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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.

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Learn about Thanksgiving with these titles!

The holiday season is upon us and we’re counting down to Thanksgiving. I like Thanksgiving; for a major holiday, it remains relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. It’s comparatively free of the cumbersome traditions, frenetic activities, and crippling expenditures that come with some holidays (I’m looking at you, Christmas!), big stressors that can get in the way of fundamental enjoyment, not to mention spiritual gratification.

Granted, Thanksgiving does have its own daunting potential for stress – travel and logistical chaos, inter-personal and family drama, intensive food prep and consumption, hours of digestive recovery, and overwhelming kitchen clean-up! But the day can also be celebrated with a simple shared meal, quiet reflection and rest, even solitude or a private getaway, and when it all comes together well, Thanksgiving can be deeply meaningful and spiritually strengthening.

Our celebration of the Thanksgiving feast as a national historical event also has its baggage, a mythology of Pilgrims and Native Americans that is rooted in history but that has grown over time to barely resemble the actual event. As is nearly always the case with history, the truth turns out to be far more complicated and vastly more interesting than the myth. This year, pick up one of the following books to help you sort out the real story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and broaden your understanding of our country’s fascinating history.

philbrick   “Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War” by Nathaniel Philbrick details the history of the Pilgrims as religious Separatists in England and as political refugees in Holland, then follows them through their voyage on the Mayflower, the settlement and early years of the Plymouth colony, and the meeting of European settlers and Native Americans. Philbrick adds depth to what we know of familiar historical figures like William Bradford, Chief Massasoit, Squanto, Miles Standish, Priscilla Mullins, John Alden, Edward Winslow, and numerous secondary characters, revealing unexpected and surprising historical details.

In “Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World,” another richly detailed history, author and Englishman Nick Bunker writes about the Mayflower Pilgrims as Englishmen themselves, and places them in the context of the political world in which they lived. An exhaustively detailed recounting of the first years of settlement, this book tells a stirring tale of “indomitable courage, religious faith, commercial ambition, international rivalry, and domestic politics” (Publishers Weekly).

indexH4IDI2ML   If you only have time for a short read and want a more condensed recounting of the Mayflower Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, Glenn Alan Cheney has hit the high points and given a broad overview in his well-researched and -organized history of 1620-1621, “Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims’ First Year in America.” An easy-to-read and enjoyable page-turner, it is nevertheless written in evocative, descriptive prose. As one reviewer said, the book is “full of surprising information, and sympathetic to the humanity of all the participants.”

“The Mayflower Papers: Selected Writings of Colonial New England,” edited by Nathaniel and Thomas Philbrick, is a compilation of 17th century primary source material about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower voyage, and the founding of the Plymouth Colony. It contains “Of Plymouth Plantation” by Governor William Bradford, the seminal first-person account of the early days of the settlement. Written in the Elizabethan English of the times, it is not easy reading but it nonetheless is a detailed, emotional recounting of an enterprise that took immense courage, devotion, and fortitude. In addition, this anthology contains “Mourt’s Relation,” an account of the colony’s first year in New England and the original story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in autumn 1621, and “Good News from New England,” a continuation of the history, both by Edward Winslow.

times     “The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in Plymouth Colony” by leading Plymouth archaeologist James Deetz is a social history that is especially strong in its descriptions of the daily lives and society of the colony. Drawing on the archaeological evidence, it touches on crime, food, sexual and social relationships, legalities, and material culture, and upends many of our misconceptions about Pilgrim society.

 

 

 

 

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Tempting Fall Fiction for Adults

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burtonby Marcia Allen, Technical Services and Collections Manager

The fall book season always provides a nice helping of new fiction surprises. This year’s list of standouts includes many offerings by bestselling favorites, but it also includes some unusual stories from authors who may not be familiar. I invite you to sample some of my latest discoveries in the hope that you may find some appealing new fiction.

The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton is that rare piece of historical fiction that manages to create memorable characters in an authentic period setting. Recently contracted bride, Nella Oortman, arrives in 1686 Amsterdam only to find that her new husband has no real interest in her. Compounding Nella’s loneliness are the facts that the household is dominated by her husband’s rigid sister, and the family sugar trading business may be failing. Nella’s only joy is the puzzling gift of a cabinet house that her husband has purchased for her. When a life-like series of tiny figures and furniture soon arrives, Nella is determined to meet the artist who created them. What makes this book memorable is the dynamics among the characters, as well as its vivid portrayal of the city and its strict adherence to religious code. Author Burton delivers a young heroine forced to accept what she cannot change.

A Sudden Light” by Garth Stein is the latest from the author who gave us the magical “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” an emotional story told from the point of view of the family dog. This new tale is a flashback with supernatural elements. When Trevor Riddell was fourteen years old, he and his father traveled to Riddell House, the dilapidated family estate, in order to convince Grandpa Samuel to sell the place to developers so that all could share the proceeds. Complications arise because the grandfather has mental lapses, and the home seems to be haunted by family ancestors who died under tragic circumstances. While the story does have its eerie moments, it’s more a tale of old hurts and odd family dynamics. Trevor is a sharp young character who wants to heal old wounds, so he finds himself caught between opposing loyalties.

The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen is a very pleasant surprise for those who can’t get enough epic fantasy. Life will never be the same for nineteen-year-old Kelsea Glynn, as soldiers of the Queen’s Guard have come to remove her from her adopted parents’ home and place her on her rightful throne. Since her queen mother’s death, ambitious forces, like her greedy uncle and the Red Queen of Mortmesne, have struggled for control of the kingdom and have often shipped the Tearling citizenry off to slavery. Kelsea is a kind and decent heroine, but she knows little of governance. This first installment in a planned trilogy features well written magic touches, like gigantic hawks and a mysterious glowing sapphire that Kelsea wears, and it effectively pits good and evil forces against one another throughout.

The Boy Who Drew Monsters” by Keith Donohue is a disturbing tale of horror. This supernatural tales features an isolated Maine setting under cover of snow and a boy who suffers from crippling psychological problems. Young Jack Peter refuses to leave the house, communicates little with his parents, and constantly draws sketches of threatening monsters. At some point, the monsters of the drawings begin to take on lives of their own, and the boy’s parents and neighbors sight unbelievable creatures. Is the story eerie? You bet! The fleeting visions, the impending danger, the isolation and the confusion about what is real make for an uneasy reading experience.

New fall titles are arriving on a daily basis, so be sure to check the MPL website for upcoming novels. There’s lots of new romance and adventure, westerns and science fiction yet to be read.

 

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Celebrating All Things Pasta

by John Pecoraro,  Assistant Director

Nothing says Italy like pasta. Some historians believe that Marco Polo introduced noodles to Italy after his journeys to China. There is evidence, however, that the Romans used durum wheat to make a pasta-like noodle called “lagane.” By the 1300’s, dried pasta had gained popularity for its nutrition and long shelf life, but it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that pasta met the tomato. The rest, as they say, is history.

October 25 was World Pasta Day, but it’s not too late to cook up a plate of this versatile food. Check out one of the many pasta cookbooks available at Manhattan Public Library.

The perfect shape plus the perfect sauce equals “The Geometry of Pasta,” by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kenedy. This book features 100 recipes arranged by the name and shape of the pasta, from agnolotti to ziti. In between, you’ll find recipes for cappelletti (little hats), orecchiette (little ears), torchio (torch-shaped), and many more.

giadaIn “Everyday Pasta,” bestselling author and cooking show host, Giada de Laurentiis, presents her favorite pasta recipes for every occasion. Giada makes the most of the many varieties of pasta with recipes for those looking for a lighter dish, as well as quick and easy fixes for the weeknight rush. She also features pastas for special occasions. Most of the pasta dishes included are all-in-one meals, but Giada also supplies recipes for her favorite appetizers, side dishes, and salads.

Want to cook pasta like they cook it in Italy? Look no further than “Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way,” by Oretta Zanini de Vita and Maureen B. Fant. This book continues and complements Zanini de Vita’s “Encyclopedia of Pasta.” The authors first introduce readers to ingredients and equipment before delving into recipes for both novice and experienced cooks.

Rushed for time? Check out Giuliano Hazan’s “Thirty Minute Pasta,” for 100 quick and easy recipes. Aspiring cooks can make most of the recipes featured in under 30 minutes, with fewer than 10 ingredients. This book includes recipes for pasta soups, vegetarian dishes, as well as meat and seafood sauces. It also provides hints on stocking your pasta pantry, and the five simple rules for perfectly cooked pasta.

artisanSupermarket shelves are stocked with a dizzying selection of pastas to choose from, but for some it’s not pasta unless it’s homemade. “Making Artisan Pasta,” by Aliza Green, introduces the adventurous cook to the world of handmade linguine, ravioli, lasagna, and other styles of pasta from Italy. Green also includes instructions on making dozens of other pastas from around the world.

If I had to choose one variety of pasta over all others, it would have to be lasagna. “The New Lasagna Cookbook,” by Maria Bruscino Sanchez offers a crowd-pleasing collection of lasagna dishes from around the world. Tips on ingredients and equipment, and easy-to-follow recipes make this book perfect for beginning lasagna cooks, while the wide variety of classic and new recipes will challenge the experienced.

What’s pasta without the sauce? To avoid the embarrassment of naked pasta, read Pamela Johns’s “50 Great Pasta Sauces.” The rich photographs of pasta smothered or gently caressed by beautiful sauces will make your mouth water. Johns divides her sauce recipes by vegetable (classic tomato), dairy (browned butter & sage), meat (Bolognese), and seafood (pepper & anchovy).

macMacaroni and cheese is the most popular pasta dish in America. It would be a shame to only equate mac and cheese with the packaged varieties from the supermarket. In “Mac & Cheese,” Ellen Brown offers 80 classic and creative variations of the ultimate comfort food. Mascarpone lobster mac and cheese, anyone?

Finally, there are some among us who love the pasta, but don’t love the gluten. “Gluten-free Pasta,” by Robin Asbell presents more than 100 gluten-free and low and no-carb pasta recipes. The recipes fall into three categories: homemade pastas, store-bought brands, and veggie pastas. Store brands include white and brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, potato, and corn pastas. Veggie alternatives include pastas made from spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, zucchini, collards, and cabbage.

You can call it pasta, you can call it macaroni, or you can call it noodles, but whatever you call it, the result is usually delicious. Enjoy a dish today.

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Share Books to Introduce Fire Safety

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

MHKFDDuring National Fire Prevention Week, our local firefighters visited schools to talk to students about fire safety and prevention, show them some equipment they use and make sure they would never be afraid of a firefighter in uniform. Notes were sent home reminding families to practice with their kids so they know what to do if the smoke detector goes off. Reading books about firefighters and fire safety is a great way to start this discussion with young children and let them talk about their concerns.

The library has an excellent collection of children’s materials on this topic, thanks to the Manhattan Firefighters Union Local 2275. They have donated funds for the past three years to boost the library’s collection, so more kids and teachers can check out books and make sure everyone knows how to stay safe.
For some fun read-alouds to start off with a lighter approach, these picture books are sure to be a hit:

“I’m Brave” by McMullan is told from the point of view of a “good looking” fire engine. He goes through all his equipment, including the usual hoses and axes, as well as duckbill pliers and rabbit ear bolt cutters. Kids who love fire trucks will also enjoy  “Firefighters: Speeding, Spraying, Saving” by Hubbell.

The exciting illustrations in Dale’s “Dinosaur Rescue” make it a perfect book to share with preschoolers, and Scarry’s “A Day at the Fire Station” in Busytown will always be good for some giggles, too. “Fire Drill” is a short picture book by Jacobs that describes the scenario of fire drills in a school setting with simple text and pictures, making the actual event a little less scary.

fire safety 1Some children are fascinated by emergency vehicles, from police cars to fire engines. For facts and photos about fire trucks, check out “Fire Trucks and Rescue Vehicles” from the Mighty Machines series, or “Fire Trucks in Action” by Hanson. “Rescue Vehicles” by Gilpin includes cross-section illustrations to show what is inside fire engines, ambulances, police cars and more. These books are now housed in our “Transportation” neighborhood in the Children’s Room.

A number of books for children have a very direct educational approach, which is great for covering the basics of fire prevention and procedures in case of a fire. “Contain the Flame” by Donahue covers outdoor and campfire safety, and “Being Safe with Fire” by Kesselring provides safety tips in everyday living, as well as steps to make an escape plan. Learn more specifics about firefighters’ jobs in books like “Firefighters Help Us” by Murray or “A Day with Firefighters” by Shepherd.

Our newest additions to the collection this year are two kits that include multiple books plus activities that can all be checked out together. The tote bag story kit, “Firefighters,” is geared toward preschool and early elementary ages. It includes six fun picture books, such as “Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill,” two informational books, a DVD of “Elmo Visits the Firehouse” and a cool firefighter costume for dress-up play.

The discovery pack, “Fire and Rescue,” comes in a backpack and is for kids in grades 2-6. It includes informational books about firefighters, fire dogs, smoke jumpers, rescue vehicles and fire safety. A large maze game will challenge older kids to think about fire safety, as well as test their logic and problem-solving skills.

fire safety 2Special thanks goes out to our local firefighters for all they do to keep us safe, educate us, and provide this kind of support to the whole community.

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2014 Teens’ Top Ten

Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

The Teens’ Top Ten is a teens’ choice list sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Each year, teens nominate their favorite books from the previous year. Nominations are posted in April, and teens ages twelve to eighteen can vote on their favorite titles. The winning books will be announced on October 20, so teens still have one more week to vote for their favorites at http://www.dogobooks.com/book_clubs/teens-top-reads. As usual, there are a wide cross-section of genres represented on the list, so if your teen is looking for something to read, this list is a good place to start. Many of the titles have crossover appeal to adults, as well. Here are a few of my picks from the list of nominees this year:siege

“Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo
This is the last book of an excellent trilogy, so be sure to start with the first one, “Shadow and Bone,” or you will be lost. Alina and Mal, who have been best friends since childhood, are soldiers in the First Army of Ravka. Ravka is a harsh place, ravaged by war and currently split in two by the Shadow Fold. The Fold is a place of darkness and danger, where creature called volcra snatch and eat men who attempt to cross through to the other side.  While attempting to cross the fold, Mal is gravely injured and Alina manifests the rare ability to summon light in order to save Mal’s life. Alina is immediately taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, those who can wield magic, and swept up in the intrigue of the court. Those who enjoy fantasy or historical fiction (many elements of the story were based on Russian myth and culture) should give this one a try.

“Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell
I put off reading this book even after hearing all the buzz about it, thinking it was just another typical romance. However, this turned out to be one of those rare books that sticks with you, long after you are done reading it. The year is 1986, and Eleanor is the new girl in town. She is forced to walk the gauntlet of the school bus where she is exposed to taunting and bullying because she is overweight and dresses strangely. She ends up sitting next to Park, who is half-Korean and something of an outsider at school. This is definitely not love at first sight. For awhile the two completely ignore each other, but gradually throughout the course of the year, they begin bonding over comic books and music. Eventually, they fall in love, but there is likely no happily ever after to this story. Park gradually learns about Eleanor’s poverty and her volatile family situation, which finally explodes.steel

“Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson
This is a fun, fast-paced superhero story that is the first in a projected series. In this story, superheroes are the villains. Twelve years ago when the Calamity came, Epics were created, giving random humans incredible powers (and of course weaknesses). These Epics began subjugating the rest of humanity and taking over different parts of the world. Ten years ago, David’s father was killed by one of the most powerful Epics, named Steelheart. Ever since, David has made it his life’s mission to study the Epics and find their weaknesses. His one goal is to avenge his father’s death and take down Steelheart.

“In the Shadow of Blackbirds” by Cat Winters
Mary Shelley Black, age 16, has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego. Like many cities in 1918, it is not only dealing with World War II, but also the Spanish flu pandemic which is killing millions all over the world. Surrounded by loss many have turned to spiritualism in an attempt to speak with dead loved ones. Taking advantage of this is Julius, the older brother of Mary’s love Stephen, who claims he can capture ghosts in photographs. Soon after finding out that Stephen has died, Mary begins being visited by his tormented ghost, who talks about the blackbirds who tortured and killed him. Mary embarks on a quest to learn the truth about Stephen’s death.5th

5th Wave by Rick Yancey
There couldn’t be a teen list without some post apocalyptic fiction. This one is the best of the bunch. This time the earth has been decimated by an alien invasion through four separate waves: an electromagnetic pulse, tsunamis, the Red Death, and Silencers (humans who were implanted with alien intelligence as fetuses). One of the rare survivors, Cassie, armed with an M16 and her brother’s teddy bear, is trying to reunite with her brother while escaping Silencers and the 5th Wave.

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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…)

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Why You Should Consider the Assistive Technology Center

by Wandean Rivers, Assistive Technology Instructor

tech_tuesday_large

Learning how to use new technology can be exciting, freeing, and totally frustrating all at the same time. If you find you need help, consider making an appointment for personal, one-on-one training in the Assistive Technology Center at Manhattan Public Library. The best part of the ATC experience is that you can explore hardware, software, and devices at your own pace, with a trainer, and without others looking over your shoulder. You’ll gain confidence with each new skill learned, and your experience will greatly reduce anxiety about technology.

We’ll start off your first session with a technology interview and we’ll address two questions – what challenges stand in the way of your using technology, and what are the hardware/software solutions available? Next, we list a few goals, set up a timeframe for completion, schedule a weekly appointment time, and then re-evaluate at the end of that timeframe.

The Assistive Technology Center serves a wide audience. Clients may fall within a profile that includes those with low vision, blindness, limited mobility, learning disabilities, and hearing or cognitively impairments, and their advocates, such as teachers, parents, and caregivers. But we’re also happy to work with patrons who have limited experience with technology or who have a short term, targeted project or skill need, such as downloading e-Books, fine-tuning a PowerPoint, or learning how to navigate Facebook. (more…)

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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…)

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How to Become a Lifelong Learner

By Danielle Schapaugh, Public Relations Coordinator

Wikipedia tells me that lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.” To me, it means becoming your own teacher, which I think is a wonderful and worthy thing to do.

But why would a person subject herself to teaching and learning after schooling is finished? Doesn’t “finishing” mean that you don’t have to read, write, or do arithmetic anymore?

Absolutely not! Even if you haven’t made a concentrated effort to bring learning into your life, you’ve been learning every day. You’ve made new discoveries and found new topics to excite your senses.

Learning is a vital part of being human; that’s why we aren’t born knowing how to do everything. So why not be proactive and teach yourself something that’s always piqued your curiosity? Also, the National Institute on Aging sites “engaging in social and intellectually stimulating activities” as an important part of preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Plus, it feels really good to learn!

So, now that you’ve decided to try something new, the first thing you have to do is pick a subject. Have you always wanted to paint, make fire with sticks, or speak French? Start with something exciting and see where it leads you.

Next, it’s time to visit the library. You will find resources to study, as well as information about classes offered by local organizations, like UFM and the Manhattan Arts Center, and clubs and groups you can join.

But what if you can’t pick a topic or aren’t familiar with the library’s resources? Just talk to a librarian: we can help point you in the right direction. You can even get a customized list of titles to explore, on any subject you can imagine, with our reader’s advisory service.

Now here’s a secret weapon you might not have considered: the children’s library.  When I’m looking for something completely new, I start there because some of the very specialized research material can be a little dry and intimidating. I don’t necessarily want to read an esoteric paper about cumulonimbus clouds; I just want to know more about the weather. So, I slyly pretend I’m gathering books for children I don’t have and get an armful of fun subjects to explore.

Visiting the library is like building your brain muscles. No one ever says “I wish I hadn’t learned how to _______,” so spend a few minutes daydreaming about new subjects, then take the first steps to becoming your own teacher.

The library is also hosting a trial of the digital service Lynda.com from September 17-27, which offers thousands of video courses on topics ranging from Managing Stress to Responsive Web Design that you can explore on your own. To participate in the trial, call the library at 776-4741 ext. 120 and make an appointment.

There’s a whole world of ready information within your reach!

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