Don't miss an online event with best-selling author Jacqueline Woodson — a National Book Award winner and 2020 MacArthur Fellow. The Thursday, March 18, virtual visit caps off this season's One Book, One Community series.
In Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson tells a compelling story that is timely and important. The novel examines the influence of history and community on the experiences, decisions, and relationships of the members of two Black families who are brought together by a teen pregnancy.
At about 200 pages, this best seller and New York Times Notable Book of the Year makes for a quick and engaging read. Borrow a copy.
Woodson will speak to the viewing audience about her work and its role in the world today during the March 18 online event. The program is free and open to all. Registration is required; if you have a question for the author, you may suggest it when you register.
Author Visit: Jacqueline Woodson
Thursday, March 18, 7 p.m.
For the past several Martin Luther King Jr. Days, the library has hosted a service project for families to create scarves or blankets for local people in need. But this year, with the library building closed, organizer Jen Ernsteen was trying to figure out how to coordinate the popular project and do so safely. That’s when she learned from Cory Sesko, the library’s volunteer coordinator, that many longtime volunteers were looking for ways to contribute remotely.
So the annual project found a home, and willing hands, with eight adult volunteers. The result? A dozen warm fleece blankets were carefully crafted for delivery to patients at the Heartland Hospice in Buffalo Grove.
“Having lost a parent to cancer, I look for opportunities to work with hospice organizations. Gestures like this mean a lot, not just to the patient but the whole family,” said Ernsteen.
The project proved beneficial to all involved. Volunteer Ellen K. remarked, “It’s nice to know I’m giving a warm ‘hug’ when hugs are few and far between lately...doing this brought a smile to my face.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the library’s volunteers. Despite COVID mitigations, they continue to seek out ways to safely make kind and meaningful contributions to the library, their neighbors, and community,” added Sesko.
The fleece blankets were collected and quarantined before delivery to Heartland Hospice.
Library staff are brainstorming similar projects to involve patrons. “We know from experience that Vernon Area Library patrons are community-minded and want to help others,” said Ernsteen.
This year’s One Book series, the fifth annual, invites readers of all ages to join the community-wide movement by reading books by award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson and participating in related programs.
Events take place online, are free and open to all, regardless of which library you belong to. Registration is required.
For readers as young as kindergarten, check out The Day You Begin, a picture book that explores what it feels like when you walk into a room and there’s no one there who is quite like you. On Thursday, February 18, Vernon Area youth librarian Miss Jane leads a step-by-step art program inspired by this book. Though there’s a waiting list for the K–2 session of Mixed Media Self-Portrait, there are a few spots in the session for grades 3–5. Plus, there will be a YouTube recording of the event, which you’ll be able to watch and follow along on demand after February 19. (Bookmark the library’s YouTube channel.)
Grades K–5 are invited to the premiere of the new play "Colors of Thunder," the morning of Saturday, February 20. In this live, online performance, a routine traffic stop turns tense — and then takes an unexpected twist. Warning: may cause laughter, thinking, and for the tune 'Baby Shark' to be stuck in your head.
On Friday, February 12, students in grades 5–6 can get in on a discussion of Brown Girl Dreaming at Tweens Read, also hosted by Cook Memorial Library. Readers in grades 6–8 can join the Junior High Book Discussion, hosted by Vernon Area, on Tuesday, February 16.
Middle school readers are also welcome at partner library Indian Trails' Book Club discussion of Brown Girl Dreaming on Tuesday, February 23.
Teen readers can add their voice to a discussion of Brown Girl Dreaming at the Vernon Area Library Off the Page Book Club on Monday, February 22 or the Indian Trails Library Book Club on Tuesday, February 23.
High school students are also encouraged to attend a live online event with author Jacqueline Woodson on Thursday, March 18, as she discusses writing and her inspiration for this year’s main One Book selection, Red at the Bone.
For more information, including parent resources, visit 1book.org.
Robust use of Vernon Area Public Library’s services has placed the library in the top 5 percent of the nation’s public libraries for community engagement. For the 13th year, Library Journal looked at thousands of libraries across the country and used key measurements to zero in on a relatively short list of top performers.
Library Journal recently announced its “Star Libraries” for 2020, giving star status to 262 of the 5,608 libraries it evaluated. The evaluation was based on the most recently reported data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for fiscal year 2018, which ended in June 2019.
The industry publication rates libraries by volume of public use as measured by per capita circulation of physical and electronic materials, library visits, program attendance, public internet access, and Wi-Fi sessions. A combined score identifies the top performers—“Star Libraries”—which are awarded three, four, or five stars, similar to the Michelin Guide’s restaurant ratings.
Vernon Area Public Library District received a 4-star rating and this was the sixth consecutive year that the library was included on the national list. Fifteen other Illinois libraries earned star status including nearby Northbrook, Ela (Lake Zurich), and Lake Forest public libraries.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition. We’re fortunate to serve a community that supports their public library, and to have a Board of Library Trustees that is committed to providing the best services to the community,” said Library Director Cynthia Fuerst. “It’s wonderful for our staff’s dedication and hard work to be recognized like this.”
Library Journal's annual list is used by the library industry to identify best practices and trends in library use. The full list of 262 ranked libraries, detailed explanation of the index measurements and information about trends are available online at libraryjournal.com.
For many Asian people the world over, Lunar New Year is a major celebration. Since the lunar calendar is based on the moon’s cycles, the dates of the holiday vary from year to year, falling sometime between January 21 and February 20. This year the holiday falls on February 12, the first new moon of the lunar year.
In the Chinese zodiac, 2021 is the Year of the Ox, an animal associated with hard work, reliability, and honesty — characteristics that, according to astrologers, will be manifested in us humans over the coming twelve months.
In China, an important part of the Lunar New Year celebration is the lion dance, performed to bring prosperity and good luck in the coming year.
To mark the Lunar New Year, library staff have put together two crafts you can make at home, using everyday art supplies. Click on these links for the supplies list, step-by-step instructions, and printable templates:
Or, pick up a Lunar New Year Take & Make Kit curbside at the library. (Please note curbside pickup hours!)
Whether or not you’re getting crafty, you can get festive: Gather ’round for an on-demand video story time with Miss Laura in a reading of The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, a lovely picture book written by Gabrielle Wang and illustrated by Sally Rippin.
Gong hei fat choy!
The first contractors arrived on the job this bright winter morning to begin work on the new drive-up service window. The window will make it easier and safer for patrons who would like a contact-free pickup option for their library materials.
Part of the existing front porch will be enclosed to create the window and an adjoining workroom. Also, the library’s main entry doors will be turned to face the walkway and an overhang will be added to cover the sidewalk from the parking lot to the doors, giving everyone more convenient access.
When construction is completed, currently slated for May 2021, the drive-up window will allow the library to safely serve more people, more efficiently — even after the pandemic is over.
Until the new window opens, the library continues to offer curbside pickup service at a temporary location at the back of the building. As you enter the parking lot from Olde Half Day Road, keep to the right and follow the signs to the new pickup point.
A building project is getting underway at the library: we're adding a drive-up service lane and window. When finished, it will be easier and more convenient than ever to pick up your library materials.
Curbside pickup is now at the back of the parking lot: As you enter from Olde Half Day Road, veer right and follow the signs to the back of the lot. Signs there will direct you, whether you're dropping off, picking up, or both.
There are three options for book returns:
When the construction project is completed in spring, you'll be able to use the convenient drive-up to collect your library orders.
The construction project will be paid for using existing funds earmarked for building improvements.
We’re all still getting used to this new normal. Maybe housework seems unmanageable, especially if your home is filled (all the time) with people working or learning remotely. Or you're trying to figure out how to parent while you cope with ever-changing circumstances. Could be that you need to make ends meet on a tighter budget (you’re not alone).
Your library is here to give you an assist, provide you with info, and connect you with resources. Check out these upcoming programs. They’re free, open to all, and take place online. Registration is required.
Author Visit: Clean Mama
"Clean Mama" Becky Rapinchuk believes cleaning your home can be quick and fun. Her simple household routines have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, and other national media. Join this online event to hear her talk about the tips in Clean Mama’s Guide to a Peaceful Home. This new book features Rapinchuk's systems and habits that help make housekeeping easy and make your home a comfortable haven.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 1 PM • register
Parent Program: Living with Uncertainty
The CPN, a program of the Stevenson Foundation, presents a conversation with Dr. Caroline Adelman, clinical psychologist, and Mara Heichman CPC, ELIMP, who address questions on how we rise up to meet the challenges of the new normal and let go of what used to be.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 7 PM • register
Money Skills for Tough Times
Whether you're dealing with a reduced income, bills you can't pay, or trying to make your dollars stretch as far as possible, there's something in this class for you. Learn tried-and-true techniques like tracking spending and creating a spending plan plus how to prioritize when you can't pay everyone and how to work with creditors. Links to free worksheets, calculators, and other tools help you put what you learn into action. Even if you're already a good money manager, this is a good refresher.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 7 PM • register
just added! — Yoga at Your Desk
Learn easy seated moves that relieve back and neck pain. Yoga instructor Rebecca Wilhelm explains how to establish and maintain good posture, then guides you through beneficial stretches you can do anytime.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 4 PM • register
You can do good, right where you are and completely safely. Volunteer work is needed now more than ever, and volunteering is a great way to feel connected in a world of social distancing.
If you're an adult or teen who would like to give your time and talents to help others, there are remote and web-based ways to do just that. Library staff who keep tabs on volunteerism have rounded up opportunities for community members like you to help a variety of organizations, here in Lake County and elsewhere.
Adult volunteers (ages 18 and up) can check out the library's guide to organizations and opportunities here. If you'd like your contribution to be specific to the Covid-19 pandemic, consider these options.
If you're in grades 7–12, give back and earn service hours; get started here.
If you need help of any kind during this extraordinary time, please begin here.
To everyone, stay safe and be well.
Every month, your library offers a full calendar of events to take part in right where you are, including:
All programs are free and take place online. Registration is usually required. Since no library card is needed for most programs, you can share these experiences with friends and family, too. It's a great way to connect over the miles.
Bonus: Find something to do anytime
Check out the Activity Finder to choose from the best of the web's free cultural and educational sites, including on-demand engagements as well as live happenings to join in real time.
There's something here for all ages and the whole family, including cooking, science exploration, nature and wildlife, virtual museum tours. The latest update to the Finder includes screen-free options, so you're not tied to a computer, tablet, or phone. Check it out whenever you're looking for a great way to spend your down time. Library card not required.