Monday, April 14, 2014

National Library Week: Lives Change @ Your Library

The week of April 13-19 is National Library Week! This year's theme is Lives Change @ Your Library, with honorary chairperson Judy Blume. Today’s libraries can help you and your family discover a new and exciting world. Visit your library for computer resources for teens and adults, help with your job search, access to subscription databases, library-recommended websites and homework help. You also can obtain information about how to become a U.S. citizen, bilingual resources and neutral financial information to help you make important decisions. Libraries are an oasis if you are looking for adult education classes, or for a recommendation on the best books or e-books to expand your horizons.

Want to show support for your library? Tweet about how the library has changed your life using the hashtag #LivesChange and #NLW14. Or, fill out the form on our Library Week LibGuide and let us know how the library has changed your life! Each branch will pick their most inspiring story to be featured on our Facebook page (featured stories will receive a small token of appreciation).

Open the door to change, visit your library! Some library branches will be featuring library-themed programming for National Library Week, so make sure to give our programs & events calendar a look-see.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Poetry Month: Young Adult Verse Novels

I love poetry. As a result, I like to read young adult verse novels, even though I don't always enjoy them. In celebration of National Poetry Month, I thought I would share my favorite young adult verse novels, as well as my favorite young adult novels that incorporate poetry in some way.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is the book that got me interested in poetry. The Robert Frost poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" plays a somewhat large role in the book, and when I first read it, I fell in love with it and with poetry.

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Golden also plays with Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay," but even more than that, its inspiration comes from the Mary Oliver poem "The Summer Day." Throughout the book, Parker Frost tries to determine what it is she will do with her one wild and precious life, after reading the line "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" from Mary Oliver's poem.

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We Stay is about a girl, Emily, who loves Emily Dickinson, but who is also a poet herself. Emily (the character, not Emily Dickinson) writes poems that are presented throughout the story.

Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara

Amy McNamara is a poet, in addition to a young adult fiction writer. The title Lovely, Dark and Deep is taken directly from a Robert Frost poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Even though it's written in prose, McNamara's book reads much like poetry.

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Audition isn't the first young adult verse novel I've read, but it was the first one I read that I actually loved. Because it's about ballet, there was something about the musical aspect that tied in really well with the poetry in the book.

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

This is the other young adult verse novel that I love. Unlike most verse novels I've read, I felt like The Day Before really played with poetic elements. On top of that, the story was great, and lent itself well to verse.

There are plenty of other young adult verse novels in the library catalog. Some popular authors to check out are Ellen Hopkins, Lisa Schroeder, Micol Ostow, and Nikki Grimes.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poetry Month: ePoetry

Our eBook collection is growing all the time - you may have already checked out and downloaded a bestseller, or a cookbook, or a Young Adult novel (it's okay to read YA as an adult! We don't judge).  But did you know you can also download poetry to read on your eReader?  April is National Poetry Month, and we'd like to share with you a sampling of some of the ePoetry available to you - you don't even have to come into the library to check them out if you have internet access at home and a valid library card! All titles listed are eBooks in our catalog unless otherwise noted.

Litany for the City: Poems by Ryan Teitman

Need Machine by Andrew Faulkner

Holy Heathen Rhapsody by Pattiann Rogers

Faces of Love Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz by Dick Davis

Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll

That Said: New and Selected Poems by Jane Shore

Night of the Republic by Alan Shapiro

Waiting For the Moon: Poems of Bo Juyi translated by Arthur Waley

The Story of a People: An Anthology of Palestinian Poets Within the Green-Lines edited and translated by Jamal Assadi

Fast Break to Line Break: Poets on the Art of Basketball edited by Todd Davis

Voodoo Inverso by Mark Wagenaar

Our Andromeda by Brenda Shaughnessy

The Door by Margaret Atwood 

Hiphop H.A.I.K.U.: Volume 1 - Higher Awareness is Kept Underground by ShaIfa Mami Watu

The Essential Brendan Kennelly: Selected Poems by Brendan Kennelly

Poems 1960-2000 by Fleur Adcock

Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 by Helen Dunmore

I Won't Let You Go: Selected Poems by Rabindranath Tagore

The Hands of Strangers: Poems from the Nursing Home by Janice N. Harrington

Songs and Stories of the Ghouls by Alice Notley

The Spoken Arts Treasury - Volume I: 100 Modern American Poets Reading Their Poems [eAudiobook]

The Spoken Arts Treasury - Volume II: 100 Modern American Poets Reading Their Poems [eAudiobook]

Yeats Reads His Own Work by W.B. Yeats  [eAudiobook]

 For more poetry eBooks, check the library catalog. Ditto poetry eAudiobooks!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dysfunctional Families

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
~Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Mental illness. Drug abuse. Hoarding. Cheating. Family secrets. Destructive behavior. Adversity. Violence. There are a lot of factors that can cause families to malfunction or self-combust.  We've rounded up a list of memoirs by people, some famous and some not, who have grown up in dysfunctional families - how it impacted them, how they've coped, and the different ways they are living out their lives today.  Check it out!

Chanel Bonfire: A Memoir by Wendy Lawless

The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life by Jasmin Darznik

Handbook for an Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (With Great Hair) by Rosie Perez

She Left Me the Gun: My Mother's Life Before Me by Emma Brockes

Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding by Jessie Sholl

Her Last Death: A Memoir by Susanna Sonnenberg

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

The Mistress's Daughter by A. M. Homes

The Liars' Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman

The Three of Us: A Family Story by Julia Blackburn

Lies My Mother Never Told Me: A Memoir by Kaylie Jones      

Mommy Dressing: A Love Story, After a Fashion by by Lois Gould

Circling My Mother by Mary Gordon

With or Without You: A Memoir by Domenica Ruta

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Astor Orphan: A Memoir by Alexandra Aldrich

Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller  

Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan 

Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me by Patricia Volk

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jazz Appreciation Month

April is Jazz Appreciation Month! April was chosen for Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) in recognition of the birthdays of jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry Mulligan, and Tito Puente. This year, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, which operates the world’s most comprehensive set of jazz programs,  celebrates JAM with the theme Jazz Alchemy: A Love Supreme, to pay tribute to John Coltrane and the 50th anniversary of his composition A Love Supreme.

For the latest jazz music in the catalog, including The Great Gatsby: The Jazz Recordings, Michael Bublé, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, and more, search the catalog using the term "Jazz", and limiting your search by subject, date & the format "soundrecording" in the sidebar options.

For the latest movies related to jazz, including Chico & Rita and The Original Rompin' Stompin', Hot & Heavy, Cool & Groovy All-Star Jazz Show (featuring Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, and others), search the catalog using the term "Jazz", and limiting your search by subject, date & the format "videos DVD" in the sidebar options.

To find new books about jazz or jazz-related in the library catalog, search the catalog using the term "Jazz", and limiting your search by subject, date & the format "books" in the sidebar options. You'll find books for kids like Herman & Rosie, for young adults (The Sound of Letting Go), and of course adult reads, including biography, poetry, and titles such as Keystone Korner: Portrait of a Jazz Club.


112 Ways to Celebrate Jazz

Jazz Appreciation Month: National Endowment for the Humanities

Jazz Appreciation Month: American Jazz Museum

*Catalog instructions are for searching in Encore.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Poetry Month: New Biographies of Poets

"A voice exists for every living creature, human or beast.  It is one of the poet's tasks to listen and transcribe: the voice (the diction, syntax and cadence) of the cow and pig, the mollusk, the echidna, the strangler fig, the lyre bird and goose, the tick, the possum, 'The Fellow Human'... [The poet] works toward an accessible poetry, telling stories, attempting secular...and holy communion. [The poet] might respond to Ezra Pound's commandment 'Make it new': 'No, make it present.'"
~Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets

Poets - why do they fascinate us? From Samuel Johnson's Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets to today, there are a multitude of personal histories of poets out there.  Emily Dickinson's life has been the subject of multiple biographers. The poets of the Beat Generation still capture our imagination. Based on unpublished diaries and correspondence, Daniel Mark Epstein wrote What Lips My Lips Have Kissed: The Loves and Love Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. A few years ago the complete correspondence of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell was published; you can also read the letters of Langston Hughes and his mentor, Carl Van Vechten. Local poet Jimmy Santiago Baca wrote a memoir A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet in 2001; Gil Scott-Heron's memoir, The Last Holiday, was published posthumously in 2012, the same year that Joy Harjo published her memoir, Crazy Brave - just to name a few.

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we've compiled a list of the latest biographies of poets in the library catalog.  Hope this will whet your appetite to read more about poets - and more poetry!

E. E. Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever

An Enlarged Heart: A Personal History by Cynthia Zarin

For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet's Journey Through a Chinese Prison by Liao Yiwu

Pain, Parties, Work : Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder

American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson

Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore by Linda Leavell

Tennyson: To Strive, To Seek, To Find by John Batchelor

For more poet biographies, check the library catalog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cake Pans @ Your Library

Sometimes you just need a special cake pan. You want to try to make cake pops, or one of your children wants Hello Kitty birthday cake and your other child's soccer team won a big game and wants to celebrate. But maybe you just need a special cake pan just to make one cake and you don't want to buy a special pan.  What can you do?  Go to the library!

Beginning April first, you will find cake pans in the library catalog! Cake pans will check out for 3 weeks.  Customers are limited to 1 cake pan at a time per library card, and you will not be able to check out another "Gizmo" (Kindle Keyboard, Every Child Ready to Read Literacy Kit, Kill-a-Watt) while you have a cake pan checked out.

If you are looking for baking and/or handling tips for your cake pan, the cake pan's record in the library catalog will link to our Cake Pan LibGuide and many of the pan records link to a PDF document with additional baking and decorating ideas. The Cake Pan LibGuide also has a list of available cake pans and a list of helpful links.

Most of the pans are medium gauge aluminum. We do ask that you please wash the cake pan according to handling instructions before returning it to the library.  A damaged item fee of $2 will be charged for cake pans returned dirty. Return your cake pan to the circulation desk of your local library.  Please do not put the cake pan in the book drop.

If you want to share a picture of the cake you made using one of the library's pans, send a picture and we will post it on Facebook!  Email them to