Get Lost in Fantasy with Tolkien Reading Day

Sauron bearing the one ring

There's no better time to start an unexpected journey than March 25, when fantasy fans the world over will participate in Tolkien Reading Day by reading their favorite passages from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and J.R.R. Tolkien's other works. Celebrated by the Tolkien Society as the day Sauron fell, Tolkien Reading Day is […]

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Local Heroines: Pioneering Chicago Women

Florence Kelley

Women today enjoy universal suffrage, the right to hold public office, and equal opportunities in education and employment. From our 21st century perspective it's easy to forget that this wasn't always the case. You may not know the names of the local women at the forefront of these struggles, but they had a prominent role in fighting for […]

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Spring Cleaning

Source: Maria, Chicago Public Library

The weather is finally warming, but with plenty of rainy days ahead to put a damper on outdoor plans, it’s the perfect time to tackle those dust bunnies and overflowing closets. Daunting, you say? Why not consult the experts? Who better to start with than the queen of all things domestic, Martha Stewart? She's bound […]

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With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

Her: A Novel

Friends, enemies and frenemies—women's relationships can be complex: a source of endless comfort and strength or something that makes you wish human mothers ate their young. Here are some novels to help appreciate all the really good women in your life, or to help you recognize the ones that need to be un-friended!  Her by Harriet Lane. A disturbing, […]

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Remembering Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett Profile

Today we mourn the passing of prolific fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett, who knew that the greatest journeys were often the most unavoidable, and gamely set out to explore despite the protests of his beleaguered protagonists. Like Atlas of myth, Mr. Pratchett carried worlds upon his shoulders—if today the Earth seems to stutter and sway, it is because […]

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HeritageQuest Online: New and Improved


Have you used our HeritageQuest Online resource to do family research? You might be excited to know that through a partnership with, it's getting an upgrade! If you have no idea what I am talking about—now is the perfect time to check out this wonderful genealogy resource at the library or from home using your […]

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Rachel Carson, Woman for the Earth

Rachel Carson

In 1962, biologist Rachel Carson was dying of cancer as she launched a war against the deadly pesticides industry. Supported by her soul mate, a married woman named Dorothy Freeman, Carson poured the last energy of her life into Silent Spring, a book that shook the nation, caused the U.S. government to take immediate action and launched the modern environmental movement. […]

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Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Source: ~ Ashwin ~, Flickr

The world grieves for the loss of an icon with the passing of the legendary Leonard Nimoy. Celebrated for his role as Mr. Spock in the groundbreaking television series Star Trek, Nimoy was one of Hollywood's most recognizable and beloved faces. Although primarily known for his acting, Nimoy was an artistic explorer who delved into […]

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Vaccination Questions? Here’s Help!

Multiple syringes for vaccination

In a 24-hour news cycle, fact and fiction are regularly muddled. Analysis and interviews are riddled with hyperbole, and just about everyone has an agenda. This is to say nothing of the blogosphere and Twitterverse. Certainly this is the case with the recent measles outbreak and the ongoing vaccination discussion. Often, the best antidote is […]

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The Girl on the Train and Other Unreliable Narrators

Source: flickr, dr_john2005

Paula Hawkins' debut novel, The Girl on the Train, is a hit. Readers and critics alike appear to love Hawkins' gripping psychological thriller. With some incredibly satisfying plot twists and an unreliable narrator to keep things interesting, it's shaping-up to be this season's Gone Girl, and I have noticed engrossed readers toting this book around everywhere. An […]

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