As American students head back to school, I’m reminded of the old adage of how important it is to learn something new every day. There are many ways adults can still do this.

For example, but the University of Akron 60+ Program and Kent State University Senior Guest Program offer tuition-free programs for Ohio residents 60 and over. Many other organizations offer continuing education type classes for adults of all ages as well some with and some without fees.

Learning something new does not have to be in an academic setting. For instance, Green Branch Library offers programs and classes on many topics for individuals of all ages, not to mention plenty of how-to books and DVDs. We are offering programs on Tai Chi and Balance. We offer history presentations and a cookbook discussion group. The city of Green offers places of learning as well with places like the MAPS Air Museum, the numerous parks, and the Green Historical Society.

For more information on some of the above programs, please follow the sites:

University of Akron 60+ Program

Kent State University Senior Guest Program

Akron-Summit County Public Library Events Calendar

City of Green

MAPS Air Museum

Green Historical Society


Gotta go!


Our three Monarch butterflies, all females, flew away this month most likely making their way to Mexico. Here’s a picture of our last one after she was released. Seems she liked our Reading Garden a lot! She lingered for a long time.


August 2015 040


Monarch Watch ( explains what allows these small insects to make a journey of such monumental proportions.

When the late summer and early fall Monarchs emerge from their pupae, or chrysalides, they are biologically and behaviorally different from those emerging in the summer. The shorter days and cooler air of late summer trigger changes. Even though these butterflies look like summer adults, they won’t mate or lay eggs until the following spring. Instead, their small bodies prepare for a strenuous flight. Otherwise solitary animals, they often cluster at night while moving ever southward. If they linger too long, they won’t be able to make the journey; because they are cold-blooded, they are unable to fly in cold weather.

Here’s a good children’s book relating this phenomenon.


Fat, stored in the abdomen, is a critical element of their survival for the winter. This fat not only fuels their flight of one to three thousand miles, but must last until the next spring when they begin the flight back north. As they migrate southwards, Monarchs stop to nectar, and they actually gain weight during the trip! Some researchers think that Monarchs conserve their “fuel” in flight by gliding on air currents as they travel south.

Another unsolved mystery is how Monarchs find the overwintering sites each year. Somehow they know their way, even though the butterflies returning to Mexico or California each fall are the great-great-grandchildren of the butterflies that left the previous spring. No one knows exactly how their homing system works; it is another of the many unanswered questions in the butterfly world.

In our latitude of 40°5 N, period of peak Monarch migration is September 8-20. Any monarch you see then will hopefully be spending his or her winter in warm Mexico!





Paws for Reading


Did You Know?

Reading to dogs can boost reading skills in children as well as help with emotional and social skills.  Programs in both school and public library settings are gaining in popularity because of these many benefits.

Reading Skills

  • Reading to dogs gives children essential extra practice with reading and oral skills.
  • Some children feel that reading becomes less difficult when reading to a dog and are more willing to read aloud at school.
  • Reading to dogs has motivated some children to start reading more at home, especially to their pets.
  • Children want to try reading more difficult books as they go through the reading to dogs program.
  • Kids feel more confident when answering reading related questions.
  • Research studies (see “Research Shows” below) have shown that reading fluency can increase after participating in a reading to dogs program.

Emotional Benefits

  • Children enjoy the program and think it’s fun!  They look forward to coming to the library because a dog is waiting for them.
  • Children feel comfortable reading to dogs because dogs don’t judge if a word is mispronounced.
  • The process of petting dogs can help with motor skills and is also known to be a calming factor that can reduce stress, blood pressure, and anxiety.
  • Some children feel nervous when reading aloud and reading with a dog immediately calms them down.
  • Kids feel safe when sitting with a dog from the program.
  • Reading to dogs boosts the confidence levels of struggling readers and gives children an increased sense of pride.
  • A child can feel like a leader by turning the book toward the dog, reading aloud, and pretending (s)he is the teacher.
  • Children feel a sense of accomplishment by reading an entire book.
  • If a child has experienced a recent loss of a family member or pet, reading to a dog can help bring them comfort.

Social Benefits

  • Children learn to take turns while waiting for their chance to read to the dog.
  • Children can learn kindness and empathy by petting the dogs, cuddling with them, and bringing them treats.
  • Communication skills can be improved by practicing reading aloud.
  • Participants enjoy talking with each other and sharing books they have read.

Shared from

Read aloud to our doggie pals at Green Branch on Saturday, September 19th at 1pm



Thank you!



We’d like to thank our community friends for their donations to our Mind, Body & Sole summer reading program:

Acme Fresh Market

Akron Art Museum

Akron Zoo

Akron Symphony Orchestra

Downtown Akron Partnership/First Night

First Book of Greater Akron

Tuesday Musical

Weathervane Playhouse


National Aviation Day


National Aviation Day is August 19. National Aviation Day is a day to celebrate the developments in aviation. August 19 was selected because it the birthday of Orville Wright, who with his brother where the first to fly.

To learn more about aviation or the Wright brother visit your local library and check out the following books:



DIY Dorm Décor – or 5 ways to spruce up your dorm room on a budget!


In a few weeks school will be back in session. Now’s the time to think about (and shop for!) your dorm needs. In order to give your space personality on a student budget, try out some, or all, of these ideas!


  1. Paint it! Spray paint is one of the least expensive ways to change up your space! A can of spray paint costs less than $4 and can make a dramatic difference – take a look at a few of our favorite projects:


Spray paint an old frame, place colorful scrapbook paper in the frame, hot glue a clip on and change out the picture as often as you want!



Paint cookies sheets a colorful hue, and use them as magnet boards.


  1. Cover it with new fabric! Have an old chair, some books or a corkboard that could use a facelift? It’s easier than you think.



3.  DIY headboard. Think outside the box – use old shutters, doors, windows, fabric, even picture frames!







TheAmazing Monarchs: more fascinating facts.



In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America. They travel much farther than all other tropical butterflies, up to three thousand miles. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, two way migration every year. Amazingly, they fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees. Their migration is more the type we expect from birds or whales. However, unlike birds and whales, individuals only make the round-trip once. It is their children’s grandchildren that return south the following fall

Unlike most other insects in temperate climates, Monarch butterflies cannot survive a long cold winter. Instead, they spend the winter in roosting spots. Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains travel to small groves of trees along the California coast. Those east of the Rocky Mountains fly farther south to the forests high in the mountains of Mexico. The monarch’s migration is driven by seasonal changes such as daylength and temperature changes.

Fat, stored in the abdomen, is a critical element of their survival for the winter. This fat not only fuels their flight of one to three thousand miles, but must last until the next spring when they begin the flight back north. As they migrate southwards, Monarchs stop to nectar, and they actually gain weight during the trip!

This website shows the progress of the Spring 2015 migration.

Stay tuned for our own Monarch metamorphosis at the Green Branch Library, where we’ll bring in a monarch egg and watch as it’s transformed into the beautiful butterfly.

Meanwhile, check out this book that has some great pictures of metamorphosis.


Monarch butterflies / Julie Murray.


National Hot Dog Day



Today is National Hot Dog Day!  What’s your favorite recipe?  Do you eat them plain?  Do you eat them with ketchup and mustard?  Or do you go all out and add toppings like tomatoes and jalapenos?  For some interesting recipes, check out these sites and books!  Happy cooking and grilling!






10 Things You Didn’t Know About the First Moon Landing

Check out these 10 strange-but-true facts related to the Apollo 11 mission:
1. Neil Armstrong’s famous quote was incorrectly transmitted. Instead of the saying, “That’s one small step for man,” the astronaut claims he said, “That’s one small step fora man.” As he once clarified to a biographer: “I think that reasonable people will realize that I didn’t intentionally make an inane statement and that certainly the ‘a’ was intended, because that’s the only way the statement makes any sense.”
2. President Nixon was prepared for the worst, as was his speechwriter William Safire. Safire put together a tribute to the Apollo 11 astronauts just in case they never made it home. “In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations,” the president would have read in one of the speech’s poignant lines. “In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.”
3. The flag isn’t the only thing the Apollo 11 astronauts left behind. Over 100 items were discarded on the lunar surface, including a commemorative plaque and a gold replica of an olive branch, as well as trash items such as moon boots, a camera, urine containers and air-sickness bags. (Armstrong and Aldrin were told to jettison their junk to make room for the samples they collected.) Several states have lobbied to make the lunar landing site a national monument in order to prohibit future moon travelers from stealing these items and selling them on eBay.  
4. Neil Armstrong couldn’t afford the life insurance policy for an astronaut, so he, along with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, hatched an alternate plan. Prior to their mission, the three signed hundreds of autographs while under quarantine. They then sent these autographs off to a friend, who would postmark them on the date of Apollo 11’s launch, and in the event of a tragedy, the friend would distribute the memorabilia to the astronauts’ families for them to sell for money.
5. The Apollo 11 mission insignia was designed by crew member Michael Collins. On astronaut Jim Lovell’s advice, he chose an eagle (which he originally traced from a National Geographic book) preparing to land on the surface of the moon with an olive branch in its beak. NASA, however, felt the eagle’s talons looked too aggressive, so Collins resubmitted the design with the eagle holding the olive branch in its claws.
6. Upon entering the lunar module to begin their journey home, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong discovered that a switch on a crucial circuit breaker was broken, leaving them without a way to ignite the engine. They tried to sleep while NASA’s mission control worked out a solution, but Aldrin eventually decided to jam his felt-tip pen into the mechanism to use as a make-shift switch, and it worked.
7. According to Collins himself, the astronauts were plagued by “gross flatulence” as a result of excess bubbles in their beverages. “The drinking water is laced with hydrogen bubbles,” he wrote in his 1974 autobiography “Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys.” “These bubbles produced gross flatulence in the lower bowel, resulting in a not-so-subtle and pervasive aroma which reminds me of a mixture of wet dog and marsh gas.”
8. The original footage from the lunar camera is gone. First noticed missing in 2006, the tapes were likely erased and reused to record data beaming back from one of several satellites launched in the 1980s. This lost footage, which was much clearer that what viewers saw on television, survives only in the broadcast formats.
9. Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon for two reasons: firstly, because he was the senior astronaut of the two that descended to the lunar surface from the command module; and secondly, because the design of the lunar module forced him out before Aldrin. The placement of the hinges on the hatch made it so the door opened toward Aldrin, boxing him in. Armstrong, on the other hand, had a clear path. (Aldrin was apparently very upset by this.)
10. According to the astronauts who landed there, the moon has a smell. After tracking moon dust back into the lunar module and removing their helmets, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin thought the lunar materials smelled of “wet ashes in a fireplace” and “gunpowder,” respectively. But back here on Earth, our oxygen-rich atmosphere renders the moon dust odor-free.

Summer Wedding Season


Why are summer weddings so popular? It goes back to Roman times, when June 1 marked the celebration of Juno, goddess of marriage and childbirth. There were practical reasons as well. Babies conceived in summer would be born the following spring, the best time for infant survival. Back in 1400s, late spring/early summer was a time when most people had just bathed after the long winter season, so they were freshly clean and flowers were blooming, adding to the sweet scents in the air.

Do you love a white wedding? Thank Queen Victoria of England for that. She wore a white gown to her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840 and started this trend, which is still going strong nearly two centuries later.

For more information on wedding planning and etiquette, check out 395.22 in our non-fiction area.

The library also has a wide variety of music CDs to keep your wedding reception rockin’.

Long live the love!