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News in Youth Services

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Lions, and Tigers, and Writer's Block, Oh My!

Give me cookies!! Chocolate chunk please.  Yes, that is what writer's block sounds like, my friends.  Blank.  Nothing.  Empty space.  Writer's block is truly awful, and something made only to torture those of us who need or want to write.  Now, there are all kinds of writer's block.  For instance, you may need to write a creative fictional story for school - you could write about anything or everything.  But how do you decide?  That big old white blank page sitting in front of you can be terrifically dreadful at that
point.  But there are ideas everywhere.  Think about your own experiences - what if you had chosen a different path during some situation in your life.  What would have happened?  If you want to make it a little more interesting, what if a yeti suddenly appeared and demanded cookies?  Chocolate chunk cookies to be exact.  The fabulous possibilities here are endless, so just start writing, and see where it takes you.  You can always edit later.

No writing now...eating cookies with the yeti.
Now other times, you may be in the middle of a paper or story and just don't know where to go from there.  Well, there are a couple things to do at this point.  Go get a glass of milk, some cookies, and think about where to go the next time you sit down to write...boy, I must have cookies on the brain.  Anyway, throw a twist into your story by adding a new character, or a sudden plot twist.  This will get you writing in no time.  If you are working on a paper for school, try outlining.  Now, I was never a great outliner, with the numbers and letters and all, but I was good at writing down my main idea, and then a few sub ideas to get the paper going.  Give it a try.

A great, easy thing to do, is to carry a small notebook and pen around with you....EVERYWHERE!  You never know when inspiration will strike, and you don't want to take the chance that you will forget your brilliant idea by the time you get home or to your computer.  Also, keeping a journal every day is an easy way to keep yourself writing and the thoughts moving.

Finally, the best, most fantastic, outstanding advice I can give for writer's block, is to read!  Yep, that's right.  Reading a variety of genres, authors, and even lengths of books will open your mind to more possibilities.  You will learn how other authors handle different situations and eventually meld that with your own writing style.

Well, it happens to the best of us.  Writer's block a can be a terrible, frustrating thing, but if you take a few simple steps, you too can avoid it, or overcome it!  So what are you waiting for?  Get writing!

Books about writing
Books about cookies
Books about the Yeti

Friday, September 26, 2014

Howdy Neighbor

Like a good, no, we aren't going to sing that oh so catchy jingle.  But the idea behind that tune is a great one - always being there for your neighbor.  I know you love your neighbors.  They are the friendly folks who lend you a cup of sugar when you need it.  They are the people who watch your dog when you go on a day trip.  Where would you be without your neighbors?  What would life be like without those friendly faces you see when you step outside your door?  Well, I can tell you, I love my neighbors, and there is no better time than now to tell those people next door just how much you appreciate them since September 28th is Good Neighbor Day.  This lovely celebration falls on September 28th every year.  And frankly, I can't think of a better thing to celebrate.  Neighbors are great, and you can always work on being a better neighbor.  And it's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor...oh there I go again, another perfectly fabulous neighbor song!  Mr. Rogers had it right.

So, in honor of Good Neighbor Day, I of course have some awesome ideas for celebrating and getting to
know your neighbors.  First, the never fail method of baking.  Bake a cake, some bread, or some yummy cookies and share some with you neighbor.  Get the whole family involved, turn some music on, and bake your little hearts out.  Nothing says good neighbor like some freshly baked goods!

Since it is now officially fall, helping your neighbor rake up their leaves may be a nice way to show you care.  This chore has a sneaky benefit for you though too - with two yards worth of leaves, the pile of leaves will be HUGE!  Time to jump in!

Get a little crafty - make a nice card with stickers and everything telling your neighbor just how much you appreciate them.  Slip the card into their mailbox, and know that it will give them the warm fuzzies when they see your artwork.

And don't forget, the library is the whole community's neighbor!  We are your neighbor, and your neighbor, and even you, way in the back - we are your neighbor too!  So come on in and celebrate with us.  Check out some neighborly books, movies and more...see how nice we are, we share almost everything we own with our library card holding neighbors.  So stop on by soon!

Some neighborly books
Fall/Autumn books

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pure Imagination

Have you ever read a book, and it has really stuck with you?  You think about it days, weeks, months, even years later with fondness.  You may even reread the book now and then to relive those special moments that made it so unforgettable in the first place.  Well this happens all the time with children's books.  The books you read when you are a child can stick with you your entire life.  They bring back those warm fuzzy memories of curling up with a book as a kid, or being read to by mom, dad, or grandma, and just make you content all over again.  That is the magic of children's books.  And one author in particular was exceptionally fabulous at making those books that live on forever.  That author is Roald Dahl, and it just so happens to be his birthday on September 13th.  He would have been 98 years old this year.  And this year is even more special, since it is the 50th anniversary since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published.

mmm, chocolate ::drool::
What would life be like without those fantastic characters like Mr. Fox, Matilda, James and his giant peach, or Willy Wonka?  They are the figures that shaped our childhoods and they continue to spark children's imaginations every day.  So take some time this week and pick up a Roald Dahl book and read it as a family.  Make a celebration of it!  For instance, you could read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then watch the movie, all while eating some delicious chocolate.  Sounds like a great time to me!

Or you could learn more about the author and read Boy: Tales of Childhood.  Trust me - it isn't one of those boring biographies!  It is hilarious, and tons of fun.  You learn of all Dahl's antics as a boy, and his unusual adventures that often inspired some of his best known story plots.  Once you finish, you could start writing your own autobiography!  Include pictures and illustrations just like Dahl.

So stop on in and celebrate the beloved author Roald Dahl, today!

Roald Dahl's books, movies, and audiobooks

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet the Author

Did I say whisper?  I meant shout!
I have some fabulously exciting news!  I have been holding it in for a long time, waiting for the perfect moment, and now is the time to let you all in on the secret.  Someone special is coming to the Roselle Public Library.  Someone wonderful and good and I just can't wait.  So who is it, you ask?  Well, come closer my friends and I will whisper it to you.  GAYLE ROSENGREN!!  Oh, whoops, I didn't mean whisper at all.  I meant shout it from the rooftops - that is just how excited I am about this visit!  Gayle Rosengren is the author of the wonderful book, What the Moon Said, and she is coming here to the library to talk to all of you on September 29th.  That means that we are less than a month away from meeting someone famous, someone talented, and someone who knows a thing or two about writing.

What the Moon Said is by far one my favorite books that I have read this year, and rates highly on my all-time favorite list as well.  You can read a glowing review of the book here.  I can't think of anything more thrilling than reading a book that you love, and then meeting the author and having the chance for them to sign your book, or ask her questions, and just get to know her.  Gayle will spend the evening with us, speak about her writing process, life during the Great Depression, writing stories from real life, and superstitions.

So what are you waiting for?  Stop in today and pick up a copy of What the Moon Said, and get reading!  Here are the details about Gayle's visit:
The Meet the Author program will take place on September 29th at 6:30pm.  The program is open to children grades 2-5.  Registration opens on September 15th.

Materials on the Great Depression
Materials on Superstitions
Become and author too!
Events Calendar for the Roselle Public Library

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


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? 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 royalty....oh, I am only kidding.  They are just happy to see you...fine attire or not!

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