Mission 595 is Launching

Recently, some of us took a field trip to the Muncie Public Library's Connection Corner.  It was there that we would have a first-hand look at their Digital Climbers program, an after-school, incentive-based S.T.E.A.M. initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).  "Climbers" complete challenges and earn points which can be cashed in for prizes.  When they complete a predetermined list of challenges, they advance to earn a new badge. 

We tried a few of these challenges.  My favorite was the Osmo pizza challenge.  With an iPad mounted before me and game pieces laid out on the table in front of me, I successfully served custom-ordered pizzas to an interesting array of colorful characters.  The lion only wants red toppings on his pizza today.  The hippo likes veggies.  And, the blue guy wants pineapple and anchovies?!  As I'm building the pizza with these pieces, the iPad registers my movements, and I interact with the characters up through the payment process where I make change with tiny currency.

Next, we used a Mac to create a song on GarageBand.  Ours started out with some catchy Dixieland horns before the chanting monks finished it out.  It was pretty bad, but somehow I was still proud of it.  After that, we Photoshopped a celebrity pic by giving Robert Downey Jr. a few pimples and a garish tie.  I learned quite a bit that morning, but I was also actually having fun.

And now your Pendleton Community Public Library is one of the official pilot libraries for the program we're calling Mission 595.  With a generous $5,000 educational grant from The Kroger Co., the library was able to purchase a MacBook, iPads, Osmo kits, Snap Circuits, Gravity and Laser Mazes, and more.  Kids aged 7-12 can visit "Mission Control" (aka the children's program room) on Friday, January 5th any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to see what Mission 595 is all about.  

Lynn Hobbs

 

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Holiday Traditions

Growing up in Minneapolis, we had a local department store called Dayton's.  It was like the Macy's of Minneapolis, and in true Macy's form, the holiday festivities at Dayton's spared no expense.  Every holiday season, we would visit the Dayton's display, a life-sized exhibit that rotated its literary theme.  Despite the fact that I was very young when we strolled through the dazzling displays, I still remember many of them, especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where I was terrified by seeing a boy about my age stuck in a big tube.  The displays were always so real, and honestly a little creepy, with mechanically- animated mannequins portraying scenes from books.  Various faces would jerkily turn to look directly at me or lift an unnaturally quick hand to hang a stocking or offer a piece of candy. 

Despite the creepy mannequins, I remember those exhibits fondly.  It was our annual tradition to see the display as a family, and it just enhanced that wide-eyed feeling I had as a child during the holiday season. 

I hope that the library's annual holiday open house is a similar event for kids in Pendleton.  For well over a decade, the library has been hosting holiday festivities where we welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to the children's department.  This year's open house will be held on December 10th from 1-3 p.m., and kids can get their faces painted, enjoy holiday treats, and visit with a real live reindeer.  This year, visitors will also be able to enjoy the Friends of the Library's display of gingerbread cottages, all vying to be the contest winner.  I imagine these kids twenty, thirty, forty years from now saying, "We would go to the library every year to see Santa and his reindeer.  Those were such fun times."  And, not at all creepy.

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My Sweet Tooth

I love Willy Wonka.  Not Gene Wilder Willy Wonka or Johnny Depp Willy Wonka.  I mean the actual Willy Wonka, the candy factory that's churning out brightly-colored, fruit-flavored goodies right this very minute.  Nerds, Gobstoppers, Runts, even Pixie-Stix and Fun Dip.  I like them way better than chocolate or cookies.

 

My taste in candy has never evolved past my childhood.  The sweeter and fruitier, the better. I should probably be ashamed to admit my penchant for high fructose corn syrup, carnauba wax, and yellow #5.  Or the fact that I actually prefer artificial banana flavor over real banana flavor.  But, I'm not ashamed.  I like what I like, and I like Willy Wonka.

 

 

With Halloween just behind us, my pantry is well-stocked with my favorite Willy Wonka candies.  Some of these are very similar to those that are included in the gingerbread house kits that can be purchased by contestants in the Friends of the Library's Gingerbread Cottage Build. 

 

 

Stop by the library any time in November and pick up a cottage kit entry for $20.  Use that as a starter kit for the most fantastical gingerbread cottage you can create. Or, if you're feeling really confident, forego the kit for a $10 entry fee which comes with a gingerbread recipe and cutout templates.  Deliver your cottage to the library on December 6th or 7th, and we will put it on display for patrons to enjoy during the library's Holiday Open House on December 10th.  Those who attend can vote for the People's Choice winner, and our panel of judges will award prizes in three other categories.  

 

 

I cannot wait to see the display of delicious cottages.  And, I promise to keep my hands to myself, no matter how much my sweet tooth might be tempted.

 



 

 

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Why can't I break out?

There are things that I'm good at.  And, of course, there are things that I'm not good at.  But, then there are the things that I think I SHOULD be good at, but I'm just not. Like breakout rooms, for example.  I like puzzles, and I like to solve problems.  I'm pretty good at that.  So, why for the life of me, can I not find my way out of a breakout room?

I've done a few breakout rooms, and I think that they are so fun.  I overthink things so much that the people who sit in the room, the ones who are available to provide clues, actually laugh at me.  Yet, I feel like every time I've done a breakout room, I've left with ways that I can improve upon my skills for the next time.

For example, listen VERY carefully to the instructions you receive when entering.  Listen to them twice, or even three times. I applied that to my next breakout experience, but that time the instructions weren't even instructions.  There were no hidden clues, not even red herrings.  I wasted precious minutes listening three times to Dr. Candice Bore talk about how I needed to save the planet.  And I did not save the planet.

Second, just because you use a tool once to retrieve a clue doesn't mean that you won't ever use it again. I applied that to the following breakout experience, but that time I really did only need to use the black light flashlight once.  I spent 30 minutes shining that flashlight on every blasted thing in the room.  And the only thing I learned is that the walls are clean.

I guess the main thing to remember is to just have fun.  We expect that lots of people will have fun in the library's Harry Potter Breakout Room which we will have set up for groups to try on October 28 - 29.  Be sure to call 778-7527 to reserve your timeslot.  I hope you fare better than I usually do.

Lynn Hobbs
PCL Director

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Summer Reading is Here! Let's "Build a Better World."

June 1st kicks off the beginning of our Summer Reading Program, and this year's theme is "Build a Better World."  We can surely get behind that!  In recent years, summer reading themes have become less about entertainment and more about making positive change.  Last year, we encouraged kids and adults to exercise their minds and bodies.  This year, we are asking everybody to help "Build a Better World."  That's easier said than done, but even the tiniest good deed can mean a lot.  

Not too long ago, I found a note on my desk that simply said, "Lynn Rocks."  Attached to that note was a Post-It that said, "found in the book drop."  I assumed that it was some kind of joke, but my staff assures me that it actually was found in the book drop.  I have that note pinned to the bulletin board behind my desk, and to this day, I still have no idea who left it.  It was a simple gesture that makes me smile every time I see it.

"Building a Better World" doesn't mean that you have to single-handedly solve the world's problems. Rather, I think it means to be nice to others and to our planet.  Pay a compliment.  Pick up litter.  Make someone laugh.  Plant a tree.  Each of these small gestures of kindness will collectively "build a better world."  I urge you to find and commit small acts of kindness every single day. Let's build a better world by building a better Pendleton, one good deed at a time. 

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