Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blogs Made to Order!

Do you have a topic that stumps or confuses you? Wish you had a professional who could write a brief topical summary or highlights on a topic of your choice for free? Or do you have a suggestion of a tidbit of information you think would benefit the rest of the library? Aren't you in luck-- the Mukwonago Community Library Blog is taking topic requests!

A few topics you might suggest: Retirement Resources, Why the Sky is Blue, How does the Stock Market Work, Family Orientated Video Game Suggestions, How to Start (or join-- there are already several going at the Library) a Book Group. Any suggestions are welcome, and if we don't use your topic we will let you know. Don't worry...we won't use your name unless you would like us to!

Suggest requests in person to Tristan Kelly, or via e-mail to tkelly@mukcom.lib.wi.us. Thank you!

Need a tax deduction? Donate to the library!

If you have an excess of gently used items that are 3 years old or less including books, videogames, DVDs, audiobooks, or other resources, consider donating them to the library. (No VHS, beta, or cassette items please). Those items will get put to good use by either being added to the collection or being sold at the Friends of Mukwonago Community Library book sale. Those donations are also tax deductible.

We also have drives for certain items at different times of the year. Currently the library is looking for gently used children's books to use as Reading Challenge prizes. Some of the prizes can already be seen on display in the library. A big thank you to all of you that have donated!

How does the donation process work?

Anytime the library is open bring in your donation items to the circulation desk. Upon request a receipt of the donated value of the goods will be distributed to the donor. If it is a larger donation the creation of an itemized list will be considered for special occasions.

It is the responsibility of the donor to assess value of items being donated. For more information on item assessment value please reference the IRS's Publication 561 (4/2007) that gives an explanation on how to assess the value of donated items. If you have more questions about itemized deductions please speak with your tax preparer.

An, of course, donations of cash or checks are always most welcome, especially now when we are getting very close to meeting our fundraising goal for the capital campaign. We will send you a thank you letter with the amount of your donation included. For those donations please stop in while the library is open or send them to Attn: Director Nick Weber, 300 Washington Ave, Mukwonago, WI 53149. Or if you have any questions please call Nick Weber at 262-363-6411.

Thank you and good luck with Uncle Sam!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HELP! Avoiding E-mail Scams and Phishing

In 2008 the state of Wisconsin reported over 13,000 complaints of fraud and over 3,000 cases of identity theft. These numbers are predicted to have risen by almost 11% in the last two years. With identity theft on the rise it is a good idea to be informed on how to avoid it. One way to improve your safety is to be mindful of how you share your personal information on the web.

E-mail scams and phishing websites try to steal your personal information for their benefit. This could mean trying to use your credit card numbers for fraudulent purchases or selling your personal information to companies. Some scams are easy to spot, like the Prince of Nigeria personally e-mailing you to let you know you have inherited 21 million USD, and this money is all yours for a processing fee of 15,000 USD). Others like a realistic looking e-mail from the IRS inviting you to take a customer satisfaction survey are a little harder to catch. So what can you do to protect your identity and personal information?

The US Department of Homeland Security offers these security tips:

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about employees or other internal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.

  • Do not provide personal information or information about your organization, including its structure or networks, unless you are certain of a person's authority to have the information.

  • Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net). (For example irs.gov is the correct website, irs.com is not.)

  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information. Information about known phishing attacks is also available online from groups such as the Anti-Phishing Working Group (http://www.antiphishing.org/).

  • Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce some of this traffic.

  • Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.

These are some tips that I have used:

  • Have at least two e-mail accounts, one is your normal daily use e-mail; the other is your “junk e-mail” account. When you need to provide your e-mail address for something and you are uncertain of the source you can provide your junk e-mail address. This will reduce spam in your mailbox and help protect private information.

  • Use a VISA or MasterCard gift card to make purchases online when you are leery of online vendors. The gift cards are available for a small fee and usually can be purchased through local vendors and are usually refillable. This way if your account information is stolen it isn’t an actual credit card, and the only amount that can be lost is what you currently have on the gift card.

  • Another more advanced tip is to use a web browsing program with built in security features. For instance Google Chrome is a free downloadable web browsing software that has more built in security then most competitors. It also boasts an “incognito” browsing feature, which means it will not save any internet history and less of your personal information, and it erases automatically when you close the window.

  • If get an e-mail from an unknown address and it isn’t something important, don’t open it or mark it as spam. If you do open the e-mail don’t click on any attachments or links located in the e-mail.

  • Be careful when you play online games. Though the game may be fun and free, sometimes when you download the game to you computer it installs spyware that collects information from your computer. It is easiest to play “flash games” that you don’t have to download from the internet.
  • Be wary of Facebook scams. These scams can be sent directly to your Facebook account making promising of free gadgets, gift cards, or cash (don't believe it!). Or in the case of Associated Content's article some scammers are going on Facebook and getting teens personal information. They are using this information to try to scam family members out of money, by pretending to be the teen and asking for money. Make sure to double check with other family members or call the number you have for that teen to double check. The safest bet is to have your child or teen set their Facebook account to private (which means people that aren't their friends cannot see their information).

The best tip of all you probably got from your parents: “IF IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT IS!”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Celebrities Read

I found a neat little website that the Gardiner Public Library in Maine put together. Several years ago they contacted several celebrities to see what books the would recommend people read and if they had any memories of the library. Though the database is a little dated because they stopped collecting information in 2006 it is still great to checkout. See what Lucille Ball thought of libraries and what she would suggest to read!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spotlight on Subscription Database: Mango Languages

I have been in numerous situations when knowing a second language would have been useful. For instance trying to help patrons at the library, directions for the new gadget I got for Christmas, going on vacation and when I accidentally turned my cell phone to Spanish (it was like that for at least a week). There have also been more serious situations, like when I got in a car accident on a Chicago freeway and other person involved didn’t speak English. Even without being fluent, knowing at least a few hundred words would have been really handy in those situations. In this blog I am going to talk introduce you to a cool subscription database that the library offers for language learning.

Mango Languages is a subscription database available from the library that you can use in the library on your home computer. You can participate in video courses to learn a plethora of languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Czech, Dari, Dutch, Farsi (Persian), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesdian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Portugese (Brazil), Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Latin America), Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdo, and Vietnamese. (Whew!). What I loved about Mango Languages was the simplicity and pace of the lessons. In the past I have found a lot of learning software like Rosetta Stone to have a fast pace that can be discouraging. Mango Languages has a slower pace and prompts the user for a lot of interaction and practice. Most of the lessons operate in showing you slides with study material on it, sometimes the slides seem to take too long, but there is a forward button.

Mango Languages offers three types of courses, from Basic (which is a few hours), and two other more in depth lessons. I completed the Basic course for Latin American Spanish and was quite pleased with the results. In an evening I recalled basic greetings, simple conversation, and how to ask some important questions. My account even keeps statistics and lets me know how much time I have spent on lessons a practicing (four hours and counting). If I continue on to the other two courses there is about 100 individual lessons in all. There isn’t a lot of entertainment, so don’t expect pictures or graphics, but the coloring of the software is slick and bright.

I highly recommend that in the past if you have tried Rosetta Stone or a learn in your car type of resource and you got fed up or discouraged, check out Mango Languages! It is almost fun to learn… Adios!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Read Local Archived Papers

Are you looking for an article where you son or daughter was mentioned in the Mukwonago Chief or did you read a great article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel? You can find archived copies of those newspapers and 233 other Wisconsin newspapers ranging from issues dating back to 2005 through 60 days ago.

A selection of local newspapers that you might be interested in are:

Kettle Moraine Index
Lake Country Reporter
Sussex Sun
Oconomowoc Focus
Milwaukee Journal
Mukwonago Chief
Brookfield News
Elm Grove Elm Leaves
Menomonee Falls News
Muskego Sun
New Berlin Citizen
Oconomowoc Enterprise
Palmyra Enterprise
Waukesha Freeman

To access this database click on the link. You can search according to keywords, date, or newspaper title. If you have any questions call the Mukwonago Community Library reference desk. Have a great week!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pizza Superhero Drawing and Writing Contest

Want a chance to win a slice of pan pizza? Then draw your best pizza superhero and write a description of their name and superpowers! Entry forms are available at the Mukwonago Community Library or you can print them out from the link listed below! The contest runs from December 20th to February 12th.

Good luck and happy drawing!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Learning About Your Health: Anxiety

More and more people are looking to the internet and other resources to educate themselves about their health and treatment options. Your physician should always be your primary source of information but the library can be a great supplementary tool in becoming educated on your health.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that over 18% of Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder. I will show you some resources on the internet and in the library to help you educate yourself about these illnesses. In much the same way you should be able to look up many different diseases, illnesses, and other health related material using the library.

Consumer Health Complete is a subscription database accessible through the library website with your library card. This database contains evidence-based reports reference books, fact sheets, pamphlets, news, drug and herb information, alternative sources, images, diagrams, and videos. If I perform a search in this database with the keyword “anxiety” I get a list of nine relevant articles that talk about different types of anxiety. One of those articles provides general information, treatment options, and supplementary information. For example I learned that some lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing caffeinated beverages can help reduce anxiety. I also learned some of the many symptoms include diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, muscle tension, and nail biting. If I was going to talk to my doctor about the issue of anxiety I felt a little more comfortable because the article listed different treatment options, possible medications, and other organizations that could provide me with information. I also learned I could check out websites like Anxiety Disorders Association of America and Mental Health America.

MedlinePlus and PubMed are another two databases that are available for free through the National U.S. Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus is the easier of the two to use and provides a a thorough overview of what information is available. I was impressed that they provided resources for different ages and genders. Often your age and gender can greatly influence different types of treatment. It also includes a lot of information at a glance including directories, current clinical trials, statistics, organizations, and other research.

PubMed is a lot more complex to use then the other two databases. PubMed is is meant to support medical professionals . When you perform a search the results will be greater (in the thousands) that is because there are more citations for information and less full text articles. Be careful the articles will be full of technical jargon and may be difficult to follow. If you are looking for general information I highly suggest sticking with Consumer Health Complete as your first resource. Once you are ready to delve into something a little more complex like PubMed they do offer tutorials.

If you are looking for a lighter read then medical articles the library has a plethora of great books and magazines available for you to check out. If you go to the library catalog and do a search for the subject “anxiety” there are many different types of resources you can put on reserve. Some are available immediately like e-books and downloadable audio books. Other items you can put on reserve like books, DVDs, and magazines. Near the end of the blog post there is a list of items I found in our catalog.
*TIP* Remember if you would like to make your search results in the catalog more accurate, limit it by the type of resource you are looking for.

Beyond what resources the library directly provides there are also some websites that are more authoritative and trust worthy then others. Here are a few that I suggest for when you are looking up information on your health.

WebMD is a website that is most famous for helping people self diagnosis illnesses by identifying their symptoms. They also have a great interactive website where you can create your own account, read a current and accurate information, and find things written in plain English. They have an entire area of their website devoted to anxiety disorders where you can find all of the information linked to anxiety on one page. Some extras that you can find on WebMD versus other sites are a “community” or an area to talk about anxiety disorders, a physician directory to find specialists in your area, and recent news stories on anxiety. WebMD offers most of its services for free.

Family Service of Waukesha is a local nonprofit organization that received funding through the United Way to provide services including mental health. Though the website may not provide you with information you are looking for, it gives you the contact information for a local organization that may be able to guide you to resources.

I hope the resources we have provided for you will help your search for information about anxiety disorders. Other health information can also be looked up using the three databases mentioned, and you can use our catalog to look up materials looked at the library. If you have any questions please contact the Mukwonago Community Library reference staff at (262) 363-6456.


-The anxiety cure [electronic resource] : an eight-step program for getting well ( 2003) completely revised and updated 2nd ed. DuPont, Robert L., 1936-

-Anxiety disorders [electronic resource] : a medical dictionary, bibliography and annotated research guide to Internet references (2003)

-School phobia, panic attacks, and anxiety in children [electronic resource] (2003)
Csóti, Márianna.


-Don't panic [electronic resource] : taking control of anxiety attacks (2009)
Wilson, Robert R.


-My anxious mind : a teen's guide to managing anxiety and panic (2009)
Tompkins, Michael A.
-Overcoming anxiety for dummies 2nd ed. (2010)
Elliott, Charles H., 1948-
-Rae : [my true story of fear, anxiety, and social phobia] (2010)
Swiggett, Chelsea Rae.
-The mindful path through worry and rumination : letting go of anxious and depressive thoughts Kumar, Sameet M. (2009)
-Worried sick : defeat your fears and live a happier life (2004)
Burns, David D.
-Yoga for anxiety : meditations and practices for calming the body and mind (2010)
NurrieStearns, Mary.


-High school survival kit [nonfiction videorecording] / CWK Network (2008)


-Psychology today [magazine] : 2006 thru the current year

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Library Holiday Hours

Just a reminder that the library will be closed:

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Saturday, December 25th, 2010


Friday, December 31st 2010

Saturday, January 1st, 2010

Monday, January 3rd, 2010

Enjoy your holidays!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thank you for your Support During Midnight Magic

The Friends of the Library had an amazing turnout this year for the Midnight Magic auction, raffle and bake sale. The auction grossed about $3,010, the bake sale about $400, and the raffle about $400. For a total of about $3,800!

Thank you to the Friends of the Library, all of the volunteers, and everyone that bid on or purchased items. It is this kind of support that makes the library an ever better place.

Also, a huge thank you to all of the businesses and individuals in Mukwonago that contributed the wonderful prizes. We are fortunate to live in such a generous and supportive community.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Read to Win this Winter

In the last blog I showed you where to find ideas for some great reads, in this post I am going to tell you how to win some great prizes by reading those books! Registration for all programs begins December 20th and contests end on February 12th, 2011. (Make sure you register, otherwise you won’t be entered in the contest!).

Carry Out a Good Book

For our K-12 patrons there is a chance to win a pizza a month for a year! That’s right; you could win hot, cheesy, delicious pizza, once a month for a year. All you have to do is read 500 minutes of your favorite books by February 12th, 2011. Once you complete those minutes you will be entered in for a chance to win the pizza! (Only one entry per patron.)

Books that Have Been Made Into Movies

For our adult patrons there is a chance to win a gift basket with movie goodies or ten other prizes. All you have to do is read a book that has been made into a movie, and then check out and watch the movie. (That sounds tough!). Every time you read the book and watch the movie you will be entered to win the prizes. (Unlimited entries for this program, the more you read and watch, the more you could win).

Drawing for all prizes will be done at the end of the program. Good luck!