Author: Alyssa Yenzer

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Juneteenth Booklist

Juneteenth Booklist

By Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian

Wildly varying temperatures and time off school lead to plenty of reading time. These signal that the Kansas summer is upon us. Summer reading has officially started at Manhattan Public Library (the first official day of summer is only weeks away), and our June celebrations around town have begun. This year’s Juneteenth celebration takes place on Saturday, June 15th at Douglass Park. The Unity Walk and vendor booths open at 10:30 am with entertainment going through 8pm. Come visit us at the Manhattan Public Library booth from 11 am to 2 pm. We will have plenty of swag and smiling faces!

This year, the public services librarians created a list of books. These are featured in our subject resources brochure. These books are also featured on the Juneteenth displays located on the second floor of the library. You can find this brochure and our other subject resources online at We update these annually, so do look for them to change on a yearly basis. You will find the list of books below, but the handout also includes national and local resources and their contact information. As always, all information for these titles has been taken from our catalog, which can be accessed at

Adult Books:

All About Love: New Visions” by Bell Hooks. The author examines the role of love in our personal and professional lives and how it can be used to end struggles between individuals, communities and societies.

On Juneteenth” by Annette Gordon-Reed. A commemoration of Juneteenth and the fraught legacies of slavery that still persist, “On Juneteenth” is a stark reminder of the ongoing fight for equality.

Understanding Mass Incarceration” by James Kilgore. We know that “orange is the new black” and mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, but how much do we actually know about the structure, goals and impact of our criminal justice system?

Kindred” by Octavia Butler. Neither Dana nor Rufus understand his power to summon Dana whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them. An extraordinary story of two people bound by blood, separated by so much more than time.

The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. This work considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires and expectations. It explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people may feel pulled to live as something other.

How Long ‘til Black Future Month” by N.K. Jemisin. These stories sharply examine modern society, infuse magic into the mundane and draw deft parallels in the fantasy realms of the author’s imagination.

Young Adult Books:

Say Her Name” by Zetta Elliott. Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting Black Lives Matter.

We Are Not Broken” by George M. Johnson. Johnson captures the unique experience of growing up as a Black boy in America through rich family stories that explore themes of vulnerability, sacrifice and culture.

Freedom!: The Story of the Blank Panther Party” by Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. In the beginning, it was a story like any other. It could have been yours and it could have been mine. But once it got going, it became more than any one person could have imagined. This is the story of Huey and Bobby. Eldridge and Kathleen. Elaine and Fred and Ericka. This is the story of the committed party members. Their supporters and allies. The Free Breakfast Program and the Ten Point Program. It’s about Black nationalism, Black radicalism, about Black people in America.

1968: Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change” edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti. An anthology of essays that explores the tumultuous and pivotal year of 1968, when the generations clashed as thousands of Vietnamese and Americans were killed in war, assassins murdered Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, and demonstrators turned out in cities across the globe.

I hope to see you exploring our library, gathering your summer reading prizes, and visiting us at events throughout the summer! Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Manhattan Public Library serves more than 75,000 people in the Riley County area through curated book and other media collections, knowledgeable staff, relevant programming for all ages, and meeting space. Learn more at

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Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian

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Return of the Thunders

Return of the Thunders 

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the  Teachings of Plants: 9781571313560: Kimmerer, Robin Wall: Books -

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Flowers, along with allergies, are in full bloom around Manhattan. May also brings the return of thunderstorms, and as this last week has shown us, it is definitely spring in Kansas, tornados and all. For Indigenous folks around the country, spring is signified by the return of the thunders. It is a time in which we put away our winter stories and prepare for spring ceremonies. Spring ceremonies honor our lives and our ancestors, celebrating healing and creation while remembering the sacrifices made. Our winter stories present cautionary tales and pass down generational knowledge. In the spring we learn about heart berries. In the winter we learn why we shouldn’t whistle at night.

In many Indigenous communities the spring brings strawberries. Strawberries, O-day’-min in Anishinaabe, symbolize the heart and carry our origin stories. “Heart Berries” written by Terese Marie Mailhot is a memoir of a woman’s coming of age in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized, this is a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a story of reconciliation with her father, and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone. Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept.

In Robin Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass,” we are given the tools to start our own reflection and begin healing. Kimmerer weaves indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative together to define what it means to see humans as “the younger brothers of creation.” She skillfully directs us towards her argument that “the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world.” Kimmerer argues that only once we begin to listen for the languages of others can we begin to understand. Since the debut of her work in 2015 Kimmerer has published a young adult version of the book, “Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults,” which came out in 2022.

Matika Wilbur’s “Project 562” started out as a blog that quickly morphed into a book. Wilbur spent several years traveling across the country photographing and telling the stories of federally recognized tribes, urban Native communities, tribes fighting for federal recognition, and Indigenous role models. Keep an eye out; you might see several of Kansas’s very own Red Corn family featured in these works. Wilbur wanted to showcase positive indigenous role models from this century and from across the nations. Her completed work is a beautiful tapestry of Native people, life, and stories.

Heart Berries, Braiding Sweetgrass, and Project 562 are just a few examples of the sorts of things I spent the springs and summers learning about and now spend the same seasons teaching my girls about. Along with attending games of lacrosse and ceremonies across the midwest I learned about life, my ancestors, and eagerly awaited the first snows. Winter is the perfect time to tell stories. We tell stories in the winter to teach our younger generations about trickster, about not calling trouble, and about what is just past the circle of light…waiting.

Stephen Graham Jones’s “The Only Good Indians” follows the story of four Indigenous men as they face the consequences of an elk hunt, turned massacre, during their youth. Despite being introduced to their culture, they’d never really identified with it or believed in its power. Ten years after the hunt, the men are tracked by a spirit bent on revenge. The childhood friends now find themselves helpless as the culture and traditions they left catch up to them in violent and cruel ways. Jones’s novel is truly a cautionary tale: a reminder to honor your promises to the ancestors and to the creatures we hunt.

Stealing” by Margaret Verble delivers a story wrapped in grief, heartache, and plotting. Since her mother’s death, Kit Crockett has lived with her grief-stricken father, spending lonely days out in the country where malice lurks near their quiet bayou. Kit suddenly finds herself at the center of a tragic, fatal crime. She is taken from her home and family and sent to a religious boarding school. Along with the other Native students, Kit is stripped of her heritage, forced religious indoctrination, and abused. As strong-willed and shrewd as ever, she secretly keeps a journal recounting what she remembers. Over the course of “Stealing,” she unravels the truth of how she ended up at the school and devises a way out.

Never Whistle at Night” edited by Shane Hawk & Theodore C. Van Alst Jr. is a collection of stories meant to unsettle. Twenty-five Indigenous authors from across the nation come together in the anthology with stories of horror, true crime, and science fiction. Many Indigenous people believe that one should never whistle at night; This belief ranges far and wide and takes many forms. What all these legends hold in common is the certainty that whistling at night causes evil spirits to appear—and even follow you home. This collection includes works by bestselling and award-winning authors Tommy Orange, Rebecca Roanhorse, Cherie Dimaline, Waubgeshig Rice, and Mona Susan Power. These stories are a celebration of Indigenous peoples’ survival and imagination, and “a glorious reveling in all the things an ill-advised whistle might summon”.

I hope to see you wandering about our stacks looking for these and other amazing works by Indigenous authors. Learning how to heal, how to cook, how to overcome and triumph, and most importantly how to not call unwelcome things to you. Remember strawberries are our heart and you never whistle at night.

All information for these titles has been taken from our catalog. Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at


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Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian


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Adventure Begins at the Library this Summer

Adventure Begins at the Library this Summer

By Jennifer Bergen, Program and Children’s Services Manager

Set Sail for Pancakes!

“Reading is a passport to countless adventures,” writes Mary Pope Osborne, author of the popular Magic Tree House series. “You can travel anywhere in the world, to any time and any place – and still be home in time for dinner!”

This summer, we celebrate reading with our summer reading theme, “Adventure Begins at Your Library!” We will be highlighting books about camping, hiking, traveling and exploring new things, as well as providing storytimes and events for kids, teens and adults. There’s even a “Magic Tree House” themed party, and one for “Choose Your Own Adventure” readers. The online reading challenge will provide incentives for all ages to enjoy fun leisure reading by earning small prizes, coupons and free books along the way.

Start your adventuring today by reading aloud to a young person in your life. Here are some new titles from our children’s collection to set the stage.

Set Sail for Pancakes” by Tim Kleyn is our choice for the StoryWalk© Downtown this summer. Start at the library on Poyntz and take a walk while you look for book pages in the windows of downtown businesses to read the story from beginning to end. You’ll meet Margot and Grandpa as they gather pancake ingredients from Chicken Island, Cow Island, and more. Their silly sailing adventure includes weathering out a storm together before they can get everything they need. You’ll definitely be wanting pancakes, too, by the end.

Carry on the sailing theme with the imaginative picture book, “Ahoy!” by Sophie Blackall. A child and grown-up get busy building ships from wooden chairs topped with sticks, flags, and held together by toilet paper. The typical adult keeps trying to get away to do the vacuuming but can’t resist the pull of the sea or the clutches of the giant squid! Blackall’s story reminds us to make time to play.

If you’re planning to go camping with kids this summer, “Gather Round” by David Covell is a beautiful book to share with the very young. With simple language and warm illustrations, we watch a small family and their new friends gather what they need to build a fire, make a stew, roast marshmallows, sing around the fire and look at the stars.

This is Not My Lunch Box” by Jennifer Dupuis, illustrated by Carol Schwartz, does an excellent job helping kids learn what wild critters eat. Each page features a lunch box filled with different food, from wiggly bugs to fruit and nuts to fresh fish and mice! Readers learn who would like that lunch when they turn the next page.

The library has some good camping activity books for kids, including “The Family Guide to Outdoor Adventures” by Creek Stewart with 30 projects to try in the wild or in your own backyard. Learn how to make a crown of wildflowers, cook breakfast in a paper bag, or build a structure with bricks made of mud and straw. You can’t go wrong spending time outdoors.

Sometimes adventures take place in the magical nighttime hours, as in “A Happy Place” by Britta Teckentrup. A child is visited by a star in her bedroom window, and together they go on a journey in nature to see what the animals are doing at night. In Kelly Zhang’s “Take Me to Laolao,” it is the moon that whispers to the child to come along on a journey to meet the Dragon King. Zhang’s story portrays Chinese mythology and lore with dreamy illustrations by Evie Zhu. The child, Lili, is reunited with her deceased grandmother, Laolao, in her dream, where they share some much needed together time.

In “Mabel and the Mountain” by Kim Hillyard, a very small fly has big ideas. She wants to climb a mountain, host a dinner party, and make friends with a shark! When other flies tell her she cannot do it, Mabel knows it’s more important to keep trying, and her persistence inspires others to have their own adventures, too.

Whether you’re traveling or staying in town this summer, you can go on as many adventures as you desire in the pages of a book.

Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at

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Little Apple Pride

Little Apple Pride

by Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian

The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend Is My Girlfriend: Advice on Queer  Dating, Love, and FriendshipApril is significant this year for many reasons: a once in 20 years eclipse, the first day of spring, Earth Day, Library Workers Appreciation Day, and Manhattan’s Little Apple Pride Festival. Little Apple Pride takes place on Saturday April 20th at City Park. The Parade and vendor booths start/open at 3pm with entertainment at the Band Shell going until 7pm. Come visit the Manhattan Public Library booth from 3-6 in the Wefald pavilion. We will have plenty of Proud Reader swag and smiling faces!


This year, our public services librarians created a list of non-fiction books to feature in our subject resources brochure that will be going to the event and will be located throughout the library. This brochure and our other subject resources are available online at You will find the list of books below, but the handout also includes national and local resources and their contact information. As always, all information for these titles has been taken from our catalog, which can be accessed at


Adult Nonfiction Books:

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex

by Angela Chen.  “Journalist Angela Chen creates her path to understanding her own asexuality with the perspectives of a diverse group of asexual people. Vulnerable and honest, these stories include a woman who had blood tests done because she was convinced that ‘not wanting sex’ was a sign of serious illness, and a man who grew up in a religious household and did everything ‘right,’ only to realize after marriage that his experience of sexuality had never been the same as that of others. Disabled aces, aces of color, gender-nonconforming aces, and aces who both do and don’t want romantic relationships all share their experiences navigating a society in which a lack of sexual attraction is considered abnormal. Chen’s careful cultural analysis explores how societal norms limit understanding of sex and relationships and celebrates the breadth of sexuality and queerness.”

The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend Is My Girlfriend: Advice on Queer Dating, Love,and Friendship” written by Maddy Court and illustrated by Kelsey Wroten.

“Court answers anonymous queries from lesbian, bisexual, and queer women and people of marginalized genders. She tackles first loves, heartbreak, coming out, and queer friendship—all answered with the warmth and honesty of the gay big sister you wish you had. The questions reflect real experiences that aren’t often represented in the media, and the answers offer an important reminder that loving ourselves takes patience, effort, and the support of our friends and communities.”

¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons” by John Paul Brammer

“The popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer presents a memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the ‘Chicano Carrie Bradshaw’ of his generation.”



Young Adult Nonfiction Books:

Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality” written by Eliot Schrefer and illustrated by Jules Zuckerberg

“This groundbreaking illustrated YA nonfiction title from two-time National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Eliot Schrefer is a well-researched and teen-friendly exploration of the gamut of queer behaviors observed in animals. In sharp and witty prose—aided by humorous comics—Schrefer uses science, history, anthropology, and sociology to illustrate the diversity of sexual behavior in the animal world. Interviews with researchers in the field offer additional insights for readers and aspiring scientists.”

Coming Out: Insights and Tips for Teenagers” by Kezia Endsley

“offers compassionate insight into the hows and whys of coming out. Whether you are struggling with coming out yourself or wanting to help a friend or family member, this book seeks to provide answers to some of the questions you may have. Written from the perspective of the LGBTQIA+ community with firsthand accounts from fellow teenagers, this book addresses the issues and concerns of today that will resonate with anyone wishing to come out and live a happy, fulfilled life surrounded by people who love and accept them. You will learn -how to know when you or a loved one is ready to come out -who to tell first -how to deal with unsupportive people -how to deal with homophobia -how to move into loving self-acceptance.”

What’s the T?: No-Nonsense Guide to All Things Trans and/or Non-binary for Teens

written by Juno Dawson and illustrated by Soofiya

“Discover what it means to be a young transgender and/or non-binary person in the twenty-first century in this candid and funny guide for teens from the bestselling author of ‘This Book is Gay.’ In ‘What’s the T?’ Stonewall ambassador and bestselling author Juno Dawson is back again, this time with everything you’ve wanted to know about labels and identities and offering uncensored advice with her trademark humor and lightness of touch. It is informative, helpful, optimistic, and funny but with a good dose of reality and some of the things that can downright suck too. ‘What’s the T?’ tackles the complex realities of growing up trans with honesty and humor and is joyfully illustrated by gender non-conforming artist Soofiya.”



I hope to see you exploring our library and visiting us at events throughout the summer! Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at




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Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian

by Alyssa Yenzer Alyssa Yenzer No Comments

The Importance of Wordless Picture Books

The Importance of Wordless Picture Books

By Hannah Atchison, children’s librarian, Manhattan Public Library

You Can't Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum

As a child, I was told I had a wild imagination. My family would engage in dramatic adventures with me, using every pillow we owned. And before bed, we would read. Though the books my parents read to me grew longer with fewer pictures, picture books always held a special place in my heart. My favorites were the wordless ones by Peter Collington. I could spend hours with one, reimagining the story a little differently each time. Wordless books are important for children because they teach context clues, emotional intelligence, body language, and imagination. In Manhattan Public Library’s collection, we have a growing number of wordless picture books. I recommend these titles.

Where’s Walrus?” by Stephen Savage is a fun look-and-find book appropriate for toddlers. Walrus runs away from the zookeeper and puts on costumes to hide in the city. While looking for Walrus with your little one, you can talk about occupations, colors, and places you see.

The Line in the Sand” by Thao Lam is also in our toddler section. Friendly monsters are playing on the beach. One draws a line with a stick. As one monster attempts to cross it, another blocks them. Tempers rise and a crowd gathers. The monsters’ imaginary problem is resolved by the arrival of a bee. All of this is communicated with body language. Ask your child how they think the monsters may be feeling. You could even talk about similar human-created problems in the world.

Imagine!” by Raúl Colón introduces us to a boy visiting an art museum. He imagines the characters in the paintings climbing out to have fun with him there. On his way home, he creates beautiful street art of his friends from the museum and thinks of them as he falls asleep. Art coming to life is a wonderful subject for the imagination. Does your child have an art piece they wish they could interact with?

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum” is a funny adventure by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman that compares art to life as the museum doorman chases a girl’s balloon that flies off while she is in the museum with her grandmother. Talk about the similarities between the art pieces and the balloon adventure. Ask your child what they think will happen next.

Another” by Christian Robinson is a science fiction adventure. A little girl and her pet discover an opposite world with people just like her. Imagine together what other worlds might be like or what you wish your world was like.

Sidewalk Flowers” are collected by a girl going on a walk with her father. JonArno Lawson’s tale is about being thankful for the small things and sharing that joy with others. The girl leaves the flowers she has collected with a dead bird, a man sleeping on a bench, strangers, animals and family. Practice empathy and ask your child if benches are comfortable to sleep on and why the man might be sleeping there. Ask them why they think the girl is giving away her flowers to each of the people/animals they encounter.

Once Upon a Forest” by Pam Fong is about a little furry forest creature who sees smoke. The furry friend gathers tools to put out the fire, but there is still damage. The furry creature clears away the dead trees’ branches, prepares the soil, and plants new seeds. The creature guards the trees as they grow and protects them from hungry deer. When they are full grown he sets off again into the forest. The furry forester expresses many emotions, which you can help your child identify as you read.

The Brain Storm” by Linda Ragsdale is about a boy in a bad mood, pictured as a scribbly ‘storm’ floating above his head. He doesn’t know how to make the storm go away so he brings it to his grandmother who helps him understand it. This book is about emotions and uses body language to communicate it.

Free Fall” is a dreamworld adventure by David Wiesner. A boy travels through an imaginary world with strange creatures as he dreams. These unusual encounters and explorations are an opportunity for children to expand their own imaginations.

Journey” is the first book in a magical trilogy by Aaron Becker. The fantastical adventures are colorful and grand, despite the small pages in which they are contained. Themes of bravery and friendship weave through these imaginary adventures.

Some say you can’t read a wordless book. I disagree. Reading is an interpretation of symbols and the connection of those symbols to their meaning in the world. Pictures are a form of expressing communication just like letters and words. The skills gained from reading a wordless picture book— interpretation of context clues, emotional intelligence, body language, and imagination—are just as valuable. Wordless books are an invitation to participate in the story you are reading. If you would like more suggestions of wordless books, you can find your local librarians here at the Manhattan Public Library.

Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at


By Hannah Atchison, children’s librarian, Manhattan Public Library

by Alyssa Yenzer Alyssa Yenzer No Comments

Spring Photography

Spring Photography

by Victoria Lafean Library Assistant 2

How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures from Your Digital Camera: Tom Ang: 9781405319850: Books

With Spring arriving most people will want to get out of their houses to enjoy the weather. One thing I like to do when the weather is better is photography. Photography has a special place in my life; it was my minor in college, and at one time I had my own photography business. However, you don’t need to major or minor in photography or have a business to enjoy it. Photography is a popular hobby in today’s world, especially with all the advancements mobile phones have within their cameras. But let’s step away from the camera phones and put a true camera in your hands. If you’re unsure how to proceed with this new hobby, head over to the Manhattan Public Library and browse their shelves for resources like these: “Basics of Photography” by Diego Garcia (2019); “Digital Art Photography for Dummies by Matthew Bamberg (2006); “The Photographer’s Mind by Michael Freeman (2011); “Digital Photography Essentials” by Tom Ang (2011); and “How to Photograph Absolutely Everything” by Tom Ang (2007).

The best place to start is to choose a camera. There are different types of cameras for different skill levels. Tom Ang in “Digital Photography Essentials” lists the different types you can choose from. There are entry level compacts, enthusiast compacts, interchangeable lens compacts, hybrid zooms, four thirds DSLR, entry level DSLR, and finally prosumer and professional DSLR. Key considerations in choosing a camera include: what are your subjects, the size of camera you want, the ease of use you need, and the control available for creativity. With my experience I use an entry level DSLR.

To advance your abilities past the normal point-and-shoot phase, Diego Garcia’s “Basics of Photography” may be helpful. The first task is to switch your mode setting from auto to manual. Garcia says, “Manual is the setting you want to use because it lets you control all of the camera’s functions.” Garcia also states, “The exposure (the image or photograph) is made of three things: the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.”

Let’s look at these three settings. The aperture is the section of the camera that can be adjusted to let in more or less light. It is measured in F-Stop numbers. The lower the number the less in focus the background will be. The higher the number the more in focus the background will be. ISO is how much light you’re adding to your image or the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. Garcia advises, “Try to keep the ISO as low as possible. The higher the ISO number is the grainier the photograph will be.” The shutter speed is the last of the trio. Shutter speed is how fast the shutter opens and closes. Low speed should be used for long exposures; this lets in more light. A high shutter speed is used for short exposures and capturing fast moving subjects. These are the three foundation settings used to capture an image in photograph form. Photography is like writing with light.

In “Digital Art Photography for Dummies,” Matthew Bamberg explains, “Photographs are a personal thing; a photograph is a way for you to show the world how you see something in your own perspective. How personal do you want to get?” As a new photographer it is good for you to work on defining yourself as an artist, defining your audience, mastering the tools, and honing in on your craft.

If you’re uncertain what to take photographs of, Michael Freeman in “The Photographer’s Mind,” says, “Most people visually like to look at the familiar, rich colors, brightness, contrast, harmony, definition, clarity, and beauty.” Bamberg says to shoot what you like. He also suggests to look at photographs you’ve already taken and see if you have a majority. I personally like to photograph things up close, also known as macro photography. Whether it’s a close up of a flower, a rusted sign, puddles, a blade of grass, or pebbles, I like to make my images look like a piece of art. Bamberg says to “Find the art around you. Think of your community as a place to find art objects for your images.”

In “How to Photograph Everything,” Ang muses, “When you take any photograph you are freezing a moment in time.” This book will teach you how to photograph people, landscapes, nature, animals, architecture, and events. Capture that moment. It is a great resource to assist you with this photography phase. Likewise, when you’re out honing your new craft, Bamberg says to, “Get a little nuts and be creative. Play with light, reflections, and zooming. Try taking photographs with an intentional lack of focus and intentional under or over exposure. Filters are also a creative avenue you can take.”  Just have fun.

Other avenues you can take with photography are activists group photography, scrapbooking photography, and catalog of collections photography. As Ang says, “The limitations of photography are within yourself, for what we see is only what we are.”

You can find these titles amongst others on the shelves at the Manhattan Public Library to help you on this digital art photography journey or your photography phase.  Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at

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Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month

by Audrey Swartz

The Wild Ones

Spring is springing, or is it? We won’t truly know until it has passed us by, especially in Kansas. What I do know is that March has long been set aside to celebrate the amazing things women have done throughout history. This year’s Women’s History Month is focusing on Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Institutions around the country will celebrate in their own ways, from performances to exhibits to storytelling. Manhattan Public Library will have displays in every age group: children’s, young adult, and adult, featuring books about or by a diverse cast of women.


In our young adult section, located on the second floor of the library, you will find displays on women authors, being lucky, and Women’s History Month. The first two are located along the wall on floating shelves, and the last is on a cart in front of the new books. Below is a list of featured books on these displays. All information for these titles has been taken from our catalog, which can be accessed at


The Women Authors display will feature:


The Wild Ones: A Broken Anthem for a Girl Nation” by Nafiza Azad.

“Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor.”


Deadly Little Scandals” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

“No one is quite who they seem to be in the twisty, soapy, gasp-inducing world of the Debutantes. Think of the White Gloves like the Junior League — by way of Skull and Bones. Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone… “


Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard” by Echo Brown.

“Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor.”


The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy” by Mackenzi Lee.

“Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind–avoid the marriage proposal and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.”


On the Just a Little Luck display will feature:


The Curse of The Specter Queen” by Jenny Elder Moke

“Samantha Knox put away her childish fantasies of archaeological adventure the day her father didn’t return home from the Great War, retreating to the safety of the antique bookshop where she works. But when a mysterious package arrives with a damaged diary inside, Sam’s peaceful life is obliterated.”






The Good Luck Girls” by Charlotte Nicole Davis

“The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.”


Luck of the Titanic” by Stacey Lee

“Southampton, 1912: Seventeen-year-old British-Chinese Valora Luck has quit her job and smuggled herself aboard the Titanic. One moonless night in the North Atlantic, the unthinkable happens. Val and her companions suddenly find themselves in a race to survive.”


Witches of Ash and Ruin” by E. Latimer

“Told in multiple voices, seventeen-year-olds Dayna Walsh and Meiner King, witches from rival covens, team up in a small Irish town to seek a serial killer with motives enmeshed in a web of magic and gods.”


The Women’s History Month display will feature:


#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women” edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

“Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman.”


Finding Her Voice: How Black Girls in White Spaces Can Speak Up & Live Their Truth” by Faye Z. Belgrave, PhD, Ivy Belgrave, Angela Patton; [foreword by Lauren Christine Mims, PhD.].

“Find the strength and confidence needed to speak up, be heard, and assert yourself in a world filled with microaggressions and discrimination. Have you experienced stress, frustration, anger, or sadness as a Black girl?”


Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution” by Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner.

“One of the most influential disability rights activists in US history tells her story of fighting to belong in school and society -a powerful role model for young adults with a passion for activism.”


We Are Not From Here” by Jenny Torres Sanchez

“Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. But, none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. When those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.”


I hope to see you exploring our library and these special displays as the month goes on. And a huge thank you to the Library Assistants who help create these display lists and displays!

Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at




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Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian


by Alyssa Yenzer Alyssa Yenzer No Comments

Let’s Talk About Fandoms

Let’s Talk About Fandoms

by Alessia Passarelli Library Assistant II

Everything I Need I Get from You: Tiffany, Kaitlyn: 9780374539184: Books

Fandoms may remind you of screaming fans at a concert or somebody cosplaying as their favorite fantasy character at a convention. Regardless of what comes to mind, fandoms have been around for many years because of how important they are to the entertainment industry, and they might represent more than you think. I have been part of various fandoms for as long as I can remember, from musical artists like Taylor Swift and One Direction to book franchises like “Harry Potter” and “Shadow and Bone”. Fandoms provide a unique support system, a dependable community of like-minded individuals, and possibly most importantly, they can offer an escape from reality. These three books from the Manhattan Public Library catalog illustrate an understanding of what it means to be in fandoms and how these unique communities can provide an essential support system.

Everything I Need I Get From You: How Fangirls Created The Internet As We Know It” by Kaitlyn Tiffany is my favorite nonfiction book because of how appreciated it makes me feel. Tiffany explains how fans from different fandoms and backgrounds create the slang and social dynamics that we all experience on the internet today. While friends in real life have their inside jokes and jargon with each other, fandoms do as well. From memes and references to even having their own anniversaries and traditions, each fandom creates a family with its own unique subculture. The internet creates a space for people to unapologetically come together to collectively adore something without shame. Fans can become long-term friends in these online spaces, whether they meet in real life or stay as friends virtually. Tiffany is a One Direction fan, so the novel’s examples of internet culture are mostly dedicated to that fandom. However, I think this is a valuable read if you want to have a greater understanding of the rise of the internet and the role it plays in fandom culture today.

Nerd: Adventures in Fandom from This Universe to the Multiverse” by Maya Phillips is a collection of nonfiction essays written as a love letter to the fandom community. Phillips touches on multiple fandoms and her experiences as a Black woman in these communities. Philips provides a refreshing outlook comparing how different backgrounds may interact differently with other fandoms. She grew up in New York and first explored the fandom world through 90s cartoons that she watched in her childhood. These experiences catapulted her into joining many fandoms throughout her life, making her a fandom expert. Phillips also discusses important topics surrounding racism, classism, and sexism, including the portrayal of Black people and women in the media. This is a must-read that can broaden your understanding of everything that goes on in fandoms behind the scenes and on the screens. Regardless of your background, community and relatability can be found in any fandom. Phillips encourages everyone to embrace their interests, lean into being a “nerd”, and be open to all of the possibilities that can stem from it.

Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell is a beloved coming-of-age Young Adult fiction novel following Cath who writes fanfiction about Simon Snow and how she adapts to her new life in college without her sister by her side. Cath and her twin sister, Wren, live and breathe Simon Snow because it helps them cope with their mom abandoning them. In college, Wren doesn’t want to be Cath’s roommate, leaving Cath to experience the trials and tribulations of college alone with her social anxiety. Cath acknowledges how dull the real world can be, and when it is, her fanfiction is her ray of light before life gets better again. Whether your reality feels dark for days or years, your online community can be the most stable and accessible asset in your life when you need it most. For Cath, this was especially true when her life changed so drastically, but her fictitious world stayed the same and she could still call it home.

Escapism allows us to temporarily forget our reality. We escape when we wind down at night to watch a TV show or read a book. When the real world becomes too much, we can rely on a make-believe world to get us through it. Being a part of a community centered on escapism with friends aligned with our interests enhances our well-being. I’ve met some of my closest real-life friends because of fandoms and other friendships were made stronger because of it. When your real-life support system cannot provide the space to be there for you when you need it, you can bet that at least one person in the thousands of your online community can. Pursue your interests wherever they lead you. You could make new friends and learn more about yourself, and Manhattan Public Library has the books and media to get you through your dark days.


Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at

by Alyssa Yenzer Alyssa Yenzer No Comments

Black History Month

Black History Month

BLK ART: The Audacious Legacy of Black Artists and Models in Western Art: Ware, Zaria: 9780063272415: Books

It’s February! Beyond celebrating the wintery weather, super great for this Michigan girl, 2024’s Black History Month is being celebrated across the country in homes, schools, libraries, and museums. The theme of ”African Americans and the Arts” takes the forefront in our public spaces with The National Museum of African American History and Culture “highlighting the ‘art of resistance’ and the artists who used their crafts to uplift the race, speak truth to power and inspire a nation.” The Smithsonian is focusing on “the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more.” Here at Manhattan Public Library, we will have several book displays throughout the library and have created multiple booklists located in our library catalog and  the Beanstack app. Below is a summary of those lists and some of the books that will be included.


Catalog booklists can be found on our catalog page and are changed monthly. These lists are created by library staff to reflect current trends, monthly themes, and events. To explore these lists fully, visit

All information about these books has been taken from our catalog.

Adult fiction: These books can be found in our fiction section located on the first floor of the library.

The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett:

“The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a

small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white.”

My Sister the Serial Killer: A Novel” by Oyinkan Braithwaite:

“Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic.”

Adult non-fiction: These books can be found in our nonfiction section located on the second floor of the library.

BLK Art: The Audacious Legacy of Black Artists and Models in Western Art” by Zaria Ware:

“A fun and fact-filled introduction to the dismissed Black art masters and models who shook up the world. Elegant. Refined. Exclusionary. Interrupted.”

By Her Own Design: A Novel of Ann Lowe, Fashion Designer to the Social Register” by Piper Huguley:

“A Black designer who has fought every step of the way, Ann knows this is only one struggle after a lifetime of them. She and her seamstresses will find the way to re-create the dresses.”

Beanstack booklists can be found on, you guessed it, the Beanstack App. These lists are also created by staff monthly and more closely reflect the happenings in the library. You will find lists for children, young adults, and adults covering a wide range of topics both fiction and nonfiction. All information for these books has been taken from our catalog.

Picture Books: These books can be found in the Children’s Library on the picture book shelves, on the first floor of the library.

The ABCs of Black History” by Rio Cortez; pictures by Lauren Semmer:

“B is for Beautiful, Brave, and Bright! Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy.”

Maya’s Song” by Renée Watson; illustrated by Bryan Collier:

“This unforgettable picture book introduces young readers to the life and work of Maya Angelou, whose words have uplifted and inspired generations of readers…Maya was the first Black person and first woman to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration, and her influence echoes through culture and history.”

Kindergarten-5th Grade: These books can be found in the Children’s Library in the children’s history neighborhood, on the first floor of the library.

Young Gifted and Black” by Jamia Wilson; illustrated by Andrea Pippins:

“Join us on a journey across borders, through time and even through space to meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in a celebration of achievement. Discover how their childhood dreams and experiences influenced their adult achievements.”

28 Days” by Charles R. Smith, Jr.; illustrated by Shane W. Evans

“The 28 days of Black History Month are commemorated with descriptions of the men, women and events that have been vital in defining our understanding of African-American history. The entries move chronologically from 1770 to the present, and encompass all walks of life.”

Young Adult: These books can be found in our Young Adult section located on the second floor of the library.

Forever Is Now” by Mariama J. Lockington:

“When sixteen-year-old Sadie, a Black bisexual recluse, develops agoraphobia the summer before her junior year, she relies on her best friend, family, and therapist to overcome her fears. Not feeling safe anywhere, Sadie retreats inside herself.”

Love Is a Revolution” by Renée Watson

“Harlem teenager Nala is looking forward to a summer of movies and ice cream until she falls in love with the very woke Tye and pretends to be a social activist. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she’ll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.”

If you  need instructions on how to get Beanstack or you want to sign up for our current reading challenges: Cozy Up with a Good Book (Kinder-Adult) or 1000 Books Before Kindergarten (0-Kinder), visit us at I hope you find the time to visit our displays and check out our lists.

Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at


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by Audrey Swartz, Adult Services and Readers’ Advisory Librarian


by Alyssa Yenzer Alyssa Yenzer No Comments

The Budget

The Budget

By Victoria Lafean, Library Assistant 2 Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With Debt eBook : Lockert,  Melanie: Kindle Store

The Budget, those are two daunting words no one usually likes to hear. However, in my own life these words have recently reared their ugly head. Individuals usually are unable to plan for drastic life changes. Be that as it may, sometimes we have time to adjust and properly execute the changes needed, and sometimes we do not. Where do we start? Maybe, like me, you haven’t had the proper education or examples of good financial footing. Nonetheless, this change is fast approaching. I know my Budget needs to be modified.

In our Manhattan Public Library catalog, I found four sources to use in my budget journey: “The Money Answer Book” by Dave Ramsey, “You Need a Budget” by Jesse Mecham, “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin, and finally “Dear Debt, A story about breaking up with debt” by Melanie Lockert.

First thing that caught my eye in “The Money Answer Book,” is Ramsey’s statement, “Personal finance is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge.” One behavior you can begin practicing is to be more money smart. Ramsey says to, “Say no to credit cards, make a budget, write it down, and give every dollar a name.” I did what Ramsey said. I wrote out our budget, money in and money out.

Ramsey and Lockert’s “Dear Debt” both speak about snowball budgeting. They state that this plan utilizes “small wins.” Budget the minimum payment for all your bills, then focus on your smallest debt first with your funds that are left over after all your minimums are paid. This will be the fastest payoff. The snowball budget is a great motivational tool to pay off your debts. Ramsey says, “You need some quick wins in order to stay pumped enough to completely get out of debt.” Lockert does state that with this method you will pay more interest over time, which is why she introduces the avalanche budget. This budget’s plan is to pay off the largest debt with the highest interest first. This method helps you save money because you’ll be paying less total interest and more toward the principal.

What kind of debt do you have? Is it student loans, big buys, medical, credit cards? Lockert gives us resources to find our debts, the amounts you owe, and your interest rates. Student loan information can be found at the National Student Loan Data System. If you have credit card, medical, mortgage, or automobile debt, the amount you owe can be found on your account statements. You can also contact the servicer. Figuring out your interest rates on your debts can be helpful in deciding which debt to pay first. Lockert gives this equation to figure out daily interest rate: “interest rate x principal balance / 365.” Lockert states, “Credit card debt should be priority.” Credit cards have an interest average of 15 percent. This definitely gives a lot of potential to incur a lot of interest. Student loans can be eligible for different types of repayment plans, and you can contact the servicer for these possible options. For medical debt, you can contact the provider to discuss payment plans, forgiveness options, or lower interest rates.

In “You Need a Budget,” Mecham says, “budgeting is designing the life you want.” He wants us to truly look at our expenses and see what is flexible. Mecham says, “Budgeting is a superpower for our life goals.” We need to make budgeting a positive part of our life. Robin states in “Your Money or Your Life,” “Ultimately you are the one who determines what money is worth to you. You ‘pay’ for money with your time. You choose how to spend it.”

A good financial footing isn’t only about paying off debt, it is also saving. Ramsey encourages us, “Without saving you aren’t really prepared for the future.” Have some healthy anger or fear involved to make saving important. Mecham encourages us to, “Think long, act now,” when it comes to saving.  I looked at my life. I have an elderly dog. I know that dog is going to need future care. Also, automobile tires will not last forever, have a fund set aside for that. If I look at myself, I might incur some medical debt that isn’t covered, so it is helpful to have funds set aside for that also. If it is possible, saving for home emergencies is also a good idea. To me this sounded like a lot to save for, also I didn’t know where the money was going to come from. I was encouraged that all this can happen in time. I will work on one thing at a time, so should you and we will not fret about it all at once. Ramsey states, “The bridge between success and failure is hope.”  The Manhattan Library has many resources to help you on your financial journey to better budgeting. They’ve helped me maybe they can help you.

Other financial budget books are available at the Manhattan Public Library such as: “Finance for the People” by Paco de Leon, “Rich AF” by Vivian Tu, “Pathfinders” by J.L. Collins, “Financial Feminist” by Tori Dunlap, and “The Great Money Reset” by Jill Schlesinger.


Manhattan Public Library is a cornerstone of free and equal access to a world of ideas and information for the Manhattan, Kansas, community. Learn more at