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

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

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

I'm not quite sure where to start with this review.  It seems unfair to recommend and review a book by first raving about the author's previous novel, but I think that Grasshopper Jungle is unique enough to warrant a bit of back-tracking.

Adam Smith has been writing for years, but the first Smith book I read was Winger, which came out in May of 2013.  This book is beautiful and perfect.  Funny, heartbreaking, and so painfully true at giving voice to Ryan Dean West, the brilliantly awkward yet charming 14 year old rugby player who narrates Winger.

I've been recommending Winger to anything with a pulse that I've had a chance to bump into over the past few months and I already knew that I would be reading the next book that Smith wrote.  So when I saw the advance buzz about Grasshopper Jungle, I placed my hold immediately, even though I knew that the book was about six foot tall insects that destroy the planet.

Yes, if you want to read this book you'll have to be okay with reading about giant, hungry bugs, and no, I'm not talking about giant grasshoppers as a metaphor for humanity's natural desires for destruction and consumption (although Smith deftly weaves that in as well).  Much of the story and plot really is about humongous, genetically modified insects whose only urges are to eat and procreate.  

So why does Grasshopper Jungle work, and most importantly, why should those folks who loved Winger at least give it a try?  Because as he does in all his novels, Smith is a master at beautifully revealing the inner lives of teenagers, specifically teenage boys.  Austin, Grasshopper Jungle's main character and most likely the earth's last remaining historian, reveals his humor, his multitude of worries, and his history while figuring out why people in town are disappearing and how to kill an eight foot tall grasshopper that wants to eat your head.  Ultimately, the novel is at its best when Austin struggles with the question, "Is it possible to be in love with two people at once?", and "If you are in love with two people at the same time, what do you do?"  

If you've loved any of Smith's previous novels definitely give this one a try.  I think this book is great for all teens, especially those questioning their sexuality, but since there is quite a bit of violence and some drug use, I can also agree with many of the reviewers on Good Reads and who recommend it for grades 9-12.

If you are brand new to the amazing world of Adam Smith, start with Winger, or one of his earlier novels, and then work your way up to Grassphopper Jungle.  Unless you have a thing for giant bugs...

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.

ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio Participates in Lansing Maker Week

ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio - Downtown East Lansing

This Tuesday ELPL's 2.0 Maker Studio will be a stop on the first ever Lansing Maker Week tour.  Stop by the maker studio between 12-5pm to try out our Arduino lab, help us start to build our LEGO walls and displays, and try your hand at 3D printing.  We will even have a Maker in Residence in the facility to help you learn how to make your very own super cape.  Tuesdays are always better with a cape.

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New titles on Hoopla

If you haven't browsed Hoopla lately you are missing out on lots of great new content.  Here are just a few of the thousands of brand new audiobooks, albums, TV shows and movies you can enjoy for free with your ELPL library card:

You also have access to Hoopla music so new that is isn't in our catalog yet, including:

Haven't tried Hoopla yet?  Sign up online and start downloading immediately!

World View Lecture Series: NPR Contributor Michele Norris

Wharton Center, MSU Campus

NPR contributor and award-winning journalist Michele Norris will speak about her memoir,

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The Silence of our Friends, by Mark Long & Jim Demonakos; art by Nate Powell

In The Silence of Our Friends, Mark Long and Jim Demonakos team with Eisner Award-winning illustrator Nate Powell (Any Empire; Swallow Me Whole) to bring readers a story of friendship and integrity set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement.

Houston, 1967: white TV journalist Jack Long strikes up an uneasy friendship with black professor and civil rights advocate Larry Thompson, even though doing so could endanger both men and their families. Jack sympathizes deeply with Larry's cause, but his boss does not. With a wife and three children, including a blind daughter, Jack might invite the Thompsons for dinner, but he can't afford to follow his conscience on the job. When a riot breaks out at historically black Texas Southern University, hundreds of students are arrested, five of them accused of killing a police officer. Only Jack can provide the testimony proving their innocence, but first he must find the courage.

Nate Powell's signature use of contrast and shadow perfectly conveys each action and emotion in a story inspired by Mark Long's own childhood. Fearless in its depiction of racism, The Silence of Our Friends is both a tale of moral struggle with the fear inherent in standing up for an unpopular cause and an example of the graphic novel's literary capabilities. Copyright 2012 Shelf Awareness.

Waking from the Dream: the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King Jr. by David L. Chappell

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 left the civil rights movement in search of a strong leader and created lively debate about how his legacy would be remembered. Civil rights scholar Chappell chronicles the fits and starts of continued efforts at civil rights that are uncelebrated but nonetheless pushed forward King's agenda. Among those efforts are the campaign for a national holiday to honor King, fair housing legislation and the Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill (though the original intentions of both were watered down), and Jesse Jackson's two presidential campaigns. Chappell details the contentious debates on nationalism versus integration and the value of a single leader versus institutional viability, which led to the short-lived National Black Political Convention and the more enduring Congressional Black Caucus. Chappell details the failed efforts as much as the successes, highlighting the valuable lessons learned as groups and individuals renewed their strategies and determination to move forward. Emphasizing the rarity of such history-changing acts as the civil rights legislation, he notes that the struggle for equality is incremental and eternal.  Reprinted from Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.

What Up Dawg? Participates in Show Your Card and Save

On the following Fridays in September - September 5, 12, 19 and 26 - ELPL cardholders can purchase two chili dogs for $2 at What Up Dawg?, located at 317 M.A.C in East Lansing.

Grand Grillin' Participates in Show Your Card and Save

During the month of September, ELPL cardholders can purchase a Wrap Combo - including a wrap of your choice, chips and a drink - for only $5.  This discount is available at the Grand Grillin' food truck - check their site to see where they will be today!