The smell of chocolate can lead to a good day…or a good childhood!

Sisters on steps (also an option for our album cover, should we ever make one)

I hail from a long line of hard-working, creative, smart, loving, story-telling, bull-headed determined people. We are of a sturdy stock with mushy insides; not particularly interested in nonsense, but always up for a good time or a good cry.

I grew up with three sisters in a town surrounded by farmland in Lancaster County, PA, not far from Three Mile Island and Hersheypark. Everyone used to joke that you could tell how your day was going to go based on whether you smelled chocolate or manure when you woke up in the morning. There were jokes about radiation, too, but they were never quite as funny.

Childhood brings memories of music, art supplies, books, asking questions, and playing- lots of playing. My sisters and I mostly walked to school, and we spent summers chasing grasshoppers and fireflies, playing flashlight tag, and creating rich imaginary worlds. We shared a single pair of roller skates, which actually meant that two of us got to skate at a time, but if you drew the short straw and got stuck with the left skate, you had to decide if you wanted to risk it all by wearing it on the wrong foot or hope for the best while gliding around on your left foot. We rode our bikes

How to have your picture taken without really having your picture taken.

to the candy factory downtown to spend spare change on root beer barrels and butterscotch discs, and then rode back home to read books on a blanket under a pin oak tree or get into general shenanigans. One time we were creek stomping in the storm drain and my youngest sister stood up with fish in her bare hands, which we promptly relocated to the fish tank in the corner of the dining room. He lived there for more than a year. In short, we never failed to occupy ourselves. We were told from very early on that whether we believed it or not, we would be each other’s best friends some day, and truer words were never spoken.

I’ve been a crossing guard, babysitter, raspberry picker, salad bar attendant, concert box office worker, retail cashier, home health care provider, infant room lead, nanny/auntie extraordinaire, and for the past ten years, a youth services associate in outreach. Growing up, I thought I might be an artist or a veterinarian or a surgeon. Some of my aspirations might be attributed to the fact that multiple booster seats at the dining room table would have been a bit extravagant for our budget, so we used mom’s beloved medical encyclopedias to help us sit at a good height for eating. There are rumors that she hoped we would absorb the information via osmosis and thus develop a passion for the healing professions. For a while, it seemed as though her machinations were going to pay off. Then it was time for me to sign up for a chemistry course in college. I opted for a semester packed with religious studies, theater arts, and sociology, and never looked back. (Actually, I occasionally look back, but what would life be without a few question marks?) I received an excellent education at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. My liberal arts degree was a good choice because my courses of study provided opportunities to learn about myriad topics from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Two out of two superheroes
approve of library community stops!

These days, I continue to cultivate a curiosity about the world, as I find there is so much to discover, explore, and experience. Aside from spending time pondering, I like to do things with my hands: gardening, sewing, baking, assembling, creating. While I love listening to music, watching television, movies, and theater productions, outside remains one of my favorite places to be, and there is something special about a great book. I am a “cat person” deep in my heart, but I’ve recently discovered a deep and abiding love for my own crazy, sweet, treeing walker coonhound.

I had the privilege of being surrounded by incredibly intelligent, talented, witty, and compassionate people in my formative years. They continue to be some of my favorite humans and I love spending time with them. I wish we weren’t all spread to what feels like the four corners of the world, but technology helps ease the longing. While I value time by myself and with my family, I also appreciate and enjoy meeting, spending time with, and getting to know my neighbors, coworkers, and customers. Community is about making connections and recognizing commonalities, all while celebrating the unique things we all bring to a conversation. My job at BCPL affords me the opportunity to be creative and contribute to the community, and my favorite part of the job is interacting with our customers.

Block Party exhibit at the Main Library now open!

Block Party is a hands-on, STEM-inspired traveling exhibit designed to introduce young children to engineering, math, and creative concepts through play. Block Party will be on display at Boone County Public Library’s Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington, now through October 17.

 

“We created an exhibit around blocks and different building materials because they’re incredible toys that build 21st century skills in a fun way,” said Lindy Hoyer, Executive Director of Omaha Children’s Museum. “Playing with blocks helps children develop a number of skills, including mathematical, problem solving, and spatial reasoning skills. It’s a form of play that inspires adults to join in the fun, creating a wonderful bonding experience for the child.”

Block Party features 13 activity stations, some with specific building challenges, and others with free play opportunities. Prompts throughout the exhibit will help adults encourage critical thinking by providing sample open-ended questions or activity ideas.
The exhibit features a LEGO® wall, LEGO soft play bricks, builder boards, and an activity station where children can construct a building and evaluate its durability on a quake table. In addition, children will enjoy the over-sized building blocks made of foam, cardboard, and plywood for large construction.

The exhibit also includes 8 build tables with 8 unique block styles:

  1. Magneatos
  2. IO Blocks
  3. Twig Blocks
  4. Wood Blocks
  5. Squigz Suction Construction Toys
  6. LEGO Bricks
  7. Magna Tiles
  8. Dado Cubes

The exhibit will be located on the second floor of the Main Library and will be available for creative play during the library’s open hours, beginning August 12 through October 17.

Main Library Hours
Monday – Thursday  9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This exhibit was produced by Omaha Children’s Museum. Omaha Children’s Museum is a special place where children can challenge themselves, discover how the world works and learn through play. The mission of Omaha Children’s Museum is to engage the imagination and create excitement about learning.