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Why You Should Consider the Assistive Technology Center

by Wandean Rivers, Assistive Technology Instructor

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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…)

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

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What’s Happening, Manhattan? Early Fall 2014

by Alphild Dick, Adult Services Librarian

photo of KS hillside signAs the new school year swings into full gear and the weather slowly starts to change from summer to fall, we can’t help but get excited about the great activities that are going on in the area. If you are looking for fun ways to experience late summer/early fall in Manhattan and the surrounding areas, here are some suggestions that are sure to fill up your calendar (as if you weren’t already busy!).

  • September 13th: Fort Riley Fall Apple Day Festival. Join Fort Riley from 9am to 4pm to celebrate their annual Fall Apple Day Festival. This year there will be a military dog demonstration, a pie eating contest, and military re-enactments, among other events.
  • September 20th:
    • Aggieville’s 125th Birthday Celebration. Just because Aggieville is a supercentenarian doesn’t mean that it doesn’t know how to throw a party. Join the businesses and organizations of Aggieville from 10am until the wee hours of the morning for festivities that include a Mini-Maker Faire; kids’ carnival, featuring Aggieville’s first Ferris wheel; a vintage car show; old-fashioned ice cream social; and way, way more good stuff. (Donut birthday cake, anyone?)
    • ROLL and READ Day at Family Child Resource Center: Join us for the first ever Parents as Teachers “Roll and Read Day!” at 10am at the Riley County Family and Child Resource Center at 2101 Claflin. It will consist of a one-mile walk and stroller roll for the whole family with three literacy stations along the way, as well as a book give-away. Library staff will present mini-storytimes and early literacy tips at one station. In case of bad weather, the event will be held indoors at the resource center.
    • September 25th: Good Books Club at Manhattan Public Library at 7pm. We’re kicking off our brand new book club series this fall with a rollicking discussion of Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map, which takes us back to the devastating cholera outbreak in 1854 London as Dr. John Snow and Reverend Henry Whitehead work together to prove the cause. This well-researched history also discusses community, cooperation, and city planning, all with an edge of suspense.
    • September 26th: OZtoberFest at Wamego’s OZ Museum. When everyone associate’s your state with L. Frank Baum’s classic story, the only thing you can do is embrace it. 2014 is the 10th anniversary of OZtoberFest, and they are celebrating with an antique car show, costume contest, a Munchkin Land for children, and the Wizard of Oz ballet at the Columbian Theatre.
    • September 27th: Flint Hills FORCES II: Our Town, Our Fort, Our University: Yet another fantastic exhibition at the Flint Hills Discovery Center begins on September 27th and runs through February 1st. This exhibition will feature the shared history of Manhattan, Fort Riley, and Kansas State University, including immersive experiences: a soldier training for trench warfare during WWI; the glamour of the 1920s Wareham Hotel; the struggles of the Great Depression; family life around the television in a 1950’s Manhattan living room; and more. The project is partially funded by the Kansas Humanities Council.

For more information on library events, visit the Events page on our website to see a full listing of all the great happenings in September. For more community events, the Manhattan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has a full listing on their website.

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Manhattan Tree Walks

treeThe days of early summer are a great time to take a self-guided tree walk in Manhattan City Park or on the KSU campus. Guides for both of these tree walks can be found online by going to www.riley.ksu.edu, then entering City Park Tree Walk or Campus Tree Walk in the search box.

Before or after your walk, learn to recognize trees and appreciate their beauty and strength with The Urban Tree Book: and Uncommon Field Guide for City and Town by Arthur Plotnik or the masterfully illustrated Sibley Guide to Trees  by Davod Allen Sibley. Both books are available from Manhattan Public Libraryi

 

Posted in: Adult Services

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Municipal Band Concert Schedule

Manhattan’s Municipal Band is truly a city treasure, now in its 94th  summer season. The band performs weekly through June and July, with an extra performance on the 4th  of July. Performances are in City Park’s open-air Norvell Band Shelter and are free of charge. Musical selections cover a wide range, from patriotic marches to classical selections to Broadway tunes, regional folk music, inspiring hymns, and more. For the full 2014 summer schedule of the Municipal Band, go to www.ksu.edu/band/mmb/schedule.html.

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults

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World Oceans Day

world oceans dayToday, in countries around the world, people are celebrating World Oceans Day with the theme “Together We Have the Power to Protect the Ocean”. This world-wide event was begun to bring awareness to the pollution of our oceans that many people around the world depend upon for their livelihoods as well as for recreation.

We in Manhattan live far from an ocean, but our actions can still affect the health of the world’s oceans. How can we help? Support clean energy and purchase sustainable seafood to avoid depleting natural fisheries. Seafood Watch provides recommendations for purchasing ocean-friendly seafood in stores or restaurants–download the app for free.

Have you noticed the fish emblem on many of our sewer drains in town? Those remind us not to dump chemicals, paint, or other toxins directly into the sewers. The sewers flow into our streams and rivers, eventually reaching the oceans and affecting the marine ecosystem. Find out how to dispose of hazardous waste safely with this information from the City of Manhattan.

To learn more about studying ocean life, check out the library copy of World Ocean Census: a Global Survey of Marine Life by Darlene Trew Crist, which chronicles the 10 year project to determine what creatures once lived in the oceans, what animals currently live there, and what does the future hold for them. “This book deals with the adventures and experiences of the Census of Marine Life and the process of gathering the data, revealing the stories behind the science. The authors detail the most fascinating findings and exciting discoveries — the thrills encountered and the difficulties overcome — all illustrated with fabulous images captured during the project’s explorations.”

We may not be able to celebrate World Oceans Day at a sunny beach with the waves lapping the shore, but we can do our part to keep our oceans clean, even from Kansas!

 

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, News

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Don’t miss the Football Exhibit at the Discovery Center!

It’s your last chance to catch the interactive Football exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center–the last day is June 1. Think you’ve got the skills to go pro? Football is a 3,000 sq. ft. exhibition that introduces visitors to the science, math and technology behind the game and how they relate to our everyday lives. Test your throwing skills in the Passing Cage area. Try to match the speed of an NFL running back. Learn the trajectory for kicking a field goal. This highly interactive exhibit brings all the excitement and experience of playing football while also revealing the science that makes it all possible. Check out some of our football books or games at MPL as well!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Teens, News

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Arts in the Park begins tonight!

Head on down to the Larry Norvell Band Shell at City Park tonight for the kick off of Arts in the Park! Beginning at 8:00 p.m., the talented teens from the MHS Pops Choir will be performing, along with the Thundering Cats Big Band. Check out the schedule for the summer –there are lots of great, free music programs planned to entertain you!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, For Teens, News

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Tomorrow–Long’s Park Dedication to Celebrate History, Revitalization

The City of Manhattan plans a dedication ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at the Longs Park. Community Development Block Grants funded the installation of restrooms, the creation of an accessible walking trail, renovation of the picnic shelter and installation of new playground surfacing material.   The dedication ceremony will recognize the history of Long’s Park — named for Archie W. Long who owned Long Oil Company and operated a filling station in the park — as well as the recently completed improvements. To coincide with the dedication, the Manhattan/Riley County Preservation Alliance, Riley County Historical Society and Museum, and the Historic Resources Board will host a Historic Summit to follow at 6:30 p.m. May 22 in the Commission Room at City Hall, 1101 Poyntz Ave. Author David Dary will be the keynote speaker, and there will also be a panel discussion about downtown, a presentation on parks and a tour of City Auditorium. For more information, please go to the City of Manhattan web site.  Dary is Long’s grandson who now resides in Oklahoma. A well-known and respected journalist, historian and author, he is a Manhattan native and a Kansas State University graduate. He has authored more than 20 books, most about the history of the West, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  Check out one of his books from MPL!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, News

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