Check out Teen Tech Week

Check in @ your library during Teen Tech Week!

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Teen Tech Week is a celebration of technology connecting with public libraries for our youth sponsored by the American Library Association. It takes place March 10-16. KCPL is celebrating TTW across all branches!

During Teen Tech Week we will promote our public library as your technology resource, where you can access and use a variety of technological devices, get help with your devices or with using computers, laptops, and more, attend computer and software classes, and more! KCPL has a digital branch, which is where you can access e-books, digital magazines, research databases, test preparation software, and even attend online classes!

Here’s what’s going on at your library:

ErlangerVideo Game Tournament: On Sunday, March 10 from 2-4pm celebrate Teen Tech Week by competing in a “Teen’s Choice” video game tournament. Visit http://www.facebook.com/kcplteens to vote for the game you want to play.

Tech-cessorize: Monday, March 11 from 6:30-8pm; Create jewelry out of junk computer parts. Supplies provided.

Website Creation 101: On Wednesday, March 13 from 6:30-8pm you can sign up for Website Creation 101 to learn how to making your own website. Get a free flash drive for registering!

Book Trailer Contest: Visit the Erlanger branch during our open recording sessions to use our equipment and space to record  book trailers, or commercials, that are entered into our Teen Tech Week Book Trailer contest! The recording sessions are on Thursday March 14 from 4-6pm and Friday March 15 from 4-7pm. Voting will take place over the following week and the winner will be announced on Friday March 22!

Covington branch: March 10-16: Drop in anytime this week at the Covington Library to pick up your free pair of earbuds. TEENS ONLY!!!

Durr branchTTW GIF MakingOn Thursday, March 15 from 6-8pm come make all kinds of animated GIFs in our computer lab.

This week we have a special giveaway! You can get one entry in the contest for doing each of the things listed below.

You can win one of 2 pairs of super cool headphones!61iDhjj-MyL._SL1000_

1. Tell us what your favorite social media website is. Are you always on Facebook? Do you prefer Twitter, or Tumblr? Let us know!

2. Follow the blog by hitting the “Follow” button and comment here that you did.

3. Share this link on your Facebook page, telling your friends about the contest, and comment here that you did.

4. Follow the Kenton County Public Library on Pinterest and leave a comment saying you did.

Easy, right? Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry on this post for extra chances to win. The winner will be chosen randomly and will have to pick the prize up at the Erlanger, Covington or Durr Branch Library. The contest will end on Monday, March 4th at noon!

Art of Food Surprise Giveaway!

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We have an incredible surprise giveaway for you! The Carnegie, which originally housed the Covington Library, has given the Kenton County Public Library two tickets to the Art of Food reception to give to one of our lucky readers.

The seventh Annual Art of Food exhibition opens on Friday, March 1 with a reception.  Popular with foodies and art lovers alike, this exhibition examines the mouth-watering world of food as demonstrated by the culinary inspired creations of local artists and top chefs from across Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The Art of Food celebrates that food can be a complete sensory experience and explores the ways in which food comprises an art form.

The opening reception will take place Friday, March 1 from 6pm-9pm in The Carnegie Galleries. During the opening attendees will have the opportunity to sample edible creations by more than twenty of the area’s top chefs while feasting their eyes on the culinary-inspired artistic works of artists Kelly Romer Armstrong, Eric Brass, Leah Busch, Valerie Escobedo, Timothy Gold, Sandra Gross, Dorie Guthrie, Debbie Hook, Joyce Kaufman, Rosie Kovacs, Pam Kravetz, Frannie Kroner, Carla Lamb, Megan Lemay, Carole Lichty-Smith, Trinidad Mac-Auliffe, Cheryl Metzger, Carla Morales, Becky Norris, Karen Saunders, Lori Siebert, Sheida Soleimani, Jenifer Sult, Jeff Sutherland, Katie Swartz, Amy Swoboda, Tom Towhey and Jen Ustick. Restaurants include Pizza Bomba, Fireside Pizza, Otto’s, Cumin, Nicholson’s Gastro Pub, Virgil’s Cafe, Senate and many more.

Cost to attend The Art of Food opening reception is $25 for Carnegie Members and $40 general admission, in advance; $35 for Carnegie Members and $50 for non-members, at the door.  More than 600 guests are expected to attend the opening.

Tickets are available through The Carnegie Box Office, open Tuesday through Friday, Noon – 5pm, online at www.thecarnegie.com, or by phone at (859) 957-1940. Admission to view the artwork on display in The Art of Food is FREE after opening night and open to the public Monday, March 4 through Thursday, March 21, 2013. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm, Saturday 12pm – 3pm.  (Please note The Carnegie will be closed Saturday, March 2, 2013.)

Art of Food Giveaway!

We’ll be randomly choosing our winner on Monday, Feb. 25 at 12 pm.  The winner will be emailed and announced on the Library Facebook page.  The winner has 24 hours to reply or another name will be drawn.You can enter to win two tickets to the reception by commenting on this post with the following information. You must do number 1. For extra entries, you can do number 2, 3 and 4! Be sure to comment separately for each entry.

1. Tell us why you want to attend the Art of Food (you must do this to enter)

2. Become a fan of the Library Facebook page.

3. Follow the blog.

4. Give this contest a shout out…tell your friends via Facebook, Twitter, text, email or even and old-fashioned phone call!  Then tell us how you spread the word.

Employees and immediate family members of the Kenton County Public Library and the Carnegie cannot participate in the contest. Disclaimer: We were given these tickets from the Carnegie to give to one lucky reader.

Birthday Party Planning Made Easy

Birthday Party Planning Made Easy

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Balloons, clowns, magicians, cakes, cupcakes, comedians, bouncy houses, character visits, oh my! Planning a birthday party for your child, whether they are 1, 8, or 16, can be really overwhelming but I’ve got you covered! If I thought I could truly make a living at planning kids’ birthday parties, that’s what I’d be doing. I LOVE it!  And thankfully, the Kenton County Public Library has plenty of resources to help me plan birthday parties for my children.

My children have a very nice birthday party every year. I enjoy throwing themed-parties at my home but we have had parties outside of the house as well. If you are looking to host a party at a location, you should check out Family Friendly Cincinnati’s post on birthday parties but if you are looking to host at home on a budget, read on and check out our cool video!

Welcome to the Oscars

My son had an Oscar party for his 6th birthday. Everyone received an invitation telling them to come as their favorite actor or musician. I found some inexpensive red fabric at a local fabric store to use as the red carpet. As each child entered, I took their photo on the red carpet. Music from my son’s favorite movies played in the background. Hannah Montana, Superheros, Indiana Jones and other celebrities, or a bunch of kids dressed as celebreties, enjoyed the afternoon playing Paparazzi Dance (instead of freeze dance). When the music stopped, the kids fell to the ground to dodge the paparazzi. The movie theater style cake was a huge hit! Instead of doing traditional goody bags, each child received a box of their favorite movie-style theater candy and a bag of popcorn to take home.  I also found small trophies at my local Dollar Tree. My daughter helped make labels like “best dressed,” “funniest” and “most dramatic” to put on the “Oscars.” Each child received one at the party.

Superhero party

My cousin designed the invitation to look like a superhero comic strip for Joey’s 5th birthday. It’s okay if you’re not a professional designer, the kids will still love it. Everyone came as their favorite superhero. I used my son’s super hero action figures to decorate the party area.

Swim Party

My daughter has had a pool party at my parents’ house several years. To make it a little unique one year, we wrote the invitation information on beach balls and dropped one off at each girl’s house. They then brought the ball with them to play with in the pool at the party. We sprinkled brown sugar on blue icing over the cupcakes to make it look like the beach. We then put teddy grams inside of a gummy saver and placed them on the cupcakes so they looked like they were floating. The girls loved them!

A Barbie Tea Party

My 13-year-old daughter still talks about her 5th birthday party that Barbie attended. I found cute garden hats, artificial flowers and ribbon at the local dollar store. Barbie, a friend of mine dressed in an old prom dress and made up with fake eye lashes and glitter makeup, helped each girl decorate a tea party hat. They then had cute sandwiches cut out as flowers and tea pots (just used cookie cutters) with tea (Koolaid). All of the girls were so excited to meet Barbie.

Cake Decorating Party

My daughter loves to bake and decorate cakes. I picked up plenty of supplies at Fantasy and Frosting and baked two 9-inch round cakes for each girl before they arrived. We then ran the party similar to the Next Great Baker. The girls had 90 minutes to decorate their cakes. Once they were finished, we posted each one on Facebook and allowed my friends to vote for an hour. The cake with the most votes won and the baker received a special prize. All of the girls had a blast and I didn’t have to make or buy a cake for the party.

Hunger Games Party

My son chose a Hunger Games theme for his 11th birthday. My daughter and I posted pictures of each of the tributes throughout the house before the guests arrived. Each child received a suctioned cup bow and arrow when they arrived. The boys were giving the challenge to find each of the tributes. I also picked up a Hunger Games themed cake at a pretty good price and enjoyed listening to the boys discuss what they like about the movie and the book.

Perfecting the Ideas

I am very creative but I can’t take credit for all of these awesome ideas. I definitely use magazines, books and online sources to help work out the details. Magazines are a great resource. You can check magazines out from the Library or skim them for ideas while you are there. Real Simple and Family Fun tend to have great food, invitation and game ideas. Family Fun Birthday Cakes, put out by Family Fun Magazine, might be just the book you are looking for. You can also get a free online subscription to certain magazines from the Library. Just click on Zinio, set up your account and choose which magazines you want delivered to your inbox. I tend to find great ideas in Do It Yourself, Family Circle, Parenting Magazine and Martha Stewart Living.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Parties: How to Be a Great Guest, Be a Happy Hostess, and Have Fun at Any Party by April Lundsten is a great book for your daughter who wants to be involved with the party planning. Naturally fun parties for kids : creating handmade, earth-friendly celebrations for all seasons and occasions by Anni Daulter with Heather Fontenot also has some good ideas. You can find several other books on our Birthday Party Pinterest Board.

Don’t forget to pick up music for the party at the Library or by downloading it for free from our website. You can also borrow movies that would be perfect for a slumber party.

Where do you get your party ideas? Tell us the details of the best party you have ever hosted or attended!

This post was written by Gina Holt, public relations coordinator for the Kenton County Public Library and mother of two. Most of the pictures are from parties Gina has hosted for her children.

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Wedding Planning 101: Check Out the Library!

Wedding Planning 101: Check Out the Library!

Krysta and Sam get Married

Krysta and Sam get Married

Statistics show that over 4 million couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day. Wow! Four million couples will be hunting for the perfect dress, venue, caterer, decorations and more in just a few days. Four million!

Perfect guy—check. Perfect ring—check. Picturesque engagement—check. Now what?  If your head is spinning and you have no idea where to start planning your big day, or if you just need some inspiration, come to the Kenton County Public Library! The library is an abundant source on all kinds of free wedding planning materials. I didn’t spend a penny on wedding magazines or books because I borrowed them all from the library. From books and magazines, to free databases and online services, the library had everything I needed to inspire me to plan my dream wedding this past October.

Getting Started—Words of Wisdom and Establishing a Budget

wedding bookBefore you get started, it’s a good idea to read up on customs, common practices, and etiquette to figure out what is important to you. For me, etiquette was one of the most stressful aspects of planning a wedding. A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene helped me through sticky situations when I didn’t know what to do. It’s also a good idea (not to mention fun!), to read about the history of weddings and how certain traditions came to be, like wearing a white dress! You may even decide to ditch tradition and make your own like I did.

Finding your Venue, Music, Photographer, etc.

Don’t have access to the internet at home? Come to the library! Pop in to use our free wi-fi to do some research or use your library card to log on to one of our computers to find the perfect venue, discover a wedding band or DJ, and read reviews on catering services.

The Dress & Hairwedding book 2

It’s all about the dress! Finding the right dress should be fun, not stressful. Whether you want to go for a vintage, 1950s swing dress or a soft, romantic  lace gown, you’re sure to find some inspiration in It’s All About the Dress: Savvy Secrets, Priceless Advice, and Inspiring Stories to Help you Find “The One” by Randy Fenoli. Not only will you get a glimpse of every dress style known to man, but you’ll learn about different dress fabrics and figure out the timeline for getting your dress in time for your wedding.

Looking at bridal magazines is a great way to find out what’s popular in wedding dresses and hairstyles. Zinio is a free service available through the Library with which you can download the latest issues of the most popular magazines to your computer, e-reader or other device. Once you sign up with your email address (it’s free to sign up!), they’ll automatically send you the latest issues of the magazines you want to see. Why buy magazines when you can get them for free at the library?

The Décor, Cake & Personalization

wedding flowersIs there a unique color or family heirloom that you really want to incorporate into the wedding somehow? Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings by Matthew Robbins will show you just how to do that. Follow the picture-lined pages of beautiful color schemes and unique designs to make a memorable space for your wedding.

Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-Friendly Celebration by Mireya Navarro was particularly helpful for wedding centerpieceme because I was trying to plan an environmentally friendly celebration. There are tons of great green ideas in this book that you’re sure to love. For my wedding, we took the money that we would have spent on favors and donated it to the World Wildlife Fund. Our guests thought this was a really unique idea and loved that they weren’t stuck with a favor they didn’t really want.

The Vows

Having trouble thinking of the perfect vows for your wedding? Check out Words for the Wedding by Wendy Paris & Andrew Chesler for some inspiration. Even though I didn’t write my own vows, I learned a lot about the importance of wedding vows and read some really inspiring ideas in the book. It’s full of quirky and touching quotes, lyrics and poems that are sure to inspire you. This book also has lots of information on how to personalize your wedding with words, too. I personalized my wedding program with a quote from one of my favorite songs and our guests loved the idea!

wedding book 3There are a lot of details that go into planning a wedding, but there’s no need to spend a lot of money researching all of the ways to pull it off. Check out the library’s Pinterest board for books and links to even more inspiration and ways that we can help you save money at the library!

What is the most unique thing you have ever seen at a wedding? Do you have a favorite resource?

Written by Krysta Wilham, Library Associate at the William E. Durr branch of KCPL

Romance In the Library

RomeoAndJulietThe Kenton County Public Library wants to help bring a little romance to your life! We have two tickets to the Cincinnati Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet and a $25 gift card to Petal Pushers Florist to give away. But first, let’s talk about some of the ways the Library can help with your love life, or at least your love for literature.

Have you been looking for love in all the wrong places?  Never fear because you can always find love at the Kenton County Public Library! With Valentine’s Day coming up on February 14th, the Library is guaranteed to have something for everyone of every age and interest.

Romance blossoms in the written word and the Library has books for adults that will touch your heart, like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford; tickle your funny bone like Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding; bring a tear to your eye like Dear John by Nicholas Sparks; or lure you into a seductive past like My Wicked Little Lies by Victoria Alexander. If you’re looking for young adult books, try a twist on love with Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, or the prospect of immortal love in Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan. Prefer eBooks or Audiobooks? Do an advanced search by subject and pick “Romance.” You can read reviews of all of these books on Goodreads.

Want a romantic movie to enjoy? Try a classic such as Casablanca or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or choose modern day classic like Love Actually or The Notebook. One of my personal favorites comes from growing up in the 80’s – who can forget Lloyd Dobler and his boom box playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” from Say Anything?

There are all sorts of books and movies for kids too. For activities, check out Paper Crafts for Valentine’s Day by Randel McGee, and All New Crafts for Valentine’s Day by Kathy Ross. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Valentine Collection are great DVDs for families to watch together. The Library is also offering Valentine’s programs for everyone.

You should check out our Valentine’s Pinterest board for great book, recipe and craft ideas! And check out this video. What is your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Book Display

Valentine’s Book Display

Are you ready to enter the contest? To enter simply do one or all of the following and leave a separate comment IN THIS POST to be entered to win:

1. Tell us the title of your favorite romance novel or movie.

2. Follow the blog by hitting the “Follow” button and comment here that you did.

3. Share this link on your Facebook page, telling your friends about the contest, and comment here that you did.

4. Follow the Kenton County Public Library on Pinterest and leave a comment saying you did.

Easy, right? Just make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry on this post for extra chances to win. The winner will be chosen randomly and will have to pick the prize up at the Erlanger, Covington or Durr Branch Library. Due to the dates of the ballet, this contest will end on Thursday, Feb. 7 at noon. The winner will be emailed and has 24 hours to respond. Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Note: the contest has now ended but we’d still love for you to follow us and comment with your favorite romance novel or movie. 2/7/13 1:30 p.m.

This post was written by Leigh Mauer, Reader Advisor