It's out of this world!
It's out of this world!

NASA’s final space shuttle launch is currently scheduled for July 8, so we’ve put together a display with all of our best books on astronomy, NASA history, astronaut biographies and more.  Did you know NASA has an “Astronomy Picture of the Day”?  http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

Also check out these great websites:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/

Astronomy Magazine: http://www.astronomy.com/                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

And under “Homework Help” on our website (http://www.darienlibrary.org/kids/homework) we recommend these sources for students:

Windows to the Universe: http://www.windows2universe.org/

NASA Kids Club: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/index.html

NASA for Students: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/index.html

Image courtesy of Flickr user Matthew Simantov


Aruba, Bahama, Come on pretty mama!
Aruba, Bahama, Come on pretty mama!

Our travel books, learning language CDs and DVDs are located on the second floor in the Research Library. Come up and explore to plan your trip or just take a trip in one of our comfortable chairs with titles such as Frommer's HawaiiFodor's Caribbean, or  the Rough Guide to Bali & Lombok. You might also like to try one of my favorite sites www.tripadvisor.com to get their free mobil app from one of the world's trusted travel review sites.

Small Wonders

E.B. White
E.B. White

"Employ your time in improving yourself by other mens writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."

What a wonderful quote from Socrates. Most of us like nothing better than to benefit from someone else's hard work, however, chances are, Socrates had a lot more time on his hands than most of us do today. Pulled in all directions, it's often hard to find time to read the newspaper every day, let alone an entire book. Well, we may have just the solution for you. Check out this selection of  "small wonders"-- books that measure about 5 x 7 inches, most with fewer than 200 pages, and all certain to improve your life.

The list is rich in titles that amuse, educate, offer advice, and short tales of lives well lived. The smallest in the collection is E. B. White's essay, Here is New York. At 60 pages, it is a witty, perceptive piece about Manhattan, speaking to what lasts and what really matters. If you haven't read it before, you are in for a rare treat.

As you may expect, many of these tiny volumes are dedicated to advice for the newly graduated. Anna Quindlen, Ann Patchett and Maria Shriver each have words of wisdom about what you can do with your life, especially when you are young and opportunities abound.  Perhaps the best known is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, a college professor, diagnosed with terminal cancer, who wrote about achieving childhood dreams. It is at times humorous and inspirational, but ultimately it is simply about living your best life.

Please take the time to enjoy one of these small wonders, it won't take long and will certainly be worth the effort.

Information for Taxpayers

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of "theblog"

Legislation passed in December has delayed the printing of certain tax forms. The IRS and Connecticut Department of Revenue Service will no longer send out  Tax Packages to individuals.

For IRS information, 1040 Central is the site to start with. There you can find quick and easy information about the new tax laws and IRS Free File for electronic filing.


Connecticut forms can be found at  www.ct.gov/DRS/site/default.asp where you can find printable forms or file forms electronically.

A Date that will Live in Infamy

On December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."  ~ President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (December 8, 1941)

In remembrance of this week's anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we have put together a display of books on the 2nd Floor covering the historic event and the war that followed. 

Watch the video of President Roosevelt's famous address to Congress.




Text a Librarian!

 To begin, simply text the keyword “AskDL” to 66746. A standard reply, asking the user to save the number as “AskDL,” will follow, creating quick and reliable access for text messaging with Darien Library. (Standard text rates apply.)

You'll find all the details right here.

Getting to Know the Glades: Overview

We've been introducing our glades, broad subject areas that group similar areas of the Dewey Decimal System. We want our members to get to know their favorite glades, but for those of you looking for the big picture (and a Dewey cheat sheet), we thought we'd put up the big list. As you might expect, there are exceptions to these Dewey guidelines, but this list is where the Dewey numbers generally ended up.

Body & Soul is where you’ll find books on religion, philosophy, self-help and health.
100s and 200s (Philosophy and Religion)
360s and 600 - 619 (Health and Medicine)
362s and 646s (Self Help)
155s and 649s (Childcare and Parenting).

Over in Nature are all the books on science, math and animals.
500s, 620s and 660s (Science and Math)
590s and 636-639 (Animals and Pets).

Home has the books on hobbies, crafts, decorating, cooking and gardening.
580, 630 - 635, 712 - 719 (Gardening and Landscape Design)
395s, 640s, 793.1 - 793.2 (Cooking and Entertaining)
688s, 745.1 - 746.9, 748, 749, 769 (Crafts and Collectibles)
643s, 680, 684, 690s (Home Repair and How-to)
747 (Interior Design)

Places is for the globetrotters among us- travel books, phrase books and travel writing.
400s (Language Instruction and Grammar) Places has the langauge books for languages other than English.
910.2 - 910.5, 914 - 919 (Travel)

Work is all business. Books on finance, accounting, marketing, college admissions, test preparation and the economy are here.
320s, 340s (Government and Law)
331, 650.14 (Careers and Testing)
370s (Schools and Education)
330s, 650s, 651, 657 - 659 (Business and Management)
332 (Investments)

Come and Play, where you’ll see books on sports, cars and recreation.
647, 793, 793.4 - 799, 947.3 (Sports and Recreation)
622 - 629 796.7 - 796.8, 797.1 - 797.15, 797.5 - 797.57 (Transportation)

Life and Times is the largest group with history, memoir and biography. Since this is such a large group of books, we're going to be splitting it in two soon- History and Current Events will become Times, while Memoir, Biography and Autobiography will become Lives.
335, 358 - 359, 623 and the 900s (minus travel) (History and Warfare)
363.29, 364, 365 (Disasters and True Crime)
92s and 920s (Biographies)

The lovely Art and Literature has beautiful art books, literature, and writing.
700 - 712, 730s, 750s, 770s (Fine Arts)
780s, 793.3, 812, 822, 823, 832, 842, 852, etc (Performing Arts)
720 - 729 (Architecture and Design)
800s, 100s, 400s (Literature and Poetry)

That covers everything on the second floor, but the technically-inclined will notice that Tech books aren't listed here. The Tech glade is located in the Power Library on the Lower Level. The Dewey numbers are 004 - 007 and we wanted our technology books to be with the technology labs and staff.

Say aloha to...

Mahalo.gifLast month, I admitted to being a Google addict, and I was looking for ways to break the habit. I'm very happy to report that I recently found a new search engine that I feel has the potential to rival Google. The site is called Mahalo, and I am SO excited about it. Here's why:

Google, with its clean-cut image and results ranked by popularity among the masses, works by sending bots out into the wild, wild web to find millions of links for simple search queries. It's difficult to argue against choice; however, with so many results, it has become necessary for Google users to filter through pages and pages of inane hyperlinks in order to find a few that might be relevant and successful.

Mahalo, in contrast, employs real human beings to vet the search results for you. This means that a results list will never contain spam or unrelated links. YEAH! It also means that you won't get results ranked by popularity among the masses; rather, you'll receive suggestions for websites that have been researched by information professionals and are deemed authoritative, high-content, and well-established. And not only is the content high, but it's already sifted into sensible categories.

Let's say I conduct a search on my favorite tennis player, Pete Sampras. In only a matter of seconds, I receive the Mahalo Top 7 list of best Web sites, vital stats, timelines, news, videos, fan sites, blogs, merchandise, and links to related searches on Wimbledon, Andre Agassi, and others. Try gathering similar results in Google, and you'll find it takes much longer than a few seconds to have all of that information organized into a neat and pretty package.

Keep in mind that Mahalo is very new and still in its testing phase, which means that the number of search terms that yield search results is significantly less than Google. If you decide to give this new search engine a try and wander across a term for which results have not yet been vetted, you can request that a page be made and you'll be emailed as soon as its created. How hospitable!

Mahalo, Mahalo!

Would you give up Google for a day?

Hello, my name is Erica, and I am a Google addict. There, it's out in the open. I love Google. Who doesn't?! It's clean, neat, and always provides thousands, sometimes even millions, of results to my search queries. I even used it to help me write this post! Google is a great way to find information...but it's not always the greatest way to find the best information. After all, the web is deep. Google is just a wading pool.

Admittance. I've taken the first step. Now what?!

In the same boat? Here's an idea, courtesy of the New Yorker cartoon archive. Why not give up Google? If not for Lent, if not even for a day, then just for an hour. And instead, try finding information using the research resources we have listed on the Library's website. We have tons of databases just itching to be accessed, and they cover topics ranging from health information and financial data to photographs and literature. I'm confident that you'll come across answers to questions that you could have never found with our old pal Google.

Looking for another fun way to find information not accessible through Google? Take a trip down memory lane with WayBack Machine. I think it will help you break your Google addiction, as it did mine.

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