Saturday, April 30, 2011

New @ ... EIN?? -- Part II

Hello again! We're back to talk a little bit more about Monroeville Public Library's official merging with the eiNetwork and The Catalog -- the countywide connection of libraries. Hopefully our last post about The Catalog helped to answer a few of your questions and give you a good idea of what the eiNetwork is all about.

Today I want to take a moment to explain to you one of the best benefits of MPL now being a part of The Catalog: how to request an item.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reading Counts @ MPL

If you're the parent of an elementary school or middle school student, then you probably know all about Reading Counts, an educational program designed to promote children's literacy. Gateway school district students in grades K-6 all take part in a Reading Counts program; students read books from the Reading Counts list and then take a short quiz about what they've read. If they successfully complete the quiz on the book they've read, the student receives Reading Counts points. (Books are individually assigned a number of points based on difficulty or lexile.) Once the student earns enough points, they are eligible for various prizes.

What you may not know is that Monroeville Public Library carries many of the books from the Reading Counts list. The Children's Room staff is in the process of searching through the collection for such titles. A sticker listing the lexile level and points is being placed on the first page of each book.

To make it easier to find these books, many of them have bookmark "flags," and there is even a display set out in the bins as you enter the Children's Room. Not all the books have been checked yet, so if you are interested in a book that does not have sticker, just ask the Librarian to check to see if it's eligible for Reading Counts.

For more on how Reading Counts is used in our local schools, check out some additional information here:

Ramsey Elementary School's Reading Counts Page

Dr. Cleveland Steward, Jr. Elementary's Reading Counts Page

-- Contributed by our Children's Librarian

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New @ ... EIN??

So we've missed a couple of blog entries over the last week and a half. If you're wondering what could be so important as to keep us from our promised prompt updates, I've got two words for you: Catalog merger.

Yes, that's right. Monroeville Public Library has officially joined the eiNetwork and The Catalog!

Now, let me back up and explain this a bit.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reliable Consumer Health Information on the Web?

Last week I turned 45. While I still feel like I’m about 30, I know I’m not getting any younger. It also made me realize that I am due for a routine checkup with my doctor. And though I am not in the greatest shape I’m not doing too bad either especially since I don’t have to take any prescribed medications. But when I have, I’ve always wanted to find out as much information about the drug as I can and why I’m taking it. But of course, that’s why I’m a reference librarian!

So, have you ever been to see your family doctor and left the office wanting to know more about the diagnosis you’ve just received? Hopefully your doctor provided you with all of the information you will need to comply with his instructions. If not, or even if you want to learn more, please don’t turn to Google! While Google is still the leading search engine on the Internet, it doesn’t mean that all of the results are reliable.

A simple search for the term “diabetes” returns over 43 million hits! How many of those can possibly be reliable?

A better place to check for health information online is MedlinePlus. The National Library of Medicine created it and their staff of librarians and health professionals chooses the most current, accurate and reliable health information on the web to make your life just a little bit easier. So instead of weeding through the 43 million results on Google you can do one search on MedlinePlus.

MedlinePlus has easy-to-read pages to help you better understand diseases, conditions and your medications. There are interactive tutorials, videos of surgical procedures along with a medical encyclopedia. It’s also a great site if someone in your family has a health related school assignment.

So, please, the next time you need health related information from home, please use MedlinePlus. Also, you can always stop by the Monroeville Public Library and any one of our reference librarians would be thrilled to help you find accurate and reliable information online and in print.

Stay healthy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Riding the eBook Wave

Any time I'm making small talk with someone -- a new hairdresser, a nurse in the doctor's office, someone at a party -- and the question of what I do for a living comes up, the same follow-up question is inevitably asked. "So what do you think about these new ebook things -- are they going to be the end of libraries?"

The question always kind of amuses me, in part because I wonder if people are ever concerned that they'll give me something new to worry about. ("What if ebooks are the end of libraries?? Oh no!") It also, at least in the beginning, left me rather speechless -- because I honestly didn't have an answer for them.

But in my opinion, the real mystery is not so much a question of ebooks being the end of libraries as it is a question of ebooks being the end of physical, printed books, period. Are eReaders the next stage of evolution, similar to the invention of Gutenberg's printing press? Is this the end of an era?