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


Oct 25 2010

To Brie or Not To Brie

by Veronica W

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,
because he was such a tease.
“I’d like to be good” he said, “and I would,
if only you’d give me some cheese!”

Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard
and pulled it open with ease.
It contained juicy bones but her dog wanted none –
what he craved was some Camembert cheese.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
she had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.
They were rowdy ragamuffins and could not be appeased,
except with large servings of  pasta and cheese.

By now you can probably guess where this is going. In my opinion, if there is a perfect food, it has to be cheese. You may not agree, however even professed cheese haters admit to enjoying at least one thing with some kind of cheese in or on it. It could be pizza, a dessert, soup or crackers. Without turning this into ” The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” I must admit to enjoying cheese in many, if not all, forms and varieties (even some of the “pungent” ones) and it doesn’t take much research to see there are legions of folk who feel the same way.

While there are too many cheesy cookbooks to attempt to name them all, honesty compels me to admit that I usually check out those with colorful illustrations (I’m very careful not to drool on library property). A couple of favorites are Cheese Glorious Cheese and A Passion for Cheese. If you are interested in the process as well as the end product, look into The Ideal Cheese Book and The World Cheese Book. Information about  the different varieties can be found in Complete Guide to Over 300 Cheeses of Distinction.

True turophiles gather around the globe at many festivals, competitions and conferences. The “World’s Largest Cheese Festival ” is reportedly held bi-annually in Piedmont, North West Italy, although this seems to be in dispute, since the biennial competition held in Madison, Wisconsin claims that title as well. To check out other less renowned festivals, visit this webpage.

According to the Constitution, you have the right to believe that something else is the perfect food. However, we who know that a Greek salad without feta cheese is just fancy lettuce and olives, unite and sing,

The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone,
hi-ho the dairy- o, the cheese stands alone.”

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Oct 18 2010

Go forth into Autumn’s glory

by Patricia D

We’re slooooowly coming into my favorite time of year.  I love the particular shade of blue the sky gets right now and the way the air seems somehow sharper, even here in the city where we are still suffering through some code orange days.   I once had occasion to fly over the Appalachian mountains at the height of the season’s turning and was enchanted by the unending colors undulating below.  While nothing can compare with Spring in the South I truly believe that Autumn is the best time of year for basking in nature’s glow.  It’s also the time of year for every little town to have a festival.  Where I come from it’s apple butter, bratwurst and pumpkins.  In this part of the world (http://www.southfest.com) it seems to be, among other things, apples, marble and beer.  North or South these wonderful events always have a parade, a festival queen,  bouncy fings (as we say at my house) and face painting for the kids, crafts fairs and food vendors.  This is when I can count on getting a corn dog and indulge my taste for fresh fried pork rinds.  Yep, for me, this time of year is way better than Christmas.

I worried about moving this far South because I thought I would be robbed of  a decent season change.  Though I still haven’t adjusted to thinking about yard work in late February  I can be content with the Autumn colors and when that’s not enough I can run away to the mountains.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources currently has the Leaf Watch going, with tips for the best trails for color and even a webcam on Black Rock Mountain.  I check out a Georgia Park Pass, grab a few books out of the collection, including a few to explain the color change to the Back Seat Club and we’re on our way, perhaps stopping at a roadside stand for fresh cider and a peck of apples.

Afoot and Afield in Atlanta by Marcus Woolf

Nature Adventures in The North Georgia Mountains by Mary Ellen Hammond

Hiking Georgia by Donald W. Pfitzer

Hiking Trails of the Great Smoky Mountains by Kenneth Wise

Investigating Why Leaves Change Color by Ellen Rene

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins


Jul 29 2009

National Black Arts Festival!

by Jnai W

With just a smidgeon of summer remaining, there is still plenty of fun to be had.  One event on the horizon is the 20th Annual National Black Arts Festival that begins today, July 29 through August 2. Among the notable performers, speakers and guests on the roster are actor/filmmaker/producer Robert Townsend (check out his independent film classic Hollywood Shuffle),author Nelson George and a tribute to one of my favorite singers Nina Simone by great vocalists such as Dianne Reeves and Lizz Wright. This promises to be a truly special event in celebration of African cultural heritage in through film, theatre, dance, literature, music and art. Check out the festival’s website for more information . Don’t you wanna go?

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Jul 20 2009

DCPL Unshelved

by Vivian A

Doesn’t it sound cool and mysterious?  DCPL Unshelved is a precision drill team that pushes library carts.The ten members (from our many different library branches) put on sparkly silver newsboy caps, matching t-shirts, black pants and their dancing shoes.

Performing movements like the Flying Geese and Shooting Star make for a lively performance. The crowd was in awe at the team’s debut for the fourth of July in Decatur’s Pied Piper Parade.  See the YouTube clip below for a video of their performance.

The songs they push to are “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant, “We Will Rock You” by Queen and more upbeat lively numbers.

If you want to see DCPL Unshelved for yourself, the team will be performing as part of the August 15 Dunwoody festivities for the dedication of their newly renovated library, at the end of the morning program, which begins at 10:00. Or check out the Decatur Book Festival. You’ll be glad you did! Who knew library carts could be so versatile?


May 23 2008

Got the Gas Pump Blues?

by Nolan R

Lots of folks are staying close to home this summer, due to rising gas costs.  Although usually the Library is the place to go for free summer fun, please remember that all DeKalb County Public Library branches will be closed on Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day. 

Even though the Library is closed, there’s still a lot going on around town this weekend.  There’s some great fun to be had nearby at the 20th Annual Decatur Arts Festival, including the Artists Market and Literary Arts Festival.  Another Memorial Day tradition in Atlanta, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, is moving to Woodruff Park this year.  For other local events this holiday weekend, check out the AJC’s Access Atlanta or Creative Loafing.

If you happen to be amongst the one million Georgians who have decided to hit the road this weekend, you might want to check out these links to find the best gas prices nationwide.  And if you’re not heading out of town, you can at least feel some satisfaction that Georgia’s prices aren’t as high as some–gas in Spring Valley, NY is up to $4.98/gallon!

Automotive.com – Search by zip.

GasBuddy – Search by state or zip.  Allows search by type of gas (regular unleaded, premium, deisel).

MapQuest Gas Prices – Shows prices in a map format.  Zoom in or out for area desired.

MotorTrend Gas Prices – Search by zip code or click on

MSN Autos – Find prices by zip code.  Prices displayed on map and in list format.

And if you’re looking for gas mileage tips, gas prices, or gas mileage comparisons for new cars, check out www.fueleconomy.gov.


Feb 7 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

by Jimmy L

As a kid living in Hong Kong, Chinese New Year was a very big deal.  I remember going with my parents to visit all my relatives and each one would give me a red envelope with money inside of it for good luck.  There would also be firecrackers and lion/dragon dances in the streets (see video below), and, of course, a lot of eating and seasonal foods.

2008 is the Year of the Rat!  The Rat is the first in the 12 year cycle of animals in the chinese zodiac and it symbolizes wealth, aggression, and order.

Learn more about the Chinese New Year at the library:

Chinese New Year (Text and photographs depict the celebration of Chinese New Year by Chinese Americans living in San Francisco’s Chinatown)

D is for Dragon (a children’s book that introduces the traditions of Chinese New Year)

China (discusses the foods enjoyed in China, and in particular, the special foods that are part of the Chinese New Year and other festivals.  Includes recipes)

Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (ntroduces the Chinese zodiac and relates how each of its twelve signs was named for an animal selected by the Jade Emperor)

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