Saturday, May 21, 2005


Some of the interesting displays to be found in adult services at this time:

Notable Books 2005--each year since 1944, a committee of professional librarians choose what they feel were the best books of the year in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. This year, 11 fiction, 13 non-fiction, and 2 poetry selections were listed, many of which are available (and displayed) at the Elk Grove Village Library.

Art of the State Series--little (c.6" X 7") books from various states, subtitled "Spirit of America", depicting artwork by and about each particular state--and more. Our collection includes Iowa (917.77 LAN), Illinois (J 977.3 TRE), and California (917.4 FRI), and 12 others. Some are available in both Adult and Youth Services.

Travel Guides--planning a vacation trip? The Elk Grove Village Library has many different travel guides and trip planners to help set up a trip. We carry the most current Mobil Guides that cover Regions of the United State and Canada, i.e., The Great Plains (917.8 MOB), featuring town-by-town listings of recommended lodgings, restaurants, and local attractions. There are also Mobil Guides for specific cities, i.e., Las Vegas (917.9313 MOB). There are also Frommer's Guides--i.e., Atlanta (917.5823 FRO) and Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park (917.87 FRO)--, Rough Guides--i.e., Europe (914 ROU) and California--, and Insiders' Guides--i.e., Grand Canyon (917.913 INS) and Oregon Coast (917.95 INS). There's a whole lot more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


25 years ago, Mount St. Helens in Washington State erupted violently, destroying forests, burying lakes and rivers, killing 57 people, raining ash on several states, and affecting global weather for several weeks. Although it was known that Mt. St. Helens was an active volcano, the enormity of the destruction of the 1980 eruption had not been predicted. The eruption radically changed the shape of the volcano. Usually appearing peaceful, it is still changing today as a lava dome continues to grow and earthquakes continue to shake the area. Needless to say, it is being closely monitored unofficially and officially.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


The Elk Grove Village Library has recently subscribed to Book Page: America's Book Review, a monthly publication in newspaper format that has extensive reviews of recommended fiction and non-fiction books and audio recordings. There are also author interviews, advice for writers, and Book Club suggestions. Often there will be a status report on upcoming books by popular authors in the Burning Question column. Materials for children and Young Adults are also covered. [Archives of past reviews are available online.]

Copies are available for FREE to patrons. Currently, this month's issue is on display near the Circulation Desk.

Another online source of book reviews can be found at Reviews of Books, a site that collects full-length reviews of popular books from other sites, at least three, going back to 2002. They also write their own reviews.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


L. Frank Baum was born on this date in 1856 (next year will the 150th anniversary of his birth). He is, of course, best known for his book The Wizard of Oz and its sequels [online texts]. has a very informative essay on Baum and his works. The Library of Congress has an online exhibit devoted to the book. The classic movie was made of the book in 1939, starring Judy Garland. And, there have been several other film versions made, including silent versions from the early 20th century, a musical retelling starring Diana Ross (The Wiz)(1978), and a movie about making the movie, Under the Rainbow (1981). There is also, currently on Broadway, a musical "prequel", called Wicked, based on the book by Gregory Maguire. Now, there is a Muppet version, airing Friday night, May 20, on ABC at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Edward Lear was born in London on this day in 1812, the 20th of 21 children. He is mainly known today for his writings, especially his wonderful nonsense poems and limericks. But he was also an accomplished scientific illustrator.

My favorite non-limerick poem of Lear's is The Owl and the Pussycat". The Elk Grove Library has several copies of this poem with different illustrators:
Hilary Knight's The Owl and the Pussy-cat : based on the poem by Edward Lear (J 821 KNI)
The Owl and the Pussy-cat. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney (E LEA)
The Owl and the Pussycat / by Edward Lear ; illustrated by Anne Wilson (E LEA)
The Owl and the Pussycat / by Edward Lear ; illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley (E LEA)
The Owl and the Pussycat / by Edward Lear ; illustrated by Janet Stevens (E LEA)
The Owl and the Pussycat / by Edward Lear ; illustrated by Jan Brett (E LEA)

Other copies of his work are also available:
Lear's Nonsense Verses Pictures by Tomi Ungerer (J 821 LEA)
Edward Lear's ABC : Alphabet Rhymes for Children illustrated by Carol Pyke (E LEA)
The Jumblies, and Other Nonsense Verses with drawings by L. Leslie Brooke (J 811 LEA)
Pelican Chorus and Other Nonsense Verses (J 821 LEA)
Edward Lear's Nonsense Omnibus : With All the Original Pictures, Verses, and Stories of His Book of Nonsense, More Nonsense, Nonsense Songs, Nonsense Stories, and Alphabets (821.8 LEA).
Edward Lear, King of Nonsense : a Biography by Gloria Kamen illustrated by Edward Lear and Gloria Kamen (J BIO LEA).

There are many more collections and single-illustrated poems also available at the Elk Grove Library, primarily in the Youth Department.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


On this date in 1930, The Adler Planetarium opened to the public. It was the first public planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and used the latest Zeiss star projector (which was not replaced until 1971). The first director was Phillip Fox. The original building was ready in time for the Chicago World Fair, the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. A new addition opened in 1999, retaining the original building while complimenting it. It is an elegant part of the Chicago lakefront. As the front of the planetarium is approached, a Henry Moore Equatorial Sundial Sculpture can be seen. More pictures of the planetarium can be found on the Chicago Mosaic site. There is also a web-cam, the Sky-Eye, on the planetarium with a panoramic view of the Chicago skyline.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Both the Youth Services and the Adult Services Departments have displays up for Mothers Day. Take a look at them for related books.

When the displays are down, though, there will still be interesting books about mothers and motherhood available.

New Books in Adult Services:

The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes Us Smarter (NEW 306.8743 ELL) by Katherine Ellison (2005)
Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts (NEW 306.8743 MAM) edited by Bee Lavender (2004)--essays
What No One Tells the Mom: Surviving the Early Years of Parenthood with Your Sanity, Your Sex Life and Your Sense of Humor Intact (NEW 306.8743 STA) by Marg Stark (2005)
If You've Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything: Leadership Begins at Home (New 306.8743 CRI) by Ann Crittenden (2004)
Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family (NEW 306.8743 NEW) by Catherine Newman (2005)
Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage (NEW 306.856 EDI) by Kathryn Edin & Maria Kefalas (2005)

Some other related books include:

Mothers & Daughters (306.8743 SAL) by Carol Saline & Sharon J. Wohlmuth (1997)--lots of pictures
In My Mother's Closet: An Invitation to Remember (306.8743 ZUC and YA 306.8743 ZUK) by Eugenia Zuckerman (2003)--celebrity reminiscences
A Daughter's Journey Home: Finding a Way to Love, Honor and Connect with Your Mother (306.8743 MIN) by Dr. Linda Mintle (2004)

[These last three were in the display area this week]

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Today, May 5, is Cinco de Mayo, the holiday commemorating the battle that led to Mexico's freedom from France. The Elk Grove Library has several books and films about this holiday available in the Youth Services Department under the general call number of 394.262. Adult Services has several books about the relevant time period available as well:

Maximilian and Juarez (1992) by Jasper Ridley (972.07 RID)
A Precise History of Mexico from Hidalgo to Cardenas, 1805-1940 (1977) by Jan Bazant (972 BAZ)
Independence and Revolution in Mexico, 1810-1940 (1993) by Rebecca Stefoff (972 STE)

Among the many sites online regarding this holiday is one by Assunta Montes de Oca de Marshall, written in both English and Spanish. The History of Cinco de Mayo has several pictures and maps. Resources for teachers, with activities, games, color pages, and links, can be found at Kiddiehouse and Kids Domain.

A very brief biography of General Zaragoza can be found at and also at Famous Brief biographies of Emperor Maximilian III can be found at Infoplease and Maximilian. Biographies of Benito Juarez can be found at Benito Juarez and Infoplease.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Thirty-five years ago today Ohio National Guardsmen fired on an unarmed group of war-protesting students at Kent State, killing 4. John Filo's Pulitzer Prize winning photo can be found at The Digital Journalist along with an audio account by Mr. Filo. Another audio account can be found at The History Channel site. Kent State University itself has its own special collections site on this event. Infography has an extensive bibliography as well, including online articles and dedicated web sites.

The Elk Grove Village Library has several books about May 4, 1970, at Kent State:

Kent State May 4: Echoes Through a Decade (1988)edited by Scott A. Bills (378.771 KEN)
The Fourth of May: Killings and Coverups at Kent State (1990) by William A. Gordon (378.771 GOR)
Kent State: What Happened and Why (1982) by James Michener (322.44 MIC)
Kent State (1998) by Arlene Erlbach (J 378.771 ERL)

(More at the Elk Grove Library Blog)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Once again my critera for this list was attention-getting titles. This time around, I disqualified mysteries:

Christopher Buckley's Florence of Arabia--US government employee Florence Farfaletti implements a plan to free the oppressed, apt-to-be-executed-over-(to our eyes)trivia women of fictional Middle East country Wasabia
Matthew Carnahan's Serpent Girl--small-time-circus "Freaks" search for a payroll thief who, in turn, is looking for his traitorous caper-sharing buddies who have dumped him in the desert
Peter Craig's Hot Plastic--grifter father-son team add a teenage girl to their scams as they travel across the US in the 1980's
Gideon Defoe's Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists--pirates board Charles Darwin's ship, The Beagle, and then join him on a rescue mission to save Darwin's brother from the "evil bishop of Oxford"
Anita Desai's Zigzag Way--an American at loose ends while his girlfriend works on field observations investigates his grandfather's past history in Mexico
Julian Fellowes' Snobs--"Wodehouse-like" tale of middle-class social-climber Edith Lavery's attempt by marriage to an Earl to achieve acceptance by upper-crust Londoners in the 1990's
Helen Fielding's Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination--reporter Olivia Joules stumbles onto a possible terrorist plot and is recruited by MI6 as a spy
Clare Morrall's Astonishing Splashes of Color--Kitty Wellington's life has unraveled following a miscarriage; separation from her equally-disfunctional husband, the "ability" to see people's auras, and a misconceived kidnapping ensue (2003 Booker Prize Finalist)
Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror--the accidental murder of a man dressed like Santa is witnessed by a young boy whose prayer for help brings Archangel Raziel to the small California town to make things right
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Cleopatra 7.2--an experiment involving "blending" of DNA from a modern person with that of a person from the past (here, Cleopatra), results in two Cleopatras and their archaeologist DNA contributors and their problems with government regulations, kidnappers, and plots to restore Egypt to its past glory (sequel to 2002's Channeling Cleopatra)
Sarah Stonich's The Ice Chorus--Canadian filmmaker goes to live in rural Ireland after her marriage breaks up, documenting the local inhabitants' stories while waiting for her former lover, an artist, to appear