Human Books

human_library_logo_jpeg-1We’re getting ready for another exciting event at the Carleton Place Public Library! Yes, it’s that time of year again….the Human Library Project is almost upon us again. If you weren’t able to attend last year, we have some wonderful human books lined up for April.

What is the Human Library Project?

It’s part of a join initiative with all of the Lanark County libraries, where we offer up something unique to our patrons….the chance to speak with a fascinating person from our community, one-on-one! This isn’t a presentation series…..you come into the library and sit with one of our esteemed guests and chat with them about their work, lives or whatever they’re excited to talk about. These community members have graciously provided us their time, and all of them have a great story to tell.

When does it take place?

Set aside Saturday, April 18th for this great event. You can book your time starting April 6th to reserve your space.

Who can I talk with that day?

I encourage you to drop by the website to read a complete bio on each of our wonderful participants, but we have an Olympic volunteer, a former Deputy Minister, a Fire fighter, and a leader in the human rights movement.

Where can I find out more?

Drop by the Lanark County Human Library website to find out all of the details. You can see who will be a Human Book at each of the participating libraries, and starting April 6th, you can register to save your space online.

This is a fantastic chance to talk with someone you might never get the chance to have a conversation with normally. Don’t miss out! Spaces are limited.

Check Out a Skill!

20150320_161253We’re getting ready for something interesting in April. Not everyone is technologically-savvy, so we’ve decided to offer a “Check Out a Skill” week at the library. From April 13 -24, we’re offering half-hour sessions with one of our skill experts.  Learn to use Pinterest or Twitter, open up an email account, or finally get on Facebook and learn how to use it!

We’re taking registrations now, so give us a call. No “skill” is too simple to learn, and it’s the perfect time to learn how to use that new device (or that old one). Where else could you get this for free?  No where! Only at your library.

Projects!

onlineresourcesWe often have children come to the library looking for very specific resources because they have a project. While we carry LOTS of great, new non-fiction in our juvenile section, we can’t carry everything, and that project about the Australian thorny devil lizard probably won’t garner a lot of hits when you search our library catalog. But what we don’t have in books, we make up for in online resources. This is WAY better than using Wikipedia.

onlineIf you drop by our online catalog, you can click on the “Online Resources” button (just like the one above….and I’ve linked it here so you can go directly to it while you read this blog post). At that point, select Homework Help, and you’ll be brought to a couple of great website links, such as Kids InfoBits.

kidsI LOVE this particular resource because it is so user friendly, and is aimed at kids from Kindergarten to Grade 5—exactly the ones who might not have a lot of research skills at this point. From there, you can choose your topic, search, and voila! Tons of great information! We’ve been suggesting this site to teachers who frequent the library, and the response so far has been wonderful.

While researching projects at the library is nothing new, being able to do it from home through the library catalog is a great idea not many people think about. This is second in our series called “FIND IT NOW : Online Resources at the Library.”

It’s Going to Cost me HOW MUCH?

onlineresourcesThis is the first in a series we’re calling “FIND IT NOW: Online Resources at the Library”. While many people use the library catalog to reserve books, renew what they have out, or just search the collection before they come in, we’ve noticed that more and more people need information we don’t carry….and they need it right now!

Of course, our first instinct is to do a Google search, but if it is for a school project, often teachers don’t want the students to use information they find online. What about periodicals and encyclopedias, though? We don’t carry many of these resources anymore in hard copy, but now, we have them available for our patrons through our library catalog.

onlineWhen you go to our catalog, you’ll see a link on the left called “online resources”. This is where you’ll begin your search. And today, we’re going to talk about a resource that will help you with your car. It’s called the Chilton Library.

chiltonWe’ve offered this at our library in the past, but it’s never been so easy to access, especially from home. Once you click on the link, you’ll be brought to the main page. From here, you can look up information on a specific vehicle make and model. But it goes further than that. What if you need information to do some repairs yourself? What if you have an idea about how much a new part will cost, but don’t want to be blindsided by labor costs. The Chilton link allows you to research all of those things, and more. You’ll be able to go into your automotive center and feel like you have some knowledge behind you. As with anything, however, please remember that this site is providing information only, and that any differences when you have your car repaired are up to your technician. (Sort of like trying to diagnose yourself from a health website….your doctor might come up with a completely different diagnosis). This is strictly a tool.

Most people don’t think about using the library to fix their cars, but that’s exactly the type of unique service that’s available now. Aren’t libraries great?

 

 

More Bees, Please!

beesBees are quickly becoming something we should be worried about…or their disappearance, to be exact. The use of pesticides, fewer varieties of crops in certain areas, and disease have all been blamed for their dwindling numbers. But we know that there is a huge interest in beekeeping, as we’ve seen in classes offered at the library in recent years. So it’s exciting to see a fun book like THE ROOFTOP BEEKEEPER by Megan Paska come across the desk.

Paska makes beekeeping look fun and trendy. The book reads like a typical crafter’s tome, with bright pages, fun descriptions and gorgeous photos. For those of us who aren’t in love with bees (but understand their importance), it almost makes the idea of beekeeping…delightful!

If you want to know more about the book, or about Paska herself, there is a lovely website called Farmer Meg’s Digest which is in keeping with the look of the book itself. Take a few minutes to go through it, and I guarantee she’ll have you longing for spring gardening! Drop in and take out her book if you’re thinking of starting your own apiary, or if you’re just interested in how it’s done.

Letters of Note

I came across an interesting website called “Letters of Note” that collects fascinating letters and correspondence by famous and not-so-famous people. Recently, they posted a letter written by author Kurt Vonnegut to a class of students who were assigned to write a letter to their favourite author. The reply is wonderful.

November 5, 2006

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

Go to the site to see the original letter. It is wonderful, as is the signature!

Start Planning!

We’re more than three weeks away from 2015, but now is the time to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. If you jumble something together at the last minute, you’re more inclined to quit faster, I think.  But what if you took some time to plan—to really plan something—and then hit it full force on January 1st? All of the time you put in might be great motivation, so let’s get planning.

EASIER RESOLUTIONS

Instead of trying to make yourself over day by day, why not work on your surroundings this year? Clean up that clutter, get organized and make your life simple for once. We have a wealth of great books and magazines to get you started on organization. Purchase attractive baskets to put all of your loose bills, schedules and ticket stubs in. Clean out your front closet and buy some nice shelves or containers (at Boxing Day sales!) so that everyone has their own space to put hats, mitts and scarves. Your closet will look amazing, and you’ll save time cleaning up after everyone.

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MORE TIME

 If you want more time to do the things you really care about, you have to make the time. That means scheduling your free time as an important part of your daily activities, not just hoping you’ll get to put your feet up at the end of the day, or finally make it to the gym. Part of making resolutions work is having a way to incorporate them into your life so that you’ll stick with them. You won’t shop for that healthy food if you only have ten minutes to get everything for the week because of a crazy schedule, so really factor in how much you do, and make sure you leave a slot free just for you.  We have some superb books on time management at the library, so drop in to pick one up so you can read it over the holidays. Incorporate one or two ideas and that might be all you need to finally start that art project you’ve been wanting to try!

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BETTER EATING = FEELING BETTER

One thing we all tend to do during the holidays is overeat. That leaves us feeling bloated and upset with ourselves when January rolls around. Pants that you can’t even squeeze into anymore might be good incentive to get you exercising and eating right for a few weeks, but what about when February arrives and you’re sick of veggies and fish? There are so many wonderful cookbooks that come out every month, and we love pouring through them. Make a plan now to research the types of food you’d like to eat (vegetarian, gluten-free, low-fat etc.), and find a book at the library to try. If you have a plan for a new cookbook each month, it might make you excited about making healthy food. Try out each recipe and blog about them or post your creations on Facebook or Instagram. You might get a whole lot of people interested in your idea and sharing recipes!

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Whatever you choose to do for yourself in 2015, stop being so hard on yourself. And save yourself some money by dropping into the library to get the latest books, DVDs, magazines and more. You might even find a fun program to boost your creativity! We have it all at the library.