It's Germane

The John Jermain Library's Weblog


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New Online Newspaper Resource Available through JJML

The library has recently acquired Newspaper Source Plus, an online database providing a full text digital collection of the world’s major news content. The database contains comprehensive full-text for major newspapers such as Christian Science Monitor, Irish Times (Ireland), San Francisco Chronicle, The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), The Times (UK), Toronto Star, The Washington Post, The Washington Times (DC) and others. In addition, Newspaper Source Plus features more than 857,000 television and radio news transcripts, including ABC News (American Broadcasting Company), ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), CBS News, CNBC, CNN, CNN International, FOX News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, PBS, and more.
You can access Newspaper Source Plus in the library as well as from home with your library card barcode and password. Check it out! https://www.johnjermain.org/OnlineReference.html


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e-Reader Update

In September, we updated the eReaders that we make available–fully loaded with best-selling books– for patrons to borrow. Our collection now includes two Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablets, two Amazon PaperWhite eReaders, and two Google Nexus 7 Tablets with eReader Apps from Amazon and Barnes and Noble installed. (We also continue to offer a Nook GlowLKindle Fire Hdx 7ight for young adult readers, and another Nook GlowLight with Spanish-language books.)

JJML has been loaning eReaders since the days of the early Amazon Kindle (the one with the keyboard) and Barnes and Noble Nook. We started with one Kindle and one Nook, arbitrarily deciding that the Kindle would hold fiction books and the Nook, nonfiction. Over time, we added and replaced Kindles, but the Kindle/fiction, Nook/nonfiction scheme remained in place (as did our aging Nooks).

A recent review of our statistics, however, showed us that this was no longer an effective plan. Nonfiction always has lower circulation than fiction, but recently the non-fiction eReaders weren’t circulating at all. We determined this was due to the age of the Nooks, which lacked newer, in-demand features of modern eReaders: light weight, touch screens, and self-contained lighting to make them readable in the dark. So, we decided to replace them, and in the process, bring all our books, fiction and non-fiction alike, to all our eReaders.

The Kindle Fire HDx devices are both eReaders, and full Android tablets (although with a heavily modified version of the Android operating system.) The PaperWhites are simply eReaders, with beautifully readable, easy-on-the-eyes black on white touch screens. They have adjustable lighting surrounding the screen that makes them easily readable in dark rooms. Our Nexus tablets are full-on Android tablets which have both the Amazon Kindle and Nook reader apps installed, as well as our full collection of over 100 fiction and 60 non-fiction titles.

Periodically, we add new books to our e-Readers. When we do, all the books are added to all the devices (except the specialty young adult and Spanish Language Nooks). So, if you’ve put a hardcover bestseller on hold, or reserved it from Live-brary (our eBook download service), but would rather read it now than wait for it to come in, you may want to check our eReaders to see if the title is available there. If it is, that means that six more copies are available, and since we don’t send our eReaders out on inter-library loans, chances are you will find one available. The loan period for eReaders is two weeks–same as print books–and they are renewable, one time.

Recently added titles include:

Fiction

  • The English Spy by Daniel Silva
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
  • Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy Book 2) by Pierce Brown
  • The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
  • Make Me by Lee Child
  • The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Purity by Jonathan Franzen
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Still Life by Louise Penny
  • X by Sue Grafton

Nonfiction

  • American Sniper by Chris Kyle
  • The Art of the Memoir by Mary Karr
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Neshisi Coates
  • The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D.
  • Dead Wake by Erik Larson
  • Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
  • A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren
  • The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty
  • On the Move by Oliver Sacks
  • M Train by Patti Smith (pre-order)
  • The Road to Character by David Brooks

A complete list of all the books on our eReaders can be found by doing a simple search for “Kindle” in our catalog…or you can click here: Kindle Search.

If you’re new to eReaders, the JJML staff will be glad to do a quick run-through on their operation with you when you borrow the device.


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Long Island Reads: One Island, One Book

parachuteJoin us on Wednesday, April 22nd at 5:30 pm for a discussion of this year’s Long Island Reads selection “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” by Alice Hoffman.
In addition to a discussion of this mesmerizing book, excerpts from film documentaries on Coney Island and Manhattan’s Lower East Side will be shown. Refreshments will include mini hot dogs, knishes and cream soda.

Pre-registration suggested. Limit 18 Free


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Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Shortlist Announced

carnegie A shortlist of six titles for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction was announced today. This year’s shortlisted books are: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Nora Webster by Colm Toibin, On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee. The Nonfiction shortlisted titles are: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizbeth Kolbert and Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright. The award was established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. the previous year. This year’s winners will be announced in June.


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National Book Foundation Announces Longists for Awards this Week

announcementsThe 2014 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature was announced today. You can view the list at  http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2014_ypl_longlist_pr.pdf. The longlist announcements for Poetry, Non-Fiction and Fiction will be made this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively.


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What I Read on My Winter Vacation

Well actually, it was only a snow day, but we’ll call it a mini-vacation for the purposes of this blog post. Like many of you, I spent a hefty part of  yesterday shoveling snow. But, before and after that, I had time for a few other activities as well: watering plants, transplanting a couple of orchids that have been neglected for far too long, scratching the cat’s belly (it’s amazing how much our cat enjoys that), surfing the web, signing up for “Buzz,” Google’s new online social media feature (kind of like Facebook in your GMail inbox), and a few other home-bound type activities, that only seem to get done when I have an unexpected day off.

Unsurprisingly, like many of my colleagues here at John Jermain, I also spent a good part of the day reading. And that got me thinking. Do library staffers typically take a busman’s holiday and spend their day reading when they have time off? Granted, working in a library and reading a book are not the same thing. Still, we do spend an inordinate amount of our lives surrounded by, working with and thinking about books, so when we have some free time, we might be excused if we chose to devote it to other pastimes. Jigsaw puzzles anyone?

So this morning, in an effort to answer this pressing question, I did a quick survey of my fellow employees to find out how many of us spent at least part of our snow day engrossed in a good (or bad, or indifferent) book. I also compiled a list of what we’re currently reading — I just thought you might like to know. Of the ten staffers working at the library this morning, it turns out the nine of us spent at least part of yesterday reading books, and the tenth devoted herself to catching up on old magazines and newspapers.  I can’t say I didn’t expect as much.

Here, in no particular order, is what we’re reading. Each book has been linked to it’s entry in our catalog in case you would like to find our more about it.

What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

His Father’s Son by Bentley Little

Mantrap: A Lawton Close and the Locked Rooms Mystery by Joseph F. Hanna (local author)

River of Doubt by Candice Millard (2 readers – This book is the “Long Island Reads” selection for 2010)

The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Ruined by Paula Morris

Cairo Diary by Maxime Chattam

Shannon by Frank Delaney

The Book of Genisis Illustrated by R. Crumb

For the Roses by Julie Garwood

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill by Mathieu Ricard

Many of you will no doubt have noticed that there are more than nine titles listed here. Which means that some of us read more than one book at a time. (My hand is up here, and I was glad to find out that I’m not the only one.)

In addition to all the worthy titles above, a few of us were also perusing some really fine cookbooks at one time or another throughout the day, either planning the evening meal or a menu for a future gathering.

The Blackberry Farm cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Good and the Good Life by Sam Beall

Arabesque: A taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

Il viaggio di Vetri: A Culinary Journey by Marc Vetri with David Joachim

A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Suppers for Family and Friends by Jack Bishop (local author)

The last one is my particular favorite. Last night I cooked up a Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Stew. It did not disappoint.

— Eric Cohen