Falling Back Into The Library

September is here! We know many of you are excited for the cooler weather, hot beverages, football, and pumpkin spice flavored everything, and we are too! Not only are we excited for Fall here at the library; we’re excited for the return of another season of great family programming!

The Summer Reading Program was super this year, and now it’s time to return to Story Time, Teen Scene, Toddler Exploration, Family Bingo, and two new raffles!

 

Children’s Programming

Beginning September 9, Story Times are back in session. We offer two different story times, each suited to different age groups. Tiny Tots is a story time for our youngest patrons and a caregiver. Enjoy stories, songs, fingerplays, and bubbles! Tiny Tots lasts about as long as their attention span–20-30 minutes, every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.. We encourage you to stay and play afterwards!

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Kids enjoy dancing in the bubbles at Tiny Tots!

Our second story time, Bookworms, is designed for pre-K children ages 3-5 and their caregiver. Sing songs, listen to stories, play games, improve early literacy skills, and participate in art activities! Bookworms lasts a bit longer than Tiny Tots–45-60 minutes, every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Go ahead…be a Bookworm!

Playing a fun game with our Children's Librarian at Bookworms!
Playing a fun game with our Children’s Librarian at Bookworms!

In addition to our two story times, we also offer a monthly program called Toddler Exploration. Toddler Exploration is all about–you guessed it–letting toddlers explore the world around them! Our children’s librarian sets up five different, self-directed hands-on stations for the little ones (18-36 months) to explore their senses. The theme changes each month, and September’s theme is ABCs and 123s. Come dressed to make a mess, September 11 at 10:30 a.m.!

Getting messy decorating cookies at Toddler Exploration!
Getting messy decorating cookies at Toddler Exploration!

 

Teen Programming

Not only do we offer programming for children, we also offer a fun after school activity for teens! Teen Scene meets for an hour, one to two Friday(s) a month. At Teen Scene, you’ll make art, perform experiments, play games, and hang out with your friends at the library. We even provide snacks! There’s no need to sign up; just check out our event calendar, and come to the library to enjoy! September’s Teen Scene is on September 18 at 3:30 p.m.!

Teens painted book ends, based on their favorite YA novels, to be used in the YA section of the library!
Teens painted book ends, based on their favorite YA novels, to be used in the YA section of the library!

Fun For The Whole Family!

We’ve covered children and teen programming, but what about something the whole family can enjoy? Enter Family Bingo Night! A very popular monthly event at the library, Family Bingo has a different theme each month, which the prizes reflect. This month, the theme is Family Movie Bingo, and the prizes are all great movies you can enjoy with your family! Family Bingo will be held September 17 at 6:00 p.m. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up at the circulation desk today!

Families enjoying programming at the library!
Families enjoying programming at the library!

 

In addition to Family Bingo, we also have a great raffle going on for the entire family! This year’s Fall Break Raffle offers a prize package of Two VIP Car Passes to African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio, Four Tickets to Muncie Civic Theatre’s Production of Into the Woods, Four Passes to Climb Time Indy, Tuttle Orchards Family Fun Pack: four passes to the Agrimaze, Kid’s Area, Hayride, and four free caramel apples, and Eight Coupons for a free custard cone at Culver’s. Talk about a great staycation! Tickets are $2.00 apiece, or three for $5.00. All proceeds go towards the 2016 Summer Reading program.

As if the Fall Break Raffle wasn’t enough, we’re also offering a great promotion if you sign up for a library card this month! September is National Library card Sign-Up Month, and we are offering each person who signs up for a library card a raffle ticket to win a Kindle Fire HD6! Current patrons, don’t worry! You will also be entered into the raffle if you refer someone to be a new member! This promotion will run from September 1 to September 30, with the drawing for the Kindle Fire HD6 will be held on October 1, at 10:00 a.m.!

As the year continues, there will be even more great programming to look forward to: 12 Weeks of Reading, Blind Date With a Book, holiday programming, and so much more! We love providing our patrons with these programs. There are some who believe libraries to be obsolete. What use would we have for libraries in our modern, digital world? Thankfully, we know that’s not true! Thanks to children’s programming, which improves early literacy and education, and teen programming which provides a safe after-school place for teenagers, and family programming which provides free entertainment to our community, we know that we’ll be around for a long time! We appreciate all of our patrons who make our library so great! If you’ve never been to your library, stop in, and explore all of your opportunities today!

Summer Reading Program Review

There we go! It’s all over! What a great Summer Reading Program we had this year. A special thanks to all who participated, and thanks to all our sponsors that helped us put the program on.

The Totals

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In total we had 410 young people participate in the SRP; 92 of them were preschool aged, 209 were school aged, 68 were teenagers, and 41 came from daycare programs! Tadpoles submitted 228 early literacy sheets, Frogs read for 1722 hours, and the Teens read 1048 hours.  Everyone did a great job and we hope to see you keep coming to the library to get books during the school year.

However the SRP wasn’t just for the children, we had an adult program as well. There was a total of 100 adult readers who read a total of 350 books. That’s more than 3 books a person! We have compiled a list of all the books that were rated with 5 stars, which you can find at Jenifer’s desk.

The Winners

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What more can be said! These kids did a great job reading and won the raffle drawings for the Super Reader prizes. The Tadpoles winner won the LeadFrog Leap Pad, the Frogs winner won an iPad mini, and the Teen winner won a set of Beats headphones. The Adult winner won a Kindle Fire HDX.

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Once again, thanks to everyone involved and who participated in our Summer Reading Program. You helped make this year a success and we hope to see you again next year!

Featured Author: Harper Lee

We’ve had a featured book in the past, but what about those people who write the books? We often love the works that they put out for us to enjoy, but how much do we really know about them. Sometimes we know a lot (like they were movie stars), and other times we barely know anything about them. This time we will be looking at a woman who is putting out her second book after 55 years, Nelle Harper Lee.

Biography

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Just like her character Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird, she was the youngest child of a lawyer father in the state of Alabama. She was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, AL. She grew up friends with another future author, Truman Persons aka Truman Capote. After graduating high school, she went to Huntingdon College in Alabama for a short while, then transferred to the University of Alabama. At UA, she chose to pursue her interest in writing by contributing to the university’s newspaper and humor magazine. She then dropped out of school and moved to New York City, where she befriended Broadway composer and lyricist Michael Martin Brown and his wife Joy. The two decided to support Lee for a whole year so she could devote herself to writing full time. They also helped her find and agent, Maurice Crain. Lee and Crain worked together and got a publishing firmed interested in her first book, Go Set a Watchmen (which was eventually renamed and reworked to To Kill a Mockingbird).

1966, Holcomb, Kansas --- Truman Capote signing copies of his book  with Harper Lee.  Capote and Lee are in Kansas during  the making of the film of the same name.   --- Image by © Steve Schapiro/Corbis
Harper Lee and Truman Capote- Image by © Steve Schapiro/Corbis

Before the publication of her first novel, she began working with Truman Capote on an article he was writing about the murders of Herbert Clutter, his wife, and two children. The two traveled to Kansas to do interviews with friends, family, and townspeople, along with the main investigators of the case. They even had the opportunity to interview the murders after they were captured. The article turned into Capote’s In Cold Blood. Even though he didn’t acknowledge her contributions to the book, Lee received one of the dedications to the book.

“Harper Lee Medal” by Eric Draper

After the success of her book, she took a posting to the National Council of the Arts. Yet during the 70s and 80s she began to retreat from a public life, and became more and more private. During this time she began work on a non-fiction book about a serial killer in Alabama, but eventually stopped working on it. To this day, she remains an active member of both her church and community, while remaining as private as possible.

The Future

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Tomorrow, Lee will be releasing her second book, Go Set a Watchman. The book takes place 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, and is set with Jean Louise “Scout” Finch’s return to Maycomb, AL. The book will tell about the characters adjusting to the changing cultural and political environments of the 50s.

You can get the book at bookstores, on eBook, and even at your local library. Give the book a read and tell us what you think. Does it hold up to the original?

Published Works

References

Database Spotlight: Cypress Resume

Whether you are a student, looking for a job, or currently employed, chances are you are looking for a way to write an amazing resume. Building that perfect resume is a tool that you need to have in order to find your perfect job. Thankfully, we have a database that you can use to do just that. Cypress Resume helps you build your perfect resume.

Where to Start

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In the lower left hand corner is box labeled “Create Your Resume”, click on the “Go” button. The next page you find will ask for you to select the type of resume you would like to create. The first option is “Strictly Business”. This option allows you to create a resume that is visually appealing that stands out by using no bullets, only text. The second option is “Editor’s Choice”, which is a simple classic resume look.

Filling out the Form

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Once you have decided on the type of resume you would like to build, you move on to filling out your information. The first thing that you need to fill out is your name and contact information. This helps your future employer identify who’s resume it is and how to contact you to set up an interview. Afterwards you will be directed to fill out your employment history. The third step will be your education. The final part of this step is to fill out and special certifications and training you have had.

Step 2 is to help you design your resume to fit into your ideal job (or the one you’re applying for). This will help Cypress Resume give you some suggestions to define you skills.

Step 3 is where you actually get to select your skills. Cypress Resume will present you with skills that fit within your selected job. Look over all of your suggestions, and only pick ones that apply to you.

Other Stuff

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Cypress Resume is for more than just creating resumes. It can also create cover letters and reference sheets for you as well. Simply click the “Cover Letter” button, and it will use your resume to help build the perfect cover letter for you. The Reference Sheet is built by inputting your reference’s name and contact information.

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So take your new resume and go off and get a new job. If you used this service, we’d love to hear your story. Leave us a comment here below.

You Don’t Have to Be Super to Be a Hero

Yea yea yea I know. That title makes this post seem cheesy. Our theme for Summer Reading this year has been all about superheroes. While I have written posts about graphic novels (which are the primary medium of modern superhero stories) and Batman, how can this theme be applied to us? Last time I checked, we don’t have super strength or the ability to fly around. When we look at all the superheroes, there is one thing that remains constant; they make a difference to benefit others. You can make a difference too. You don’t need to have super powers in order to make a difference, and be someone’s hero; you simply need to have an idea. So here are a few ideas to get you started.

Write a Something

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Do you have something you are passionate about or a situation that bugs you? Get your ideas and thoughts out there in the world. Blogs have changed the way that people learn online. Most company websites (including News organizations) have a blog in order to get ideas out faster. So if you have something to say, sit down at your computer and write it out. Whether you chose to write a blog or a book is up to you, but make it meaningful so it can change lives.

Serve Someone

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Volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana

There are countless charities in the world that do different things to help make the world a better place. Chances are, if you want to serve the world, there is a charity or a religious organization doing exactly what you want to do. Do some research and find a place you can serve. Charities have long been thanked for helping and credited with changing lives. If you want to make a difference, make sure you serve somewhere.

Be Involved Somewhere

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Fire Department of Yorktown IN from Facebook page

This kind of blends well with the previous point, but it is important to get involved. If you are not involved somewhere, especially your community, it will be hard for you to know how to help and make a difference. Even some local institutions take volunteers to help them get their work done. Here in Yorktown, our Fire Department is entirely volunteer. Without those volunteers, our community would be in lots of trouble when there is a fire. You can even get involved in local festivals and celebrations. You can even choose to run for local office to help better your community.

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So there you have it. These are a few simple ways that you can become just like your favorite superhero and make a difference. If you need help figuring out how, there are plenty of books and other resources available to you at your local library. Ask a librarian for some help finding what you need, and get out there and make a difference.

What other ideas do you have? Leave us a comment and let others know about how to help.

How-tos: Checking out eBooks

Since we first started offering eBooks last year, there has been one question that reigns supreme; how do you check out an eBook? When you look at all the options available to you, and trying to figure out your device, the whole task can be quite intimidating. So we put this little guide together to help you check out eBooks.

Where to start

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The first place you will want to start is at our catalog. If you don’t know how to get there, go to our website and click the “Search Our Catalog” button. If you need more help using the catalog, check out this past post. You will need to log in using your library card number and phone number/password.

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Once you’ve gotten that first accomplished, it is time to look for your first eBook. You have two different options to use. The first, and probably the easiest, is to simply look in our catalog. The list of OverDrive eBooks (and audiobooks) are integrated straight into our catalog. Just like with regular books, the eBooks will appear green when there is a copy available and when it is pink there is not one. The second option is to go directly to OverDrive by clicking the icon on our catalog.

Before you check out a book

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By default, the check out period of all eBooks is one week (7 days), but you can change that limit. We suggest that you extend it to the max of 14 days. This will give you plenty of time to finish your book. However, if you can read your book in a week, you don’t have to mess with this.

Checking out an eBook

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Now that you are set up to check out a book, it’s time to actually check out a book. Once you find a book to read, move your mouse over the book and click the “Borrow” button. If you would like to find out a little more about the book first, you can click on the books title (not the book cover). Once you do that, you will receive a summary of the book with a big “Borrow” button right next to the cover.

Reading the eBook

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In order to read your eBook, you have a few different options.

No Device

If you do not have a mobile device, or eBook reader, you have the option to read the book through your Internet browser. This is probably the easiest way to access your new eBook

Kindles

This is probably the second easiest way to access your eBook. Simply choose the Kindle book as your chosen download type. You will then be taken to Amazon’s website, where you will have to log into your Amazon account. Once you are there, you can tell Amazon on what device you would like to have your eBook sent to. If you have another (non-Kindle) device with a Kindle app downloaded to it, the process is exactly the same as if you had a Kindle.

Other Devices

The other option for reading your eBook is a ePub book. These books can be read on all other devices (iOS, Android, Windows, Nook, etc). In order to read these books on your devices, it is best to download the OverDrive Media Console app. Doing it this way, you will also have to set up an OverDrive account. This is a simple process, but it adds extra steps to the process. If you have a Nook (not a Nook Tablet), the process is a little more complicated. So check out this post on the OverDrive website to find out how to do it.

Done reading the book?

IMG_0027If you are finished reading your book early, you can return your item early. If you are reading the book through your web browser, simply go to your bookshelf. Underneath the rating for your title, there is a button to “Return Title”. If you are using a non-Kindle device, push and hold on the book cover and an option will appear to return the book. If you are using a Kindle, you will have to log into your Amazon account to return the book.

If you’d like to have someone walk you through this post, check out this video:

UPDATE: (7/06/2015) After you checkout a book, you will now have to go to your bookshelf to download/read the book. OverDrive no longer automatically takes you to your bookshelf when you check an item out.

Why Batman Is A Great Literary Character

In honor of this year’s superhero themed Summer Reading Program, I thought it would be appropriate to describe why a certain superhero is a great literary character. First the argument would probably be made that superhero stories aren’t real literature, to which I will send you to the post from a couple weeks ago. Yes, superhero stories get looked down upon, but they can also show us a lot about ourselves. Thus, their characters shouldn’t be simply tossed aside because you have to look at them on every page. According to this post, there are 5 key elements that a character must have to be a good, memorable character. So we’re going to see how Bruce Wayne/Batman fits all of these criteria.

1. Recognition

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Miles Scott aka Batkid

Recognition means that we have to be able to see ourselves as this character, or have some sort of connection.

Who couldn’t recognize themselves as Bruce Wayne or Batman? Aren’t we all billionaires that own super successful companies and at night hunt the city for bad guys that we beat to a pulp? NO! Of course that’s not true. But most people can still relate to Bruce. He lives a life that he constantly has to keep secrets, while also fighting to do good. Sometimes we go about it in the wrong way, but it is often said that the ends justify the means. No, we don’t have endless cash to fund our crusade against crime. Yet we can connect with the focus to do good for the benefit of all.

2. Personality

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Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne for Fox’s Gotham

Personality show us that we have a relationship with this character.

Batman has seen the dark side of his home town (Gotham City). It drives him to have one goal, to eradicate evil where ever it hides. But this isn’t where it stops for Bruce. He’s a friend, a son, a lover, and a father. All of these he blends in to his crime fighting. However, he has a character flaw that all of his acquaintances have come to accept. Bruce is a loner. Even when teaming up with the Justice League, he will take some time to himself (and usually solves the big mystery in the meantime). But man can be full of wit, and straight up bluntness that most superheroes don’t have.

Sorry, I had to add this one
Sorry, I had to add this one

3. Humanity

Batman and Robin Sometimes Dead Is Better

Humanity is what helps us see the character as more than what they are.

Bruce has long been the epitome of stone faced and unflinching. Yet he has one major soft spot, which usually comes in the form of whoever is in the Robin costume. This started because Dick Grayson went through a situation that reminded Bruce of his own (both witnessed their parents murder). So Bruce took him in and cared for him. Since that time, Batman has always had a special place in his heart for each one of the Robins. As the “Bat-Family” expands (Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Bat-Woman, etc), Bruce tends to open up just a little bit more.

4. Enrichment

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Enrichment is how we see our characters in the real world. Can the make mistakes and deal with real world problems?

Aside from the crime fighting, we see Batman deal with personal crisis over and over. Batman started with personal tragedy. Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents in a back alley of Gotham City. This was what sent him on his path to becoming the Batman. Yet the troubles don’t end there. One of the most notable ones was with the death of Jason Todd (Robin #2). Batman went on a rampage where everyone he came in contact with usually got his fist in their face. Yet when Tim Drake (Robin #3) deduced Bruce Wayne was Batman, he was able to convince him that he needed Robin to help him from going to a dark place.

5. Pain

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Pain describes how our characters deal with pain.

Batman is no stranger to pain. He’s been feeling it since he was a boy that witnessed his parents murder. Then there was the death of the Graysons. Then Jason Todd. Batgirl was beaten so severely by the Joker, that most thought she was going to die. There was also the death of his own son, Damian Wayne. There have also been countless times of physical pain, most notably when Bane “broke the Bat”, by breaking Bruce Wayne’s back. Through all of the pain, people (especially those who have lost people close to them) have been able to connect with this character.

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So what do you think? Can superheroes be great literary characters as well? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.