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Library Secrets

By Danielle Schapaugh

Psst…I have a secret to tell you. There are free services at the library that you don’t even suspect!

scannerFor starters, Manhattan Public Library has a high-quality digital flatbed scanner. Users can scan documents, photos, articles, or even maps in color at high resolution, and save the images to a flash drive or send them directly to an email account. All for free.

If you’re in need of a high speed Internet connection, the library’s got you covered. Cardholders can access free 30Mbps WiFi in the building and at three WiFi hotspots around town: the Douglass Community Center at 901 Yuma, City Park Playground, and the Wefald Pavilion in City Park. The library received a grant in 2013 to test TV Whitespace as a way to provide free Internet access and it has been very successful. Log in to using your library card number and password. If you forget your password, visit the library to have it reset.

For those of us who feel outpaced by new technology, the library offers technology classes twice a month. In addition, Wandean Rivers in the Assistive Technology Center is available for one-on-one technology tutoring by appointment. Call Wandean at 776-4741 ext. 202 to schedule a session. Desk staff can also help with basic questions and assist you in finding the resources to learn more. These services, like all the services at the library, are free to cardholders.

Lynda_homepage_icon2If you prefer to explore on your own, the library offers several options for self-education. The most exciting new service is called lynda.com. With topics ranging from Improving Your Memory to 3D Video Game Design, lynda.com provides training to interest any user at any level. I’ve used the service to improve my professional skills in office programs and graphic design. I can’t say enough about lynda.com; I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Try any of the thousands of video tutorials and you will be amazed. Lynda.com is available completely free for all library card holders through the library’s website.

Perhaps you are someone who is “all about the books.” If you just want something good to read, ask a librarian. We have resources to recommend books based on your tastes, authors you like, genres you enjoy, bestsellers, and more. If you want a complete and customized list of recommendations, take a minute to fill out a personalized reading list request.  A librarian will comb the collection and give you a long list of books you’re sure to love. Why waste time reading mediocre books when there are so many great books to enjoy?

There are resources galore for children and families, but you may not have noticed the storytime kits and discovery packs. Librarians package books, games, toys, and even costumes in a backpack for a complete learning and entertainment experience. Find topics like New Siblings, Fire and Rescue, Potty Training (complete with Potty Elmo doll), World Records, and Dinosaurs. Discovery packs are perfect for grandparents with visiting grandkids!

Another resource you may not have noticed is simply space. The library has three meeting rooms and one computer classroom that are available to the public. Community and civic groups can reserve space to hold meetings, conduct classes, and even teleconference in the library’s meeting rooms for free. No groups can charge admission or conduct sales at the library, and some other restrictions may apply. For more information please call or visit the Manhattan Public Library.

I could go on and on, and then some. You can find language learning programs, resources to help teach your child to read, fun events, Consumer Reports, Ancestry.com, and more. If you would like a group tour of library services, please call us at (785) 776-4741 ext.120. We would love to show you all the wonderful resources available at your local library.

Posted in: Adult Services, library services, Mercury Column, News

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Celebrate E-Book Week!

sunflowerToday begins National Read an E-Book Week. E-Books are easy to download and read on your mobile device, tablet, e-reader or computer. Just go to the Sunflower E Library,  whose link is on our home page. Have your MPL library card handy to log-in, then search for books. There are also several sites for free e-books, such as Project Gutenberg.  E-books downloaded to a mobile device or reader are handy–you’ll always have reading material while waiting in line at the DMV or at a doctor’s office! Check out the Sunlower E Library today!

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Zoofari Tails: A Quacky Storytime!

Get ready, because Zduckoofari is tomorrow! Join us this month as we present a duck-themed Zoofari Tails Storytime! Stories read will include “Duck to the Rescue“, “Ducks” a short non-fiction book, and even “Duck Says Don’t“. Along with these great stories, we will also be waddling and quacking up a storm – trust me you don’t want to miss this! Sunset Zoo docents will also present biofacts AND a live duck! Due to lack of parking, we will start a few minutes after 10:00, so don’t be discouraged if you come a little late. We hope to see you there! Quack, Quack!

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, library services, Parents

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Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Thursday, February 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale Day. There are many reasons to read fairy tales. To begin, fairy tales are important transmitters of cultural history. Although contemporary versions of fairy tales have been altered over the years from their originals, they still contain a great deal of historical information about culture, psychology, and morality of years past. Fairy tales also are powerful stimulators of imagination. Just ask one of the most imaginative (and intelligent) scientists of the 20th century, Albert Einstein. According to Einstein, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

However, no one says that fairy tales are just for kids. Reading fairy tales as an adults, especially the original versions, gives you a whole new appreciation for this complex form of literature. There are also many contemporary retellings of fairy tales. Here are a few titles that you just might enjoy:

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It’s a winter wonderland out there! Or is it?

by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

picture of young girl reading

Winter is definitely still upon us, and parents and caregivers may be scrambling to find indoor activities for their toddlers, preschoolers, and older children.  Thankfully, Manhattan is a great community which offers a lot opportunities to stay indoors and still have tons of fun.

Flint Hills Discovery Center (FDHC) currently has a Kansas exhibit where students and their families can learn interesting facts about our great state.  On the third floor of the FDHC, you’ll also find an excellent play and exploration area for younger children, including a fort, bouncy area, and lots of fun toys.  Admission is $9 for adults and $4 for children ages 2-17. Opt for a yearly pass at a cost of $22.50 per adult, and $10 per child.

The Riley County Family and Child Resource Center offers several playgroups throughout the week for younger children ages 0-5 years.  Staffed by Parents as Teachers, these playgroups give parents and children the opportunity to socialize, engage in imaginative play, and learn the basics of parenting from early childhood educators.  The playgroup schedule caters to specific age groups each time the playroom is open.  View the complete schedule here.  All playgroups are free of charge and do not require pre-registration.

Manhattan Public Library has so much to offer families who are looking for free activities in the wintertime!  Storytimes are currently in session, with ten weekly programs for children from birth to early elementary.  These sessions are free and do not require pre-registration.

The newly expanded children’s library has many activities available all the time, including a puppet theatre, reading corner, arts and crafts table, and science toys.  The children’s library staff is more than happy to assist you in finding more activities in the community to do with your children.

Manhattan is a wonderful community comprised of many families with children.  Though the winter months are sometimes difficult to get through, especially with small children, there are many opportunities throughout the city to enjoy playtime indoors.

If you know of any fun winter activities for kids that aren’t mentioned here, tweet them to us @ManhattanPL.

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Celebrate George Handel’s Birthday

handelMany of us have listened to recordings or live performances of The Messiah filled with awe at the beauty of the composition and with wonder at the composer’s ability to create such a magnificent piece of music. George Frideric Handel, it’s composer, was born in Germany on this day in 1685. He was one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era.  He  moved from Germany to Italy, eventually settling in London. Besides The Messiah, he wrote many operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Some of his other works include Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Coronation Anthems, composed for the coronation of George II. Manhattan Public Library has several CD’s with recordings of Handel’s works. Check them out!!messiah

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Read a Tale, Tell a Tale

By Jennifer Bergen, Children’s Services Manager

February 26 is National Tell a Fairy-Tale Day.  I know you already know them, but in case you need some inspiration for your Thursday bedtime story, come visit our Fairy Tale and Folklore Neighborhood in the Children’s room. Look for the banner with the impressive Neuschwanstein Castle pictured atop its woodsy Bavarian hillside. In this section, we have pulled together our fantastic collection of anthologies and picture books so you can find plenty of options, including classic tales, tall tales, new tales, whimsical or “fractured” fairy tales, and stories from around the world.

A few recent additions to this neighborhood include:

chickenBrave Chicken Little retold and illustrated by Robert Byrd. Chicken Little is sure the sky is falling, and he gathers an even larger than usual crowd of animals in his wake when he runs into that sly Foxy Loxy.  This time, Loxy has a wife and seven little kits “who frazzle my wits,” and they are all hungry. Down to the cellar the other animals go, waiting for the stew water to boil. Can little Chicken Little save the day?  Byrd turns the tables on this tale and gives kids an unlikely champion for problem-solving and resourcefulness.

My Grandfather’s Coat retold by Jim Aylesworth. Children love the old Yiddish tale “I Had a Little Overcoat,” with the continual surprises of what the old man will make out of his clothing next.  This retelling has just the right amount of repetition for young listeners to get into the rhythm and start chiming in: “He wore it, and he wore it. And little bit by little bit, he frayed it, and he tore it, until at last…he wore it out!”  Barbara McClintock’s illustrations of family life add a personable tone, showing how the overcoat lasts for generations until “there was nothing left at all. Nothing, that is, except for this story.”

Twelve Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman. In this magical fantasy, a king has 12 unicorns chained to trees in a pen. Only a little girl with a special cloak can discover the mysterious secrets of the mythical creatures and try to save them. This story is sure to satisfy young unicorn lovers with beautiful illustrations by Justin Gerard.

blueThe longstanding favorite anthologies by Andrew Lang are being reissued with the original illustrations, and you can find The Blue Fairy Book, The Yellow Fairy Book and The Green Fairy Book in the library’s collection, each with dozens of tales from around the world including both well-known stories and rare little gems. Lang’s prefaces are worth reading aloud, during which he generally acknowledges the superiority of the child’s mind over the dull thinking of grown-ups.

Two Robert Sabuda pop-up books are also displayed in the Fairy Tales & Folklore Neighborhood: Dragons & Knights and Beauty & the Beast. They are not available for check-out due to their delicate inner workings, but kids and adults love to pore through them while sitting on the fanciful purple bench.  So come read some books, play dress-up with your child, gaze into the “magic” mirror and be inspired to tell a thrilling tale with your own new endings on Fairy-Tale Day.

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Mercury Column, News

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For fans of Game of Thrones!!

fireCheck out  the  never-before-seen history of Westeros and the lands beyond at your Manhattan Public Library. Hundreds of pages of all-new material from George R.R. Martin.  George R. R. Martin’s masterwork warrants a great introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice & Fire, a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones .

In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site “Westeros.org”–perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.

Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers; including full-color artwork and maps, with more than 170 original pieces; full family trees for Houses Stark, Lannister, and Targarye;  in-depth explorations of the history and culture of Westeros;  and 100% all-new material, more than half of which Martin wrote specifically for this book.   The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice & Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.

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Spring Book Sale at the Library

little boy reading a book in the romance section

The Manhattan Library Association’s annual book sale will be held Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 1. 

Visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue to find incredible prices on books, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks that have been donated throughout the year or removed from the library’s collection. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Manhattan Public Library.

The annual book sale has the best bargains in town with hardcover books for $1.50, paperbacks for 75 cents, DVDs and CDs for $2, audiobooks for $4, and children’s books for 75 cents. All of the money raised will be used to fund library programs such as guest speakers, children’s puppet shows, and summer reading programs.

The first night of the sale is open to Manhattan Library Association Members only from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 27. Memberships are available at the door starting at $10. Join the Association to get first choice of materials.

Stop by the sale on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also find extra fuel for your shopping at the Teen Library Advisory Board’s Annual Bake Sale from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.

On Sunday, March 1, the sale will be open from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with special deals on the remaining materials.

This is truly a community event, staffed by wonderful volunteers like Bob Newhouse, Roger Brannan, Wilma Schmeller, and Carol Oakrup who devote countless hours of work organizing the sale.

For more information, visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue or call us at (785) 776-4741.

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

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The Noble Table

Library Tables“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”
 ~ Albert Einstein
One of the many virtues of Manhattan Public Library that people often forget is our beautiful tables. They humbly stand by without drawing any attention to themselves, just waiting for that moment that you need an expansive, clear space to set your creative or productive mind free. Among other activities, I have seen patrons use our tables to figure up taxes, conduct family meetings, and wrap Christmas presents. Never underestimate the value of a good table.

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