Monday, November 23, 2009

The Holidays are Coming!

The holiday season is upon us and the Alsip-Merionette Park Public Library is hosting our 8th annual Food and Toy Drive through December 23rd. There are two large boxes located near the Adult Services desk for drop-offs. Donations of non-perishable food items and new toys will be given to those who are in need in our community.

Looking for fresh ideas? The library has plenty of books to help you with your projects. Whether you are looking for books about decorating, cooking or crafting, we have them all. There is also a selection of popular holiday DVD's appropriate for the whole family. Let the library help you celebrate this year!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Library Short List for Fall

The calendar still reads August, and, even if the weather outside doesn't reflect it, it is still technically summer. But here at the library we are already in fall mode. Our school supply drive is in full swing, our book club is cramming in the last few pages of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow's The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society before its September 3 meeting, and we are finalizing all our fall programs and events.

This year we're looking to help you save money while being eco-conscious with "Going Green, Saving Green" on Thursday, October 29, but not before well-known author Chad Lewis scares you with his talk on the "Most Haunted Locations in Illinois." And we are once again offering our Beginners Computer Classes throughout the fall. Registration begins the first full week of September, so get here early to sign up!

If that wasn't fun enough for you, we are pleased to announce that we will begin carrying passes for many of the museums around the greater Chicagoland area, such as the Bronzeville Children's Museum, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and the Morton Arboretum. Click here for a full list of all participating museums. Unfortunately, none of the Chicago museums are participating in this, but don't forget that they do offer free days every month! Click here for a complete listing.

The back to school hustle and bustle will resume soon, if it hasn't already, and the long, lazy days of summer - the kind filled with swimming pools and melting ice cream cones - are giving way to the shorter, breezier ones of fall. You'll have to go inside eventually, we're just trying to make your time indoors a little more entertaining.

Photo courtesy of Avmaier's Flickr

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School

It seems like summer finally decided to make an appearance. After filing multiple missing reports and sending out the search party, summer showed. A little cooler than before and long overdue, but I know that we at the library are willing to forgive some fashionable lateness in exchange for warm sunny days (and some party dip). However, at the risk of sounding pessimistic, summer has no sooner arrived than we're already talking about the dreaded (for students and teachers alike) back-to-school. It isn't all bad though? The upshot of back to school is back to school supplies! Who doesn't like a new pack of crayons, still smooth and unbroken, shiny as a freshly waxed car. Even those of us who are adults get into the spirit; after all, we were all students once, right? The very word "August" inspires visions of Trapper Keepers, and don't get us started on that "new pencil eraser" smell.

Since we're on the topic of school supplies, it bears mentioning that we are a drop off point for the Worth Township School Supply Drive. Returning to the classroom in the fall is a lot easier with some new notebooks and pens, and there are a lot of people who need some help providing these materials for their children. If you can, please donate. Even if it is just a new binder or a set of colored pencils, any contribution helps. Just think about how excited you were going to school on that first day, a backpack heavy, not only with school supplies, but with promise.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Reel Tales

Are we the only ones disappointed by summer in Chicago this year? Those long sweaty days, temperatures well into the 90's with 100% humidity, we never thought we'd say this, but we want them back! We promise we'll never complain again. Just give two consecutive days of sun and warm weather. Please.

Apart from the weather, another thing we love about summertime (no, not ice cream, but we do love that, too) is the movies! Escaping into the cool darkness of a movie theater to check out the latest from Hollywood and beyond is one of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon or evening: eating the better part of our popcorn before the previews are even over (which of course leads us to steal fistfuls of Junior Mints from our neighbors) as we sit transfixed in front of the silver screen as the stories carry us away to lands both distant and near.

Lately, it seems like more and more of the stories coming up are based on books that we have here at the library. So we thought to ourselves, why not pick some of our favorite books that were made into movies? There are heartwarming (and heartbreakingly beautiful) ones like Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake or Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, but there are also thrillers & darker titles such as Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and John Grisham's The Pelican Brief. No matter what your taste, we have a book to suit it. Titles that you can enjoy with a bowlful of popcorn from your own microwave or stove top (or air popper, if you're fancy enough to have such a gadget), Junior Mints from Walgreens, and as long as you don't get butter or chocolate stains on the pages, we won't have a problem.

Photo courtesy of Princess Theater's Flickr Page

Thursday, July 23, 2009

You Like Us, You Really Like Us

I wish that I could say that we at the library are above letting a little praise go to our heads, but we're only human, and we're here to serve you, so when we know you're happy with our services, well, it makes us smile (to say the very least). We love our jobs, but it isn't always easy to know how to judge our work. We depend on you, the library user, to provide us with feedback. In this way we're very much like beauty queens and Olympic gymnasts, it doesn't matter how well we think we did, what matters is what the judges - in this case, you - think (thankfully, unlike the Miss Americas and Shawn Johnsons of the world, we are not required to be judged on our work while wearing bathing suits or body-conscious leotards).

Why do I mention this? Well, we have been trying to add some Web 2.0 technology to our service offerings as another way of connecting with you, dear user, when you're online wherever you are: on a laptop in Panera, on your phone in a store, or even using one of our computers here at the library. We have a Meebo so you can chat with us (username: alsiplibraryref), a Flickr account so you can see what goes on here, this blog so we can ramble on & on, and a Twitter account because, well, why not! The last one is a lot of fun for us, and we recently heard that you're liking it, too, thanks to a patron who was happy to share with us. Not only are we glad that you're finding us online, but we're glad that you're telling us as much!

And so we would just like to thank you for sharing with us. We'd love to hear more, so please let us know what we are (or are not) doing right, and as always, thanks for stopping by - really, thank you.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Summer Reading

Summer has finally arrived, and the Summer Reading Programs here at the library are in full swing. In an attempt to help you find new books that are interesting to you, we are always working on new displays, and this month's is called "Nothing but the Truth: Non-fiction Reads for Summer." Since those who read a non-fiction title are eligible for an additional prize at the end of this summer's program, we figure that we should make it as easy as possible for all our participants to get their shot. So we've got something for everyone: books on Chicago's architecture, memoirs & biographies, true crime, and America's pastime, baseball (because nothing says 'summer' quite like a couple of hot dogs at a night game with your friends).

Of course, we also have our weekly display. This week's is highlighting our new knitting and crafts books. When it is too hot to go outside, you can spend your days inside knitting sweaters for your friends and family because although it is warm now, it will be winter in Chicago before you know it. Not that we're wishing it upon anyone, but we all know it will be here eventually. All the more reason to seize these long summer days. Our recommendation is that you spend as much time as possible reading in the shade with a glass of lemonade and take a trip or two to the ballpark. When it is nice like this, what else is there to do?

Photo courtesy of FaceMePLS' Flickr account

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rainy Day(s) Suggestions

Springtime in the Chicagoland area has been more like "raintime," as we spent the months of April, May, and June in a soggy state. Here at the library we are hoping that the official start of summer this Sunday, June 21st will also be the (un)official end of all this rain. However, this wet weather does offer the perfect excuse for staying indoors with a good book, movie, or magazine (or, if you are like some of us who can be a bit gluttonous when it comes to these matters, a big stack of books, movies and magazines). You can just call us 'enablers,' because we're always adding new titles to our shelves, which only encourages this kind of behavior.

With our summer reading program already underway, we're working hard to provide our patrons with a wide variety of books. We are having an additional raffle for all patrons who read a non-fiction title as part of their 5 books, so this week's book display is highlighting some of the best of our collection of food-related memoirs, "Food Life: Memoirs from Cooks, Chefs, and Everyday Food Lovers." You really should check one out. Or two, or three, or four...don't worry, we have more.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How We Spent Our Spring Stay-cation, Summer Reading, and Other Matters of Business

Well, you may have noticed that we've been gone for a while, but we're back, and we've been busy! We have been working on our website, playing host to some fun events like flower arranging and District 130's artwork, and winning the Little Trivia on the Prairie competition this past April while we've been away, but we're glad to be back to blogging.

This is shaping up to be a fun summer at the library. As usual, we have our summer reading programs for kids, teens, and adults. We're asking everyone to get out of their old reading grooves and try something different. If you normally read Science Fiction, maybe give mysteries a try. A big Romance reader? How about taking some historical fiction to the beach instead? Maybe you're just bored of the same old and hoping for something brand new (or at least new to you), please stop by our reference desk, and we will gladly help you make some selections. We get new books in all the time, and we're more than happy to help you find the right titles for you! Our teens have the added benefit of being entered for a cool prize: a brand new iPod Nano in a color of his or her choosing. There can be only one winner, but the only way to be eligible is to participate - so get reading!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The Youth Services Department has produced some videos for the StoryTubes competition:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Blu-ray comes to the library

We're starting to get movies on Blu-ray. Call for information, or come check them out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get Your Circuit Breaker Forms!

The library has received the new Circuit Breaker forms (on paper)!  Pick up yours at the Reference Desk on the first floor. Limit two per person.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Circuit Breaker Form (IL-1363)

The State of IL has posted form IL-1363 (the Circuit Breaker) is now available online at

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Staff Pick

Several Alsip-Merrionette Park Library staff members highly recommend the book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. The book on cd has marvelous readers, and a print copy is also available.