Exchange Food for Fines this December at the Chickasha Public Library

December is the Chickasha Public Library’s 21st annual Food for Fines month, when overdue library fines may be paid with a donation of non-perishable food.

“The donations will be given to the Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry,” said Lillie Huckaby, Library Director. “Even if you do not owe a fine, please come to the Library and make a donation. Together, we can bring in more food than ever before to help our neighbors this holiday season.”

According to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, 6,900 people in Grady County live with hunger, including 2,550 children who are food insecure. The donations from the Food for Fines food drive will be given to the Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry, located at the First Presbyterian Church.

The value of the donated food does not have to equal the amount of the fine; any donation covers any fine.

“In addition to much-needed food, many overdue books also return home to the library during Food for Fines, usually about 100 of them,” Huckaby said. “Not having to repurchase popular titles means the Library can purchase more new books. This also gives patrons who have accrued fines a way to make a fresh start and be able to check out books again. ” If a book has been lost, the overdue fine will be waived, however, the replacement cost of the book must be paid.

The Food for Fines food drive will run through December 31st.  For more details, call the Chickasha Public Library at 222-6075.


There is tons of dinosaur fun happening at the library this month.

  • Children can pick up a free take and make craft bag which contain supplies to make your own dinosaur puppet and more! 
  • You can join the Beanstack Dinosaur Challenge
  • Checkout the library’s Dinovember book display. 
  • What to know what dinosaur books the library has available? Visit this Dinovember Book bag link to find out!
  • When you visit the library be sure to find what book the dinosaur is reading each day and add your name to a drawing for your own dinosaur book! 
  • Be sure to follow the library on Facebook or Instagram to see what the dinosaurs have been up to at the library.

Library Displays

The library has a large and varied collection of materials for all ages. All of the items have been carefully selected with our community in mind. With such a large collection it is possible that some items may get overlooked. To prevent this staff creates displays to highlight unique items and subjects. 

We often use an upcoming holiday as an inspiration for our displays. With the start of November, we have dedicated one area to items about Christmas. Some items have a plotline that centers around a Christmas celebration like The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank where Theodora gathers her family to her home in South Carolina or may just be set during the Christmas season as in Andrew Greeley’s Home for Christmas where Captain Kane struggles to return to his first love in time for the holiday. 

As part of general collection development, we assess our current collection to determine if it needs an update. This summer we found a gap in the sports collection and decided to beef it up. This resulted in a large amount of items about sports being added so we chose to spotlight the new additions. Because the titles which included,  Born on the Links: A Concise History of Golf by John Williamson where the author covers the timeline of golf from 15th century Scotland to today and the first full length biography of Harry Caray since his death in 1998,The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball’s Greatest Salesman are shelved in the non-fiction section we were worried that these great reads would be missed by casual browsers we showcased these with a fun display on the front unit. 

If you visited the library during 2020 while the library was limiting seating, you may have noticed that some of the tables had small displays on them. These were topics that we felt were interesting, but we just didn’t have enough items to fill a display shelf. We took the idea of a mini-display and created “Take 5” for the library catalog. Take 5 is a curated list of 5 items that the library owns and thinks customers may be interested in.  You can view the weekly Take 5 and other curated lists here. Other lists you may find include books that complement other articles in the newsletter or honor literary occasions like Science Fiction Day on January 2 or Caldecott Day on June 14. The Caldecott Medal is awarded for the “most distinguished picture book for children” Past winners of this award include Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg and This is Not my Hat by Jon Klassen.  

Next time you come to the library be sure to check out the displays that we have created. You may just find a new favorite! 

Autumn Coziness

The weather has become colder, the sun sets earlier, and it is the perfect time of year for creating a cozy atmosphere in which to curl up with a good book. Fortunately, the Chickasha Public Library has lots of books, including many that will help with ideas and activities for maximizing warmth and coziness.

Autumn is an excellent time for cooking and baking. Food that is cooked on the stovetop, such as soups and stews, has the added benefit of warming up the kitchen while it cooks, and is therefore an excellent choice for cold evenings. You can explore some of the many ideas in Soup, Glorious Soup by Annie Bell (641.813 Bell), which has over 100 recipes for all kinds of soup, and 365 Great Soups & Stews by Georgia Downard (641.8 Downard).

Slow cooking is another great option for hot, savory recipes, and some of the books specifically about slow cooker recipes include Adventures in Slow Cooking: 120 Slow-cooker Recipes for People Who Love Food by Sarah DiGregorio (641.5 DiGregorio), Taste of Home Instant Pot Cookbook (641.5 Taste), and Stock the Crock: 100 Must-Have Slow-Cooker Recipes, 200 Variations for Every Appetite by Phyllis Good (641.5 Good).

Of course, no meal is complete without a dessert, and baking is another way to enhance both the warmth of your house and the deliciousness of your mealtimes. The Cake Bible and The Pie and Pastry Bible, both by Rose Levy Beranbaum (641.8 Beranbaum and 641.865 Beranbaum), provide many options for some perennial dessert favorites. If you are feeling creative with your sweet tooth, Baker’s Royale: 75 Twists on All Your Favorite Sweets by Naomi Robinson (641.86 Robinson) has some new ideas. If you happen to have a pecan tree, Pecans by Kathleen Purvis (641.6 Purvis) can help you decide how to cook with all the pecans that are currently falling on the ground.

It’s also important to have lots of fluffy blankets and craft projects to enhance the atmosphere. Knitting and craft projects are fun ways to explore creative hobbies, as well as providing hours of entertainment for any family cats. If you like quilts, Quilting for Dummies by Cheryl Fall (746.46 Fall) and Country Quilts by Linda Seward (746.9 Seward) can help you make some of your own. You can also learn to knit blankets, scarves, gloves, and hats with Beautiful Knitting Patterns by Gisela Klopper (746.43 Klopper), Knitting School: A Complete Course (746.432 Kni), The Mitten Handbook: Knitting Recipes to Make Your Own by Mary Scott Huff (746.43 Huff), and Big Book of Loom Knitting by Kathy Norris (746.43 Norris). Other adorable knitting possibilities can be found in Mini Knitted Toys: Over 30 Cute and Easy Knitting Patterns by Sachiya Ishii (746.43 Ishii) and Animal Knits: 26 Fun Handknits for Children and Toddlers by Zoë Mellor (746 Mellor).

Staying indoors can also provide time for home repair projects. Browsing through the 643s can help you find specific instructions for repair, new ideas to add to your living space, or different ways to remodel and renovate and existing space.  Some of these include The Book of Home How-To: Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair & Improvement (643 Book) and How to Fix Anything: Essential Home Repairs Anyone Can Do (643 How). Other books focus on specific spaces, such as kitchens and bathrooms, or addressing ways to fix a particular problem. For outside of your house, Fallscaping by Nancy Ondra (635.9 Ondra) provides ideas to create a seasonal garden that will provide a beautiful view while you curl up with a blanket, savor the smell of soup cooking on the stove, and read some books from the library.

Words About Words

I will be writing about a very self-referential topic, that is, words about words about words. Specifically, words the books in the 400s about language and how it works. If you want to enhance your linguistic capabilities, justify your usage of the Oxford comma, or just simply wonder about words, there is a library display with a delightfully wordy collection of books about a variety of topics related to writing in English.

The Story of English in 100 Words by David Crystal (422 Crystal) tells the history and origin of 100 words, and you can a learn a variety of fun facts about each. These how the word “music” has been spelled over 40 ways throughout history, as well as changes in the British and American editions of the Harry Potter books. A similar book, What in the Word?: Wordplay, Word Lore, and Answers to the Peskiest Questions About Language by Charles Harrington Elster (422 Elster) describes the linguistic quirks that created some common and uncommon words and expressions, including pronunciations and usage.

Punctuation is a closely related topic, and one that can increase the clarity and precision of written language. For a broad overview of practical punctuation, there is Punctuation for Review and Reference: A Style Manual with Exercises by Edward Voeller (428.2 Voeller). If you are looking for a more in-depth look at punctuation and why it matters, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss (428.2 Truss) allows the reader to “look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are.”

If you are curious about how language affects communication, Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher (410 Deutscher) proposes that the language we speak can influence how we think and express ideas, while arguing that not all languages are equally complex. Colors such as blue and green are expressed differently, depending on the language being spoken, with varying descriptions and levels of detail. This book is also a fascinating way for English speakers to learn a little bit about how different languages can be from one another. One example that this book uses to illustrate the variety that exists is ǃXóõ, a language spoken in parts of Botswana and Namibia, which contains perhaps the highest number of phenomes and click consonants in any language in the world.

Languages can also affect group identity and how people relate to one another. You Are What You Speak by Robert Lane Greene (417 Greene) describes how the quest for societies to have a unified language with which to communicate created communities, forged national and ethnic identities, has led some people to denounce incorrect or non-standardized use of a particular language, has led others to encourage learning multiple languages, and the wide-ranging effects of politics in language. It is a broad, complex topic, which is worth exploring because of how language and identity are intertwined.

Finally, if you are wanting more utilitarian options, there are several dictionaries and thesauruses on the shelf in the 400s in nonfiction for those times when you need a specific word for your sentence. There is also The Handy English Grammar Answer Book by Christine Hult (428.2 Hult) for connecting those words together in a way that is easily understandable. If you want to explore any and all of the words you need to achieve optimum wordiness, spectacular sentences, and promising paragraphs, there are many books that will help you to do that in a variety of ways!

Book Character Pumpkin Patch

Illustration depicting a clear day at a pumpkin patch announcing the library's book character pumpkin project.

Children are encouraged to help fill the library’s pumpkin patch with their book character pumpkin. How do you add a pumpkin to the patch?

  • Visit the library and pick up a pumpkin template picture.
  • Design your pumpkin to look like a favorite book character by coloring or painting the picture.
  • Return the pumpkin picture to the library, and we will add it to our pumpkin patch. 

Universal Class a Database Review

As school starts and parents, teachers, and students alike may find themselves struggling as they try to get back into the swing of early mornings, science projects, and the dreaded math homework the Chickasha Public Library has a great resource to help you with that, well, not the mornings, you are on your own there.  

Universal Class is a database with over 500 online classes available for library customers.  Classes range from accounting to history to various crafts and hobbies. But there are many courses geared specifically to students, parents, and teachers. 

 The first step will be to create an account with Universal Class. You will need your Chickasha Public Library card and an email address. Universal Class does not allow the same email address to be used for multiple accounts, however you can take up to 5 courses at time. 

Now it is time to start picking classes. If you are a new teacher or just want to brush up on your skills, there is a section called Teacher Resources that is filled with great classes like Solving Classroom Discipline Problems that covers creating a discipline program that is molded to work for you and your students and managing diverse student populations and Understanding Learning Styles which will help you gain basic knowledge of learning styles and how they apply to your students.

If only parenting came with a manual, raising kids would be so much easier. While Universal Class can’t provide an in-depth guide, it does offer some classes that can help. Building Children’s Reading Skills. This course instills an understanding of the development of reading skills from preschool through adulthood and helps the student begin to consider specific strategies which could be utilized to increase the skills and development of anyone’s reading.  

Unfortunately children today still encounter bullying at school. The class Bullying in Elementary  defines and addresses some of the causes of bullying and supplies tactics to prevent it from happening. If you have observed bullying behavior in your own child, this is an ideal course because it covers prevention and effective solutions for ending bullying. 

There are many courses available for students that allow them to do a deep dive on a topic like the Salem Witch Trials. Most history classes do not have the time to thoroughly explore the people involved in the trials or unique setting of a very small, very religious village this course does, with lessons focusing on the accusers and the accused alike as well as the judges who decided the outcome. 

Before a deep research dive, you will want to brush up on your research skills. The class Basic Research Skills can help. This class highlights sources beyond the internet to help students investigate any topic they may find.  

Of course, life isn’t just about studying, a person needs hobbies to give their mind a break from school and work. Universal Class offers a plethora of classes for people looking to expand their hobbies.  You can get a head start on birthday presents with classes like Soapmaking 101 and Knitting 101 or learn to treat yourself with a class on Therapeutic Bathing.   The library encourages you to create an account with Universal Class to explore all the classes on Universal Class.

Artistic Adventures!

Are you feeling creatively inspired by the happy frenzy of colorful books on the outside of the library building? Do you want to acquire new art skills in drawing, painting, craft making, or photography? If so, you can find your inner artist by exploring the 700s in nonfiction! If you aren’t sure what you would like to pursue artistically, browsing through the entire section can lead to encounters with new and interesting art possibilities.  There are collections of art from various museums (709 Smithsonian), specific types of art (759.979 Tanner), as well as art from a particular time and place (709.45 Toman). These can give you an idea of what kinds of art you may want to learn more about.  

For “how to” books that develop technical skills for drawing and painting, a good place to start is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (741.2 Edwards). This book contains exercises that will help train your brain to be able to draw what you see from life. A delightfully whimsical book that can help you to develop both skills and whimsy is The Pencil Playbook : 44 Exercises for Mesmerizing, Marking, and Making Magical Art with Your Pencil by Ana Montiel (741.24 Montiel).

There are several books about pencil drawing that teach how to sketch buildings, people, wildlife, objects, and developing skills such as shading and perspective.  The books in 741 go into detail about drawing in both pencil and colored pencil, and how to make your art come alive as realism, fantasy, or illustration. Because drawing is a foundational skill for all two-dimensional art, these books can also help develop technical and compositional skills that are also used for oil pastels, painting, and photography.

Learning how to paint can feel overwhelming at first, but there are many books that break down the process into specific skills and techniques that build upon each other.  A quick look through the 750s will give you books about color, composition, texture, and some of the finer points about the differences between acrylic, oil, watercolor, or tempura paint. If you are unsure about the different types of art supplies, books about painting can help to explain the different effects and uses of each type of paint, as well as specific considerations. There are many photos of the art in progress that will show what the canvas looks like during various stages, which can help you to visualize each step. One word of caution, however: although art books show completed steps, they don’t always show the mistakes that often happen as part of the learning process (and can sometimes lead to new discoveries!). In addition to painting on canvas, you can also read about painting murals (751.73 Grund), objects (745.723 Edwards), and henna (391.6 Roome). If you want to do art while simultaneously playing with your iPad, there is even a book that will teach you how to do that (776 Jardine).

If you love paper, ephemeral documents, and preserving memories, scrapbooking is a great way to combine all of those.  To learn more, look in 745.593 for lots of tips and techniques that will turn your pretty paper and photographs into beautiful memories. More paper fun can be found with collage, including Collage with Color: Create Unique, Expressive Collages in Vibrant Color (702 Davies) and Collage Lab: Experiments, Investigations, and Exploratory Projects (702.81 Shay). 

Finally, if you want a truly self-referential experience, you can make books into art with Alter This! Radical Ideas for Transforming Books into Art (745.593 Hennessy)! While you should never alter library books in any way, old books can be given a new life as artwork and can be a great way to display both creativity and a love of reading.

Storytime @ the Park

The Chickasha Public Library is offering a free Storytime session at Centennial Park every Tuesday Morning at 9:30 am. Storytime last about 30 minutes and is held under the large pavilion at the park. There is no registration for this program.

Storytime at the Park is geared towards children five and younger and their caregivers. We will sing, listen to stories, play, and learn early literacy skills.

For additional information, call 405-222-6075, or visit us at 527 W Iowa Ave.

Have you heard about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program?

You can sign your little one up for the Chickasha Public Library’s Raise Readers 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge today, using Beanstack, or by visiting the library at 527 W Iowa Ave.

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale

The Friends of the Chickasha Public Library will be hosting a 2-week fall ‘Used Book Sale’.  The sale begins Tues., Oct. 19, 2021 and extends through Sat., Oct. 30, 2021.   There will be no sales on Sundays.

The hours for the ‘Used Book Sale’ will coincide with the ‘open hours’ of the Library:  Mon.-Thurs. 9:30am – 7:00pm; Fri. 9:30am – 6:00pm; Sat., 10:00am-2:00pm.

The event will be held in the Library’s community meeting room, located at 527 Iowa Avenue, Chickasha, OK. 

Visitors will enjoy browsing through the selections of Children, Teen, and Adult fiction books, Reference Materials, Non-fiction books, DVDs, and Books on CD.

For this sale, those purchasing materials will be asked to make a financial donation rather than having individual prices on all the items.  The suggested donation is $1/book except for children’s books.

Proceeds from the ‘Used Book Sale’ will be used to purchase new books and materials for the Library.

Also … Friends of the Chickasha Public Library memberships and financial donations may be made at any time at the Library or mailed to Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 265, Chickasha, OK  73023.   

Include your name, mailing address, phone number and email address, if available.  

For more information about the ‘Used Book Sale’ and any Library event, please call the Library at 222-6075.