LEARN @ the Library - 2004/2005
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor
Learn ... To Sew
Why did I choose to hold a sewing book?
I have been learning how to sew for the past ten months. I became interested in this hobby when I moved to a place with no mini-blinds or curtains and it was up to me to decorate my humble abode. Unfortunately, the curtains and pillows in most of the big box stores did not appeal to me. Thus, my desire to learn how to sew came to life.
Although, I have only been sewing for a short while, it still fascinates me because I am constantly learning new things. I have taken a few classes and supplement these classes with books that I find in the library. The Lawrence W. Tyree library has a small collection of sewing-related materials, including DK's The Complete Guide to Sewing. We also have numerous other sewing-related books, including Your Crafts Business: A Legal Guide, and Hidden in Plain View: The Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. Websites include: www.sewing.about.com and www.asg.org/ (American Sewing Guild).
My sewing interests have grown from home decorating into quilting and clothes construction, but my favorite part about my hobby is that I keep learning!
Learn ... About Birding
Birding, as it is known among enthusiasts, is a wonderful hobby. Birds can be found anywhere, at any time (there are nocturnal birds…) It requires only a pair of binoculars, good eyes and ears and plenty of mosquito repellant. You can watch birds in your backyard, at the beach, on a hike, looking out the window of the car – you name it.
In our library catalog you can use the subject words “bird watching”, “birds”, or “birdhouses” and find all kinds of materials such as Sibley's Birding Basics (QL677.5 .S53 2002) to get you started. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website (www.birds.cornell.edu) will show you how you can contribute to bird conservation, right in your own backyard with the Great Backyard Bird Count. Check out birding.about.com. And, of course, there's www.audubon.org for the National Audubon Society. A Google search on “Florida birds” will turn up a site that provides Florida birds songs to help your identify what you can't see. That can be found at: www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/ornithology/sounds.htm .
So, go to our wonderful SF Zoo and visit Palmer the Peacock and Ariel the Bald Eagle, just get on your bike, get on your feet, or sit on the back porch and enjoy our feathered friends.
Library Media Specialist
Learn ... About Photography
I consider myself a photographer, and am satisfied with the position of avid photo-hobbyist. It has been an important activity in my life beginning at the age of five when an uncle gave me that first Kodak Brownie. It was just after I secretly exposed an entire roll of film in his camera.
Photography is never static to me; the technology is always changing, even reinventing itself, so being a career student of the craft is essential.
I approach photography as a tool or work and not as a created product. In other words, it is a process even after the “picture” has been framed and hung on the wall. My wife, Chris, has become my greatest fan and biggest collector. My images are on the walls in our house right next to her copies of work by Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and William Wegman.
The library is an unequaled resource for self-improvement and lifelong ambitions.
Some resources the library has include The Photographer's Assistant by John Kieffe (TR690 .K54 2001) and The Digital Photography Handbook by Simon Joinson
(TR267 .J64 1999).
These web sites are also informative:
Circulation Manager, Future Librarian
Learn ... About Scrapbooking
Being a camera bug, I've recently taken up scrapbooking to showcase my photos. I used to store them in a chest and hardly ever looked at them. Scrapbooking is a way to display and re-live those special moments in life and to fondly remember family and friends. It is a fun, addictive hobby that brings joy to my heart while I'm putting the pages together. Journaling goes hand in hand with scrapbooking. It is a way to keep alive the feelings and emotions of special events as seen through my eyes. Scrapbooking with others is a great way to share ideas and have a good time.
The library is a great resource for books on this subject such as The Complete Idiot's Guide To Scrapbooking (TR465.S65 2003) and Scrapbooking Your Family History (CS16.T39).
The web is also a very useful resource for this topic:
No matter what the weather, I can scrapbook!
Reference Librarian, Assoc. Professor
Learn ... About Hiking
I have enjoyed camping and hiking for many years. As a child my family went camping every year and as an adult I go often with my husband. I enjoy camping and hiking because it allows me to spend time outdoors and to get away from the city. There is nothing quite like sitting by a campfire in the evening or waking up to the sound of birds singing. I also enjoy hiking because it is great exercise that doesn't require me to spend hours in a gym.
I would like to encourage everyone to learn more about camping and hiking.
Some books you may enjoy on hiking and camping:
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson. (F106 .B92 1999).
The Hiking Trails of Florida's National Forests, Parks, and Preserves, by Johnny Molloy. (GV199.42.F6 M65 2001).
Hiking Florida, by M. Timothy O'Keefe. (GV199.42.F6 O54 2000).
Hiking: A Celebration of the Sport and the World's Best Places to Enjoy It, by Cindy Ross. (GV199.5 .R67 1992).
Websites that might interest you:
Appalachian Trail Conference: www.appalachiantrail.org/
Florida's State Parks: www.dep.state.fl.us/parks
Florida Trail Guide: www.floridaconservation.org/fltrails
Georgia State Parks: www.gastateparks.org
Reference Librarian, Professor
Learn ... About Cats
Pets are a wonderful addition to our lives and homes. They give their owners love and companionship and can even help their owners stay healthier. Many nursing homes participate in programs which allow gentle, well-trained dogs to make regular visits as studies have shown that handling a pet can lower blood pressure and generally make people more healthy. I happen to think cats make the best pets. My husband and I adopted two male silver tabbies from the Alachua County Humane Society only one week after our old cat died. We felt our house wasn't a home without a pet cat. Tom and Jerry are the most affectionate animals we have ever known.
All kinds of information is available on caring for cats. Our library has some good books on this subject including The Humane Society of the United States Guide to Complete Cat Care (F447 .C48 2002). Other cat books focus on why cats do the things they do, like purr and spend so much time grooming. Two of these are The Cat Who Cried for Help (SF446.5 .D63 1997) and Catwatching (SF446.5 .M65 1986). The Humane Society of the United States also maintains an informative and easy-to-use web site at www.hsus.org.
If you like cats (or dogs, for that matter) but can't adopt one now, you could volunteer to help in the Cat Room or the Dog Den of the local humane society. Other local animal organizations needing help include the Alachua County Animal Services and Gainesville Pet Rescue.
Reference Librarian, Professor
Learn ... To Garden
The first time I saw Florida soil, I was amazed that anything could grow. I was used to the rich black soil of Iowa. My first attempts to garden here were a disaster. I turned to books to learn the secrets to growing in this climate with sandy soil conditions. Books geared to Florida gardening are the best as “things are different here” as the old slogan goes. A few of the books that I have found to be useful are:
Florida Home Grown by Tom MacCubbin (writer for the Orlando Sentinel), (SB473.M19 1987).
Florida Landscape Plants: Native and Exotic By John V. Watkins and Thomas Sheehan, (SB407.W38 1975).
The Florida Gardner's Book of Lists: a Guide to Gardening in the Sunshine State by Lois Trigg Chaplin and Monica Brandies, (SB408 1998).
A helpful website can be found at www.floridagardener.com.
Have fun digging in the dirt. I do!
Collection Management Assistant
Learn ... About Body Building
I decided to do my Learn poster about body-building, which I think is a great way for people to control their own weight and keep it under control.
The book I used was The Basics of Body Building.
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor
Learn ... About Literatures in English from around the World
English and American literature is no longer a monopoly in the world. Post-colonial societies from around the globe such as, India, Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, Trinidad, and many other nations in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean are producing literary works in English. This is mainly due to the fact that these societies were once part of the British Empire where the sun never set. The study of these “literatures in English” has become an academic discipline in many major universities in Europe and North America. They are literatures very rich in folk culture, language dialect, political and social disquisition. They qualify as “classics” in the full sense of the word as in the case of George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin. This is an important novel by a native author dealing with the small island of Barbados, little England as it was called, and the vicissitudes of its people in the wake of modern society.
There are many useful web-sites in the field of post-colonial literatures in English such as, George P. Landow's most important “Post-Colonial and Post-imperial literature in English”: www.postcolonialweb.org/. In the state of Florida the University of Miami has a graduate program leading to an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anglo-Caribbean studies. And in many academic libraries specialized Anglo-Caribbean resources such as manuscripts, journals, monographs and audio-visual materials are being acquired in aggressive collection development programs. I am so very happy to form part of this most interesting and emerging discipline in the broad category of Arts and Letters.
Learn ... About Beading
Native American Indian culture is so rich in depth and variety that I could study it a lifetime and still only scratch the surface. Since childhood, I have been enraptured with Native American jewelry and beadwork. I'm particularly interested in Plains Indians and have been fortunate enough to visit museums in Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Montreal, Washington D.C. and New York that have original Native American clothing, headdress, jewelry and artifacts on display. It always amazed me how such simple things as beads could be made into such beautiful items - with skill and imagination. I am also impressed by how nature is reflected in the designs.
I found some excellent books in our library: Authentic American Indian Beadwork And How To Do It (TT860 S73 1984); North American Indian Jewelry And Adornment (E98 J48 D83 1999) and Southwest Indian Craft Arts (E78 S7 T3)
Several good sites on the web that provide descriptions and overviews are:
I've purchased my own copy of Delightful Beaded Earring Designs by Jan Radford which is based in the Brick or Comanche Stitch. A Native American friend made me some beaded earrings and is now teaching a craft class. Soon I will be carrying on the tradition myself and making my own beaded earrings.
Adjunct Instructor, Librarian
Learn ... Home Repair
The first time I bought a house that was a "fixer-upper", I had no idea what I had gotten into; so, I went to the library to check out books on painting, plumbing, carpentry, etc. Reading these books alerted me to the fact that some projects needed to be done by an expert, and I should save myself a lot of grief by hiring someone to do those jobs. Other projects, however, could be tackled by an amateur ... who had a book with well-written instructions and a good set of standard tools. After the basics were accomplished, I was back to the library to find books on design, decorating, landscaping, etc., etc.
Learning new skills, appreciating good craftsmanship, and envisioning what something could become, have all been possible for me because I had a library close by where I could go to read, learn and dream.
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor
Learn ... About Astronomy
Astronomy or just plain looking at the night sky has interested me for as long as I can remember. Sunsets, finding constellations, locating the North Star, seeing the Milky Way, and looking at the planets and the moon through binoculars or telescopes are the foundation of my hobby.
The beauty of the universe visible at night has led me to read more about the science of astronomy. I regularly read Sky and Telescope magazine for pleasure, I joined the local astronomy club, and I am a member of a NASA listserv which daily updates me on the world beyond our skies.
The library subscribes to Astronomy and Sky and Telescope, and has hundreds of books on astronomy on topics from skywatching for beginners, to beautiful pictures of the universe from the Hubble Sky Telescope, to physics and mathematic examinations of the celestial globe.
Try these websites for some information that will never get stale:
Cloudy Nights for basics on astronomy and telescopes www.cloudynights.com
Alachua Astronomy Club, the local amateur organization www.floridastars.org
NASA news www.nasa.gov
NASA listserv, daily updates in your email www.science.nasa.gov/news
Learn ... About Flower Arranging
I am a nature lover and flowers are such a wonderful part of nature. When I was a little girl my sister and I would go out and pick wildflowers and pretend to arrange them, then bring them to my mom who would go on and on about how pretty they were. That would bring such joy to me. I have always loved arranging flowers, especially wildflowers.
Flower arranging does not have to have rules, which makes it fun. You can create your own work of art mixing and balancing colors, different flowers and using anything you wish as a vase (cups, glasses, vases, baskets, tins, or even a small cut out piece of branch or driftwood). Whether you are using fresh cut flowers from your garden, wildflowers from a field, silks or dried flowers you can learn the basic techniques and materials needed, and find step-by-step projects in our library. Dried Flowers: The Art of Preserving and Arranging (SB447.D48 1972) and Flower Arranging (SB447.F5) are good print resources.
On the web there are many good sites. A few of these include:
www.wannalearn.com/Home and Garden/Gardening/Flowers/
Manager, Library Technical Services
Learn ... To Play the Piano
Playing the piano has always been a desire of mine since I was a little girl. I currently play the piano by ear. I would like to one day learn how to read music while playing.
Do you want to learn how to play the piano? The library is a good place to find material which gives step-by-step instructions on how to play. For instance How To Play Popular Piano in 10 Easy Lessons (MT239.M68 1984) and How To Play The Piano Despite Years of Lessons which can be obtained through interlibrary loan.
There are also some websites with free online piano lessons. I recommend the following:
This website teaches you the secret to playing any song by ear without the need for written sheet music using the revolutionary technique of “Rhythmic Pattern”.
These piano lessons for the beginner's level are hands-on, self-paced, interactive, and totally free! Piano lessons are for both the beginning piano student and the student who wants to review his or her skills.