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How Safe is Your Favorite Beach?

You may have heard about the recent Lunar Pier beach closure on Lake Erie over the July Fourth weekend due to dangerously high levels of E. coli. And you, like me, might have wondered how clean the water is at your favorite beach. Has it had any recent closures or health advisories? One way that you can check is to search the Michigan BeachGuard System. You can select a county from the map to see beach information for that county or use the search box in the navigation bar to find by beach or waterbody name.

Free Web Tools

Computers can often be a pain. Library computers perhaps more often; after all, you can't usually use the same computer every time and all your files wouldn't be there even if you could. A USB flash drive makes things easier — but what happens when the keyring breaks? When you forget to unplug it and take it with you? Plus, you can't install software on library computers.

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)."

Our New Sorting System

Over the past few months we've been hard at work on a new sorting system, which you can now see through the glass doors on the way to the Children's section.

Items returned through the outdoor book drop are identified and checked back in, then the belts and rollers put them in the appropriate bins with others of their type. This means fewer hands have to touch items to get them back on the shelves.

This, along with other improvements, equates to faster turn-around of items, getting you the books and more you want - quicker than ever.

Magic Tree House Goes Digital!

If you can't find the Magic Tree House book you are dying to read in the Series aisle here at the library, you can now read it in electronic format. Check out any of the 43 titles now available in the United States and Canada wherever Random House e-books are sold. A fun-filled Magic Tree House website is also a great place to visit online this summer.
FYI - Over 70 million copies of the books in this beloved have been sold since it was first published in 1992. It has been translated into 31 languages and is sold in 31 countries. Kids, parents, and teachers all know that the adventures of Jack and Annie instill of a love of reading in young readers everywhere.

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.

Set Sail with Michigan Notable Books

Looking for some suggestions to help you complete Stage II (Michigan Author or Setting) of our Adult Summer Reading Program? Well, look no further than the Michigan Notable Books website. Each year this program selects 20 of the most notable books published in the year. The website lists this year's winners along with winners from past years, and offers a variety of titles to help you sail towards that summer reading finish line.

Flag Day is June 14th

June 14th is the official day set aside to honor the U.S. Flag. It was established in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. To see the flags of all the countries of the world, see the Flags of the World (FOTW) site. This site also has useful information on all things about our U.S. flag, such as when to fly the flag, tips on buying a flag, and a dictionary of terms related to vexillology (the study of flags). For books, DVDs and sound recordings about the lore and history of flags in our collection, search the catalog for flags.

Beekeeping - Is it for you?

So you've heard about the declining bee populations as well as how important these pollinators are to the environment. One-third of our food supply relies upon them for pollination which is essential for the reproduction of the plants the bees service. If these are not reasons enough to keep bees there is also the delectable honey. If you have been entertaining the idea of keeping bees you probably already know this, but you might not know the next step. First, you should consider the negative aspects of keeping bees.

Do You Like Convenience?

Look in the right-hand corner of this window. Do you see a search bar up there? Do you use it? If you do — and you use Internet Explorer 7+ or Firefox 2+ — you can Add the CPL Catalog to your search providers.

Here's why you should:
  • It saves time — one-click search wherever you are
  • It saves money — search CPL instead of Amazon
  • It's cool — get suggestions as you type (with jacket images in IE8!)
Check out our other search tools for more time-saving widgets.

Illinois Getaway Guide

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect getaway, whether it´s a romantic retreat, fun with the family, or a weekend away with friends. Now planning one to the magnificent state of Illinois is easy thanks to the following getaways that immerse you into a specific region of Illinois. Just pick the getaway that´s right for you and start packing.

2010 Global Reading Challenge

Looking to expand your literary choices and discover new authors? Sign up for the 2010 Global Reading Challenge. Created by blogger Dorte Jakobsen with technical assistance from fellow blogger, Kerrie Smith, there are three levels of the challenge: Easy, Medium, and Expert.

For each level you will read writers from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America (includes Central America) and South America within 2010. Each level becomes progressively more difficult (i.e. more books to read to satisfy the requirements). Jakobsen provides a wonderful list of reading suggestions for each continent.

How You Can Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill

The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the April explosion of a BP offshore oil rig has put local economies, wildlife and the Gulf's ecosystem at risk. It has been described as the "worst environmental disaster in our nation's history." The affected area is home to more than 400 species of wildlife including whales, egrets, herons, otters, dolphins and millions of migratory birds. Check the NWF's website to see how you can help the wildlife recover. For more information on how our dependence on fossil fuels affect the environment check out Crude: The Real Price of Oil or Crude Impact.

Door to Door Organics

Do you like fresh produce? Do you want to support local farmers? Are you, like me, not a fan of going shopping? I recently discovered Door to Door Organics, and now I have fresh produce delivered to my house once a week. It's great! They have several different basic orders to choose from, and you can customize your order and add items however you'd like. The food comes from local farms including Beautiful Earth Family Farm and Two Creeks Organics, both located in nearby Chelsea. I heartily recommend their goods and their service.

World Turtle Day!

Did you know that May 23 is World Turtle Day? The American Tortoise Rescue is a turtle and tortoise rescue organization that initiated World Turtle Day in 2000. The group brings attention to turtle conservation issues and highlights ways each of us can help protect these gentle but jeopardized animals. You can find more information on the Humane Society of the United States website, as well as checking out our wide selection of turtle-related materials.

Older Americans Month 2010

Age Strong! Live Long! is the focus of the Administration on Aging's Older Americans Month 2010. National Aging Services Network of state, tribal, Area Agencies on Aging such as The Senior Alliance, and community services providers such as Canton Seniors Center offer a wide variety of activities in May and throughout the year. Via AOA:

This year’s Older Americans Month theme — Age Strong! Live Long! — recognizes the diversity and vitality of today’s older Americans who span three generations. They have lived through wars and hard times, as well as periods of unprecedented prosperity.

Murder Will Out

Looking for something new to read? Check out this year’s shortlists for the Edgar Awards, the Hammett Prize, the Agatha Awards, Strand Magazine Critics Awards,  and the

Take the Commuter Challenge in May!

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is challenging you to take the Commuter Challenge in May. The Commuter Challenge is simply "a fun and exciting way to encourage you to carpool, vanpool, ride public transportation, bike, walk or use telework or flextime benefits". You can actually win prizes while you help the environment! If you are considering the biking option you may also want to check out Google Maps which has added a bicycle directions option to its service.

Get Connected Class

Have you wondered about all the hoopla surrounding Facebook and Twitter? If you are curious and want to learn the basics of these social networking tools, sign up and join me on Friday, April 30th at 10:00AM for CPL's Get Connected Class.

7 Ways the Mind and Body Change with Age

A recent article on MSNBC's Lifeline: Health Reports from NBC cited seven (7) ways the mind and body change as we age. Contrary to popular belief, as we age we become more liberal. However, seniors do become more easily distracted, but need less sleep! Skin sags and stem cells reproduction slows down. Seniors laugh more and develop a more positive attitude.