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    by Teresa Walls | Sep 23, 2016
    parent and child making a cornhusk doll

    This weekend (September 24 and 25, 2016), ACPL Children's Services is offering a program in which children, ages 6 and up, with a grown-up, can learn how to make a cornhusk doll. Call Children's Services at 421-1220 to register. Space is limited. Each program begins at 2 pm. This is
    part of the series of programs Beyond the Book: Salt: A Story of Friendship in Time of War.

    The program will be offered at the Little Turtle Branch Library at 2 pm, Saturday, October 15, and at the Grabill Branch Library at 2 pm, Saturday, October 22. Registration is required.
    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 22, 2016
    Here's a new music CD perfect for fall!
    cover image for wake up and sing
    Wake Up & Sing by Red Yarn, a.k.a. Andy Furgeson, has fiddles and folksy guitars galore. It makes me think of bonfires, starry nights, and friends telling stories. Most of the songs on the album are traditional folk songs but the ones written by Red Yarn fit in seamlessly. My favorite song tells the story of a little squirrel named Shadow. It was a perfect accompaniment with storytime this week. Our preschool group loved listening to what the squirrel was going to do next and then acting it out themselves.

    Give this CD or his other one, Deep Woods Revival, a try!

    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 19, 2016
    One of the things I like best about working at a public library is the variety of people and books I come in contact with on a daily, or hourly, basis. In one day I may help a grandmother apply for a job online, find rhyming books for a preschool teacher, look up a particular dog breed for a family, and help a new Kindle owner borrow an ebook from OverDrive.

    So today, I'd like to share a random list of great books.
    You never know what you'll find at the library!

    cover image for born to be wild

    Born to be Wild
    by Hattie Garlick

    Try this fun new book for adults if you need some creative ideas for outdoor time. This book has more than 200 pages of ideas for things to make and do with kids of all ages.

    cover image for spooky jokes for kids

    Laugh-Out-Loud Spooky Jokes for Kids
    by Rob Elliott

    Just in time for Halloween, jokes for vampire and monster

    cover image for a prayer for world peace

    A Prayer for World Peace
    by Jane Goodall

    Beautiful illustrations by Feeroozeh Golmohammadi bring Jane Goodall's prayer for peace to life with color and power. This is a book worth many re-readings!
    cover image for drive

    Drive: a book of roadside opposites
    by Kellen Hatanaka

    This family car trip demonstrates lots of opposite pairs in each picture, like in and out, over and under. My favorite is the pull out spread with a worm's-eye view and then, opened up, a bird's-eye view

    by Kris L. | Sep 14, 2016
    “In the summer of 1812, at a place where three rivers meet, the sky is filled with birds of many kinds and colors.  The rivers are home to fish, beavers, turtles and otters.  In the forest are deer, bears, wolves, porcupines, foxes, bobcats, squirrels, and rabbits….”

    ~ Helen Frost, Introduction to Salt: A Story of Friendship in Time of War


    Over the next several weeks, children and their families are invited to Animal Tracks and Scat, an extra special event that is a part of the series of programs Beyond the Book: Salt: A Story of Friendship in Time of War.

    Children of all ages and their families can learn a little about wild animals that live in Indiana and the tracks and scat they leave behind.  This is knowledge that Anikwa and James, the boys in the novel, needed to hunt animals for food and other necessities.

    Activities include animal track rubbings, making fake “scat” and exploring real animal pelts and artifacts on loan from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.  

    Making Pretend Scat       Antlers       


    Here’s the remaining schedule:

    • Saturday, September 17, 10:30 am: Dupont Branch
    • Monday, September 19, 1:30 pm: Shawnee Branch
    • Saturday, October 1, 2:00 pm: Children’s Services, Main Library
    • Monday, October 3, 7:00 pm: Little Turtle Branch
    • Tuesday, October 4, 10:30 am: Little Turtle Branch






    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 12, 2016
    In the mood for a new graphic novel?

     cover image for harvy beaks it's crazy time
      cover image for tiger island
     cover image for lucy and andy neanderthal
     cover image for dark island
    cover image for friendship is magic volume 10  cover image for secret coders paths and portals
      cover image for clarence
      cover image for the lost expedition
    cover image for best friends forever
    by Miss Heather | Sep 10, 2016
    Get wild in the woods with your kiddo! Shawnee Branch is lucky enough to be right next to a wooded area. Help your preschooler become a nature lover with a morning spent exploring and playing in the great outdoors. The fun happens rain or shine!
    Wild in the Woods
    Shawnee Branch Library
    (Calhoun & Paulding)
    5600 Noll Avenue
    Fort Wayne, IN 46806
    (260) 421-1355
    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 07, 2016
    We've only got a little bit of good outdoor, shirtsleeve play time left this year! If you're fortunate enough to have access to some outdoor space and natural building supplies you should definitely build a fort!
    cover image for fantastic forts

    Fantastic Forts, by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks, is a book with lots of great ideas and tested methods for building. There are chapters covering miniature fairy forts, cave hideaways, lean-to forts, garden getaways, junk forts, leaf-shelters and lots more. I love how many inspiring pictures there are! The structures look fun to build and fun to use for all sorts of play, perfect for encouraging you and your family to explore the great outdoors together.

    For more books about building forts and outdoor play, check out our online catalog or visit your local library!
    by Teresa Walls | Aug 30, 2016
    In September and October, we will be celebrating Indiana's Bicentennial and Helen Frost's book Salt with a series of programs we're calling Salt: Beyond the Book. To kick off this series, Dani Tippmann, a Miami plant specialist, will demonstrate the craft of cattail mat weaving. She will also show youngsters how to make duck decoy models. It's going to be SO COOL! Check it out at the Main Library Plaza this Saturday, September 3, 2016, between 9 am to 2 pm.
    library display for Salt by Helen Frost

    Librarian Michal Miller explains to a young customer some of the Salt-related items on display at the Main Library as we prepare to celebrate the Indiana bicentennial and author Helen Frost with activities related to Helen Frost's book, Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War.
    by Dawn S | Aug 29, 2016
    We have all had those times when we needed or wanted a particular movie but our local library didn't have it on the shelf. I can't tell you how many times I have, in the past, had to tell Grabill Library customers that we didn't have the movie they were looking for but if they wanted to drive 15 miles across town they could find it at another branch.
    Well, no more.
    We are in the process of making all of our movie titles holdable!

    So, if you're doing an author study on Kate DiCamillo and you need the DVD Because of Winn-Dixie...
    movie cover because of winn dixie
    ...just put it on hold!

    If you want to show your kids a classic flick like The Love Bug...
    movie cover the love bug
    ...just put it on hold!

    If you want to celebrate Friday Family Movie Night with The Good Dinosaur...
    movie cover the good dinosaur
    ...just put it on hold!

    While we make this switch, which should be done by September 2nd, we're also changing all DVD loan periods to 7-Day. For a complete outline of new DVD checkout rules just read this. As always, you can also ask your friendly librarian if you have any questions.
    by Erin W | Aug 24, 2016
    Homeschool Shelf

    This is a selected list of organizations in the Fort Wayne area that provide support to area home schoolers. The contact names and phone numbers are correct as of the "last updated" date at the bottom of this list.

    Fort Wayne Area Home Schools
    Fort Wayne Area Home Schools offers several opportunities for local families, including homeschooling orientation meetings for parents, The Homemade News quarterly newsletter, a large resource expo held in May with an exhibit hall featuring homeschool curricula and homeschooling workshops, a graduation ceremony, an annual used curriculum sale, e-mail alerts with updates of opportunities, drama camp, a science fair, and much, much more!

    The Homeschool Hue
    Contact: E. L. Burney, (260) 710-0789, email:
    Looking for a multicultural group of homeschoolers? Then this group is for you! Come out and find out what we're all about!

    Indiana Association of Home Educators
    Local contact: Kris and Stephanie Reckers; 317-467-6244 ex 202;
    The IAHE is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 for the purpose of serving the Lord Jesus Christ through supporting and encouraging families interested in home education.

    Live and Learn Fort Wayne
    Send blank email to to join the email list.
    Contacts: Dawn at, or Melinda at
    An inclusive home schooling group in Fort Wayne, IN, offering activities for kids and topical discussion for parents. All ages, all home schooling styles, all faiths and secular home schoolers. We value diversity!

    NICHE -- Northeastern Indiana Catholic Home Educators
    Contact: Grace Johnston, email:
    We provide spiritual, service, social, field trip, and other activity opportunities for families in the Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. Attendance at activities is open to all persons, single or married, regardless of religious affiliation, whether home schooling or non-home-schooling.

    Northside Home School Co-op Ltd. 
    Northside Homeschool Coop ltd. is a nonprofit Fort Wayne area home school resource that provides educational, leadership and community building opportunities for home school students and their families. We offer classes in all subject areas for students in K-12, a robotics team, experienced tutors, and more!

    Last updated August 2016
    by Dawn S | Aug 22, 2016
    Here are some great new chapter books! Remember, your library gets new books almost every day so check the new book display often.

     cover image for curse of everlasting regret
      book cover image for friday barnes under suspicion
     cover image for hundred percent
     cover image for slingshot and burp
    cover image for winter soldier
     cover image for where are you going baby lincoln
      cover image for Fuzzy
      cover image for the voyage to magical north
    cover image for applesauce weather
    by Erin W | Aug 17, 2016
    Homeschool Websites

    The Allen County Public Library has many resources that are vital for homeschool families; however, there are also a lot of useful websites that can assist with homeschool curriculum planning. Here you will find an ever-expanding list of helpful websites that can assist with homeschooling.

    Websites for Grownups:

    Christian Homeschool Fellowship
    An interactive Christian homeschool forum.

    Eclectic Homeschool Online
    The magazine for creative homeschoolers, published from a Christian perspective.
    A website that provides worksheets, activities, lesson plans, and much more.

    Home School Digest
    The Quarterly Journal for family discipleship.

    Home School Legal Defense Association
    Advocates for homeschooling.

    Serving those preparing another generation of hearts at home!

    Homeschool World
    The official web site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine.

    Homeschool Zone
    Offers many resources, including free printables.

    Homework Help Directory

    A directory of links that provide homework help.

    Indiana Department of Education
    Homeschool information from the state of Indiana.

    Khan Academy
    A website that offers practice exercises and instructional videos to help anyone learn.

    Link Homeschool News Network
    The Nation's Homeschooling Magazine.

    National Black Home Educators
    NHBE is a networking organization founded by Eric and Joyce Burges. It was created to provide assistance with information about getting started homeschooling, networking/connecting veteran families with new families, recommending resources such as books, music, films, speaking information, curriculum, etc.

    National Home Education Network
    Changing the way the world sees homeschoolers.

    National Home Education Research Institute
    Serves as a clearinghouse of research, facts, statistics and news about homeschooling.

    Teaching Home

    A Christian magazine for home educators.

    The Well Trained Mind
    A guide to classical education at home.

    Homeschooling on a Shoestring
    Cost cutting ideas for homeschoolers.

    The Home School Mom

    Bringing you the best free homeschool resources.

    World Book Encyclopedia: Typical Course of Study

    As a source of information, World Book offers the results of ongoing research into curriculum requirements and standards. The learning levels include preschool through grade 12.

    Websites for Kids:

    Kids Health
    An article about homeschooling.

    Homeschool Hub
    Online quiz games.
    by Dawn S | Aug 15, 2016
    Today was the day!
    first day of school picture
    This morning I drove my oldest to his first day of Kindergarten. He was pretty chill about the whole thing and I was trying hard to match his mood. What music did we listen to on the way? A new CD called Simpatico from Renee Stahl. It's a great collection with nice variety and lots of special guests.
    cover image for simpatico

    My favorite song on the CD is called "You Were Meant to Be". Renee Stahl sings with Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket. It's the perfect love song from parent to child with beautiful guitar parts and fantastic harmonies. It's also very emotional, or makes me very emotional. Maybe, on the fist day of kindergarten, I shouldn't be subjecting myself to tear inducing songs on the way to school. I held it together and my son, having heard the song just once before, said he was starting to like it. We went on listening to some of my other favorite songs from that CD. We didn't get to
    "Starfish and Coffee" (featuring Maya Rudolph) which is more playful and funky, but we did enjoy "Gather Round" (featuring Lisa Loeb) before it was time to turn off the car and head into school.

    Your local library has hundreds of CDs to choose from and Freegal, the library's downloadable music service, has thousands more. If you need something to serve as your back to school soundtrack we'd love to help!

    by Becky C | Aug 11, 2016
    flora and ulyssesBook Review:  Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

    “The story begins with a vacuum cleaner. And a squirrel. Or, to be more precise, a squirrel who gets sucked into a Ulysses Super Suction wielded by Flora’s neighbor, Mrs. Tickham. The rather hairless squirrel that is spit out is not the same one that went in.”  Booklist

    Luckily for the squirrel, Flora has read every issue of Terrible Things Can Happen to You! and knows CPR.  She names her new companion after the vacuum cleaner that nearly took his life and intends to keep him as a pet.  She soon discovers that he’s been transformed from an ordinary squirrel, to one with superhero strength, the ability to fly, and a love for poetry.  And he’s just what this self-proclaimed cynic of a little girl needs.  She envisions that together they will conquer villains, defend the defenseless, and protect the weak.  Or something.  And they do.

    DiCamillo takes a sad situation, two lonely children who have been let down by their parents, and offers something hopeful.  Flora believes that her mother loves a lamp more than she loves her — and she misses her dad who now lives in an apartment across town.  William Spiver’s mother has sent him to stay with his Great Aunt, Flora’s neighbor, Mrs. Tickham.  Ulysses brings the children together and helps them break down the protective walls they’ve each built for themselves.  And by the end of the book, he’s helped the adults see things more clearly as well.  He’s definitely a superhero as far as my daughter and I are concerned!

    Endearing characters and a rich vocabulary make this a standout book.  The comic-style graphics which accompany the story, complement it nicely. 

    Our favorite parts:

    Becky:  The poem Ulysses wrote for Flora.  Quotes like “This malfeasance must be stopped.”

    Miss D:  Ulysses got superpowers after being vacuumed!  And it was a really cute story with lots of twists and turns.  The poem Ulysses wrote for Flora.

    Discussion Questions: ,


    What We Found in the Sofa by Henry Clark, The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck by Emily Fairlie, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.

    Grades:  3 -6

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 08, 2016
    I'm naturally drawn to the two main topics of this book - children and art. Maybe you are too? Really, if you work with children in any arena you probably know someone who would benefit from this wonderful new book.

    Art Workshops for Children by Herve Tullet

    cover image for art workshops for kids

    First, a word about the author. Herve Tullet is such a talented author and illustrator who clearly has fun with his craft. He understands children's love of play and works it into books in amazingly unique ways.
    Here are just a few examples.
     cover image for mix it up
     cover image for i am blop
      cover image for the game of mix and match


    So, imagine this joy and creativity used in art workshops for children. Tullet has led these workshops in a variety of places and in this book he describes the process of planning and implementing art workshops for children. These are the kind of events that completely take over the room and get everyone involved in collaborative art creation. He describes a kind of buzz that happens as the children listen to directions and put paint to paper. Each workshop is focused primarily on the process with tons of playfulness and imagination as the project evolves. The book even gives a kind of running dialog the presenter can use to get everyone involved. Yes, the end result is pretty cool, but no one child can take the credit.

    From what I can tell, it sounds like a messy and sometimes chaotic way to create art with kids, but one that lines up perfectly with growing minds and developing bodies. I'm eager to try it out with a group at my library soon!

    by Becky C | Aug 03, 2016
    rumpBook Review:  Rump, the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

    Twelve-year old Rump has been raised with the belief that his name is his destiny.  And while a name that seems to only be a playful term for butt doesn’t seem like it holds much of a destiny, he’s also always believed that Rump was not the full name his mother intended for him.  But how can he discover his true name when his mother was the only one who knew it and she died shortly after he was born?

    When he finds his mother’s spindle, his life takes a dramatic turn.  He can spin straw into gold.  He’s thrilled at first, believing that he and his Gran will never have to go hungry again.  But then he realizes there’s a catch to his magic — he can trade the gold that he spins but he has to accept whatever is offered to him, no matter how unequal the trade.  No matter how repellent.  He doesn’t think his situation can get any worse but it can.  It does.

    Spun gold is finer than the meager bits of gold typically found in the mountains and it captures the attention of the King who comes to the village in search of its source.  For reasons of his own, the miller claims that his daughter is the spinner of the gold.  And Rump knows that he must spin for her or the king will punish her and the people of The Mountain.  But, because magic operates under its own rules, she must offer him something in return.  And unfortunately, Opal lacks imagination, locking both of them into an agreement neither wants.

    Desperate to escape the terrible promise Opal has made him, Rump goes on a quest to find his mother’s family, hoping they know something about his magic that he does not.

    My daughter and I loved this book!!!  Shurtliff offers a touching and believable twist on a familiar tale.  Every story has at least two perspectives, after all, and we enjoyed being given a glimpse of the “villain’s” side of things.  We also loved the hints about other fairy tale characters and their alternate stories.  Gnomes who run messages, pixies who love gold, and trolls who want pets are just a few of the lighthearted details that make this such a fun read.

    Discussion Questions:

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Dawn S | Aug 01, 2016
    Impress your friends with great facts you learned from reading these books! We've got lots of new non-fiction to choose from.

     cover image for who was jules verne
      cover image for science experiments you can eat
     cover image for emergency rescue
     cover image for giraffes
    cover image for how deep is the ocean
     cover image geography
      cover image for beginners united states atlas
      cover image for spaceships and rockets
    cover image for becoming president
    by Dawn S | Jul 29, 2016
    It's a comic book. It's a science book. It's both!
    We just got two books in this series of non-fiction comics. They're colorful and engaging with lots of extras like a glossary, bibliography, and list of additional resources.
    Here's a little more about each one.

    cover image for coral reefs

    Coral Reefs: cities of the ocean
    by Maris Wicks
    This book starts with an introduction by the Associate Research Scientist of the New England Aquarium, Dr. Randi Rotjan. Once the comic gets started we're being addressed by a very knowledgeable yellow fish. As narrator, he starts with the basics of coral reefs by contrasting plants and animals. After a brief history lesson on the formation of the earth we're introduced to some of the over 6,000 species of coral.
    There's a lot of great stuff packed into this comic!

    cover image for Dinosaurs
    Dinosaurs: fossils and feathers
    by M.K. Reed

    Unlike the Coral Reefs book, we can't see the narrator in this comic on Dinosaurs. The dinosaur facts are presented as we learn how scientists and fossil hunters first discovered dinosaur remains. Mistakes, rivalries, and superstitions drive this narrative forward and make it more interesting than a mere breakdown of known dinosaur species. The book ends with a note of all there is yet to discover about dinosaurs.

    question mark

    What topic would you like to see in this series?
    (I think Bats and Volcanoes are in the works!)

    by Erin W | Jul 26, 2016
    ...But there's still time to turn in your timesheets or bonus round bookmarks! The Summer Reading Program officially ends on Sunday, July 31st. The Main Library will be open that day and will be accepting timesheets and bonus round bookmarks, so be sure to pay us a visit!

    At the Main Library, each child who completes a bonus round bookmark gets to sign his or her name on a star that will be hung on the orange ribbon. We're trying to make it all the way back to the fish tanks, but could use some extra help!

    Summer Reading Stars

    Other locations are also doing fun stuff for the bonus round, so feel free to stop by your favorite branch to see what they're doing! Here's when various libraries will be open:

    Friday, July 29th:

    Main Library is open 9am - 6pm

    Branch locations are open 10am - 6pm

    Saturday, July 30th:

    Main Library is open 9am - 6pm

    The Aboite Branch, Dupont Branch, Georgetown Branch and Shawnee Branch are open 10am - 6pm

    Sunday, July 31st:

    Main Library is open from Noon - 5pm.

    by Kris L | Jul 25, 2016

    Summer is a time when many families travel together – explore new places, see new things, have grand adventures.  Many families visit museums, amusement parks, zoos, state and national parks, and these are all wonderful things.  But have you even considered visiting LIBRARIES when you travel?

    This family traveled from Ohio to visit Fort Wayne and made a point of visiting not one, but TWO libraries – the Georgetown branch, where they visited their former hometown librarian, Ms. Courtney, pictured below, and the Main Library.  They have a wonderful tradition of visiting libraries whenever they go out of town.  So far, they have been to 21 different libraries!    

    Here in Allen County, we don’t have to travel far to visit a new library.  Did you know that there are 14 different Allen County Public Library locations?  Why not make a point of visiting a new-to-you library during the last few weeks of summer?   

    Family visiting the Georgetown branch library