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April 12, 2012

Celebrate National Library Week


Daily Star

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Libraries across the country are celebrating National Library Week this week. Did you know there are more than 15,000 public libraries in the United States?

Libraries are booming no matter where you go. Books, computers, programs, local history materials, e-books, audio materials, online job search sites, movies and more are just a few of the things you'll find at your local library. Since the economic downturn, libraries have reported dramatic increases in usage in all areas.

When I was a child, people were saying that libraries would go out of existence by the 21st century and some are still saying that today even though we are well into the century.

But just as other technologies and businesses advance and we take advantage of their offerings, so it goes with public libraries. We now have washing machines to do our clothes, adding machines to calculate for us, electricity instead of candles, and none of us want to go back to the old-fashioned ways. Progress is good, and it's good in libraries, too. Usage figures reflect that.

Your library card is a powerful tool and you don't have to use it just at the library.

From your home or cellphone, it allows you to check your account, place reserves, check out e-books and audio books, and even use the research databases to look up information and do homework. All this for free, with one card _ it's literally worth millions.

If you were to add up the total cost of all the materials and services you use at the local library, you'd be surprised at the hundreds and even thousands of dollars it totals.

As we celebrate this week, stop at the library to see our display of photos which highlight different time periods throughout the history of the library. You'll quickly see how things have changed, and all for the good.

Hypnosis and Energy Program

Thomas Warner will present a program at 7 p.m. Monday, April 16, at Huntington Library. He will discuss modern hypnosis techniques which have been found to improve health, vitality and wellness. This program is presented by the Friends of Huntington Memorial Library and is free and open to the public.

Spring Reading

If you love beans, or want to know more about how to cook them, take a look at Crescent Dragonwagon's "Bean by Bean." Just under 200 recipes feature fresh, dried, hot, sweet, savory, cool and countless others. There is no type of meal that can't include beans. From soups and salads, to main dishes, and on to desserts, all are featured here.

"Up" by Patricia Ellis Herr is the true account of a mother and young daughter's adventures climbing all 48 of New Hampshire's highest mountains. Daughter Trish is just 5, but loves hiking and all it entails. You'll laugh, shake your head and be amazed at all the things that happen to them on their hikes.

Chris Impey is a distinguished professor in the astronomy department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His book "How It Began" talks about the origins of the universe and what happened after the Big Bang. Stars, planets, black holes, light, the newborn universe, vast energy and more are all discussed in this informative work.

Children's Books

"Happy" by Mies Van Hout covers all range of emotions through some very colorful fish. One word, one picture, you'll have lots of fun reading this aloud and having your children show their own expressions of these emotions.

"Kite Day" by Will Hillenbrand is a bear and mole story. What better day to fly a kite than a windy one? But first they have to research, build it, and finally fly it. Then, something happens and you will be eager to see the results of their kite-flying adventure.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at www.thedailystar.com/librarycorner.