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Monarchs Baseball History at MPL

by Janet, Adult Services Librarian

14541-illustration-of-a-baseball-pvMost people have heard of Jackie Robinson, some have heard of Satchel Paige and many have heard of the Kansas City Monarchs – but few know how connected they were to the Manhattan community. In honor of the 90th Anniversary of the Monarchs’ first World Championship in 1924, author Phil S. Dixon will be speaking in cities where they played to present the team’s unique history as well as discuss the history of African-American ball players from our community who participated in the Negro Leagues. Help us and our co-sponsor, the Riley County Historical Society, welcome Mr. Dixon to the Manhattan Public Library on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. For more than thirty years Mr. Dixon has recorded African-American sports topics with a vast array of in-depth skill and historical accuracy. He is widely regarded for his expertise on baseball history. He has authored nine prior baseball books and won the prestigious Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book of 1992. Join us for this fascinating program about Manhattan and Baseball history!

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The History of Baseball

by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

With spring just around the corner, that means it is once again time for baseball, the all American pastime. To get yourself ready, or just to impress your friends with your vast knowledge, why not read up on the history of the sport?

If you want to brush up on your knowledge of the Negro Leagues, we have several books on the subject. Here are just a few to get you started.

monarchs“The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball” by Janet Bruce:   This book traces the story of the Kansas City Monarchs from their beginning as a charter member of the Negro National League in 1920 until their demise in the mid 1950’s due largely to the integration of the sport. The Monarchs were a powerhouse in their league and employed some of the great stars of that era, such as Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson. Did you know that the Monarchs were the first team to regularly play night baseball? They brought a portable lighting system with them which they quickly assembled at each new location when they travelled on the road. Bruce fills the book with many other interesting anecdotes as well as over 90 photographs of various players or scenes.

“Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams” by Robert Peterson:   Originally published in 1970, this is a classic book that thoroughly covers Negro league baseball from start to finish. There is detailed history about the league and some of its greatest players. There are also biographical sketches of many great players who never had the chance to play in the major leagues. Peterson manages to capture the heart and soul of Negro league baseball, while underscoring the tragedy of the lost opportunities of Negro league players because of segregation.

jackie“Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy” by Jules Tygiel:   No baseball history would be complete without the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues. Tygiel, through interviews with players, newspaper accounts, and personal papers, recounts how Jackie Robinson influenced not only baseball, but American society as well.

 

 

 

For a general look at baseball history, the library has many books to offer. Here are a few of my picks:

boys“The Boys of Summer” by Roger Kahn:   Many are of the opinion that this is the best baseball book ever written, or at least somewhere on the list.  Kahn describes his youth  growing up in the 30’s and 40’s near Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as his time as a beat writer covering the Dodgers in the early 50’s. In a very poignant section, Kahn then recounts what happened to these great players long after their baseball days were over. Even non-baseball fans should appreciate this book.

“Mudville Madness: Fabulous Feats, Belligerent Behavior, and Erratic Episodes on the Diamond” by Jonathan Weeks:   For a lighthearted look at baseball, give this one a try. Weeks takes you chronologically from baseball’s earliest days up to the present day, recounting the strange, bizarre, and little-known events that happen on the field of play. For instance, in 1957, while a woman was being carted from the game on a stretcher after being hit in the face by Richie Ashburn’s foul ball, she was hit in the leg by another Ashburn foul ball during the same at bat.

baseballwomen“Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball” by Barbara Gregorich:   The story of women in baseball is a fascinating one. I had no idea that there were a number of barnstorming “bloomer teams” that travelled across the U.S. playing against men’s teams. Or, that during the 1930’s in an exhibition game, one woman, Jackie Mitchell, struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Gregorich’s book is an entertaining account of this little known piece of baseball history.

These are only a fraction of the baseball books that MPL has to offer, so be sure to stop in and see what we have. Also, don’t forget to come hear Phil Dixon speak at the library on March 29 at 2:00 p.m. Mr. Dixon is an African America sports historian, author of nine baseball books, and co-founder of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Mr. Dixon will be discussing the history of the Kansas City Monarchs, games the Monarchs played in Manhattan, and the history of African American baseball players from this community.

 

 

 

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Manhattan

shamrocksWhat began as a feast day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has grown and spread around the world as a day to celebrate all things Irish.

Manhattan offers a fun and family-friendly environment for celebrating the wearing of the green:

Blarney Breakfast on Saturday, March 14 from 7:30 to 11:30am

Rise and shine early to enjoy the Blarney Breakfast, a fundraiser for the Manhattan Arts Center held at Kite’s Grille and Bar in Aggieville. Enjoy some green eggs, biscuits and gravy from 7:30 to 11:30am. Tickets are available through the Manhattan Arts Center.

 

StPatsRoadRace_LOGOThe Shamrock Fun Run and 2-mile walk, March 14  at 10:00am &

St. Pat’s 10K Road Race, March 14 at 10:45am

Register is required for both races—there is a registration fee. Race awards will be presented at 12:15 in Triangle Park.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The parade begins in City Park at 2:00pm and goes through Aggieville.

 

Indoor Activities

If running or being outdoors isn’t your cup o’ tea (or if it’s raining or snowing!) and you’re looking for fun things to do indoors in Manhattan,  there will be a Nature Storytime for children in the library’s storytime room at 10:00 a.m. At 2:00 kids can visit the library for a free movie showing. The movie tells the story of a squirrel who is exiled from his park home, but finds himself helping his former friends raid a nut shop to survive. It turns out the nut store is also the front for a human gang’s bank robbery. Rated PG; 85 minutes.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center has two exhibits to explore:  “Save the Last Dance” illustrates the ecology and “dance” of the North American Grassland Grouse”, and “K is for Kansas: Exploring Kansas A to Z” illustrates fun facts about Kansas. Admission is charged.

Several free exhibits are available for viewing at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at KSU. Wander the museum to see “Chet Peters: Life Forms”, “Stan Herd: Cairns on the Beach” and “Dan Mitchell: A Place, a Mental Space.”

No matter our ethnic origins, we are all honorary Irish on St, Patrick’s Day, so wear your green and have a safe and fun celebration!

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Happy Birthday to Douglas Adams

douglas adams inspired "Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy" H2G2As a kid, my family would listen to audiobooks in the summer on the long drive from Topeka to Dodge City to visit my grandmother. From old radio series (The Shadow, anyone?) to beloved children’s fantasy books, we listened to it all. However, my mother’s favorite—and therefore, my favorite—was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Chances are, I didn’t quite get why it was so funny back then, but I do now: Adams’ humor is quirky, unexpected, and relishes the absurdity of the universe. After all, he is the writer who once observed that, “There is an art, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for the uninitiated, is the quintessential (and quintessentially) British sci-fi comedy series about the intergalactic exploits of Arthur Dent, a somewhat hapless Englishman who was rescued from the Earth’s destruction by his friend, Ford Prefect. First recorded as a radio broadcast in 1978, it was put to paper as a collection of five novels between the 1979 and 1992. It did not take long for the novel to achieve cult status among fans of sci-fi, thanks to Adams’ dry wit and a cast of seriously weird characters.

It is The Hitchhiker’s Guide that Adams is best remembered for, having inspired an entire generation of sci-fi and comedy writers. However, Adams’ career included far more than this (admittedly genius) work. He was a sketch writer for Monty Python; wrote for the Doctor Who series starring Tom Baker; and a passionate advocate for the sciences. Unfortunately, while his career was vibrant and influential, it was also much too short; Adams passed away of a heart attack at the age of 49 in 2001. But quality can sometimes make up for lack of longevity, and in the case of Douglas Adams, the world still had a net gain.

Select Douglas Adams’ Bibliography

Fiction

Nonfiction

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March Events at the Library Include Baseball and Charles Dickens

by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager 

What do Internet safety, the Kansas City Monarchs, Manhattan history, Charles Dickens, and great books for sale all have in common? They’re all at Manhattan Public Library in the month of March.

Last weekend, the Manhattan Library Association (the Friends of the Library) annual book sale was a huge success, in spite of the snow, and the effort raised thousands of dollars to support summer reading and other library programs for all ages. The tremendous generosity and support of our Friends and the tireless year-round efforts of book sale volunteers are truly appreciated. Thanks, also, to all those in the community who donate so many wonderful books each year for our library sale. It’s a gift that benefits us all.  If you didn’t get a chance to stop by and browse the thousands of books for sale, don’t worry! You can find great deals on gently used books all year long at Rosie’s Corner Book Store on the first floor of the library.

Mark your calen20monarchsdar for Sunday, March 29, for a fun and informative program that’s sure to appeal to fans of baseball, local history, and African-American history. Author and historian Phil Dixon, a co-founder of the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City, will present “The Kansas City Monarchs and Our Home Town,” a program about the Monarchs’ unique history, with special emphasis on their connections to Manhattan and on the history of Negro Leagues Baseball. Mr. Dixon has authored nine books and will offer his books at the program for sale and signing. Join us at 2:00 p.m. in the Library Auditorium. This program is appropriate for all ages and is co-sponsored by the Riley County Historical Society.

Join us for tea, cookies, and Brit Lit on Thursday, March 26th, 7:00 p.m., when our monthly book series will continue with a discussion of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations.” We’ll meet in the Groesbeck Room and our discussion leader this month will be KSU Professor Michaeline Chance-Reay. “Great Expectations” is the story of orphaned Pip, his desperate early years, his struggles to overcome his past, and his dreams of becoming a gentleman. Drawing on the his frequent themes of Victorian wealth and poverty, love and rejection, weakness or strength of character, and the eventual triumph of good over evil, Dickens weaves multiple storylines into a tight plot, imagining scenes rich in comedy and pathos and introducing a succession of unforgettable characters. This TALK series of programs is sponsored by the Kansas Humanities Council and the Manhattan Library Association.

book discussionThe Tech Tuesday series at Manhattan Public Library continues in March with two different technology programs. On Tuesday, March 10th, at 2:00 p.m., members of the Riley County Genealogical Society will lead a workshop on “Intermediate Ancestry and Kansas Resources,” a look at more advanced techniques for using the online resource Ancestry.com and at unique genealogy resources for the state of Kansas.

Our second March workshop will discuss privacy and security in the digital world of the 21st century. On Tuesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m.,  we will feature “Online Privacy and Security,” led by Lucas Loughmiller, Director of Library Services at USD 383, who will focus on ways in which adults can get the most out of the online world while maximizing the safety and security of their own personal information. Tech Tuesday programs are held in the library’s Groesbeck Room. You can register for Tech Tuesdays on the library’s website at www.mhklibrary.org or by calling us at 785-776-4741 Ext. 141.

Hope to see you in the library this month!

 

 

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Iditarod–“The Last Great Race”

by Linda Henderson, Adult Services Librarian

Get ready for the “Last Great  Race.”  The Iditarod starts on March 7.  Lots of good information is available on the Iditarod website:  videos, plans, maps and insider stories and meet the races for 2015.

iditarodThe Alaskan Iditarod is an annual 1180-mile dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome that generally takes two to three weeks to complete. If you’d like to experience the race without the dangers, Manhattan Public Library has a number of good books available.

You might begin with Winterdance: the fine madness of running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen. Paulsen is a popular YA writer who participated in the race in 1983 and 1985. He was training for a third race when a heart condition forced him to retire. Winterdance, is primarily an account of Paulsen’s first Iditarod and its frequent life-threatening disasters, including wind so strong it blew his eyelids open and blinded his eyes with snow, cold so deep matches would not strike, and packages of lotions kept next to his skin that froze solid.

I had the pleasure of sharing supper with Paulsen years ago,  just after he published his young adult novel Hatchet.  Hatchet is about a youngster surviving alone in the wilderness and I asked him how he came to write with such detail.  He told me of his experiences in northern Minnesota, his dog races  and his own love of the wilderness.

Bill Shernowitz’s Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome, recounts the history and past three decades of the Iditarod and looks forward to its promising future, while photographer Jeff Schultz provides thrilling new photos, from the arctic landscape to the competitors and the dogs they rely on.

Just for fun, you might try Sue Henry’s fiction story:  Murder on the Iditarod Train or Cherry Adair’s On Thin Ice.

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Peace Corps Day

peaceMarch 3 is celebrated as Peace Corps Day. The organization was founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy.

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As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service—at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, Volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences—and a global outlook—that enriches the lives of those around them.  The mission of the Peace Corps is to promote peace by fulfilling three goals:

  • To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women
  • To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
  • To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

For information about the Peace Corps, check at the KSU Peace Corps office.

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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.

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