Monroe Library Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gang Forum - Short Notice

There will be a forum held in the Monroe Library meeting room tonight (Tuesday June 23rd) from 6:30 till 8:00 to discuss the status of gangs in Snohomish County. Members of the law enforcement community will be on hand to give out information and help answer questions regarding the impact of gangs in Snohomish County. Especially in light of recent events, this forum will share information that is important for all of us to know. I hope everyone gets the chance to come out and hear this important information. People of all ages are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Reading Program. Don't forget to...

…sign up for the Summer Reading Program at the Monroe Library!

Summer Reading Program sign-ups are underway at the Monroe Library. Children ages 5-12 can set their own reading goals for the summer. Reading logs are available to keep track of the progress being made toward each child’s individual goal.

All children who reach their goal will receive a free book! The first 150 goal finishers will also receive a free t-shirt! Information about even more fun, prizes, and programs are available when you come in to sign up! Come in today, sign up, and get on your way to claiming these great prizes!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When will I ever have to use Math?

In my former career as a math teacher, I heard students asking one common question. "When am I gonna actually use this?" Many of us have the mistaken idea that math (at least how we learned it in school) is theoretical and doesn't apply to our everyday lives beyond balancing a checkbook or paying a mortgage.

I just finished reading a fascinating book that might just help us understand more about why math is becoming ever more important. Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres investigates and reveals how technology and specifically statistics is impacting our lives. With the increasing availability of huge amounts of data about all parts of our lives, statistics is showing up in everything we do. Casinos have been using it to figure out how much they can get out of their customers and keep them coming back for more. Online dating sites crunch huge amounts of data to try to match up "compatible" people. Baseball teams have started using statistical measurements to make better business decisions. Even grocery stores can start using data to help tailor their sales and marketing techniques.

This book raises very important issues regarding the changing world that we live in. Where is the boundary line between using personal expertise and relying on statistics? Can statistics really outperform people who have spent their life becoming experts in specific fields? Can all this information actually be harmful? What repercussions are there if we do not become statistically literate? What do we need to know in order to survive in such a data driven society?

The nice part of this book is that the amount of math you need to know to understand it is very minimal. For the most part, it is easily read without complex math knowledge. There are a few times where Ayres brings up some complicated theorems, but if you don't understand those, you will still be able to understand the concepts behind them. I strongly urge you to check out this book for a little more insight into just how important statistics and number crunching will be as we continue to advance technologically.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Download audiobooks, music, and videos

Stop by the libary to check out the Digital Bookmobile in our parking lot. This 74 foot long, 18 wheel tractor-trailer will be staffed by workers from Overdrive (the download service used by Sno-Isle) and by local library employees. You can learn how to use the Overdrive service to download audiobooks and play them on your computer, or even through your portable music device. Videos and music can also be downloaded legally to your computer using this service. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the service and to start tapping into this great resource. There is no charge for this service, so come out and find out how to get started.

The Digital Bookmobile will be in our parking log from 10 am - 5 pm on Friday June 5, and Saturday June 6. If you would like to browse some of the titles that are available check out