Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Let’s talk about passion.  No, let’s not go in the direction you are thinking,……but it sure got your attention.
     Let’s talk about the kind of passion that shows when someone talks about the theater, or music, their honey bees, rescuing animals, the railroad, history, vintage cars, gardening, quilting, teaching, writing, or books.
     Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion caused by strong feelings or beliefs.
     The first time I witnessed or even thought about passion was through a class I was taking called Ag in the Classroom.  We had gotten to see many farms, but this particular one was father/son operated.
     The son proudly showed the GPS driven tractor to our class and what it could do and what he didn’t have to.  It was then the father’s turn.  He told of a new irrigation system that was purchased after many years of trying to outsmart Mother Nature.  He did not brag about the new system, but merely stated that life and crop outcomes were going to be a bit better and easier.  Tensions were not going to run as high during those low to no moisture seasons, and in turn, could be spent with the other passion in his life….his wife, diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer’s, as the tears welled up in his eyes telling us their 50 year story.
     Real passion isn’t heard.  Real passion is shown.
     The old cliché of actions speaking louder that words come into play here.
     Storytellers show their passion for romance, mystery, or murder through their writing.  You can feel their passion through the words they use.
     I’ve been very passionate about buying best sellers at the end of every month and many take advantage of being the first to grab them from the shelf.
Knock, Knock.
Who’s there?
Passion.
Passion who?
If you’re passion through town sometime, stop in!
Happy Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

  Earlier articles written in the Telegraph mention the word “opportunities” and not just in this library section.  The opportunity to hear a guest singer at the Opera House, an opportunity to meet a visiting author, an opportunity to watch young actors from our local schools perform, or an opportunity to read to our young preschoolers were some of those opportunities.
     We get many opportunities, but do we take advantage of them when we can? Guilty!  We make excuses to not going because of prior commitments, tired from the day, or not in the mood to go.  Most opportunities only come around once. Then there is the feeling of regret missing such opportunities.  Always!
     A patron grabbed a book of interest from the Rotating Books because it will be rotated out on the 27th of this month. Almost a missed opportunity.
     A patron almost missed the chance to send a birthday card to an older neighbor that will be celebrating it at the end of the month.  A dodged missed opportunity.
     A patron came in after many weeks, checked out a book, and thanked the library for the birthday cards he received in February as he has never had his birthday recognized.
     It’s fun being a witness to these opportunities. And, there was the chance to read to local preschoolers about Earth Day, trees, and finding shelter Beneath the Sun.  They discussed that cool places could be in the water, under a rock, or urinating down your leg as a vulture does to keep cool.  All are fine ways to cool off, but seeking shade under a tree is probably the best for us.
     Getting to be the first to read the “new” books in the library  becomes an opportunity that many do not want to miss.  They seem to think that once they are placed on the back shelves, the opportunity to read them has gone.  The great thing about good books is they will always have a home in the library and the opportunity to read them  will never be fleeting!
     Knock, knock.
     Who’s there?
     Opportunity.
     No way!  Opportunity only knocks once!
Happy reading opportunities!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Do you ever notice that right after a holiday is over…..it’s over?  Businesses advertise weeks, if not months before the celebration and immediately after the celebration day, there are no signs it ever was celebrated.
     Here’s to hoping that the past Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines, and now Easter celebrations with family and friends are not forgotten, but later, bits and pieces of it remembered and stored in our memory banks.
     In last week’s Library Happenings, it was mentioned that librarians get the opportunity to hone their library skills for the library and its patrons.  A two day workshop for new directors was held at Junction City’s Rock Springs 4-H Center.  Talk about memories!
     Stories of 4-H camps, cheerleader camps, family get-togethers, business retreats, or church group gatherings filled our down time Tuesday evening.  No one was left out of the conversations.  This conference was held for new directors from across the state and people would swear that these strangers had known each other all of their lives.
     Books tend to be like those holidays.  Excitement about the arrival of new titles fill the library. People are anxious to get their hands on them.  Then it’s over.  But later, certain events or conversations conjure up memories from portions of a read book that meant something to them……just like those holiday memories.
     Often, “we don’t know we’re making memories, we just know we’re having fun!” -AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

   Ever have one of those “awww” moments?  Not “a-ha, now I know” moments, but cute puppy “awww” moments.
     Let  me digress a bit.
     One hundred eleven years ago in April of 1906, a committee was formed to “agitate” this community into forming a public library.  Six months later a traveling library was sent for and books were then kept in the Eli Peterson store.
     Traveling libraries would be compared to our bookmobiles or book vans of today.  It was said that as early as 1831 in the United States, traveling libraries provided their book service to American ships, naval hospitals, life-saving stations, and lighthouses.
     Committee members and those interested in this library endeavor were each assessed 10 cents to help with the transportation of those books.  Five years later, in 1911, the first bookcase was bought for $5.  Book socials, talent benefits, and lecture courses were set up as fund raisers  for the library.  In March, 103 years ago, the Waterville Public Library was finally opened.
     Waterville should be very proud of those library pioneers for their vision and push into establishing the beautiful library that it is today.  It continues to be supported by those people that believe “”reading is essential”.
    Now the “awww” moment.
    A young patron of the library came in, handed me a letter, and stood as I read his young student’s writing.
     The confession stated that he had lost the cover to a library owned item and asked if the library would please take the newly purchased title to replace the lost one and wave his overdue fines.  The note also said that he would try to be more responsible in the future with borrowed items.
     Awwww, what could I do?
     Those are the kinds of parents that use those teachable moments to their children that will continue to make this library an important part of this community.
     Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The time is always right to do what is right”, and,
                                                                                          
 Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Dishes.
Dishes who?
Dishes such a nice library. Let’s keep it that way.
Happy Continued Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Have you ever forgotten if you’ve read a book?  Have you ever taken boxes of fresh meat to your son’s house, put it in the freezer, and forgotten whether you shut the lid?….it’s a long story.  Have you ever left the house wondering if you turned off the stove, flipped a switch, or locked a door?
     It’s not Deja vu (a feeling of having already experienced the present situation).  It’s called Goldfish Memory Syndrome according to Google.  I asked a library patron, who is also a nurse, about it.  She explained to me that we put ourselves in the midst of stressors. We overload our brains by trying to multitask. We are answering phones or texting while washing dishes, fixing supper, caring for the kids, going to our jobs, etc..  Our brains were built to do one thing at a time, so some things get….pushed out of our short term memories.
     “They” say that exercising the brain fights against that syndrome. It sounds logical.  That’s why, being associated with a library, I need to push the brain exercise by enticing you to come in and grab a good book, a magazine, a seasonal dot-to-dot, a coloring sheet, or any other MindWare activities I have placed on the round activity table. Many patrons think that these are for the children……uhhh, no.  About 75% of the patrons coming into this library are adults….just sayin’.
     Keep reading, dot-to-dotting, coloring, or writing.  Send a little love by signing
a seasonal card, holiday card, or birthday card to our select members of the community.  A birthday will be celebrated towards the end of this month, St. Patrick’s Day is Friday the 17th with another small celebration, and Spring arrives on Monday the 20th.
     Multitasking can cause memory loss….and worse, memory loss.
Remember to READ!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

A patron came into the library looking for the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  We had the movie, I told her.  The book was checked out.   She said, “No, I’ll wait.  I always read the book before watching the movie.”
     I agree with her way of thinking.  After reading Heaven is For Real some time back, I went to Marysville’s Astro Theater to watch it along with my daughter and mother-in-law, who had also read the book.  We all agreed, “Heaven was not portrayed the way we had it pictured.”  We discussed that the movie seemed so….. Alice in Wonderland or any other G rated scenic children’s movie as it depicted heaven.  In our minds, heaven was peaceful, beautiful, clear, warm, soothing.  The film makers failed to get our mental picture of heaven onto the screen. Another one was the book Marley and Me.  The movie was clearly not as good as the book as they left out many of the emotional parts that made the book raw and honest….tear jerking.
      You wouldn’t think that the book would be better, after all, the movie is played out right there for your enjoyment.  Nothing to think about.  Nothing to imagine. You don’t have to decipher the vocabulary.  There is so much work to reading!
      Another negative to book reading is that it is so hard to read and eat popcorn.  There are no worries about buttering up the pages when watching a flick.
     Speaking of butter, couldn’t reading be considered a weight loss program?  With reading, your hands are filled with page turning instead of endless refills of sodas, overly buttered popcorn, Milk Duds, Whoppers, or in some theaters, nachos or hot dogs.  (Although, Marysville’s Astro 3 Theater has wonderful free documentary or non-fictional movies on Tuesdays that are highly recommended. Many of these films have books from which the story is derived.)  This month playing at the Astro, is the Oscar nominated movie,  Lion, from the non-fictional book,  A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley.
     The library’s challenge to you is to pick any book that has a movie attached and see for yourself if “the book is better.”
     A man named J. W. Eagan was quoted, “Never judge a book by its movie.”
Happy Talking Picture Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
     Three young adults came into the library, went straight to their own computers or personal tablets from school, and their phones by their sides.  An older patron came in, looked, and commented, “No wonder we can’t carry on a decent conversation with each other.”
     I suppose that is what people thought about the radio in the 1920’s entering our young people’s lives and interrupting the invented print of 1846 or the mass production of continuous print in 1865.  What about television in 1927 that kept us away from books and reading?  The first video game of “Pong” in 1972 probably didn’t help the reading situation either.
     We fast forward to 2017 and the technology that seems to keep us away from print.  I say “seems” because a child learns early to master small amounts of print (we call it environmental print) in order to read all of the video-know-hows, text messages, signs and advertisements in order to get more out of their video games, cell phones, iPads, tablets, etc.
     That older patron checked out his book and continued, “I think reading still puts more vivid images in your head than you can watch on any device!”  How true!
     A good writer uses brilliantly placed words to tell their story, and faster than technology, your brain takes you to that place, situation, and time in more vivid colors than……the NBC peacock!
     “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  The greatest gift we can give a child – and I know this after 20 years as a Reading Specialist and 18 years as a Reading Recovery teacher – is to teach them to read.  Technology may try to tell you to buy a program or device to get your children reading, but a warm body, a friendly face, and quick, varied, real responses are what works.  Reading is like food you offer to any age.  If they see other people eating it, then they are apt to give it a try.  Let’s keep putting books in front of people.
     “The more things change, the more they stay the same” humorous quotes:
“”What a school day!  The computers broke down and we had to read!”
“Yes, some books are in high definition – they call them dictionaries.”
“I’m taking an innovative approach to teaching next semester – I’m using books!”
     Happy Book Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Did you feel the love this past week for Valentine’s Day…..and the anxiety and the uncertainty and the doubt, etc.?  It was felt in this house even after 32 years of valentine giving.  Although the rule during those lean financial years was made not to spend on each other for this commercial holiday, the Valentines expectation is still there, no matter how small.
     And let’s talk small gifts.  “Good things come in small packages”, yes, they do.  We’re not talking diamonds, jewelry, perfume, but cards, notes, actions.  Also, who said this day had to be for lovers, but instead for everyone you love or at least like a whole bunch.
     Valentines went out from the library on Saturday from its patrons.  As with the Christmas cards sent in December, Valentine well-wishers did not hesitate to pick up a pen, a card, and sign their name with a brief message to it.  Now that’s love.
     Having the dishes done, a specialty meal of pancakes and sausage made, or a thoughtful card laying on the table before going to work on Valentine Tuesday is befitting for this Valentine. Feel the love!
     Blind date books for unattached book lovers are displayed on the glass showcase profiled as songwriter, billionaire, or baby boomer.  That’s blind love.
     New books for novel lovers are on the shelves titled The Matchmaker of Minnow Bay, They Left Us Everything, or The Wedding Shop.  Read the love.
     New large print books for the story lovers are here titled Perfect Match, Kansas Kid, or If I Could Turn Back Time.  See the love.
     New audio books for the reading lovers are shelved titled Faithful, Hungry Heart, or See Me.  Hear the love.
     How about these books never written for joke lovers:
“Awaiting Valentines Day” by I.M.N. Love
“All About Flowers” by Chris Anthymum
“Don’t Leave Without Me” by Isa Coming
“When Shall We Meet Again?” by Miles Apart
“There Will Never Be Another Ewe” by Shep Herd
“A History of Valentines” by Bea Mine
     Happy Love of Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Once upon a time I thought about becoming a meteorologist.  I took a 101 class at Cloud County Community College and was pretty good at it after I became confident in my predictions. (You don’t hear many “I think’s”  in a professional weatherman’s predictions.)  How hard could it be if a groundhog could do it?  If your prediction is wrong, blame it on Mother Nature!  Who could argue with you?
     For many teaching years, no matter the grade, we would chart the weather after Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, Weather Prophet Extraordinary, predicted the next 6 weeks of weather.  The Internet says his forecasts have been right 39% of the time.
     Ahhhh, the internet and technology, what would we do without it?  I would be willing to bet that there are many seasoned farmers out there that could predict the weather better than Phil’s 39%.  Many used or still use nature as their predictors.  For example, the stronger and larger the beaver’s den, the harsher the winter.  If skunks are overly fat, a cold winter is coming.  “When squirrels early hoard, winter will pierce us like a sword.”  When wild turkeys refuse to come down from trees, snow is imminent.  As high as the hornets build their nests, so will the snow be next winter.  The wider the wooly caterpillar’s middle brown band is, the milder the winter will be.  “Mushrooms galore, much snow in store.”  (“The Old Farmers Almanac”)  My brother-in-law’s standby, “in 90 days after a fog day – precipitation.”
     If by chance Phil sees  his shadow on February 2 and quickly returns to his den for 6 more weeks of winter, take those 6 weeks to organize a closet, bake, write to a friend, or maybe……read!
     “Weather” he sees his shadow or not, there’s 6 weeks between Groundhog’s Day and the first day of Spring anyway!
     Let’s not knock the weather. Nine tenth’s of us couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.
Happy Reading!

Here’s what’s happening at the library!

Kansas, as big as you think!  This state has everything.  We have beaches.  We have mountains.  We have canyons.  We have deserts.  We have prairies.  We have rolling hills.  We have all four seasons.
     If you’ve never see the “real” aforementioned sites, then these comparable spots in Kansas will suffice.  Which brings a story to mind of my son.
     My uncle had taken his Kansas City family with spouses and grandchildren to Florida’s Disney World.  Being the photographer that he was, Uncle Chuck showed slide after slide of their adventure.  One picture of a family favorite was the Dumbo “octopus” type ride.  Out of the mouths of babes came the comment from my young son of “we rode that”!  We failed to mention to my uncle’s family that it was a similar ride at the Days of ’49 in Hanover, KANSAS on a much smaller carnival type scale.  Beauty and greatness is in the eyes of the beholder.
     Kansas has the beaches of Milford and Tuttle Creek lakes, Mount Sunflower near Coffeyville, canyons just north of St. Francis called the Arikaree Breaks, the desert/sand dunes of Syracuse, the Tallgrass Prairie north of Strong City, the Flint Hills in Eastern Kansas running from the Nebraska border North to Oklahoma South, and all four seasons.  Will Rogers, Oklahoma born actor, cowboy, newspaper columnist once said, “If you don’t like the weather here, wait a minute and it’ll change.”  Kansas has it all.
     Kansas will be celebrating its 156th birthday as a state on January 29.  The library has many books on our state available, fictional or not, and written by Kansas authors on the glass display case.  Come and literally, check them out.
     What about The Wizard of Oz?  It’s a Kansas based favorite.  Maybe a Saturday morning the 28th library matinee for all ages.  I’m thinking out loud here.  No, it won’t be in a real theater, but the Day’s of ’49 is not Disney World either!
     Some have questioned if Dorothy was a good actress.  Yes, she was.  She brought the house down!
Happy Kansas Day Reading!