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Posts Tagged ‘winter’

4 Unique Libraries in Chilly Places!

It’s winter, though here in Florida it still feels like summer. For a lot of us, winter means snow, ice and bundling up. To get into the winter spirit, let’s take a look at some unique libraries in chilly places. These libraries are pretty “cool” to say the least.

Wyoming: Albany County’s Seed Library

Often when we think of gardening and the weather needed to grow a decent crop, warmer climates “sprout” in our minds. In a state like Wyoming where the climate can be dry and cold during the winter, creating a seed library seems improbable. But alas, Albany County Library was up to the challenge. The idea is that patrons can check out a packet of heirloom seeds, plant them, then once the plants develop more seeds, the seeds can be saved and returned to the library to later be replanted and so forth. The hope is that after five generations pass, people will have plants that are adapted to the colder Wyoming climate.

France & Italy: Library of Ice

Scientists observe climate change in their day-to-day research and projects, so it’s understandable that they would want to preserve as much data as they can from the ice around the world which is dwindling. Each ice sample is different and vital to uncovering details about our planet. The “Protecting Ice Memory” project, which started in August 2016, is a way for researchers to create an ice archive so to speak. Blocks of ice must be extracted then transported to an underground ice bunker in Antarctica. There, scientists can study the samples and gain valuable information relevant to climate change. While the project started in Italy, participants conducting the archiving effort include French institutions.  European countries, as well as Brazil, China, Nepal, and Canada have also shown support.

“Iceberg on frozen sea at sunrise” Photo credit: Foter.com / CC0

Washington: Gear Lending Library

Whether for snowy weather, rainy days or a camping trip, Washington’s Gear Lending Library has it covered. Jackets, rain pants, layers, boots, and outdoor packs can be borrowed. Offered through the Washington Trails Association with the help of donations, the Gear Lending Library is for adults age 18 and up who participate in the Outdoor Leadership Training program which is designed to get more young people outside and aware of how the outdoors can benefit them.

“Ice gear” Photo credit: simonov via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Alaska: ARLIS at the University of Alaska Anchorage Campus

Ever see polar bear fur or a stuffed puffin in person? Well at the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS) at the University of Alaska you can. All you need to borrow these exotic and interesting items is a library card. Here you can find everything from furs to animal specimens to skulls and so much more. Research is brought to life with the help of these interesting items. Harry Potter fans, there’s even something for you. Yes…a snowy owl.

Photo credit: Wonderlane via Foter.com / CC BY

Where is your favorite library? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest

12 Winter Things You Can Borrow From Libraries

Happy Holidays!

Need some ideas to spruce up your holiday? Our infographic below lists a sampling of 12 wintertime items you can borrow from libraries besides books.

Library Winter Things Infographic

12 Winter Things You Can Check Out at Libraries (Infographic) via Piktochart

 

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: Winter Holidays Around the World

The winter season is here! For many people, the winter season means cold, wind, and snow. Trees may be bare and the ground could be icy. The sun may set sooner, delivering darkness to our late afternoons. Whether you live in a place that’s cold, hot, or somewhere in between, winter means lots of fun holidays and celebrations around the world.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree
Image by Susanne Nilsson via flickr is licensed under CCA-SA 2.0 Generic

These holidays may be associated with religious beliefs, spiritual customs, past events or cultural practices. This diversity makes each holiday very unique. Just think about all of the ways holidays are celebrated! Traditions may include festivals, lights, singing, decorations, parades, gift-giving, prayer, fairs, fasts or feasts. Each holiday has its own symbols, too, such as red lanterns for Chinese New Year, pine trees for Christmas, menorahs for Hanukkah, ears of corn for Kwanzaa, and Yule logs for the winter solstice.

Hanukkah Candles

Hanukkah Candles
Credit: Public Domain

Wonderful holidays full of light, warmth, family, and love have been created out of these cold, dark days. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the miracle of light with family and communal rituals, including the lighting of a Menorah candle each night for eight nights. Christmas, a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, is observed with family gatherings, songs, and trees decorated with lights representing the Star of Bethlehem. Some families take part in a Kwanzaa ceremony, which incorporates candles, music, food, and blessings. A beautiful luminary can be part of the Mexican observance of Las Posadas.

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa
Image by soulchristmas via flickr is licensed under CCA-SA 2.0 Generic

Visit SIRS Discoverer’s Spotlight of the Month and learn more about winter observances and holidays and the many ways that they light and warm our winter months.

SKS Spotlight: Winter Traditions

Candles <<br />> by Consumer Product Safety Commission via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Candles
by Consumer Product Safety Commission via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

The winter season has arrived, bringing with it a diverse array of winter holidays around the world, each reflecting the culture from which it came. Long-established elements of many winter traditions are fire and  light, which warm even the coldest and darkest months in much of the Northern Hemisphere. From flickering Hanukkah candles to Christmas trees decorated with lights; from the burning of the Yule log to the lighting of the Kwanzaa kinara, these winter celebrations incorporate light into the festivities. Some winter observances engender a sense of community: in China, the winter season is commemorated with lavish street festivals during the Lunar New Year; in Mexico, Las Posadas is commemorated with street parties and processions paying homage to Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem. Some spiritual observations, including the Buddhist holiday Bodhi Day, are more meditative. Other winter holidays are celebrated with feasts, such as Santerian saints’ days or Baha’i faith’s spiritual observances. Learn more about worldwide winter observances and celebrations in SKS/SIRS Issues Researcher December Spotlight of the Month.

National Christmas Tree Lighting

Winter is fast approaching and so is the season of Christmas. During this time of year, many people celebrate traditions with their families and communities. Activities include holiday parades, visiting Santa at the mall, decorating houses, and more. Since 1923, an important American tradition has been the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony where the President of the United States lights the “National Christmas Tree.” This year, the ceremony takes place Dec. 3, 2015, in front of the White House at the Ellipse at President’s Park.

National Christmas Tree Washington DC

Aerial of the U.S. National Christmas tree on the northern end of the Ellipse in the President’s Park in Washington, D.C., in December 2011.
(Credit: Public domain via National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior)

Over the years, various trees have been used for the ceremony. The first decorated trees were cut trees and some were 23 feet tall! In 1978, a living tree was successfully planted in the Ellipse and was 30 feet tall. Since 2010, a few replacement trees have been planted in the same location.

Tickets for the actual day of the lighting ceremony are free and distributed through a lottery system. There are about 3,000 seats plus 14,000 standing spots for visitors. But the tree can be visited throughout the whole month of December.

To read more about this event, visit the official Tree Lighting website, the National Park Foundation, and the National Park Service websites.

Educators can also visit ProQuest SIRS Discoverer for student resources on Christmas and holiday traditions. Here are some examples of searches to get you started:

Christmas trees
Christmas, History
Christmas

SKS Spotlight of the Month: Winter Traditions

Christmas Tree and Children <br \> Consumer Product Safety Commission, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Christmas Tree and Children
Consumer Product Safety Commission, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Christmas holiday celebrations are the result of hundreds of years of blending with other spiritual, religious, and cultural traditions.

Roman Church Fathers conceived the observation of the Nativity and added it to the Christian calendar about 350 years after the development of Christianity. They wanted to indoctrinate the idea that Jesus was human and so celebrate him by recognizing his physical birth. The event was positioned during the winter season, which was already replete with revels and festivals such as Saturnalia, a pretty wild and lavish time. To the Church Fathers’ chagrin, Christmas followed suit and was soon defined by parties, feasts, luxuries, and drinking, not by religion as they had envisioned. It was only during the 1800s that Christmas transformed into the holiday many know today: an integration of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the holiday’s pagan roots of parties, lights, music, and indulgences.

Want to learn more about the evolution of Christmas and other holidays? Visit December’s SKS Spotlight of the Month and explore the winter traditions of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and more.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: Winter Holidays Around the World

Person Walking in a Snowstorm <br \> by NOAA, Department of Commerce, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Person Walking in a Snowstorm
by NOAA, Department of Commerce, via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter [Public Domain]

Bring out the coats, scarves, hats, and gloves–it’s almost winter! For many people, the winter season means cold, wind, and snow. Trees may be bare and the ground could be icy. The sun may set sooner, delivering darkness to our late afternoons.

Wonderful holidays full of light, warmth, family, and love have been created out of these cold, dark days. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights,  celebrates the miracle of light with family and communal rituals, including the lighting of a Menorah candle each night for eight nights. This year, Jewish families were able to celebrate an extra holiday–the very rare “Thanksgivukkah,” a combination of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving holidays! Christmas, a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, is observed with family gatherings, songs, and trees decorated with lights representing the Star of Bethlehem. Some families take part in a Kwanzaa ceremony, which incorporates candles, music, food, and blessings. A beautiful luminary can be part of the Mexican observance of Las Posadas. The Hindu holiday Diwali is a five-day festival–and its name, “Diwali,” means row of lights!

Visit SIRS Discoverer’s Spotlight of the Month and learn more about winter observances and holidays and the many ways that they light and warm our winter months.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight: Winter Holidays Around the World

Christmas Tree <br \> by Consumer Product Safety Commission via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter

Christmas Tree
by Consumer Product Safety Commission via ProQuest SIRS Government Reporter

The winter season is here! Whether you live in a place that’s cold, hot, or somewhere in between, winter means lots of fun holidays and celebrations around the world. These holidays may be associated with religious beliefs, spiritual customs, past events or cultural practices. This diversity makes each holiday very unique. Just think about all of the ways holidays are celebrated! Traditions may include festivals, lights, singing, decorations, parades, gift-giving, prayer, fairs, fasts or feasts. Each holiday has its own symbols, too, such as red lanterns for Chinese New Year, pine trees for Christmas, menorahs for Hanukkah, ears of corn for Kwanzaa, and Yule logs for winter solstice. Discover what makes each winter holiday special in December’s SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month!