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Pack the Kids in the Stroller and Roll on Over!

This Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to noon, join us for the first ever Roll and Read day at the Riley County Family and Child Resource Center at 2101 Claflin Blvd.

Walk, push a stroller, or pull a wagon over a one-mile course, stopping along the way for three storytime stations.  This is a come-and-go event so please feel free to go at your own pace.  If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the event will be held indoors at the same location.

You are invited to listen to the stories at each station as a group or sit on a picnic blanket with your children and read one of the books provided.  One of Manhattan Public Library’s READ with Dogs volunteers will be there, too!  The first 200 children who attend (birth to pre-K) will receive a free book.

Officers from the Riley County Police Department will be on hand to provide free car seat safety checks in the parking lot, too.

Roll and Read was organized by USD 383 Parents as Teachers and sponsored by the Manhattan Public Library, RCPD, Raising Riley Right, and the Riley County Health Department.

For more information, contact, visit the Manhattan Public Library at 629 Poyntz Avenue, call (785) 776-4741, or visit the library’s events calendar.

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Record numbers for storytimes!

Storytime Photo

Ms. Rachel reads to a fun crowd last Thursday.

Our fall semester of storytimes is off to a great start!  Our first storytime on September 8 had 56 children in attendance, a new record for us.  Due to our construction project, the number of weekly storytimes is reduced from previous semesters, but we will do our best to fit everyone into our temporary storytime space in the library’s lower atrium. It may be a little crowded, but it is still tons of fun!  Check out our storytime schedule, as well as some special events we have coming up.  We welcome new families to our storytimes each week, so please come try it out.  No registration needed, and it’s always free!

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

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Ready for Fall

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

The new school year always brings with it a barrage of children’s book publications. It’s a wonderful time to fill shelves and backpacks with brand new books. Here are a few seasonal picture books that arrived just in time for falling leaves, pumpkin patches, and getting settled into another school year.

Fall Leaves“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland, with enchanting illustrations by Elly MacKay, is the perfect book to discuss the season. Each spread is centered on a two word phrase, such as “Fall arrives” and “Leaves leave.” Further description gives meaning to the phrase and sometimes a simple scientific explanation of what happens as the season moves from September to December.

“Otis and the Scarecrow,” a new Otis the tractor book by Loren Long, will be a popular choice. Otis is a good-natured tractor who loves his farm, and he is not sure what to do with the new arrival who doesn’t “smile or say hello,” but just stands there with “a sour look on his face, staring at the cornfield.” How does one make friends with a scarecrow? Leave it to Otis to come up with a way. (more…)

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Library Card Sign-Up Month!

By Heather Strafuss, Assistant Circulation Manager

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a yearly celebration to remind parents and caregivers that, in addition to spiral notebooks, calculators and pencils, a library card is an essential school supply. According to the American Library Association, “the observance was launched in 1987 to meet the challenge of then Secretary of Education William J. Bennett who said: ‘Let’s have a national campaign…every child should obtain a library card – and use it.’  Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that.”

Besides being a place where literary experts can give excellent book suggestions, or advice on where to look for research for a school report, Manhattan Public Library has other great opportunities for students of all ages. Here are a few awesome resources you may not know about, all easily accessed with your library card.

  • Sunflower eLibrary: A large collection of easily downloaded e-books for a variety of e-readers.
  • Consumer Reports: The online database where you can search for product review or ratings.
  • The largest family history site that’s perfect for making your family tree. (Available on library computers.)
  • Mango Languages: Conversation tutorials for more than 40 languages.

Coming Soon:, where you can access online video tutorials and training.

And don’t forget we have a fantastic collection of books, movies, video games, and more!

If you or someone you know have yet to get a library card, come on in! Getting a library card is simple. If you’re over 18, bring in a photo ID and something with your current address on it. If you aren’t yet 18, have a parent or guardian come in with their photo identification and proof of address and they can set up a card in just minutes!

September is library card sign up month


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Decadent Displays for Every Age!

With school well under way – and football season just around the corner – the helpful librarians in the MPL Children’s Department have created some wonderful displays for your viewing pleasure:

Back to schoolbusSchool – The back to school display has some of the best titles for children who are starting school or students who are veterans. Books displayed are all from the picture book collection, and can be located near the JPB stacks.


footballFootball  – Our football display has been created in honor of the first home game of the season – against SFA. In this display you can find numerous nonfiction books featuring various football teams and athletes! This display islocated near our JNF collection.


Dinosaudinosaurrs – What kind of librarians would we be if we didn’t have a display all about dinosaurs? This display features our favorite Dino-themed stories, and even some great nonfiction. The best feature of this display is that it has a little bit of everything: fun, adventure, and information! The Dino-display is located near the Children’s entrance, between the game computers and reference desk!


So come by and browse our displays – or the entire collection for that matter! Who knows, you may find your next tremendous read!

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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

This month’s Zoofari Tails is all about – drumroll please – Zoofari webSnakes! Come join us this Friday at the Sunset Zoo for a storytime completely dedicated to snakes. Stories read will include “The Greedy Python” and “Who is the Beast?” as well as sime fun, singable rhymes. Children who attend will have a chance to win a free book, courtesy of Claflin Books and receive free admission to the zoo for the day! Sunset Zoo docents will also present animal biofacts pertaining to our theme. Also, don’t forget to bring your punch card and get one step closer to a free membership to the zoo. Note that Storytime will be held in the zoo’s rotunda building. We hope to sssssssssee you there!

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Back to School Day is August 12th


Photo by Michael Bently via Creative Commons at

by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

Championship t-ball games have been played, dance recitals have been performed, and the summer reading program at the library has come to a close. (Participants in the children’s summer reading program logged in over one million minutes–wow!) This can mean only one thing—the beginning of the school year is just around the corner.

For USD 383 students, the first day of school is Tuesday, August 12th. To ease the transition back to school, the first day will be a half day, with the students to be released before lunch. To help parents and students prepare for the upcoming year, most schools will be hosting  an open house. Don’t miss out on a sneak peek into your child’s school. If you need to pick up school supplies, lists are provided at major stores in town, such as Target and Wal-Mart. Remember that if this is your child’s first year attending USD 383, you will need to present a health assessment, immunization card, transcript from their previous school (if applicable), proof of identity and social security number, before they can be enrolled.

With the transition from summer to school, there is sure to be anxiety amongst parents and children alike. The first day of school is not like any other day, though. There are forms to be filled out, fees to be paid, and the ever-present butterflies to be calmed before even walking through the door. And it’s not always the kids who are nervous about the new school year, either. However, the library has a number of great resources in order to prepare families for going back to school.

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Don’t Forget to Get Your Summer Reading Prizes!

Thursday, July 31st, is the last day of our Summer Reading program.  More than 2,100 children participated, and together they have read for nearly ONE MILLION MINUTES this summer!  Special thanks to our awesome Teen Volunteers who have helped give out prizes to these amazing readers all summer.  Come to the prize desk this week to pick up the prizes you earned!

magnifying glass

THANK YOU to our Summer Reading sponsors:
Famous Dave’s
Flint Hills Discovery Center
Manhattan Kiwanis Club
Manhattan Library Association
Noodles & Co.
Papa Murphy’s Pizza
Sunset Zoo
Texas Roadhouse
Varsity Donuts
Vista Drive-In

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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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Good Times at the Rodeo Round-Up!

The Rodeo Readin’ Round-up event this morning was very successful with about 95 kids and 50 adults.  Char Henton and others from the Kaw Valley Rodeo board helped coordinate this fun program. Cowboy poet Ron Wilson started out with some poetry with audience participation, followed by a skit performed by the librarians based on Jan Thomas’s “Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy.”  Legendary barrelman Rick Young and bullfighters Andy North and Dustin Brewer, dressed in their rodeo clown gear, talked to the kids about their interesting jobs in the rodeo. Andy North always reads his favorite book, “Those Can-Do Pigs” by David McPhail.  The Flint Hills Discovery Center was very kind this year to host the event in their facility.  Look for a picture on today’s issue of The Mercury! Check out the Kaw Valley Rodeo this weekend, Thurs-Sat. at 8:00 at the fairgrounds.





andy and lil cowboy

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