Delaware County District Library’s online catalog enhanced

By Breck Hapner

April 25, 2014

By Mary Jane Santos

The next time you log into the Delaware County District Library’s online catalog, you might want to try this neat enhancement the Library has subscribed to that provides a lot of good information about the books on the shelves.

After you have found the book you’re looking for in the Library’s catalog, all you need to do to access more information is click on the image of the book’s cover on the left side of the page. For example, let’s say you’re searching for Patricia Cornwell’s novel, Dust, and you want to know what it is about. Search Dust in the catalog, and then click on the cover image. You will then see a page with a link to the summary of the book, author notes, and reviews. By clicking on “summary” you will find this: Returning to Cambridge after attending one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, an exhausted Scarpetta investigates the murder of a young graduate student who is subsequently linked to bizarre homicides in Washington, D.C., where Scarpetta’s FBI agent husband is tracking down a serial killer.

You can also click on “Reviews” and read reviews from professional journals such as Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher’s Weekly, the sources that our librarians use to select new material for the Library. “Author Notes” gives a brief biography. Additionally, on some nonfiction books, you’ll even see a table of contents option.

I think you will find this service useful when you are trying to decide if you want to read or listen to a book. Knowing what the books is about and what others thought of it is sometimes critical to your decision making. The Library is delighted to provide this information for you.

What is the snowiest month in Columbus/Delaware area?

According to The Weather Companion, January is traditionally the snowiest month in our area, with an average of 9.5”, followed by February with 6.3”, December with 5.1”, March with 4.4”, April with 1.1”, and November with .9” of snow falling on average.

How did Attila the Hun die?

There are conflicting accounts of Attila the Hun’s death. The Library’s online subscription database, Biography Reference Bank, notes the conventional account from Attila’s contemporary Priscus, that reports Attila suffered a severe nosebleed and choked to death in a stupor at a feast celebrating his latest marriage to the beautiful and young Ildico. An alternative theory is that he succumbed to internal bleeding after heavy drinking, possibly a condition called esophageal varices, where dilated veins in the lower part of the esophagus rupture leading to death by hemorrhage. Another account of his death, first recorded 80 years after the events by the Roman chronicler Count Marcellinus, reports that “Attila, King of the Huns and ravager of the provinces of Europe, was pierced by the hand and blade of his wife.” The Volsunga saga and the Poetic Edda also claim that Attila died at the hands of his wife, Gudrun. Most scholars reject these accounts as no more than hearsay, preferring instead the account given by Priscus.

What is a dwarf planet?

According to Where Did Pluto Go? and as agreed upon by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on August 24, 2006, a dwarf planet is any solar system object in orbit around the Sun that has a round—or nearly round—shape, that is not a satellite of a planet or dwarf planet, and that does not clear the neighborhood of its orbit. Not clearing the neighborhood of its orbit means that the object shares part of its orbital path with another solar system object, such as an asteroid or a comet. Pluto, for example, shares part of its orbit with Neptune and a few small Kuiper belt objects, and is therefore now considered a dwarf planet. By amending the definition of “planet” and adding the newly defined “dwarf planet,” the IAU reduced the number of planets in our solar system from nine to eight, leaving Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune as planets.

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Mary Jane at . No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!