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The History of Baseball

by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

With spring just around the corner, that means it is once again time for baseball, the all American pastime. To get yourself ready, or just to impress your friends with your vast knowledge, why not read up on the history of the sport?

If you want to brush up on your knowledge of the Negro Leagues, we have several books on the subject. Here are just a few to get you started.

monarchs“The Kansas City Monarchs: Champions of Black Baseball” by Janet Bruce:   This book traces the story of the Kansas City Monarchs from their beginning as a charter member of the Negro National League in 1920 until their demise in the mid 1950’s due largely to the integration of the sport. The Monarchs were a powerhouse in their league and employed some of the great stars of that era, such as Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson. Did you know that the Monarchs were the first team to regularly play night baseball? They brought a portable lighting system with them which they quickly assembled at each new location when they travelled on the road. Bruce fills the book with many other interesting anecdotes as well as over 90 photographs of various players or scenes.

“Only the Ball Was White: A History of Legendary Black Players and All-Black Professional Teams” by Robert Peterson:   Originally published in 1970, this is a classic book that thoroughly covers Negro league baseball from start to finish. There is detailed history about the league and some of its greatest players. There are also biographical sketches of many great players who never had the chance to play in the major leagues. Peterson manages to capture the heart and soul of Negro league baseball, while underscoring the tragedy of the lost opportunities of Negro league players because of segregation.

jackie“Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy” by Jules Tygiel:   No baseball history would be complete without the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues. Tygiel, through interviews with players, newspaper accounts, and personal papers, recounts how Jackie Robinson influenced not only baseball, but American society as well.




For a general look at baseball history, the library has many books to offer. Here are a few of my picks:

boys“The Boys of Summer” by Roger Kahn:   Many are of the opinion that this is the best baseball book ever written, or at least somewhere on the list.  Kahn describes his youth  growing up in the 30’s and 40’s near Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as his time as a beat writer covering the Dodgers in the early 50’s. In a very poignant section, Kahn then recounts what happened to these great players long after their baseball days were over. Even non-baseball fans should appreciate this book.

“Mudville Madness: Fabulous Feats, Belligerent Behavior, and Erratic Episodes on the Diamond” by Jonathan Weeks:   For a lighthearted look at baseball, give this one a try. Weeks takes you chronologically from baseball’s earliest days up to the present day, recounting the strange, bizarre, and little-known events that happen on the field of play. For instance, in 1957, while a woman was being carted from the game on a stretcher after being hit in the face by Richie Ashburn’s foul ball, she was hit in the leg by another Ashburn foul ball during the same at bat.

baseballwomen“Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball” by Barbara Gregorich:   The story of women in baseball is a fascinating one. I had no idea that there were a number of barnstorming “bloomer teams” that travelled across the U.S. playing against men’s teams. Or, that during the 1930’s in an exhibition game, one woman, Jackie Mitchell, struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Gregorich’s book is an entertaining account of this little known piece of baseball history.

These are only a fraction of the baseball books that MPL has to offer, so be sure to stop in and see what we have. Also, don’t forget to come hear Phil Dixon speak at the library on March 29 at 2:00 p.m. Mr. Dixon is an African America sports historian, author of nine baseball books, and co-founder of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Mr. Dixon will be discussing the history of the Kansas City Monarchs, games the Monarchs played in Manhattan, and the history of African American baseball players from this community.




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Spring Book Sale at the Library

little boy reading a book in the romance section

The Manhattan Library Association’s annual book sale will be held Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 1. 

Visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue to find incredible prices on books, CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks that have been donated throughout the year or removed from the library’s collection. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Manhattan Public Library.

The annual book sale has the best bargains in town with hardcover books for $1.50, paperbacks for 75 cents, DVDs and CDs for $2, audiobooks for $4, and children’s books for 75 cents. All of the money raised will be used to fund library programs such as guest speakers, children’s puppet shows, and summer reading programs.

The first night of the sale is open to Manhattan Library Association Members only from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 27. Memberships are available at the door starting at $10. Join the Association to get first choice of materials.

Stop by the sale on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also find extra fuel for your shopping at the Teen Library Advisory Board’s Annual Bake Sale from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.

On Sunday, March 1, the sale will be open from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. with special deals on the remaining materials.

This is truly a community event, staffed by wonderful volunteers like Bob Newhouse, Roger Brannan, Wilma Schmeller, and Carol Oakrup who devote countless hours of work organizing the sale.

For more information, visit the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue or call us at (785) 776-4741.

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MLK Art and Writing Contest Winners Announced


Honorable Mentions

Grade category           Name                                             Teacher/School (if applicable)

9-12                       Ames Burton                                 Riley County Schools

3-5                         Sahana Datta and                        Marlatt and Amanda Arnold Elementary Schools

Ananya Pagadala

K-2                        Justin Orvis                                    Manhattan Catholic Schools

6-8                         Ann Hess                                       Flint Hills Christian School

First Place Awards

K-2                        Ritodeep Roy                                 Lee Elementary

3-5                         Micah Craine                                 Bluemont

6-8                         Kaden Vandorn                             Flint Hills Christian School

Adult                     Paulicia Williams

Best of Show

K-2                        Usha Reddi’s first grade class        Ogden Elementary


Honorable Mentions

3-5                         Hanna Loub                                   Bergman Elementary

6-8                         Abby Cronander                            Manhattan Catholic

9-12                       Amanda Dillon                              Flint Hills Christian School

9-12                       Caleb Linville                                Flint Hills Christian School


First Place Awards

3-5                         Halle Gaul                                     Bergman

6-8                         Blaise Hayden                               Manhattan Catholic Schools

9-12                       Elijah Irving                                   Flint Hills Christian School

Adult                     Randy Jellison

Best of Show

6-8                               Chase Rauch                                  Manhattan Catholic Schools

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Grand Opening Celebration for Children’s Library!

young children holding up a thank you sign

The new Children’s Library is finished, and we’re throwing a party on Saturday, January 17, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. to celebrate!

The new space is twice the size of the old library, with new features like 1,683 sq. ft. of new storytime space with state-of-the-art A/V equipment, neighborhoods of books, a magnetic gear wall, puzzle-shaped seats, twelve touch-screen computers just for kids, dress up clothes with a magic mirror, a toddler playhouse, and cozy window seats perfect for enjoying a good book.

At the celebration, kids and parents will get a chance to meet and take pictures with Olivia and Curious George. Manhattan Public Library staff, and volunteers from the Junior League and Girl Scouts will help kids make crafts.  Musician Rockin’ Rob will perform at 2:00 p.m. Plus, everyone will get the chance to explore all the features of the brand new library!

Special thanks to fundraising committee chairs Jerry Pettle and Katie Philp, honorary co-chairs Bill and Sharon Snyder, and all the generous people in the Manhattan community who made the new children’s library possible. Your support has provided a beautiful place for children and their families to explore a world of imagination and information, for years to come.

The Manhattan Public library is located at 629 Poyntz Avenue in Manhattan, Kansas. If you would like more information about the celebration, or any other library-related events or services, please call (785) 776-4741,  or email us at

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Adults, For Teens, News

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Only Love Can Drive Out Hate: MLK, Jr. Art and Writing Contest 2015

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

2014MLKBestofShow_Seoyon_KimThe creativity found in art and writing has a unique ability to capture the spirit of a concept, an idea, or a movement. Each year, we are privileged to see the artistic interpretations of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and messages as part of the MLK Jr. Art and Writing Contest, an event in conjunction with the Manhattan community’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations. As the deadline approaches for the 2015 contest, we hope you will share your experience with Dr. King’s message of non-violence, social justice, and human rights, and help us pass on his message of peace, “Only Love Can Drive Out Hate.”

Original works of art or writing on this theme can be submitted at Manhattan Public Library until 6pm, January 11, 2015. Please include an entry form with your work. All works must meet the requirements noted on the form. We cannot accept late submissions.

Entries will be evaluated by professional, independent judges not affiliated with Manhattan Public Library. Each age group will be evaluated separately, with categories for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and post-high school.

Certificates will be awarded to the first place winners in each category, best of show winners, and honorable mention winners. Winners will be recognized at the community celebration at Manhattan Town Center on January 19 at noon .

Sponsors of this year’s contest include the Gallery for Peace and Justice, Manhattan Library Association, Manhattan Public Library, Manhattan Town Center, and Varney’s.

More information on the event can be found by visiting the Manhattan Public Library at 629 Poyntz Avenue or by calling 785-776-4741.

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What a Great Year!

It’s a little sad to say good-bye to 2014. After all, this year was very good to the Manhattan Public Library. Between the Children’s Expansion project, Star Wars Reads Day, and Summer Reading, we were busier, bigger, and more boisterous than ever. Here are some of the highlights of the last year.

Children’s Library Expansion Project

Kelley construction broke ground on the children’s library expansion project in January 2014 and finished on schedule in December. A total of 5,332 square feet were added to the children’s library–and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results! Stop by anytime to explore the new space, and remember to join us for the big Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, January 17 from 1:00 to 4:00pm.

kids watching construction equipment

kids and parents in the new library

World Book Night

Librarians left the safety of the service desk and went out into the wilds of Manhattan on April 23 to give away armloads of free books. World Book Night is a global celebration of literature. We were proud to distribute copies of “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” “After the Funeral,” and “The Catcher in the Rye” downtown, at City Park, and Aggieville, live tweeting all the way. If you can’t make it to the library, sometimes the library comes to you.

women at world book night

librarian at world book night


Summer Reading

Readers had another record-breaking summer with more than 1 million minutes of combined reading time in June and July. With more than 64 storytimes and clubs in June alone, librarians were busy juggling schedules and construction demands! The summer reading theme for 2015 is all about superheroes, and we’re going to have more fun events and programs than you can shake Thor’s Hammer at. Don’t miss the kickoff celebration on May 30th.

summer storytime with puppet

kids at summer science club

Star Wars Reads Day

What on earth are are storm troopers doing at the LIBRARY? In honor of Star Wars Reads Day on October 11, more than 250 Manhattanites gathered to make crafts, play trivia, watch movies, and harness the power of the force. The event was such a success, we’re planning to go even bigger and badder for the 2015 celebration!

kids at the wookie yelling contest

band members posing with green screen

The Big Read

In November, we honored veterans by exploring Tim O’Brien’s book about the war in Vietnam, called “The Things They Carried.” This poignant piece of literature guided discussions inside and outside the library. A panel of veterans shared their stories at the Wareham Opera House on November 11, 25 book lovers met at the Little Apple Brewery to sit down and talk on November 13, librarians handed out books during the Veterans’ Day Parade, and postcards were circulated at the library for people to sign and send to veterans. It was a powerful and important month for everyone involved.

If you missed the forum, check out the DVD of the event available in the library’s Veteran’s Oral History Project collection.

veterans at forum discussion

book discussion group

We hope 2014 was as fun-filled and exciting for you as it was for us. If you have any questions about upcoming library programs, stop by to pick up a calendar or visit our events calendar online. Happy New Year!

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Welcome to

Watch the online course How to Use

Your Manhattan Public Library card now gives you access to the 4,500+ video courses on All you have to do is follow the link , enter your library card number and password, create an account, and you can start learning from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

But what is

Watch a video introducing the service. is an online library of video courses on topics ranging from Improving Your Memory to Creating Textures for 3D Animation. You can learn new skills easily with engaging videos and downloadable practice files. can help you study more effectively, learn skills for entrepreneurship, explore graphic design, become a better public speaker, brush up on computer techniques, and a lot more.

Each subject is broken down into smaller video tutorials so you can stop and start, and learn at your own pace. Some courses are as short as 20 minutes or as long as nine hours, and there are videos for all learning levels–from beginner to professional. Browse the library to get an overview of what’s offered, or if you have a specific interest, use the search bar to find courses.

Software is s good topic to start with. You’ll find a quick list of the most popular software tutorials, or you can browse alphabetically for everything from Access to GarageBand to Zoomerang.

Is it really free?

Yes. Like all library resources, access to is completely free for cardholders. Residents of Chase, Clay, Dickinson, Geary, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee, and Washington counties can  follow this link to get a library card.

Do I have to be in the library?

No, you can watch the courses anywhere you have an Internet connection–on your own computer, tablet, or smartphone, or you can use one of the library’s computers. will keep track of the videos you’ve watched and hold your place when you log off.

Searchable Transcripts

Read along with closed-captioned transcripts–or search the text to quickly find information within a course.

Download Exercise Files

Download the files used in the video courses so you can practice on your own. Please note: library computers do not have access to all the software taught on, such as Photoshop and AutoCAD. You must have your own copy of the software you’re learning in order to open the exercise files.

Certificates of Completion

Earn a certificate of completion for each course viewed. Print the certificate to show coworkers, friends, and employers what you’ve accomplished.


Please ask us. Contact the library at or (785)776-4741 x141


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December Construction Update

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

We now wrapping up the final stages of the Children’s Expansion Project, and while each step has been exciting, it seems like all of the fun stuff came in at once! If you’ve been in the library, you might have seen some of the exciting additions to the Children’s Room. If not, we’d love for you to come and check it out!

Last Wednesday, we got truckloads of furnishings to be added to the Children’s Room. We could hardly wait to start moving it all in!









Some of these new items included spiffy tables and chairs, and some very, very cool interactable furniture. We are in love with the cool colors and fun textures–they make the Children’s Room look so lively!









We also received new shelving for our interactive items and signage with beautiful, bright pictures for the different neighborhoods in the Children’s Room. We were

7 8







Thanks to a skilled team of workers, everything was assembled and hung on the wall quickly, including our lovely donor wall.

9 8.8







That meant more time for people to come in and start testing things out, from climbing on the foam blocks to sitting on our comfy new seats to studying at the tables and playing with the fun toys.












Thanks to everyone in the community for their support and enthusiasm! If you’ve got any questions about what comes next, just let us know!

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Use Research to Fuel Your Holiday Planning!

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

As the holidays get into full swing, the last thing I usually think about is doing research. Why do research when I can drink hot cocoa and curl up on the couch with good book? However, a little bit of time spent researching and planning for the holidays can save you hours of stress and hair-pulling as you try to cross things off your holiday to-do list.

Thankfully, the online databases at Manhattan Public Library are the perfect tools to save you from impending holiday doom.PicMonkey Collage

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports is hands down the best resource available for researching purchases. All their reports are written by independent expert product reviewers who will give it to you straight whether or not something is a good buy. (Bonus points: Consumer Reports subscriptions can cost a bundle for individuals, so you are saving time AND money!)

AtoZ Databases

AtoZdatabases provides access to 220 million residential listings in the United States, making it great for finding contact information for long-lost friends and family.

Often times, the list of people I’d like to send cards to is longer than the list of addresses I have on hand. That’s when resources like AtoZdatabases can save you.


Finally, if you are more preoccupied with the end of the semester than with holiday preparations, MPL has several excellent databases with full-text options to help you finish those final projects. From ERIC (great for students of education and the social sciences) to MasterFile Premier (provides authoritative information on a broad range of research topics). Need help getting started navigating these resources? MPL staff have created a helpful tutorial to using MasterFile.

Now you have become the Jedi Master of holiday shopping and end-of-semester projects. Pat yourself on the back, grab another slice of pie, and enjoy the rest of the season.

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Holiday Happenings in Manhattan

snowman ornament with snowy backgroundThe recent cold weather and snow flurries are good reminders that the holiday season is quickly approaching! Participating in holiday events can help make the season bright. Here is a list of holiday activities in town that will be fun for the whole family.

Books, movies, and music

The library has holiday music CDs and holiday movies on display to help you get in the spirit. Look for the library’s holiday decorations soon–we love to deck the halls!

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Join friends and neighbors on Thanksgiving Day for a community dinner being held this year at Old Chicago from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Dinner is free of charge but donations are appreciated. Call (785) 537-0730 for more information.

Festival of Lights at Blue Earth Plaza Nov. 28-Dec. 31

The lighting ceremony (with a special appearance by Santa!) will be held Friday, November 28 at 7:00 pm. The music and lights will dazzle viewers this holiday season!

Small Business Saturday Nov. 29

Shop locally and support Manhattan businesses.

College Musicum Free Concert – Monday, Dec. 1

Enjoy a free concert from K-State’s historical performance ensemble on Monday, December 1 at 7:30 pm in Kirmser Hall at McCain Auditorium.

Winterdance ’14 – Thrusday, Dec. 4- Monday, Dec. 6

WinterDance is K-State Dance’s annual fall concert that features faculty dance choreography. Jazz, modern, tap, ballet, movement theatre, and African dance styles will be shown. The performances will be in the Chapman Theater in Nichols Hall at 7:30 each evening December 4 through 6. Call for tickets 785-532-6428 or check their web site at

Mayor’s Holiday Parade – Friday, Dec. 5

This festive parade starts at 5:30 at the mall and ends with a tree-lighting ceremony in Aggieville’s triangle park. You’ll see lighted floats and might even catch a special appearance by Santa Claus!

Family Holiday Workshop – Sunday, Dec. 7

The Beach Museum of Art is hosting a workshop on Sunday, December 7 from 2:00-3:30 pm, with winter-themed art projects for the whole family. For For more information, go to Fee charged.

KSU Orchestra – Sunday, Dec. 7

Get into the holiday spirit with beautiful music at this free concert at McCain Auditorium Sunday, December 7 at 3:00 pm.

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides Dec. 6-21

On Saturday and Sunday evenings December 6-21, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around downtown Manhattan free with a donation of cash or goods for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter. Start at 3rd and Poyntz.

Helping those in need

• The Mayor’s Holiday Food and Fund Drive assists the Flint Hills Breadbasket in collecting food for needy families. A donation of $40 provides a food basket for a family of four. Food donations, or cash donations, are always welcomed at the Breadbasket either in person at 905 Yuma Street on online. Don’t let families go hungry this holiday season!
• Individuals, families or businesses may adopt a family in order to provide gifts for a family that otherwise might not celebrate the holidays. The Junior League of the Flint Hills is sponsoring the Adopt-A-Family Program this year and matches donors to families. Call 785-410-5086 or email to offer your help.

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