Brown Bag this Friday

Join us for a special Brown Bag presentation this Friday at noon in the Community Rooms as Mrs. Schnell’s High School Class discusses two books: Room by Emma Donoghue and Sleeping with the Enemy by Nancy Price.

Directly after the presentation, we will be popping some popcorn and screening the movie On Golden Pond. The Brown Bag programs are FREE and refreshments are provided. Hope to see you there!

Kidz Chat with Shelley

I would like to introduce myself and what I’ve been up to. My name is Shelley Pfeiffer and I’m the Children’s Librarian at the Alliance Public Library. I have been working on several different programs and events that I would like to share with you.

Story Time

Story Time is for 3-6 year olds. During story time books are read and discussed, crafts are made, and other educational information is shared. The goal is to introduce new information in a fun and productive way using school readiness guidelines.

Every Tuesday @ 10:00 and Thursday @ 1:00 (school year)

These Are the People in Your Neighborhood

This program is for students Kindergarten through 2nd grade. during this time a guest speaker from our community is introduced and informs the children of their position and how they serve our community. Books are read or a project is made if time permits. The goal is to introduce the children to people through out our community and gain an understanding of who lives in our community and what they do.

Second Tuesday of the month during the school year

Do-It-Yourself

This progam is for students 3rd through 5th grade. During this time a guest speaker from our community is introduced to the children and teaches a skill of some sort. Some of the skills that have been instructed are: street safety, fire safety, internet safety, and a stained glass craft. In the following months health, dental health, and art will be discussed. The goal is to instruct the children of a skill that they will be able to use independently.

On Thursday of the second full week of the month (school year)

Summer Reading

Summer will be here before we know it! I’m VERY excited to announce that we will be offering 3 options for summer reading. All children will be eligible for at least one of the programs.

  • Read for a Ride program
  • Dream Big program
  • Read to me program

I am currently working on the progamming, and as summer creeps closer I’ll make more information available.

 

Currently I have a Library Lovers Reading Contest going on! Come in and see me for the details!

Based on the Book

The first movie of the critically acclaimed Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is slated to hit theaters in late March. This also happens to be the Alliance Public Library book club selection for the  month of January, and copies can be picked up at the desk. We will be discussing the book on Tuesday, January 24th at 1pm and on Thursday, January 26th at 4pm. All are welcome to participate.

“Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.”

E-reader and Tablet Troubleshooting

Here are some of the common e-reader and tablet troubleshooting issues I have experienced the last few weeks. If you have a device and have any questions, I’ll be happy to help. I’m no expert on every device, but I’ll do my best 🙂  

I figured others may have similar questions to ones I’ve been seeing here at the library, so here goes . . .

Q: I have an I-Pad, but would like to read a book I bought from Amazon and Nook. How do I read the book on my I-Pad?

A: Download the free apps to your device and you should then be able to read your book. If you bought a book from Amazon, you’ll need the Kindle app and if you bought a book from Barnes and Noble you’ll need the Nook app.  However, Kindle books cannot be read on Nook and Nook books cannot be read on Kindle (Why can’t we all just get along?). Click here for a the Kindle app and a list of supported devices and Click here for the Nook ap and a list of supported devices. 

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Q: I have an I-Pad. Can I use the Overdrive service?

A: Yes – all you have to do is get the free app titled “Overdrive Media Console” and you will be able to browse and checkout titles. You will also have to download the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software and verify ADE with your Adobe username and password. You obtain the Adobe username and password by signing up for a free account at www.adobe.com

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Q: How long can I check items out for one Overdrive.

A: You have options to check items out for 7, 14, or 21 days. The default setting checks books out for 14 days.

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Q: Can I return items early on Overdrive?

A: E-books can be returned early, but Audiobooks cannot.

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Q: How do I return my e-books to Overdrive so I can checkout out a new one?

A: This is going to depend on the type of device that you have:

  • For Kindles, you will need to login to your Amazon account and click on the “Manage my Kindle tab” located across the top of the page below the search bar. This will bring up the contents of your Kindle. To the right of the book you wish to return, click on “actions” and the select “return this book.” After the book is returned, you will need to click on “actions” again and then on”delete” in order to remove the file from your Kindle.
  • For Nooks, I-Pads and other devices that utilize Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software for your ebooks, you will need to return the book in Adobe Digital Editions. Open ADE and click on the bookshelf icon in the top left hand corner (this is the icon that looks like books on a bookshelf, with their spines pointing out.) The book that you currently have stored in ADE will appear on the page. An upside down triangle should appear in the corner of the book’s icon. When you hover over this upside down triangle with your mouse, a menu should appear with the option to “Return this book.” Click on the return option and confirm. The book should disappear from your ADE bookshelf.

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Q: I transferred my book to my device, but I can’t find the book. Where is it?

A: This also varies with each device. Here are the ones I am familiar with:

  • In Kindles the book will appear on the main home screen among your other items from Amazon.
  • In Nooks the item should appear on your bookshelf and is also accessible through the Adobe Digital Editions file in the “My files” tab.
  • On the I-Pad, the book should appear on your bookshelf.

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Q: I downloaded a book by wireless from Amazon, but the book is not appearing on the device. What do I do?

A: In order for your book to appear, you will need to disconnect and reconnect to your wireless. Turn your device’s wireless off and then back on and the book should appear.

If you have recently acquired a digital device, be sure to check out our Overdrive service, available here by logging in with your patron number.

Based on the Book


Well, after much pleading from her ever loyal fans, Janet Evanovich’s beloved character Stephanie Plum hits the big screen this month in One For the Money. The Stephanie Plum books have consistently been among our most popular books here at the library, and hope her fans are pleased with the movie adaptation. If it is anything like the books, the crowd will be laughing out loud through most of the movie.

Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl), an unemployed lingerie buyer, convinces her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie (Patrick Fischler), to give her a shot as a bounty hunter. Her first assignment is to track down a former cop, Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara), on the run for murder — the same man who broke her heart years before. With the help of some friends and the best bounty hunter in the business, Ranger (Daniel Sunjata), she slowly learns what it takes to be a true bounty hunter.

Other cast members include John Leguizamo as Jimmy Alpha, Ana Reeder as Connie Rossoli, Ryan Michelle Bathe as Jackie and Sherri Shepherd as dual roles playing two hookers with hearts of gold. There are no details about Shepherd’s dual roles but one of them is confirmed to be Lula. Grandma Mazur will be played by Debbie Reynolds.

National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month!

Did you know . . . .

  • The first soup was eaten around 6000 B.C. Click here to see the main ingredient!
  • Women are more likely to eat soup for lunch than men are.
  • 10 billion bowls of soup are consumed in the U.S. ever year.
  • The soup spoon was invented in the 17th century so that courtesans wearing their stiff ruffled collars would be able to eat soup without soiling their pretty ruffles.
  • Pop artist Andy Warhol loved soup and ate it for lunch every day for 20 years.
  • Frank Sinatra requested chicken and noodle soup in his dressing rooms before every performance.

Here are some yummy sounding soup recipes via www.allrecipes.com:

And, of course, we have slew of soup related books in our collection:

  • Duck Soup by Jackie Urbanovick at EF URB (this children’s book is adorable, funny and well illustrated!)
  • Cooking Treasures of the Soup Kettle by Emma Gompert at 641.5 GOM
  • Better Homes and Garden’s Crockery Cookbook at 641.5 BET
  • Lee Bailey’s Soup Meals: main event soups in year-round menus by Lee Bailey at 641.8 BAI
  • Skinny Soups by Ruth Glick at 641.5 GLI
  • Soups and Stews by Sandra Rudloff at 641.8 RUD

And last but not least, some “Soupy” apps for your mobile devices:

 

 

Favorite Reads of 2011 Part 2

This week I thought I would share with you a selection of our favorite books from 2011. While most of the books were not newly published, they were read by staff in 2011 and are among our favorites. The books can all be found in our collection either on the shelves or as downloadable titles on Overdrive. The following are reviewed and recommended by Tiffany.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer : A young boy of eleven suffers from grief at his father’s death in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He is convinced that a piece of paper containing the word “Smith” found with a key in the bottom of a vase in his father’s closet is a puzzle his father left for him to solve. To do so, he personally searches out anyone in New York City with the last name of Smith to see if they know what the key may open. Addition stories are skillfully layered into the main plot, adding interest and intrigue as the story progresses.

This book is a magnificent riddle with poetry scrawled across each and every page. Beautiful charcters, beautiful metaphors, beautiful dialog, beautiful excessive punctuation and lack there of, beautiful photos. Beautiful to the infinite power. I cried when the book ended, but not because it was sad. I cried because it was over. One of the best books I have ever read. Ever. Available in our collection at FIC SAN and on Overdrive in ebook format.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Imaginary Children by Ransom Riggs : This book has it all – mysterious monsters, supernatural happenings, creepy old houses, mist enshrouded bogs, strange children with special powers, time travel and, of course, the fabulous collection of vintage and antique photos. Top that off with a full powered plot that keeps the pages turning and you have yourself a book that will be finished in one sitting. Available in our collection at YA RIG and on Overdrive in audio and ebook format.

 

  

“Scribbling Women” : True Tales from Astonishing Livesby Marthe Jocelyn : Scribbling Women by Marthe Jocelyn provides brief yet enlightening biographies of several women whose lives had no real impact on history, but rather history had an impact on their lives. The book was arranged chronologicaly beginning with Sei Shonagon, who lived during the end of the 8th century as a courtesan in Heien Japan, all the way to Doris Pilkington Garimara, a woman who is still living and was a victim of Australia’s attempt to “integrate” any aboginies who were not considered full blood into white society.

The lives in this book are well researched and intriguing, offering the reader a glimpse into the hardships of those who lived through extraordinary times in history. Although the biographies are short and often leave the reader wanting just a little bit more, they present delightful and unique situations that otherwise would remain locked in library archives. Marthe Jocelyn kept the biographies light and airy, despite the rather grim situations endured by many of the women, making this the perfect non-fiction book for people who don’t read non-fiction. Available in our collection at 808.8 JOC.

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell : In  Winter’s Bone, Woodrell possesses a stark, crisp and informed writing style that compliments every part of this hauntingly beautiful story. From his dialogue to his narration, Woodrell paints such a complete and cohesive reality that the reader finds himself moving from the page and into the heart of the poverty and crime stricken Ozarks where family blood is stronger than whiskey and stints in the state penitentary are prepared for the way most high schoolers prepare for college. His characters are so vividly realized that the story becomes not just words on paper, but flesh and bone. Highly recommended. I will be looking to read more of Woodrell’s work. Available in our collection at FIC WOO.

 

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott : This is the story of a 15 year-old girl who was kidnapped at the age of 9 and forced to live as “Alice” with her captor out of fear that should she run or try to get help, he would murder her and her real family. Alice knows this is not just a threat, as he did the very same thing to the “Alice” that came before her. He saved the newspaper clippings from the event as proof. The novel walks through the emotional, physical and sexual abuse that Alice must endure. She considers herself a “living dead girl” and a “hollow shell” and is desperate to find an escape from her excrutiating circumstance. As she ages, she begins to wonder if she will be killed, and soon finds herself looking for  a new, younger Alice intended to take her place at the command of her captor.

This story is gripping, raw, disturbing and deeply moving. The characters have been written to life, and while a lot of the content is emotionally hard to handle, the reader can’t help but continue with the hope that Alice will not only be free, but will choose the morally sound path despite her fears and her desperation. Not for the faint of heart, but highly recommended. Available in our collection on Overdrive in audio format.

A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean : A beautiful story filled to the brim with astounding metaphor the way a river is filled to the brim with words, movement and life.

A few of my favorite quotes:
“One of life’s quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch something beautiful, even if it is only a floating ash.”

“I sat there and forgot and forgot, until what remained was the river that went by and I who watched. On the river the heat mirages danced with each other and then they danced through each other and then they joined hands and danced around each other. Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river.”

“All there is to thinking,” he said ” is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren’t noticing which makes you see something that isn’t even visible.”

And the last paragraph, which is perhaps the “more perfect” last paragraph ever written:
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timelss raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”

Highly recommended. Available in our collection at FIC MAC, on audio at PA MAC and the movie at DVD RIV.

Favorite Reads of 2011 Part 1

This week I thought I would share with you a selection of our favorite books from 2011. While most of the books were not newly published, they were read by staff in 2011 and are among our favorites. The books can all be found in our collection either on the shelves or as downloadable titles on Overdrive.

Wesley the Owl: the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl by Stacey O’Brien (recommended by Tiffany) : This is the heartwarming and engaging story of a young biologist who finds herself mother to a tiny, orphaned owl. Over the course of the book she unfolds the relationship between herself and Wesley the Barn Owl, sharing with the reader the ways in which their relationship impacted her life and her beliefs. It confirmed my belief that animals are individual and intelligent souls everybit as important and unique as humans, just packaged a little differently. One of the things I found most interesting was that Wesley was able to pick up the concept of time in relation to language. He understood what “two hours” and “tomorrow night” meant. This is remarkable to me.

I listened to this title as an audio book, and the narrator did an amazing job, which made all the difference. Available as a downloadable audio book via Overdrive.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (recommended by Stephanie) : In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart. Available in our collection at FIC SEE and on Overdrive in ebook and audio format.

Miss Entropia and the Adam Bombby George Rabasa (recommended by Tiffany) : I found this novel to be both engaging and beautiful. As I was pulled through the story by the entrancing narrative of Adam, a mentally ill and highly intelligent individual recounting his one obsessive experience with love, I felt like a passenger on a train being told an intimate story by the stranger sitting next to me, one that is part confession, part self effectuation and entirely sincere.

I especially appreciated how mental illness, while being a large part of both the plot and the two main characters, did not overpower the story. As Adam told his tale, his mental illness as well as Miss Entropia’s own disorder were little more than the way things were. He would recount his unusual actions or insane episodes so matter-of-factly that I had to mentally prod myself to classify such actions as abnormal. Insanity fits the two main characters of this story like expensive well-tailored suits.

While the ending is tragic, which is something foreshadowed in the first few pages, by the end of the story I would wish it no other way, and the last two lines bring the novel to a close so perfectly that the weight of Adam’s transgressions lift themselves like a dissipating fog. Available in our collection at FIC RAB.

The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larrson (recommended by Stephanie) : It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives. Available in our library at FIC LAR and on Overdrive in ebook and audio format.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (recommended by Tiffany) : While Pi Patel and his family are crossing the Pacific Ocean via boat in order to transport their zoo from India to America their boat tragically sinks and Pi finds himself aboard a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a tiger. Soon the only ones left aboard the ship are Pi and the tiger, and they find themselves sharing the boat in order to survive.

This book is a mesmerizing testament of the human spirit with an ending that will leave the reader thinking long after the book has been closed. Available in our collection at FIC MAR.