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


Jul 5 2010

Putt Putt Golf and Shetland Ponies

by Veronica W

Is it possible  that everyone has a hidden fascination with miniature things? For some reason little replicas of common, everyday items charm us. In childhood, boys (and some girls) varoom varoom with race cars, march with toy soldiers and shriek along with small versions of fire engines and ambulances.  Girls (and some boys) spend hours with dolls (mini me?) and dollhouses and have tea parties with miniature tea sets.  As we get older and our tastes become more sophisticated, we are no longer as excited by what we see, but who hasn’t looked at a Shetland pony and smiled? Atlanta’s Grant Park is the home of the Cyclorama, a miniature re-enactment of the “War Between the States” and it is popular with locals as well as tourists.

Although I don’t read alot of magazines, on occasion I have thumbed through Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping and Atlanta.   Never, in my most bored state, have I been interested in reading American Woodworker.  However, I live with someone who sleeps  in his tool belt  and of course has a subscription to this handyman’s magazine. As I picked it up one day to put it away, I saw that it was turned to the most beautifully detailed wooden replica of an old car that I have ever seen.  It turns out that this car was built by William Jackson, an artisan woodworker from Indiana. As I continued to read, I learned that the amazing Mr. Jackson was also commissioned by UPS to build a replica of their first delivery truck, a 1913 Model T Ford.  They were so pleased with it that they asked him to build 365,000 more-one for each of their employees. Since it took him 400 hours to make just one, he understandably declined.  I visited his website at www.woodenclassicwheels.com and spent a good bit of time marveling over his many, amazingly intricate creations.

Mr. Jackson and his incredible work ignited an investigative spark in me and I started hunting. I discovered a treasure trove of  delightful resources and information. While I don’t intend to make this a hobby (I don’t think), it was fun just to visit with those who have. Did you know that there is an organization devoted to miniatures? NAME is the National Association of Miniatures Enthusiasts and their website is a colorful, fun place to gawk in amazement.  There are other places that you can visit, in your car or online, which will further educate and amaze you.  The Toy and Miniature Museum in Kansas City and The Mini -Time Machine in Tucson provide a delightful introduction to the world of small.

Here’s a “Stumped You!”—In Oliver Twist, Mr. Bumble, in order to get rid of the “Please sir, I want more” little glutton, got him a job outside of the orphanage. What was it?  (Remember our topic.)

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Jun 9 2010

2010 Summer Reading List of Lists

by Jesse M

Looking for something good to read this summer but don’t know where to start?  For several years now the website Rebecca’s Pocket has compiled a comprehensive list of the many disparate summer reading lists published by various periodicals and institutions. You can check out this year’s reading list here. There are already dozens of lists to choose from, and more are added on a weekly basis.

Some of the more interesting lists include one from New York Magazine featuring six writers each recommending favorite books from their chosen genre, a Los Angeles Times article describing the placement and influence of literature in the recently concluded television series “Lost“, and another compiled by NPR that features picks made by a trio of independent booksellers.

There are also over a dozen lists targeted towards children and teens, just scroll to the bottom of the page.

And once you’ve acquired some reading material, don’t forget to sign up and participate in one of our summer reading programs for kids, teens, and adults!

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May 10 2010

From AARP to Z

by Vivian A

Although you can get many magazines online these days, to me there’s nothing better than sitting down with a good cup of coffee or tea and perusing the nice shiny pages of a magazine.

The library offers over 300 choices from AARP to Z magazine. This breaks out to 1700 subscriptions among the branches. We have three subscriptions in Chinese, three in Spanish and one in Russian. The issues found at most of the branches include Oprah, Newsweek and Essence.

Did you know you can check out up to five issues at a time for three weeks? If you’d rather look online, you can use GALILEO to search EBSCOhost or ProQuest. (See your reference librarian if you’re not sure how to do this.)
Unfortunately, DCPL has been hit with cutbacks and many subscriptions have been cut. My branch alone cut nearly thirty titles. There is a bright side to all this, the library accepts gift subscriptions from patrons like you. So the next time you’re missing your Economist or InStyle magazine, know that you can give back to DCPL.

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So here’s how it happened:  I was cruising around on Amazon and I found  a magazine article for sale on a topic in which I have a great interest.   I wanted to read this article but suspected it wasn’t something I was going to want to keep and it was an absolute that I didn’t want to pay $10.00 for the privilege of downloading it.  I know–you think I just went to the magazine’s web page and read the article there, right?  You may be forgiven for thinking that because frequently that is exactly what I do.  In this case though, the magazine didn’t even have a website.  I was not to be denied in my quest and I did the next best thing.  I went to www.dekalblibrary.org, logged on with my library card number and PIN and then chose the Research header on the home page.  I then chose Magazines and Newspapers and clicked on Research Library at ProQuest.  I plugged in the title of the article and there it was.  Guess what–I appreciated the article but  I was awfully glad I didn’t have to cough up a tenner to read it.

But wait!  There’s more!  Hypothetically speaking, you are sitting in your kitchen at 1:30 in the morning, worrying about the smashed bumper on your car, which is your own fault because you were doing something stupid in the driveway.  You can’t sleep for the worry and your brother, who just wants to go to bed says, “If we had a  Chilton’s right now I could tell you if I can fix it with a part from the junkyard.”  You shout, “Hey! We have something that looks exactly like Chilton’s and we can look at it now.”  Then you fire up the computer, go to www.dekalblibrary.org and log in.  After that you choose Reference Databases and then AutoRepair Reference Center and you now know that you can sleep because your brother looks over the pages he needs and says, “Yeah, we can fix it easy, we’ll just call the junkyard in the morning.  Now go to bed.”

See, DeKalb County Public Library is there for me, 24/7, saving me money and sleep.  Take some time to play on our site and get to know what’s there that can save you the same.


With money being tight this year, I am sure if you are like me, you have thought about canceling that magazine subscription. Do not fret; you might still be able to read People, O, The Oprah Magazine, Ebony or a variety of other titles AND still cancel your subscriptions.  There are several options worth checking out.

The Library

The Library subscribes to over three hundred magazines. You can check older issues out at all of the branches EXCEPT Decatur. Decatur keeps back issues of everything the branch subscribes to for at least one year, often longer. If you need to find out what magazines your Library subscribes to, call us or use our Email a Librarian service.  We try our best to respond to emails within forty-eight hours, but we usually respond within a few hours. Be sure to select the “I need help finding information” option.

Cannot find that older issue at a branch or Decatur is too far to drive to?  The Library subscribes to many online resources that carry the articles printed in numerous magazines and journals.

The titles available can be found two ways:

1. From the Library’s home page: Go to the Research tab, and click on Magazines & Newspapers. Under General Magazines, there is a link to Magazines Available Online. Here you can search for a particular title.

2. From GALILEO:  Go to the GALILEO icon on the home page.  After signing in, click on the Magazines A-Z tab.  Again, you can search for a particular title.  A warning about this access, since publisher give access to the vendor and GALILEO, some of the magazines can have a three month or so delay before they are available. Some magazines, such as People, you can access the current issue electronically.


Many magazines have an Internet presence. Unfortunately, due to the economy, some publishers have made the decision to produce a magazine totally online. Two of the biggest publications are Christian Science Monitor and PC Magazine. Several publishers have started digitizing back issues. Not all back issues are currently available, but it might be a good place to start.  Some examples are Every Day with Rachel Ray, Dance Magazine, Esquire, Discover and The New Yorker.

Google announced and added on Wednesday, December 10, an archive search to their Google Book Search. You will be able to search the archives of many magazines such as New York Magazine and Popular Mechanics. The archived articles are also available through the publisher’s websites, but this search feature should be helpful.

If you have not renewed your subscription or you always wanted to read a particular magazine but could not justify the expense, please check your library or one of the other options listed above.