National Recall of Takata Air Bags

safercar_whiteCheck the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website and use the VIN search tool to confirm whether your individual vehicle is affected by this recall, or by searching by VIN on a specific vehicle-maker’s site.    Check back regularly as automakers confirm which vehicles are affected.     As manufacturers supply a complete list of affected vehicles, NHTSA will include updates on its recalls page.

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What’s Parkour?

TracersThe new book Tracers by J.J. Howard has “SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE” on bottom corner of the cover.  Maybe the author is just being wishful, but I think this book would translate into a pretty good movie.  Cam is a bike messenger in New York City.  A high school dropout, Cam owes big money to the Chinese Tong.  Money he borrowed, when his mom was dying of cancer, to try to save their house. He has no chance of ever repaying the money, when a girl falls out of the sky, lands on him and totals his bike.  This beautiful stranger is part of a group of teens who practice parkour in the city. Parkour, also called tracing, is a sport where you walk up walls, jump over obstacles (like park benches or parked cars) and jump from the roofs of buildings. The group, controlled by an older man named Miller, gives Cam the chance to make the money he needs.  But their activities border on the dangerous and illegal.  I recommend this fast paced adventure, with some romance thrown in, to new adults and older teens in grades ten on up.

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Maggie and the Pack

FirstbornI highly recommend Firstborn by Tor Seidler.  Our story starts with Maggie the magpie (so named by her unimaginative parents) hatching.  She narrates the story of her life and how she meets Blue Boy, a Canadian wolf, who has been relocated to Yellowstone Park.  Blue Boy merges stray wolves into a new pack and soon has a family.  His firstborn son, Lamar, is a different sort of wolf.  Lamar is full of wonder at the world, interested in everything, doesn’t care about wolf pack hierarchy, and becomes entranced by a lovely young coyote. When Blue Boy is injured and the pack is threatened, Lamar has to make some hard decisions.  All readers who enjoy animal stories in grades four and up will want to read this one.  If you would like to know more about the relocation of wolves to Yellowstone, I recommend When the Wolves Returned by Dorothy Patent. I recently watched a Nature episode on the coywolf.  These are an increasing number of coyote/wolf hybrids living in the Eastern United States. You can find out more at this PBS website.

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Digital Branch

Digital Branch logoIf you haven’t taken a look yet, be sure to check out the Digital Branch part of our newly-redesigned website. The Digital Branch is open any time you have access to the internet – on your computer or mobile device. The Digital Branch includes our research databases, downloadable materials, digitized materials from the Northwest Room, and links to our online and hands-on courses and workshops. Our subscription databases have convenient categories now, for topics such as homework help, business, or magazines. Sign up for classes on a variety of subjects – where you can work at your own pace or with help from others. If you want instant access to books, audiobooks, magazines, or music, our Downloads page gives detailed instructions.

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Get that Lawnmower Working!

SERRC_button_200x100Is your grass growing but your lawnmower called it quits? Check out the library’s Small Engine Repair Center. It’s difficult to find detailed repair information online for mowers or string trimmers, but Small Engine Repair Center has maintenance and repair for these types of motors and more. ATVs, outdoor power tools, boat motors, personal watercraft, and motorcycles are all covered; just look up the make and model by browsing the categories or searching. Both older and newer models are included. You can print or email the relevant pages to yourself so you don’t have to mess up your laptop or tablet while doing repairs.

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Safer Choice label

saferchoice_rgbLook for this new label on store shelves soon; it will make it easier to find cleaning products that are safer for everyone, including our pets and the environment.   “To display the new Safer Choice label, a product must first be reviewed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists to ensure every ingredient it contains meets strict human health and environmental standards. Products are also tested to confirm they work well.”  You can search for products and brands on the EPA website.

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Outside the Box (of photographs)

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Do you have a box of old photos gathering dust in your closet? Now might be a good time to get them out and digitized. Sometimes, photos can answer questions rather than raise them. Did your ancestor build their own home but you aren’t sure where it was? Some old photos include clues, like house numbers, street signs and other landmarks. Tombstone pictures are a great resource to have because it gives you birth and death information in one spot. Not sure when your great great grandfather was born but you have a photo of him at the 1892 World’s Fair in Chicago and he looks like he is about 20? That can help give a baseline for researching until you can find an exact date of birth. If you don’t have any photographs, sometimes you can find them outside the family. A lot of passports in the 20th century included photographs. I have found collections in museums and archives in the towns where the families were from that included my relative. The photo above is from the Digital Collection in the Ned Barnes Northwest History Room. These men are someones relatives. Photos of military units can yield results for those who served. The digitization of yearbooks is also becoming more common. The Spokane Public Library has digitized our collection of Spokane yearbooks and they can be searched HERE. Think outside the box and you might be surprised what you can find!

This week at the library April 27 to May 3

Bloomsday2010_PosterFirst, an invitation: To all of those Bloomies training through Riverfront Park and Kendall Yards, stop by the Downtown Library and check out our display of Bloomsday Posters throughout the years. It’s really a fun way of capturing the spirit of Spokane’s renowned race. We have all of the posters from the first race (at that time called Run with the Stars!) to this year’s poster on the east side wall of the 3rd floor Downtown.

 On Wednesday the Hillyard Library will have Connected Learning: Small Business Drop-In at 1:30. Come by for extra help choosing social media platforms, or research other ways of promoting your small business. Job searching? Drop by the Hillyard Library anytime between 10:30 and noon on Thursday for Connected Learning: Drop-In Job Club. We can help with cover letter or resume writing as well as offer extra guidance navigating the online job search.

 Storytimes are here; looking for additional great, free programs? Click here.


Science Fiction, Spokane and a Goblin Emperor

goblin_emperorThe 2015 Hugo nominees were recently announced. This is an important event for Spokane this year because the WorldCon will be meeting here in August. Only people who belong to WorldCon can vote for the winner of the award which recognizes excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy in many categories, ranging from novels to television episodes. I recently finished one of the nominees for best novel, The Goblin Emperor, and while I thoroughly enjoyed this character driven court intrigue of a book with echoes of Steampunk, I was surprised to find that it had been nominated for an award.  SF and Fantasy fans out there–try one or more of these novels and  see if your favorite is chosen as a winner.