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:
Jonathan 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.
Be prepared to celebrate your country’s independence this month at Zoofari Tails Storytime! Join us Friday, July 25 as we read and do activities featuring red, whit, and blue animals. Stories read will include: The Little Red Hen, Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear, and The Blue Chicken. Children who attend will be entered to win a free prize book – courtesy of Clafflin books – and even be considered for a free year membership to the Sunset Zoo (drawing in December). After storytime, zoo staff will present touchable animal biofacts and even lead tours throughout the zoo, to view a variety of colorful animals! Also, feel free to bring blankets and/or chairs to sit on. We hope to see you there!
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.
Luckily, 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…)
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.
“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…)
Join us this month as we read stories and rhymes about animal defenses. We will read Leo Lioni’s A Color of his Own (with a special twist) and In the Tall, Tall Grass. Children who attend will be entered to win a free book, courtesy of Clafflin Books. Families who attend can also be entered for a free one-year Friends of Sunset Zoo family membership (drawing in December). Sunset Zoo staff will show animals, animal artifacts, or lead tours to specific exhibits. Please note that this Zoofari Tails will be held AT THE SUNSET ZOO. Feel free to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets!
Families attending the 10:00 Zoofari Tails storytime will not be charged admission to enter the zoo.
Summer Reading is a free program that provides fun incentives to keep kids reading over the summer. You can register online now, and keep track of reading time starting on June 1st and going through July 31st. Children from birth through 6th grade can sign up for the children’s program, and teens going into 7th through 12th grade can join the teen program. You can log your reading time online, read and write book reviews, and earn prizes including free food, fun toys, or free passes to local sites. Starting June 1st or anytime after that, kids can stop by the library to pick up a free “Fizz Boom Read” bag and a reading chart. Parents, did you know that even adults can join Summer Reading? Earn chances to win great prizes in weekly drawings, and be an excellent role model for all the kids in your lives.
Join us Saturday morning at 11:00 for a fun storytime with Ms. Grace about gardening! Featured stories include Carrot Soup, Butterfly, Butterfly, and Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!. Kids will get to play with our parachute during music time. Ms. Grace will give each child a bio-degradable pot and a seed to take home and plant. Check out the Farmer’s Market while you are downtown for the perfect morning with your kids!
Things are looking a little different in the Children’s Room of the library. We are shifting collections around to make space for interior remodeling that will begin later this spring or summer. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please ask a librarian! We will do our best to make sure all our books and materials are still accessible, but they will be squeezed in more tightly than usual. Here are some things that have moved around:
- Some of the Children’s Nonfiction (0-499), as well as the Parents’ Shelf and Reference collections, have temporarily been moved to the 2nd floor near the Adult Services Desk.
- Toddler picture books and board books moved to shelves closer to the Children’s Services Desk.
- Children’s Graphic Novels moved to shelves near the entrance to the Children’s Room.
- Children’s New Books moved to the white display shelves near the Children’s Services Desk.
- Magazines are in bins above the Children’s Picture Books.
Junior League of the Flint Hills members will be giving away free books to kids ages 0-13 at the library on Saturday from 10:00-2:00. This is their annual Library Card Day event to encourage families to use the library. To get a free book, children need to show that they have their own library card. Last year, Junior League gave out 358 books, a new record for Library Card Day, and library staff issued 94 new library cards. Parents need to be present to open a child’s library account for the first time and should have a photo ID plus proof of their current address if it is not on their ID. Having a library card opens amazing doors for kids, including access to thousands of books and media, computer use, and free e-books for children.
“The public library is more than a repository of books. It’s a mysterious, wondrous place with the power to change lives.” -Chicago Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor
All of the MLK Art and Writing Contest entries have now been taken down. If your child is in USD383 school district or Manhattan Catholic Schools, we will return your entries to the schools sometime next week. All other entries can be picked up at the Children’s Desk in the Children’s Room through the end of March.