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Summer Reading at the Niles Library is a big deal! We work for months and months to get ready for kids to come in and play our giant-sized games. Now it is up and ready to play! Here’s how it works.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step One: Come to KidSpace and sign up. You will get a reading folder.

Step Two: Take a free turn on the game! You will already have earned your first Glummy token to spend at the store.

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Younger kids play our Read-to-Me game, where they can play animal games with our volunteers. They win a prize every time!

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You might be thinking, That sounds like fun, but there’s a lot of other fun stuff to do over the summer. But kids work hard through the school year to improve their reading and pre-reading skills, and if they stop reading over the summer, they will lose what they learned. Studies show that kids who participate in summer reading programs do better in school. So take some time to read this summer, and come to the library and play.

For more information about our “Paws To Read” Summer Reading Clubs for adults and teens, click here!

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TFiOSblog

This may shock some people, but The Fault in Our Stars, a romantic drama based on a book by YA author John Green, actually drew more viewers its opening weekend than a big sci-fi action summer blockbuster starring Tom Cruise. If you read one of the 7 million copies of The Fault in Our Stars that have been sold so far, if you’ve passed it on to a friend or relative, if you’ve run screaming across a room to embrace someone who you’ve discovered has also just read the book, if you’ve followed the progress of TFiOS from book to screen worrying that the filmmakers might cast the wrong Hazel or cut your favorite line, then you will hardly be surprised.

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maya

Maya Angelou has been a creative force to be reckoned with for decades. She was a poet, an activist, an author, a playwright, an actor, a film director, a professor, an inspirational speaker and a strong, fierce presence in the American cultural landscape. She was chosen by Bill Clinton to recite her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at his inauguration in 1993. She has honorary degrees from too many institutions to name and she has written seven autobiographical books on her life and work. Maya Angelou will be missed more than we know.

Check out these Maya Angelou movies at the Niles Public Library:

African American Lives 2 (Nonfiction)

As Seen Through These Eyes (Nonfiction)

Down in the Delta

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stax-book

You may not know Stax Records by name, but you will recognize many of the artists and hit records the record company released in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Stax Records came to be known as the “Memphis Sound” with artist that include Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MG’s, The Staple Singers, and many more. Respect Yourself: Stax Records & the Soul Explosion would have been a great book even if it had just told the stories of these artists, however author Robert Gordon powerfully tells the Stax story in the context of a segregated Memphis and the Civil Rights Movement.

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dramas2

The first part of this blog series featured Character Driven Procedural TV shows, and today I’ll focus on Plot Driven Procedural TV shows.

If you have flipped through the channels, you may have noticed already that the vast majority of plot driven procedurals are crime dramas. They are easy to follow and do not require viewers to make an appointment with their TV sets as is the case with serial dramas. Viewers can jump in at any point in the series to sample the type of show that they’d be watching. With any type of narrative, they have a beginning, middle, and end. Most if not all of the crime dramas close their case at the end and give viewers a sense of comfort or closure. They’re made to be fun and escapist entertainment. Once an episode ends, the same type of format starts all over again the following week: the crime is committed, the investigators are brought in and by episode’s end, the perpetrator is discovered and captured. And by then, you’ll have known the who, what, why and how of the crime. This explains why procedurals are the most popular format in TV today.

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obit-writer

A riveting and ominous tale of loss, love and heartbreak set in both 1919 and the early 1960s. The 1919 story involves a past love who most likely perished in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and a woman, Vivian, who cannot get over her loss. Vivian is “the kept woman” to David, a married man who might or might not leave his wife for her. The earthquake ends whatever future they might have, but Vivian is determined to find him and she is still hoping for a passionate, heartfelt reunion all the way until 1919, when she finds out the truth.

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Cassia1

We’re happy to announce the winners of our 16th annual poetry contest. We received more than 75 entries this year, and the competition was fierce; especially within the teen category.

All of our local public middle and high schools, as well as many local private schools were represented. Seven judges, including several staff members, read through the poems to select the winners. We were most impressed by the poets’ bravery in expressing their emotions. Our final decisions did not come easy, but reading the poems was a delight.

Visit the 3rd floor of the Library to view all winning poems in both the adult and teen categories. Teen winners are also displayed in the Teen Underground on the Lower Level. Booklets with all of the winning poems are available free to the public, and can be picked up at either display.

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dramas1

Television is a vast wasteland. With so many shows on right now, how do you know which one to choose from? Dramas and comedies are the most popular forms of genre. But within the context of dramas, what is the right show for you? This blog series is a handy guide to some of the most popular dramas (divided into subcategories: Character Driven Procedural, Plot Driven Procedural, Serial Dramas and Supernatural Dramas) currently airing today, some of which are based on ratings, others based on my recommendations. All of which are available either at the Niles Library (click on the link to access online catalog) or as interlibrary loan.

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Doctorwho_01

The much beloved British television series Doctor Who has been with us for 50 years. Debuting in 1963, this science fiction show about a time traveling alien ran for 26 seasons before ending in 1989. Reborn in 2005, the series is as popular as ever. The eighth season of the new series begins this fall, starring Peter Capaldi as the 12th version of the title character.

Originally conceived as a program to teach kids about science, Doctor Who has grown into an international geek culture juggernaut. In case you’ve never seen an episode, the lovably goofy and absurd Doctor looks human, but is really the last living Time Lord from the destroyed planet Gallifrey. He travels through both time and space in the TARDIS (a ship that looks like an old-fashioned British police emergency call box) but that is “bigger on the inside.” The Doctor looks great for his age (which fluctuates constantly from all that time travel, but is at least 1000 years) because any time his body is destroyed he simply regenerates in a new one. He loves earth and humans (and, hey, constant space and time travel must get lonely) so he is always recruiting a human companion or two to journey with him.

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middleground

Being a children’s librarian involves a bit of psychology, beginning with the need to see different segments of the PreK through Grade 8 population as having distinctly different needs. So it is with middle school students (sometimes dubbed tweens): they know they are way different from elementary school kids, and different yet again from the high school students who rule the Teen Underground on the Lower Level.

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