Thanks to all who sign their license willing to donate organs.

Roughly two weeks ago I celebrated my twenty-seventh liver anniversary. Seems like a funny thing to celebrate but it is the day that my life began again. I had been sick all my life and my Mom and I were in Pittsburgh again. We had been there in April or May for evaluation for inclusion on the organ recipient list. At that time, it was judged that my condition was not severe enough because even though I was missing some classes I was still mostly mobile and healthy. The panel of doctors informed me that I would most likely need to wait a year to a year and a half for a suitable organ to be found. We went home. In August, I was feeling quite poorly and my Dr. gently refused treatment stating that he would prefer I return to Pittsburgh for further testing. My Mom and I traveled to Pittsburgh, where on August 16, 1987, I was admitted. On August 23, 1987, at 7:30 pm when they entered my hospital room, I thought,”OK, they haven’t found anything to warrant an upgrade on the list and we are going home.” Instead I heard the words, “We found a liver for you.” My reaction to this pronouncement was different than my mother’s. I was a teenager and considered any treatment outcome a better one than where I was currently. My mom was probably thinking of all the things that can and do go wrong and of all the people she would have to contact, mainly my Dad and brother back on Long Island to let them know the surgery was taking place. I was taken downstairs to the OR (Operating Room) and I do not remember past 8 pm though the surgery started at 9 pm. I woke up on Wednesday in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and the first thing that hit me was the stillness of my hands. My hands had never been still before. During the school day and while performing other activities, my hands were not scratching but at night when my body had nothing to concentrate on, the bile made itself known. The other minor miracle is that the lesions on my legs were well on their way to gone. A working liver is an amazing thing. Bile is toxic and because of the liver’s malfunction, it was free flowing underneath my skin. Most nights I scratched myself raw until I finally wised up and cut my nails short and began wearing gloves. This dulled the damage I could inflict. By Friday I was upstairs in a four unit room meaning four beds, one nurse. Time just sped by after that and two and a half weeks later I was discharged from the hospital. However, I did not have a free pass to go home just yet. There are some weeks of Clinic which you, the patient, must attend. Most important, however, besides taking your medicine regularly was the acquisition of a Medic Alert bracelet. Two weeks of Clinic and I was cleared to go home. Nothing can ever prepare you for that feeling of health and when people ask what is the difference in feeling, it is hard to encapsulate in words if you have never been well. I thank that young man quite often in my thoughts for his donation. At the time, it was not a common practice to thank the donor directly. You, the recipient, could write a letter which was handed to an intermediary, who judged when the time was right to hand over the note. In twenty seven years, many things have changed with the transplantation process but I still see it as a miraculous procedure.

Censorship. as defined by the American Library Association,

“is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons — individuals, groups, or government officials — find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, `Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film,, because I object to it.’ Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate or offensive and objectionable on everyone else.” Libraries don’t censor. It is the parent/caregiver’s right to censor their children’s reading and/or viewing privileges. Libraries are for the free dissemination of ideas and information. The ALA website. www.ala.org, further explains the difference between censorship and intellectual freedom. “In expressing their opinions and concerns, would-be censors are exercising the same right librarians seek to protect when they confront censorship. In making their criticism known, people who object to certain ideas are exercising the same rights as those who created and disseminated the material to which they object. Their right to voice opinions and try to persuade others to adopt those opinions is protected only if the rights of persons to express ideas they despise are also protected. The rights of both sides must be protected or neither will survive.” The conundrum inherent in censors and censorship is that “if they succeed in suppressing the ideas they don’t like today, others may use that precedent to suppress the ideas they do like tomorrow.” There are some certain narrow categories of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment and they are “obscenity, child pornography, defamation, and “fighting words,” or speech that incites immediate and imminent lawless action. The government is also allowed to enforce secrecy of some information when it is considered essential to national security.” One of the best books I read about the First Amendment is entitled Deliberate intent: a lawyer tells the true story of murder by the book by Rodney A. Smolla.

When I was an undergrad, I thought I would become a

Secondary or High school English teacher. However, as I progressed along this career path, a major flaw sprang to the forefront. I did not like the idea of standing in front of a classroom and speaking. The mere thought of standing in front of a group of mainly disinterested teenagers gave me the heebie-jeebies. I find that I am a much better communicator in one on one interactions or small groups. I graduated with an English degree but no clear career path until one day when a family friend suggested I pursue a career in librarianship. And so I did choose that as a career path and have never regretted it. However, the first time I said to someone that I was a public librarian, the response was, “Oh, how great it must be to sit and read all day.” Let me dispel that myth right away. Librarians do not sit and read all day, oh, that we could be paid for that pleasure. A librarian’s job has many varied tasks associated with it. A librarian must keep abreast of the many changing technologies. A librarian peruses catalogs of new and forthcoming releases. They weed the areas assigned to their management. The weeding which librarians perform can be equated with weeding a garden. We remove from the collection the undesirable components such as old, worn out and/or outdated books. The librarian, in addition, assigns call numbers for new items being added to their sections. They staff the Public Service Desks. They compile bibliographies and promotional materials. Some librarians are responsible for providing Outreach Services. Outreach Services are services provided to those patrons who can no longer drive or due to a medical condition, are housebound either temporarily or permanently. The Outreach Librarian may conduct a telephone interview to ascertain reading tastes and then compiles an assortment of books to send out to the patron. Outreach Services are provided in two formats, either through postage free pouches or through volunteer personnel. The librarian’s tasks are many and varied. And the only reading I know of is done during lunch hours and after work hours. 

Secrets to managing your Library account, Part Two

Your Library Account has other benefits. You can create a Preferred search(es), enable your Reading History, and create lists. Under Preferred Searches, you can, for example, look for Patterson, James. Then on the right-hand side of the screen, click on Save as Preferred search. Then click on Return to your account and then once again on Preferred search. You should see your selected author(s) and several buttons. The buttons are labeled Mark to remove, Mark for email, Remove all selected, and Update lists. So, dear patrons, onward and downward to Reading history. This button does not work retroactively but only forward from the time of activation. Your Reading history, once activated, will keep track of everything you have borrowed from the library and if, heaven forbid, a gap should occur in your memory banks, and you want to recommend a previously viewed or read item to a friend, it will have a place in your Reading history. The last but definitely not the least important item is Freeze/Unfreeze holds. This function enables you, the patron, to maintain your place in the book queue while you are on vacation or attending to a family issue. If the item is already in transit, it cannot be frozen. So these are the further secrets to maintaining a good library account. For all our readers out there, if you need a good recommendation, visit the library’s homepage at http://www.hhhlibrary.org and then click on Readers. A whole slew of fun options will appear. The list is, as follows: Reviews for you Blog, Write a Review, Reader’s Connection blog, NoveList Plus, NextReads, Awesome Box, Literature Resource Center, ebooks, Book Clubs, Suggest an item for purchase, and the New York Times bestsellers. For those among you who are leaders in book clubs, a great resource is http://www.litlovers.com

Secrets to managing your Half Hollow Hills Library Account

Your Library Account is meant to serve you and in order for it to do so most efficiently, here are some tips you may need to know. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe but your library card does have an expiration date which is displayed when you log in to your account. The information is displayed in this sequence: Holmes, Sherlock 221 Baker Street London NW1 6XE England ( ) 000-0000 sholmes@baker streetinvestigations.com. It then displays CUR CHKOUT: 8, followed underneath by any Money Owed. The last piece of personal information in the column is your expiration date. Your Account then goes on to list the number of requests (holds), __ ready for pickup. Underneath that information, in the following order appear Preferred Searches, Reading History, My Lists, Change contact information, Change password. Back to the expiration date, which on the older yellow cardboard and white plastic cards, used to be listed. On the purple or blue library cards, depending on your color definition, the date is no longer listed and you will need to sign in to your Account to access the information. Another option is to ask the library staff on your next visit when your card is due to expire. For the general library population, their library card is good for several years. It is always a good idea to have your Library card or at least the number on the back handy when you call to check on an item’s availability. If you are reserving an item through your PC, tablet, or other device, try to pick a record that has multiple libraries/items attached as this increases the probability of you receiving the desired item. Items newly printed or produced may not be lent from other libraries. Please bear in mind that while items can be borrowed from any Suffolk County Library, the individual libraries have the right to retain certain collections as being for their patrons only. If a particular item is not available in any Suffolk County library, you, the patron, or we, the library staff, may now attempt to reserve a Nassau County copy. Well-placed reserves are happy reserves.

I am amazed by all the fireworks displays but most especially by the

professional ones where everything is timed perfectly to the second or minute and unrolls as scripted by firework magicians. Fireworks are not just the ones you see up in the air, they could be the fireworks generated by a kiss or touch or an argument. Nature has some fireworks of her own and they are displayed through thunder and lightning and the occasional volcanic eruption. Some dogs and cats are especially sensitive to both manmade and natural fireworks, which when you consider the issue, makes perfect sense. I am surprised more pets are not sensitive since their hearing is so much more acute than ours. “Because of the close relationship of fireworks to incendiary devices and other weapons, the manufacture and use of fireworks were under military control throughout Europe until the 18th century. The Italians were the early leaders in the staging of fireworks displays, under military auspices, for religious festivals, coronations, royal weddings and births, and military victories,” according to Encyclopedia Americana. Guinness World Records states,”The largest fireworks display consisted of 66,326 fireworks and was achieved by Macedo’s Pirotecnia Ltd. in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal on December 31, 2006″ while the “largest chocolate firework measured 9.8 ft. (3 m) in height and contained 132 lb. (60 kg) of Swiss Cailler chocolate. It was released at the Hechtplatz, Zurich, Switzerland, on December 31, 2002.” The largest firework rocket, according to Guinness World Records, weighed “29 lb. 8 oz. (13.4 kg.)” and was “produced and launched by Associacao Nacional de Empresas de Produtos Explosivos (Portugal) at the 12th International Symposium on Fireworks in Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal on October 13, 2010.”

Saturday, June 21st, marked the official arrival of summer

though the ice cream trucks arrived a few weeks earlier. I remember saving my allowance and anxiously awaiting the melody that would signal the ice cream truck’s arrival on our block. Ice cream was not the only thing sold from the truck. They also had candy lipsticks, Ring Pops, Lik-M-Aid, and many other sweet treats to delight children. Now I only occasionally listen for the bells because it is no longer as easy to burn off the calories but oh, how, I enjoy that ice cream sundae with crushed cherries when I allow myself. There are so many flavors, enough to please the pickiest palate but the most popular flavor is still vanilla. I wonder if that might be because it could be considered a blank canvas, something to which anything can be added without competing for attention. “Ice cream is a frozen dairy food made of milk products, sugars, corn syrup, water, flavorings, and sometimes egg or egg products, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Air, which is incorporated into the ice cream during the freezing process, is also an important component. The physical structure of ice cream is a complex 3-phase system consisting of a liquid, air and various solid materials. Crystals of ice and air cells are dispersed throughout the liquid phase, which also contains solidified fat globules, milk proteins, and other substances.” This definition was taken from Encyclopedia Americana, volume 14. “The ice cream cone is an American invention, said to have originated at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, MO in 1904. Charles E. Menches, a young ice cream salesman, gave an ice cream sandwich, as well as flowers to the young lady he was escorting. Lacking a vase for the flowers, she took one of the layers of the sandwich and rolled it in the form of a cone to act as a vase. The remaining layer was similarly rolled to hold the ice cream, resulting in the invention of the ice cream cone. Similar claims have been made by other concessionaires.” This information was taken from Famous First Facts, International Edition: a record of first happenings, discoveries, and inventions in world history edited by Steven Anzovin & Janet Podell. National Ice Cream Day is July 20th, almost in the middle of National Ice Cream Month which is July. ” According to Guinness World Records, the largest ice cream cone is “an ice cream cone measuring 9 ft, 2.6 in. tall which was created over a period of 30 hours by Mirco Della Vecchia and Andrea Andrighetti (both Italy) at the Rimini Fair in Rimini, Italy, on January 21-22, 2011.” Half a year earlier, “On June 6, 2010, Andrew Ross (UK) made a liter (just over one quart) of ice cream in 10.34 seconds in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK. The ingredients included cream, vanilla, sugar, and liquid nitrogen.” One last fun fact is that the average person will have eaten 113 gallons of ice cream in their lifetime, hopefully, not in one sitting.