Self-Help and Instructional

Ready, Set, Draw!

All it takes is a piece of paper and a pencil to make a great drawing. Even if you don't think you have any talent, step-by-step guides will have you sketching in no time.

Drawing Cartoons and Drawing Step-by-Step

Amaze your friends by drawing pictures of cartoon characters. Looney Tunes' web site has step-by-step instructions for Bugs, Daffy, and the rest of the gang. Step-by-step instruction books from the library can give you the confidence to create cars and kittens, dinosaurs and spaceships. The youngest artists may enjoy Ed Emberley's very simple books which turn basic shapes into cool cartoons.

Keep Cool with Water Games

Whether you’ve got a pool nearby or just a yard and a hose, you can have fun staying cool in the sun with outdoor water games.

Depending on the game you pick, you may also want to have buckets, sponges, water balloons, and maybe even a watermelon. Water games are a great way to end a long day outside or to make into the center of a summertime party. You can also take some games and turn them into a water-based Olympics.

Time to Thank Your Teachers

Before you finally finish your grade and head out for a summer of fun, there’s still one more thing to do. Your teachers have worked hard all year to get you ready for your future. So now it’s time to think about a little way to say thanks for all they do. Teachers are special people. They do not go into the job for the money they can make. The best teachers are there because they love to teach.

As the school year winds down into lazy summer days, take a little time to thank your teachers. Not everybody can afford to hand out gift certificates, so here are some thoughtful, inexpensive ways to let your teachers know you care.

Communities thrive @ your library

April 11-17, 2010 is National Library Week and is being celebrated with the theme 'Communities thrive @ your library.'  The CRRL supports a thriving community and gives patrons lots of ways to participate and give back to their community.  All week at all branches is Food for Fines - bring a can of food and get $1.00 off library overdue fines.  All food collected will be donated to local area food banks.  Or donate to the Red Cross blood bank at Porter branch's blood drive on Thursday, April

Follow Law Blogs and Stay Informed

Many blogs are available on the internet on many topics, including legal blogs. One blog of particular interest to citizens of Virginia is The Virginia Lawyer's Weekly blog. While the blog was created for attorneys, it does offer information on some of the latest legal cases as well as breaking news for the legal community.

Tracking Legislation

Once you elect your representatives it may seem like a herculean task to follow what they are doing and how they are voting. Two websites will help you quickly catch up on issues important to you. To track your federal representatives try the website Government Track Us. At this site you will find a wealth of information about what is happening in Congress right now. You can also have e-mail alerts sent to your e-mail account. You can narrow your alerts to your specific representatives or specific issues.

Searching the Internet

Looking for information in all the wrong places?

That's a song that Internet searchers could sing day after day. Spending hours (even days) looking for something online can be frustrating. Here are some tips and favorite sites that our reference librarians use to find what they're looking for....

Ditch Your Cable

TV Is Dead. Long Live TV

In these lean times, we’re all looking for ways to cut household costs. You may be pondering whether you should ditch the cable TV or the broadband Internet to free up $50 a month. Take my advice and lose the cable. Heck, even if you aren’t in a financial pickle, go ahead and dump it. Your life will be better for it. Here’s why.

Increasing Your Internet Privacy

Maintaining your privacy online is a tricky matter, as I’m sure you know. And though you’re using a firewall as well as anti-spyware software, and you’ve password-protected your computer, that does almost nothing to keep your information secure online. Here are some ideas to help keep you to yourself when surfing the Web. For your convenience, I’ve divided the information into basic and advanced sections.

Increasing Your Internet Privacy

Maintaining your privacy online is a tricky matter, as I’m sure you know. And though you’re using a firewall as well as anti-spyware software, and you’ve password-protected your computer, that does almost nothing to keep your information secure online. Here are some ideas to help keep you to yourself when surfing the Web. I’ve divided the information into basic and advanced sections for your convenience.