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”

Crafternoon-To-Go: Hanging Paper Stars

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2021 by cs

Blue skies, sunny days, open windows and flowers blooming everywhere: all of the bright and shiny celebrations of spring. This month’s Crafternoon-To-Go: Hanging Paper Stars project is a perfect way to increase spring’s glow. They’re super easy to make, and then you can hang it in a window — or anyplace you want. These are also great decorations for a summer gathering, a birthday party or another special occasion. Continue reading “Crafternoon-To-Go: Hanging Paper Stars”

The New U.S. Chess Boom

Posted on Friday, May 7, 2021 by Jason Delpire

boy sitting looking at giant chess boardIn the United States, chess has seemingly been held at arm’s length, generally thought of as a game for rainy days and old men in parks. A few times in the past 170 years, interest has swelled to a more appropriate representation of the populace. Understandably, these surges usually coincide with the ascension of a prominent player to the world stage. Most notably, this happened when Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship in 1972.  Continue reading “The New U.S. Chess Boom”

International Compost Awareness Week

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2021 by Kat

International Compost Awareness Week posterThe Environmental Protection Agency explains what compost is and why it’s important: “Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away, and could be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.” Continue reading “International Compost Awareness Week”

Earth Day and Localism

Posted on Monday, April 19, 2021 by Seth

Have you ever taken a drive through the countryside in Mid-Missouri and were amazed at the vast lawns that people spend hours mowing, which otherwise could be used as arable land? Have you ever thought about the possibilities of “farming your yard,” even a small patch of land in a nice sunny spot on your front lawn? Did you know that most of the food that we enjoy invariably comes at a high fuel cost?

Each Earth Day we reflect on many different perspectives for how climate change can be mitigated. Some believe that producing a chemical cloud across the planet, thus reducing the heat of the sun, would be a good thing. Others feel that drastic policy measures on a global scale must be made. The Kyoto and Paris Accords, for instance, are a great examples of monolithic recommendations that would happen on a unfathomably large policy scale. However, what if the climate problems aren’t merely so fixable by pure policy? Perhaps they are also fixable though our attitudes toward human existence itself. Some thinkers believe that many of our environmentally destructive behaviors are actually created by globalism, manic consumerism and unfettered technological advances. Many writers, some of them quite obscure, others lost in the mists of time, have called for something slightly less futuristic to combat climate change: a return to localism. Continue reading “Earth Day and Localism”

Callery Pear Tree Buy-Back

Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 by Ida

Long ago, when I first had a yard that was mine to do with as I wished, my ignorance was vast. I bought plants based only on what looked pretty. Over the years, I’ve become aware of the importance of encouraging native plants and avoiding invasive species. My learning curve seems to have followed that of society in general. 

For a years, the Callery pear tree  — especially the Bradford variety — was a popular landscaping choice in the Midwest. Now we know it propagates with abandon, crowding out more beneficial greenery. But there’s a bit of good news for those suffering planter’s remorse.  Continue reading “Callery Pear Tree Buy-Back”

Autism Acceptance Month: Autism in Women

Posted on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 by Reading Addict

April is Autism Acceptance Month. Even though there are still a lot of stigmas and misconceptions surrounding autism, there is beginning to be a shift in perspective from autism as a disease to autism as a neural divergence, and from autism awareness to autism acceptance. According to the CDC, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.” In 2013, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) replaced Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders with the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Continue reading “Autism Acceptance Month: Autism in Women”

Change, Change, Change

Posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 by The Biblio-Buckeroo

Change is in the air. Spring is beginning to bloom. Baseball season is upon us. There is a new president and administration. People in 2020 protested for change in policing and civil rights matters. Society is adjusting to multi-culturalism, gender issues and calls for equity. The coronavirus is mutating while people scramble to get vaccinated. The BBC reports that the permafrost is melting across the northern hemisphere, and the last decade was the hottest on record. A 2019 report from the United Nations stated that more animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction than ever in human history. It’s a dizzying amount of change. Also, it is a broad topic for a blog post, which I appreciate. There’s a little something for everyone.

Let’s break it down. Continue reading “Change, Change, Change”

Crafternoon-To-Go: Mandala Rock Painting

Posted on Monday, March 22, 2021 by cs

Ready to enjoy a craft that is often used for relieving stress? (I would imagine this last year has been stressful for many of us.) Our April Crafternoon-To-Go kit has everything you need to paint a colorful mandala. Traditionally, a mandala has stood for circle or completion.  In various cultures and traditions, mandalas are often used as a spiritual guidance and meditative tool. But drawing a mandala is also fun and rock painting has become a popular (and pretty easy) craft activity.

mandala coverThere are instructions and supplies in your kit for painting the dot mandala with examples of other design options. And in honor of National Poetry month (April), we encourage you to write a favorite line of poetry or word on the other side — you can use the permanent marker included in your kit for this.  Keep your rock in a place that will remind you to take a breath and relax. Or you can leave it in a place for someone else to find and maybe they will take a needed breath as well. However, I must warn you mandala painting can be addictive; I think my family is worried our house is evolving into one huge mandala. Continue reading “Crafternoon-To-Go: Mandala Rock Painting”