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Zoofari

Join us this month AT Manhattan Public Library for our first Zoofari Tails Storytime, featuring the theme Snowy Cats! Help us break in our new storytime room by prowling in the snow, making animal noises, and even seeing some great animal biofacts – provided by docents at the Sunset Zoo. Stories read will include Little Mist and BobcatsBaby Snow Leopard. Children who attend will be given a new 2015 Zoofari puncard – after attending 6 sessions you will be eligible for a year-long membership to the zoo! Children will also be entered to win a free book! Don’t miss this fun and lively storytime! Please note that storytimewill be held at the public library and will begin at 10:00 – lasting about 30 minutes. We hope to see you there!

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

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Great Start to the Year in Children’s Dept.

Thank you to the community for celebrating our Children’s Room Grand Opening with us on Saturday, January 17th! It was a fun-filled afternoon of music, activities, costumed characters, balloons, cookies and more!  Special thank goes out to Sunset Zoo for bringing several live animals kids could see and touch. Also to the Junior League of the Flint Hills and the local Girl Scouts who volunteered all afternoon.  We initiated the new Storytime Room this morning with more than 80 people at our first Toddler Move & Groove Storytime session in our finished room.  It’s going to be a great year!crowd

IMG_5727IMG_5799IMG_5739IMG_5712olivia hugrockin robballoons in roomoutside doorchalk girl]gear walltunnelready

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Storytimes start next week in our new room!

storytime_room_Jblog

We are super excited about library storytimes beginning next week, January 19, in our new Storytime Room.  Storytime Schedule

The storytime space has doubled in size and has beautiful flooring, walls and butterfly decor, with access to an outdoor patio and garden area.  Special thanks goes to our donors who have memorialized loved ones with these wonderful spaces, The Tami Borck Storytime Room and The  Goldstein Garden.

garden doorsThis semester, we are trying out some new storytime ideas and formats, as well as keeping many of our treasured favorites.  Nature Storytimes on Tuesday and Saturday mornings will feature stories about plants, Earth and animals, and will include an activity or craft. When possible, this storytime will take place outdoors in the garden.

Evening Storytimes on Tuesdays at 6:30 will be led by Mr. Brian. Families are encouraged to attend together, and children are invited to wear pajamas so they ready for the bedtime routine when they get home.   Mr. Brian will also include “Night for Knowledge” some weeks, which is geared at helping children and caregivers familiarize themselves with the new Children’s Room.

Move and Groove Storytimes will continue with two options per week for toddlers (18-36 months) and two for preschoolers (ages 3 & up).  These popular storytimes feature lots of lively music, dancing, and action rhymes, as well as fabulous stories and puppets to keep young children engaged.

Reading Round Up will take place on Tuesday afternoons for older preschoolers (age 4 and up), with longer books, fun props, music, and activities that challenge growing minds.

If you have a little one under 18 months old, Baby Rhyme Time is the perfect opportunity for you to bring in your baby and enjoy bouncy songs, nursery rhymes, short books, and fun music.

Our fabulous six children’s librarians have been working to prepare our best storytime semester yet. We hope to see you next week in the fabulous Storytime Room for lots of fun!

 

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

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New Year, New Room!

By Jennifer Bergen, Children’s Services Manager

It has been nearly a full year since Kelley Construction Company broke ground outside the library to begin the children’s room expansion. Now, on January 17, 2015, just 358 days after the ceremonial groundbreaking, we will have a grand opening celebration to showcase the new Children’s Room, including fantastic reading areas, imaginative play spaces, and a larger Storytime Room for programs.

Already, the room is drawing crowds of kids, from an excited after-school bunch needing a place to hang out before evening ball games, to little tots discovering the secret doors into the playhouse.

kidsWalking into the room, anyone familiar with the library will immediately notice changes. Colorful carpet tiles lighten up the room, and an innovative bookshelf in the entryway draws readers in to have a look at the newest books available.  Kids who find something they like can crawl right into the bookshelf and begin reading in a comfy built-in nook.

Picture books have grown in popularity, so that space is enlarged with more book displays to show off the fantastic illustrations that define this genre.  The area formerly used for storytime has been renovated to encompass both an early literacy space for preschoolers and toddlers, as well as a parent and teacher resource center with a collection of books for adults.  Parents can browse for the perfect “toddler years” guide while their little ones are entertained with puppets, puzzles and books.

The new Storytime Room is a fabulous space with media capabilities that will allow for innovative programs.  There will be plenty of room for all the kids an  caregivers and even the double strollers.  Our first storytime in the room will be January 19.  Until then, children are enjoying the large, open space, bean bag animals, and bright colored cubes for seating.  On nicer winter days, families can slip out the side doors and enjoy the fenced-in garden area, free to explore nature, read outdoors, draw with chalk or play with items on the outside table.  Our new storytime schedule includes a Nature Storytime twice a week that will take place outdoors as often as possible.

roomOn the other side of the room, a special feature kids of all ages seem to enjoy is the climbable “Mount Verde”, a large, lime green, multi-level structure where kids can sit, lounge, or pose as King of the Mountain.  The structure resides in the Reading Corner amidst giant pillows, puzzle shaped seats, and soft comfy chairs.  The oval sloped lounge chair and blue wavy couch are other fun pieces on which kids or adults can relax as they preview their library choices.  This is the scene passers-by see as they drive past the windows of the library on Poyntz, and it is often teeming with children and parents.

Nestled around the edges of the room next to the Reading Corner are “neighborhoods” of books: Arts & Crafts, Science & Nature, Graphic Novels, Transportation, Geography, History, Animals, and Fairy Tales & Folklore.  Excellent selections of books on these subjects are perfect for young browsers who want to find everything on their favorite topics.  Children are drawn in with interactive features such as a magnetic gear and propeller wall, an enormous globe to spin, crafts to make on the spot, rotating displays, objects to build with, and even some live fire-bellied toads.  The fairy tale dress up clothes have been very popular, too.

The library’s large collection of children’s fiction is also relocated to this part of the room, and it includes divisions for beginning readers and early chapter books to help younger children find titles at the right reading level.

The additional space has allowed room for the children’s media collections that had been housed next to the adult media.  Children’s movies are now next to the librarians’ service desk, along with the children’s music CDs and audiobooks.  Customers have commented that they didn’t know the library had books on CD or music CDs for children until now.

studySoon, the Technology Zone in the children’s room will be upgraded with twelve touchscreen computers just for kids, loaded with entertaining and educational games, and quick links to kid-friendly websites.

Check it all out first hand, and tell us what you think. We are interested in hearing feedback as we continue to organize all our new furnishings and materials to make it the best library possible for all the kids and families who come in.  Join us on January 17, between 1:00 and 4:00, as we celebrate this new space with donor recognition, fun activities around the room for children, a musical performance by Rockin’ Rob at 2:00, and costumed characters Olivia and Curious George roaming the library.

Posted in: Children's Dept, Children's Expansion, Mercury Column, News, Parents

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‘Tis the Season for Zoofari AT THE ZOO!

It is time for our final ZZoofarioofari Tails storytime of 2014! With great excitement I give you the December theme: Bears and Hibernation. Get ready to growl, yawn, and maybe even dance like a bear! Stories read will include The Mitten, If You Were a Panda Bear, and Bear Snores On. As usual, Rhymes and music will also be included. Since this is our final Zoofari of the year we will also be doing our annual membership drawing – MAKE SURE YOU BRING YOUR FINISHED PUNCH CARDS for a chance to win a year-long membership! Zoo docents will also present animal biofacts featuring “animal ornaments”. Children who attend will be eligible for a chance to win a free book. Families who attend will also be allowed to visit the zoo free of charge!  Please note that this is the last Zoofari that will be held at the Zoo. Finally I would like to say thank you to all of the children and parents who have made this past year of Zoofari’s possible! It has been a privilege to work with you! You all are great!

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Furniture and Signage is Arriving!

This week, the Children’s Room will be getting new signs to help customers locate our books and media, and to identify the new “neighborhood” sections.  New tables and chairs will be arriving, along with some fun, comfy seating and playful pieces.

Most of the new furnishings will  be installed on Wednesday and Thursday.  The Children’s Room may not be accessible during all open hours on those days.

Come by this weekend to see the transformation!

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large letter A and other foam furniture chairs small

 

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

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Zoofari Tails This Week!

Folks, we are halfway through NovJan Thomasember, which means it is time for my monthly Zoofari Tails Storytime pitch! Since it is Kansas Reads to Preschoolers week I have chosen a theme based on this year’s selected book Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas. This month’s theme will be all about farm animals! We have ‘em all: cows, pigs, ducks, and maybe even a chicken or two! Other stories read will include Punk Farm and Dooby Dooby Moo. Don’t forget about to add a dash of fun songs and rhymes! After storytime, Sunset Zoo docents will present animal biofacts pertaining to farm animals. Children who attend will also receive their very own copy of Is Everyone Ready for Fun? Don’t forget to bring your Zoofari punch card – if you have one – because we only have one month left before we do our yearly membership drawing! Please note that storytime will be held AT THE SUNSET ZOO at 10:00. We hope to see you there!

 

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Celebrate “Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week”

By Laura Ransom, Children’s Librarian

“Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week” is an annual event that promotes reading to all Kansas children from birth through age five. Parents, librarians, and caregivers are encouraged to read the chosen book during the week of November 16-22.

funI am especially excited about this year’s selection, Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas. Three happy cows and a frustrated chicken bounce through the pages of this light-hearted picture book. We love promoting this event at Manhattan Public Library, and each child who attends a storytime during the week will receive a free book! Funding for the free books is generously provided by the Manhattan Library Association.
My love for books began when I was very young. I have such fond memories of sitting in my mom’s lap while she read Don Wood’s The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear to me night after night. She later told me that she had the book memorized since I requested it so many times. What a patient parent! Another of my all-time favorites is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. I remember chanting along with that brave engine, “I think I can, I think I can!” These engaging books stirred a desire in me to learn how to read the words on the pages.
readaloudAs a children’s librarian, I obviously endorse reading aloud to children, but research supports it, too. One example is a study by the U.S. Department of Education, which concluded with these words: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” This quote is from The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, a wonderful book filled with read-aloud suggestions and helpful tips for parents. Books include a wider vocabulary than we often encounter in television shows or everyday conversations. Even though children are unfamiliar with these new words, exposure to them is a stepping stone to reading independently. If they have heard the word before, they will be better equipped to know how to read it on the printed page.
A love for reading is just as important as the actual reading process. The fancy name for the desire to read is called print motivation. This is one of six skills children need in order to read successfully. The other skills are: Notice Print All Around; Talk, Talk, Talk; Tell Stories About Everything; Look for Letters Everywhere; and Take Time to Rhyme, Sing, and Play Word Games. These skills were originally identified by the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read Program. Johnson County Public Library modified the information that program first developed, and they renamed it “6 by 6: Six Skills by Six Years.” Many of these skills are things parents already practice with their children without taking much time to consider the educational benefits. Things like pointing out the letters on a stop sign or words on a billboard can actually help children notice that words are all around them. Little habits like this can truly make a big difference in a child’s attitude toward reading.

Our librarians love to help children discover the joy of reading. Come visit us at the library for great book recommendations and resources for growing readers.

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

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National Family Literacy Month

by Mary, Adult Services Librarian

I’m a novice Grandma and so excited about helping my little guy fall in love with reading.

Fun activities that involve books and interactive reading can begin the first steps toward this love affair.
index6DNGOOOZA new book that has helped me form new ideas about reading to my grandson is:
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in the Digital Age–From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything In Between by Jason Boog is a wonderful new book that helps parents learn the advantages of interactive reading.
National Family Literacy Day just passed us by but we are barely into National Family Literacy Month. This November take advantage of the ideas on the familieslearning.org website to enjoy fun times with books. They have an idea for each day that can make reading and learning about literature a game. Try the idea on Day 2-Draw pictures of your child’s favorite book characters and turn them into puppets for dramatic play. Day 10 – Create Picture Stories. Take a photo or draw a picture of your child doing a favorite activity. Write a story together, using the pictures as illustrations. Picture books help children develop critical thinking skills, as their brains take in the picture and the text and make connections between the two.

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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

Join us at 11:00 for tOwlhis month’s Zoofari Tails Storytime! This month’s theme is all about – wait for it – Owls! Stories read will include “Little Owl Lost”, “Owl Babies”, and “I’m Not Scared”. Children’s staff will also present engaging rhymes and songs all about owls! Zoo docents will give information about owls, and even show children a LIVE screech owl! Any child who comes will have a chance to win a free book, courtesy of Clafflin Books. Children and adults who attend will also receive free admission to the Sunset Zoo! If you have a Zoofari Punch Card, don’t forget to bring it because we only have a few months left before our annual drawing – children who have 6 punches on their card will be entered to win a free year-long membership to the Sunset Zoo. Come ready to screech, squawk, and flap your wings at this mega-fun storytime! Please note that storytime will be held in the rotunda building at the Sunset Zoo. All attendees are more than welcome to wear a Halloween costume too! WHOOOOOO will be there?

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