Thursday, June 28, 2007

What's Happening

Some of you may be wondering what the situation is with the canceled CSI class and upcoming Personal defense class. The short answer: I don't know, but this blog will be updated immediately once I do.

BTW, the upcoming writing workshop with A.A. Riley, author of The Key of Aramath, still has seats available. Click here to reserve a spot.

Movies over the next few weeks:

June 28: The Prestige (PG-13)
July 5: Wait Until Dark (NR)
July 12: Talladega Nights (PG-13)
July 19: Third Thursday Gaming Night presented by Game Crazy
July 26: Clue (PG)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Personal Saftey Class

As some of you may know by now, the personal safety class has been postponed due to a family emergency on Tracy Groomer’s part. For those who show up, we’ll be screening the first Fantastic Four movie (PG-13).

Monday, June 25, 2007


Due to unforeseen circumstances, the CSI Evidence Collection workshop today at 1 and Personal Safety class tomorrow also at 1 is indefinitely postponed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Prize Announcements

We have our "Grand Prizes" for You Never Know @ Your Library. Read 10 hours and submit a ticket for our drawing (20 for two tickets) and you could win:

1. One of two Paintball guns
2. One of two Ipod Shuffles
3. A boombox
4. A portable DVD player.

More info to come.

Upcoming Teen Scene Event

CSI: Evidence Collection!

How do you lift fingerprints for evidence? What do bugs and maggots have to do with solving a murder? Check it out at this Crime Scene Investigation Workshop.

This Monday at 1 p.m. in the Children's Storytime Room.

Monday, June 18, 2007

This Week: Personal Safety Class, Game Night, YNK Grand Prize, etc.

Personal Safety Class with Corporal Tracy Groomer starts Tuesday (tomorrow!) at 1 p.m. at the library. Dress comfortably (sign up here). If you have trouble signing up, give us a call.

Also this week is Gaming Night, this Thursday at 6 p.m.

We have one of our grand prizes for the summer to announce: We’ve had two paintball guns graciously donated for our cause! More info to come.

At this point, I should probably clarify one thing: I’ve got a two “ticket” limit on the drawing for Summer Reading Club. That’s 20 hours (10 each). You can keep reading of course.

Prizes this week are either a temporary tattoo or window cling. Be a walking billboard for Summer Reading Club!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quick Word on Logging in Reading

Just in case some of you didn't know:

Once you've logged in your ultimate goal in hours for the summer, you can calculate your weekly goal. Each week fulfilling your goal gets you a weekly prize (this week, it's Chick-Fil-A coupons).

Just follow this cheat sheet:

Hours Read each week

Total for 9 weeks









And so on. You can calculate it by day as well:

Reading Time Per Day

Week Total (if you read 6 days)

Total for 9 Weeks

15 min (slacker!)

1.5 hours

13.5 hours

30 min

3 hours

27 hours

1 hour

6 hours

54 hours

1.5 hours

9 hours

81 hours

2 hours

12 hours


3 hours

15 hours


Anyways, remember this week's movie is Rear Window (PG).

More stuff to come in this, the summer where You Never Know @ your library.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Forensics Workshop Spotlight: Interview with Gretchen R Dabbs

Bones, Bodies and Suspicious Circumstances:
Forensic Examination of the Human Skeleton!
June 11, 1-3 pm

Summer Reading Club is kicking things off with an insightful presentation by Gretchen R. Dabbs, MA, from Northwest Arkansas Community College .

This workshop will be interactive, allowing you to try a "mock case" and test your investigating skills!

I asked her to do an email interview with me and she graciously accepted. Here's the transcript:

Evan Day: Tell us a bit about yourself
Gretchen R. Dabbs: I have a BA from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, where I majored in Anthropology. I earned my MA at Wichita State University in Wichita, KS, also in Anthropology, and am working towards my PhD at the University of Arkansas. I teach Introduction to Biological Anthropology Lab at the University, and Introduction to Forensic
Anthropology in the spring at NWACC.

I'm originally from Illinois, where I grew up with two brothers and a sister on a farm. Since then I have lived in Kansas, Washington, Canada, and of course Arkansas. I enjoy my job as a Forensic Anthropologist because it allows me the freedom to interact on two entirely different planes. I get to spend a majority of my time working in academia, doing research that will improve the practice of Forensic Anthropology. The rest of the time I get to spend working in the field with local law enforcement agencies trying to recovery the bodies of individuals, or working on those cases to develop the biological profile of skeletonized individuals. It is the perfect ratio of theory and practice.

ED: What does your work do that helps the police?
GRD: In my work, I generally am able to provide the police with a biological profile for any skeletal remains discovered. This includes the age, sex, race, height, and sometimes individually identifying aspects of the skeleton. Things like bones broken during childhood can still be seen, even through late adulthood sometimes, which provides unique information the police and I can use to identify individuals. The police can then use this information to narrow down a list of potential victims based on things like missing person's reports. After they have this shortened list, positive identification can be attempted using things like dental records or DNA.

ED: Can bones tell you that much about somebody and/or how they died?
GRD: Bones can and do work as a living history of an individual an their life. As I mentioned in the previous question, your skeletal system is effected by the age, sex, and race of the individual. Mostly these differences are very slight variations in the shape of the bones. Patterns of bone deposition or erosion can identify areas of significant wear on the bones, which can suggest patterns of activity throughout life. Arthritis is a good example of bones telling us a lot about the person's life. The specific joint effected by arthritis, the degree of the bony development of arthritis, the degree to which the two sides of the body match in their development can provide information about the life activities of the individual.

Skeletal elements can also help identify potential causes of death.Fractures of the hyoid bone are often indicative of manual strangulation.The hyoid bone is situated high up in the neck under the lower jaw. One of the few ways it can be broken is by the compression of the human hand around the neck. The skeletal system can also be very useful in identifying the order and direction of bullet wounds, and blunt force injuries. This information can be used to separate true accidents from homicides.

ED: What are the dangers of a forensics investigation "messing up" and how do you avoid such things?
GRD: The major implication of a Forensic Anthropology investigation "messing up" is the misidentification of the individual, or the failure to identify an individual at all. We avoid this problem through careful application of standard, well-tested methods of age, sex, and ancestry estimation. Also, we are careful not to over step our knowledge, and what the evidence tells us.

ED: Forensics and criminal investigation is a popular topic in TV, movies and literature. Do you watch TV shows or read books that deal with forensics,and how is fantasy different from reality?
GRD: I do on occasion watch TV shows and read fiction books that deal with forensics. As with anything else, the differences between the real and fiction vary between individual authors. Some authors are very true to the scientific application of the methods of Forensic Anthropology. Others take a lot of liberties with the science. Most often this manifests itself as overstating the degree of certainty of the findings of a particular method. This is not to say that what we do is not accurate, but there is a degree of error involved in any method that tries to make estimates based on something as variable as the human skeleton.

TV is also much more more glamorous than real forensic work. Real forensic work often requires several days of filth, smell, and very, very hard work to get to the answers that television produces in 45 minutes.

ED:Thanks for your time! One final question, what can students expect to learn at the upcoming workshop on June 11?

GRD:I plan to demonstrate how Forensic Anthropologists go about determining age, sex and height from the human skeleton. I will also have a hands on section where the students will be allowed to work with the skeletal material in order to attempt the construction of a biological profile themselves. Hopefully, by the end of the session students will have a very good idea of what Forensic Anthropologists can do and how we do it.