In the Stacks–AMNESTY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

Yes, that’s right dear patrons! If you have any past due library fees you’re sweating about, your “get out of jail free” card is finally here! If any of you remember last year’s program, it was called Food for Thought. Sure enough, we’re bringing it back, so you’ll have a fresh start clearing up your overdue fines for 2016. Here is how it works:

For every one canned or non-perishable food item that you donate to any Las Vegas-Clark County library from April 1st to 30th, staff will clear $2.00 in fines off of your account.  A great fact to know is that there is no limit to how much you can donate!  Have $30 in late fees?  Then bring in 15 food items and your account is all clear!  Or bring in 5 food items and get $10 cleared off your account–whatever works for you!  It’s one of those cases of the more the merrier.

If you are a mom, dad, or legal guardian, you can donate food for fees on your kids’ accounts as well!  If you have any friends or family members out there that have shunned the library for years because they were scared to address that little ol’ fee they got forever and a day ago, kick them out of their chairs and tell them to come in with some food!  We will happily clear up their card for them. We’ll even throw in a free replacement card. Why not!?  We’re practically giving this service away!!!  Actually… yes!  We are giving this away. We provide free library services here! You’d have to be a sucker not to go for this phenomenal deal (don’t worry though, no judgement).

Now for the disclaimer (Boo): Food donations may not be used to pay for lost LVCCLD materials. And that’s it! No other catches. See!? Good things!  Questions?  Come in and talk to us, we’re here to help.

Again, this is taking place during the ENTIRE MONTH OF APRIL! Though if you come in on the 1st, I can’t guarantee you won’t get a severe amount of April Fool’s jokes played on you in the process. Oh! This also won’t be good on April 31st (hope you all understand why). I imagine by now you are thinking that I am having WAY too much fun with this blog. 😉

OK, I will stop myself from doing any more gabbing.  The facts are pretty basic and straightforward. Thus, thanks for bearing with me, readers. So just once more, each food item you bring in equals $2.00 toward fees cleared off your card if you donate it in person anytime during the month of April.  Not a whole lot to remember, nor forget!  Everybody wins!  So now there is NO excuse not to come in and get your cards all straightened out and clear of fees so you can get back on track and enjoy all the wonderful services we provide here at LVCCLD.  I look forward to seeing you all in April. Until then dear readers, stay classy…stay reading…stay fine free!

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In the Stacks: a review of Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle

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Wow… first blog of the year, this is very exciting! Well dear readers, I would like to start this new blog of the New Year by letting you all know about a fascinating book I just finished before enjoying my holiday break. BOY! What a book it was. Not something I would recommend before huddling close with your family by a fire enjoying some hot cocoa and watching the “A Christmas Story” marathon on cable… but enough about me.

Here’s the setup of this book: take a boy with proud Polish origins and a penchant for telling the most random histories of people, places, and things.  Add in some special pizza, a bunch of sexually frustrated/confused teenagers, and somehow,  an exposed plague that breeds human-sized praying mantises and there you have (drum roll please)Grasshopper Jungle: A History” by Andrew Smith. Now I’m still not 100% up to date on my YA fiction, but I can say it’d be a stretch to argue that this is quite possibly one of THE MOST controversial Young Adult fiction books you can presently read. Continue reading

In The Stacks — Look Out! Ol’ Seth, He is Back!!!

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Hello again dear readers. I am quite ecstatic to be writing you all today. Why you ask? Well it is for no other reason than one of my most favoritest (yes that’s right, I said favoritest) people just released a brand new cd, and I am just thrilled! So who was it? What “Seth” is a popular recording artist? Well… none other than Seth (flippin’) MacFarlane!!! I absolutely love that guy, and though his quality of work on TV versus film, acting, hosting, performing, etc. is debated by many, most people can definitely agree that he is one heck of a singer.

Seth is quite fond of bringing out the best of the old-fashioned crooners of the early days in a newer more funny/entertaining way. MacFarlane is never too far away from performing or using music in any way, shape or form, accompanied by Joel McNeely and his orchestra. McNeely is the one who composes the music for all of Seth’s TV shows and most of the orchestrations for the movies that Seth has created over these last couple of years. Continue reading

In The Stacks – LONG LIVE ROCK & ROLL!

Hello again, dear readers. It is no big surprise that I am a huge fan of music. Not just one particular genre either, I try to be open to all types of music from various times in history. I figure in any one genre of music, there is some song, style, artist, etc. that was good and you would enjoy. So why hate? Embrace your eclectic side!

I have constantly been amazed by the CD selection available through the library. And honestly folks, our collection gets more eclectic over time. That’s not even just factoring in our general CD collection, either. I know I have written a couple of different blogs about Freegal. Freegal is our online database where you can download up to 6 songs every week per library card, and can now download music videos as well! Also, we have once again uploaded the database so you may now also stream hours of music from your computer. Let me tell you guys, I have seen some music featured on Freegal that literally blows my mind as to how we ever thought to order such songs and artists. Continue reading

In the Stacks – ALRIGHT… WHAT’S WITH ALL THE HOOPLA???

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Hey there all you library fans!  I thought I would just take a moment to shed some light on a new feature that you can find straight off our library website.  In case any of you are wondering what that feature is, I am referring to LVCCLD’s new favorite program called “Hoopla”.  Now I have my own reasons for absolutely loving this program. However, since most of you guys I’m sure are not Kids in the Hall fans, it’s going to have to stay an inside joke to myself.  Moving along!  Hoopla is a fantastic, wonderful new program the library district is providing all of you out there so you may stream movies and TV shows without ever entering a physical library.  YES!!!

All that you fine ladies and gentlemen have to do is log into the LVCCLD.ORG website.  Then, select “HOOPLA” from our Quick Links set of tabs. From there, it will give you detailed instructions on setting up a Hoopla account, and in case you were concerned and wouldn’t already guess it, folks… yes, it is free!  Now, the fun facts regarding Hoopla use:

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In the Stacks–Back to School Help for Kids & Adults

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from http://www.teacherfiles.com

Well, a new school semester is upon us all.  Perhaps many of you school-age folk are antsy to get back into the classroom… or perhaps not.  Hopefully, you are excited to start new clubs and sports, or at least see your old friends after a long summer break.

However, I’m sure just about EVERYONE is not ready for homework, projects, extra credit; you know, the usual misery that goes hand in hand with school.  Well, if you do have your doubts about academic achievement, and if you’re downright dreading the upcoming assignments headed your way, just rest assured, LVCCLD has got your back, guys.

The library district has tons and tons of resources right at your fingertips ready to use to help aid you past the nightmare that is schoolwork.  Just come on by to any local branch and ask one of our fabulous librarians for assistance, and they will take good care of you.  If you need help finding books for reading lists, or reference information for a research project, we have what you need.   If you’re the kind of student who enjoys finding it yourself, just go online. Continue reading

In the Stacks – Art, Events, and Galleries…Oh My!

In the Stacks: A Blog Straight from the Mind of Steve

Hello dear readers! I bring to you today, a wonderful bunch of info in regards to something you probably didn’t know the libraries in Las Vegas even had… Events and Galleries!!! That’s right everybody, in practically every Las Vegas-Clark County Library District branch, there is an art gallery, a conference room, concert hall, theatre, etc.

Why does this matter? Because it is yet another service the district provides each and every one of you in order to expand your understanding of art and culture and more often than not, it’s just as free as when you check out items with your library card.

Years and years ago some very wonderful people who worked with the Library District decided they wanted to make spaces available for our patrons that could allow for further social entertainment. They wanted art galleries so artists could display their works for our local patrons. They wanted conference rooms so various community businesses could hold meetings and seminars. They wanted theatres and concert halls so that artists could perform their music or dance/stage performances in front of an audience.

And so they worked and worked, and when the dust settled, the Las Vegas-Clark County District walked away with quite literally some of the best performing arts spaces in the city. And for years now, the District has helped put on display some of the best art and performance pieces Las Vegas has ever had! Continue reading

In the Stacks – Steve’s Hub Reading Challenge Experience

In the Stacks: A Blog Straight from the Mind of Steve

It is that time yet again dear readers. I have just run out of time finishing the YALSA Hub Reading Challenge for this year. And once again… I must wave the white flag of defeat and inform you that I did not finish the 25 book goal. I started out in February with high hopes thinking that I could finish those 25 in no time at all. Well… the spirit died out fast I’m afraid. However! I am still quite happy with myself that I was able to read some of the most fascinating and entertaining stories that I have EVER READ!

Now of course, I did start out this challenge with the same strategy as last year, which was to read as many graphic novels on the list as possible. Dogs of War, War Brothers, and Boxers and Saints were absolutely the top picks in that regard.

steveDogs of War is split into three main stories about the service dogs in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. Each story becomes more intense with the type of exposure each animal had while assisting Allied troops overseas. Now I don’t want to spoil too much here… but each story does seem to find its way into a hopeful and happy ending.

War Brothers is a fictional account of teenage boys in Africa that become enslaved and forced into a life of guerilla warfare by a tyrannical warlord. A close group of friends are faced with the constant reminder that if they do not fit into this savage new way of life, they are surely expected to lose their own.

And last but not least was Boxers and Saints. There are two intertwining stories revolving around the Boxer Rebellion in China around the turn of the twentieth century. The images are quite captivating, and the stories very easy to become hooked on. Yet the most interesting thing about both of them was that though they reflect a serious subject matter, they still show moments of true teenage innocence. Each story is told through the eyes of a young boy and young woman who through their different life paths, become engrossed in the bitter struggle of Chinese citizens who sought a way to rid their homeland of foreign oppression. Can you guys tell I am drawn to graphic novels involving combat??? Continue reading

In the Stacks: Summer Reading and YOU!

In the Stacks: A Blog Straight from the Mind of Steve

This week’s subject: Summer Reading and YOU!

Well I know by the time this hits the Facebook page, the Summer Reading Program will have already started in full swing. I am standing at the Circulation desk right now, and I see vacant spaces all along our pathway to YPL. It is 10:30 am on Sunday June 1st, but I can just feel the energy that is awaiting us as the day progresses. I know that kids and parents alike are going to literally be swarming this whole library with a buzz of excitement at getting registered for the program.

For all of you fellas out of the loop, the Summer Reading Program begins today, June 1st, and will continue all the way until August 2nd. Here are some of the fantastic details:

            You sign up at the Young People’s Department.

            You automatically are entered into a drawing for a $50 Target gift card.

            You automatically get a beautiful purple wallet to hold your library card.

            All you have to do to finish the program is read 20 books. JUST 20 BOOKS!!!

steve Continue reading

In the Stacks – Support Your Local Butterfly

Last year, I wrote a blog about the love o’ my life having Lupus. Lupus is an auto-immune disease which translates to your own body, for whatever reason, physically attacking itself. It leads to massive infections, organ failure, and horrible skin lesions just to name a few symptoms. Did you ever wonder why the artist Seal has those horrible marks on his face? Yeah… it’s because he has what is called Discoid Lupus. There are several forms of Lupus which can affect human beings in several different ways, and not one of them is in any way curable or not major in the damage it causes you and your loved ones.

My fiancé has battled this terrible illness for about seven years now. She deals with so much and yet still maintains a full time job and is the primary parent to her twelve year old daughter. That is a miracle in and of itself. I seriously do not know how she does it. I was thinking just this morning about what subject I should write about for my next blog, and like fate, I received a notification on my phone. It was for an email from the Lupus Foundation of America to which I have subscribed to for years now. They said May is Lupus Awareness Month. Talk about a light bulb going off in my head! And where am I taking this new blog? Do you know that about 16,000 people are diagnosed with Lupus each year in America? Now there have been many breakthroughs recently about how to properly diagnose Lupus. Truth is… it’s complicated. It is extremely complicated. There are countless occurrences when people are diagnosed with Lupus who in actuality, do not have it. And there are even more occurrences when people have Lupus, and is never detected through medical testing. The illness itself is some kind of mystical anomaly in modern day medicine. And what happens when certain people hear about things that they just don’t understand? Well… isn’t the old saying that ignorance is bliss?

So hopefully this will grab your attention, I know in my last blog I mentioned some big celebrities that were said to have Lupus: Toni Braxton, Seal as I mentioned above, and Nick Cannon is a big name nowadays. Nick Cannon just recently started showing his support for Lupus by walking in Washington DC with thousands of DC residents to “End Lupus Now”. That was just a couple of weeks ago. Did you know that close to that time last year, he was still making public statements that he felt he couldn’t address his diagnosis to anyone for fear he wouldn’t have a job anymore? He’d probably lose his America’s Got Talent gig. Can’t have a man who could be out on sick leave indeterminately now can we? In this last year, it was further determined Lady Gaga has tested positive for Lupus. Here’s another big name for everyone… Selena Gomez is battling Lupus as we speak. Now have any of them gone out and said they want to stand up for this horrible illness? No, and why? Because they are afraid; they are scared. And really, who can blame them?

When your body attacks itself, you are left hurting from the inside. You can’t move and your joints are severely inflamed. I’ll bet you that a lot of times, Lupus patients would pray to only have something like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Cancer even for that matter. Because how can you expect anyone to look at you and believe you can be in such a horrible state, when it isn’t physically showing itself on your body? Normally, people in severe Lupus flares can only show that they are in a flare if they present the infamous mark on their face: The Butterfly Rash. Basically, both cheeks light up a bright red, and that is how you can tell more often than not. People can easily mistake it for sunburn I’m sure. Is it fair? It doesn’t seem that way, but that is life in this day and age. Without awareness and true understanding, that is all anyone can expect.

So this month, I think we should honor all of those who have lost control of their own bodies. Here in the Library District, there are hundreds if not thousands of resources available to anyone interested in learning and understanding this illness. And so you all know, the national symbol for Lupus is the purple butterfly. So support your local butterflies this month! Or just wear some purple if you feel so inclined. Lucky for us staff… we are getting ready for the Summer Reading Program and our shirts we wear to promote the program are in fact a nice, dark purple. So ha! We all get to support by default. Until next time dear readers… stay classy… stay reading… stay understanding. 🙂  – Steve

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Picture from http://www.catescreative.com