Friday, September 30, 2011

Banned Books Week

the Freedom
to Read

Excerpted from the American Library Association's web site:

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to, or view.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Elect to read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

For more information, and ways to participate in this year's Virtual Read-Out, click here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Video Game Did What?

Just last week I read an interesting article about a video game, but not just any ordinary video game.  By playing this game, players were able to build an accurate model of an enzyme.  Not just any enzyme--an enzyme the structure of which has puzzled scientists for 10 years! This enzyme, monomeric protease, is important because it is part of the family of diseases which includes HIV, and in order to understand the cause of diseases and create drugs to stop them, scientists need to understand the structure of the parts.

There are a couple of wonderful quotes in this article that I'd like to share with you. Firas Khatib, of the University of Washington's biochemistry lab said "the ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems."

The last two are from one of the creators of this game, Seth Cooper. In regards to why gamers were able to solve the problem that computers could not, he said "people have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at." He also said "games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before."

The players solved the 'protein puzzle' in only 3 weeks. Ingenuity and spatial reasoning. It's amazing what video games can help with. While they are not the be-all and end-all of your child's education, maybe the next time your child wants to spend a little extra time with that video game you'll remember this story. Perhaps your child will grow up to solve and work towards curing diseases!

Want to find out what video games the library carries? Please click on the links below. We carry games for XBOX 360, Wii, and Playstation 3.

If you would like to read the article that I did, here it is.

Here is the link to the game.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Blinded by science? No way!
The Des Plaines Public Library's 3rd annual Family Science Expo is this Saturday, September 24. The event is open house, so come any time between noon and 4 p.m. to see exhibits, demonstrations, robotics, science experiments in action, and to try your own hand at construction challenges and generating electricity. This event is geared toward children in grades 2-8, but will be fun for the entire family.

A dozen different science organizations and engineering associations will be on hand to talk to you and your kids about what they do and how they do it. Our guest exhibitors include structural, civil, and chemical engineers; young, budding scientists from Des Plaines; the Civil Air Patrol, and others.

New this year, bring your old, unwanted bicycles to the library during this event for donation to Working Bikes Cooperative, a non-profit organization that recycles old bikes and delivers them to developing countries to be used as tools of empowerment.

Also new this year, ChiBots, the Chicago Area Robotics Group, will be demonstrating some of their latest robot creations.

Last year over 400 kids and parents visited the Expo. Don't miss out on this fabulously fun, free, and educational activity.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


All the school age children's parents are invited to join this workshop and lecture. Mrs. Kathy Wentz will be our guest speaker on the subject of current-age issues that most families deal with. Learn how we are going to lead and teach our children to utilize extremely fast moving information technology. She is an experienced Homeschooling parent, teacher, lecturer, and a
public speaker. She is well known and well respected among area Homeschooling circle. She will cover a wide variety of learning styles: movies, classic literatures, computer resources, field trips, and many more resources to create a custom curriculum. Even if you are not Homeschooling parents, you may be able learn some ideas to mix various learning methods to fit your child's needs. Nowadays, children's education is more challenging than any other time. A deluge of information resources become huge challenge to us beyond our excitement.
Please bring your questions to the program. The seminar is on Monday, October 10, at
7 p.m. at the Des Plaines Public Library, Meeting Room C.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reading on a Screen

Next time you're on the Internet with your family, visit our website and give our electronic books a try. On the go? As long as you can connect to the Internet and are a Des Plaines Library card holder, you can read books on a smart phone, tablet, e-book reader or computer screen anytime! I'll bet you'll love what you see and read! Here is a selection to start you off.

An online library of animated taking storybooks, including French, Chinese, Spanish and Russian and bilingual titles. Includes word by world highlighting feature as the story is read. There are also games, puzzles and other activities to continue the reading experience.

Offers fictional video storybooks from Weston Woods with nonfiction e-books from Scholastic. Includes word by world highlighting feature as the story is read. Also includes Spanish titles. Educations games and websites are also available.

Offers down-loadable audio books and e-books available 24 hours/ 7 days a week. Download the free app for your device. Download and enjoy on many audio and e-book devices including your computer, iPod, iPad, Sony Reader, Droid, Blackberry, Barnes & Noble Nook readers, and more.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Child ID Theft

With all the things parents have to worry about when it comes to protecting our children, it just doesn't seem right that we should have to worry about someone stealing our child's identity. Unfortunately, we do need to be on the look out for this possible problem.

A recent study on child identity theft by Carnegie Mellon University Cylab found a child only five months old that was a victim of identity theft. What a horrible surprise years later for that child to have problems getting a student loan or job because of a credit rating ruined by a stranger!

What can you do to try to protect your children from this problem? One free resource is AnnualCreditReport.com, the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report. Don't be fooled by websites with similar names that sound free, but actually charge a fee.

A new website IDTheftinfo.org also has helpful information and links. It was created by the Consumer Federation of America to help you learn how to reduce the chances of becoming a victim, detect identity theft quickly if it does happen, and deal with the consequences.

Click here for a link to resources at the Des Plaines Public Library.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New LEGO books at DPPL!

Do your kids love playing with LEGOs? That probably sounds like a silly question! Children all over the world have been fueling their imaginations with the brilliant colors of LEGO bricks for more than 70 years! Even in today’s digitally packed world, kids are just as excited about LEGOs as ever, and the youth collection is happy to supply all the coolest new books the world of LEGO has to offer.

Lego Harry Potter, Building the Magical World: This title gives your kids an up close look at all the unique LEGO pieces that were created in order to reconstruct J.K. Rowling’s magical world.

Lego Star Wars, the Visual Dictionary : Without a doubt the most requested title in our LEGO collection, this book covers the entire LEGO Star Wars galaxy with hundreds of full color photos.

The LEGO Book: From its humble beginnings in a small Denmark workshop, this title explores the history of LEGOs and their meteoric rise to an international brand today. With fascinating tidbits and full color photos, this book is so appealing that it is included in both the children’s and adult collections here at DPPL.

Be sure to check out some of these exciting new titles during your next visit!

Do you like convenience and great service at your library? Check out the all new MyCatalog search tool on our website. Log in and start searching for your favorite Books, Movies, and Music. With just one click, your selections can be placed on hold, after that, our staff will take care of the rest. The next time those items are available, we will put them in our lobby pickup area and hold them up to 3 days. We'll even give you a courtesy phone call (or email if you'd prefer) to let you know as soon as they are ready.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Get Your Teen Involved @ DPPL!

Is your teenage child (grades 6th-12th) looking to do some volunteer hours this year? Talk to them about volunteering at the library! During the school year the library accepts volunteers from grades 6th-12th. All they have to do is fill out an application and commit to doing at least 8 hours of volunteer work. I have a lot of kids ask me, and no, it's not 8 hours in a single day! They can spread out those 8 hours during the school year.

Volunteers do lots of different tasks for us. They might be able to assist during a program like Family Game Night, put together a craft sample, or make necklaces for storytimes. Or it could be refilling displays and dusting the shelves. The tasks they do depend on what we need done for that day. We always appreciate everything that the volunteers do for us. Your child can pick up an application on the 2nd floor.

Another way older students, grades 7th-12th, can make a difference at the library is through our Teen Advisory Board. The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) gets together once a month to talk about what programs teens want to have at the library and make sure the library is purchasing materials teens want to read and listen to. TAB even picked out the colors for the Teen Lounge on the third floor and designed how it should look. Meetings are only 1 hour long AND come with snacks. Have your teen stop by the next meeting so they can get involved. The next TAB meeting is September 29 from 4-5. Bonus: teens also get a community service credit hour for each meeting they come to.

Whether being a volunteer or joining TAB, there are lots of ways for teens to make a difference at the Des Plaines Library. Have them stop by the library to find out more information.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Parenting Books

Cyber Safe
Protecting and empowering kids in the digital
world of texting, gaming and social media.
J Parent Collection 004.67 OKE

Confessions of a Former Bully
Nine-year-old Katie's punishment for
classmates includes making up for the hurt she
has caused, so she decides to write a book
about bullying, why it is not okay and how
to start being a better friend.

J Parent Collection 371.58 LUD

How to Maximize Your Child's Learning Ability
Offers hundreds of practical ways to influence,
encourage, your preschooler or a high school
teenager to master almost any skill. This
book will show you how.
J Parent Collection 372.133 BRA

Late, Lost and Unprepared
A Parent's guide to helping children with
learning executive functioning skills.
J Parent Collection 649.15 COO

Helping Your Child to Excel at Reading
An essential guide to help parents know more
about how to achieve real reading success.
J Parent Collection 372.4 BAT

Smart but Scattered
Learn easy-to-follow steps to identify your
child's strengths and weaknesses using
activities and techniques proven to boost
specific skills, and problems-solve daily routines.
J Parent Collection 649.1 DAW

Starting Kids Off Right
Parents will learn how to start kids off right with
healthy relationship-building skills, as well as
how to help their children become more
confident in using those skills.
J Parent Collection 649.7 NOW