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Friday, April 30, 2010

I Need to Repair My . . .

“A friend of mine said you had a manual for working on my Honda ATV.” “Do you have a manual for repairing weed wackers?” “A belt broke on my mower and I need to know how to replace it. Do you have anything that can help me?” Spring weather brings many people to the Newton Falls Public Library looking for information about working on vehicles and outdoor equipment.

The library staff was able to direct these patrons to our extensive collection of print materials ranging from the Air Conditioning Service Manual to Yard and Garden Tractor Service Manual: [single-cylinder models]. We also have a wonderful online resource available to those seeking to work on their All Terrain Vehicles, Generators & Other Small Engines, Marine/Boat Motors, Motorcycles, Outdoor Power Equipment, Personal Water Craft, Snow Machines/Snow Mobiles, and Tractors. The Small Engine Repair Reference Center can be accessed from any Internet computer. Go to and have your Newton Falls Public Library card number available when it is requested. Select: Resources, Locally Purchased Databases and then Small Engine Repair Reference Center EBSCO. Choose the category of equipment needing repair until you reach the manual for the piece of equipment on which you are working. For those who don’t have computer access at home, this information can be retrieved using the library’s public access computers, and the staff is always willing to assist patrons in finding what is needed.

For those individuals working on their cars, the library has a database which can be accessed only at the library. AllData is the world's most comprehensive resource for automotive diagnostic and repair information, including Technical Service Bulletins, items of Customer Interest, and wiring diagrams. Vehicles from 1982 to 2010 may be searched, and the information is specific down to engine size. There are also numerous Chilton and Motor repair guides as well as books of wiring diagrams and auto body repair.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Comparing Dremann and Scoville Heat Scales

“I’m getting ready to order seeds for my garden and I need some information about the heat scales of peppers, specifically comparing the Dremann to Scoville Units.” Now that spring has arrived, getting questions concerning anticipated gardens is not unusual. However, the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library was unfamiliar with this particular topic.

We began with The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible: discover Ed’s high-yield W-O-R-D system for all North American gardening regions by Edward C. Smith. He writes briefly about Scoville Units which measures the degree of ‘heat’ of peppers, but does not compare the two scales. Circa 1902, Wilbur Scoville discovered a way of measuring their spiciness based on how much capsaicin peppers contain. Month-by-month Gardening in Ohio by Denny McKeown and Guide to Ohio Vegetable Gardening by James A. Fizzell had interesting information about gardening in our state, but there was nothing about the heat scale of peppers. We also searched in cookbooks such as Vegetables: the most authoritative guide to buying, preparing, and cooking with more than 300 recipes by James Peterson.

Online we found that Craig C. Dremann of the Redwood Seed Company developed the Dremann Hotness Scale [] which goes from 0-64,000. The list includes various commercial salsas which an unfamiliar pepper eater can use to compare a pepper’s taste to perhaps more familiar ones. Dremann names tepĂ­n as the hottest on the scale. An extensive Scoville Heat Scale is available at Uncle Steve’s Hot Stuff []. This site listed Naga Jolokia "Ghost Pepper" as the hottest with 800,000-1,041,000 out of a possible 15-16,000,000 pure capsaicin. Our patron printed a copy of each list in order to compare peppers so he could complete his spring seed order.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where Have the Books Gone?

“Where have the books gone? I was in the library the other day and noticed some empty shelves.” Keeping available materials current and pertinent are part of the duties of the Newton Falls Public Library staff. The task is called weeding and, as in gardening, it means to remove what is not wanted to make room for what is needed. As in your garden, it also means that you are able to enjoy more items without digging through that which is no longer useful.

Some items may not have been weeded, but transplanted. Before the Internet, libraries kept large collections of reference materials, books which could only be used in the library. We have recently chosen to move many of these items to the circulating collection, where patrons may now borrow them to use at home.

“But how do you decide what to take away and what to leave?” We look at materials which no one has borrowed from the library for at least four to five years and make decisions on the disposition of these materials based on several things.

• Is the information current? This is very important when looking at items concerning medicine, law, science, and the Internet.

• Are there other books available on this subject that people are selecting instead of these?

• Does the library have multiple copies of a title that is no longer in high demand?

“What happens when you are done?” The books withdrawn from the collection are given new life. Some of them are sent to the public schools for use in their libraries and classrooms. Others are placed in the Friends of the Library’s book sales, where people in the community may purchase them. The Friends use the money raised to help support library programs throughout the year. This support allows the library to offer these programs at no cost to those attending. The next book sale will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

As in a garden, the space created by weeding allows us to have space on the shelves for new materials. These new items are purchased to meet the current needs and interests of our community.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Need a Broccoli Slaw Recipe

“I was visiting family out of state and they served this broccoli slaw from a local grocery store. It was really good, not much dressing on it, and it contained shredded broccoli and florets, raisins, red onion, bacon and sunflower seeds. Can you help me find the recipe?” While not having tasted the slaw, the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library would certainly try to give her some possibilities to try at home.

With the availability of the Internet, searching for recipes online is as simple as typing in the various ingredients, slaw and recipe. had two promising versions of this slaw: Broccoli and Bacon Salad with Equal, a lower calorie version [,1662,139188-245199,00.html] and Little Tree Salad [,1643,152163-235202,00.html].’s Alyson’s Broccoli Salad [] shows the nutritional information for those watching their fat and cholesterol intake. Broccoli Slaw [] at used the smallest amount of mayonnaise or salad dressing of the online recipes we viewed.

Our patron was wondering if the library had any books that might have similar recipes. We have an extensive collection of recipe books. Some, like The Madison County Cookbook by the members of St. Joseph’s Church, Winterset, Iowa includes ramen noodles, not for what she was looking. Taste and See That the Lord is Good by the Ways and Means Committee, Pricetown United Methodist Church, Newton Falls, Ohio includes mozzarella cheese. Interesting, but not exactly what was needed. In Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007 Superspeedy Broccoli Slaw includes pineapple and uses a commercial dressing for easier preparation. The New Potluck: the best recipes for today's "bring-a-dish" meals Nutty Broccoli Slaw has a dressing which did not include mayonnaise or salad dressing. Another intriguing one was found in Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2008. Their Floret Salad has sour cream, and Worcestershire and hot sauces.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tracks in the Snow

“These are the tracks we saw outside our house following the last snow,” said the Newton Falls Public Library patron as he showed us a photograph of the single file line of small animal tracks. “Can you help me figure out what kind of animal would make them?” Even though it is hard to think of snow and winter now that spring has arrived, the library staff finds the photograph intriguing. The tracks appear to be about 2 ½ inches long and spaced approximately 8 inches apart. The patron had not measured them, so we were estimating based upon their size in comparison to the solar lights.

Tracking & the Art of Seeing: how to read animal tracks & sign by Paul Rezendes includes both photographs and drawings of animal tracks. Browsing through the book, we read that there are different kinds of patterns. The “domestic dog is a double- or indirect-registering animal (p.178).” The red fox has a regular walking pattern, going in almost a straight line. It is a direct-registering animal. The walking gait of the red fox “is usually a straight, precise, narrow line of tracks (p.179),” and the accompanying drawing bears that out. This is because the fox walks with the hind foot directly on top of the track of the front one.

Using the Key to Tracks in The Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks by Olaus J. Murie and Mark Elbroch, the shape resembles those of the weasel, the coyote, and the red fox. The weasel track is a bit small, measuring less than 2 inches. The coyote and red fox are both much closer matches. The coyote has a print of 2 ¼ to 3 ½ inches long. The red fox’s is between 1 7/8 and 2 7/8 inches. The coyote trail through snow (p. 163) shows the tracks in a straight line, but they are spaced 14 to 15 inches apart.

Both coyotes and red foxes have been seen in the area around our patron’s home. Going by the size, spacing, and straight line of the tracks, our patron feels satisfied that they were left by the red fox.