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

July 2008

Jul 31 2008

Ready to stop junk mail?

by Laura H


Among the most useful websites I found lately is this one: catalogchoice.org. It is a one-stop site for stopping unwanted catalog mail and help save natural resources. After you sign in, you get to choose which catalogs currently being sent to you should be stopped and which ones to allow in the future. Catalog Choice is a sponsored project of the Ecology Center, a non-profit organization.


Jul 30 2008

Christian Fiction for Kids and Teens

by Ginny C

Christian fiction has changed in the last several years, especially titles written for children and teens. When I was growing up (which was not so very long ago), Christian fiction was, well, boring.  And a little too sweet for my tastes.  Now, there is so much more to choose from, in many different genres.  Realistic fiction has kids and teens facing real problems (broken families, romantic relationships, peer pressure) and hard solutions.  And then there’s fantasy and science-fiction and mysteries and even graphic novels.

The following is a list of a few of the authors and titles that you can find at the library.  On the fantasy front, Ted Dekker, who has written quite a few adult novels, and Wayne Thomas Batson both have series’ written for teens and tweens. 

Frank Peretti writes a mystery series, the first of which is Hangman’s Curse.

Stand alone titles include Perch, Mrs. Sacket’s and Crow’s Nest by Karen Pavlicin and A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B. Cooney.

There are plenty more that I didn’t mention, as well as some adult titles that might appeal to older teens.  Don’t forget to check out your branch’s paperback collection as lots of titles are not published in hardcover.  Some authors to look for are Melody Carlson, Stephanie Perry Moore (the Laurel Shadrach series and the Payton Skyy series), Wendy Lawton and Robin Jones Gunn.

I still haven’t found a really good site that lists authors and titles for this age group, but a quick Google search will find several and I know I can rely on TeensRead.com to highlight a few Christian fiction new releases.  Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite Christian author or title or know of a good website for updates on new titles.

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Jul 29 2008

New Classics

by Heather S

Looking for a good book to read or one to dazzle a love interest?  Try one of the titles listed on Entertainment Weekly’s New Classics: Books.  EW has picked their 100 favorite books published from 1983 to today. How many have you read?  Are any of your favorites on the list?  Are there any that make you scratch your head and wonder how they made the cut?  Let us know!


Jul 28 2008

That All May Read…

by Nolan R

I remember many years ago, my grandmother had this funky looking tape player that played books on cassette.  She would get tapes in the mail, and when she was finished listening to them, she would send them back.  A few days later, more tapes would come.  Many years later, when I started working at the Library, I realized that she must have been signed up for service with what is now called GLASS–the Georgia Library for Accessible Services.  A lot of patrons I talk to have never heard of GLASS and the wonderful (and free!) materials and services they provide, so I’d like to share a few of them with you.

GLASS works with Georgia’s Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and local libraries across the state to provide access to a free national library program from the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (NLS) to eligible persons with a visual or physical disability.  All materials and the playback equipment  are mailed to borrowers and are postage-free to return.  Available materials include books and magazines in Braille and on audio. 

According to Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS), service is available to:

  • Anyone who is unable to read or handle standard printed materials as a result of temporary or permanent visual or physical disability.
  • Persons who are legally blind or cannot see well enough or focus long enough to read standard print, even with glasses.
  • Persons who are unable to hold or turn pages of print books.
  • Persons who are certified by a medical doctor as having a reading disability.
  • An application for service is available here.  A certifying authority needs to sign the application; this person can be a doctor, nurse, therapist, social worker, or a professional librarian in some situations.

    For more information on available materials and links to the online catalog, please visit the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) web page.  You may also contact GLASS directly at 404-756-4619 or by email at glass@georgialibraries.org

    For homebound patrons who are able to read printed material but are unable to visit the Library, DeKalb County Public Library offers a service called Mailbox Books.   This service is provided free of charge to patrons who are unable to visit the library.  Patrons requesting this service must fill out and submit an application certifying that they are homebound.  To apply, call the Mailbox Books Librarian at 404-370-3070 x2280.


    Jul 24 2008

    RSS: What is it?

    by Jimmy L

    As you’ve probably noticed, the library’s website has been completely revamped (and along with it, the look and feel of this here blog!). So for the next few Thursdays, I’ll highlight a new feature of the website that you may not have explored yet.

    You may have heard the term RSS bandied around, but what exactly is it? The term stands for Real Simple Syndication and it’s a great way to keep updated on changes to a website. I found this great video on the web that explains what RSS is in very simple terms:

    There are lots of RSS feeds out there. And the library’s website has many as well. For instance, this very blog has an RSS feed. If you scroll a little down the page on the right hand side, you will see the RSS icon. If you click on it to subscribe (or use your favorite feed reader), then every time we write a new blog post on DCPLive, it will show up in your feed reader!

    The library also has many RSS feeds to help you keep up with our collection. These feeds will update on a regular schedule to reflect what new books we have acquired. You can keep track of different genres (for instance New Mystery Books or New Historical Fiction) so that you can only get updates on what you’re interested in. There is also a feed called Great Reads, No Waiting which consists of adult fiction titles that requires no waiting. You can find a complete list of the library’s RSS feeds here.


    Jul 23 2008

    Breaking Dawn

    by Ginny C

    It’s almost here.  Breaking Dawn, the much anticipated fourth novel in the Twilight saga, will be released on August 2.  Are you as excited as I am?  What do you think will happen?  Will Bella turn into a vampire?  Does Edward convince her to remain human?  What happens with Jacob?  Though I am firmly on Team Edward, I have a soft spot for Jacob and his unrequited love for Bella.

    So what’s your plan for getting your hands on Breaking Dawn?  Have you pre-ordered it?  Are you going to be first in line at the bookstore on August 2?  Or perhaps, like me, you’ve already put a library copy on hold.

    Let us know in the comments what you think will happen and what you hope will happen.  (Please no spoilers if you’ve somehow had access to the book before it’s been published.)  Be sure to check back in a few weeks for another post after we’ve had a chance to read (and re-read) Breaking Dawn.  We’ll share what we liked and didn’t like about it.


    Jul 22 2008

    Artemis Fowl Comes to Decatur

    by Heather S

    Eoin Colfer, the mastermind behind the Artemis Fowl series, will be stopping at the Decatur Library next Tuesday, July 29, at 4:00 pm. All the way from Ireland, Mr. Colfer is touring the United States with his “Fairies, Fiends and Flatulence” tour. The show promises to be hilarious for everyone in the family!

    Mr. Colfer will be signing copies of his newest Artemis Fowl adventure, The Time Paradox, after the show. And, don’t worry if you haven’t already picked up a copy, books will be for sale at the event.

    Thank you to the Georgia Center for the Book and Little Shop of Stories for this awesome opportunity!

    If you want to stay into the evening, the Georgia Center for the Book and Mingei World Arts will be hosting local favorites Carmen Deedy and John McCutcheon at 7:15 pm at the Decatur Library. Their performances will benefit the building of a library in a small Mexican community. It should be an entertaining evening of superb storytelling and folk singing.


    Jul 21 2008

    The Zookeeper’s Wife

    by Nolan R

    As a somewhat lapsed member of a friend’s book discussion group, I vowed this summer to make more of an effort to participate and made a commitment to myself to find more time for reading. For July, they chose The Zookeeper’s Wife, a work of non-fiction by Diane Ackerman, so I checked out my copy and started reading.

    The book is the true story of Jan and Antonina Zabiniski, directors of the Warsaw Zoo in the 1930s. Based on Antonina’s diaries and photographs, and Ackerman’s own research, the book documents their life at the zoo both before and during the invasion of Poland by Germany. When the zoo is heavily damaged by bombings, the remaining animals are shipped off to Germany or killed. Ackerman’s words are both disturbing and poetic as she describes the chaos:

    …terrified howler monkeys and orangutans dashed caterwauling into the trees and bushes, snakes slithered loose, and crocodiles pushed onto their toes and trotted at speed. Bullets ripped open the aviary nets and parrots spiraled upward like Aztec gods and plummeted straight down, other tropicals hid in the shrubs and trees or tried to fly with singed wings…The monkeys and birds, screeching infernally, created an otherworldly chorus backed by a crackling timpani of bullets and bomb blasts. Echoing around the zoo, the tumult surely sounded like ten thousand Furies scratching up from hell to unhinge the world.

    The Zabinskis decide to remain at the zoo and use it to help others. Described in heartbreaking detail, this is Jan and Antonina’s story of love, kindness, and survival, as they provide shelter for three hundred Jews as well as members of the Polish Underground in the zoo, all the while attempting to salvage a childhood for their young son.

    In a starred review, Booklist writes, “Ackerman has written many stellar works, including A Natural History of the Senses (1990) and An Alchemy of Mind (2004), but this is the book she was born to write.”


    Have you ever wished you could read an out of print book from your childhood? Perhaps you’ve been pining for one that you find listed on book seller sites, but their asking price is too steep. Maybe you’re interested in a book that’s just a few years old, but is not in the DCPL collection. Or you might need a copy of an article from a journal owned by colleges and universities that you can’t access/obtain through GALILEO.

    All of these situations are great examples of when your DCPL Interlibrary Loan service can help. Interlibrary Loan is a technical sounding name for a wonderful process of sharing books between library systems that is happening every day in libraries all across the country. Numerous libraries participate in this, since no library (not even the Library of Congress) can own every book or journal that someone desires.

    Neat, you say. So how do you get started?

    You will want to visit your local DCPL branch and ask for an Interlibrary Loan Request form. This sets the whole process in motion. Be sure you let the staff at the desk know at which branch you’d like to pick up your book. It’s also very helpful if you give us as much information as you can about the item, particularly things like author, title, publisher, copyright date and ISBN.

    Here are some important things to remember about Interlibrary Loan:

    1, You will need an unblocked library card to make use of this process.

    2. Reference books, CDs, videos and DVDs, and books published within the last year are not available through ILL.

    3. There is a charge of $3.00 per item, and you may have up to 3 items in process at one time.

    4. Since we’re borrowing from another library system, your items will take a bit longer to get; we recommend you allow for a minimum of two weeks.

    Isn’t it great to know that you can borrow books outside your local library collection? Here’s one more reason to love your local DeKalb County Public Library.


    Jul 16 2008

    Baseball for Kids

    by Ginny C

    The Major League Baseball All-Star game was last night, which means the 2008 baseball season is half finished. That means it’s not too late for those of us who still haven’t made it to Turner Field this year to see the Braves play. It’s never too late, however, to sharpen your baseball skills and improve your game. We have several books and dvds for children and coaches on how to be a better baseball player.

    Here are some good books to get you started. Play Ball Like the Hall of Famers features tips from baseball greats such as George Brett and Johnny Bench. Derek Jeter, Pedro Martinez and others offer suggestions on how to play the game in Play Ball Like the Pros. The Kids’ Baseball Workout gives ideas for how to start and structure a workout to help improve your game.

    For all the parents who coach their kid’s baseball team or those that just want to help their child improve, we have stuff for you, too. Baseball Drills for Young People and Backyard Baseball Drills are worth looking into. And regardless of your skill level, remember to have fun!