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Holiday Happenings in Manhattan

snowman ornament with snowy backgroundThe recent cold weather and snow flurries are good reminders that the holiday season is quickly approaching! Participating in holiday events can help make the season bright. Here is a list of holiday activities in town that will be fun for the whole family.

Books, movies, and music

The library has holiday music CDs and holiday movies on display to help you get in the spirit. Look for the library’s holiday decorations soon–we love to deck the halls!

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Join friends and neighbors on Thanksgiving Day for a community dinner being held this year at Old Chicago from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Dinner is free of charge but donations are appreciated. Call (785) 537-0730 for more information.

Festival of Lights at Blue Earth Plaza Nov. 28-Dec. 31

The lighting ceremony (with a special appearance by Santa!) will be held Friday, November 28 at 7:00 pm. The music and lights will dazzle viewers this holiday season!

Small Business Saturday Nov. 29

Shop locally and support Manhattan businesses.

College Musicum Free Concert – Monday, Dec. 1

Enjoy a free concert from K-State’s historical performance ensemble on Monday, December 1 at 7:30 pm in Kirmser Hall at McCain Auditorium.

Winterdance ’14 – Thrusday, Dec. 4- Monday, Dec. 6

WinterDance is K-State Dance’s annual fall concert that features faculty dance choreography. Jazz, modern, tap, ballet, movement theatre, and African dance styles will be shown. The performances will be in the Chapman Theater in Nichols Hall at 7:30 each evening December 4 through 6. Call for tickets 785-532-6428 or check their web site at

Mayor’s Holiday Parade – Friday, Dec. 5

This festive parade starts at 5:30 at the mall and ends with a tree-lighting ceremony in Aggieville’s triangle park. You’ll see lighted floats and might even catch a special appearance by Santa Claus!

Family Holiday Workshop – Sunday, Dec. 7

The Beach Museum of Art is hosting a workshop on Sunday, December 7 from 2:00-3:30 pm, with winter-themed art projects for the whole family. For For more information, go to Fee charged.

KSU Orchestra – Sunday, Dec. 7

Get into the holiday spirit with beautiful music at this free concert at McCain Auditorium Sunday, December 7 at 3:00 pm.

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides Dec. 6-21

On Saturday and Sunday evenings December 6-21, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around downtown Manhattan free with a donation of cash or goods for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter. Start at 3rd and Poyntz.

Helping those in need

• The Mayor’s Holiday Food and Fund Drive assists the Flint Hills Breadbasket in collecting food for needy families. A donation of $40 provides a food basket for a family of four. Food donations, or cash donations, are always welcomed at the Breadbasket either in person at 905 Yuma Street on online. Don’t let families go hungry this holiday season!
• Individuals, families or businesses may adopt a family in order to provide gifts for a family that otherwise might not celebrate the holidays. The Junior League of the Flint Hills is sponsoring the Adopt-A-Family Program this year and matches donors to families. Call 785-410-5086 or email to offer your help.

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News, Uncategorized

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Zoofari Tails This Week!

Folks, we are halfway through NovJan Thomasember, which means it is time for my monthly Zoofari Tails Storytime pitch! Since it is Kansas Reads to Preschoolers week I have chosen a theme based on this year’s selected book Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas. This month’s theme will be all about farm animals! We have ‘em all: cows, pigs, ducks, and maybe even a chicken or two! Other stories read will include Punk Farm and Dooby Dooby Moo. Don’t forget about to add a dash of fun songs and rhymes! After storytime, Sunset Zoo docents will present animal biofacts pertaining to farm animals. Children who attend will also receive their very own copy of Is Everyone Ready for Fun? Don’t forget to bring your Zoofari punch card – if you have one – because we only have one month left before we do our yearly membership drawing! Please note that storytime will be held AT THE SUNSET ZOO at 10:00. We hope to see you there!


Posted in: For Kids, library services, Parents

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Thursday’s Book Discussion!

index3ALTS5PAThursday at 7:00 pm in the Grosebeck Room at Manhattan Public Library will be our final event in our Big Read programs regarding the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. We are especially excited to have Dr. Kim Stanley, a professor at McPherson College and a representative of the Kansas Humanities Council, here in Manhattan to lead our discussion. Dr. Stanley is very knowledgeable about this book and promises to provide an informative and lively discussion. Refreshments will be served. Join us for this interesting discussion!

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NaNoWriMo is Wicked Hard–We Can Help!

By Heather Strafuss, Assistant Circulation Manager

old typewriter

image courtesy of

We’re halfway through National Novel Writing Month! If you’ve hit the halfway point of 25K, congratulations! Even getting one thousand words down is a huge accomplishment, and you’ve gone way beyond that. Give yourself one large pat on the back!

Haven’t hit the halfway mark yet? Don’t despair! Being down a few thousand words will not keep you from getting to that finish line. And MPL has plenty of services to help you on your way to NaNoWriMo success!


For starters, we have a lot of great tables where you can spread out your laptop and get down to writing. Want to write in a quiet space? Go online or call Administration and book the Friends Room, a quiet, solitary area. Going to be holed up for a long time writing? Feel free to bring your coffee…and even snacks if you are working in the Friends Room.


Not finding the exact resource you need on Google? Our Adult Services librarians can help you look up a fact or find the perfect book to help you learn all about the habits of blue-fined tuna.

Stuck in a scene and not sure where to go next? The books in our 800s section have tons of helpful writing books, full of tips and tricks. (Personally, I’d start with Stephen King’s “On Writing.” LOADS of useful advice!)


Want to look update your NaNo word-count, or chat in the forums about your success/troubles? The library has free WiFi access. All you need is your library card or a visitor’s pass from the checkout desk.

Need even further help? Keep an eye out on our Twitter and Pinterest pages, where we will be posting writing tips and tricks as the month continues.

Good luck and happy plotting!

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The Real History of the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving

by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager
The story of the first Thanksgiving is rooted in history but the mythology surrounding it has grown over the centuries till it barely resembles actual events. As is nearly always the case with history, the truth turns out to be far more complicated and vastly more interesting than the myth. If you’re interested in learning more about the real story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and about our country’s complicated, fascinating history, try one of these books from Manhattan Public Library.

mayflowr“Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick details the history of the Pilgrims as Separatists in England and as religious refugees in Holland, and then follows their voyage on the Mayflower, chronicling the early years of Plymouth Colony and examining relations between European settlers and Native Americans. Philbrick adds depth to what we know of familiar historical figures like William Bradford, Chief Massasoit, Squanto, Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullins, John Alden, and Edward Winslow, and reveals unexpected and surprising historical details.

“Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World” by Nick Bunker is another richly-detailed historic overview. The author, an Englishman, writes about the Mayflower Pilgrims as Englishmen themselves and places them in the context of the political world in which they lived. It’s an exhaustively detailed recounting of the first years of settlement which “scoops up every relevant character and links all to the basic tale of indomitable courage, religious faith, commercial ambition, international rivalry, and domestic politics.” (Publisher’s Weekly). (more…)

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Celebrate “Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week”

By Laura Ransom, Children’s Librarian

“Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week” is an annual event that promotes reading to all Kansas children from birth through age five. Parents, librarians, and caregivers are encouraged to read the chosen book during the week of November 16-22.

funI am especially excited about this year’s selection, Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas. Three happy cows and a frustrated chicken bounce through the pages of this light-hearted picture book. We love promoting this event at Manhattan Public Library, and each child who attends a storytime during the week will receive a free book! Funding for the free books is generously provided by the Manhattan Library Association.
My love for books began when I was very young. I have such fond memories of sitting in my mom’s lap while she read Don Wood’s The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear to me night after night. She later told me that she had the book memorized since I requested it so many times. What a patient parent! Another of my all-time favorites is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. I remember chanting along with that brave engine, “I think I can, I think I can!” These engaging books stirred a desire in me to learn how to read the words on the pages.
readaloudAs a children’s librarian, I obviously endorse reading aloud to children, but research supports it, too. One example is a study by the U.S. Department of Education, which concluded with these words: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” This quote is from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, a wonderful book filled with read-aloud suggestions and helpful tips for parents. Books include a wider vocabulary than we often encounter in television shows or everyday conversations. Even though children are unfamiliar with these new words, exposure to them is a stepping stone to reading independently. If they have heard the word before, they will be better equipped to know how to read it on the printed page.
A love for reading is just as important as the actual reading process. The fancy name for the desire to read is called print motivation. This is one of six skills children need in order to read successfully. The other skills are: Notice Print All Around; Talk, Talk, Talk; Tell Stories About Everything; Look for Letters Everywhere; and Take Time to Rhyme, Sing, and Play Word Games. These skills were originally identified by the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read Program. Johnson County Public Library modified the information that program first developed, and they renamed it “6 by 6: Six Skills by Six Years.” Many of these skills are things parents already practice with their children without taking much time to consider the educational benefits. Things like pointing out the letters on a stop sign or words on a billboard can actually help children notice that words are all around them. Little habits like this can truly make a big difference in a child’s attitude toward reading.

Our librarians love to help children discover the joy of reading. Come visit us at the library for great book recommendations and resources for growing readers.

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, library services, Mercury Column, News, Parents

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National Family Literacy Month

by Mary, Adult Services Librarian

I’m a novice Grandma and so excited about helping my little guy fall in love with reading.

Fun activities that involve books and interactive reading can begin the first steps toward this love affair.
index6DNGOOOZA new book that has helped me form new ideas about reading to my grandson is:
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in the Digital Age–From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything In Between by Jason Boog is a wonderful new book that helps parents learn the advantages of interactive reading.
National Family Literacy Day just passed us by but we are barely into National Family Literacy Month. This November take advantage of the ideas on the website to enjoy fun times with books. They have an idea for each day that can make reading and learning about literature a game. Try the idea on Day 2-Draw pictures of your child’s favorite book characters and turn them into puppets for dramatic play. Day 10 – Create Picture Stories. Take a photo or draw a picture of your child doing a favorite activity. Write a story together, using the pictures as illustrations. Picture books help children develop critical thinking skills, as their brains take in the picture and the text and make connections between the two.

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Gratitude for Veterans

left: Rich Wartell, Orris Kelly, Chuck Murphy, Beryl Adams, Mike McDermott, Ron Trewyn, and Mike Kearns.

left: Rich Wartell, Orris Kelly, Chuck Murphy, Beryl Adams, Mike McDermott, Ron Trewyn, and Mike Kearns.

The staff at Manhattan Public Library would like to thank the distinguished group of Vietnam veterans who participated in the Veterans’ Day Forum at the Wareham Opera House on November 11, 2014. We appreciate the time and effort of Beryl Adams, Orris Kelly, Mike McDermott, Chuck Murphy, Ron Trewyn, and Rich Wartell who bravely shared their experiences, with Mike Kearns leading the discussion.


Dr. Ron Trewyn

We would also like to thank the many audience members who came out on a very cold evening and expressed their appreciation for these veterans. We believe everyone found the 90 minutes to be interesting, rewarding, and moving, as they heard these six individuals share details of their life-changing experiences during and after the war.

Events of this size only come together with the help of many people. We are very grateful for the assistance of Dave Ekart and the Flint Hills Veterans Coalition, and Ryan Platt from the Wareham Opera House, for their help planning the event. Dave Lewis and Ron Frank were instrumental in the process, providing sound support and a video recording of the forum. Thanks to Ron Frank, copies of the DVD will soon be available for checkout at the library as part of the Veteran’s Oral History Project collection.

Thank you to Briana Nelson Goff and Kansas State University’s Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families for their partnership and support.

We appreciate the enthusiastic support provided by Cheryl Collins and Allana Saenger-Parker from the Riley County Historical Museum. Their poignant display of artifacts belonging to Roger Parrish, a soldier who did not return home after the war, as well as a series of photographs from the FHVC, will be on display at the library throughout the month of November.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Kansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Arts for grant funding that enabled us to provide books and publicity for the Big Read events. These grants are designed to promote reading and a shared experience of storytelling in communities.

The staff at the Little Apple Brewing Company were the generous hosts of a book discussion for the Big Read on November 13. We appreciate the use of your space, your friendly hospitality, and hope to make this a recurring partnership.

A final event is planned for the Big Read on Thursday, November 20 at

7:00 p.m. at the library. Dr. Kim Stanley from the Kansas Humanities Council will lead a discussion of the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

We appreciate the support of all the members of the community in showing gratitude to our soldiers. Thank you for your service.

With gratitude,

Judi Nechols

Mary Newkirk

Danielle Schapaugh

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National Adoption Month

by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian, and Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

Family_jumpDuring the month of November, the act of adoption is celebrated through an initiative of the Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids. There are currently more than 5,000 Kansas children in foster care, with just under 900 waiting to be adopted.  Most children waiting to be adopted are 10 years or older, or are part of a sibling group. Profiles for waiting children can viewed through Adopt US Kids.

The qualifications needed to become an adoptive parent through the foster system vary statewide. In the state of Kansas, it is required for prospective parents to complete the 30-hour PS-MAPP (Partnering for Permanency and Safety—Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) training course, as well as a full home study done by a social worker. Numerous agencies exist in the state of Kansas which assist with domestic infant adoptions, and qualifications and costs for adoptions vary per agency.

Often, adoptive parents find themselves in need of extra support as their children grow older and begin to understand their identity as adopted, but deeply loved. There are many resources available for parents in such situations. Most agencies that facilitate adoptions offer parent and caregiver support groups. During these support groups, parents can connect with other adoptive parents and resources to help them be the best possible parents. The Child Welfare Information Gateway also has numerous resources for assisting parents in helping their child process their identity as an adopted child.

Here at Manhattan Public Library, there are also a wide variety of adoption-related materials for each step of the way.


Learning About Adoption for Parents


Adoption Books for Kids (Fiction and Nonfiction)



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Do you Love Peanut Butter?!

by Janet, Adult Services Librarian

I’ve heard it’s Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. James A. Garfield said, “Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” For those of you that do love peanut butter, “There’s nothing peanut butter and a spoon can’t fix.” Thank you George Washington Carver for giving us this incredible invention.

peanutPick up Jon Krampner’s book, Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, The All American Food to learn more about the tasty sticky stuff.

I found a recipe that got my saliva glands going that I must try soon. It’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie on page 159in Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My World! Recipes that Take You Places by Emeril Lagasse.


You too can find books that have great peanut butter recipes to suit your own taste buds and gain new ways to enjoy this wonder paste using our library catalog.


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