Posts filed under ‘Community Information’

Bibliotherapy: Resources For Children Dealing With Tragedy

Our nation is still reeling after the recent tragic events of Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  While we as parents and caregivers struggle to come to terms and make sense of the senseless, the children in our lives are also being impacted by these and other events in the news. 

While they might not fully understand the situation, young children are observant and take their cues from adults’ behavior.  They might become frightened after seeing certain images on TV, or overhearing parts of adults’ conversation.  One of the things scariest to a child is when they realize that the adults in their life are scared or worried, too.  It can be difficult to approach the subject with them when you are still processing the event yourself.  The following are some excellent resources for reading to and talking to your children about scary events and helping them to cope in age-appropriate ways.

Fred Rogers Talks About Tragic Events in the News:  This article is an excerpt from a book available in our library catalog: The Mister Rogers Parenting Book; Helping to Understand Your Young Child, by Fred Rogers.

Resilience Guide for Parents & Teachers. The American Psychological Association offers this guide for parents and teachers on preparing and strengthening children’s resilience.

Tragic Times, Healing Words. This guide, offered by Sesame Workshop, was created for parents dealing with the effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  It includes excellent, research-based advice for helping children of all ages cope in the face of tragedy.  

The National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network has created a Crisis Guide for school staff that includes helpful information for families as well.  This particular document created for parents and caregivers is especially helpful for developing responses to specific crisis-related symptoms your child may be experiencing.  It also includes a list of suggested activities for children to help guide them through whatever they are feeling.

If you are looking for books to help you and your children deal with a tragic event, please review this list of Books for Families Coping With Tragedy available from our library.  For additional advice, please give us a call or come into the library to speak with a librarian about finding the perfect resources for your family.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit


August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Bibliotherapy for Children


Got a problem? There’s a book for that.

Bibliotherapy is the use of reading material to provide guidance toward the solution of personal problems or to provide a therapeutic way to broaden and deepen a person’s understanding of a particular personal issue. 

Friends, counselors, teachers, social workers, librarians, parents, and religious officials may all be bibliotherapists. Many people use bibliotherapy without even realizing it–for example have you ever read a book that helped you cope with a problem and then reccommended it to a friend going through a similar life experience? Children can benefit from this tool as well!

Books can provide an excellent way to communicate important information to children about subjects that might otherwise be difficult for them to understand or process. For example, reading a story about a character that is going through a certain experience and learning how they dealt with that experience can help a child to process and cope with a similar issue in their own life. 

In future posts we will be highlighting some different books and resources that can be used for this purpose for a variety of issues.  If you have a child that is struggling with something, i.e. new baby in the house, parent deployed, bully or bullied, loss of a pet, etc., your local librarian is here to help!  Come on in or give us a call so that we can help you in your search for books and other resources that will speak to your child.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

June 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Disaster Preparedness

Hurricane season started June 1 and runs through November 30. 
Are you and your family prepared? 

There are many things you can do to protect your loved ones and property in the event of an emergency and the library has a wealth of resources on the subject of disaster preparedness.  While some of the information below is specific to hurricanes, much of it can be applied to a variety of disaster and recovery situations and is therefore good information to keep in mind.

Books available in our catalog:
The Homeowner’s Hurricane Handbook, by Bob Stearns.
A how-to guide for dealing with hurricanes before, during, and after. This resource will help you to better understand how, where and when these powerful storms form, how to protect yourself and your property, and how to deal with the repercussions of the storm.


Natural Disasters, by Claire Watts
Describes a wide range of natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and epidemics.


Survival Mom : How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios, by Lisa Bedford.
Written by a mom for moms, this go-to manual includes charts, checklists, and even recipes.  Author Lisa Bedford provides information about food storage, water and sanitation, fuel and energy, medical preparedness, communication protocols and more.  Written with a “you can do it” attitude to promote being proactive in the face of uncertainty.

Disaster Preparedness Handbook : A Guide for Families, by Arthur T. Bradley.
This guide is written by an army veteran and NASA engineer to help you establish a practical disaster plan for your entire family.  Additional information is also presented for those with special needs, including the elderly and disabled, children, pregnant women, and even pets.


In addition to the books listed above, you can find information specific to your geographical area from both local and federal government agencies:

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council‘s website includes county hurricane guides, evacuation maps and shelter lists.  Use this information to determine your zone, best escape routes and closest shelters.


Hillsborough County has a special Alert Center where you can sign up to receive important email or text alerts from the county about weather or emergency situations.  There are also options for receiving information from other county departments if you are interested (including the library)!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hosts a preparedness site called  This site has a special section dedicated to hurricanes and includes specific information for before, during and after a hurricane.  There are excellent resources for parents and educators as well, including an preparedness activity book for kids.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

June 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Creative Arts Theater Presents: Sinabouda Lily

Let Creative Arts Theatre transport you to the south sea island of Papua New Guinea this summer with their latest puppet show, Sinabouda Lily.  Sinabouda Lily is a girl who loves to swing and eat bananas, but what will happen when she forgets to heed her father’s warning and puts herself in danger of becoming lunch for the wicked Sinawakelakela?   

Colorful life-size puppets, rhythmic island music and dance will entertain you at this free puppet show being offered at several library locations throughout the county.  Check our events calendar to see when this show is coming to a library near you.

For more information about this and other FREE programs happening @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

June 12, 2012 at 12:00 am

Wonders of Nature at the John F. Germany Public Library

Summer Reading for the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System kicks off this week!  Our summer events calendar for children is jam-packed with fun events happening at libraries throughout the county and this week you can join us at the John F. Germany Public Library for a wildlife encounter!

On Thursday, June 14, trainer, Matt Edmonds will be bringing his traveling Wonders of Nature show to the main library downtown.  Watch in amazement as a raptor gracefully flies inches above your head or laugh out loud at a parrot comedy routine!  

While working at the Lowry Park Zoo, Matt became increasingly interested in the animal training method of operant conditioning (positive reinforcement).  In 2002, he founded Wonders of Nature and began performing wildlife education shows.  Through his guidance, audience members will have many opportunities to participate and will come away from the show with a better understanding of wildlife conservation.  Matt and his crew believe that “learning is taught, but caring is caught,” and by introducing audiences to these amazing animals, he hopes to increase appreciation for nature and promote lifelong environmental responsibility.

This program will start at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium and is recommended for ages 5-12 (though we suspect accompanying adults will enjoy it too)!  Can’t make it downtown?  A number of our other libraries will be hosting this program as well, so be sure to check the events calendar for showtimes at a location near you.  Check out this video sneak peek of Matt working with one of his coworkers, a yellow-naped Amazon parrot named Moby.

You can watch additional videos and learn more about Matt and his fantastic animal crew on his website

For more information about this and other FREE programs available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

June 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Free Comic Book Day Celebrated at North Tampa Branch Library

May 5th was Free Comic Book Day, an event that takes place each year on the first Saturday in May.  On Free Comic Book Day, publishers print specialty comics to be distributed in participating comic book stores as a way to generate new interest and reward dedicated fans. 

The North Tampa Branch Library celebrated this nationwide event by partnering with local business, Green Shift Music & Comics to promote literacy and the comic art form.  On Saturday, 226 children and parents came out to the branch to pick out free comic books and participate in a variety of fun activities.  Children even had the opportunity to sit in front of local artist and former professional comic book illustrator, Grace Szeja, and be drawn as their favorite superhero! 

 For more information about these and other FREE programs @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

May 8, 2012 at 12:00 am

Children’s Book Week is Here — Find Out How Kids Can Get a Free Book at the Library!

Childrens Book Week 2012

Children’s Book Week is here! 

The longest running literacy initiative in the country will run May 7-13 this year.  Children’s Book Week began in 1919 as a way to promote higher standards in children’s literature and it remains just as active and relevant today under the guidance of Every Child A Reader and the Children’s Book Council.

Each year, children throughout the country take the time to cast their vote for their top picks from a list of 30 finalists in six categories: K-2nd Grade Book; 3-4th Grade Book; 5th-6th Grade Book; Teen Book; author; and illustrator.  Check to see if your child’s favorites made the list of the 2012 Children’s Choice Book Award finalists.  Winners will be announced tonight at the 5th Annual Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala at Espace in New York City.  This year’s host is Jarrett Krosoczka, the comedic creator of the popular Lunch Lady series as well as Ollie the Purple Elephant.  Full video footage of the event will be available to view on the Children’s Book Council website tomorrow, May 8.

And, as if that wasn’t exciting enough… the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System has an added bonus for you this year– a free book to any children, ages 0-5 who visit one of our library locations for an Early Literacy program this week.  See our events calendar to find a Children’s Book Week program at a library near you.

For more information about these and other FREE programs @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

May 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

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