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2014 Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction Goes to “Nostalgia”

by Mary, Adult Services Librarian

The Michael Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction was awarded a few weeks ago on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Each year the prize is given to an author of a novel about the Civil War published for the first time in the current calendar year to “encourage fresh approaches to Civil War fiction”

nostalgiaThis year Dennis McFarland won the prize for his stunning Civil War novel, Nostalgia.  A young private is fighting to find his way to safety after being injured physically with deafness and disorientation.  His friends have deserted him and he is battling emotional trauma.  Unable to write his name Hayes struggles in a military hospital with what is then called “soldier’s heart.”  He encounters a captain who is convinced that Hayes is faking his illness, an amputee that shows compassion and an eccentric visitor to the ward, Walt Whitman, who becomes his advocate.  This timeless story, whose outcome hinges on friendships forged in crisis, reminds us that the injuries of war are manifold, and the healing goodness in the human soul runs deep and strong.

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Welcome to Lynda.com

Watch the online course How to Use Lynda.com

Your Manhattan Public Library card now gives you access to the 4,595 video courses on Lynda.com. All you have to do is follow the link http://www.mhklibrary.org/go/lynda/ , enter your library card number and password, create an account, and you can start learning from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

But what is Lynda.com?

Lynda.com is an online library of video courses on topics ranging from Improving Your Memory to Creating Textures for 3D Animation. Each subject is broken down into smaller video tutorials so you can stop and start, and learn at your own pace. There are videos for all learning levels–from beginner to professional.

Here is a video introducing the service.

Courses focus mainly on computer and software skills, but include information on teaching, stress management, job interview skills, and more. Browse the library to get an overview of what’s offered, or if you have a specific interest, use the search bar to find courses.

Software is s good topic to start with. You’ll find a quick list of the most popular software tutorials, or you can browse alphabetically for everything from Access to GarageBand to Zoomerang.

Is it really free?

Yes, all library resources are free. Manhattan Public Library has paid for the subscription and all library card holders have access to the service. Residents of Chase, Clay, Dickinson, Geary, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee, and Washington counties can follow this link to get a library card.

Do I have to be in the library?

No, you can access Lynda.com from library computers or from outside the library using your own device. 35 users can access the site simultaneously. After 1 hour of inactivity, you will be logged off so other people can log on. Lynda will keep track of the videos you’ve watched, and hold your place when you log off.

Searchable Transcripts

Read along with closed-captioned transcripts–or search the text to quickly find information within a course.

Download Exercise Files

Download the files used in the video courses so you can practice on your own. Please note: library computers do not have access to all the software taught on lynda.com, such as Photoshop and AutoCAD. You must have your own copy of the software you’re learning in order to open the exercise files.

Certificates of Completion

Earn a certificate of completion for each course viewed. Print the certificate to show coworkers, friends, and employers what you’ve accomplished.

Questions?

Contact the library at refstaff@mhklibrary.org or (785)776-4741 x141

 

Posted in: For Adults, For Teens, News

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City Cemetery Information

SunsetThumbThe city of Manhattan has created a Cemetery Search to look for interments within Sunset and Sunrise Cemeteries. You may search by cemetery or by last name. After the map downloads, click on the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to search. If you are doing family genealogy work, this will be a great help in locating grave sites! Click on this link to find more information! http://www.ci.manhattan.ks.us/index.aspx?NID=299

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Icons in the World of Music: The Latest in Unforgettable Biographies

By Marcia Allen, Collection Development

Hard times were a daily reality for Elmo and Mamie Lewis in the state of Louisiana during the 1930s. Elmo made a living sharecropping and sometimes cooking whiskey, until he was caught and sentenced to five years in prison. Son Elmo, Jr., who often sang in church and who cared for his younger brother Jerry Lee, was killed at the age of nine when a drunken driver struck him. That left Mamie and little Jerry Lee to make the best of the situation.

jerryIn 1940, four-year-old Jerry Lee realized the path his life was to take. During a visit with his mother’s sister, he pressed down a single key on his aunt’s piano. He later described the experience as one similar to fire reaching through his head. With no previous experience, he immediately began the opening chords of “Silent Night.”

Yes, Jerry Lee went on to lead a scandalous personal life, shocking his followers with his many marriages and his exploits with drugs and alcohol, but he also produced a phenomenal library of songs that few have matched. Songs like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” which were considered provocative when they were first released, are now deemed groundbreaking rock and roll with hillbilly overtones
What makes “Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story” remarkable is author Rick Bragg’s flair for retelling the musician’s story. Bragg, author of award-winning tales like “All over but the Shoutin’” and “Ava’s Man,” brings to the story an incredible skill for southern storytelling and a genuine fondness for Jerry Lee. This story packs a wallop as a colorful character study. (more…)

Posted in: For Adults, Mercury Column, News

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Gingerbread Decorating Day(December 13)

by Janet, Adult Services

gingerGingerbread is a classic holiday tradition. Imagine the wonderful aroma  wafting throughout your home as the gingerbread is baking. Then the fun begins as you decorate your gingerbread men, houses or cookies. These creations make great gifts and holiday treats for your gatherings. MPL has wonderful books all about gingerbread to help you with your creations. http://catalog.manhattan.lib.ks.us/polaris/view.aspx?subject=gingerbread

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Relax with Holiday Books and Movies!

snowmanThe holiday hustle and bustle is upon us, with lists galore of things to do and shopping and baking to finish. It is often difficult to find time to sit down and just relax. A great way to escape the holiday rush is with a book or film about the holiday season.
Manhattan Public Library has an excellent selection of holiday-themed fiction from which to choose. Many popular writers publish a Christmas novel each year. Anne Perry, a popular mystery writer, has a series of Christmas mysteries, beginning with the title “A Christmas Journey.” Other authors with books in a holiday series include Richard Paul Evans and his Christmas Box Trilogy, and Donna VanLiere and her Christmas Hope series.

grisham
Known for his best-selling legal thrillers, John Grisham is the author of “Skipping Christmas” –“Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether… skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences-and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined. A classic tale for modern times, “Skipping Christmas” offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition.” Another author known for his thrillers is David Baldacci, whose book “The Christmas Train” is popular at this time of year. There are many new holiday-themed romance novels, such as “What a Lady Needs for Christmas” by Grace Burrowes;  “By Winters Light” by Stephanie Laurens; and “Mr. Miracle” by Debbie Macomber. Other new titles include “Death of a Christmas Caterer” and ” All He Wants for Christmas”. Look for our display of holiday-themed fiction for books by these and other authors, in a display case on the first floor of the library. (more…)

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December Construction Update

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

We now wrapping up the final stages of the Children’s Expansion Project, and while each step has been exciting, it seems like all of the fun stuff came in at once! If you’ve been in the library, you might have seen some of the exciting additions to the Children’s Room. If not, we’d love for you to come and check it out!

Last Wednesday, we got truckloads of furnishings to be added to the Children’s Room. We could hardly wait to start moving it all in!

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Some of these new items included spiffy tables and chairs, and some very, very cool interactable furniture. We are in love with the cool colors and fun textures–they make the Children’s Room look so lively!

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We also received new shelving for our interactive items and signage with beautiful, bright pictures for the different neighborhoods in the Children’s Room. We were

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Thanks to a skilled team of workers, everything was assembled and hung on the wall quickly, including our lovely donor wall.

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That meant more time for people to come in and start testing things out, from climbing on the foam blocks to sitting on our comfy new seats to studying at the tables and playing with the fun toys.

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Thanks to everyone in the community for their support and enthusiasm! If you’ve got any questions about what comes next, just let us know!

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

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Human Rights Day

by Judi, Adult Services Librarian

human rightsHuman Rights Day, 10 December: “The UN General Assembly proclaimed 10 December as Human Rights Day in 1950, to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.”

 

flint

Locally, the Flint Hills Human Rights Project  is a private, non-profit organization that serves as a resource for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the Manhattan, Kansas and Flint Hills community and for visitors to the area. FHHRP supports the political, social, spiritual, business and educational needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and it’s allies. For more information, go to their web site at www.fhhrp.com or check their Facebook page.

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Mitten Tree Time!

mittensOur annual Mitten Tree is up and ready to be decorated with new hats, gloves, mittens and scarves for children. Donations will be accepted through January 4. We will deliver donations to local charities that benefit children, such as Riley County Head Start and Ogden Friendship House. Help us warm some hands and hearts this holiday season by adding a donation to our tree!

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Holiday Baking

by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

It’s already time to get started on your holiday baking if you haven’t already. Many of us have favorite, traditional family cookie recipes, but if you are looking to switch things up a little bit, the library has plenty of cookie cookbooks to help you out.

 

decoratingOne of my favorites is “Decorating Cookies: 60+ Designs for Holidays, Celebrations, & Everyday” by Bridget Edwards. This is the book for you if you have always wanted to get your sugar cookies to look like those beautiful bakery frosted sugar cookies. There are only a few basic recipes included for sugar cookies and for royal icing, but the specific step-by-step decorating instructions are easy to follow and perfect for beginners. Only a handful of the decorating ideas are specific to Christmas cookies, but they should be enough to spark your own creativity.

 

If you want to make some cookies for a Christmas party, but are short on time, try “Smart Cookie: Transform Store-Bought Cookies into Amazing Treats” by Christi Farr Johnstone. As the title indicates, learn how to spruce up store-bought cookies into something unique and beautiful. There are only a few cookie ideas that pertain directly to Christmas, but there are many other ideas that could be adapted for the holidays. My favorite part about this book is that you don’t have to be an expert decorator to create most of these cookies!

xmasFor more traditional Christmas cookies, start with “A Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies” by Dede Wilson. This cookbook has a wealth of information in a very easy-to-use format. Each cookie has its own page with a picture of the finished product. There is also information on its type (dropped, rolled, bar, etc.) country of origin, description of its flavors, traditions, tips, variations, and length of time the cookies will keep. Helpful symbols are included that tell you which cookies are good to make with kids, freeze well, are quick to make, and sturdy enough to send in the mail.

 

Can’t figure out what type of holiday cookies to make? There is always the good ole American chocolate chip cookie, which is featured in the book, “The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book” by Carolyn Wyman. There are over 75 recipes in this book for chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip dessert variations like truffles and brownies. One interesting page gives suggestions on simple additions/substitutions to the basic Toll house cookie recipe, such as bacon, cereal, donuts, ice cream cones, and Brussel sprouts. While your cookies are baking, read up on the fascinating history of the chocolate chip cookie in the United States which is included in this book.

 

Cookie swaps are particularly popular this time of year. If you don’t have time to bake 50 different kinds of cookies this holiday season, then, hold your own cookie swap. “Cookie Swap!” By Lauren Chattman tells you exactly how to organize one. There is a handy checklist for planning your party and an example invitation. And, of course, there are also a number of cookie recipes suggested for your swap.

veganIf you are vegan yourself or baking for vegan friends or family, try “Chloe’s Vegan Desserts” by Chloe Coscarelli. There is a whole chapter that focuses on cookies and bars. There are full color photos of most of the recipes. Bake homemade Oreos, ginger molasses cookies, snowballs, black and white cookies, or the many others included in the book.

If you really want to switch things up, make an ice cream cookie sandwich from “Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich” by Tessa Arias. The recipes in this book are as aesthetically pleasing as they are delicious. They are almost too pretty to eat (almost). Can’t decide what cookies to start with? Try a few from the “Holiday” chapter, such as Maple-Nut, Gingerbread, Hot Cocoa, Candy Cane, or Eggnog ice cream sandwiches.

The library has all of these cookbooks mentioned, and many more to satisfy all of your holiday baking needs, so get started today!

 

 

 

 

 

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