Anythink blog

Redesigning the library

What makes the library a welcoming place in the community? What does your ideal library look like? Along with Anythink's commitment to delivering superior customer service, our physical buildings are designed to invite and encourage discovery and conversation. Over the years, the physical library space has changed dramatically to accommodate new and ever-changing community, informational and technological needs. Library designers incorporate these needs into the building design through a balance of aesthetics and functionality.

Taking wing with words: Poetry in April

April is National Poetry Month. It’s time to find, flutter, fly. You can take wing, with words.

What is a poem? “A poem is when you have the sky in your mouth,” says Lolo, a character who is always in love, in This Is a Poem That Heals Fish.

What is a poem? It is the white heron rising in flight for Mary Oliver — "Ah yes, I see him. He is exactly the poem I wanted to write.”

'Game of Thrones': Catch up on the series before the Season 4 premiere

The cultural sensation that is Game of Thrones continues April 6, 2014, with its highly anticipated Season 4 premiere on HBO. I was one of the lucky few to attend an advanced screening of the show on March 27 here in Denver. The event, sponsored by HBO, held a costume contest, a photo op with the Iron Throne, live music from the show and, of course, the first episode of Season 4, “Two Swords.” The season kicks off right after the shocking event at the end of Season 3, “The Red Wedding,” which was originally the main motivation for producers David Beinoff and Daniel B.

Made happy at Camp Happiness

About a year and a half ago, we here at Anythink set on a course to create at least 12 "Experience Zones" a year at each library location. An Experience Zone is a place/space in the library where our guests could engage with information, learn something new, do something hands-on and hopefully leave with something tangible. With that prompt, I came up with the idea to create a space where our customers could take a pay-it-forward act of kindness token in order to increase happiness throughout our community.

Spring break, Colorado style

I am fairly new to Colorful Colorado and my spring break is quickly approaching. Instead of traversing to the beach or home, I decided to thoroughly explore all of the places and adventures avaiable here in my new state. After talking to some awesome co-workers and friends and consulting various websites, I've created a top 10 list of things I would like to do. Consider taking a different approach to spring break this year with one of the following Colorado experiences: 

Singing a different green: Exploring evergreens in springtime

Spring has many poets. I hear birds, wordless and articulate, building nests among new leaves. I listen to people, speaking with delight about warmer winds and greener trees. Here, I hope to add a slightly different note to the seasonal chorus – not as resistance to the emerging season, but in order to harmonize with these voices. I wish to speak in praise of trees that are green in every season: evergreens. These trees steadily replace their needles and thus remain green all year. Their constant color provides me with ongoing pleasure.

Make the most out of your Anythink requests with these tips

You’ve seen the notice: “Boy, do Anythinkers know what they want! Requests are now limited to 60 per customer, per year.” You may wonder why there is a limit on how many items a customer can suggest the library purchase. The answer is simple: volume. Our customers are eager to read, listen, watch and explore a wide variety of titles. So that we can best serve everyone, we place a limit of 60 suggestions per person, per year. This allows us to accommodate more individuals and make sure our collections are robust and comprehensive. 

Literary March Madness: Pick your book bracket

March is known as the month where even non-sports fans fill out brackets predicting which college basketball teams will win based on a team's players, coaches and match-ups (or more accurate indicators like the cutest mascot or best team color combinations). March Madness brings together the 68 "best" teams in the nation and whittles the remaining teams down to a Final Four and, eventually, the National Champion. 

STEM reads: Unleash your child's inner scientist with these 4 titles

Parents: Do you have a child who’s always asking “How?” or “Why?” If you do, you have a budding scientist on your hands! This is great news, because according to the U.S. Department of Education, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) are projected to increase by 14 percent by 2020. So, how can you encourage your miniature scientist’s interest in STEM subjects? By visiting your local Anythink, of course!

Camp Happiness: Taking an Anythink experience to PLA

How do you take a space and turn it into an experience?

In 2013, Anythink concierge Justina Wooten had an idea. After watching the documentary Happy, Justina wanted to implement what Anythinkers refer to as an “Experience Zone” – a space where customers can interact with information – by creating a fish bowl of prompts for people to choose good deeds to “pay forward.”

Lost homework? 5 books to help develop kids' organizational and brain-based skills

Here’s some good news: If you're a parent who is frequently frustrated by your distinctly disorganized child, this struggle need not be permanent. Even kids who are particularly challenged by what can seem to be simple materials management tasks, such as turning in completed homework papers or keeping track of a lunchbox, can improve their organizational abilities. In fact, parents can help their kids to develop many of the abilities commonly useful for school, and the five books in this list can provide assistance in this work.

'New' Favorite Picture Books Worth a Look

I recently wrote a blog titled Lucky Me, in which I reminisced about how lucky I felt because of all the time I had spent reading and rereading some great picture books to my children when they were young.  Well, this trip down memory lane got me thinking. Not only did my children love those books, but I did too - and still do! No matter how unusual it may seem, I checked out some new picture books just for me.

5 Action-Packed Movie Trailer Reviews

Originally, I was going to write a 5-star review for the new box-office hit, The Monuments Men. However, numerous reviews are already available (check out: MetaCritic). Thus, let us take a different review adventure:The Monuments Men preview trailers. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about the theater is getting to view the new movie trailers. They tend to stir just as much excitement, disappointment and conversation as the movie.

Official registration number 11,110: Strasburg's newest Little Free Library

I did it! I sent in the required $35 and my future Little Free Library is officially registered worldwide. Number 11,109 already existed and now 11,110 is being constructed! I received my packet and the wooden sign that will identify the book box as an official Little Free Library once it is placed in my front yard.

Gold Medals (in Russian Reading)

Over the past few weeks you have probably watched more hours of curling and ice dancing than you would ever admit in public. Now that the Olympics have concluded, you might be feeling a bit down, wondering how you can possibly replace those hours you spent on your couch cheering on the athletes. Maybe a nice Russian novel is just the thing you need to ease those Olympic withdrawals. I know, I know. You’ve tried to slog your way through War and Peace and Crime and Punishment before, only to give up one third of the way in.

My Kind of Town: The World of Urban Fantasy

Imagine the worlds of CSI, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Killer Women – but with vampires, ghosts, wizards or werewolves. Congratulations! You now have an urban fantasy. Urban fantasy is a very popular subgenre of fantasy where the setting is a real city, but the action revolves around the presence of paranormal forces or creatures. Anyone who has been avoiding reading fantasy novels because they're too “out there” should consider picking up one of the books mentioned below.

Start Again: Without A List

All too often I find myself creating "to read lists" because I feel pressured. Sometimes I think I should read more literary fiction. Other times I feel like I should read everything on the New York Times Best Sellers list because doesn't everybody else? And then other times I feel like I should have a goal of how many books I will read this year and stick to a schedule. Then I remember, with a little glee, that there is no "right" way to read.

Go Play Inside: Nature Poetry in 5 Compelling Picture Books

Poetry can open a window, allowing for a fresh look at a familiar view. These books of poetry for kids all focus on nature, word play and pictures, in ways that help readers rediscover the world outside. I found all five books to be delightful, providing both a quick read and a deep experience. The lyrics and images combine to recreate forest, ocean or sky. Exploring them expanded my sense of the exterior world while strengthening the quiet of my interior self.

Cheers! A Toast to Superb Wine Films

The numbers aren't in yet for 2013, but 2012 was a record year for wine sales in the United States. More than 360 million cases of wine valued at $34 billion were sold in 2012. With numbers like those it's not surprising that here at Anythink we have hundreds of materials about wine.

Lutie Had a Great Idea: Little Free Libraries

Lutie Stearns was a librarian who believed that books have the power to change readers' lives. She fueled this belief by taking books to nearly 1,400 locations in Wisconsin through traveling little libraries between 1895 and 1914. Her cause was picked up in 2009 by a young Wisconsonite who built a small replica of a one-room schoolhouse. He mounted it on a pole, filled it with books and planted it in his front yard. This he did in honor of his retired schoolteacher mother who loved books.

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