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Friday, March 30, 2012

National Library Week Coming Soon by Carline

Did you know a week is designated each year to honor and promote libraries?  National Library Week began officially in 1958 and is sponsored by the American Library Association.  It began out of a growing concern that people were listening more to radio and television and spending less time reading.  A concerned citizens’ committee set goals such as “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time,” “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”  The theme of that first celebration was “Wake Up and Read!” 

This year National Library Week will be observed April 8-14 and the theme is “You Belong @ your library.”  We are planning several exciting activities, one of which includes a bookmark contest in which the winners will have their bookmarks professionally reproduced.  The contest forms are now available at and are due April 1.

Many things have changed in our world, our city, since 1958.  One thing has not changed: the importance and necessity of being able to read.  Librarians, whether public or school, know how to get children to read and develop a life-long love of reading. The Stillwater Public Library, along with libraries everywhere, is committed to providing the opportunities and support to help people keep reading and learning for the rest of their lives.

The Stillwater Public Library offers many children’s programs, including storytimes, throughout the year to foster a love of reading.  The library provides a place for teens to study and get information for homework.  The library has information and technology available to adults seeking new job skills and applying for jobs. 

The Stillwater Public Library, librarians and staff, would love to help you open that door to opportunity, to enjoyment, and to a better understanding of the community and world we live in.  Please come see us soon and often – “You Belong @ your library”!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Clean your books off your shelf and into our booksale! by Stacy

Too Many Books?  We would love to help!!!

It’s Spring!  Spring means it’s time to clean.  And it is the time for our Spring Booksale!  So get started unstacking your overflowing shelves and think about getting rid of some of those books!  You can help the library by filling our sale tables, while making room for all the books YOU buy at the sale.

This is too many books.

For some people (like me, the people I work with and most anyone who uses the library), getting rid of books is hard.  Books are very personal.  They say something about us or at least something about who we were at some point in our lives.  But, too many books simply say one thing about us: we’re hoarders!  Here are a few tips to help you clear out your shelves and provide a huge benefit to the Stillwater community.

Also too many.

1.      Start by removing the books you never really liked.  Harry Potter?  Despite popular sentiment, I didn’t like this series—so out they go, on to make some other person happy.

2.      After that, cull the reference type items with dated information—the ones you kept purely for info—travel books, health books, etc.  This means getting rid of the items definitely ten years and older, but preferably anything over 5 years.

3.      Now, go to the books on your past interests and hobbies.  It is OKAY that you once thought you’d be an expert birder or thought you’d learn Latin, but it never took—it happens to us all.
4.      Next, remove books where you have several on the same subjects.  You may have once needed 8 books on flower gardens, but you can probably get by with 2 or 3.

5.      Then, pull the books you think you SHOULD read—Dante’s “The Divine Comedy,” “The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel,” etc.  Yes, we all squirrel away these books on the off chance that we will finally give in to the nagging urge to improve ourselves, but honestly, if the urge hasn’t taken in the amount of time you’ve owned the book, then it probably just isn’t.  AND when the urge finally DOES strike, then just visit us and we’ll lend you a copy!

6.      Now, comes the hard part—the books you love for sentimental reasons.  Books that you read as a child, ones you read to your children and ones that a beloved friend or family member gave you.  These are the hardest books to remove, but there are several good strategies.

·        For books your children loved, chose 2 or 3 of the best or favorite books.  Then, put your time and effort into keeping those books safe and pristine.

·        If you have inscribed books, consider carefully removing inscription pages and putting them into a scrapbook. 

·        For other books you hold dear, consider taking a photo of the covers. Include those in your scrapbook as well and take the time to write down why the book was important to you.  Your thoughts about the book are way more important than the book itself.

If you are having a hard time, have someone else sort through the items for you, then come along afterward and make the final decisions.  This helps by removing the emotions from the decisions and it helps you view the situation more objectively.

Definitely too many-but very cool!
Once you have made your final decisions, the rest is easy!  Bring all of your items to the library.  Call us in advance or come in and let us know if you need help unloading your car.  We have carts to make it easy.  We also can provide a tax receipt, so you can benefit from your donation.  Then!  Be prepared to refill your shelves at our booksale April 19-22!

Stillwater, OK

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Books to Film 2012 edition by Rion

What do Nicholas Sparks, Abraham Lincoln, Zombies, Nick Carraway, and Jack Kerouac all have in common? Aside from books, each is involved with a film being released in theaters this year.  If you’re like me and prefer to read a book before seeing any adaptation, film or television, then I’m happy to report you still have time and the library has the books.  There are many books making their way to the big screen— “The Hunger Games” (March 23), “Life of Pi” (December 21), and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (Fall/Winter), but I have chosen five that I hope will appeal to various tastes.

·           Sparks’ novel, “The Lucky One” (April 20), revolves around a Marine serving in Iraq who finds a photograph he believes brings him luck.  After returning stateside, he sets out to find the woman in the picture.

·           Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (June 22), adapted from Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, explores the former President’s life via diary entries that detail his time spent hunting vampires after his mother is killed by one.

·           Max Brooks’ novel “World War Z” (December 21) recounts the events of a decade long “zombie war” based on interviews with various survivors.

·          Nick Carraway is the protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” (December 25).  The movie, like the book, follows Nick’s move to New York and his interactions with Tom and Daisy Buchanan.

·           Lastly, Jack Kerouac’s autobiographical novel, “On the Road” (December 27), based on road trips taken by Kerouac and friends, introduces us to Sal and Dean as they trek cross country, to Mexico and to New York from 1947 to 1950.

Stop by to pick up these and other book-to-film choices at the library.

Stillwater, OK.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rodent family values by Monty Harper

Zoology student Tomica Blocker will share the science of "voles in love" in a program for children Saturday, March 10 at the Stillwater Public Library. 

Blocker, a master's student in zoology at Oklahoma State University, will present "My One and Only Vole" this month’s "Born to Do Science." "Born to Do Science" is a monthly program that gives students a chance to meet scientists and learn about their research. The series is hosted by Monty Harper, a local children's musician who composes a song for each program inspired by his guest scientist's work.

"Prairie voles are a fascinating species to study," said Harper. "It's a rare mammal that sticks with a single mate for life. It's even rarer to find a mammal species where mothers and fathers both care for their young. That's why certain types of prairie voles are useful model species for investigating human behavior and physiology; they are rodents with family values. We can learn a lot about ourselves by studying these cute little monogamous mammals."

The presentation will include hands-on activities for the participants.

"This one will be a lot of fun," said Harper. "We'll have kids up acting out vole social recognition using olfactory cues, analyzing vole behaviors in videos from the lab, and even designing their own vole research!"

"Born to Do Science" is free and open to students in at least third grade. Parents are encouraged to attend, participate, and learn along with their children. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. in Room 119 of the library. Registration is requested at (405) 377-3633 or

Check out the "Born to Do Science" blog at

Stillwater, OK