Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Testing, Testing, Testing...

ISBN: 
9780689845154

It’s test time again for Indiana students. Children in grades 3-8 are taking the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+) tests to measure student achievement in the subject areas of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (Grades 4 and 6), and Social Studies (Grades 5 and 7). This seasonal event - and the recent news that teachers and parents in Chicago decided to boycott the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, an annual test for Illinois students in third through eighth grade - brought to mind the book: The Report Card by Andrew Clements.

Clements is one of my favorite authors. He writes thoughtfully about school-age students, the issues they face, their relationships with each other and with their teachers. And many of his books pose a “what if” question that make for marvelous discussion opportunities.  In The Report Card, it’s 5th grader Nora who ponders:  what if students just all refused to take tests? What if they intentionally answered all the questions incorrectly?   Read more »

Build a stand, Spark a dream!

Lemonade Stand Logo

This year, the library is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club to help promote Lemonade Day Bloomington. Lemonade Day brings the community together to experience entrepreneurship, promote philanthropy, and celebrate the bright aspirations of our future leaders. Read more »

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

ISBN: 
9780061730764

Kadir Nelson“Painting historical American subjects pushes me to learn more about who I am, where I come from, and the role my ancestors played in helping form our country.” – Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of Heart and Soul.

Kadir Nelson’s work brings history alive for students today. In the Prologue to Heart and Soul he notes that young people won’t always have the chance to speak with the people who lived through the Civil Rights Movement, or who played baseball for a league that no longer exists. So he documents the stories from these people, vividly portrays them, so that they will be known and remembered, learned and absorbed by future generations.

"Heart and Soul is not only the story of my family, but an intimate introduction to American history that I hope will remind readers of our extraordinary story and inspire them to learn more about America as I have done – by exploring their unique family stories and their connection to the American story."

Find Heart and Soul and other outstanding  books by Kadir Nelson through the Library’s catalog. See Kadir Nelson’s website to learn more about him and his art. Visit the African American History Month website from the Library of Congress to discover more about the remarkable people and events that connect us all.

WearetheShipbyKNelson

Arabic and Persian for Children!

Alef Ba in the Learn and Play Space

Connect with the World in our Learn and Play Space!

Every Saturday morning we offer Arabic and Persian language immersion learning in the Learn and Play Space.

These programs are made possible through a partnership with the Bridges Project, administered by the IU Center for the Study of Global Change.

The Bridges: Children, Languages, World Project strives to expose children to less commonly taught languages and culture through play, games, crafts, stories, puppet shows, and interactive activities. Exploratory programs in Arabic and Persian are led by IU students, some of them native speakers of their respective languages.

No registration is necessary for these programs. Just drop in!

Alef Ba (Arabic), Saturdays, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m.

Yek, Doh, Seh (Persian), Saturdays 11:30 a.m. – noon

Alef Ba and Yek, Doe, Seh

Caldecott Worthy Books from 2013

It's award season again! And in the Children's Department that means we're looking forward to the upcoming ALA Youth Media Awards. On Monday the 2014 winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards will be announced honoring the most distinguished books published in 2013. In particular, the Caldecott is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children to the artist of the most outstanding American picture book for children. For the second year in a row we put together what we've deemed the CaldecartTM, a library cart full of picture books published last year. For the first Caldecart we looked at around 30 books. This year we went crazy with 66 to peruse and evaluate!

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Read more »

Combat Cabin Fever in The Learn and Play Space

Catching butterflies in the Learn and Play Space
Grandparents are so important in a young child’s life. Whether you see your grandkids every day or once a year, you want to share experiences that form a lasting bond with them. During these chilly days and freezing evenings, the library is the perfect destination for grandparents with their visiting grandchildren to find relief from cabin fever. Children’s Services offers many great features for young ones in our preschool area and in the Learn and Play Space. Children and their grandparents can take a break from selecting books, CDs, DVDs and computer games to explore all of the things to do in the gathering area near the baby board books. You will find comfy seating, a doll house, a train table, activity cubes, a puzzle table and a nest of AWE computers preloaded with exciting learning games.

Catching butterflies in the Learn and Play Space

The Learn and Play Space is a room dedicated to children ages birth through 6 years. Here you will find a Writing Center to practice writing notes and drawing pictures. There are a Kitchen, a Store, and a Puppet stage where you and your grandchildren can engage in pretend play. The center of the room features puzzles and other activities on our theme of the month, ”Winter.” The building area houses an exciting polar scene where children can build a world of igloos and icebergs. You'll even find a place dedicated to babies who are not yet walking.

Creating a masterpiece at the writing center in the Learn and Play Space.

These areas were designed to support your grandchild’s early literacy development. Studies show that guidance from a caring adult is critical to helping children get the most from these experiences. Come visit the library. Your grandchildren will think you are playing together, but you will know that you are helping to lay the foundation for their future success in reading and in life.

Having fun at the train table!

Frozen Preschool Science and Math Fun at Home and at the Library

 

non-fiction book on winter

One of my favorite things to hear from parents during our monthly Preschool Science and Math program is, "We are going to try this at home!" Creating opportunities for parents and their preschool-aged children explore science together is a big part of our mission in the promotion of early literacy – and why we devote time and resources to preschool science and math. Research tells us that the more children know about the world, and the more opportunities they have to talk with adults about what they know, the more likely they will become successful readers. While talking about science and math may sound daunting, in a preschool context it has to be playful, hands-on, and fun! Below are a few things we did earlier in the month exploring winter topics. Try them at home and see if you had as much fun as we did at the library. Read more »

Show Me a Story! (Why Picture Books Matter)

ISBN: 
9780763635060

“Before they read words, children are reading pictures. In picture books, the illustrations work in concert with the text in a way that is unique among art forms.”

In the forward to Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators, award-winning author and illustrator David Wiesner explains why we celebrate National Picture Book Month in November (actually, MCPL Children’s Services Librarians celebrate them year-round! Here’s more from Wiesner about why we love picturebooks…): Read more »

Big Library Read features Nancy Clancy eBook

ISBN: 
9780062082947

It’s always hard to say goodbye at a story’s end to characters you’ve grown fond of and enjoyed spending time with. That’s one of the great joys of series books and why they appeal to readers of all ages: you don’t have to say goodbye; you can look forward to meeting up with familiar characters in the next book.

Books in a series are especially popular with transitional readers, children moving beyond beginner reader chapter books but who are not quite ready for longer novels. Having background knowledge of a character or setting aids readers who are still developing their fluency and comprehension skills. Think Nancy Drew stories. After reading a couple, you know that she is an adventurous girl with sparkly blue eyes who has a plump cousin and a kind housekeeper. Eventually, you are able to skim the familiar descriptions and devote your energy to deciphering the plot. Knowing that they already enjoy reading about a certain character also helps motivate transitional readers to continue reading. And regular reading practice is one of the best ways to build reading skills.

For all these reasons, it’s good news for fans of Fancy Nancy that author Jane O’Connor has continued to offer new stories featuring the flamboyant young girl who enjoys sprinkling her wardrobe with sparkly accessories and her vocabulary with dazzling words. The character who was first introduced in 2006 in picturebook format with appeal to preschoolers, and progressed to beginner reader format books with an early elementary aged audience, now appears in first chapter books aimed at transitional readers in grades 2-3.

In these latest stories, Fancy Nancy has morphed into Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth with a pink trenchcoat and a rhinestone studded magnifying glass. Always on the lookout for mysteries to solve, Nancy and her friend Bree have designed their own business cards (Partners in Crime: N & B) as well as their own secret code for safely exchanging messages. And while attempting to solve the Mystery of the Missing Marble, Nancy Clancy pauses to ponder: What would Nancy Drew do?  Whether or not they are familiar with Nancy Clancy’s mentor, Nancy Clancy fans will delight in hunting for clues and deciphering codes with the new Super Sleuth on the block.

The other good news for aficionados of Fancy Nancy Clancy is that Overdrive has designated Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth as the featured title for its current Big Library Read program. From September 16th – 30th Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth - Book 1 will be available in both eBook and audiobook formats for anyone wanting to read it – no waiting, no holds! Find the title in the library catalog, or go directly to Indiana Digital Media and log in with your library card to claim your copy. As Nancy Clancy would say: Stupendous! Magnificent! And double ooh la la!

Show Us Your Library Card!

Librarians with MCPL Library Cards

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Of course, you can get a library card any time of the year, but in September, back-to-school season, we like to remind that a library card is an essential school tool. Just as important as having a notebook, folder and pen in your backpack, is having a library card tucked in your pocket. Best of all, library cards are free to Monroe County residents of all ages!

In addition to giving you the ability to borrow books, movies and music, your library card provides you with access to a number of electronic resources the library has purchased especially for Monroe County residents to use. Some of these resources are designed for kids.  To access them from outside the library, you will be prompted to enter your library card number. It’s a simple step to gain entry to a wealth of authoritative information and images to suit your needs. You can find a complete list of electronic resources on our A-Z Research Tools page. Some e-resources and downloadable options of special interest to school-age children include:

  • Grolier Online – for information about states, countries, current events and more
  • Indiana Digital Media – to download ebooks and audiobooks, including titles for kids
  • Freegal – to download music. Once downloaded, songs are yours to keep

LibraryCardpromoYour library card makes these reputable resources available to you around the clock. We love that you can access these resources even when our physical doors are closed for the night. But even more, we love to see young children come in to the library with their families – with library card in hand.  How many places can children go where they are welcome to pull items from the shelves, look through them and choose which ones they would like to take home? We are continually delighted to observe children claim their books or movies and then proudly walk up to the self-check machine and check them out to take home and enjoy. We see how empowered they are by this, the confidence it instills, and we know it helps launch them on their journey of life-long learning.

So next time you are in the library – show us your library card! We’d love to hear what you like about it, and how you use it most. And in September and October, children who show us their library cards will receive a special sticker and bookmark – and a chance to shout “Hooray! I used my library card today!”

 

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