Election day is right around the corner and that means the library phones are about to start ringing off the hooks!

Voter Registration

We have always had voter registration forms at our libraries, but have you ever considered that to some, we are a voter registration table? By state law, we are now required to mail the voter registration forms if we are asked to. But we don’t have to wait to be asked. What is someone really saying when they ask, “Do you have voter registration forms?” They aren’t just looking for a form, they want to register.

The registration process can be challenging. Many citizens are not literate or have trouble with the form’s small print. Some are not near a post office to mail the form during open hours. By offering a little assistance with this form and offering to mail it for them, we make the library a helpful experience, rather than just a bulletin board with government forms. Maybe equally as important, many people who visit the library to register to vote are not regular library users. This could be their first and only impression of the library. We can win new library members by showing them exceptional service in this unique situation.

Deadline

The last day to register in-person (at Election office): OCTOBER 6, 2008
Last day to postmark voter registration application: OCTOBER 6, 2008

Links

Voter Registration (nashville.gov)

Tennessee ID Requirements for first-time voters registering by mail.

Vote411.org (League of Women Voters)
Features a Polling Place Locator, facts about voter registration and an absentee ballot form.

The Provisional Ballot in Tennessee (.pdf)
If a voter has registered or has not received a Voter Registration card, they can still cast a provisional ballot. Be sure they are familiar with items they can bring to the polls, including Tennessee Driver License, Residential lease agreement, Utility bill,Mortgage statement, Income tax return, Credit card bill, Bank Statement, Preprinted check or bank deposit slip, Vehicle registration.

Early Voting
All Early voting sites will be open Wednesday, October 15 through Thursday, October 30. Hermitage, Edmondson Pike, Bordeaux, Green Hills, Madison, and Bellevue Library (community center) are among the thirteen Early Voting sites. Any voter registered in Davidson County can go to any of these locations during the early voting period.

Early Voting Locations & Schedule Printable PDF

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If you’ve read an article, a blog post, or nearly anything online lately, odds are good that you’ve seen something like this:

What are all the icons for? What does “SHARE” mean?

These icons are quick links that let you save or share links, cool videos, or anything you find online.

Why would you use them?

Well, say you reading a blog post and someone mentions this really neat online game site. Now, you want to share it with your sister. So, you open up your email, start a new message, cut/paste the URL, and send her the link. Oh, and you want to remember the site too, so you save it to your enormous list of favorites on your computer.

That was a lot of work. Oh, not to mention the fact that when you go over to visit later, your sister has deleted the email, your nephew wants to play one of those neat games you sent and you aren’t at your computer to look up the link. Much nephew crying ensues!

What if you used one of these fancy buttons instead? When you find the really neat online game site, you can click the link for delicious.

And you can save it to your list of bookmarks/favorites on delicious. Now, you’ll know where the link is, even if you aren’t at your own computer. Plus, if your sister has a delicious account, you can send it to her using delicious.You could use the Facebook button to share stories and links on your Facebook page too.

Just click the Facebook button, and you’ll share the link with all your friends.

Take a look at this fabulous explanation about social bookmarking by the folks over at CommonCraft.

Social Bookmarking in Plain English

[blip.tv ?posts_id=336341&dest=-1]

I’ll admit, it took me a while to see the usefulness of social bookmarking.

The first time I heard of delicious, the conversation went something like this:

Web savvy friend: “What is delicious and why should I care?”
Me: “Beats me. I’m not sure if we should care.”

Then a friend started using it and talked about how easy it was to find links to websites he wanted to remember. I decited to give it a try. Turns out, it was pretty useful after all.

I read several library blogs and lots of art and design blogs. There are always web sites I want to save and look at later. I used to email myself the links I was interested in – and once I hit send, the reminder about a cool web site was lost to me forever in a too-cluttered inbox. Where was that great programming idea I read about? Where did I see those awesome rain boots? Why can’t I find those directions for etching a design on an old Altoids box? This is just a sampling of the info eaten by my Inbox.

After I signed up for delicious, I got in the habit of saving sites I liked to my delicious account. So, when I came across Little Paper Planes, I saved it to delicious and assigned it the keywords (or tags) shopping, art, and design. Now, when I want to look for a unique gift for a friend, I can go to my delicious account and pull up the shopping websites I’ve saved. No digging through my inbox, no pulling out my hair looking for a scrap of paper. I just go to delicious and click on shopping. Cool.

Where does the social come in?

Social bookmarking programs are pretty handy as a personal web directory. But the social aspect refers to the public nature of the link collections. You can share all your favorite sites, with your friends just by sharing a link or sharing your username. If you have a friend who is a total design nut, you might want to take a look at the websites he likes because you’ll probably find something you like too.

You can also see who else saved a site you saved. So, you can see all the people who saved Little Paper Planes. Odds are, if you both saved Little Paper Planes, there might be other bookmarks that person has that you’ll like. It’s a way of finding new sites from other people with similar interests.

What if you’re not feeling social and don’t want to share? No problem. You can mark links “private” or “do not share” and you’ll be the only one who can see them.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Explore the delicious tag cloud links on Teen Web or Books Movies Music web pages.

2. Pick one:
a. For Teen Web, find all the links related to homework.
b. For Books Movies Music, find the book lists.

3. In the comments, let us know how you like using Delicious.

4. Take the survey..


Do you ever wish there was some kind of magical book where the pictures moved around? A book that told you a story and let you follow along?

I don’t know, maybe a talking picture book?

Such books exist! And you can find them in the TumbleBook Library!

TumbleBooks is the library’s newest online database. It has a large collection of picture books for young children, including quite a few books in Spanish and French. Many books have games and puzzles that reinforce concepts from the books. There are even longer books, like Anne of Green Gables, for older kids.

Take a look at the online tour and see what TumbleBooks is all about.
(And ignore the part about logging in and registering – we’re doing that with a library card like all of our other databases.):

Take the TumbleBooks Tour


Where can you use TumbleBooks?

At the library: kids can use TumbleBooks on library computers – all they need is a pair of headphones.

At home: all you need is a library card and a computer with a high-speed connection.

Want some stories kids can bring with them?

Do you wish you could find a friendly podcast for your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews/etc? Is the kid in your life not quite ready for NPR or Good Morning America?

Here are a couple of kid-friendly podcasts for your kids on the go:

1. Crazy Dave’s Kid Show
2. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
3. Molly and the Sugar Monster
4. DragonflyTV
5. Super Why
6. NodCast Podcast
7. Book Wink
8. Family Folktales (an NPL podcast!)

Do you know of any other great podcasts for kids? Share them in the comments.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Go to TumbleBooks. It’s on the Kids’ Books & Reading section of the library website.

2. Look for one of these books:
Odd Velvet
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

3. Find a Spanish language book.

4. Take the survey.

Staff in the Know is back from summer break!

We were thrilled to see so many of you over at the Tenn-Share Learn & Discover Ning. Do you like the Ning better than the blog? We’d love to know – tell us in the comments.

Quick note:

If podcasts are new to you, we’ll try to give you a lesson that will open up a new listening world. If you participated in Tenn-Share Learn & Discover, you might remember William and his podcast discovery. But we’ve got new info for you, too!

Now, back to business!

Ah, podcasts. Don’t you just love getting on the bus, with your new Metro bus pass and losing yourself in the latest NPR podcast? Or commuting with your favorite music podcast? Or setting off on your bike – wait, are you crazy? You really shouldn’t be listening to podcast while riding your bike!

What? You’ve never listened to a podcast?

Podcasts are a great way to keep up with your favorite programs. Instead of tuning a radio at a set time every day or week, new episodes are automatically delivered to your computer. Listen on your own time.

NPR delivers most of their stories as podcasts. Hear the most recent Storycorps segment every week. Television programs like Good Morning America (ABC), Frontline (PBS), or The Colbert Report (Comedy) are podcasting too, both video and audio.

Find podcasts at NPR Podcast Directory, iTunes Store, and Podcast 411. To subscibe, select the appropriate link from their web page and select your feed reader/podcatcher. This will work a little differently depending on your Internet browser. Alternatively, you can cut and paste the podcast web address into your feed reader, as you would an RSS feed.

There are 4 ways to listen to podcasts:

Browser: Visit the podcast’s web site and play the files from there, just as you would any other sound file.

RSS Reader: Subscribe using an online RSS reader like Google Reader or My Yahoo!. Podcasts will arrive along with your blogs.

Podcatcher: Use a podcatcher, like iTunes or Juice, to organize and play podcasts for you. You will need to be able to download these.

mp3 player: Take podcasts on the go with your portable mp3 player. Listen to your favorite programs while you are out walking, waiting for the bus, or anywhere.

Nashville Public Library is podcasting!

Take a look at what’s new on the library’s RSS page.

logospaceArt Matters (info)

With Art Matters, you’ll get a peek behind the scenes as gallery coordinator, Liz Coleman, talks about the artwork with visiting artists and other interesting individuals.


Family Folktales (info)

Family Folktales is a storytime on demand read by Childrens’ librarian Susan Poulter. Hear classic stories just as they were written, before they made it to the big screen and had to be polished up with a happy ending.

.
If you’re interested in getting involved with podcasts, search the Intranet for “podcast” and find out how you can submit your idea!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Go to the library’s RSS page.

2. Subscribe to one of the new library podcasts.

3. Take the survey..

A big thank you to everyone who participated in TennShare Learn & Discover this summer. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot of new things. Don’t forget to complete the Learn & Discover Survey for your chance to win a prize. The first 100 respondents win!

Survey must be completed by Tuesday, September 2nd, 11:59 PM CT.

Learn & Discover Survey

Learn & Discover is over, and that means school’s back in session here on Staff in the Know. And today is picture day!


What? We didn’t tell you picture day was coming up?

Sorry, I know you had a new outfit picked out. But don’t worry, you can put yourself in a yearbook photo of the past!

Just go to yearbookyourself and upload a photo of yourself (or anyone you want, for that matter). Pick a year and watch yourself transform.

Then pause and be glad that you don’t have to have any more yearbook photos taken ever, ever again.

We’ll get back down to business on Monday, September 8th.

Be there or be square!