Youth Services Blog

What’s up in Youth Services?

Have you noticed the displays near the front of Youth Services? Or have you rushed past to find your favorite section of the library? These three sections could become your new favorite stop, or a place to start when you aren’t sure what you’re looking for! Be sure to browse these areas when you have a few moments.

New books…

These are books that are brand new to the library. Look for this bright NEW label, and you could be the first to check these books out!

Here’s one of my favorite new books- just in time to hit a few ball parks and enjoy a lazy summer day:

Ballpark cookbook. The National League : recipes inspired by baseball stadium foods / Katrina N. JorgensenBallpark cookbook. The American League : recipes inspired by baseball stadium foods / Katrina N. Jorgensen

In both the National and American League versions!

Staff Picks…

Stop by and see what books your friendly Youth Services members have recommended to you. Try something new today and let us know what you think! Their choices, ranging across various age levels and genres, are on the second set of shelves, right after the new books.

Staff picks are highlighted with a card that shows an adorable picture of each staff member.  There is also a handy brochure for you to keep.

Staff picks display

State Award Nominees…

Each year, the Illinois School Library Media Association puts together a list of books nominated for the Monarch (grades K-3 ) and Bluestem (grades 3-5 ) Award. Another program, the Rebecca Caudill Award, reaches grades 4-8. Schools throughout the state that participate in these programs allow students to vote for their favorite book. These books are found next to the Staff Picks and have a brochure for you as well. The lists include contemporary choices as well as time honored stories from the past.

Staff picks display

Let us help you find a book that’s the right fit – whether it is a staff pick, an award nominee, or your favorite genre. That’s why we’re here!!


As we all know, weather can be unpredictable, especially in the Midwest. A hot, humid, lazy summer day can take a sudden turn for the worse with a shift in the wind, or a storm front on the horizon. While these severe storms are fascinating to observe as they move and grow, they can also be deadly, especially if they develop into a tornado. Our general area has been threatened by tornados throughout the years, most recently, this past June. The Red Cross Website , seen below, offers some information and safety tips to share with your family to help with tornado preparedness.

Here is another valuable site from the Department of Homeland Security:

Explore these kid-friendly websites with information about

many different types of severe weather:

Weather Wiz Kids

Tree House Weather Kids

Weather Watch

To understand more about a tornado, click on the picture to visit the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and try this activity:

These books are available in our library to learn more about tornadoes and storms, both fact and fiction.





Enjoy these summer days, but be sure to keep an eye on the weather and stay safe!!

Ice Cream

At the start of July, we were 183 days into 2016, with 183 to go until the end of the year, which puts us smack dab into the middle of the year and summer! And summer is when we hear….

C:\Users\cford\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\IE\S6G7WOGM\ice-cream-cone[1].jpg I scream, you scream…. We all scream for ICE CREAM! C:\Users\cford\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\IE\S6G7WOGM\Ice_Cream_dessert_02[1].jpg

I love ice cream, so when I found out that July is National Ice Cream Month, of course I have to celebrate…all month long!

If you are participating in the Summer Reading program, there are various ice cream rewards at different levels….yum!C:\Users\cford\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\IE\OZGJ7ZFR\Soft_Ice_cream[1].jpg

Feeling adventurous?? Try making this simple ice cream in a bag at home!

These websites explain a little bit more:



Need more information or a cool story? Check these out from the library…

http://www.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0944435092/MC.gif&client=prairiearealib&type=hw7 http://www.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0060014237/MC.gif&client=prairiearealib&type=hw7 http://www.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=1571033386/MC.gif&client=prairiearealib&type=hw7
http://www.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0545731615/MC.gif&client=prairiearealib&type=hw7 http://www.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=0761450432/MC.gif&client=prairiearealib&type=hw7 http://www.syndetics.com/index.php?isbn=9781449444242/MC.gif&client=prairiearealib&type=hw7

Remember to celebrate all month long and stay cool….

Check back soon for more “scoop” from the library!

It’s Spring! Part Three: Use Your Journal To Record Animals

We’re back! Now that we’re comfortable using our Nature Journals to record plants, we can also use them for animals.


For example, look at this picture:

Baby birds

(Image credit: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/–YtsXfmyMmI/VW8jdk2lIPI/AAAAAAAACXY/vJeMn8riHvQ/s1600/BabyBirds.png)

What do you notice? Do you know what kind of birds those are? If not, how could you find out?

What is the Mama bird doing? Where does the nest seem to be located? What is it made of?

If this were a real birds’ nest, you could try to observe it over a period of time. That way, you could see how the baby birds grow and change.

On the subject of baby birds, here is some important information about what to do if you find a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest:


Tune in next time to learn how you can fill your Nature Journal with observations without ever leaving the backyard!

It’s Spring! Part Two: Use Your Journal for Plants

Hi Everyone,

Now that we’ve got our Nature Journals, it’s time to fill them up!

You can fill your Nature Journal with things you see on nature walks, or even in your own backyard!

The important thing is to look carefully at the animals and plants you see, and make observations about them.


You can also check out a nature guide, like this one:

Let's Find It! cover art

(Let’s Find It! My First Nature Guide, by Katya Arnold. E ARN)

For example, look at this picture:

Ruscus aculeatus plant

(Photo credit to: http://www.naturescene.co.uk/flowers/plants/Ruscus%20aculeatus.html)

What do you notice about the plants? Do you see how the grass is long and green? What about the other plants? Why would there still be dead leaves there? Imagine you are standing on the path. What would you smell? What sounds do you hear?

Now focus on one kind of plant. What do the leaves look like? How about the stems? Does it have flowers? What color are they? What do they smell like? You can write down descriptions, draw pictures, or come up with your own way of recording things. Try it in your own backyard, or the next time you go on a nature walk!

Tune in next time for our tips on how to record animals in your Nature Journal, and please come visit the library soon! We would love to have you show us your favorite pages.