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Of Cosplay and Cons

DBRL Next - June 17, 2015

Book cover for Cosplay WorldStart planning your cosplay outfit now. This summer, each DBRL building will offer a Cosplay Costume Con for all ages – July 22 in Columbia, July 30 in Fulton and August 4 in Ashland. Prizes will be awarded in different age categories.

Cosplay? Con? If you’re scratching your head, let me explain. You know how children love to dress up as characters from their favorite shows, books and comics? Some people believe you’re never too old to join in the fun. You can find folks of all ages cosplaying anyone from Darth Vader to Hello Kitty at comics and science fiction conventions (cons) around the world.

Want to know more? On July 14, the Columbia Public Library will host comic creator Skip Harvey. He will enlighten the befuddled and entertain aficionados with a program for adults and teens: “Comics, Pop Culture and Comic-Con.”

For a deeper look at the culture of cosplay, check out “Cosplay World” by Brian Ashcraft. The book contains plenty of interesting information but is more a celebration than an encyclopedia. It’s filled with photos of cosplayers from a multitude of countries, along with many personal vignettes.

To see some live action footage, take a look at “Comic Con, Episode IV, a Fan’s Hope.” This film, produced by documentarian extraordinaire Morgan Spurlock, follows attendees of San Diego Comic-Con 2010 and includes interviews with some of the big names on the scene: Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, Ellen Page and more.

Readers who are con devotees, particularly those in the Star Trek fandom, will likely be delighted by Kevin David Anderson’s novel “Night of the Living Trekkies.” The setting is a Star Trek convention in Houston. The plot complication is a fast-moving virus that turns people into zombies. Star Trek in-jokes abound.

Book cover for The Improbable Theory of Ana & ZakThe Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak,” a young adult novel by Brian Katcher, makes good use of the con venue for a romantic comedy/worlds collide tale. Ana is a goal-oriented workaholic, afraid of failing her parents’ high expectations. Zak is a gamer and sci-fi fan whose career plans boil down to something with computers or whatever. They find themselves thrown together on a quiz bowl team and then joining forces to find Ana’s younger brother who, after hearing Zak’s stories of Washingcon, has run off to experience the comics and science fiction mayhem for himself. Through the night-long search, the two teens encounter much zaniness and come to find some common ground.

For those con veterans looking for the next event, as well as newbies who have been enticed by my persuasive words to give the con scene a whirl, the International Costumers Guild provides a list of conventions spanning the globe.

Locally, a couple of events are coming up in Mid-Missouri, in addition to the ones hosted by DBRL. Cosplacon will take place in Jefferson City June 18-21. DoDeca-Con is scheduled for Columbia Sept. 11-13.

Happy cosplaying!

The post Of Cosplay and Cons appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reader Review: Euphoria

DBRL Next - June 16, 2015

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first review by a library patron we are posting as part of this year’s Adult Summer Reading program. Want to submit reviews of your own? Sign up and get started today!

euphoriaEuphoria” is about three anthropologists exploring parts of New Guinea and their relationships within the group and with the tribes they meet. It is a fiction novel but loosely based on a period of Margaret Mead‘s life. I liked the writing and characters of the novel. It was fairly short (less than 300 pages) but still completes the story, develops the characters and leaves the reader wanting more. It makes the reader think about anthropology work when it first started and the toll it takes on both sides (the anthropologist and the tribe).

Three words that describe this book: Descriptive, hooking, thought-provoking.

You might want to pick this book up if: You like Barbara Kingsolver and her many novels.

-Megan

The post Reader Review: Euphoria appeared first on DBRL Next.

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The Gentleman Recommends: Will Chancellor

Next Book Buzz - June 15, 2015

Book cover for A Brave Man Seven Storeys TallI was excited to read “A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall” because the story of a brave giant is almost certain to be exciting. To my brief disappointment, the title isn’t literal. But my disappointment was curtailed because the story is riveting. We begin with water polo star Owen Burr, his days infused by one of four colors (obviously: peridot, gamboge, ultramarine and carmine) that correspond to the general feel of the day, and of course, a Greek god. Owen is to participate in the Olympics until a savage blow from from a decidely ungentlemanly opponent obliterates one of his peepers. While most people, after losing an eye, turn to a life of pillaging on the high seas, Owen’s plan is slightly less ambitious. Eyepatch donned, Owen bravely abandons college, steals his father’s prized copy of “The Odyssey” and leaves his goodbye on a post-it note. He journeys to Berlin to become an artist and discover which half of his life would be wasted.

Once there, he meets one tremendous scoundrel, several lesser scoundrels and some people that aren’t scoundrels. When the tremendous scoundrel, a famous artist whose work is often exploitative and disgusting, offers to collaborate with Owen, some dreadful things occur. I haven’t been this outraged by the actions taken against a character since watching any Game of Thrones episode. But Owen has no swords or dragons or lofty titles, only a dashing eye patch and a desire to create.

Meanwhile, Owen’s father, a professor at a fancy college, is distraught about his son. He begins searching for him and finds saying radical things leads to notoriety which might lead to Owen finally responding to an email or perhaps sending a telegram. Joseph Burr’s search leads him to Athens, where he makes a speech about Scarface and philosophy and whatnot. Someone rushes the stage and hands the professor a Molotov. Joseph is trying to spare the crowd a good burning when he lofts the explosive at the Parthenon. Alas, his toss isn’t widely viewed as the good deed it was. Fear of imprisonment ushers him out of Greece and onward on his trek to find his son.

Owen is also on the run now, having done a very bad thing to a man who very much deserved it. I’ll cease the plot talk here, as much of a delight as it is — I’ve already spoiled more than I consider gentlemanly, but sometimes an honorable man wants to write about a professor throwing Molotovs at the Parthenon.

Will Chancellor is a gifted writer, and there is a bounty of delightful sentences in store for anyone who takes this recommendation. Here are some words from the writer John Warner, who did a superior job of recommending this novel.

“…What I loved about the novel is the kitchen-sink quality of its ideas and obsessions. At one point or another Chancellor touches on: Plato’s allegory of the cave; remote-controlled boats; postmodern performance art; postmodern political theory;…Icelandic myth; the inevitable upselling of camping gear; campus politics; and the particular genius of Hungarian water polo.

…I fell in love with the book because it is one of a handful of books I will read in a given year that remind of the potential of literature to mine our obsessions and share them with others…A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall is the most “alive” book I’ve read this year. I don’t delude myself as to the size of this megaphone, but I hope someone’s listening.”

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Will Chancellor appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

The Gentleman Recommends: Will Chancellor

DBRL Next - June 15, 2015

Book cover for A Brave Man Seven Storeys TallI was excited to read “A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall” because the story of a brave giant is almost certain to be exciting. To my brief disappointment, the title isn’t literal. But my disappointment was curtailed because the story is riveting. We begin with water polo star Owen Burr, his days infused by one of four colors (obviously: peridot, gamboge, ultramarine and carmine) that correspond to the general feel of the day, and of course, a Greek god. Owen is to participate in the Olympics until a savage blow from from a decidely ungentlemanly opponent obliterates one of his peepers. While most people, after losing an eye, turn to a life of pillaging on the high seas, Owen’s plan is slightly less ambitious. Eyepatch donned, Owen bravely abandons college, steals his father’s prized copy of “The Odyssey” and leaves his goodbye on a post-it note. He journeys to Berlin to become an artist and discover which half of his life would be wasted.

Once there, he meets one tremendous scoundrel, several lesser scoundrels and some people that aren’t scoundrels. When the tremendous scoundrel, a famous artist whose work is often exploitative and disgusting, offers to collaborate with Owen, some dreadful things occur. I haven’t been this outraged by the actions taken against a character since watching any Game of Thrones episode. But Owen has no swords or dragons or lofty titles, only a dashing eye patch and a desire to create.

Meanwhile, Owen’s father, a professor at a fancy college, is distraught about his son. He begins searching for him and finds saying radical things leads to notoriety which might lead to Owen finally responding to an email or perhaps sending a telegram. Joseph Burr’s search leads him to Athens, where he makes a speech about Scarface and philosophy and whatnot. Someone rushes the stage and hands the professor a Molotov. Joseph is trying to spare the crowd a good burning when he lofts the explosive at the Parthenon. Alas, his toss isn’t widely viewed as the good deed it was. Fear of imprisonment ushers him out of Greece and onward on his trek to find his son.

Owen is also on the run now, having done a very bad thing to a man who very much deserved it. I’ll cease the plot talk here, as much of a delight as it is — I’ve already spoiled more than I consider gentlemanly, but sometimes an honorable man wants to write about a professor throwing Molotovs at the Parthenon.

Will Chancellor is a gifted writer, and there is a bounty of delightful sentences in store for anyone who takes this recommendation. Here are some words from the writer John Warner, who did a superior job of recommending this novel.

“…What I loved about the novel is the kitchen-sink quality of its ideas and obsessions. At one point or another Chancellor touches on: Plato’s allegory of the cave; remote-controlled boats; postmodern performance art; postmodern political theory;…Icelandic myth; the inevitable upselling of camping gear; campus politics; and the particular genius of Hungarian water polo.

…I fell in love with the book because it is one of a handful of books I will read in a given year that remind of the potential of literature to mine our obsessions and share them with others…A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall is the most “alive” book I’ve read this year. I don’t delude myself as to the size of this megaphone, but I hope someone’s listening.”

The post The Gentleman Recommends: Will Chancellor appeared first on DBRL Next.

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“Every Hero Has a Story” Teen Photography Contest

DBRLTeen - June 15, 2015

Superhero Photo ContestHonor a hero in your life by submitting a portrait by August 15 with a short description of his or her inspiring deeds. Portraits may be headshots or photos that show your chosen hero in action. This contest is open to all teens in Boone and Callaway counties. Winners receive a gift card to Barnes & Noble and their entries will be posted on this site. Find contest rules and submission guidelines at teens.dbrl.org/photo-contest or at your library. Ages 12-18.

Image by Pixabay.com. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at “Every Hero Has a Story” Teen Photography Contest.

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New DVD List: A Hard Day’s Night & More

DBRL Next - June 10, 2015

a hard days nightHere is a new DVD list highlighting various titles in fiction and nonfiction recently added to the library collection.

a hard days nightA Hard Day’s Night
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Playing last year at Ragtag, and earlier this year at the Missouri Theatre, this remastered 1964 film captures all the fun, excitement and unforgettable music of John, Paul, George and Ringo at the height of Beatlemania. The Beatles perform their songs and look for adventure, all while avoiding hordes of screaming fans. Packed with all-time Beatles favorites.

orange is the new black s2Orange is the New Black
Season 2
Website / Reviews
The second season of “Orange Is the New Black” begins with Piper facing the consequences of her actions. Elsewhere, Red feels isolated, while Taystee shows off her business skills. Later, Morello gets her heart broken, Larry makes changes to his life and Piper starts a prison newsletter.

the thin blue lineThe Thin Blue Line
Trailer / Website / Reviews
Director Errol Morris’s 1988 documentary is given a special re-release through the Criterion Collection. The film examines the roadside murder of a Dallas police officer and the subsequent arrest and conviction of drifter Randall Adams, who was given a death sentence despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence.

jewel in the crown dvdThe Jewel in the Crown
Trailer / Website / Awards
Adapted for television in 1984 from the four novels by Paul Scott, “The Raj Quartet,” the sweeping fourteen-part remastered adaptation is the story of the men and women of both ruling and ruled classes of WWII India, trying amidst the turmoil to come to terms with the drastic changes taking place around them, knowing that their lives will never be the same again.

call the midwife s4Call the Midwife
Season 4
Website / Reviews
Now nearing the 1960s, the community enters a new time of social change, while stories of birth, life and death continue to touch your heart. Will live-wire Nurse Trixie marry her young curate? What new project calls for a heart as big as Chummy’s?

broadchurch s2Broadchurch
Season 2
Website / Reviews
The hit mystery drama series, set in a Dorset coastal town, returns starring David Tennant as DI Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman as DS Ellie Miller. Series 2 of the complex crime drama finds the community of Broadchurch attempting to rebuild itself following the shocking events of Series 1.

Other notable releases:
Food Chains
Website / Reviews
Falling SkiesSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3Website / Reviews
A Path Appears
Website / Reviews
Curb your EnthusiasmSeason 1Website / Reviews
Walking the Camino
Website / Reviews
West WingSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3Website / Reviews
Before You Know ItWebsite / Reviews
The Dick Van Dyke ShowSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5Website
Gates of HeavenWebsite / Reviews
Bates MotelSeason 1, Season 2Website / Reviews
Vernon, FloridaWebsite / Reviews
FrasierSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3Website
FringeSeason 1Website / Reviews
Ballet 422Website / Reviews
Star Trek: Deep Space NineSeason 1Website
JustifiedSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3Website / Reviews
GleeSeason 1, Season 2, Season 3Website / Reviews

The post New DVD List: A Hard Day’s Night & More appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Traveling Superheroes

DBRLTeen - June 10, 2015

Super Girl 225pxSuperheroes want to see the world, too! Download and decorate your own small traveling superhero. Then, as you are jet-setting across the globe or simply hanging out in your own backyard, snap a photo of you and your superhero having fun. You can bring a copy of the photo to the Children’s Desk at the Columbia Public Library, or email it to us at adventures@dbrl.org. Your photos will be used throughout July and August to the decorate the children’s area.

Photo by Flickr User Bart. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Traveling Superheroes.

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Ask the Author: An Interview With J.B. Winter

Next Book Buzz - June 8, 2015

Miss Mizzou avatarIt’s the mid-part of the 20th century. A beauty contest at Mizzou inspires a protest consisting of 300-700 students. The entire town of Columbia is in upheaval over the possibility of renaming Columbia’s Providence Road and a blonde woman in a trench coat replacing Daniel Boone himself on MU’s parking permits. All of these events took place because of a mysterious cartoon woman. That woman is Miss Mizzou, a fictional character in Milton Caniff’s famous comic strip “Steve Canyon.” Local author and artist J.B. Winter did some investigation into our local history to create his book “Miss Mizzou: A Life Beyond Comics.” He was nice enough to answer a few questions for DBRL Next before his talk at the Columbia Public Library on June 15.

DBRL: This is a really interesting story that, at least in the past few decades, hadn’t gotten much attention prior to the publishing of your book. How did you discover Miss Mizzou and Milton Caniff’s connection with Columbia?

JBW: I came across the character on a blog post and started researching from there. Cartoonist Milton Caniff was a big name in his day, so I wanted to see why he would have created a character related to Columbia. I had no idea I had come across such a unique and interesting character.

DBRL: Miss Mizzou is a college-aged woman who spends time with students at the university, though she herself is not a student, but a server at a local restaurant. How much do you think the University of Missouri and the town of Columbia actually inspired this character?

JBW: If Caniff had not taken a liking to how the word “Mizzou” sounded, I doubt he would have created the character. Once Caniff had the character name, he created a back-story to the character that was rooted in his memory of his short visit to Columbia. You can see evidence of this by the various references to Columbia landmarks in the strip. However, he repeatedly denied basing the character off any waitress he met in Columbia.

1952 photo of Milton Caniff & Bek Stiner – courtesy of Gabrielle AdelmanI think Caniff was fascinated by the Midwest in general, and that worked its way into the character. He was from the small town of Hillsboro, Ohio, and he’d often throw characters who had small town backgrounds into his comics. It added a lot of realistic background texture that played off of the more fantastical elements in the strip.

DBRL: Do you think a character like Miss Mizzou would be as popular, or cause as much controversy, if she were created today (perhaps in a different incarnation, such as in web comic or as a television character)?

JBW: The specific character traits of Miss Mizzou probably wouldn’t resonate as much with a modern audience as they did back in the 1950s. I think the character had some heavy ties to Marilyn Monroe’s popularity and that Monroe archetype is probably a little too dated at this point to get as much notice.

The idea of some modern character catching on in small town America seems possible–many small towns today are still eager for opportunities at national recognition. However, modern media as a whole (television, comics, movies, etc.) seem to devalue characters with ties to real small towns, and I think this was a central part of Miss Mizzou’s popularity.

The whole promotional aspect of Miss Mizzou emphasized that bond citizens had with their local newspaper. Caniff would occasionally give a nod to a city where the newspaper directly bought his strip; it was just a good public relations move for everyone involved. The cash flow in the modern media landscape doesn’t work like it used to, and as a result, I think that emphasis on specific small town locales gets written out of most stories in favor of larger cities or nameless small towns.

So in short, while it’s possible that some character could gain popularity and/or cause controversy in a small town like Miss Mizzou did, I don’t think it would happen very easily given the modern media landscape.

DBRL: In addition to writing this book, you also create your own comics. Would you care to tell us a little about your comic art?

JBW: I tend to do experimental comics. Sometimes I play around with conventions of the form, illustrating with unique constraints in mind. Other times I have drawn some regular comics, but have done them on a unique canvas like a sidewalk or tortillas. To me it’s all about pushing the boundaries of comics.

I’m probably most known for my 50 state comic. For that project, I used contributions from 50 artists from 50 different states in a collaborative jam comic that featured my character Izzy the Mouse. The idea was that Izzy toured America and in each of the 50 panels Izzy visited a different state. The results were published as a mini-comic when I was done.

DBRL: Have you read any good books lately that you’d like to recommend to our readers?

JBW: If you’d like to learn more about Milton Caniff, I’d highly recommend the current “Steve Canyon” reprints currently coming out from IDW & Library of American Comics. You can start out with Miss Mizzou’s first adventure in “Steve Canyon: 1951-1952,” or read the latest volume, “Steve Canyon: 1955-1956.” Caniff has never been reprinted with such care and attention to detail.

There were a lot of great graphic novels released last year, but one of my favorites I’d recommend is “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley. It’s his first book after the highly successful “Scott Pilgrim” series, and it really shows an organic growth in style and approach from his last effort. It has all the elements I like to see in a story: good relateable characters, fantastical situations, experimental storytelling, etc.

J.B. Winter will be speaking at the Columbia Public Library on Monday, June 15th at 7 p.m. in the Friends Room. More information about Miss Mizzou can be found on Winter’s website.

The post Ask the Author: An Interview With J.B. Winter appeared first on DBRL Next.

Categories: Book Buzz

Ask the Author: An Interview With J.B. Winter

DBRL Next - June 8, 2015

Miss Mizzou avatarIt’s the mid-part of the 20th century. A beauty contest at Mizzou inspires a protest consisting of 300-700 students. The entire town of Columbia is in upheaval over the possibility of renaming Columbia’s Providence Road and a blonde woman in a trench coat replacing Daniel Boone himself on MU’s parking permits. All of these events took place because of a mysterious cartoon woman. That woman is Miss Mizzou, a fictional character in Milton Caniff’s famous comic strip “Steve Canyon.” Local author and artist J.B. Winter did some investigation into our local history to create his book “Miss Mizzou: A Life Beyond Comics.” He was nice enough to answer a few questions for DBRL Next before his talk at the Columbia Public Library on June 15.

DBRL: This is a really interesting story that, at least in the past few decades, hadn’t gotten much attention prior to the publishing of your book. How did you discover Miss Mizzou and Milton Caniff’s connection with Columbia?

JBW: I came across the character on a blog post and started researching from there. Cartoonist Milton Caniff was a big name in his day, so I wanted to see why he would have created a character related to Columbia. I had no idea I had come across such a unique and interesting character.

DBRL: Miss Mizzou is a college-aged woman who spends time with students at the university, though she herself is not a student, but a server at a local restaurant. How much do you think the University of Missouri and the town of Columbia actually inspired this character?

JBW: If Caniff had not taken a liking to how the word “Mizzou” sounded, I doubt he would have created the character. Once Caniff had the character name, he created a back-story to the character that was rooted in his memory of his short visit to Columbia. You can see evidence of this by the various references to Columbia landmarks in the strip. However, he repeatedly denied basing the character off any waitress he met in Columbia.

1952 photo of Milton Caniff & Bek Stiner – courtesy of Gabrielle AdelmanI think Caniff was fascinated by the Midwest in general, and that worked its way into the character. He was from the small town of Hillsboro, Ohio, and he’d often throw characters who had small town backgrounds into his comics. It added a lot of realistic background texture that played off of the more fantastical elements in the strip.

DBRL: Do you think a character like Miss Mizzou would be as popular, or cause as much controversy, if she were created today (perhaps in a different incarnation, such as in web comic or as a television character)?

JBW: The specific character traits of Miss Mizzou probably wouldn’t resonate as much with a modern audience as they did back in the 1950s. I think the character had some heavy ties to Marilyn Monroe’s popularity and that Monroe archetype is probably a little too dated at this point to get as much notice.

The idea of some modern character catching on in small town America seems possible–many small towns today are still eager for opportunities at national recognition. However, modern media as a whole (television, comics, movies, etc.) seem to devalue characters with ties to real small towns, and I think this was a central part of Miss Mizzou’s popularity.

The whole promotional aspect of Miss Mizzou emphasized that bond citizens had with their local newspaper. Caniff would occasionally give a nod to a city where the newspaper directly bought his strip; it was just a good public relations move for everyone involved. The cash flow in the modern media landscape doesn’t work like it used to, and as a result, I think that emphasis on specific small town locales gets written out of most stories in favor of larger cities or nameless small towns.

So in short, while it’s possible that some character could gain popularity and/or cause controversy in a small town like Miss Mizzou did, I don’t think it would happen very easily given the modern media landscape.

DBRL: In addition to writing this book, you also create your own comics. Would you care to tell us a little about your comic art?

JBW: I tend to do experimental comics. Sometimes I play around with conventions of the form, illustrating with unique constraints in mind. Other times I have drawn some regular comics, but have done them on a unique canvas like a sidewalk or tortillas. To me it’s all about pushing the boundaries of comics.

I’m probably most known for my 50 state comic. For that project, I used contributions from 50 artists from 50 different states in a collaborative jam comic that featured my character Izzy the Mouse. The idea was that Izzy toured America and in each of the 50 panels Izzy visited a different state. The results were published as a mini-comic when I was done.

DBRL: Have you read any good books lately that you’d like to recommend to our readers?

JBW: If you’d like to learn more about Milton Caniff, I’d highly recommend the current “Steve Canyon” reprints currently coming out from IDW & Library of American Comics. You can start out with Miss Mizzou’s first adventure in “Steve Canyon: 1951-1952,” or read the latest volume, “Steve Canyon: 1955-1956.” Caniff has never been reprinted with such care and attention to detail.

There were a lot of great graphic novels released last year, but one of my favorites I’d recommend is “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley. It’s his first book after the highly successful “Scott Pilgrim” series, and it really shows an organic growth in style and approach from his last effort. It has all the elements I like to see in a story: good relateable characters, fantastical situations, experimental storytelling, etc.

J.B. Winter will be speaking at the Columbia Public Library on Monday, June 15th at 7 p.m. in the Friends Room. More information about Miss Mizzou can be found on Winter’s website.

The post Ask the Author: An Interview With J.B. Winter appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Gamer Eve

DBRLTeen - June 8, 2015

Gamer Eve Banner 2
Gamer Eve
Monday, June 22 • 6-8:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Gamers unite! Drop in and play table-top games like “Gloom,” “Guillotine” or “Ticket to Ride.” Bring your “Magic: The Gathering” cards to challenge other players. Maybe you’ll discover your next favorite game! Ages 10 and older.

Originally published at Program Preview: Gamer Eve.

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Three Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

DBRL Next - June 5, 2015

Have you ever gotten one of those, “You’ve won a cruise!” phone calls? An email from a distant family member asking you to wire money? You aren’t alone. The Federal Trade Commission says that fraudsters generally target consumers of all ages – but they know that older people are likely to have bigger nest eggs, which makes them attractive. And, the consumer protection agency says, when older people lose money to a scam – regardless of whether it involves prizes and lotteries, impostors or identity theft – it’s usually more difficult for them to recoup their losses, making the consequences even more devastating.

With their new “Pass It On” campaign, the FTC is sharing tips and tools for protecting yourself from these commons scams.

1. “You’ve Won” Scams
You get a call, card or email that you’ve won a prize (like a cruise) but you can’t claim that prize until you pay a fee, taxes or customs duty. They ask for a credit card or bank account information. What should you do?

If you have to pay, it’s no prize! Keep your money and information to yourself. Never share your financial information with someone who contacts you and claims to need it. And never wire money to anyone who asks you to.

2. Charity Fraud
Someone contacts you asking for a donation to their charity, and the organization sounds real and their cause worthwhile. How can you tell what is legitimate and what’s a scam? Scammers want your money quickly and often pressure you to give right away. They might ask you for cash or to wire money, and they often refuse to send you more information about the charity or tell you how the money will be used.

Here’s what you can do. Take your time. Tell callers to send you information by mail. Then do your research online or at the library. Is this a real organization? Is your donation tax deductible? How will the money be used? Rule out anyone who wants you to send cash or wire money. Chances are, it’s a scam.

3. Health Care Scams
You see an ad on TV, telling you about a new law that requires you to get a new health care card. Maybe you get a call offering you big discounts on health insurance. Or maybe someone says they’re from the government, and she needs your Medicare number to issue you a new card. The caller may even ask for your Social Security number or other personal information. Stop!

Before you share your information, call Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE), do some research and check with someone you trust.

If you suspect a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP or online at ftc.gov/complaint. For more information about these and other common scams, visit ftc.gov/PassItOn.

The post Three Common Scams and How to Avoid Them appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Books for Dudes – Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly

DBRLTeen - June 5, 2015

Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to FlyWe all know video games aren’t real life. However, in “Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly” by Conrad Wesselhoeft, 17-year-old Arlo discovers that his amazing skills at playing a drone war game are being observed by the military. Does this dirt-bike daredevil from a small New Mexico town have what it takes to be a real drone pilot?

While this book has a lot of humor, the story also deals with some serious subjects. Alaro’s family is struggling due to the violent death of his mother. His sister, already suffering from a degenerative disease, blames herself for her mom’s death. His dad hits the bottle too hard because he can’t cope with the loss of his wife. Alaro’s struggles are at the root of his actions as a fearless daredevil, both on his dirt bike and when piloting drones when in the “drone zone.”

This book came recommended from a friend, and I was surprised how quickly I devoured it. The realistic language in the narration flows smoothly, the funny interactions balance nicely with the tragic struggles of these characters, and I was rooting for Alaro the whole way through. This book dealt with the realities of losing a loved one in realistic way, and I highly recommend this book to teens (and adults) looking for a good read.

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly.

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Project Teen: Every Hero Has a Story

DBRLTeen - June 4, 2015

Project Teen Every Hero Has a Story

Project Teen is a regular program hosted by the Daniel Boone Regional Library. We invite young adults ages 12-18 to join us for crafts and snacks. For our next session, get creative with crafts inspired by your favorite graphic novels and comic books. Enjoy a free pizza lunch.

Southern Boone County
Public Library
Tuesday, June 9
at noon.
No registration required. Columbia Public Library
Monday, June 15
at 1 p.m.
Registration required.
To sign up, call
(573) 443-3161. Callaway County
Public Library
Friday, June 19
at noon.
No registration required.

Photo by Flickr user Sam Howzit. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Project Teen: Every Hero Has a Story.

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Friday is National Doughnut Day

DBRL Next - June 3, 2015

Book cover for The Donut BookMy older brother used to have an early-morning paper route. Sometimes, on his way home, he’d stop by the only doughnut shop in our small town and buy two glazed doughnuts, still warm from the fryer, and give one to me. These days I have access to an array of specialty and boutique doughnut shops, but my favorites still tend to be simple – glazed rings, cinnamon sugar twists and iced cake doughnuts. Whether you like your doughnuts traditional or topped with bacon, this Friday you have reason to indulge in a fried treat – it’s National Doughnut Day!

Learn about the history of doughnuts and their annual celebration in “The Donut Book: The Whole Story in Words, Pictures and Outrageous Tales” by Sally Levitt Steinberg. The Salvation Army is credited with originating Doughnut Day. Their workers made and delivered doughnuts to the soldiers in the trenches in France during World War I, and during the Great Depression they celebrated the first National Doughnut Day, selling the treats as a way to raise funds and promote awareness of the organization’s activities.

Book cover for Donuts by Elinor KlivansSteinberg’s book has a few recipes sprinkled throughout its pages, but if you want nothing but recipes to make at home, try “Donuts” by Elinor Klivans. The opening chapter walks the doughnut novice through the basic process. The remaining pages provide a variety of recipes (with drool-worthy photographs) starting with traditional – glazed, jelly-filled – and finishing up with more trendy versions including flavors-of-the-moment like salted caramel and – of course – bacon.

For more unconventional doughnuts, check out “Glazed, Filled, Sugared, and Dipped: Easy Doughnut Recipes to Fry or Bake at Home” by Stephen Collucci, the pastry chef at Colicchio & Sons in New York City. His book includes cake and yeast-raised doughnuts as well as recipes for beignets, churros, bomboloni, glazes, fillings and sauces.

Doughnuts not a part of your diet? You can still celebrate by reading Jessica Beck’s cozy Donut Shop Mysteries, starting with “Killer Crullers.”

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Summer Reading 2015 Book Giveaway!

DBRL Next - June 1, 2015

Summer Reading logoWhy should kids have all the fun? DBRL Next is home of the library’s Adult Summer Reading program. This year’s theme is the same for all ages: “Every Hero Has a Story.” We’ll explore and celebrate heroes in fiction and real-life, including unsung heroes and everyday heroes in our communities.

Registration is open, so sign up online, submit book reviews (the best of which will be posted right here for all to read) and learn about a range of events, from adult-only book discussions to programs on superhero science and Civil War soldiers.

Book cover for On My Own Two Feet by Amy PurdyIn honor of Summer Reading’s launch we are giving away two copies of Amy Purdy’s memoir, “On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life.” When Purdy was just 19, she contracted bacterial meningitis and was given less than a 2 percent chance of survival. What she believes to be a glimpse of the afterlife became the defining experience that put Purdy’s life on a new trajectory after her legs had to be amputated. She wouldn’t just beat meningitis and walk again; she would go on to create a life filled with bold adventures and big dreams, including competing in the Paralympic Games and on Dancing With the Stars. Enter to win a copy of this inspiring story of Purdy’s heroic journey.

Click here and enter to win!

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2015 Teen Summer Reading Challenge

DBRLTeen - June 1, 2015
Comic Book Struck

Photo by Flickr user Nawal Al-Mashouq

As part of the library’s annual Summer Reading program, we are challenging young adults ages 12-18 to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and do seven of our suggested activities. Finish by August 15, and you’ll receive a free book and be entered into a drawing for a free Kindle E-reader (black and white). Sign up online, or at any of our three library branches or bookmobile stops.

The library is also planning a wide range of free programs in line with this year’s theme, “Every Hero Has a Story.” We’ll invite teens to enjoy crafting over lunch, participate in our annual photography contest and showcase their creativity through our cosplay costume con. To receive email reminders of these and other teen programs, sign up for our blog updates!

Originally published at 2015 Teen Summer Reading Challenge.

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Super Summer Program Preview

DBRL Next - May 29, 2015

This year’s Summer Reading program is all about heroes, both those that wear capes and those that are heroic everyday, from parents to paramedics, soldiers to scientists. Here’s a preview of just some of the programs coming in June. Mark your calendars!

Book cover for The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt KidFirst Wednesday Book Discussion – Fulton
Wednesday, June 3 › Noon-1 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library
In keeping with Summer Reading’s hero theme, bring your lunch and join us for a discussion of “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” by Bill Bryson. The author shares his memories of growing up in the 1950s, including his rich fantasy life as a superhero.

Finding Helen: Diary of a WWI Battlefield Nurse
Thursday, June 11 › 7-8:15 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Finding Helen: The Letters, Photographs and Diary of a WWI Battlefield Nurse” brings to life the story of a diminutive American Red Cross nurse named Helen Bulovsky who served along the Flanders front during World War I. Helen sent home letters, photos, poems and a diary, “Behind the Trenches,” describing the 18 months she spent in France and Belgium. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Book cover for Life During Wartime by Rudi KellerMid-Missouri’s Unsung Civil War Heroes & Villains
Tuesday, June 16 › 7-8:15 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
During the five years he has spent researching and writing his newspaper column “Life During Wartime,” journalist Rudi Keller has discovered many individuals whose stories have been forgotten or are remembered only as part of family lore. Hear about the unsung heroes and obscure villains he uncovered during his research into the daily lives of soldiers and civilians during the Civil War. Volumes one and two of “Life During Wartime” will be available for purchase and signing.

Center Aisle Cinema: “Superheroes”
Wednesday, June 17 › 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
We kick off our summer film series with the HBO documentary “Superheroes,” directed by Michael Barnett. Follow the zany escapades of Real Life Superheroes (RLSH), a national phenomenon of hundreds of real men and women who patrol city streets with the goal of deterring crime, and, if necessary, taking the law into their own hands. Adults and teens.

Visit our online program calendar to see all upcoming Adult Summer Reading programs!

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2015 Summer Reading Sneak Peek

DBRLTeen - May 29, 2015

2015 Teen Summer Reading Banner
Our annual teen Summer Reading program launches Monday, June 1. Young adults ages 12-18 will be challenged to read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and do seven of our suggested activities. When you finish, you’ll receive a free book and be entered in a drawing for a free black and white Kindle eReader.

In addition, the library is planning a wide range of free programs to go with this year’s theme, “Every Hero Has a Story.” We’ll invite teens to enjoy crafting over lunch, participate in our annual photography contest and showcase their creativity through our cosplay costume con. To receive email reminders of these and other teen programs, sign up for our blog updates

Where Have All the Superheroes Gone?
Thursday, June 4 • 2-4 p.m. –OR– 6-8 p.m.
Friday, June 5 • 9:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Superheroes want to see the world, too! Drop in today to decorate your own small traveling superhero. Later, take him or her on a summer adventure, snap a photo and send it to us to display in the library throughout July and August. Send your snapshots to adventures@dbrl.org.

Your Super Immune System
Saturday, June 6 • 2-4 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Who knew that human cells could seem so superhuman in their abilities? The immune system fights biological crime throughout the body to ensure the safety of innocent cells. Danielle Koerner, a pre-med student at MU, will lead an exploration of the immune system and help us act out a comic of the Cellular Superheroes! For those in grades 5-8. Registration begins Tuesday, May 26. To sign up, call (573) 443-3161.

Project Teen: Every Hero Has a Story
Get creative with crafts inspired by your favorite graphic novels and comic books. Enjoy a free pizza lunch. Ages 12-18.

Southern Boone County
Public Library
Tuesday, June 9
at noon.
No registration required. Columbia Public Library
Monday, June 15
at 1 p.m.
Registration begins
June 2.
To sign up, call
(573) 443-3161. Callaway County
Public Library
Friday, June 19
at noon.
No registration required.

Wii U Family Game Night
Try out the library’s Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 2015″ or a gold cup winner in “Mario Kart 8.” Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome.

Columbia Public Library
Thursday, June 11
at 6 p.m.
Registration begins
May 26.
To sign up, call
(573) 443-3161 Southern Boone County
Public Library
Thursday, August 6
at 6 p.m.
No registration required. Columbia Public Library
Thursday, August 27
at 6 p.m.
Registration begins
August 11.
To sign up, call
(573) 443-3161.

“Every Hero Has a Story” Teen Photography Contest
Begins Monday, June 15
Honor a hero in your life by submitting a portrait by August 15 with a short description of his or her inspiring deeds. Portraits may be headshots or photos that show your chosen hero in action. This contest is open to all teens in Boone and Callaway Counties. Winners receive a gift card to Barnes & Noble and their entries will be posted here. Find contest rules and submission guidelines after June 15 here or at your library. Ages 12-18.

Gamer Eve
Monday, June 22 • 6-8:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Gamers unite! Drop in to play table-top games like “Gloom,” “Guillotine” or “Ticket to Ride.” Bring your “Magic: The Gathering” cards to challenge other players. Maybe you’ll discover your next favorite game! Ages 10 and older.

The Bronze Age to the Avengers
Wednesday, July 1 •  2-3:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
The very first tales were hero tales. They were written in clay, on papyrus and paper, as well as being performed before huge crowds in open theaters. These tales are still told today in many other guises. Discuss how the heroes of ancient myths are still present in the books and movies of today. Then, create your own versions using ancient techniques in clay, on papyrus and paper. Ages 12 and older. Registration begins Tuesday, June 16. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Project Teen: Mask-Making
Friday, July 10 • Noon-1:30 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library
Create a mask that shows your super side (or your silly side or your creative side or whoever you have inside you). Plus, enjoy a free pizza lunch!Ages 12-18.

Project Teen: Tremendous T-shirt Art
Bring some old t-shirts and redesign them into something super! We’ll work with bleach and paint, so dress accordingly! There will be free pizza. Ages 12-18.

Columbia Public Library
Monday, July 20 at 1 p.m.
Registration begins July 7.
To sign up, call (573) 443-3161. Southern Boone County Public Library
Thursday, July 23 at noon.
No registration required.

Cosplay Costume Con for All Ages
Dress up as your favorite character! Be it superhero, anime, sci-fi or your own original design — come dressed as you usually aren’t! We’ll award prizes for costumes in different age categories, and you can pose for great photos. This program is for all ages! No registration required.

Columbia Public Library
Wednesday, July 22
at 6 p.m. Callaway County
Public Library
Thursday, July 30
at 6:30 p.m. Southern Boone County
Public Library
Tuesday, August 4
at 6:30 p.m.

Project Teen: Heroic Journeys
Friday, August 7 •  Noon-1:30 p.m.
Callaway County Public Library
The very first tales were hero tales. They were written in clay, on papyrus and on paper, as well as being performed before huge crowds in open theaters. The heroes of ancient myths are still with us in today’s books and movies. Join us for activities based on heroes old and new.Free pizza lunch. ages 12-18.

Summer Reading Ends
Saturday, August 15
Your story doesn’t end on this day, but Summer Reading does. August 15 is the final day for participants of all ages to claim rewards and enter into the final drawings for Summer Reading incentives.

Originally published at 2015 Summer Reading Sneak Peek.

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Program Preview: Your Super Immune System

DBRLTeen - May 28, 2015
White Blood Cells

Courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

Your Super Immune System
Saturday, June 6 • 2-4 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

Who knew that human cells could seem so superhuman in their abilities? The immune system fights biological crime throughout the body to ensure the safety of innocent cells. Through this convention, we will explore the immune system in detail and act out a comic of the Cellular Superheroes! Led by Danielle Koerner, MU pre-med student. For students in grades 5-8. Registration required. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Program Preview: Your Super Immune System.

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Humble Beginnings: Docs About Elementary Schools

DBRL Next - May 27, 2015

to be and to have

The education of kids is an important part of our society as well as others. Check out these documentaries aimed towards an adult audience that highlight various elementary schools here in our own backyard as well as halfway around the world.

to be and to haveTo Be and To Have“ (2002)

In a small rural school in France, Georges Lopez is a remarkably devoted teacher responsible for nurturing a dozen children ages 3-11 in all their school subjects and life’s lessons. Mr. Lopez shows patience and respect for the children as we follow their story through a single school year.

eco schoolhouseEco School House“ (2010)

This documentary shows how Grant Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri worked hand-in-hand with the community and a renowned architect to build a more environmentally friendly satellite classroom. The administration also created a new curriculum around environmentalism.

i am a promiseI am a Promise“ (1993)

The Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia exists in an inner-city neighborhood where 90% of the students live below the poverty line. This award-winning documentary follows principle principal Deanna Burney as she sets about changing the atmosphere of the school.

a touch of greatnessA Touch of Greatness“ (2004)

This film focuses on Albert Cullum, an elementary school teacher in Rye, New York. Championing an unorthodox educational philosophy, Cullum regularly taught his elementary school children literary masterpieces, most notably the works of Shakespeare, Sophocles and Shaw.

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