The Best Deal in Town!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Library Resources to Help You Make Good Consumer Decisions

I'll bet everyone knows that the library subscribes to most Consumer Reports publications and perhaps many of you know that we keep a reference copy of many years of the magazine and the Buyer's Guide at the Information Desk for use at any time.  There is an 8-year index of the items that have been rated at the back of the Buyer's Guide and a one year index at the back of each month's publication that make it handy to use the archives.  But have you also thought about other consumer information that the library makes available that is not so obvious?

Under Databases, on our homepage at, we have links to indexes to a lot of publications like magazines and newspapers and most of them are full-text.  One of the most complete is EBSCOHost or EBSCO Masterfile that provides full-text articles from over 1700 publications as far back as 1975.  Doing a search about the item you are interested in getting reviews for can help you find information about things that CR has not reviewed or not reviewed lately.  Other publications know how popular consumer information is and are frequently doing their version of the "ten best." 

These database searches are great for making purchasing decisions about consumer goods, getting health information and doctor ratings, and getting travel information to name a few.  All of this can be searched from home on our website.  Remember to have your South Brunswick Library card handy; you will be asked to enter your barcode number to gain access to the databases.  Happy hunting!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Information for Book Club Participants

Did you know that the library has a special collection of books for book clubs to use?  In the shelving unit, right across from the Information Desk, on the opposite side of the Summer Reading Books, is our Book Club collection of popular books for which we have multiple copies.  If you belong to a book discussion group, this is one place where you may find books that the members might enjoy reading where multiple copies are easy to obtain.  We have in the collection classics (ex: Madame Bovary by Flaubert), popular fiction (ex: Woman Warrior by Kingston), several non-fiction titles (ex.: A Season on the Brink) and even a book of poetry (The Essential Rumi) to name a few.  Some of the titles have just been added to the collection and have only one or two copies - we are in the process of getting at least 10 copies of each of the approximately 140 titles, which we are pulling from the many donations we get for our Friends Book Sales. 

Monroe Township Library also has Book Discussion Materials for loan.  Monroe has multiple copies of selected book discussion titles that come in a canvas bag with discussion materials and questions included.  These materials are circulated as one item.  You can reserve these bags online through the library catalog, you can request that a librarian at the Information Desk place the hold for you or you can visit the Monroe Township Library with your South Brunswick Library Card and check out the bag in person.  You can return the bag with all of the copies and discussion material to South Brunswick and we will see that they get back to Monroe.  You can see the titles that are available in Monroe by doing an Advanced Search in the catalog of Monroe or All LMxAC Libraries and select "Book Discussion Materials" under TYPE.   58 titles are currently available in the Monroe collection.

If you are looking for some suggestions of good books for your book group, then take advantage of these resources!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good Flicks You Might Have Missed…

These are some favorites from the SBPL collection. Check them out and let me know what you think!
The Secret Lives of Dentists

Starring Campbell Scott, Hope Davis and Denis Leary

The Hurst's are a married couple who share a busy dental practice. David sees Dana with another man and is immediately certain she's having an affair. Slater, hilariously played by Dennis Leary, is a disgruntled patient of the Hursts who has gone public with his dissatisfaction. As he observes the growing tension in David and Dana's relationship, Slater begins offering his own kind of advice to David. (2002, rated R).

Lars and the Real Girl

Starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson.

Lars is a sweet but reclusive guy who thinks he's found the girl of his dreams in a life-sized doll named Bianca, whom he purchased on the Internet. On the advice of the local physician/psychologist, his family (and soon the entire town) humors his delusion in the hopes that it will run its course and he will return to reality. When Lars develops feelings for his attractive (and real-life) co-worker, he soon becomes lost in a love triangle.

(2008, rated PG-13).

Holy Smoke!

Starring Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel.

For those of you who liked The Piano…A cult deprogrammer is hired to free a young woman who has fallen under the influence of a religious guru while on a journey in India. Don’t miss the bizarre chemistry between Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel.

(1999, rated R).
By Jill Eisner, Senior Librarian
In Charge of the International Film Festival at SBPL

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Yummy: Halftime Favorites

What's better than watching the game with your buds and enjoying some great food too?  But how do you enjoy foods like unctuous, juicy, high calorie spareribs (the "bad") without looking like one of the linebackers?

Take a small portion and fill up on side dishes like Asian Coleslaw, (the "good") and a big, green salad (also "good"!).  Have just a taste of dessert, but take a generous helping of fresh fruit, and then, of course, be sure to drink lots of water, tea or coffee along with your meal. I know, you've heard it before, but it really works.

These spareribs are really great with a crusty exterior and a moist, meaty interior, don't require you to be outside to grill them, and, other than a really long cooking time, are easy to prepare as well.  Plan on making these about 6 hours ahead of your serving time.  (The last hour is just resting the meat, so you can watch the game.)

Oven Roasted Spareribs adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 full racks of spareribs, 3 - 4 lbs.each (Costco's are great)
2 cups purchased BBQ sauce, plus extra to serve at the table (I like the smokiness of Jack Daniels Original, but if you prefer a predominately sweet sauce, try Sweet Baby Ray's)

Mix the first 5 ingredients together.

Cover two half sheet pans with heavy duty aluminum foil.  (You'll thank me later when it's time to do the dishes.)  Lay the ribs, meaty side up, on a wire rack on the sheet pans.  If you need to, you can cut the racks in half to make them fit.  Rub the ribs with the spice mixture on all sides.  Cover loosely with foil, and let sit at room temp for an hour.

Now wrap the pans with the ribs tightly with the foil and roast in a preheated 300 degree oven for an hour. Switch the pans top to bottom, left to right every half hour to keep everything roasting evenly.

Take off the foil (and reserve it for later) and continue roasting for another hour.

Brush the meaty side of the ribs with the sauce and continue roasting for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the ribs are very tender when tested with a fork.  

Finally, wrap each rack in the reserved foil, put them in a brown paper grocery bag, seal tightly, and let them rest for an hour at room temp - this step ensures the redistribution of juices in the ribs for a really succulent result.

Serve with extra sauce on the side...with plenty of napkins.

Asian Coleslaw adapted from The Instinct Diet by Susan B. Roberts

1/2 head of Napa cabbage
2 Tablespoons grated onion, or finely chopped shallots
1 Tablespoon shredded fresh basil, OR 1 tsp. dried basil
1 Tablespoon shredded fresh mint, OR 1 tsp. dried mint
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar OR any vinegar
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Quarter the cabbage, remove the core, and slice the cabbage very thinly.  Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, except the peanuts.  Add the sliced cabbage and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula.  Garnish with the peanuts just before serving.

Check out the above books and more at our Library today...

Enjoy the game without guilt - and, Go Giants! 

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Football Fan

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Jersey Library Talking Book and Braille Center

Residents with limited sight or reading disabilities may qualify for services from the New Jersey Library Talking Book and Braille Center in Trenton.

They offer Braille, talking books (digital and cassettes), books in large print, periodicals, Audiovision (radio broadcasts of newspaper items and special interest programs, also available as an Internet streaming service), and equipment for playing recorded materials.

You may qualify for the specialized public library services if your ability to read is affected by:

A Vision Impairment

A Physical Impairment

A Reading Disability

These need to be certified by a doctor.

If you qualify you may register to become a member of the Talking Book and Braille Center  by downloading and mailing an an application.

For information, contact the library at: The New Jersey Library Talking Book and Braille Center, P.O. Box 501, Trenton, NJ 08625-0501, phone 1-800-792-8322 or visit the New Jersey Library Talking Book and Braille Center web site, at

You  can find a link to the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center on our  database webpage.

Contact : Mary Donne, Head of Information Services

Friday, January 13, 2012

Carrot and Ginger Soup

Okay, so I'm not only going to tell you that this soup has fantastic flavors and is company worthy, but that it also is easy to make and that I've used it as part of a diet plan where I've lost almost 20 pounds since Oct. 15th.  How?  It's part of The Instinct Diet by Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., a book available in our Library.

This book and diet works for me because it has delicious recipes that satisfy the gourmet in me, it never leaves me hungry, I feel healthy, and I have chocolate, ice cream and bread on a regular basis.  I love this diet!

Try this recipe - it's not only delicious and perfect for winter, but it's full of ginger which has hunger suppressing properties similar to that of capsaicin found in chili peppers.

Carrot and Ginger Soup, adapted from The Instinct Diet

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 (or more) clove(s) garlic, coarsely chopped
2 pounds carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped, or grated in a food processor
1 piece of fresh ginger, about 1 1/2 inches long x 1 inch in diameter, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you want this to be vegan)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orange juice

Saute the onions and garlic in the butter and oil over low heat about 10 minutes.

Add all the rest of the ingredients except the OJ, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender and blend the soup until pureed or transfer to a blender and blend in batches. 

Add the OJ, and add more S and P if necessary. (I put a little parsley, pistachios, garlic and lemon on top for color!)

This keeps really well in the fridge or freezer.  I put one cup portions in plastic containers for easy lunches with sandwiches and salads.

I served this for a ladies lunch in November together with a grilled shrimp over greens salad and everyone loved it!  Hope you do too. 

Try our Library for cookbooks with lots of ideas for healthy meals for the New Year.

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Oxymoronic Foodie Dieter

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Scan to Scrapbook

South Brunswick Public Library has a scanner you can use for free!  Hopefully you have heard about that by now.  Just come to the Information Desk. Sit down and scan whatever you need to email or save for personal correspondance or pleasure.

Many people have already come in and scanned family photos to use with Picasa Web Albums.  This can be used as scapbooking or photo sharing software and it is free from Google.  The library offers training on using Picasa. Check out our Event Calender for the next class or contact the Information Desk for a schedule.

Come in and use our free scanner for whatever your digital needs.
Contact : Mary Donne Head of Information Services

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Job and Career Accelerator

South Brunswick Public Library has a powerful online learning center available from our Careers Database webpage. Job and Career Accelerator from Learning Express combines everything you need for a successful job search into one easy-to-use online application.

This job-hunting system, provided by the NJ State Library, lets you :

  • Explore detailed information on over 1,000 different occupations
  • Match your interests and skills with the career that's best for you
  • Search over five million up-to-minute local and national job postings
  • Create professional resumes an cover letters
  • Practice and master interviewing skills
  • Get invaluable tips and advice every step of the way - from your initial search to accepting an offer
  • Conveniently organize and track your job-search progress allin one place.
Call 732-329-4000 x 7286 to schedule time with a South Brunswick Library Information Specialist to get help with creating a Job and Career Accelerator account and get an online tour.

Check out the Library's Event Calendar to find the date for our next Effective Resume Writing presentation. It is usually held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 10:30 am.

For more help on starting to find a new job and for networking opportunities with other job seekers contact the Professional Service Group at your local One Stop Career Center. They offer an orientation Monday mornings for new job seekers. Call the New Brunswick group at (732) 418-3304 for more information.