Programs for Building the Brain and Keeping it Sharp

Homebound and Racing to Read Staff

Homebound and Racing to Read Staff

As the Coordinator of Outreach Services at the Kenton County Public Library it is mine and my staffs’ privilege to bring programs and materials to local child care and assisted living facilities throughout Kenton County.  Our programs differ at each facility and are based on the needs of our patrons.If you sat in on a program at a child care facility you would find a story time filled with music, finger plays, puppets, wonderful books that are building the child’s imaginative skills, listening and reading skills, and increasing their phonic awareness. You would also see children interacting with the programmers and developing their social skills.

Homebound brings programs, which assist with keeping the brain sharp through reminiscing type exercises, to assisted living facilities. Some centers choose slide show presentations that take the residents on a trip down memory lane. Other centers opt for more intense brain exercises involving crossword puzzles and answering trivia questions.  Whatever the program might be the main goals are to provide entertainment for our patrons and to help exercise their minds through building new skills or helping them maintain current skills.

Do you know someone who lives in a senior facility? What types of programs do you think they would enjoy? Do we visit your child? Do they like the Racing to Read program?

By Kari Jones, Coordinator of Outreach Services

Call Homebound at 859-962-4062 for more information.

Free Help for ACT & SAT Prep

sat prep

Nervous about the road to college?

The Kenton County Public Library can help reduce your anxiety in the area of test taking. The library has many resources available to help you boost your ACT/SAT scores to gain college admittance and put you in the driver’s seat for potential scholarships.  Test preparation study guide books from prestigious companies like Kaplan, Petersen, Barron’s and The Princeton Review can set you back over $35 a book. The library has all the 2013 latest editions to master the ACT or SAT from these publishers and you can check them out for free. Simply search SAT TEST or ACT TEST under “keyword” in the library’s catalog to request individual titles to be placed on hold for you to pick-up. The library gives you a window of 3-5 days to retrieve the books, before they return to the shelves.  Current college test preparation books can generally be checked out for two weeks.

Concerned about finding enough time to study in between high school homework, extracurricular activities and sports?

No worries! Kenton County Public Library also offers Test Preparation Software on our webpage that you can access anytime day or night with your library card. Simply go to the KCPL web page, click on Research & Homework, then Test Preparation. You will immediately be taken to the Learning Express web site. Click on College Preparation (left side of page) and register as a First Time User with your library card number and PIN (often the last four digits of your phone number) . Uncover the buttons to ACT Preparation and you will find free online courses to aid you in English, Reading, Science, Math and Writing sections. Besides the test prep courses, you can also take the most up-to-date practice tests in each area right online, too. The software will automatically remember your stopping place, so you can continually revisit the material. Underneath the SAT buttons, you will find similar courses and practice tests, but also heavy duty sections to assist you in completing SAT essays. You can also get help writing the essays required by top schools on their entrance applications!

The Learning Express web site can also help you develop your software skills, as you prepare for college. Most students grow to become proficient in MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel by graduation time. To get a leg up on the competition, you can take online software classes for free by clicking on Popular Software Tutorials.Quickly learn to write your first resume, develop a spreadsheet to track your grades or create a unique presentation for a public speaking class. If you have any trouble accessing the site, just click Ask A Question  at the top of the library’s home page to chat online with a Reference Librarian during the library’s normal business hours.

Upcoming test dates for the ACT are April 13th and June 8th. Fast approaching SAT test dates are March 9th, May 4th and June 1st.  Use the library to get the highest scores you can today!

Leave us a comment! What tips do you have for others getting ready to take the ACT or SAT? What do you like about the library prep test?

act cartoon

New Year, New Attitude for School


The Library has a lot of resources for homework help. Many of which can be accessed through our website with your Kenton County Public Library card, even from home.

On our home page, under Research and Homework, there are a couple of resources that can help with homework as well as build your students’ confidence level.  First, there is the database page. This page lists all of the databases, or online resources, that our library users have access to, as well as a description of the information you can find in each resource.

There is also a link titled Test Prep. This leads to the Learning Express Library. Here you will sample practice tests for all ages as well as skill building exercises. You can also watch a video on how to use Learning Express. You can also help your child brush up on their foreign language classes with Mango and Little Pim online.

Did you or your student receive an e-reader or tablet over the holidays? If so, we have digital books available for check out from home.  On our homepage, right above the Research and Homework link there is a link called eBooks & eAudio. Overdrive eBooks features a few picture books and many chapter books for children. OneClickDigital is our audio book catalog.  Many students find it helpful to listen to a book while they read it.  Axis360 eBooks is a collection of picture books that you can check out and read on the accompanying app Blio. If you do not have an e-reader, we have Nooks for children, young adults, and adults that are preloaded with books.  Many students today find it fun to read on an electronic device!

It also helps encourage your children to read if they see their parents reading traditional books or on e-readers. Check out our collection of relaxation and meditation CDs or perhaps you would prefer a comedian on CD or DVD. We also offer the service Freegal which allows you to download three free songs per week.Reading together encourages a love for reading.The Library reference staff is also here to help. Stop by any of the three branches and ask the children’s or adult/teen reference staff for help with researching a project, finding certain books or using the online resources. You can even text or email a librarian with a question.

So, make a fresh start this year and help your children make one too. Let the Kenton County Public Library help you with our many services available to cardholders. Happy New Year!


This post was written by Julie Mills, children’s librarian at the Erlanger Branch Library.

Classic Books Discussion Series at Covington

The Classic Book Discussion Series is a new program at the Covington Branch designed to provide readers with the opportunity to discuss books that have proved to be of enduring interest.  This season’s discussions began in September with Sinclair Lewis’ “Main Street” and will continue with one discussion each month, concluding in May with a modern retelling of the ancient story of “The Ramayana” by South Asian author R. K. Narayan. Diversity was an important selection criterion for the books we selected. The time range of the titles extends from 405 B.C.  when Aristophanes’ prize winning play, “The Frogs” first appeared on the Greek stage to 1963 A.D. when Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking “The Feminine Mystique” appeared on bookstore shelves. The settings span the globe from Minnesota to the Kingdom of Ayodhya in India. The titles to be discussed were selected from a long list of suggestions made by library staff members. The works selected include imaginative literature in the form of novels, plays and fiction, as well as nonfiction titles concerning issues in science and society. Each discussion is led by a different staff member with a particular interest in the book. Refreshments are always provided, with an eye towards what we are discussing –for example, at the December discussion of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, an English Christmas pudding was served.  Unlike traditional book clubs, it is not expected that attendees will read all, or even most, of the books and many people will come only for one or two books that particularly interest them, but it is hoped that many will wish to broaden their horizons by coming to several discussions.


September 18  Sinclair Lewis’ “Main Street.” was a literary sensation and outraged many when it appeared in 1920 and still helps shape our view of small town American society.

2 oct frogs

October 16  Aristophanes’, award winning play (Lenaea Festival, 405 B.C.), “The Frogs”,  is one the best known plays  by  the greatest comic writer of ancient Greece and one of the greatest comic writers of all times.  An Adaptation of the Frogs appeared on Broadway as a Stephen Sondheim musical in 2004.

3 nov structure

November 20  Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”   published in 1962 provoked much discussion and rethinking within the scientific community and beyond and “introduced the concept of a “paradigm shift” which became commonplace in the sciences and many other fields of knowledge.

4 dec  christmas

December 11  Published in 1843 Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol became the best known Christmas story in the English speaking world and revived the celebration of Christmas which had been in decline in England.

5 jan noJanuary  15  Jean-Paul Sartre’s play” No Exit”,  first performed in occupied France in 1944,  is considered by many to be Sartre’s best play and most accessible dramatization of his philosophy of existentialism.  Three damned souls are brought to the same room in hell and find out what hell really means.

6 feb feminineFebruary 19  Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique,” published in 1963, is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States. Friedan became the first president of the National Organization for Women.

7 mar madame

March 19  Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is a seminal masterpiece of realism. With its art lying in small details, precise words, and hidden meanings Flaubert tells a chilling tale set in a bleak town in Normandy.

8 apr soulsApril 16  In “The Souls of Black Folk” W.E.B. Du Bois’ drew on his own experiences to communicate what it was like to be an African-American in this 1903  classic of sociology.

9 may ramaMay 21  Master novelist R. K. Narayan created this short version of the Ramayana, a story of abduction, battle, and courtship in a world of deities and demons composed in India in the Fourth Century B.C.

This blog was written by Steve Albert,  Adult Services Department,  Covington Branch

Researching Your Family History

family treeLooking to restart your genealogy research in the New Year? The library has many resources for your family history quest. If you just getting started on your research the best way to start a family history project is to fill out a family tree. You can fill out a tree yourself or recruit your parents, grandparents and other family members to help. It may be helpful to ask your relatives where they were born, where they were married and other life events. Remember to take legible notes and keep good records of all the information you collect.  Having legible well documented notes will be helpful later in your research.

Now that you have collected information for your family tree it is time to research. Start by going to Local History and Genealogy  and exploring all the resources available to genealogists. You will find links to commonly used research sites including, and For more localized research check out the Northern Kentucky Newspaper Index, Faces and Places Northern Kentucky Photograph Archives and geNKY.

Looking for additional resources that may not be available online? Head to the Covington branch and utilize the collection of local history and genealogy books. We have books that cover vital records, county histories, cemetery internments and much more! You may also want to look through our Family Files and Local History Files to assist with your research.

For more tips, and suggestions on genealogy or local history check out our Pinterest page and watch this video. What family history tips do you have to share?

Ancestry com jpg (3)This post was written by Cierra Earl

This blog was updated December 2013.

New Year Resolutions

Prize Pack

Prize Pack

As we kick off the New Year, many of us think of resolutions we’d like to fulfill. The Kenton County Public Library has a lot of free programs, materials and services that can help you keep those resolutions. We will even get you started with your Healthier New You resolutions by giving away a Bob Roncker’s gym bag, $10 gift card to Bob Roncker’s, a 2012 Racing to Read T-shirt and a KCPL water bottle. See below for your chance to win but first…

Many people resolve to improve their health.  The Durr Branch Library offers Wellness Walkers in Northern Kentucky and a Diabetes Support Group each month. The Erlanger Branch will offer a class on Exercise Myths and How to Really Get Fit. Of course the Library offers a plethora of healthy cookbooks and how to exercise, as well as exercise DVDS and video games.

Maybe finding a new job, improving your job skills or advancing your education is on your list of resolutions. The Library offers basic computer classes like First Time Computer Users, Microsoft Word and Excel. We also offer GED, resume writing and job searching classes. Registration is required for most.

Taking up a craft like knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, jewelry making might be on your list. We have programs and books at all three branches to help discover your creative side. One book some of our staff members recommend is “Junk box jewelry : 25 DIY low cost (or no cost) jewelry projects” by Sarah Drew.

Abby and JebReading more, writing, exposing your children to books, doing more as a family or learning another language are things many people resolve to do. You and/or your children can learn a language for free from any computer with an Internet connection. Storytimes are a great way to spend time with the family and expose everyone to different books, crafts and songs.

The Library also offers free programs on getting organized, learning to use your eReader, writing, public speaking and researching your family.

Be sure to pick up a few books, DVDS, magazines or video games while you are attending a free program. Not sure what materials are right for you to keep your resolution? Check out our Pinterest page. Several staff members worked on this page to help you throughout the year. You can click on the links and put the items on hold.

To kick off the New Year, the Library is giving away a fun Library Prize Pack (see top photo). You have four chances to enter.

  1. Comment here telling us what your New Year’s resolution is.
  2. Follow the blog by hitting the “Follow” button and comment here that you did.
  3. Follow Kenton County Public Library on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did.
  4. Tell us what program you will attend or item you will check out to help you keep your resolution.

Easy, right? Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry on this post. The winner will be chosen randomly and will have to pick the prize up at the Erlanger, Covington or Durr Branch Library. The contest ends Monday, Jan. 7 at noon. The winner will be emailed and has 24 hours to respond. Good luck and happy holidays!