Research News

Reference Services Roundup: 2013 in Review

Here in Reference, we never know what the day might bring - we may help someone find the best location to open a marijuana store, locate a book on slot machine strategies, or be asked if we carry the "WD40" tax form.

2013 started out on a high note with Reference receiving the prestigious Westword "Best Of" Award for Best Homework Help Concierge Service "Designed for middle-school, high-school or adult students, the Denver Public Library's one-on-one aid is the way to go when you can no longer fake it with quick Google or Wikipedia searches." Our student appointments team saw a 52.6% increase over 2012 through our assistance to students from

The Name is Fleming, Ian Fleming

"He had a small but comfortable flat off the King's Road, an elderly Scottish housekeeper -- a treasure called May -- and a 1930 4.5-litre Bentley coupe, supercharged, which he kept expertly tuned so that he could do a hundred when he wanted to.

 

"On these things he spent all his money, and it was his ambition to have as little as possible in his banking account when he was killed, as, when he was depressed he knew he would be, before the statutory age of forty-five."

-- Ian Fleming, Moonraker

Simple Ways to Simplify Your Life

If you Google the words "simplify life" your search will result in over 44 million hits. Although I didn't read them all, the general theme is to stop doing things that you don't want to do in order to leave time for the things you really enjoy.

The notion itself can provoke anxiety - how do you go about eliminating chaos, clutter and activities you'd rather not do? The answer is different for everyone, and there is no shortage of resources to begin the process. You could get inspired by reading Thoreau's Walden, learn how to take the drudgery out of housework (see video below) or see how one woman simplified her life by going "no poo."

Thomas Nast: Father of the American political cartoon

photo of Thomas Nast

Thomas Nast was one of the best known illustrators and cartoonists of the second half of the nineteenth century. He came to define the art of illustrating American political ideas and conflicts.

Nast was born in Germany in 1840 and came to the United States in 1846. A naturally gifted artist, Nast had only a year or two of formal art instruction when at 15 he apprenticed as a draftsman for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and in 1862 he became a full time illustrator for Harper's Weekly where he had his greatest influence and success.

How to Buy a Used Car Without Frying Your Brain

I knew it was time for a new (gently used) car when I drove by East High School and saw that my car, a seasoned Volvo wagon, was older and shabbier than all of the vehicles in the student parking lot.

The first step was finding out how much my car was worth as a trade-in. Although you can get a better price if you don't mind the hassle of selling your car on Ebay or Craigslist,  I wanted to trade mine in, so I went to the Kelley Blue Book and the NADA Used Car Pricing websites.  In addition to offering a detailed account of the worth of your car for trade-in, you can also find wholesale and private-party prices.

Explore the Legal Information Reference Center

Maybe Gomez Addams, lawyer and patriarch of the ghoulish Addams Family, wouldn't have been voted "Least Likely to Pass the Bar" if he'd had access to the Legal Information Reference Center.

With this handy database, anyone with a legal issue (and a Denver Public Library card) can find the necessary tools and detailed “how-to” instructions to address a wide range of topics including:

 

Join the Army, See the World: World War II edition

"This isn't a tourist guide, full of the delights of moonlit nights, tropical seas, and lovely maidens. Its purpose is to give you information, concisely and without frills, about the people and their land..."
United States. War and Navy Departments, A Pocket Guide to Netherlands East Indies Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943.

During World War II, many young men traveled abroad for the first time, courtesy of the U.S. Army and Navy. The Special Service Division of the War Department, a kind of educational and morale-boosting public relations agency, issued a series of small travel guides that were part Fodor's and part Why We Fight. They were intended for the use of soldiers and sailors, describing the U.S.

Before the Parade of Lights, Warm Up at Central with Music and a Hot Beverage

Don't get caught out in the cold when you come downtown for the Parade of Lights this Saturday. We're holding a comfortable spot for you to enjoy a holiday concert before you venture out for the parade. And we'll keep the home fires burning all winter with terrific programming and community -- keep up to date with our event listings on our Fresh City Life calendar.

Fresh City Life's 6th annual holiday concert showcasing The Denver Gay Men's Chorus happens this Saturday. And our wonderful crew of baristas at DPLs The Coffee Mug want to pitch in on the holiday spirit. Anytime on Saturday, from 10a-4p, wander into their cozy coffee shop just inside the east entrance and take 10% off your beverage order by simply saying "Parade of Lights." A great deal and sure to warm you up on a cold day. Pick something up on your way to the concert.

Based on a True Story

Poster: Dallas Buyers Club

Real life stories have always been a source of great entertainment and there have been quite a few successful films that got their start as newspaper and magazine articles.

The just released Dallas Buyers Club is based on a true story first published in the August 9, 1992 Sunday magazine section of the Dallas Morning News. The story "Buying Time" by Bill Minotaglio is about Ron Woodroof who diagnosed in 1985 as HIV positive, tracks down drugs not available in the USA and starts a buyers club to sell them. Mr. Woodroof died only a month after the story was published.

Two Paws Up: Training and bonding with a rescue dog

Our last dog, a docile German Shepherd, lived to be 13 years old, so it had been a while since we had to shop for a new canine companion. In those long-ago days, we simply went to a shelter (in this case the MaxFund) and picked one out to take home.

Today, not only does every shelter have a website, so do all of the breed rescue groups, prison dogs and guide-dog school dropouts. Then there's Petfinder, a sort of clearinghouse that allows you to specify breed, gender, compatibility with children, cats and other dogs, and geographic proximity to your zip code.

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