Archive: Jan 2021
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All 3000 magazines you love on RB Digital and up to 3 years of back issues are now available on Libby by Overdrive (https://www.mympls.org/download-it/).
The magazines will be available on both Libby by Overdrive and RB Digital through March to help better ease the transition for our patrons. After March 31st, RB Digital, it’s content and application, will be unavailable.
Please reach out to us at email@example.com or call us at 304-291-7425 with any questions.
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Don’t be a victim of fake news.
The digital age has made information easily accessible and especially abundant. Anyone anywhere can create content. The challenge is determining the source’s credibility, in other words, “can it be trusted?”
In our 8-video Media Literacy Series, Morgantown Public Library System staff will unpack the difficult but necessary skills you will need to become a smart consumer of information on Facebook Live every Wednesday starting in February at 4:00pm (https://www.facebook.com/MorgantownPublicLibrary). Each of our videos are designed with a specific age group in mind. So, whether you are a young learner, early in your development, or a seasoned reader, anyone can benefit.
Media Literacy Series Schedule:
- February 3: Finding Reliable Sources (Designed for adults featuring Nathan, Staff Researcher at the Aull Center for Local History, a division of the Morgantown Public Library System)
- February 10: How to Watch the News with Your Kids (Designed for parents of young children featuring Sarah Palfrey, Library Director for the Morgantown Public Library System)
- February 17: Fact versus Opinion (Designed for teens featuring Tessa, Reference Tech at the Morgantown Public Library)
- February 24: Photo Zoom and Edits (Designed for adults featuring Rowan, Reference Tech at the Morgantown Public Library)
- March 3: How to Spot Fake Science (Designed for kids featuring Charlotte, Library Assistant at the Cheat Area Public Library, a branch of the Morgantown Public Library System)
- March 10: Tweens and Clickbait (Designed for preteens featuring Eva, Reference Tech at the Morgantown Public Library)
- March 17: Ideological Biases (Designed for adults featuring Cody, Reference Tech at the Morgantown Public Library)
- March 24: Media Biases and How to Spot Them (Designed for adults featuring Shelby, Evening Supervisor at the Morgantown Public Library)
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2020 was an ahem “unprecedented” year in books just like everything else. Libraries across the country saw extended closures and drops in circulation but rises in downloadable books, and much to our absolute delight, more conversations between staff and patrons about books. Print book sales were up 8.2% in 2020 and many of us found ourselves reading outside of our usual genres or re-reading old favorites. It ignited many discussions about what draws us to certain genres, which led us to the idea for a monthly video series: Fiction 101.
In our first Fiction 101 discussion, Shelby from the Morgantown Public Library Circulation, downtown branch, and Sarah P, Library Director, talk about what library patrons have been reading in 2020. Shelby is the lead coordinator for our Staff Picks service and shares some insights about requests.
We are big fans of book lists around here and December and January are the season of the best lists. Part scorecard, part lottery ticket, did we pick winners in 2020? What new favorites await in 2021. Here are some of the lists referenced in the video as well as regularly used resources for suggesting and ordering books:
- The ultimate list of lists is as awesome as it sounds: https://lithub.com/the-ultimate-best-books-of-2020-list/
- Book Riot is a favorite of a number of staff members, they also have a variety of newsletters available: https://bookriot.com/best-books-of-2020/
- Best for kid things and best name for awards: https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/category/nerdies/2020-nerdies/
- Want to know what your favorite author is reading, checkout this site: https://themillions.com/category/lists
- Did you hear an author or book review on NPR? Find the story here, NPR’s book concierge: https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#view=covers&year=2020
Written and compiled by: Sarah Palfrey, Library Director
More Staff Favorites:
Shelby (Downtown Branch): Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Sarah Palfrey (MPLS) : All the new YA Election Lit, way too many Regency Romances, and the Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Colleen (Cheat Area Branch): Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (2019) and Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (2020). These are from Rick Riordan Presents series. I am recommending these to all ages middle school to adult. I listened to the audiobooks on Libby which is an ideal format because of some Spanish throughout the books. Anthony Ray Perez is the narrator who gave the right voice to the young protagonist, Sal Vidon. Don’t let the language discourage you from these books because the author does a wonderful job of explaining what he means in English or using context clues to help the reader figure it out. The stories have a lot to offer- diverse likable characters, an unusual story line, humor, family values, and a happy ending. There is also a lot of weird science going on! I can’t recommend these enough.
Sandy (Clinton District Branch): Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell, is a beautifully and vividly written expression of love, and the grief and pain surrounding the death of a young son, Hamnet, twin brother of Judith. I frequently found myself needing to re-read many gorgeous sentences as well as passages that simply stood out for me (e.g. the eroticism of the scene in the apple store, or the tender laying out of Hamnet’s body set against the necessity for the speedy burial of victims of the plague. Just as Shakespeare’s plays still speak to us today, so too does Hamnet. Maggie O’Farrell devotes a section of the book to detailing the journey of the Bubonic Plague from Alexandria, Egypt, thousands of miles away via fleas, a monkey, glass beads, ships’ cats, a young boy working on a ship, and a piece of ‘infected’ lace that finds its way to C16th rural Warwickshire. Written long before the Covid-19 pandemic it serves to remind us that everything is connected.
Charlotte (Cheat Area Branch): Loveboat Taipei by Abigail Hing-Wen was my favorite YA novel of the year! Fun and light summer read with a West Virginia connection (Hing-Wen was born here). It’s about a Chinese-American girl, Everett, who is struggling to find a balance between her own passion (dance) and her parents’ expectations when she graduates. She ends up going to Taiwan for an exchange program, where she finds herself (and romance) along the way!
Amanda (Downtown Branch): The best book that I read that came out in 2020 was a memoir: Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollet. It’s a New York Times Bestseller that we have on Libby and a hard copy. It begins as he was a child in an infamous cult and their escape and follows his childhood that was stricken with poverty, abuse and addiction. It’s written so well and the writing grows more mature as you follow him growing up in the memoir. There’s also a complimenting album by the same title from his band The Airborne Toxic Event.
Another book that stood out was a historical fiction: The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill. It’s about these two orphans with extraordinary talents but with everything against them growing up and surviving and their journey to find each other again. It’s a love story written in a beautiful poetic way but is ultimately a brutally sad story told through a rose colored, magical filter.
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Join us in our Winter Reading Challenge: Books Like Us (Jan 1st – Jan 31st) sponsored by Simon & Shuster! Register at mympls.beanstack.com.
Read at least 5 books (any books you choose–they do not have to relate to the theme) and compete in your age category:
1. Children (ages 5-12)
2. Teens (13-17)
3. Adults (18 and up)
All participants that complete 5 books will automatically receive a gift certificate to Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza for a FREE pizza. For more prizes, the more books you read the better chance you have of winning the grand prize in each age category!
Sign Up for the Reading Challenge
Beanstack is easy to use and available both online and as a mobile app. Get started by visiting our Morgantown Public Library Beanstack website at mympls.beanstack.org to create your account. You can also register through the app (find out below under “Get the App”).
Note: An email address is required, if you do not have an email address you will need to create one first then come back to register for Beanstack.
Have your Library Card ready and choose how you would like to register (as an individual, registering a child, registering a family or group) and then complete all required fields (marked with *) on the online form.
Once registered, you can access your account online or in the app by signing in with your username and password.
Enjoy the fun of reading and unlock achievements!
Beanstack is a website and app that serves as an interactive home for reading challenges and events. It’s your one-stop-shop to not only register for challenges, but to also track your reading habits and unlock badges!
What You Can Do
- Register as an Individual, Family, Group, or Class
- Perfect for parents and teachers
- Track Your Reading
- Keep a Reading Log
- Set/Record Session Timers
- Keeps track of what you’ve read and how long you’ve read
- Select the Reading Challenge you want to participate in
- Write Book Reviews
- Now available on desktop and mobile
- Earn Badges, Incentives, and Prizes
- Digital badges and achievements as well as prizes from your Library
- View Highlights
- Features your badges, stats, and streaks based on your reading habits
- Manage a Family Member’s Reading Log & Achievements
- (If registered as a Family) Easily switch views between member profiles without having to change log-ins
Get the App
Find the free app in your Apple App or Google Play store under the name “Beanstack Tracker” and select “Get” or “Install.”
Once downloaded, open the app and follow the simple step-by-step prompts to create an account for yourself, your child, or your family/group. If you’ve already created your account through the website, you can skip this step and just sign in to your existing account with your registered username and password.
Registering on the Website vs. Through the App: Since the app does not use our direct website link, the first prompt in creating your account is selecting “Find Your School or Library” and entering “Morgantown” in the search option. Otherwise the process is the same as registering on the website. All fields are required except for phone number.
If at any time you need help with Beanstack, please visit their Helpdesk and type in your question.
For questions related to the reading challenge, please reach out to Crystal at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Register as an Individual, Family, Group, or Class
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The downtown branch will reopen this Monday, January 4th!
Beginning mid-December, the library experienced multiple water leaks in the basement following rainfall. As a result, we had shut the water off to the entire building to avoid any further damage, though no library collections or materials have been affected. Since then, the Morgantown Utility Board dug through the sidewalk to reattach the city’s underground pipes. Through the recommendation of our engineers, a pump lift station has been installed this past week to prevent any future leaks. Meanwhile, the lower level bathrooms will be closed until floor repairs are complete. Although there will still be construction and clean up, nothing should get in the way of general library operations.
Thank you to everyone for their patience and understanding. We are thrilled to welcome you all back with masks and social distancing!