Monday, July 30, 2007

Home-based Businesses

An article from BusinessWeek Online presents an interview with Manvinder Saraon, vice-president of marketing and business development at Homestead Technologies, about the company's home-based business ideas for 2007. Saraon explains how they determined which home-based businesses have the greatest potential in 2007. Two of the suggestions are: offering children’s art classes, and organizing garages.

If you are interested in starting a home business, please check out these titles.

Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn 2006
Home-based Bookstore 2006
Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business 2005
Home-Based Business for Dummies 2005
The Work-at-Home Sourcebook 2005
The 200 Best Home Businesses 2005

To find articles on home-based businesses from US newspapers and magazines, please see the Library database Factiva.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Best-selling Nonfiction

More and more readers are beginning to enjoy nonfiction, not just for the information it imparts, but for reading pleasure. David Carr, a librarian at The University of North Carolina says that “nonfiction addresses our memories, our curiosities and unfinished questions, and our hopes to learn about something remarkable and real, something transforming and true, something lost and something discovered.” (“Many Kinds of Crafted Truths: An Introduction to Nonfiction.” Nonfiction Readers’ Advisory (2005)

Some popular nonfiction favorites at APL have been The Tipping Point,
Freakonomics, The World is Flat, Three Cups of Tea, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and Omnivore's Dilemma. The Tipping Point, for example, is a great science book for all ages. I suggest that you read it aloud to family and friends to start a lively discussion.

The Library's Good Reads nonfiction page has a list of top nonfiction books by year, a list of contemporary memoirs, and books devoted to obscure topics. David Carr also has created a list of his favorite nonfiction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A New Book of Quotations

The Yale Book of Quotations

Library Journal: "This collection of 12,000 quotations is a real treat! The quotes range over literature, history, popular culture, sports, computers, science, politics, law, and the social sciences, and although American quotations are emphasized, the book's scope is global. The authors represented are as diverse as William Shakespeare, John Lennon, Jack Dempsey, both Presidents Bush, J.K. Rowling, Rita Mae Brown, Confucius, Warren Buffet, and Deng Xiaoping."

I have selected a few of my favorite quotations from the book and included a related title in the APL collection for each person.

J. Robert Oppenheimer
US physicist, 1904-1967
"When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atom bomb."
American Prometheus; the Triump and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird

Walker Percy
American Writer, 1916-1990
"The fact is I am quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie. Other people, so I have read, treasure memorable moments in their lives."
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

Philip K. Dick
American Writer, 1928-1982
“Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn't go away.”
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

Julian Barnes
British Writer, 1946-
“Books say: she did this because. Life says she did this. Books are where life is explained; life is where things aren't."
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

Tom Waits
American singer-songwriter, 1949-
“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.”
Real Gone by Tom Waits

For more quotation sources, please see APL’s Quotation Locator Research Guide.

Monday, July 23, 2007

How to Get the Health Care You Want

When faced with our own or a family member’s health problems, our first priority is locating a skilled doctor and all the information about the illness that is available. The Austin Public Library offers many resources that can assist you.

Our health research databases provide up-to-date health care information from sources you can trust. You can access articles from medical journals, encyclopedias and other reference books as well as images, diagrams, drug and herb information, fact sheets, and pamphlets. Use your library card to access the databases from home!

On Tuesday, July 24th at 6:00 p.m., the Central Library will host a discussion with Laura Casey, the author of How to Get the Health Care You Want: The Savvy Consumer's Guide to Navigating The Health Care System. The book stresses that that we as consumers have a right to demand excellent customer service from our health care professionals, just as we would from any other business or service provider. Ms. Casey will discuss the importance of creating and maintaining one’s own medical records and answer questions about the health care system.

In addition to this title, we have plenty of related books to choose from:

Friday, July 20, 2007

"One giant leap for mankind”

Today marks the 38th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing. Three United States astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins, set off on the Apollo 11 mission on July 16th, 1969. On July 20th at 4:18 p.m. U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), the Eagle lunar landing module touched down on the Moon. Armstrong stepped out of the Eagle at 10:56 PM EDT with Aldrin following behind. Collins remained in the orbiting Command Module Columbia until Armstrong and Aldrin’s return 21 hours and 36 minutes later. During the mission, the two astronauts gathered rocks, took photographs, set up scientific instruments, planted an American flag, and left a plaque reading "Here Men From Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon The Moon. July 1969 A.D. We Came In Peace For All Mankind." The crew returned to Earth four days later on July 24th and then spent 18 days in quarantine to insure that they were not contaminated by lunar microbes. Over half a billion people world wide watched this momentous occasion on television and an estimated million watched the launch firsthand.

For more information, check out the NASA web site or one of these Austin Public Library resources:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blog anniversary: a message from the editors

“Time flies when you are having fun” is the old proverb. It is surprising for us to already be celebrating our first blog anniversary! It seems that we just started talking about this project, opening our blog accounts, and posting our first entry. So, this time we wanted to post a brief message from our blog editors to you:

Aleph: This is one of the projects that I enjoy the most at the library. I love looking for interesting information to post in our blog, but I would also like to hear more from the public, their opinions and suggestions. So, don’t be shy! We love to hear from you!

Oracle: I have really enjoyed writing and reading other librarian’s submissions to the Traveling Librarian blogs. It is so interesting to hear what other libraries have to offer and see the wonderful photos!

Evelyn Carnahan: I enjoy hearing about something interesting then writing a blog post to share with our reading public. I hope to one day start a Library Music Blog. Living in the “Live Music Capital of the World”, how fitting would that be?! As Aleph, I’d also like to hear more from our readers, post comments and suggestions!

La Princesse de Cleves: La Princesse de Cleves (1678) is considered by many literary historians to be the first modern novel. I chose this name because I enjoy writing blogs about books. We always appreciate your book suggestions, and we have plans to allow customers to add their own reviews of items in the catalog.
Thank you all for your support!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Black Swans

The Black Swan is the most social and least territorial of all swans. The non-migratory birds nest in rather loose colonies in Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden. The world thought swans were just white until Australia was colonized in 1697. Black Swans begin their lifelong partnership shortly after they become a year old. Both male and female Black Swans share in the incubation duties.

I have listed some interesting titles that include black swan in the title or as the subject matter, including nonfiction, fiction, and a music cd.

The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable
Nassim Taleb
An applied statistician calls rare, life-changing events that have massive impact "black swans".

The Medici Giraffe: And Other Tales of Exotic Animals and Power
Marina Belozerskaya
Author surveys history for arresting tales of black swans, giraffes, and other exotic animals.

The Black Swan: Memory, Midlife, and Migratory Birds
Ann Batterson
In spare, well-crafted prose, this mid-life memoir recounts a cross-country trip alone in a VW bus to look at migrating birds. The book shares both title and theme with Thomas Mann's novel about a woman's fear of aging.

The Black Swan
Mercedes Lackey
In this re-telling of the German folktale, Odile, the daughter of a vengeful sorcerer, lives on an isolated medieval estate with her father's prisoners, unfaithful young women who are swans by day and human while the moon shines.

Black Swan Green: a Novel
David Mitchell
Charming study of a time and a place: small-town England in the early 1980s, seen through the eyes of a boy stranded in the hot zone of adolescence.

White Swan, Black Swan: Stories
Adrienne Sharp
Former dancer explores both the exultation and the physical and emotional stresses of professional ballet.

Hang on Little Tomato
Pink Martini
“Song of the Black Swan”
Lush instrumental by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Traveling Librarian visits Sydney and Brisbane, Australia

I attended the Fifth International Indigenous Librarians’ Forum: Culture, Knowledge and Future in Brisbane, Australia, June 4th-7th, 2007. The conference brought together the aboriginal people of Australia, the first Nations people of Canada, and the indigenous people of New Zealand and the United States. Presentations were devoted to four topics - culture, knowledge, sharing, and future. We were immersed into the aboriginal culture by visiting nearby Stradbroke Island to visit the Quandamooka tribal community for sharing of local foods, cultural dances, and artwork. We also visited the Dunwich Community Library, very small but used by many!

The conference was hosted by the State Library of Queensland and the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Library & Information Resource Network, Inc. (ATSILIRN). The state library is located on the South Bank of Brisbane, recently opened November 2006. Its modern architecture was designed by Donovan Hill and Peddle Thorp. The collection contains over 3.5 million items!

Consisting of five floors, the first floor, called the I-Zone housed public computers and some aboriginal art. The second, third, and fourth floors housed the music collection, periodicals, new books, periodicals, microfilm and reference. The fifth floor was administrative offices. I especially enjoyed the exhibit room used for displays and author readings looking out over the river.

Visit the State Library of Queensland Website:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Seven Wonders of the World

The New Seven Wonders of the World were announced in Lisbon, Portugal on, appropriately enough, 07/07/07. The New7Wonders Foundation hosted the survey which nearly 100 million people voted on worldwide by web, SMS and telephone. The winners were:

  • The Great Wall, China
  • Petra, Jordan
  • Christ Redeemer, Brazil
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Chichén Itzá, Mexico
  • The Roman Colosseum, Italy
  • The Taj Mahal, India

The original Seven Wonders of the World are the Pyramids of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus, Temple of Artemis, Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, Pharos of Alexandria.

Check out these items to find out more about these and other wonders:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Furry staff members

If you had the chance to visit Little Walnut Creek branch you probably met Junie and Ramona. They have beautiful long brown and black hair, and they are the only ones allowed to eat in the library. Of course we are talking about Junie and Ramona the guinea pigs!!! Their names are inspired by the juvenile fiction book characters Junie B. Jones created, by the writer Barbara Park and, Ramona Quimby, protagonist of a series of books by Beverly Cleary.

But Little Walnut Creek is not the only library in the country that has “furry staff members.” Dewey Readmore Books was the resident of the Spencer Public Library in Iowa for 18 years. A staff member found him in the book drop with his paws frozen a cold morning. Since then, he has been one of the most famous library pets in the United States. Tourists often included this library in their trips so they could meet Dewey. He received mail and still has a fan club.

Ocean Shores Library in Washington has Olivia and Waldo, two beautiful cats welcoming patrons. Azle Public Library in Azle Texas has Molli, the cat as their library pet.

If you haven’t met Junie and Ramona, you will have to wait until December when Little Walnut Creek reopens, but if you are planning on traveling nationwide or even abroad, why don’t you check the following map? You might be visiting a town where the library is the home of a celebrity pet:

Friday, July 06, 2007

Raku: pottery to enjoy!

Raku is one of many kinds of Japanese pottery; it is characterized by using low temperatures to fire the clay and lead glazes. The combination of both fire and smoke create distinctive patterns and texture on the external surface of the pottery. This kind of technique started in the second half of the sixteenth century and its name originates from the place from which the clay for this kind of pottery was dug, in Kyoto, Japan.

Ceramic artists from all over the globe have been trying new variations in the techniques of Raku pottery. In United States, Paul Soldner is the pioneer of what is known as the American form of Raku.

If you want to have a better idea of this pottery technique, you can visit our display of Raku pottery made by one of our talented staff members here at the Faulk Central Library. The display is located on the first floor and if you want to know and read more about it, we recommend the following resources for you:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July brings fireworks, picnics, BBQs, parades, flags, and patriotic music all to commemorate the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia. According to the Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, “the holiday was first observed in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776, at which time the Declaration of Independence was read aloud, city bells rang, and bands played. It was not declared a legal holiday, however, until 1941.”

Don’t miss the Austin Symphony Orchestra performing its traditional Independence Day Concert at 8:30 p.m. July 4 at the Northeast Triangle of Zilker Park (Lou Neff Point) with fireworks beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Please note that all Austin Public Library locations will be closed on July 4th, but will reopen on Thursday, July 5th at 10:00 a.m. Check out these patriotic books if you just have a hankering for more after the holiday:

Monday, July 02, 2007

Self-Help Award Winners

Cupcake Brown, author of Piece of Cake

Last February, the New York Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society announced the winners of the 2006 Books For A Better Life Awards, which honor titles and authors of motivational and self-improvement titles. The Library owns all the titles, because we know from our own experience, there is always room for improvement!

The Books For A Better Life Awards winners are:
Suze Orman First Book: A Piece of Cake: A Memoir by Cupcake Brown
Childcare/Parenting: Packaging Girlhood by Sharon Lamb and Lyn Brown
Inspirational Memoir: A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
Motivational: CrazyBusy; Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap: Strategies for Coping in a World Gone Add by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D
Personal Finance: The Number : A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life by Lee Eisenberg
Psychology: Social Intelligence: the New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman
Relationships: The Faith Club; a Mulsim, Christian, Jew - Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner
Spiritual: Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life by Irwin Kulwith and Linda Loewenthal
Wellness: What to Eat by Marion Nestle