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Cobourg library celebrated Family Literacy Day
Around 30 preschool children listened to stories during a Family Literacy Day celebration at the Cobourg Public Library.

The library celebrated National Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27 with an hour-long event in the children's section. Children's entertainer Heather Whaley started the event with a lively song. Ms. Whaley later captured the children's attention with a dragon story and more songs. Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier read a story followed by storyteller Brian Marjoram.

Family Literacy Day started in 1999 in Canada. It is a day for families to come together for literacy building activities.

The Latest Self Driving Car Unveiled In Las Vegas
Its conventional wisdom in the auto industry, but the rest of us may be a bit shocked to find out that cars of the future probable will drive themselves.

The latest edition in this fashion comes from General Motors, which showed off a self-driving car last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The EN-V (pronounced "envy" and short for "Electric Networked Vehicle") combines two ideas about how to teach cars to drive -- using sensors like cameras and sonar to keep the car from hitting pedestrians; and network skill that lets cars talk to each other.

This "car internet" lets the cars connect up wirelessly and follow one another in a sort of wirelessly linked train. If one EN-V needed to pull out of the line, it could.

The pod-like cars, which are just prototypes for now, look a bit like large scuba-diver helmets, or smushed dust busters. They roll on two wheels, which are associated like the front two wheels of a car, not like a bicycle. GM partnered with Segway, maker of those futuristic-looking transporters, to make technology that allows the car to balance.

"It's essentially a dynamically balanced skateboard," said Chris Borroni-Bird, GM's director of advanced technology vehicle concepts.

The EN-V runs on battery power and plugs into a wall -- giving it a max speed of about 30 miles per hour and a range of about 30 miles. That's not far or fast, but it's sufficient to make the EN-V useful for cutting down congestion in urban settings, particularly high-density cities in China and India, Borroni-Bird said.

The car also aims to advance safety, since human drivers don't have a sterling record on that front. An estimated 1.3 million people die in traffic-related accidents each year, according to the World Health Organization.

The EN-Vs are just as spacious as they are tall, measuring 5 feet cubed. Two people fit inside comfortably, but there's not much room for anything else. A bubble of glass sits close in front of the driver's face. "You can possibly pack 5 or 6 times as many of these EN-Vs in a parking lot as you could conventional cars," Borroni-Bird said.

Drivers use a joystick of sorts to steer and strangle the vehicle, which can spin in place and accelerates rather quickly.

Still, Borroni-Bird says, there are a number of obstacles that need to be hurdled before amazing like the EN-V hits the market.

The wireless signals that let the vehicles converse are problematic because hackers, in theory, could access them and send cars off track; and because a lost wireless connection could cause the mechanized system to lose control of the car.

Mao Asada Qualifies For World Figure Skating Championship
Japanese figure skating star Mao Asada signaled her return from a long slump by placing second in Japan's National Figure Skating Championships on Sunday. She scored 127.47 in the free skate on Sunday, which together with the 66.22 she earned in the short program brought her total gain to 193.69 points, just 8.65 points shy of winner Miki Ando.

This season has been near devastating for Asada. The 20-year-old Olympic silver medalist and World Champion came in eighth in the first ISU Grand Prix event of the season, the NHK Trophy, and fifth in the sixth event, the Trophée Eric Bompard. Her chances of making the national team for the 2011 ISU World Championships in March next year were unsure.

But with Sunday's finish she effectively clinched one of the three spots on the national team, and will face her archrival Kim Yu-na, the 2010 Olympic champion who is scheduled to return to competitive skating in the World Championships.

Asada, who was the leader in the short program on Saturday, delivered a solid extended program on Sunday and was hoping to be crowned the national champion for a fifth consecutive year. However, 23-year-old Ando, who was second after the short program with 64.76 points, landed six triple jumps and received 137.58 for the free skate. With a total score of 202.34 points, she toppled the long-reigning Asada and grabbed her first national identify since 2004.

“The Dream” now greets Joel D. Valdez Main library visitors
Interesting news about a wonderful painting in Joel D. Valdez Main Library

On last Thursday (that is one day before what would have been Martin Luther King's 81st birthday), the library hosted a devotion ceremony for a painting "The Dream," honoring the King. The 6-by-8-foot painting was donated by Andrew Polk, Tucson artist.

“The Dream” now welcomes the library visitors as they cross the staircase on their way to the third floor at the library.

Hope you are interested to know more about the painting, it was colored mostly in grays and browns, with little red texture, and the painting blends a photographic element with abstract art.

Andrew Polk said, “It was inspired by the recent election of Barack Obama to the presidency and featured some images of Obama as well — the only living person in the show”. He added that, it was Mike Dominguez's idea to donate the Martin Luther King Jr. painting. Of course, Dominguez is co-owner of the painting.

Library book returned after 73 years by an 85-year-old man

Thomas McArdle, an 85-year-old Maryland man is returning a book to his Pennsylvania school library that was checked out before 73 years.

He says, his love of history was sourced by a book and so he checked it out from the western Pennsylvania school library in 1936 (before 73 years) and has finally returned it.

The 85-year-old man, who is living in Greenbelt, Md., was just 12 when he checked out the novel "The Birth of Rome" from Chestnut Street Elementary School in Scottdale.

Mr. McArdle said, “I had to write a paper in class and I took out a brand-new book, a novel, written for that age about the story of Rome and how Rome developed from when it was founded by Romulus and Remus. I just fell in love with the book and then I did a nasty thing, I kept the book. I read it about three or four times after that”.
He added, “I have quite book collection now and one day while dusting the book shelves I saw that book and thought it was time to return it". Then he returned it to the Southmoreland School District in a parcel with a letter apologizing for the delay.

Southmoreland Middle School Principal Daniel Clara said, "I don't know what a fee would be on a book that has been overdue for 73 years but we are going to wave the fee since it has been returned”.

Davis, a volunteer, celebrated her 90th birthday at Beaverton City library

Phyllis Davis, volunteer of Beaverton City Library, spent her 90th birthday last week. That’s great feeling right??

Davis started volunteering or working at Beaverton's one-room City library in 1944. She has been volunteering there for 65 years.

90-year-old lady got ample of cards for her birthday and Nora Pecka, another volunteer of the Library, wished her.

Davis said, taking a break from her job, “I don’t have any plans to quit volunteering. I can't imagine any other place, really, what else I would be doing. Only this will suit to my abilities, my interests."

One of the oldest Christmas cards found at Bridwell Library

How is the above picture? It looks like traditional old picture that depicts the happiness of Christmas and New Year right?

Yes, it is one of the mass-produced Christmas cards, which is dated back more than 160 years. Now it is found to be preserved among the special collections of Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology.

When the card was printed, in 1843, in some quarters of Victorian English society, there was a disagreement since the card displays a child having a sip from a glass of wine.

Actually the card was designed by John Calcott Horsley, a British narrative painter, at the demand of his friend Henry Cole, for sending the cards to friends at Christmas.

Around 1,000 copies of the card were printed but only about 10 cards are live in modern times. In 1982, Bridwell Library obtained this copy.

You can see that the card is hand-painted since the color was out-dated and the greeting card shows the wish, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.

Kids from Head Start celebrate Thanksgiving function at Paola Free library
Rosy King, Paola Free library director said, usually kids will be coming to the Paola Free Library from Head Start to enjoy Thanksgiving for the last 15 years. Even this year there will be a grand Thanksgiving function.

Approximately 15 kids were prepared to listen the story and to practice for the day with a great lunch.

Rosy King helped to teach the Head Start children about the significance of Thanksgiving function. Students listened to the story which was about the Mayflower and then they practiced to perform it on the Thanksgiving Day.

The library also welcomes Son Shine Preschool and Paola Preschool to participate in a Thanksgiving banquet for kids, Rosy King added. The meal will be awesome for kids.


Rosy read the book, “Pilgrim Children on the Mayflower”, that describes the kids about the first pilgrims as they made the path to America. The book narrated that the children becoming uninterested while traveling on the ship and they are eating bread and beans, but also facing few storms all along the way. At the end of the story in the book, the children leave the ship and become friends with the Native Americans and they will have the first Thanksgiving.

After narrating the story, King gave the Indian and pilgrim hats for the children and she had captain’s hat herself. Then the children are made to sit in rows on a table, which was considered as a ship, and they sailed for the New World. On the way, the kids encountered few storms, where aids flashed the lights, played thunder music and flipped water from cups to create a scene of rain. While reaching the coast, Rosy King said the pilgrims that the Indians were nice and students from Head Start said, “YESSSS!”

Jamie Bird, teacher said even though Rosy King has been celebrating this function for years with the kids, this year was unforgettable and excellent!!

Story of a small lending library
A Small Lending Library

The above picture depicts one of the country's smallest lending libraries - stocking 100 books. Isn't it looking like a traditional phone box?

Yes, once it was a phone box and at present it is a library.

An inhabitant dreamed up the idea when the village lost its phone box and mobile library in quick succession.

Westbury-sub-Mendip Parish Council bought the phone box from BT in a national scheme for a token £1.

The library is being used around the clock by villagers from Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset selecting books, DVDs and CDs.

Users simply store it with a book they have read, swapping it for one they have not. "It's really taken off. The books are constantly changing," said parish councillor Bob Dolby. He added: "It is completely full at the moment with books. Anyone is free to come and take a book and leave one that you have already read. "

"This facility has turned a piece of street furniture into a community service in constant use."

An Art Exhibition For Blind
A professional artist is organizing an exhibition of landscapes, seascapes and street scenes that cater for people who are blind or partially sighted.

Mark Cox has made 3D scale wooden replicas of some his paintings so the blind people can feel the subjects and at the same time view them.

He will also be present at Carmarthen Library to explain the images when the exhibition opens shortly this month.

He worked with members of the town's Blind Society to trial the reliefs.

The display, which will also support the cancer charity Macmillan, runs from 28 November to 4 December.