Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

The Reality of Black Science Fiction

Science fiction has always been deeply rooted in the events of the era. Fears of politics, injustice, war, science, and famine have been bleeding into the science fiction genre since storytelling began. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein personified our fears of meddling with creation and the ethics of scientific discovery; Godzilla , the most recognizabl...
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Your Next Great Read: Pandemic Perusing

Are you curious about what your favorite library staff members have been reading these past few weeks? Check out these staff picks: Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul A. Offit, M.D. ­ "It is crazy and only gets crazier! Each chapter is a story/brief history about these acts of science as a sort of cautionary tales about how ...
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#OwnVoices: Willard’s new mini-displays

Willard Library celebrates all voices, cultures, and sexual orientations. Because of this, we have created mini-displays highlighting #OwnVoices authors in our collection. If you are unfamiliar with the #OwnVoices movement, it's a movement started by Corinne Duyvis, who first began using the hashtag on Twitter in 2015 to bring attention to books fe...
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On Stuttering

Setting politics aside, it was a courageous thing for Brayden Harrington to stream in front of the world during the Democratic National Convention, proudly speaking about his stuttering and how much meeting a fellow stutterer years ago changed his life. Until the age of 19, I had only met one other stutterer in my life and the experience was not as...
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Willard Library reaffirms commitment to stand against racism and injustice

As an organization committed to the values of equity and inclusiveness, we at Willard Library mourn the tragic, brutal, indefensible killing of George Floyd and so many other Black lives in America. We share the outrage of those who marched in our city and across this nation seeking justice. We stand with those prepared to do the essential work of ...
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What to do with all those toilet paper tubes

Many of us have been home for several weeks now. I don't know about you, but life is getting a little dull around the Dillinger household. As a parent of a very energetic only child, I'm struggling with ways to keep my daughter occupied while I'm working from home. My family and I are also in a rut with dinner, TV shows, and ideas for family activi...
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Celebrate Mother’s Day with books about mom

As we approach Mother's Day, I would like to share these inspiring, emotional, funny books about motherhood and being a parent. Some are from the point of view of the child about their mother, others are from the mother's point of view. What remains clear is the bond between them remains strong even through times of hardship. All of these titles ar...
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Join the Couch Club

Calling all readers! Are you missing human interaction as much as we are? Do you miss connecting with your fellow readers or librarians? Well, we miss you; so, we invite all of you to join us for book discussions! In May, we will host a weekly Couch Club, where you can chat about books without leaving your couch. Each week, we will separately read ...
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Three great books to download

As our shelter in place order continues and your reading pile dwindles, here's a look at three popular reads that can be downloaded with Willard's Overdrive or Libby apps. "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng With the release of Hulu's series adaptation of "Little Fires Everywhere," Ng's novel has topped lists and charts from Amazon to book club...
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New digital apps added for children and teens

On April 2, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to cancel all in-person classes for K-12 students for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. While we expected this decision, it has devastated students, parents, and teachers nonetheless. Parents are now responsible for remote learning and teachers are preparing to present curriculum...
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Challenge yourself with some fun activities

We have all faced our own challenges during the past few weeks with social distancing becoming the "new norm." I have been very proud of my fellow librarians who have embraced the challenge of finding innovative ways to bring library services to your home and connect with the library community. We miss those "in-house" moments—seeing our regular gu...
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Enjoy ‘action view’ in graphic novels from Hoopla

If you're in need of a fun distraction, now is the perfect time to dive into graphic novels, and one of my favorite ways to read them is through Willard's digital app Hoopla. Hoopla allows users to read in what they call "action view," which just means the app zooms in on each panel of art. It's a really cool way to experience the artwork and story...
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Keep your kids busy with dozens of free resources

Hey parents, while many of you are trying to find unique ways to keep your kids' minds active from home, we want to show you some awesome resources that are available to you. The good news is, there are so many people out there who want to help, especially right now! Authors and Illustrators, like Mo Willems and Kate Messner, are sharing read-aloud...
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We need each other during this time

Willard Library's leadership announced at an all-staff meeting the closing of both buildings to staff and public just nine days ago, but already it feels like a dream. I can picture us spread around the room — physically distanced — talking in broad terms about what life would be like working from home. Although our physical buildings were closed, ...
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We're here for you

As I watched Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announce tonight's shelter in place order, I thought about what we have always known: The library is so much more than the buildings. It's the people, the relationships, and the love of books and community that bring us together. We can still enjoy these things without the buildings and seeing each other in person...
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Follow the book

Do you ever wonder what happens before new books hit the shelves? Here's a special behind the scenes tour of the Acquisitions and Technical Services Department here at Willard. I'll walk you through the ordering process and what happens as soon as books are delivered from our vendors. So, let's follow the book! Part 1: Selection Ordering for both t...
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Good reads for a wintry month

Each month, the library's staff meet to discuss books we've been reading. Here are some of our favorites from February. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld This book takes place before The Butterfly Girl , as readers are introduced to Naomi, a private investigator with the uncanny ability to find people. Naomi is enlisted to find a child who has been ...
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Select Reads helps pick your next great book

Do you know about Select Reads ? I feel like it is one of the lesser-known library services, but so awesome. If you are an avid reader, who is constantly looking for new materials, please check out Select Reads. Select Reads is an email newsletter subscription service, which delivers title suggestions directly to your inbox. Lists are compiled by l...
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Find Your Next Great Read

Willard Library staff members have done a wide variety of reading and watching this month. Reading: Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld This book parallels the stories of investigator Naomi, who has the "uncanny ability for finding missing children" and an abused 12-year-old girl by the name of Celia. Hill Women by Cassie Chambers If you've read Hillbil...
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A new year, a new chapter

This year, Willard Library begins a new chapter in its history. On Jan. 1, I had the privilege of becoming the 15th director since the library opened in 1840. I look forward to building on the strong foundation of both current and past leadership of the library, the trustees, and the dedicated staff. It's truly an honor to lead the library that I g...
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