Friday, February 03, 2006

Black History Month

February is Black History Month - and what better time to start researching your African American heritage? Not sure how or where to begin? A very helpful guide is Black Roots by Tony Burroughs. If you don't have African American heritage but would like to learn more, check out any number of books or surf one of the many websites dedicated to black history.
The Historical Genealogy Department houses thousands of items related to African American research; see Curt Witcher's African American Genealogy for an introduction to these sources. Those who are unable to visit the library can request information through the Ask a Genealogy Librarian service, or by printing off a copy of the Research Services form and sending it in.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Playing games in the Fort

Fort Wayne is becoming a game convention center. The Pentacon convention ( has been a bright spot in the local cultural scene for more than 20 years. Now a new convention is coming to town. It's called TriCentric, and it runs at the newly expanded Grand Wayne Center from Feb. 9-12 ( There will be role-playing games, clix games, collectible card games, board games and miniatures.

Me, I'm heading for the board games. The new German-style games ("Settlers of Catan", "Carcassone" et al) and the railroad games have made this a golden age for board gaming. So far, the board game hobby has withstood the onslaught of electronic gaming. Try some games at TriCentric and you'll see why.

Genealogy Gems

The latest issue of Genealogy Gems was recently released. What is Genealogy Gems, you ask? It is the e-zine, or electronic magazine, that is emailed to subscribers once a month by the Historical Genealogy Department. The e-zine contains articles about the vast variety of resources available in the department, valuable tips on preserving family documents and heirlooms, and upcoming genealogy events in the area. Each issue also highlights a Fort Wayne area hotel/motel/campground for researchers planning a visit - and if that's not enough fact-filled fun, readers will find directions to the library and nearby parking areas!
How do I get this e-zine, you wonder? Subscribing is very easy: go to the Friends of Allen County website and enter your email address in the space provided at the bottom of the page. You will receive the next issue when it is published, all fresh and waiting for you in your email inbox. Can't wait that long? You can read past issues of Genealogy Gems here, or you can send us an email and we'll forward a copy of the latest issue. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Groundhog Day

I don't know about you, but I really need Mr. Groundhog to NOT see his shadow tomorrow. Yes, it has been a mild January. But after being on the computer for an hour cleaning up files and doing statistics, I'd really like to run outside without a coat and take a walk. But it's 7:30 PM and dark and too cool for that. Last year the library did a 13-week walking program in the summer. Many of us are eager to get started again and join with Fort Wayne Walks One Million Miles this coming spring. So hurry Spring, we need you!

Healthy Heart program at Georgetown Branch

The Allen County Public Library, Lutheran Hospital and the American Heart Association are teaming up to offer a Valentine’s week healthy heart community seminar. The event will be held on Thursday, February 16, at 6 p.m. in the Georgetown Branch Library, 6600 E. State Blvd.

Steven Orlow, MD, a cardiologist with the Heart Center Medical Group and medical director of cardiac catheterization at Lutheran Hospital, will present "The Future of Coronary Artery Angiography Is Here." “We have been waiting for a noninvasive way of imaging the coronary arteries my entire career,” said Dr. Orlow. “Previous methods detected coronary obstruction by heart wall motion or perfusion of the heart muscle. With this new noninvasive, innovative technique, we can now we can see inside the arteries themselves.”

Information about the early warning signs of heart disease and about heart disease prevention will be presented by Mary Pat Leonard, Heart & Stroke Initiatives Director of the American Heart Association. Librarians from the Business and Technology Department will have information on materials available at the library and on the Internet.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Top 1,000 Titles Owned by U.S. Libraries

An interesting column appeared in the January 9 issue of Publishers Weekly identifying the 1,000 “most-owned” titles by U.S. libraries. In her column, Sara Nelson questioned which of today’s books will still be read in 50 or 100 years and then took a reflective look at the books that have survived through the ages. Here are some of the books she listed and their respective ranks:

1 The Bible
3 Mother Goose by Tomie dePaola
8 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
10 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
28 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
30 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
32 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
110 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
160 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
186 MLA Handbook for Writers
350 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
351 The Autobiography of Malcolm X
469 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
473 Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
543 The Encyclopaedia Britannica
700 The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
707 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

To see where your favorite book ranks, visit the OCLC Top 1000 website.