Banned Books Week 2014

banned books weekBanned Books Week is September 21-27, 2014.

Have you seen Invisible Man, The Face on the Milk Carton, or Where’s Waldo? These books have been targeted for removal from bookshelves across the country. Celebrate the freedom to read in your school or library during Banned Books Week. Prepare a display to educate and inspire patrons to find and read a banned book.

Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Posters, bookmarks, buttons, and t-shirts are available from the ALA store. Order by September 4 to receive your supplies in time.

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Record-Breaking Month

Circ Desk

Hildreth Public Library had a record-breaking 1,352 visits during the month of July! The previous record was just under 900 patrons in a month. When you consider that this is a town of less than 400 and that the library is open 26 hours per week, that is a LOT of traffic!

Congratulations to the Hildreth Library Board and to Librarian Vicki Casper.

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September Display Ideas

It is hard to believe September is upon us (or it will be in less than 30 days). Most everybody is ready to move into autumn and leave summer behind. Prepare an Autumn Fiction display by gathering novels with fall or autumn in the title. Also, look for covers with autumn leaves or scenes. Here are 10 more ideas for displays in September.

Alzheimer Awareness Month
Display fiction and nonfiction about Alzheimer’s, caregivers, and choosing a nursing home. Don’t forget biographies and memoirs of people who had it.

Back to School
Everyone with children will be thinking about school this month. Display school stories for children, books about adjusting to college, home schooling, and adult education. An alternate title could be School Days.

Library Card Sign-Up Month
This is a month when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all. This observance was launched in 1987. Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child has a library card and uses it. Fill the display with fiction about librarians and a mix of books for children about the library.

National Coupon Month
This month celebrates the nearly $4.6 billion savings American consumers receive each year by redeeming coupons for their favorite brands. In fact, every hour spent couponing is worth an estimated $100 and the average savings per coupon is $1.44. Go to for coupon savings tips throughout the month. Plan a program about using coupons.

“Too Hot to Cook”
Prepare a group of light cookbooks, including salads, sandwiches, and frozen desserts. Display them with a large sun cutout and an umbrella shading the books.

United Nations: International Literacy Day (September 8)
This day highlights the importance of literacy and raises awareness of and concern for world-wide literacy issues. About 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children do not attend school and many more attend irregularly. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on this day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world. Use this information to kick-start a literacy program in your community. Raise awareness by placing a sign on your circulation desk on September 8.

Husker Harvest Days (September 9-11, 2014)
This Grand Island event is the largest irrigated working agricultural show on a permanent site in the United States. 80 acres of exhibits, 700 acres of field demonstrations and more. Estimated attendance of 50,000. Display your farming books with information about this show. Go to for details.

Robert McCloskey’s Birthday (September 14, 1914)
Children’s author and illustrator Robert McCloskey was born on this day in Hamilton, Ohio. His books include Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and Homer Price. Display a sign in the children’s area near McCloskey’s books.

H.G. Wells’ Birthday (September 21, 1866)
H.G. Wells, pioneer of science fiction, was born on this day in Bromley, England. His classic novel, The Time Machine, was published in 1895. Wells went on to publish The Invisible Man in 1897 and The War of the Worlds in 1898. Display these novels at the circulation desk along with a sign. It is sure to convince someone to go back and re-read one of these often-assigned books.

Planet Neptune Discovered (September 23, 1846)
Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun, was discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle at the Berlin Observatory. The blue gas giant, which has a diameter four times that of Earth, was named for the Roman god of the sea. It has eight known moons and a ring system containing three bright and two dim rings. It completes an orbit of the sun once every 165 years. Display your space and planet books in the children’s area to mark this occasion.

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RVLS Grants Available

The Republican Valley Library System is offering approximately 40 grants this fall. All types of libraries in RVLS are eligible to apply. Grants awarded will be up to $400.00. These grants are intended to promote Continuing Education for library staff and/or programming in all types of libraries. Only Continuing Education and Programming projects will be considered.

Possible Projects:

  • Purchasing Golden Sower Books.
  • Purchasing books, audiobooks, or DVDs to support a proposed program.
  • Purchasing an area rug, bean bag chairs, board games, Legos, Folkmanis puppets, or other programming materials.
  • Purchasing Summer Reading material and incentives from the Collaborative Summer Reading Catalog (Upstart).
  • Purchasing a television or monitor to be used for a digital sign in the library.
  • Sending one person to the Annual NLA/NSLA Conference in South Sioux City on October 9-10, 2014. (Award = $400)


  1. No grant project will receive more than $400.00.
  2. Projects including computer equipment, software programs, tablets and eReading devices are not eligible for this grant.
  3. Applications must include price verification of items to be purchased.
  4. Each RVLS institution is limited to one grant.
  5. All applications must be mailed to the RVLS Office.
  6. To be eligible, the application must be postmarked from September 1 – September 30, 2014.
  7. Grant recipients will be determined by a random drawing from all eligible applications received.
  8. Drawing will be held on Monday, October 6.
  9. Winners will be notified by email.

The Grant Application is available here.

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Jodi Picoult Fans…

Are you looking for a new but similar author?? Give Rosamund Lupton a try.

AfterwardsWhen fire engulfs the local school, Grace’s teenage daughter is caught inside, and Grace races into the blaze after her. Grace’s sister-in-law, police detective Sarah McBride, is determined to find the arsonist, despite considerable resistance–and suspicious behavior–all around.

Afterwards is Lupton’s second novel, after her highly acclaimed book Sister.

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Science Lessons and Games for Kids


OLogy is the American Museum of Natural History’s website of online science lessons and games for kids. OLogy has sections covering fourteen topics in science including climate change, astronomy, brain science, genetics, and zoology. Within each section you will find a half dozen or more short lessons and games. Many of the lessons include video and text interviews with scientists in the field.

Click here: for ideas about things to make and activities to do. This website goes wonderfully with this year’s Summer Reading theme.

Thank you to the blog “Free Technology For Teachers” for information about this terrific website!

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Books to Read

…when I have time.

I don’t know about you, but every summer I think I am going to have all kinds of time to enjoy reading. While school is out, it is my intention to pick up and enjoy Young Adult books to keep up with what is happening in that part of the publishing world.

Here it is mid-July and I have not read a single YA novel. Here are a couple that are on my list:

Dead endDead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)
ISBN: 978-1250010230

Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal for the year’s best contribution to children’s literature and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction!

Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is “grounded for life” by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack’s way once his mom loans him out to help a feisty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launched on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder.

Synopsis from See for complete information.


recoveryRecovery Road, by Blake Nelson
(Scholastic, 2011)
ISBN: 978-0545107297

Madeline is sent away to Spring Meadows to help with a drinking and rage problem she has. It’s a pretty intense place, but there is the weekly movie night in town–where Madeline meets Stewart, who’s at another rehab place nearby. They fall for each other during a really crazy time in their lives. Madeline gets out and tries to get back on her feet, waiting for Stewart to join her. When he does, though, it’s not the ideal recovery world Madeline dreamed of. Both of them still have serious problems. And Stewart’s are only getting worse….

Synopsis from See for complete information.

In my head, summer is not over until Labor Day. That means I have nearly 2 months left. Maybe I’ll get a chance to enjoy a book or two…

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4th of July

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August Display Ideas

August is a time for preparation. It is time to preserve the produce from the bountiful gardens by canning or freezing in order to prepare for winter. Display your cookbooks that are dedicated to food preservation and jelly-making along with mason jars, a strainer, a big kettle, and a long-handled spoon. It is also a time to get ready for school to start. Gather the books in your children’s area that have school, kindergarten, or teacher in the title and set them together on a shelf or a table. Here are 10 more display ideas for August.

Celebrate the “Dog Days of Summer”
Make a display that includes dog bones, pet toys, paw prints, and all of your books about dogs, both fiction and nonfiction, from the children’s and adult’s areas.

Columbus Sets Sail (August 3, 1492)
Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set sail in command of three ships—the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria—to find a western sea route to China, India, and the gold and spice islands of Asia. On October 12, the expedition sighted land. Display all your material related to Columbus’ voyage. Include both children’s and adult books. A map would make a great background.

Nixon Resigns (August 8, 1974)
In an evening televised address, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. Display books about Nixon, his presidency, his resignation, and Watergate along with a sign marking the 40th anniversary of the end of the Watergate scandal.

Kool-Aid Days (August 8-10, 2014)
The seventeenth annual Kool-Aid Days Festival is scheduled to be held in Hastings Nebraska, this year. There will be great family fun all weekend long—featuring the World’s Largest Kool-Aid Stand. Display information about this event along with Kool-Aid packets and pitchers. You could even serve Kool-Aid to your patrons. They are sure to be delighted. Kool-Aid has played a part in summer for children across the nation…and it started right here in Nebraska!

Jonathan Kellerman’s Birthday (August 9, 1949)
This mystery writer was born in New York City. Kellerman is a child psychologist as well as a writer. He and his wife, best-selling author Faye Kellerman have four children. His first novel When the Bough Breaks won numerous awards and was made into a television movie. Since then, he has written more than 30 novels. Prepare a bookmark listing his titles and a sign for the stacks near Kellerman’s work.

Skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered (August 12, 1990)
Fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovered three huge bones jutting out of a cliff near Faith, South Dakota. They turned out to be part of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered, and 65 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer. This seems like a great time to get out and display all the dinosaur books. They tend to be checked out, even from the stacks, but a display will have them flying out of the library!

Julia Child’s Birthday (August 15, 1912)
America’s beloved food authority, who didn’t take a cooking lesson until she was in her 30s, was born in Pasadena, CA. Child’s cookbooks and television shows encouraged Americans to cook and eat well and to be skeptical of food fads and diet strictures. “Cooking is not a chore; it is a joy.” Display cookbooks including those by Julia Child with mixing bowls, wooden spoons, and whisks.

Anniversary of the Death of Elvis Presley (August 16, 1977)
Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, died in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 42. Display all your books, music CDs and DVDs by and about Elvis. It would be fun to include vinyl records and album covers, too.

Hawaii becomes 50th State (August 21, 1959)
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state and issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: 5 six-star rows and four five-star rows. Use the flags from July’s displays and feature books and other material about our 50th state…DVDs, travel books, geography books, children’s books, and adult fiction.

Hurricane Katrina slams into Gulf Coast (August 29, 2005)
Hurricane Katrina make landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on this day in 2005. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. It is hard to believe it has been 9 years since that day. Display books about hurricanes in general and information about Katrina.

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Book Recommendations

Brother Reading a BookChildren know what they like to read. We spend a lot of time as librarians, both public and school, trying to give children suggestions for books they might like. They may or may not take a recommendation from an adult, but if a friend says “You’ve got to read this book!” they are sold.

Here are descriptions of, and links to, five free tools that children of all ages can use to prepare Book Trailers:

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