Thursday, September 24, 2009

Approaching Flu Season

The H1N1 (swine) flu is in the news, and as we get closer to regular flu season things become a little more complicated. Where can you get the information you need from a source you can trust?

There are lots of web sites out there, and we’ve identified some of the best. Start with the web sites below to find out what you need to know. – An official US government website, this resource gives you useful tips like how to keep your kids flu free, what vaccines are out there, and what to do if you get flu-like symptoms.

Influenza: Evidence-Based Information Portal -- This site from a respected online and reference publisher provides reliable facts for health professionals and patients. Resources are for both H1N1 flu and seasonal flu.

More local information and guidelines can be found at the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health and Schuylkill County Preparedness sites.

Popular health sites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic have excellent sections for hot topics, and flu is no exception.

Of course, there are some things that everyone should do to help prevent the spread of the flu: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And get vaccinated for both seasonal flu and H1N1 flu.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Writing A Blog About A Writing Blog

Yes, that title is correct: today our blog post is about a blog. Not just any blog, but a blog all about writing.

Jodi Webb brought our attention to The Muffin: Fresh News Daily from the bakers of (Click here to visit the blog.) The blog has a number of contributors, and is one of the communication forums for the WOW! website.

The post for Sep. 21 features an interview with a woman who is launching her blog tour for her newest book, "The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body". Author/poet Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg answers a variety of questions about her book and her writing.

Interviews aren't just with women writers, however, so men shouldn't be scared off! Comments about interviews are encouraged; in fact, they have contests for copies of the books just for those who submit a comment.

You can also find links for the WOW! eZine, contests, workshops, and classes.

So head on over to The Muffin for perspectives, news, and encouragement in the world of writing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

To Tweet or Not To Tweet, that is the question!

The Pottsville Free Public Library recently started a Twitter account. If you already tweet you can find us by searching for PottsvilleRef (capital letters are important).

Twitter ( It’s been called the most significant major innovation for rapid brief communications to ever come along, the newest killer app.

Here is how Twitter works: you compose your message in 140 characters or less, so it keeps you focused. You can direct this message to one specific individual or broadcast it more widely to target specific subject interest groups, but they must be already enlisted in Twitter. You can report on your breakfast, break news stories, promote your event, blow the whistle on social injustice, report your new discoveries, find your lost dog or a home for the dog that found you, respond and participate in radio and television talk shows …

Is Twitter the new anarchy that’s rapidly destroying the English language and all of civilization with it? Or do you think it’s a new kind of poetry?

If you use Twitter, please let us know: What do you tweet about? What do you want to hear from us?