Friday, August 28, 2015

Community Collaboration

"You can never underestimate the power of a community collaboration."

- Kristi Chadderdon, Public Relations Professional, La Porte County Public Library

What do you get when you mix creativity with skilled people and determination? Exciting innovation and new opportunities for everyone in the community to learn! This is precisely what has happened over the last year as the La Porte County Public Library has collaborated with community members in the creation of a makerspace which we call Spark Labs.

We have been teaching classes on electrical circuitry with Squishy Circuits, on synthesizers and light with LittleBits, on 3D printing and scanning, as well as on soldering. And that's just the tip of the iceberg to come as we continue to expand the community's access to tools and technology that have relevance in today's world. So, stay tuned because there's more to come!

Earlier this month Allen County Public Library hosted their annual Library Camp to inspire innovation in library employees around the state of Indiana. With the hope of inspiring other libraries to collaborate with community members and create more makerspaces, Kristi Chadderdon and Pam Okosun shared the story of the Spark Labs creation here at the library.

Are you interested in the story of how the Spark Labs was created? Watch the slideshow in this link:
Have No Fear - One Spark is All it Takes.

And then take the plunge! Do you have maker skills to share? Are you a do-it-yourself aficionado? We welcome volunteers who want to share and teach skills. We want to hear from you. Fill out a volunteer application and bring it to the library today. Let's collaborate!

The Fabulous Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

I recently stumbled on Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix. I was instantly hooked. Not only do I like a good mystery with clever banter, I pretty much want to own every outfit in Phryne Fisher's wardrobe. Set in Melbourne, Australia, the costuming shows of the best of '20s style.
The books are based on the novels of Kerry Greenwood. So if you can't get your hands on the DVDs, Kerry's books are readily available. If you're already of fan of Miss Fisher and would like to read books with strong women leads in unconventional roles for their time period, you might check out some of these series:

Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries by Carrie Bebris
Lady Darby Mysteries by Anna Lee Huber
Bess Crawford Mysteries by Charles Todd
Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson
Molly Murphy Mysteries by Rhys Bowen
Lady Emily Mysteries by Tasha Alexander
Maggie Hope Mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal

Book Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Lord Ballister Blackheart never asked for a sidekick.  He was doing just fine on his own with his villainy and random acts of sabotage against Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. 

Then along comes Nimona—a shapeshifting superfan of Lord Blackheart’s work with a knack for mischief. 

At first Lord Blackheart isn’t impressed.  He does his best work alone, and he’s currently preparing for the biggest of all schemes.  Still…an extra shapeshifter that wants to help wouldn’t be too bad of an idea. 

Reluctantly, Lord Blackheart lets Nimona do some simple jobs, which she accomplishes successfully with rather…explosive…results.  He isn’t sure he can trust her unpredictable nature, that is, until she gets him out of a tight jam with mysterious, powerful, and dark abilities.  

Who is Nimona?  What is she capable of?  And why does she want to be just a villain’s sidekick?    

All these questions will be answered and MORE when you pick up Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.  Still unconvinced this will be an awesome read?  Check out Noelle Stevenson’s website here to read the first two chapters.    

As a webcomic, Nimona was nominated for the Harvey Award for Best Online Comics Work and won the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic.  If you’ve read Nimona and liked it, be sure to check out Lumberjanes—another book Noelle Stevenson helped write with three other authors.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spread Your Wings! Learn about Flight!

Have you ever been on a bumpy airline flight or encountered bad weather during landing in the Windy City? It can be a little nerve-racking to say the least. But believe me (yes, I have some experience), after a safe landing the passenger cabin exhales a huge, collective sigh of relief, and the passengers typically erupt into loud applause for the pilots. Way to go pilots!!

Recent reports from the FAA document that there is a looming pilot shortage as senior pilots retire and the numbers of young people training to be pilots have declined. So there are great opportunities on the horizon for those interested in becoming pilots. Just imagine: Wouldn't it be cool to be a medical doctor or a teacher and know how to fly?!

If you are curious about what it takes to become a pilot or what flying is like, we have a great opportunity for you! On Saturday, September 12, we have a pilot and a retired air traffic controller (who is also a pilot) visiting the library. You can learn about how to fly an airplane and what it takes to become a pilot. You'll also have an opportunity to try flying on a home-built flight simulator!

Flight simulator images.
Take off and land using a flight simulator.
This event is for families with children ages 10 and up. Both morning and afternoon sessions are available. Registration is required and space is limited so sign up today! 

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Watch it! Tweet it to Taylor @taylorswift13 #SignMyName
Spread the library love with whomever you know! 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Reduce Your Family's Stress with Yoga

The Yoga Game

Back to school! It's an exciting time for kids and parents, but with new changes and expectations for both of you it can be stressful. A fun way to reduce stress is yoga! Yoga can help kids relax, focus, and sleep better. Here are some simple yoga poses from your whole family can practice right in your living room:

  1. Sun – Sun Salute or Extended Mountain Pose
    (Stand tall in Mountain Pose, look up, reach your arms up to the sky, and place your palms together.) 
  2. Tree – Tree Pose
    (Stand on one leg, bend your opposite knee, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh, and balance. Sway like a tree in the breeze.)
  3. Bird – Warrior 3 Pose
    (Stand on one leg. Extend the other leg behind you. Bend your torso forward and take your arms out in front of you to pretend that you are flapping your wings like a bird.)
  4. Rain – Standing Forward Bend
    (From Mountain Pose, bend your upper body, reach for your toes, and hang your arms like the falling rain.)
  5. Planting a Garden – Squat Pose
    (Come down to a squat and pretend to plant seeds in the garden.)
  6. Caterpillar – Locust Pose
    (Lie on your tummy with your arms stretched out front and inch along a leaf like a caterpillar.)
  7. Bee – Hero Pose
    (Come back to rest upright on your heels, buzz with your arms, and practice a humming breath.)
  8. Butterfly – Cobbler’s Pose
    (Sit on your buttocks with a tall spine, bend your legs, place the soles of your feet together, and gently flap your legs like the wings of a butterfly.)
  9. Flower – Flower Pose
    (Come to sit on your buttocks with a tall spine, lift your legs, balance on your sitting bones, touch the soles of your feet together, and weave your arms under your legs.  Pretend to blossom like a flower.)
  10. Relaxing in the Park – Resting Pose
    (Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out. Breathe and rest.  Close your eyes and imagine the sights and sounds in the park.)

Interested in learning more about the benefits of yoga. Here are some additional resources:

Benefits of Yoga for Kids: PBS

Benefits of Yoga for Kids: Parent Magazine,0,50,0,1,bks,1/466/0,0,50,0,4,bks,1/473/0,0,50,0,49,bks,1/486/0

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What We Read: La Porte County Public Library staff share what they are reading!

Peter Sis

A boy with ice cream on his mind retells his summer to his grandfather. A picture book sprinkled with historic facts on ice cream. 
 ~Sherry Thompson, Youth Services Librarian

Rebecca Solnit

Seven essays on how women are treated in America and around the world. One essay is responsible for launching the term, "mansplaining." Solnit uses wit and humor while connecting the link between gender inequalities and power. 
 ~Sherry Thompson, Youth Services Librarian

In the Unlikely Event
Judy Blume

Judy Blume was one of my favorite authors growing up so I love that she's writing adult books now!  If only R.L. Stine would start writing adult horror... 
 ~Toni Kester, Branch and Outreach Services Librarian

The Magicians
Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater suddenly finds himself accepted into a prestigious college for magic. The only problem? He didn't believe magic was real until today.
 ~Lydia Daniels, Youth Services Librarian

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Gabrielle Zevin

It's just the right amount of light, fast, breezy read that I needed after The Goldfinch.
 ~Pam Okosun, Adult Services Librarian

Me Before You 
Jojo Moyes

I'm rereading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes in anticipation of After You!
 ~Jenny Minich, Community Librarian

Superman: Earth One trilogy
Michael J. Straczynski

It's an alternate origin story. Clark Kent moves to Metropolis and reveals himself to the world as Superman.
 ~Brent McCrery, IT Public Services Paraprofessional

Attracting Native Pollinators 
Xerces Society Guide 

A technical and exhaustive guide to the bees and butterflies of North America, the ecosystems they rely upon and the threats they are currently facing. The recommendation by Dough Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home should be all you need to know. 
 ~Dale Boyan, IT Professional

Night Night, Sleep Tight
Hallie Ephron
Full of suspense mixed with old Hollywood glitz and glamour. So far, so good!
 ~Jan Ebsch, Fish Lake Branch Supervisor

Rules of Civility 
Amor Towles

Historical fiction set in the 1930's that follows a young woman making her own way in the high society world of New York. 
 ~Elizabeth Johnson, Technical Services Manager

The Nesting Place
Myquillyn Smith

Practical decorating ideas pared with the examining the pressure and paralysis many feel about having the "perfect" home. 
 ~Elizabeth Johnson, Technical Services Manager

The Book of Jane
Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

Just finished reading The Book of Jane. It is a very good read!
 ~Barb Klein, Custodial Services

The Residence
Kate Andersen Brower

It's an amazing read about the inner workings of the White House and the different experiences of the service staff. 
 ~Sis Thompson, Hanna Circulation Specialist

Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty

I love anything Liane Moriarty. Interesting plots,  strong relationships, and set in Australia. 
 ~Stephanie Murphy, Public Services Manager

On A Pale Horse
Piers Anthony

I'm re-reading the first book of a series that I first started reading as a teenager. Each book is about a different human who takes the office of one of the incarnations: Death, Nature, War, Time, Fate, Good and Evil. 
 ~Cindy Casper, Kingsford Heights Branch Supervisor

44 Scotland Street
Alexander McCall Smith

From the Author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
 ~Wilma Beauchamp, Coolspring Circulation Specialist

My Booky Wook
Russell Brand

A memoir by actor and comedian Russell Brand. 
 ~ Sarah Behenna-Quadlin, Adult Services Circulation Specialist

Seventh Son
Orson Scott Card

It fuses American folklore and religion, telling the story of the seventh son of the seventh son who possesses extraordinary powers.
~Angela Hall, Adult Services Circulation Specialist

Elizabeth and Hazel
David Margolick

It follows two teen girls, one African American, one Caucasian, in the famous Little Rock photo from 1957 through their adult years.
 ~Mary Hedge, Adult Services Librarian

A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket

I love his writing style and the quirky characters. I'm reading this kids series because I refuse to grow up!
 ~Shelly McGinty, Youth Services Circulation Specialist

The Coalition
Jerry Boykin and Kamal Saleem

It is the merger of reality and fiction taken to higher lever based on the lives of the authors, terrorists, and counter terrorists.
 ~ Diana Lockridge, Adult Services Circulation Specialist

In the Heart of the Sea
Nathaniel Philbrick

This is a fascinating account of the whale ship Essex which was rammed by a sperm whale and sank. This nonfiction title reads quickly as it tells the heartbreaking and tragic tale of the crews effort to survive 93 days on the ocean. A movie based on the book starring Chris Hemsworth is slated for December release. 
 ~ Susan Bannwart, Branch and Outreach Services Manager

Blind Side
Catherine Coulter

I just finished Blind Side by Catherine Coulter. I am re-reading her earlier FBI books before I read the newest one. 
 ~Cathy Bradley, IT Public Services Specialist

Sherrilyn Kenyon

It is so good!
 ~Cathy Bradley, IT Public Services Specialist

Stephen King

When I was seven I watched part of the movie enough to be truly terrified. To this day I have yet to watch the entire movie. I challenged myself to read the book, however. The other night I after reading I was too scared to get up and walk to the bathroom. 
 ~ Brandi Renkawitz, Youth Services Circulation Specialist

Dark Places
Gillian Flynn

After reading Gone Girl (twice) last fall, I was hooked on Gillian Flynn's twisted, psychological writings. She creates stories that are very compelling from all angles and Dark Places has not let me down. 
~Kristi Chadderdon, Public Relations Professional

J.M. Hirsch

It's back to school time and I need new ideas not just for my children's lunch but mine also. The pictures in this book make you want to pack a lunch. It has great ideas on turning leftovers into great lunches for the next day. 
 ~Dania Bocanegra, Mobile Library Circulation Specialist

J. K. Rowling

About every four years I try to reread the Harry Potter Series. There is something really comforting about reading such familiar books as life continues to change. I just got back from England and the Harry Potter Studios in London so they mean even more to me now. 
~Deanna Menke, PR Summer Intern