Building Resilience

Spring is a great time to pause and consider our goals for the year. Join Virginia Savage, LCSW, Art Therapist, at the Chickasha Public Library on Thursday, March 17 at 6 pm to 8 pm to continue our community conversation about mental health and how we can improve our resilience to whatever life brings.

The Building Resilience program is free of charge, however, space is limited and registration is required. To register, call 405-222-6075 or visit the library at 527 W Iowa. 

In this program, you will learn a smart method to create achievable goals and then use two-dimensional materials to create unique vision boards for 2022. Participants will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the process. 

All necessary materials will be provided, however, participants may want to bring images of their own for the vision board. 

Bring your imagination, and join us!

This program is funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

How I learned to Knit. What does the library have to support your hobbies?

Back in the Dark Ages, 1997, I found a pair of knitting needles in my mother’s big blue sewing box. Why there were knitting needles in there, no one knows, she was an avid crocheter, but I had never seen her knit at that point in my life. I took them as my own and decided to learn to knit. The problem? 1997 was pre-internet, and I didn’t have a knitter handy to help me. What did I do? Why I turned to the only resource, a teen in rural Oklahoma had–the encyclopedia. Yep. I grabbed the “K” volume, a skein of Red Heart, those found needles, and got to work trying to learn the art/craft/sorcery that is knitting. 

A book that may have been a bit more helpful than a half-page entry tucked between the Knights Templar and Alfred Knopf in an out-of-date World Book would have been a comprehensive guide like Knitting school: a complete course. This book addresses the basics of knitting and how to fix mistakes like dropped stitches. It even has simple patterns for basics like mittens and baby booties. 

Of course, knitting isn’t the only hobby a person could enjoy. The book Get a Hobby: 101 All-Consuming Diversions for Any Lifestyle lists, well, 101 hobbies that you could learn. And the library has resources to help you with many of them. 

With the rise of at-home tests, genealogy has exploded in popularity. Did you know that the library has access to several resources to trace your family history? You can start your search from home by logging onto HeritageQuest. You can search for your relatives in city directories, the US censuses as late as 1940, even Freedman’s bank record. HeritageQuest is available from home on our e-resources page. You can also access several physical items at the library to help with your genealogy quests, including yearbooks. 

Perhaps you want a hobby more tangible than genealogy but less tangled than knitting. Papercrafting could be for you, and Origami isn’t your only option either! There is Kirigami: the art of 3-dimensional paper cutting by Laura Badalucco. Kirigami is a combination of folding and cutting paper to create images that “pop” from the page. You could use this skill to make amazing birthday cards and jaw-dropping displays for your home. 

In the end, World Book served me well enough, and if you like an encyclopedia, those are available at the library. I learned the basics of knitting from an encyclopedia, even if that first scarf was a mess of dropped stitches, crooked edges, and uneven tension. Over the years, I have used many resources, mainly from the internet, to learn new techniques and patterns, but I will always be on the lookout for a good book that will help me grow my hobby. 

2021 in Nonfiction

This year seems to have passed by very quickly, especially after the strangeness that was 2020. It still feels like 2021 is just beginning, but there are only a few weeks left until 2022. Therefore, now is a good time to highlight a few of the nonfiction books that were released during this year, specifically those about current events and issues that have affected many people during this past year.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact various aspects of everyday life, a few people have given some early thoughts and assessments of what the post-pandemic world might look like. One of these is Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria (303.49 Zakaria). Lessons such as “life is digital,” “inequality will get worse,” and “globalization is not dead” are discussed in individual chapters. Zakaria goes into detail about international relations, economic factors, social interactions, and offers some thoughts and insight about some of the complicated issues that intersect with and affect one another. Because of the wide-reaching nature of the pandemic, there are likely to be many more forthcoming books offering a wide variety of perspectives about health, medicine, public policy, safety, the economy, technology, and other ideas.

Navigating the digital landscape is becoming increasingly important because so much information is now transmitted through online sources. Knowing how to find reputable sources can feel overwhelming, so Viral BS: Medical Myths and Why We Fall for Them by Dr. Seema Yasmin (610 Yasmin) is one source that can help people who are looking for health and medical information. Each chapter covers a specific question (“Do cell phones cause cancer?,” “Is trauma inherited?”) and gives facts and data from medical studies and explains their relevance to both individual and public health.

One health topic that affects many people is the complex and tragic nature of addiction and how to prevent it. The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence by Jessica Lahey (649 Lahey) is described as “a comprehensive resource parents and educators can use to prevent substance abuse in children. Based on research in child welfare, psychology, substance abuse, and developmental neuroscience, this essential guide provides evidence-based strategies and practical tools adults need to understand, support, and educate resilient, addiction-resistant children. The guidelines are age-appropriate and actionable—from navigating a child’s risk for addiction, to interpreting signs of early abuse, to advice for broaching difficult conversations with children.” This book discusses the genetic nature of addiction and gives tools and resources with which to help children and young people access prevention and treatment for addiction.

And because we all need some positivity, Let Us Dream: The Path To a Better Future by Pope Francis (261.8 Francis) gives some much-needed optimism to today’s current events. Many problems are discussed, but solutions are offered for dealing with both personal and societal crises. This can help the world feel less overwhelming. There are also many examples of ordinary people helping others, starting with simple steps, along with a hopeful reminder that it is always possible to create a better world for the future.

Exchange Food for Overdue 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.

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! 

Black History Resources at the Chickasha Public Library

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history” – Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), historian, author, and founder of Black History Month

February was Black History Month, which highlights the history, culture, contributions, struggles, and achievements of African Americans.  However, learning about Black history should not be limited to February. Reading books written by Black authors is a great way to continue learning about both the past and present.  Anyone looking for Black history, perspectives, and representation can find many nonfiction resources at the Chickasha Public Library. 

Some historical works include African American Almanac: 400 Years of Triumph, Courage and Excellence by Lean’tin L. Bracks (973 Bracks), African-American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped our Country by Henry Louis Gates (920 Gates), The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (304.80973 Wilkerson), Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Tears of African-American Writing (810.8 CRO), and Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills (338 Wills). 

There are also biographies, including Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (BIOGRAPHY Douglass), and Matter of Black and White: The Autobiography of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (BIOGRAPHY Fisher), who was born in Chickasha. For more local history, you can read Chickasha Black Heritage and One Room School Memories, both by Loretta Jackson (FRONT DESK 976.654 Jac; GEN 976.654 Jac) while at the library. 

Those looking for books about current events and perspectives can read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (364.973 Alexander), How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (305.800973 Kendi), Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (305.800973 Coates), and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeona Oluo (305.800973 Oluo). These books and many more can be found in the nonfiction and reference section of the library for anyone wanting to read about and expand their knowledge of Black history.     

Health Literacy Bingo

The Chickasha Public Library is launching a health literacy bingo to encourage individuals to add healthy eating and activities into their daily routines. Bingo cards can be picked up at the library 527 W Iowa Ave. This program will go through July 2021. Once you complete your whole bingo card, bring it back to the library, and you will be entered into a drawing. 

This program is funded in part through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Readers’ Advisory

Open book in front of book shelves.

As 2020 wrapped up many of my friends across social media lamented that they had not read as many books this year as they normally do. I had this problem as well. Very few books held my interest for more than a few pages.  Each time a friend asked for advice on what to read to help them through this slump I suggested reading a middle grade fiction or “chapter book”. 

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

I often pick up a chapter book when I need a palette cleanser between heavier books and this year that habit found me reading Front Desk by Kelly Yang. The Tang family recently immigrated from China and are struggling to find their place in Southern California in the early 1990’s. Mr. and Mrs. Tang take a job as live-in managers at a small motel while Mia starts fifth grade.   The reason I always suggest middle grade fiction is in its simplicity.

Middle grade fiction touches on the topics that humans face on a daily basis like friendship drama, family relationships, physical changes, and encounters with a new grown up world, but in a simple, straightforward way.  The main characters are children who (hopefully) haven’t learned the adult art of ignoring their own feelings just to appease others so while they may not express themselves with finesse, they do it better than some adults in novels do.  Compare how Jane Eyre expresses her unhappiness by running away from Thornfield Hall in the night versus Ramona Quimby who simply shouts “Guts!!!!” as she swings at the local playground. Maybe we need more gut-shouting and less slipping away in the night. The guilelessness of young main characters is refreshing. 

Authors of middle grade fiction have to express complex topics like poverty in simple terms that their young readers will understand. Even though Mia is very intelligent she is still a 10 year old speaking English as a second language. She is not going to use five dollar words like penury and indigence when worrying about the hospital bill after Mrs. Tang is attacked. “But we’re dirt poor!” she exclaims to the hospital clerk after they deny the family relief. 

My absolute favorite thing about children’s books is how they end. All the themes of the book are wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end. I know that life doesn’t always end with a pool party, but it sounds better than some endings we are faced with in adult novels and especially life. 

Series of Bookish Events

Where Literature and Artistic Expression Meet

Art of Words 

Saturday, September 28 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M.

The Library is hosting a one-day exhibition of art inspired by books. Scenes may be created in any 2 or 3-dimensional medium, but may not be larger than three feet. The show will be in the Meeting Room on Saturday, September 28th from 10:00 A.M.-2:00 P.M. The public will vote for their favorite piece. The Library Director will award “People’s Choice” ribbon end of the event. Please register for this event. A complete list of guidelines for this event is available at the Library. There is no cost to enter or attend the event.

Words Worth Sharing 

Monday, October 21 6:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M.

Would you like to bring your favorite literary passage to life? Words Worth Sharing is your chance to give your favorite literary character a voice. Individuals and duos are invited to prepare short (under five minutes) readings from written work and present it for the public. Entries must be taken directly from the text and be family-friendly. The presentation to the public is Monday, October 21st, from 6:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. Please register for this event–space is limited. A complete list of guidelines for this event is available at the Library.​ There is no cost to enter or attend the event.

There are more events scheduled in 2020.

Magazines at the Library

The Chickasha Public Library has recently begun receiving some new magazine subscriptions. These magazines are about a variety of interests, so you can choose your favorite or browse and find something new. House Beautiful and Veranda are both about architecture and design and can inspire home decorating and renovation projects. If you enjoy outdoor recreation, Backpacking, Bicycling, Golf, and Runner’s World might be just what you’re looking for. Rachael Ray Every Day and Cooking Light both have recipes and cooking advice for different occasions. Finally, if you want to read about celebrity, style, and fashion, you can find Esquire, Marie Claire, and People Style. The Library has many other magazines about current events, political commentary, fashion, health, cooking, science, history, and much more! The newest issues are available to read at the Library, and the older issues can be checked out for two weeks if you have a Chickasha Public Library card. Your Library card also gives you access to RB Digital an online e-magazine database.