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"BOOKING" A CRUISE

The days are getting noticably longer as the end of winter approaches, but temperatures outside are still uncertain.  (The weather, even more so.  Will this snow EVER go away?)  I know many of you must be longing for balmier weather.  Well, it's cruise season!  If you can't get away from it all in person, why not escape winter for awhile between the pages of a book?  New City Library's doughty crew is ready to weigh anchor for the destination of your choice, and the only passport required is your library card. 

Our romance collection has a veritable fleet of "dreamboats" in port right now, eager to whisk you away to some warm, welcoming sea (or at least a nice bubble bath).  Just think of it-- exotic locations, handsome captains, dashing pirates, charming fellow travellers... and dressing for dinner is completely optional.  Put on your flip-flops, pour yourself an umbrella drink, and grab a deck chair... it's time for a little shipboard romance! 

 

More Than Just a Number

     Did you know over 23,000 of our residents have library cards?  We issue over 100 cards new cards a month; and in September known in library land as “card sign up month” and we traditionally sign up over 150 new members.  For several years the total number of members hovered at about 22,000, as people moved and new residents joined our community.  This year has seen a real increase in our membership; even with the growing popularity of eBooks people are more aware of the value, variety and vastness of our library’s collection.

     Some of you like to chat with us and we enjoy your comments as you use the Self-Checkouts or come up to the desk.  I was happy to tell the ‘speculative fiction’ librarian that a young man from another town said we had the best Sci-Fi collection in the county.  Another person from one of the county’s smaller libraries told me how much she loved the playaways and came here because of the depth of our collection.

Mystery Monday

Who wants to laugh?
Humor is a very subjective concept.  What is uproarious to one person may not even bring a smile to the lips of someone else.  Why the seemingly sophisticated French adore Jerry Lewis has been a real head scratcher to those who find his antics decidedly unfunny.  But what is a sense of humor and why does it vary so widely between individuals?  While everyone does possess a distinct sense of humor and may be amused by events that don't necessarily tickle another's funnybone, there are certain universal characteristics of humor that produce a humorous response. These are:
    Incongruity
    Absurdity, ludicrousness, or ridiculousness
    Unexpected future
    pleasant surprise
    Being startled
    "Getting it"
    Emotional chaos remembered in tranquility

Dark Stars: Diversity in Speculative Fiction

I have an embarrassing confession to make.  Unless the information has been handed to me in an author bio, I am often remarkably clueless about the personal details of the people I read.  Age, gender, race, religion, orientation, ethnicity-- I know they matter in shaping the person who's shaped the story I'm reading, but finding these things out isn't high in my priorities.  I read speculative fiction because I'm interested in the world inside the author's head, not their place in the world outside of it.

Sometimes the answers are obvious, of course, either from the author's name (if it is the author's real name) or from the context of the stories he or she writes.  If I see initials instead of a first name, I'll suppose the author is female-- men don't really need to hide their gender to sell books (except in the Romance genre).  In the absence of other clues, I'll generally assume the author is something like the book's main character, if I take time to think about the matter at all. 

1940 Census is Coming!!

There is a lot of movement and correspondence coming through as we approach the release of the 1940 Federal Census. The magic date is April 2, 2012. If you want a peek at a census form and get an overall view of this decade, go to this web site: www.archives.gov/research/census/1940/. This census will be totally digital with free access, and there will be no microfilm available. NARA has no plans to index. Any censuses thereafter are bound by the 72-year privacy restriction making the 1950 census available in 2022.

Best of Romance for 2010

New City's paperback romances are extremely popular.  Every single title on our shelves goes out at least once a month on average-- there are no "dusty" books here!  In order to keep on top of the collection, I run statistical reports regularly to learn what our library's Romance aficionados are reading.  (Don't worry, your secret Victoria Dahl addiction is safe-- all the numbers I see are in aggregate.)  I analyze which subgenres are the most popular, and which authors and series are the most-read.  Then I combine that information with journal reviews and news from genre blogs to bring the titles you'll want to read to our shelves.  For my first Romance blog entry of the new year, I thought I'd shed a bit of light on what's to come by giving you a look back... at our most popular titles of 2010!

Be Amazed in 2011

Did you make any New Year Resolutions for 2011?  It seems the focus is on “Best of…” lists rather than on making resolutions for the coming year.  Maybe it’s because we know what happens even to the best of intentions come February.  The Circulation Department is going to take up the challenge.  We’ve always tried to deliver the kind of service you expect.  Our resolution for 2011 is to step it up a notch and exceed your expectations.  Let us know when we do something right, but just as important we need to know when we fall short.  It is our best learning tool. 

10 Books You Might Have Overlooked in 2010

Everyone's doing "best of" lists this month, but to be honest, I haven't even made it through a quarter of the books I wanted to read in 2010.  I had the best of intentions.  I even made a list.  But the drawback to ordering all the speculative fiction for a medium-sized public library is that I get to see all the pretty new shinies as they come in, and I am very easily distracted by books.  ("Oh, the book I want to read is on reserve... in the meantime, I'll just check out this one... and this one... OH, and this one...!")  I don't feel qualified to come up with a "best of 2010" yet (maybe in June?), so instead I thought I'd share a list of the best books of 2010 you probably haven't read yet.  The first five titles are ones I nearly passed over, and was really glad I didn't.  The remaining five are underread titles that you probably didn't check out last year... but should.

What's Cooking?: Peking Duck

After recuperating from the nonstop holiday festivities, I took some time to reflect on the coming New Year.  Aside from the post-holiday detox after the recent overindulgences, I decided to direct my approach toward choices I will be make this year guided by the adages “simpler is better” and “less is more.”  Next, I thought I should be a little more adventurous and expand my culinary repertoire.  This may suggest something difficult and time consuming which may contradict my first New Year’s resolution – keep it simple.  Nevertheless, I met this challenge when I chose to make Peking duck.  My husband loves duck but I never roasted one because I thought it very fatty.  When I mentioned it to my best friend, she advised me, “Order the Peking duck at a restaurant.  You’re unbelievable! (diplomatic meaning for 'you're crazy').“ 

January Book Discussions

The two adult book discussions scheduled for the week of January 10 were postponed due to the snow conditions. New dates have Chapters meeting January 18 at 7:30PM and Facts meeting January 19 at 1PM. Hope to see you! For further questions, call 634-4997 ext 139.

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