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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Jeanne Guerra At The IPL!

Author Jeanne Guerra will be at the Independence Public Library on May 9th, 2015 for a Book Signing and Author Visit. She'll discuss her book Overalls, Oatmeal, & Dreams, which is based on Independence's Wapsipinicon Mill. All ages are welcome, and there is no registration required. The Author Visit is from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM this Saturday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dark YA

Many adults share a concern that the current trend of intense dark YA novels—which sometimes deal with issues like self-harm and addiction and abuse and even death—could irrevocably damage the fragile minds of our youth.

What makes a book “dark” in the first place? Are dark books the ones that allegorically explore serious subject matter, like warfare (The Hunger Games) or the human capacity for destruction (Grasshopper Jungle)? Or are they the ones that reflect our actual world, including the capacity for human cruelty and kindness (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) or the messy stuff of human mortality (The Fault In Our Stars)?

Hey, aren’t these the same subjects young people are encouraged to engage in at school, by reading the newspaper, or classical texts like The Iliad (warfare) or Macbeth (the capacity for self-destruction) or To Kill A Mockingbird (kindness and cruelty) or A Farwell to Arms, all Emily Dickinson poetry (that messy morality business)?

Adolescence is a time when teens are statistically more likely to come into harm’s way and thus more likely to witness harm among their peers. Is it any wonder that they want books to help process what they’re experiencing around them, often for the first time?

We just need to remember that books don’t create behaviors. It is possible that they reinforce existing behaviors, but those behaviors are already present, not created by a novel. A novel won’t turn a bookish drama geek or popular star athlete into a promiscuous drug abuser any more than it will turn a promiscuous drug abuser into a bookish drama geek or popular star athlete, unless the seeds of those transformations were already planted.

What books can do, however, is reflect an experience and show a way out of difficult, isolating times. It’s why Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak has become so popular, giving young women a voice to speak about sexual abuse, or Sherman Alexie’s Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been a life raft for young people who can’t see their way out of existences straight-jacketed by addiction and deprivation. 

I suspect that most teens who read and love “dark” YA have little in common with the struggling characters they relate to. Teenagers say they are drawn to dark books because the appeal is seeing an ordinary teen forced into an extraordinary circumstance. 

Reading about everyday fictional teens rising to the occasion allows actual teens to imagine themselves doing the same. This is empowering, and hopeful. These “dark” books may seem to be about death, about illness, about pain, but really they are about life.And kids get that.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May The 4th Be With You!

Today is Star Wars Day! So brush up on your light saber sound effects and stop in at the library to checkout some fun with the force. The IPL has all of the first six Star Wars Movies available for checkout, and there are plenty of books and guides for all ages. Just take a look through our Catalog. The the library help you celebrate the tale of a galaxy far, far away; and May the 4th Be With You!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Artist Showcase At The IPL!

Join the Independence Public Library for an Artist Showcase with Katie Bell. Her mixed media artwork will be available for viewing on Thursday (May 7th) from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Friday (May 8th) from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Saturday (May 9th) from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The Artist Reception will be held on Saturady (May 9th) from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The artist will be available at that time for questions and comments.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

National Children's Book Week

May 4th, 2015 starts this year's National Children's Book Week, which celebrates (of course) great books for the young. They start the week with the Children's Choice Book Awards Ceremony. You can still get your vote in for the Children's Choice Book Awards today and tomorrow (May 2nd and 3rd), before the winners are announced on Monday. You can also celebrate Children's Book Week with the IPL during Story Time. National Children's Book Week is the first Story Time theme for the month of May. Be sure to stop in for Story Time the rest of the month too. The other Story Time themes are "May Flowers" (May 13th), "Duck on A Bike" (May 20th), and "Every Hero Has A Story" (May 27th).

Friday, May 1, 2015


There are only five days left to the 5-5-5 Reading Challenge. If you haven't turned in your Genre log be sure to finish up that last book and get it in before May 5th. Want a bonus slip in the drawing? If you've read enough to fill more than one genre log, ask for another log; and don't forget to grab your small prizes for each genre completed. Even if you didn't quite hit the 25 books read mark, you can still get your genre prizes, just get in by 8:00 PM on the 5th.

Monday, April 27, 2015

TIPLINE: Wise Choices

The Independence Public Library's Interesting Nuggets of Exploration: Wise Choices

Ever wonder what the librarians are reading? You could always ask, but if they aren't there when you are, you end up a bit stuck. We're hoping to fix that. You might have noticed the addition of color to some of our display shelves, and maybe an owl or two. Those are our Wise Choice shelves. You can find them in our Adult and Teen Fiction sections. All the librarian picks are color coded.

Just look for the owl with the colored book. We give our favorites a hoot of approval with an owl on the cover, and you can find a selection of these on the Wise Choice Shelves.
You can also find Wise Choice books from any librarian from the online catalog. Just click on the "Booklists" tab under the "What's Hot" column.

The Wise Choice lists will be at the bottom. Pick your librarian and explore something new to read.