When the going gets tough, the tough get a librarian.
Jenna Boller in Best Foot Forward.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Night Before Christmas

A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line) is a poem first published anonymously in 1823. It is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, including his physical appearance, the night of his visit, his mode of transportation, the number and names of eight of his reindeer, and that he brings toys to children. Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably. The poem has influenced ideas about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus beyond the United States to the rest of the English speaking world. The only major change to our vision of Santa Claus was the addition of Rudolph in the 1940’s.
The poem was first published anonymously in the Troy, New York Sentinel on December 23, 1823, and was reprinted frequently thereafter with no name attached. Authorship was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore and the poem was included in an 1844 anthology of his works. Moore was an author, a Hebrew scholar, a professor of Greek and Oriental languages who spoke 5 languages. However he is remembered for the Christmas poem which legend says he wrote on a sleigh ride home after buying a Christmas turkey for his family. There is some debate that Henry Livingston Jr. was the author of the poem.
In An American Anthology, 1787–1900, Edmund Clarence Stedman, editor, reprinted the Moore version of the poem, including the German spelling of "Donder and Blitzen" he adopted, rather than the earlier Dutch version from 1823, "Dunder and Blixem". Both phrases translate as "Thunder and Lightning" in English, though the German word for thunder is "Donner", and the words in modern Dutch would be "Donder en Bliksem". This explains why the confused reindeer has been known as Donner, Donder and Dunder.
Today, some printings alter the grammar and spelling of the poem and replace somewhat archaic words, such as ere, with ones more familiar to modern readers. The word courser in the poem means a very fast horse. The final line, originally written as "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night", has been changed in many editions to "Merry Christmas to all", in accord with the standard Christmas greeting current in the United States.
There have been many adaptations of the poem including the Librarian’s Night before Christmas, Cajun Night Before Christmas, the Night Before the Night Before Christmas and Heathcliff’s Night Before Christmas. Garfield, the Muppets, and Pokemon all have their own versions of the poem.
The library will be closed on the night before Christmas Dec 24 and on Dec 25. We will be open on Dec 26th.
We hope that you have a ‘Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.’

Monday, December 15, 2008

Talking Books

The mission of the Kansas Talking Book Service is to provide books and magazines in braille and recorded format and playback equipment to any Kansas Citizen unable to use standard print because of a visual or physical impairment.

The service, coordinated through the State Library of Kansas and the Library of Congress, National Library Service, provides for free home delivery of library resources designed to meet the cultural and recreational needs of eligible patrons by providing a well-rounded leisure-reading collections, equipment adapted to the reader’s needs and helpful responses to requests for information.

Persons who are unable to read or use standard printed materials due to blindness, low vision, missing arms or hands, lack of muscle coordination, prolonged weakness, or physically based reading disabilities (such as dyslexia) are eligible to use the service. An application signed by a certifying agent is required. You can get an application online at http://skyways.lib.ks.us/KSL/talking/ or at the library.

When a person enters the program they are sent a special player that is easy to use and will play the specially formatted tapes. The tapes will not play on a regular cassette player. Digital book players and cartridges will be coming in the near future. Descriptive videotapes are available. Descriptive videos are movies and television programs enhanced with narration that describes the actions, settings, gestures, and other key visual elements. A variety of popular free recorded and Braille magazines are also available.

Books are sent postage free, through regular U.S. mail, and are returned in the same manner. All have pre-addressed postage free mailing cards for easy return.

The Kansas Talking Book collection (more than 50,000 titles)contains a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and children, including best-sellers, mysteries, romance, biographies, christian fiction, science fiction, poetry, humor, westerns and suspense.A complete searchable list of available titles in Kansas is available at www.klas.com/kstb. The KLAS system allows registered users the ease of searching, determining availability and reserving the materials they want to read. Registered patrons also receive a list of recent releases (Talking Book Topics) and genre catalogs to aid in their selection. Patrons may request items found in these resources or titles recommended in newsletters simply by going on-line using KLAS in Kansas, calling Jaime Prideaux at the Southeast Kansas Library System 1-800- 279-3219 or emailing jprideaux@sekls.org.
If requested, the Talking Books library staff will automatically select titles by genre, such as biographies or poetry. They also provides Readers Advisory Service that will be happy to provide suggestions.

Because reading is more than a visual experience

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book Sale

The Library Foundation will be hosting a book sale on Friday December 5 from 9:00 to 5:00. Come and find some hidden treasures as you explore our book sale room.
We have fiction, nonfiction, large print, paperbacks, children books, young adult books and audio-books.

So if you are looking for a great stocking stuffer at a low price, come to the book sale!

Holdiay Display

In a hurry to find something about Christmas? You can find a good selection of fiction and nonfiction titles on the display table in the library. The table is just in front of the new books. You are welcome to take these books and DVD's.