Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wikipedia vs. Databases

What's a Wiki?
From the Hawaiian, wiki wiki means quick; a wiki is a web site that is easy to update quickly. The largest and most visible wiki on the web is Wikipedia which is an open source encyclopedia. Anyone can write or edit a Wikipedia entry. Anyone can edit, change or revert the article to its previous version. Sound messy? Well it is messy at times and it's not always apparent if the people who contribute to Wikipedia know of what they speak. Simply put, you take your chances using Wikipedia but it's not a bad place to get a quickie-wiki overview on a particular topic. Just be sure to check the facts using more than one reliable source.

Databases: Trustworthy, Kid Safe, Free, 24/7
Your state tax dollars support ICONN, which includes a collection of databases for children and adults. Databases feature articles from magazines, journals and newswire services; health and science information; national newspaper archives; history and genealogy resources... and much, much more. Moreover, the only thing you need to access this wealth of high-quality and reliable information is your public library card. It takes about 5 wiki wiki minutes to get one of these.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

National Poetry Month: Poet of the Week

Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a contemporary of Walt Whitman, was not an admirer of his work. She liked short lines and deep thought. She was so shy and lived such an isolated life in her father’s house that the reader wonders how she could come up with anything to write about. The answer is she went into her heart and her imagination. The two short poems that follow shows us an extraordinary wisdom she found there:

288 (I'm nobody! Who are you?)

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

435 (Much Madness is divinest Sense)

Much Madness is divinest Sense—
To a discerning Eye—
Much Sense—the starkest Madness—
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail—
Assent—and you are sane—
Demur—you're straightway dangerous—
And handled with a Chain—

Further Reading: Alfred Habegger’s My wars are laid away in books : the life of Emily Dickinson; Helen Vendler’s Poets thinking : Pope, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats -- both in our library.

Coming next: Robert Frost

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Someone Had to Write It...

Local Author S. Perry Mallory
S. (Shane) Perry Mallory, an East Hampton resident, recently released his book The Divorce Manual for Men. Not a pretty subject and let's hope you never need the book. But if you do, this is a sensitively-written manual.

Jacket Notes
"While divorce is undoubtedly a difficult process, by following what is outlined here, you can possibly minimize any negative impact it will have on all parties involved, save some money, and still learn to enjoy life."

This is definitely not a women-bashing book. Rather the book advocates men taking responsibility and making good decisions in the interest of everyone involved, particularly children. The book is based on countless discussions with professionals in the field and 'Average Joe' men who have have made it through a trying time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Third Rock from the Sun"

Earth Day
The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and was celebrated by a reported 20 million Americans. Today, Earth Day is celebrated annually and worldwide.

To mark Earth Day in our little corner of the planet, click here for an abbreviated list of new titles in our "going green" book collection. Start small. It can make all the difference in the world.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

National Poetry Month: Poet of the Week

James Dickey
James Dickey (1923-1997) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and is widely known as the author of the novel Deliverance. Less well known is his poetry, driven also by a surreal and archetypal sense of violence rather than by graceful subtlety or wit. (He served in both WWII and the Korean War, and was no stranger to violence.) In this, one of his few shorter poems, the reader can feel it just beneath the surface:


A Morning

A dog surroundingly howls.
Painfully he is changing
His voice from a voice for the moon

To the voice he has for the sun.
I stoop, and my hands are shining;
I have picked up a piece of the sea

To feel how a tall girl has swum
Yesterday in it too deeply,
And, below the light, has become

More naked than Eve in the garden.
I drop her strange body on the cobbles.
My hands are shining with fever,

And I understand
The long, changing word of the dog
With the moon dying out in his voice,

And the pain when the sun came up
For the first time on angel‑shut gates,
In its rays set closer than teeth.

Further Reading: To the white sea / James Dickey. ; 1993. ; Houghton Mifflin, and Deliverance /James Dickey. ; 1970. ; Houghton Mifflin. Both novels are available at our library.

Coming next week: Emily Dickinson

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Coming This Summer to the Library

Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero
Owing to generous support from the Friends of the East Hampton Public Library, the library will soon be the proud owner of a Nintendo PlayStation 2 game system and two of its more popular games: DDR and Guitar Hero.

Expect summer surprises as we launch a series of pilot game day programs with intention to offer a regular game day program beginning in Fall 2008. Your smooth DDR attack or Guitar Hero rock star moves are all you'll need to participate in any season.

About the Friends of the Library
The Friends are an all-volunteer, non-profit group who raise money to fund programs the library would not otherwise offer using taxpayer support. You can support the Friends efforts to support the library by shopping or volunteering at their used bookstore located in the Community Center complex, by becoming a member, or by making a tax-deductible donation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Cool Crafts for Kids
Saturday, May 3 @ 11 a.m.
Join us by crafting your own spectacular flowers (sample shown left) and a decorative vase to show off your gardening skills. There is nothing like pretty flowers in spring time!

Cool Crafts programs are open to children ages 3-7; parent participation is required.

Use your 'springy' fingers to access our online events calendar or phone 267-6621 to reserve your place for May's Cool Craft. Registration is limited to 15 children.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Horror Stories

Real, Personal, Deadly
Author David Sheff discussed his memoir Beautiful Boy: a Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction with Oprah on yesterday's (April 10) broadcast. Sheff's book started as a 2005 article for the New York Times Magazine and is now a full-length book which graces a number of national best-seller lists. Beautiful Boy tells the story of Sheff's son Nic's decent into methamphetamine addiction. Make no mistake, the book is a heartbreaking read. It is also and in all ways a wake-up call.

To learn more about the history of methamphetamine use and abuse in our country, from WWII to present, there's Frank Owen's No Speed Limit: the Highs and Lows of Meth. Owen's book, which clearly has a point of view, has been acclaimed for many reasons and reviled for many others. No weak spine here but we do understand why on both counts. We'll let you decide.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

National Poetry Month: Poet of the Week

Dame Judith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell (1887-1964), a Brit and contemporary of T.S. Eliot, admired him warmly because he saw the world with different eyes. Her first book of note, Fa├žade,(1922) and her last, The Canticle of the Rose (1949), reflect her own changing way of looking at the world. One would have to describe her as a dark poet of eccentric interests with an exceptionally keen musical ear and discerning mind keenly attuned to the senses. She denied being eccentric, but described herself an “electric eel in a pond of goldfish.”

Came the Great Popinjay

CAME the great Popinjay

Smelling his nosegay:
In cages like grots
The birds sang gavottes.
'Herodiade's flea
Was named sweet Amanda,
She danced like a lady
From here to Uganda.
Oh, what a dance was there!
Long‑haired, the candle
Salome‑like tossed her hair
To a dance tune by Handel.' . . .
Dance they still? Then came
Courtier Death,
Blew out the candle flame
With civet breath.

Further Reading: Victoria of England / Edith Sitwell ; with illlustrations. ; Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887‑1964. ; c1936. ; Houghton Mifflin Company.

Coming next week: James Dickey

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

East Hampton's Early Childhood Council

Welcome to the Web of Caring
Last Saturday, April 5th, the East Hampton Early Childhood Council (EHECC) hosted it's first Preschool Expo at the library. The Expo offered opportunity for local families to converse and gather information about early childhood resources available to our community.

A range of presenters were on tap to answer parent resource questions, including representatives from state agencies; Birth-to-Three, elementary school, preschool and nursery school programs; recreation organizations and others. Over 80 people attended the EHECC's first Expo and by all accounts, an extraordinary time was had by all.

About the EHECC
The EHECC is an independent group of volunteers, parents and professionals who have come together to create opportunities, share resources, and implement strategies to prepare East Hampton's young children for school success. Check out the EHECC's new web site to learn more about Early Links, Second Step and a host of other collaborative, community-based programs that intend to weave a bright future for East Hampton's littlest people!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sum, Sum, Summertime at Sears Park

Purchase Sears Park Stickers @ your library
Sears Park stickers for the 2008 season go on sale Monday, April 7th. As a convenience to town residents, park stickers are available for purchase at the library, Parks & Recreation offices, the Police Department, and the Town Clerk's office.

Hours of each Sears Park sticker sales outlet vary. Library hours are:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What You Need to Purchase a Sticker
Proof of residency and vehicle and/or watercraft registrations showing same must be presented in order to purchase a sticker. Regardless of where you make your sticker purchase, please be sure to bring these documents with you.

Applicable Fees/Sticker Cost
$10.00 per Vehicle
$5.00 Senior Citizen's first Vehicle
$50.00 Watercraft/Boat *
$5.00 Day Pass, available at the Gatehouse in Sears Park (residents only)
* 50% of this revenue goes to the Sears Park Boat Launch Improvement Fund

Learn More About Sears Park
For additional information about Sears Park and the rules and regulations governing its use, visit the Parks & Recreation Department's Sears Park web page.

It's Back! No Child Left Inside State Park Pass

So Many State Parks... Ready to Be Explored
The No Child Left Inside state park pass is back for its third season. The pass program is a special initiative of Governor Rell and is coordinated by the Connecticut DEP. The program's purpose is to encourage Connecticut families and visitors alike to enjoy all the recreational resources and outdoor activities available in Connecticut's state parks, forests and waterways.

The pass is available for checkout at the library and is valid at CT State Park & Forest recreation areas from April 19, 2008 through October 6, 2008. The pass waives vehicle entrance fees for private passenger vehicles carrying fewer than 12 passengers.

Friday, April 04, 2008

National Poetry Month: Poet of the Week

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland, and briefly studied art in his father’s footsteps. But at 21 he threw that over for poetry — and a richly complex life committed to it as well as to a study of eastern symbolism, to Irish drama (he helped found the Abbey Theatre in 1904), and to deep involvement in Irish politics. In 1899 he published The Wind Among the Reeds, which brought him “downstage center” as the figure in Irish literature comparable to Wordsworth’s stature in England. In the short poem below Yeats comments on poets who imitated him:

A Coat

I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.

Further Reading:
The Yeats Reader : a portable compendium of poetry, drama, and prose / edited by Richard J. Finneran, 1997 and The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats, 1978. Both are in our library’s collection.

Coming next week: Edith Sitwell

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fact or Fiction?

He/She Said What?????
During any political season -- and we know this may be very, very hard to believe -- things get said that may or may not be true. FactCheck may help you cut through the spin.

FactCheck's mission? "We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."