Chickasha Public Library presents Using Art to Build Resiliency with Virginia Savage, LCSW

Join Virginia Savage, LCSW, with over thirty years of experience in the field of mental health on Saturday, June 19th from 10:00-11:30am at Chickasha Public Library located at 527 W. Iowa Ave. for a community conversation about the state of our mental health. The event is free. We do ask that you pre-register due to limited seating, call the library at 405-222-6075 to reserve your seat. This program is geared toward adults and older teens. “We’ve all been through so many struggles this past year and a half. Now is a good time to reflect on our strengths and challenges to assess how we’ve done and how we might do better”, said Savage. We all need to learn healthy ways to successfully roll with Life’s ups and downs. Being resilient helps us have peace of mind. During the presentation we will flesh out the meaning of mental health, talking about what contributes to and detracts from it. We will use some expressive arts exercises that will help us with our ability to be resilient. Join us.

Chickasha Public Library has been focusing on mental health in their Health Literacy Program this year. This program, Using Art to Build Resiliency, is brought to you by the Chickasha Public Library through a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Readers’ Advisory

Even though my current Want-To-Read list is embarrassingly long I still continue to look for more titles to add to that list. I use many sources from wandering the aisles to scrolling through my Facebook feed, but one of the most recent ways that I have been adding to my list is by listening to podcasts. Podcasts are audio programs that are broadcast via the Internet. They are similar to radio programs without the limitations of signal strength. 

You may be familiar with podcasts like True Crime All the Time, Casefile, and True Crime Garage that delve into criminal investigations around the world. Or other podcasts like Secretly Incredibly Fascinating which dedicates each episode to exploring one topic. But did you know that there is a wide selection of podcasts that focus on books? 

The website broadcasts several podcasts that focus on general book recommendations like All the Books and Get Booked. They also host other shows specializing in genre recommendations. SSF Yeah! is dedicated to helping spread the word about great new Science Fiction and Fantasy titles. For Real spotlights non-fiction releases across interest levels. Past topics on this show include religious memoirs, love stories, and authors with Asian or Pacifc Islander heritage. 

 Some of your favorite authors may be producing podcasts as well. Gretchen Rubin author of Better than before : mastering the habits of our everyday lives and Outer order, inner calm : declutter & organize to make more room for happiness hosts uses the platform to share insights into how she manages to stay sane in today’s crazy world and advises her listeners on how to establish healthy habits that lead to happiness. Dan Savage transitioned his radio show Savage Love Live to the podcast Savage Lovecast. While his listenership may have grown, Savage still uses his platform to discuss religion, gay rights, politics, and pornography.

But who better to source for book recommendations than a library? The New York Public Library hosts a podcast called The Librarian is In. Each episode two librarians with the NYPL system discuss books and what to read next. The Brooklyn Public Library also has a podcast, Borrowed,  that highlights stories that center around the people of Brooklyn and how they use the library. 

Most podcasts are available through multiple audio streaming apps like Spotify, Overcast, or Stitcher. Some apps may have a premium option that allows you to listen to the back catalog or bonus content, however most new episodes are available at no charge. 

No-Cost Meals program

The Chickasha Public Library is again partnering with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide no-cost meals to kids ages 1-18. The Summer Food Program will kick off June 1. This year there will be two locations children and their caregivers can pick up meals in Chickasha. 

Meals can be picked up Monday through Friday at the following times and locations: 

  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Washita Valley Park, located at 1500 S. Henderson St.
  • 12 to 1 p.m. at the Chickasha Public Library, located at 527 W Iowa Ave. 

There is no income verification or proof of residency required to receive meals. For additional information, call the Library at 405-222-6075. 

Chickasha Public Library to Host Sing a New Song 2: Changing Lives Through Music

On Saturday, July 17th, the Chickasha Public Library will be hosting Sing a New Song 2: Changing Lives Through Music. Designed for adults and teens and presented by Peter Markes, the goal of this workshop is to develop techniques for songwriting lyrics through a process called sensory writing. The free, one-hour program will begin at 10 a.m., and registration is required due to limited seating. 

Peter Markes (pronounced Marcus) is an award-winning music educator and performer based out of Oklahoma City. Audiences are mesmerized by his one-man band live-looping performances where he takes his 5-string electric violin to create and build pop hits from scratch! Also a guitarist and singer-songwriter, Peter has written and released numerous songs in the folk-pop genre, and his debut solo album, I Have A Dream, can be heard digitally worldwide. He is also a member of the band Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road and has performed and taught in over thirty countries.

Workshop attendees will learn about the process of lyric writing and how that can be used to create songs. The information will be accessible to everyone, regardless of the amount of previous musical experience. 

“Music is an essential part of the human experience,” said Michelle Skinner, a Chickasha Public Library employee. “It is a universal language that connects us all together, as well as a powerful means of communication and self-expression.”

Learning musical skills has many mental and physical health benefits as well. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Learning and creating new music, such as songwriting, keeps the brain active, helps to preserve memory function, and helps with language and verbal literacy. By engaging the brain in a variety of ways, music enhances both emotional and cognitive functioning. This workshop is a great way to learn about and explore new forms of self-expression while also having fun and developing new forms of creativity.

This program is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The program will be in person at the Chickasha Public Library, located at 527 W. Iowa. Registration is required due to limited seating. For more information and to register for Sing a New Song: Changing Lives Through Music, visit or call the Chickasha Public Library at 405-222-6075.

Preschool Storytime Schedule

The Chickasha Public Library is currently offering virtual Storytime in-person Storytime sessions at the library and Storytime at the park! These programs are geared towards caregivers and the children 5 and younger. The calendar below has details on each Storytime session you can register by clicking the link in the calendar’s event description, or by calling 405-222-6075.

September 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Device Workshop 6:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • SAIL- Staying Active and Independent for Life 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • SAIL- Staying Active and Independent for Life 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • SAIL- Staying Active and Independent for Life 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Friends of the Library Board Meeting 4:30 P.M.-6.00 P.M.
  • SAIL- Staying Active and Independent for Life 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • SAIL- Staying Active and Independent for Life 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • Chapter Chat
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance-Continuation 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.
  • SAIL- Staying Active and Independent for Life 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.
  • Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance 2:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.

Have you signed your little one up for the Chickasha Public Library’s Raise Readers 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge? You can sign up today using Beanstack, or by visiting the library at 527 W Iowa Ave. For additional information please call 405-222-6075.

Chickasha Public Library’s National Library Week Report

In April we celebrated National Library Week. On April 5th Mayor Mosley signed a proclamation declaring April 4th – 10th, 2021 National Library Week in Chickasha Oklahoma. The proclamation reminds us of the many services libraries across the nation provide including here in Chickasha. Here is a link to it. On April 6th you said thank you to our library workers. Some people brought flowers, some brought fruit, some brought chocolate. The Friends of the Library and the Library Board came and showed their appreciation for our library workers. The staff says a great big thank you. On April 7th it was outreach day. Our maiden voyage in our ‘bookmobile’ occurred (Lillie’s van). It visited Shannon Springs park and Washita Valley park.  It was extremely windy that day. We wanted to demonstrate that the library is not just within these four walls. We want to get and about to serve our customers. We hope to be able to voyage again to other places, maybe even other towns. On April 8th we encouraged people to investigate our virtual services; website, Facebook, Instagram, and Beanstack. On April 9th the library staff showed their appreciation to our support groups – the Friends of the Library and the Library Board, and to our volunteers. The most fun of all for us was April 10th customer appreciation day. We had several outdoor activities culminating in a drawing for several baskets and the opportunity to select titles to be painted on a panel on the exterior of the library. Thank you for being patrons, customers, and friends to the Chickasha Public Library. 

Chickasha Public Library Summer Reading 2021

The Chickasha Public Library is offering programs for all ages throughout the summer. Mark your calendars preregistration begins May 10th, with programs kicking off in June. You can register for the Summer Reading program using Beanstack or in-person at the Chickasha Public Library located at 527 W Iowa Ave. All programs are free, and there will be a variety of program types for all ages. Participants will set a reading goal, track their minutes spent reading, and earn incentives over the summer. The tracking can all be done online or by using the Beanstack mobile app. There is also an option to track minutes using paper and sticker logs.

The Chickasha Public Library will have programs for everyone this summer. There will be in-person programs (registration required each week), stories on the radio, take and make activities and virtual program. The Summer Reading program will also include virtual and in-person performers. 

Please note that in-person events held at the library require registration, with multiple days to choose from each week. Details for each age group are linked below. If you have any questions, please call 405-222-6075.

Summer Reading Program age groups

New Readers Summer Reading for ages 3-5

Children Summer Reading for ages 6 – 9

Tween Summer Reading for ages 10 – 13

National Library Week!

National Library Week is April 4-10, 2021, and this year’s theme is “Welcome to Your Library!” According to the American Library Association, this theme “promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building – and that everyone is welcome to use their services.”  The Chickasha Public Library provides access to a variety of information, services, resources, and programs, both physical and virtual, to everyone in the community.  During National Library Week, the Chickasha Public Library will be celebrating its resources, users, staff, volunteers, support groups, and the many ways in which it reflects and serves this community. 

There are many ways to celebrate and promote libraries. You can show your library love by participating in the #MyLibraryIs social media campaign during National Library Week for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.  Monday, April 5th The State of America’s Libraries 2021 Special Report: COVID-19 will be released. Tuesday, April 6th is National Library Workers Day, Wednesday, April 7th is National Library Outreach Day, think bookmobile among other programs not held within a library building, and Thursday, April 8th is Take Action for Libraries Day.  The American Library Association encourages people to support the Build America’s Libraries Act, which will “fund upgrades to the nation’s library infrastructure to address challenges such as natural disasters, COVID-19, broadband capacity, environmental hazards, and accessibility barriers.”

The American Library Association lists several different activities in which people can support libraries during National Library Week. These include showing appreciation to library staff in person and on social media on National Library Workers Day, highlighting the library’s community contributions and involvement, communicating how libraries provide essential resources, services, and information to their communities, and advocating for library funding and support within local, state, and federal governments.  You can highlight libraries on social media using the #NationalLibraryWeek, and #LibrariesTransform hashtags, and by following the American Library Association and I Love Libraries.

American Library Association has also created a word search and coloring pages for National Library Week. Click on each link below to view and print each one.

National Library Week Word Search Activity Page (PDF)

Word Search Answers (PDF)

National Library Week Coloring Page (PDF)

National Library Week Coloring Page in Spanish (PDF)

Finally, a great way to celebrate National Library Week is to visit the Chickasha Public Library, where you can also find several books about public libraries and their continuing impact on individuals and communities.  If you are looking for a history of public libraries, Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library by Wayne Wiegand (027.473 Wiegand) discusses the value and relevance of public libraries as a whole throughout the history of this country.  Closer to home, A History of the Chickasha Public Library, 1905-2020: The First 115 Years by library staff member Michelle Skinner (027.476 Skinner) is about the history of this specific library (and a copy can also be purchased for $10 at the library).   

More perspectives of libraries written by staff from other libraries include Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron (636.80092 Myron) and Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert (BIOGRAPHY Borchert), a humorous memoir about some of the more unusual and entertaining aspects of working in a public library. 

Come to the Chickasha Public Library and discover the many resources it has to offer during National Library Week!  We hope to see you there! 

Meaningful Mental Meanderings

It has been a little over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect daily life in Chickasha and Grady County. 2020 saw many changes to everyday life as normal routines were upended and interrupted, and people everywhere began to face unprecedented medical, economic, and social challenges. Many people have also felt some of the intangible ways in which the pandemic has disrupted the established trajectory of their lives. These internal struggles can include the loss of a sense of time, a general feeling of ennui, brain fog, and the vague, unsettling feeling that you must be doing something productive yet feeling powerless to do so. 

While there are no easy solutions to uncertainties of this past year, books can help to ease some of the mental strain by providing accessible, self-directed learning and recreation, as well as a much-needed distraction from some of life’s more pressing worries. One book that addresses overcoming mental blocks is Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind by Srinivasan S. Pillay (153.4 Pillay). The premise is that unfocusing your mind and letting it wander is key to unlocking its potential for both logical problem solving and creative thinking. Some of the ways in which to do that include self-talk, reverie, mind wandering, and “the all-important tool of daydreaming.”

The reason for this is that too much intense focus often leads to mental stress, which significantly narrows the range of ideas and is overly reliant on established neurological patterns. The kind of focus that produces scientific discoveries or writes engaging books is intense, but it is also very similar to Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow theory,” where the process of thinking or doing something is so enjoyable that it becomes its own reward.

One solution is to set aside time engaged in mental relaxation, which leads to both cognitive and emotional benefits. When there is no pressure to accomplish a specific task, the brain is free to form new connections and pathways that would otherwise not be possible. This is also very much aligned with the growth mindset, which asserts that the ability to think and learn is a skill that can be developed within everyone. 

There is a chapter dedicated to developing and cultivating creative thinking skills, which are often seen as an innate characteristic that happens with no explanation. However, as someone who spends a lot of time involved in creative pursuits, my experience is that creativity happens by developing new thoughts and ideas in unexpected places, making all the mistakes, and then problem-solving ways to correct all the mistakes, always being ready to learn new things, and having so much fun that I do not want to do anything else.

Neurological perceptions and thinking patterns are also highly individualized in many ways. Understanding your cognitive rhythm and interests can allow you to experience new intellectual horizons. The Chickasha Public Library provides many books that will enhance your cognitive abilities and focus in a variety of areas. This book, as well as many others in the NF 100s (philosophy and psychology) can open up new and fascinating worlds about the wonders of the life of the mind.  Tinker Dabble Doodle Try is a good way to learn how to quiet some of the brain chatter and create new paths of thinking, until one day (as this book beautifully puts it) “you will be fascinated by the jewels of your own intellect.”

Every Reader Their Book

In 1931 Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan proposed the five laws of library science. One of them is “Every reader their book”. I use this as a key when helping library patrons find the perfect book for themself. 

Each patron who comes into the library is looking for something different. Some are looking to learn more about gardening. Some want light entertainment. While still others are struggling to find a book that interests them at all. It is my job to help them find what they need and “Every reader their book” is my secret weapon.  

When a patron needs a book about plants I could simply point them to the 635.9 section and say “Go for it.” But even I, and my black thumbs, know that there is more nuance to plants than dirt and green things.( Although most of my plants eventually turn brown.) A book like Hip houseplants (635.965 Hamilton) would be a great resource for a customer who had taken to home horticulture in the last year, but it would be practically useless for a customer wanting to attract birds to their outside garden. That customer would need a Bird-friendly backyard: natural gardening for birds: simple ways to create a bird haven (639.978 Zickefoose.) 

Many people use reading as a form of escape and want a light hearted book to relax with-they would need a book that they could pick up at odd intervals and be able to hop back into the story with no trouble regardless of how long it had been since they had a chance to read that book. If I suggested the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman with its fluctuating cast of characters and timelines the customer may have to spend a few minutes reacquainting themselves with the characters and the situation. “Wait. How did Mr. Wednesday, Shadow, and Mr. Nancy get to this place? Oh yeah, they rode the carousel in the roadside attraction. Yeah, that’s right.”  

Customers of all ages also have different format needs when it comes to books as well meaning that their perfect book may actually be an electronic or audio version or, my favorite, the electronic audio version, of the print title. A person who finds the small print in The Broken Gun by Louis L’amour difficult to read may find the large print version a better fit and less tiring for their eyes.  

Many parents are worried about putting books into their babies hands for fear of them ripping pages. This is an understandable concern as I had to sheepishly present Clumsy Crab  to the front desk one day when my daughter ripped a page in half while trying to turn the page herself. After this I decided that I would check out board books for my daughter until her fine motor skills progressed a little more. Board books are small books with thick pages that are easy for tiny hands to turn. Many of the board books available at the library can help parents teach baby simple concepts like colors, shapes, and numbers.

The Chickasha Public library serves a diverse group of customers who each need a specific book to suit their needs. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is deploying my secret weapon to ensure that each reader finds the book that fulfils their need in that moment. Come on down to the library and let staff help you find the book that will help you become the reader you were meant to be.