#BookBingoNW2020: Neuro-diverse protagonist or author

In this year’s Book Bingo, the neuro-diverse protagonist or author square invites us to journey into the world of a person whose modes of thinking and ways of processing the world differ from those of the mainstream population. Neurodiversity, often associated with disabilities like autism or ADHD, can sometimes lead to deep connections, groundbreaking insights, innovation, and art. It can also pose significant, sometimes disabling challenges for those who experience it—the world can be very loud, bright and filled with social expectations that a neuro-diverse person may not be able to intuit, or may not wish to fulfill.

In this list, we aim to transcend stereotypes and elevate the voices of neurodivergent people by highlighting four authors who are themselves neuro-diverse, and six books by those authors—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and graphic novel—which feature neuro-diverse characters

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Neuro-diverse protagonist or author”

Free Access to Magazines and Newspapers through PressReader

If you love magazines and newspapers but need to limit your personal subscriptions, or if you’re trying to keep up with current events via reputable sources without worrying about firewalls, you may be interested in a giant online periodical resource called PressReader that is available free to Seattle Public Library cardholders, through our website.

Why try PressReader:

  • Free access to more than 7,000 magazines and newspapers from the US and around the world.
  • Original print layout provides an online experience that mimics print, with images intact.
  • Read articles in dozens of original languages; some articles also offer translation from one language to another.
  • Adjust text size to match your preferences or have articles read aloud to you.
  • Engage with other readers by commenting on articles within PressReader, or sharing them with friends via email and social media. (Requires making a free account.)
  • Download the app to take your reading material with you wherever you go.

How to get started: Continue reading “Free Access to Magazines and Newspapers through PressReader”

“Fizzy vegetables” – Fermenting foods for fun and science 

As a parent of small children who are homebound during the pandemic, I am giddily excited about any project that checks multiple boxes on my to-do list—especially those related to food, education, entertainment, and household chores. My most recent effort has been home vegetable fermentation, and it’s been surprisingly fun. We’ve tried cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower so far. Our three year old calls these “fizzy vegetables,” and he eats them.

Continue reading ““Fizzy vegetables” – Fermenting foods for fun and science “

Weird Squirrel Behavior: A Reference Question

From the Ask a Librarian Reference Desk:

“The squirrels in my neighborhood are clipping little twigs off of ornamental trees and throwing them on the ground. So many twigs everywhere! Why are they doing this?”

Dear Patron,

Thank you for contacting The Seattle Public Library for assistance unraveling your squirrel-related mystery! Experts in squirrel behavior, such as the folks who work for University Extension programs and wildlife organizations, are not entirely sure why squirrels do this. They have two main theories:

  1. They’re eating parts of the tree — The cambium layer beneath the bark of trees is rich in minerals and other nutrients, which can be in short supply during winter. Squirrels may be trimming branches and peeling bark to gain access to this food supply. (See the University Extension Ask an Expert database and Michigan State University Extension.)
  2. They’re cutting clippings for nesting material – Some Squirrels build nests, called “dreys,” in tree branches using a combination of leaves, twigs, bark and other vegetation. Some even build two or three nests at one time, to create multiple avenues of shelter and escape.  It could be that your squirrels have a construction project and are throwing rejected building materials on the ground below. (West Virginia Wildlife Magazine speaks to this.)

Continue reading “Weird Squirrel Behavior: A Reference Question”

In a Cloistered Monastery – A Reference Question

Picture of a turn.“The architecture of cloistered convents features a small door to the exterior designed specifically to allow groceries and other small supplies to be delivered while maintaining the privacy and separation of the nuns. What is the formal name for such a door (it likely has a name in Latin) and what is the English translation of that word?”

This question came in to the Level 7 reference desk at the Central Library on a busy day during the week before Easter. We hunted around a bit online and did not immediately find a fitting term, so we took the patron’s contact information to dig a bit deeper. Continue reading “In a Cloistered Monastery – A Reference Question”