Trailblazer Spring 2002

  
The Newsletter of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
Spring 2002, Volume 4, Issue 1
In This issue:

  Best of PLA
  You've Got to Have Friends
  April's Not Just for Fools
  Did You Know?
  Health on the Web
  New Spring Videos are Flowering
  More Construction Money Available
  Member Library News
  Librarian's Guide to Cyberspace for Parents
  24th Annual NYSLAA Conference
  Splish Splash Pictures
  Free Programs Still Available
  CEF Annual Meeting Set for Wednesday, July 17
  What have you used Empirelink Databases for?
  A Little Introduction to Cookies
  Get Set for Summer: Job Resources for Teens
  A Bookmobile Moment
  Pictures from CEF's Big Move
  Web Wanderings

Best of PLA
Mary Brown, Kathie LaBombard, Elizabeth Rogers, Julie Wever, and Ann O’Donnell joined over 7,000 colleagues from around the country at the 9th Annual Public Library Association Conference that was held in Phoenix Arizona from March 13 - 16. We all agreed that the best part of this year’s conference was the terrific variety of programs, although we must admit that there was some pretty stiff competition from the weather! Most of us have managed to find and unload our conference tote bags after shifting headquarters and we are enthused anew with ideas from the workshops that we attended. Some of our favorites were: 

What Makes an Effective Manager: Ken Haycock, Dean of the library school at the University of British Columbia, talked about research he is doing on characteristics of an effective manager of library branches. There were a lot of good thoughts for us and our CEF libraries. He began by saying of successful libraries: “We are not in the information business, we are in the community development business.” He finds that successful managers share some of these attitudes and characteristics: 

  • Are focused: “I know what I’m here for” 
  • Have a team emphasis 
  • Focus both inside and outside their buildings  
  • Find their working environment (board, community, CEF, etc.) supportive  
  • Have a market orientation and know who and where their customers are  
  • Identify and work well with the three power bases in that exist in all communities (elected officials, the business community and the press)
  • Like leadership and entrepreneurial activity  
  • Are problem solvers 
  • Exhibit extrovert behavior, like to participate, discuss ideas, and have broad interests  
  • Like community work and are often out of the library.  

Ken hasn’t finished with his research yet; it will be fun to see what else he comes up with!

 -- Mary Brown, Director CEF

The Prop Shop: Two very energetic librarians from the Mesa Public Library showed us how to use very simple, home-made props and music to liven up preschool story hours. They have put out a CD (which I purchased for the collection) and will have a book coming out soon. Some of the very best songs they did were "Dippin' in the Paint Box" with a paint brush prop made from a paper plate and crepe paper and "Flip-Flap Jack," a flannel board story with hand motions.

 -- Kathie LaBombard, Children’s Consultant

Building Synergy: Although all the PLA programs I attended were good, there were some that really “spoke” to me. Naturally the ones on weeding library collections were especially useful, but one I really enjoyed was entitled “Building Synergy: Developing a Creative Teamwork Culture.” I’m always looking for forward-thinking methods of approaching the work day and am particularly interested in the team approach to things so this program was really meaningful for me. One of the most interesting approaches to communicating the message was use of a blank piece of paper, on which we first wrote something innovative we’d done in our library setting recently, along with our email address. We passed this to a stranger sitting near us. Later in the program we folded the paper we’d received from a stranger sitting near us in half and wrote on it an idea for something innovative we’d like to see done in our library, included our email address and passed it along to another stranger. Finally, at the end of the program we folded the piece of paper again and wrote on it a problem we had at our library for which we’ve been unable to find a solution, included our email address and folded the paper into a paper airplane. Yup, you guessed it, we then flew our planes high up into the air and collected them when they landed as a way of sharing our ideas and problems with others in the audience, who represented people from all around the country. I thought this was a great way to emphasize the team approach to creative problem solving.

 -- Elizabeth Rogers, Head of Reference & ILL

Outcome-Based Evaluation: Although Friday afternoon might not have been the best time to schedule a program on Outcome-Based Evaluation, I ended up taking reams of notes during Libraries Changes Lives – Oh Yeah? Prove It! Karen Motylewski from the Institute of Museum and Library Services presented a most convincing case for the need for more statistics that show the value of library service in the new “climate of accountability” that is taking librarianship by storm. Since it is now critically important to provide benefits based evaluation when competing for funds, this is all timely information that just makes good sense. We’ll be putting OBE into practice in this year’s LSTA grant applications.

 --Julie Wever, Outreach Coordinator

You've Got to Have Friends

Though it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t feel friendly toward their neighborhood library, a Friends Group is an organization of library “activists” who are dedicated to preserving and strengthening the local library. There are lots of resources available that can help members of your community organize a Friends Group or aid an existing Friends Group with ideas and support. 

Although CEF’s copy is currently in storage, we can ILL a copy of ALA’s Friends of Libraries Sourcebook for you. This is a great resource, full of examples and information from around the country. The Friends of Libraries of the USA (FOLUSA) Web site, at http://www.folusa.org is a goldmine of up-to-date, practical information. Included here are news, fundraising ideas, program ideas, public service awards, information on establishing a friends group or a junior friends group, establishing literary landmarks, running book sales, and tons more. Whether you’re involved in a library as a volunteer or an employee, an avid reader or a library supporter, think about the value of having an active Friends Group for your Library -- we all need friends.

 -- Elizabeth Rogers, CEF 

(Congratulations to the Friends of the Chazy Library on their 50th Anniversary which will be celebrated in May 2002!)

April's Not Just for Fools

In honor of National Smile Month (April) it seems appropriate to travel across the airwaves of the Web, where humor is found in great abundance. Internet humor is a delicate matter, as it ranges from truly nerdy computer humor to highly philosophical discussion to just plain funny to David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists. So I approach this topic carefully and beg your indulgence. 

If we start with basics there is www.humorsearch.com, the “Web’s humor engine.” It takes a big ego to wear a label like that but this is a good starting point for basic searching. There are jokes aplenty, lots of links to other sites and humorous greetings you can send to a friend. If you’re feeling worldly you might want to explore www.humourlinks.com, the best in online British comedy. Although the obligatory Monty Python is included, there’s ever so much more: proof that Brit’s do indeed have a sense of “humour”. There are lots of jokes, from “cheeky” to tame, and plenty of links to other sites as well. At www.humor.com you can customize the categories of jokes, which really cuts down on the off-color ones and lets you zero in on lawyer jokes, blonde jokes, etc. You will amaze (or bore) your friends with your witty repartee or draw guffaws with a clever toast at your brother’s next wedding. 

If it’s cartoons or comic strips you’re looking for, the Internet can offer more than any other single source. You can subscribe to the Daily Dilbert at www.dilbert.com, where you can also check the archives, play Dilbert games and send Dilbert strips to your friends. If you don’t know who Dilbert is this sure is the place to find out. At www.unitedmedia.com you’ll find 90 different comic strips, including some of our all-time favorites as well as some we’re not so familiar with. It’s like reading the Sunday funny papers every day. If you get bored giggling at the Wizard of Id and want to feel enlightened there are also editorial cartoons. Check out www.comicspage.com to chose a comic strip or editorial cartoon that’s not included among the huge selection at unitedmedia. If you want to impress people with your political acumen you’ll want to check www.politicalhumor.about.com regularly. Sponsored by About.com this site is a bit dry for my taste but amusing nevertheless. 

If you’re looking for some humorous quotations about libraries and librarians check www.ifla.org and select their Electronic Resources section. There’s a subject list that includes humor, vanity, books, children and much more. 

There are many, many more sites out there—too many to include here. Checking out humor sites on the Web is like trying to empty Lake Champlain with a spoon: you never make much progress but you laugh a lot trying. 

-- Elizabeth Rogers, Head of Reference & ILL

Did You Know?
  • There are more public libraries than McDonald’s – a total of 16,220, including branches.
  • Americans check out an average of more than six books a year.
  • They spend $25.25 a year for the public library – much less than the average cost of one hardcover book. 
  • Americans go to school, public and academic libraries more than twice as often as they go to the movies.  
  • Reference librarians in the nation’s public and academic libraries answer more than seven million questions weekly. Standing single file, the line of questioners would stretch from Boston to San Francisco. 
  • 95% of public libraries provide public access to the Internet. 

From: ALA Office for Research & Statistics, ALA Washington Office, Library Research Service, Colorado State Library

Health on the Web

Spring has sprung and our thoughts have turned to colds and flu, allergies and swim suit season. Health related sites abound on the Web, but it is important to be sure that the information provided is up-to-date, authoritative, complete and accurate. Some of our favorites are recommended below.

MEDLINEplus 
Health information selected by the National Library of Medicine 
www.medlineplus.gov 

CancerNet 
A service of the National Cancer Institute 
www.cancer.gov 

Doctor Finder 
By the American Medical Association 
https://apps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/recaptcha.jsp 

American Dietetic Association 
Your link to nutrition and health! 
www.eatright.org 

Us Too International Prostate Cancer Support Groups 
www.ustoo.com 

Family Doctor.org 
From the American Academy of Family Practitioners 
www.familydoctor.org 

Do you have a tough consumer health related question that you could use a hand with? Post it to the MedWeb listserv. This discussion forum, moderated by Jo-Ann Benedetti, Health Information Librarian at the Crandall Library, Glens Falls, is made possible with LSTA funds granted to CEF by the NY State Library. To join the list, e-mail Jo-Ann at benedetti@crandalllibrary.org. If you missed our four part MedWeb training series that was offered in Fall 2001, stay tuned. Jo-Ann will be back in July to present another session of Looking In all the Wrong Places: PubMed for the Public Librarian .

New Spring Videos are Flowering

We may be in unfamiliar surroundings, but the new videos are still arriving. Check some of these out for your springtime viewing. 

Four great classics are available for loan – Inherit the Wind starring George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon, Dark Victory with Bette Davis and two hilarious “road” pictures featuring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Road to Singapore and Road to Utopia. Inherit the Wind is a tense courtroom drama in which Henry Drummond (Lemmon) and Matthew Harrison Brady (Scott) lock horns over Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. If you choose Dark Victory, be sure to get the tissue box. This tearjerker tells the story of a dying heiress (played by Davis) trying to find happiness in her few remaining months. The Hope/Crosby pictures are just pure fun with all the predicaments you’d expect from this duo. 

For history buffs, we have New York, the series by filmmaker Rick Burns. This seven volume series traces the fascinating history of New York City from colonial days to the pre-September 11 present. Modern Marvels: The Erie Canal tells the story of Clinton’s “big ditch” that revolutionized the country’s ability to transport goods and made New York City the world center of commerce. The younger set will learn much about our neighbors to the north with the video, The French & Colonial Quebec. Quebec City is one of the oldest settlements in North America and the center of New France. 

Theatrical viewers will enjoy The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). This hysterical offering contains many of the Bard’s plays in abbreviated form, including Othello as a rap and Titus Andronicus as a cooking program. National Geographic presents the world of J.R.R. Tolkien in Beyond the Movie: The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. Interviews with the actors and historical background from Tolkien’s life are featured. 

We may be in short supply right now, due to our temporary change of residence, but there are still some interesting videos to be borrowed! Call Kathie at extension 21 or Barb at extension 20 to reserve one of our new selections!

More Construction Money Available

We are happy to pass along the good news that $1.5 million in additional CSPAP funds has been reappropriated into the 2002-2003 state fiscal year. This translates into an additional $30,000 in Public Library Construction funds for CEF member libraries. Fundable categories include: new construction, expansion, energy conservation, remodeling, access for persons with disabilities and renovation. Routine maintenance activities, landscaping or architectural fees can not be funded, but if you need a handicapped ramp and accessible restroom, or if you’ve been waiting to reclaim attic or basement space, now is the time! Funding may be requested for activities that happened from April 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002 or work that will be undertaken in the next year. Applicants will have until June 30, 2003 to expend these funds and submit the final reports. CEF has established a deadline of Friday, June 7 for applications to be received by the system. For more information, an application or assistance with getting your application together, please call Julie Wever at 563-5190 x 18.

MEMBER LIBRARY NEWS

In Clinton County:

Chazy Public Library

The Trustees of the Chazy Library raised over $300 during a very successful book sale on March 30. Many thanks to Sheila Babbie for giving us a few boxes of discards from the Champlain Library. 

We resume our once-a-month Story Time on Saturday morning, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. for pre-school up to third grade aged children. Francine Wells, an experienced day-care provider, is the story reader, and Heather Rivers, a Chazy student, will lead the craft activity. We are so happy to have them volunteer to conduct the story hour as our wonderful former story-time people, Scott, Megan and Marikate Preston have moved to Plattsburgh. 

Computer classes for seniors is another new venture at the library. Julie Castle from the Senior Citizens Council will be here on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 beginning April 27th to teach computer basics to any senior citizen who stops by the library during this time. We’ll see how this develops; Julie is hoping to find a local person she can train to continue this service. I hope that I am not too busy to listen – this is one senior who could use a lot of training. 

Our Friends of the Chazy Library membership luncheon will be held at the Anchorage on Saturday, April 27 at 1:00. May 2002 is the 50th anniversary of their organization. 2002 is also the 100th anniversary of the Chazy Library, which received its charter in December, 1901. We are now planning for our annual tax vote which will be held at the library on Tuesday, June 4. -- Francie Fairchild, Director

Champlain Memorial Library

Here at the Champlain Memorial Library we have finished painting the interior and it really looks great furnished with our new furniture for the Gates computers. 

Our story hour is very successful, thanks to the efforts of Lynn Hogle. An average of 20 children participate in story hour activities each week. We will be hosting Reading Rallies on May 2 and May 9. 

Our annual Easter Egg Hunt was a great success this year. Many children visited the library to look for eggs and wait anxiously for the Easter Bunny. The winners of our chocolate bunnies were Dakota Morrison, Erin Conner, Ray Freeman, and Jane Caron. 

Plans are already underway for what is sure to be a busy summer. Sharon Waldenmaier will coordinate the summer reading program and it is sure to be a big hit as usual. We have decided to hold our reading program in the evening this year in the hope that this time will be convenient for more parents and children. -- Sheila Babbie, Director

Dodge Library, West Chazy

We are excited to announce new and expanded summer hours effective May 20. The library will be open on Monday from 10:00 to 4:00, Tuesday from noon until 8:00, Thursday from 8:00 to 5:00, and Saturday from 8:00 to 1:00. We hope that the new hours will make it more convenient for residents of all ages to check out all the library has to offer. 

The library will be hosting a Summer Story Hour for grade school children on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. beginning July 2 and ending July 30. A story hour session for pre-school children will be held on Mondays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. beginning July 1 and ending July 29. This year’s program will focus on the NY State Summer Reading Program theme of “Splish Splash”. We will feature books on water in all its forms from frog ponds to desert rain and will offer related crafts.   -- Sarah Lushia, Director

Mooers Free Library

The Mooers Library suffered some flooding in the basement this spring. After many hours of mess, we emerged with the basement clean and dry. We are busy making plans for our “Splish Splash” reading program this summer. Our Gates computers continue to be in great demand with library customers of all ages. We are thrilled to report that usage is up 70% in the month of March. What a great way to swing into spring. The town of Mooers is establishing a beautification program. In 2004 Mooers will celebrate its bicentennial and plans are underway for the library to be a focal point of the celebration. We are looking forward to planting the flowers on the library lawn during the next few weeks. Happy Spring! -- Edie Morelock, Director

In Essex County:

Schroon Lake Public Library

We at Schroon Lake have been very busy getting ready for automation. It has been a great kick in the pants for us to get the collection weeded! We don't want to add all those books that have not circulated since the 70's into the new system. 

Our monthly book discussion and quilt group continue to be very popular with our patrons. We are hoping to start another book discussion group that will meet during the day for those patrons who don't venture out at night. 

Adirondack Folk Singer Bill Smith will be in Schroon Lake on Friday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. We are also hoping to host author and historical re-enactor Bob Bearor on Friday, July 12. 

We are very busy getting ready for the Summer Reading Program. This year we are hoping to feature a new young adult element. Many of our children are on the brink of aging up and we hope to keep their interest in order to keep them coming in. -- Jane Bouchard, Director

In Franklin County:

Wead Library, Malone

The Library’s 2001 annual report indicates that the number of library visits increased from 25,711 in 2000 to 28,680. The number of registered borrowers increased as well from 13,946 to 14,182. The number of items used in the library went from 18,850 to 20,215. Reference transactions increased in number from 4,959 to 6,031. In terms of Interlibrary loan materials received, the total number declined from 790 to 669. However, this library provided, or loaned, a greater number of ILL materials in 2001 than in 2000. That number went from 281 to 341. The grand total of our holdings rose from 47,782 to 48,165. That’s a total increase of 383. A bit of arithmetic indicates that although the library added 3,150 books in the past years, the number in the collection increased by less than 400. If nothing else, it’s a sign of frenetic activity by the staff. 

Barcoding the collection is steaming right along. The ability to use dumb (or generic) barcodes and alter our own records as needed has increased our ability to make the completion of that part of the automation project seem that much closer. The goal may be attainable after all. 
-- from Director Dave Minnich’s February report

Saranac Lake Free Library

The Saranac Lake Free Library’s Winter Book Sale was a resounding success due to the help of many volunteers who set up and worked during the sale, to those who donated books, and to all the book lovers who shopped so enthusiastically at the sale! The Winter Book Sale is held during Winter Carnival and provides a place for people to warm up (and shop) before and after other carnival activities. 

The men from Camp Gabriels Correctional Facility were extremely helpful bringing up the books from the storage area and assisting with cleanup. 

Chairperson Jeanette Tooker said those attending commented on the quality and outstanding selection of paperback and hardcover books. Nearly 100 library patrons used the bookmark coupon given out at the circulation desk before the sale, and received a free paperback or children’s book at the sale. Jeanette was very pleased with this new idea as it encouraged people to come and helped to spread the word about the dates and times of the sale. 

 

We are accepting book donations for our summer “Come to the Fair” to be held Tuesday, August 6 and Wednesday, August 7.  -- Pat Wiley, Library Assistant

Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, Tupper Lake

Another winter gone – another spring (hopefully) upon us!Things are a little quiet right now, while much is still going on “behind the scenes” as in any library. 

Our community room was used for a carving class this past winter, with wonderful results. I think that many of the students were very surprised at the talent they had hidden in their hands. And now we have the “fruits of their labors” in one of our display cases. It is fun to watch the artists come in with their friends and family to proudly – and rightfully so – show off their carvings. 

Some CEF member library directors have said that they would be interested in having us put a list of our new Adirondack fiction titles in the Trailblazer, so here are some of our new, and maybe not-so-new books with Adirondack settings: 

  • Dancing With Samuel by Slade (one of our favorites) 
  • Rips by Owen 
  • The Cabin by Neggers 
  • Gingerbread Man by Shayne 
  • Lake of Dead Languages by Goodman 
  • Cabin by the Creek by Barber 
  • New Boots by Fagan 
  • The 21 Mine by Kelly 
  • Shadow Baby by McGhee 
  • Elves of Loch Fada by Sutliff 
  • An Affinity for Murder by White 
  • Saranac Lake Requiem by Damsky 
  • Dangerous Falls Ahead by Frenette (juvenile) (so, okay, she’s my niece!) 
  • Adirondack Kids by Van Riper (juvenile) 

We will be displaying a limited edition print by local artist Gary Casagrain. The print will be raffled by the Tupper Lake Arts Council as part of a fundraiser for the Council’s Scholarship Fund. This raffle will take place on May 18th when the Arts Council will host an Artists’ Café to display the works of area artists, with a percentage of sales going to the scholarship fund. Many of you are familiar with the works of Gary Casagrain, and at a cost of $1.00 per ticket or 6 for $5.00, wouldn’t it be great to be the winner? We’ll be more than happy to mail you the tickets – just call and ask! -- Chalice Dechene, Director

Librarian's Guide to Cyberspace for Parents

The Librarian’s Guide to Cyberspace for Parents and Kids brochure, published by the American Library Association, provides helpful tips for parents and a selection of “50+ Great Sites” reviewed and recommended by librarians. It can be found online with links to selected sites on the ALA Web page at http://gws.ala.org/

Up to 50 copies of the brochure are available free from the ALA Public Information Office, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Telephone: (800) 545-2433, ext. 5044/5041; E-mail: pio@ala.org

24th Annual NYSLAA Conference

24th Annual NYSLAA Conference “Climb the Hills of Knowledge With Libraries” is the theme for the 24th Annual NYSLAA Conference to be held at SUNY Oneonta on June 12-14, 2002. A wide variety of workshops and tours will enhance your learning experience. Genealogy, the internet, personal safety and distance learning are just a few of the topics offered at this year’s conference. Stop by and talk to Judy Sibio or any of the review board members about the Certificate of Achievement Program. While in Oneonta, you can visit nearby Cooperstown, see the Baseball Hall of Fame or any one of the nearby museums. Check out the conference brochure and NYSLAA updates on our website at www.nyslaa.org. Hope to see you in June. -- Tracey LaBarge, CEF

Splish Splash Pictures

CEF member librarians dabble their toes in “Splish Splash” summer reading program activities on March 4:

Free Programs Still Available

Do you still have a few spaces to fill on your summer calendar? The CEF stable of local performing artists includes something for all ages and interests. Here’s what’s on tap for 2002:

 - classical music played on period instruments by Oliver Brookes and Clive Henery. This was a big hit at the Mooers Free Library story hour last year.

 - tall tales and songs of the Adirondacks by the always popular Bill Smith. Bill is scheduled to appear at the Schroon Lake Public Library on Friday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m.

 - a trip back in time to the French and Indian War with Bob Bearor, author of The Battle on Snowshoes. Bob and his wife, Holly, are booked to appear at the Wells Memorial Library, Upper Jay on Saturday, August 10. 

For more information on these programs, which are offered free to member libraries through Coordinated Outreach funds, please contact Julie Wever at 563-5190 x 18 (email wever@cefls.org).

CEF Annual Meeting Set for Wednesday, July 17

The Annual Meeting of the CEF Library System will be held on Wednesday, July 17. Please plan to join us and very special guest Reeve Lindbergh at the Ausable Club for an afternoon of good food and good company. 

Reeve Lindbergh is the daughter of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Charles Lindbergh. Both her parents were well-known authors and Reeve has said that “I can’t recall any time during my childhood when one of my parents was not engaged in writing a book. This made us believe that the thing you could do with an interesting idea or experience was to write it down.” 

Ms. Lindbergh is the author of numerous children’s books. The Circle Of Days blends her poetry with the words of Saint Francis of Assisi to honor the elements, the animals and the heavens. Nobody Owns the Sky tells the story of “Brave Bessie” Coleman, the first licensed African-American aviator. Every Tiny Grain of Sand has been described as “a moving collection of 77 poems and prayers in four sections” from wide-ranging sources. The anthology, When I was Your Age draws from the childhood memories of ten award winning writers including Avi, Walter Dean Myers and Reeve Lindbergh herself. 

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, July 17 and be sure to watch your van delivery for more information about this special annual meeting.

What have you used Empirelink databases for?

Here are some examples gathered recently from librarians in our area: 

  • We get an excited response from professionals in all fields when we let them know about Foundation Grants Index on Dialog@Carl. This resource used to be available only in book form and only at our central library in Plattsburgh. Now, it can be used from any registered library to find grant possibilities. 
  • Another useful source for anyone who writes on the job, or students, is the Quotations Database in Dialog@Carl. We were excited to be able to help a senior in high school use EbscoHost to find full-text articles that contained literary criticism of a poet's work. She takes Advanced Placement English and it's similar to a college English class, so this resource helped her to do college level work. 
  • When I spoke to a group of would-be entrepreneurs and small business owners,they were extremely impressed by the full-text articles in EbscoHost that would help them to write marketing plans. This was before the advent of the new business database. 
  • Several patrons have been tickled with the availability of Peterson's College Database on Dialog@Carl. Although the library has it in print, the computerized version was more current and easier to search. 

For help with access to any of these databases, contact Betsy Brooks at 563-5190 x 35.

A Little Introduction to Cookies

Ahh, anonymity. That’s what we often think we have when surfing the Internet. Unless we type in our personal information, Web sites don’t know who we are, right? Of course, we’re often coaxed into giving out our e-mail address, and that’s why our e-mail boxes fill up with spam! But I digress – there is a way for a server on the Internet to know something about you – and it’s called “cookies.” 

A cookie is a very small text file that is placed on your computer’s hard drive by a web page server. It serves as a mini ID card, and can only be read by the server that gave it to you. When you go to that web page again, the cookie tells the web page server that you are (or really your computer is) a return visitor. The cookie does not store your name, your address, or any other personal information. But it can allow the web server to make a connection between your computer and some information you voluntarily provided in a past session. For example, if you indicated that purple was your favorite color last time you visited the site, and you allowed a cookie to be placed on your computer, the web server will know next time you visit – “This is the person who visited me last Tuesday, spent 3 minutes looking at my home page, and prefers purple.” 

Cookies can be your friends 

Many people are so concerned about cookies that they use their Internet browser settings or separate computer programs to block them. If you do this, you may discover that you will not be able to do certain things, or at least not do them as easily. For example, if you use any Web sites that require you to log on, a cookie will save you time. It lets you skip the logon, because your computer is recognized. If you have given the Web site some information about your preferences, a cookie will let that Web site customize itself for you – showing you the content you are most interested in. Blocking all cookies can make it nearly impossible to surf the web. Icepac users take note: if you upgrade to Internet Explorer 6, you need to change a setting to allow “session cookies,” or the website will keep asking you to log on and will not let you proceed. See the information toward the end of this article for instructions, or call me (Betsy Brooks, 563-5190 x35) for assistance. 

Cookies you may not want 

There are some cookies that are used to track the surfing habits of Internet users. These are “third party cookies,” as opposed to first-party cookies, or “cookies that go back to the originating server.” 

Companies that use Web sites to promote their products and services sometimes pay other companies, such as DoubleClick, to collect information using cookies. Blocking third party cookies is probably a good idea, and shouldn’t slow your Internet surfing down. 

Also, you may find that your hard drive will become bogged down with cookies. Although they’re very small, they can build up over time. Read on for steps to take to control the storage of cookies on your computer. 

You have control over the cookies on your computer 

Both the Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator browsers give you options to accept or block different types of cookies. To see these options, follow the directions below, based on your browser version. To see what browser you have, open your browser and click on Help on the menu bar. Then select About (name of browser) and you will see the version number. 

  • In versions of Internet Explorer beginning with 5, Choose Tools, then Internet Options, then Security, then Custom Level. For information on older versions, try the Web site mentioned above. From there you can see the various choices involving cookies. 
  • In Internet Explorer 6, choose Tools, then Options, then Privacy, then Advanced. Scroll down and be sure to check “allow session cookies” if you use Icepac.
  • In Netscape Navigator 4, simply choose Edit, then Preferences, then find and click Advanced in the list on the left. 
  • In Netscape Navigator 6, expand the Privacy and Security Topic, and select Cookies

Internet Explorer makes it easy to limit the space hogged by cookies. You can set a maximum amount of space they can take under the Tools menu. Look for “Temporary Internet Files” to see your options. Netscape stores your cookies in a file on your hard drive called “cookies.txt.” If you can find it, you can safely delete it (the browser will recreate an empty one next time) or edit it, deleting cookies from sources you don’t recognize. There’s also a very good, fairly simple guide to cookie management, provided by our friends at Microsoft at the Web site www.microsoft.com/info/cookies.htm

Remember, cookies can be a real convenience – and you have control over them if you choose to use it! -- Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian

Get Set for Summer: Job Resources for Teens

Summer is just around the corner and teens in your community might soon be pounding the pavement in search of summer employment or volunteer and educational opportunities. It’s best to be prepared, so here are some resources to check out now. 

  • Brain, Marshall The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World 
  • Camenson, Blythe Opportunities in Summer Camp Careers (VGM Opportunities Series)
  •  Landes, Michael The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures: Internships, Extraordinary Experiences, Seasonal Jobs, Volunteering, Work Abroad 
  • Paradis, Adrian A. Opportunities in Part-Time And Summer Jobs 

And from Peterson: 

  • Peterson’s Summer Opportunities for Kids & Teenagers 2002 
  • Peterson’s Summer Jobs for Students 2002 
  • Peterson’s Internships 2002 
  • Peterson’s Overseas Summer Jobs 2002 

The Internet is another great source of summer job information especially for teens interested in traveling. There are a surprising number of sites that provide excellent job search tips geared specifically towards teens. The Internet Public Library (www.ipl.org) has tons or recommendations, including: 

www.coolworks.com - “Live and work where others only get to visit.”

 www.bygpub.com/books/tg2rw/part-time.htm 
This page supplements Marshall Brain’s book The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World. It suggests lots of ways that teens with an entrepreneurial bent can create a part-time job of their own. 

www.summerjobs.com This database of seasonal and part-time job opportunities includes some internships and can be searched by location or keyword.

A Bookmobile Moment

Driver Betsy Finnegan-LaMere waits while the bookmobile receives its weekly database “transfusion” via a cable passed through the door of PPL.

Pictures from CEF's Big Move

Web Wanderings

Did you know that the population of the U.S. grew 13.1% between 1990 and 2000? The U.S. Census Bureau has easily accessible information online about population, business and geography that libraries will find useful. All statistics are based on the 2000 Census. Check out the Bureau’s new web site at http://quickfacts.census.gov. (JW) 

www.google.com, click on Advanced Search and try the News Search. This new feature at the familiar Google search engine lets you search recent newspapers and get the full articles! It’s great to find out the latest news about a country or region, or about a topic of interest such as nutrition. Included are newspapers from around the world, but they are only archived for two weeks. (BB) 

http://nces.ed.gov. The National Center for Education Statistics has statistics on your library, your school, and your local college. Try searching here by clicking on the words “Search for Schools, Colleges and Libraries.” When you find your library, you’ll get a very nice graphical picture of your circulation, patron visits, and per capita spending over several years. There is quite a bit of other interesting data here. (BB) 

http://www.mail2web.com. If you’ve ever used e-mail on the web, you know it can be a convenient way to check your e-mail from anywhere you can find a computer with Internet access. But even if you don’t have a Yahoo or Hotmail account, with all their associated advertising, you can still check your email on the web. This site allows you to enter your e-mail address and password for almost any kind of e-mail account and check your mail. It’s handy if you use an Internet Service Provider that doesn’t provide webmail. (BB)

 

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