Dog Days of Summer

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Well, it’s August 1 already – can you believe it? School (at least, SD74) starts up in 23 days, and our glorious, beautiful Lincolnwood summer is starting to come to an end. We’re a little bummed – but excited, too. Summer is such a different time in the library than the rest of the year – not only because it’s quieter with kids away at camp, or families on vacation – but because everything and everyone feels so relaxed.

Keep that relaxing feeling going with some books to keep that summer chill strong!

The Best Days are Dog Days by Aaron Meshon follows a dog and his girl through a day exploring the neighborhood. You won’t want to miss out sharing this one with your four-legged pals – and then take them on a long, long walk.

Molly’s Story by W. Bruce Cameron is an irresistable audiobook (you can listen on hoopla) that will make your heart overflow with happiness. Molly’s a puppy who bonds with a little girl named C.J. and nothing will keep these two apart – not even pesky grown-ups.  It’s in the same family as A Dog’s Purpose by the same author – but this sweet little story’s adapted for young listeners (and there are two more).

Whippoorwill by Joseph Monninger (for middle school and up) is one of those dog stories that will rip your heart out and shred it to pieces like an evil squeaky toy (but in a good way). In it, you’ll meet Wally, a lovable, huge, mistreated pup who doesn’t know what it feels like to be loved until his neighbor, Clair, and his owner’s son, Danny, start to try to show him what love is really like.

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst is an adult fiction read-alike to contemporary doggy classics like The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Purpose. Paul comes home to find his wife dead and the only witness, their dog Lorelei. Consumed with grief, Paul decides to attempt to teach Lorelai to speak – remembering his relationship with his wife as he learns about actual scientific experiments. Make sure you have the largest, fullest box of tissues available for this one.

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love by Rebecca Frankel shares several stories of our best friends and their glorious military history.

And for our feline friends…

Mr. Putter and Tabby Clear the Decks by Cynthia Rylant, chosen to celebrate two of our new fish in the library tank (named Mr. Putter and Tabby), has our two intrepid heroes on a boat cruise to try and relieve some of the dog cat days of summer… but if you know Mr. Putter and Tabby… you know it might not be that easy.




Purple Brick Easter Eggs in the Library

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Did you know there is another meaning for easter egg? It’s an unexpected or undocumented feature, usually in software, included as a joke or a bonus. We installed our own “easter egg” in the library during our renovation. We took three of the purple bricks from the old Purple Hotel (remember the Purple Hotel? and “hid” them in the library. Try and find them the next time you are at the library!

Music, Construction, Art Beetles, and Girl Power!

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We hope you’ve been enjoying the Summer Reading Program, Reading by Design! We certainly have been. Our Youth librarians have been reading loads of books related to that theme: from the design of writing to how to code to how to DIY a fashion shoot. Come on in and see all of the design books we have for you – on display and on our regular shelves – and, while you’re at it, get a few hole punches on your challenge card!

Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad by James Rumford, tells the story of Ali, a young boy growing up in Baghdad. Ali is learning calligraphy and how to write in Arabic. As he brings writing into everyday activities such as soccer and watching his father shave, he learns about Yakut, an ancient calligrapher who also learned to write during a time of war. With illustrations that incorporate calligraphy into every single page in unique ways, this story illustrates the beautiful musical rhythm of language and writing.

Cathedral: the Story of Its Construction by David Macaulay, is an early 1970s Caldecott Award winning classic that tells the story of the construction of a Gothic cathedral. From tools to blueprints and more, this beautifully illustrated book acts as a stunning introduction to architecture and design for children. If you can’t get enough of this gorgeous book, make sure you look at Macaulay’s other works.

In the book Masterpiece by Elise Broach, you’ll meet a beetle that can draw? James has one living under his kitchen sink! Marvin the beetle has left a miniature drawing for James in the book . But when they accidentally end up involved in an art heist, these unlikely friends are going to need to team up to solve the mystery!

If you need a good book about girl power that will inspire you to try some new technology, then Girl Code, Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser, is the book you’re looking for. These tech phenoms created a game that went viral overnight and are sharing their knowledge with readers! Affect your world and the world around you with the help of these two awesome girls and learn how you can inspire change.

We hope you stop by to visit the library and grab a book from one of our design themed displays (good for a couple of hole punches on your challenge card for sure) – and be sure to tell us what books you’re loving this summer.

Reading By Design

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Our Summer Reading Program has started and we are so excited!! This year’s theme, Reading By Design, highlights the creativity of authors, artists, architects, and everyone who makes our world a more livable, accessible, and beautiful place. We hope this year’s Summer Reading program and all our wonderful programs inspire you to explore your own design creativity!

Participating in the Summer Reading program is easy! To start, simply pick up a challenge card and reading log at the Library – and you’re ready to go! You’ll also get a Reading By Design t-shirt and, if you’ve got your Lincolnwood Library card in hand, your first (of hopefully many) raffle tickets. Record your reading and design achievements on your cards, then come check in with us to earn more raffle tickets! Check our online newsletter for full details and programs.

Also in the newsletter are some great books recommended by your Lincolnwood librarians – all about design!

You absolutely cannot go wrong introducing yourself to Rosie Revere, Engineer, a voracious inventing engineer who will teach you that it’s good to make mistakes, and to fail – because that’s how successes happen! In the novel Shadowshaper, a girl named Sierra learns of her magical ability (shadowshaping, if you didn’t guess from the title) when neighborhood murals she has painted begin to change and prematurely fade. On the Niles West summer list is one of our librarians’ favorites, The Serpent King – which, among its many unforgettable characters, features a fashion blogger whose sense of perfect design is impeccable. We can’t talk design without mentioning Lego – so of course we’ve featured Lego Architecture: the Visual Guide, but have many more Lego books available for checkout!

Stay tuned for more design-related content throughout the summer… coming soon is a lobby shelving design improvement!

Too Much Fun in Youth & Teen Services

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It’s been a long, long school year thanks to SD74 construction – but the last day of school is finally dawning (though some are already finished – congrats 8th graders!) and everyone is ready to get fully into summer. The Youth & Teen Services department put together several last-week-of-school programs: all our previously monthly after-school programs got smooshed together into one awesome week!

Last Tuesday, we had Come Get Ya Nails Did, where we welcomed everyone to don some pretty finger paint (summer dates 7/19 and 8/16). Wednesday was Board Game Day: many students and staff have learned new exciting games since the program using our new in-house board game collection. Rivalries spawned (librarian Dannie is the reigning queen of Suspend and some EPIC games of chess have happened) but the best part is that everyone had a great time with our game check-out. We’re adding more games to the collection in the fall! Previously open-play Video Game Day turned into an epic final Smash Bros. Tournament showdown on Thursday (congrats to winners Travis, Adrian, and Preston!). We’ve got two more tournaments coming this summer (Rocket League in July and Smash. Bros again in August).

Tonight after the library closes, we’ve got our Summer Reading Kick-Off events.  To celebrate the very last day of SD74 attendance this school year, we’re having a Staff vs. Students Karaoke Contest on Monday, June 19. 

It’s going to be legendary. Can the students sing more beautifully (or awfully, if you’re into that kind of karaoke) than the Lincolnwood Public Library staff? What staff have hidden vocal talents? What staff don’t? Come one, come all – test your vocal cords and celebrate the summer after school on Monday, July 19.

Some Jungle Books

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The Jungle Book is a classic adventure collection of stories written for children in 1894 by English author Rudyard Kipling. The stories mirror fables – using animals to give moral lessons – but feature the boy (man-cub) Mowgli, raised in the jungle by wolves. Some view the stories as political allegories of British colonial India; many stories heavily feature the Law of the Jungle. Simply read, however, The Jungle Book has been popular since its publication with readers of all ages.

Many film adaptations have been made of the classic story – a 1942 live action technicolor film starring Sabu Dastagir; the well-loved Disney animated classic from 1967 (with a sequel produced in 2003), as well as several other adaptations across film and TV, including a Japanese anime. Kipling’s stories inspired several modern classics – the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein replaces Kipling’s story of a child raised by wolves with a child raised by Martians. The Newbery-award winning children’s novel The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is a similar replacement – a child raised by ghosts in a graveyard – and follows the original fable format of Kipling’s stories a little more closely than Heinlein.

Stories of feral children are still prevalent and popular in children’s literature. Maryrose Wood’s humorous series The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place features a plucky governess and her charges: three Mowgli-esque children raised by wolves. Alex Mallory’s young adult novel Wild follows the story of a feral boy brought into civilization for the first time after rescuing a teen from a bear attack. The middle grade novel The Music of Dolphins is a stunning novel about a girl raised by dolphins who attempts to rehabilitate into human society.

A common denominator of all (including The Jungle Book) is children in the wild discovered by “real” and “civilized” society and brought to bear (no pun intended, Baloo). Even Kipling’s animals are focused on bringing Mowgli to the man-village upon his coming of age – one begins to think about the parallels between the wild nature of youth and the possibly unrealistic expectations of children upon coming of age. But perhaps one thinks too much…

This Friday, June 16, we’re kicking off Summer Reading with Dave DiNaso’s Traveling World of Reptiles and a Movie Under the Stars, where we will be showing the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book. Come meet many relativessssssss of the enormousssssss sssssssnake Kaa from 7:00-8:15pm. You can also grab your Ssssssssummer Reading t-sssssssshirt and your challenge/reading cardsssssss while enjoying sssssssnacks, entertainment, and ssssssssocializing with your friends, family (and ssssssssnakes). Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the movie, which will start at dusssssssssk (around 8:30pm).

Stay tuned to the library website for information about inclement weather.


Everyone Loves the Library

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After four years of planning and almost a year of construction, we opened our fully renovated library in late January 2017. So was it worth it? The numbers say yes. First, a little history. In 2012, the library conducted a major strategic planning process, which included an all-community survey. The survey showed that the Lincolnwood community wanted a better library facility, and better access to popular books, movies, and other materials. To address these requests we put a plan in motion to renovate the library, and we created a popular collection for use only by Lincolnwood residents.

Librarians love statistics, so we have a rich history of data to mine. Let’s take a look at the month of May for the past ten years, and compare two major statistics: visitors and circulation.

May 2017 shows a 10-year high for visitors to the library, and a 10-year high for circulation. These statistics show us that the Lincolnwood Library community is using the library at rates never seen before. Our vision is for the library to be a modern, thriving, essential part of the Lincolnwood community, and we are well on our way.

We will be kicking off a new strategic planning process in 2017, stay tuned to learn how you can participate and share your thoughts on how the library can be even better.

Read Proud, Live Proud

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We hope you choose to observe Pride month by checking out some of the materials we have on display that celebrate authors, actors, illustrators, and characters from across the queer spectrum. Here are just a few of our most recommended titles:

Fun Home: A Graphic Memoir, written by Alison Bechdel, is a darkly funny and poignant memoir about the author’s experience coming out – and learning about her family in the process. If you’re a Broadway fan, a musical production of this graphic novel was in Chicago last winter, and has won multiple Tony awards.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a powerful and moving novel from Benjamin Alire Sáenz (with Lin Manuel Miranda narrating the audiobook) that explores friendships, identity, and family. A sequel, called There Will Be Other Summers, has been announced (but has no release date yet) and will pick up where Ari and Dante left off.

Lily and Dunkin follows Lily, a girl born in a boy’s body, currently figuring out how to transition, and Dunkin, struggling with bipolar disorder, playing basketball, and making new friends as the new kid in town. When you’d rather stay under the radar, but the way you’re made forces the world to see you – it’s better to have a friend by your side.

Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a Pride parade? Gayle E. Pitman has crafted a beautifully simple story in her picture book This Day in June to illustrate the pure joy of such a day (June 25 in Chicago).

Jazz Jennings, born with a girl’s brain in a boy’s body, has written two books about her experiences – I Am Jazz, a simple telling of her story (cowritten by Jessica Herthel) that’s a perfect way to introduce the topic of being transgender to picture book readers; and Becoming Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen. Her influential and inspiring story is a must-read for all as a way to celebrate overcoming differences and maintaining personal pride. In the adult collection, you can learn more about experiences with a transgender family member in Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached by Hillary Whittington. 

Carrie Mesrobian, well known in the YA lit world for her refusal to shy away from sexual content, explores bisexuality in her powerful novel Cut Both Ways, about a boy who drunkenly makes out with his best friend (and likes it) but also has feelings for a beautiful girl two years his junior.

Saving Montgomery Sole tells a thoroughly honest tale of family, religion, intolerance, and more as high schooler Montgomery navigates school, belief systems, enemies, and defending her moms.

For a complete chronicle of the modern struggle for GLBT rights, you can’t miss Lillian Faderman’s The Gay Revolution: the Story of the Struggle, an in-depth look starting with the 1950s.

For some amazing new titles by smash-hit authors, try Ramona Blue (Julie Murphy) or The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli), both with larger-than-life characters who aren’t afraid to be who they were born to be.

There are many more books available on displays in the Information Services department as well as the Youth & Teen area – we hope you’ll explore something new – and that you have a Happy Pride Month!

June Forthcoming & Popular Titles

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June is a happening month in the world of new materials, with new books by big names and blockbuster releases on DVD. You’ll find many of these titles on our Hot Picks shelves, but  can also use the links in this post to place holds on the items (in a variety of formats) for yourself! With the end of the school year upon us, books on summer reading lists will be the hottest items in Youth & Teen services for the next few months!

Adult Books

New books by Michael Crichton, John Grisham, Janet Evanovich, Joyce Carol Oates, Danielle Steele, Roxanne Gay, Arundhati Roy, Diana Gabaldon, Dean Koontz, Brad Thor, and Sherman Alexie? We can hardly wait! Here are just a few of the titles our Information Services Librarians are looking forward to:

Cover image for CAMINO ISLAND.Always a crowd pleaser, John Grisham is back with Camino Island (release date, June 6) about a rare book heist in a sleepy town.

Twenty years after her beautiful, Booker Prize winning, The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy returns with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (release date, June 6), an epic novel of love in the face of tragedy.

Another literary heavyweight, Sherman Alexie, releases his memoir about growing up on an Indian reservation in You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me (release date, June 13).

New on DVD/Blu-Ray!

This month sees sequels, remakes, horror, adaptations, historical romances, LEGO, rom-coms and more. Our staff are especially excited for The Lego Batman MovieT2: Trainspotting, Get Out, (and against their better judgment, Power Rangers).

Summer Reading Titles

The Niles West High School Summer Reading list is a great one this year, and we’re happy to have multiple copies of each title available in our collection. When you visit the library, you can find the books on the Youth & Teen display shelves just outside the cafe and into the department – but you can also find many of the titles available for download from our digital collection! Some of our favorite new titles on the list are:

Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, a timely and incredible novel about a teen girl who witnesses the shooting and death of her best friend at the hands of the police but struggles to come forward, afraid of potential backlash.

If you’ve recently been to the theaters to see Everything Everything, you’ll absolutely need to pick up Nicola Yoon’s second novel, The Sun is Also a Star, an astounding novel told in two perspectives: Natasha, who is about to be deported to Jamaica and is trying everything in her power to stay in New York; and Daniel, a second generation Korean-American who wants to live his own life without his parents’ high expectations.

Neal Shusterman is a master of all-too-plausible dystopia- and his new Printz-honor-winning novel is no exception. In our future, all disease has been eliminated and death by natural or other causes is quite a thing of the past.  Instead, deaths come at the hands of a Scythe, a trained killer whose sole responsibility is to meet a yearly “gleaning” quota to help maintain the population. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice with a Scythe – a job neither of them wants, but with perks they have trouble setting aside.

Whether you’re coming to get a book for assigned summer reading, or grabbing the hottest new posthumous thriller (lookin’ at you ghost Michael Crichton),  we know June has big reading potential!

Coming Together: Celebrating Chinese Culture

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Lincolnwood Public Library is partnering up with this year’s Coming Together program to bring you a month packed with great programs for all ages!

Coming Together is an annual program that takes place in Skokie and Niles Township to promote diversity and cultural awareness in the surrounding communities. This year’s theme, Celebrating Chinese Culture, will explore the history and activities that best represent China.

Don’t miss the opening ceremony for this year’s Coming Together celebration! On Saturday, February 11th at 6 pm, join us at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts for a variety of live demonstrations and performances. From a dragon dance to Chinese yo-yo, it is bound to be a night full of entertainment for everyone.

Check out the fantastic events that the Lincolnwood Public Library has coming up in conjunction with Celebrating Chinese Culture:

  • Wednesday, March 8th, 7-8 pm: Tea and book discussion on this year’s Coming Together reading selections at the library:
  • Thursday, March 9th, 10:30 am: Morning Matinee – The Last Emperor (1987, PG-13) at the library
  • Saturday, March 11th, 10:30 am: Family Movie – Kung Fu Panda 3 (PG) at the library
  • Sunday, March 19th, 2-3 pm: “The Art of Chinese Bonsai” at the library. Registration required, visit our website to register for this event.

Join us for an evening with Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese and Shadow Hero. Yang is the first graphic novelist to be appointed by the Library of Congress as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The MacArthur Foundation named him a fellow in 2016. During the presentation, Yang will discuss his books and the importance of reading without walls. Following the presentation, there will be a book signing. Registration required and begins February 12 at

There will be many more activities taking place over the next few months in Lincolnwood, Skokie, Niles, and Morton Grove as part of the Coming Together: Celebrating Chinese Culture programming. Check out the full event list here.