Megan McFarlane's blog

Sing-along @ your library

Illustration: 
Singing girl

If you were like me growing up, sing-a-long time with the family was probably equal parts Raffi and the oldies station your parents listened to in the car. While perhaps not always age appropriate (my favorite was Three Dog Night’s "Joy to the World"), these are songs and memories that have stuck with me to this day.

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African-American Women in History @ your library

Illustration: 
Book cover: Let it Shine

Continuing our celebration of Black History Month and looking ahead to Women’s History Month check out these titles with your children and teens celebrating African-American women and their contributions to American history.

Becoming Billie Holiday
by Carole Boston Weatherford.
Jazz vocalist Billie Holiday looks back on her early years in this fictional memoir written in verse. 

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Langston Hughes @ your library

Illustration: 
Book cover: I Too Am America

February marks not only Black History Month, but the birthday of one of the most celebrated poets of the 20th century, Langston Hughes.

Born on Feb. 1, 1902, in Joplin, Mo. James Langston Hughes was raised mainly by his maternal grandmother in Lawrence, Kan., while his mother looked for work. It was in Lawrence that Hughes developed his love of books, which he discussed in his memoir Big Sea:

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Winter workout @ your library

Illustration: 
Cross country skiing

Winter is a hard time for everyone when it comes to staying active – it seems that we all have the inclination to hibernate. This can be particularly disheartening for parents who understand the need for their children and teens to stay active as a part of a good mental and physical lifestyle, but don’t know what to do during the cold months. 

Here are just a few recommendations for activities that your whole family can take part in indoors, outdoors and, as always, at your local library.

Outdoors:

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Great Websites for Kids

Illustration: 
Family at computer together

Since 1997, the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) has been helping parents help their kids find entertaining and educational websites through its Great Websites for Kids (GWS), an online resource containing hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children.  

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Gluten Free Baking @ your library

Illustration: 
 Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

December 16-22 is Gluten-Free Baking Week, the celebration was created as an opportunity to celebrate gluten-free baking and encourage people to try their hand at incorporating gluten-free foods into their holiday meals. 

Spend some time with your kids during Gluten-Free Baking Week and make gluten-free treats to share with friends and family.

Check out these resources at your library:

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Rosa Parks @ your library

Illustration: 
Book cover: Rosa Parks, My Story

Dec. 1 is Rosa Parks Day, commemorating the day when Rosa Parks simply told bus driver James F. Blake, “no,” that she would not give up her seat to a white man.

In her autobiography, Mrs. Parks explained, “People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” 

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Kids Vote @ your library

Illustration: 
Book cover: Duck for president

Election Day is important to adults; it is a time when we choose leaders that will make important decisions that will affect us and our families. But how do we help teach children and teens about the importance of civic engagement?

Your local library is a good place to start. Libraries have long been referred to as the cornerstone of democracy, due to their role in providing free and equal access to information to all people. 

Here are a few election-day programs that will be taking place in libraries across the country: 

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Picture Book Month @ your library

Illustration: 
book cover: Alligator Baby

We all have fond memories of reading picture books as children, either with parents curled up on the couch or before bed, by teachers in elementary school, or during library story times. Share the love of picture books with your children this November: Picture Book Month!

Before you hit the library, check out what librarians across the country say are their favorite picture books.  Below are more than 30 recommendations, so you can check out a new book for every day of the month.

 

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Spooky reads @ your library

Illustration: 
Book cover: The Ghost of Graylock

There’s nothing like curling up with a book on a cool rainy afternoon in October.

Get in the Halloween spirit with your family and snuggle up while you check out these Booklist Online recommended Halloween reads.

The Boo! Book
By Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
K-Grade 2

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