Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Immediate Worlds

The Library is pleased to share the publication of a new book, Immediate Worlds, by local poet Anthony Bernini.

His poems have appeared in anthologies and journals published in the Northeast, and he reads his work in New York’s Hudson Valley and in New England. A graduate of Hamilton College, Bernini is the author of Distant Kinships, a volume of poetry published in 2002.

 This handsome volume was produced by The Troy Bookmakers, and can be purchased through them, or on Amazon.com, and is available for loan at the Library.

To obtain an inscribed copy, mark your calendar for 8:00 pm, October 24th, when Bernini will be the featured poet at a reading in McGeary's Tavern 4 Clinton Square, Albany.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Helping NY libraries

Several libraries in our vicinity were hit by Hurricane Irene. The New York Library Association has a Disaster Relief Fund. To donate, go to this page:
NYLA: Make a Donation

 In the Upper Hudson Library System, we had several closings, but they were thankfully brief.

Author Kate Messner wrote about two libraries on her blog. Many photos.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag...

Do you have an eReader yet? I just got my first one, a Nook Simple Touch from Barnes & Noble. Some people have expressed surprise that a librarian has an eReader, as if we were all the Priestesses at the Temple of the Codex Format, but that is far, far from the truth. Our system, the Upper Hudson Library System, created a circulating collection of digital downloadable books, audio and video five years ago, around the time the Kindle came out.

I like gadgets, but a few things held me back from buying one. One, I'm cheap thrifty, and it was hard to justify the purchase of a reader when I have daily access to All the Books. Two, I was waiting for the kinks to get worked out of the technology, which can take a few generations. Three, I was letting other people (friends and reviewers) test out the various models for me. I have been waiting a while. The first reader I saw was in 1998, the Rocketbook, a hefty specimen weighing 22 oz, which could hold 10 books. (Today's readers weigh a third of that, and hold 1000s of books....)

I have to say, reviews were mixed. My nephew took his Kindle to Iraq with him, where he mostly read free books. A librarian friend found that the books she liked to read for fun, romance novels, weren't often available in eBook format (This was a while ago). But there were also people who lovedlovedloved their readers. People who put them in a gallon sized ziplock bag and read happily, while taking a bath. Knitters who downloaded their patterns on to their readers. Friends who cited their ease and portability...

The tipping point for me started a few months ago when the price for two new models of readers dropped down to my level. It was cinched a few weeks ago when I had to take an unexpected plane flight alone. I did a lot of people-watching on the trip, and noticed how very many people were reading on their nifty little devices. A friendly couple sitting next to me on one leg of the journey each had a reader, and showed me the features they liked and disliked. I was increasingly intrigued..... 

During the trip I spent time on a family member's tablet computer. I liked it, and I enjoyed using the touch screen. I'd once had a (non-smart) phone with a touch screen, but where that had been an unsatisfying interface, the screen on the tablet was so easy to use--in fact, I found myself trying to use imaginary touchscreens on TVs, and other appliances.

A few days into this trip I decided to spring for a reader, a little comfort-food for the soul, if you will--it was either that or a cocker spaniel-sized chunk of chocolate. Although I had liked using the tablet, I didn't want a tablet/reader that had the distractions of email, video, and web surfing. I wanted a reader that was small and light, and not back-lit, which can make it harder on the eyes.

My choice came down to two: the Kindle and the Nook. Both were the same price, so with the help of a young sales-person, I ran through the features of each, and ended up at the cash register with a Nook. A short time later, I was downloading books from the library system's website, so I'd have reading matter on the flight home.

Do I like it? Yes, a lot. It fits into my purse. I bought a little clip on light for it, and have made two covers for it. I've read several books on it, more than I have in a while, downloaded more books, and organized my books into "shelves". The shelf with the knitting patterns is well-stocked.  

In November, on Wednesday the 9th, at 6:00 pm, we'll have a forum at the library with demos of various readers. If you have a reader, and want to share your experiences, or ask questions about downloading library books onto it, come on down. If you are thinking of getting a reader, or researching a reader holiday purchase, come on down.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer is coming (really), Where Do You Want to Go?

Like many libraries in our system, we offer passes to area museums. Typically, these passes admit two adults, and four children, although some museums charge an additional entrance to special exhibitions. The passes can be taken out for three days. With limitations on our budget, we can only purchase passes for a limited number of museums. Our most popular passes have been to the Clark Art Institute, MassMoca, and the Berkshire Museum. We are considering the Adirondack Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Eric Carle Museum...where do you want to go?

If you'd like to weigh in what passes you'd like to see us add, please vote in the poll on our Facebook page. Time to plan ahead for summer fun....

Just passing on an item of interest to the many wannabe children's authors out there.....

Presented by the Children's Literature Connection, 

"Who's the Seuss?" - Writing and Publishing Workshop 
Saturday, June 4, 2011   
Are you the next Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer?
Join two CLC members who are publishing insiders - authors Eric Luper and Coleen Paratore - for a fact-filled, hands-on, all-questions-answered FUN workshop on how to get your children's or young adult book published!

Seek answers to your publishing questions:

 How do I get started?
Where do I get ideas?
Where and how do I submit?
How do I meet editors and agents?
How do I know if my manuscript is ready?
What is an elevator pitch and do I need one?
How do I write a query letter that gets read?

Plus special segments on:
How to act like you're "in the club" until you ARE in the club!
Writing that great first sentence, paragraph, page, and chapter an editor or agent can't resist!    Our 'we've-been-in-your-shoes-so-here's-the-real-deal' tips on how to get that big break.

When:    Saturday, June 4, 2011
Where:  Hilton Garden Inn, 235 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY
(ample free parking)
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (Lunch 12-1)
Cost: $99
 (Special $10.00 discount for up-to-date Children's Literature Connection members and all teachers and librarians.)

Send contact information (incl. phone number and email) and check made out to "Who's the Seuss?" by May 20th to:
"Who's the Seuss?"
c/o Eric Luper
350 Northern Blvd, Suite 103
Albany, NY 12204  

What to Bring: a 20-word or less "pitch" for your book, one copy of the first page of your manuscript (double-spaced), a notebook and pen, and your favorite beverages/snacks.There is a restaurant downstairs or feel free to bring a brown bag lunch!

Register soon! Enrollment is limited!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Library PSA's

Check out this Library Public Service Announcement from author Neil Gaiman. He's so mild mannered, yet his books are fantastical and fun. I especially liked Neverwhere

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Books to Movies

I love reading and I love watching movies, and I don't mind when movie makers take some liberties with books. I'm not talking new characters, or changing the ending...although I did think that the movie version of The Tin Drum had a better ending than the book.

I see the characters in my head when I'm reading, and I can't always prevent the movie actors from co-opting my own mental images. Sometimes, though, the movie actors are better, or even, who I had in mind when I read the book. Did you think Alan Rickman was the perfect choice to play Snape in the Harry Potter films? I did. Maybe that's because author J.K. Rowling had him in mind when she created the character. He got the part after Tim Roth turned it down to be in the instantly forgettable Planet of the Apes remake.

Our Book and Movie Group at the Brunswick Community Library chooses a different title every month. First, they meet to discuss a book, then a week later, they watch the movie adaptation of the book. Sometimes the films are recent, sometimes they are classics. The group members take turns bringing snacks, which are often inspired by what they are reading and watching. You are welcome to join the group, and to attend either, or both sessions.  Check out our website to see the schedule and book/movie title list.

In the meantime, you might be interested to hear about two movies coming out soon which are based on best-selling books. One is The Lincoln Lawyer, with Matthew McConaughey and Marisa Tomei; and another is Water for Elephants, with a non-sparkly Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.