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    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 26, 2017
    cover image for my kinda music cd
    The newest album by Walter Martin, My Kinda Music is now available as a CD from the library or a digital music loan from the library's Hoopla service.

    My family has enjoyed this album just as much as his first kids' music release We're All Young Together. Songs like 'The everglades' perfectly match our weird sense of humor, with crashing instrumentation near the end of the song as a simple car trip through the everglades ends in disaster. There are also plenty of inventive songs with Martin adding instruments as he sings a song about creating a song, or a song in phone conversation form with another singer giving musical advice. The quiet, tender songs on the album are like little stories whispered with love.

    This is truly music that the entire family can enjoy. Give it a try!

    by SM | Jun 26, 2017

    Here are more new teen fantasy novels to read after Midsummer's Eve...



    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Becky C | Jun 26, 2017
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

     Cooking for Picasso
     Shadows on the Lake
     The Confusion of Languages
     Rogue One
     Applesauce Weather
     Alpha Bravo Charlie
     My Lady Jane
     Eleanor Oliphant
     The Sisters
     The Forbidden Wish
     Point of Contact
     The Fact of a Body
     Snow White
     Lovecraft Country
     Diving Into the Wreck
     The Way of Kings
     Revenge of the Sith
     Blood Brother
     Bleed Blister Puke and Purge
     The Perennial Matchmaker

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Craig B | Jun 23, 2017

    cover of Thomas Pynchon's novel, Gravity's RainbowBook Review: Thomas Pynchon’s almost-winner of the 1974 Pulitzer Prize, Gravity’s Rainbow

    (14:41) I begin this review by speculating that the literary mantle has been passed from James Joyce to Thomas Pynchon, and when I Wikipediaed Gravity’s Rainbow, I found I was in good company making such an observation.  Critics with actual credentials have been spewing this connection into the literary aether for the past 40 years or so.  As I am a somewhat pretentious reader-of-Pulitzer-Prize-winning-novels and would like to believe that “great minds do indeed think alike,” you can imagine my delight.

    (12:01) I guess I would put it this way.  If Joyce’s Ulysses is one long, straight-faced joke (and it is, believe me -- long, that is) Gravity’s Rainbow is one long, clown-eyed tragedy.  There are silly songs, adult-type antics, and a general surreality that drives one to giggles, but it’s also about the Holocaust.  Thus, the unofficial epithet I’ve decided to give it is "The Difficult Pulitzer."  Because, yes, it is very long (so long, in fact, I was certain for a while it was going to become “The Longest Pulitzer” … but then I remembered Gone With the Wind).  It is more notably “difficult” however, not only because of the WWII subtext, but also because, in all seriousness (paying no attention to any quirking of the lips you might cognate), it feels like I’ve been reading this thing for six months, though it’s only actually been 8 weeks.  The novel is dense and wandering -- combined with the above-mentioned surreal nature of many of its episodes, this made for some tedium, but also some interesting notes.  For example:

    “too many characters but who am I kidding, it’s brilliant”

    “what’s with all the singing?”

    “images and lines like that of Lot’s wife seem to make this go”

    (7:19) And that last note, I would like to comment on.  Much of this novel I didn’t try too hard to understand, because it’s just way out there sometimes, but there were these sterling moments (like the image of Lot’s wife, evidently) that kept it ticking, that even caused me to imagine I might one day return to Gravity’s Rainbow to read it again.  It’s a puzzle strewn with bread crumbs, and somehow, despite its difficulties, those crumbs kept me going and will probably bring me back (BTW, I’m pretty sure this is also something people say about Finnegans Wake).  And with that in mind, I have to wonder if this is actually the technique that Pynchon has used to keep his career alive.  (Maybe more than alive, an all-star cast just recently brought one of his newer books to life for the silver screen).  Is it by becoming a famous recluse, allowing only snippets of his lifestyle and developing biography to slip out into the public, by maintaining personal mystery even through martial denial of detail -- is it through these bread crumbs, that he has kept the general readership interested, not to mention famous movie directors?  Like, “Hey, Paul Thomas Anderson, hey, over here, look at me!  New book!  New movie!?!”  A match made in heaven.

    (29 seconds left) And so, to bring this full circle, you did not read me wrong up there.  I may read Gravity’s Rainbow again someday, in fact it’s almost certain I will, and that pretty much sets it above and beyond Joyce for me.  Although Ulysses and Gravity’s Rainbow have much in common, being two sides of the same 3 dollar coin, I will probably never revisit that early mid-20th century novel of Joyce’s for anything under 10,000 of those coins.  Ulysses, not to mention Finnegans Wake, is less coherent, less hilarious, and LONGER!  I mean, can you imagine the notes?

    by SM | Jun 22, 2017

    2017 Teen Chess Tournament

    Play chess, eat pizza and snacks, and have fun. Trophies for winner in three age and skill levels, beginner to advanced. You could win one of the 18 trophies to be given away! Players must register no later than July 21, 2017. Ask your librarian for a registration form. Call the Teen Department at 421-1255 for more information.

    by Community Engagement | Jun 22, 2017
    2017 Teen Chess Tournament

    Play chess, eat pizza and snacks, and have fun. Trophies for winner in three age and skill levels, beginner to advanced. You could win one of the 18 trophies to be given away! Players must register no later than July 21, 2017. Ask your librarian for a registration form. Call the Teen Department at 421-1255 for more information.
    by SM | Jun 22, 2017

    Here are new teen fantasy novels to read for this Midsummer's Eve...



    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Cindy H | Jun 21, 2017
    The Jar of Happiness, written and illustrated by Alisa Burrows, is a story about a girl named Meg who invents a way to carry happiness around with her, a jar of happiness. She takes the jar with her everywhere she goes. She uses it to cheer up her sad friend, her sick grandmother, and her little brother. One day she loses the jar and can't find it anywhere. Although she is sad about losing her jar, she visits her friend, grandmother, and plays with her little brother, who all help cheer her up. She learns that even though she can't find her jar she still finds happiness in the people she cares about.

    This is a very sweet story and helps children learn about friendship and empathy. As an extension to this book you could help your child create their own jar of happiness. Just get a small jar, like a mason jar or old pickle jar, and let them put things in it that make them happy. Glitter, small toys, pictures from magazines or of friends and family members, and/or splashes of paint can help them connect what they read to real life. Be creative, and enjoy seeing them use their own jar of happiness to brighten a loved one's day!

    This picture book is recommended for children ages 3-7. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Ask a Librarian | Jun 21, 2017

    eReader image from pixaby

    “I want to borrow eBooks from the library.  What’s the best device to do that?”

    My question to you: What devices/phones do you currently own?  Do you have a smartphone or tablet running Android 4.4 or up or IOS 9 or up?  That will work.  A computer or laptop?  Unless it’s ancient, you can read eBooks that way too. 

    ACPL offers two eBook services:  OverDrive and Hoopla.  A home WIFI connection will make it easier to take advantage of these services but all ACPL locations offer public WIFI networks as well. 

    Hoopla requires you to sign up for an account with them, using your email address, a password you create, your ACPL library card, and your four-digit PIN number.  Once you're logged in, you can borrow up to ten titles a month.  On a smartphone or tablet, just download the Hoopla app from your app/play store and sign in with your Hoopla account.  Borrowed titles can be also be read on your computer.
    OverDrive can be used without any special software or account other than your ACPL card and your four-digit PIN number.  When using our catalog, choose to download the HTML format.  Or within our ebook site, borrow the title (sign in with library card number and PIN) and then go to My Account — Loans) and click on Read Now. A new webpage for the eBook will open for reading. You can bookmark the eBook to return to it easily, or open it again from your account. View this help video to learn the tricks. On a smartphone or tablet, you also have the option of downloading the Libby app.

    There are help pages and videos on both library eBook sites to help you learn how to use these services.  For instance, you can change the text size, font, and background colors to suit your needs.  We are also happy to help in person at the library.  Calling ahead may be best to make certain that we have staff available at the time you need.

    While there a certainly benefits to eBooks, it's worth noting that ACPL still purchases and owns more print books than eBooks -- the wait times for physical books are typically less at ACPL than for eBooks these days.  No battery needed!

    Check in with us next week for a post considering the different types of e-readers available . . . .

    From the Desk of Ask a Librarian (

    *Questions about your library card or PIN number?  Please call us at 260-421-1200 ext. 4011 during regular library hours.

    *Licensing agreements allow us to provide eBook privileges to Allen County, Indiana residents only. 

    *Technology and the library’s eBook services are in a constant state of change.  This post may be out-of-date within a month or two! 

    by Community Engagement | Jun 20, 2017

    Smooth Edge 2

    by Erica S | Jun 19, 2017

    It’s okay to aHappy kidsdmit that life is sometimes busy and sometimes very difficult. It’s okay to say that we get too preoccupied with our phones and our stressors to be aware of the present moment. It’s quite okay to know that being intentional can be a tough task. We, in Children’s Services, understand and want to help. 

    Recent research has shown that mindfulness can be crucial and transformative for everyone, children included, in everyday life to calm, to collect, to redirect. That’s why we have invited Bethany Pruitt, a licensed social worker, family therapist, and registered yoga teacher, to help us learn intentional breathing for our children AND for us. Meet us in the Globe Room Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 pm at the Main Library.

    Centered around Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” (Wherever You Go There You Are, 4) this is an open class, no registration, and completely free. Grown-ups, bring your little ones for a hands-on workshop on how to breathe intentionally to add to your resources to help the children in your life.

    by Evan | Jun 19, 2017
    Evan with Ghostbusters screen

    There's something strange in the cyberhood. Who you gonna call?

    A librarian.

    Seriously. If you hear or read some strange news and wonder if you are being slimed, give us a call at 260-421-1215. Or write to us at . Evaluating information sources is part of what we do every day. We'll get back to you with credible answers about where the news is coming from and whether it rings true. 

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Kris L. | Jun 17, 2017

    Cyber Safety
    Saturday, July 15
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Georgetown Branch Library

    As a professional who works with children and teens, as well as a parent, I am constantly on the alert for ways to help kids stay safe in this rapidly changing digital world.  It seems as though every day there are new technologies that open up so many possibilities – and dangers – to our young people.   

    At the Georgetown branch library, we are offering an opportunity for school-age kids, teens, and adults to learn together.  Presented by Cathie Bledsoe, youth educator for the Indiana State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, this hour-long event will help us learn in age-appropriate ways:

    • What it means to be a good digital citizen

    • What is inappropriate content online

    • How kids can protect their personal information

    • Why kids should never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they’ve met online

    • How to address cyber bullying

    This event is FREE and open to the public.  Flyers and handouts will be provided.  We hope to see you there!

    by Cindy H | Jun 16, 2017
    Heather couldn't believe what she'd just done. She'd jumped off the cliff into the water below, declaring herself a participant in Panic. Everyone at Carp High pays a $1 a day into the pot, no exceptions. At the end of the school year all graduating seniors are eligible to enter into Panic, where they will compete in a number of increasingly dangerous and terrifying tasks until winner takes all in the final challenge, Joust. Heather never intended to play, she was only there to cheer on her best friend, Natalie. When her boyfriend dumps her for another girl, right before she was going to say "I love you" for the first time, jumping off the cliff seems like the only thing to do. Although that was the catalyst, Heather soon finds she has many reasons for entering Panic, and now she is playing to win. The only problem is, so is everyone else, and some people may not play by the rules.

    Dodge's sister almost won Panic a few years ago, until in the final round something happened to her car and she ended up paralyzed from the waist down. Now Dodge is eligible to play, and he is not going to lose out on his chance to exact revenge on the people who hurt his sister. Things start to get complicated, however, when he starts to fall for one of the other players. He knows he must keep his eye on the prize, but things are going to get much more intense than he could have ever imagined.

    This book was exhilarating and kept me on the edge of my seat; I couldn't put it down! Although there is some romance, the primary focus of the book is on getting to know the characters and follow them through their quest to win Panic. The story goes back and forth between Heather and Dodge's perspectives, which gives you an interesting look into not only their thoughts but their views on the other characters as well. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, suspenseful book about realistic characters dealing with difficult and sometimes tragic experiences. This book is available in print,as an ebook and audiobook on Overdrive, or audiobook on Hoopla. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Sara | Jun 15, 2017

    My family loves to visit the Children’s Services department at the downtown library. Our first stop is the McMillen Globe in the Great Hall; then we ask the librarians if we can go in the Early Learning Center. My five and eight year old each have their favorite activities -- the play kitchen and the writing station, respectively. There is so much to play with, and they are having so much fun they don’t realize how much they are learning.

    Our next stop after leaving the ELC is the the aquarium and bubble tubes area. We love learning about the animals that live in the tanks! There are handy guides at the desk outside the computer room that show each tank and its inhabitants. We go through the sheets and try to find each one in the tank. girl looking in a fish tank

    The yellow tang that used to live in the reef tank was very shy. He tended to hide from spying eyes. My daughter and Michal, one of the librarians, like to try to find him and other fish together.Aurelia and Michal with the fish guide at the tank

    Once we were even lucky enough to be there when Rob was feeding the anemones in the reef tank! He used a long grasping tool to deliver pieces of shrimp to these fascinating animals that look like ocean plants. My kids still talk about it. Sometimes you can even watch the eels and puffer fish being hand fed.

    We have made a lot of memories at the library over the years and look forward to each visit. There is always something new to learn or discover at the library!

    by Emily M | Jun 14, 2017
    Looking for a book recommendation?  Look no further!  Here are a few good books I've enjoyed recently.

    Book Review: Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

    silversparrowSilver Sparrow tells the story of two families living in Atlanta, Georgia.  One is James Witherspoon’s public family.  James is married to Laverne and together they have a daughter, Chaurisse.  The three live together in a modest home and function like most nuclear families.

    The other family is James’ secret family. Despite already being married to Laverne, James marries Gwen across the state line in Alabama shortly after the birth of their daughter, Dana.  James spends one evening each a week with Gwen and Dana, who know about Laverne and Chaurisse.  Laverne and Chaurisse, however, have no knowledge of James’ other family and live in ignorant bliss.  Silver Sparrow explores how James’ decision to keep a secret family will spiral out of control for everyone involved.

    There’s a lot to like about Silver Sparrow: the premise is original and surprisingly believable.  Rich backstories explain how James came to be in this unusual position and the author deftly creates a setting wherein the reader gets a real feel for middle-class, African-American life in Atlanta in the 1980s.  Nevertheless, the book does have a few weak spots.  A few key characters were underdeveloped and the ending left something to be desired.  However, I would still recommend this book for its unique premise and engrossing storyline. 

    Book Review: Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy

    ghettosideFrom 2001 to 2012, Jill Leovy was a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, reporting on homicide in L.A.  For more than a decade, she reported on the murders of African-American men and boys on L.A.’s south side. She spent time with the family members of the deceased, and with the detectives who investigated their murders.  Ghettoside is her attempt to explore and explain our country’s high rate of black-on-black crime, while also examining why the murders of so many young black men and boys go unsolved, and how the two are related.

    Despite the tragic content, Ghettoside is immensely readable.  Leovy deftly weaves together the heart-wrenching stories of the murders of a dozen young African-American men in south L.A., of the overworked detectives assigned to their cases, of the frightened witnesses who are so reluctant to come forward, and of the grieving family members hungry for justice.  While telling the individual stories, she also explores aspects of history and human psychology that have resulted in a group of people who not only don’t trust the police to prevent crime, but also don’t trust the police to bring justice to victims.  Leovy asserts that our current rates of black-on-black crime are a result of African-American men carrying out vigilante justice, not trusting our justice system to find and convict the killers of African-Americans.  She asserts that a different type of policing, which focuses less on prevention and more on bringing justice to victims, would actually greatly reduce the rate of violent crime in areas such as south Los Angeles. 

    Book Review: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

    thekillerangelsWinner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1975, The Killer Angels is considered by many to be the best Civil War novel of all time.  I first read it as a freshman in college, as it was required reading for my American History course.  I enjoyed it immensely at the time, and recently decided to give it a reread.

     The Killer Angels is a play-by-play of the Battle of Gettysburg told from the perspective of various officers from both the Union and Confederacy.  Shaara’s ability to describe the battles and what is happening is excellent, but the heart of this book is the way Shaara gets inside the heads of each of the different officers, examining their motivations, fears, strengths, and weaknesses.  The Killer Angels is an excellent insight into the heavy mental and emotional toll of making decisions as the leader of troops on the battlefield. 

    What good books have you read lately?

    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.


    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 13, 2017
    Want to learn something new this summer? Want a silly picture book or an action packed chapter book? We've got plenty of new books in every category imaginable! Here are just a few.
    cover image for  barkus  cover image for invisible emmie  cover image for wolf pups join the pack 
    cover image for dogfight  cover image for welcome  cover image for way past bedtime 
    cover image for when the sky breaks  cover image for the moving making book cover image for the supernormal sleuthing service 
    by sm | Jun 12, 2017

    These books are some more new teen science-fiction novels to enjoy as Summer heats up...



    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!

    by Kay S | Jun 09, 2017
    anne gracieIt’s been awhile since I've read anything by Anne Gracie. Even though I loved her first couple of books, she never became one of my auto-buys. But times are tough, and I've been on a desperate search for something I like, so when I read a glowing review about Marry in Haste, I thought - what have you got to lose? Well, I'm mighty happy I read that review. Turns out Marry in Haste was just what I was looking for.

    This was a character-driven story. There were no heroic harebrained heroines doing preposterous things. There weren't any groan-inducing-eye-crossing antics which didn't fit into the time line. And, best of all, we have a hero and heroine who actually talk to each other - dare I say, they even become friends. Gasp! They learn to respect each other. It was a charming story.

    Major Calbourn Rutherford has been a soldier for over a decade. Even though the war is over, there is still some unfinished business. He's after the sniper who murdered his best friend during the war. This is his obsession. But on his return to England, there are some problems which must be addressed. Calbourn has two half-sisters who are regular hellions and need a firm hand. Being an army guy, he charges in, strong-arms his sisters, and immediately loses control of the situation. Not only that, but he finds out his deceased brother has a daughter who seems to have run wild in the countryside. Now Cal has a problem. He has three young women who resent him and don't follow his orders. He does not have time for this; he has an assassin to catch. He must find someone to rope the girls in - it is time for our heroine, Emmaline Westwood, a teacher from sisters' school. At first, he offers her a job of looking after the girls. She turns him down. She needs something which will last a few more years. Cal then gets the brilliant idea of proposing a marriage of convenience. After a few minutes of consideration, Emmaline accepts. Cal now thinks he can wash his hands of this sisters and niece and return to his assassin search. Ha! Nothing works the way Cal has envisioned.

    Cal was a wonderful, gruff hero. Throughout the book we watch as he discovers what is important and what isn't. He is the one who changes the most in this story, but that doesn't mean Emmaline is just a supporting character. Her presence is what this story revolves around. She is the catalyst.

    Cal and Emmaline are a wonderful couple. They make for what I would call a good old romance story. They talk to each other, they support each other, and together they build a family. I sense that the three young women will have their own books.

    If I had any quibble, it was that some of the loose ends were tied up too tidily, but overall this was a well-written lovely story and highly recommended.

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Dawn S | Jun 09, 2017
    Did you have a chance to attend a library doughnut party? We read fun doughnut stories like If You Give a Dog a Donut and Please Mr. Panda. We 'frosted' letter D's and added sprinkles to look like doughnuts. We played fun games and, of course, snacked on doughnuts!

    There's still time! Check the library calendar to see what doughnut parties are coming up and what other summer fun we've got planned for you!

    letter 'd' craft for doughnut party child eatting doughnut off string for game
    doughnut storytime girl playing doughnut matching game
    girl eatting doughnut kids doing doughnut craft