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Sometimes I feel like the best way to describe me is: A Food Moron. I grew up in a metropolitan area, in an era when convenience foods were the new miracle of the food industry, and dinner came more often from a can or a box or even a window than it did from the ground. Now that I am in our lovely community here in Provo, I have felt often that I have a huge amount of catching up to do. So many people around me seem to already have a grasp on how to grow your own food and put it on the table for your family without any cardboard boxes involved at all!  And while I don't feel like I have the benefit of a lifetime of knowledge of good food practices, I am trying to learn now as an adult so that I can improve my life and the lives of my family. 

But food is becoming an increasingly tricky subject, almost as perilous to navigate in social settings as politics and religion.  You can find as many different opinions on food practices as there are people in the room. The publishing industry reflects this trend as well, with a new food-related book coming out almost every day prescribing one method or another.

While I don't claim to have any more answers than the next person, I have read several interesting books recently that have helped me to learn about the food industry, and more importantly, that have inspired me personally to make changes. Which is why I've spent the last two months digging through the dirt in my backyard, pulling up roots, hammering and drilling: things I never thought I'd be doing when I was growing up!

 Garden 1.1
My yard in February 2018

Garden 2
Versus April 2018

I heartily support anyone who's trying to make their life better with better food practices, whatever they are! But these are the books that have educated me and inspired me to get out the shovel and do something.  

Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan has been a critical player in our national conversations about food for the better part of two decades.  While he's written many important books on the subject of the environment and agriculture, Cooked was a culmination of sorts where much of his knowledge and research was encapsulated in practical application. 


By Michael Moss

This book takes an in-depth look at major players in the food industry, and examines how research and development of their products is done to help it become as desirable as possible to consumers today.  It's a fascinating look at how food products are specifically designed to keep people eating ("bet you can't eat just one") while no real attention is paid to nutrition unless it can be used as a market appeal.   


6.20 The Dorito EffectTHE DORITO EFFECT
By Mark Schatzker

While part of this book covers similar ground as the book above, Schatzker takes it another step further to examine agricultural practices over the last century as well.  Many varieties of grown food have been bred for decades for its resistance to disease and bigger yields, but practically no consideration for taste.  As a result, many grown foods have lost much of their true flavors and intensity, and people increasingly turn to the processed food industry to provide flavor, at the expense of nutrition. 


By Barbara Kingsolver

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family moved from Tuscon to Virginia to live for one year eating only what they produced themselves or what they could find locally produced.  Kingsolver's mindfulness of the world around her and passion for responsible eating are incredibly inspiring.  I haven't yet found someone who wasn't motivated to make even a small change after reading this. 


By Dan Barber

Written by the renowned chef of the Blue Hill restaurant and one of the original chefs of the farm-to-table movement, Dan Barber explores the evolution of American food, its effect on our environment, and most importantly the environment's effect on food.  This is a fascinating discussion of true sustainability, and how the practices that will benefit our environment the most will also help to provide us with the most delicious food possible. 




It started with a storage room and an idea. 

Several years ago, the Library put out a survey asking for your input about what direction you'd like us to go next. One theme that emerged from that survey was the call for some kind of makerspace at the Library. Well, we listened. We researched. And after years of research and planning, we are thrilled to open our newest Library space, the Basement Creative Lab. 

Located in the west parking garage tunnel, the Basement Creative Lab is a new audiovisual production studio space available free to Provo residents for sound and video recording. 

The mission of the Basement Creative Lab is primarily educational; it is a place for residents to learn and practice video and audio production skills. With a host of cameras, lights, microphones, and other equipment available to them, Provo residents can create a variety of media projects in the lab.  

In addition to the studio space, the Basement Creative Lab will also offer two more production tools for our patrons: first, we will offer a small collection of equipment that Provo residents can check out to use outside of the Library. Second, we will offer two editing stations with Adobe Creative Cloud and other software for video, audio, and graphics editing. These editing stations will be located on the first floor of the Rogers Wing and will operate on an electronic reservation system. 

Classes are now available; we will begin allowing patrons to reserve studio space on July 2. 

Here are answers to a few questions you might have about the Basement Creative Lab. If you are interested in reading more of our policies for use or in viewing a calendar of classes and reservations, you can find them over on the Basement Creative Lab page (find it under the "Learn" tab of our website). 

Q: Who can use the Basement Creative Lab?

A: This facility is exclusively for Provo residents ages 13 and up. Children younger than 13 may use the lab if they are part of a Library program or if they are accompanied by an adult. Teens ages 13–18 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian. A current Provo City Library card is required.

Anyone who wishes to use the studio must take our basic “Introduction to Studio Production” class, taught weekly at the Library. This applies to all users, regardless of their stated level of experience. Once the class is finished, our lab technicians will add Basement Creative Lab privileges onto the user’s library card.

Anyone who wishes to check out a GoPro camera kit to use outside the Library needs to complete our GoPro camera tutorials, available on our website. Upon completing the course, users can bring in a certificate of completion and they will then be allowed to reserve equipment. 

Q: How do I reserve studio time or equipment?

A: The studio and our circulating equipment operate on a reservation system. Requests can be made on our website and must be made at least seven days in advance of the request. Creative Lab Technicians will verify that you have all the necessary privileges and will contact you to confirm your reservation.

Q: Is there a limit to how much I can use the Lab?

A: To make sure that the most people possible have access to the studio, users and user groups are limited to 8 hours of studio time per month and may only have one reservation scheduled at a time. 

Q: How is the Basement Creative Lab funded?

A: Funds for the ongoing operation of the Basement Creative Lab will come from the Library’s budget. Construction costs were supplemented by the RAP tax; equipment for the Lab was purchased through the Community Library Enhancement Fund from the Utah State Library. 

Hidden Section 1

There is a not-so-secret hidden section of the Children’s Department of the library that no one really knows about. Set comfortably between Spanish and 000 information lies a bay of books grossly disregarded. And in that bay are all the NEW informational books that have arrived in Children’s Department. (To be honest, I only became aware of it because I was put in charge of it.)

I am fully aware that when people go to the informational section, they’re going for a purpose. It’s not a place that people tend to linger to see what treasures are held there. It can be so overwhelming because everything, except biographies, is categorized by numbers. What does this mean!!?? (Feel free to ask your friendly neighborhood librarian and they will happily guide you.)

But this isn’t about the whole informational section. It’s about my bay of New Informational books. There is such an array of new treasures that arrive. For about 3 months, these new books are kept in that section until they resume their place with the rest of the informational books.

I wanted to take the time to let you know about this section, because I realize that the whole informational section can be a daunting task to just browse through. But here there is an array of beautiful, new informational books that you should really check out.

Here are some examples:

By Brian Boone and Amanda Black

Who doesn’t like a good joke book? And a Harry Potter themed one? Yes, please. Here are a few jokes to wet the whistle.

Q: What’s a good name for a quidditch player ?

A: Chason

Q: What’s a dark wizard’s favorite candy?

A: Bella-Twix

Q: What did one basilisk say to the other ?

A: Ssssssssssssssssssssssssss…………


6.15 Voices in the OceanDOLPHINS: VOICES IN THE OCEAN
By Susan Casey

This book explores the connection between humans and dolphins. Susan, the author, shares her encounters with dolphins and her descriptions are so vivid you feel like you’re right there with her. This book is a fun way to learn out dolphins from personal experience rather than a book of facts. It also has some real pictures of dolphins in the center as well as early artwork of dolphins on pots from ancient Greece.


By Jon Woodcock

A step by step guide to coding your own animations, games, simulations and more. I am absolutely new to coding and I really appreciated the step-by-step instructions that included images of those steps.


By Sara Levine Illustrated by TS Spookytooth

This cool book shows kids going through a dinosaur museum and shows, while dinosaurs are different from people, there are a lot of bones inside us that are the same bones as dinosaurs. Yes. That IS very cool. Yes, you should check out the book.


6.15 In the PastIN THE PAST
By David Elliott Illustrated by Matthew Trueman

I dare you to open this book and not be able to take it home with you or at least explore its pages. It is a book of poetry highlighting creatures in the prehistoric era and going through time. The illustrations are absolutely fantastic and beautifully scary at times.


By Ashley N Mays

This is a collection of over 50 crafts from Book Page Embroidery to a Paint Chip Word Banner. Each craft has a photo example craft and the supplies are probably already around your home. It’s a fun book, definitely worth taking a look at.


6.15 JabberwalkingJABBERWALKING
By Juan Felipe Herrera

“And, as in ufffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame, came whiffling through the tulgey wood, And burbled as it came!” -from Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll. Juan Felipe Herrera was the US Poet Laureate from 2015-2017. He wants you to go on a walk with him, not any walk but he wants you Jabber Walking. It’s okay, he’ll tell you how.


By Jennifer Swanson

This is a really cool book comparing and contrasting the ups and downs of space science and sea science. It’s a fun an interesting ride between the two. A lot of pages had side by side comparisons which was fascinating to see how similar they are. It also has activities throughout that enhances what is being learned.


6.15 The Coral KingdomTHE CORAL KINGDOM 
By Laura Knowles and Jennie Webber

This beautiful book takes you through the coral reef to the beautiful plant and animal life under the sea. The illustrations are beautifully vibrant.



Have you always wanted to learn the ways of playing the “uke”? I know that I have. My friends from Hawaii love to get together, jam, and try experimenting with renditions on the ukulele. It is nice to have musical friends to play for us, but we are all capable of learning more about music ourselves.

Knowing that I wanted to get some beginner’s help to learn the ukulele, I thought it would be great to make this an event everyone can enjoy at the library to go along with our musical Summer Reading Program theme, “Libraries Rock!”

This event will be held on Wednesday, June 13th at 7:00 PM in the Bullock Room #309We will focus on learning a few simple songs and chords on the ukulele for beginners, but all skill levels are welcome to come and strum.

An interesting back story about the ukulele is in its name.  Although we associate the ukulele with Hawaiian culture, it originated in Madeira and was called, machete. Portuguese immigrants brought over the machete, and Hawaiians rechristened it, the ukulele, as it gained popularity.   

Be sure to check out some of these famous ukulele players on YouTube to gain some inspiration before our Family Music Night.

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Jake Shimabukuro

Julia Nunes

Zee Avi 


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