Month: June 2017

Brad Rutter, all-time Jeopardy! Champion, funds additions to Public Libraries’ E-Book collection!

Public Library E-Book fans have something to celebrate thanks to Brad Rutter, all-time Jeopardy! Champion! This year Rutter contributed $5300 to the Library System for the purchase of e-Books that are available on the OverDrive online platform to public library card holders. The former Lancaster County native has been contributing funds for the past eight years through his Lancaster County Community Foundation donor-designated fund to benefit the Public Libraries in Lancaster County. The only stipulation by Rutter is that the funds he donates be used to support technology-based services that will benefit a broader audience of library users throughout the county.

Public Library Directors expressed a need to enhance the existing E-Book selections available for public download on any of the public library websites.   Circulation statistics from 2012 – 2016 indicate a significant rise in usage that point to the popularity of downloadable e-Books. The most recent statistics (2016) indicated that 147,451 e-Books were downloaded from OverDrive.

For the past four years Rutter’s donations were used for the purchase of  e-Books.   E-Books are available for downloading online by users who have a Lancaster County Public Library card.  To access the OverDrive platform that also includes audiobooks, visit: includes audiobooks, visit:

Brad Rutter’s story…

Brad Rutter, All-Time Jeopardy ChampionBrad Rutter is a Lancaster County PA native and long-time public library user who earned the distinction as All-time Jeopardy! Champion in 2005. He credits his record-breaking success on Jeopardy! to a passion for reading that started with his early visits to the public library. It is no surprise that Brad decided to name public libraries in his hometown as beneficiaries of his success. In 2005 Brad set up a donor-designated fund with the Lancaster County Community Foundation. His intention was to have the fund support public libraries in the purchase of technology that would enhance library services countywide. Rutter who is passionate about libraries sees the funding of library services as a way to give back to the community that will benefit readers and library users, “I am proud to have the benefit of ever-changing, improving technology to assist readers of all ages at the libraries.” He foresees technology programs as keeping libraries on the cutting edges as essential community resources. About his generosity to public libraries, he states, “I want to experience the impact of my giving now, while I’m young and while I can see the results.”

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Public Libraries and the Bookmobile add new books for hobbyists, tinkerers and anyone interested in “Do-It-Yourself” projects over the summer!

The Library System is pleased to announce an addition of over 900 new books on the subjects of ‘do-it-yourself’ projects, crafts, STEM activities for anyone interested in applying their ‘maker’ skills to create projects. These new books are available for check out at all public libraries and the Bookmobile as part of the Library Maker Toolbox initiative.  Funding for these acquisitions was made possible by a LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) grant.

  Code Your Own Games    Make FPGAs  Underwater Claymation

Here is a sampling of the titles that represent this new DIY collection:

  • Maker Projects for Kids Who Love Printmaking by Joan Marie Galat.
  • Modern Machine Embroidery: 11 Projects from Pickle Pie Designs with 26 Must-have Embroidery Motifs by Lisa Archer.
  • Make: FPGAs: Turning Software into Hardware with Eight Fun and Easy DIY Projects by David Romano
  • Code Your Own Games: 20 Games to Create with Scratch by Max Wainewright
  • Busting Boredom with Technology by Tyler Omoth.
  • Classic Whittling: Basic Techniques and Old-time Projects by Rick Wiebe.
  • Bead-Making Lab: 52 Explorations for Crafting Beads from Polymer Clay, Plastic, Paper, Stone, Wood, Fiber, and Wire by Heather Powers.
  • Build Your Own PC on a Budget: a DIY Guide for Hobbyists and Gamers by John Paul Mueller.
  • Easy Carpentry Projects for Children by Jerome E. Leavitt
  • Make: Bicycle projects by John Baichtal
  • Make: Wearable Electronics: Design, Prototype, and Wear Your Own Interactive Garments by Kate Hartman
  • The Art of Welding by William L. Galvery, Jr.
  • Underwater Claymation by Emily Reid.

Stop by your local public library or check availability of books in the catalog by visiting:

This project is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

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Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation SRP 2017 Programs @ Member Libraries

The Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation will offer programming at public libraries that relates to this year’s Summer Reading Program theme: Building A Better World.  

See listings below for program descriptions.

Building A Better World Program Schedules

Alternative Energy: Catch the Wind

As long as the sun shines, there’ll be winds on earth. We will never run out of wind energy. Windmills, wind turbines and wind farms are examples of harnessing this clean, renewable source of energy. Learn the basics of wind energy, including how it works, measuring speeds and how to create your own wind “machines” from household items.  Participants will experiment with “catching the wind” by making and testing their own pinwheels. Teens and Tweens will be challenged with age-appropriate experiments.

Alternative Energy: Hydro Cars

Let’s build and see how a hydro car works. We will take a look at fossil fuels and the pollution created by our everyday vehicles. We will learn about other fuel options and put together and run a small hydro car. Participants will work in pairs and 8 & 9 year olds may need adult help.

Animal Architecture

In nature we are surrounded by structures built by animals. Some include insect homes, burrows created by mammals and bird nests. These structures often incorporate specialized features to help the animals survive in its home. Join one of our Naturalists as we explore that the animals are building.

Build a Better Environment with the 3 R’s: Recycled Craft Fun

Who knows what the “Three Rs” stand for……come and learn!  Learn what happens to your trash when you throw it away and how we can make a better world by using the “Three Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – when it comes to everyday garbage.  We will have races with trash and you will make a fun toy using household recyclables.

Building a Better…Catapult!

Library Tweens and Teens will have a great time exploring the scientific method. After a brief introduction to relevant principles of physics, participants will design, test, revise and retest catapults as they work to fling a marshmallow the farthest.

Building with the 3 Little Pigs

Who doesn’t like the 3 Little Pigs? We are adapting this familiar story and experimenting with different materials to see whether or not we actually agree with the story. Naturalists will assist as library youth build “houses” of straws, pencils and tiles and attempt to blow them down.

The Lorax

Come share the wonderful lyrical story of the Lorax.  Dig into what Dr. Suess was trying to teach with this amazingly creative and meaningful story.  Together we will hang thneeds in a Truffula Tree and talk about what we can do about pollution.  Each participant will create their own Lorax or the Oncelor paper bag puppet.

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Jesse Rothacker is back with Biome Builders!

Button: Forgotten FriendsJesse Rothacker, founder of Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary, will present a special program entitled, Biome Builders that is based on this year’s Summer Reading theme Build a Better World!

Jesse’s programs will begin on July 6 and will run until August 3.

Forgotten Reptiles

“Biome Builders” is an interactive animal show featuring Jesse Rothacker and his lovable lizards, turtles, alligators, and snakes. A biome is a large area of the earth that is home to many plants and animals. Children at this show will discover how each animal is equipped to build a better world within their biome. Then he will empower every child in the audience to use their own talents and abilities to build a better world within their homes, schools, and communities, and to unleash their abilities through the power of reading!

Biome Builders Library Program Schedule

This program is designed for children ages 5 and up (K-6th grade).  Younger children who attend must remain with an adult caregiver at all times.

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Ryan Bridge, The BugMan to present “Bugging a Better World” program

Ryan bug man holding butterflyGirl with moth

Public Libraries are pleased to host Ryan Bridge, “The BugMan” who has created a special program entitled, “Bugging a Better World” as part of this year’s Build a Better World, Summer Reading theme.  These programs run from June 19 through July 5.

More about the program …

The program will focus on the ways insects improve our planet. Clean water, pollination, food for animals and even their unusual defense strategies. This program will offer everyone a close look into the world of insects using incredible displays and lots of neat facts about insects and their related friends. Also expect LIVE Bugs as always! The audience will have a chance to pet harmless, LIVE bugs (or related critters) and get answers to whatever questions they might have.

Bugging A Better World Library Schedules 

The BugMan's Amazing Bug Display


About the Presenter:  Ryan Bridge has been involved with Entomology, especially with Youth Outreach and education through his “BugMan” education programs. He has a passion for Entomology and is able to make teaching about insects fun and exciting.  As an expert in Entomology Outreach, with an insect collection that numbers over 150,000 insects, he has traveled the world on insect hunting expeditions.  He regularly donates insects to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and the Smithsonian Institution in Wash, DC.   He takes his collection on the road to share with others so they can experience what Nature has to offer and truly understand his love for insects.

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Field Paleontologists, Mike and Roberta Straka to present Dinosaur Dig programs

dinosaur dig t-ex skull

Public Libraries will host a special “Dinosaur Dig” with Field Paleontologists Mike and Roberta Straka programs as part of this year’s Summer Reading Program!  Youth and their families are invited to take part in a scientific exploration highlighting the world of dinosaurs, fossils and rocks/minerals.  Each year the team explores the badlands of North and South Dakota excavating dinosaurs.

Their fun-filled show will cover the formation of fossils, herbivores vs. carnivores, basics of geology (rocks and minerals).  The team will discuss their work as field paleontologists and background in geology. There will be an interactive fossil talk to ready the Junior Paleontologists to go on their dig! Field Paleontologist Mike will cover how and where fossils can be located. See some amazing discoveries from the time of the dinosaurs to the time of the ice age.  The team will set up a “museum of artifacts” to view.

Building a Dinosaur

Paleontologist Roberta will take the Junior Paleontologists on their dig for real dinosaur fossils and construct or build a dinosaur with the findings! Program includes a fossil talk and highlights some of Mike and Roberta’s amazing discoveries. This “hands-on” program is special because everyone will handle real dinosaur fossil bones – not plastic. Construct a dinosaur dig site right in the library!   Dinosaur Dig programs begin on June 19 and run until August 2.

Dinosaur Dig Program Schedule at Public Libraries

About the Presenters   Mike and Roberta Straka are field paleontologists who have been conducting and managing paleontological digs in North and South Dakota since 1978. Each year, they teach paleontology and geology in elementary schools and libraries throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In addition, Mike is the lead curator for teams’ fossil collection. Roberta self-published her first children’s book, “Roberta’s, Wonderful Dinosaur Adventure.” They are both excited to share their love of dinosaurs with libraries this summer.

This program complies with the PA Academic Standard for Earth Science. The dynamics of earth science include the studies of forces of nature that build the earth and wear down the earth. The understanding of these concepts uses principles from physical sciences, geography and mathematics.

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Storybook Costumes, “Elephant and Piggie” to appear at Local Public Libraries!

elephant and Piggie cosutmesLancaster County public libraries will welcome “Elephant and Piggie”, costume characters from the popular picture book series by Mo Willems.  These visits will begin on June 10 through July 27.

Elephant and Piggie books are a series for early readers by Mo Willems. The series, which debuted in 2007 with two books, is done in a comic book style, and features two friends: an elephant, Gerald, and a pig, Piggie. The books are written in conversational style with Piggie’s words appearing in pink letter bubbles and Gerald’s appearing in grey letter bubbles. The books often address issues of friendship.

Elephant & Piggie Appearance Schedule

About the Author

Mo Willems, Author & IllustratorMo Willems, a #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, celebrates ten years of Elephant & Piggie in this special bind-up collection: Today I Will Fly!; Watch Me Throw the Ball!; Can I Play Too?; the award-winning Let’s Go For a Drive!; and I Really Like Slop! Willems first became interested in cartoon art when he was just a child. When he was 3 or 4 he started to draw and create his own characters. Willems enjoyed writing stories about his characters to share with others. Mo Willems currently resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Cher, and his daughter, Trixie. In 2003, Willems left his career in television and became a stay-at-home father for his daughter.

This program complies with the following Pa Academic Standards: Learning to Read Independently; Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Text; Reading and Analyzing and Interpreting Literature; Speaking and Listening.

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Bricks 4 Kidz® to present physics programs while making science fun!

bricks for kids logoBricks 4 Kidz® ParticipantsPresenters from Bricks 4 Kidz® are coming to your local library as part of this year’s Summer Reading Program theme: Build a Better World!  They will offer programs that provide an atmosphere for students to build unique creations, play games, and have loads of fun using LEGO® bricks! Who says physics is boring? Participants will test out some of Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of motion with models that illustrate the concepts of inertia, force, mass, acceleration, and the observation that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Programs designed around our proprietary model plans, designed by engineers and architects, with exciting themes such as space, construction, and amusement parks, will inspire children.  At Bricks 4 Kidz® the presenters believe that kids learn best through activities that engage their curiosity and creativity. For now, they get to build fun stuff out of LEGO® bricks and create a positive association that science is fun!  These programs begin on June 12 and run until July 27.

Program Descriptions

Swing O’Rama Students will build a model of a spinning amusement park ride in order to explore Newton’s First Law of Motion – the law of inertia, which simply states that in order for something to begin moving or stop moving, there must be an outside force applied. Discussion of this concept includes examples from everyday life. When the students complete the model, they will have the opportunity to start spinning and witness inertia up close – the mini-figure rider will fly off if not properly attached to the model! Vocabulary includes inertia, centrifugal force.

Catapult The catapult has been used since the Middle Ages when it was a state-of-the art weapon of war used to lay siege against fortified castles. Students will learn that a catapult is a type of lever, and will name the different parts of the catapult and describe how it functions. Students will build their own catapult and launch a paper football, changing the position of the pivot pin to observe how far the paper football travels. Vocabulary includes fulcrum, projectile, potential, kinetic.

Ferris Wheel First designed for the World’s Expo in Chicago in 1893, the Ferris Wheel is still a favorite at amusement parks around the world. Students will learn a lesson in imagination and problem- solving, and discuss the giant axle that powered the original ride. We will find out what happened to the original Ferris Wheel, and then build our own version of the famous ride. Vocabulary includes engineer, axle, forged, demolish.

Lawnmower Explore laws of motion with a familiar machine – the lawn mower! Students will learn about the origins of the lawn mower and then discuss how Sir Isaac Newton’s discoveries relate to cutting grass. How hard do you have to push to make the mower move? How does the weight of the mower affect the force needed? Vocabulary includes acceleration, net force, mass, reaction.

See Saw This favorite playground fixture is actually a type of lever! It also illustrates Newton’s second law of motion – Force = mass x acceleration. In order to lift the rider on the other end of the see saw off the ground, you need to apply a force equivalent to the weight of the rider you wish to lift. The heavier the rider, the more the force. The faster you want them to go up, the harder you have to push. Playground physics! Vocabulary includes force, mass, acceleration.

Bricks 4 Kidz® Event Schedule at Public Libraries

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Thanks to the Zerbe for the Rock-A-Thon Fundraiser for the Bookmobile

The residents at the Zerbe Retirement Community love the Bookmobile! When they learned that the current Bookmobile was in need of replacement, they immediately went to work in planning an event that would help the cause and give special meaning to their residents.   They organized a Rock-A-Thon that raised $1,600 toward the purchase of a new Bookmobile.  Participating residents and staff rocked in rocking chairs for 30-minute intervals.  The ‘rockers’ found sponsors that helped to raise much-needed funds for the new Bookmobile.

Cheryl Heineman, Activities Director, headed the project with the same level of enthusiasm as the residents. She said, “We really love our Bookmobile and want to support it any way we can!”