Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Tale about the Trail Tale


    As I was out last Friday setting up the new book at Sheldon Woods, I was pleasantly surprised to discover just how much the community treasures the Trail Tale.  Due to the pandemic and some structural damages to the pedestals, the story had not been replaced during the spring.  It had been missed.  Families were cheering when I arrived to change out the book.   Adults without children were thanking me for the impact the story trail has had on the community and for all the work we do at the library.  One group of young children was very intrigued by the mechanics of the physical replacement of the pages.  I soon had a small following joining me along the trail, reading as we went. 

    Many entities throughout the country have created their own type of progressive story along a path.  I have seen book pages posted along school walls, along drop off routes for summer camps, or even inside libraries.  Apparently the idea was thought up in 2007 by a disease prevention specialist in Vermont named Anne Ferguson. The idea was simple.  Take a picture book, cut it up, laminate each page, glue them to stakes, and set them out along a walking path.  Her goal was to encourage families to get moving.  Maybe children would race each other from post to post in an attempt to finish the book before their siblings.  Maybe the books would inspire some discussions about their surroundings and encourage them to walk further along the path.  In Ms. Ferguson's attempt to help the families in her community make healthier lifestyle choices, she set up the formula that many libraries have adopted - whether they know about her or the trademarked StoryWalk® she created. I, myself, had never heard of the program until I was at a library conference despite knowing several libraries and parks that had incorporated a similar project in their communities.
    The Trail Tale at Sheldon Woods is not part of the official StoryWalk® project, but its values are the same.  Our Trail Tale was initiated in 2017 by Eagle Scout Logen Denger.  His project was to create lasting and environmentally sustainable structures to showcase the storybook pages.   The Grafton-Midview Public Library, under the leadership of Director Adele Infante, and in partnership with Lorain County Metroparks ensured that Logan's vision to "provide an opportunity [for] growing families and children to get outside, practice their reading skills together and have fun while doing it" became a reality.
   As I drove back to the library just in time to serve our free summer lunch program provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Lorain, I thought about Anne Ferguson, Logan Denger, and other people in all kinds of professions who set out to make a difference in their communities    What a gift it is to see the positive and lasting impact the work we do at the library has on the community.  What a gift it is to be a part of it.

    Visit Sheldon Woods to see one of my favorite books.  It was the first book I read at a storytime almost 20 years ago.  It is a perfect one to act out in the woods and get your family moving.  If you are like me, you will turn it into a call back song complete with a dance.  Everything is better with a song and a dance. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Don't Throw Away Your Shot... at GMPL!

Just in time for this year's Fourth of July celebrations, Disney+ started streaming the critically acclaimed, smash hit Hamilton. Hamilton, created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, made its Broadway debut in 2015 and follows the rise and fall of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton served in the American Revolutionary War, led the Treasury Department under President Washington, and was one of the most prolific interpreters and supporters of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to a powerful soundtrack that draws heavily on rap and hip hop, the Broadway production casts diverse, non-white actors to break down the barriers between the audience and the historical figures of the past. We at GMPL love Hamilton, and yes, we may have been caught singing our favorite songs at the Children's Desk! Whether you need more to feed your Hamilton fix or you're just discovering the "10 dollar Founding Father" for the first time, we have you covered! Check out our Hamilton materials below!         

Learn the catchy lyrics for the first time, or continue the musical long after you've watched the production on Disney+ with the original cast's recording. 

by Ron Chernow 
Did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda picked up Chernow's 800+ page biography of Hamilton for some light reading while on vacation? Read the book that inspired it all!  

Eliza: The Story of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton 
by Margaret McNamara 
We know all about the young, scrappy, and hungry Alexander Hamilton - but what about his wife? McNamara details how Eliza raised money for the Washington Monument, founded the first orphanage in New York State, and tirelessly preserved the legacy of her husband during the fifty years after his death. Additional goodies include Phillipa Soo's afterward, websites to explore, and a clear timeline of events.  

by L.M. Elliott 
Angelica Schuyler is wickedly smart and passionate. Her sister Eliza is generous and sweet. And then there's Peggy. "And Peggy" is finally in the spotlight in this YA novel. When Alexander Hamilton writes to Peggy Schuyler asking for help in wooing over her sister Eliza, a friendship quickly blossoms between the two. Her new friendship and her increasing involvement in the Revolutionary War finally allows Peggy grow into formidable young woman in her own right.  

by Pam Pollack
The popular biography series for kids tells the story of how an orphaned Hamilton made his way to the American colonies, studied law, served as an aid to George to Washington during the Revolutionary War and later in his presidential cabinet, designed our current financial system, and more! 

by David A. Adler
A great biography for first and second graders, Adler discusses the highlights of Alexander Hamilton's life, such as his involvement in the American Revolution, his time as the Secretary of the Treasury, and his tragic death from a duel with Aaron Burr. 

by Ellis Roxburgh
As the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton handled the fragile finances of the U.S. and designed much of our current financial system. Aaron Burr became the third Vice President of the U.S. in 1800. How did these two prominent men find themselves in a duel that ended the political career of Burr and the life of Hamilton? Roxburgh explains all the incidents that led up the deadly conflict between Hamilton and Burr.    


Monday, June 22, 2020

We're Back!

Happy Summer! Welcome back! Things look a little different, but our doors are open to the public once again. Starting Monday, June 22 our temporary hours are: 

Monday, Thursday, Friday: 12 noon - 5:30 pm 
Tuesday: 12 noon - 7:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Wednesday and Sunday: Closed 

The first hour of every day is reserved for high risk members of our community. Computers are available for adults only in 30 minute reserved sessions. WiFi is available. At this time all in-person programming, and children's toys and hands-on activities are not available. Social distancing and face masks are required. Visit our website to learn more about the precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff. 

Your health and safety are number one! Check out the activities we have planned that you can enjoy safely this summer:

Summer Reading Challenge: Our "Imagine Your Story" Summer Reading Challenge begins on Monday, June 29 and runs through Saturday, August 15. Our program will look a little different this year since it will be completely online and at home. Participants will register and log their reading minutes with Beanstack to earn badges, entries for weekly drawings, and entries for 1 of many awesome grand prizes. Beginning June 29, you can swing by the library to pick up a welcome bag with instructions. 

Free Summer Lunches: We are offering packed lunches through the Boys & Girls Club of America beginning Monday, June 29 through Friday, August 14. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm you can drive through our parking lot by the picnic table to receive a packed lunch to go. 

Weekly Crafts and Activities: We are introducing weekly grab and go crafts for you to enjoy at home. Make a fire-breathing dragon, patriotic wand, knight's catapult, and more! While supplies last. Check out our blog and the GMPL Youth Services Facebook Page for STEM challenges, scavenger hunts, and other fun activities to do at home!   

Virtual Storytimes with Miss Katie: Join Miss Katie, our favorite librarian extraordinaire, for storytime every Thursday morning at 10:30 am via Zoom. Please call, email, or visit our website or the Youth Services' Department to register. Registrants will be emailed a Zoom conference link. 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

What To Do Indoors

We are going to be spending plenty of time at home. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered all K-12 schools to close for an extended spring break to combat the spread of COVID-19. Libraries throughout the state are also closing, including the Grafton-Midview Public Library. Starting Saturday, March 14 at 5:00pm, we will be closed through Sunday, April 5. All programs, events, and meetings are cancelled. Please visit our website often for updates, as we will be assessing the situation frequently. 

We know that having the kids home for such an extended period of time can be challenging, and you may be wondering what things are available to keep them entertained and engaged. Below is list of resources and activities. While the situation surrounding COVID-19 is stressful and complicated, we hope it can also provide the opportunity for creativity, unique learning experiences, and quality time.

Through your Library: 
There are plenty of free resources to explore with your library card!

Kanopy is an award-winning video streaming service with thousands of independent and documentary films. 

The Ohio Digital Library (Overdrive) allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines. Enjoy your next book on your mobile device or computer. You can read, listen, or watch instantly! You can also download Libby from your mobile app store to instantly borrow thousands of ebooks and audiobooks. 

Early World of Learning through the Ohio Web Library offers videos, games, stories, and activities for preschoolers. 

World Book Kids through the Ohio Web Library has plenty of pictures, videos, dictionary entries, science projects, biographies, and games for children. Simply choose a topic and explore! 

More Online:   
PBS and NPR have excellent articles about explaining the coronavirus to your children. The PBS website also includes plenty of games and mobile apps based on their popular shows, and lists of crafts and recipes to try. There are also free coloring pages available.

If you’re looking for more free and printable coloring pages, make sure to check out Crayola, Disney, Just Color Kids, and Hello Kids.

Ben Clanton, the bestselling author and illustrator of the Narwhal and Jelly series, will be having two Facebook Live sessions: March 18th at 11am PST and March 20th at 2pm PST. Get ready to talk about waffles, create some awesome drawings, and more!

Want to see Oprah reading The Hula-Hoopin' Queen? Or Allison Janney reading Carla's SandwichStoryline Online has videos of famous actors reading some of the most celebrated and entertaining children's books.    

Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with museums around the world to provide virtual tours. Visit the British Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Van Gogh Museum, the Uffizi Gallery, and more without leaving the comfort of your couch.

Disney+ just announced they will start streaming Frozen 2 three months ahead of its expected release.

Scholastic has created a free digital learning hub with daily activities for children in PreK through 6th grade. Four weeks of learning activities are provided, roughly the length of schools’ extended spring breaks. Each activity is built around a story or a video. For example, a lesson centered around spiders invites children to watch Diary of a Spider, read A Spiderling Grows Up, watch a video on how spiders catch their food, and invent their own kind of spider.

Code Monster, Scratch, and SwiftPlaygrounds are some of the free resources available to teach children how to code. 

TED Talks aren’t just for adults! TED Ed offers a wide variety of videos on topics like vultures, Viking ships, myths, black holes, and more.

National Geographic Kids has an awesome array of videos, games, polls, quizzes, and fun facts for kids to explore.

The Smithsonian Institution offers a free Learning Lab with stories, videos, and activities for topics in history and art. 

Potential Activities: 
Build a fort with blankets or cardboard boxes.

Go outside! While places around the state are restricting or cancelling activities outside of the home, you can still safely spend time in your own backyard. Bring out the balls, jump ropes, and sidewalk chalk. As the weather continues to get warmer, see what kinds of plants, birds, and bugs you can identify. 

Try a new recipe. Make mini pizzas or bake a batch of cookies. Delish, Food Network, and Tasty offer a list of easy recipes that children can make. 

Make mazes or puzzles for each other to solve. Pull out the board games and have a family game night!

Get dressed up in your best and have a fancy tea party. Make sure to invite your favorite stuffed animals! 

Create a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt around the house. Some of the scavenger hunts we have had at the Library simply involved finding common items, such as finding the salt shaker in the kitchen or finding a book with a red cover. 

Try doing a science experiment at home. Most experiments only require kitchen staples like vinegar, baking soda, or water. Check out Science Fun, Little Bins for Little Hands, Science Kiddo, and Kidspot for inspiration. Mystery Science is offering a limited number of free memberships for up to one year, with video lessons and instructions for experiments.

Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest.

Use hallways for classic games such as "Red Light, Green Light" and "Leap Frog."

Have a reading or movie marathon.

Have an indoor camp out with sleeping bags, a tent, board games, stories, and s'mores. You don't even need a campfire for s'mores. Check out this recipe for a fun alternative. 

Make some paper bag puppets and put on a puppet show.

Turn on your favorite music and have a dance party! Or create your own musical instruments and have a parade. This video shows you how to make a kazoo out of a toilet paper roll, a rubber band, and some wax paper. 

Make your own air-dry clay and create a beautiful masterpiece! This easy, stove-top recipe requires only three ingredients. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Kindness is in Bloom in the Children's Room

"No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted."  
from Aesop's The Lion and the Mouse 

March 2nd marked the 116th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's birthday.  In the spirit of the inspiration Mr. Geisel brought to the world, and to children's literacy in particular, we want to show our gratitude for all people (and animals) who remind us of our best selves.  This month is a great time to visit the Children's Room at GMPL as we promote our 2020 Kindness Campaign.

As March is Women's history month, we have created a display to honor herstory's great women, in particular their acts of kindness.  Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt was the USA's first ambassador to the United Nations?  Or that Sacagawea made that 4000 mile journey alongside Lewis and Clark with her newborn baby strapped to her back?  Wow! And what about that Jane Goodall who lived with the chimpanzees?!  She has dedicated her whole life to learning and educating the world about the lives of these wonderful animals.

Children may do their own animal search in the library as they take part in the Kindness Critter scavenger hunt all month long.  Can you find the vulture, the worm, the shark or the salamander?  They are waiting to be discovered among the books.  Find out what these special animals offer our world.  You might think twice before stepping on that spider!  It is soft and cuddly, afterall!

Speaking of soft and cuddly, on Saturday March 21 at 2pm dress in your favorite sweater to honor Mister Rogers.  It is his birthday.  Soooo... there will be crafts, games, and cake.  CAKE!  Need I say more?

It's You I Like

It's you I like.
It's not the things you wear
It's not the way you do your hair
But it's you I like.

The way you are right now
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you
Not your toys
They're just beside you.

But it's you I like.
Every part of you
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.

I hope that you'll remember
Even when you're feeling blue
That it's you I like
It's you yourself
It's you 
It's you I like!

by Mister Fred Rogers

Lastly, we are so pleased to take part in a special all ages book club celebrating R.J. Palacio's Wonder.  Children may read this book with their parents and come to the discussion on Wednesday, March 25 from 10-11am, Thursday March 26 from 6:30-7:30 pm, or Monday, March 30 from 6:30-7:30 pm.  There will be snacks and a surprise activity.  We are also giving away some really fun prizes.  Just write down an act of kindness on one of our kindness tabs and turn it into the circulation desk for a chance to win.  

Just remember that being kind always pays whether you win a prize or not.