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Archive for For Kids

Progress in the new space

Stop by and see the progress in the north addition to the Children’s Room!  Carpet is down in this area, and temporary shelving has been set up so we can move some books out of the current space for the rest of the carpeting.  The new area will be open to the public in a few weeks while renovations in the old room are finished up.  We can’t wait for kids to try out the window seat!

windows and carpet

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Yell like a Wookie. Train like a Jedi. Chill with Storm Troopers.

Wookie cutout posed behind the circulation desk

Return of the Wookie

The force is strong in Manhattan, Kansas! On Saturday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Manhattan Public Library will celebrate Star Wars Reads Day with an Empire-sized party for all ages.

Star Wars Reads Day was started in 2012 by Lucasfilm and its publishing partners as a way to highlight the vast number of books written about Star Wars, its characters, and its universe. Last year, there were more than 2,000 schools, bookstores, and libraries that marked the day with read-a-thons, movie showings, and creative activities that feature the beloved sci-fi series and its characters.

This year, Manhattan Public Library is getting in on the fun with a full day of activities and events for all ages. The celebration will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with crafts and activities, including Star Wars origami, a Yoda ears project, and Star Wars magnetic poetry. Adventurous folks can also step outside to participate in a Jedi Training Academy and obstacle course to earn a Jedi knight certificate.

From 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., there will be a Star Wars photo booth on the second floor. Using a green screen, you can be transported to the distant land of Tatooine or the dangerous halls of the Death Star. To add to the fun, you can pose with one of our resident librarian-Jedis!

For everyone who wants to make a little noise in the library without getting shushed, you can participate in a Wookie Yelling Contest from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. in the third floor atrium. Local Star Wars experts from Project Nerd will be on hand to help judge the event, and the top three Wookie yells will win prizes. Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian, says, “Try to sound like a cross between a bear and a walrus.”

At 1:00 p.m., relax and enjoy some lovely Star Wars chamber music with local musicians in the first floor atrium. Then, at 2:00 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room, laugh your blasters off with a montage video of comedy Star Wars spoofs.

Throughout the day, there will be opportunities to try your hand at Star Wars trivia. Plus, you can participate in a trivia contest at 2:30 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room.

Star Wars Reads Day wouldn’t be complete without a movie showing. Join fans in the Groesbeck Room at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for a PG movie, plus snacks and Yoda soda.

Costumes are strongly encouraged. We would love to see you dressed up in your finest Star Wars memorabilia. Librarians will be wearing their buns over both ears today , and Storm Troopers will be collecting fines!

Star Wars Reads Day is generously sponsored by the Manhattan Library Association, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, GameHounds, and Wheat State Pizza.

For more information, contact or call (785) 776-4741 ext.141.

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News

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This is a No Bullying Zone

bully free zone

image courtesy of Wikimedia

By Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

October 1st marks the beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month. This is a time to raise awareness about bullying and to do our part to prevent the emotional and physical suffering that bullying causes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28% of students in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying, including name calling, teasing, pushing and threatening.  While we usually focus on the problems of bullying for children and teens, bullying can happen at home or in the workplace during the adult years, too.

Research shows that consistent bullying leads to feelings of isolation and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.

It can be difficult to decide when and how to seek help. With so many resources available, help is closer than you might think.

  • If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless and thinking of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
  • If a child is being bullied at school, contact the teacher, counselor, principal or superintendent.
  • If you or someone you know is seeking professional help to recover from acts of bullying, visit Psychology Today to find an appropriate therapist for your needs.

This month, let’s do a little more to recognize bullying and help those who are suffering. Discuss bullying with your children and reach out to people who may need your help. Here are some recommended fiction and non-fiction resources at Manhattan Public Library regarding bullying:

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“Where Is It?”

Once again, many books in the children’s collection have been moved and rearranged due to the construction project. We are also preparing for a different arrangement of our books when the new north addition is completed.  Children’s nonfiction books will be divided into various “neighborhoods” centered around popular subjects to make it easier for kids to browse and find the books they are interested in.  The neighborhood sections will be Animals, Arts & Crafts, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Geography, History, Science & Nature, and Transportation.  We will also have special areas for Graphic Novels, Beginning Readers, Toddler & Board books, and a new section we’re calling Early Chapter Books.

To find out if a children’s book is in a special neighborhood, when you bring up the title in the library catalog, just click on the button to the right that says, “Where is It?”  For example, Surviving the Oregon Trail by Rebecca Stefoff has a call number of “J 978 Stefoff.”

where is it button

This image shows the library catalog record with the “Where is It” button on the right. Click image to enlarge.

When you click on “Where is It?,” you can see that it is in the “Children’s History Neighborhood.”  You can also see the call number again, where the neighborhood is located (currently some neighborhoods are on the 2nd floor due to construction), whether the book is available or when it is due back to the library, and the type of item (book, audiobook, DVD, etc.).

where is it screen jpeg

This image shows the library catalog record after clicking on the “Where is It?” button. Click image to enlarge.

Please ask library staff to help you locate specific books. We love to help our customers!  And things are changing in our room so quickly these days, it’s impossible to keep up to speed.  Soon we will be rearranging again and making space for the current Children’s Room to get new carpet.  Books and other materials should be in their final spots by the end of the year!

Science & Nature books are now together in the Children's Room, including related picture books.

Science & Nature books are now together in the Children’s Room, including related picture books.

History, Geography, and Fairy Tales & Folklore Neighborhoods are being housed on the 2nd floor right now.

History, Geography, and Fairy Tales & Folklore Neighborhoods are being housed on the 2nd floor right now.

Early Chapter Books have been pulled from the regular fiction. These books have about 100 pages, larger text size and simpler vocabulary than longer children's novels.

Early Chapter Books have been pulled from the regular fiction. These books have about 70-120 pages, larger text size and simpler vocabulary than longer children’s novels.

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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

I can’t believe that it is almost OctoZoofari Septemberber, but – that being said – I am excited to announce our Zoofari theme for the month: Bird Migration! Join us at the Sunset Zoo to hear stories, songs, and rhymes related to birds. Stories read will include “Today I will Fly”, “Birds”, and “Flight School”! Children who attend will be entered to win a free book, courtesy of Clafflin Books. Also, remember to bring your Zoofari punch card – if you get six punches throughout the year you will be entered to win a free year-long membership to the zoo! After storytime, zoo docents will present animal biofacts or lead tours to specific animal exhibits. If all of this isn’t enough for you then let me put the icing on the cake; families who attend will receive free admission to explore exhibits after storytime! Please note that storytime will take place at the Sunset Zoo in the rotunda building. We hope to see you there!!!!

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In Defense of the Graphic Novel

By Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

The concept of telling stories through images has been around since the beginning of time. The idea has evolved in many ways, including the introduction of the comic book. From superhero stories to biographies, one can find a graphic novel about almost any subject. In recent years, the literary merit of reading comic books has come under fire, and many educators and librarians have joined the debate in defense of the graphic novel.

Reading visuals and text together requires the reader to make inferences about what is happening in the scenario or storyline. Think about the experience of reading picture books to your child. Very rarely will the characters’ emotions be portrayed through text; often, the illustrator allows the character to emote through illustrations. These inference skills start developing at the beginning of a child’s life and should continue on throughout the rest of his young adult and adult reading life.

Graphic novels also allow the reader to explore time and motion in a different way. As a young reader’s comprehension and reading levels increase, he wants to read stories with more characters and complicated circumstances. The same concept applies to graphic novels, as authors add more panels and more scenarios. A graphic novelist may make the storyline move faster and slower by modifying panels and introducing visual transitions. (more…)

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

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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!

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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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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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