December 2008 Archives

Happy Holidays

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christmas.gifAll of us at OWLS wish all of you a very happy holiday season! 

Enjoy a little treat from George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud, and listen to their latest podcast: A Library Carol. It's pretty entertaining!

> contributed by Beth

Project Play survey

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Project Play's logo2.jpgtwo semesters of learning officially ended last Spring, but we have kept it going on a monthly basis by offering Play Dates online via OPAL. As we begin planning for Play Dates in 2009, we want to get your input on how the Play Dates have been going and how we might improve them.

Please take a few minutes to respond to a short online survey. We'd like to hear from everyone who has participated in the Play Dates, but even if you haven't played along in OPAL this is your chance to let us know why not.

Thanks for your help!

> contributed by Beth

Popular out-of-print books

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Every year, lists the 10 most sought-after out-of-print books in America. Here's that list, and some information about these items in InfoSoup.

  1. Once a Runner: A Novel (1978) by John L. Parker, Jr.
    The cult classic distance running novel, coming back into print April 2009
    No copies in InfoSoup
  2. Sex (1992) by Madonna
    The pop icon’s book of erotic photos, a perennial favorite
    No copies in InfoSoup
  3. Promise Me Tomorrow (1984) by Nora Roberts
    An early novel that the bestselling romance novelist refuses to reprint, describing it as “mediocre”
    No copies in InfoSoup
  4. Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record (1978) by Carl Sagan
    A document from the first great era of space exploration
    1 copy in InfoSoup (Appleton); currently available.  3 total checkouts, no checkouts in 2007 or 2008.
  5. Carpentry for Beginners: How to use tools, basic joints, workshop practice, designs for things to make (1900) by Charles H. Hayward
    A century-old (!) title from a prolific Canadian carpentry author
    2 copies in InfoSoup (2 different editions. Tigerton and Oneida).  Both currently available.  1 total checkout, in 2008.
  6. A Lion Called Christian (1972) by Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall
    A memoir about a pet lion, coming back into print April 2009; the video of the authors’ reunion with Christian was all over YouTube
    2 copies in InfoSoup (Appleton and Black Creek); both currently available.  6 total checkouts, 1 in 2008.
  7. Comanche Heart (1991) by Catherine Anderson
    The second book in the series. The first, Comanche Moon was reissued and placed on the New York Times bestseller list. This will be coming back into print June of 2009.
    No copies in InfoSoup
  8. Legally Sane (1972) by Jon K. Hahn with Harold C. McKenney
    An investigation of an international killing spree and the chilling accounts of a psychopathic murderer
    No copies in InfoSoup
  9. Woodworker’s Essential Shop Aids and Jigs; Original Devices You Can Make (1992) by Robert Wearing
    An indispensable resource for DIY craftspeople
    2 copies in InfoSoup (Both in Waupaca); both currently available.  42 total checkouts, 1 in 2007 and 1 in 2008.
  10. The Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting (1989) by June Hemmons Hiatt
    Incredibly popular comprehensive knitting guide
    4 copies in InfoSoup (Algoma, Florence, Marinette, Wausaukee); all currently available.   42 total checkouts, 5 in 2007 and 4 in 2008.
Interesting, no?

> contributed by Gerri

Year in review

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As the New Year approaches, it's always fun to take a look at the year that has passed. Time has done a great job of this with The Top 10 Everything of 2008. Explore categories like: News & Science; Business, Tech & Sports; Pop Culture. Because it was an election year, there are some interesting lists for Top 10 Campaign Gaffes, Top 10 Campaign Video Moments, Top 10 Editorial Cartoons, and Top 10 Election Photos.

And if you disagree with Time's picks, you can submit your own top 10 lists.

> contributed by Beth

New CCBC bibliography

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earth.jpgThe Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) recently released a new bibliography highlighting books for children and teens about the environment. It's called Eco-Reading, and you'll find books on the list in the following categories:
  • In My World: Loving the Earth - Fiction
  • In My World: Loving the Earth - Nonfiction
  • What Happened Here? Environmental Challenges and Change - Fiction
  • What Happened Here? Environmental Challenges and Change - Nonfiction
  • Taking Action: Planet Pioneers - Fiction
  • Taking Action: Planet Pioneers - Nonfiction
Each title includes an appropriate reader age next to it with a link to more information about each book. While you're at their site, be sure to subscribe to their weekly podcasts!

Thanks, CCBC!

> contributed by Beth

Test your spelling skills

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Try out's quiz on "The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words" and see how you do. My 68% was pretty disappointing, since I consider myself a pretty good speller (grammar, well, that's another thing...). Give it a go, and if you're willing, post your results in the comments.

> contributed by Beth

Gadget Open Houses

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getsmart.gifWe have two Gadget Open Houses planned in the next couple of weeks. Here's the blurb:

Join Beth and Julie for a fun morning of play! We'll have tons of cool gadgets and games on hand for you to try out and play around with, including: iPod nano and touch, mp3 players, Flip video cameras, Sony camcorders, GPS unit, Amazon Kindle, Palm, Wii, Playstation, and more. This is your chance to get hands-on experience with these devices. Don't miss it!

You can choose to attend either Wednesday, December 10th from 9:30 AM to noon or Thursday, December 18th from 9:30 AM to noon. Registration links are available on the CE Workshops page on OWLSweb. Hope to see you there!

> contributed by Beth
We have an end of year offer to add TumbleReadable and TumbleTalkingBooks to our regular TumbleBooks collection.  Since the talking books cannot be downloaded,  I'm not sure how much they would be used. The TumbleReadables, however, seem like a natural fit. Here is the description of TumbleReadables: is an online collection of read-along titles for elementary, middle school, and high school students which features adjustable online text and complete audio narration. Sentences are highlighted as they are being read and the pages turn automatically. The collection features chapter books, early readers, YA/Teen Novels, high interest/low level books for both middle school and high school students, plus classics of American and English literature.

Read-Alongs are great for emergent, struggling, and reluctant readers, as well as being an excellent tool for ESL. They are also well received by strong and accomplished readers who are excited to follow along to the narration of their favorite books.

One thing to note is that not all the titles have audio. The collection includes Read-Alongs and what they call Large Print Online Books.  When you see a title, only the ones with (Read-Along) after the title have audio. Many of the text only books will eventually be converted to read-alongs.  Take a look and let me know what you think. The login information for each collection is posted on our database trails page.

> contributed by Evan

Joan & George

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George-Joan.jpgThanks to everyone who attended "Challenging the Assumptions of Legacy Librarianship" via OPAL on November 19th! We had some interesting conversations at OWLS after the program and hope you have, too. If you missed the program, you can view the recording from the Past Workshops page on OWLSweb.

During the introduction for this program, I briefly mentioned the speakers' podcast, George & Joan, Thinking Out Loud. I have subscribed to it in my Google Reader account and highly recommend it. Each podcast is about 20 minutes long, but includes an interesting dialogue between George and Joan along with tidbits they've picked up on their topic for the day. If you're interested, here's the RSS feed, and here's a link to the blog.

Their latest podcast covered "Tough Economic Times & Libraries" and had some fascinating bits, like the story of one library that let go of their shelving staff when forced to make budget cuts, only to get them back later because the community made an uproar about how important those folks were! Take a listen and see what you think.

> contributed by Beth

OverDrive Audiobook Update

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ipod.jpgWe have some mostly good news about OverDrive. As OverDrive users know, this service has not been iPod friendly. OverDrive has been working with publishers to remedy this. Some publishers have recently agreed to make MP3 audiobooks available through OverDrive and OverDrive now has a Mac compatible media console. 

The good news is that we now have audiobooks available for iPods! The mostly part of the good news, however, is that only titles from a small number of publishers are currently available in this format. The bottom line right now is that our MP3 collection is small and limited.  We are hopeful that OverDrive will continue to make progress with additional publishers and that we will be able to expand the collection of iPod compatible titles. When searching in OverDrive MP3 titles will be clearly distinguished and the Mac, iPod, and MP3 icons will be active. When the title is Windows only, those icons will be grayed out.

MP3 Example
moz-screenshot-21.jpgWMA (Windows Media Audio) Example
moz-screenshot-22.jpgA Mac/iPod FAQ is also available on the OverDrive site

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

> contributed by Evan
This week, we've been talking about our CE needs for the upcoming year, and spent some time going over the Continuing Education survey that OWLS libraries filled out a couple of months ago.

Customer Service was a of the topic many librarians were very interested in - so when I ran across this article, I thought it was perfect!  I love how it places control of the situation back in the hands of the customer service representative (or librarian, in our case.)

My favorite part?  "Phrasing the same statement a different way or changing a debate to a friendly conversation will make a world of difference 90% of the time."  Right on!

> contributed by Gerri

Project Play Date

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logo2.jpgOur next Play Date is scheduled for Friday, December 19th at 10 a.m. online in OPAL. The topic will be “The Social Library.” Here’s the description:

Come and play with some of the hot social networking tools, including Twitter, FriendFeed and Delicious. Tasha Saecker, director of the Menasha Public Library, will speak about the impact of having your library involved in the new social web.

If you’d like to attend this online Play Date please register on the SCLS web site, so we’ll know how many people to expect. If you can’t make the Play Date, the content will be posted on the PP blog so you’ll be able to go through it at your leisure.

Remember, anyone can participate in the Play Dates, even if you didn't participate in the past. So please join us! If you'd like help getting familiar with OPAL, please contact me so I can help you out.

> contributed by Beth

Holiday Lists in InfoSoup

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If you're looking for an old classic or something less conventional to watch, the InfoSoup holiday movie lists are  the place to start.  The staff at the Appleton Public Library has pulled together a great selection of traditional, non-traditional, and nonfiction movies. If you see a title missing or just want to share a holiday favorite, just let us know and we will add it to the favorites list.Take a look at:
For families with kids, we also have a family movies list and a fantastic selection of holiday and winter books for kids of all ages. Check out:

> contributed by Evan
Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan have written an article for Marketing Library Services that will help you learn how to drive more traffic to your web site. Here's the blurb:

The vast expanse of the web has no limits. There are a seemingly infinite number of places where people can spend time learning, shopping, socializing, and playing. Face the facts: Your library website is just one among millions. How will web users ever find it in the endless online world?

Does this discourage you? Are you ready to abandon your web promotion efforts because your website doesn’t get much traffic? Don’t. This article will give you options, some quick and some more involved, to make your site findable, to drive traffic to it, and to let more people know about your library. You’re most likely not going to take over the web, but you can make your pages easier to find, and free links are the key.

Read the full article and see what you think. They have some good, practical tips that anyone can use right away. Others will take more planning.

> contributed by Beth

Holiday Numbers

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christmas.gifAs a reference librarian, when I think of Christmas my mind inevitably turns to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their take on the the season includes such tidbits as:

$593.8 million
The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and August 2008. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($66.2 million worth) during the same period.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <>

For more yuletide number crunching turn to The 2008 Holiday Season.

> contributed by Evan  

100 Notable Books of 2008

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The New York Times has released their list of 100 Notable Books of 2008. The Book Review selected the list from books reviewed since December of 2007, when the last Notables list was published. There are definitely some titles I am going to add to my "want to read" list, so maybe you'll find something new, too. Might be something fun to share with patrons, too, no?

Be sure to check out the Related stories links to the left of the book list for The 10 Best Books of 2008, Notable Childrens Books of 2008, and more.

> contributed by Beth

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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