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!

Graphic Novels Are NOT Throw Away Literature

Let me start by saying, the goal is to get people reading. It doesn’t matter what the reading material is (it could be the cereal box), just as long as you are reading. By the way, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re reading and I couldn’t be happier. That being said, there is a medium that is being looked down upon as lesser literature; that we can somehow pretend that these books don’t exist, and that they will simply go away because we ignore them. These books (if you haven’t guessed it) are Graphic Novels.

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There is a difference between graphic novels and comic books. Graphic novels are usually longer, and tell a complete story from beginning to end. On the other hand, a comic book comes in installments that can tell a whole story, or is a compilation of several smaller stories. To put it another way, Batman: The Killing Joke is a graphic novel, Garfield at Large is a comic book.

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Since they were first introduced in the late 70’s, graphic novels have been looked at as “for children”. While this is certainly the case for some, there are still others that can reach us in a way that no “regular” book can. That’s the point of literature; to affect as many people as possible, and help them see the world in a different light. How are they regarded as “for children”, you may ask? Simple. They have pictures! Some of them bight and beautiful, while others are dark and gritty.

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Another reason that graphic novels are looked down upon is because a large portion of them are superhero stories. While superhero stories can also be good literature (that is for a later post), this isn’t reflective of the whole group of books. Several of them seek to put us into the shoes of someone else. I recently read a post talking about this. It focused on a graphic novel called The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The book is the author’s story of growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. She uses the pictures to help her audience enter into her world.

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Page from The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Graphic novels have shown a light on several topics over their years that are beyond the good vs evil motif of superhero stories. Here are just a few:

  • Blankets by Craig Tompson – the adolescent years and questioning faith
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman – stories of Holocaust survivors
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – philosophical conversations between ideas and historical figures
  • Y: The Last Man by Brain K Vaugh – feminism
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore – critique on the superhero genre, capitalism, and the nuclear arms race
  • Pyongyang by Greg Delisle – the culture of North Korea

“Graphic novels are not traditional literature, but that does not mean they are second-rate. Images are a way of writing. When you have the talent to be able to write and to draw, it seems a shame to choose one. I think it’s better to do both.” — Marjane Satrapi

Essentially my claim is that we shouldn’t write off graphic novels because of what they are. Give them a try. They can be just as good as any other “regular” novel. If you need helping picking one out, you can always go to your local library and ask a librarian for some help. Take the opportunity, while libraries across the county do Summer Reading, to try something new.

Summer Reading Preview

Well it’s that time of year again. The time where kids and adults go crazy, and read a TON of books! Of course that isn’t all that happens. So read on and get a bit of a preview over what’s happening this year for the Summer Reading Program (SRP).

Who?

SRP Banners

The SRP is designed for all ages. The Tadpoles group is meant for children from birth to preschool. They will have sheets designed to increase their early literacy skills with the help of parents. The Frogs group will be for school age children (up to children going into 5th grade). These children will have time-logs to fill out, to designate the hours they’ve put into their books. The Teens have their own program too! This is open to all young people from entering 6th grade to going into 12th (if they have graduated high school, they aren’t teens anymore). They have to keep track of their time as well, but in order to qualify for the Super Reader prize they must turn in a small book review. The final group is the Adults. The adult program is for everyone from after High School till you can’t read anymore.

What? (The Super Reader Prize)

SRP Prizes

Each group has it’s own super reader prize!

  • Tadpoles: Leap Pad Ultra XDI w/ Get Ready for Kindergarten bundle
  • Frogs: iPad Mini
  • Teens: Beats Headphones
  • Adults: Kindle Fire HDX Tablet

When?

SRP Calendar

May 27: Sign-up Day

On May 27th, registration for the SRP will officially open up. Come in anytime after we open and register. This applies to all of the programs.

May 30: Superhero Saturday

Keeping up with the theme of this year’s SRP, our big kickoff party will be Superhero Saturday! Meet us at Pleasantview Elementary School between 11am-1pm. There will be a bounce house, Super Hero training, Super Hero masks, as well as a photo booth to take your own heroic picture.

June 3rd: Snakehead Ed (Tadpoles & Frogs) / Masked Marshmallow Men (Teens)

June 10th: CR Ryan Magic Show / Frankentoy Friends

June 17th: Ruditoonz / Caped Crusader Cubies

June 24th: Jill’s Giant Adventure / Comic Collages

July 8th: The Water Show / Masquerade

July 11th: Final day to pick up weekly prizes

If you would like anymore information about the events of the SRP, please contact our Youth Librarian.

Where?


All programming (except Superhero Saturday) is scheduled to take place at Morrow’s Meadow. The Tadpoles & Frogs programming will begin at 2pm and the Teen programming will be right after at 3. If the weather disagrees with us, our rain location is the PVE gym.

How to get prizes?

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Tadpoles will have a sheet full of early literacy activities. Once they do all they activities on 1 sheet they can turn it in and receive a prize. Want to earn more? You child can turn in up to 3 sheets a week for a prize! In order to be entered for the Super Reader prize you must turn in 10 pages for 1 ticket. So keep the pages coming in all summer long.

Frogs will have a time log they will have to use to keep track of their time reading. Once they reach a total of 1 hour reading, they get a prize! Just like the Tadpoles, your child can turn in up to 3 hours per week for a prize. For 1 ticket in the Super Reader prize your child must read 20 hours.

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Teens will have a time log as well, but we’ve raised their reading requirement. Teens will have to read 8 hours a week to be entered into the weekly prize drawings. 8 hours will equal 1 ticket, so read more to get more tickets in the weekly drawing. In order to get tickets in the Super Reader prize drawing, you must turn in a small book review of a book at your reading level.

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Adults will have weekly prizes as well. Simply turn in a small review of a book and get a ticket placed into the drawing. All tickets are kept to be put into the Super Reader drawing. So the more books you read, the better your chances at getting that Kindle Fire!

If you want to stay on top of what is going on with the SRP you can always check out our Facebook page, or there is a page dedicated to the Summer Reading Program. Make sure to start coming in on May 27 (that’s this Wednesday) to sign up.

Any questions? Never be afraid to contact us or leave a comment!

Top 5 Ways to Keep Kids Reading Outside of School

As we approach the summer months, and the time kids are out of school, one question seems to pop up on parents’ minds; how do we keep our kids reading? We all have heard the many reasons why reading is so important: do better in school, improves imagination, boosts creativity, and is a great easy way to relax! Yet still, we need to figure out a way to motivate kids to read (and learn to love it) without an impending book report. Here are just a few ways that we have found.

1. Find a story that interests them

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DUH, this one is a no brainer. Who wants to read something that they have no interest in? We certainly don’t, so why should we make our kids do it outside of school. From the months of August through May, they are told what they have to read, so why not let them pick out something that interests them for a change.

2. Keep around plenty to read

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You can’t be expected to read, if you have no reading material. Make sure to have plenty of stuff lying around the house. Books, newspapers, magazines, even video game strategy guides are all things that they could be reading; which is the whole point. Having stuff to read, doesn’t have to break the bank either. You can visit thrift stores, used book stores, and even your local library to pick up plenty to keep your kids reading all summer long.

3. Give them praise when you see them reading

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Everyone loves getting a little acknowledgment for what they do, and so do our kids. Especially if reading has long been a struggle, make sure you recognize when they choose a book over television. It doesn’t have to be some loud, extravagant shout of praise, but maybe sit with them and ask about what they are reading. Which leads us to the next suggestion.

4. Family Book Club

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Everyone band together and pick a book that interests everyone. Now we know that this isn’t always possible, but maybe let the kids get a little more weight in the decision making. Not only is this a good way to motivate everyone to read, but it can even encourage conversation between you and your young ones. Have a big life event coming (like starting high school)? Pick a book about that topic, read it together, and have a discussion preparing both of you for the time to come.

5. Model it

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It has long been said that children learn the most by watching their parents. So if you want to raise readers in your family, guess what you have to do! Make sure you don’t read only when they are down for a nap, or after bedtime. The idea is that we want them to see you reading, so they will pick up a book for themselves because that’s what mom/dad does. Having trouble finding something to read? Ask a librarian or someone in a bookstore for help. It’s important that you like what you are reading, so you can show your kids just how fun it can be.

There are obviously many more ways to keep your kids reading. If you have any suggestions make sure to leave them in the comments, or message us through our website, Facebook, or Twitter pages.