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The Cube has landed at the New City Library!

Picture a ten-foot stainless steel cube, balancing on its edge. The surrounding area are mirrored in the metallic sides of this beautiful piece of modern sculpture. Suddenly the door opens to reveal a comfortable, soundproof recording booth. Welcome to The Cube. The New City Library is hosting the Cube in conjunction with the Library Association of Rockland County. All recordings made during the weekend will become part of the Library Association’s digital collections on hrvh.org (Hudson River Valley Heritage) which is hosted by the Southeast New York Library Resources Council. Hudson River Valley Heritage will archive the collected interviews and preserve them for future generations.

Better Than Google

Does this picture bring back memories? Former students may remember our rows and rows of infamous “brown books”, weary looking tomes that contained Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (NCLC), Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (TCLC), and Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC).  Students didn’t particularly like using these series, because, in most cases, they reprinted partial essays and critiques.  Some of the more demanding Clarkstown teachers insisted that the students have access to the entire essay.  Pre-internet days, this was very difficult for our small public library to find. The books also looked unappealing, and even I preferred other sources, although the content was excellent.  Another problem is that students, who were without a dime for the photocopier, or who were malicious, would remove the much wanted pages, leaving the rest of the students bereft.  Missing pages are no longer a problem with on-line sources, and we happily got to say goodbye to those cumbersome and space consuming books when we switched to the e-book version.

Young(ish) love: New Adult romance

A new, fast-growing category of romance has emerged in the last few years.  It's called "New Adult," and it's aimed at readers in their late teens to mid-twenties (college-aged to early adulthood). 

So, what exactly is a "New Adult"?  The protagonists in these books still bear some resemblance to their younger cousins in Young Adult romances-- they haven't entirely escaped the throes and drama of teen angst.  But they've achieved some distance from it, and gained the perspective and insight that younger characters often lack.  There's a marked change in maturity level, and the expected maturity of its readership. 

Battle of the Books Team 2014

Our team members are [top row] Sandra Charalel, Ally Eisenberg, Priyanka Ramanathan, Karen Zollinger, Nicholas Procino and Mary Phillips (coach), [bottom row] Vicki Cheung, John Walters, and Grace Singleton.

What's Cooking?: Cooking Video Journey

Chocolate Napolean

Ever since my colleague Nancy introduced Access Video on Demand, the database she recently acquired for our New City Library patrons, I was excited and curious as to what kind of videos and films there are in the area of cooking.  I was immediately drawn to the Home & How-to category to see the variety of videos from cooking shows to how-tos, from regional cooking to cuisines of foreign cultures of various countries and ethnicity.  There are hundreds of videos under the heading of Cooking with the following subjects:  Drinks & Beverages, Elements of Food, Popular Cooking Shows, Regional & Ethnic Cuisine, and Styles,Techniques & Basic Skills

Better Than Google

Just in time for school, I am delighted to introduce our new database Bloom's Literature, but you don't have to be a student to love it.  Anyone who has an interest in literature will find much to explore on this wonderful resource.  Containing more than 20,000 critical essays from journals and books, you will also find more than 13,000 biographies, 5,000 synopses of literary works and hundreds of images and videos.

...well, okay - THIS would bother us....

...but when someone timidly approaches the children's desk and whispers "I'm sorry to bother you, but I have a question", please know -- it's really not a bother! We may look too busy at first glance, but we generally bring work to the desk in case we have a quiet moment when a patron doesn't need help. Although our duties include collection development, planning and implementing programs, scheduling room use, weeding, etc., all those other tasks can be done when we're elsewhere.  So please don't hesitate to come on over and ask for what you need if we haven't asked you first!  After all, we're here for you and your families!

Personal Digital Archiving

Last Friday I hosted an introductory class on the topic of Personal Digital Archiving.  The Library of Congress has been the leader in this burgeoning movement, so we started by watching a film by them which I am embedding below. As the use of technology for taking photographs, videos, etc. becomes more prevalent, it is important to begin to think seriously about how we will save and preserve those "born digital" memories.  In addition, many people who came to the class were interested in scanning their photographs and creating new digital images.  We discussed both of these scenarios and outlined the basic 4 steps to consider when beginning a personal digital archiving project:
1. Identify what you want to save
2. Decide what is most important to save
3. Organize your collection
4. Backup copies in different places

Embed Video: 

What's Cooking?: Summer's Bounty

The best thing about summer is the beautiful produce in full bloom.  I love going to the markets to see and smell the variety of fruits and vegetables in season.  I especially hunt for a favorite of mine - those Rainier cherries.  As I gaze greedily along the aisles my “eyes become bigger than my stomach”.  I want to try all this fresh luscious bounty knowing I would not be able to eat it all.

Changes to Overdrive

Overdrive, our content provider for e-books, digital audio and video, has recently updated its features.  Following are the options you'll see next time you sign in to your account:

Hold suspensions - You can suspend your hold on the waiting list for a title.  This keeps you advancing on the list but does not make the title available to you until you're ready for it.

Auto checkout - When a title becomes available, it will be automatically checked out to you, and you'll get an email indicating so.

Maturity levels - Search results can be limited by Children, Teen, and Adult reading levels.

Changes in the website include a new "Recommended for You" feature that displays as soon as you sign in.  Boolean searching has changed from "OR" to "AND".  That means your search results will become more relevant since all the keywords you type in must appear in the resulting list of titles.  Minor bug fixes have been added, too.

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