End of Summer Reading

Kids’ Summer Reading ended a few weeks ago and Adult Summer Reading is in full swing! We still have a few more weeks for you to participate in the fun, if you’re an adult who wants that last end-of-summer harahh.

Coming up this week we have some exciting opportunities for adults to socialize and have some fun with our Monday night Crochet Class from 6 to 7:30 pm and Tuesday at Noon we are having trivia for lunch! Take this chance to test your skills and meet some other interesting adults. Thursday night is Evening Bunko, a dice game that will get you visiting with everyone in the room, and lastly we will have our weekly Adult Summer Reading prize drawing at 1 pm on Friday. If you’ve been putting in entries every time you finish a book, you may win one of our fun prizes!

But say you are a kid who needs that last bit of fun that summer has to offer. That’s okay. The end of Summer Reading didn’t mean the end of library programs! Check out our Wednesday Lego Day at 4 pm, or, if you’re a young adult, try Tabletop and Video Game Club at 4 pm on Thursday, where we also listen to music and do crafts.

Lastly, for all age groups we have our Friday Movie! At 2pm we will be showing our final movie of the summer. We’ll have popcorn and lemonade, and plenty of space for young and old to enjoy our Rated G film.

Oh yeah, and if you have adopted a plant, and haven’t picked it up, be sure to stop at our front desk for your plant, and also for a book of activities that you can do at home!

We hope you will join us for our final activities as summer winds down and we prepare to go back to school for another year!

Pokemon Go in the Library

pokemon goHere at the library, we’re working on Catching Them All! Liberal Memorial Library is a Pokemon Gym, and a Pokestop in the new Pokemon Go game for phones and tablets. Stop in and catch some of the Pokemon who wander our aisles, and pick up Pokeballs at our stop. If you feel ambitious, challenge the Gym Leader! If you win, and become the new Gym Leader, come into the library for a special Pokemon Badge! One per Gym Leader, and for a limited time only!

Library-Badge-w-loop-001If you aren’t into catching Pocket Monsters, our Adopt A Plant program is continuing! If you walk through the library, you will see our plants budding and growing, and you can see who belongs to each plant. The beans are sprouting like mad, but the tomatoes are not far behind! I’ve got my eye on the basil plants, and the carrots are not looking bad either.

What else is happening at the library? More than you can imagine!

Summer reading is wrapping up. Only one more week to go, can you believe it! We’ve had two months of fun and excitement, and now it is time to reward everyone for a job well-done. But I will say, during our last week, we go out with a bang! Here’s our schedule!

  • TEENS—Movies & crafts (Tues. 7/19 @ 4 pm)
    Enjoy some summer films and make cool crafts.
  • Beejays Baseball Team (Wed. 7/20 @ 10 am)
    Bring your glove for a story and play time with Liberal’s own Beejay’s Baseball Team! All ages welcome.
  • TEENS—Tabletop & Video Game Club (Thu. 7/21 @ 4 pm)
    Come play our Wii, Xbox, PS4, or one of several fun board games. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, check out our teen crafts!
  • Coffee & Crafts (Wed. 7/20 @ Noon & Thu. 7/21 @ 6 pm)
    This month, we’ll decoupage boxes using pretty paper. Make a decorative box you’ll want to show off.
  • End of Summer Reading Party (Fri. 7/22 @ 1 pm)
    Celebrate the end of Summer Reading Program with ice cream and play games for prizes!
  • Recipe Swap (Tues. 7/26 @ 6:30 pm)
    Bring something you’ve made (along with the recipe) to share and enjoy everyone else’s creations!
  • Summer Reading Logs due 7/27! Turn in your completed summer reading log to get a prize!

As we say goodbye to youth summer reading, we also want to remind our adults that our Adult Summer Reading will take place during August. We have some fun prizes, and a chance to read new things. Also take the opportunity to expand your circle of friends! The library is filled with people who are just as interested in engaging with reading learning as you.

We always have something exciting happening at the library, and we hope you will check us, and our books, out!

Adopt a plant at the library

plantDid you know you can adopt a plant at the library? Anyone can  come to the front desk and adopt a plant. You’ll be able to water your little guy and watch him grow, right here at the library. We have plenty of sunlight and air conditioning to make sure your new baby vegetables don’t wilt in the extreme summer heat while they make their first attempts to break the surface of the earth. Then, at the end of the summer, plants will be available to go home with their adoptive parents.

That’s one of the many activities we have happening at the library over the rest of the summer. This coming week alone, we have our Recipe Swap (the theme is easy-to-make cold foods), our story times (Tuesday/Thursday at 11:15 and 2) and our Tuesday/Thursday Young Adult clubs. This week we are hosting Smoky Hills Public Television’s Curious George program, and we’ll also be showing an animal-related animated film for our Friday Game-And-Movie day.

So much is happening at the library this summer that we want to share with everyone! Everything from a chance to have a one-plant garden to guests like Rattlesnake Andy, Rine’s Karate, and our local baseball team, the Beejays. All of the fun isn’t for the kids, either. We have a monthly Bunco tournament, Coffee and Crafts meets twice a month, plus our book club and our Recipe Swap, which is the tastiest program at any library around.

We want to keep people learning and active this summer by capturing the imagination and the attention of all of our patrons. So if you don’t have a little one to bring to storytime, and no young adults for Video & Board Game Club, there is still a lot of fun to be had over the rest of the season.

And I’d like to just take this opportunity to mention that we have air conditioning. Please come in and get out of the heat. And while you’re here, check out a fun book or movie, or participate in one of our many programs!

Train Your Brain This Summer at the Library!

2016-teen-srp-sloganSummer Reading starts May 23rd with a kickoff featuring Poppa D Clown. We’ll be running for two months, and there are activities at the library nearly every day. Check out the calendar on our website for more information about storytimes and special guests such as Mad Science and The Cosmosphere.

One thing I’m excited about is our new Teen Summer Reading program which incorporates reading with other forms of learning (watching documentaries, listening to audiobooks, etc) as a way to gain points and win prizes over the course of the summer. We have activities lined up for Tuesdays and Thursdays, including teen movie nights and Video and Board Game Club. More activities and more reading means winning our first and second level prizes faster, and also being entered into our end-of-summer drawing. I hope we see lots of teens in the library, taking advantage of our programs and materials.

Another unique thing happening this summer is our Open Mic days. Saturday, May 28th the library will be staying open after 1pm for Open Mic. We are hoping to have talent of all kinds, from musicians to slam poets to monologists to everything in between. Anyone with a talent they wish to share should contact me at tammyg@lmlibrary.org or 626-0180 if they’d like to be put on the list of talent.

Not only do we need talent to make our Open Mic a success, we need a great audience too! Consider coming out to enjoy the festivities! We’ll be having light refreshments and a chance for audience participation and karaoke at the end of the main event! We want everyone to have a good time, and enjoy our local artists, and have a chance to make a little art of their own.

The next few months are going to be busy! We’ll be bringing back old favorites and trying out new ideas, like our Open Mic afternoon. We still have our Coffee and Crafts (Noon on Wednesday the 18th and repeated at 6pm on Thursday the 19th) for adults, and our book club and Recipe Swap, so we encourage adults to come out and enjoy the adult programming and all ages programming, whether you have a child or not.

Our Schedule for the next two weeks:

  • Tuesday 5/17
    • 6 pm: Evening Storytime
  • Wednesday 5/18
    • 12 pm: Coffee and Coloring (Adults/Teens) Coffee sponsored by Spencer Browne’s!
    • 4 pm: Lego Challenge
  • Thursday 5/19
    • 11:15 am: Storytime
    • 1 pm: Board Games (Kids/Teens)
    • 2 pm: Movie (All Ages)
    • 6 pm: Coffee and Coloring (Adults/Teens) Coffee sponsored by Spencer Browne’s!
    • 6 pm: Storytime
  • Friday 5/20
    • 1 pm: Crafts (Kids/Teens)
    • 2 pm Movie (All Ages)
  • Monday 5/23 Summer Reading Starts!
    • 6 pm-Poppa D Clown (All Ages)
  • Tuesday 5/24
    • 11:15 am & 2 pm: Storytime
    • 4 pm: Teen movie and adult coloring
    • 6:30 pm: Recipe Swap (Theme: BBQ Cookout)
  • Wednesday 5/25
    • 2 pm: Scavenger Hunt (Kids/Teens)
    • 4 pm: Lego Challenge
  • Thursday 5/26
    • 11:15 am & 2 pm: Storytime
    • 12 pm: Bunko (Adults)
    • 4 pm: Teen Video & Tabletop Game Club/Epic Crafts
  • Friday 5/27
    • 1 pm: Board Games (Kids/Teens)
    • 2 pm: Movie (All Ages)
  • Saturday 5/28
    • 1 pm: Open Mic! (All Ages–watch or participate!)

Second Annual Comicon

darth vaderOur second annual comicon is less than a week away! I’m as excited as I can be, and I am hoping you are too. Last year we had a door count of around three thousand, and I hope we can break that this year! In fact, I want everyone in Liberal to stop by, if even for a little bit on their busy Saturday morning.

One great reason to come: our mayor, Joe Denoyer and the city council have declared Liberal to be the Crossroads of Fandom for May 7th, the day of the comicon. And we are! You don’t have to try hard to find someone around you who loves something from pop culture. It’s the mythology of our age, it’s our comfort food, and it’s a thing that can give us great joy and build community with other people who love what we love.

Besides games and prizes, we have panel discussion and costume contests and choosing the best super hero. Everything from superhero storytime to pictures with Darth Vader will be happening, and there is something for all ages.

The best part? You don’t need to be a kid, or a comic fan to come out and have fun. Comics aren’t just for kids, even though there are enough superhero cartoons and comics to keep any child busy. They’re for adults too, and while you’re here, you can check out our young adult and brand new adult (grownup) graphic novel sections.

But if you’re not a fan of comic characters, that’s ok too. We are happy to have fans of anything come to celebrate with us! Children’s cartoons, science fiction, fantasy, Adventure Time, Outlander, BBC Sherlock, Doctor Who… if you can think of it, and if you love it, this con is the place for you! We will be celebrating the things we love fanatically with others who understand our passion.

I hope you will come out and join in the fun with a t-shirt or costume that shares your media loves, or that you just visit us and enjoy the spectacle. Enjoy video or tabletop games, life-sized Candyland, movies and TV shows, and adult coloring. We have something for everyone, even a new quiet space for when the library gets too rowdy.

We hope that everyone who visits will go home with a comic or poster, maybe a prize or two, and plenty of memories. All of my best con experiences have been when I have met wonderful people who love the same pop culture things I do, and made lasting friendships or shared moments of laughing or bemoaning the very things we love. Hopefully you will go home with a story or two to share with friends, and will be ready to come back next year!

Train Your Brain and Get Smart With the Arts

April is packed until the end of the month with things to do at the library.

microphoneIf you missed Friday’s Open Mic, join us for next month’s Open Mic Nite at 6 pm in the library basement. We love having new performers (contact Tammy tammyg@lmlibrary.org or Elizabeth childrens@lmlibrary.org to get on the bill for next month), but we also need a great audience! Check out new and familiar local performers, or come and try out your poetry, music, dramatic readings, or any other performance you wish to share.

Now that I have gotten that pitch out of the way, it’s probably time to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: Comicon! This year will be our second year, and we’re going to be bigger than before! We have superhero crafts for kids, and games with super hero themed prizes. For the gamers among us, we have video and tabletop areas for kid and adult gamers alike. We’ll have video rooms again for anime and other TV you might want to catch up on, such as the BBC Sherlock Holiday Special. There will be panels again this year to discuss your favorite pop culture stories.

Darth Vader and his Storm Trooper friend will be among us once again, thanks to the 501st Legion. They may be visited by a wookie and other friends, you never know. As always, costumes and nerd memorabilia will be encouraged and rewarded with our late-in-the-day costume contest for all ages.

I am so excited about our expanded offerings this year! If you have any questions, please let me know! If you want to contribute to panels, or have a skill (such as game-leading) you would like to contribute, we’d love to have you!
star wars force awakensAnd this isn’t even the half of it! We’re still looking for Bunco players for the 24th, which is also our Earth Day Party. Our adult coffee klatch and craft is going to be faux stained glass (you can’t mess it up! I promise!) at noon on Wednesday the 27th. Tuesday the 26th is our DNA party where we will build monsters and create life! Thursday of the same week is our monthly Sensory Storytime for children of all ages with communicative and developmental disorders such as autism, and lastly, when the kids are off school on Friday the 29th, we will be doing crafts at 1pm and watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 2 pm.

Next month we’re firing off Summer Reading with a bang! Watch this space, and our website for more info!

This week at the Library

It’s been a busy week at the library. We have had activities and movies every day for kids, and a special St. Patrick’s Day Party in our new downstairs activity center area. It gave us a place to spread out and have multiple activities going on at once, with kids and teens doing puzzles for prizes, making crafts and playing board games. The movies had stellar attendance, and everyone got movie theater style popcorn from our popcorn machine to help with the movie atmosphere.

That is how I, Elizabeth, the Children’s Librarian, and many of our staff members spent our week, and it was exhausting, but great! We had familiar faces at the library, and new ones, trying out activities they might not have experienced before.

candle - decorated 2Now we’re looking forward to new things happening at the library, like our adult candle and coffee party on Wednesday, the 23rd, where we will decorate and ‘Jazz up’ candle holders and candles, with most of the materials being easy dollar store finds, so they can be replicated at home. We will also be enjoying a variety of coffee, thanks to the magical power of Keurig and flavors like Cinnabon Cinnarolls and Toffee to Churro-flavored coffee.  All materials are provided, including the cream and sugar!

We also have our Spring Fling on Tuesday the 29th, just after Easter. We’ll be celebrating the official start of Spring, which happens on the 20th, by making catapults and seeing who can fling objects the furthest. Refreshments, crafts and games will also be on-hand to help us kick off the new season. Hopefully the weather improves!

Next month is going to be National Poetry Month, so look out for great adult, kid and teen activities that involve words, art, and music.We’ll also be having our monthly Bunko game, and our lunchtime book club.

We will also be running our bilingual storytime and our new Sensory Storytime for all children, but especially for those with developmental and communicative disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The last Thursday of the month, we will tell stories and play, using all five senses in a safe, quiet and calm environment in our Cooper Clark room.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone of our upcoming Comicon! May 7th is the date, and we will start bright and early at 9 am, with costumes, discussion panels, games, prizes, and importantly, comics for attendees! All fandoms are welcome, so dust off your My Little Pony ears, your Stormtrooper helmet and your Batman cape for our costume contest, or just for the fun of it. We will be spread out throughout the library, including the new downstairs activity area, and if weather permits, outside the library as well.

I hope that we will see all of our old friends, and some new ones too, at our programs in the upcoming months. If you would like more details about any of our programs, please call the library, or check out our website at www.lmlibrary.org

Holiday Activities at the Library

happy holidaysIt’s been a busy month here at the library. There have been visits from Santa and Star Wars parties, Gingerbread House making and wreath making parties. If you’ve missed any of the fun so far, don’t worry; we have plenty of activities to see you through to the end of the month.

If you need a vacation from your vacation, we have things happening every day over the Christmas break. We have parties, crafts, games and movies with a little accidental learning thrown in between. Kids and teens are invited, and of course adults are welcome to come to our movies and visit with us at craft times.

We want to keep the kids of our community, and the surrounding communities, from getting too bored, or too rowdy, and can provide tons of creative fun over the break!

Our schedule for the next two weeks is as follows:

Monday 21st: Solstice Fun:
Learn about the shortest day of the year.
1 pm – Make sun dials and sun catchers at a story
2 pm – Movie @ 2

teddy_bearTuesday 22nd: Teddy & Pajama Day: Come to the library in your most comfortable jammies and bring along your favorite stuffed friend.
1 pm – Make your own teddy bear tree ornament
2 pm – Teddy Bear Party

Wednesday 23rd:
1 pm – Holiday sing-along
2 pm – Movie @ 2
4 pm – Holiday Crafts

Thursday 24th: Library Closed
Friday 25th: Library Closed–Merry Christmas!
Saturday 26: Library Closed

Monday 28th: Disney Day, All Day! Wear your favorite Disney gear!
12 pm – Disney crafts and games start at Noon!
2 pm – Disney Movie @ 2
4 pm – Disney Movie @ 4

Tuesday 29th: Music & Drama Day at the Library!
12 pm – We will be singing our hearts out, being melodramatic, and watching musicals! The fun starts at noon, and going to go until 4pm, including playing improv games!

Wednesday  30th: Anime and Art Day
12 pm – Enjoy some foreign TV, or express yourself with painting and sculpting at NOON.
2 pm –  Movie @ 2!

new-years-eve-2016Thursday 31st: Noon Year’s Eve Party!
12 pm – Bring in the New Year with us at High Noon! Celebrate early, while we’re all still awake!
Friday 1st: Library Closed–Happy New Years!

Saturday 2nd: Normal library activities resume! Have fun in the children’s or teen sections and relax from having so much fun!

Questions about any of our activities?   Check out our web page: www.lmlibrary.org, give us a call at 620-626-0180, or ask Tammy in person, or over e-mail! (asstdirector@lmlibrary.org)

Holidays at the Library – 2015

The holidays can be busy times for everyone. Shopping, making long trips to visit family, making your home ready to receive visiting family, planning, cooking, baking for holiday parties at school and work… This time of year can seem more like a marathon than anything else.

It’s good to take a few pauses during the season and refresh ourselves with a bit of comfort and self-care. This is where the library has you covered. Not only do we have calming activities to give you a chance to catch your breath and be creative without pressure or worry, but we have quiet places in the library to hole up for a bit with a magazine or book. Our magazine lounge is always freshly stocked with the latest issues of dozens of magazines, has a wonderful view of the outside park, and plenty of greenery to soothe the soul and provide extra oxygen.

We have large tables to lay out your holiday tasks as you organize or complete them, plenty of craft and cooking books for ideas to make things a little extra special, and a computer lab for printing those special recipes from the web, or writing holiday letters to catch up with the family, which you can print in full color. ($1.00 color; .20 black and white)

Maybe you need some audio books for the long drive, or you need some DVDs to hole up in the house for a few days? We have that too.

What about all that soothing community stuff I talked about earlier? We have that happening too. On Wednesday the 2nd, we’ll be making wreaths with all age groups! Noon for adults, 4pm for kids, and 6pm for teens. If that’s too stressful, Leslie Bissel will be on hand Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm to talk about  stress management.

Monday the 7th we have Recipe Swap, where you can pick up some new favorite recipes and try them out too, and Friday the 11th at noon, join us for some stress relieving Adult Coloring.

Check our schedule for all of our December events, including two weeks of activities for kids and teens over the winter break, each day with a theme, including Teddy Bear and Pajama day, and our Noon Year’s Eve party of the 31st.

We hope to see you at the library!

Batman Vs. Superman.

batman vs supermanAre you ready for it? I’ve sort of warmed up to the idea.

The previous film, The Man of Steel, left a lot of people shaking their heads. It had many great moments. Lois figuring out who Superman was before he ever joined the Daily Planet was a fantastic change from the comics, and was a huge step forward for the character of Lois Lane. I really liked a lot of the flashback scenes. But then there was the sheer level of devastation in the movie. It didn’t line up with over seven decades of Superman comics, and who we knew Superman to be as a person. Sure superheroes knock things over in movies, but the entire city of Metropolis had to have been destroyed in this film. What is left to protect when your city is a smoldering hole in the ground?

And why did he wait until after it was a hole in the ground to stop General Zod by killing him? An entire city and countless lives being destroyed difficult to swallow. Superman not stopping Zod by any means necessary until he’s about to kill a single innocent family? That may be even more difficult. Though, Superman does kill Zod in the comics to stop him from continuing his death and destruction, there’s something about this presentation that doesn’t ring true.

Superman has always been the light to Batman’s dark and gritty nature. All of DC Comics’ other characters fell in between. Hal Jordan the Green Lantern is an intergalactic policeman, the Flash fights a bunch of guys with gimmicks who, deep down, aren’t bad at heart.

Superman sees the best in others. He doesn’t do for people what they can do for themselves, or make decisions for them. He believes in their human dignity, and the sanctity of life. While he has the powers of a god, and we are lucky that he is a god  on our side (unlike Zod, or Marvel’s Loki), he doesn’t flaunt it. He tries to do the right thing. He isn’t enured or corrupted by the ugliness he has faced, and he shows people a better way, just by being himself and doing good in the world. That’s the Superman I grew up with. A guy from Kansas, just trying to do the right thing. And he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the shameless promotion of library materials. Among all the other graphic novels you can check out featuring Superman, give the Superman Archive Editions a shot, and see Superman’s grand history at work. Or take a look at Superman For All Seasons, both a classic, and a modern retelling of Superman’s coming of age and decision to become the person comic readers know him as. Type “Superman” into the search block on our catalog page. Dozens of stories will pop up.

So in this new movie, long-retired Bruce Wayne sees the destruction done by two alien gods fighting it out over a city. In fact, he appears to be in the midst of the destruction. What is a guy to do?

Batman is the dark to Superman’s light. He was hardened early in life. He is suspicious, cautious and prepared for anything, no matter how bad or dire the situation. In my understanding of the new movie, it’s entirely reasonable that Batman has decided that these gods are a threat, and that he’s going to solve the Superman problem once and for all.

In every retelling of the Superman and Batman meeting, they see the goodness in each other fairly quickly. Check out our Batman Archive Editions, or the Superman/Batman graphic novels (and animated films).  In the Superman/Batman stories, we see the obvious dichotomy between the two characters, represented by their inner monologues on each challenge they face. Clark, as always, has the more positive outlook. Bruce, as always, is waiting for the turn. For the part where Supergirl is not who she says she is (Superman’s cousin) and tries to destroy all of mankind.

It’s hard to not be suspicious when you’re usually right. I think, deep down, Batman is always hoping he’ll be wrong. But just as Superman has a deep sense for humanity’s goodness, Batman always sees their capacity for harm.

Which would be fine, if Batman were only suspicious and always looking for the worst. But Batman always has a plan. He has a plan should his batcave be invaded by his enemies. He has a plan to deal with all the bad guys in Gotham at once (see Batman: War Games). He even has plans to take out the entire Justice League, his allies and friends, should any or all of them go rogue (JLA: Tower of Babel) which can put a bit of a strain on friendships.

That is who Batman is. He isn’t afraid to be the ‘bad guy’ in a sea of good guys. And he is not afraid to come out of retirement to deal with this unknown threat to humanity. Heck, I even accept Ben Affleck as old, fat Batman. I’m ready to see Batman deal with an alien he thinks is going to destroy not just his city, but his world (it’s time for Batman to branch out, anyway).

I’m not fond of the level of destruction in The Man of Steel, but I understand why it was there. And it’s not without precedent. Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern’s home, Coast City was leveled in a hotly debated comic event (Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight). Even Batman had to deal with the destruction of his city in Batman: No Man’s Land. Long dramatic arcs ensued. Can we get the same level of pathos from Superman, when Metropolis really wasn’t ‘his’ city yet? I don’t know. Batman was born for pathos, so I think he’s good to go.

And as for Wonder Woman? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime we have plenty of Wonder Woman graphic novels to tide you over. Batman has two full shelves of graphic novels, Superman does too. Check them out, or Green Lantern, the Justice League, novels, including Kevin J. Anderson’s Batman/Superman-oriented Enemies and Allies, or any of our DC live-action or animated movies to get you ready for March 25th, 2016 when Superman Vs. Batman premiers.