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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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Science Saturdays: Survival 101

Couldn’t survive five minutes out in the wilderness? Then, this program is for you. Learn the ropes of wilderness survival with Daniel Schapaugh. Katniss and Peeta will have nothing on you after this program. Be there on Saturday, July 19th at 10:00 in the Groesbeck Room. See you there! Recommended for tweens to adults.

Posted in: Adult Services, Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, Young Adult Dept

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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…)

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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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Safe to Surf

by John Pecoraro
Assistant Director, Manhattan Public Library

Is the Internet safe for my children? This is the question most parents want answered. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers all want to keep their children safe wherever they are and whatever they are doing. That certainly includes online. But it’s a jungle out there. Stories of online predators, identity thieves, cyberbullies, and child pornographers fill the daily news. Where can adults turn to find resources for keeping their children safe online?

Start at the public library. There are several books available that can assist parents anxious about the online safety of their children.

facebook“Talking Back to Facebook: A Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age,” by James P. Steyer offers parents essential tools to help filter content, preserve good relationships with their children, and make common sense, value-driven judgments for kids of all ages. This comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to the online world, media, and mobile devices is a must-have for all parents and educators raising kids in today’s digital age.

It’s no secret that the availability of the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from some of the more unsavory aspects of adult life. In “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,” renowned clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice to help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence in confronting the technology revolution unfolding in their living rooms. (more…)

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

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Savoring “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

By Marcia Allen, Technical Services & Collection Manager

lightAre you looking for a novel with exquisitely beautiful language?  If so, I have the perfect story for you.  “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr is a book that will dazzle you with its turn of phrase, with its amazingly precise imagery. When a little blind girl, for example,  is finally able to navigate the streets of her town without fear and arrive home with her father, the author tell us, “In another half second her father’s hands are under her armpits, swinging her up, and Marie-Laure smiles, and he laughs a pure, contagious laugh, one she will try to remember all her life, father and daughter turning in circles on the sidewalk in front of their apartment house, laughing together while snow sifts through the branches above.”  This book will also astound you with the ugliness that it conveys.  To bombardiers approaching the city they are to shell, “…the walled city on its granite headland, drawing ever closer, looks like an unholy tooth, something black and dangerous, a final abscess to be lanced away.”

What is the book about?  When the story opens, we read of the now-sixteen-year-old Marie-Laure who is alone on the sixth floor of a house on the coast of a French city.  Left in the care of her great-uncle, she worries that he will not or cannot return home, as the year is 1944, and the city is under siege by American bombers.  For comfort, she uses her hands to explore a tiny model of her uncle’s city, one her father constructed for her some years earlier when she first lost her sight.  A puzzle with a series of steps that opens hidden recesses, the model also contains a priceless jewel that might well be a treasure linked to her father’s position of locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, Mercury Column, News

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Summer Cloudspotting

cloudsThis summer, take time to study the clouds as they change and move and then learn what they tell us about the weather. Find guidance and inspiration in “The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds” by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. It’s a delightful cloud identification guide that offers plenty of helpful illustrations and surprising humor. Another good book for cloud-gazers is “The Book of Clouds” by John A. Day, which includes spectacular photographs, a cluod chart and weather forecasting information. You can find both of these books at the Manhattan Public Library. And remember, look up!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

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Science Saturdays: Bug Surprise!

Join us at the library Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Groesbeck Room for Bug Surprise sponsored by the KSU Entomology Department. They will lead us in a hands-on workshop all about insects. The program will include information on insect biology with live specimens that you can touch. They will also go over the importance of insects for humans, both positive and negative aspects. And, for the all the brave souls, there will be an insect cooking and tasting activity! The workshop will be geared towards teens and adults, but is probably appropriate for upper elementary school kids, as well.

Posted in: Adult Services, Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, Young Adult Dept

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