Richard III’s recently unearthed skull Photo: AP/Leicester University
The recent discovery of the remains of Richard III and the unabated love of all things Downton Abbey has us answering lots of questions from Anglophiles lately. So, if you’re a lover of all things English, or even if you just like their TV shows, we can help.
Learn more about Richard III from Biography in Context, or check our online catalog for items on the Wars of the Roses. Have your library card handy in case you see something you want to put on hold!
Although not historically accurate, many people’s beliefs about Richard III come from Shakespeare’s history plays depicting the Wars of the Roses (“My kingdom for a horse!”). Of course we have lots of resources for and about the Bard. Here’s a little library trivia: Shakespeare is the only author to have his very own Dewey Decimal Classification number (822.33). We also have access to the wonderful Cambridge Shakespeare Survey Online. All you need is your library card.
Looking for something a little more trendy and suitably English while you’re waiting for Downton Abbey? Try the charmingly touching and funny true-to-life memoirs of Jennifer Worth about being a midwife in London’s East End. Call the Midwife is on DVD, CD, or in print. It’s got it all–a true story, a gritty and interesting setting, quirky and loveable characters–and, of course, the babies.
Whether your tastes run more to Shakespeare or modern memoir, we can help you Anglophiles find exactly what you want. Just ask us!
Banana Joe, a five-year-old affenpinscher, was named the Best in Show at this year’s Westminster Dog Show. There is no prize money for this achievement, but Banana Joe takes home a silver bowl along with lots of publicity and prestige.
More than 2,700 dogs representing 187 varieties and breeds competed for honors at this year’s show which was held at Madison Square Garden.
The American Kennel Club recently released its list of America’s most popular dogs. At the top of the list is the Labrador retriever, followed by the German shepherd, golden retriever, beagle and the bulldog.
The library has a large collection of books and DVDs on dog breeds, training, and health. Check our catalog or Ask Us! We’ve also compiled more online information on pet wellness.
When did the term “First Lady” come into popular use when referring to the president’s wife? In the early days of the U.S. there was not a generally accepted title for the president’s wife. When Lucy Hayes, wife of the 19th president, Rutherford B. Hayes, accompanied her husband to San Francisco in 1877, the press referred to her as “The First Lady of the Land” and the title stuck.
Some First Lady trivia: Which First Lady was once the national president of the Girls Scouts? (Answer: Lou Hoover) Which First Lady was the first to earn a graduate degree? (Answer: Pat Nixon) Which First Ladies were divorcees when they married their husbands? (Answer: Florence Harding and Betty Ford)
To learn more about our First Ladies, check out the First Ladies’ National Library in Canton, Ohio, which was established when Hillary Clinton was our First Lady. The library is open for tours and workshops. It organizes events and exhibits. Michelle Obama is the library’s honorary chairwoman.
Our Library has many books on our First Ladies. More first lady biographies are available in our online resources, too. Check our online catalog or Ask Us!
If you’re an early tax filer, you’re probably frustrated by your inability to get your hands on the forms you need.
Because of the legislation passed on January 1 (remember the “fiscal cliff” deal?), many federal forms and instructions need to be rewritten. In addition to updating forms, the IRS must also test their programming and processing systems. According to the IRS, most people will be able to begin filing January 30.
Some forms may not be available until late February or early March, including a few popular forms like Form 8396 Mortgage Interest Credit and Form 8909 Energy Efficient Appliance Credit.
The fastest way to get your refund is to e-file. You can file for free with the IRS, if you meet income requirements. And everyone can file their Illinois returns free online with WebFile from the Illinois Department of Revenue. WebFile will begin accepting returns January 30.
Need help with forms, filing, or have questions? Try our Tax Time hot topic; come in to use our print and online resources; or check out a book or pick up forms (when they send us some), to take home.
January is National Soup Month. The Library has many soup cookbooks to help you find the perfect recipe to please your family during these cold winter days. Browse the cookbook section with the call number 641.813 or try one of these titles:
Have you seen the new Spielberg movie Lincoln and want to know more about the events depicted in the movie? Are you trying to remember what you learned in American History way back when? We have lots of books about Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, the Civil War, etc.
Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of the sources used by the creators of the movie. 973.7 GOO)
A. Lincoln: a Biography by Ronald C. White Jr. is a comprehensive biography of the president. (B Lincoln)
Giant in the Shadows: the Life of Robert T. Lincoln is a biography of the Lincoln’s oldest and last surviving son. (B Lincoln)
Mary Todd Lincoln: a Biography by Jean H. Baker is a definitive account of the troubled former First Lady. (B Lincoln)
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by noted historian James McPherson is a study in how Lincoln worked with his military to defeat the Confederacy. (973.7 MCP)
Yes, it’s that happy time–our annual eReader purchasing advice. With more and more eReaders and tablet computers flooding the market, please take time before you buy to be sure that your gizmo will download library materials. Get a complete list of more than 100 library compatible reading and listening devices.
Whether you want a Nook, iPad, Kindle or an “off brand” tablet, CNET has reviewed the major players in the field for you. They even talk about library borrowing! Read the review, or stop in to see reviews from Consumer Reports. (Ask us how to use our Lexis Nexis online subscription to read Consumer Reports reviews from home.) If you’re only interested in the newest gadgets, MediaBistro has their top five.
Once you have your reader, smartphone or tablet, connect to our eBooks & Media page to get started. Want in-person support? Stop by any time (well, maybe not five minutes before we close), and staff will help you download your first item. We also regularly hold drop-in help sessions. Just check your current issue of Discover, our website, or give us a call for more information.
Finally, if you’re feeling an overload of technostress, we once again recommend turning to the Medieval Help Desk for a laugh. I know we post it every year, but it’s still funny!
We all studied about the War of 1812 in history class, but many of us know very little about this conflict. The 200th anniversary of the start of the war occurs this year, so perhaps this is a good time to remember what happened.
Did you know that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” after soldiers at Fort McHenry in Baltimore raised an American flag to mark their victory over the British on September 14, 1814?
The British burned down the White House on August 24, 1814, and first lady Dolley Madison refused to leave the building until the Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington had been saved. That painting hangs in the White House today.
The most famous American warship was the USS Constitution. You can visit this ship in Charleston, Massachusetts, near Boston.
Many important battles were fought in the midwest as the British sought to take control of the Great Lakes. Fort Dearborn, located where Chicago is now, was destroyed in the war.
Singer/Songwriter Emilia Dahlin CC Photo by: Ctd 2005 via Flickr
If you’re a crooner, a diva or a wedding singer, we’ll make you want to sing about our resources.
Photo: Chance Agrella
Sheet music: We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of books of sheet music (classical, rock, pop, historical, patriotic, and Christmas carols, to name a few). Don’t see the song you need for your instrument? Music can be a little tricky to search, so just ask!
Instruction: We have books, CDs and DVDs on mastering everything from piano to ukelele. You can even take music appreciation online (see Universal Class).
Shopping: If you need a new cello, piano, or guitar, we have books to help you buy the right instrument, or even build your own.
Online: Check out our Naxos sheet music database to download sheet music–legally! While best for classical pieces, it has a great feature for singers–transpose (change the key) online before you print most pieces. Hobbies & Crafts database features thousands of articles (with pictures) on everything from mixing your music in a studio to violin restoration.
Listening: Of course we have thousands and thousands of CDs, plus streaming and downloadable music. There are books to help you choose your next great listen or to learn about music styles and history. Don’t forget DVDs of musical performances, and all of the concerts at the library, too!
Seeking inspiration? Check out print or online biographies of musicians.
Whether you like to dabble or are trying to make it as a musician, let’s make beautiful music together.
I love my dogs and I spend a lot of time with them. I learn everything I can about them and love to find interesting sites to visit where I can learn and do new things. I am retired but never tire of finding great sites to visit and learn from thank you. on Rin Tin Tin and Other Special Dogs