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GEPL Kids: Books & Babies

By: Katy Almendinger, GEPL Early Literacy Librarian

Reading to babies and young toddlers can be a really daunting task. It’s hard to keep up with the wiggles and their short attention spans. Reading to a baby might even seem silly, especially with books that don’t have much of a storyline.

But it’s so important to start reading to baby early. It’s even recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. They say: “Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.”

How do you find books for babies? Here are my top 5 tips and some of my favorite books for babies.

Simple Text
Orange Pear Apple BearBooks like Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett are great for babies because the text isn’t too complicated. Some board books read like catalogs instead of a story, with one image accompanied by brief text. This style also helps babies develop object recognition skills.
Whose Nose and ToesAnimal lovers, this book is for you! John Butler’s books feature a soft color palette, sweet illustrations, and repetition. Repetition is boring for adults, but it’s great for babies! It enhances brain development and memory.
Baby Loves SummerBooks with textures and flaps, like most of Karen Katz’s books, are perfect for babies. Babies love to feel the different textures and discover what’s hiding under the flaps. The hands-on interaction can bring baby’s attention back to the book. These kinds of experiences can help babies learn how to turn pages and interact with a book.
Global BabiesAt first, babies can only focus on things that are about 8-12 inches away from their face. It’s the distance between your face and baby’s while he’s being held. This might have something to do with why babies love looking at faces. There are plenty of books that feature photographs of faces. Global Babies is part of a series that showcases friendly faces from around the world.
Read whatever you’re reading! If it’s a New York Times Bestseller, a magazine, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, or the grocery list… read it out loud! Babies are still listening, even if they don’t show it, and they love to hear your voice.
Never To Young: Pediatricians Say Parents Should Read To Infants.
Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice
Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Tweens: Apps


By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

Now that school’s almost out, your brain is probably searching for a break. I’m sure you’ve already signed up for summer reading and look great in your new GEPL sunglasses, you might be looking for another recreational alternative that isn’t reading. GEPL is “so much more than books”, so why not try one of these apps out on your touch screen device?

Negative Nimbus

This app might be too soon for those who are sick of all the rain we’ve been getting lately. Help Nimbus, the gloomiest cloud you’ll ever meet, travel around. Try to only let the rain go on flowers because, like the rest of us, nothing else wants to get wet.

Transformers Construt-Bots
If there is anything better than making a transformer of your own then battling them, you tell me. Use your starting money carefully to build the ultimate transformer. Battle wins give you coin bonuses and the ability to upgrade your bot. It’s not too hard, which will be the perfect time to let your brain take it easy for a bit.

The Fantastic Flying Books
This app is a true celebration of multimedia. If features snippets of the Oscar winning short film, and can work with the book for augmented reality features. The story is fun, and the app is filled with things to explore.

Wonders of Life
Ok, this app is technically educational, but it’s SO COOL! Observe even the smallest details of the world around us – even down to the cellular level. It will give you a new perspective on life. P.S. Wonders of the Universe is pretty cool too.


There are a lot of cool apps out there for you to try. If you’d like, check out the Geocaching Intro app and practice before our program July 17!

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: We Need Diverse Books

Teens Blog BannerBy: Hannah Rapp, Teen Librarian

Blog Entry 151 - ImageJust over a year ago, a few authors who had noticed a lack of diversity in children’s and young adult books started tweeting about it, using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. The conversation quickly swelled, the hashtag trended on Twitter, and people started sharing their own reasons for needing diverse books. One of our teen bloggers did a great job of outlining the campaign and sharing some of the photos and tweets last fall – you can read what she said here.

Since last spring, #WeNeedDiverseBooks has gone from a Twitter hashtag to a grassroots campaign and non-profit. From advocacy to raising money to fund publishing internships aimed at increasing diversity in the industry, We Need Diverse Books is working to create a world of youth and young adult literature that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. You can find out more about the movement on their website.

To showcase some of the diverse titles in our collection, and to show that we value all teens in our community and want to make sure we have books that reflect their lives and experiences, our YA display for May is #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Diversity can mean a lot of things, and the books on this display range from fantasy and science fiction novels like The Summer Prince and Prophecy to contemporary realistic titles such as Girls Like Us and Rabbit Ears to graphic novels like American Born Chinese and Ms. Marvel. So stop by the library and pick up one of our many diverse titles.  Maybe one of these books will introduce you to a new perspective, or give you a chance to recognize your own experience. And with such a wide variety of books to choose from, no matter what your tastes are, there is sure to be a book here for you!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Kids: Read for Heroes

By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Department Assistant Director

Read for Heroes Full-01

There are many different kinds of heroes. Some people look up to a historical figure like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr. Others may look up to their teachers or a family member. Many people look up to first responders, military personnel, religious figures; and others find heroes from the inspiration they receive from authors, actors, and singers.

My personal hero is a young man that contracted a fatal disease through no fault of his own. After he was expelled from school because of this disease, he fought to be treated fairly. He always looked on the bright side. I was inspired by hearing him say, “Keep a positive attitude.” I try to live by this ideal on a daily basis.

How does your hero inspire you?

This summer, the library is celebrating heroes starting with our summer reading program Read for Heroes. Summer Reading registration started on May 11. If you haven’t registered, don’t worry you can register online now or stop by one of the reference desks and we will be happy to help.

We are challenging our community to reach certain goals, and if they are met, the Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library and The Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn will donate money to our local heroes, the Glen Ellyn Fire and Police Departments to support the Madden Scholarship Fund and recruitment of future volunteer firefighters.

Summer 2015 Reading Challenges

Youth Department: Read 70,000 Hours
Adult Department: Read 4500 Books

In addition to working towards a worthy cause, the library offers terrific sign-up and participation prizes:

Pre-Readers (Birth through 4 years old) Sign-up to participate and receive a rubber ducky. When a goal has been completed, pre-readers earn a Book Buck redeemable at The Bookstore in downtown Glen Ellyn. Earn up to 12 Book Bucks!

Kids (2 years old through entering 5th grade) Pick up a rubber ducky upon signing-up to participate. Log your hours reading for a chance to earn some amazing prizes: books, patches, and coupons to area businesses!

Middle School (Grades 6-8) Receive a pair of sunglasses at sign-up. Complete a level and earn a terrific prize, such as movie tickets, gift cards, coupons to area businesses and more. Log your hours reading for an entry into the grand prize drawing: a Nintendo 3DS!

Let the Teens (Grades 9-12) in your life know they get a t-shirt for signing up and Adults receive a chocolate bar from Divine Chocolate!

Please help us spread the word about Read for Heroes to your friends and neighbors and help us reach our goals!

Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – Summer Break

Teens Blog BannerBy: Sabrina, Teen Blogger

Blog Entry 150 - ImageSummer break is right around the corner and while many people go on vacation, some are stuck at home. Here are 10 ideas on how to have a fun summer break at home!

The first thing to do is to go to places around the city that you have never seen. Maybe you have lived in the Chicago area for many years but still haven’t visited the Bean. The second thing you might try is to go window shopping, look around the mall to see things that you like. Try things on that you have never thought about wearing and take pictures. A third suggestion is to YouTube a how to video and learn how to do something new. This can be origami or a food recipe or a new dance. The fourth thing you could do over summer break is have a movie marathon of all the movies you wanted to watch during the school year but didn’t have time for. Fifth, you could have a campout in your backyard – or if you don’t have a backyard, then in your basement. Bring all your essentials into the tent and don’t leave the “campground” till sunrise.

The sixth thing you could do is make a movie with your siblings or family or friends. Write up a script and then start to film it, and don’t be afraid to get creative. A seventh thing to do over summer break is to check out local events. The library and park districts always have cheap or free things to attend, and you should definitely take advantage of those events.  An eighth suggestion is to DIY something, meaning make something yourself. You could make a wallet out of duct tape or make a tie dye shirt or make bracelets out of yarn. The ninth activity to do over summer break is to start a business. You could wash cars or sell baked goods or babysit. This will help you stay busy, and make some money on the side. The tenth suggestion for something you could do over summer break is participate in the library’s summer reading program. You get to read and get rewarded for it, while doing something that could even be educational when you are out of school.

There you have it, ten things to do over summer break, even if you’re stuck at home!


Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: Geekway to the West


By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

The Taste of Glen Ellyn was last weekend. GEPL staff was there to help register anyone interested for summer reading. I was dreaming of funnel cake, my favorite.

I didn’t attend this year. Instead, I go to Saint Louis for Geekway to the West. For four days, I nerd out and play as many board games as possible. It’s pretty awesome. The convention has been going on for eleven years and is getting bigger and bigger. This was the first year the event sold out in the pre-registration stage. This makes sense because board games have become more and more popular lately. Libraries hold programs to enjoy classics or teach new games. There’s even an International Tabletop Day. While Monopoly is still great, there are more alternatives to the common games you know.

Are you interested in learning a new game? Here are some great suggestions to enter the world of tabletop gaming.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan – 3-4 players
Up to 90 minutes playing time

After strategically placing your settlements, earn cards that help you expand your claim over the landscape. Build for victory points to win the game!

You can find this game at many retail stores these days. This was one of the first alternative game to make it to mainstream, but the concepts are a little overwhelming for beginners. The plus side is that these concepts are the building blocks for many other games.

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride – 2-5 players
30-60 minutes playing time

Collect and spend color cards in order to make your train tracks reach your destination goals.

This game is great for brand new beginners. It incorporates a lot of concepts from classic games and blends them with the very basics of newer games.

Small World – 2-5 players
45-60 minutes playing time

Choose a mythical race and populate the different territories, but be careful – everyone else is trying to do the same thing. A fun board game version of “king of the mountain”.

This game is one of the more complex of the suggested games. Once you get the hang of it, you are free to try different strategies against your friends.


Dominion – 2-4 players
approx. 30 minutes playing time

This is a deck building game Use your starter hand to build the ultimate card deck. Buy cards in order to help you gain the most victory points at the end of the game.

This is recommended for all, but especially if you like things like Magic the Gathering. This game is one of the few in this list that has attack cards. Be ready to make some enemies! Game expansions can help you add more players too.


Splendor – 2-4 players
30 minutes playing time

Collect gems to purchase cards that reward you with more gems or victory points. The first to 15 points wins!

This is one of my newest favorites. It’s simple and quick to learn like Ticket to Ride, but you’re not totally out of luck if someone takes the card you were vying for.

MunchkinMunchkin – 3-8 players
60 minutes playing time

Use cards to help or hurt other players as they defeat monsters and gain levels.

This game is possibly even more common than Settlers of Catan. Players strive to increase levels instead of points. You can join forces and team up to beat monsters, but remember there can only be one winner!


One of the best parts about these games is that the gameplay changes each time you play them. The boards, cards, and routes are customizable, so each game is different. Many of these games are available to learn and play online for free. This can be an easier way to learn the layout and rules too. Check it out! Speaking of checking out, be sure to check out one of our board games at the youth department desk and fulfil one of the Middle School Summer Reading BINGO tasks!

Four Stages




Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Read for Heroes

Teens Blog BannerBy: Hannah Rapp, Teen Librarian

You’re still gearing up for finals, but believe it or not, summer reading has begun at the library! This year, we’re going to Read for Heroes and raise money for the Glen Ellyn Police and Fire Departments. If we meet our reading goals, the Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library and the Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn will donate towards a police scholarship fund and firefighter recruitment. Everything you’ve read since May 11 counts, and you should sign up ASAP because there is a lot going on this year! Let’s jump right into it with some new, fun stuff.

Blog Entry 149 - Image

So that’s me, at age 18, after 24 sleepless hours. Yes, I’m a mess – that’s the point! Because this year, Tween Christina Keasler and I are shamelessly bribing you to read more and log your books by publicly humiliating ourselves as you reach certain goals. Consider this terrible photo a good faith offering (and check out Christina’s here). Here’s how it will work: every time you or the tweens hit a goal, Christina and I will do a ridiculous stunt. If you reach our total goal for the summer – five books per person for teens – it’s going to be amazing. In the meantime, every time your collective average goes up by one book per person, we do something ridiculous! Here’s how the stunts will look:

  • Average of one book read per teen: Christina and I will participate in the DC vs. Marvel Nerf Wars on June 26 (I called dibs on Marvel immediately!)
  • Average of two books read per teen: Christina and I will wear ridiculous outfits for a week. There will be pictures. Many, many pictures.
  • Average of three books read per teen: Christina and I will tie our fates, and our legs, together and do a timed three-legged race around the GEPL parking lot. There will definitely be a video of this one!
  • Average of four books read per teen: I do my best to kick Christina’s butt in a break-dancing competition. And of course there will be a video!
  • Average of five books read per teen: We congratulate you on reaching your goal, and then…do a very special public performance (with video) that I will never live down, and you will definitely want to see. Trust me, it’ll be good. And remarkably, hilariously awkward for me.

And as an added incentive to beat the tweens to their goal (60 hours read per person,) whichever group reaches their goal first can expect an extra, solo, and hilarious video of their librarian doing our last secret stunt.  And while that one will definitely be embarrassing for me, I’m actually kind of excited about it, humiliation and all, so help me do it and get reading!

As for the rest of summer reading, it’s going to sound more familiar.  Get a t-shirt when you sign up, and a $5 gift card when you read your first book.  After that, every five books you read gets you another gift card, and an entry into our grand prize drawing for a $150 gift card to Ticketmaster or a fire truck ride along for you and your friends.  We have a special prize, another Ticketmaster gift card, for our top reader.  Throughout the summer we have our awesome stunts of course, and if you read two books by July 16, you can come eat some ice cream and participate in an epic tug-of-war contest against some of our firefighting heroes!  Lastly, just like last year, you can log extra “books” by either following @GEPLTeenScene and tweeting to us about what you’re reading, or by writing books review for our blog.  You can find all the details about everything at our Read for Heroes page!

TL;DR – the more you read, the more you help raise money for our local firefighter and police heroes, the more embarrassing things Christina and I do in public and on video, and the more gift cards and chances at the grand prizes you get.  So sign up, start logging everything you read (including your summer reading for school!), and wait for the gift cards and hilarious videos to start pouring in!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Kids: Summer Reading School Challenge

By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

Calling all Super Readers!

Can you help your Glen Ellyn elementary school be the TROPHY winner in the summer reading school challenge? We think the answer is yes! But even if your school doesn’t win the trophy this year you can all be Super Readers!

  • Sign up for Summer Reading, “Read for Heroes”, at the Glen Ellyn Public Library: first day to sign up is May 11, but you can sign up any time this summer. Your reading for the challenge counts from the day you sign up.
  • Encourage your school friends to sign up too! (even moms and dads can sign up for the adult program, but it won’t count toward the trophy)
  • READ! Read to yourself, read to your siblings, read to your parents, read to your pets, read, read, read!
  • Go to the library, check in with your reading time: earn prizes (including FREE books that are yours to keep).
  • Read some more!

At the end of summer reading, we will add up the number of children who signed up to read for their school, then we will add up all the hours of reading they did. We will divide the number of hours by the number* of children reading for their school in order to select the winner.

St. James the Apostle Elementary School, Glen Ellyn

St. James the Apostle Elementary School, Glen Ellyn

*At least 15% of a Glen Ellyn school’s K-5 enrollment must be registered for summer reading in order for a school to qualify for the Trophy contest.

Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – What I Don’t Read

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 148 - ImageLibrarian note: we talk a lot on this blog about what people do read, and what they love. But sometimes, we find that certain types of books or genres just don’t appeal to us – and that’s okay! One teen blogger explores some of the books that she doesn’t read, and why.

Many teenagers enjoy reading fantasy books and science fiction because they are fun and easy to read. I myself have read the Harry Potter series and the Lord of Rings when I was middle school. The only reason I read these books is that they are popular in our school and many of my friends love them, so they recommend them to me. But overall, I don’t really like to read science fiction. In my opinion they are fantastic books to read for killing time, but I personally didn’t find any deeper thought and knowledge from them.

To be honest, Harry Potter is the most interesting book I have ever read, and I was waiting for the movie to come out so anxiously when I finished reading the books. But even though I like the plots of science fiction, I find only can read them for entertainment. For science fiction books, I often borrow them from library instead of buying them. Not only because they are expensive in the bookstores but also they make me feel boring when I read them second time. Just like entertainment movies, for example, I wouldn’t watch them many times. But after all, science fiction is still a popular genre for many teenagers to read.


Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: Read for Heroes


By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

Summer reading is upon us! You can even register online. Students entering grades 6-8 will be stylish all summer in their GEPL sunglasses that they will receive by registering for our summer reading program. The last couple years, GEPL readers have helped local organizations, and this year is no different. 2015’s theme is Read for Heroes. After reaching our goal, $2,000 will be split and donated to our local police and fire departments. This money will be used to help bring in new recruits that help make Glen Ellyn a safe place.

If the altruistic theme, and sunglasses, weren’t enough, we have prizes to reward you for all of your hours spent reading. The reading tiers have rewards like bowling, rock climbing, and mini golf passes, and of course FREE PIZZA!

After our ice cream social on June 8, readers earn a drawing slip each day they check in. Middle schoolers can use these drawing slips to enter for a weekly chance to win gift cards from Amazon or iTunes, rock climbing passes from Vertical Endeavors, or movie passes from Studio Movie Grill – or enter into our summer-long drawing to try and win a new Nintendo 3DS!

I know, this is awesome. And you can get this all for just reading!

But we’re not done yet.

Young Christina

Did that get your attention? Right now you’re asking, “What in the world am I looking at?!?!?!”

Well, I’ll tell you. You’re looking at a picture of me from eighth grade. Not my finest hour. This year, Teen Librarian Hannah and I are creating a competition between middle school and high school readers. Now, the more you read, the more crazy and embarrassing things Hannah and I have to do. I am asking middle schoolers to read an average of 60 hours this summer. In good faith, we are both releasing an embarrassing picture to get started. Here’s the plan:

15 hours: Hannah and I take part in the Marvel vs. DC Nerf War happening June 26. I’m repping for DC.

25 hours: We have to wear funny/weird outfits for a week.

35 hours: With our powers – and legs – combined, Hannah and I will do a timed three-legged race around the GEPL parking lot.

45 hours: It’s a break dance fight!

60 hours: A secret, public, and LIVE event!

All of these stunts will be documented and posted online, so don’t worry about missing it. Once either middle school or high school reaches a tier, we are bound to perform the stunt. The group that has read the most by the end of the summer will not only receive bragging rights, but the correlating librarian will have to do AN EXTRA EMBARRASSING (secret) THING!

Don’t let me down guys. I know we can stomp the high schoolers!

I’ll start practicing my breakdance moves.

Posted in GEPL Tweens