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

Friday, November 21, 2008


With Thanksgiving around corner many people are looking for recipes. For those of us who don't want to eat the animals, there are lots of yummy vegan recipes out there. I am going to share a few websites and titles of cookbooks that i have encountered to get you started. Is the Post Punk Kitchen which is a cooking show's website with Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero. I have 3 of their cookbooks which are terrific. I have tried many recipes and they have been enjoyed by vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters. There are suggestions for altering non-vegan recipes to be vegan with substitutions as well as information on vegan cooking and cooking in general.

Vegan with a Vengeance
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (i love the title!) which is a site for Bryanna Clark Grogan who is the author of many cookbooks. has reviews and comments on the recipes. It is helpful to read a few of them to see what a few people think of it as well as ideas on how to alter the recipe. is a website that has two downloadable cookbooks on it that are also mostly gluten free. is a site from a canadian cookbook author Sarah Kramer. I have one of her books and it has lots of information on vegan cooking and other things as well (ex: many uses of baking soda.)
The Garden of Vegan. has recipes as well as information on the vegan lifestyle. they have put out a few cookbooks, two of which get lots of use at my house.

The Compassionate Cook, or, Please don't eat the animals.
Cooking with PETA (terrific brownie recipe- they will never know it has tofu-tried and loved by many staff at Worcester Public Library and a delicious pumpkin pie that i make for my family every thanksgiving - never know it has tofu! secret is to really blend it well so no lumps.)

Another book that gets too much use at my house is
The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Lots of information on baking and substitutions. Full of information as well as good recipes.

I hope you all enjoy your holiday baking and cooking.

Katherine R.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Longest Month

The trouble with doing book displays is the better your display is the faster the books go out and the sooner you are looking for replacements. Some display subjects have enough material that refills aren't a problem; but others force me to improvise wildly. For example I usually fill in the period between when the first frost forces me to take down the gardening display and when I can put up the holiday books with a batch of autumn themed books. I use cookbooks for soups, stews, pies and other cold weather foods add in some craft books such as gourd crafts, wheat weaving, and scarecrows. In October I can use Halloween related books: pumpkin carving, costume making, theatrical makeup, horror movies, ghosts, werewolves and vampires. November is a very long month when it comes to keeping the display filled. Fortunately there are a few new books on the Mayflower and the Pilgrims; but when they are gone I have to start sneaking in the Puritans and colonial history in general. After the turkey, potato, and pumpkin cookbooks go out, I have to add poultry and New England cookbooks. Every now and then I have a flash of inspiration; one year the day before Thanksgiving I put out books on napkin folding. Usually I'm just searching desperately for ideas. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Google is Taking Spoken Questions via iPhone

The New York Times reported that "Google researchers have added sophisticated voice recognition technology to the company’s search software for the Apple iPhone."

Users of the free application can ask virtually any question, like “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” or “How tall is Mount Everest?"


Novelist Plus is now Offered by WPL

The Worcester Public Library now offers remote access to Novelist Plus – a complete readers’ advisory solution. Novelist Plus is available to anyone with a valid Worcester Public Library card.

Special features:

• Information on more than 200,000 titles, including over 50,000 nonfiction
• Approximately 20,000 new titles added yearly
• Author Read-alikes, Book Discussion Guides and BookTalks
• Hundreds of reading lists covering all genres and reading levels and over 300 award lists
• Continued coverage of series information with thousands of adult and juvenile, fiction and nonfiction series, all in reading order
• Librarians and patrons can create and annotate their own lists using “My Folders and Alerts”

To access:
Go to
Click on Online Databases
Then select Reading Suggestions
Access from this blog
Click on Novelist Plus under WPL Remote Databases in the right column of this blog

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ping at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Growing Up in Worcester and Around the World

This coming Sunday, November 16th, local author and movie reviewer for the Telegram and Gazette, Jeffrey E. Long, will present a talk entitled "Growing Up in Worcester and Around the World: Reading Memoirs for Pleasure, Bibliotherapy and Cultural Insight" at 2:00 p.m. in the Saxe Room at the main branch of the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square. Jeff is the author of "Remembered Childhoods: A Guide to Autobiography and Memoirs of Childhood and Youth" which was published by Scarecrow Press in 2007. He has also been an active participant in the Worcester County Writers Project that I've discussed in previous postings.

This entertaining and informative event should be of interest to all readers, from the mildly curious to those who, like myself, are addicted to the coming-of -age memoir, particularly in this post-James Frey world.

The program is free and open to all. Hope to see you there.


ESL, GED and Citizenship Info

Information on GED, ESL and the Citizenship process is much sought after at the Worcester Public Library. We have updated these pages on our website and hope that your patrons will find them helpful too.

The classes and agencies listed on our website are located in the Worcester area. Most often, our patrons have found themselves wait-listed since the class of their choice is full. We hope that with this resource, patrons can now make use of alternate locations that provide the same service.

We’ve also added links to a list of ESL/GED and Pimsleur language materials available at the Worcester Public Library. In addition, you can connect to learning English websites, practice tests from LearningExpress and the new Naturalization test from this blog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For Bibliophiles Only...

While looking for library-inspired furniture for a gift, I stumbled across this website, Kim lives in The Netherlands and is obsessed with collecting books AND book-related gadgets, such as invisible and creative shelving. Not finding a satisfactory site, she started this one to bring together all things books, explaining "there is a lot to find on the web about literature et cetera. But no website that contains articles and products that have to do with reading. Reading gadgets, if you will. Until now. I have been longing for a site with stuff that I could lust for. And occasionally buy. This is why I decided to start a blog with reading gadgets myself. Very rapidly I found out that a lot of people were also waiting for a site like this."

The site is still undergoing organization, but there are lists of blogs for every reading interest as well as links to many library-related products. One of my favorites is a YouTube film for a library chair that follows you around the building, stopping to rest wherever you need it. Enjoy browsing!

Monday, November 10, 2008

U.S. Cities Profiles
According to the about us page of this site "We've collected and analyzed data from numerous sources to create as complete and interesting profiles of all U.S. cities as we could. We have over 63,000 city photos not found anywhere else, graphs of latest real estate prices and sales trends, recent home sales, home value estimator, hundreds of thousands of maps, satellite photos, stats about residents (race, income, ancestries, education, employment...), geographical data, state profiles, crime data, registered sex offenders, cost of living, housing, businesses, local news links based on our exclusive technology, birthplaces of famous people, political contributions, city government finances and employment, weather, hospitals, schools, libraries, houses, airports, radio and TV stations, zip codes, area codes, air pollution, latest unemployment data, time zones, water systems and their health and monitoring violations, comparisons to averages, professionally written city guides, a forum and a social network with 420,000 registered members and 5,300,000 posts, 5,000+ user-submitted facts, 13,000+ exclusive local business profiles with photos, and more demographics. If you ever need to research any city for any reason, from considering a move there to just checking where somebody you know is staying, this is the site for you."

U.S. Government Documents

People often think of U.S. Government Documents as tomes of textual material. Did you know that they really are available in a variety of formats? The Worcester Public Library's U.S. Document collection, in addition to over 90,000 paper items,and over 200,000 microfiche items, currently contains over 900 CD-ROM items, 83 DVD-ROM items, and 20 VHS tapes. There are also KITS which contain information on various topics which can be used as teaching aids. All of these documents are available for loan. They can be searched for on the Worcester Public Library's Online Catalog.

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