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Monday, February 22, 2021

Love Is In the Air and At the Library!

 "Love is in the air and everywhere you look around." - John Paul Young, Love Is In the Air.


I know, I know. Another post with lyrics? Am I just the blog writer with all the cheesy lyrical quotes? I think I just might be, and I will lean into that being that this blog is all about LOVE. More specifically speaking, I will be introducing you to some great romance books and/or books with romance woven into the story because, lo and behold, it's almost that time to celebrate your sweetheart! Yes, Valentine's Day is upon us, and everyone needs some love in their life; however, I am not just tailoring this post towards those of us who have a special someone. Rather, it is for anyone: young or old, single or taken, short or tall, whoever you are if you like romance then I will have at least one suggestion for you!

We will not waste time on the popular titles such as The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (or really any book by him), The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, etc. Instead, let's focus on some new and interesting reads from 2020. For adults, I would like to point out several that have rated high on the popularity list: Beach Read by Emily Henry, If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane, GoodReads, a website that helps you find your next read, to see a concise summary of these books.

For teens, we will skim past the popular reads like Eleanor & Park, The Fault In Our Stars, the Twilight series, and head right to the popular 2020 hits: Now That I've Found You by Kristina Forest, More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn, and Recommended For You by Laura Silverman.


If you are interested in looking for your next great read consider not only GoodReads, but the other platforms that are also available to you online. There are several that you can take advantage of, which you can find in our previous blog post "Happier and Healthier With Hoopla and OverDrive Audiobooks". These resources allow you to, in various ways, search for books that interest you based on different aspects of your search criteria. For instance, one website may use a book you've previously read and liked as a basis for your next search, while yet another uses mood or emotion associated with a book to find your match-made-in-heaven next read! There are many possibilities out there, you simply have to look for them (much like a sweetheart). Luckily, we are here to help you with this task (just to be clear: finding a book, not a sweetheart). Happy Valentine's Day and happy reading!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Happier and Healthier With Hoopla and Overdrive Audiobooks


In the age of freneticism, it's even more important for us to take a moment for ourselves to unwind and destress. Being that books are a perfect way to reduce stress, it should be one of the go-to remedies for our anxieties; however, the day-to-day busyness of modern day life dampens our desires to make that healthy choice. Let's be honest, wouldn't we rather binge-watch our favorite Netflix series on the couch while eating our favorite snacks? If we can make something more convenient, we're more likely to do it, and there's a perfect way to get your reading dose everyday. Take a look at our two free resources called Hoopla and Overdrive/Libby, which are free resources for our library patrons to use!
Hoopla and Overdrive/Libby are apps that you can download directly onto your smartphone, smart device, or laptop so you can take it anywhere you go. As long as you have WI-FI, an internet connection, and/or cellphone reception you will be able to access our collection and find your favorite titles to download and listen to on-the-go. You can listen while you are driving in the car, doing your homework or working from home, or even going on a relaxing walk - wherever you go, take a book with you!

Patron tip: Overdrive is best used on an internet web browser via computer or laptop, while Libby is best utilized on a smart device like your phone or iPad. 

Signing up is fairly easy. Follow the steps outlined below to get started!

For Hoopla: visit the website by clicking on the Hoopla graphic above or navigate to our library website: and find Hoopla under the "Library Resources" dropdown. You will want to click on Hoopla several times to get to the website At the top of the page you hit "Get Started" which will then have you create your profile using an email and a password. Once finished, you will hit "Agree", but you may also need to verify your library card number to continue signing up. Once those steps are finished, you will be free to use Hoopla. It can remember your username and password as well making your access even easier in the future.

Media OverdriveLogo for Woodlands Library Cooperative

For Overdrive: find your way to the website by either visiting our Portland District Library website: and finding the Overdrive button on the left hand side of the screen, or by clicking on the Overdrive graphic above which will take you to Both will bring you to our library's Overdrive website which will be called "Woodlands Downloadable Library". You will want to sign in by clicking the button at the top right hand corner of the screen. Once you've used the dropdown to find Portland District Library and entered in your library card number, you will hit "Sign In". After following these steps, you should be free to peruse the collection to your heart's content!

For Libby: Navigate to the app store on your smart device (Google Play Store on Android products or Apple app store on Apple products) and then type in "Libby" in your search bar. You will want to look for the app that looks similar to the above graphic called "Libby". It is free to download this app, so once you have clicked on the download and it has installed you will then need to search for your library. You will have prompts that will guide you through this process, but after selecting your library, you will be asked to enter your library card number to complete sign-in.

Exploring these apps are relatively simple: you may use the search bar to look up a title or you can browse by genre as well. If your title is available you may borrow it for up to 3 weeks, possibly longer if no one else has a hold on it; however, if it is unavailable at that time you can place a hold on it as well and you will be notified when it becomes available for you to access.

Looking for some great audiobook suggestions to get you started? You can explore the many ways to find your next great read through various websites such as Goodreads, Whichbook, What Should I Read Next?, and other book recommendation search engines. You can find many of these by simply typing "book recommendations" in your favorite search engine like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and choosing one that best suits your needs.

Once you've found something you like, make sure to search for them in Hoopla or Overdrive to see if it's available to listen to. You'll be happier and healthier for it!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Marching with a Civil Rights Icon


With the recent death of congressman and civil rights icon, John Lewis, I feel I would be remiss if I did not encourage readers to check out the March graphic novels. March is a series of three graphic novels written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and beautifully illustrated and lettered by Nate Powell.  

The idea for the March novels was born in 2008 when Lewis told his aide, Andrew Aydin, how a 10 cent comic book influenced him as a young boy. The comic Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story was published in 1957 and introduced the nonviolence resistance methods of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Aydin, an avid fan of graphic novels and comic books, suggested that Lewis write his own graphic novel to inspire and educate a new generation of young people. 

Ok, I know am a total nerd, but I need to fangirl for a minute. How awesome is it that a man in his seventies was so inspired by a comic book as a child that he decided to write his own in order to better connect with young people? It only gets better! While promoting the March books at Comic Con John Lewis cosplayed as his younger self and led a group of young fans on their own march through the San Diego Convention Center!

Left-John Lewis on "Bloody Sunday" in 1965 Right-John Lewis at Comic Con in 2015

March: Book One begins in Selma, Alabama 1965, with John Lewis and fellow civil rights activists about to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a day later to be infamously known as "Bloody Sunday". The story flashes forward to an adult John Lewis serving as a congressman and preparing to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama. When he arrives in his office Lewis encounters a mother and her two children.  Lewis graciously takes the time to speak to family and tells them of his humble beginnings in rural Alabama.  The third of ten children born to sharecroppers, Lewis originally wanted to be a pastor, but was eventually compelled to attend college and join the civil rights movement

The trilogy goes on to chronicle Lewis's younger years including his involvement in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), his multiple arrests for "disorderly conduct" and disturbing the peace", the march on Washington (where he was the youngest speaker), and his indefatigable advocacy for voting rights.

In addition to Lewis, the March trilogy gives accounts of other courageous champions of the Civil Rights movement. Household names like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. But also less familiar heroes such as Diane Nash, Jim Lawson, Fannie Lou Hamer,  and Bob Moses to name a few. 

Lewis, Aydin, and Powell do not shy away from the appalling and heartrending violence that took place during the Civil Rights movement.The horrific lynching of Emmet Till, the Birmingham church bombing, Bloody Sunday, and many more tragic events are painful to read about. Ultimately, though, the March trilogy is an inspiring testament to resilience, perseverance, and faith in America and all of mankind to do and be better today than we were yesterday.

The third March book received the National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2016 and John Lewis's speech is one that I could watch a million times and it would still bring tears to my eyes.


Like Lewis, I have always loved books and reading. It is hard for me to even comprehend that not that long ago people were denied access to libraries. I am so thankful and humbled that men and women like John Lewis fought for the rights and freedoms of so many others. 

If you want to read about the life of Congressman John Lewis following the events in the March trilogy, Run written by Lewis and Aydin and illustrated by Afua Richardson was published in 2018.