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DUKE Energy Becomes a Partner in Library’s STEM Efforts

If you have driven by the Erlanger Branch Library recently, you may have wondered what’s going on. Last fall, construction started on three projects at the branch: a makerspace, a large auditorium/meeting room and a separate building to house the administration offices. Far left Executive Director, Dave Schroeder, Board of Trustees (left to right): Douglas Stephens, Louise Canter, Susan Mospens, Casey Ruschman (Duke Energy), Julie Roesel Belton, Dan Humpert On Tuesday, May 15, Duke Energy gave a big boost to this anxiously awaited project. Duke Energy presented the Kenton County Public Library Board of Trustees with a $10,000 grant that will go towards materials and equipment for the new makerspace. Republic Bank was the first sponsor of the makerspace with a donation of $5,000. Schultz Marketing and Communications and The Lawrence Firm, PSC, have also contributed.   Many ask “what is a makerspace?”  By definition, it is a place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. The Library provides the space, equipment and materials, and visitors are the makers.   The Library’s Executive Director Dave Schroeder explains why this space is so important.  “As we look toward the future, we realize there is great need for a stronger focus to provide STEM and STEAM related activities.  STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking[1].  However we at the Library have realized that while STEM and STEAM are wonderful movements, there is one critical component being left out – reading.”   Schroeder goes on to explain, “Without having a strong [...]

Preparing Your Child For Preschool

The summer can be a busy season for most preschool teachers and parents.  We've been cooped up with the kids all winter long and even in the spring (as I write this April, 15th there is snow on the ground). As the mom of 4-year-old and 8-month-old boys I know how much energy has been stored up through the winter and needs to be released. My 4-year-old Aiden wants to run, play and get as dirty as possible outside so I have to get creative about reading and preparing my son for preschool. Five Tips to Prepare Your Child For Preschool 1. Take Reading Time Outside - We read in our yard and at the park so we can get our outside and reading time in. I try to select books that are about nature, animals or include a summer activity…..like riding a bike. One of our favorites to take outside is “Froggy Rides a Bike” by Jonathan London.  My son was ready to learn to ride his bike after reading about how Froggy gets his first bike. 2. Take Advantage of Down Time - Early childhood literacy skills can be taught through activities, not just reading. We take advantage of our time when going for walks or driving in the car. I ask Aiden what different things we see are so that he can learn new words and associate it with an image. Our favorite game is saying the letters on street signs. Aiden says the letters, I tell him what the word is and he repeats it. 3. Sing - We sing a lot.  Songs and rhymes can help build vocabulary and develop sound discrimination. Both skills are crucial to the development of literacy. The size [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Racing to Read 5K Walk & Run Registration Giveaway!

The Kenton County Public Library Foundation's Racing to Read 5K Run & Walk is Saturday, June 8. We are giving away a free registration and a water bottle! You can register to win below. Reasons to run in the Racing to Read 5K:  • CHIP TIMED! • Great prizes! Family friendly! • Participants receive a T-shirt with registration (while supplies last) • Beautiful course throughout downtown Covington • Free pancakes from First Watch after the race • Family-friendly, circus performers • Voted Best of NKY by NKY Magazine in 2012 • Proceeds benefit early childhood literacy efforts           Awards: • Prizes from Better Bodies, Silverlake the Family Place, Road ID, Bob Roncker’s Running Spot and more! • Overall M/F, runner/walker: 1st, 2nd, 3rd win prizes • First place in running and walking age division wins prize • Stroller: overall 1st, 2nd, 3rd place finishers win prize Divisions: • Running (13 categories): 14/under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30- 34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70/over • Fitness Walking (6 categories): 29/under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70/over. Walkers must walk the entire course. Walkers who run may be disqualified. • Stroller: overall 1st, 2nd, 3rd place finishers win prize Pre-registration: Postmarked by Monday, June 3 $20 individual (do not pay for children in strollers). Includes a T-shirt while supplies last. Online registration: www.runningtime.net. Available through Thursday, June 6, 2013. Packets will be available for pick-up on Friday, June 7 at Gateway Community & Technical College, 525 Scott Blvd, Covington from 11:45-4:30 p.m. Race day registration takes place at: Gateway Community & Technical College, 525 Scott Blvd, Covington: $25, begins at 7:30 a.m. Includes a T-shirt* Checks or money order only. Please make [...]

Prom Tips

It’s prom time, so let’s talk about hair and makeup! If there’s one thing I (Jessy the Librarian) love as much as stories, it’s probably lipstick. Or maybe eyeliner. One of the best place I’ve found for (non-video) makeup/hair tutorials is The Beauty Department. I love the idea of taking this studded eyeliner but using crystals and liner in different colors. This is definitely the sort of thing I would run a trial on first. Test out creating the look, then have a backyard dance party or just jump around a lot—make sure those crystals stay put! When it comes to pretty hair, my own personal taste is basically “shove it all up behind your head in a messy chignon or at the nape of your neck in a messy bun with lots of pretty bobby pins." But this isn’t a blog about what Jessy the Librarian would dress up like; it’s full of tips and tricks and DIYs for all sorts of tastes! If you have straight hair (or want to straighten your hair for prom), Martha Stewart has lots of guides. If you have curly hair, there are guides for pretty updos here and here. Want more ideas for prom hair and makeup? Check out our prom-related pinterest board! This post was written by Durr Young Adult Librarian Jessy.

Cincinnati Ballet Surprise Giveaway

The Kenton County Public Library is giving away a voucher for two tickets to the Cincinnati’s Ballet’s Prodigal Son. You get to pick the date: March 22 or 23. This triple bill includes Prodigal Son, Extremely Close and Concerto #4. The choreography for the Prodigal Son is done by George Balanchine and the music by Sergei Prokofiev, performed by Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Carmon DeLeone. The Prodigal Son serves as a reminder of unconditional love. Prodigal Son stands as an enduring testament to the redemptive grace of a father’s love and the power of forgiveness as a wayward son finds his way back home. In conjunction with Prodigal Son, Cincinnati Ballet is pleased to present Extremely Close. The music and dance are weaved together to provide a thought-provoking and beautiful piece. Concerto #4 is a world premiere work, choreographed and created by Cincinnati Ballet’s own Associate Artistic Director Devon Carney. Set to the fourth composition of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, Concerto #4 “is a work without story,” says Carney. How the Giveaway Works: You can enter several ways. The more times you enter, the more chances you have to win. Enter by noon on Friday, March 15. We will randomly choose a winner who will be announced on our Facebook page and emailed. 1. Comment on this post saying why you want the tickets (required to enter). 2. Become a fan of the Kenton County Public Library Facebook page and comment here that you did. 3. Share this contest through Twitter, Facebook, email or text and comment here that you did. 4. Follow this blog by hitting follow and comment that you did. Disclaimer: The Cincinnati Ballet gave the Library the two tickets to giveaway to one lucky winner. The winner must [...]

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.

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 [...]

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 [...]