Monthly Archives: February 2012

We Have TV Shows Too!

When you see “Find Movies” in the catalog, you might think that we just have movies on DVD, but we have television shows as well. Think of “Find Movies” as “Find DVDs.” From the Andy Griffith Show to Zorro we have a lot of classic and modern television.

From “Find Movies” you can search by the name of the show as in “Glee” or by the name of an actor/actress such as “Betty White.” You can also do wider searches such as:

  • television comedies
  • children’s television
  • documentary television
  • biographical television
  • PBS
  • HBO

The library can be a great way to catch up on  shows that you miss on paid television. I don’t get HBO at home but the library gets many HBO shows. Recently I just watched the miniseries Mildred Pierce with Kate Winslet (It was fun, but I like Joan Crawford’s better!). We also get some other cable television shows.

Anne R., CADL Reference Librarian

The Weather Outside Is Frightful: Indoor Games to Build Literacy Skills

This time of year, cabin fever begins to set in, and many parents find themselves at their wits’ end trying to think of new ways to entertain their little ones.  This is a great opportunity to work with young children on building literacy skills, while playing games indoors and bonding at the same time.  For some fun, educational ways to pass the time, try engaging in one of the following games.

  • Build vocabulary in young children by playing a rousing game of “I Spy.”  Choose a picture book with vivid illustrations containing lots of different elements.  Pick out one object on each page, and have your child guess which object you have selected by asking questions.
  • Sing nursery rhymes that have active movement components to them.  Try “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” “Ring Around the Rosie,” “Hickory Dickory Dock,” and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  If these are already regulars in your repertoire, check out a nursery rhyme collection from CADL for new inspiration.  If you come across a rhyme where you don’t know the motions, be creative and make up some of your own!
  • Work on learning letters by having your child identify where in the house there are letters. Point them to brand names on appliances, titles on books, words written on shopping bags, etc. See how many can be discovered in a given amount of time. If your child already knows the alphabet, ask him or her to identify the letters as they are discovered.
  • Work on building narrative skills by playing dress up. There’s no need for fancy, expensive clothes if you can’t afford them. The point of this game is imagination. Pull out a few unusual articles of clothing from your own closet, put out some costume jewelry, and have a blast! During the game, ask your child what character he or she is dressing up as? What did the imaginary person do today?  What will he do tomorrow? What is his favorite color? The possibilities are endless. Feel free to throw on a silly hat and join the fun yourself.
  • Finally, pass some time reading together. Read old favorites or new titles. Have your child “read” to you by describing what’s happening in the pictures of the book. Ask him or her to guess what will happen next in the story. Make reading time fun and interactive.

There is no wrong way to play. Any time you spend making memories with your children, encouraging imagination, and fostering literacy skills is time well spent. For more ideas on creative play, make sure to check out the resources for parents available in CADL’s collection.

-Liz V., Youth Services Librarian

Car Talk Fan

Local career expert Lisa (a.k.a. Recruiter Uncensored) shares some of her knowledge with us every Monday. You can read this post in its original form along with comments here.

Flickr User: timo_w2s

Anyone else listen to Car Talk on NPR? I’m a huge fan. I don’t have a nickel’s worth of interest in how to fix an engine or what indicates this belt or that fluid may need to be replaced. That said, I can’t seem to turn the dial when I stumble upon Tom and Ray’s radio show. The subject matter isn’t a bell ringer for me, but the way the hosts engage the callers, share their knowledge in unpredictable ways, incorporate humor into the seemingly humorless and manage to make the audience, doing who knows what/who knows where, want to hear all they have to say on a subject they may care nothing about, is amazing. To top that off, for someone who believes she doesn’t care a lick about car mechanics, over time I’ve come to learn a reasonable amount about the goings on under the hood. My mind was distracted enough by the appealing delivery to soak up the information freely, versus shutting out what I may have normally judged as boring, irrelevant to me or over my head.

Imagine, job seekers, the power you would have in your search efforts if you had masses of people drawn to you, wanting to hear you out, wanting to be a part of your efforts no matter their interest in your actual profession, subconsciously soaking up your information so they might apply it to the circumstances they encounter when you aren’t around.

What does it take to attract people the way Tom and Ray do? A big chunk of it is natural talent. I’m not going to minimize their success by painting their accomplishments as easy to replicate. I will say there are a few things about those two you will notice when you take time to listen.

  • They always engage the person they are talking with before showering them with knowledge.
  • They speak in terms that are easy to relate to. They recognize credibility doesn’t come from speaking over the heads of others, but from teaching a person new things on their level.
  • They care about how interesting they are to others, not just about how interesting they are to themselves.
  • They aren’t overly serious. They take what they do seriously and they are seriously good at what they do, but they don’t showcase either with a serious disposition.
  • They surprise you. The predictable is woven in with the unexpected.
  • They show their personalities in a genuine way.

All of the above are elements I try to incorporate into my interactions with others. It’s been a work in progress for me to get to a point where I’m more aware of the person on the other side of my words than I am of myself. Those who know me in real life will tell you I’m a talker and, though I’m conservative, I’m far from bashful. It would be easy for me to take over conversations and drown those around me in my knowledge of subjects without concern for how interesting I am, what others really want to hear about and what may be going on in the lives of those I’m slathering with my bountiful morsels of information. Because I know this about myself, and because I appreciate the style of Ray and Tom, it’s easier for me now to find my pause button in conversations. I’m more focused on finding ways to achieve an entertaining and meaningful discussion versus an intelligent lecture. I hope Tom and Ray would be proud.

– Lisa W-P, CADL Guest Blogger

The Best in Children’s Literature

Have you checked out this year’s Caldecott, Newberry, and Honor books? The most prestigious awards for children’s literature were announced at the end of last month at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting—The Randolph Caldecott Medal for best illustrator and the John Newberry for best novel.

A Ball For Daisy by Chris RaschkaThe Caldecott winner for 2012 is Chris Raschka, illustrator of A Ball for Daisy in which Daisy the dog is heartbroken when her favorite toy ball is destroyed while she’s playing with another dog. Three Caldecott Honor Books were named as well: Blackout written and illustrated by John Rocco, Me … Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, and (my favorite for the year) Grandpa Green written and illustrated by Lane Smith (reviewed here).

Dead end in Norvelt by Jack GantosThe Newberry winner is Jack Gantos, author of Dead End in Norvelt, in which twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he’s assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting and countless bloody noses. The two Newbery Honor Books  are Inside Out & Back Again, written by Thanhha Lai, and Breaking Stalin’s Nose, written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.

It’s ‘Love Your Library’ Month

We all know that February is the month to celebrate love, with Valentine’s Day coming up every Feb. 14. But did you know that this is also “Love Your Library” month? Each year this month-long observance provides the perfect opportunity to recognize the important role libraries play in communities.

As we have seen during the past few years, the significance of library service is more important than ever. Even as their funding is cut, libraries continue to provide invaluable support during tough economic times. There are many ways you can show your love for libraries. You can donate books, magazine subscriptions or funds. You can volunteer your time. You can also write to legislators letting them know how critical funding is to libraries.

Here in Williamston, getting involved with the Williamston Community Library Foundation is another way to learn firsthand about local services and the group’s long-time goal of getting a new library built in Williamston.

Another way to support the library is by becoming a member of the Friends of the Library. Through book sales and other fundraisers, the Friends group makes many of the programs at the library possible.

Even with all those great options, the best way to support your library is to sign up for a library card and use it regularly. Explore all the resources the library has to offer in addition to books. There are databases, downloadable audio and eBooks, children’s programs, adult book discussion groups, DVDs and audiobooks, computer classes and so much more – all free to residents in our service area.

For information about our hours, programs or services, visit Find a complete list of library events at

– Julie Chrisinske, Head librarian at CADL Williamston

African Americans and the Oscar

At the Screen Actors Guild awards last month,  Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer made history as the first African American actresses to win simultaneous Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards. When the Academy Awards air Sunday Feb. 26 on ABC this milestone may be repeated.

The history of African Americans and the Oscar is troubling but hopefully improving. In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar for her performance in “Gone With The Wind.” (Best Supporting Actress.) It would be an astonishing 23 years before the next African American actor took home an Oscar, Sidney Poitier in 1963 as best Actor for “Lilies of the Field.”

Other Best Actor wins: Denzel Washington in 2002 for “Training Day“, Jamie Foxx in 2004 for “Ray,” Forest Whitaker in 2006 for “The Last King of Scotland.”   

So far, only one African American actress has won for Best Actress,  Halle Berry for “Monster’s Ball” in  2001.

Supporting Actress Wins: Whoopi Goldberg for “Ghost” in 1991, Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” 2006, Mo’Nique  for “Precious” in 2009.

Supporting Actor Wins: Louis Gossett Jr. in “An Officer and a Gentleman” 1982, Denzel Washington for “Glory 1990, Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Jerry Maguire”, 1996, Morgan Freeman for “Million Dollar Baby , 2004.

Some nominations I think should have been made:  Samuel L. Jackson in “A Time to Kill” in 1996(He was nominated as Supporting Actor for  Pulp Fiction”  in 1994.) Whoopi Goldberg for her wonderfully understated performance in “The Long Walk Home” in 1990.

For more information:

Anne R., CADL Reference Librarian

Not Your Childhood Fairytales

Retelling fairytales seems to be a trend in Hollywood, and that’s not referring to the Disney princess tales.  Last year brought Beastly and Red Riding Hood.

Two new TV series based on fairytales debuted in the Fall 2011 season – NBC’s Grimm and ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

In 2012 there will be two films released based on the story of Snow White.  Mirror, Mirror is due out on March 16th and Snow White and the Huntsman is due out on June 1st.

These films and TV shows re-work traditional fairytales, or add a modern twist.  Authors have been doing this for a while – check out these titles:

Beauty and the Beast
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Twelve Dancing Princesses
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Ash by Malinda Lo
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Grimm Brothers
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli – based on “The Bearskin”

Little Red Riding Hood
Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sleeping Beauty
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

The Wizard of Oz
Wicked series by Gregory Maguire

-Lynn H., CADL Youth Services Specialist