Project 60/50 Film: American Denial

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

Join us for another film in the popular Project 60/50 film series, Racial Healing -- A Community Conversation, a joint program presented by Michigan State University and the East Lansing Public Library.  

April's film, American Denial, originally aired on PBS.   From PBS' website:

American Denial tells the story of Swedish researcher Gunnar Myrdal, whose landmark 1944 study, An American Dilemma, probed deep into the United States' racial psyche.  The documentary weaves a narrative that exposes some of the potential underlying causes of racial biases still rooted in America's systems and institutions today.  The thoughtful and provocative film was quite a few years in the making, and a team effort between filmmakers Llewellyn Smith, Christine Herbes-Sommers, and Kely Thomson.   


Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The final hours of Hot Reads for Cold Nights 2015!

We are in the final hours of the contest! You have until 12:01 am on Thursday, March 26, 2015 to submit points that you have earned.  The two grand prize winners of the iPad minis will be announced on Thursday afternoon.  Remember, the two winners will be:

  • The winner of the grand prize drawing.  One entry for each HRfCN partipant who earns 1000 points by the end of the contest - 12:01 am on Thursday, March 26, 2015.
  • The HRfCN contestant with the largest number of accumulated points by the end of the contest as of 12:01 am on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

So if you are close to the 1,000 point mark but not past it, make sure you sneak in a few points before the deadline to get a chance to win an iPad mini.  Here is the latest leaderboard ranking.

The final week for Hot Reads for Cold Nights 2015

We are in the final week of Hot Reads for Cold Nights!  You have until 12:01 am on Thursday, March 26, 2015 to submit points that you have earned.  The two grand prize winners of the iPad minis will be announced on Thursday afternoon.

To make the last week interesting we are happy to announce the final Hot Reads bonus challenge.  Write a review for any item that you checked out during the Hot Reads for Cold Nights 2015 contest and you will earn 200 points!  This bonus challenge can be completed multiple times, each review submitted will be worth 200 bonus points.  Here's how to complete the challenge:

1.  Write a review - Here's the full link to the form:
2.  Report the number of reviews you wrote the next time you fill out the Hot Reads for Cold Nights point submission form.  As before, this new bonus challenge is at the very bottom of the form.


And yes, for you savvy point watchers out there, completing a review can also qualify you for the 30 point "How many patron reviews..." category listed under the GET ONLINE section of the form.  This category has been available since the beginning of the contest and it will still be there for the last week.  So, not only can a review get you 200 bonus points, but 30 regular points as well.  Think of it as March Madness for Hot Reads!


Good luck during the last week of the contest and thank you for participating in Hot Reads for Cold Nights!

Here are the Week 11 Leaderboard results.

2015 Auction Items

We have already received a number of AWESOME items for the Silent Auction at Books, Bites and Bids!  Take a look at some of the pictures in the slide show and see the list below!



Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Oh my goodness, this book broke my heart.  Jacobson's tale of brother and sister, Arianna and Gabe, and their struggle to stay together no matter what  is guaranteed to at least make you tear up.  These siblings lose their father, their mother, and then their home when things are no longer working out between Gabe and Jana, Ari and Gabe's rules-loving guardian.  

But surprisingly, this novel isn't an overwrought tear jerker.  The author doesn't go for the easy cry.  For me, the book was so moving because of how skillfully Jacobson conveyed how homelessness can make the small everyday tasks of living so difficult.  For Ari, a lost library card means missing yet another deadline for her research paper.  A forgotten backpack means she won't have a clean school uniform the next day and it will be that much more likely that her classmates will complain about her smell.  

I read Paper Things solo in just a few days.  I plan to read it again outloud to my 7 and 9 year old boys.  This year one of them had a classmate that experienced a period of homelessness and both boys had lots of questions about how that could happen and what they could do to help.  At the time we had several discussions about this issue but I think reading Paper Things will be another way for them to think about homelessness and family while enjoying a compelling and well written story.  

Books on Tap - April 2015

*Meeting the 3rd Tuesday in April*

Wish for good weather as we meet on Jimmy's patio at 6:30 on April 21st to discuss the book and movie Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

"Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest's Ordinary People."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - March Follow Up

Vendela Vida's book Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name proved a popular pick! Although some members of the group were disappointed by the lack of resolution provided by the ending, overall this novel was appreciated for its storytelling and characters. Our discussion mostly focused on the characters relationships and attempting to figure out the patterns they chose to repeat by their actions. Another point of interest was the location of the book: Lapland or Sampi. This region has land in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia with most of the area being above the Arctic Circle. Not many people in the group had much exposure to the geographical area and it was very interesting to learn about the land and the people.

For April - everyone needs to hope for good weather as we are currently booked to be on the patio! On the 3rd Tuesday, April 21st, we will discuss Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Along with discussing the book, we will also incorporate a movie discussion.

Week 9 leaderboard results and an upcoming bonus challenge

We are just starting the 10th week of Hot Reads for Cold Nights and the Week 9 leaderboard results have just been posted to  There are 17 days left in the competition which means there is still plenty of time for the positions on the leaderboard to shift.

So many of the Hot Reads contestants completed the bonus challenge!  We hope you enjoyed talking to ELPL staff members about your latest reads - we certainly loved talking to you!  We'll be announcing our next bonus challenge on Friday so stay tuned for more bonus opportunities.

Happy Reading!

-The Hot Reads for Cold Nights Team


Since the inception of “American Idol,” there has been a public obsession with those talented enough to be singers.  The “American Idol” phenomenon spawned a creation of musical shows across the major television networks.  Some of the shows include “The Sing Off”, “The Voice” and even “America’s Got Talent,” for those who have skills in a different area.  Although “American Idol” was the original reality talent show, “The Sing Off” stood out to me.

“The Sing Off” stands apart from the other singing shows because the contestants are acapella groups ranging in size and gender.  One stand out group from the show is Pentatonix.  Pentatonix is a five member group from Texas and won season three of “The Sing Off.”

I recently came across their CD PTX Vol III.  I enjoyed their harmonizing and interpretations of current pop hits.  The group takes on, what I consider to be, complicated musical arrangements. The acapella versions give the original radio songs a run or their money.

This youtube video of the evolution of music will give you a sample of their vocal range.  Enjoy! I know I did.


Have you ever heard of Snow White? Of the Three Little Pigs? Of Little Boy Blue? What if you found out that they actually lived in New York and were actually alive? These questions are the basis for Bill Willingham's graphic novel series, Fables. Currently there are twenty volumes in publication and the current rumors are that there will be two more published to wrap up the adventures of the residents of Fabletown.

Once upon a time, all the storybook characters we know and love - or hate - lived in the Homelands. The Adversary declared war on the Homelands and many of the fables were able to sneak out of the Homelands and establish their own communities on Earth. One settlement is in New York City - surrounded by enchantments so that the Mundys ("mundane" non-fable humans) will not realize the fables are there - and the other is in Upstate New York - where those fables who cannot pass as human live. This community is led in theory by Old King Cole but in reality the real work is done by Snow White, Biggby "Big Bad" Wolf, and Rose Red. This series follows our favorites as they attempt to reclaim the Homelands and follows their attempts to live in the mundane world.

The author takes the reader's basic knowledge of classic stories and adds in extra facts to give a full life to characters known as a child. The illustrations add another dimension to the story being told of people wanting to return home after a war. It adds to the idea of defining what makes a home a home. Is it where you are? Or who you are with that makes a home?

Catfish - or why to be aware on the internet

In this day and age, who doesn't communicate via the internet? The bigger question is, do you really know who you're talking to? I went on a documentary bender over the last couple weeks and now you get to learn all about it! One of the films I watched was Catfish, a cautionary tale of online meeting and dating. *Spoilers ahead!*

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!