Tech Tip Tuesday #8


Hello readers,

Today I have something very exciting to share with you! Chances are at some point you’ve thought it might be cool to have a robot companion like R2D2 or BB-8. You’ll be surprised to find how cheap and easy it is to get started building your own robot. If you obtain some basic components, a little bit of knowledge, and utilize your imagination you’ll be on your way.

Here is how to get started:

  1. Get your basic components. My recommendation is to either start with Arduino or Raspberry Pi.
  2. The parts in all these kits can be bought individually just keep in mind you’ll want the main board, wires, resistors, and some LEDs in your basic kit.
  3. There are two main differences between Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, with the Arduino Platform your going to be programming the robot with the C Programming Language it’s old and has quirks but the Arduino has analog pins, this means you can connect advanced types of sensors and motors to it. Another advantage of Arduino is Shields (which are easy to add components that give you more functionality).
  4. Raspberry Pis are a completely different beast. First of all no they don’t do analog connections. You can get add-ons to enable this later, but you’re going to need to know a bit before taking that step. The two biggest advantages to starting here is Wifi is easy right off the bat and you can use about any programming language imaginable.
  5. Goolge some tutorials, you wont have any trouble find these.
  6. Think of your own project. Maybe you have a garden, make it tweet when it needs water… you can do that. Perhaps you’re going on vacation and need an automated cat food dispenser, well guess what, you can do that too.

Eventually your imagination will be the only limitation, if you become good it at it it can become a career.

Some other tools you may find useful are:

  1. A variable DC power supply
  2. Multimeter
  3. Wire strippers

Spring Break Movie Days!

Looking for something to do during Spring Break? We are going to have 2 movies for those of you with nothing to do.All ages are welcome to choose from Inside Out or Minions. One will be shown upstairs and one down.
First Showing will be at the
Dillsboro Public Library on
Tuesday March 22nd from 2 to 4 pm
And the second showing will be at
Aurora Public Library on
Thursday March 24th from 2 to 4 pm

minion inside out

Girls in Big Dresses

One of the trends over the past few years for Young Adult books has been book covers with “BIG DRESSES”. These are very eye-catching and have been extremely popular series.

The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen provides historical romance with the social restrictions of Jane Austen books, but set in Manhattan at the end of the 19th century. These books are also available to download through the Indiana Digital Download Collection.

luxe. jpg    rumors

envy     splendor

Kiera Cass’s “Selection” series has been described as “Reality TV meets dystopian fairy tale.” The Indiana Digital Download Collection has these titles and some additional novellas that are part of the series. In January of 2016, Cass published a new stand-alone fantasy romance titled The Siren.

selection     elite

one      siren

The dresses may not be quite as big in “The Chemical Garden” trilogy by Lauren DeStefano, but these books will get your heart pounding. DeStefano imagines a dystopian world where women only live 20 years and men die at age 25.

wither sever fever

Do you have other favorite “Big Dress” books? Let us know!

Nancy Reagan Our Former First Lady

Nancy Reagan, our former first lady, passed away this week and her funeral will be held tomorrow. The love Nancy and President Reagan shared was legendary and when he passed away in 2004 after a long battle with Alzheimers she was praised by the nation for standing by her husband throughout his illness.

The two met when they were actors in Hollywood, Ronald helped straighten out a misunderstanding that put Nancy on the Blacklist while he was the President of the Screen Actors Guild. Shortly after the two started dating and the rest is history.

Get to know these two great leaders in American history with some of our resources.

The Reagans Portrait of a Marriage

The Reagans : portrait of a marriage

The R

The Reagan Diaries

Fleeing from Home

The topic of refugees is certainly in the news now; hundreds of thousands of people are leaving their homes in the Middle East, Africa, and Central America. We have wonderful books in the Library District to help children and teens begin to understand the difficulties faced by refugees as they flee from war, violence, poverty or other problems. The first four books are located in our juvenile fiction collections. I also am suggesting 2 non-fiction books that would be great to share with older elementary or middle school kids. Further down the post, you can find some Young Adult recommendations. I limited my choices to post-World War II just to keep the number of books manageable, but please ask if you are interested in a different time period.

I read The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney last year and was very moved by the book. The small gift of a red pencil changes the trajectory of a girl’s life by providing a voice and hope for the future.

red pencil

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park has been used across the country in many all-school book discussions.

long walk

Katherine Paterson is well-known for her exceptional historical fiction, and in The Day of the Pelican, she relates the experiences of a Muslim family fleeing from the violence in Kosovo.


The Guatemalan Civil War divides a family and sends some members fleeing to North America in Journey of Dreams by Marge Pelligrino.


These two books are great non-fiction resources for kids who want some facts to go with their novels.

immigrants     out of iraq

On to Teen books! I chose The Good Braider by Terry Farish from the Eliot Rosewater shelf in the Teen area. This is a fast read and I especially appreciated 2 things about the book: the refugee/immigration process is depicted as taking several years to complete and the book explores the difficulties that are faced after arriving in America. It is a great read for teens and adults!

good braider

Laura Rose Wagner takes us to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake in Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go.

hold tight

The Red Pencil, Long Walk to Water and Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go are also available as downloads through the Indiana Digital Download Center.  Just scroll to the top of this page and select the Digital Downloads button.








Tech Tip Tuesday #7


Hello readers,

Today I’d like to bring to your attention TED Talks. “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks”. This is a great website to visit if you feel like relaxing and also thinking about some intriguing issues. They typically cover anything from cancer research, killer robots, and space can be talked about. These stories often strike emotions in me, that can be personal, inspiring, and can provoke feelings foreboding when discussing topics like robots or the environment. The talks are always fresh and relevant to current events, I also find many new and interesting ideas to consider.

I recommend starting here, with humanity’s recent discovery of gravitational waves.

Some more of my favorite TED Talks are here


What Makes Big Library Read so Special?

Big Library Read squareDid you know, Big Library Read is the first global eBook club. Big Library Read (BLR) is a reading program offered by the library that connects millions of readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time with no wait lists or holds. It’s easy to join, the program is free and all you need is your library card! During March 17th – 31st, 2016 visit the library website.  Click on the digital downloads link, search the title and click borrow, it’s that easy.

The book everyone will be reading and talking about is:

American Sniper by Chris Kyle
The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, and the source for Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster movie which was nominated for six academy awards, including best picture.

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.


From our Shelves to Television

TV producers have always looked to great books for inspiration for new series. This season is no exception, with at least three new series based on books beginning this winter. Library patrons have raved about Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments fantasy series. Look for the TV series Shadowhunters; it premiered in January.

city of bones

A long-time favorite of fantasy readers is the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. Terry Brooks drew much of his inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien, but his imagined world has its own spectacular characteristics and well-developed characters.


Can you imagine a school of magic for college-aged adults, rather than kids the age of Harry Potter? The books in Lev Grossman’s Magician trilogy have all been best-sellers. Here’s what George R.R. Martin had to say about the first book: “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this.” The Magicians TV series premiered in December of 2015 and has already been renewed for a second season.


In addition to these new series, here are some long-standing series based on books. The books shown are the first book in each series.

  • Bones: The Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs
  • Rizzoli and Isles based on the books by Tess Gerritsen
  • Castle: The Nikki Heat Mysteries, supposedly written by Richard Castle
  • Game of Thrones: The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • Pretty Little Liars based on the books by Sara Shepard

deaja dea    surgeon    heat wave

game of thrones    PLL-Book-01

Of course, Masterpiece Theater also produces many shows based on books, including Poldark, which will be returning to TV later this year. We have those books, now, to tide you over until Aidan Turner is back on the screen.