Surviving the end of the School Year

As the school year draws near there are lots of emotions – happiness, relief, stress, sadness and anxiety – for the kids and the parents. Children are usually excited for the school year to be over and even many parents are as well but it also causes some issues. Final exams, end of the year projects, field trips, end of the year state testing and summer childcare are a few things that stress my family out. I can’t solve these issues for everyone but I can offer a few tips for surviving the end of the school year.

school year

1. Check out Kenton County Public Library’s database Learning Express. You will find practice tests and study guides for every age and most subjects. It will help your child feel more prepared for the big test. You can access this from home with an Internet connection and a library card.

2. Visit other Library online resources to access magazines, books and research materials for big projects. Zinio will give you access to thousands of the latest magazines. Need an encyclopedia? We have WorldBook Encyclopedia online. The site also gives you access to archived newspaper and magazine articles, thousands of photos from the region, e-books and other resources to help with class projects. You can access this from home with an Internet connection and a library card.

school year 2

3. My freshman daughter is stressing out over her Spanish final but the Library’s Mango database has relieved some of that anxiety. She can practice Spanish, as well as dozens of other languages, online. You can access this from home with an Internet connection and a library card.

4. Accept the fact that you probably can’t be at every end of the year awards ceremony, field trip and classroom party. Let the guilt go and just do what you can.

5. Children Inc. and Brighton Center can give you a list of certified sitters in your neighborhood. Schedule visits to in-home day cares and childcare facilities. Any reputable day care will allow you to visit.

6. Find some time to relax by downloading books, movies or music on the Library website or checking items out at the library.

good book

What do you do to survive the end of the school year?

 

Test Taking Skills

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Whether you are an experienced test taker or a newbie, the Kenton County Public Library  has how-to guides and test preparation resources available in a variety of formats:  print, electronic, audio, and video.  There are several publishers of great test guides:  Barron’s, Schaum’s, Peterson’s, Language Express, McGraw Hill’s, Princeton Review, Kaplan and Dummies.  Check out this resource list.

Test Taking3

The library subscribes to the Learning Express database which is accessible for a library card holder.  All you have to do is register and you will be on your way to improving your test taking skills.  This is an amazing resource with practice tests on everything from the GED to the ACT to the GRE and many others.  You can take timed tests and start and stop when you need; it really helps get you in the right frame of mind for standardized tests.  The database also includes software tutorials, occupation practice tests and U.S. Citzenship.

 Test Taking2

 

If you need any help along the way, your local library reference desk is here to support you, please give us a call or stop by, we want to see you succeed!

Test Taking1

 

-post written by Erin DeSantis, Young Adult Librarian

 

 

 

 

 

10 Things you May not Know about the Library’s Website

Our old website served us well, but it was time to move on to a new format.  We’ve created a list of 10 great features of our new website.

  1.  Mobile Ready
    Take us with you on your smartphone.  Our new responsive site now adjusts to your screen size and looks good on any device. 
  2. App Page
    Our app page goes great with our responsive site.  Download one or all of our apps to access free content including ebooks, magazines, music, video and more.  We have links to iOS and Android. 
  3. Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books
    Two of our wonderful children’s librarians with many years’ experience are writing a monthly blog feature new and classic children’s books.  If you love children’s books check out their latest blog Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!  for books all about winter and snowy days. 
  4. Help with eBooks
    New to ebooks?  Click on the eMedia link from the homepage and you’ll find red question marks next to the most popular eMedia collections.  If you’re just beginning you can find out how to get started and if you’re a pro you can find out details about the services including how many items you can check out for the different services. 
  5. Educator Collection
    We love our teachers!  Did you know that teachers can have their own special Library card.  A teacher can request special collections of books for their classroom and get additional lending privileges. 
  6. Book Club Kits
    Do you and your friends meet monthly to discuss a book?  Be your book club’s hero when you tell them that they no longer have to buy their own copy.  You can check out a book club kit that has 12-15 copies of the book. 
  7. New Item Lists 
    We know that you all love our new items lists!  You can sign up to receive the email list in your inbox, use your RSS reader or just check the site for updates. 
  8. Music     
    Use our site as a gateway to all of the latest music.  You can check out our new CD list that I mentioned to find out what we’ve recently ordered.  If you can’t wait head over to Hoopla or Freegal and get instant access.   Hoopla allows 8 downloads per month and you can keep the full album for 7 days.  On Freegal you get three songs per week and they are yours to keep
  9. New Calendar
    Our new calendar gets social too.  You can post our events to Facebook and Twitter or forward it to your friends using email.  If you want you can also signup for email reminders or add it to your calendar. 
  10. Faces & Places
    With over 90,000 fabulous photos what is not to love???  We’ve made it even better now and added easier social sharing buttons.

 Face & Places Photos

Back To School

Backpack – check. Six notebooks – check. Ten pencils – check. Crayons – check. Highlighters – check. Pens – check. Six folders – check. Markers – check. Paper towels – check. Tissues – check. Hand sanitizer – check. Ear buds – check. Flash drive – check. New shoes – check. Lunch bag – check. Lots of money spent – CHECK!

Going back to school is expensive. Tutoring in all subjects, language learning programs and reading help is also expensive but it doesn’t have to be. There is no need for expensive homework help services when the Kenton County Public Library can help you for free.

homeworkHelp

You can Book a Librarian for children in grades K-5 at the Covington Branch most days. Librarians are available (by appointment only) to help with homework, study skills, projects and more. Call 962-4077 to book an appointment.

Young children are encouraged to grab a parent and attend Family or Play Art storytimes. These programs encourage the love for reading and interacting with books in young children, which is important for school. Check out the full schedule.

Puppy Tales, offered at all three branches, can boost a child’s reading level and make them a more relaxed reader. Students in grades 1-6 can read to a real dog. Studies show that reading to a dog boosts children’s confidence and tests scores.

Reading Buddies, for children ages 2-12 at the Erlanger location, allows children to read books with an adult reading buddy. We’ll even save you money on dinner by providing pizza!

The Library can even help the kindergarten families save a little money on supplies. We will once again arm every kindergartener in the county with a kindergarten pack. This pack includes a pencil, crayons, an eraser, a sharpener, a “50 Books” list that every kindergartener should read and library information.

Kindergarten Kit

Kindergarten Kit

We can even help your child with their foreign language class. We have online programs and downloadable books to help with Spanish, Chinese, Italian, French, German and almost any language you can think of. You can even access it from any computer with an Internet connection as long as you have your library card number.

The Library databases provide homework help, practice tests, ACT practice tests, articles for research and must more. These can also be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection as long as you have a library card.

Check out an overview of services.

We have a SURPRISE GIVEAWAY!

The prize pack includes:

1. Three children’s books: “Follow The Line To School” by Laura Ljungkvist, “Duck Tents” by Lynne Berry and “King Jack and the Dragon” by Peter Bently and Helen Oxenbury.

2. The two-disc 70th anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz DVD.

3. A pencil pouch with basic supplies.

4. A Kenton County Public Library book tote bag.

book giveaway

How to enter:

You can enter several ways. Be sure to comment separately for more chances to win. Enter by noon on Monday, August 12. We will randomly choose a winner through random.org, who will be announced on our Facebook page and emailed. The winner will have 24 hours to respond and claim their prize.

1. What library program or service will you use to help your children with school? (required to enter)

2. Like us on Facebook and comment here that you did.

3. Share this contest through Twitter, Facebook, email or text and comment here that you did. If you share on Twitter please use hashtag #kentonlibrary.

4. Are you ready for the kids to go back to school? Why or why not?

The winner must pick the prize up at the Covington, Durr, or Erlanger Branch Library. Library employees and those living in their household are not eligible to win.

This contest is over.

City Directories: The Phone Book Before the Telephone

Want to buy a book in 1900? Head to Carrie Mendenhall or Mrs. Wm. Metzger!

Researching the history of your house and curious about the former occupants? Or possibly searching for an ancestor that lived and worked in Covington from 1880-1889? A city directory, think phone book before the telephone, is a wonderful resource for genealogy and local history research. The directories, beginning in 1834 for Covington, contain an alphabetical listing of local residents and businesses. Later directories include separate sections for business, advertisements, and streets. City directories are particularly useful for genealogists and other researchers because not only do they list the head of household and home address, but often the first name of the spouse, other members of the household, occupation, and place of employment. In many cases, the directories note when an individual has been widowed and the first name of the deceased spouse.

Want to know who lives in Jones Flats apartments? The Directory of Householders, otherwise known as the crisscross directory, is a great way to look up your neighbors.

Want to know who lives in Jones Flats apartments? The criss-cross directory was a great way to look up your neighbors.

A very useful section, which first appears in the 1931-1932 Covington City Directory, is the Directory of Householders or Street and Avenue Guide.  This is a reverse directory that lists the streets alphabetically along with the location, intersecting streets, and the address and name of each resident. This is an excellent resource when researching a building without knowing the name of the former resident or business.

Residents of Covington in 1886 had a wide variety of jobs. For instance, Jane B. Walter was a book sewer.

Residents of Covington in 1886 had a wide variety of jobs for instance Jane B. Walter was a book sewer.

The business directory, later titled the “Yellow Pages,” is another great tool for researchers. The entries are classified by type of business rather than name. For example, the 1900-1901 Covington City Directory includes businesses under such headings as Bee Supplies, Bicycles, Blacksmith Shops, and Boarding Shops. This section is quite helpful when one knows the type of business, but not the name, or wants to see the type and numbers of businesses in a given time and place. Did you know Erlanger had 2 plumbers and 3 restaurants in 1931?

Directories often have a City Guide section that provides detailed information on the community, local government, public officials, churches, newspapers, banks, parks, postal rates, and/or community organizations. This information can be used to create a portrait of the community where your ancestor lived.

Style, color, images, and slogans were more popular in the Business Advertisements section of the Covington 1961 City Directory.

The directories, in print and/or microfilm formats, can be found in the Local History and Genealogy Department. The collection currently holds directories for Covington, Newport, and vicinity for the years 1834, 1839-1840, and 1856-present. In addition, Cincinnati City Directories are available for 1902-1935 and 1956-present. Various directories are available on microfilm for the following Kentucky cities: Ashland, Bowling Green, Corbin, Danville, Frankfort, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Louisville, Maysville, and Paducah. Ancestry.com, available by visiting the Library, has digitized directories for many U.S. cities, including Covington, Newport, and Cincinnati.

Visit the Covington branch to see how the city directories can help you unlock clues about your family or house!

Written by Bill Stolz, Local History and Genealogy Department, Covington

Summer Travel: Far and Wide or Right at Home

Ebook beach

Whether you are planning a trip abroad, across country, locally or fantasizing about a dream vacation; the Kenton County Public Library has your ticket to information.

Begin your research with the library catalog. Browse your local branch library (Covington, Durr, and Erlanger) in the travel section beginning in the 900’s. Top travel guides are Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Rick Steves’, National Geographic Traveler, Insight Guides, Lonely Planet, and Let’s Go.

Take a look at the magazine section at the library or the magazine database, Zinio for travel magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and Sierra. Or visit the Culturegrams database to learn about the culture, language and much more about countries all over the world. Need to learn the language to get by while traveling? Look in the 400’s on the library shelves or visit Mango, the language database.

New travel websites to use: Trippy; Oyster; Hipmunk; Jetsetter; TripIt; Wanderfly; or Gogobot.

Watch foreign movies or travel documentaries to visually travel.

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Get a flavor of the place you’ll be visiting, check out ethnic cookbooks like these:

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Staying at home? The library offers numerous programs for you to enjoy. Interested in local events? Check out Cincinnati.com or CityBeat for up-to-date local happenings.

Here’s a list of recommended travel reads available at the Kenton County Public Library. Finally, don’t forget to stock up on great reads while vacationing this summer through our e-book sources.

Plan your whole trip with your Kenton County Public Library card and have a fun summer!

SD1400_20130608_26_sm  Blog written by Erin DeSantis, Young Adult Librarian

Expanded Local History & Genealogy Dpt at Covington Library

The Local History and Genealogy Department has opened in its new space at the Covington location of the Kenton County Public Library. The department is now located on the top floor, and is staffed all hours when the library is open. The department’s collection includes Kentucky Biographies, Kentucky Fiction, Kentucky Non-Fiction, Kentucky Reference (containing numerous books on many Kentucky counties), city and business directories dating back to the 1830s, maps, and many more resources for doing genealogy and history research. Come enjoy the quiet workspace and dig deeper into your family history!

                   Department

Looking south in the Local History and Genealogy Department. The chairs and tabletops from the Carnegie library were refurbished and used in the new space.

Microfilm Machines

Beth uses one of the microfilm machines to look up newspaper articles.

Maps

Need a map? The department has city, county, regional and state maps of Kentucky.

Computer Area

If you’re interested in accessing online databases such as Ancestry.com, geNKY, or Faces and Places, we have eight new computers dedicated to this purpose. Staff members are readily available to assist you with using these resources.

Check out our video of the new department! Have you visited the new department yet? Let us know what you think!

Financial Responsibility with the Library

wall street journalWhile you get your body in shape for summer, get your finances feeling healthy, too! Visit the Kenton County Public Library for all sorts of resources to get financially fit. For new graduates, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life by Karen Blumenthal provides clear, concise steps to set-up checking and savings accounts, manage your first car or college loan, establish an emergency fund, prudently pursue a good credit rating and launch a basic retirement plan. The book also makes an excellent graduation gift!  Newlyweds will find the Morningstar publication, Investing for the Long Run: Strategies and Solutions to Shape up Your Personal Finances available in both hard cover and as a PDF on the library’s web site, a great short guide to review together before launching into married life. Morningstar helps you think through the pros and cons of keeping accounts separate or combining them for joint ownership. The tome also provides fifty basic ways to save money and approach the many purchases needed to set-up a household wisely. Gift givers would also do well to check the library’s Consumer Reports online edition to uncover the best appliances to purchase for the future couple.

New households and young families are often overwhelmed by the onslaught of information thrown at them frodave ramseym life insurance agents, stock brokers, accountants, lawyers and financial planners. Who do you trust? A good first step is to educate yourself about the particular product or service you need to purchase. The library’s shelves and virtual e-book site are full of titles that can help you discern the best path to take. Some great volumes by popular financial gurus include The Road To Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide To Your Money by Suze  Orman,  The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey, Making the Most of Your Money Now by Jane Bryant Quinn and Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatsky. Read up on renting versus buying, leasing versus purchasing a car, saving money in your company’s 401-k plan or starting a Roth IRA or both, the best ways to save for college, buying whole or term life insurance, protecting yourself from identity theft and more. Feel a little less nervous and more in control of your own plans when you meet with a financial services professional.

Folks starting to take care of aging parents, paying for weddings or just getting closer to retirement have a myriad of money issues to plague a good night’s sleep. Specialized books on specific topics can help open your eyes to the many options available to you for help.  A Bittersweet Season: Caring for our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross and Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide (AARP) by Hugh Delehanty & Elinor Ginzler are two  books that supply support and show ways to find the medical, community and government resources available for your parent’s individual situation. On a happier note, Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget  by Denise & Alan Fields, now in its 10th edition and The Knot’s Complete Guide to Weddings by Carley Roney will aid both frazzled brides and parents.  The Retirement Maze: What You Should Know Before & After Retirement by Rob Pascale gives the reader a blueprint to follow before taking the giant step of leaving the world of work behind permanently.

mcclendon_cover finalFor the serious investor with time to spare, the library and a cup of coffee can combine for a great morning of free research sources.  The library carries all the newspaper favorites including the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily , Barron’s and the Cincinnati Business Courier in cherished hard copy form. Trusted database resources like Valueline and Morningstar are available online for free . Copies are ten cents each if you like to print out investment reports on potential stocks. Demographics Now is the library’s main “go-to” resource for those doing feasibility studies for starting your own business during the retirement years.  The savvy saver can also read the latest editions of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, MONEY, Bloomberg’s Business Week, Forbes, Fortune and Fast Company. Past month editions can be checked out for 28 days. If you get tired of paying for research you can print, visit the library to access it for free.

 

 

 

The Kenton County Public Library helps you make the most of your money. Some additional financial resources available from the FTC include:

This post was written by Natalie Ruppert, adult librarian at the Covington Branch.

New Year, New Attitude for School

homeworkHelp

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.

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 Ancestry.com, and Familysearch.org. 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.