Research News

Time is running out to finish your GED!

General Educational Development certificate

Did you know that on January 2, 2014, there will be a new GED (General Educational Development) test?

The current GED test consists of five subject areas: social studies, science, reading, mathematics, and writing.  If you've passed some sections of the GED test but not all five, now is a great time to focus on passing the sections that you still need, because any GED scores earned before 2014 will expire at the end of this year.  The Denver Public Library has many resources to help you pass the GED.

Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

Connect for Health Colorado

October 1 marked the beginning of open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plans. For individuals without insurance, the open enrollment period provides millions of Americans with the opportunity to purchase health insurance for the first time.

Insurance exchanges, also called marketplaces, are the only place to enroll in ACA insurance plans and to take advantage of possible tax credits. In Colorado, individuals and small business owners will use the Connect for Health Colorado site. In addition to providing low cost insurance plans, the ACA has also expanded Colorado's Medicaid program and the services provided by Medicare.

International Cookbooks for the Ages

Marcella Hazan

The inimitable Marcella Hazan died this week at the age of 89. As the New York Times noted in the headline for her obituary, she "changed the way Americans cook Italian food." Her passing got me thinking about enduring cookbooks by strong-minded writers who have guided me in the kitchen and whose prose is a pleasure to read away from the stove. 

Hazan authored a number of cookbooks, notably The Classic Italian Cookbook. Although she never felt comfortable enough in English to compose in that language (she wrote in Italian and her husband translated the text), she had a forceful voice that commanded the reader's attention. She was exacting, opinionated, and sometimes peremptory--a stern teacher whose rigor her students cherish.

Library Named 'Bicycle-Friendly Business' by BikeDenver.org

Enter the secured employee bike room parking at the Central Library, and you'll understand how much bike commuting is part of the Library's culture. You'll find it packed with commuter bikes every day of the year.

Whether we're mopping our sweaty brows in the heat of the summer, or bundling up for our dark, cold winter rides, Denver Public Library employees LOVE being in the saddle.

Shut Down but not Shut Out

The federal government may be shut down for a while, but the materials and staff of the federal documents depository at DPL are at your service!  Here are a few rundowns about what's going on during the shutdown.

 

The New York Times looks at the fates of different employees of government agencies.

Declawing: Cat-astrophic For Our Feline Friends

Earlier this summer, my veterinarian invited me to a screening of The Paw Project, a documentary about the practice of declawing cats.

Although it's considered inhumane and is illegal in most countries, it's a procedure that's still commonly performed in the United States.  This heartening new documentary chronicles veterinarian (and now filmmaker) Jennifer Conrad as she leads a courageous grassroots movement to enact legislation in California to ban the procedure, city by city.  She started out big, doing corrective surgery and rehabilitation on Hollywood lions and tigers who were maimed after being de-clawed so that they would be less dangerous while making films.

Talk Like a Pirate Today...Speak Polish or Portuguese or Punjabi Tomorrow

Talk Like a Pirate Day

 

 

Library staff have been blogging in anticipation of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is celebrated every September 19th. Did you know the Library's language acquisition database, Mango Languages, features Pirate as one of the 60 language courses available to customers?

How Did It Get to Be 5774 Already?

Rosh Hashanah plate

When the sun sets on Wednesday, September 4, Jews around the world will celebrate the new year 5774. Rosh Hashanah begins earlier than usual this year. Actually, it hasn't fallen this early on the secular calendar since 1899. To understand the Jewish calendar, there's no better place to go than Steve Morse's remarkable One-Step web sites. 

Many genealogists are familiar with Morse's portals for searching large databases like the Ellis Island Foundation. If you're looking for passenger lists, naturalization papers, census returns, or vital records, Steve Morse's powerful tools help in countless ways. Making sense of calendars can be a challenge for historians and genealogists. The Jewish calendar has fascinated Steve all his life, as he explains here. You'll find out exactly how it got to be 5774 already.

Images in the Public Domain

Owen Jones initial

Do you need an image that's already got copyright clearance? Consider the venerable Pictorial Archive series from Dover Publications, a rich source of public domain illustrations, graphics, typefaces, and design of all kinds. Here are the covers of just a few representative Pictorial Archive titles.

Hayward Cirker (1927-2000), the founder of one of the quirkiest publishing houses around, was a connoisseur of graphic design who had deep pockets and a singular vision. (I know. I worked for him in the early 1980s on the production of the Pictorial Archive series. I've included a bit of the firm's history below.) Cirker used to buy rare illustrated books at auction and turn them over to an artist who would select the best imagery and arrange it for faithful reproduction in an inexpensive paperback Pictorial Archive edition.

In Short: Big Ideas Made Pocket-Sized

Relativity: A Very Short Introduction

As a reference librarian, I'm often asked to recommend the quintessential book on a topic I don't know much about, a book that gives the general reader the broad outlines of a field in a compact, accessible format. Somewhere between a Wikipedia article and a shelf full of specialized tomes is the elusive "just right" kind of book.

Oxford University Press identified this need and launched a wonderful series called Very Short Introductions (VSI). Andrea Keegan, the series editor, told The Bookseller: "The books are not primers or surveys, but sophisticated 'takes' on a topic, and we allow the authors to express a point of view, while giving readers a really good way into a subject they may never have encountered before." Noted authorities in each field are commissioned to write an overview of no more than 200 pages.

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