Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deweying it by the numbers: 300s

The 300s division in the Dewey Decimal System in my opinion wins the "why are these books next to each other?" award out of all of the Dewey numbers. 300s represent the social sciences. This means anything from immigration to shopping to fairy tales can be found in the 300s. By far, the most popular section of 300s for adult readers seems to be the true crime section. From organized crime to Lincoln's assassination, even true crime is incredibly varied.

My most recent foray into the genre was reading Patricia Cornwell's Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper case closed. A lot of people did not like it because of what some considered to be shoddy research, but I thought it was interesting, if only because Cornwell's writing is so good. If you want a true crime that Patricia Cornwell is actually in, check out Twisted Triangle. Cornwell has stated that her role in the lives of the FBI agents involved was minimal. Other true crime books can be found at Dewey Decimal number 363 and 364.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Read for Success

For the Southeast Book Discussion Group this month we have a reader's choice where we all read a book of our choosing and then discuss it. My selection is Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence by Ben Carson, M.D. This is a followup book to his first book Gifted Hands. It begins with a quote by William Channing:
It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into us. God be thanked for books.

Using the acrostic from the title T=Talent, H=Honesty, I=Insight, N=Nice, K=Knowledge, B=Books, I=In-depth Knowledge, and G=God the author acknowledges the "significant individuals who helped Ben Carson climb from the bottom of his fifth grade class to become at age thirty-three, head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital."
Doctor Carson's mom when he was in the fifth grade made him and his brother read two books per week, write a book report, and limited TV time. These were the first steps to motivating him to succeed. He and his brother went to their local library branch to check out their books, and within a short time they were hooked. Two things happened in fifth grade that convinced him of the importance of reading books. In the class spelling bee he was able to spell agriculture because he had learned it from reading his library books. And he was also able to identify the rock "obsidian" when his teacher showed it in class. By the middle of the sixth grade he had moved to the top of the class. From there Doctor Carson later graduated from Yale University the University of Michigan Medical School, and then to Johns Hopkins. He then was involved in the team that made medical history by successfully separating siamese twins joined at the back of the head. He gives credit to his mom and multiple mentors who helped him get to where he is today. As he says "I have come a long way. But I did not do it by myself." So if you want to be a success at what your doing, Read.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Learning Express Library

Do you suffer from test anxiety? Are you looking for work or trying to get established in a new career field? If you're looking for study materials to help prepare for a test, any test, take a look at the Learning Express Library. Learning Express provides in-depth test preparation and learning materials for everyone from 4th graders to college students and beyond. With an account you set up using your library card number, you will have full access to practice materials and sample examinations for whatever tests are lurking in your future. Featured sections include:

  • Elementary, Middle and High School Resources

  • GED preparation courses and practice exams in English and Spanish

  • College preparation exams including SAT, ACT, TOEFL, THEA and more

  • Graduate School entrance exams

  • Job search and workplace skills including resumes, interviewing, business communication and networking

  • Materials for specific career fields including nursing and allied health, civil service and postal exams, cosmetology, real estate, law enforcement, firefighters and more

  • ASVAB practice materials

  • US Citizenship test materials

  • Math, reading and writing skills for adults

Learning Express Library has recently upgraded to version 2.0, so even if you've used the service before, there are new features to discover and use. Check out this demonstration to see the latest additions and improvements.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So many books-so little time!

by Linda, Central Reference Librarian

It's almost spring and lots of my favorite authors have new books coming out soon-Jacqueline Winspear, Nancy Atherton and Joanne Fluke this month! Winspear writes about the psychologist and detective Maisie Dobbs in post World War I Britain-I think it's her insights into human nature that attract me the most, Maisie sees behind all the pain that the war caused and right into the person's soul. Nancy Atherton's mostly happy (sometimes nobody dies!) cozy mysteries featuring Lori Shepherd and the ghostly Aunt Dimity are charming-set also in Britain (the Cotwolds). Lori is a usually level headed mom of twins-but she does talk to dead Aunt Dimity thru a blue notebook. Joanne Fluke's mystery solving baker-Hannah Swensen lives in Lake Eden, Minnesota and has a cast a likable characters-mostly Hannah's hilarious family! Fluke always includes lots of great recipes-I've made several of her cookie concoctions and my family and friends love them.If you want to keep up with your favorite author, checkout the Coming Soon link on the library's web page-you can find it under Find Library Books and more.