eBook of the Week

Even in northern climes like ours where winter seems to wear out its welcome, there comes a day when you can start getting your hands in the dirt.  Even if you only have a little space, gardening is possible.

Small-space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs

by Fern Richardson

Small-space container gardens

“This exciting guide layers practical gardening fundamentals with creative solutions that encourage thinking outside the pot. Maybe this means repurposing a shipping pallet to create a colorful vertical garden of nasturtiums and lobelia. Or simply seeing walls, rafters, railings, and everything in between as fair game. You’ll also learn how to tackle unique challenges, like windy conditions when gardening several stories above street level, and how to care for plants and troubleshoot with the best of them.

From design basics to essential plant picks, Small-Space Container Gardens proves you don’t need a yard to have a garden. For anyone who wants more green in their life, it’s time to get out there and start growing.”

Check it out! Beyond Library Walls Digital Collection

The Problem with Wikipedia

Think Wikipedia is a reliable source of information?  Not necessarily.Wikipedia

The Problem with Wikipedia – one executive’s experience

What the Research Shows

According to research published in the Public Relations Journal (April 17, 2012), the academic quarterly of the PRSA, “sixty percent of Wikipedia articles about companies contain factual errors.”  Marcia W. DiStaso, Ph.D., co-chair of PRSA’s National Research Committee and assistant professor of public relations at Penn State University, conducted the research.

In addition, the survey found that a gap exists between public relations professionals and Wikipedia regarding the proper protocol for editing entries.

When respondents attempted to engage editors through Wikipedia’s “Talk” pages to request factual corrections to entries, 40 percent said that it took “days”to receive a response, 12 percent indicated that it took “weeks,” and 24 percent never received any type of reply. According to Wikipedia, the standard response time for corrections requests is between two and five days. In addition, only 35 percent of respondents were able to engage with Wikipedia, either by using its “Talk” pages to converse with editors or through direct editing of a client’s entry. Respondents indicated that this figure is low, partly because some fear media backlash regarding making edits to clients’ entries. Survey participants also expressed a level of uncertainty regarding how to properly edit Wikipedia entries.” (Public Relations Tactics, p. 4)

The Take Away

  • Choose your information sources wisely.
  • Use more than one source.
  • Think critically.
  • Do some fact checking.


  • Chandler, Cullen J., and Alison S. Gregory. “Sleeping With The Enemy: Wikipedia in the College Classroom.” History Teacher 43.2 (2010): 247-257. EBSCO MegaFILE. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.
  • “The Problem with Wikipedia.” Washington DC Based National Public Relations Advertising Interactive Digital Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.
  • “Survey: Majority of Wikipedia Entries Contain Factual Errors.” Public Relations Tactics 19.5 (2012): 4. EBSCO MegaFILE. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

eBook of the Week

Cyprus has been in the news this week because of money matters … perhaps that has made you wonder about this place and want to know more.

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus: Life on a Mediterranean Island by Lawrence Durell

Bitter lemons

“On a Mediterranean island divided, a man finds peace in a time of perilous unrest in this stunning memoir

In 1953, as the British Empire relaxes its grip upon the world, the island of Cyprus bucks for independence. Some cry for union with Athens, others for an arrangement that would split the island down the middle, giving half to the Greeks and the rest to the Turks. For centuries, the battle for the Mediterranean has been fought on this tiny spit of land, and now Cyprus threatens to rip itself in half.

Into this escalating conflict steps Lawrence Durrell—poet, novelist, and a former British government official. After years serving the Crown in the Balkans, he yearns for a return to the island lifestyle of his youth. With humor, grace, and passable Greek, Durrell buys a house, secures a job, and settles in for quiet living, happy to put up his feet until the natives begin to consider wringing his neck. More than a travel memoir, this is an elegant picture of island life in a changing world.”

Check it out!  Beyond Library Walls Digital Collection

Melanie Hoffert – Visiting Writer

What are the chances?  That’s what Visiting Writer Melanie Hoffert asked in a wonderful essay (How I Broke My Chuck Klosterman Curse) that was published in Publishers Weekly (January 26, 2013).

Melanie HoffertMelanie Hoffert grew up on a farm near Wyndmere and went to high school with Chuck Klosterman, another North Dakota author.  What are the odds that two writers would spring from this tiny farming community?

As a BSC Visiting Writer, Hoffert will be speaking and reading from her work on Thursday, March 21, at 8 p.m. in the National Energy Center of Excellence Basin Electric Auditorium 304.  Don’t miss this event!

We also have Hoffert’s new book at the BSC Library — Prairie Silence: a Memoir.  Check it out!Prairie Silence

Susan Orlean to Write about Infamous LAPL Fire

abstract fire on blackPut this on your must read list …

Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, which was adapted for the screen in the movie Adaptation, has turned her attention to writing about a 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library.  Ultimately, 400,000 books were destroyed and the crime was never solved.

Orlean’s new book does not yet have a title or announced publication date, so while you’re waiting for her new book, take the time to explore her other books.  Orlean is a very good writer and her subject matter tends to be quirky and oh-so-interesting.

Among the Susan Orlean books at the BSC Library are:

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People

My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who’s Been Everywhere

Rin Tin Tin: the Life and the Legend

Saturday Night


eBook of the Week

Trying to make sense of a complex topic?  It may be true that a picture is worth a thousand words …

DNA: a Graphic Guide to the Molecule that Shook the World

by Israel Rosenfield, Borin Van Loon, and Edward Ziff


“With humor, depth, and philosophical and historical insight, DNA reaches out to a wide range of readers with its graphic portrayal of a complicated science. Suitable for use in and out of the classroom, this volume covers DNA’s many marvels, from its original discovery in 1869 to early-twentieth-century debates on the mechanisms of inheritance and the deeper nature of life’s evolution and variety.”Amazon

Check it out!

Find it in the Library’s eBook collection from EBSCOhost

National Book Critics Circle Awards

nbcc_logo_sq_bigger The winners of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Awards for publishing year 2012 were announced in Boston on  February 28.  They include:

Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco)

Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner)

Leanne Shapton, Swimming Studies (Blue Rider Press)

Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, vol. 4 (Alfred A. Knopf)

D. A. Powell, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf Press)

Marina Warner, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (Belknap Press: Harvard University Press)

If you’re looking for something good to read, check out this list of all past winners and finalists.

The National Book Critics Circle was founded in 1974 and honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. It encourages and raises the quality of book criticism in all media and creates a way for critics to communicate with one another about their professional concerns.


Library Spring Break Hours

The Library will observe these hours during Spring Break: spring

  • Saturday, March 9 — Closed
  • Sunday, March 10 — Closed [Note: Open 1-3 p.m. for BookTalk at BSC discussion; no library services during this time]
  • Monday, March 11 – Wednesday, March 13 — 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 14 — 7:30 – 11 a.m. (BSC offices close at 11 a.m. for Staff Development Day)
  • Friday, March 15 — 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16 — Closed
  • Sunday, March 17 — Closed

Regular hours will resume on Monday, March 18.

Even when we are closed, the Library’s ODIN catalog and Databases are available 24/7.

Have a wonderful Spring Break!  Stay safe and come back refreshed.