March is National Women's History Month. The public celebration began in 1978 in the UnitedStates as "Women's History Week" in Sonoma County, California. In 1987 Congress expanded the celebration to a month and March was declared Women's History Month. Check out some of the titles in the library's collection celebrating the history of women:
We used the books listed here and our online resources to find some famous female firsts.
For the answers to these and any other questions you might have, come up to the second floor, IM (deweydarien), email (email@example.com) or call (669-5236) us!
Here at the library February signals the beginning of tax time. For the next two months we will be busy finding forms, handing out instruction booklets, and fielding questions about all things taxable. Our most frequently used resource is the government's official site for tax information, the Internal Revenue Service. Here you will find forms, publications, and links to state tax information. Connecticut tax forms are readily available online, but you may want to forgo paper and try e-filing. For those of you working in New York, check out the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. If your tax obligations take you further afield, the folks at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants have assembled easy-to-use links to each of the fifty states. Not quite sure of what you are looking for? Try browsing TaxSites. You will find a large selection of tax-related websites covering everything from adoptions to unclaimed tax refunds.
For those of you who are old school and prefer your information on paper rather than a screen, have no fear. We have the 2009 edition of J. K. Lasser's Your Income Tax available for use in the library or to take home.
If all else fails, there is always IRS form 2350!
Whether you think astrology is bunk or you check your star chart every day, February 12 is an impressive day to be born. Today marks the 200th anniversary of the births of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.
On the second floor, we have a display of diverse books about both men. Biographies, their writings and the musings of modern historians who study their lives and continuing impact are all waiting for you. Come upstairs for a great read about great men.
Online, the British Natural History Musem has an exhibit about Darwin's life and work and the Library of Congress has scanned Lincoln's correspondence and made images of the letters as well as transcripts available. Lincoln/Net is another resource of Lincoln's writings created by Northern Illinois University. The Darwin Foundation has continued Darwin's study of the Galapagos Islands and promotes the environmental stewardship of the islands.
Resources on both Lincoln and Darwin are seemingly limitless. Books, websites and articles abound for the serious scholar, history buff or newly curious. This three-day weekend may be the perfect time to indulge your inner historian.
The wind is howling and it feels like minus 2 outside, so what do I think about? Food. More specifically, comfort food. We were chatting this morning about what we make when we want to feel warm inside, and everybody had something special on the menu. Jen is a fan of Beef Goulash with Dumplings from Simply Recipes. She made a point to note that yes, you do need the fresh herbs and no, you can make do with really good sweet Hungarian Paprika and, as a sub, a pinch of cayenne for the hot. And yes, you do need the cake flour. It makes for a lighter dumpling.
Claire is a fan of the Barefoot Contessa and loves her turkey meatloaf. She jazzes it up by adding a ton of veggies to the mixture: colorful peppers, red onions, and fresh garlic. The final touch is a splash of wine, for moisture of course!
Kate, one of our resident vegetarians, has a cute backstory for her choice. "A friend made a Russian vegetable pie (from memory!) for me many years ago. I was desperate to repeat it, but she didn't have a recipe. I found this recipe online, tried it out for a holiday dinner one year and was pleased with how closely it matched my memory. I usually dislike cabbage (I don't even really like cole slaw!) but this pie is fantastic. I suspect cream cheese and tarragon could make sponges palatable, though."
Debbie got right down to basics. Her best bet for a cold winter night is the Cheeseburger Pie recipe on the back of the Bisquick box. Now that's what I call comfort food. And who knew, the recipe is so popular they scaled it down so you can make it for two!
Finally, on cold winter nights Pat has two reliable favorites: chicken noodle soup and chicken pot pie. Her recipes? Just hop in the car and go to Good Food Good Things. It doesn't get any easier than that!
If you are looking for inspiration in the kitchen, stop by the Library. Several of us are "foodies" and would like nothing better than to talk cookbooks with you. We have over 1,600 in our collection and it continues to grow. Until then, stay warm and bon appetit!
One of the secret joys of moving is discovery. Of course, we all hope to find a rare gem that brings us untold fame and fortune (like a 139 year old baseball card). But what usually turns up are long-missing t-shirts, forgotten college textbooks and chipped glassware. Moving the library, like moving house, has unearthed a few amusing items from the library's collection.
We found what we are fairly sure is the library's largest item. It is by no means the thickest book on our shelves, but it is the tallest and most unwieldy. It is a reprint of Eiffel's tour of his tower. It has wonderful architectural drawings and schematics.
|La Tour certainly stands out!||Much taller than its neighbors||That is one big book!||The lovely interior|
We were tickled to find this slip in several of our books
This was clearly a very important slip of paper! From crucial slips of paper to RFID and self check- we've certainly come a long way!
My personal favorite is this little book:
A book about the Bichon Frise that's clearly been nibbled by one! Hmm... maybe we should consult with our furry friends before we pick out any more dog books!
At the New Darien Library, we’re making big progress on the second floor! The nonfiction is in and it’s arranged to make browsing the stacks easier. We’ve taken the dear old Dewey Decimal System and remixed it.
While the Dewey Decimal System is subject based, it was originally developed in 1876 and we found that many modern subject areas were split between two or more Dewey areas. This reorganization makes the books easy to browse and brings together similar subject areas. Here’s how we’ve grouped the books on the second floor:
Body & Soul is where you’ll find books on religion, philosophy, self-help and health.
Over in Nature are all the books on science, math and animals.
Home has the books on hobbies, crafts, decorating, cooking and gardening.
Places is for the globetrotters among us- travel books, phrase books and travel writing.
Work is all business. Books on finance, accounting, marketing, college admissions, test preparation and the economy are here.
Come and Play, where you’ll see books on sports, cars and recreation.
Life and Times is the largest group with history, memoir and biography.
The lovely Art and Literature has beautiful art books, literature, and writing.
We’ve had a lot of fun reorganizing the collection to make it easier for our members to find what they’re looking for. Upstairs, you can browse your favorite subject area, try out our comfy chairs and bring your research questions to our roving librarians. The second floor is also the home of the Classics room, a book-lined escape into great literature.
On January 10th, come upstairs and enjoy the beautiful, sun-filled rooms of the second floor. We can’t wait to see you!
Our reorganization cheat sheet!
Ah...the marvels of technology! One of the great things about having a virtual presence is that we can still be there for you in many ways during the weeks that we are closed.
Except for the few days when we are physically moving the servers to the new building, darienlibrary.org will be open. We'll still continue to read, watch, and listen...and then report back about books, movies, music, and technology, as usual. And, perhaps, of most importance, while we are closed you will still have access to much research information.
We want to remind you that our "Online Resources" will still be available. These resources will help you find articles that Google can't access! You will be able to access online magazines and journals, and utilize specialty databases which include topics such as Investing & Finance, Health, Consumer Information, and Geneology, to name a few. (You'll be happy to know that Homework Help will also be available!) To use these services from home, you will need to provide your library card number so that we can verify that you are a Friend or town resident.
For more information about what to expect while we're closed, click here. We're looking forward to opening the actual doors at 1441 Post Road on January 10th!
One of the unexpected pleasures of working in a library is the patron request. Although we do our best to predict which books will be popular, our members find authors we have never heard of and titles that slipped past our regular examinations of publisher's lists and book reviews.
Recently, I tried to fulfill request for Time Management by Randy Pausch, the late author of The Last Lecture. When I looked for it from our usual book vendor, it wasn't listed. I asked another librarian to look for it, in case I had missed something. She came back with the same answer. We searched online and found that Amazon was selling the MP3, but nothing else. (Later, Amazon added the CD and it seems that they have now added a paperback of the book.)
We were mystified, but intrigued, especially by the comments ostensibly left by Pausch's sister urging people to boycott the products as they were not authorized by her late brother, something we have not been able to confirm or refute. A quick Google search revealed that Pausch's time management lecture has long been an online favorite. It's available entirely online from a friend and colleague of Professor Pausch, Dr. Gabriel Robins. The great advantage of the online version, besides the obvious video component, are the accompanying slides and handouts as well as the related articles about Randy Pausch.
The video can be seen on YouTube, Google Video, Blip.tv and several other online video sites, and the YouTube version is embedded below. The slides and associated articles are all available from Dr. Robins.
What a goldmine of great content! Keep those requests coming!
Last week I was stuck in the mother of all non-holiday traffic jams-- Tuesday night repaving on I-95 northbound. For better or for worse, I entertained myself for an hour and a half by listening to the second presidential debate. Not a bad way to pass the time, but not what I expected to do during a trip that usually takes about 11 minutes.
The cause of all this craziness? Merging down from three lanes to one. You’d think by now folks would know how to do that in an organized, timely manner, but no. To find out why normally thoughtful, rational people are incapable of this simple maneuver, check out the latest by Tom Vanderbilt-- Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us). In a recent interview he summed it up quite nicely:
Merging is the most stressful single activity we face in everyday driving, according to a survey by the Texas Transportation Institute. People who have done studies at highway construction work zones have also told me of extraordinarily bad behavior, triggered by this simple act of trying to get two lanes of traffic into one. Sometimes, it’s simply the difficult mechanics of driving — trying to enter a stream of traffic flowing at a higher speed than you are, for example.
Drivers, to quote a physicist who was actually talking about grains, are objects ‘who do not easily interact.’ But I also think there’s something about the forward flow of traffic that makes us register progress only by our own unimpeded movement; as in life, we seem to register losses more powerfully than gains, and registering these losses boosts stress.
Wow. If his theory sounds familiar, check out the financial headlines from last week.
So what did I learn from all this? The next time I hit 95, I’m checking the Connecticut DOT website before I head out. You know all of those cameras along the roadway? They record what the highway action is like in real time. No waiting for traffic info on the 8’s or 10’s (and praying they will say something—anything!—about the Connecticut roads), just live pictures of headlights and tail-lights moving right along.
Another option is to check out the Tom Tom One GPS system, a great resource for finding those less traveled alternate routes. Either way, you can bet I won't be listening to tonight's debate from my car!