Thursday, June 25, 2015

solar powered oven for SMORES

The other day Prairie Dawn worked with the tweens and teens to make these solar powered ovens to cook SMORES with; an activity that they loved. We were blessed with a sunny day--anyone else tired of the rain yet?!--which of course made the ovens work, and gave the kids some time to enjoy being outside on the lawn, instead of in the Library. 
Great and simple STEM program. 

Solar Powered Oven for SMORES Instructions:
  • Hit up local pizza shop for donation of small pizza boxes (enough for 1/kid)
  • Pop a hole in the lid and cut a big square in the center 
  • Layer the bottom of the box with black construction paper
  • Cover the inside of the box lid (where the hole is) with plastic wrap, taping it so it'll stick on the inside of the lid
  • Tap foil to the lid and position it upright with the help of a popsicle stick
  • Put graham cracker down, chocolate, marshmallow on black construction paper inside the box
  • Close the lid so SMORE is visible through plastic
  • Make sure the foil stays upright (as pictured above)
  • Check on SMORE cooking, looking for marshmallow getting gooey
  • EAT!

PLF update

"The conference report on House Bill (HB) 64, the state’s two year main operating budget bill, was adopted on a 4-2 party-line vote at about 2:30a.m. this morning.  The Senate is expected to approve the report later today and the House will vote tomorrow.

Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), Sen. Scott Oelslager (R-N. Canton), Sen. Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) and Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) voted for the report.  Sen. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) voted against the report.

PLF – The Conference Committee kept the language increasing the PLF percentage to 1.7% of the total General Revenue Fund (GRF).  This is a huge success because anything can happen in Conference Committee.  However, they chose not to include a provision guaranteeing us the actual dollar amounts estimated in the budget documents.

Tax Package – The Conference Committee made a few changes as they worked out the differences between the House and Senate tax proposals.  They kept the 6.3% across the board personal income tax cut and revised the small-business income tax cut and cigarette tax.  Under the revised small business tax cut, business owners would receive a 75-percent income-tax reduction on their first $250,000 of net income for the 2015 tax year.  In tax year 2016, they would pay no state income tax at all on their first $250,000 of income.  Any income beyond $250,000 would be taxed at a flat rate of 3 percent under the budget plan.  As for cigarettes, they reduced the proposed per-pack cigarette tax hike from 40 to 35 cents..."
--Michelle Francis, Director of Government and Legal Services, Ohio Library Council

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

owl pellets and hovercrafts

Today was a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) day.

This morning the younger kids made hovercrafts with CDs, balloons, and pop-top caps. Prairie Dawn already had the CDs and pop-top caps already hot glue gunned together, so the kids were only really doing the balloon part, but she talked about friction with the kids, and what was causing the hovercraft to move. The parents loved that the craft was simple and something they could take home and that the kids could use all day on the floors! 65 attended! That's our biggest program this summer!

Teens dissected owl pellets this afternoon, which was a great thing that definitely got some of our fence-riding boys to come out! As you can see from the link, it was a pretty inexpensive thing, and a nice break for Prairie Dawn to not be doing so much prep work!

fun superhero programs for all ages

Some Summer Reading photos:

Some of our younger kiddos made Batman symbols with tissue paper and contact paper.

Elementary students painted Capt. America shields!

3-D comics

Making 3-D comics; each kid got a pair of 3-D glasses to take home
(Relatively expensive bought in bulk through Amazon)

Teens made bleach superhero t-shirts
We traced superhero symbols onto foam, then cut out the shapes,
laid the foam on the shirts and gave them a few blasts of bleachy water.
These turned out AWESOME!

Monday, June 8, 2015


Wow. I miss you blog. Work and life was very hectic and stressful this spring, and I didn't want to post any of the grumpy gumbo I was stewing in for a couple months here, so I held by tongue, and look at what happened! Months are gone! I'm back. And of course it's Summer Reading time again, but I feel like Prairie Dawn and I have hit our stride--this being our 3rd Summer Reading together--and things haven't felt stressful AT ALL yet, and it's week 2!!

More soon on what we've done!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

majesty of a Sunday

The little sparrows 
hop ingenuously 
about the pavement 
with sharp voices 
over those things 
that interest them. 
But we who are wiser 
shut ourselves in 
on either hand 
and no one knows 
whether we think good 
or evil. 
the old man who goes about 
gathering dog-lime 
walks in the gutter 
without looking up 
and his tread 
is more majestic than 
that of the Episcopal minister 
approaching the pulpit 
of a Sunday. 
These things 
astonish me beyond words.
--William Carlos Williams 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

fingers crossed

From Ohio Library Council:

"OLC to Present PLF Testimony Before Senate Finance Subcommittee
The OLC will present testimony on the state budget and in support of the Public Library Fund on Tues., May 12, before the Senate Finance Committee's Higher Education Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Randy Gardner, (R-Bowling Green). The subcommittee hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the South Hearing Room. Library directors are welcome to be in the audience for the hearing.  

Kim Fender, Director, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and Chair of the OLC's Government Relations Committee, will be testifying on behalf of OLC.  Also, Patrick Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library, will speak specifically to the Tangible Personal Property (TPP) Phase-Out Proposal.  

Tuesday's hearing is "Invited Testimony" only. Other groups testifying that day include the State Library of Ohio, Ohioana Library, Ohio History Connection, Wright State University, and the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools.

Additional directives and a call to action for library administrators and trustees will follow Tuesday's hearing"