Books on Tap - January 2016

Welcome the new year at Jimmy's on January 12 at 6:30pm when we discuss Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, 2015-2016 Great Michigan Read selection.

"Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end. 
Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed."

Review from Amazon.

New Titles for the Cloud Library - December 2015

Fresh titles in the Cloud Library include:










See the full list of all new Cloud Library eBooks for Adults.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

I first picked up this book when I noticed it was a future story for our Books & Bagels group, and then was further convinced to read it when I saw a review by my favorite author, Neil Gaiman, on the cover.

Thankfully I trusted in his review and our children's librarian Eva who picked it, because this book was an absolute delight to read. It features a 12-year-old girl named September who is whisked away from her mother in Omaha, Nebraska to go to Fairyland, where she has all sorts of adventures and finds true friendship with a wyvern named A-L (his father was a library, of course) and water-loving marid named Saturday along the way. The prose reads magically (almost in a Gaiman-esque way) and kept my attention throughout the story. Each chapter features a different adventure that September and her friends go on, from meeting alchemists in a land that is forever Autumn, to a bathhouse with a lonely soap golem, all part of the main goal of the story, which is September retrieving a sword for the Evil Marquess.

Like I said, this book is a delight, and a stunning example of why adults shouldn't neglect YA and children's fiction! This book was one of my favorites this year, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a tale with a very happy ending.

Books on Tap - December Follow Up

Hearing about new-to-me books is always a good time! We had an amazing wrap up of 2015 giving us all a new list of books to add to our libraries!

Click here to see a list of the books brought in by our group so that you have a list readily available for the holiday season.

In January 2016, we will read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, the 2015-2016 Great Michigan Read.

My Account Access in Library Catalog has Been Restored

The My Account portion of the library's catalog is back online.  You are now able to:

  • Place holds
  • Renew items
  • Pay fines
  • View your reading history (if you have already opted-in to this program)
  • View the Cloud Library eBooks checked out on your account, and check-out/place holds on Cloud Library eBooks directly from the library's catalog. 

Thank you for your patience while we worked with our vendor to restore access to the My Account portion of the library catalog.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: a Memoir by Carrie Brownstein

Brownstein has fervor beyond the typical "music moves me" descriptions. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is a well-written biography that gives herstory to the Pacific Northwest punk scene.

If you've missed any of their albums, listen to the Sleater-Kinney catalog instantly on Hoopla.

Only Superhuman

Only Superhuman, by Christopher Bennett, is a hard scifi superhero novel.  Set in the future, genetically-enhanced humans have moved apart from the normals and gone to live in colonies on the astroid belt.  Some of these humans have powers that are decidedly beyond those of the average man, and to help preserve law and order, a group of such humans have banded together to fight crime.  The group that they have formed is called, "The Troubleshooters". 

The Troubleshooters have their work cut out for them, from fighting terrorist groups to investigating shady superhuman collations, to evaluating partnerships with other groups.  Bennett's story follows the adventures of a Troubleshooter named Emerald Blair, a.k.a. the Green Blaze, as she is drawn into a web of intrigue.  After all, in order to stop evil, you first have to recognize it as such.

The story's strengths are those traditionally associated with a comic book.  There are excellent fight scenes and an action-packed story keep the reader engaged.  Also, now we get to hear more of a superhero's inner monologue.  I found this to be somewhat entertaining at times, particularly the sections of the book that involve Blaze's concerns about making an entrance and tossing off one-liners.  Lastly, I respect Bennett for writing a plausible, hard-scifi superhero story.  "Hard Science Fiction" is a term usually reserved for stories with scientific advances which, given the state of science at the time of the books publication, seem both futeristic and reasonably plausible.  (The opposite would be "soft" scifi, where the science works in a manner functionally indistinguishable from magic.  Think of Superman's "I'm an alien with a human body type and I can fly!") 

However, the story is not without weaknesses.  There were quite a few romantic endeavours chronicled in the story. I don't mind romance in the books that I read, but I do mind frequent scenes with gratuitous details.  However, that is the only quibble that I have with the book.  Should one enjoy an action-packed superhero story and find such detriments as I have mentioned tolerable, then I would certainly recommend this book.

Out of This World - January 2016

East Lansing Public Library - Conference Room

January's title is The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

Upcoming sessions of Out of This World for 2016:

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Books on Tap - December 2015

Come to Jimmy's on December 8th at 6:30pm when we will have our final meeting of 2015! For this month, there is no official book to read. Instead, I'm asking you to bring two books to our meeting.

The first book will be one that you have read outside of Books on Tap and would like to share with the group. Be prepared to give a 2-3 minute blurb on the book - a little teaser to get people interested and possibly add to their own reading lists.

The second book will be put into a white elephant book exchange. Bring it already wrapped and we'll do a swap! It can be a book you love, a book you hate, something that will make people laugh or cringe. Nothing is off limits!

No matter what, it will be a fun night of wrapping up 2015 for Books on Tap!

Books on Tap - November Follow Up

Many different reactions to The Girl on the Train - not that I expected anything different from our group! The topics of addiction, abuse, and self-realization led our discussion. It was sometimes difficult to find ways to empathize or even relate to the characters Paula Hawkins created.

Better Living Book Club - December 2015

Staff Conference Room at the Library

December's title is The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard. This meeting has been moved to November 30.

Upcoming titles for Better Living Book Club:

Please note, the December meeting will be at the library on November 30. The date has been changed due to the upcoming renovations:

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






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ELPL to be Closed Dec. 7-Jan. 10 to Prepare for Renovation Project

ELPL to be Closed Dec. 7-Jan. 10 to Prepare for Renovation Project

Nov. 9, 2015

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing Public Library (ELPL), 950 Abbot Road, will be closed to the public Dec. 7-Jan. 10 to prepare the building for an eight- to nine-month renovation project.  

During the closure, the library’s collection will be moved to the south side of the building, collection items that will not fit in the reduced floor plan will be packed up and stored and a construction wall will be built. No items will be due until after the library re-opens on Jan. 11. 

While the library is closed, all digital resources will remain available to patrons, the ELPL book drop will be open and StoryTimes and the Teen After School Drop-in Program will be hosted at All Saints Episcopal Church, 800 Abbot Road. In addition, the ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio’s hours will be expanded and the space will be utilized for programming, the drop off of items and the pickup of hold requests, including MeLCAT holds. The 2.0 Maker Studio will also house a small collection of items from the library and a limited number of public computers.

The 2.0 Maker Studio is located on the second floor of the East Lansing Marriott at University Place, 300 M.A.C. Ave., and the expanded hours (excluding holidays) from Dec. 7-Jan. 10 will be:

    Tuesday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m.
    Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

Beginning Dec. 7 and through the duration of the renovation project, the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library will not be able to accept book/collection donations due to a lack of storage space. Community members are encouraged to donate their books and collection items to neighboring libraries and other organizations. The Friends will resume collecting items in earnest once ELPL is fully renovated.

When the library re-opens on Jan. 11, approximately one-third of the floor space and collection will be accessible to patrons and the first phase of the renovation project will be underway. ELPL staff would like to thank patrons in advance for their patience during the closure and throughout the renovation.

About the Renovation
ELPL will undergo an exciting renovation of its interior thanks to a very generous donation of $1.5 million from a library patron. 

“This is a wonderful gift to the library and the community,” said ELPL Director Kristin Shelley. “We have the opportunity to create the library that the East Lansing community deserves.”

The renovation will transform ELPL into a community hub and learning space. The children’s area will be moved and enhanced with an early childhood literacy area, the teen space and Maker Studio will be expanded, a cyber café with vending machines will be added, a family bathroom will be built and the floor plan of the library will be reconfigured to create more open space. The library’s collection will be moved around as part of the renovation, but the number of items in the collection will be close to the same. 

The renovation will also allow ELPL to plan for the future with added data and electrical outlets, mobile shelving/furniture and small group meeting spaces. 

The renovation project is slated to be completed by September 2016. Community members with questions about the project or the temporary closure of the library can call (517) 351-2420. 

Friends Board Meeting Highlights October 2015

Meeting date October 27, 2015

New board member Deborah Smith was introduced and will fill the roll of member-at-large.

September financial reports were reviewed and approved. The total capital asset number is $37,503.84. The October book sale final report is still pending, but the sale netted about $4,000 with expenses of about $1,000 including room rental, book moving and recycling leftovers.

We would love to hear from those who came to the sale and to that end Lanette has created a “exit interview” on our Facebook page so please respond and give us your feedback. Thank you to all our supporters.

We are getting closer to construction time and the closing of the Friendshop in its current location. The Friends will be selling books from carts wherever space can be found for the duration of the renovation. Story times for children will be held in All Saints Episcopal Church during the months of library construction.

The last art show in the North Foyer Gallery is coming down October 29th. Once the renovation is complete new art exhibit space will be in the Cyber Café next to the new Friendshop.

Our legislative watch Jim Anderson reports that there are bills in the legislature that chip away at library funds. One is the consideration of spending $600 million dollars on roads with no definitive plan as to where to find the money.

Information needs to get out to Friendshop shoppers and Friends’ donors explaining the construction timeline and how it will impact Friends’ fundraising.

Framed art sales offerings will necessarily be curtailed during the library renovation, as many pieces will have to be stored until construction is completed.