While most of us were asleep at 3 a.m. EST on April 10 (midnight at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA), Sonja Vloeberghs, Head of Lending Services at Princeton Public Library was placing her order of an Apple Watch. When I asked why she would disrupt a good night's sleep to place one of the first orders, she proudly admitted she loves the hype of new technology.
"Your daughter doesn't sit in the front seat yet?" "No...well, I hadn't really thought about it." "How old is she?" "Eleven." "My daughter started sitting in the front seat around her age, and it changed the dynamic of our relationship." "What do you mean?" "It put us on a level field. When she sat in the back, it was like there was a wall between us, but when she moved up, it became easier for her to have conversations with me. It allowed us to grow closer."
Here in the library, it seems as though nonfiction titles are easily overlooked in favor of the latest fiction releases. Many of us fear the dry and dreary tomes of our earlier years, but you might be pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable a nonfiction book can be. As a fan of the more factual reads, I have compiled a short list of entertaining and provocative newer nonfiction titles that will lead you gently into the fold.
In addition to fielding questions about great reads, library staff members try to be ready for anything. Sometimes people just want to test our knowledge, but more often than not customers are looking to the library to answer or verify something that has them either baffled or idly curious. In a time where there is an overwhelming amount of information available the library can help people ferret out what is true and relevant. A lot of questions are ones that you might expect:
There are few things librarians enjoy more than connecting readers with characters that resonate, storylines that entertain, and information that enlightens. "What should I read next?" is a question that PPL staff receive often, and it's one of our favorite challenges. In addition to making suggestions to you from our own knowledge, reviews, word-of-mouth, and other research, we also rely on a tool that captures the collective recommending power of all librarians who love to read - LibraryReads.
As a fan of the Philadelphia Athletics, I highly recommend a book I read recently, Peter Schilling's "The End of Baseball." Now, you might be thinking, "Philadelphia Athletics?" Yes, I am an A's fan, because from their founding until 1954, the Athletics were based in my ancestral homeland, Philadelphia. They won seven penants and five World Series there and, until about 1948, Philadelphia was an American League city.
Now that lovely weather is drawing us outside en masse it's time to be reminded of the variety of outdoor recreation that Princeton offers. From walking to biking to hiking - even sitting still - there are plenty of opportunities to take a breath of fresh air and get lost in nature, locally!
Have you ever wondered about the technology we use to check out the items you borrow from the library? Maybe these questions have crossed your mind: Is it a barcode scanner? Magic? Telekinesis? Witchcraft? The answer is actually RFID technology, which is short for “radio frequency identification.”
There's a maternal buzz around the office. A trio of expectant moms who work at the library are all due to have their first child within the next few months. Shared stories, flashbacks and recognition from those of us who have been through the ups and downs of a first pregnancy fill the sporadic lulls of our office days. Certain life events are universal with cliches that ring true. "Your life will never be the same." "You won't believe how fast it goes." "You'll never know how much one heart can hold."
National Children's Book Week, the nation's longest-running literature initiative, is celebrated during the first full week of May each year. Launched by Boy Scouts of America librarian Franklin K. Matthiews, who believed that children's books and literacy are life changers, the week is marked by events from coast to coast.