Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

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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Alternative resolutions can be fun and easier to keep

Happy New Year from your friends at Willard! As we welcome 2020, many of us think about the coming year and commit to improving ourselves in some way. My resolution every year, for the past five years, has been to eat better and exercise more. I start off with the best of intentions, but can never seem to make it past the month of January. Either t...
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Reflecting on a dozen years of growth and change

My favorite part about working at Willard Library for the past 12 years has been that our target is always moving! Speaking of moving, in case you haven't heard I'm heading to Ithaca, N.Y., where I will join the Cornell University Library in January. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Battle Creek and will miss all friendly people I regularly see...
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Holiday entertaining--Let us help you!

It's that time of year when we are supposed to give thanks for all that is good in our lives and spend time with loved ones. Leisurely put up the holiday decorations while sipping eggnog and listen to festive music. Find the PERFECT gift for everyone on our list. The reality is that many of us dash around in panic mode, stressed beyond belief, tryi...
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No turkeys among the staff's November selections

The library staff has done a wide variety of reading, listening, and watching this month. Listening to: Frozen II Soundtrack (available from Willard's Hoopla app) If you've seen Frozen II in theaters, don't miss a chance to sing along to this soundtrack. Hollywood's Bleeding by Post Malone (also available from Hoopla) A bit of hip-hop/rap, mixed in...
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Make time to make stuff

During this busy season, it's important to take some time to make stuff. Creative activities are known to contribute toward reducing stress and depression according to the American Journal of Public Health . So, if you are feeling a little stressed from the holiday hustle and demands, take some time for yourself at the library and enjoy a little cr...
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Memoir reading improves your awesomeness

I love reading memoirs and autobiographies. They give you a gliimpse into how another person navigates life, and if they're very good, they show that person's struggles and emotional breakthroughs. How does that improve your awesomeness? Well, accompanying another person on his or her journey helps you craft your unique story. It gives fresh insigh...
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Find a Job!

You may now search for jobs from Willard Library's website. AtoZ Databases is a very useful resource made available through the Michigan eLibrary (MeL). Just go to willardlibrary.org > Online Resources. Click on the AtoZ Databases icon . This service may be accessed from your home computer and a library card is not required. The "Find a Job" too...
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Read what the library staff is reading

We've enjoyed a wide variety of reading, listening, and viewing during October. Listening to: Grump by Liesl Shurtliff One staff member is listening to this children's book with her children. It is the tale of Grump, one of Snow White's dwarfs, in an alternate telling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the point of view of a dwarf. In this tal...
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Cozy up with some young adult books this fall

Grab a blanket and a hot (or cold) cup of coffee; it's fall! Something about this season makes me want to spend my free time curled up with a good book. I've pulled together a few of young adult literature's best fall offerings. City of Beasts by Corrie Wang – For 17 years, fees have lived separate from beasts. The division of the sexes has kept th...
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Books that go bump in the night

I don't know why, but I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to horror novels. I find myself horrified by most, but I can't seem to stop reading. I guess I'm just drawn to the creepy and horrifying. If you, too, enjoy the creepy and horrifying, you'll be happy to know that there are numerous horror novels available at Willard. One of the creepi...
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Teens discovering their dreams

Whether it's curing cancer, designing a fashion line, opening a restaurant -- or, in my case as a young kid, owning a whole lot of goats -- we all have big dreams. Willard Library is dedicated to helping teens discover those dreams with "Take Your Dreams off the Shelf," a series of after-school programs for teens in grades 5-12 on Tuesdays and Wedn...
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A world of magazines at your fingertips

RB Digital is one of the least-used of all of the Willard apps, but it's one of my favorites. More than any other library app, this one has saved my household money. The RB Digital app is the best way to access Willard's collection of free magazine subscriptions. I'm not a huge magazine reader, but I like to have them on hand when I'm traveling or ...
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‘Handmaid’s Tale’ fans: Check out these read-alikes

If you've read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (or enjoyed the series on Hulu), take a look at these books that channel similar themes of womanhood and motherhood in a dystopian future where women's bodies are no longer their own: Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich Successful births have declined. Unsuccessful births entail defo...
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