Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rockfall Foundation Funds Lakeside Buffer Garden

Dateline East Hampton, CT :
Sears Park, Saturday July 31, 2010

Earlier this year, the East Hampton Public Library was awarded a $1,000 grant from the Rockfall Foundation; the Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in Middlesex County.

Under the grant, which we titled Fribrary Time Goes Green, the library committed to educate 4th and 5th graders on ways to preserve and protect the environment and effect positive change in attitudes and behavior through a year-long series of hands-on, age-appropriate activities.

Core Project : Sears Park/Lake Pocotopaug Buffer Garden
The fundamental project funded by the grant was restoring a buffer strip garden at Sears Park, not far from the shore of Lake Pocotopaug.

Site Preparation and Plant Selection
Thanks to our Parks & Recreation Department, the site was cleared and readied for our core Rockfall Project. Site prep included marking underground utilities for safety's sake (photo above). A diversity of plantings were selected based on their ability to prevent erosion, sediment and nutrients from reaching our lake.

Our (Environmentally) Friendly Garden Crew
Beginning at 9:00 a.m. today, a sturdy crew of 4th and 5th graders set to work in collaboration with parents and members of the East Hampton Belltown Garden Club. By 11:00 a.m., all holes had been dug and plants set in their places.

Along the way the kids dug, clipped roots, and devised a very efficient 'bucket brigade' from lake to garden. Let us also mention the ease of learning how to un-pot plants, rev the roots and mix in plenty of organic 'safe for the lake' food to get the plantings off to a good start. And of course, who knew how much fun it would be to spread mulch?

More pics of all Team Fribrary/Team Rockfall/Team Garden Club members to come but here's one...

Back Row : Hollye Thomas, Karen Gallmon, Sue Hewes, Karen Terry
Middle Row : Seth Adam Gilman, Rebecca White, Sarah Caramma
Front Row : Jo-Ellen Sajak, Elyse Arcidiacono, Jon Terry

After the Work Comes the Joy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Introducing : Our Pilot Video Game Collection

Starting Small with Wii and PS3
Over the course of the last several years, we've been asked if the library had any intention to develop a video game collection to replace the CD-ROM games of yore. If you remember that collection, circulating games ran on MS Windows 95 machines and were jazzy in their day...

After much conversation with parents, families, and those who enjoy both book and media collections, we've taken the hint and started a very small collection playable on one or the other of two most popular platforms : Wii or Playstation 3.

Pilot Program : How It Works
Our pilot program collection was introduced yesterday (with no advance promotion) and includes about a dozen games. By end December 2010 the pilot collection will include about 40 games, based on popularity and our highest peak vendor discount cost. The majority of start up collection titles will be rated E (Everyone) or E 10+ (Everyone 10+) but will also include T-rated titles (Ages 13 and over).

Games will be temporarily shelved at the front desk and must be checked out on an adult card; limit one at a time per family. Game videos will circulate for a very liberal 14 days to help you figure out how to master the game!

With you, we'll review how the pilot goes along the way. As you might imagine, our greatest concern is how the materials will hold up. If you enjoy the games, please handle them with care and as always, we welcome your input and recommendations.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Special Choices from Our Cookery Collection

A Little Something for Everyone
New recipes are always welcome but elaborate food preparation is not -- especially in hot weather -- more so in this hot weather! Here's a selection of great new books to make life easier; the subtitles neatly illustrate the contents. Several in the selection support lifestyle choices and special dietary requirements.

I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening : Over 150 Ridiculously Easy Recipes for the Super Busy by Devin Alexander

The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker : Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World by Lynn Alley

Allergy-Free Desserts by Elizabeth Gordon

Diabetes Snacks, Treats, & Easy Eats for Kids by Barbara Grunes

Post by Bev Simmons

Anytime, Anywhere Access : Chilton's Online Now Available—The Turbocharged Version of the Automotive Repair Classic
Every DIY mechanic is familiar with the Chilton's manuals; they are a reliable and trusted resource for detailed repair information. However, since cars don’t break down in the library parking lot and people don’t perform car maintenance in the library, the printed versions of Chilton manuals are not always available when people need them the most. So, say hello to 24/7 online access.

Service Features
With Chilton's online database format, it is even easier for do-it-yourselfers to access the content, which includes:
  • Detailed step-by-step service instructions — Reduces the need for multiple sources of repair information
  • Close-up photographs and illustrations — Provides visual support, which promotes understanding
  • Vacuum and wiring diagrams — Helps explain system operation
  • Troubleshooting and diagnostics — Leads users right to the solution
  • Maintenance and specification tables — Highlights key information
  • Dynamic search engine — Makes it easier to find specific procedures.

Also, unlike the print versions of the manual, is updated on a regular basis, ensuring that users always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.

How to Access Chilton's Online
Click here and enter your East Hampton Public Library barcode.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Library Receives "Green Grant" Award

Local Kids "Going Green"
The East Hampton Public Library has been chosen to receive a $1,000 Greening and Growing Middlesex County Grant from the Rockfall Foundation in Middletown, Connecticut. This grant will enable the library to offer a year-long series of "Fribrary Time" programs to our community's fourth and fifth graders; each program will feature an environmental theme.

Core Program : Lake Pocotopaug Buffer Garden
Grant funding will be used to plant a small buffer garden located in Sears Park. The buffer garden will feature native plants beneficial in a lakeside setting. Selected plants discourage geese or help absorb storm runoff and capture phosphorus and nitrogen, which feed weeds and algae. The planting program is offered by the library in collaboration with East Hampton Parks & Recreation and the East Hampton Belltown Garden Club.

Calling All Fourth & Fifth Graders!
You can help do your part to protect Lake Pocotopaug on Saturday, July 31st. Beginning at 9:00 a.m., you'll work with members of the East Hampton Belltown Garden Club to plant the buffer garden. You will learn about landscaping layout, the benefits of certain kinds of plants, the issues involved when working in an environmentally sensitive area, and safety issues as well.

The program is limited to ten children; click here to register. Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, and inexpensive gardening gloves. If you have a small watering can or small plastic bucket, bring it along; we'll be watering plants using lake water. Parents are encouraged to participate.

Moving Forward
Though our Rockfall Grant will help our park and our lake, don't forget to sign up for other planned "green" programs which we will offer under the "Rockfall" umbrella. Join us for a field trip to Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority's Trash Museum in Hartford on August 13 and check our our Community Planning program held in cooperation with the UCONN Center for Transportation and Urban Planning on August 27.

Similarly themed "green programs" will continue through June 2011. We'll keep you posted.

Surf's Up
East Hampton Conservation/Lake Commission
Friends of Lake Pocotopaug

Post developed by Kathleen Sands

Monday, July 19, 2010

Earth Machine Update

Thank You, Thank You!
Last April, the library took on a community service project to make Earth Machine backyard compost bins available to the public at a competitive and affordable price. Thank you to all who supported the project which we offered in collaboration with the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRAA) and East Hampton Public Works. Special thanks to Public Works who accepted delivery of the composters and made them available for pickup.

Project Outcome
We needed to buy Earth Machines in skids of 20. Three units which were not pre-ordered remain unsold; one is the sample you may have seen when visiting the library. If you'd like to purchase one of the unclaimed units, contact the library at 860-267-6621. Cost is $47, first-come, first-served.

Project Continuance
Owing to continuous public interest, the library will re-run 2010's Earth Machine project in 2011. We will, however, launch the project earlier so composters will be ready for pickup on or about Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Books for Parents

Latest Additions
The library offers a variety of books for parents and about parenting. Collectively, these books offer different points of view and have appeal to parents with different values and styles. We highlight here a few of the latest additions to our collection.

Momology : A Mom's Guide to Shaping Great Kids by Shelly Radic, MOPS International chief of staff, is geared to Christian mothers but may appeal to other stay at home moms.

Judith Simon Prager and Judith Acosta's Verbal First Aid : Help Your Kids Heal from Fear and Pain -- and Come Out Strong provides useful advice on how to help your children deal with the stress of medical conditions or everyday accidents.

In The Modern Dad's Dilemma : Strategies for Staying Connected with Your Kids in a Rapidly Changing World, John Badalament offers a fundamental argument : "as dads, we are infinitely more important to our children and families than we - as individuals and as a collective society - realize or care to admit."

First the Broccoli, Then the Ice Cream : a Parent's Guide to Deliberate Discipline is Dr. Tim Riley's takes on the importance of consistency and repetition and rules with consequences. Recommended by a patron "the book is a fun, insightful read with solid advice".

Susan Kaiser Greenland's The Mindful Child: How To Help Your Kids Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate is one of the latest additions to the the canon of "present moment awareness".

Water : Bottled or Not?

Informed Choices
Two recent books look at water not only as essential to all living things but also as a commodity.

Peter H. Gleick's Bottled & Sold : The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water discusses green values, free markets, advertising, plastic waste and the dimensions of each. In addition to being well written and researched, this book provides a point-of-view perspective on the bottled water industry and its impact on society.

Bottlemania : How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It by Elizabeth Royte covers the topic in an interesting way. The book asks its readers to decide which is best (tap or bottled) and offers research to help readers form an opinion and make an informed choice.

Surf's Up
Use your East Hampton Public Library card barcode to log in to Consumer Reports Online. Search "bottled water" and find a wealth of information about the topic.

Check out the U.S. Geological Survey's Water Science site to learn more about the many aspects of water and its importance in our daily lives.

Content developed by Bev Simmons

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary

To Kill a Mockingbird
We celebrate Harper Lee's only novel's 50th anniversary today, July 11th. The book was a best-seller and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. The novel also touched a nerve in American society and went on to be among the most revered and frequently challenged books (as in censorship) of the 20th century. Despite challenges, the book has sold more than 30 million copies and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Any time is a good time to read or re-read To Kill a Mockingbird or to watch the Oscar-winning film adaptation starring Gregory Peck.

Further Reading
I Am Scout : a Biography of Harper Lee by Charles Shields
Mockingbird : a Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles Shields
An Introduction to To Kill a Mockingbird by Dan Stone

Surf's Up
National Endowment for the Arts
Mockingbird on Facebook
Monroe County Heritage Museum

And about the bird...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Summer Fun : The Three 'B's'

Beach, Backyard & BBQ!
Here are but a few of our favorite mix and match titles about summer fun. Ask for more; we have 'em!

Packed with sensational ideas to make your own dream castle in sand, Sandcastles Made Simple : Step-by-Step Instructions, Tips, and Tricks for Building Sensational Sand Creations by Lucinda "Sandy Feet" Wierenga is a real treasure. The title is ideal for lake or beach playtime and offers hours of creative fun. No problem if you don't build a magazine-cover-ready castle; playing in the sand is always fun for everyone.

Ellen Brown's $3 Make-and-Take Meals : Delicious Low-Cost Dishes for Picnics, Potlucks & Brown Bagging It gives quick, easy and economical choices for putting together your own version of "fast food".

75 Smoothies : How to Make Fresh Fruit Drinks, Shakes, & Floats... by Suzannah Olivier covers the topic tastefully. The book includes recipes for energy boosting breakfast drinks and for kids, smoothies that will leave them wanting more fruit.

The Big Book of BBQ is edited by the folks at Southern Living and presents specials recipes geared for beef, poultry, pork, and fish.

Post by Beverly Simmons

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Lost Worlds

Summer Reading Anyone? A Trip Back in Time
Lost Worlds by John Howe provides a magical look into 24 lost worlds, both legendary and real. Howe, who is famous for his illustrations for Lord of the Rings, brings all of these old civilizations to life. Stand on the mounds at Cahokia or look at the heat of the eruption that ended the city of Pompeii. This book is great for those who love King Arthur and other mythical heros of history as well.

Further Reading
Atlantis: The Legend of a Lost City
The Lost Colony of Atlantis
The Golden Book of Lost Worlds
The Lost Colony of Roanoke
Pompeii (Pick & Choose)
Tales of a Lost Kingdom: Journeys into Northwest Pakistan
Bodies from the Past
Tut's Mummy : Lost & Found

Surf's Up
Try Thinkquest, and education site sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation, an offshoot of the Oracle Corporation, a commercial software company.

Post developed by Kathleen Sands