March 28, 2006


Tonight - 7:30 Annual Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library business meeting, board elections and party. Food, music. Bring your kids along - the program features famed children's vocalist Don Bridges.

Posted by library at 05:40 PM

March 26, 2006


subscription iconNo, not magazines. The little orange boxes that mean "subscribe to this feed" to the initiated. This means you never have to go to the actual blogs again, you see all the posts from all the blogs that interest you in a single conglomeration by using something called an aggregator. It saves time, especially if you restrict it to posts only on some specific subjects of interest. Example: Craig's list but entries only in certain categories.

The easiest aggregator to use? Probably bloglines because you aren't limited to a single computer. Your subscriptions follow you around from computer to computer. Firefox has built-in aggregator capabilities, as will the new IE that will be released in a year or so.

But some people just don't want to deal with learning a new type of browsing, whether it is supposed to be more efficient or not. They want to use what they already know and use constantly. Okay.

Addicted to IM, using it all day anyhow? Try using the service instead of an aggregator. Apparently it works reasonably will with MSN IM, but not with Yahoo or AOL.

How about text messaging on your phone? SMS? You can subscribe to RSS feeds using the ZapTXT service. This might be useful for really important feeds that you don't want to miss. The same service claims to work also for sending posts to IM or e-mail.

And e-mail? That is a bit regressive perhaps, missing the point of the efficiency of aggregators, but some people are much more comfortable with e-mail. Here are the rssfwd links for getting automatic e-mail subscriptions to each of our City blogs. Look at the bottom of each page to see what the most recent post would look like as e-mail.

You will need to tell the service (RSSFwd) the e-mail address where you want to receive the posts.

How about podcasts? We used an automatic podcasting service to add an audio version of the police bulletins/blotters. A robot voice will read the text to you and if you are an MP3 afficianado you can subscribe to the audio version with itunes, juice, or something similar. Rather than trying to insert javascript in a post, why don't you now go to the police bulletins page, put on your headphones and try it out. Look for the little listen now button near the bottom of the left column.

Posted by library at 02:40 PM

March 21, 2006

Favorite Poem Evening

The 8th Annual Favorite Poem evening, co-sponsored by the English Department of Columbia Union College and the Takoma Park Maryland Library and hosted by Takoma Park's Poet Laureate,Don Berger, will be held in the children's room of the Takoma Park Maryland Library on April 20th at 7:30 p.m.

This annual event is modeled on the Favorite Poem Project underttaken by Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States. If you are interested in reading a poem at this year's event, choose a poem that you have read and admired by a published poet. Be prepared to tell n a few words how or why this poem has been meaningful and helpful to you.

Please send the name and author of the poem you have selected with your name and occupation (in generic terms) fopr inclusion in a printed program. You may contact Ellen Arnold- Robbins at the Library or Wendy Ripley at CUC, 7600 Flower Avenue in Takoma Park. You may also email your submission to

Deadline for submissions is April 10. If you are readng a poem in another language, please submit an English translation of the poem.

Light refreshments will be served. Please come... this has always been a lovely, warm, community-building event.

More questions? Call Ellen Arnold-Robbins at 301-891-7259 or Wendy Ripley at 301-891-4068.

Posted by at 02:20 PM

At Home with Poetry Forms

From haiku to villanelle, from litany to sestina, poets may choose to write in forms to enhance meRosanneaning and communication. Even free verse is not completely free."At Home With Poetry Forms" is Rosanne Singer’s intriguing conceit which playfully explores poetic forms in a Library program Tuesday evening, April 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Whether you are an experienced poet or interested newcomer who enjoys playing with words, help celebrate National Poetry Month by joining us for this evening tour de form.
Rosanne Singer, a long-time Takoma Park resident, has been a Maryland Poet-in-the-Schools for fifteen years, travelling the state doing residencies with students kindergarten through middle school. She is also a certified poetry therapist who works in a therapeutic home for teenage boys, using poetry as a tool for healing and self-expression.

Each summer Singer collaborates with other artists, teachers and principals during the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute (MATI) at the University of Maryland, finding ways to use poetry, dance, theater, music and visual art to enhance the teaching of reading and literary. Her poetry appears in literary journals such as Atlanta Review, Wisconsin Review, Slant, Asphodel, and Mangrove, among others. She was granted an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and a Fellowship for Literature, Language and Linguistics from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. She has given readings throughout the area, including the Kensington Row Bookshop series, the Miller Cabin Series, the Hirshhorn Museum and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Please join us for this special program, an ideal preparation for enjoying the 8th annual Favorite Poem Evening on April 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Posted by at 12:27 PM

March 13, 2006

Public Computers

Since last Wednesday people have been logging directly onto the computers using the bar codes from their library cards. We are no longer signing people in at the library desk and no longer accepting calls asking that a station be reserved. So if you come in planning to use a computer you must bring your card.

There are now 24 general public work stations available, not just four in the library, so finding an available station should not be too difficult. In addition we have four stations in the senior room reserved for people 55 or older.

Next week we will extend the open hours in rooms A and B to 8 PM Monday-Thursday. The computer stations in the library will remain open until 10 minutes before the library closes.

Though computer rooms A and B are not in the library, they are next door, they are monitored by skilled library staff members who are available to provide assistance.

Posted by library at 03:46 PM

March 12, 2006


The beginning computer class for seniors uncovered a number of errors in Google's maps of Takoma Park. Nevertheless the maps are fun and we have embedded one near the bottom of the geography page. It is interactive so you can switch between satellite and street views, zoom in and out, drag it to a new area.

Yahoo is experimenting with a more interactive map, but it is still very beta and may crash your browser - so be careful. Neither Google nor Yahoo recognize the existence of this library in their "local" databases. Nor does AskJeeves. Try a search for library in 20912.

We usually use Mapquest for maps, though not for their local listings either, which are as inaccurate as those of the other services. They too don't think we exist.

Using some to the newer online map tools, or finding your way by GPS means thinking about places in terms of their coordinates, their latitudes and longitudes. So you need to learn how to
find the latitude and longitude if you know the address

Online mapping sites used to offer this geocoding. Now they don't, so go use geofinder. Free, fast and easy. Inaccurate, at least for the area near the library where it is off by about half a block. The unlying Census Bureau Tiger maps are probably wrong.

Posted by library at 01:29 PM
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