The Central Rappahannock Regional Library is dedicated to featuring new and inspiring technologies for the community. For the past year we have been demonstrating 3-D printing with our Mobile MakerLab. The library can offer much more now that a permanent MakerLab has been set up at our England Run Branch.
Thanks to a generous partnership with the University of Mary Washington, library staff and university students are able to teach customers of all ages about aspects of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) through demonstrations and hands-on activities.
How Music Works offers many answers to a question that I had never even asked. Now that I've read it I wonder, "How could I have gone so long without this information?" Musician and writer David Byrne crafts such an enticing collection of essays, dropping factoids and anecdotes along the way, that I was equally informed and entertained.
More of a blend of personal experience and hypothesis than a hard-line course in objective facts, Byrne tackles nearly every conceivable aspect of the art form: venues throughout history; the creative process; collaboration; recording; and business.
If you’re in the mood for a harrowing reality check, Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death is the antidote to your craving. Postman’s revelatory book was initially published in the 1980s, but his exploration of America’s preoccupation with entertainment is still sharp and pertinent. And it has retained its power to make us re-think the role of technology in our everyday lives.
Throughout Amusing Ourselves to Death, Postman questions how the content of our culture has been radically altered by the emergence of new media. As he states, “our notions of truth and our ideas of intelligence have changed as a result of new media displacing the old.” The assertion that cultural practices and technologies constantly influence and respond to one another might seem like a value neutral observation, but as Postman delves deeper into his analysis, it becomes obvious that he views the shift from the Age of Exposition (text-based communication) to the Age of Show Business (image-based communication) as a profoundly problematic and troubling phenomenon.
A public-service tech announcement to online CRRL patrons: both Microsoft and Mozilla have released updates to their web browsers, which I recommend you install if possible. These can be downloaded from the links below.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/internet-explorer/downloads/ie)
- Mozilla Firefox 4 (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/fx/)
A loving relative (or maybe it was you, yourself!) was good to you this holiday season and now you want to fill up your Kindle or Sony Reader with books. Or you are looking for even more to do with your iPod Touch. Try these sites for free eBooks:
Today's libraries are not just for books, computers and magazines – the Salem Church library now has its own geocache! In geocaching, participants obtain the location of a geocache from a geocaching Web site www.geocaching.com, use a GPS to arrive in the area of the cache, and then follow clues or simply hunt for the cache. There are over 1000 caches waiting to be found within a 25 mile radius of the Fredericksburg area!