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Registration Deadlines for Upcoming ACT & SAT Exams

DBRLTeen - August 24, 2015

Exam by Flickr User Alberto GThe registration deadlines are fast approaching for those planning to take the next round of ACT and SAT exams.

  • Registration for the October 24 ACT exam is due Friday, September 18. Sign-up online.
  • Registration for the October 3 SAT exam is due Friday, September 4. Sign-up online.

If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our online guide to ACT/SAT 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!

Photo by Flickr User Alberto G. Used under Creative Commons license.

Originally published at Registration Deadlines for Upcoming ACT & SAT Exams.

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Staff Review: Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales

DBRLTeen - August 20, 2015

Why I Checked It Out: This book is an anthology–it’s a bunch of short stories by a variety of different authors published in one book. I checked it out because I am always looking for new authors, and this specific anthology was geared toward fantasy and speculative fiction, which is what I love to read.

What It’s About: Well, that really depends. Which story are you talking about? One story is about a group of girls who call forth a demonic mom ghost. Another is about a demon whose friend is going insane. There’s even a story about a girl who falls in love with a robotic boyfriend. I loved most of the stories, a few weren’t for me, but either way, I checked out books by some the contributing authors that had stories I loved.

What I Liked About It: The variety! It was nice to get a bunch of different voices in one book, and story idea was unique. The nice thing is, if you don’t like one story, you can skip ahead to the next, and if you do fall in love, then you can explore more work by that author.

Other Anthologies: If you enjoyed this anthology, then defiantly check out some others the library has. Here are some to get you started: “Firebird: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction“, “What We Remember, What we Forget: The Best Young Writers and Artists in America: A PUSH Anthology“, “The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows: An Original Science Fiction Anthology“, and “Geektastic Stories: From the Nerd Herd“. There are loads more, so be sure to check them all out.

Originally published at Staff Review: Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales.

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Summer Reading Extended Until August 19!

DBRLTeen - August 17, 2015

Comic Book Bam 1Because the Columbia Public Library was unexpectedly closed part of last week, we still are welcoming Summer Reading finishers through Wednesday, August 19! We’ve gotten some great book reviews so far, and we look forward to hearing what you have to say and seeing what free book you choose when finished!

Originally published at Summer Reading Extended Until August 19!.

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Voting Begins for 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten”

DBRLTeen - August 17, 2015

The “Teens’ Top Ten” is a list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. In fact, it’s the only reading list with titles nominated and voted on by teens.

How does it work?

Vote for the “Teens’ Top Ten!”

  • Sixteen young adult book clubs from libraries nationwide are responsible for narrowing down a list of nominees for teens to consider. (Does your book club want to get involved? Learn how.)
  • Based on the recommendations of these teen book clubs, the list of this year’s 24 nominees was announced in April during National Library Week.
  • Throughout the summer months, teens are encouraged to read as many of these titles as humanly possible.
  • Readers ages 12-18 are invited to vote online through October 17.
  • After Teen Read Week, October 18-24, the 10 most popular titles will be announced as the official 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten” list. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates to have this and other teen book news delivered to your email inbox!

Originally published at Voting Begins for 2015 “Teens’ Top Ten”.

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ACT/SAT Test Prep Resources @ Your Library

DBRLTeen - August 14, 2015

Do you have questions about the ACT OR SAT exam? Well, DBRLTeen has answers.  We have compiled a list of resources to help you prepare for these college entrance exams.

  • How much does the ACT OR SAT exam cost?
  • Where are the testing centers in Boone and Callaway counties?
  • What are the deadlines to register for the ACT OR SAT exam?
  • Most importantly, how can I prepare for these tests?

Learn more by reviewing our online guide to ACT/SAT preparation. Young adults are also encouraged to borrow one of our many printed ACT or SAT test guides, or take free online practice exams through LearningExpress Library.  And, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

Originally published at ACT/SAT Test Prep Resources @ Your Library.

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Author’s Talk With Emily St. John Mandel

One Read - August 11, 2015

 Dese'Rae L. StageThis year’s author visit comes earlier in the program. Don’t miss this chance to hear Emily St. John Mandel speak about her novel “Station Eleven.” After her remarks, she will answer questions from the audience and sign copies of her book.

Thursday, September 10 at 7 p.m.



The post Author’s Talk With Emily St. John Mandel appeared first on One READ.

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Reader Review: The Little Paris Bookshop

DBRL Next - August 11, 2015

Book cover for the Little Paris BookshopThe Little Paris Bookshop” is about the book seller, Jean Perdu, who sells only the correct books to his customers at his literary pharmacy. (This is a book shop on a barge on the Seine River in Paris.) Monsieur Perdu is able to “transperceive” each of his customers (and others) to prescribe the correct book to fix what ails them. He generously gives books away, but he is equally stern in refusing to sell the wrong book to a particular client. Success in his work life is juxtaposed against the anguish, loneliness and pain in his private life resulting from a severely unmendable broken heart. The mood is magical, the characters profound, the sensual presentation of the story causes one’s heart to move along the story line as if it were on a roller coaster. To accompany Jean Perdu on his life journey is a sublime experience.

Being a translation from French, I want to brush up on my French and read it in the original language because I cannot imagine how it could possibly be better than this marvelous translation. I am not sure how to do it, but this book would be a perfect candidate to nominate for a future One Read! Yes, I liked it!

Three words that describe this book: patient, tragic, literature

You might want to pick this book up if: you want to read an amazing book, you like books set in France or foreign countries, or you have known the power of a certain book on your life.


The post Reader Review: The Little Paris Bookshop appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Program Preview: Wii U Family Game Night

DBRLTeen - August 11, 2015

Mario Kart 8Wii U Family Game Night
Thursday, August 27 • 6:00 p.m.
Columbia Public Library

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. Registration required. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Program Preview: Wii U Family Game Night.

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Staff Book Review: Traitor’s Blade

DBRL Next - August 10, 2015

Book cover for Traitor's BladeTraitor’s Bladeby Sebastien De Castell

Why I Checked It Out: Three best friends, roaming the kingdom, looking for justice and purpose? With swords? I’m in.

What It’s About: In the European-esque, medieval setting, the Greatcoats greatly resemble Jedi Knights. These men and women are skilled warriors, but they are more concerned with upholding the King’s Law and keeping peace among all the ambitious dukes and duchesses of the land. Or at least they were, until the death of the King and the end of his enlightened law.

Now Falcio, Kest, Brasti and the rest of the Greatcoats are disgraced and scattered, taking what work they can and struggling to finish the enigmatic final tasks left to them by the King.

Why I Recommend It: I read this book in a day. And then I could not start another book because I was convinced nothing would be as good.

The story begins by launching the reader directly into the action and never really lets up.  The reader learns of the rise of the King, the formation of the Greatcoats and their subsequent fall, all through flashbacks that span the entirely of the book. These flashbacks are well-timed and an excellent device. By the time you learn how the King died, you care for him as much as Falcio did, and his loss is all the more heartbreaking.

While there is plenty of death and loss in “Traitor’s Blade,” and Falcio and the others have definitely been shaped by tragedy, the book is not dark. De Castell has crafted a fun read, filled with smart humor and likeable characters. There are intricate political intrigues and swashbuckling adventures. The action scenes are incredibly descriptive, owing to the author’s training as a fight choreographer.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced adventure with well-rounded characters and hint of magic, I cannot recommend this book enough.

Warning:  This is the first book in a quartet, but luckily for us all, the second book is already out.

What To Read Next:

Theft of Swords” by Michael J. Sullivan

The Three Musketeers” by Alexander Dumas

Storm Front” by Jim Butcher

The post Staff Book Review: Traitor’s Blade appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Eighth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - August 8, 2015

TrophyCongratulations to Jessica C., a Columbia patron, for winning our eighth Adult Summer Reading prize drawing of the summer. She is the recipient of a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble.

There is only one more drawing left this summer, so keep your fingers crossed. You can still submit book reviews  to increase your chances of winning.

The post Eighth Summer Reading Gift Card Winner! appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Take a Hike: Books About Long Walks

DBRL Next - August 7, 2015

Book cover for A Walk in the Woods by Billy BrysonIn 2014, Reese Witherspoon starred in the movie adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” her memoir of self-discovery and survival as she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. This September, another movie about a long walk – this time along the Appalachian Trail – hits the big screen. “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson is a laugh-out-loud misadventure but also manages to share the trail’s history and argue eloquently for the preservation of our undeveloped forests, trails and parks. Read this funny travelogue before seeing the film this fall.

Want more books about long walks? Read on.

Book cover for Happiness for BeginnersHappiness for Beginners” by Katherine Center
This fast-paced charmer follows newly divorced 32-year-old Helen who signs up for a wilderness survival course, thinking it will propel her out of her rut. Never mind that she isn’t really athletic or outdoorsy. Then she learns that her younger brother’s best friend Jake will also be a part of this group spending three weeks in the mountains of Wyoming, and her hopes of finding herself by herself evaporate. Snappy dialogue, an entertaining cast of characters and sparks of romance make the hike through this book a quick and enjoyable one.

Book cover for Grandma Gatewood's WalkGrandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail” by Ben Montgomery
Think all grandmas spend their time baking cookies, golfing or playing bridge? Think again. Emma Gatewood, at the age of 67, hiked the Appalachian Trail. And then she did it twice more. Journalist Montgomery creates a detailed portrait of of Gatewood, her difficult and abusive marriage, and the attention her hikes brought to a system of trails in great need of care and maintenance.

Book cover for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryThe Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce
Harold Fry receives a letter from a former coworker and friend named Queenie, informing him that she is dying of cancer. Harold writes Queenie a response and begins walking to the mailbox to send his letter. But then he passes up the first mailbox and walks toward the next. He keeps walking. He reflects on his troubled past and the shaky state of his marriage, and falls into a bit of magical thinking – perhaps if he delivers this letter to Queenie in person he can save her. Thus begins his journey of nearly 600 miles and this quirky, moving novel.

The post Take a Hike: Books About Long Walks appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Books for Dudes – Stranger

DBRLTeen - August 7, 2015

StrangerDid you grow up learning the “Stranger danger” rule? That phrase is given a whole new meaning in “Stranger” (#1 in The Change series) by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith.

After a planet-wide cataclysm, the entire world was changed by radiation. Many gained a mutation, referred to as “the Change,” which grants people various powers. (Think X-Men, except the Change occurs not only during puberty but also when hormones may be high such as in pregnancy.) Glass trees kill with flying shards, pit mouths swallow whole groups of people…it’s a pretty dangerous place.

The setting for this story is a town called Las Anclas. The sheriff has super speed and strength, the mayor and his family are suspected of hating non-normals, and the community gets completely changed when a new stranger, Ross Juarez, comes to town. The teenage prospector has found an ancient relic – a book – that causes first a  bounty hunter and then many more people to come after him.

Really enjoyed the descriptions of unusual powers and mutated creatures in this book. Like many good books, each chapter features one of a rotating cast of characters, so you get more than one character’s perspective in the story. Despite being the first in the series, this book on its own is a satisfying read. But if you want to keep reading to see what happens…”Hostage” is the next book in the series, with a third book, “Rebel,” coming soon.

Originally published at Books for Dudes – Stranger.

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Reader Review: 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas

DBRL Next - August 6, 2015

Book cover for 2 am at the cats pajamas2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas” follows several characters over the course of 24 hours. As the night ends they all end up at a local Jazz club called The Cats Pajamas! This is one of those books that I might have to go back and read closer to pick up things I have missed. It followed several characters in the course of a day/night and how all their lives connect. A quick read and interesting story. I am still not sure about one part of the ending, but I liked the book overall.

Three words that describe this book: charming, hope, loss

You might want to pick this book up if: If you enjoy the movie, “Love Actually,” you will like this book. If you like characters that are flawed and believable, you will like this book.


The post Reader Review: 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Genealogy Tips, Programs and How-to Books at Your Library

DBRL Next - August 5, 2015

Book cover for Finding Your RootsNew to researching your family’s history? The Daniel Boone Regional Library is a great place to start, especially if you would like some in-person guidance. If you pick up one of our current program guides, check the index for our genealogy classes, or check the schedule online. You’ll find current programs and drop-in help sessions to make your family tree grow! Besides programs, we have two online databases we’ve previously recommended on this blog – Heritage Quest and Ancestry Library Edition. And we have a reference collection containing all kinds of local history as well as genealogy how-to books.

If your ancestors were local to this area, we have lots of great books of interest, from county and city histories and maps to extractions of marriage records and cemetery records. We also have a complete run of the Columbia Daily Tribune on microfilm at our Columbia location that you can access to get an obituary, marriage announcement or even a family reunion article.

In our circulating collection we have several how-to books you can check out and take home. Two of my favorite genealogy handbooks are: “The Source” and “The Handybook for Genealogists.” “The Source” provides excellent information about the types of records that you will find in your genealogical research of your American ancestry. Besides showing examples of these documents, the back of the book is loaded with names of libraries, archives and repositories that hold all kinds of records you might use to document the lives of your ancestors! “The Handybook for Genealogists” is a great guide that will help you learn about the various counties, their boundaries and when their records begin and how to access them. A whole section on maps – including migration patterns, trails and boundary lines – is also a part of this great reference book.

If you like to do your research online, or if you need to find documents and records from other states, see our genealogy subject guide – it has links to beginners’ guides, sources for vital records, cemetery records, immigration records and more.

So whether you want to come browse our reference collection and check out some how-to books or learn about online resources, we’ve got you covered! Who knows, maybe you will find the hero in your family tree!

The post Genealogy Tips, Programs and How-to Books at Your Library appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Flash Fiction Contest: After the End

One Read - August 4, 2015

“Everything ends. I am not afraid.” – Emily St. John Mandel, “Station Eleven”

Great minds only need simple tools by Antti KyllonenIn this year’s One READ selection, a famous actor dies of a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear, and hours later, life as we know it begins to unwind. A flu pandemic eliminates 95% of the population and the survivors, 20 years later, navigate a world without electricity, transportation or medicine.

Taking inspiration from “Station Eleven,” we invite you to tell a story about a world’s end in 250 words or less. This world can be small and personal, like one’s family or home, or more literal, like a country or planet. Give us an ending — and what comes after.

Starting September 1, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and winners will receive a $20 book store gift card.

Entries are due by September 23. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.

Contest Rules Eligibility
  • The contest is open to those 16 years of age and older.
  • Participants must reside within the DBRL service area (Boone or Callaway County, Missouri).
Contest Deadline
  • Entries will be accepted through September 23, 2015. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by that date.)
Submission Requirements and Guidelines
  • One entry per individual.
  • Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
  • Submissions must be in English.
  • Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address and email address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
  • Entries must be in text format and typed.
  • Entries may be submitted through the online form or by mail (DBRL, ATTN: Judy/One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL location.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
  • Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
  • DBRL’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.
Content Restrictions
  • The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
  • The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created.
  • The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.
  • Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on creativity, grammar and emotion evoked by the writing, as well as adherence to the guidelines outlined above.
  • Two winners will be announced by October 12.
  • Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website.
  • Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $20 bookstore gift certificate.


The post Flash Fiction Contest: After the End appeared first on One READ.

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Reader Review: Still Life

DBRL Next - August 4, 2015

Book cover for Still Life by Louise PennyStill Life” by Louise Penny introduces Chief Inspector Gamache. There is a death in the small rural village of Three Pines near Montreal in Canada. Chief Inspector Gamache is called in to investigate what was originally thought to be a hunting accident resulting in the death of an elderly school teacher who was loved by all of the villagers. The plot unfolds to actually be a murder investigation with many twists and turns. The key appears to be in the painting done by the victim, and Inspector Gamache has to figure it out.

Three words that describe this book: Intriguing, captivating, interesting.

You might want to pick this book up if: You enjoy mysteries and like to try to figure it out as you read!


The post Reader Review: Still Life appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards

DBRLTeen - August 4, 2015

Mock Newbery Award
The Newbery Medal is awarded each year to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” The Newbery Medal is to children’s literature what the Oscar is to the Academy Awards. In plain English: This award is given to the best chapter book of the year. Some popular Newbery award-winning titles include “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman.

About our Mock Newbery Program:

Throughout the fall, we are inviting youth in grades 4-8 to join us twice per month to discuss this year’s Newbery finalists. Library staff will facilitate the sessions along with Nancy Baumann, a local educator and previous Newbery committee member. This is the fourth year that the library has offered this unique book club opportunity and we hope that you will consider signing up.

How to get involved:

Sessions will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library on the following Wednesdays: September 9 and 23, October 7 and 21, November 4 and 18 and December 2 and 16. Registration begins Tuesday, September 1. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

This year’s books:

Wondering what books we’ll be discussing this year? See the list below!

Originally published at Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards.

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Seventh Summer Reading Gift Card Winner!

DBRL Next - August 3, 2015

TrophyCongratulations to Monielle, a Fulton patron, for winning our seventh Adult Summer Reading prize drawing of the summer. She is the recipient of a $25 gift card from Well Read books.

We have just two more drawings left this summer, so keep your fingers crossed. You can still submit book reviews  to increase your chances of winning.

The post Seventh Summer Reading Gift Card Winner! appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Tech for Teachers, Free @ DBRL

DBRL Next - July 31, 2015

My librarian pal Hilary and I just had the pleasure of presenting to groups of area teachers, letting them know all about the free online learning tools for the kids they teach, as well as for their own professional development. The boatload of incredible information available to you if you have a library card and Internet access is pretty amazing. Here is just a handful of the online tools you should be using. logoEducation and Elearning tools from
Want to take a course in deploying 1:1 iPads in the classroom? How about project-based learning or flipped classrooms? Need to get up to speed on a certain software, like Blackboard, Excel, Keynote or PowerPoint? These and so, so many more courses are available from Your students can take courses, too, on topics like basic code-writing skills, time management, information literacy and research paper writing.

Learning Express Library logoTest preparation with LearningExpress Library
SAT, ACT, TOEFL, AP Exams, GRE, HiSET – prepare for these tests and more with up-to-date courses and practice tests. LearningExpress has career help as well, with prep for occupational exams (Praxis, Civil Service, EMT Certification) and skills building courses (business writing, popular Microsoft software). 

Transparent Language OnlineLanguage learning and ESL help from Transparent Language Online
Transparent Language Online provides an effective experience for learners of all levels looking to build their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in a foreign language. This learning program provides courses and supplemental resources for over 95 languages, including English as a Second Language (ESL) materials for native speakers of 26 languages.

The post Tech for Teachers, Free @ DBRL appeared first on DBRL Next.

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Reader Review: Maine

DBRL Next - July 30, 2015

maineMaine” is a story about three women, all related, who find themselves in different situations in their life but sharing their family vacation home in Maine. The women look back at events in their lives, how they’ve reacted to situations and built or destroyed relationships and what shaped them into the people they have become (or could have become if it weren’t for the structure and history of their family). This is a great summer read; the chapters are all built around the three main characters and move along at a quick pace. It’s a bit bittersweet, though, and not just because of the characters’ lives unraveling. It makes you realize that summer vacations come to an end, and we have to return to our lives.

Two words that describe this book: poignant, bittersweet, fun

You might want to pick this book up if: You’ve ever taken a family vacation or even thought about it.


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

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