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Kobo eReader review: A simple eBook reader

Borders recently launched its eReader Kobo on the market, joining Amazon's Kindle, Sony eReader, and Barnes & Nobles Nook to give consumers another choice on devices. Megan Greer at OverDrive gives us an honest look at this new device which supports DRM-protected ePub and Adobe ebooks from the CPL collection.
[Photo courtesy of Adam Arseneau on flickr]

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey kids!
Thorndyke here! Hope you are having a fantastic summer! I sure am with all of you coming in to say hello! In fact, a whopping 3,286 of you have signed up for summer reading. Good job!
Well, last time I wrote I gave you a hint as to where LB was headed next. Did you guess? Have you been waiting with bated breath? Well, it's time to reveal the answer. LB went to Canada! Wow! He sure gets lots of stamps in his passport!
He started out in Niagara Falls. This town is famous for it's really big waterfalls! Did you know that there is an American falls and a Canadian one there? You can even ride in a boat right up to the falls, but LB didn't do that, because the humidity does a number on his fur. He'd look like a big brown puffball. A long time ago, daredevils used to try to ride down the waterfalls in barrels. Today, the waterfalls are used to generate electricity. Pretty cool! There are other fun things to do in Niagara Falls too, like the Skylon Tower and the Butterfly House.
Next, LB went to Toronto, Ontario, where there is another really cool tall tower! The CN Tower is 1,815 ft, 5 inches tall, making it the tallest tower in the world! Woah! That's way taller than me. At the top there are glass floors that you can stand on, and then it looks like you are floating way up in the sky. LB is really brave. He took a nap up there on that floor! Next door to the CN Tower is the Rogers Centre. That's where the Toronto Blue Jays play baseball. The Blue Jays weren't there that day, but LB still got a tour. And then he ended the day at the harbour where there are some really tall boats! Everything is big in Canada it seems!
LB sure had fun! Remember, you can always see all of LB's pictures on the library Flickr account (and maybe you'll even see pictures of YOU!). LB's off on another adventure next week. Do you want your hint? He's got quite an itinerary, but one of the cities he's visiting is the home of another famous baseball team and the home of some pretty important people in our country's history. Good luck guessing! Until next time...
Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke

Ice Cream Social @ the Library

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Come learn how to make your own ice cream. Add some extra toppings to make a delicious ice cream sundae. All ages welcome! Register for one timeslot beginning July 20.
Program Date: August 3 from 11:00-11:30AM or 1:00-1:30PM or 3:00-3:30PM or 7:00-7:30PM

Killer Thrillers

Vote Now! National Public Radio’s recent request that readers submit the names of what they believe are “the most pulse-quickening and suspenseful novels ever” apparently generated a list of more than 600 thrilling works. “A panel of experts then combined audience preference with their own judgment to narrow that list down to a manageable roster of some 200 favorites,” according to an NPR press release. You’re now invited to choose just 10 books from that list, with the goal being to narrow its count down to 100 titles.

Vote for your favorites. The poll will remain open until Monday, July 26, with the “100 last books standing” to be revealed on Monday, August 2. A printable list of the choices is available.

Digitization Project Underway

We are currently digitizing materials related to our history as an institution. We are hard at work scanning photos and news clippings into our new digital collection. Eventually, the collection will be expanded to include materials relating to the history of the whole Canton community. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project!

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come:

Do you remember when the library looked like this?

George H.W. Bush visits the library during his 1992 campaign.

Kimono

University of Michigan Museum of Art has some beautiful Kimonos on display as part of their special exhibits. The exhibition runs through July 25th, 2010. Head out and enjoy the display.

Creating a Family Health History

At your next family reunion or gathering, consider discussing a different type of family tree — your family health history. Knowing what diseases and health conditions run in the family can give you, your children and grandchildren clues about your risk factors. It can also be a useful tool for health care providers to assess a family member’s health risks and recommend preventive steps. Find out how to collect, organize and use information about your family’s health at Creating a Family Health History available on the NIHSeniorHealth Web site.
[Photo courtesy of Gary H. Spielvogel on flickr]

Summer Reading Fun!

Looking for a fun, easy, free activity for summer? Sign up for our annual Summer Reading program. We've got something for babies through adults. Complete your reading log by August 11th for a really fantastic prize!

Michigan Frogs and Toads

Learn about Michigan frogs and toads from the experts at Crosswinds Wetland Preserve. See and hear live frogs and toads and learn to imitate their sounds. All ages welcome! Registration begins July 14.
Program Date: July 28, 7:00-8:30PM

Video Game Fun!

Unleash your inner rock star or Wii athlete or enjoy some MarioKart racing during our all ages open video gaming day. All ages welcome. No registration required.
Program Date: July 19, 1:00-3:00PM

Far, Far Away: Fictitious Journeys

On glorious wings : the best flying stories of the century by edited and introduced by Stephen Coonts

Up in the air by Walter Kirn

Summerland by Michael Chabon

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

More Than Temperatures Put Elderly At Risk

The State of Michigan's Office of Services to the Aging — Michigan Seniors has issued a warning to all older adults and their caregivers about the impact summer heat has on older adults. "Because aging affects the body's ability to respond to summer heat, older adults are particularly at risk for heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat cramps and heat exhaustion, according to the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA)."

Working to Improve Our Service to You

Our new returns system is here! This new system will allow us to better serve you and more accurately handle the 2 million+ items you checkout each year by automatically checking in returns as you put them into the slot. "Why aren't my returned items checked in yet"? is the most common question we receive over the phone and through our website, and our new system will take care of most of those issues.

With our budget cuts due to the recession — we've cut nearly 20%, or $1.2 million, from our budget since 2008 — we have held nearly all vacant positions open to save money. With fewer people working, but ever-increasing demand for materials (we hit a record of 2 million checkouts in 2009), we have struggled to keep up with all of the work that needs to be done. Many of you have experienced this when you return an item to the library and it takes us a day to clear your record. After holiday closures, it was not uncommon for us to need several days to catch up with all of the returns. We are only human, and simply reached a breaking point where our manual processes could not keep up.

Realizing that we were overwhelmed, a team of library staff who know and do the work examined how we do things and made suggestions for improvement. One of their suggestions was to install an automated checkin and sorting system (the conveyor system we are using is the same as/similar to conveyor and sorting systems used by UPS, USPS, Netflix, and Wal-Mart) that would let us devote more staff time to shelving and other patron services, such as retrieving and processing holds. These suggestions coincided with our need to upgrade our RFID inventory system, and last year we began the work of retagging all of our 300,000 materials with new RFID tags, eliminating nearly all of the locking cases that so many of you hated, and six months ago we launched new checkout, self-checkout, and processing equipment.

This past spring, our Copy Center services were distributed to other areas of the library, and the room converted for the new Sorting Room. New outside and inside return slots were installed, which feed directly into that space. The sorting system arrived this week, and today's launch of our new Sorting Room marks the end of this long journey. The majority of returns will be checked in and removed from your record automatically and pre-sorted into categories (bins). This means fewer hands have to touch items to get them back on the shelves. This, along with the other improvements made and suggested by our staff, means your library card record is more accurate, we will make fewer errors, and you'll see faster turn-around of items to the hold shelf or their home shelf location.

Check out our video for a demonstration, or stop by during our regular hours to look through the glass doors and see the sorting system in action.

These improvements were funded through the library's savings account and the generous donations of the Friends of the Library. We still have some kinks to work out — nicer signage for the new outside return slot, for example, among other things — and I thank you for your support, patience, and good humor while we work on fine-tuning our new system.

Best,

Eva M. Davis, Director

Move over Babelfish!

Traveling to a non-English speaking country this summer? Getting letters from a pen pal or family member in a language you're learning? Feeling a little shaky with your translation?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you might be interested in this cool online translation dictionary. You can also click on the suggested definitions to see how they're pronounced.
They currently offer 28 dictionaries, including Arabic and Hindi, as well as European languages.

Stardate: July 5, 2010

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Here's your chance to log-in on William Shatner because the William Shatner Blogathon takes off on July 5.

The rules are simple: Blog about William Shatner. Doesn't matter what you blog about; anything that bears the golden touch of the Shatman is fair game.

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids!
Thorndyke here! I am so enjoying seeing all of you here at the library! I hope you are having a great summer! As promised, here's the latest update of what LB has been up to. This time he went some where local, the Toledo Zoo! And he got to see some REAL bears! Did you know that the Toledo Zoo has a new polar bear cub? In fact, he's the only polar bear cub in the whole US! And there's a whole website about him! Isn't it cool to have something so neat so close to home? Makes me want to check out some books about polar bear books! Sometimes the librarians say that they work in a zoo, but they're just joking... I think.
LB's been here at the library for a week or so, but he's gearing up to go on another big adventure soon! The people here at the library sure love taking him on their trips! He's a pretty popular bear! I'll give you a hint to where he's headed next. It's not in the USA, but you can get there by car! Where do you think he's going? Tell me your guesses!

Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids!
As promised, here's an update on where LB has been! Did you make a guess about where he was headed? He just got back from Williamsburg Virginia! Were you right? LB came back with this really great letter about where he'd been, which he said I could share with you...

Wow! It's only mid June and I've already become a well-traveled bear! I had a great time up north with Ms. Ophelia and after a short stop back at CPL, I was on my way south on a road trip with Ms. Jeanine and her daughter. We left June 10th and drove all the way to Williamsburg, VA, in one day (about 12 hours driving)! We stayed at the Patrick Henry Inn, just a short walk from Colonial Williamsburg. (Patrick Henry was the patriot famous for saying, "Give me liberty or give me death!") The next morning, we visited the Yankee Candle "flagship" location in Williamsburg. They have a really cool room that looks like a starry sky at night, and every 15 minutes it "snows" right in the room! I made myself right at home in the shop full of stuffed animals. Needless to say, there are a lot more than candles at the Yankee Candle complex!

In the afternoon, we stepped back in time and walked through Colonial Williamsburg. It looks a lot like it did back in the late 1700s, around the time of the Revolutionary War. At the town hall, Ms. Jeannine put me in the stocks (where they used to punish convicted criminals), but it was just for fun, because I'm a really good bear! We also visited the campus of William and Mary College, the second oldest college in the country and the place where Thomas Jefferson earned his law degree. We later had dinner at Christiana Campbell's Tavern, where George Washington himself often dined! Then at night, we took a "Ghosts of Williamsburg" candlelight tour — kinda scary, but I'm a really brave little bear! No ghosts were spotted that night...whew!

Saturday morning, we were back on the road, this time to Kill Devil Hills, NC, which was the location where Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first successful airplane flight and literally "flew" into the history books! They picked Devil Hills because it's a flat, sandy and very windy island on the Atlantic Ocean coastline. It's a great place to fly kites, too! I got a taste of salty air and ocean breezes on the beach and wanted to stay all day, but unfortunately, they don't make sunscreen for bears. :-( . Ms. Jeanine's daughter gets to spend all summer in Kill Devil Hills (she has a summer job there), but Ms. Jeanine had to get back to Michigan and CPL, so we flew Monday evening from Norfolk, VA, to Detroit. Hmmmm, maybe I should sign up for frequent flyer miles so I can get a free airplane trip later in the year!

love,
LB

Wow! What a fun adventure! Thanks Ms. Jeanine for taking LB with you! Now I've got a whole bunch of new places to read about. Remember, you can see all the pictures from LB's adventure on the library's flickr account. LB left on another fun adventure almost as soon as he got home. This time it was somewhere more local. I'll give you a hint, there's lots of animals and it starts with the letter Z! Can you guess?

Until next time!
Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke

Happy anniversary to the Post-it Note

The Post-It Note will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. This was an accidental invention and is now a popular office supply item. We have a few materials that feature the post-it:

Why didn't I think of that? : 101 inventions that changed the world by hardly trying by Anthony Rubino, Jr

Accidental inventions [videodisc] : 10 inventions, 10 extraordinary stories

State Book

Who Knew?
Michigan has an officially recognized state book titled "The Legend of Sleeping Bear" by Kathy-Jo Wargin and Gijsbert van Krankenhuyzen. Read the book and earn a drawing slip for Summer Reading which qualifies for a non-fiction read about Michigan. Good Luck!

Project SNAP Mural

Thank you to everyone created artwork that helped design the mural created by Project S.N.A.P. The mural was unveiled yesterday and is hung on the wall outside the Children's Library. If you created artwork for the mural, you can find the exact location of your picture in the web gallery. Next time you're in the library take a look at this wonderful piece of art.