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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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Winter Book Series Tackles British Classics

by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager

emmaWith the holiday season behind us and 2015 ahead, Manhattan Public Library is happy to resume monthly readers’ events for adults and will again host our annual winter series of TALK book discussion programs. The TALK series, “Talk About Literature in Kansas,” is a service of the Kansas Humanities Council and is sponsored at MPL again this year by the Manhattan Library Association. Avid readers will meet on the last Thursday of each month from January through April at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Groesbeck Room and will explore a different book each month, guided by knowledgeable and insightful discussion leaders from the KHC. Please join us for any one, all four, or as many of the discussions as your schedule will allow.

This year’s ambitious theme is British Literary Classics of the 19th Century, and our selections are “Emma” by Jane Austen, “Far from the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy, “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, and “The Mill on the Floss” by George Eliot. These authors represent the great age of British novelists and our four novels are among the best of the era. They were written as the Industrial Revolution began to transform England forever and usher in the upheaval, uncertainty, and excitement of the modern age. Copies of the featured books are available for checkout at the Library’s Information Desk and available in free down-loadable e-book format from Project Gutenberg. And for reluctant readers, or those of you in a time crunch, the good news is that all four of our selections are also available from the library in DVD format!

madding
First up, on Thursday, January 29, is “Emma,” Jane Austen’s beloved comedy of manners. Lovely, privileged, and headstrong Emma Woodhouse is the doyenne of her small county society. She takes a keen interest in the affairs of her neighbors and enlivens her quiet, uneventful life with efforts at match-making. The characters in Emma’s circle are drawn with good-natured humor, the plot entertains, and the dialogue sparkles. In the end, Emma finds out the hard way that people don’t fall in love according to plan, but the outcome is happier than even she could have planned.

In “Far from the Madding Crowd,” February’s book selection, beautiful, willful, and independent Bathsheba Everdene attracts the passionate attentions of three very different suitors in a 19th century English village. Like her biblical namesake, the choices she unwittingly makes cause catastrophe for the men who love her and particular heartbreak for Gabriel Oak, a man of stalwart courage and integrity.  Set against a backdrop of the lush English countryside and the rhythms of rural life, this is an absorbing, beautifully descriptive, character-driven masterpiece.

greatFor March 26th, we’ll read Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” the story of orphaned Pip, his desperate early years, his struggles to overcome his past, and his dreams of becoming a gentleman.  Drawing on Dickens’ frequent themes of Victorian wealth and poverty, love and rejection, weakness or strength of character, and the eventual triumph of good over evil, the novel weaves multiple storylines into a tight plot, imagines scenes rich in comedy and pathos, and introduces a succession of unforgettable characters.

We’ll finish up on Thursday, April 30, with “The Mill on the Floss” by George Eliot.  The most autobiographical of all Eliot’s novels, this is a tale of English rural life, rival families, and sibling relationships.  As a child, Maggie Tulliver is independent and intellectually curious, but her thirst for knowledge and desire for meaningful relationships is eclipsed by family financial calamity and thwarted by her conventional rural community.  As she grows to womanhood, tensions with her family and community increase, and the novel explores the conflicts of love and loyalty and between desire and responsibility.

millPlease join us to discuss the first book in this winter series, Jane Austen’s “Emma,” on Thursday, January 29th, at 7:00 p.m. in the library’s Groesbeck Room.

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, library services, Mercury Column, News

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All things Austen!

by Judi, Adult Services

AUSTEN139 years after her birth, the works of Jane Austen remain popular, both in print and on film. Born to a clergyman on December 16, 1775, Austen was familiar with the habits of the gentry and aristocracy, and wrote satires for the entertainment of her family. She self-published her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, in 1811, and followed that novel with others—Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1815). Her works had been published anonymously, and their authorship was announced by her brother Henry only after her death in 1817. He also arranged for the publication of two more of her works in 1818—Northanger Abby and Persuasion. Austen’s wit and social commentary have caused her novels endure, making her one of the most widely read British authors.

emmaThe TALK program at Manhattan Public Library will be discussing one of Austen’s most popular works—Emma—on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 7:00pm. Join fellow Austen-lovers in discussing this comedy of manners as Emma Woodhouse, a young, beautiful, privileged woman decides to become a matchmaker. But she learns the hard way that people don’t fall in love according to plan. The discussion will be led by Thomas Prasch, professor and chair of the History department at Washburn University and has been leading KHC TALK discussions since 1999. Pick up a copy of “Emma” at the Information Desk and join us for the discussion!

 

Another indication of the continuing popularity of Austen’s works are the many novels that have been written in recent years about characters from her books:

worldIf you are a lover of all things Austen, Manhattan Public Library has numerous items that will interest you—from the fiction already mentioned to non-fiction titles from designing a garden to crochet to tea time recipes all in the style of Austen. To learn about the times in which she lived, try “Jane Austen’s World” or “Jane Austen’s Country Life”. Or you can immerse yourself in one of the many film adaptations of her books. Manhattan Public Library has what you need to celebrate all things Austen!

 

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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!

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, library services, 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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Author Visit: Diane Eickhoff , author of “Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights”

by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager

 

revolutionaryThis month’s meeting of the library’s new “Good Books” discussion series will welcome, in person, author Diane Eickhoff who will speak about her book “Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights.” This book is the biography of an extraordinary Kansas pioneer who was involved in the 19th century abolition and temperance movements, and who fought her own very personal fight for women’s legal rights to property, child custody, and the vote. Clarina Nichols was born and raised on a farm in Vermont, survived a troubled first marriage, and won a hard-fought court battle to retain custody of her children. She was successfully married a second time to a Vermont newspaper publisher and eventually took over the publishing of the newspaper. She became an eloquent journalist and passionate public speaker on the subjects of abolition and votes for women. Nichols joined the mid-century exodus of New England abolitionists to Kansas Territory to fight for free-state status and was an early resident of both Quindaro and Lawrence. She worked with and made speaking appearances with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other suffragist leaders, although her name is not as well known. This biography, well written and filled with great primary historical sources such as Clarina Nichols’ letters, speeches, and memoirs, introduces the reader to a regrettably little-known Kansas activist.

Please join us at the public library for the program and Good Books Discussion series on Thursday, October 30, at 7:00 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room.  This program is free and open to the public.

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Those are my relatives??!!

by Judi Nechols, Adult Services Librarian

charetingPopular here at Manhattan Public Library are our Genealogy Resources. We have many print resources—books such as Genealogy Online for Dummies, Charting your Family History:  Includes Legacy; Family Tree software version 2.0, on CD-ROM, for Microsoft Windows, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska Civil War Veterans; and A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering your Female Ancestors: Special Strategies for Uncovering Hard-to-find Information about your Female Lineage. (more…)

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Book Discussions at MPL

by Janet Ulrey, Adult Services Librarian
The “Good Books Club” is off and running. If you have a desire to join great book discussions with other book lovers, come talk about books with us! This fall we are launching a monthly Thursday night book discussion series. The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room of the Manhattan Public Library.

revolThe October “Good Books Club” is scheduled for Thursday, October 30th. It features Diane Eickhoff’s book, “Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights.” Eickhoff tells the story of Clarina Nichols, a charismatic Kansas suffragist and abolitionist, who helped pave the way for revolutionary changes. Author Eickhoff will join us for this book discussion.

Diane Eickhoff has been a writer and an editor of educational materials for children and young adults for many years. She received her MA in history from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Diane has been involved with the Kansas Humanities Council since 2003 and joined the Council’s Speakers Bureau in 2009. She spent six arduous years studying and analyzing Nichol’s writings and papers. In fact, her biography of Clarina Nichols was named a Kansas Notable Book for 2007. Her insight and expertise in history will greatly enhance this discussion. It will be a privilege and honor to have Diane Eickhoff here with us, and we hope you will join us in welcoming her to Manhattan. (more…)

Posted in: For Adults, library services, Mercury Column, News

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Help with Online Health Information

Rhonna Hargett, Adult Services Librarian

In a recent Pew Internet survey, it was revealed that health is a popular research topic on the internet. Of course, we all know that not all information on the internet is reliable, so if you combine these two facts, you get a lot of people getting bad information about a very important topic. Don’t worry, the library is here to help. There are excellent sources when you want to learn more about your health. You just need to know where to go.

medline
I always recommend people start with www.medlineplus.gov. Created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus is my favorite site for everything health related. You can go to health topics to look up a variety of conditions. Each section will give you the basics such as symptoms and treatment, articles about current research, and even tutorials and videos.
If you are wanting to research a condition more thoroughly, Medline EBSCO search is the place to go. Available on our Research Page, this database indexes over 5,400 current biomedical journals, so you can learn all about the latest research in the field.
At the risk of being old-fashioned, I feel the need to mention that we also have some great books for your use. Our health section can help you with the day-to-day challenges of living with different conditions or can help you jump start a healthier lifestyle. Search on our catalog to see what we have.
Health is too important of a topic to risk using unreliable sources. Let us lead the way to information from organizations you can trust.

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