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Tails & Tales

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

This year’s Summer Community Read theme is Tails & Tales! Over the summer, you’ll be able to enjoy virtual programs like Voices From The Ape House with author Beth Armstrong, Eating Plants: The Philosophy and Practice of Veganism, and many more. 

While we have many excellent virtual programs to attend, I’d like to highlight a few animal advocacy groups to get you thinking about what you can do to help our friends in need.

Colony Cats & Dogs is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose primary mission is to address cat overpopulation in central Ohio through public awareness and spay/neuter efforts. Since 2002, their organization has facilitated spay/neuter of nearly 19,000 cats and dogs, and placed more than 15,000 pets in homes.

Specialized help for feral, stray and abandoned cats is a core element of our programs. We assist compassionate caregivers who are feeding and watching over homeless cats by providing TNR (trap-neuter-return) and other support services including food, shelter, vaccines and additional vet care for injuries/illness, as well as educational resources.

colonycats.org/aboutus

Spay & Neuter Abandoned Cats & Kittens, Inc. (SNACK) is an all volunteer organization formed in 2011. SNACK’s mission is to humanely reduce the overpopulation of homeless cats and kittens by conducting, promoting, and supporting trap, neuter, return (TNR) programs and low-cost spay/neuter programs.

Cause for Canines is a 501(c)(3) volunteer-based, all-breed dog rescue founded in Central Ohio, who’s committed to the rescue of homeless dogs, dogs given up by their owners due to difficult circumstances or those in danger of abuse or neglect, and dogs in shelters that are at risk of euthanasia.

Our mission is to find safe, loving, committed and permanent homes for the dogs we take into rescue.  All of our dogs are placed in foster care and receive any necessary medical care and treatments and are spayed/neutered and microchipped, while waiting for their forever homes.  Applicants are put through an extensive adoption process to ensure our dogs are placed in the best homes possible.  We also provide education to prospective adopters to ensure they have the tools necessary to provide appropriate pet care for their new forever friend.

causeforcanines.org

SPEAK! for the Unspoken is a registered 501(c)(3) pet rescue located in the Columbus, Ohio area devoted to special needs animal rescue and education.

We focus our rescue efforts on special needs dogs and cats, double merle dogs born with vision and/or hearing deficits due to poor breeding practices. We believe special needs dogs can live happy and healthy lives, and until the careless breeding stops, we will continue to find these special dogs the homes they deserve. We see possibilities, not disabilities. We adopted our motto “special needs and good deeds” to incorporate all the animals outside of the ‘special needs’ category that we are able to help. We are a foster based rescue so all of the animals in our program are living and cared for in a loving home.

speakfortheunspoken.com/about

Sunrise Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that provides a loving and permanent shelter for over 170 formerly abused, neglected, disabled, or unwanted farm and companion animals.

We at Sunrise Sanctuary encourage more humane and compassionate behaviors and believe that each living creature has value and deserves to live free of suffering and exploitation.

sunrisesanctuary.org

Whether you’re new to animal advocacy or a lifelong defender, we can all do our part to help creatures great and small. Check out these books to see how you can help animals in your community and across the world:  

  • Voices from the Ape House by Beth Armstrong | print
  • Happily Ever Esther by Steve Jenkins & Derek Walter | print
  • Tiny but Mighty by Hannah Shaw | print
  • Dogland by Jacki Skole | print

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Online Resources Recommendations

Explore Ohio with BPL

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Now that Spring is here, it’s time to get outside! Did you know that with your Bexley Public Library card you can check out telescopes and birding kits?

Two birding kits, one for individuals and one for families, are available for a two-week checkout period. Each pack contains one set of binoculars, a variety of three field guides, two birding activity sheets, and a Birding Quick Start Guide. The family kit includes an extra set of compact binoculars suitable for a child or adult. Check out the borrowing guidelines here.

After you’ve checked out your birding kit, head on over to Bird Watcher’s Digest to find Ten Bird Watching Hotspots in Ohio. Don’t want to drive to Hocking Hills or Shawnee State Forest? Try visiting one of our many wonderful Metro Parks, perhaps Scioto Audubon or Pickerington Ponds!

Photo: Bryan Huber via metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/pickerington-ponds/

As the nights get warmer, what better time to borrow a telescope from BPL? Two telescopes are available for patrons to view astronomical events, learn more about our solar system and develop a greater appreciation for the earth’s place in the universe. These telescope kits include EZ Finder Scopes for aiming, instructions, eyepieces for magnification, LED mini red flashlights to help with night vision, and skygazing resources. Check out the borrowing guidelines here.

Want to venture out of your backyard to explore the sky? Head over to Columbus Astronomical Society to read up on observing sites where you’ll learn more about the John Glenn Astronomy Park and the Perkins Observatory (located just north of Columbus)!

image via jgap.info

One of my favorite outdoor activities this spring has been exploring trails, big and small, across Ohio. Recently the Ohio Department of Natural Resources released the DETOUR app which allows you to explore trails systems across the state from your phone. You can explore Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks, Cleveland Metroparks, Central Ohio Greenways, and so many more!

Whatever you do this spring, make sure to get outside and soak up all of the goodness that Mother Nature has bestowed at our feet!

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Booklists Recommendations

Poetry and Nature

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

April 2021 marks the 25th annual celebration of National Poetry Month and 51 years of recognizing Earth Day. What better way to honor these two significant milestones than look at how nature has inspired poetry then and now. 

An incredible inspiration, nature allowed The Romantics to reflect on the environment’s impact in our daily lives, physically and emotionally…while modern-day ecopoetry focuses more on nature, it’s non-human inhabitants, and examines humans’ impact on the environment.

When I think of nature, my mind immediately goes to my favorite poet John Keats. Whether you’re reading To Autumn, Ode to a Nightingale, or Sonnet VII [O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell], Keats has a way of transporting you into the dreamiest and earthy settings.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

To Autumn by John Keats via poetryfoundation.org/poems/44484/to-autumn

And while I’m in my happy place reading poetry from The Romantics, I also love diving into modern-day poetry coming from ecopoets!

So, what is ecopoetry exactly?

…an ecopoem needs to be environmental and it needs to be environmentalist. By environmental, I mean first that an ecopoem needs to be about the nonhuman natural world — wholly or partly, in some way or other, but really and not just figuratively. In other words, an ecopoem is a kind of nature poem. But an ecopoem needs more than the vocabulary of nature.

Why Ecopoetry? There’s no Planet B. by John Shoptaw via poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/articles/70299/why-ecopoetry
The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris

Whether you’re a fan of Keats, Wordsworth, Shelley, or Blake or you prefer modern day ecopoetry, there is something for every reader at BPL.

  • The Poetical Works of Keats | print
  • The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley | print / digital
  • Wordsworth, The Eternal Romantic | print
  • The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake | print
  • The Ecopoetry Anthology | digital
  • The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane | print
  • Here: Poems for the Planet | print
  • Habitat Threshold by Craig Santos Perez | print

Continue celebrating National Poetry Month online by visiting poetryfoundation.org or poets.org and see how you can join the movement this Earth Day by visiting earthday.org

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Booklists Recommendations

New Books by Black Authors

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

As we continue celebrating Black History Month, check out these new titles by Black authors!

  • The Devil You Know by Charles M Blow | print
  • You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar | print / digital
  • Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson | print / digital
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Booklists Recommendations

‘Tis the Season

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

While the holidays feel different this year, I’m incredibly grateful that the library has helped me keep up the cheer with books, movies and music!

When I’m not listening to Taylor Swift’s latest album Evermore (currently available on Hoopla!) these are the albums I have playing on repeat:

  • A Christmas Album by The Drifters | digital
  • Christmas with the Rat Pack | CD / digital
  • The Christmas Album by Leslie Odom Jr. | CD / digital

My holiday book picks are sure to make you miss the ones you love, but they’ll also make you appreciate any “me time” you get this season!

I don’t know about everyone else, but I always watch the same Christmas movies every year; Home Alone, The Santa Clause, Krampus (we all have our favorites!). But this year, with so much time spent at home, I’m finding new holiday favorites to throw into my yearly rotation. Even better, the following titles are available on Hoopla so you don’t even have to leave your couch to find some Christmas cheer!

From all of us as BPL, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!   

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Booklists Recommendations

BPL Staff Favorites of 2020

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

As 2020 comes to a close, I asked staff to reflect on their favorites books, movies, and albums from this year. Some staff found it easy to narrow it down, while others couldn’t choose just one! Here are the BPL staff favorite books of 2020:

  • Christian’s PickThe Lucky Star by William T. Vollmann | print
  • David’s PickCOVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One by Debora MacKenzie | print
  • Hannah’s Pick Wilderness Chef: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Outdoors by Ray Mears | print
  • Juliana’s Favorite Memoir This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire by Nick Flynn | print
  • Juliana’s Favorite Fiction Read Writers & Lovers by Lily King | print / digital
  • Leann’s Science Fiction Pick A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green | print / digital
  • Leann’s Favorite Thriller The Guest List by Lucy Foley | print / digital
  • Nichole’s PickBeing Lolita by Alisson Wood | print
  • Sue’s Pick Deacon King Kong by James McBride | print / digital

Our favorite films from 2020 include:

  • Christian’s Pick Feels Good Man *currently unavailable through the CLC
  • Juliana’s Pick The Devil All the Time *currently only available on Netflix
  • Nichole’s Pick The King of Staten Island | DVD / Blu-Ray

And finally, our BPL staff favorite albums from 2020 include:

  • Christian’s Pick Heaven to a Tortured Mind by Yves Tumor | CD
  • Hannah’s Pick Old Flowers by Courtney Marie Andrews | CD
  • Jeff’s Pick Lianne La Havas | CD / digital
  • Juliana’s Pick Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers | CD
  • Kim’s PickWomen in Music Pt. III by HAIM | CD
  • Nichole’s Pick Circles by Mac Miller | CD / Vinyl / Digital

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Booklists Recommendations

Native American Heritage Month

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

This November marks the 30th anniversary of Native American Heritage Month, as declared by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

National Congress of American Indians

To celebrate the writers of the Native American community, check out these titles which are available with your Bexley Public Library card:

  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot | print / digital
  • Abandon Me: Memoirs by Melissa Febos | print
  • Tending the Fire: Native Voices & Portraits | print
  • Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah Miranda | digital
  • Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo | print
  • The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow | print / digital

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Booklists Recommendations

Banned Books Week 2020

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10

Every year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top 10 challenged books to bring to light censorship that still plagues libraries and schools.

Of the 566 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the book:

  • George by Alex Gino | print / digital
    • Reasons: for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  • Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth | print / digital
    • Reasons:  LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
  • Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis | print
    • Reasons: featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
  • I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas | print
    • Reasons:  LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | print / digital
    • Reasons: profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
  • Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling | print / digital
    • Reasons: referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  • And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content

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Booklists Recommendations

Latinx Heritage Month

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Did you know that tomorrow, September 15th kicks of National Hispanic Heritage Month?

“The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about/

To celebrate, check out these titles written by Latinx authors!

  • Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher | print
  • It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham | print
  • Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin |print / digital
  • Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat |print / digital
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | print / digital
  • A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende | print / digital
  • Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo |print / digital
  • In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero | print / digital 
  • A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernandez | print / digital
  • Music to My Years by Cristela Alonzo | print
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado | print / digital
  • Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz | print / digital

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Booklists Recommendations

Rom-Coms With a Side of Horror

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

If you’re anything like me, Covid-19 has you in a serious reading and viewing slump. If it’s not light and enjoyable, I just can’t get into it. My go-to reading and viewing genre has been romantic comedies, with the occasional horror thrown in. Balance, right?

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a horror comedy and all is well in the world. Libby/Overdrive and Hoopla Digital have been lifesaving during this time, and I want to share with you the books and movies that have made life a little sweeter for me over the past few months. 

Happy reading AND viewing! 

*all titles are available digitally through Libby/Overdrive and Hoopla or physically through the BPL catalog*