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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Valentine Cards for the Troops

“The presenter for our church’s next ladies group meeting had to cancel and we need someone to take her place. We are also making Valentine cards for the troops as part of the program. Can you help us?” The staff of the Newton Falls Public Library, schedules permitting, can present programs to local groups. This event offered an opportunity to share some interesting books available at the library.

Letters are an important part of the lives of the men and women in the military. The books Letters Home, the Ohio Veterans Plaza compiled by Daniel A. Meeks and David E. Aldstadt, A Tribute to Military Families: letters of thanks from our nation's children, and War Letters: extraordinary correspondence from American wars all revealed how those serving our country depend on word from us at home. The letters in the latter book were especially compelling; covering correspondence from the Civil War through the Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Somalia and Bosnia. Additional information was often included with these letters, giving the reader insight into what else was occurring at the time the letters were written and what happened to the writer. Some are very heartrending, including one in the section of World War II letters by Rabbi Alex Goode to his wife, Theresa; written merely hours before his embarking on the USAT Dorchester. It is the last letter he wrote to her. History respectfully remembers him as one of the four chaplains who gave up their life preservers when the Dorchester was sunk by a German torpedo in the North Atlantic on February 3, 1943.

Along with the sometimes funny, sometimes sad, military love letters enjoyed by the ladies, the library staff brought a sampling of our greeting card craft books for ideas. The selection included The Card Book by Susan Attenborough and Simply Cards by Sally Traidman. The card makers found inspiration in the poetry found in the Valentine’s Day edition of Ideals. When making their own cards they took quotations and tweaked them to appropriately recognize the sacrifice made and service given by those in the armed forces.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can You Help Me Find a Recipe?

“While at the doctor’s office we saw a recipe in Woman’s Day magazine that had rice, wax beans, kidney beans, pimento, and spaghetti sauce in it. I wrote down those ingredients as it sounded good, but I don’t remember the rest of the instructions. Can you get me a copy of the June 17, 2008 issue?” The Newton Falls Public Library does not carry Woman’s Day, but the magazine does have a website, Using their recipe search and listing the ingredients did not find the needed recipe. Next we tried searching by the issue date, and that was not successful.

Looking through the catalog which Newton Falls shares with five of the other libraries in Trumbull County (Bristol Public Library, Girard Free Library, Hubbard Public Library, Kinsman Free Library, and McKinley Memorial Library) that have joined together as the Trumbull Independent Public Libraries [TiPL] Consortium, we discovered that four of the six libraries subscribe. We were able to request a copy of that specific magazine for our patron. Unfortunately, when the magazine arrived it did not have the recipe for which our patron was looking. The staff unsuccessfully attempted to check some of the other magazines commonly found in doctors’ offices to see if a recipe with those ingredients was in one of their issues. The information was also plugged into some of the online recipe searches to no avail. If anyone should recognize a recipe using these ingredients, please contact Carol Baker at

If you are looking for recipe ideas, the Newton Falls Public Library has a large cookbook collection; the magazines, Taste of Home, Everyday Food, and Bon Appetit which deal specifically with food; magazines for healthy living such as Weight Watchers, Mother Earth News, and Prevention; and CD-Roms, Vegetarian Delights and Art of Making Great Pastries. These may all be borrowed from the library.

For those who already have the perfect recipes, consider sharing them with others. The Friends of the Library are gathering them to create a cookbook. The Recipe Collection Sheets are at the circulation desk along with the box in which to submit them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Health Insurance for Children

“I saw an article about health insurance for children in Ohio. Can you find me any information?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff knows that this is important as they see more individuals losing employment and insurances.

There are different options for families to consider and the state’s website for Jobs and Family Services [] is an excellent place to begin. The state of Ohio has several different programs. Healthy Start (SCHIP) and Healthy Families are Medicaid programs. Healthy Start is available to pregnant woman and/or children younger than 19 in families with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level. Healthy Families is available to those having a child younger than 19 years of age, with income up to 90% of the Federal Poverty Level.

The Children's Buy-In Program is for children with serious illnesses whose families earn more than $42,000 a year and cannot find coverage or private insurance that is priced reasonably. Your child might be eligible for CBI if he/she is younger than age 19, a United States citizen and a resident of Ohio, in a family whose gross income is more than 300% of the FPL, has not had any insurance for at least 6 months before enrolling and is not eligible for Medicaid. Your child must also meet one of the following to qualify: unable to obtain creditable coverage due to a pre-existing condition, lost only available creditable coverage due to exhausting a lifetime benefit , only available coverage is more than twice the state premium for CBI, or participates in the program for medically handicapped children (ODH/BCMH).

The county health departments also offer preventive health services to families and children. Contact the Newton Falls Public Library staff for the information you need to reach your local county’s agency. Trumbull County’s immunization schedules for children and adults are available online at Family and Children’s First Council of Trumbull County [] has programs related to children’s health including Help Me Grow for pregnant women and children under 3 years and Second Step, a school based prevention program.

The library has resources available to assist parents in making wise health care decisions for their children. Some of the titles which may be borrowed are: Your Child's Health: the parents' one-stop reference guide to: symptoms, emergencies, common illnesses, behavior problems, healthy development by Barton D. Schmitt, Naturally Healthy Babies and Children: a commonsense guide to herbal remedies, nutrition, and health” by Aviva Romm, and “Childhood Diseases and Disorders Sourcebook: basic consumer health information about medical problems often encountered in pre-adolescent children, including respiratory tract ailments, ear infections, sore throats, disorders of the skin and scalp, digestive and genitourinary diseases, infectious diseases, inflammatory disorders, chronic physical and developmental disorders, allergies, and more: along with information about diagnostic tests, common childhood surgeries, and frequently used medications, with a glossary of important terms and resource directory.

By going online and accessing the Ohio Web Library [] with your library card, you can find additional information by selecting ‘Resources’ and then ‘Health and Medicine.’ The ‘Consumer Health Complete’ allows you to search a variety of medical and health resources. If you are looking for specific non-emergency information, choosing NetWellness permits you to ‘Ask an Expert.’

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Need Help

“I really could use some help . . . I need to write a resume. The company I’m applying to wants me to do the application online. I need help finding financial assistance.” The Newton Falls Public Library staff recognizes the difficult situations many individuals and families are facing at this time and the variety of questions being asked because of the area’s economic condition.

The library has a wide assortment of books such as Vault Guide to Resumes, Cover Letters & Interviews by Howard Leifman, Marcy Lerner and the staff of Vault, The Damn Good Resume Guide: a crash course in resume writing by Yana Parker, and Over-40 Job Search Guide: ten strategies for making your age an advantage in your career by Gail Geary to aid people in all aspects of job searching. Once you examine the information and hints in these materials to understand what would be the best approach, you can use the library’s public access computers to type your resumes and cover letters. The word processing program loaded on the computers also has resumes which can be used as guidelines. All that is needed is a library card from one of the six libraries in Trumbull County (Bristol Public Library, Girard Free Library, Hubbard Public Library, Kinsman Free Library, McKinley Memorial Library, and Newton Falls Public Library) who have joined together as the Trumbull Independent Public Libraries [TiPL] Consortium. You can get a card by bringing in a driver’s license or photo ID with your current address. If it does not have your current address, bringing along a piece of mail or other official paper with your name and address will suffice.

Online applications, job as well as unemployment, require the applicant to have to an email address. The library staff cannot assist in filling out applications; however, we can direct you to a selection of email providers who offer free accounts. While online, checking your email, take time to examine the Trumbull Mahoning Columbiana Counties One Stop [] and Ohio Career and Information Center []. Both these sites are filled with valuable information, providing online job searches, ideas of where to look for a job, and information about cover letters, resumes, interviewing, and more. [] has numerous valuable resources for those needing assistance. There are links for Ohio Means Jobs, Home Energy Assistance Program, applying for unemployment, and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. The latter includes information about unemployment compensation, health care, food and cash assistance, child care and support, and employment training. In Trumbull County, Community Solutions Association has Trumbull 2-1-1 []. There you can get connected to sources of food, clothing, shelter, and utility assistance and other services. They can be reached online or by phoning 2-1-1.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The History of New Year's Resolutions

“I know everyone says they are making New Year’s resolutions; but why do they? What is the history behind it?” The Newton Falls Public Library has a wonderful resource for looking at this question and others related to this holiday season. The Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year's Celebrations: over 240 alphabetically arranged entries covering Christmas, New Year's, and related days of observance, including folk and religious customs, history, legends, and symbols from around the world; supplemented by a bibliography and lists of Christmas Web sites and associations ... by Tanya Gulevich is a fascinating book to thumb through, covering diverse topics from Adam and Eve Day to Zagmuk. Adam and Eve Day is a feast day on the Sunday before Christmas. Zagmuk is an ancient Mesopotamian festival resembling Twelfth Night and the Twelve Days of Christmas.

According to Gulevich, there are many activities connected to New Year’s. In 567, Church officials ordered “Christians to fast and do penance during the first few days of the new year [p.550].” In the 1500s the Puritans felt that New Year’s Eve should be spent in self-examination and prayer. Devout Protestants in the 1800s also wanted to celebrate the holiday in a quiet manner, to sing, pray, worship, and to begin the upcoming year by forming spiritual and pious resolutions. Modern resolutions began in the early 1900s when people stopped resolving simply religious improvement, and began to look at other areas of self-improvement.

Several sites including date the tradition back to the early Babylonians, whose most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. The founder of New Year’s Resolution Week, Gary Ryan Blair in his online article, The History of New Years Resolutions [] traces the tradition back to 153 B.C. when Janus, a mythical Roman king was put at the head of the calendar. He was pictured as two-faced, looking both back to the past and forward to the future, and thus became the ancient symbol for resolutions when many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies.

Wherever it began, making resolutions is still very popular. USA Gov [] lists some popular resolutions such as manage debt, drink or smoke less, reduce stress,
lose weight, eat right and get fit and links to how to successfully fulfill them. A Wall Street Journal poll released on February 7, 2008 reported that fewer people were making resolutions. The top three that people attempted were to exercise more frequently, lose weight, and eat a healthier diet.

Out of curiosity, we expanded our online search to find some unusual resolutions. A particular favorite from the many sites available was “10 New Year's Resolutions for My Cat” [] where the first one is, I will no longer sleep on my owner’s head. . .