Friday, August 30, 2013

Celebrate Labor Day and Workers with These Great DVDs

It's one of the most dramatic moments in movie history and the lead actress, Sally Field, doesn't say a word. Instead, she stands on a table in a textile mill as machines clatter and whir around her and holds up a sign that says UNION. One by one her co-workers, including her mother who has lost most of her hearing at the mill, shut down their machines.

Norma Rae, for which Sally Field won an Oscar, is one of the best movies about workers but far from the only one. The library owns many others, from feature films like Matewan, set in a West Virginia coal mining town in the 1920s, to Harlan County, USA, by master documentarian Barbara Kopple, who received an Academy Award for Harlan County as well as American Dream, the latter also about workers and as suspenseful as many feature films. These movies are compelling and entertaining as well as a great way to celebrate Labor Day and the contributions of workers to society.

Feel free to recommend your own favorite movies about workers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On the Order of Things

I tend to live my life in chronological order. I don't bounce around in time much. Like most people I finished high school in my teen years and did college in the years that followed. And though I might visit some memories of my past from time to time or connect with an old friend on facebook, I tend to stay pretty much in today.

It often drives me crazy when authors (or movie producers) mess with the chronology of their storylines, especially in a series. In my favorite series, the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child, my least favorite are those that visit earlier periods in his life. I want what is happening now.

Similarly, Vince Flynn has done the same thing with his Mitch Rapp series. I have enjoyed a number of the Mitch Rapp books but I have not read them all. When I heard that Vince Flynn passed away earlier this year I decided that I would go back and reread his books in order. I had to choose between reading them in published order or chronological order and I chose chronological. Interestingly his second most recent book (by publication date) Kill Shot is a flashback and is the second book in the series chronologically. This would have bugged me had I been reading it in published order, but doing it this way it was awesome. It is one of my favorites in the series now.

Don't get me started on what the correct order of the Star Wars movies should be. I saw them in the theaters when they first came out (so yes I am old). Does it make me curmudgeonly to not want to watch them in chronological order? After trying to explain to my seven-year old son about the chronological versus publication order, I gave in and we have been watching them chronologically. And they are better that way.

What I am learning about myself in all this is that I definitely prefer things when they follow their natural timeline. And if they don't I need to trick myself and experience them in as close to chronological order as I can make them.

One tool I use is the "What's Next" database. This helps by listing the order of a series chronologically. We are often asked for help finding the next book in the series. And though that information is in the catalog it is sometimes easier and read and print from What's Next.

Does anyone like it when an author messes with the chronology of their series? 

Friday, August 23, 2013

While You Wait for The Cuckoo's Calling

JK Rowling's latest book The Cuckoo's Calling, a detective novel written under the pen name Robert Galbraith, has flown off the shelves and hit the bestsellers lists. It received favorable reviews before the author's true identity was leaked. But now that we know who the real author is, it's in great demand. So here's some advice from our own Tracy G:
...if you are eagerly awaiting a hot item, consider asking us for suggestions to pass the time with. You may stumble across an undiscovered gem while waiting for your hold to come in.
So while The Cuckoo's Calling is still a wish away, why not sample another mystery featuring a flawed but gifted detective. Here are just a few:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Lure of the Hold List

Your library card grants you telekinesis on books, movies, and music available at the library. Being able to reserve materials feels like the force for me.

Courtesy of breathing-chemicals
 It is neutral  in nature, maybe even lawful neutral (Dungeons & Dragons anyone?), but in the wrong hands (my hands) it can become a problem. A Hoarders-like problem.

Putting things on hold through the library catalog inevitably becomes a free version of an online shopping binge. Which is awesome at first.

Courtesy of  lynncolourmonster

Then when the items I have ordered come in, I am left awash in a sea of disturbed confusion, trying to piece together what events and thoughts led me to request half the YALSA Quick Picks list, Train's Drops of Jupiter, and Alive at the same time.

Being able to request a nearly unlimited amount of items through the library is a great power. And with it comes great responsibility as Uncle Ben said in Spiderman. Use it wisely, and before deciding you can read 6 books at once via osmosis merely by stacking them near your bed, consider adding them to The List You Never Finish first.

On the opposite end of the holds spectrum, if you are eagerly awaiting a hot item, consider asking us for suggestions to pass the time with. You may stumble across an undiscovered gem while waiting for your hold to come in.

Friday, August 16, 2013

From car reviews to Kim Kardashian @ your library website

You have access to the latest issues of over 70 magazines with your Des Plaines library card right this moment. You do not have to step foot in the library to access them. All you need to is log into  Zinio with your Des Plaines library card. You can flip through the pages online just as you would with the hard copy.

Chicago Magazine August 2013

Chicago Magazine August 2013
 Here are some of the many titles available right now:
Are you still reading this blog? Stop and go to eDPPL to get started using Zinio.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wilhelm Scream Movies

The Wilhelm Scream is stock sound footage that has long been an inside joke amongst movie sound editors and has crept into every imaginable corner of Hollywood. It often accompanies a character being shot, falling from a height, or being thrown by an explosion. Once you hear it, it's impossible to miss it. The unifying factor of all of the movies in this list is that they contain the Wilhelm Scream, originally created for the film Distant Drums in 1951 and propagated greatly be Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.