Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Return of the Chemistry Cave!

Some of you may remember that I had a Chemistry Cave display last summer.  I decided to bring the display back this year for our science filled summer and do even more experiments!

Experiment 1: Stalactites and Stalagmites

If you remember last year's Cave, you will also remember the infamous Stalactite and Stalagmite Growing Fail.  If you don't, let me give you the short version: the experiment didn't work.  I decided that this summer, I WOULD grow stalactites and stalagmites, no matter what! 

Here's our set up:

Two cups, one filled with Epsom Salt that had been dissolved in water, with a string stretched between them.  The desired outcome: stalactites and stalagmites growing from the string!

I waited.  I waited.  I waited.

Nothing.  Once again, I was defeated.

I will never attempt this experiment again.

Experiment 2: WASH YOUR HANDS!!! 

This next experiment was done by Cassie and our Tweens during a Tween Wednesday program.  They were talking about germs and why we should wash our hands.  For the experiment, they had two pieces of an apple.  For Apple A, as soon as they cut the piece from the apple, they sealed it up in a plastic bag.  For Apple B, they passed the slice around the group, making sure everyone had a chance to hold the apple (it even briefly hit the floor!), before placing it in a plastic bag.  They left the apples to sit to see what happened over a few days.

Remember, Apple A is the "clean" apple and Apple B is the one that was passed around the group.

Do you need to wash your hands now?

Experiment 3: The Bouncing Egg

Yes, you can make an egg bounce!  I placed a regular egg in a bowl, covered it with vinegar, and let it hang out for 24 hours.

Ok, so not much to see.  After 24 hours, I took the egg out of the vinegar and the shell was gone!  The egg also felt a little swollen and it felt SUPER GROSS!!!  But would it bounce?


 IF I had followed the instructions and dropped the egg from a height of 3 inches or less, I'm sure it would have bounced.  Good thing I did this over the sink!

 I hope you've enjoyed our Chemistry Cave!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Exciting changes are coming to the genealogy area!

On or about August 10th, a new desk will be installed near the genealogy area.  That desk will be staffed by Janice who has been doing reference and genealogy work for several years.  She will still be doing reference work and helping anyone who needs answers to questions.  She'll just be closer to the genealogy area.  Indeed this will make things easier for all who are doing genealogy research.  Believe it or not, today someone from New Mexico is doing family genealogy research and has asked several questions.  More and more, this seems to be the type of questions we are getting.  So it makes sense to have someone located in the genealogy area.  However, the desk will be "mobile" so you may occasionally see her in other areas of the library.  She is looking forward to it.

In addition to this change, the reference desk will be staffed by Lorie  from our Monrovia Branch Library.  Check out the blog written just before this one about Summer Reading.  Lorie really knows her stuff and she will be available to help anyone needing assistance on the public access internet computers and much more.  If you follow the library's facebook page, you may have seen her posts about the Monrovia Branch Library and beyond.  We are looking forward to having her here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adult Summer Reading Teams

If you have signed up for the adult summer reading program this year, you know that participants are divided up into two competing teams to see which team will read the most books over the summer.  The two teams are Team Curie and Team Einstein.  Have you signed up yet for summer reading?  It isn't too late!  Go to your branch and ask to sign up and you will receive a Literary Elements log.

Each box on the log lists an "element" and has an activity that must be completed to finish that particular element.  For example, you might be asked to read a new book, or search one of our library databases, or like our Facebook page.  Most of the "elements" entail reading different genres and it gives you the opportunity to branch out from what you might usually read.  When you finish an element, fill out a review with your name and phone number at the bottom to submit for the grand prize.

This year we are giving away either a $100 gift card or an e-reader, your choice should you win!  The more reviews you fill out the more chances you have to win.  Of course, to finish the summer reading you need only complete six elements but you are welcome to complete the entire log.  In addition, contestants are divided up into teams to make it even more exciting.  The team that reads and fills out the most reviews can claim victory!  During the first two weeks, Team Einstein was ahead but this week Team Curie came up from behind and now has a decisive lead.  Full disclosure, I am on Team Einstein and I have to ask my fellow team members, are we going to let Team Curie walk away and win this contest without a fight?  Well whatever team you are on get busy reading and submitting your reviews and enjoy all the elements that make up our summer reading program this year!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spark an Elemental, Fizz-Boom-Read Reaction!

The summer reading program is reaching escape velocity and heading for orbit. Well, maybe not quite (don't look for it in the night sky, just yet), but the program is "sparking reactions" at every branch of the library. Here at Waverly, I'm seeing patrons of every age engaged and excited by activities, contests, and the library offerings they are reading, viewing, listening to, and participating in. I know that excitement is happening at every location in the Morgan County Public Library system.

The Amazing Nano Science Show presented by WonderLab kicked off the summer with a fun and informative program. Children and parents alike learned about some of the scientific principles underlying our physical world. Various activities will continue at every branch throughout the summer. Check them out at the library's event calendar:

There are reading contests, as I'm sure you know by now, for EVERY age level of library patron. The competition is always fierce between the two teams in the adult program. This year, as Jennifer explained in a previous post, we have team Einstein facing off against team Curie. The record form, similar to previous "bingo" style game boards, is based of the period table of elements; it has been tweaked, however to encourage patrons to explore the large variety of elements offered by today's library.

Our board of posted reviews is just starting to fill up at Waverly, but I'm already struck by the range of topics and media types reflected. Book reviews ranging from Go, Dog, Go! ("one of my favorites from childhood and is now also one of my childrens'. We love Dr. Seuss.") to Absalom. Absalom ("Having not tackled Faulkner in college, I challenged myself with this amazing stream of consciousness classic . . .I could not stop reading for a week."). Not only various levels and genres of print (not to mention e-book and audio book formats) materials are present, but online resources, library programs, social media forms (like this blog!), and media downloads are part of the mix. And our patrons are busily consuming and writing reviews of all of those materials and services. As the summer progresses our review board will be filled to bursting, and you should feel free to stop by any branch and check out what your fellow patrons are saying about the resources available at your library.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

By the Numbers...

Summer has started off with a bang here at the library!  Our first full week of summer reading was full of exciting events, lots of visits from patrons, plus a ton of books, movies, audiobooks and video games were checked-out.  I thought I'd tell you more about this crazy week with a few numbers:

1.)  956:  number of Morgan County residents who signed up for summer reading in the FIRST 5 DAYS!

2.)  186:  number of adult summer reading reviews turned in during week one.  The team summer reading challenge stands at Team Curie: 88 and Team Einstein: 98.

3.) 173:  number of prize books just waiting to be claimed from the teen summer reading prize cart.  There is quite a selection too-- everything from Manga to your favorite vampire series!

4.) 65:  number of programs still to come in the month of June!  Check out our event calendar to see what we've got in store for all ages:  https://in.evanced.info/morg/lib/eventcalendar.asp?lib=ALL

5.)  89:  number of awesome Dewey Dash runners and walkers who participated in this year's 5K library fundraiser.

6.) around 16 : minutes it took the winner of the Dewey Dash to run the 3.1 mile course.  Wow, we were impressed!

We are excited to see how the rest of the summer reading season adds up!  Check back in and see what we're up to in the weeks to come!

Happy Reading,


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Did you sing that in your head as you read it?  I did as I typed it.  Why am I singing?  Because summer reading is underway and the library is THE place to be!  Summer reading, and awesome events, are available for all ages but let’s focus on what we’ve got to offer teens this summer.

Just to be clear, when I say “teen” I mean anyone entering grades six through twelve in the fall.  I know it can be a scary thing for a parent when I call their eleven year old a “teen” but that’s just the way we break things down.  Deep breaths, Dad, just because I’m calling her a teen doesn’t mean you have to!

Okay, so here’s what’s happening this summer for “teens”…

Reading = Winning
Yup, we’re into bribery.  You read, I give you prizes.  Once you get signed up, and you can do that at any of our six locations, just start reading.  We don’t care what you read we just want to know how many minutes you spend reading.  So if you sit down to breakfast and get really interested in the ingredients listed on the box of your favorite cereal and spend the whole morning reading every cereal box in the house it counts.  Just be sure to check the clock and give your self credit for all those minutes pouring (haha) over your Wheaties. 

So what exactly are you winning and exactly how much reading are we talking about?
·         250 Minutes = Knickknack of your choice (ear buds, syringe pen, sticky notes, etc.)
·         500 Minutes = Book of your choice
·         750 Minutes = Water bottle or backpack
·         1000 Minutes = T-shirt

Plus, with each of those we’ll also give you an entry in to our grand prize drawing for the winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or a $100 gift card to the location of their choice.  Want more chances to win?  Keep reading.  If you read an additional 1000 minutes, 2000 total, you’ll get another book and 10 more entries.  There are five bonus activities like writing book/game/movie reviews, attending a library program, reading non-fiction, and using new library resources that can also earn you additional entries.

More Than “Just Books”
I’m a librarian so of course I looooove getting teens to read but I’m also excited about all the AMAZING events we’ve got planned.  This past Friday we kicked-off our teen programs with a mad scientist themed party complete with science experiments, a viewing of Back to the Future, and free food.  Next up our weekly teen and tween (ages 9-12) programs start up.  We’ll have weekly programs at Main, Waverly and Brooklyn.  And there are still two more after-hours events for the summer.  Tweens are taking over the library on June 20th and our life-size game night for teens is on July 25th.  Both of those programs require registration so be sure to check our website  for more information and permission slips.  You can find the complete schedule of events for all ages on our calendar.

One of Many "Mad Scientists" at the Kick-off
Another Mad Scientist From the Kick-off

Happy Summer Reading Season,

Cassie Jones, MLS
Teen Librarian
Morgan County Public Library

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Reading Program: The Final Countdown

We're less than a week away from the start of the Summer Reading Program!  May has been crazy busy for us as we make the final preparations for the program.  Cassie and I, along with Janet and Joyce from the Youth Services Department, have been visiting schools all over the county to get kids, teens, and adults pumped up for Summer Reading.  It's always great to see everyone during these visits (yes, we recognize a lot of you because you come to the library so much!).

On top of the visits, we also have to prepare ALL THE THINGS to be sent out to our branches.  From posters to prizes, there are several things each branch needs to be ready for summer.  We also want the branch staff to have all of their materials ahead of time so they can be familiar with what's going on during the summer and can ask any last minute questions.

Then there's the decorating.....

 Team Curie vs. Team Einstein Adult Reading Program

 All decked out in Mad Scientist finery

 Ms. Janet, Queen of the Bulletin Board, Strikes Again!

 And again.....

 Finally got her to stop at board #3.  

Story Laboratory (formerly called the Story Corner)

The fun all begins on June 1st!  Be sure to stop by your local branch to find out about all of the great things happening at the library this summer.