Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicken vs. Pig

The pig and the chicken were on their way to breakfast, trying to decide what to have. When chicken said, "Let's have ham and eggs." The pig then replied, "That's fine for you; it's a small donation on your part, but it's a total sacrifice for me."

We're now only a week away from a possible government shut-down here in Minnesota. I'm a bit fed up with the trash talk of all politicians at this point in time. They're acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. They all seem to enjoy tattling to the press about the offenses of others. I don't know that I've heard anyone say anything positive about anyone else's ideas.

If we're supposed to teach our kids how to work together, what kind of example is that?

I'd like to send them all to their rooms and have them make a list of ten things the other side is doing right. Seriously. "Everyone to their rooms, it seems like you can't be friends right now, so you get to take a time out. Make your list, and you can join the rest of us when you're done."

Oh wait. The time out may be coming next week. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone is being sent to their rooms to make postive lists. We'll probably get to hear more tattling about how no one wants to get along.

How would a government shut-down affect our small library? We don't really know. Worst case scenario, we shut down for an indefinite period of time. Right now is not a great time for that with us in the middle of the summer reading program, tween book club, and summer vacation. We have a pretty big crowd of kids coming in on a daily basis. No, not all of them are reading. But every time they come through the door, they are one step closer to reading. Everyone knows about the summer brain drain that happens over summer vacations, right? The summer reading program is one way to help reduce the drain. A lot of our young patrons are latch-key kids with no where else to go, and not a lot of parental involvement. Harsh, but true. We do what we can over here to encourage them on to bigger and better things. If we have to shut our doors, I won't stop the summer reading program. I'll just be doing it outside the building without getting paid to do my job.

If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.
-Orson Scott Card

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading Program, Day One

Today we made passports for our imaginary or hoped for travels around the world. I brought in my own passport as a show and tell for those who had never seen one before. There were a lot of questions, and it was a lot of fun! It's kind of amazing the places people want to travel to--places I'd like to go that they wouldn't and vice versa.

It was interesting to see what the kids chose for destinations they'd like to travel to in the future. I had a few world atlases for them to look through. Madagascar and Ecuador where two places chosen by one boy. I appreciated his choices, they are a lot more interesting than the Florida/Disney World type selections made by others. Given the option to pick where ever in the world they want to go, I like when they pick something extraordinary. If you're going to dream, you might as well dream big.

We also had the first meeting of the tween book club. It was pretty interesting. For our first meeting there were 5 members sitting around the table with me. A couple of them had only read up to page 50 (like I told them they'd have to do if they wanted a cookie). It didn't really matter, those that hadn't read the book had seen the movie and were kind of able to discuss the book. It became apparent to them after a bit that there are some differences between the two and they will have to read the book to find out what happens. I didn't finish it either, so I'll be doing that this afternoon (I fell asleep while reading last night--but it's such a good book, I didn't want to put it down!) In two weeks we'll be discussing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Now there's a book discussion that won't be helped much by watching the movie.

We're still hoping for some postcards. I just hung the postcards up yesterday, and the kids have been pretty fascinated with them. We've gotten four, and would really like to get some more. Drop a line and tell us what you're reading. Save yourself some postage and drop them off in person. If that's not possible, our address is:

Marble Public Library

PO Box 409

Marble, MN 55764

Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. ~Seneca

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The rain is dropping and the library is hopping.

It has been a pretty drizzly day outside today. And the library has been b-u-s-y! Adults, young adults, kids, little kids, we've seen just about everyone today. The kids are mostly here for the computers, but since we only have five of them and there are generally more than five kids hoping to use the computer at any given time, they end up waiting. Tween book club meets tomorrow for the first time, and I've got a couple copies of Holes behind the desk. Guess what some of the kids have been doing while they're waiting?

I did hear, "I hate reading" from one kid. And then another piped in with , "I die every time I read". My response, "It is a chancy thing to read, you never know when you might soak up too much knowledge for your brain to accommodate thus causing your head to explode." Or something like that. I think the only part they caught was "head explode", and I don't suppose the sarcasm could be caught with only those two words.

When I mentioned that there will be snacks at book club tomorrow, a few ears perked up. A few tweens walked out of here this evening with the intent to read at least 50 pages of Holes by Louis Sachar by tomorrow afternoon so that they can have a cookie. They are good cookies, well worth the 50 pages. If they had gotten to sample one of my cookies before, they would probably be willing to read 100 pages.

I haven't gotten around to reading the book either. I read it a few years ago, but I've forgotten a lot of it. I haven't seen the movie either. I'm on page 26 and typing quickly here so that I can go pop a bowl of popcorn and settle under a blanket on this dreary evening to read the rest of the book. So, you'll have to forgive me if this posting of the Marble Public Library blog is a bit stilted. But I've got some popcorn and a good book calling me.

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Summer Vacation Bucket List

Fire Station

Summer vacation has begun. Long hot days with nothing to do are all fine and dandy, but I had my girls make a list of things they want to do around home this summer. I made one for myself . My list is more like a to-do list than a list of things I'd like to do. I think I need to add some fun to my list. I did add "Spend 10 minutes outside each day; rain or shine, appreciating summer." Of course, I haven't exactly done that yet. I've spent time outside, but it hasn't been just soaking in the season. It's been: planting, watering, weeding, and watching for army worms. My summer bucket list needs some revising.

My middle daughter has "walk 6 steps on hands by the end of summer" on her list. I'm pretty sure she'll be doing more than that by the end of July. It got me to thinking, when was the last time I wanted to practice/learn something that was purely for my pleasure? Something that was for my enjoyment alone? As adults, how many of us practice or learn things simply because we want to? When was the last time you set about learning something unrelated to your job? When was the last time you spent a week or more practicing something fun? I know I get a bit too caught up in daily life to take the time to learn something new and interesting unless I have to for some reason. I'm sure I learn things all the time, just not consciously. I certainly don't practice anything consciously.

I'm going to add Learn Something Fun to my summer bucket list. Ai Yi Yi, already I'm thinking I can't do it. Think of something fun to learn, that is. One of the problems with adult-hood is that inability to forget about the logistics of things. The how's, the why-I can't's, the lack of time: the list of reasons not to learn something new can go on and on. At what point do we change from a kid who says "why not?", into an adult who can list the reasons?

There are adults that stay children at heart and push forward with new and different things. Who think outside the box. Who dare to live a life less ordinary. You don't have to go to extremes and bungee jump off a bridge to stay young, but you do have to keep an open mind. Allow yourself to learn new things and experience life as a new day every day. Take time to breathe in the smells of summer like you did when you were a kid and the days stretched out in front with no end in sight. Can you see the glaringly bright sun, feel the cool green grass, smell the heat shimmering in the air? Do you remember what it was like to have the days spread out before you, passing by so slowly?

Take the time to soak up summer, at least 10 minutes each day. Give yourself permission to learn something new and completely frivolous.

When was the last time you walked six steps on your hands?

"No, you never get any fun out of the things you haven't done."
Ogden Nash

Thursday, June 2, 2011

School's Out for Summer

Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number. ~Author Unknown

Today is the last day of school until September. I hear shouts of joy coming from the kids out there, and sighs coming from the mothers. Or maybe the sigh is just coming from me. How does a parent prevent themselves from going crazy over the next few months when they're used to less commotion during the day? I know!! Find them a great library program that will encourage them to read. While they're reading, there's a bit more silence in the house! It's a win/win. Not only are you helping to prevent summer brain drain, but you're also getting some quiet time.

We had book club here last week for the adults. One of our regulars under the age of 13 was asking a bunch of questions when we started (it may have had something to do with the cookies and dessert being served.) After the adults left, a group of kids came up to the desk to ask some questions about getting a book club started for themselves. Hip Hip Hooray!! We've decided to start one up here at our little library. We will be discussing Holes by Louis Sachar on June 16th at 2:30. Our young patrons decided to hold book club every other week this summer at the Marble Public Library. This book club is only open to people 8 - 12 years old! I'm looking forward to it. I'm glad they suggested it.

For the younger crowd, we also have the summer reading program starting on June 16th. (Everyone remembers the theme, right?) Thursdays from 1:00-2:00, June 16th to July 21st at the Marble Public Library we'll have stories, games, and fun. (And perhaps some moms can have a few moments of silence during that time.) On our last day we will be handing out prizes for all the reading that has been done.

If can't fit either of these activities into your summer schedule, stop on in and we'll point you in the direction of some books of activities for you and your child/ren.

School may be out for the summer, but it isn't out forever--no matter what Alice Cooper says.

Even if you are no where near the town of Marble, MN--chances are that your local library has a summer reading program for the kids. My guess is that there is more than just the summer reading program going on at your local library, give them a call a find out for yourself.

If you're closer to Coleraine, MN than Marble, MN--I run the summer reading program over there too. Same days/different time (10-11am).