Tuesday, October 23, 2012

National Novel Writing Month-NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the world’s largest writing event.  There are no judges and no prizes but participant’s efforts turn the usually solitary act of writing into a community experience.   Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching “The End” by November 30th.  

Although the event emphasizes creativity and perseverance over creating a literary masterpiece, more than 90 novelists who have participated in NaNoWriMo have since become published authors.  The list includes recent best selling authors Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants and Ape House), Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), and Marissa Meyer (Cinder).  

So how can you participate?  Go to http://nanowrimo.org/ to register and for more information.  Peoria NaNoWriMo participants can also find local events and community members at http://nanowrimo.org/en/regions/usa-illinois-peoria.  NaNoWriMo is a great time to start that novel you've always meant to write! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Donating e-books question

I recently received a question at the Lillie M. Evans Library about the possibility of patrons donating e-books to our collection.  While we love the fact that  patrons want to donate their books to us when they are through, it's not possible to donate e-books at this time.  Why not?

Carrie Russell, of theAmerican Library Association’s Washington Office, said this:

"Ebooks cannot be donated because their use is governed by contract rather than the copyright law. Under the copyright law, there are exceptions that allow a user to exercise a right of copyright under certain circumstances. One of the exclusive rights of copyright is the “right to distribute.” But first sale says that once a person lawfully acquires a work that person has the right to distribute that particular copy anyway that he wants. So libraries can lend the books that they purchase, and you can donate books to the library. With ebooks, the contract defines what you can or cannot do with a work. In general, contracts for ebooks you acquire – from iBooks, for example –have a non-negotiable license linked to the work. This is when you click on an “I agree to these terms” button. You are bound by the contract. If you read the contract, generally you will see terms that restrict what you can do. “Non-commercial personal use only” is the kind of language that prevents you from donating. If you violate the contract terms, you violate the license agreement, not copyright law." More information about this issue can be found at: 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

National Save for Retirement Week-Oct 21-27, 2012

National Save for Retirement Week is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. National Save for Retirement Week is held every year during the third week of October, and this year it will be held from Oct 21-27.  This is an opportunity to reflect on personal retirement goals and to determine if these goals are on target.

A nationwide poll taken earlier this year found that most workers are failing to save as much as they could for retirement.  The survey, conducted in March 2012 by BlackRock, Inc., found that nearly six of 10 workers (58 percent) currently are not saving the maximum amount of money permitted by their 401(k) plan.

So when and how do you save for retirement?   Here are some suggestions:

  1. Start—much of the retirement advice reminds us to start as early as possible, but it’s never too late to start.  Even employees in their 40s and 50s have options to maximize their retirement savings opportunities.  Of course the earlier you start saving, the more time you have to build wealth, but you can still make retirement a priority no matter what your age. 
  2. Develop a plan—having a retirement plan helps you determine how much money you need for retirement, set retirement goals, and identify strategies to reach these goals.  There are online resources and calculators available as well as print resources in the library. 
  3. Stay committed—whether you have 40 years or 40 months before retirement, you need to stay focused and committed to your goals.  It’s easy to start but it’s more difficult, especially in these tough economic times, to stick with a planned strategy.  

The Lillie M. Evans Library can help you start and reach your retirement goals.  In addition to saving you money by providing books and videos on retirement advice, we have compiled a list of online resources to help you get started:

Materials available in the Lillie M. Evans Library

Retirement publications from the United States Department of Labor http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications

U.S. Social Security Administration’s Retirement Planner

Webinars and resources from the National Save for Retirement Week

Savings Matters from the Employee Benefits Security Administration http://www.savingmatters.dol.gov/

So join us in celebrating National Save for Retirement Week by starting or reviewing your retirement planning.