University of Kansas professor Chip Taylor has spent much of his career tracking monarch butterflies, but next week he will be tracking some monarchs to a place they've never been before. On Monday, November 16, three of Taylor's monarch caterpillars will be traveling to outer space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and will eventually end up on the International Space Station. This project is designed to study the effects of gravity. Researchers hope the caterpillars will turn into butterflies sometime after Thanksgiving.Â You can read more about this project at Monarchs in Space.
If you've visited the Main Library recently, you may have noticed our new friends in the Children's Department: Monarch, Black Swallowtail, and Cabbage Looper caterpillars living on potted plants.Â Be sure to check on these tiny visitors as they grow bigger, form protective chrysalises and transform into butterflies and moths before being released outside!Â While you're visiting them, think about these fun facts:
The monarch caterpillar and butterfly are poisonous... but only to other insects that eat them!Â They prefer to eat the milkweed plant, which contains natural poisons that don't harm the monarch but do harm the monarch's enemies.Â But the monarch gives other insects a warning; their brightly-colored caterpillar stripes and bright orange butterfly wings tell everyone that monarchs are no good to eat!
The black swallowtail caterpillar also has an interesting way of scaring off possible predators.Â When it gets scared, it sticks out an orange organ called an osmeterium that gives off a stinky smell, a signal to stay away!
Bring your own snackÂ
As it grows, the black swallowtail caterpillar actually gets too big for its skin.Â When that happens, it sheds the skin (this is called molting) and then eats it!Â How's that for a snack?
What's in a name?Â
How did the cabbage looper caterpillar get its weird name?Â Well, the cabbage looper caterpillar loves to eat the leafy parts of cabbage leaves and several other leafy plants, and it moves around "looper"-style.Â ItÂ doesn't have legs in the middle of its long body, so it moves by walking its back legs forward and bending its long back into a loop shape, then moving its front legs forward and stretching its back straight again.Â Cabbage eating + looper walking = Cabbage Looper!
If you'd like to learn more about caterpillars, butterflies, and moths, come visit the Children's Department and we'll help you find some fun books to check out!
Did you know September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month?Â A library card is the smartest card in your wallet.Â Why?Â Because with a library card you can:
-- Check out books, books, and more books
-- Check out movies on DVD and VHS tapes
-- Check out magazines just for kids
-- Check out games for computers, Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation
-- Check out music CDs
-- Use internet computers at the library
-- Search the library catalog from your home computer
-- Place holds on books, movies, and more from your home computer or at the library
-- Renew library materials from your home computer or over the phone
-- Use eletronic resources, like World Book Online and Searchasaurus, from your home computer or at the library
-- Download audiobooks, music and videos from our website
And the best thing of all is a library card is absolutely free!Â Anyone can get a library card, but children under 16 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign their application form.Â If you would like to get a library card, stop by the library with your parent and we can help you.
Always guard your library card with care because you are responsible for anything checked out on your card.Â If you ever lose your card, let the library know immediately so we can make sure no one else tries to use your card.Â There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card.Â So keep track of your card!
September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, but we hope you'll use your library card all year long!Â It's the smartest, best deal around.
One thing you can always count on withÂ theÂ arrival of aÂ new school year is homework!Â And another thing you can count on is the library being here to help you.Â No, we won't do your homework for you, but we will try to help you find the information and resources you need to get your homework done.
Did you know you can get live Homework Help through the library's website?Â You can talk with a live tutor via the internet everyday between 4:00 - 11:00 p.m.Â Trained tutors are available to help 4th - 12th grade students with math, science, social studies, and English.Â All you need to get started is your library card and PIN.Â Click here to learn more and get connected.
The library also offers a number of free electronic resources that can be accessed both at home and at the library.Â Again, all you need is your library card and PIN.Â These resourcesÂ include:
EBSCO Animals - This encyclopedia of animals offers in-depth information on a variety of topics relating to animals.
Biography Resource Center - Search for biographies of individuals in a wide range of subjects, includingÂ government, history, science, sports, the arts, and entertainment.
Primary Search - This resource provides full text articles from more than 60 popular, elementary school magazines.
World Book Online - This is an electronic version of the classic encyclopedia.
Searchasaurus - This dinosaur-themedÂ research toolÂ provides access to several student-oriented databases.
You can find other electronic databases by clicking Online Resources on the menu at the top of this page.
As you can see, your library card isÂ a free ticket to a wealth of information.Â If you don't know your PIN number, call or come into the library with your library card number and we can look it up for you.Â Have a great school year, and don't forget that your library card is one of your most valuable school supplies!
Just kidding.Â Mango is not a language, but Mango is a new online language-learning resource available throughÂ the Olathe Public Library'sÂ website.Â You can use Mango toÂ studyÂ a number ofÂ languages, includingÂ Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Italian and more all from the convenience of your home computer or here at the library.Â All you need to get started is your library card and PIN.Â
Each lesson features an easy-to-follow interfaceÂ with clear, simple instructions along with audio from native speakers.Â Mango is not geared strictly to kids, but all ages can learn from this resource.Â You can access Mango from our Electronic Databases page (under the Online Resources drop-down menu on our website).Â Mango offers a free, fun and convenient way to learn a new language.Â Give it a try!
It's time to return your summer reading folders to the library.Â We can't wait to see that list of good books you've been reading!Â Bring your folder in to either Olathe library between August 3 - 16 and receive your free paperback book.Â There will be a wide variety of titles to choose from.Â Come early for the best selection.
We will let you keep your reading folder.Â That way you can takeÂ your folder back to school this fall and show your teachers all the great reading you did this summer.
We had more than 100 entries in our art contest this year, and after much discussion, our judges have chosen the winners! Winning entries will be on display at the main library August 1-14 and at Indian Creek August 17-31, and may be picked up in September. All other entries may be picked up at any time.
Our winners are:
1st place - Savindu Buluwana
2nd place - Sarah Lee
3rd place - Jenna Lindsey
1st place - Valerie Bolton
2nd place - Brianna Thompson
3rd place - Jennifer Chasteen
1st Place - Christine David
2nd place - David Qi
3rd grade - Vladimir Honc
1st place - Christopher Tian
2nd place - Maria Caputo
3rd place - Joe Robson
1st place - Katherine McCormack
2nd place - Christian Lee
3rd place - Alexandria Tomski
1st place - Ahna Valdez
2nd place - Brice Boehmer
3rd place - Rachel Li
Click here to see all the fabulous drawings that were entered inÂ our contest.
Are you a fan of Bill Nye the Science Guy?Â If so, you'll be happy to learn that the Olathe Public Library has added a hefty number of Bill Nye DVDsÂ to its collection.Â We now haveÂ overÂ fifty DVDs featuring the "Science Guy"Â covering a wide variety ofÂ fascinating topics---from spiders to comets to the human brain.Â You're sure to find somethingÂ that sparks your interest.Â You will find them in the J Nonfiction DVD section.Â Come in and browse the shelvesÂ to see what's available or check the library's web catalog.
What do you get when you put together paper, glue, magazines, macaroni and pipe cleaner? Some amazing creations! At the end of the hour we had everything from beach scenes to tigers. Check out some of the artwork below.
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After being closed for a week, the Main Library (201 E. Park) is open again for business. Come check out our new look. We have new carpeting throughout the building and some slightly different furniture arrangements at our Circulation and Adult Reference desks. Thank you for your patience during our renovation. We hope you'll enjoy your new updated library.