• cats and kissing 01

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you. Today's iteration takes a romp through young adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and romance to bring you some of our favorite things: cats and kissing. 

    by Ali Benjamin


    Suzy Swanson is a teenage girl trying to make sense of a new school and new peers, but that's been hard to do ever since the death of her best friend, Franny. Suzy is also a budding scientist, and when she learns about the Irukandji Jellyfish she develops a new hypothesis about what really happened to her friend.

    by John Bradshaw 

    Scientist John Bradshaw explains how cats evolved from lone predators to domestic companions with the hope that people will understand their cats better and provide a more harmonious environment for them. 

    by Vicki Myron

    Dewey Readmore Books, a cat, was found one morning in the Spencer, Iowa library. Dewey was adopted by librarian, Vicki Myron who was his caring owner for the next 19 years. Dewey changed Vicki's life and touched the lives of many more. 

    by Kieran Kramer

    Cissie Rogers is a librarian in a small town in North Carolina. When Mayor, Boone Braddock puts the library's future in peril, Cissie decides to take matters into her own hands by running for mayor herself. What Cissie doesn't count on is a developing relationship with her opponent. 

    by Elizabeth McKenzie

    A young couple in a developing relationship discover how complex love can be as they encounter everything from dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive heiress, to an encounter with a very charismatic squirrel.   

    by Margo Rabb

    Two teenage girls, Eva and Annie, discover how complex love can be as they journey across the country to find Will— the boy Ava thinks is her soul mate.



  • back to school

    It’s that time of year again. School supplies are bought, schedules are finalized, and we all must admit that summer is over and the school year has begun. Luckily, the library is here to help! Check out the following list of the library databases you should know about if you want to have a stellar school year! 


    Did you know that Mark Twain loved looking for human skeletons, bats, mysterious passageways, and pirate treasure in pitch dark caves? These are the kind of gems found in the Biography Reference Center. This database offers a comprehensive collection of more than 460,000 full-text biographies. This resource will come in handy when researching and writing papers for your history or English class. 

    Also try:



    For some of you, it may be time to start those college applications. If so, let me introduce you to the College Prep Center. The College Prep Center will help you prepare for the SAT and PSAT, ACT, AP tests, admissions essays, and more!  


    Are you getting your driver’s license this year? DMV Permit Practice Tests will help you pass the test with flying colors! This database includes free tests, written specifically based on Utah DMV materials.  Through this database you can also find an online copy of the Utah driver’s manuals as well as a FAQ section with detailed answers to 100+ DMV-related questions. 


    If you are one of those people who can’t study without background noise, then Freegal® Music might just change your life. Log onto this database with your library card number and PIN to download or stream more than 9 million songs! Try it out today by going to the Freegal® website or by downloading the free app!  


    And lastly, Perhaps you want to learn more about InDesign so you can go above and beyond in your Yearbook class, or maybe you want to learn basic photography skills so you can take awesome pictures for your school newspaper. has what you need! This resource will help you learn software, technology, and creative skills to achieve your personal goals. Trust me, it’s life-changing. 

  • bedtime stories

    Reading books before bed has been known to foster parent-child bonds as well as prepare a child for sleep, but did you also know that recent research has shown many more benefits to adding reading into your child’s bedtime routine? Reading to or with your child helps stimulate brain activity, foster creativity and imagination, and promotes and develops language and literacy from an early age.  

    This research is highlighted in an article published by The New York Times, which asks several pediatricians and psychologists about the topic.   

    “When kids are hearing stories, they’re imagining in their mind’s eye when they hear the story,” said Dr. John S. Hutton, a clinical research fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “It will help them later be better readers because they’ve developed that part of the brain that helps them see what is going on in the story.”  

    The child also develops a greater vocabulary and understanding of language through reading with a parent. In comparing the words found in books to the words used by parents talking to their children, researchers found that the picture books contained more “unique word types” that the child may not typically hear, and sometimes even complex sentences and rhymes.  

    So, not only does reading books with children help them hear more words, but at the same time, their brains are hard at work imagining things they associate with those words. Both creativity and logic are being developed all while you and your little one are sailing with Max to the land of the Wild Things, exploring the zany worlds of Dr. Seuss, or saying goodnight to the moon.  

    “I think that we’ve learned that early reading is more than just a nice thing to do with kids,” Dr. Hutton said. “It really does have a very important role to play in building brain networks that will serve children long-term as they transition from verbal to reading.”  

    It’s incredible to see what such a simple activity can do for a child. Come to the Library and pick out some books to read together tonight. We have a great list of perfect bedtime stories both you and your child will love.  

  • graphic memoirs 01


    I didn’t grow up reading comic books or comic strips in the Sunday paper, but when I picked up my first graphic novel a few years ago I was hooked! I like that graphic novels tell a story through words and images – similar to comic books – but I love that the stories are contained to one publication rather than multiple issues. Within the graphic novel genre, I’ve found that I particularly enjoy graphic memoirs. It is so interesting to read about an author’s life, and to see their emotions in a way that words sometimes just can’t match. So whether you’re just getting into the graphic novel genre, you’ve read them all your life, or you just like good books about fascinating people here is a list of my five favorite graphic memoirs!


    by Art Spiegelman

    MAUS was one of the first graphic novels I read, and I absolutely loved it! Art Spigelman tells his father’s story of imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp. At the same time, Spiegelman tells his own life story which bears the marks of his father’s emotion burdens. This Pulitzer Prize winning graphic memoir was one of the first of its kind, and it is an absolute must read!



    by Marjane Satrapi

    In PERSEPOLIS, Marjane Satrapi describes growing up in Tehran in the 1980s during the Islamic Revolution. While Satrapi describes the upheaval of living in a war torn country, she also tells her own coming of age story through universal challenges that girls from any country can relate to. I think this is such a great book because Satrapi gives readers a unique and intimate look at life in a region that most know little about.



    by G. B. Tran

    Tran is the son of Vietnamese immigrants who came to America during the fall of Saigon. Tran’s memoir focuses on his family’s trip back to Vietnam many years later and all that he learns about his parents, his ancestors, and the effects of the Vietnam War. If I ever wrote a memoir, I’d want it to be something like this! I love Tran’s story; it is fascinating and the art is beautiful!



    by Lucy Kinsley

    Most of the books on my list deal with heavy topics, but Kinsley’s RELISH is just pure fun. Raised by a chef, food has always been important to Kinsley, and in her memoir she shares stories from her adolescence that have a significant tie to food. This is a great book, and I especially enjoyed the illustrated recipes included at the end of each chapter. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe is fantastic!



    American WidowAMERICAN WIDOW
    by Alissa Torres

    Eddie Torres started working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 10th, 2001. The next morning he and three thousand others were killed in a terrorist attack. At the time, Eddie’s wife, Alissa, was 7 1/2 months pregnant. In this beautiful book, Alissa tells and shows her struggle to cope with this unimaginable tragedy. AMERICAN WIDOW is available as a library book club set, so if you’re part of a book club or thinking about starting one, check it out!

  • bookfilms

    The book is better than the movie. We book-lovers all accept this as an almost universal truth. But every once in a while, a movie comes along that does justice to—and maybe even rivals—the book it was adapted from. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does the combination of seeing a book I absolutely love brought to life in front of my eyes just like it did in my mind is pretty magical. So here is my list of magical movies that were just as good as and maybe even better than the book they were based on.

    nocountryforoldmenNO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
    by Cormac McCarthy

    Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Only after two more men are murdered is Sheriff Bell lead to the carnage out in the desert, where he realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. This is a harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies. In 2007 the Coen brothers adapted this book into an Academy Award winning film. The complete lack of a soundtrack and the haunting performance by actor Javier Bardem—who plays the unforgettable, unrelenting antagonist Anton Chigurh—made this adaptation as mesmerizing as it is unsettling. The Coen brothers are fantastic directors, and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN just might be my favorite movie of all time.  

    themartianTHE MARTIAN
    by Andy Weir

    Stranded on Mars by a dust storm that compromised his space suit and forced his crew to leave him behind, astronaut Mark Watney struggles to survive in spite of minimal supplies and harsh environmental challenges that test his ingenuity in unique ways.   This adaptation was released just last year. The production design and special effects brought this science fiction story to life even more completely than my own imagination could. I thought the pieces of the story that the filmmakers cut out were understandable and forgivable, and I liked that the film gave the audience a little more resolution than the book did.  

    the helpTHE HELP
    by Kathryn Stockett

    In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women—black and white, mothers and daughters—view one another.   This movie came out in 2011, and although it is a bit older than some of the others on my list, it is still one of my favorites. The acting in this film is what really sets it apart. Emma Stone was the perfect casting decision for the spunky and stubborn Skeeter Phelan, and Octavia Spencer definitely earned her Academy Award for such a heartbreaking and inspiring performance. This movie was also one of the first standout roles for Jessica Chastain, who just gets better and better in each role I see her in.

    i am not a serial killerI AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
    by Dan Wells

    Dead bodies are normal to John Wayne Cleaver. He actually likes them. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.   This book is one of the most unique and fantastic horror stories I've ever read, and Billy O'Brien's film adaptation is no less chilling. Anyone who has read the book knows that this story contains quite a twist, and I was so pleasantly surprised at how well the movie portrayed it. My only criticism of this film is that I missed the insights into John's mind that I got through the book, but I give a lot of credit to the actor who played John for portraying so many of those complex thoughts through actions alone.

    sleeping giantsSLEEPING GIANTS
    by Sylvain Neuvel

    A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code.   I’ve kind of cheated on this final entry. SLEEPING GIANTS hasn’t yet been made into a film. However the movie rights were sold to Sony Pictures before Neuvel even got a publishing deal. Because of the completely unique and intriguing plot, I’m predicting this will be an excellent movie—but I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see. 

  • ya westers


    We just celebrated one of my all-time favorite holidays – Pioneer Day! Every 24th of July my family heads up to the Kamas Valley to hike in the Uintas, watch rodeos and demolition derbies, eat delicious food, and of course to remember pioneer ancestors like my great-great-grandmother, Anthonette Marie Olsen. "Nettie" joined a handcart division when she was just twenty years old. She crossed the plains in 1865, and she settled in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reading stories about my great-great-grandmother's journey— like when she saw sunflowers for the first time or her encounters with Native Americans—  may have been where my love for Westerns began.

    If you've never read a Western before or perhaps it's just been a while, now is the time to give them another try! If the traditional Louis L'Amour novel isn't the thing for you, try a more modern Western. Contemporary Westerns now crossover with so many different genres that they offer a little something to almost any reader. Don't believe me? Check out this list of fantastic Young Adult Westerns that include fantasy, multicultural fiction, adventure stories, and even a little bit of romance! I'd start with WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER. It's my favorite. 

    walk on earth a strangerWALK ON EARTH A STRANGER
    by Rae Carson

    Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.


    painted skyUNDER A PAINTED SKY
    by Stacey Lee

    In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.


    vengeance roadVENGEANCE ROAD
    by Erin Bowman

    When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice.


    SpringsweetTHE SPRINGSWEET
    by Saundra Mitchell

    Moving from Baltimore to Oklahoma Territory in the late 1800s, seventeen-year-old Zora experiences the joys and hardships of pioneer life, discovering new love and her otherworldly power.


    revenge and the wildREVENGE AND THE WILD
    by Michelle Modesto

    Seventeen-year-old foul-mouthed Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler, lives in the lawless western town of Rogue City where she sets out to prove the wealthy investors in a magical technology that will save her city are the cannibals that killed her family and took her arm when she was a child.

  •  reading baby


    Not long after I found out I was pregnant, I started compiling a list of all the books me and my future daughter would read together someday. I know, typical librarian. Although she won’t be old enough for many of my favorite books for years to come, that hasn’t stopped me from daydreaming about long summer days of reading in the park or in a quiet corner of the library. I can already imagining how those little pieces of sweet stories might someday become beloved memories. So baby girl, I hope you're a bookworm like me because I can’t wait to share these stories and so many more with you!

    Where the Wild Things AreWHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
    Maurice Sendak

    A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king. When we read this book together someday, we'll yell “Let the wild rumpus begin!” and run around the room, just like I used to do as a child.


    Janell Cannon

    After she falls headfirst into a bird's nest, a baby bat is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother. I think it was probably the enchanting illustrations that made me love this book as a child; I hope my daughter will too.


    Ramona The PestRAMONA THE PEST 
    Beverly Cleary

    Ramona Quimby is excited to start kindergarten. No longer does she have to watch her older sister, Beezus, ride the bus to school with all the big kids. She's finally old enough to do it too! Every morning before elementary school, I used to eat breakfast while my mother would read the Ramona Quimby books to me. I’ve got quite a wait until I can do that with my daughter, but I hope she’ll cherish those moments just as much as I know I will.



    Peter PanPETER PAN 
    J.M. Barrie

    The adventures of the three Darling children in Never-Never Land with Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up. This has always been one of my favorite stories because it is filled with pirates, mermaids, and children soaring through the air. There is just so much excitement packed into this one little book, and reading it with my daughter sounds like an awfully big adventure!



    Jerry Spinelli

    In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. I read this book for the first time in middle school and it had quite an effect on me. Since then I’ve read it countless times, and I hope I get to read it many more with my own little Stargirl.




  • tvb reasons

    The Provo City Library Teen Volunteer Board is a group of teens who meet together on the first Thursday of every month to work on projects that benefit our library and our community. Most of our meetings involve brain storming ideas for library activities or preparing materials for upcoming programs – in the past we’ve prepared things like Harry Potter wands, monster jars, and fairy houses! If the lure of awesome crafts isn’t enough to convince you to come to our next meeting, here is my list of the top ten reasons you should come to Teen Volunteer Board.

    10. You’ll meet new people. Teens from many different schools come to Teen Volunteer Board, so come to a meeting and you might just meet your new best friend.

    9. You can make your voice heard. When you come to Teen Volunteer Board you have a say in library programs. If you love all things Hunger Games, then come to Teen Volunteer Board and suggest that we do a movie night, read-a-thon, or whatever else you think teens in the community would enjoy!

    8. It’s your chance to try out a career! If you’ve ever considered becoming a librarian, Teen Volunteer Board is a wonderful chance to see what being a librarian is all about. 

    7. You’ll explore new interests. Teen Volunteer Board is a chance to get out of your comfort zone and try things you’ve never tried before. 

    6. You can suggest which items the library should purchase. At Teen Volunteer Board, you can help librarians pick which books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials should be a part of our collection.

    5. Do it for the feel good factor. Come to Teen Volunteer Board and leave with the warm fuzzy feeling of time well spent in the service of others. Plus, focusing on others is a proven way to lower your stress levels.  

    4. Bolster your college applications. Before you know it, it will be time to apply for college and Teen Volunteer Board looks great under that community involvement section.

    3. Bolster your job applications too! Along with those college applications, you’ll need references when you apply for your first job. If you come to Teen Volunteer Board regularly you can ask one of the librarians you’ve been helping to be a reference. 

    2. It’s your chance to give back. Maybe you came to a past library program that you just loved! Well, now it’s your turn to plan and prep for new activities so future teens can have that same kind of magical library experience!  

    1. Do it for the Candy. At Teen Volunteer Board, we always keep our candy basket well stocked. Yum! 

    So there you have it! I expect to see you all at our next Teen Volunteer Board meeting on March 3rd in the Brimhall Room #302 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. We’ll be working on a recycling project to go along with the upcoming Green Revolution exhibit in The Attic. We are going to have a blast! If it’s your first time at Teen Volunteer Board, be sure to print out an application from or pick one up from the First Floor Reference Desk. Call (801) 852-6661 if you have any questions!

  • 6 words 01

    This month I am challenging teens to write six word memoirs. That’s right, you have just six words to convey all 12 to 18 years of your life! To get the creative juices flowing, here are a few examples of six word memoirs written by famous and not-so-famous authors. If you like these, stop by the library and check out NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING to find many more!

    Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

    Elizabeth Gilbert: “Me see world! Me write stories!”

    Dave Eggers: “Fifteen years since last professional haircut.”

    Stephen Colbert: “Well, I thought it was funny.”

    Bill Querengesser: “70 years, few tears, hairy ears.”

    Dr. Jane Goodall: “Forest peace, sharing vision, always optimistic.”

    Georgene Nunn: “Born in desert, still thirsty”

    Harvey Pekar: “Fight, work, persevere – gain slight notoriety.”

    Elizabeth Bernstein: “The psychic said I’d be richer.”

    Nora Ephron: “Secret of life: marry an Italian.”

    Sabra Jennings: “Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity.”

    Joyce Carol Oates: “Revenge is living well, without you.”

    Linda Williamson: “Painful nerd kid, happy nerd adult.”

    Feeling inspired? Come to the Teen Corner before May 14th and write your own six word memoir! Show your completed memoir to a librarian at the First Floor Reference Desk and you’ll receive a small treat.