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


Feb 9 2009

Book Swapping with the Teens

by Amanda L

A couple of Saturdays ago, the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) conducted a program for fellow teens. This was the first time that the TAB members created the idea for the program, organized it and ran it. For a first time attempt, it was very successful. There were close to twenty-five teens that participated.

What is the Teen Advisory Board, you may ask?  It is an opportunity for teens throughout DeKalb County to get together at the Library and give their opinions about books, movies, the teen portion of our website and programming at the Library for teens. The Board meets once a month on a Saturday. The teens that participate are eligible for volunteer hours.  If you are a teen and interested in joining, check out the information on the teen page.

So what was the program you may ask? It was a book swap.  The teens would bring in books that they no longer wanted to trade for new ones.  You would check in at the registration desk and get a ticket for each book that you were handing in. The books were then sorted by category.  You would then go around the room and select books that you wanted, up to the number that you brought. If you did not find enough books to swap, the teens gave credit for the next Book Swap. They hope to have one every three months or so.

I, personally, cannot wait to see what the next program TAB will be presenting. They have several in the works for the next six to nine months. Check the event calendar and your local branch for future programs. In the meanwhile, enjoy the pictures I took during the event.

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don\'t throw it awayAre you looking for inventive and resourceful ways to save money? Perhaps you’ve resolved to be “greener” and more environmentally friendly this year. If any of these apply to you, there is a great book here at DCPL that could help you along that path. Don’t Throw It Out: Recycle, Renew and Reuse To Make Things Last (Rodale) is a treasure trove of ideas combining two of my favorite things: being economical and being creative.

This book offers numerous tips and ideas for conserving common household items and getting the most out of your appliances, furniture and gadgets. Do you have an old nightstand that’s becoming an eyesore? Why not turn it into a hideway/sleeping spot for your cat?  Perhaps you can salvage an old nightstand or end table by decoupaging it with pressed flowers (I’m not that crafty but it sounds like a great idea).  Page 84 of this book lists six great ways to repurpose your old dresser drawers, including yet another sleeping spot for your cat (pets make out like bandits when it comes to reusing old items!).

One of the main reasons that I like this book is that not only is it informative but it’s also kind of inspirational. Reading about how to turn a vinyl LP into a wall clock (!) made me really start thinking of ways that I can make the most out of the stuff that I’ve got lying around the house. Each item–whether it’s an old work boot, a stack of worn-out CDs or an out-of-commission baby crib–can be given a new purpose or function. And during cash-strapped times such as these it’s a nice reminder to look at the things we have with an open mind and a little imagination.

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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.