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Friday, October 28, 2016

Where do I go to vote?

Several of our patrons have been unsure of where to go to cast their ballot on November 8. Fortunately, the Ohio Secretary of State website has made that information easy to find.

To find out where to vote, go to http://voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us/, type in your first name and last name, and select your county. It will bring up your polling location, precinct, and congressional, Senate, and State Representative districts.

Myohiovote.com, also part of the Secretary of State’s website, is another option. It uses a slightly different method to determine your polling place – it links to your county’s board of elections website and goes from there – but the end result is the same. A wealth of information is available on the website, and you can do things like view a sample ballot, get information on early, provisional, and absentee voting, and track your absentee ballot.

For more information on the election, the League of Women Voters of Trumbull County have put out their voter information guide, copies of which are available here at the Newton Falls Public Library. According to the League’s website, they have been working to distribute 10,000 copies not only to all the libraries, senior centers, and high schools in Trumbull County, but to area businesses as well. The League of Women Voters of Kent, covering southern Portage County, has put their guide online here.

If you would like us to help look up your polling place, please call or visit us here at the library.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Whatever happened to colored toilet paper?

One of our patrons remembered the days when toilet paper came in pastel shades of pink, yellow, green, and blue to match the bathroom d├ęcor. One day, though, he noticed that it had disappeared from the shelves. According to the blog on ToiletPaperWorld.com, Scott was one of the last holdouts, and it produced its last beige, blue, and pink rolls in 2004.

People have a few different explanations for why companies stopped making the pastel paper. Jenny Achiam on the style blog Into the Gloss remembers her doctor telling her that some of the cheaper dyes caused allergic reactions. Larry Waldbillig on the blog History’s Dumpster remembers hearing that the dyes were harming the environment, though he never heard of any proof. (Indeed, in the question-and-answer column “The Last Word” in a 2004 issue of New Scientist, someone wrote in to ask if colored toilet paper was less environmentally-friendly than the white. The answer was no, because such small amounts of dye were used, and because the dye bonded to the paper, preventing it from accumulating in the environment and from rubbing off on people’s skin.) Finally, it may simply have gone out of style. The color-matched bathroom was trendiest from the 1950’s to the 1970s, which was also when the pastel paper was most popular.

Don’t despair, though, because colored toilet paper is still around! Though it may not be on supermarket shelves, it can be ordered from several places online. Cabela’s offers toilet paper in camo patterns, and Mill’s Fleet Farm has it in hunter’s orange. Renova produces colored toilet paper favored by exclusive night clubs, upscale boutiques, and, according to gossip magazines and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, celebrities like Beyonce and Kris Jenner. Its black roll even received a write-up in the New York Times in 2006.

On a final note, we found an article in a 2012 issue of Library Journal about a New York library that was using toilet paper with advertisements printed on it. Unfortunately, Star Toilet Paper, the company that provided the paper, is now closed down.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Where can I find a place that publishes poetry?

At a recent meeting of the Newton Falls Writers’ Club, one of our writers was wondering how to find a home for their poems. While it’s impossible to find a full list of all the contests and publications accepting submissions, we found a few resources that could be helpful.

A nonprofit organization called Poets & Writers has an online database of literary journal publishing everything from poetry and fiction to book reviews, essays, and visual art. Each journal has its own particular voice. Some focus on particular topics and others are devoted exclusively to certain forms (such as flash fiction or haiku). To help writers find the journal that fits them best, Poets & Writers lists whether each one is looking for poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, which subgenres most interest them, what time of year they accept submissions. Each journal also has a brief description and a link to their website. The database can be found here. NewPages provides a similar list.

The Ohio Poetry Association, another nonprofit organization, provides a supportive network for poets and poetry-lovers. They have their own newsletter, poetry workshops, and members-only journal, and they also sponsor contests, including one for students in grades 9-12.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul company publishes anthologies of poetry and nonfiction centered around particular topics, and they accept submissions on their website. They publish stories as well as poems that tell stories, and are currently looking for stories about cats, dogs, dreams and premonitions, military families, and teachers. Their admissions page can be found here

We also have a copy of the most recent Writer’s Market here at the library which includes, along with its listings of literary agents, publishing companies, and magazines, a section on poetry contests. Many of the contests offer publication of the writer’s completed manuscript as their prize.

Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to stop by the library and we can help you find more resources.