Thursday, September 25, 2014

Internet Archive - 500 Years Of Book Images You Can Use

The Internet Archive Book Images is a collection of more than 14 million images scanned from books that are in the public domain and spanning over 500 years.  They have just recently been uploaded to Flikr with a Creative Commons license, and are available for all of us to use.  Most of this project is the idea and work of Kalev Leetaru.  You can read more about what this archive covers and how it is being done at the Internet Archive Blog, or in the BBC article Millions of Historical Images Posted To Flickr.  The archive covers a vast variety of images including a huge library of medical books and archives. There is decorative art, including the first picture below.  There are images from accounts of travels, from art books, from books of stories, advertisements, engineering, natural history, all sorts of descriptive and technical texts, a true treasure trove of images.  Each image has a description and source listed with links.

If you need images, these are in the public domain and this is a good place to look The Internet Archive Book Images.

Above is a  decorative graphical flourish added to begin the display below.  There is an enormous variety of decorative art in this collection available to view and to use.

Above is Mrs. Amanda Smith, evangelist and world traveler, in 1893, from an account of her travels and works.  Her travels carried her across England, Scotland, Ireland, India, and Africa.
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book
View book online

In Australia, fish hatching boxes on a small stream, hatching Murray cod.  From an 1889 account of boy travelers, "adventures of two youths in a journey to the Sandwich, Marquesas, Society, Samoan and Feejee islands, and through the colonies of New Zealand, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania".
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book
View book online

A young woman of Tehuantepec in Mexico from "an account of the customs, characteristics, amusements, history and advancement of the Mexicans, and the development and resources of their country" in 1912.
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book
View book online

Illustration of the genus salpa from Johns Hopkins University Biological Laboratory.
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book
View book online

Illustration by a Tibetan artist from a story about jackals, a baboon, and a tiger, from a collection of Tibetan folk tales.
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book
View book online

Illustration from a book about the birds of the British Isles and their eggs.
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book
View book online

Image of a bookshelf from a book by the Pennsylvania-German Society, at the beginning of chapter 5, which discusses schools and educational institutions
View Book Page: Book Viewer
About This Book: Catalog Entry
View All Images: All Images From Book 
View book online

The above images barely scratch the surface of the range, depth, and variety of images available here. Keep in mind this archive includes a vast collection of historical medical texts and illustrations, and everything is in the public domain.  This is a resource just for browsing and entertainment, or to consult if you need images to illustrate some project.  Visit The Internet Archive Book Images.

Nell M.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's in Your Wallet?

We certainly hope you've got the smartest card (your library card) in your wallet!

September is Library Card Sign Up Month but it's more than just getting people to sign up for library cards.  (Although that's important too!)  It's about letting people know all the wonderful services they can have free access to with their library cards.  Here's 25 great services you might not know about:
  1. Download e-magazines from Zinio.
  2. Take high quality, online classes from Gale Courses.
  3. Use the Digital Media Lab to learn, explore, and create digital media.
  4. Download music from Freegal.
  5. Check out a science-themed Go! Kit, which also contains a mini iPad, for you and your child.
  6. Put a book on hold online.
  7. Download e-books.
  8. Use Microsoft Office to build skills.
  9. Use public PCs to create online documents.
  10. Renew your materials online.
  11. Download audiobooks.
  12. Learn a language online.
  13. Sign up for email notification.
  14. Stream classical, folk or world music.
  15. Stream classic theatre productions.
  16. Prepare for the SAT, ASVAB, and more.
  17. Get online auto repair information.
  18. Check Consumer Reports from home.
  19. Use self-service checkout machines.
  20. Pick up a good read.
  21. Borrow materials from libraries around the country.
  22. Find magazine and newspaper articles online.
  23. Search your family history with HeritageQuest Online.
  24. Borrow a Kill-A-Watt kit.
  25. Learn to read online with BookFlix.
Those are just some of our great services but the most important question is...How do you use your library card?  Here's what we've seen so far! 

Want to be in the picture?  Submit a photo telling us what great services you use your library card for!  On Twitter, tweet your picture with #librarycard and @MCPL_Libraries. Or on MCPL's Facebook, send us your picture in a message.
Remember, friends tell friends all the great free services they can get access to with a library card!  Don't have a library card? Get one today! Find out how to get your library card.

Here's one of my favorite services I access with my library card!

Susan M.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer in a Jar

2014 was an excellent year for tomatoes on the farm.  For this year's garden, I scaled back on the variety of items, and just put in tomatoes, peppers, basil and cutting flowers.  It's very exciting when the first little greenies begin to swell and ripen, but later I found myself inundated with many ripe red globes begging to be put to some use.

We ate a lot of fresh tomatoes, gazpacho and salsa.  Another favorite is caprese salad with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.  The flowers came inside to brighten up spots all around the house.  Although I planned to can tomato sauce, or marinate peppers, I never got around to it.  But there's always next year for me, and if you would like to take advantage of your produce year round, the library has some great resources for the home canner/preserver.

Canning, preserving, drying and pickling home grown fruits and vegetables are all great ways to preserve summer's bounty and with the spread of the locavore movement, you can get great fresh local produce even if you don't have the ability to grow your own.

Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling and Preserving by Kevin West - A stylish, richly illustrated, practical guide for home cooks and preserving enthusiasts, this is the first cookbook from journalist Kevin West, author of the popular blog Incorporating classic favorites and new flavors, there are more than one hundred recipes, organized by season.

Blue Ribbon Country Canning: State Fair Award Winning Modern and Traditional Recipes by Diane Roupe.   This book presents detailed instructions on food preservation techniques while featuring ninety-five recipes for the safe canning of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, jams, jellies, sauces, and relishes.

Preserving: Putting Up the Season's Bounty from the Culinary Institute of America outlines the health and environmental benefits of canning and preserving backyard produce, shares detailed instructions for every method while providing more than sixty recipes for pickles, jams, and other homemade foods.

Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone is a collection of 30 small batch preserving recipes and 90 recipes in which to use the results.  In addition to canning, the book shows how to use methods like oil preserving and curing.

If you are more of a visual learner, the library also offers a DVD called "The Art of Canning", which covers equipment needed, storage and how to clean everything as well as the basics of caning jam, pickles, vegetables and even eggs.

There are a couple of farm/ranch life blogs that I dip into now and then.  One of these is the Pioneer Woman, blogged by the now popular Food Network personality, Ree Drummond.  Drummond has written several cookbooks, and her blog has several good posts on canning.  There is a beginners project on strawberry jam - that's good way to learn the basics.

Another blogger turned book author is Suzanne McMinn, whose blog "Chickens in the Road" chronicles her adventures on a small farm in rural West Virginia.  Her blog hosts a great forum of like-minded folks who share their advice and recipes.  A couple of posts give the basics of canning, with lots of pictures and step by step instructions.

A tried and true friend to both farmers and suburban farm types is the local Extension Service.  The UMD Extension Service offers advice on all kinds of topics, and each year they hold "Grow It, Eat It, Preserve It" workshops at their Derwood facilty.  One of these workshops is coming up on September 16th, and you can get registration information  here. If you can't make the workshop, a  portion of their website is devoted to food preservation and canning, and there are many links to useful information and videos.

No excuses for next year now!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wouldn’t You Rather Pick Outdoor Survival Than Indoor Survival?

So school has started. The last day of summer vacation is the worst day, I think.  Once you are actually at school, it isn’t as bad as you thought, right?  Or, was it just as bad as you thought or worse? 

How about some escape literature so you can feel better about where you are in comparison, or maybe just to help you escape from where you don’t want to be.  The books below are all about teens’ survival in the wild. I'll start with the newest and the oldest title on my list.

Boys in the Boat : Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics  by Daniel James Brown 
Goodreads website says, "The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936."  The main character in this riveting story is Joe Rantz, a teenager who is abandoned by his family and survives all on his own, eventually managing by himself to enroll in the University of Washington.

Three Men in the Boat, To Say Nothing of the Dog by Jerome K. Jerome 
A totally different kind of survival story of a bumbling Victorian well-to-do threesome (and a very wise dog) who decide to flow down the Thames to cure their collective depression. 

There is also a graphic novel version of this timeless story by Nidi Verma in Campfire Graphic Novels.

Breath by Tim Winton
It’s a story of extremes—extreme sports and extreme emotions.
On the wild, lonely coast of Western Australia, two thrillseeking and barely adolescent boys fall into the enigmatic thrall of veteran big-wave surfer Sando.

Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival  by Norman Ollestad
Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. At age eleven, he was the only survivor after his father dies in a distant winter mountain.  (I picked up this book from the cover showing Ollestad, looking no more than 3 years old, piggy-backing on his surfing father.)

Peak by Roland Smith
A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beach 
War seen through the eyes of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone.

Ada Blackjack : A True Story of Survival in The Arctic by Jennifer Niven
A true story of a young Inuit woman who survived six months alone on a desolate, uninhabited Arctic island.

Then, the ultimate escape would be about surviving in imagined worlds like in Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, Ender’s Game, and Life of Pi, but that's for another day.

Megumi L.