10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know You Can Do at the Library

16 Sep

Sure, everyone knows you can check out books, audiobooks, movies, and music but did you know you can learn how to use a computer? Put on a puppet show with your kids? Take a cooking class? Today’s libraries are full of a wide variety of interesting, fun, and even unusual things to do.

Here’s a small sample:

  1. Watch a Movie. For free. silver_linings

We show movies nearly every week at our library. From classics like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Some Like it Hot to blockbusters like Divergent and Frozen, you can watch a wide range of shows. BYOP. (Bring Your Own Popcorn.)

Love the movies? We have DVDs and Blu-rays available for checkout and an ever-growing streaming video collection from Overdrive.

  1. Build with Legos

Builder’s Brigade occurs twice a month. (Check out the Builders Brigade blog.) Kids and their parents get to express their creativity by building amazing Lego creations, which are then displayed in the children’s room. And for those who cannot wait for Wednesday afternoons to roll around, we have a stash of Legos always available at the Children’s Room at the Lego table.

If you are looking for some creative ideas for Legos try The Lego Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination.

  1. Play MinecraftMinecraft

Log in to Minecraft on any teen or Children’s Room computer and start trying to build (and survive) the Minecraft world.

Want to become a really super Minecraft player? You can borrow The Ultimate Player’s Guide to Minecraft from the library.

  1. Schedule a computer lesson

We offer one-on-one lessons for beginning computer users. If you need help learning to navigate the Internet or would like a basic course in email or how to use Microsoft Word, contact our Reference Department to schedule an appointment. It won’t be painful. We promise.

If you can’t wait, you can peruse Teach Yourself Visually Android Phones and Tablets or Kindle Fire HD The Missing Manual

  1. Go to a concert

On various evenings and weekends throughout the year, talented musicians and singers perform in the Mary Baldwin room. All concerts are free and open to the public, courtesy of the Friends of the Library. Check out our Calendar of Events for upcoming shows.

In between shows, you can find nearly every type of music in our collection from The Magic of Lang Lang (classical piano) to Diary of a Madman (Ozzy Osborne)

  1. Try an Exercise Class Fitness

From Zumba for Kids to an introduction to the martial art of Hapkido, the library hosts a variety of fitness programs throughout the year. It’s a great way to sample an exercise program before actually enrolling.

Don’t know what to try? Check out Fitness for Dummies, which describes a variety of exercise programs from cardio training to yoga.

  1. Change Your Lifestyle

Learn to mediate. Hear about the benefits of detoxification. Enjoy an evening delving into the characteristics of introverts versus extroverts. Talk to a professional decorator. Learn about nutrition.

Some good titles to get you going: Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening or The Clean in 14 Days Detox

  1. Join a Drum CircleWorld Groove

Children (and adults) can learn the fundamentals of music while playing interactive rhythm games with drums and hand-held percussion instruments from around the world. And have the fun of making a lot of noise in the library!

If you love world music try the Putumayo Presents World Groove CD.

  1. Food, Food, Food

Attend cooking classes and demonstrations. Meet cookbook authors and local chefs. And samples, samples, samples. Learn some new cooking skills, discover new recipes, and try out tasty treats.

While you’re at it, you can also peruse our cookbook collection, which offers everything from America’s Most Wanted Recipes to Weber’s Big Book of Burgers.

10. Grab a Cup of Coffee

Or tea or even a cup of hot chocolate. Our coffee bar has something for everyone. And what could be better than sipping the hot beverage of your choice while browsing for a good book. Or movie. Or audiobook. Or CD. Or graphic novel. Or…

Well, you get the idea.

Do You Want To Blog Like Us?

14 Sep
Since you are reading this blog, you are at least partially aware of how many people, businesses, organizations, and so on have started blogging. Some people blog about their daily life, parenting, working, crafting, reading, or whatever interests they have. Others are blogging to promote themselves, their business, or a cause important to them. It is hard to making blogging fun while still reaching the desired audience.  Striking the balance of hard work and fun is hard, especially when you are hoping that others read and find value in your efforts.


I find myself, at least on my personal blog, often ignoring the technical advice about SEO, algorithms, and all the important stuff that helps readers find your blog,  and writing what I would like to read. However, knowing the best tools and information, even if you do not necessarily subscribe to it, can only help your efforts. If you are interested in learning more about blogging or trying it out for yourself here are some books you might want to consider checking out.



 2. The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by the editors of the Huffington Post





  6.Food Blogging for Dummies by Kelly Senyei


 7.Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley


 8.Mom Blogging for Dummies by Wendy Piersall

 9.Sams Teach Yourself WordPress 3 in 10 minutes by Chuck Tomasi, Kreg Steppe


 10.WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson


 And for even more information on social media, writing for the web, and blogging in general you might also want to check out; Writing for the Web : Creating Compelling Web Content Using Words, Pictures, and Sound by Lynda Felder, Social Media Marketing all-in-one for Dummies by Jan Zimmerman and Deborah Ng, New Media  edited by Albert Rolls, Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin, Freedom is Blogging in your Underwear by Hugh MacLeod, Blogging by David L. Hudson Jr., Creative Blogging: Your First Steps to a Successful Blog by Heather Wright-Porto, or Blogging America: the New Public Sphere by Aaron Barlow.

Book Buzz

11 Sep

book buzzAre you looking for something to read and wondering what books other people are talking about?   There’s a lot of buzz about the following books.  Take a look at the list and see if there’s something that interests you!

the good girlThe Good GirlMary Kubica –  Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.summer house

Summer House With A Swimming PoolHerman Koch –  Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

never coming backNever Coming BackHans Koppel – Mike Zetterberg lives with his wife Ylva and their daughter in a house just outside Helsingborg in Sweden. One evening, Ylva doesn’t come home as expected. Mike passes it off as a drink with a work friend, but when she’s still missing the next day, he starts to worry. As Mike battles suspicion from the police and his own despair, he is unaware that Ylva is still alive, just a stone’s throw from his own home: Ylva has been drawn into a twisted plot of revenge and tragedy that leads back into her and her abductors’ shared past.elizabeth

Elizabeth is Missing - Emma Healey – Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.  But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

everything i never toldEverything I Never Told You - Celeste Ny – “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue–in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

The Fortune HunterDaisy Goodwin – “Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as “Sisi,” is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-fortune huntercentury Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse. Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National–until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.

bittersweetBittersweet - Miranda Beverly-Whittemore – On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it’s the kind of place where children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.
But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact – and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev’s world her own.those who wish me dead

Those Who Wish Me DeadMichael Koryta – When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare. The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.

bone dust whiteBone Dust WhiteKarin Salvalaggio –  “Someone is knocking at the door to Grace Adams’ house, and he won’t stop. Grace thinks she knows who it is, but when she goes to her second floor window for a look she sees a woman she doesn’t recognize. The woman isn’t alone for long before a man emerges from the dark of the surrounding woods, stabs her, and leaves her for dead. Trying to help, Grace goes to the woman and is shocked to find that it’s her mother Leanne–a woman who abandoned her 11 years before. There’s nothing she can do, and Leanne is already past the point where she can tell Grace what happened all those years ago or why she came back now. While Grace was only a child when Leanne left her, Detective Macy Greeley has been waiting for Leanne ever since she disappeared from Collier, MT. She’s looking to close a case that has been haunting the town for far too long, but Collier is a hard-bitten place where the people are fierce when it comes to keeping their feuds between themselves and keeping secrets hidden in the past.the book of you

The Book of You –  Claire Kendal –  His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.



10 Books We’re Looking Forward to in September

9 Sep

As the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to turn, what’s better than curling up with a good book and a cup of tea? Fortunately, there are a lot of great books coming out soon that are perfect companions for the crisp days ahead.


Every month, librarians from around the country pick the top ten new books they’d most like to share with readers. The results are published on LibraryReads.org. One of the goals of LibraryReads is to highlight the important role public libraries play in building buzz for new books and new authors. Click through to read more about what new and upcoming books librarians consider buzzworthy this month. The top ten titles for September are:

  1. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
  2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  3. The Secret Place by Tana French
  4. Rooms by Lauren Oliver
  5. The Children Act by Ian McEwan
  6. The Distance by Helen Giltrow
  7. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
  8. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
  9. The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison
  10. Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley

Cozy Mysteries for September 2014

7 Sep

cozy mystHere are the newest cozy mysteries for your enjoyment.

Death, Taxes, and Silver Spurs (A Tara Holloway Novel) by Diane Kelly

Book Fair and Foul (An Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery) by Erika Chase

Murder in the Mystery Suite (A Book Retreat Mystery) by Ellery Adams

If Catfish Had Nine Lives (A Country Cooking School Mystery) by Paige Shelton

Murder with a Twist (A Mack’s Bar Mystery) by Allyson K. Abbott

Taken In (Southern Sewing Circle) by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Well Read, Then Dead (Read ‘Em and Eat Mystery) by Terrie Farley Moran

Death by Devil’s Breath (A Chili Cook-Off Mystery) by Kylie Logan

Death Is Like A Box of Chocolates (A Chocolate Covered Mystery) by Kathy Aarons

Fat Cat At Large (A Fat Cat Mystery) by Janet Cantrell

Murder of a Needled Knitter (A Scumble River Mystery) by Denise Swanson

To Fudge or Not To Fudge (A Candy-Coated Mystery) by Nancy Coco

Nightmares Can Be Murder (A Dream Club Mystery) by Mary Kennedy

Groomed For Murder (A Pet Boutique Mystery) by Annie Knox

To Die Fur (A Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery) by Dixie Lyle



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