ArtsNow is a new non-profit that has emerged out of the Arts and Culture Assessment for Summit County. On Thursday, October 15 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. ArtsNow will host an event at the John S. Knight Center to celebrate the launch of this free resource. Join the celebration for food, fun and entertainment. Visit their facebook page for more information

Akron-Summit County Public Library's photo.

Reading Habits of the Rich And Powerful

Book recommendations are a great way of gaining or sharing insight about personality and character.  People are often interested in what famous and successful people are doing, including what they are reading.  At the beginning of this year, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced a challenge to himself and to his Facebook followers to read a new book every other week.  He says, “I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.”  How encouraging to hear this scion of social media praising the benefits of books and recognizing their ability to take the reader deeper into topics than the internet generally can.

Business Insider often shares lists of recommended books, many from prominent business figures. Recent articles include 12 Books That Bill Gates Thinks Everyone Should Read and 14 Books That Mark Zuckerberg Thinks Everyone Should Read.  The Zuckerberg list is based on the previously mentioned reading challenge.  Both lists are broad in their subject matter and reflect minds which are curious about many things.  Following are a few titles which can be found on the 3rd floor of Main Library in the Business & Government Division.

The End of Power– Mark Zuckerberg recommends The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches To States, Why Being In Charge Isn’t What it Used To Be by Moises Naim.  Mr. Naim’s credentials include acting as Venezuela’s trade and industry minister and being editor in chief at Foreign Policy magazine.  The author often uses the phrase “decay of power” and points to the three m’s involved.  The m’s are “more” of everyone and everything, “mobility” of people and ideas, and “mentality”- changing aspirations, expectations, and values.  Certainly Mr. Zuckerberg’s Facebook and other social media sites operating on an international basis are driving forces in these changes.

How Asia Works– Bill Gates recommends and has written his own review of How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region by journalist Joe Studwell.  The author has written extensively about Asian economics for over twenty years.  The book takes a careful look at the most successful countries in the region- Japan, South Korea, Philippines- as well as some up and comers including Malaysia and Thailand.  Gates’ essay considers what insights Asia’s experience may provide for the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, especially in their development work in Africa.

The Better Angels of Our Nature-Recommended by both Zuckerberg and Gates is Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.  Despite the despair felt in the face of what seems to be overwhelming violence reported in the media, author Pinker demonstrates through an abundance of statistics that the reality for most people in most places is a safer and less violent culture.  The very fact that we are so often disturbed by reports of violence against people and animals supports the book’s thesis.  Such things were in the past too commonplace and mundane to merit much notice.


You May be Receiving Mail from the Government. Please Do Not Panic.

The next Census Survey won’t take place until 2020. But, the Census Bureau recently sent out a letter to 1.2 million households asking them to fill out the 2015 National Contest Test.

The goal of the test is to improve questions and participation by testing out Internet options. If you received this letter, it’s not a scam and you are required by law to fill it out. By responding, you are helping to improve the survey and test out some cost saving measures for the Census.

For more information, read the 2015 National Contest announcement and the section on frequently asked questions concerning the test.

The Health Care Law and You: Nine Facts about Letters Sent by the IRS

The IRS sent letters to taxpayers this summer who were issued a Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, showing that advance payments of the premium tax credit were paid on the taxpayer’s behalf in 2014. At the time, the IRS had no record that the taxpayer filed a 2014 tax return.

Here are nine facts about these letters and the actions you should take:

  • IRS letters 5591, 5591A, or 5596 remind you of the importance of filing your 2014 federal tax return along with Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.
  • You must file a tax return to reconcile any advance credit payments you received in 2014 and to maintain your eligibility for future premium assistance.
  • If you do not file, you will not be eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2016.
  • Even if you don’t usually file or if you requested an extension to Oct. 15, you should file your 2014 tax return as soon as possible.
  • Until you file a 2014 tax return to resolve the issue with your Marketplace, you will not be eligible to get advance payments of the premium tax credit to help pay your health coverage premiums in 2016 from the Marketplace.
  • You should have received a Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, earlier this year if you or a family member purchased health insurance coverage through the Marketplace in 2014.  This form provides the information you need to complete Form 8962. You must attach Form 8962 to the income tax return you file.
  • Contact your Marketplace if you have questions about your Form 1095-A.
  • If you have recently filed your 2014 tax return with Form 8962, you do not need to file another tax return or call the IRS about these letters.   In general, if you filed your tax return electronically, it takes three weeks before it is processed and your information is available. If you mailed your tax return, it takes about six weeks. However, processing times can vary based on other circumstances.
  • You should follow the instructions on any additional IRS correspondence that you receive to help the IRS verify information to process your tax return.

In addition to these letters from the IRS, your health insurance company may contact you to remind you to file your 2014 federal tax return along with Form 8962. In some cases, they may contact you even if you did not receive advance credit payments in 2014. If you are not otherwise required to file a tax return, you do not have to file a return if you or anyone on your return did not receive advance credit payments in 2014.


Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2015

Looking for Web-based resources to support your students? Take a look at the 2015 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning announced by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Best Websites are free, Web-based tools that are user-friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

“This year the Best Websites committee reviewed over eighty amazing websites,” said Heather Moorefield-Lang, chair.  “This committee is dedicated to finding engaging, educational and interesting sites that can be used by students, librarians and their peer educators in libraries and classrooms.”

The categories are:

  • Media Sharing
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Manage and Organization
  • Social Networking and Communications
  • Curriculum Collaboration
  • Content Resources

The Best Websites for Teaching & Learning provide a foundation to support AASL’s learning standards and each website is linked to one or more of the four strands of the “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner” — skills, dispositions in action, responsibilities and self-assessment strategies.

Image courtesy of AASL, a division of the American Library Association (ALA).


China’s Fortunate Sons

Here are two books you may have missed in our world history section. The first reveals a little known story in China’s academic past; the second sheds light on why a 19th century conflict haunts China’s modern discussions of foreign trade.

Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller.

In 1872, 120 Chinese students arrived in the United States to study at prep schools and universities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. The boys of the “Chinese Educational Mission” were sent by the Qing Empire to uncover the secret of American ingenuity. What was it and how could it work for a stagnant China? The students’ personal lives are weaved into this history. Some boys failed and returned home. But much of modern China’s success can be credited to those Fortune Sons who persevered.

Based on diaries, letters, and other primary sources, Fortunate Sons recalls the students’ encounters with famous figures, including Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain, as well as ordinary Americans who were, to put it mildly, stunned by the students’ arrival.

The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of China, by University of London lecturer Julia Lovell, has been praised as a balanced look at the 1839-1842 and 1856-1860 conflicts between England and China. As one Chinese reviewer wrote, “You cannot understand China today without understanding the huge impact the Opium Wars have had on restructuring Chinese national pride. This is the first western book I have read that does justice to that complicated story.”

Click here to read the Daily Beast’s review.


Legal reference for your family

If you missed Summit County government’s “Your Family Matters: Options to Protect Your Heirs and Assets” program at Main Library on September 9, here’s good news. This free and informative program will be repeated at several convenient locations in our area. Please click here to view upcoming dates and learn more about the program.

Looking for books from a trusted legal reference source? Try these from NOLO:


Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions: Get the Most Out of Your Retirement & Medical benefits / Joseph L. Matthews.

This handy resource covers retirement benefits, Medigap and Medicare drug coverage rules, disability benefits, and Social Security Income (SSI). You’ll also find information on government pensions and veterans benefits.



The Legal Answer Book for Families / Emily Doskow & Marcia Stewart.

This book covers a myriad of subjects, including adoption and guardianship, domestic partnerships and marriage, tax breaks, inheritance, as well as different types of care for varying ages.

Doskow & Stewart include a senior-specific section with essential planning tools.



Estate Planning Basics / Denis Clifford.

Find tips for avoiding probate, creating a will or living trust, and naming a guardian for your children. Other topics include durable power of attorney, choosing an executor, and health care directives.

For direction to additional reference information, please contact the Business & Government Division at 330-643-9020 or




Mutilated Money Moves

U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing 

Redeem Mutilated Currency

What Do We Mean By Mutilated Currency?

Mutilated currency is currency which has been damaged to the extent that:

  • Its condition is such that its value is questionable and the currency must be forwarded to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for examination by trained experts before any redemption is made. One example of mutilated currency may be bills missing relevant security features.
Currency can become mutilated in any number of ways. The most common causes are: fire, water, chemicals, and explosives; animal, insect, or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying.

Free Public Service

The BEP redeems mutilated currency as a free public service.  Lawful holders of mutilated currency may receive a redemption at full value when:
  • Clearly more than 50 percent of a note identifiable as United States currency is present, along with sufficient remnants of any relevant security feature and clearly more than one-half of the original note remains; or,
  • Fifty percent or less of a note identifiable as United States currency is present and the method of mutilation and supporting evidence demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Treasury that the missing portions have been totally destroyed.

Every year the Treasury Department handles approximately 30,000 claims and redeems mutilated currency valued at over $30 million. Your money is important. However, please know that heavy volume and the precise nature of the work may result in lengthy wait times. Please follow the submission instructions carefully to help us process your claim in the most efficient manner.


History in Our Own Backyard

If you enjoy learning more about local history, here’s a Facebook group you might want to search for: Akron Ohio Historical Buildings. Members post photos, both current and old, of buildings and homes in this area. They ask other group members questions and share information. It is impressive how much group members know and how enthusiastic they are. Even if you do not feel that you are knowledgeable in local history, it is still fun to see what shows up in this Facebook group; it is a good learning tool.

In addition to the Facebook group, here are a few books we recommend for the local history enthusiast:

 Lost Akron is a new book by local historian Mark Price. Price has assembled a volume on all kinds of Akron places, including O’Neil’s and Polsky’s department stores; Springfield Lake Sanitarium, which housed many tuberculosis patients; the Richfield Coliseum, which was once home to the Cleveland Cavaliers and site of many rock concerts; and Norka Beverage, a local soda-maker which ceased operations in 1962. (The soda has recently been revived by various retailers.) Lost Akron’s storytelling is fun, informative, and will trigger many memories for longtime residents. Be sure to check out the Acknowledgements page – the library’s talented and bright Special Collections staff are thanked by name!


Lost Akron was preceded by another fun and fascinating book from Mark Price. The Rest Is History: True Tales From Akron’s Vibrant Past is a compilation of Akron Beacon Journal articles which Price wrote as an ongoing series titled This Place, This Time. It is a great browsing book, full of new information and old memories. The Blizzard of 1978, The Wolf Ledge (not Wolf’s Ledges, as many are prone to say), Cry-Baby Bridge, the legendary spooky site at Rogues’ Hollow in nearby Wayne County. There are so many great stories in this book!


Another good book for those who enjoy learning more about the area we inhabit is Walks Around Akron: Rediscovering A City In Transition. Published in 2007, a few things have changed but much remains the same. Writers Russ Mussara and illustrator Chuck Ayers published these pieces previously in the Akron Beacon Journal. They trace various walks which combine the present with bits of background and history. Walks Around Akron is an armchair travel book which invites the reader to get out and experience the local treks described in its pages.



Library recalls visit by Julian Bond

Julian Bond with library patronsThe recent death of civil rights leader Julian Bond is poignantly felt here at the library. As longtime employees and patrons recall, thirty years ago, Mr. Bond was the keynote speaker at the dedication of our collection of books and articles focused on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and the civil rights movement. The dedication on Sunday, January 20, 1985 was co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., the Akron Community Service Center, and the Urban League. Some 300 people turned out in subzero weather to hear and greet Mr. Bond at a library reception afterward. It was a thrilling and unforgettable event.

Today, the library’s MLK materials are, indeed, the “living, dynamic collection” we envisioned back in 1985. Substantially expanded, it is now maintained by the Business & Government Division.  To learn more, please visit us on Main Library’s third floor or contact us at 330-643-9020 or

Image courtesy of the Special Collections Division.


New Books of Note

Crabbe, Tony. Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much. Grand Central Publishing, 2015.

What is “busy”? The author states that it can be many things: avoidance, a brand, an addiction, something that “everybody else is doing” and therefore “easy”. This new book offers the insight of managing one’s attention rather than one’s time in order to get things done. Crabbe is an organizational psychologist who works with an array of multinational client companies.

Lipman, Victor. The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World. Prentice Hall Press, 2015.

Does the perfect candidate for management always need to demonstrate the classic attributes of the type A personality: competitive, driven, and demanding? Lipman examines core principles from a relational standpoint and reveals that some traits commonly touted as essential for managers actually do more harm than good. The author provides an argument that the most successful leaders must also exhibit type B characteristics which include being risk averse, highly analytical, and willing to listen to others. This book expands upon research presented in Susan Cain’s Quiet and Jennifer B. Kahnweiler’sThe Introverted Leader, providing new information in thirty short chapters.

Piketty, Thomas. The Economics of Inequality. Belknap Press, 2015.

In the spring of 2014, Piketty gave us Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which contributed to the debate on income inequality. In this new work, Piketty begins by explaining how inequality evolves and how economists measure it. He then explores variances in income and ownership of capital and the different policies used to reduce these gaps while introducing ideas about the relationship between labor and capital, the effects of different systems of taxation, the distinction between “historical” and “political” time, the impact of education and technological change, etc. He points to a number of alternative fiscal solutions, including wealth tax, etc.., but admits that going back to a pre-1980s-progressive policy will be difficult.