Welcome to KPL QI Summer! As we are just about to kick off Kirkwood Public Library 2017 Summer Reading (Saturday, May 20) I thought this a perfect time to chat about some fantastic fun facts about these lovely months. Joining me on the panel can be all of you! Just comment below with any fun facts, trivia, and/or just thoughts about the summer months you would like to share. I would love to hear from you.

The term “solstice” is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because the sun’s position in the sky at noon does not appear to change much during the solstice.

Did you know that in summer the Eiffel Tower grows taller? As the hot summer sun shines down upon it, thermal expansion will cause the metal to grow. The tower can swell to as much as 6 inches. When the sun goes away the expansion decreases.

Now from beautiful Paris to man’s (and woman’s) best friend. It is often thought that the phrase “dog days of summer” is referring to dogs lying around on hot and humid days but it actually stems from ancient Rome.  They called the most humid days “dies caniculares” or “dog days.” Romans associated the hotter days of summer with the star Sirius. Also known as the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).

Summer just would not be summer without a dip in the pool but who knows the origin of the classic pool game Marco Polo? The answer: Nobody. There are many apocryphal stories about the aquatic version of blind man’s bluff, which can be located online, but no definitive provable origin.  One such tale claims that while on his journey to China, Marco became separated from his family. As his worried family shouted “Marco!” the explorer would respond “Polo” till he had been located.

Well the time has come to go outside and enjoy the sunshine but we will leave you now with some lovely words from children’s author, Lisa Schroeder. “Come with me, Mom says. To the library. Books and summertime go together.”

Don’t forget to join us for Summer Reading Kickoff Day! Saturday, May 20 from 10-12. Events, music, and treats for all ages. 2017 going to be the best Summer Reading yet!

Ryan Drinkard is a Library Associate for the Kirkwood Public Library. For the better part of the past two decades he has managed many major and minor book stores in the St Louis County area. He enjoys playing video games, comics, dissecting movies, and reading. His favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, and Agatha Christie.