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Monday, October 31, 2011

A Pox Upon You! By Danielle

The recent media attention surrounding a presidential candidate’s statement about a vaccine makes “Pox : an American history” by Michael Willrich a timely acquisition for the Stillwater Public Library.  By describing the views and tactics of anti-vaccine advocates who feared an increasingly large government, this book chronicles how America's war on smallpox during the Progressive Era sparked one of the twentieth century's leading civil liberties battles.  For those interested in history, science, politics, race, and culture, it’s a fascinating, well researched book.  

When faced with medical advice questions, such as “who do you trust?,” librarians are taught to offer this advice--look at reliable sources.  What is a reliable source?  Ideal sources include published sources like medical journals, recognized textbooks written by experts in the field or medical guidelines produced by nationally or internationally reputable experts.  One other important factor when reading medical information is to make sure it’s current, and in some cases not older than one year. 

If vaccines are a subject matter you would like additional information on, here are a few current selections from Stillwater Public Library. 

·              Vaccine: the controversial story of medicine's greatest lifesaver” by Arthur Allen. “An account of vaccination's miraculous, inflammatory past and its uncertain future.”

·             Deadly choices :how the anti-vaccine movement threatens us all” by Paul A. Offit.  The story of anti-vaccine activity in America, its origins, leaders, influences, and impact.”
·             The vaccine book: making the right decision for your child" by Robert W. Sears.  “Dr. Bob Sears provides an in-depth look at each disease/vaccine pair and covers everything you need to know.”

·             Sexually transmitted diseases” by Lauri S. Friedman and Jennifer L. Skancke, book editors.  “Introducing issues with opposing viewpoints.” 

·             The great influenza :the epic story of the deadliest plague in history” by John M. Barry.  "This crisis provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Can I Please Get A Pet? by Gayla

With the days getting shorter and fall-like weather approaching, this could mean less outdoor playtime for your child. Have you considered a companion who teaches life lessons about friendship, responsibility, loyalty, and empathy? For many children, the family pet can be a best friend and a wonderful experience. 

Our library has several books that help explore the World of Pets in both the
Children’s Easy and Juvenile areas. They can be found in Non-Fiction with call numbers in the 636’s.

Let’s Get a Pet” by Harriet Ziefert tells everything you will ever want to know about picking out the perfect family pet.  The “My First Pet” library from the American Humane Association series by Linda Bozzo tells about different animals such as cats and birds that make great pets.  This book series explores how to care for your first bird or your first cat. 

If you are looking for something a little different and tiny, then how about a pocket pet? A pocket pet is an animal small enough to carry around with you and stow in your pocket.  Perhaps a Degu, Flying Squirrel, or a Duprasi? “Pocket Pets” by Alvin Silverstein is an ideal book to use as a guide for which animals are suitable as pets and which are not. 

Jean Craighead George demonstrates how anyone can talk to their dog once they know the language in her book titled “How to Talk to Your Dog.”  Totally Fun Things to Do withYour Dog” by Maxine Rock is filled with games and activities for kids and their favorite four-legged friend.  Kids can discover new variations on playing catch and fetch, or teach their dog to play hide and seek.  The book shows how to throw a party for their special pooch-pals from dog weddings to birthday parties, and party games. 

Studies have shown that children can benefit from the presence of a non-judgmental pet. Pets help with loneliness, grief, pain, and fear.  A pet gives a sense of security, encourages exercise helps to broaden acquaintances, but most importantly unconditional love.  Learn more at the library!

Stillwater, OK

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bad Halloween memories by Stacy

I love Halloween, which is sort of odd because growing up I experienced several traumatizing Halloweens.  Back in the 70s, we didn’t have baskets to collect candy.  We used paper grocery sacks---those were the olden days when bags still came with handles.  The year I was three, my bag dragged during the entire tour of the neighborhood.  As you can guess, at some point on the trip, I looked into my bag and found nothing there.  It was fairly traumatic and I can still remember every facet of that Halloween in all its horrid, vivid detail. 

Then there was the time my mother made us eat dinner before trick or treating.  We weren’t allowed to leave until the plate was clean.  The problem was that dinner was “Chinese food.”  Chop suey.  From a can.  No offense to La Choy, the fine producers of this cuisine, but I feel certain that Chinese food was never meant to be canned.  Needless to say, there was no Halloween for me that night.

My last bad memory was a result of my misunderstanding of the punk influence on early 80s pop music.  I was dressing with my friends as a member of the all girl band, “The Go-Go’s.”  I had the requisite mini skirt and tied headband, but how I felt a safety pin through the earlobe fit in, I just don’t know.  Apparently, just because your ears are pierced doesn’t mean that a safety pin will safely fit through your ear without creating a bloody, gory mess.

In Stillwater, it is easy to create wonderful Halloween memories when you have awesome events like the Downtown Halloween Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The festival will include bouncers, carnival games, fair food, a costume contest and trick-or-treating with downtown merchants.  All you need is a costume, and the library can help with that.

If you are short on time, consider:

·       Child’ Play: Quick and Easy Costumes” by Leslie Hamilton which has quirky ideas like dressing as a dinner table or a tube of toothpaste and super easy ideas like the “Backwards Dressed Boy or Girl” (literally the kid just dresses backward!)

·       Easy Costumes You Don’t Have to Sew” by Goldie Chernoff which is notable for standouts like a monster lobster, a totem pole and a super easy ladybug.

·       The Most Excellent Book of Face Painting” which really is most excellent because it shows how to apply makeup masks step by step.

If you have more time to prepare, browse our costume sections for inspiration.  We have all sorts of books on folk costumes from around the world or the popular fashions from each decade.  If you plan to stick to the festival’s theme of “Our Haunted Circus,” then look for:

·             Be a Clown” by Mark Stolzenberg

·             The Most Excellent Book of How to Be a Clown” by Catherine Perkins

·             Balloonology: 32 Projects to Take You From Beginner to Expert” by Jeremy Telford

Whichever costume you choose, you are bound to make wonderful memories this Halloween at Downtown Stillwater.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Scientists in the Field by Jeanna

How do scientists really spend their working lives? Are their careers really all about white lab coats and advanced mathematics? Not necessarily. “Scientists in the Field,” a series of juvenile non-fiction books published by Houghton Mifflin, follows a variety of scientists to locations as exotic as the cloud forest of New Guinea and as familiar as your own back yard to prove that science can be fun, intriguing and extremely important.

In “Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot,” readers meet a team of scientists and volunteers who are trying to save a species of large, flightless, honey- scented parrots from extinction. With only ninety-one living kakapos, it’s a tough job, but the humans seem to love it. 

In fact, one of the coolest things about the series is how much the scientists and their assistants love what they’re doing. Whether it’s studying snow leopards in Mongolia, teaching trumpeter swans to migrate in the northeastern United States, or tracking trash in the open ocean, the researchers are dedicated, enthusiastic, and certain that they can make a difference.
Lavishly illustrated with full color photographs, “Scientists in the Field” books are visually as well as intellectually interesting.  Information is delivered as part of a captivating, real-life storyline, enjoyable for adults and children alike. Glossaries at the end of each book provide simple definitions for unfamiliar terms and some books have pronunciation guides beside unusual words.

To enhance the very personal quality of these books, some pages are printed in what looks like handwriting, complete with fake sticky notes.  In “The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honeybee Catastrophe,” the scientists even answer questions about themselves, including how they became interested in bees, which bees they like best, and what their worst sting has been.

Whether your child likes frogs or space exploration, volcanoes or the ocean, “Scientists in the Field” has a volume that will encourage those interests while opening up the wonderful possibilities of real-world science.  And don’t forget to drop by with your 3-7 grade students on Saturday, Oct. 15 for “Born to Do Science,” Monty Harper’s program featuring real working scientists!

Stillwater, OK

Monday, October 3, 2011

“Garage Sale Groupies” by Stacy

Last week, several of us binged on junk at the Oklahoma-Kansas 100 Mile Long Yard Sale.  Part of our gluttonous garage sale excess can be attributed to the fact that no one had sales this summer due to the extreme heat.  So, when this delightful buffet of bargains presented itself, it was an all out junk-fest with pockets full of quarters and trunks full to bursting.  And perhaps there were a few tears and/or outbursts much like toddlers who desperately need a nap but refuse to stop playing.

Pam and Dotty getting ready to go!

The little town of Dewey outside B'ville has amazing junk stores!

Sadly, this is the old aluminum patio set that everyone wanted, but was sold just minutes before we go there.

A subpar pic of our awesome table of loot!  What shall we do with it?!

To figure out what I’m going to do with my new treasures, I’ve gotten some help from some of these super guides:

Also look for “American Pickers Guide to Picking,” because you just never know if someone holding a garage sale will end up letting you go through an old attic or garage filled with junk (this actually happened to me for the first time last week and it was sort of awesome!).  I personally prefer the Picker Sisters to the American Pickers.  Some folks say the Sisters are way too sassy, but I think they’re jealous because these gals are about the only people who can pull off short-shorts and cowboy boots.

For those of you who didn’t have a garage sale this summer because of the heat, on behalf of all garage salers, I implore you to do it now!  Come check out “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Garage and Yard Sales” or “Garage Sale Gourmet” by Chargaris and Lyman for some quick ideas on how to hold an awesome sale.  Garage salers can pick up these same books, as well as “The Rummager’s Handbook” by R.S. McClurg to brush up on the best buying strategies. 

So, lay out your junk for us, then get out of my way!