January 31, 2015

Backwards Day

Yes, it’s really backwards day!  Who knew?  Now that we do … let’s have some fun!
There are no rules … just find something to do backwards!  How about instead of reading the book first, be bold, be backwards and watch the movie BEFORE you read the book!  I know, it’s daring, isn’t it?!

What could be better on Backwards Day than checking out some books about palindromes?  You need look no further than the juvenile nonfiction department. Here are three titles to get you going (backwards, that is!):

So Many Dynamos!
Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis!
Mom and Dad are Palindromes!

Then get creative and make some of your own.  Keep your RADAR on HIGH, your EYE on the prize and BOB, BOB, BOB along with your palindrome writing!

Kathleen Ahern
Children's Librarian

January 28, 2015

Explore the Palouse Heritage Collection...

The Palouse Heritage Collection at Neill Public Library has a wide variety of materials about the Palouse.  We will be sharing some of the photos from the collection with you over the next few days and weeks, but don't just view the materials here.  Come down to the library and explore the Palouse Heritage Collection!
Three men exit L.B. Miller Watchmaker's Shop

Citizen's survey wreckage from the flood. - March 1910

Main Street Pullman - After the flood - March 1910

January 26, 2015

The Dream

“I have a dream.”  Eleven letters.  Four words.  One simple, profoundly moving sentence that served as a passionate rallying call for equality, dignity and true freedom.

This past week our nation stopped to remember and honor the man who shared his dream more than fifty years ago in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Junior.  Born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929, he dedicated his life to bringing racial and social justice through peaceful means.  His heart was centered in transforming the world to be a better place for everyone – everyone, as evidenced by him being awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

This year marks the forty-seventh year since his assassination.  I, for one, remember that day vividly.  I was on the cusp of adolescence, more than ready to be an adult, very ready to help make the world a better place. His brutal death shocked me to my core, and I remember wondering how we would ever recover from such a loss.  I’m not sure we have.

We don’t have to look far to realize some changes have occurred and more changes are needed. We have an African-American president and his family in the White House.  Our nation’s highest court has both male and female members, including an African-American justice.  Some changes have occurred.  Headlines and lead stories include events in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as marches in New York City and elsewhere with people holding signs saying “I Can’t Breathe.”  More changes are needed.  

I want a better world for our children and grandchildren, don’t you?  I want them to live the dream of the man who said, “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”  It is time.  It is not too late to come together, to work and dream and make it happen.  

Until we as individuals and a nation fully embrace the truth of the past and the multi-faceted realities of the present, the future, to me, doesn’t look too dream-like.  So how do we as individuals, members of communities and citizens of this great country truly work for needed changes and better understanding?  I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have some suggestions.  As a Children’s Librarian, my first suggestion is to bring together young people and books.

Let’s get involved with our young people – from the earliest ages on up – let’s not only talk with them – let’s also listen to their innate wisdom.  Lest we adults forget, no child is born with prejudice. Prejudice of all kinds is learned behavior, and it is learned from us “big folks.”

Let’s put children’s books front and center in our efforts.  The stories can support us in having meaningful conversations - no matter how uncomfortable or difficult that might be.

So, if you are ready to read, talk, dream and listen, be sure to stop by the library and pick up an array of titles to support your efforts.  There is no shortage of beautiful, moving and informative children’s books about the Civil Rights Movement.  To get you started I would suggest  “The Cart That Carried Martin” by Eve Bunting, “Freedom Riders” by Ann Bausum, “My Brother Martin” by Christine King Farris and “The Story of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles. Each is powerful, heart wrenching and an impetus for change.

I have a dream. I hope you do too!

Kathleen Ahern
Children's Librarian

January 21, 2015

Explore the Palouse Heritage Collection...

The Palouse Heritage Collection at Neill Public Library has a wide variety of materials about the Palouse.  We will be sharing some of the photos from the collection with you over the next few days and weeks, but don't just view the materials here.  Come down to the library and explore the Palouse Heritage Collection!


ORH Depot from State Street

Grand Street - March 2, 1910

Spectators stand on the Receding Banks of the Palouse River in Pullman