from the archive


Author: Nora Walsh

Nora, an Adult Services Librarian at PPL, loves fantasy and speculative fiction, old movies, 19th-century British literature, memoir, and the occasional work of contemporary fiction.

Sharing for the summer


A display of books included in the staff list.

Summer can be a glorious opportunity to indulge in some quality reading time. If you’re lucky enough to go on vacation, packing an unwieldy pile of books (or a fully stocked e-reader) is its own kind of tradition for many people. Aside from discovering new favorites, or revisiting old ones, there are even more incentives […]


A meal to build a dream on


I am a natural introvert, and I honestly don’t cook very much on normal days; still, sometimes I dream of lavish dinner parties, themed summertime cocktail gatherings, tea parties, and picnics. I do occasionally gather with some aunts and cousins for tea parties, and I once had a Lord of the Rings movie marathon where […]


Connect and enjoy


The library’s mission is to engage, inspire, educate and unite everyone in our diverse community. We want to help you learn, work, and be entertained through all of our resources: books, movies, music, and now our expanded Library of Things. These non-traditional items can be checked out and used at home or on the go […]


Five on a theme: the choices we make


A person walking has a choice of two paths

I had a conversation recently with some of my colleagues about our college experiences, sharing how our initial plans for majors and careers changed in the realities of adult life, and the things we can’t believe we didn’t know when making potentially life-altering choices. More than once, someone said “if I could make the choice […]


Paying attention


A map of North and South America emphasizing the Rockies and the Andes

I’m currently listening to the audiobook of John Green’s rather delightful The Anthropocene Reviewed, in which he reviews and rates aspects of our human experience, from our capacity for wonder, to whispering, to CNN, to Canada geese. In his introduction, he quotes his friend, author Amy Krouse Rosenthal: “For anyone trying to discern what to […]


Change your view this summer


As easily as a song can get stuck in your head, so can a story. Whether it’s a book, series, film, or something else, you’ll find yourself continuously thinking about it, mentally replaying your favorite parts, or the parts that challenged you, and wondering what comes next. The stories that stick with you can change […]


Navigating your year of reading


Photo of a pathway of books in the grass

When planning library programs or book lists throughout the year, our staff takes into consideration heritage months, or other national or state recognitions. For example, celebrating Women’s History Month is a wonderful way to help highlight the rich tapestry of experiences and histories that form the American consciousness. However, it’s also important to consider these […]


Make a change with the cottage spirit


Trends, styles, and aesthetics come and go over the years, and most of us grab bits and pieces of them to build something of our own. One trend that gained traction in 2020 and continues into 2021 is #cottagecore, an aesthetic that celebrates an idealized version of cozy cottage life, featuring home baking, knitwear, and […]

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Bridging the past, present, and future


My grandfather’s cousin Jack was incredibly focused when it came to genealogy. Working in the pre-internet days, he traveled, called, wrote letters, and faxed to dig up records from the U.S. and across Europe to fill in as much of his family tree as he could. He filled a bin full of binders that contained […]

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Reading the world


Image of a wall map covered in pins indicating travel

The Christmas when I was 12, my uncle gave my mother the audiobook tapes of “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt as a gift in our family exchange. She may have listened to the first tape once, but otherwise I don’t think she ever heard them, because I stole them away almost immediately. I began listening […]


Job seeking tools for uncertain times


Looking for a new job, or thinking about a career change, can be both exciting and terrifying. About three and a half years ago, I was in the middle of deciding if I should change careers and go back to school to become a librarian. Once the decision was made and school was underway, it […]

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Making the most of our digital collections


It’s clear that one of the things that keeps us connected in this time of quarantine and distancing is our love of, and reliance on, stories. It’s often books, but it’s also TV and movies, podcasts and comics, and those funny short videos that pop up on social media about the excuses you can make […]

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Every two minutes


Every two minutes, someone is forcibly displaced. This staggering statistic was shared by husband and wife photojournalist team Daniel Farber Huang and Theresa Menders during the Sept. 22 discussion of their photographic project, “The Power of Faces,” which is currently on exhibit in the library. The figure comes from statistics compiled by UNHCR, the U.N. […]

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Testing the waters


Our Summer Reading program for adults has begun!  This year, we’re challenging you to read in a variety of genres and formats. Most readers already know what they like, and what they really don’t like, but it’s the stuff in between that poses the problem. You know people who read romance, fantasy, or poetry, for […]


Another kind of storytime


This won’t surprise you, but we’re big into storytelling at the library. I presume that, by now, you’ve noticed the books, but we also share stories through our film and cultural festivals, oral history programs, music and the arts, food, and sometimes through objects.   I’ve long been a collector of small objects: coins, sea […]

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