It’s International Left-Handers Day!

August 13th is International Left Handers Day! This holiday was created to celebrate all the lefties that have mastered living in a right-handed world. Celebrate by taking your left-handed friends out for coffee or lunch! If you’re right-handed, try using your left hand all day! If you’re left-handed, show your pride by posting on social media with #LeftHandersDay!

  1. Four of the last 6 presidents were left-handed!
  2. Twins are more likely to be left-handed!
  3. Lefties make up about 10% of the population.
  4. Lefties have an advantage in sports because righties typically only train against other righties.
  5. The majority of lefties are male.

 


  1. Oprah Winfrey
  2. Queen Elizabeth II
  3. Tom Cruise
  4. Morgan Freeman
  5. Albert Einstein

Trying to find a left-handed desk in a sea of right-handed ones.

Using a can opener that clearly wasn’t made for you.

The dreaded ink and pencil smudge.


 

                          



			

It’s National Cheesecake Day!

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day! Take the time today to enjoy a slice. Stop by the store to pick one up, or stay tuned for a recipe to try at home!

The cheesecake is thought to have gotten its start in Ancient Greece. The earliest mention of a cheesecake is by the Greek physician Aegimus in a book he wrote on the art of making cheesecakes. However, a more modern version called a sambocade (pictured left), made with elderflower and rose water, can be found in Forme of Cury, an English cookbook from 1390. This has led to chef Heston Blumenthal to argue that the cheesecake is actually an English invention. The name cheesecake has been used since the 1400s; however, the cheesecake as we know it did not evolve until the 1700s when Europeans began removing yeast from the recipe and replacing it with beaten eggs instead. Modern cheesecake now comes in two forms: the regular baked cheesecake, and the unbaked cream cheese cheesecake on graham cracker crust that was invented in the United States.

Prep: 15 minutes

Inactive: 8 hours

Cook: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Serves 8-10


Ingredients

Crust

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch fine salt

Filling

2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups sour cream

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Topping

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Berries, optional


Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
  2. For the crust: Melt the butter, covered in the microwave, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, or a saucepan. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the pan, taking care to get the crust evenly into the edges. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool. Wrap the bottom and up the sides of the pan with foil and put in a roasting pan.
  3. For the filling: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed with a hand-held mixer until smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat just until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Slowly beat in the sour cream, then eggs, vanilla and both citrus zests; take care not to over whip. Pour into the cooled crust.
  4. Bring a medium saucepan or kettle of water to a boil. Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (don’t pull the rack out of the oven). Pour in enough hot water to come about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes—the outside of the cake will set but the center will still be loose.
  5. For the topping: Stir together the sour cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Spread over the top of the cooked cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Turn the oven off, cook the cheesecake in the residual heat in the oven for about 1 hour. This gentle finish minimizes the risk of the dreaded crack in your cheesecake.
  6. Remove cheesecake from the roasting pan to a rack. Run a knife around the edges and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. Bring cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Remove the springform ring. Dip a knife in warm water, wipe dry before slicing each piece. Serve with berries, if desired.

Recipe taken from Food Network.

Prep: 20 minutes

Inactive: 8 hours and 20 minutes

Cook: 0 minutes

Serves 10-12


Ingredients

Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12-14 full sheet graham crackers)

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

three 8-ounce blocks full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 


Instructions

  1. Make the crust: Stir the graham cracker crust ingredients together. Pour into a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan and pack in very tightly. The tighter it’s packed, the less likely it will fall apart when cutting the cheesecake. I recommend using the bottom of a measuring cup to pack it into the bottom and up the sides. You can watch me do this in the video above. Freeze for 10-20 minutes as you prepare the filling.
  2. Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream into stiff peaks on medium-high speed, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed until perfectly smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and combined. Make sure there are no large lumps of cream cheese. If there are lumps, keep beating until smooth.
  4. Using your mixer on low speed or a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling until combined. This takes several turns of your rubber spatula. Combine slowly as you don’t want to deflate all the air in the whipped cream.
  5. Remove crust from the freezer and spread filling into crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth down the top.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours and up to 2 days. For best results, 12 hours is best. I chill mine overnight. The longer refrigerated, the nicer the no-bake cheesecake will set up.
  7. Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean between each slice.
  8. Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe taken from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Want more desserts? We have a book for that!

                            

It’s International Make Music Day!

June 21st is International Make Music Day! This holiday began in 1982 when France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed of a musical holiday. A day where free live music would be everywhere; street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and mountaintops would all be filled with the sound of music. And thus, Fête de la Musique, was born. A festival featuring free concerts in locations all around the city of Paris. Since then, the festival has become an international phenomenon. Make Music Day is now celebrated in more than 700 cities in 120 countries, including China, Germany, Greece, Brazil, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Performers of any age and skill level are encouraged to join in on the music-making. The only caveats for these festivals are that the concerts must be free to the public, and all performers are to donate their time free of charge.

In North America

Twelve years ago, the Fête de la Musique crossed the Atlantic with the debut of Make Music New York. The event began as a grassroots initiative by a team of volunteers and quickly became a city-wide event. Today, around 5,000 New York musicians perform in more than 1,000 free outdoor concerts every year. The festival was so popular in New York that it soon spread throughout North America. In 2019, 85 North American cities organized free concerts at 1,862 locations. All on a single day.

Locally, the closest Make Music Day festival is located in Cincinnati. Last year, Make Music Cincinnati held concerts in over 100 locations throughout the city.

2020 Festival

Due to the threat of COVID-19, Make Music Day will look a little different this year. Make Music is exploring new ways to continue the tradition of making music, while also following all the appropriate guidelines. One of the ways they are doing this is by changing their Sousapalooza event (an invitation for hundreds of brass, wind, and percussion players to come together and sight-read the music of John Philip Sousa), to the World’s Smallest Marching Band. In this event, individual brass and wind players will parade through cities, by themselves, playing band repertoire to people listening from their homes or workplaces.

The organization is also encouraging musicians to utilize social media, and post videos of themselves making music. “In this time of social distancing, music’s powerful role to bring us together as a community is more important than ever,” said Make Music Alliance President Aaron Friedman. “While physical public gatherings may not be currently accessible, we can still stay connected and celebrate music with people around the world on June 21.”


Are you a musician? It’s your time to shine! You can participate in Make Music Day by posting a video or going live on social media with the hashtag #MakeMusicDay

Still honing your music skills? We have a book for that!

                    

 

It’s National Kitten Day!

When it comes to holidays, July 10th is the most puuurfect of all! It’s National Kitten Day! This holiday was created to raise awareness of the importance of spaying or neutering your pets and adopting shelter pets! Don’t know how to celebrate today’s holiday? Consider donating money or supplies to your local shelter! We’re celebrating with adorable kitten gifs!

Check out some of our books on cats and kittens right meow!

                       

 

It’s National Best Friends Day!

June 8th is National Best Friends Day! This lighthearted holiday began in 1935 when the US Congress decided to devote a day to close friends. National Best Friends Day has given rise to other national holidays such as Friendship Day, Women’s Friendship Day, and an entire week called Old Friends, New Friends Week. The holiday has gained popularity over the last 5 years due to the rise of social media, and even has its own hashtag to go with it. Don’t forget to show your friends some love on social media today with the hashtag #nationalbestfriendsday

 

Check out some of our books on friendship!

                                  

It’s National Paper Airplane Day!

May 26th is National Paper Airplane Day! This day commemorates the aeronautical toy that you know and love!

A Brief History of Paper Airplanes

Though most historians agree that the paper airplane was most likely invented in Ancient China, there is also evidence of paper gliders being used in Japan around the same time. That being said, experts have been unable to pinpoint an exact time and location of the first paper airplane. They only know that they have been flown for centuries all over the world.

Paper airplanes gained popularity in the United States during World War II when it was no longer possible to make toys out of plastic or metal. Some of the more popular planes at this time were designed by Wallis Rigby. He published his models as books or box sets, and his designs had a “tab and slot” construction. Rigby’s models are considered collector’s items today.

More recently, with the popularity of paper airplanes growing, enthusiasts around the world started some friendly competition and began attempting world records. Guinness World Records recognizes two main paper airplane records. The first, the farthest flight by a paper aircraft, was achieved in 2012 by Joe Ayoob and aircraft designer John M. Collins in the United States. Ayoob flew the aircraft designed by Collins 226 feet and 10 inches. The second, the longest flying paper aircraft, was achieved in 2010 by Takuo Toda in Japan. Toda’s plane was airborne for 29.2 seconds.

Make Your Own Paper Airplane

Follow these steps to make a basic paper airplane!

Begin with a piece of regular 8.5″ by 11″ paper.

Fold the paper in half vertically. Once you create a crease, unfold the paper again.

Fold the top two corners into the center crease.

Fold the top edges into the center crease.

Fold the paper in half along your original center crease.

Fold the wings down, matching the top edges up with the bottom edge of the body.

Add some tape to hold the wings together, and you’re finished!

 

Check out some of our books on paper airplanes!

                                           

Happy flying!

 

 

 

It’s National Limerick Day!

Did you know that May 12th is National Limerick Day? A limerick is a type of poetry, usually humorous and frequently rude, that uses anapestic meter and follows an AABBA rhyming scheme. To help give you a better understanding of how they work, here’s a limerick about limericks.

Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology of limericks, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene. He described the clean limerick as a “periodic fad and object of magazine contests, rarely rising above mediocrity.” However, Edward Lear, who was widely considered the father of limericks, wrote numerous comical, nonsensical, clean limericks that are extremely popular and well known. Here is one of his most well known limericks, “There was an Old Man with a Beard.”

Here’s another limerick to help you celebrate National Limerick Day!

Maine author Bette Stevens has a terrific double limerick about Monarch butterflies on her blog.

 

This blog also has a nice link to a page by Kenn Nesbitt on how to write a limerick.

 

 

 

 

 

All these fun limericks inspired me to write my own about the library! However, I quickly realized “library” is hard to rhyme. So please enjoy my limerick about not being able to rhyme library.

National I Love Yarn Day

There is a day to celebrate everything, and October 13 is National I Love Yarn Day! What could this day possibly have to do with the library?

If you love to craft, chances are you’ve checked out a how-to or DIY crafting book from us at one time or another. We have plenty of yarn crafting titles available for you to check out from the Library’s physical or digital collections for all levels:

A Beginner’s Book of Knitting and Crocheting by Xenia Ley Parker

Sewing with Yarn: An Introduction to Sewing by Hand by Barbara Carmer Schwartz

One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favorites

Yarn Crafts by Linda Hetzer

The Knitter’s Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn by Clara Parkes

Let’s Knot: A Macramé Book by Donna M. Lightbody

Sock Yarn: One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant

The Knitters’ Book of Socks by Clara Parkes

Knitting for Dummies by Pam Allen

Mastering Color Knitting by Melissa Leapman

Brave New Knits by Julie Turjoman

The Knitter’s Book of Wool by Clara Parkes

60 Crocheted Snowflakes by Barbara Christopher

Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller

Christmas Ornaments to Crochet by Barbara Christopher

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman

Luxury Yarn: One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant

And so much more! We also have magazines filled with patterns, designs, and project inspiration that you can check out, too! Discover a new hobby or rekindle an old one this October 13. Someone could always knit me a scarf or a blanket or something; I’m not picky!

Happy Reading!

National Days in May

Looking for an excuse to celebrate? Check out these celebration days in May! Follow the links to find materials that correlate with these special days.

May 1 is May Day & National Mother Goose Day

May 3 is National Paranormal Day & National Day of Prayer

May 4 is National Star Wars Day (May the Fourth — get it?) & National Space Day

May 5 is National Cartoonists Day & Cinco de Mayo

May 8 is National Teacher Appreciation Day

May 9 is National Lost Sock Memorial Day

May 12 is National Limerick Day

May 13 is Mother’s Day

May 18 is National Pizza Party Day & National Endangered Species Day

May 19 is National Armed Forces Day

May 24 is Red Nose Day

May 25 is National Brown-Bag It Day

May 28 is Memorial Day

May 30 is National Creativity Day & National Senior Health and Fitness Day

May 31 is National Speak in Sentences Day

So, how are you going to celebrate?

Happy Reading!

Family Literacy Day!

November 1 is Family Literacy Day! Here are some ways in which you can celebrate as a family:

The most common way to celebrate Family Literacy Day is to read some short books or chapters in a long book together as a family. Make it a habit and read together every night before bed. This can be a great bonding experience for you and your family, not to mention it will relax everyone and prepare you for sleep. Now it’s easier than ever to include the whole family with video chatting features like Skype and FaceTime; family members traveling or who live far away can now interact with each other effortlessly.

You can read traditional physical books of your own or one that you checked out from the library, or you can visit the virtual library on the Indiana Digital Download Center. With your library card and pin numbers, you’ll have access to thousands of books with just the click of a button. You can download them to any kind of electronic device, like a laptop, iPad, Kindle, smartphone Nook, etc., or you can read directly from your browser.

Are you always on the go and don’t always have the time to sit down and read with your family? You can also listen to audio books in the car running errands, going for walks, or while you’re cooking dinner. Family Literacy Day is all about celebrating all forms of literacy, which includes reading comprehension; you can practice comprehension skills by following along as you listen closely. You can check out audio books on CD from the Aurora Public Library District or you can check out a digital audio book that can be downloaded directly to your smart phone or other listening devices.

Include fun family games with emphasis on reading, like Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, Scrabble, Boggle, or Headbanz/Head’s Up in your family game nights. A great way to encourage reluctant readers to read is by playing these fun games together as a family. Incorporate learning and literacy into your regular routine by having a family game night once a week.

You could have a book-themed dinner with dishes inspired by your family’s favorite books (Pinterest is a great website for finding recipes!). Everyone can help preparing the food and you could have trivia questions about your favorite books to challenge each other. Why save this fun meal for Family Literacy Day? You could do this once a month with the different books your family reads together each month.

And, finally, make it a point to visit the library together as a family. It is important to instill how imperative literacy is in your children from a very young age so that they’ll always appreciate reading and learning. Visit the Aurora Public Library District on a regular basis as a family because we love to see you!

Happy Reading!