from the archive


Author: Kristin Friberg

Blog and Instagram coordinator Kristin has led the library's fiction book group for over a decade and is continuously grateful to witness the formation of relationships and connections over the discussion of universal truths through fiction. She believes libraries provide a safe place for conversation, community, and are incubators where people can gather the courage to become more of who they truly are.

Voices carry


stairwell of the library

The library’s main stairwell evokes a ship-like feeling. In fact, on a few occasions, patrons and staff members have reenacted part of the Titanic scene in which the protagonists, Jack […]


Money matters


clear glass jar with coins and a plant

April is Financial Literacy Month. With tax season nearly in the rearview mirror, don’t let the topic of personal finance slip into the dark recesses of your mind. There are […]


Whistle for me


Earlier this week, I found myself mesmerized by a video recording of Bernadette Peters singing “Anyone Can Whistle” I hadn’t seen before, and for the first time I  understood how […]


Books unite us


Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson, writer of oft-challenged novels that speak to the modern experiences of young adults, once described censorship as “the child of fear, and the father of […]


Border reports


Making one’s way through a given day can be challenging. Every person carries the weight of a lifetime, plus the gravity of current circumstances. As we return to more physical […]

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The sky’s the limit


Poet Maggie Smith recently posted this on her Instagram account, “A wise person once told me to start each day by asking myself the same question: ‘What else is possible?’  […]

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Her history is our history


Whether we are moms, daughters or friends; activists, scientists, politicians or librarians, each day that we make the choice to help someone in need, be a caregiver, fight for someone’s […]

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Unmute yourself


online meeting screen

It’s safe to presume that over the course of the past year, you have found yourself having conversations with others online. And, it’s also a safe bet to say that […]

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Getting down to business


Interested in starting a business? Or, looking for resources for an existing business? It can be difficult to know where to begin. The good news is that libraries have been […]

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Welcome chapter 3


As we sit on the precipice of the reopening of schools and other organizations, it can feel unnerving, yet exhilarating. The notion of returning to old routines, routines etched as […]

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Processing time


We watched from a distance. Wuhan, China. Italy. Nearly impossible for most Americans to imagine unless you were paying attention. Attention to the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s. Attention, […]

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Getting your house in order


It might be comforting to know that hundreds of thousands of people are, at this very moment, spending time gathering documents to prepare their tax forms before this year’s deadline. […]

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Finding our way


It can be easy to get lost in the doldrums in the winter, in the midst of grey skies and dismal newscasts. Pushing oneself out the door, one foot in […]

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Educated against all odds


We have a great capacity to distract ourselves, put up barriers and engage in all kinds of self-sabotage. As C.S. Lewis said, “We are always falling in love or quarreling, […]

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Transitions


Walking along Nassau Street, I was transfixed by the rich depth of color of the blue sky and the brick red buildings which played off of one another with striking […]

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The library’s book


Thanks, in part, to “The Library Book,”  a new work by Susan Orlean, libraries are enjoying a glistening moment in the media. In the book, Orlean, who appears at a […]

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Join us for summer reading


Now that it’s officially summer, be sure to stop by the library to get a start on your summer reading. The library offers programs for every demographic, from the smallest […]

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Much loved


When my daughter was born, I bought two identical teddy bears. I thought it would be wise to have a back-up. It was the sort of thing someone without parenting […]

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Beautiful pieces


Just when we’ve made it to March, and we’re thinking spring may be in reach, winter goes and reminds us to not be so hasty. After the windstorm that knocked […]

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Migrating into fiction


For years, while driving south on Witherspoon Street, I’ve seen a number of men in the same location, presumably waiting for someone to pick them up for work. Like most […]

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Growing family


Recently, I visited friends who just welcomed their newborn son to their family. Greeted with a squeal, I looked down with joy to see that their two-year-old had wrapped himself […]

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Helping Harvey victims


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the gulf Coast of the United States. As the country watches the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey on Houston and the […]

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Summer picks


First, it was Oprah; Now, it’s Sarah Jessica Parker. What can these two celebrities possibly have in common? The same passion that troves of the library’s community share – a love […]

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Mothering around the bend


I find myself holding my breath as I round the bend and spot the two dilapidated rocking chairs in front of the home set back from the road. Just across the […]

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Reading without walls


Join the Youth Services department during April for Reading Without Walls. A nationwide reading challenge created by National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang. Reading Without Walls encourages […]

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Edit when needed


Paulette Jiles’ “News of the World”, the focus of the library’s latest fiction book group discussion, is the story of the remarkable journey of 70-year-old Captain Jefferson Kidd, who makes […]

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Blurring the line


There was a time when a “fact” had a negative connotation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the most common use of the word in the last quarter of […]

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Consider the source


A new study from the Stanford History Education Group paints a distressing picture of the ability of middle school, high school, and college students to discern between credible and fake […]

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12k books for sale in October


Where can you purchase a rare, signed first edition of e.e. cummings’s 1931 collection of artwork, “CIOPW” (Charcoal, Ink, Oil, Pencil and Watercolor), alongside signed first editions of Walter Farley’s […]

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Extraordinary light


Summer once ignited thoughts of lazy beach days, great adventures, and endless pockets of time. As a parent, summer has become an extension of the ever crowded school calendar. Chiseling […]

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My kind of town


Every year, thousands of book industry insiders converge for Book Expo America, the publishing trade show to discover what's trending in the land of literature; it's a place to mingle with authors, colleagues, and vendors. The change of location from New York's Javits Center to Chicago's McCormick Place lent a new vibrancy to the show, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary. It also gave me the opportunity to discover that Chicago really is my kind of town. 


65 Words at 65 Witherspoon


May is National Short Story Month and to celebrate, the library is looking for writers to contribute short stories. The catch? Tell us a story in exactly 65 words. From your submissions, a panel of staff members will select one story to post on a special Tumblr each day during the month of May.


Book buzz: ‘The Story of My Teeth’


In Valeria Luiselli's second novel, "The Story of My Teeth," the protagonist, Gustavo 'Highway' Sanchez is on a quest to replace his unsightly teeth, one by one. The self-proclaimed "best auctioneer in the world," amasses enough money through his allegoric auctioneer technique to purchase the teeth of none other than Marilyn Monroe, teeth which he has implanted in his own mouth.

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Top 10 checked out books


Every year the race to name the best books of the year heats up. (To truly set your mind spinning, check out this comprehensive list.) Now that the dust has cleared, we present the top 10 circulated print books from the library in 2015. After seeing so many of the same titles on multiple lists, there is at least one surprising title. "Attack on Titan", anyone?


Growing resilience


"We teach our children not to run into the street when they're toddlers, but we don't do the same when they become adolescents," said Laurie Halse Anderson, a young adult author who I heard speaking at Book Riot Live, a conference "celebrating books and the reading life." One moment our kids are playing innocent games and the next, they are hit with adult-size issues and often, they haven't been given the tools needed to navigate what has become an overstimulated, technologi


Book It is new and improved


"I need a good book," is a common refrain we hear as librarians. It's also one of our favorite questions. While we love to suggest books in person, did you know you can also ask for suggestions from the comfort of your home?  Try Book It, our online personalized book recommendation service. We've recently updated it to make it easier than ever. Just answer a few questions and one of our book loving staff members will email you a customized list of items from our collection.


Blue skies


It was the most beautiful sky. Sitting on the bus, working through music for an audition, I looked up in time to watch the skyline before we rounded the bend to the tunnel. Daydreaming with Sondheim running through my head, everything froze in an instant. I looked around at other passengers to see if they witnessed what I had just seen. That couldn't be right. Silence engulfed us until someone took out a phone and made a call home. I didn't have a cell phone. I listened for pieces of information as someone else was listening to a radio.

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Summer soundtrack


The summer's soundtrack blares at full volume, "Did you work on math? You know, you need to finish another book. When do you plan on starting?" My child's first day of school is Sept. 10, which translates to roughly 20 days remaining for her to get the job done. Moving at a breakneck pace during the school year, the notion of an idyllic summer flew out the window a long time ago. Working full time necessitates full-time childcare coverage, which translates to day camp, beginning at 8 a.m., and ending at 5 p.m.


Calling all adults: Escape the ordinary


Now that we are moving into the second half of summer, it's the perfect time to encourage you to pick up a challenge card and join this year's adult summer reading club. We are fairly certain that the majority of readers have already completed challenges that fulfill our "Escape the Ordinary" theme. Why not win a prize for your efforts? Participants have until Aug. 30 to submit entries in exchange for raffle tickets for the opportunity to win great local prizes. 

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