How’s your public library? by da-AL

How often do you use the public library nearest to you? Books are heaven to me (I’m in the middle of writing two novels!) — but here in Los Angeles, they’re not the only reason to I love them.

Photo of spaniel dog with his nose in a book, reading.
Photo by 2Photo Pots on Unsplash
  1. Any California resident can get a Los Angeles County Public Library card.
  2. All services are entirely free!
  3. Visitors can browse, and cardholders can borrow in-person or order online — materials from hard copies, audiobooks, magazines, music, movies, and more — to downloadable ones.
  4. Los Angeles County has nearly 100 libraries, including bookmobiles. Free of charge, they’ll deliver books from one site to another.
  5. Physically challenged people can have items delivered.
  6. Vocational and fun classes are available online and at their facilities — many online ones engage real teachers.
  7. There’s live online homework tutoring.
  8. Job seekers and business owners have lots of resources.
  9. Enjoy fun events — music, crafts, reading, and workshops.
  10. Over the summer, kids get free lunches.
  11. Lonely or just want to be cozy and quiet? Come on in!
  12. Meeting spaces can be used by groups and tutors.
  13. Get help obtaining a high school diploma.
  14. Wifi, computers, and printers are complimentary. Photocopying fees are nominal.
Photo of spaniel dog with his nose in a book, reading.
Photo by 2Photo Pots on Unsplash

Share about your public library and share this post…

Guest Blog Post: Tips for Sleuthing the Past by Margaret Lossi

Who'll your search turn up? Photo thanks to Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com
Who will your search turn up? Photo thanks to Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

Writers and readers alike, for times we’d like to look into our histories, author Margaret Lossi offers tips for how to get started. My two novels are works-in-progresses! Lossi says that when it comes to looking up one’s family background, be prepared for surprises…

M.A. Lossl

The Family Tree

Warning: family history can lead to emotional discoveries.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but you begin at the end! That is, you begin with you.

Check your birth certificate, verify your parents. It may seem like a given, but just sometimes people find they are adopted, or their mum is really their grandma. It pays to check.

Check your parents birth certificates, to verify your grandparents. Then work your way back through the generations, verifying birth certificates.

These first steps build the strong foundation of your family tree, so worth doing well.

It is not a case of how far back you can go, but the quality of your data

You may wish to answer a family question. I knew my parents were second cousins, so wanted to find out about this link. Set yourself a goal to work towards. Whatever your motivation, make sure you verify each…

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Breathtaking Bilbao, Spain by da-AL

The Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain
The Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain, features many American artists, from Frank Geary’s architecture to Jeff Koon’s “Puppy” flower sculpture.

Sure Frank Gehry’s amazing architecture at the Guggenheim Museum helped put a failing Bilbao, Spain back on the map. Front, back, in, and out the Guggenheim Museum, Spain, turns perceptions upside down and inside out (tap or click each photo for more info)…

However, art and art-worthy architecture abound everywhere in Bilbao.

There's much notable architecture in Bilbao, Spain.
There’s much notable architecture in Bilbao, Spain.

Along the way to the museum, we stopped to see Azkuna Zentroa. Built in 1909, it now houses a building within a building balanced on unusual columns.

It’s part of the Spain half of Basque Country. That means that both Spanish and Euskara are spoken. Good food abounds, including pintxos, Northern Spain’s version of small delicious plates of tapas.

Bilbao, Spain is a beautiful city.
Bilbao, Spain is a beautiful city.

Our airbnb hostesses Iciar Ruiz (who owns her own design business) and her daughter, Alba, helped us decide what to see.

Iciar and her daughter made our visit extra nice.
Iciar and her daughter made our visit extra nice.

My love and I had just left the beaches of San Sebastián, toured the phenomenal French side of Basque Countrywonderful Huesca, pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, and enchanting Espelette. Our adventure started with beautiful Barcelona. There was more for us to see…

 

Let’s Make Every Week Banned Books Week! by da-AL

Persepolis is discussed by a UK teen on youtube video about Banned Book Week.

Does the threat of a book being banned ensure that it’s among the finest books written? Check out the fantastic examples cited by the smart folks in this 29-second video (and pat yourself on the back if you smile when “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is discussed — *see end of this post for why)…

Banned Book Week needs to be every week of the year! Started in the U.S., the now international event has been honored every last week of September since 1982.

* Whereas the girl in the video remembers the story as happening in South America during the 1920s, here’s how Wikipedia tells it: “The story takes place during three years (1933–35) of the Great Depression in the fictional “tired old town” of Maycomb, Alabama, the seat of Maycomb County.”

Once my novels-in-progress are published, I hope they’re not banned! How many potentially banned books have you read?

Guest Blog Post: What to Read When You’re Feeling Super Lazy by Orang-utan Librarian

Drawing of an orangutan reading a listLove + Compulsion… From as far back as I can remember, I had to learn to read! Once I started, I’ve never stopped. Now I’m writing two novels! Was Orang-utan Librarian reading over my shoulder?…

the orang-utan librarian

Hello again!! Yes, I’m actually posting twice in a week- you’re not seeing things! Oh you thought you’d seen the last of me for this month? Well sorry to disappoint 😉 I wanted to do a great “here’s what I’ve been reading this summer guys!” post- but let’s be real, I’ve not actually been doing much reading. Instead, I thought I’d give you an idea of what I’ve been reading/to give myself an idea of what I *should* be reading.

orangutan listLabels on food packets– ermmm yeah this is one of the things I’m actually reading at the moment- to be fair, it’s helping me practice another language, so it’s not cos I’ve become a food nut and I’m not totally weird (okay I am a little weird but you knew that already 😉 )

Road signs– same reason as above- it’s practice! (also directions probably count here, but…

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Guest Blog Post: Help Wanted: Book Reviewers for Indie Blu(E)

grorilla hands on a laptop next to banana
Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com has a unique perspective…

Love books? Do gorillas have hands or paws? Enjoy telling others about books? Indie Blu(E), “a collective of indie-published writers and readers who want to discover them,” needs you…

Indie Blu(e) Publishing

Six good reasons to write book reviews for Indie Blu(e):

  • Free copies of books by great indie writers
  • Advanced access to new releases
  • Further development of your writing and reviewing skills
  • Increased exposure for your writing
  • Opportunity to network with indie writers & indie publishers
  • Opportunity to support & promote indie writers

Intrigued? Contact us at indieblucollective@gmail.com

Image courtesy of Jimmi Campkin

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Guest Blog Post: “Seaweeds of the Irish Coast,” in the exact words of GaiaInAction

Photo of Irish seaweeds by GaiaInAction

Love eating seaweed (aka sea veggies)? They’re delish and massively awesome for us. Leave it to former branch librarian GaiaInAction to capture their beauty…

agoyvaerts

Yesterday saw a whole bunch of us interested folks going to explore the arboretum at Ardnagashel in Glengarriff, West Cork, but apart from admiring the wonderful trees we also received lots of information on the seaweeds and lichens along this stretch of coast. Ardnagashel was established by the Hutchins family and it was as part of the Heritage Week of Ireland that these activities took place, in memory of Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815)who was a remarkable Irish Botanist. The talks on the lichens and seaweeds were given by Howard Fox, who is the State Botanist (National Botanic Gardens) and by Maria Cullen. This ‘life’ introduction to the seaweeds and the lichens of the coast of Bantry Bay was so very interesting. a true first introduction in this field for me. Later in the afternoon Madeline Hutchins (Ellen’s great great grand niece) took us through the forested area of this garden and…

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Guest Blog Post: “Libraries,” in Paula Pederson’s exact words

Indeed, E.B. says it so eloquently, “A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy …”

Paula Pederson

EB_White_and_his_dog_Minnie E.B. White in Maine with his dog, Minnie

I’m featuring E.B. White again this week. Known to 20th century readers of the New Yorker magazine, he is best known for his three beloved, classic children’s books: Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He also co-authored  a classic book for writers, The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White.

In case you need some peace and quiet in the midst of your summer, here is another of White’s quotes:

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company in sad times and happy times, for books are people —people who have managed to stay alive by…

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Guest Blog Post: “Heaven on Earth for a Book Lover…” in Parul Joshi’s exact words

Private Library in the WoodsI thought a public library was heaven on earth until fellow blogger Parul Joshi posted this. Check out her post that follows, and then here for more how it was built …

Eternally Elite...

          Have you ever felt like going to a secluded place far away from the usual raucous and monotony of your life? Have you ever wanted oh so desperately to have a place somewhere in the lap of nature where you could engulf yourself in the refreshing aura of what the nature has to offer? Have you ever wanted to close your eyes only to open them to find yourself in a room full of books stacked all over?

       Well, there is one such place on our planet earth. Yes it is true that we have our own heaven on earth beckoning us; waiting to wrap its cool soothing arms around our withering souls. And yes this place is indeed in the very depths of the nature.

          It is Hemmelig Rom or “secret room”, a secluded private library in upstate…

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Guest Blog Post: “Yet Another Attempt for Redemption,” by Harshvardhan Shukla

Enjoy this blog’s (da-AL’s) first guest post …

A few years ago, I wasn’t really a big fan of literature. As a matter of fact, I was completely involved in the technicality and complexity of “Mechanical Components” during my undergrad years.

Harshvardhan Shukla smiling and walking down the road, hoping for something good to happen.
Harshvardhan Shukla smiles and walks down the road, hoping for something good to happen.

It was only when I began working as an analyst that I discovered the beauty of reading and analyzing from industrial journals. My joy was enhanced by the fact that I was making getting paid for the experience.

I am from Pune, India. These days I reside in Pennsylvania where I am pursuing a Masters in Business Analytics. Fortunately, I have plenty of time to visit public libraries, where I read more than corporate and industrial tomes. It wasn’t until I met people at libraries that I realized how bizarre the skills that I possess as a writer are. I am able to write a blog or an article within minutes with the help of my quick and witty thinking, add a little humor to it, and thus make it a little captivating.

Before I knew it, I was visiting a variety of libraries for fun in addition to browsing various styles of literature. The self-help section showed me that others share my interests.

More than 90% of U.S. libraries offer free internet, a service that attracts a surprisingly large audience. At libraries, not only do I expand my reading horizon, but I meet new people.

As a result, I started a blog where I now channel my personal thoughts onto my own website. This is something I never before imagined I would do.

I am honored to write my first guest post for da-AL, a brilliant blogger with an even more brilliant approach towards writing. As she mentioned, a public library is indeed a paradise. It is a dynamic, versatile community that offers so much to people and it provides a place where people can organize their thoughts.

Harshvardhan Shukla’s blog.