Shelf. Life

A look at what's happening at Willard

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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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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