Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kill-a-Watt?!? You bet!

A patron asked for it before it was even catalogued--NPL's new Library Energy Kit.

Assembled, it looks like one of the Discovery Packs from the Children's Room, but its intended audience is us big kids, so look for it upstairs.

Provided by the Norwich Energy Committee and the Sustainable Energy Resource Group (that's SERG to you), the materials provide information about the effects of global warming and ways to reduce energy use. Between reduced energy use and the switch to renewable resources, SERG estimates that many homeowners can cut energy bills by up to 50 per cent.

In the kit are a mix of tools and information: a watt meter (or Kill-a-Watt Monitor, according to SERG) with instructions on how to test appliance efficiency, two DVDs--An Inconvenient Truth and Kilowatt Ours. There are books: The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis by Greg Pahl, and Your Green Home by Alex Wilson. Consumer's Energy Guide helps with product selection and use for maximum energy savings. Additionally, there are a collection of "energy briefs" from the Rocky Mountain Institute, and a home energy calculator produced by SERG.

The kit will circulate for a week (it'll be 50 cents a day for overdues, so be sure to return it on time).

Lucinda is anxious to use it for an energy analysis here at NPL.

Here's to better conservation, one household --and one library!-- at a time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Art and Libraries--Out on a Limb?

I didn't make the connection at first, but fortunately, Dale Copps certainly did.

Copps, a Friend of the Windsor Public Library in word and deed, was looking for a way to involve Vermont artists in the cause of public libraries across the state. His inspiration: art on a limb.

Libraries too frequently hang precariously from the bough of public good will. Their places in the community aren't always affirmed, come budget time. I live in a nearby town which underwent a lengthy public debate on whether or not we should centralize library services in a nice, big library, only to have the proposal go down in favor of "local control," after which time my village's local library was closed!

Go figure! But I digress.

Art on a Limb involves a series of wooden maple leaves, each decorated by a Vermont artist, with the proceeds from its online auction going to the library of the bidder's choice.

As is the case with most events involving Vermont artists, the responses to the basic problem of design vary wildly. There's something for everyone.

Bidders purchase a "paddle" for the auction for $25, and that's applied to the bid on the chosen art. At this time bidders designate the library to receive their donations.

Online bidding goes until October 14. The winning bids will be announced October 15.

Go to Windsor Library's site and take a look at the wonderful array of available artwork. Treat yourself or someone special to you to a one-of-a-kind gift that supports an important part of your community.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Don't Ask To See a Printed Menu

Scrambled dregs. Fresh mudburgers. Hot frogs.


There's shivery glee in the gross, a vein of gold that writer Roald Dahl mined richly. His
Revolting Rhymes recast fairy tales into hilarity. His Vile Verses collects his frisky couplets from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Rhyme Stew, Fantastic Mr Fox, and many others.

Although she is every inch a lady, Children's Librarian Beth Reynolds is hosting a celebration of the works of the frolicsome author Thursday, September 13, at 3:30 p.m., featuring fare from the Revolting Recipes book. The party is best experienced by kids in
grades 3-6, who have had the opportunity to read the books and learn to stomach Mr. Dahl's truly unique literary voice and... um... subject matter.

It's best if you call ahead to reserve a place at the table. Lady Beth wants to be sure that she's made a sufficient batch of Bogtrotter's Cake for anyone who might want to attend. She's rather punish herself with a month's worth of Stink Bug Eggs than run out of food for her guests.