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Ikea Hacker

Have you walked through our local Ikea store and wondered how to make their pieces work for you? Check out Ikea Hacker, a site devoted to repurposing Ikea products to suit your own specific needs. Perhaps you'd like to create custom built-in shelving from a basic bookshelf, or organize your home computer table to minimize clutter.

Database Culture Grams

This is the week I am assigned to blog about the database "Culture Grams". Culture Grams helps you take each country and culture on its own terms and appreciate it for the gifts it brings to the world table. There are reports on 175 countries and 50 states. One can find out about the religions, arts, traditions, peoples and languages of different countries and cultures. Major features also include information about famous people, photo gallery and also a recipe collection. It is a really neat database which would be of interest to a wide range of patrons - from the high school student who has to do a country report to the family going on a trip to a remote island off the coast of Africa. So do check it out.

Boys and Reading

Today's Detroit Free Press has an interesting article about how Plymouth-Canton schools are making changes in the way boys are taught to help them succeed in school. Boys Can Make the Grade, If They're Not Bored. The article cites the book Helping Boys Succeed in School by Richard Weinfeld for some tips to get your son interested in reading. You can also ask a librarian here at the Canton Public Library to suggest some titles that are popular with boys or visit the Children's Reading Page on the library's Internet Branch to get ideas.

Graphic Novels The Cure for The Summer TV Doldrums

Spring has arrived which means many of the best TV shows will be gone till fall. Many people will be looking for new stories to keep from dwelling on the cliff hanger endings of their favorite shows. So to help my fellow tv addicts cope with their summer withdrawls here's a list of some graphic novels that you may enjoy. Fan of Lost? Try some of the works of Brian K Vaughan. Brian K Vaughan is a comic book writer who has been nominated for multiple Eisner Awards (the highest honors in comic book world) and he recently joined the writing staff of Lost. One of Vaughan's most celebrated works is "Y the Last Man" a series that follows the exploits of Yorrick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand.

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is this weekend at Heritage Park so expect a lot of traffic around the Canton Public Library. Parking spots will be at a premium, especially on Saturday. For more information about the weekend's events, click here. The Friends of the Canton Public Library will be hosting a paperback sale with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society during Relay for Life. Look for their tent shared with the Canton Chamber of Commerce and stock up on summer reading.

What's a Spotted Peccary?

The reference here is to an especially good New Age music label, whose performers and performances go well beyond the Doonesbury-initiated tag of "air pudding" to describe the overall genre. Many of the SP recordings are sweeping, almost symphonic in nature. You'll find a few in the library's collection. Try author searches for Greg Klamt, David Helpling, Deborah Martin, John Flomer and Mark Rownd. Visit the Spotted Peccary website ( for information about its performers and their latest releases. (BTW, a Peccary is a pig-like mammal found in the southwestern U.S., plus Central and South America.)

do you Flickr?

Have you used Flickr yet? It's a free site that lets you upload your photos and share them with your friends. CPL now has its own Flickr account where you can see photos of many aspects of the library. Did you know that we have a robin nesting outside? Have you ever looked at the Teen Place ceiling? Check out those photos - more are being added every week.

International Language Magazines

The Canton Public Library collects books in 21 languages in the Adult Department and now every one of those languages has at least one magazine and/or newspaper. If you read (or would like to learn) a language other than english, take a look!

Colleges use blogs to recruit students

Student blogs on college websites all over the country are becoming the place to read unfiltered opinions of campus life. "The emergence of blogs is the next step in the evolution of admissions recruiting." said the associate executive director for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Some colleges are paying students to chronicle their lives online. Schools are promoting blogs and directly linking them from homepages as a recruiting tool. Blogs are ranked among the top three factors influencing a student's decision to attend a particular school.

Biking in Canton

Want to take the kids on an easy bike ride? You can map one out for yourself at Search for routes by city name or type and see what other people have recommended. Here's a 3.5 mile route that starts and ends at the library. Library Bike Route. Give it a try.

What is MiGAL?

MiGAL is the acronym for Michigan Grants Available List. This website provides the ability to search for federal, state, private, and other grant funding opportunities for schools, teachers and students. Grants are organized in a table by title, name of foundation, who can apply, and deadline for submission. Almost all the grant opportunities are competitve. The detail link will connect you to a brief description of the grant, the amount awarded, and the web address for the foundation. To browse what grants are available for students, just select Students from the Eligibility field and click Search. Links to other grant funding resources are provided as well.

The Author Next Door

Is your next door neighbor an author? What about the guy you went to high school with? Or that mom down the street? Canton is home to a surprising number of authors. Come meet some of them as the library hosts Celebrate Canton's Authors on Wednesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. Eight local authors will speak about their work and be available for book purchases and signings and one-on-one conversations. Scheduled to appear are Kim Crouch, Cheryl A. Martin, Gerald Van Dusen, Virginia Bailey Parker, Rob Guttersohn, Tawny Taylor, Sabrina Adams and Catherine Marek. The program is free, just call 734-397-0999 to sign up.

The Running and the Walking Dead . . .

The zombies of "28 Weeks Later" aren't exactly dead but they behave like a classic movie zombie who's drank about 20 cans of Red Bull. "28 Weeks later," which opens today is the follow up to Danny Boyle's film "28 Days Later," which explored how an outbreak of a virus called the Rage turned much of England's populace into violent, hyperfast,cannibals and the country into a post apocalyptic wasteland. In "28 Weeks" the U.S. army has moved in and helped clear things out. Things are going so well that the people who originally fled London are returning home. But then the worst possible thing that could happen, happens. The Rage virus resurfaces.

iPods & Pacemakers: On a Collision Course?

A real interesting story in Friday's Free Press ("Music's Beat or Beating Heart?"), linked above. Research presented in Denver on Thursday reported that portable music players like iPods can cause heart pacemakers to malfunction. The study involved doctors from MSU and U-of-M, and was led by a 17-year-old high school student from Okemos, MI, who is the son of a doctor specializing in heart care.

So many books, so little time!

If you're like me and you love to read, you probably have a stack of books, magazines and audio books piled so high they are in danger of falling over. You probably also have a reading wish list as long as your arm. So how will we ever get all of those books read? I love to listen to audio books and often crank up the CD player while I batch cook on weekends. I would love to hear how you squeeze reading time into your busy life. Do tell!

Gas Price Protest !!!!

Tired of the high price of gas? On May 15, DON'T PUMP GAS as a national protest.

What is Beige?

Cecil Castellucci's new teen novel is Beige, and here the author tells us a little bit about why she wrote it and who it's about:


CELEBRATION YOUTH ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES SPRING AUDITIONS Plymouth & Canton, MI - The Celebration Youth Orchestra (CYO) will be holding auditions for the 2007-2008 school year on Friday, June 15 from 10:20 am-7:45 pm, Saturday, June 16, from 10:20 am -12:15 pm. Auditions will take place at Evola Music, 7170 North Haggerty Road in Canton, and must be scheduled in advance by calling the Plymouth Canton Symphony Society (PCSS) office at 734.451.2112. Auditions are open to string students ages nine & up with at least one year of instruction and wind, brass, and percussion students ages twelve & up with at least three years of instruction. Students may live anywhere in Southeastern Michigan.

Do you have a gift for Mom yet?

Teens-- Mother's Day is Sunday and if you're short on cash for mom's gift this year, stop by the Canton Public Library on Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. and make mom a unique duct tape gift. It's free and it's fun and mom will love it because you made it yourself. For inspiration, visit The Duct Tape Club or check out Got Tape? by Ellie Schiedermayer and get some really cool ideas.