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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Raptors by Andrea

Each fall, hundreds of thousands of hawks, eagles, ospreys and falcons withdraw from their breeding grounds across North America and move to their wintering grounds, some as far away as southern South America. In the Panhandle of Oklahoma, the High Plains give way to the canyon country and foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This unique area supports birds associated with the prairies as well as birds associated with the western mountains and canyons.

The Sutton Avian Research Center has monitored nesting raptors in Cimarron County, the western most county of the Panhandle, for several years. Some of the species found there include: Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels, Mississippi Kites, Swainson's Hawks, Ferruginous Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Golden Eagles. For some of these species, this is the only part of Oklahoma where they can be found nesting.

The library has a variety of informative books about these magnificent birds of prey.  

“Raptors, Birds of Prey” by Scott Weidensaul, is a wonderful guide for enthusiasts and anyone interested in the natural world, with plenty of full-color photographs.

“Eagles: Masters of the Sky,”edited by Rebecca Grambo, blends natural history and legend.
It is an unparalleled collection that will leave readers packing their bags and heading for the river bluffs of Minnesota, the rain forests of South America, and the wilds of Alaska in hopes of viewing these magnificent birds in their natural habitats.

In “On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon” by Alan Tennant, the author recounts his attempt to track the transcontinental migration of the majestic peregrine falcon — an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths. From the windswept flats of the Texas barrier islands to the Artic and then south again into the Caribbean, “On the Wing” provides a hilariously mischievous and bumpy flight.

While autumn leaves tumble from trees this fall, another natural wonder is soaring overhead, so visit the library to learn more about these predators… and don’t forget to look up in the sky!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stillwater Books by Kari


This Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1-4 p.m. is the library’s very first book festival.  It’s called “Read Local” and will feature over 30 local authors who will be on hand to sell their books. All of the authors have a connection to our community (or within 50 miles).  The authors have written adult, teen and children’s books in all sorts of subject areas…thrillers, inspirational, history and more.  In searching for authors who lived in the Stillwater area, we also discovered many books that take place in the Stillwater area.  Although these authors will not be at the fair, you may want to check them out sometime and see how Stillwater is represented in literature.

For the kiddos, we have a 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah book called “Annie Glover is NOT a Tree Lover,” by Darleen Bailey Beard.  Annie Glover’s grandma, who is always protesting something, chains herself to a century-old tree that is scheduled to be cut down to make way for a new swimming-pool.  This book is based on the true story in Stillwater, in which a woman chained herself to a tree in order to protect it from being cut down for the hospital's parking lot expansion.  

In mystery, we have “Murder in Morrill,” by B. H. B. Harper.  Claire is a new hire in the English Department of Oklahoma State University.  A colleague has been murdered and his missing briefcase is found in her locked office.  Claire is now a person of interest.  In order to exonerate herself, she attempts to find the murderer, which leads her into campus politics and family secrets.  

B. H. B. Harper has another book called “Highest Bidder,” in which the main character, Elsa, has a teaching position at Oklahoma State University.  In her spare time she attends an occasional auction where she collects Lakeland pottery.  She and Stephen, with whom she is becoming attached, try to break up a counterfeit operation by a gentleman they call “the vampire.”  

“Jumper,” by Steven Gould, is a Sci Fi story about David, a teenager who escapes an abusive household using his ability to teleport.  He meets a woman who goes to school at Oklahoma State University, where he visits her.  

And finally, a hot romance novel titled “One Night with a Cowboy,” written by Cat Johnson, has just made its way to our new bookshelf.  Dr. Rebecca Hart has just lost her job as an assistant professor of English at Vassar University, at which time she goes home to find her boyfriend moving out.  She travels to Oklahoma State University for a job interview, where she meets bull rider Tucker Jenkins.  Their romance sparks in that short visit, but ends when she returns home.  After taking the OSU teaching position, she is introduced to Staff Sgt. Jenkins, who teaches in the ROTC program, where, again, sparks fly. 

So come by and pick up one of these books with local places you’ll recognize.  And come to “Read Local” on Saturday to support our local writers!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Our Best Friends by Paula

There are lots of specially designated weeks to celebrate lots of different causes and organizations throughout the year, but one of my new favorites is “National Friends of the Library Week,” which will be celebrated all next week Oct. 20-26.  It’s a favorite for me because it’s an opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful things that the Friends of the Stillwater Library do to make our library great. 

It all begins with the semi-annual book sales. The fall book sale this year was one of the largest semi-annual sales ever with more than 25,000 books. Each of those books was moved, sorted, and displayed by a volunteer for the Friends of the Library.  During the sale, volunteers staffed the counting and checkout tables, answered questions, and helped to keep the book tables full of great finds. That’s a lot of work and they do it all twice a year in order to raise funds to support the library.  And all of their hard work paid off.  This fall’s sale garnered over $13,000 which was a record!

The Friends understand that a well-funded library is important to our community. The programs they support include everything from Summer Reading Programs for kids of all ages to “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” book discussions. They’ve helped purchase thousands of books, equipment to help the library run smoothly, training for the librarians and statuary to make the grounds more beautiful. Without the Friends, Stillwater Public Library would not be the place we all know and enjoy today. Their service is an example for us all in how volunteerism can lead to the betterment of our community.

It’s nice to have the opportunity next week to express appreciation for everything that the Friends have done and continue to do for our library. If you’re interested, membership in the Friends is $10 per calendar year. Your membership gets you into the preview days for book sales and your money goes to help support the Friends’ mission. If you’d like to be more involved, contact the Friends through the library website to see how you can help out. And if you feel so inclined, this would be a perfect week to make a financial donation to the Friends to show that you value not only the library and all it does for the community but all the people who volunteer their time and energy as well.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Diet and Disease for Retirees by Stacy

I remember being in middle school when my dad hit middle age, and along with it, developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The only thing we got to eat from that time until I graduated was dried out chicken, baked potatoes with a dash of Mrs. Dash’s and plain air-popped popcorn.  And we had that same meal every day.  The diet helped my dad’s numbers, but it sure made all of us miserable.

Well, times have changed. Experts have learned much more about what it takes to keep healthy and people have figured out ways to make healthier food taster much better.  As my dad gets close to retirement, he’ll need to make additional changes to his diet to keep up with changes taking place in his health as he ages.

Next Wednesday, on Oct. 16, at 1:30 p.m., retirees like my dad can find out exactly what to about their diet when registered dietician Elizabeth Lohrman comes to the library to talk about how nutrition and diet affect high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Elizabeth is the coordinator of nutrition for OSU’s Department of Wellness and I certainly wish we’d had her around when my family had to make its big diet changes.  Her discussion is part of OSU’s Emeriti Association’s monthly series called “Making the Most of Retirement.”

Elizabeth will talk about the dietary needs of seniors, including how much and what kind of protein and fiber they need, and what foods contribute to a balanced diet and heart health.  She says that diet in people over 65 can be a challenge because vitamins and minerals don’t absorb as easily.  To make things harder, medications cause drastic changes in the way food tastes.  If healthy foods taste blander to you lately, you may want to check out some of these titles that have healthy recipes for great tasting food.

“The DASH diet action plan” by Marla Heller combines exercise with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low and nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts to combat high blood pressure and cholesterol

“Bringing down high blood pressure” by Chad Rhoden provides delicious recipes for bringing down high blood pressure.

“American Heart Association's low-fat,low-cholesterol cookbook” argues that heart-healthy food doesn't have to be dull and tasteless and gives 200 easy-to-prepare recipes to prove it.

Get more book suggestions at the Help Desk.  Retirees interested in learning more about the monthly programs should visit

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October Holidays by Brenna

In October, most Americans have their eye on Oct. 31—Halloween.  It has become the second most popular holiday after Christmas.  However, many countries around the world also spend October celebrating the needs of people and animals. Though there are several holidays that take place, I’ve chosen my three favorites to share. 

On the Oct. 4, “World Animal Day” celebrates the lives of animals in all their forms from common pets to the endangered creatures we barely know.  A couple of books to get “World Animal Day” going are

“50 Games to Play with Your Dog” by Suellen Dainty and 

“The Smartest Animals on the Planet” by Dr. Sally Boysen. 

The next day, Oct. 5, we acknowledge teachers and all they do for their students and communities with “World Teacher Day.”  For this observance, check out

“A School like Mine” by Penny Smith, where children get to learn about the habits and customs of 78 different school children.  Another good choice is

“The Promise”by Oral Brown which is a record of her journey in helping that classroom of first graders in 1987 through high school and upon graduation, her willingness to pay for their college educations.

 And last, Oct. 24 is “United Nations Day” which highlights the U.N.’s achievements throughout the year and its plans for further improvement.  If you want to learn more, look for

“An Insider’s Guide to the UN” byLinda Fasulo which is an overview of the workings of the United Nations and the how and why it all began.
“Every Human Has Rights” from National Geographic is full of pictures and poems from communities around the world based on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But, for all of us who love Halloween, we’ve got plenty of items to check out to you too.  And don’t miss the October edition of our new series, “Bucket Books.”  We’ll be covering the best horror titles of all time.