Connect with Other Families Over Coffee and Cocoa at Chill 2020

Stop. Step back. Breathe.

Between work, school, family, and other activities, we often lose sight on what’s important in our lives. The stress can appear in ways that impact our own mental and emotional health, and eventually the overall well-being of our families. January is a time for new beginnings. Learn how to connect as a family in a meaningful way during Chill 2020, a three week series beginning Tuesday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library located at 1786 Burlington Pike. Please register here.

Each week, early literacy library staff will present a major topic for discussion. Each topic will have a number of supporting components. There may be a couple of books that support the topic, a rhyme or song, mindful movement, and family activities that encourage positive interactions. Each session also includes some time for children and adults to interact with each other and get to know people in their community. Throughout the program, you will receive resources that will reinforce the ideas and activities you receive during the month of January to continue on your family’s path of taking a step back from the chaos of life and intentionally practicing mindful activities.

The first week encourages connecting as a family unit. You will write out your family values and rules and display them in a creative way. You will also create weekly and daily routines and learn movements that encourage taking a few moments to process thoughts and manage stress in healthy ways. During week two, families will learn about ways to encourage positive behaviors. Look at family photos and discuss their relationship to positive family interactions. Learn methods that encourage children to make good decisions every day. The final week covers the uniqueness of your child and how to handle situations based on their personalities. The activity this week will allow families to create something that embraces their child’s individuality. Mindful movement for this week encourages seeing the positive side of seemingly negative traits and using colors to help express feelings.

We lead busy lives. Our children often have as many activities as we do and don’t always have a healthy way to communicate the stress they feel in their own lives. Make this January the time that your family becomes a mindful and meaningful family!

Chill 2020 (family program)
Tuesday, January 14, 21 & 28
Main Library, 6:30 p.m.
Reduce stress and improve focus while connecting with other families over coffee and cocoa. Practice mindfulness techniques and how to encourage positive behavior through stories and play. Each evening will end with a door prize! Registering for January 14, registers you for all three sessions.

Please register here.

5 Reasons YOU Should Be Playing D&D

(D. Pina is a teen librarian and Kevin Wadlow is a reference librarian at Boone County Public Library.)

Dungeons and Dragons (or D&D) has gone through 5 different versions in the time since it started out as a set of rules for wargaming in the 70s. There have been D&D board games, video games, movies, action figures, books, and even its own Saturday morning cartoon back in the 80s. If there hasn’t been a D&D breakfast cereal, that’s likely only due to the difficulty in making icosahedron shaped marshmallows. You, or someone you know, might even have watched or listened to people play D&D! Nearly two million hours of D&D have been watched since gaming groups have started to showcase their games, called liveplays, on Twitch TV. Celebrities like Stephen Colbert, Deborah Ann Woll, and Terry Crews have all appeared on various podcasts and Youtube videos playing D&D, and the list of celebrities playing the game keeps on growing. Every day, curious and interested viewers venture into a world of daring deeds, dastardly dragons, and dangerous dungeons – and decide they, too, want to play!

But why should YOU be interested? What do all of these people get out of playing D&D? We are here with five reasons YOU should be playing.

REASON 1: Making friends while getting treasure!

D&D is a great way to get out there and make new friends. Together, you will solve problems, rescue the innocent, and even earn cool rewards like a talking sword or shoes with wings that make you fly. In order to accomplish these great deeds, you will have to work side-by-side (listening, compromising, and engaging) with other people at your table. You won’t be able to take down that dragon alone, but, together with your friends, you will be able to acquire riches beyond your wildest imagination. It’s the ultimate team building activity!

REASON 2: Shape the world through YOUR actions!

D&D is a collaborative storytelling experience where a chance meeting with a stranger (perhaps you!) can change the fate of the world. While there are rules to playing D&D, how a group of characters achieves a particular goal is open ended. “A group of goblins stands in the path before you. They haven’t noticed your group …yet. What do you do?” Does your character rely upon their agility to sneak around them? Does your character use their innate charm to persuade the goblins that you’re all friends here? Do you launch a fireball in their direction? All of these options are available, and all of them have consequences, which shapes the story.

REASON 3: It’s easy! (No, seriously. It is. We promise.)

The Dungeon Master (the individual who organizes the game) describes a situation and the players respond to it. That’s it. Even when dice are rolled to determine an outcome, the math is all simple addition or subtraction. Best of all, even if you’ve never played D&D before, you’re probably already familiar with how it works. If you’ve ever played any kind of video game where you made a character, equipped armor and weapons, and leveled them up through combat or achieving objectives, you owe all of that to D&D. If you haven’t played video games before either, that’s okay. There’s a good chance that you’re aware of these concepts through pop culture references.

REASON 4: Learn to be you!

As a role-playing game, D&D can help you get out of your shell. It’s rolling dice, swapping stories, and being yourself while getting to be someone else. Maybe, in real life, you’re kind of shy and not very outgoing, so talking your way out of situations, or confronting someone, may seem out of your reach. Maybe you have a hard time cooperating with others, and relying on other people doesn’t come naturally. In D&D, these aren’t limitations, they’re challenges! And, once you’ve overcome a challenge in the game, you can take what you’ve learned to real life, because you’ve experienced it for yourself. Playing D&D can help you learn to be you.

REASON 5: You’ll have a great time!

D&D not only nets you social and personal growth… it’s also FUN! While the meaning of fun is subjective, nothing quite beats being able to brag that you defeated an evil wizard instead of spending your free time as a couch potato. Most groups develop in-jokes, and sometimes you or your friends will pull something off so amazing you can’t help but smile.

Are you interested in playing yet? If so, we play D&D (and more!) at the library! The Scheben branch will be hosting Dungeons and Dragons for teens on Thursday, September 5 at 5:30 p.m. and the Florence branch will be hosting Dungeon Crawl Classics for adults on Saturday, September 14 at 1 p.m. We hope to see you there! Keep an eye on our newsletter for future events!

If you would like to DM a game, please contact us at dpina@bcpl.org and kwadlow@bcpl.org.

–D and Kevin

D. Pina is the Teen Librarian at the Scheben branch and forever DM to many friends. They enjoy coming up with weird adventures and even weirder characters!

Kevin Wadlow is 100% a real human being and definitely not three gnomes stacked on top of one another wearing a trench coat. He is an avid reader, tabletop gamer, and drinker of coffee who enjoys drawing things of strangeness along the way. When the zombie apocalypse comes, he will probably be eaten first after saying something about how he fully expected to go out like this.