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.

Books on Tap - September Follow Up

What a great turnout and great discussion at Jimmy's this month! We had a very in-depth and open conversation about topics brought up in both The Grace of Silence by Michele Norris and March: Book One by John Lewis. The thing I took away from this month is simply the fact that it is amazing to be a part of group that can share so openly about any topic. As per usual, we ran the gambit of subjects covered: race, gender, family relations, personal experiences, education, traveling - nothing is off limits to this group! Also, even those who had read only part of one book were able to discuss the ideas put forth in both of these works.

Reminder for October: please bring your blurb about any books you have read by David Sedaris so that we can get you entered into a drawing for tickets to his speaking event on October 26 at the Wharton Center.

For our group read for October, we will read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Maker Studios Opening Soon

If you follow any of ELPL's social media profiles you know that we've been posting lots of photos of our latest 3D prints.  We've also been busy installing and configuring all the other awesome pieces of technology and equipment that will be available in the two new maker studios opening in the next month.  Yes, that's right, the library is opening two makerspace facilities in the next 30 days that will enable people of all ages to create, make, innovatve and produce.

Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It by Lisa Bloom

A veteran civil rights attorney confronts the injustices of the controversial Trayvon Martin case and America's dubious post-9/11 gun laws. Today Show legal analyst Bloom picks apart the unsuccessful prosecution of gun-toting Floridian George Zimmerman for the shooting of African-American Martin, wherein Zimmerman claimed self-defense and invoked the much-ballyhooed "stand your ground" law. The author argues convincingly that not only was race (and a racist jury) a factor in the failure to convict Zimmerman, but the state prosecution simply bungled what should have been an open-and-shut case against the overzealous defendant. Bloom pulls no punches in scrutinizing every misstep and missed opportunity of the state prosecution. She also paints a global picture of the controversy surrounding the not-guilty verdict for Zimmerman, in that it was a clear-cut case of blatant racial profiling to just about everybody around the world except the majority of those on jury duty in that Florida courtroom. Bloom also does a close reading of American self-defense laws and how the many restrictions on these laws were given short shrift by the inept prosecution. The weaker elements of Bloom's book come in the last 100 pages or so, when she's already solidified her arguments pertaining specifically to the Zimmerman verdict and her attention begins to ramble into more peripheral issues surrounding the trial. She takes brief critical looks at everything from the NYPD stop-and-frisk laws and racial profiling to the consequences of not talking about race in cases where racial bias is obvious. Although this is all welcome and informative, the author eventually takes on a bit more than she's able to effectively handle in just over 300 pages. A much-needed factual antidote to the mainstream media coverage of Trayvon Martin's tragic story and the travesty of the George Zimmerman trial. Copyright 2014 Kirkus Reviews.

The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield

Kanefield tells the story of Barbara Rose Johns, whose fight for equality in the schools of Farmville, Va., went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1950, 15-year-old Barbara Johns was a junior at the all-black Robert R. Moton High School in rural Virginia, a crowded school using temporary classrooms that were little more than tar paper shacks, more like chicken coops than classrooms, with leaky roofs and potbellied stoves that provided little heat. Farmville High School, the white school, was a modern building with up-to-date facilities. Sick of the disparity, Barbara led a strike, demanding equal facilities in the schools of her town. Her actions drew the usual response from the white community: cross-burnings, white stores denying credit to black customers and criticism for their "ill-advised" actions. Although threats caused Barbara's parents to send her to live with family in Alabama, where she graduated from high school, the Moton students' case was eventually bundled with others, including Brown v. Board of Education. In an attractive volume full of archival photographs, informative sidebars and a clearly written text, Kanefield shares an important though little-known story of the movement.  Copyright 2013 Kirkus Reviews.

Special StoryTime - Talk Like a Pirate Day!

On Friday, September 19 our weekly Storytime will be taken over by pirates!  In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, we will share some pirate stories, pirate songs, and of course, pirate talk.  We will also be creating a pirate craft to take with you, so you can be a pirate everywhere you go!