Blogs

New Friendshop is Open!

We are particularly proud of our new space, and encourage you to check it out at the sale.  It's long been a desire to have a real shop space!  It's our belief that with this new location we will be better able to serve you by displaying our books and other items in a lovely, accessible manner.

Change to My Account Login Page

Starting today, patrons logging into the My Account page of the library catalog will no longer need to fill in their name.  Only barcode and PIN will be required.

Why is the library making this change?  Coming soon, the library will be rolling out a new library catalog and website.  Both of the new sites offer many patron friendly features that will enable you to find new favorite authors and titles and connect with other ELPL patrons.  The change to the current My Account page will facilitate the move to the new catalog and web site.

If you have any questions about the change please email elpltech@cityofeastlansing.com, and thank you for your patience as we work to make your online patron experience engaging and intuitive. 

How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett

There are certain (okay, several) picture book authors and illustrators whose books I will automatically check out whenever they publish something, and Mac Barnett is definitely one of them. I love so many of his stories (Leo: A Ghost Story and Count the Monkeys, anyone?), so when his newest book, How This Book Was Made, was released, I knew I had to snag it. I did, and as I expected it would be, it was so much fun!

This is a book that’s all about the process of making a picture book – how an author writes, how an editor edits, how an illustrator illustrates, and how all of those things come together to make the books we love. In other hands this might sound like a somewhat dull premise, but this book has Barnett’s goofy and insightful sense of humor all the way through, and Adam Rex’s illustrations match that tone perfectly. There’s plenty of information as well as silliness for little readers as well as grown-ups to love here, and it just might spark an interest in a kiddo who can see themselves writing their own books some day!

Find How This Book Was Made and other works by Mac Barnett here at ELPL.

New App Icon...Same Great eBook Service

Over the next few days the 3M Cloud Library will be releasing an app update, and, completing its brand transition to the Cloud Library.

You'll still have access to the same great eBook service with a fresh new logo design.  If you have any questions about this change/update send an email to elpltech@cityofeastlansing.com.

Building Excitement

The time is getting near for the newly renovated East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) to open.  I hope everyone can join us on October 1, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) for our Grand Re-opening and Ribbon-cutting.  There will be short presentations, family-fun activities, a giant pie from Grand Traverse Pie Company, balloon animals, face painting, library tours and more.  I would love to see the entire community come out to help us celebrate their new library space.

A huge thank you to our patrons and to the East Lansing community for enduring 11 months of construction at the library.  We did our best to keep service interruptions to a minimum, but things were just not the same, and about half the collection was not available during the project.  The ELPL staff and patrons were fantastic and hung in there throughout the hammering and dust.  The staff and I are excited to show you your library.  Thank you to our anonymous donor who made starting this project possible.  There is more to do, but we will take a couple of months to enjoy the “new” East Lansing Public Library.  See you on October 1 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) for the re-opening celebration.

Back to School Reads

It’s hard to believe that summer is over and another school year is starting! Get back into the swing of things (or ready for your very first day) at elementary school by checking out our list of back-to-school picture books and early readers!

And remember that while we’re closed to complete the library renovation, you can still order books and pick them up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and our digital collections are always available at elpl.org!

Hoopla Has a New Look!

Hoopla's web interface, or what you see when you login to Hoopla with a browser, not the app, recently received a very nice facelift.  When you log in you are still taken right to your checked out titles, but it is now much easier to find your list of favorite titles.  Just click My Hoopla and Favorites is right there!  The Browse screens, separated by format, are very clean and easy to use and the Settings page is also much cleaner.  Filtering options are now much more robust which is very helpful when browsing through Hoopla's enormous library of digital content.  

Check it out the next time you log into Hoopla, and if you haven't tried this amazing digital collection yet, visit:

https://www.hoopladigital.com/

to register and get started.

Connect the Stars by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague

I’m always intrigued when an author whose books I enjoy as an adult reader ventures into the world of children’s fiction.  I like the book Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, so I was anxious to read her second foray into children’s literature, Connect the Stars, which she co-authored with her husband, David Teague.  The cover art drew me to the book while I was putting some titles out on display!  The story is about two teens, Audrey and Aaron, who meet at Wilderness camp.  They are both struggling with life in general, due to parts of their personalities that don’t quite mesh with other middle schoolers.  Trying to find their way through the adventures of camp and working together to handle the calamities forms the basis for their friendship, even though Audrey has given up on friends and people in general.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, and also to someone who might need to know that things usually work out OK in the end.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Is there anything more exciting and more terrifying than when one of your favorite books (dare I even say, favorite book, full stop?) gets made into a movie? It’s either going to be amazing and wonderful and everything you’ve ever dreamed of, or a deplorable affront to something you love. I’m in the throes of that emotional roller coaster right now, with the news that Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle is currently being adapted into a movie -- although I am buoyed by the fact that it happens to be starring one of my current actor-obsessions, Sebastian Stan (or, the guy who plays The Winter Soldier in the Captain America movies). As you can imagine, I’m both incredibly excited and highly nervous to see the end product, but in the meantime, it’s a great excuse for me to reread the book for the (redacted)th time.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle is the story of 18 year old Mary Katherine (or Merricat) Blackwood and her older sister, Constance. They’ve lived in seclusion in their enormous family estate with their elderly uncle Julian for the last 6 years, ever since the rest of their family was poisoned with arsenic at dinner. Constance was arrested but acquitted for the murders, and ever since, their family has been ostracized from the nearby village. Merricat is the only one in the household who ventures into society for groceries and library books, and whenever she does she’s met with taunts and vitriol. Despite the animosity Merricat feels for their neighbors (she spends a lot of time wishing they would all die), she's very content in her life with her sister, uncle, and cat Jonas. She uses wards and homemade magic to protect them from intruders, but when one ward fails, she knows that change is coming -- which it does, in the form of their estranged cousin Charles Blackwood. Charles is determined to establish himself as the head of the family and draw the sisters back out into society, but Merricat is suspicious of his intentions, and as exposure and calamity inch closer and closer to her carefully safeguarded life, it seems like her suspicions will prove correct.

It’s technically a novella, so it’s a short read, but I swear, every time I read it I discover some new layer to it that I’ve never considered. Shirley Jackson is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers ever (seriously, even if you didn’t love reading The Lottery in high school, check out The Haunting of Hill House, where she basically invents the genre of the haunted house ghost story). She does American Gothic fiction like no others, and for a book with absolutely nothing supernatural, it’s still deeply, eerily unsettling. Jackson puts forth the idea that the creepiest things in the world are both right in your own backyard while still being nothing you would ever suspect so gloriously and with the best turns of phrase that I’m now banned from reading any out loud to my husband for too many interruptions that start with “Okay but listen to this amazing sentence!” I could gush for many more paragraphs (the English major in me is showing), but I’ll just end by saying that you can find Shirley Jackson’s works, including Hoopla and Overdrive eAudiobook versions of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, here at ELPL.

Hamilton: The Revolution

This book is an outstanding companion to the Hamilton cast recording (available on disc or via hoopla). It's the liner notes, deleted scenes, extra features that everybody always wants with their entertainment, presented in a beautiful package. If you have not heard the Hamilton cast recording, listen to it now, then read this. It will amaze and astonish.  You won't want to miss the beauty of the physical text, but, ELPL also owns this as a book on CD.

Many ELPL staff members (and spouses of staff) have been suffering from acute Hamilton addiction.  Jessica Lee-Cullin, ELPL's Teen Librarian, first reviewed the original cast recording in March of this year.

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