Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Memory from the Library of Congress

What is this amazing undertaking (you may well ask)?

American Memory is a multimedia web site of digitized historical documents, photographs, sound recordings, moving pictures, books, pamphlets, maps, and other resources from the Library of Congress’s vast holdings. An historic initiative in its own right, American Memory currently makes available more than 100 collections and more than 9 million individual items to users in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Miss Bun thinks that is rather a stunning accomplishment! Here is a link to their FAQ (frequently asked questions) page for more info: American Memory FAQ

Some collections may involve a bit of clicking to get where you want to go so be patient. Good things come to those who wait (or so Miss Bun says).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Miss Bun...

Q. What's this library thing called the Dewey Decimal System? I must have been asleep in library class when they talked about this.

A. Miss Bun offers her condolences on your selective narcolepsy but would like to say that you are not alone in this search to uncover the mysteries of the DDS (that's library speak for Dewey Decimal System).

Miss Bun finds that most people are involuntarily force fed the intricacies of this system of classifying books (so that we may easily retrieve them when we want them) way before they have the mental faculties (or dire need) to absorb the information. Thus they go through life with a feeling that something is, indeed, missing in their bag of library skills.

Not to worry! Miss Bun has a delightful website she would like to gently direct you to in the hopes of alleviating your plight. It was developed by 5th & 6th graders at the Nettleton Intermediate Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas and is a wonderful, interactive place to explore Dewey. (Miss Bun is most impressed with the "Dewey and the Alien" story.) Who said learning about libraries has to be boring?

Here's the link: "Do We" Really Know Dewey

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Digital Collection for Those With Green Thumbs!

Just when all the gardeners out there are dreaming of cultivating giant killer squash and to-die-for American Beauty roses we bring you a Smithsonian Institution Libraries Digital Collection: Seed Catalogs.

From their introduction:

"The Smithsonian Institution Libraries have a unique trade catalog collection that includes about 10,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating from 1830 to the present.

The real gems of the collection date from 1830 to the 1930s and are both beautiful and important multidisciplinary historical documents. The seed trade catalogs document the history of the seed and agricultural implement business in the United States, as well as provide a history of botany and plant research such as the introduction of plant varieties into the United States. Additionally, the seed trade catalogs are a window into the history of graphic arts in advertising, and a social history, through the text and illustrations, showing changing fashions in flowers and vegetables."

You can search by seed company or five categories of cover art: flowers, vegetables, fruits, people and the material world, and other.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Reader's Services Website!

Books & Authors is a place to go if you want to find out about books and authors..... and lots more!

Here you can search for fiction and non-fiction, filter by several categories (such as adult, young adult, children, or all), get recommendations & reviews, & find out if your favorite book/author won any awards. Once you have found a book there is a "What do I read next" sidebar on the bottom right that will let you search other similar books by who, what, where, and when categories. But that's not all!

Sign up for a FREE "My Reading Room" account and you can keep book lists, author lists, write reviews, rate books and keep track of your searches.

Sounds like Bibliophile Heaven to Miss Bun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In Honor Of.....

Frogwatch USA (see post below), amphibians everywhere & especially the frogs in my pond I give you a favorite poem by David Wagoner:

The Poets Agree to be Quiet by the Swamp

They hold their hands over their mouths
And stare at the stretch of water.
What can be said has been said before:
Strokes of light like herons' legs in the cattails,
Mud underneath, frogs lying even deeper.
Therefore, the poets may keep quiet.
But the corners of their mouths grin past their hands.
They stick their elbows out into the evening,
Stoop, and begin the ancient croaking.

-- David Wagoner

(I have long suspected that poets are born with webbing between their toes! This confirms it!)

Here Is An Elite Group To Join...

Miss Bun, who is an avid adorer of all things amphibian, would like to encourage the budding (and the more seasoned) naturalists out there to consider joining this group.

Becoming a Frogwatch volunteer will give you the opportunity to gather information that will help increase awareness of the national amphibian decline while at the same time learn more about our little green friends, their calls, and the wetlands they inhabit.

There is good information here so take your time. (And you were wondering what there was to do this summer!?!)

This would be a great project for homeschoolers!

Happy Croaking!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
-- John Muir

Celebrate the Earth..... Today and Everyday.

Check out the Earth Day Network which was founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970. (Next year will be the 40th anniversary.) Lots of information there. You can find Earth Day events around the globe, look at their blog, find educational resources, fact sheets, and more.

Ok, Peeps, I'm not ashamed to say that I plan on going out to hug some trees today (several, in fact!). What are you going to do?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lifelong Learning = Modern Scholar Series by Recorded Books available HERE!

Recorded Books, which is the Mercedes Benz of the audiobook industry,
has a remarkable series of college level courses presented on various topics. Each course is taught in a format of 14 lectures of 35 minutes each on CDs by some of our nation's most respected professors and scholars.

Each course includes a detailed, full-color course guide. The course guide includes not only the professor's outline and lecture notes, but numerous resources and options for further study.

And if that is not enough, you'll be given access to an expansive website with further information, supplemental materials, links to related websites, and a final exam to test your comprehension of the subject.

Currently we have 97 titles available throughout our county library system. Here are just a few of them to give you an idea of what this series has to offer:

  • Walt Whitman and the Birth of American Modern Poetry
  • Astronomy Earth, Sky and Planets
  • From Jesus to Christianity a History of the Early Church
  • How to Listen to and Appreciate Jazz
  • Understanding the Holocaust
  • Waking Dragon the Emerging Chinese Economy and its Impact on the World
  • The Building Blocks of Human Life Understanding Mature Cells and Stem Cells
  • Communication Matters with Deborah Tannen
  • Rings, Swords and Monsters Exploring Fantasy Literature
  • Rethinking Our Past Recognizing Facts, Fictions, and Lies in American History
This would be an excellent resource for home-schoolers or anyone with a desire to exercise their brain cells.

Miss Bun loved the course on Walt Whitman because she thinks he's the bees knees! (But you didn't hear that from me!)

To take a look at titles in this series in our card catalog click here:
Lebanon County Libraries Card Catalog (use the search term "modern scholar")

If you have a Lebanon County Library Card you can log in and reserve one for yourself. (Be sure to select the library you want to pick it up at.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

National Marine Sanctuaries & Their Amazing Media Library....

The mission of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries is to serve as the trustee for the nation's system of marine protected areas, to conserve, protect, and enhance their biodiversity, ecological integrity and cultural legacy.

This is a very interesting site to visit with lots of information and sections on maritime heritage, education, science, expeditions, and more.

However, one of the spots you may want to take some extra time with is the Media Library where you will find a collection of video clips and still images that are searchable and available for download. (The turtle and fish photos were downloaded from there.)

They also have a YouTube page that you can subscribe to: YouTube Sanctuaries Page.

What are you waiting for? Go get your feet wet! Enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

TGIFF!!! Switcheroozoo!!!

Ok Peeps! It's Fun Friday and we bring you Switcheroo Zoo which is a fun (of course!), informative, interactive site that features animal games, music performed using animal voices, a reference section about all of the animals in Switch Zoo, lesson plans, and poetry, stories and artwork created by students and visitors.

There is a lot to see and do here so spend some time getting acquainted with what this site has to offer. (Isn't that what Fun Fridays are for???)

Oh, and BTW, have some fun!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If You're In the Neighborhood.....Drop In!

Spring Open House & Annual Meeting

Monday, April 20
Open House 6 - 8 pm
Annual Meeting 8 pm

You are invited
to join us for
an evening of refreshments
and a chance to sample what
we have to offer.

The Library Board, Staff, Trustees & Friends
will be here to show you about:

  • Our Collection
  • The Online Catalog
  • Managing Your Library Account Online
  • Downloading Eaudiobooks
  • Young Adult Room
  • Children's Library & Story Times
  • Books Discussion Group
  • Playaways (books on MP3 players)

& Much More!

Come for the Open House
& stay for the short Annual Meeting
where you can learn
what we've been up to this past year.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Retro Media: An Online Exhibit

(Click on the logo)

This is an interesting online version (thanks for the heads up, Mo!) of an exhibit by the University at Buffalo: The State University of New York library that gives us a look at how we have recorded, collected, and used audio, visual, and digital information over a span of 120 years & the problems and issues that go along with such rapidly changing technology.

For some of us this is walk down memory lane.....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Peeps, Peeps, & More Peeps!!!

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of this season's candy fog we bring you the results of the Third Washington Post's Annual Peep Diorama Contest.

Did you know that peeps are made by Just Born, Inc. which is located in Bethlehem, PA? (Warning: the background music is rather annoying.)

Evidently Just Born encourages newspapers around the country to hold peep diorama contests at this time of year. So if you were to search the Net you would find many other contests to take a peep at....(sorry, couldn't help it).....enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Great Free Art History Resource to Check Out! is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook.

This from their About Page:

"Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker began smARThistory in 2005 by creating a blog featuring free audio guides in the form of podcasts for use in The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art...

In Smarthistory, we have aimed for reliable content and a delivery model that is entertaining and occasionally even playful. Our podcasts and screen-casts are spontaneous conversations about works of art where we are not afraid to disagree with each other or art history orthodoxy."

Miss Bun and I heartily applaud this effort to think outside the box and use web 2.0 technology to create open collaborations and open communities. This is the future! (It also occurs to us that this would be an excellent resource for homeschoolers!)

Ok, Peeps, go forth and partake!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Get the Skinny on Easter Foods @ The Food Timeline...

The Food Timeline is a remarkable collection of related Web pages put together by Lynne Olver, a reference librarian and IACP member, at the Morris County Library (Whippany, NJ).

If you have any interest in food this is the place to go. Be sure to check out the bottom of the home page where you will find links to:
  • Teacher resources & Lesson Plans
  • Historic Food Prices
  • State Foods
  • Decade Parties
  • Historic Menu Collections
  • & More!
In keeping with the season here is the link for Easter Foods: History & Symbolism as promised in today's blog title.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Dog About Town"

This number was performed in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia (named for our Birthday Boy below) by Furry Murray and The Bow Wow Band for Commerce Bank's 3rd Annual Carnivale for the Dogs .

This should get your tail wagging on a Wednesday!

Happy Birthday To.....

David Rittenhouse who, by all accounts, was a rather remarkable fellow Pennsylvanian.

He became an astronomer, mathematician, instrument maker and one of the leading American scientists of the eighteenth century, second only to Benjamin Franklin.

He was also the first director of the United States Mint.

Find out more here: David Rittenhouse

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meet SkippyjonJones & Judy Schachner!

AY CARAMBA! This is MUCHO fun!!!

is a Siamese kittenboy who can't resign himself to being an ordinary cat. With ears too big for his head he imagines himself to be a Chihuahua, takes on the superhero persona of the great Spanish sword fighter Skippito, and has the adventure of his life rescuing his pals from a giant Bumblebeeto Bandito. Zany, wild, and over-the-top, this utterly original book truly begs to be read aloud.

Don't believe what the blurbs say about this book being just for the preschool/elementary set. I read it to my teenagers (that's what you get when you have a librarian for a Mother) and they thought it was a blast!

Author Judy Schachner lives in Pennsylvania and has several more books based on this character of a character! Check out her Skippito website here:

And you can listen to her presentation at the 2007 National Book Fesitval in Washington, D.C. here: Judy Schachner: BookFest '07.

Monday, April 6, 2009

R U a Word Nerd??? You'll Love This!

Try out the Visual Thesaurus which is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning. You'll understand language in a powerful new way.

Check out their How It Works page for lots more info.

This is one application that you do have to subscribe to but I think it is well worth it. (You can try it for free at first.)

The home page is loaded with lots of exciting info about words & language usage. There are word lists, the word of the day, lesson plans, blogs, and more! Be sure to take a look at their department listings at the bottom of the page.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another TGIFF (already???)!

Storyline Online

Here's a nifty site for a rainy Fun Friday where you can listen to members of the Screen Actors Guild reading children's books aloud in streaming video. (And who doesn't like being read to???)

Each book has related activities and lesson ideas.

When you place your cursor over the offered book titles the site gives you the actor who is reading it.

Miss Bun particularly liked this one
read by Sean Astin (better known to many for his role as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings films).


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Library Thing...

If you love books (Miss Bun wants to know what's not to like?) & you have lots of them or you just want to keep track of them & you want to connect with others who have the same predilections ......... you need this!

As their homepage states, LibraryThing is:

A home for your books.
Enter what you're reading or your whole library. It's an easy, library-quality catalog.

A community of 600,000 books lovers.
LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you do.

The thing about LibraryThing is that you can enter 200 books for free or you can upgrade for a small fee. If you are shy, you can elect to keep your library private (or not). There are a slew of groups you can join and 31 languages to choose from. Tons of recommendations, reviews, widgets and lots more.

What are you waiting for? Take the tour here: LibraryThing Tour.

(Miss Bun suspects that this would be an excellent place for all those who have been harboring a deep-seated, secret desire to be catalogers.....for whatever reason.....)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day!

Ok, Peeps, pay attention today!
To keep you on your toes I give you the Museum of Hoaxes. Check out the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time tab at the top of the page.

Also take a look at what Wikipedia has to tell us about this day: April Fool's Day.

And, if that's not enough, here is: