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Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests and Career Tutorials

DBRL Next - May 2, 2014

LearningExpress Library logoRaise test scores, prepare for a new career or improve math and writing skills, all with just the click of a mouse with LearningExpress Library, available through your library’s digital branch.

LearningExpress Library is a comprehensive, online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial courses designed to help students and adult learners succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. On June 2, 2014, LearningExpress will be updated to LearningExpress Library 3.0. This new version has a cleaner, updated look and is much easier to navigate and use but houses the same quality content.

Free with your library card, use this resource to practice and prepare for:

  • The HiSET Exam, which has replaced the GED for Missouri High School equivalency testing.
  • College and graduate placement tests (ACT, SAT, GRE, MCAD, LSAT).
  • Elementary and high school tests (Advanced Placement; high school, middle school, and elementary school skills).
  • Career preparation exams (EMS, Firefighter, PPST – Praxis, Civil Service, and reading, math and writing skills practice).
  • TOEFL and U.S. Citizenship Exams.

The update and the shift to a new platform requires existing users to re-register their accounts. Existing accounts will not be carried over to the new version. Work done on the old LearningExpress will be not be available after June 2, 2014. Users should finish their current tests and courses and register for a new account at their earliest convenience after June 2. To see the new look of this learning platform check out www.learningexpresslibrary3.com.


The post Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests and Career Tutorials appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Cemetery Walking Tour

DBRLTeen - May 2, 2014

Cemetery Walking Tour ColumbiaCemetery
Monday, May 19 ›6-7:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Join us on an atmospheric evening walking tour to learn about the history and art of the Columbia Cemetery. We’ll meet in the lobby of the Columbia Public Library and then walk a block down to the cemetery. Please wear comfortable shoes. Canceled if raining. Co-sponsored by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission.  All ages. Those 12 and younger, please bring an adult with you.

Originally published at Program Preview: Cemetery Walking Tour.

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Docs Around Town: May 2 – May 8

Center Aisle Cinema - May 1, 2014


May 2: We Always Lie to Strangers” starts at Ragtag. (via)
May 5: Spiral Jetty” 5:30 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)
May 6: The Sound of Mumbai” 5:30 at Ragtag, free/donation. (via)

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New DVD: “Reportero”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 30, 2014


We recently added “Reportero” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown last year on the PBS series POV. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Support Your Local Critters

DBRL Next - April 30, 2014

Photo of deer by Bagsgroove via FlickrOn the heels of Earth Day at the end of April comes Garden for Wildlife Month, celebrated each May. Here is an opportunity to be a good steward of the planet by gardening in a way that nurtures the natural environment and the plants and animals that depend upon it. What do wildlife gardeners do? They create habitats that contain native plants and mimic a landscape that would have been there had development not occurred. They foster biodiversity by creating habitats that provide appropriate food, water and shelter to attract a wide range of animals, from tiny insects to deer. They typically utilize organic methods and conserve on water use (since native plants tend to need less water).

My family’s home in the city of Columbia has a backyard that butts up against 7 acres of private, forested land that includes a large pond. I love the quiet and privacy this affords us and the wildlife it supports. Because of these surroundings, we enjoy (without much effort) sightings of all kinds of critters. There are songbirds galore, which we further entice with feeders. We have resident barred owls, red-tailed hawks and once we had a wild turkey trot through. Beyond the bird category there are raccoons, opossums, rabbits, groundhogs, toads, tree frogs, garter snakes, box turtles, countless insects, etc., and we even have a resident herd of deer.

You can create a wildlife-friendly garden and still enjoy decent yields of flowers and vegetables. By observing the wildlife and their habits in your immediate area you can design a garden habitat that supports them and allows you to reap the edible and visual benefits of your toil in the soil. This is what I’ve been told in my recent readings on this topic, and I’m interested in testing this theory myself because…

I have been confounded by that herd of deer! If I didn’t want to flower and vegetable garden, I’d delight in seeing them amble through, but they have undermined my attempts, demoralizing me when my blood, sweat and dollar bills never pay off with any kind of harvest due to their ransacking. Looking into this particular deer “pest” problem further I’ve learned various ways to protect the plants from these marauders. The most surefire way to keep deer from munching out is to build a 9 foot-high fence. Since I don’t have the resources for that, I’ve decided to try the “coexist” method and will put in plants that deer are not much interested in (such as rhubarb and aromatic herbs). Of course, there are other animals and insects that can be problematic to gardeners (groundhogs, rabbits, aphids, etc.), and depending on the critter, different approaches are needed to deter them.

There are resources aplenty available here at DBRL to answer your questions about wildlife gardening, including how to design gardens that allow a peaceful coexistence between humans and other animals. With some planning and specific types of effort you can reap a harvest of flowers and veggies and enjoy seeing the critters that your garden invites and supports.

Photo credit: Photo by Bagsgroove via Flikr and used under a Creative Commons License.

The post Support Your Local Critters appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT and SAT Exams

DBRLTeen - April 30, 2014

Standardized TestThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.

  • Registration for the June 14 ACT exam is due Friday, May 9. Sign-up online.
  • Registration for the June 7 SAT exam is due Friday, May 9. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to SAT/ACT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT and SAT Exams.

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