What's Up at the Library?

Do you ever wish the library’s summer reading program would never end? Well, for teens and tweens in grades 4–8, it doesn’t have to! With the library’s new 100 Books Before High School program, readers can keep reading books, earning awesome prizes along the way and keep the fun (and learning) going all year long. Sign up, log books and get more information at ahml.beanstack.org.
Just for signing up, you’ll get a cool drawstring backpack to begin your journey. Keep logging every book you read. For every 20 books logged, you’ll earn a badge and a free book. Stop by the Kids’ World or Hub Desks to choose from our awesome selection of prize books, and get a real-life badge to wear proudly. Library staff will even help you figure out the perfect book for you to read next on your path to 100!
Once you reach the summit of Mount 100 Books, you’ll earn a High School Survival Kit. The tools in the kit were selected by our Teen Advisory Board, and include a USB power bank, mechanical pencil and lead refills, a touch-screen stylus, mints, a super-pack of sticky notes and so much more.

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library announced the appointment of Mike Driskell as the new Executive Director following a unanimous vote by the Board of Library Trustees at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 20.

Driskell “is the best leader for our library,” said Board of Library Trustees President Debbie Smart, “His honesty, integrity and demonstrated work ethic are impressive. The board has the utmost confidence in Mike Driskell as a person who has the vision, values, professionalism and dedication to continue moving the library forward in addressing the needs of our community.”

The board engaged executive search firm John Keister and Associates in Vernon Hills to conduct a national search to fill the position in June 2018. Keister worked with the board to present a group of four finalists earlier this month.

A 13-year veteran of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Driskell has served as the interim executive director since September 2017. He was named the library’s director of administration in November 2016, following 11 years of service as the information technology manager. Driskell has an undergraduate degree in computer information systems from Elmhurst College and is enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program at Dominican University.

An Arlington Heights resident since 2005, Driskell is an active member of the Arlington Heights community and served as the 2017 chairman of the board of directors at the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

As a young girl growing up Portland, Ore., Mary Hamilton fondly recalls Saturday mornings spent with her dad hitting garage sales, scouring for treasures, “It was always the thrill of the hunt…whatever came our way, whatever caught our eye.” 
Decades later, that same passion for ‘the hunt’ led the now Arlington Heights resident to the library’s Business Services department. Mary wanted to know – could she use her keen eye for collectible glassware to start her own online business? She scheduled an appointment and met one-on-one with a business specialist to help answer that question.
“That meeting 100 percent for sure was my motivation,” Hamilton said. “Having someone who knows the business world encouraging me made me feel like I was on the right path.”
The meeting resulted in a lot of practical advice, too, like establishing banking, obtaining a State of Illinois business license and structuring workflow. She also got tips on photography and marketing her products visually online.
“The best advice of all was that once you create your business, how important it is to stay focused and true to your brand,” she said. 
As Hamilton began building her online shop, she enrolled in the library’s Quickbooks for the Small Business Owner and Creating a Business Presence on Facebook classes and continued to educate herself about collectibles by checking out reference books from the library. 
The result of her efforts was Banbury Cross Vintage, an Etsy shop featuring vintage glassware and treasures. The online store has received visitors from around the world.  
“When you’re starting a business, it can be intimidating because you are putting yourself out there,” Hamilton said. “But everyone at the library has been really supportive, and with it being the library you know there is no ulterior motive. No one is trying to sell you anything. They really are just there for you and supporting the community.”

Need to replace the dome light on your 2006 Honda Civic LX? Fix the carburetor on your Toro walk-behind mower? The library now offers access to the AutoMate auto repair database and the Small Engine Repair Reference Center.
AutoMate covers vehicles back to 1974 and includes service information, technical service bulletins, recall notes, diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), maintenance schedules, estimated labor times and more.
The Small Engine Repair Reference Center provides detailed yet user-friendly repair guides for small engines, including lawn equipment, motorcycles, boat motors/watercraft and more, covering both routine maintenance and advanced repairs.
Both AutoMate and the Small Engine Repair Reference Center can be used by library cardholders from home.


Two English as a Second Language (ESL) students recently had the opportunity to communicate not only through English, but also through the language of music, thanks to the library’s Tea & Talk program, a monthly social group that offers participants an opportunity to improve their conversation skills.
Piano teacher Yu Konno moved from Japan to Arlington Heights two years ago without knowing English. She began taking a Beginner ESL class at the library in September 2016 and later met her current tutor, Kathi Lieb, in March 2018. Hyejin Bae, a flutist from South Korea, was also matched with Lieb in March.
"She has been so helpful and encouraging," Bae said. "She always listens to my needs and really cares about improving my life here in this country. She also loves music very much, and that helps a lot too."
As Lieb worked with Bae and Konno, she learned that both women are classically trained musicians. Bae began playing the flute at 10 years old and graduated from Northern Illinois University's Performer's Certificate program. Konno started playing the piano at 11 and graduated from the Tokyo College of Music. Lieb soon realized she could organize a concert performance featuring her two musical students.
"They [had] to speak English together, that's the trick," Lieb said, pointing out that English was the only language Bae and Konno shared.
The two met once a week for three weeks and worked on four performances total, which ranged from the classical music of Gabriel Fauré to the song "Beauty and the Beast." The meetings tested both their ability to communicate with one another and their writing skills.
On the day of the performance, Tea & Talk met in the library's Hendrickson Room, with Konno and Bae playing for an audience from young children to adults.
"Of course I was so nervous and scared," Konno said. "I was able to calm down when I played a few measures because I felt that the guests welcomed our performance. When we played the last piece, I still wanted to keep on playing music."
Bae and Konno also performed together at the Arlington Heights Senior Center in November. It was the first time the two had publicly performed since Tea & Talk. 
“It was not a difficult decision to continue. We have good chemistry," Bae said. "It is true that we have some language and culture barriers, but music is a common language that brings everyone together.”
Learn more about ESL & Literacy services at ahml.info/services/esl_literacy and see more ESL programs in our calendar. To volunteer to be a tutor in the library's ESL department, call 847-870-4309 or email esl@ahml.info. .

Creativity can pop up in the most unexpected of places – just ask Arlington Heights resident Tim Perek.

“I was looking for a place to work, and I found this space,” said Perek, pointing to his surroundings in the library’s Studio. One of the many features of the Studio includes access to Adobe Creative Suite – a valuable tool and resource for Perek who recently launched a marketing consulting business, Illuminator Labs. Yet it was another piece of Studio equipment that eventually caught his eye.

“I see these drums, and it was kind of embarrassing at first,” Perek recalled with a laugh. “But I started playing and discovered I got this thing inside me.” Perek soon found himself downloading the Drummer tutorial on Garageband and mapping out his schedule to include time to practice on the electric drum kit in the Studio.

“It’s one thing to have a dream. It’s another thing to carry it out,” said Perek. “Who would have ever thought I’d be a drummer.”
Perek, who grew up playing the piano and guitar, now ranks drumming as his top musical passion. So much so, he bought a set of drums for home and plays daily. As a 33-year-resident of Arlington Heights, Perek says he is amazed and grateful for all that he’s rediscovered at his local library. 

“This place is much bigger than just information,” Perek said. “The library allows someone to investigate and learn about something before they invest in it. You can try it out first under the guidance of an incredible staff and team of experts,” he added. “For me it’s been the perfect launch pad and place for reinvention.”

"Fiction is a place you get to walk in someone else’s shoes," said author Lisa Genova to an audience of nearly 350 people who came to hear the New York Times bestselling writer speak at Forest View Auditorium, Thursday evening, October 18, as part of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library’s (AHML) One Book, One Village (OBOV) community read. Genova talked about her desire to write stories that shed light on subjects that can be difficult to talk about like ALS, a neurological disease that is central to her novel Every Note Played, the library’s 2018 OBOV book selection.

"I’ve always been interested in the brain and how it works and sometimes breaks, said Genova, who has a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. “To really understand the brain, I had to become a storyteller.”

During her solo 45-minute presentation, Genova thanked attendees for participating in the library’s fifth annual all-community read. Since late August when AHML first announced Every Note Played, copies of the book have circulated close to 1,700 times.

“Usually when I do events like these, few people have read the book,” Genova joked. “So this is amazing.”

Genova then proceeded to take the audience on her personal journey from scientist to storyteller recalling how her grandmother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease caused Genova to dig deeper and question, “What does it feel like to have Alzheimer’s?”

Through hours of research and personal encounters, Genova found the answer and used this knowledge to write her debut novel, Still Alice, in 2007. Eventually heralded as groundbreaking for its honest and human portrayal of an otherwise scary and complicated disease, Still Alice became a New York Times bestseller. In 2014, Still Alice was made into a movie and earned Julianne Moore an Oscar for best actress. 

“A story about Alzheimer’s is the place where we have the opportunity to become familiar with the unfamiliar,” said Genova. “It moves you from sympathy to empathy. Empathy is the feeling where we collapse the distance between us.”

Building upon the success of Still Alice, Genova went on to write Left Neglected, Love Anthony and Inside the O’Briens - books that take readers into the world of neurological diseases through compelling characters and real-life human encounters.

Every Note Played continues this exploration of science and storytelling. Genova portrays Richard, a 45-year-old world-renowned classical pianist, who finds himself suddenly diagnosed with ALS. Karina, his ex-wife, who at one time had a promising music career of her own, becomes Richard’s reluctant caregiver.

“When writing I always want to raise the stakes as high as possible but always within the realm of possibility,” said Genova. “For Richard that meant facing his legacy and what truly mattered.”

“While the book is about ALS the disease,” Genova added, “It is also about the things we all wrangle with – fear, blame, regret.”

Following her presentation, Genova took questions from the audience and shared some closing thoughts about the importance of talking about difficult subjects and making sure our personal relationships are intact.

“Sometimes it takes a personal crisis to step back and ask how am I living,” Genova said then added. “It now gives me purpose for what I do. I’m writing these stories so they can become accessible to people and not so scary.

An Evening with Author Lisa Genova was supported, in part, by the Friends of the Library.

"The greatest gift you can give yourself is yourself," said author Jason Reynolds to an audience of 120 students at Our Lady of the Wayside School, Thursday morning, November 8. Reynolds continued his conversation with students the next day at South Middle School and Thomas Middle School and by the end of his visit, he spoke to 1,870 Arlington Heights students.
Reynolds also spoke at Forest View Auditorium during his two-day visit to Arlington Heights, where he captivated an audience of more than 300 people who came to hear the award-winning, bestselling author speak. Reynolds is known for writing young adult novels including All American Boys, As Brave As You, the Track series, Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Long Way Down and For Every One.
Many of the people in attendance at Forest View were high school teachers and students who had recently read Jason Reynolds' Long Way Down in class.
"There was a sense of accomplishment for a lot of kids who've never read a book," said Anthony Como, an English teacher at Rolling Meadows High School while talking about the impact Reynolds' books have had on his students. "One of my students [told me]: 'This is the first book I've finished and now I enjoy reading.'"
During his appearances, Reynolds told stories about growing up in Washington D.C. that ranged from how he was inspired to write poetry after listening to Queen Latifah's 1993 rap album Black Reign to his struggles of getting into literature at an early age.
"I felt like these books weren't interested in reading me," Reynolds said as he talked about his struggle to relate to characters in books like Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men. He ended up reading his first book, Black Boy by Richard Wright, when he was 18 years old, which inspired him to go back and read the books he missed while in middle school and high school.
Following each of his presentations, Reynolds went on to answer questions during a Q&A session, and he emphasized how important it is for students to know that everyone's story matters.
"I want you to love my stories, but not as much as I want you to love your own," he said, a message that resonated with many including Arlington Heights residents Dana Trawczynski and her son, William.
"I think it's great how he said to be the best you, you can be," Trawczynski said. "It is a really strong message to give kids to be yourself. I don't think they hear that enough."
Jason Reynolds' visits to four area schools were made possible thanks to a partnership between the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and local schools.

Teachers in Arlington Heights know how vital it is to keep students excited about reading. One way the library and schools work together to get students engaged is by creating opportunities for students to meet the authors of their favorite books. The library has seen great success in bringing authors to schools, sometimes reaching more than 4,000 students in a series of visits.
“When children and teens meet the authors of some of their favorite works, they become inspired to read more and often write more themselves,” said School Services Librarian Julie Jurgens.

After reading Ghost by Jason Reynolds, Thomas Middle School Library Center Director Becky Fahnoe immediately knew Reynolds was the perfect author to engage her middle school readers and selected Ghost to be Thomas’ annual all-school read.
“Jason writes with an honest and authentic voice. He writes with heart. The characters he has created are characters with whom kids can relate,” said Fahnoe.
As Reynolds shared with The Washington Post in 2017, he didn’t read a book from beginning to end until he was 17 years old, so he wanted to write books that kids and teens like himself would want to finish. His mission, as he shared in his 2017 novel Long Way Down, is to “NOT WRITE BORING BOOKS.” The entire plot of Long Way Down occurs during a brief elevator ride, wherein a 15-year-old boy is coping with the shooting death of his brother. Most readers finish the book in a day, unable to put it down.
On November 8 and 9, students at Thomas Middle School, South Middle School and Our Lady of the Wayside heard Reynolds speak at their schools. An Evening with Author Jason Reynolds on November 8, at Forest View Auditorium, was open to the general public. For more information on Reynolds' visit, see the story here

Homework Helpers in the Library
Teen volunteers are available in Kids' World select Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
See the calendar for dates.
Struggling with a class or need homework help? Teen volunteers can assist with completing homework assignments or practicing skills. Check ahml.info for a complete list of times when Helpers are available.
Online Tools for Research, Homework and More
Encyclopedia Britannica: The world-renowned reference tool, with articles, images, videos and helpful links on almost every topic (countries, people, animals, science, etc.). Three versions: For Children, For Young Adults and Reference Center. 1st grade-adult.
Student Resources in Context: Reference articles, overviews and magazine journal articles on all topics. Helpful at term paper time! 5th grade-adult.
PebbleGo: For emergent readers--short articles and videos about animals, science, biographies and social science. Grades K-2. 
Core Concepts (Biology, Chemistry & Periodic Table): Overview articles to help understand important scientific principles. Grades 7-12. 
CultureGrams: Detailed overviews of all the world’s countries: government, population, daily life, etc. Grades 3-12. 
Visual Thesaurus: Love wordplay? Use Visual Thesaurus to explore connections between words and build your vocabulary. Read fun, informative articles about the interesting ways in which we use words. There’s even an online spelling be you can join. Also great for ESL learners. 6th grade-adult.
Testing & Education Reference Center: Online test prep for ACT, the new SAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, GED etc., as well as several vocational tests (ASVAB, PRAXIS, etc.) and language/citizenship tests. High school students can do college and scholarship searches, and job seekers can use a resume-building tool. 10th grade-adult.
National Geographic Kids: Pictures, books and magazine articles about animals, science, history, cultures, the environment and more. Grades K-8. 

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