Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. No fines will accrue while we are closed. You can return items to our outside book drops during curbside hours.
Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. No fines will accrue while we are closed. You can return items to our outside book drops during curbside hours.
 

 

How-to

  • Citizen Scientist 

    April is Citizen Science month, and this year April is also a month of social distancing and isolation. However, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to ongoing scientific research.

    You, yes YOU, can be actively engaged in real scientific research without even leaving your house. So, consider pausing your book/movie/TV/game binge for a short time to take part in a project seeking the help of regular citizens like you.

    Projects available for a variety of ages, interests, and skill levels can be found at SciStarter.org, just click onProject Finder to see what projects are currently available. Even with little to no prior knowledge, citizen scientists engage in real data collection, data analysis, and other steps of the scientific process.

    I had fun helping scientists by reviewing images of galaxies in the AstroQuest project, and classifying animals in photos for the Snapshot Safari project. Take a look at the projects and see if there’s one that appeals to you!

    Just because April is Citizen Science Month there’s no reason to stop being a scientist after that. Check out these books to learn more about being engaged as a citizen scientist:

    4.22 Citizen ScientistsCITIZEN SCIENTISTS: BE A PART OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY FROM YOUR OWN BACKYARD
    By Loree Griffin Burns
    (2012)

    Whether it’s sweeping the grass for ladybugs, counting woodpeckers, or listening to frogs, there are a variety of ways even young people can get involved in science by just going outside. Full of beautiful photographs and easy at home research projects, this book is a great way to introduce children to, and actively engage them in, real scientific research.

     

    4.22 The Field Guide to Citizen ScienceTHE FIELD GUIDE TO CITIZEN SCIENCE: HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE 
    By Darlene Cavalier
    (2020)

    For teens and adults, find here everything you need to contribute to breakthroughs in things like climate change, Alzheimer’s disease, endangered species, and more. In this book alone, there are 50 project options to match citizen scientists with their own personal interests and time constraints.

     
  •  Writing

    The best writers are, first and foremost, readers. Books inspire their readers to walk away with some new idea that morphs their way of thinking. In some cases, those ideas lead to the desire to write your own tale. But where do you start? 

    You can spend your days pouring over all the New York Times Bestsellers that you can get your hands on, but at a certain point, a new writer needs to focus on the principles of writing. It takes practice to perfect your plot, dialogue and character development. These books will help you get started and learn a few lessons about how to take your next steps as a writer. 

    3.27 Reading Like a WriterREADING LIKE A WRITER: A GUIDE FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BOOKS AND FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO WRITE THEM
    By Francine Prose
    (2006)

    This book looks at well-known authors and analyzes their writing styles and devices. Prose discusses the elements of style of writers including Flannery O’Conner, Jane Austen, and John Le Carre. Rather than teaching how to write, this book focuses more on developing the writer mindset—to look at books critically and to consider how an author shapes their book. Read this book to practice your observation skills and take that first step towards your creating your own content. 

     

    3.27 On WritingON WRITING
    By Stephen King
    (2000)

    Stephen King is one of the most prolific modern writers. You could say he has writing down to a science. One method he uses to create good content is to write every single day, even if it’s garbage, even on Christmas or vacation. In this book about his experiences and advice on the writing process, King does not hold back from telling us exactly what he thinks every writer must do. He offers readers nothing less than tough love. That being said, before you dive into this book, you should be aware that his language isn’t exactly clean. If you aren’t comfortable with the strong words he uses in his fiction, this book may not be for you. 

     

    3.27 The War of ArtTHE WAR OF ART: BREAK THROUGH THE BLOCKS & WIN YOUR INNER CREATIVE BATTLES
    By Steven Pressfield
    (2012)

    Though similar, this book is not to be confused with Sun Tzu’s famous book, THE ART OF WAR. Pressfield teaches method to combat the resistance in your mind that stops you from creating. We all have our own internal road blocks that stop us from writing content freely and honestly. Reading this book will give you definitive tools to beat down the enemies keeping you from your craft. 

     

    3.27 Story GeniusSTORY GENIUS: HOW TO USE BRAIN SCIENCE TO GO BEYOND OUTLING AND WRITE A RIVETING NOVEL
    By Lisa Cron
    (2016)

    It’s not often the first reaction of creatives to look at writing next to scientific research, but Cron does so in an easy-to-understand way. She provides blueprints and tells us what really works, based off her experience as a Creative Writing teacher and the science behind why people are drawn to stories. This book is a system that walks you through the process of creating a character-driven story.

     
  •  Side Hustles

    When you think of the phrase side hustle, what comes to mind? For some the answer will be actual part-time jobs. For others, it’ll be small businesses that can be managed in anyone’s spare time.  If you’re one of those people who have wanted to start a side hustle for a long time, but haven’t because you lack the resources, the library could be the answer to your dilemma. Here are 4 resources the library gives you access to (for free!) that you might not have known could kick-start you side hustle experience. 

    Basement Creative Lab

    The Basement Creative Lab () is your number one source for video and audio production. They’ve got a green screen, full audio mixing booth, and goPros to check out. After taking an initial intro class (which happens multiple times a month), you can reserve the lab for 8 hours a month and make all the content you might need to get started. We even have computers with the software you can use to edit what you record, so you can walk out of the library with polished content meant to impress. 

     

    Lynda.com

    The biggest wall stopping any of us from starting something new is that we lack the knowledge of where to start. LYNDA (https://www.lynda.com/portal/sip?org=provolibrary.com&triedlogout=true) solves this problem. With thousands of courses made by industry pros, you can literally go from not knowing anything about something like graphic or web design, SEO writing, 3D animation, programming, etc. to being an expert. And the best part, it’s free to use with your library card! 

     

    Private Study Rooms

    Whether you just need to get away from the world for a while or need a private space to meet with someone, our private study rooms can be your next big secret weapon. With 6 rooms, and the ability to reserve online, you can gain access (for 2 hours a day) to your private home away from home. Four of the rooms have TV screens you can use for whatever best suits your content.

    RESERVE A ROOM HERE!

     

    Books!

    You knew we had books, but here are just a couple that could ramp up your side hustle:

    2.21 Side HustleSIDE HUSTLE: FROM IDEA TO INCOME IN 27 DAYS
    By Chris Guillebeau
    (2017)

    It’s right there in the title. This book is week by week guide to starting a profitable side hustle that you could get returns from (either in money or in happiness!) for years to come.

     

    2.21 The Economy of YouTHE ECONOMY OF YOU
    By Kimberly Palmer
    (2014)

    Palmer takes a more introspective approach to the side gig economy by both guiding you through starting a side hustle, while also talking about the how side hustles can change your life. 

    If you don’t feel like you know enough or don’t know where to begin, use these resources and get started!

     
  • Gardening Kid

    As the weather gets warmer, it always makes me want to go outside and dig in the dirt. I enjoy planting things, taking care of them, and watching them grow. It’s a very satisfying and relaxing way to spend my time. I don’t know if you feel the same way, but even if you don’t enjoy digging in the dirt, I would bet that you probably enjoy the fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries that come from your own garden. Personally, I think they taste better when you have grown them yourself.

    Have you ever thought about growing a garden with your kids? You should give it a try! Children are naturally curious and they love digging in the dirt which makes gardening a perfect project, as well as a fun, hands-on learning experience that everyone can participate in. Gardening also teaches children important life skills as well as environmental awareness by exploring nature. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to plant a garden with your children, you just need some dirt, seeds, or plants and a willingness to try.  Here are a few resources the library has to help you get started on your own gardening adventure.

    LET’S LEARN GARDENING

    This is a fun resource the library offers. There are gardening activities listed that you can do with your children as well as books and movies you can watch to get your little ones excited about gardening.

     

    5.11 Gardening Projects for KidsGARDENING PROJECTS FOR KIDS; 101 WAYS TO GET KIDS OUTSIDE, DIRTY, AND HAVING FUN 
    By Whitney Cohen
    (2012)

    This book helps you make gardening fun for your kids and teaches you how to design your own play-friendly family garden. It includes games, art, fun ideas for projects you can do in the garden, as well as instructions on how to cook what you grow from your own garden.

     

    5.11 Gardening with EmmaGARDENING WITH EMMA: GROW AND HAVE FUN: A KID-TO-KID GUIDE 
    By Emma Biggs
    (2005)

    Thirteen-year-old Emma shares her passion for gardening in this fun guide for kids. She will show you how to grow your own food, what kind of soil is best, and how to grow different kinds of gardens, including a flower stand garden. She also talks about different kinds of plants and shows you, with lots of fun pictures, how to make spaces for kids to play among the plants.

     

    5.11 Let It GrowLET IT GROW
    By Cynthia Stierle
    (2019)

    This gardening book is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to plant a garden outside but would like to do fun gardening science experiments with their children. You can do experiments to learn about roots, leaves, stems, and how sunlight and water play a crucial role in helping plants to grow.

     
  • LI Homebuying FB

    Buying a home, especially your first home, can be an exciting and terrifying experience. For me, the last month has been a rollercoaster of emotions. There have been ups and downs, twists and turns, and it’s emotionally exhausting.

    That said there have been some helpful books as we’ve prepared and started along this journey. If you too are considering a home purchase, here are a few to check out.

    2.26 Total Money MakeoverTOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER 
    By Dave Ramsey
    (2013)

    Start here as early as possible to get your finances in order. While we haven’t followed everything to the letter, we’ve made some pretty major changes to how we handle finances and it played one of the biggest roles in helping us get ready for this financial commitment.

     

    2.26 Tips and Traps When Buying a HomeTIPS AND TRAPS WHEN BUYING A HOME 
    By Robert Irwin
    (2009)

    The section on negotiating made a massive difference for us. Though this book was published 10 years ago there’s still some solid advice that we took to heart. It may be a sellers’ market right now, but if you look during the right months when competition from other buyers is at its lowest, you may still be able to strike a pretty sweet deal.

     

    2.26 Home Buying Kit for DummiesHOME BUYING KIT FOR DUMMIES 
    By Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
    (2016)

    Some key advice I took away from this book was related to emotional attachment. It’s important to look at a house as impartially as you can when considering what you need in your future home. Decide what is most important and valuable to you, and don’t get caught up on bonuses over needs.

     

    2.26 100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask100 QUESTIONS EVERY FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER SHOULD ASK 
    By Ilyce R. Glink
    (2005)

    I love to listen and absorb information, but I’m terrible at asking questions until I’ve had time to mull things over. These questions are ones to ask yourself, your agent, the seller, and your lender. I found them to be a great starting point for the conversations I needed to have, and got me thinking about those conversations early so that I knew what my questions were.

     

    HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER

    Once you’ve made the purchase you may find yourself more focused on upkeep and personalization. I’ve talked about this resource before and it’s still one of the first places I turn to when I have repair questions. Yes, I’ve already looked up how to build bookshelves. Maybe you’re considering buying a fixer-upper or just need the basics, whichever category you fall into, the HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER has got you covered.

     

    When browsing these books I read the sections that were important to me, and skipped around to see if there was any new information I hadn’t picked up elsewhere. There are several other books available on home buying (call # 643.12) and I highly recommend you take a look at ones that feel relevant to you and your unique circumstances.

    Best of luck future home owners, and may you find a home you love!

  •  Recycled Crafts

    I love recycling projects because I can turn something old, that still has plenty of wear, into something new and useful again.

    For example, my son recently ripped several of his old jeans. I hate to throw away good denim but the only thing I could think of to repurpose his old jeans was to make a quilt. However, I don’t have enough denim or the time for a project like that so, I have been trying to think of ways I could use this denim. Recently, I came across a book that had several ideas for using old jeans and turning them into something new, like a bag or a skirt. It got me thinking about what I could make with what I already have. This discovery came at a perfect time since I can’t go to the craft store right now to get ideas or supplies and I have been wanting to make something.

    If you are feeling like me and want some ideas for using what you already have lying around the house, take a look at these resources and then go and create something new.

    CREATIVE BUG

    This online resource is free with your current library card and it has many ideas for crafts you can make. If you want recycling crafts specifically, type “recycle” in the search bar and it will bring up several ideas. Check out this fun website and get your creative juices flowing as you watch tutorials with step-by-step instructions on how to do a wide variety of crafting.

     

    OVERDRIVE

    Many of our books can be checked out online through OVERDRIVE or LIBBY. If you type in “recycled crafts”, you will find multiple titles that can inspire you to make many creative projects such as puppets, quilts, or little fixes for clothing.

     

    5.5 Cool Crafts with Old JeansCOOL CRAFTS WITH OLD JEANS: GREEN PROJECTS FOR RESOURCEFUL KIDS
    By Carol Sirrine
    (2010)

    This is a great book with lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions on how to make something new with your old jeans. It contains decorating ideas for your room and lots of fun crafts. Some require sewing and some can be done with a hot glue gun. Check it out and repurpose some of your old jeans.

     

    5.5 b The Craft a Day BookTHE CRAFT-A-DAY BOOK: 30 PROJECTS TO MAKE WITH RECYCLED MATERIALS 
    By Kari Cornell
    (2018)

    If you’re looking for a book to help you come up with ideas for recycling and where to find materials, this book is for you. It contains a wide range of ideas for using old t-shirts, sweaters or socks to make something new. We are surrounded with what we need, we just need inspiration. This book will inspire you to look closely at the world around you for inspiration in making your crafts and challenge you to use recycled and reusable materials.

     

    5.5 DIY T Shirt CraftsDIY T-SHIRT CRAFTS: FROM BRAIDED BRACELETS TO FLOOR PILLOWS, 50-UNEXPECTED WAYS TO RECYCLE YOUR OLD T-SHIRTS 
    By Adrianne Surian
    (2015)

    We all have t-shirts piled up around the house that we hate to get rid of because they still have plenty of wear, so if you are looking for a way to repurpose these old t-shirts check out this DIY book. You will find a wide variety of ideas to help you transform those old t-shirts into fun stylish accessories that won’t break the bank.

     
  •  Zero Waste

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but garbage is so passé. Pollution is a major problem, contributing to the destruction of ecosystems, ruining our health, and just making our beautiful Earth look trashy. Just Google “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” for some eye-opening images. Most of the pollution that humans put out into the ocean is single-use plastics. Plastic plays an important role in our tech and medical industries, but do we really need to use plastic just for its convenience?  

    I have tried to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that I use in my home. Let’s be real, I am not Superwoman—I have a job, kids, hobbies, etc. I am busy. But here are 3 simple changes that I have made in order to make a difference:  

    1. Remember your R’s: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.
      Refuse to bring things into your life that you don’t need (I’m looking at you, free swag). Reduce the stuff in your home that you don’t use like clothes you don’t wear. Buy items that can be reused over and over instead of just once. Recyle what you can, which includes paper, plastics, and metal cans.

    2. Bring reusable grocery bags to the store:
      This is so easy. Just keep them in the car. They are also sturdier and bigger than plastic bags, so that is a win! But don’t stop there—you can bring reusable produce bags to the store too. Reusable produce bags are easy to make, or available to purchase online. Or better yet, just skip the bag altogether. I have only had a cashier give me a strange look one time.

    3. Compost.
      I have zero outdoor space to compost, so I have tried a few methods for indoor composting. The winner? Vermicomposting. That’s right—worms. It takes a bit of time and money to get your worms going, but they eat fast, produce great fertilizer for gardens or houseplants, and best of all—no smell! 

    There are TONS of other things you can do in order to reduce waste in your home. If you want to learn more about the zero waste movement and how you can reduce your dependence on single-use plastics, I personally recommend these titles that you can find here at the library: 

    8.8 Trashing the PlanetTRASHING THE PLANET
    By Stuart A. Kallen
    (2017) 

     

    8.8 Zero Waste HomeZERO WASTE HOME
    By Bea Johnson
    (2013) 

     

    8.8 Compost CityCOMPOST CITY: PRACTICAL COMPOSTING KNOW-HOW FOR SMALL-SPACE LIVING
    BY Rebecca Louie
    (2015)