Latest at the Library
Pump up the volumes as the Library's Summer Reading Program again invites both youth and adults to Rock & Read. The song remains the same: Read and log five books between May 25-July 31, 2018, earn a rockin’ prize. Explore this year’s music-themed offerings, including suggested reading titles, events, book discussions, family activities, and more.
The Kansas City Public Library will begin temporarily closing its branches in early November 2016 to upgrade its checkout system. The staggered closures will allow staffers to install new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on books and other materials available to patrons. The process will last into early 2017.
Basho is famous as a composer of haiku. Some even suggest he invented the form, though he did not. One of his most famous works is Oku No Hosomichi (trans. as The Narrow Road to the Interior). This work is considered one of the masterpieces of classical Japanese literature. In form, the work is an haibun, a mixture of prose and haiku. It is an impressionistic journal of a journey Basho made, mostly on foot, in the Spring of 1689. Over the course of 156 days, he traversed about 1500 miles. At the conclusion of his journey from Edo (Tokyo) to the north, and back again, he spent five years refining and completing the work for publication. There are people who go to Japan to retrace Basho’s steps. Given the great changes from Japan of 1689 to Japan in the 21st century, this is impossible in any real sense. In any event, we are not Basho and cannot replicate what happened to him over 400 years ago. But we can appreciate his own depiction of that experience. It is unclear whether Basho attained enlightenment, but, in his haiku, and his other verse, he does aim at the annihilation of subject and object that is key to enlightenment. Haiku is all about the distilling of experience to its essence and somehow summoning the moment that led to an “aha!” moment.
The library contains this work, together with some of Basho’s other haibu and selected haiku, in The Essential Basho, trans. By Sam Hamill.
Do you have your child's favorite book memorized? Kids love to hear the same story over, and over, and OVER again. And again. And again. (Do you see the pattern here?)
In our household, when my daughter was a toddler her beloved book was Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton You can tell from the photo that it was much-loved, and it was not a library copy. I can't swear that I recited it in my sleep, but I probably could have. I know that I performed it, verbatim, for pretty much whoever was willing to listen to me.
There is a reason why kids adore repetition. It builds their brains. Neural connections get stronger by being exposed to the same information time after time after time. A 2015 study at the University of Maryland showed better vocabulary scores for two-year-old kids who had specific words repeated to them when they were seven-month-olds than the outcomes for their peers who didn't experience the repeated phrases as babies.