Neat New Stuff I Found This Week

chosen by your
"librarian without walls,"
Marylaine Block

marylaine at

This Week------ Previous Weeks

Want to comment, ask questions or suggest sites? Send e-mail to: marylaine at

My Other Sites

My Word's Worth

My occasional column on books, words, libraries, American culture, and whatever happens to interest me. The complete archive (some 300 columns) is available at

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Observing US: a Column about America

The column I wrote For Fox News Online from 1998-2000.

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Ex Libris:
my Weekly E-Zine for Librarians, which I published from 1999-2008.

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BookBytes My pages on all things book-related.

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Book Proposal

Land of Why Not: an Appreciation of America. Proposal for an anthology of some of my best writing about America, drawn from both "Observing US," the column I wrote for Fox News Online, and "My Word's Worth." An outline and sample columns are available here.

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My resume
To view outlines of presentations I've done, click on For a list of my published writings, click on

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My personal page

How Does a Site Qualify?

To see how and why I choose the sites, go to About NeatNew at the bottom of this page.

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Order My Books

  • The Thriving Library: Successful Strategies for Challenging Times;
  • Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet,
  • The Quintessential Searcher: the Wit and Wisdom of Barbara Quint.
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    Drop me a Line

August 31, 2012- Final Edition

NOTE: I have decided that this will be my last issue. I've been doing this every week since 1995, and as my life as a grandma gets busier, I'm thinking that 17 years is enough. The rest of my site will remain available, and I may even use any spare time to update my "Books Too Good To Put Down" reading lists on BookBytes <>. Thanks to all my faithful readers. It's been a good run and I've enjoyed your comments. As Douglas Adams said, "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish."


  • Children and their Minds - Five Books - the Browser

    Alison Gopnik talks about books that will help parents understand what goes on in their children's minds. She modestly doesn't mention her own book, The Scientist in the Crib, an invaluable guide to what scientists have learned about how infants observe and make sense of the world.

  • Mobile Apps Gallery

    The government collects and publishes a lot of handy information (airport wait times, first aid, current hurricane info, etc.) and they're starting to make it available to your phone.

  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control - CDC

    Data, prevention and treatment information on topics including motor vehicle safety, home & recreational safety, traumatic brain injury, violence prevention, and more.

  • Skyscraper Page

    If there's anything you've ever wanted to know about skyscrapers, this is the place to start, with its "unique skyscraper diagram illustrations, a world-wide buildings database, one of the world's busiest skyscraper-themed discussion forums and one-of-a-kind skyscraper posters, is a one-stop resource for the skyscraper enthusiast in us all." It includes a loving memorial page for the twin towers.

  • What To Do after College if You Can't Find a Job

    Advice way too many grads can use on how to keep busy and look employable to prospective employers.

  • Why Are Americans So...

    "A map of American state stereotypes, generated by Google autocomplete." Mouse over any state to see what stereotypes people hold about it, as judged by the to most frequent questions asked about it on Google.

  • World Wonders Project - Google

    Usings its StreetView technology, Google "aims to bring to life the wonders of the modern and ancient world." Browse by continent or by themes -- archaeological sites, historic sites, places of worship, wonders of nature, and more. From the initial images, you can scan the adjoining landscape in all directions.


    I have often given you links to tie in with both well-known and obscure annual holidays and/or events. Since I won't be doing this in the future, I've created a calendar of events that could provide interesting and fun programming and exhibit possibilities for librarians and teachers.

    January 29: National Puzzle Day <>. This has great possibilities for a family event at your library, or for an all-school challenge (lessons or assignments in puzzle form maybe?).

    February is American Heart Month <>. This would be a great time for librarians to highlight their health collections and team up with local hospital and the American Heart Association for programs.

    First full week of February is Children's Authors and Illustrators Week <>. What a great time for librarians, bookstore owners, art museums and teachers to collaborate on a joint celebration of the writers and artists who enchant children (as well as their parents) and lure them into a lifetime of reading!

    First week of March: Return the Borrowed Books Week - a great time for a well-promoted amnesty (and maybe a celebration of the longest-overdue book that gets returned?).

    Third Saturday of March: National Quilting Day <> - wouldn't this be a great opportunity to host quilting workshops and decorate your library with the work of local quilters?

    March 29 - National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day <>. A good time to celebrate local businesses and thank them for their contributions to library activities like summer reading programs.

    First week of April: Major league baseball returns. Want to do a book exhibit for the occasion? See my recommended baseball novels <>

    April 17: Ellis Island Day <>. One thing libraries do really really well is provide genealogy resources. This might be a fine time to display some of your collection and team up with your local historical society to do a workshop on tracking your family history.

    April 26: Poem in Your Pocket Day <>. A great time for a children's poetry contest, a poetry slam, or an invitation to library users to nominate their favorite poems or lines from poetry for a display or reading.

    May 5 - Cartoonists Day <>, celebrating the anniversary of the first published color cartoon, The Yellow Kid. It's also Free Comic Book Day. How about a make your own comic book event?

    On or about May 18, International Museum Day <>. A good time for a collaborative event with a local museum.

    June is Men's Health Month <>, and the week preceding Fathers Day (the 3rd Sunday in June) is Men's Health Week. A great time to highlight your health collection and work with local hospitals on events.

    last Saturday in July, National Dance Day. Details and official dance routines you can participate in will be available at the Dizzy Feet Foundation <>

    Last Friday in July, System Administrator Appreciation Day <>: Time to share the love with the folks who keep your systems running.

    First Sunday after Labor Day, National Grandparents Day, <>. How about an event for grandparents and their grandkids, like an old-fashioned ice cream social?

    September 11, National Day of Service and Remembrance, <>

    September 25, National One-Hit Wonder Day, <>. A great nostalgia and performance opportunity, don't you think?

    mid-October, Ada Lovelace Day, <>. A good opportunity to celebrate women in technology

    October 28 - National Plush Animal Lovers Day. Children's librarians and elementary school teachers take note!

    Halloween. I'm sure you already have lots of plans, but I'd love it if some library would try out my idea <> for a costume party in which everybody came as the character from mythology, fiction, movies, comic books, that they consider the "most influential person who never lived."

    First Tuesday in November, Voting Day. See Vote Back <>, the column in which I offer you a compelling reason to vote: the fact that some people really, really don't want you to.

    November 19, International Men's Day <'s_Day>. It's only fair that men should get their day of appreciation too. And a celebration event might be a good way to show men that the library has loads of useful stuff for them as well as for women and children

    November 29, Pay a Blogger Day <>. If you love somebody's free online writings, it would be nice to express your appreciation with a little cash.

    You're welcome to copy and distribute this listing for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit me and provide the link to NeatNew.

    Neat New Stuff I Found This Week
    Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2012.
    [Publishers may license the content at reasonable rates.]

Previous Weeks' Picks

August 24 -- August 17 -- August 10 -- August 3 -- July 27 -- July 20 -- July 13 -- June 29-July 6 -- June 22 -- June 15 -- June 8 -- June 1 -- May 25 -- May 18 -- May 11 -- May 4 -- April 27 -- April 20 -- April 13 -- April 6 -- March 30 -- March 23-- March 16 -- March 9 -- March 2 -- February 24 -- February 17 -- February 3-10 -- January 27 -- January 13-20 -- January 6

I will keep the most recent 6 months worth of sites on file here.

For those who would like to know what I look for when I select these sites each week, click HERE.

August 24