Monthly Archives: October 2019

Happy Halloween!

You’re invited to Boo Books with Friends

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Young ones and their families are invited to come trick-or-treat with the Friends of the Library. Costumes will be admired but are not required!

Activities will be in the Children’s Department on the first floor.

Call 615-595-1244 for more information.

Urban Legends: Fact or Fiction?

By Savannah, Reference Department

Urban legends, like most things in the modern world, have evolved. In the past, they were spread by word of mouth. Though detailed, there was always something in the story that made it …unreachable.  They were never firsthand. Someone might tell you a story that happened to a friend of their cousin. Later, you may hear the same story from somebody else, finding it had shifted. It wasn’t the friend’s cousin. It was her brother. Or was it her boyfriend?  However, there was always just enough detail to make it believable.

I remember personally being duped by an urban legend.  My friend said he heard about a college student in Florida. After a kiss from a date, she developed a rash. Almost immediately, she received calls from her doctor and local law enforcement. Her rash was caused by a bacteria found on decomposing corpses. She had been on a date with a cannibal.  I told several friends.  They were eager to spread the story to theirs as well.  I googled the story, assuming it must be all over the news . I found it…just not in the way I expected. I found multiple versions of the story all over the web.  The college, state, and other minor details changed to fit the teller’s narration. It was an URBAN LEGEND spreading like wildfire. I myself had spread it to half a dozen people.

Urban legends are more popular than ever. They are thriving online.  We now call them “Creepypastas” (creepy +‎ pasta, after the pattern of copypasta, itself an alteration of copy and paste).  Creepypastas are online tales that are often blatantly presented as fiction.  But are they really? Even if they start as fiction, these stories develop such a following, parts of them do become real.  Often in frightening ways.  The website makes it easy to find a pasta about anything you desire.  There are pastas about dolls, stalkers, devilish pets…you name it!  I highly recommend listening to the pastas being narrated on YouTube.  I like to listen to them while I get ready in the morning.

Slenderman is one of the most prolific Creepypasta.   The story tells of a tall humanoid creature with a featureless, white face. The creature wears a black suit and has disproportionately long limbs.  He haunts and traumatizes his victims, which are often children. The stories of Slenderman have led to real-life tragedy.

In 2014, two Wisconsin teenage girls stabbed their friend.  The girl barely survived. Her friends cited their reason for stabbing the girl was Slenderman.  They believed killing their friend would prove their loyalty to the monster.  The crime caused hysteria among parents everywhere.  Slenderman only gained more of an audience. Russell Jack, the police chief of Waukesha, Wisconsin, made a powerful statement. ” The Internet has changed the way we live. It is full of information and wonderful sites that teach and entertain. The Internet can also be full of dark and wicked things.”

Urban Legends prove one thing: our words have meaning. Sometimes if believed enough, they can bring our worst nightmares to life.

If you are up for a scare, here are a few good places to start. These are not bedtime stories.

READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. Read the rest of this entry

Family Literacy and Tumblebooks

By Amy Shropshire, Reference Department

Parents tend to want the best advantages for their children, and early literacy is one excellent advantage. That’s the idea, but getting a squirming toddler to sit still long enough to read a picture book demonstrates the difficulties involved. Even the best behaved children tend to struggle at some point with early literacy skills. Learning new skills is always difficult. The library is here to help.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, literacy is intergenerational. Parental involvement and expectations are directly linked to a student’s success in school. Family literacy programs often focus on building literacy skills in both parents and children. Parents that read regularly are more likely to have children with an interest in reading, since children like to emulate what their parents do. However, before a child can begin picking up a book, they need to gain pre-literacy skills, and be exposed to concepts that help develop literary skills.

We tend to think of reading as a singular activity, but in reality it’s a skill developed from assorted other skills as a child grows. Focusing on the little squiggly symbols we call letters is a step just as much as understanding how language works is. Learning to verbalize and consider abstract concepts through imaginative play and frequent communication are important building blocks to figuring out that squiggly symbols represent words. The more a child interacts and plays and expands their overall mental abilities, the quicker they will likely learn to read especially if play is already associated with words.

More than that, associating play with words is more likely to make a child enjoy reading (and want to learn more). Play is serious business for children. It may seem contradictory to learn using resources that don’t seem precisely educational, but the more fun the activity is the more information a child will absorb. Educators use a variety of resources to help children learn through play. One such resource is Tumblebooks. The library subscribes to this resource so that parents can log in and give their children access to a wide variety of books and games to aid in literacy development.

Many of the books on Tumblebooks play videos, sing songs, or animate highlighted words to allow children to follow along with the story on the screen. It may seem counter intuitive, but a child’s attention is often better with learning how to read by watching a video rather than simply reading a story, which develops early pre-literacy skills. The resources grow with the child using quizzes, book reports, and games for more developed readers, and even lesson plans for teachers and parents alike. There are also playlists of various lengths and subject areas to keep a child intrigued and entertained in a way that’s educational.

Tumblebooks is excellent for helping the youngest child gain early literacy skills before learning how to read. The library has multiple similar resources for various ages and literacy levels available in our collection databases. To access these resources, simply go to http://wcpltn.org/  Tumblebooks can be found in “Children’s Electronic Resources” which is located in the Children’s Department section under the “Main Library” tab on the website. If you can’t find it, just ask a librarian at (615) 794-3105. Tumblebooks does require a username and password to sign in. If you have any questions, call the library and we will gladly help you.

Resources:

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/f14.html

https://www.tumblebooklibrary.com/Default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f

Library-based family literacy projects R 027.6 MON

Early literacy storytimes @ your library: partnering with caregivers for success 027.6251 GHO

Growing a reader from birth: your child’s path from language to literacy 372.4 MACG

Art across the alphabet: over 100 art experiences that enrich early literacy 372.5 CAM

The garden classroom: hands-on activities in math, science, literacy, and art 635.083 JAM

 

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