Archive for August, 2016

Mining in Idaho

Join us tonight at 6:30 PM for a presentation by Tom Blanchard (as part of our “Explore Earth” exhibit) on the political and environmental ramifications of early mining in Idaho. Then, to satisfy your curiosity, “dig” into one of these books to learn even more about the Gem State:


The Ballyhoo Bonanza: Charles Sweeny and the Idaho Mines by John Fahey

Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets off a Struggle for the Soul of America by J. Anthony Lukas

Cabal of Death: Harry Orchard and His Associates in Murder in the Western Mining Wars by Robert G. Grimmett

Chinese Gold Mining at the Mon-Tung Site in the Snake River Canyon by Ronald L. James

Cobalt: The Legacy of the Blackbird Mine by Russell Steele

Coeur D’Alene Diary: The First Ten Years of Hardrock Mining in North Idaho by Richard G. Magnuson

The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America’s Richest Silver Mine by Gregg Olsen

For Wood River or Bust: Idaho’s Silver Boom of the 1880s by Clark C. Spence

Idaho’s Bonanza Years: Ghost Towns, Their History and How to Find Them by Rex Painter

Idaho’s Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981 by Katherine G. Aiken

Mining Idaho’s History: Metal Mining in Idaho 1860-1960: A Mining Context for Idaho by Kathryn L. McKay

Southern Idaho Ghost Towns by Wayne C. Sparling

The Sunshine Mine Disaster by James Brock



Tee_globehe EXPLORE EARTH exhibit arrives in just a few days – Wed, Aug 24, to be exact! The exhibit will offer a chance for visitors of all ages to learn more about science in a fun, interactive way. There will be a number of informational panels, some great hands-on learning tools, and a computer kiosk with cool STEM activities.

Plus, we’re planning a number of events to stimulate interest in local science topics – with an”earth” based theme, of course. From geology talks to nature walks, we’ve got a program for every age and interest, so drop in and participate!

Here’s what’s going on:



MINING IN IDAHO with TOM BLANCHARD – Thu, Aug 25 – 6:30 PM

Tom, a former CSI professor, will be here to talk about the impact of the political and environmental decisions made during the early mining period in Idaho. Sponsored in part by the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.



Get inspired by nature and show off your creativity! Write a poem about your observations of our earth, submit it before October 9, and you might win a prize. All ages.


KIDS CLUB MOVIE  – Wed, Aug 31 – 4:00 PM

A lonely robot falls in love and goes on an adventure that will change his life, life on Earth, and humanity.


TFPL BOOK CLUB – Tue, Sep 13 – 5:30 PM

Join us for a lively discussion of John McPhee’s look at our Great Basin region in Basin and Range.



If you’ve ever wanted to learn how grow succulents (and learn more about gardening), drop in!


FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT – Thu, Sep 22 – 6:00 PM

Bring the whole clan in for the epic adventure of  three animal families and their journey across the planet. Plus, we’ll have some great take-home activities and booklists!



We’ll be at City Park with a bunch of cool science demonstrations, crafts, stories, and more – like snakes from the Herrett Center – for the whole family to enjoy!



Explore the great natural history galleries at the Center, then take in storytime, a craft, and a planetarium show! (The galleries, story, and craft are free; the planetarium show has a separate fee.)


KIDS CLUB: SCIENCE SQUAD – Wed, Sep 28 – 4:00 PM

How’s the weather? Our experiments today will focus on how weather and climate play a part in our everyday lives. (For kids grades 1-5.)


NATURE DETECTIVES – Sat, Oct 8 – All Day!

Pick up a Nature Kit at the Reference Desk – we’ll have one for every age group – then go explore! And, while you’re investigating, we hope you’ll be inspired to write a poem for the Poetry Contest!



Andrew will join us to share his new film documenting the  impact of the Carey Act – which brought irrigation and  increased settlement  – and created the “Magic Valley.”


KIDS CLUB: CRAFT DAY – Wed, Oct 19 – 4:00 PM

Come in, learn about rocks, choose a favorite, and make it a pet! (For kids grades 1-5.)


LET’S TALK ABOUT IT – Wed, Oct 19  – 6:30 PM

As part of our LTAI series, we’re reading and discussing Pulitzer Prize winners. Join us tonight for Annie Dillard’s nature classic, The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.



Shawn, geology professor at CSI, will be presenting a unique look at the amazing geology of Southern Idaho, sharing his favorite sites, and showing us how to look at our environment with new eyes.

Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet was organized by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, the American Library Association Public Programs Office, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance. This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Take Ten: Olympic Fever!

The 2016 Rio Olympics are underway, and like usual, many of us are captivated by the human stories. We all have our favorite sports – and most likely, favorite Olympic memories of those sports – so it’s always fun to settle down and have a shared experience with like-minded others from around the world.

But, in case watching is not enough, here are a number of books about the Olympics to “dive” into – when you get a break from all the coverage, that is…


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics – Daniel Brown

  • Describes how a group of working class youths from the University of Washington rowing team emerged from obscurity to defeat a field of elite international rivals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team – Wayne R. Coffey

  • Looks back at one of the greatest moments of twentieth-century sports history, the victory of the U.S. hockey team over the Soviet Union, assessing the meaning of the triumph and the paths of the players and coaches on both sides since 1980.

Igniting the Flame: America’s First Olympic Team – Jim Reisler

  • Discusses the organization of the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympics, and how difficult it was for the American team which had virtually no support heading into the games.

The Games: A Global History of the Olympics – David Goldblatt

  • The definitive sports and social history of the modern Olympic Games—by one of the most celebrated sportswriters of our time.

The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games – Tony Perrottet

  • A history of the original Olympic games depicts the events of the first competitions more than 1,200 years ago, during which tens of thousands of sweltering-hot spectators watched nude athletes participate in such events as hoplitodromia, a full-armor sprint, and the pankration, a no-holds-barred lethal brawl.

Rome, 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World – David Maraniss

  • An exploration of the changes occurring in the world: the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand. In the heat of the Cold War, the city teemed with spies and rumors of defections, and every move was judged for propaganda value. While East and West Germans competed as a unified team, less than a year before the Berlin Wall, there was a dispute over the two Chinas.

Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World – Andy Bull

  • Traces the efforts of four American athletes from disparate backgrounds to win the gold medal for bobsledding during the 1932 Olympics, profiling how the American public, deep in the grip of the Great Depression, rallied around their achievements.

Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics – Sue Macy

  • Looks at the history of the Olympic Games, from their origins in ancient Greece, through their rebirth in nineteenth-century France, to the present, highlighting the contributions of individuals to the Games’ success and popularity.

The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory – Julie Checkoway

  • Offers an inspiring story of how a group of poor Japanese-American kids from Hawaii were transformed into Olympic-level swimming champions.

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics – Jeremy Schaap

  • A look at the accomplishments of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympic Games draws on interviews, family sources, and archival research to provide a portrait of a remarkable man in relation to the intrigues, controversies, and political machinations that took place.


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End of Summer Reading :(

Adult Summer Reading came to a close last Saturday, and we had a great time – it seems we see more participants every year! More than 100 adults this year attempted our reading challenges, interacted with our digital resources, and attended our fun Library programs. We heard great feedback, everything from “Thanks – I read something I wouldn’t normally have read” to “Are you going to do this event again soon?”. We had fun putting it all together, so we’re glad to hear you had fun! On to next year…

For a list of our winners – and a few photos of events – check out our Facebook page.