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  • Rarely Seen FB event


    Last year, we published a list of six free library dates; this year, we thought we’d give an update with specific things you can do this December at the library. It’s a proven fact that doing something interesting at the library is way better than awkwardly exchanging resumes and “how many siblings do you have…?” stories over dinner. 

    1. Visit our “Rarely Seen” exhibit 

    The Attic is the perfect place for a date; though it was a bustling madhouse this summer with our Little Builders exhibit, it’s returned to its roots as a gallery for fantastic art, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be hosting “Rarely Seen” from National Geographic (yes, THAT National Geographic). This traveling exhibit features photographs of rarely seen phenomena, from natural wonders to man-made curiosities. 

    What makes this a great date? First, The Attic is still enjoying a bit of a “hidden gem” status, so your date will likely be impressed with your insider library knowledge. Second, each photo is a conversation in itself. That’s 50 potential conversations waiting to happen, conversations that are WAY more interesting than, “So…what’s your major?” 

    We’re open Monday-Friday from 3:30 to 9:00 pm, and you can catch this exhibit until December 29. After that, we’ll close for a few weeks while we switch over to a new exhibit, at which point you can go on another date. 

    2. Get some culture 

    Last week, Shaina posted about the various holiday performances we’re hosting this December. This does mean that you’ll have to have a Monday night date, but it will be worth it! 

    If you miss our December performances, never fear; we have cultural performances the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month from September through May. Enjoy an evening with local music, dance, and theatre groups, all without breaking the bank (because it’s free. Everything is free!).  

    3. Solve a (fictional) murder 

    You may have already played our Whodunit Mystery Game, but it’s undergone a recent revamp and it’s better than ever! Participants travel from room to room in the library trying to solve a mystery, similar to the game Clue, by Parker Brothers. Some of your favorite villains have been causing mayhem in the library. The winner will correctly guess the suspect, location, and the weapon involved in the crime.  

    This is a great group date; we don’t recommend it for fewer than 3 (or, since that would be a strange date, we’ll say 4) or more than 18. This game takes about an hour to complete, and can be scheduled for any time the library is open (we just need at least one week’s notice to make sure we’re available). 

    4. Get trapped together…and escape! 

    Escape Rooms are all the group date rage right now, and rightly so. Nothing says, “I think I might really like you and want to get to know you better” than solving a series of complicated puzzles together. It’s a great way to make sure you’re not dating a dummy. 

    Our current escape room is Harry Potter-themed; no prior knowledge of Harry Potter is required, though it certainly won’t hurt! 

    The escape room works best with 4 to 8 players, but requests for groups of other sizes can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Adults ages 18 and up will enjoy the game the most.  Teens may enjoy the game, but we ask that they be accompanied by at least one adult. Like our Whodunit game, requests must be made at least one week in advance. 

    5. Build more than a relationship 

    We know the dilemma; you want to go on a date, but you also just really want to stay at home and play with toys. Well, with our on-demand boxes, you don’t have to choose! We have a variety of builder-themed boxes available for checkout in the library. From magna-tiles to KEVA planks and more, you can spend an evening building cool things; go out for ice cream afterwards and then give yourself a high five for planning a date that 10-year-old you would be proud of. 

    The best part of all of these dates? The memories, obviously. But also, they’re all free. All the time. So what are you waiting for? Schedule a library date today!

  •  1000books


    It is that time of year when cute little kids with back packs as big as they are start off for their first day of kindergarten.  New clothes, shiny faces, and superhero pencil boxes are all a part of exciting scene as children start on the long journey of their formal education.  Unfortunately not all kids start kindergarten on equal footing. Studies show that kids in families where they talk and read together can be two years further ahead in their language development than those who do not. Sadly, all too often these educational discrepancies continue through grade school, secondary school and even to college. 


    The Provo Library has fun program to encourage parents and preschool age children to read together.  It is called 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.  When participants sign up with their library card at the children’s reference desk, they receive a book bag and a colorful reading chart with 1000 stars on it. Each time parents and children read a book together they can mark off a star.  When they have marked off all the stars, they can bring the chart back to the library and receive a nice certificate and a small toy for the child. Of course, the real reward is a child who is enters kindergarten ready to learn.  So as you see the little four-foot-tall scholars trekking off to school for the first time, and think, that will be my child in 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5  years, come to the Provo Library and commit to read 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!



  •  picking favorites

    Today's a very special day, and you might not even know it! It's International Book Lovers Day! Given that this is one of the happiest days of the year, we've been brainstorming the best ways to celebrate. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Read something, of course!

    2. Read to a child.

    3. Have a child read to you.

    4. Start a book club.

      Book Clubbin

    5. Reserve a book club set for your brand new club. 

    6. Check out a book from the library.

    7. Donate books you no longer want to the library. If we can’t add them to the library collection, we sell them in our book store and all profits go to library programming.

    8. Write a review of a book you love on Amazon. Reader reviews can make a big difference in an author's career.

    9. If you don't already have one, open a Goodreads account to keep track of what you've read and what you want to read.

    10. Follow our children's or teen and adult staff review blogs.

    11. Fill out a personalized reading recommendation form on our website and we'll recommend books just for you!

    12. Make plans to meet an author and get a book signed at one of our many upcoming AuthorLink events.

    13. Skim a review journal like Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, or The New York Times Book Review to find your next great read.

    14. If you have kids, add story time to your fall schedule. It starts up again on August 28th!

    15. Sniff a book.You know you want to.
      Rory Gilmore

    16. Have a favorite genre? Check out our adult, teen, and children’s booklists for recommendations.

    17. Visit our Read-alikes page to find authors who are similar to your favorites

    18. Reread a book that always makes you cry. It’s cathartic.

    19. Set up an Overdrive account if you haven’t already! We have hundreds of ebooks and eAudiobooks for you to check out.

    20. Think audiobooks readers are too slow? Listen to audiobooks on Overdrive at whatever pace you’d like – even chipmunk-speed double time.

    21. Download Libby to your smartphone and test it out. Overdrive will be phasing out its old app soon in favor of this new, easier-to-use app.

    22. Don’t feel like you have enough time to read? Try a graphic novel.

    23. Read an award-winning book.
      National Book Award 

    24. Or, read a Goodreads Choice book selected by fellow readers. Make sure to vote for your 2017 favorites at the end of the year!

    25. Cuddle your pet while reading.

      Gloomy Days are the Best
      Image by Cat Versus Human

    26. Ask a librarian for a book recommendation.

    27. Visit a used bookstore like Pioneer Book.

    28. Learn a new skill from a nonfiction book.

    29. Try your hand at writing a book.

    30. Sign up for NaNoWriMo and commit to write an entire novel in November.

    31. Use Novelist to find books you might like.

    32. Does your place of employment have a waiting room? Stock it with books, including picture books for young readers.

    33. Is the library missing a book you’d like to read? Submit a purchase request, and we might just buy it.

    34. Or, see if we can borrow it from another library for you. It's free!
    35. Some books always seeem to be checked out. Place one on hold to make sure you're next in line!

    36. Take a look at our librarians’ favorite children’s, teen, and adult books from last year, and make plans to attend next year’s Best Books program in February

    37. Set aside a specific amount of time each day for reading.

    38. Give a book as a gift.

    39. Learn about our early literacy workshops for children ages 2-3 and their parents/caregivers.
    40. Create a cozy reading spot in your home.

      Reading nook

    41. Try reading a book in a format you don’t usually use – eBooks, digital audiobooks, books on cd, or maybe even a printed book.

    42. Read a book from an unfamiliar genre.

    43. If you’re a teen, sign up for our Teen Volunteer Board. You can help make the library even better!

    44. Did you know the Provo City Libray and the Orem Public Library have a reciprocal agreement where their patrons can use both libraries? Get a library card at the Orem Library if you don’t already have one, and double your library options!

    45. Plan to bring your children to Library Kids for books and literacy-based crafts and activities.

    46. Make sure your kids see you reading for fun. They're more likely to love reading if they know you do.

    47. Register for Parent/Child Book Clubs in September.

    48. Watch a film adaptation of a great book.

    49. Read the book one of your favorite film adaptations is based on.

    50. Sign up for a library tour to learn about the fascinating history of this beautiful building or about how to use the library more effectively. 

      Library at Dusk Summer 019.2

    51. Know a Provo resident who doesn’t have a library card? Encourage them to get one by sharing what you love about the library and how easy it is to set up an account.

    52. Reread your favorite parts of your favorite book.

    53. Finally pick up that classic book you’ve been meaning to read for years.

    54. Have a struggling reader at home? Have them read to a pet.

    55. Or a stuffed animal.

    56. If you have kids age 4 and younger, pledge to read 1000 books with them before kindergarten

    57. Recommend a book to a friend.

    58. Build your home library by buying a book you love.

    59. Volunteer to read to seniors at a retirement home.

    60. Encourage your children to talk about what they’re reading by asking lots of open-ended questions.

    61. Read the books your children love to make these conversations even better.

    62. Gather friends and family for silent reading time.

    63. Set a reading goal for the rest of the year.

    64. Carry a book with you all day.

    65. Become a #bookstagrammer.

      Essays by E.B. WhiteImage by @oliverskywolfoliverskywolf

    66. Upcycle a book into art.

    67. Buy a book for $2 at our used bookstore.

    68. Revisit a childhood favorite.

    69. Visit Buzzfeed to take endless “which book character are you?” quizzes.

    70. Plan a literary-themed Halloween costume.

    71. Start a little free library.

    72. Tuck a friendly note into a book donation for the person who buys it.

    73. Make a new recipe from a cookbook.

    74. Reorganize your bookshelves.

    75. Run out of shelf space? Buy and set up a new bookshelf. You can never have too many.
      Not Enough Bookshelves


  • stained glass


    I love being a teen and adult services librarian, but I’ve got to admit that I am highly jealous that the children’s department gets both a castle and a meeting pit to use whenever they want to gather for library activities.  That’s why I’m extremely excited that the Teen and Adult Reference area is getting a programming space as well.  It’s not shaped like a castle, and it doesn’t come with a puppet theater, but it is a space of our own, which we haven’t had before.

    Starting in May, we will be using room #260 on the second floor of the New Rogers wing as a dedicated teen and adult programming space.  Teens will meet there for activities like Teen Volunteer Board, and for our Minecraft and Coding clubs.  For adults, this is where the bulk of our Learn It @ Your Library events will take place.  To kick off use of our new programming space, I thought I’d give a quick summary of our Learn It @ Your Library events for May.

    Learn It: Job Hunting, Resume Writing and Interviewing in the Social Age

    Tuesday, May 2nd
    Time: 7:00 pm

    Job hunting has changed dramatically with job boards, LinkedIn and social networking.  Learn:

    • What makes a great resume and how to make it stand out in a sea of resumes
    • How to avoid the pitfalls of job hunting in the social age.
    • What to do before, during and after the interview.  

    Learn It: Bicycle Tuning Basics

    Tuesday, May 9th
    Time: 7:00 pm

    Learn basic bicycle maintenance tips to keep you riding smoothly.  

    Learn It: How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk or Jerkette

    Wednesday, May 10, 17, 24, 31
    Time: 6:30 pm

    This class is all about how to date in a healthy way that will promote lasting relationships.  This class will discuss:  

    • How to measure your relationships
    • What to get to know about someone to get an accurate idea of how they would be in a relationship
    • What makes us fall in love with people
    • How to get what we want from people in a healthy way.

     Help us fill our new event space by attending any of these Learn It @ Your Library programs!

  •  Chocolate 3

    Over the years I have successfully cut back on the amount of junk food I eat. That is, I have successfully cut back on everything but chocolate. The darker the better. For me, really good dark chocolate almost has a slight citrus flavor mixed in with all of that bitter, creamy deliciousness.

    After sharing my love of chocolate, you can probably imagine how excited I am that the lovely folks at The Chocolate Conspiracy are coming to the library to talk about the health benefits of chocolate, and they’re giving us an overview of how artisanal chocolate is made. 

    Here are the details:

    Learn It: The Health Benefits of Chocolate
    Thursday, September 28th
    7:00 pm in room 260

    To get us all by until then, here are a few of the books we have at the library dedicated to the creation of my favorite treat:

    9.12 Great Moments in Chocolate HistoryGREAT MOMENTS IN CHOCOLATE HISTORY
    By Howard-Yana Shapiro

    Packed with facts and photos, this book reveals the untold story of chocolate. Did you know that M&Ms were invented for WWII soldiers as the chocolate that wouldn't melt in their hands? Or that Thomas Jefferson predicted that chocolate would outstrip coffee as the most popular drink in America? 

    9.12 The True History of ChocolateTHE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE
    By Sophie D. Coe

    Travel around the world as you discover chocolate’s origins in Central America, its journey to Europe as the drink of kings, and its eventual journey to the plates of the masses. 




    By Katie Higgins

    The healthy dessert blogger Katie Higgins shares over 80 never-before-seen recipes that use only real ingredients, without any unnecessary fats, sugars, or empty calories.

    By Kay Frydenborg

    Geared toward a teen audience, this book captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate.



    By Lucy Mangan

    If we’re talking about chocolate, we’ve also got to talk about CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.  This book explores the lasting legacy of Roald Dahl's popular book, examining the development of the original story and characters, its social history, and the varying film and stage adaptations.


  • August Learn It 01

    Whew! If you’ve been in the library in June and July, you know that we were going full-steam ahead with our summer reading program. Just on the Teen and Adult Reference side, we watched movies, swapped books, had fun at trivia nights, locked the teens in the library for a night, and met some of our favorite authors. Now that August is here, we’ve cut back on some of the activities here at the library, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve all gone on vacation.  Here are four adult-focused programs we’ve got going on at the library in August.

    Yoga @ the Library
    Wednesday, August 2nd, 7:00 pm
    West Lawn

    We host yoga at the library the first Wednesday of every month, but we’ll try to maximize the summer by hosting this session out on the lawn.

    Learn It: Mindfulness 101
    Monday, August 21, 7:00 pm
    Shaw Programming Room, #260

    This repeat of a class we held in June focuses on breathing and meditation and learning about its physical and psychological benefits.

    Learn It: Canning and Food Preservation
    Wednesday, August 29th, 7:00 pm
    Shaw Programming Room, #260

    It’s canning season! Learn about food preservation safety and traditional boiling water bath canning. By next winter you will be enjoying the bottled fruits of your labors!

    Teaching Children in a Digital World
    Thursday, August 31st, 7:00 pm
    Shaw Programming Room, #260

    With a new school year starting up, learn tips for talking about computer safety with your children. Learn about different Internet filters and how they are used. Learn more about online privacy and how to protect your information. 

  • sanderson header


    International best-selling author, Brandon Sanderson (MISTBORN, ALCATRAZ VS. THE EVIL LIBRARIANS) spoke at the Provo Library Wednesday, February 1, 2017 with the Children’s Literature Association of Utah and spent much of the evening encouraging young writers.

    “You aren’t going to sell many books at first, but don’t panic—it’s a slow burn,” said Sanderson. 

    Sanderson explained that he wrote 15 books before he ever sold 1. But he believes that this “slow burn” helped him in the long run. 

    “I wanted to be a writer but I had no idea how to do it. I was really bad at this when I started. It doesn’t sound like an advantage but it really was,” said Sanderson. 

    sanderson 1

    By the time was he good enough to sell his books, he had already tested ideas and learned how to bring stories together. He was able to hit the ground running when he began publishing his books which helps him write more steadily than authors who might just be starting out. 

    Sanderson said that the low point in his career came after he had published nearly 11 books but still wasn’t selling very many.  

    “I started wondering, am I just wasting my life?” Sanderson remembered. “Maybe I really am just terrible at this and nobody will tell me.”

    Sanderson was told that his books were too long, with stories that weren’t gritty enough and worlds that were too weird. 

    sanderson 2

    “I had this soul searching moment where I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’ And the answer I got was that I like telling stories. I legitimately love writing these books,” explained Sanderson. 

    Even if he couldn’t make a living from writing books. Sanderson said he would still want to write them. 

    “I really wanted to make a living with my writing but at the end of the day that’s not why I was doing it. I love doing it,” said Sanderson.  

    sanderson 3

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter

  • cressida cowell header


    Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON series, spoke at the Provo Library Monday, November 14 on the inspiration for dragons and writing that she received as a nine year-old girl. 

    “How to Train Your Dragon is sort of is a true story from my childhood, which seems a bit unlikely,” says Cressida. “When I was nine years old, I was always writing, I was always reading, but I didn’t know that being a writer was something I could be.”

    Growing up in London, Cressida spent every summer of her childhood with her parents on a deserted island off the west coast of Scotland. 

    cowell 1

    “A long time ago, real Vikings came down the coast from Norway and lived on that island,” explains Cressida. “I used to play and imagine what it would be like to be a Viking and that the storm was the sound of the dragon waking up.”

    The Vikings believed that dragons existed and the stories they left behind sparked young Cressida’s imagination.  She credits the mysterious stories of dragons in the caves she explored and the very real, strange creatures she met while fishing in the ocean as the source of her storytelling because the task of a writer is to make the reader believe that the story is true. 

    “Writing is like telling a really big lie. The more detail you put into the lie and the more you base it in a tiny vein of truth the more it comes to life,” says Cressida. “You have to treat your fantasy as if it’s real.” 

    cowell 2

    While she loves “lying” and making up worlds around her stories, her favorite part of writing is reading the stories of children and encouraging their imaginations. 

    As child, Cressida wanted to be an illustrator. She would try to copy Snoopy, but no matter how hard she tried, she could never draw him as well as the real Snoopy. 

    “I thought, ‘Oh No! That means I’m not going to be an illustrator!’ But it didn’t mean that. It meant that I was nine,” says Cressida. “Don’t forget that you have plenty of time to grow.”

    cowell 3

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  • yang


    On Friday, September 16 we kicked off our first ever, annual Graphic Novel Festival: Get Graphic. Our keynote speaker, Gene Luen Yang, comic book author and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (appointed by the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council), explained the educational value of comic books. 

    As the son of immigrant parents, Yang says he grew up in a house full of stories.

    “Immigrant parents tells stories to their children as a way of connecting them to the culture that they left,” says Yang. “I grew up telling stories, and I also grew up drawing.”

    As a child, Yang fell in love with cartoons because they proved that you could use drawings to tell a story. He dreamed of one day becoming a Disney animator. When Yang discovered a Marvel comic book, that all changed and soon he grew from comic book reader to comic book creator.


    “One of my favorite things about comic books is that the dividing line between who’s a fan and who’s a creator is really thin,” says Yang. “If you want to become a comic book creator all you need are some pens, some paper and maybe like a healthy ignorance of your own artistic limitations.”

    Even though Yang’s been creating comics for a long time, he’s only been at it full time for about a year and a half. Before that, he was also a high school teacher, and he would bring up comics with his students hoping to seem cool—it didn’t work. As a high school teacher, he often felt like Batman, living with two separate identities, keeping his comic and his teaching life separate. 

    However, comics began to take on a more pivotal role in his life when one day he needed a substitute teacher. His first solution was to videotape lectures, which he describes as an utter disaster.

    “Mr. Yang we thought you were boring in person, but on video, you are just unbearable,” said his students.  

    In a desperate second attempt, Yang drew his lectures as comics. To his surprise, they were a hit and a preferred means to Yang in person. 


    Surprised that a generation that grew up with screens would prefer reading lectures on a page over a screen, he looked into why comics were working. 

    He found that comics in the classroom was not such a novel idea. Comics have been used all over the world for nearly a century in classrooms all around the world. He realized that comics as a single, unified, multimedia experience give the reader complete control of information transfer rather than the creator. 

    “When I was giving them the comic lectures it was like I was giving them a remote control. If they didn’t understand something in my lecture, they could just read it again, or go more slowly. If I was talking about something they already understood, they could skip over it,” says Yang. “That’s only true of comics. That’s the only visual narrative medium that has that quality.”

    Comics have as much a place in the classroom as a book because, for many reluctant readers, comics lead to a love of reading.  

    After addressing this audience of parents and educators, Yang signed books; on Saturday, he offered a keynote address especially for those hoping to make comics. Look for that recap next week!

  • jennifern recap


    Last month, we were privileged to hear and experience the mind of Jennifer Nielsen, author of THE FALSE PRINCE, for the launch of her latest book, THE SCOURGE.  

    Nielson began the night by introducing a game based on her new novel, THE SCOURGE. She divided the audience into teams, the pinch worms vs. the grubs, which represent the two conflicting classes in the book. The teams were then tasked to complete a series of games such as Cupcake Stacking and Tic-Tac Shaking—as to whether or not these events are also based on the book, you’ll have to read it.  

    Nielsen went on to explain that the idea behind THE SCOURGE, a children’s book, came from the least kid-friendly topic she could think of—Leprosy.

    “In the 20th century, we knew what Leprosy was. It was a disease we could cure, but the stigma on it was so bad that it was still legal to force people away from their homes,” said Nielsen. “The injustice of that just floored me. There are still today places where leprosy victims are living in colonies completely healed, but they have no home left to return to.”

    She explained that she considered that if a person in power manipulated the fear people have of disease, that person would have an incredible about of power over the population. Thus, THE SCOURGE was born.

    Despite the novel’s dark topic, Nielsen claims that through writing for children and crafting their characters, the book became one of the funnier books she’s written.

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our fall schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  • J Donaldson

    Julianne Donaldson, author of EDENBROOKE and BLACKMOORE spoke at the Provo Library not of writing advice in a technical sense but of chasing your dreams on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

    She explained that when she first began writing nearly a decade ago, she was already running an eBay business and teaching piano lessons to keep her family afloat while her husband attended law school.

    “Life felt really hard,” Donaldson says. “Every time I went to the grocery store I had to pay with my food stamps card and I just wanted to tell people in line that it’s not going to be like this forever. One day, I’m going to have enough money to buy my own groceries.”

    DSC 5524Over 300 readers came to hear Donaldson speak

    She turned to books like the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer, but found that there weren’t many stories like the ones she wanted to read. So, washing dishes while her three children smashed goldfish on the kitchen table, her own stories and characters began to take form.

    “I was writing this story, with no thought that it would ever be published one day. I was just doing it for myself,” said Donaldson. “I loved the experience of escaping to a place where there was a lot of romance, there were no kids, and both my hero and heroine are filthy rich because it’s fantasy.”

    As an English major, Donaldson had focused on studying literature and had never taken a creative writing class, but began writing what she did know, the Regency romance of those she had studied.

    “I had this moment where I was like, ‘Oh! This is my talent. This is what I was given to do, to write a romance,” says Donaldson.

    She realized that this talent was special and couldn’t be ignored simply because she was already a mother—she had more to do. As she became more passionate about her work she dreamed of traveling to England to begin seriously researching the book she wanted to write.

    “It was this whirlwind adventure of me driving through England, in a rental car, hugging the wrong side of the road,” says Donaldson. “Every time we came to a roundabout I couldn’t stand the terror of going around, so we just kept driving in a circle.”

    DSC 5549She'll be signing for hours!

    When she was able to overcome her fear of right turns, Donaldson set out to experience the grandeur that her characters might experience and she felt inspired to write specific scenes that were more closely focused on the Regency world she wished to make accessible. She took pictures, talked with locals, researched and taped pictures of the attractive men she based her heroes on to her computer while writing and rewriting her books.

    After Donaldson’s many years of hard work and perseverance, her labor of love, EDENBROOKE was finally published, but more importantly, Donaldson felt like she was able to write her way towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

    “I found that pursuing the talents that I had been given and using them to create really helped me to feel better about myself and my life,” Donaldson says. “It’s always the right time to pursue your dreams and it doesn’t matter what they are.”

    DSC 5552

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our fall schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  •  BB 2017 FB

    One of our favorite events of the year is fast approaching! On Tuesday, February 20th at 7:00, join us to hear our librarians favorite reads of 2017 at our annual Best Books event. We'll have treats and books to give away, and you'll leave with some great recommendations for children's, teen, and adult books.

    While we can't give away our top picks just yet, we wanted to whet your appetite by sharing a few of the reads that just barely made the final list.

    2.15 Lincoln in the BardoLINCOLN IN THE BARDO
    By George Saunders

    Lincoln in the Bardo is just bizarre.  I struggled to listen to the first third and just couldn’t enjoy it.  I was a confused and a bit offended.  But I persevered and actually picked up a physical copy of the book to “quickly scan through to the end”.  Half way through the book I was hooked.  In a nutshell, this is a book about the afterlife and how it intersects with the living world.  It’s curious format and odd characters help the reader explore what it means to let go of life and move on in a way that is a bit breathtaking.  I put it down with a sigh and a smile, but the journey getting there was a bit rough.  I just couldn’t recommend it as universally as I’d like. 


    2.15 My Absolute DarlingMY ABSOLUTE DARLING
    By Gabriel Tallent

    This is a fantastically written book about a fourteen year old girl searching for herself.  She runs wild through the woods of the California coast but her social existence is confined to school and home with an abusive, but charismatic father.  A chance meeting in the woods introduces her to a boy and her first glimpses of life with possibilities.  This book is mesmerizing.  It is also extremely violent and I feel a need to be extremely selective of who I recommend it to.  It could be very upsetting to many people, but a gripping novel for those who can stomach the described abuse. 


    2.15 A Piece of the WorldA PIECE OF THE WORLD
    By Christina Baker Kline

    I was on the fence for weeks about whether to include this book in my final 25, and ultimately decided to go with another book with a similar premise instead. A PIECE OF THE WORLD is gorgeously written and received rave reviews, which is a big part of why I thought about calling it one of my Best Books of 2017. The deciding factor, though, was that I simply enjoyed reading the other book more. While A PIECE OF THE WORLD is beautiful and meaningful, it isn’t a particularly fun read, and I think I wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind when I chose to read it. 


    2.16 The River at NightTHE RIVER AT NIGHT
    By Erica Ferencik

    This was another tough call, because I liked the idea of including a book with adventure and thriller elements to add variety to my Best Books list. It tells the story of four female friends who end up trapped in the Maine wilderness after a rafting trip goes awry. Great premise, right? Kind of a HATCHET for adults vibe? In the end, though, THE RIVER AT NIGHT wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I struggled to connect with the characters, and I was bothered by the unkind, stereotypical depiction of people who live in more rural areas. Having grown up in Montana in an outdoors obsessed family, that didn’t jive with me.


    2.15 The Simplicity of CiderTHE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER
    By Amy E. Reichert

    The Simplicity of Cider didn’t blow me away in a way that earned it a Best Books spot, but I’d still recommend it. If you’re looking for an easy, sweet, clean read with a cute love story, this is an excellent choice. I liked it enough to read from beginning to end in one sitting.

  • BB 2017 FB

    Each year we put together a list of the top 60 best children’s books (according to our children’s librarians). As we have been whittling down our lists some titles are harder to take off—almost painful because they are great books. These five books are fantastic! Truly amazing! Yet they just didn’t make the list. If it was the 65 best children’s books, these titles would have been on there.

    As we keep you in suspense as to our top 60 books (which we will reveal at our Best Books program next Tuesday), take a look at these books that almost made the cut.

    2.14 The Legend of Rock Paper ScissorsTHE LEGEND OF ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
    By Drew Daywalt
    Illustrated by Adam Rex

    This is a great picture book—and I liked it so much that I even bought it! Really, it is a good book. It tells the story of Rock (who lives in the Kingdom of the Backyard) and is the strongest in the land. No one could beat Rock in any challenge. Then (in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office) there lived another warrior named Paper. Once again in this empire there was none who could best Paper. In a third place (the Kitchen Realm) there lived a warrior named Scissors who could not be beaten in all of her challenges. Daywalt and Rex put together a hilarious tale as to why these three warriors battle together (and thus explains the rock, paper, scissors game that children all over the world play). Seriously, this is a pretty funny book. 


    2.14 Orphan IslandORPHAN ISLAND
    By Laurel Snyder

    It is not often that you find a Juvenile Fiction title as divisive as this one, or one that can get as many people talking. Orphan Island tells the story of Jinny, a girl who has grown up on a secluded island populated only by nine orphans. Each year, a boat arrives to deliver a new child and the oldest is expected to leave without knowing what awaits them on the boat. But when Jinny’s boat comes, she doesn’t leave and the island – once a perfect, nurturing home – begins to change. This book is in many ways a classic “coming of age” story, but also it isn’t. This book, its setting and its plot are wildly imaginative and are bolstered by truly skillful writing – providing lots of opportunities for discussion. It’s hard to discount the buzz surrounding this book – it’s a National Book Award Longlist Title and it’s on the Mock Newbery list of anyone who has such a list – but it’s also incredible divisive with vocal people arguing about it either way. While this wasn’t one of our favorite books of the year, it’s been discussed too much to leave off our list completely. 


    2.14 Real FriendsREAL FRIENDS
    By Shannon Hale
    Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

    Shannon Hale joins up with LeUyen Pham (who also illustrates Shannon’s PRINCESS IN BLACK series) in this graphic novel memoir about making and keeping friends. Shannon and her best friend Adrienne have been best friends since they were little, but when Adrienne becomes friends with the most popular girl in school, things begin to change between them and Shannon questions whether or not she and Adrienne will be able to stay friends. This story is one that most readers will be able to identify with – whether they’ve been bullied by the popular kids or not.  Also, since Shannon Hale is a local author, it’s set in Salt Lake City which is sort of extra fun for kids from Utah. This story is honest and a little heartwarming, and though it didn’t make our final list is a great choice for Raina Telgemeir or Cece Bell fans. 


    by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

    This is a great nonfiction title (which follows up the brilliant book Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth). Bang and Chisholm explain how water moves around the world thanks to the heat of the sun—both through the sun’s part of the water cycle and due to the sun heating various currents in the oceans. This is a book full of information and facts presented in a picture book format so even the younger scientists can understand how water works and how the sun plays a major part to what happens to the water. 


    2.14 Harry Millers RunHARRY MILLER'S RUN
    By David Almond
    Illustrated by Salvatore Rubbin

    Most juvenile intermediate books are formula books—ones where they are part of a series and you can predict that the book will (re)introduce the characters in chapter one, throw in a bit of conflict (usually of the same variety as previous books in the series) in chapter two, etc. Not Harry Miller’s Run. This book is a stand-alone story that is beautifully written AND happens to be a juvenile intermediate book. Liam needs to train for an upcoming race and so he talks to his older neighbor (Harry Miller) who happens to have run the same race when he was younger. This is a great story about something seemingly insignificant (like talking to an elderly neighbor) can actually be interesting, fun, and helpful. Plus, the way Harry Miller tells his tale, readers will almost feel like going out for a jog themselves. Almond has written yet another great story—and lucky for us this one is an intermediate book!

  • BB 2017 FB

    2017 was a great year for YA books, as will be evident on February 20th, when we present our fifty favorite Young Adult books of 2017 in the Brimhall room, #302 at 7:00 pm.  As book lovers, we’ve been agonizing over which books published in 2017 really are the best.  To whet your appetites for February 20th, and as an excuse to sneak in a few more book recommendations, here are a few (almost equally amazing) books that didn’t make the cut.

    2.13 Batman I Am GothamBATMAN: I AM GOTHAM
    By Tom King

    This graphic novel, and the subsequent series, serves as an excellent examination of the Batman character and his motivations and flaws. The novel introduces new characters who help Batman save Gotham and may allow him to give up crime fighting for good! The artwork is fantastic, the new characters are deep and sympathetic, and the action is exciting, which makes it a great addition to the Batman mythos.  We’re reviewing a few other superhero graphic novels at Best Books, so unfortunately Batman won’t get his well-deserved shout-out.


    2.13 The Names They Give UsTHE NAMES THEY GAVE US
    By Emery Lord

    When her perfectly planned summer of quality time with her parents, her serious boyfriend, and her Bible camp unravels and long-hidden family secrets emerge, Lucy must figure out what she is made of and what grace really means.  I really liked the way this book touched on issues like questioning faith and having a great support system when tough times come.  In the end, I liked a few other books a little bit more, so this one didn’t make the cut.


    12.13 Song of the CurrentSONG OF THE CURRENT
    By Sarah Tolcser

    Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. When her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name. This book has a great story, interesting characters who learn and grow, and a dash of magic.  The only thing keeping me from recommending this book is that I felt like I needed to highlight books from other genres a little bit more.


    2.13 The WoodTHE WOOD
    By Chelsea Bobulski

    Winter has grown up with her father, who is the guardian of a magical wood where thresholds to other places and times open, and occasionally people wander through. Then Winter’s father disappears, and a boy from the 1700s refuses to return to his time. He claims to have information that could help Winter find her father, but how can anyone from hundreds of years earlier know about her father? I got this recommendation from a co-worker who reads a lot of YA, but who wasn’t part of the Best Books team.  Since no one on the team read the book, it won’t be spotlighted at the event, but I thought everyone should know about it just the same. 

  • BGLG


    "Once upon a time the famous physicist Albert Einstein was confronted by an overly concerned woman who sought advice on how to raise her small son to become a successful scientist. In particular she wanted to know what kinds of books she should read to her son.

    ‘Fairy tales,’ Einstein responded without hesitation.

    ‘Fine, but what else should I read to him after that?’ the mother asked.

    ‘More fairy tales,’ Einstein stated.

    ‘And after that?'

    'Even more fairy tales,’ replied the great scientist, and he waved his pipe like a wizard pronouncing ahappy end to a long adventure."


    And thus, we invited children to a fairy tea party to make reading fun.

    True to Einstein’s theory, for years children enjoyed learning with fairy fun, live ballet and more tulle than some people see in a lifetime. However, we soon learned that our interpretation of fairy tales didn’t appeal to all types of children.

    You know the type. The ones whose eyes glaze over at the mere thought of watching something instead of doing something. We've all faced them before.  The mighty, the unapologetic, the movers and shakers (literally)—what are their fairytales? Their knights in shining armor, wicked witches, and beautiful fairies are now Cowboys and Stormtroopers and Superheroes.  

    Big Guy, Little Guy was born to let kids be a little less dainty yet still get excited about learning while adventuring. Children can go on quests, show off their muscles and read.

    This year’s Big Guy, Little Guy event invites children ages 3-12 to hone their super skills at out Superhero Training Academy. There will be obstacle courses, crafts, games, snacks, and a free book for every child. Tickets will be available for Provo City Library Cardholders on September 10 at 9 the Circulation Desk; remaining tickets will be released to the general public on September 17.

  • BOP FB event

    Have you ever heard of a Eurasian eagle-owl? If you haven’t, stop what you are doing and go watch a video of this creature. These owls are the largest owl species in the world and are an apex predator in their neck of the woods. They can have a 6ft wingspan and can hunt and kill small deer. That is a serious raptor!

    The first time I learned about the Eurasian eagle-owl was at a bird show put on by Jim Fowers, founder of the Rocky Mountain Bird Rescue. Jim and his assistant were showing off a Eurasian eagle-owl that they take care of at their facility. Jim also has a number of other birds in his care, including owls, hawks, and falcons. The great news is that you can see these birds in person at the library.

    Jim and his assistants will be coming to the Provo City Library on May 22 at 7:00 pm in the Young Special Events Room #201. Come see these birds in life and learn some amazing facts about each of them. You will also be able to learn about conservation, falconry, and the rehabilitation process for raptors. There may even be a flight demonstration. In any case, this is one Learn It event you will not want to miss!

    This is just a little taste of what the library has to offer on raptors. Check out these titles and more in the nonfiction section.

    5.20 OwlsOWLS OF THE WORLD
    by James R. Duncan

    This lavishly illustrated and entertaining book explores many aspects of owls. With a chapter dedicated to each owl family, from the huge eagle owls to the diminutive pygmy owls and owlets, this book will engage people new to the subject as well as those already familiar with the species.


    by Noel Snyder

    Did you know that raptors are a key species in maintaining balance in an ecosystem? In this book, you will learn all about different raptors in North America and their importance to other species in their habitats. If our Birds of Prey event piqued your interest in conservation, this is a great book to learn more.

  • Book Trivia


    Are you a bookworm? Book nerd? Book fiend? Bibliophile? Literary savant? Reading wunderkind? Maybe you just really love Jeopardy and all things trivia.  If so, this event is for you.

    Join us at 7:00pm on Friday, June 24th for an evening of book trivia.  Create your own team of 4-8 people or simply join a team after you arrive.  Contestants ages 10 and up are welcome, and no prior registration is required.  Play for the glory (and for the prizes)!

    To whet your appetite, we’ve compiled a few sample questions for you.  If you come to our Book Trivia Night with the correct answers to all three questions, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a Barnes and Noble gift card, in addition to having a shot at first, second, or third place game prizes.  No researching or sharing answers, please!

    1. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund betrays his siblings and friends for a taste of what candy?  
    2. Truman Capote was childhood friends with what beloved author who died earlier this year, a few months after her controversial and long-awaited second novel was published?  
    3. After realizing that he could draw things (hint, hint) even if he couldn’t draw horses, Maurice Sendak changed the name of his classic picture book from “Land of Wild Horses” to what?
  • Booketology web poster updated

    The madness of March has ended, and with it so did Teen Booketology. Harry Potter reigned supreme, but I can’t say I was entirely surprised. That being said, I was fascinated to see the results every week. Who won their match by a landslide, and who tied (it happened twice!)? I thought you might find it interesting too. Here’s a breakdown of each week’s results.

    Round 1

    The biggest victory was in horror novels with MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (86%) against SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (14%). The closest match was between the graphic novels NIMONA and IN REAL LIFE, which ended in a tie. I didn’t anticipate that happening when Booketology started! Only one could progress, so in the end I referred to the ratings on GoodReads and Amazon, both which pushed NIMONA onto Round 2.

    Round 2

    For most rounds, clear winners became apparent halfway through the matches, but this week there were several turnovers that lasted right up until the midnight voting deadline. The biggest victory was HEIST SOCIETY (82%) against THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB (18%). There were no ties this round, but it came close with the classics LITTLE WOMEN (52%) versus FAHRENHEIT 451 (48%), and romances THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (53%) versus ELEANOR & PARK (47%).

    Round 3

    When favorites are up against each other, how do you choose? It was heartbreaking this round to see some of my favorites lose, even though other favorites won. The biggest win this round actually had the biggest win from all rounds. CINDER (89%) beat out THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (11%). By Friday, HEIST SOCIETY was beating LITTLE WOMEN by a single vote, but everything got tied up once again by the voting deadline. GoodReads and Amazon served as the tie breaker, and LITTLE WOMEN snuck by HEIST SOCIETY by a hair, making its way to the Final Four.

    Round 4

    Ahh, the Final Four. HARRY POTTER (83%) easily beat LITTLE WOMEN (17%), and HUNGER GAMES (66%) had a comfortable lead above CINDER (34%), but only after the Teen Minecraft Club cast their votes. Until that point, CINDER barely had the upper hand.

    Round 5

    The championship! HARRY POTTER (68%) had a pretty solid victory over HUNGER GAMES (32%), which didn’t entirely surprise me. Both are pretty iconic teen series, so I expected to see them against each other in the end, but HARRY POTTER has been around longer and had more time to ingrain itself into our lives. Personally, HARRY POTTER is the series that taught me to love reading.

    Thanks to everyone who voted in Teen Booketology! As a librarian, I love to see what the favorite books in our community are. I must say, you have great taste!

  • Our Big Guy, Little Guy celebration for 2017 is in the books, and it was a BLAST! (ha, see what I did there?) Our Space Academy cadet training was a huge success, and we now have lots of little trainees out there who are ready to take on the dangers of deep space: yellow eyes, sausage toes, frozen hearts, and all! The Grand Admiral of the Universe was so impressed with our qualified cadets and their exceptional saluting skills. From our entire crew of lieutenants, lieutenant commanders, commanders, Captain Joella, and Grand Admiral Gene, thank you for helping us save the world from the dangerous Petronium 327! We hope to see you again at next year’s adventure, but until then, here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the logistics of BGLG 2017:

    big guy little guy 01

  • Our next book sale is just one week away! Here are some facts and figures you may have wondered while perusing the thousands of books for sale in the ballroom each time we do one of these sales. 

    book sales 01