Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bike Locks at the Library

We are excited to announce a new addition to our collection: six bicycle locks!

Tween Scene programming has brought a new crew into the library throughout the week, who have requested a more secure way to park their bikes in front of the library.  We love getting suggestions for improvements for patrons and have already seen the locks in use several times!

In addition, the Hoover Bike Trail brings visitors from across Eastern Iowa to Ely.  Bike locks will allow visitors to enjoy their breaks in Ely and get a taste of our community.

To check out a bike lock, ask at the circulation desk.  They are available for three-hour loans, with extensions available.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Super September

The weather is gorgeous, gardens are blooming, …and school is back in session!  We had a great Summer Reading program, and are getting back into our September routines.  In addition to Toddler Time on Mondays at 10 and Preschool Story Time Thursdays at 10 and 2, I wanted to highlight some new programming from the youth services department:

Tween Scene: Ely Public Library and St. John Lutheran Church are thrilled to announce a partnership providing after school activities for kids 4th-8th grade.  Tween Scene will run Tuesdays (at the church) and Thursdays (at the library) from 3:30-5:30, with special programming 4-5.  Check out what’s on the docket this month!

September 1: Ping-Pong
September 3: Board Game Blast
September 8: Outdoor Fun
September 10: Coloring Club & Silent Library
September 15: Cook A Meal
September 17: Spaghetti/Marshmallow Towers
September 22: Decorate a Fall Fest Entry
September 24: Bingo
September 29: Community Clean-Up for Fall Fest
October 1: Bookface Challenge

Teen Advisory Board: This summer we launched our Teen Advisory Board.  I’ve had a blast getting to know the teens in our community and crafting, laughing, and even smashing watermelons with them.  I hope to see even more of you for our fall programs! Join us September 10th for Silent Library (teens vs. tweens!) and September 24th for another round of Broken Picture Telephone.   Stop by our Facebook, Instagram, or even the library to vote for our October events!

New Books: I can’t resist plugging a new graphic novel and YA book that will hit our shelves this month!
Fans of the Babymouse series and Raina Telgemeier's memoirs will love Sunny Side Up by sibling team Jennifer and Matthew Holm.  In this graphic novel we meet Sunny, who has been sent to spend the summer in Florida with Gramps after something happens in her family.  We learn about her family secret through flashbacks as she adjusts to her summer at a retirement community and learns to love comic books.

This weekend I sat down with a galley copy of The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow… and didn’t get off the couch til I had finished it! In a futuristic world ruled by AIs and facing drought crises, the United Nations keeps the children of world leaders hostage in a boarding school in an effort to deter war: if a country declares war, their captive will be killed.  Our main character, Greta, is the heir to the Pan Polar Confederacy and is months from her 18th birthday.   Will she live to see the day?  Will the hostages remain captive?   If you were a fan of The Hunger Games, give this book a try. 

See you in the library!

~Madeline Jarvis
Youth Services Librarian

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

From the Epilogue:
"...writer Joseph Campbell. I've never forgotten his definition of a hero.  Campbell said that a hero is an ordinary human being who does 'the best of things in the worst of times.' Oskar Schindler personifies that definition."

Wow!  I have never come across a truer or better definition of hero than this.  How timely to discover this during our summer reading program - where every hero has a story.

I highly recommend this title as it provides insight into the life of a young Jewish boy during World War II in Poland.  Leon provides great detail to the atrocities that he and many others faced and how Oskar Schindler played a vital role to his survival.  Often these events go untold and for Leon to share his memories shows his courage and true heroism. 

This title has also been nominated by teens in Iowa to be included in the 2015-2016 Iowa Teen Award.  Check it out today!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Support Systems Towers

Today's STEAM activity was building support systems towers out of mini marshmallows and spaghetti!  I had a blast watching participants work together and figure out the different shapes and stability levels possible.

After the contest ended (tied #1 towers measured 16") we snacked on some mini marshmallows and continued to build... some nearly reached two feet by the end of the program!  A special thank you to the kids and parents who stuck around and helped me pick up afterwords.  It's always such a sweet surprise.

Check out pictures of today's engineers on our facebook page!

Next week's STEAM activity is a Shadow Storytime.  The full summer schedule can be found at our website.

-Madeline Jarvis
Youth Services Librarian

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Super Surprise Books

I've been having a blast putting together youth surprise books!  The books are shelved between Easy Readers and Junior Nonfiction:

  • Board Books are in blue bags.
  • Picture Books are in red bags.
  • Junior Fiction Books are wrapped in white paper.

Young Adult surprise books are on top of the YA stacks.  
If you're like me and not the best with surprises, give the Junior Fiction and Young Adult books a try.  The opening line(s) from the book are on top of the wrapped book!

Summer reading kicks off this Monday, June 1, and surprise books are great ways to add to your summer reading log.

See you in the library!

Madeline Jarvis
Youth Services Librarian

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer Reading sneak peak

Even the books are getting excited for this year's Summer Reads theme!  Here's a sneak peak of some of the books dressed up in the Junior Fiction section:

Of course, these books can still be checked out!

Did I miss a favorite hero?  Let me know!

-Madeline Jarvis
Youth Services Librarian

Monday, May 4, 2015

Star Wars Day

Visit the library, you will...

Have you seen the Star Wars material at the library?  Ranging from board books to cookbooks, DVDs to dictionaries, we have you covered!  It's tough to narrow down such a variety for a blog post, but I think the force is especially strong in these titles:

 Darth Vader and Son
I was laughing out loud at Prairie Lights when I first saw this book!  What if "Luke, I am your father" was just a loving dad trying to keep a mischievous son in line?  The fun continues in Vader's Little Princess and Good Night, Darth Vader.

 Wookie Cookies
I think I'll make some Crazy Cantina Chili for supper this week... or should I go for Boba Fett-uccine?  This cookbook is fun for any aged chef!

 Lego dictionary
This won't surprise anyone who played with our poetry bricks last month, but we are Lego lovers at the library!  I love this guide to the Lego interpretation of Star Wars.  (Big siblings be warned -- as I flipped through this book, I could practically hear the sounds of my little brothers digging through their Lego bins early Saturday mornings!)

 A New Hope
Of course, the film that started it all. Even if you are not a sci fi fan, the tale of an ambitious farmhand on a galaxy-saving mission will have your heart pumping in overdrive.

Interested in finding other titles?  Search the subjects "Star Wars films" or "Star Wars fiction," or keywords "Star Wars" (be warned -- a keyword search will not be as specific as a subject search, so it will turn up other great materials that are not affiliated with a galaxy far, far, away).  Or, ask a librarian for help!

May the Fourth be with you!

Madeline Jarvis
Youth Services Librarian

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thank You Ely!

Thank you to everyone who donated books, set up the book sale, baked cinnamon rolls, put out the garage sale signs, advertised the city wide sales, worked the used book sale and cleaned up after the book sale! (I hope I am not forgetting anyone!)  We had beautiful weather and great sales!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

National Children's Book Week

National Children’s Book Week is coming up, starting on May 4th!  Here at the Ely Public Library, we are able to celebrate our favorite children’s books at our weekly story times, but here are some of my personal favorites we have not read together yet:

You Are A Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo is a great way to get kids moving.   The author holds an MFA, so her vibrant illustrations are clear to follow.  You and your child will have a blast slithering and stretching together!

We just added Coming Home by Greg Ruth to our collection.  In this story, we meet a little boy who is finally at the airport ready to welcome his favorite soldier home.  The anticipation builds throughout the book; everyone else is reuniting with their loved ones, now when is it his turn?  This book made me tear up the first time I read it; this sweet book is a great read together for any child.

After trying out some of our wordless books, check out The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak.  This book may only have words, but it is far from boring!  When I read this book out loud, it had me say ridiculous things such as “my head is made of blueberry pizza” -- which I promise is not true!  This silly book is a great choice for a child who likes to be in charge and hear their caregiver say funny things!

One of my favorite books from childhood is The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson.  In this classic, we meet a gentle bull named Ferdinand who would rather smell flowers under the cork tree than participate in the bull fights.  What does it take to make Ferdinand fierce?  This is a fun book to revisit with parents and grandparents who could have grown up loving Ferdinand as well!

If you would like any other suggestions for books, please let me or another librarian know!

Madeline Jarvis

Youth Services Librarian

Monday, April 27, 2015

Morse Code Day

Happy Morse Code Day!

Samuel Morse (1791-1872) developed a code of dots and dashes to represent the letters of the English alphabet.  This code could then be used to transmit messages through the telegraph.  It was the first means for long-distance communication. 

My Morse Code message to you is:  .-. . .- -.. .-.-.-

Friday, April 24, 2015

Teach Your Children to Save Day

Today has three interesting celebrations.   
1) Pig in a Blanket Day 
2) Teach Your Children to Save Day 
 3) Hairball Awareness Day

I am sure there are more, depending upon your selected web source.   Since it is Smart Money Week (April 18-25), I thought it would be good to highlight #2 - Teach Your Children to Save Day.
 This day was set up as a way to help encourage kids to develop good savings habits, at an early age, to hopefully instill this as a lifelong skill.   This day was established by the American Bankers Association.

Check with your kids.  Ask them what they know.  Teach them.  The more they hear this important lesson, the better prepared they will be in the long run.

While you are at it, enjoy some pigs in a blanket for supper and watch out for those hairballs....

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This was a very interesting read.  Not something I would normally pick up because it is a bit sci-fi, but it is also a Young Adult dystopian type novel, so I had to give it a go.  I'm glad I did.  This is a very fast read and the story moves along quickly.  

How did I discover this book?  I was told it was a good book by a teen patron so I thought I should read it.  When patrons recommend books to me, I read them.  I never ask what the book is about, I never read the covers.  I just check it out and read it.  

What can I tell you about the book without giving it away?  Well, perhaps I can borrow from the inside flap I didn't read prior.  "ALERT: Humanity has been upgraded.  You are now obsolete." 

That's all I'm saying.  Read it and stop in and discuss it with me!


Stop by the library on Saturday, April 25th at 9:00 am for a special Earth Day program.  We will be walking along the bike trail and State Street picking up garbage and helping keep our piece of Earth healthy.  Supplies and lunch will be provided.  For more information, please call the library at 848-7616.  Thank you!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We are loved!
Thank you to the patron who brought us flowers
 for National Library Week!

Happy National Library Week!
Our story time today was all about libraries! 
 At the end, the children made and decorated their own books!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Great news!  
We have been awarded a scale-up STEM program for Pint Size Science from the Governor's STEM Advisory Council! This program is designed for preschool-Kindergarten and provides a platform for young children to explore science in a highly-engaging, interactive, and safe manner. This program will be available after training this fall for the lead teacher - Sarah. If you have any questions on how we can do outreach and provide this program in your preschool or school, please contact Sarah at 848-7616.  For more information, you can visit

Spring themed Traveling Tales today.  We talked about the four seasons while focusing on spring.  We discussed signs we see that indicate it is spring and we did some fun poetry with math!  I was amazed that several 4 year olds were able to group the items and could then count by 2's and 5's!  Way to go kids!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Toddler Time with Bobo - Colors

Interested in keeping bees? The library has a great book of interest to the new person or the experienced bee keeper. It is of special help to those who are concerned about keeping bees naturally without interfering in their lives.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015