#TBT: Centennial Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald headshot

Source: Courtesy the Fraser MacPherson estate c/o Guy MacPherson, Wikimedia Commons For this Throwback Thursday, we celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of one of my most favorite songstresses, Ella Fitzgerald. Born April 25, 1917, Ella was known as "The First Lady of Song" and "The Queen of Jazz." She recorded over 200 albums throughout her […]

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Sandburg Award Honors Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers

Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers

Authors Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers will receive the 2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library. Natalie Y. Moore will receive the 21st Century Award. The Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner will honor the authors Wednesday, October 11 at The Forum on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Atwood […]

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Delicious Documentaries: Food on Film

hand holding a radish

This season’s One Book, One Chicago theme is “Eat, Think, Grow” and this season's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, tells the story of Barbara Kingsolver and her family as they plant a garden and grow their own food for a year. If you love stories about food, you may enjoy watching these food-related documentaries. Just Eat […]

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#TBT, Happy Birthday, Harold Washington!

Harold Washington button

Saturday marks the 95th anniversary of Mayor Harold Washington's birth. The beloved Mayor of Chicago served the city from 1983 until his death in 1987, and made his mark on Chicago in multiple ways. Take some time to celebrate Harold's birthday by reading up on his legacy, or with a visit to the Special Collections and […]

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National Poetry Month for Kids

Out of Wonder book cover

In 2017, kids across Illinois awarded The Crossover the Rebecca Caudill Award, an honor given to the most outstanding book for fourth through eighth graders by fourth through eighth graders. If you somehow missed out on reading the multiple-award-winning book by Kwame Alexander, one thing you should know is that it was written in free verse. You know what […]

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5 Articles: Home Sweet Connected Home

image of a home

What comes to mind when you hear the term “smart home technology”? Well, I asked around and here are some of the answers I received: televisions with internet capabilities automated home energy climate management systems standalone virtual assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home refrigerators with Wi-Fi enabled touchscreen tablets for multitasking automated security surveillance […]

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Heart-Warming Tales of Asperger’s

Those with Asperger's Syndrome have unique challenges and gifts, but it's only recently that the greater world has been paying attention. For those curious about what it's like to relate to someone with Asperger's, there are plenty of nonfiction titles; but some of them can get a little dry, so one can also get a good idea […]

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Underground Chicago: Gas and other Utilities

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A series of posts describing Chicago’s underground networks. Previous: Railroads Gas mains and pipes: About 4,500 miles--mainly small diameter. The system started in the 1840s and is being continually upgraded. People’s Gas was chartered in 1849 by the state and does not pay Chicago a franchise fee. The other utilities either pay a franchise fee […]

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Instant Downloads for Teens

I'm a big believer that spring break should mean taking an actual break. Take some time to read magazine, watch television, and enjoy comics. And the best part is, you can do all that without ever leaving your house (even if your parents changed the Netflix password). Check out these instant digital downloads available to you […]

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New British Police Procedurals

If you're fond of Ian Rankin and his John Rebus novels, there's a bucket-load of new British police procedurals out there. Some of the authors are well-known, but I've tried to focus on ones the crowds may have missed. Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie is the latest in the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid mysteries, […]

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