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What's Happening at the Hoover Public Library.

Library Blog

Information on events, library related happenings, and other deep thoughts from our library staff.

Virtual Museum

It's field trip time!  Yes, I know that we shouldn't leave home.  And I know that all field trip-worthy places are closed to the public.  That's why we're taking a virtual field trip!  Our destination today?  The museum.  Actually, we can visit more than one!  Right now!

Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture is an online platform you can use to access high-resolution images of artworks housed in the initiative's 2,000+ partner museums all over the world.  There are SO MANY things to explore -- street view tours, 360° videos, curated collections.  You can explore the art by time period . . . or color! There are also features highlighting specific things.  This morning I could easily access dinosaurs, Picasso painting with light, and Italian cultural sites on the main page.  There is also a page of weekly highlights

National Museum of African American History & Culture
This is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts.  This is the newest museum in the Smithsonian Institution.

National Musuem of the American Indian 
The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives, and media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego.  It is part of the world's largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution.

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
This is a migratory museum that brings history, art and culture to you through innovative community-focused experiences.  It is always a museum without walls.  Explore it today!

Don't forget to look locally!
1. Birmingham Museum of Art
2. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
3. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
4. Negro Southern League Museum
5. Southern Museum of Flight
6. Anniston Museum of Natural History (This is the one I went to all the time once my family moved to Alabama.)


Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Tumblebooks Storytime: ART

All of your favorite librarians at Hoover Public Library are now working from home.  I'll be honest.  It is really weird.  I'm missing my coworkers, of course, but I'm especially missing all of YOU.  So I'll be reaching out to you through my daily blog posts.  Today begins a new series that I'll post every Monday.  It gives YOU the power to do storytime with your children using the library's Tumblebooks collection.  They have taken existing picture books and added animation, sound, music and narration to produce an electronic picture book that you can read or have read to you.  To access Tumblebooks, go to our website and click on the white Tumblebooks rectangle directly below our message about the COVID closure.  You will be asked to enter your library card number in order to continue to the Tumblebooks website.  Once there, click on the INDEX tab to see an alphabetical list of books.  Use the alphabet buttons at the top to narrow your search for the titles I list later in this blog.

This week's Tumblebooks Storytime focuses on ART.  I'll give you suggestions for several Tumblebooks, a variety of hands-on activity ideas, and links to music/movement opportunities for you and your child.  Mix and match them in any way you want!

Art's Supplies by Chris Tougas  In this delightful tale of the power of the imagination, Art's supplies come to life in the studio, creating mayhem and magic—and art!
Snap! by Hazel Hutchins  Snap! Scritch! Whoosh! There goes another crayon! What could be more perfect than a brand new set of crayons? Evan can’t wait to use them, until Snap!, the brown one breaks in two. Then one by one, the others break, get crushed, are blown away, or simply disappear. How can he possibly draw when there’s no green, purple, or even black? 
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds  Vashti thinks she can't draw. No, Vashti KNOWS she can't draw! To prove her point, she jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti's journey of surprise and self-discovery. [Tumblebooks makes this one challenging to find.  It's listed under T for THE, but the T alphabet tab isn't working.  Click on S instead, then scroll down.]

Art Eye Spy  Use these guidelines to play a game of I Spy using real pieces of art.
Color Mixing Penny Spinners  This is a cool way to demonstrate that mixing primary colors results in secondary colors. (blue + yellow = green)
Oil and Watercolor Painting  This art project is also a science lesson.
Paint Chip Color Matching  This is a fun way to explore the wide variety of colored paint.
Paint Like Michelangelo  Give kids a chance to paint on the "ceiling."
Q-tip Dot Art  This art project is a perfect tie to The Dot.

Box of Crayons by The Pop Ups  This song is great for scarf dancing.
Googly Eyes by Caspar Babypants  The music video features some silly art.
Little Brown Pencil by Caspar Babypants  Let it inspire beautiful brown art!

Birmingham Museum of Art  The museum may be closed, but you can still find lots of great art on their website.
Crayola  The official website of the world's best-loved crayons has lots of cool stuff for you and your family, including content for this new world of at-home learning.  I really like the company's history timeline.
The Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow  Listen to the author read-aloud her colorful biography of Edwin Binney, the inventor of Crayola Crayons.
The Day Glo Brothers by Chris Barton  This biography about the extraordinary journey that led two brothers to the discovery of a whole new kind of color, one that glows with an extra-special intensity, is available on Tumblebooks.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art  Art and storybooks!  The perfect combination!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

I Like to Move It, Move It

You can only sit on your couch for so long.  Here are some of the online resources I use to find movement activities for storytime here at the library.

GoNoodle - This features some of my faves, like Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Blazer Fresh, and Moose Tube.  There are also dance-alongs to hits like U Can't Touch This.

Jim Gill - I completely LOVE this man!  All of his songs inspire movement, and he has several excellent music videos on his website.

Kids Yoga Stories - This takes established yoga poses and reimagines them to meet a variety of different themes.  For example, I did a series of poses in my Island Life Story Lab about the Galápagos Islands.

Katiem's picture

This was supposed to be the beginning of our Spring Break Staycation week.  And it still is . . . just not in the way we planned.  Monday, March 23, 2020 was going to be our Library Chill Day.  We were going to have coloring sheets and puzzles available all day long.  Well, we can still make them available to you . . . right here! 

Today is the first day of spring!  Should you celebrate by spring cleaning?  Probably.  Will you?  Probably not.  So why not use it as an excuse to let your creative juices flow?  Here are a few springtime art projects you can try.  

Over the Rainbow

We're all looking for ways to fill an abundance of down time.  Today is St. Patrick's Day, so why not spend some of that time making rainbows?  Here are a few ways you can do just that!

1. CD Rainbows

2. LEGO Rainbows

3. Skittle Rainbows

4. 3D Paper Rainbows

5. Rainbow Yoga

6. Rainbow Breath

Katiem's picture

Dragon Hoops

For years, Gene Luen Yang has been living two lives. He’s known for his comic book work, such as American Born ChineseBoxers and Saints and DC’s Superman Smashes the Klan, which have earned him both a MacArthur Fellowship grant and the position of Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. But he’s also a high school teacher in Oakland, California. His new graphic novel brings both worlds together in an entirely unexpected manner.  He had to cancel his book tour (I bet you can guess why), so follow him on Twitter to experience his cartoon tour instead.

Dragon Hoops (03/17/20)
Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.  But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.  Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.

Watch the book trailer, then take a look at the publisher's website for a sneak peek.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Spiders

We all have our fears.  Mine?  Chickens, of course!  And I recently had a harrowing experience with not just one, but many!  I went on vacation to Key West.  NO ONE told me that there are roaming roosters.  Not. One. Person.  That is information I needed to know.

Sam Wu knows all about overcoming fears.  He's the bravest scaredy-cat in the literary world.  And his fourth book came out this week.

Sam Wu Is NOT Afraid of Spiders by Katie & Kevin Tsang (03/10/20)
Sam has NOT been afraid of ghosts, sharks or the dark and is now absolutely NOT afraid of spiders … maybe! So, when Tulip, a Goliath bird eater tarantula, escapes from the sixth-grade classroom Sam decides that he must step up and protect his fellow pupils by finding her, if only to prove to his nemesis, Ralph Zinkerman, that he is not “Scaredy-Cat Sam”. Madcap and hilarious escapades ensue as Sam and his group of loyal friends try to come up with a fool-proof plan, aided by his fearless, spider-loving little sister and involving a jar of honey and a cat wrapped in tinfoil.  What could possibly go wrong!

Don't miss the other three hilarious adventures!
!1 Sam Wu Is NOT Afraid of Ghosts
#2 Sam Wu Is NOT Afraid of Sharks
#3 Sam Wu Is NOT Afraid of the Dark

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Driftwood Days

I love this beautiful, multilayered story about nature, science, childhood, and change!

Driftwood Days by William Miniver & Charles Vess (10/22/19)
The story begins “under autumn leaves”: A brown-skinned boy watches a beaver constructing its lodge in the river. A branch breaks loose from the structure and is carried down river until it snags on a boulder, where it stays all winter as the river freezes. When spring returns and the river thaws, the branch moves on, making a stop at the river’s edge, where turtles climb on it. When the branch floats out to sea, weary birds use it as a resting place. When the waves finally carry it to shore, “the summer sun bleaches its dark hues” until the same boy, vacationing with his family on the shore and “looking for beach-things,” finds it and picks it up. For the boy, it is everything: a pen, a sword, a souvenir. At summer’s end, the boy and his family return home to the mountains, where, once again, he watches a beaver constructing its lodge. Vess’ drawings, done in colored pencil and ink, are soft and detailed, with elements of line and motion that draw the eye all over the page. The background holds interesting changes throughout: families of different species and signs of new seasons, various habitats. The text educates stealthily, never sacrificing the soothing, poetic, and cyclical story, which has the makings of a classic. An author’s note discusses the importance of driftwood to the ecosystem.

Read the blog about The Science Behind Driftwood Days on the publisher's website.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Practical Parenting: From Yuck to Yum!

Do you feel guilty that your kids aren't good "vegetable" eaters or that they prefer carbs to greens?  Has mealtime become a battle zone for your family?  Join us for Practical Parenting: From Yuck ot Yum! on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 3 p.m. in the Youth Program Room.The speaker will be pediatrician Dr. Carolyn Ashworth. We hope this program will help you feel more relaxed and confident about guiding your children toward healthy eating habits.  Make sure you browse our Parenting collection for even more tips on encouraging healthy eating!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture