The Library Has Poetry

T.S. Eliot loved the library.

“The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man”

– T.S. Eliot

From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (Poem by T.S. Eliot)
“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;”

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
Is it perfume from a dress that makes me so digress?
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker.
Squeeze the universe into a ball.
I have to do the library blog.
I think I’ll promote poetry.
No, I am not Prince Hamlet.
I am full of high sentence but a bit obtuse.
I grow old. I grow old.
Do I dare to eat a peach?
I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
’til human voices wake us and we drown.
The library has poetry.

Check it out.
Bill Smith
South Branch

New Year, New Language

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? Maybe I should have chosen eating better or exercising more, but my resolution this year was to finish learning Spanish. I say finish, but really I just want to learn it. If you’re like me, you probably took some Spanish in high school. Maybe college, too. You memorized all the conjugations for the different verb forms, knew the difference between ser and estar (sort of), and you were beginning to hear familiar phrases in some Spanish you overheard around town. Then, you got on with your life and promptly forgot everything you learned. Or maybe you’ve never spoken a word of Spanish (or any other language besides English) in your life. Now what?

Enter Pronunciator, a new language learning software package available through the Denton Public Library. Late last year, I began experimenting with software like Mango Languages and Duolingo (two different online language learning platforms).  They were okay, but my New Year’s resolution needed something new and fresh, something more in-depth, so I gave Pronunciator a try. I’m really glad I did.

The first thing I did was go to the Denton Public Library’s website (www.dentonlibrary.com). From there, I navigated to the online catalog and then selected the Research Tools link. That led me to a page where I could select a Language Learning link, which led to Pronunciator. It sounds like a lot of clicking, but once you get to this point, things get a lot more streamlined.

You can either choose an option called Instant Access or you can register as a user. I clicked on the Register link, which allowed me to download the amazing app that goes along with the software. Just enter your email address and create a password, and then you can download the app. A quick note: remember that your “Student Name” is actually your email address. That threw me for a minute.

Now to the actual software. You will find 80 different languages to choose from, including two different Spanish language learning options: Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Latin America). I chose the Latin American option because, like the song says, I’ve never been to Spain. Once you get to the root menu for your chosen language, you’ll find a wide range of choices, including Postcards, Drills, Quizzes, Audio, Phrasebook, and ProRadio. Each section has different options, and lessons can be downloaded for offline use.

Like many other language learning software packages, Pronunciator scores you on how well you pronounce words and phrases. I never got higher than 47%, which is probably about right. The ProRadio function allows users to listen to popular Spanish songs in a variety of genres, bridging the gap between language and culture in a simple yet ingenious way. It might also be a great way to dance off those extra holiday pounds while learning some Spanish vocabulary.

Now to the best part: ProLive Conversation Classes. These classes are scheduled for certain times during the week and feature a living, breathing instructor you can interact with in real time. The classes are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and they are limited to five students each. Having participated in one of these classes, I have some advice. If you go through the app, you also have to have the Go to Meeting app downloaded on your device. When I tried to download it, I realized I didn’t have the latest iOS software for my iPhone, so I couldn’t download it in time for the class.

But guess what? No problem! I jumped on my computer, called a phone number, and I was video chatting online as the audio came through my telephone. It was so cool! You can also interact using a headset, but I did not have one handy. The class I attended included the instructor, myself, and three other students. We played vocabulary building games, talked with each other, and it was all in Spanish! I think there were about four or five English words that were used in the entire 30 minutes that I participated. It was a stress-free way to practice listening to and pronouncing Spanish. I was impressed by both the functionality of the software as well as the knowledge and demeanor of the instructor.

This is it. This is your year. Go for it. No matter what your New Year’s resolution may have been, try Pronunciator as soon as possible. Regardless of where you are in your language-learning journey, this is a great tool you can use from home. Plus, it’s free of charge with your Denton Public Library card. So unlike that new gym membership you got in January, it won’t hurt a bit or cost a thing. ¡Buena suerte!

pronunciator-new-logo

Kerol Harrod
Emily Fowler Central Library

1993 was a strange year, but then so is every year.

Well, it was.

I just ran across numerous articles while looking for a photo of a junior varsity player catching a football – which I didn’t find –  and instead kept coming across articles that really brought back some memories for me. Scrolling through the September reel of the Denton Record-Chronicle on our microfilm scanner could have taken forever if I had read everything which is why I scanned some things and made myself skip the rest.

So that is why I chose September of 1993. It is very interesting to look back at your life using the local newspaper as a lens. All these things that took place while you slept, ate, worked or went to school. Maybe you heard about ’em – maybe you didn’t – or had some vague memory that they happened. Or, perhaps you are the consummate storyteller and have made that particular memory something quite fine and your own.

Here are a few things I saved – some of which mean a little something to me  – and all of them have nothing to do with the year 2016.

cop-and-krishnas-22-sept-1993

I frequently saw the Hare Krishnas on Fry Street around this time period (I think they lived in the old white two-story house next to the Headshop.) – I remember them being very nice. I should have accepted their offer for a bowl of lentils, but I was always too shy.

el-matador-30-sept-1993

Not much to say about this, but El Matador has been around for a while.

officer-paul

This really makes me giggle. I remember being intimidated by his mustache, but was glad Officer Paul was around as I do remember some head-banging (literally) back then.

north-texas-biking-club-26-sept-1993

A friend told me that there was crazy goose that lived on one of these FM roads who would chase after cyclists – I think terrorized them was more of the word that they used. Just one of the many thrills of riding a bike in the country – ‘er, um, anywhere actually.

I have to stop and go back to work now. It is fun to dabble in time; run your fingers through it.

Leslie Couture,
Special Collections, Emily Fowler Central Library

So this is the New Year…

2017

A new year often sees us making resolutions about things we would like to change or improve upon in our lives.  I personally have never been that great at keeping resolutions, so I have created several ongoing goals that I can gradually work toward.  New Year’s goals do not have to be new; they can be goals carried over from year to year to be tweaked and improved upon.  (Improve the improvements!)  New Year’s goal can be something as simple as trying or learning something new.  And part of achieving these goals is having the right mindset and being informed about the best way to achieve what you want.  Be realistic and don’t expect unrealistic results.  Do some research on what it is you’re interested in doing.
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A good place to get the information you need is at your local library!  (In this case, the Denton Public Library.)  Even if you don’t have a library card, you are still welcome to come to any of our free classes and events or make use of our collection to find the information you are looking for.  And with a library card, you are able to not only check library items out, but also to access any of our free databases!  

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Classes and Events:

https://www.cityofdenton.com/CoD/media/City-of-Denton/Residents/Library/Quarterly-Program-Flier-Winter-2016.pdf   

(Look for some really great programs that include a women’s conference, genealogy and business classes, indulging in chocolate, mindfulness and home organizing workshops and worm composting!)

Databases:

http://library.cityofdenton.com:/screens/databases.html 

(Learn a new language with Pronunciator, update your resume and interviewing skills with Job and Career Accelerator, brush up on or learn new technology with Lynda.com, search for new crafts to do with Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, prepare for your test with our Test Prep Collection or begin finding out about your ancestors with Family Search!)

Library Catalog:

http://library.cityofdenton.com/

(You can also access digital material (eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and Movies) with Overdrivehoopla and Zinio!)

———————-HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!———————-

Dawn Terrizzi
Emily Fowler Central Library