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

October 2008

Oct 13 2008

Happy Columbus Day

by Amanda L

According to the Britannica Online Encyclopedia, Columbus Day was originally celebrated on October 12 of each year. The day commemorates Christopher Columbus’s landing in the new world on October 14, 1492. The holiday was later changed in 1971 to the second Monday of October. Did you know that Spain and Italy also commemorate the landing of Christopher Columbus? Spanish speaking countries of the Americas commemorate the landing with a day they call Día de la Raza. It is translated in English  as either the day of the race or the day of the people. They focus on the native people in the Americas and not on the landing itself.  The Britannica Online Encylopedia can be accessed from our Reference Database page under the Encylcopedia and Directories category.   Want to learn more about this holiday? Check out this list of titles the Library owns.

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Oct 9 2008

Don’t Resist, Save Gas!

by Jimmy L

If you’re looking for more ways to save gas (and thus, money!), then here is something you’ve probably never thought about before, but can make a big difference.  Cars have an optimal speed for gas efficiency, and that speed is around 60mph or less.  “In a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon,” according to this CNN article.  The reason is simply air resistance!  The savings can really add up, especially if you do a lot of highway driving.

Interested in other ways to save gas?  Check out these older (but still relevant) blog posts:

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Oct 8 2008

Election Books for Kids

by Ginny C

The elections are a month away.  If you haven’t already, now is a great time to explain the importance of voting and how the process works to your children.  The library has lots of resources to help you, including dvds, picture books and information books.

Here is a sample of what the library offers:

Vote! by Eileen Christelow:  Using a campaign for mayor as an example, shows the steps involved in an election, from the candidate’s speeches and rallies, to the voting booth where every vote counts, to the announcement of the winner.

How Do We Elect Our Leaders by William Thomas:  Describes the process for electing local and national officials.

Election Day:  (DVD)  From campaigning and debates to rallies and voting, this program explains the activities that precede Election Day. Different levels of public office elections are reviewed along with the constitutional amendments that gave the right to vote to all groups. Children also explore the history of voting and examine the attributes of a good leader by watching as a group of middle school students elect their class president.

Max for President by Jarrett Krosoczka:  Max and Kelly both want to win the election for class president, but when one of them loses, the winner finds a way to make the loser feel better.

Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio:  When Grace discovers that there has never been a female U.S. president, she decides to run for school president.

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Oct 7 2008

Get out and vote!

by Heather S

Hopefully, you have already registered to vote, since yesterday was the deadline for the upcoming presidential election. If you are registered to vote, remember that you can avoid the lines on November 4th by voting by absentee ballot by mail or in person, or by voting in advance.

To request an absentee ballot to vote via the mail, you can print the application online at the DeKalb County Voter Registration or the Secretary of State Elections Division’s website or stop by the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Main Office at 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032.

To vote by absentee ballot in person, you can stop by the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Main Office and vote Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. 

You can vote in advance starting on October 27 and ending on October 31. You may vote Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at one of several locations around DeKalb County.

Be sure to verify your registration and locate your precinct/district information. To do this, you can enter in the necessary information at the Secretary of State’s Poll Locator website or by calling their Voter Info Line at 1-888-265-1115. You can also call the DeKalb County Precinct Info Line at 404-373-2236 or 404-298-4020, which is their office number.

For more information and library resources, check out DCPL’s subject guide on Voting.

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Oct 6 2008

Grammar Pet Peeves

by Nolan R

Do randomly placed apostrophes get under your skin?  Does it drive you crazy when someone uses a word that’s not really a word?  Would the phrase All “Natural” on a sign make you a bit uncertain?  If so, then check out the following blogs.  They’re a great place to commiserate with others for grammar transgressions–and you can even send in your own bad grammar finds!

If you’d like some tips on improving your grammar, check out Doc Durden’s Guide to Good Grammar, About.com’s Grammar & Composition Archive, or go straight to the Grammar Girl herself.

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Oct 2 2008

The Catcher in the Rye

by Jimmy L

One of my favorite books ever was also a very controversial one.  It has been frequently challenged and banned, and yet it has also become one of the most studied books in high school classrooms across the country.  If you really want to hear about it, the first thing the bookseller told me when I took my used copy of The Catcher in the Rye up to the counter was “Hope you’re not thinking about becoming a mass murderer!” followed by an uncomfortable chuckle at his own joke.

Indeed, this book has earned quite a reputation.  In addition to having profanity and sexual content, it was also the book that Mark David Chapman was sporting when he was arrested after assassinating John Lennon.  John Hinckley, Jr., the attempted assassinator of Ronald Reagan, was also obsessed with the book.

But when I read this book, I don’t see any of that.  Just a warning, spoilers follow:

[read the rest of this post…]

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Oct 1 2008

Banned Children’s Books

by Ginny C

The previous posts this week have talked about Banned Books Week and mentioned some of the books that are among the most frequently banned or challenged.  (For the difference between a banned book and a challenged book, see here.)  ALA has several good lists of challenged books, both for this year and going back to 1990.

Did you look at any of those lists?  If you did, what did you notice?  If you’re like me, you noticed that a lot of them are children’s books.  Authors like Judy BlumeBarbara Park, J.K. Rowling, and Shel Silverstein all have books on these lists.

Books on these lists can also be good discussion starters with your child.  If you or your child has read any of the challenged or banned books, talk about why someone might have wanted it removed from the library.  Discuss the character’s actions and what you hope your child would do in a similar situation.  (Please remember that not all of the books on the list are appropriate for all children or for all ages.  Preview the books first to decide if it’s something you want your child to read.)

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