Preserve, Enrich, Inspire

Adults

Home/Adults

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 [...]

Art of Food Surprise Giveaway!

We have an incredible surprise giveaway for you! The Carnegie, which originally housed the Covington Library, has given the Kenton County Public Library two tickets to the Art of Food reception to give to one of our lucky readers. The seventh Annual Art of Food exhibition opens on Friday, March 1 with a reception.  Popular with foodies and art lovers alike, this exhibition examines the mouth-watering world of food as demonstrated by the culinary inspired creations of local artists and top chefs from across Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The Art of Food celebrates that food can be a complete sensory experience and explores the ways in which food comprises an art form. The opening reception will take place Friday, March 1 from 6pm-9pm in The Carnegie Galleries. During the opening attendees will have the opportunity to sample edible creations by more than twenty of the area’s top chefs while feasting their eyes on the culinary-inspired artistic works of artists Kelly Romer Armstrong, Eric Brass, Leah Busch, Valerie Escobedo, Timothy Gold, Sandra Gross, Dorie Guthrie, Debbie Hook, Joyce Kaufman, Rosie Kovacs, Pam Kravetz, Frannie Kroner, Carla Lamb, Megan Lemay, Carole Lichty-Smith, Trinidad Mac-Auliffe, Cheryl Metzger, Carla Morales, Becky Norris, Karen Saunders, Lori Siebert, Sheida Soleimani, Jenifer Sult, Jeff Sutherland, Katie Swartz, Amy Swoboda, Tom Towhey and Jen Ustick. Restaurants include Pizza Bomba, Fireside Pizza, Otto's, Cumin, Nicholson’s Gastro Pub, Virgil's Cafe, Senate and many more. Cost to attend The Art of Food opening reception is $25 for Carnegie Members and $40 general admission, in advance; $35 for Carnegie Members and $50 for non-members, at the door.  More than 600 guests are expected to attend the opening. Tickets are available through The Carnegie Box Office, open Tuesday through Friday, Noon - 5pm, online at www.thecarnegie.com, [...]

The Best 10 Young Adult Books of 2013

Young Adult novels are not just for teens anymore. YA fiction is, in my opinion, the most popular trend in fiction right now, and it will continue to draw readers of all ages - at least until all of our favorite series are finished! Here are my choices for the Top 10 Young Adult Books of 2013. I chose my favorites and what I thought were the most popular 10 books. They are then rated by how many times each book was checked out by you! What is your #1 book of 2013? Do you agree with my choices? Sound off in the comments! 1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Book #2 in The Lunar Chronicles. 2. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi. Book #2 in the Shatter Me series. 3. Prodigy by Marie Lu. Book #2 in the Legend series 4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell  5. Dare You To by Katie McGarry 6. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth 8. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen 9. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare 10. Rogue by Gina Damico Click on the covers to find a link to each book in the library catalog - from there you can see where the books are on library shelves, put yourself on hold for one, or even check out an ebook copy. For fans of Gina Damico's Croak series or teens who love reading we have a special event coming up! On Wednesday, December 4th at 5:30 p.m. Erlanger's teen book club, Beyond the Book, will have a discussion of the series and live video chat with Gina Damico! She'll talk about the series, answer your questions, and hopefully tell us a little bit about her forthcoming novels. You can find more info and [...]

City Directories: The Phone Book Before the Telephone

Want to buy a book in 1900? Head to Carrie Mendenhall or Mrs. Wm. Metzger! Researching the history of your house and curious about the former occupants? Or possibly searching for an ancestor that lived and worked in Covington from 1880-1889? A city directory, think phone book before the telephone, is a wonderful resource for genealogy and local history research. The directories, beginning in 1834 for Covington, contain an alphabetical listing of local residents and businesses. Later directories include separate sections for business, advertisements, and streets. City directories are particularly useful for genealogists and other researchers because not only do they list the head of household and home address, but often the first name of the spouse, other members of the household, occupation, and place of employment. In many cases, the directories note when an individual has been widowed and the first name of the deceased spouse. Want to know who lives in Jones Flats apartments? The criss-cross directory was a great way to look up your neighbors. A very useful section, which first appears in the 1931-1932 Covington City Directory, is the Directory of Householders or Street and Avenue Guide.  This is a reverse directory that lists the streets alphabetically along with the location, intersecting streets, and the address and name of each resident. This is an excellent resource when researching a building without knowing the name of the former resident or business. Residents of Covington in 1886 had a wide variety of jobs for instance Jane B. Walter was a book sewer. The business directory, later titled the “Yellow Pages,” is another great tool for researchers. The entries are classified by type of business rather than name. [...]

Classic Books Discussion Series at Covington

The Classic Book Discussion Series is a new program at the Covington Branch designed to provide readers with the opportunity to discuss books that have proved to be of enduring interest.  This season’s discussions began in September with Sinclair Lewis’ “Main Street” and will continue with one discussion each month, concluding in May with a modern retelling of the ancient story of "The Ramayana" by South Asian author R. K. Narayan. Diversity was an important selection criterion for the books we selected. The time range of the titles extends from 405 B.C.  when Aristophanes’ prize winning play, “The Frogs” first appeared on the Greek stage to 1963 A.D. when Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking “The Feminine Mystique” appeared on bookstore shelves. The settings span the globe from Minnesota to the Kingdom of Ayodhya in India. The titles to be discussed were selected from a long list of suggestions made by library staff members. The works selected include imaginative literature in the form of novels, plays and fiction, as well as nonfiction titles concerning issues in science and society. Each discussion is led by a different staff member with a particular interest in the book. Refreshments are always provided, with an eye towards what we are discussing –for example, at the December discussion of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, an English Christmas pudding was served.  Unlike traditional book clubs, it is not expected that attendees will read all, or even most, of the books and many people will come only for one or two books that particularly interest them, but it is hoped that many will wish to broaden their horizons by coming to several discussions. September 18  Sinclair Lewis’ “Main Street." was a literary sensation and outraged many [...]

Expanded Local History & Genealogy Dpt at Covington Library

The Local History and Genealogy Department has opened in its new space at the Covington location of the Kenton County Public Library. The department is now located on the top floor, and is staffed all hours when the library is open. The department’s collection includes Kentucky Biographies, Kentucky Fiction, Kentucky Non-Fiction, Kentucky Reference (containing numerous books on many Kentucky counties), city and business directories dating back to the 1830s, maps, and many more resources for doing genealogy and history research. Come enjoy the quiet workspace and dig deeper into your family history!                     Looking south in the Local History and Genealogy Department. The chairs and tabletops from the Carnegie library were refurbished and used in the new space. Beth uses one of the microfilm machines to look up newspaper articles. Need a map? The department has city, county, regional and state maps of Kentucky. If you’re interested in accessing online databases such as Ancestry.com, geNKY, or Faces and Places, we have eight new computers dedicated to this purpose. Staff members are readily available to assist you with using these resources. Check out our video of the new department! Have you visited the new department yet? Let us know what you think!

A Few Great Local Reading Spots You Should Try

The equinox is upon us and with it the official end of summer and the end of the summer reading season. It’s the end of beach reads, the end of long audiobooks for summer road trips, and the end of filling up our Kindles with all the books that didn’t fit in our carry-on bags. It's the time when we say goodbye to the freedoms of summer vacation and get back to the daily grind of work and school and life. But, September also seems to be the time when we lose something beyond the hit we take to our free time. It’s also the time when we lose something less quantifiable, something I would refer to as the spirit of summer reading. After all, more time spent reading isn’t the only benefit summer vacations provide to our reading lives. Summer vacations also involve travel and this traveling allows us the physical space in which to immerse ourselves in the narrative of a book in a way we may struggle to do in our day to day reading lives. When we have the opportunity to step out of our usual places of home, work, and school, we aren’t just allowing our bodies to wander, but our minds as well. When we read in a new location we are setting the tone for our reading experience, one that allows us the opportunity to open our minds to new ideas and helps us to reach that ultimate goal of every reader: being totally “lost in a book”. It seems a shame, then, that this sort of escape has been limited to only one brief part of our year. After all, we may not have the freedom to [...]

By |September 22nd, 2016|Categories: Adults, Around the Community, KCPL|0 Comments

Financial Responsibility with the Library

While you get your body in shape for summer, get your finances feeling healthy, too! Visit the Kenton County Public Library for all sorts of resources to get financially fit. For new graduates, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life by Karen Blumenthal provides clear, concise steps to set-up checking and savings accounts, manage your first car or college loan, establish an emergency fund, prudently pursue a good credit rating and launch a basic retirement plan. The book also makes an excellent graduation gift!  Newlyweds will find the Morningstar publication, Investing for the Long Run: Strategies and Solutions to Shape up Your Personal Finances available in both hard cover and as a PDF on the library’s web site, a great short guide to review together before launching into married life. Morningstar helps you think through the pros and cons of keeping accounts separate or combining them for joint ownership. The tome also provides fifty basic ways to save money and approach the many purchases needed to set-up a household wisely. Gift givers would also do well to check the library’s Consumer Reports online edition to uncover the best appliances to purchase for the future couple. New households and young families are often overwhelmed by the onslaught of information thrown at them from life insurance agents, stock brokers, accountants, lawyers and financial planners. Who do you trust? A good first step is to educate yourself about the particular product or service you need to purchase. The library’s shelves and virtual e-book site are full of titles that can help you discern the best path to take. Some great volumes by popular financial gurus include The Road To Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide To Your Money [...]

Four Weeks of Giveaways

Yes, you read that right; The Library will have four weeks of giveaways! This week we are starting off with an awesome tote bag filled with books, a library card holder, a Kenton County Public Library coffee mug, $5 Starbucks gift card and $5 off any purchase at Joseph Beth. The books are: "Make a Gingerbread Man" by Conni Medina, an advance copy of "The Bell Bandit" by Jacqueline Davies, a great read for boys and girls 9 and older, an advanced copy of "The Last PoliceMan" by Ben Winters, an adult fiction murder mystery story, an advance reader's copy of "Laugh With the Moon" by Shana Burg, a young adult book about a teen dealing with loss and finding her way, "Hey, That's Not Trash" by Renee Jablow, a great book for young readers about recycling, and "Drawing and Learning about Fashion" by Amy Bailey Muehlenhardt, a fabulous how to book for tweens and teens interested in fashion. There really is a book for everyone in this prize pack. The winner can keep them for the family or give them as gifts. Details on how to enter are below.   In addition to setting you up with a fabulous bag of books, the Library can help with the holidays in so many other ways. Let's start with shopping. Are you looking for an e-reader, a computer, a car, TV or other item that has many choices and you aren't sure what to buy? We have staff who can teach you how to use Consumer Reports Online and it's free. You can even access this online service from your home. We also have staff who can explain the difference between e-readers and teach you how to download books for free. Did you buy someone an [...]

Free Help for ACT & SAT Prep

Nervous about the road to college? The Kenton County Public Library can help reduce your anxiety in the area of test taking. The library has many resources available to help you boost your ACT/SAT scores to gain college admittance and put you in the driver’s seat for potential scholarships.  Test preparation study guide books from prestigious companies like Kaplan, Petersen, Barron’s and The Princeton Review can set you back over $35 a book. The library has all the 2013 latest editions to master the ACT or SAT from these publishers and you can check them out for free. Simply search SAT TEST or ACT TEST under “keyword” in the library’s catalog to request individual titles to be placed on hold for you to pick-up. The library gives you a window of 3-5 days to retrieve the books, before they return to the shelves.  Current college test preparation books can generally be checked out for two weeks. Concerned about finding enough time to study in between high school homework, extracurricular activities and sports? No worries! Kenton County Public Library also offers Test Preparation Software on our webpage that you can access anytime day or night with your library card. Simply go to the KCPL web page, click on Research & Homework, then Test Preparation. You will immediately be taken to the Learning Express web site. Click on College Preparation (left side of page) and register as a First Time User with your library card number and PIN (often the last four digits of your phone number) . Uncover the buttons to ACT Preparation and you will find free online courses to aid you in English, Reading, Science, Math and Writing sections. Besides the test prep courses, [...]

Job Search Assistance

Looking for a new job? Thinking about changing careers? Frustrated with trying to find a job on the Internet? The Kenton County Public Library is the place to come for a wide variety of job hunting resources. Currently, Job Search Central classes being offered for free at the library include the following: Job Search One-on-One: An opportunity to meet with an expert librarian to get personal help updating your resume, learning to use the best job hunting sites, understanding how to find information about companies or getting guidance on exploring careers or going to college. If class timing is bad, you can schedule an individual appointment by contacting one of our reference librarians. Target Your Resume:  Wondering why your resume isn’t yielding any phone calls or interviews for you? Learn how to fine tune your resume details to match the needs of your prospective employer. Have a human resources professional critique your resume for you. Interviewing Skills Workshop:  You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Learn how to put your best foot forward in job interviews and practice interviewing with human resource professionals from Northern Kentucky. Job Research Skills:  Finding it difficult to locate available jobs? Learn how to navigate the best Job Search sites available, file a profile at Focus/Career Kentucky and where to look for inside company information.  Seasoned experts from the Northern Kentucky Career Center teach this class. Upcoming class schedules are available on the Kenton County Public Library’s web site and do require advance registration. Pick up one of our Job Search Central bookmarks listing all the bestsellers on Job Hunting, Resumes/ Cover Letters and Interviewing at any of our three branches. No two job seekers are [...]

The Kenton County Public Library is Spooktacular!

I love October. I think it’s my favorite month of the year. The weather is cooler – perfect for jeans and sweatshirts. The leaves turn beautiful colors, it’s the perfect time for making smores over a bonfire, I enjoy the flavors of fall including pumpkin spiced anything, children are getting excited about Halloween and the programming at the Library is spooktacular! I love helping my kids design their costumes and decorating my house and yard. “How to Create Spectacular Halloween Costumes” by Louann Brown,” Paper Crafts for Halloween” by McGee, Randel and “Haunted House Adventure Crafts” by Anna Llimos Plomer are great books to assist with decorating and costumes. Having Zinio online has made cooking, decorating and making costumes even easier!  Zinio is an online service available through the Library that offers thousands of magazine subscriptions for free. I love “Taste of Home Holiday,” “Family Circle,” “Country Living,” “Parenting” and “Women’s Day” for holiday ideas, recipes and more. The Library offers great fall/Halloween programs this month – all for free. There is a Haunt Your Library contest taking place at the Covington Branch Library for grades 1-6 until October 10. Winning stories will be featured in The Recorder Newspaper and prizes will be awarded.  The Halloween storytimes are definitely the cutest thing we see all year – babies in costume! The Boo Bash, Octoberfest and Pumpkin Carving Party are sure to be a good time. The Haunted Library at the Durr Branch on Friday, Oct. 26 and Sat., Oct. 27 promises to offer thrills, chills and laughs. This is suggested for those 6 and older. The Durr Branch has a few Dracula themed events this month as well as a presentation by the Paranormal Investigators [...]

Manga Reviews: Bunnies, Alice, and Vampire Boys

Graphic novels and manga are not just for teens or anime fans. There are so many great stories and wonderful artists out there for you to discover, so why not try something new! Below are three popular manga series that could appeal to just about anyone. Bunny Drop is one of the most unique and unusual manga series I have ever encountered. It is a perfect choice for those wanting to give manga a try and haven't read anything else or watching much anime before. It is in the slice-of-life genre, meaning that it portrays the real life of the characters, with no fantasy, science fiction, or supernatural content. Bunny Drop is the story of Rin Kaga, that little girl pictured on the cover, as she grows up with her adopted guardian, Daikichii. Rin is the daughter of a manga artist/author mother who abandoned her to Daikichii’s grandfather, who is the father! Daikichii does his best to raise Rin, while Rin unknowlingly makes Daikichii into a better person in her own way. Bunny Drop is unbelievably sweet and addicting. Get your copy from KCPL by going to the catalog here! I personally am not a fan of the original Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass or even the classic animated "Alice in Wonderland" movie. There is something unnerving about it. Despite that, I absolutely loved Alice in the Country of Hearts by QuinRose. The main character is, of course, the one and only Alice Lidell. Alice is feisty, but she isn't mean, and she stands up for herself and stands her ground when it comes to things she feels strongly about. The male characters are so varied and different, and their character designs are incredible detailed; they have so much depth [...]

Mystery Picks

If you’ve read the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” try another Scandinavian author:  Jo Nesbo.  That’s Jo, pronounced Yo, and he features his troubled detective Harry Hole.  Start with “The Snowman.”  Not the first book in the series, but a terrific thriller already optioned for the Hollywood movie treatment. Ann Cleeves is one of the British writers you’ve never heard of.  Her Shetland Quartet of books features detective Jimmy Perez and the residents of this desolate Scottish island.  "Raven Black" is the first book.  If you start this book and get confused, keep reading.  You'll get hooked quickly. On our side of the pond, we can't recommend Steve Hamilton highly enough.  Meet private investigator and former Detroit police officer Alex McKnight in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  “A Cold Day in Paradise” begins the McKnight series.  “Misery Bay” is a favorite so far.   Hamilton writes standalones, too.  Try and read just five pages of "The Lock Artist," an improbable book about a mute safe cracker on the run from the Detroit mob. And, Ok, call me crazy, but you'll like the ongoing mystery series by Marcia Clark. Yes, that Marcia Clark, from O.J. fame.  Her debut book "Guilt by Association" features likable characters, and it keeps multiple storylines going until the end.  “Killer Ambition” is her newest book. It continues the prosecutor Rachel Knight and detective Bailey Keller partnership intact.   Mystery lovers unite!  Please join us at 1pm on the second Wednesday of the month in 2014 at the Covington branch for the Foul Play Mystery book club.  We’ll read everything from cozy to classic, see you there. Written by John Graham, Covington branch, and mystery lover

New Parents

So, you're ready for your new arrival!  The nursery is freshly painted, crib assembled, pictures hung, stuffed animals in place, baby clothes folded and put away...everything is ready for the wee one to make their place in your home.  You've attended childbirth classes, got your breathing down and are all set for the big day.  Your hospital bag is packed with all the essentials and by the door to make the dash to the hospital when it's time. As a new parent the Kenton County Public Library has been an invaluable resource for my family.  I prepared for my son's birth by reading as many Childbirth/Pregnancy books as possible. My favorites were the ever-popular What to Expect When You're Expecting, and Pea In A Pod. We make his baby food and have found many great recipes in baby food cookbooks especially Start Fresh:  Your Child's Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating. It's never too early to start reading up on parenting techniques. When we can find the time we enjoy taking him to baby storytime.  It's a great way for babies and their parents to be social, build comaraderie and instill a love of reading.  Finding the time is the difficult piece but it is so worth it.  Building baby's first library is easy using this booklist; these books are great selections to read to your little one. The Kenton County Public Library has a selection of links for developing early literacy on our Pinterest page.   Baby book recommendations are there too! Great Parenting Websites and Blogs to check out: A Round of baby blogs featuring all sorts of parents and philosophies.  Family Friendly Cincinnati has great ideas about activities to share with children in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. The family oriented restaurant reviews and park reviews are [...]

Not Your Mother’s Book Club: All-Things-Book-Discussion at the Library

Book clubs: What images do those two words conjure up for you? Ladies sipping tea and trading favorite lines from Jane Austen, right? Or a group of suburban moms huddled around adult beverages with the latest chick lit offering? Or maybe a conversation that’s a little too academic, with participants bandying around literary terms like “foreshadowing” and “malapropism” and overanalyzing every paragraph. Certainly these images are true for some groups, but don’t think that book discussion is an activity limited to any certain demographic or that you had to have majored in English to take part.     Reading and discussing a book with others is something that everyone can enjoy, and the benefits are enormous: Book groups broaden your reading horizons. You will read quite a number of books you normally wouldn’t give a second glance. Yes, you’ll probably dislike some of them (I’m looking at you, Never Let Me Go and The Night Circus), but you will also enjoy a lot of them. Some of the books that you never imagined yourself reading will become your absolute favorites (Now I’m looking at you, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and O Pioneers!). They’ll also broaden your worldview. You will learn about other cultures and perhaps gain different perspectives from your group members’ points-of-view. You get to meet new people – and sometimes establish long term friendships with your group members. (And if nothing else, sometimes you’ll find someone to snark along with you about a particularly terrible protagonist or plot.) Your communication skills will improve because you’ll be listening to other people talk about the books you read together. And with all those books, your reading comprehension skills will be sharpened as well. At the [...]

Programs for Building the Brain and Keeping it Sharp

Homebound and Racing to Read Staff As the Coordinator of Outreach Services at the Kenton County Public Library it is mine and my staffs’ privilege to bring programs and materials to local child care and assisted living facilities throughout Kenton County.  Our programs differ at each facility and are based on the needs of our patrons.If you sat in on a program at a child care facility you would find a story time filled with music, finger plays, puppets, wonderful books that are building the child’s imaginative skills, listening and reading skills, and increasing their phonic awareness. You would also see children interacting with the programmers and developing their social skills. Homebound brings programs, which assist with keeping the brain sharp through reminiscing type exercises, to assisted living facilities. Some centers choose slide show presentations that take the residents on a trip down memory lane. Other centers opt for more intense brain exercises involving crossword puzzles and answering trivia questions.  Whatever the program might be the main goals are to provide entertainment for our patrons and to help exercise their minds through building new skills or helping them maintain current skills. Do you know someone who lives in a senior facility? What types of programs do you think they would enjoy? Do we visit your child? Do they like the Racing to Read program? By Kari Jones, Coordinator of Outreach Services Call Homebound at 859-962-4062 for more information.

Read – Play – Win!

The Kenton County Public Library  Summer Reading Club for teens, adults and children is in full swing! A whole world of adventure awaits you in books and programs at the Erlanger, Durr and Covington branch libraries. The best part is: you can win prizes just for reading! Children ages 2-10 can visit any Kenton County Public Library location to pick up a reading log. Once children read, or their parents read them, five books, they can pick up a prize. Once children reach 10 books read or listen to 10 books they earn the annual KCPL summer reading t-shirt. They can also enter a raffle to win more prizes, including the grand prize of a Nintendo 3DS XL. Children’s illustrator and author David Catrow designed the T-shirt art. For teens in grades 6-12, the library has planned many great programs, like a Summer Lock-In and monthly movie nights. Teens can enter weekly raffle drawings for reading and attending programs as well. For each book , and program attended, teens can complete an entry to win a prize each week. Prizes include iPod touch; Kindle Fire HD, Amazon gift card, Visa gift card, Game Stop gift card, and restaurant gift cards. The grand prize is a Chromebook. Adults will receive a raffle ticket for every book read or program attended as well. Weekly drawings for prizes include gift cards to local book stores, and a grand prize of a Nook HD. Kenton County Public Library’s Summer Reading Club runs through August 31. Visit www.kentonlibrary.org/src for more information. Many prizes are made possible thanks to the Friends of the Kenton County Public Library. Snappy Tomato Pizza and Family Friendly Cincinnati are also sponsors of the Kenton County Public Library Summer Reading [...]

Spring Garden Preparation

  Whether you are getting ready to plant fruits and vegetables, or planning a beautiful flower garden, there are things that you must do in order to guarantee the best results for your garden this spring. This post, along with materials (see video and Pinterest page) from the Kenton County Public Library should help. Preparing your garden doesn’t have to be complicated. Enjoy a sunny afternoon by donning your gardening gloves and taking these four easy, basic steps for gardens big or small, perennial or vegetable. 1.  Basic Maintenance Start your spring gardening with some basic maintenance. Remove any covers you used to protect plants during the winter, and perform any repairs or servicing on gardening tools and equipment. Better to have problems with the lawnmower fixed now, rather than mid-summer. Take a walk around the garden looking for signs of winter damage. Paving stones may heave with freezing and thawing, fences may need repainting or repair work, and decks need cleaning. 2.  Prepping Garden Beds Winter snow or rain compacts bedding soil, so you’ll need to prep your beds in advance of planting. Remove winter mulch or, if it’s compostable, dig it into the soil. Use a spading fork to aerate the soil, breaking up clogs of dirt. You want to make the soil lighter and capable of holding water and air. At this point it is time to test the soil for deficiencies and amend if necessary. Soil Testing The tests provide the levels of pH, nitrate, phosphorus, potassium, organic matter and sometimes lead and other metal levels.  It is recommended to test the soil each season with a home soil test kit you can buy at the hardware store. Amending the Soil Based on [...]

Summer Reading Giveaway #3

We are a little more than halfway through Summer Reading Club for teens, children and adults. You have been able to win prizes all summer long just for reading books. Now is your chance to win a cool prize just for reading this blog! And we have a cool prize! The Giveaway: We are giving away a $25 Joseph Beth gift card, a $5 Kocanut Joe's gift card, Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition DVD of The Wizard of Oz and a Kenton County Public Library tote bag filled with a few books. You can enter several ways. Be sure to comment separately for more chances to win. Enter by noon on Monday, July 29. We will randomly choose a winner through random.org, who will be announced on our Facebook page and emailed. Prize Pack 1. What is your favorite thing about the Kenton County Public Library? (required to enter) 2. Like us on Facebook and comment here that you did. 3. Share this contest through Twitter, Facebook, email or text and comment here that you did. If you share on Twitter please use hashtag #kentonlibrary. 4. Comment here stating if you participated in Summer Reading Club. Be sure to include why or why not. Disclaimer: The movie, books and Kocanut Joe's gift cards were given to the Library. The winner must pick the prize up at the Covington, Durr, or Erlanger Branch Library. Library employees and those living in their household are not eligible to win.

Summer Travel: Far and Wide or Right at Home

Whether you are planning a trip abroad, across country, locally or fantasizing about a dream vacation; the Kenton County Public Library has your ticket to information. Begin your research with the library catalog. Browse your local branch library (Covington, Durr, and Erlanger) in the travel section beginning in the 900’s. Top travel guides are Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Rick Steves’, National Geographic Traveler, Insight Guides, Lonely Planet, and Let’s Go. Take a look at the magazine section at the library or the magazine database, Zinio for travel magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and Sierra. Or visit the Culturegrams database to learn about the culture, language and much more about countries all over the world. Need to learn the language to get by while traveling? Look in the 400’s on the library shelves or visit Mango, the language database. New travel websites to use: Trippy; Oyster; Hipmunk; Jetsetter; TripIt; Wanderfly; or Gogobot. Watch foreign movies or travel documentaries to visually travel.                                    Get a flavor of the place you’ll be visiting, check out ethnic cookbooks like these:                         Staying at home? The library offers numerous programs for you to enjoy. Interested in local events? Check out Cincinnati.com or CityBeat for up-to-date local happenings. Here's a list of recommended travel reads available at the Kenton County Public Library. Finally, don’t forget to stock up on great reads while vacationing this summer through our e-book sources. Plan your whole trip with your Kenton County Public Library card and have a fun summer!   Blog written by Erin DeSantis, Young Adult Librarian

Test Taking Skills

    Whether you are an experienced test taker or a newbie, the Kenton County Public Library  has how-to guides and test preparation resources available in a variety of formats:  print, electronic, audio, and video.  There are several publishers of great test guides:  Barron's, Schaum's, Peterson's, Language Express, McGraw Hill's, Princeton Review, Kaplan and Dummies.  Check out this resource list. The library subscribes to the Learning Express database which is accessible for a library card holder.  All you have to do is register and you will be on your way to improving your test taking skills.  This is an amazing resource with practice tests on everything from the GED to the ACT to the GRE and many others.  You can take timed tests and start and stop when you need; it really helps get you in the right frame of mind for standardized tests.  The database also includes software tutorials, occupation practice tests and U.S. Citzenship.     If you need any help along the way, your local library reference desk is here to support you, please give us a call or stop by, we want to see you succeed!   -post written by Erin DeSantis, Young Adult Librarian          

Wedding Planning 101: Check Out the Library!

Wedding Planning 101: Check Out the Library! Krysta and Sam get Married Statistics show that over 4 million couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Wow! Four million couples will be hunting for the perfect dress, venue, caterer, decorations and more in just a few days. Four million! Perfect guy—check. Perfect ring—check. Picturesque engagement—check. Now what?  If your head is spinning and you have no idea where to start planning your big day, or if you just need some inspiration, come to the Kenton County Public Library! The library is an abundant source on all kinds of free wedding planning materials. I didn’t spend a penny on wedding magazines or books because I borrowed them all from the library. From books and magazines, to free databases and online services, the library had everything I needed to inspire me to plan my dream wedding this past October. Getting Started—Words of Wisdom and Establishing a Budget Before you get started, it’s a good idea to read up on customs, common practices, and etiquette to figure out what is important to you. For me, etiquette was one of the most stressful aspects of planning a wedding. A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene helped me through sticky situations when I didn’t know what to do. It’s also a good idea (not to mention fun!), to read about the history of weddings and how certain traditions came to be, like wearing a white dress! You may even decide to ditch tradition and make your own like I did. Finding your Venue, Music, Photographer, etc. Don’t have access to the internet at home? Come to the library! Pop in to use our free wi-fi to do some research or use [...]