Sharing new ideas, resources, knowledge and technology to keep abreast of new development in reference service field

Friday, September 26, 2008

How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read

I'm sure everyone has experienced a time when you've been asked, "Have you read this book?" and either completely drawn a blank or had to admit that, "No, sorry....but I read a great review!" Fear not...French literature professor and psychoanalyst Pierre Bayard has written a book, How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read, which is not so much a how-to-bluff-your-way-through situations such as this, but gives you license to forgo reading every single title that comes across your desk.

Bayard catagorizes our inner library into four distinct groups: books you don't know, books you have skimmed, books you have heard of and books you have forgotten. His premise seems to be that some books are better discussed without actually having been read, and anyone can bluff effectively in most social situations. Not only that, it can be an exceptionally creative exercise. And who remembers every detail from every book you've read? Bayard seems to think the overall impression made by the author is enough.

Being the type of person who feels guilty if I stop reading a book I don't care for and has at least a dozen books checked out at any time, I found Bayard's tongue-in-cheek arguments thought-provoking. I'd be interested to see what other librarians it! Or not. And then we can discuss it. exciting, innovative new resource (U.S. Department of Education) was designed by students for students and features first-person accounts of students who overcame challenges to going to college such as peer pressure, lack of family support, and financial barriers.

It provides relevant, comprehensive information about why to go, how to go, and how to pay for college or other postsecondary education programs. Young people who may not have considered higher education a viable option will be engaged, informed, and inspired to create their own "roadmap" to college.

Contact Department of Education staff at if you need more information or have speaking or exhibiting opportunities with your organization at which we may introduce

Monday, September 08, 2008
RESORT MAPS are colorful, hand-drawn maps of resort towns and cities, free to area visitors, advertising Restaurants, Accommodations, Retail Stores, Factory Outlets, Recreation & Attractions, Real Estate & Services. Each advertiser is represented with a display ad surrounding the map including a color coded grid locator and a building drawn, highlighted and labeled making it easy to locate them.

With landmarks prominently displayed, Resort Maps are an easy and fun way to find your way around town whether you are visiting, new to the area or if you just want to know what's happening around town.

New England is well represented. The company is growing, continually adding new maps and areas of interest.

An added on-line feature is that the maps are inter-active. If you click on the image, you will be connected to a web site. You can preview a menu, or a hotel.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Technology standards for Massachusetts students

With the new and updated Technology Literacy Standards for students, Massachusetts children are expected to be computer literate from an early age. A recent article in Telegram and Gazette outlines computer skills that our student patrons are expected to learn in each grade. Among other things, students as young as in 3rd grade are expected to be proficient in performing simple searches on databases. The revised standards are expected to educate students in performing electronic research, create multimedia presentations and browse the web.

The article also mentions that students do not have access to computer labs at school in the evenings, which is when they are doing their homework and applying these standards in an effective way.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Hello, do your patrons ask about how to find out more on charities that are looking for their donations? This website,, can give them information on different charities.

It gives information on their financial health. It also has useful information on what to do when a charity calls you. What questions to ask, how to protect yourself from scams, how to stop solicitations by mail, and information about volunteering, donating books, cars, clothes and more.
Charity Navigator also offers the Good Card, a gift card for charity where the recipients get to donate to their charity of choice.

You can search by category or charity name. There are articles, studies done, just a whole lot of information on the topic.

CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608