Spot the International Space Station

  “Hey, Timon, ever wonder what those sparkly dots are up there?” “Pumbaa, I don't wonder; I know.” “Oh. What are they?” “They're fireflies. Fireflies that, uh... got stuck up on that big bluish-black thing.” “Oh, gee. I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away.” “Pumbaa, with you, everything's gas.” Neither a firefly nor a ball of gas, the International Space Station is the third largest visible object in the night sky after the sun and the moon according to NASA. On a clear night it is easy…continue reading →

And the word is: GIF

Each November since 2005 lexicographers (“n., a writer or compiler of a dictionary”) at Oxford English Dictionary announce the word that qualifies as word of the year. After watching word trends to determine what word best illustrates the current zeitgeist, the 2012 winner is GIF. You probably recognize GIF—an acronym standing for graphic interchange format—after all it has been around for over 25 years, but like the word “Google” before it, GIF is morphing from strictly a noun into a verb. From popular tumblr sites such as That Disney GIF to gymnastic GIFs…continue reading →

Go Back to Bed!

According to an AP story appearing in major newspapers including the Washington Post and the Worcester, Massachusetts Telegram increasing the number of hours you sleep may also increase your grade point average. Colleges and universities are paying attention to such wisdom. At Brown University a campus-wide program publicizes the importance of a good night’s rest and the University of Louisville is offering Flash Nap Workshops to “lock in learning while you easily and efficiently restore vitality.” A search on the library database Academic Search Complete revealed several studies of college student sleeping patterns…continue reading →

Flashback Friday: Vintage Library Posters from the Work Projects Administration

[caption id="attachment_480" align="alignleft" width="202"]For greater knowledge on more subjects use your library often! Chicago, circa 1940[/caption] While library services have been changed with technology through the years, our mission remains the same, to provide communities with a space to convene, discuss, educate, challenge, and enlighten. Don't believe us? In today's Flashback Friday, one of a three part series, we explore government funded artwork for libraries across the United States. [caption id="attachment_484" align="alignright" width="213"]Young and old visit the library on the parkway Pennsylvania, circa 1936-1937[/caption] We start with these charming and eccentric Great Depression era silkscreen posters. Created by artists working in the Work Projects Administration between 1936 and 1943, most of these posters wouldn't feel out of place in a library today. [caption id="attachment_483" align="alignleft" width="192"]The vacation reading club - join now at your public library  Iowa, circa 1936-1939[/caption] The Work Projects Administration (WPA), one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's pioneering and controversial New Deal programs, employed thousands of artists from to create art which promoted community services. Over 900 of these iconic posters created by the WPA have been digitized into an easy to search digital collection by the Library of Congress (via Fox at dh support). Whether you are an art aficionado, a lover of 20th century American history, or just interested in great design, this collection of high-contrast, vibrantly colored posters are a great contrast to the typical images we associate with The Great Depression. [caption id="attachment_478" align="alignright" width="192"]Books are weapons Read about... "The negro in national defense," "Africa and the war," [and] "Negro history and culture" at the Schomburg Collection of the New York Public Library New York, circa 1941-1943[/caption] [caption id="attachment_482" align="alignleft" width="202"]Public library week--November 12 - 18 Your public library invites you to make its acquaintance : Open house all week : Always at your service. Chicago, circa 1936-1940[/caption]

Take a look at some more of our favorites, or find your own at WPA Posters Digital Collection at the Library of Congress.

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Election 2012

Hmmm. . . Obama or Romney? Who to choose, who to choose. . .         Are you wondering who should get your vote on November 6? Try this quiz from USA Today. After answering 14 questions on issues ranging from Medicare to Afghanistan to gay marriage and rating the importance of each issue to you, you will see how closely your opinions match the two candidates, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.  Then you can enter the voting booth knowing which candidate agrees with you! Still confused? Maybe you don’t know…continue reading →