Monday, October 31, 2011
Hackley Public Library designated a Literary Landmark for connection to children's author Verna Aardema Vugteveen
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 23, 2010. Many insurance plans are now required to cover the full cost of preventive services, like medical screenings and vaccines.
Some of the screenings covered include
- Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
Find the full list of preventive screenings and vaccines covered under the Affordable Care Act.
Use these tips to avoid safety scares this Halloween.
Pick visible costumes
Pick brightly colored costumes. It will be easier for cars to see you on dark roads. If you want to wear dark colors, stick some reflective tape on the costumes to make them more noticeable. You can also put reflective tape on candy bags and or carry a flashlight.
Use face paint instead of a mask
Masks can obstruct vision, so face paint could be a better option. If you decide to use face paint, follow the directions on the packaging closely. You may want to test the face paint a few days before Halloween to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin. And make sure to avoid eyes when you apply it.
Don’t snack while trick-or-treating
Wait until you get home so that you have a chance to inspect your candy. Toss out any candy with opened or damaged wrappers and homemade treats, unless you know the giver personally.
Find an alternative to candles
Consider using a glow stick or battery-powered lights instead of candles in luminaries or jack-o-lanterns, especially around little kids who could get burned or drapery that could catch fire. Make sure your Halloween costumes are flame resistant in case a cape or other part of the costume comes near an open flame.
Find more tips for having a safe and fun Halloween.
The cost of Forever stamps will increase by 1 cent on January 22, 2012. This means sending a First-Class letter will soon cost 45 cents. This is the first price increase for Forever stamps since May 2009.
Other First-Class mail prices are also increasing:
- Letters (1 oz.) will cost 45 cents. This is a 1-cent increase.
- Additional ounces for letters will remain unchanged at 20 cents.
- Postcards will increase 3 cents to 32 cents.
- Letters to Canada or Mexico will cost 85 cents. This is a 5 cent increase.
- Letters to other international destinations will increase 7 cents to cost $1.05.
Learn more about the Postal Service rate changes.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is making it easier for motorists with iPhones, Droids, and iPads to check road and traffic information before getting behind the wheel. Realizing that manipulating all of the information available on the site at http://www.michigan.gov/drive presents challenges to mobile version users, MDOT says it responded to feedback from motorists and made adjustments to improve small screen viewing. The improvements make it easier for motorists to use the site and all it has to offer.
The upgraded mobile version of Mi Drive now gives motorists the ability to:
- Scroll and zoom the interactive map without having to reload the map image
- Click on traffic incident and construction icons for more information
- See what's happening on major routes via real-time camera views and changeable message signs in Metro Detroit and Grand Rapids
- Zoom in to any area of the map, using either your current location or selected cities and zip codes
- Check traffic flow on major Detroit and Grand Rapids routes
- Find MDOT carpool lots located around the state
"MDOT is committed to keeping motorists safe, mobile and informed with real-time travel information," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "The Mi Drive team continues to make improvements to the site to make it as easy as possible for motorists to plan their routes. In particular, we think Michigan residents who carpool will appreciate the convenience of being able to locate MDOT Park and Ride lot information on a smartphone."
The mobile version of Mi Drive is not an app; it is a free site that any Web-enabled Mobile device can access from one Web address: http://www.michigan.gov/drive . The site will automatically direct you to the appropriate version (Web-based or mobile) depending on the device you are using. Because the mobile version of Mi Drive was developed to be as accessible as possible on a wide range of devices, results may vary with the type of device used. The new interactive map will not be available to Blackberry users; Blackberry devices will call up the original version of the map.
The mobile version of Mi Drive, along with improvements to the main Mi Drive site, was funded with $250,000 in federal seat belt funding from the National Traffic Safety Administration.
Originally introduced in 2007, Mi Drive has been revamped several times and has proved to be popular with motorists. The site is maintained by MDOT, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the state's Center for Shared Solutions & Technology Partnerships and the Intelligent Transportation Systems program office within the MDOT Division of Operations.
Source : Michigan Newswire, October 20, 2011
Michigan residents can now access the online, no-wait Secretary of State through a new tool available at ExpressSOS.com, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today.
"By expanding online, we are able to transform the way we serve our customers," Johnson said. "This news means more convenience for our clients while alleviating lines at our branch offices so that our employees can provide even better service."
Thousands more Michigan residents will now be able to complete many transactions online that previously required visiting a branch office, including:
- Renew or replace standard state driver's licenses and ID cards
- Change their address when they move
- Order multiple copies of vehicle registrations and titles
"The success of this effort can be largely attributed to the extremely strong partnership between departments," said Michigan Chief Information Officer David Behen, whose team at the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget delivered the tool. "Secretary Johnson set very clear business goals, allowing us to develop a tool to meet the need, and I thank her and the entire SOS team for being great partners and strong supporters of technology."
Under Johnson's leadership, the department accelerated the rollout of this tool after sending "secret shoppers" into branch offices earlier this year. Long waits emerged as a consistent theme.
Every year, more than 10 million people visit their local Secretary of State office, Johnson explained. Of the 9 million license plate/tab renewals processed last year, 6.5 million were processed in the branch offices, she added.
"We saw people waiting in line for an hour just to submit an address change," Johnson said. "For that one service alone, nearly 700,000 people come into our branch offices every year and take a number. With ExpressSOS.com, most of them will be able to complete such transactions from their own homes, from their community library, or anywhere else that has an Internet connection. It's a citizen-centric solution."
Beyond the current services available on ExpressSOS.com, more online transactions are in the works. For example, residents with an enhanced license or ID card will be able to renew it or request a duplicate card online after heightened security measures associated with these documents are completed. Additionally, the Secretary of State plans a major upgrade involving computer software in branch offices, allowing staff to respond more effectively and rapidly to customers who chose to visit an office.
To date, over 100,000 online transactions have already been processed successfully during an early test launch of the ExpressSOS.com site. To encourage broader use and awareness, the Secretary of State rolled out a low-cost campaign with billboards, radio spots and, of course, online advertisements. The message: "ExpressSOS: The online, no-wait Secretary of State."
Source : Michigan Newswire, October 19, 2011
For another article, see Matt Helms, "More online Secretary of State services hoped to ease long lines", Detroit Free Press, October 20, 2011.
Dramatic cuts in state and federal dollars for home heating assistance programs could hurt low income people who face heat shut-offs this winter, officials say.
The Michigan Public Service Commission has urged residents who are qualified to contact their utility to sign up for programs meant to avoid a shut-off with the lack of funds available, said Judy Palnau, an agency spokeswoman.
“As long as they are abiding by the rule of the program, they can avoid shut-off,” she said. Information on the programs are available at www.michigan.gov/bewinterwise.
For the full article, see Barrie Barber, "State urges people facing winter heat shut-offs to contact utilities as state and federal funds for home heating aid run dry", Saginaw News via MLive, October 27, 2011.
Earlier this month Sony added its newest E-Ink device to their repertoire with the Reader™ Wi-Fi PRS-T1. In a surprising move, Sony has discontinued their previous line of E-Ink devices, which included the Daily Edition, Touch Edition, and Pocket Editions. Although it wasn’t expected, it was probably a good move to only offer one version of the device (don’t worry, it’s available in three colors). Something else I was thrilled to see was the considerable price drop. The Reader Wi-Fi is available for $149 making it more competitive price-wise.
The interface hasn’t changed much since I last reviewed Sony’s devices back in December. There have been slight changes in the look of various buttons on the ‘Home’ screen. However, your most recently read book is still featured at the top, followed by the three most recently added titles listed just beneath. The most notable feature on the Reader Wi-Fi is a button to access your public library directly from the device. No longer will you need to side-load checked out eBooks as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. (Be on the lookout for a demo video of how to directly download onto the Reader Wi-Fi in the coming weeks.)
The device name should give away this next bit. Wirelessly connect to the Internet with the ‘Browser’ button. Keep in mind this is E-Ink® and not a tablet. When using the browser, you will experience screen flashing as it refreshes with each action you take on a page. This, in my opinion, makes E-Ink devices not ideal for surfing the Internet.
I’ve given high marks to most of the E-Ink devices I have reviewed in the past few months. The same can be said of the Reader Wi-Fi. With 6 inches of reading room, the 16 level gray scale E-Ink Pearl is very crisp and easy on the eyes, just as you would expect. What’s unexpected is that the Reader Wi-Fi’s touch screen is actually a pinch to zoom or Touch Infrared Technology. The Infrared Technology also makes it easy to flip through a novel by swiping your finger across the screen. You could also use the directional buttons along the bottom front if you prefer the one handed approach.
With 2GB of built in storage space and the ability to insert a microSD card up to 32GB, there’s plenty of memory. This new release also includes note taking capabilities and even a handwriting option.
Overall I’ve enjoyed the Sony Reader Wi-Fi. The interface is intuitive and the ability to checkout and download library eBooks directly to the device is pretty great, and it’s a feature that sets it apart from the competition. At $149 it’s still priced a little higher than other similar devices on the market; however, there are some specialty features you won’t find elsewhere.
Megan Greer is an account specialist for OverDrive.
Downloading of eBooks and audiobooks from mobile devices increased exponentially from 2010 to 2011. In fact, the number of downloads in 2011, thus far, is 13X greater than that of all of 2010.
As mobile usage continues to soar, OverDrive is committed to maximizing the mobile user experience. Based on feedback from libraries, I am pleased to share that the following new features that are now available at your library’s website on a mobile device:
- Patron-defined lending allows patrons to choose their lending period for each title. Example options include 7, 14, or 21 days. Note: This feature is only enabled if your library currently offers this option at the desktop site.
- Advanced search functionality gives your patrons the opportunity to search by criteria such as title, author, keyword, publisher, format, etc. for a more custom set of results.
- Enhanced searching allows your patron to search within results to narrow down a list of titles, and additionally, limit the results to only show titles with copies available. This means no more scrolling through dozens of pages to find a title available for checkout.
- Page numbers in search results gives patrons a clear view of how many titles were generated in their search or
We hope your patrons enjoy these new features!
Shannon Lichty is manager of library partner services for OverDrive.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Exactly a week ago, I reviewed the newest eBook reader added to Sony’s repertoire, the Sony Reader™ Wi-Fi. One of the coolest features is the ability to download eBooks the library directly to your device. Here’s the how-to video I promised. Enjoy and feel free to share!
Megan Greer is an account specialist for OverDrive.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Find a Job and Get Career Advice from The Labor Department's New Social Jobs Partnership Facebook Page [Job Search]
It's no secret that millions of people are having a hard time finding work. The US Labor Department's new Social Jobs Partnership page on Facebook is designed to connected these job-seekers with little-known career resources and job openings.
Right now the page is in development, but you can see organizations and services listed in the career resources section such as the National Association of Colleges and Employers, DirectEmployers, and Job Corps. The Labor Department's My Skills My Future website is one of the resources linked; it helps people find alternative careers based on their current skills.
The Facebook page promises to be sort of an online job fair mixed with career counseling tools and information. Given Facebook's popularity, it has great potential, and this is one Facebook page we hope will be a great success.
You can follow or contact Melanie Pinola, the author of this post, on Twitter or Google+.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Smokefree.gov can help you or someone you care about quit smoking. Get information and professional assistance to support both immediate and long-term needs as you become a nonsmoker.
You can get assistance in the form of:
- A step-by-step quit smoking guide
- Information about a wide range of topics related to smoking and quitting
- An interactive U.S. map highlighting smoking information in your state
- LiveHelp, National Cancer Institute’s instant messaging service
- National Cancer Institute’s telephone quitline, 1-877-44U-QUIT
- Local and state telephone quitlines, 1-800-QUIT-NOW
- Publications to download, print, or order
Below is a partial list of our new books. To see the full list, download the Excel file for: 2011 . To see new books from other years try: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, or 2006.
To sign up for this, or any of our newsletters, check out our Newsletter sign up page.
Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue
By Laurens, Stephanie
2011-08 - Harperluxe
9780062088826 Check Our Catalog
"You are cordially invited to the wedding of Miss Heather Cynster ...but not before she encounters kidnappers, danger, and a daring rescue at the hands of Viscount Breckenridge"
Determined to hunt down her very own hero, one who will sweep her off her feet and into wedded bliss, Heather Cynster steps out of her safe world and boldly attends a racy soiree. But her promising hunt is ruined by the supremely interfering Viscount Breckenridge, who whisks her out of scandal--straight into danger, when a mysterious enemy seizes her, bundles her into a coach, and spirits her out of London.
Now it's up to the notorious Breckenridge to prove himself the hero she's been searching for all along... …More
By Lewis, Beverly
2011-09 - Bethany House Publishers
9780764209383 Check Our Catalog
The Amish and modern worlds clash in this moving conclusion to The Rose Trilogy as two sisters love young men lost to the English world. …More
By Lowell, Elizabeth
2011-06 - Severn House Publishers
9780727880123 Check Our Catalog
A plane crash had stolen Mandy Blythe's family, and the ocean still terrifies her. But now, trapped on the Great Barrier Reef with enigmatic Damon Sutter, she begins to live again. Bonus features include a list of the top ten movies about finding Mr. Right and a bonus read by Leanne Banks. Reissue. …More
1105 Yakima Street
By Macomber, Debbie
2011-08 - Mira Books
9780778312512 Check Our Catalog
Beloved, #1 bestselling author Macomber returns to Cedar Cove, Washington, with this 11th novel in the series. Widower Bruce Peyton's wife Rachel is pregnant, but she's just left him and he doesn't know where she is. His 13-year-old daughter Jolene claims Rachel has ruined everything. How can Bruce get his wife back? Original. …More
By Mallery, Susan
2011-08 - Harlequin Books
9780373775941 Check Our Catalog
A "New York Times"- and "USA Today"-bestselling author is back with a brand-new trilogy in her popular and emotional Fool's Gold series. Original. …More
That Devil's No Friend of Mine
By Mason, J. D.
2009-03 - St. Martin's Press
9780312368852 Check Our Catalog
When Bishop Fontaine passed away, he left behind more than a list of good deeds, as five very different people whose lives are only connected by Fontaine suddenly find themselves up close and personal as desires, dreams, and passions collide. …More
Nowhere Is a Place
By McFadden, Bernice L.
2006-02 - Dutton Books
9780525948759 Check Our Catalog
Traveling across country together, a mother and daughter discover the assorted pieces of their family's past, which--when pulled together--reveal a history of amazing survival and abundant joy. …More
By McNair, E. R.
2008-10 - Triple Crown Publications
9780979951787 Check Our Catalog
Experience life in the hood through the eyes of four friends, known around the way as The Hood Rats. As the girls go through the ups and downs of friendship and life on the streets, youll be taken on a roller coaster ride of love, heartache and pain. When tragedy strikes the group, the bond of friendship is tested and easily broken by lies, deceit and betrayal.
Open your mind, and see that sometimes a Hood Rat is just a girl trying to live her life the best she can with what she has. You cant judge a book by the cover, but is there more to a "Hood Rat "than her reputation? You be the judge! …More
The End of the Wasp Season
By Mina, Denise
2011-09 - Reagan Arthur Books
9780316069335 Check Our Catalog
"Originally published in Great Britain by Orion Books and in Canada by McArthur & Company, May 2011"--T.p. verso. …More
By Mitchard, Jacquelyn
2011-09 - Random House
9781400067756 Check Our Catalog
"Second Nature" is a love story like no other. Sicily Coyne survives an unimaginable tragedy and must then face seemingly insurmountable obstacles and struggle against impossible odds in her quest to find what we all want--true connection, fulfillment, and lasting love. --Lisa Genova, author of "Still Alice" …More
By Morris, Gilbert
2011-08 - Barbour Publishing
9781602609082 Check Our Catalog
Well-to-do Clay Tremayne learns more than fighting tactics while serving under Confederate commander Jeb Stuart. …More
A Satisfied Black Woman
By Morris, Shayla
2009-11 - My Time Publications
9780982053096 Check Our Catalog
Shante feels as though she is on top of the world. She has everything in her life that most women want; a wonderful job, a true best friend, and the man of her dreams, Melvin Brenin. Their marriage is perfect, he provides for her and shows her sexual exploration, which opens her world to a total fulfillment of life. She loves him unconditionally, but as the saying goes, sometimes all good things must come to an end. Little does Shante know, Melvin has brought a lot of secrets, past and present, into their marriage. At first she doesn't want to believe any of it, but accusations slowly creep up as things are being presented to her. She denies it until her eyes saw firsthand some of his evil deceitfulness. She knows she needs to make him pay for being so dishonest to her. Take a ride with Shante, and see if she fulfills her dream of being A Satisfied Black Woman. …More
By Morrison, Mary B.
2010-06 - Dafina Books
9780758213211 Check Our Catalog
"New York Times"-bestselling author Morrison and "Essence"-bestselling author Noire collaborate on this too-hot-to-handle novella that proves there's nothing more powerful than a woman bent on seduction and revenge. …More
Somebody's Gotta Be on Top
By Morrison, Mary B.
2005-07 - Dafina Books
9780758207258 Check Our Catalog
In the bestselling "Never Again Once More" and "He's Just a Friend," readers met playboy heir Darius Jones and reckless-in-romance Fancy Taylor--both of whom return in this deliciously sensual novel that explores the ways men and women surrender themselves to gain the love they're desperately seeking. …More
By Murphy, Yannick
2011-08 - Harper Perennial
9780062023148 Check Our Catalog
Murphy presents a beautifully written novel about a family of five in rural New England, told through the charming, witty, and loving voice of the veterinarian father. …More
To Have and to Hold
By Peterson, Tracie
Author Miller, Judith
2011-09 - Bethany House Publishers
9780764209239 Check Our Catalog
A young woman struggles to keep her ancestral property in 1886 Georgia, and discovers the man her father hired to help is more than he seems. …More
By Phillips, Carly
2011-09 - Berkley
9780425243831 Check Our Catalog
Faith Harrington is a classic girl of privilege-until her father is convicted for running a Ponzi scheme. Now she's back in her hometown, where she runs into her teenage crush-dark, brooding Ethan Barron, who's no stranger to scandal himself. …More
The Devil All the Time
By Pollock, Donald Ray
2011-07 - Doubleday Books
9780385535045 Check Our Catalog
Pollock first triumphed with his story collection, "Knockemstiff" about the Midwestern town of that name where he grew up and its sad but tough residents. Here he moves on to full-length fiction with a terse examination of America's violent underbelly. …More
By Powell, Nate
Illustrator Powell, Nate
2011-09 - Top Shelf Productions
9781603090773 Check Our Catalog
Fly Me to the Morgue
By Randisi, Robert
2011-06 - Severn House Publishers
9780727880154 Check Our Catalog
By Rendell, Ruth
2011-09 - Scribner Book Company
9781451624083 Check Our Catalog
From Ruth Rendell, "the reigning queen of crime fiction" ("Time Out"), a sequel to "A Sight for Sore Eyes," one of her most beloved novels. …More
In Love with a Younger Man
By Robinson, Cheryl
2009-01 - New American Library
9780451225825 Check Our Catalog
Robinson--one of the hottest fiction authors of today ("Urban Reviews") and bestselling author of "Sweet Georgia Brown"--pens an inspiring novel about taking risks and following one's dreams. …More
This Beautiful Life
By Schulman, Helen
2011-08 - Harper
9780062024381 Check Our Catalog
The events of a single night shatter a Manhattan family's sense of security and identity--and, ultimately, their happiness--in this gripping, provocative novel by the author of "A Day at the Beach." …More
Monday, October 17, 2011
The Reader's Shelf
No Tricks, just Treats: Halloween Fiction
The Night Circus
By Morgenstern, Erin
2011-09 - Doubleday Books
9780385534635 Check Our Catalog
To enter the black-and-white-striped tents of Le Cirque des Reves is to enter a world where objects really do turn into birds and people really do disappear. Even though visitors believe the performances are all illusion, they are obsessively drawn to this extraordinary night circus. Those who run and perform in the circus are its lifeblood. Marco Alisdair runs the operation from London as assistant to the eccentric proprietor. Celia Bowen holds it all together from her role as illusionist. As magicians, Marco and Celia are bound to each other in a deadly competition of powers, creating ever more fantastical venues for circus goers to marvel at. But falling in love was never part of the game, and the players struggle to extricate themselves from this contest while keeping the circus afloat. …More
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
By Riggs, Ransom
2011-06 - Quirk Books
9781594744761 Check Our Catalog
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children," an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. …More
Before I Go to Sleep
By Watson, S. J.
2011-06 - Harper
9780062060556 Check Our Catalog
In this gripping psychological thriller in the vein of "Shutter Island" and the film "Memento," an amnesiac attempts to reconstruct her past by keeping a journal and discovers the dangerous inconsistencies in the stories of her husband and her secret doctor.
HPL patron: Keeps you on the edge of the couch...a thriller with unexpected twists.
By Marr, Melissa
2011-05 - William Morrow & Company
9780061826870 Check Our Catalog
From the "New York Times"-bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely YA series comes a captivating story about a curse that allows the dead to walk--and the living who are charged with keeping them at rest. …More
By Whitehead, Colson
2011-10 - Doubleday Books
9780385528078 Check Our Catalog
The Last Werewolf
By Duncan, Glen
2011-07 - Knopf Publishing Group
9780307595089 Check Our Catalog
Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but otherwise in the pink of health. The nonstop sex and exercise he's still getting probably contribute to that, as does his diet: unusual amounts of flesh and blood (at least some from friends and relatives). Jake, of course, is a werewolf, and with the death of his colleague he has now become the only one of his kind. This depresses Jake to the point that he's been contemplating suicide. Yet there are powerful forces who for very different reasons want--and have the power--to keep Jake alive.
Here is a powerful new version of the werewolf legend--mesmerizing and undeniably sexy, and with moments of violence so elegantly wrought they dazzle rather than repel. But perhaps its most remarkable achievement is to make the reader feel sympathy for a man who can only be described as a monster--and in doing so, remind us what it means to be human.
One of the most original, audacious, and terrifying novels in years. …More