of Warcraft (no offense).  But because I was in charge of helping coordinate the library’s podcasts, I decided to look around and see what was out there already.  Now I’m totally hooked!  There are many good podcasts.  After the jump, I’ll highlight three that I absolutely love.  Then I’ll give you a few technical tips on how to get started.

[read the rest of this post…]

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Apr 15 2009

Calling all Procrastinators!

by Amanda L

Today is D-day for all taxpayers. If you haven’t begun doing your taxes yet, you have until midnight. The Library has all of the basic forms.  Some of the branches may be running out of Georgia forms, but never fear the forms are available online.  For the Federal forms, go to www.irs.gov/formspubs. All of the forms are available to print out and some you can even fill out online. For Georgia state forms, go to https://etax.dor.ga.gov/Individual_Taxes.aspx.  We can also print forms for you at a charge of $.15 a page. The Georgia Department of Revenue has created a document of “Ten Last Minute Filing Tips” that  might be helpful.

Need to know what post offices are staying open late so you can mail those last minute forms? Here are the Post Offices open until midnight: Atlanta Main Post Office, 3900 Crown Road SW ; Boggs Road Postal Store, 1605 Boggs Road, Decatur Main Post Office, 502 West Ponce de Leon Ave.

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Apr 13 2009

You have got to see this!

by Amanda L

How often have you seen a movie and just died to share it with someone? Has a particular movie made such an impact on your life that you have seen it like a million times?  For me, two of my favorite movies of all time (that the Library owns) are My Cousin Vinny and the Sound of Music. Anyone watching these movies with me has to endure my reciting the lines verbatim. The Sound of Music made such an impact on my sister and me that we recreated the movie over and over after seeing it on the big screen.

you-gotta-see-this

Have you ever wondered what some of the stars’ favorite movies are? I found an interesting book in our collection called,  You gotta to see this: more than 100 of Hollywood’s best reveal and discuss their favorite movies. There are several movies mentioned at least two times by the stars. These were On the Waterfront, Claudine, Casablanca , Terms of Endearment and Taxi Driver.

It was interesting to me to read what each star stated as their favorite movie and try to figure out the reason why. Sometimes, at least according to me, it depended on the star’s age. If it was a director who was giving his/her’s favorite picks, it aligned with the Oscar picks.  Some of the more interesting films picked were: Purple Rain, Anchorman, Bad News Bears, Sugar Cane Alley, Blues Brothers, Say Anything and The Bad Sleep Well.

What is your favorite film and why? If you have read or skimmed this book, what did you find interesting about the stars’ picks? Just like our favorite books, I believe that our situation at a particular time and our experiences influence our favorites. What about you?

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Apr 9 2009

Check out the new libraries

by Lesley B

The new Tucker libraryLots of construction going on here at the DeKalb County Public Library and you can get a sneak peek at some of the new facilities by heading over to DCPL’s Flickr page.  Here’s the new Tucker library and the Northlake-Barbara Loar  and Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams libraries are looking good. You can get more information about all the building projects on the New Libraries page.

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Apr 7 2009

Taxes…

by Jnai W

April 15 is next Wednesday and I have to admit I’m still scrambling. I’m still rooting around in my accordion file folders and shoeboxes (it’s sad so, please, no laughing) for my little charity tax deduction card. The charity, to their credit, sent it to me back in January but a lot can happen between January and April.

If you’re anything like me, then all I can say is “tsk tsk tsk”.  We know better, don’t we? We read the blog post about tax preparation at DCPL. We said to ourselves Thank you, Lesley B! I’ll get right on that!…back in February. We promised ourselves we would at least have them done by the end of March, only to be astounded by how quickly March seemed to pass. We even checked out all the Taxes For Dummies books that we could get our hands on…which is why they’re all checked out now (sigh).

Well, I want to tell everyone not to fret because there’s still hope, albeit just a tiny little bit of hope, but it’s hope all the same.

Some branches still have AARP and VITA volunteers kindly offering their tax preparation services. Just make sure you’ve got all of your pertinent information. (Remember that yummy stimulus money you got last year? Bring that info also.)

And of course, we’ve got books on preparing, filing, etc.

Today’s April 7th. We still have 9 days and counting. We can do it!

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