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Friday, August 15, 2014

We have the solution

So if you have been reading along, I just professed my love for audio books in the last post or so.  I could not live without audio books these days.  They keep me moving, they keep me interested, and they keep me sane as I fight dust in my house, and traffic on the road.  Reading books is great too - I read all the time!  But sometimes, listening to a book can really bring it to life, especially when the narrators are fabulously outstanding.

Nowadays, audio books are available many different ways.  You can get CD's, download them to your phone or a different device, and even get these wonderful little inventions called playaways.  We carry a number of playaways here at the library.  Each playaway is a small device with an audio book loaded on it.  All you have to do is plug some headphones into it, and listen away.  But what if you are really into a playaway, and the whole family wants to listen in?  Well, we now have a solution.

Happily listening to a playaway!
Available at the circulation desk, is a nifty little cord that can be plugged into the playaway instead of
headphones.  The other end of the cord can then be plugged into a stereo or car stereo through the aux connector.  Then all you have to do is hit play and it will play through the stereo.  So, problem solved!  Listen to your playaway anywhere with anyone....make that everyone!  See we are always thinking over here at the library about how to improve your experience.

So if you are planning a road trip, this cord is a must have, along with a good playaway of course.  Or if you just want to listen to a book as a family, this is a great option.  Come on in and check one out today!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

SHARK WEEK!



New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Do you know why this is one of my favorite weeks of summer?  Because it’s SHARK WEEK on Discovery Channel starting on Sunday, August 10 at 7 PM!  Statistically speaking, your chances of being attacked by a shark are pretty slim. In a given year, you’re looking at about a one in 11.5 million chance.  This year for vacation I went to the beach that has the most recorded shark bites in the world, New Smyrna Beach, Florida.  My family has been going there for years and luckily none of us have been bitten!  New Smyrna is always mentioned during Shark Week.  

 I have compiled all of our shark books for you to check out so you can learn shark cool facts.  I know someone who is studying to be a marine biologist.  He got to study sharks in Rhode Island this summer.  Maybe you’d like to do that someday.  The library has books that tell you what it’s like to be a marine biologist studying sharks.  So when you have a chance, drive, pedal, walk, run, swim (it’s safe here – no shark attacks), and take a peek at our shark week collection.  You know you want to!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Monarchs Have Arrived

Prepare your finest attire - bow ties, fancy hats, dresses, you know - the works.  Learn how to properly bow or curtsy.  Don't forget to bathe....get those fingernails nice and clean, because you are about to meet a real monarch!  Make that two monarchs.  Oh, did I mention they are monarch butterflies?  Silly....you didn't think you were actually going to meet royalty did you?  Well, this is close enough.

The monarchs that have been holding reign in the youth services department of the Roselle Public Library have finally turned into butterflies.  You watched them fatten up as caterpillars, hang around as chrysalises, and now you get to see the final flourish...the beautiful butterflies.

You can tell a male monarch butterfly from a female by the two black spots on his hind wings.  Females do not have spots on their hind wings and the female's black webbing within the wings is thicker.  Most monarch butterflies only live a few weeks.  However, the last generation of monarchs to be born in late August is the migratory generation.  The shorter, cooler days of fall prevent the butterflies from maturing completely, so they live about eight or nine months - long enough to fly south for the winter and back again to reproduce in the spring.  Talk about a winter vacation!

Adult monarch butterflies eat nectar from flowers, so be sure you have a nice flowery garden in your backyard if you wish to see, and help these fabulous beauties survive.  Our monarchs are happily fluttering around our butterfly tent waiting for you to come in and greet them properly....like royalty....oh, I am only kidding.  They are just happy to see you...fine attire or not!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Holiday Road

Packing my bags
So the Summer Reading Program is over.....booooo.....and summer is winding down.....double booo!  But you still have time left to enjoy the summer before school starts.  Maybe, just maybe, your family is lucky enough to be going on vacation soon.  Maybe you are going to see a National Park, like Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite.  Or possibly you are going to fly over to Europe and see wonderful countries like Poland, England, or France.  Traveling can be a wonderful experience that will change your life and how you look at it.  But before you get to these wonderful destinations, you have to travel there....in a car or plane or a ship.  Now I know, you think you will be all excited, and can hardly think about anything else other than your destination.  But then reality hits.  You are sitting in a car looking at field after field of corn.  Are we there yet?!?  Nope, another 15 hours to go!  Oh no!!  Well, luckily for you, you stopped into the library before you left and checked out some fabulous audio books to listen to, and some books to read during those quiet moments.

I can feel the breeze just looking at this
Audio books are a life saver.  I never really knew about them until I became a librarian, and then it was on.  I hardly go anywhere without a book playing away in my car.  As I clean up the house, I have a book blasting loud, making my chores quick and easy.  Audio books just make life easier.  Not only do you get to listen to an awesome book, but it makes time fly by also!

So say you are sitting on a beach when you reach your destination.  After splashing around, building sand
castles, and having a grand old time, you are going to want to sit and relax and read a book on the beach.  Nothing is better than listening to the water, feeling the hot sun, and digging into a great book.  Luckily for you, you can get both books and audio books at the library.

Now I know not all of us are lucky enough to be traveling at the moment, but that is the magical thing about books.  You can pick up a book and travel anywhere.  You can easily travel to other countries, to other times, even to mystical imaginary places just be reading a book.  Some of my best traveling is done through the books I read. 

So if I were you, I would sneak in a couple more books or audio books before school starts, and travel while you can.



Monday, July 28, 2014

Shhh...the caterpillars are sleeping....

Lullaby and good night...I don't know any more of the words...la la laa la, la la laa, la la la la la, la la.

Be very quiet, I'm watching caterpillars transform into butterflies.  (Be honest, how many of you though I was going to say, Be very quiet, I'm hunting rabbit...I know, that's what popped into my head too.  Good old Elmer Fudd.)  Anyway, that's right my friends.  Our little monarch caterpillars have done something amazing.  They have managed to squirm and squeeze their chubby little bodies into tiny little green chrysalises. Both of the chrysalises are pretty small, when you compare them to those big, long, pudgy caterpillars they were just a few days ago.

So while the monarchs are in the chrysalis stage, they are not actually
sleeping.  Instead they are transforming and all of the internal contents of the caterpillar - the muscles, the heart, the nervous system, and more - are totally rebuilt.  This whole process takes about two weeks, so you can stop in any time at the youth services department here at the Roselle Public Library and see the little guys hanging around in their waxy green chrysalises.  It is just amazing what can happen in nature.

Now is a great time to get outside, and make a field journal.  Just take a notebook outdoors with you and draw or write about all the cool creatures or plants that you see.  Who knows, you could even find some more caterpillars, or chrysalises, or butterflies out there!

And when you stop in and see our chrysalises, you can take part in our contest!  Write down your name (first and last), phone number, and the date you guess our monarch butterflies will emerge.  Put your guess in the jar, and the person who gets the closest to the correct date will win an awesome prize.  

Check back here for more updates!  We will be posting when the monarchs move on to different stages.

How to draw nature


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Step by step, inch by inch

One day I will be a Monarch!
Step by step, inch by inch, slowly I turn, and POOF!  The caterpillars turn into butterflies!  Well, not exactly that fast, but still, caterpillars develop pretty darn quickly.  And now, you can watch it all happen here at the Roselle Public Library!

We have a few beautiful, fat, plump, squirmy monarch caterpillars here on display up in the Youth Services Department.  Now, I usually don't do the whole crawly, squirmy, bug thing, but caterpillars are the exception (that and lightning bugs - who could hate on bugs with glowing butts?)  Caterpillars are way cool, with their soft little bodies that grow crazy fast, and watch out, I am about to amaze you with some awesome monarch caterpillar facts.  Are you ready?  I'll wait...get good and comfy....okay, here we go.

Yum, yum...a perfect diet of milkweed!
One female monarch can lay up to 400 eggs!!!  Holy smokes, that's a lot of eggs.  Usually, the eggs are deposited on the underside of milkweed leaves (a charming flowering plant that is probably already in your backyard.)  Luckily, one of our fabulous librarians happened to notice such eggs and baby caterpillars on her backyard milkweed, and brought them in to share the amazing experience with everyone! 

Anyway, caterpillars live on plant leaves and flowers for about two weeks, and then develop into those cute as a button, chub monster caterpillars that are about 5 cm long.  They often shed their skin or molt up to four times while they're growing.  Now while they are eating away all that milkweed, they are actually getting ready to protect themselves in the future.  You see, the monarch butterfly is poisonous to other critters because it eats all the toxins in the milkweed plant.  These chemicals stay in their system permanently.  Pretty nifty defense if you ask me.
Oh, flowers...my favorite...num, num, num

Right now, our caterpillars are plumping up.  Eating boatloads of milkweed a day and getting ready for their next phase of life.  Come on in and see them on display, and then grab some books about caterpillars and learn even more awesomely cool facts about them.  And remember, any reading you do counts towards your minutes for the Summer Reading Program - Fizz, Boom, Read - that ends in just over a week on July 31st. 

Check back here for more updates!  We will be posting when the caterpillars move on to different stages.

Butterfly non fiction books
Butterfly picture books



Monday, July 14, 2014

Welcome to the Magic

La la la...(glass shattering)
I work in the youth services department here for one reason - to hang out with the people who really know a thing or two about life - the kids!  Kids have the best taste in movies, books, everything!  So I do my best to follow what they enjoy reading and watching.  Like most kids, I grew up watching Disney movies and tv shows, and continue to watch them to this day.  I am down for going to almost any new Disney movie at the theater, and will most likely watch and sing (poorly) along with it until my family pleads with me to just turn it off....(Let it go, let it go....sound familiar anyone?)  Part of my fascination with Disney comes from my interest in folk and fairy tales.  If I could read nothing else for the rest of my life, I would be content reading volumes of folk and fairy tales every single day.  Some people dislike Disney for changing how many fairy tales end, but I just see the Disney version as another retelling of stories that have been passed down for generations.

Now believe it or not, with my love of all things Disney, I have never been to any Disney related place before - so no Disneyland or Disneyworld for me.  But that's alright - I still have plenty of time to get there.  Anyway, did you know that Disneyland, the only theme park designed and built under Walt Disney's supervision, was opened on July 17, 1955?  That was 59 years ago!  So, in honor of the anniversary, I thought we would celebrate all things Disney.

There are all kinds of ways to bring Disney into your life.  For instance, we have many Disney movies that can be checked out.  You too can watch them over and over again until your family joyously returns the DVD on the due date.

We also have numerous books based on Disney characters.  Now, if you are like me, you may be more interested in the man behind the cartoons, in which case, you might want to check out some of the fabulous biographies we own about Walt Disney.

I think I like this idea best though.  Pick out your favorite Disney movie.  I know many of you will be picking Frozen right now, so we will use that as our example.  Frozen is based on fairy tale, the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.  Find a bunch of different versions, like Breadcrumbs or Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, and read them.  Now, make up your own version and write a new story.  What elements of the story would need to be in your version to make it still recognizable as the Snow Queen or Frozen?  Would you keep all the same characters?  Remember any reading you do counts towards our Summer Reading Program - Fizz, Boom, Read!

Finally, I can't think of anything better than having a Disney party to celebrate.  Dress up as your favorite character.  Bake some cookies, pop some popcorn, and act out your favorite scenes.  It will be a whale of a wing-ding...or a really fun party!

Disney Movies
Walt Disney Biographies
Fairy Tales


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