Time to Make Your Reading Resolutions!


Make 2021 your best reading year yet, with a fun reading challenge that continues all year long!

Reading Resolutions encourages you to read a book that fits a different theme each month. For each month you participate, you’ll be entered into a monthly prize drawing, and a grand prize drawing at year’s end.

These are the twelve monthly themes:

January – Famous and Infamous (read a biography)

February- And the winner is… (read an award winning book)

March- Twice Told Tales (read a book that’s been adapted into a movie, TV series, or another book)

April- Let’s Get Graphic (read a graphic novel)

May- Graduation Day (read a Young Adult book)

June- Summer Lovin’ (read a romance or a love story)

July- #OwnVoices (read a book by an author from a marginalized group about a character from the same group)

August- The Great Outdoors (read a book set primarily in nature, such as a western, or a beach book, or a non-fiction book about nature or climate)

September- Back to School (read a literary classic)

October- Spooky Reads (read a horror, paranormal or mystery novel, or non-fiction about eerie phenomena, or true crime)

November- When I Was Growing Up (read a book set in your childhood/teen decade)

December- Short and Sweet (read poetry, short stories, novellas, essays)

You can also request a bookmark listing the themes with your next drive through or curbside pick-up.

Get started by signing up in Beanstack. If you’re participating in Winter Reading or did 2020 Summer Reading, you will already have an account. If you’re not sure, or can’t log in, ask an Adult Services staff member for help.

Check out the FAQs to learn more about how Reading Resolutions works


Do I have to register to participate?

Yes, and you’ll receive your first prize drawing entry, just for signing up.

To participate, you will need to create an account in Beanstack.com.  If you’re participating in Winter Reading, or if you did 2020 Summer Reading, you already have one. Not sure? Ask an Adult Services staff member for help.

Once you’re signed into your Beanstack account, select the Reading Resolutions Reading Challenge banner.

This will take you to the 12 monthly themes (known in Beanstack as “activity badges”) for the challenge. When you’ve read a book with that month’s theme, click the corresponding activity badge to record your progress and be entered in the drawing.

You can also track your reading progress on paper and ask an Adult Services staff member for help recording your progress in Beanstack.

Can books I read for Reading Resolutions count toward Winter Reading?

Yes! But you’ll have to enter them under the Reading Resolutions Challenge’s activity badges AND log them as books read to count them for the Winter Reading Challenge

Can I read more than one book for each month’s theme?

While only one book can count toward your Reading Resolutions Challenge activity, if it’s a theme you love, you can always count additional books toward Winter Reading.

Do I have to read a book every month?

No. You can participate in the challenge every month or just once. Remember though, that every month you participate earns you another entry in the prize drawing. If you complete all twelve months, you receive a bonus Completion badge, for a total of 14 entries. Better odds!

What if I miss a month?

No problem! You can catch up. Badges activate on the first day of the month for that theme and will remain active through the end of the year.

Can I count a book I’ve already read?

As long as it’s a book you read in 2021. But you cannot click on the badge until it becomes active on the first day of the theme month, so no jumping ahead.

How about ebooks or audiobooks?

Of course!

What are the prizes?

Each month we’ll give away a $10 gift card, and at the end of the year, we’ll give away a $100 gift card and a $50 gift card for a local merchant. Monthly winners are still eligible for the year-end drawings.

How do I find books to fit the theme?

Each month, we’ll have a display set up in the Adult Services Department. We’ll feature book ideas on the Adult Services blog, and you can also find links to suggested titles in Beanstack. You can also read a book from your personal collection.

Winter Reading Begins! (Plus, a few suggestions to get you started)

So far, snow hasn’t been falling, but books are definitely calling, as AAPLD opens its 2020-21 Winter Reading program.  The program officially kicked off on Monday, December 14, and runs through February 1.

Signing up is easy! If you created a Beanstack account for 2020 Summer Reading, just go to aapld.beanstack.org  or use the Beanstack app. Log-in and follow the prompts. If you don’t have an account, select the Registration button on the Beanstack sign-in page and create an account. You can also give the library a call and ask a staff member for help.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll use Beanstack to track your progress. Just click the Log Reading and Activities button to log your reading or record an activity.  If you’d rather keep track on paper, you can print a log from Beanstack, ask for one at the Harnish Drive-through window, or with curbside pick-up at the Eastgate Branch. Track on paper, then call the library to have us record your results.

Adults will receive a packet of hot cocoa mix for reading their first book, a coupon for Scorched Earth Brewing or Churros y Chocolate for their second book, and a colorful AAPLD ceramic soup mug for their third book.  Each book, up to 15, also earns you an entry into the drawing for our Grand Prize Baskets: Book Lovers, Binge Basket, Coffee Lovers, Cozy Blanket, Culinary Basket and the Eastgate Basket.

When you’ve won a prize, give us a call to arrange to for pick up.

If you want more information, be sure to check out this post, and FAQs. If you’re ready to start your first Winter Reading book, check out these happy holiday reads, available digitally through Hoopla and Overdrive/Libby.

Items marked with an asterisk are also available in print and/or audio. Use our website to place a hold, or give us a call.


Mr. Dickens and his Carol by Samantha Silva*

Many Unpleasant Returns by Judith Alguire

Christmas in London by Anita Hughes*

Tidings of Comfort and Joy by Davis Bunn

Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan*

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens*

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas*

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie*

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor*

The Night of Christmas Eve by Nikolai Gogol*

The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern*


Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand*

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber*

Hiddensee: The Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire*

Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah*

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford*

One Day In December by Josie Silver*

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory*

Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou*

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak*

Print only

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Soon To Be Famous Illinois Manuscript Contest is now open!

Calling all local authors! If you have a finished work of Adult fiction that’s not yet published, consider entering it in the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Manuscript Contest!

Sponsored by The Illinois Author Project, a collaboration between the the Illinois Library Association, the Reaching Across Illinois Library System, and other contributors, the contest recognizes the best unpublished Adult Fiction written by an Illinois author.

Entries will be judged by Illinois librarians. The winner will receive editing from a professional line editor, who will help the author polish their manuscript, a professionally designed book cover, and self-publishing guidance from past winners of the Soon To Be Famous contest. In addition, the finished book will be automatically entered as a semi-finalist in the 2022 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Contest.

Manuscripts must meet formatting criteria, available on the contest website. Entries will be accepted through January 3, 2021, and are limited to one entry per author.

The Soon To Be Famous Illinois Manuscript contest is one of two contests offered by The Illinois Author Project. The Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author contest is for independently published authors residing in Illinois. That contest will open for entries in April, 2021.

The Illinois Author Project (IAP) is part of an ongoing, library-driven effort to support and promote Illinois authors, whether they are unpublished or self-published. Readers can access self-published fiction in many genres for free, open-ended check-outs, through the IAPs digital collection.


Too Much of a Good Thing? Try these tools to manage your holds


It happens to everyone. You browse the library’s catalog, or you read one of those “Best of…” articles that gives you great ideas for books you’d love to read. You place them on hold. And then? They all arrive at once and you’re overflowing with books!

What’s a book lover to do—especially if you’re not a fast reader, or are too busy to read as much as you’d like? Good news!  AAPLD offers some simple tools that allows you to pause your active holds, or even pass an available book on to someone else until you’re ready to read it!

Library Catalog holds

When placing a hold with library staff, you can request the hold be suspended until a more convenient time. For example, if you’re going on vacation, ask the staff member to suspend your hold until after you return. The item will show up in your account as PAUSED until the date you select, and then automatically reactivate.

If you’re placing the hold yourself, after you’ve logged into your account, put the item on hold and chosen your pick-up location, scroll down the page for an option to set your hold activation date. Enter the date you want your hold to activate. Click Submit Request to save your hold and date.

Digital Library holds

Overdrive allows borrows to suspend holds, while still moving up on the title’s wait list. Here’s how you do it:

  • Sign into your Overdrive account
  • Click or tap the icon that shows three leaning books.
  • Select Holds
  • Select Suspend Hold
  • Choose the number of days you would like to suspend your hold. Click or tap suspend.

If one of your holds becomes available before you’re ready to read it, you can delay delivery of your ebook and pass it along to another borrower without losing your place. When holds become available, Overdrive generates an email that your hold is ready. You have three days to borrow the hold or opt for later delivery.

  • Sign into your Overdrive account, and go to your Holds page.
  • Select Deliver Later next to the title.
  • Choose the earliest date you’d like the title to be delivered. After that date, you’ll get a copy when the next one is available.
  • Select Confirm
  • Change your delivery date by selecting Edit Hold. Set a new date, or select As Soon As Possible to receive the next available copy.


Doctor Who Comics Day 2020

During our recent Geek Bag give-away, we learned that quite a few of you were really into Doctor Who, and if you didn’t know, Saturday, November 21, 2020 is Doctor Who Comics Day.

Doctor Who Comics Day is a global event inspired by Titan Comics’ Doctor Who comics. This is the fifth Doctor Who Comics Day, and as with much of 2020, it’s going to be a bit different this year! We’ve got lots of activities for you to get involved with, some great comics to read, and it’s going to be better than ever!

To celebrate this day, we'd like to tell you about a library resource, hoopla, where you can read many, many Doctor Who comics.  To check out Doctor Who comics that are available, digitally through the library, click on the link below.

Doctor Who Comics on hoopla

Besides comics, we have also linked you to some Doctor Who audiobooks to enjoy.

Doctor Who Audiobooks on hoopla

Below, you will also find some fun activities you can download and print out to help you celebrate your love of Doctor Who!  Click on the Download button below each image to download that activity.

Hope you enjoy all these Doctor Who comics, audiobooks and activities!  Have a great Doctor Who Comics Day!!!


What’s On The Shelf? Classic Movies!

Staying safe at home means there’s plenty of time to delve into your list of favorite classic movies, or catch up on the movies you’ve always meant to watch, but haven’t gotten around to yet.

AAPLD has made it easier for patrons to locate our classic movies by adding a distinctive yellow sticker to the spine of the DVD cases. You’ll find our new Classics collection on the first shelf of the Adult Services DVD area, facing the front entrance to the main library.

We’ve also created a link so that you can browse our collection from home, place a hold and pick up at the Main Library’s drive-through, or at the Eastgate Branch, via curbside service.

Here’s a sample of some timeless favorites to enjoy on a chilly night at home:

The African Queen (1951)  Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.  A scruffy riverboat captain and a prim missionary reluctantly join forces to torpedo a German gunboat, and find themselves falling in love.

Love Me Tender (1956)  Elvis Presley makes his film debut in this classic about three brothers returning home  to Texas after the Civil War. The joyous homecoming is upturned when they discover their youngest brother has married his older brother’s true love. Elvis performs four songs, including the title song.

Roman Holiday (1953) Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. A princess flees her staid royal life for an adventure in Rome, while an American journalist in search of an exclusive story pretends not to know her true identity.

Shane (1952) Alan Ladd A retired gunfighter comes to the aid of a family terrorized by a ruthless rancher and his hired gun. Directed by George Stevens, Shane is one of Hollywood’s quintessential Westerns.

If you prefer streaming films, you’ll find more choices available through our Hoopla and kanopy apps.

Grab the popcorn, kick back and enjoy.



Read for Understanding: Celebrate Native American Heritage Month


Since 1990, November has been designated as Native American Heritage Month, when we recognize the cultures, contributions and struggles of America’s indigenous people. According to Native Hope, an advocacy organization for the Native American community, there are an estimated 6.79 million Native Americans currently living in the United States, and 574 federally recognized tribes.

Unfortunately, the languages and cultures of many of those tribes has been lost, but the tradition of storytelling is not only helping to preserve Native American heritage within the community, but increase awareness outside it.

Libraries play a vital role in helping patrons access the work of Native American writers, including best-selling authors Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Tommy Orange, and Joy Harjo, a member of the Creek Nation, who was named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States in 2019

We’ve listed works from our digital and print collections by Native American writers, that include history, literary fiction, poetry, young adult fiction, junior fiction, memoirs and more. Digital selections marked with an asterisk are also available in print. Click on the titles to place a hold.


 Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth*

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice*

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga*

The Round House by Louise Erdrich*

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot*

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich*

Crazy Horse Weeps by Joseph M. Marshall

American Sunrise by Joy Harjo*

The Beadworkers by Beth Piatote*

Our History is the Future by Nick Estes*

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer*

Where The Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson*

Mostly White by Alison Hart

Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac*

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac*

Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie*



There, There by Tommy Orange*

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse*

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer*

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse*

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich*



The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy (ed.)

Bury My Heart at Chuck E Cheese’s by Tiffany Midge

As Long As The Grass Grows by Dino Gilio-Whitaker

Rez Life by David Treuer

Join the fall Big Library Read!


Starting November 2, library patrons can check out the latest selection for the Big Library Read, a digital book club sponsored by Overdrive/Libby and local libraries across the country.

Reverie is a contemporary YA fantasy novel by debut author  Ryan La Sala. When a gay teen’s daydreams suddenly materialize in real life, he begins to question what is real, what is a dream, and which “reality” is worth fighting for.

Ever since Connecticut high school student Kane Montgomery was found nearly dead in a river, nothing has been the same. His memory has vanished. Three classmates who claim to be his friends seem to know what is happening, but can he trust them?

Reverie is Inception meets The Magicians,  mixed with elements of Alice In Wonderland and Harry Potter, as Kane and his friends discover their magical powers, and battle a colorful cast of adversaries. Book of the Month reviewer Lily Philpott called it “an energy drink in novel form.” Action-packed, magical beyond your wildest dreams, and unashamedly queer, this electric debut is a wild ride from start to finish. Read more of her review here.

From Nov. 2-16, AAPLD patrons can use their cards to check out a digital copy from Overdrive or Libby with no waiting and no holds.  Sign up for a special online chat with the author on November 10, and post your thoughts about the book, and discuss it with other readers here.

The Big Library Read is the world’s largest digital book club and allows library patrons to participate in a shared reading experience, through out the year. The program is free to participants, and includes opportunities to interact with other readers and even the book’s author.  New to Overdrive or Libby? Check out our tutorials to install the apps and start discovering our digital collections of ebooks and downloadable audiobooks today!