Marysville Library Blog

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fiesta Feast

I'm going to a birthday fiesta this weekend and have no idea what to take with me. Do I make dessert? appetizers? dips?

But before I can start searching, I need to tell you who I am. I'm Mamie Custer, the new Assistant Managing Librarian for the Marysville Library. I am an avid eater who adores spicy foods and I'm always looking for new recipes to try. Knowing the library is a great place to get the information I need, I went to our cookbook section to browse and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

Fiesta Latina by Rafael Palmonio offers fun party recipes for appetizers, main dishes, desserts and more. Colored photos for most recipes help to inspire the chef--or the eater. The recipe I really want to try is the Mango sorbet. Looks tasty!

Williams-Sonoma has many cookbooks out for just about any occassion, ingredient or diet. Their The Southwest: New American Cooking book written by Kathi Long offers up a recipe for Fresh Corn Pudding as well a simple starter salad of Tomatoes & Avocado with Chile Vinaigrette that look scrumptious. There's also a section on Southwest Chiles that I'll need to read to see which chiles to use to make mine extra spicy.

Sometimes everything can be overwhelming, but that's not the case for The Everything Tex-Mex Cookbook by Linda Larsen. This book has it all--300 recipes, a whole chapter just on sauces and an index that lets you look up recipes by ingredient. Simply everything, simply delicious.

The title says it all for this one- Some Like it Hot: 200 Spicy Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World. Written by Robin Robertson, this cookbook includes recipes for the I'll-take-mine-extra spicey-eater. Each chapter focuses on a different area of the world (the Americas, Mediterranean Europe, Middle East & Africa, India and Asia) and I have to say just even with browsing through, these recipes looked great. I could make Smooth & Sassy Guacamole, Mole Pablona, or maybe Chilled Avacado Soup.

I definitely think I'll find a recipe for my party with ease--all thanks to the library. The hard part will be choosing just one recipe. Now if only I could get someone else to make it for me...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forget your floppy or flash drive? Try an open source site!

Have you ever forgotten your disk or flash drive but needed to store a document to use or edit later? Here at Sno-Isle you are limited to 2 hours of computer use a day, so what if your project takes more than two hours? What if it’s something important like your resume or a school project? If you don’t save it before you log off, you will lose all your work.

The solution: try an online tool that you can access from any internet computer. These are also called open source tools. With these tools, you can access your documents online using any computer anywhere with internet access, and store them there when you’re done. You don’t even need a home computer, and you don’t need to buy a storage device!

How would you use this at the library? You login to ZOHO (, and then use the ZOHO word processor, spreadsheet, meeting planner, instant messenger, personal wiki, et cetera via the internet. Google is another, similar option ( If you’ve already got a Gmail account, these services are included in the package. Because both Google and ZOHO are open source, they are designed to be compatible with whatever program you used to create your document.

These two services are freely available for signup just like an email account is. If you can master signing up for a free email service, then you can do this. Using an open source service is as easy as signing into your account and accessing your documents. It’s easy to use, and you don’t have to remember your thumb drive or floppy. Even if you have a home computer, using these resources is a good way to avoid losing anything when your computer dies. Give it a try!


(Thank you to David Lee King of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Workers in the library: Who is a librarian?

Who is a librarian? And more importantly, what is it to you?

Most people outside of libraryland think that anybody who works in a library is a librarian, but in reality librarians are just one type of library worker. “Librarians” help you find a good book or help you with research, while other library workers known as “Public Services Assistants” or “PSA’s” check in your books or DVD’s, handle fines, and manage your library card information. “Pages” are the library workers who shelve your items. A good way of thinking of this is that “PSA’s” and “Pages” manage the books as physical items, while librarians manage the contents.
Librarians have earned Master’s Degrees in Librarianship, and love to help you find information from a variety of sources using a variety of techniques. Many PSA’s have Bachelor’s degrees and many years of practical experience. The library would quickly fall apart and cease to function without PSA’s checking books into the system and sending out the holds, or without Pages re-shelving the items, but they’re concentrating on these areas rather than what specifically the books contain - much less other sources that would answer any of your questions.

Why do you as a patron care? When you approach a library worker in the stacks with a question about finding sources for that project you’re working on or that question you can’t find the answer to, if the worker isn’t a librarian they will lead you to one. They aren’t trying to pawn you off for no reason! They just don’t have the training to answer your question well. We know that sometimes people feel shy and don’t want to bother the librarians at the information desk, so we try to get out from behind it regularly to make sure people around the libary are finding what they need.

All library workers care about your library experience; we just approach that goal from different sides. If you have a question and a library worker is with you in the stacks, just ask us! We’ll make sure the right person with the right experience and training gives you the best service we can; librarian or not.

And if you ever wonder what is included in a Library degree, we’ll be happy to tell you that, too.