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