Blogs

As we celebrate the life of former Oregon Symphony director James DePreist, let’s note that in addition to all his incredible work with orchestras around the world, and a 2005 National Medal of Arts, he also wrote two books of poetry!

William Stafford contributed the afterword to DePreist’s first book, This Precipice Garden (1986). He describes DePreist’s confident presence as conductor, and compares this with the voice of the poems: “When he turns to the different rhythm of his poems, it is as if James DePreist puts that hovering attention to a parallel task; again the inner light finds which way to go amid infinite, shifting possibilities. Here, however, there is a record in language of the course taken. The reader can follow in slow motion and see how the self proceeds along a tangled path.”

Maya Angelou writes of DePreist, in her foreword to his book The Distant Siren (1989), “There is obviously poetry in the orchestral conducting of James DePreist and audible musicality in the poetry of James DePreist. His second collection of poetry has the tautness of a perfectly pitched viola and much of its resonance.”

These succinct, meticulously paced poems sometimes root us to an image or an idea, and sometimes launch us into surprising, soaring openness.

Beyond me
    came the meanings.

Meanings beyond words,
    long held from view
now lovingly decanted
    into prisms.

Meanings beyond words,
    multiplied beyond me
in transit
    to their source.

(from This Precipice Garden, page 7)

Hearing and using lots of words helps children get ready to read.  The more words they know, the easier it will be for them to learn how to read.  So how do we help kids develop a BIG vocabulary?  By talking with them!  

Of course every day we might use words like breakfast and shoes and bedtime.  But when we expose children to the world, and then have conversations about what they experience, we introduce them to lots of new words!  

There are so many fun places to take young children in Multnomah county.  Some of them are free (like your neighborhood playground) or inexpensive (like Portland Parks & Rec’s indoor parks), but some of them can make a pretty big dent in your wallet!  

Fortunately many of our local attractions offer discount days on a regular basis.  Admission to OMSI only costs $2 the first Sunday of the month.  The Oregon Zoo charges only $4 on the second Tuesday of every month.  The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is free every Tuesday and Wednesday, free from the day after Labor Day through the end of February, and free year-round for children under 12.  The Chinese & Japanese Gardens and the Art Museum also have free days periodically each year.  

Pairing your adventures with books on related topics provides a great opportunity to continue and extend your conversations.  If your toddler loved watching the monkeys at the zoo, try reading Busy Monkeys together.  After building a tower at OMSI, your child might enjoy Dreaming Up.  Try pairing a trip to the Art Museum with Katie and the Water Lily Pond or a visit to any of the gardens with Flower Garden.  These are just a few suggestions to get you started.  We can help you find just the right book for you and your child.  And you can help your child get ready to read by having fun conversations every day.

Many new amateur house historians find determining their home's historic period and style to be a challenging task. You can usually find the date your house was built by looking it up in PortlandMaps or contacting your local County Assessor's office, but figuring out what it might have looked like when it was new can be difficult!

Once you've looked through a few guides to historic periods in architecture, try looking at some of these resources to get a more detailed idea of how houses were designed and decorated in the past:

  • Mail order house plans and design catalogs [blog post].  List of websites featuring scans of late 19th and early-mid 20th century house plan catalogs.  People used these catalogs to shop for a new house -- they either bought the plans and had a builder construct them, or bought a house kit, which came with plans and all the materials (neat, right?). 
  • Floor plan books [reading list]. Reprints of house plan catalogs, simliar to the ones featured in the blog post above, which you can check out from the library!
  • Using old magazines to identify house styles [blog post].  Guide to researching house-style and architectural history information in the library's collection of old (and new!) magazines.
  • Color scheme & design books [reading list]. Books focusing on the history of paint colors and color design of the late 19th and early-mid 20th century.

  Questions? Ask the Librarian.

Gun rights and gun control are on everyone’s mind, after the unfortunate shootings that took place last year. It’s often hard to find good resources that present multiple viewpoints on issues like this, and provide quotable sources.

An excellent electronic resource is Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center in Context. It provides links to articles, videos and audio files from multiple viewpoints (you will need a library card # and PIN in order to access this electronic resource from outside of the library).

The Washington Post created this quick timeline of gun control history in the United States, and LawBrain covers the legal history of gun control back to the U.S. Constitution. Another good listing is Infoplease’s Milestones in Federal Gun Control Legislation  which covers laws up until 2013.

L.A.R.G.O. Lawful and Responsible Gun Owners and the N.R.A. National Rifle Association both support gun ownership in America. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and The Violence Policy Center both work to reduce gun violence. The Violence Policy Center is also a good resource if you’re looking for statistics related to gun violence (including drive by shootings and suicide).

This Guardian article compares gun crime in individual states and About.com lists Oregon Gun Rights. FactCheck looks at statistics in the media after the Newton shootings, and reports on Gun Rhetoric vs. Gun Facts.  Looking towards changes in the law, gun control is supported by more women than men, and that may have an effect on future legislation.

Need some specific gun facts or laws we haven’t covered? Contact a librarian and we’ll be glad to help

"Remarkable events often have ordinary beginnings. Never was this more true than with my talks with Dean Spanley."

The movie Dean Spanley is a tale of forgiveness, transcendence and reconciliation. Every Thursday, Henslowe Fisk makes his way through the streets of London to visit his ancient, curmudgeonly and nihilistic father. The elder Fiske grumbles that his son's visits are a burden, and that the only thing special about a Thursday is to keep "Wednesday and Friday from colliding."

Fisk begins to wonder whether the time couldn't be spent in more enjoyable pursuits. At his next visit he insists that he and his father attend a lecture on reincarnation, held by a guru on his vast estate. The senior Fisk is skeptical: "Do you think if we had souls, they wouldn't get in touch? Of course they would!"

While at the lecture they meet a local vicar, Dean Spanley. He's an odd character who makes some intriguing comments about the possibility of an afterlife. Henslowe's curiosity prompts him to invite Spanley to dinner to discuss the topic further. He discovers that, plied with the right amount of wine, the Dean is given to telling fantastic stories of another, half-remembered life. After recounting one such tale, Spanley pauses to reflect, "One moment you are running along, the next you are no more." As time goes by, Henslowe realizes that these stories sound vaguely familiar, and may hold the key to a more enlightened relationship between Henslowe and his father.

The role of the elder Fisk is given Scrooge-like depth by Peter O'Toole, a valid reason on its own to watch this gem. Sam Neill's portrayal of the Dean is by turns hilarious and moving. Add wonderful dialog and the gorgeous Edwardian setting, and you'll find a movie that bears repeated watching. You'll have plenty of time to do so, if, as the guru insists, "You are, my dear sir, in the anteroom of eternity."

The book Dr. Seuss: The Cat Behind the Hat brings together the memorable characters book cover: Dr. Seuss: The Cat Behind the Hatfrom Ted Geisel's books for children in large format art reproductions, interspersed with imaginative variations beyond the story lines of his books. Many of these paintings are abstract in style, with a much broader range of color than in his books for children. Whimsical Seuss characters remain in the composition, but the effect is more on the abstract landscape, portrait, or other focus of the painting.

When he and his wife moved to a slower-paced life in La Jolla, his work took on a new freedom and direction. What he wanted to do, he said, was simply to "stay in La Jolla and write children's books." He also painted the social scene that he observed in La Jolla, stylistically as elaboratations of the characters in his books. He found more time for painting, deliberately free of the constraints from the commercial side of his work, or the more formal world of galleries and reviews. The "Secret Paintings," as he called them, provided an escape into an imaginative realm where he could further explore the surrealistic themes that filled his everyday work as a writer of books for children. During his lifetime he sold only one of these paintings, an auction donation to the La Jolla Art Museum.

For this book a series of exhibitions, Geisel's Midnight Paintings and artwork from his childrens' book were reproduced in new authorized print editions. The Midnight Paintings, brought out of dark storage in La Jolla for over 50 years, still were as vibrant and bright as when he had painted them.

Place a hold to have this book delivered to your nearest branch of Multnomah County Library:
Dr. Seuss, the Cat Behind the Hat / written by Caroline M. Smith ; images compiled and edited by William W. Dreyer, Michael Reagan, Robert Chase Jr. Chicago : Chase Art, 2012.
Locations: multiple neighborhood libraries of the Multnomah County Library system.

A teacher from a childcare center recently contacted me for some library resources. She was looking for few board books, a picture book or two, a music CD, and a few rhymes with interesting content for infants and toddlers, all related to the same theme. My immediate thought was Multnomah County Library’s collection of Storytime It’s in the Bags. We have 20 themed bags for toddlers (ages 18 mths—3 yrs) and another 21 bags for preschool-aged children (3—6 years). Each bag centers on a theme and contains five books, a small toy, game, puzzle or music CD related to the theme, and an activity sheet. The sheet has a couple of rhymes or games to play with children to extend the theme, as well as some tips for sharing books with children to effectively help them gain the skills they need to become successful readers. These bags are perfect for busy childcare teachers, family childcare providers and parents who want to share thematic materials with the little ones in their care. The Storytime bags are a popular resource and they are available on the shelves in some MCL locations. The easiest way to get your hands on these bags is to look through the toddler and preschool bag lists and place holds on the ones you would like to share with the kids in your life.

MCL also has bags for infants and their caregivers (0-6 months, 6-12 months and 12-18 months). Another new set of resources are the Bolsitas de Cuentos, which are themed bags with books in Spanish and bilingual English/Spanish. The Cuentos bags contain books appropriate for children 0-5 years old, and are fun for Spanish-speaking families and families who are working at being bilingual.

Karsh: Beyond the Camera is a book cover for Karsh: Beyond the Camerabeautifully designed book by Godine about the life and work of Yousuf Karsh, with stories to accompany the duotone photographs.
"In my case, I must confess, I am trained and I can tell whether there is something beyond that face or not. And that's where I attempt to light that feature in such a way that I can elicit the true character of that person." (p.12)

From the Preface:
Hearing his accented diction, cadences, and inflections, one's imagination is guided from the subject rendered in the famous image to the person who created it. A voice can do that. His voice invites us to try to fathom the photographer's psyche and conjecture how he thinks and how he feels, just as we might try to determine the character of any storyteller or poet.

YouTube : There are several interviews of Yousuf Karsh, here is one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYxgxoKIL3g

Place a hold to have this book delivered to your closest MCL Library branch:
Karsh : beyond the camera / selected, with an introduction & commentary by David Travis. Boston : David R. Godine, 2012.  Central Library  770.92 K1887k 2012        

 

I went to see The Hobbit ...twice... on the opening weekend. If you've read my other Embarrassment of Riches entries you may have guessed that I am the target audience for that movie. Having read The Hobbit for the first time as a little girl I was reminded of other adventure stories I first read long ago.  

Robin Mckinley's The Blue Sword and its prequel The Hero and the Crown were Newbery honor and Newbery medal books. Though they were written for children, they have appeal for adults looking for a light read. Much like The Hobbit they remind me of fairy tales. They could really begin "...Once upon a time" and both are set in a land where dragons and magic were once widespread but now have faded. In both of Mckinley's books the female lead saves the kingdom and just happens to find true love along the way. Both feature strong female characters and horses, ensuring a warm place in my heart for them as a child and a permanent spot on the shelves of my personal collection. 

Peter Beagle wrote two other favorites: The Last Unicorn and Two Hearts (which can be found in The Line Between). In these books all the characters are searching for something. The unicorn wants to join the rest of her kind, the prince wants to find love and so on. Two Hearts won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novelette. Don't read it without a tissue or three close to hand if you are prone to sniffling over a book.  (Since my husband doesn't read this blog I'll say that it brought a tear even to his eye....)

 

 

 

Central and Neighborhood libraries offer library users an exciting collection of music books, CDs, DVDs, and scores, for listening to music, for study, and for performance at all levels.  As the largest library, Central Library serves as a resource for the entire system.

Online access

Login with your Multnomah County Library card to use the Library's online music resources from your home, office, or school:

  • Oxford Music Online: The complete New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
  • Music Online from Alexander Street Press:  An exciting collection of audio, video, reference books and scores.
  • Freegal: Download 1 song a week with your library card. Please note: the Freegal service from Multnomah County Library will be discontinued on Jan. 31, 2014.
  • JSTOR: Full text of music periodicals.
  • The Music Index: Search for articles in this comprehensive index for music journals.

Central Library Music books and Scores

Music Scores: With over 33,000 scores to check out, the music score collection is one of the largest among public libraries on the West Coast. It is intended to support Portland's musicians, with all types of music for amateurs through professional performers, students, and teachers. The Library welcomes purchase requests from Multnomah County cardholders.

Music Books: The old and new in music publishing can be found at Central Library, where there are many out of print books as well as current year imprints available for reading about music.

How to use the new Library Catalog

My MCL: Catalog Search Guide for Music:  Get acquainted with the new Library Catalog.

Ask a Question

Looking for something specific? Contact us.

Read it Again!

Does that sound familiar? How many times have you read Goodnight Moon or Where the Wild Things Are with your little ones?  I know many parents who can recite The Cat in the Hat from memory. Young children love to hear their favorite books again and again. There’s a good reason for this: the developing brain needs repetition. Repetition strengthens brain cell connections. For example, when a child encounters a new word in a  book and begins to understand the meaning of that word, each time the book is read the child’s brain secretes a chemical called “myelin,” a substance that strengthens that connection. The child’s understanding deepens each time. This is true for new words, new concepts and new experiences; learning occurs with repetition.

That’s not all. Young children notice different things each time a book is read. They just can’t take it all in on one reading. Repeated readings also help a child understand how stories work, an important skill for beginning readers. Your child will develop confidence when you stop reading at a dramatic point in a familiar story and encourage her to tell what she thinks will happen next. Children feel secure with books they know, and they learn best and absorb new information when they feel confident and secure.  So when you hear “again, again,” know that your willingness to indulge that request one more time will reap lovely rewards.

I finished reading my first novel of 2013 and I'm pretty proud of myself. (I won't bother confessing how much of the reading took place in 2012. Just be happy for me.) It's quite of feat for someone who lately gets to read a maximum two pages before being called to referee a fight over the last of the Nutella, or to star in the latest episode of Mom Cleans Up Cat Barf--Again!, or to read to someone before they go to bed. Child the Younger is learning to read, so bedtime stories have lately strayed from a variety of fun picture books to Green Eggs and Ham for the twenty-ninth time. I heartily endorse reading this loudly and with a British accent (think overwrought Shakespearean monologue) if you don't mind a small child pummeling you with his Ninja Fists of Annoyance as you do this. I promise, you too, will marvel at the wonder of green eggs and ham. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. And you can eat them here or there.

The novel I managed to finish is State of Wonder  by Ann Patchett.  It was that gift that every fiction reader hopes for - characters made real in an unforgettable story with luminous writing.  Marina Singh is a pharmaceutical researcher sent from Minnesota to Brazil and into the depths of the Amazon rain forest. Her mission is to uncover the fate of her research partner, Anders Eckman, and a team of drug-developing scientists led by Marina's former mentor, Annick Swenson, who has been largely uncommunicative with the drug company for two years. It is a story filled with poison arrows, devouring snakes, lost luggage and scientific miracles. Marina's journey into the jungle is one of finding herself and facing our collective human dilemma: how to co-exist with both unimaginable beauty and unfathomable loss. The plot is a seductive and wildly entertaining fever dream and the ending may haunt you for days. I have just checked out the audio CD to listen to while I do dishes at night because I cannot bear to leave the story behind just yet.
 
In that same amazing realm of biology, I would recommend the NOVA program Kings of Camouflage. This exploration of cuttlefish was absolutely fascinating, especially if you are already appreciative of cephalopods with the intelligence and dexterity to, say, unscrew the lid of that almost empty jar of Nutella you recently confiscated from your children and plan to scrape clean with your own tentacles while watching the premier of Downton Abbey after said children are asleep. Cuttlefish have enormous brains the shape of a donut, green blood, and the highest intelligence of any invertebrate. They flawlessly mimic their surroundings with the color and texture of their skin in seconds. Watch them hypnotize their prey, think their way through laboratory mazes, and attempt to match the artificial background of a checkerboard. 
 
Wonderful.

Do you read Nursery Rhymes to your child?  Do you sing to your baby?  These are wonderful ways to bond with your child.  Rhymes, such as, Itsy Bitsy Spider or songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star are rhymes that many of us have known since our childhood, but I bet you didn’t know that nursery rhymes or childhood rhymes helped us learn to read and can help your child as well.  

Whenever you talk, read or sing to your child you are building connections in her brain that will last a lifetime.  Babies will show interest by widening their eyes, moving their arms and legs and smiling when they recognize a rhyme.  When you sing songs and do fingerplays with your child, you will find that they will soon imitate you.  These fingerplays and movement rhymes can help children associate words with their meanings.  Singing songs is a fun way to bond with your child and it also helps kids learn Phonological awareness or that words are broken into smaller sounds.  When children achieve phonological awareness, they are able to think about how words sound, apart from their meaning.  Research shows that children who play with sounds of words in preschool years are better prepared to read in school.  So, you can help your child from birth start getting ready to read and it doesn’t involve flashcards or videos.  It only requires you to have fun singing, rhyming, talking and reading to your child.  

Attached is booklist of rhyme collections that you can check out from the library.  Within these collections, you should be able to find rhymes and songs you may know from your childhood, as well as, new ones to use with your baby, toddler or preschooler.  Happy Rhyming!

The end of the year brings a blizzard of “best books” lists – it’s almost too much of a good thing!

Hilary Mantel Bring Up the Bodies 2012Book lovers familiar with established publishers such as The New York Times, The Atlantic and Publishers Weekly will find some overlap.   Bring Up the Bodies, the second book in Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy, appeared on all three of their fiction lists.  On the flip side, Daily Candy and Slate offer up lists of overlooked and underappreciated books. 

Oprah's Best Books of 2012 include selections from O's editors and favorite writers.  NPR goes beyond the usual fiction, mysteries and Nancy Pearl favorites with categories like "10 Eye-Catching Reads", "Recipe Rebellion: A Year of Contrarian Cookbooks" and "Graphic Novels that Flew Under the Radar in 2012."

For readers looking for something  different -- think edgy, unusual, underground favorites --  check out the “best        books” rankings from the Daily Beast and Book Riot.    The underground -- undersea fiber-optic cables --  gets special mention in Andrew Blum's Tubes, an exploration of the infrastructure of the Internet.

Ready to be surprised and delighted?  Peruse Brain Pickings, a "human-powered discovery engine for interestingness."  Curious mind at large Maria Popova creates best-of-reading lists by subject -- art, science, history, music, graphic novels and more.

For “best books” beyond general fiction, take a look at Tor.com (scifi),  Geeks are Sexy (technology), Photo Eye (photography) and The Dirt (landscape architecture). 

No “best books” list would be complete without the Oregonian’s Top 10 Northwest books of 2012, a tribute to the many talented writers in the Pacific Northwest.  Portlander Cheryl Strayed won raves for Wild,  her inspiring memoir about hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. 

Just for fun, search Youtube for “best books of 2012” and marvel at the range of videos.  Here’s where book enthusiasts have a level playing field with big-budget titans. 

Enjoy a gold mine of lists thanks to blogger Largehearted Boy.  For the fifth straight year he's aggregated every online best-of-the-year book list.  How's that for a best for last?!

 

The following is a selective list of websites to help you find information about diseases and their treatment.    The sites are sponsored by well-respected associations and organizations.  You can also find information about specific diseases on the websites of organizations such as the American Diabetes Association or the American Heart Association.  The library subscribes to databases that contain articles from health and medical journals.   These are a good source of health information that is both current and authoritative.   You can find these databases on the health topics page under resources.

Cancer.gov

Comprehensive information about cancer and its treatment from the National Cancer Institute.   Information is available for both lay persons and health professionals.  You can also find statistics, clinical trials and the latest research on cancer.

CAPHIS

If you want to find even more health information, try this very helpful list of the Top 100 Health Websites You Can Trust, selected by The Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association.   

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A fabulous resource of health information with a focus on public health.   There is  information about diseases but also advice for traveling overseas, lots of statistical reports and epidemiological studies and reports.  If you search the CDC Wonder, you can find reports like Daily Air Temperatures by geographic area and period.  A fun and educational health site.

ClinicalTrials.gov

A clinical trial is a research study in which human volunteers are assigned to interventions based on a plan and are then evaluated for effects on biomedical or health outcomes.  This site lists publicly and privately supported clinical trials on a wide range of diseases and conditions and describes the trial’s purpose, who may participate and contact information.  Used by patients, health care professionals and researchers,  it lists trials from 50 states and 182 countries.

Family Doctor

Sponsored by the Association of Family Physicians, this site is geared for the lay person. It is easy to use, and organized so that you can search by a disease or an age group or a topic. It also includes a symptom checker but remember to check with your health care provider for the most authoritative information about your symptoms.

Kid’s Health

Information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years.  Kids can find information geared just for them, about their bodies and feelings, growing and developing, in age-appropriate language.  Parents can find information about pregnancy, parenting, kids' health and much more.

Lab Tests Online

Explains clearly and concisely the purpose of many blood tests and other laboratory tests. Searchable by specific test, by age category, and by condition or disease.

Mayo Clinic

Find health information for the whole family on this well-known organization’s site.  You can also watch yoga videos, shop for products or stay abreast of the latest research on diseases and conditions. 

MEDLINEplus

One of the best places to start your search for medical information.  Search by a specific disease or find information under body location, body system or by age group.   The site is a wealth of information,  including  lists of health organizations and associations, directories to help you locate a physician or hospital, information about drugs and health news, and social issues that can affect you and your family's health.  You can even watch a video about your upcoming surgery!   From the National Library of Medicine.

 

Mental health

APA Help Center: from the American Psychological Association

An online resource of brochures and short articles on the psychological issues that affect our physical and emotional well-being.  Geared for the lay person, the APA offers topics that are timely and relevant to our daily lives.

Cascadia Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Services

Cascadia provides mental health counseling, crisis intervention, addictions treatment, and transitional, residential, and permanent housing for people with psychiatric and substance use challenges, most of whom are very low income. Their website includes contact information as well as links to national resources for people seeking assistance.

MedlinePlus Mental Health and Behavior     

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Nami was organized to reduce the stigma of mental illness. You can find definitions and explanations of a variety of mental disorders as well as support groups, programs and research on this site. Also available in Spanish.

National Institute of Mental Health

Provides information about mental illness and mental conditions as well as the latest research on treatment. Find specific studies being conducted across the U.S. that are currently recruiting participants.

Noah (New York Online Access to Health) Mental Health

This award winning site provides high quality consumer mental health information in both English and Spanish,  suitable for the layperson.  If you want to learn more about a mental health condition or disease, start here.

National Institute of Mental Health - Publications - Easy to Read

Articles about mental illness written in easy to understand language,  for both native and non-native speakers of English.

 

Here are some resources to help you find information about prescription and non-prescription drugs, including supplements.  You can look up side effects, what foods and drugs to avoid while taking a medication, and even find images of a drug.

  • Drugs.com provides information about more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products.  You can find side-effects, dosage, use of a medication during pregnancy, drug interactions and a pill-identifier.
  • Graedon's People's Pharmacy is geared for consumers and produced by Terry and Joe Graedon, authors of the print publication of the same name.  There is detailed information about home remedies: side effects, drug alerts and a page where readers can share their own stories. 
  • MedlinePlus includes a section about drugs and supplements. Use it to find information about effectiveness, dosage and safety of herbal remedies and dietary supplements. Also find information about prescription and over the counter drugs. 
  • NeedyMeds is a non-profit organization that helps people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare.  You can find drug coupons and other services at reduced costs, or free of charge.
  • The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health produces comprehensive fact sheets about dietary supplements that include information about historic uses, side effects, interactions with drugs and clinical studies being done.
  • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides information about free or low-cost health clinics in your area.  You can use an online tool to determine your eligibility for a variety of patient programs and assistance, including Medicaid, Medicare, Patient Assistance Programs and co-pay programs.
  • Pharmacy Checker.com collects rates and compares credentials, prices and customer feedback regarding pharmacies that operate online and through mail-order and fax.  Includes Canadian businesses too.
  • RxIsk was founded by David Healy, author of Pharmageddon and other books.  This well-researched site by a team of international scientists and researchers, also uses MedWatch data.  You can search for drugs by various adverse effects, such as suicide or violence.  You can also use the interaction checker to see if your drug interacts with other drugs or food.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Association is responsible for testing and final approval of drugs on the market in the United States.  They are also responsible for many other regulatory activities.  Their site is continuously updated, informative and easy to use.  You can find information about buying medicines over the Internet, drug recalls and and other important information for consumers.  This is the home of MedWatch, where you can report adverse drug reactions. 

Is it going to snow? Will we beat the record for most days of rain? What was the high temperature on February 28, 2010? This page includes great resources to answer all of those questions, and more.

Forecasts and Observations

Weather Records

Weather Trends

Looking for resources on global warming?

Weather History

Extreme Weather

World Weather

 

 

Storytime is most rewarding when you find just the right song and book that can captivate a child’s attention, elicit laughter and bring out joy from having so much fun!

The following songs and book, with the theme Fingers and Toes, have proven to do all three for me in actual storytimes at Multnomah County Library.

This mini storytime also incorporate Talking, Singing, Reading and Playing - four of the five activities to prepare your child for reading.

Start out by waving and wiggling your fingers and count them one by one. Your child may already be mimicking your actions by this point, otherwise encourage him/her to do the same. Once all fingers are wiggling start singing the Finger Family song and do the actions accordingly:

 

Finger family’s up (wiggle fingers up in the air)

And finger family’s down (wiggle fingers down)

Finger family’s dancing all the around the town (wave and wiggle fingers all around)

Dance them on your shoulders (wiggle fingers on shoulders)

Dance them on your head (wiggle fingers on head)

Dance them on your knees (wiggle fingers on knees)

And tuck them into bed (quickly, move wiggling fingers and tuck them into underarms – left hand into right underarm and vice versa)

Barbara Allyn copyright SOCAN

 

Here’s a great video of the song created by the King County Library System

 

Now, hold out those hands and you can even play peek-a-boo (an activity that is always a hit with babies and toddlers!)

Tell your child that in addition to fingers we also have toes. If you can be bare foot bring out those toes, wiggle them and count them too. Then sing one of my favorite songs, Everybody Knows I Love My Toes and point to each body part accordingly:

Everybody knows I love my toes

Everybody knows I love my toes

I love my eyes, my ears, my mouth & my nose

And everybody knows I love my toes

You can use this song to sing about other body parts that you and your child also love, i.e. tummy, elbow, etc.

Here’s a sample of the song

A lovely and fun book that ties the Fingers and Toes theme together is Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox. Add your own style and pizzazz as you read together and the fun will naturally emerge.

Requests to repeat the songs or book is a reflection of how much your child enjoys storytime with you so feel free to "sing/read it again" as many times as you like!

From an observant, slightly snotty, artistic, dramatic hat designer comes this story of an escape from Hitler's Vienna. The human emotions are very real, though not always admirable. 

I felt like I was right there inside the story, eating in elegant cafes and attending fashion shows in Paris; and after Hitler's tanks rolled into Austria, plotting to leave Vienna; and staying awake nights, planning and scheming to bring elderly parents to the safety of London. I even envisioned the nightly German bombing raids beginning and then the trip down to the shelters.  
 
A story of courage, perseverance and resourcefulness,  Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler is a glimpse into one woman's extraordinary survival during World War II.
 
Published in 1984 as a self-published edition, Trudi Kanter's memoir of her life as a hat designer was soon out of print and nearly forgotten until Virago Press edited and republished it. Virago Press has been unable to trace the copyright holder and "would be pleased to hear from anyone with any further information." 

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