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resolution

 

It’s a new year, and that seems like as good a time as any to suggest the following resolution to you; it’s totally achievable, and has nothing to do with weight loss or home organization (though if those are some of your resolutions, we certainly have some books and programs to help). Here's your perfect New Year's resolution: 

Get your money’s worth out of the library!

To help you achieve this most enjoyable of resolutions, here’s a spotlight on some of our services that you may not have discovered yet:

Discovery Kits

Caroline recently wrote a blog post about Discovery Kits from the children’s department, and I actually feel like I can’t pitch it better than she did, so I’m going to quote her here: 

“Many of our patrons have already discovered Discovery Kits (one of the best kept secrets of the Children’s Department) and know just how fun they can be. For our patrons who don’t know what a Discovery Kit is, now is a great time to get acquainted. Discovery Kits are a selection of themed books, toys, and activity ideas appropriate for kids ages 3-5, and each one is filled with enough fun to fill days and days. The Discovery Kits check out as a set and you can keep them for three weeks. That means you have three weeks to play with all the toys, read all the books, and do all the things suggested in the included activity binder. When your three weeks are up, just bring the kit back to the Children’s Reference Desk and you can make a reservation for another one. The best part is that you can now make a reservation for a Discovery Kit online on the library website. “ 

As a parent, I can just attest that these are awesome (as long as you don’t have a toddler that does things like shove small toys down a slightly broken heater vent; if that’s the case in your house, you may not want to check out a kit with a lot of small pieces). It’s a great way to have some fun, themed play without having to invest in new toys or books myself. 

Boxes & Games

Want your kids to be able to play with awesome building toys but not sure you want the potential entropy that might introduce in your home? I talked about our new in-library boxes as an idea for a great library date, but they’re good for more than that. We have several STEM exploration-themed boxes available for you to check out in the library. All the building fun, none of the mess in your own home! 

We also have several board games available to check out for those times you find yourself with friends in the library with a few hours to kill. If you’re a gamer, it’s a great way to try before you buy. 

All-ages programs

If you’ve glanced at our calendar recently, you know that we host dozens of programs every week, most of them for the under 12 crowd. However, we’ve recently added a new tag to the calendar to help you find things that anyone can enjoy. These all-ages programs include musical performances, family tech nights, Attic exhibits, and other activities that can be enjoyable whether you’re a single college student, a family with children of diverse ages, or an empty nester. 

Book Club Sets

If you have a regular book club, our book club sets can be a fantastic resource for you. We update our offerings regularly, and we have a variety of genres to appeal to every kind of book club. We have plenty of titles for adults, but we also have a wide variety of middle-grade and young adult book club sets! 

Sets check out for 6 weeks, which gives a monthly book club a good healthy chance to read the book and set up a meeting to talk about it. Plus, every book club set comes with a handy binder full of discussion topics. 

Computer Help Lab

Thanks to a partnership with United Way, we are happy to be able to offer one-on-one computer help for those times when your computer needs are more in-depth than our desk staff can help with.

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00-5:00 pm, a staff member from United Way is available to answer your questions. They can help you learn computer basics, set up an email address, learn to navigate social media, or even find online software or job training. If you or someone you know could benefit from this kind of personalized help, visit them in the Special Collections room on Tuesday or Thursday.

WEAVING

Children need open-ended creative opportunities, so the children’s department has added a new weaving board in the back corner behind the Juvenile Fiction books. The weaving board has wooden dowels attached to a frame, and a basket of colorful fabric strips and ribbon entices children to use the board as a loom. Open-ended play materials like this make it possible for any child to be successful and have a positive experience creating.

There is no right or wrong way to weave the materials. One child may find just attempting to weave enough of a challenge, where an older child can sort through the different colors and printed material to make a woven pattern that is very intricate. I love walking by the weaving board in the morning to see what possibilities have been imagined and carried out the previous day. No explicit instructions or patterns are included. Having materials available to children is all that is necessary. Their amazing, growing, imaginative minds do the rest. Come in and try it for yourself!

If you are looking for ideas about how to provide similar opportunities at home, I have included a few books to get you started. 

01.03.2018 The DotTHE DOT
By Peter H. Reynolds
(2003)

Vashti doesn’t believe she is an artist. Her paper is still blank when her teacher walks by. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you,” the teacher says. Vashti makes one dot on the paper. Her teacher asks her to sign the page, and the story unfolds to describe Vashti’s beginning artist experiences. Too often creativity is squashed out of children as they become concerned with what others think or that their drawings aren’t “right.” Reynolds perfectly shows the potential of each person to become the artist they were meant to be. 

 

01.03.2018 Artful ParentTHE ARTFUL PARENT: SIMPLE WAYS TO FILL YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE WITH ART & CREATIVITY
By Jean Van’t Hul
(2013)

Parents who don’t know how to start introducing art to their children—pick up this book! Van’t Hul sets the stage by explaining why art is so important in the lives of our families. She continues to provide ideas in the first section “Preparing for the Art” including storage ideas and ways to include art experiences into busy day-to-day life. The second section contains 61 art projects with a detailed list of materials and instructions to carry out the projects, accompanied with vivid photographs. After reading this handbook you will be compelled to encourage creative, process-oriented art experiences with children. 

 

01.03.2018 Kids WeavingKIDS WEAVING
By Sarah Swett, Illustrations by Lena Corwin, Photographs by Chris Harlove
(2005)

This guide to weaving introduces children to endless possibilities. All of the projects in the book are done with homemade items, starting with basic crafts for beginners and progressing in complexity. First, a pencil, then a cardboard loom, and finally the instructions for building your own PVC pipe loom. 

 

podcasts

 

Podcasts are quickly becoming one of the most enjoyable ways to revel in the world of books. Some of you may already be on the podcast bandwagon. Others may be wondering why I still think it’s 2005. 

With the invention of the iPod in 2001, it didn’t take long for a genre of narrative audio named after the device to become a cool new trend. There were podcasts about politics, sports, literature, comedy, and much more. However, sometime around 2009, the trend seemed to die off. Downloading podcasts was cumbersome to say the least. You had to subscribe to the podcast on your computer, download the episode, then plug in your iPod’s cord to transfer the episode. The process then had to be repeated for every new episode. 

Ironically, now that the iPod has been discontinued, we are experiencing a resurgence. This is likely happening for a few different reasons. Technology has finally improved enough to make listening to podcasts easy and convenient. There has also been a rise in the production quality. Talented professionals including radio outlets like NPR have begun to focus on the medium. Although, there are still plenty of great amateur podcasts, and what they lack in polish they make up for in energy. One final reason for the resurgence in podcasts is…cars. People are becoming more and more interested in consuming media while on the move. This also includes listening while performing household chores, exercising and more. Listeners are now able to access on-demand podcasts instantly and wherever they are. 

According to the 2017 Edison Research report, 67 million Americans listened to at least one podcast in the last month. Today, a very different problem exists. We are in a golden age of podcasting, and there are just too many great podcasts to keep up with including when you narrow it down to just book related podcasts. With that in mind, I have curated a list of some of the best podcasts that talk about books. 

For part one, I wanted to focus on podcasts that discuss books such as what to read next or book club podcasts. But be sure to check back soon for part two which will discuss themed podcasts and some of the best storytelling podcasts being created. 

bbc world blook clubBBC World Book Club

Schedule: Weekly 

The BBC’s World Book Club features some of the most famous authors on the planet discussing their most renowned works. Imagine showing up at a book club where the author is there to discuss and offer insights into their work. While many podcasts focus on new and buzzworthy books, this podcast mixes current hits with classics of yesteryear. One week might feature a current best-selling author. The next week has a lively discussion about Jane Austen, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, or J. D. Salinger. 

 

book riot podcastBook Riot Podcast

Schedule: Weekly 

Brought to you by the editors of Book Riot, a blog covering book-related news, reviews, commentary, advice and information, the podcast features Jeff O’Neal and Rebecca Schinsky, two smart and quick-witted hosts who will make you laugh out loud. 

Along with great book recommendations (making your TBR pile explode), the hosts discuss insights into the publishing world, tips on diversifying your reading selection, and research-oriented programming such as notes and commentary on how reading affects human behavior. 

 

books on the nightstandBooks on the Nightstand

Schedule: Weekly 

Funny and knowledgeable hosts, Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman, two friends and colleagues working in the book publishing industry, discuss all things related to the world of books, bookstores and especially publishing. You don't have to work in the publishing industry to love this podcast, though. It is designed for anybody who likes to read and wants to stay up to date with what's happening in the world of books. 

One of the most popular features is the last segment, “two books we can’t wait for you to read.” It’s where the hosts tell you about books that they love, most of which are newly published or about to be published. 

 

dear book nerdDear Book Nerd

Schedule: Bi-weekly 

Another Book Riot podcast, Dear Book Nerd is hosted by librarian, Rita Meade, and features an always changing lineup of guests from the world of books. Together they answer readers’ book-related queries and dilemmas, including writing advice, the risky business of lending books, how to talk to people who don’t like reading, and how to avoid friends who provide poorly thought-out book recommendations. It’s a bit nerdy in the best possible way, and the format ensures that the podcast will never grow stale. 

 

guardian books podcast1Guardian Books

Schedule: Weekly 

Guardian Books is a product of popular British newspaper, The Guardian. Guardian Books editor Claire Armitstead is the force behind the podcast which is a hodgepodge of book related topics that include literary reviews, author interviews, and of course book recommendations. 

Though perhaps a little drier than some of the others on this list, it is never short of interesting angles and big name guests making it a good podcast to find the current pulse-point of the literature world. 

 

KCRW BookwormKCRW Bookworm

Schedule: Weekly 

Michael Silverblatt has been the host of Bookworm, a nationally syndicated radio program focusing on books and literature since 1989. It is a premier literary talk show providing intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations. Now available as a podcast, Silverblatt interviews writers of fiction and poetry both established and emerging drawing them into conversations about their works. Bookworm is a fascinating podcast that, at its heart, is a discussion on how to read, listen, and engage. 

 

literary discoLiterary Disco

Schedule: Bi-monthly 

Julia, Tod, and Rider are three writers who are friends and also happen to be self-proclaimed “book nerds.” The show covers a diverse mix of books from literary fiction to children’s books and focuses on the hosts who chat about books like you would with your own friends. They have a way of slipping in pop culture references and intermixing them with books in a way that is highly entertaining. Like any great book chat, the discussions are personal, informative and prone to tangents. 

 

Slates Audio Book ClubSlate’s Audio Book Club

Schedule: Monthly 

Slate Magazine, an online magazine that covers current affairs, politics, and culture in the United States, offers a lively book club podcast. Each month, a rotating group of Slate’s writers and guests discuss buzzworthy books in the traditional back-and-forth of a book club format. If you’ve read the book, it’s especially easy to get caught up in the debate as the hosts argue with one another in entertaining and sometimes heated ways. You also find the discussions typically provide additional insight into the characters and the book itself which you may have missed. 

Can't find a book club in your neighborhood? Then this is the podcast for you. 

 

what should i read nextWhat Should I Read Next? 

Schedule: Weekly 

Have you ever finished a book and been confronted with the problem of not knowing what to read next? In the podcast What Should I Read Next?, book blogger Anne Bogel A.K.A. the Modern Mrs. Darcy, invites a guest to share three books they love, one book they hate, and what they’ve been reading lately. Then, she makes recommendations about what to read next. This podcast is for every reader who wants help finding that next great read.

WWII nonfiction

World War II and the Nazi Regime are endlessly fascinating subjects for historians and the public alike. Thousands of books have been written about the most violent and disturbing years of the 20th century. As time goes on, more discoveries are made in the form of newly uncovered letters, diaries, and declassified government documents. In addition, the passage of time gives us new insights and a deeper understanding of how these events have impacted our world.

Here are 5 excellent books about World War II written in the last 8 years. 

12.29.2017 Higher CallA HIGHER CALL: AN INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF COMBAT AND CHIVALRY IN THE WAR-TORN SKIES OF WORLD WAR II
By Adam Makos
(2012)

In December 1943, American bomber pilot Charlie Brown and German ace flyer Franz Stigler met in the skies over Germany. The bomber, nearly torn to shreds and with half its crew dead, was miraculously still flying, but a few shots from the Messerschmitt would end all that. In an extraordinary gesture, Stigler, risking a firing squad if his superiors found out, let the bomber escape and even escorted it to safe airspace. Forty years later, the two men would seek each other out and their stories would finally be told. 

 

12.29.2017 Hitlers Holy RelicsHITLER’S HOLY RELICS: A TRUE STORY OF NAZI PLUNDER AND THE RACE TO RECOVER THE CROWN JEWELS OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
By Sidney Kirkpatrick
(2010)

The Nazis plundered many masterpieces of art and history during WWII, but a secret bunker held the ones that Hitler valued most: the Spear of Destiny and the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. World rulers throughout history had been obsessed with these ancient artifacts, but at the end of the War they disappeared. Revealing the story of the lost jewels for the first time, Kirkpatrick takes readers deep into the twisted Nazi ideology of medieval mysticism and world domination. 

 

12.29.2017 Iron WindAN IRON WIND: EUROPE UNDER HITLER
By Peter Fritzsche
(2016)

There has been much written about the Nazi political and military leadership, but what about ordinary German citizens? What did they think of the Nazi party, and how did they deal with the chaotic and violent actions taking place in their country? Using diaries, letters, and more, Fritzsche creates a wider and more nuanced understanding of the effects of the War on German civilians. 

 

12.29.2017 GI BridesGI BRIDES: THE WARTIME GIRLS WHO CROSSED THE ATLANTIC FOR LOVE
By Duncan Barrett
(2014)

Over 70,000 British women became GI brides, marrying American servicemen who were stationed in Britain during WWII. This is the true story of 4 of these women, who gave up everything for love and faced the challenge of making a new home in America with a husband they sometimes barely knew. 

 

12.29.2017 BonhoefferBONHOEFFER: PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY
By Eric Metaxas
(2010)

As Nazism spread across Germany, there were a few who were bold enough to stand up to the Regime and even attempt to sabotage it. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Now considered one of the greatest theologians of modern history, Bonhoeffer was a Christian pastor who fought against the Nazi ideology with words and actions. Using newly discovered documents, Metaxas reveals Dietrich’s extraordinary life and his courageous death.

 

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