Dinos and Spiders and Fish…Oh My!

The library has been a busy place lately! We have had over 1200 of our young friends sign up for the Summer Learning Challenge, and more than 200 completed levels…that is phenomenal! The challenge runs throughout July, so be sure to bring in your colored sheets for your completion certificate, prizes, and bonus logs for raffle entries. Summer programming is back in action too, with photos below. Some of our nature encounters were planned (dinos and fishing) but the spider….not so much!

Recently, the Saturday program at the library featured the T-Rexplorers Dinosaur Discovery program. Kids (and parents) were treated to insider secrets about a dinosaur dig, spent time with an authentic fossil hunter, and had the opportunity to handle actual dinosaur bones!

Look at all those cool fossils!

When you visit us, if you’d like to know more about dinosaurs, information is located in the 560’s of the non-fiction and ER non-fiction section.

Rather unexpectedly one day, this mama wolf spider was enjoying herself in the storytime room. Miss Alissa and Miss Lizzo then corralled her and were startled when babies started hopping off her back!

See those babies exploring their temporary home in the cup?

They quickly called Mr. Phil to come and help wrangle these critters into one of our bug-catching kits.

It has a magnifying glass, so they were able to get some really good photos!

Look closely at the spider’s back…those are all the spiderlings hanging onto her!

Here are a few more close-ups:

For more information about spiders, visit the 595.44 section of the non-fiction collection,

and maybe go on a hunt of your own…but be careful!

Let’s Go Fishing is a popular program hosted by Miss Lizzo. Participants learn how to bait their hooks, cast into the pond, and release their fish safely back into the water.

The June session was a great success with quite a few catches:

Check the program guide for more info, call with any questions, or register online for the July session.

For books about fish in general, visit the 597 area in non-fiction. To learn more about the sport of fishing, try 799.1, or ask us to help you locate any of these books.

Whatever you might have an interest in this summer- whether it’s about science, sports, or summertime fun, you can be sure that we’ll help you find out more about it.

Stop in soon to check something out!

Summer Suggestions…

With the Summer Learning Challenge in full swing, it’s time to update our Staff Picks with the summer edition! Need ideas for summer reading? We have chosen some of our favorite books for you. Grab a book and a bookmark from the shelf near the main desk. Right next to our picks you will find the State Award Nominees display. You can get a head start on reading these books for spring voting or any school reading requirements. There is a fun bingo sheet to help you keep track of what you’ve read, or just a list to check.

Be sure to visit our Reading Colors Your World virtual library:

Now it’s time to….

This year there are “Art on the Go” & “Art on the Spot” activities. Be sure to learn about the artists featured and share your creations!

Look around in the non-fiction area to find out more about art (the 700 section) or artists (in biographies) or let us help you find whatever! We also have our Pinterest page with color themed books for summer reading:

Drop in, create, and hang out for awhile since we’re now in Phase 5 and comfy chairs are back!

See you soon!

Get Ready, Here It Comes…

That’s right…our Summer Learning Challenge sign-up is just around the corner with registration starting on Monday, June 7th. This year’s theme is “Reading Colors Your World” featuring the artwork of Oliver Jeffers and Herve’ Tullet. We’ve been busy adding colorful splashes all around the department to add to the excitement.

Stop in to register, pick up your activity log, and earn prizes. Complete any combination of the 24 activities to get a prize bag, virtual raffle entry, a completion certificate for school, and a free book! Bonus logs earn addition raffle entries!

The program guide is available in the library or online.

Colors are everywhere!

What is a cat’s favorite color?   “Purr”ple

Why did the crayon cry?   He was feeling blue.

If you have access to Pinterest, here are some book lists by age/grade levels for color-themed books on the New Lenox Library board:

Our next blog post will feature Staff Picks to help you get started, so mark your calendars to sign up on June 7th, and stop in any time for more information.

We can’t wait to help you color your world with reading!

The Early Bird Catches the Worm!

Looking for an activity that can reduce stress, improve your memory, develop patience, and sharpen your observation skills? Spring is a great time to start a new hobby or pick up where you left off last spring with bird watching!! You can start by looking and listening around your home. This is the season of nest building, egg laying, and baby birds chirping. Find out what kind of nest you see and what you can do to help our feathered friends in the area. In the process, you can enjoy nature and breathe in the fresh air! My favorite local webpage is the Will County Forest Preserve site…so much information is available about our surrounding area:


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has this cool guide to hear different songs of birds that are common to us too:

Q: Why did the little bird get in trouble at school?
A: Because he was caught tweeting on a test.

Here are a few of the books we have available in the library:

Don’t forget we have magazines, like Ranger Rick, with information too!

If you prefer e-books, here are search results from Hoopla:

The Audubon Society is a wonderful website to learn about all kinds of birds and some beginning birdwatching tips:

The following Audubon articles introduce you to birds in a greater area- the Great Lakes. You can compare the information with the more local Will County website to really become an expert!

The Happy Birder is another site that has great activities and resources to get started with birdwatching and learning about the great outdoors:

Remember to stop, look up, and listen to start this adventure with our neighbors in nature. Gather some background knowledge, a few simple supplies, and then head outdoors to begin your birding experience…

and Happy Birdwatching!

April is…. Awesome!

April is…. a time to rhyme and create because it’s National Poetry Month:

Learn about the National Youth Poet Laureate program featuring Amanda Gorman, who read her poem at the 2021 Inaguration:

April is….a time to play in the dirt:

National Garden Month has ideas and activities for you to read about, while we have books galore!

And check out these sites geared for kids:

The Spruce always has great ideas for families:

April is….a time to take care of the Earth:

Here are just a few of our books, cds, and dvds relating to Earth Day:

National Today explains its history and how to develop the mindset of making every day Earth Day:

Take a look at Hoopla on our website and find even more resources for Earth Day…including music!

Visit Little Bins for Little Hands and enjoy some crafts to celebrate the day:

April is an exciting month to grow our minds with the often overlooked genre of poetry, grow new plants as the weather is warming up, and grow our respect for this precious planet. Let us help you spark your creativity this spring!

Clearly, We Love Beverly Cleary DEARly!

The beloved children’s novelist, Beverly Cleary, passed away last month. This former children’s librarian became one of the most popular authors of children’s literature, touching several generations of readers. Children, parents, teachers, librarians, and people all around the world have enjoyed her works throughout the years. Clicking on the links and pictures below will help you learn more about this fascinating, humble, and timeless writer.

On her webpage, you will find her biography and information about her books and characters.

These interesting facts (and many more) come from the site “100 Things You Might Not Know About Beverly Cleary“:

3. In her writing, she never forgot the advice her mother gave her: “Keep it funny. People always like to read something funny.”

18. When she was working as a children’s librarian, a student angrily asked her, “Where are the books about kids like us?” That inspired Cleary to create characters like Henry Huggins and Ramona Quimby.

58. After reading aloud an essay Cleary had written, her seventh-grade teacher told the class, “When Beverly grows up, she should write children’s books.”

Here is an excerpt from mentalfloss.com, a shorter list of interesting tidbits:

Visit mentalfloss.com to learn more!

More than a decade ago, the Library of Congress declared Cleary a living legend, and her birthday, April 12, is celebrated with Drop Everything and Read Day, held every year in many U.S. libraries and schools. Will your school be participating? Be sure to tell us about it!

Activities related to the Drop Everything and Read program can be found here and by clicking on the pictures from the website below:

We hope you’ve learned a little bit more about Beverly Cleary and her many works. Come in and pick out some books by her, or any of your favorites, to join in a special D.E.A.R. celebration this year!

Spring Has Sprung!

We are cautiously, optimistically ready to celebrate spring in the library! Bulletin boards and displays have been updated to reflect the hope of the new season. Here’s a peek at what you’ll see when you visit…

At the YS Main Desk there are QR codes to scan for our social media sites:

And back by the tree, the shelves are buzzing with our new picture book additions:

As promised, here’s the spring bitmoji page of spring-y activities to explore when you click on each of us:

The shelves around the tree area are also blooming with even more books to celebrate the season!

Trees and shrubs are budding…

while plants and weeds are greening up….

So make like a bunny and hop in for some great choices we’ve found for you…

or look around to discover your own!

See you soon!

Welcome Spring??

After a February full of snow, March has indeed entered like a lamb with some wonderful, warm weather. But is it here to stay? We shall soon find out! As the seasons change, so do our displays and… ta-da! …new staff picks!

Whether you stop in to pick something from our display or check out the cool bitmoji page by Ms. Liz Y with e-book links, you’re sure to find something interesting or entertaining to read.

This display is right next to our main desk:

Grab a bookmark to help decide what you’ll read next.

Check back soon for another fun bitmoji page for spring! Hope you’ve been out enjoying the fresh air!

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that spring is really here, but just in case, remember this:

Frosty Footprints…

The peaceful blanket of snow covering the brown, barren backyards and far-reaching fields has provided a blank canvas for our furry or feathered friends searching for food & shelter. Have you found a trail or followed footsteps this winter? Did you make your own set of frosty footprints? Or have you found or created a message sketched in the snow?

Even though we were bombarded for a few weeks with snow and cold, I have enjoyed the wonders of winter this year. I especially like discovering footprints in the snow, whether they belong to humans or animals. Where are they going? Did they come from a nearby den? Are they searching for food? Or just exploring like me?

Take a walk while we still have a cover of snow and see what you see! Look for clues about who made the frosty footprints you find or imagine where they might lead. Here are just a few of the books we have in the library that could assist you in your quest:

Even though these are picture books, these suggestions offer insight into the workings of winter:

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (E KEA)
  • Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (E MES)
  • Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka (E MAT)
  • Little Fox in the Snow by Jonathan London (E LON)
  • Who’s Been Here? A Tale in Tracks by Fran Hodgkins (E HOD)
  • In the Snow: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George (E GEO)
  • Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee (E YEE)

There are also many resources in non-fiction, so let us help you find what you’d like. The snow may be starting to melt, but any time there is a fresh dusting, a new adventure awaits!

Stay safe, stop in, and savor the scenery…spring is on the way!

Now don’t even get me started on icicles….

We “Heart” History!

It’s February, and most thoughts go to hearts, love, and Valentine’s Day. We have plenty of those books for you, so why not pick up a few books about history as well? Stop in to browse our Black History Month display. There are some really great books to “know the past, shape the future”.

Miss Jen has put together a large array of biographies, picture & chapter books, and non-fiction books for you to learn more about Black History Month, and a handy bibliography sheet.

Many of these resources are available online too in Libby, Overdrive, & Axis 360:

and in our newest addition of online resources, hoopla! Sign up with your library card for access to even more good stuff, including movies! There is a tutorial to help explain things for you on the webpage:

Here at the library, we “heart” books, we “heart” history, and we “heart” seeing you back in the building.

Bundle up and visit us soon!