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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Old World Puppetry at the library next week

Next week marks the halfway point of Stillwater Public Library’s “Summer @ Your Library” program with weekly programs, reading challenges, prizes and much more. You still have plenty of time to get enrolled, just visit to get started. Programs next week include:

Tuesday, June 27, a new program debuts featuring Richard Elsenpeter’s Marionettes in a retelling of “Tom Sawyer” at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and at the special new all-family friendly program time at 6:30 p.m.  Elsenpeter is a strong believer in fantasy. Without fantasy, he feels children miss a vital part of their development. 

"The fantasy world is as necessary to the development of the mind as crawling is to walking,” said Elsenpeter. “If a child is denied the freedom to pursue a fantasy, he is deprived. It serves
a very important purpose."

Elsenpeter’s Marionettes is a professional full-time performing Marionette company which has entertained millions of school children. The Elsenpeter’s Marionettes tradition of puppetry started in Elen, Germany approximately 139 years ago, by Elsenpeter's great grandfather. Their traditional form of puppetry has been handed down through four generations and is described as "old world style of puppetry." It is rarely seen any more in America because of its technical difficulties.

Each program is especially written for the Marionettes theatre, and every detail has been carefully designed to achieve a perfect dramatic production in miniature. Elsenpeter’s skillful manipulation of the Marionettes transforms the two foot tall, hand carved, wooden dolls into living characters with definite personalities.
The Elsenpeter program delights the young and the young-at-heart while stressing the importance of education and reading. His goal is to give children an outlet for their fantasies while making a lasting impression on them.

As an early reminder, the library will be closed Tuesday, July 4, so no programs on that day.

On Wednesday, June 28, 2:30-4:30 p.m., young adults in 6-12 grades will be growing a better world with OSU Payne County Extension. Inside, attendees will make seed bombs, learn about plants and explore plant pathogens. Outside, teens will tour several blocks near the library, identifying plants and learning more about botany in Oklahoma. Participants are advised to wear shoes comfortable for walking and clothing appropriate for being outside.

On Thursday, June 29, “Summer Cinema” features “Secret Life of Pets” at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The hilarious PG film uncovers the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. Max, a terrier, has his favorite-pet status turned upside-down when his owner takes in a stray named Duke. Popcorn will be provided. Please bring a water bottle.

Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. is the second program in the “Let’s Talk About It” series featuring Dr. Harbor Winn and the short poetry book, Native Guard” by Natasha Tretheway. The program includes Dr. Winn’s presentation, small group discussions and refreshments from the Civil War era.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

He shoots! He scores! He's fouled!

Hurray! We’re headed back to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament! And though we’ve made it quite a few times in the last years, it feels like the first in a very long time. I went to the OSU-Kansas game with hub last week. The first time in many years. While we did lose, it felt like we won. The arena was packed; my ears were buzzing; and at the end of the game my throat was so sore I couldn’t talk.

It took me right back to the days when we didn’t always win, but always seemed to get significantly better. Back to feeling that we always had a shot to make it all the way.  Back to the frenzy of being on the sidelines when Big Country made his infamous half-court shot against Missouri (Jason Sutherland is still the player I most despise, though at this point I couldn’t even tell you why). Back to the excitement of camping out all night to get tickets to the Final Four in Seattle (and later learning that the ticket office wasn’t supposed to sell us those tickets and wanted them back!).

Back to the deafening roars of the Cincinnati game in the new arena (probably I remember this one so clearly not so much because it was the very loudest time I’ve ever been in GIA, but because everyone who attended got sparkly silver pom-poms). Back to those Sunday afternoons, driving home from Kansas City, listening to the tournament selection show, hoping superstitiously to get put into an East Rutherford, NJ, region.

And that is what watching this team feels like—hopeful. If you want to brush up on the historic Cowboy Basketball tradition, come by for these titles:

·         “Oklahoma State University: history-making basketball” by Michael McKenzie. Read about the events and people who created the tradition of Cowboy basketball. The book starts pre-Iba and follows the program through Kurland, Haskins, Hartman, Hansen, Hamilton, Starks and Houston up to the beginning of the Sutton era.

·         “Mr. Iba: Basketball's Aggie Iron Duke” by John Paula Bischoff. Bischoff relays Iba’s career in Stillwater as a national championship winning coach and athletic director. Included are discussions of his innovative basketball plays that are still in use today.

·         Track 8 of “Voices of Oklahoma” where you can hear a 1972 interview of Coach Iba discussing Olympic strategy. He sounds tough, just like his teams were.

A few titles have either been retired due to condition or not ordered for the library, so if you have a copy of the following books, please consider donating them to the library:

·         “He Got It! My Life with Bill Teegins” by Janis Teegins and Bob Burke
·         “Living My Dreams: 1965 OSU Cowboy’s Big Eight Basketball Champions” by Gene Johnson
·         “Tournament Town Kansas City: Where the Basketball Madness Began”  by Blair Kerkhoff

See you in Phoenix! (I have just knocked on both a piece of real wood and my head, so I am allowed to say that. However, this does also take me back to the one downside of OSU basketball fanaticism—the rigorous and detailed actions hub and I had to take during each and every game and the words we were and were not allowed to say during the season, so as not to tempt fate. OH! And the hoarding! Didn’t like my frenetic hoarding of every scrap of OSU basketball memorabilia. This hopeful feeling is still worth it, though!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


One of our librarians made a display called “Hopeful for the Holidays.” People throughout the community have come in and written phrases and quotes about hope, togetherness, inspiration and love. I find myself wandering back over to the display to read the little sticky notes again and again.

It’s been a tough year. Fighting within communities, on television, in families. Cut budgets, fewer books, less time to help people. It is easy to lose hope in the world, in people and in yourself. But with every trip over to the display, reading simple words like, “Carry on,” “Do not let the world make you hard,” and “I still believe people are good at heart,” I remember that I am one of the hopeful ones.

I wasn’t brought up in an optimistic family. Most things were tinged in a veneer of doom and gloom. I remember going to college and being confounded by an item on my sorority sister’s desk. She had a calendar with an inspiring quote for each day. I’d never seen such a thing! But over the years, I came to understand that people put in work to remain hopeful—it doesn’t always just come naturally. They look at corny quotes, surround themselves with positive people and read inspiring books. And somewhere along the way, I became hopeful and it has helped me get though several impossible situations.

I don’t think my family was that different than others, neglecting to teach the important lesson of hopefulness. Wouldn’t it be great if all kids learned this message—to keep working to hold on to hope—at an early age? Perhaps New Year’s Day is a good time to start a new family tradition, one that focuses on hopefulness. There are several wonderful children’s picture books that portray this very message:

  • “The Stars Will Still Shine” by Cynthia Rylant. Rylant reminds children that even in uncertain times, the sun still comes up, the flowers still bloom, and the birds still fly high overhead. It encourages kids to appreciate and take comfort in the simple, reliable pleasures of the world.
  • "Squirrel's New Year's Resolution” by Pat Miller. Squirrel determines to start the New Year afresh with a resolution, but forgets about his project as he goes throughout the community helping other animals that need it. Children will take away the message that actions speak louder than words…or resolutions.
  •  “A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope” by Michael Foreman. Foremen is the master of hopeful children’s books. In this one, a little boy in a war torn country nurtures a vine growing amidst the rubble. When soldiers destroy the vine, it springs up across a fence the boy can’t reach, but he finds that another child has taken up nurturing the vine until it begins growing again. This one gave me the chills! Look also for Foreman’s “Oh! If only….,” “Hello World,” and “Fortunately, Unfortunately” for stories about finding the silver lining.
  • “It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. With cute illustrations and relatable situations, Krosoczka goes through scenarios that typically would be hard on a kid, but shows the good that can come from each of the losses. 
  •  “Hope Is an Open Heart” by Lauren Thompson. The author goes through the everyday aspects of life that can bring us hope. The author’s epilogue is lovely and reminds us that hope is contagious…something that kids can definitely “catch” from their parents.
I hope everyone in our community will have a wonderful year.

Monday, December 19, 2016

American Dream available @ your library

Growing up, I didn’t realize how much I love helping others. I had always worked in libraries and when my education took me out of that sector, it just felt wrong. When I returned, I began to realize that I am drawn to libraries not for the reading, not for the research, but because it lets me help people. Even better, actually, is that it lets me help people to help themselves.

Despite everything that’s occurred since the beginning of the new century, I am still a diehard believer in the American Dream. Seeing the things that happen in a library is a big reason why. From finding jobs researched and applied for with help from a librarian to getting essential health information needed to talk to a doctor, community members will always be able to improve their own lives at the library.
This year, we continue our work “transforming lives through the power of information.” Here are just a few opportunities that will help you help yourselves:

·         Renew Your Health Goals-The library’s new healthy literacy series, Simple Steps to Better Health, through the OK Dept. of Libraries runs Feb. through June. Our partners, Payne County Health Department and Payne County OSU Extension, will be teaching classes on health topics and healthy cooking. Our sponsors, Stillwater Medical Center, Payne County TSET, Stillwater Public Library Trust, Health Care Authority, Food Pyramid, Knight Medical Supply, Magic Touch Massage Therapy and Crepe Myrtle Asian Market, are providing incentives and chances for prizes to help motivate you to complete the simple steps that will you be healthier. Registration begins Jan. 3.

·         Secure Your Identity-If you have a bored houseful of guests during the Christmas break, then put them to work sorting and gathering your shreddable paperwork for the library’s annual shredding event by Shred-Away on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 9-11 a.m. The event is free, but we gladly accept donations to defray the cost. For more information on which items you should shred to keep your household and identity safer, visit the links on our webpage at

·         Expand Your Skills-The library staff starts its next semester of one on one computer tutoring in Jan. Emily and Amanda take hour long appointments to provide individual instruction on most all computer topics, including beginning use, iPhone and Android use, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other Microsoft products, internet searching, email use, Facebook and much more. Appointments are generally held on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings, but they are very open to adjusting their schedule to meet your needs. Sessions can be made by calling 405-372-3633 x8106 or emailing

·         Read More-More and more studies are showing the health, emotional and cognitive wellbeing that reading provides. Need help reading more? Join one of the library’s Winter Reading programs and read to earn incentives and chances into prize drawings. Adults are reading for a chance to win a $100 giftcard from the 1907 Meat Co., an Ancestry DNA test and many other great prizes. Visit our webpage at to get started.

For more help transforming your life, visit the library!