Thank you East Lansing High School Marching Band!

A big thank you to the East Lansing High School Marching Band for their birthday wishes.  ELPL loves you!


Introducing the ELPL Maker Studios

Three years ago I started talking about makerspaces and how libraries were developing creative spaces in their communities.  At that time, I hoped that, one day, the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) would be able to have a maker space.  Well, I am thrilled to say, that day is today!  ELPL opened the ELPL Maker Studio in the library on September 20.  We are opening the second space,

Banned Books Week 2014

For more than thirty years, Banned Books Week has drawn attention to the most challenged books in libraries, schools and institutions across the country. Many of the most recognizable classics in the world have graced the list for containing content deemed unsuitable for children and teens, excessive violence, offensive language, and more.  

This week, we celebrate our freedom to read by highlighting the latest list of most challenged books.

Here's a look at the top five...

1.Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey

When prankster fourth-graders, George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he is an underpants wearing superhero, things get out of hand as he escapes to the streets and starts fighting crime. Originally written for reluctant young readers, Captain Underpants is an award winning series that has had children (and their parents) in hysterics as they witness the adventures of Harold, George, and Principal Krupp (a.k.a. Captain Underpants) in their latest attempts to save the world. Pilkey's use of offensive potty humor and the inclusion of violent scenes have brought this series to the top of the most challenged list for the past two years running.


2.The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Originally published in 1970, The Bluest Eye is Morrison's first novel, following the life of Pecola Breedlove, a young African-American girl growing up in a primarily white community. Often mocked for her curly hair and brown eyes, Pecola yearns to fit in with the blonde hair, blue-eyed youth that surround her. Morrison, a Nobel laureate, presents a haunting story that is a lesson in self-hatred, racial identity, and our obsession with conformity. Offensive language, explicit content, and violent scenes are the primary reasons it has reached the second spot on the most challenged list this year.


3.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie's award winning book tells the story of Junior, a young Native American teen who attempts to break away from the reservation where he grew up, and enroll in a farming town high school to secure a better future. Based on the author's own past experiences, readers are brought on a journey of self discovery as Junior becomes alienated from his tribe and attempts to fit in to a new, more privileged community. This is the fourth consecutive year that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has made the most challenged books list. Racism, offensive language, and scenes containing drug, alcohol and tobacco use have been the primary reasons for challenging this title.


4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

The first in E.L. James's Fifty Shades TrilogyFifty Shades of Grey  follows literature student, Anastasia Steele, as she embarks on an affair with successful entrepreneur, Christian Grey. First published in 2013, the Fifty Shades Trilogy has become an international bestseller and is set to hit the big screen in February 2015. It has also been removed from public library shelves and banned from entire cities due to its explicit content and language.



5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy is famed for its violent content. Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old living in futuristic Panem, volunteers to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a gladiator-like televised competition in which representatives from different districts fight to the death. The trilogy by Suzanne Collins has become an international bestseller since its debut in 2010, and the third installment of the film adaptation is due out later this year. The book has been banned from schools and libraries for containing content that is unsuitable for teens.


Interested in taking a chance on a banned book? For the banned book lovers among us, or for those who are just plain curious, check out our lists of Recent Banned Books and Most Challenged Classics

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz


On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness--and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own. 

In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina


In Meg Medina’s compelling new novel, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school — and must discover resources she never knew she had.

One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh


Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

Adultery: a novel by Paulo Coelho


"The thought-provoking new novel from the international bestselling author whose words change lives.

Linda knows she's lucky.  Yet every morning when she opens her eyes to a so-called new day, she feels like closing them again.  Her friends recommend medication.  But Linda wants to feel more, not less.

And so she embarks on an adventure as unexpected as it is daring, and which reawakens a side of her that she - respectable wife, loving mother, ambitious journalist - thought had disappeared.

Even she can't predict what will happen next..."

Which Banned Book Do I Read?

What should I read next?  This is a question Librarians are continuously asked.  If you are an avid reader, a sometimes reader or an I-only-read- when-someone-tells-me- to reader; Banned Books Week just might pique your interest in an unexpected way.

Banned Books Week highlights titles that have been challenged in some way. Sometimes the challenge is for profanity, sexuality, religion or a myriad of other “offenses.”  

The Maker Studio is open!

3D prints - September 2014

The ELPL Maker Studio is officially open to the public!  Patrons wishing to use the maker studio can request a session online, by phone, or in person at the library.  After placing your request you will be contacted by a library staff member to schedule your session.  Tools available in the maker studio include:

  • Two MakerBot 3D printers
  • Two 27 inch Core i5 3.4 GHz iMacs
  • Two Adobe Creative Cloud seats, full suite
  • Two Final Cut Pro seats
  • Two Logic Pro X seats
  • 3D scanner
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Music recording and production equipment, including a MIDI keyboard, studio monitors, mics and more
  • Graphics tablet

Books & Bagels October 2014

Program Full
Registration Closed

In October the group will be reading and discussing Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.  Touching and powerful, this book chronicles Woodson's life as she searches for her place in the world.  Raised in South Carolina and New York, she always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.  This program is part of MSU Project 60/50, a yearlong community conversation on human and civil rights and carries on the theme of our One Book, One Community reads.

The first 15 participants to register will receive a free copy of Brown Girl Dreaming.

This session of Books & Bagels will be held at the library's new popup makerspace in downtown East Lansing.  Located on the second floor of the Marriott at University Place, the ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio offers a unique programming location for library and community events.  

Join us October 4 at 2pm for this unique Books & Bagels event!  As always, Books & Bagels is for children in grades 4-6.  Thank you to Panera Bread of Frandor for providing the bagels, and many thanks to a generous, anonymous donor for providing copies of Books & Bagels titles to program participants.

September Closures

The library will close at 3pm on Friday, September 26 due to road closures for the MSU Homecoming Parade.  Find out about all of the road closures here

Books on Tap - October 2014

Come to Jimmy's on October 14th at 6:30 pm when we dive into the world of science fiction with our discussion of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

**Also, remember to bring your summary of a David Sedaris book so that you can be entered to win tickets to his speaking engagement at the Wharton Center on October 26th.**

"Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now..."

Review from Goodreads.