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!


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!


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!”

Hop Picks for April 2018

While I write this it is SNOWING! Again.

   People keep telling me that spring is coming but I am losing patience. My distrust of the weather is very real and like many of you, I am so, so, SO ready for warmer weather. 

The only distraction from the snow (that I can find) is in books about gardens.

   I have been heading to libraries and asking for books that transplant me to sunnier days. Books that are filled with flowers, tall lush forests, and magical gardens. Even though it is nasty out, I can sit and quietly imagine the feel of soil and the scent of blooming plants. Until spring arrives, I will be enamored with these books. 


   I dare everyone to try picking up Garden Spells and only reading the first page. This is not a difficult read but it captivates from the very beginning. The Waverley sisters are two realistic protagonists and it was delightful to read their story. Sarah Addison Allen does a remarkable job of writing these two women as down to earth whilst they cook with magical plants and take care of a mystical tree that grows in their yard. 


   Visually, Jan Brett's books are incredible. She is unlike any other illustrator (all of her books are BEAUTIFUL!) and her book Mossy is breathtaking. The detail, the variety of color and texture...I can pick this book up and forget all about the snow outside. Gorgeous pictures turn the story of Mossy, the turtle with a garden on her back, into a pure adventure. 


   Alice Hoffman is known for stories filled with enchantment and The Red Garden is no exception. This collection of stories, centered around a small town in Massachusetts, are filled with a natural world that is both mystical and a comfort to the characters. Every story is an an emotional fairy tale with so much whimsy that you will surely be entertained. 


   The Edible Front Yard made me super excited for planting! Ivette Soler's book makes it easy to plan a garden on a tiny piece of property. Apparently, you don't need acres and acres to grow your own food, you just need this book and a little bit of sunny weather... cue the sunshine please!! 


   The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett is a classic. I was delighted to reread the alluring tale of Mary Lennox . The librarian that recommended this book to me knew I was craving sunny weather and brought me this beautifully illustrated copy. Graham Rust's illustrations are lush and alive and the perfect pairing for such a lovely story.

The Night Gardener by Johnathan Auxier was also recommended to me by a librarian.

YAY FOR LIBRARIANS and their recommendations!!! 

 It is considered YA but I think we have established that genre is amazing and all adults should be reading YA too!! This book is AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME! I read it in two days. The Night Gardener has all the ingredients for wonderfully magic storytelling; there is a magic garden, a tree that grants wishes, orphaned siblings working for a rich family in a giant haunted house.... it was so much fun to read.

If you are looking for a book that is just pure magical entertainment then read The Night Gardener

   Friends, I hope that while you read this post there is sunshine and all the snow is gone. I suggest you take some time to visit a library on the next sunny afternoon. There are so many spring activities taking place at a library nearby and they're all free. Have you started your passport travels? Happy adventures and don't forget to #thelibraryhop. 

  FYI if you travel to Brainerd Memorial Library you will find a new display in conjunction with The Library Hop's monthly book picks!  YAY!!

Thanks for checking in.

Next Month: Celebrations

Passport to Connecticut Libraries

Friends!!!! It's here!!!


In case you are new to this awesome program, WELCOME! And may I just say, you are in for a treat! In my opinion the library passport program is one of the most enjoyable activities this spring. 

  This year, over 100 libraries are participating in the state wide program!

 All you have to do is head to one of the participating libraries and ask for a passport. The "passport" is a little booklet that you will carry with you on your library journey. 

  The goal is to visit as many participating libraries as you can and get your passport stamped!


Yay for all the awesome  libraries participating this year!!!!

With every stamp from the library you will receive a "thank you" prize. All the prizes are unique. 

  For example, Brainerd Memorial Library let ME design their prize! I was so excited when local artist Patrick Murdough (who also helped with The Library Hops giveaway) donated his time to help me with the label. The lovely folks at Balleks Garden Center donated the seeds! Thank you for all the kindness and support. Love you guys!


  From April 2nd to the 30th, I urge you to fill your car with friends, pack a picnic (or find a library that has a cafe) and visit as many libraries as you can. At the end of the month, hand in your passport for the chance to win a gift card.

This program is for all ages and a super way to spend a weekend, an afternoon, or an hour.

Take a trip, share photos on Instagram #thelibraryhop and have FUN!!!! 


Which library are you headed to?

"Let's Loiter and Learn Something"