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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Hours Begin in July

As of July 1, 2009, Fairfax County Public Library branches will be open:

Monday – Wednesday   (all branches)     10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday, Friday            (all branches)      10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday                             (all branches)      10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday                                (regionals only)    1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The reduction in hours Monday-Friday and on Sunday at regional branches is due to a 15 percent cut in the library’s FY2010 budget approved April 27 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Fines and fees will also be increased as of July 1, 2009 and will be publicized once the Library Board of Trustees makes final decisions on all changes.

Don’t Miss . . .

Saturday, May 2, 3 p.m. Burke Centre Library
Using the Internet to Travel Cheaply. Have you always dreamed about traveling around the U. S. or the world, but felt you couldn't afford it? A world traveler will show you how to get travel deals on the Internet. Adults.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Literary Gloom and Doom

As pundits debate the meaning of the global economic crisis and its consequences for the future, London’s Guardian newspaper reminds readers that the end of the world is a common theme in literature. For those who wish to explore such books, the newspaper offers a somewhat difficult quiz ("Literary Apocalypses," April 22, 2009).

If you want some reassurance that things could be worse, try these books:

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Don’t Miss . . .

Stock up on some reading. Visit these upcoming book sales:

Centreville Regional Library. April 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April 26, noon – 6 p.m.

Chantilly Regional Library. April 24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; April 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., April 26, noon-3 p.m.

City of Fairfax Regional Library. April 24, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; April 25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; April 26, noon-3 p.m.

George Mason Regional Library. April 30, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; May 1, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; May 2, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; May 3, noon-5 p.m.

Kings Park Library. April 30, 1 p.m.

Reston Regional Library. April 24, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; April 25, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; April 26, noon-5:30.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Charlotte

Today marks the 195th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Brontë, probably best known for the novel Jane Eyre, the story of a governess who falls in love with her employer, Edward Rochester. The novel was actually written under a pseudonym Currier Bell. Her sisters, Emily, the author of Wuthering Heights and Anne also used pen names – Ellis Bell and Acton Bell. They chose the names because it was felt their novels were not feminine enough. Some thought Jane Eyre was quite coarse (risqué).

For more on Charlotte and her literary family, try these books:

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller

The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life by Lyndall Gordon

The Brontës: Charlotte Bronte and her Family by Rebecca Fraser

Friday, April 17, 2009

Green Thumbs

Gardening has been in the national spotlight recently since Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden at the White House ("Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House," New York Times, March 20, 2009). The local food movement also has made gardening more popular. If you would like to try your hand this spring, here’s some books to try:

Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times by Steve Solomon

The Veggie Gardener’s Answer Book by Barbara Ellis

Gardening With Heirloom Seeds by Lynn Coulter

All New Square-Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

The Edible Garden by Hazel White

Don’t Miss . . .

Enjoy Gardening as a Family. Saturday, April 25, 10:30 a.m. John Marshall Library. Join a horticulturist from Green Spring Gardens to learn about the fun of gardening. Cosponsored by Friends of John Marshall Library. All ages.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Endings

According to the New York Times, people are in search of happy endings these days. The result: sales of Harlequin romance novels are up 32 percent over the same period last year. It also explains why Gone With the Wind was one of the bestsellers in the 1930s.

Here’s some of the finalists for the 2009 RITA Award to be announced in July for the best romance novels of the year.

Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson

Duchess by Night by Eloisa James

Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist

Moonstruck by Susan Grant

Duke Most Wanted by Celeste Bradley

What is your favorite escapist reading? Let us know.

Don’t Miss . . .
It’s National Library Week and Saturday April 18 is Library Appreciation Day in Fairfax County. Stop by your nearest library branch to express your appreciation for library services and staff. There will be a special display board at each branch where library users can leave their comments. You can also leave comments online.

Friday, April 10, 2009

National Library Week – April 12 – 18

National Library Week begins on Sunday. This will be the 51st year that a week has been set aside to celebrate libraries.

Way back in 1955 a Gallup poll revealed that 61 percent of American adults had not read any books, except the Bible, in the preceding year. A coalition of publishers, booksellers, librarians and journalists, among others, came up with the idea of National Library Week. In the spring of 1958 the first National Library Week campaign was launched with the theme of “Wake Up and Read.”

Perhaps the earliest Library Week occurred in Toledo, Ohio, in 1916. Both Missouri and Indiana had implemented Book Weeks in 1922, and when the American Library Association met for its annual meeting in Detroit that year, it recommended setting up a week in April to promote libraries.

The Fairfax County Public Library has declared April 18, 2009, as “Library Appreciation Day.” During National Library Week, stop by your local library branch and let the staff and volunteers know how much you appreciate your library. You can post comments on a special display board or online.

Other events during National Library Week include the following events:

Read-a-thon. April 14, noon-2 p.m. Tysons Corner Center. For toddlers and preschoolers. A firefighter, police officer, children’s authors, Fairfax County Supervisor and other VIPs will read picture books to youngsters. Enjoy a visit from the Cat in the Hat.

Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson. April 16, Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center 7:30 p.m. (Tickets distributed at 7 p.m.) “Today’s News: Who’s Up, Who’s Down and What’s Really Going On?”

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

E.B. White Read Aloud Award Short List

Spring is the season for book awards and the Association of Booksellers for Children has just announced the E.B. White Read Aloud Award Short List nominees. The award was established in 2004 to honor books with the read aloud appeal of E.B. White’s books, such as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan.

Here’s the nominees:

E.B. White Read Aloud Award Shortlist for Picture Books is:
A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Too Many Toys by David Shannon

E.B. White Read Aloud Award Shortlist for Older Readers is:
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
Masterpiece by Elise Broach
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston

Don’t Miss . . .
Saturday, April 11, 11 a.m.
Reston Regional Library
Sophie the Performing Dog. Join us for a program with a talented Sophie, a cairn terrier who makes music, plays basketball and performs other tricks. Cosponsored by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library. All ages.

Mark Your Calendars
Toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy their own read-aloud experience at Tysons Corner Center from noon-2 p.m. on April 14 at the Fairfax County Public Library’s Read-a-thon. A firefighter, a police officer, Fairfax County Supervisor Linda Smyth and children’s book author Janet Stoeke are among those who will read picture books.

Friday, April 03, 2009

More on “Who Reads More – Men or Women?”

A writer for the Guardian has weighed in on the recent study reported in our March 24 entry that showed that 50 percent of women as opposed to 26 percent of men finish a book. Journalist Jean Hannah Edelstein shared her ideas for increasing male readership – changing female characters names to male names, redesigning covers — in "Turning Men Into Page Turners," March 25, 2009. Here’s an excerpt:

“Real change won't occur until publishers band together and make a concentrated effort to re-masculate reading. One option, I suppose, would be to publish special gentlemen's editions of books that are currently targeted at women, but might actually have male appeal. Female protagonists could be given male names, and romantic plots could be tweaked slightly to be more about football. My editor was not a fan of my suggestion of a special manned-up print run of my (quite feminine) book with a cover featuring a tractor and a pint, but I am holding out hope for the second edition once the trend catches on.”

While tongue-in-cheek, her ideas might have merit. What do you think?

Don’t Miss . . .
Saturday, April 4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Burke Centre Library.
Burke Centre Renaissance Festival. Join us and the Virginia Renaissance Faire for a festival! Enjoy storytelling, songs, sword play and much more. All ages.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

All Fools’ Day

April 1 is celebrated as a day of pranks and tricks in many countries around the world. Its origins are unclear, but there are references to it as far back as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (ca 1400). In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, the jokes only last until noon and anyone who plays a prank after that is known as an “April fool.”

In France and French-speaking Canada April 1 includes poisson d’avril (literally "April's fish"), in which people attempt to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed. In Scotland, April Fools' Day is called Hunt-the-Gowk Day ("gowk" is Scottish for a cuckoo or a foolish person).

What’s the best April Fools’ Day prank you have heard about? Let us know.

A Reminder: Celebrate National Library Week April 12 – 18, 2009.

Read-a-thon April 14, noon – 2 p.m. Tysons Corner Center
Preschoolers and families can join Mr. Knick Knack, children’s author Janet Stoeke, Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth and other special guests, including a firefighter and police officer, as they read from their favorite picture books. Attendees will enjoy a visit from a storybook character and fun activities for all. For more information, call 703-324-8428 or check the library’s Web site. The Read-a-thon is cosponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation, Tysons Corner Center and Barnes & Noble —Tysons.

Library Appreciation Day, April 18
Stop by your nearest library branch to express your appreciation for library services and staff. There will be a special area at each branch where library users can leave their comments.