Summer Reading Program

  • fanfiction

    “It was the muffled groan that woke him, in the thin light before dawn.

    Enemies? Surrounded? Ambush?

    Zuko breathed in silently, deeply, ready to unleash a deadly surprise on anyone who might have succeeded in sneaking up on them-

    No one. The Earth Kingdom night was quiet. Just their bare camp out of sight of the road, the annoyingly cheerful chirps of birds, the odd grassy smell of air with no coal smoke or salt in it…

    And another sleepy grumble of complaint from Uncle’s bedroll.”

    So begins Embers, the insanely popular Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction by Vathara. The completed work is the length of the entire Harry Potter series put together, and it has more than 8,000 reviews on That’s more reviews than some published books have on Goodreads. Clearly, fanfiction is out there. People are writing it, people are reading it. But what is fanfiction, and why is it so popular?

    We all love our favorite books, TV shows, and movies. Sometimes you finish the season or turn the final page, and it just isn’t enough. You want more. You want to know if the main character and the leading lady ever get together. You want more deets on that side character who seemed pretty cool. You want to hear what happened before or after the main action of the story. Or you wonder what it would have been like if things had turned out differently. What if John and Sherlock met during the zombie apocalypse? What if the Avengers went to high school together? What if, like in Embers, Iroh talked Zuko out of stealing that ostrich horse and the two never split up?

    The desire to continue or change our favorite stories is not a new thing, nor is it exclusive to writers on the internet. Since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, dozens of writers have tried their hand at writing new Sherlock Holmes stories. Wide Sargasso Sea, a critically acclaimed piece of post-colonial literature, is a direct spin-off of Jane Eyre. James Joyce’s Ulysses was intended as a modern, Dublin-based retelling of The Odyssey. I mean, even The Lion King is just Hamlet with animals. Writers have always referenced, reinterpreted, and recycled stories from the past, adding their own bit to something that came before. What makes fanfiction any different?

    Well, the only issue I know of is copyright. Many of the writers I mentioned above wrote before the modern conception of copyright law, and those who wrote later changed names or settings to avoid infringement. Fanfiction writers keep names, places, and whatever else they want from their source material. Because of that, fanfiction can’t be published or sold in any way. Remember how Fifty Shades of Gray started out as a Twilight fanfiction? Well, E.L. James had to do some significant reworking (including changing Bella and Edward’s names) before that could happen. Instead, writers post to free sites like and include disclaimers stating that they do not own the characters.

    Because fanfiction cannot be published for copyright reasons, it sometimes gets the stigma of being just plain unpublishable. Many people view fanfiction as complete trash, filled with bad writing and excessive eroticism. While that stuff certainly does exist, it's important not to assume that the genre itself requires those things. By far the majority of fanfiction would be considered PG-13 or less; E.L. James actually removed Fifty Shades of Grey because it was too erotic for most fanfiction sites. The writing quality on most sites varies wildly, from young beginners to experts at the craft and everything in between. The key is just to sift for exactly what you’re looking for, because I promise it’s out there.

    Reading fanfiction can scratch an itch to spend time with your favorite characters for sure, but so can writing it. Writing fanfiction can be a healthy way to interact with your passions and become a creator, not just a consumer. Not only can it be a great creative outlet, fanfiction also provides a supportive community of people who will read what you write and give you feedback. Many writers like Marissa Meyer have said it helped them hone their craft.

    So go! Give it a try! Write something. Read something. This month at the library we are hosting a Teen Fanfiction Contest, so maybe that will be your excuse to put pen to paper. If you’re ready to read some fics, here’s a handy guide to get you started. Remember that some sites are moderated for quality and some are not. Ask your friends for recommendations and get familiar with the search filters on whatever site you use. Either way, good luck!

    Popular Sites:

    A brief glossary of fanfiction terms and acronyms:

    Fic/fanfic = fanfiction

    One-shot = a story with only one installment

    “x” as in “HarryxHermione” = A romantic pairing included in the fanfiction

    “/” or “slash” = A homosexual pairing

    AU = Alternate Universe, aka settings or events that vary quite a bit from canon

    Mary Sue = An author self-insert, aka a character obviously added to represent the author

    OOC = Out of character

    OTP = One True Pairing, aka a romantic couple that the author feels strongly about

    Ship = Can be used for “relationship” or as a verb, “To support a relationship,” aka “I ship Bella and Jacob”

    Cross-over = A fanfiction that includes characters or settings from multiple different sources

    Canon = The original source material that a fanfiction is drawing from

  • book swap

     Have you ever looked at your bookshelf and thought, “I wish I could trade some of these for different books?”

    Give your neglected books another chance to bring someone happiness!

    On Tuesday, July 11th at 7:00 pm we will be having our annual summer Book Swap. We’ve been collecting books all year so that patrons can come and swap their gently used books for something new, as well as swap books with each other!

    Just for coming to the event, each person age 10 and up will get to choose one book to take home, even if they didn’t bring anything. If you do bring books to swap, you can bring up to 10. That means you can get up to 11 new (to you) books to take home and keep forever!

    So that we can make sure we’re swapping books in decent condition, we will not accept books with mold or mildew, any type of water damage, or with pages falling out. Please bring books in a condition that someone else would like to take home.

    Also, since this event is for ages 10 and up, we will only be accepting books that are junior through adult level. We will not accept easy readers, intermediate, or picture books. We also will not accept text books or audio books.

    On July 11th, come swap some books, get a small treat, and pick up a secret code for the summer reading program! We’ll see you then!

  • belong

    Recently, I listened to the audiobook THIS IS WHERE YOU BELONG: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LOVING THE PLACE YOU LIVE by Melody Warnick. The book starts with a test on how attached you are to your town. The rest of her book is more about how to be happy wherever you live. She talks about the benefits of shopping locally, walking the streets to see things you wouldn’t see in a car, getting to know your neighbors, getting involved in the community, learning the history of the place, etc. Warnick’s point is that the more involved you are in a community, the more you learn to love it, and the more you feel tied to it, the more you belong.

    I think working at the Provo City Library gives me a leg up on becoming involved in my community, but a non-work-related example of this happened this past Christmas, when I dragged my family outside to do something we’d never done before: attend the lighting of Provo’s downtown. We wandered around and looked at the various booths, made friends with the reindeer and the sled dogs, and listened to the mayor give a brief speech before turning the lights on with a flourish. “I suddenly have a sense of civic pride,” my sister joked. But it was true. Spending half an hour downtown did give me a better connection to it.

    For me, this is all tied in to this year’s summer reading theme: Build a Better World. What better place to start building a better world than the place you live? The librarians in charge of planning summer reading have embedded a few ways to become involved in our community into the summer reading program. You can get points for appreciating nature, for attending local events, for volunteering, and even for donating to a food drive. I think anyone who participates in our summer reading program will forge a better connection to our community, and as a result, we’ll all love this beautiful place a little more than we already do.

  • SR 2017 FB


    The 2017 Summer Reading Program’s theme is “Build a Better World.” As we met and planned the program, we realized there are many different ways to build a better world. Human interaction that fosters connection is one of the smallest yet most important things we can do. Opportunities for connection with others exist all around us—at work, in our neighborhoods, even standing in the checkout line. Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education explains that even the simple act of smiling activates compassion, a powerhouse emotion that can actually help ease tension and foster emotional connection for those we interact with. Connecting with others has helped our species survive—and may well help us make it in the future.

    With this in mind, we created Summer Reading Challenges that would help encourage us to take these small steps towards connection such as smile at 10 people in one day or sincerely say thank you. Here are some of the responses we received that have warmed our hearts.

    “All the people I smiled at smiled back! It helped my attitude be happier as well.”

    “By smiling at others I was forced to look up instead of just listening to music and walking with my head down. It gave me the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine more and to see the happy look on people's faces when I smiled at them.”

    “As I thanked people, it made me realize how awesome they are and how grateful I am for them.”

    “I contacted my Cosmetology teacher and told her that I appreciated all of the hard work that she has done for me in helping me earn a degree only five months after graduating high school.”

    “I left a note for my daughter to tell her that she is amazing and I love her.”

    “I know from experience that when someone is really grateful for something you did for them, it makes you happy that you could make them happy. I hope that by thanking people I let them know how much I appreciate them and everything they do for me.”

    “I wrote handwritten thank you cards for my recent birthday gifts. I think it's nice to send something tangible to those who think of you. I know I love getting real mail, so I hope they do, too.”

    “Whenever you smile at someone and they smile back you always feel happier.  I love turning a frown into a smile. By smiling, I am happier.”

    These are just a few of the hundreds of responses we have received, and we have truly loved reading all responses from our summer readers to see how dedicated they are to building a better world.

  •  SR 2017 FB

    At Provo City Library our 2017 Summer Reading theme is “Build a Better World." Many people might think the world can only be changed by grand gestures or by people in positions of power, but we all have the power to profoundly affect the world around us. You do this simply by how you choose to interact with your world and those in it. Being a good family member, neighbor, or community member can often have more impact because you have the greatest knowledge and influence in your own sphere.

    To make real changes in your world, you don’t have to take on everything at once. Start small and just take the first step. A small act of kindness creates a ripple effect that can carry from person to person, brightening many lives, and maybe those people will choose to pay it forward to someone else.

    For our Summer Reading Program, we wanted to help initiate this ripple effect by offering “Challenges” to help motivate people to take those first small steps to build a better world. Some of the Challenges include “Make Someone’s Day,” “Offer a Service to Someone,” or “Give a Thoughtful Compliment.”

    The responses we have received from these Summer Reading Challenges have been so heartening to our staff that we thought we would share a few here. Maybe it will spark you to look for ways to help others.

    “My neighbors are getting their kitchen redone so they can't cook anything, so my family and I invited them over and made them dinner.”

    “I saw an old man that is homeless, and I bought him a hot meal and gave him a comforter to sleep with.”

    “I made brownies and brought them over to a family member who is going through a hard time.”

    “There was this elementary school kid at the Dollar Tree. He bought two poster boards for $2.14. He only had $2.00. He was going to put one board back, but I gave him the $0.14, so he could get the two boards. I remember being a kid shopping in a store and not understanding taxes, so I was always short.”

    “I cleaned all of the living room and vacuumed it because we had visitors coming, and I knew that my mom wouldn't have enough time to do it.”

    “As a family, we weeded a neighbor’s flower bed.”

    “My sister and I took our friend out to get a treat at Yogurtland and we decided to pay for someone’s order. So we made a deal that the next person to walk into the room we would pay for them. An old man with his daughter and her son came into the store. I walked up to the cash register and explained that when they came to pay for their treat to use the money I handed her to pay for their order. I also told her to keep it a secret. So, when they came up to the front the man was reaching in his pocket to pay for the frozen yogurt and the lady told him that it had already been paid for. The old man was surprised and it made my day. Service is really awesome and I hope that I can have other experiences where I can serve others and get to see them smile after it.”

    One final note. Many studies have shown that helping others has a positive impact on your own life such as developing stronger relationships, having a more positive outlook in a world where we are bombarded daily with fear and anger, establishing a stronger sense of belonging, and feeling more gratitude in your life. Some people have even said it is the secret to happiness and a more fulfilled life.

  • SR 2017 FB

     One of the challenges in our Summer Reading Program is the “Ask a Librarian” Challenge.  Patrons can click on the blue "Ask a Librarian" tab on the right side of every Provo City Library web page, and either send us a question or tell us their favorite joke.  We have gotten so many interesting questions over the past few weeks, it’s allowed us to flex our librarian muscles!  But I have to admit – my personal favorite has been seeing all of the jokes submitted by our hilarious patrons!  Below is a collection of the jokes submitted so far. Thanks for all the laughs! 

    What do you call a camel with three humps?
    What did the right eye say to the left eye?
    Between you and me, something smells!  
    Why did Adele cross the road?
    To say hello from the other side. 
    How did the hipster burn his tongue?
    He drank his coffee before it was cool 
    What did the ocean say to the other ocean?
    Nothing, it just waved. 
    What happens to a frog's car when it breaks down?
    It gets toad away 
    What are bears without bees?
    What do you call a cow with 5 legs?
    A Moo-tant 
    What do you call a pig that knows karate?
    A pork chop! 
    Why can't you give Elsa a balloon?
    Because she will Let it go...  
    Knock knock.
    Who's there?
    Rita who?
    Rita lot of good books! 
    When the pig ate the mole, the mole and the pig ran away! 
    What do you say to comfort a grammar nazi?
    There, Their, They're. 
    What do you call a reptile that works as a detective?
    An investigator 
    Why did the Chicken cross the playground?
    To get to the other slide! 
    What is Darth Vader's favorite dessert?
    Do you know why elephants paint their toenails Red?
    So they can hide in Cherry trees.Have you ever seen one in a cherry tree? Good Camouflage isn't it? 
    If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
    What kind of dog can tell the time?
    A watchdog. 
    If a fly did not have wings would we call it a walk? 
    What's green and has wheels?
    Grass!!! I lied about the wheels. 
    Why did the chicken cross the möbius strip?
    To get to the same side! 
    What do you call a fish with no eyes?
    A fsh. 
    What do you get when you divide a jack-o-lantern’s circumference by its diameter?
    Pumpkin Pi  
    Knock, knock...
    Who's there?
    Boo, who?
    Don't cry, it's only a joke! 
    Knock Knock
    Who's there?
    Doctor who?
    Why was the tomato blushing?
    Because it saw the salad dressing!  
    What kind of food does a racehorse eat?
    Fast Food! 
    Why did the cookie go to the doctor?
    Because he was feeling crumby!    
    Why did the Invisible Man turn down the job?
    He just couldn't see himself doing it. 
    What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter?
    Where is Flash's (superhero) favorite place to eat?
    At a fast food restaurant.  
    How do you make an elephant float?
    1 scoop of ice scream, 2 squirts of soda, and 3 scoops of elephant 
    And God said to John, come forth and you shall be granted eternal life.
    But John came fifth and won a toaster. 
    What do you call cheese that is not yours?
    Nacho cheese! 
    Knock Knock
    Who"s there?
    Pizza Who?
    Pizza really great guy 
    Why does a chicken coop only have two doors?
    Because if it had four, it would be chicken sedan. 
    How do you get Pikachu on a bus?
    You poke him on. 
    Knock, knock. 
    Who's there? 
    Banana who?
    Knock, knock. 
    Who's there? 
    Banana who?
    Knock, knock. 
    Who's there? 
    Banana who?
    Knock, knock. 
    Who's there? 
    Orange who? 
    Orange you glad that I didn't say banana anymore?  
    Knock Knock.
    Who's there?
    Boo who?
    Is your tummy hurting? Is that why you said boo who? 
    If you are annoyed and I am annoyed, does that make us paranoid?!!  
    Why do cows wear bells?
    Because their horns don't work!  
    Why didn't the skeleton go to the dance?
    Because he had no body to go with. 
    I will be telling you a Spanglish joke.
    What do you call Dora con tualla?
    What is the difference between a gross transit terminal and a lobster with plastic surgery?
    One's a crusty bus station and one's a busty crustacean.
  • SR 2017 FB 1

     The Summer Reading Program theme this year is “Build a Better World”. As librarians, we’re a little bit biased because we already know what an impact the many amazing programs, services, and resources we provide can have on our community and by extension the world. It’s getting the word out that has always been a little difficult for us.

    Since most of Provo City Library’s many great services can be found on our website, we created a Summer Reading challenge to browse the library website and discover something you didn’t know. As a result, we’ve been getting many fantastic and excited comments from our summer reading participants about cool things they had no idea the library offered. We thought we would share some of them here and maybe inspire you to discover something awesome too.

    “I didn’t know that the 4th floor is called “The Attic” and that it has an exhibit space that changes every couple of months. Right now the Little Builders Exhibit is in the space.”

    “I learned that the library has book club sets that can be checked out by book groups.”

    “I learned about the Teen Volunteer Board. I love the library and have always wanted to be a librarian or author when I grow up. This sounds like so much fun and I will for sure do it!”

    “I found the Provo Historic Tours App. I think we will try it out as a family this summer.  That looks like a fun activity to do together.”

    “I didn’t know there was an app called Bookmyne where I can browse and hold books, renew stuff, and manage my account. So cool!”

    “I didn't know you had career databases. Now I've got to check them out!”

    “That you have access to Academic Search Premier. Since I graduated school, I haven’t searched academic articles, since I didn't have a university ID. But now when I do research on my family history I know I gain access online again, without going to a university library.”

    “I learned that you have an online calendar that is packed with activities! I never knew so much went on at the library.”

    “I didn't know that you can get personalized reading recommendations according to your interests.  That's pretty cool...I'll be using that.”

    “I didn't realize the library website had such an extensive list of things to do in Provo and nearby cities. Good resource–wish I knew about it earlier.”

    “That I can register my one-year-old son for an early literacy program called 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.”

    Finally, there were good number of people astonished to learn of the many, many programs we offer. The comments we received looked something like this:

    “I didn’t know the library has…”

  • Our 2017 Kids’ Summer Reading Program was wildly successful thanks to all of your hard work! We had so much fun reading, creating, and playing with you as we tried to Build a Better World together. Thanks for your enthusiastic participation! Here are some of the highlights of our summer:

    kids summer reading 2017 01

  • We're about halfway through our annual Summer Reading Program, which means there's still time for you to sign up and start earning prizes! We have programs for all ages. 

    SR Halfway 2017 01

  •  SR 2020 FB

    It’s that time of year, and our Summer Reading Program is in full swing! Once again, this year we’re using the super fun software from Beanstack to track reading and activity badges. And whether you’ve been doing reading challenges with us on Beanstack for a few years, or whether this is your first rodeo with online tracking, we have some tips and tricks we’re excited to share with you for the free and easy Beanstack mobile app! 


    First, to download the app, simply search Beanstack Tracker in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. 

    01 Beanstack App Store

    Type in Provo City Library, and then sign in just like you would on the Beanstack website. 

    02 Beanstack App Welcome



    03 Beanstack App Choose Library



    04 Beanstack App Sign In

    If you haven’t already, you can also set up your account right on your phone.  From that point you can click on the Account gear icon on the right of your bottom screen menu, and then on Readers. 

    05 Beanstack App Bottom Menu

    If your account was created previously on the website, all of your readers should show up here (don’t forget to add some cute profile pics!).

    06 Beanstack App Account Readers

    If you’re just setting up your account, start adding readers from this screen by tapping Add a Reader.  Once your readers are all entered, it’s time to head back to the home screen to register for a reading challenge! 


    Choose the reader you want to register for a challenge.  You can change readers by tapping the profile pic (or circle with reader’s initials) at the top right on your home screen.

    07 Beanstack App Change Readers

    You can then search for that reader’s available reading challenges by tapping the Discover compass icon at the bottom of your screen.  If your reader has not registered for any challenges, you’ll have the option to see any available challenges. 

    08 Beanstack App See Challenges

    If your reader was previously registered on the website, you’ll see a list of their current and past registrations, any available new challenges, as well as their logging status. 

    09 Beanstack App Challenges

    Tap on Register to get started in a new challenge! 


    Logging is where the Beanstack mobile app shines!  On the website you have two options when logging – you can log for a single reader, or you can log for all readers on your account.  However, on the mobile app, you can log for a single reader, all readers on your account, or any combination of readers, AND you can also log reading in multiple, concurrently-running programs like Summer Reading and 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!  But first things first…  To log reading in the mobile app, tap the giant plus icon on your bottom menu and tap Reading.  You’ll then be prompted to choose which readers you’re logging for.  If you’ve done a family read aloud, choose them all! 

    10 Beanstack App Choose Readers   

    Next comes the logging method, another place where the app excels.

    11 Beanstack App Logging Method 

    You can type in a title or ISBN, select a recently logged title if it’s a repeat read or a continuing read, or simply log minutes without a book title attached.  However, the easiest, quickest, and most fun option is the Scan ISBN feature.  Just tap it, flip that book over, and hover the red line over the book’s barcode – that book is in! 

    12 Beanstack App Scan ISBN

    You can choose whether or not to Track Progress by tapping the toggle, which would end up looking like this:

    13 Beanstack App Progress

    Then you have a few choices:   

    Start a Reading Session starts a timer right within the app. 

    14 Beanstack App Timer

    When you stop the timer, the minutes will automatically be logged for the readers you chose previously.  Slick!  Be sure to say yes if you finished the book to log it as completed!   

    Log Past Reading gives you the opportunity to log reading for any previous days or if you choose not to use the app timer.  Simply enter the date if you’d like, the number of minutes read (required), the number of pages (optional), and whether or not the book is finished.  Bam – logged! 

    Quick Log as Complete will quickly log a book read.  However, all but one of our reading challenges tracks minutes, so the only program this would be currently useful for is 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. 

    15 Beanstack App Quick Log Error


    Logging Activities is easy peasy – tap the giant plus icon on your bottom menu and click Activity.  Choose your readers, and tap on the appropriate category!  Or to see available activities, tap the Discover compass icon on the bottom menu and click on the Activities tab at the top. 

    16 Beanstack App Activities


    Logging 1000 books sounds pretty daunting.  However, chances are you’re reading many of the same books over and over.  My top tips for you:

    1. Use the scan ISBN feature when logging a book.  It’s super quick and easy to scan the stack of picture books when you’re done reading together.

    2. When re-reading a book you’ve already logged – IF YOU’RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT TRACKING MINUTES FOR A SEASONAL READING CHALLENGE– tap Log in your bottom menu. Scroll until you find the book, then swipe left on the title and click the green Quick Log As Complete.  It will complete it a second, third…or seventeenth…time.

    17 Beanstack App Quick Log

    18 Beanstack App Reading Log


    All of our seasonal reading challenges (Summer Reading, Winter Reading, Spring Reading, etc.) track MINUTES for completion.  However, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten tracks BOOKS.  If you have a child registered for BOTH of these programs, the mobile app is your magic wand.  It is the only way to log one time and have it applied to BOTH PROGRAMS.  The Beanstack website does not have the functionality for this.  Just make sure that when you’re logging reading for a child enrolled in 1000 Books that you log minutes, as well as the title of the picture book, and mark the book as complete.  If logged this way in the mobile app, the reading will automatically be applied to both programs! 

    All in all, the Beanstack mobile app is an incredibly convenient and powerful tool for logging your family’s reading, particularly if you’re reading aloud to multiple kids, doing a family read aloud, or logging for concurrent programs.  So be sure to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it.  If you have questions or need help, we’re here for you – give us a call or come to one of our reference desks.  And as always, Happy Reading!

  • SR 2019 FB

    It’s summertime and that means the Summer Reading Program is upon us. Did you know that Summer Reading isn’t just for kids and teens? All you need is a library card and you can sign up and enjoy a summer full of fun activities, movies, and of course—reading!  Everyone who reads four books earns a free tote bag. After that, the more you read the more prizes and chances you get to enter the online drawings at the end of July. Drawing prizes this year include:

    • Celestron Travel Telescope

    • Amazon Echo

    • Lego Apollo Saturn V Model Rocket

    • Kindle Paperwhite eReader

    • Provo Rec Center Pass (2 available)

    • Star Trek Catan

    • Beats Headphones

    • Gift Cards

    The Grand Prize is a $300 Amazon gift card! So it’s time to get your reading on and start winning some prizes! If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some fun and powerful books to inspire you this summer. 

    6.5 Daring GreatlyDARING GREATLY
    By Brené Brown

    If you haven’t read anything by Brené Brown, this will be a treat for you. She is a Researcher/Storyteller who studies shame and vulnerability. In the book she explains and expounds on the data from twelve years of research about vulnerability and how it makes us better human beings in the long run. This is a staple for anyone wanting to understand and improve their relationships with their kids, spouses, and friends.  


    By Elizabeth Gilbert

    Have you ever wanted to be more creative, more courageous, and more curious? Liz Gilbert, author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE, explores the nature of inspiration and what keeps us all living small and stagnant when it comes to our creativity. This book is a huge encouragement to anyone wanting to bring more joy and inspiration into their lives. It might be just the right nudge for you to tackle that big summer project.  


    6.5 The Life Changing Magic of Tidying UpTHE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP
    By Marie Kondō

    Okay. So, maybe you have already heard of this book or you have watched the addicting Netflix series. Maybe you want to experience some life-changing magic of your own. This is a short, delightful book on the power of letting go of things that don’t bring you joy. Summertime can be the perfect time to make even small changes to your closet, your attic, or your garage. Get the kids involved. Ask yourself: do you really need four sets of measurement cups in your kitchen drawer? Choose the fabulous yellow ones and let the rest go!  


    6.5 Girl Wash Your FaceGIRL, WASH YOUR FACE
    By Rachel Hollis

    Rachel Hollis is impossible to not like. As founder of and CEO of a media company, she knows a lot about being authentic and selling your strengths. But what really makes Rachel like your best friend is that she talks about all the lies we tell ourselves that keep us insecure and unfulfilled. She starts each chapter with a lie and then talks about what helped her get over it and move forward. This is a laugh-out-loud-then-bring-you-to-your-knees memoir/self-help/management book.  


    By Abby Wambach

    I love Abby Wambach. And it’s not just because she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion. It’s because she is such an amazing leader and person off of the field. In May she gave what soon became a viral commencement speech at Barnard College. In it she made the statement, “You were never Red Riding Hood. You were always the wolf.” She builds on this idea in her book, which isn’t just about leadership, but about coming together with your people and loving and supporting each other so that we all have a chance of making it through this life. If you are looking for inspiration this summer, you may just find it in Abby’s book.

  •  LB FB event

    If you’ve visited the library this week, you’ve probably noticed something new – a children’s play area tucked away in a corner of the children’s department! Kids can climb, peer out windows, build a brick wall, and play with paint rollers, but this fun play area is just the beginning.

    Just in time for our “Build a Better World” themed Summer Reading Program to begin, we have a children’s exhibit opening in The Attic. Starting today, the youngest visitors to the Provo City Library will become movers and shakers in the new Little Builders exhibit. Donning little hard hats and construction vests, children ages 2-7 will create, play, and learn as they explore the concepts of construction, motion, and simple machines. Visitors have the exciting opportunity to:

    • Hand-operate a pulley and conveyer belt to explore cause and effect

    • Operate a child-size crane to hook, lift and move objects and materials
    • Build structures with blocks, pipes, Duplo® blocks (toddlers’ large snap-on blocks) and gears

    • Insert balls into air chutes and see them shoot through clear pipes to experiment with aerodynamics

    Little Builders challenges and entertains the mind of a child helping to develop intellectual, physical, emotional and social skills. It uses scientific processes, mathematical concepts, sensory development and communication to promote self-confidence, coordination, control, strength and self-expression.

    The Exhibit includes five themed areas:

    Construction Site - Visitors learn the physics of movement and cause-and-effect in the Construction Site, which is located in the Children’s Department. They can start their workday by turning gears, and then climb in, out, over and under the four levels of the Construction Site. On the pattern wall they can design and build a “brick” wall with large interlocking plastic blocks in a variety of sizes and colors.  Visitors can also pretend to paint a wall with real painting equipment to master the craft. They can use fuzzy paint rollers and dip them into trays that are pre coated with “paint.”  

    Structures - Visitors discover the concepts involved in building: size, weight, shape, balance, gravity and stability as they design and build structures. Visitors can build a mini-community on a soft carpet covered with city streets or build three-dimensional structures using a variety of PVC pipe pieces and connectors at the four-sided PVC Pipe House. They can even crawl into miniature Latch Houses and practice fine-motor skills by hooking and unhooking latches while opening and closing doors and shutters, and build pathways, houses, or anything else imaginable with soft oversized blocks.  

    Aerodynamics - Visitors experience and play with the characteristics of air and wind, and how they affect objects. Visitors can insert balls into vertical air chutes and watch them shoot through the clear pipes and pop into a basket. Visitors will watch in amazement as plastic balls mysteriously float, bobbing up and down, above a large orange cone. At the Bernoulli blower, they can feel the force and pressure of air by experimenting with balls and the stream of air that flows up through the hollow cone.  

    Cranes - Young visitors will have opportunities to discover mechanical physics at work —at the mini crane visitors can turn a crank to operate a pulley system to raise and lower objects, use a friction brake to hold or release lifted objects, and use a set of pedals to rotate the crane on its base. Visitors can discover how the crane enables workers to move objects around the construction area and move block cargo to a waiting flatbed car using a gantry crane.  

    Simple Machines - Visitors can pound over-sized nails, turn over-sized screws, and twist over-sized bolts with plastic hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches.  Dropping plastic balls through a series of clear pipes, visitors will watch as the balls travel down a twisty path.  Also, they can work with pipes, balls and levels to explore the fundamentals of plumbing and gravity.  Visitors can work together to move materials back and forth by manipulating a hand-operated conveyer belt.

    Little Builders was created and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon. It will run in the attic through September 2 and will be open Monday through Friday 10-6 and Saturdays from 1-6. We’re excited for children to learn, grow, play, and Build a Better World with this fun new exhibit!

  • IB Readers FB

     Have you ever thought about how readers can change the world? For example, just the other day I needed to do some minor home repair. I read about the problem and what needed to happen—then I fixed the weather stripping on my front door. If I couldn’t read about how to fix the problem (and thankfully this was easy as far as home repair goes), I would still be paying a lot of extra money in heating and cooling bills. Being able to read changed my world. And that is just one example! Here is a list of (a few) other things that readers can do (and in turn how they can change their world):

    • Read travel directions (and then travel)
    • Read about election candidates and their opinions (and then vote)
    • Read music (and then play music)
    • Read how-to manuals for hobbies or repair
    • Read instructions for homework assignments
    • Read directions for cooking recipes
    • Read up about health issues/symptoms/remedies
    • Read about different cultures or languages

    If you think about it, readers can do so many things—they really can change their world and the world of those around them!

    So what does this mean in terms of the Provo City Library? Basically, we believe that we should provide materials and experiences that promote reading. That is why we have so many children’s programs like story time. We show that reading is important (and fun). That is why we have afterschool programs based on crafts, STEAM, or other interesting subjects that we have read about (in books or online). And during the summer (or right now) that is why we have a Summer Reading Program—to encourage people to become readers which in turn will change lives.

    Readers are empowered to learn about anything, to become anything, to be anything. I am a reader! Are you a reader? Do you change the world? Do you believe readers change the world? If so, join me in signing up for the Summer Reading Program. Secondly, read with us all summer. Finally, if you are a reader, then tell all your friends why reading and libraries are important to you. Because we believe that readers change the world!

  • Teen Lock In 2017 FB

    Every year at the end of the Teen Lock-In, I ask the teens if they’ve had fun and they always respond with a resounding “Yes!” Then I ask them what they’d like us to do next year at the Lock-In. Year after year, the teens have said that they want to hang out in the library without any kids or adults in the building.

    Well, it’s finally going to happen! This year, the Teen Lock-In will be on Tuesday, June 20th from 7:00-11:-00 pm. We’ll start the evening in the Ballroom with food, games, crafts, Mario Kart Tournament, book giveaway, and more. 

    2017 Teen Lock In Pictures resized

    After the library closes the teens will get to take over the library! They are welcome to hang out and/or participate in the following activities:

    • Help with the Stuffed Animal Sleepover! This is one of my favorite things we do at the Teen Lock-In each year. It’s fun to be part of the magic and I know that the teens have a lot of fun figuring out what kind of mischief the stuffed animals should get into at the library!
    • Check out library materials—don’t forget to bring your library card!
    • Use the computers on both floors
    • Play Quiplash 
    • Build awesome creations with LEGOs, Lincoln Logs, Keva Planks, Straws and Connectors, and Magna Tiles
    • Play tabletop games

    This year we will also be having a drawing for over 20 door prizes. We have fidget spinners, mystery bags, robot pens, and other fun prizes to give away!

    Teens ages 12-18 are invited to the Lock-In and need to bring a signed permission slip. Permission slips can be found here or at the 1st Floor Reference Desk. We’re looking forward to another fun Teen Lock-In and hope to see lots of teens on June 20th!

  • Food Drive FB

    I’ve always heard conflicting things about food drives: That the type of food people donate isn’t really the kind that people need, that giving people food just exacerbates the problem instead of helping it, etc. Yet at the same time, I really like the idea of helping people in my own community by donating to a food drive. To help separate the truth from the fiction, I thought I’d share a few things I learned about our local food bank, Community Action Services, as I did a little research while I was planning Provo City Library’s own food drive, which is going on now in conjunction with our Summer Reading Program.

    14 percent of Utah County lives in poverty. That means more than 72,000 of our neighbors and friends are severely struggling to make ends meet. To give you an idea of what that looks like, according to the Federal Poverty Guidelines, a family of four is living off less than $24,000 per year. 

    In 2016, Community Action Services boasted the following numbers:

    • 6,499 families served
    • 32,000+ volunteer hours
    • 4 million+ lbs of food distributed
    • Food provided for dozens of partner agencies through Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties. 

    Community Action Services also has a wide range of programs aimed at helping people work their way out of poverty.  Examples of programs they have can be found here.

    The Grocery Rescue program supplements the canned goods people donate with fresh foods, so my concern about people not getting the right types of food has a solution. 

    The food bank accepts expired foods! That is, as long as the can isn’t more than 4 years past the expiration date. For example, in 2017 they will accept donations with expiration dates through 2013. Most cans are still good long after their suggested expiration date. Watch out for signs that the can has really expired. If the can is oozing, bulging, or missing its label, just throw it away. 

    I like that whatever I donate goes to people in my community. And I like that Community Action Services is working to help people out of poverty as well. 

    As mentioned earlier, in the spirit of our summer reading theme of Build a Better World, the Provo City Library is hosting a food drive in partnership with Community Action Services and Food Bank of Provo.  The food drive is going from June 3rd to July 29th. If you would like to help with our summer reading food drive, suggested donations should be non-perishable items like the following: 


    • Wet Goods- Condiments, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Syrups, etc. (Anything that isn't boxed or canned)
    • Canned Meat- Tuna, Chicken, Beef, etc.
    • Canned Fruit- Mandarin Oranges, Peaches, Pears, etc.
    • Soups and Stew
    • Baking goods like Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, etc.
    • Items for Kids’ Nutrition Packs (Granola Bars, Natural Juice Boxes, Apple Sauce, Raisins, Peanut Butter Crackers, Easy Mac, etc.)  

    Hygiene Items:

    • Disposable Diapers (Ages 3-5)
    • Cleaning Supplies
    • Toilet Paper
    • Toothpaste
    • Feminine Hygiene Products (Tampons, Pads, Panty Liners)
    • Bar Soap
    • Shampoo/Conditioner
    • Laundry Soap  

    Of course, because we’re doing this as part of summer reading, each week you donate items to the food drive, you can collect a summer reading code. This leads to badges and contributes to the number of tickets you can enter in the drawing at the end of summer reading for a bunch of prizes, including a $100 MasterCard gift card! So come help us Build a Better World by participating in our summer reading food drive!