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2016 Teen Summer Reading Challenge

DBRLTeen - June 1, 2016

TSRP 2016 300 pxRegistration for DBRL’s Teen Summer Reading Challenge has begun! Sign up online, or at any of our three library branches or bookmobile stops.

To participate, you must read for 20 hours, share three book reviews and do seven of our suggested activities. Beginning July 5, when you finish, you’ll receive a free book and be entered into a drawing for some other fun rewards including a Kindle Fire!

This program is open to young adults ages 12-18 in Boone and Callaway counties. Summer Reading continues through August 13. 

This year’s Summer Reading theme is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” We will be promoting books and offering programs that focus on wellness, fitness, sports and games of all sorts.

Put on your dancing shoes and join us for a Wii U “Just Dance” dance-off.  Do you love tabletop games? Mark your calendars now for our Mega Gamer Eve in July. Later this summer, enjoy a relaxing yoga practice followed by a yummy smoothie. To receive email reminders of these and other teen events, sign up for our monthly newsletter!

Originally published at 2016 Teen Summer Reading Challenge.

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2016-17 Truman Award Finalists

DBRLTeen - May 27, 2016

2017 Truman Award Finalists
The Truman Readers Award honors a book that is selected by Missouri junior high students. To be eligible to vote, students must read at least four of the finalists. Voting will occur at participating schools early next March, so you have plenty of time to knock these titles out like a champ. While the winner won’t be announced until April 2017, this is a great list of summer reads for students in sixth through eighth grade.

Pieces of Me” by Amber Kizer
After a car accident leaves her brain-dead, Jessica tries to prevent her parents from donating her organs and tissues, but then follows the lives of four fellow teens who are able to survive because she did not.

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek” by Maya Van Wagenen
A touchingly honest, candidly hysterical memoir from breakout teen author Maya Van Wagenen Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder.

Grandmaster” by David Klass
Invited to a parent-child weekend chess tournament, fresh-man Daniel discovers that his father was once one of the country’s leading young players but that the intense competition surrounding the game proved to be unhealthy, a past they are forced to confront when they meet a former rival.

The Body in the Woods” by April Henry
While helping the Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue to seek a missing autistic man, teens Alexis, Nick, and Ruby find, instead, a body and join forces to find the girl’s murderer.

Buzz Kill” by Beth Fantaskey
Seventeen-year-old Millie joins forces with her classmate, gorgeous but mysterious Chase Colton, to try to uncover who murdered head football coach “Hollerin’ Hank” Killdare–and why.

Midnight Thief” by Livia Blackburne
Kyra, a highly skilled seventeen-year-old thief, joins a guild of assassins with questionable motives. Tristam, a young knight, fights against the vicious Demon Riders that are ravaging the city.

Famous Last Words” by Katie Alender
High-school student Willa moves to California and attends a private school. She things that are not really there, like a dead body in the swimming pool, and her visions may be connected to a serial killer that is stalking young girls in Hollywood.

Falls the Shadow” by Stefanie Gaither
When her sister Violet dies, Cate’s wealthy family brings home Violet’s clone, who fits in perfectly until Cate uncovers some-thing sinister about the cloning movement.

Just a Drop of Water” by Kerry O’Malley Cerra
Jake and Sam are best friends, but after the attacks on September 11, their friendship is in danger of crumbling as Sam and his family succumb to hatred for being Muslim American.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This” by Jeff Strand
Everything unathletic sixteen-year-old Henry was dreading about survival camp turns out to be true–or even worse–when armed killers arrive and survival takes on a whole new meaning for the campers.

The Blood Guard” by Carter Roy
Ronan, a seemingly ordinary boy, is swept up in a some-times funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling advenure, dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evildoers with strange powers.

Codename Zero” by Chris Rylander
Carson is a normal teen with a normal life until a desperate man gives him a package with a dire set of instructions. And that package is going to lead Carson to discover that there’s a secret government agency operating in his small, quiet North Dakota hometown.

Originally published at 2016-17 Truman Award Finalists.

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2016 One READ Winner: About “Bettyville” and George Hodgman

One Read - May 26, 2016
About the Book

Bettyville for web

Bettyville” is a funny, tender memoir about a son coming home to a place he never quite fit to care for his aging mother.

Hodgman, after working for years as an editor in New York City, returns to Paris, Missouri and finds that his hometown and his mother Betty are both in extreme decline. The two share a fierce love, but a deep silence, as Betty has never been able to understand or accept his homosexuality. Hodgman reflects on his recovery from addiction, losing loved ones to the AIDS epidemic and his struggles to care for the still feisty but failing Betty. Funny, honest and tenderhearted, this memoir illuminates how a person is shaped by a family and community that are at once loving and damaging, flawed and beautiful.

About the Author

 Sigrid EstradaGeorge Hodgman grew up in Madison and Paris, Missouri. Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. His memoir “Bettyville” was a New York Times bestseller, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri with his dog Raj.

Biographical info from and the Books & Authors Database.

More information:

The post 2016 One READ Winner: About “Bettyville” and George Hodgman appeared first on One Read.

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2016 List of Suggested Titles

One Read - May 26, 2016

Each winter, the public submits suggestions for next year’s One Read book. In January, a panel of community members reviews the suggestions, narrowing that list down to 10 titles, and then chooses two or three books to present for a public vote.

Final 10 Selections

Other Suggested Titles
  • 1984
    George Orwell
  • 100 Questions & Answers About Fibromyalgia
    Sharon Ostalecki
  • $2.00 a day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
    Kathryn J. Edin
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass
    Jim Butcher
  • All the Light We Cannot See
    Anthony Doerr
  • Almost Perfect
    Brian Katcher
  • At the Water’s Edge
    Sara Gruen
  • The August 5
    Jenna Helland
  • Bad Feminist: Essays
    Roxane Gay
  • Becoming White Smoke: A Tale of Courage and Yearning
    Amanda Kreglow
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
    Atul Gawande
  • Beloved
    Toni Morrison
  • Between the World and Me
    Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science
    Richard Dawkins
  • Brown Girl Dreaming
    Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Chaperone
    Laura Moriarty
  • Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
    Johann Hari
  • Circling the Sun
    Paula McLain
  • The Color of Water
    James McBride
  • Cutting for Stone
    Abraham Verghese
  • The Dark Is Rising
    Susan Cooper
  • The Daughters
    Adrienne Celt
  • The Day the World Came to Town
    Jim DeFede
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
    Erik Larson
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of A President
    Candice Millard
  • A Divine Revelation of Hell
    Mary K. Baxter
  • A Dog’s Purpose
    W. Bruce Cameron
  • The Doll in the Garden
    Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Education of a Traitor
    Svetlana Grobman
  • Eileen
    Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Embassytown
    China Mieville
  • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
    Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Far From You
    Lisa Schroeder
  • Fates and Furies
    Lauren Groff
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
    E.L. James
  • Girl in Translation
    Jean Kwok
  • Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America
    Ari Berman
  • The Giver
    Lois Lowry
  • The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan
    Ellen White
  • The Heart Goes Last
    Margaret Atwood
  • The Hobbit
    J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Home Grown Stories and Home Fried Lies
    Mitch Jayne
  • I Hunt Killers
    Barry Lyga
  • I, Robot
    Isaac Asimov
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    Rebecca Skloot
  • The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel
    Robert Mazur
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
    Bryan Stevenson
  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest
    J. Ryan Stradal
  • Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
    Sarah Vowell
  • Life on the Mississippi
    Mark Twain
  • Limping Through Life: A Farm Boy’s Polio Memoir 
    Jerold Apps
  • The Little Paris Bookshop
    Nina George
  • Little Women
    Louisa May Alcott
  • Lucky Us
    Amy Bloom
  • The Maid’s Version
    Daniel Woodrell
  • Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend
    Christo Brand
  • The Mark and the Void
    Paul Murray
  • Maya’s Notebook
    Isabel Allende
  • The Memory Weaver
    Jane Kirkpatrick
  • Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight
    Martha Ackmann
  • Mine to Tell
    Colleen Donnelly
  • Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
    Jon Krakauer
  • The Nightingale
    Kristin Hannah
  • Nine Days in Heaven
    Dennis & Nolene Prince
  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
    Alexander McCall Smith
  • Nora Webster
    Colm Tóibín
  • Notes From Boomerang Creek
    Cathy Salter
  • Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality
    Danielle Allen
  • The Peking Man Is Missing
    Claire Taschdjian
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower
    Stephen Chbosky
  • The Prince
    Vito Bruschini
  • The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio
    Terry Ryan
  • The Prophet
    Kahlil Gibran
  • Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States
    Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • Ready Player One
    Ernest Cline
  • Room Temperature
    Nicholson Baker
  • The Sellout
    Paul Beatty
  • The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
    Nicholas Carr
  • Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World
    Linda R. Hirshman
  • Slaves in the Family
    Edward Ball
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    Lisa See
  • The Space Between Us
    Thrity Umrigar
  • The Sparrow
    Mary Doria Russell
  • The Story of Beautiful Girl
    Rachel Simon
  • The Stranger’s Child
    Alan Hollinghurst
  • Swamplandia
    Karen Russell
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate
    Naomi Klein
  • Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier
    Edward Glaeser
  • Truth: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power
    Mary Mapes
  • The Tsar of Love and Techno
    Anthony Marra
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    Laura Hillenbrand
  • Voyage: A Novel of 1896
    Sterling Hayden
  • Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
    Isabel Wilkerson
  • We Never Asked for Wings
    Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • West With the Night
    Beryl Markham
  • What Was Mine
    Helen Klein Ross
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
    Maria Semple
  • Whistling Past the Graveyard
    Susan Crandall
  • Why Evolution Is True
    Jerry A. Coyne
  • A Wilder Rose
    Susan Wittig Albert
  • The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World
    David Jaher
  • A Wrinkle in Time
    Madeleine L’Engle
  • Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
    Neil Shubin

The post 2016 List of Suggested Titles appeared first on One Read.

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Explore Electronics with Snap Circuits

DBRLTeen - May 24, 2016

Circuit Science: TeenSnap Circuit
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Tuesday, June 7 from 2-3 p.m. –OR– 6-7 p.m.

Use Snap Circuits and our new Snap Rovers to discover the basics of electrical circuits. In this session, we’ll create a “Morse Code Generator,” construct an “Easy Rover” and more. Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, May 31. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Explore Electronics with Snap Circuits.

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Barnes & Noble Teen Book Festival

DBRLTeen - May 20, 2016

B-Fest_icon_largeBarnes and Noble Bookstore 
Columbia Mall, 2208 Bernadette Dr.
June 10-12

Barnes & Noble will be hosting their first-ever Teen Book Festival from June 10-12. The event will include author events, writing workshops, panel discussions, trivia, games and giveaways. Special guests include Missouri authors Brian Katcher and Sarah Jude. For more information, contact Lisa LoPorto at (573) 445-4080, or visit the Barnes & Noble website.

Originally published at Barnes & Noble Teen Book Festival.

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Wii U Family Game Time on May 27

DBRLTeen - May 18, 2016

Wii-U-Gamepad-gameplayWii U Family Game Time
Friday, May 27, 4-5:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Studio

Become a dancing superstar in Just Dance 2015, a gold cup winner in “Mario Kart 8” or a party animal in “Mario Party 10.” Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration required. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at Wii U Family Game Time on May 27.

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2016 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees

DBRLTeen - May 16, 2016

2016 Teens' Top Ten Collage

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Sixteen young adult book clubs from libraries across the country are responsible for narrowing down a list of nominees for teens to vote on nationwide. Below is this year’s full list of Top Ten nominations. Don’t forget that the library offers print, eBook and audiobook editions of many of the these titles!

Alive” by Chandler Baker
Stella Cross has received a heart transplant, but it has not stopped her emotional suffering.
Then a mysterious boy named Levi Zin comes into her life. Stella’s pain goes away whenever she’s around Levi. However, Stella finds out a terrible secret about Levi. Can it be true?

Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo
Young criminal genius Kaz Brekker is offered the chance to pull off a dangerous theft that can make him rich. He recruits a gang of six dangerous misfits to help him with the heist. The book follows the crew’s crazy adventure and features plot twists, betrayals, and schemes aplenty.

The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black
In Fairfold, a place where both humans and Faeries live, siblings Hazel and Ben have grown up telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin in the woods. The boy has horns and ears pointy as knives, perhaps he’s a prince or a knight. Of course, they’ll never know because the boy will never wake. Then, unexpectedly, he does . . .

“The Witch Hunter” by Virginia Boecker
Elizabeth Grey is a witch hunter who is suddenly accused of being a witch. She is arrested and sentenced to burn. The only way for Elizabeth to avoid this fate is to help out her former enemy Nicholas Perevil, the most dangerous wizard around. The book is filled with magic and adventure, action and mystery and features a world full of witches, pirates and ghosts.

The Game of Love and Death” by Martha Brockenbrough
Set in Seattle in the 1920s, a romance develops between Flora, who is African American, and Henry, who is white. Despite some differences, the pair has much in common, including a shared love of jazz music. However, it turns out that Flora and Henry actually are pawns in a game played by two other characters – Love and Death. This book is full of intrigue and is, at times, heartbreaking, and will have the reader racing to the final pages.

Powerless” by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
In a world full of powerful heroes and villains, Kenna is just a regular, powerless teenager who works in a lab. Then, three villains break into the lab, and Kenna decides to fight back. In the midst of this battle, Kenna is saved by a villain. Suddenly, she is forced to rethink her beliefs.

Mechanica” by Betsy Cornwell
A new take on the classic story of Cinderella. Mechanica uses her wit and her mother’s old engineering textbooks to try to escape her stepmother and stepsisters. Mechanica is a strong, smart, and capable character in a book that has an inspirational message for teenage girls.

You and Me and Him” by Kris Dinnison
Maggie is overweight. Nash is out of the closet. They are the best of friends. But that friendship is tested when they both develop feelings for the same boy, a new kid named Tom.

“The Summer After You & Me” by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Lucy Giordano lives on the Jersey Shore and has a crush on a boy named Connor Malloy, whose family spends many summer weekends at the home next door. The pair eventually shares an unexpected romance. Then, Super Storm Sandy hits and alters Lucy’s life dramatically. Lucy and Connor go their separate ways. But several months later, Connor is scheduled to return to The Shore, which should definitely make for an interesting summer.

The Devil You Know” by Trish Doller
Arcadia, or Cadie for short, is 18 years old and has been longing for something more in life ever since her mother died. Then she meets two handsome boys, cousins to one another, and they invite her and a friend on a camping trip. What seems like innocent fun takes a negative turn when Arcadia discovers one of the boys is hiding a terrible secret.

Charlie, Presumed Dead” by Anne Heltzel
Charlie Price is presumed dead after his plane crashes. However, his body is never found. At his funeral, Lena and Aubrey meet and discover both were his girlfriend. Lena believes Charlie is still alive, and she and Aubrey set out on a journey across Europe and Asia to expose Charlie’s deceit. The girls try to work together, but the secrets they hide could prevent them from finding Charlie.

Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Kady and Ezra have just broken up, and then their planet is bombed by a megacorporation. The pair escapes to a government ship, but must put their differences aside in order to survive and stop a plague that has resulted from the use of a bioweapon.

When” by Victoria Laurie
High school junior Maddie Fynn has special powers that allow her to see numbers above a person’s forehead, which she soon discovers are death dates. She identifies the death date of a young boy, but is unable to prevent his disappearance. Then, Maddie becomes a suspect in a homicide investigation.

The Novice”  by Taran Matharu
A blacksmith’s apprentice named Fletcher discovers he can summon demons from another world. He soon gets chased out of his village for a crime he did not commit, ending up at an academy for adepts, where he is trained to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs. Eventually, Fletcher discovers the fate of the Empire is in his hands.

Mark of the Thief” by Jennifer. A. Nielsen
Set in Ancient Rome, a young slave named Nic finds an amulet that gives him magic powers usually reserved for the Gods. After discovering a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and start a war, Nic is forced to use the magic within to defeat the empire’s most ruthless leaders and save Rome.

All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven
Death plays a big role in the lives of high schoolers Theodore Finch and Violet Markey. He is constantly on the verge of suicide, and she is battling grief after her sister’s death. The Indiana teens come together to work on a project and soon develop a bond, showing each other what it’s like to live.

I Am Princess X” by Cherie Priest
When they were young, best friends Libby and May created a comic character named Princess X. Then Libby was killed in a car accident. Lonely and grieving, May soon discovers an underground culture centered around a web comic at The similarities between those stories and Libby’s own stories are striking. Could her friend still be alive?

Hold Me Like a Breath” by Tiffany Schmidt
Penelope Landlow has an autoimmune disease that forces her to remain indoors. She is also the daughter of a notorious crime family that is involved in the black market for organ transplants. Penelope soon gains her independence and is forced to survive on her own in the big city. She learns about love, loss and how to survive in an often dangerous world.

Con Academy” by Joe Schreiber
Will Shea (aka Billy Humbert) is a con man who has scammed his way into Connaughton Academy, an exclusive school for the American elite. He soon meets Andrea Dufresne, who also has conned her way into the school. The pair soon makes a bet to see who can con the school bully, Brandt Rush, out of thousands of dollars.

The Ghosts of Heaven” by Marcus Sedgwick
An epic story about the journey of discovery told in four episodes. The first, takes place during prehistoric times, as a girl picks up a stick and creates some of the first cave drawings. Next, we visit the 17th century and a girl named Anna, whom many believe is a witch. Episode three is set in a Long Island mental institution and features a mad poet who watches the ocean. Finally, a trip to the future, as a spaceship travels to settle another world.

The Glass Arrow” by Kristen Simmons
Set in the future, Aya is a 15-year-old girl who has spent her life hiding in the mountains in order to avoid the fate of most women, who are treated like property and auctioned off for breeding. Then, she is caught. Desperate to escape, she relies on the assistance of a wolf and a mute boy in her search for freedom.

Black Widow Forever Red” by Margaret Stohl
Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, is one of the world’s most lethal assassins, and she once rescued young Ava Orlova from being subjected to a series of military experiments. Now, Black Widow and Orlova, who is 15 years old and living in Brooklyn, team up again to stop Widow’s former teacher, the evil Ivan Somodorov, from wreaking havoc on the children of Eastern Europe.

Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone
Samantha McAllister seems to have it all: she is beautiful, bright and part of the popular crowd in high school. But looks can be deceiving, and she is hiding the fact she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Samantha’s life changes after she visits a place at school called Poet’s Corner and she begins hanging out with new friends like Caroline and AJ.

Zeroes” by Scott Westerfeld
Six California teens have special powers that aren’t always welcome. Like Ethan, known as Scam, who has a voice inside of him that will sometimes speak out when it’s not the right time to do so. When that “power” gets Ethan in trouble, the other Zeroes are the only ones who can rescue him. However, the members of this group are not exactly the best of friends.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls” by Lynn Weingarten
June and Delia were best friends who grew apart. Then, Delia commits suicide. Or, at least that’s what others have been told. June believes her former best friend has been murdered, and she goes on a quest to find the truth . . . which, it turns out, is very complicated.

Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon
Maddy is a teenager with a serious autoimmune disease that prevents her from leaving the house. Yet, she seems content to stay home and read books. That is until a boy named Olly moves in next door. The two meet, and their quirky relationship is chronicled through emails, journal entries, IMs and old notes.

Originally published at 2016 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees.

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2016 Gateway & Truman Award Winners Announced

DBRLTeen - May 13, 2016

2016 Gateway Truman WinnersThe winners for the Gateway and Truman Readers Awards have been announced! The recipients for these book awards are chosen each year by Missouri high school and junior high students, respectively. This year, over 8,000 votes were cast by students in grades 6-12.

Gateway Reader Award Winners

Truman Reader Award Winners

Originally published at 2016 Gateway & Truman Award Winners Announced.

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2016 Teen Summer Reading Preview

DBRLTeen - May 11, 2016

TSRP 2016 300 pxWednesday, June 1 marks the launch of our annual teen Summer Reading program!  Sign up at, or at any of our three library branches or bookmobile stops.

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 Kindle Fire.

This year’s Summer Reading theme is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” We will be promoting books and offering programs that focus on wellness, fitness, sports and games of all sorts.

Put on your dancing shoes and join us for a Wii U “Just Dance” dance-off.  Do you love tabletop games? Mark your calendars now for our Mega Gamer Eve in July. Later this summer, enjoy a relaxing yoga practice followed by a yummy smoothie. To receive email reminders of these and other teen events, sign up for our monthly newsletter!


“Ready, Set, Read” Teen Photography Contest
Tuesday, June 7

Use your camera to capture life in motion. Submit your photo in one of three categories by July 31 for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card. This contest is open to anyone aged 12-18 in Boone and Callaway Counties. Find contest rules and submission guidelines at or at your library beginning June 7.

Circuit Science: Teen
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Tuesday, June 7 from 2-3 p.m. –OR– 6-7 p.m.

Use Snap Circuits and our new Snap Rovers to discover the basics of electrical circuits. In this session, we’ll create a “Morse Code Generator,” construct an “Easy Rover” and more. Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, May 31. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Project Teen: Game Making
Callaway County Public Library
Friday, June 17 from Noon-1:30 p.m.
Use your imagination, cardboard and other recycled material to create your own game. See examples of a foosball game and a marble maze, then get started. Materials provided, but bring extra cardboard if you wish. Pizza served. Ages 12-18

Project Teen: Retro Crafts
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Monday, June 20 from 1-2:30 p.m.

Enjoy retro crafts like Shrinky Dinks, friendship bracelets and sun catchers! Pizza served. Ages 12-18. Registration begins Tuesday, June 7. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Wii U “Mario Cart” Grand Prix
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Wednesday, June 22 from 3-4:30 p.m.

Become a gold cup winner in “Mario Kart 8.” Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins Tuesday, June 7. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Project Teen: Create Your Own Game
Southern Boone County Public Library
Tuesday, June 28 from 2-3 p.m.

Using cardboard and other recycled material, create your own game. Examples will be on hand of a foosball game and a marble maze. If you have extra shoeboxes, bring them along. Ages 12 and older.

Dance Off: Wii Just Dance
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Thursday, June 30 from 2-3:30 p.m.

So you think you can dance? Put those happy feet into your dancing shoes and get ready to cut a rug. We’ll dance our way through the original Just Dance game all the way through to Just Dance 2016! Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins Tuesday, June 14. To sign up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Originally published at 2016 Teen Summer Reading Preview.

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Feasts From Your Farmers’ Market

DBRL Next - May 9, 2016

Book cover for Cooking from the Farmers' MarketI am not an impulse shopper when it comes to clothes or everyday groceries. I’m a disciplined gal, sticking to my list. However, when it comes to farmers’ markets, I cannot resist the jewel-toned eggplants, the deep green and curling kale leaves, the delicate mushrooms. Many times a summer I find myself with a counter full of fruits and vegetables without a clue as to how to integrate them into my week’s meal planning.

We are lucky to have a number of farmers’ markets in Boone and Callaway Counties (see our local produce subject guide for details). If you, like me, want to make sure your locally sourced veggies don’t wind up rotting in your crisper drawer, check out some of these cookbooks for delicious inspiration.

Williams-Sonoma’s “Cooking From the Farmers’ Market” includes not only recipes but also helpful tips for picking the freshest produce and best ways to prepare various fruits and vegetables. The pictures are gorgeous, and there are three recipes provided for each ingredient highlighted. Many of the recipes are simple with minimal ingredient lists — when the produce is fresh, you can let that sun-ripened flavor be the star of the show. I can’t wait to try baked eggs with spinach and cream or sugar snap pea risotto!

Book cover for Cooking Your Local ProduceGreta Hardin, author of “Cooking your Local Produce,” says that the question that inspired her writing of the book was, “What do I do with rainbow chard?” (Sounds like me and my kale.) Chapter headings are so appealingly simple — leaves, shoots, flowers, roots, etc. — and the recipes themselves not at all intimidating. Suggested preparations are simple, and Hardin offers up variations if you want to experiment further with a particular ingredient.

In Season,” edited by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, takes the seasons of the year as its organizing principle. The recipes here are quite a bit fancier, as they are contributed by some of the country’s finest chefs and restaurants. For instance, you can impress dinner guests in winter with a celery root and citrus salad, and you can class up a summer potluck by bringing a dessert of baked squash blossoms with ricotta and honey.

Using local produce and eating what’s in season is a fantastic way to try new foods or discover new preparations for old favorites. Bon appétit!

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Big Data and “Choose Privacy Week”

DBRL Next - May 6, 2016

Choose Privacy Week logoImagine this:  you are a citizen of a Democracy where individual rights and privacy are supposedly its most sacred principle, and yet 24/7 you may be tracked by the government, corporations and even the city in which you live. You constantly wear or use devices that send out signals and information transmitted to millions of different data-gathering entities. A future such as this, predicted by the likes of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, may have seemed very frightening little more than 20 years ago. Such a future, however, is in the here and now.

Libraries are one of the bulwarks of democracy, and they remain one of the few places in the modern world where your privacy is strictly maintained. Choose Privacy Week is a culmination of all that we do as librarians — providing an incredibly wide variety of information and computing resources while at the same time protecting your utmost privacy. In its eighth year and hosted by the American Library Association, Choose Privacy Week is cosponsored by the ACLU, the Society of American Archivists, the Freedom to Read Foundation and many other nonprofit agencies. 

Book cover for Dragnet NationAfter the Snowden affair in 2013, a veritable explosion of books about the topic of privacy hit the shelves, and we have many here at the library. Julia Angwin, in “Dragnet Nation,” abandoned many of the social media outlets that we trust and love, such as Facebook, all for the sake of privacy. However, cleansing her name from online information brokers was far more difficult: “Removing my information from commercial data brokers was a different kind of trust exercise: the kind of trust you place in a mob enforcer.” Angwin goes further than most, installing encryption programs on her phones and other devices. In conclusion she argues that “We didn’t shut down the industrial economy to stop pollution. We simply asked polluters to be more accountable to their actions. We just need to make the data handlers let us see what they have about us and be accountable for any hardships caused by their use of our data.”

Book cover for Privacy in the Modern AgePrivacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions” is an excellent anthology that is rare: the book looks for solutions and answers to many of the tricky issues surrounding an online presence, as opposed to indulging in some of the rising hysteria. In his chapter “The Surveillance Society and Transparent You,” IBM computer scientist Jeff Jonas writes: “A surveillance society is inevitable and irreversible. More interestingly, I believe a surveillance society will prove to be irresistible.”  Jonas argues that this is because the convenience of a robust online life is far more acceptable to people when weighed against the limitations of privacy rights. 

Privacy in The Age of Big Data” by Theresa M. Payton and Theodore Claypoole offers this caveat: “You may not realize it, but you are connected to the Internet all day, and the cyberazzi are with you every digital step of the way.” The book delves into some of the ways that we can erase some of our digital footprints, by following some basic checklists and tools for ensuring privacy. (For instance, did you know that disabling Java on your computer and only using it when necessary keeps one much safer?  Java is often hit hard by hackers.)

Book cover for After SnowdenEdward Snowden’s revelations were a game changer. Whether you agree with him or not (and some experts found many of his revelations very damaging to American security), all United States citizens are now aware that they may be monitored by the government at any time. Another anthology with numerous authors, “After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy, and Security in the Information Age,” examines the aftermath. As Thomas Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive, points out in his chapter near the end of the book: “The fallout from the Snowden leaks revealed that top officials had lied not only to Congress but also to the wiretap court, to the Supreme Court, and to each other” about the data intrusions.

Finally, please see the Choose Privacy Week website for lots of great multimedia content and even a short documentary entitled: “Vanishing Liberties: The Rise of State Surveillance in the Digital Age.”

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Summer Program Preview: Walking Book Club

DBRL Next - May 4, 2016

Book cover for Grandma Gatewood's WalkRead. Walk. Talk! This year’s Summer Reading theme — for adults as well as kids and teens — is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” We’re organizing programs about fitness and wellness, as well as meeting challenges of all kinds, mental and physical.

As part of Summer Reading, we’ll be hosting a walking book club at the Columbia Public Library on the second Wednesday of the month throughout the summer. This club combines three necessities for a healthy brain: mental, physical and social activity. Participants will take a 30-minute walk, leaving from the library, followed by a book discussion. Here are the book selections and meeting times.  All sessions will start in the Friends Room. Mark your calendars now!

Wednesday, June 8 › 6:30-8 p.m.
June’s selection is “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail” by Ben Montgomery. Not only did this mother of 11 and grandmother of 23 hike the Appalachian Trail solo once (the first woman to ever do so), she did it three times. Conducting interviews with those who knew Gatewood and drawing on her diaries and correspondence, journalist Ben Montgomery shines a welcome light on the amazing Emma Gatewood’s life in this delightful book, exploring why she did what she did and looking at her efforts to bring public attention to the poorly maintained 2,050 mile trail. At this kick-off meeting, Annette Triplett of PedNet will give a brief talk about that organization’s programs and the benefits of walking. 

Book cover for Find a Way by Diana NyadWednesday, July 13 › 6:30-8 p.m.
July’s selection is the inspiring “Find a Way” by Diana Nyad. On September 2, 2013, at the age of 64, Diana Nyad emerged onto the shores of Key West after completing a 110 mile, 53 hour, record-breaking swim through shark-infested waters from Cuba to Florida. Her memoir shows why, at 64, she was able to achieve what she couldn’t at 30 and how her repeated failures contributed to her success. A copy of “Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites” will be given away at this meeting!

Book cover for Bill Warrington's Last ChanceWednesday, August 10› 6:30-8 p.m.
Join us for a discussion of  the novel “Bill Warrington’s Last Chance” by James King. Bill Warrington is a retired salesman, a widower and a recently diagnosed Alzheimer’s sufferer. His relationships with his children are fraught — one son is a wanderer, the other estranged; his daughter is a single mother struggling to raise a stubborn 14-year-old, April. But Bill has vowed to repair these relationships by kidnapping April, driving to California, and leaving clues intended to force his children to overcome mutual distrust and work together.

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Thank You For Voting! One Read Announcement May 26

One Read - May 3, 2016

Thank You SignVoting for the 2016 One Read book is now closed. We appreciate all of you who cast your vote for either “Bettyville” by George Hodgman or “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

On May 26 we will announce the winning book here at

In the meantime, read more about our finalists!

Photo credit: Avard Woolaver via photopin cc

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Wildflower Enchantment

DBRL Next - May 2, 2016

Spicebush Swallowtail and Aphrodite Fritillary, photo by Sasha Vasko via FlickrA Charm for Spring Flowers

Who sees the first marsh marigold
Shall count more wealth than hands can hold.
Who bends a knee where violets grow
A hundred secret things shall know.
Who finds hepatica’s dim blue
Shall have his dearest wish come true.
Who spies on lady-slippers fair
Shall keep a heart as light as air.
But whosoever toucheth not
One petal, sets no root in pot,
He shall be blessed of earth and sky,
Till under them he, too, shall lie.

~Rachel Field

Columbine, open and closedOh, the magical charm of wildflowers, especially the earliest ones, which rise up through the woodland leaf litter to sing, when winter is gone. If you’ve spent any time in the woods hunting down or chancing upon these fleeting beauties (in our local area, bloodroot, wake robin, Dutchman’s breeches, etc.), you know how bewitching they can be. I was 15 years old when I found and identified wild columbine flowers. We were on a spring road trip, my mother and I, headed to Georgia via Skyline Drive to visit my grandmother, when we stopped for a break. I wandered off for a short walk and found columbine growing on a sunny hillside. The blossoms, with their complex structure formed in bright red and yellow, were stunningly beautiful and unlike any flower I had ever seen before. They most certainly cast a spell on me, propelling me on a lifelong quest to find and identify more wildflowers. It is a sweet and happy hobby.

The first week of May is National Wildflower Week, and what a worthy group to showcase and celebrate. In case you didn’t know, native wildflowers are plant species that were growing in specific regions before humans came in and added foreign plants from other countries to the vegetation mix. Besides the obvious beauty wildflowers offer (which may be a human-centric feature) wildflowers are beneficial to all living things and serve many vital and practical roles in the planet’s ecosystems.

Photo of a trout lilyFirst of all, wildflowers attract and support pollinators of all kinds (bees, wasps, butterflies, etc.), which are absolutely key to generating food supplies, for humans and other creatures alike. They provide habitat for myriad smaller critters and also prevent soil erosion. Wildflowers work very hard to keep the whole show of life running. To give you an example, consider the trout lily. This precious woodland beauty grows in colonies of deeply rooted systems of corms that help stabilize the forest floor, and their blossoms provide an early food source to pollinators that farmers depend on for pollination of late spring crops. To read more and understand the complex interrelationships between this flower and other life on earth, read the chapter “Trout Lily” in “The Secrets of Wildflowers: A Delightful Feast of Little-known Facts, Folklore, and History by Jack Sanders. There are many equally fascinating essays in this book on a huge bouquet of other wildflowers.

If you’d like to meet some local wildflowers face to face, there is ample opportunity to make this happen. Right here in town you can take hikes along the MKT trail or in Rock Bridge State Park (RBSP). If you’d like to explore with a group of people, you can avail yourself of the wildflower walks, led by an expert, along RBSP trails. The guide will help you identify the flowers and fill you in on folklore about the ones you find. If you want to venture a little further afield, there is the magical wonderland, Prairie Garden Trust, in New Bloomfield, MO; you need to call them to arrange a visit. To make the most of your venture out, plan to take a wildflower identification guide with you. There are many decent ones, but my favorite is “Missouri Wildflowers: A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Missouri” by Edgar Denison.

Since native plants have adapted over eons to local growing conditions, they are better able to thrive in their original territory. This means, in their natural ranges (or zones), they are easier to establish, need less water and fertilizer, and are more resistant to indigenous pests and diseases. The upshot of all of this is they require less money, physical effort and natural resources to grow and maintain. Since wildflowers of all kinds are endangered due to habitat destruction, competition from invasive species and modern farming practices (heavy use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides), growing wildflowers is a very concrete way to help restore and maintain the healthy ecosystems we need to sustain all life on earth. So, one of the best ways to celebrate National Wildflower Week is to grow native wildflowers.  If you are looking for sources for wildflowers, local farmers’ markets are often good places to find them. You can also search the Internet for “Missouri wildflowers” to find other suppliers. Wishing you lots of spellbinding wildflower cheer!

Photo credits:

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Free Audiobook Downloads From SYNC

DBRLTeen - May 2, 2016

SYNC Free Audiobook Downloads SYNC, a service of AudioFile Magazine, offers free downloadable audiobooks during the summer months.  Through this program, you can download two free titles each week from May 5 through August 17.

This summer’s lineup includes “The Sin Eater’s Daughter” by Melissa Salisbury, “Bone Gap” by Laura Ruby and “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson. The list of free downloads also includes books by Gregory Maguire, Andrew Smith, David Levithan, Walter Dean Myers and many more!

These audiobooks download directly to your tablet or smartphone using the Overdrive app. View a list of devices compatible with this service. To get started, simply sign up to get notifications of when the free audiobook downloads are available at The best part is that these audiobooks are yours to keep forever and ever once you’ve downloaded them!

Originally published at Free Audiobook Downloads From SYNC.

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Celebrating – and Mourning – Prince

DBRL Next - April 28, 2016

 The B SidesI have vivid memories of sitting by my boom box listening to American Top 40 on the radio, my finger poised over the record button, so I could capture Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” on cassette tape. This legendary’s musician’s work was the soundtrack of my adolescence, and I was among the many shocked and saddened by his sudden death on April 21.

If you feel moved to revisit Prince’s music, the library has not only physical CDs for checkout, but also more than 15 albums you can stream or download from Hoopla. If you are new to this service, visit the library’s website for more information. You can be singing along to “Purple Rain” in no time if you have a library card.

 Inside the Music and the MasksIf you want to read more about the complicated person Prince was and his enormous impact on music and popular culture, check out “Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks” by Ronin Ro. This is an authoritative portrait that documents his rise from an unknown musician to a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, offering insight into his role in confronting labels and fostering other young talents.

Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain” by Alan Light celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of Prince’s most popular album and provides delicious insights into the making of the movie and music that launched Prince to superstardom. This enjoyable read not only illuminates Prince’s early career but also the context in which he created and the transformations happening in pop music and entertainment at the time.

Finally, if you need to rock away some of your sorrow, seek out the recording of Prince’s 2007 Super Bowl halftime show, arguably one of the best there has ever been.

RIP, Prince. You and your music will be missed.

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The Last of Us: Docs Featuring Endangered Species

DBRL Next - April 27, 2016
the chances of the world changing

the chances of the world changing

Bringing endangered species back from the brink has long been a concern of scientists and conservationists. Check out these documentaries that not only explore several endangered species, but also explore some of the people interested in preserving them.

the chances of the world changing

The Chances of the World Changing” (2006)

An artist abandons his life’s work to build an ark filled with hundreds of endangered animals. But his growing “ark” and preservation efforts are threatening to exhaust him, both mentally and financially. A story about time, death, art, love and turtles.

ghost birdGhost Bird” (2009)

Set in a murky swamp full of birders, scientists and reporters, this thrilling eco-noir investigates the strange but true story of a small town in Arkansas overrun by a nation of birders all in search of the Holy Grail with wings, the ivory-billed woodpecker.

racing extinction

Racing Extinction” (2016)

Academy Award-winning filmmakers expose the forces that are leading our planet to its next mass extinction, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. This film reveals how creatures that have survived for millions of years may be wiped from Earth in our lifetime.

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Top Ten Books Librarians Love: The May 2016 List

DBRL Next - April 25, 2016

Library Reads LogoSupernatural thrillers, compelling historical fiction and a boatload of mysteries? Summer reading must be coming! Enjoy this month’s LibraryReads list of books publishing next month that librarians across the country recommend.

Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Backman
“Britt-Marie is a woman who is used to her life being organized. But when she leaves her cheating spouse and takes a temporary job as caretaker of the recreation center in the tiny town of Borg, her life changes in unpredictable ways. With its wonderful cast of oddball characters and sly sense of humor, this novel is sure to capture readers’ hearts. Highly recommended.” – Vicki Nesting, St. Charles Parish Library, Destrehan, LA

Book cover for The Fireman by Joe HillThe Fireman” by Joe Hill
“’The Fireman’ is a novel that will keep you up reading all night. No one really knows where the deadly Dragonscale spore originated but many theories abound. The most likely is that as the planet heats up, the spore is released into the atmosphere. Harper Willowes is a young, pregnant nurse who risks her own health to tend to others.This is her story and I loved it! This is one of the most creative takes on apocalyptic literature that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended for all Hill and King fans.” – Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven” by Chris Cleave
“Set during World War II and loosely based on the author’s own grandparents, this was a strikingly honest look at the changes that war creates on a country’s landscape and its people. These changes were so strongly shown by the progressive style of this novel. Bit by bit, we are privy to each character’s transformation. What a great tribute to what they endured. War gives birth to many endings, also to many beginnings. Bittersweet.” – Lori Elliott, Kershaw County Library, SC

Here’s the rest of the list for your holds-placing pleasure:

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What You Don’t Know About Earth Day

DBRL Next - April 22, 2016

earth-day-vector-01Many here in Missouri don’t know, but I used to be an environmental microbiologist in another lifetime. It seems so long ago! Consequently, I am always very excited when Earth Day approaches. I usually try to read new environmental books as soon as they hit the shelves, but they seem to come faster and faster these days. One that slipped by me is “The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation” by Adam Rome, published in 2013, so I picked it up this year to get me in the spirit. There’s so much I didn’t know!

Rome reports that before the first Earth Day in 1970, there was not an official environmental movement. Climate change was not yet a popularly known concept (scientists already knew but they were being cautious). The environment was actually considered “women’s work” as a part of housekeeping and was championed primarily by housewives and groups like the League of Women Voters. Other groups, like the Sierra Club and The National Audubon Society, came at the environment from a different perspective — conservation for the purposes of outdoor recreation. There were individual groups in different cities working on issues like smog and different polluted sites. Rome writes, “Earth Day did not just mobilize activists to demonstrate the growing power of their cause. In several ways, Earth Day helped to create the movement. Earth Day gave environmental activism a name. Earth Day also convinced many Americans that pollution, sprawl, nuclear fallout, pesticide use, wilderness preservation, waste disposal, and population growth were not separate issues.”

Book cover for Silent SpringEvents of the late 1960s made the time right for a cohesive movement to form. The war in Vietnam was raging on with all of the environmental destruction that went with it. Rachel Carson’s iconic book “Silent Spring” came out in 1962 and sent shock waves. The Civil Rights movement was heating up, many facets of which involved environmental issues. But the idea of Earth Day grew out of the interest and passion of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Nelson decided to bring the environment, overall, to the public’s attention with a “teach in.” He wisely decided to not go with a top-down approach and began involving different groups on campuses and in various cities. From there, it exploded. From the very first Earth Day, there was not just one event, but somewhere between 12,000-13,000 events! Although many colleges were included in some of the initial planning, it wasn’t long before high schools and elementary schools began to request information and ask to be included. Some of the most successful events (not all of them were successful) were in New York, Cleveland, Miami, Birmingham and Salina. Yes, you read that correctly.  Salina, Kansas.

I find it incredible that Earth Day has become so huge, so expected, considering where it began. Columbia’s Earth Day celebration is this weekend, Sunday, April 24. (The event will be moved to May 1 if it’s raining – but the weather looks clear so far!) I love that it’s in Peace Park. On a related note, you can pick up a free tree seedling from the Missouri Department of Conservation for Arbor Day on Saturday, April 23, if you stop by the Columbia Public library from 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. or the Callaway County Public Library in Fulton from 9 a.m.- noon.

As usual, I have made a list of all my favorite environmental books (and a couple of DVDs) from the last several years.  Happy Earth Day!!!!

Image credit: Designed by Freepik

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