By Judy Woodward

Every month, the reference librarians at the Roseville Library receive dozens of questions from the public. Here are two of the more interesting queries we received recently:

Q. I got a new iPad for Christmas. Can you help me set it up so that I can read e-books from the library?

A. You can check out hundreds of e-books, e-audio books and e-magazines from the library for free by using the Libby app, powered by OverDrive. To get started, you can watch a Libby tutorial on the library’s website.

Then, if you have more questions, please visit the Roseville Library on any Tuesday afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m. for a hands-on e-reader help session.

Bring along your new device, and one of the library staff will show you how to download books or magazines. You can check out up to 15 books at a time, and place holds on currently unavailable material. There’s no limit on the number of e-magazines you can check out, and you can renew materials, if no one else is waiting for them.

Q. I heard that the shrinking of the Polar ice cap may lead to the extinction of the polar bears. Why do polar bears need ice to survive?

A. Life in the frozen arctic wilderness is arduous and unforgiving; survival demands a high-protein, high-fat food source. And that’s exactly what the polar bear finds in its natural prey—the seal. The catch is that the seal is exceptionally swift and agile in water, but slow and clumsy on a solid surface.

The polar bear is just the opposite—a formidable hunter if he can catch the seal as it pops up through breathing holes onto the ice mass, but hopelessly outclassed as a sea-going predator.

So, it stands to reason that the more the ice mass contracts, the less hunting range is available to the polar bear. And that means the higher the likelihood becomes that the polar bear will starve to death, while its prime food source, the seal, cavorts through ever-growing open waters. (Internet resources including www.nationalgeographic.com)

Judy Woodward, who lives in St. Anthony Park, is a reference librarian at the Roseville Library, 2180 N. Hamline Ave. The library’s general phone number is 651-724-6001

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