dear body of water: a poetic water-harvesting project 🌊

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2024 by Grae

Did you know the Missouri River — also belovedly known as the Big Muddy, the Mighty Mo, and Mnišoše (“turbid water”) by the Dakota and Lakota — is the longest river on the North American continent?! This wide river of silt and sediment churns its way for over 2000 miles from western Montana down across and through six other states to merge with the Mississippi and on to the Gulf of Mexico, and its watershed drains around 1/6 (!!!) of the United States’ landmass over an area of 500,000 square miles. If you’re not a numbers person (🎶it’s me, hiiiiiii!🎶), here’s a visual representation of the breadth of the Missouri’s drainage basin, highlighted in light green below:

Image of a map of the continental United States of America (no Hawaii or Alaska) with six major river basins highlighted in light green, light blue, pink, gold, dark blue, and yellow. The river basins highlighted include clockwise the Missouri River basin (in green), the Upper Mississippi River Basin (in light blue), the Ohio River Basin (in pink), the Tennessee River Basin (in gold), the Lower Mississippi River Basin (in dark blue), and the Arkansas-White-Red River Basin (in yellow).

It will never not be astonishing to me that here in Mid-Missouri we are so close to such a robust and essential body of water and river-system, one that I believe deserves our reverence and respect. If you feel the same way, I encourage you to participate in Dear Body of Water, a communal interdisciplinary art project dreamed up from the scientifically poetic mind and experience of Gretchen E. Henderson. Continue reading “dear body of water: a poetic water-harvesting project 🌊”

Why “The Lord of the Rings” Movies are Better Than the Books

Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 by Laura W

"Laura's Love of Lord of the Rings Part 2" with a stylized sword, wizard, elf, and Hobbit hole

Obviously, I am an avid lover of books. In fact, I love books so much that I am one of those people who thinks that the book is almost always better than the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love adaptations; There are some that are incredibly well done. For instance, the new Percy Jackson series on Disney Plus is insanely good. They did a fantastic job capturing what made the books so magical for so many people. But generally, no matter how good I think a movie is, I still tend to think the book is better. There is just something about the medium of literature that cannot be outdone. This fact holds true for everything except one of my all-time favorite series: “The Lord of the Rings.” If I believe that books are better than movies nine out of ten times, why would I change my mind for arguably one of the most influential series of the 20th century? Read on to uncover the mystery. Continue reading “Why “The Lord of the Rings” Movies are Better Than the Books”

Why Everyone Should Watch “The Lord of The Rings” Movies

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 by Laura W

Cover image that says "Laura's Love of Lord of the Rings: Part 1"


If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’d know that I am a lover of all things fantasy. I pretty much essentially only read fantasy. I play mostly fantasy video games. If I could dress in fantasy inspired clothing every day, I absolutely would. My love of fantasy started pretty young, but the one franchise that really solidified it for me was “The Lord of the Rings.”

I first saw the movies when I was about 12 years old. From that point on, I have consistently watched them at LEAST once a year. I genuinely believe that everyone should watch those movies, regardless of whether they’re into fantasy or not. Here’s my top 3 reasons why: Continue reading “Why Everyone Should Watch “The Lord of The Rings” Movies”

Book & Canvas Wall Art

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 by Megan

Getting rid of old books is hard, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! If you have old books lying around that are slightly damaged or maybe you got an updated edition – don’t throw them away. Turn them into art! We love repurposing old books here at the library and below we have listed all the supplies and instructions you need to turn your old books into a masterpiece. Continue reading “Book & Canvas Wall Art”

This or That (Taylor’s Version)

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 by DBRLTeen

Taylor Swift with blue hair and a white t-shirt and a black and white photo of Taylor Swift. Text reads This or That Taylor's version

“In 2008, in the basement AV room of the public library, my dad handed me a couple CDs he thought I might like: Paramore’s ‘Riot’ and Taylor Swift’s ‘Fearless.’ It’s been 16 years, and I love my public library (and Taylor Swift) more than ever.”

-Anna, DBRL’s self-appointed lead Taylor Swift expert and scholar.

In honor of Taylor’s new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” we’ve created some “This or That” posters where you can vote on songs, music videos, albums, and outfits with star-shaped stickers. You can find these posters at the Columbia Public Library in the Children’s section and with the Teen books. While you’re here you can also pick up some of Taylor’s CDs or a few books!

Don’t worry if you can’t make it into the building – you can also cast your votes online! We’ll post the results on Instagram @dbrlteen.

Poetry Talks: Conversational Forms To Write With Your Friends

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 by Grae

April 2024 National Poetry Month poster, featuring a chalky illustration of a brown-skinned child with long black hair and wearing a red tankini forming a cannonball with their body and jumping into a lake. The words "And may you / in your / innocence / sail / through / this / to / that" cascade diagonally across the poster.

Even though sad boy T.S. Eliot (who was born and raised in St. Louis btw) famously wrote “April is the cruellest month,” April is an exhilarating time to be a reader, writer and admirer of poetry: it’s National Poetry Month, y’all! Whether you’re a life-long fan of poetry’s inscrutable magic, or someone who doesn’t quite get what all the fuss is about, I promise that there’s a place for you somewhere in the wide poetry wilds. To riff on the common idiom, there are plenty of fish poems in the sea poetry. 🐠🌊 And, to extend my metaphor just a bit, like many marine animals who survive in the vast blues of open ocean, I find that reading and writing poetry is an experience best explored, practiced and performed with your community around you.

Poems, after all, function a little bit differently from stories and essays. Nonfiction and fiction titles might ask you to figure something out, to learn new information or to consider a unique or unifying perspective. Nonfiction and fiction often, though not always, have discrete answers to questions like “what’s happening or has happened or will happen” or “who is/was/will be this person, this animal, this environment, this object, this culture, this thing?” Poetry isn’t so concerned with answers, or perhaps a better way to put it is that poetry is concerned with both the asking and the answering, with the experience of questioning, of wondering, of (un)knowing. Ultimately, poetry ask-answers its creators and receivers, writers and readers, to participate in a fluid and multidirectional — even multidimensional — process of meaning or meaning-making.

Continue reading “Poetry Talks: Conversational Forms To Write With Your Friends”

Caring for Houseplants = Caring for You

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 by Megan

A close up of a plant with green leaves. Text reads Caring for Houseplants = Caring for You

It’s officially spring as of yesterday! And if you’re like me springtime can be a mix of joy and misery. Joy! 😃 The sun is out longer, the weather is warming up and flowers blooming. Misery. 😭 The flowers are blooming. I’m an indoor cat through and through, so I’ll just sit in a sunbeam and soak up the spring vibes from the comfort of my couch. That doesn’t mean I can’t bring some nature indoors – I’m looking at you, houseplants! Having houseplants is a great way to get a daily dose of nature without all the itchy, watery eyes. Caring for houseplants is also a great form of self-care. Here are just a few benefits (according to WebMD):

  • Stress relief – being around plants can have a calming effect
  • Sharper focus – in classrooms with potted plants students performed better on tests than those without any plants
  • Better mental health – nurturing your plants can also nurture your emotional health

Continue reading “Caring for Houseplants = Caring for You”

Collectors and Their Collections

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 by Nigel Church

You are of an age to be collecting things, I know this because you are of an age to be reading this blog. And if this happens to be the first thing you’ve ever read, congratulations! There will be many more words to collect in your future.

My collecting of things started, and you awarded no points for guessing this, with books. Or rather with book. My first book, let’s say Green Eggs and Ham, was not a collection. One, because I did not acquire it deliberately and you cannot collect things without some level of intent. And two, because I drooled on it* and put it in my mouth and if you are going to collect a thing you shouldn’t drool on it, even if it’s like baby bibs or something, and you shouldn’t put it in your mouth unless you are collecting Olympic gold medals and then only the once. Continue reading “Collectors and Their Collections”