CultureBlocks is a free web-based mapping tool that collects cultural data and assets throughout Philadelphia (i.e. schools, rec centers, public transportation, parks, and libraries) which can be combined with economic, demographic and geographic census data (i.e. neighborhoods, council districts, and school catchments) to create detailed and robust maps to inform individuals and organizations on arts initiatives, investments, and neighborhood revitilization.
The Free Library is an integral part of neighborhoods in Philadelphia and invaluable cultural asset in the city that promotes literacy and the arts.
The web-tool is being managed by the Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy, which will coordinate the use of CultureBlocks among City agencies and provide technical assistance to public users. Moira Baylson, Deputy Cultural Officer of the OACCE, says, "The vision of CultureBlocks is to use data to foster economic and social vitality in Philadelphia neighborhoods."
Overall, CultureBlocks it is a very robust site and great tool to learn more about the arts and how they relate to the neighbrohoods that make Philadelphia a vibrant, exciting, and interesting place to live, work, and visit.
In related news, be on the lookout for some new map updates and features from Free Library in the coming weeks!
Congratulations on your new e-reader, tablet, or mobile device! We hope you enjoy borrowing digital items from the Free Library of Philadelphia. Here's a quick guide to get you on your way.
First of all, finding digital items to check out on the Free Library's website is simple. You can start at the pink 'Download Media' button on our homepage or by taking a look at the video below that introduces our various digital platforms and shows you how to get around our site.
The majority of our best-sellers and in-demand ebook titles come from Overdrive. For an introduction on how to use the Overdrive service take a look at the video below.
Now that you know how to checkout an ebook, there are basically three ways to download them. The option that's right for you depends upon the type of device you own. Find a guide for each below...
Raffi's Bumping Up and Down is a great bicycling song.
May is here with its blossoming trees and warm, elongated days that make for the most enjoyable bike rides. Did you know that May is National Bike Month? It's a great time of the year to encourage your child to learn how to ride a tricycle or a big-kid bicycle! Reinforcing literacy concepts with play helps your child prepare for independent reading. Here are a few Free Library resources to get your little one excited for biking!
Raffi's tune, "Bumping Up and Down," has a catchy beat toddlers will love and it's great way to introduce the concept of riding outside with your loved ones. The lyrics are easily adaptable to include different types of bicycles and tricycles!
Frank Viva created Along a long road as a continuous, 35 foot-long drawing. The book's beautiful retro-modern illustrations and unique pacing conveys the freedom of movement and fun one has while riding a bike.
Vera, in Rosenberry's Vera rides a bike, overcomes the daunting newness all kids face when attempting to ride a bicycle solo for the first time.
Iron Man 3 rockets onto screens today and ushers in the 2013 summer movie season.
Superheroes are at the forefront of the box office again this summer withMan of Steel, the newest entry in the Superman movie franchise; The Wolverine, the continuing tales of the X-Men's most ferocious mutant team member; and Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to the over-the-top, not-for-kids, vigilante superhero series.
Here is a "Friday Five" of some of the best superhero movies to ever Bif! Bam! Pow! their way onto movie screens and home video.
Superman is perhaps the modern superhero film to measure all other future superhero films and starring the quintessential comic book superhero of all time. With a great cast, story, cinematography, and score, the film runs the full gamut of action, adventure, drama, romance, and just enough comedic relief. When Superman was released, no one had ever seen a movie like it and the special FX still hold up in today's CGI crazed Hollywood. The movie truly made good on its poster's promise, "You'll Believe A Man Can Fly".
Captain America. Iron Man. Thor.
The Hulk. Hawkeye. Black Widow. Nick Fury.
Joss Whedon basically did the impossible with this film, juggling all of the characters and their backtstories, yet giving them all their own time to shine while also weaving them all into the larger story arc of this movie and all Marvel superhero movies to come. The Avengers is one of the most enjoyable, exciting and re-watchable superhero movies ever. Excelsior!
The Dark Knight is Christopher Nolan's crowning achievement in the Batman cinematic universe. It transcends superhero movies by taking these fictional comic book characters and putting them in a world where everything is based in reality, science, and physics. At its simplest it's an epic crime drama and at its most ambitious it's a political commentary on our post-9/11 world. Heath Ledger's Joker is truly and frighteningly unhinged, even more so due to the tragic death of the actor shortly after filming was finished (Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor).
The super powered family that fights maniacal-super-villains-set-on-taking-over-the-world together, stays together. Director Brad Bird's homage to 60's spy films and the Silver Age of comic books is the perfect marriage of style and story, with hearty doses of humor and love thrown into the mix as well. Pixar does it again with The Incredibles, making a movie that is fun for kids and at the same time doesn't dumb it down for the grownups.
A creature from hell ("Hellboy", 'natch!) brought through a mysterious portal during World War II who helps fight supernatural evil throughout the world, aided by The B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) which comprises a pyrokinetic (Liz Sherman), an aquatic telepathic scientist (Abe Sapien), and more firepower, cool gadgets, and monsters seen on screen since Star Wars. Based on the acclaimed comic book series by Mike Mignola and directed by genre guru Guillermo del Toro.
Yesterday, we were pleased to learn that Hachette, one of the “Big 6” publishers in the United States, will now sell their full catalog of ebook titles to public libraries beginning May 8th. Until now, Hachette had limited libraries to a small selection of backlist titles. This is good news for ebook lovers. Hachette will give our readers access to ebooks by David Baldacci, Sara Zarr, Sandra Brown, James Patterson, David Sedaris, and Kate Atkinson, among others.
In related news, Tony Marx, the CEO of the New York Public Library, published an op-ed in the New York Times yesterday about the state of library ebook lending. In it, he discussed a pilot project with Simon & Schuster whereby New York libraries will offer their ebooks for loan. While this does not directly impact us here in Philadelphia, it is important to acknowledge this step by another major publisher.
These developments mark the first time that some content by all of the Big 6 American book publishers will offer their digital titles to libraries. For those who’ve followed this story on our blog and elsewhere, this is surely welcome news. While we still have a way to go before we can enjoy the full access and sensible pricing terms that libraries and you deserve, it is worth remembering that publishers also face intense pressures in this new digital environment and we applaud their recent efforts.
Here’s a recap of where we stand with each of the Big 6 publishers:
Hachette – Full ebook catalog available to libraries.
Random House – Full ebook catalog available to libraries.
Harper Collins – Full ebook catalog available to libraries.
Penguin – Titles purchased before February, 2012 are still available through libraries that use the Overdrive ebook platform, but new titles and best sellers are available only to a limited number of libraries through a pilot program with the 3M and Axis 360 ebook platforms.
Simon & Schuster – Full catalog available to New York libraries through a pilot program.
Macmillan – Offers a limited selection of their ebook to all libraries.