Quiz: Super Bowl Turns 50

Super Bowl 50, February 7, 2016 sign with San Francisco in the background

The AFL/NFL World Championship Game, also now known as Super Bowl I, was held January 15, 1967 in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. As they played that game, they probably had no idea the Super Bowl would become the event it is today. The stage for this year’s […]

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High School Equivalency Certificate Options

    As of January 1, 2016, the state of Illinois now has three high school equivalency certification options! Differences include the format of the tests, plus the costs. Read more by checking out these websites and CPL resources: GED: Cracking the GED Test 2016 and GED Test 2016 would be good titles to get familiarized with the […]

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After Dracula: Vampire Movies Today


It's been 85 years since the premiere of Universal's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, on February 12, 1931. Adapted from Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, it was one of the first entries in a great tradition of vampire films still alive and stalking unwitting victims to this day. If you thought the immortal vampire had finally been slain by […]

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The Studs Terkel Archive: a Vital Work in Progress

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The Voice of America, now a resource for America. "People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being." Studs Terkel Last year there was some fanfare with the Studs Terkel Archive, which has a new home with the best of his videos coming home to Media Burn. Studs Terkal has left us such a wealth […]

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Far From Heaven: Ecological, Economic Dystopias

ghost town 1

Dystopias (the opposite of utopias) are popular right now, whether you like The Hunger Games or Divergent. Here are three dystopian novels to come out recently, where the rich get the resources and the meek inherit the dirt. Karl Taro Greenfeld's latest, The Subprimes, melds the ideas of ecological and economic dystopia seamlessly. Subprimes are people whose credit […]

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Are you ready for the blizzard?

Man resting after digging out after 2011 blizzard

Okay, so we didn't get a blizzard this time, but hey, this is Chicago. You know we're going to get a big snow storm this year. It's just a matter of when. Are you ready? Preparing for a blizzard is the same as preparing for any potential disaster -- be informed, have a plan, make […]

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Guest Blog: Leslie Parry on Chicago: The City That Gives

Leslie Parry

Chicago author Leslie Parry is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her short stories have appeared in VQR, The Missouri Review, The Cincinnati Review, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. Church of Marvels is her first novel. My son is one week old. The morning he was born, I held him, delirious, and gazed out at […]

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#TBT: Hamlet, a Woman?

Hamlet at McVicker's Theatre starring Anna Dickinson, 01-30-1882

In Shakespeare’s day, only men acted in his plays, even playing female characters. 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death, and over the centuries, things have changed. Men and women have played both male and female parts—I even saw an all-female cast of Henry V back in high school. But that was actually nothing new. […]

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Hurray for Hedgehogs

hedgehog on rocky ground

Groundhog Day is the first holiday in February, a short month filled with a lot of special days, but Punxsutawney Phil isn't the only cute little critter who spends his winter hibernating and dreaming of spring. Turtles hibernate, bears hibernate, hedgehogs hibernate—wait, hedgehogs? Q: What do you get when you cross a bush and a pig? A: […]

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CPL’s Most Popular Books of 2015

The Girl on the Train, Dead Wake book covers

Before we completely shift our focus to the new books coming in 2016, let's take a look back at our most checked out and requested books of 2015. For comparison's sake, you may want to also look at Publishers Weekly's national statistics for 2015, as well as our most popular books of 2014. Are you surprised to learn […]

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