Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Chance for Museum Adventures !

Summer may be halfway through, but there's still time to enjoy a museum adventure or two !
The Museum Adventure Pass Program at the libraries expires this August 31st.

You still have five weeks to sign up in the Youth Services department for a weekly discounted pass to visit one of seventeen wonderful local suburban museums and parks. All you need is your Des Plaines library card! Four passes are available for each museum each week on a first-come first-served basis. Passes are good for one full week from the issue date, and you can select your favorite destination again in the weeks that follow.

So why not take a mini-vacation on us (and Macy's) to share with your children the wonders of Brookfield Zoo's animals, Cantigny Park's tanks, Chicago Botanic Garden's Japanese islands, Morton Arboretum's children's playland, or Mitchell Museum's Native American artifacts to name a few. A complete description of the participating museums including their web addresses is available at the Youth Services desk to help you with your selection.

To those families who have made use of the Museum Adventure Pass Program over the past year, a special thank you for using your Des Plaines library card to expand your children's world and to enrich their lives in this unique way.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


If you have not tried it yet, you simply must check out the newest version of our online library catalog known as mycatalog. This new system enables you to register your library card and have access to your entire library record (items checked out, contact information, holds) as well as giving you the ability to participate in a world of other activities at the library, at home, or on the go. You can place your own holds, create virtual shelves of books you have already read or would like to read, create lists to share of books you recommend or on a particular topic...you can use it any way you see fit. In addition you can write reviews, see others' recommendations, and be involved in the virtual library community.

Getting yourself registered is pretty simple. Be sure to have your library card at the ready.

To begin, you can link to mycatalog from the left side of the library's home page at dppl.org.

Once you're there, click on the MY DPPL tab.

Type in your library card number (without spaces between the numbers) and your password.
If you have never changed your password, it should still be the word patron. If this does not work for you, try using the "Forgot you Password?" feature.

Once you get logged in, the system will ask you to create a username. This could be your first name, a nickname, a combination of letters and numbers, but something that will maintain your privacy. This will be the screen name that displays if you write comments or share lists.

The process is simple, but please don't hesitate to call or stop in the library if you have any difficulty getting youself or your child registered. We are very excited about this wonderful new resource and can't wait to get you on board! We hope you will find mycatalog as refreshing and helpful as we do.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Looking for a little Summer Fling?

If the absence of the Taste of Des Plaines from the Library Plaza at the beginning of June left you feeling disappointed, then get yourself ready for the Des Plaines Summer Fling.  Beginning yesterday, June 21, and running through Sunday you can join in the fun in Downtown Des Plaines.  Bring your entire family for fun, food, and entertainment. 

For more information on the Summer Fling, look no further than the Special Events site for the City of Des Plaines here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter Mania

For those of you who slept through the weekend, you may not have heard stats like 'Harry Potter 7.2 beat the record for best Thursday night opening with 45 million dollars', or 'Harry Potter 7.2 has the biggest weekend opener ever, making $168.6 million'.  I know you are thinking: "I'm sorry - did you just say that the last of 8 Harry Potter films made 168.6 million dollars... in one weekend?" And yes, it is true.

Before you start getting upset about how the country is most likely in a double-dip recession and some production company just made 16% of a Billion dollars, think about how important a lesson just occurred.  I heard the stats and I cried.  I cried?  What kind of a response is that?  My husband looked at me and said, "What are you crying about?  You are talking about sales statistics?"  Well, let me tell you...

I cried for several reasons - not the least of which is that I cry at every book's ending.  A cathartic response to saying goodbye to characters I have loved for 250 - 500 pages, I cry at the end of almost every book I read.  If I don't cry - then I didn't really like the book at all, and while my plans to see the movie don't occur until this upcoming weekend, I know I won't be disappointed (I take no shame in crying in public).

But the biggest reason I cried is probably the most important.  I sat there in the car, listened to the statistics, and began talking about a set of books that defined an entire generation, a set of books that were meant for children, but read and loved by old and young alike, a set of books that has been translated into more than 26 languages and crossed cultures and country borders, a set of books that required crowd control at the release of its 7th and final installment.  As if that weren't enough, it is my opinion that Harry Potter brought boys back to reading.  The boys who already read, they don't need a good story with a large amount of hype to pick a book up off of the shelf, but most do... and in 1998, Harry Potter delivered.  

Yes.... I am crying even writing this.

The movies have made the books even bigger, but it hasn't been since STAR Wars that a series of movies or books defined a generation so broadly.  The way my dad talks about taking my brother to see STAR Wars when he was young is the way you might talk about taking your kids to see the Harry Potter movies when they are older.  If you haven't read any of the books yet, don't hesitate to pick them up and begin.  Taking a long car trip?  Check out the audio versions of the books... they are most wonderful (and Tony award winning).  Read them already?  You know you want to read them again.

Most people who already read the entire series when they first came out read them multiple times.  Every time a new movie came out, mysteriously all copies of Harry Potter books were gone in an instant... people come back again and again wanting the comfort of an old friend.  And yes, in these hard and sometimes harsh economic times, it might seem a little frivolous of us to spend 168.6 Million dollars in a weekend, but it is in these times that people reach for something to comfort them, and this weekend, we all reached for a little magic in the hand of Harry Potter.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Check It Out: We are...The Laurie Berkner Band

Dreading long drives with the family this summer? Looking for something to play on your car's DVD player that will keep the kids entertained AND not drive you crazy while you drive? Check out We are....The Laurie Berkner Band!

This DVD features 11 music videos for some of The Laurie Berkner Band's most popular songs. Each song is introduced by kids saying the title of the song. Then the music video starts. Some of the songs are performed on a simpler background of colored lights on the walls. Others have a more elaborate setup, for example "Under a Shady Tree" looks like the band is at the beach.

Kids are involved in most of the songs. They pretend to act like bees in "Bumblebee" or marching, eating, and sleeping during "We Are the Dinosaurs." In "O Susannah" a trio of girls sings along in the microphone and plays instruments. The kids are energetic and look like they're having lots of fun. The band looks like they're having a great time too and it comes through in their energetic performance and music.

You can play the DVD from start to finish, or just select which songs to play. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like you can skip ahead during the play all feature to get to the next song. These catchy songs made me want to get up and dance (as well as roar like a dinosaur). The entire DVD lasts 31 minutes, which went by very quick. Kids will be asking to watch it again, and the music is so poppy you'll want to listen to it again too.

There are a couple of bonus features on the DVD: behind the scenes, and two extra songs. The DVD also comes with a bonus CD so you can always play that in the car (or just dance around to it at home).

Next time you're in the library make sure you stop at the desk and see if We are...The Laurie Berkner Band is in!

We are...The Laurie Berkner Band

Check It Out blog posts take a look at DVDs in the Youth Services collection that you might not know about. Look for more Check It Out segments in the future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Miss Cinderella?

Did you miss our Cinderella programs?  We made our own fairy wings, and you can too!  The most fun part is that they are extremely inexpensive to make and could be made with things you would find in your home like: duct tape, wire hangers from the dry cleaners, and knee-high stockings.  We had our version of how to make and decorate them, but for the most part, it was similar to this one: here.

If you have any questions or want more crafty ideas, don't hesitate to stop by the Youth Services department.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Are your children getting excited?!?

With the release of the newest and final Harry Potter movie, and its British premiere yesterday, your children are probably getting excited.  You may have sat with your children as your family read the first Harry Potter books aloud, or listened to them on a long car trip to a family vacation, or you may just know them through the movies.  Whatever the way you became familiar with Mr. Potter, there is no denying it... there is something about that kid.

If your family is getting as excited about movie 7.2, bring them in to the library on Tuesday, July 12th.  From 5:30 to 8:30 in the evening, we are having our Harry Potter Party where they can decorate their own wand, finger knit a house scarf, play in our Quidditch cup relay races, and enter the raffle to win one of our awesome wand making books.  During the party, the program Hidden Harry Potter will be going on in Friends rooms B and C on the first floor for adults and families with children 10 and up.  Movie expert Steven Frenzel will take you through the movies of Harry Potter to show you the hidden meaning behind the sets, lines, and what you can't see 'behind the scenes'.

While you are in, check out one of the books or Tony Award winning Audiobooks and share them with your family.  Start your own Harry Potter family tradition if it hasn't already been started.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Boys' Toys

"Little boys like little (inexpensive) toys, big boys like big (expensive) toys." These were words of wisdom (warning) to me from my father when my son was young. I don't have any brothers, so my father was always a little worried that I wouldn't quite know what to do with a son.

Unfortunately, my father was correct my son's case. A youthful interest in toy cars gave way to an interest in the real thing. Fortunately, there are local opportunities to see some great cars, without having to buy one.

The Bluesmobile Cruise Nights are just up Northwest Highway from the Des Plaines Public Library on Saturday nights from 6-9 p.m. They are held in the Metra parking lot at Route 83 and Northwest Highway in Mount Prospect. Each week features a different theme , so there are always new cars to see. (Don't tell the "boys" at my house that Corvette Night is August 27. That is a way too expensive toy for us. We'll stick to reading Corvette by Michael Bradley.)

The Des Plaines Fall Fest at Lake Park will also include a car show on Sept 17 and 18.

Do you know of any other local Cruise nights or car shows? Let me know so I can drive on over.