Tuesday, April 14, 2015

National Library Week

    April 12 - 18 is National Library Week! We are celebrating our love of libraries by giving patrons a chance to win great stuff. Adult patrons can enter a drawing for a chance to win a basket full of fun and/or delicious prizes. There is a separate basket for library users between grades 6 thru 12. Even better, you can fill out a different entry slip every day of the week, since NLW lasts for seven days. Our younger patrons can enter a "Guess How Many" contest, where they guess how many youth items we check-out in the month of April.

    Speaking of libraries, tomorrow, April 15 is National Bookmobile Day! The history of bookmobiles is more interesting than you might think. Click here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Summer Volunteer Applications Available for Teens

For the past three months adults and teens alike have been asking when Teen Volunteer Corps applications will be available.  I am happy to say that applications are at the reference desks on the first and second floor.

For those of you unaware of this much-anticipated program, students currently in grade 6 and up pass out summer reading prizes, sign people up for summer reading, answer questions, as well as shelve materials and help keep the Library tidy.  Each student will be scheduled for one two-hour shift per week for eight weeks and will be required to attend a two-hour training session with a one hour focus on customer service skills.  

We understand families go out of town for vacations and camps and we think that's great! We are happy to work around scheduled vacations and camps.  We just ask that volunteers make up any missed shifts.  We will show students how to do this during training and can remind them at any time during the summer if needed.  Plus, each student gets a free shirt, which will get your child used to wearing a uniform.

Applications are due Friday, May 1st and are available on our website or in the library. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Until All the Pieces Fit...

What do you think of when you see a puzzle piece?  For the legion of families dealing with autism, it means that all the pieces are not fitting together the way they should.  Thankfully we have come far from theories like "refrigerator mothers", but we have a long way to go.

April is Autism Awareness Month.  Many good people are working to find the cure to this disorder, and some have found their "cure".  The fact that each person does not fall in line with everyone else, is demonstrated by the name of Autism Spectrum disorder.  There are a wide variety of people with autism, and no two are alike.  This is what can make autism so baffling; what works for one person doesn't work for another.

One of the best-known people with autism is Temple Grandin.  She wrote "The Autistic Brain: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Succeed"In this book she argues that "raising and educating kids on the autism spectrum must focus on their long-overlooked strengths to foster their unique contributions."  Her theory is that if all we do is focus on weaknesses, we overlook strengths that can be utilized to help individuals with autism lead productive lives.

From half a world away in Japan comes the book "The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a 13-year-old boy with Autism".  The author, Naoki Higashida is able to communicate through typing.  This book takes a question-and answer format, with the questions coming from his co-author, David Mitchell. Naoki communicates insights that are often unknown by family members of non-verbal autistic individuals.  Even those who can verbalize may not have the self-awareness that Naoki possesses.

Going from the topic of "what is autism" to "how can we make it better" brings us to the book "Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be" by Martha Herbert, MD, Phd.  Herbert is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard.

Dr. Herbert believes that there are many treatments that can restore health to those with autism.  Although autism often reveals itself in stereotypical behaviors, it is at its root a physical disorder.  Autism comes about in a perfect storm of seemingly unrelated events, which she believes can be unraveled and improved through nutrition, reducing toxic exposures and limiting stress. 

Today there are more options available to improve the lives of those on the autism spectrum than any other time in history.  These individuals are stepping out of the shadows and into the light of lives lived to their fullest potential.

To find our collection of books on Autism, go to 616.85882 and look for the ducks pictured above.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wolf Hall

The first episode of Wolf Hall, a six-part TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel's prize-winning pair of historical novels, premiers this Sunday, April 5, at 10 pm, ET, on PBS's Masterpiece. Mantel's tempestuous period pieces, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, follow the struggle of England's King Henry VIII to cement his dynastic legacy by siring a legitimate, male heir. Thomas Cromwell, ambitious commoner, political deal-maker, and Henry's hatchet man narrates the action. Expect Sunday's performance, which PBS calls an "unromanticized retelling," to teem with political intrigue, backstabbing, bribery, and seduction. Mark Rylance stars as the wily, enigmatic Cromwell and Damian Lewis plays the handsome, volatile Henry VIII.

Wolf Hall set a 10-year record for viewers when it debuted in the UK on BBC Two.

To learn more about this turbulent period and its players, read Thomas Cromwell:The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's Most Notorious Minister by Robert Hutchinson or The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir. And be sure to watch the award-winning film, A Man for All Seasons, about Thomas More's heroic refusal to obey the King.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Zionsville Author Fair

Come one, come all to Zionsville's first-ever Author Fair! On Sat., April 11 from 2-4:30 PM, over 20 authors from the Indianapolis area will be on hand to sell, autograph, and talk about their books. There is something for everyone. If you like to laugh, Dick Wolfsie will be on hand with his latest volume of his humor columns. If you're into mysteries, Louis Janeira will talk about his medical murder mysteries set right here in Zionsville. There will also be romance, children's, and local history writers. The event will kickoff with a panel discussion of Zionsville authors that takes place at 2pm. For the rest of the afternoon you are free to peruse the books for sale and talk with some of Indiana's finest writing talent. Please register so we have enough refreshments for everyone.
See you at the Library!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Batter up!

Major League Baseball's opening day is coming soon.  This is a perfect time to read up on the All-American sport.  We have many choices for you, a few of our newer selections are highlighted below.

In a tip-of-the-hat to the "Cheers" theme song, the book "Where Nobody Knows Your Name", is about the International League of minor league baseball.  This book has local interest, as our Indianapolis Indians are in this league, and our team is referenced throughout.  Veteran sports writer John Feinstein followed several minor league players as they made their way during the 2012 season.    Feinstein clearly points out that the minors are a long way from the major leagues, and most do not make it to the "bigs".

One player that did make it to the big leagues is Derek Jeter.  The Book "Jeter: Unfiltered" is a collection of photographs taken during his final season in baseball.  You will get behind-the-scenes access into the off-field world of professional sports. Jeter was a fourteen-time all-star and five-time World Series winner.  I am sure that he would agree that he owes the pioneers of baseball integration a big debt of gratitude.

This next book, "1954" is about some of those pioneers.  The same year that the U.S. Supreme court ruled in "Brown vs the Board of Education," baseball was experiencing changes that would make the sport what it is today.  This was the first time that the two teams in the World Series featured players of color.  Dive into interviews with the men who were there, especially Larry Doby of the Indians and Willie Mays of the Giants.  In this book the author Bill Madden gives Major League Baseball credit for being ahead of the country when it came to racial tolerance.

There's nothing like the crack of the bat on a warm spring day, or singing "Take me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch.  Get ready to enjoy our national pastime by immersing yourself in a book from your library.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Cleaning? Give Us Your Books and Stuff!

The birds are out and the temps are up! Spring is calling us to reorganize our closets, our drawers, and our bookshelves! But what to do with the items you no longer want or need?

If your Spring cleaning leaves you piles of new or gently used books* or other items (toys or such) that could be used as incentives for our Youth Department's Summer Reading Program, please consider donating them to the Library.

Last Summer, we gave away approximately 3,000 books to children in the Zionsville community. We also offer small incentive items such as toys for those who do not choose a book as a prize. Any donations we receive offset our costs for the program. Cash donations are also welcome!
*Only books that are in good condition, with no writing or torn pages, are used for Summer Reading prizes. Books that are not used for SRP will be donated to the Friends of the Library book sale.