One of the nicest feelings in the world is when you can go someplace and be accepted just as you are. A place where you are greeted with unconditional goodwill no matter your race, socioeconomic standing, age, educational level, gender, fashion statements, hair color, or marital status. In Toledo, that place is the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. I have only worked at the library for six months, and seeing the inherent kindness extended to all customers has quite literally restored my faith in humanity. No question is too big or too small for our librarians to answer, and they never make people feel inferior for asking. They help people reset passwords, find documents to trace family histories, find books when people only know one word in the title, send insurance forms, and spend lots of time helping people navigate the internet and job search sites.
A business librarian sitting down to chat with a downtown resident with the same respect that he affords CEOs with whom he works. The man took the librarian’s hands and said it was the first time in days anyone spoke to him like he was a person.
A librarian helping someone set up a Google account so they could get an email address so they could apply for a job, create a resume and cover letter, and complete the online application with attached documents. All with extraordinary kindness and patience.
A librarian partnered with a local construction firm to help their Spanish speaking employees complete certification activities needed to remain or advance in the industry. These experienced steelworkers could not move beyond the most physically demanding aspects of their jobs due to language and technology skill barriers. She worked with the company to design a five-week course. All 20 men in the first class completed their certifications.
I ran into a Ready to Read librarian as she was just returning from a bus ride, where she was so elated that she had just connected with an older dad and his toddler daughter. They all had such a nice time together that he was going to start bringing his daughter to the library regularly.
Another librarian learned that some organizations in her community were trying to help grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, but couldn’t find the spaces or times to help people. She opened up her library branch to the community groups and secured additional partnerships and funding to provide regular classes with local experts, including lawyers and judges, as well as meals and activities for the grandchildren during the classes. One grandmother I spoke with was in tears, saying she felt so alone and embarrassed before, but everyone at the library was so nice she felt she could finally get some help.
Every day, the Lexington Public Library opens its doors to everyone, and we’re not happy unless they’re happy! We help people find jobs, learn new things, raise kids who love learning, and bring an entire community together while doing it. It isn’t so much the great spaces, like our computer commons or our theater or our gallery or our children’s story areas. It’s our staff, who never work harder than when they’re face-to-face with a customer. It’s easy to miss what a difference we make to the entire community when you look at how we meet customers one-on-one right where they are. Likewise, you can miss what a personal impact we make when you just look at the numbers — nearly two million visits each year! Sure, people love free stuff, but what they really love is going to a place where they always feel welcome and helped, with whatever it is.
Stories About Lexington Public Library
When Melody Newton’s parents passed away, she found a collection of quilting squares her mother had left behind, unused.
“They were from all sorts of materials Mom had gathered over the years. I even found some from a dress I had worn as a girl,” Melody says.
So Melody took up quilting. She joined Wednesday Quilting Friends and met up once a week at the makerspace in the Eastside Branch. Now Melody is ready to do something with her mother’s quilting squares. Nine somethings, to be exact. One for each of her mother’s great-grandchildren.
“I want to tell a story,” Abraham Mwinda says of the music he records at the Lexington Public Library’s Northside Branch.
Abraham writes his own songs, and found that when he performs, people want to know where they can buy his music. So he made a recording at the library’s digital studio. He even shot music videos there. Who knows where music will take him? But regardless of how big a stage he ends up on, he already knows the satisfaction of someone saying, “Hey, I heard your song, and it really said something to me.”
“Music breaks barriers. A song is three minutes when people can listen and enjoy themselves and get up and dance. They’re more open to a message when it’s a song than if it were a speech,” he says.
Abraham has taken what he learned at the Library and used it to create his own recording space at home. He recorded his second album there.
Carlos Saucedo, an eighth grade student, is the latest spokesman in the Lexington Public Library’s Make It Here Do It Here ad campaign, and he has some great things to say about Homework Help at the Village Branch.
“Whenever there’s someone there working with me, I feel like I really do matter,” he says. “We look at the problems I need help in and discuss what I did wrong and what I did right. And then we go through it together.”
Carlos studies at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. He has been going to Homework Help since second or third grade, but found himself especially relying on the help offered there in sixth grade when he was at risk of being held back a grade.
“I really didn’t want to be the class clown, so I started to keep up with my homework and going a lot more to the library because there are a lot of smart people over there,” he says. “I studied harder, went to the library more and I just kept doing my homework. Carlos and his brother spent a morning working with the Marketing Department staff and Village Branch Library Assistant Assistant Alexis Meza de los Santos to shoot photos and video for the ad campaign.
Charlie Gough’s father gave him a Brownie Hawkeye camera when he was a boy, but he didn’t really take to photography. Not until a couple years ago.
“I’d go on walks and see a bird and want to take a look at him. But birds move fast. So now I need to take pictures,” he says.
He bought an easy-to-use point-and-shoot camera, but soon upgraded to something better.
“Here I am and I got this camera, but I didn’t know what I was doing. So I came to the library and checked out books,” he says.
Eventually, Charlie found more than books at the Lexington Public Library. He found the Tates Creek Photography Club, a group that meets monthly at the library’s Tates Creek Branch. Now he knows all about depth of field, ISO, shutter speed and leading lines.
“Photography satisfies a creative process that I don’t normally get to use. It’s a great escape, but with the photography club it’s also a chance to get together with other people who share the same interest,” he says. W
ho knew a rock could brighten someone’s day? Vickie Curry knew. She knows how to find a good rock. Smooth with not too many dimples. And she knows how to make people smile. She paints rocks and hides them for people to find.
“We hide them everywhere,” she says.
Vickie makes it happen at the Eastside Branch’s makerspace. Her group, Bluegrass Rock Painters, has been meeting there since February, with as many as 28 people showing up to paint.
“The rock tells you what to do with it. You just look at the rock to see what it’s saying to you, and if you’ll go with that, you’ll see when it’s finished that, ‘Hey! That’s right!’” she says.
Bluegrass Rock Painters have sent painted rocks to soldiers in Afghanistan and hidden them at Korsair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.
Dave McWhorter, known as Drummer Dave, has been producing free jazz concerts for the Central Library for more than a decade. Jazz! Live at the Library started in March 2007 and is now an ongoing series of live music that has featured more than 200 performers and a total audience of about 10,000.
“That a lot of impact. That’s a lot of shows,” Dave says.
Dave brought with him his own piano, an instrument from the old Coach House restaurant, where he performed every weekend from 1994 to 2001. In addition to producing the monthly concerts for the library, he has allowed other groups in the Farish Theater to use the piano as well.
“It’s been a good fit,” he said of the partnership. “It gives musicians access to the whole community, which you don’t really get when you’re playing at a night club.”
Dave first got to thinking about the library as a music venue during the American Library Association’s “Jazz Age in Paris” exhibit, which made a stop at the Central Library Gallery and included live performances in the theater. Producing the Library concert series has helped him stay involved with his own music. He has played drums for about a quarter of the concerts. Jazz! Live at the Library is funded by music publisher Jamey Aebersold of New Albany, Indiana, who has donated as much as $7,500 annually to maintain the series.
Brionna Ashley needed a place to work…and a place for her daughter to play. So she found a computer in the children’s department at the Northside Branch, where she could keep an eye on her daughter and a grant application she was working on. Brionna was seeking funds to host monthly workshops in underserved communities.
“If we all come together, we can help each other. We can strengthen the whole community and the families,” she says.
Brionna was seeking a grant through her organization, Lexington Dream Chasers Empowerment Project, to create workshops that are one part education and one part socializing, allowing families to both grow and connect. With funds from Blue Grass Community Foundation, she wanted to bring families to William Wells Brown Elementary School, where they could enjoy dinner together, build birdhouses, and learn how to build safer neighborhoods. The Northside library provided the space for her to work, but it ended up providing more. It all started with a piece of paper from Jenny Lewis, Northside’s branch manager.
“I asked her for a piece of paper, and then I was like, ‘How does this sound? What do you think?’” she recalls.
Jenny took a look and assured her that the application looked great. Soon after, they bumped into each other again, this time at the Blue Grass Community Foundation’s announcement of new grants. Both Lexington Dream Chasers and the Northside Branch had received grants, so they both got to congratulate each other!
Brionna sees the library as a great place for her family but also as a great place for her work with the Lexington Dream Chasers Empowerment Project.
“The library is a great resource to show children that reading is important, that the library is a meeting place, it’s a safe place. It’s where we can all get together,” she said.
Anthony Rahn wanted to make his own card game back when he was 7. Today, he’s a junior taking graphic design classes at Bryan Station High School as well as at the Northside Branch Digital Studio. And he hasn’t forgotten about that card game.
About three months ago, he thought to himself, “I’ll do it this time. I have all the tools, and I know what I’m doing now.”
Using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator at the Digital Studio, he created a card game with a deck of about a hundred cards. Then he tested it with the library staff and other teens at a Northside game night. This trial run resulted in an updated game with a larger deck.
The game is called Mortem Ludum, Latin for “Death Game.” Cards represent monsters, each with his own particular strengths, or sorceries, magic that can help. Two players face each other starting with ten thousand essential points. The goal is to eliminate your opponent’s essential points while maintaining your own.
Rahn plans to pursue a career in graphic design and digital art. In addition to classes in Photoshop and Illustrator, he has taken classes at the Digital Studio on photography and 3D printing.
Once home to Lincoln and visited by Obama, our little Mississippi River town has so much history. It was known by the Sac and Fox Indians as Oquawkiek, meaning “Yellow Banks.” We have a museum and many other historical sites. We have catfish cook-offs in the summer and tractor pulls in the fall. It’s a quaint, quiet little town where neighbors gather for coffee and conversation. My grandkids and I take walks by the river, and I teach them the importance of the barges they see on the water. It’s a friendly and peaceful place to live and visit. Come see for yourself! It’s a place where eagles fly and birds nest.
Stories About Oquawka
Oquawka is place where a young Boy Scout, Jonathan Lee Guyton, saw a vision for a new playground and raised the money over several years, but lost his life early in car accident. Since he never saw it finished, there’s a nice memorial bench in the playground honoring him.
My neighbor Reba would sit and tell stories of her father and how he worked on the barges, sharing many. Reba was in her nineties and passed away last year, missed by many. We watch over each other’s houses when neighbors go on vacation, watering their flowers and getting their mail. Norma Jean the elephant is buried in the park here, she lost her life after she was struck by lightning during a parade.
The town legalized driving golf carts on public side streets, and there is a nice swing with picnic tables on the riverfront to sit and enjoy the view. We have a couple of local pubs to get a cold beer or soda, and a local couple who owns a flower shop and greenhouse. For such a small town we have so much. Love this place.
Denton has been home to us for over 20 years. In addition to two vibrant college campuses, Texas Women’s University and University of North Texas, Denton offers fresh ideas in music, art, food, theater, sports, and family friendly activities and festivals. Even the local high schools put on great theater productions! There’s even a walking tour Friday and Saturday nights that cover not only ghostly tales, but the history of Denton. I’ve taken the tour several times, and there’s always something new. The downtown square is an eclectic mix of restaurants and shopping opportunities. The new Discover Denton Welcome Center offers products by local artists and information on Denton and the surrounding area. Although it is growing, Denton maintains that small town feel. It seems like everyone knows someone you know, so connections are everywhere.
Stories About Denton
Members of a local church provide a food pantry year round and toy store at Christmastime. Another provides lunch for the needy several times a week. A small bodega has an old, doorless refrigerator outside its shop for folks to share water, packaged food, clothing, and blankets for the those most in need (it’s also stocked by the bodega owners). There are mini libraries around town for folks to share books. Denton is a vibrant town with lots to offer and friendly people everywhere!
We have a 60,000-strong Facebook group for our city — living Chandler — that is all about people helping people. It is amazing. It has really created a kind and connected and positive community. We as a very large group do good things for one another every day.
Stories About Chandler
We do cash mobs. One time a donut shop had a car drive through its window so we organized a day for everyone in the city to come in and buy donuts to help this small business survive. Hundreds of people came, bought donuts and also donated to get the building repaired. We have done this several times.
One of our downtown restaurant owners gives away hugs and organized a giant hugs-a-thon!
There was a homeless woman and her dog and the community got together to give her food, clothes, dog food, a hair cut, more clothes, to really give her a second chance. It was amazing.
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Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of fungi such as Aspergillus spp. that causes a range of diseases in many species.:53Mycotoxicoses is the disease that is caused by a mycotoxin.
Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus and may be found in moldy feeds, especially peanuts.:53:190 Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is of primary concern because it is the most abundant and the most toxic.:190 The acute, oral median lethal dose of aflatoxin is about 0.3 mg/kg body weight.:190
Zearalenone is an oestrogenic substance that is frequently recovered from maize and other grains contaminated by Fusarium graminearum.:191
Trichothecenes, specifically T-2 toxin and vomitoxin, is another group of toxin produced by some strains of the fungus Fusarium tricinctum.:191 It is relatively common in fibrous raw materials that have been harvested or stored in poor conditions.:191 Administration per oz of 4 mg/kg body weight of T-2 toxin causes death within 24 hours.:192 Vomitoxin (4-deoxynivalenol) may be found in cereal grains.:192
Ochratoxin, a nephrotoxin, is produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus ochraceus.:192
Citrinin, another nephrotoxin, is found in moldy cereals contaminated by various fungal species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Some rabbits die less than 24 hours after oral administration of a single 100–130 mg/kg body weight dose.:192
Mycotoxicoses appears in chronic and acute forms.:190 The acute form is caused by a rapid ingestion of large amounts of toxins over a short period of time.
Some symptoms of aflatoxic poisoning in rabbits include the following::190-191
renal damage with tubular dysfunction and necrosis
Mold growth can occur on stored grains or other raw materials because of non-hygenic storage conditions or in the field on standing crops or during the harvesting of feedstuffs due to certain fungi.:190
You should prune Plumeria in the early spring, although you can prune it after it finishes blooming if you prefer. Using a sharp, sanitized tool, cut off any extra limbs and branches about one inch from their base. Never cut a limb in the middle, as it will discourage new growth. Make the cuts at a 45° angle so water can’t pool in the cuts and lead to root rot. To learn how to grow a new Plumeria plant from a cutting, read on!