Virtual Travels with UNESCO

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 by JessB

File:Mammoth Cave tour.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Mammoth Cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


With travel restricted, sometimes the best way to explore is through the pages of a book! There are a lot of exciting places that you can explore without leaving World Heritage Sitesthe comfort of your home. Around the world, there are a seemingly endless number of locations valued for their beautiful landscapes, cultural traditions and rich history. Some of these places are recognized for their natural and cultural value, and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This organization is a world-wide group that is devoted to promoting [cultural diversity, safeguarding natural resources, and protecting culturally meaningful sites around the globe.

Did you know there are over 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world? That means a lot of beautiful and richly diverse places to explore — and some of those places are closer than you might think! To see the entire list of natural and cultural World Heritage Sites check out World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 1,031 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Continue reading “Virtual Travels with UNESCO”

Take-Home Crafternoon Kit: Polymer Clay Tiles

Posted on Friday, August 14, 2020 by cs

Polymer clay tiles on a black background
Clay design and photo by Sally Barnes

Since they were babies, my husband made Christmas ornaments significant for that year for our children out of polymer clay. I was always fascinated with the details of the ornaments, but found that clay hard to work with. That changed when I attended a workshop held by one of my colleagues on creating tiles with Sculpey clay — a polymer clay that is more pliable and easy to work with. There were examples shown of using the clay tiles to make boxes, picture frames and other decorative items. Continue reading “Take-Home Crafternoon Kit: Polymer Clay Tiles”

Getting Campy on Kanopy

Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 by Abbey Rimel

After a stressful trip to the grocery store, which has become a maze of confusing one-way aisles, what do you do to unwind? You’ve sprayed down all your groceries with disinfectant, taken your shower and put on your sweats. Time to fire up the old streaming service, am I right? Now comes the question:  do you binge or do you comfort watch? Binge watching relies upon that human impulse to learn what happens next — you’re following story arcs, investing in characters and on the edge of your seat.

When you comfort-view, the pressure is off — you know what to expect already. Comfort watching immerses you in nostalgia for a time in your life, or in the familiar tropes of a beloved genre.  Me, I like some good old-fashioned comfort T.V. Lately, the genre I’ve been craving is goofy old B-grade movies. The kind of campy sci-fi that makes me laugh at the loosely constructed plots, the terrible special effects and the sheer lunacy behind the premise of the script.  I find it comforting that grown adults spent good money producing these preposterous films. Continue reading “Getting Campy on Kanopy”

Virtual Education with the Alzheimer’s Association

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 by JessB

In the midst of a pandemic, feeling connected is so important now more than ever. That is especially true for people who are acting as caregivers to friends, family, or loved ones. The role of caregiver can often be stressful, challenging, and exhausting, both mentally and physically. Since the library is unable offer our regular group meeting spaces, the Alzheimer’s Association is providing a number of free virtual education programs for the month of July and beyond. Continue reading “Virtual Education with the Alzheimer’s Association”

Imagine Your Story: Legends of Local Black History

Posted on Monday, July 20, 2020 by Cap'n Ludd

Learn about a local myth or legend

Rather than immerse myself in mythic, far-off lands, I preferred to keep my Summer Reading challenge close to home. Activities from this year’s program motivated me to explore the rich Black history in mid-Missouri. First embarking on the African-American Heritage Trail, I learned about local legends like Annie Fisher, the nationally-renowned “Biscuit Queen,” music venues like McKinney Hall that hosted jazz icons and the Sharp End Black business district, which was razed for urban renewal in the mid-twentieth century. Here you’ll find suggestions for completing the entire challenge while educating yourself about the fascinating heritage of Black folks in our city and state. Continue reading “Imagine Your Story: Legends of Local Black History”

Catalog Tricks: Browsing the Shelves Online

Posted on Friday, July 3, 2020 by Dewey Decimal Diver

The serendipity of finding books through browsing is one of the powerful features of libraries. You might think that browsing the shelves online is impossible, but I’m here to tell you it can be done right inside our DBRL catalog. The feature is called “Browse by Call Number,” but note that the feature is unfortunately missing for mobile users — it only works for browsing the catalog on a desktop computer or tablet. Continue reading “Catalog Tricks: Browsing the Shelves Online”

Waste-Free Home Cooking

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020 by Cap'n Ludd

frozen food scraps
Try freezing food scraps to make a delicious broth once you’ve accumulated enough ingredients

Between the bountiful summer harvest and the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many of us at home, the time is ripe for minimizing food waste from our home kitchens. There are so many ways to get the most use out of our food, like using all of the edible parts of proteins and produce or stretching the shelf-life of items by dehydrating or pickling.

“Every last bit of vegetable and protein contains nutrition and flavor waiting to be savored”
– wisdom from The Soupmaker’s Kitchen

Continue reading “Waste-Free Home Cooking”

Pollinator Week 2020

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020 by Eric

Pollinator Week LogoToday brings us into the home stretch of pollinator week. I trust that you have been outside all week, feverishly pollinating plants by hand. Hard work, isn’t it? It’s a lot easier when we let nature’s other creatures do that work, but we need to have enough of those creatures to pollinate the plants. Otherwise, there could be problems.

Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators, and pollinators add 217 billion dollars to the global economy. As if that wasn’t enough, they also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife. So, a problem for pollinators can easily become a problem for us.

The designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” was a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Some of the ways you can help are to utilize plants that support pollinators, support local beekeepers, practice conservation and be a responsible steward of the environment.

“What are these pollinators?” you say? Thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation, we have a beautiful collection of photographs of some. Continue reading “Pollinator Week 2020”

Books on Espionage and the Allied Invasion

Posted on Friday, June 5, 2020 by Seth

June 6 is the 76th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Europe, otherwise known as D-Day or Operation Overlord. While the military invasion has been recounted ad-nauseum over the decades, what is far less well-known is how espionage and deception were perhaps just as crucial to the success of the operation. The British Secret Service, MI6, which ran nearly all of the espionage efforts, was an efficient enterprise run by genius spymasters. Their uncanny success was assisted even further by the fact that they had broken the German Enigma code and could intercept nearly all messages sent to German spies (See “Enigma: The Battle for the Code” for a thorough account of this breakthrough). Special agents involved in espionage ran the gamut. From mad fantasists to scions of old European aristocracy and ne’er-do-wells who could seduce, lie and cajole their gullible German handlers, they were a crop of outlandish and brilliant women and men who helped turn the tide of war. Continue reading “Books on Espionage and the Allied Invasion”

Catalog Tricks: Follow What Others Are Reading

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Following what others are reading is one of my favorite features of the DBRL catalog. When we switched to the catalog powered by BiblioCommons 10 years ago, the social features were seldom used. In the last few years this has changed dramatically, and there is now a vibrant community of patrons and librarians who share what they are reading with the community. Let’s go over the basics to get you started.

How to follow others in the catalog:

1. Log in to your library account.
2. Browse the catalog & click on a contributor’s username.
3. On their profile page, click “Follow.”

Once you follow someone, you might have to wait a while for them to contribute to the catalog. When they do, a notification of their activity will show up in your newsfeed. Please note: Your newsfeed will be blank until the people you follow share new items.

How to view your newsfeed:

1. Log in to your library account.
2. Go to “My Profile” in the top right drop-down menu.
3. Click on the “Community” link.

It might be a bit overwhelming to see all the information that’s displayed on your full newsfeed. I often will use the “Filter by” drop-down near the top right to limit it to “Item Rated,” “Comment Created” or “List Created.”

How to find people to follow:

1. Check the main DBRL catalog page for recent lists and reviews from local users.
2. Follow a person who has left a comment on a book that you liked.
3. Find a list on a subject that interests you and follow the list creator.

Keep in mind that many of the people you find will be local, but some of them may be in the over 200 libraries that BiblioCommons services. You can see which library the user is affiliated with by looking at their profile page under their username.