Searching for Stars

night sky full of stars
shining, twinkling, blazing trails
where’s the star for me?
— anonymous me

The sky view from a picture window, in the middle of a dark night while lying down on a comfy couch, is simply the best.

As soon as you’re sure the bright twinkling lights are not from passing airplanes, and as soon as you notice that bright moon cheering you from far away, that night sky mesmerizes you into thought.

What possibilities are out there? Where are all the constellations that others have been talking about? Which star is shining the brightest? Which meteors are the blazing trails? Which star can you claim for yourself? How can the moon shine so bright and romantic, from the dazzling light of the sun? And why… why are stargazers so in love with the deep sky?

Maybe, the answers come right away. Or maybe, they come with learning. Or maybe, the answers come clearly when seen through the right telescope. Then surely now… it’s time to go to the Library!

The Livingston Public Library has many offerings to start you searching for stars.

Universal Class has online courses on Astronomy 101, and Cosmology 101. There’s even a course on UFO Studies!

RBDigital offers popular online magazines like Astronomy, and National Geographic. A quick search will give you numerous articles, and content that will increase your interest, and knowledge on the subject.

Hoopla which anchors our digital collections for ebooks, audiobooks, videos, music, and graphic novels — offers many new titles as well as staples from known authors (like Terence Dickinson) on the subject:

  • Yearbook of Astronomy 2020 by Brian Jones
  • Hubble’s Universe by Terence Dickinson
  • Stargazing by Nirmala Nataraj
  • A Primer for Stargazers by Henry M Neely
  • A Complete Manual for Amateur Astronomy by P. Clay Sherrod
  • Night Sky by Jonathan Poppele
  • The Night Sky (How to Identify) by Storm Dunlop
  • Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky by Dr. Jason Lisle
  • Constellations by Baby Professor
  • 101 Amazing Sights of the Night Sky by George Moromisato

World Book Online, our online encyclopedia (Yes, we subscribe to a good one!), has great information that is worded accordingly in different levels for young learners to adults. Check out the sections on Timelines, and Advanced Search.

OverDrive which is another database for our digital collections of ebooks, and audiobooks — provides titles on the topic as well:

  • Exploring Constellations by Sara Latta
  • Stargazing for Dummies by Steve Owens

In addition, our catalogs present titles that we own in print format. Items you can checkout, among other materials, include:

  • Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson
  • 100 Things to See in the Night Sky by Dean Regas
  • Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide by Joe Dunkley
  • Astronomy: A Visual Guide by Ian Ridpath

And the pieces that complete this theme’s learning ideas are the telescopes from our Library of Things collection. The Library of Things is open once again, so do reserve one today! A once-in-a-blue-moon moon is coming at the very end of October — October 31st, i.e. Halloween, also i.e. during this once-in-a-blue-moon kind of year! That lens focused on the rare moon on an uncommon strange-but-well-loved day should make things more remarkable during these incredibly unusual times. Wouldn’t you agree?

So, to help find these amazing leads to discovery, there are a number of keywords that will bring you relevant pages of search results: astronomy, cosmology, stars, planets, night skies/sky, constellations, stargazing, telescopy, Terence Dickinson, backyard astronomy, and backyard astronomer’s guide. With your Livingston Library card, you can avail our Library’s online resources anytime, 24/7.

Stargazing gives a different view each time we look. Maybe one day… when we search the night skies, when we fall in love with the deep landscape of the universe… maybe one day, we’ll find that start we can rely on to be our center — a star we can finally call our own.

Janea Agbayani, Technology Department Library Specialist

For more information, visit: www.livingstonlibrary.org/resources-az/.

For other topics, themes, and resources suggested for lifelong learning pursuits, visit our blog under the tag: Keep On Learning.

Catalog Search Basics

We have recently created video tutorials that cover the basics on how to use our catalog.

If you’re used to finding your next item to borrow by just browsing the shelves in person, or if you’re used to requesting holds through the help of staff, or if you’d just like to find the best keywords to use for catalog searches, then these tutorials will be perfect for you!

All you need is access to a computer or tablet or a smartphone, and access to the internet — plus — the thought that you will definitely get the hang of it, after trying things on your own!

The tutorials are presented in an FAQ kind of label, as these are frequently asked questions here at the Livingston Public Library.

Short but paced comfortably, the tutorials use plenty of examples, pointing out key areas and useful features. As with most videos, playback can be changed to faster or slower speeds by clicking on the gear/settings icon on the lower corner of the screen.

So far, we have published titles such as How to Place a Hold Request on an Item (a step that makes borrowing all the more convenient), How to Search the Catalog for Books (to help you with online browsing, and to note the useful subject areas), How to Search the Catalog for Movies (which stresses the importance of using keywords that the catalog system recognizes), and How to Check the Availability of an Item (for those i-want-this-item-now days).

We’ll make more video tutorials in the next few weeks! Lined up are topics on managing your notification preferences, checking statuses, renewing items, and more. So stay tuned for these FAQ tidbits, to learn more about how to use our library resources.

The tutorials can be found in our Library’s YouTube channel, so it’s very much accessible to anyone. You can go directly to YouTube.com, then search for “Livingston Public Library”. Or you can go to our website, livingstonlibrary.org, scroll down to the foot of the page where our social media links are, click on the YouTube icon, and that will take you directly to our Library’s channel where you can see all the videos our Library staff have created for you to enjoy.

We have also published the video tutorials through our website, livingstonlibrary.org, along with the others we have on our digital collections, and online a-z resources. Where exactly in our website? You might not have noticed it, because they’re tucked in a side panel. Just look for a green vertical tab or button on the far right of the screen labeled, you guessed it… Tutorials! If you click on that, it’ll bring out a screen, with a full list of tutorial titles to choose from. Hope you’ll enjoy these gems as well!

And in case you, our dear reader, are now quite at ease online — doing these bits of the borrowing process by yourself — perhaps you might know someone who could benefit from these videos? If so, please keep them in mind! You’ll hear about these tutorials too on The Livingston Library Podcast, L-town Radio‘s October 2020 track, at soundcloud.com! We’re spreading the word!

All the Staff here at the Livingston Public Library would like our beloved patrons to be able to avail of our Library’s collections, and services. And so with these tutorials, we’d like to help you take care of steps that might be preventing you from enjoying our resources a bit more… all available for your review!

— Janea Agbayani, Technology Department Library Specialist

For more information, visit: www.livingstonlibrary.org/resources-az/.

For other topics, themes, and resources suggested for lifelong learning pursuits, visit our blog under the tag: Keep On Learning.