Blogs

ReferenceUSA training on job searching, business tips and more!

ReferenceUSA will be offering six different classes available online February through March 2013. ReferenceUSA is a great database for job hunters as well as those looking to start a new business. These hour-long sessions will cover the basics of getting started and the essentials of using ReferenceUSA for a variety of subjects:

   * Search Essentials - Fridays at 9am
                    Registration required
   * Career Search Strategies - Weds. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * Start, Manage & Grow Your Business - alt. Mon. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * People Who Seek People - alt. Mon. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * Consumer & Lifestyle Data - alt. Tues. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * ReferenceUSA Mapping - alt. Tues. at 12:30pm
                    Registration Required

This is also a great opportunity for current users to learn some new tips, tricks and techniques. Lots of time will be reserved at the end of the session for questions.

To explore ReferenceUSA - see the eLibrary under Subjects "Business", "Careers & Jobs" or "Phone Books".

Perfect Poundcake

 

First off, I would like to wish Ina Garten a slightly early happy birthday, Ina’s birthday is February 2nd.
Ina’s recent cookbook Barefoot Contessa foolproof: recipes you can trust is a gem, stunning photos and interesting recipes make this a foodie’s dream. One of the many highlights of her book is the 10 foolproof tips for cooking, abide by these tips and you will be the envy of all your foodie friends. The gist of the tips is stick to therecipe the first time and experiment latter. Personally I recommend reading cookbooks from cover to cover, many authors sneak some great information in unexpected places. I poured over Ina’s wonderful tome and fell in love with the perfect pound cake recipe, and the hunt for a vanilla bean began. I went into gatherer mode  and found all of the ingredients and had at it. One warning, be prepared to do lots of flour sifting, but in the end the outcome of all the sifting will be the most perfect pound cake you have ever tasted!  The cake was a smash hit itdisappeared from the table in less than 45 minutes. Three cheers for the birthday Contessa! *****David’s dish

Check out the book at Foster Library, or put a hold on it - we will send it to you!

If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking.

February is African American History Month

February is African American History Month. Ventura County Library joins the Library of Congress and many others in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

See Biography In Context (in our eLibrary under "Biography") for articles about famous figures in African American history, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Barack Obama.

Or, try U.S. History In Context (in our eLibrary under "History & Social Studies") to get information for things like Abolition and the Underground Railroad, Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement.

It's all free with your library card!

A new Library Lad!

Grab your favorite beverage and sit down to enjoy the latest Library Lad, which comes out every other week or so.

Need to catch up? Find past Library Lad columns in the Library Lad's Blog Archive. Of course, you can be sure to get each blog by subscribing!

Happy reading!

Parenting 101

Ten benefits of Reading Aloud to your baby from day one:
1 - Read alouds promote listening skills
2 - Read alouds increase the number of vocabulary words baby hears
3 - Read alouds develop attention span and memory
4 - Read alouds help babies learn uncommon words
5 - Read alouds help babies learn to understand the meanings of words
6 - Read alouds help babies learn concepts from print
7 - Read alouds help babies learn to get information from illustrations
8 - Read alouds promote bonding and calmness for both baby and parent                                           
9 -  Read alouds stimulate the imagination and all senses
10 - Read alouds instill the love of books and learning
 
From Baby Read-Aloud Basics by Caroline J. Blakemore (372.4)

-Star

 

The Ventura Pier

The Ventura pier was originally constructed in 1872 and was 1,200 feet in length. In 1914 it was cut in half by the SS Coos Bay and was rebuilt with an addition of 500 feet by 1917.  By 1938 it reached its longest length of 1,958 feet and was, at the time, one of the longest wooden piers in California (Santa Cruz Municipal Pier, built in 1914, is the longest wooden pier in California at 2,745 feet).  The pier has been burned or destroyed by storms numerous times throughout its history.  It was rebuilt in a shorter form in 1993 but, in December of 1995, a storm removed 423 feet and the pier was partially closed until  it was rebuilt using steel pilings for extra support. Its current length is approximately 1,620 feet, making it the 8th longest pier of any pier construction in California over the Pacific Ocean and the 6th longest primarily wooden pier. 

Find more information on Ventura History at the Foster Library Catalog.

- Resident Photographer Aleta Rodriguez

Guest Blog - Story time with Celeste

HELLO Everyone!

It was GREAT seeing all the faces at Storytime Tuesday;  both our 'old' friends and our new!  In case you do not know, since I do not always remember to introduce myself, my name is Celeste and I am the Storyteller most Tuesdays.  Most of my kidlets (and their folks) call me Miss Celeste :-)

Our Letter of the Week was N.  Perhaps you would like to teach your littles some N words?  We all know that kids looove noodles – but what is/are your favorite 'N' words? 

I did a quick image search on Google and just found a ton of fun 'N' coloring pages.  There were even some super detailed ones for you grups (grown-ups), like me, that love to color! So those are out there and easily accessible if you are looking.

Going along with our 'weather' theme for January, our books yesterday were about the snow.  While we only read two (what a lively group we had!) there are a LOT more with that same theme at our fabulous library.

We read:

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London and Duck Skates by Lynne Berry

Did you know that there is a whole series of Froggy books?  And they are all just as fun as the one that we read. I think that my personal favorite is 'Froggy Bakes a Cake,' but then I liked to bake with my kidlets when they were small!
 
Other Snow themed books available at E.P. Foster:

Mouse's First Snow by Lauren Thompson (there are about 8 or 9 Mouse books - YAY!)

Snowy blowy winter by Bob Raczka

Little Bea and the Snowy Day  by Daniel Roode

Snow is my Favorite and my Best (a Charlie & Lola book) by Lauren Child

Snow by Cynthia Rylant (if you haven't been introduced to Cynthia Rylant's books, yet – Go Forth and find them - for she is amazing!  My  family particularly loves her 'Mr. Putter & Tabby' and her  'Henry & Mudge'  books.

Snowball Soup by Mercer Meyer Yep, one of those silly, fun 'Little Critter' books! How can you resist?

These were just a few that H.P. has.  Do you & yours have a favorite snow-themed book? Please share!

Author Website of the Week:

Mercer Meyer's Website is just packed full of fun! Not just the usual list of books and a coloring page or two, oh no! Mr. Meyer's website has apps, games, movies, Sing-a-longs and so much more!  I hope that you all enjoy our very first Author Website of the Week

This Week:

Our Letter this week is 'O'.  Octopus, orangutan, orange...Does your little one have a favorite 'O' word or thing?
Our Theme will be 'Cold Weather Critters'.  Does your little one have a stuffed 'Cold Weather Critter'?  Please feel free to bring it.

If you have song, book or Storytime theme suggestions, I would love to hear them. 

Until next week,

Miss Celeste

Simi Valley Library presents Silver Strings Concert

The Silver Strings come to the Simi Valley Library on Saturday, February 2 at 2pm in the Simi Valley Library Community Room.

The Silver Strings consists of  violins, violas, celli and bass with the conductor incorporated in the middle of the ensemble. Their selections encompass a varied and broad range of music from classical, semi-classical, pop and Broadway musicals.

Dianne and Phillip Rammon formed this ensemble in 1999 to bring quality music to the community. Dianne, who conducts the group, and her husband Phillip are both professional violinists.

This free concert is sponsored by the Simi Valley Friends of the Library.

POST SCRIPTS FROM THE TWO WORLD WARS, continued

Post scripts part one

1984: George Orwell, 1948
      

      Orwell sets his story in war torn London, where 30 to 40 bombs rain down on the city per week. Having just emerged from WWII, Londoners would have intimately related to the deprivation and destruction portrayed in 1984. The country, called Oceania, is at war with East Asia. It has always been at war with East Asia, while Eurasia has always been its ally. These are the only known nations in the world of 1984.
      The main character is Winston Smith, an “Outer Party” member of the Political Party called Ingsoc. (Orwell’s “New Speak” term for English Socialism). He works for the “Ministry of Truth”, a propaganda bureaucracy in which employees like Winston Smith are ordered by the “Inner Party” to change the facts of the past to reflect the present. As the book begins, Smith is in the process of changing the past to reflect the point that Oceania is now at war with Eurasia and has always been at war with Eurasia, while East Asia has always been its ally.
       Perpetual war is the only mechanism that maintains a World Economy, meager though it is (illustrated by two world wars that were fought within 30 years of each other). Only the Inner Party at the top enjoys the luxuries of their station. And only the Proletariat, at the bottom, are totally free.
     This is a nation ruled by posters of “Big Brother” with the Party slogan “Big Brother is Watching You”. It is a place where one’s entire daily routine and life are controlled by the Party; and the people are watched by two-way huge “Telescreens” located in every room of every tenement, broadcasting Party Propaganda constantly. There are also “The Thought Police”, every day citizens who snitch to the party about others. And then there is Room 101, for those who are found guilty of breaking the Law. It is a chamber designed to modify one’s behavior to that of the Collective through the means of psychological trauma and physical torture. It is “The Worst Thing in the World” because the methods used reflect that which terrifies each individual the most from their own psychological profile.
      The irony is that Winston remembers a better time, before Ingsoc and so does not buy into the Party, even though he contributes to the collective amnesia that plagued Oceania, maintained the order and secured his own powerlessness. Then there is the insipid National Language called “Newspeak” which is in the process of being designed to limit the vocabulary to 100,000 functional words in order to eradicate critical thinking as a form of mind control . Something described as “loquacious and elegant” becomes “double-plus-good” in the Newspeak lexicon.
      In the end, Winston has been caught making love to a woman that forbids it through the Party’s “Anti Sex League” and is sentenced to Room 101. (All of this is occurring during the popularity of B.F. Skinners Post World War II “Behaviorism” psychology). He is transcended to a point where he now loves Ingsoc, though at some point in the future, when he least expects it, he knows that he will be executed as punishment for breaking such an egregious law.
    This is Orwell’s warning to the Post War Era of the huge Socialistic Bureaucracy that came about in England afterwards and to the advent of Television: That those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it in the future. BIG BROTHER is only a poster. But the frightening thing about it is that it cannot be assassinated like a dictator. However, Winston Smith knows the truth. He saw it in the run down tenements of the poverty stricken Proletariat. The Inner Party does not care about them. They are free from its rule. HOPE lies only with the proletariat.

The Resident Scholar - Doug Taylor

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