Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Camp Survival Guide

Is your child headed to Summer Camp this summer?  For some kids, this will be their first year going away to camp, for some - they head to the camp they go to every summer.  Recently, a book came into the library for just those occasions, The Summer Camp Survival Guide.  This book addresses all of the major issues involved with summer camp.  From picking which camp to go to and figuring out what to pack, to how to say goodbye to your new friends and stay in touch, this book has it all.

Broken up into chapters, this book is easily accessible and contains loads of advice, gives suggestions of games and word puzzles, and even codes to write home in.  If your child is hesitant about heading to camp and you want to get him or her geared up for the adventure, be sure to take this book home.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pokémon at the Library...Fun and Educational!

The word Pokémon may be completely unfamiliar to you, but chances are if you’re the relative of a Pokémon fan you’ve heard about these delightful little creatures more than a few times.

Over the past 10 years, children in more than 30 countries have been enjoying the world of Pokémon creatures, which now includes a TV cartoon, movies, toys, books, videogames, and a collectible trading card game. Parents seem especially fond of the card game, as it promotes literacy skills, strategic thinking, and quick mental math. In addition, the Pokémon organized play program puts a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and respect towards others, while awarding (among other prizes) over $100,000 in scholarships annually.

The Youth Services department, in our continuing efforts to bring free, quality children’s programs to the library, recently began running a program called Pokémon League, much to the delight of Des Plaines’ many young Pokémon enthusiasts. Pokémon League happens every Sunday from 2pm to 4pm now through July 31, and during the first three weeks alone more than 75 children ages 6 to17 have participated. The program is a place for local Pokémon fans to get together with their favorite Pokémon cards or Nintendo DS system and have fun together.

Pokémon League focuses on the kids interacting and learning with each other in a fun, non-competitive environment. While they play, the kids have the opportunity to earn neat prizes, which are supplied to the library free of charge. League is supported by the Pokémon organized play system, which awards academic scholarships in the more competitive tournaments that take place throughout the year.

If you know a young Pokémon fan, be sure to let them know about this wonderful program that happens every Sunday afternoon at the Des Plaines Public Library. For more information contact Adam Vernola, DPPL's Pokémon Professor, at 847-376-2838.

In addition, the library collection offers a wide variety of Pokémon items you can check out and enjoy at home, including early reader books, magazines, graphic novels, DVD cartoon episodes, and full length movie DVDs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Homeschooling Flea Market

Homeschooling may be the fastest growing form of education in the United States and is also a growing trend around the world in many nations. A recent boom in the number of homeschooled students winning admissions to selective colleges demonstrates the growth and effectiveness of homeschooling. An estimated 1.9 to 2.4 million children (in grade K-12) were home educated during 2005-2006 in the United States.

We have a special section for Homeschooling materials in our library which includes curriculum guides and lesson plan ideas. It is being utilized heavily by non-homeschooling families and homeschooling families alike. Recently Singapore Math is a new series added to the collection.

Once a year, our library hosts a Homeschooling Flea Market. At this event, you may browse various resources used by other families, swap, sell, and buy used materials for your homeschooling needs.

Please come and browse materials on Thursday, May 26 from 6-8 p.m. in Room B/C at the Des Plaines Public Library. Registration is not required. If you have questions, please call

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Midsummer Knight's Read: Summer Reading Club 2011

Lords! Ladies!
Welcome the dawn of a new Summer Reading Club!
Registration begins June 4, 2011.

What a great opportunity to exercise your brain. During a time of year when we take for granted the physical activity we give our bodies...biking, swimming, all kinds of outdoor play...sometimes we neglect to exercise the most important part of our body - our BRAIN! Bring your children to sign up beginning June 4th to participate.  They can read by themselves or be read to and earn great prizes along the way.

The Summer Reading Club comes in two parts. Reading is it's own reward, but there are also tons of fun programs happening at the library this summer. This year's theme, A Midsummer Knight's Read, will explore both the facts and the fantasy of the medieval world. We will learn about kings, queens, princes, and princesses. We will make catapults and fairy wings. We will talk and dress like they did in the days of Shakespeare. It's going to be a summer of Medieval Madness!

We will be kicking off the Summer Reading Club on June 4th with a Marvelous Medieval Faire. Join us for this open house between 1-4 p.m. where there will be crafts, entertainment, treats, music, and more. After the fun is done here at the library, head over to Potbelly in Metropolitan Square for dinner to take part in our fundraiser! The library will receive a portion of the proceeds from all purchases made between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deadline Extended!

The deadline for your teen to sign up to be a volunteer this summer with the library's Summer Reading Club has been extended!

If your child is entering grades 7-12 and you know they'll be needing community service credit hours for school, National Junior Honor Society, religious education classes, college applications, etc.--now is the time for them to fill out an application!

Being a volunteer during the summer is a lot of fun. Volunteers receive a t-shirt, get to hand out prizes to readers, and help out at fun programs like Pokemon League Games or Not Your Little Sister's Cinderella. They also get to enter a weekly raffle to win a delicious treat from Potbelly's and at the end of SRC there's a great party to thank our wonderful volunteers!

Stop by the Youth Services desk on the 2nd floor to fill out an application today. Volunteer positions are filling up fast!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wedding Excitement!

One of our own is getting married! Today our Preschool Liaison librarian, Courtney, is tying the knot. While she's been excited about getting married for a while now, one of the things she might be happiest about is having her two nieces play flower girl.

Are your children going to be standing up in a wedding or attending a wedding this summer? Consider checking out some of the following titles to help them get used to what they can expect during the big day!

The Reluctant Flower Girl by Lynne Barasch
Flower Girl by Kathy Furgang
Flower Girl Butterflies by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
The Ring Bear: A Rascally Wedding Adventure by David Michael Slater
Snapshots from the Wedding by Gary Soto
Lettice: The Flower Girl by Mandy Stanley
Milly's Wedding by Kate Summers

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Parenting Books

Baby Signing 1-2-3
The easy-to-use illustrated guide for every stage and every age.
J Parent Collection 419.7 CAD

Outlines a framework for behavior intervention. Includes many practical examples and useful tips.
J Parent Collection 618.9285882 MIL

Better Food for Kids
Information and a essential guide to nutrition for all children from age 2 to 10.
J Parent Collection 641.5622 SAA

Provides the guidance and support you need to turn the challenges of raising a teenager into opportunities for growth.
J Parent Collection 649.125 POP

The ideal book for parents eager to understand what is going on in the mind and bodies of their young sons.
J Parent Collection 649.132 RAO

A tested method for teaching your child quickly and happily!
J Parent Collection 649.62 AZR

This book is for people who want to create stunning photographs of the babies they love with a minimum of effort and fancy equipment.
J Parent Collection 778.925 KEL

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Looking for Something? Try a Garage Sale

Between the dismal economy and the focus on being green, Garage Sales are the perfect solution to your summer fun.  Instead of spending countless weekends driving around aimlessly, take time to visit the many garage sales in the Community Wide Garage Sale. Next weekend, Friday - Sunday (May 13 - 15), many homes in zip code 60016 will be participating in the garage sale, and for those in zip code 60018, it will be the next weekend (May 20 - 22).

Don't have a garage?  On May 14, the Mountain View Adventure Center on Algonquin Road is opening up their parking lot for one huge garage sale; spaces are $25 to rent and are the size of an actual parking space.  From 8:30am - 2:00pm, hundreds of families and visitors will be able to shop at your tables (just make sure to bring a table to put your items on).

Hopefully the weather will hold so you can get out there and have some fun walking around. Take your kids to pick out their 'new' toys and games from someone's outgrown items. Is there a child soon to be arriving? Look for those expensive baby items that might be able to be reused from someone else.

Looking for a map of the garage sales? Look no further than the City of Des Plaines webpage. The map will be up on May 12.