Wednesday, July 28, 2010

First Day of School Books for Kids

As the last days of Summer dwindle down, parents are gearing up to send their kids back to school. For some children, this might be their first year of school or maybe their first year in a new school. If they are nervous or scared, try reading some of these books to them to help calm their nerves.

I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
Lola is not so sure about school. After all, why would she need to count up higher than ten when she never eats more than ten cookies? Ten is enough! She certainly does not need to learn her letters to write a note to a friend. Calling on the telephone is more friendly and straightaway. It is up to Lola’s big brother Charlie, to persuade her that school is worthwhile. But what about Soren Lorensen? Lola’s invisible friend does not want to go to school either! Charlie certainly has his work cut out for him!
No matter how convinced your child is that they don’t need school, I am Too Absolutely Small for School will teach them how important learning their numbers, letters, and making new friends is.

To place a hold on I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child, click here.

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
Time to get up, get dresses and get going because it’s Llama Llama’s first day of school! Meet the teachers, find new friends, but wait….why is Mama Llama leaving?
Llama Llama Misses Mama is perfect for either a kindergartener or a preschooler, who does not quite understand that parents cannot stay at school. So if you are worried that your little one will be clinging to your leg on that first day, read them Llama Llama Misses Mama.

To place a hold on Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney, click here.

Take a Kiss to School by Angela McAllister
There is so much to remember on Digby’s second day at school. Will he know where to hang his jacket and when to listen for his name? Digby’s mother has some special help for her son, who doesn’t feel quite brave enough for school. This reassuring story with winsome illustrations is just right for kids starting school – and those who need a little encouragement once they’re begun!

To place a hold on Take a Kiss to School by Angela McAllister, click here.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Starting a new school can be scary – for anyone! Everyone knows the jumble of feelings that go through a child’s head as the first day of school approaches – especially if it’s the first day at a new school. Will they like me? Will I make new friends? What if I don’t like it? These are the questions Sarah Jane Hartwell asks herself as she tries to build up enough courage to embrace her new school. First Day Jitters, with its surprise ending, will teach children that everyone gets nervous on the first day of school!

To place a hold on First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, click here.

We hope everyone has had a great and safe summer! See you in the library!

~ Miss Judith ~

Monday, July 26, 2010

O-o-o-ps Goes the Hawk! Coosa River Science School

The 4-H Youth Development Center presented Raptor Trek at one of our Summer Reading programs. The hawk taught us a surprising lesson!

Contact Becky Collier
Extension 4-H Center Program Coordinator

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Monsters Under the Bed?

Is your child having problems with scary and frightening monsters under their bed?

If so, you might want to check out Amanda Noll's I Need My Monster. Noll takes a new spin on an age old problem that will definitely entertain you and your child.

Don't worry, your child won't be scared by I Need My Monsters, in fact they might start looking forward to seeing a mysterious creature under their bed.

And if your child isn't scared of monsters, they will still love I Need My Monster and all the trouble Ethan is going through when his monster, Gabe, takes a vacation and decides to go fishing for a week.

Ethan patiently waits for his new temporary monster to arrive, but one after another, Ethan finds fault with all these monsters. They just aren't Gabe, his monster!

As Edward Hemingway, author of Bump in the Night, says "I Need My Monster is a must-read for any discerning monster lover. A perfect bedtime companion. I'm keeping one cop on the nightstand and one under the bed!"

To place a hold on I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll, click here!

Check out a fan made trailer for I Need My Monster set to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

~ Miss Judith ~

Sidewalk Chalk & Something Cool, Summer Reading 2010

We filled the sidewalks outside of the Children's Department with our best chalk art and enjoyed COOL shaved ice in assorted delicious flavors!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Get Ready For School at the Library.

Children's librarians know summer is coming to an end and school is just around the corner, when suddenly two groups of parents and children appear at our desk. One group is looking for books from a 'required reading' list they were given back in May. The second group ask if we know of any books about starting kindergarten.

If you are a parent in the first group, do not panic. You still has two weeks to finish those lists. Drop by the Children's Department and let us help. Of course we realize you do not want to waste one moment of these last days of summer vacation anywhere but relaxing, so remember you can visit our web page. By completing a simple search for the title you can reserve it or place a hold on any material from the convenience of your home, after spending a relaxing day at the pool of course! 

For the second group of parents and children looking for books about kindergarten. Boy, do we have so great suggestions for you!
  • Kindergarten ABC by Jacqueline Rugers
  • The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Long
  • Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo
  • Eliza's Kindergarten Surprise by Alice McGinty
  • A Place Called Kindergarten by Jessica Harper
  • On the Way to Kindergarten by Virginia Knoll
  • Miss Bindergarten Has A Wild Day in Kindergarten by Josheph Slate
  • Henry's 100 Days of Kindergarten by Nancy Carlson
  • Kaya's Kindergarten and the Letter K by Cynthia Klingel
  • Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell
  • Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come by Nancy Carlson

And for you parents here are some of the books you might find helpful.
  • Kindergarten It Isn't What It Used To Be by Susan Sloan Gilent & Mitch Galant
  • Ready For Kindergarten: An Award Wimming Teacher's Plan to Prepare Your Child For School. by Sharon Wilkins
  • Classroom Routine's That Really Work For Pre-K & Kindergarten by Kathleen Hayse & Renee Creage
  • Ready, Start, School! Nurturing and Guiding Your Child Through Pre-School & Kindergarten by Sandra Rief

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but summer vacation is almost over and school is only weeks away. As parents and children are busy getting ready to the school we hope you take advantage of all the great books here at Homewood Pubic Library. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Spybot Search & Destroy

Spybot Search & Destroy

One of my favorite computer security tools is Spybot Search & Destroy. As its name suggests, Spybot S & D searches your computer to detect spyware and malware, as well as proactively immunizes your system from spyware and malware attacks.

Spyware often infects computers when users open suspicious attachments or click links received in emails or on spyware inhabited websites.

Spyware can hide itself deep in the Windows registry, and can be very difficult to detect. Spyware "spies" on computer activity, such as what websites users visit and how often users visit them, often transmitting captured information to third-parties. Some spyware use what is called a "keystroke logger" to record the keystrokes a user makes in order to capture user passwords, which can be pretty scary if you bank online or make online purchases where you enter credit card or financial information.

Spyware can also use available memory or bandwidth without your knowledge, effectively making your computer a "zombie", and when used in concert with thousands of other infected computers, is part of a "DDoS"(Distributed Denial of Service) attack on web servers or large servers in a malicious attempt to bring a website or server down.

Spybot Search & Destroy features the "Search & Destroy" Tool, which runs a "bot-check" that scans suspicious entries on the system. Suspicious entries are then displayed and the user is presented with the option to fix or ignore the suspicious entries. There may be times an entry doesn't need to be fixed. Many times anti-virus programs show up on security scanners, because of their close involvement with the registry.

Spybot S&D also offers an "immunization" tool that detects weak points in browsers installed on a computer and proactively provides protection from possible attacks.

There is also the Spybot S&D "tea timer", which keeps an eye on the registry and notifies users by a system tray balloon when any registry changes are made. Any registry changes brought to your attention when you have not installed or uninstalled a program can be spyware or malware activity.

Spybot S&D provides updates weekly, and you should check for updates and immunize your system at least that often.

You can download Spybot Search & Destroy at

However, no matter how many anti-virus or anti-malware programs you run, your best protection is your behavior online. Never click links or open attachments in emails or allow websites to install add-ons that you don't absolutely trust.

A good practice is to reformat your hard drive once per year, as this will clean any malware off your system as well as clean off accumulated junk in your registry that accumulates after installing and uninstalling programs, and will return your operating system to its "out of the box" condition.

Always back up important data before making major changes to your hard drive.


Mad Hatter's Party, Summer 2010

Mad Hatter's Party 030
Originally uploaded by HomewoodPix
We had a blast! And the person who created the craziest hat won a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's In A Name?

'What's In A Name?' is both the first chapter in the book Baby Names For Dummies by Margaret Rose, PhD and the heading for a recent article in the Birmingham News publication EXTRA written by Mary Stancill. Both the book and the article examine the trends, statistics and psychology of selecting first names.

First names always fascinated me and as a Children's Librarian I see lots of babies. I never fail to ask the babies names and more times than not how it was selected. The explanations are always interesting. Some names are passed down through families, some pay homage to favorite book characters, TV, movie, sports stars, and I have even meet babies named for football teams and coaches.

From these two publications I am reminded social psychologies also are interested in first or given names. They look at three main trends in name selection. Ethnicity, socio-economic status and social norms. Some names are specific to an ethnic group. Repeated exposure to some names especially through literature and media results in a lot people being drawn to them and some names trickle down to us from the wealthy. Then there is the relatively new trend they see of the selection or creating of a 'unique' name.

So what is in a name? in Ms. Stancill's article she made reference to the proverb 'a good name is more desirable than great riches' which I am pretty sure is speaking to the character associated with an individuals name not it's popularity still while the affects of and to what degree a name has on a person it is given is being debated maybe names should be selected wisely.

Earlier I did mentioned I was a librarian right? May I suggest a few books to help you if you find yourself in this process of choosing a name for your new baby. The Everything Baby Names Book by June Rifkin includes the traditional origin of the name and meaning of the name but also has a Top Ten Things to Consider when choosing a name. Baby Names for Dummies by Margaret Rose, PhD includes a similar origin and meaning of the names and also chapters on names through the ages and one with the ten practices to avoid. Dictionary of First Names by Alfred Kolatch includes 'more than 10,000 names', I did not count them. It has the standard origins of the name, variations of the name and spelling found in most baby name books. It divides the names in to masculine names and feminine names. The First Name. A Concise Dictionary has a bit more detailed origin of the name, various spellings and meaning. A nice touch is it simply list names alphabetically and uses the symbol for male and female to indicate the sex traditional associated with the name. These are just a few of the books on the subject you can find at the Homewood Public Library in the Children's Department Parenting section.

Does the name we give our children affect their life? I cannot say but research does indicate they do. I will leave you with this. I was a Child Development major at Auburn University when I was pregnant with my daughter. After I heard a child psychologist speak on this subject I spent a lot of time thinking about names. I weighted the merits of a strong traditional name with something unique to help her stand out from the crowd. In the end I choose her name after a visit to the beautiful Italianate Kendall Manor in Eufaula, Alabama. It was chosen because I like name and its association with something beautiful. Go figure. But I must add twenty four years later my daughter, the one named for that beautiful Italianate Manor graduated from Auburn with a Degree in Architecture. See you at the library!

~ Miss Dona ~

If you would like to put a hold on Baby Names for Dummies by Margaret Rose, click here.

And if you are curious, here are the top ten baby names of 2009 for Alabama according to the Social Security Administration:

1. William
2. James
3. Jacob
4. Jackson
5. John
6. Joshua
7. Jayden
8. Christopher
9. Michael
10. Ethan

1. Emma
2. Madison
3. Isabella
4. Ava
5. Anna
6. Addison
7. Olivia
8. Chloe
9. Abigail
10. Emily

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Make a Splash with Barber's Milk, Oreo Cookies and Samford Football players!

Tuesday the Children's department was joined by Barber's Milk, Oreo Cookies, and Samford Football players! Patrick and Erik, from the Samford Football team, enthralled the children with their storytelling

And who could pass up an Oreo cookie and some ice cold Barber's Milk??

Special thanks to Barber's Milk and the Samford Athletic Department for helping us make this event a success!

And remember, if you give a kid an oreo, she may want a carton of Barber's Milk, and if you give her a carton of Barber's Milk, she will want a Samford Football player to read to her.....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Books-A-Million Bookfair at Brookwood Village

Come out and support Friends of the Homewood Public Library!

Books-A-Million Brookwood
757 Brookwood Village 

Saturday, July 31st 
1-5 pm

Buy your books for back to school reading!

Shop in the café and sample some of the scrumptious desserts!

Present your voucher to the cashier before completing your purchase and Homewood Public Library will receive a portion of all voucher sales.

Thank you for your support!