Top 5 Award-Winning Children’s Books

pex child reading

The library strives to obtain award-winning children’s books for our Family Room. Education students and parents alike should have access to high quality stories for their kids. This list describes just a few of the best award-winners that the library has available.

*all descriptions courtesy of WorldCat*

Julie of the Wolves

julie of the wolves

Author: Jean Craighead George

Award: Newberry Medal

Description: “While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.”



jumanji book

Author: Chris Van Allsburg

Award: Caldecott Medal

Description: “Left on their own for an afternoon, two bored and restless children find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical jungle adventure board game.”


Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry


Author: Mildred D. Taylor

Award: Newberry Medal

Description: “A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.”


The Giver


Author: Lois Lowry

Award: Newberry Medal

Description: “Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.”


Where The Wild Things Are


Author: Maurice Sendak

Award: Caldecott Medal

Description: “Max, a naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.”


Yoga For Readers

In honor of International Yoga Day, student assistants Kayla and Shelby have agreed to demonstrate their favorite poses for exercising both mind and body. Whether you are a seasoned bookworm or you are using the library for the first time, we have a way for you to settle in and get the most out of your library time!

Level: Beginner

BlogPhoto1Relaxed Pose: This is a comfortable position for marathon-reading a fun book of your choice. The arms of the chair provide support for your back and elevation for your feet, combining to create the ultimate casual reading experience. Note: This move is not recommended for use while studying or reading intense fiction.


BlogPhoto9The Finals Week: To properly execute this move, you must get to the library early in order to claim enough space and furniture to stretch out to your full length. This is perfect for the evening before your most difficult exam, as it allows you to switch back and forth between studying and power naps efficiently.


Level: Intermediate

BlogPhoto6Modified Plank: This position will allow you to strengthen the two most important muscle groups- the core and the brain. Form is particularly important to prevent excess pressure on your elbows and strain on your eyes.



BlogPhoto5The Upside Down Turtle: When you’ve been sitting in uncomfortable classroom chairs all day, this pose will relieve back pain by elevating your feet and taking pressure off your spine. It is enhanced by reading John Green’s latest novel or any turtle-related book in our Family Room, which will cure textbook-induced headaches.


Level: Advanced

BlogPhoto2The Inverted Bookworm: Sometimes it is helpful to get a different perspective on what you are reading. Turning upside down is the perfect way to do just that! Having your head closer to the ground will change the way you see the world while improving circulation to your brain.


BlogPhoto10The Sneaky Reader: This pose is perfect for when you see your Welcome Week Crush in the library studying. Bonus points if you can do this with their favorite book so you have something to talk to them about when you finally get the nerve.



What are your favorite reading and/or yoga poses?

Library Staff Picks: Musicals


Did you know that the library has around 6,000 items in our media collection? That includes audiobooks, CDs, and, of course, DVDs!

We were asked recently by a group of patrons for any movie recommendations. That started a conversation about some recent musicals that have been released. Listed below are our library team’s favorite musicals!

1. Susan Kriaski used to work at The Ned in Jackson, and her daughter is currently a manager at a theater in Orlando. Needless to say, Susan has spent a lot of time around musicals and has several favorites. The two that she keeps returning to time and again, however, are Hamilton and Wicked. Check out the library’s new book about Hamilton here and the original Hamilton biography that inspired the musical.



2. Olivia Chin tried to resist the allure of La La Land. But, lo and behold, she has now watched this film around 15 times since it first debuted in 2016. Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the colors, or maybe it’s how annoyingly relatable Sebastian turns out to be. Either way, you can check out La La Land from the library’s DVD collection.



3. For Matthew Beyer, Disney’s The Lion King is the way to go. You can check out the animated version here.

lion king


4. We’re all in this together with Lakreasha Scharcklet, who chose High School Musical as her favorite.



What’s your favorite musical? Come by the library’s DVD section to find your favorite!

The Best Books To Learn Programming Languages


Learning to program? Looking for help on a specific language? The library has some books- both in print and online- that can help!

Listed below are some of our best books on popular programming languages. Click their links to see where they are located in the library (or to read them online, if they’re eBooks)!

Learning C#…



This eBook introduces the C# language, how it connects to other languages and shares elements with them, and explains processes like remoting & creating intranet applications.




  • For those who already know some C#, we recommend C# In Depth.



This book covers C# from version 2 onward, so if you’re looking for older versions, this may not be the book for you. However, it’s a great resource for more up-to-date developments. C# In Depth also moves at a faster pace since it assumes that you are not starting from scratch, which may be a plus for more experienced developers. The author writes with the tone of someone who knows and loves what he’s talking about, making this manual an enjoyable- as well as instructional- read.


Learning Java…




This guide has definitions for everything, from algorithms to vectors and everything in between. It is written at an easy-to-understand level and explains the basics without embellishment.




Learning JavaScript…




This bestseller takes you from your very first JavaScript script to document object model essentials. It’s a large book, but the descriptive chapter titles make it navigable. Interactive examples and exercises will have you understanding JavaScript in no time.







With a tagline like “Rich, fast, versatile- JavaScript the way it should be!,” you know the authors concentrated their full efforts on streamlining jQuery. This book contains in-depth examples on various jQuery UI components, the jQuery UI library, event parameters, and more.




Learning Objective-C…

If you want to write applications for Apple products, take a look at Objective-C for Absolute Beginners. The library has this book in both print and eBook form.

ob c



Equally helpful for new programmers and those who have never used OOP languages, this book allows you to learn in a visual manner. With a focus on debugging to really learn the language, Objective-C For Absolute Beginners will help you understand what you are doing each time you write an algorithm.



Learning Python…

Python Programming Fundamentals  provides both practice exercises and solutions for learning Python.

python book


From installing Python programs to get started, to emphasizing creativity in your programming, this manual does it all. It also takes into consideration the differences (and similarities) in using Python on Macs vs. Windows. Finally, there are even games you can play to increase your Python knowledge.



Visit the library for the programming manuals you need! We may have just what you’re looking for.

5 Criteria For Evaluating Web Pages

pex web page

*As suggested by Jim Kapoun*

1. Accuracy of web documents

  • Who wrote the page and can you contact him/her?
  • What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced?
  • Is this person qualified to write this document?

Make sure the author provides email or other contact information.
Know the distinction between author and webmaster.

2. Authority of web documents

  • Who published the document and is it separate from the webmaster?
  • Check the domain of the document: what institution published it?
  • Does the publisher list his or her qualifications?

What credentials are listed for the author?
Where is the document published? Check the URL domain. Be wary of .com sites.

3. Objectivity of web documents

  • What goals/objectives does this page meet?
  • How detailed is the information?
  • What opinions (if any) are expressed by the author?

View any web page as you would an infomercial on TV. Ask yourself why it was written and for whom.
Determine if the page is a mask for advertising; if so, the information may be biased.

4. Currency of web documents

  • When was it produced? Or updated?
  • How up-to-date are the links (if any)?

5. Coverage of web documents

  • Are the links evaluated? Do they complement the document’s theme?
  • Is the site all images, or a balance of text and images?
  • Is the information present cited correctly?
  • Is the information free? Or is there a fee?

Taken from Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction by Jim Kapoun, C&RL News, Jul/Aug 1998, 522-3.

Fun Facts You Might Not Know About Anne of Green Gables


This month marks the 110th anniversary of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. The beloved classic has sold over 50 million copies worldwide — more than The Odyssey, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Pride and Prejudice — and has been adapted for stage, film, television, and radio over 35 times. Here are some facts you may not know about the world’s favorite spunky red-headed orphan:


She was an instant hit.

Many works that are now considered classics and must-reads were initially met with mixed to terrible reviews. Even J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, now the third-highest on the all-time best sellers list, was initially called “death to literature itself” by a New York Times reviewer. Montgomery’s work suffered insignificant amounts of public criticism, if any, and was popular enough to be translated into other languages within a year of its release.


She encouraged resistance against Nazis.

Anne of Green Gables was banned in German- and Soviet-occupied Poland during World War II because the main character embodied individuality, loyalty to family, and resistance to authority. The Polish resistance movement issued unofficial Polish translations of the book to it soldiers to remind them of the values they were fighting for.


She inspired great writers.

Popular writers have drawn inspiration from Anne ever since the first copy was published. Novelist Margaret Laurence credits Montgomery with starting women’s literature in Canada, and Mark Twain called Anne “the dearest and most moving and delightful child since the immortal Alice.” Margaret Atwood, author of recently popular books such as The Handmaid’s Tale, has written essays about Montgomery’s works and cast Megan Follows (Anne in the well-known 1985 movie) as the lead in her play, the “Penelopiad.”


She is a cultural icon in Japan.

Akage no An (Red Haired Anne) was introduced to Japan during the educational reforms of 1952. The series and its authorized prequel have both been adapted into anime, and two schools in Japan (the Anne Academy in Fukuoma and the School of Green Gables in Okayama) teach their students how to speak and behave as the admired character would. Green Gables Heritage Place estimates that over 8,000 (5%) of its annual visitors are Japanese, and it is partly thanks to the generosity of Japanese fans that the house was able to be restored after a fire in 1997.

Want to check out the Anne of Green Gables series? Find it here in our catalog!

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