Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

Join the Favorite Authors Club Junior or Young Adult

A couple of months ago, one of my favorite authors came out with a new book, and I really wanted to read it. Because I was not a part of Willard's Adult Favorite Authors Club, I was placed at the bottom of the holds list of 200 library guests. I was heartbroken. It took nearly a month for me to check out this highly coveted title. During my wait, I...
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Digital services are free and easy

Willard Library can save you money on your digital purchases each month! Gone are the early days of ebooks when you had to go through 47 steps (I counted once.) to transfer an ebook onto your device. Now, you can get ebooks, magazines, videos, and music conveniently and free with your Willard Library card and the following apps. I use the Freegal M...
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What we’re reading during June

We've enjoyed some great books this month! Check them out: Audiobooks: The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates Two of our staff members are currently reading/listening to this bestselling title. Described as "semi-autobiographical. Gates often refers back to her time working with Microsoft and the experiences that brought her to this book. She writes a...
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A Monolingual’s Journey

I've always wanted to learn another language, the great dream of a many monolinguals. I fantasize about acquiring a second language and expanding my world, perhaps traveling to exotic locales to meet new and interesting friends. But that's where it ends: the fantasy. The time and effort it actually takes to learn another language seem so daunting t...
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Check out the birds of Battle Creek this summer

There's a new picture book called "Ruby's Birds," and the bird life in it looks a lot like what you might find in Battle Creek. Ruby and her babysitter go to the park to look for a migrating golden-winged warbler. On the way, they encounter 13 other species that you are likely to see in urban environments, and I'm happy to report that I have observ...
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Tips to Prevent Summer Reading Loss

School's almost out for summer! While many of us have vacations planned with our families, or we may be looking forward to relaxing in the sun, don't forget to take some time to read. Believe it or not, summer is a critical time for educational development. Richard Allington, a professor of education, says, "It is estimated that the summer slide ac...
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Check out the staff's May reading recommendations

Willard staff has enjoyed some great reads and audio books this month. Check them out: Audiobooks Ghost (Track series Book 1) by Jason Reynolds (Young Adult) Patina (Track series Book 2) by Jason Reynolds As someone who has run track for 11 years, I was pleasantly surprised to find this series about track. Reynolds captures the heart of track and f...
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Time for Summer Blockbusters!

Whether on the beach, on the porch or on your couch in air-conditioned comfort, these are the biggest novels of the summer. Read on to find which one(s) you'll want to take home next. Cari Mora by Thomas Harris Twenty-five million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for ye...
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We’ve Got Your Back

This month, Willard began automatically renewing most checked out materials. We continually strive to give Willard guests better experiences and automatic renewals does just that. We researched this new service, and it's a big win for Willard guests. The "We've Got Your Back" campaign's goal is to let everyone know that most materials will be autom...
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Be a Smarty Pants With Consumer Reports

What do sunscreen products, advice on tick proofing your yard, buying a new car, and finding out if your water bottle is slowly poisoning you with arsenic have in common? They are all covered in Consumer Reports. Many people ask to see the print version of this resource at the library. For even more information, a librarian at the Information Desk ...
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Your Next Great Adventure is Just a Book Away …

I love to travel and so, vacation planning for me, is itself an on-going hobby. My travel destinations are often inspired by the books I've read, or by the authors I admire. With two sons in college, I've had to quash my wanderlust lately, so I have discovered the benefits of "armchair travel." Of course, books will take you wherever you want to go...
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You’re invited to join Willard’s Book Club

The April Book Club pick, How 'Bout That For A Crack Baby , was an unexpected favorite. Recommended by one of our book club members, this memoir tells the early life of one of Detroit's most influential men, Shawn Blanchard. He began his life in the "hood" of Detroit, born addicted to crack, abandoned for the first four years of his life by his mot...
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With Freegal, the beat goes on and on

There are lots of free services available to download and stream music, but Freegal is my favorite. If you can get past the goofy name—it comes from Free + Legal music streaming—I'm sure it will join your regular app rotation. When Freegal first launched, I used it to look up my favorite songs and bands, and with more than 15 million songs in their...
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thirdAGE: Sharing the journey

Bette Davis gets credit for saying that "getting old is not for sissies," but the late actress was unlikely the first to make the observation, and certainly won't be the last. My mother, more of a Vivien Leigh fan, has her share of occasions to impart this bit of wisdom. Age 76 and in otherwise remarkably good health, mom is coping with dement...
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Not Your Parents’ Coffee

A day without coffee is almost unheard of in our household, but it wasn't always like that. The search for the perfect cup of freshly roasted beans has gradually grown during the past five years. In 2015, we traveled to a coffee farm in Costa Rica, where we sipped that yummy liquid gold throughout the day and soaked up all we could about the farm-t...
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Celebrate poetry this month

April is National Poetry Month, and I am going to honor it by writing poetry, again. You see, I used to scribble poems in a spiral-bound journal when I was an angst-filled teenager. It was a cathartic process. The poetry was, I'm sure, quite bad. But that really didn't matter now that I look back on it. It was a way to express myself, connecting th...
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What we’re enjoying this month

This month, library staff has finished a few titles, started new ones, and awed over movies new and old. Take a listen to: Legendary by Stephanie Garber (Young Adult) If you liked Throne of Glass and The Night Circus , you'll enjoy this mystery of two sisters, their missing mother, and the magical world of Caraval. Available in print and audio. The...
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Write a Love Note to Battle Creek!

Melody Warnick will be at the Kool Family Community Center at 6:30 p.m. Thursday to talk about her book, This Is Where You Belong. Her visit is part of Willard Library's Love Where You Live program series. I hope you will come out and join us. Besides hearing Melody's story of how she grew roots in her adopted town of Blacksburg, Virginia, we will ...
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How I rediscovered my love of knitting, at work!

I was an avid knitter when I hired in at Willard. I knit everything from socks to shawls. I even attended a couple of knitting conventions in Chicago. Nearly three years ago, I had my daughter. Life got exponentially busier! This working mama, like most, rarely has time to do anything extracurricular. I order books for the crafting section, and the...
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Spotlight on foreign films

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: White God ( Fehér isten, 2014). This Hungary present-day film follows the life of Hagen, a mixed-breed dog. He is abandoned on the streets of Hungary after the father of his beloved owner, Li...
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