Indigenous Book Club Month

Did you know that June is Indigenous Book Club Month? Perhaps you’re participating with your book club, but even if you’re not in a book club it’s a good time to check out some Indigenous authors! Here are some picks from our collection:

A Series of Unfortunate Read Alikes

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Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events has received the Netflix treatment and it’s getting great reviews! Are you a fan of this whimsical series? If you’ve explored the books, the movie, and the current series, here are some similar titles you’ll likely enjoy:

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The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner

Twelve-year-old twins John and Abigail Templeton, and their ridiculous dog, are kidnapped by a devious adult set of twins who are after their father’s not-so-genius invention.

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Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Smedry is gifted a bag of sand for his 13th birthday, a strange gift that puts Alcatraz in the path of evil librarians on a quest for world domination! Alcatraz must put a stop to the evil librarians’ bid for power, can he get back his bag of sand and stop them?

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Larklight by Phillip Reeve

Art and Myrtle Mumby live with their father in Larklight, a house that travels through space! Join them as they begin a fantastic adventure after Larklight receives a rare visitor, Mr. Webster, and the siblings end up in a battle to save the Known Universe.

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

This book puts its characters, as well as its readers, through a series of brain-teasers to see if they are one of the enlightened kids of the world. The most creative and intelligent kids are chosen to complete a top secret mission at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where things are not as they seem!

For more read-alikes, check here!

If you’re looking for a movie or a TV series that has the same feel as A Series of Unfortunate Events, give this list a try! There are even some on the list that adults will enjoy. And remember:

“When trouble strikes, head to the library. You will either be able to solve the problem, or simply have something to read as the world crashes down around you.”

-Lemony Snicket

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Reason #58: You Can Borrow Everything for Free!

Reason #58 - Everything is free

In this age of consumerism we have stores the size of football fields, online retailers that sell everything from books to groceries, and ads that are depressingly targeted to your web-browsing history. It seems like everyone is vying for your money and attention, no wonder we feel the need to buy so much stuff. The library is one of the last public spaces where you won’t be bombarded by advertisements, and your money is of no consequence to your borrowing privileges.

Here at the library you can go home loaded with items, and you won’t have to spend a dime. Books, audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-Rays, magazines, CDs, videogames and even e-readers. Come in and browse, maybe you’ll get that retail therapy buzz without having to part with any money! And remember that you’re welcome no matter your income level. You don’t need to wear your brand-name clothing or designer sunglasses, just come as you are.

 

Reason #46: Go Further with NoveList Plus!

Reason #46: Go further with NoveList Plus!

  • Looking for a good book?
  • Do you enjoy Science Fiction, but don’t know what to read next?
  • Do you like Alexander McCall Smith’s books, and want to find similar reads by different authors?
  • Do you want to learn more about a certain series?

 

If so, then NoveList Plus is just what you need!

 

St. Thomas Public Library has a subscription to the online database NoveList Plus – an amazing reader’s advisory database where you can learn about titles, series, authors, and genres, find read-alikes, book reviews and recommendations, discover Award-winners and book lists, check out discussion guides, and much, much more!

You can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles – NoveList has a staff of book experts, including over 25 librarians, who write all the recommendations! You know that you can trust a review from NoveList, and since it’s so easy to use, you’ll be finding new favorite books in no time at all!

The main page is easy to navigate. There is a simple search box on the top, where you can do a search by Keyword, Title, Author, Series, or Narrator.

Along the left-hand side, there are categories you can browse in, including: Audiobooks, Best of 2013, Canadian Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mysteries, Romance, etc. Once you select a category, you can explore some of the titles and authors.

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As an example, I clicked the category “Mystery” and selected “Cozy Crime”.

Here we see a short description of what a “Cozy Mystery” is, as well as some books from that genre. One feature that could be helpful is that you can see the “popularity” of each book.

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To continue our example, I’ve selected the book “As the Pig Turns”. On this page, you get all kinds of information about the book, including: when it was published, if it’s in a series, a brief description, the pace, the genre, the tone, the writing style, as well as both NoveList reviews and Goodreads reviews. On top of all that, on the right-hand side of the page, we see recommended read- alikes.

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Now I want to learn more about the author, M.C. Beaton. So I will click on her name (it is hyperlinked).

We now see a page with all kinds of information about the author, the different books and series she has written, her writing style, etc. A really handy tool appears on the right-hand side of the page: a list of author read-alikes.

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As you can see, this is a very powerful database with tons of information! So the next time you have a reader’s advisory question, the first place to start your search should be NoveList Plus!

Give it a try, and let us know how you like it!

Reason #40: Can’t Find It? We’ll Borrow It!

Reason #40 - ILLOs - We'll borrow it

Did you know that libraries borrow from other libraries? If you’re looking for something that we don’t have, make a request at the information desk and we can search other libraries for it! We do it all the time, especially for rare or older books that may be difficult to purchase.

When we order from another library for you (this is called an inter-library loan, or ‘ILLO’ as we say), the item will come to us on the SOLS (Southern Ontario Library Service) van that travels around to all libraries in Southern Ontario, or by post if the item is coming from a library outside of Southern Ontario. Your inter-library loaned item may come from as close as London, or as far away as Thunder Bay, but you get to pick it up right here at your own library! Borrowing times for inter-library loans vary depending on the lending library, but you normally get to keep the item for three weeks, just like any books you borrow from us. So ask us for that book you’ve been trying forever to track down; we just might be able to connect you with it!

A lot of local book clubs order their books through us, but that’s a whole different reason to celebrate the library. You’ll have to wait for the details!

On a similar note: St. Thomas Public Library is a “lending” library, which means we do the same thing for other libraries. People request books from us, and we ship them around the province (if not further.) In 2013, St. Thomas Public Library LENT 1,415 items and we BORROWED 1,404 items. So far this year (from January to May 2014,) we’ve LENT 1,274 items and we’ve borrowed 1,128 items. Looks like we’re on a role!

Reason #37: We’re Open 24/7 With Downloadable eBooks.

Reason #37 - Available 24-7 with eBooks

Do you have an eReader? A tablet? Cell phone? Mp3 player? Laptop or desktop computer? Then you might be interested to know that many of these devices, from the smallest mp3 player to the most powerful laptop computer, can be used to borrow electronic books and audiobooks directly from the St. Thomas Public Library. You can borrow up to 10 electronic items at a time, for periods between 14 and 21 days. If there is an eBook or eAudiobook that you want but it is out on loan, you can place a hold on it, just like at the library, and you will be emailed when it becomes available. With only a valid library card and PIN number you can access thousands of new titles and classics!

In order to provide you with eBooks and eAudiobooks, the St. Thomas Public Library relies on a third-party vendor, OverDrive, to manage our electronic collection. Using OverDrive’s resources and technology, the library is able to purchase materials and loan them out, just as we would with traditional printed books or audiobooks on CD, which all takes place at Ontario Library Service Download Centre. Just find St. Thomas Public Library and sign in using your library card number and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you don’t know your PIN number, just give us a call or drop-by and we’ll tell you what it is (your library card automatically has one assigned to it). Once you have signed into your account, you can place holds, check-out titles, and even create lists of titles you want to check-out in the future.

The eBooks and eAudiobooks that you can borrow from the Ontario Library Service Download Centre come in a variety of different formats and lending rights. Before borrowing an eBook or eAudiobook, it is important to check that the item you will be downloading is in a compatible format for your particular device. Come in and pick up a copy of our free how-to booklet for a little extra guidance, or visit OverDrive’s handy help page if you get confused.

That’s all you need to pack your device full of free eBooks or eAudiobooks! If you finish your book at 3 am and the library is closed, just sign into OverDrive and download something new to read. You’ll never have to get caught without a book again!

 

 

Reason #35: We Offer Alternative Ideas & Thinking

Reason #35 - Offer alternative ideas & viewpoints

The library is a place where all viewpoints can be explored. We strive to have something for everyone, whether you’re into Christian fiction or hard sci-fi, exploring atheism or looking for religion, carnivorous or vegan. Libraries aren’t censors; libraries are access points. We are here to provide knowledge on any topic, including those that can raise passions and make blood boil. If you feel you’d like to explore a controversial topic remember that we aren’t here to judge, so ask us! If we don’t have a resource for you we will do our best to connect you with something. Remember, as Henry David Thoreau said, “It is never too late to give up your prejudices.” An open mind that knows both sides of the issue is a beautiful thing.