Monday, August 25, 2014

Morgan County Public Library Databases

Did you know that if you have a Morgan County Public Library card you could access the databases the library has?  We have databases to can help you find people, work on your car, look up your ancestors, find legal documents, and more!  To find the databases we have go to our homepage and look at the left hand side of the screen. Click where it says: Electronic Resources & Databases and from here you will see a list of databases.  
Here is a list of some of our databases along with YouTube videos that explain how to use them.

The first is the A to Z Database.  Using this database you can look up a friend or relative, look for a job, create a mailing list or find a business.  You will need to have a library card to access this database.  Here is a video tutorial that shows you how to use the database:

The next database you see is  Again, you will need a library card to get into this database.  From there a search box comes up and you can search by year, by make, or by model.  This site offers step by step instruction, with pictures, on repair and maintenance for your vehicle.  You can also print out instructions if you need them. Here is the video tutorial which explains how to use the database.

Cypress Resume will help you create a resume for free, for real, no credit card required!  You will need a library card to use this database.  After you log in, Cypress Resume will walk you step by step through the resume process.  If you have struggled to put a resume together this database is the answer you’ve been seeking.  It is free with no credit card information required, unlike the supposedly "free" resume websites you may have tried in the past. 

Heritage Quest will help you find your ancestors and all you need to access it for free is your library card.  With Heritage Quest you can access US Census information from 1790-1930, the Periodical Source Index, and the US Serial Set, along with other genealogy resources.  There are several YouTube videos on how to use Heritage Quest.

INSPIRE is free to all Indiana residents and is the virtual library for many of your research needs.  You can access academic and newspaper databases from INSPIRE.  INSPIRE has “Kids Search” for younger students, “Student Research Center” for older students,, Indiana Memory, Indiana History, the Indiana State Library,  and the GALE Testing & Education Reference Center to name just a few of the resources this database has.  Muncie Library has created a great tutorial on INSPIRE:  

Gale Legal Forms requires a library card to access.  The Gale Legal Forms database has Indiana legal forms such as:   divorce, power of attorney, bankruptcy, name change, wills and estates, and much more.  Click here for more information about what Gale Legal Forms has and to get started.

The Mango database has 63 languages to choose from and all you need to get started is your library card!  Here is a YouTube video to tell you how Mango works.  Mango is a great website for learning  a language because you will practice by hearing, reading, and speaking the language. 

These are just some of the databases we have for your use at the Morgan County Public Library.  Stop by the reference desk and ask for Lorie if you need further information on how to access and use these databases.  I will be happy to help!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brooklyn Branch Library

     Welcome to the Brooklyn Branch Library! We are one of the 3 Minibranches that serve the outlying areas of the county. Brooklyn Branch is open four days a week. We have over 10,000 items available:  books, DVDs, and audio CDs for all ages. There is a free community magazine exchange as well as special book collections each week for both children and adults.
     One of our favorite times is Thursday evenings, when the Yarn Group meets at 6 PM. Needleworkers of all types are welcome. If you want to learn to knit, crochet, or tat, there is usually someone here who can teach you. There are four public computers, and test proctoring is also available. Our staff is fun and friendly and always willing to help you. We are open Tuesday and Thursday from 12-7, Friday and Saturday from 9-4:30. Stop in and see what we have to offer at the Brooklyn Branch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What did you read this summer?

I'm still having a hard time not putting on a Summer Reading Program t-shirt before coming to work. While I'm still adjusting to life after the SRP, I've been looking over the book reviews that were entered at the Waverly Branch by teams Curie and Einstein. The branch had 41 adults sign up for the SRP, and they entered 214 reviews. Each form asked the reviewer to assign a rating of 1 to 4 stars for each item. The breakdown was: 106 four-star (Loved it!) ratings, 80 three-star (Liked it) ratings, 25 two-star (Just OK) ratings, 2 one-star (BOO!) ratings, and one entry with no stars chosen.

The four-star reviews covered a wide range of materials, ranging from both adult and children's classics to the library's Facebook page, blog, and Freegal music download service. Multiple books by Gillian Flynn and John Green (and the movie of The Fault in Our Stars) made the list, as did one by local author (and branch patron) Nancy Paul. I thought it might be interesting to post a few random examples of the top reviewed items.

Frantic/by Mike Dellosso-Quite the page turner! This is the first of this author I've read. I plan to now read others. I will never look at a dropped note the same!!

Smoke/by Ellen Hopkins-Sequel to Hopkins' book Burned. It follows 2 girls struggle with dealing with abusive relationships. this story is written in poetry but also a narrative.

The Fault in Our Stars/by John Green (one of six reviews)-So well written. Joyful and tragic. Story of 2 teens dying of cancer. Revolves around the story told in a favorite book of the character, Hazel Grace. (Another review)-Finished in one day because there is no way not to fall in love with the characters. Green is able to weave comedy & tragedy as if they are complementary instead of opposites.

Nubby/by Nancy Paul- Good storyline but at times I got a little lost in the transitions. Suspense with a good ending. Christian fiction with Indy author.

Gone Girl/by Gillian Flynn- Love her style. A twist with every chapter. Excited for the movie to come out. Only disappointed in the last few pages - can't all end the way you want.

Dad is Fat/by Jim Gaffigan (audio)- When I read this book the first time, I remember thinking this could only be better if it was an audiobook. This year I found it as an audiobook and I was not disappointed.

Just One Thing/by Holly Jacobs- Loved this book! About just one thing that leads to many great things. Love these feel good books.

Facebook page- I just found out through the FB page that our team "Einstein" is down by 19 reviews. I just handed in two more. Hope it helps!

These are just a few of the reviews, but I hope they give a little of the flavor of the larger community of shared ideas and opinions that they represent. I've even had one patron ask if we could have a square on next years record sheet for books that received four-stars in previous years.

Keep reading,


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Reading by the Numbers, Part II

Now that we have officially wrapped up Summer Reading, it is time to share some stats. After counting each and every adult entry, Team Einstein came out on top!  The team read 1,377 books! Isn't that amazing!?  Team Curie wasn't too far behind with 1202 books.  Congratulations Team Einstein!

We had 389 adult participants and when you add the total number of entries from each team you get 2,579.  If you divide the number of entries by the number of participants, you'll find that the average adult summer reading participant read 6.62982 books. (Don't ask me exactly how you read 6.62982 books...) I am impressed! 

I'm sure that the numbers were equally impressive for the children and teen programs,  as the library was bustling with activities, programs and lots of participation from people of all ages!  I'm sure that some of our other bloggers will  tell you all about it in upcoming posts!

The summer didn't come to a close without some lucky winners!  Kimberly B. was the grand prize winner, and Marie Y., Anne R., Judy S., Honesty B., Donna Jo C., and Michelle B. won Starbucks gift cards and travel mugs.

We hope you'll join us for more summer fun again next year!  In the meantime, we hope you'll stop in for a program or to check out books, DVDs, video games, or whatever your heart desires!

Happy reading,


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Return of the Chemistry Cave!

Some of you may remember that I had a Chemistry Cave display last summer.  I decided to bring the display back this year for our science filled summer and do even more experiments!

Experiment 1: Stalactites and Stalagmites

If you remember last year's Cave, you will also remember the infamous Stalactite and Stalagmite Growing Fail.  If you don't, let me give you the short version: the experiment didn't work.  I decided that this summer, I WOULD grow stalactites and stalagmites, no matter what! 

Here's our set up:

Two cups, one filled with Epsom Salt that had been dissolved in water, with a string stretched between them.  The desired outcome: stalactites and stalagmites growing from the string!

I waited.  I waited.  I waited.

Nothing.  Once again, I was defeated.

I will never attempt this experiment again.

Experiment 2: WASH YOUR HANDS!!! 

This next experiment was done by Cassie and our Tweens during a Tween Wednesday program.  They were talking about germs and why we should wash our hands.  For the experiment, they had two pieces of an apple.  For Apple A, as soon as they cut the piece from the apple, they sealed it up in a plastic bag.  For Apple B, they passed the slice around the group, making sure everyone had a chance to hold the apple (it even briefly hit the floor!), before placing it in a plastic bag.  They left the apples to sit to see what happened over a few days.

Remember, Apple A is the "clean" apple and Apple B is the one that was passed around the group.

Do you need to wash your hands now?

Experiment 3: The Bouncing Egg

Yes, you can make an egg bounce!  I placed a regular egg in a bowl, covered it with vinegar, and let it hang out for 24 hours.

Ok, so not much to see.  After 24 hours, I took the egg out of the vinegar and the shell was gone!  The egg also felt a little swollen and it felt SUPER GROSS!!!  But would it bounce?


 IF I had followed the instructions and dropped the egg from a height of 3 inches or less, I'm sure it would have bounced.  Good thing I did this over the sink!

 I hope you've enjoyed our Chemistry Cave!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Exciting changes are coming to the genealogy area!

On or about August 10th, a new desk will be installed near the genealogy area.  That desk will be staffed by Janice who has been doing reference and genealogy work for several years.  She will still be doing reference work and helping anyone who needs answers to questions.  She'll just be closer to the genealogy area.  Indeed this will make things easier for all who are doing genealogy research.  Believe it or not, today someone from New Mexico is doing family genealogy research and has asked several questions.  More and more, this seems to be the type of questions we are getting.  So it makes sense to have someone located in the genealogy area.  However, the desk will be "mobile" so you may occasionally see her in other areas of the library.  She is looking forward to it.

In addition to this change, the reference desk will be staffed by Lorie  from our Monrovia Branch Library.  Check out the blog written just before this one about Summer Reading.  Lorie really knows her stuff and she will be available to help anyone needing assistance on the public access internet computers and much more.  If you follow the library's facebook page, you may have seen her posts about the Monrovia Branch Library and beyond.  We are looking forward to having her here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Teams

If you have signed up for the adult summer reading program this year, you know that participants are divided up into two competing teams to see which team will read the most books over the summer.  The two teams are Team Curie and Team Einstein.  Have you signed up yet for summer reading?  It isn't too late!  Go to your branch and ask to sign up and you will receive a Literary Elements log.

Each box on the log lists an "element" and has an activity that must be completed to finish that particular element.  For example, you might be asked to read a new book, or search one of our library databases, or like our Facebook page.  Most of the "elements" entail reading different genres and it gives you the opportunity to branch out from what you might usually read.  When you finish an element, fill out a review with your name and phone number at the bottom to submit for the grand prize.

This year we are giving away either a $100 gift card or an e-reader, your choice should you win!  The more reviews you fill out the more chances you have to win.  Of course, to finish the summer reading you need only complete six elements but you are welcome to complete the entire log.  In addition, contestants are divided up into teams to make it even more exciting.  The team that reads and fills out the most reviews can claim victory!  During the first two weeks, Team Einstein was ahead but this week Team Curie came up from behind and now has a decisive lead.  Full disclosure, I am on Team Einstein and I have to ask my fellow team members, are we going to let Team Curie walk away and win this contest without a fight?  Well whatever team you are on get busy reading and submitting your reviews and enjoy all the elements that make up our summer reading program this year!