Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Earth Day 2012 Backyard Composting Campaign

Going Green
Kitchen scraps and yard trimmings make up 20 to 30 percent of all household wastes.  To help reduce what goes to a landfill, the library, in collaboration with East Hampton Public Works, will again be participating in the Northeast Resource Recovery Association's (NRRA) annual Backyard Composting Campaign.

In our third year of participation, any of four environmentally-friendly products will be available for purchase:

The Earth MachineTM Compost Bin : $52 ($100 retail value)
SysternTM Rain Barrel : $67 ($120 retail value)
Compost Turner : $20 ($31 retail value)
Kitchen Scrap Pails : $10

Click here for more detail about the products.

Get Ready to Go Green with Your Order
Click here to download an order form. Pre-paid orders will be accepted at the library until April 2, 2012.  Ordered items will be available for local distribution at East Hampton Public Works during the week of April 16, just in time for Earth Day, April 22.

About the Program
The library and East Hampton Public Works collaborate to participate in the NRRA program as a service to our community. There is a mark-up ($5 or $2) on the price we pay NRRA for the products you order.  The mark-up mainly covers Connecticut sales tax; the modest overage (about $100 in each of the last two years) we've used to buy books about eco-friendly topics.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge

A Cold Snowy Day Is a Good Day to Think About Saving Energy
If you have not yet participated in the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, today's a good day to think about the benefits of doing so.

Check out the N2N website for information on how to sign up for a free lighting retrofit, completing an inexpensive Home Energy Solutions Assessment, or attending workshops to learn about a variety of energy issues from basic to specific (preventing ice dams, for example).  If you have completed an Energy Solutions visit, also look for info on deeper energy savings that come from taking advantage of tax incentives, low-interest financing, and rebates on energy-saving upgrades to your home.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tax Information Roundup

Tax Information at the EHPL
Tax forms are still arriving (everyone's favorite time of year) so we'll offer a quick roundup of where to find what you need.

Paper Forms and Booklets
The library receives an array of fairly standard federal and state tax forms. Forms and related booklet racks are located in the library's lobby.

On the Web : Forms and Other Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) : Link to this official federal government site for forms, publications, and general guidance.

Department of Revenue Services, State of Connecticut : Link to DRS and find tax forms, publications, and information about online filing.

Assistance With Form Printing
Ask at the front desk if you need assistance finding and printing an online form or publication, federal or state.

Free Filing and Paid Preparers
Check out the freefile page on the IRS site to see if you are eligible to use the services listed.  If you prefer a very local and personalized approach, please do keep in mind the many local business folks who offer tax preparation and financial planning services.   

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Planning Ahead : Grow Your Own Food

Sorting Through the Seeds
Though it may be a tad too early to start ordering seeds, it's never too early to plan for the greener days ahead.  Your library's gardening collection features a wide range of titles about organic gardening and as a subset, growing your own food.  Here's a quick list of available and incoming titles tied to the heirloom seed movement and related interests; these may come in handy during warmer days.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Fun for Kids

Something Fun for Everyone
Though the winter weather outside has been calm so far, it seems like a good idea to have kiddo-friendly activity ideas up your sleeve if the trend changes.  Here's a quick list of recent books chock full of ideas suitable for every type of family budget or range of interests.

Authors Claire Gillman and Sam Martin detail a variety of boredom-busting activities, both indoor and outdoor.

Kids Guide to Paper Airplanes by Christopher Harbo
If you have a budding engineer in the family, this one provides instructions and diagrams for making a variety of traditional paper airplanes.

Sort-of-difficult Origami by Chris Alexander
Though not for novices, the step-by-step instructions are well-explained and illustrated.  Fold and fold and fold again to make a fox mask, a penguin, a seal, and more.

Valentine Crafts by Greta Speechley
The simpler crafts give this title its shine and offer a great way to help your child craft a special gift for that special someone in their life.

The author offers a solid introduction to a very popular pastime with examples geared mainly to girls, grades 4 and up.

Modeling Clay Animals by Bernadette Cuxart
Using non-drying clay, follow basic tips and instructions to create animal sculptures, including ladybugs, giraffes, crabs, dogs, rabbits, and turtles.

Carla Mooney and Samuel Carbaugh outline the basics of Washington's life, accompanied by doable, historically-informed activities. An interesting choice for President's Day learning, grades 3-5.

Craft ideas for classic and not-so-classic holidays. Many of the ideas can be adapted, and re-adapted, to "celebrate" holidays of your own making.

Modern Scholar Lectures on CD

"Imagine learning from some of the greatest living scholars... Well, now you can!"
If you are looking for some quality but also entertaining listening material... say, something more weighty than latest audio fiction book... why not listen to lectures from a college caliber course at your own pace, in your own time, and whenever you're in the mood to think big?

Modern Scholar Lectures
The library is incrementally rolling out a collection of audio titles from the Modern Scholar Series; the series features high-interest, college-level course lectures recorded by great professors who teach at top colleges and universities.  Listeners seeking a refresher course, an enriched understanding of career-related subjects, or a way to casually learn about culturally significant topics may enjoy this emerging collection.

Example Titles in the Series

Click here for other titles in the series with expectation of fifteen additional titles added by June 2012.  The Modern Scholar Series is in large part funded with memorial donations made in memory of Maria B. Durkin.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oogy and Tuesday and Roselle and Otto and Me

Books for Dog Lovers
If you are loving the pooches in your life, here's a quick list of books, recent and continuously popular, that you may have missed along the way.  There is no shortage of inspiration to be found between the covers.  Woof!

Last Dog on the Hill by Steve Duno
Oogy : The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin
The Puppy Diaries by Jill Abramson
Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory
Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan with Bret Witter
You Had Me at Woof by Julie Klam
Rin Tin Tin : The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean
A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron (Fiction)
101 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog by Alison Smith (For Families)
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Fiction)
The Puppy That Came for Christmas by Megan Rix
Dog Sense by John Bradshaw
Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan
The Art of Raising a Puppy by Monks of New Skete
Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant (Kiddo Classic)
Books About Specific Breeds
The library has a substantial collection of books about specific breeds, different approaches to choosing and training a puppy, and otherwise having fun with your pooch.  Our Children's Services book collection also features a wide range of picture books devoted to all things dog, for the little person and best animal pal in your family's life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Think Snow!

Snow Books for Kids
To the last, we all shoveled and plowed mountains of snow last winter yet here we are in early January 2012 with nary a snowflake in sight.  Whether this is good or bad news to you, we suspect your kiddos are probably thinking snow no matter what.

Here's a short list of contemporary snowy season theme books for little people, accompanied by a quick list of classics:

It's Snowing! by Gail Gibbons
Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds
Snowmen All Year by Caralyn Buehner
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na
Little Mist by Angela McAllister
The Snow Day by Komako Sakai
The Smallest Snowflake by Bernadette Watts
Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Snowy, Blowy Winter by Bob Raczka
Bedtime for Bear by Brett Helquist

Cool Classics
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
The Snow Bear by Miriam Moss
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Snow by Uri Shulevitz

Monday, January 09, 2012

Song of the Airline Trail

Photo courtesy of the CT DEP
An Adventure... On the Airline Trail...
Last December, seven creative kiddos teamed up with our State Troubadour, Chuck Costa, to write a song about a favorite East Hampton place.  The group chose to write about the Airline Trail.  See our previous post about the progam.

Our Songwriters
First Row, Left to Right : Alexander Link, Elijah De Siqueria Campos McLaughlin, Vanessa Naughton, Elizabeth Link, London Brazel, Lucia Petruzziello, Dante Petruzziello Standing : Chuck E. Costa (CT State Troubadour), Mira Stanley

Song of the Airline Trail : Sing Along East Hampton!
Click here to listen to the song.
The song is slated to be included on a CT sings CD, the outcome of Costa's statewide songwriting project featuring Connecticut-inspired songs by Connecticut children. 

It used to be a train track
now it's the Airline Trail
bikes, beasts and feet
go down the worn out rail
someday you might go there
an adventure
on the Airline Trail

One day in the springtime
I went biking there
from East Hampton to Willimantic
23 miles of fresh air

Biking in the summer
grasshoppers jumping 'round
over the viaduct
a buzzing and fluttering sound


Miles away from everything
in a sea of golden leaves
letter boxes off the trail
look like they're full of mail

Now it's getting colder
the cranberry bog is frozen
skating and some hockey
under clouds that want to be snowing


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Who Votes In January? You Do!

2012 Nutmeg Book Awards
If you have not yet had the pleasure -- and we know so many who have -- there is still time to read another Nutmeg Book Award nominee or otherwise weigh in on which title you've read and liked best.

Think big! Which title made you laugh? Which made you ponder a new idea? Which characters did you feel like you knew or would like to know better? Which book did you talk about most or recommend to a friend?

Vote for Your Favorite @ your library or school
Voting for the Nutmeg Award runs from January 2 to January 31.  Click here for a list of Nutmeg-nominated titles for intermediate grades 4-6 (jacket art above). Click here for a list of teen titles, grades 7-8.  All of the Nutmeg titles are available at the library. 

About the Nutmeg Book Award
Established in 1991, the annual Nutmeg Book Award encourages all Connecticut children in grades 4-8 to read great books and vote for their favorite from a list of nominated titles. Jointly sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians, the Nutmeg Committee is comprised of children’s librarians, school library media specialists and student representatives. They read hundreds of books to come up with the two lists which are fairly balanced by gender, reading level, and genre.

Books must also meet certain criteria to be considered for the award. These include: being fiction, with appeal for readers in grades 4-6 (intermediate) or 7-8 (teen); copyrighted in the United States and first published no more than five years from date of selection; currently in print, and available in paperback; and, obviously, well-written.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Create... Invent... LEGO!

Contraptions, Machines, and Wonders on Wheels
If you have a LEGOTM fan in the house (who doesn't?), try any of the titles in the LEGO Technic Idea series by technical writer and Lego guru, Yoshihito Isogawa.  Even if you don't have all the parts ;-(  you can still use the books to set your imagination free, improvise, invent, and build very cool functional models.

Now Showing in Our Library Display Case
Next time you stop by the library, check out our display case, the contents of which chronicles the extraordinary success of East Hampton's 2011 FIRST LEGO League teams : Belltown Bots, Brick Bros, and Nanotech Ninjas. All first year teams, team members competed in Connecticut regional competitions; the Belltown Bots went on to compete in the State Championship.  All three teams and all team members made our community bust its buttons with pride and admiration!

Funding our 2011 teams came with major support by the East Hampton Rotary Club and support from the East Hampton Public Library, Anchor Lodge, and East Hampton Parks & Recreation.

East Hampton FLL 2012
Watch for information on how your kiddo can participate in East Hampton's FIRST LEGO League, 2012 season. The league is open to girls and boys, ages 9-14, with an interest in cutting-edge science, technology, and exploring and recommending engineered solutions to real-world problems.  FLL pamphlets are available at the library and include a label with local contact information.

Further Reading
Click here for other books and games with Lego-friendly themes.   

Museum Pass Deals

Take Two!
Planning a day trip?  You may now borrow the following museum passes together, subject to availability:

The Mark Twain House & Harriet Beecher Stowe House are located next door to each other.  Borrow the passes together and explore the private lives of these two highly influential American authors.

Make a day of it in Hartford by borrowing the Wadsworth Atheneum pass and the Old State House pass at the same time.  Subject to availability, you may also request a discount coupon for the CT Science Center.  Add to your trip list a visit to the Museum of Connecticut History (also in Hartford) where admission is always free.

Take a trip to Mystic and enjoy the Mystic Aquarium & Institute of Exploration and the Mystic Seaport.

Reserves and Loan Periods
Each pass may be reserved by phone 24 hours in advance of the day you plan to check out the pass or use it.  Passes circulate for 2 days and are funded by the Friends of the East Hampton Library.

Combination offers are suspended during school vacations and July/August.