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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Snowflake Science

Yesterday we had a Snowflake Science program full of cold, wintry goodness. In case you missed the event or want to recreate the experiments at home, here is a list of the activities!

Ice Fishing


  • 4-6 Ice cubes
  • Drinking Glass
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Salt
  • Twine


  • Fill a drinking glass with water. Add a couple drops of food coloring (blue is fun to use!) and mix well. Add ice cubes to the glass. 
  • Lay a piece of twine over an ice cube.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the string and the ice cube. Wait 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Gently pull the string up and out of the glass. The ice cube should come along with it! 
How It Works: 
Salt causes ice to melt by lowering its freezing point. Just think about how we use salt on icy roads and sidewalks during the winter. In this experiment the salt causes the ice cube to melt, but the surrounding water is still so cold that it causes the ice cube to freeze again with the string.

Snow Cloud in a Jar


  • Large, wide-mouth jar 
  • Shaving Cream
  • Water
  • Food Coloring 


  • Fill a large, wide-mouth jar with water. Leave room at the top for a generous amount of shaving cream.
  • Add a few large blobs of shaving cream to the top of the water.
  • Add drops of food coloring to the shaving cream. Watch the food coloring seep down through the shaving cream and into the water. 
How It Works:
Even though you can't see them, water droplets are in the air all around you. A cloud forms when a million or so water droplets come together. When the cloud grows too heavy, gravity pulls the water droplets down as either raindrops or snowflakes. In this experiment the shaving cream represents a cloud and the food coloring represents water droplets. As the water droplets saturate the cloud, the cloud gets so heavy that it can no longer hold more water. It then "snows" down into the jar. 

Ice Cream in a Bag

  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 3 Cups Ice
  • 1/3 Cup Kosher or Rock Salt
  • 1 Gallon sized plastic bag
  • 1 Quart sized plastic bag
  • Spoon
  • Towel or oven mitts (optional)
  • Place the ice and salt in the gallon plastic bag. Set aside.
  • In the quart bag, place the half and half, vanilla, and sugar. Close and seal the bag tightly.
  • Place the quart bag inside the gallon bag and seal. 
  • Shake the bag for roughly five minutes. The bag will get cold so use oven mitts or a towel to protect your hands. 
  • When the mixture in the quart bag has an ice cream consistency, open and eat! 
How It Works:
As mentioned above, salt causes ice to melt by lowering its freezing point. Heat also helps ice to melt. In this experiment the ice mixes with the salt and pulls heat from the cream mixture in order to melt. Because the cream mixture loses heat, it becomes cold and turns into ice cream. 

Snowflake Crystals

  • Glass jar
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Pencil
  • 3 Tablespoons Borax
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Cut and twist pipe cleaners into a snowflake shape.
  • Cut a piece of yarn. Tie one end to your pipe cleaner snowflake and the other around your pencil. 
  • Heat water. For every one cup of water, add 3 tablespoons of Borax. Add the tablespoons of Borax one at a time, stirring well after each addition until the Borax completely dissolves.
  • Pour the water and Borax solution into the jar. Let your snowflake hang in the jar while the pencil rests on top. 
  • Let your snowflake hang overnight. Carefully remove the snowflake the next morning and let it dry. 
How It Works:
Crystals form when a liquid cools very slowly, or when water evaporates from a solution, leaving the remaining parts to form into geometric shapes. In this experiment the Borax and water solution cooled all through the night. The water evaporated and the Borax left behind started forming shapes (crystals) around the pipe cleaner. 

Compare and Contrast Snow:

Snow #1: Steve Spangler's Insta-Snow 
Remember watching Steve Spangler make elephant toothpaste on Ellen? He's created a polymer powder mix that grows into snow within seconds of adding a little water. Find Insta-Snow to purchase here or here. We purchased the 3.5 ounce bag from Amazon and had plenty leftover after making snow for 25 kids. 

Snow #2: Paper Towel Snow

  • 1 Full Sheet Paper Towel 
  • 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon


  • Shred a full sheet of paper towel into tiny pieces. Place pieces in a bowl.
  • Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the bowl and start to mix.
  • Slowly add vinegar to the bowl and continue mixing. Your mixture should resemble wet snow.
Snow #3: Conditioner Snow

  • 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Hair Conditioner
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Combine 1/2 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of hair conditioner in a bowl. Your mixture should resemble a dense snow that is easy to mold into shape. 
Questions to Think About:
How cold is the snow that you've made? How does it compare to the temperature of real snow?
Does it feel like snow? Look like snow?
How well can the snow be formed into a snowball?
Does the snow appear to be melting?
Can you make a hand print in the snow?

STEM Challenges:
These activities were available at stations that the kids could explore independently. 

Float the Boat:
Quick! The Abominable Snowman is after your treasure! You need a boat that will safely carry your shiny pennies across the water. Build a boat that is able to carry as many pennies as possible without sinking. You may only use aluminum foil to build your boat.

  • Aluminum foil
  • 20-50 pennies
  • Large plastic tub full of water 
Snow Sculpture:
You have been asked to create a sculpture for the school's winter skating party - the tallest sculpture the school has ever seen! Construct the tallest, freestanding structure possible with the materials provided.

  • Spaghetti Noodles
  • Mini and Jumbo-Sized Marshmallows
  • Toothpicks 
Snow Fortress:
The Abominable Snowman's cave was taken over by bats and he needs a new hideout. Create an awesome fortress for him out of the materials provided. Use a Styrofoam cup to represent the snow monster. 

  • Styrofoam cups
  • Sugar cubes
  • Marshmallows 
  • Toothpicks 
Snowflake Shapes:
Did you know that each snowflake is unique? No two snowflakes are the same! Create a unique snowflake that contains at least three different geometric shapes. 

  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Q-Tips
  • Pom poms
  • Buttons
  • Pipe cleaners 
Snow Scoop:
Oh no! There was a blizzard over night! You have to shovel the parking lot before the library opens for the day. Build a snow shovel that removes the most amount of snow possible in the least amount of time. 

  • Roasting pan or tray filled with rice 
  • Index cards
  • Aluminum foil
  • Straws
  • Masking Tape
  • Binder Clips
  • Coffee Filters
  • Rubber bands
Images and experiments can be found at Delish, Fun Learning for Kids, Little Bins for Little Hands, and The Homeschool Scientist. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

And the award goes to...

On Saturday, we concluded our voting for the Mock Caldecott Award.  Library users chose Daniel's Good Day by Micha Archer, however, it was not in the running for the actual Randolph Caldecott Award.

This morning it was announced that Kadir Nelson won the medal for Kwame Alexander's The Undefeated, which we are pleased was one of the titles in our mock awards.  Not only did Nelson take home the Caldecott Medal, he also won the illustrator's award for the Coretta Scott King award.  The book was also nominated for the John Newbery Award which is given to "the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

The John Newbery Award was given to Jerry Craft's graphic novel New Kid.

                                 For a complete list of the winners, check out 
                                     the American Library Association's list.