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Science Experiments for Freezing Weather

We definitely don't recommend spending more than a few minutes outside when temps are below freezing with high winds but if you bundle up, we have a few science experiments for you to try. Freeze Fry an egg – Put a frying pan outside for about 15 minutes and then crack an egg in it. I wouldn’t eat it but it will look like breakfast.                                                                                                                                                                          Turn boiling water into snow – Fill a super soaker with boiling water and then shoot it outside (only do this if the temps are below zero). The water will vaporize when it meets the below zero temps and turn into ice crystals (homemade snow). Make snow ice cream – Mix sugar, milk, salt and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Put the bowl in the freezer. Go outside and get about 8 cups of clean snow. Mix the snow with the other ingredients. Eat right away. Make a slurpee – Put a two-liter bottle of your favorite pop outside for about four hours. Open the cap outside and watch it form ice crystals, turning your pop into a slurpee. Frozen bubbles – Blow bubbles up in the air in below zero temps and watch them freeze. Tell us about [...]

By |January 30th, 2019|Categories: blog, Featured Post, KCPL|1 Comment

New Year, New Resolution! Getting Started with your Genealogy

Photograph Courtesy of Faces and Places: Northern Kentucky's Online Photograph Collection. If you’ve gotten away from your genealogy for a while or if the holiday gatherings this season have sparked your interest in your family’s history, look no further. KCPL has a dedicated Local History & Genealogy Department and staff ready to assist you with your goal of discovering your family’s story. The Local History & Genealogy Department is located on the second floor of our Covington branch at 502 Scott Boulevard in Covington, Kentucky. Our department is full of all kinds of resources that can help you to discover your family history: from books to microfilm, to maps and vertical files, and let’s not forget online databases! First things first: where to start? We recommend starting to write down what you already know about your family. Start with a basic family tree (we like this one via Mid-Continent Public Library’s Midwest Genealogy Center) and fill out what you know starting with yourself. Start talking with your relatives – parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, cousins - to fill in as many details as you can. Ask for names, dates (birth, marriage, death), and places where they lived or may have come from. Check out our blog on ice-breaker questions here. Once you’ve done that, look for any gaps you might have in your tree – that’s a good place to start! Start looking for basic information in birth indexes, death records, and censuses, which often give you clues as to parentage (thus helping you take your tree back a generation!). We like starting our searches online because many of these records are being digitized by companies such as Ancestry, FamilySearch, and FindMyPast, just [...]

Top 15 Books of 2018

Why pay for the hottest books of 2018 when you can borrow them from the Library? I like to check out books before I decide to buy them so I know if it is something I will want to read more than once or share with my family. These are the top 15 sold by Amazon, that the Library carries, in 2018. Just click on the title to put the item on hold. Becoming by Michelle Obama Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo 12 Rules of Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines  Whose boat is this boat?: comments that don't help in the aftermath of a hurricane by Donald J. Trump (by accident) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership by James Comey  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey  Educated: A memoir by Tara Westover How many of these have you read? Which ones are you looking forward to reading? Visit the website to browse the catalog for other great reads.

By |December 31st, 2018|Categories: blog, Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

On Your Mark, Get Set, Bake! Download the British Baking Show

The Great British Baking Show is the ultimate baking battle in which passionate amateur bakers compete with the goal to be named the UK's best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Season 1 - See how it all began!   Six new recipes to bake for the family this Christmas, inspired by rich traditions from all over Europe.   At last, the star of The Great British Bake Off reveals all the secrets of his craft in How to Bake.   A sweet and savory collection of more than 100 foolproof recipes from the reigning "Queen of Baking" Mary Berry.   We also have new magazines that feature holiday baking!  

By |December 22nd, 2018|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Genealogy Ice Breaker Questions for Holiday Family Gatherings

The holidays are a great time to discuss family history! Photograph courtesy of Faces and Places! Family gatherings over the holidays are a great time to talk about family history. We've crafted a list of fun genealogy based ice-breakers to get the discussion started at your next family gathering. What was the fastest mode of transportation when you were born? What was your mom, dad, grandparents favorite dessert? Do you have the recipe? Why do you think they liked it? What school subject was your favorite and why? How did you spend your summer vacations when you were growing up? Who in the family do you think you look like and why? Where and when did you first go to see a movie? Do you remember what was playing? Who went with you? What sports were important to your family? What sports were your siblings better or worse at? Why did you marry your spouse? What do you remember about your great grandparents? How did you come to choose the names of your children? Do you “remember when Joe got his head stuck in the railing and..."? Ask about a funny family story or memory! What was the biggest news story during your life? We'd love to hear how your relatives answered these questions! You can comment on our blog, or post to any of our social media accounts!

By |December 19th, 2018|Categories: blog, Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Last Minute Holiday Gifts – For Yourself

Give yourself the gift of a good book! Take a few moments (hours) with a favorite book or find a new book to love.     In an unnamed city, middle sister stands out for the wrong reasons. She reads while walking, for one. And she has been taking French night classes downtown. So when a local paramilitary known as the milkman begins pursuing her, she suddenly becomes interesting, the last thing she ever wanted to be.     This beloved novel, a #1 New York Times bestseller, will soon be a major motion picture starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston. For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine-self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson-from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine-Dumplin' is guaranteed to steal your heart.   The Rules of Blackheath Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin...   The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy may have concluded, but we haven't heard the last of our favorite einherji and his friends. The nine Norse worlds are rich with lore, as this collection of nine original stories, each told from a different character's point of view, will prove.   It's going to be an unexpectedly romantic Christmas at Bluebird Ranch. Brendan Waddell has always considered Bluebird Ranch a little piece of heaven: an idyllic ranch that pairs abused children with abused horses, run by one of [...]

By |December 14th, 2018|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Self-publishing: Q & A with first time author

Recently I sat down and talked with long time friend and first time fiction author Rick Ferguson about his experiences self-publishing his fantasy novel "The Screaming Skull".  If you are considering a foray into self-publishing his answers may help you find your way. Q: Why self-publish over sending the book out to publishers? A: For me, the choice to self-publish was a no-brainer. To go the "trad" publishing route would have required: six months to a year to find an agent (that's if you survive dozens of rejections); six months to a year for the agent to find a publisher (that's if you survive another several dozen rejections); and six months to a year before the publisher brought the book to market. That's an 18-month to three-year process to trad-publish versus four months to self-publish and get the book immediately into the hands of readers. In addition, the publisher would most likely have required multiple changes to the book, would have allowed me no control over the cover or blurb, and would have offered me a 15% royalty rate vs. the 70% royalty rate I enjoy through self-publishing. Trad publishers no longer market your book for you but expect you to market your book yourself--and they're unlikely to even give you that opportunity unless you already have an established audience via another platform. The only advantage left to trad-publishing is the opportunity to get your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores--where it would compete for shelf-space with already established authors. There are really only two disadvantages to self-publishing. One, you're attempting to stand out in a market flooded with inferior product. Trad-publishers serve the "gatekeeper" role to ensure only quality books get published; in the indie market, [...]

By |December 13th, 2018|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Family Oral History — The Power of Stories, Rituals and Resilience

Between Thanksgiving and the end of the year we spend a lot of time thinking about family, planning get-togethers, cooking and buying gifts – all for the ones we love best. As Americans we tend to focus on the future and not the past. But this is a great time of year to slow down and remember -- and learn from -- those we love. There’s research that shows that children who know their family’s history – both the happy times and the challenging ones – are more resilient, confident and happy than children who don’t (see The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler). He calls it a “…strong intergenerational self. They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.” Mr. and Mrs. Gisellie Baker with (left to right) Cindy (2), Priscilla (3), Paul J. (2), Richard (2), Anthony (5). Photograph Courtesy of Faces and Places.            “The most healthful narrative … is the oscillating family narrative. ‘Dear, let me tell you we’ve had ups and downs in our family. We built a family business. Your grandfather was the pillar of the community. Your mother was on the board of the hospital. But we also had setbacks. We had a house burn down. Your father lost a job. But no matter what happened we always stuck together as a family.’” --Bruce Feiler   Should you decide to take part in a Family Oral History, here’s a few things to consider:   Keep others involved Starting a family oral history project takes a bit of preparation and time. There’s a lot of things you need to think about so take some time to put together a plan. But you can do [...]

Holiday Gift Suggestions

Adult Fiction -One Day in December by Josie Silver -A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories by Bettye Collier-Thomas -The Noel Stranger by Richard Paul Evans -The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks - Mr. Miracle: a Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber     Adult Nonfiction -Becoming by Michelle Obama -Ship of Fools: how a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution by Tucker Carlson -Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat -Leadership: in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin -Big Game: the NFL in dangerous times by Mark Leibovich -In Pieces by Sally Field -Charles Dicken's a Christmas Carol: the classic novel with recipes for your holiday menu by Giada De Laurentis, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart & Trisha Yearwood -Ripley's Believe It or Not! Century of Strange   Children’s Suggestions -All Aboard! The Christmas Train by Nichole Mara and illustrated by Andrew Kolb -Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by A.G. Ford -Genius Lego Inventions with Bricks You Already Have by Sarah Dees -Harry Potter: A Pop-up Guide to Hogwarts by Matthew Reinhart and Kevin Wilson -Mary Poppins by P.L Travers and illustrated by Julia Sarda -The Very Hungry Caterpillar: 50th Anniversary Golden Edition by Eric Carle 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) by National Geographic Kids              

By |November 30th, 2018|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

Write a Novel in 30 Days with NaNoWriMo!

It’s November. Which means the air is cooler, holidays are here, and writers of all ages are rushing to create a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, is an exciting, community-driven writing exercise that challenges participants to write a novel in the month of November. As the website says, “this is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.” NaNoWriMo started in 1999 and has steadily grown. It is now a non-profit company that supports young writers programs around the county and has published its own writing guide. Last year over 400,000 people participated in NaNoWriMo. I first heard about NaNoWriMo in 2008 and have written or attempted to write novels several times since then. It’s a great writing exercise and the official website offers community forums and pep talks from published authors to give you inspiration. There is an emphasis on just getting the story out and it takes away the pressure of trying to make your story perfect. This is a great way to get your creativity out and to challenge yourself to something new. If you are in need of more inspiration before beginning NaNoWriMo, check out these books to jump start your creativity: Lost for Words by Natalie Russell Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert   And these books to help make your writing better: Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner On Writing by Stephen King   Lisa Clark is a library associate at the Erlanger Branch where she runs the adult writers group.

By |November 21st, 2018|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments