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Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Post Season Baseball Time!

So postseason Major League Baseball has begun.  Teams will be eliminated and others will continue to play until the very end to star in the World Series!  The newest format of postseason began in 2012, with playoffs for the American and National league starting with the wild-card playoff game.  A wild-card playoff spot is awarded to a team that has not qualified through normal play but who has the next best winning record.  Two wild-card teams in each league play each other in a single-game playoff at the end of the regular season.  The winner of the game advances to face the 1st seeded team in the Division series which consists of two best of five games.  Then it moves to the best of seven for the league championship.  Finally we get to see the two best teams in baseball play in the World Series!

Did you know that Youth Services has107 nonfiction books about baseball on their shelves?  I think our young patrons must love the game.  There are books on how to play baseball, books written by baseball players and of course, books about our favorite teams.  Remember the teams in last year's World Series?  Wouldn't it be fun to see a rematch (with the same results of course!)

Looking for titles for the younger ages?  We have lots of picture books too about baseball.  You could read a different book for the next 51 nights! Check out Goodnight Baseball.  It's a guaranteed grand slam as a bedtime story.

Picture Books
Nonfiction Books
More baseball postseason information
Postseason Schedule


Monday, October 9, 2017

Sign Language for Babies and Toddlers

Ever had one of those days where you just wanted your infant or toddler to be able to tell you what
they needed instead of pointing, grunting or crying?  Wouldn't it be great if they could communicate with you?  Well, there is a way.  Baby sign language is distinct from American Sign Language as it typically features simplified gestures and is used with hearing children to help improve pre-verbal communication.

Think of signing as a step in the communication process.  A baby starts by comprehending that a thing equals a word or a sign, learns a  hand gestures represents a word, and then moves to articulating her first spoken word, which typically happens between 10-14 months.  Some parents might be concerned that teaching their baby to sign will make the child less interested in speaking, but studies have found the exact opposite.  Signing actually speeds up the process of learning to talk.   When children begin to become familiar with signing, they are better able to associate signs with spoken word meaning, therefore allowing them to better develop language.  In other studies, children who used sign language as babies had higher scores on IQ tests when they were eight years old.

Whichever signs you decide to teach your child, you should always use the spoken word it represents.  It's important to be consistent and make the sign and say the word or phrase every time.  Experts suggest starting with mealtime signs, since little children eat multiple times a day.  "Milk" is an easy first sign for a baby to learn because you open and close your fist as if you're milking a cow.  So when you hand your baby a bottle, say, "Here's your milk" while using the symbol.  "More," "sleep," "Mommy," "Daddy," and "bye-bye" are some other early signs to try.

If you are interested in teaching your baby sign language, the library has some resources to help you and your child learn it.  We have several book titles or if you are more of a visual learner, there are nine different DVDs to assist you in learning how to communicate with your child.

It may take your baby a few weeks before he picks up the sign.  Don't be discouraged, just keep demonstrating it.  Once he masters the sign, get ready - you'll need to be ready to respond.



Monday, October 2, 2017

Learning Stations

If you've been upstairs in our play area, you may have noticed the AWE Computer Station.  Usually it
is one of the first things children run to when they get here. The AWE station is packed with games, storytelling programs, videos and songs.  It's a great way to help children ages 2-4 to learn their ABC's and numbers.  The station supports early literacy skills in children from 2-8 years of age.  There are games that reinforce science, math, social studies and art on there as well for older children.

Also located in Youth Services are two iPads with ABC
Mouse on them.  This is another great software for children ages 2-8 to work on early literacy and math skills.  Children get to create an avatar and then visit various places such as school, the zoo or a farm.  There are ways to work on math skills, reading skills, learn more about the world, create art, sing songs, complete puzzles and play games.  These stations always seem to be busy with youngsters exploring on them.

So next time you stop by with your children, spend a little time exploring the AWE and ABC Mouse stations.  Your children will be happy and you will too know that they are learning as they are playing!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Taking another look at homework help

Welcome back to the second installment of "Taking another look at homework help."  As you can tell,
we are truly excited to have you with us.  This week, we will be looking at World Book Web products.   

The first place I want to take you is World Book Kids.  It is so amazing!  There are eight different categories you can go into once you enter World Book Kids.  Some of the categories are Living Things, Sports and Hobbies, World Religions, People, plus several more.  Once you select one of the groupings, you are able to see pictures and videos about the topic (kind of like an educational YouTube).  It also has activities where you can do logic puzzles, find a craft project, doodle and design and several other options.  There are also some short articles with wonderful photos about people, animals and places.  Some examples are Michael Jordan, Katy Perry, The Eiffel Tower, dolphins, Scotland and waterfalls.  It even has fun games to play.  I played a math game and I could just feel my brain neurons firing and making new brain cells.  If you are a parent or a teacher, you totally need to have this site available for your children to explore.  I'd be on it all day if I could (research is part of my job you know).  

Another produce available is the World Book Student page.  It will help you find sources for your research paper that is due like tomorrow (since you have been putting it off for two weeks).  A great feature with this product is it helps you build your citation.  You select what kind of source you used (book, website, podcast, article), type the information in and it will format the citation for you in MLA, ALA or Harvard format.  All you have to do is copy and paste.  Where was this when I was in grad school?   It also provides instructions on how to do research, in case you need some guidance.  Videos, maps, photographs are all included to help you become more knowledgeable on your topic.  Current events pop up so you can learn what is going on in other parts of the world.  I just cannot say enough good things about this resource!

For those of you in high school and college, you might want to use World Book Advanced to help you with your sources.  Or perhaps the timeline tab if what you are looking for.  Oh, and if Spanish is your native language, World Book has you covered with it's Spanish version.

So my friends, in the words of Michelle Tanner, "Why thank you for learning about World Book."  

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Homework Help

With school being in session for a few weeks now, homework has definitely started.  Did you know the library offers online resources to help with homework?  These resources are available to you at the library or at home if you have your library card pin number.  This week I will feature a wonderful resource found in the Kids section of our library website.

Grolier Online is an excellent database by Scholastic.  Need information about the United States?  America the Beautiful offers information about each of the 50 states.  It offers almanacs, timelines, information about explorers, presidents and Native Americans.  Tabs at the top of the page allow you to pick by grade levels:  elementary, middle, high school, adult learner and even for educators.  Such a helpful site when studying the states in fourth grade.

Another great resource is The New Book of Popular Science. Find out the new science inventory or discovery through the featured articles.  Need to do a report on a famous scientist?  It's got biographies of those great minds who helped change the world.  Time for the science fair?  There is a tab for science projects that might inspire an award winning science fair project.  Again these are all sorted into grade levels so that you get material appropriate for the age level.

Don't forget the Featured Showcase section on the menu page of the database.  Animals of Africa are spotlighted currently.  Learn about the different biomes of Africa, the big cats and other animals that roam the continent.  You can go back into the archives and look at past topics.  It's really pretty cool!

Finally the site also offers access to dictionaries, atlases and daily news.  It is a really neat resource to
even just go into and explore for fun.  So next time you are in the library or bored at home and you have some time, find the Kid's Page on the library's website and go to "Kids" and select the orange "Homework Helper" circle on the caterpillar.  Look for Grolier Online and begin exploring.  It will help build your knowledge so that you can rock it when you go to those popular Trivia Nights or become a future Jeopardy player! 

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Selecting Family Friendly Movies

You know, we get many families who come into the library looking for a great family movie to watch together.  The right selection may make or break the evening that is typically filled with popcorn, jammies, blankets and pillows.  However, it can be hard to find a family-friendly film that is both compelling and appropriate for all ages these days.  So how do you find a good one for your family?
  • Ask a librarian.  Every family has different needs.  A librarian will help parents and caregivers gather information to be able to make informed decisions.  The library catalog also shows the MPAA rating which can help your decision-making.
  • Gather recommendations from your friends.  Friends who know your preferences will usually have spot-on recommendations.  If you're not sure about your friends advice, talk about the movies you've liked and see if they have similar viewpoints.  If you share the same thoughts, then must likely you can take their advice.
  • Family Friendly Sources. 
    1. IMDb - search for a movie, then click "More" in the line above the title.  Look for "External Reviews."  This will bring up reviews from different sources, so try to stick with the established newspaper or periodical sources.
    2. Kids-in-Mind.  The site will provide you information about three criteria, plus has links to, IMDb listing, and the movie's official site so that you can view a movie trailer.  
    3. Dove Foundation.  It provides content rating descriptions, a synopsis of the movie, the movie rating and ages the movie is approved for viewing.  The movie receives a "Dove Family-Approved" if the movie is deemed appropriate for family viewing.  It does provide recommended ages for the movie.  Plus it offers a movie trailer.  To find "Family-Approved" movies, select "Reviews," then All Dove Approved Reviews.
    4. Common Sense Media. This site will sort reviews by age categories:  Preschooler, Little Kids, Big Kids, Tweens and Teens.  The site has video reviews of the movies for content and language and gives an overall rating up to 5 stars.   
Just remember when selecting movies from 20 years ago, the rating system was different.  So those movies rated PG by the movie industry, might today be rated as PG-13.  When it comes to selecting a movie for your family, be informed and do some homework.  For more tips for parents, check out Film  And remember, we are always here to help!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Things That Go Storytimes

Storytimes are back!!!!  The Youth Services staff is so excited to be preparing storytimes for all our young patrons!  We cannot waiting to see your smiling faces.  Our theme for session 1 is Things That Go!  There are a lot of things that GO!  Registration began on August 28th, so if you haven't registered already - what's stopping you???  You can call, stop in or register yourself online.  The library offers storytimes for children ages 6 months all the up to 5 years.  Don't forget our drop-in storytimes on Tuesday evening and Thursday mornings that are for all ages. 

Session 1 begins on September 12 and concludes on October 19th.  The second session's theme is
"Foodie Patootie."  It runs from November 7 through December 14th.

NEW!!   NEW!!   NEW!!

Youth Services is proud to announce a new program geared towards children ages 3-5, called Music and Movement.  This new addition to our lineup will take place on Mondays, beginning September 11 and ending on October 16th.  Come join us for some songs, dancing and different moving activities.

For all our Polish families, Let's Read in Polish is back.  Join Laura Kaczmarczyk for a special once a month storytime on Sunday, September 10th, then again on October 8th and November 12th.

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