Search our Catalog


Celebrate Dr. King

Saturday, January 15 would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 82nd birthday. We celebrate his life, his message, and the spirit of the Civil Rights movement on the third Monday of every January. For some, this means a day off of work or school; for many others it's a day of community service (Find volunteer opportunities on the All for Good site). Whether you choose to serve, attend special community events, or simply reflect, Canton Public Library has useful resources for you:

Martin Luther King — Books

Behind the dream: the making of the speech that transformed a nation by Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly

The Word of the Lord is upon me: the righteous performance of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Jonathan Rieder

What would Martin say? by Clarence B. Jones and Joel Engel

Google Science Fair 2011

Are you a student who loves science? Do you have a good idea for an experiment that you’d like to share with the world? If so, be a part of the Google Global Science Fair 2011. To help make today’s young scientists the rock stars of tomorrow, in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, Google is introducing the first global online science competition: the Goole Science Fair. It’s open to students around the world who are between the ages of 13-18. All you need is access to a computer, the Internet and a web browser.

Do You Love Writing?

Do you want to find a way to connect with authors, readers, and writers? If so was created for you and people just like you. It is a website that has blogs, contests, forums, new and more all directed at teens who like to read and write. If you want more information, check out the website, or this fabulous article all about Figment.

North American International Auto Show

Experience the next generation of cars at the 2011 North American International Auto Show where the automotive world and the public come together. See more than 500 vehicles of innovative designs and latest technology. Don't miss this exciting event taking place at the Cobo Center starting on Saturday, January 15!

Photo courtesy of NAIAS

What do gardeners do in winter?

We drool over seed catalogs and dream of what we'll grow when the snow is gone! Winter is a great time for some other garden projects, though — the kind you can do while nice and toasty inside. And as an added bonus, many times you can re-use materials that you'd otherwise have to toss in the trash. Check out Michigan gardener and author Colleen VanderLinden's list of 15 "Trashy" Ideas for Your Garden. While you're at it, take a gander at some of the many books we have about crafting for the garden.

Author of 'Babe' Passes On

Dick King-Smith, whose book Babe the Gallant Pig inspired the hit 1995 movie Babe, died on January 4, 2011 at his home near Bath, England. He was 88. Mr. King-Smith was a farmer for 20 years before becoming a primary school teacher. He published more than 100 books — mostly about animals and often about pigs, his favorite. He once said of his animal stories, "I never dress my animals in clothes. They behave as animals should behave, with the exception that they open their mouths and speak the queen's English." His books have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Mr. King-Smith's first wife died in 2000. He is survived by his second wife, 3 children and 14 grandchildren.

Chocolate for Alzheimer Patients

In a New York Times article about Alzheimer's Disease called The Vanishing Mind, the benefits of chocolate as a soother for aggitated nursing home patients was extolled. This is just one of alternative ways to treat individuals with Alzheimer's Physicians researchers are investigating.

Make Your Own eBooks

Here's a fairly-quick way to turn websites, Microsoft Word documents, and plain text files into eBooks for your portable device or computer:
  1. Go to and select "Convert text to the ePub ebook format"
  2. Select the file from your computer, or copy/paste the URL of the file into the applicable form field
  3. Set the optional settings to reflect the title and author of the work
  4. Click "Convert File" to begin processing
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to download the converted file
  6. Transfer to your reading device per the specific device's instructions
I personally use an iPhone with the iBooks app. Loading a "book" onto my phone was as easy as emailing the file to myself and tapping the attached file from the Mail app.

Many readers also display PDF files. If you wish to read long-form content from your computer on your reader device, PDF print utilities like PDF reDirect for Windows or the built-in functionality on the Mac can provide a quick and compatible way to create eReader files.

Is It Time to Hang Up Your Keys?

AARP’s “We Need to Talk” online seminar sponsored by The Hartford provides practical tips and advice on how to recognize when it’s time to limit or stop driving and how to discuss the topic with loved ones. AARP recommends you complete the three modules in sequence. Each takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and you will learn what value driving has to older adults, how to objectively assess driving skills, and how to discuss limiting and/or stopping to drive. is a website containing videos "designed to celebrate great environmental work in Michigan, educate people about what they can do, and inspire them to take action." You can view videos about a variety of environmental topics and projects in Michigan. If you log in and create an account, you can even post one yourself. There are several different categories of videos on the site including "Green Communities", "My View" and "Green Inc" where you can learn about the sustainable practices of posted local companies and organizations. The website also has an environmentally-themed blog.

Story Blocks

Story Blocks is a great resource for parents, caregivers and librarians alike. A project of Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, Story Blocks is filled with short video demonstrations of rhymes, songs and fingerplays for your baby, toddler, or preschooler. You'll pick up some useful early literacy tips, and a little Spanish vocabulary, too, thanks to a selection of bilingual video clips. Explore the videos and learn something new that your little one will love. I've definitely learned a few new tricks for story time!

Need a Fun Way to Refresh Your Math Skills?

A+ Click might just be the website for you. This free website offers users grades 1-12 a challenging quiz in many areas of math. You select the grade and the topic and the website takes you through an age appropriate but fun quiz. This website was listed as one of the notable websites for children by the Association for Library Services to Children. Check out the entire list here.

Tech Support in the Family

Google's recently-released site, Teach Parents Tech, features over 50 YouTube videos with friendly explanations of how to perform useful tasks on your computer. For instance, here's how to create a strong password:

You can send your relatives a "care package" of videos you think they'd find useful, or watch the videos yourself to brush up on computer skills.

Super Science Site

Kids! Parents! Teachers! Check out TryScience. It is one awesome website that is entertaining and educational. Need an experiment idea for school? It has a deck of colorful cards with great experiments and all the info you need to complete the project. Want to visit a science museum or center while sitting at home? Just select one you would like to see from the deck of field trip cards. In the mood for some high-speed online gaming adventures? Just select from the adventure deck and go for it. You have your choice of nine languages to pick from. A search box is on every screen. Parents and teachers have their own sets of great options on pages created especially for them. Soon to come is a page for scientists and engineers. You have to see this site and poke around to really appreciate the just how much it offers. Do it now!

Spaghetti Book Club

spaghetti_and_cheese-sm.JPG Hey kids,
Did you know there are other students out there who have something to tell you about Altoona Baboona, or Aliens for Lunch? It may be that the best way for you to find out if you really want to read a book is to learn about it from another kid. The Spaghetti Book Club is a great site for you. It is the largest site of book reviews written and illustrated by kids, for kids. You can look up book reviews by title, author, or kid reviewers in their state/school. Teachers will be interested in checking out the site too, which explains this literacy program that can help develop students reading and writing skills.

Are you Ready?

Things happen. Emergencies of all types happen. Sometimes we are prepared, sometimes we are not. The Department of Homeland Security has developed Ready Kids, a website for kids and their families, aimed to help everyone be ready for many different types of unexpected situations! There are activities and information to help your family get prepared for a variety of emergencies, from fires to tornadoes to earthquakes. Let the Mountain Lion family guide you through the planning process so you can graduate from Readiness U!


Did you know that ginger is not only fun to bake with, but a healthy spice as well? Ginger is good for digestion, used to treat nausea and motion sickness, and has anti-inflammatory properties. And of course, it's a great time of year to make some creative gingerbread houses, and yummy cookies. There's also ginger tea, ginger ale and lots of recipes you can use ginger in. Some may even remember this name on Gilligan's Island.


Beautiful, colorful photographs of animals make Zoobooks magazine an instant winner with kids. Each issue focuses on a particular animal, bird, reptile or insect giving lots of information and colorful illustrations. Kids can work on puzzles, games and crafts, while many young readers submit their own drawings and stories. Zootles is geared for ages 2-6 and Zoobies for babies through age 2. Fun resources in the world of wildlife for you to check out!

Pure Michigan Travel Site

Earlier this week, the award-winning Pure Michigan campaign was on the brink of dying due to a lack of government funding. Travel Michigan vice president called for quick action, saying that if funding wasn’t resolved by today, Pure Michigan would not run its winter campaign. Luckily, the state legislature approved $10 million in funding to save the campaign. Enough to allow Pure Michigan to present its snowy wooden glens and frozen lakes to the rest of the country for the next few months.

Convention on Biological Diversity Report

The bad news is that about one-fifth of animal species are at risk of extinction, according to a report released by governments and conservation groups that met in October for the Convention of Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. The good news, according to an article summary of the report, is that the number of threatened species would be even higher if not for the success of conservation efforts. Unfortunately, given the recent global economic crisis conservation efforts have lately taken a back seat.