The Dude Abides

“Sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there.” – The Stranger, from The Big Lebowski Arguably the biggest cult film […]

Read More

Technology that Changed Chicago: Beer 1855-1900

Boy carrying pails of beer

Previous: 1855 Lager Beer Riots Starting in 1854, Chicago beer drinkers made Milwaukee famous. Chicago, with a larger and faster growing population, drank all of the beer its breweries could produce. Milwaukee brewers often produced too much beer. They got in the habit of shipping the excess to Chicago. Over the course of the next […]

Read More

Build the Ultimate Predator

Ultimate predator model

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Living things share habitats and interact with each other, and this is especially true at mealtime! Animals that hunt and eat other animals are called predators. The animals they eat are called prey. Predators and prey have adaptations to help them hunt and evade each other. For example, […]

Read More

In the News: Color Codes

Rahm’s Readers Teen Summer Challenge – Newsworthy Animal Challenges Have you ever heard a statement such as “Don’t be a chameleon girl who thinks she has to like football because her boyfriend does”? Well, no matter what we might sometimes do to make allies, scientific evidence rejects the popular idea that chameleons use the color […]

Read More

Keep Your Family Safe

two Lego figures wearing hard hats

Keeping your family safe is important all year round, but it never hurts to think more about being safe during National Safety Month in June. Sharing books on a variety of topics can help you think about good behaviors that keep everyone safe, including young children. Max Cleans Up: One area of focus for Safety Month […]

Read More

Go Meet Magritte at the Art Institute of Chicago

end table with bowler hat and an apple on top. Photo pays homage to surrealist artist Magritte

Magritte, the popular Belgian surrealist painter, is the subject of a recently opened exhibit at the Art Institute and a great reason for art enthusiasts to find their way over there this summer. The exhibit, which runs through October 13, is a focused look at the artist’s work created between 1926 and 1983 in Brussels, […]

Read More

The Midwife of Venice and the Harem

Roberta Rich has written only two books so far, but I enjoyed both of them immensely. In The Midwife of Venice, Hannah Levi, a midwife of legendary skill and confined to the Jewish Ghetto, makes a decision to help a countess in natal distress. She takes along her “birthing spoons”, a form of forceps, with her despite the […]

Read More

The library has more than one kind of canon

In 1862 many men of Taylors Battery visited a photographers studio in Memphis to have photographs made, such as this carte-de-visite. Seated, left to right: H.T. Chappel, William J. McCoy and William D. Crego. Standing: Nathan J. Young and Sydney Peckham.

Ever wondered why there are cannons on the 6th floor of the Harold Washington Library Center? Or what’s with those marble busts in the 9th floor Special Collections Reading Room? Illinois was undoubtedly important to the Union cause during the Civil War, but just how did CPL get cannons and statues, not to mention swords, uniforms, books, portraits […]

Read More

Beach Reads: Female Friendships

beach scene water and sand

Summer is FINALLY here and it’s time to hit the sandy beaches with an ice cold drink and a good read. Enjoy these books centering around female friendships set against the beautiful beaches of the East Coast. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan chronicles the lives and loves of three generations of Kelleher women as they spend the summer […]

Read More

Sing a Good Book Lately?

A bird chirping a song

Some of my favorite books to share with kids are books that can not only be read together, but sung together too. Singing can help very young children become more aware of the different sounds in words which will in turn help them develop important pre-reading skills, and singing is just plain old fun! Try these […]

Read More