Information, Answers & Reviews

You Can Learn to Code

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Learning code allows us to do things with computers we wouldn't be able to do otherwise. On Sunday, the Ground Floor joins millions of people in 180-plus countries for Hour of Code, a worldwide celebration of coding and computer science. From 3 to 5 p.m., we'll  geek out with LEGO Mindstorms and Makey Makeys, make coding-themed crafts, and watch an awesome demo by Quadrangles, the robotics competition team at Bloomington High School South. All ages welcome.

Krampus Night

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Krampus Night is almost here! The Krampus, a mythical horned creature of ancient Germanic legend, is often seen in folklore accompanying St. Nick and punishing wicked children. Its story—and the festivities surrounding it—has experienced a recent surge of popularity, with marches and parades throughout the winter holidays in Europe and the United States.

Can't Find Audiobooks of the Classics Through the Library? Try LibriVox

Outside of the Library, there are plenty of sources for audiobooks out there, but most have one thing in common: they cost money. While the Library is your best bet for free audio recordings of more recent titles, for audiobooks in the public domain—which usually those published before 1923—there's LibriVox. There, a diverse range of popular and unpopular (i.e. eclectic) authors are given voice, from Shakespeare to H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain to Dostoyevsky, Aphra Behn to Stendhal.

Podcasts: Library Staff Picks

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Most everyone listens to podcasts these days. Some of us have a couple of favorites—some fanatics have dozens. And though the most avid fan is always on the lookout for exciting new recommendations, with so many podcasts out there, how do you find the ones that suit your interests? Your trusty Library Staff offer this list.

Picture Books: Extraordinary Art, Conveniently Portable

Picture books are often children's first exposure to art. As galleries of artists' work—all within the pages of books—they reflect the vast variety of art mediums we find in museums. Some artists create with real-world materials like paint and pencils; others make collage or etchings. Some even work in virtual media like computer graphics, and, of course, some use a combination of tools and methods.

When my children were younger, I would check out piles of picture books to read with them—and for the pleasure of viewing the artwork. And even though my children have moved beyond picture books, I still enjoy opening these miniature exhibitions, browsing through old favorites or finding new artists.

In honor of National Picture Book Month this November, I recommend these resources:

CATS: The Library's TV Station

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You’ve probably heard about Community Access Television Services (CATS), the cable TV station at the Main Library. But how familiar are you with the amazing programs on CATS, and how to watch them? And what about creating your own programs for broadcast? 

Here's all you need to get involved with the coolest—and only—community access TV station in Monroe County.

Tuning In

CATS Channels are available on all three major cable systems (Comcast, Smithville TV, and AT&T U-Verse) in Bloomington and Monroe County. Channel Line-ups & Instructions

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