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News in Youth Services

Monday, March 19, 2018

National Women's History Month

Until the 1970's, women's history was virtually an unknown topic in our world.  An Education Task Force in California thought this was wrong and initiated a "Women's History Week" celebration for 1978.  President Jimmy Carter saw the value of celebrating strong women and issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8th as National Women's History Week.  In 1987, Congress changed it from one week to the entire month of March.  

It is important to share with our children the strong women from all facets of life who have had a huge impact on the development of women's self-respect and provided new opportunities for girls and young women.

In our own lives, the month encourages us to talk with our mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers to discover their stories and get a better understanding of the challenges they faced and how the challenges helped other generations. 

There have been some amazing picture books written about strong women who have helped changed history.  One of the newest is entitled Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed.   As a child, Mae dreamed of becoming an astronaut.    Her mom told her, "If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible."  Due to the support of her parents, her own hard work and determination, Mae became the first African American woman astronaut to travel into space.

What to do About Alice?:  How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!  by Barbara Kerley is a nonfiction book about President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter Alice.  Alice was an inquisitive girl who made life an adventure at a time when girls were expected to act properly, get married at a young age and learn how to run a home.  However, Alice loved to travel the globe and even had a pet snake while living in the White House with her father. 
Viva, Frida by Yuyi Morales is about Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter born in 1907.  At the age of 6, she was diagnosed with polio and it weakened her right leg.  Then at age 18, she was in an accident which left her in the hospital for many months.  During this time she taught herself how to paint.  Frida later married Diego Rivera, another famous Mexican painter.  Ms. Kahlo is one of the world's most famous artists and is known for her unusual paintings.  One of her great quotes is, "At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and is only
the second women to be appointed to the position.  Ruth grew up in a low-income, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn.  Her mother, a major influence in her life, taught her the value of independence and a good education.  Justice Ginsburg is known for her strong voice in favor of gender equality and the rights of workers.  She is still an active judge on the U.S. Supreme Court.

National Women's History Month helps women draw strength and inspiration from others from our past and present and provides us with inspiration for future generations of women.  The history of these women shows how important they have been in our society.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Youth Art Month at RPL

It's one of my favorite times of year in the Youth Services Department.  Every March the library becomes an art gallery as we showcase the local talent of budding young artists who inhabit our area schools.  It is so neat to see the different mediums that exhibit problem solving, creativity, observation and communication. 

Did you know that books about art are found in the 700 nonfiction section of the library?  If you are interested in drawing, you have a whole bunch of choices to help you become an expert illustrator.  There are books about drawing automobiles, superheroes, Disney characters, animals, etc.  Some even help you learn how to draw anime or cartoons.  Are you a big fan of the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger?  Then you might like to check out all the different origami books we have and practice your skills.  Perhaps you love to make crafts.  The library owns 216 books on different kinds of crafts you can make.  If you checked out one craft book a week, it would take you over 4 years to go through all of them.  Think of all the amazing projects you could make! 

Become inspired by visiting us.  The artwork from the schools will be up all month for everyone to enjoy.  Please make sure you stop by to appreciate the work of all the creative young artists who live in our area.  You won't be sorry!

I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek but just know that the photographs truly do not do justice to the wonderful quality of work produced by these exceptional artists. They must be enjoyed in person.  We hope to see you soon.


Monday, March 5, 2018


Dave Herzog's Marionettes
We love puppets around here.  Just last month we had Dave Herzog and his marionettes perform at the library for some wonderful Saturday family entertainment.  On Saturday, March 17, we will welcome the Chicagoland Puppetry Guild to the Roselle Public Library to perform for our patrons the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.  Afterwards, the guild is going to have puppets displayed upstairs in the Youth Services Department for people to enjoy and stop by to ask questions about puppetry.  However, the fun doesn't stop there.  While you are upstairs looking at all the marvelous puppets, you can make your own creation to take home with you.  Think of all the fun you will have creating puppet shows for your friends and family.  Who knows...maybe you will be the next Darci Lynne starring on America's Got Talent.

Puppetry is believed to have been around for more than 3,000 years.  Some believe it originated in China in the form of shadow puppets.  Others believe it began in India. It has been claimed that puppets were used in the theater even before human actors.  Ivory and clay puppets have been discovered in Egyptian tombs.  Some early kinds of puppets were the tribal masks with hinged jaws and jointed skulls used in religious ceremonies.  From the masks, puppets evolved into doll-like figures with movable limbs. 

In the 20th century, puppets became popular for children and family shows.   Puppetry is viewed as an ideal way to present moral messages about childhood concepts such as bullying.  Another use for them has been in play therapy as a safe way for traumatized children to explore their fears.  Sesame Street, the long running public television show, features puppets and actors to teach children academic skills to prepare them for school.  Some of the most iconic puppets have been Howdy Doody, Lamb Chop and Jim Henson's Muppets. 

Howdy Doody, Lamb Chop, and The Muppets

We hope that you will mark your calendars now and join us for the March 17th World Puppetry Day performance by the Chicagoland Puppetry Guild.  It's a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with your family!


Monday, February 26, 2018

Dr. Seuss

One of my favorite childhood authors growing up was Dr. Seuss and I passed that love onto my children by reading many of his stories to them.  I remember having to read my daughter The Foot Book over 100 times at bedtime.  My son enjoyed Green Eggs and Ham.  I could recite both of the books by memory (and probably still can).

Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904.  He wrote 48 books which have sold well over 200 million copies and have been translated into multiple languages.  Dr. Seuss books are known for their whimsical rhymes and quirky characters. 

I found out a few things I did not know about him and thought it would be fun to share them with you.

Dr. Seuss's real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Theodor (without an "e") was the grandson of German immigrants.  He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904.  Seuss used his mother's maiden name, which in German rhymes with "voice."  It was the American pronunciation, rhyming with "juice," which stuck.

Teddy Roosevelt left Dr. Seuss with a permanent case of stage fright.

During World War I, 14-year-old Boy Scout  Ted Geisel was one of the top ten sellers of war bonds in his home town of Springfield.  Ted was going to be recognized by former president Theodore Roosevelt for his efforts.  However, Roosevelt was only given nine medals and when he reached Geisel, the tenth person in line, Roosevelt gruffly bellowed, "What's this little boy doing here?"  Ted felt humiliated  and the event scarred him so much that he dreaded public appearances for the rest of his life.

A chance sidewalk encounter led to Dr. Seuss's first children's book.

Dr. Seuss received 27 publisher rejections for his first manuscript.  One day while walking down Madison Avenue, he bumped into his friend Mike McClintock from Dartmouth.  Mike had just started as an editor in the Vanguard Press children's section that morning.  Hours later, the men signed a contract and the year 1937 marked the birth of  Dr. Seuss' career with  "And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street."

During World War II, Dr. Seuss wielded his pen for the U.S. Army.
Captain Theodor Geisel reported for duty in 1943 with Frank Capra's Signal Corps.  He got to work producing animated training films, booklets and documentaries for the war effort.

Dr. Seuss never had any biological children.

His first wife, Helen Geisel, was never able to have children.  After Helen's death, he married his second wife, Audrey, and became a stepfather to her two daughters.  He was often asked how he was able to connect with children in spite of not having any of his own.  His common response was, "You have 'em, and I'll entertain 'em."

His first bestseller was "The Cat in the Hat."
His publisher challenged him to write a book using 220 new reader vocabulary words that could serve as an entertaining alternative to the boring school primers students had to read.  The story of the mischievous cat in a tall striped hat was born.

Some of his books tackled serious issues.

In 1971, he spoke up about the environment in the book "The Lorax."  In 1984, he published "The Butter Battle Book" which was about the arms buildup and nuclear war threat during Ronald Reagan's presidency. 

The library will be celebrating the life of Dr. Seuss  by hosting a program on Saturday, March 3 from 2:30-3:30 PM for children in grades K-3.  Join us for a storytime and activities focusing on science and art.  If you have never attended a library program before, let me leave you with some words by Dr. Seuss.

If you never did,
you should.  
These things are fun,
and fun is good. 



Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Presidents' Day

I figured I'd include a little history lesson for this week as Presidents' Day occurs on Monday, February 19th.  I know a few parents are groaning because the kids are off school again, but in 1971 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed President's Day to the third Monday of the month to create a three-day weekend for the nation's workers (hopefully if you are reading this, you are someone who gets this advantage).  

The American holiday was originally established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington, the Father of our Country.  The holiday was first an unofficial observance for most of the 1800s until it became a federal holiday in 1879 by President Rutherford B. Hayes.  In the beginning it only applied to the District of Columbia, but in 1885 it expanded to the whole country.  It was the first holiday to celebrate the life of an individual American until 1983, when Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law.

Remember me talking about the Uniform Monday Holiday Act from above? Congress passed this law which shifted the celebration of several federal holidays from specific dates to a series of predetermined Mondays.  It was seen as a novel way to create more three-day weekends for the nation's workers, a way to reduce employee absenteeism, and it was heavily supported by the retail business community (remember those Presidents' Day sales!).  The law also combined the celebration of Washington's Birthday with Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, which had long been a state holiday in Illinois.  This also shifted holidays such as Columbus Day, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day to their designated dates.  However, after widespread criticism, Veterans' Day was returned to its original November 11th date in 1980. 

Interestingly enough, the holiday was called George Washington's Birthday until the early 2000s, when by then more than 50 states had changed the holiday's name to Presidents' Day to celebrate the lives of both Lincoln and Washington.  Although Washington and Lincoln are the two most recognized figures for this holiday, Presidents' Day is now seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America's Chief Executives.

If you'd like to learn more about a certain U.S. President, please come visit us and check out Scholastic Go on our website for some interesting facts.  We'll also be happy to show you some great biography choices about past and current presidents.  There are also some wonderful collection of stories about the U.S. Presidents, some even from when they were kids.  Perhaps you are even thinking about becoming the Commander and Chief one day,; then you need to check out the book So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George.

I'll leave you with this quick interesting fact because I know you probably have a sale you just have to get to:

Did You Know???

President's Day never falls on the actual birthday of any American president.  Four chief executives - George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan - were born in February, but their birthdays all come either too early or late to coincide with Presidents' Day. 

Books on Presidents

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Need a Good Book?

Ever stuck for a good book?  Do you have a reluctant reader?  Let me tell you about this amazing site called NoveList K-8.  It gives you a whole lot of sorting options and who doesn't like options.  You can sort by age groups, genres, interest and award winners.  Love movies?  There is even a sort where you can read books that have been made into a movie.

If you are like me, books covers are usually what first catches my eye.  Hover over a cover of a book  and it will provide you with a brief summary of it.  Click the book cover and it will provide you with more information such as the publish date, the Lexile level, if it is an AR book and the point value, what number it is in a series,  how popular it is and what is the recommended book age range.

Here's another great feature.  Say you loved the Mr. Lemoncello series by Chris Grabenstein.  Type in one of the titles and hit search.  A summary of the book will pop up along with the book jacket.  On the right side of the screen, you will see books that are "read-alikes."  You can scroll down and see if any of them interest you since they have common themes with Mr. Lemoncello.  If you scroll down, there is another way to search for other "read-alikes" by clicking on different categories based off of features or topics from the book.

Read Across America is coming up in a few weeks.  Sometimes schools ask parents to come in and be a guest reader at their child's school but they don't always provide the book.  NoveList can help you select just the right book by selecting the age range, deciding if you want a funny book, a mystery or something in the realistic fiction realm.  I tell you, this site does it all except read the story to you!  You really need to check this out!

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Your Help is Needed!!

Now you know I usually don't ask you for help, but this time I am.  The library would love to have your input in shaping our future.  If you could change ONE THING about the library, what would it be??  While we have our own ideas, we definitely want to hear your thoughts. 

The Library wants to be a valuable part of the community, almost a home away from home kind of place.  So let your creative juices flow and tell us what you'd like to see from us.  We are asking you to complete a short survey  that will only take you a minute to fill out.  By completing the survey, you will be providing us invaluable information to help us make a plan to map out our future.

Please follow the link and take the survey.  You don't like to take online problem!  Stop by and fill out a paper one by our circulation desk where a friendly staff member can assist you in finding the survey.  Once you have completed the survey, tell a friend so that they too can help make the library one of the best places in the community. 

 Whether you visit us daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, we want to hear from YOU!  That's right, I mean you, and you and him and her!  Don't let me down!


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