Friday, December 28, 2012

Youth Services 2012 Year in Review, or WOW! We did all that?

This happens to me every year, and maybe it happens to you too...I look up one day, and suddenly it's the middle of December. When that happens, I think to myself, "Where did the time go?" and then I tick off all the projects that led me to lose track of the time. Here in the Youth Services Department, we've been busy as usual, but a few big projects kept us on our toes.

We had a little work done (just a nip here, tuck there) that gave some much needed lift and color to the Youth Services area. We painted a wall in our Youth Services alcove behind the elevators bright blue, and it also happens to be magnetic! That's where you'll find build-your-own poetry pieces most of the time, but sometimes it's puzzles, sometimes it's word and picture matching games...but it's always fun! This project was in preparation for our fantastic first PoetryPlay event in April (National Poetry Month) with special guest author/poet Janet Wong!

I'm certain you have noticed our new orange wall in the Young Adult area. It's the first stage in a project of updating that wall to provide information, displays of materials, flyers, and other cool stuff. Coming in January is phase II, be sure to watch that space. Another update to the YA area included brand new and very sleek containers for our collection of music CD's. What a difference!

We finally replaced the bulk of our bulky desk/study chairs with bright blue, moveable and stackable desk chairs that have a great, comfortable profile that fits almost any body, kid or adult. After we replaced the chairs, we lowered the desk height of the Youth Services internet stations so that between the chairs and the tabletops, it's a much better fit and much more ergonomic.

You may (or may not) have noticed some new additions to the collection. This year we added a few e-readers to the mix: Kindles, VTech Innotabs, and LeapFrog LeapPads. We also have game cartridges for the Innotabs and LeapPads. I say you may not have noticed them because these items check out like gangbusters! These initial purchases have been so successful that you'll be sure to notice more of this in the coming year. New this year too were cartridges for your Nintendo DS here on the Youth Services floor. Check one of these many new items out today, or if you can't find one on the shelf, place one on hold for yourself or ask a staff member for help so you'll be sure to get in line for the next one available.

In March we rode the wave of the Hunger Games. A group of 25 received the red-carpet treatment through a generous partnership with Muvico in Rosemont: we had exclusive use of the game room while we gathered together, then, in our VIP reserved front-row seats we watched together as Katniss survived the Hunger Games on screen. Later, we gathered at the library AFTER HOURS to fight it out in several challenges of strength, intellect, endurance, and wits. Only the strong survive.

March was especially busy because it was also our visit and workshop with author/illustrator Raina Telgemeier. In a partnership with Algonquin Middle School, we listened to Raina's stories, asked her questions, practiced drawing with her, and got our copies of Smile signed by the author!

New this year also was a program around software and materials purchased through a generous partnership with NorthShore University HealthSystem. LEGO WeDo Robotic programs for 1st-3rd and 4th-6th graders brought the house down! Watch for more of these in 2013.

And I didn't even get to all the wonderful storytimes, outreach programs, workshops, book discussions, amazing volunteers, Family Science Expo, Art Attack, Battle of the Books, Reading is SO Delicious summer reading...I could go on! If you're not here with us, you're missing out. We are closed on Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1, but we'll look forward to your visit in 2013. Happy New Year from all of us in the Des Plaines Public Library Youth Services Department.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Art Attack: Pinecones

If your child missed our first Art Attack program, have no fear.  You and your family can make a pine cone decoration at home.  All you need is ribbon, pins, and a styrofoam egg and you can make your house look festive for any holiday or decorate your child's bedroom with a fun accessory.  The best part is that your child can easily help with it all and you can have a lot of fun together for less than $10.
Art Attack is an ongoing program for 5th-8th graders here in the library.  Look for more fun Art Attack events going on throughout the year.  If you want to make a pinecone at home, just follow these directions here.
Have younger kids, but still want to have a fun day?  Try making snowflakes out of empty toilet paper rolls and plastic cups following the directions here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Are You Coming to Dave Herzog's Holiday Marionette Show?

'Tis the season of holiday cheers and a high spirit. We are rushing around for a gift shopping or preparing for a special food for friends and family while hearing Salvation Army bell.  To celebrate the season, the Des Plaines Public Library invites you to join Frosty's Winter Wonderland on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2 p.m.at the Library; The Marionette Variety show will present Santa  along with Frosty the Snowman, Termite the Singing Christmas Tree, Jack in the Box, The Nutcracker on Skates, Jingles the Elf on the Flying Trapeze, and many more wonderful winter characters as  they ring in the holidays with their own brand of frosty fun.
Well known to audiences throughout the Chicago  area, Dave Herzog has performed at famous Navy Pier for 14 years, and is the creator of one of the Pier's signature characters Fathom the Sea
Serpent. Please do come and enjoy this family show!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Take Your Child to....

There are many 'take your child to' days throughout the year such as the most famous of them all, Take Your Child to Work Day.  Saturday, December 1st is national Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.  While the perception of libraries and bookstores is that we are in constant competition with each other, you might be surprised to know that there is a lot of collaboration between us.  As a library, we are excited and encouraged by the amount of literacy initiatives being brought forth by both local and big chain bookstores.  

On weekdays and nights, you can catch a storytime here at the library, but perhaps on a weekend you can head to your local bookstore to listen to the 'story lady' read as well.  Any and all actions on the part of parents to foster a love of books in their child is wonderful and highly encouraged by all of us here at the library.

Many bookstores which participate in the day are providing entertainment and activities for children.  We highly encourage you to participate in any and all of them that you can.  Then, head to calendar.dppl.org to check out the fun things going on here in the library.  Remember, almost all of the programs here in the library are free, so feel free to check them out!  While there is a specific day in the year for Take Your Child to the Library Day, we feel that every day can be celebrated with a visit to the library or the bookstore.  Share a book with your child and get them on the right path to literacy!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Stay (Library) Informed

Did you know you can receive a weekly e-mail straight to your inbox that will keep you informed of the goings-on around the library? Des Plaines Public Library's e-newsletter, eForward, gives you the week's library news in a nutshell. You will know about current and coming library events, learn about new products available to you either in the library or at home via your library card, be informed of things like holiday closings and special hours, and much more. Bonus...you will also be among the first to know about exciting library happenings such as the news that Des Plaines Public Library has been named a *star library* by Library Journal!

Take a look at the most current issue of eForward here. You can see that it previews some of our upcoming programs, and allows you to register on-the-spot for programs that interest you and may require registration. It is also a quick one-stop-shopping place to see all of the library's blogs and social media outlets. Finished reading Kidding Around? Check out PlainTalk with just a click of the mouse.

Enter your e-mail address and follow the instructions to become part of the eForward mailing list here. You'll be glad you did!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Talking Turkey

This is the time of year when many of us are thinking about Meleagris gallopavo. It is probably more accurate to say that we are thinking about one specific turkey, the one that will be part of our Thanksgiving dinner. The library has many cookbooks to help prepare a holiday meal, but I especially liked Thanksgiving by Ellyn Sanna. This book includes information about the culture, history and traditions of Thanksgiving. The recipes are very traditional, including my family's secret (I thought) recipe for cranberry salad.

I think turkeys are fascinating, and I consider myself to be in good company. After all, Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our official bird instead of the bald eagle. He thought that the eagle had "bad moral character," and said, "The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America." The National Turkey Federation (NTF) includes that fact and many more on its website.

The NTF is the group that has presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President each year since 1947. Of course, the President publicly pardons that turkey and sends it to live at Mt. Vernon.

Two of the library's databases are good sources of information about turkeys as well. PebbleGo Animals is a great resource for emergent readers. Your child can learn lots of fun facts, such as what a poult is. (It's a baby turkey.) Amazing Animals of the World is a database for older children. You can link to these databases through the library's website,  and can log in from home with your Des Plaines library card, even on Thanksgiving Day.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

MEET THE DOG - Dog Safety for Children

                                            May I Pet your Dog?

Is there a right way or wrong way for children to meet a dog, to pet a dog,to play with a dog?

You and your children, ages 3-8, could find out the answers to these questions and many more by attending a very special program tomorrow, November 10th from 11:00-Noon in 1st floor meeting  Room B. Youth Services has invited safety experts and dog therapy teams from Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy of Morton Grove to demonstrate to you how to interact safely with dogs. (Registration is not required, but you must accompany your child to the program.)

Watching and meeting these gentle, obedient therapy dogs could lessen your child's fear of dogs, increase his/her coping skills when approaching new or strange dogs, and might even lead your family to considering having a dog of your very own.

After the program, (or if you cannot attend) I'd like to recommend a shared family read of some of our newest books from the pet nonfiction section (J 636.7). By all means start with the classic dog safety book, May I Pet Your Dog, as well as the cautionary tale for toddlers, Be Gentle With the Dog, Dear! Next, read a few books that satisfy your child's curiosity about doggy behavior, that is, why dogs do what they do, such as It's a Dog's Life. If your family already has a dog, you can also read several great books like 101 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog that have lots of easy games to play with your dog, that can train him to be a smarter, better behaved dog too! Finally, if you are deciding whether to get a new family dog, and need to learn about many breed of dogs, and what it takes to care for a dog, head for the J 636.7's - WOOF! WOOF!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Celebrate Native American History Month

Every  November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month  to honor the first Americans on this continent. Various organizations that connect to the heritage  provide many special programs, such as lectures, powwows, seminars and some other fun activites.  Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg,  the only Native American operated fine-arts institution in Illinois  presents a wealth of programs. On Sunday, November 4,  2012, at 2 p.m., we have our own program, Spirit of the Eagle Presentations, by Jonathan Jordan who is  part of the Lakota Indian heritage.  Through the program, we will learn about the nomadic lifestyle of the Lakota Sioux, focusing on music, artifacts, teepee etiquette and more. Please join us for this celebration. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Celebrate Family Reading Night

What is your family doing on Thursday, November 15th?  You have plans... and they involve the library.

Family Reading Night is a state-wide event  sponsored by Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian.  It encourages families to spend quality time reading together.
To aid in this effort, the library is providing 50 families with a library bag filled with hot chocolate for four and popcorn to share while you enjoy your family time.  Inside of the bag will also be five books for you to check out and share with your family.
Stop in from November 1st - 14th to pick up your family's bag and then share the treats and books with your family on the night of the 15th.  Post here to tell us about your night and if you enjoyed participating and remember to return the books when you are done.
*bags will be given out while supplies last, limit one bag per family*

Friday, October 19, 2012

Is Bigger Really Better?

Occasionally at the library, we encounter young patrons looking for "thin" books because they perceive themselves to be slow or not very good readers.  This perception is usually due to comparisons they make themselves with classmates or comments from classmates, teachers and parents.  The stereotype of a slow reader or a below average reader is one that breaks my heart because these young patrons begin to dislike reading and view books as a mountain that can't be scaled, eventually giving up reading for pleasure all together.

In reality, it is not the quantity of books or pages read that is important but the quality of the books and the vocabulary and information on the pages.  I always lead these readers to the non-fiction section because between the covers of the thin books often found in the non-fiction section is a goldmine of vocabulary and information.  Frequently, the books these "slow" or "below average" readers choose are on par with or above their grade level; the majority of the time it is the latter. Encourage your reluctant reader to choose a few non-fiction books at the library the next time that you visit.  Slowly increase the amount of non-fiction books you borrow with each visit and you will soon find that your reluctant reader is not so reluctant any more.  For some readers, bigger isn't really better, especially if they do not have the confidence to read bigger books.  By breaking the volume read into smaller chunks ("thin" books) you will help your reader gain confidence and become a better reader.

Check out a few of my favorite "thin" books at the library:

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Stress of Being a Child

 You might not realize it, but kids have stress just like parents.  As they learn to navigate stress, you can help them in different ways.
By teaching them meditation, exercise, and listening to music can help them through life's ups and downs, you are giving them the tools to becoming a more well-adjusted adult.
The article, Managing Your Child's Stress, outlines different ways to help your children cope with stress and the emotions that accompany that stress.
You can also get great ideas from our Parenting Collection, where you can find books about how to deal with everything from nail biting to bed wetting.  Don't forget to ask for help finding materials if you can't find what you are looking for.

Friday, October 5, 2012

4th Annual Family Science Expo

Looking for something fun, free, family-oriented, and a little nerdy to do next Saturday? Well, we have just the thing for you! The Des Plaines Public Library’s 4th annual Family Science Expo is Saturday, October 13. The event is open house, so come any time between noon and 4 p.m. to see exhibits, demonstrations, science experiments in action and to try your own hand as construction challenges and generating electricity. The event is geared toward children in grades 2-8, but will be fun for the entire family.

Over a dozen science and engineering organizations will be on hand to talk to your family about what they do and how they do it. Our exhibitors this year include chemical, civil, safety and structural engineers as well as the Civil Air Patrol, the Optical Society of Chicago, Destination ImagiNation and the Des Plaines Science Prodigies. In addition, check out the interactive display about how science and technology has changed the banking industry from our sponsor, Village Bank & Trust.

If you have an old or unwanted bike, October 13 will be your chance to donate it to a wonderful organization, Working Bikes. Working Bikes is a non-profit organization that gathers bicycles and sends them to developing countries to be used as tools of empowerment.

Last year over 500 kids and their families visited Science Expo and by all accounts had a fun and educational time. Don't miss your chance to experience Science Expo this year!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Finding the Needle in the Early Reader Haystack

Early Reader Books; a thorn in the side of parents and librarians everywhere.
You are elated to find that your little one is beginning to read (great job getting them prepared for reading, by the way)... and then you move across the aisle from the picture books to the early reader collection only to be overwhelmed with the sheer volume and variety of books available. How do you pick the right one?
One place to start is our 'Great Books for Kindergarten and First Graders' Booklist, which you can find online here and also in the library with the rest of our booklists.  It provides a list of a variety of picture books you can read to your emerging reader, and a few easy early reader books they can start reading on their own such as those in the Fly Guy series. 
One way to help your child make the transition to reading on their own is to read a type of book called We Both Read.  Each book has a series of two-page spreads that begin with a paragraph for a parent to read and end with a word or sentence for the child to read aloud.  This can be very encouraging for emerging readers as they feel comforted that their parent will be reading the bulk of the text.
One way that we help you find books that will be easy for your emerging reader to read is with a sticker placed on the spine of the book.  This 'Easy Reading' sticker can be found on several books within the collection and looks like this:
Once your child begins reading, the amount of time he or she will spend reading books in the early reader collection on the 2nd floor is small.  They very quickly jump in reading ability and will move on to harder and harder books until they are reading full chapter books.  Even as they become more independent in their reading, don't forget that they still might want to be read to.  There are plenty of chapter books that can be read aloud.  You can try trading off chapters or paragraphs with your child.  It will build their confidence as a reader if they can finish a longer book and encourage their love of reading.
If you have any questions or would like any recommendations, don't hesitate to stop in the library and ask.  We are always happy to help!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Eating and Exercising for Your Health

Concerned about your family's health? You should be! I just read an article on the Chicago Tribune's website titled "Fat and Getting Fatter: U.S. Obesity Rates to Soar by 2030." That's a scary headline to read. Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released stats about the United States at the moment: that 16.9% of kids age 2-19 are obese. What's the percent for adults? 35.7%. The report projects that by 2030 half of U.S. adults will be be obese (if we don't change our ways). That means children who are 3 now who will be 21 in the year 2030 could be part of that 1/2 percent. Scary!

So what steps can you take? First don't panic. The library has plenty of books about healthy eating, fruits, and vegetables. While it's too late this year, why not plant a vegetable patch in your backyard next spring? Kids have fun watching things grow and the satisfaction of making a meal from what they grew. Pick up a cookbook that will show you how to make delicious, nutritious food.

You can also spend more time being active outside. As I previous wrote in Kidding Around, the CDC recommends 60 minutes of physical activity a day. You can spend that 60 minutes in so many different ways!We have lots of books about outdoor games you can play together, games like tag, hopscotch, and jump rope. My favorite thing is to go for a family walk after dinner.

One of the hardest things to do might be to set the positive example for your children. Let's face it, kids follow adult behavior. And while you might tell them to eat their veggies, if you're not eating them they might wonder why they should. Besides, eating healthy and being active is in all of our best interests right? We all want to be strong, healthy role models for our kids.

Find it at the library! Click on the link to go to our catalog.

Healthy Eating Books

Helpful Websites

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall Free Days at the Chicago Museums!

Are you looking for something fun (and educational) to do with your family on a fall weekend?  Take advantage of free days at the museums in Chicago!  A number of museums are offering free days throughout the fall for Illinois residents. Visit Sue the dinosaur at the Field Museum, journey through space at the Adler Planetarium, find Nemo (or his friends) at the Shedd Aquarium, climb aboard the Pioneer Zephyr at the Museum of Science and Industry, or travel wherever your imagination takes you at the Chicago Children's Museum.  Click on the links above to view the free days at the Chicago museums this fall.

If the hustle and bustle of the city is too much for you, you can always check out a free Museum Adventure Pass for suburban museums at the library. View the list of museums available and then visit the 2nd floor information desk to check out your free museum pass.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Heading into Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 15-October 15 each year, a time frame that is historically significant for the claiming of independence of many Latin American countries. This year's theme is "Many Backgrounds, Many Stories...One American Spirit." You can read more about the nationwide celebration from the Library of Congress web site. Here in the Youth Services Department, we will commemorate the occasion by offering a display of books, music, and other materials that celebrate language, culture, people, places, and history.

My favorite way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is to cook (and eat). I have a great recipe for empanadas (stuffed pastry) with a filling ground beef, onions, red peppers, green olives, raisins, hard-boiled egg, and seasoning. I buy my dough in packages of what are called discos (pre-cut circles of dough) and I tuck the beef filling inside, bake, and...tan bueno! Empanadas with different fillings are traditional in many countries around the world.

I will be traveling to Mexico at the beginning of October, and I look forward to sharing stories in both English and Spanish with my young niece, now almost two years old. It gives me an opportunity to brush up on my Spanish language skills, something I find extremely useful as I prepare to perform our Drop-in Dual-Language Storytime in Spanish and English this fall. One of my favorite stories in English that we also happen to have in Spanish is Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems. It's Spanish counterpart is El Conejito Knuffle, which I like to pronouce El Conejito "Ke-new-flay" because I think Mo would find it funny.

I will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by sampling a variety of foods from different backgrounds, traveling to new places, and sharing many stories.
How will you be celebrating?

Friday, August 24, 2012

The School Bus is Coming!

What happened to make the little broom miss the school bus?

She overswept.

You may (or may not) think that was a funny joke, but riding the school bus is actually serious business. Many students rely on the bus as a safe mode of transportation to school. Your child's school has rules for school bus safety, and Illinois law requires that students practice school bus evacuation each year. The drills happen on school property with the bus driver and school staff.

As your child's first teacher, you may want to talk to your child about bus safety. Staying Safe on the School Bus by Lucia Raatma could help with that conversation.

As a driver, it is also important to make sure you understand the rules of the road to keep children safe. The complete 2012 Illinois Rules of the Road publication is available at the Illinois Secretary of State's website, but here are a few reminders.

When approaching a marked school zone between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., on days when school is in operation and children are present, a driver must discontinue wireless/cell phone use, reduce speed to 20 mph, and stop and yield the right-of-way to any children or adults in the crosswalk area.

You must stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus loading or unloading passengers on a two-lane roadway. The bus driver will flash amber and red lights, then extend stop signal arm. You must then come to a complete stop. You must remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the driver signals you to pass. Your driver’s license or vehicle registration will be suspended for three months and you will pay a minimum $150 fine if you are convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Adam's Parting Gift:Great Children's Stories for Adults

As Adam prepares to leave us to move on to the next phase of his professional life, I thought it would be nice to post his list of great picture books for adults.  We hope you enjoy!

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is the classic tale of a little girl whose pride and joy is her unique name: Chrysanthemum. In a situation anyone can relate to, Chrysanthemum's elation is quickly shattered by relentless teasing from her classmates during the first days of school. As it is an uplifting tale, Chyrsanthemum eventually overcomes the taunts of her peers and learns to celebrate the things that make her most special.

I Can Hear the Sun is a lovely tale by celebrated children's author Patricia Polacco. Lake Merritt is a place for many unwanted souls, including Fondo, a young orphan boy who lives at a nearby state home. During his days wandering the lakefront, Fondo befriends the park's lonely keeper, Stephanie Michele. While caring for the lake's flock of geese, the pair explain how it takes a very special person to be able to hear the sun.

Have you ever had a bad day? A really really bad day? Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a tale nearly four decades old, yet just as relatable today as when it was originally published in 1972. Bad days can make us so sad that we wish we could go to a place where terrible things never ever happen. But all bad days eventually come to an end. Help ease your own troubles by following Alexander through the misery, atrocity, and comedy of his very, very bad day.

I chose Duck for President because watching the news media these days can sometimes be a little disheartening. Duck for President is a hilarious tale by Doreen Cronin of a lowly blue collar duck who becomes tired of a hard life of manual labor on the farm, and decides to make a change. Pick up this story for a bit of innocent political humor, and vote duck for a kinder, gentler farm.

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is one of the lesser read Dr. Seuss titles. In classic Seussical style, take a moment to realize that when you think things are bad, when you start to get mad, you're really quite lucky! Some people are much more...oh ever so much more...oh, muchly much-much more unluckier than you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Volunteer Wrap Up

Now that Summer Reading Club is over we can take a huge deep breath--aaahh! Summer Reading Club is the most exciting time for our department, but it can also be the most tiring. However we have a huge help to us--our amazing teen volunteers!

We had 59 absolutely amazing, dedicated volunteers this summer. They range from 7th grade to high school seniors. They went through training to learn how to sign up kids using our new computer system. They had 2 hour shifts that they came to each week, ready to get kids excited about reading. They helped out at programs, refilled the book cart, and brought tons of enthusiasm and energy to our floor.

We celebrated our volunteers at our end of the summer party on Wednesday. Domino's donated delicious pizza and Potbelly's gave us fantastic sandwiches to feed our hungry volunteers. The teens got a chance to celebrate themselves as we congratulated them on a job well done. All our teens did an incredible job but we did pass out some awards to a few teens who went above and beyond, were extra enthusiastic, or were our super smiley volunteers. We honestly can't thank them enough!!

If you think your teen might be interested in helping out next year for Summer Reading, applications will go out in April and you can always check on the Kidding Around blog for a post announcing our call for volunteers.

If your teen is looking for service credit hours for school this year, they can still be a volunteer in the Youth Services department! Applications will go out on September 1st. Teens have to be in grades 6th-12th and have to be able to commit to doing 8 hours total (not in one day of course!). There's different jobs to be done depending on the needs of the department, but they can range from: folding brochures, making craft samples, assisting at programs, and general cleaning.

Want to know more about the volunteer program? You can (or better yet, have your teen) call us at the library. Our number is 847.376.2839 and we'd love to answer your questions.

Thanks again to our terrific teens! We hope that you guys decide to share your talents with us again next summer!

Friday, August 3, 2012

B-I-N-G-O! Summer Reading Patch

Special reminder to everyone who registered for our Reading is Sooo Delicious! Summer Reading Club. Sunday August 5 is your last day to claim your yummy prizes and certificate! In addition, when you do visit the second floor booth, be sure to ask for a TASTY Reading Patch BINGO sheet to keep you and your family busy for the rest of the month of August. Your prize for completing ten of the various activities on this sheet by August 31st is an embroidered "Reading Is So Delicious" patch ready to sew or iron on to your jacket or backpack in time for school. And it's as "easy as pie" to finish. Can you eat and draw a food that is red or green, or cook a favorite recipe together? Color in 3 squares. 

If you donate a food item to the red Self-Help Pantry bucket, or play our guessing jar game by August 5th, color in 2 more squares, and you're halfway there. Do you like to share reading books out loud or online (BookFlix or Tumblebook @www.dppl.org),  listen to CDs, audiobooks, or movies as a family? Fill in 3 more. Of course, you can also read several of the food-filled books from our Summer Reading display shelf and B-I-N-G-O! you're done! But don't stop collecting patches after this one. 

Our regular Reading Patch Club resumes September through next May. Grade school readers can choose books from recommended lists for 16 different categories (fantasy, mystery, science fiction, scary stories to name a few) to receive more unique patches. Pre-schoolers to grade 2's can be read to or read along with parents to receive their own special patches too. Please stop at the Youth Services desk in September to register for this ongoing program.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fairs Are So Delicious, Too

So far this summer over 2,000 children have learned that Reading Is So Delicious by participating in our summer reading club. Remember that Sunday, August 5 is the last day to receive prizes, so read, read, read

If you have finished recording your 16 hours, make sure you try our TASTY Reading Patch Bingo. To play, pick up a BINGO card in the Youth Services Department and complete two rows of activities to earn your patch. You can turn in your card through the last day of August.

A fun way to expand on the patch activities is to visit a local county or state fair. You will be able to actually ask a farmer questions, see what your favorite farm animal likes to eat, and see lots of colorful new foods . You might even want to sip on some fresh-squeezed lemonade.

These are fairs that you might want to visit.

DuPage County Fair is in Wheaton through Sunday, July 29.

Lake County Fair is in Grayslake through Sunday, July 29.

Wisconsin State Fair is in Milwaukee, August 2 - 12.

Illinois State Fair is in Springfiled, August 9 - 19.

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Parenting Books

A practical guide for coping with the ups and downs of being a step-family.
J Parent Collection 306.8747 HAY

A simple blueprint for success that help kids keep good habits.
J Parent Collection 613.7042 SAU

Child psychologist Ellen B. Braaten offers clear and expert guidance to demystify the complexities of child mental health care.
J Parent Collection 618.9297 ALL
Give your baby and toddler the best possible start in life with more than 100 delicious recipes.
J Parent Collection 641.5622 ELL

Covering the period from birth to approximately seven years of age, this book offers practical, down-to-earth advice on raising happy, enthusiastic and confident children.
J Parent Collection 649.1 BLA

Talking to Your Kids About Sex
Dr. Berman offers an elegantly laid-outguide for when and what to teach your kids about sex.
J Parent Collection 649.65 BER

Awesomely geeky projects and activities for dads and kids to share.
J Parent Collection 790.13 DEN

Friday, July 13, 2012

Look Mom, I made Art!

This past week in our Food Craft program, children participated in fruit and veggie stamping.  It was tons of fun, and easy to do.  If you, like so many people in this country, are constantly throwing away fruits and vegetables that have gone bad before you have a chance to eat them, try re-using them!  If they are too old to eat, but still holding their shape, you can grab your kids, a couple of colors of paint, and some paper, and you have the makings of a fun afternoon!

At the library, we used apples, pears, bunches of celery, lemons, limes, and grapefruit to create all kinds of designs.  One boy made a fireworks display on his paper.  Have fun!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dairy Day Trip

All summer we have been telling you that Reading is So Delicious. Hopefully you have participated in some of our tasty food-themed programs and are completing your Reading Patch Bingo card.

Summer is the perfect time to explore local sources of our delicious food, ice cream being one of my favorites. An "edutaining" place to spend the day is Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana. The dairy is home to thousands of cows that are milked three times each day. During the milking process, 72 cows at a time ride a milking carousel. Who would have thought cows would enjoy riding a merry-go-round!

While you are at the dairy you can see how cheese and ice cream are made, enjoy the outdoor play center, and check out the indoor exhibits. You can even watch a baby calf being born in the birthing barn.

Of course the library has some great books to help you get ready for your trip.

Grass to Milk by Julie Murray explains how milk gets from the farm to your table.
If you prefer to stay close to home, check out Ben & Jerry: Ice Cream Manufacturers by Joanne Mattern. After you finish reading, you will have a good excuse to continue your research by trying Chocolate Therapy (one of Ben & Jerry's new flavors).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ew.... Bugs!

As the preschool liaison for our library, it is my job to visit all of the preschools in the city and engage them in a fun learning experience.  These past few months have been filled with bugs; books shared, rhymes acted out, and songs sung.  You can create your own bug-infested learning experience this summer by sharing the suggested books below, and heading to the Brookfield Zoo to experience Extreme Bugs, a new exhibit.

Get your child excited about bugs by sharing the following books with him/her:

Bug Safari by Bob Barner

Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran
Buglette the Messy Sleeper by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields

After you have excited them with your tales of bug life, check out one of our Museum Adventure Passes to Brookfield Zoo.  The pass is good for two free general admissions.  While you are there, check out their Extreme Bugs exhibit and enhance your child's learning experience.

When you get home, you can find a ton of books in our non-fiction collection on your child's new favorite bug.  Will it be a Stink Bug, a Lady Bug, or a Praying Mantis?  Visit the zoo, read some books and find out!  Get more information on the zoo's Extreme Bugs exhibit here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A "Taste" of Generosity

In the spirit of this year's summer reading club theme, "Reading is So Delicious!", and the library-wide theme, Taste, the library is collecting canned goods and other non-perishable foods which will be donated to the Self Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines.  Help fill up the library's donation bucket, located near the summer reading club sign-in table on the 2nd floor and give those in need a taste of Des Plaines' generosity.  As a thanks from the library for your generous donation, stop by the Youth Services desk when making your donation and receive a special prize for every two items donated!

Friday, June 15, 2012

SYNC's Back for the Summer!

I have looked forward to this part of the summer every summer for the past two years. The SYNC free downloadable audiobooks have begun!

For the past two summers AudioFile magazine, which lets you in on the best audiobooks, and audiobook publishers have been bringing listeners SYNC! For ten weeks you have access to download a free YA modern title and a classic which is a fitting companion. That's 20 free titles! The only catch: you only have the week they are available to download them, but once you do, it's yours.

Here are all the titles available this summer and when. Now some of these titles might be more suitable for older teens. So make sure you tell your high school teen, or download it anyways for when your child is older. Or for you to listen to! This is a fantastic deal that only happens in the summer. Make sure you download them all!

June 14-June 20
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

June 21-June 27
Irises by Francisco X. Stork
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

June 28-July 4
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

July 5-July 11
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

July 12-July 18
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.]
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain

July 19-July 25
Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

July 26-August 1
Pinned by Alfred C. Martino

August 2-August 8
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

August 9-August 15
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard

August 16-August 22
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

All you need to do to download the books is click on the link below and enter your name and email address. Then you'll need OverDrive Media Console to play them (which, if you already download eaudiobooks from our library you'll have already). I just downloaded the first two titles and it was quick and easy!

When your teen is looking for some good books for their summer reading have them check out the SYNC titles! It's also perfect for them to listen to in the car during those long family car trips. Post us a comment and let us know which book your teen liked best. Personally, I can't wait to download Skulduggery Pleasant--it's one of my favorite books and I LOVE the audio version. I'm excited to own it so I can listen to it anytime I want!

Visit www.audiobooksync.com to start downloading your books today.

Friday, June 8, 2012

E-Readers for the Whole Family!

Is your child learning to read?  I've got great news. 

This year, the library was able to purchase several more Kindles and Nooks for the Adult Department as well as two Kindles for our Battle of the Books participants and Caudill Club readers in the Youth Department.  The Kindles in our department are preloaded with the appropriate novels for each activity (either the titles for Battle or the titles nominated for the Caudill Award) and can be checked out at the desk.

In addition we were able to purchase a few e-readers for our younger patrons, and we couldn't be more excited!  Not only do we now have two V-tech InnoTab machines, but we also have a Leapfrog LeapPad in our collection.  You will find these machines on the shelf in the Phonics Collection of our Early Readers.  Check one out for your child and watch their reading abilities grow.  Each reader checks out for 28 days and includes one book/game cartridge.

Have a LeapPad or InnoTab of your own?  We also added several book/game cartridges to our collection.  You will find the InnoTab cartridges hanging in blue bags in our Phonics Collection with our other phonics sets.  Soon, you will also find LeapPad cartridges on the shelf.  These book/game cartridges also check out for 28 days. 

Have another type of e-reader?  Don't forget that you can download lots of titles through our library's e-dppl website here.  We not only have novels for adults, but lots of chapter books for children too!

Get started working on your child's early literacy today and keep helping them with their reading skills by helping them particiapte in our Caudill Club and annual Battle of the Books.  Everything helps! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

(Summer) Reading is SO Delicious!

Thinking about how to guide your family's time this summer? Instead of lounging with a laptop or sprawling in front of a big screen, consider the wide variety of activities that are open to you at the Des Plaines Public Library this summer. Our annual Summer Reading Club "Reading is SO Delicious!" goes into full swing on Saturday, June 9 with a kickoff event that will surely tempt your taste buds for all the delectable things happening at the library this summer. The Fantastic Food Festival sponsored by the Friends of the Library includes scrumptious snacks, fabulous face painting, a creative craft, appetizing activities, and enticing entertainment for the entire family. June 9 is also your first opportunity to register to participate as a reader in the Reading is SO Delicious! Summer Reading Club. Stop in between 1:30-3:30 on June 9 to sample all the deliciousness of the day!

Don't think, though, that the savory summer ends there...no, no, no! Check out the Reading is SO Delicious! web site here, and our mouthwatering schedule of events here. Find something flavorful to fit any fancy. It's going to be a summer feast of fabulous-ness that's fit for a king!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Your Family's Sun Screen Adventure Begins!

A Cautionary Tale:

Two years ago, on a vacation to San Diego, I broke out in an incredibly itchy rash.  As someone who's skin sometimes reacts weirdly to different lotions, I thought perhaps I used the hotel shampoo or body wash and was having some sort of allergic reaction (although honestly... I was already taking two allergy medications a day!).  After several trips to the drug store, and several frantic calls to my family pharmacist, I took some Benedryl and it calmed down.  I was back home anyway, and the reaction stopped.

As it wasn't the first time I had reacted to various lotions/beauty products, I went to have my allergies re-tested and the results came back that I wasn't allergic to any chemicals.  So, I forgot about it.  I made it through a whole summer without a reaction.

One year ago, on a vacation to Ft. Myers, Florida, I broke out in the exact same rash.... still very itchy all over my body.  So bad that I actually broke the skin while scratching.  By this time my mother (a nurse) was fairly concerned.  I already had an appointment with a dermatologist and while there, I asked about my reaction.  I thought I had done the right thing in already talking to the allergist, but thought since they are experts in skin issues, I might as well ask.  I couldn't believe what she told me.

As it turns out - it was SUNSCREEN that was the culprit.  My reaction: 'I am the palest person I have ever met! I can't live without sunscreen, and I use it all summer long.  I was tested for chemical allergies and had none.  How is it possible that I could be allergic to sunscreen?' 
And that is when she explained about sunscreen allergies.  As it turns out, you can have two different types of allergies to sunscreen.  One is just a plain old reaction to the chemical you are allergic to.  No matter where or when you use it, you will react to it.  The other kind of allergy (the kind that I have) is a little more complicated.  It is an allergy that is 'photosensitive', and the reaction only occurs when activated by the sun.  This type of allergy normally shows up when you get closer to the equator (hence the reaction in San Diego and Flordia, but no reaction here at home).

Today, I read an article about protecting your family from some sunscreens that can contain harmful ingredients.  You can see the article for yourself here.  It also contains a link a website where you can research the sunscreen you are currently using and see how its active ingredients work. 

As Summer begins, don't neglect your family's skin.  Make sure to have plenty of sunscreen on hand.  Also, make sure to keep in mind that when you travel on whatever vacation plans you have this summer, your family's sun screen needs may change.  Keep your kids safe this summer, and have fun on your own adventures!  Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and remember that the library is closed on Sunday and Monday, May 28th and 29th.