The Friends of ELPL Participate in Amazon Smile

Who hasn't heard about Well, if you shop via, you can choose The Friends of The East Lansing Public Library as Amazon's charity recipient when you buy through Amazon. It's a simple one-click choice! 

See the link below for more information. It's WIN-WIN! Thank you!

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

It's the 1950's, and Eilis Lacey has decided to leave her home and family behind in Ireland to pursue the promise of a job in Brooklyn. She travels alone, and the only soul in Brooklyn that she knows is the Irish priest who is sponsoring her trip to America. Eilis experiences the hardships of adjusting to a new life, struggles to foster new and meaningful relationships, and ultimately finds opportunities that could change the course of her future. But when tragedy strikes back home, Eilis becomes torn between her family in Ireland and the new life she has built in America. 

This was the very first of Irish author, Colm Toibin's books that I have read, and I can assure you that it won't be the last. A quick read that will linger long after the final page is read. Available in print and e-audio


I originally picked up our Blu-Ray copy of Belle because it featured not just the aristocratic families and grand houses that one often expects to find in a period film, it promised to be unlike any other I had seen.  

Belle tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, a young aristocratic woman who was rescued from slavery and raised among the wealthy upper classes in 18th century England. Born to Maria Belle, an enslaved African woman living in the West Indies, and Sir John Lindsay, a British naval officer, Dido was saved by her father at a young age, and brought to England to be raised at Kenwood House under the guardianship of her great uncle, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and his wife. The couple, having previously taken in their niece, Elizabeth Murray, raised Dido as one of their own.

 Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights) and Sam Reid (Anonymous), the film captures the young adulthood of Dido and her cousin, Elizabeth. As Dido comes of age, she struggles with her own identity as a multiracial woman amongst a homogeneous and classist society. After meeting a young lawyer, played by Reid, she gains further knowledge of issues surrounding the slavery she was born into, and makes her own attempts to change the course of history. 

Mbatha-Raw's portrayal of Dido is absolutely outstanding. She exudes intelligence and strength throughout the film, and as a viewer, I could not wait to see how she would conquer the 18th century injustices set upon her. I hope that the real Dido was as confident, and as brave as her character and that this beautifully written film might bring her story the attention it truly deserves.  

Monday Movie Matinee Dates - October 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

October 12 movie:  The Age of Adaline.

On October 26 the library will be showing Batkid Begins.

October 2015 will be the last month for the Monday Movie Matinee program.  Starting November 1 the program will be on hiatus while the library is renovated.  The program will return after the renovation is completed in 2016.

Want to know more about the renovation of the East Lansing Public Library?  Visit:

Better Living Book Club - October 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

October's title is The Color of Water by James McBride.

Upcoming titles for Better Living Book Club:

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Project 60/50: Forensic Science in the Legal System

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

Forensic science has captured the imaginations of generations of television viewers, beginning with Quincy M.E. in the 1970s and continuing to today’s multiple investigative dramas and documentaries. Dr. David Foran directs the Forensic Science Program and Forensic Biology Laboratory at MSU. He will present on how forensic science is, should be, and should not be used in our legal system.


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Out of This World - September 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Tutor Study Room

September's title is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  Station Eleven is the Great Michigan Read for 2015-2016.

Upcoming titles for Out of This World:

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ELPL is proud to announce that patrons can now access!  As one of the premier providers of quality online instruction, is the place for anyone wanting to learn more about software, design, photography, and more.  The comprehensive site also provides instruction in business, marketing, game design and development.  Whether you need to learn Adobe InDesign, Logic Pro X, Garage Band, Photoshop, PHP, MySQL or photography, has thousands of courses to help you complete your learning goals.

After using your library barcode number, PIN and email address to create a free account on, you can:

  • Create Playlists of your favorite Lynda courses, either to review again later, or for future studies
  • Receive recommendations from for other courses that support your learning goals
  • Bookmark courses viewed so that you can refer back to important content quickly
  • Receive Certificates of Completion to showcase your learning progress

Get started with today!


Shakespeare and Modern Culture by Marjorie Garber

"He was not of an age, but for all time!"
Ben Johnson (1573-1637), Preface to the First Folio

Author Marjorie Garber's premise is this:

Shakespeare's plays almost always seem to coincide with the times in which they are read or produced.  They are eternally "modern".  How can that be?  How has each age seen Shakespeare as speaking for that time, right up to today?  And as we change, how can Shakespeare's works continue to change right along with us?

The author chooses 10 plays in which to explore these questions as well as other that specifically pertain to the individual play.  I found the questions raised in race in Othello, the female sensibilities of the character of Hamlet, and the changing and emerging role of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice especially compelling.

Books on Tap - October 2015

Interested in talking about death? Interested in exploring how our society and our beliefs shape the industry of death? Come to Jimmy's on October 13th at 6:30pm to discuss Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Stories from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty. We will also have a professional from the field as a guest speaker.

"Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty—a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre—took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters (both living and very dead), Caitlin learned to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased.

Books on Tap - September Follow Up

I always think it's amazing how our books can be tied together! This month's selection, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, brought up points that we discussed last month with Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy, and found commonality with current events even though it was written in 2008. In the book, Brooks' research truly showed through: while it is still a work of fiction, the way in which facts are presented in-line with her narrative storyline, is very convincing to make you question the possibility that these events actually happened. Our discussion ran through numerous topics, including: religious freedom/persecution, feminism, war, morality, and literary conventions to name a few. Overall, the book appealed to our entire group and kept the reader engaged throughout.

Come to Jimmy's on October 13th at 6:30pm when we will talk about Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty with our special guest!

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

I recently read Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire.  Egg and Spoon is a crazy mash up of a folk/fairy tale involving two girls from very different circumstances who accidentally switch places, Baba Yaga, and Czarist Russia.  There's magic, there's history, there's lots of confusion.

Those who have read Wicked will be familiar with Maguire's writing style.  It works very well here.  You will find it in the library's J Fiction section in the Children's room but don't be put off by that.  Like The Golden Compass, this book will entertain readers of all ages.

Project 60/50 & East Lansing Library Film Series

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

Dead Man Walking.  A nun, while comforting a convicted killer on death row, empathizes with both the killer and his victim's families.  1995; Rated R, 122 minutes.

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NBC Hannibal

Hello, Clarice friends. I am still recovering from what may, tragically, be the last episode of NBC's Hannibal, the thriller-horror television adaptation of Thomas Harris's 1981 novel, Red Dragon. But be not afraid: I won't spoil the series season finale (the airing of which just happened to coincide with the year's first supermoon). Just know that I was screaming through the whole thing. I am screaming as I type this. I may just keep screaming forever. 

For the uninitiated: Hannibal follows Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), a socially awkward FBI Academy lecturer and chronic dog collector, as he is recruited to profile and pursue a series of serial killers, to the increasing detriment of his own soundness of mind. Graham is singularly adept at empathizing with anyone, a talent that allows him to predict the deadly machinations of the criminally insane – and which draws the keen interest of forensic psychiatrist and amateur gourmet chef, Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

Hannibal Lecter... How do I begin to explain Hannibal Lecter? Hannibal Lecter is flawless. I hear his perfectly coordinated three-piece suits are insured for $10,000. I hear he does kitchen appliance commercials... in Japan. His favorite musical instrument is the theremin. One time, he met a little kid on a plane and he fed him pieces of a human brain. One time, he ate my face, and it was awesome.

Because, as I daresay you're already aware, Hannibal eats people, and he looks good doing it. But life can get monotonous when you're always the smartest serial killer in the room, and Hannibal sees in Will what we all want, regardless of how ethically we source our food: someone who can truly understand him.

At the show's blood-soaked core is the most convoluted, traumatizing development of a darkly beautiful friendship between the loneliest, most elegantly dressed sociopath in the world and a salt-of-the-earth hyper-empath whose underwear collection consists entirely of duplicates of white boxer briefs: the attraction of opposites, and all that.

Does the dialog have a tendency to get a tad purplish in its prose? Does the soundtrack veer, at times, dangerously close to overwhelming? Has it taken two and a half seasons to dig into the storyline we've been waiting for? Well. Yes. But what a glorious!gruesome journey it's been! Hannibal is a beautifully designed, devilishly clever piece of television that boasts an all-star cast and offers a freshly frightening, updated take on a familiar franchise that manages to delight longtime fans and newcomers alike.

The first two seasons are available on DVD, so give it a try! If nothing else, the experience will add exciting new texture to your nightmares.

P.S. I watched almost every single episode while eating dinner and I may have to reassess my life choices.