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Friday, November 27, 2009

Quotation Marks

“I’m reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and noticed something odd. Instead of quotation marks around the dialog, there are apostrophes. Do you know why?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff has noticed that some authors use punctuation in ways we are not used to seeing for literary purposes.

We first went to the author’s website and his blog to see if perhaps, like other writers, he used the apostrophes creatively for effect. Because nothing stood out as unusual; our staff wondered if it might be cultural. Boyne is from Dublin, Ireland.

In Sentence First: An Irishman’s blog about the English Language. Mostly [], the author states that “In British English, single marks are traditionally preferred, with double marks inside them as required, then single again and so on.” This is the opposite of what is commonly used in American English. The information at the website, How to Write an Essay Top tips on how to write an essay from academic research writers
[] concurs.

The Cambridge Guide to English Usage by Pam Peters also addresses the use of double and single quotation marks [pp. 454-455]. Peters’ book is a useful resource for writing: including correct word usages and meanings; and formats and styles for letters, memos, and e-mails. It may be borrowed from the library.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We Need Your Help Answering Our Question

Rather than “Ask the Librarian”, we would like your help in answering our question. A postcard was recently donated to the Local History Room of the Newton Falls Public Library. The photograph on the front is of a small building at the southeast corner of S. Canal and Broad Streets, with a large three story brick building behind it, which later became Kloss Hardware. The lettering on the windows reads CIGARS AND TOBACCO, RESTAURANT: LUNCH AND SOFT DRINKS. There is a man in a light shirt and suspenders standing in front of the building. In an enlarged version of the photo, a sign can be seen around the corner which reads GRAPH.

We first began our search in the History of Newton Falls compiled by Ella A. Woodward. In the section on Interesting Old Buildings [p.64], it states that William Herbert of Niles “erected a large brick residence and business place” at this location. There was also a small building that was moved to a location on Canal Street near Broad Street, where Mr. [Theron] Beard had a photograph gallery and later J.P. Jagielski, photographer was the last tenant. These facts seem to match what is in the locale of our smaller building, but gives no information about it.

We next searched online in the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. This database found in the Ohio Web Library [] contains large scale street plans produced by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company from 1867 to 1970. The maps sometimes include information about the types of businesses found in the buildings. On 1889 and 1893 maps there was a general merchandise store at the location. The 1902 map shows a restaurant, and the 1908 one has a dining room with a kitchen behind that appears to be connected to a hotel [in the large brick building?]. The next map is from 1915 and lists a hardware store in that area.

Again, we examined the History of Newton Falls compiled by Ella A. Woodward. At that corner, it lists the following businesses: “a saloon and restaurant, the Yeager Bros., the Johnson Bros., the Foulk and Johnson Hardwares and the Fink’s Department Store. Finally the Kloss Hardware maintained retail business there [History of Newton Falls, p. 191].” The library staff would appreciate your help in discovering the name of this restaurant and any other information you might have about the business or the owner. The restaurant would have definitely been at the location during 1902, and was in existence sometime between the years 1893 and 1908.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Car Trouble

“My car is doing something strange; when I turn the motor on and off my head lights and daytime running lights flicker. I want to see if I can find out what is causing this.” The Newton Falls Public Library staff understands that during this difficult economic time people are seeking information for working on their vehicle or before taking them to a mechanic.

The library subscribes to the online database, AllData, which provides comprehensive automotive reference for domestic and foreign cars, trucks, and vans from 1982 to the present. Maintenance information, technical service bulletins, schematics and diagrams are included. Since access to the database is only available within the library, the patron ‘borrowed’ a computer using her library card.

We selected her vehicle by year, make, model, and engine. Under the section, Lighting and Horns, we looked first at the Technical Service Bulletins. Under the heading Symptoms, there was information about Erratic Operation. One of the conditions dealt with in this area was “intermittent front lamp concerns.” The database included the cause of the problem and the procedure with illustration for dealing with it. The patron was able to print the information, hopeful that the simple steps given would solve the problem.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Newspaper Recipes & Crossword Puzzles

Sometimes patrons contact the Newton Falls Public Library looking for articles in back issues of newspapers. “I’m looking for a recipe that was in the Tribune Chronicle a while back. It was a Rookie Cookies Pineapple Pudding Cake.” “I’m trying to make a photocopy of the crossword puzzle in Sunday’s Plain Dealer and it’s not coming out very well. Is it available online?”

Unsure of the date of the article in the Tribune, the library staff attempted to find it at but the recipe was not listed. We next did an online search. The San Diego Union-Tribune’s (Universal Press) Mini Page [], July 2, 2009 featured this Rookie Cookies recipe.

Newsprint often photocopies darkly causing little contrast for crossword puzzle squares; finding it online would allow our patron to have a sharper image from which to work. The Plain Dealer’s puzzle cannot be accessed online without a paid subscription. By searching online using the name of the puzzle and the author’s name, we found the desired puzzle on the website of the LA Times []. The paper has puzzles from the last 30 days which can be played either online or printed to be worked by hand. For those who enjoy doing puzzles, but find they need assistance, the library has The American Heritage Crossword Puzzle Dictionary and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Dictionary by Tom Pulliam and Clare Grundman. These books are available to help find the answers to difficult clues.