June App of the Month: Project Noah

This is Courtney & Laura’s first official app of the month selection! Aren’t you thrilled you’re here for the beginning of something really wonderful?! Each month Courtney and Laura B will pick out a rockin’ app to share with you. We’ll show you how the app works, why it is cool, and we will even list a few ideas for how you and your friends or family can use the app together. Stay tuned to find out what July’s app will be, but for now, enjoy….

June’s App of the Month: Project Noah

The Project Noah app allows you to explore, document, and discover the nature and wildlife around you, wherever you are. Using your smartphone and the Project Noah app, you can share pictures of plants and animals you find with the Project Noah community, see what other community members have shared, and participate in field missions.

Apple users, download it here!
Android users, download it here!
Website: www.projectnoah.org 

how it works…

You can sign in with Facebook, Twitter, or another account to start being part of the community. The app has 3 main buttons: My Noah, Missions, and Field Guide. The My Noah section allows you to manage your account and goings-on with Project Noah.

In this section there is a large grey button to list a New Spotting, which allows you to document the wildlife you find. Clicking it allows you to upload up to 5 photos. You can tap a button to get help identifying the species and you can add tags to help describe the piece of nature.

The My Patches section shows you the patches you’ve earned by either uploading your spottings or participating in missions. In the My Noah section you can also check on the missions you’re currently working on.

To learn more about missions or to participate in a mission, tap the Missions button. Choose any mission listing that interests you in the Featured, Local, or Global sections.

The Field Guide section lets you browse and search through wildlife of all kinds. For example, you could click on one of the pictures in grid mode to view recent spottings, or you could click the location button to browse by location, or you can click the list button to browse in a list format.

Alternatively, you can tap the magnifying glass button, then type “ant” in to the search box; you’ll be presented with spottings of ants listed by others.

exploration ideas…

The Project Noah app can be fun to use alone or as a family and is appropriate for all ages, though littler ones will need help from an adult or teen to use and understand the app.

Try these ideas:

  • Go on a family hike in a local, state, or national park. See who can find recognizable pieces of nature and who can find unrecognizable pieces of nature. Be sure to log what you find in you’re my Noah section in Project Noah!
  • No time to head to the park? Have the kids slowly wander around the yard or driveway for a few minutes, looking for wildlife. They might be surprised at what they find… and you might be, too! Don’t forget to keep track of what they find in the My Noah section in Project Noah!
  • Select a mission or two to participate in as a family in the Missions section of Project Noah. Then, set aside a time each week to make progress on the mission and see how others are progressing as well.
  • Download the Project Noah app on a few devices within the immediate or extended family or in your group of friends, then compete to see who can get the most patches or make the most spottings! Try creating a family or friends group on Facebook to share your Project Noah activity, missions, patches, and findings!

Follow us on Pinterest

Pinterest! It’s all the rage lately, and we’re happy to finally be joining in the fun!

If you haven’t already  stumbled into the Pinterest craze, let me fill you in: Pinterest is basically an online set of your own, personalized and organized bulletin boards. Think of it this way: do you tend to clip pictures and articles out of magazines, or recipes, or newspaper articles then save them to be lost forever in a drawer? Pinterest is a way to organize these things for yourself and to browse what others are clipping, or pinning.

The vast array of ideas people are finding are evident everywhere! Just this week someone asked me about some garlic monkey bread I brought to a potluck dinner. When asked where I found the recipe, I responded simply, “Pinterest.”

Now your favorite library (that’s us!) is on Pinterest, too! Find us at pinterest.com/pgtpl. We’ve got pin boards for movies, music, and books we love, as well as boards for money saving, John Green stuff, tech tips & tricks… the list goes on, and just keeps growing! We invite you to follow us and enjoy our pins, and we’ll follow you back so we can enjoy your favorite things, too 🙂

Check out a few of our pinteresting Pinterest boards…

For the Love of Knitting

One of the many passions I share with my mother, who is also a librarian, is knitting. I can remember her teaching me, just as her father taught her, how to knit as a child. Before learning to knit I would sit beside her and poke at the knitting needles as they bounced around, not realizing that by her not asking me to stop she was exhibiting quite a bit of patience…

I’m lucky to have learned how to knit so early and it’s a hobby I still turn to when I’m stressed out, in need of a creative outlet, or when I just want to make something for a friend or even myself. I love admiring yarn of all sorts; the colors, textures, and weights are appealing to both the eyes and the hands. One of my dreams is to be able to own my own yarn, coffee, and book store. Though it’s not feasible for me to live out this dream just yet, husband and wife team Dave Erica live this dream of their own! Nomad Yarns, located at 218 E. Main Street in Plainfield, is a somewhat new yarn shop for knitters, crocheters, and yarn-lovers on the west side of Indianapolis.

Lucky for us, Erica Kempf Broughton will be teaching some beginning knitting classes right here at the library in the upcoming months. Register online for this wonderful introduction to the addicting art of knitting. Though our November class is full we still have plenty of openings in December. Supplies will be provided; just bring yourself and an eager-to-learn spirit!


Beer Tasting & Fundraiser

What’s your idea of the perfect Saturday afternoon? How about an afternoon spent sampling new beers and learning how beer is made locally? The master brewers from both Three Pints Brewpub and Black Swan Brewpub in Plainfield will be at the Plainfield Guilford-Township Public Library on Saturday, October 6th for a fundraiser to support the library! Whether you are an experienced home brewer looking to fine tune your favorite recipe or just a fan of local beer, this great event is the perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon!

Both Three Pints Brewpub and Black Swan Brewpub will be providing samples of a number of their most popular brews on tap. Maybe the Beatnick Blonde is your go-to choice but you have always wanted to try Retired Red’s Ale or the Oatmeal Stout. Now is your chance! Or maybe you just don’t know what type of beer you like. The experts from Black Swan and Three Pints have a beer that’s perfect for your taste. You just may leave with a new favorite brew.

We would love to have you join us for this fun afternoon in support of the library. Space is limited though, so make sure you register online or by calling 317.838.3800. All participants must at least 21 years old and must have a valid photo ID with them. A $5 fee will be required at the door.

You don’t want to miss this great fundraiser. It’s not often you can drink beer with friends and support the library at the same time!


In the fall of 1991, as a birthday present from my parents, I received LEGO set number 6062. The set – part of the Castle theme series – featured a small fortified wall under attack from a battering ram. After building the set and running through a series of small skirmishes, I quickly destroyed the wall and battering ram and began reassembling the bricks.

I was hooked. These little plastic bricks were the coolest thing ever. Over the next few years, I amassed quite a collection. (My obsession with LEGO made me very easy to buy presents for. “What do you want for your birthday, Matthew?” LEGOs! “What do you want for Christmas, Matthew?” LEGOs! This pattern held for five or six years.)

Slowly and subtly, my love for LEGO waned as I went through middle school.  My collection was kept in a large tub and filed away in a closet. There they sat, neglected for years while I attended college, got married, began paying my own utilities – the stuff of adulthood. I like to imagine my LEGO minifigs (the little 1-inch tall LEGO men) came alive in my absence – Toy Story-like – waiting for my return. They kept their swords sharp, and their horses groomed and fed, knowing that the Dark Ages in the back of the closet would not last forever. 

Several years ago, while visiting my parents, I found that tub of LEGO bricks. I took it home and began reassembling my sets in a corner of my basement. That corner is fast becoming full of castles and marauding armies of sword and spear wielding minifigs. I’ve assembled a race track and some Indy style cars to speed along it. My wife – bless her – even got me a LEGO set for Christmas, the first Christmas morning in 15 years that I’ve had the the thrilling experience of opening a new LEGO set.

Which brings me to this delightful book – LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender. Bender is roughly my age and had a similar experience in transitioning from a child to adult fan of LEGO. His memoir-via-toys narrative is full of funny and eye-opening encounters  as he ventures into the world of the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO).

So, whether you’re a child or adult fan, in need some inspiration for your LEGO building, be sure to also check out these books and magazines from the Library:

LEGO Club magazine

The Unofficial LEGO builder’s guide by Allan Bedford

The LEGO ideas book: unlock your imagination by Daniel Lipkowitz