7 Helpful Tips for Newcomers

Are you new to Boone County? Have you been here a while, but feel like you aren’t meeting people or would like to get more involved in our community? Need to choose a school or someplace for dinner? We can help!

  1. Want to meet more people? Try joining a group! New Friends of Northern Kentucky meets for a wide range of activities and humanitarian efforts. Do you have a preschooler? Try a MOPS If you like to hike, bike, eat out, try different wines, there are plenty of opportunities with Meetup. Looking for a volunteer
    opportunity? Search for a group that matches your interests with Volunteer Match. Want to join a church? Choose a city to find a denomination. Don’t forget Boone County Public Library! We offer a host of activities for all ages, including concerts. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Here’s an event list for even more things to do in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
  2. Boone County has 18 parks that offer lots of recreational activities including musical events and sports. You can go swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, have a picnic in one of the shelters, or take a walk through the Arboretum and learn more about local flora and fauna. During the summer, the Florence Aquatic Center is a great place to take the family to cool off and includes water slides and a lazy river. There’s an outdoor skateboard park next door.
  3. Do you have school age children? There are about 20,000 students at 14 elementary, five middle and four high schools in Boone County Schools. Over 50 languages are spoken! On the school district’s website, find the Makerspace and Community Education classes, school bus routes, employment opportunities and more. There are private schools and a thriving homeschool community. Boone County Public Library hosts monthly homeschool events during the school year – contact Karen Harden (kharden@bcpl.org) for more information.
  4. Like to eat out? This is a very popular pastime for people in Boone County and as a result, you can find a plethora of restaurants from popular chains to local eateries, like Tousey House, Barleycorn’s, Flipdaddy’s, Mai Thai, Memories of China, Sea Sushi, Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, and many more.
  5. If you like to shop, most of the stores are on Mall Road or Houston Road. Florence Mall, Target, Kohl’s, home improvement stores, and Costco are there. For local flavor, try The Friendly Market. During the nicer weather, Boone County Farmer’s Market offers lots of fresh produce. If you want to venture out a bit, Crestview Towne Center is nearby and you can cross ‘the River’ to go to Rookwood Commons, Kenwood Towne Center, Liberty Center and Findlay Market. There are plenty of interesting little towns that make great day trips, Lebanon and Waynesville, OH, Madison, IN, and Berea, KY. Boone County Pubic Library has Road Trip kits with maps, a DVD for the kids, and information about a variety of nearby places.
  6. What are some popular places to visit in Boone County? Try the Dinsmore Homestead (see what life was like in the early 19th and 20th centuries), Jane’s Saddlebag (there’s a restaurant, gift shop, and petting zoo), Big Bone Lick State Park (they have live bison!), Rabbit Hash (yes, the mayor is a dog), Gaines Tavern (some say it’s haunted), Verona Vineyards, walking tours of Burlington and Petersburg, and Anderson Ferry (take a trip across the Ohio River).
  7. If you need help with getting licenses and registering vehicles, voter registration, tax assistance and forms, local resources for housing, finding jobs, and even food pantries? Our subject guide on Government has lots of information. Find your utility and waste disposal companies. For more information on Boone County or individual cities: Boone CountyCity of FlorenceFacebook,  Union,                       Walton


Jinny Ussel is the Library’s Training and Design Specialist and a self-professed techno-nerd. She spends her days using a computer and often spends her nights online learning something new.


5 Ways to Satisfy Your Star Wars Cravings Before The Force Awakens

There’s still a long wait for the December 17th opening of Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, so to help with the wait, here are BCPL’s 5 ways to get a taste of that galaxy far, far away.

1. Immerse yourself in the wonderful John Williams’ Score – From the Cantina Band’s
jam session to the Imperial March, music of Star Wars is as iconic as light sabers and R2-D2. BCPL has all of the film scores as well as the soundtrack album for Clone Wars available on CD. There are also several interpretive albums available on Freegal including Star Wars For Two Pianos by Enguerrand-Friedrich Lühl-Dolgorukiy & Mahery Andrianaivoravelona and Baby Wars: Star Wars Lullaby Version.

2. Nothing says “bedtime story” like Darth Vader – It’s never too early to introduce your children to Star Wars and cartoonist Jeffrey Brown has a series of picture books that pose the question “what if Darth Vader got to raise his kids?” In Vader and Son we get a glimpse of Vader’s relationship with Luke, and Vader’s Little Princess shows us how he handles being the father of the precocious Leia. Nothing says Dark Lord of the Sith like playing tea party.

3. Experience Star Wars as Only the Bard Could tell it – In a mash-up for the ages, Ian Doescher has given us the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series. It’s all the intergalactic intrigue you love -now in iambic pentameter. Doescher gives us not only classic Shakespearean soliloquies but the inner-monologues of R2-D2, something those of us who are not fluent in 6,000 forms of communication have never been able to understand. BCPL has all three of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily a New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return in both book and full-cast e-audiobooks format.

4. Grab a Controller and join the Rebellion – Be it as a Lego mini-figure or an Angry Bird, there are great Star Wars video games for every major system, and every level of gamer available at BCPL. You can embrace the dark side as Vader’s apprentice in Star Wars: the Force Unleashed, help the rebel angry birds defeat the empire of bad piggies in Angry Birds: Star Wars or battle and build your way through the galaxy in Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars all from the comfort of your living room

5. Read a Star Wars Legends book – Previously known as the expanded universe, there are 30 years of Star Wars novels, graphic novels and children’s novels that all fall under the heading of Star Wars Legends now that the official pre-Force Awakens cannon has been established as the six films, the Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels cartoons and everything published under the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens moniker. Cannon or not, the Legend books are a wonderful bounty of Star Wars goodness featuring fan-favorite characters like Mara Jade, Thrawn and Jaina & Jacen Solo. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn introduces both Mara Jade and Thrawn and kicks off the Thrawn Trilogy. Jaina and Jacen play huge rolls in the New Jedi Order series which starts with Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore.

-May the Force be With You,

Katie Widener, a Burlington native, attended U of L and UK before becoming a Reference Librarian at Main Library in 2011. She is the adult graphic novel collection selector for BCPL and has been a Star Wars fan since birth. She will always support two irrefutable facts: Han shot first, and Yoda is the best Jedi Master ever.