The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a beautifully written story of a recently retired Englishman who sets out one afternoon to mail a letter to a dear friend from his past, and ends up walking over 600 miles across the English countryside, from his southern town of Kingsbridge to Berwick-upon-Tweed.Harold's pilgrimage changes his life and touches the lives of those he meets along the way.
The book is filled with beautiful text, full of empathy and human compassion, as well as breathtaking sections brilliantly describing the beauty of being alone and outdoors. I found myself constantly highlighting sections on my kindle version of the book--so many beautiful, nod-your-head-in-agreement passages. Here are a couple I found read-again worthy:
"Life was very different when you walked through it. Between gaps in the banks, the land rolled up and down, carved into checkered fields, and lined with ridges of hedging and trees. He had to stop to look. There were so many shades of green Harold was humbled. Some were almost a deep velvety black, others so light they verged on yellow."
"He had learned that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness, and the loneliness of that too. The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time. Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human."
The Friends of the Library's 8th annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting Benefit was a huge success. Tickets sold out, there was a lot of delicious chocolate and wine, lots of conversation and fun, a great silent auction, and good music. The Friends raised over $14,000 for books and other library resources. What a magnicifent example of community spirit! A huge heartfelt thanks to the Friends, our guests, and all the local bakeries, grocers, candy makers, restaurants, wineries, and other businesses and individuals who contributed, and to the local media who helped get the word out.
You may now use your mobile devices to access the Monterey public Library wherever it is convenient for you, using “Library Anywhere” a native app for iPhone, iPad, Android, and a mobile website for all small screen browsers. Using this free app, you can search the Library’s catalog, place holds, check your library card account, find out about upcoming events, check Library hours and location, get contact information, download ebooks and audio books, and use World Book Mobile. Download the free app from the Library’s website at www.monterey.org/library. If you need assistance, call 831.646.3933.
Eligible Californians can now register to vote online, thanks to a new Web application form at RegisterToVote.ca.gov.
"Today the Internet replaces the mailbox for thousands of Californians wanting to register to vote,” said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California’s chief elections officer in a news release. “Online or on paper, California’s laws and procedures for processing voter registration applications are identical. Security is a critical part of elections, and I want to emphasize this online application is not ‘automatic registration.’ The information provided in an online application still must be verified by a county elections official before an applicant can be added to the voter rolls.”
Are you learning your way around the world of eReading? We're offering another chance for you to sit down with a patient tutor and get started borrowing books from the Library or downloading free books from the public domain. It's easy to make the most of your Kindle, Nook, or iPad. We're taking sign-ups for 60 minute time slots with eBook tutor Michelle for this Friday, March 16th, from 1:00 p.m. up to 5:00 p.m. Can't make it this Friday? We'll be announcing more dates soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Yes, the Library's closed, but holiday stories are still available
The Library closes today at 6 and won't reopen until Wednesday. Maybe you forgot to pick up books for the holidays? Don't despair! Read along and watch the animation of Twas the Night Before Christmas on Tumblebooks and Bookflix. Bookflix also has Morris's Disappearing Bag ,Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, and Too Many Tamales along with nonfiction on the holidays. The International Children's Picture Book Database has Christmas books in many languages available to read with no waiting, including A Christmas Carol, Christmas Rhymes and TheChristmas Tree Ship.. A Christmas Journey is in German, as is Waldo, Tell Me About Christmas - also in Norwegian. The New Year Picture Book is in Serbian. Of course, you can also watch Jane and me telling Christmas stories too. Download your materials for the Winter Family Reading Program to win a prize besides having fun. All this starts on the the Monterey Public Library Kids Page. Happy Holidays from the Library!
Today I met someone from the first family to complete the Winter Family Reading Program. This family chose a beautiful hardcover copy of The Jungle Book for their family reading prize. There is still plenty of time left, though. The program continues until January 14. Cross off an additional state if you find a map or flag of the state to color on the Kids Page under “Find a map”.
Further Adventures in Electronic Books - Coming Soon
As the world of digital publishing, reading, purchasing, and lending expands and changes, we're here to help you explore this reading landscape. Here's what we have in the works at the moment:
This Saturday, November 19th, from 1:00 -3:00 p.m. is another opportunity for Kindle users to receive a crash course in borrowing books from Monterey Public Library through our Northern California Digital Library. Brand-new Kindle owners can also learn a little more about their eBook Reader and compare notes with other Kindle users.
After the holidays we'll be offering our full scale Digital Books Show & Tell event for the second year. This event offers a chance for new and veteran digital readers to learn about great sources for searching, finding, and discovering material online. We'll also highlight the differences in the devices for those interested in comparing. So mark your calendars for Saturday, January 7th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Even further ahead we're examining the idea of actually lending eBook Readers out to you! We're still evaluating options, but the idea is exciting. Other libaries have already implemented loaning programs. If you have any thoughts or feelings about this idea, feel free to comment here. We'll also be conducting a survey to get some more ideas in January.
How many times have you picked up a book in a bookstore or a friend's house and wondered whether or not you could get it from the Library? The Library Anywhere iPhone/iPad and Android apps can now scan the UPC barcode on the back of most books to search the Library catalog. Watch the video to see how it works!
When you check out a Kindle Book, click on "Get for Kindle" to open a new window (or tab) at Amazon. Log into your Amazon account and select which Kindle device or app your books should be delivered to. You can read Kindle books on PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and numerous other tablet devices.You will be able to use the Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights, and last page read on the Kindle device and free Kindle apps.
Michael S. Hart passed away this week in Illinois. On July 4, 1971--40 years ago!--Hart typed the Declaration of Independence into a computer and sent it to other users on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign computer network. From that beginning, he created Project Gutenberg, which now has more than 36,000 ebooks available for free download to computers, ebook readers, and other portable devices. Many of these books are classics and all are public domain, or free of copyright restrictions, in the United States. A small selection of these titles is included in the Library catalog, and the entire collection is available on the Project Gutenberg Web site. Why make literature and ideas available to millions of people for free in a new format? "Learning is its own reward," said Michael S. Hart, "Nothing I can say is better than that."
Amazon.com announced yesterday that they are now selling more Kindle books than all print books combined! It's amazing how rapidly the popularity of eBooks has grown. People love to read, and now they love to read on their pads, phones, Kindles, Nooks, and other readers. The Library has a Digital Books Show & Tell Subject Guide for people just starting to download eBooks and audiobooks. Library cardholders can check out both from the Northern California Digital Library. Kindle format books will be available from NCDL later this year. There are also some free out-of-copyright classic eBooks in the Library catalog. We hope we'll have the books you want wherever and however you want to read them.
May is one of our 3 storytime break months. In May youth staff focus on getting ready for the summer reading program, and we visit all the schools to make sure everyone knows about the importance of summer reading.
It isn't quite the same, but our web branch offers storytime anytime, and this is a good time to check it out. Go to the events page and notice the three links near the bottom. Tumblebooks reads storybooks with a little animation. There are over 300 hundred books and puzzles included. Bookflix pairs over 100 (25 Spanish) picture book videos by Weston Woods with a related nonfiction title which is read without animation. Bookflix also has puzzles, comprehension activities and web links. The International Children's Digital Library offers over 4000 picture books in over 50 languages, but does not read them to you.
Of course, we still hope to see you in the Library each week. In fact, the Storytime Anytime links can be viewed on any Library Catalog/Database computer, as well as at home.
Have fun with Storytime Anytime, and comment here about your favorite way to "do" storytime at home.
Did you get an eReader or tablet computer for the holidays? With the wide variety of eBook formats, readers, and computers, it can be difficult to figure out how to get the books you want to read onto your device--especially if you want to borrow books from the Library or download free books instead of buying books from a store. For an introduction to the strange new world of eBooks and eBook readers, check out the Library's Digital Books Show and Tell Subject Guide. You'll find a user-friendly guide to hardware, software, and file formats, links to sources of digital books, and a how-to video on Library text eBooks.
If you like to play games, consider coming out Sunday, November 15th, to play games in the Library. National Gaming Day in Libraries is a American Library Association annual event that began in 2008, with Libraries across the country hosting games and game-players for a day of sharing and connecting with your peers.
This year, Monterey Public Library is celebrating with a Games Fair featuring board games, card games, and video games! Our volunteer experts will bring their favorites to share with you, and the Library will provide information about the latest trends and news in the world of gaming. This event is for beginners and experts, families and individuals, young and old alike. If you would like to volunteer to teach a game for our Games Fair, please contact Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call the reference desk for more information at 831.646.3933
If you are a frequent visitor to our web site, you may have noticed the steady stream of incremental changes over the last several weeks that have transformed many of our web pages. After several years of keeping to strict guidelines about how wide our pages are and how much data they need to load, we have made the leap to a larger page width (a 37% increase), and we're beginning to add more photos to many of our pages. For a look at some of the new content, head down to the kids page, the teen page, or the reference page, and discover something new!
During this time of new beginnings, I decided to take a trip back in time to look at the history of the Monterey Public Library web site. To do so, I enlisted one of my favorite internet toys, the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. For the uninitiated, the Wayback machine allows you to look at what almost any web page looked like six months ago, last year, or even way back in the year 2000. For a trip down the Monterey Public Library web site memory lane, click here
Last week I finally found time to try out a digital audio book from the Northern California Digital Library on my iPod. We have had a subscription for this serivce for a few years now, but only very recently have books been available in a format you can listen to on an iPod.
I tried out R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island. It took me a few minutes to read through the directions on how to get started, but once I did the whole process was a lot easier.
Downloading books to your computer or iPod is a great way to use the Library to get reading material even when the Library building is closed. You can 'keep' your digital books for 2 weeks, just the same as physical books. Just install the free software for digital books and you will be on your way.
To celebrate the inclusion of iPods with the Digital Library, we've put together a brand new web page on using this service. So go enjoy those digital books, and tell us your stories about using the Northern California Digital Library service.
We just learned that our blog software has been asking for an email address and password before readers could submit comments. It's fixed now. Please comment away! You may want to join the discussion about The Paper Bag Princess, two posts below.
Can one person really wreck your whole summer or your whole school year? In Enemy Pie, the new guy next door, Jeremy, does that for our main character. But, Dad has the solution: a pie that can get rid of enemies. What do you think such a pie might be made of? Does it work? What do you think? Read or view the book online through Tumblebooks on the Kids' Page and then let us know what you think about enemies and this method of erasing them from your life. If you don't believe in enemy pie, give us your recipe for fixing the enemy problem. What has worked for you? Did your dad (or mom) have any good advice about friends and enemies? Or do dads and moms think kids' problems are too easily solved? Share your comments on this book, or a story about a friend or enemy in your life inspired by this story. Join the book discussion blog!
Michael Vicent won four tickets to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in Monterey Public Library's Back-To-School Live Homework Help promotion. Everyone who showed us their tutor session slip was entered in the drawing and received a small back-to-school prize. Michael won the grand prize. However, with Live Homework Help, the Library's free online chat-based tutoring service for students of any age, everyone wins - better grades. Try Live Homework Help anytime in the library or through the Library website at home, and look for another contest around the time of mid-terms.
This Friday September 18 at 3 p.m. will be the drawing! To enter, just try Live Homework Help, the Library's free online tutoring program for Kindergarten through adult learners. Get help for your homework, Kindergarten through Calculus, math, writing, science, and more. Live Homework can be found on the Kids Page, the Teen Zone and on the databases page. Access it at home with your (free) library card or in the Library and chat with a tutor -live. Then print out your session slip and show it to staff at the Youth Services Desk or Bookmobile. You'll get a small prize as well as the chance for the big prize- four tickets to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It's easy, and you might win! Questions?Contact the Youth Desk email@example.com or 646-3744.