By Steve Zalusky

The first words we learn are closely tied to the images we as children see in picture books.  Each November, Picture Book Month celebrates the print picture book in an increasingly digital age

It also highlights their crucial function in our development not only as readers, but as human beings.  The month was founded by author Dianne de Las Casas, whose website says, “She believes in the transformational power of the arts in education and feels that imagination is the elixir that turns the ordinary into extraordinary.”

Explaining in a 2014 article in I Love Libraries how the initiative evolved, Dianne de Las Casas said that in 2011, the New York Times published an article questioning the future of...


by Sharon Lacey, courtesy of MIT News

A recently rediscovered trunk containing 2,600 letters sent from France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands between 1689 and 1706 will soon provide a fascinating glimpse into the plight of the early modern European everyman. These letters remained undelivered — including 600 letters never opened — because their recipients could not be found or would not pay outstanding postage costs. The trunk has been stored in The Hague’s Museum voor...


by Rachel Dovey, courtesy of KQED Arts

As more people stream and fewer buy, Netflix-like subscriptions look like the reasonable bet for tomorrow’s music marketplace — a way for suppliers to mimic Spotify without going the freemium route. Apple Music, set to begin charging users September 30, is often lauded as the brave initiator of this potential future, but well outside Cupertino, a smaller company has spent the past five years pioneering a similar model in one of the last places you’d expect: The...


By Steve Zalusky

If you are in the mood for games, one place you might seek out is your local library – especially this weekend.  Around the third Saturday of each November, libraries and their communities get together to play games, as they participate in International Games Day (IGD).

This year’s celebration is held Nov. 21, with several libraries even getting the jump on it by holding activities in advance.

In the Celeste Auditorium of the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the focus will be on three games: Proteus, which features an island populated by 8-bit ASCII characters; Gone Home, which is set in...

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International Games Day @ your library

"Joshua Davis, "As a child, the library was a magical place"

Joshua Davis, "as a child, the library was a magical place."

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Review of the Day

Polak, Monique (author).
Oct. 2015. illus. Orca, hardcover, $24.95 (9781459809901). Grades 4-7. 296.4.
REVIEW. First published November 15, 2015 (Booklist). While this title in the Orca Origins series explains the holiday of Passover, it also goes further. In the introduction, Polak remembers her associations with the holiday while growing up in Montreal, mostly through friends’ seders. Her own family was not observant, and Polak believes this was in part because her Dutch mother was a Holocaust survivor. (In doing research, the author interviewed several other survivors, and their stories make up a good portion of the book.) In the first several chapters, Polak explains the holiday’s origins,...