Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

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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Head wrap display offers glimpses into fashion, cultures

The Beautifully Wrapped Head Wrap exhibit, curated by Zarinah El-Amin Naeem, opened at Helen Warner Branch on Sept. 9. Since opening, this exhibit has garnered plenty of attention on social media. The display includes 32 photos and four mannequin busts of exotic and cultural stylings of head wraps. My favorite photograph is of a man and woman dress...
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Why should youth visit the library?

Willard Library has something for youth of all ages. Ages 0-2 years can participate in Babytime, which takes place at 11 a.m. Thursdays at the Helen Warner Branch. Babytime gives our youngest guests opportunities to talk, sing, play, read, and write. Our Little Explorer Story Times focus on building family literacy and language skills. These s...
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Popular authors releasing new books this fall

There are so many great books coming your way this fall! Let's take a look at what's hitting library shelves. The Testaments, due this month, is the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Popularity of this classic novel grew in 2017 when Hulu released it as an exclusive series. I haven't seen much in the way of a synopsis for The Testam...
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Foreign Movie Fun from Korea, Japan, and Ireland

Foreign movies, like books, offer the ultimate escape from the norm of daily life. Let's travel the world and go back in time with these great foreign movies: Northern Limit Line (2015). If you like military dramas such as Black Hawk Down and Men of Honor, you'll enjoy this gut-wrenching movie about the 2002 sinking of a South Korean naval ship by ...
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Summer Reading Challenge leads to fun

The Adult Love Where You Live Summer Challenge is off to a great start. We have received many fabulous summer adventure responses, and I wish I could list them all! Here are a few highlights from our Willard Library community: Our Willard friends bird watched at the Kellogg Sanctuary, a nature preserve, Leila Arboretum, and their backyards. One fri...
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Willard’s fall programs offer something for everyone

Some people may think a library is just a place to get books and DVDs, however during the past several years Willard has become the place to go for entertainment, education, life enrichment, and fun. This fall, the library will present more than 170 programs, which are listed in the fall brochure! On some days—usually Wednesdays—we often have five ...
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The Willard App Turns One!

It has been an entire year since we launched the Willard Library App. We are so excited to celebrate this milestone. (Insert party blowers and confetti here!) The app offers users a convenient way to search our physical and digital materials, place holds, manage accounts, view our events calendar, and keep in touch with us via chat, Facebook, Twitt...
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BYO Bag and Win!

If you're like me, you probably have cloth grocery bags but don't use them very often. Even if I keep them in my car, I usually forget to bring them into the store. At the library, we give guests hundreds of plastic bags every year. Some guests re-use the plastic bags, while a few guests already bring their own tote bags. On Aug. 1, Willard launche...
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