Research News

Duct Tape - It's Not Just For Repairing Broken Tail Lights

If you happen to attend a birthday party for a 'tween girl, don't be surprised if she receives a roll or two of duct tape as a gift.

Not the shiny, silver kind, but brightly colored or patterned with.paisley, leopard print, penguins, polka dots, plaid, skulls, camouflage, cupcakes, bacon and Hello Kitty. Inexpensive and easy to work with, crafters use it to fashion items such as wallets, tote bags, dresses, belts, flowers, book covers and phone cases.

ARBOR DAY TAKES ROOT

Look out any window, and you'll probably see a tree or two - each and every one of them planted by someone, since Denver is a high plains desert region and by definition has no native trees.

The Nebraska Territory was also treeless when pioneer J. Sterling Morton and his bride, Caroline, arrived there in 1854 from Detroit and staked a claim in Nebraska City. He became the editor of the town's newspaper and built a 52-room mansion based on the design of the White House.

We Want to Help YOU (find a job)!!!

Did you know that one of Denver Public Library's Strategic Initiatives is job search assistance? "People's lives are improved by acquiring the resources and skills needed to prosper and contribute to Denver's economy." No doubt this is a goal worth pursuing, but let's talk about what this means, and what steps are being taken to be sure we are doing the best that we can to help our customers.

As part of this initiative, a decision was made to "beef up" the job-related materials in our collection. Over a thousand books, eBooks, audiobooks and DVDs were purchased to enhance career materials already in the collection. These cover a wide-range of topics from entering the job market, to starting a home-based business, to re-entering the job market, or just information about a variety of careers for people wondering what they might want to do. Here's just a sampling of recently purchased items that might be of interest:

April Means Pilgrimage

Canterbury Tales, 1929-31 edition with illustrations by Eric Gill.

April means so many things -- taxes, springtime, poetry, baseball and, naturally, a pilgrimage to Canterbury.

Come again on that last bit? Pilgrimage? Well, yes, if you were a medieval person with a) a guilty conscience, b) the means to travel, and c) the ability to leave family and work for months at a time, you might view April as prime time to hit the road and get thyself to the nearest holy site for redemption. Given the general lawlessness of 14th century England, it would be preferable to find a group of well-armed, like-minded souls heading in your direction. Along the way, you might share your history and tell a few stories to pass the time.

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write (You) a Letter

Courtesy of donovanbeeson / Flickr / Creative Commons licensed

"Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; for, thus friends absent speak." -- John Donne, in a verse letter to Sir Henry Wotton, written before April 1598.

I love the thrill of finding a hand-written note tucked into the interminable piles of junk mail that show up in my mailbox.

To prove it, I have 25 years of archived correspondence: postcards from around the globe, hand-made birthday cards filled with my sister's effusive love, even a tender billet-doux or two. These physical artifacts tie me emotionally and metaphysically to the people who have touched my life. April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, which gives us the perfect excuse to connect to those we care about through the written word.

GLOSSOPHOBIA, OR HOW I STOPPED WORRYING AND LEARNED TO LOVE PUBLIC SPEAKING

We've all seen the statistic: Most people rate their fear of public speaking higher than fear of death itself.

This commonly cited (and questionable) statement seems to have originated from The Book of Lists (1977), which got its information from an elusive 1973 study called the "Bruskin Report," a study consisting of a small sample of people who were asked to choose and rate their biggest fears from a list which also included heights, bugs, flying, and elevators.

JOSEPH PILATES - FROM CIRCUS PERFORMER TO FITNESS PROPHET

What do Madonna, Oprah and Sting have in common, other than being obscenely wealthy and only needing one name?

They, along with millions of other people, practice Pilates. 

German-born Joseph Pilates (1883-1967) was a bullied, sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever.  As he grew up, he devoted his life to developing a self-improvement system, drawn from Zen and the ancient Greek notion of a man ideal in body, mind and spirit.  He came to believe that bad posture and improper breathing were the causes of poor health. 

USING CROWdFUNDING FOR NONPROFIT FUNDRAISING

Crowdfunding (the collective effort of individuals to pool their money through the Internet) has gotten very crowded in the last few years, with over 35,000 projects being funded since 2009 by industry leader Kickstarter alone.

Forbes Magazine reports that 2013 will be the year that this relatively new method of fundraising will consolidate, rather than expand -- it's time for the leaders with quality sites to prevail, much like Amazon, Ebay or Craigslist did.

Crowdfunding can be divided into these categories:

Plant Your Seeds of Greatness...Act on Your Dreams and Ideas

Courtesy of StephenMitchell/Flickr, Creative Commons licensed

February is Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month, a campaign designed to encourage everyone to take steps to "remove barriers and make a change in your life for the better." Reflect on how you can make a difference for yourself, your family, your business, or your community. Then acquire the tools and skills you need to act on your ideas and dreams.

 

Planting the seeds of greatness aligns so perfectly with one of the Library’s strategic impact statements: “People’s lives are improved by acquiring the resources and skills needed to prosper and contribute...” If you are ready to sow the seeds of improvement and turn your goals into reality, the library has a useful collection of tools to help you succeed.

Library Classes and Appointment Services

New Statistical Abstract Database for Research & Fun Facts

Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

Our tried-and-true Statistical Abstract of the U.S. is now available online to Denver Public Library card holders. Use the table of contents to drill down by topic, or use the search box to search by keyword or table number.

Statistical Abstract of the U.S. can be found in Research under Government or in the Databases A-Z list.

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