Monday, May 24, 2010

Igbo? Lingala? Amharic?

So, we (the Library we, that is) have several ways to help you learn another language: books, tapes, CDs and the Mango online courses. That's cool for common languages like Greek or Portuguese or Arabic, but what about Kituba, Yoruba or Bulgarian? Tagalog, Twi or Sinhala? Well, you're in luck. It turns out that the US Foreign Services Institute language courses are available and brought to you for free by a non-profit, online.The courses consist of a series of tapes and a separate text. Expect nothing fancy here (the texts are scanned from the original typewritten versions), but you can't beat the price! (Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the tip.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

From the Author's Mouth--CSPAN's Booknotes & Book TV

Besides being the place to follow Congress' activities, C-SPAN has been a place where booklovers could see and hear author's speak about their new nonfiction publications. From 1989-2004, 799 Booknotes' one hour interviews offered a great place to hear the author talk about his/her life, research, and books. Today, students and nonfiction book lovers can find all 799 hour long programs and their transcripts through the C-SPAN Video Library.

In addition, booklovers may watch C-SPAN's Book TV's (which offers 48 hours of the best nonfiction books every weekend) featured programs with authors such as Laura Bush (Spoken from the Heart) and Richard A. Clarke (Cyber War: What it is and How to Fight It) in their entirety.

So, in addition to attending the Wellesley Free Library's author visits, you now have a great resource to assist you in finding the best books to read! SH

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Books into Movies - May and June

Sex and the City 2 is the sequel to the feature film based on Candace Bushnell's essays. Directed by Michael Patrick King the film stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky is based on the 2002 biographical novel Coco & Igor by Chris Greenhalgh about the couple's affair. Directed by Jan Kounen, the film stars Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen.

Winter's Bone is an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell's 2006 Ozarks-set family drama. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, director Debra Granik's film stars Jennifer Lawrence as teen heroine Ree Dolly.

Robin Hood revisits the classic tale of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film stars Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.


Monday, May 17, 2010

New Books for May

Here are some fiction and mystery titles coming out in May:

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende

The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis

The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George

Strip by Thomas Perry

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I just can't quit you

James Sturm, one of my favorite cartoonists/graphic novelists, and the driving force behind the wonderful Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT, has been writing an article for wherein he tracks his four month-long period of going offline and giving up the Internet. Most of us may not think twice about how often we spend in front of our computers; we as librarians are well aware of how the Internet has revolutionized how we access information, but as a side effect we've also become somewhat tethered to a life online. Which makes James Sturm's articles all that more interesting--as the director of a school, the author and artist of a just-published book, and a well-regarded professional in his field, James expected that his experiment would have a fallout of near-Biblical proportions. Instead, he's experienced just the opposite; that people can still contact him, his book sales haven't suffered from his lack of obsessive reading of online reviews, and that life has generally improved. Check it out, it's probably one of the best ongoing articles I've read on Slate for a long time, and definitely worth spending a little bit of your time online pondering that ethereal world of a disconnected life.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New from the Department of "Who Knew?"

Are you interested in serious online learning--for free? Lots of colleges and universities make their course materials available online. The range of courses is enormous and the materials include lecture notes, readings, exams, videotape lectures assignments and labs.There are several web sites which have incorporated the course listings into a searchable form. The Open Courseware Consortium is made up of 200 colleges worldwide committed to sharing educational materials. A Google search provides access to the materials. The Online Education Database includes both fee-based distance learning courses and free course materials. A new site, OCW Search, searches the courseware from MIT (1800 courses!), Stanford and Open University Learning Space with a nice clean search engine.Topics range from American Soap Operas to Biomedical Signal and Image Processing. Now, if I can just get off this internet surfboard long enough...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Travel Guides

The Wellesley Free Library has travel guides on 98 specific countries from Argentina to Zambia. Guides to individual cities, we got them; -50 International cities and 39 cities within the USA. For additional coverage of less well known areas, the library has regional travel guides for countries in South America, Central America, Middle East, Europe, Eastern Europe, The Caribbean, and East Africa. Regional guides are also available for the USA as well as guides to the National Parks. Other travel guides focus on art, day trips, walks, wildlife, museums and travel memoirs.

Travel Guides How to Find Them

When the library catalogs travel guides, we use the subject heading “place name” – guidebooks. So when searching for travel guides in the library catalog use the term guidebooks with the name of the country or city you are looking for. Please note that the word travel is not always used in the record for the guide so use guidebooks instead.