Your New Best Friend: Libby!

Let’s face it there are not enough hours in the day.

Between work, chores, food, kids, pets, and all the other responsibilities that plague the average adult, it is amazing that anyone has the time to do anything for the sheer pleasure of it. Maybe you squeeze in time at the gym? Maybe you cook a good meal once and awhile? But when was the last time you were able to totally lose yourself in a good book?

Friends, I am here to let you in on a little secret.
Her name is Libby and she is a game changer.

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Libby (developed by Overdrive) is an app for your phone or tablet which allows you to download eBooks and audio books FOR FREE!! What this means is your morning commute, run at the gym, or waiting for an appointment are all opportunities for a little literary pick-me-up.

Hear me out. Maybe you haven’t read or listened to a book in years. Maybe you are unsure if you would like an audio book? Believe me when I say that Libby makes it so easy! It takes two seconds to add this app to your phone, and the variety of books is worth it. Also, Libby can give you recommendations based on what you like!

I suffer from insomnia so being able to turn on my phone at 3 am and have access to hundreds of titles is just awesome. I have read so many more books since downloading the Libby App!

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For example, recently I was having a horribly stressful day but still had to face the grocery store because…life. On a whim, I decided to bring my headphones with me into the store. It seemed a little strange to change my routine but I turned to Libby while I perused the aisles. The book I chose to listen to was David Sedaris’s most recent Calypso. After about five minutes of listening, I was giggling among the produce, then smiling broadly while choosing yogurt.

Thanks to an audio book my mundane task turned into something really fun!!

Libby was developed for people that don’t have time and chances are you are one of those people. Heck, if you have had time to read this whole article I am impressed! Thanks for that!!

In all seriousness though, I feel so much better when I have the opportunity to enjoy literature and since Libby has so many best sellers and old favorites I am spending a lot of time with her.

If you are interested in Libby, grab your phone (or tablet) and your library card. If you don’t have a library card go get one! It takes all of five minutes and then you can join the club! All the cool kids have a library card. Come hang out with us!

Once your library card is acquired you can Google “Libby App” or search for her in your app store. Download the Libby App and then start browsing!

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With Libby, you can rate books to give her a sense of what types of books you enjoy. You can log your preferences making it easy for her to recommend books you might like. You can borrow up to 10 books at a time, and once the allotted borrowing time is up the book will vanish! You do not need to return anything and there are no fees. This service is 100 percent free and so, so, so fun!

I would love to hear how you are using the Libby App and other digital resources at the library. Don’t forget to join The Library Hop on Instagram @thelibraryhop . I love engaging with my followers and getting lots of book recommendations. Come hang out!

“Let’s Loiter and Learn Something!”

Hopping Holidays

Hey Friends! and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

No matter what you are celebrating this festive season I hope you are taking some time to relax. Whether it is picking up a museum pass, having coffee with friends or curling up with a new library book, don’t forget that this is a time to focus on the people and things that really matter to you.

For me, literacy and supporting my library are really important. During this lovely time of year I will be doing tiny things to help my favorite cause.

Friends, for the first time in my life, I wrote a check to the library! Admittedly, it was not a lot of money but I know that materials are expensive and there are so many to choose from. My donation will help the library purchase a few titles (books or films) that they did not budget for. Yay!

Speaking of materials being expensive, my family does an advent calendar every year and this year we decided to give books! This is a terrific idea but can break the bank (hello 25 days of children’s books!) I saved a ton of money by visiting the book sales found in many public libraries and paying wayyyyy less for like new books. High five to this mom for saving all the money and supporting the library!

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Also, last week I borrowed three cook books and a cocktail recipe book from the library . I am SO excited to try some new recipes in honor of the season.

After the baking, traveling and present-ing is over there is still vacation. The impending task of keeping the kiddos entertained has lead me to make a list of some awesome programs happening at the library. I plan to pack up the family and utilize all the programming that libraries have to offer. I’m looking at you Wallingford Public Library’s Collaboratory.

Friendly Reminder that if you have a library card in CT you have access to all the libraries in the state!

Lastly, in order to survive the plethora of holiday car trips, lines at the grocery store and vigorous house cleaning, I have downloaded the Overdrive App to my phone. With my trusty library card I am able to borrow hundreds of audio books and will always have something to listen to! My wait time just got a lot more literary!

Holy Moly who knew that the library would come in so handy this time of year?! How are you using the library during this busy time?

Happy Holidays Friends! Have a safe and happy season! Cheers to you!

Hop Picks for February 2018

Black History

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Where to begin?

     Friends, before I share the Hop Picks for February I feel the need to set a disclaimer. Just so you are aware, I am a white woman of privilege and have never known the struggles that people in the black community face every day.

     What I do know is that any form of education can only make me more empathetic. Empathy builds community right? And that, my friends, is so important! I truly believe that even if we think we know something there is ALWAYS more to learn. 

     By the way shout out to librarian extraordinaire, Courtney Bowen for helping me with my list. Asking a librarian is such a good idea and I loved every one of her recommendations. Below are a few that I enjoyed but I encourage you to head to your library and take a look around. Chances are, your library has an awesome Black History display! Go find it and let's read the hard stuff, read something of historical relevance, read a memoir and learn from the stories we should honor all year long. 

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     Let's start this months Hop Picks with What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons. Written in short vignettes it chronicles the female protagonist's struggle with sexism, racism, cultural differences (her mother is from South Africa and her father is from the U.S.) and the quiet pain she encounters when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. This book is tragic but Clemmons' voice is honest and strong. 

     Speaking of strong, Michelle Obama, A Life by Peter Slevin dives into the life of the former first lady. It is a thought provoking read and you will learn a great deal about her courageous journey. 

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     Dear Martin by Nic Stone deserves ALL the attention it is getting. This book is the type of fiction that gives voice to a brutal reality. The protagonist's story centers around the effects of racial profiling and what it means to be a black teenage boy in this country. Through his pain he begins writing a journal to the late Martin Luther King. I love this book, and although it is technically for teens it has a vulnerability that everyone should be introduced to.   

     Denise Dennis's Black History for Beginners is a great refresher. Pick this book up and spend some time with it. You will learn so much from this collection and I am sure it will spark your desire to learn more.  

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     Octavia Butler's book Kindred is technically classified as science fiction but is so relevant that it will appeal to those who don't read the genre. It is the story of Dana who uncontrollably time travels between her life in California in the 1970s and the life she would have (as a slave) in 1814 Maryland. The toss between the two time periods is terrifying. The graphic novel is adapted by Damian Duffy with incredible artwork by John Jennings. The graphic novel brings gorgeous illustrations to a haunting story. You will read it in a few hours but it will stay with you far after. I downloaded the graphic novel onto my Kindle using my library card and hoopla.com.  

     The Hate U Give is another trending book that deserves a standing ovation.  At this point, I suggest we get rid of the YA genre because Angie Thomas characters are forced to deal with a harsh reality that I can't even imagine. This is a powerful book and should be acknowledged by teens and adults. 

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     Barack Obama's book to his daughters is a sweeping introduction to American icons that have broken through social barriers. Loren Long's illustrations bring of Thee I Sing a colorful intensity that reflects the positive message that you really can do anything!

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      The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration is a non fiction masterpiece that reads like a novel. I realized while listening to this that I knew very little about this huge piece of history and I was in awe over the amount of courage these families had.
Through incredible research, author Isabel Wilkerson tells the history (beginning in 1915) of brave families who fled the prejudice of the South in hopes of a more welcoming life in the north. Wilkerson describes the struggle that so many families went through, the bravery they had and the devastating details of what happened once they settled.

Finally, I just finished Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route and it is still sitting with me. It is a detailed account of Saidiya Hartman's travels along the slave route in Ghana. She visited parks and historical landmarks, conducted interviews and tried to gain an understanding of what her ancestors endured. What results is a humbling account of how far we still have to go.

I could put thirty more books on this list!

I hope I have inspired you to head to your local library. There is so much left to learn and I encourage you to go, go, go! What will you be reading in the next 28 days? Leave a comment. Let's chat! I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Thank for stopping by,

Kate

 Hop Picks for March 2018: China