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

classes

Mar 15 2010

Blog, Blog, Blog

by Vivian A

On an unusually snowy March night I ventured out to take Laurie Foley’s free workshop called “Blogging- Who, What, Where & How?” at the brand new Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams library. The audience was small due to the weather and mostly women. (Two-thirds of bloggers are men.) We all wanted to know the same thing — how do I start a blog and more importantly how do I get readers?

Laurie Foley is an award-winning blogger and business coach.  She presented us with the history of blogging. Did you know that 133,000,000 blogs have been indexed since 2002 but ninety-five percent are abandoned within four months? 72% are hobbyists, 15% are part-times, 9% are self employed and 4% are professionals.  A great professional blog is Huffington Post and a good local one to check out (besides DCPLive) is Decatur Metro.

Then she recommended some good books: The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott; WordPress for Dummies, 2nd Edition by Lisa Sabin-Wilson and Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (you can find all of these titles at DCPL).  Then she wowed us with the fact that 900,000 blog entries are posted every twenty-four hours. I must say I feel a little daunted but determined.

If you missed this class, don’t worry.  Every month the Library has many other computer classes which you can check out in our events calendar.

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Feb 19 2010

OpenCourseWare

by Jesse M

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Such was the wisdom of American industrialist Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company and father of the modern assembly line. I agree with the sentiment and attempt to make every day a learning experience (working in a library is a big help in this endeavor). If you feel like I do, then you may be interested in checking out one of the many OpenCourseWare offerings available online.

OpenCourseWare can be defined as the free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. Such courses typically do not offer certification, or access to instructors, but are excellent resources for furthering your own knowledge in a given area. The first OpenCourseWare selections were offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and since then a large and growing number of institutions (including many highly regarded universities such as Stanford, Yale, and Harvard Medical School, among others) have published their own OpenCourseWare projects. As of 2009, MIT had over 1900 courses available online, with reading lists and discussion topics, homework problems and exams (often with solutions) and lecture notes. Some courses also include interactive web demonstrations in Java or MATLAB, complete textbooks written by MIT professors, and streaming video lectures. Other institutions boast similar offerings.

For a list of institutions offering OpenCourseWare resources, click here. The listings are divided into nine categories, including Academic Behemoths (MIT), Ivy League (Yale), and International (University of Tokyo). Or, if you prefer, you can utilize the OCW Finder, which, as its name suggests, helps people find OpenCourseWare.

Of course, if you are interested in autodidacticism you needn’t venture farther than your neighborhood library. The DCPL catalog contains two excellent educational series (Great Courses and Modern Scholar) available for checkout in both CD and DVD format.

So take advantage of these resources and keep your mind young for life!

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Oct 26 2009

Mouth to Muzzle Resuscitation

by Vivian A

It seemed like the perfect way to spend a rainy Saturday morning. I’d read all the James Herriot books at least once. ER was my favorite TV show and lastly, my Dad was a doctor. An Animal First Aid Class seemed appropriate. And it was.  I attended the First Aid for Cats and Dogs class at the Dunwoody Library on October 17th.

Our Christopher Walken look-a-like instructor (John McCarren from Paw Paws Pet Sitting Service) showed us the basics of pet first aid. We learned everything from the infamous Mouth to Muzzle breathing technique (on a dog replica that came with a heart beat and pulse to show you if you were doing the technique right).  We learned to use an old credit card to scrape out stingers and to carry a dog to the car rather than have him walk, if a snake bit him.  We learned how to perform CPR, how to stop bleeding, how to strap a dog to a backboard if his back was broken and my favorite–the doggy Heimlich manuever.

I came home from class and my dog, Sammy, knew he was safer or at least he let me take his pulse and shake on it.  If you missed this event, don’t worry–you could check out Emergency care for cats and dogs : first aid for your pet by Craton Burkholder.  Also, there are many other educational programs at the library.

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If you, like me, feel that time in your car is basically time wasted, you will be interested to hear that the library carries college level courses on audio CD.  DeKalb County Public Library carries two series, the Modern Scholar series and the Great Courses series.  Both series employ the talents of well-respected college professors to teach subjects like music, art, history, religion, and science.  The ones I have listened to have been very interesting and only one or two that I’ve come across sound like that dry, boring history teacher we all had at some point in our school career.  There are two series:

Check ’em out!

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