Recommended Links Archives

July 9, 2013

Check Out Oxford Islamic Studies Online

Oxford Islamic Studies Online.jpgRamadan just began this Monday, July 8th. If you would like to explore this tradition and much more about Islamic culture in a new way, try logging in to Oxford Islamic Studies Online. See beautiful photos of the art and architecture of the Arab world, gain a deeper understanding of the various denominations, use a map to learn more about current international events or find out for yourself what the Qur'an really says. A nice feature is the timeline, which puts over 1,000 events in Islamic history in context with landmarks of world history. Log in to this website and many more through the MPL website by clicking on "Research Resources," and "All Library Databases."

April 23, 2013

It's Money Smart Week @ The Library!

green piggy bank.jpgDid you know that if you spend $6.00 a day less on fast food, you can save $2,190 dollars a year or $43,830 over 20 years? Learn more tips that can help you control your financial future at visit any Milwaukee Public Library year-round to pick up a copy of the Money Smart Week Resource Guide.

November 6, 2012

Go Vote Today!

wisconsinvote_button.pngToday is election day, and it is your last chance to cast your vote for this election cycle. Many have voted early, but those of you who haven't had the chance should make your way to the polls now. Polls are open today, Tuesday November 6th from 7 A.M. to 8 P.M. People who are in line to vote at 8 P.M. will get to cast their vote, so stick with it, even if the lines are long! To find out where you will vote and what you need to bring if you need to register at your polling place, look at the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's My Vote Wisconsin site. There you can check to see if you are already registered to vote. If you would like to preview a sample ballot for this election, you can view it by entering your information and clicking on the link for a sample ballot for your voting district. Now that you've got the tools to vote, make sure you spread the word.

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February 20, 2012

Google Science Fair 2012: Everyone Has a Question, What's Yours?

Google is looking for curious, inspired and innovative students between the ages of 13-18 for the Google Science Fair 2012 online science competition. The competition challenges students to explore real-world questions through scientific investigation. Participating in the fair is your chance to engage with the scientific community, compete with peers from around the world and be eligible for life-changing prizes.

Submissions are due April 1, 2012. Check out Google's Science Fair 2012 website for information on submissions, judging, and prizes. There are also resources for educators interested in getting their students involved in the fair.

Everyone has a question. What's yours?

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January 20, 2012

January Inauguration Day

January 20, 1937 was the first time the presidential inauguration was held in January. Franklin D. Roosevelt first inauguration was held on March 4, 1933. The constitution originally set the March inauguration date to allow enough time after Election Day to ensure a smooth transistion. However, with advances in communication and transportation, inauguration day was moved up to January 20 with the passage of the 20th amendment in 1933.

Fascinated by this fact? Learn how the modern office of the president was shaped through book and documentaries.

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January 9, 2012

Explore Treasures of the Bodleian Library

Qur'an.jpgQur'an from the Kingdom of Mysore. Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford .

The University of Oxford Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and home to some of the rarest and most beautiful books and manuscripts from around the world. With millions of items in the library's collection, the "treasures" of the Bodleian are sights to be seen. The Treasures of the Bodleian Library was a 2011 exhibit which has now been transformed into an online catalog with items such as the lyric poems of Sappho; Marco Polo's Travels; The Bhagavadgita; J.R.R. Tolkien's Conversation With Smaug; the Magna Carta; and William Shakespeare's First Folio.

Explore the treasures with interactive features such as podcasts (readings from texts in the original language and English) and videos of experts. Don't forget to cast your vote for the book or manuscript you think should be permanently included in the Bodleian's list of treasures.

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December 5, 2011

Holiday Tips from

led-christmas-lights.jpgVisit for their 12 Days of Holiday Tips! Daily tips help with planning, saving and celebrating during this holiday season.

Today's holiday tip is: Save Money with LED Holiday Lights!

Electricity bills can grow during the holidays if you decorate with strings of lights. Light-emitting diode, or "LED," holiday lights offer a quality alternative to traditional lights and save both energy and money. The Department of Energy estimates that if every household switched to LED holiday lights, the country would save approximately $410 million in electricity costs. Learn more about the benefits of LED holiday lights.

To view all holiday tips visit:

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August 26, 2011

The Day Women Won the Right to Vote

On August 26, 1920, the nineteenth amendment, permitting women the right to vote, became law. Suffrage for women was first proposed during the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention in 1848. The nineteenth amendment was endorsed by the United States Senate on June 4, 1919, and sent to the states for ratification. Wisconsin was one of the first states to ratify the amendment.
The Library of Congress's American Memory has a large collection of resources relating to women's fight to gain the vote. Milwaukee Public Library also has a variety of material available.

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August 16, 2011

Philip Levine Named U.S. Poet Laureate

On August 10th the Library of Congress announced the appointment of Philip Levine as the 18th Poet Laureate. Philip Levine was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1928 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. After graduating from Wayne State University, Levine worked a number of industrial jobs, including the night shift at the Chevrolet Gear and Axle factory. He is a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award winner.

Check out the Library of Congress' Philip Levine Web Guide for more information on the new Poet Laureate. Click here to view a complete list of Philip Levine's work available at the Milwaukee Public Library.

Here Levine reads "Bell Isle, 1949".

"Belle Isle, 1949" from They Feed They Lion and The Names of the Lost by Philip Levine, copyright ©1999 by Philip Levine.

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August 2, 2011

Declaration of Independence Signed

faulkner_declaration.jpgOn August 2, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was engrossed on parchment and signed by fifty-six state delegates. Delegates signed the document by state location, from northernmost New Hampshire to southernmost Georgia. Five delegates signed on a later date and some, due to a lack of space, were never able to sign the document. Add your name to signers of the Declaration of Independence by signing a (virtual) copy at the National Archives website!

Check out these resources for more information on the Declaration of Independence:

  • The official, signed Declaration of Independence can be viewed at, along with more information on how the Declaration of Independence was written and adopted.

  • The Declaration mural by Barry Faulkner (pictured above) is located in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building in Washington D.C. See who is pictured in the mural and learn about the restoration process here.

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July 28, 2011

Great Weather Resource

NOAA weather map
Did last week's heat wave catch you by surprise? To avoid this in the future keep up with the weather using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website (NOAA, for short). It's easy to type in your city or zip code and get 7-day forecasts, radar and satellite images and detailed lists of hazardous weather conditions.

NOAA has a lot of other information on its website, so it's worth poking around. Highlights include archived weather information, all-time climate extremes data and weather safety tips.

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July 14, 2011

Looking for a job?

The Milwaukee Public Library has numerous resources for job seekers:

  • Seven MPL locations offer drop-in job help. A job trainer specialist is available to help you complete online job applications, write a resume, search online job listings and obtain a free email account. For more information stop by any MPL location or call Ready Reference at (414) 286-3011.

  • All MPL locations have materials you can check out to help with your job search. Central Library also has an area on the second floor with career and job reference books. These books can't be checked out, but you can use them in the library to find a lot of information. The book below is an example.

    Great Careers.jpg

  • When looking for a job, MPL's databases provide invaluable resources. For example, Access Video helps you explore careers, provides job searching tips and much more. There's also Career Cruising to help with career information and interest and aptitude self-quizzes. WISCareers and LearningExpress Library may be of help to job seekers too.
  • MPL also has a lot of great databases to help you research companies. Try ReferenceUSA, Business & Company Resource Center and Dun & Bradstreet Million Dollar Database to answer all sorts of questions. For example, you can research specific companies, find certain types of companies in particular areas and look up contact information.
  • And finally, MPL offers Job Seeker Help and Job Listing Sites.

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July 11, 2011

Stanford University's ECorner Offers Free Entrepreneurship Resources

ecorner.jpgStanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) Entrepreneurship Corner, or ECorner, is a free online archive of entrepreneurship resources for teaching and learning. ECorner offers over 2000 videos and podcasts from innovation leaders around the globe. Browse by catagories like Creativity and Innovation; Marketing and Sales; Leadership and Adversity; and Career and Life Balance, or search by most popular videos and speakers. Subscribe to ECorner's newsletter or iTunes feed to stay connected with new content. Check out one of ECorner's most popular videos below, The Factors to Improve Entrepreneurial Success.

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June 28, 2011

Explore Great Reads from Around the World with Invitation to World Literature

Invitation to World Literature is a free multimedia series introducing readers to thirteen pieces of literature from around the world. Developed under the guidance of Professor David Damrosch of Harvard University, a world-renowned expert on world literature, the series includes videos of author and critic discussions, excerpts and background information on the texts, and key discussion points, timelines, and slideshows.

world literature.png
Explore Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things to experience the wealth of resources available on Invitation to World Literature. In addition to a basic timeline, background information and character overviews of The God of Small Things, there is a video explaining the role of caste in Indian society - an essential element of Roy's novel. The connections page provides citations for articles about Roy's work, as well as movies/popular interpretations/TV and music with similar characteristics.

In addition to being a must-see for literature lovers, this resources is especially well suited for students.

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June 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Maurice Sendak!


Maurice Sendak, famous author and illustrator best known for Where the Wild Things Are, was born on June 10, 1928. From an early age Sendak wanted to be an illustrator, and his love of books was intiated by several health problems that confined him to bedrest. He became an internationally acclaimed writer and illustrator with the publication of Where the Wild Things Are, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1964. Sendak has won numerous other awards for his work, including the National Book Award and the National Medal for the Arts.
Tributary books have been written about him, and Where the Wild Things Are was made into a feature film in 2009

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June 2, 2011

Happy Great Outdoors Month

Great Outdoors Month.jpgJune is Great Outdoors Month and there are a lot of ways you can celebrate:

You can also come up with your own ideas and, of course, MPL has materials to help you on your way. Be safe and enjoy!

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June 7, 2011

Blekko: A New Way to Search

Looking for a new way to search for information online? Try Blekko, a search engine featuring slashtag (/) searching. Slashtag categories are created by a group of initial users and guide searchers to trusted websites. For example, a Blekko search "headache/health" will return only health sites determined to be helpful by other users. Categories are rechecked with artificial intelligence software to ensure relevancy. Blekko sees slashtag searching as a way to bypass "junk" webpages and reach the most useful information quickly.

Blekko's examples of where slashtag searches come in handy include searches you can't do with keywords: global warming /conservative, ufos /paranormal, congress /humor and searches in categories that are otherwise heavily spammed: avoiding swine flu /health, iphone 4 reviews /techblogs, Aruba /travel.

Blekko's complete list of slashtags can be found here. You can also open an account with Blekko and create your own slashtags. The video below provides an overview of how to search using Blekko and information on the company's web search bill of rights , a document outlining their commitment to open search practices and user privacy.

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May 24, 2011

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. Initially a week-long celebration of Asian American culture introduced as a congressional bill in 1977, it was expanded to a month-long celebration by President H.W. Bush. May was selected for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 (the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.)

Three Chinese children standing in a room, holding an American flag and a Chinese flag.
Chicago History Museum is a web portal bringing together online exhibits and collections, audio and video resources, and educator resources on Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage.

The Milwaukee Public Library has many wonderful resources celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander culture and history. Browse through our catalog for a list of books on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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May 17, 2011

Find Credible and Research-Based Information with eXtension

eXtension is an online learning environment providing reliable information from experts at land-grant universities from across the United States. Experts in the fields of agriculture, disaster, energy, child care, gardening, community planning, fitness, and more share the latest research with the general public, students, and professors with a focus on solving real-life problems in real time.

extensionlogo.gif Search eXtension's site by Resource Area (also known as Community of Practice) or select a topic in the "News", "Articles" or "Answers" portion of the website. In addition to the wealth of information provided on the website in print and video format, there is an Ask An Expert link that allows you to electronically submit your question to experts in your area.

eXtension is constantly updated with timely and informative resources for everyone. One of the more recent articles available involves the financial crisis. Check out "When Prices Rise: Living on Your Income" for useful tips on managing finances. An RSS Feed is also available to track all new content for a specific Resource Area such as the Financial Crisis.

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May 12, 2011

National Doodle Day 2011

NationalDoodleDay.gifWould you like to own a doodle drawn by Martin Sheen? How about Florence Henderson? Or Neil Gaiman?

These celebrities and more have donated their doodles to raise money for Neurofibromatosis, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing support to individuals and families affected by neurofibromatosis. The doodles will be auctioned off on eBay starting today.

You can also view the doodles from past years by famous people like Amy Poehler, President Obama and Jodi Picoult.

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May 19, 2011

How do YOU use MPL?

The American Library Association and the Public Library Association have teamed up with American Public Media on a journalism project called LibrariUS. The goal of this project is "to explore the information and civic needs of communities and do a better job of meeting them."

You can participate by going to the LibrariUS website and telling them how you're using your library today. You are required to include your name, city, state and either an email address or a phone number. Your information is collected in case American Public Media wants to follow up with you. It's shared with a small group of their reporters, but other than that your personal information is confidential.

Even if you don't want to participate by sharing information you can go to the LibrariUS website and see how other people in the U.S. are using libraries. The site maps library patrons' stories in real time.

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May 3, 2011

NewsBank Special Reports: Conflict and Terrorism

Stay informed on current domestic and international topics with NewsBank Special Reports. NewsBank has recently added "Conflict and Terrorism Around the World" to their collection. This Special Report provides in-depth newspaper coverage of international areas of conflict. Sections of the report include Osama bin Laden, Conflict in the Korean Peninsula, Current Coverage on War in Afghanistan, Investigations, and many others. "Conflict and Terrorism Around the World" also includes links to background information, images, and related maps.

Click here to access NewsBank's Special Reports. You'll be prompted to enter your library card number before proceeding to NewsBank. Click on "Other NewsBanks Products" link on the upper right of the screen and select "Special Reports"; "Conflict and Terrorism Around the World" is the first report listed.

NewsBank is a subscription database available to city of Milwaukee residents with a valid Milwaukee Public Library card. NewsBank include content from sources throughout the world to provide a global perspective and current and background information. New information is added daily to featured and current reports.

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May 2, 2011

May is Fitness Month

Central_Park_jogging.jpgNow that summertime is approaching, many of us are getting serious about making healthy lifestyle changes. May is fitness month, which is a great reason to invest some time in yourself so you can look and feel your best for summer. If you're looking for great information about health, diet and exercise, check out the Badgerlink databases for articles, and free streaming videos on various health topics. This is the perfect place to find reliable and accurate health information that's available to all Wisconsin residents for free. Don't forget to check out some books and videos from the Milwaukee Public Library too. Whether it's Zumba or boxing you're interested in, we've got something for you.

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April 19, 2011

Now that you've paid your taxes....

United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse.jpgIf you're wondering where your federal taxes are spent, have a look at the White House's 2010 tax receipt. You can get a specific breakdown of how much of your money is spent on different programs based on the dollar amount you paid in taxes for 2010. You can see how much goes to agricultural subsidies, Medicare, disaster relief, defense, and scientific research. There's even some accounting done for the amount spent to offer certain tax credits and deductions.

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March 28, 2011

MPL has a new database to sample!

Milwaukee residents can enjoy a six month trial of the database Access Video powered by Films on Demand. This database provides streaming for educational videos on various topics. Teachers, do it your selfers, and those of you who are just plain curious can enjoy content on the topics of Home & Family, Health & Wellness, Career Planning & Resources, Trades & Technical Skills, Science, Math & Technology, Social Sciences, History, Language, Speech & Literature, Visual & Performing Arts, Business & Economics, Archival Films & Newsreels, Crime & Law. To find the link to this database, you can click on the categories of Education, Library Databases, Library Databases for Remote Use and Movies Radio & TV. Make sure you try it soon because the trial expires September 16th, 2011.

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March 15, 2011

"The Ides of March Are Come"

On March 15, 44 B.C. Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate by a group of senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus. The "liberators", as the senators called themselves, felt they were saving the Roman Republic from the grip of tyranny by removing Caesar from power.

Cesar-sa_mort.jpg One of the most famous accounts of the assassination is Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. Among the most oft-quoted of the play's lines are those spoken by a soothsayer warning Caesar of the impending attempt on his life: "Beware the Ides of March" - the Ides referring to the 15th of the month according to the Roman calendar.

Caesar is regarded as one of the greatest historical figures in the Western world. Read more about his life and legacy in Philip Freeman's Julius Caesar, or one of the many other biographies available at the library. For a modern retelling of Caesar's death, check out Richard Appignanesi's graphic novel Julius Caesar. If you're a fan of Shakespeare's play then you'll enjoy browsing through the First Folio edition of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar available digitally through Internet Shakespeare Editions.


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March 22, 2011

Spring Flooding Tips from FEMA and Wisconsin Emergency Management

flood.pngWith the arrival of Spring comes an increased risk of flooding for many areas in the United States. Stay prepared with for spring flooding with some advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) blog, via

  • Make a plan - Your family may not be together when a flood hits, so it's important to know how you will contact one another, how you will meet up in a safe place and what you will do in case of an emergency. Not sure where to start? has a great checklist for making your family emergency plan.
  • Get a kit - An emergency kit can be your life line after an emergency. It should sustain yourself and your family for up to three days. For flood prone areas, keeping your important documents in a sealed, airtight container will keep them safe from water damage. See other tips on getting your emergency kit in tip-top shape.
  • Know your risk - One of the most important steps of being prepared is to find out if your home is at risk for flooding. After you know your risk, check out this tool to estimate the financial impact a flood could have your home.
  • Protect your property - A final step to make sure you're prepared for flooding is to purchase flood insurance. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider flood insurance coverage.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also has a comprehensive site with information on mold, drinking water safety, utility service interuption and more. Check out their Flooding and Safety page for additional useful preparedness tips.

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March 3, 2011

Bypass Automated Operators

TelephoneDo you hate calling customer service lines and getting automated operators? If so, you may want to check out This website offers phone numbers and instructions on how to get a real person when calling over 2,200 customer service lines. You can either search for a specific company or browse their A to Z list. The site also provides estimated wait times and callers can rate their success when using the recommended tips.

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March 1, 2011

The Best Sites for Free eBooks

Mis ebooks, o photo © 2008 Javier Candeira
The holidays are over and you finally have the new eReader you've always wanted. What next? Free ebooks of course! There are thousands of free ebooks just a mouse click away. Here are some of the best sites to find your next great read.

  • Search for books by title, author, genre, and language. The site is well organized and easy to navigate. Look through recent reviews, browse the New Titles section, and check out the Special Collections page. Use the Help page to find instructions on how to download titles for your particular eReader.
Project Gutenburg
  • Project Gutenburg is the grandfather of all free ebook providers. It has more than 34,000 books (mostly public domain texts) and all ebooks on their site can be "freely downloaded: choose between ePub, Kindle, HTML and simple text formats." You can search by topic, top downloads and titles, recently added, and by title word(s) and author. Check out the "How To" page for answers to commonly asked questions.
Google Books
  • Google Books has free ebooks from the public domain. To search for free electronic books, select "Full View Only" in the Advanced Book Search form (this filters out books for purchase and preview only texts.) Google's Book Help- Read has helpful information on supported eReaders and how to manage your ebooks.
  • This is a great site to browse with tons of ebooks available to read on your PDA and PC. Use the Memoware eBook Primer to gain familiarity with the formats available on the site.
Of course, don't forget about the ultimate site for the newest and most popular ebooks: your library! Anyone with a valid Milwaukee County Library card has access to OverDrive Downloadable Media. Visit the Digital Download Center for a guided tour and start downloading today!

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February 17, 2011

Get Smart about Money @ MPL

Get Smart about Money logoThe Milwaukee Public Library wants to help you get smart about money! Stop by any Milwaukee Public Library for your very own Get Smart about Money kit. The kit includes a folder with a Money Smart Resource Guide that lists suggestions and agencies to assist you with personal finance topics. There is also a notebook and pen in each kit so you can keep track of your expenses and receipts.

Additional information and suggested websites and titles are available at the new Get Smart about Money @ MPL website.

This is all made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart Investing @ your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

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January 21, 2011

First American Novel Published.

18th century reader.jpg On January 21, 1789, the first American novel was published in Boston. The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature, by William Hill Brown advocates rational thinking and moral education to avoid dangerous situations caused by giving into one's base instincts.
The Milwaukee Public Library owns a copy of a later printing of this famous novel. Patrons can request this material at the information desk. The text of this novel is also availabe through, which is run by Cornell University. Many critics believe the text mirrors the political situation of the infant United States. Experience a piece of history by reading the first American novel!

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December 3, 2010

Newspaper Archives

Did you know that Access NewspaperARCHIVE of Badgerlink recently updated their website? Besides being the largest online newspaper archive, NewspaperARCHIVE is easier to use with new search tabs and one click access to newspaper articles detailing historic events. The tabs at the top of the screen include the capability to browse and "Ask a librarian" as well as search. The search capability is also expanded with the ability to conduct a name search. You can access a variety of news articles covering famous historic events as they happened by clicking the links on the front page. Coverage includes all of the United States and some select countries.

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September 30, 2010

Are you a genius?

BrainThis week the MacArthur Foundation announced its Fellows Program winners. These awards, often referred to as "genius" grants, come with a $500,000 stipend that can be used however the winner chooses. The primary purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is "to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society."

There are 23 fellows this year including an indigenous language preservationist, a stone carver, a fiction writer, an author/screenwriter/producer and a high school physics teacher. The winners received phone calls in the past two weeks telling them they were selected. Most didn't even know they were under consideration.

Check out the MacArthur Foundation Website where you can watch videos about each winner and learn more about the program. And, yes, you should take this as an invitation to be creative in your own daily endeavors. You never know who's watching.

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October 1, 2010

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!

The ASPCA declared the month of October adopt a shelter dog month. If you ever considered adopting a dog from the humane society or from a rescue, the library has books and DVDs about how to to help you choose a breed that works with your lifestyle, what to look for in a shelter dog, how to help your dog adjust to life with you, and how to train your new friend. If you already have all the animals you can handle, but like heartwarming stories about shelter animals finding good homes, the library has a variety of books and DVDs on that topic as well.

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September 23, 2010

Everyone Loves A Contest

I love contests, so when I heard about I was ecstatic. The idea behind this Website is that U.S. government agencies post challenges and the public provides solutions. Examples of current challenges include creating nutritious school lunch recipes, composing wake-up songs for NASA astronauts, and developing digital forensic investigative tools, techniques, and methodologies. There are also often prizes for solving challenges.
I've had some problems accessing the site, but hopefully they'll get all the bugs worked out soon. From what I've seen I think it'll be worth the wait. Now you'll have to excuse me while I try to help NASA find new ways for astronauts to do their laundry in space.

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September 9, 2010

Octopi, Octopuses, Octopodes and More

OctopusI have found to be a great place to look up definitions of words and to listen to proper pronunciations. And recently, thanks to the advice of a colleague (thank you, Jacki!), I discovered Merriam-Webster offers even more online. Here's a list of other helpful features you can find on Merriam-Webster's Website:

• Videos - Wondering what the plural of octopus is? How about the difference between rein and reign? Merriam-Webster offers clear, concise videos on a variety of topics (and they're interesting to watch!).

• Trend Watch - If you want to learn about words that have been top lookups recently on check out their Trend Watch page. For example, on August 11 one of the top lookups was rancor thanks to the jurors in the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. They used it in their note to the judge.

• Top 10 Lists - For the curious among us, Merriam-Webster offers Top 10 Lists that are helpful, Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, and fun, Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names.

• New Words & Slang - This is Merriam-Webster's collection of user-submitted words. It's where words go before they make it into the dictionary.

So whether you simply love words, want to improve your grammar and spelling, or need to submit a word for dictionary consideration, has something for you.

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September 2, 2010

Looking for Inspiration?

Summer is almost over. The new school year is here. The Labor Day weekend will be here and gone before we know it. I can certainly use a boost. How about you?

Ted Logo

A Website I often turn to when I need some inspiration (or education or a cure for boredom) is TED (it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a small nonprofit organization that is "devoted to ideas worth spreading." Since 1984 they've hosted invitation-only conferences where some of the world's most fascinating people are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Fortunately for those of us not lucky enough to receive invites, TED makes these talks (called TEDTalks) available for free.

You can search over 700 TEDTalks and other performances TED calls Best of the Web. My favorite TedTalks include JJ. Abrams' Mystery Box and Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce. Some of the great performances they offer are the Stanford commencement speech Steve Jobs gave on How to Live Before You Die and Randy Pausch's Carnegie Mellon talk about Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

Take a look for yourself (a good place to start is the Top 10 TedTalks). I bet you'll find something to take your mind off of the end of summer. Well, for 18 minutes anyway.

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August 19, 2010

Class of 2014

Beloit College Mindset List Logo

At the start of each new school year Beloit College (located in Beloit, Wisconsin) releases its Beloit College Mindset List. Originally created in 1998 to remind Beloit faculty that the cultural references they make in class may not be understood by their students, the list serves as a look at the influential events and experiences of many incoming college freshmen.

This year's Beloit College Mindset List is for the Class of 2014 and the list has 75 items on it.

Examples of things the list says are true for this class include:
#7 - "Caramel macchiato" and "venti half-caf vanilla latte" have always been street lingo.
#12 - Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than Dirty Harry.
#27 - Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
#62 - Having hundreds of cable channels, but nothing to watch has always been routine.

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August 9, 2010

Remembering Nagasaki

On August 9, 1945 a B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar dropped an atomic bomb codenamed "Fat Man" on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on August 6, the atomic bomb codenamed "Little Boy" was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. It is estimated that 60,000 to 80,000 people died in Nagazaki from the atomic bomb, while 90,000 to 160,000 died in Hiroshima. Several of those who died were unintended victims, including U.S. POW's and foreign students studying in Japan.
These events ushered in a new era of warfare that changed the geopolitical landscape of the 20th and 21st century. You can learn more about these events by either reading documents available at the Harry S. Truman library, browsing Milwaukee Public Library's collection of books on the topic, or watching the award winning White Light/Black Rain.

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June 30, 2010

Have a Safe and Happy July 4th

Fireworks Milwaukee.jpgWhether you are barbecuing or boating, swimming or sunning, travelling or tenting, you can find safety tips for the Fourth of July weekend at At this website, you can also find fun facts about July 4, ways to help your country, and American recipes (including everything from Diabetes recipes from the National Institutes of Health to Mrs. Truman's Mac & Cheese). Access to is available via the Milwaukee Public Library website's recommended Federal Government links.

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July 7, 2010

Access to Health and Nutrition Help

Door in the woods.jpgThe state of Wisconsin's ACCESS (Access to Eligibility Support Services for Health & Nutrition) web site provides a quick and easy way for Wisconsinites to find out whether they might be able to get help through the state's health and nutrition programs. Taking a fifteen minute survey will help determine whether a state resident is eligible for food assistance, prescription drug assistance, low or no-cost health care and tax assistance.

Access to ACCESS is available via the Milwaukee Public Library website's Health & Medicine reference links.

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June 24, 2010


Soundzabound is a collection of royalty free music and sound effects that are copyright compliant, content safe, and royalty free for use in student projects and other school productions. Access to the complete Soundzabound collection can be found on MPL's website .

The downloadable MP3 files are available for Microsoft Windows, Apple, as well as other platforms. The files can be used for podcasts, videos, digital storytelling or any type of multimedia production. You can select by artist, category, run times, or title. For tutorials on how to use Soundzabound audio, click on "Community" - "Licensed Users" - "Tutorials" on the Soundzabound site.

Soundzabound is provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.

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May 24, 2010

Freedom Riders

On May 24, 1961, Freedom Riders were arrested for trying to use a whites-only facility at the bus depot in Jackson, Mississippi. The purpose of the Freedom Riders' trip was to test the Supreme Court decision, Boynton v. Virginia. Boynton v. Virginia overturned the conviction of an African American law student cited for tresspassing in a restuarant in a bus terminal deemed "whites only".
The violent treatment the riders endured in prison, the harsh treatment by southerners, and the demands of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., prompted Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy , to petition the Interstate Commerce Commission to comply with a ruling that desegregated buses. The cumulative effect of these events was to end the Jim Crow era in the south. To learn more about this time period, check out the many books the library has about the Freedom Riders as well as books about the Civil Rights Movement.

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May 3, 2010

On this day in Computer History....

Circle-of-spam.pngOn May 3, 1978, the first unsolicited bulk email, or "spam", was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States. ARPANET was a Department of Defense network, and the predecessor of the internet. Although it was not referred to as "spam" at the time, this event preceded the arrival of trillions of spam messages in email inboxes around the world. You can read more current articles about spam on the website CNET. The link to this site is also available through MPL's website.
If you would like to read more about the historical aspects of this infamous computer concept, try reading Brian McWilliams Spam Kings.

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April 12, 2010

National Library Worker's Day!

library_book_shelf.jpgTomorrow, Tuesday, April 13th is National Library Worker's Day. According to the American Library Association, National Library Worker's Day..." for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers." National Library Worker's Day was created by a ALA resolution in 2003 to be honored as part of National Library Week.
The day's theme is "Libraries Work Because We Do!". Particularly in today's economic climate, libraries employees provide invaluable services to assist the community with job searching, internet use, and financial literacy. Comment cards are available at all locations. You can even nominate your favorite library employee to Submit a Star!

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March 22, 2010

March 22 is International World Water Day

The United Nations General Assembly declared March 22, 1993 the first International World Water Day. International World Water Day is a reminder of how important freshwater resources are to the world. International World Water Day also serves to focus on advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources. Since 1993, each International Water day focuses on a particular aspect of water resources. The theme in 2010 is "Clean Water for a Healthy World". Milwaukee Public Library has many books that can help you understand the issues surrounding the lack of clean water in certain areas of the globe and what can be done about it. Milwaukee Public Library also has many books for children on these topics.

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March 17, 2010

Colcannon + Corned Beef = Yum

Shamrock.jpgEven those of us without a drop of Irish ancestry can use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to sample some delicious fare from the Emerald Isle. Recipe sources range from books such as The Irish Pub Cookbook to the Ready Reference Historic Recipe File to numerous websites. One of my favorites, accessible via the Milwaukee Public Library's House and Garden Recommended Links, is What I especially like about this site is the review section, which allows a sort of virtual kaffeeklatsch in which people who've made the item offer their suggestions on how to tweak it. There's also the serendipity of starting out with a search for Irish potatoes and winding up with a delicious mash up of spuds and cabbage called Colcannon. Bon appetit, now you may eat!

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February 10, 2010

Alex Haley and Roots

Alex Haley Coast Guard.pngOn February 10, 1992, American author Alex Haley died at the age of 70. Haley was best known for Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which, combining fact and fiction, described the history of his family beginning in mid-18th century Africa. Haley's fame grew after an eight-part dramatization of the book appeared on television in 1977. That same year, he received the Spingarn Medal, awarded annually by the NAACP for the highest achievement by an American of African descent. If you're inspired to research your own family tree, the Milwaukee Public Library has many books, as well as websites highlighted under Genealogy at the MPL home page's Recommended Links.

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January 23, 2010

Help for Haiti - Give Smart!

The massive earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 has dominated the news cycle for the past couple weeks. As reports come out about the massive devastation and loss of life, many Americans wish to assist monetarily to the relief effort. Unfortunately, as more people dig deep into their pockets to offer help, e-mail scams soliciting funds have also appeared. In order to ensure that your funds are going to a reputable charity, check out Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau's charity page. Charity Navigator rates charities and also provides a brief description of their services. The Better Business Bureau's charity site provides information about charities and also provides contact information for further inquiries or to file a complaint. If you receive an email that appears to be from a scammer, you can assist the FBI in closing down fraudulent operations by reporting the email to Internet Crime Complaint Center .

January 21, 2010

The Late Night Wars

JayLeno.jpg Conan.jpg

Are you Team Leno or Team

Milwaukee Public Library's links for movies, radio, and television is a great source for Hollywood news and buzz, listings, channel info, and the latest on current shows and cinema. These links will also lead you to radio stations on the internet, a portal for hundreds of free vintage radio shows for you to listen to online in mp3 format, and a site that keeps track of who is alive and who is dead in the world of celebrities---organized by television show, film, band, and other categories, such as sports.

For websites about other interesting topics, check out the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

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January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg.jpgOn January 6, 1878, Carl Sandburg, American author, editor and son of the Midwest, was born. Much of Sandburg's poetry focused on Chicago, a city he famously described as "Hog Butcher for the World...City of the Big Shoulders." He received Pulitzer Prizes for The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg and Abraham Lincoln: The War Years and was the author of the beloved Rootabaga Stories for children. (Does anyone else remember Pony Pony Huckabuck?) On the local front, Sandburg served as secretary to Milwaukee's Mayor Emil Seidel, the first Socialist mayor of a major city in the U.S. For more information about Seidel, check out MPL's Milwaukee Mayors Digital Collection.

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November 25, 2009

What's a Numbat?

numbat 2.jpg

Many years ago, a young library patron asked me to help him find information on a "numbat." Now, I'd heard of a wombat, but not a numbat, and back in those pre-Internet days, it wasn't too easy to find any references to such a creature. After much paging through books and encyclopedias, we had success. Thanks to the Animal Diversity Web, one of the websites highlighted under Kids' Homework Help on the Milwaukee Public Library's Recommended Links page, finding information on this Australian marsupial is much easier.

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November 19, 2009

Geek the Library and Get Your Geek On!

Lou Reed - Geek.jpg What's your passion? Do you love music? Is medieval poetry your thing? Do you love astronomy? Are you determined to be a life long learner? Whatever you geek, your public library supports you. Geek The Library is a campaign to spread awareness of the value of public libraries and the critical funding they face. Almost any topic at any age level can be fostered and explored at your library. So don't hold back, get your Geek On!

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November 9, 2009

The Fault, Dear Brutus, Is Not In Our Stars

Today seems like an auspicious occassion to mention that 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, as Benjamin Banneker and Carl Sagan (both American astronomers) were born on November 9th.

astronomylogo.jpgThis celebration coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo and the publication of Johannes Kepler's Astronomia Nova in the 17th century. The purpose of IYA2009 is to help people rediscover astronomy, and thereby reexperience a personal sense of wonder and discovery.

The official IYA2009 site includes special events and projects. You can access it here. For additional databases and links on this subject, check out the Science and Technology category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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October 28, 2009

Anniversary of the Completion of the Saint Louis Arch

Saint Louis Arch.jpg

On October 28, 1965, construction was completed on Saint Louis's spectacular Gateway Arch. The 630-foot-high landmark was erected to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to highlight the city's role in the westward expansion that followed. To find out other events that have happened on specific days, check out the website This Day in History, which you can link to under the History category on the Milwaukee Public Library's Recommended Links page.

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October 22, 2009

American FactFinder - Statistics Galore!

Census.jpg The United States Federal Census is taken every ten years by the Department of Commerce. The Census Bureau is currently gearing up for the next Census tabulation slated to begin in 2010. This in-depth data provides statistics on population, housing, economics and geography for the United States. Census data is a gold mine of authoritative information for businessess, researchers, historians and anyone else interested in data. Before the advent of the electronic 2000 Census, people would rely on the dozens of paper indexes and tables that would slowly become available to the library. Looking for specific information was often difficult to find. Now with the American FactFinder, Census data is at your fingertips.

For other websites on different types of statistics, check out the Statistics Category on the MPL Homepage under Recommended Links.

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October 15, 2009

Stadiums of Pro Football

pro football.jpg

Are you waxing nostalgic about the old County Stadium Packer Games? The Stadiums of Pro Football site includes stadiums of the NFC and AFC: current, past and future. The site has ticket information, seating charts, comparisons, and future Super Bowl sites. It's a gridiron lover's dream!

For other websites about Sports, investigate the Sports Category in the Reference Resources Links on the MPL homepage.

September 10, 2009

Senior Resources for Wisconsin Residents

As the Baby Boomer generation marches toward retirement age, the need for information on senior resources continues to increase. The purpose of Senior Resources is to provide the most accurate and comprehensive online information on services available to older adults in the state of Wisconsin.
For additional databases and links on this subject, check out the Seniors Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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September 3, 2009

EPA - Where You Live Community Profiles

pollution.jpgResearch environmental information about your community using the EPA - Where You Live Community Profiles website. Find out detailed information about hazardous waste, air quality and facility compliance. Enter your zip code and choose from five databases from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.
For additional databases and links on this subject, check out the Science and Technology Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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August 27, 2009 - For Easy Access to Disability Related Resources is an award-winning federal Web site that contains disability-related resources on programs, services, laws and regulations to help people with disabilities lead full, independent lives. provides critical information on a variety of topics, including benefits, civil rights, community life, education, emergency preparedness, employment, housing, health, technology and transportation.

For additional databases and links on this subject, check out the Resources for People with Disabilities Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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August 20, 2009

How Stuff Works - Clearly Explains the Inner Workings of Things


HowStuffWorks is a website dedicated to explaining the way many things work. The site uses photos, diagrams, videos and animations to explain complicated terminology and mechanisms in easy-to-understand language. So if you're curious about how digital TV works, a refresher on the basics of baseball or how ATM's work--take a look at HowStuffWorks for an easily understood answer.

For additional databases and links on the subjects of general information, check out the Quick Reference Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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August 13, 2009

realclearpolitics.gif is an independent political website. It is updated every morning and throughout the day with the latest polling data, commentary and election analysis. Editorials and topics from all perspectives are gathered and maintained for your convenience.

For additional databases and links on the subject of Politics, check out the Politics Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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August 6, 2009

IBDB - Internet Broadway Database


If you love the theatre and are curious about the "Great White Way," The Internet Broadway Database - IBDB provides a comprehensive database of shows produced on Broadway. The Internet Broadway Database also provides historical information about theatres and various statistics and fun facts related to Broadway.

The data found in IBDB is derived primarily from theatre programs (in most cases from a production's opening night). Supplemental information was taken from newspaper and magazine reports, theatrical text books, interviews with theatre professionals, and League archives.

So "Come on along and listen to The Lullaby of Broadway-the hip hooray and bally hoo." -Al Dubin

For additional databases and links on the subject of Performing Arts, check out the Performing Arts Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.

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July 23, 2009

Wanted : Dead or Alive

Patrons often call the reference desk to find out if a celebrity is alive or deceased. People also regularly search for obituaries and death notices for friends and loved ones. There are several databases which can help tremendously when searching for this type of information. The Dead People Server is a good choice for birthdates, death dates, and cause of death of famous people. Find A Grave allows users to search 21 million grave records and to find information on more than 250,000 cemeteries. In addition, The Who's Alive and Who's Dead site helps you keep track of who's living and who's deceased. Celebrities are grouped by TV show, film, band and sport.

America's Obituaries & Death Notices contains over 180 U.S. newspapers, most of which date back to the late 1990's and includes everything from front page news articles to paid death announcements. This is a paid database and can be accessed remotely by City of Milwaukee residents. Residents of surrounding communities are welcome to visit and Milwaukee Public Libraries in person to search this database.

For additional databases and links on the subject of People, check out the People Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.


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June 25, 2009

Patent Searching @ Milwaukee Public Library

Milwaukee Public Library is an official Patent and Trademark Depository Library. A Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) is a library designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to receive and house copies of U.S. patents and patent and trademark materials, to make them freely available to the public, and to actively disseminate patent and trademark information.

Once a month, a librarian from the Business and Technology Department presents a free workshop on how to conduct a patent search. Please call 414-286-3051 if you have any questions.

For additional resources including the Patent and Trademark Department's searchable database, peruse the links in the Patents & Trademarks category on the Milwaukee Public Library home page under Recommended Links.Patent%20and%20Trademark%20Seal.jpg

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June 22, 2009


Even Wisconsin natives can botch the name of a Wisconsin city, park, Native American tribe, lake, or county. Some monikers are real doozies--- four-syllable monsters like Ashwaubenon. The next time you have to introduce Madison mayor Dave Cieslewicz, we suggest you consult


The site provides online audio pronunciations and includes “This Day in Wisconsin History”, fascinating facts, Wisconsin-made products, and a Wonders of Wisconsin section with newsworthy events.

For other useful sites, check out the Wisconsin Sites category on the MPL Homepage under Recommended Links.

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June 18, 2009

Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature


Are you looking for quality children's literature to share with the young people in your life? The Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature was designed for teachers, parents and librarians to search and create customized lists of award-winning children's literature. Founded and maintained by a California librarian, you can search the database by fields such as age of reader, setting, format, genre, publication year and whether it won in any of the 84 different award categories.

For other sites about newspapers and magazines, check out the Parent & Teacher Category on the MPL Homepage under Recommended Links.

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June 11, 2009

Milwaukee Area Newspapers - MKE Periodicals


Extra! Extra! Read All About It Online! The MKE Periodicals website provides an up-to-date list of most Milwaukee area magazines and newspapers with online content. MKE Periodicals provides an array of mainstream and alternative publications for your enjoyment.

For other sites about newspapers and magazines, check out the News & Magazines Category on the MPL Homepage under Recommended Links.

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May 28, 2009

Hey, Who Sang That Song? To the Rescue!


Do you have a song playing in your head, commonly known as an earworm, but cannot remember the details of who sang it or who covered it? is the site to visit to answer all such nagging questions. It comprehensively lists facts about an album or artist, including title, tracks, genre, label, credits, release date, and cover and artist images. You can search by song, album, group or classical work. The site covers all genres. So scratch that musical itch with!

For other useful sites, check out the Music Category on the MPL Homepage under Recommended Links.

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May 14, 2009 - U.S. Government Resources in Spanish


Atención! is the United States Government's gateway to thousands of government resources...all in Spanish and developed by, and for, Spanish speakers. You will find hundreds of resources from federal, state and local governments on a variety of available programs.

For other interesting sites on hispanic culture, check out the Multicultural-Hispanic Category on the MPL Homepage under Recommended Links.

April 30, 2009 - Introductory Information on Asian Culture and Traditions is devoted to introducing Asian culture, traditions and general information. Also listed are links to a variety of other Web sites, including news, government, and entertainment.
For other sites of interest, check out the Multicultural (Asian American) Category under Recommended Links on the MPL home page.


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April 23, 2009

Popular African American Authors


Check out Milwaukee Public Library's bibliography of popular African American authors! Divided into the categories of Mysteries and General Fiction, you can browse the list for suggestions. Click on an author's name for a Countycat listing of books available at Milwaukee Public Libraries.
For other sites of interest, check out the Multicultural (African American) Category under Recommended Links on the MPL home page.

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April 9, 2009

IMDb - The Internet Movie Database

The IMDb is promoted as the most comprehensive free source of movie information on the Internet. Search by film title, cast, or character name. Includes quotes from films, biographies of cast members, and movie plots. The database also allows you to link more than one cast member's name together to a single search. It is a fantastic source for researching all aspects of films, filmmaking and production.

For more websites on movies and television, check out the Movies, Radio and TV Category on the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

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April 2, 2009 - The Best Site For Obtaining Your Free Annual Credit Reports


Wisconsin residents are eligible for one free credit report each year from the three credit reporting agencies. This is an important task to undertake each year to make sure that your credit reports are accurate and to protect you from fraudulent activity. Annual Credit is highly recommended by financial professionals for accessing your report. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are the three credit reporting agencies participating in this site.

For more information on personal finance, check out the Smart Investing Page on the MPL homepage as well as the Money and Investing Page under Recommended Links for additional links.

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March 5, 2009

Milwaukee : Menu and Eating Guide


Do you feel that the nice weather is right around the corner? It's time to shed your winter coat and try a new restaurant in Milwaukee. provides a menu and eating guide which may help you discover an old favorite or try something completely new. The site also has information on the newest restaurants in the area and provides detailed entries on atmosphere, reviews and links to the eateries websites.

For other interesting sites about Milwaukee, check out the category called Milwaukee Area Sites under Recommended Links on the MPL Homepage.

February 26, 2009

Overbooked : A Resource for Omnivorous Readers


Wondering what to read next? Are you a fan of a certain genres and would like suggestions on other enticing titles? The Overbooked website is chock full of lists, starred reviews and all kinds of other readers advisory hints for finding the next good read. It is a non-profit site maintained by enthusiasts just like yourself.

So check out Overbooked before you curl up with your next good book and the library will be glad to help you track down a copy.

For other sites about the book world, check out the Literature & Publishing Category under Recommended Links on the MPL Homepage.

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February 19, 2009

Dave's ESL Cafe - Resources for Teachers and Students of ESL


Back in 1995, English as a Second Language Instructor, Dave Sperling started the website Dave's ESL Cafe. The website features many ESL resources for both teachers and students. Included are numerous grammer drills, interactive quizzes and connectivity for all age groups and levels of education. Dave's ESL Cafe also provides an international job board and resume posting area. The student and teacher forums enable social networking opportunities for people interested in teaching or learning ESL.

For other websites on English as a Second Language, check out the Literacy & ESL category under Recommended Links on the MPL homepage.

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February 12, 2009

WorldCat - The Ultimate Library Catalog


Did you know that there is a free library catalog that allows you to search thousands of libraries catalogs all in one search? It is called WorldCat. Besides books, you can search for music CDs and DVDs—all of the physical items you're used to getting from libraries. You can also discover many new kinds of digital content, such as downloadable audiobooks. You may also find research materials such as documents and photos of local or historic significance; and digital versions of rare items that aren't usually available to the public. Because WorldCat libraries serve diverse communities in dozens of countries, resources are available in many languages.

For other sites on the subject of libraries, check out the Libraries & Librarianship Category under Recommended Links on the MPL home page.

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January 26, 2009

Toll-free numbers for companies

If you've ever tried to contact companies like or e-Bay, you have no doubt noticed that it can seem like it is impossible to find a toll-free phone number for those companies.

Fortunately, the Ready Reference Quick Fact File has an entry to take care of those woes for you. Under the entry for "C", the Customer Service Directory entry talks about the Federal Citizen Information Center’s Consumer Action Website.
The directory on this website lists contact information for major corporations throughout the United States. It includes hard to find toll free numbers for companies like and e-Bay.

The Consumer Action Website also includes advice on how to write and where to file compaints, including to corporations, state offices, and Better Business Bureaus.

January 15, 2009

Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Search


Are looking to find legal counsel? Martindale-Hubbell, one of the most venerable attorney directories used by library staff, is now searchable online.
So if you need to locate an attorney, check this source for lawyers by name, practice area, or geographic location. Searching for law firms is included as well as links to articles of a legal nature.

For other resources on law and legal information, check out the Law/Legal category on the MPL homepage under Research Resources-Recommended Links.

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January 14, 2009

Now that it's Winter.....

With another Wisconsin Winter among us, make sure you stay informed and updated on your local weather conditions. MPL has compiled a list of numerous websites that cover and report the weather.


Click here to find out more!

January 8, 2009

Kidspace @ IPL


Are you looking for Science Project ideas? How about categories of jokes and riddles? This section of the Internet Public Library is geared towards children and provides many categories of interest. From Homework to Games, the Kidspace @ IPL will provide alll kinds of information and fun for kids of all ages!

For other sites geared to kids, check out the Kids' Internet Search Tools in the Reference Resources Category on the MPL Homepage.

December 11, 2008

BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper


BJ Pinchbeck started his homework help site when he was eight years old. He's now 21 and his homework help site continues to flourish. Divided into categories, BJ picked his favorite sites for English, Math, Science and many more. So if you're looking for information to assist you with homework, or if you're interested in learning new things, think of BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper.
For other websites to consult for homework help, check out the Kids' Homework Help category on the MPL homepage in the Recommended Links section.

December 4, 2008 - Information on Over Four Million Topics


There is a lesser known search tool in the search engine category called This engine stands out from the pack due to its content. What makes them different? They started with 180 authoritative titles purchased from reference publishers and then added patented database technology, to provide very informational pages on a subject. There are also original articles from's in-house editorial team as well as Wikipedia content.
For other alternatives to Google, check out the Internet Search Tools category on the MPL home page under the category of Recommended Links.

November 20, 2008

Newseum : The Interactive Museum of News


Extra, Extra Read All The Headlines! The Newseum in Washington D.C. is a 250,000-square-foot museum of news. Open to the public, the Newseum offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.

They also maintain a very interesting companion website. Every morning, more than 700 newspapers from around the world submit their front pages to the Newseum via the Internet to be part of Today's Front Pages.

The Today's Front Pages gallery gives visitors an up-close look at the day's news on up to 80 newspaper front pages from every state, the District of Columbia and countries around the world.

So check out your local headlines, or your home town city or all of them at once!

For other sites for keeping current with the news, check out the In the News category on the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

November 13, 2008 - World's Largest Recipe Network

Allrecipes.gif has more than 175 million annual visits from users who share and download recipes and reviews. For more than a decade, this Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensible resource for cooks seeking trusted recipes and entertaining ideas. In addition, houses more than 52,000 recipes. Looking for that perfect dip? How about an inspiring Thanksgiving menu? to the rescue!

For other sites on cooking, home buying and all things domestic, check out the House and Garden category under Recommended Links on the MPL home page.

November 3, 2008

Internet Archive - The Digital Library of Internet Sites


Use the Internet Archive to browse through 85 billion archived web pages as far back as 1996. To start surfing the Wayback Machine, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and then press the Take Me Back key. You will then be taken to the available archived dates. Curious about what the Milwaukee Public Library's first webpage looked like? Here is the archived 1998 MPL homepage from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

For other interesting sites on historical subjects, check out the History Category on the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

October 30, 2008

MedlinePlus - Medical Information You Can Trust


In today's information saturated world, finding authoritative and reliable medical information can be a challenge. For medical information you can trust, turn to
MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. Also, MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news.
For other authoritative sites on health and medicine, check out the Health & Medicine category under Recommended Links on the MPL Homepage.

October 23, 2008



Patrons often visit the library in search of examples and instructions on how to find and write grants. The Milwaukee Public Library maintains a Grants Resources page which links to many resources both on how to craft a grant and also where to search for grantors. One useful site, called Proposal, provides categories of proposal writing tips and checklists as well as lists of grant funding opportunites in the public and private sector. Sponsored by a grant writing consultant, Proposal may prove very useful for your grant research needs. For other sites on grants, check out the Grants Resources Category under Recommended Links on the MPL homepage.

October 20, 2008

50 - Fun Facts about the 50 States

Did you know that the Wisconsin State bird is the Robin? How about the fact that Wisconsin spans 65,503 square miles? 50 can help satisfy all fact quests for all fifty states. Topics include maps of all of the counties, the state flower, climate, current events and dozens of other categories covering each state from Alaska through Wyoming. For other useful sites on States, take a look at the Government-State & Local Category under Recommended Links on the MPL Homepage.


October 16, 2008 - Federal Aid Assistance Site


Are you in need of energy assistance this winter? Flood relief? Child care concerns? The U.S. Federal Government may have a program to provide support. is a one stop website with over 1,000 federal benefit and assistance programs. There is a helpful questionnaire which will help you determine if you are eligible for certain programs and it also contains a quick alphabetical list for specific categories of aid. With this type of information often scattered about the Web, this pulls the information together in one place. For other useful sites courtesy of the Federal Government, check out the Government-Federal category on the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

October 9, 2008

Wisconsin Genealogy and Local History Sites


Did you know that genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States? With the advent of the Internet age, family research has become even more exciting with worldwide opportunities, The Milwaukee Public Library's Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room has a resource area for genealogists with many finding aids and tools for conducting research. In addition, the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society meets regularly at the Central Library.
For a useful site on genealogical resources of interest to Wisconsinites, the WIGLHR Genealogy and Local History Sites has a wealth of links. For other online resources, check out the Genealogy Category in the Recommended Links section of the MPL home page.

October 2, 2008 - Free access to Classic Literature

Read digitized classic books for free on The site is rich with essays, non-fiction, fiction and poetry all available in the public domain. publishes a diverse catalog including many works of political and social history. From Aeschylus to Virginia Woolf, Bartelby can provide access to all of those classics on your reading list.

For other sites on digitized books, check out the Electronic Books (E-Books) category on the MPL home page under Recommended Links.


September 25, 2008

Landmark Citations Machine

Are you working on a term paper and need to use a particular style for your citations? Use the Landmark Citations Machine to format your citations in the MLA, APA, Turabian or Chicago styles. Simply choose the style and the format of your citation and the Landmarks Citation machine will convert it into the correct form. How easy is that? For other useful cites, check out the Education Category on the MPL home page under Recommended Links.


September 18, 2008

Directory of Government Officials


The Ready Reference Staff maintains a handy list of contact information called The Directory of Government Officials. Not only does the directory link to contact and biographical information about Federal, State, County and City officials, it also includes term limits and forms of address. For city of Milwaukee residents, find out who your representatives are by typing your address into the Election Commission Voting Location & Representatives Inquiry.
For other directories, check out the Directories & Encyclopedias category on the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

September 11, 2008 - An All-in-One Dictionary

dictionary.jpg is a free online dictionary and so much more. Whether you need a definition, a thesaurus, a pronunciation guide, a spelling or the etymology of a word, this site can answer all of those questions in one place. Additionally, you can browse the English dictionary alphabetically or by related terms to find meanings and synonyms. also serves as a roadmap to translations for foreign words and phrases. For other useful online dictionaries, check out the Dictionaries and Languages category on the MPL home page under Recommended Links.

August 28, 2008

ConsumerSearch - Reviews of Consumer Products


Are you in the market for a new toaster oven or digital camera? How about a new coffee maker? These and hundreds of other product reviews are available from the ConsumerSearch website. The reviews are ranked according to top reviewing sources such as the venerable Consumer Reports. They are also described with links and information on which retailers carry the recommended products. ConsumerSearch adds content weekly and plans to cover 800 product categories within their current format. For other interesting links, explore the Consumer Issues Category on the MPL homepage under Recommended Links.

August 21, 2008

Wi-Fi Free Spot Directory

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Did you know that all of the Milwaukee City Libraries provide free Internet wireless access? The Central Library and the twelve neighborhood libraries are popular destinations for wireless Internet users. If you plan to travel to other states or countries, you may want to consult with the Wi-Fi Free Spot Directory to learn of businesses, airports, parks and hotels that provide Internet access for their customers. For other interesting sites, check out the Computers & Internet Category under Recommended Links on the MPL home page.

August 14, 2008

Hog Heaven - Celebrating Harley-Davidson History


At the end of August, Harley-Davidson will be celebrating 105 years of legendary motorcycle history. As has become local tradition, Milwaukee will be hosting the grand party with festivities throughout the area. Also creating excitement is the recent opening of the new Harley-Davidson Museum in downtown Milwaukee. For history and background on this quintessential Milwaukee company, check out the Library of Congress' special tribute page for Harley's 100th anniversary celebration. For other interesting sites on all things automotive, check out the Cars & Trucks category under Recommended Links on the MPL home page.

August 13, 2008

Job Seeker Help Web Page


Are you currently looking for a job or anticipate a job search in your future? The MPL Job Seeker Help page can be very helpful for your research. Divided into three sections, it contains listings for Milwaukee and Wisconsin jobs, resume creation templates and links to databases for company research. So before you hit the virtual pavement in search of a job, take a look at MPL's home page. For other sites on employment issues, check out both the Job Listings category and the Career Information categories both on the Milwaukee Public Library Home Page under Recommended Links.

For in-person assistance, a job trainer specialist can help you learn how to complete online job applications, write a resume online, search online job listings, and obtain a free e-mail account.

Drop in Job Help is available Thursdays,5:30 PM at Center Street Library;
Saturdays,1:00 PM at Central Library; and Mondays,5:00 PM at Forest Home Library.

August 7, 2008

AdFlip - Classic Print Advertisements

Feel like taking a walk down memory lane? Take a look at the website AdFlip. Titled "the world's largest collection of classic print ads," AdFlip provides interesting images from six decades of past advertisement campaigns. You can view ads by selecting a year from the pull-down menu. Note that a portion of the database is for subscribers only. For other links to subjects regarding business and technology, check out the Business & Company Info Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.


July 31, 2008

Bookweb : Book Industry Awards Website

I love lists. I really enjoy perusing lists of distinguished medal winners in literature. The Book Industry Awards website is very useful for keeping apprised of those winners both past and present. All of the favorites are here. A sampling include the Newbery and Caldecott awards for children's literature, the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners for adults and the Booker Prize for excellence in fiction from the British Isles. For additional award lists on a variety of subjects, check out the Awards and Honors Category from the Recommended Links section of the Milwaukee Public Library home page.


July 24, 2008

AskArt-The International Artists Directory


Find free biographical information on thousands of artists both current and past with the website AskArt. Most entries include examples of the artists work, auction results, museum locations and exhibits. International in scope, AskArt is primarily searchable by name. The site also includes brief tutorials on major art styles and bibliographic citations for further research. To explore other interesting sites about art, check out the category Art and Architecture on the MPL website under Recommended Links.

July 17, 2008 - Old Time Radio Shows


Experience hundreds of vintage radio shows from your computer or MP3 device using the website In the days before television, families would gather around the radio in the living room to listen to their favorite programs. These same shows continue to be popular with today's audiences. Westerns, dramas, mysteries, and comedies as well as other genres are available for downloading and listening. Perennial favorites such as Charlie Chan, Amos and Andy, the Avengers and Blondie are just a sampling of the many shows available. All programs are free of charge. If you prefer to listen to old radio shows on cassette or audiobook, please check the library's catalog CountyCat for specific shows.

About Recommended Links

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Now @ MPL... in the Recommended Links category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Recommendations is the previous category.

Reference is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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