The Legacy of Space Shuttle Challenger


January 28th marked the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger explosion 73 seconds after liftoff. Although it was before my time, I remember reading books about it in elementary school, and thought it especially sad that one of the seven astronauts and payload specialists killed had been a teacher. On January 28th, 1986, teachers and schoolchildren across the country tuned in to watch the shuttle launch live on television, only to have excitement turn to tragedy. But Challenger’s overarching goal—STEM education through space travel—lived on.

Building a Snowman

Building a snowman is one of the pleasures of winter.  Most children can't wait to build a snowman and dress him up in a hat, scarf and mittens.  They admire him until the weather is warm enough to melt him away.

In Northeast Ohio, the temperature is often too frigid to spend time playing in the snow. This is a good time to read a book and complete a craft.

A good wintertime picture book series is The Snowman Series by Carolyn Buehner.  The series includes Snowmen at Night, Snowmen at Work, Snowmen All Year and Snowmen at Christmas.  After reading The Snowmen Series, your child can complete this fun snowman craft.

Welcome to 2016's Maker Mondays (and check out some Computer Resources)!


Last year, we started the "Maker Club Emerging Technology Program" classes exploring STEAM initiatives for all ages (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), and they've been quite popular! This year, after moving them from Wednesdays to Mondays, the programs have been renamed "Maker Mondays." After all, it's not a "club" you have to commit to- simply register for the topics that interest you. (However, since we've had many interesting topics, we've had many repeat visitors!)

Remembering David Bowie (1947-2016)

David Bowie is a legend.  And like all legends, even though he is gone, that doesn't mean that he'll be forgotten.  Now, before we get started, I'd like to preface this by saying that I was never a Bowie fan.  That doesn't mean I hated him--I just never had the chance to check him out.  And now, I feel really sad that I've waited until now to really look into the work of a man who is truly regarded as an amazing artist.

A New Year: A Better You


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Happy New Year Westlake!

Celebrating 50 Years of Alan Leatherwood!

Cleveland's own Alan Leatherwood celebrates OVER 50 years in music with the release of new CD collections.

Alan Leatherwood (Cassaro) has been a fixture in the music industry for over 50 years. Mahalo Records released Alan's first record nationally in 1963. A couple of years later Alan was on the Old Town label in New York City. Alan became the featured weekly house act at "Faragher's Back Room" and later performed on the Fredana College Coffee House Circuit where he performed throughout the U.S. and Canada for several years.

The Mitten

Cover of The Mitten by Jan BrettThe weather is finally turning colder and we need to pull out our warmer clothes. Kids love to bundle up with their favorite hats and mittens.

A great book to share with your children is The Mitten by Jan Brett. It is a magical story of a boy who loses his mitten and it is found by woodland animals.

Winter Music


It's cold out!  And for those of you who haven't been outside yet today, it's snowing, too!  I don't know about you, but I was getting pretty spoiled with this warm December weather, and I'm just not ready to give it up yet.  Yes, I should be happy to have had it while it lasted, but I'm still going into winter kicking and screaming.

Our text messaging service has changed

Westlake Porter Public Library has introduced a new text messaging service for sending notifications. This was done to better integrate the messaging system with the library's catalog system.

The new service has several advantages:

  • Those who would like to see the titles of available holds or overdue materials can ask for emailed notices in addition to text notices, which can't list the titles.
  • The cost to the library is much less expensive than the previous service.
  • The service is managed in the library and is expected to be much more reliable. The previous vendor was difficult to contact about missing and delayed text messages.
  • Patrons can receive text notifications on multiple cell phones. A parent might opt to have the text notices sent to both their own phone and their child's phone.

Sparkling Snowflake

Macaroni SnowflakeDecember has arrived and soon there will be snow on the ground.  A perfect book to read is Toot and Puddle, Let It Snow. A great craft to accompany this book is a macaroni snowflake (inspired by Katyelliot).