All posts by NCPLAdmin

Notary Services at the Library

Many patrons are not aware that the Library has a couple of Notary Publics on staff. Often, people need documents notarized at difficult or inconvenient times. The death of a loved one, transfer of property, withdrawals from retirement funds – these instances often require a notary when life is at its hardest. The Library is here to help. With hours that extend past regular business hours and no fees involved, it is easy and convenient to have your documents notarized at the Library. We do recommend that you call ahead, since we cannot guarantee that a notary is here during all of our open hours. Bring your picture ID and your unsigned paperwork with you and we’ll get you in and out as painlessly as possible.

Stay Warm, Read with Libby

I don’t know about you, but February is not my favorite month. I don’t like the cold or the dark. Once I get home from work, my favorite thing is comfy clothes, a fire in the fireplace, and a book to read. I don’t like to go back out, well, because it’s cold and dark. I find my next library book to read easily enough on the Libby App. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s super easy and available in both the Apple and Andriod app stores. Here’s a quick overview of how to use it.

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

“Listen: This isn’t like any other tiger I’ve seen in a zoo.  It’s huge, as big as our car. The orange in its coat seems to glow, and the black is as dark as moonless night. This tiger belongs in one of Halmoni’s stories. I lean forward until the seat belt slices into my skin. The big cat lifts its enormous head-and it looks at me. And then the tiger raises an eyebrow, like it’s daring me to do something.”

When You Trap a Tiger is the 2021 John Newbery winner.  It is the story of a girl named Lily.  Her grandmother is sick so Lily and her family move in with her.  A magical tiger arrives right out of Korean folktales and it is Lily’s job to unravel a family secret.

Teaching Books is a free resource for all Indiana residents. It is full of all kinds of resources to be used with this spectacular book, including author interviews, book guides, and activities. All you need to do is scan this QR code and it will take you straight to the resources.


Introducing the Dobot Magician Robotic Arm

If you or your child are interested in robotics and programming, the Dobot Magician Robotic Arm is a great tool for hands-on learning. The robotic arm has 5 interchangeable end effectors for writing and drawing, pick-and-place movements, 3D printing, and laser engraving. The laser engraving tool can etch paperboard, leather, or wood.

Since the Dobot can perform the same motions multiple times with only a 0.2 millimeter variance in position, it is comparable to the robotic arms used in manufacturing and warehousing. Plus, you can control the Dobot using handhold teaching, a mouse, a remote control, or multiple programming languages, such as Python, Arduino, and C++. It may seem complex, but the Dobot software and detailed tutorial videos make it easy to get started.

Sign in to Beanstack to complete the training for the Dobot and access the links to the tutorials about each of these functions, but of course, if you need further assistance with any Creative Space equipment, feel free to book an appointment for one-on-one guidance with our Tech Help staff here.


Looking for a legal form, a magazine article, a Consumer Reports’ article on a new washing machine, or want to learn some Indiana history?  Look no further then INSPIRE. INSPIRE is a collection of databases and other information resources that can be accessed for free by Indiana residents.  You can access from INSPIRE’s website or by going to our website If you click on Databases A to Z at the top of the webpage, you can see all the databases INSPIRE has to offer. Two that I find especially useful are Learning Express Library and Legal Information Reference Center.

The Learning Express Library offers test preparation for many popular tests including SAT, ACT, Teaching license, nurses’ licenses, and TASC (high school equivalency). Once you create a login with your email address and a password, you can save your spot in the tests and send yourself results.

The Legal Information Reference Center contains free legal documents, including divorces, real estate, and wills, that you may print or save electronically.

Take time to browse this free website for many more helpful databases! They are free to use for Indiana residents. Because we live so close to the Michigan border, the website may mistake you for an out of state resident. If that happens to you, simply make an account using your Indiana address.

Learning is the Outcome. Play is the Method.

One my favorite childhood memories is hauling blankets, dishes, and dolls out into my backyard where I forced my little brother to play house under the only big tree in my yard.  I especially liked doing this in the spring when the leaves were budding.  I would pick them and “cook” with them.  My dad, a tree lover, was not a fan of cooking the buds.

Through creative and dramatic play children develop physical, mental, and emotional strength.  It helps with coordination, fine and gross motor skills. It grows physical strength and stamina. It is a good way to practice problem solving skills, decision making and helps develop risk awareness and judgement. It develops a child’s sense of self and autonomous thinking. It develops independence. It helps children to work with groups, learn to share, and how to resolve conflict. It helps them learn how to communicate, negotiate and build relationships.  It develops confidence and resilience.

Over the last two decades the amount of time children spend playing has decreased significantly. Children are also showing signs of higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression.  Allowing and encouraging play in children is incredibly important.

Allow your children plenty of time for unscheduled/unstructured creativity and play.  Play WITH your children. In a stressed out world, crawling into a blanket fort and going on an adventure might be good for more than just your child!

5 Handy Things to 3D Print

Want to learn a new skill in 2021? Try 3D printing! There are so many nifty things you can make for free with the 3D printer in our Creative Space. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started!

  1. Hook
    You can 3D print a hook for anything from fishing to hanging clothes, keys, or tools. One of our staff members designed the above door hook in Tinkercad, and there are thousands of models of hooks on Thingiverse with unique designs, like this puzzle piece key hook.
  2. Dip Clip
    Another handy object to 3D print is a “Dip Clip,” like this one made by Thingiverse user Dixon3dprinting. It clips into a car vent to hold dipping sauce containers from drive-thru and fast food restaurants to avoid spills.
  3. Phone or Tablet Stand
    If you find yourself frequently propping your phone or tablet against books, furniture, or whatever you have handy to free up your hands while watching videos, you might find a phone or tablet stand helpful. This one was created by Thingiverse user muzz64.
  4. Touchless Door-Opener and Button-Presser Multi-Tool
    Makers have been inventing ways to alleviate the inconveniences of the pandemic since day one, including the creation of touchless door-opener, button-presser multi-tools. You can find models on Thingiverse or design your own, like one of our patrons did in Tinkercad.
  5. Ear Saver Strap for Face Masks
    Creators in the 3D printing community have also responded to the pandemic by making ear saver straps, which relieve your ears from the pressure of mask straps. This one has multiple tabs to adjust the mask comfortably for your face, but there are hundreds of other designs on Thingiverse in different shapes and sizes.

To use the Creative Space, sign in to our Beanstack site and register for the Creative Space Challenge. Once you complete the Creative Space Basics and 3D Printer activity badges, you’re ready to 3D print!

Still have questions? Feel free to make an appointment with our Tech Help team. They will be happy to guide you through the 3D printing process.

Find Your Family History Using Ancestry Library Edition

If you are looking for a great inside activity this winter, how about researching your family tree? If you are in the library, you can access to do your research. You can work in the Local History room, where we have a dedicated computer set up, or you can bring in your own laptop or mobile device. 

Ancestry has simplified it’s search features and they are far more intuitive than they used to be. It took me about 2 minutes to find my grandfather in the 1930 census records. And about two minutes more to be undeceived about my history. I’d always been told that we were 100% Dutch. But there it is, in black and white, my great-great grandmother was born in Germany. Maybe my family ignored that after WWII. Or, maybe she moved to The Netherlands when she was young.

You can also search military records (I found my grandfather’s draft card) and birth, marriage, and death records. It’s very easy to email copies of those records to yourself, or download them onto your device. 

You can find lots of tips and tricks for searching on the Ancestry site.

Level Up Your Photos with Adobe Creative Cloud

In the Creative Space, our iMac is set up with a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, and InDesign. Let your imagination run wild with these creative tools! You can edit photos and videos, create vector designs, and develop publishable brochures, newsletters, or posters for print or digital distribution. Plus, you can check out our Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet to capture an image with the comfort and convenience of holding a pen.  

Never used Adobe Creative Cloud or a Wacom drawing tablet? Sign in to Beanstack to watch tutorial videos and learn the basics.


Reading Aloud

One of my favorite early childhood memories is sitting on the porch swing at my paternal grandma’s house.  Her house had once been a one room school and I found that magical.  My grandma loved books, maybe, because as a child of the depression, she didn’t have many of her own growing up. She would spend hours reading aloud to me-many of those hours spent reading our favorites over and over. I am sure that I love books because she loved books.

Learning starts by hearing.  Language develops while listening to it all around us. That is why talking to children is important!  Children who arrive at school with a large vocabulary do better.  Books contain more sophisticated language, which helps increase vocabulary, which helps children become more successful learners.  

Reading to older children is also important.  Many times when children become “independent readers” grownups stop reading to them.  A child’s “listening level” is usually much more advanced than their reading level.  Children in upper elementary and even middle school still benefit from being read to.  It helps children process difficult emotional issues and increases attention span.

As a sophomore in college, I walked into my children’s literature class to find that each day my professor was going to read aloud to us. At first, you could feel the uncomfortableness in the room.  We were nineteen and twenty.  We didn’t need someone to READ ALOUD to us.  That notion lasted about two days.  Then we were hooked.  We couldn’t wait to hear the next class day’s selection.  

Reading aloud to your child is the best way to promote the importance of reading and the joy that it brings.

Photo credit: Depositphotos

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

No, I’m not referring to U2’s 1987 hit song. It’s what you won’t find at the Library right now. The coronavirus has impacted our collections and I thought you might like an update on just why you can’t find a new book from your favorite author or the latest movies.

Let’s start with the question we get at least a couple of times a week, “Where are your new DVDs?” The simple answer is, “We don’t have any.” Movie studios continue to push back release dates of expected blockbusters like Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune to 2021. Many movie theatres remain closed, while others, like AMC try new business models and show older films. Disney released their much anticipated Mulan directly to their streaming platform. We have the Mulan DVD in our shopping cart, but the release date continues to be “Coming Soon.” We will buy movies again, but I don’t know when.

Print publishing has also experienced fallout from the pandemic, but of a different sort. Pre-pandemic, book printing companies were struggling in a market that was moving digital. Those shops shut down during early quarantines and, surprisingly, demand for print books increased while people were stuck at home. Purchases of print books were up 12% over the summer (NYT). We love that more people are reading our first true love – physical books. But, the combination of all of these things has led to a serious backlog in printing books.

There is good news. The Library has more than enough books and movies, magazines and music, to keep you busy. New books are coming in weekly. Staff love to help you find something your will find interesting. And the weather is perfect for curling up with some hot tea and a cozy blanket and escape to another world with a good book!

Oh, the Things You Can Do… With the Cricut Maker

With the Cricut Maker in the Creative Space, you can make unique homemade creations with hundreds of materials, including wood, leather, metal, glass, fabric, vinyl, iron-on, and of course, paper. As shown in the video, you can draw, perforate, cut wavy edges, engrave, deboss, and cut fabric by simply changing the tool in the machine’s tool housing. You can also score and cut with remarkable precision.

Sign in to Beanstack to earn the Cricut Maker badge and start making! You will need to provide your own materials, but the equipment is free to use in the Creative Space.

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