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So far Gina Stegner has created 12 blog entries.

Outside the Box Holiday Gifts

I LOVE the holidays. I LOVE giving gifts. My gift list consists of at least 35 names and it would have so many more on it if I had unlimited resources. I don't just grab something that fits the age and price-range. I LOVE finding the perfect gift for each person on my list. You won't be getting a body lotion set from me... unless I know it's your absolutely favorite and you would be excited to receive a lotion set. Retro Toys Target has recently released a lot of retro toys including Holly Hobby Colorforms and Stretch Armstrong Action Figure. These toys could be for the 40-year-old or the 6-year-old in your life. Stretch Armstrong was released in 1976 and was hugely popular for about a decade. Those who grew up playing with it are in their 40's and 50's now and this re-release would be a great throwback to their childhood. Photo Items Think beyond the framed picture. A Personalized pillow case and blanket could be the perfect gift for anyone in your family. My cousin had photo blankets and pillow cases done for her children and nieces and nephews. Although several retailers offer this, she used York Photo. Provided by Abby Kessinger Provided by Abby Kessinger               My husband and I have had a photo book made for our granddaughter (age 2) for the last two years and plan to continue that tradition. Each page has a picture of her with a family member with a caption to coordinate like "Grandma loves Eden." We order this from Pinhole Press each year but know that other places offer a similar service. Keep your best [...]

By |December 5th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post|0 Comments

He’s Back… Elf on the Shelf

The Library Elf on the Shelf is back and ready for some shenanigans! Photo provided by A Little Moore. 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 messes, sometimes, he finds himself a complete mess. Provided by A Little Moore   Sometimes he behaves while reading a good book. And sometimes he bakes cakes. Provided by A Little Moore   Or acts like a goofball. Provided by A Little Moore   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 bag or a gift card to a local coffee house for treats and hot chocolate.   But he isn’t the only Elf running around the Library! Our life-sized elf is also back! 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. 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 [...]

By |December 1st, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

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. Andi & Joey visiting ISU 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 [...]

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. Administrative Center Construction Meeting Room and Maker Space Construction   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 [...]

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 [...]

How to Prep for Your Child’s Senior Year

Okay, I admit it... this title is misleading. My daughter Andi is a senior in high school and I'm not really sure what the best way to prep for senior year is but I can tell you some of the do's and don'ts we have learned along the way. I will say you should start preparing before freshman year even starts. Draft a plan for the next four years that includes what classes your student will take and when. Make sure you cover all of the requirements and then figure out what electives your child might want to take. Andi changed her mind throughout the years on the electives but at least we had a plan and knew exactly what had to be taken to meet her graduation requirements. Decide with your child if they will take advanced or college placement classes and do your research. Not all colleges accept AP credits and even some of the credits accepted do not actually give you the general study credit you need. Your teen must pass the AP test, a college exam, at the end of the year to even receive the credits. Although some colleges accept a weighted GPA (a B is an A if it's an AP course), not all colleges do. Since high school students are taking college level courses in the 10th and 11th grades, they don't always score as high as they would if it was a regular course. This will impact their GPA. Along with your student, decide if you want to focus on college credits, rigor or GPA. Andi and her best friend touring Georgia State University Most colleges require students to have two consecutive years of a foreign [...]

Read for Prizes!

You still have time to win awesome prizes just for reading! Summer Reading Club kicked off June 1 and runs until August 31. Children, teens and adults can all win cool prizes. Families -Pick up a family bingo card from any of the three branches and complete it for a chance to win a Cincinnati Family Zoo membership. Adults - One winner will be drawn each week. Prizes include gift cards to local places. - Earn one raffle ticket for every checkout receipt. - Not sure what to read? Check out our suggested reading list. Teens - Visit kentonlibrary.org/92days or the library reference desk to fill out an entry form -One winner per week will be drawn each week for prizes like a Nintendo DS and Beats headphones. Grand prize is an iPad 2! -Looking for reading suggestions? Check our suggested YA reading list. Children (Ages 2-12) -Pick up a book log and start reading or listening to books. -After five books, or 2.5 hours of reading, return the log to receive a free book. -After 10 books, 5 hours of reading, return the log to receive a T-shirt or backpack and enter to win the grand prize - an iPad Mini! -Keep reading for more chances to win the grand prize. -Ask the library staff for book suggestions perfect for your child. Facebook Giveaways -Follow our Facebook page for chances to win daily prizes. Stop by a branch or visit www.kentonlibrary.org for more information. Pick up a calendar or visit our event page to see all of the free programs we offer.

Cincinnati Ballet’s Alice (in Wonderland) Giveaway

  It's always tea time in wonderland. Everyone is invited to tea with Alice in wonderland! When guests reach the bottom of the rabbit hole, they should promptly follow the White Rabbit (he's got a very important date). He will escort them to the tea party, where they will be greeted by various guests. Don't feel obliged to answer the Mad Hatter when he asks why a raven is like a writing desk (unless you know the answer). Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are sure to fly by and the Cheshire Cat is slated to make an appearance, but you never know when he'll disappear. Guests do not want to offend the Red Queen or they might end up losing their heads! PERFORMANCE DATES AND TIMES Friday, February 13 - 8:00 pm Sunday, February 15 - 1:00 pm Saturday, February 14 - 2:00 pm Sunday, February 15 - 5:30 pm Saturday, February 14 - 8:00 pm Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Cincinnati Ballet's website. Tickets range from $32-$100. The Cincinnati Ballet has partnered with the Kenton County Public Library to offer 20% off to Library patrons. Just use the code G1415KenLib to receive the discount. Giveaway: The Cincinnati Ballet has provided the Library with a voucher for two tickets (date and time of your choice) to Alice (in wonderland) to giveaway to one lucky reader. You have three chances to win. Be sure to do each entry separately for more chances to win. The deadline to enter is Jan. 14 at noon. The winner will be announced on the Library Facebook page and have 24 hours to respond. How to enter: 1. Comment on the blog saying who you would tag with you and why. 2. Tweet this post including @kentonlibrary [...]

Ring In the New Year with Old Favorites

Are you looking for a good read, some new to you music, a great movie or an awesome book to introduce your children to? The Kenton County Public Library has you covered with the top items checked out in 2014.  Top adult fiction books checked out in 2014: 1. Sycamore Row, by John Grisham 2. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn 3. The Invention of Wings, by Sue Kidd 4. First Love, by James Patterson 5. Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts Top YA fiction books checked out in 20141. Divergent, by Veronica Roth 2. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green 3. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins 4. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins 5. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth Top DVDS checked out in 2014: 1. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire 2. Gravity 3. Despicable Me 2 4. Man of Steel 5. Thor, The Dark World Top songs downloaded from Freegal: 1. Happy (Gru's Theme from Despicable Me 2) 2. All of Me 3. All About That Bass 4. Rude 5. Say Something Top children's books checked out in 2014: 1. Greg Heffley's Journal, by Jeff Kinney 2. The Last Straw, by Jeff Kinney 3. Rodrick Rules, by Jeff Kinney 4. Dog Days, by Jeff Kinney 5. The Ugly Truth, by Jeff Kinney Top children's video games checked out in 2014: 1. Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition 2. Planes 3. Super Mario Galaxy 4. MarioKart 5. Sonic Unleashed Top adult video games checked out in 2014: 1. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. The Lego Movie 3. Injustice Gods Among Us 4. Titanfall 5. Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare Want to check out some of these items? Visit the library catalog to the put the items on hold. Have you [...]

7 Last Minute Gift Ideas

It's December 23rd and you just realized you are missing a gift for your great aunt or maybe it's your nephew or the neighbor. Our staff got together and came up with a few ideas for the last minute shopper. 1. DIY gifts can be a great money saver and something the gift receiver will truly enjoy. A bag or basket of your favorite cookies, candies or nuts is easy to personalize. You can even dress it up with a final addition of your favorite local coffee or adult brew. Everyone enjoys cuddling up with a good movie or book and a bunch of treats. Sticking with the DIY theme, you can also make an ornament or a card for someone special. 2. I personally love movie night baskets. It can include one or two DVDs, candy and popcorn. You can often find a great old movie for under $10. 3. Books and music are extremely easy to find and can be very inexpensive. We suggest The Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack along with a Mockingjay charm or even a new set of The Hunger Games paperback books. You can personalize it by giving your favorite CD or book in hopes of introducing the gift receiver to new music or a new author. 4. A magazine subscription can be a great gift and you can often find online deals like two years for the price of one. Grab a copy of that magazine from the local store to wrap and include a note telling the gift giver they now have a subscription. 5. Chocolates, old fashioned candies, hot chocolate gift pack, coffee gift pack and gourmet food baskets are great last minute gifts too. You can often [...]