Name That Text Type!: What Is Poetry?

Hello, April! National Poetry Month has arrived! Time to brush up on or learn for the first time what poetry is, what poems can be about (hint: anything you want!), where we can find them, and what the guidelines are for writing different types of poems (like concrete, limerick, haiku, acrostic and more)! Learn what stressed syllables are (hint: they aren’t anxious), the difference between rhythm and rhyme, and metaphor and simile!

Check it out on Hoopla here. It’s a Bonus Borrow, and won’t count as one of your 4 monthly borrows!

Then engage with Ms. Sally’s Family Poetry Jam activities! We’d love to see the poems you come up with!

Here Comes Lolo

Here Comes Lolo introduces us to primary-aged Lolo, a sweet, smart, artistic South-African girl who lives with her Gogo (grandma) and mother in the back of Gogo’s dressmaking shop. With writing grounded in the young girl’s identifiable daily experiences, and a gently paced and charmingly illustrated collection of four stories, you will instantly feel a closeness to little Lolo.

Included in this early chapter book collection: “A Gold Star and a Kiss for Lolo,” “Lolo’s Hat,” “Lolo and the Lost Ring,” and “Lolo and a Dog Called Hope”

Check it out on Hoopla here.


Car park= parking lot

Full stop= period

Molo= Hello/ How are you doing?


Stuck Home? Need Something to Read? Evanston Public Library’s Got Your Back

March 17, 2020

Well folks, it happened. The library up and closed on you and here you are without anything to read. A great big library full of books, but you can’t get access to them. Does that sound fair?

Not to worry. Consider this a golden opportunity. After all, it has never been a better time to discover the wide and wonderful world of e-books. Do electronic books and audiobooks sound scary or weird? They’re not! These are just a new way to read all your favorites without leaving the comfort of your own home. And luckily for you, EPL has a whole range of options to choose from. Not just books either but also movies are sitting there just ripe for the watching. Here’s a quick How To guide on your options:

Overdrive / Libby

Okay, let’s start with the place that will have the LARGEST selection of ebooks just waiting for you. To make sure you get access to as many books as possible, Evanston Public Library belongs to an ebook consortium called the Digital Library of Illinois. Basically, a whole slew of local libraries came together to pool our ebooks. That means that even if we don’t have the specific title available that you’re looking for, at least there’s plenty of other things to browse. To access these books and audiobooks, all you need is your library card. Then you can either go to this website or download the Overdrive app which is named Libby. From there you’ll be asked to sign in with your library card. After that, all you need to do is find what you’re interested in and download it. Sometimes you’ll find that someone else has “checked out” the item you want. Don’t worry. You can just put it on hold and find something else to read or listen to in the interim.


hoopla logo

Don’t feel like waiting around for someone to return an e-item? Then check out Hoopla, where there’s never a wait. Like Overdrive you can download the app or go to the aforementioned website to check out the selection. See something you like? You can check it out immediately! Just bear in mind that we have a daily limit and if too many people download items in a single day you might have to wait until the next day to get what you want. Best of all, there’s music, movies, and TV shows to choose from. All for the taking.


introducing Kanopy

Of course, Hoopla’s movies and TV shows are a bit . . . limited sometimes. What if you wanted to see a classic film or something from the Criterion collection? What if you wanted to pluck something from a huge selection of indie films or documentaries? What if you wanted something from the Great Courses series? All of that, and much more, is available through Kanopy. And like Hoopla, everything you’ll find there is instantly available. Be careful, though. You’re only allowed three titles per month, so if you accidentally download something there’s nothing to be done!


So here’s a question for you. What if you’ve an interest in reading the books written by your fellow Evanstonians? Is there a place where you can find ebooks by local writers? There is! Introducing Biblioboard. Like Knopy and Hoopla it’s based on simultaneous use. Browse works by locals or, if you’re feeling brave, check out the other self-published titles available. Are you interested in maybe getting your own book on the site as well. You can! With our program, you can format and submit your own title.


Enjoy the range of selections from your favorite local library. And don’t worry. Soon enough we’ll be up and running again, but now you’ll have the knowledge you need to keep checking out ebooks in the future. Cheers!

Libraries on the Front Lines: What You Need to Know About Changes to Your Ebooks

August 14, 2019

In the beginning, when libraries around the world started buying and circulating ebooks for the very first time, publishers were concerned. Very concerned. Suddenly the old lending models didn’t seem to apply anymore. Why should libraries be allowed to circulate digital titles, books that will never show wear and tear after multiple uses, without needing to buy replacement copies? With that in mind, publishers instituted “metered copies”. Essentially, a library buys an electronic book or audiobook, and then after a designated amount of time it “expires” and they have to buy another one to replace it. Publishers argue that this is only fair and that this books ebooks on the same level as their print equivalents. Libraries would disagree. After all, often times a “metered” copy circulates only 20 or 30 times. We have books on our shelves in decent condition that have gone out twice as long.

This all came to a head in the last few months when several of the large publishers of digital content decided to scale library accessibility. Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster became the first of the Big Five publishers to meter digital audio purchases in libraries. Now digital audio licenses from these two publishers will now expire after 24 months. Why was this done? Well, it certainly wasn’t because of poor sales. Digital audio sales have shown double digit growth in the last six years with no change in sight. Clearly libraries have been helping to expose people to audio titles that have been sold to new customers later. Tell that to the publishers, though.

The most egregious changes, however, have come from Macmillan and Recorded Books. Macmillan’s are amongst most extreme. In a new policy to embargo new titles for library lending, libraries everywhere (no matter how large or small) will only be permitted to purchase one (1) copy of each title for the first 8 weeks. You heard that right. No matter how big the book, we’ll only have one e-copy for the first few months of publication. Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote an explanation to Macmillan authors, illustrators, and agents explaining that they ran a test of Tor e-titles in libraries and sales were low. However, when this research was challenged by the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Sargent “declined to be more specific” on the details of this study. Overdrive (the company that provides many of our e-titles and the Libby app) CEO and founder Steve Potash delivered a scathing indictment of this change in a piece called “Macmillan Publishes a Work of Fiction“. If you have five minutes to spare, I highly recommend that you Google it.

Meanwhile, the company Blackstone has offered its own embargo. Libraries must now wait to purchase an undetermined number of their eAudiobooks for 90 days after the books have been released to the public. They hope that library patrons will not wish to wait 90 days to borrow the book, and will buy the book privately instead. This move has angered libraries so much that it has inspired a widespread Blackstone boycott by nationwide library systems. Evanston Public Library has not joined the boycott as of this time.

Big changes are afoot and where this will all fall out, we don’t know. Please be aware, however, that we will do our utmost to bring you the titles you want and love, regardless of the restrictions placed on us in the future.

Four New Libraries “Pop-up” in Evanston

EPL is one of just five libraries in the country to offer this innovative service.

Pop-up LibraryWant to read a new book but can’t make it to the library? No problem. No library card? You don’t need one. With the EPL launch of pop-up libraries, you can check out a digital book in locations across Evanston with a smart device. EPL has placed digital pop-up libraries at various high-traffic Evanston locations in a pilot effort to remove barriers to service such as not having a library card or not being able to come into the library. This new service approach is designed to welcome and serve residents who do not currently have an Evanston Public Library card.

“We are looking forward to providing a new way to access the Evanston Public Library’s eBook collection in convenient places outside the walls of our libraries where we’d like to improve service,” says Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons. “We hope to welcome new members to our family of EPL patrons.”

No holds, no waiting.

There are no holds and no waiting for any of the titles featured on the pop-up units. Four mobile hotspots filled with free books are strategically placed around the city in busy, high-traffic places that are marked with posters. When at a pop-up library site, one can instantly download a free book of choice to a smartphone or other device. An array of hot titles has been loaded onto these popups for a one-week, free check-out period with no waiting. Users at the designated locations can log-in to the mobile hotspot by going to wireless settings on their device and tapping on the Pop-Up Library wifi connection. Next, they can go to the website on the poster and select a book. After doing so a prompt will appear to download the book to a phone or smart device so it doesn’t have to be streamed. No app is necessary. The book is ready to read.

popup library usersThe pop-up locations in Evanston are:

  1. Erie Family Health Center, 1285 Hartrey Ave.
  2. Presence St. Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Ave.
  3. Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
  4. Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St.

Smartphone usage is growing dramatically. According to the Pew Research Center, at least 77 percent of Americans in 2017 owned smartphones, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011. Pop-up libraries allow smartphone users to immediately download a book, no card necessary, and with no fines or fees attached.

This new service is offered in partnership with Baker and Taylor and the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation.

Pop-Up Stores Step Aside: Introducing the Pop-Up Library

November 6, 2018

Imagine you’re sitting, waiting, bored. Maybe you’re at the Robert Crown Center, waiting for your kid to get out of hockey practice. Maybe you’re in the waiting room at the Erie Family Health Center waiting for your appointment. Perhaps you’re at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, waiting for a show to begin. Waiting can be tough, so wouldn’t it be cool if there were free books available for download at each of those locations? And wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t need your library card to look at them?

Introducing the Pop-Up Libraries of Evanston, IL, brought to you in partnership with Baker and Taylor and the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation. You’ve heard of pop-up stores, I’m sure, but a library? Absolutely. Evanston Public Library has strategically placed five mobile hotspots filled with free books around the city. If you see one of our signs, you’ll be able to whip out your phone or device and instantly download a book for free of your choice. An array of hot titles have been loaded onto these hotspots, and there’s no waiting. See something you like? You can have it for a week, no charge. Just log-in to the mobile hotspot by going to your wireless settings and tapping on the Pop-Up Library wi-fi connection. Next, go to the website on the poster, and select your book. After you’ve done so a prompt will appear, instructing you to download the book to your phone or smart device so you don’t have to stream it to read it. You don’t need to download an app. Just put the book on your browser and go.

Why are we doing this? Here at the library, we realize that a lot of people have phones and other smart devices but not everyone keeps their library card on them at all times, or even has one that they can use. This is our way of getting ebooks into people’s hands in the places where they often have time to kill. And Evanston is one of only five library systems in the United States trying out these devices.

Interested in giving it a go? Here are the Pop-Up Library locations at this time. Look for the instructional posters at each site:

  • Erie Family Health Center (1285 Hartrey Ave, Evanston, IL 60202)
  • Presence St. Francis Hospital (355 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202)
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center (1655 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60201)
  • Robert Crown Center (1701 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202)

There’s also a fifth location but it’s a bit of a surprise. Expect that to be announced another day.

Self-Publishing at the Library: How Biblioboard Works for You

February 28, 2018

Anyone can write a book. The question is, “How do you draw attention to it?” The Evanston Public Library is offering a service that aims to answer that question.

I don’t think I’m surprising anyone when I say that self-publishing has come a long way. Gone are the days when vanity presses were the sole means of bringing your book to life. The rise of the internet has led to a self-publishing boom, and libraries are at the forefront of the movement. We want to help local authors not only get their ebooks into the library, we want to help them look as good as possible in the process.

Introducing Biblioboard.

Let’s talk ebooks. You may already know about checking them out through the library (for free, of course) from Overdrive and Hoopla, but Biblioboard is different. Like Hoopla, you’ll never experience a hold, checkout or lending limit. Best of all, you can read public domain titles, top indie eBooks, local self-published authors, and so much more. You can even download the BiblioBoard Library app for your Apple, Android or Kindle device now, or visit on any web browser.

What does this have to do with self-published authors? A lot. Because not only can you read those authors on Biblioboard, you can submit your own titles and have them included in the library’s ebook collection.

Along with Biblioboard we are also now providing a service that allows you to design your own books, newsletters, poetry, novels, and any other written content into slick looking digital and print-ready formats. Once you’ve formatted your written work using a program provided by the library called Pressbooks (you can watch a video about it here, if you like), you can submit it to yet another program called SELF-e and have it showcased in an Indie Illinois Statewide Collection while retaining all rights to your work. Readers across the state can discover your work with the potential for national exposure. Best of all? Your work will be featured on the library’s Biblioboard website.

How do you get started? Come to an informational session on Saturday, March 17, 4:00 pm, at the Evanston Public Library’s Community Room on the first floor. A representative from Biblioboard will walk interested patrons through the whole process.

Suddenly getting your book into the library just became a whole lot easier.

Libraries and eBook publishers: a complex and fraught relationship

August 6, 2013

The previous post from Olivia highlights the response one library director gave to his patrons to explain why there were so few eBookereader-and-books 4s available to borrowers. Lynn Neary, of NPR’s Morning Edition, prefaced her report, the second in a series of the state of libraries in the U. S., this way, “E-books have changed the world of publishing in fundamental ways. The business model that encouraged publishers to support the work of public libraries has changed to such an extent that this relationship has been stressed to the point of non cooperation.”

Listen to the full story (pay special note the lively conversation that ensues in the comments section).

Barbara L.

“Why aren’t more bestsellers available as eBooks for me to borrow from the library?”

August 5, 2013

anotherimageTo help answer this common question among many library patrons, the State Library of Kansas created a facebook page to explain which eBooks are not available for libraries at all, and why others are too expensive to purchase or lease. In an interview on NPR, Jo Budler, the State Librarian of Kansas, explained that while “the cost to you and I might be $10 for a book,” the same eBook could cost a library $85 to rent for just a year, or may only be checked out less than 30 times. Major publishers restrict the availability of eBooks in libraries in an attempt not to diminish eBook sales. So, to expand the digital collection of the Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, Director Jamie LaRue decided to work with independent publishers and self-published writers and services.  Now, DCL patrons can access to 40,000 eBooks and might discover new authors to enjoy. They also have the option of purchasing eBooks – which benefits all parties, including the library. Several library systems are interested in adapting this “Douglas County Model.” As Ms. Budler points out, “…our readers, they’re going to find things to read. And if it’s not the bestsellers they may turn somebody into a bestseller, because the bestseller wasn’t available at the library.”

~ Olivia

Publishers may expand ebook offerings to Libraries

August 30, 2012

In recent meetings with book publishers,  Jeremy Greenfield, editorial director of Digital Book World, says some believe continuing and even expanding ebook offerings to libraries will help their business.  Others are not so sure.  Greenfield was one of the guests on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show earlier this week which was devoted to the topic of library ebook lending.

Susan R., Reader’s Svcs

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