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!


Extra audition date added for One World, Many Stories Firefly Storytelling

An extra audition date has been added to the One World, Many Stories Firefly Storytelling calendar.  Interested storytellers and their parents take note!

When:  Glencairn Elementary Library
Where:  Thursday, March 5 from 4:15-5:15pm.


Before March 5 read our helpful How to Audition guide.

Friends Board Meeting Highlights February 2015

Meeting date:  February 17, 2015

The Friends will host a private reception for Dr. Thomas Mudd at the library on Thursday, April 9, 2015 prior to Dr. Mudd’s presentation.  Dr. Mudd is a descendant of the man who as a doctor treated John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated President Lincoln.  The family is attempting to exonerate Dr. Mudd’s name.  The program is open to the public.

The library has acquired an additional 3-D printer for the library’s maker space.

Maureen McCabe-Power and Jennifer Amormino attended a presentation at the  Grosse Pointe Public Library in January.  It was about Friends groups and foundations and concentrated on fund raising, social media and advocacy.  To that end the Friends will hold a strategic planning process – date to be announced.

We need more members so please renew your membership and encourage friends, neighbors and family to become members of the Friends of the ELPL.

The Friends shop had a great January keep on shopping and note the new bags for purchase $2.00 – spread the word.

The gallery is displaying artwork from the EL elementary students.  It’s on display though the month of March so stop in and appreciate some awesome work.

Junior Friends group is being formed – watch for news.

Former rental collection paintings are now for sale.  Stop in the library and redecorate your home or apartment - lots of neat pieces, some by local artists with a story to be told.  The art is displayed in the AV room across from the circulation desk.  Thank you Lanette Van Wagenen and Sandi Farrell for this project and hopefully nice fundraising for the Friends.

The Friends’ “gently used” purse sale will be held Saturday, May 9, 2015 from noon – 4:00 PM.  Lots of purses everything from evening bags to roll on luggage. Come and shop, enjoy mingling and refreshments – another fundraiser for the Friends of ELPL.

The Friends are going to hold a evening of jazz fundraiser at the library sometime in the fall so be watching for this event.

Remember we need members so join the Friends of ELPL!

Watch Congressman John Lewis at MSU

If you missed Congressman John Lewis' talk at MSU on February 6, part of the Dr. William G. Anderson Lecture Series, don't worry, you can still catch the talk on MSU's site.

Art for Sale

The FOELPL are selling our inventory of art that was accumulated during the heyday of Art Rental Programs.  As this type of program has fallen out of favor, we are evaluating our collection and placing pieces for sale in the library's audio visual room.  This ongoing sale will be refreshed with additional pieces as items sell.  We are thrilled to find data about the various artworks and the artists, often discovering both interesting and famous artists.  

Of interest is the uncovering of a piece by a deceased artist, Margaret Halava, who lived a vibrant life in the Michigan area performing a variety of jobs, raising a family and enjoying both painting and music.  She graduated from MSU, worked with the MTA during the construction of the Mackinac Bridge, served as secretary to two Michigan governors, taught music, held other positions and eventually retired to Maui.  In tribute to her this was stated in her obituary: "Margaret's range of capability was prodigious," said Phil Power, for whose newspaper publishing company she worked.  "She brought enormous energy, terrific focus and ferocious loyalty to everything she did."  "Shortly before Margaret was born, somebody up there broke the mold," Power said.  "I've never known anybody with as remarkable a range of talents as Margaret Halava.  She enriched profoundly her family, her friends and her business associates."

From her obituary the Friends were able to locate her son, who lives in Bath, and who was thrilled to purchase our long forgotten artwork produced by his mother.  What an exciting way to kick off our sale!

For information on the art in the sale contact Sandi Farrell at

Hot Reads for Cold Nights Bonus Activity - Talk to an ELPL staff member about your favorite reads!

For a limited time, the Hot Reads for Cold Nights team is offering contestants a bonus activity to earn extra points and prizes.  From February 20 through March 8, come into the library and talk to an ELPL staff member about the best titles you have recently read and ask them for a reading recommendation. Completing this challenge will get you:

  • 100 Hot Reads points, wow!
  • A newly re-designed ELPL Friends bag* in a lovely shade of lime green, guaranteed to brighten your day!
  • Food coupons from some very generous local businesses like Tasty Twist, Biggby Coffee, Grand Traverse Pie Company and Noodles & Company (while supplies last).

You will receive your bag and coupons immediately after chatting with a staff member about your favorite reads.  Just tell them that you are a Hot Reads for Cold Nights contestant and they will retrieve your prizes.  Your 100 points will be added to your total the next time you submit points.  Just check the box at the end of the form indicating that you have completed the bonus prize.

*A note about the ELPL Friends bag - These bags are the new and improved version of the navy bag that the Friends of the Library have been selling for the last few years.  The bags have only just become available for sale and are available for $2 a piece at the checkouts desk.  Be the first one on your block to be carrying the must-have accessory of 2015, for free!

Week 7 leader board results

We're just past the halfway point in the contest and we already have many folks past the 1000 point mark necessary to be entered into the drawing for an iPad mini.  If you haven't yet hit 1000 points don't worry!  There are still 5 weeks left in the contest and starting today you can complete the first bonus activity for 100 points and bonus prizes

Here's the Week 7 leader board with everyone's current point totals.

Chinese New Year 2015

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2015 - Local Celebrations

Chinese New Year Celebration at Meridian Mall

Saturday, February 21 from 1:30-6pm

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston's candid, funny, bold, and poignant autobiography, an imaginative and exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurston's very personal literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life -- public and private -- of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler, and champion of the black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started of low and climbed high, Dust Tracks on a Road is a rare treasure from one of literature's most cherished voices.

(review from

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

When the Ku Klux Klan's unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella's segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind.

Stella lives in the segregated South; in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can't. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn't bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they're never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella's community - her world - is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don't necessarily signify an end. 

(review from

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

A major debut from an award-winning writer -- an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and the author's own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sity years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer. 

(review from

Driving the King by Ravi Howard

A daring and brilliant new novel that explores race and class in 1950s America, witnessed through the experiences of Nat King Cole and his driver, Nat Weary.

The war is over, the soldiers are returning, and Nat King cole is back in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, for a rare performance. His childhood friend, Nat Weary, plans to propose to his sweetheart, and the singer will honor their moment with a special song. But while the world has changed, segregated Jim Crow Montgomery remains the same. When a white man attacks Cole with a pipe, Weary leaps from the audience to defend him -- an act that will lead to a 10-year prison sentence.

But the singer will not forget his friend and the sacrifice he made. Six months before Weary is released, he receives a remarkable offer: will he be Nat King Cole's driver and bodyguard in L.A. It is the promise of a new life removed from the terror, violence, and degradation of Jim Crow Alabama.

An indelible portrait of prejudice and promise, friendship and loyalty, Driving the King is a daring look at race and class in pre-Civil Rights America, played out in the lives of two remarkable men.

(review from

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson 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. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

(review from

Books on Tap - March 2015

We will discuss Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida on March 10th. Come to Jimmy's Pub at 6:30pm to join our conversation.

"On the day of her father's funeral, twenty-eight-year-old Clarissa Iver­ton discovers that he wasn't her biological father after all. Her mother disappeared fourteen years earlier, and her fiancé has just revealed a life-changing secret to her. Alone and adrift, Clarissa travels to mystical Lapland, where she believes she'll meet her real father. There, at a hotel made of ice, Clarissa is confronted with the truth about her mother's his­tory, and must make a decision about how—and where—to live the rest of her life."

Review from Amazon.

Books on Tap - February Follow Up

Good news - everyone had agreeing opinions on 10:04 by Ben Lerner! Bad news - we all agreed that it was not a favorite by a long shot. His work seemed to leave many questions unanswered for the reader and many of our group questioned the point of this novel. It was interesting to have such a lively conversation about a book that sounded great in reviews and on the book jacket, but didn't quite seem to match up to that in reality. Since people were in attendance this month that had missed out on January's meeting, we then spent time discussing Quiet again. I believe that it says a lot for a book that we had two separate and in-depth conversations over a two-month period.

Our next meeting will be March 10 @ 6:30 pm when we will discuss Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida.