Literary Links: Urban Planning

Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2021 by The Biblio-Buckeroo

The field of urban, or city planning covers all aspects of a city, including housing, economic development, infrastructure, land use, environmental policy and transportation. And a lot goes into planning a well-functioning city. For example, a simple decision to plant trees along streets can increase property value, decrease air pollution, cool streets and sidewalks and decrease rainwater run-off. Many cities now are finding innovative ways to improve the lives of their citizens. Continue reading “Literary Links: Urban Planning”

Books Unite Us: Censorship Divides Us

Posted on Monday, September 27, 2021 by Reading Addict

“A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”  ~Mary Jo Godwin, Librarian

It’s fall again and another Banned Books Week is here, September 26 to October 2. This year’s theme is Books Unite Us: Censorship Divides Us. I have written several posts about banned books in the past detailing why various books are banned or challenged. This year, I would like to take a different approach and talk more generally about censorship, how libraries build collections to serve communities, and how our library system approaches challenges. Continue reading “Books Unite Us: Censorship Divides Us”

Read The Recipe!

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 by Jason Delpire

This is the first of a new blog series, Read the Recipe! Each month, I will review a cookbook that interests me. Sometimes, these will be new titles in our collection, others will be classics that may deserve another look. Each review will be from the view of a competent cook, but I hope to show the achievability of each chosen recipe. Full disclosure: in my former life, I spent some time in professional kitchens, but I am by no means a chef. I plan to make a few dishes from each book, preferably an entire meal, share photos of my process or finished products.

The Family Meal book coverMy first title is “The Family Meal” by Ferran Adria & Eugeni de Diego. Ferran Adria ran arguably the best restaurant in the world, El Bulli, from the mid-1980s to 2011. Eugeni de Diego was a chef at El Bulli, and after the restaurant’s closing, he moved on to his own restaurant chain, A Pluma in Barcelona. Continue reading “Read The Recipe!”

Garden Dreams

Posted on Monday, September 20, 2021 by MaggieM


Zinnia FlowersThe mornings last week had the feeling of fall with cooler air and a sprinkling of early leaves floating down. All summer long, I’ve been thinking about what changes and additions I want to make to our gardens for next year. I’ve been waiting for the cooler weather to get to work on a vegetable garden, so I’m excited to move forward in sub 90 degree temperatures. Continue reading “Garden Dreams”

Crafternoon-To-Go: Rolled Beeswax Candles

Posted on Monday, September 13, 2021 by cs

Finally! We can welcome the first day of fall next week. I am hoping for many clear, crisp days with chilly nights, a fire in my chimenea and a candle to complete the scene. While there are no promises on the weather, we can help your fall ambiance with our next crafternoon kit for adults: beeswax candles. It is super easy, as we have beeswax sheets that can be rolled around the wick. These kits will be available while they last in all of our branches on Friday, September 17. You may pick them up at the second floor reference desk at the Columbia library and near the service desks at our other branches.

There are instructions and supplies in your kit to make two small candles or one larger one. If you find the written instructions difficult, check out this video for more assistance. This is an inexpensive craft that can be done with friends and family and we have many more library resources if you want to expand your candle-making skills.

Bright Spots in August

Posted on Friday, August 27, 2021 by MaggieM

Parsnip Swallowtail butterfly on a coneflower.
A Parsnip Swallowtail butterfly sips nectar from a coneflower. Photo credit Maggie_M

August is not usually considered a great time to be outside in Missouri. The weather is hot and humid. Except for a few wildflowers blooming many plants seem to give up this time of year and wait for cooler weather — not a bad strategy if you ask me. But this August, I’ve noticed a couple bright spots in my outside observations that are worth sharing

Just this morning I saw several species of large, vibrant butterflies on my morning dog walk. The Monarch butterflies are suddenly plentiful, floating around on their orange and black stained-glass wings. There were also Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), Parsnip Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) and Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) and many smaller species that I don’t know at a glance. Other insect life is plentiful as well. I frequently see a variety of wasps collecting spiders and other quarry as food for their larvae. An iridescent Rainbow Beetle (Phanaenus vindex), a type of dung beetle, lumbered across the road. The next generation of carpenter bees are emerging and buzzing around, as are many other species of bees (I need to learn more of these). A hawk moth, which imitates hummingbirds and forages during the day, darted between and hovered over flowers. My short walk up the road with my dogs was full of bright surprises. Continue reading “Bright Spots in August”

Pandemic Dogs

Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 by MaggieM

I was one of the thousands who adopted a dog during the pandemic. Our new dog, Freya, is an intelligent, sweet and motivated young German Shepherd mix. We had a bit of a bumpy ride integrating her into the family back in March 2020, so I had already been working with a local trainer on obedience when I saw “The Art of Training Your Dog, How to Gently Teach Good Behavior Using an E-Collar” by the Monks of New Skete and Marc Goldberg in our new books collection and knew that I wanted to check it out. Continue reading “Pandemic Dogs”

Digital Escape Room: Trapped in a Folk Tale

Posted on Friday, July 2, 2021 by Anne

During these hot, steamy days of summer, we’re often stuck inside. I love to curl up with a good book or movie and a cold drink. I imagine many of you do as well. But sometimes we need a bit more stimulation, something to give the brain a bit of a workout. If that sounds appealing to you, you might want to give our digital escape room a try.

little red writing hood illustrationA digital escape room works very much like one of our in-person rooms in that you work to solve puzzles that will help you come up with the combinations for a variety of types of locks. In this newest digital escape room, Trapped in a Folk Tale, a visit to your local library leads you into a world of folk and fairy tales. Characters have gone missing from the stories and it’s up to you to help them get back to their worlds. Do you think you have what it takes to find all the clues?

This room is geared towards adults, but would be fine for ages 12 and up (maybe even younger if you have some little problem-solvers in your household). It’s something you can work on by yourself or you could pair up with members of your household to solve. Because it’s available online, you might even set up an escape room night with family or friends who live far away and have a little friendly competition to see who can escape first.

Give it a try and let us know if you were able to get out!


Image credit: Summerly, Felix, Little Red Riding Hood via Flickr (license

LGBT+ Voices: Online Archives on Coming Out

Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 by Jessica S

June is a time to remember the Stonewall Riots (or Stonewall Uprising/Stonewall Rebellion). In 1969, what started as an act of protest has become a way to continue to celebrate the LGBT+ Community and promote activism within the community.

Selective Focus Photography of Scrabble Pride on White and Multicolored Background

As we are distant this year, with hope in the future for less distance Pride events, here are a few websites to hear and share LGBT Voices. Through these online resources, there are avenues for expression, stories, and creation of spaces to keep and protect voices that might otherwise be lost. Continue reading “LGBT+ Voices: Online Archives on Coming Out”