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Friday, April 25, 2014

Which Monks Take a Vow of Silence?

"Which monks take a vow of silence?" While we couldn't find the answer in our copy of “The Religions Book,” nor by looking under “monasticism” and “vow” in Merriam-Webster’s “Encyclopedia of World Religions,” searching online turned up a variety of resources.

As it turns out, the Christian monks most strongly associated with silence are the Trappists. However, according to and (OCSO stands for “Order of the Cisterians of the Strict Observance,” the less common name for the religious order to which Trappists belong), they never take an actual vow of silence. Rather, they take a vow of conversion, which is a promise to live the monastic way of life and also covers a promise to be celibate and to practice voluntary poverty. While there is a pervasive atmosphere of silence at a Trappist monastery, there are several circumstances where the monks will typically speak. According to, “there are three reasons for speaking: functional communication at work or in community dialogues, spiritual exchange with one’s superiors or with a particular member of the community on different aspects of one’s personal life, and spontaneous conversation on special occasions.”

For more information, Jeremy Mesiano-Crookston wrote an article called “How Silence Works: Emailed Conversations With Four Trappist Monks." Also, Patrick Leigh Feymor’s “A Time to Keep Silence,” which includes a section about his stay at a Trappist monastery, is available through CLEVNET.

Friday, April 18, 2014

How Do You Find Out Who Owns a Business?

“How do you find out who owns a business?” While the most surefire way to find out is to call and ask, there are also a few other avenues you can try.

Some businesses may list the owner on their website. If you know that the business is based in Ohio, you can try the Business Search on the Ohio Secretary ofState website. This will bring up filing information, including the name of the person who filed the paperwork. In some cases, that will be the owner. However, if the company used a lawyer to do the filing instead, that’s the name that will come up.

Another option is to check the county auditor’s website. If you know where the business is located, you can search the website for their county and find out who owns the property. (The Trumbull County property search site is located at If they’re renting, however, that won’t be of much help.

Finally, you can try “Hoover’s Handbook of American Business” and “Hoover’s Masterlist of Major U.S. Companies,” several editions of which are held in the reference collections of other CLEVNET libraries. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Where Can I Find Authentic Cowboy Slang?

“I’m writing a story about cowboys, and I’d like to incorporate authentic cowboy slang. Could you help?”

While we have “Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang” and “A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles” available in the reference section here at the Newton Falls Public Library, both are more useful for looking up the origins of specific words and phrases. Putting “cowboy slang” into an online search engine brings up quite a few websites, but we had a tough time finding one that cited its sources, and so we weren’t sure how authentic they actually were.

Looking through CLEVNET, however, we found “Cowboy Lingo” and “Western Words: A Dictionary of the Range, Cow Camp, and Trail.” Both are written by Ramon Frederick Adams, a respected Western writer, historian, and bibliographer, and both can be put on hold and sent to any other CLEVNET library.

Here at Newton Falls, we have Candy Moulton’s “The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Wild West From 1840-1900,” which has a short chapter on language along with a wealth of other information, including sections about the clothes people wore, the food that they ate, and what they did for fun. We also have “The Cowboys” by Time-Life Books and a selection of more general books about the American West, including Geoffrey C. Ward’s “The West: An Illustrated History” and James D. Horan’s “The Great American West.”

Friday, April 4, 2014

Do You Know Any Online Computer Classes?

“I’d like to learn more about using computers, but I can’t make it in to all the classes at the library. Are there online classes I can take?” The Newton Falls Public Library offers free computer classes and one-on-one times three Mondays and one Saturday every month. However, we understand that everyone has busy schedules. Fortunately, there are online resources available. Cynthia Casterline, our technology educator, recommended LearningExpress Library and

LearningExpressLibrary requires that you set up an account first at a participating library (such as Newton Falls Public Library), but after that, you can access it from anywhere. Along with tutorials on everything from the very basics to Adobe Photoshop, LearningExpress Library also offers practice exams for the SAT, ACT, GED, AP tests, CDL exams, NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN, and many others. It also provides math and English practice and help. can be accessed anywhere even if you don’t have a library card. It offers math, English, and career help as well, along with a wealth of computer tutorials on Google, Facebook, Microsoft Office, using the mouse, Skype, iPads, iPhones, and many more.