jump to navigation

… unless you have a Mars lander June 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction.
add a comment

There’s nothing to do on Mars is the title of a fun picture book by Chris Gall, but NASA begs to differ. Here’s the latest from the agency’s Phoenix Mars Mission:

June 13, 2008 New observations from NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander provide the most magnified view ever seen of Martian soil, showing particles clumping together even at the smallest visible scale.

In the past two days, two instruments on the lander deck — a microscope and a bake-and-sniff analyzer — have begun inspecting soil samples delivered by the scoop on Phoenix’s Robotic Arm.


World Refugee Day, June 20 May 29, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
add a comment

The UN adopted June 20 as World Refugee Day to bring attention to the plight of the millions of people around the world who have been displaced from their homes by persecution, war, natural disaster, scarcity, and other reasons.

The refugee challenge in the 21st century is changing rapidly. People are forced to flee their homes for increasingly complicated and interlinked reasons. Some 40 million people worldwide are already uprooted by violence and persecution, and it is likely that the future will see more people on the run as a growing number of push factors compound one another to create conditions for further forced displacement.

Today people do not just flee persecution and war but also injustice, exclusion, environmental pressures, competition for scarce resources and all the miserable human consequences of dysfunctional states.

The task facing the international community in this new environment is to find ways to unlock the potential of refugees who have so much to offer if they are given the opportunity to regain control over their lives.

A display on natural disasters, recent conflicts (i.e. Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Tibet), and the countries recently affected by catastrophic events (Myanmar, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia) would be a great way to commemorate this day.

Local Events: The Creative Alliance hosts Somalia on these Shores Friday June 20 and Saturday June 21 at 8pm.

2008 Beyond Margins Award Winners May 22, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, nonfiction, spring.
add a comment

The PEN/Beyond Margins Award celebrates outstanding books by writers of color published in the United States during the previous year. 

This year’s winners are:

Chris Abani, Song for Night
Amiri Baraka, Tales of the Out and the Gone
Frances Hwang, Transparency
Naeem Murr, The Perfect Man
Joseph M. Marshall III, The Day The World Ended at Little Big Horn

Previous Beyond Margins winners when you click “more”.


Girl, you’re beautiful May 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
add a comment

From Cynopsis Kids:

Tween girls 8-12 are spending some $500 million annually on beauty products according to the NPD Group’s newest report, Insight Into the Youth Beauty Market, which in addition to tweens looks at a broader spectrum of youth consumers 8-24 years old. In the survey tween girls report first using beauty products at 10 years old.

Enough reason for a mini-display of beauty books in Young Adult, wouldn’t you say?

Hospital reading May 15, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
add a comment

The Baltimore Sun ran an article this morning about book clubs in hospitals (“Hospital staff turn the page”). The organizers of the book club at Mercy Medical Center and more than 100 other hospitals around the country hope that book clubs that engage both staff and patients will contribute to the doctor-patient relationship. They envision “care becoming less rushed and institutional and more comprehensive and personal.”

The list of books in the Sun includes such perennial favorites as Tuskegee’s Truths: Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. If you’re not finding that on your shelf (you won’t), suggest these other books with a medical theme, from the Sun’s list, BCPL’s catalog, and the minds of librarians:


The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

The Things they carried by Tim O’Brien

Bloodletting & miraculous cures. Short stories by Vincent Lam

Lifelines / CJ Lyons

Life class / Pat Barker

Where the river ends / Charles Martin

Father Michael’s lottery : a novel of Africa / Johan Steyn


The diving bell and the butterfly. Bauby, Jean-Dominique. 362.43 B

The spirit catches you and you fall down : a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures / Anne Fadiman. 306.46 F

Better : a surgeon’s notes on performance / Atul Gawande. 616 G

Head cases : stories of brain injury and its aftermath / Michael Paul Mason. 617.481 M

Intern : a doctor’s initiation / Sandeep Jauhar. B JAUHAR

What patients taught me : a medical student’s journey / Audrey Young. 610.92 Y

Swimming in a sea of death : a son’s memoir / David Rieff. B SONTAG

The middle place / Kelly Corrigan. B CORRIGAN

May is National Barbecue Month May 5, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
add a comment

Throw some cookout cookbooks on the grill. Here’s a BBQ-inspired playlist to put you in the mood.

Life-changing books: Recommendations from 17 leading scientists April 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
add a comment

From New Scientist magazine, here’s a fascinating list (click each title for details) of “books that have left a lasting impression on some of the world’s top scientists, including Oliver Sacks, Michio Kaku, Jane Goodall, and more.”

1. Farthest North – Steve Jones, geneticist

2. The Art of the Soluble – V. S. Ramachandran, neuroscientist

3. Animal Liberation – Jane Goodall, primatologist

4. The Foundation trilogy – Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist

5. Alice in Wonderland – Alison Gopnik, developmental psychologist

6. One, Two, Three… Infinity – Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist

7. The Idea of a Social Science – Harry Collins, sociologist of science

8. Handbook of Mathematical Functions – Peter Atkins, chemist

9. The Mind of a Mnemonist – Oliver Sacks, neurologist

10. A Mathematician’s Apology – Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician

11. The Leopard – Susan Greenfield, neurophysiologist

12. Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior – Frans de Waal, psychologist and ethologist

13. Catch-22 / The First Three Minutes – Lawrence Krauss, physicist

14. William James, Writings 1878-1910 – Daniel Everett, linguist

15. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Chris Frith, neuroscientist

16. The Naked Ape – Elaine Morgan, author of The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

17. King Solomon’s Ring – Marian Stamp Dawkins, Zoologist

Ladies First April 19, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
add a comment

Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, John Coolidge, and Mrs. Herbert Hoover sitting in the yard of a house. Chicago Daily News, Inc., photographer. 1928. DN-0085098A, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

Dear First Lady: Letters to the White House is soon to arrive at BCPL. The book’s author, Dwight Young, has been making the rounds, and was recently featured on NPR.

What a terrific reason to make a display highlighting America’s First Ladies, from Martha Washington to Laura Bush. It can be tough to get at these in CARL, so print this list of presidents in alphabetical order, to make your stroll through Biography a little easier.


Baby elephant walk March 31, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
add a comment

Congratulations to mother and zoo on the recent birth of the first pachyderm born in Baltimore since the last ice age! Despite much-publicized financial problems, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore was able to care for the mother, 24-year-old Felix, sufficiently well during her 22 months of pregnancy, that delivery of the 290 pound calf was relatively smooth.

Support the zoo by fanning the flames of interest in our new Marylander with a display of elephantine materials. Scour the 599’s, pull books about Africa from 960 and 916, and highlight Alexander McCall Smith’s Akimbo and the Elephant.

PrintableBaby elephant coloring pages available here and here.

It ain’t easy being green March 22, 2008

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, nonfiction, spring.
add a comment

El Mariachi

Here’s a cute idea courtesy The YA YA YAS, a trio of Young Adult librarians in Hawaii. For March, Gayle made a green-themed display, with books on money, veggies, the environment, and other subjects associated with the color green.

Does it work for other colors?

Blue: blues music, depression, the tropics, the moon

Yellow: the sun? cowardice? bananas? Ok, it doesn’t work for yellow.

Red: Communism, Chinese history, Russian history, the Red Baron, apples, various sports teams, anger, volcanoes, fire

Orange: Florida, citrus fruits… doesn’t really work for orange either.

Purple: royalty, grapes, wine, mountains

Truth and consequences March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
add a comment

In light of all the publicity surrounding Margaret B. Jones‘s faux memoir, Love and Consequences, and BCPL’s decision to keep the book, but label it as fiction, how about a display of recent popular autobiographies, both real and fallacious?

Running with scissors and other books by Augusten Burroughs (true)

Misha : a mémoire of the Holocaust years by Misha Defonseca (false)

The discomfort zone : a personal history by Jonathan Franzen (true)

A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard, by James Frey (false)

The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux (true)

Sarah by J. T. LeRoy (false)

Confessions of a video vixen and The vixen diaries by Karrine Steffans (true, but pretty hard to believe)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (true)

Fragments : memories of a wartime childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski (false)

For teens, history is so last week March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
add a comment

A recent study undertaken by the new educational research and advocacy organization Common Core has found that:

many of America’s high school students do not possess the basic knowledge they need to succeed in the world or to achieve their full potential as democratic citizens. The report, entitled Still at Risk: What Students Don’t Know, Even Now, shows that, twenty-five years after the publication of the landmark study, A Nation at Risk, America’s children continue to demonstrate a stunning ignorance about basic facts of U.S. history and literature. Overall, the 1,200 17-year-olds surveyed earned a “D.”

  • Nearly a quarter cannot identify Adolf Hitler, with ten percent thinking Hitler was a munitions manufacturer.
  • More than a quarter think Christopher Columbus sailed after 1750.
  • Fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century.
  • A third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion.
  • Half have no idea what the Renaissance was.
  • Nearly half think that The Scarlet Letter was either about a witch trial or a piece of correspondence.

Ouch! Take the test yourself (PDF), and then how about putting together a display of historical fiction, classics, and the most gripping history books you can find? You could even print copies of the quiz and challenge parents and teens to compare their scores.

Finding yourself in the world February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, nonfiction, spring.
add a comment

London during the Great Exhibition of 1851 by George Shove. ca. 1851; printed map on leather. The National Archives, U.K.

This spring, the Walters Art Museum presents four exhibitions about maps and mapping. Including such fascinating oddities as a map of London on a kid glove (above) and such technological marvels as maps of the universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, these exhibitions are in conjunction with Baltimore’s Festival of Maps, a citywide celebration organized by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to encourage Baltimore residents and visitors to explore museums, theaters, galleries and educational institutions. There’s even a downloadable GoogleEarth layer showing where on earth the

The Festival of Maps runs from March 16 through June 30, 2008.

Take this opportunity to put out a display of atlases and maps, books of exploration, and movies and fiction with plots involving maps.

Art on the run February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
add a comment

Paul Cézanne. Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-1890. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art. 995.47.5

Two recent art heists (articles here and here) have us thinking of The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean’s 12, and books like The Lost Painting and Noah Charney’s recent The Art Thief. Find some big beautiful art books and pair them with some classy true-crime stories and mystery fiction for a fun midwinter display.

“I got my start at the library” February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, nonfiction.
add a comment

As reported in American Libraries Direct:

“Continuing a seven-year partnership with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries that has generated millions of dollars worth of editorial coverage on behalf of libraries, four entrepreneurs share their stories of how they started businesses using the library with Woman’s Day magazine’s 4 million readers this month.”

The article appears in the March issue of Woman’s Day (pdf here). It might make a nice printout alongside a selection of books about starting a business, women in business, biographies of Carly Fiorina, etc.

The Great Backyard Bird Count February 10, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, Picture Books, winter.
add a comment

A joint project of the Cornell Ornithology Lab and the Audubon Society, “the Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.”

This event takes place February 15-18. Participants can enter their bird count results on the event’s web page, where you can also find regional bird checklists.

A little nature might be just what your displays need during these short cold days. You might print out our regional bird list, and display a batch of bird books – books from 598 as well as picture books and fiction featuring birds, such as The Snow Goose, The Trumpet of the Swan, Perry’s Baltimore adventure, Little Louie Takes Off, and others.

Year of the Rat January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, fiction, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, winter.
add a comment

And no, that’s not some snide comment on this year’s Presidential elections… it’s what 2008 will be in the Chinese zodiac. The new year begins February 7. Celebrate it with a display of red and gold paper, along with selections from Dewey 951, 915.1, cookbooks from 641.5951, fiction by Amy Tan, Lisa See, Laurence Yep, Anchee Min, Ha Jin, and Maxine Hong Kingston (look here for a good list), and biographies (just search CARL on China biography).

Craft ideas here.

Coloring pages here and here.

Mercury rising January 16, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction.
add a comment

NASA’s Messenger space vehicle has traversed the “dark” side of Mercury and sent back the closest, highest-definition pictures ever taken of that part of the planet.

See them on NASA’s web site and the web site of JHU’s Applied Physics Lab.

Highlight space exploration, rocket science, and biographies of scientists such as Neal DeGrasse Tyson if you’d like to take advantage of the interest in this development

New Year’s resolutions January 7, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, winter.
add a comment

Save more money.     332.024
Lose some weight.     613.25
Exercise more.     613.7
Eat healthier.     641.563
Get rid of the clutter.     648.5
Live greener.     333.7
Get a better education. 378.3

According to the U.S. government, these are a few of the most popular resolutions people make this time of year. Support the willpower of your customers with strategically placed displays of books that reinforce all of our highest aspirations. Check out the entire list here.

Success stories from Hereford January 7, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, BCPL best practices, cube fixtures, display topics, fiction, nonfiction, recommended by.
add a comment

From Jo Blankenburg‘s monthly report:

“Our primary set of display cubes near the entrance is a huge success covered with “Best Books of 2007,” titles culled from lists appearing in the NYT, Baltimore Sun, Amazon, Time, and Newsweek. A few customers each day leave with their arms full and keep librarians busy placing holds to keep it stocked. [NB: Booklist has come out with their “Best of 2007” lists as well…]

Eyewitness books flew off our secondary cubes, and a dump devoted to titles ordered in for our “Crime Time” branch generated booklist empties regularly.

All 200 copies of our first “Staff Recommends” booklist are now gone and are responsible for 200 items added to our YTD circulation. Each bookmark left tucked into a copy of one of those titles ordered in and on display on the top shelf of that popular area.

Easy book bundles stalled during December, but the addition of small Beginning Reader bundles are satisfying happy parents. Could Hereford someday of leftover SRC prizes?”

From D.C. to Hollywood to Stockholm October 13, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction.
add a comment


Not too many people can say, “Well, I used to be Vice President of the United States, but then my career really took off after that.” Al Gore is the first man in history to win both an Academy Award (well, his name isn’t on the statue but he was the one gripping the thing onstage) and a Nobel Peace Prize.

Copies of An Inconvenient Truth are likely to evaporate from the shelves like methane from a cow pasture. Back them up with other books about climate change and environmentalism, or with books by other Presidents and Vice Presidents. Jimmy Carter‘s got a new one coming out (Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease and Building Hope), in addition to last year’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.

Reading in the dark October 13, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
add a comment


Boy, it’s a great season for movies. Several new ones have ties to literature – here’s the rundown.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Cate Blanchett reprises her Oscar-worthy performance as the Virgin Queen. Break out the biographies and the Elizabethan historical fiction.

Marjane Satrapi‘s semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, is now an animated feature film. Satrapi has written several follow-ups to Persepolis, as well as a picture book for children, Monsters are Afraid of the Moon.

Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly star in Reservation Road, based on the novel by John Burnham Schwartz, recently published in paperback.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is the story of, uh, the assassination of Jesse James… a few biographies and western-themed historical novels might make a neat display.

Gone Baby Gone, a movie about a kidnapped child directed by Ben Affleck, is the second of Dennis Lehane‘s novels to be adapted for the big screen. 

and lastly, The Wolves in the Walls, the weird but wonderful children’s book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, has been made into a stage play. Playing at the New Victory Theater in New York city through October 21.

The Report Card October 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction.
add a comment

Now that the back-to-school frenzy has eased into mere school-year mayhem, think about supporting students and parents with a spotlight selection of skills materials.

Some schools have sent out their first trimester progress reports. You may see increased interest in books about the process of learning to read, math skills, and writing.

A display of books from the following call numbers might serve as a go-to resource for parents at their wits’ end.

Learning to read: 372.21

Dyslexia, speech problems, ADHD, etc: 618.9285

Math skills: J 513

Math games: 793.94

Writing skills: 428

Writing reports: 808.2

Shut up and eat your mystery meat October 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, nonfiction.
add a comment


The nation celebrates National School Lunch Week October 15-19. The site is worth a click perhaps for the terrifying characters alone. Yumi Rice Bowl is gonna appear in my nightmares, that’s for sure.

School lunch has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, due to bad news about childhood obesity and worse news about school budgets.

For example, a new study by the Center for Ecoliteracy emphasizes how good nutrition can affect children’s health and school performance. The Edible Schoolyard is a project out of Berkeley that promotes school gardens as sources of nutrition education, science education, and lunchroom veggies.

A new book by Jessica Seinfeld helps parents make it work. Click “more” to see others.


Into the Wild September 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, DVDs, Fall, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
add a comment


Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer‘s engrossing nonfiction book about the life and mysterious death of Christopher McCandless in the Alaskan wilderness, has been made into a movie, in theaters now.

Support your copies of Into the Wild with other books by Jon Krakauer, and other tales of wilderness survival (or not), such as the following (click “more” for a list).


The War by Ken Burns September 17, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, nonfiction.
add a comment

“Peleliu Island…Marines move through the trenches on the beach during the battle.” September 15, 1944. Fitzgerald. 127-N-9527. Photo from the National Archives collection Pictures of African Americans in WWII.

Premiering on September 23, it’s The War, a seven-part documentary series that tells the story of World War II through the stories of the war’s veterans. Letters are read, grainy footage is aired, hearts are broken.

Expect increased demand for WWII histories and historical fiction. Satisfy your patrons with lots of books, and with supplementary information from such online sources as the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project and the National Archives center for Veterans and their families. In addition, each of the U.S. Armed Services have extensive archive sites for unearthing the history of individuals, companies, battalions, ships, etc.


Naval Historical Center

Coast Guard

Marine Corps Research Center

National Museum of the US Air Force

The War display at Howard County's Miller branch

“The War” display at Howard County’s Miller branch.

Commemorate India’s Independence August 8, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, DVDs, E, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, summer, YA.
add a comment

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of India’s independence next Thursday, August 15. DVDs! Cookbooks! Kids’ books! We’ve got it all: click “more” to see lists of books and authors.

And click here or here for coloring pages!

Smart TV August 7, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, DVDs, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, summer.
add a comment


On a hot day, it’s very tempting to keep the kids inside and park them in front of the TV. Give parents and caregivers an alternative to cartoons by putting out some of your more exciting non-fiction DVD’s. Click “more” for some suggestions.


Austenland, USA July 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, DVDs, fiction, nonfiction.
1 comment so far

According to the Boston Globe, “Her novels have no sex or violence, and are 200 years old, yet Hollywood can’t get enough of them”

Who are they talking about? Why, Jane Austen, of course. Beth Reinker in Collection Development sends us this terrific suggestion for movie-related merchandizing this summer:

There are two Jane Austen related movies coming out in Aug./Sept. (The Jane Austen Book Club, based on the novel by Karen Joy Fowler, and Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway as the novelist), and I’ve been seeing a lot of new Jane Austen related materials coming out.

It might be a good opportunity for branches to merchandise some of these things together with some of Austen’s novels.

Here are a few of the new titles I’ve seen lately:

Confessions of a Jane Austen AddictLaurie Viera Rigler
Me and Mr. DarcyAlexandra Potter
Lost in AustenEmma Campbell Webster
Austenland Shannon Hale
Just JaneNancy Moser

Becoming JaneAnne Newgarden
Dear Jane AustenPatrice Hannon


  • Persuasion
  • Emma
  • Clueless
  • Mansfield Park
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Bride and Prejudice

Le jour de gloire est arrivé! July 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, summer.
add a comment


Celebrate Bastille Day July 14 with a quickie display of books on the French Revolution, French food, French art, biographies of French monarchs and thinkers, and books on the beauty of France. Explore Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, a fascinating digital library from George Mason University and the City University of New York for inspiration and keywords.

Mighty Cal July 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, summer.
add a comment

Within three weeks Baltimore’s hometown hero, Cal Ripken, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pay tribute to his career and the fervor it inspired with a display of anything Ripken you can find – once books like The Ripken Way (796.357 R) and Count Me In (J B R) are snapped up, fill in the gaps with Orioles books and baseball materials in general.

Ripken’s career stats available from MLB.

Baseball printable activities and coloring pages here.

I shall think it a most plenteous crop July 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, aisle cap, nonfiction, slatwall, summer.
add a comment

Tomato sandwich today!

Ah, summer! Tomatos, peppers, beans, and the dreaded zucchini are ripening in backyard gardens across Maryland. Honor the fruits of all that garden labor with a selection of summer cookbooks that celebrate vegetables. A CARL search on keywords “garden” and “cookery” will yield at least enough for an aisle-end slatwall.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! July 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J non-fiction, nonfiction, summer.
add a comment

rain, Everglades

Like it or not, summer thunderstorms are upon us. Help satisfy kid (and grownup) curiosity about these tumultuous meteorological events with a display of books and DVD’s on hurricanes, tornados, and other severe weather.

War records on Ancestry May 31, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, nonfiction.
add a comment

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.
add a comment

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.
add a comment

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.
add a comment

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.
add a comment


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.
add a comment


‘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:


Checking in with Camelot May 20, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, nonfiction, summer.
add a comment

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.