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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.

Homeschool Hub

Hoover Public Library is adding a new monthly program for homeschoolers.  Homeschool Hub will meet one Wednesday afternoon per month, offering students a chance to learn new things from local experts.  The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 2 p.m.  Homeschool Hub: Library Skills 101 features outreach librarian Katie Jane.  This class will help you learn your way around the library, making it easier to find the books you want to read after future Hubs.  We'll embark on a scavenger hunt and learn to navigate the online catalog.  Registration is required.  You can sign up online or by phone (444-7830).

What's ahead for Homeschool Hub?  Let's take a sneak peek at October's meeting!
Raptors 101
Learn about raptor (bird of prey) biology, behavior and training!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Storytime Switch Up

Our award-winning storytelling schedule will resume September 3, but we have made a few changes.  Some are simply a storyteller swap while others involve a new format.  I'll outline the changes in this blog post, but you can also see all of the specifics on our Storytimes webpage and in our Fall 2016 calendar.

Together with Twos with Miss Anna Beth
Mondays at 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.
Stories and crafts for two-year-olds and their caregivers.  Space is limited, and you must register each week to participate.  There is no change to this storytime from last year.

Story Lab with Miss Katie Jane
Mondays at 4 p.m.
Listen, laugh and learn!  One story prompts lots of hands-on activities designed for 3 to 8-year-olds.  This storytime is brand-new to the line-up.  It is replacing last year's After Lunch Bunch from Wednesday afternoons.

Mother Goose with Miss Kaylen
Tuesdays at 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.
Stories, songs and snacks for one-year-olds.  Space is limited, and you must register each week to participate.  This storytime used to be called Father Goose because Mr Justin was the storyteller.  Since Miss Kaylen is taking over, we've changed the name to Mother Goose.

Early Birds with Miss Polly
Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
Stories, songs and fingerplays for birth to 12 months.  Space is limited, and you must register each week to participate.  There is no change to this storytime from last year.

Rockin' Tots with Miss Nay-Nay
Wednesdays at 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.
A short action-packed storytime for children under 4.  This is exactly the same as last year's Tiny Tot Tales.  We changed the name to better reflect the program.

ExploraStory with Miss Traci
Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
Weekly exploration includes stories, songs and hands-on activities for ages 3 and up.  This program used to be called Storytime Live.  We changed the name to reflect the changes to the format.

PJ Storytime with Mr Justin
Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
Wear your pajamas for stories, songs and a bedtime snack.  This all-ages storytime has a new storyteller.

Movers and Shakers with Miss Alyssa
Select Fridays at 11 a.m.
Children (ages 3 & 4) and their caregivers engage in movement, music and creative story exploration to build school readiness and early literacy.  Space is limited, and you must register each week to participate.  This is a brand-new storytime offering.

Spin-A-Story with Mr Jeremy
One Saturday per month at 10:30 a.m.
Which stories will be told?  The Story Wheel will decide.  This storytime is open to all ages and includes a snack.  This is exactly the same as last year's Storybook Brunch.  
We changed the name to better reflect the program.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

World Water Week

World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden is the annual focal point for the globe's water issues. Experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and young professionals from a range of sectors and countries come to Stockholm to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today.  In 2015, over 3,300 individuals and close to 300 convening organizations from 130 countries participated in the Week.  What will happen at this year's Week, August 28-September 2, 2016?

You may not be able to travel to Stockholm, but that doesn't mean you can't educate yourself about our world's water.  Take a look at one of these books to become water-wise.

  • Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home by Michelle Mulder (2014)
    J  333.91  MUL
    In the developed world, if you want a drink of water you just turn on a tap or open a bottle. But for millions of families worldwide, finding clean water is a daily challenge, and kids are often the ones responsible for carrying water to their homes. Every Last Drop looks at why the world’s water resources are at risk and how communities around the world are finding innovative ways to quench their thirst and water their crops. Maybe you’re not ready to drink fog, as they do in Chile, or use water made from treated sewage, but you can get a low-flush toilet, plant a tree, protect a wetland or just take shorter showers. Every last drop counts!
  • Everybody Needs Water by Ellen Lawrence (2015)
    E  553.7  LAW
    When we turn on a tap, we expect to see clean, safe water pour out. This is not how everyone around the world gets their water, of course. Some children must walk miles each day to collect water for their families, while others bathe and help do their family's laundry in a river. In Everybody Needs Water, young readers will find out how families around the world obtain and use this precious resource.
  • You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Clean Water by Roger Canavan (2015)
    J  363.739  CAN
    How would you cope in a world without water? Clean water is far, far more important than you might think! This title in the fantastic new You Wouldnt Want to Live Without series is bursting with surprising facts about this essential life source. As you learn about everything from how water keeps us healthy to the astounding ways in which it is used across the word, youll soon see why you really, really wouldnt want to live without it! Featuring comprehensive diagrams, a timteline, hilarious cartoon-style illustrations, and "You Can Do It!" panels on how to conduct your own water experiments.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

National Dog Day

August 26, 2016 is National Dog Day.  I don't need to remind you that the Hoover Public Library has lots of great books about dogs.  But I do need to highlight two recent releases highly recommended by your friendly neighborhood librarians.

Recommended by Mr Justin:
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz (2016)
J  636.7  HOR
Do you want to know what dogs are thinking? What they're feeling? Now you finally can. The answers will surprise and delight young readers as scientist and dog-owner Alexandra Horowitz explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.

Recommended by Miss Katie Jane:
No Better Friend: A Man, a Dog, and Their Incredible True Story of Friendship and Survival in World War II by Robert Weintraub (2016)
J  940.54  WEI
This is the incredible true story of Frank Williams, a radarman in Britain's Royal Air Force, and Judy, a purebred pointer, who met as prisoners of war during World War II. Judy, who became the war's only official canine POW, was a fiercely loyal dog who sensed danger-warning her fellow prisoners of imminent attacks and, later, protecting them from brutal beatings. Frank and Judy's friendship, an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances, is one of the great recently uncovered stories of World War II.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

More Maris Wicks

Maris Wicks is a science educator/comic artist, and she is amazing!  I was first introduced to her work when I read Human Body Theater: A Nonfiction Revue.  I was so impressed that I included it in our Best Books of 2015 list.  Since I do not gravitate to graphic novels, this was a major accomplishment.  I was eager for more of her work . . . and luckily there's already more!

  • Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean by Maris Wicks (2016)
    J  577.7  WIC  GRAPHIC NOVEL
    This absorbing look at ocean science covers the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance.  Nonfiction comics genius Wicks brings to bear her signature combination of hardcore cuteness and in-depth science.
  • Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks (2015)
    This an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century.  Goodall, Fossey, and Galdikas were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each ground-breaking researcher made profound contributions to primatology―and to our own understanding of ourselves.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad a new Oprah pick!

Originally set for release on September 13th, Doubleday set a precedent by shipping 200,000 copies of Colson Whitehead's newest blockbuster to bookstores in secret. One lucky recipient was Oprah Winfrey. Now Mr. Whitehead is getting the "Oprah bump," meaning it was selected as an Oprah pick for September. The Underground Railroad will be Whitehead's eighth and most highly anticipated novel. A recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, Whitehead was also a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize for his second novel, John Henry Days (2001). In the current novel, the author imagines that clandestine system of safe houses and secret routes as an actual "underground railroad". But this is not a marvel to gawk at, as Whitehead only sparingly refers to the actual railroad underground. Rather, he creates a virtual hell on earth for a slave in Georgia named Cora. She is left behind when her mother manages to escape -- a rarity at this particular location. Cora sees the depraved violence and murder that takes place on Mr. Randall's plantation. With escape and the struggle for refuge, Whitehead manages to humanize the characters. In Cora we have a strong, resilient, outspoken and proud woman willing to face all obstacles in order to be free. Even given the surreal atmosphere of Whitehead's literal underground railroad, readers will sympathize with Cora's statement that “Freedom was a thing that shifted as you looked at it.” In doing research for the novel, Whitehead told NPR, "Slavery was one thing in Maryland in the 1780's. It was another thing in Georgia once the cotton boom starts up in the early 1800's. There are plantations that have two slaves, plantations that have 80 slaves, and just seeing the variety of the slave experience allowed me to have less anxiety about making my own plantation, because there are so many different combinations that existed." With that research he has created a wonderfully complex depiction of our very real past.

Target Age: 
Shannonh's picture

New S.T.E.A.M. Programs

What is S.T.E.A.M.?  It's an integrated approach to teaching that includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, and it is sweeping the nation.  The Hoover Public Library is embracing the trend with a new series of programs called Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead.  Two Tuesdays per month at 4 p.m., elementary students will experience one of the "letters" in a unique way.  Here's what's coming in September:

  • Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: Engineering
    Not-So-Simple Machines

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 4 p.m.
    Make a machine from household trash.  Ages 7-11.  Registration begins 08/22/16.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7830).
  • Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead: Art
    Puppetry Workshop

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 4 p.m.
    Create your own puppet and perform in a mini showcase.  Ages 5-11.  Registration begins 09/05/16.  Sign up online or by phone (444-7830).
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Vote NOW for Teens' Top Ten

Voting for the 2016 Teens' Top Ten official list is officially open!  The Teens' Top Ten is a teen choice list, with teens nominating and choosing their favorite books of the previous year.   The winners will be announced following Teen Read Week (October 9-15, 2016).  Vote for your favorite three titles from the 26 nominations.  You can watch a book trailer announcing all 26 titles.  You can also download the printable list, complete with annotations.  That's the easy part.  The hard part will be narrowing your favorites down to three!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Medical Mysteries

Forget fiction!  Gail Jarrow has written three captivating books about real medical mysteries.

  • Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat (2014)
    J  616.3  JAR
    One hundred years ago, a mysterious and alarming illness spread across America's South, striking tens of thousands of victims. No one knew what caused it or how to treat it. People were left weak, disfigured, insane, and in some cases, dead. Award winning science and history writer Gail Jarrow tracks this disease, commonly known as pellagra, and highlights how doctors, scientists, and public health officials finally defeated it. Illustrated with 100 archival photographs, includes stories about real life pellagra victims and accounts of scientific investigations.
  • Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary (2015)
    J  614.5  JAR
    Typhoid fever is running rampant across America, striking down thousands of people. On a damp March morning in 1907, the dreaded disease pulls together three people at a New York City brownstone. Dr. George Soper, an epidemiologist, has traced an outbreak of typhoid fever to this house. Dr. S. Josephine Baker, a health department medical inspector, has been sent there to confront the suspected typhoid carrier. Mary Mallon, a cook for well-to-do New Yorkers, refuses to talk to either one of them. Her actions that day would lead to a notoriety that has lasted for more than a century.
  • Bubonic Plague: When Plague Invaded America (2016)
    J  614.5  JAR
    In March 1900, San Francisco s health department investigated a strange and horrible death in Chinatown. A man had died of bubonic plague, one of the world s deadliest diseases. But how could that be possible? "Bubonic Panic" tells the true story of America s first plague epidemic the public health doctors who desperately fought to end it, the political leaders who tried to keep it hidden, and the brave scientists who uncovered the plague s secrets. Once again, acclaimed author and scientific expert Gail Jarrow brings the history of a medical mystery to life in vivid and exciting detail for young readers.

If you're a teacher, take a look at the lesson ideas for each title.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Bringing the Outside In

Yes, you should definitely spend a lot of time outdoors.  And, yes, you should definitely bring some of the great outdoors into the great indoors!  What happens when you bring the outside in?  Art, math, science, and language play!

  • Bringing the Outside In by Mary McKenna Siddals (2016)
    Nothing takes the place of splashing in a puddle or jumping into a pile of autumn leaves. Along with the mud and sand that gets tracked indoors come memories that live forever!  Take a look at the official website to access activities, teacher resources, and lessons plans.
  • A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature by Asia Citro (2016)
    J  508  CIT
    Bursting with creative hands-on outdoor science and art activities, A Little Bit of Dirt is full of motivation to get outside and explore. Whether you're investigating the health of your local stream, making beautiful acrylic sunprints with leaves and flowers, running an experiment with your backyard birds, or concocting nature potions, you'll be fostering an important connection with nature. The engaging activities encourage the use of the senses and imagination and are perfect for all ages. Discover more about the natural world waiting just outside your door!
  • Outdoor Math: Fun Activities for Every Season by Emma AdBåge (2016)
    J  513 ABD
    Adbåge has created twenty-two outdoor activities, organized by season. Through play, children will learn about numeracy and arithmetic, as well as math concepts such as shapes, time, greater/less than, even and odd numbers, patterns and grids. The activities have simple-to-follow instructions and are accompanied by adorable illustrations that provide clear visual demonstrations. The natural materials required —- stones, pinecones, snowballs, worms —- are easy to find in many environments. Studies have shown that learning outdoors helps kids retain information and skills, and that physically active children perform better in a variety of subjects —- including math.
Target Age: 
Katiem's picture