Akron Libraries will be closed on September 1st – Labor Day


All Akron-Summit County Public Library Locations will be closed on Monday, September 1st, 2014 – Labor Day.


The Lincoln-Douglas Debates began on August 21st, 1858


“The Lincoln–Douglas Debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party candidate. At the time, U.S. senators were elected by state legislatures; thus Lincoln and Douglas were trying for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois legislature. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery.

In agreeing to the debates, Lincoln and Douglas decided to hold one debate in each of the nine congressional districts in Illinois. Because both had already spoken in two—Springfield and Chicago—within a day of each other, they decided that their “joint appearances” would be held only in the remaining seven districts.

The debates were held in seven towns in the state of Illinois:

  • Ottawa on August 21
  • Freeport on August 27
  • Jonesboro on September 15
  • Charleston on September 18
  • Galesburg on October 7
  • Quincy on October 13
  • Alton on October 15

The debates in Freeport, Quincy and Alton drew especially large numbers of people from neighboring states, as the issue of slavery was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation. Newspaper coverage of the debates was intense. Major papers from Chicago sent stenographers to create complete texts of each debate, which newspapers across the United States reprinted in full, with some partisan edits. Newspapers that supported Douglas edited his speeches to remove any errors made by the stenographers and to correct grammatical errors, while they left Lincoln’s speeches in the rough form in which they had been transcribed. In the same way, pro-Lincoln papers edited Lincoln’s speeches, but left the Douglas texts as reported.

After losing the election for Senator in Illinois, Lincoln edited the texts of all the debates and had them published in a book. The widespread coverage of the original debates and the subsequent popularity of the book led eventually to Lincoln’s nomination for President of the United States by the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago.

The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute “rejoinder.” The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.”

“The October surprise of the election was the endorsement of the Democrat Douglas by former Whig John J. Crittenden. Former Whigs comprised the biggest block of swing voters, and Crittenden’s endorsement of Douglas rather than Lincoln, also a former Whig, reduced Lincoln’s chances of winning.

On election day, the Democrats won 40 seats in the state house of Representatives, and the Republicans won 35. In the state senate, Republicans held 11 seats, and Democrats held 14. Stephen A. Douglas was reelected by the legislature, 54-46, even though Abraham Lincoln won the popular vote with a percentage of 50.6%, or by 3,402 votes. However, the widespread media coverage of the debates greatly raised Lincoln’s national profile, making him a viable candidate for nomination as the Republican candidate in the upcoming 1860 presidential election. He would go on to secure both the nomination and the presidency, beating Douglas (as the Northern Democratic candidate), among others, in the process.

Lincoln also went on to be in contact with editors looking to publish the debate texts. George Parsons, the Ohio Republican committee chairman, got Lincoln in touch with Ohio’s main political publisher, Follett and Foster, of Columbus. They published copies of the text, and titled the book, Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois. Four printings were made, and the fourth sold 16,000 copies.

The Lincoln–Douglas debate format that is used in high school and college competition today is named after this series of debates. Modern presidential debates trace their roots to the Lincoln–Douglas Debates, though the format today is remarkably different from the original.”

Source: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%E2%80%93Douglas_debates)

For more information and resources on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, click here to find them in our library.  Enjoy!


Last Garden Buddies Program of the 2014 Season at Firestone Park


Today was the last program in our Garden Buddies series at Firestone Park Branch Library.  All summer, the participants have been charting the growth of the sunflowers and tomatoes in our NatureConnect spaces.  They have been reading stories, making crafts, and really enjoying the outdoors with our library staff.  Today, Miss Tori and Miss Jennifer shared stories with the children, and they made flower bookmarks and did chalk painting.  Below are some pictures from today’s program.  Enjoy!



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National Navajo Code Talkers Day – August 14th


Today is National Navajo Code Talkers Day

Cipher machines, or machines that create coded messages, did not work well in the jungles of the Pacific Islands during World War II. However, the United States military needed coded messages to send secret information from the battle lines to air bases and other locations. Native Americans who spoke the Navajo language helped solve this problem.

The Navajo “code talkers”, as they became known, used English code words that they translated into their language to send messages. The Japanese military could hear these coded messages, but they could not understand their meanings. The Navajo language was not well known.

The Navajo code talkers served in some of the fiercest battles of the Pacific. They saved many lives and helped the United States and its allies win the war. However, the code talkers were never allowed to discuss their work with anyone. Most Americans did not know about the code talkers’ role in World War II until much later.

For their bravery and service, President Ronald Reagan set aside a special day to honor the Navajo code talkers. In 1982, he declared August 14 to be National Navajo Code Talkers Day.”


Source (http://hmhinthenews.com/national-navajo-code-talkers-day-2/)


Other related websites:






You can also find more information about the Navajo Code Talkers here in our library.  Enjoy!



Professional Speakers Day – August 7th


Today is Professional Speakers Day – August 7th!

Professional Speakers Day is a day to honor those who inform, encourage, and inspire their audiences with the spoken word.  It is not easy to get up in front of a room of people and speak for any length of time on a topic.  However, there are several resources that are available to help you to improve on this valuable skill.


14 Public Speaking Tips

Source:  (http://www.presentationmagazine.com/more-public-speaking-tips-1775.htm)

“1. Careful with the use of PowerPoint

The first time a speaker brought a drawing, a piece of art, a flip chart, a slide show or any object on to the stage to stimulate the audience’s sense of sight as well as sound, speaking became presenting. PowerPoint is but a tool, used well by some, miserably by many. Using this tool allows presenters to engage one more of the audience’s five senses. As each sense is stimulated the retention of the material grows exponentially.

2. Don’t shoot the messenger

Move the audience from the amygdala part of their brain to the neocortex. Laughter is an excellent stimulus to accomplish this.

3. Engage all of their senses

Engage all five senses and your presentation contents will remain with the viewer measurably longer.

Paull Murray, Managing Director at TTG International Management

4. Find a friendly face

The great 17th-century philosopher and scientist, Pascal,  had a thought that applies to public speaking rather well. It states: “There are some who don’t write well, but speak well. The place or the audience warms them, so much so that they are able to draw from their mind more than they could without that warmth.”

During our face-to-face with the audience, most of us would feel much more at ease, if only we could find that warmth Pascal mentions… We will not find it if we do not look for it. Find a friendly face in the audience, and let its warmth release your thoughts. Return your smile, not just to that face, but to all, to thaw the audience. You may not have much control over the place, but your smile certainly has the power to defrost any audience. Then let the defrosted audience contribute to the total release of your brilliant mind.

Jean-Luc Lebrun, Writer & Trainer

5. Get to know your audience

Nothing is more important, in my opinion, that getting to know the group to which you will be presenting. A little homework goes a long way. Every time you speak it needs to be a “personal” experience for the audience.

Sue Fiedler, PHR Sr. Training & Dev Specialist at Driscoll Children’s Hospital

6. Get to know the room

Familiarize yourself with the room.  Allow plenty of time to walk around and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

7. Don’t apologize

The audience doesn’t know what you are going to say, so if you make a mistake, they won’t even realize.

8. Speak with confidence

Remember to project your voice clearly but without shouting.

Jo Robinson, Presentation Magazine

9. Smile

Always have a smile on when you present in public.

Sminesh Babu, Sr. Manager - India Sales at Harbinger Knowledge Products

10. Look around for advice

There’s a blogful of tips going back more than two years at the PitchSmarter blog, http://neocortexconsult.com/blog

Robert Buccino, Owner, Neocortex Consulting Group

11. State the obvious

Don’t be afraid to the state what is obvious to you, it may not be obvious to the audience.

Sir John Harvey-JonesChairman of ICI from 1982 to 1987 and probably best known for his BBC television show Troubleshooter.

12. Be prepared to adapt

Be prepared to adapt what you have to say at the last moment to accommodate your audience.

Terry Waite CBE - British humanitarian and author

13. Make each audience think you care about them

Don’t treat every audience to the same presentation as though they were all mere listening machines. Wherever possible, make each audience think you care about them and you feel lucky or honored to get the chance to address them.

Ranulph Fiennes - Explorer

14. Concentrate on tone and pace

80 per cent of your speech or presentation will be forgotten! I think the most important thing to remember is your tone and pace.

Martha Lane Fox - Co founder of Lastminute.com”


Other good resources:

The National Speakers Association (NSA) has a membership of 3,000 professional speakers; it has been estimated that the total number of professional speakers worldwide is between 10,000 and 20,000.

Toastmasters International  helps hundreds of thousands of people worldwide strengthen their public speaking skills. Many Toastmasters have gone on to successful careers as professional speakers!

The Up Your Fee Speaker Enrichment Complex is the hub of a complex of websites that provide educational, networking, promotional, and support tools and resources for professional speakers, trainers, and other communication entrepreneurs.

Source:  (http://train2speak.com/professional-speakers-day/)


Finally, there are more fantastic and useful sources here in our library about public speaking.  Enjoy!




Firestone Park Branch Library 10th Anniversary Celebration

We had a great turn-out for our 10 Year Building Anniversary Celebration! 
Our Teen Volunteers manned two carnival games: a duck pond and a book drop beanbag toss game. 
Balloon Artist, Joe Delagrange, made a variety of creative balloon animals, swords, and flowers for children. 
Friends of the Library signed up new members, passed out coupons for their upcoming sale, and served cake and popsicles.
The YMCA and the Akron Racers both set up informational tables.
Many community leaders attended and participated in our StoryWalk, including:
Michelle Alleman, Firestone Park Branch Library, Branch Manager
Barb White, Akron-Summit County Public Library, General Manager of Branches
Donnie Kammer, ward 7 Councilman
Akron Fire Chief Robert C. Ross
Steve Barry, Sheriff of Summit CountyLoretta Vasuta, Primetimers
Tom Nicola, Primetimers, President
Loretta Vasuta, Primetimers
Laurie Chenevey, Firestone Park Community Center Supervisor
Melissa Roddy, Firestone Park YMCA Director
Officer Mike Kulick, Akron Police Department
Below are some pictures from this great event.  Enjoy!
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Firestone Park Branch Library 10th Anniversary Celebration – July 29th, 2014


We are turning “10″!

On Tuesday, July 29th, 2014, from 12-2pm, the Firestone Park Branch Library will be celebrating a 10 Year Building Anniversary!


Please join us for a Carnival Event!

*  Carnival Games and prizes, designed and manned by our Teen Volunteers:

      Duck Pond and Book Drop Beanbag Toss

*  Paws, the Library’s new mascot:  Come visit and take pictures with him!

*  Joe Delagrange, Juggler and Balloon Artist, will be performing and making balloon animals for children.

*  Mind, Body and Sole: Summer Reading Program Milestone Check-in.

*  Cake and Popsicles will be served by our Friends of the Firestone Park Branch Library.

*  Friends of the Firestone Park Branch Library will be hosting a table for a Membership Drive and Giveaways.

The Akron Racers will be hosting a table with their mascot.

*  A Community Leaders Storywalk® at 12 Noon will be set up around the library lawn, with community leaders posted at pages of the book.

Community Leaders include:

Michelle Alleman, Firestone Park Branch Library Manager, ASCPL

Paws, ASCPL Mascot

Barb White, General Manager of Branches, ASCPL

Pam Hickson-Stevenson, Deputy Director, ASCPL

David Jennings, Director, ASCPL

Garry Moneypenny, Akron City Council President

Donnie Kamer, Ward 7 Councilman

Laurie Chenevey, Firestone Park Community Center Supervisor

Chief Robert C. Ross, Akron Fire Department

Steve Barry, Sheriff of Summit County

Officers from the Akron Police Department

Stacy Corp, Akron Racers & Mascot


It will be THE EVENT of the Season!  We hope to see everyone there!




Teen Indoor Games at Firestone Park Branch


Miss Tori and the Firestone Park Branch Library Teens had their final program of the summer on Thursday, July 24th – Indoor Game Day.  The teens played updated indoor versions of classic rainy day games.  They had a lot of fun with toilet paper bowling, glow-in-the-dark tic-tac-toe, and balloon ping pong!  Prizes were awarded to the winners.  Below are some pictures from their rollicking afternoon.  Enjoy!


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Garden Buddies in our Nature Connect Space – Week #2


In our Garden Buddies program today, we made stained glass photos, measured the sunflowers and counted the tomatoes for our journals, and read fun stories.  Below are some pictures.  Enjoy!


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Foster Brown entertains at Firestone Park Branch


Today, we welcomed back Foster Brown, with his musical storytelling show.  He entertained our families at Firestone Park with his songs about animals and nature.  He is one of our favorites!  Below are some pictures.  Enjoy!


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