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

February 2008

Feb 29 2008

Words to Live By

by Myguail C

As February 29 nears and the national celebration of Black History Month ends, I feel it only fitting to dedicate this blog post to the power of words from our ancestors, parents and world leaders.  After reading please share with us your favorite quote!

May the following quotes and the input from DeKalb Library users words live from generation to generation.

“Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story.”

“The (word) of a friend makes you cry; the (word) of an enemy makes you laugh.”

“Patience can cook a stone”

“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation).”
– Fanti

“If you understand the beginning well, the end will not trouble you.”

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”
-Maya Angelou

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.”
-Frederick Douglass

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Feb 28 2008



I stumbled upon blackpast.org the other day and found it to be a very useful resource.  In their own words:

“This site is dedicated to providing reference materials to the general
public on six centuries of African American history. It includes an
online encyclopedia of hundreds of famous and lesser known figures in
African America, full text primary documents and major speeches of
black activists and leaders from the 18th Century to the present. There
are also links to hundreds of websites that address the history of
African Americans including major black museums and archival research
centers in the United States and Canada.”

For many more African-American resources and websites, see this post.


Feb 27 2008

Shonen Manga: Not just Ninjas

by Heather O

Marketed for boys and young men; the less flowery looking shonen (shounen) manga has lots ofNaruto_2
action and sometimes humorous plots with the spotlight being on the boys. You can see similarities in many shonen: ninja/samurai, jokes, hot girls with tiny outfits, monsters/mecha/magic- but they really can be quite different and some tackle mature themes and have inner conflict. The girls in shonen are sometimes more than the typical exaggerated proportions damsel-in-distress, but the action and the plot is ulitmately
about guys and can also have lots of male camaraderie: teams, gangs, ninjas, samurai, etc. Goddess_3
The older the audience for the shonen- the more blood, nudity, or serious themes the manga can have. Seinen manga, written for older guys, is often just grouped in with shonen especially outside of Japan. Shonen runs the gamut from the toilet humor of Naruto to the no action or humor suspense thriller Death Note.

The magazine where most shonen makes a debut is Shonen Jump: DCPL has it at the Brookhaven, Chamblee,
Clarkston, Covington, Decatur, Dunwoody, Flat Shoals, Northlake, Salem-Panola,
Stone Mountain, and Tucker branches.

What DCPL has:

Death Note: A god of death drops a notebook into the human world giving a human the power to kill just by writing in a name. The series then follows the very detailed cat and mouse game between the owner of the death note and the people who are trying to figure it all out, and stop it. A rare manga that has almost no action, romance, or humor; it is driven by an eerie psychological and well-paced plot.

Dragon Eye: Only one volume in DCPL so far, but this futuristic vampires-viruses-action tale looks pretty cool so far.

Full Metal Alchemist:
A very cool manga (and anime of course) set in an alternate world full of alchemy, magic, early 20th century era technology and fashion with a bit of a Japanese flavor to it all. This manga has humor, very cool magical fights, and a good deal of horror- both monsters and the monstrous things within humanity.

Modern day girl falls into a feudal Japan complete with demons and
other cool or scary creatures. A lot of action, a little romance and angst, and
a good deal of humor make this a very popular manga and long-running

Naruto: Teen ninjas! Humorous (younger kids will find this really funny), and for boys who want to see fighting and camaraderie.

Samurai Deeper Kyo: A fairly bloody manga about a legendary samurai who must fight demons, gods, and lots of other fighters to get his real body back- which he happens to be sharing with the powerful character who can beat him. With plenty of blood and some nudity, this manga does have a 16+ notice on it.

Ranma 1/2: Cute manga that will appeal to girls too with its romantic aspects. Ranma is cursed to become Ranma
a girl when hit with cold water, but luckily he/she can still fight in any form. Plenty of humor also in this cute series- Ranma’s father is cursed to turn into a panda and for some reason the scenes with him really make me giggle.

——I know less about these shonen below, but we do have them in our libraries.

Set in a magic medieval world, demons who feed on humans are fought and hunted by supernatural female warriors known as Claymores- but for a price. But in this dark fantasy, who and what are the Claymores? I’ve heard good things about this one.

Oh my Goddess!: Seriously, it *is* shonen! An average-Joe college guy accidentally gets his very own goddess- hijinks ensue.

One Piece: This manga is the 3rd highest selling in the history of Shonen Jump, humorous plot about aOnepiece
group of pirates always searching and fighting for the world’s ultimate treasure that will make the captain the pirate king. How can a manga about pirates NOT do well?

Yu-Gi-oh!: Anime, card game, video game; the manga that started it all is about a boy and his friends fighting monsters.


Feb 26 2008

DVD Recommendation: Planet Earth

by Chris S

I’m a big fan of IMAX movies. They use high-resolution video and audio and huge screens to bring the audience into a sensation that what they’re seeing is “more real than real.” IMAX films on video or DVD do not translate very well and, for me anyway, always disappoint on the small screen. The BBC series Planet Earth (not an IMAX film), defies this trend, and left me gasping at the awesome beauty that I didn’t know could come across on a television screen.

In this 5-disc, 14 episode series, these film makers take you to the most remote areas of the world, untouched, and for the most part, unseen, by human beings. From the deepest darkness of the ocean floor to the highest peaks in the world, from the lushest tropical rainforests to the barest deserts, from the Arctic north to the Antarctic south, these film crews braved the harshest of the elements to gather footage. The results are truly breathtaking. Guided by David Attenborough’s warm and grandfatherly narration, and employing film techniques that in some cases were invented for this film project, Planet Earth explores life at its most desperate and its most abundant extremes, and shows film making at its most daring and creative.

Now if we can just get them to show it in IMAX . . .

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Feb 25 2008

Will Work for Travel

by Nolan R

Italy_lpI sometimes say the main reason I work is to be able to afford to travel. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you it doesn’t take much to get me started talking about places I have been and places I want to visit. When my wife and I were planning our first real overseas trip together, I stopped by a bookstore (that was before I was a regular library user) and browsed the shelves that held travel guidebooks. We were headed to Rome, Italy, and I wanted to find information about where to stay, what sights to see, and how to get around the city.

It soon became obvious that all guidebooks are not the same. The book that appealed most to me was Lonely Planet’s Italy. It gave directions on how to get from the airport into the city using the train system. It had good maps that were easy to read. It described hotels in all price ranges and had information about the tourist sights I wanted to visit. That guidebook sold me on Lonely Planet and I still pack their books when I travel outside the States.Honduras_moon

There are many other publishers of travel guidebooks, though. Two of the best known names in the business are Frommer’s and Fodor’s; their appeal is mostly to mainstream travelers. Let’s Go is a series written by college students and aimed at younger travelers, but they can be useful to anyone traveling on a tight budget. The design of Moon Handbooks is so similar to Lonely Planet it is difficult to tell them apart at first glance, and they are both aimed at “independent” travelers. DK puts out a travel series with a lot of pictures but less detail about hotels, transportation, and other travel information. Rough Guides are similar to Lonely Planet and Moon Handbooks in the type of practical information they contain. Rick Steves puts out good guides to European cities and countries. There are many other series, as well.

Thailand_fodorsThe point of all this is to say a good way to plan a trip is to take a look at different guidebooks and decide which ones have the information you need. DeKalb County Public Library has a great collection of travel guidebooks, so you can look at several different ones for the same destination. Each book will have information the others leave out, but you may find you have a real preference for one guidebook or another. A good website that goes into more detail than I have is http://www.howtodothings.com/travel/how-to-select-a-travel-guidebook.

To search the DCPL Catalog for travel books, try a keyword search using the guidebook series name and the name of the country or city you are interested in, such as “Moon Handbook Honduras.”  You can also search simply by series name, such as “Lonely Planet,” to see all the travel titles the Library owns by that publisher.

John S


Feb 21 2008

The Negro Leagues

by Jimmy L

I stumbled upon this webpage the other day and thought it was intriguing.  It’s about the first Negro Leagues in the early 20th century and the impact the first black baseball players had on the history of the sport.  Be sure to listen to the sound clips where different players talk about the subject.

For further research, here are a few books you may wish to check out:

The Kansas City Monarchs : champions of Black baseball by Janet Bruce

Negro league baseball : the rise and ruin of a Black institution by Neil Lanctot

Crossing the line : Black major leaguers, 1947-1959 by Larry Moffi and Jonathan Kronstadt

Blackball superstars : legendary players of the Negro baseball leagues by Ace Collins and John Hillman

Black diamond : the story of the Negro baseball leagues by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack, Jr.

The forgotten players : the story of black baseball in America by Robert Gardner and Dennis Shortelle

The Negro leagues : the story of Black baseball by Jacob Margolies


Feb 20 2008

Advice for the booklorn

by Heather O

Readers Advisory is one of the more fun, but rare services we are called upon to provide but its not always easy. Sometimes you don’t know what you want, I don’t know what you want, or I have never read books on Hungarian basket-weaving so its kinda hard to recommend one.

Other than searching the DCPL catalog by subjects, keywords, or genres, or using Novelist (on Galileo); what else is out there to tempt readers?

Nancy Pearl (now with shushing action!) authored Book Lust and More Book Lust; books about books never sounded so…titillating. Blog2

Due to snappy looking cover, I start leafing through one of our new reference books: Read on– fantasy fiction : reading lists for every taste by Neil Hollands. With the main headings of Story, Character, Setting, Mood and Language; this book is further broken down into a list of suggestions for almost any kind of fantasy book you can think of listing both old and new books. Cute chapter titles like: “Never mind the acne; I’m here to save the world: coming-of-age stories”, make for a fun read in itself.

BookSpot.com is a great directory of links to award winners, movie adaptations, reviews, and best of lists. Another huge award winners listing can be found on BookWire, with links to plenty of obscure and popular awards.

An interesting site for readers of the classics is the Great Books Lists site which compiles information from various bibliographies citing great works of the Western and Eastern canons. For books of the modern/contemporary canons check out the somewhat controversial Modern Library 100 list.

Hard to please? If you like horror you could head over to the MonsterLibrarian’s Domain. Perhaps some Banned Books will attract a certain crowd?  Romance on the menu?- Check out All About Romance or the Romance Reader. For some of the best fantasy and fairy-tale reading lists, check out the Journal of Mythic Arts lists for books for adults, young adults, and non-fiction studies of fantasy and myth.


Feb 19 2008

Playing With Dogs

by Amanda L

One of my passions is my border collie, Seamus. He has been with me
fourteen years.  He has had a variety of jobs over the years as all
border collies must have to keep them out of trouble! His jobs have
varied from watch dog, alarm clock dog (yes, he used to wake me up
everyday to go to work!) and lately referee for the cats.  As  I
prepare  for the coming  of my next  border collie,  I have been
looking around to find things I can do with a younger dog.

There are many types of semi-organized and organized activities for working dogs. The most popular are disc dog (FRISBEE- FRISBEE  is a brand name and registered trademark of WHAM-O, Inc), agility course and the newest contender, flyball. If you would like to see what these activities are, check out Ultimate Dog Challenge on the Animal Planet channel. Atlanta has opportunities to participate in many of the activities seen on the Ultimate Dog Challenge.

Here is a list of activities and websites if you are interested in participating or watching a local event.

During the Atlanta Dogwood Festival each year, there is a canine
competition. The Festival this year is April 4, 5 and 6. Due to the drought, the competition will not be at Piedmont park. Check
the Atlanta Dogwood Festival website to see the latest information on where this
competition will be held. There is a demonstration on Friday, advanced
freestyle on Saturday, and Sunday is the actual competition for prizes
and money.

The Greater Atlanta Disc Dog Club has opportunities to learn
how to participate in disc dog competitions and holds a variety of
competitions throughout the year. On their website you can find out
about the various competitions and open events for beginners as well as
a Frisbee dog training guide.

The Atlanta Kennel Club,  holds agility trials. Their next trial
will be on April 9 -13. If interested the deadline is March 19th.

There is a Flyball Locator Board, if you’re interested in
introducing your dog and you to flyball.

DeKalb County has two dog parks for dogs and their owners. One is
located at Mason Mill Park and the second is at Brook Run Park. Of
course we have books that can help train your dog on a variety of
things. Here is a small sample: The Kohler method of training
tracking dogs
, Working Terriers: management and training,
and Urban
Dog: the ultimate streets smart training guide
I hope this has given you some ideas for things to do with your dog.


Feb 18 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

by Nolan R

Gw1_2 All DeKalb County Public Library branches will be closed on Monday, February 18 in observance of Presidents’ Day.

Presidents’ Day is the common name for the U.S. federal holiday officially designated as Washington’s Birthday. It is celebrated on the third Monday of February. The Washington’s Birthday holiday was originally established to honor the contributions of the first president of the U.S., but it has become commonplace for Americans to celebrate the legacies of all past presidents on this day. (www.usa.gov)


In celebration of Black History Month I have listed nine websites dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans.  They are just a few of my favorites.  History has always been a collection of experiences and knowledge and I realize that the residents of DeKalb County have a plethora of knowledge.

I’d like your input!   So, I’m extending the offer to you, let me know what your favorite African American links are.

Just click on comment and give a brief description of your African American link and share with our community!

Aaexp_2The African American Experience
The African American Experience is an award-winning database featuring full-text access to over 400 volumes of content that give voice to the Black experience from its African origins to the present day.  This is a database the library subscribes to, you will need your card and PIN to access it from home.

African American History
AfricanAmericans.com has over 750 web pages on the African American community. They cover many topics: black history, the civil rights movement, slavery, African American art, to black gospel music. AfricanAmericans.com also includes profiles of famous
African American historical leaders like: Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali,
Frederick Douglass, and current black celebrities: Michael Jordan, Serena
Williams, and many more.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History
The African American History and Culture section of the Encyclopedia Smithsonian

Heritage Quest Online
Heritage Quest online represents the most comprehensive collection of genealogical and local history information. In addition to the entire U.S. federal census, Heritage Quest microform products provide vital statistics, military records, special census schedules, ship passenger lists, and much more.  This is a database the library subscribes to, you will need your card and PIN to access it from home.

African American History at About.Com
About.com offers photographs, quotes, history, and a daily this day in African American History section, inventor information and much, much more.

The History Makers
Includes biographical information and audio and visual clips about African Americans who have influenced history.

The Library of Congress
Displays of items from the collections of the Library of Congress focusing on outstanding African Americans who, through their personal contributions and sacrifices, have helped enhance the origins of multiculturalism.

The Black Inventor
Information on black inventors and their inventions.