Did you know that the magazines at the new Darien Library have been rearranged? Instead of the traditional A to Z lineup, the magazines are now grouped by subject, making it much easier to browse your favorites. The subject headings are the same ones we use for the non-fiction book collection: Arts & Literature, Body & Soul, Home, Life & Times, Nature, Places, Play and Work. Are you interested in sailing? Just look in the "Play" area and you will find Cruising World, Practical Sailor, Sail, Sailing and Yachting, all in the same place. For the music aficionado, "Arts & Literature" is the place to be. There you will find Acoustic Guitar, Audiofile, Downbeat and Rolling Stone, just to name a few. Can you guess what the largest section might be? If you guessed "Home", well done! This group includes nearly sixty magazines devoted to cooking, gardening, fashion, crafts, and home design. You get the gist, now come in and see for yourself.
The next time you come to the library, come see us on the second level and spend some time with the magazines. Did I mention that back issues can be checked out? Take as many as you like and enjoy them at your leisure.
If you have a favorite and we don't subscribe, just let us know. We are your library, and we want to have the magazines you want to read!
Spring has sprung (there are some crocuses around Darien braving the snow squalls) so of course, our thoughts turn to... actual springs? Well, maybe not, but why not? Google Patent Search offers alist of American patents for springs
dating back to 1783. One of my favorites is for thespring wheel
, an improvement to wheels meant to replace the tire.
A more successful use of springs is the Slinky, which was invented by accident by an engineer looking for ways to stabalize instruments on boats during World War II. His wife saw the potential for a toy, dubbed it the Slinky and the rest is history.
For more insight into how the small items of our daily life came to be, check out The Evolution of Useful Things or Small Things Considered, both by Henry Petroski. Forks, paper clips and toothbrush handles all come from somewhere and Petroski is happy to tell us their stories.
Photo by Flickr user nickwheeleroz.
The new Seven Wonders are:
You can now cast your vote for their new category. 7 Wonders of Nature, which has 261 nominees from 222 countries.
If you'd like to visit the nominees before casting your vote, you can stay on top of the time at home by going to World Time Zone online. Happy Traveling!
Tomorrow, March 12th , marks the anniversary of the Great Blizzard of 1888, one of the most devastating storms ever to strike the northeast. While the snow and wind of last week closed schools from Alabama to Maine, it pales in comparison to the storm that barreled across the continent 121 years ago. On March 13, 1888, the New York Times headline read "IN A BLIZZARD'S GRASP, THE WORST STORM THE CITY HAS EVER KNOWN. BUSINESS AND TRAVEL COMPLETELY SUSPENDED. NEW YORK HELPLESS IN A TORNADO OF WIND AND SNOW WHICH PARALYZED ALL INDUSTRY, ISOLATED THE CITY FROM THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, CAUSED MANY ACCIDENTS AND GREAT DISCOMFORT, AND EXPOSED IT TO MANY DANGERS." Now that's a storm. The coverage in the Times was extensive, and included a vivid description of what the day was like for commuters:
"Trains started from Harlem crowded with people-- becoming jammed with people as they advanced-- who were in a hurry to get to their work. Slowly and more slowly they ran, and at last the doleful information came that they could go no further. Yet there was little or no profanity even among the men. Stories were told, jokes were cracked, and jovial good-fellowship prevailed. Nobody put on any airs. The aristocratic banker and merchant was "hale fellow well met" with the artisan, helpful to the shopgirl, and kind to the inevitable old lady whom even the blizzard couldn't keep at home."
The full story can be read online, at the Historical New York Times database, available through the library. Simply type in the date, March 13, 1888, enter the search term "blizzard" and then begin browsing the articles. To get the big picture, you can read through a facsimile version of the paper, page by page. Fair warning, it can be addictive.
If reading the paper leaves you wanting to know more, spend some time reading Blizzard! The Great Storm of '88 by Judd Caplovich. Be sure to check out the photograph on page 48-- more than 100 workers are shoveling off the railroad tracks at the Hollow Tree Ridge Road overpass in Darien!
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!