Make Everyday Earth Day

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The April 22 Earth Day was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet. It encourages awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. The first Earth Day had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States.

Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches.

How can you honor the Earth?

Slow the Flow – A faucet leaking one drop per second wastes over 1,300 gallons per year! A leak from a hot water source wastes water and fossil fuel, creating more greenhouse gases. Most repairs to plumbing fixtures pay for themselves within a year.

Think Green When You Clean – Cleaning products containing chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long-term damage to the Earth.

Choose Both Sides – Every year, pulp mills release over one trillion gallons of chlorine-tainted water as part of the paper-making process. Use the other side of the paper to cut that pollution almost in half! Choose recycled paper – especially processed-chlorine-free recycled paper.

‘Green’ Your Machine – Americans waste over 700 million gallons of gasoline each year because tires aren’t properly inflated. Millions more are wasted because vehicles aren’t properly tuned. Keep your machine running ‘Green!’ to save money and reduce emissions!

Meatless for Dinner – Once a week, plan a meat alternative for dinner. Enjoy pasta, meatless chili burritos, or grilled veggie burgers! Reducing meat consumption conserves fresh water, saves topsoil, and reduces air pollution!

Walk, Hike, Ride a Bike – If people in the U.S. occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved yearly! Enjoy the added benefit of fresh air and exercise.

Plant a Tree Every Earth Day! – Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. It also provides shade keeping homes and cities cooler!

Give Weeds a ‘Hand’ – Herbicides aren’t the only way to control weeds, and they’re not environmentally friendly! Invest in a pair of gloves and garden tools, and remove weeds by hand. Choose natural alternatives to pesticides.

Lighten Your Energy Bill – Compared to regular bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) last 10 times longer, use only 1/4 the energy and produce 90% less heat – yet they produce more light per watt!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Make the world a ‘greener’ place: donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers.

Excerpted from timeanddate.com, Wikipedia, and rustletheleaf.com

Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board of Trustees Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. in the library located at 752 Main St.

How does your garden grow?

library entrance

If you’ve traveled by the library recently, you may have noticed some changes. When we moved into the former Brown’s Farm Supply building, we concentrated on the interior first. There are still things we’d like to change indoors, but they’ll take time and can be accomplished during cold weather.

Now we’re hoping to take advantage of warmer weather to upgrade the library’s entrance. We’re adding a low-maintenance xeriscape garden. Though it doesn’t look like much yet, we have high hopes. With design assistance from Master Gardener Theresa Miller, we’ve come up with a plan. Our first effort was to tame the Bermuda grass by covering it with heavyweight black plastic. This was a big project to accomplish during recent windy days out. But with perseverance, the plastic was rolled out and held in place with rocks and blocks. We’re reusing plants and blocks from our former landscaping projects and adding donated concrete items and gravel to the mix.

We’ve applied for a grant to help purchase plants and composite wood for a raised beds. In addition, we hope to garner donations of perennial plants such as grasses and flowering natives. The end result isn’t intended to look stark and lifeless. The additional plants will be marked so visitors can learn their names and consider using them in their own gardens.

Our Little Free Library was moved farther from our front doors so those returning books and movies in our won’t mistake it for our Book Drop. When our corkscrew willow leafs out, its shade will help keep books in the Little Free Library cooler. A bench will be placed nearby so visitors can sit and read a few lines and decide which book to take home.

A block path will run along the building from the parking lot as a shortcut to our front doors. More blocks will be placed near the Book Drop so those returning books won’t have to walk through a flower bed. Flagstones will surround the Little Free Library so those checking out its contents can stand to review books.

We also plan to screen our air-conditioning units with a screen, and add a trellis and other decorative items. Because the incorporated plants require less water, we won’t have to drag out our heavy hose to keep them drenched. Xeriscape gardens are often used in dry climates and those with high temperatures. While we don’t have those challenges this time of year, they’re soon to come.

Pleasanton students will be helping us Wednesday, April 29 through their community service project. Our new local Garden Group has their hands full planning their Farmer’s Market this year. We hope they’ll support our efforts by sharing their knowledge of Xeriscape gardens with interested parties. We’re happy to host their meetings in the room built for us by our Friends of the Library at the rear of our building. We are all working hard to make Pleasanton a place of which we can be proud!

Unlimited possibilities @ your library: celebrate National Library Week April 12-18

Next week, the Pleasanton Lincoln Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.

Libraries today are more than warehouses for books. Instead, libraries and librarians are change agents within their communities – transforming lives through innovative educational resources and forward-thinking programming. Libraries are doing their part to close the digital divide and level the playing field by providing free access to information and technologies that many in their communities would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Libraries help to ensure the American dream and promote democracy by providing service to all regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic status.

Librarians work with elected officials, small business owners, students and the public at large to discover and meet the needs of their communities. Whether through offering e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or offering a safe haven in times of crisis, librarians listen to the community they serve, and they respond.

The Pleasanton Lincoln Library serves Linn County residents by providing a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books, large print and audio books, books for young children and young adults, magazines, and movies for children as well as adults.

“The library has always been a place of unlimited possibilities,” said Mark Willard, Pleasanton Library board trustee. “Whatever your interest or need, the library and the library staff are here to provide you the resources you need to accomplish your goals and dreams.”

The Pleasanton Lincoln Library is celebrating National Library Week by honoring its staff, volunteers and patrons. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.

For more information, visit the Pleasanton Lincoln Library at 752 Main St., Pleasanton, call 913-352-8445 or see the library’s Web site at pleasanton.mykansaslibrary.org. Libraries hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 .m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 .m. to 1:30 p.m..

FREE books at the library

This is no April Fool’s joke. All books at the library are free. All you need to do is register for a library card and you may check out books at no charge. The same goes for movies. Adults may check out as many as 10 books for two weeks, and may renew them twice, for a total of six weeks. Children may check out as many as eight books for the same amount of time. There’s even a day’s grace if they are returned late. After that, fines of only 10 cents a day accrue. Where else can you get such a good deal?

In addition to free books, we also lend DVDs. Two of these may be checked out at a time, though there is no day’s grace period for late returns and fines are much stiffer – $1.00 per day. These are assigned so that other patrons may have a chance to view the movies as well. We offer a large collection of new and old movies, including TV series and sequels to all your favorites. There is something for everyone, from sweet tales of love to scary tales for those who seek thrills.

In addition to regular print books, we have large print books, audio books and Kansas Regional books. There are books for parents to read to children, and books for those just learning to read. Even babies love books, and we have a selection of board books so they can help turn the pages.

Come and see what kind of books we have on hand. Maybe you’ll find one you can’t wait to read!

“Tumble” into a good book

If you are a resident of Kansas, you are invited to sign up for a library card to the State Library. This card allows you to access the state’s collection of free online books. There are many other features on the website that are just waiting for you to discover. One in particular can help your children learn to read and build their vocabulary at the same time. Tumblebooks offers online animated, talking picture books in an innovative and exciting format, and would be a great homeschool asset.

Tumblebooks contains 200 story books, quizzes, lesson plans and games and puzzles in English, Spanish and French. It includes storybook favorites and best-selling titles. There are read-along chapter books for older readers with unique features to optimize individual learning. Sentences are highlighted as they are narrated and pages turn automatically. You can choose different fonts, sizes, line spacing and paragraph widths. It also includes read-along graphic novels.

Tumble TV includes a pre-set playlist that combines books with similar themes, subjects and authors for 10-35 minutes of entertainment. These remain in the every collection on every computer and don’t need to be saved. There is also an animated TV show that introduces brand new books not yet available on the website.

The Puzzles and Games section includes a variety of entertaining activities that teach children to read by having them play educational puzzles and games that relate to stories they’ve just read. The Language Learning section gives children the opportunity to read from a selection of books in Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese. Non-Fiction pictures books are located all in one place and prove that learning can be fun.

There is a Tumble Search feature that helps you decide the best category for you as you search by title, subject, language, author, publisher, illustrator and reading level. You can customize how you view books when sorting by newest book, author, title or reading level. You can save a default setting to remain the same each time you visit the page.

In the Storybook section books are read to you and pages turn automatically so you can follow along. You can also choose manual mode to turn pages yourself. The sound can be muted so you can read at your own speed. There is a word help feature that allows you to hear certain sentences and highlights certain words that are sounded out. Read-along books can be set for auto or manual mode as well.

Each book description includes the reading level, and you can click on the level to see other books in that same category. You can find accelerated reader information on each book as well. To test your reading skills, you can click on Tumble Quiz and try to get a perfect score.

There are many other features on Tumblebooks that is offered to you on the State Library’s website. Visit Pleasanton Library soon and get ready to “Tumble” into a wonderful children’s book!

Wearin’ ‘o’ the blue?

After reading a tidbit in the library’s March issue of “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine, I decided to do more research. It stated: “Before the ‘wearing of the green’ became the norm in 1798, the original color of Saint Patrick’s Day was blue.”

With help from Wikipedia I learned the following. Saint Patrick was believed to be born in Roman Britain to a wealthy family. Captured by Irish raiders at age sixteen, he was forced into slavery in Ireland. He worked as a shepherd for six years, and during that time “found God.” He escaped to the coast, found his way home and was determined to become a priest. According to the “Declaration,” allegedly written by himself, he returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. He spent many years evangelizing in northern Ireland and converted “thousands.” He was said to use the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Over the centuries many legends were told about Saint Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.

In 1783, the Order of St. Patrick was established as the senior order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Ireland. In choosing a color to represent the order, several colors were considered. The light blue of the Irish arms was selected, and knights and officers of the order wore this color. Over the years since, there has been much debate about which shade of blue should represent Ireland. The color of the Order of Saint Patrick was sky blue in British usage and a rich, dark blue in Irish usage. The color is still found in symbols of the state and the island. Wikipedia includes a multi-hued image of the variety of blues used over time.

Since the early 17th century, Saint Patrick’s Day has been celebrated as an official Christian feast day. Held to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. During the 1790s, green became associated with Irish nationalism, due to its use by the United Irishmen. This republican organization – led mostly by Protestants but including many Catholic members – launched a rebellion in 1798 against British rule. The phrase “wearing of the green” comes from a song of the same name, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green.

Today, public parades and festivals are held with many wearing the color green or shamrocks. Over the years celebrations have become more secular, which concerns Christian leaders in Ireland. There have been efforts to reclaim the day as a church festival. Meanwhile, the day has been used to showcase Ireland and its culture. Celebrations are held all over the world, particularly in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

To learn more about Saint Patrick, the Irish and the earlier Celts, be sure to visit the library!

Teach your children well

Do you remember how you learned to read? Maybe it was during your early days of school. More likely it was your mother or father that read to you as you followed along. You’d request your favorite stories again and again. Eventually, you’d learn to recognize some of the words you’d heard. If your parents gave you this early start in reading, you likely did well in school. Reading is so important in our everyday lives. There are instructions to understand, forms to fill out, tests to take, letters to write. Literacy is an important factor in a successful life. You use it throughout your life and it can serve you well.

Of course, it’s always been an important skill for those who visit libraries. The thousands of books that fill the shelves wait for those who come through the doors. They beckon to readers of all ages to lift their covers and be drawn into their pages. Their pages can enlighten, brighten and take you away. You can visit other countries, other times and other lives. Library books are there are all ages to read. There are board books small enough for little hands to hold, colorful pictures and few words. There are big picture books with large pictures, short stories and interesting characters. As children begin to read, they can check out Easy Reading books. Their small hands can hold these books, read the few words per page and learn the story. They will graduate to chapter books, to be consumed bit by bit. There are choose-your-own-adventure books, biographies of famous people, spooky stories, historical books and more for the younger set.

As these readers become teens, there is a whole collection of books written just for them. Many of these are interesting enough to draw adult readers as well. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea for parents to read these books. It may help them understand how their teens think. Many of these stories also become popular movies that teens enjoy. In this formative time in their lives, they will likely relate to the characters. All the more reason for parents to consider what teens are reading.

While much of the reading teens do is for school classes, the Young Adult genre of books has sparked a revival in reading for entertainment. Our collection of these books is extensive and growing. It now includes Manga books and popular series. It’s encouraging to see teens (as well as adults) reading books from this section of the library.

Of course books don’t interest everyone. Our collection also includes audio books for commuters, and those with vision problems. There are magazines for those who have little time to read, but enjoy articles. Last of all, we have hundreds of movies to entertain those who prefer their stories told directly to them through images.

So, think back to the days when you learned to read. Give thanks to those who helped you learn.

Library Director Wendy Morlan and her brothers Skip and Wayne intently listen to their mother, Dorothy, read to them before bedtime.

Library Director Wendy Morlan and her brothers Skip and Wayne intently listen to their mother, Dorothy, read to them before bedtime.

It’s all about the people

I’ve visited many libraries over the past few years, from Florida to Seattle and in between. Many are large, modern buildings with expansive rows of windows and thousands of books. Some had coffee shops and self-checkout machines. Others had dozens of programs for adults as well as children. I visit to get ideas we might utilize in our library and take photos to remind me of the libraries I’ve visited.

The ones that stick in my head are those where I made connections to the people who work there. When I entered I paid attention to whether I was greeted or if everyone was too busy to notice me. My typical destination was the children’s area, but I’d generally make a sweep through the entire building. Sometimes I’d make a point to speak with someone working in the stacks, or at a desk. I’d ask questions about a display, the artwork on their walls, or comment on the beautiful facility. I didn’t always tell them I worked in a library as well.

Most folks I spoke with were more than happy to answer my questions or show me around. You could tell they loved their job and the facility in which they worked. It didn’t matter if their building was new, or an older historic building. They were excellent advocates for libraries in general, and made sure my visit was a pleasant one. I also remembered the libraries where the reception was not so friendly. They were the ones that might be large and beautiful, but nearly empty.

Friendly, helpful staff make a big difference in a library. We’re there to serve our customers, to help them find books or movies or assist them on the computer. We can’t answer every question, or solve every problem, but we love a challenge. We’ve made many friends along the way, and have enjoyed watching their little ones grow. We appreciate the kind comments about our library, and enjoy helping people. Like any business, we must have rules and policies and attempt to mete these out evenly. They’re designed to keep our visitors safe and protect the materials in the library.

The least favorite part of our job is dealing with those who don’t respect us or the library. We have been cursed, yelled at and threatened. Most of the time it is over unreturned items. We know everyone has bad days, so we try to be understanding and stay professional. We try to treat others as we would want to be treated. We sometimes must bite our tongues. Please be patient with us, we want your library experience to be a positive one.

Manga – not your grandmother’s comic books

Many adults recall their reading journey starting with Dick and Jane and See Spot Run. From there they often went on to Little Lulu, Richie Rich, and Archie and his gang. Some even remember Classics Illustrated as their introduction to Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Hamlet. While they may not be respected as great literature, comic books kept many reading until their tastes matured, and they credit their adult love of books to the practice they received from this light reading.

Children and young people still enjoy reading comics even though today’s comics may not look the same as the ones from forty or fifty years ago. Manga is very popular among teens; this Japanese comic form comprises a large variety of genres from action/adventure to science fiction to comedy to sports and more. Graphic novels are an American form more like Classics Illustrated but not limited to the classics; while many are original stories, popular books such as those by James Patterson and even the Nancy Drew series have also been issued as comic book-style novels.

Recently, Pleasanton Lincoln Library received a $700 grant to enlarge our collection of Manga, comics, graphic novels, anime (Japanese animation movies) and other animated movies. Frances Marshall wrote the grant and was in charge of purchasing the materials. At the time we applied, we had a very active anime group that met every week. Her objective was to buy books and movies that would appeal to all ages from elementary students through high school and were not available through other libraries in our consortium. She made her selections from recommendations by members of the anime group and from lists which gave the reading level and popularity of books for easy readers and juvenile fiction.

To date we have added 32 books and 9 movies to our collection with more to come. Prior to this we had about 10 books and 5 movies.

Captions: Manga is enjoyed by females as well as males. These teens peruse the new collection of books on display in the teen area of the library.

Daelyn Whitby conceived the idea for an anime club, held at the library in the teen area this past year.

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