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Balancing School Work

I am mother of two school-aged children and I was not surprised when I came across an article about the importance of parental involvement in school success.   According to a recent study “while both school and family involvement are important; the role of family involvement is stronger when it comes to academic success.”  Family involvement includes prioritizing school and homework as well as a healthy family relationship. For my family, the library plays an important role supporting academic work. Many schools use the Accelerated Reader program. After you’ve used www.arbookfind.com to find a book for your child, put it on hold at www.kentonlibrary.org.  You can even request to pick up your books at a drive through and pick them quickly on busy days. Having trouble finding an AR book your child will enjoy?  Stop by or call the children’s department at any location and the children’s staff will help you and your child find a book. Of course we have the books your child needs for research, but you can access a wealth of resources from your home computer with your library card at www.kentonlibrary.org.    At our house, we’ve used Culture Grams Kids for country reports, watched volcanoes erupting on Grolier Encyclopedia and found an in depth explanation on Access Science.  Someday, I’m sure we’ll use the test prep on Learning Express.  These quality resources are accurate and reliable and a great way to teach your children that research does not begin and end with a search engine. Every time I go to our website, I find a new way to use those databases! Finally, research shows that children who see their parents reading for pleasure develop into stronger readers themselves. Make sure you are [...]

Birthday Party Planning Made Easy

Balloons, clowns, magicians, cakes, cupcakes, comedians, bouncy houses, character visits, oh my! Planning a birthday party for your child, whether they are 1, 8, or 16, can be really overwhelming but I’ve got you covered! If I thought I could truly make a living at planning kids’ birthday parties, that’s what I’d be doing. I LOVE it!  And thankfully, the Kenton County Public Library has plenty of resources to help me plan birthday parties for my children. My children have a very nice birthday party every year. I enjoy throwing themed-parties at my home but we have had parties outside of the house as well. If you are looking to host a party at a location, you should check out Family Friendly Cincinnati’s post on birthday parties but if you are looking to host at home on a budget, read on and check out our cool video! Welcome to the Oscars My son had an Oscar party for his 6th birthday. Everyone received an invitation telling them to come as their favorite actor or musician. I found some inexpensive red fabric at a local fabric store to use as the red carpet. As each child entered, I took their photo on the red carpet. Music from my son’s favorite movies played in the background. Hannah Montana, Superheros, Indiana Jones and other celebrities, or a bunch of kids dressed as celebreties, enjoyed the afternoon playing Paparazzi Dance (instead of freeze dance). When the music stopped, the kids fell to the ground to dodge the paparazzi. The movie theater style cake was a huge hit! Instead of doing traditional goody bags, each child received a box of their favorite movie-style theater candy and a bag [...]

Fourth Week of Giveaways; Your Holiday Entertainment

What will you be doing over your holiday break?  If you plan on spending the entire break checking your Facebook, watching TV, or playing Farmville you should probably check out some entertainment alternatives. Your local friendly Teen Librarians have compiled some resources to help you out! Okay, first of all: I have to promote the library for your entertainment needs. You can download 3 free mp3s a week with Freegal and look at a ton of different magazines for free online with Zinio. Just go to this link! You can sign up for Zinio and Freegal accounts with your library card number If you don't have your card or don't know your number just give us a call and we can look it up for you! https://www.kentonlibrary.org/ebooks/indextmp.htm Okay, now let's get to the real fun. Hopefully you'll be getting some video games for Christmas. Don't worry, if you don't get them you can just check them out from the library! Borderlands 2 just came out. We will have it. Go here to reserve your copy from the library! Avengers: Battle for Earth was released in December. You can also get it from the library here! Did you get or give an iPad, iPod, or iPhone today? If you did, welcome to your new favorite game! It’s free, it’s social, and it’s   more fun than endlessly hitting refresh on your favorite webpage until school starts up again. This is a game called “SpaceTeam”. The first thing you want to do is find 2-4 other people who have also downloaded it and get them in the same wifi or Bluetooth with you. Then your goal is to fix the most breaking-est spaceship ever, by saying silly words! Everyone [...]

How to Save Money

Who doesn’t like to save money? I know I do. Most people know they can save money every day at the Kenton County Public Library by borrowing books, movies, music and video games and attending programs. But people don’t realize that there are so many other ways the Library can save them money. The Library offers several online services, most of which can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection and a Kenton County Public Library card number. Chiltons, Consumer Reports, ValueLine and Morningstar Investment Research Center are just a few of the services. You can view full issues of Consumer Reports, compare prices, find the best rated products and much more. This is a great resource with the holidays right around the corner. You can find the best rated electronics, appliances, cars and more. You can also compare features. This allows you to make informed decisions before making purchases. I will be using this free online service to choose which netbook will be best for my 10 and 13-year-olds as a gift. Have you ever wished you could fix your car yourself? Have you thought it’s probably simple enough that you could if you just had a guide? You can access the Chilton Manuals for free through the Library website. You can find out how to replace breaks, change oil, replace plugs, fix a muffler and much more for most makes and models. ValueLine is an independent investment research and financial publishing firm based in New York, New York, USA, founded in 1931 by Arnold Bernhard. Value Line is best known for publishing The Value Line Investment Survey, a stock analysis newsletter that is updated weekly and kept by subscribers to the print edition in a [...]

Keeping Kids Busy Over the Holiday Break

Keeping kids entertained over an extended holiday can be a challenge, but we’ve got some great ideas for you. If sled riding isn’t possible and the cold is keeping you inside, there are plenty of activities for the whole family that are sure to keep them entertained. We’re sure a good book is the perfect remedy, but in case you need other ideas, here are ours! Staying In Town? If you live near the William E. Durr branch, check out our listings for School’s Out Movies! We have lots of showings for the whole family. We supply the popcorn, so just bring yourself and a drink and let us take care of the rest! Register by following the link above or calling 859-962-4031. All movies will begin at 1:00 PM. 12/23 Elf! 12/26 Despicable Me 2 12/27 Grown Ups 2 12/30 Planes 12/31 Monsters Inc. & Monsters University 1/2 Smurfs 2 1/3 The Croods Crafting I’m really into crafting, and Christmas is the perfect time to try out new ideas and give them as one-of-a-kind gifts. There are so many fun craft ideas on Pinterest; you could stay busy for days. Pinterest has some great ideas! Check out our Christmas board here. Paper crafts for Christmas by Randel McGee Christmas Crafts by Jean Eick Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving by Jessica Strand Step-by-Step crafts for Winter by Kathy Ross Baking cookies Going to a cookie swap or have a lot of baking to do for a Christmas party? Involve the kids! You’ll not only invoke their creative abilities, but also keep them entertained. The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and Share by Good Housekeeping The Big Book [...]

Library Providing Services at Home

About to celebrate her 90th birthday, Mrs. Jackie Linneman can honestly say she has had a lifelong relationship with the public library system.  An avid reader from a very young age, Jackie fondly recalls her trips to the former location of the public library in Covington.  In fact, the Carnegie Library at 10th and Scott was her first library. Over the course of her life, Jackie has moved out of the Tri-state area and back again a handful of times, and she says that each time she moved to a new city, the first thing she looked for was the nearest public library.  “Mrs. Linneman always finds her library people!” she stated proudly during our interview.  “Librarians…I just love them!  I don’t know what I’d do without them.  I am very, very lucky.” Mrs. Lucille Poetter, Mrs. Evelyn McVey, Mrs. Jackie Linneman entering Coppin's in 1977. Eight years ago, Jackie retired from her job selling perfume in downtown Cincinnati, and moved into an apartment at Atria Highland Crossing, a senior living facility in Fort Wright, KY. Prior to that move, she had been living in Fort Thomas and was a devoted patron of the Campbell County Public Library system.  “I lived just down the hill from the library, and I would walk down our drive.  But then when it got a little difficult for me to walk, that’s when I got the walker – just to be able to go to the library! And they told me one day when I went in, ‘Jackie, you can actually get these sent to your home!’  Then, when I got ready to move into here, that was the first thing I asked: could I still have [...]

Library Services Delivered to Your Home

When I was 11, I found out I would need major surgery to correct a problem with my spine. I missed a little over a month of school because I was confined to my home for recovery, and then after that month came to an end I had another three months of extremely limited activity.  I went to school and then came straight home every day. Prior to surgery, I’d gotten into the habit of visiting the library once every week or two and bringing home stacks of books each time – but suddenly I was faced with four months of being cut off from my reading supply. It was a shock for me, especially since this was before the age of the Kindle or the Nook and the possibility to browse through an entire library from the couch. The goal of the Kenton County Public Library Homebound Services – now part of the larger Outreach Services department – is to provide services to the patrons within Kenton County who find themselves unable to physically visit the library. Most often, when this kind of outreach service is mentioned, people only think of the elderly and books. But in reality there is much more involved in what we do.  We work every day to take all of the excellent services that the Library is known for (like reference, circulation, reader’s advisory, programming, etc.), roll it all into one, and deliver them directly to the homes of our patrons.  Some of the people enrolled in the program are simply the residents of a local senior living facility, other times they are people who can’t get out of their own houses due to a disability, and sometimes they [...]

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 [...]

New Year Resolutions

Prize Pack As we kick off the New Year, many of us think of resolutions we'd like to fulfill. The Kenton County Public Library has a lot of free programs, materials and services that can help you keep those resolutions. We will even get you started with your Healthier New You resolutions by giving away a Bob Roncker's gym bag, $10 gift card to Bob Roncker's, a 2012 Racing to Read T-shirt and a KCPL water bottle. See below for your chance to win but first... Many people resolve to improve their health.  The Durr Branch Library offers Wellness Walkers in Northern Kentucky and a Diabetes Support Group each month. The Erlanger Branch will offer a class on Exercise Myths and How to Really Get Fit. Of course the Library offers a plethora of healthy cookbooks and how to exercise, as well as exercise DVDS and video games. Maybe finding a new job, improving your job skills or advancing your education is on your list of resolutions. The Library offers basic computer classes like First Time Computer Users, Microsoft Word and Excel. We also offer GED, resume writing and job searching classes. Registration is required for most. Taking up a craft like knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, jewelry making might be on your list. We have programs and books at all three branches to help discover your creative side. One book some of our staff members recommend is “Junk box jewelry : 25 DIY low cost (or no cost) jewelry projects” by Sarah Drew. Reading more, writing, exposing your children to books, doing more as a family or learning another language are things many people resolve to do. You and/or your children can learn a [...]

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 [...]

The Perfect Holiday Gift

By Amy Schardein, Children’s Librarian                                                                              Contributed by Several Kenton County Library Staff Members Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the children in your life? Books are always the right size and can be enjoyed over and over again. You might even win a Joseph Beth gift card in order to buy a book as a gift (see below). But first, here are a few of our top picks for gift giving in 2012.  2012 Picture Books                                                                                                                                                 Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills                                                                                             Rocket the dog loves reading stories so much that he wants to create his own.  He searches for words until he is inspired by a new friend.  A perfect choice for growing readers and writers! Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems                                                       Three hungry dinosaurs insist they are not conveniently leaving a tidy house prepared to capture a little girl with gold locks.  A funny twist on an old favorite sure to tickle both children and parents. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen                                                                                             A minnow has taken a hat – it fits him perfectly and was entirely too small for its former owner, but the owner wants it back! Oh No!  by Candace Fleming                                                                                                  One after another animals fall into a deep hole as a tiger plots their demise. At the last moment, an elephant appears to save the day!  This tale is just suspenseful enough and features lush illustrations by Eric Rohman. Step Gently Out by Helen Frost                                                                                        Luminous photographs paired with a lyrical poem turn backyard insects into beautiful works of art.  A perfect choice for the nature-loving child.  2012 Chapter Books                                                                                                        Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney                                                             Fans of Greg [...]

Rereading Favorite Books

A mom sharing her favorite books with her children. What is your favorite book? Why do you love it? Who do you talk with about your favorite stories? When December comes and it’s snowy and tiny colored lights are blinking (or menorah candles are twinkling), it gets dark so early I don’t always want a new and exciting book. This is the time of year I grab an old favorite to reread. The thing about favorite books is how personal they are. I’ve had friendships that never looked the same after I admitted to hating A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I’ve become insta-besties with fans of Douglas Adams and L.M. Montgomery. As librarians, it’s important for us to not get bogged down in what we love when we are helping you to find your favorites, old and new. Do you want to reread Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events but don’t remember their order? Maybe you want to listen to The Lightning Thief or see if The Fault In Our Stars is any different on your new ereader  instead of the physical, paper book. Eden at Erlanger separates her favorites into favorite this year , all-time favorite, favorite to recommend, favorite when she was a kid...which is a book I read in college and am now excited to talk about with Eden! That’s the beauty of beloved books. Is it more important that we have the same favorite stories as people around us, or that we are willing to share our favorites? This holiday, why not ask the people around you what their favorite books are, or ask them to read yours? Visit the website to browse the catalog and put items on hold. [...]

Second Week of Giveaways; Job Search Central

The Kenton County Public Library wants to help you with your job search, boost your resume and get you the computer skills you need.  We are giving away an eReader case, along with a $20 Amazon gift card (to possibly use on job search book or magazine), a bookmark on how to download free eBooks from the Library, a tote bag, library card holder and a cool cup! But first, let’s talk about some of the ways the Library can help with your job search. Do you see yourself or a friend in any of the following scenarios? Downsized professional? Stay at home Mom returning to the paid workforce? Thinking about changing careers? Recent college graduate? Senior looking for part-time work? Skilled tradesman with no computer skills? Looking to grow your current job skills? Then think of the Kenton County Public Library as Job Search Central. The library has a myriad of resources available to aid you in your job search and help you grow your career skills. Turn to the library’s website to find the best and most up-to-date books on the job search hunt, career change, writing powerful resumes, composing strong cover letters and developing fresh interviewing skills. Our collection development staff ensures that the latest editions of “What Color Is Your Parachute?”  by Richard Nelson Bolles and “Knock’em Dead Resumes”  by Martin Yate are always available to library users. No two job seekers are alike, so resources are selected to serve the needs of job searchers in diverse situations. You can find both hard cover and eBooks on resume writing for executives, preparing for positions with the Federal government or seeking a new job out of prison. The website also has links [...]

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          

Third Week of Giveaways; Making Life for Educators a Little Easier at KCPL!

The Kenton County Public Library supports education in our community in several ways including special library cards for teachers and specific programs for homeschoolers. For week three of giveaways, we have a pencil pouch filled with goodies, a Library tote bag, several bookmarks and a $20 gift card to John R. Green. But first, let’s talk about some of the ways the Library can help make education a little easier at home and in the classroom. Biology, social studies, geometry; oh my! Being a teacher that provides schooling at home or in the classroom can be a lot to handle at times; balancing curriculums and finding the right books to pair with a lesson takes time, but the library is here to help.  Most people don’t know that we have services catered specifically to help teachers and students in a homeschool setting. All three branches of the Kenton County Public Library now host homeschool programs on a regular basis that teach your child the subjects they need to learn. We’ve had huge success with these programs and we’re always eager to see new faces. While at our programs, children have created rock candy and cracked open geodes while learning about geology, visited the Extension Office to learn about growing and harvesting, and explored chemical reactions by combining Mentos and Diet Coke to make a skateboard rocket. Each program offers an exciting topic and new opportunities to learn through hands-on activities and visual aids, not to mention interaction with their peers. Our programs are designed to be stand-alone lessons, making them a great supplement to what you’re already teaching your children at home. We like to have fun, but we take our programs seriously. We pay [...]

Top Baby Shower Gifts: A Newbie Mom’s Guide

When you are expecting a little one it can be overwhelming thinking about what you need for baby. You try to rack your brain of everything you think you could possibly need and your list grows and grows. I had my first LO (little one) last September and was fortunate enough to have 3 baby showers (2 family and 1 work). I was excited to start my registry and did lots of research on what others recommended to buy. I went into it really trying to only get what I thought was needed. Now 5 months later, I have compiled a short list of my favorite/most used things that I received at my showers. One of my other goals was to start my LO’s book collection, so I have included some of my favorite books below as well. Enjoy! Best Items: Diaper Pail On my registry I originally had a diaper pail (Diaper Genie) but changed it to a different brand (Baby Trend). I did this because you could use your own trash bags/grocery bags in the Baby Trend one. Many diaper pails (like Diaper Genie) require you to use their refill bags; this just adds on another cost. So depending on how much you want to invest, go the inexpensive route and get one that you can use any ol’ trash bag. The pail has done a great job and is definitely a necessity if you want to keep those stinky smells at a minimum. Bottle Warmer If you plan on using bottles, a bottle warmer is a life saver. It is a quick and easy way to warm up your LO’s bottles so you don’t have to do it the old school way [...]

You and Your Pets

Pets are an integral parts of our families, our lives, and our hearts. Whether you have cats, dogs, fish, a snake, a family of tarantulas or ferrets, you understand the importance of those amazing creatures and the impact they have on you and your life. If you do have a dog, or several, Kenton County has a lovely dog-centered park.Pioneer Park in Covington has a great pet-friendly area called the Kenton Paw Park! The Park features 3 enclosed areas for large dogs and 2 specifically for small dogs. The park also offers events like a Pool Party, photos with Santa, and the annual Beast Bash.Visit the park's website and the Kenton County Parks & Rec website for more information.  Looking for a place to meet your new best friend? The Kenton County Animal Shelter is the place to go! Use their Petfinder service to search for the pet that best suits you and your family. You can also get your pet's annual license and get them micro-chipped at the KC Animal Shelter. Check out this video of their featured pets! If the weather isn't coopering with you or your pet stop by the library or check out my pet-friendly Pinterest board, to get some books and videos to keep you both entertained! Here are some of my favorites:     This post was written by Eden Rassette, Young Adult Programmer at the Kenton County Public Library's Erlanger Branch. You can find her online at The Otaku Librarian.

By |January 28th, 2014|Categories: Around the Community, At Home|0 Comments