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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Looking for a few good reads



Just a week until the booksale! Once again, the Friends of the Library will have THOUSANDS of books to purchase for just .25 to $1!  And it’s all sales tax free!

The sale begins with the "Members Only Preview" on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. The sale continues Friday, noon-8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. We end on Sunday with the $1 per bag sale. You don’t want to miss it!

And speaking of really good books (which I was, because the book sale has tons of really awesome books), I have encountered several recently that I thought I’d share.

·         “Behind Closed Doors” by B.A. Paris. Jack and Grace seem like the perfect couple. He is rich and successful and she is the perfect housekeeper and entertainer. Very quickly the reader sees that something is very wrong. Jack is an absolute monster, and a few other characters start to see red flags as well.  Does Grace stay with him and will she ever get away? The first third of this book is really very average. It sort of drags and sets up a bunch of impossible scenarios. However, if you will just let yourself go along with the story, then your patience pays off. The last half of the book zooms and is filled with heart pounding tension.

If you’ve read this book and are shopping the book sale for similar stories, choose books like any early titles from Mary Higgins Clark, “Good Girl” by Mary Kubica or “Before I go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson.

·         “Be Frank with Me” by Julia Johnson. Alice is called from New York to California to be the personal assist to Mimi, a middle aged writer who wrote one hit classic and hasn’t been able to produce anything since. Alice is put in charge of Mimi’s adolescent son Frank, who is exceptionally precocious and odd. The story is fine, but the reason to read this book is Frank. He is one of the most interesting and endearing characters to come along in a very long time.

If you’ve read this book and are shopping the book sale for similar stories, choose books like “A Man Called Ove” and “Britt Marie was Here” by Fredrik Backman, The Mitford series by Jan Karon or “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

·         “Watching Edie” by Camilla Way. Single and lonely Edie has just had a baby that she can’t care for. Heather is a best friend from Edie’s past who comes along just at the right time to help her. You’ll think this is just another rehashing of “Single White Female,” but you’d be wrong. Like “Behind Closed Doors,” this story of psychological suspense has rewards its readers with a great ending.

For a similar book, look for “In the Blood” by Lisa Unger or “Jack of Spades” by Joyce Carol Oates.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Do you have YOUR card?



“Library Card Sign-Up Month” begins Sept. 1 and starts a flurry of librarian activity as we try to get as many people signed up for library cards as possible. Library staff members will be out and about, all over Stillwater, encouraging you to get your free ticket to tens of thousands of books and eBooks, audios and eAudios, DVDs, and language learning, car repair and genealogy databases.

We’ll also be going out to businesses with our L.I.B. program. Businesses can become certified “Library Improved Businesses” by supporting reading through letting us come to sign up employees for library cards. Encouraging your staff to read has many benefits for your business. Studies on reading now show that the activity:

·        Lowers blood pressure and increases life span (Fewer sick days?)
·        Increases empathy and reduces stress (Better customer service!)
·        Increases motivation, goal reaching, and memory (Better productivity!)

·        In addition, children read more when they see their parents read, which means that your employees’ children could reap all of the same rewards!

If your business would like to schedule a L.I.B. visit, email us at askalibrarian@stillwater.org.

Library staff will also be out and about at community events. One event we are attending is the Aging Advocates Committee’s “Golden Ticket Resource Fair” on Thursday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m.-Noon, at the First Presbyterian Church located at Sixth and Duck.  The fair includes over 30 organization and business booths which will provide all sorts of excellent information, resources and opportunities on healthy aging.  The Oklahoma Lions Mobile Health Screening van will be there, along with healthy refreshments and door prizes.

Be sure to stop at the library’s booth to get a library card and to find out about the collections and services that will help your journey into the Golden Years be healthier and lots more fun!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kindle



So—I have been a huge proponent of the Kindle Fire. Each time someone comes in to ask for a recommendation about an ereader, the Fire has been at the top of my list. You can do eBooks, plus get most of what an iPad has but at a significantly cheaper price.

And then, I looked at my reading list to see what I had been reading. Not much! And yet I have downloaded quite a few books to read. What was going on? I had also noticed several of my Library Shelf articles talk about the fact that I hadn’t read for ages, then I go on a reading spurt and recommend a lot of the books. So why do I keep having these reading droughts, especially since I am an avid reader and, well, it is sort of part of my job?

As I wondered about this question, I picked up my Fire, opened “Cryptonomicon” by Neal Stephenson, a book I was reading because I LOVED his novel “Seven Eves.” As I was reading, I stopped to look up info about the history of the “output-feedback mode stream ciphers” that appear in the book.

While reading about the history of that cipher system on Wikipedia, I laughed at myself because I was getting info off Wikipedia, even though I detest Wikipedia because of the misinformation that shows up on its pages, and I recalled that we had specifically added “information literacy” as a  goal on the library’s Long Range Plan to help our users better understand good vs. not good webpages, but remembered that I had not started a plan yet for beefing up our information literacy outreach, so I went to our webpage to look up the specific wording in the plan, but when I was looking for the long range plan link, I saw the slide on our homepage for the Mobile FabLab (maker space) coming on Friday, which made me remember that I had seen an ad for the comeback of the TV show “Battlebots,” which my husband loves, but that I HATE so since we stream TV, I looked up articles on how I could block out an entire site like ABC, so that I wouldn’t have to watch it, and then I felt guilty for wanting to deprive hub of something that makes him so happy, which me feel sad, and then I was sad, and then I became concerned that I had become sad so quickly, so I looked up whether or not you can get Seasonal Affective Disorder in the summer, and as I read the list of symptoms, I saw that not enjoying things you used to enjoy was on the list, and I thought about how I was certainly not enjoying the escape game I had been playing on my Fire, so I opened the game to see if I still didn’t like it, and I didn’t, so I went to the Kindle app store and browsed through a bunch of apps to find and download a new escape game to see if I liked that one, but in the meantime, I found a cross-stitching game app that looked fun so I downloaded it to play, but I didn’t like it so I deleted it, and when I deleted it, the icon for my episodes of “The Bletchley Circle,” about the women who worked as codebreakers at Bletchley Park during WWII, appeared, so I stopped and watched the last two episodes I hadn’t seen yet, but then I was finished with the series and wished I had more, which reminded me that HEY—I’m reading a book about codebreaking!, so I reopened “Cryptonomicon,” read a page and half, then fell asleep.

So, I knew what my reading problem was. I checked out several hardcopy books the following day, and read and enjoyed “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff (very literary, 3.5 stars); “Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey (dystopian, 4 stars)Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Backman (5 stars!); and “I Let You Go” by Clare Mackintosh (4.25 stars).

I still love the ease and convenience of eBooks, but before I go back to Oklahoma Virtual Library, I’ll be getting a plain old, no frills Kindle.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Law Day at the Library



This week the Stillwater Public Library is hosting two interesting and helpful programs related to legal issues.

On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Officer Tom Comstock will hold a public forum on “Police and the Community.” The program is an open discussion about public/police relations and is part of the SPD’s Community Outreach Program.

Comstock will be discussing topics such as the actions community members can take to assist the police, safe ways to respond should you get pulled over or stopped by an officer and types of responses that are specifically be illegal.

The program is not just about how YOU should respond, but also about how the police do. Comstock will be discussing what to do if you witness inappropriate actions by the police and what you would like to see from the police. What type of community involvement and interactions would you like to see?

As we hope you know, two of the library’s core tenets are openness and accessibility. We applaud the police department for doing this program and for their efforts to be transparent and open to the public. We hope you will join us in this important public discussion.

On Friday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Payne County attorneys return to the library for the free “Ask a Lawyer” program. You are invited to the library to meet face-to-face with a local attorney and ask legal questions free of charge. Questions on most legal issues can be asked, including those involving consumer problems, family law, wills and estate planning, property, personal injury and criminal issues. Participants are asked to limit their questions to those not involving current in-court cases. 

Local attorneys will provide each participant with advice on what steps are needed to resolve the legal problems. All questions are confidential, and several attorneys will be on hand at once to provide a wider base of legal knowledge. Participants are encouraged to bring a list of questions for the attorneys, as well as any documents concerning the issue.

Why bother attending the event? Sometimes, we have smaller legal issues that we don’t believe warrant making a trip to an attorney. This program is a great way to relieve those nagging legal issues you may have been carrying around all year, and sometimes, you find out that the little, nagging issue is actually very important and needs immediate attention.

“Ask-a-Lawyer” is also one of the few chances you have to get access to attorneys who have experience in such a wide variety of issues. Although attorneys do not “specialize” here in Oklahoma, attorneys often have much more experience in certain areas. We always try to pair you up with the attorney who has the most experience in the area of your legal issue.

Most importantly, it is a chance to get correct advice. As “Law Day” chairman Jimmy Oliver has said, “The internet has changed the way people receive information. Unfortunately, this can lead to people receiving incomplete or inaccurate information about legal topics when searching on the Web and speaking to people who aren't lawyers.

“With ‘Ask a Lawyer,’ citizens can speak with a licensed local attorney to get correct legal advice from someone knowledgeable about and trained on the topic." I highly concur. You may be able to get away with getting an apple pie recipe off the Web, but don’t try it with legal issues!

The event is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. “Ask-a-Lawyer” is a part of “Law Day,” a national event aimed at providing the public with access to and knowledge of the legal system, while highlighting the role of attorneys in the community.

Last, because of the potential for severe weather tonight, the OSU Science Café planned for 6:30 p.m. at the library is postponed. We will send out the rescheduled date when we receive it. Stay safe!

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.). For more information, contact the Help Desk by phone at (405) 372-3633 or by e-mail at askalibrarian@stillwater.org or visit the web site at library.stillwater.org.   

Monday, April 4, 2016

Legendary Book Sale!



The booksale is coming up on April 14-18. The sale is an official part of Stillwater’s Legends Weekend, which is apt because the sale is LEGEND (wait for it) ARY! I asked around to see what other people thought about the booksale and got some great responses about why people love this sale:

·         “I’m always surprised by the types of books I can find. I love Art and Philosophy and the sale has books that I wouldn’t expect it to have.”

·         “I like that my whole family can find items they love. The booksale has something for everyone of any age, with any interest.”

·         “The books that I like are so easy to find. They are split up in categories so I can go right over to what I am looking for.”

·         “It is so vast.”

·         “I like how affordable it is to replace our kids’ whole library every six months. We bring in all of their books to donate to the sale and get to take home a whole new batch. It keeps them interested in reading.”

·         “Great selection with thousands of books. Cheap, cheap prices.”

·         “My favorite part of the booksale? The best part is how the sale benefits the library and helps give us even better services and programs and books.”

The last statement is one of my favorite parts of the sale too. All of the funds the Friends of the Library make goes right back into the library. It is certainly the reason our library has been able to provide amazing programs like our “Great Gatsby” and “Fire in Beulah” series. Here is a quick reminder of the upcoming series programs courtesy of the Friends of the Library booksale:

·         Stillwater Runs Dry: Mob & Prohibition in Oklahoma, Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m.

·         1920's Lego Club Challenges, April 6 and April 14, sign-up on the library’s webpage at http://library.stillwater.org under the “Register for Programs” button.

·         Town & Gown's Theatrical Production of “The Great Gatsby,” April 7-10 and April 14-17. Purchase tickets at http://www.townandgown.org

·         Snapshot Stillwater 1920’s, April 9-17, self-guided tour of 1920’s Downtown Stillwater. Pick-up a tour booklet at the library.

The booksale begins with the Thursday Members’ Preview from 5-8 p.m. Memberships are on sale at the door for $10 and can be applied to the fall sale. The sale is open to the public Friday, 12-8 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. On Sunday all items are $1 per bag of books.

For more info about this legendary booksale, visit our webpage.