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

July 2009

Jul 10 2009

Six Word Stories

by Jesse M

hemingway-picErnest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899—July 2, 1961) is a Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning author considered by many to be one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. While it would be entirely appropriate to devote an entire blog post to a discussion of his life and works, that is not my intention*. Rather, I am more interested in a form of writing that Hemingway is alleged to have invented single-handedly, on a bet; the six word story.

This is the story he composed.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

The ultimate in minimalist writing, all the more powerful for its brevity, it has inspired scores of imitators, both amateurs and professional authors (including such luminaries as Magaret Atwood, Jeffery Eugenides, Charles Stross, and Orson Scott Card, among others) alike, whose efforts are collected on the excellent website Six Word Stories.

Here are a couple of my favorites:
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
Alan Moore

Leia: “Baby’s yours.” Luke: “Bad news…”
Steven Meretzky

This form of writing is known as flash fiction, which is commonly defined as any piece of work 1000 words or less, making any six word story an extreme example of the category.

Compose your own and post it in the comments!

*For those interested in further learning, I recommend taking a look at Timeless Hemingway. The website features a wealth of information about the author, including book resources, biographical information, photos, and a quote finder. And of course, we have an impressive collection of works by and about Hemingway here in DCPL.


water_conservation_logo32Now that the drought in Georgia is officially over, residents may have a few questions concerning post-drought water usage. Is there still a schedule for specific days during which we can water our lawns? What about washing our cars outside? Can our kids break out their slip n’ slides yet? Well, do not fret – there are answers to all those questions and your good friends at the DeKalb County Public Library have compiled a short list of resources to help. (The answer to those three questions, by the way, is now yes, but please read on).

  • The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division provides a site that includes water usage rules for both drought and non-drought periods. It also features a link to drought studies conducted by The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
  • Coping with Georgia’s drought is the name of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s wonderful page offering gardening and water-saving tips, as well as plenty of links on articles relating to the former drought. The aerial photos of Lake Lanier from October 2007-April 2009 are particularly interesting to see.
  • If you are looking tips on water saving products such as high-efficiency shower heads or toilets, Conserve Water Georgia provides a site full of valuable consumer information. There are also handy tips on water conservation for teachers, home owners, and corporations.

And don’t forget:  Leonard Anderson of the DeKalb County Extension Service will give tips on how to conserve water at the Doraville Library on Wednesday, July 29th at 6:30pmMore info here.


Jul 8 2009

Feeling Listless?

by Nancy M

I think it’s safe to say that we are in the midst of the dog days of summer, so what better way to escape the heat and wile away the days than with a new book? While I do like to wander the stacks of the library looking for my next read, I have to say that I am more of a list girl. I love finding and perusing various book lists (and there are many out there) for something interesting to read. And yes, I like creating lists as well. If your child is in need of a new book, try checking this list of lists for his/her next great read.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), put out by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has an extensive list of bibliographies for children and young adults with many different themes, including books to share with babies, recommended mysteries for kids and teens, and books for beginning readers, to name a few.

The American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) puts out an annual notables list. Check out 2009’s list; there are many great books to be found. They also put out the list of current and past children’s award winners, including the Newbery and Caldecott Awards.

Check out New York Public Library’s list of 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. Do you know all of them?

YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association has award winners and booklists, including the best in young adult books and books for reluctant readers.

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Okay, I know it’s only July, but I am ready for some football. I’m an avid football fan. I need to see the pig skin soar gracefully through the air. I need to see grown men crash into each other. I need to see the wonderful strut after a touchdown.

But the NFL and the colleges are going to make me wait.

So the next best thing is watching reruns on the NFL network (if you get it), reading about football, or watching movies about football. Or if you’re athletic you could actually play some football (I’m the opposite of athletic).

The library has a ton of great stuff to check out. I’m personally recommending these:

We are Marshall a movie based on an actual event where the majority of the football team and its supporters die in a plane crash. Great movie. Not kid friendly.

The Longest Yard the library has the 1974 version with Burt Reynolds and the 2005 version with Adam Sandler. Once again, not kid friendly.

To find a list of more football movies try SportsinMovies.com.

300 Pounds of Attitude: the Wildest Stories and Craziest Characters the NFL has Ever Seen by Jonathan Rand. The title says it all.

The Blind Side: The Evolution of the Game written by Michael Lewis.  This biography of Michael Oher is a worthwhile read, even if you don’t like football. Oher is not only an amazing athlete, but also a phenomenal individual.

And for those who know nothing about football, but would like to learn more…

Football for Dummies by Howie Long.  Long is a former player and commentator for FOX.


Jul 6 2009

We Hold These Truths

by Lesley B

declarationIn honor of Independence Day, head over to the American Memory site at the Library of Congress and take a look at actual documents from our country’s founding. Here’s a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand.   Freedom wasn’t cheap, as you can see by a look at George Washington’s Revolutionary War Expense Account.

For local history, you can browse the Digital Library of Georgia. Libraries, archives and museums hold unique and precious items but those maps, manuscripts, photographs, etc. are too fragile to be regularly read or viewed by the public that owns them.  As these original materials are scanned and added to online archives, Americans get full access to their past. Nothing more democratic than that.

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Jul 6 2009

I scream, You scream, We all scream

by Vivian A

for ice cream.  Creamy, yummy, good for the tummy – July is National Ice Cream Month. Americans have been celebrating National Ice Cream Month since 1984 when President Ronald Regan designated it as a special occasion.

In fact, the third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day (July 19th this year.) President Reagan felt that since ninety percent of the nation’s population enjoys eating ice cream, we should celebrate!

The International Ice Cream Association (IICA) encourages celebrating because ice cream sales account for twenty billion dollars in sales each year and provides thousands of jobs. Nine percent of all milk produced is used in making ice cream. (I bet some kids wish they could have an ice cream cone instead of a glass of milk.)

Whether you like the fancy stuff or plain vanilla (the most popular flavor.), there’s something out there for you. If you were interested in making your own, check out Ice Cream by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson. (641.862 Cuth) or Ice Cream and frozen desserts by Peggy Fallon, (641.862 Fall.)

That’s the scoop on National Ice Cream Month. Be sure and have a sundae on Sunday, July 19th.


Jul 1 2009

Your Library of Summer Sounds

by Jnai W

In Memory of Michael Jackson 1958-2009 (that was weird to write...)

In Memory of Michael Jackson 1958-2009 (that was weird to write...)

The Library offers all sorts of great summertime diversions including public use computers,  programs, book discussions and children’s activities–in addition to its vast collection of great books. Heck, the Library even offers a cool and welcoming respite from the blazing summer sun. But I, for one, continue to be amazed and excited by the eclectic and ever-expanding collection of great music here at DCPL.

Here are some of my favorite finds in the  “Wow, I didn’t know we had this!” category:

The Best of Eric B. and Rakim: The Millenium Collection:  Hip-Hop Hooray!I’ve noticed that the Library is steadily expanding its hip-hop repertoire (but rest easy, parents, the selections are still, for the most part, in the PG-13 arena).  As a kid, I missed out on alot of the quote-unquote “old skool rap” (my mom wasn’t having any of it!) so it’s great to explore some of the seminal artists of this musical genre.  Some of my favorite cuts include “Paid In Full”,  “I Ain’t No Joke”  and “Microphone Fiend”.

808’s and Heartbreak by Kanye West: Say what you will about a rapper who’s considered egotistical, even by hip hop standards, but he’s always been able to support his boasts with cutting-edge, exciting music. The Auto-Tuned warbling (tedious in other artists but somehow Mr.West makes it work)! The introspective lyrics! The taiko drums! This is my favorite Kanye album to date. Prime cuts: “Love Lockdown”, “Say You Will”  “Welcome to Heartbreak” and “Heartless”.

Anything Tori Amos:  It seems someone in Collection Management has a taste for Tori Amos. As a teen I found her work a bit esoteric but I’m definitely rediscovering the flame-haired chanteuse. Right now I’m tucking into her 2005 album The Beekeeper.  I’m enjoying the tracks “Parasol” and “Sweet The Sting” so far.  The Library is a great place for really learning more about an artist that fascinates you. But if Amos is already your cup of tea you may want to delve into some of DCPLs Tori-centric literature including her fascinating memoir Tori Amos: Piece By Piece (co-authored by Ann Powers) and Comic Book Tattoo, a collection of graphic novel works based on Amos’ songs.

Leonard Cohen: Live in London: Some cheesy manager ran off with Cohen’s earnings so he has come back to work. Sorry for his loss but it is indeed his fans’ gain. Here’s another artist I’ve been turned on to since I’ve been here at the Library. For people who love writers who happen to sing  look no further than this album. I’d tell you how I like it but since it’s brand new I have to wait in the request queue like everyone else. But you can check out the Library’s other Cohen albums until your turn with Live In London comes around.

I could do this all day long. Literally, I get goosebumpy thinking of all the wonderful music you can find at the Library. Thank you, DCPL, for being awesome!

P.S: If you know anyone who doesn’t remember how awesome Michael Jackson was (and who isn’t still a little heartbroken by his passing) please  direct them to these Jackson classics.