During the month of April the Aurora Public Library is proud to host the LifeCenter Organ Donor Network’s WALL OF LIFE. LifeCenter is the Tri-States’s independent, non-profit organ procurement organization designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote and coordinate the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation. Their mission is to save, enhance, and change lives through organ and tissue donation. The WALL OF LIFE is an educational tool that promotes LifeCenter’s mission. In the hope that the faces, personal stories and facts about donation will motivate people to support organ and tissue donation and to make an informed donation decision. The wall highlights individuals in our area who have been personally impacted by donation and transplantation. It is these faces and personal stories of donors and recipients that will continue to resonate with the individuals who view it. Come see the wall and check out this DVD which is available now: Life is Cool, Pass it on.
Did you know the Library offers more than books and movies for you to check out? We have put together some awesome online resources, fun community events, as well as really knowledgeable staff to help you out.
The Library has several online databases chalk full of information! If you need car repair information check out the Auto Repair database. Have questions about products before you buy them? Take a look at Consumer Reports to make your buying decisions easier all while finding the best prices around. See the full list here.
We also have several educational resources to help with homework, research, or even information on AR Bookfinder!
Our staff provides great service for our patrons with their wide and varied knowledge. We have some local history buffs in the Local History Library @ The Depot who can help you find all the things you ever wanted to know about the area. They are also very passionate about genealogy and can help you navigate archives or our Ancestry.com subscription. Check out more of our librarians’ interest on our Meet Your Librarians page.
The library also provides wonderful programming throughout the week and some weekends all year long. Check out our Events Calendar to plan your next visit in!
For today’s tech tip I want to share 3 of my favorite tips for getting to that elusive Inbox 0!
- Unsubscribe. Many times we sign up to get updates from different places around the internet. And while I’m sure we would love to have time to read through 50 of them we just don’t. So go ahead and unsubscribe from as many of those services as possible. If you notice yourself simply deleting the email as soon as you read the from line it is time to let it go.
- Set aside two times during the day to work on emails. One in the morning and one before you leave work. This gives you big chunks of time to deal with emails rather than fleeting moments here and there throughout the day.
- Get to every email and take action. Leaving emails in your inbox as a to-do reminder for later will let more emails pile up on top of it and it might get forgotten. This also puts the ball in another person’s court leaving your to-do list as small as possible.
These three tips have helped me get my email under control and keep it there. I hope they help you!
Parents often want to know what they can do to prepare their preschool child for reading. We are hosting a very special family event about that exact topic! Come to the Aurora Public Library on Thursday evening, April 14th from 6-7 PM. I’ll be sharing some fantastic new picture books with all of you. These books have been nominated for Indiana’s preschool book award because they encourage the kind of playful interaction that builds early literacy skills.
I’ll also show you how to help your child through talking, singing, playing, reading, and writing. After the stories, every child will get to vote for their favorite book. Votes will be collected across Indiana to determine the 2016 Firefly Winner.
This free program is for all our families with children. We’ll also be making a craft and sharing some refreshments. You may even win a door prize!
Here’s a sneak peek at the books we’ll be sharing! Mark this date on your calendar and bring a friend along.
I want to share with you a new project we have been working on at the Aurora Library Branch, we have added new shelving to the ends of our J Fiction area downstairs. We are using these shelves to highlight books that you may be interested in. The current shelves have Ghost Stories and Time Travel. I seem to get a lot of requests for ghost stories and have added a display with different books such as, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Chris Grabenstein’s The Crossroads.
This genre of books has been checking out frequently, so if those books are out…there are similar books to be found on the display. Bookmarks have been added to “keep an eye on your page”. Popularity with creepy stories such as the traditional Goosebumps series have yet to go out of style. These popular themes seem to be all the rage all year round, not only at Halloween. The stories vary from book to book, some written for the faint of heart and others that make you want to lock your doors at night. So, if you’re in the mood for a scare…take a gander at the new display set up.
Also, check back for different themes that will be on exhibit in this area. We are always looking to improve and working on catching your interest.
For those that don’t like to read, they just haven’t found the right book yet.
Sometimes we forget how difficult it is to learn to read. As children begin to master the art of sounding out words, it’s helpful to find books that will not be too overwhelming for them. Fortunately, there are lots of books published for this developmental stage. The library has a special section at each branch that we call “Beginning Chapter Books”. The easiest of these books may have only around 40 pages. The books usually have pictures on many of the pages and often the text is more spaced out on the page. Little eyes get tired as they read, and it is helpful to have some white space on the pages. The white space also makes it easier for kids to keep track of their place on the page. Short chapters provide a convenient stopping place when your little reader gets tired. Here are some suggestions of both classics and new books to help you get started in this area.
Many of you may have grown up reading the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. These are just perfect for children who are moving into chapter books.
Cynthia Rylant has lots of books for this group of readers. Finding a series that your child enjoys is wonderful. As your child reads each book, there will be familiar words, allowing the child to gain confidence in their reading ability. The Henry and Mudge and Poppleton series are a good place to begin. Later, you can step up into the The Cobble Street Cousins series.
Some of our newer series are The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin and the Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott.
Two series that began as picture books and have expanded into Beginning Chapter Books are Bad Kitty by Mick Bruel and the Black Lagoon Adventures by Mike Thaler.
As kids progress in reading ability, they can move into other series like the Nate the Great and Olivia Sharp detective stories by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Once this level of book is mastered, your children will be more than ready to tackle the books in our juvenile fiction area.
As always, make sure you ask if you need help finding just the right book for your child.
SXSW is a festival that occurs each year and one set of the festivals is all about interactive media and it just ended on March 20. Even though we didn’t get to go out ourselves this year there were some exciting new technologies that made their debut at SXSW. One that really caught my eye was Brain Power.
Brain Power is a set of applications that utilize wearable technology like Google Glass for assisting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Unlike other assistive devices where children and adults are looking at a device screen Google Glass gets them looking up and at the world around them.
If you are unfamiliar with Google Glass you should really check it out. You wear them similar to a pair of glasses but but display shows you all kinds of notifications from your device as well as allows you to make calls and even utilize these apps in cases of Autism Spectrum Disorders to help decode emotion, make eye contact, and language.
It is an exciting time in the wearables industry with new technology being developed all the time that can help people who suffer from specific disorders or just to help keep track of the amount of activity you get in a day.
During this Indiana Bicentennial year, I will be introducing you to some amazing Indiana authors. Helen Frost, a resident of Fort Wayne, is a poet, playwright and novelist all rolled into one. Writing and teaching have been the interwoven strands of her career. She has taught in far-flung locations such as California, Alaska and Scotland.
She has written over 20 non-fiction books for beginning readers, but the two shown below stand out for Frost’s descriptions of the natural world. Monarch and Milkweed explains the relationship between the butterflies and the milkweed plant in lyrical prose, and the jewel-toned illustrations by Leonid Gore help to make this one of the best monarch butterfly books you will ever find. Frost invites us to look closely at the small creatures all around us in Step Gently Out, which features close-up photography of insects by Rick Lieder.
Helen Frost is well-known for the novels-in-verse she has written for upper elementary and teen readers. Before reading one of these books, look for the author’s note that explains the poetry. Frost is always intentional in using forms of poetry that reflect the culture and characters she writes about. Her novel Keesha’s House won a Printz Honor Award in 2004 and uses sonnets and sestinas to relate a story of multiple perspectives. The Braid depicts a Scottish family separated through the immigration of some family members; the poems are braided together to represent a Celtic knot.
Diamond Willow is set in the Athabascan culture of Alaska. Frost drew inspirations for her poetry style from the scars that form when a branch of a diamond willow shrub is broken away. Look for a hidden message in the center of each diamond-shaped poem! In each of her novels, Frost uses poetry to bring deeper meaning to the stories and to enhance the reader’s experience. Salt should be of particular interest this year as a historical novel set in Indiana during the War of 1812.
Give one of these amazing books a chance, even if poetry is not something you would normally choose. You’ll be glad you did! For more information, you can watch an interview with Helen Frost posted by the Allen County Library.
As the weather warms up, many of us are busy planning what we will add in our gardens this year. We have lots of great gardening resources for both vegetable and flower gardens, so stop by and take a look through our shelves. You may want to think about adding some plants that are especially good at attracting birds or butterflies. I love to plant zinnias, because I know they will attract lots of swallowtail butterflies! We have a variety of books to help you make your plant selections with birds and butterflies in mind.
The Indiana Digital Download Center also has a large selection of gardening books available for download, including The Art of Hummingbird Gardening.
Spring is a wonderful time to explore nature with your children! The warmer weather allows you to get up close to buds and sprouts and even squishy mud. In addition to these picture books, you might try some of our non-fiction books about why we have seasons (Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn Branley) or gardening (Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy) or weather (Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons).
I’ve written before about using art as a “hook” to draw reluctant readers into books. As you share these books, take a look at all the different art styles used by the illustrators. You can usually find a small note on the back side of the title page that identifies the art media. You might even be inspired to try creating some original art work with your kids.
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano is all about anticipating seeds sprouting through the ground as the soil warms. For the illustrations, Caldecott winning artist Erin Stead created delicate pictures using wood block printing along with colored pencils. Spring Blossoms by Carole Gerber is less of a story and more of a stroll through a glade filled with flowering trees. The beautiful illustrations by Leslie Evans use a mixture of linoleum printing, watercolors and collage.
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julie Rawlinson shows the beauty of the season in pastel illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke. It’s Spring by Linda Glaser discusses lots of things that happen in nature with the coming of Spring and includes suggestions for hands-on activities. Susan Swan created the illustrations with a combination of cut paper and painting. This is part of a 4 book series about the seasons, so grab another Linda Glaser book when the season changes again.
Skunk’s Spring Surprise, written by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev has amazingly detailed illustrations that are reminiscent of the artwork of the late Richard Scarry. Although author Kevin Henkes often illustrates his own books, When Spring Comes features acrylic paintings by Laura Dronzek. Henkes and Dronzek also collaborated on Birds and Oh!.
Sharing the Seasons: a Book of Poems, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins is a book you’ll want to return to many times. Prepared to be awed by the glowing illustrations by graphic design artist David Diaz.