Category Archives: Information

We’re back from the mostly dead!!

Have you missed me?

We didn’t drop off the face of the earth…we just took a little hiatus from the blog-life. We’re back now and will be posting semi-regularly until all the kiddos (read: Avila Students) run away from campus in May.

Since this blog has been mostly dead for a bit, I thought I’d take the time to update you on the happenings at your friendly neighborhood library & learning commons.

We’ve been in our fresh new digs for a semester now, and have pretty well figured out what works and what doesn’t! Two things have been made abundantly clear to us:

  1. Avila Students really really really dig the writable walls. We get fresh drawings daily along with walls written on top to bottom with nursing and psychology notes. Sometimes it’s clear that the students doing to work were just killing time while they drew a five foot tall little mermaid but others are taking the time to draw and label a multi-panel picture of the human body. It’s…interesting…to see what new stuff will be there every day!
  2. Avila Students really really really want a coffee shop…and we can’t deliver it. It’s a bummer to the students that our campus can’t seem to get a legitimate coffee shop installed…it’s a bummer to the staff as well. We did our best with what we were given, and have provided you guys with a coffee/hot drink vending machine (which makes decent beverages), some normal vending machines, a pair of microwaves, some prep space, a sink, and some cabinet space. We wanted more too, but this will have to do for now. Sorry guys!

Listening to student (and staff) complaints is not all that we do though! We’ve begun improving our already improved spaces by adding a mounted camera into the Presentation Room, so any presentations or practices or meetings or whatever can be caught on “film” if so desired. We’re working on making it more accessible, but for the time being–we’ve got that at least!

We’re also in the planning stages to create a number of new workshops and discussions that will be taking place during the next few months and in the Fall. Is there anything you would be interested in learning about? We’re always looking for fresh ideas…ours get a little stale. So far we know we’d like to talk about researching–the how to’s and what do I do’s–and how to not going to jail for copyright infringement. We’re also toying with the idea of an iPhone photography series. Thoughts?

Finally…yes, this is going to be a fairly quick and painless experience today…I am preparing to create some new things for Stress Relief Week in the library. We usually band together with Avila Student Life/GAP to host Doughnut Day and afternoon fancy snacks during that week and the last couple semesters we’ve put out coloring sheets and coffee for student brain breaks. This semester I’d like to bring more people in for stress relief activities. At this point games are on the menu–normal games like monopoly and life, card games, complicated games like Settlers of Catan and Powergrid, and MAYBE a set of giant Yahtzee dice. I think the giant dice would go over best…how about you? The other day is “solidarity day”–where the librarians/library staff are encouraged to show up in PJ’s and we’ll have healthy study snacks around. Just some ideas

Is there something you’d like us to do? We’re on the hunt for programming ideas and I could use a fresh brain or two to pick!

Keep an eye out for more posts soon! We’re glad to be back and look forward to posting some new and entertaining stuff soon!

-Friendly Neighborhood Blogging Librarian

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The Banned, The Burned, and The Removed!

Early in September  we set up our banned books display…which some of you may have noticed. I hope. It’s fairly modest, but definitely there. Banned books week ran from the 21st-28th. We were a little early in setting up and we’re going keep it up for a little longer in hopes that you’ll pick up a banned book to read Feed your rebel side!!

about 150 books are sitting out there in honor of banned books week because they have been banned or challenged at some point in their “life” since publication. Some were banned almost immediately upon publication, others challenged periodically through the years. Some are banned for obvious reasons while others have nearly outlandish reasons. For a few of the books on the display, we’ve provided you with the main reason for the ban or challenge…but do you want to know what got most of them on the list? You’re in luck! Here is a hefty list of books (many that we’ve got on display) and the reasons they’ve been so persecuted.

Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Challenged at the Baptist College in Charleston, SC in 1987. Why? Apparently people were offended by the “language and sexual references in the book”.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Perpetually challenged since it’s publication…no fewer than 30 times in the states alone. In 1960 a teacher from Tulsa, OK was fired for assigning the book to an 11th grade English class. While the teacher was reinstated, the book was still removed from the curriculum and the school. Some of the “favorite” reasons for banning the book are: language, sexual content, ‘defamatory to minorities, God, women, and the disabled’, blasphemous, undermines morality, anti-white, and my personal favorite: it’s a “filthy, filthy book”.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This award winner was burned by the East St. Louis Public Library in 1939 because of “vulgar words”. In 1973 Turkish booksellers and publishers were arrested and put on trial for ‘publishing, processing and selling books in violation of an order of the Istanbul Martial Law Command’, those arrested faced a month to six months jail time and had their books confiscated.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Warren, IN Township Schools challenged the book in 1981 because the book does “deep psychological damage to the positive integration process” and “represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature”. Lee’s work is called out often, even today, for it’s language.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Along with 17 other titles, The Color Purple, was challenged by a group called ‘Parents Against Bad Books’ (super creative name, guys…). They opposed its inclusion in Fairfax County, VA elementary and secondary schools, saying that the books “contain profanity and depictions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture”.

Ulysses by James Joyce

Burned in the United States in 1918, Ireland (Joyce’s own country) and Canada in 1922, and England in 1923!

Beloved by Toni Morrison

In 2006 a board member for district 214 in Arlington Heights, IL tried to get Beloved and a few other titles removed from the NW Suburban High School. She was elected amid promises to bring her Christian beliefs into all board decision making and raised the issue for these books based on EXCERPTS she found on the INTERNET. Because everything we read on the internet is true, right?

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Challenged in 1981 at the Owen, NC high school because it is “demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal”. You don’t say?

1984 by George Orwell

Challenged in Jackson Co., FL in 1981 because it was “pro-communist”. I wonder if they read the book…

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Banned in France (1956-59), England (1955-59), Argentina (1959), and New Zealand (1960)…because of disturbing sexual content.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Banned in Ireland (1953), Syracuse, IN (1974), Oil City, PA (1977), Grand Blanc, MI (1979), Continental, OH (1980), and many others. In 1989 it was challenged as a summer youth program reading assignment in Chattanooga, TN. The reasoning: “Steinbeck is known to have had an anti-business attitude” and “He was very questionable as to his patriotism”.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Challenged in Snoqualmie, WA (1979) due to several references to women as “whores”

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Removed from classrooms in Miller, MO in 1980 because “it makes promiscuous sex look like fun”.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

In a Wisconsin survey it was revealed that the John Birch Society had challenged the novel because it objected to the words “masses in revolt”. A similar study was done in 1968 by NY States English Council’s Committee on Defense Against Censorship using NY State English classrooms. It was found that Animal Farm had landed on it’s list of “problem books” because “Orwell was a communist”….seriously?

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Burned in Nazi bonfires in 1933. Banned in Boston (‘30), Ireland (‘53), Riverside & San Jose, CA (‘60)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Banned in the Graves County school district in Mayfield, KY in 1986 because it contains “offensive and obscene passages referring to abortion and used God’s name in vain”.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

First, the June 1929 issue of Scribner’s Magazine, which ran the novel, was banned in Boston, MA. Then, it was banned in Italy (1929) because it is a painfully accurate account of the italian retreat from Caporetto, Italy. Then, burned by Nazi’s in 1933. And finally, challenged in Vernon-Verona-Sherill, NY school district in 1988 as a “sex novel”.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Challenged for sexual explicitness in Brentsville, VA (1977).

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Challenged in Columbus, OH  school in 1993; the complainant believed the book contained language degrading to blacks.

Native Son by Richard Wright

Removed from Irvington High School in Fremont, CA in 1998 after a few parents complained the book was unnecessarily violent and sexually explicit.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

In 1975 five residents of Strongsville, OH sued the board of education to remove the novel, labeling it “pornographic” and charged that the novel “glorifies criminal activity, has a tendency to corrupt juviniles, and contains descriptions of beastiality, bizarre violence, and torture, dismemberment, death, and human elimination”. It was banned in 1978 from St. Anthony, ID’s Freemont HS classrooms and the instructor was fired (the instructor sued but a decision was never published).

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

BURNED in Drake, ND in 1973! In 1985, it was challenged in the Owensboro, KY high school library because of “foul language, a section depicting a picture of an act of beastiality, a reference to ‘magic fingers’ attached to the protagonists bed to help him sleep, and the sentence: ‘The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the fly of God Almighty’”.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Declared “unmailable” by the U.S. Postal Service in 1940. In 1973 Turkish booksellers and publishers were put on trial and faced a month to six months imprisonment for “spreading propaganda unfavorable to the state”.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Banned in Italy and Yugoslavia in 1929 and then burned by the Nazi’s in 1933.

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Challenged as required reading in Husten Falls, NY Schools in 1994 because the book has recurring themes of rape, masterbation, voilence, and degrading treatment of women.

The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien

Burned in Alamogordo, NM in 2001 outside of Christ Community Church (along with other Tolkien works) as satanic.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Burned by the Nazi’s in 1933 because of Sinclair’s socialist views. Also, banned in Yugoslavia in 1929 and in East Germany (as inimical to communism) in 1956.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover D.H. Lawrence

Banned by U.S. Customs (1929), Ireland (1932), Poland (1932), Australia (1959), Japan (1959), India (1959), and Canada (1960-62). Dissemination of the novel was stopped in China in 1987 because the book “will corrupt the minds of young people and is against the Chinese tradition”.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

1973, a bookseller in Orem, Utah was arrested for selling the novel. Though charges were dropped, the seller was still forced to close the store and relocate to a different city. The novel was removed from schools in Aurora, CO (1976), Westport, MA (1977), and Anniston, AL (1982) for “objectionable language”.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Though published in 1899, the novel was banished for decades because it so disturbed the critics and the public.

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Banned in: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Qatar, Indonesia, South Africa, and India because of its criticism of Islam. It was BURNED in West Yorkshire, England. In Venezuela, owning or reading a copy is considered a crime punishable by 15 months imprisonment.

Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

1961, the group called “Mother’s United for Decency” out of Oklahoma City, OK hired a trailer, dubbed it the “smutmobile” and displayed books deemed objectionable…including Sons and Lovers.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Challenged at Vernon-Verona-Sherill, NY School District in 1980 as a “filthy, trashy sex novel”.

Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

Found to be obscene by Boston, MA Superior Court in 1965.

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Seized by John Summers of the NY Society for the Suppression of Vice and declared ‘obscene’ in 1922.

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Banned in Boston, MA in 1927 and BURNED by the Nazi’s in 1933 becasue it “deals with low love affairs”.

I find it most entertaining that some of these books were banned or challenged when it is very nearly obvious that those complaining or challenging them had either completely missed the point of the book or had not even read it…I’m looking at you, the people who tried to get rid of 1984 because it was “pro-communist”! There are still hundreds and probably thousands of books that have been banned or challenged at some point, including children’s books, but they just didn’t make the cut on this list! Go forth, my readers, and read a banned or challenged book! Be a rebel!

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Plotting Sessions

As the fall semester approaches (too quickly, for some) the library & learning commons staff are beginning to plan. It’s never quite safe when the librarians plan…but it’s happening all the same. This year, in a small change of pace, we’re looking for ways to reach out to our campus and community. We want to be more directly involved in your education and entertainment. So…this post is all about some of the ideas being tossed around as we plot.

Completely Infallible and Fantastic Ideas

  • Bring gaming to the library! All kinds of games. Chess and Checkers to Risk and Settlers of Catan. Also, host maker nights for games…create your own game and play it sorts of events.
  • Speed Book Dating or Blind Date w/ a Book evenings. We’ll break out the comfy chairs and maybe a bean bag or two while you and your peers meet some new books. Books will be from the library and from the participants, covered, and have a dating profile styled description. Pick your “match” and sit and read for a bit.
  • Movie night. Pretty self explanatory, eh?
  • Video making contests w/viewing parties. The first of these would be for Halloween. We’ll want you and anyone else you’d like to include to make a halloween video (appropriate of course), submit it to us in some format tba and we’ll have a viewing party to pick a winner. Prizes are also tba.
  • Read In events. As many activists do “sit-in’s”, we may host a read-in event to support reading or banned books week or some such literary holiday.
  • Technology and Researching workshops. We’re adding new technology as fast as we can and trying to keep new and shiny things available to the Avila campus. We are considering hosting workshops in the library on how to use/do certain things. Specifically the video making equipment and software we’re adding to the “yet to be named” presentation room.
  • Scavenger hunts. If we do this, we’re hoping more to participate in a campus wide event. You’d be searching for library artifacts, photographing them, and submitting them to some location.
  • Arts and Crafts time. Everyone like this part of school, yeah? You got to play with scissors and glue and markers and crayons. It’ll be just the same but a little more library or book related. In the spring we put out coloring sheets and crayons & markers for you guys to play with. Some were definitely enthused, more were either unaware, didn’t care, or were too busy cramming. We’d like to do this some more, and build on it.
  • Book Club. Yep, a literal book club where we pick a book, everyone reads it, and we discuss.
  • Webcasts, webinars, and Tweetchats. A wide range of topics from pop culture to how to use the computers. We’re going to try to be all over the internet trying to be of use to the Avila population.

Do any of these ideas sound like something you would be interested in? Is there something you would like to see on this list? Are any of these ideas so lame you want to facepalm with a brick? Please let us know! We’re looking for feedback from the community as a whole to make YOUR library a place you enjoy and want to be. 🙂

 

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Internet of “Stuff”!

In this week’s edition of the Library Things blog we’re going to talk about weird things on the internet. Which seems redundant, really (weird and the internet are pretty much interchangeable terms). A large part of my position is to scour the internet looking for “stuff”, and boy-howdy do I ever. That may be the first time I’ve ever used the phrase “boy-howdy”…and the last. I am leaving it, but I don’t like it. Anyway…today, as a part of my never ending search for “stuff” today I came across some particularly entertaining items compliments of Buzzfeed. Some were games, some were just interactive clicky things, others were just completely random and I’m going to share this glorious list of items with you, for your entertainment (of course).

#1: You’re Getting Old. This is both an awful truth and the name of the site. You simply enter in your birth date and voila! Details about how long you’ve been on this earth and some rando events that happened since you graced the world with your presence.

#2: GeoGuessr. This is a fabulous time suck for those amused by locations and quizzy items. You are shown a Google Maps styled area that could be anywhere in the world. You can explore some and you have to try to figure out where you’ve been placed. Sometimes the answers are obvious, sometimes they seem obvious. Fabulously entertaining for the strange folks like me, your humble blogging librarian.

#3 Hacker Typer. This is a weird one. Have you ever wanted to look like one of those fancy hackers in the movies? Well, now you can!! You can type anything…anything whatsoever…and it will generate what appears to be random hacking code. Fun stuff.

#4 Find The Invisible Cow. That’s what you do. Somewhere on this blank white page there is a cow (or goat if you play enough times…and perhaps others, I only tested it a few times). It’s not just moving your mouse over the page though. It’s like a “hot-cold” game with some dude saying “cow” over and over in varying tones based on how close you are. If he’s screaming, you’re close. Stupidly amusing.

#5 idaft. Are you a fan of Daft Punk? Have you ever wanted to be one of the guys? Well, have I got a page for you! This fancy little page interacts with your keyboard and basically lets you do the whole “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” song. Amusing.

#6 Incredibox. This is a fun place to kill about…a day. You get 7 dudes to use to make different beats, songs, diddys, whatever. All told you have 20 different noises to choose from some beats, some vocals…you get the idea. If you match up your creation to the ones programmed in, you get to watch a special treat. Oh…and you can record your creations. Fun!

#7 Run Pee. Yes…you read that right. It’s a site that will tell you when you’re safe to take a tinkle break during the movie of your choosing. Naturally, not every movie is on the list, but most stuff currently in theaters has made the page!

#8 Does the Dog Die. Another movie helper site. On this one you can search out your pet themed movies to see if the dog does in fact die. It’s a fabulous page for people like me, who can’t bear watching a beloved pooch perish. Apparently this does not apply just to dogs, but to pets in general. It will also let you know if a pet is injured.

#9 Whale. This page doesn’t actually have a name, so I’m calling it Whale…because that’s all that really is. It’s a killer whale that will follow your mouse around the page. It’s stupid, but amusing. Plus, It’ll kill a few minutes while you try to make it miss.

#10 Pointer Pointer. This is another fairly stupid, but ingenious little site. You move your pointer around (giving it time to think, of course) and it will generate a photo of people (or something) pointing at, or very near, your pointer. Silly.

#11 Akinator. This one has made its rounds about the interwebs fairly recently, but just in case you missed him…Akinator is the web genius/genie. You pick a real or fictional character (in your head) and answer his questions…and he’ll figure it out. It’s pretty surprising really. He’ll usually get it in about 20 questions or so. Apparently Mr. Bean is a befuddling choice if you don’t know too much about Mr. Bean…took him 56 guesses and he still came up with Rowan Atkinson instead of Mr. Bean specifically.

So…there are 11 silly internet goodies to on which you can kill some pretty serious time. These are in no particular order, and you may not find them nearly as amusing as I did, but give them a try just in case!

Have a wonderful week Avila, and stay tuned! I’ll be blogging from VEGAS in a few days!

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Summer and Reading!

I certainly hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far! I know those of us at the library have been enjoying it when we can. Our director just returned from a garden tour of England and the circulation manager just returned from a mission trip to Cuba! I, your friendly neighborhood blogging librarian, will be heading to Las Vegas (Vegas Baby!) to attend the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference; I’ll be hanging out with a bazillion (number slightly exaggerated) in Vegas…this could be interesting.

Any hoo…In library news: We’ve adopted a stray stuffed bunny. The blue-ish bunny was left outside our temporary housing in Avila Hall just after the end of spring semester and appeared to have been run over. We found this rather disturbing and brought him in, washed him up, and now he’s doing just dandy. He’s gone on many adventures already since the beginning of May, mostly to check things out around campus. His most recent adventure is a trip to Texas with our part-time assistant Elisabeth for a cataloging class. He’s been a little shy down there, but we’ve received a couple pictures which will be posted on Facebook soon. If you’re interested in Jack’s story, please check our Facebook Page! He’ll be sending a friend with me to Vegas, and I do believe a friend of his went to Cuba. 🙂  Other news: We’re still in our temporary housing in Avila Hall. In fact, we’ll be camping out down here until mid-August! As far as we have been told, the library construction/renovation project is moving quickly and smoothly as well as the other projects on campus (yay more parking!). Finally, We’ve received news that our campus internet may (*fingers crossed*) be changing to…Google Fiber! If all goes as planned, we’ll be hooked up to the new Google-y juice for the fall semester. Huzzah!

On top of bringing you good tidings and a library update, I popped on to our little blog to send out some reading suggestions. These are all about what I’ve been reading and think many of you would probably get a kick out of (I’m looking at you 20 something women-folk!). These are in a particular order…Yeah, I’m ranking them. Here are 5 books to help you survive the summer:

#1  Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is the first book in the “Lunar Chronicles” series. The front cover (for most copies) shows a foot with bionic looking parts in a red shoe…and gives you only one minor clue to what is going on in this story. Yes, there is a cyborg and her name is Cinder. Cinder spends her time serving the needs of her stepmother and sisters working as a mechanic (and around the house like a slave) in New Beijing. The future is a new place, with androids, cyborgs (with no rights, of course), a quickly spreading and very deadly plague, and people living on the moon called Lunars. It’s an exciting retelling of (you guessed it…) Cinderella. Pick it up, and if you enjoy it, there are already two more books in the series available (the fourth is due out in 2015): Scarlet and Cress.

#2 Dorothy Must Die by Daniell Paige. Yes, another retelling, but this seems to be the summer of retellings so it’s cool (Maleficent is magnificent if you’ve got some cash to spare, btw). This retelling is not a reworking of the original story, but a story that grew from the first. Some parts of the story you know have changed and this time Dorothy is not the beloved, tornado traveling girl from Kansas. But…someone does come through via natural disaster: Amy Gumm (“Salvation Amy” to her enemies in high school). So similar and yet different from the Dorothy we’ve grown to love, Amy is dropped in OZ and sent on a mission: Dorothy Must Die. Seriously. She’s awful. It’s a story of Oz, magic, and perhaps a bit of romance. And…it’s going to be a series!

#3 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Yes…really. I know it’s a killer for “feels” but it really is a great book. The story is all about teenager Hazel Grace and her encounters with cancer, Augustus Waters, an alcoholic author, and just life in general. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and sometimes you’ll do both at the same time, but it is worth it. If nothing else, it gives you a different glimpse into a world I hope you will never experience.

#4 The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore. If you’ve read any of his other books, you’ve probably become accustomed to his humor…snarky, vulgar, and just right. If you’ve never experienced Mr. Moore, this is a decent starting spot, though you’ll miss out on Pocket’s origin story. I, naturally, suggest  you read anything this man has written, though. Anyway, this story is a retelling/mash up (I know, again…) up The Merchant of Venice, the Cask of Amontillado, Othello, and a smattering of other works by Poe and Shakespeare. It’s very irreverent, but a hilarious and fun read. You follow Pocket on his adventures in Venice while acting as a messenger (with his loyal Jeff and Drool) of his queen. There is death, fighting, lying, and loving and you’ll giggle your way through the whole thing. Also…the outside of the pages is dyed blue, so that’s pretty nifty.

#5 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. The neat old pictures scattered throughout this book and it’s sequel (Hollow City) would be enough reason to read it, but the story itself is pretty cool. Sixteen year old Jacob thinks he just a normal kid whose grandfather is a little nutty. After his grandfather’s mysterious death, around which Jacob saw something “spooky”, Jacob sets off on a mission to figure out who exactly his grandpa was. Some hilarity ensues along with wonder and suspense as we follow him to a lonely island off the coast of Wales.

That’s all for now folks. I realize 80% of those books would be considered “teen”, but lets be realistic…they’re usually quick to read and some of those stories really are fabulous. These titles will entertain and enthrall and, if nothing else, help you kill a long summer afternoon or a dreary and rain soaked day.

Check back for library updates, more summer reading suggestions, and as always some random factoids about random things!

Happy Summer Avila & My Dear Readers!

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Summer Fun…Havin’ a Blast?

Graduation is Saturday(congrats grads!) which also means the school year is coming to a close. Many of Avila’s students will be heading home to spend the summer bingeing on Netflix, working summer jobs, and soaking up some vitamin D. So, in honor of summer’s fast approach I figured I would tell you, my faithful readers, some awesome things that you can do for fun this summer in Kansas City!

THE FREE OPTIONS:

  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (go check out the giant shuttlecocks)
  • Sample chocolate at Chip’s Chocolate Factory at Crown Center (note…this isn’t free if you purchase candies)
  • Go and see the fountains…there are tons around the city and sometimes on game days, they’ll dye the water!
  • Check out some of the prominent parks (Loose Park–for the gardens, or the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, for example)
  • Visit the Money Museum (and get free money!)
  • Explore the Central branch of the Kansas City Public Library. Check out the parking garage and the giant chess.
  • Bike the Trolley Trail
  • Window shop in Brookside, the Plaza, West Bottoms, and Historic Overland Park
  • Taste test each flavor of Glace Ice Cream until you can choose a favorite (not responsible for angry Glace workers…)
  • Take a tour of the Harley-Davidson factory
  • Visit the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Catch a freebie jazz show

UP TO $15 OPTIONS:

  • See the view (and learn some history) at the National World War I museum ($14 for adults. $7 World War Wednesday’s)
  • Tailgate at Kauffman Stadium (Parking is $11…you don’t necessarily have to go to the game to tailgate, but game tickets can be pretty cheap too).
  • Catch a Royals game (Hy-Vee specials and Student days offer deep discounts for tickets–as low as $8 a seat. They aren’t great seats, but you can still enjoy the game)
  • Enjoy a Skyscraper from Winstead’s, probably best with friends as they are HUGE (7.49 +tax).
  • Enjoy a fancy chocolate from Andre’s or Christopher Elbow’s (prices vary, expect about $3).
  • Camp at Watkin’s Woolen Mill ($8.50/night per space…it’s tent camping)
  • Explore Fort Osage ($7)
  • Visit the KC Zoo ($12.50 for adults [$5.50 if you are residents of Jackson or Clay counties] some free days)
  • Check out Science City and ride the bike across the high-wire! ($13.50 for SC, $6 for the planetarium)
  • Check out the Steamboat Arabia ($14.50)
  • Take a peek at baseball history at the Negro leagues Baseball Museum ($10)
  • See a show at the Alamo Drafthouse (Tickets are, at most 11.50 for a regular show, 3D is an extra $3.50 and special events may cost more. Real food and drinks are available in theater for an additional cost).

$16-UP OPTIONS:

  • Worlds of Fun! Go ride the roller coasters and if you’re up for a little added expense, visit Oceans of Fun while you’re there! (One day passes are 39.99 for adults, but deals and discounts pop up throughout the summer).
  • Build a giant LEGO tower at LEGOLand Discovery Center ($17, save 15% if you get your tickets online).
  • Visit the fish at Sea Life Kansas City ($19 with discounts for online ticket purchases).
  • Ride the world largest waterslide at the Schlitterbahn ($36.99. Save some cash for buying online).

VARYING PRICED OPTIONS

  • Catch a show or concert at a variety of beautiful and generally “nifty” venues scattered throughout the metro (the Midland Theater, Starlight Theater, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Off Center Theater, Power & Light, etc.). Prices vary by show and availability.
  • Barbeque! Kansas City is a bbq mecca for many and we’ve got a plethora of famous and hole-in-the-wall joints to get some great grub. Local and famous favorites include: Oklahoma Joe’s, Arthur Bryant’s, Jack Stack, Gates, and BB’s Lawnside BBQ.
  • Bask in the glory that is the soccer capital of America at a Sporting KC game (prices vary, but can be snagged for under $30 on occasion).
  • Eclectic dining experiences. We’ve got a little bit of everything in KC. Check out some of the patios and street vendors during some of KC’s prettiest months!
  • Shopping! From thrift stores and vintage to brand new and designer KC has it all. If you’re looking for the really fancy attire, check out the shops on the Plaza. Vintage boutiques and off the wall thrift stores often pop up in the shopping areas throughout the city.

So there you have it! Kansas City is FULL of fun and different things to do throughout the summer and many options are free! I for one hope to hit up the K for a Royals game and will definitely be nomming some BBQ! Anything on this list you want to try? Did I miss anything? Let us know! Comment here or tell us on Twitter: @Hooleybundschu #kcsummerfun!

With that, I wish you all the best of luck during finals week and to our many graduates, a hearty CONGRATULATIONS!

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National Library Week!

The week of April 13 – April 19, 2014 is National Library Week!

One week each year, usually in April, since 1958, libraries throughout the nation have held celebrations ranging from simple posters to all out parties to celebrate all that they have to offer (staff, materials, “spaces”, etc.) as well as supporters and patrons. The celebration was developed by the National Book Committee, which was made up by members of the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Book Publishers. In 1974 the National Book Committee was disbanded and ALA took over full sponsorship. The original committee created the celebration with the goals of: “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time”, “improving incomes and health”, and “developing a strong and happy family life”. The goals set forth by the ALA may have changed a bit in the ensuing decades since National Library Weeks’ birth, but the original goals still hold true.

As a part of the annual celebration the ALA assigns a  different theme to each year. Typically these themes deal with trends (library, community, global, political, etc.), promoting library services, reading, or literacy. The very first library week was themed “Wake Up and Read!”. This year the theme is “Lives change @ your library ®.”

Each library celebrates differently, of course. I’ve seen as little as a small poster on the circulation desk and as much as a week long, fun filled schedule of events all culminating with a party on Saturday (the last day) providing free food and drinks as well as games and prizes to any and all who wish to attend. Many libraries change their events to match the annual theme and frequently will gear their parties, games, etc. to children. In the last few years there has been a trend of promotions for teens and young adults, so I would expect to see more programs…particularly “maker” or “tinker” programs…aimed at that age group. On that note, the rise in popularity of the “maker” movement has prompted libraries, mostly public, to create “makerspaces” where patrons can basically work to create new things either from new bits & pieces (like a 3D printer) or by breaking apart old items (like toys, computers, fans, etc.) and using the salvageable bits. With these new spaces, there could be a variety of programs aimed to promote those spaces. This year, I expect to see a lot of programs asking patrons to share their life changing library stories or promoting using the library to help change lives (like creating an artificial hand with a 3D printer).

To promote this year’s theme, @YourLibrary (a library and literacy support community), has started a drawing for a Kindle Fire. Want to enter? Just take a selfie and share it with a story of how libraries have changed your life, or what libraries mean to you. Share your photo and story on Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr using the hasgtags “#LivesChange” and “#NLW14” before noon on Friday, April 19th. If you want more details or to use the funky speech bubble created just for National Library Week this year, click here! Here at Avila’s library, we have set out some copies for use!

Non-libraries get into the party as well. Different book publishers, library support groups, and technology companies will host online webinars, host events, or even offer some of their useful services for free! This year Oxford University Press has made their online resources free for the week! Just use “libraryweek” as both username and password and enjoy!

SO! Tell your story, take a selfie and remember to appreciate your library and librarians for all that they do and have done in your life. If you’d like to help your library celebrate, just stop by and see what programs they’ve got set up for the week! If you’d like to show your appreciation to your Avila University librarians, just stop by and say thanks…we also accept candy. 🙂 keep calm and library on

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Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
everyones irish

I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely day (safely, please!) and has some kind of planned celebration! If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate in style next year, this is your blog post! Here are 5 places you won’t have to leave the country to celebrate St. Pat’s in style!

1. New York, NY. Surprisingly, NYC’s parade is the oldest and largest in the world and is run entirely by volunteers! The parade has been going on since March 17th, 1762. This year (and in years past) there has been some controversy over a ban on gay rights groups and marchers with gay pride signs. If you’re not up for patronizing a parade with such a ban, check out St. Pat’s For All parade in Queens.

2. Boston, MA. Your friendly neighborhood blogging librarian (me!) was there last year. It’s a pretty wild time in that city. The parade is the second largest in the U.S. and last year took nearly 3 hours. The main celebrations take place in South Boston (Southie) but there are festivities throughout the city. This year marks the first year they are allowing a gay pride group into the parade. Typically, the activist groups host their own parade following the main parade. There is a 5/10K run prior to the parade and all of the pubs and restaurants within about a mile of the parade route are packed. Get there early to get space in the premier Irish pubs, but be prepared to pay a hefty cover charge (I ended up in a Mexican restaurant with a $5 cover but they were serving the more traditional Irish beverages and the bathroom didn’t have a line).

3. Chicago, IL. Each year local plumbers and various volunteers dye the Chicago River green for a couple days and some of the fountains run green as well! Chicago does, in fact, have a bit-o-Irish heritage, which leads to pretty fantastic festivities. There is a parade, of course, but there are other events scattered throughout the city.

4. Kansas City, MO. Yep, Avila U’s. hometown is host to one heck of a St. Pat’s celebration. We’ve had the Irish flags up in different parts of the city since the beginning of March and this last weekend there were more parades and St. Pat’s events scattered throughout the city than I really care to count. Today is the “big” parade (which started at 11AM) and there will be specials at pubs and restaurants throughout the town all day. Oh, and Power and Light will be open for revelers much of the day and around 5PM the Mowgli’s will be putting on a free show! Somehow, KC has a pretty hefty Irish background.

5. San Francisco, CA.  San Francisco is a party city in itself – but when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, you can expect them to go all out. A traditional parade that dates back to 1852 is just the beginning. Visitors and locals can pick basically any bar in the city for a good time.

Everyone have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day! For you Avila students, I hope you’re enjoying the first official day of your Spring Break!

Sláinte!

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MOVE UPDATE!

As mid-terms lurk around the corner and student making plans for a most excellent spring break trip, the library is preparing for something wholly different. We’re preparing for demolition. Seriously. March 31st, we will begin breaking down the interior walls in our own twisted form of a ground breaking ceremony. It will be epic.

Do I have you freaked out? Don’t be! The library isn’t closing down for good and we’re not demolishing the building. We’re merely renovating our humble abode. On March 31st we’ll knock down one of a few walls that will tumble as a part of our renovation. We will, of course, be closed during this time….but only for a WEEK. The library will be closed starting March 31st, and reopen at 7:30 a.m. on Monday April, 7th.

During this week we will be moving everything out (**Everything Must Go!**), some will go to storage for the summer, some will meet the trashman, and the rest will travel with us over to Avila Hall. While our usual building is being pretty-fied, the more “essential” pieces of the library (librarians, computers, reference, etc.) will be “summering” on the first floor of Avila Hall.

We do have some deadlines quickly approaching…

Here are some dates to remember:

  • TODAY @ 3:30!! Friday, March 14th is the FINAL day to check out any books or other materials. After this day, we’ll begin boxing them up for the summer (Yes, I said summer. Unfortunately we just don’t have the space in Avila Hall to house our collection. Books can be requested from other libraries).

  • TODAY @ 3:30!! Friday, March 14th is the FINAL day for professors to put books on reserve. All books placed on reserve will remain available throughout the renovation and can be checked out for a specific time span and used in the library (only). If you have a book you want on reserve, ask your professor ASAP.

  • Monday, March 17th: The O’Reilly lot will close for Spring Break as trucks move in our storage containers and some construction equipment.

  • Monday, March 24th: Half of the O’Reilly lot will remain closed through commencement. Storage containers and machinery will be blocking these areas.

  • Monday, March 31st – Sunday, April, 6th: Library is CLOSED to move. All online services (databases, catalog, etc.) will remain available.

  • Friday, April 4th: demolishion begins in Hooley Bundschu Library

  • Monday, April 7th: Library re-opens in Avila Hall. Normal hours.

  • Friday, May 9th: Sending ceremony

  • Saturday, May 10th: Commencement!

  • Monday, May 12th: O’Reilly lot fully closed, many construction projects go into full swing.

  • Monday August 18th: Everything should be ready to go!

Want to see what we’ve done so far? Check out this video!

Need directions to the library’s “Summer Home”? Here is a Map and a Video!

Need more information about the move and what will be available? Check out these FAQ!

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3.1415926535897932384626433832795028…

It’s Pi Day!! No, it’s not Pie Day, that’s back in January (23rd, to be exact), but Pi, the irrational/transcendental number frequently used to figure the area of a circle (pi times radius squared…I just discovered I need to learn how to do mathematical symbols in Google Drive & Word. Good to know).

Annnnyway. pi, the number, has been around for over 4000 years, though it has not always held the infinite distinction that is now has. The ancient Babylonians were the first to use “pi” to calculate the area of a circle, though to them pi was 3 (which isn’t quite right). The first person to actually calculate pi was Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC). He didn’t quite get it perfect, but was close. The actual use of the Greek letter “pi” (again, the symbol would be useful here…suffice it to say, it looks like a kids drawing of a house) was in the 1700’s. It was first introduced by William Jones in 1706 and popularized by Leonhard Euler beginning in 1737.

Pi is mathematically an irrational and transcendental number meaning, basically, that it will continue infinitely without repetition or a pattern. Most people use 3.14 or 3.14159 do to their calculations, but at this point the number has been calculated to over one TRILLION digits beyond the decimal point. the “A Brief History of Pi” section of the Exploratorium website says: “Pi has been known for almost 4000 years–but even if we calculated the number of seconds in those 4000 years and calculated pi to that number of places, we would still only be approximating its actual value.” Pi, is well and truly infinite, which is a pretty crazy concept if you think about it for a while.

If you’d like to celebrate Pi Day, go out a buy a pie or pizza pie and dig in! Or do some other pie related things. You could also do some kind of 3.14 related games or events. Or you could Hit up a number of bakeries and pizzerias that are offering Pi Day deals. Or you could (somehow) go to the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA and participate in the Pi Procession. Or take the healthier route and walk or bike 3.14 miles (it’s a pretty day out there…maybe not a horrid idea). Oh! It’s also Einstein’s birthday…so perhaps do something with relativity or do your hair in a more “mad scientist” style.

For good measure…here’s a picture of Pi on pie:
pi.jpg

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