Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Potential Loss for Libraries & Students

Yikes the EBSCO database is on the chopping block due to the state’s financial crisis. What is EBSCO besides an unpronounceable bunch of letters? It’s a collection of databases mainly geared towards students. Do you need age appropriate reading material, or grade appropriate research for a history project, or a magazine article for tomorrow’s class? These databases are the answer. I began tutoring my nephew at the beginning of this year.  Now it’s been a long time since I had to write papers or study for exams, so it’s been a challenge getting back into the mindset to be able to effectively help him. What a great resource these databases are. Funk & Wagnallis Encyclopedia is a terrific starting point for research reports. I’ve used the NoveList to draw up a reading list for my nephew. But, far and away the most popular features are the magazine & newspaper archive searches. EBSCO provides free access to thousands of magazines/newspapers including the LA & New York Times. Alas, unless there is a change of heart during the budget debates this fabulous resource will cease to be accessible to NJ libraries after June 30th. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Double Whammy for NJ Libraries

As if the Governor’s proposed budget cuts to libraries weren’t enough; Assemblyman John Dimaio has introduced an elimination of the required appropriation for the funding of free municipal libraries. Instead library appropriations would be the amount deemed necessary for the proper maintenance of the library by the municipal governing body. I fear the lawmakers in Trenton do not value libraries. Libraries are the cornerstones of our towns. They house the past, present and future of our communities. They provide the resources for all of the community to grow and achieve their potential. In these economic hard times Libraries and their resources are needed even more. While the budget crisis requires cutbacks in all areas, the proposed cuts along with A2555 will cripple municipal libraries across the state.

Please click on the link and send an e-mail to your state representatives in the 25th district in support of your library. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Help Save NJ Libraries

Libraries across the country are busier than ever before.  170,000 people use NJ libraries every day.  Libraries are community anchors. The unemployed are increasingly turning to libraries are currently to file online unemployment claims, apply for jobs, and taking classes to expand job skills. Children develop a critical reading skills beginning with Books for Babies programs progressing on to Summer Reading Programs and homework help. In this fiscally challenged times, adults are using libraries to provided low cost entertainment options, interact with government, and participate in life-long learning opportunities.
Governor Christie’s proposed budget calls for a 74% cut in library budgets. All statewide programs and services would be eliminated. These budget cuts will also cause an additional $4.5 million loss in federal funding, further decreasing in library’s ability to provided needed services. Eliminating all of the Network Aid ($4.299 mil) is incredibly destructive to library operations. Network Aid includes all region and statewide services such as; delivery, databases, and inter-library loans.

Intra-library loans and delivery systems have become a mainstay of library circulation. These systems allow a library to have a smaller collection of information physically on hand while providing the public a wider array of available information. Last year 82,000 items were circulated through the intra-library loan system to the benefit of Roxbury Township residents. I use the MAIN online ordering system. MAIN determines which library has an available copy of the book I’ve requested, and then arranges delivery. An e-mail is sent to me notifying the book has arrived at the Roxbury Library where I pick it up. Once I’ve returned the book, MAIN returns it to the home library or to the branch of the next recipient. This is an efficient use of the materials available to all the residents of towns using the MAIN system. Systems like this would cease to exist throughout the state if the budget cut eliminating Network Aid is allowed to stand.

Please click on the link and send an e-mail to your state representatives in the 25th district in support of your library. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Organize Your Home Office Day

Today is Organize Your Home Office Day and to celebrate, I’m cleaning off my desk. That is my goal, whether I finish today or tomorrow, I will have a desktop that contains my laptop, printer, pens/pencils, current project folders and a notepad. From the before picture I’m sure it is obvious I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. The mess I have now is paralyzing me. The pile represents my past, present and future. There are the last vestiges of a business and contacts from the TV show now off the air. Then there are the tax receipts that need to go to my accountant and bills to be paid. Lastly there is my future lost in all that clutter, pieces of inspiration needing to be unearthed. So that is my task, dispose of the past, organize the present and find the dreams of the future. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Not So Typical Inspirational Reading defines Inspiration as a person or work that “moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.”  Bookstores have whole sections dedicated to Inspirational books. I’ve taken the Passion Test to find my passion and read Suze Orman’s Courage to be Rich and was moved to de-clutter my home from one end to the other to make way for “more”.  But I’m not necessarily talking about “Inspirational” books. I can find inspiration in magazines, biographies, history, chic lit or mysteries.

Recently while listening to Obsession, Deceit and Really Dark Chocolate by Kyra Davis I was inspired to watch an old movie favorite. Sophia Katz meets up with her friend Maryann at the video store. Mary Ann is looking for a film with Errol Flynn. They decide on one of Flynn’s best Robin Hood. I rarely watch movies. My movie library totals under a dozen movies. When I got home I curled up on the couch with the remote and enjoyed the classic Robin. Next to me and the remote is the March copy of O Magazine. I’m hoping for some inspiration from Oprah on de-cluttering my life, which just happens to be this month’s O theme. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Yesterday was the Grand Opening Celebration for Health-e-Motion.  There was the typical meet & greet, food, drink and tour. Unique to Health-e-Motion were the Nia classes you could jump into for a song, intuitive readings in a private room or the Drumming Ceremony which was the finale for the day. Now I have never seen a Drumming Ceremony much less participated in one, but that didn’t stop me from picking up a drum and banging along. What a hoot. Everyone started out trying to follow the rhythm but as the ceremony progressed, we all just did our own thing. Some people were drumming or using other percussion instruments, some danced and some enjoyed the performance. Usually I’m in the latter group. Just spending a few minutes in this new space and I was already enjoying being out of my comfort zone.

Health-e-motion is the brainchild of Christine Clifton. She describes herself as a Personal Growth Trainer and has worked as a life coach and Nia instructor. Christine wants to bring healthy living modalities under one roof. Whether you are searching for spiritual, intellectual, emotional or physical enlightenment Health-e-motion is the place to be.

I first met Christine a few months back at a Rock Your Chakras class she was leading. It was fantastic! It was a mix of movement, meditation and soul searching. Just weeks before my mom’s death, I came into the class hopeless and dark and left feeling hopeful and light. It was an awesome internal transformation. Excitingly, this is one of the classes being offered during the free Monday evening classes in March. I can’t wait to take it again. To me the real excitement about Health-e-Motion is the opportunity to try new things in a safe environment. There’s this Dance Your Chakras (March 31) billed as all about chakras and balancing these energy centers through dance meditation. Sounds like something not to miss to me. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Tech Toy

It’s always a treat when new technology comes to the marketplace to make our lives simpler, more productive or just plain fun. The nook, the latest greatest cell phone or the ATM. Yes, there are changes afoot with the good ole ATM. Useful and functional, it’s been a longtime since there has been anything exciting about the ATM except whether the right one is located in a convenient location when you need it.

Other banks may have the new technology, but I’ve only seen ads for the new Chase ATM. According to the commercial; with the new and improved ATM deposits are oh so much easier. Just insert your check or cash directly into the machine, no envelope or deposit slip and away you go.  Today was the first time I tried out the new toy.  Wow, it works just as advertised.  I inserted my bankcard, indicated I was making a deposit. Now the new technology kicks in. The screen flashes cash or check deposit, I selected check. It then instructed me to deposit the check. I fed the check into the slot face up. Once it read the check it asked me to confirm my $100 deposit. Pretty cool, the machine was right. This new toy may take away the enjoyment I’ve gotten from direct deposit.

·               *  Housekeeping note – There is an option to get a printed copy of the check on your receipt if you need it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Energy Art

I had never heard of Energy Art before. Then I saw an ad on Facebook which included a painting by Julia Watkins. The ads on Facebook cycle pretty quickly so the image appeared frequently. Every time the ad appeared I would pause to gaze at the picture. It resonated with me, lightening my spirit. Finally I actually clicked on the ad and learned about Energy Art.

Energy Art is a new movement with old roots. Impressionists, Expressionist and Futurists all tried to capture energy forms in their art. The Energy Art Movement officially began a couple of years ago. Their explanation of Energy Art is ‘the depiction of energy using color, form, and composition to create inventive and expressive works of art that resonate with impact and feeling.” Well it resonates with me. And apparently I’m not alone. Deepak Chopra recently bought a paining from Ms Watkins dolphin series. I hope this picture of my favorite 
the "Peacock” speaks to you as well.