Muppets Join in Buildup to Hunger Games DVD

Watching this trailer from the Muppets one gets the distinct impression that some of the, shall we say, urgency is lacking compared to the real Hunger Games trailer. I suppose asking Miss Piggy to consider sacrificing her coffee break, let alone her life would be out of the question… (Muppets trailer for Wocka Wocka Value Pack.)

Shira S.


Pearlman Wins National Book Critic’s Circle Award for 2011

Edith Pearlman took top honors at the National Book Critic’s Circle 2011 award ceremony in NYC this week. Her collection of short stories “Binocular Vision” has been hailed as the work of a “writer’s writer.” See above link for EPL holdings.

Shira S.

Favorite Read-Alouds of 2011

EPL Children’s Librarian Brian Wilson has compiled a top 10 list of his favorite picture books from 2011 to read aloud. Each has large kid appeal, strong reviews, lots of interactive elements to encourage audience participation, and is designed to be read aloud to large groups of children. Brian also has a list of the best fiction picture books of 2011.

For more great recommendations, feel free to stop by or call the Children’s Room at Main and the North Branch!

2012 Hemingway/PEN Award

The Hemingway/PEN Foundation Award honors outstanding first works of fiction.  This year’s winner is 36-year-old author  Teju Cole for his novel Open City.  Born in the U.S. and raised in Nigeria, he is writer in residence at Bard College. His novel was also nominated by the National Book Critics Circle in January as one of five finalists for best novel of 2011.   Previous winners of the Hemingway/PEN award include Bobbie Mason, Renata Adler, Ha Jin, Jhumpa Lahiri and Dagoberto Gilb. You can read more about Mr. Cole’s book  in the Arts Beat section of The New York Times.


Cutting-Edge Books

Known as “The Book Surgeon” artist Brian Dettmer dissects  books with knives, tweezers, and surgical tools to create these amazing works of art. Using out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries, he carves one page at a time and manipulates the pages and spines to form the shape of his unique sculptures.  Originally from Chicago, Dettmer lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.


Today is National Proofreading Day!

Having just caught our collective breath after celebrating National Grammar Day (Sunday, March 4th), we now can whoop it up for its close cousin, National Proofreading Day. Created by blogger Judy Beaver, the Office Pro, in honor of her mom who was always quick to correct people, it’s a day to sharpen your professional image with careful proofreading and editing of all your written materials. Beaver’s website offers resources, tips and tricks, comments, and the Office Pro Website for customized training.

As a former editor/proofreader, my favorite piece of advice is to have someone else proof your document if possible, and if not, let some time pass before you proof your own work. If you read your work right away, I think your brain just recycles whatever typo or glitch you made as you were writing–it’s still in that error loop, so to speak. Even an hour’s time can be enough to give you a fresh look.

So, of course, I’ve done my utmost to make sure this post is error-free, and I wish all you writers, bloggers, tweeters, and texters typo-free communication today and every day!

Barbara L.

ALA Announces New Prizes for Adult Books

This year, for the first time, ALA will present two literary prizes for adult works. The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction will be awarded this June at the 2012 ALA Conference. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, “the awards will celebrate the best of the best and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material, making a real contribution to our country being a nation of readers,” said Molly Raphael, ALA President. Fifty titles are under consideration for the Carnegie Medals, drawn from last year’s Booklist Editors’ Choice and Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) Notable Books lists. The finalists will be announced in May. Librarian and NPR contributor Nancy Pearl will chair this year’s selection committee of “seven library professionals with expertise in adult literature.” You can read more about the awards here.

Do you have this book? Title mix-ups make me laugh.

They say that laughing is good for you. It increases oxygen intake, produces endorphins in the brain, eases tensions, and generally makes you seem like a pleasant person with a ready sense of humor. So here’s the healthful moment of the day brought to you by a phone patron requesting a book. He asked for “The Elegance of the Hodge-Podge.”  I love that title! I wish someone would write that book.

My co-worker Nancy said she got a real charge out of the patron who asked for “The Girl Who Kicked the Garbage Can.”

Have any fractured titles to add? Please share them and help those endorphins flow.

Barbara L.

Are you ready for the robolibrary?

Today’s Chicago Trib ran an article on the trend to replace some library services with robotic self-serve stations both on-site and at remote locations (e.g., malls, train stations, other municipal buildings). Taking a cue from the popular Redbox DVD machines, patrons in some areas can already take out and return library materials from similar vending machines. Other libraries are considering setting up kiosks around their vicinities with quick-pick selections. At many libraries it is already not unusual to have self-checkout stations. For convenience and to help cash-strapped libraries meet patrons’ needs, the robolibrary is likely to become a popular fixture in the near future.

Barbara L.

Surprising Report on Teens and E-books

One would think that teens are lapping up e-books as fast as they can get them, however, a new report finds that is not the case. One obstacle noted by teens was too many restrictions in accessing the material. A trade survey conducted by R.R. Bowker is disputed by others in the industry, who claim that sales of YA digital books are flying through the roof. Read this lengthy discussion of the digital habits of teens on Publisher’s Weekly.

Shira S.