October 24th, 2016

Literary Halloween Costumes (on a budget)

I always, always, always wait until the last minute when it comes to Halloween costumes. It crosses my mind briefly in early September, but I wave it away, thinking I have plenty of time. Then the week before I’m scrambling to find anything that would look decent.

If you’re the same way, struggling to think of a smart, interesting, and affordable costume, look no further! We’ve got a few costumes sure to please any bookworm.

1. Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson
Who wouldn’t want to be the tough Lisbeth Salander? If you’ve ever read the books (or watched the movie), you know her look is recognizable. All you need is to wear all black, combat boots, some clip on jewelry and of course… the tattoo. Either use a temporary tattoo or find someone artistic to draw it on your back. Voila! You are the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!

2. Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Love Harry Potter, but want to stand out from all the Hermiones and Rons? What about trying everyone’s favorite ghost who haunts bathrooms: Moaning Myrtle! Get a school uniform or robe, glasses, and hang a (clean) toilet seat around your neck. For an extra touch, put some “teardrops” down your cheek.

3. “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is more than an Ernest Hemingway classic: it’s a perfect couple’s costume! If you don’t want to go all out with stage make-up, all you need is a cane to become the old man. If you’re the sea, wear all blue and tape paper fish to yourself, or if you’re really low-maintenance, get a blue shirt and write “C” in the middle.

4. “For Dummies” series
Everyone knows the iconic “For Dummies” series. Wear a yellow hat, a black shirt with “Halloween for dummies” and then yellow pants. Come prepared with a history of Halloween spiel, and tips on how to make the party you’re attending even better. Warning: you might get kicked out for being a know-it-all.

5. The Mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff
If you’re looking for a children’s costume, consider the iconic “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” book. Attach mouse ears (which you can make from cardboard or construction paper) to a headband, give them some whiskers, and have them carry around a huge cookie–either printed out, or make a stuffed cookie. Your kid will be the cutest one on the block.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, stop by your local CCPL branch and get re-introduced to some to your favorite books or find new ones. CCPL library staff offers expert recommendations either in-person or through our BookMate service which is available for teen as well as adult readers. With BookMate, you fill out a short survey and then one of our librarians will match you with 4-6 new titles. One of them could contain your next favorite character… or Halloween costume! We hope to see you soon!

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September 30th, 2016

Attention Business Owners, Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Job Seekers – We’ve got a resource tailored just for you!

25171510533_bd5d080cae_zDatabase is a word librarians throw out there, but it’s not always clear what we mean. I want to share a database that you will use, wish you knew about before, and then use again and again. What is it? Reference USA.

Reference USA is easy to use and free to all Cecil County Public Library cardholders, accessible through our website www.cecil.ebranch.info, whether you are in the library, on the go or at home. This business database carries a file for each business and the information is drawn from public records, such as number of employees, sales volume, year established, credit rating, business location, executive name, square footage of building, hours of operation, company news, and amount spent on payroll.

If you are a job seeker and have landed that coveted interview, do your research on the company before the interview using Reference USA. You could find valuable information that may impress an interviewer. Perhaps you are seeking a job in a certain industry. For example, you could search for all HVAC contractors in Cecil County, and it would pull up a list of them and link each record to www.Indeed.com to tell you if they are hiring.

Are you an aspiring business owner or current business owner? This resource will prove so valuable. You can look up your competitors and do searches by specific geographic areas. You can see how many employees your competitor has hired this year, how their sales volume has changed over the years. Perhaps you are looking for business collaborators. This database will allow you to type in a specific industry and geographic area and voila – a list of businesses matching your search criteria will appear.

In conjunction with this powerful resource, we also offer personalized one-on-one assistance with your searches. Please call our Small Business Information Center at 410-996-5600 ext. 128 to make an appointment. The library is here to help you succeed!

(Image courtesy of wocintechchat.com)

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