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Here’s a bit of news:

March 3, 2014

In the near future, I will review “The News: a user’s manual” by Alain de Botton, a favorite author of mine (“The Art of Travel,” “How Proust Can Change Your Life,” “Status Anxiety,” etc.).

“The News” looks at the news—what it is, what it could be—from many angles. For now, consider that Flaubert, way back when, despised the newspapers, which he believed spread “a new kind of idiocy … far worse than the mere ignorance it replaced.”

He said, “Peasants are less idiotic than three-quarters of the middle classes of France, who are always getting themselves into a frenzy over something they’ve read in the papers and spinning like weather vanes according to whatever one paper or another is saying.” Although he probably said it in French.

In other news: Students from Crest Academy will gather today around 1:30 p.m. to read aloud poetry and prose to spread the word about World Read Aloud Day (March 5th ), part of global literacy advocacy. They will read aloud in the lobby, but it shouldn’t be too loud.

Reading aloud is good for you, as is watching certain indicators of your health, and to help you with the latter, Chaffee County Public Health will be offering free diabetes and cholesterol screenings. You may occasionally see a booth in the library for scheduling appointments.

They won’t be running a clinic in the library—you’ll go to the Public Health offices for tests—but there is another clinic held monthly in the library: the virtual Pro Se clinic.

It’s a legal clinic: virtual because it happens online via a video chat session with a Live! attorney. “Pro Se” means you’re representing yourself in court, and the purpose of the clinic is not to provide legal representation but rather guidance with court procedure and the often non-intuitive court forms.

We’ve had two clinics so far, starting in January, and they are held 3-6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. Next is March 18th. I’ve spoken with a few of the users this year, and they’ve been very happy. The guidance offered is for civil matters, not criminal.

Salida Regional Library is participating as one of eight libraries in a pilot project developed by Elbert County attorney Ric Morgan. Co-sponsors of our effort include the Heart of the Rockies Bar Association, the local courts, and their Access to Justice committee.

In yet other library news, we now have the investment newsletter “Value Line” online, available both in the library and remotely from home (or cafe, or tavern, or wherever you handle your investments).

We still get the paper editions of Value Line, but the online version includes this information plus a mutual fund survey (similar to Morningstar), an options survey, and more.

If you try this, I’d love to hear your comments. There is a lot of financial information on the Internet from a variety of sources. Value Line is a long-established and respected investment newsletter that has been popular in print in the library for many years.

Our online subscription has one caveat: It will accommodate only three simultaneous users. If you get denied access, please let me know so we can double-check the reasons for the denial.

The library has many other sources of financial news: newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Financial Times, Barron’s Weekly, and magazines such as Kiplinger’s, Money, Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, etc.

Using this news, may you prove Flaubert wrong.

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