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5 Reasons to Try Speakaboos this Summer

Reasons to Try Speakaboos

My two-year-old twins have fallen in love with the Speakaboos app over the past few months. We've added these stories to our regular reading routine because of the three fun ways to interact with the app:

 

 

Read to Me - stories read by a narrator

Read it Myself - child or parent can read the story

Read & Play - stories with an interactive element

Not sure if Speakaboos is for you? Here are my top five reasons to give it a try with your young reader:

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Five Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a great resource for anyone on the go to get the benefits of reading. If you have not yet tried audiobooks, it’s worth it to try listening to a new read. We will also tell you how you can try it today from your mobile device!

Benefits of Audiobooks

1. Entertainment leads to engagement.

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How to Prevent the Summer Slide

How to Prevent the Summer Slide

The summer slide is learning loss that happens during the summer when a child goes for an extended period without reading or engaging in learning activities. This can cause children to get behind in school and result in the loss of up to two months of reading and learning achievement. This time adds up, causing them to lose years of learning achievement with each passing summer. The summer slide accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in high school students.  

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Big Library Read with Oklahoma Native Lacy Williams

Big Library Read

If you’ve ever dreamed of a modern-day country romance with a Pride and Prejudice twist, this month’s Big Library Read on OverDrive is just the wild-west-head-over-heels romance you have been waiting for.

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Have you met AutoMate?

Do you frequently work on vehicles?

AutoMate may be your new auto repair BFF.

Whether you work on vehicles for fun or out of necessity – you’re going to love this library resource, and it’s accessible from your home computer or another internet-accessible device. If you are an avid user of the Auto Repair Reference Center (ARRC) you will want to keep reading – AutoMate will replace ARRC beginning Aug. 1, 2018.

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The Digital Library Trifecta - For Kids!

Library Apps

Kids today are pretty tech savvy. Maybe your children have an allotted amount of screen time, maybe you give them your phone to use or maybe they have their own phone or tablet. Either way, they probably spend time on a mobile device or computer.

In July, Metro is talking about the digital library trifecta for kids – Kanopy, Hoopla and Overdrive. These three apps are indispensable for anyone who streams music and movies, listens to audiobooks or reads books from a mobile device or tablet. The best part is, the library offers these services free.

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This Post is MAJOR - Dailies

U.S. Major Dailies

Are you an avid newspaper reader? Don’t want to pay pricey newspaper subscription prices? You can now access respected U.S. newspapers online through U.S. Major Dailies - free with your library card!

Read the most recent online and print editions of The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune each day after 7am. The latest blogs and magazines, such as the New York Times Book Review and others, are also available through U.S. Major Dailies.

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Step Aside Freegal

Step aside Freegal. Hoopla is here.

After careful review and consideration, Metro Libary will discontinue the Freegal Music service. The last day of service will be July 23, 2018. Music that you have downloaded to your computer directly from the Freegal website is already yours to keep. However, music you have downloaded from the Freegal app must be exported to your computer in order for you to keep it.

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How to Transfer Freegal Content from an Apple or Android Device

Transferring Freegal Content from an Apple Device to iTunes

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Stories Matter

I've started this blog post on Pride and LGBTQIA resources about half a dozen times. In one, I wrote about the history of the Stonewall Riots and the first Gay Pride march almost fifty years ago. In another, I wrote about a friend who was driven out of our small Catholic high school for being bisexual. But they all felt false somehow, not really quite what I was trying to accomplish.

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NYT's “Caliphate” Podcast Reading List – Part 2

“Caliphate” is officially over and I hope that Rukmini will take up new projects so that others may benefit from her incredible reporting.  As mentioned in the last episode, the fate of Huzayfah is still uncertain and causing quite a stir in Canada.  Just like “Serial”, it looks like “Caliphate” will continue to reverberate across popular imagination as a story both familiar and terrifying. I was thankful to finally hear from ISIS victims towards the end of the series, and we have some great titles in the collection that enhance those voices. Enjoy!

 

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How Kids Can Celebrate Global Beatles Day

Music was a big part of my childhood. I remember distinctly trying (and failing) to sing the words to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” at four years old. I remember evenings filled with the sounds of Jackson Browne, Elton John, Genesis, Asia, Boston, James Taylor, Carole King, and other music that makes me sound really old. I didn’t realize it until later, but the music I listened to as a kid was totally undergirded by the sound inventions of the Beatles.

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Summertime Rocks, and Rolls

Thinking about my teenage summertime always brings back memories of hiding inside on too hot summer days watching the bright, poppy, candy-colored, wild-eyed, music videos on MTV of the late 1980s and 90s. It brings back memories of David Lee Roth, leading tourists to a beach full of highly tanned bikini girls, and draining out whatever last tiny bit of innocence that the Beach Boys had put into their hit song, California Girls.

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NYT's “Caliphate” Podcast Reading List – Part 1

The New York Times dropped a 10 episode podcast in March by Rukmini Calimachi, a respected journalist who reports on ISIS. “Caliphate” has skyrocketed in popularity and now boasts millions of listeners each week.

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The Best of 2018 So Far

The Best of 2018 So Far

We are officially halfway through 2018 and I’m feeling #hashtagblessed with all of the thought-provoking and creative book releases so far. Below are my top three 2018 books across genres. What are some of your favorites?

 

 

 

 

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Talk Bookish to Me

Talk Bookish to Me

Like most snooty book nerds, I turned my nose up at audiobooks for a long time. I know how to read. I don’t need to listen to someone else read a book to me, I thought. Audiobooks are lazy. But then I realized that there were certain activities not well suited to reading a print book—operating a motor vehicle, for instance—that took up a good portion of my time. Time I was spending NOT reading books, which is just a travesty. Audiobooks allow me to read MORE books than I could the traditional way, and I am all about that!

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10 Must-Reads for Mom

ten books selected just for mom

Looking for the perfect gift for Mom? Or maybe you’re a mom looking for the perfect read? Check out some of these must-reads.

 

 

 

 

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LitFest 2018

Downtown library LitFest advertisment

Come join us at LitFest! Writers of all ages, skill levels, mediums and genres are welcome! The day's agenda includes topics such as diversity in publishing, making comics, branding, self-publishing, writing technique and more! We will also have a book fair and booths with local publishers, authors, and university writing programs.

Register now to receive a form to create your personalized session schedule. You will also have the opportunity to register for one-on-one manuscript critiques with 4RV Publishing. Read more and sign up on our website.

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Belle Isle Butterflies

Belle Isle Butterfly garden

The Belle Isle Library recently welcomed some very special new members to its property: beautiful monarch butterflies! The annual migration of North America’s monarch butterfly is an incredible phenomenon. The monarch is the only butterfly to migrate two ways, as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can sleep through winter as larvae, pupae, or even as adults in some species, monarchs cannot survive the cold. Using environmental cues, the monarchs know when to travel south for the winter.

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UPDATED-Oklahoma Teacher Walkout: Resources for Parents and Children

line up of colored pencils
  • Resources for parents and children for child care and meals during the Oklahoma teacher walkout.
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Making History

Making History

Although I have a history degree and call myself a feminist, Women's History class was the hardest for me. Why? Because I thought our history could be summed up in one sentence: Women's lives sucked until the passage of the 19th amendment and then it got a little less sucky. But, was I wrong! I've since discovered countless stories of incredible women. Did you know one of the best WWII snipers was a Russian woman? Or realize a large female spy network was active in France during the war? Nor did I before diving into these books.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

It's been five years since Ready Player One swept through the book world, and the movie is landing this weekend. Virtual reality, gaming geekery, and 80's pop culture combined to make this book an instant classic for science fiction fans. Readers have been speculating if (and how) the movie will incorporate anywhere near the 350+ pop culture references from the book. Will the movie live up the hype?

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The Best of Kanopy: A Night at the Opera

Opera on stage

You may already be aware that with your library card and an internet connection you can use Kanopy to checkout 6 titles each month and that can be streamed on your web browser, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Roku device. You may also be aware that Kanopy contains thousands of feature films, documentaries, and educational videos.

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Who run the world? Girls!

Beyonce gif of who runs the world

March is Women’s History Month so what better time to highlight some of the best written female characters in the fantasy genre? Characters that have the full range of characteristics that real-live women have, not just some one-dimensional purpose of being the love interest, jealous mean girl, or damsel in distress.  Feel free to check out some of my past blogs for more recommendations and let me know what other books or series you would add to my list.

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Her-story

historical female pilot standing in front of a vintage airplane

I discovered historical fiction in the first grade. I picked out The Witch of Blackbird Pond from my school library because it sounded spooky—I’ve always been a little Wednesday Addams at heart—but I came to find out it wasn’t the pointy hats and broomsticks kind of witch, but rather the Puritans and witch trials kind. I was fascinated. And appalled. And I instantly had to tell everyone I knew about this horrifying time in our nation’s past.

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