Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting Ready for a New Year!

Have you jotted down your New Year's resolutions yet?  If you haven't and you're strapped for ideas, why not consider taking up a new sport or hobby as your resolution for 2012?  The start of a fresh, blank year is the perfect opportunity to learn something new, and here at the library, we have tons of great books to help you on your quest. 

See below for just a few of the titles we currently have in stock in the Ozark Regional Library system (all cover images are from Goodreads).  Tip: If you don't find the book you want on your library's shelf, fill out a request slip at the front desk, and we'll have the title ready in a few weeks for you to pick up!


Karate by Terry Allan

Ballet by Lisa Dillman.

Jump Ball! by Nick Fauchald
and Bill Dickson.

Winning Volleyball for
Girls by Deborah W.
Crisfield and Mark Gola.

Learn to Play the Guitar
by Frank Cappelli.

Fishing by  Lisa Klobuchar.

Chic Knits for Young Chicks
by Sarah Paulin.

Keep reading!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mark Your Calendars!

I just wanted to remind all of our readers that all libraries in the Ozark Regional system will be closed on Saturday, December 24 and Monday, December 26 in observance of Christmas.  We will also be closed on Monday, January 2 for New Year's.  

Keep reading!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Gift Book Ideas...

If you're still looking for a few last-minute gift ideas, why not try these high-circulation titles out?  They're guaranteed to be welcomed by the young readers on your list!  All book cover images are from Baker and Taylor Online.

For Ages 0-3
The Artist Who Painted a
Blue Horse by Eric Carle.

For Ages 4-6
If You Give a Dog a Donut by
Laura Numeroff and
Felicia Bond.

For Ages 7-9
Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
Cabin Fever by
Jeff Kinney.

For Ages 10-12
The Emerald Atlas by
John Stephens.

For Ages 13-up
The Running Dream by Wendelin
Van Drannen.

Keep reading!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Looking (Way) Ahead to Summer 2012...

I know it's still December, but this is the time of year we at the library start preparing for next year's round of summer programming, and we'd love your feedback.  I added a new survey to the right-hand side of the blog's main page.  Scroll down, check it out, and cast your vote!  Remember, your vote will have an impact on what performers the library brings in for Summer 2012's Reading Program!

*Update: this poll is no longer available.  Per your requests, we've booked several magic/comedy shows and a puppet show for Summer 2012.  Thanks for your feedback!*

Keep reading!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Wrapping up Fall Story Time 2011: The Four Seasons

I can hardly believe that 2011 is almost over, but I just finished up the tenth and final week of Fall Story Time programming this past week.  From September to December, we held a total of 111 programs and had a final attendance of 1157 kids!  I think that's cause for celebration, and I just want to thank all you parents, daycare leaders, teachers, and kids for supporting your local library!  We couldn't do what we do without YOU.

Now, we're on hiatus until spring programming starts up in mid-February (the week of February 20th, to be exact.  Keep watching this blog for more details, or check the front desk of your local library sometime in the next few weeks).

What to do while you're waiting for story time to return?  Why not try having story time at home?  Beginning in January, I'll be posting some simple ideas you can try out from the comfort of your own kitchen or living room.  Each story time program will include several book suggestions, a game or song idea, and instructions for a craft using items you probably already own.  A lot of the themes will likely focus on travel, as I have oodles of fun ideas left over from last summer's "One World, Many Stories" program that I didn't get a chance to try out.

Keep reading!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #10 Photos

Several snowman story time

Our snowball toss game!
We ended up doing this
in lieu of our gumdrop
sculptures, which ended
up falling apart!

One of our cute reindeer cards
(note: I was informed this one
is NOT Rudolph).

Don't forget Spring Story
Time starts February
Keep reading!


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #10

Fall Story Time (Week #10)
Weekly Theme: Winter (All About Snow and Sweets)

Icebreaker: talked about snowflakes

Books: The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll, The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett, All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

Activity: gumdrop sculptures

Craft: Rudolph reindeer cards

Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 

Keep reading!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #9 Photos

Pretending to "ice fish"
for our game.

Using our amazing
hooking sticks (read
Kumak's Fish for some
context!) to snare our

Painting with watercolor
ice cubes.

Keep reading!


Monday, November 28, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #9

Fall Story Time (Week #9)
Weekly Theme: Winter (All About Ice and the Arctic)

Icebreaker: talked about the Arctic and its animals

Books: Kumak's Fish by Michael Bania, Omar on Ice by Maryann Kovalski

Activity: ice fishing activity

Craft: watercolor paintings with colored ice cubes
Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 
Keep reading!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Looking for Some Great Gift Books?

The New York Times Book Review has released its list of the Ten Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2011, and they are gems!!  Whether you decide to purchase Frank Viva's Along a Long Road, with its striking color and twisting bike ride...

Cover image from Amazon.
...or take a sweet journey through memory in Lane Smith's stunning Grandpa Green, you're guaranteed to find a great gift among the lineup! 

Cover image from Baker &
Taylor Online.
Keep reading!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quotability #4

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

Of course, we're thankful for the big things in life: family, friends, health.  But I'm interested in everyone voicing all those other small wonders that make our hearts overflow with gratitude.  It might be a memory of a favorite tasty meal or particularly good book, a lovely sunset, or an unexpected snow day spent in pajamas!

What tiny things are you grateful for this Thanksgiving week?

Keep reading,


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pulled From the Vault- Thankful Turkey

So, I've been doing story time programming for a little shy of seven years now (in fact, the conclusion of this year's Fall Story Time session clocks me at the 2000-th program mark!  That's a lot of glitter and glue!!), and needless to say, I have binders full of old craft ideas stashed on my office shelves.  Since we don't keep our regular story time schedule the week of Thanksgiving, here's a craft idea from the vault for you to try at home, just in case there's any downtime with the kids after eating all that turkey and visiting with friends and family. 

Thankful Turkey
Supplies Needed:
-paper lunch bag
-construction paper in fall colors (red, yellow, orange, brown) or white paper and markers
-stapler (younger kiddos: use the stapler with adult supervision!)

Craft Steps:
1) Open up your paper bag, roll down the top a few times, and staple the opening shut.
2) Cut out four or five feathers from construction paper.  Have your child write down simple things he or she is thankful for on these feathers (i.e. Mom, Dad, pizza, my bike, my baby brother, etc.).  Staple the feathers to the back of the bag.
3) Draw a simple turkey head on the front of the bag.  If you think you might need a little artistic help, check out these cute turkey head and feather printable patterns from Kaboose!
4) Use your gorgeous gobbler as a handmade centerpiece or a coffee table decoration.  It might even start some conversations among the grownups about all we have to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving, and keep reading!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #8 Photos

Coloring our polar bear pictures
at the Recklein Memorial
Library at Cuba.

A completed polar bear
with white rice fur!

Keep reading!


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #8

Fall Story Time (Week #8)
Weekly Theme: Winter (All About Cold Weather)

Books: A Splendid Friend Indeed by Suzanne Bloom, Timothy and the Strong Pajamas by Viviane Schwartz, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin, Jr.

Activity: hibernation dancing game

Craft: polar bear white rice picture
Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 
Keep reading!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #7 Photos

Every week, we sing our library
song and try out a new
instrument from the band

Our book picks for this week's
fall leaves theme.

We held an acorn hunt
for our game.

Decorating our pictures
with markers and colorful
fabric leaves.

Keep reading!


Monday, November 7, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #7

Fall Story Time (Week #7)
Weekly Theme: Fall (All About Leaves)

Icebreaker: tree losing leaves demo

Books: Ruby's Falling Leaves by Rosemary Wells, Leaves by David Ezra Stein, Mouse's First Fall by Lauren Thompson

Activity: acorn hunt

Craft: leaf birds

Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 
Keep reading!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #6 Photos

Playing an apple sweeping game (can
you tell this story time took place on
October 31st?).

Putting together our paper apple pies.

Finishing our pies off with a
dash of cinnamon and a few
sweeps of color!

Keep reading!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #6

Fall Story Time (Week #6)
Weekly Theme: Fall (All About Apples)

Icebreaker: talked about how to make a pie

Books: Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel), The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, The Fierce Yellow Pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown (yep, we threw in a pumpkin story for good measure)

Activity: pom pom apple sweep game

Craft: cinnamon-scented apple pie pictures

Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 

Keep reading!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #5 Photos

Several of our school/smarts book picks.
Practicing hand/eye coordination
with our egg & ruler game.

Coloring our owl pictures.

Black bean owl mosaics!

Keep reading!


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #5

Fall Story Time (Week #5)
Weekly Theme: Fall (All About School and Wise Owls)

Icebreaker: sang "I Love the Library" song with musical instruments

Books: But Excuse Me, That is My Book by Lauren Child, My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil by Hanoch Piven, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Activity: egg-&-spoon balancing game

Craft: black bean owl mosaics

Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 

Keep reading!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

17th Annual Halloween Happenings at JSI!

If you're looking for something fun, educational, and non-spooky to do this Saturday, October 22, be sure to stop by Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park for the 17th Annual Halloween Happenings!   The Park is located about 15 miles south of Ironton on Hwy. N, and you can take your pick of two programs, or just attend both: Halloween Vaudevillians will begin at 7 pm and will feature seasonal jokes, music, and stories, while Creatures of the Night starts at 8 pm and will feature interesting info about nocturnal animals. 

Be sure to dress warm for either event, as the programs will be held outside, and you will also want to bring your own lawn chairs for the 7 pm session and flashlights for the 8 pm session.  For more information, contact the JSI Park at 573.546.2450.

Keep reading!


The Four Seasons- Week #4 Photos

Getting ready to play "ice pop
pickup"- we used clothespins
to snap up the laminated

In the process of foil-printing
flags for our craft.

A masterpiece of an
American flag from
one of the preschoolers
at our Cuba branch.
Keep reading!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #4

Fall Story Time (Week #4)
Weekly Theme: Summer (All About July)

Icebreaker: favorite ice cream flavors survey

Books: Flip-Flop Bop by Matt Novak, Max for President by Jarrett Krosoczka

Activity: ice pop pickup game

Craft: foil-printed American flag

Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 

Keep reading!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Missing Story Time?

Ok, so story time season is in full swing right now, but that fabulous day of music-making, story-reading, and craft-constructing still only rolls around one time a week in your town!  How can you recreate that magical story time atmosphere at home- without destroying the house with glitter and glue?

Well, settle back in your easy chair because multimedia giant Barnes & Noble has come to your rescue.  If you go to B&N's website, you (and your whole family) can enjoy Online Story Time, where well-known celebrities and authors read aloud classic and popular story time picks, such as Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or Victoria and Elizabeth Kann's Pinkalicious.  Feel free to browse the titles that are already archived, or get a sneak peek at the next promising book (Tickle Monster!) being added to the lineup on November 1.

Keep reading (at the click of a mouse!)!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Treasure Trove of Authors!

Well, the annual Missouri Library Association Conference was spectacular- lots of great workshops (with tons of new programming ideas I can't wait to try out!), networking, and author visits!  I snagged a couple of pics for your viewing enjoyment:

Image courtesy of
Sharon Anderson of
Cape Girardeau Public

Brian Selznick (Yes, THE Brian Selznick of Caldecott fame, who wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which is currently being made into a movie.  You can view the movie trailer here.) made a surprise appearance and signed a few copies of his most recent book, Wonderstruck.

Deborah Diesen was the featured speaker for MLA's Thusnelda Schmidt Children's Luncheon.  Diesen is the winner of this year's Building Block Picture Book Award, sponsored by the Missouri Association of School Librarians and voted upon by school age children in the state of Missouri.

Clare Vanderpool was the featured speaker for MLA's YASIG Luncheon and was the winner of the 2011 Newberry Medal for her historical novel, Moon Over Manifest.

If you haven't read any of these author's amazing books, what are you waiting for?  Check one out, and keep reading!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #3 Photos

Two of our week number
three story time book picks.
"Beachcombing" through sand
to find hidden ocean-related
cutout shapes.

Beginning our craft (and FYI,
"starfish" are now called
"sea stars", since they aren't
technically fish).

Still working...

One of our textured sea stars!

Smiles are what we're all
about :-)

Keep reading!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Four Seasons- Week #3

Fall Story Time (Week #3)
Weekly Theme: Summer (All About the Ocean)

Icebreaker: packed a beach bag with neccessary items

Books: All You Need for a Beach by Alice Schertle, Sergio Makes a Splash! by Edel Rodriguez

Activity: beachcombed for hidden treasure

Craft: sandpaper starfish (aka "sea star")

Pictures of this week of story time are up in the next post, so... 

Keep reading!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

North... to Alaska!

Well, I'm not really traveling as far as Alaska, but the library car is packed up and heading north.  The Missouri Library Conference, an annual opportunity for librarians across the state to network and swap ideas, is being held in Kansas City this year, and I'm geared up for three days of author luncheons, vendor meetings, and workshop hijinks (last year, I had a tarantula dumped on my head during a particularly lively Performers' Showcase- sorry to say that there are no pictures I know of to prove it!). 

Hopefully, I'll come back with some more fun stories and a couple of pictures... in the meantime (you know what's next)...

Keep reading!


Monday, October 3, 2011

How Time Flies...

All right, it's time to play catch-up!  There have been so many programs going on the past few weeks (last week, we clocked a whopping fifteen!) that I haven't filled you in on everything that's been happening.  Here's the rundown:

Annapolis Library Tour- Mid-September, we hosted a library tour at our Annapolis branch for South Iron Elementary's kindergarten class- such a great bunch of kiddos!-, and after the tour, we had a mini-story time and made a bundle of the cutest crazy-hair bookmarks ever.

Family Cupcake Throwdown- It sounds a little dangerous, but our Cupcake Throwdown was really just a fierce, fun, dessert-decorating contest for our pre-teen set, kids ages 8-12.  The program was held at our Ironton Headquarters and gave our tween patrons a chance to get creative with the culinary arts (and scarf down a little more candy than usual!).  Each contestant had ten minutes at his or her work station to decorate a cupcake, which was then ranked by our judges on the basis of overall presentation, creativity, and neatness; the first-place winner, Eli Jones, won a book bag stuffed to the brim with prizes.  Contest participants also listened to booktalks on recommended grade-school reads and took home their choice of craft kits.

Clockwise from top left: our book display table;
the Decoration Station chock-full of frosting and
candy; our wonderful judges tabulating the final
scores; the kids fixing cupcakes for themselves.
 Keep reading!