Enter your email address to have the latest GEPL news sent directly to your inbox!

You're in all Blogs Section

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

GEPL Teens: What I Just Read – Dove Arising

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 147 - ImageJust when I think I’m over the dystopian or futuristic totalitarian government thing, I read something that gets me excited all over again about these types of books, and today’s sci-fi/dystopia hybrid What I Just Read definitely got my psyched about the genre again!

What I Just Read: Dove Arising by Karen Bao

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Phaet Theta has lived her whole life in a colony on the Moon. She’s barely spoken since her father died in an accident nine years ago. She cultivates the plants in Greenhouse 22, lets her best friend talk for her, and stays off the government’s radar.

Then her mother is arrested.

The only way to save her younger siblings from the degrading Shelter is by enlisting in the Militia, the faceless army that polices the Lunar bases and protects them from attacks by desperate Earth dwellers. Training is brutal, but it’s where Phaet forms an uneasy but meaningful alliance with the preternaturally accomplished Wes, a fellow outsider.

Rank high, save her siblings, free her mom: that’s the plan. Until Phaet’s logically ordered world begins to crumble…

Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.

Did I Like It: I really, really did!

Thoughts: Okay, so yes, a lot of things about this book in theory remind me of a lot of other dystopian novels. But in practice, it just means that the things I know and love about other dystopias – the slowly growing awareness of the main character that something is wrong with her world, the intense fighting and training scenes, the deep love and ties that bind people together despite bad circumstances – are also present in this book. So I really think that if you loved Divergent or Legend or The Hunger Games, you will love Dove Arising. But of course, it’s not enough for a book to have things we love from other books, it has to have something special. And I think Dove Arising has something special – a lot of somethings special. If I’m totally honest, I liked it even better than Divergent, and I can’t wait for the sequel!

As always with me, a lot rides on the characters. And Phaet is a great main character. Her quiet and calm are something relatively rare in a genre featuring a lot of outspoken, impulsive, and (yes) awesome women. Phaet is as strong and powerful as any of them, but in her own way. She is crazy smart, and particularly drawn to math and science, knowledge that helps her in her military training as well. She loves growing things and the stars, almost as much as her family. She is exceptionally driven, and works extremely hard to achieve academic as well as physical success. She is much more interested in securing a future for herself and her family than she is in any kind of romance, but she maintains these priorities without dismissing the importance of love and affection.

I also thought the world building was an added element of awesomeness. Because of the nature of trying to survive on the moon, a lot of the more restrictive aspects of the government make sense, and it also makes sense that people would put up with it. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of corruption and a lot of bad things happening, but it makes the whole world seem more believable and realistic. Between the world, a plot that moves quickly, and plenty of action and excitement, I couldn’t put Dove Arising down. I do have to add one negative to my thoughts, though: this book will leave you desperate for more, with no release date yet for the sequel! The agony!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: Tween Programming This Week


By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

May the Fourth Be With You


Man! We have a lot of middle school programming happening this week! Monday was National Star Wars Day.



Edible R2D2Kids from 4th through 8th grade were able to make edible R2D2s and fold origami Yodas.

While Monday was the official day to celebrate Star Wars, fans have taken it the extra mile – and an extra day (or 2).

But I’ve heard “Revenge of the Fifth” and “Revenge of the Sixth”. Both can work. What do you use?

Revenge of the Fifth

Friday from 12-3, any middle schooler that’s not in school is welcome to come to the library to eat pizza, play with board games and iPads, and hang out in general. Be sure to visit, as we’re unveiling our newest toy: the Sphero. See the possibilities!


Finally, this Saturday at 12:00, participate in our Super Smash Brothers Brawl competition! We will be playing on the Wii console, and competitors are welcome to bring their own controller if they wish. First, second, and third place will receive a gift card from GameStop. First place will also win the coveted GEPL trophy and bragging rights.

We have a lot happening for tweens this week, and I hope to see you soon!

What are the odds? The information I learned about kites came in handy last weekend. I totally seemed like a kite expert. THE MORE YOU KNOW!

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Kids: May the Fourth Be With You

By: Courtney Moore, Youth Programming Associate

Are you a Jedi? Have you dedicated your life to the light side of the Force? May 4th, May the Fourth Be With You, is a day dedicated to all things Star Wars. Are the Jedi not quite your style? Many fans show their dark side on May 5th, Revenge of the Fifth, a day celebrating Sith Lords and Star Wars anti-heroes. After all, the Dark Side has Cookies!

May 4th might be considered the best day to jump into the epic adventure of Star Wars, but its never too late to begin. Below are some books that are great for beginners as well as veteran fans.

No matter which side of the Force you choose, remember that the Force is like Duct Tape. It has a Light side and a Dark side, and it holds the Universe together!

Picture Book Collection

The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony DiTerlizzi

Retells Luke Skywalker’s journey from a Tatooine farm boy to a Jedi Knight, as he learns how to use the Force in the battle against the Empire. In this picture book collection filled with brilliant pictures, young children can follow Luke’s adventure right from the very beginning.


Easy Reader Collection

Meet the Rebels by Sadie Smith

Introduces some of the characters from the series “Star Wars Rebels,” a television show, set between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It follows the former Jedi Kanan Jarrus and his ragtag crew aboard the starship Ghost as they struggle against the evil rule of the Galactic Empire.

Fiction Collection

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Roan’s one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy–a school that he didn’t apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now…


Youth Books Referencing Star Wars

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

For Adults/Parents

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

What if Darth Vader took an active role in raising his son? What if ‘Luke, I am your father’ was just a stern admonishment from an annoyed dad? In this hilarious and sweet comic re-imagining, Darth Vader is a dad like any other– except with all the baggage of being the Dark Lord of the Sith.

Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – Staying Motivated

Teens Blog BannerBlog Entry 146 - ImageSummer is right around the corner, which means school is finally coming to an end. After nine months of testing, homework, and studying, it is time to give yourself a break and spend the days sitting at the beach or watching Netflix till 1:00 a.m. Unfortunately there are still a few weeks left until you can completely relax and take time for yourself, and it can be difficult to motivate yourself to push through the little bit of school left. There are a few things you can do to inspire yourself to finish the year off strong though.

The first thing is to think about the fun things that will happen during summer break, like vacations or seeing your friends or spending time with family. This will help you remember that fun things are coming soon, but not until after you work hard and push yourself through school. The second thing to motivate yourself is to study or do homework outside. Spending time outside will allow you to enjoy spring/summer weather while getting your work done. A third tip is to reward yourself for the little things that you do like getting a good grade on a test or finishing another week of school. Rewards can be a simple pleasure like getting ice cream or going out with friends, and rewarding yourself will motivate you to do more and accomplish more while you are slipping into summer mode. My fourth tip is to give yourself “me time” to reflect on the school year and also to ground yourself in your surroundings. This will help you be more practical when it comes to finishing loads of homework and studying for difficult tests. My last tip is to set up goals you want to accomplish before the school year ends. Having goals will keep you on track throughout the last few weeks of school. Every student and teacher wants it to be summer and everyone wants to start relaxing, but you cannot forget that there are still tests and finals coming up shortly. These tips will help you stay engaged while school is winding down and summer is getting closer.


Posted in GEPL Teens