Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Rules Teen Program!

Our teen librarian should really clarify what she means here.  Kitchen Sink Crafts is a repeating program for students in grades 6-12 and college that tends to occur on no school days like fall and winter break.  As for that no rules thing, it is more of an "anything goes" policy.  You see, each teen program done at the library has supplies for 20-30 teens.  What happens if only 10 teens show up?  Our teen librarian is left with those supplies and after years and years of programs, our library owns a strange array of craft items, like bottle caps and clothespins.  We do not repeat programs and throwing away perfectly good items would be downright wasteful.  Thus, Kitchen Sink Crafts was born.  For a whopping three hours, we lay down tablecloths, throw open the craft cabinets and let the creating begin.  We are making nothing and everything all at once.  Perhaps you can find a use for a few of those plastic eggs we have left over from when we made dragon eggs during one of our Harry Potter programs.  Or maybe you missed it when we made a Wookie tissue box cover and desperately want to make one.  Either way, we've got you covered.  The fun begins this Friday at noon and registration is recommended.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

National Book Award Finalists

Finalists for the 2014 National Book Award, one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes, were announced last week on NPR’s Morning Edition. Each year the National Book Foundation makes awards in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. In order to be eligible, a book must be written by an American citizen and published by an American publisher between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year.

This year’s fiction and nonfiction finalists are:


  • An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
  • Redeployment by Phil Klay
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
  • No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal
  • Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos
  • The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson

For a complete list of finalists in all categories click here.  Winners will be announced November 19.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Surgery of the Late 19th Century (United We Read)

Learn the fascinating history of 19th century medicine from an author who has done extensive research on the topic. This talk is one of our programs tied to this year's United We Read book,  Destiny of the Republic. Candice Millard's book demonstrates  that President James Garfield died, not of an assassin's bullet, but of the medical treatment he received for his gunshot wound. At the time Garfield was assassinated, the value of antisepsis was still being debated by the American medical community. In this talk, Diane Prenatt, Professor of English at Marian University, surveys the consequences of that debate as they are depicted in American literature and visual art. To register, call (317) 873-3149 ext. 12400 or click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Basketball may be “Indiana’s Game,” but we love football almost as much.  And with a premier team like the Indianapolis Colts in our neighborhood, it makes us love the sport even more.  After a rough start, Indy now has a 4-2 record.

The NFL is an elite club.  At any one time, there are only about 1,700 players in the league, and those players make an average of nearly two million dollars.  When we are able to go behind the scenes of the sport, it can be pretty interesting.

The cover of “Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile” pictures the author, Nate Jackson, face down on the turf.  In his career, Nate represented the hundreds to players who did not reach the level of super-stardom.  He was one of the players who fought through tenures on the practice squad to finally make it as a starter in the league.  

What price football?  Nate talks about debilitating physical injuries, including brain trauma, which young men risk to play in the NFL.  With all the recent attention given to NFL players with brain injuries, this book has a unique perspective on how the players deal (or don’t deal) with the very real possibility of disability after their NFL career.

In 2011, Nick Dawidoff was given unfettered access to the New York Jets.  This experience led to“Collision Low Crossers: Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football”.  The focus of this tale is head coach Rex Ryan and his coaching staff.  How did this staff coax the best out of their players?  How did the staff rein in the uncontainable coach?  You’ll find out in the pages of this book.  Recently Rex Ryan has acknowledged that his job is on the line.  Read the inside story of how he does his job, as Dawidoff goes from the early days of the February, 2011 scouting combine to the coaches “post mortem” at the end of the season.  

“Monsters: 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football” is the story of this team's lone championship season.  What a unique blend of personalities!  There was crazy quarterback Jim McMahon, quiet leader Walter “Sweetness” Peyton, and William "Refrigerator" Perry.  Rex Ryan’s dad Buddy was the defensive coordinator, and then there was “Iron Mike” Ditka, the mercurial head coach.  

All these characters melded to make one unforgettable year on and off the field.  The book not only details that season, but goes back in history to explain how the team and city made it to that pivotal year.  The story unfortunately ends, as so many Chicago sports stories do, with the downfall of the Bears team.  

It's been almost 30 years since that season, but who can forget the guys who brought us the "Super Bowl Shuffle"?  It was far from musical masterpiece, but it was sure fun.  And isn't that what the game is all about?

Historic Cartoons on Display at the Library

     Come to the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library to view the exhibit Campaigns & Cartoons. You’ll see original sketches and published political cartoons from 1860-1912. These unique art works demonstrate the evolution of such symbols as Uncle Sam, Miss Columbia, and the Democrat donkey and Republican elephant. They will be on display everyday except Sunday from now until Thurs., Oct. 30, from 2 - 4 PM. On Tues., Oct. 28 at 7 PM, the collection's owners, Sue and Julian Ridlen, will give a talk on the historical perspective that the cartoons represent. To register for the talk, click here. The exhibit is generously on loan from the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. Many thanks to the Library Foundation for making this possible.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Am Malala

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai, 17-year-old champion for girls’ education. On October 10, this remarkable young woman was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Indian child rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi.  Malala is the youngest recipient to receive this honor. To learn more about both winners and watch their acceptance speeches click here. To read Malala's remarkable story, check out I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban from the Library.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Busy Bag Workshop - Creating Activities for Your Toddlers and Preschoolers

Thursday, October 16 from 6:30-8:30pm the Friends of the Library is hosting a special Busy Bags Workshop. Registration is limited to 12 adults; no childcare available as this is an adult program.

What’s a busy bag?

A Busy Bag is a small, portable (housed in a Ziploc™-type baggie), age-appropriate manipulative activity for a toddler and/or preschooler that aids in developing motor and literacy skills.  The activity is ideal for occupying a child, for example, while he or she waits for a doctor’s appointment, rides in the car, or sits in church services.

What happens at the Busy Bag Program?

Parents will assemble everything needed to make a tote bag full of 12 different busy bag activities. There will be different self-serve stations you will rotate through to make the various busy bags. All the supplies will be supplied and any prep work will be done; you just have to do the basic assembly. Directions will be posted and staff will be there to help and answer any questions.

These bags must cost some money to make. Is the program free?

Online Busy Bag programs often are valued at about $60 per person (after all, you are getting 12 activities for your child!) but ours is totally funded by The Friends of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library. The only requirement is that you are or become a member of the Friends of the Library. Individual membership is $10/year. Basically, you get a $60 value for $10, plus you get to be a valued part of our Library’s Friends community!

What does a Friends membership do and what will be expected of me? 

You can be involved in the Friends as much or as little as you like. Beyond your $10 membership dues, participation is up to you. Your membership dues alone help to fund Library programs and Library grants (for example, those colorful rugs in the YS department were results of Friends’ donations). If you wish to go deeper, you can attend Friends quarterly meetings and have a voice in how the Friends support the Library; or perhaps you would like to volunteer for working a book sale.