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Bedtime Books for Summer Nights

by Grace Benedick, Children’s Librarian

As a child, I loved the long summer days and the warm summer nights, but if there was one thing I really hated about summer, it was bedtime. I think we can all remember the childhood trial of trying to fall asleep before the sun had set—when it seemed the whole world was still wide awake. Fortunately, for all of you grown-ups with children undergoing that yearly trial, the library is full of wonderful bedtime stories to appease your wakeful children. In fact, over 200 titles will come up if you search our catalog for picture books about bedtime, so here’s a small selection of summery favorites to get you started:

atnightJonathan Bean’s debut picture book, At Night is all about one of those restless nights when sleep just won’t come. The story moves at a poetic, quiet pace, following a restless girl as she chases the night breeze up to her city roof. With her curious mother trailing behind, she takes her pillows and blankets upstairs to the rooftop terrace, where she can see the moon and feel the breeze, and better yet—fall asleep.

 

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

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Dog Days of Summer

Baths-1-Although the cool temperatures of the last week would suggest otherwise, we are officially in the dog days of summer now. The dog days of summer has its roots in Roman astronomy. Romans called the time of the year from July 24th to August 23rd, “diēs caniculārēs,” or the Dog Days. Why Dog Days? Astronomers of that time associated this season with Sirius, the Dog Star, which rose and set with the sun in July and August. This led to the assumption that the star Sirius was the cause of the steamy summer weather.

Most of the history of the dog days of summer has been lost over the last millennia. However, we do share one similarity in how we handle the hot weather—swimming! Romans built magnificent public baths, or thermae, throughout their entire empire and were important spots for socializing and doing business, as well as keeping cool.

These days, we prefer our swimming in the form of pools. Manhattan’s own pools and splash parks are a wonderful antidote to hot weather. They may not be the opulent thermae of the Romans, but they do have one advantage—waterslides!

Posted in: Adult Services

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What’s Happening, Manhattan?

by Judi Nechols, Adult Services Librarian

farmers market

The long, hot, dog days of summer are upon us. It’s tempting to just sit around, but there are too many things happening in and around town to relax! Some of the fun events coming up in Manhattan are:

  • Manhattan Town Center is having the annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale, from July 24th through July 27th. Head to the mall to find some bargains!
  • The Riley County Fair kicks off on July 24 with a parade downtown along Poyntz Ave. Lots of events and activities will take place at the fairgrounds at CICO Park, including the Ottaway Amusement Carnival.
  • The 39th Annual Kaw Valley PRCA Rodeo also begins July 24th, at 8:00pm, and continues on the 25th and 26th at Wells Arena in CICO Park. Catch the riding, roping, bull riding and rodeo clowns! As a tie-in to the event, MPL will also be hosting a rodeo-themed story time at the Flint Hills Discovery Center on Thursday, July 24th at 9:30am. Members of the Kaw Valley Rodeo Association will provide stories and demonstrations for kids, featuring Rodeo Clown Andy North, Barrelman Rick Young and Cowboy Poet Ron Wilson. Better yet, each child who attends receives a free ticket to the Kaw Valley Rodeo!
  • Furniture Amnesty Day is Saturday, July 25th from 8:00 am to 5:00pm in City Park. Furniture may be donated or you may sign up for a time to select items, all for free!
  • Downtown Farmers Market is Saturday, July 26th from 8:00 am to 1:00pm. Shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, honey and more—located in the Dillards parking lot at 3rd and Leavenworth.
  • Pools and the Splash Park are still open to cool off, and Arts in the Park continues on Friday, July 25th at 8:00pm with a Tribute to Journey by Odyssey Road. Musical festivities continue on August 1st at 8:00pm with jazz/folk/bluegrass music from Run Boy Run, and the Little Apple Music Festival beginning at 5:00pm on August 2nd.
  • ZOOfari Tails at the Zoo is on July 25th at 9:30am at Sunset Zoo.  Children’s librarians and zoo docents will read stories, followed by zoo staff showing animals and animal artifacts or leading tours to specific exhibits. Monthly book give-away will be sponsored by Claflin Books. Families who attend the event can be entered into a drawing for a free one-year Friends of Sunset Zoo family membership. Looking for more wild activities? August 2nd is Water Safari & Free Kids Day and you can cool off at Sunset Zoo with family-friendly activities from 12:00pm to 4:30pm. Kids visit free with a paid adult admission from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

If outdoor activities aren’t your thing, consider these other activities that can help you beat the heat.

  • First and foremost, the Manhattan Public Library’s Summer Reading Programs continue to the 31st—you still have time to read that book on your list and enter to win a prize from one of our very cool sponsors.
  • The Marianna Kistler Beach Art Museum at KSU currently has two exhibitions to view—Janet Backes: Where the Heart Belongs and “Igniting the Senses.”
  • You can also check out the Ice Age Imperials Exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center through September 14th. Interacting with real fossils from ancient animals like the saber-toothed cat, woolly mammoth, giant sloth, dire wolf, giant beaver and teeth from a huge prehistoric bear makes the Ice Age come alive for visitors like never before.

Know of something else going on around that we didn’t mention? Drop us a line or share with us on social media!

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Bibliomysteries!

indexU4IF9XSTA genre that deserves attention (and is a natural favorite of book lovers) is the bibliomystery.
Bibliomysteries are a genre of mystery novels which have books as the central theme of the plot. They may be have manuscripts, libraries, publishing houses, booksellers, or writers occupy a prominent role.
One of the very best bibliomysteries is Booked to Die by John Dunning (1992). Booked to Die is Dunning’s first novel in his “Bookman” series, and it’s a minor classic, especially if you’re a fan of the bibliomystery genre or a book collector. It’s the story of a Denver cop-turned-rare book dealer Cliff Janeway, and it will teach you a lot about the book trade while taking you on a mystery thrill-ride at the same time. Dunning is himself a rare book dealer, which makes the story even more authentic. (more…)

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What happened today in history?

lunar-landing-9Who knows the significance of July 20, 1969? If you said “the anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon”, you would be correct! Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. landed lunar module Eagle at 4:17 pm, EDT, and remained on the lunar surface for 21 hours, 36 minutes and 16 seconds.  Learn more about the history of space flight to the moon with these titles.

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New Scanner at the Library!

scannerYou’ve been coming to the library for books, DVDs, music, computers, and printing…and now we’ve got something new for you! Brought to you by popular demand, as of this month, MPL has a brand-new scanner available for your use. Located right next to the first floor copier by the Information Desk, the scanner is free of charge. Scanned items can be either saved to a flash drive or emailed. Items scan in color and with great resolution. The scanner also allows you to see what you’ve scanned before you send it, saving you time and frustration.

New to the world of scanners? Just ask one of the staff members at the Information Desk to give you a quick tutorial on using the different features of this great new machine.

Posted in: Adult Services, library services

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Librarian Tips and Tricks: Finding all the books in a series

by Judi Nechols, Adult Services Librarian

Winterkill by CJ BoxHave you ever picked up a book that looked great, only to find yourself lost as you began the story? Did you get the sense that something important happened before the first page?

It’s a common point of frustration, because many authors are now writing series that feature a main character throughout. Thankfully, there is an easy way to solve this mystery and find out if a title is part of a series. The library’s catalog can help you find the title to pick next, or even first. If you would like to read a series, such as C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett Series, here’s how to begin:

  1. If you happened to pick up Box’s book “Winterkill” on the shelf, go to the library’s online catalog and type Winterkill in the search box. You can also begin by typing the author’s name or any part of the title you want to explore.
  2. When the search results pop up, click on the title “Winterkill.” The book listing, including summary, publication date, and location will pop up.
  3. If you scroll down, you’ll find a tab that says “Suggestions and more” with a drop-down icon.
  4. Here, you will find “Books in This Series” with a complete listing of all the titles in sequential order. Click a title to find the book’s location and availability.
  5. Read and enjoy!

This is a fairly new feature in our catalog, but it is one that can help you find the right title every time. There are also recommendations for read-alike series or titles—be sure to scroll down to find lots of helpful information.

We also offer personalized reading lists, full of suggestions customized to your specific tastes. The service is free; just fill out this form and we’ll send you a list of books we think you’ll enjoy.

Librarians are here to help. Anytime you need assistance finding a title or would like to learn catalog search tips, please feel free to ask us!

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Kansas Water 50 Year Vision

We don’t experience it as strongly in Manhattan as they do in other parts of the state, but in parts of Kansas this is the fourth year of drought, resulting in stress to our water supply sources. Governor Brownback has asked several government departments to work together to examine this problem and plan a vision for the future. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

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Summertime Fun — Out and About with Books

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

It is summer break, and the kids here are reading maniacs! In June, more than 30,000 children’s books and audiobooks were checked out from the library.  So far, 2,000 children have registered for the library’s summer reading program and read more than 600,000 minutes.  They are earning cool prizes to keep them motivated, including squirt toys, magnifying glasses, free books, and a wide choice of free food coupons or free kids’ day passes to the zoo and Discovery Center. The last day to collect prizes is July 31, and it is not too late to get your children signed up and include all the reading they have been doing since June 1st. 

Amidst the kids checking out books and getting their prizes, you may have noticed construction crews on the grounds, up on the roof, and in and out of the building.  The Children’s Room is shrinking while this phase of the construction project proceeds with renovations inside the current space, and with connecting the room to new spaces on both the north and south ends of the Children’s Room.  This will double the size of the space when the project is completed at the end of this year.

blue chickenLuckily, we are able to keep all our children’s materials available to the public, but space is getting more and more crowded for children’s events.  Children’s librarians will be doing some fun programs out and about the community during this phase.  Ms. Amber is leading weekly storytimes at Bluestem Bistro.  Meet on the patio on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 during the month of July to hear fun stories, rhymes and songs about colors.  This week’s theme is “blue” featuring Deborah Freedman’s Blue Chicken. What happens when an energetic chicken stumbles off the page and into a pot of blue paint?  Join us on the patio to find out. (more…)

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

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Favorite Things!

Do you go around the house whistling about your favorite things? When you see an OK license plate, do you burst into singing O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A? Are you tempted to wash that man right out of your hair? If so, you can be glad that Oscar Hammerstein was born on this day in 1895. The lyricist, playwright and producer teamed up with Jerome Kern and with Richard Rodgers to bring to the stage such delightful musicals as The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, The King and I, Carousel and South Pacific. They teamed up to create so many memorable songs that remain popular today. What a talent! Check our catalog for CD’s and DVD’s of these musicals!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

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