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Library Secrets

By Danielle Schapaugh

Psst…I have a secret to tell you. There are free services at the library that you don’t even suspect!

scannerFor starters, Manhattan Public Library has a high-quality digital flatbed scanner. Users can scan documents, photos, articles, or even maps in color at high resolution, and save the images to a flash drive or send them directly to an email account. All for free.

If you’re in need of a high speed Internet connection, the library’s got you covered. Cardholders can access free 30Mbps WiFi in the building and at three WiFi hotspots around town: the Douglass Community Center at 901 Yuma, City Park Playground, and the Wefald Pavilion in City Park. The library received a grant in 2013 to test TV Whitespace as a way to provide free Internet access and it has been very successful. Log in to using your library card number and password. If you forget your password, visit the library to have it reset.

For those of us who feel outpaced by new technology, the library offers technology classes twice a month. In addition, Wandean Rivers in the Assistive Technology Center is available for one-on-one technology tutoring by appointment. Call Wandean at 776-4741 ext. 202 to schedule a session. Desk staff can also help with basic questions and assist you in finding the resources to learn more. These services, like all the services at the library, are free to cardholders.

Lynda_homepage_icon2If you prefer to explore on your own, the library offers several options for self-education. The most exciting new service is called lynda.com. With topics ranging from Improving Your Memory to 3D Video Game Design, lynda.com provides training to interest any user at any level. I’ve used the service to improve my professional skills in office programs and graphic design. I can’t say enough about lynda.com; I want to shout about it from the rooftops! Try any of the thousands of video tutorials and you will be amazed. Lynda.com is available completely free for all library card holders through the library’s website.

Perhaps you are someone who is “all about the books.” If you just want something good to read, ask a librarian. We have resources to recommend books based on your tastes, authors you like, genres you enjoy, bestsellers, and more. If you want a complete and customized list of recommendations, take a minute to fill out a personalized reading list request.  A librarian will comb the collection and give you a long list of books you’re sure to love. Why waste time reading mediocre books when there are so many great books to enjoy?

There are resources galore for children and families, but you may not have noticed the storytime kits and discovery packs. Librarians package books, games, toys, and even costumes in a backpack for a complete learning and entertainment experience. Find topics like New Siblings, Fire and Rescue, Potty Training (complete with Potty Elmo doll), World Records, and Dinosaurs. Discovery packs are perfect for grandparents with visiting grandkids!

Another resource you may not have noticed is simply space. The library has three meeting rooms and one computer classroom that are available to the public. Community and civic groups can reserve space to hold meetings, conduct classes, and even teleconference in the library’s meeting rooms for free. No groups can charge admission or conduct sales at the library, and some other restrictions may apply. For more information please call or visit the Manhattan Public Library.

I could go on and on, and then some. You can find language learning programs, resources to help teach your child to read, fun events, Consumer Reports, Ancestry.com, and more. If you would like a group tour of library services, please call us at (785) 776-4741 ext.120. We would love to show you all the wonderful resources available at your local library.

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

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Why I Love My Library

by Heather Strafuss, Assistant Circulation Manager

February is Love Your Library Month and lately I’ve had a lot of good reasons to love my library. From the grand opening of the children’s room in January, to the Good Books Club, to the addition of Lynda.com, the library continues to get better and better.

And those aren’t the only reasons why I love my library! I’ve worked at MPL for over ten years, and have been a card carrier for quiiiite a bit longer! Here are a few reasons why I love our particular library!

  1. The Books. Books! Great books everywhere! MPL has always had a fantastic collection (being one of the only places I could get my Sweet Valley High fix back in the day) and the collection continues to grow and become more fantastic every year. Whether it’s the latest Nora Roberts or a new trend in YA, MPL has it. And if it’s one of the few they don’t, there’s Interlibrary Loan services and a Suggest a Purchase page on the website.
  2. The Community. There are a lot of wonderful people who visit the library each week, and some of them I’ve gotten to know pretty well. It’s incredibly awesome when kids who used to visit each week come back and visit over spring break after going to college, or a frequent patron proudly displays pictures of their new grandchild. Working at the front desk, I get to see a bit of everything, and mostly what I see are some truly amazing people who also love their library.
  3. The Staff. They’re friendly and FUN. They aren’t afraid to declare their love for Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books with my kiddo, or spend ten minutes helping me remember the name of that documentary that looked interesting. They’re also all very indulging when I appear with a camera and ask to take their picture for social media. The smiling faces are very genuine, and some of my very best friends have been co-workers from the library.
  4. The DVDs/Blu-Rays/Video Games. Another wonderful collection of the latest movies and games, and they’re free to check out!
  5. The Events. MPL has a Good Books group where I can go and be an adult for a while, discussing literature with actual adults other than my husband, and I don’t have to pay for it as a class! (Also, there are cookies!) The story times are always fantastic, and aids my kids in developing their love of reading. The Children’s events are also excellent at being on top of the latest trends! (There’s a Frozen party coming up soon, y’all! Bust out your Elsa & Anna dresses!)

Do you love the library, too? If so, stop by and send us a valentine!

valentine display at the library

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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!

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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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Thursday’s Book Discussion!

index3ALTS5PAThursday at 7:00 pm in the Grosebeck Room at Manhattan Public Library will be our final event in our Big Read programs regarding the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. We are especially excited to have Dr. Kim Stanley, a professor at McPherson College and a representative of the Kansas Humanities Council, here in Manhattan to lead our discussion. Dr. Stanley is very knowledgeable about this book and promises to provide an informative and lively discussion. Refreshments will be served. Join us for this interesting discussion!

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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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Honoring Veterans

TBR-Logo-BWIt is hard to believe that it is the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. For many of us, it seems like only yesterday that our families and friends were watching the draft lotteries on television (hoping for a high number—the higher the number, the less likely you would be drafted), and sending letters overseas to servicemen. This momentous anniversary will be recognized at our local Veterans Day celebrations, which include events at the Manhattan Public Library.

This year, the Manhattan Public Library received a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Arts allowing us to plan for a Big Read.  The Big Read is a program designed with the goal to encourage reading as a shared experience in the community, with grant funding allowing the purchase of books to give away, making speakers available, providing for the cost of printing materials and posters, etc. The Big Read  engages American readers by awarding grants to local communities for local Big Read projects.  By improving access to the art of literature readers will be able to connect with great works of literature. O
Our Big Read events have been planned in conjunction with the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This award-winning novel is considered a literary classic and has been taught in classrooms around the world since its publication in 1990.

thingsThe book is a fictionalized account of the author’s experiences as an infantryman in Vietnam. A collection of stories that comprise the novel, O’Brien conveys the chaos, fear and other feelings that make up warfare in his writing. ““War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.”

Our Big Read events include the parade on Veterans Day, where we will be handing out copies of the book “The Things They Carried” (while they last!) as well as the Vietnam Veteran’s Forum later in the afternoon. Also, stop by on Veterans Day or at the library during November and write a note on a Thank You to Veterans postcard. We will be sending these for distribution to VA Hospitals and other agencies that serve our Veterans.

An exciting and important event will take place on Veterans Day at 4:00 at the Wareham—the Vietnam Veterans Forum. Several distinguished local Vietnam Veterans will discuss their experiences during the war in Vietnam. Join us to hear their stories and their reflections on the Vietnam War. The Flint Hills Veterans Coalition has been very helpful in organizing and planning for the forum.

We have planned two book discussions for community members. On Thursday Nov. 13 at 6:00pm, we are sponsoring Books and Brew—a discussion at Little Apple Brewery. Appetizers will be provided, and food and drink may be ordered. If you can’t make it to the Brewery, we will be having another discussion of the book at the Good Books Club on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 pm at the library. Refreshments will be provided.

 

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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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September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Mary Newkirk, Adult Services Librarian

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The observance was launched in 1987 to meet the challenge of then Secretary of Education William J. Bennett who said: “Let’s have a national campaign…every child should obtain a library card – and use it.” Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that. A library card may be the most important school supply of all.
Ten reasons everyone should have a library card:
1. You are already paying for it. During these tough economic times, why would you pay double for something?
2. Save money. While you may want to own a few favorite titles, do you really need all those books? Anyone who has ever moved will tell you, “Moving boxes of books stinks.”
3. You get to try titles and genres you might otherwise miss. You may not want to plunk down $20 just to find out you that you detest the latest craze in vampire romance novels.
4. Reading broadly makes you smarter. Studies have repeatedly shown that vocabulary development, language acquisition and background knowledge are all improved in those who have been exposed to a variety of information.
5. You can get more than books with your library card. The library offers an amazing array of products and services: DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers, movie nights, computer use, homework help, college prep, kid & teen programs, author visits, career planning, and free classes.
6. Libraries are better than bookstores. If the bookstore doesn’t have a title or subject you are searching for, you can get it through Interlibrary Loan. The library also has 24-hour online access. Bookstores close, but you can access databases and reference information while sitting in your pajamas.
7. Free WiFi. No more mocha latte obligations for you.
8. You can have a mobile library with you on your smart phone or device. The fastest growing library use is downloading ebooks and audiobooks.
9. You can find a comfortable, friendly, welcoming spot away from all those ‘honey-do’ jobs.
10. You will keep all the librarians happy talking about their first love – books!

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Library Tips and Tricks: Readers Advisory at the Library

By Judi Nechols, Adult Services Librarian

Have you ever finished a book and, with a sigh, thought you would never be able to find another author whose writing appealed to you as much? Or have you walked into the library and wandered in the stacks of books, with no idea how to choose a book you might enjoy? Readers’ Advisory is our way to connect readers to new authors or books to enjoy. 

There are several Readers’ Advisory tools available at Manhattan Public Library to help you to find the perfect book!

  • Novelist is an addition to our online catalog that makes it easy to find writers or stories of a similar style to one you’ve enjoyed. Just look up a book you have read in our catalog. Click on “Full Display” on the right. Scroll down the page and you will find a section with “Suggestions and More,” where both Authors and Titles are listed that are written in a similar style. Novelist makes recommendations for both fiction and nonfiction books.
  • BookTALK_homepage_iconThe BookTalk link is located on our home page (www.mhklibrary.org). BookTalk is a searchable collection of book reviews written by Manhattan Public Library staff members, with reviews of fiction and non-fiction books as well as DVD’s. Just click on the box titled BookTalk on our home page. The most recent reviews will appear first. Scroll down and you can browse through hundreds of reviews, or search for reviews for books by a favorite author or genre.

 

  • The Readers’ Advisory Table is located near the Information Desk and has lots of lists for genres, series and read-alikes for authors—pick one up and head to the stacks to find a book.

A Personalized Reading List form can be completed online or in a paper form (available on the Readers’ Advisory Table). Just tell us your favorite authors or subjects, why you enjoyed a certain book, and we will provide you with a list of titles that we hope you will enjoy.

 

blood bedlamLocated on our genre display cases, we have books available to help you find a new author or series. The Genreflecting Advisory series includes several titles, such as “Blood, Bedlam, Bullets, and Badguys : a reader’s guide to adventure/suspense fiction”, “Historical Fiction : a guide to the genre”, “The Real Story : a guide to nonfiction reading interests” and “Genrefied Classics : a guide to reading interests in classic literature.”

  • Library Staff members are avid readers and are always willing to assist fellow readers in finding new authors or titles—just ask us! We are glad to show you how to find and use our Readers’ Advisory materials and staff may also tell you about the most recent good book that they have read!! MPL Librarians are skilled at providing Readers Advisory and are here to help you find your way to your next favorite book or author!

With so many resources for finding books to suit your preferences, we’re sure you can find something new and enjoyable at Manhattan Public Library to suit your reading preferences.

 

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