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Teens Blog: What I’m Watching Now

I decided to take a slightly different route from my “What I’m Reading Now” posts, and thought I’d try a “What I’m Watching Now” post.  Though since I tend to get invested in entire series at once, and don’t get around to a lot of movies, these will be a little rarer than my reading-focused posts.

What I’m Reading Now: Dr. Who (currently on the first season of the 10th Doctor)

What’s It About (description from IMDB.com): The further adventures of the time traveling alien adventurer and his companions.

Do I Like It: SO much

Thoughts: Well, obviously that description is a little light, so I’ll try and give a quick synopsis of the show.  The Doctor (just “The Doctor”) is a human-looking alien who can travel through space and time in a spaceship that looks like this:

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He periodically regenerates into a new body, which is how he can go from looking like the Ninth Doctor:

Film Title: Doctor Who - Christopher Eccelston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the Tenth Doctor:

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In just the two seasons I’ve been exposed to.  He takes a human companion or companions on his travel, which is fortunate for us watching, since it gives him somebody to explain every wacky thing that’s happening to.

So…obviously it’s kind of a trippy sci-fi set-up to this show.  Which I love.  I love that we can go from modern-day London to Victorian times to billions of years in the future (and to, apparently – I haven’t gotten to this episode yet – dinosaurs!) with the Doctor and Rose, who is his companion for all the episodes I’ve watched.  It’s so fun to see historical events re-interpreted, to see the weird, and sometimes creepy and/or HILARIOUS, aliens and all these different versions of earth and the universe.

But…what makes Dr. Who so special is the emotional core of it.  The Doctor has been through some stuff.  He’s a complex, complicated guy.  In the re-booted version of the show (from the Ninth doctor onwards) he is the last of his race.  He cares passionately about humans, but he has also seen and done so much more than they could ever comprehend.  He adores Rose, but he can also treat her like a child at times.  He can be a straight-up jerk to some people.

So watching the relationship between the Doctor and his companion grow and change, watching each of them develop on their own, watching them get through tough situations and handle difficult choices – that is what makes the show special.  These emotional and human things that could be present on any show set totally and completely in our reality.  Even though the sci-fi elements certainly help to drive the plot, and add a lot of interesting ideas and situations to the character development, the reason I love this show absolutely comes down to the characters, not the setting.  Though the exciting mysteries and battles on spaceships and stuff certainly help!

Obviously everybody who already watches Dr. Who already knows this, but it’s still new to me.  And I’m LOVING it.

Posted in GEPL Teens

Parents Blog: Mind FULL or Mindful?

parents-blog-bannerToday, GEPL’s Early Literacy Librarian Jill Eisele shares her thoughts on mindfulness:Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 2.05.33 PM

Mindfulness.  The ancient eastern practice of purposefully being in the present moment without holding any judgment.  Focusing all of your attention on a moment-to-moment basis.  A simple concept, but one that is difficult to achieve in our fast-paced world full of rigid schedules.  We know that practicing mindfulness is healthy for us.  It can help reduce stress, improve focus, and boost happiness.  However, it seems impossible not to constantly be thinking (and/or worrying) about what we need to do next month, next week, or even the next minute.  Imagine the benefits if as adults we all worked just a little but more on grasping the concept of mindfulness.  Imagine if we encourage children, who already have a natural tendency to be in the moment, to practice this art! Mindfulness is a life-long learning process; why not get a head start?

I recently read the book The Power of Validation:  Arming Your Child Against Bullying, Peer Pressure, Addiction, Self-Harm & Out of Control Emotions by Karyn D. Hall, PhD and Melissa H. Cook, LPC.  One of the chapters touched on children and the practice of mindfulness and how it can contribute to a strong sense of self.  While reading it, the thought occurred to me that as a parent of a young son, I enjoy my time so much more with him when I am practicing mindfulness.  When I don’t invite distractions and just allow myself to fully engage in the moment, whether we are walking down the street together or waiting at the dentist’s office, I feel so relaxed, so involved,  and so.…happy.  I’m also being a positive example for my child.  It truly is a win-win situation for both of us.

As parents and caregivers we often encounter moments when we observe our children unknowingly practicing mindfulness.  A child who is quietly watching a worm crawling through the dirt, sitting in the backseat of the car fascinated by a long train going by, or studying the details of a picture in a book.   In that moment the child is completely absorbed in his sensations and thoughts.  Some serious reflection is going on, right?  So go with it.  Slow down.  Let the meditation be, however many seconds it lasts.  Let him experience his senses and emotions.  In this moment, the child is working on developing and preserving a healthy practice that he can use throughout his life! Yes, we have schedules to adhere to and places to be and that is just reality.  However, keep in mind that these moments of mindfulness are often fleeting, yet so important.  So if you can, try letting the “moment” your child is having fade away on its own.  It will be gone all too soon, so why interrupt it? Encourage it, and enjoy it! The present minute, the mindfulness, is happening before your eyes, and you can be a part of it.  Now that is a beautiful thing.  Yes it is.

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Jill Eisele is the Early Literacy Librarian at Glen Ellyn Public Library.  Her young son reminds her every day about the beauty of being in the moment. 

Posted in GEPL Kids, GEPL News

Thank You to Our “Swinging Thru the Stacks” Sponsors!

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The Glen Ellyn Public Library would like to sincerely thank all our wonderful Swinging Thru the Stacks sponsors:

1st Choice Advisors

Saylor & Murphy Orthodontics

Armbrust Plumbing

AXA Equitable

Drs. Belke & Borello, D.D.S.

The Bookstore

Chiro One Wellness Center

Community Bank Wheaton/Glen Ellyn

Delta Controls

ELARA

Engineering Solutions Team

Fire + Wine

Ford Wealth Management LLC

Friends of the Glen Ellyn Public Library

Glen Ellyn Public Library Foundation

Glen Ellyn Public Library Board of Trustees

Glen Ellyn Bank and Trust

Image One Facility Solutions

Image Systems & Business Solutions

Jay Company – Investment Management

Jeffrey J. Waters CPA

Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.

Leland Lewis Consulting

LFI – Library Furniture International, Inc.

Martin and Barbara Johnson

Marré Development

McAdam Landscaping

The Meadows of Glen Ellyn

Meyers & Zima Grandchildren

Michal Brunell

The Nolan Agency

Perkins Pryde + Kennedy Architects

Precision Payroll of America, LLC

Product Architecture + Design

Rational Technologies, Inc,

Schauer & Associates

Wintrust Wealth Management – Scott Park

SERVPRO of Wheaton/Glen Ellyn

Shales McNutt Construction

Sign Identity

State Mechanical Services

Today’s Business Solutions, Inc.

Posted in GEPL News

Teens Blog: The Winter Doldrums

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Guys, the winter doldrums have definitely set in.  Aside from the excitement of late night study – and it is exciting, I’ve enjoyed having you all here so much – I can’t seem to get enthused or inspired about much of anything.  I’m tired a lot, I’m bored of TV and movies and even less excited than usual about books, bored of doing adult chores like grocery shopping and cooking dinner, bored of tromping through snow to get to my car.

Which tells me I need something to spice things up (but not literally – see the above mentioned “bored of cooking” bit.)  So here’s a list of “break through the winter boredom” ideas I’m going to try over the next few days – hopefully something will work!

Winter Doldrums Image 11.) Lots more hot chocolate!  I’ve has some of course, but it certainly makes all those boring winter things seem almost worth it, because hot chocolate is so dang good.  And since I’m planning on having lots of it, I think I’ll try making it even better by adding things like peppermint extract, vanilla, marshmallows, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, or whatever else I think of.  Not all at once, obviously.  I’m totally not judging if you like peppermint/vanilla/marshmallow/pepper/cinnamon flavored hot chocolate, but as far as I’m concerned – yuck!

Arkham cover D final 2.) Reading an old favorite.  Yes, I talk about comfort reads and old favorites a lot, but I have a confession to make: I don’t actually re-read all that much these days.  There’s so many great new books coming onto our shelves all the time that I get swept up in reading those.  But I’m starting to miss my go-to books.  Harry Potter and Tamora Pierce require complete re-reads, so those are out, but I’m thinking it’s about time to pick up some Robin McKinley, Philip Pullman, or Oscar Wilde and revisit places and people I haven’t connected with in a while.

 

Winter Doldrums Image 3 3.) Reading something I hope will be a new favorite!  For me, this almost always means something in speculative fiction.  There’s something about getting completely swept up into a whole new world and characters, into an exciting plot and events that – as much as they relate to our own world – could never happen in real life, that just really appeals to me.  I haven’t decided what book I’ll pick up yet.  Among the latest series that I got really swept up in were The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson and Graceling and the companion novels by Kristin Cashore.  I’ve heard good things about The Testing series by Joelle Charbonneau, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, but I am totally open to suggestions as well!

Winter Doldrums Image 4 4.) Watch a classic movie.  I don’t know why, but there’s something about the classics that peps me up in a way that modern movies, no matter how wonderful or hilarious, can do.  I’m not actually a big classic movies nerd (I’m not even a big movie nerd at all – there’s only so much time in a day, and it rarely seems to come to me in 2+ hour chunks.)  But give me Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, or especially Singin’ in the Rain and I am a HAPPY CAMPER.

 

 

Winter Doldrums Image 5-15.) Find ways to get outdoors and active more!  I exercise almost every day, but this weather has meant that I’ve wimped out and done indoor workouts a lot lately.  But every time I DO force myself out into the cold for a run, I come back feeling amazing.  I warm up quickly, and there’s nothing like being physically active in the fresh air to make me feel on top of the world.  So even if it’s too cold and/or slippery for a run, I can at least try ti get out for some long (careful, well-bundled) walks.

What are your tips and tricks for triumphing over winter cabin fever?

Posted in GEPL Teens

Used Book Sale this Friday!

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The Friends of the Library will host a special Used Book Sale in the library’s basement on Friday, January 24 during the Swinging Thru the Stacks mini golf event.

The sale will run from 4pm to 8pm.

Posted in GEPL News

Read for the Gold During GEPL’s Winter Reading Program

news-blog-bannerThe Glen Ellyn Public Library would like to formally announce our Winter Reading Program, which serves as a kickoff to our 2014 Olympic Games programming.

Our Winter Reading program, titled, “Read for the Gold,” offers adults, ages 18 and older, the opportunity to earn various prizes based on the how early they register and the number of books they read this winter.

Starting January 20, the first 100 people to register for Winter Reading: Read for the Gold will be eligible to receive a free GEPL stainless steel sports bottle upon sign up. Sports bottles will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Additionally, Winter Reading participants will receive one raffle ticket for every five books read between January 20 and February 24 and will be entered in the grand prize drawing for a golden colored iPod.

Glen Ellyn Public Library members can begin registering on January 20th by visiting gepl.org/winter or by visiting the 2nd floor information desk.  Individuals who would like a free sports bottle are encouraged to sign up in person at the information desk.

Posted in GEPL News

Swinging Thru the Stacks is Back and Better than Ever!

news-blog-bannerOn Friday, January 24, the Glen Ellyn Public Library will host Swinging Thru the Stacks, 18 holes of miniature golf stationed throughout the library. Library cardholders, community members, families, neighbors and friends of the Glen Ellyn community are encouraged to assemble teams of four and test their golfing skills through challenging holes themed after The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, the Winter Olympics and more!

All participants will be eligible to compete for one of two awards: the adult (ages 13 and up) who achieves the best score will be awarded the second annual Glen Ellyn Cup. This custom-made award measures over 14-inches high and is constructed out of solid metal. The child (ages 3-12) who achieves the best score will be awarded the Glen Ellyn Youth Cup (which shares identical measurements and construction as the Glen Ellyn Cup).

The Friends of the Library will also be hosting a special Used Book Sale in the library’s basement during the event, between 4 and 8 pm.

Swinging Thru the Stacks participants may golf anytime between 4:00 and 8:00 pm. Golfing requires a $5.00 donation to help fund special library events.

The Glen Ellyn Public Library will close from 3:00 to 4:00 pm to set up the event.

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Posted in GEPL Kids, GEPL News, GEPL Teens, GEPL Tweens

Earn Cool Prizes During GEPL’s Winter Reading Program

news-blog-bannerThe Glen Ellyn Public Library would like to formally announce our Winter Reading Program, which serves as a kickoff to their 2014 Olympic Games programming.

Our Winter Reading program, titled, “Reading for the Gold,” offers adults, ages 18 and older, the opportunity to earn various prizes based on the how early they register and the number of books they read this winter.

Starting January 20, the first 100 people to register for Winter Reading: Read for the Gold will be eligible to receive a free GEPL stainless steel sports bottle upon sign up. Sports bottles will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Additionally, Winter Reading participants will receive one raffle ticket for every book read between January 20 and February 24 and will be entered in the grand prize drawing for a golden colored iPod.

Glen Ellyn Public Library members can begin registering on January 20th by visiting gepl.org/winter or by visiting the 2nd floor information desk.  Individuals who would like a free sports bottle are encouraged to sign up in person at the information desk.

Posted in GEPL News

Late Night Study at the GEPL!

teens-blog-bannerWell, the relief of the snow days is over, the extra time before finals has almost evaporated, and you all start taking exams on Friday (ugh.)  But the bright side to all this is it means that Thursday night January 16, Tuesday night January 21, and Wednesday night January 22, you can come to late night study at GEPL and make cramming as bearable as humanly possible.  You might even find a little time to have fun while you’re here!

Don’t believe me?  Here are three of the many reasons you should come to GEPL to study for finals!

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1.) We’ll feed you and caffeinate you!  We’ll provide pizza starting at around 5:30 until it’s gone, each night of studying.  We’ll have coffee and other hot drinks for the whole night.  Studying on an uncaffeinated brain and empty stomach is pretty much impossible, so we’ve got you covered.

 

 

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2.) We have many of your textbooks available here so you don’t have to lug them, laptops so you don’t have to bring your own, plenty of distractions (mostly in book and internet form) for when you need a study break, and you can work with your friends or on your own, in a quiet environment.  It’s like we created this whole dang library just for studying.

 

 

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3.) The library is all yours from 9-10 p.m.  Seriously – only library staff and high school students allowed.  You’ll have all the space in the world to spread out your books and sit with your friends, without any adults or kids taking up space.

 

 

 

 

Good luck everyone!

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Posted in GEPL News, GEPL Teens

GEPL to Extend Hours to Accomodate High School Final Exam Schedules

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The Glen Ellyn Public Library will host Late Night Study from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on January 16, 21 and 22.

Late Night Study coincides with Glenbard West’s and Glenbard South’s final exam schedules and is designed to offer students a safe, quite and encouraging studying environment.

When in need of a study break, students can visit the Meeting Room on the library’s first floor, where free pizza and snacks will be provided. Students can also enjoy free coffee and other hot beverages.

The Glen Ellyn Public Library, which traditionally closes at 9:00 p.m. will remain open until 10:00 p.m. to provide students with the longest possible study window.

Posted in GEPL News, GEPL Teens