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War records on Ancestry May 31, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
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A little late for Memorial Day, but we just read the news that Ancestry is making 90 million war records available online. Here’s an article with the full details from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Until June 6, these records will be available to the public for free, and after that date each user will pay a subscription fee. It’s not clear whether BCPL will be paying extra for these records, but until June 6 (the anniversary of D-Day), anyone can search these records for free.


There’s so much that we share… May 31, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, summer.
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It’s a World of Hopes Originally uploaded by StarrGazr

Baltimore’s Showcase of Nations Ethnic Festivals (no kidding, that’s what they’re calling it) kicks off this Friday, June 1, with the Polish Festival in Patterson Park. Here’s the schedule, for your weekend entertainment and display use:

June 1- 3: Polish Festival, Patterson Park at Linwood and Eastern Avenues.

June 8-10: St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 520 South Ponca St.

June 23-24: LatinoFest, Patterson Park at Linwood and Eastern Avenues.

July 6-8: African American Heritage Festival Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

July 13-15: Caribbean Carnival Festival, Druid Hill Park.

July 28-29: International Festival, Poly/Western High School parking lot at Falls Rd and West Coldspring Lane.

August 11 & 12: NAIJA Fest (Nigerian festival), Patterson Park.

August 24-26: PowWow Native American Festival, Patterson Park at Linwood and Eastern Avenues.

September 8-9: Ukrainian Festival, Patterson Park at Linwood and Eastern Avenues.

September 22: Korean American Festival, War Memorial Plaza at Fayette and Gay Streets.

October 19-21: Russian Festival, Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church, 1723 East Fairmount Ave.

Wooden ships on the water May 31, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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The Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of a 1812-era Baltimore clipper ship, docks at the Inner Harbor this weekend (free deck tours 10-3 Saturday June 2), then makes a stop in Annapolis on its way to the ASTA Tall Ship festival in Virginia.

Welcome her back with a display of books about sailing ships and the War of 1812. Call numbers 387, 623, 910, and 973.52 are good places to look… and don’t miss the recent Mutiny on the Bounty by local author Patrick O’Brien (J 910.45 O) and The Mayflower Compact by Dennis Brindell Fradin (J 974.4 F).

Here’s a coloring page of a tall ship.

TV tie-ins May 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, summer.
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Well, this blog kind of missed a trick with the Henry VIII miniseries this month – did you see some demand for books on the Renaissance and biographies of Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon? We sure did.

So, in the category of Learning from our Mistakes…

Take advantage of the Hallmark Channel’s Marco Polo to highlight the gorgeous new book by Russell Freedman, The Adventures of Marco Polo (J B P), as well as other biographies of the enigmatic explorer.

PBS is presenting the television premier of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, a really wonderful 2003 documentary about a homeless San Francisco man whose life is changed by his acquaintance with, yes, parrots. When was the last time you had an excuse to group together books about parrots, homelessness, and San Francisco?

There always seems to be a good excuse to haul out the pirate books, and lately, there are always great new pirate books to haul out. This time, it’s a new “Survivor”-style reality series, called Pirate Master. A batch of contestants set sail on a square-rigger ship sailing the Caribbean and complete “expeditions” for gold coins. There’s a new Pirates of the Caribbean game (on both XBox and Playstation), as well as Scourge of the Seas, by Angus Konstam and The Republic of Pirates, by Colin Woodard (both, 910.45) to headline a scurvy piratical display.

Road trips in American history May 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, summer, Summer Reading Club 2007, YA.
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We know you’ll be recommending the classic journeys of children’s literature during SRC this summer: Huckleberry Finn, Hitty, Walk Two Moons… but what about those kids who insist on “true books,” the kids who want non-fiction or at the very least historical fiction?

Look to America’s famous trails and roads for fascinating true stories and historical fiction. The Oregon Trail, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Underground Railroad are just three examples of American journeys that have provided vivid settings for terrific works of children’s literature.

You might use the themes listed below to create informative displays, flesh out your book lists, or to inspire your efforts to find just the right book for your nonfiction and historical fiction readers.

Click “more” for a list of journeys and trails in American history. A few notable recent books are highlighted for each (Easy, Juvenile, and adult titles suitable for teens are listed). Call numbers are provided.


Powerful public speaking May 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, summer.
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‘Tis the season, what with graduations and weddings and Hall of Fame ceremonies and whatnot, for people to make speeches and toasts.

Help ’em out a little with a selection from 808.51, plus books of humor, quotable essays and poetry (also the odd children’s book!). Click “more” for a few suggestions:


It ain’t all rainbows and duckies May 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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Here’s a beautiful article from the New York Times on just how helpful a librarian can be. Entitled “A Childhood Issue? Ask a Librarian,” the article details the wealth of books at an attentive librarian’s beck and call that address difficult topics such as allergiesmental illness, divorce, war, and cancer. Also wolves.

It’s nice to get some credit for all those single-purpose books we hold in our heads, waiting for the kid whose dog or grandpa or teacher has died; or the teacher who suspects that a pupil is being abused. These books may make us wince, but it’s good that they’re there when we need them.

Checking in with Camelot May 20, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, summer.
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Former President John F. Kennedy and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy are shown in the presidential limousine in the moments before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963. REUTERS/Handout-Gaylord Broadcasting/NBC

Today’s New York Times Book Review covers two upcoming books on John F. Kennedy‘s assassination. Both thoroughly researched, one, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot, puts forth the case for a big ol’ conspiracy, and the other, Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi, argues that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Both are coming to BCPL, and both are sure to get big play on the talk-radio circuit. If you’re at a loss for a late-May/early-June display, why not try to get someone – anyone – to check out Bugliosi’s 1600-page opus by placing it in a display of other Kennedy books? There are a couple recent books on Jackie (One Special Summer and What Jackie Taught Us), and the DVD of Bobby (starring everyone from Harry Belafonte to Elijah Wood), to round out a display of material supporting this recent spate of scholarship.

Pimp my Book Cart May 18, 2007

Posted by sneaks in fun, great ideas.
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… and speaking of stuff there’s no time for (*weep*), check out the winning entry in the Pimp my Book Cart competition sponsored by Unshelved, the library comic strip.

Grand Prize: Pink Cadillac by Katie George and the teens of the Miller Branch of Howard County Public Library in Ellicott City, MD.

Click through on Pimp My Book Cart and scroll down. Wonderful work! The other entries were just as impressive – the hippie-style cart Support Glitteracy by Amanda, Emily, Garrett, Kelsey, and Linda at the Olympia Timberland Library almost won for the name alone.

Kids! @ your library® free resources May 17, 2007

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile.
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From ALDirect:

(CHICAGO) The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has added new resources to its Kids! @ your library® online tool kit at www.ala.org/kids.

The campaign’s extensive tool kit, produced by librarians for librarians, contains free resources for promoting the library and its services to children and their families.

A story theater script, a song, and graphics (in English and in Spanish) are among the treats on offer.

Blockbuster season is here! May 16, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, BCPL best practices, display topics, fiction, summer.
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… and not just at the movies. Sure, Spiderman 3, Shrek 3, and the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie are going to get a lot of attention this summer, but publishers have their big guns at the ready too!

Make a space for best-sellers (if you don’t have one already) and keep it filled with hot titles straight from the return room. Put up multiple copies of the same title, or celebrate a single author by loading up a display full of their recent titles. Authors such as James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steele, and Janet Evanovich use the same cover layout for each book – makes for a striking display!

The sure-fire hits you can count on for this summer are:

Patterson, James. The 6th Target.

Hosseini, Khaled. A thousand splendid suns.

Connelly, Michael. The Overlook.

Sandford, John. Invisible Prey.

Evanovich, Janet. Lean Mean 13.

Baldacci, David. Simple Genius.

Coulter, Catherine. Double Take.

Griffin, W.E.B. The Double Agents.

Frey, Stephen. The Fourth Order.

Parker, Robert B. Spare Change.

Steele, Danielle. Bungalow 2.

… and some J series book by this British woman named Rowling, due out July 21.

Look into the future whenever you want using Amazon’s New and Future Releases list (presented in order of popularity) and BCPL’s Hot Titles list (alpha by author).

Bookstore paradise May 16, 2007

Posted by sneaks in fun, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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Every now and then you come across something that is just plain amazing. Children’s book author Esme Raji Codell (author of Sahara Special and Vive la Paris, just to name two) recently visited Reading Reptile, a Kansas bookstore specializing in “books and tapes for young mammals,” and took many many photos of that store’s inspired, outrageously creative displays. She posted her photos and wrote about the experience on her excellent book review blog, The Planet Esme Plan.

Maybe none of us have the time, or the budget, or the expertise, or the willingness to go elbow-deep in the paper mache, but these photos were just so inspiring we had to share.

Nancy Drew, girl sleuth May 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, spring.
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Nancy Drew hits the big screen June 15. This Nancy is updated, though still sweet, and Bess, George and Ned are still along for the ride.

This is one movie we can merchandize the heck out of without too much fear that we’ll run out of books. Why not try something clever, like leaving clues that lead to the books?

Poetry on Mother’s Day May 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, spring.
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Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will read his poetry and sign books at Shriver Hall on the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus May 13.

The even begins at 4:30pm, and Collins will autograph books after the reading. Reservations are required (call 410-735-4103).

Lucha libre! May 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, spring.
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Oh quit pretending: you know you love professional wrestling!

Superstars of the “sport” such as Undertaker, Batista, and Kane will be at the 1st Mariner Arena May 15 for an event called WWE Presents SmackDown and ECW. Try as we might, we’re unable to discover what ECW stands for, but you can bet half the ten-year-olds who come through your branch know! 

Stage a grudge match on a display unit between bios of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Trevon Jenifer, and Mick Foley, and books from 796.812.

Starter Lit May 9, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction.
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…and in TV news, USA Network has made a series out of Gigi Levangie Grazer’s novel The Starter Wife. Starring Debra Messing (of Will and Grace), the show will premier May 31 at 9pm.

In addition to Ms. Grazer’s books, you might pull a batch of similar chick-lit titles (and Debra Messing movies – are there any Debra Messing movies?) for a display around this theme.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month May 3, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Created to “promote awareness and increase understanding of the Asian/Pacific American culture and its diversity through education and celebration,” it is celebrated in May to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant to the U.S. (1843) and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869).

Promote Asian American cultural awareness in your library with a display of biographies, cookbooks, art and craft books, and travel guides. Or highlight novels by Asian American and Pacific American novelists:

  • Gish Jen
  • Ha Jin
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Dai Sijie
  • Lisa See
  • Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Amy Tan
  • Banana Yoshimoto
  • Bharati Mukerjee

More resources and booklists from the Asian Pacific American Heritage Association, InfoPlease, and the San Mateo County Library.

Mothers Day books for mothers May 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, spring.
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Harry Houdini with his mother Cecilia Steiner Weiss, Rochester, New York, 1907 or 1908. From the McManus-Young Collection at the Library of Congress. LC number LC-USZ62-112427 DLC

Stay-at-home moms, working moms, single moms. Spiritual moms, slacker moms, funny moms, famous moms, rocker moms and activist moms, mom memoirs, memoirs of moms, and one mom who’s “too sexy for her Volvo”: there’s something here for every mother who walks in the door from now ’til Mothers Day! Enjoy our list of new books and don’t forget the kids books and coloring pages.


Horsing around May 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, spring.
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Snowchief winning the Preakness, 1987. Carol Sauceda.

Two jewels in horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby (May 5) and the Preakness Stakes (May 19), are coming up soon.

How about a Juvenile display of everybody’s favorite horse authors:

  • Walter Farley
  • Marguerite Henry
  • Anna Sewell
  • Jessie Haas
  • Enid Bagnold
  • Nancy Springer
  • Elissa Haden Guest
  • Kathleen Duey

Plus one-offs such as:

  • Horse Tales. J H
  • My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
  • Chico by Sandra Day O’Connor

Don’t forget the 798.24‘s!

Wonderful horsey coloring pages from Windt im Wald horse farm. More here and here.