Blogs

Are you the parent of a baby or toddler or even a soon-to-be preschooler who is struggling with potty training? I was in that position not long ago. My son, who turned 4 recently, just finally got the hang of it. We struggled with getting him to use the toilet in the evenings after work and on the weekends. It was difficult to convince him to disrupt his playtime when his body told him he should. We read lots of potty and toilet training books to him, we sang songs and researched. Ultimately, it only worked when he was ready to take on the task himself. In any case, if you are a parent in this position, you may find this list of books and materials helpful. The library’s Storytime It’s In the Bag was especially useful, it includes several books for the kiddo as well as parent materials. Be sure to praise your child and yourselves for the hard work of potty training!

Quarter notes and bank notes : Book cover: Quarter Notes and Bank Notesthe economics of music composition in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries / F.M. Scherer.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
Central      331.7617 S326q 2004

"Written by a leading economist with an unusually broad knowledge of music, this fascinating account is directed toward individuals intrigued by the world of classical composers as well as those interested in economic history or the role of money in art." - excerpt from the book description

The central question of this book is "the extent to which composers divided their professional lives between the patronage and freelance alternatives." The balance between these two types of economies are described with many interesting stories about the struggles of composers dealing with music publishers, copyright violations, performance rights, travel, plus supply and demand factors. A fascinating book for comparisons to the present time.

Fashion : the definitive history of costume and style / [produced in association with the Smithsonian ; Smithsonian consultant, Susan Brown].

Book cover:  Fashion The Definitive History of Costume and Stylepage from Fashion: A Definitive History

New York, N.Y. : DK Publishing, c2012.
1st American ed.
Central and Neighborhood Libraries     391.009 F248 2012

A stunning new book we just received, entirely in pictorial format with timelines, that shows the history of western fashion through the centuries up to the present time. Examples from past eras before the invention of photography have been reproduced from paintings, such as in this example below: 1450-1624 Practical Clothing, with images from the paintings of Bosch, Holbein, and Breugel.

From the description:
"...this gorgeous collection of costume and dress shows how fashion reflects people and places, and captures the times in which they lived."--P. [4] of cover."

Are you tired of pecking at the keys or do you want to improve your data entry skills for a new job? Here are some free resources to help you out.

Sometimes there is a newsworthy event in your neighborhood that doesn't make it on the local TV news or to the pages of the Oregonian.  Fortunately, there is a wide array of neighborhood and community newspapers that focus specifically on hyperlocal news! 

You might see these newspapers on free newsstands around town.  Some are available to pick up for free in your neighborhood library and local businesses.  And many community newspapers have websites where fresh news is regularly posted.  Here are a few examples:

If you ever want to read back issues (great when you're researching local history!), you can find archives of each of these at Central Library, in the Periodicals Room on the second floor. 

Are there other community or neighborhood newspaper websites you like to use?  Share them in the comments! 

Questions? Ask the Librarian!  We welcome questions on any topic under the sun. 

Color Scheme Bible: Inpirational Palettes for Designing Home InteriorsThe Color Scheme Bible, essentially a book of color swatches, goes through the entire spectrum of colors in terms of painting choices for interiors, matched with contrasting and related colors to use as part of the complete color scheme for a room.  The intensity and saturation of the main colors varies from page to page, with the accent colors at times fading into the primary selection, or used as a bold contrast. The pages show the effects of mutability of color based on the background color, adjacent colors, and other effects.

It's likely that these samples of colors for interiors may be quite different from what appeared in books about room colors in other decades, and it would be interesting to make comparisons. It's fascinating, nonetheless, to page through the book and look at the effects of adjacent placement of colors and imagine how these combinations might be used for other types of projects in addition to interiors.

The color scheme bible : inspirational palettes for designing home interiors
Starmer, Anna.
Buffalo, New York : Firefly Books, 2012, c2005.
747.94 S795c 2012


Related book: One of the most significant books on the effects of color is Josef Albers' book The Interaction of Color, originally published with color silk screen paper samples, by Yale University Press in 1963.

From the preface to the 2006 edition:

"This new paperback edition presents a significantly expanded selection of more than thirty color studies alongside Albers's original unabridged text, demonstrating such principles as color relativity, intensity, and temperature; vibrating and vanishing boundaries; and the illusions of transparency and reversed grounds."

The color block sample below, from Albers' book, illustrates how colors change based on adjacency: the small center squares appear to be different colors, due to the very different backgrounds. Some of these same effects are described in the book The Color Scheme Bible, for the effects of variations of paint colors based on adjacency from room to room.

Joseph Albers The Interaction of Color

Interaction of Color / Josef Albers ; [foreword by Nicholas Fox Weber].
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2006. Rev. and expanded ed.
Central  Library    752 A33i 2006

Need to verify a fact? Find a statistic? Locate the source for a quote? The Web has lots of information in it, but it can be tricky to figure out which information to trust. In this blog post I provide links to websites that are great sources of reliable, authoritative information that you can use when you're doing quick research.

www.infoplease.com

Infoplease is short for “Information Please” - which traces its history back to the radio quiz show of the same name which ran on NBC from 1938 to 1952. The creators of the show later began publishing an almanac, and the website has been online since 1998. It features an almanac, an online version of the Columbia Encyclopedia (6th edition), a dictionary and thesaurus, and more.

www.bartleby.com

Bartleby is a website that provides access to books (mostly older books and classics) on the Web, free of charge. They have an excellent selection of books of quotations, which make it a great site for trying to find a classic quote. Note: most of their sources are from the late 1800s and early 1900s - so if you need a more recent quote, you’ll have to try a different resource, like quotes.dictionary.com (or, of course, you could ask a librarian for help). Notable books available on Bartleby include: Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, the King Jame’s Bible, Oxford Shakespeare, Gray’s Anatomy, and Strunk’s Elements of Style.

quotes.dictionary.com

This website from Dictionary.com provides many quotes, including 20th century ones, from the Columbia World of Quotations (1996).

www.merriam-webster.com

Merriam-Webster Online is a great, authoritative online dictionary, based on the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

quickfacts.census.gov

State & County QuickFacts by the United States Census Bureau contains all sorts of easy-to-access facts about people, business, and geography in the United States. The main census site, www.census.gov, contains even more information and - although kind of tricky to use - is also a very valuable tool for statistical research.

www.oregonencyclopedia.org

The Oregon Encyclopedia is a constantly growing encyclopedia of essays on all things related to Oregon. The entries are written by knowledgeable authors and are authorized by editors and fact-checkers before being published. You can even suggest a topic or write your own article!

www.wikipedia.org

In a previous blog post (“I can’t use Wikipedia for my research paper! Or can I...”), I talked about how Wikipedia, though it is not always 100% reliable itself, can be used  to find sources that you can cite when you’re doing research. When you find an article on a topic of interest, look at the “References” section at the end of the article and follow the links there to see where the article is getting its information.

These are just some of many fantastical information sources online. Do you have one that you like that I didn’t mention? Then add a comment! Also, if you are ever stuck in your search for a fact, quote, or any bit of information, remember that you can always ask a librarian for help.

Happy researching!

Quote from the book and description:
Book Cover: A Visit with Magritte "If I indulge myself and surrender to memory, I can still feel the knot of excitement that gripped me as I turned the corner into Rue Mimosas, looking for the house of Rene Magritte. It was August, 1965. I was thirty three years old and about to meet the man whose profound and witty surrealist paintings had contradicted my assumptions about photography."

This book records Michals' visit with the great Belgian painter of inverse worlds and bizarre hybrid forms. Michals invites the viewer to follow him on the exciting journey to the private sphere of an artist who at the time inspired and intimidated him.

The still lifes taken in Margritte's house and the portraits of the inhabitants, Margritte and his wife, are distant and intimate, private and representative, humorous and calm at the same time. They reflect the high respect the man behind the camera felt for the subjects of his pictures.

A visit with Magritte / Duane Michals.
Göttingen : Steidl, 2011.
Central      779.092 M621v 2011

 

The rain is back and it's another eight months until summer's return... (perhaps I exaggerate). All joking aside, winter is long, dark and damp so I've got some fun and light-weight fantasy to suggest.

I was pleasantly surprised by Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City by M.J. Scott.  If one were to judge a book by its cover, this seems like a forgettable paranormal romance where the feisty, independent female lead will find love with a sensitive and likable hero - or a tameable bad boy. I picked it up anyway and found myself falling for the characters and the setting, where four species share a city and an uneasy peace.  I liked the second book, Blood Kin, even better and am hoping for a third.

Faith Hunter's Skinwalker is the first in a series about a female vampire killer/mercenary with a mysterious past. Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can shift into any animal of which she has a claw, tooth or some other small piece. Then she is hired as a vampire hunter, by one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans. While tougher-than-tough female leads are a staple of urban fantasy, I found Jane more believable and fleshed out than most.

I just finished Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake. Gage is a tattoo artist and fairly decent guy doing a truly terrible job of hiding out from the evil witches and warlocks of the Ivory Towers that rule his world. He owns his own shop and works with a troll and an elf. The amount of trouble he gets into in one short book is a little over the top, but it was a fun page-turner with a hero so likeable that I was glad that the ending promises a sequel or three.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Search for words in titles, subjects, or descriptions:

Example: jazz piano chord*
Type an * after any words to include variations: chord* = titles with the word chord or chords
search for keywords or subjects
Link to the search result for jazz piano chord*.

Select a title you would like from the search results.

Example: Jazz chord Hanon
Score title Jazz Chord Hanon Subject headings for Jazz Chord Hanon

 

- Link to similar books from the list of Subject Headings.
 


Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Select a title search. Type the exact title.

Example: the sound of music

Too many results?

Limit the list of results by selecting a format. Expand Music in the Format list, for example, and check the box Music CD for a list of CDs only.
Sountd of Music title search results

 


Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Author search:

Authors with common names may result in too many search results that are unrelated to what you are looking for. Add titles to your search for more focused results.

Example: Robert Johnson, American blues musician and composer

Use the advanced search for authors with commonly used names, to add keywords, specific titles, or a format, such as CD:
search the catalog for Robert Johnson, blues musician
Select "Add Another" for a search box to add words or a title.

Type keywords or a title in the search box just added.
search for Robert Johnson, blues musician by adding keywords to limit to the correct author

Sample result:
search result for Robert Johnson and blues

Choose a format:
choose a format - music CDs or printed music

Variations: author searches:

  • Common Names (Robert Johnson, for example)
  • Two Authors (A composer and a conductor)
  • Prolific Authors (Johann Sebastian Bach) for example: Search by a title of a song or musical work combined with an author (Bach plus Pastorale)

Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

How to search the new Library Catalog for music:
Top | Authors | Authors with Common NamesTitles | Keywords


Authors with common names:
Authors = composers, conductors, names of music groups, songwriters, book authors or editors. Performers may be searched as authors if they are soloists. For performers in chamber music ensembles, other than soloists, search by the name of the ensemble.

Example: Find music by Johnny Cash.
Select an author search and enter the author's name: Cash, Johnny OR Johnny Cash. The result shows everything in the Library catalog: CDs, DVDs, books, music scores.
Search the catalog for Johnny Cash

Not specific enough? Add titles to the author's name in the advanced search for more focused search results.


Ask a Question:
Looking for something specific? Contact us.

Unlike print graphic design, type design for websites has long been created using images to display text plus a narrow selection of typefaces for content. But within the past several years, systems for using a much wider range of typefaces directly for web text coding have been introduced. The result is that there is more freedom for webpages to display the variety we see in the print world. New e-readers make it possible to read in the typeface of the original print version, bringing the design of the two formats of the book more closely aligned.Mastering Type The Essential Guide to Typography for Print and Web Design 2012 book

There is no doubt that the typeface has an effect on the experience of reading, whatever the form happens to be. In the library, books about letterforms and typefaces can be found in three distinct areas: in the 700's art books for calligraphy, the art of hand lettering, in the graphic design section of the 600's, for more of a production or commercial basis to typography, and within books found in the 006 section for digital media content.

>>>Read this book in e-book format with your Multnomah County Library card.

 


Every year, around this time, we compose a poem, which sometimes rhymes,
about ghoulies and ghosties and long legged beasties
who'll come to your door demanding a feastie 

This year is no different, and we think that you'll find,
some blood-curdling tales will focus your mind;

And keep you awake for those folks who'll come calling...
What can we say? Our poem is appalling!

Stories of vampires and unwanted guestscomic book horrorsbrain-eating pests
Of gruesome tales we have no lack, you just provide the pumpkin named Jack. 

Happy Halloween!

Book cover: Encyclopedia of Life Writing Autobiographical and Biographical Forms Title: Encyclopedia of Life Writing Autobiographical and Biographical Forms
Additional Contributors: Jolly, Margaretta
Publication: London : Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.
Call Number: Central Literature & History Room Reference R- 920.003 E56Lw 2001
Contents: v. 1. A-K  v. 2. L-Z

 
Description: "The term "life writing" itself, recorded in the 18th century, and gaining wide academic acceptance since the 1980's, has been chosen for the title because of its openness and inclusiveness across genre, and because it encompasses the writing of one's own or another's life. On this basis, it is also appropriate to shelter under life writing's umbrella several entries on life story originating outside of the written form, including testimony, artifacts, reminiscence, personal narrative, visual arts, photography, film, oral history and so forth." - from the Editor's note.

Library computers are available for writing resumes, filling out job applications, networking and brushing up your computer skills. Library computers have Internet access and Microsoft Office and they are available at each of our locations, along with staff to help you get started.  To sign up for a computer, you just need a library card or you can request a guest pass with you valid picture ID.  

Have your own laptop or mobile device? Multnomah County libraries offer free wi-fi.

Already have your resume typed up and you just need to print? Access your documents from the Internet or your flash drive and print for 10 cents a page, either single or double-sided.  Only black and white printing is available.

Whether you're a first-time voter or an old hand, these sites can help you with the practical side of voting.

Our Time

Are you eager to learn about voting, register to vote, and get yourself ready for the election? This nonpartisan site is designed just for you! Find state by state voting and eligibility requirements, a voting FAQ as well as information about primaries, caucuses, conventions and the electoral process.

Felony Disenfranchisement

Find information about the voting rights of people with previous felony convictions, including which states bar ex-felons from voting altogether, and the steps ex-felons have to take to restore their voting rights in states that do allow them to vote.

New Voters Project

This project is dedicated to encouraging newly eligible voters to get involved in the election process and to vote. Locate research on how many young people have turned out for the caucuses and primaries, register to vote, find your polling place, and learn how to become involved.

Vote411

If you are looking for basic information about how voting works, who is eligible to vote, what kind of identification is required to vote or to register to vote, and what kind of voting machines the different states use, this nonpartisan site from the League of Women Voters can help.

Voting Rights

Learn about current controversies related to voting rights from this website sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union. You'll find information about voters' rights in the states and information about the voting rights of military personnel, prisoners and ex-convicts, and rural residents. If you're looking for local information, you can also check out the Oregon ACLU website.

What’s that you say? You’ve always wanted to try making your favorite menu items from national chain restaurants at home?

Well, Top Secret Recipes is here to help you.

“Clone recipes” for all of the best guilty pleasure foods have been created and shared by Todd Wilbur.

Most of these recipes are free, but there are some high demand ones that require purchase for $.79 each.

I don’t want to start a riot here, but this site includes recipes for Girl Scout Thin Mints and a Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll that cuts the calorie count in half and the fat content by two thirds.

What are you waiting for? Click now!

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell

I thought it was a sarcastic title. That the guy who wrote it must have a cracked sense of dark humor. Why would anyone want to visit Chernobyl? See deforestation as it happens in the Amazon? Visit the most polluted river in India? Blackwell asked himself the same questions. Did he have a thing for industrial waste? Was he some kind of environmental rubbernecker?  What exactly was the point in going to some of the world's worst man-made, human caused devastation?

Some chapters really stick with me. The one on Port Arthur, Texas, for example, where the brown breeze has a rancid aftertaste; where the community is among the poorest and most polluted in the nation, yet is surrounded by multi-billion dollar companies. Back in the day, a huge oil gusher erupted from the ground near Port Arthur. The dirt-covered men who were witness looked at each other and asked "what is it?" Can you even imagine that? As Andrew Blackwell (irony of his last name is duly noted) traveled and researched this chapter, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank, the start of the Deepwater Horizon spill.

In other chapters he travels to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where he can't keep himself from channeling Hornblower's "Where away?"; the oil sands mining of Northern Alberta, Canada; Chernobyl of course (my favorite chapter)--did you know that, unbelievably, Chernobyl has become possibly the largest nature preserve in eastern Europe?. And there's plenty more environmental disaster where those came from, a little something for everyone.

And there is humor, and lots of it--I promise. It is wry and sweet, his use of language precise, sharp. I want to have a drink or two with Andrew Blackwell and ask about a thousand questions. He wrote the best armchair travel book I've read in a long, long time. There's no crumbling ruin, restored by wealthy retirees, true. Yet I find myself cruising the website chernobylwel.com with its jaunty black gas mask logo, just out of curiosity mostly, but you never know.

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