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Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

6 Oct

Eternal Flame


Smart People Use Smart Libraries

8 Mar

Although this fun video comes via Library Ireland Week @ your library, its appeal is universal and international.  Yay for libraries EVERYWHERE!!

Video Contest! on “Why I Need My Library”

3 Mar

Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), this contest invites teenagers ages 13-18 to create original videos of 1-3 minutes in length about why they feel “I need my Library.”  The videos can be live-action, animation, machinima or use a combination of techniques, and teens can work in groups of up to six.  Check out this list of tips and resources on making a video.

Read through the judging criteria to see how entries will be judged.

Teens submit their original videos and compete in two age categories, 13-15 and 16-18, for prizes.  Winners will identify either their school library or their local public library as the beneficiary of the cash prizes:

From each age category (2 categories total):

  • Three 3rd place winners will receive $1000 each for their selected libraries
  • Two 2nd place winners will receive $2000 each for their selected libraries
  • One 1st place winner will receive $3000 for their selected library PLUS $50 gift cards to an online bookseller for each individual member of the winning group (limit of 6 participants per group)

Videos should be submitted to YouTube and tagged alaneedmylibrary 15 for entries in the age 13-15 category, and alaneedmylibrary 18 for entries in the age 16-18 category.  Teens must also mail in an entry form. Videos are submitted online, but an entry form needs to be received in the mail by April 18 in order for a submission to be eligible.

Contest entries also must be uploaded to YouTube by midnight April 18, 2011.  Full Contest Guidelines are available here.

Winning videos will be showcased on ALA websites and at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans (June 23-28).

Questions about the contest can be directed to

Find us on Facebook!

24 Feb

An easy way to keep up with programs and other happenings at the Newton Free Library is to hit the Like button on our Facebook pages!  Then we’ll be part of your Newsfeed, with our updates centered around our library-world.  So why not “Like” ’em all…..

Newton Free Library Teens

Newton Free Library Children’s Room

Newton Free Library

Happy National Day of Listening!

26 Nov

The National Day of Listening is a new national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008.  On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks all Americans to take an hour to record an interview with a loved one, using recording equipment that is readily available in most homes, such as computers, tape recorders, video cameras, and smart phones.  They have provided a free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a relative; it can be a community member you want to honor– a mentor, a veteran, a friend.  Essentially, you’re telling them that their lives matter and that they won’t ever be forgotten.

And even if you don’t use today as your “day of listening”, hopefully you will still be inspired to conduct your interview on any other day that is convenient to you and your loved one!  See the FAQ page for further tips about recording and preserving your interviews.

“Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online” Digital Book for Teens by Linda McCarthy

1 Nov

The Microsoft Download Center has a free e-book on its site.  Here’s what they have to say about it:

Help teens ‘own their space’ online. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, or educator, you can keep up with the latest computer and online safety issues and help kids learn to avoid them. In partnership with security expert and author, Linda McCarthy, we offer a free downloadable version of her new book, “Own Your Space – Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online.” Written for Internet savvy “tweens” and teens specifically, this book is also a useful resource for the adults they rely on.

The book is a collaborative project to provide free security learning to teens and families online, made available under the Creative Commons Licensing, and made possible by the support of individual and corporate sponsors.
Every day, millions of American school children log on or log in and make decisions that can compromise their safety, security, and privacy. We’ve all heard the horror stories of stolen identities, cyber stalking, and perverts on the Internet. Kids need to know how to stay safe online and how to use the Internet in ways that won’t jeopardize their privacy or damage their reputations for years to come.
Learn how to

  • Kill viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware
  • Deal with cyberbullies
  • Give SPAM the curb and smash web bugs
  • Understand just how public your “private” blogs are
  • Keep wireless freeloaders off your network
  • Prevent sexting from ruining your life

You can download the entire book or chapter by chapter. You can also choose your download format: Microsoft XPS or Adobe PDF. (The links in this section correspond to separate files available in this download. Download the files most appropriate for you.)

Tell Me a (Short) Story with Chapterme

26 Oct

Many of us loved to have stories read to us when we were young… do we ever really lose the desire for that?  I think that is part of what makes audiobooks so popular nowadays… the pleasure of someone reading a book to us (and we don’t even have to wait for bedtime!).   A quick Google search will turn up free audiobooks in digital format, easy to listen to on laptops or upload to Ipods.

Or, if you’d like to sample the book first, now there is Chapterme, a site designed to help you discover books and authors by listening to random chapters.   Then, your tastes will be compared with those of other listeners in order to choose other chapters.

The recordings are created by the fabulous site.  At any time you can go to the book page on and listen to the whole book.  From there, you can navigate to Project Gutenberg if you want to get the text.

Not a big time commitment… but potentially a great way to stumble upon a new story or two.

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