Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Amazing Animal Facts

A cat can run about 20 kilometers per hour (12 miles per hour) when it grows up. This one is going nowhere today - it is too lazy !.

Bears whose brown fur is tipped with lighter colored hairs are called grizzly bears . The smallest species of bears is called sun or Malayan bears. Male bears are called boars. Bears are native to the continents of North America, Asia, Europe, and South America. Alaskan brown bears, world's largest meat eating animals that live on land, can weigh as much as 1,700 pounds (771 kilograms)

No two zebras have stripes that are exactly alike. Zebras' enemies include hyenas, wild dogs, and lions. Male zebras are called stallions. Zebras usually travel in herds.

There are more than 50 different kinds of kangaroos. Kangaroos are native of Australia. A group of kangaroos is called a mob. Young kangaroos are called joeys.

How do reindeers survive in the extreme cold? Most animals don’t eat moss. It’s hard to digest, and it has little nutritional value. But reindeer fill up with lots of moss. Why? The moss contains a special chemical that helps reindeer keep their body fluids warm. When the reindeer make their yearly journey across the icy Arctic region, the chemical keeps them from freezing—much as antifreeze keeps a car from freezing up in winter.

A cheetah can run 76 kilometres per hour (46 miles per hour) - that's really fast! The fastest human beings runs only about 30 kilometres per hour (18 miles per hour). A cheetah does not roar like a lion - it purrs like a cat (meow).

The largest frog in the world is called Goliath frog. Frogs start their lives as eggs often laid in or near fresh water. Frogs live on all continents except Antarctica. Frogs belong to a group of animals called amphibians.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Up and running!

Since the Library reopened March 29th, we have been thrilled with the response from patrons. Everyone who has walked in has just marveled at the openness and lightness of the space. Many have asked, "What did you do? This is amazing!" Really, the only new thing in the library is the carpeting - the open effect is simply a result of better use of the space. There are little seating areas that were created by spacing the bookshelves so that the windows are visible as one looks down the rows.

Removing the curtains has also opened up the space wonderfully. There will be some type of clear UV protection on the windows, but no curtains. Our surrounding views are stunning - and having them visually available has been a huge improvement.

Of course, we are far from finished. The Nonfiction Section is finally open, and our Geneaology Section is up and running again, although not totally complete yet. It also has a much improved layout which makes it easier to use. When the former reference room is finally cleared out, the new Teen Zone will take shape. We are planning new furnishings for the space with the help of a grant applied for through the Mississippi Library Commission. New furnishings are on order for the former periodicals room, the new Dr Clifford Tillman Memorial Reading Room, thanks to the many donations given in his name. The dedication is scheduled for 2 pm on Tuesday, May 11 during our Open House. We hope you'll stop by and see how nice your library is looking.
Here are the most recent pictures. Click on the arrow to replay the slide show, or click on any picture to go to the online album with captions. (If you're reading this on Facebook, you'll have to go to the original blog to see the pictures.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun with Words and Letters

  1. 1. The letters of the alphabet in order of their frequency of use in English are: ETAISONHRDLUCMFWYPGVBKJQXZ. This is useful knowledge for games like Wheel of Fortune, Hangman, etc.
  2. 2. Onomatopoeia is making words based on how the named thing sounds. The word for a dog's bark in Japanese is wan-wan. Spanish cats go guau.
  3. An anagram (same letters rearranged differently) of the name Michael Jordan is Lo! Nice, hard jam!
  4. You've probably been disgruntled at one time or another, but have you ever been gruntled? There are some words that either never had a positive form or their positive form faded from use. Here are some more: debunk, defenestrate, dejected, disconsolate, disheveled, dismayed, feckless, gormless, impetuous, impromptu, inane, incessant, inchoate, incognito, incommunicado, indomitable, ineffable, inept, inert, infernal, inhibited, insidious, insipid, insouciant, intact, invert, misgivings, misnomer, nonchalant, noncommittal, nondescript, nonpareil, nonplussed, unbeknownst, ungainly, unnerved, unswerving, untold, untoward. Some words that do have positive forms, though they are rarely encountered: disarray, disconcerting, immaculate, impeccable, inadvertent, incapacitated, incorrigible, inevitable, innocent, inscrutable, insensate, insufferable, interminable, reckless, unbridled, unflappable, unfurl, unkempt, unmitigated, unrequited, unruly, unthinkable, unwieldy.
  5. What do the words cookie, cosmos, cuckoo, message, museum, quack, sausage, sequoia, squeaky, and wages have in common? They are all comprised of only the odd-numbered letters of the alphabet: a, c, e, g, and so on.
  6. The full name of the city of Los Angeles is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula.
  7. In 1740, Justice of the Peace Henry Fielding, under the nom de plume Captain Hercules Vinegar, summoned poet laureate Colley Cibber to court for the murder of the English language.
  8. The first letters of the months July through November, in order, spell the name Jason.
  9. The word galaxy comes from the Greek word for milk.
  10. Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
  11. The female name Vanessa is Greek for butterfly.
  12. Aibohphobia is the term for the fear of palindromes - a word that is spelled the same way forward and backward. Go ahead, spell it backwards.
  13. To foreign audiences, the title of the movie There's Something About Mary proved mystifying. So, country by country, the movie was renamed. In Poland, where blonde jokes are popular, the title became For the Love of a Blonde. In France, it was Mary at all Costs. In Thailand, it was My True Love Will Outstand all Outrageous Events.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Cleaning at the Library

Lots of people have stopped me to ask if we are finished, yet. The short answer is “No!” – but what they generally mean is, “Are you open, yet?” That answer is “Yes!” – but, again, with a clarification. Not all of our collections are ready and available. We still have some spring cleaning to do.

Nonfiction is one area we are giving special attention to. Our circulation statistics (check outs!) show we check out nearly four times the number of adult fiction titles than nonfiction. This, obviously, is an indication that the majority of our patrons prefer fiction. So, we are evaluating many of the items in the nonfiction area to see if we still need them. In library-lingo that means we are weeding our collection. Merriam-Webster defines weed(ing) as

“to clear of weeds, to free from something hurtful or offensive, to remove the less desirable portions of, to get rid of (something harmful or superfluous).”
When we weed, we are removing the less desirable portions of a collection. The criteria we use are standards. We check our database and find (1) the subject, (2) the publication date, (3) the last time the item was checked out, (4) the number of times an item was checked out, and (5) the condition of the item. Different subjects have differnt standards. For example, a title related to history would be considered very differently from a book with medical or scientific information.

Other collections that still need spring cleaning are Reference, Teen, and Genealogy. The Reference collection is currently being evaluated in the same manner as Nonfiction. The Teen area will be the last to be addressed as it will move into the former Reference Room, which is still full of books. An interesting aside to that room is that a friend of mine, who is a retired librarian, was in town last week. She came by to see how the library looked and was delighted to find that the Reference Room is going to be our new Teen Room. She had started her library career here under Miss Gralow and was here when the Armstrong Library was built. Apparently, that room was originally intended to be a Teen Room, but was, instead, designated for use as a Reference Room. How’s that for some trivia?

The Genealogy area is currently being used for storage of unused shelving. However, we hope to have that area cleaned up and that collection available for use by the end of next week. The Jersey Settlers are scheduled to meet here on April 24, so we have to have that area ready by then!

This project has been HUGE, but worth it. Our sore muscles have sore muscles, but we are very satisfied with the results. The building has a definite airiness and is welcoming now. All the comments we have received have been positive. We certainly appreciate all the patience our patrons have allowed with this project. It is never a good thing to be closed – not even for one week, much less two – but all aspects of the project conspired against us being able to reopen in a more timely manner. Thank you.

BTW – next week is the “official” National Library Week. We will have some activities, but we are waiting to hold OUR National Library Week and Open House when we have all the interior work completed. That includes all the collections in place and the furniture ordered for the Dr. Clifford Tillman Memorial Reading Room delivered. We expect our Open House will be held during the first or second week in May. Come by and see the changes – we hope you like what we’ve done!

A library in Indiana was undergoing renovations, which of course took longer than expected. To keep everyone in good spirits during the wait, they made this video. Check it out - it's hilarious.