Construction is wrapping up this week and library staff are preparing the new space to serve you.
Expanded service hours and access begin June 14
Starting Monday, June 14, the building and drive-up window will be open:
Visit in person
Contact-free services continue
See you soon!
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!
If you’re growing plants this season, the library is here to help with an easy kit from the pros at Didier, links to local plant sales that benefit the College of Lake County and the forest preserves, and expert advice for new and experienced gardeners alike.
Garden Starter Kit
Purchase a five-plant kit from Didier Farms ($9.49 + tax) to get your garden underway this season. Each kit includes 2 tomato plants, 2 pepper plants, and 1 bean plant. Orders are due May 21 and supplies are limited. Pick up your kit June 3 or 4 at Didier Farms, 16678 Aptakisic Rd., Lincolnshire.
To order: complete this form before 2 p.m. Friday, May 21
College of Lake County Plant Sale
The CLC horticulture department is holding its annual plant sale fundraiser virtually this year. Choose from herbs, annuals, perennials, floral hanging baskets, and vegetable plants. Purchase online now through Monday, May 3. Pickup is contact-free, May 6–12, at the college. Proceeds help support CLC horticulture student scholarships and internships.
Lake County Forest Preserves Native Plant Sale
Shop the forest preserve's popular annual sale online this year; your order ships to your door. Choose from native ferns, flowers, plants, shrubs or woody plants suited to almost any backyard. Native plants are beautiful, hardy, easy to maintain, beneficial to the environment, and thrive in Illinois gardens. Get all the details at lcfpd.org/plant-sale.
Gardening Clinic with Master Gardeners • adults
Get answers to all your gardening questions from the master gardeners of the University of Illinois Extension Office. Live online event.
Friday, May 21, 1 p.m. • SIGN UP (required)
How to Plant a Garden • grades K–8 with an adult
An expert from the Lake County Forest Preserve's Bonner Heritage Farm provides basics for planting your own vegetable garden this growing season in this live online event.
Saturday, June 5, 11 a.m. • SIGN UP (required)
Take a turn helping in the Library Garden
The vegetable garden at the library returns this summer and you can help! Volunteering is a great way to enjoy the warm weather and support our community, since all vegetables are donated to neighbors in need. Helping in the garden is light work and all ages are welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult). Volunteer on your own, with a friend, or as a family or small group.
Questions? Email garden@VAPLD.info.
This illustration is from "Place of Peace and Security: Bringing the Library Home During the Pandemic," an online comic by National Public Radio intern Eda Uzunlar. It's part of a series that tells the stories of how, amid the backdrop of a global pandemic, students are being educated in entirely new ways.
The April 27 edition tells the story of how librarian Emily Curtis and bus driver Edwin Steer of Georgetown, Texas, have created places of "peace and security" by delivering books to students. Read it now.
Your library continues to deliver the escape and comfort that books offer. Use these library services to connect with your next good book:
If you don’t have a Vernon Area Library card, get one now so you can use all these services.
If you need help, please connect live with a librarian, Monday–Thursday 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
We no longer quarantine your returned materials for 7 days before we check them in. You may notice your library account now shows your returns as quickly as the next day.
The updated procedures are based on the newest information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that says the risk of catching COVID-19 from surfaces is very low.
Returned books and other materials are held overnight. During that time they are exposed to a high-intensity ultraviolet light and saturated with ozone, which reaches and sterilizes irregular surfaces. This provides an added level of protection and peace of mind for library employees who handle thousands of items each day.
Library staff continue to follow a number of precautions to ensure that they remain safe as they handle returned materials. All employees wear masks while in the library. We clean bins and sorting areas regularly. We encourage frequent hand washing and provide hand sanitizer.
Continued research from the CDC and others shows that COVID-19 mainly spreads through respiratory droplets in the air. You help protect yourself and others and bring this pandemic to an end when you
Movie nights get a fresh take with a Binge Bag from your library. Each bag includes four to six DVDs on a theme. Choose from 56 different flavors, with great choices for viewers of all ages and preferences. Here’s a sampling.
A good choice for this moment, when we’re all itching to be somewhere outside our own four walls. Includes The Blues Brothers, It Happened One Night, Little Miss Sunshine, Thelma & Louise, National Lampoon's Vacation, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
It’s almost wedding season again, though celebrations are bound to be different. Take a deep dive into the ceremonies, festivities, and antics that surround two people making a commitment. Includes Bridesmaids, Father of the Bride, My Best Friend's Wedding, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Wedding Crashers, and The Wedding Singer.
Superhero adventures provide a terrific escape from the ordinary. Includes Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. (If Marvel is more your thing, we’ve got you covered with three Avengers Binge Bags.)
Suave, daring, and on a mission: James Bond doesn’t disappoint adventure-seekers. Includes Casino Royale, Golden Eye, Goldfinger, The Living Daylights, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and The Spy Who Loved Me.
G-rated animation that’s fun for the whole family. Includes How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, Trolls, Kung Fu Panda, The Boss Baby, and Madagascar.
If your interest is piqued, browse all Binge Bags now and reserve your pick(s) for curbside pickup. Keep each bag for up to three weeks.