• 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

  • Fairy Tea By the Numbers 01

  • Lego Crew Jr. (ages 5-7) meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month to build fabulous creations using the Library’s Lego bricks! Their masterpieces are then exhibited in the display case for four weeks. Here are some fun facts about our favorite creative building time:

    lego 01

  • monday night 01

    Want to see a schedule of upcoming Monday Night programs? We've got a page for that!

  • This summer the children’s department began a brand new coding class for kids ages 8-12 called Code Club. We had done some coding classes before but this new class had a completely different format and allowed kids to progress at their own pace. We began with just one weekly class. However, a few weeks into the summer we realized there was a need for a 2nd weekly class. Here are some numbers that represent what went into the class as well as some of the progress that the kids made. 

    code club summer 01

    Children’s Code Club will recommence every Tuesday at 4:00 PM during from September through November. Also, the brand new Teen Code Club will be held every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month beginning in September.

  • We've been dropping hints here and there, but now you can't miss them: Summer Reading time is almost here! Our Summer Reading Kickoff and Book Sale will be held June 4 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Each participant that registers for the Summer Reading Program will receive a voucher for a free book at the Book Sale! 

    Here are some numbers to get you excited about the program; these are pretty good, but we think we can do even better this year!

    summer reading 2015 01

  • coloring


    Fifteen years ago, on September 8, 2001, The Provo City Library at Academy Square had its official Grand Opening and dedication.  How time flies!  While the library has been around much longer than that (Provo has had some sort of library since 1854, and the original Carnegie Library opened in December 1908), we wanted to celebrate 15 years of being in this beautiful building.   

    To honor this milestone, we’ve decided to have a coloring contest!

    Starting September 1st, children can pick up coloring pages in the Children’s Department.  They need to color the page and turn it in to the Children’s Department by Thursday, September 15th to enter the contest.  Winners will be announced by September 30th. After the contest is over, completed coloring pages can be picked up beginning Monday, October 3rd. 

    Teens and adults can participate in the action as well.  The teen and adult contest is a little different: Come pick up a more detailed coloring page at the First Floor Reference Desk.  Bring the page back when you’re done with it to include it in a growing mural we’ll be displaying for the month behind the first floor Reference desk. You will then be entered in a drawing which will take place at the end of the month.

    You can color at the library as well.  Coloring supplies will be out at the table by the Teen Corner all month long.  You can also come to the library on September 20th from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm for the first in what we’re hoping will be a monthly event happening the third Tuesday of every month: Adult Color Therapy.

    We can’t wait to see how creative Provo can be! 

  • Hearts

    When I was a young newlywed, it was hard to come up with different and affordable activities for date nights. I wish I had known back then about all the fun (and free) things that the library has to offer!

    (15-90 min)

    We have many board games available for in-house use. Check out our website for a list of games, how long each game takes, and how many people can play.

    (60 min)

    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 game can accommodate anywhere between 3-18 players and would be perfect for double or group dates! Visit our website for more info and to make a reservation (required).

    (45-60 min)

    Another great option for double and group dates are our escape rooms! Participants are stuck in a room and cannot get out until they solve a variety of puzzles and clues leading to the key that will let them out of the room. There are two different themes to choose from: School of Magic (Medium Difficulty) or Sherlock Holmes (Hard Difficulty). The escape rooms work best for groups of 4-8 people. Go to our website to reserve a room (required). 

    (45-90 min)

    The library hosts a wide variety of programs each month. Some popular programs include our Authorlink series, our Monday Night Performances and our Learn It programs. Most programs are free, though some may require tickets. Visit our online calendar to see what programs are coming up and to view details for specific programs.


    In the mood for a night in instead? Luckily, we have plenty of movies to choose from! Patrons are allowed to checkout up to 20 movies at a time and can have them out for three weeks. Come in and browse, or take a look at our website for movies that have been added to our collection most recently.

  •  family night

    Looking for something fun to do on a Monday Night with your family? Why don’t you come to the library! Besides the amazing selection of books and media available to check out, we have the following Monday Night programming:

    • CUENTOS (Spanish Story Time): cada lunes (each Monday), 6:30 - 7:00 pm en el Story Circle

    • CULTURAL PERFORMANCES: 1st and 3rd and 5th Mondays, 7:00 - 8:00 pm in the Ballroom

    • FAMILY STORY TIME: 2nd and 4th Mondays, 7:05 - 7:30 pm in the Story Circle 

    • MAKE AND TAKE CRAFTS FOR KIDS: 2nd and 4th Mondays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm in the Story Room

    Don’t worry about signing up for these activities. Just show up and be ready to have a good time.

    This month you will not want to miss our upcoming ninja craft or an evening of storytelling by the Gashlers (Fun hint: they use to be our children’s story time performers years back). See you Monday!

  • family night 1

    Monday Night programs at the library are back! For a breakdown of these programs, including children’s story and craft nights, check out Kelly’s post from yesterday. Today, we wanted to fill you in a bit more about our upcoming cultural performances on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Mondays of every month. These free performances take place at 7:00 in the ballroom, and no tickets are required. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

    Performances to look forward to this fall:

    September 18: Stephen and Teresa Gashler

    This Monday, we’re kicking off the season with an evening of music and stories from beloved local performers Stephen and Teresa Gashler. This multitalented duo have worked as actors, puppeteers, comedians, musicians, and writers, and they got their storytelling start right here at the Provo Library! Stephen has won 1st place at the 2014 National Storytelling Conference Story Slam, the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 Timpanogos Storytelling Hauntings contest, and 3rd place in the 2012 Utah’s Biggest Liar contest, while Teresa’s play “How to Save a Life” won 2nd place for the 2011 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Award.  To get a taste of their talents, check out Stephen performing the tale of The Lady of Utah Lake.


    October 2nd: Tom Carr – Just a Ghost Hunter

    Get into the Halloween spirit as professional ghost hunter Tom Carr shares his spooky experiences with the paranormal in this family-friendly program. Carr has investigated many of Utah's haunted places, including Lehi's Hutchings Musem and the Baron Woolen Mills in Brigham City.

    October 16: AuthorLink with John Klassen and Mac Barnett

    Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are the award-winning author/illustrator duo behind SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE, TRIANGLE, EXTRA YARN, and more. Join them for the tour of their clever new picture book THE WOLF, THE DUCK, AND THE MOUSE. Watch a quick book trailer below and reserve a copy here.


    October 30: Viva El Folklore

    Whenever a fifth Monday rolls around, we offer WorldLink performances, which highlight the history and arts of a particular country. At the end of October, join local Latin American dance group Viva El Folklore for an exciting Day of the Dead performance (just a couple of days early).


    November 6th: BYU Young Company: The Glorious Story Emporium

    Perennial favorite BYU Young Company returns to the Provo City Library for their first-ever improvisation show! The whole family can join in for this interactive experience, helping to create a totally one-of-a-kind performance. Get a sneak peek with this album of rehearsal photos.

    November 20: Forever Young A Capella

    This up and coming a cappella group from BYU performs a variety of hit songs, using only their voices to create complex harmonies. Check out more of their videos here


    We have a great holiday line up in the works as well, so be on the lookout for concerts and plays when December rolls around.

    Do you know of a performer or performing group who might be interested in doing a program here at the Provo City Library? If you do, have them contact our Assistant Community Relations Coordinator, Shaina at (801) 852-6722 or

  • finding waldo 01

    If your childhood was anything like mine, you relished getting a new Where's Waldo book from the library! I loved cracking the cover and doing a leisurely search through all the folderol, until finally: Waldo!  But I still wouldn’t turn the page until I had looked through all the quirky and often hilarious vignettes.  Plus you could explain the vast amounts of time you spent with the books, "But Mom, this is practically a history book, these lions are eating Romans in the Colosseum."

    I have to admit I still look at these books now and again.  I even get a rush when I'm at events with thousands of people like Comic Con and I find someone dressed up as Waldo.  I tell myself, "Found him!" and do an internal happy dance.

    Teens, if you want to re-live the thrill of the hunt for Waldo, come to the library next week!  We'll have him hidden in various spots in the library, and if you find all of them you can win a prize for being such a smartie!  Come to the First Floor Reference desk anytime between Monday the 25th and Saturday the 30th to get started. 

    Happy Hunting!

  • GG 2018 FB

    Like many of you, I am an avid reader. Probably also like many of you, I didn’t really grow up reading comics. My experience with comic book characters came more by way of the big and small screens (Adam West will always be my most favorite Batman) than it did by reading. Even after marrying a comics enthusiast, I still wouldn’t really call myself a comic book reader. 

    While in college I started hearing more and more about graphic novels, and I stumbled upon a few works of graphic nonfiction, and I was hooked! Even though I might not be up to date on all the latest incarnations of Spider-Man, I'm definitely a fan of the medium,  and given the dramatic rise in publishing rates for graphic novels of all kinds, I’m clearly not the only one. 

    If you’ve walked around the library or taken a look at our calendar, you’ll probably know that I’m writing this post to promote our second annual GET GRAPHIC FESTIVAL. This year’s featured guest will be Victoria Jamieson, award-winning author/illustrator of ROLLER GIRL and the new ALL’S FAIRE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. The festival, which takes place on October 13 and 14, will celebrate all things about graphic novels; in addition to Jamieson’s keynote addresses (one on Friday night and one on Saturday), we will have breakout sessions by local illustrators, art experimentation stations, and interactive games. A variety of graphic novels for all ages will be for sale courtesy of Dragon’s Keep. 

    Tickets are now available for the keynote addresses; here are some links for your convenience!

    Tickets for Friday, October 13

    Tickets for Saturday, October 14

    I’m not the only one who loves graphic novels! Here’s a round up of recommendations and recaps extolling the virtues of this medium! 

    Recap of last year’s festival

    AuthorLink Recap: Gene Yang (pt.1)

    Graphic Novel Festival with Gene Yang (pt.2)

    Recommendations and Lists

    If You Like: Sci-Fi Graphic Novels for Kids  

    Favorite Graphic Memoirs 

    Favorite Graphic Novels

    Did you know? 

    DC Comics Rebirth  

    Third Party Comics 

  • 01 Jan Book Sale FB

    It’s book sale time! That time when you can buy 15 books for the price of one! 

    We will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. That gives you eight hours of treasure hunting, so here are five tips to help you get the most out of this one-day event:

    1. Know the lay of the land

    There are four general areas of the book sale. As you come into the ballroom, through the south entrance...

    • The first couple rows will be children’s materials.

    • The middle few rows will have adult and teen fiction titles.

    • The last couple of rows will have adult and teen nonfiction titles.

    • The south end of the ballroom will hold special items including magazines, movies, music, and more.

    Beyond these very general categories, we do not sort our books. This means you should give yourself plenty of time to search for things you may want.

    2. Arrive early...but maybe drop in a few times throughout the day

    There are some truly amazing finds among the hundreds of boxes of books available at our sales.  Sometimes the best stuff goes fast, so arriving early can be a very good idea. However, as books fly off the tables, we replace them with more boxes so that what is available for purchase changes throughout the day. You can find great stuff all day long!

    3. Know what's available and why

    Many people wonder where all these books come from. Well, they come from a couple of places: 

    • Discards – these are books that were part of our collection but have been discarded.  We discard books if they are falling apart, if they are not popular, or if we have too many copies. We replace these books with newer copies or titles so that our collection stays in good condition.

    • Donations – we receive many generous donations of books throughout the year. Sometimes we add these donations to our collection which helps us buy even more books for our patrons. But sometimes, we already have copies or the books don’t fit with our collection, so we sell them at the book sale and use the proceeds to provide programs for our patrons.

    You can tell the difference between these two categories by looking at the spine to see if it has a spine label or any other stickers or markings showing the library owned the book previously. Donations will usually be free of these labels and they often look newer and have seen less use. So, if you're looking for "like new" kinds of books, skip the ones with spine labels; if you're looking for well-loved but popular books, searching through library discards might be the way to go (you'll often find a Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book hanging out in a box of discards just because it's circulated so many times!). 

    4. Be prepared with help and bags

    With over 23,000 items on display for sale, you may need to bring a little help to sort and search. Gather your posse and attack the job together. If you know what you're looking for, divide and conquer! Also, bring bags and boxes to haul away your booty. We supply some shopping bags and boxes, but eliminate any uncertainty and bring your own reinforced modes of transportation. Books are awesome…but they are also heavy!

    5. Occasional end of the day deals

    Toward the last hour or so of each sale we often start thinking about the big job of hauling all the leftover books back down to the basement for storage until the next sale. That’s a big job, and sometimes we like to make it smaller by lowering the prices of the books. So, consider coming back at the end to see what additional discoveries you can make! There's a possibility they'll be even cheaper then.

  • book sale


    It’s book sale time!  That time when you can buy 15 books for the price of one! 

    We will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  That gives you eight hours of treasure hunting and here are five tips to help you get the most out of this one-day event:

    1. Know the lay of the land

    There are 4 general areas of the book sale.  As you come into the ballroom, through the south entrance...

    • The first couple rows will be children’s materials.
    • The middle few rows will have adult and teen fiction titles.
    • The last couple rows will have adult and teen nonfiction titles.
    • The south end of the ballroom will hold special items including magazines, movies, music, and more.

    Beyond these very general categories, we do not sort our books.  This means you should give yourself plenty of time to search for things you may want.

    2. Arrive early...but maybe drop in a few times throughout the day

    There are some truly amazing finds among the hundreds of boxes of books available at our sales.  Sometimes the best stuff goes fast, so arriving early can be a very good idea. However, as books fly off the tables, we replace them with more boxes so that what is available for purchase changes throughout the day.  You can find great stuff all day long!

    3. Know what's available and why

    Many people wonder where all these books come from.  Well, they come from a couple of places: 

    • Discards – these are books that were part of our collection but have been discarded.  We discard books if they are falling apart, if they are not popular, or if we have too many copies.  We replace these books with newer copies or titles so that our collection stays in good condition.
    • Donations – we receive many generous donations of books throughout the year.  Sometimes we add these donations to our collection which helps us buy even more books for our patrons.  But sometimes, we already have copies or the books don’t fit with our collection, so we sell them at the book sale and use the proceeds to provide programs for our patrons.

    You can tell the difference between these two categories by looking at the spine to see if it has a spine label or any other stickers or markings showing the library owned the book previously.  Donations will usually be free of these labels and they often look newer and have seen less use. So, if you're looking for "like new" kinds of books, skip the ones with spine labels; if you're looking for well-loved but popular books, searching through library discards might be the way to go (you'll often find a Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book hanging out in a box of discards just because it's circulated so many times!). 

    4. Be prepared with help and bags

    With over 23,000 items on display for sale, you may need to bring a little help to sort and search.  Gather your posse and attack the job together. If you know what you're looking for, divide and conquer! Also, bring bags and boxes to haul away your booty.  We supply some shopping bags and boxes, but eliminate any uncertainty and bring your own reinforced modes of transportation.  Books are awesome…but they are also heavy!

    5. End of the day deals

    Toward the last hour or so of each sale we usually start thinking about the big job of hauling all the leftover books back down to the basement for storage until the next sale.  That’s a big job, and we like to make it smaller by lowering the prices of the books.  So, come back at the end and see what additional discoveries you can make!

    Bonus Tip:  Every year, we have a book sale in association with the Summer Reading Kickoff! If you register at the kickoff that day, you will receive a voucher for one free book. 

  • gene yang

    On the second day of our Get Graphic! Festival,  we started thinking about how to be a cartoonist. Artists like Gene Luen Yang, (AMERICAN BORN CHINESE), Jess Smart Smiley (UPSIDE DOWN: A VAMPIRE TALE), and Jake Parker (MISSILE MOUSE) held workshops on the process of making a comic. These are 7 things we learned:

    1. Yang suggested having ideas rooted in what you know. In his first comic, GORDON YAMAMOTO AND THE KING OF THE GEEKS, he tells the story of a young man with a spaceship stuck up his nose.   “This is from my life. I have never had a spaceship stuck up my nose, but I have had a lifelong struggle with sinus issues,” said Yang. “The problem with sinus issues is that it’s never anyone’s fault. But one day I began thinking, what if it was somebody’s fault? What if there was something sentient plugging up my nose?”  

    2. The characters an artist draws and even the artist’s own artistic style change as they are drawing. To overcome this, Yang says that he draws his characters over and over again till they stop changing.  

    3. Real writers organize their stories before writing. You think your subconscious can handle writing blind, but if you're anything like Yang, your subconscious is an idiot.  

    4. Smiley taught us that the job of a panel in a comic is not only to tell a piece of a story but also to get you to read the next part.  

    5. The power of symbolism changes our ideas. Because comics tell stories with words and images, these two types of communication converge to tell a story in a way that is unique to the genre.  

    6. The characters are who we experience the comic through. We need to feel bad for them, they need to be likable, they need to be be funny, says Parker.  We have to want to follow them.  

    7. According to Parker, the most important thing to remember about making comics is clarity. He would sacrifice an awesome picture for a better understanding of what’s going on.


  • Learn It hair blog

    I have always struggled with fixing hair. Over the years, I mastered the basic pony tail and called it good. Now I have two daughters and my hair styling skills are lacking. I look around at all the adorable hairstyles and wish I could learn some tips and tricks to make it easier.

    I’m really excited about our Learn It class on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00 pm in the Shaw Programming Room. It is Hair 101 and will be taught by students from Paul Mitchell The School in Provo. They will teach us some hands-on braiding techniques and answer general hair care questions. I can’t wait to learn some new or better ways to braid hair. If you are like me and struggle with hair styling, or maybe you already know a lot, but are looking for something new, you should come to our Learn It class on September 19th. 

    If you can’t make it to the class, there are also some great books here in the library. I’ve found a few books that have helped me feel a little braver to try some other styles.

    By Becky Porter

    This book has great color pictures that show the hair style from different angels and then a picture for each step, with really easy to understand instructions. One of the other things I love about this book is that each section is color coded, so it’s easy to find. On the first page of the section it has a page with every hairstyle in that section with it’s name and what page you can find it on. It saved me a ton of time to flip to the overview and then straight to the style I was interested in.  

    9.18 HairstyledHAIRSTYLED
    By Anne Thoumieux

    This book has colored photos with steps and instructions, but I found them a little more confusing than the previous book. Also, there weren’t many styles that I could actually see myself using. It did have specific styles for different types and lengths of hair so it wasn’t just all things that needed long hair to do.


    9.18 DIY Updos Knots and TwistsDIY UPDOS, KNOTS, & TWISTS
    By Melissa Cook

    This book was great because the pictures show steps of the women fixing their own hair which is helpful because I don’t have a stylist at home to do cute things to my hair when I’m trying to get ready for the day. This helped me to see where my hands should be and how I should hold each strand of hair and also where I needed to put the bobby pins.  


    I look forward to trying some of these new styles, now I just have to hope that my daughters will sit still long enough for me to figure them out.  

  • IB Creativity FB 1

    I believe that creativity matters. This may seem a little strange to talk about as far as libraries go, but bear with me. Many effective adults are masters of using creativity or imagination. Important innovators change the world based on their ability to think beyond what has already been done—a trait gained when they were young. Authors and illustrators (which are well-loved in library world) create stories and pictures from their imaginations. And as a manager, I often use imagination or creativity to tackle tough problems and to find successful solutions. In fact, being able to think creatively may be one of the traits most needed in the world today.

    A kid’s job is to play. When children play they exercise their brains, developing imagination and creativity. When they pretend one object is something else (like pretending a toy block is a phone), they grow in the ability to take what they have and turn it into what they want. But preschoolers playing pretend aren’t the only ones being creative. Kids also exercise their creativity when they work to make things—from artwork to music to a science slime project. This sort of creation requires children to think through what to draw, what medium to use, what note to play, or what amount of ingredient to add. The process of thinking ahead to create something they are excited about strengthens their ability to think through tough problems at school, and later as adults in the workplace.

    At the library we encourage creativity. One great way we do this is with events like our Fairy Tea Party. The first weekend of March, we turn the library ballroom into a magical fairyland. Kids ages 3 and up come dressed in fairy costumes to participate in the festivities. Even the library director gets to become the Fairy King to personally greet each little fairy. We believe that inviting children to use their imaginations with us will help them recognize the importance of keeping creativity a part of their lives. Because when a child has learned the magic of creativity, the world becomes a better place.  


    There is a stigma about learning: Learning is often associated with school and tests and things that happen between kindergarten and college—and it’s often seen as something a kid or teen is forced to do. However, I believe that learning can be fun and is actually a life-long process. 

    Think about how a baby will giggle once he learns how to mimic sticking his tongue out. He can’t get enough of the new skill. On the other end of life, I think about my grandmother who up until just a few months before she passed away was learning Spanish, studying Latin, watching documentaries about subjects that interested her, and knitting or crocheting afghans. She was in her 90s and still had an active mind that could run conversational circles around me. And she enjoyed it. (She often played games against me and declared she was the “Grand Champion of the Universe” when she beat me—which was quite frequently!) So, I do not believe that learning is boring or only something that kiddos in school should be doing. We can all enjoy being life-long learners! 

    The library is a great place for people who love to learn. We have so many great (and fun) educational resources. I can’t tell you how many times I see kids so excited that they are jumping up and down after getting out of an afterschool program—they just had so much fun learning! Yeah, you heard me right: Kids like learning. As long as it is a cool subject and they don’t have to take a test afterward…they will enjoy it. And let’s not forget about story time! There is so much giggling and laughing that goes along with those youngsters learning early literacy skills. Not to brag, but kids’ programs are one of our fortes. 

    But what about teens or adults? The good news is that the library has fun learning opportunities for us as well! First of all, the Adult and Teen Department does an amazing series of programs called Learn It. A Learn It can be about anything from personal finance to personal health. In September there is a Learn It about braiding and styling hair (even promising a few quick options for those mornings when you are running late). And there is a Learn It about the health benefits of chocolate. (Who knew that chocolate could be considered healthy?!?) 

    Another option for learning is the database that the library subscribes to. This is a great place to watch professional tutorial videos that are so much better than the YouTube alternatives. Lynda even has certification programs you can list on your resume. Plus, can be accessed from home! 

    Let’s not forget that there are all the regular (but incredible) materials that most people think about when it comes to libraries—books, movies, CDs, magazines—all of which you can check out! I personally love watching a random documentary about a fascinating subject at the end of a long week. Just last week I learned all about the Wright Brothers’ rival who helped change aeronautics as we know it. Who knew?! The point is, life-long learning is fun—and you can do it at the library!

  • inktober 01

    Happy Inktober!

    With the Get Graphic Festival just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about drawing and telling stories through pictures. A picture may be worth 1000 words, but more often than not I’ll choose to write instead of draw. Stretching that creative muscle can be challenging when you question your ability, but I believe that practice is the only way to improve. I practice reading. I practice writing. And this October I’m taking the Inktober challenge and I’m going to practice drawing!

    Inktober is a challenge created by Jake Parker (who will also be at the Get Graphic Festival) in 2009 to help improve his inking skills. Since then, every year artists from all over the world have taken on this 31 day challenge to create an ink drawing every day during the month the October.

    Inktober 2

    A drawing every day?! But I have no idea what to draw!

    Never fear! I know, I know, it’s October and fear is the cool thing, but ideas are something you don’t have to worry about because there is a prompt for each of the 31 days. We got this! 

    Inktober 1

    Missed the first drawing(s) of the month? Start now!

    If a drawing a day seems too overwhelming, then take the slower but still steady path of drawing every other day, or even just every week. The point is you’re practicing drawing, in ink, regularly.

    I hope that as you draw that you will feel the power of graphic storytelling and will get even more out of the upcoming Get Graphic Festival on October 13th and 14th. It will be a lot of fun, and inspiring for artists of all skill levels.

    Good luck, and happy drawing!

  • KidsCameras FB

    We’re excited to tell you about the Provo Library’s newest children’s program -- Kids & Cameras! This is a class for 9-12 year olds who are interested in learning about movies and trying their hand at the many different elements of filmmaking.  

    Kids experience a lot of media but not very much education about media. In Kids & Cameras we learn the language with which to talk about movies, and we learn the skills to create our own videos. The basic format is as follows: we talk about a filmmaking concept/practice/skill, and then watch short films or film excerpts demonstrating the idea. After that, the kids divide into small groups and are given mini assignments to complete. Filmmaking involves a lot of problem solving, experimenting, and resourcefulness. This program is a great place to practice collaboration, exercise creativity, and learn technical skills. 

    Kids & Cameras takes place on Wednesdays from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM in the Story Room. Registration for this program opens on Mondays at 10:00 AM. There is room for 16 students every week.   

    We teach Camera Basics and an Editing Basics every month, so that new kids can join in during any time of year. The Camera Basics and Editing Basics classes are prerequisites to the more advanced “outbreak” classes that will start in October. Some of these classes include composition, monster movies, and stop motion animation! Check the calendar to see which class is being offered that week.   

    We’re so excited for this new program and hope to see you there! In the meantime, here are some cool resources you can check out from the library or online: 

    9.27 The Kids Should See ThisTHE KIDS SHOULD SEE THIS

    This site is not specifically about filmmaking, but it’s a really great collection of 3,000 “not-made-for-kids, but perfect for them” videos, many of which are great examples of filmmaking principles. 



    9.27 Brick FlicksBRICK FLICKS 
    Sarah Herman

    A comprehensive guide to making your own stop-motion LEGO movies 




    9.27 Childrens Book of MoviesTHE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF MOVIES 
    Ann Baggaley

    Explore the magical, behind-the-scenes world of the movies.  




    9.27 Learn to Speak FilmLEARN TO SPEAK FILM 
    Michael Glassbourg

    A guide to creating, promoting & screening your movies.  



  • youtube

    I spend far more time on YouTube than I probably should, but it’s easy to get sucked in. I watch to learn, to be entertained, to live vicariously, and to satisfy curiosity.

    After being a viewer for so long, one day I thought, I can do that! I can make YouTube videos! I’ve dabbled in videos related to librarianship, and then started dabbling in vlogging. Since my family lives 1000 miles away, I thought it would be fun for them to see what I’m up to when they can’t see me in person.

    My mom enjoys my videos… because she’s my mom. In all honesty, I’m a terrible vlogger. I feel like I never turn the camera on at the right time, I’m stiff and awkward when I talk, my videos aren’t cohesive, and frankly I don’t even want to watch them.

    But I persist… because it’s kind of fun to make something (even if it’s terrible) for my family. So I might as well learn and improve, right?

    A couple years ago I discovered the 8 Passengers YouTube channel. They are a local family documenting their daily life by posting videos to YouTube. In just three short years they have amassed nearly 1.5 million subscribers, and their daily videos often get 200k-500k views.

    How is it that I can spend an entire week trying to find things to film (and hopefully remember to turn on the camera), but they can make something like an average trip to the grocery store interesting enough that I eagerly tune in every morning?

    I must know their secrets!

    So I invited Ruby, the main vlogger and editor of 8 Passengers, to come and share what she’s learned. How does she manage to make an average day become an interesting video? What are things she’s done to engage their audience and keep people coming back? What has she learned about tagging videos to make them more findable so that they can reach new viewers?

    If you or someone you know is interested in making videos for YouTube, join us on Thursday, April 26th in the Shaw Programming room for Learn It @ Your Library: Create for YouTube where we will learn tips and tricks from a creator who’s already doing it successfully.

    I’m ready to take my videos to the next level, are you?

  • making the most


    Your little one has been eyeing the castle door for months, and now that they’ve had that magical third birthday, it’s time to join us at Preschool Time! Recognize that this is a big step for your child; they are not only dealing with separation anxiety, but they are also in a more structured story time where they will begin to learn school readiness skills. Here are a few tips to help them transition smoothly and make the most of the Preschool Time experience:

    Prepare your preschooler beforehand.

    Take an opportunity to visit the Story Room with your child a time or two before beginning Preschool Time, so that it becomes a familiar place. Talk about what they can expect during story time (you can get a copy of the basic outline at the Children’s desk).  If possible, during a Preschool Time show your child the TV monitor outside the Story Room.  This will allow them the opportunity to see what goes on and can also reassure them that even though they can’t see you, you can still see them. Please remember to stay in the Children’s Department for the duration of story time in case your child needs you.

    Arrive early.

    Make it a point to arrive approximately 10 minutes early each week.  This will give you time to pick up your child’s nametag at the Children’s desk, make a bathroom stop, get a drink, and hear the storyteller announcements. Please be aware that once the Story Room door has closed, children will no longer be admitted to Preschool Time. I promise we’re not picking on you! We simply want to provide a safe and distraction-free story time for all of the children in the room. Latecomers are always welcome to attend Toddler Time in the Story Circle. 

    Listen to your child.  

    Some preschoolers are ready to join Preschool Time right after they turn three—others may need a little more time to adjust. Even if your child is a Preschool Time regular, they may occasionally just have a hard day.  We all know how that goes, right?  Give encouragement and be supportive of your little one trying new things. That may be all it takes.  However, forcing a sobbing child into the Story Room does not a happy story time experience make.  In addition, if your preschooler is complaining of a tummy ache, is running a fever, or has a significant runny nose or cough, let them stay home and get well! We’ll still be here next week, and we are happy to provide handouts from a missed week when you come back.

    Keep the conversation going.

    Right before your child leaves the Story Room through the secret tunnel, our storytellers will give a brief review of what they did in Preschool Time. Just like in Toddler Time, preschoolers will also receive handouts:  a die cut “letter of the week” (lower case to help them begin to recognize the two forms of each letter) and a coloring sheet that includes letter writing practice, an early literacy tip, book suggestions . They will also receive a hand stamp. As with your toddlers, ask your preschooler about story time and revisit the things they learned later in the day or week to solidify their learning. Share their experience by allowing them tell you about the books they read, the songs they sang, and about the silly puppet show!

    Our goal is for story time to be a FUN, safe, literacy-rich environment for your children. We love watching them grow in so many different ways. Thank you for sharing them with us!

    (If you missed part one in this series with tips about Toddler Time, find it here)

    Curious about our story time schedule? Find dates and times here!

  • making the most


    It’s Back-to-School time, which means it’s also back to our school-year programs in the Children’s Department!  We’ve had a busy start to August, putting the final touches on another successful Summer Reading Program and prepping for your little ones’ return to Story Time at the end of the month.  Our fall semester programs will begin on August 29th.  Story Time is a favorite part of each day here in the Children’s Department, and we hope that you and your children look forward to joining us for a weekly visit.  To kick off the fall season just right, we’re offering some helpful hints over two posts to help you and your kiddos get the most out of your story time experience.  Let’s start with Toddler Time!

    Be engaged with the program.

    Toddler Time is only 20 minutes long.  Set aside these few minutes each week to focus on your child.  Take time to snuggle, laugh, sing, and listen with your little one.  Do your best to avoid distractions:  leave your phone in the diaper bag, and come early or stay late to enjoy some much-needed conversation with other caregivers.  The more engaged you are as a parent, the more your child will benefit from story time!

    Encourage—but don’t force—participation.

    Help your child take advantage of new opportunities for socialization, but remember that each child develops at their own pace.  Some toddlers are perfectly content in the midst of the action, but others may not be ready to leave your lap for the story blanket or to have a conversation with our beloved bright yellow puppet, Kevin.  Follow your child’s cues and recognize that their level of comfort may vary from week to week.

    Take the story time experience home with you.

    We will always have handouts for the toddlers at story time (and usually hand stamps too!).  Children receive a die cut “letter of the week,” as well as a coloring sheet that includes early literacy tips and book suggestions.  And don’t forget to check out some books!  Plan to take these things home and use them later in the day or week to revisit the program.  Talk about your child’s story time experience to reinforce the learning and the fun.  Try singing story time songs at home too (I promise they’ll be stuck in your head all day).  Repetition is a toddler’s best friend.   Early literacy expert Saroj Ghoting emphasizes that parents are their child’s “first and best teacher.”  We feel privileged to support you in that role.  

    One other note: 

    There’s going to come a day when your 2 year old has a meltdown…right in the middle of the library.  Shocking, I know.  Please, please let it go and come back next time.  Believe me when I say that it happens all. the. time.  Here’s a big secret you may not know about those of us in the Children’s Department:  we’re here because we love kids!  Tantrums and all.  We get it.  We’ve been there.  We know what you go through to get your kids here each week, and we appreciate the (sometimes Herculean) effort it takes.  So pack up those sippy cups, hunt down the missing shoe you know was snugly strapped to that chubby little foot, and let the threenager wear the cape or princess dress that they’re refusing to take off.  It’s all good because…IT’S STORY TIME!

  • NaNo 2017 FB event

    NaNoWriMo. Na. No. Wri. Mo.  NaNoWriMo. Reading this word over and over again makes me think of the Muppets classic song, “Manamana.” How are you supposed to say this word? And what does it mean? I have to admit that I saw this word everywhere for years before I figured it out.

    NaNoWriMo is the shorthand version of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo takes place every November, and during that time people are challenged to write a novel in one month. Here at the Provo City Library, we host NaNoWriMo Write In sessions the first three Saturdays of November from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

    We’ve been hosting Come Write In sessions at the library for a few years now, but this year things will be a little different. A few months ago we repurposed our old computer lab into a programming space. This is great news, because it means we’ll have more room for you to bring your laptops (or we have some you can use as well) and you can setup your writing space in the way that’s most convenient for you. Come be inspired by the general air of creativity and imagination that gathers when a group of authors come together to write and discuss their work! Fuel up with snacks and participate in writing sprints! 

    Not sure you are quite ready to begin the writing process? Would you like some general guidance on how to craft a good story? Gear up for NaNoWriMo by attending our Fiction Writing Basics classes, held every Wednesday evening from October 4th to November 8th, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. We’ll be covering topics such as:

    • How to create characters people care about.
    • Writing plots that are engaging and keep your readers' attention, with structures that make sense.
    • Strategies for busting through writer's block.
    • Learning how to edit your piece once it's done.

    All of the above events take place in our Shaw Programming Room, #260.

    One of my favorite parts of working in a library is the opportunity it gives me to meet amazing authors, so I can’t wait for the fun to begin!

  • NaNo FB 2016


    NaNoWriMo.  No, I didn’t just swear, and I didn’t just completely butcher the Batman theme song.  NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation for National Novel Writers Month, which happens every November.

    Of course, here at the Provo City Library we love novels, and I hope you know that we love the people who write them.  Because of that, we’ve paired up with the Utah Valley Writers group to host a few NaNoWriMo events this month.  Come with your creative juices flowing, and use the Provo City Library as a space to work on the novel you’ve always wanted to write.

    On November 12th and 19th, we’ll be in the second floor computer lab for a series of activities, prompts, word sprints, and enthusiastic cheers to help you on your way.  All events will be held from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

    But what if you've already written a novel and are trying to figure out what to do next?  Come to Indie Author Day on Wednesday, November 16th, at 7:00 pm.  Indie Author Day is another national program designed to help people figure out how to get their books published.  We’ll start by watching a webinar hosted by leaders in the publishing industry.  Then we’ll open the night up for questions with local author Elana Johnson.

    Elana Johnson considers herself to be a “hybrid author,” with books published traditionally by Simon & Schuster and Start Media. She has self-published under her own name and a pen name, Liz Isaacson. She is also a Kindle Press/Amazon author. So however you’re thinking of getting your work out there, Elana will have some great advice how to get the job done.

    Hopefully I see you at one of these great events.  Happy NaNoWriMo, Everyone!

  • UT WHistory FB 

    Women have been shaking things up in Utah since before it was even officially a state! Utah women were some of the earliest participants in the fight for women’s voting rights, they helped establish settlements and whole cities as Utah’s population grew, advocated and supplied funding for education and commerce, were active participants in the realms of art, theater, and entertainment, and have long had a hand in government and lawmaking in our great state. Basically, Utah would not be what it is without them!

    For Monday's blog post and today's, we’ve compiled a list of notable books about some of these female movers and shakers. Since March is Women’s History Month and the library is hosting a Utah women's history lecture by Better Days 2020 tonight, there’s no better time to use the resources the library provides to learn more about some of the women whose contributions make Utah such a great place to live. 

    by Christy Karras

    Maybe you want to know more about notable female figures from Utah’s history, but don’t know where to start? Look no further than More Than Petticoats! Containing 12 succinct bios of notable Utah women, this book covers ladies from all walks of life, including Mormon and non-Mormon settlers, polygamy advocates and opponents, actresses who would go on to originate iconic roles, wild western women, and even a notorious “madam” (with a heart of gold, of course). These women broke through social and cultural norms of the day to better the experience of those around them and influence the path of women going forward, both in Utah and beyond.

    This title is available as a set for Book Clubs and the broad topics and varied lives and statuses of the book’s subjects lend themselves well to discussion. You can check out our Book Club set here.


    by Patty Bartlett Sessions

    Though the above mentioned MORE THAN PETTICOATS book gives Patty Barlett Sessions a chapter, this compilation of her journals is a wonderful deep dive into her life. Patty was a midwife who delivered thousands of babies, and hundreds of these were first generation Utahans. She was appointed by Brigham Young to accompany the first trek of pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. She administered to the sick and even performed deliveries of babies along the trail.

    We know so much about her because she was a prolific journal writer, keeping records of the goings on of the day until she was 92 years old. Her entries are very matter of fact and to the point, but give valuable insight into what life was like for her, and other early Utah settlers, especially women. In addition to medical treatments and her midwifery, she planted some of Utah’s first orchards from cuttings, helped found a women’s organization in the Mormon church called the “Relief Society,” and was an early investor in the “Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution” (ZCMI). Patty used the proceeds she gained from this to open a school, where she also taught classes-- at age 88.


    3.11 Hidden History of UtahHIDDEN HISTORY OF UTAH 
    by Eileen Hallet Stone

    Author and historian Eileen Hallet Stone is a Utah transplant but is nonetheless a notable woman herself! Her work uncovering hidden and forgotten Utah history stories are documented in this compilation of 58 articles she wrote for her Salt Lake Tribune column called “Living History." While not every article in this book is about women, many that are include eye catching front page worthy titles like “Physic Widow Founded Spiritualist Utopia” and “1890s, Utah’s Women Found Freedom on Bicycles."

    She includes well researched chapters on the suffragette movement in Utah, women homesteaders (including one with ties to Butch Cassidy), and Utah women’s contributions as pilots and “Rosies” during World War II. This is a gem of a book where you’ll discover many delightful and heartening stories about lesser known historical figures from Utah’s past.

  • UT WHistory FB

    If you’re joining us this Wednesday evening for Better Days 2020’s presentation on Utah women’s history, you’re in for a treat. Katherine Kitterman, the organization’s historical director, will be here to share stories about Utah women, especially Provo and Utah County residents, of all different backgrounds who shaped local and national history.

    If you asked a typical Utahn, they’d probably struggle to name more than a handful of significant women in Utah history. Better Days 2020 is an organization committed to changing that through art, education, legislation, and activism. Utah women have a long history of political, social, and artistic contributions, and we’re excited that this history is becoming better known.

    Today and Wednesday on the blog, we’ll be recommending a few favorite books related to Utah women's history. As you may have noticed, most of the books on the topic focus on white women, especially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the pioneer and settlement eras. This is somewhat understandable, given the prominence of that group in Utah’s history, but current historians, including those at Better Days 2020, are working hard to bring forward the histories of Utah women of all races, religions, and backgrounds. Look forward to some of those fascinating stories Wednesday night.

    3.11 An Advocate for WomenAN ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN: THE PUBLIC LIFE OF EMMELINE B. WELLS, 1870-1920
    By Carol Cornwall Madsen

    Emmeline B. Wells is a personal hero of mine and was arguably Utah’s best known women’s rights activist in her day. Utah Territory granted women the right to vote in 1870 (a right the national government rescinded 17 years later), and Utah women became some of the most outspoken advocates in the country for female political rights.

    As part of this movement, Wells served as editor of Woman’s Exponent for nearly 40 years, urged Utah’s Territorial Legislature to allow women to serve in public office, developed personal friendships with national suffragists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, walked a precarious line between pro-polygamy Utah suffragists and anti-polygamy suffragists on the national stage, served as president of the Utah Territorial Women’s Suffrage Association, spoke internationally before the International Council of Women, and organized the Relief Society’s grain-saving program that saved hundreds of lives during World War I. In her last eleven years, Wells also served as Relief Society General President, being released at the age of 93, just three weeks before she passed away.


    By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    Ulrich won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for History for A MIDWIFE’S TALE, which revolutionized the historian’s field with its remarkable examination of social history. In addition to being a renowned historian (and the person who coined the phrase "well-behaved women seldom make history"), Ulrich herself is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, giving her unique insight into her subject matter in A HOUSE FULL OF FEMALES. Don’t be fooled by the narrator’s mispronunciations of common Utah names and Mormon words if you listen to the audiobook – Ulrich knows what she’s talking about.

    Much of published research into Utah women's history has focused on the hotbed of political and social activism that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century, so it’s a nice change to read about the lead-up to that time period. Ulrich is a master of reconstructing a society based on journals, letters, meeting minutes, and even quilts, and you’ll come away from this book with a much more complete understanding of regular LDS and Utah women’s experiences in the early days of polygamy.


    Edited by Colleen Whitley

    WORTH THEIR SALT offers a glimpse into the lives of a wide variety of Utah women, some familiar, others less so. These include Indian rights advocate and diplomat Chipeta, mining queen Susanna Engalitcheff, Catholic nun and education reformer Mother M. Augusta, artist Mary Teasdel, Greek midwife Georgia Lathrouis Magera, actress Maude Adams (who originated the role of Peter Pan on Broadway), journalist and Japanese-American newspaper owner Kuniko Terasawa, and United States Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest.  

    A variety of professional historians, journalists, descendants, and enthusiasts contributed essays for WORTH THEIR SALT. It’s a collection well worth reading for anyone interested in broadening their familiarity with prominent women in Utah history.


    Be on the lookout for another post later this week with more recommended reads on this topic. Whether you're able to attend on Wednesday of not, we hope these books will get you hooked on the remarkable history of Utah women!

  • FTN FB event

    You may have heard the term STEM before (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in the education world.  Right now there is an emphasis on teaching children these skills, because analysts predict that in the next decade, 80% of professions will require a deep understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.  Educators are motivated to teach these skills so that children will have the opportunity to later pursue careers in these fields.

    But is focusing solely on STEM skills a complete education? Definitely not. It's important to balance STEM activities with fun and creativity, or even better, combine the two. I believe arts education and STEM education can enrich each other. Technological advances are furthered by creativity, and artistry is enhanced by sharpening the mind, increasing our understanding of the world around us and how it works. Physics plays a role in sculpting with different materials. Exposure to art can make the technology we create more interesting, and more relevant to the human experience.  

    STEM learning combined with creativity and play has been something we have been thinking about a lot here at the library. Participating in tech activities encourages youth to be curious, ask questions, and make connections with the world around them, and we can think of no better setting for these activities than with family. Even if we, as parents, don't have honed STEM skills ourselves, we can learn alongside our children, and as we do our relationships are enriched and children can see from the examples of their parents that STEM skills aren't scary or hard. When kids participate in learning play with their families, we make it more accessible to them simply with our prescence, our interest, and our attention, and we open many doors of possibility for them in the future.

    I'm excited to announce that we have created a Family Tech Night series where we will explore different science, technology, engineering, and math principles with fun and creative play. Families can come and have a guided demonstration from a librarian before getting a hands-on experience with the tech themselves. Our first Family Tech Night is this coming Wednesday, September 20th at 6:30 in the Shaw Programming Room #260. We will be using littleBits, small circuits that easily snap together, to create fun inventions and learn how one type of circuit can affect the next.


    We're excited to demonstrate this simple but foundational technological principle, as well as create some fun tech, and we hope to see you there!

  • life events learn it

    2011: The Year My Car Slowly Died. At least, that’s what it’s titled in my head. A lot of other things happened around then (I had just moved to Colorado), but the unifying theme of the last half of the year was my car trouble. In September I was driving home from work and my car started shuddering and refused to accelerate. In October, I found myself stranded on the side of the freeway in downtown Denver during rush hour. In November, the steering fluid line burst. In December, a complete stranger and I slowly pushed my car out of the way of oncoming traffic on Christmas Eve.

    I had always heard that it was important to have a rainy day fund, but until The Year My Car Slowly Died, even though money had been tight, I managed to pull through. Suddenly, I was looking at money in an entirely new light.  I had a car that was slowly dying, but I didn’t think I could afford a new one because all of the repairs left me penniless. How could I take on a new car payment, and somehow also build up a savings account?

    This story is mild compared to things that happen to people every day. I’ve possibly just given you flashbacks to a time when money was too tight. If you’re in a panic now, don’t worry. On March 14th, 21st, and 28th we will be having a series of Learn It at Your Library classes called Preparing for Life Events: Women and Money. The aim is to give women the knowledge and skills needed to conquer challenges like the one mentioned above. The classes will cover topics like:

    • Financial Empowerment
    • Preparing For Life Events
      • Death
      • Loss of Job
      • Children Divorce
      • Inheritance/Legacy
    • Increasing Social and Financial Equity
    • Avoiding Financial Pitfalls.

    The classes will be taught by Kristy Hanson, an family lawyer with MHM Law Offices; and Roy Alame, a wealth advisor with Merrill Lynch.

    If you want to learn more about ways to empower the women in your life, come to the class. Give this year a much better title than the one I gave to 2011. Maybe this year can be The Year I Conquered My Finances.

  • mock caldecott 01 

    We have a tradition here at the Provo City Library to do a Mock Caldecott—both to help us understand the process that the real Caldecott committee goes through to pick "the most distinguished book in children’s literature," and to help us get to know and love the picture books that came out in the past year. The Caldecott is awarded specifically to illustrators of children's books, and only American illustrators are eligible (check out a few of our recent favorites from international illustrators here).

    This year our group of 26 children’s book friends picked one winner and four honor books.


    1.22 Bear Came AlongBEAR CAME ALONG
    Written by Richard T. Morris
    Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

    This book is about a bear that goes on a journey down a river. The story is fun, but the illustrations were what made the book for our Mock Caldecott group. First of all, we loved the color. You may notice that the bear at first is not even fully colored. It is only when he goes to the river that he becomes the rich brown bear that is depicted in the rest of the book. Plus, if there are also other details that show that the closer to the river something is, the more color there is on that thing. The use of color tells as much of a story as does the actual story.

    We also loved the use of line and motion for the book. The way that the river jogs through the pages is brilliantly done and it gets us to want to turn the page to see what is happening next. Speaking of page turns, the one where readers know that a waterfall is coming is pure perspective brilliance.

    Yeah, we really liked this book. 


    Honor Books (in alphabetical order by title):

    1.22 Field Trip to the MoonFIELD TRIP TO THE MOON
    Written and illustrated by John Hare

    In this story a young astronaut goes on a field trip (on a spaceship school bus) to the moon. However, once there, the moon-visitor gets distracted and starts coloring with crayons on a notepad. There is so much to draw that soon the spaceship school bus leaves, stranding the young cosmonaut. He ends up meeting a group of aliens who are enthralled with the box of crayons he uses for art. This wordless picture book is full of brilliant colors that pop against black, grey, and white backgrounds. 


    Written by Kevin Noble Maillard
    Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

    This picture book tells the story of a Native American family that spends time together making fry bread. The illustrations are beautiful. We loved the vivid expressions on the characters' faces, the diversity of the family (they don’t all look like the stereotypical portrayal of Native Americans, which is a breath of fresh air), and the extra details that add so much to each illustration. Plus, for added happiness there is a recipe in the back! 


    1.22 Rabbit and the MotorbikeRABBIT AND THE MOTORBIKE
    Written by Kate Hoefler
    Illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

    This story is about Rabbit who always stays close to home, prefering to listen to his friend Dog's stories of adventure on a motorbike. But one day, Dog is gone and leaves his motorbike to Rabbit. Our group loved the details and the lines of motion in this story. We especially loved the full-page spreads that showed the emotions connected to all of Rabbit’s feelings and adventures. 


    1.22 A Stone Sat StillA STONE SAT STILL
    Written and Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

    Stone doesn’t go very far—and yet there is so much that happens. From the various creatures that come and use the stone to all the light and dark moments there is a lot that happens in one small place. Our group loved how the illustrations depicted so much—each illustration has a unique feeling that matches the various moments for the stone. These are illustrations that beg to be looked at multiple times so that you can see all of the things hidden in the pictures.

  • Retro Game FB

    It came unexpectedly.  I was visiting my mom and she pulled an old, crinkley bag out of the garage with wires hanging out of it.  “After all this time?” I said with disbelief.  I pulled open the bag and there they were: all my old Sega Genesis games that I played in the 90s.  It was during a Christmas vacation when she remembered to give me the bag, wanting to clean out her garage.  Why had she even kept it?  I had no idea, but it was like she pulled a treasure out of that big warehouse in Indiana Jones.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of time that holiday exploring dungeons filled with monsters, racing with Sonic, and discovering that my fingers still knew how to do that really tricky triple jump in my favorite game.  Best. Christmas. Ever.

    If you’re like me, perhaps it takes just a few chiming notes of the Super Mario Brothers theme to put a smile on your face.  Whatever your favorite console was – arcade games, Atari, Intellivision, Nintendo, Sega, Playstation, X-Box, PCs, etc, playing these games from your childhood can bring back fond memories.  An unexpected pleasure has been showing these games to my kids, which stirs up feelings somewhere between the satisfaction of passing down beloved childhood traditions to thrill of an evil mastermind converting disciples to his twisted ways.

    Naturally, I had to plan a library event around all this!  I’m happy to say that this Saturday, July 9th, from 2:00-4:00 in Room 201 we’ll have all sorts of classic games for you to come reminisce with (and maybe even show your kids).  If perhaps you didn’t grow up with some of these games, it’s a great chance to introduce yourself to gaming’s origins and get firsthand experience with classics everyone keeps talking about.  We can’t wait to see you there!