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Motherhood (and Parenthood) Humor

DBRL Next - May 5, 2014

 Illustrated With Crappy PicturesMy wife and I have found parenting small children to be one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. While our children are little, we see it as a way to relive our own childhoods in some ways: watching the old Muppet Movies again, flying kites, enjoying Fruit Loops guilt-free, playing board games that involve colorful shiny plastic objects and lots of rudimentary counting.

Along with the fun it can get difficult. And dirty. And tiring. And also incredibly funny. The moments of laughter spent with our own daughters account for some of the most hilarious times in my life so far. Much of it is unintentional – just moments of pure joy wrapped in semi-ridiculous situations. In celebration of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the more recent humorous parenting and mothering titles out there. (Think Gen-X’s answer to Erma Bombeck – a little more irony, a few more swear words.)

How about “Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures,” a book of cartoons by Amber Dusick. Amber’s experiences are universal – toddlers who create constant chaos and havoc, misuse common phrases (and swear words, with the expected results), treat the cats badly and display affection and sweetness with sincere deliveries of flowers, pronounced “fowlers.” The sleeplessness and chaos that come with parenting young children are fleshed out in (very poorly) drawn cartoons, but the humor is very real. Why cry when you can laugh? My favorite chapter, “The Good Stuff,” includes this classic two year-old knock knock joke: “Knock, knock.  Who’s there?  Cookie. Cookie Who?  BIG COOKIE!!”

Book cover for Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne ShirtliffeDon’t Lick the Minivan, and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids” by blogger and humorist Leanne Shirtliffe examines raising baby twins in the international city of Bangkok, Thailand and returning to the suburbs of Canada, where absurdities continue, such as a barbie funeral. Anecdotes from the Shirtliffe family’s time in Bangkok are profoundly funny: “As we left the village .   .   .  our driver navigated around an accident, likely caused by our screaming child – and he maneuvered around other developing world obstacles, like a family of five on a motorbike and a 1960s truck filled with jingling propane bottles.” The book is also spiced with sidebars that include advice such as “Parenting Tip: When you’re arguing with your spouse over parenting issues, imitate a cartoon character to defuse the situation.”

Julia Sweeney is best known for her stint on Saturday Night Live, but she is also an author, speaker and mother, having adopted a Chinese child, Mulan. In her new book “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother,” she recounts the adoption process, all the while balancing her career. “It took so long to assemble my lovely family. I did it all a bit backward: first a delightful daughter, then a beloved husband.”

Sweeney eventually ends up in Wilmette, Illinois (near the college town of Evanston, IL) which she describes as “like living in Logan, Utah, six blocks from Berkeley, California.” Coming from California was a change, she writes. “The entire city of Wilmette is set up to accommodate families. While I appreciate this, it can be mind-numbing. Also, I should add that I live in a city of blond ponytails; one might describe it as a sea of blond ponytails.” However, she does find her own domestic bliss in her new circumstances: “Thinking through this whole family experience has made me feel less attached to places and things, and more invested in experiencing being with people I love.”

Lastly, although only available in audiobook format, let us not forget Garrison Keillor’s wonderful tribute to the mothers of the world: “Motherhood.” Prairie Home Companion is, above all else, a true celebration of family and community. Listen to the cast from the show present humorous skits that showcase the joys, travails, and delightful moments encapsulated in being a Mom.

Please see these books (and many more!) for a humorous explorations of what it means to be a parent and most especially a Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful moms out there!

 

The post Motherhood (and Parenthood) Humor appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Thank You for Your Votes! One READ Winner Announced May 20

One Read - May 3, 2014

Thank You SignVoting for the 2014 One Read book is now closed. We appreciate all of you who cast your vote for either “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain or “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel Brown.

On May 20 we will announce the winning book here at oneread.org.

In the meantime, read more about our finalists!

Photo credit: Avard Woolaver via photopin cc

The post Thank You for Your Votes! One READ Winner Announced May 20 appeared first on One READ.

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Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests and Career Tutorials

DBRL Next - May 2, 2014

LearningExpress Library logoRaise test scores, prepare for a new career or improve math and writing skills, all with just the click of a mouse with LearningExpress Library, available through your library’s digital branch.

LearningExpress Library is a comprehensive, online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial courses designed to help students and adult learners succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. On June 2, 2014, LearningExpress will be updated to LearningExpress Library 3.0. This new version has a cleaner, updated look and is much easier to navigate and use but houses the same quality content.

Free with your library card, use this resource to practice and prepare for:

  • The HiSET Exam, which has replaced the GED for Missouri High School equivalency testing.
  • College and graduate placement tests (ACT, SAT, GRE, MCAD, LSAT).
  • Elementary and high school tests (Advanced Placement; high school, middle school, and elementary school skills).
  • Career preparation exams (EMS, Firefighter, PPST – Praxis, Civil Service, and reading, math and writing skills practice).
  • TOEFL and U.S. Citizenship Exams.

The update and the shift to a new platform requires existing users to re-register their accounts. Existing accounts will not be carried over to the new version. Work done on the old LearningExpress will be not be available after June 2, 2014. Users should finish their current tests and courses and register for a new account at their earliest convenience after June 2. To see the new look of this learning platform check out www.learningexpresslibrary3.com.

 

The post Updates to LearningExpress Practice Tests and Career Tutorials appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Cemetery Walking Tour

DBRLTeen - May 2, 2014

Cemetery Walking Tour ColumbiaCemetery
Monday, May 19 ›6-7:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Join us on an atmospheric evening walking tour to learn about the history and art of the Columbia Cemetery. We’ll meet in the lobby of the Columbia Public Library and then walk a block down to the cemetery. Please wear comfortable shoes. Canceled if raining. Co-sponsored by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission.  All ages. Those 12 and younger, please bring an adult with you.

Originally published at Program Preview: Cemetery Walking Tour.

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Docs Around Town: May 2 – May 8

Center Aisle Cinema - May 1, 2014

wealwayslietostrangers

May 2: We Always Lie to Strangers” starts at Ragtag. (via)
May 5: Spiral Jetty” 5:30 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)
May 6: The Sound of Mumbai” 5:30 at Ragtag, free/donation. (via)

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New DVD: “Reportero”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 30, 2014

reportero

We recently added “Reportero” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown last year on the PBS series POV. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

Follows a veteran reporter and his colleagues at Zeta, a Tijuana-based independent newsweekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in one of the deadliest places in the world for members of the media. As the drug war intensifies and the risks to journalists become greater, will the free press be silenced?

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Support Your Local Critters

DBRL Next - April 30, 2014

Photo of deer by Bagsgroove via FlickrOn the heels of Earth Day at the end of April comes Garden for Wildlife Month, celebrated each May. Here is an opportunity to be a good steward of the planet by gardening in a way that nurtures the natural environment and the plants and animals that depend upon it. What do wildlife gardeners do? They create habitats that contain native plants and mimic a landscape that would have been there had development not occurred. They foster biodiversity by creating habitats that provide appropriate food, water and shelter to attract a wide range of animals, from tiny insects to deer. They typically utilize organic methods and conserve on water use (since native plants tend to need less water).

My family’s home in the city of Columbia has a backyard that butts up against 7 acres of private, forested land that includes a large pond. I love the quiet and privacy this affords us and the wildlife it supports. Because of these surroundings, we enjoy (without much effort) sightings of all kinds of critters. There are songbirds galore, which we further entice with feeders. We have resident barred owls, red-tailed hawks and once we had a wild turkey trot through. Beyond the bird category there are raccoons, opossums, rabbits, groundhogs, toads, tree frogs, garter snakes, box turtles, countless insects, etc., and we even have a resident herd of deer.

You can create a wildlife-friendly garden and still enjoy decent yields of flowers and vegetables. By observing the wildlife and their habits in your immediate area you can design a garden habitat that supports them and allows you to reap the edible and visual benefits of your toil in the soil. This is what I’ve been told in my recent readings on this topic, and I’m interested in testing this theory myself because…

I have been confounded by that herd of deer! If I didn’t want to flower and vegetable garden, I’d delight in seeing them amble through, but they have undermined my attempts, demoralizing me when my blood, sweat and dollar bills never pay off with any kind of harvest due to their ransacking. Looking into this particular deer “pest” problem further I’ve learned various ways to protect the plants from these marauders. The most surefire way to keep deer from munching out is to build a 9 foot-high fence. Since I don’t have the resources for that, I’ve decided to try the “coexist” method and will put in plants that deer are not much interested in (such as rhubarb and aromatic herbs). Of course, there are other animals and insects that can be problematic to gardeners (groundhogs, rabbits, aphids, etc.), and depending on the critter, different approaches are needed to deter them.

There are resources aplenty available here at DBRL to answer your questions about wildlife gardening, including how to design gardens that allow a peaceful coexistence between humans and other animals. With some planning and specific types of effort you can reap a harvest of flowers and veggies and enjoy seeing the critters that your garden invites and supports.

Photo credit: Photo by Bagsgroove via Flikr and used under a Creative Commons License.

The post Support Your Local Critters appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT and SAT Exams

DBRLTeen - April 30, 2014

Standardized TestThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.

  • Registration for the June 14 ACT exam is due Friday, May 9. Sign-up online.
  • Registration for the June 7 SAT exam is due Friday, May 9. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to SAT/ACT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at Registration Dates for Upcoming ACT and SAT Exams.

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New DVD: “The Punk Singer”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 28, 2014

thepunksinger

We recently added “The Punk Singer” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown earlier this year at Ragtag Cinema and currently has a rating of 83% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:

A look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s.

Check out the film trailer or the official film site for more info.

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Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry

Next Book Buzz - April 28, 2014

Book cover for The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins“I don’t get poetry.”

Somewhere along our educational paths, some of us became convinced that poetry, by definition, must be hard, esoteric, incomprehensible. Others believe poetry is boring, the word conjuring up memories of a too-warm classroom and a lecture about syllables and iambic pentameter. If you believe you are not a poetry person, in honor of the last few days of National Poetry Month, I’m going to attempt to convince you otherwise.

Exhibit A: Billy Collins
Collins’ poetry is conversational, approachable and often gently humorous. He writes about love, loss, growing older, teenagers, camp lanyards, his kitchen and a whole host of other everyday topics, using elegant phrasing, surprising images and even wit to make what is common seem new.

Exhibit B: Mary Oliver
Oliver’s most recent collection of poems is all about the dogs she has owned. The verses in “Dog Songs” are unashamedly celebratory, as is much of her work. Nature is often the subject of her writing, and while not overtly religious, there is a quality of thanksgiving in her poems, an open wonder at the world and gratitude for her place in it. 

Exhibit C: Sharon Olds
There is a sharpness to Olds, and even a harshness at times, like she is shining a bright spotlight on her subjects. She writes fearlessly about death, sexuality, brutality and makes even the hardest truths beautiful through words and images.

What other poets would you recommend to reluctant poetry readers?

The post Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry

DBRL Next - April 28, 2014

Book cover for The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins“I don’t get poetry.”

Somewhere along our educational paths, some of us became convinced that poetry, by definition, must be hard, esoteric, incomprehensible. Others believe poetry is boring, the word conjuring up memories of a too-warm classroom and a lecture about syllables and iambic pentameter. If you believe you are not a poetry person, in honor of the last few days of National Poetry Month, I’m going to attempt to convince you otherwise.

Exhibit A: Billy Collins
Collins’ poetry is conversational, approachable and often gently humorous. He writes about love, loss, growing older, teenagers, camp lanyards, his kitchen and a whole host of other everyday topics, using elegant phrasing, surprising images and even wit to make what is common seem new.

Exhibit B: Mary Oliver
Oliver’s most recent collection of poems is all about the dogs she has owned. The verses in “Dog Songs” are unashamedly celebratory, as is much of her work. Nature is often the subject of her writing, and while not overtly religious, there is a quality of thanksgiving in her poems, an open wonder at the world and gratitude for her place in it. 

Exhibit C: Sharon Olds
There is a sharpness to Olds, and even a harshness at times, like she is shining a bright spotlight on her subjects. She writes fearlessly about death, sexuality, brutality and makes even the hardest truths beautiful through words and images.

What other poets would you recommend to reluctant poetry readers?

The post Poetry for People Who Don’t Read Poetry appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Teen Game Night in Ashland

DBRLTeen - April 28, 2014

Super Mario BrosTeen Game Night
Friday, May 2  › 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library

Challenge your friends to a game on our Wii U console or to a board game tournament. We’ll have various games available as well as supplies for art projects. Refreshments provided. (Please enter through back door.)

Originally published at Program Preview: Teen Game Night in Ashland.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May List

Next Book Buzz - April 25, 2014

Library Reads logoThe days are getting warmer and longer, and summer reading is on the horizon! Here is the monthly list from LibraryReads, highlighting forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend, including family dramas, suspense, literary fiction, and a memoir. Get ready to pack your beach bag with some great new books.

Book cover for We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read.”
- Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Book cover for All the Light We Cannot See All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
“Set during World War II Europe, this novel is sobering without being sentimental. The tension builds as the alternating, parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure unfold, and their paths cross. I highly recommend this beautiful and compelling story.”
- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Book cover for The Bees by Laline PaullThe Bees: A Novel
by Laline Paull
“This book is set entirely in a beehive, but the novel and its characters are so beautifully rendered that it could have been set anywhere. Societal codes and social mores combine with the ancient behavior rituals of bees, bringing forth a remarkable story that is sure to be a book club favorite.”
- Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May List appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May List

DBRL Next - April 25, 2014

Library Reads logoThe days are getting warmer and longer, and summer reading is on the horizon! Here is the monthly list from LibraryReads, highlighting forthcoming titles librarians across the country recommend, including family dramas, suspense, literary fiction, and a memoir. Get ready to pack your beach bag with some great new books.

Book cover for We Were Liars by E. LockhartWe Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
“This brilliant and heartbreaking novel tells the story of a prestigious family living on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Full of love, lies, secrets, no shortage of family dysfunction and a shocking twist that you won’t see coming. Though this book is written for teens, it shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone looking for a fantastic read.”
- Susan Balla, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Book cover for All the Light We Cannot See All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
“Set during World War II Europe, this novel is sobering without being sentimental. The tension builds as the alternating, parallel stories of Werner and Marie-Laure unfold, and their paths cross. I highly recommend this beautiful and compelling story.”
- Kelly Currie, Delphi Public Library, Delphi, IN

Book cover for The Bees by Laline PaullThe Bees: A Novel
by Laline Paull
“This book is set entirely in a beehive, but the novel and its characters are so beautifully rendered that it could have been set anywhere. Societal codes and social mores combine with the ancient behavior rituals of bees, bringing forth a remarkable story that is sure to be a book club favorite.”
- Ilene Lefkowitz, Denville Public Library, Denville, NJ

Here is the rest of the list, with links to the library’s catalog so you can place holds on these on-order books!

The post Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May List appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Free Teen Life Skills Class

DBRLTeen - April 25, 2014

Rainbow House will be hosting a weekly life skills class for teens every Tuesday in May and June. Classes will be held at the Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church in Columbia and begin at 6:00 p.m. Each session will cover a range of skills from balancing a checkbook to changing a flat tire. This class is free and open to any young adult ages 16-22. For more information, please contact Claire Slama at (573) 474-6600, ext. 3203.

In the meantime, the library has many helpful resources for young adults preparing to set out on their own. Below is just a sampling of the titles available for check-out. All you need is a library card!

Originally published at Free Teen Life Skills Class.

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Docs Around Town: Apr. 25 – May 1

Center Aisle Cinema - April 24, 2014

noplaceonearth

April 27: “A Girl Like Her” 2:00 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)
April 27: No Place on Earth” 1:00 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)

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“The World Before Her” on May 21st

Center Aisle Cinema - April 23, 2014

worldbeforeher

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

The World Before Her” (60 min.) is a tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant. In the other India, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture. Moving between these divergent realities, this film by Nisha Pahuja creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world’s largest democracy at a critical transitional moment—and of two women who hope to shape its future. The film played at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in 2012. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.

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Questions from “Herman’s House”

Center Aisle Cinema - April 23, 2014

hermanshouse

Thanks to everyone who came to the “Herman’s House” showing at the Columbia Public Library. Here are some questions about the film that you can respond to in the comments section of this blog post:

  1. Is prolonged solitary confinement “cruel and unusual”? Why or why not?
  2. What did you learn from the film about the ways that art and/or architecture can be used to address social justice issues or inspire change?
  3. Do you think re-designing Wallace’s cell would have impact on his well-being, and if so, how? If not, what other factors might contribute to an inmate’s well-being?
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Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library

Teen Book Buzz - April 23, 2014

Hoopla- Stream free movies, music and audiobooksWith our new digital service, Hoopla, you can watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device for free. Hoopla allows us to add music, movies and TV to our digital offerings for the first time. Plus, you’ll never have to wait on any item through Hoopla because more than one person can access the same movie, album or audiobook at the same time.

Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers. Hoopla items can also stream to your computer through your Web browser.

  • You will be allowed to borrow 10 titles each month.
  • Movies & TV shows lend for 72 hours.
  • Music lends for 7 days.
  • Audiobooks lend for 21 days.
  • Content begins streaming immediately. You can also download most titles to devices for offline viewing or listening.
  • Once you borrow a title on one device it is automatically available via all devices with the Hoopla app or, on your computer, through your browser (Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 12+, Safari 5+, Chrome 19+).
  • View or listen to the borrowed content as often as you want during the check-out period.

To use this free service, you need to have a current Daniel Boone Regional Library card. Don’t have one? Learn more at www.dbrl.org/librarycard.

Originally published at Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library.

Categories: Book Buzz

Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library

DBRLTeen - April 23, 2014

Hoopla- Stream free movies, music and audiobooksWith our new digital service, Hoopla, you can watch videos or listen to music and audiobooks with your computer or mobile device for free. Hoopla allows us to add music, movies and TV to our digital offerings for the first time. Plus, you’ll never have to wait on any item through Hoopla because more than one person can access the same movie, album or audiobook at the same time.

Download the free Hoopla mobile app on your Android or iOS device to begin enjoying thousands of titles from major film studios, recording companies and publishers. Hoopla items can also stream to your computer through your Web browser.

  • You will be allowed to borrow 10 titles each month.
  • Movies & TV shows lend for 72 hours.
  • Music lends for 7 days.
  • Audiobooks lend for 21 days.
  • Content begins streaming immediately. You can also download most titles to devices for offline viewing or listening.
  • Once you borrow a title on one device it is automatically available via all devices with the Hoopla app or, on your computer, through your browser (Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 12+, Safari 5+, Chrome 19+).
  • View or listen to the borrowed content as often as you want during the check-out period.

To use this free service, you need to have a current Daniel Boone Regional Library card. Don’t have one? Learn more at www.dbrl.org/librarycard.

Originally published at Stream Free Music, Movies & Books From Your Library.

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