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Buying Books as Gifts this Holiday Season?

Check out the pdf link to see what young children like in books. Brought to you by the Colorado State Library.

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In these unprecedented times, Pikes Peak Library District is a constant. This year, the need for PPLD’s resources has been greater than ever.

A couple months ago, I was visiting the Old Colorado City Library and met a man named Charlie. The building was still closed to the public at that time due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, but curbside service was available and Charlie was waiting to collect items he had checked out. We got to talking and Charlie told me he was there to check out a WIFI hotspot. Like so many others, Charlie lost his job during the pandemic and without internet he couldn’t apply for jobs. “I don’t have internet at home and everything is online these days. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t get internet through the library.”

As the second largest library system in Colorado, PPLD operates 16 facilities and serves a population of more than 660,000 residents in El Paso County. In 2019, patrons made 3.1 million visits to the library and checked out nearly 8.3 million items. There were more than one million uses of our paid and locally developed databases. We received 50,000+ online meeting room requests and 250,000 people attended a library program.

Mobile Libraries during COVID-19When COVID-19 hit El Paso County in March of this year the impact library closures had on our community was felt immediately. Hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the library for critical resources and services suddenly found PPLD’s doors closed. During the course of weeks and months following the library’s initial closure, PPLD quickly adapted to a new reality, and the accomplishments we have realized while successfully pivoting around a “new normal” have become a model for libraries throughout the country.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PPLD expanded its remote and virtual offerings in a myriad of ways. Our librarians are bringing their services to you, anywhere and anytime. Library patrons can watch a virtual story time with their kids, participate in a virtual book club, or join us for a community movie discussion. Patrons can ask one of our reference librarians questions by phone, live chat, and email. For parents who have suddenly found themselves teachers, we have ample resources for children and teenagers, including homework help, reading help, planning for the future, and more. Patrons can stream and download eBooks, music, and videos from almost anywhere!

All 15 Libraries and three mobile Libraries continue to offer curbside service, making it easy for you to return materials and safely pick up items without having any direct contact with Library staff or other patrons. And, on July 1, Library facilities have re-opened to the public in accordance with public health and safety guidelines.

PPLD participated in several initiatives to address unique community challenges brought about by this pandemic. We have been a part of the statewide Make4Covid movement and worked with makers throughout our region to help in the production of personal protective equipment for the medical community, first responders, and those who need it most. PPLD staff installed public water stations at Penrose Library so any and all can fill containers whenever needed. Staff members also boxed up thousands of books and handed them out at free lunch distribution sites throughout Colorado Springs. So, when people came for a meal, they got a book, too.

PPLD Makerspaces during COVID-19For nearly 60 years, Pikes Peak Library District has stood as a pillar of the community, and we will continue to serve the community in every way we can during this pandemic and beyond. But, none of this is possible without the public’s investment and donors like you. PPLD has felt the economic impacts of the pandemic, and we are now facing a budget shortfall of at least $500,000. Will you support PPLD, and people like Charlie, by donating today? Your charitable gift of $30, $50, $100 or $1,000* will help PPLD be stronger and more prepared to accommodate the changing times and the growing need for our many critical services.

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Take and Make STEM: Science of Flight

This Science of Flight Take and Make STEM project will be available at area PPLD Libraries starting Nov. 13, 2020 and is intended for ages 5-12.

Watch these projects at: https://youtu.be/6W6ZtLCe1ow?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Materials provided in Take and Make:

Materials you provide:

  • Tape
  • Hole punch (or something else to poke a hole)
  • Scissors

The Science of Flight

Four forces of flight not only affect how an airplane flies, but also affect a paper airplane. These forces – lift, thrust, drag, and weight – determine how a plane will fly.

  • Lift is the force that keeps the plane in the air. Lift works opposite the weight of the plane.
  • Thrust is the force that propels the plane forward.
  • Drag acts opposite to the direction of motion. This force is affected by friction and differences in air pressure.
  • Weight is the force of gravity. The pull of an object toward the center of the earth.

In today’s Science of Flight activity, we’ll do several activities. Since paper airplanes are subject to the same forces as actual airplanes, think about the forces of flight and experiment to see what helps your plane fly straighter, more accurately, or farther.

Paper Airplanes:

Use the paper to create paper airplanes. See the pdf link below for the template. Which ones fly the farthest? Which has the best aim? How can you adapt them to change their flight? Test them out.

Paper Airplane catapult:

Start by using the template to create a paper airplane. Just fold on the numbers in order, always folding to the inside so you cover the number with the fold. Once your airplane is folded, punch or poke a hole through all layers about 2 inches from the nose of the plane. Push a rubber band through your hole and then put one end of the rubber band through the other and pull gently. Fly the airplane by hooking the rubber band to your thumb or finger, gently pulling back on the airplane, and then letting go of the plane. See how far it will go! Can you aim it?

Whirly-gig:

Take the whirly-gig in your Take and Make or go to the NASA link above to print out a Mars Helicopter template. On the end where the paper is divided in half, fold the halves in opposite directions. On the part that’s divided into thirds, fold the 2 outside parts in on the dotted lines and then fold the bottom up twice. Either toss the Whirly-gig straight up or drop it from a high place and watch it float down. Experiment with it.

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July 31, 2021 marks the 150-year anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs by William Jackson Palmer. The city, founded at the base of Pikes Peak, experienced many changes over the last 150 years as it has grown to the 39th largest city in the United States.

Sesquicentennial - noun
ses·​qui·​cen·​ten·​ni·​al | \ ˌse-skwi-sen-ˈte-nē-əl \
A 150th anniversary or its celebration.

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) and other community organizations are planning an extensive series of programming and events throughout the year. Many programs focus on providing a historic background to better understand our city today, both for people new to the community and for folks just starting to learn about the region’s history. Other programs are designed to critically examine and appraise the complexities of Colorado Springs’ past. The history of our city is important to all of us; there is something for everyone.



Check back for more programs and events as they are added.


CoS History Book Club

The past is the window to the present. Using the published works of local historians as inspiration, this program will highlight specific themes of Colorado Springs and the region. It is offered in concert with the books referenced, which provide additional background. However, attendees should not feel obligated to read the books in advance of the discussion. The series will provide high-quality information about the community to a broad and diverse audience.

Inspired by the Pikes Peak Library Districts’ Regional History Book Series book, Extraordinary Women of the Pikes Peak Region, the first program will introduce women important to Colorado Springs history.

Chris Nicholl, PPLD Regional History and Genealogy staff member, will share the story of three Colorado Springs women whose political demonstrations at the gates of the White House landed them in prison and helped win the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting American women the right to vote. Susan Fletcher, Glen Eyrie Navigators Historian and Archivist, will explore the lives of Queen Palmer, wife of General William Jackson Palmer, and their three daughters, Elsie, Dorothy, and Marjory.

For more information about women of the Pikes Peak Region, Extraordinary Women of the Pikes Peak Region highlights these stories as well as the stories of 18 other women. The book can be checked out physically at the Library, downloaded from our online Catalog, or listened to on the Libby app.

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Artists of the Knight

Check out a new virtual program from Knight of Columbus Hall (KCH) featuring artists from around the Pikes Peak region. Season One has premiered but you can still watch and support local artists!

Watch here or...

Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates and more!


Interested in being featured on Artists of the Knight? Click here!


Previous Artists:

Click here to learn more about KCH.


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Tween Twist: Election Day Bottle Cap and Fridge Magnets

Take and Makes for these projects will be available at area PPLD Libraries starting this Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.

Supplies provided:

  • Bottle cap
  • “I Voted” sticker
  • Blank sticker
  • Epoxy sticker
  • Circle or square magnet
  • Blank business card
  • Rectangular magnet

Supplies needed (from home):

  • Markers or colored pencils

Watch the “how to” video on PPLD TV: https://youtu.be/GPgX1oKgfNE?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

Bottle Cap Magnets:

  1. Choose if you want to use the “I Voted” sticker or design your own. If you would like to design your own sticker, do so on the blank white sticker (not the clear, thick sticker).
  2. Peel off one sticker and stick to the inside of the bottle cap.
  3. Peel off the epoxy sticker (the clear, thick sticker) and place on top of the first sticker inside of the bottle cap. Press down to make sure it is stuck tight.(Avoid touching the back of the sticker as it will leave fingerprints.)
  4. Peel the adhesive backing off the small round or square magnet. Stick the magnet to the back of the bottle cap.

Fridge Magnets

  1. Decorate the blank business card. You can design it however you want. Some ideas include drawing a mini poster for your favorite fictional character or writing out words on the business card to make magnetic poetry.
  2. If you decide to make magnetic poetry, start by drawing 4 light pencil lines on your business card. Then write out election day themed words with colored markers. Be sure to include some articles (a,an,the), some descriptive words, overreactions, and some nouns (like people, animals, places, or things). Your imagination is the limit! (Only decorate one side of the business card).
  3. Peel off the back of the rectangular magnet and stick it to the back of the decorated business card. You now have a fridge magnet! If you decided to create magnetic poetry, use a pair of scissors to cut out each individual word,then arrange them into funny or meaningful poetry phrases.

Want to share your creations? Tag us on Facebook @ppldteens or @ppldkids.

magnet 1magnet 2magnet 3

magnet 4magnet 5

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Library reaches record-breaking milestone with two million digital books checkouts!

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) reached a record-breaking milestone this week, with two million digital book checkouts. This accomplishment illustrates the continued growth and importance of library digital lending of eBooks and eAudiobooks, especially in a year with building closures due to the global pandemic. PPLD is one of only 40 OverDrive digital collections worldwide to hit the two-million mark at this point in 2020.

PPLD has been providing cardholders with 24/7 access to eBooks and eAudiobooks for several years through OverDrive and its award-winning Libby reading app. Reader interest and usage has grown every year, with about a 42% increase since 2016. In the wake of COVID-19, PPLD took extra steps to make the collection as accessible as possible like extending the length of online library card signups and reinstating expired cards from the 24 months prior to March 2020.

The milestone checkout was Cold as Ice: Lucy Kincaid Series, Book 17 by Allison Brennan and Ann Marie Lee on the evening of Oct. 27, 2020. At this point in 2020, PPLD’s highest-circulating digital title has been Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, checked out as an eBook or eAudiobook over 6,000 times. The top-circulating genres through OverDrive include fiction with more than one million circulations, nonfiction at nearly 460,000 checkouts, and romance at nearly 415,000 circulations.

Here are the top five titles borrowed through PPLD’s digital collection as of Oct. 29, 2020:

Top eBook Titles in 2020:
Top eAudiobook Titles in 2020:

Residents in El Paso County only need a valid library card to access digital books from PPLD’s OverDrive-powered digital collection. Readers can use any major device, including Apple(R), Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle(R) (US only).

Check out our eLibrary or download the Libby app to start borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks anytime, anywhere!

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Homeschool Creepy Science

Note: See pdf file below to print and see pictures of activities.Watch these projects at: https://youtu.be/HXYILnF5914?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

I. MAGIC PUMPKIN

Supplies:

  • Large bag of Reese’s Pieces
  • Measuring cup with hot tap water (works best with freshly boiled water due to Colorado’s high altitude; an adult can place in a measuring cup and pour)
  • White plate or platter
  • Toothpicks or small straws

Directions:

  1. Arrange your Reese’s Pieces in the shape of a pumpkin. We placed the orange candies in a circle to form the sides and used four brown candies to make the stem at the top. You can add a brown mouth and maybe even yellow for the eyes if you like. Do you like theway it looks?
  2. What do you predict will happen once we add the water? In science, we call your guess a hypothesis. Tell each other your guesses or write them down. You can even draw what your pumpkin looks like now and what you think it will look like after we add the warm water. This is called the Scientific Method (see below for more information on the Scientific Method).
  3. Very slowly add some hot water, pouring along the outside edge of the pumpkin. Add only enough water to cover the plate (adult help may be required).
  4. The magic pumpkin will slowly appear! Enjoy a couple nibbles of candy and watch what the water does. You can use your toothpicks or straws to swirl the colors. It’s magical!

Project adapted from: https://www.playdoughtoplato.com/magic-pumpkin-science/

II. CREEPY SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS WITH DRY ICE

SAFETY NOTE: Dry ice can be purchased at the Customer Service counter in the grocery store. Keep it in the heavy plastic bag it comes in! The ice should be purchased the same day you plan to use it; it will gradually sublimate, returning to its gaseous state, if it sits unused for too long. Don’t plan to store the dry ice in your freezer! It is so cold that it will trick your freezer into thinking that it needs to shut off!
Do plan to store it in a Styrofoam chest … unless you are going to use it as soon as you get it
home. An adult should oversee these projects for safety.
.

Screaming Dry Ice

Supplies:

  • Dry ice
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Stainless-steel tongs

Directions:

  1. Using a pair of heavy work gloves (leather is best), hold a piece of dry ice in one hand, and a pair of stainless-steel kitchen tongs in the other. Use the tongs to securely grab hold of the chunk of dry ice.
  2. As the room temperature tongs bring heat to the surface of the extremely cold dry ice, the ice will begin to sublimate (kind of like “melting” from a solid back to a gas). The process causes the tongs to slightly vibrate, producing a high-pitched scream! So be prepared!
  3. Set your dry ice aside for another experiment.

Spooky Bubbling Tower

Supplies:

  • Dry ice
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Hammer
  • Tall glass container
  • Tray or cookie sheet with low sides
  • Very warm water
  • Food coloring
  • Dawn dish soap

Directions:

  1. With a gloved hand, place your plastic bag of dry ice on a surface that will allow you to hammer the ice into some smaller chunks (not too tiny) … like a sidewalk or driveway. Leave all the pieces in the bag and return them to the Styrofoam chest until you need them.
  2. Place the glass container on a tray or cookie sheet. Fill the container with 2-3” of very warm water.
  3. With your gloved hand, pick up a couple of ice chunks and place them in the container. The water will bubble as the ice begins to sublimate, and carbon dioxide gas will be released from the ice in the form of a misty “smoke,” or “fog.” Put your hands in the
    “fog” and blow it around a bit!
  4. While the water is rapidly bubbling (you may need to add 2-3 more chunks of ice … don’t forget the leather glove), add a couple drops of food coloring for a spooky potion.
  5. Next, drizzle in some Dawn dish soap. This will produce a bubbling tower! The movement of the water, caused by the sublimating ice, will cause soap bubbles to form, bubbles that are filled with carbon dioxide. Go ahead … POP a handful of bubbles. Then watch to find out how long it takes for the ice to completely sublimate and escape in the form of a gas in the soap bubbles.

Crystal "Bubble" Ball

Supplies:

  • Dry ice
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Glass mixing bowl with rounded rim (less than 12” in diameter)
  • Tray or cookie sheet
  • Very warm water
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Strip of cotton fabric (old t-shirt)
  • Small plastic cup

Directions:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons dish soap with 1 tablespoon warm water in the small cup. Submerge the cotton strip in the cup to soak.
  2. Fill the glass bowl half full with very warm water. Place on tray or cookie sheet. Add a few chunks of dry ice to the water so that a lot of “fog” is produced.
  3. Dip a finger in the soap/water solution and run your finger around the rim of the bowl, wetting the rim surface.
  4. Remove the cotton strip from the cup, running your fingers down it to remove excess soap. Stretch the cloth between your hands and slowly pull the soapy cloth across the rim of the bowl. Your goal is to create a soap film that stretches across the entire bowl.
    *It might take a little practice to master the technique! The thin layer of soap stretched across the rim of the bowl traps the expanding cloud of carbon dioxide gas to create a giant bubble … a kind of crystal ball perfect for looking into the future!

III. FROG EYES (Edible Water Beads):

Supplies:

  • Tapioca pearls
  • Food coloring (if desired)
  • Pot for boiling water
  • Colander
  • Container for bead play

Directions:

  1. Follow instructions on package for boiling Tapioca.
  2. Once boiled, rinse Tapioca under cool water.
  3. If desired, divide pearls into separate containers, add food coloring, let sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse.
  4. Place beads into container and have fun!
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MAKE: Cupcake Liner Monsters

Pick up your Cupcake Liner Monster Take and Make at area PPLD Libraries beginning this Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

Supplies:

  • Construction paper
  • 1 cupcake liner
  • Googly eyes
  • 1 craft stick
  • Glue (not in Take and Make)
  • Scissors (not in Take and Make)
  • Markers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Start by flattening your cupcake liner and glue it onto the piece of construction paper to give it more weight. Cut out the cupcake liner.
  2. Cut out a mouth, arms, legs, horns, and teeth (or whatever you want on your monster) from your construction paper and glue them onto your cupcake liner. Glue the googly eyes onto your puppet. Make it scary or silly!
  3. Add some glue to the top of your craft stick and glue your cupcake liner onto it. Once it has dried completely, you can have fun putting on a puppet show with your monster puppet!

For video instructions, check out last Tuesday, October 20's video for detailed instructions with one of our librarians here: https://youtu.be/e60Ig4x0XXQ?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFctLfDQxsL5SmuE8zkwQFmu

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STEM: Clothespin Button Racers

The Take and Make for this project will be available at area PPLD Libraries starting Fri., Oct. 16, 2020.

Supplies:

  • 1 plastic straw
  • 2 twist ties (or bread ties) or two paper clips
  • 1 clothespin
  • 4 same size buttons
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Cut 2 straw pieces that are each about 1 inch long.
  2. Slide a twist tie through each straw.
  3. Use the bread tie to secure a button at each end of the straw by looping the tie back through the button hole.
  4. Clip one axle to the clothespin.
  5. Slide the second axle into the back of the clothespin as close to the spring as possible.
  6. Use a rubber band to secure it in place.
  7. Begin racing!

racer 1racer 2racer 3

racer 4

Find the tutorial video at: https://ppld.librarymarket.com/virtual-stem-clothespin-racers

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Tween Twist: Dragon Eggs

TAKE AND MAKE: Tween Twist: Dragon Eggs
Pick up your Take and Make supplies at area PPLD Libraries starting this Fri., Oct. 9, 2020

Supplies:

  • Styrofoam egg
  • Box of thumbtacks
  • glue
  • toothpick
  • Optional supplies: Sharpie markers, nail polish, or rhinestones

Watch the “how to” video on PPLD TV https://youtu.be/YyPNAoIxy3w

Directions:

  1. Start the dragon egg at the very bottom of the Styrofoam egg. You can glue this “starter” tack in for stability.
  2. Insert tacks into the egg so that they overlap the “starter” tack and each other. The tacks overlap like fish scales.
  3. Keep adding tacks, overlapping them as you move up the egg and cover it with tacks.
  4. You will put a final tack at the very top. You can also glue this tack to help it stay in.
  5. You can add glue to any tacks that feel loose or like they might fall out. Use a toothpick to push the glue in where it needs to go.
  6. If desired, you can use colored sharpies, nail polish, and/or rhinestones to further decorate your egg.

dragon egg 1dragon egg 2

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STEM: Zany Zip Line

Supplies:

(Pick up your Take and Make for this project at area PPLD libraries starting this Friday, Oct. 2)

  • String (fishing line, or unwaxed dental floss)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Binder clips
  • Several large paper clips
  • Recycled container to use for carrier (yogurt container, paper cups, empty boxes, etc.)
  • Hole punch or scissors
  • Masking tape and/or scotch tape
  • Paper and pencil
  • Small plastic animal

Directions:

To make your carrier:

  1. Brainstorm how you want to make your carrier and what you want to make it out of.
  2. Punch holes in the sides of the container for the pipe cleaners.
  3. Thread the pipe cleaner(s) through the holes and twist them into place.
  4. Add binder clip or paper clip to act as your pulley.

To set up your zip line:

  1. Run a 4-foot length of string between two objects, such as a chair and a stack of books on the ground.
  2. Be sure the zip line is at least two feet higher on one end than on the other.
  3. Use masking tape or scotch tape to attach your string. You want to be able to easily undo one end of the zip line to attach the carrier to it.

Zany ziplineZany zipline

Watch this project at: https://youtu.be/yAJUMuPC0Vc?list=PLMEg2Dd0dSFeL2073EuA0bc6TD1nM8wUN

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Parenting Little Ones: Q&A Series

Have questions about parenting little ones? PPLD's Family Place Libraries hosted a five-week fall series on Zoom where caregivers can ask questions of community professionals in the fields of child development, nutrition, speech/language, and more. Next series is coming in April 2021!

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PPLD Homeschool: Cooking Up Some Fun!

Submit a recipe to Pikes Peak Library District's A Harvest of Recipes digital cookbook!
Use this link to upload your recipe: https://ppld.librariesshare.com/ppldrecipes/

Some Fun Facts about Grilled Cheese
❖ Though similar recipes were mentioned in ancient Roman texts, the grilled cheese sandwich was technically invented in France in 1910, known as the Croque Monsieur.
❖ However, most experts agree that the first grilled cheese sandwiches were made in the United States in the 1920s when Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable.
❖ Shortly before that, processed cheese has been patented by James L. Kraft, whose pasteurizing process ensured that cheese would not spoil, even when transported great distances (the first Kraft plant opened in Illinois in 1914).
❖ During WWII, Navy Cooks prepared open faced grilled cheese sandwiches on Navy ships as instructed by government issued cookbooks. These sandwiches were called “American Cheese Filling Sandwiches.”
❖ In 1949, people finally began to add the second slice of bread to the top of this sandwich to make it more filling, and the sandwich we all know and love was born.
❖ The name “grilled cheese” wasn’t used until the 1960s; before then it was called “toasted cheese” or “melted cheese” sandwiches.
❖ Approximately 3/4 of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese sandwich per month.
❖ National Grilled Cheese Day is celebrated on April 12th!

Recipes:(Please use adult help with slicing or heating!)
Watch these grilled cheese recipes at: https://youtu.be/6_hqpb7EO4k

I. Allison’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ingredients:
Bread
Butter
Cheese slices (thin)
Optional (onion, apple, kale)
Stone ground mustard
--experiment with your own ingredients—
Instructions:
Butter bread slices on one side, flip slices over and add mustard to insides of bread.
Stack up ingredients between bread slices.
Place in heated frying pan (low to medium heat); cover with lid.
Cook on low to med. heat until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Cheese should be melted.

II. Betty’s Gluten and Dairy Free Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ingredients:
Gluten-free bread
Vegan butter spread
Sliced vegan “cheese”
Avocado (optional)
Mustard
Instructions:
Butter bread slices on one side, flip slices over and add sliced cheese.
Scoop out avocado and spread (if desired); add mustard to top slice.
Place in heated frying pan (low to medium heat); cover with lid.
Cook on low to med. heat until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Adjust heat as needed. Cheese should be melted.

III. Brady’s Grilled Cheese
Ingredients:
Whole wheat bread (or bread of your choice)
Butter
Garlic clove (broken open)
Mayonnaise
Cheese slices (American, grated cheddar, or your choice)
Instructions:
Cover all sides of bread with mayonnaise.
Heat non-stick electric griddle; carefully rub with butter and clove of garlic.
Place one slice of bread on hot pan.
Add cheese; top with other slice of bread.
Cook until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done.
Cheese should be melted.

IV. Amanda’s Easy Creamy Microwave Tomato Soup in a Mug
Ingredients:
7 oz. diced tomatoes
½ tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup broth
1/8 cup light cream
Optional (to taste): sweet yellow onion, basil, pesto, salt and pepper
Supplies:
Mug
Blender
Microwave
Instructions:
Add all ingredients together in blender.
Blend until smooth.
Transfer soup into a microwave safe mug.
Microwave for one minute.
Let cool and enjoy!

V. Athena’s Cake in a Mug Recipe
Ingredients:
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk
1 tbs. oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions:
Pour the dry ingredients into your mug and mix.
Add the wet ingredients, and then mix until there are no large clumps or dry flour at the bottom of the mug.
Microwave for 90 seconds. (You may need to adjust this 10 seconds in either direction, based on your microwave's power.)
Be careful pulling the hot mug out of the microwave!
At this point, you could add some icing or a scoop of ice cream, or eat your cake plain. Enjoy!

Citations and Resources:
“Kids Vs. Science: Making The Greatest Grilled Cheese;” Mental Floss video; https://youtube.com/watch?v=tAN6vC7-YeA
“How chemistry creates the perfect, gooey grilled cheese sandwich;” PBS News Hour; http://pbs.org/newshour/science/grilled-cheese-chemistry-forever
“What a cheesy sandwich looks like in 15 places around the world;” Insider; http://insider.com/grilled-cheese-around-the-world-2018-10
“History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich;” Daily Dish Magazine; http://foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com/national-grilled-cheese-month-hi...
“The History of the Grilled Cheese;” The Committed Pig blog;
http://www.thecommittedpig.com/the-history-of-the-grilled-cheese-and-how...
“The History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich;”
https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/history-of-grilled-cheese.htm

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

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Piratepalooza! Books "RRRR" Me Treasure

SUPPLIES:

  • Pirate Coloring Sheet Find and print it here: http://www.getcoloringpages.com/coloring/96888
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue (liquid glue and a glue stick)
  • One piece of thin cardboard cut from cereal box, or one piece of heavy cardstock or poster board
  • Sparkly things for treasure:
    • Sequins
    • Sparkly confetti
    • Craft “bling”
    • Coins cut or punched from shiny paper or foil— shiny gift bags and tags work great!
    • Jewelry or crowns—make from sparkly pipe cleaners, shiny narrow cord or ribbon, shiny paper or craft bling

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Print the pirate coloring sheet
  2. Color the picture and write Books “RRRR” Me Treasure! near the top of the page
  3. Glue cardboard or cardstock on the back of the picture for extra support
  4. Using glue, add sparkly items for treasure

Watch this storytime at: https://youtu.be/qIVYeIzjeT0

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KidsMake: Magnetic Tracks

Take and Makes for this project will be available starting this Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 at PPLD Libraries and are recommended for kids, ages 5-12.

Supplies:

  • Paper or paper plate
  • Markers or crayons
  • Glue or glue dot or 2-sided tape
  • Magnet
  • Craft stick

Directions:

  1. Use the provided paper or your own supplies to draw a shape to race around on your magnet track. You might choose a vehicle (car, truck, train, boat, etc.), an animal (cow, fish, turtle, dog, etc.), or something entirely different. It should be small enough to go on your paper plate (less than 2 inches).
  2. Attach a magnet to the back using double-sided tape or a glue dot.
  3. Use your own markers, crayons, or colored pencils to create a course on your race track.
  4. Use double-sided tape or a glue to to attach a magnet to the end of your craft stick. Before you glue, you need to make sure that the magnet on the car and the magnet on the stick attract rather than repel each other. If they repel each other, turn the magnet for the stick over before attaching.
  5. Test your track! Set your shape (vehicle, animal, or other) on your track. Use the magnet on the craft stick under the plate to move and race the car.

Have fun!

Find the tutorial video at https://ppld.librarymarket.com/virtual-kidsmake-magnetic-race-tracks

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STEM: Solar Science

Supplies:

In Take and Make kit (pick up a kit starting 9/11/20 at any PPLD Library, while supplies last)

  • UV beads
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Paper plate
  • Pencil
  • Black construction paper
  • Template pdf below

You supply:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Clock face template (pdf to print below)
  • Natural objects from outside: rocks, weeds, flowers, leaves, etc.

Directions:

  1. UV beads illustrate some of the harmful effects of the sun and therefore, why we use sunscreen. UV light is one type of light from the sun. We can’t see it, but insects and birds can. While this UV light can help our bodies produce Vitamin D, too much of it can also cause sunburn or skin damage. Take the UV beads in your kit and string them on a pipe cleaner to make a bracelet. Go outside to watch them react to the UV rays – even on a cloudy day. You might also want to experiment with sunscreen, sunglasses, or windows and see what happens!
  2. You can also use the power of the sun, construction paper, and natural objects to create a work of art. Take your piece of paper and place it in a sunny place. You may need to weight it down. Place natural objects on the paper and leave it all in the sun for several hours. The UV rays of the sun help break down the dye in the paper creating your design. We found that we had to tape down some of the objects so they didn’t blow away. If you use tape, be careful that it doesn’t show.
  3. Next, you can make a sundial clock. Decorate the plate if you’d like. Cut out and glue the clock face to the back side of the plate. Poke the pencil through the center of the plate and take it outside. You’ll need to place the clock with the “12” facing north to determine the correct time. Watch how your clock tells time during the day.

These activities are based on:

http://solar-center.stanford.edu/activities/UVBeads/UV-Bead-Instructions...

https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/learning-toolkit-blog/...

https://www.raisingarizonakids.com/2015/06/how-to-make-sundial-clock/

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Manitou Springs Library is Relocating

New co-location offers dozens of new Library services thanks to MAC’s facilities

Library lovers in Manitou Springs will have a wealth of new resources at their fingertips this December.
Manitou Springs Library and Manitou Art Center (MAC) will officially collocate their services beginning in December of 2020. Now, a PPLD library card will help Library users find music, theatre, visual art and the vast resources and services of the public library all in one place.

“We are thrilled to pair our physical collection and other library services with an organization so focused on helping users create, learn, exhibit, perform, and connect with others in Manitou Springs,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO John Spears. “MAC’s facility will immeasurably enhance what we can provide in the Manitou Springs community.”

Get your limited edition library card soon!

Congratulations to artist Susan Odiam of Manitou Springs! Her original creation will be featured on our limited edition card to celebrate the relocation of Manitou Springs Library to the Manitou Arts Center.

The Manitou Springs Library will be housed inside of the MAC while still providing access and use for MAC supporters, local artists, and tenant community partners. PPLD will provide staff support, a physical collection of books and other Library materials, and access to meeting rooms and creative spaces for Library patrons. MAC members and artists will still maintain benefits while gaining more opportunities and exposure.

“We have already experienced great success partnering with PPLD on a number of initiatives, and the MAC is excited about this opportunity, which will allow us to do even more for the community,” said MAC Executive Director Natalie Johnson.

“We’re excited to see what other long-term benefits arise from this venture, like increasing access to the MAC and expanding PPLD opportunities in Manitou Springs. We will leverage each other’s strengths of service.”

PPLD and MAC officially entered into a co-location agreement last month. This co-location partnership and move is taking place as the City of Manitou Springs determines what to do with the historic Carnegie building, owned by the City and currently leased by PPLD for the Manitou Springs Library through the end of 2020.

“PPLD’s departure provides the City with necessary time to plan for the building’s future, while allowing the Library to adequately serve the public,” said Spears. “The move will be beneficial for PPLD cardholders, MAC members, local artists, community partners, taxpayers and the local economy.

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Water Balloon Parachute

TAKE AND MAKE: Water Balloon Parachute
Can your water balloons survive a big drop? Find out with this experiment.
Pick up your Take and Make kit at PPLD Libraries starting September 4, 2020

Supplies:

  • One balloon
  • Water
  • One plastic shopping bag
  • One rubber band

Directions:

  1. Add water to your balloon, don't fill the balloon, leave lots of room to tie the balloon closed.
  2. Cut the ends of the handles of the bags. Tie or rubber band them to the knotted end of a water balloon.
  3. Go outside and drop it from a high place to see if it breaks when it lands.
  4. Test and retest until your balloon breaks.
  5. Try it again with another balloon.

See what else you can attach to your parachute and let drop.

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SDA AwardThere are nearly 3,000 special districts in the state of Colorado, including library districts, park districts, water districts, fire districts, and many others. Every year, one district from those thousands is chosen by the Special District Association of Colorado to receive its highest honor, the J. Evan Goulding District of the Year Award. We are excited to announce that the SDA has chosen Pikes Peak Library District as this year's recipient!


The J. Evan Goulding District of the Year Award was established by the SDA Board of Directors to single out a district that demonstrates exceptional leadership and community spirit. This award recognizes a district's major accomplishments, series of outstanding efforts, and a steady determination to serve its constituency. This year's winner, Pikes Peak Library District, truly exemplifies these qualities.

The history of public libraries in the Pikes Peak Region began in October 1885 when the Colorado Springs Social Union established a library in downtown Colorado Springs. In 1905, a new library opened with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie and land granted by General William Jackson Palmer. In 1962, a majority of El Paso County citizens voted to establish a special taxing district, and Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) was formed. After not joining the District initially in 1962, the town of Manitou Springs subsequently voted to join PPLD at the beginning of 2013.

As the second largest library system in Colorado, PPLD serves a population of more than 660,000 residents in El Paso
County, with the exception of Security/Widefield School District #3. This includes all unincorporated areas and municipalities of Calhan, Colorado Springs, Ellicott, Falcon, Fountain, Manitou Springs, Monument, and Palmer Lake. The District is able to serve such a large number of citizens thanks to an employee base of nearly 475 full-and part-time staff and almost 1,700 volunteers. PPLD’s Board of Trustees consists of seven members from the community. The citizen volunteers are appointed jointly by the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Commissioners for a maximum of two five-year terms.

The District currently operates 16 facilities throughout the county. In addition to the large collections of physical and digital materials that are available, a number of sites also feature state-of-the art services, such as makerspaces and studios. PPLD’s makerspaces offer access to tools, materials, and machines to help bring patrons’ creative visions to life. Equipment such as 3D printers; laser engraving and cutting machines; and assorted handicraft and art tools are all available for use. In the District’s studios, Library cardholders have access to items such as cameras, audio mixers, and even a green screen to produce professional-grade recordings. Moreover, the District operates a three-vehicle mobile fleet that delivers Library services to more rural and remote areas as well as to communities for individuals who have limited mobility.

The District has also established a number of strategic partnerships to help serve their local community. For example, the new Pikes Peak Culture Pass program allows patrons to explore museums and attractions in the Pikes Peak region at no cost. By collaborating with local organizations, PPLD provides free admission passes for check out, increasing opportunities for education and cultural learning. In addition, the District has expanded its adult learning programs in recent years. Career Online High School is an online high school diploma and career certification program provided by PPLD. Students can choose a major from a list of high-growth, high-demand career fields and complete coursework to develop the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. The District also offers English as a Second Language classes and food industry training.

In 2018, in partnership with The Place (formerly Urban Peak Colorado Springs), the District launched a first-of-its-kind initiative in Colorado aimed at helping teen runaways and youth experiencing homelessness. The partnership resulted in PPLD locations becoming a part of the National Safe Place Network. As a part of this network, an at-risk youth can enter the library and ask for help. From there, the library staff can contact The Place who will then arrive and begin to find the appropriate assistance.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the District transformed its library services to expand access beyond the traditional use of libraries. PPLD launched a number of virtual programs and began offering curbside services. When the pandemic first began and there was concern over a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), the District became involved with a group called Make4COVID, whose wide network of members worked together to 3D print PPE. As part of the effort, PPLD distributed several of its larger 3D printers to makers in the community who were then able to make face shield parts in the safety of their own homes. The District staff also used sewing machines and smaller 3D printers to assist in this vital work.

For nearly 60 years, Pikes Peak Library District has welcomed all members of their local community to enrich their minds, make connections, and reach their full potential. Through innovative initiatives and programming, resourcefulness, and responsiveness to the needs of their patrons, the District is truly living its mission to provide library resources and services that impact lives and build community across El Paso County.

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Tween Twist: Banned Books Wearables (Mini-Charms)

Link to tutorial on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vJyL_xqPI0E

Supplies needed:

  • Book template printed on cardstock
  • Book cover printed on paper
  • Glue Stick
  • Blank paper
  • Needle & thread
  • Jump ring
  • Optional: Key chain ring or necklace chord

Directions:

  1. Cut out a cardstock book template and the book cover of your choice (see pdf files below).
  2. Use the glue stick to glue the cover to the book template.
  3. Crease the flaps around the edges.
  4. Cut out 4-6 rectangles that you will fold in half to make the book’s pages. You can eyeball this, but they will be approximately 4.75 cm x 3.5 cm.
  5. Line up the pages and fold in half. This stack of folded pages is called a “signature”. Trim if necessary so that the pages fit in the book.
  6. Thread a needle with about 6 inches of thread.
  7. Sew the pages together with a pamphlet stitch. You will be poking 3 holes in the crease of the folded pages: one in the top, one in the middle, and one in the bottom. You can mark these holes with pencil beforehand if you would like to.
  8. Start by poking the needle in through the middle of the crease (see picture). The needle should go through the back of the pages and come out inside the inner fold. Leave a couple of inches of thread hanging out the back. Hold these 3 inches while you sew and do not let them pull through. You will be tying a knot with them at the end.
  9. Push the needle up through the top of the pages (inside to outside).
  10. Go back down near the bottom of the pages (outside to inside).
  11. Pull the needle one last time through the center hole.
  12. Use the thread you left hanging out the back and the thread still on the needle to tie a square knot—right over left, then left over right.
  13. Flip the cover template over, line up the pages of the signature you’ve just sewn, and use a glue stick to glue the leftmost and rightmost pages of the signature to the inside of the template.
  14. Run your glue stick over all the tabs of the cover template and then press them onto the two glued pages until the folio is fully secured to the cover template on both sides.
  15. Fold both sides of the spine with your fingers to finish your book!
  16. Now use the needle to poke a hole through the top of the spine all the way through to the inside. Widen the hole by wiggling the needle.
  17. Open a jump ring with your fingers by holding it in front of you and pulling one side forward while you push the other back. Do not open by pulling the sides outward or it will not fully close.
  18. Poke the jump ring through the hole you’ve created. You may have to go back and widen the hole further. At this point, you can attach a key ring to it or string it on a chord to make a necklace. Close the jump ring when you’re done!
  19. Voila! You have a miniature book charm. If you want it to lay flat, you can place it under a light object/between two objects overnight to make it stay fully closed. You could optionally paint it with mod podge to keep it safe from wear and tear!

Show off what you've made by entering our PPLD Challenge: Banned Books Art.

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All You Need Is Your Library

At Pikes Peak Library District, you can do anything you set your mind to. We, of course, offer books at each of our libraries. But did you know you can also get help with at-home education, do virtual yoga, learn a new language, discover your family tree, stream music, watch movies, and more? PPLD offers so many exciting things, it’s hard to capture them all! Learn more about what all you can access with your library card below.

Thanks to the public’s investment and taxpayer support, Pikes Peak Library District can provide Library resources and services to all cardholders for free. You can learn more about PPLD's budget and expenditures here.

My Library: Kids Edition!


Getting your Library Card

Click here to learn more.


My Account

From managing your holds, interlibrary loans, set notification preferences, and more! Click here to learn more.


Download the App


The Catalog

Find books, eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, video games, board games, and more! Click here for instructions on using the catalog.


eLearning

Find help and support for your at-home learning endeavors at ppld.org/eLearning.


eBooks


Audiobooks


Movies & TV Shows


Music


Programs

Click here to see our full calendar of events


Magazines & Newspapers


Languages

Mango Languages


Genealogy Research


Homework & Homeschool Help


Personal & Professional Development


Databases

Research Guides

And More...

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Storytime@Home: Digital Storytime Materials

Missing Storytime at your favorite Library? Our Family and Children's Services librarians are creating Storytime at Home materials for you and you family to enjoy. Every themed Storytime includes top literary picks with easy links to our online Catalog, music, crafting, and literacy tips. Click the photos or the link for more information about each activity.

Get yours by following @PPLDKids on Facebook or get them straight to your email! Subscribe here!


All Storytimes:

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Maker in Residence: Sustainable Art with Cara McKinley

2020 is certainly a year that we will forever remember. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to flex and develop our 21st Century Skills (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity) in order to reinvent our way of life and stay connected to our community. Faced with these challenges, local artist Cara McKinley has worked with PPLD’s Creative Services staff to completely reinvent and rebuild the annual Maker in Residence Program (MIR), adapting it to meet social-distancing needs.

Explore Fall Maker in Residence Create Together: Community Build to learn about the collaborative art project!


Classes

In place of in-person classes, Cara has created skill-based project videos that introduce the viewer to traditional clay ceramic and assemblage skills using non-traditional, sustainable materials readily available at home. We encourage you to follow along with the projects using your own materials, so we’ve provided a suggested supply list with each video so that you can participate at your own convenience.

Recognizing the value of direct interaction, we also scheduled several MIR Live Chats to provide community members with an opportunity to chat with Cara and ask her questions about the videos and her art style, connect with other community members, and show off their finished pieces.

  • Clay Dig
    • Clay Dig part one: A quick tutorial on how to find and dig clay, overviewing what properties or characteristics to look for when digging, with conscientious and ethical dig considerations included.
    • Clay Dig part two: Using the locally-sourced clay from part one, learn to create a small pinched object, and get a sneak peek into the Community Build projects that you'll find at PPLD Libraries across the Pikes Peak region!
      • Supplies: backyard clay (or air dry clay), plastic knife, plastic fork, pencil or pen
      • Optional: water cup, paint brush, inspiration foliage (leaves and flowers to press into the clay), pigment (tempera, acrylic, latex, glitter, etc.)
  • Sand Sculpture
    • Sand Sculptures part one: Using a tinfoil sculpted form as the base, this sandsculpting method of faux concrete sculpture incorporates glue, dirt, and pigment found in the home to coat the tinfoil form. See what other objects and materials can be added to create visual interest.
      • Supplies: Elmer's Glue (all purpose), dirt/sand from your yard (play sand works too), tinfoil, mixing cup, parchment paper
      • Optional: paint (latex, acrylic, or spray)
    • Sand Sculptures part two: For the sandcasting technique, use sand, glue, plastic, and different types of color such as food coloring or acrylic paint to create a one-part mold casting. Make and pour your own mixture into your favorite shapes in a form made from sand! Create one, two, or ten... you're the artist!
      • Supplies: Elmer's Glue (all purpose), dirt/sand from your yard (play sand works too), shallow container (or box lid), recycled plastic, parchment paper, fibrous string (yarn, rope, fabric strips), old brush or mixing stick, mixing cup, food coloring or pigment (watercolor paint, tempera), permanent marker
      • Optional: glitter, rhinestones, sequins, other found additions, tinfoil
  • Plastic Reboot
    • Plastic Reboot: Using simple and complex building methods, along with previous techniques (introduced in Clay Dig & Sand Sculptures), learn to reshape plastic using scissors, a nail file, and connection styles (maybe even some packaging tape). The everyday bottle is transformed into a treasure that catches light using rethought objects from your surroundings.
      • Supplies: plastic (found or collected), scissors, permanent marker
      • Optional: packaging tape (clear), nail file, pliers, drill XACTO, glue pigment mixture (or nail polish), wire, glitter, rhinestones, sequins, tinfoil, additional found objects
  • Maker Challenges

    Maker in Residence Cara McKinley wants you to pick a challenge from this video to complete in just an hour! Watch the video for inspiration prompts such as...
    • Make a tree ornament that you would want to live in if you were a bird
    • Make an instrument as tall and as wide as your body out of household objects and materials

    Watch the video to find more creative challenges!

  • Assembled Objects
    Here’s your chance to get a brief look at Cara McKinley’s studio while she explains why she enjoys working with natural and recycled materials and explains the importance of assembling objects to make art.

The Maker

Meet the Maker video

Cara McKinleyA transplanted surfer from South Florida, Cara has always been enthralled in looking at the natural world. After completing her Post Baccalaureate Studies at Indiana University Bloomington and Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Cara moved to the rocky terrain of Colorado to recreate her observations in clay and multimedia. Using video, sculpture, installation and assemblage allows her the opportunity to indulge in the essence of an object and her world to create a shared reality. She makes in variable spaces in a continuous process of play using traditional and non-traditional media. Household objects, found items and natural materials such as sticks, sand, clay, tinfoil, metal, and glass express a way to enjoy and pay homage to nature.

Learn more at caramckinleyart.com.

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eLearning with PPLD

The 2020 school year will look different for all of us, regardless what learning method your family has chosen for your students. Pikes Peak Library District has tools and resources to support you in your education journey this year!

First stop: get your card.

  • Either stop by a PPLD facility to sign up, or print out an application ahead of time to bring with you (located here).
  • OR

  • Apply for a card online!
      • You must live within the PPLD service area
      • You will need proof of your current address and a photo ID
      • If you're 15-years-old or younger, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.



Learn more about the Library's response to Covid-19.


Brainfuse

Live Homework Help

Live homework help and skills building online with expert tutors in math, science, social studies, and English, plus writing and reading assistance.


Testing & Education Reference Center

Study Guides and Practice Tests

This database provides study guides and timed practice exams for all major college entrance exams and standardized tests, plus college planning, scholarship search, and career exploration tools.


Databases

These platforms provide high-quality educational content and are fun to explore! Access is free with a valid library card and pin number.
Databases include:

  • Academic Search Premiere: Contains full text for more than 2,000 journals, including more than 1,550 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study.
  • Consumer Health Complete:A comprehensive full-text resource for consumer-oriented health content covering all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine.
  • CultureGrams: Includes over 200 reports on countries and cultures and state reports outlining the diversity and history of each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Designed for upper elementary-aged children
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: Searches our entire collection of Gale eBooks on a variety of subjects, including history, science, government, and more.
  • Learn on Demand: Interactive online training for Microsoft Office software. Includes Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Windows and Word. New users will need to create an account.
  • Lynda.com: Lynda .com offers online video tutorials to help you learn software, creative, and business skills.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context: Explore current events and controversial issues by researching multiple sides of a topic. This database aids students in writing argumentative essays and developing analytical thinking skills.
  • Science Reference Center: Provides easy access to a multitude of full-text, science-oriented content. Designed to meet every student researcher's needs, Science Reference Center contains full text for 732+ science encyclopedias and reference books, 195 periodicals, 519 science videos and other sources.

Online Resource Guides

Librarian-Approved Info on Tons of Topics!

Your source for research assistance, subject guides, and library resources.


Mango Languages

Ready to expand your horizons by learning a new language? Mango Languages features 70 language options, including 21 options for those learning English as a second language. Explore languages from Irish to Punjabi in the comfort of your own home, or download the app to learn on the go! Students can go at their own pace. The courses have been created by expert linguists and native-speaking instructors to ensure that the content is grammatically and conversationally correct, as well as culturally relevant.


Workforce Readiness Training

Get ready to get a job or go to college! Work your way through modules focused on professionalism, communication, social skills, and goal setting to prepare yourself for the next big step in your life. Folks below age 15 should focus on the “basic” training while older youth might find the “intermediate” training more appropriate. Complete the training and pass an assessment to earn 10 hours of volunteer credit!




The Homeschool Hub

The PPLD Homeschool Hub has a wealth of resources and tools to support your learning at home efforts. You can also sign up for their newsletter here. Click on “Resources” to find information on getting started; Colorado homeschool law, online courses, concurrent enrollment, and enrichment programs; tutoring; extracurricular activities; support organizations; and more.


Featured Homeschool Resources

Whether you are homeschooling full- or part-time, or simply looking for ways to enrich your child’s education, the online resources featured in this issue provide a variety of elucidating and engaging possibilities.

  • Learning Heroes
    This site provides parents with a picture of their child’s learning needs along with tools to bolster their academic, social, and emotional development. A “Readiness Check” with short questions about reading or math for grades K - 8 will show you where your student stands. You’ll also find learning aids by subject and grade level, ways to identify a child’s character strengths and areas for development, an idea-packed “Anti-Racism Resources Directory,” and more. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
  • GreatSchools
    This resource helps with developing “Emotional Smarts,” learning issues, building character, college prep, and more. A “What Your Child Should Have Learned” section outlines key academic and social benchmarks typical for grades K - 8 along with specific subject check-ins aligned with Common Core State Standards. Short “Milestones” videos clarify grade level expectations by demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing, and math in grades K - 12. Parents can also access learning activities, vocab words, worksheets, and more by grade level. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
  • Khan Academy
    This site provides free standards-aligned video tutorials and interactive exercises in math, science, and the humanities from kindergarten through the early years of college. The self-paced lessons are organized to build knowledge one concept at a time. Create a free account to track a student’s progress, chart subject mastery, and support their learning needs. Use Khan Academy to tackle new coursework, fill in gaps for subjects already learned, homework help, or as a fun activity. It’s accessible in numerous languages!
  • Understood
    Understood is aimed at supporting kids with learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia and ADHD, by offering customized, accessible resources and a compassionate community. The “For Families” section organizes articles and resources into general topics: understanding and navigating learning and thinking differences; school and learning issues; socio-emotional development; community, including blogs and discussion groups; and “Through Your Child’s Eyes,” interactive simulations to help parents better understand their child’s world. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
  • Wide Open School
    This site offers engaging, high-quality online learning experiences for kids pre-K - 12. Parents can access the content by subject, or plan a full school day by grade level. Other sections are dedicated to virtual field trips, art and music, physical activity, emotional well-being, English-language learners, learning differences, and more.


For Fun AND Learning!

eLibrary: More than Books!

This is the place to go for thousands of free digital materials. First, you'll need to create an account using your library card number and pin. Some services in the eLibrary include OverDrive (eBooks, eAudios, eVideos), Hoopla ( eMusic, eVideos, eComics, eBooks, eAudios), AudioBookCloud (eAudios), Freading (eBooks), Freegal (eMusic), Kanopy (eVideos), and more.


PPLD Kids

You can find plenty of PPLD resources here! Explore:

  • Homework (search by subject to find databases, recommended websites, and more),
  • Read (access booklists by grade level, genre, online resources, and more),
  • Create (hands-on activities and websites),
  • or Parents & Educators (curated information source for adults).

PPLD Teens

Get homework help, book recommendations, virtual programs, research resources, and more!


TumbleBooks

eBooks for Kids!

This curated database of children’s eBooks offers over 1000 titles for kids in grades K - 6. Included are animated talking picture books, read-along chapter books, National Geographic videos, non-fiction books, literacy puzzles and games, books in Spanish and French, and graphic novels (a fan favorite!). Younger kids will enjoy listening to the stories while perusing the illustrations, while older or more accomplished readers can choose from the collection of read-along books featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page-turning. Each book is accompanied by a reading level, Lexile level, and grade information, plus an optional quiz. There are no limited check-out times or wait lists, so every item is always available to everyone.

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