Library Journal published an article recently highlighting “ten outstanding websites into which you can place your trust.” Here are four of those websites that are “Good 2 Know” about.
AirNow allows you to enter your zip code or state to find color-coded maps that rate local air quality. Find today’s forecast, tomorrow’s forecast and the air quality index. AirNow was developed by EPA, NOAA, National Park Service and other local and state agencies to provide easy access to national air quality information.
Nutrition Data was launched in 2003 “to provide the most accurate and comprehensive nutrition analysis available, and to make it accessible and understandable to all.” Learn how to read food labels, compare the nutritional content of foods, and analyze recipes. A daily needs calculator calculates the number of calories you burn and your body mass index. You can also generate a list of foods based upon special needs, such as low sodium, high in protein, etc.
WeatherSpark is a new weather website that provides interactive graphs that provide current weather information for 4,000 weather stations around the world. Hour-by-hour graphs present data in an easy-to-read format. You can also obtain historical information.
USGS Earthquakes is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey. Use it to identify the location of the latest earthquakes worldwide and find out magnitude and intensity. The USGS locates about 50 earthquakes each day. The site includes a great deal of historical and real-time information.
The Library and the St. Charles Heritage Center are co-sponsoring a program about Bette Davis on Tuesday, March 17, at noon in the Huntley Meeting Room (register). Known for her larger-than-life persona on and off the silver screen, Bette Davis was a movie star for almost 60 years and appeared in about 100 films. The program features Leslie Goddard in the role of Bette Davis.
If you’d like to know more about Bette Davis, try one of these books:
The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis, a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler
More than a Woman: an Intimate Biography of Bette Davis by James Spada
Bette Davis Speaks by Boze Hadleigh
Believe it or not, Bette Davis has a website that includes biographical information, quotations, and even a television schedule of her movies. If you can’t wait for a TV airing, the Library owns lots of her movies. Here are a few to try: Dark Victory, All About Eve, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and Deception.
In 1926 historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History chose the second week of February to be “Negro History Week.” Woodson felt that black Americans and their achievements were not part of the general educational curricula and he was dedicated to change that.
Woodson specifically chose the second week in February to honor the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14).
The week-long observance became Black History Month in 1976 and it was officially recognized by the U.S. Government as part of the nation’s Bicentennial. Black History Month is also referred to as African American History Month.
For more information search the library’s online catalog, see our Trending Topics site, or Ask Us!.
There are thousands of charities that spend time and money soliciting donations. How do you make informed decisions on which organizations to support?
A good place to start your investigation is with Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities on their finances, accountability and transparency. The home page states that Charity Navigator is “your guide to intelligent giving.”
Givewell.org looks for well-run but underfunded charities. Its tag line is “real change for your dollar.” Their top-rated charities are “evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, and underfunded.”
Give.org is run by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. Give.org “seeks to assist donors in making informed judgments about those that solicit their support.”
GuideStar.org’s mission is to gather and disseminate information about every IRS-registered 501 (c)(3). GuideStar does not evaluate charities but rather it provides as much information as it can find so you can make the best decision possible.
For more info on wise donating look here.
Now that the holiday season is here, pet owners should pause and consider how decorations and changes in the home environment might pose safety issues for their pets. The ASPCA and petMD remind us of some important safety tips to keep our furry family members safe and avoid trips to the animal ER.
Be sure to hang tinsel out of your pet’s reach. Kittens love tinsel and will put it in their mouths. Ingesting tinsel can potentially block an animal’s intestines.
If you put up a live Christmas tree, be sure to keep pine needles away from your pets because the needles can puncture the animal’s intestines.
Mistletoe, poinsettia and holly plants are poisonous to dogs and cats.
Edible tree decorations such as popcorn strings will attract your pets and could lead to them tugging at the decorations and possibly knocking down your tree.
Keep gift wrapping supplies (paper, string, ribbon, etc.) away from your pets so they don’t try to eat them.
Keep wires out of the reach of your pets to avoid the risks of shock and electrocution.
Remember that dogs often tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces, which can cause internal problems. The answer is to give your dog chew toys and treats designed to be safely digested.
Safe toys for your cat would be a new ball that is too big to swallow or a catnip toy.
Enjoy decorating for the holidays but do it in a way that keeps your pets safe.
There is news coverage of battles, air strikes and skirmishes in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other faraway places. However, often the stories of the soldiers who fought in these conflicts is not told. Some recently published books highlight some of these stories.
One Million Steps: a Marine Platoon at War by Francis J. West is the story of one platoon that suffered extraordinarily high casualties in Afghanistan.
Level Zero Heroes: the Story of U.S. Marine Special Operations in Bala Murgab, Afghanistan by Michael Golembesky follows a Marine Special Ops team on assignment in a remote Taliban stronghold.
My Life as a Foreign Country by Brian Turner covers the author’s war experiences in Iraq and his life back home.
The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War by Yocki Dreazen is the tragic story of a family having to cope with the loss of two sons, one in combat and one from suicide.
For other titles check our online catalog or Ask Us!
The 2014 General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 4. Early voting began on Monday, October 20 and ends on Sunday, November 2.
If you are not registered to vote you may still register at one of the five Kane County locations set up for grace period registration.
The Kane County Elections website provides detailed information on polling places, sample ballots, registration status and much more. If you need instructions on how to use the eSlate voting maching, there is a link on the website for a demo of the eSlate.
You will find information on the various candidates in the print newspapers located in the library’s Magazine/Newspaper area or by reading the electronic versions available through the library’s website.
Questions? Ask Us!
What do these books have in common?
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
- Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
They are all on the list of the Top Ten Challenged Books for 2013. The American Library Association publishes this list each year, in conjunction with Banned Books Week.
“The ALA promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.”
To learn more about this topic visit the ALA’s website. Protect your right to READ.
If you enjoy reading biographies, here are a few suggestions that you might like.
Alvin York: a New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne by Douglas Mastriano is the life story of one of our most famous soldiers. York was a reluctant hero of WWI.
Jack London: an American Life is written by Earle Labor, the official biographer of London and the curator of the Jack London Museum in Shreveport, LA. Labor had access to London’s letters and diaries.
Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones covers the life of the creative genius who brought us the Muppets.
Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space is authored by Lynn Sherr, the ABC reporter who covered NASA for many years. Sherr covers Ride’s life from her early years as a childhood tennis star all the way to her rise in the male-dominated space program.
For other titles check our online catalog or Ask Us!
World War I began 100 years ago on July 28, 1914. Until the start of World War II, this war was known as The Great War or The World War.
The war began in the Balkans, a part of the world with a long history of conflict, but it soon spread throughout Europe and the Ottoman Empire. The United States was officially neutral until it entered the war in 1917.
About nine million soldiers died, far more than in any previous conflict. There were also countless civilian deaths and injuries as well as extensive property damage.
Trench warfare was widely used and a system of trenches zigzagged along the Western Front. Horse cavalries were also used, and Germany’s initial invasion of France and Belgium included eight cavalry divisions (more than 40,000 horses).
World War I saw the first use of the airplane as a weapon of combat. The British invented the tank, and a young George Patton saw action in the newly formed U.S. Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Force.
The war ended November 11, 1918, with the victory of the Allied Powers over the Central Powers. The Paris Peace Conference in January, 1919, drafted the Treaty of Versailles. The end of the war saw the collapse of old empires (Austro-Hungarian Empire and Ottoman Empire) and the creation of new countries. The maps of Europe and Southwest Asia were redrawn.
For more information try one one of the books shown here; check our online catalog; or Ask Us!