SHELF LIFE: Really ready for school? Have your card handy

2010-08-29T00:00:00Z SHELF LIFE: Really ready for school? Have your card handyBy JOYCE DOYLE for the Missoulian
August 29, 2010 12:00 am  • 

The most important supply you can get for back to school success? A library card, of course. Missoula Public Library has just what you need to get As all year long. No matter if you're starting first grade, going into your sophomore year, or returning to school for some continuing adult education, the library has the tools you need.

Children doing their own research for the first time will find library resources simple to use. Choose "Kids' Library" from the options at the top of our online catalog and you'll find a simple index combining pictures and common subjects to make searching easy. Or, kids can use the A-Z subject listing to narrow down their search so they find just what they're looking for. Once you've finished with the catalog, kids can also find an easy-to-use magazine resource available straight from our website. Click on Electronic Resources from our homepage, and then the Infotrac link. This offers a Kids' Edition that will search a variety of magazines and newspapers with one simple search request. When you're done with homework, try Novelist K-8 to find great recommendations on books that you'll love.

Teens and college students will find the Infotrac resources handy, too, especially if they've delayed working on a research project until the last minute. The library's online resources can be searched 24-hours a day from any Internet connection. Materials are scanned into a database, and so available right there on the computer screen - no searching down a paper magazine once you find the article you want. And pagination and citations are provided just as they appear in the print version. Teens also find our audio book collection helpful in studying - you can listen to a book while you read to help you focus.

But you don't have to be enrolled in school to enjoy our resources. The library has online programs to help you learn a foreign language, to assist you in studying for a standardized test including government and educational testing, and enrich your life with a variety of music. It's all free with your library card from our website at Or sign up for a free computer class, ask at the Reference Desk for a full schedule or call 721-2665.

When you're back at school this fall, Missoula Public Library wants to help you think ... more.

We have it: Staff reviews

"John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth: A Photographic Biography," by Elizabeth Partridge, Viking, 2005, find it at: YB Lennon (young adult biography)

This is a powerful book, rich in touching pictures, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and a searing portrayal of the harrowing inner life of John Lennon. For anyone who has thought that the Stones were the bad boys and the Beatles were the sweet, gentle warblers, this book will open your eyes. All the Beatles seem to have gone through a wild, rocker phase, but John was by far the most extreme: getting in fights, vandalizing, using lots of drugs, and even, at one later point in life, hitting his wife Yoko.

The book does a decent job of balancing the pain with the delight and glory that was the Beatles, but reminds us powerfully that a famous public life is no guarantee of happiness. This book is rich enough in detail to be a source for a high school paper, but abundant enough with great photos to be a satisfying coffee table book. You can dip in at any place and get a wonderful slice of life-especially delightful for those who grew up with the Beatles.

Reviewed by Dana McMurray

Hot happenings

Here's a sampling of some of the great programs coming up at Missoula Public Library. All programs are free. There's more on our events calendar at If anyone attending a program needs special assistance, please provide advance notice by calling 721-BOOK (2665).

• Computer classes. Ready to learn more about computers? The library offers computer classes in our classroom near Web Alley, at 6 p.m. on Mondays and 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Pick up a full list of upcoming classes the next time you're in the library, or call us at 721-2665. Pre-registration is recommended. Plus, the computer classroom is open every Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for online test preparation, including SAT, ACT and other tests.

• Teen Writers Group. Grades 10-12 can join a small group of writers to share words, ideas and energy every Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Children's librarian Joyce Doyle can be reached at (406) 258-3851 or at


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