About Gina Stegner

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So far Gina Stegner has created 19 entries.

Twelve Myths & Truths about College

It’s that time of year again… It’s time for 17-year-olds to make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. It’s time for these kids to decide what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. It’s time for seniors in high school to choose a college.

My daughter had to make these decisions last year. She began her freshman year of college at Northern Kentucky University last month. I’m going to tell you some of the things you are going to be told your child must do and then I’m going to tell you the truth based on our experience.





Things Other People, Including High School Guidance Counselors, are Going to Tell You and Your Children:

You should apply to five to seven schools to make sure you get accepted to one.
You should apply to schools you know you can’t afford.
There are plenty of scholarships out there and you’ll be sure to find one.
You can wait until after you graduate to make a final decision on which college you will attend.
Students with high GPAs and ACT scores will get a full ride.
You have to live on campus to get the full college experience.
You will find some way to pay for college, even if it’s loans.
College is really the only way to make something of yourself.
Books will cost at least $1,000 a semester.
Don’t fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you know your child won’t qualify for free grants.
Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is what you should be able to pay toward your child’s college.
You can’t receive new scholarships after you started college.


The Truth Based on Our Experience:


Choosing a College

You may remember a post I wrote last fall called How to Prep for Your Child’s Senior Year. Well, my daughter Andi’s senior year will come to an end in two months. We definitely weren’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been but I am much more prepared for my son Joey, who is only a freshman. After college visits, tons of research and lots of tears, Andi has chosen a college and a major.

Over the last two years, we have toured Illinois State University, Georgia State University, Thomas More College and Northern Kentucky University. We didn’t really consider cost when choosing which schools to tour, knowing that she would receive some merit money and hopefully receive other scholarships. Thomas More and Northern Kentucky University were obvious choices because of location. ISU and GSU were picked based on her interests.

Thomas More College

Thomas More offers a beautiful campus and although it is private, it can be very affordable. The school is able to offer a lot of scholarships, which actually brought the tuition down to about the cost of NKU. Andi wasn’t sure what her major would be when we toured but TMC does not offer what she ultimately chose. However, she ruled TMC out before even picking a major. Thomas More has about 1300 students, which isn’t much bigger than Andi’s high school. She wants something larger than that.

Illinois State University

ISU was our first college visit. We actually chose ISU because they offer a recreational circus program that Joey is interested in. You can read about this visit here. Andi really didn’t consider ISU but it was good to have something to compare other schools to and was a great family […]

Maker Space Coming to Your Library

If you have visited or driven past the Erlanger Branch Library lately, you might be wondering what is being built. There are two projects. One is an administrative center to house Collection Development, Human Resources, Public Relations, Information Technology and the Business Office. The other is an addition to the current facility that will include a meeting room that can hold 450 people and a 1700 square-foot STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Education, Art and Math) Center, most commonly known as a maker space. Everything is expected to be completed by January, 2018.


The Digicart was a huge success. However, with that success came a demand for a more expansive selection of technology in the Digicart. The Digicart quickly became Digicarts as we expanded our services to include a VHS to DVD conversion service, record to CD conversion service, and a vinyl cutter. While the Digicart was mostly focused on STEM, we still wanted to be sure to include the arts and a love of reading. Thus, the STREAM Center began to take shape.

However, while we will soon have a large space to house all of our maker space materials, we still need to be mobile since we visit local schools. The current Digicart has visited over 1,000 students at five area schools. I see this as an important part of what we do here. We make these materials available to local school teachers because we realize their resources are limited. This allows teachers to give their students more thought provoking interactions in the classroom.

Visiting schools isn’t the only thing I do as an Emerging Technology Programmer though. I do normal library things like help patrons find books and movies. I also get to do a […]

Galentine’s Day at the Library

Attention world, Galentine’s Day is fast approaching! You may have already marked the occasion on your calendar or you may be scratching your chin in confusion at this turn of phrase. For those that have not already embraced this beautiful land mermaid of a holiday let me give you a brief history. 


A little show known as “Parks and Recreation” let it be known to all us mere mortals that Galentine’s Day would forever and always be February 13th; otherwise known as the day before Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, the second week of February has been devoted to celebrating romantic love but the glory of Leslie Knope’s creation is that it celebrates the awesomeness of female friendships. Our gal pals are with us all year long. They listen to us complain, they shoulder our tears, they dance it out with us, and they make us laugh harder than is probably healthy. Why haven’t we already been celebrating them!? 




This year you can celebrate with us! The Erlanger Branch Library is having a Galentine’s Day celebration February 7th at 7:00 PM. We’ll be making our BFFs Galentine’s Day cards, watching the two hilarious Galentine Day episodes of Parks and Rec as well as stuffing our faces with waffles at our waffle bar. 




After you hang out with us at Erlanger you can wander over to the Durr Branch on the actual Galentine’s Day, February 13th, for a full day of galentine shenanigans. Starting at 11:00 AM with everyone’s favorite meal: brunch with (you guessed it) waffles! Movies will be playing through the afternoon with an enviable array of crafting choices until 4:30 PM when you’ll be able to paint ceramic dessert plates, followed by an appetizer aficionado’s dream cooking […]

Throwing the Perfect Super Bowl Party

If I asked you what the Super Bowl is about you’d probably answer with one of the following: 1. football, 2. the half time show or 3. the commercials. All of those answers are WRONG! The Super Bowl is about the food. It’s that simple. You must have good food to have a good party. Think chili, wings, nachos, buffalo chicken dip, sandwiches, sliders, meatballs, pizza and mini hot dogs. The greasier the better. We have LOTS of cookbooks you can borrow, as well as magazines you can download from our website for free. They are filled with yummy recipes. But our staff members also have their Super Bowl favorites that we are going to share with you.

“Baked Chicken Wings! The key for me is to bake them on a wire rack in the oven. Toss them in some oil and seasoning beforehand then bake until nice and crispy. I don’t like really saucy wings as they get too soggy, so I lightly toss them in sauce afterwards.” – Seth L., adult programmer at the Durr Branch
Best Spinach Artichoke Dip Ever made with garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic Alfredo sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and cream cheese is Durr Branch Teen Librarian Jessy G.’s favorite.
“Keep it simple and classy with popcorn. I also love  good fresh veggies and several flavors of hummus-especially if somebody else cuts up the veggies,” – Julia A., Covington branch manager.
“My favorite was thick, cheesy chili dip.” – Gary P., adult programmer at the Covington Branch
“Boneless wings and nachos.” – Angela P., Erlanger Branch Manager
“Meatballs soaked in mild salsa and apricot jelly in the crock pot all day.” – Gina S., Public Relations Coordinator
“I love loaded […]

Most Popular Items of 2016

Are you always looking for the next great read, music or movie? Did you resolve to read more? Do you wonder what your neighbors are reading, listening to or watching? We are going to share with you the items checked out the most in 2016. Click on the title to put the item on hold.

Adult Fiction

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham
The Obsession by Nora Roberts
The Last Mile by David Baldacci

The Guilty by David Baldacci
Bullseye by James Patterson
After You by Jojo Moyes
See Me by Nicholas Sparks
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Adult Nonfiction

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up the Japanese Art by Marie Kondo
Killing Reagan the Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly
The Whole30: the 30-day guide to total health and food by Melissa Hartwig
Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer by Gary J. Byrne
March Story by Hyong-min Kim
Preacher by Garth Ennis
Spark Joy: and Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
The Witches Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
Bill O’Reilly’s Legends & Lies the Patriots by David Fisher

Juvenile Fiction

Greg Heffley’s Journal by Jeff Kinney
Diary of the Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

Losing a piece of my childhood to 2016; 10 Celebrities who Passed

This past year has been hard on celebrities. At least once a week I thought “who will 2016 take this week?” Although I will always have my memories of the shows, movies, book and the music, 2016 took a piece of my 80’s childhood. I guess this will continue to happen the older I get.

I grew up loving the many personas of David Bowie. I remember singing Starman as a tween while sitting on the porch with friends. I love that I can download several of his songs for free from our website by clicking here. Bowie released the album Blackstar on his 69th birthday – January 8, 2016. He passed on January 10, 2016. He had quietly been battling cancer and some believe this album was his goodbye to his fans.

Although she is not an actor or musician, I can’t write this without including Harper Lee, who passed at 89 on Feb. 19, 2016. Lee was the author of the first novel I ever truly fell in love with – To Kill A Mockingbird. I read this book for the first time in high school and it was after that I found my love for reading. Scout, Boo, Jim and Atticus were all characters I could relate to in some way or another. I currently have a dog named Scout Harper, in honor of Lee and her amazing literary work.

Nancy Reagan was the First Lady to President Ronald Reagan, who is the first president I can remember in my childhood. The president and Mrs. Reagan were both actors before entering the political realm. I was in first grade when the First Lady started the “Just Say No” (to drugs) program. That program was a big part of my elementary education. […]

New Year’s Resolutions Made Easy

The new year typically brings New Year’s Resolutions – I want to lose weight, I’m going to exercise more, I plan to read more, I’m going to get healthy, I’m going to be a more positive person, I want to learn a hobby, etc… We’ve all heard them and we’ve all made them. But the truth is, keeping a resolution is hard. The staff of the Kenton County Public Library knows this and wants to help you keep your resolution in 2017. We are offering several programs and services to make that resolution easier.

Kenton County Diabetes Support Group, Tuesday, January 3, 6:30-8 pm – Erlanger

Join the Northern Kentucky Health Department for tips, resources and support.


Coloring Pages, Tuesday, January 3, 7 pm & Wednesday, January 4, 10 am – Covington

Find your zen in a relaxing environment for coloring creations. Lots of coloring pages to choose from and refreshments provided.

Health & Wellness Fair, Thursday, January 5, 3-6 pm – Erlanger

Visit with local pharmacies, healthy-eating restaurants, training facilities, medical suppliers and others to educate yourself on healthy habits to start the new year. Sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.


Tai Chi & Chai Tea, Fridays, January 6 & 27, 10:30 am – Durr Branch

Master Fahey, a sixth degree black belt, will teach an easy course in the gentle and low-impact martial art of Tai Chi. Chai Tea will also be served.


Healthy Choices for Every Body, Fridays, January 13, 20 & 27, 11 am – Covington

Attend this series to learn how to stretch your grocery budget, prepare low-cost, quick and healthy meals, better breakfast eating habits, food safety and preparation skills. Adults only.


Coupon Clippers, Sunday, January 15, 2 pm – Covington

We will be clipping coupons, […]

Library Elf on the Shelf

Children have fallen in love with the Elf on the Shelf over the last several years. The magical Elf flies in from the North Pole to keep an eye on the boys and girls. He reports back to Santa nightly and then flies back before the boys and girls wake up for the day. It all sounds innocent enough but this Elf is often mischievous. He finds himself in all kinds of pickles, sometimes even a pickle jar.



Sometimes he behaves and reads a few books.

And sometimes he has dance parties.

Or finds himself in trouble.


This year the Elf on the Shelf has decided to visit the Kenton County Public Library to check on all the boys and girls. He will visit each branch every day. The first person to find him each day (don’t touch or he’ll lose his magic) will win a prize! It could be a cool book or a gift card to a local coffee house for treats and hot chocolate.


Speaking of hot chocolate…

But he isn’t the only Elf running around the Library!


You can find new pictures of our life-sized elf on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages every day. Pay attention because there will be surprise giveaways on social media throughout the month. And in case you need some ideas for your Elf on the Shelf at home, we’ve got you covered! Just check out our Pinterest page.

Please share your pictures of your Elf on the Shelf or of you finding our Elf on the Shelf on social media with the hashtag #libraryelf. We’d love to see them!


13 Reasons to Watch Fuller House

By Gina Stegner

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to find out Fuller House, basically an extension of Full House, was being made last year. I binge watched the new show on Netflix in two days. When I heard we would find out who D.J. Tanner married, how she became single, what had happened in Kimmy Gibbler’s life, see Stephanie all grown up, hear the jokes about Michelle and see Danny, Uncle Jessy and Joey again I thought… “Have Mercy!” I grew up with Full House, my kids watched reruns. I could relate to the Tanner girls. And now, D.J. is all grown up and a mom just like me. Pretty cool.

To make it even better, Fuller House is releasing a second season on Dec. 9 on Netflix. According to TV Guide, D.J. will continue to find herself in a love triangle, Stephanie will find a weird new boyfriend and Kimmy will try to move on from her ex-husband. So why should you watch?

The 13 top reasons, in no certain order, to watch the second season of Fuller House on Netflix:

Rumor has it that the New Kids on the Block will appear in at least one episode.
Candace Cameron Bure (D.J. Tanner) hints that we will learn more about her and Kimmy’s kids this season.
D.J. will choose between her high school sweetheart Steve and work romance Matt.
D.J.’s ex-boyfriend Nelson, played by someone other than the original Nelson, will make an appearance on the show.
We will finally meet Kimmy Gibbler’s brother.
D.J.’s ex-best friend Kathy Santoni (also portrayed by a different actor) will make an appearance.
We will meet Joey’s wife and kids.
Kimmy’s brother is rumored to be Stephanie’s boyfriend (Oh Mylanta!).
We […]