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Monday, May 23, 2011

Bookshelf Vacation by Jeanna

“Family Vacation” is a not a phrase to be used lightly, as it can dredge up memories either joyful and enduring or horrible and even more enduring.  Being a vacation person myself, and the parent of two children, I have discovered several books and series of books at the library that help turn bad travelers into better travelers and good vacations into great vacations. 

Families with strong interests, like mine, may benefit from specialized travel guides such as “America’s Best Zoos” by Allen Nyhuis and Jon Wassner.  If your family loves unusual things, the “Oddball” guides may interest you.  If you prefer out of the way places to more popular attractions, checkout the “Off the Beaten Path” and the “Rough Guides” series.  For families that enjoy hiking, our library offers “Best Hikes with Children in Colorado” by Maureen Keilty.  This guide includes such critical information as trail length, level of difficulty, wheelchair accessibility and whether or not the trail head has restroom facilities. 

The FamilyFun guides, however, are my personal favorites. Our library owns FamilyFun vacation guides to the Southwest, California and Hawaii.  Other titles may be available for a small charge through Interlibrary Loan.  These guides have everything traveling families might be interested in, along with hints about staving off on-the-road boredom and surviving long airplane flights. 

How did I plan a vacation that included four zoos, a family friendly winery, the most amazing children’s museum ever, a steamboat museum, a nature reserve, a multicultural children’s museum and two caverns?  I used the FamilyFun guide to Missouri.  It led us to many interesting things we would not have found otherwise.  Sometimes, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a trip through the travel guides @ your library.

Monday, May 16, 2011

We love our volunteers! by Stacy

This past month, Stillwater Public Library celebrated National Volunteer Week with a luncheon to honor our volunteers, as well as our Friends of the Library and Trust and Library Board members.  Four volunteers earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award including Arlene Smith, silver medal for 379 hours of service in 2011; Dorothy Carmain, bronze award for 185 hours; Patsy Bostick, bronze for 170 hours; and Rose Edwards, bronze award for 184 hours of volunteer work.

Lynda Reynolds, Library Director, and Arlene Smith, volunteer.

Most exciting was that we were finally able to give the President’s Call to Service Award to Arlene Smith who has been volunteering at the library for twenty years.  This prestigious award recognizes the lifetime achievement of those who have provided more than 4,000 hours of service over the course of their lifetime.  Arlene has volunteered nearly 3000 hours since I arrived in 2001, and the meager records I inherited showed that she officially passed the 4000 hour mark this year.  However, there are years and years of uncounted volunteer hours for which I have no records, so I’m sure this award is long, long overdue.

 Library Board members Barbara Miller and Linda Rogers.
 FOL Board member Bill Balcer and Sue Busch, Children's Librarian.
 Our lovely ladies, Dorothy Carmain, Patsy Bostick, and Rose Edwards.
Book sorter Linda Tinney and her son.
Volunteer Nicole Sump-Crethar and Library Board member Tom Warner.

From shelving, mending, helping with genealogy, teaching computer techniques, putting books in order and cleaning the DVDs and CD books to building displays and preparing storytime crafts—our volunteers do it all, and our library would never be able to run without them!

Monday, May 9, 2011

5 to watch! by Scott

With summer fast approaching that means one thing: Summer Reading!  It seems that those warmer months bring out some of the best that the publishing world has to offer.  Here are 5 books coming out in the next few months that I am most excited about.

I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle

I had the privilege of reading this debut novel by the folk-rocker and I can say, without reservation, that this is the best book I have read so far this year.  Doc Ebersole is a down on his luck morphine addict haunted by the ghost of Hank Williams and performing illegal surgical procedures in the back alleys of San Antonio.  Until Graciela comes along and changes everything.  Lyrical and heart-breaking, this is a novel to savor.
(Releases May 12th)

Deadline by Mira Grant

Sure, books featuring Zombie uprisings are a dime a dozen.  Unless they are written by Mira Grant.  Feed, the first book in the Newsfeed Trilogy, was a breath of fresh air in a crowded literary genre.  Book 2 releases on May 31st and is sure to delight those with a fascination for the undead.  You can pick up the first book in the series now at the SPL.
(Releases May 31st)

Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter

Ritter is one of the finest young songwriters in music today.  In his literary debut he paints a moving picture of a young soldier returning home in the days after World War I.  Still coping with the death of his young bride he must come to grips with how to care for the infant son that she left behind.
(Releases June 28th)

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

Stevens burst on the scene last year with her tension-filled debut Still Missing.  In an equally captivating and gripping follow-up she ratchets up the intrigue in a memorable way.  When Sara Gallagher decides to find out the identity of her birth parents she is not prepared for the truth behind her conception.  Her mom is the only survivor of a still at-large serial killer.  Her father is…you guessed it.  Frightening.
(Releases July 5th)

Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper by Geoffrey Gray

I don’t know much about the details of this particular book but I have always been fascinated by the story of D.B. Cooper.  Gray wrote a story for the New Yorker back in 2007 that led to the long-unsolved case of Cooper being reopened.  This is that story.
(Releases August 9th)

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For the Birds By Gayla

Spring has finally arrived in Stillwater and my yard is full of birds.  There are birds in trees, on the lawn and in my flower beds. There is even a new nest being carefully constructed on my front porch.   

I love awaking each morning to the sweet sound of birds singing.  Did you know birds learn new songs just like people?  I always thought their songs were the same old tweet, but as they grow older they learn new songs.  One bird in particular, may sing thousands of different songs.  That could possibly be more songs than you can put on your IPOD!

Birds have something that NO other animal has.  Do you think you know what it is?  Have you ever wondered why cardinals are red or if woodpeckers ever get a headache from hammering on wood?  Do you know what a Hoopoe, Frogmouth, Bee Eater, or Blue-footed booby is?  

If your kids ask questions like these, then “Everything Bird” by Cherie Winner is a fantastic book with colorful photographs that will answer everything kids really want to know about birds.  The library’s bird books can be found in both the Children’s Easy and Juvenile areas with the call numbers 598, 598.2, 598.29, and 690.

Want to set up your own bird buffet?  Check out “Feeding Our Feathered Friends” by Dean Spaulding.  Once you build a bird feeder and house, it won’t be long before lots of feathered friends stop by for a tasty bite!  “Make Your Own Bird-Houses and Feeders” by Robin Haus is another easy book with step-by-step instructions along with recipes for a homemade feast birds will love!  It will be a wonderful day when the birds move in and make themselves right at home!  

 Remember, food and shelter are gifts you can give to any bird no matter where you live.