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So far Tom has created 10 blog entries.
18 04, 2019

Staff Picks: “Arctic Solitaire”

By |April 18th, 2019|

Some photographers will do anything for a great shot. Ask Paul Souders. Over four summers from 2012 to 2015, Souders explored the Hudson Bay region of Canada, hoping to take the perfect picture of a polar bear. He traversed the area by himself in a small C-Dory fishing boat and

17 08, 2018

Staff Picks: “All the Answers”

By |August 17th, 2018|

Long before Jeopardy!, there was Quiz Kids, a trivia program for children that debuted on the radio in the 1940s. One of its stars was Chicago’s Joel Kupperman, who became a regular contestant at age six and charmed listeners with his precocious math skills. He received thousands of fan letters

27 10, 2017

Staff Picks: Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

By |October 27th, 2017|

Unless you’re studying for the National Spelling Bee, you wouldn’t want to read the dictionary cover to cover. But books about the dictionary can be pretty compelling. Don’t believe me? Check out “Word by Word” by Kory Stamper. Written by an editor at Merriam-Webster, “Word by Word” takes us through

12 09, 2017

Fabulous Foreign Movies!

By |September 12th, 2017|

The foreign movie collection is one of those oft-neglected gems of the library. Most titles are lucky to get checked out more than once or twice a year. This is a shame, because there’s so much cool stuff sitting on those shelves! Let me try to describe the scope of

16 05, 2017

Inspired by C2E2: Great Graphic Novels

By |May 16th, 2017|

A few weeks ago, I attended C2E2, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. Beyond the costumed fans and celebrity photo-ops, it’s a fantastic place to discover things to read! I went to several panels led by comics creators, critics, historians, and educators, who discussed their favorite graphic novels. Luckily, our

14 04, 2017

Staff Picks: Heart of a Lion

By |April 14th, 2017|

The animal kingdom contains many fascinating stories, and one of the best appears in William Stolzenburg’s “Heart of a Lion”. Stolzenburg follows the odyssey of a male mountain lion (aka cougar, puma, or panther) who walked halfway across the continent before being killed by an SUV in Connecticut in 2011.

3 11, 2016

Staff Picks: In a Different Key

By |November 3rd, 2016|

When I first looked at John Donvan and Caren Zucker’s “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” I felt a little intimidated by its 670 pages. But once I started flipping through it, I wanted to read every word. The authors have taken a massive topic – the social

13 09, 2016

Why is that book shelved there?

By |September 13th, 2016|

Did you ever notice that books about pet dogs are shelved closer to books about vegetables than books about wolves? It’s all because of the Dewey Decimal System, through which our library organizes all nonfiction books and a few types of fiction books. Melvil Dewey developed the system at Amherst

21 06, 2016

Some of the Strangest Books in Our Collection!

By |June 21st, 2016|

Sometimes, the library feels like a big popularity contest. We have entire shelves of titles by James Patterson and Stephen King. And right now, everyone wants to read The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. But there are thousands of items in our collection, and it’s about time someone gave some

3 02, 2016

A Look at the Life of a Library Book

By |February 3rd, 2016|

Unless you have x-ray vision, you probably never realized there’s a whole library department hidden behind the audiobook wall downstairs. That’s my department, Support Services, and we’re the starting point for every cataloged item in our collection. Books, DVDs, CDs, you name it -- they all come through us first.

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