A Round-Up of Bookish Holiday Crafts

As librarians, we LOVE books. We love reading books, talking about books, recommending books, and helping students find the books they need. We even love crafting with books! Bookish crafts are fun to do, and they help give some of your old books new life as you turn them into decorations, ornaments, light fixtures, and more! If you can’t bring yourself to craft with any of your beloved books, making a trip to a thrift shop might be a good way to get a bunch of cheap books to use in your crafts. This week we’ve rounded up a selection of bookish crafts you can do with your loved ones this holiday season!

Book Page Ornament

These ornaments are perfect to add a little sparkle to any book-lovers’ tree!

Continue reading

A Guide to Holiday Wellness

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 12/10/15.

Although the holiday season absolutely warms our spirits, it can also take quite a toll on our health. Between all of the baking, office parties, holiday meals, time spent parked on the couch watching holiday movies, and stress that comes with holiday preparations and spending, it’s no wonder that the most popular New Year’s resolutions involve improving our health and wellness! Make use of these holiday wellness tips in order to keep yourself healthy and sane even before the New Year begins.

holiday-healthy-diet-350x263

Continue reading

Tech Talk Thursday: Apps & Gadgets Bonus Edition!

This Monday the library hosted its annual Winter HSL Info Expo. As always, our Apps & Gadgets segment was a crowd pleaser. Because there are so many great apps and fun gadgets out there, it’s hard to cram them all in to a 15 or 20-minute presentation. Inevitably some of these don’t make it to the final Info Expo. But because we know how much everyone loves Apps & Gadgets, for this month’s Tech Talk Thursday, we’re bringing you four bonus apps and gadgets for your perusing pleasure!

Read on  for more apps & gadgets for your holiday shopping lists

Continue reading

The Most Common Holiday ER Visits – And How to Avoid Them

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 12/24/2015.

For many people, the holidays are a joyous and festive time to spend with family and loved ones. However, even with all of the warm holiday wishes and holiday cheer of the season, this time of year can also be an accident waiting to happen. During the holiday season, emergency rooms across the U.S. see an increase in visits due to holiday-related injuries and illnesses. Read on to learn about some of the most common holiday injuries and how you can avoid them.

What dangers are lurking in your holiday plans?

Continue reading

A Round-Up of Women’s Health Resources

When it comes to women’s health issues, knowledge is key! This is because many health issues that are common to both men and women can effect in ways that are vastly that how man are affected by these same diseases and disorders. Further, there are many health conditions that  affect women primarily or more severely than men. For example, almost 12% of women in the United States are at risk for developing breast cancer during their lifetime whereas male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of existing breast cancer cases. In another example, although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men, and women are more likely than men to experience delays in emergency care and to have treatment to control their cholesterol levels. To help you effectively arm yourself with the the knowledge to keep you and your loved ones healthy and cared for, we’ve rounded up reliable women’s health resources for you!

Continue reading

Sunscreen, SPF, and Skin Cancer: November is Healthy Skin Month!

Although we’ve officially transitioned into autumn here in Florida, that doesn’t mean that sun safety isn’t as important as ever! We certainly earn our nickname of the Sunshine State: on average, we can expect to have more than 260 days of beautiful sunshine every year – including during the autumn and winter months! All of that sun is great for outdoor sports, strolls, and ensuring you reach your Vitamin D needs, but it can also wreak havoc on your skin’s health. So how do you protect yourself? In honor of Healthy Skin Month, in today’s blog post we’ll explore what the sun damage actually does to your skin, how sunscreen works, and various techniques to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays.

Continue reading

Let’s talk turkey: The truth about tryptophan

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on November 26, 2015.

This Thursday after digging into your delicious Thanksgiving meal, you might find yourself slouching on your sofa, pants feeling a little snug, and you might find yourself feeling a dozy. Your first inclination will likely be to blame that delectable turkey and all of that tryptophan. Because turkey has tryptophan, and tryptophan makes us sleepy, right?

Well… This may likely be a myth that we have all been telling ourselves. The science behind tryptophan is pretty clear: tryptophan is an essential amino acid that our bodies need to help make niacin and serotonin. Our bodies do not produce tryptophan, so we must get it from our diet. Serotonin is believed to help us sleep better and stabilize our moods. It would appear, then, if tryptophan helps us make serotonin, and serotonin helps us sleep, that consuming tryptophan would make us sleepy, right?

Continue reading

Bookmark these Resources for National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month, created to raise awareness of this disease that impacts over 30 million people in the U.S. That’s almost 10% of the population. Even more astonishing is that, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 1 in 4 people with diabetes don’t even know they have it, and about 84% of Americans over the age of 18 have prediabetes. The good news is that diabetes can either be prevented or managed. This week we’re bringing you some valuable resources you can use to do both.

Continue reading

The Librarians’ Book Recommendations – With a Medical Twist!

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on January 14, 2016.

Do you have a goal to read more books? If you don’t, maybe you should! Besides being downright fun, science shows that reading for pleasure can actually be good for your mental and physical health.

According to a study by Dr. Josie Billington at the University of Liverpool, people who read regularly for pleasure report lower levels of stress and depression than non-readers. Pleasure readers also report higher levels of self-esteem and greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Researchers believe this may result from readers gaining expanded models and repertoires of experience when they read that allow them to look with new perspective and understanding on their own lives. According to an expansive study carried out by the UK’s National Literary Trust, reading for pleasure has also been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness in adults and increase ability to prioritize and make decisions.

Continue reading

Spotlight on Resources for Veterans

Did you know that November is National Veterans and Families Month? Veterans Day is still observed November 11th, but this year the Department of Veterans Affairs decided to have the 98-year tradition of observance and appreciation for veterans last throughout the whole month of November!  There are a number of events planned all around the country, so check the official calendar to  see if something is happening near you if you’re interested in participating in some way.

This is also a good time to talk about some of the important health-related issues our veterans might face. If you or anyone in your family has ever served in the military, you may be familiar with some of the health risks that are associated with a career serving our country. Some are more obvious, like injuries resulting in disability or chronic pain. Others might be harder to pin down, like post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse. It’s important to remember that each service member will return home with their own range of experiences. Knowing how and where to go to address any issues that may present themselves is key! There are lots of helpful resources out there for veterans and their families should they need access to them.

Continue reading