Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

QR codes bring hyperlinks to newsprint

Credit: Imgur

In a column earlier this year, I reflected upon the meaninglessness of instructions to “click here” in press releases that are submitted to print media. The creators of this type of publicity seem more familiar with interactive online platforms and I argued in my column that an effective PR officer will create publicity suitable to the characteristics of the medium that he or she is writing for.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Public libraries expand horizons


The Lake County Library is hosting summer reading programs for teens and younger readers between June and August.

As a lifetime user, I am totally enthused about encouraging young people to read. At least once a week, my mother arranged trips to the public library so my sister and I could check out books on our library accounts.

I loved to go to the library on my own after school instead of riding the bus home. I could stretch full-length in a beanbag chair in the children’s reading area and leaf through “Choose Your Own Adventure” books or read stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

As I grew older, I continued with this habit of visiting my public library. I have held a library card in every community where I have lived or worked.

Libraries are an important resource for expanding readers’ horizons by placing credible information in a central, accessible place. From Asperger’s syndrome to tablet weaving (or perhaps that should be 616 to 746) whenever I’ve wanted information about an important subject, I’ve looked for it at my library.

Reading fiction is another crucial way in which libraries expand people’s horizons. A link circa April 27 on the library’s Facebook page draws attention to an article by Susan Cain on www.psychologytoday.com that explains ways in which reading fiction helps people develop empathy.

“I wonder if a single work of great fiction is a better route to understanding people than a mountain of psychology papers,” Cain writes. “I’ve noticed that I often feel for people who are very different from me by calling up fictional characters I ‘met’ decades ago. When I read a newspaper article about extreme poverty, for example, I think of Rukmani, the Indian peasant heroine of Nectar in a Sieve, which I read when I was ten — and how terrified she felt that she’d run out of rice (she often did) to feed her family.”

Some of my favorite works of fiction are filed in the teens’ or younger readers’ shelves and others are shelved under fantasy and SF: Orson Scott Card, Cornelia Funke, Erin Hunter, Mercedes Lackey, Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling, Jonathan Stroud and Diana Wynne Jones.

All of these offer compelling stories and characters across the multi-volume series that I gravitate toward because I end up liking some characters so much that I want to continue spending time with them.

The teens’ summer reading program began Saturday at the Lakeport Library and continues through Aug. 6. Teens can submit mini-reviews of books toward winning the grand prize, a personal electronic device.

For more information about the teens’ summer reading program, visit the Lakeport Library, located at 1425 N. High St. or call 263-8817. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The younger readers’ program is also underway and continues through Aug. 6. Children can sign up at any branch of the Lake County Library. By reading books, they can earn prizes.

For more information about the younger readers’ summer reading program, visit the Lakeport Library or any other library branch:

• Redbud Library is located at 14785 Burns Valley Road, 994-5115. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday.

• Middletown Library is located at 21267 Calistoga St., 987-3674. Hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

• Upper Lake Library is located at 310 Second St., 275-2049. Hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday.

Published June 14, 2011 in the Lake County Record-Bee