Continuing The Conversation

While the protests following George Floyd’s death have paused, our country is just beginning the process of addressing systemic racism.

An important role of the library is to provide access to materials that help patrons learn about important issues. AAPLD is part of a network of libraries in the northern suburbs that will be participating in the Black Lives Matter Community Read.  Throughout July, selected anti-racism titles are available for immediate download from Overdrive and Libby.

We’ll feature a different title each week. Read on to learn more, or click the title link to download the book to your device. New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn how to use them here.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad is available as an ebook download through July 12.

Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and nearly 100,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook.

Updated and expanded from the original workbook, Me and White Supremacy,takes the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.”

Prefer the audiobook? We have that too. Click here to download.

We’ll feature these titles in future posts, so be sure to visit the AAPLD Adult Services blog or social media account next week. #BLM #CommunityRead

Celebrating You!

With July Fourth coming up, the Adult Services staff would like to offer a red-white-and-blue shout-out to you, our patrons. We’ve missed you, and judging from the lovely comments we’ve heard on the phones lately, you’ve missed us, too.

It’s been almost a month since the staff returned to work in the Main Library. There’s been a lot to get used to—masks in the building, social distancing, as well as new ways of providing service. The Summer Reading program is now online. So are book clubs,  and youth and adult programs. Crafts are a take and make format. Checkouts are handled through our virtual library collections, or curbside.

The pandemic has also challenged us to come up with new ways to connect. The chat button on our website puts you in touch with an AAPLD staff member in real time, to schedule curbside pick-up appointments, assist with account or research questions and more. While email has always been an option, we’ve created  specialized contact forms to make reaching out a little easier. The new “Recommend Me a Book” reader’s advisory service guides you through prompts to help us find your next great read. Need technology help? Schedule a virtual one on one appointment with Digital Literacy Librarian Kenny D.

Something that hasn’t changed? Our connection to the community. AAPLD is proud to be a place, online or real world, where all are welcome, and where folks can access books, movies, technology, learn a new skill, conduct research and stay informed, at little or no cost. Your calls and emails have brightened our days back in the library, and we can’t wait to welcome you back in person, as soon as we’re able.

Stay well, stay safe and Happy Fourth of July!

What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

We’ve recently discovered, an online quiz-making platform, whose users apparently are avid readers! Folks after my own heart.

Users have created lists related to various genres of books, but the lists I’ve most enjoyed are more eclectic, including this one: 1000 Books You May Have Actually Read

This comprehensive list includes the classics you read in high school or college, modern literary fiction, and talked-about popular novels like E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Gray. Genre fiction is well represented, as is non-fiction. The list includes children’s and young adult selections, in addition to adult titles.

Yes, 1000 books is a lot, but completing the quiz is fast- just click the box by each book cover. I included books I read for fun, books I read in school, those I listened to as audiobooks, had read to me as a kid (Little Women, and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe) and books I read to my own kids (lots of Dr. Seuss, Harry Potter, and Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea).

The fun is not just remembering books you loved, or loathed, but also those books you’ve meant to but read never got around to– yet.  Since summer is one of the four best seasons for reading, why not make this the year to check one or more of those books off your To Be Read list?  AAPLD cardholders can search our Virtual library collections, or reserve items in our print collection for curbside pickup. Remember, currently we can only fill holds for print and CD audio books we own.

If you aren’t yet signed up for AAPLD’s Summer Reading program just click the link. When you’ve read five books, you’ll win our 2020 Dig Deeper Summer Reading t-shirt.

Celebrate summer by digging deeper into your To Be Read list, have fun and happy reading!

Reading for Understanding- Celebrating Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and AAPLD is pleased to share books from our virtual and print collections that provide insight into the history, challenges and joys, faced by members of the LGBTQ community.

Whether you’re a member of the community, a supportive ally to a friend or family member, or if you’d just like to know more about the experiences of LGBTQ folk, past and present, real and fictional,  reading can provide valuable knowledge and perspectives.

We hope you’ll enjoy these ebook and downloadable audiobook selections from Hoopla and Overdrive, which includes fiction, memoirs, poetry, history and commentary. Click to learn more about each title. Items marked with an asterisk are also part of our print collection, and can be placed on hold by AAPLD cardholders for curbside pick-up.

Non-Fiction available through Hoopla:

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado*

City of Night by John Rechy

The Tradition by Jericho Brown

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel*

Homie by Danez Smith

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson*



Fiction available through Hoopla:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz*

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta*

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera

Broken People by Sam Lansky*

Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickles

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson*

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson


Non-Fiction Available From Overdrive

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden*

You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein*

Sissy by Jacob Tobia*

Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride*

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby*

Boy Erased by Garrad Conley*

Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Talusan

Here For It by R. Eric Thomas


Fiction Available From Overdrive

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

In At The Deep End by Kate Davies*

The Color Purple by Alice Walker*

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides*

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis*

All My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana Masad

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan*

Ash by Malinda Lo*

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri*

Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman*

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender*

Reading for Understanding

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has caused a national outcry. Not only is our nation forced to confront racial disparities in policing, but also generations of systemic racism against people of color.

Reading can provide different perspectives and promote understanding, which are crucial as America searches for new approaches and solutions. AAPLD is proud to partner with our patrons as they explore the issues of racial inequality, criminal justice, education, as well as the lives and works of Black authors and historical figures.

We’ve compiled a list of ebooks and audiobooks that are available through our virtual library collections. Click the links to learn more about each title, and download them to your device. (Not sure how? Find instructions on our Virtual Library page.) Selections with an asterisk are also part of our print collection, AAPLD cardholders can place them on hold for curbside pickup.

Our Youth Services department has also compiled a list of anti-racism reads for children. Access that list here.

Try these historical accounts, memoirs, poetry and social commentaries, available in digital and/or audiobook:

Available instantly on Hoopla:


Available digitally through Overdrive:

Prefer fiction?

Summer Reading Is Here!

Ready to dig deeper into a new book, and win a cool t-shirt in the process? One of our favorite summer traditions is back—welcome to AAPLD’s 2020 Summer Reading Program!

Like most things these days, this year’s summer reading looks a little different. We have a new online program called Beanstack where you can register yourself and your family, and also track your progress.

Beanstack is easy to use and convenient. One person can set up an account for an entire family, which means there’s just one user name and password to remember.  There’s also an app, available for free through your favorite app store.

Here’s how to set up an account for yourself, and add family members as readers:

  1. Start at the AAPLD home page, and click the Dig Deeper Summer Reading 2020 logo. This will take you to the sign-up page.
  2. Scroll down and click Register an Individual or Family
  3. On the next page, Beanstack asks if you’ve used the platform before. For most AAPLD patrons the answer is no, but if you hold a card with a different library, your home library might have used it. Even so, since you haven’t used Beanstack through AAPLD before, you should still choose no, as you will need to create a new, separate account for AAPLD reading programs.
  4. The next screen gives you the option to register yourself, or register a child. As the person registering, you are the account holder, and you will have the option to enter multiple readers (including yourself). Fill in the requested information.
  • For a user name, we suggest using your library card number. If you don’t have a library card, use your email address.
  • If you are registering adults as readers, simply use 18+ for the person’s age, “Adult” for the school they attend, and “Adult” for next years’ grade level.
  • Be sure to allow the account holder to receive emails from Beanstack (that’s how you’ll be notified when you’ve won prizes), but it isn’t necessary to have separate email contact information for each reader.


  1. If you selected Register Yourself as an account holder and reader, once you’ve entered your information, Beanstack will ask if you would like to add another reader. Select Yes to continue adding readers, and be sure to save after each one.

Tracking your progress is just a matter of logging into your account, and selecting the correct badge for the book or activity. Adults need to fulfill just 5 badges to win their Dig Deeper Summer Reading t-shirt. We’ll also be doing weekly drawings for e-gift cards throughout the summer reading program.

If you prefer to track on paper, no worries. You can download and print forms at home, or request one with your next curbside check-out.  More questions? Visit our FAQ page, give us a call or connect on chat! We’re happy to help.

Winner, Winner… Cheeseburger Dinner?

We’ve notified the first winner of our Database Deep Dive Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve been playing, be sure to check your email (spam too!) for an email from aapld on Tuesday, May 26. Let us know which local merchant you would like to receive a gift card for, and we’ll get your prize out to you.

If you didn’t win this week’s drawing, there’s still one more, on Monday, June 1. We’re continuing to post questions on Twitter, but if you’ve missed a few, no worries. You can find all of the questions at the end of this post.

The answer to each question can be found in one of our databases. There’s a list of them under our Virtual Library tab, and they’re also in the handy pull-out guide in your June-July newsletter.

Time saving tip: If you have school age kids, stash the guide where you can find it on a busy school night, for when someone needs trustworthy information for a report or project that they can access from home.

Answer each question here for a chance to win a $15 e-gift card in next week’s drawing. The Scavenger Hunt is open to AAPLD cardholders only.

Good luck and thanks for diving deep!

Database Deep Dive Scavenger Hunt Questions

1. Your favorite book is The God of Spring, by Arabella Edge. Where would you find other “read-alike”?
Which book, according to the resource, will you read next?
2. For spring cleaning, you need to order a new vacuum cleaner! Where would you find information about which to buy? Using the resource, which vacuum cleaner did you decide to buy?
3. The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of our spring season. Which resource would you use to find out more about it? Can you tell us another reason the equinox is special?
4. You adore clowns and have decided that becoming a visiting clown for parties and events would be your dream job! Before you open your new business, you need to check out the local competition. Which
database would you use to find out if any new clown businesses have opened in Algonquin in the last six
5. Your new boyfriend is a huge Star Wars geek. Where would you go to find all the cool virtual stuff
AAPLD’s Adult Services department is doing for Star Wars Day? What is one of the real life languages,
that Star Wars language is based on? Which data base could you use to learn to speak one of those
6. Spring is perfect time to buy a new car. You have your eye on a 2018 Ford Fusion, but you’re concerned about the number of recalls. What database would you consult to find this information? Name one of the recalls listed.
7. You’ve hired a new employee for your revolutionary kite manufacturing company. Where would you find a legal confidentiality agreement?
8. One of your goals this week is to learn to make pie crust. Where would you go to find instructions? How long is the class “how to make pie crust” with Devlin Mannie?
9. Do you have Hay Fever? Which resource would you use to find out if you do? What are the 12 symptoms of hay fever?
10. You recently planned on looking for a new accounting job. However, now might not be such a good time to do so. In the meantime, you would like to work on your math skills. What database can give you
tutorials in math and even quiz you? Which of the 8 categories includes these tests?

Recommend Me a Book

Looking for some good book recommendations? Are you in a reading rut? Don’t know what to read next? We can help!

A team of librarians and library associates stand ready to give you personalized reading suggestions. 

Just answer the questions on the “Recommend Me a Book” form, and a staff member will get back to you with your own personalized list of reading recommendations! (Estimated turnaround time 2-5 days.) 

Have questions? Feel free to contact us, or use the chat function on our homepage (We Are Here! Chat With Us), which is available from 9-5 during the weekdays.

Virtual Library Programs At Home

ebook and headphones

If you’ve been missing AAPLD’s adult programs, you’ll find a growing list of virtual program offerings on our website, under the Programs and Events tab. Most programs are presented live on Zoom and recorded for later viewing on YouTube.

Here’s a sample of what’s coming up for May, June and July.


Feeling tired and stressed? Give one of our wellness programs a try, and enjoy a workout in the privacy of your home. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines gentle exercise and meditation. Yin Yoga focuses on connecting muscle tissue. Programs are available for all ability levels, and Chair classes are great options for seniors and those with physical limitations.

History/Current Events

Popular speaker Barry Bradford will be presenting two programs this spring. On May 17, Barry will present Political Satire, which examines political humor from the writings of Mark Twain, to Will Rogers to late night host and commentator Stephen Colbert. In June, Barry’s topic is American Royalty, and the stories of Americans who married into royal families—for better and worse.

Also in June, join Gary Wenstrup for a look at Motown Records and hitmakers Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations and more.

In July, journalist and statistician Matt Baron will present Go Figure: Lies, and Damn Lies, about how presidential campaigns use statistics. Learn to tell fact from fiction with this informative workshop.

Registration is required and space is limited, so register today!

Better Living Through Technology

Whether it’s learning to use popular apps such as Microsoft Word or Excel, Zoom, or TV streaming devices, or tips for how to organize your digital equipment, there’s a tech class for you! Classes are on-going, and taught by AAPLD Digital Literacy Librarian, Kenny Duray. Search for classes by clicking EVENT TYPE and selecting Adult Computer Classes from the dropdown menu.

That’s not all! There’s also a number of book clubs, our geneaology interest group, other special interest groups, craft classes and more! Hop over to the Programs and Events page on our website, or check out the June and July AAPLD newsletter, arriving in homes after May 15.

Questions? Reach out through email or chat, we’re happy to help.


What’s On Acorn TV?

Staying home has given us an opportunity to use our virtual library, and one of our new favorite discoveries, is Acorn TV.

The streaming service carries series television and movies from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many of Acorn TV’s most popular shows are based on well-loved cozy mysteries– great news for our patrons who can’t get enough amateur sleuths! But there’s also comedy, family drama, historical drama and dark, spooky fare.

So what are AAPLD staff members’ recommendations?

Since I’m craving lighter stories these days, I suggest 800 Words , a New Zealand-set family drama that reminds me of Parenthood, and Northern Exposure, with beaches.  When a recently widowed newspaper columnist moves his family to the seaside community where he vacationed as a kid, things don’t go quite as planned. With quirky locals, gorgeous scenery and surfing, it’s a great escape that has both humor and heart.

Youth Services Librarian Jen Jezwinski is loving the Agatha Raisin series, about a high-powered London PR executive who chucks it all for a quiet life in the Cotswolds. Life doesn’t stay quiet for long, as she becomes tangled in a murder mystery and discovers a knack for detecting. Based on M.C. Beaton’s cozy mystery series, (check out the audiobooks on Hoopla), the show has witty banter and great characters. Jen recommends the series for fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, or Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

And speaking of Miss Phryne Fisher, fans of the popular books by Kerry Greenwood, will enjoy the television adaptation, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, set in 1920s Australia. Adult Services Librarian Kristen McCallum describes it as fun and lighthearted, as the sassy, unconventional heroine faces off with a smitten detective to solve murders.  A new movie, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, and spinoff series, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries are also available on Acorn.

Kristen also likes Blood, an Irish series which she calls an excellent mix of suspense, family drama, and mystery. “Prodigal daughter Cat Hogan returns home for her mother’s funeral and begins to suspect her father may have had something to do with her death.  Absolutely bingeworthy!”

In the mood for something darker? Karin Litwin of Adult Services, suggests you give Loch Ness a try. This mini-series, set in a community near the famous Scottish lake, has a police officer handling her first murder case and it’s a serial killer.  “There’s a lot of secrets, some red herrings, and some gross dead bodies but all in all a very entertaining Scottish police procedural.  Don’t watch too late at night though.”

Access AcornTV through the AAPLD website.

  1. Select Virtual Library on our home page.
  2. Click Videos
  3. Scroll down to RB Digital to find the link to AcornTV. You’ll need your AAPLD card number to set up an RB Digital account, if you don’t have one already.

Your subscription is good for 7 days. After it ends, the next time you log in, you’ll need to re-enter your card number and password.

Share your favorite AcornTV discoveries with us on Facebook or Twitter. Happy viewing and stay safe!