Your Library Staff at Home -hunh?

Ooo! What happened? Somewhere over the past few weeks, I’ve realized my attention span has gotten very short. I’m guessing you know exactly what I’m talking about, right? It’s a good thing I’m already a fan of making lists -and checking items off the list. Now I need to figure out how to remember where I put my most current list… heh heh. (I also need to remember to recycle that finished list-geez,)

So maybe you’re on the same page as I am (book humor on purpose!) and you’d like to listen to an entertaining book or podcast right now? Great! May I suggest the following podcasts: Stuff You Should Know-covering a wide variety of topics, the length varies by episode, Flash Forward -possible futures based on current ideas, Imaginary Worlds-mostly SF topics but also plenty of general appeal, or NPR’s Life Kit -nicely compact discussions of truly helpful tips for navigating everyday life. May I suggest an older nonfiction book: Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt -I learned so much about European Starlings and Mozart (of course?) plus musical moments were included in the audio book! And how about an older mystery/dark comedy series: Izzy Spellman Series starting with The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz -you too might fall a little in love with this seriously loving and dysfunctional family like so many of us have!

Or if you want to fall down a rabbit hole of what? who knew? I need to try that! nope. Yes! May I suggest checking out #recipes on TikTok? (If you can figure out a good way to limit your time on this one -please send that good tip my way?!)

And please, don’t forget to be kind to yourself, okay?
—Stacey

Your Library Staff at Home – Back to the Library!

You may have heard that we are starting curbside delivery service at the library next week. We are as excited to get materials to you as you are to receive some new reads, watches and listens.

Here’s how it’s going to work: from the hours of 11-7 Monday through Friday, we will take your phone calls to request items. We will only be able to place items on hold that are owned by Rocky River Public Library; unfortunately, we cannot get items from other librarys until they open. In the meantime, our library is a full of unknown treasures, so explore the catalog. Use the upper left hand filtering option to choose Rocky River Only. Then search away and find something new! We are also always willing to make recommendations if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.

Once you call and ask for the item, you have then have to wait until you are notified with a phone call/email/text telling you that your items are available. Then come to the library, call us and let us know you are here. If you’re in a car, tell us the number of the parking space that you are in. If you’ve walked or biked, let us know – there will be a spot for you to pick those items up as well. All items will be walked out to you by staff with masks on and they will place in the items in the trunk of your car – think Heinen’s or any other curbside pickup service. That’s it!

Speaking of book recommendations, here’s another episode of RRPL Book Harbor – and please send us more at askalibrarian@rrpl.org!

Patrick emailed asking for a few book recommendations. He has previously enjoyed The Expanse series, The Boys in the Boat, and Into Thin Air.

Adult Services Associate Sara responded:

Those are some excellent books you’ve chosen!  Since you enjoyed The Expanse series, here are a few other science fiction series that feature the ideas of colonization, adventure, exploration, and conflict between species. You may enjoy: The Shadow Series by Orson Scott Card, start with The Ender’s Shadow. Old Man’s War Universe by John Scalzi, start with Old Man’s War. Since you enjoyed Into Thin Air and Boys in the Boathere are a few other non-fiction titles that are filled with outdoor adventure, teamwork and overcoming adversity.  The Three Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and their Quest for Olympic Glory by Julie Checkoway, Wild: Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko.

I can’t wait to take your calls and help you get your library materials. Stay safe and stay home between library trips!

~ Dori

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

This week we are profiling the online resources of The Henry Ford.

The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, a short drive from Detroit, this institution boasts a collection of objects from 300 years of American history. The museum was dedicated on October 21, 1929 and opened to the public in 1933. For the first 10 years visitors dealt with construction as the exhibits weren’t fully complete until the early 1940s. You can learn more about the history of the campus here on their History & Mission page.

While the museum and campus are closed, the website features many digital resources.

Their Virtual Visit page is a great place to start your exploration. Here you will find a list of objects with links to the Ford’s Google Maps project from 2015. The photos give you a better sense of scale of these artifacts and allow for 360 degree experience. A great example is the museum’s towering Allegheny Steam Locomotive. There are also links to the object’s record in the Digital Collections.

The Digital Collections can be explored much like the other institutions we have highlighted in these posts. Additionally there are the Expert Sets. These curated groupings are a great resource for educators building lesson plans as well as individuals looking for a more structured way of exploring the vast collection.

For researchers there is the Digital Resources page. There are Research Databases which include oral histories, the library’s catalog, photographs, and historic films.

A really interesting resource is their collection of historic Cookbooks. You can see what the people in the past ate and get some ideas for your own culinary efforts.

The Henry Ford has many education resources on their Online Learning Resources and Activities page. The available programs are arranged by grade level for easy navigation and their Innovation Program is currently free for public.

Your Library Staff at Home- New Cookbooks for Foodie Travel

If you are like me and love to travel, you might be lamenting your lack of summer trips in the months ahead. One of my most favorite facets of visiting new places is researching the best restaurants in the area and trying out delicious regional food and drink. Wanderlust might have to take a pause this summer, but luckily there are many fabulous cookbooks available that allow you to experience exciting global cuisine from the comfort of your own kitchen.

I’ve rounded up some recently published and upcoming cookbook titles that will take your taste buds on a tour! Travel stateside with recipes from L.A, Maine, and Louisiana or traverse across the pond to Palestine, Northern Italy, Sardinia, and Poland. Culinary adventure awaits you!

Keep your eyes peeled for these mouth-watering new titles in our catalog!

Your Library Staff At Home… Staff Highlight

Trent

Deputy Director

What is your favorite book this year and why is it your fave?

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? - ebook

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCoy   Two strangers with nothing to lose in depression-era California enter a marathon dance where they battle physical and mental exhaustion.  I was fascinated by the parallels between 1930’s  marathon dancing and modern-day reality televisions.

 

What book are you looking forward to reading next?

The Wolf and the Watchman - Audiobook

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt Och Dag

 

What are you currently watching?

I recently started Schitt’s Creek after having been told to watch it by many people for the last few years.

Schitt's Creek (TV Series 2015–2020) - IMDb

 

What are you doing to occupy your time during these uncertain times?

 I’m well into my second 3000 piece puzzle and I’ve been replaying the video game Mass Effect 3. Also, I have a sourdough starter from which I’ve made a few loaves of bread with already.

Mass Effect™ 3 for PC | Origin

Your Library Staff at Home – Watching Birds (& TV)

It’s been hard to concentrate lately. I know that many people also are feeling this way right now. I’m even (sniff sniff) having a hard time reading. So, for some escape this week, and for lots and lots and lots of laughs, I’ve been streaming NBC’s Superstore, starring America Ferrera. The quirky characters on this multi-season sitcom are coworkers at Cloud 9, a big box store, where hi-jinx ensue on the regular. This show just might help you stop missing your coworkers whileworking from home.

What else am I watching? Birds! We are an advanced-beginner bird-watching household. We have our dog-eared guide book and hurry each other to the window to see something new.

Ducks. Hummingbirds (Yes, they are back even with this snow!). Orioles. Nuthatches. I know these birds have always been in (or migrating through) my yard, but it feels like I am seeing them with new eyes. This shutdown has provided me with an opportunity to be present, it slows me down when I feel restless and uncertain and helps me appreciate what is around me– my backyard, my pets, my family. To be comforted by the familiar, and to be open to viewing the familiar in a new light are starting to feel like gifts.

I see more birds because I am looking more, which takes time. I know that eventually everything will bounce back and return to a new version of normal, but I aim to hold on a bit to the good stuff I’ve learned from this. When life picks its pace back up, I plan to keep taking the time to take time.

Your Library Staff at Home – Spring is (indoor) Spider Season?

Despite the recent snow (sigh) it really is Spring, a season that brings out all sorts of newly created flora and fauna. Spring also reminds everything that went into hibernation it’s time to wake up! While it isn’t really news to anyone, this year -being inside at home so much- I realized this includes house spiders! ugh. I’m working very hard to embrace the challenge of living peaceably with these multi-legged, fast-moving arthropods. (It would help a lot if they would stop running across the ceiling or hiding in the bathroom…¯\_(ツ)_/¯) So, what have you learned about your house this Spring?

As I give my new spider frens plenty of space, I’m also attempting to grow an avocado tree from a seed! I’m mid-week two and no roots yet but we’re in the early stages… oh, the hope! In-between refilling the water and moving Ava Cado to the warmest spots around the kitchen I’m enjoying some upbeat songs on Freegal, the Library’s new ad-free music service -all you need is your Rocky River library card and pin number to start streaming music! Check out the different genres and why not try making your own playlist – enjoy!

Be kind to yourself today!
—Stacey

Your Library Staff at Home- Arts and Culture Online

I thought this week I would highlight some of the craft and ceramic research resources across the state and the nation. These are a great place to explore the history of ceramics and see how our museum’s Cowan Pottery collection are part of a long legacy of craft and art.

First off we have The American Craft Council headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. They have put together a resource page for artists and makers. Their library has some great digital resources including an archive of:

  • More than 20,000 books and exhibition catalogues
  • More than 150 current subscriptions and 700 bound volumes of leading periodicals and newsletters
  • More than 3,000 files on individual artists containing unique photographs, slides, correspondence, and other ephemera
  • Council archives (1941 – present), including those of the Museum of Contemporary Crafts/American Craft Museum (1956 – 1990)
  • Archives of the World Crafts Council (1964 – present)
  • Archives of the Craft Students League of New York (1932 – 2005) 

Ohio Craft Museum, located just a few hours drive away, currently has their exhibitions online for people to enjoy. You will find high resolution photos of the objects from the artists and an exhibition catalog. Their Facebook page has interviews with artists who are included in their shows.

Just outside Los Angeles in Pomona, CA we have The American Museum of Ceramic Art. There are a variety of resources here. They have highlights from their permanent collection and their current exhibitions are now virtual. They also offer a resource page with information for artists, parents, and researchers.

The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY is an institution with a Cowan Pottery connection. R. Guy Cowan moved to Syracuse after the studio closed its doors and worked as the chief designer for the Syracuse China Company. Their permanent collection holds works from many Cowan Pottery Studio artists. Many of these acquisitions were from the museum’s long running Ceramic National Exhibition. You can explore their archives, virtual exhibitions, and downloadable activities for kids and families. You can also enjoy lectures from with their Curator of Ceramics Garth Johnson.

Your Library Staff at Home- What I’m Reading Now

I’ve been making great usage of both Hoopla and Overdrive over the past couple weeks to satisfy my reading appetite, but have also taken this time at home as an opportunity to pick up some titles in my home library that I’ve never read. Scroll on for some of my just finished and currently in progress reads.

In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt

Oh how I loved this book! This memorizing horror-fantasy- historical fiction-thriller novel grabbed me and wouldn’t let me put it down until I knew all it’s twisty secrets. Set in colonial New England, readers are led along by one seemingly innocent young woman who finds herself lost in the woods after berry-picking for her husband and son. Her wanderings bring her to meet other women in the woods and it quickly becomes clear not all is as it seems and the truth is hard to discern. Highly recommended if you enjoyed the 2015 film The Witch, or The Familiars by Stacey Halls. Available through OverDrive.

Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman ; Illustrated by Colleen Doran

This dark retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, by one of my all-time favorite authors, flips the classic story in a fresh and chilling way. Snow, Glass, Apples is narrated by the stepmother, who is actually quite good, and who must protect herself and her kingdom from the King’s monstrous daughter- Snow White. Beautifully illustrated and written, any fan of Gaiman or fairy tales will want to pick this up. Winner of the 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. Available through Hoopla.

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

I started reading this a while back and never finished it- probably because I had began this book while on my honeymoon in Hawaii and it’s not really a “beach read” sort of book. But! I am picking it back up and so far it is quite a curious, witty, and weird (perhaps even a bit romantic) mash-up of literary fiction and some magical realism. I think this time around I will finish this! Available through OverDrive.

Bunny by Mona Awad

The great Margaret Atwood tweeted this book was a combination, among other things, of the Witches of Eastwick and Mean Girls, so I was sold. I’ve only just begun this dark and funny novel but am very excited to see where it goes! Available through OverDrive.

Little Josephine: Memory in Pieces by Valerie Villieu; Illustrated by Raphael Sarfati

This heartwarming graphic novel is a first-hand account of the unlikely friendship that blossomed between a home nurse and her 84- year old patient stricken with Alzheimer’s, Josephine. Humor and laughter bring the two together, and readers will enjoy this story of human connection. The story takes place in Paris, but it’s critiques of an overloaded healthcare system and the frustrations of geriatric care easily translate to American healthcare and makes for a story that many can relate to. Available through Hoopla.

What is everyone else reading at home? I hope you have read some fabulous books and that perhaps one of my titles will spark your interest for your next digital checkout. Happy reading and stay safe!

Your Library Staff At Home… Staff Highlight

Stacey 

Outreach Coordinator

What is your favorite book you have read this year and why is it your favorite?

I think my favorite book is always the next book I plan to read BUT if you’re looking for a smart mystery/thriller, I’d suggest Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman.

Mr. Nobody - Audiobook

What book are you looking forward to reading next?

The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz

The Daughters of Erietown - Audiobook

What are you you currently watching?

Making the Cut with Tim and Heidi, restarting Expanse, and all sorts of YouTube!

What are you listening to…music, podcasts?

I subscribe to a whole bunch of podcasts but a few favorites are: Flash Forward, Stuff You Should Know, 99% Invisible, Imaginary Worlds, and NPR Life Kit.

What are you doing to occupy your time during these uncertain times?

There’s still a lot of my job I can do from home, I’m putting more time into meal planning (finally!) and enjoying a wide-range of comfort carbs, watching more movies and TV shows  than I have in a long while, staying connected to physically distant family and friends, and finishing a half-done needlepoint canvas before I pick up a new project (to finish!)…. I’m guessing this list will sound pretty familiar to people, right?

10765 Best Needlepoint images in 2020 | Needlepoint, Needlepoint ...