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Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It's winter time and that means it's time to "chill." Whether you're putting on a sweater to keep out the cold or kicking up your feet with a book, consult our "chill" page to see some of the ways we can help you work, learn, play, and chill this winter.

Consumer Reports

Stressing about buying gifts and spending money is the opposite of chilling out. That's why we're promoting our online access to Consumer Reports this month. You can read articles online or download full issues through Zinio from home with your library card!

Holiday Book Sale

Also, why not save some money at the Friends of the Library Holiday Book Sale this weekend. Not only will you find gently used books, you can also pick up a copy of the recently released Images of America: Des Plaines, a history of Des Plaines told in pictures. (Read more about the book on our Positively Ellinwood blog).

Winter Reading Clubs

Also, stay tuned for more information about our Winter Reading Clubs for kids, teens, and adults. They start in January.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Well, it's that time of the year again--turkeys, stuffing, pumpkin pie. You know the drill! The library will be closed on Thanksgiving day, and will reopen on Friday. Even though the library is closed, we encourage you to use our online catalog and to download eBooks, music, and magazines. You can do all of that while cooking, cleaning, and recuperating from the holiday!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful chance to pause, reflect on what we have, and to be thankful. As I was searching through our online digital collection, Des Plaines Memory, though, I was reminded that there are some cranky people out there who don't appreciate Thanksgiving, including one Charles Bennett.

Charles Bennett was a schoolmaster in Des Plaines in the 1850s. We recently added one of his personal diaries to Des Plaines Memory, our online collection of old photographs, postcards, and letters.  We like to think of Mr. Bennett as our resident "crank from the past." He didn't seem to enjoy being a schoolmaster all that much.

It just so happens that his diary contains the following entry for Thanksgiving day. Here's what Mr. Bennett had to say:
To day is Thanksgiving, at
least so says the Governor. But I have disobeyed his
orders, Thanksgiving is not
observed among the "natives".
And I generally make it
a rule to do according to custom
that is, when convenient. Caught one chap eating his dinner
today. I put the tempting morsel
out his sight. I think I shall
keep Saturday, that is, if it do
not get a walking ticket before
that time, I design going to town
tonight in company with one of
the pupils, to see the friends, With Sentiments of Respect
and Esteem, I remain, Your most obedient and humble
Servant, "Schule Master"
Well, I hope you have a more pleasant and relaxing Thanksgiving than our Mr. Bennett did!

P.S. For more "old timey stuff" check out our Thanksgiving Des Plaines style posts from a few years back.

Friday, November 9, 2012

We're a Star Library!

Every year the publication Library Journal compares libraries around the country to create their Star Libraries list. We're happy to say that the Des Plaines Public Library is one of 20 Star Libraries in Illinois and one of 5 in the area.

Being a Star Library

What does being on the list mean? The Star Library list looks at four key things that libraries do:
  • library visits 
  • circulation 
  • program attendance
  • public Internet computer use
They measure how much of these things libraries do relative to their size and budget and rate the libraries. The Library Journal is quick to point out that the Star scores don't rate the quality or impact of these services. The scores "measure the levels of library service delivery relative to peer libraries nationally." (Star List FAQ). Being on the list means that we offer a lot of materials, programs, and services to you. Of course, it also means that a lot of you use what we offer!

The LJ Star List
Looking at the Numbers

To put the Star List rankings in context, here are some numbers from 2011 that indicate everything we do here at the library:
We had 598,389 people visit the library.

We circulated 1,176,477 items and 6,022 eMaterials.

We had 17,273 people come to our programs.

Our public computers were used 107,123 times and our public wifi was used 55,673  times.
And we did all of this while reducing the tax levy! 

So, the upshot is that we are working to be an efficient library that continues to offer you a wide range of materials and services. Based on the numbers, it seems like we're doing a pretty good job. What do you think?

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Month Ahead: November 2012

Here's a quick look at the month ahead at the Des Plaines Public Library:

Are you writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month? If so, come to the library every Tuesday evening in November. We're hosting write-ins to help you write 50,000 words by the end of the month.

We're also celebrating books with Family Reading Night. Pick up a Reading Night bag from the 2nd floor and read as a family on November 15th.

The holiday season is coming and the Frugal Friends are here to help. Join them on November 11th for "Frugal Gift Giving" ideas. You can also follow our Frugal Friends Pinterest board for more money saving tips.

Speaking of stress, in November, we're featuring resources to help reduce homework stress. We have great free resources like HelpNow that offers live, online tutoring.

At the end of the month, teens can get into new books at our BookBlitz program on November 27th. The theme for this month is "Fall into Fantasy."

Finally, we need your help to improve the website. Take our online survey so we can make the website better.

For more information about the month ahead, checkout our website at:

Music: Metrotechno, "stereotype"