Library Closed for Memorial Day

All three Davenport Public Library locations will be closed Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day. All three buildings will reopen with regular business hours on Tuesday, May 28th: Main (321 Main Street) 9am to 5:30pm, Eastern (6000 Eastern Avenue) 9am to 8:00pm, and Fairmount (3000 N Fairmount St) noon to 8:00pm.

Even though our physical locations will be closed, you can still access free digital content for all ages. Your Davenport Public Library card gives you access to free eBooks, digital audiobooks, magazines, movies, and music through LibbyFreegalTumbleBooksQC Beats, and Kanopy!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Prepare for the spelling bee!

The Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place from May 28-30, 2024, near Washington, D.C. Our region’s representative at the competition this year is Partha Katreddy, of Bettendorf, a seventh-grader at Pleasant Valley Junior High School. Details about watching the spelling bee broadcast can be found at https://spellingbee.com/watch.

Brush up on your own spelling skills and the history of spelling bees with these items from Davenport Public Library’s collection.

Beeline : what spelling bees reveal about generation Z’s new path to success by Shalini Shankar (2019) – Generation Z — youth born after 1997 — seems to be made up of anxious overachievers, hounded by Tiger Moms and constantly tracked on social media. One would think that competitors in the National Spelling Bee would be the worst off. Shankar argues that, far from being simply overstressed and overscheduled, Gen Z spelling bee competitors are learning crucial twenty-first-century skills from their high-powered lives, displaying a sophisticated understanding of self-promotion, self-direction, and social mobility. She examines the outsize impact of immigrant parents and explains why Gen Z kids are on a path to success. — adapted from jacket

A Champion’s Guide to Success in Spelling Bees : fundamentals of spelling bee competition and preparation by Ned G. Andrews (2011) – Comprehensive yet concise, A Champion’s Guide to Success in Spelling Bees is essential for any spelling bee contestant, whether serious or casual, as well as for study assistants such as parents, teachers, and tutors. By following this guidebook’s tactics and strategies, you will use every available resource – including but not limited to your time on stage, your existing knowledge, other study materials, and the effort that you will invest throughout your preparation – as effectively and efficiently as possible. — provided by the publisher

Painless Spelling by Mary Elizabeth Podhaizer (2011) – Analyzes sound and letter patterns, diphthongs, silent letters, homophones and homographs, compound and abbreviated words, contractions, prefixes, suffixes, and base words to teach spelling skills. — provided by the publisher

Spellbound (2002) – The documentary Spellbound chronicles the 1999 spelling bee season. Eight teens and pre-teens, along with their teachers and parents, are followed through daily practice, regionals and finally the televised spelling bee. This is the documentary that made me fall in love with documentaries. While it’s an oldie, it’s a goody! It is available for streaming through Kanopy or on DVD in RiverShare.

Social Work Spotlight: Prioritizing Your Mental Well-Being

PRIORITIZING YOUR MENTAL WELL-BEING

May is Mental Health Month, a time to raise awareness and promote the importance of mental health and well-being. Mental health is integral to our overall wellness, deserving as much attention as our physical health. Unfortunately, many misconceptions about mental health prevent people from seeking the help they need.

The reality is that mental health issues are widespread. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness annually. These issues span from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression to more severe conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The good news is that many effective treatments and self-care modalities can alleviate symptoms, and with proper support, individuals can and do recover.

Seeking help can feel daunting, often due to fears, shame, or misunderstandings surrounding mental health. However, it is essential to remember that you are not alone. Many resources are available to support your mental health journey, including professional help, therapy, support groups, and trusted loved ones.

Your primary care provider can be a valuable starting point in your mental health journey. They can offer guidance on whether a referral to a mental health specialist is necessary and provide that referral if needed. Additionally, local community mental health centers offer walk-in options that provide direct access to mental health professionals.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) organizes both in-person and virtual sessions to provide support for individuals and families dealing with mental health challenges. There are also local support groups available to help foster a sense of community and connection, providing a safe and supportive space for sharing experiences and emotions. Additionally, mental health hotlines are available for individuals who require immediate assistance and support.

In addition to seeking professional help, taking care of oneself is crucial for promoting mental well-being. Sleeping, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing stress-reducing techniques like meditation or deep breathing can contribute to overall wellness.

Here are some suggestions for activities that individuals and families can engage in to prioritize self-care:

Remember, it’s okay to set boundaries and prioritize your well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help. Reach out by calling or texting 988 for support.

ESSENTIAL LIFE SKILLS

Do you possess all of the essential life skills you need not only to survive but to thrive?  Beyond the extremes such as disaster preparedness or wilderness survival and, less dramatically, basic literacy or numeracy, there are the practical skills of daily living such as cooking & cleaning, home and vehicle maintenance, and money management. These are just some of the essential life skills you need to be competent, live independently, and even be self-sufficient.

Also crucial to have are an array of cognitive skills that fall into the category of social-emotional learning (SEL). The core competencies of SEL are:  self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, and the tools to build relationships. These skills allow us to adapt in the workplace, in our personal relationships, and in our personal development, and to mentally tackle the challenges of life. Every day we make decisions and utilize the skills we’ve learned, which ultimately prepares us to successfully face the opportunities and adversities that life presents.

But, there is no definitive list of “Essential Life Skills”.  Learning to swim, driving a car, and using a computer are useful life skills for most people. But, each individual will potentially have a different list of skills they consider most essential to their life. And, some skills that one person believes are critical may be deemed unnecessary to another. Certain skills may be more or less relevant to you depending on your life circumstances, beliefs, age, geographic location, culture, etc.

Do you have some weaknesses in any life skills? If you learned new or better strategies, could you improve your overall well-being?  Maybe you won’t know where there is a gap in your skillset until a major crisis comes along?  People often joke that when children are born they “don’t come with a handbook”. Likewise, there are many aspects of being a competent adult that could benefit from having a handbook of skills to follow. At minimum, we would feel more confident in our decisions. No matter how old you are or what life stage you are in, you can always add new skills to your “toolbox” or improve the real-world and SEL skills you already have. After all, the most important skills are the ability and willingness to learn. The more you learn, the more resources you’ll have to adapt to life’s surprises.

All together these life skills make us resilient: prepared to respond to inevitable life changes and cope with the unexpected. Below are a number of books in our collection that can help you evaluate your life skills, assess what skills may be lacking, learn some new strategies, and live a more productive and fulfilling life.

RESILIENCE, SUCCESS, and WELL-BEING

SURVIVAL, EMERGENCY, and EVERDAY HAZARDS

PRACTICAL LIFE SKILLS

   

COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIPS, SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL

TEACHING OTHERS THE SKILLS TO THRIVE

 

RESILIENCE, SUCCESS, and WELL-BEING

Resilience : hard-won wisdom for living a better life by Eric Greitens

Type R : transformative resilience for thriving in a turbulent world by Ama Marston

Take charge of your life : 12 master skills for success by Brian Tracy

How to Skimm your life

Why has nobody told me this before? by Julie Ann Smith

Farsighted : how we make the decisions that matter the most by Steven Johnson

Start here : master the lifelong habit of wellbeing by Eric Langshur

Think again : the power of knowing what you don’t know by Adam M. Grant

A survival guide for life : how to achieve your goals, thrive in adversity, and grow in character by Bear Grylls

 

SURVIVAL, EMERGENCY, and EVERDAY HAZARDS

The scout’s guide to wilderness survival & first aid : 400 essential skills–signal for help, build a shelter, emergency response, treat wounds, stay warm, gather resources by J. Wayne Fears

The total outdoorsman manual by T. Edward Nickens

How to stay alive : the ultimate survival guide for any situation by Bear Grylls

The next apocalypse : the art and science of survival by Chris Begley

How to drag a body and other safety tips you hope to never need : survival tricks for hacking, hurricanes, and hazards life might throw at you by Judith Matloff

American Medical Association handbook of first aid and emergency care

Rossen to the rescue : secrets to avoiding scams, everyday dangers, and major catastrophes by Jeff Rossen

 

PRACTICAL LIFE SKILLS

The useful book : 201 life skills they used to teach in home ec and shop by Sharon Bowers

Storey’s curious compendium of practical and obscure skills : 214 things you can actually learn how to do

The lost art of reading nature’s signs : use outdoor clues to find your way, predict the weather, locate water, track animals–and other forgotten skills by Tristan Gooley

Stuff : every man should know by Brett Cohen

How to cook everything. The basics : all you need to make great food by Mark Bittman

The cook’s book : recipes for keeps & essential techniques to master everyday cooking by Bri McKoy

100 techniques : master a lifetime of cooking skills, from basic to bucket list

Personal finance 101 : from saving and investing to taxes and loans, an essential primer on personal finance by Alfred Mill

 

COMMUNICATION, RELATIONSHIPS, SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL

Making great relationships : simple practices for solving conflicts, building connection, and fostering love by Rick Hanson

The power of positive confrontation : the skills you need to handle conflicts at work, at home, online, and in life by Barbara Pachter

Crucial conversations : tools for talking when stakes are high

Hit it off : 21 rules for mastering the art and science of relationships in life and business by Joe Brocato

The everything body language book : master the art of nonverbal communication to succeed in work, love, and life by Shelly Hagen

Ask a manager : how to navigate clueless colleagues, lunch-stealing bosses, and the rest of your life at work by Allison Green

10 mindful minutes : giving our children-and ourselves-the social and emotional skills to reduce stress and anxiety for healthier, happier lives by Goldie Jeanne Hawn

 

TEACHING OTHERS THE SKILLS TO THRIVE

What great parents do : 75 simple strategies for raising kids who thrive by Erica Reischer

Ready or not : preparing our kids to thrive in an uncertain and rapidly changing world by Madeline Levine

Do your laundry or you’ll die alone : advice your mom would give if she thought you were listening by Becky Blades

 

Social Work Spotlight: Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

SENIOR FARMER’S MARKET NUTRITION PROGRAM

This month, our resource spotlight shines on the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), an initiative dedicated to enhancing senior health and wellness. SFMNP offers eligible seniors a $50 voucher to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey from participating farmer’s market vendors.

Administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Division of Aging and Disability Services, this program ensures seniors have convenient access to nutritious produce, promoting their overall well-being. SFMNP plays a vital role in fostering community health and wellness by supporting local farmers and encouraging healthy eating habits among seniors.

Area Agencies on Aging facilitate the distribution of vouchers to eligible seniors, with Milestones Area Agency on Aging serving as the administering organization for the seventeen counties in their planning and service area, which includes Scott County. To apply for SFMNP benefits, seniors must meet specific age and income criteria and complete an application. Seniors who received vouchers last year will automatically receive an application by mail by mid-May. First-time applicants are encouraged to contact Milestones Area Agency at (563-324-9085) to request an application. Applications will be accepted exclusively through the mail, and Farmer’s Market vouchers will also be sent to recipients via mail. Please be aware that no business transactions will occur at any Milestones office, and there are no distribution centers.

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be at least 60 years of age or older.
  • Your annual household income should not exceed 185% of the Federal poverty level. This means an individual’s yearly income should not exceed $27,861 or $2,321.74 monthly, or $37,814 or $3,151.71 monthly for a two-person household. You can find the income guidelines at https://fns-prod.azureedge.us/sites/default/files/resource-files/sfmnp-ieg-2024-25-memo.pdf
  • Seniors must reside within the service area of the Area Agency on Aging.

For more information about the Farmers Market Nutrition program, please visit https://www.milestonesaaa.org/nutrition-programs/farmersmarket/ or contact Milestones Area Agency on Aging at 563-324-9085. You can also find a list of eligible Farmers’ Markets by visiting Eligible Farmer’s Market Locations.

Library Closed for Staff In-Service

The Davenport Public Library will be closed on Thursday, April 25th for a Staff In-Service day. It’s an opportunity for us to get more training, work on setting goals, and figure out more ways to make Davenport the best library possible. All three buildings will reopen with regular business hours on Friday, April 26th: Main (321 Main Street) 9am to 5:30pm, Eastern (6000 Eastern Avenue) 9am to 5:30pm, and Fairmount (3000 N Fairmount St) 9am to 5:30pm.

Even though our physical locations will be closed, you can still access free digital content for all ages. Your Davenport Public Library card gives you access to free eBooks, digital audiobooks, magazines, movies, and music through LibbyFreegalTumbleBooksQC Beats, and Kanopy!

KWIBUKA 30

KWIBUKA 30: April 7, 2024 – the 30th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide

April 7th 2024 marks the start of Kwibuka 30, the 30th commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi, which began on this date in 1994. There was extensive state control and forced citizen compliance before and during the genocide. It was one of the worst episodes of mass state violence in the last century. During the Kwibuka 30 commemoration ceremonies, the Flame of Remembrance will be lit at the Kigali Genocide Memorial and dignitaries will place wreaths at the mass grave sites.  In and around Kigali during the memorial week, many commemoration ceremonies will be taking place that will honor the memory of those affected and promote working towards building a more compassionate and inclusive society. And, around the world in Rwandan diaspora communities, including survivors and stakeholders of the Federation of Rwandan Communities in Australia, will hold events that will share stories of resilience and healing, and shed light on the impact of the Genocide and the journey towards healing.

If you’d like to learn more about the cause, events, and impact of the Rwandan Genocide, take a look at the nonfiction titles below. Or, check-out one of the fictional stories based on the events surrounding the genocide and the people who were affected by them.

NON-FICTION

No Greater Love : how my family survived the genocide in Rwanda by Tharcisse Seminega

The Girl Who Smiled Beads : a story of war and what comes after by Clemantine Wamariya

Those We Throw Away Are Diamonds : a refugee’s search for home by Mondiant Dogon

Left To Tell : discovering God amidst the Rwandan holocaust by Immaculée Ilibagiza

Forgiveness Makes You Free : a dramatic story of healing and reconciliation from the heart of Rwanda by Ubald Rugirangoga

FICTION

All Your Children, Scattered by Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse

Kennedy 35 by Charles Cumming

The Eternal Audience of One by Rémy Ngamije

 

Library Closed for Good Friday

All three Davenport Public Library locations will be closed Friday, March 29th in observance of Good Friday. All three buildings will reopen with regular business hours on Saturday, March 30th: Main (321 Main Street) 9am to 5:30pm, Eastern (6000 Eastern Avenue) 9am to 5:30pm, and Fairmount (3000 N Fairmount St) 9am to 5:30pm.

Even though our physical locations will be closed, you can still access free digital content for all ages. Your Davenport Public Library card gives you access to free eBooks, digital audiobooks, magazines, movies, and music through LibbyFreegalTumbleBooksQC Beats, and Kanopy!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Social Work Spotlight: Amani Community Services

Amani Community Services

In March, we are featuring Amani Community Services, with a focus on highlighting resources that address the cultural needs of our community following Black History Month.

Amani Community Services, operating throughout Iowa, specializes in domestic violence and sexual assault assistance, offering culture-specific services tailored to the African American community.

Culturally specific services refer to initiatives designed to meet the needs of underserved and unserved communities. These services are culturally focused, aligning with the cultural community’s values, behaviors, expectations, norms, and worldviews at every stage of service delivery.

Amani Community Services is committed to empowering African American youth, women, and men, fostering healthy black relationships, and combatting violence.

Amani Community Services has a team comprising mobile advocates and prevention specialists working closely with clients and the community. The mobile advocates meet clients at locations that are convenient and comfortable for them, such as libraries, coffee shops, stores, or schools, providing one-on-one support to victims of domestic violence. This personalized approach empowers individuals to transition from victims to survivors, offering the necessary support and resources. On the other hand, prevention specialists work within the community to educate youth and families about sexual violence, with the ultimate goal of preventing future incidents. Their mission revolves around proactively fostering awareness and educating the community to avoid future occurrences.

Their comprehensive services include:

  • Medical Advocacy
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Housing Advocacy
  • Individual Counseling
  • Teen and Children Programming
  • Support Groups

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, help is available. Please call 888-983-2533 for immediate support. You can also contact Amani Community Services at 563-564-5392 to learn more or schedule an appointment. For additional information and resources, please visit their website at www.amani-cs.org

Social Work Spotlight: Quad Cities Open Network IRIS Resource Hub

Quad Cities Open Network IRIS Resource Hub

This month, our resource spotlight is on the Quad Cities Open Network (QCON), a collaboration of over 116 Health and Human service organizations. Their shared mission is to bolster community well-being through a robust human services sector. Quad Cities Open Network maintains an Information and Referral Hub that assists agencies in connecting Quad Citizens to the resources they need.

Established in 2020, The Quad Cities Open Network Hub utilizes IRIS, an information and referral tool created by the University of Kansas to facilitate warm hand offs between providers as Quad Citizens in a person-centered way. The hub has evolved to include eighty-five human service providers. These organizations work with QCON to simplify services and referrals, ensuring seamless support for individuals and families in the Quad Cities. According to Cecelia Bailey, QCON Executive Director, ‘navigating community resources during a crisis can be overwhelming’. The IRIS hub’s primary goal is to create a centralized access point, providing individuals and families with a single-entry point to connect to the most relevant resources or services tailored to their needs.

Within the hub, each organization is detailed with an explanation of their services, facilitating efficient referrals. This streamlined process identifies available services and ensures that client’s needs are appropriately addressed, minimizing service gaps and allowing for easy follow-up. Effective communication among the organizations within IRIS is crucial in bridging service gaps. QCON aims to expand the platform to foster a collaborative environment where member agencies complement each other.

The vast network of providers empowers community members, and as the number of participating agencies grows, QCON strives to make a substantial impact through its Resource Hub. The hub’s significance becomes evident during natural disasters as a crucial centralized entry point for coordinating emergency support and resources. Notably, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was pivotal in providing a centralized hub for individuals and families to access emergency support and resources.

QCON envisions the Hub as a new standard for information and referral systems, serving as a best practice model for other communities. By collecting data on service gaps and overlaps, QCON aims to inform member agencies, fostering greater collaboration across a sector with finite resources.

All organizations in the Quad Cities committed to serving the local communities are welcome to become part of the IRIS platform. By participating in this initiative, you not only increase awareness for the valuable services you provide but also facilitate smoother referrals. This, in turn, promotes a more interconnected and supportive community where collaboration and communication thrive for the benefit of all. If you want to learn more about how to join IRIS and partner with QCON, please email TheOpenNetworkQC@gmail.com.