Graphic novels are fun, but are they real reading? According to learning experts, the answer is yes! In fact, the words-plus-pictures format of graphic novels provides a full-brain workout. Big benefits include:
Plus, graphic novels get kids excited about reading, and that’s important. Teach a child to love reading, and a lifetime of learning will follow.
Get reading suggestions for:
You can also browse/search graphic novels in the library catalog. Or head to Hoopla to find and instantly download graphic novels and comics. Use your Vernon Area Library card to check out up to 15 e-books a month from Hoopla.
In February, the library began a goodwill project to connect with homebound patrons: handcrafted bookmarks to deliver with books.
At the time, longtime volunteers were looking for ways to contribute safely from home. When library staff suggested creating bookmarks, several volunteers were interested.
They began using their crafting or computer skills to make a variety of bookmarks. Volunteers Pat Schwartz and Jane Willer dedicated themselves to the project. Each creates up to 24 bookmarks a month.
The Senior & Homebound Delivery Team make sure the uplifting messages and artwork get into the hands of readers. They tuck each bookmark into a book with a note saying it was made by a library volunteer.
One recipient wrote a thank-you note, saying “What a lovely bookmark and thought."
Senior & Homebound Delivery service is available to people living in the library district who are unable to visit in person because of illness or disability. Learn more.
Attend an outdoor concert, storytime, or class at the library this summer!
The free community events are a pleasant — and socially distanced — way to re-engage in experiences with your neighbors.
Next up: For little ones, Sun & Fun Storytimes begin Wednesday, June 30, and continue weekly through August, with some sessions scheduled for Saturdays. Designed for ages 0 to 6 with an adult, each storytime features carefully selected books, rhymes, songs, and movements that boost early learning...and are a whole lot of fun, too!
All ages are welcome at the Saturday, July 10, family concert with singer and guitarist Sarah Jayne Lane. A Chicagoland favorite, Lane is accompanied by Michael Tooles on djembe drum in a rollicking performance of kindie rock and pop songs retooled for young listeners. Don’t miss this jammin’ good time!
Outdoor senior series concerts are filling fast: Just a few spaces are left for Vintage Songs of Summer with Cynthia & Matt Gruel on July 6. Signup begins July 3 for an August 3 Blues & Roots Concert with Joe Filisko & Eric Noden. (Get notifications about events like this.)
In-person programs take place on the Annex lawn, beside the Library Garden. Registration is required for all outdoor happenings, and sign-up begins 30 days before each event. Check calendar listings for particulars like mask requirements, what to bring, and where to park. Rain dates are listed, too...just in case.
Online events continue, too.
See you at the library or online!
When books are done being library books, sometimes they become Little Free Library books
Books are taken out of the library collection when they are no longer being checked out or when they’re replaced with new editions. Some of these withdrawn books get a second life as part of Little Free Libraries, the neighborhood boxes that invite readers to take a book of their choice. Over the years, Vernon Area Public Library has contributed withdrawn books to supply Little Free Libraries around the area.
And as new ones pop up, Vernon Area Library is helping stock them, getting more books into the hands of readers, especially children.
When the Buffalo Grove Police Department decided to set up a Little Free Library outside the station, Officer Matt Mills contacted Janice Kellman, Vernon Area Library’s head of community engagement and programming, about the project. “I will gladly take any books [Vernon Area] would like to donate.” wrote Mills. “I would like to include a few adult titles, but...it will be mostly children's books. If you have any [other] languages you'd like to donate, that would be a great addition as well.” Officer Ross Valstyn partnered with Mills on the project.
The new Little Free Library was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday June 10. Buffalo Grove isn’t stopping at a Little Free Library. The police department is also installing a patio outfitted with a picnic table and bench, welcoming visitors and readers. The project is expected to be completed in late summer. Vernon Area Library will supply books for the community site.
Earlier in June, Kellman delivered books to three Little Free Libraries around Lincolnshire — at Spring Lake Park (49 Oxford Drive), Memorial Park (47 Half Day Road), and Trailhead Park (101 Riverside Road). These freestanding mini libraries are part of Grandma Karen’s Book Share, established in memory of Karen Wadler, who was an educator and librarian in North Shore communities for 40 years.
After Wadler retired, she volunteered at Vernon Area Public Library, where she assisted students in the twice-weekly ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. Now, “Grandma Karen’s” passion for reading is being remembered and celebrated by her family.
“She loved children, she loved reading, and she loved books, and we brought all of those together with the concept of these little libraries,” said Jeff Wadler, Karen’s husband.
The Wadlers have dedicated 25 Little Free Libraries around the Chicago suburbs so far this year and hope to have 75 in place by the end of next summer. A dedicated volunteer at Vernon Area Library is periodically checking and replenishing the three Lincolnshire locations of Grandma Karen’s Book Share.
The next time you spot a Little Free Library, stop and take a look inside. You might find your next good book!
Welcome back to the library building!
We are thrilled to reopen the doors after a 5-month project that added:
Since many library visitors are under age 12 and unable to be vaccinated, all visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask. If you forget yours, just ask any staff member. We’re keeping a supply ready.
A couple of other things you should know: no food or drink in the library, for now. (Drinking water fountains are open.) And please limit your visit to no more than 1 hour.
Stop in to...
The library is open longer than ever before:
Monday–Thursday 9 AM–9 PM
Friday & Saturday 9 AM–5 PM
Sunday 10 AM–5 PM
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Contact-free services continue
You choose how you prefer to tap into all that the library has to offer. These services continue:
Each June, people across the nation mark Pride Month, recognizing the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history and the significant contributions LGBTQ+ people make in our communities each day.
Why June? The 28th of this month is the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The following year, the first Gay Pride Day was held in Greenwich Village on the last Sunday of June. Three to five thousand marchers attended that inaugural Pride in New York City; today, Big Apple marchers number in the millions.
Over the years, Pride celebrations have spread to cities and towns across the nation, and now encompass a month-long series of events, including memorials for LGBTQ+ people who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.
June is a great time to think, learn, and talk about civil rights and the freedoms that not everyone has been granted, that have been won only through struggle.
"It takes no compromise to give people their rights.... It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom."
To find out more about Pride Month:
Reading suggestions for adults
Real Life by Brandon Taylor follows an introverted and guarded college student over the course of a single weekend as he battles with loneliness, racism, trauma, and sexual identity have led him to value self-preservation above all. Taylor gives readers a window directly into the protagonist's innermost thoughts.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo is a creative and fantastical take on The Great Gatsby. Told through the eyes of Jordan Baker, reimagined as a queer Vietnamese woman, as she navigates the magical and shady world of Jazz Age New York City, this is a refreshing look at a classic story.
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur is the book equivalent of a comforting rom-com movie, with all the right ingredients: a fake relationship, opposites attract, and relatable characters. When Darcy, a logical actuary, and Elle, a free-spirited astrologer, pretend to date to solve their work and family woes, it becomes clear that they run the risk of developing more than fake feelings for each other.
cloudLibrary: Read the Rainbow
Libby / OverDrive: Pride Month
Vernon Area Library LGBTQ+ Favorites for Adults (printable bookmark)
Suggestions for teens
cloudLibrary fiction, nonfiction
Hoopla fiction, nonfiction
Libby / OverDrive: Read the Rainbow, A Rainbow of Stories
Vernon Area Library LGBTQ+ Favorites for Teens (printable bookmark)
Suggestions for young readers
"Summer Camp," the annual reading and activities series, is back for the warm weather months. Join when you like, where you are. The program is open to all ages — babies, children, teens, and adults. Participate by reading or doing activities, differentiated by age group each week.
Join in one week, a few, or all — now through August 8. When you complete a themed camp session, like Arts & Crafts, claim your badge and you'll be entered into raffles to win prizes from local businesses.
A new component this year, "Do Some Good," suggests modest donations to local charities, to help neighbors in need and strengthen our community.
For get started or lean more, visit camp.VAPLD.info.
The library's print publication is back for summer, with lots more info and an all-new look. If you live in the Vernon Area library district, check your mailbox for your copy.
Keep it handy all summer long to read stories about how the library makes a positive difference in our community, find out about great resources for every age group, and get a glimpse of the events planned for June, July, and August.
You'll find articles on
Or get a sneak peek of the Library Quarterly now.
For voracious readers, here are several culinary-inspired titles to satiate your appetite for stories and maybe even give you inspiration for your next meal. These captivating works feature vivid settings, lively characters, and unforgettable writing. And the authors have penned mouth-watering descriptions of food, whether it's comfort food or a new cuisine to try.
This mix of fiction and nonfiction reminds us of the joy and emotional connections we find through food, whether we're doing the tasting or the cooking!
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala is the start of a new cozy mystery series with plenty of humor, drama, and tempting recipes. Lila has a lot on her plate: a nasty breakup in the rearview mirror, meddling relatives, and a failing family restaurant. After a food critic dies at the eatery, Lila becomes Suspect Number One and, to prove her innocence, decides to take charge. With a little romance on the side and lots of delicious Filipino foods, this is a feel-good mystery, despite that pesky murder. [e-book | print]
Familiar to some music fans as the founder of the group Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner has written a moving memoir that will speak to anyone who has lost a parent. In Crying in H Mart, Zauner unpacks her emotions about her rocky adolescence and complicated relationship with her mother through her memories of and ties to food. In addition to processing the rawness of grief, Zauner muses on her identity as an Asian American and how the loss of her mother also meant the loss of her connection to Korea. [e-book | print]
Uzma Jalaluddin (Ayesha at Last) is back with another charming rom-com, Hana Khan Carries On. A server at the only halal restaurant in her neighborhood, Hana's real passion is podcasting, even if she can’t get her foot in the door at the local radio station. When a new restaurant (with a handsome young owner) opens nearby and mysterious relatives appear to stir up long-buried family secrets, Hana digs deep to make the best of the chaos. [e-book | print]
Despite the wartime setting, The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan is light and uplifting historical fiction. It’s 1942, and four women are vying to co-host a BBC cooking contest, each seeing the opportunity as the answer to her problems. Amidst the stress of rationing, competition, and worries at home, the women find strength within themselves and in their unlikely friendships. Try the audiobook for lively accents that make each competitor leap off the page. [e-book | print | large type | audiobook]
Heather Webber takes readers on a magical journey of self-discovery and forgiveness in Midnight at the Blackbird Café. After the death of her grandmother, Anna Kate returns to Wicklow, Alabama, to tie up loose ends and close her grandmother’s restaurant. Instead, she finds herself drawn to the town and the unanswered questions it raises about her family, local secrets, and a longstanding feud. The combination of small-town charm, a little romance, and a sprinkling of magic makes for a comforting read. [print]
If you’re raring to get into the kitchen and try something new, read In Bibi's Kitchen by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen. Much more than a cookbook, this is a collection of recipes handpicked by grandmothers from eight African nations, accompanied by an interview with each grandmother, or bibi. The personal stories highlight how food and identity are intertwined. If the cuisines are new to you, the recipes are accessible, suggesting substitutions or ingredients that you can find online or in large cities. [print]
To get suggestions like these in your inbox, subscribe to Books & Authors emails.
For more bookish content, head to VAPLD.info/readers.
Local health measures are improving. Vaccines are widely available. The library construction project is nearing completion. We are all ready to turn the page on this long, challenging year.
As we look to the Illinois reopening, we are excited to announce these expanded services:
A slate of free, in-person events welcomes you back to the library campus this summer. Sign up to attend outdoor art workshops, storytimes, and concerts. Online programs will continue, too. Find everything that’s going on at calendar.VAPLD.info.
If you've used curbside pickup recently, you may have noticed the progress on the outside of the building, including roof work and grading. On the inside, the ceiling and floor are being installed in the drive-up window work space, and the main entry doors went in this week.
When the project is done, the new drive-up service window will improve access, safety, and convenience for everyone. Inclement weather and supply delays have put the project slightly behind schedule, but the contractor is working Saturdays to complete the job as quickly as possible. We’re expecting this to be around the middle of June.
You’ll soon be able to enter the library building, browse the shelves, and use the public computers and copy center. The construction project includes a new covered walkway from the parking lot and a redesigned main entry.
Vernon Area Public Library is committed to providing library services in a way that protects library workers, patrons, and the most vulnerable members of our community. We’re moving toward expanding services and building access as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your continued support and many kind messages over these past months. We look forward to seeing you in person!