Preserving Yesterday, Enriching Today, Inspiring Tomorrow


32+ speeches, songs, films, comics and books for MLK Day

One of the ways to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is to learn more about the history of social justice and civil rights on this day and every day. We have many books, movies, speeches and audiobooks to explore and deepen your knowledge. Below you’ll find links to our digital collections that you can access anytime with your library card number and email, some ways to reflect on MLK Day and events in NKY and Cincinnati where you can celebrate with others.

National Book Award Winning: March: Book One

Read, Watch & Listen
Kid and adult ebooks and audiobooks from Overdrive on civil rights
Stream and download music and spoken word
  Stream or download his and other great speeches.

  Search for social and civil rights music new and old.
Reflect on these articles on how to celebrate MLK Day:
Do’s and Don’ts of Celebrating MLK Day
Going the Extra Mile for MLK Day
Teaching MLK With the Social Justice Standards

Services & Ways to Serve
Northern Kentucky
Dr. Monica Posey, President Cincinnati State Technical and Community College will be the Keynote Speaker at the Northern Kentucky Branch, NAACP 14th Annual Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Community Outreach Luncheon. Tickets are $40.00 and can be purchased by contacting the NAACP at 859-442-7476, or at the door the day of the luncheon.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and in solidarity with the diverse people of our community, NKY Unites! will present its second peaceful demonstration for unity. The demonstration will take place in Florence, Kentucky on Saturday, January 14th from noon to 1:45 p.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 
Church of Our Savior
246 East 10th Street
Covington, KY 41011
Information: Sister Janet Bucher, (859) 491-5872

Annual Northern Kentucky Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  March
1:30 […]

By |January 13th, 2017|Categories: blog, Featured Post||0 Comments

Children’s Books Celebrating African American History Month That Will Inspire You







“Because of Them, We Can …”
Celebrating African American History Month   
Our nation’s celebration of black history was expanded to a full month in 1976, the year of our nation’s bicentennial. At President Gerald R. Ford’s urging, Americans were encouraged to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” In February, 1976, fifty years after the first black history celebration, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of African American history in the drama of the American story. Each year, many children’s books that focus on African American history are published. February is the perfect time to introduce those titles!

New Picture Books
The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial by Susan E. Goodman, illus. by E.B. Lewis

In 1847 four year old Sarah Roberts was removed from her all white school in Boston and told she could not return. Her parents fought back, and though they lost the case in court, their actions set in motion the events which led to Boston voluntarily integrating its schools in 1855. Lewis’s illustrations effectively capture the historical era and mood of the times.


Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by R. Gregory Christie

Slaves in New Orleans, Louisiana were allowed to congregate on Sundays in Congo Square to make music, sing and dance. The poetic text and folk-art style illustrations combine to pay homage to this bit of African American history.



Freedom over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Bryan uses historical slave documents from the 1820’s […]

January Hot Reads

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong.

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do—and fail to do—for the people they love.



The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on […]

By |January 5th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, Hot New Reads||0 Comments

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

January Winter Read

• Check out 3 magazines you’ve never heard of!
– Each branch has a wide selection of physical copies of magazines that can be checked out!
– You can also download free digital magazines with you library card through Zinio and Flipster. To get started go to and scroll down to eMagazines.

• Check out a cook book & take a picture of what you made!
– Visit the library’s nonfiction section 641.0 – 641.9 for something yummy.

• Read or listen to, a book about U.S. History!
– Visit the library’s nonfiction section 970.0 – 979.9.
– Visit the Library of Congress.

• Read or listen to, a nonfiction book about self-improvement!
– Find a variety of self-improvement books in your library’s nonfiction sections 100.0 – 299.9.
– Many biographies and other nonfiction books offer insight into self-improvement, like the following:
1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
2. A Walk in Woods by Bill Bryson
3. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
4. The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
5. The Love Languages books by Gary Chapman
6. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney
7. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
8. A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
9. The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines
10. Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached by Hillary Whittington

• Read or listen to something that makes you laugh!
1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
2. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
3. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
4. Fraud by David Rakoff
5. Someone Could Get Hurt by Drew Magary
6. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
7. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl […]

By |January 2nd, 2017|Categories: Adults||0 Comments

Over 100,000 Local Historical Photos Available Online

Over 100,000 Kentucky Historical Photos Available Online

They say a photo is worth a 1,000 words. If that’s true, then the Kenton County Public Library has 100 million stories to tell!

The Library’s online historic photo album, Faces and Places, just added the 100,000th photo to its database. The photo, from the former Kentucky Post, is dated March 14, 1975 and features a man named Bill Penick. Why is Bill Penick’s photo important? Because he, most likely inadvertently, is now forever a part of Kentucky history. This photo is just one of thousands preserved digitally for all to see, and share, online via the Faces and Places website,


March 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of Faces and Places, a unique online historical photo album that highlights the people, places and events of Kentucky (and some Cincinnati).  Since its inception a decade ago, the Faces and Places website has received over 9.2 million views. There are 100,411 images, 6,508 subject headings and 2,023 comments on the photos. “Comments are important,” stated Elaine Kuhn, Local History & Genealogy Services Coordinator for the Library. “They give us information that might help someone discover something new when doing research.”

This online album was created when the history staff at the Kenton County Public Library began digitizing some of its resources. They were digitizing documents and family files so that genealogy researchers around the world could obtain the information they needed without having to incur the cost of travel expenses. The staff then added photos to the mix, therefore creating Faces and Places.

The popularity of the photograph collection easily lent itself to a digital format. As such, staff scanned the photos and staff and volunteers did the indexing. When the Kentucky Post, […]

Guest Post: Alia Jones’ Ten Best Picture Books of 2016

We’re experiencing a renaissance in children’s literature; never before has there been such a large pool of talented authors & illustrators. Though we’re getting more diverse books, we still have a long way to go. There simply are not enough books that feature diverse perspectives for children and we especially need more books written by authors of color and marginalized voices.

Why are diverse books so important? They’re important because they give children the chance to see themselves in stories and they nurture open-mindedness. Children’s book characters are still mostly white, straight, cis-gender, non-disabled, humans…and cute animals/creatures.

2016 produced many exceptional books but these are ten that left an impression on me. They all have great stories, amazing illustrations and lots of heart!

1) Plants Can’t Sit Still written by Rebecca E. Hirsch & illustrated by Mia Posada

This is a beautiful and creative book! Just like antsy children, plants can’t sit still and move around as they grow and thrive. Strong roots creep, brave seedlings fly and plants climb high! Posada’s collage and watercolor illustrations are pretty, delicate and realistic. Her art reminds me of Lois Ehlert’s. If you have a child who loves nature and learning about plants, they’ll love this book.



2) Thunder Boy Jr. written by Sherman Alexie & illustrated by Yuyi Morales

A spunky Native American boy wants a name that is uniquely his own, a name that celebrates how cool he is! This is Sherman Alexie’s first picture book and his writing is heartfelt and funny. This book is excellent storytelling and makes a great read aloud. It’s encouraging to see more positive portrayals of modern Native peoples in children’s literature. Yuyi Morales’ mixed media art is, as always, stunning and powerful. This is […]

Winter Adventurers Part 2: Emma Lee Orr’s Stories of Nome

Welcome back to Winter Adventurers, a two-post mini-series which began last February with Kate Scudder’s travels in the colder climes of Norway, Russia, and Sweden. From then to now, the winter has certainly whipped around through warmer weather, but now lets break out the marshmallow cocoa for a chat with Emma Lee Orr, a Northern Kentucky woman who found her fortune in the snows of Nome, Alaska.

Most library resources, like Kate Scudder’s diaries, are in print. We are fortunate, then, to have audio interviews with Emma Lee Orr, wherein she tells her amazing story through her own eyes. The recordings were made first on reel-to-reel tapes, then moved by the family to audio tapes, and finally made their way to digital audio through KCPL. That being said, it is best to be patient with the quality of the recordings. Mrs. Orr speaks somewhat slowly, and sometimes speaks to other people during the interviews, presumably her sisters, with whom she lived at the time they were taped. The recordings feel like a fireside chat with a grandmother spinning her tales, with the occasional divergence of subject for the sake of explanation for those of us at home who could not share in the experience.

Emma goes from beginning to end, telling us all about her voyage to Alaska and the people that changed her life. Born in Falmouth in 1881, she knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher, and in 1903 she began her career in Falmouth. After a bout of serious illness marked with high fever, physicians recommended that she seek a colder climate, and later that year she left for the Alaska Territory.

In the next twelve years, Emma would […]

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, […]