Have you ever wondered aboutÂ those peopleÂ you see sitting behind the deskÂ when you visitÂ the library?Â This isÂ a new feature on our blog to help you get to know them just a little bit.Â Each month we will profile a different Children's Department staff member atÂ the Main LibraryÂ or Indian Creek Branch.Â They will tell you a little about themselves, what they like to do, what they like to read, and maybe some interesting trivia.Â This month we are featuring Mr. Gregg.
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Hi! My name is Gregg (I'm the one on the right), and I work at the Main Library. I've worked at the Olathe Public Library for overÂ 15 years. Boy, does that make me feel old!
As a child the first book I remember reading all by myself was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, and I'm still a big fan of his books.Â They are true classics.Â The Sneetches and Other Stories is one of my favorites.
One of the best books I've read recently is Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.Â It's a chapter book told in free verse about Kek, a young Sudanese refugee, who immigrates to Minnesota.Â It tells ofÂ his struggles to adjust toÂ the unfamiliar American culture while trying to come to grips with the horrors of his past.
Some of my favorite children's authors include Kate DiCamillo, Ruth White, Cynthia Rylant, Kevin Henkes, Madeleine L'Engle, Maira Kalman, Jon Agee, Petra Mathers, Eve Bunting, Jon Scieszka, James Marshall, Patricia Polacco...Â I could keep going, but I'd better stop there.
I studied art in college and love to visit art museums and galleries and occasionally even create some art of my own.Â I do a lot of the artwork in the children's area at the Main Library.Â I like all kinds of music and play the guitar, recorder,Â and mountain dulcimer.Â (If you're looking for some good children's music, let me recommend Bill Harley or John McCutcheon.)Â IÂ share my home with aÂ sweet, black cat named Lorelei.Â So if you ever notice strange clumps of black fur clinging to my clothes, that would beÂ why!Â One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Schweitzer:Â "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:Â music and cats."
Well, that's just a little bit about me.Â People often tell me I'm lucky to work at a library, and I have to agree!
February is Black History Month, and the Children's Department at the Main Library is celebrating with a display case featuring "Famous Firsts in Black History."Â How well do you know black history?Â See if you know the persons behind the following accomplishments:
- First African American Major League Baseball Player
- First African American Supreme Court Justice
- First African American Nobel Peace Prize Winner
- First African American to Sing at the Metropolitan Opera
- African American Co-discoverer of the North Pole
- First Black Licensed Aviator in the World
- First African American Astronaut in Space
- First African American Secretary of State
- First African American Pulitzer Prize Winner
- First African American President
To find the correct answers, click here.Â How many did you know?Â To learn more, stop byÂ our display in the Children's Department at the Main Library and then browse our biography section for more booksÂ about famous African Americans.
Are you a chess enthusiast?Â Are you looking for a worthy opponent to challenge your chess-playing skills?Â ThenÂ you're invitedÂ to come to our monthly Family Chess Nights at the library.Â Family Chess Nights take place the first Monday of every month through May from 6:30-8:00 p.m.Â We alternate library locations each month.Â Here's the schedule:
Monday, February 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch
Monday, March 3, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Main Library
Monday, April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch
Monday, May 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Main Library
All playing levels are welcome.Â The whole family is invited.Â Boards and equipment will be provided.Â No registration required.
Today is our state's 147th birthday.Â Happy birthday, Kansas!Â Why not celebrate by reading a book by a Kansas author or illustrator?Â You might be surprised at the number of books the library owns by writers and artists who live right here in our home state.Â Here are a few of the Kansans who have children's books inÂ our collection:Â Jane Kurtz, Brad Sneed, Andrea Warren, Richard W. Jennings, Stephen T. Johnson, Roderick Townley, LouAnn Gaeddert, Thomas B. Allen, just to name a few. Check one out today!
It's award season again in the world of children's literature.Â The 2008 Newbery and Caldecott Award winners have been announced, and here they are:
Newbery Award Winner
Â Â Â Â Â Good Masters!Â Sweet Ladies!
Â Â Â Â Voices from a Medieval Village
Â Â Â Â Â by Laura Amy Schlitz
Newbery Honor Books
Â Â Â Â Â Elijah of BuxtonÂ byÂ Christopher Paul Curtis
Â Â Â Â Â The Wednesday WarsÂ byÂ Gary D. Schmidt
Â Â Â Â Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
Caldecott Award Winner
Â Â Â Â Â The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Â Â Â Â by Brian Selznick
Caldecott Honor Books
Â Â Â Â Â Henry's Freedom BoxÂ illustrated byÂ Kadir Nelson & written by Ellen Levine
Â Â Â Â Â First the EggÂ by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Â Â Â Â The Wall by Peter Sis
Â Â Â Â Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems
And here are the winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards:
Coretta Scott King Award WinnerÂ for Author
Â Â Â Â Â Elijah of BuxtonÂ by Christopher Paul Curtis
Coretta Scott King Honor Books for Author
Â Â Â Â Â November BluesÂ by Sharon Draper
Â Â Â Â Â Twelve Rounds to GloryÂ by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
Coretta Scott King Award Winner for Illustrator
Â Â Â Â Â Let It Shine: Three Favorite SpiritualsÂ by Ashley Bryan
Coretta Scott King Honor Books for Illustrator
Â Â Â Â Â The Secret Olivia Told MeÂ illustrated by Nancy Devard & written byÂ N. Joy
Â Â Â Â Â Jazz on a Saturday NightÂ illustrated byÂ Diane Dillon & written by Leo Dillon
Are you a fan of the I Spy books by Walter Wick?Â Then you should check out the display in the Children's Department at the Main Library.Â In our glass display case Miss Diane has assembledÂ a three dimensional version of an I Spy puzzle.Â One of the rhyming clues reads:
I spy a Santa and four stacking dolls,
a glittery red heart and two wooden balls...
There are snowmen, a soup can, a tiara, a tea cup, a golf tee, a tiny book, necklaces, crayons, candy and more.Â Â Do you think you canÂ find all the items in the clues?Â Stop by the Main Library anytime during the month of January and test out your spying skills.
If you've watched the news on TV at all recently, you've probably been hearing a lot of talk about presidential primaries, caucuses and debates.Â Or maybe you've heard your parents discussing which candidates they support or would never support in a million years.
Well, here'sÂ your chanceÂ to vote for something.Â What is your all-time favorite book?Â Beginning on January 1 kids across the nation will be voting on their all-time favorite picture books and chapter books.Â On May 1 the topÂ eightÂ "candidates"Â in each categoryÂ will announced.Â On September 1 the first round of voting begins among the eight finalists.Â Beginning September 22 vote again from among the top four finalists.Â Finally, on October 13 the two most popular titles will face off for the final round of voting.Â Votes will be tallied after midnight onÂ Election Day, November 4, and the winners will be announced on November 5.Â To cast your vote, go to www.voteforbooks.com.Â You can also find a link to this website on our Good Books page.Â May the best book win!
Christmas Eve is almost here, and so what better time to read that famous poem by Clemente Clark Moore, "The Night Before Christmas."Â The library has many different books based on thisÂ poem which was first published in a newspaper in 1823.Â There is 'Twas the Night B'fore Christmas, an African-American version of the poem.Â There is GullahÂ Night Before Christmas, told in the Gullah dialect of South Carolina and Georgia.Â If you're in the mood for something a little scary, perhaps you should try The Night Before Christmas: A Goblin Tale.Â There is The Night Before Christmas: Told in Signed English and even a version by the creator of the I Spy books called Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas.Â The Grandma Moses Night Before Christmas illustrates the familiarÂ narrative with paintings by the famous folk artist.Â There are also manyÂ other traditional versions by various illustrators, including Tomie dePaola, Tasha Tudor, James Marshall, Mary Engelbreit, Lisbeth Zwerger, and others.
Why not create a new family tradition by gathering the family together on the "night before Christmas" and reading aloud this well-loved poem?Â As you can see, there are many versions toÂ choose from at the Olathe libraries.Â Happy holidays to all!
Have you met the newest "American Girl"?Â Her name is Julie Albright.Â She lives in San Francisco, California in the 1970's.Â Her parents' recent divorce means many changes for Julie, including moving away from her best friend, Ivy Ling, a Chinese-American girl.Â In the "Julie" books you'll learn about the women's movement, the U.S. bicentennial, presidential elections, divorce,Â environmentalists, and other issues from the turbulent 70's.
Fans of the Judy Moody books may be interested to know that all of the "Julie" books are written by Megan McDonald.Â So call the library to get on the waiting list for the books in this new seriesÂ or place your hold through our online catalog.
One summer day in 1944 a red-headed, curly-haired toddler mysteriously appears on the courthouse stepsÂ in Way Down Deep, Vest Virginia.Â Who is she?Â How did she get there?Â You'll have to read Way Down Deep by Ruth White to find out.Â Â It's one of the best books I've read recently.Â
Have you read any good books lately?Â Â Click on theÂ "Comments" link belowÂ andÂ tell us about the last good book you've read.