When the going gets tough, the tough get a librarian.
Jenna Boller in Best Foot Forward.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Save Money @ Your Library

Have you used the library to help save money during tough times? Share your story with Woman’s Day magazine!

The public library plays an important role as Americans face tough economic times. Libraries offer their communities access to computers and the Internet, financial literacy skills, assistance with job searches, and resources to help small businesses.

Do you have a story about using the resources and services at the library to save money, search for a job or manage your small business? If so, you could be selected to appear in Woman’s Day magazine.

Between February 17 – May 18, women 18 and over are invited to tell their story in 700 words or less and send it to womansday@ala.org. Up to four stories will be highlighted in the March 2010 issue of Woman’s Day. For more information and to read the official rules, visit www.womansday.com/ala.

The initiative was developed by Woman’s Day and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Campaign for America’s Libraries, (ala.org/@yourlibrary) ALA's public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is providing daily information about the swine flu outbreak. Their website also has infomation on travel notices and general information on the illness.

Here are their tips on how to stay healthy:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.

If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

For more information go to their website: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ You can also sign up to receive email notices and to follow their information on Twitter.

If you would like more information about swine flu go to the Kansas Government Information site at http://ksdocs.blogspot.com/2009/04/swine-flu.html

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bloggers Help Raise Money for Injured Child.

A group of people who regularly contribute to the Topeka Capitol Journal blog have raised over $1000 to give to the mother of a child who was severely injured. Money could be directly given to one of the bloggers who set up the fund raising and it could be sent through the PayPal account of another of the organizers.

At the CJonline website each story has a blog (or web log) following it that allows people to make comments on the story. The blog on the story about the burned little boy begins with some people just talking about the incident. Then one of the bloggers asked if anyone would be interested in contributing to a collection that she was taking for the mother and little boy. Another asked if anyone had a PayPal account and he would be glad to donate. Soon a person with an account set it up for people to donate through it.

To find out more about the story go to http://cjonline.com/news/local/2009-04-16/fund_for_babys_mom_growing_fast

It is nice to know that even as people change the methods they use to communicate (online social networking instead of talking over the back fence) that the willingness to help people in need is still there.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Free Kids Circus Tickets

Walker Bros. Circus is coming to Coffeyville. The circus will be held at the Kansas Army National Guard Armory 2669 Perl Schmid Drive.

The circus will be here on Wednesday April 22. The shows are at 5:30 and 7:30 pm.

You can pick up your free tickets for children 14 years and younger at the Children's Desk at the library.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Authors Write

When I attended the Kansas Library Association conference earlier month I had the opportunity to hear two authors, Roland Smith and Brad Meltzer. They spoke about how they write their books. Roland Smith writes adventure stories for children and teens. Brad Meltzer writes legal mysteries and thrillers.

Both authors do much research before they start their novels. Meltzer reads about and visits the places where his books are set and is able to describe these locations in accurate detail.

Smith writes notes on notecards about his research and story ideas. When he has finished his research he sorts through the cards and puts the ones he wants on large bulletin board making a storyboard like the ones they use in the movies. He then writes the story in a notebook. After several revisions, he types it into a computer.

Brad Meltzer gets to know his characters very well before he begins writing. He will write background stories for his ‘imaginary friends’. He knows which character broke his femur playing baseball, which one did not have a date to the prom and many other details of the lives of his characters. Most of this information is not used in his books. As he begins to write, he decides who the murderer is but much of the rest of the story develops along the way. He will outline 50-100 pages of the story, write that and then outline another 50-100 pages.

Meltzer said that he usually writes about ordinary people who can change the world. Sometimes a story will come to him from an outside source. He recounts how he received a letter from former president George H. Bush wanting an autographed copy of one of his books. That got him to thinking about what happens to former presidents. One minute they are the most powerful men on earth and the next they are out of office. This idea became ­The Book of Fate. Other books by Meltzer include The Tenth Justice; Dead Even; and The Zero Game.

Smith writes about things that he cares about. He was a biologist for many years before becoming a writer. Sea Otters Is a non-fiction book that he wrote after working to help save the animals after the Exxon Valdez spilled millions of gallons of oil in Alaska which killed many many birds and animals. Thunder Cave is set in Kenya among the Maasai people where Smith lived and worked as a biologist. His great love is for elephants which can be seen in his book Elephant Run.

The Kansas Authors Club is a group of people who like to write and to share the experience. The next meeting of the KAC is on April 18th at Windsor Place Campus Center, 2921 W. 1st St., Coffeyville, 9 am to 1 pm. Another local authors group is the Night Writers. Night Writers meets every fourth Tuesday -- 6 p.m. at Sycamore Landing, 701 Lewark, in Coffeyville. Both groups welcome anyone who would like to attend.
As Brad Meltzer said the best way to learn to write is to do it.