Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Famous Mainers At the Maine State Library

I was reading the Waterboro Public Library's h20boro lib blog ( and they had a post about a new database from the The Maine State Library. It is called Famous Mainers and Famous People With Maine Connections. On the main page there is an alphabetical list of individuals with some Maine connection, their dates and a category they fit into. For example James Blaine is listed as a Political Figure who lived from 1830 to 1893. If you click on the name of the individual, you will get a brief list of their achievements and some useful books and web sites about them (take a look at the image to the right). The books are ones found in the Maine State Library but if we don't have copies of them here at BPL we can get them for you. There is also a search field on the right side of the page. Its a great place to start if you have to come up with a famous Mainer for a paper. Many thanks to the Waterboro Public Library for noticing this and blogging it.

Jim Riordan

Friday, February 22, 2008

Car Repair Online

I just saw an article in the latest edition of Searcher Magazine (the "magazine for database professionals" yes I know I'm a geek :) evaluating automobile repair websites.

Here's the Citation:
McDermott, Irene E. "Baby You Can Drive My Car (If You Can Get It Started) Auto Repair on the Web" Searcher 16(2) February 2008 pgs 8-12.

This is a topic near if not dear to my heart. A few months ago I bought a used car after going over a year without one so I'm getting back into the habit of spending money on it. The article is pretty comprehensive including repair manuals, web sites to help evaluate whether repair costs have exceeded the a car's value, web sites to help you read the On Board Diagnostic Codes, auto repair in Spanish, and even the Car Talk Guys web site.

The article is available online, however, because of copy right restrictions and firewalls I can't link directly to the article. I can tell you how to get there though. You'll either need to have a Maine library card or be using a computer in a Maine library. First go to Marvel "Maine's Virtual Library." Click on Academic Search Premier (first link in the list). If you are doing this at home you will need to enter your library card number at this point. Now type in the title of the article and it should pull it right up. Or you could just ask your friendly neighborhood reference librarian to print it for you.

Although I can't link you directly to the article I can link you to a list of the automotive websites in the article.

If you have a favorite automotive website not listed in the article please share it. And as always let us know what you think.

Jim Riordan,

Thursday, February 7, 2008


What is Cyberbullying?

A growing concern as more & more of our communications occur online is cyberbullying. Teens & younger children are particularly suspectible to this type of online intimidation.

Cyberbullying is, according to the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, "sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices." Cyber bullying may occur directly, such as when a hateful message is sent to a target, or indirectly, as when a message, website, or photograph is sent to others and results in later bullying behavior toward the target (source:

As the excellent Unicel site on the subject suggests, "when it comes to broadcasting negative information, the cyber world has become the new bathroom wall." Cyberbullying is occurring across many of our newer technologies: instant messaging services, camera phones, chat rooms, e-mail, Web logs, social networking sites and cell phone text messaging.

The nameless, faceless nature of much of digital communication seems to be empowering folks to say hurtful things or transmit threatening images to others that they would never think to say in a face-to-face situation. Many people are, like the guy in the Brad Paisley song are "so much cooler online." The dark reality is, though, that many people are also decidedly "so much crueler online."

While the damage caused by cyberbullying usually ends at hurt feelings, the consequences can become much more dire, as a recent case in Missouri attests. This case may be an extreme example, but it is an eye-opener as to the bearing the threats or abuse can have on young people lives.

While some states (Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington) have laws specifically addressing cyberstalking, many states are struggling with ways to place the same legal penalties verbal threats & physical threats carry to cyber threats. What Can I Do to Protect Myself or My Child?

The National Crime Prevention Council suggests the following guidelines:

*Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages
*Tell friends to stop cyberbullying
*Block communication with cyberbullies
*Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult
*Blocking communication with the cyberbully
*Deleting messages without reading them
*Talking to a friend about the bullying
*Reporting the problem to an Internet service provider or website moderator

You can also help prevent cyberbullying by

*Speaking with other students, as well as teachers and school administrators, to develop rules against cyberbullying
*Raising awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community by holding an assembly and creating fliers to give to younger kids or parents
*Sharing NCPC’s anti-cyberbullying message with friends

The most critical of the NCPC's recommendations are below:

*Never post or share your personal information online (this includes your full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number, or social security number) or your friends’ personal information.
*Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents.
*Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online.
*Talk to your parents about what you do online.

Web Resources for Cyberbullying

Or, checkout the information provided on the Unicel site at The Get Involved section is particularly worth checking out.

A series of short information videos about Internet safety produced by the South Carolina Association for Educational Technology for what it calls the "cyber generation" can be found at

One last recommended site is

If you have questions or suggestions, respond to this blog or email me at

Bangor Public Library

Bangor Public Library
Bangor Public Library,
145 Harlow Street,
Bangor ME 04401