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Library Email Newsletter February 2012

February Holidays and Special Days 2012
By Barbara Rice, Reference Librarian

We all know about certain holidays in February. There are those we all celebrate, such as Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. There are also the fun holidays like Groundhog Day and Cherry Pie Day (February 20, for the pie lovers among us). I’ve even found a couple of special days that are somewhat library related: February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day and February 22 is International World Thinking Day.

February is also American Heart Month, Black History Month, and National Weddings Month. The library has many books available to check out about all the many holidays and special months.

My personal favorite day in February is February 26- the annual Academy Awards telecast. The library has a display of nominated and award-winning films on DVD in the display case across from the circulation desk. Take a look at them. You might find a hidden gem that you had not heard about or you might find one you’ve always wanted to see.

The following books can be found in the Mission Viejo Library. They are fiction and are about the Academy Awards.

bullet blueMurder at the Academy Awards, by Joan Rivers

Book Cover - Murder at the Academy AwardsA just-back-from-rehab starlet drops dead at the Academy Awards, and the only people who can solve the crime are tart-tongued Max Taylor and her daughter, Drew.

bullet blueOscar Season, by Mary McNamara

Book Cover - Oscar SeasonThe classic mystery novel and today's paparazzi coincide in this engaging, insiders' look at Hollywood in the weeks leading up to the Academy Awards.

bullet blueSusanna Hits Hollywood, by Mary Hogan

Book Cover - Susanna Hits HollywoodAfter spending the summer as an intern at Scene magazine, 15-year-old Susanna is asked to accompany her impossibly demanding boss to the Academy Awards, where she is determined to prove herself as more than just a star-struck teenager.

bullet blueAnd the Winner is -, by Melissa J. Morgan

Book Cover - And the Winner IsAs Brynn struggles to maintain her relationship with Jordan while starring in a professional play, Nat has a huge fight with Tori while in Los Angeles to attend the Academy Awards with her father, who was nominated as Best Actor.

February 2012 - Off the Shelf
by Sandy Brimer, Reference Librarian

Online Resources - Supreme CourtOn February 1, 1790, the Supreme Court of the United States met for the first time in New York City, with Chief Justice John Jay presiding. To learn more about the U.S. Supreme Court, login to the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States. This eBook focuses on the substance of American law, the processes that produce its legal principles, and the history of the Supreme Court, from its creation to the present. Overview essays address the history of such topics as citizenship, due process, racism, privacy, and reproduction, emphasizing the social context of each and the social and political pressures that shaped interpretation.

Online Resources - Career TransitionsFebruary 2 is not only Groundhog Day; it is National Groundhog Job Shadow Day as well. Students spend part of the day in the workplace “shadowing” an employee as he or she goes through a normal day on the job. Job Shadow Day demonstrates the connection between academics and careers and introduces students to the requirements of professions and industries. To find out more about job choices, login to Career Transitions. Career Transitions is an online career guidance center that walks you through the job-search process from beginning to end. It brings together all the tools needed to explore and take the leap to a new career. Career Transitions employs a step-by-step approach to help people: 1) explore new career possibilities; 2) assess their interests and experience; 3) identify ways to improve their prospects, including networking and education; 4) prepare for a job search; and 5) search and apply for jobs.

Online Resources - Weather and Natural DisastersFebruary 5 is Weatherman’s (Weatherperson’s) Day – a day commemorating the birth of one of America’s first weathermen, John Jeffries. Born on February 5, 1744, Jeffries, a Boston physician, kept detailed records of weather conditions. To learn more about weather, login to the U*X*L Encyclopedia of Weather and Natural Disasters. This eBook introduces students to weather, covering such topics as weather basics, weather phenomena, forecasting, and climate. It also provides information on the scientific aspects of various types of natural disasters including blizzards, earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes, volcanoes, and wildfires.

What’s Hot in YA
by Allison Tran, Young Adult Librarian

It’s February, and love is in the air. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than curling up with a sweet, satisfying love story? Look for these titles in the teen area of the library:

bullet blueThe Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Book Cover - Future of UsJosh and Emma are lifelong friends, neighbors, and maybe a little something more … but their lives get complicated when Emma logs on to AOL for the first time and ends up on Facebook. What’s the big deal? Well, it’s 1996, and Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Suddenly, Josh and Emma can see 15 years into their futures … and what they see makes them question everything.

bullet blueThe Other Countess, by Eve Edwards

Book Cover - Other CountessEngland, 1582. William Lacey, Earl of Dorset, knows his duty is to marry a lady of significant wealth in order to restore his family’s fortunes. The lovely, headstrong, and quite poverty-stricken Ellie, otherwise known as the Lady Eleanor Rodrigues of San Jaime, is completely wrong for him. Good thing she doesn’t care for him anyway.

bullet blueDitched: A Love Story, by Robin Mellom

Book Cover - DitchedJustina has the worst prom night ever. Her dream date, Ian, is nowhere to be seen, and she ends the evening in a ditch. She’s literally been ditched! As she pieces together the events of her crazy night for an eclectic and opinionated audience at a 7-11, she ponders what went wrong with Ian.

bullet blueAnna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

Book Cover - Anna and the French KissStudying in Paris, meeting a handsome boy named Etienne St. Clair with French heritage and the most charming British accent … sounds like a recipe for the perfect romance, right? Ah, but of course he has a girlfriend.

bullet blueThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith

Book Cover - Statistical ProbabilityHadley and Oliver meet on the flight from New York to London, but are they destined to be? Readers seeking a sweet-as-candy romance will adore this one, with its twists of fate and quirky timing.

Free Books for Everyone
by Jeff Price, Reference Librarian

Public domain works are wonderful. What it means for a work to be in the public domain is that it has passed out of copyright. Old books and pictures, along with music and early movies are no longer under copyright protection. Which I have to say again is wonderful. There is a huge, immediate benefit we all share with public domain works. Foremost is that we can read them for free. And with the Internet sharing information globally, there are many different avenues to finding and retrieving these free books. So let me explain a couple of the ways to help get you started:

Article - Overdrive Free EbooksFirst off, our electronic collection, the Southern California Digital Library (, has tens of thousands of titles available. By looking on the lower left side of the web page, there is a link for Additional eBooks. For this collection of books, I find that it is easiest to download files to your computer and then transfer them to your ebook using Adobe Digital Editions software. Transferring is accomplished by connecting your ebook to your computer using a USB cable. So if you own a Nook, Sony Reader, or a Kobo, our Southern California Digital Library is a fantastic option for finding free books.

Article - Free Kindle BooksIf you do own a Kindle, the Southern California Digital Library would work, but it would be easiest to use to find public domain books. I located the link to the free books from the Kindle Store page and on the left under “Popular Feature” there is a link for “Free Collections”. It’s just like buying ebooks, except that the price is $0.00.

Perhaps you have an iPad. Using their iBooks app, you will be able to find free public domain books. There is a way to browse for free ebooks, but it’s sorted by author and I find that browsing to a big long list not very helpful, I was hoping for an easier to locate and more robust search function. However, if you search for a book, and it happens to be in the public domain, you would then be able to retrieve it for free.

Or if you’re comfortable with the technology and understand how to transfer files to your ebooks or mobile devices, there are a couple of non-commercial websites that have books available for download. The largest is the Internet Archive (, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. It provides over 2.5 million free ebooks, but I find the page to be a little too congested, which makes the site confusing and searching not too intuitive.

The next largest looks to be the Open Library page ( They state that they have the lofty goal of providing online every book ever published. Consequently, there will be a mix of free books and books for purchase, which can be a little confusing. For instance, if you search for Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, you’ll find 87 editions with the ones on the top of the list free to download with subsequent entries for sale by online book stores.

The original ebook repository is Project Gutenberg ( Started in 1971 at the University of Illinois by Michael Hart, with the help of many volunteers, this site has tens of thousands of free books. When it first stated, the Internet as we know it, didn’t exist. In fact, it was even before there were personal computers. So Hart, along with other students, typed in text by hand on a large mainframe computer. By copying the greatest of the classics, the first one being the United States Declaration of Independence, they created the first ebooks over 40 years ago.

So if you sit back and think about all the stories ever published, many of them are from before the year 1923. So works by great authors like Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville can be found online and downloaded to practically any electronic device to read. These are wonderful times, but next time I’ll talk about the year 1923 I mentioned and what it means for the future of public domain works.