Thursday, February 26, 2009

As Seen From The Front Desk

The other day a mother and her young child returned some books at the circulation desk. The parting between the child and his books was sorrowful, and he politely pleaded with his mother to keep them longer. But mother prevailed, and so the child stepped down off our stool dejectedly. A quick recovery was made, however, when he spotted a shiny, aerodynamic motorcycle helmet placed next to one of the public computers. A man in a riding jumpsuit had biked over to the library to use the computer and noticed the boy's eyes widen at the sight of this alluring piece of space-age equipment. He allowed the boy to put on his helmet (twice the size of the child's head,) and with the mother's permission the three of them walked out of the library together so that he could show the boy his motorcycle in the parking lot. It took just a few minutes from the man's day to do this, but the little boy will surely remember it for a long time. Those of us who noticed this kind act were left beaming for the day. And, no doubt, we will see the boy back in the library soon looking for books about motorcycles!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Do You Need To Update Your Business/Computer Skills?

Are you thinking about getting back into the workplace or perhaps upgrading to a more challenging job? If so, you are undoubtedly aware that technology changes quickly, and job seekers must adapt their skills to meet the times.

Why not go to that interview reassured that your computer skills are up-to-date? Bernardsville Public Library has your needs in mind. We have been offering free computer classes for a number of years and want to encourage you to attend them. The classes are taught on laptops in the library's Community Room by staff member Karen Vaias, and you will get the attention you deserve because class sizes are small.

Karen's classes fall into two categories: Build Up Your Computer Skills, which provides basic computer instruction, and Polish Your Microsoft Office Skills, which covers programs such as Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. Please consult the
library's Web site for more information. Once there, click on the picure of the computer mouse and the words "Help for New Computer Users." To reserve your spot at one of these classes, come to the circulation desk to sign up and please be prepared to leave a deposit of $5 for each class. Your deposit will be returned to you once you attend the class.

You may also sign up for free, individual computer classes with volunteer instructors who will walk you through your particular area of need or interest. These classes are held in the library as well and require a sign-up, too. Stop by the circulation desk to make an appointment. Classes run one hour in length. Best of all, you do NOT need to have a library card to take advantage of these wonderful career and life-enhancing classes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is "Book News and More" For Sure...Dog Reviews Book About A Cat!

Margaret Harvey, readers' services staff member at Bernardsville Public Library, is a dog lover through and through, but she and her dog Skip were moved by the recent nonfiction book, Dewey. Skip is a "mixed breed" shelter dog, so he can relate to the miraculous rescue of the little kitten, Dewey, who became the live-in mascot for a small library in Iowa. With assistance from Margaret, Skip has provided a dog's perspective on a book about a cat. Dewey: the small-town library cat who touched the world by Vicki Myron

Skip's review of the book follows below:

As a dog I rarely read books about cats, but I know about libraries because my mom works at one. When I saw the cat on the cover, I wanted to gnaw on it. I changed my mind and decided to peek at it since I figured there was no way a cat could really change the world. I have to say, I am not fond of cats. After reading Dewey, I have a new respect for the cat and his book.

You see, poor Dewey was abandoned in a cold book return at a library in a small town in Iowa during the 1980’s. He nearly froze to death, but was found by the nice librarians who worked there before that happened (Librarians are nice people.) After thawing him out, they decided to keep him. A cat in the library? Well evidently, this was not as unusual as you might think. There is actually historical evidence for cats in libraries which astounds me as I think dogs would be so much nicer. You can read about that in the book.

The author, who was the library’s director, tells lots of anecdotes that cat lovers will really enjoy. Dogs won’t appreciate them too much, but people who like libraries will find Dewey’s life story intriguing even if they don’t care much for cats. Libraries can be quite fun places to be, and this library in Iowa was no exception. While the author tells about Dewey’s life in the library, she also recounts how the cat and the library impacted the community during a bad economic period in the town. This makes it a timely book for you humans.

I liked this book because it shows how great animals (including cats) are and how good they are for people of all ages. Maybe after you read this book you will want to have a cat in your library. Or even better, a dog in the library.

~Skip Harvey
Margaret Harvey’s best dog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Library Display Celebrates Lincoln's 200th Anniversary

Today is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. To celebrate this occasion and to note his presidency, Bernardsville Public Library has installed a new book display in its lobby. Included in this broad assortment of items are biographies, book recordings, and histories about Abraham Lincoln which have been selected for children, young adult, and adult readers. Shown below are some of the books currently on display. Please pause to look through them as you enter the library, and please feel free to check out any of these books from the display.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Purrrfect" for Pet and Animal Lovers

photo source - Bernardsville Public Library

Are you on the lookout for great stories with animal subjects? Have you considered getting a pet recently? Do you take comfort in the company of animal friends?

photo source - Bernardsville Public Library

Look no further than the circulation desk at Bernardsville Public Library where a new bookmark has been added to our very own collection of original bookmarks. This one is entitled Creature Comforts and offers a list of current and older book titles with great animal characters. Included among these titles are books for both adults and children alike. On the other side of the bookmark are some suggested readings for animal care and breed information. Learn how to care for your pets. Loving them is easy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New in Nonfiction - A Staff Pick

Karen Vaias, reference librarian and readers' services staff member at Bernardsville Public Library, recently read this new nonfiction book. Her review follows:

When the New Year rolls around, our thoughts often turn to self improvement. Resolutions can include such topics as reducing one's carbon footprint or one's waistband. The new book, Food Matters: a guide to conscious eating with more than 75 recipes by Mark Bittman offers help on how to achieve each of these. In it, he addresses the concept of sustainability in a practical and economical manner. Bittman discusses how significantly our meat-dominated menus impact global warming and depletion of resources. He also maintains that what is good for the environment is good for the individual: you will actually lose weight by implementing his suggestions! The author's guidelines are flexible enough to fit into most lifestyles and budgets. In the second part of the book, he includes menu plans and recipes that yield great results from a minimum of ingredients. Mark Bittman is the author of numerous cookbooks and a weekly New York Times column. He also appears regularly on the Today Show.