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Friday, September 10, 2021

Having trouble with technology? We're here to help!

When in doubt, call us at the library! 989-647-6981.

We are happy to troubleshoot any issue you might have with our electronic resources. We have bookmarks with information on how to log into Hoopla, Overdrive, and Libby apps, as well as, a means to reset your password if it is simply not letting you log in. You can even stop in and ask. Either way, we are happy to assist you in any needs you might have.

If you are hesitant to try our online resources such as OverDrive and Libby, you can always sign up for a free "computer" lesson. These are designed for you to ask any technology related question(s) in a one-on-one setting. If there is a resource you'd like to take advantage of, please feel free to sign up for one of these sessions at Circulation Desk or feel free to call us to set one up. Our dedicated staff can take you step-by-step through many various scenarios and you get to pick the date and time (within our hours of operation). There are open time slots morning, afternoon, and evening most days of the week.

If you're trying new technology out and it scares, overwhelms, or otherwise dissuades you from 'doing your thing'--we want to help!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Rainy Day Reads

It may be summer, but in Michigan it doesn't matter what season it is - you can still get rain. With chaotic weather like we have, you can't count on being able to go outside whenever you please because at a drop of a hat a sunny day could turn into a tumultuous thunderstorm. In which case, it would be a wise idea to have indoor activities to keep you entertained, so why not have a stash of good books to read? Some great rainy day reads will be found below!

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  2. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
  3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  6. The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

An oldie but a goodie, this classic book follows our heroine Jane Eyre from her orphaned youth to her employment as the governess to a young French girl staying at Thornfield Hall. Later, she comes into contact with the master of the estate, Mr. Edward Rochester, which propels this period romance into an interesting tale. Despite depressive tones, this story is compelling and ends on a good note, so no fear of sad endings here. 

A U.S. Marshall, Teddy Daniels, travels to Shutter Island, with his new partner Chuck Aule in order to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Home to Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the patient, being a serial killer, somehow slipped away and is now presumably loose on the island. As an impending hurricane threatens the island, these detectives dive deeper into the dark and sinister going-ons of the facility - as well as Teddy. A gripping mystery and thriller in one, this is a great choice for those who like to guess along as they go for a reading ride.

A travel magazine journalist, Lo Blacklock, takes an all-expenses-paid-for, week-long cruise on Aurora. Despite the initial glitz and glamour of the high life, things start looking more dismal as the week wears on and suddenly she witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. Yet, the ship carries on claiming that all passengers are accounted for. As she tries to figure out what is actually happening on the ship, she begins to learn something (or someone) is terribly wrong. A suspenseful thriller and mystery combined, this story is sure to keep you guessing.

In this Gothic romance, an intense recounting of the story of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliffe, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father, is told to a curious renter. Taking place in the wild and stormy English countryside, a man named Lockwood inquires of the housekeeper to tell him the story of the dour landlord, Heathcliffe, and she obliges. She tells him a story of bitterness, resentment, revenge and despair with plot twists and drama aplenty. With the many different revenges and infatuations abounding, it is hard to put down once you start reading.; however, it may disappoint if you are looking for a romance that has a traditional happy ending.

If you want a fantasy adventure with deep undercurrents, try this book that follows our protagonist Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel as he explores spirituality and practicality. Even from a young age our protagonist straddles the existential questions of what makes us human. After surviving a shipwreck that leaves him stranded on a small, makeshift raft with a Bengal tiger, he navigates the Pacific Ocean in hopes of surviving but also finds so much more. Does Pi survive? Does Richard Parker the tiger live? Read this compelling story that is deep, rich and illuminating to find out.

A twist on the usual cases where Sherlock Holmes is the daring detective that solves all the greatest mysteries, this story follows his faithful companion, Watson, as he tries to uncover the truth behind a recent murder. With a rainy, ancient moorland as the backdrop, Watson investigates the location and the people of interest in the case, being swept up in the myth of a bloodthirsty hound that murders men on the moor. Pitting rational deduction against supernatural superstition, this will test both of the detective's resolves.

In this book a young, ill-tempered, and orphaned Mary Lennox is sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, in Yorkshire, a stark contrast to her native India. While exploring her new surroundings, Mary finds a mysterious garden that has been locked away for 10 years. However, with the help of some newfound friends she is able to transform not only herself, but the garden as well. This is a wonderful story for the whole family and can be enjoyed as a read-aloud activity!

Invited to an eccentric millionaire's home on a private island, a curious assortment of 10 total strangers arrive, unknowingly sharing one thing in common: murder. After a series of events that lead to the strangers dying in ways eerily similar to the nursery rhyme seen in every room of the mansion, hysteria ensues. If they cannot find out who put this murderous plot into motion, they will all be dead before the weekend is done. A classic murder mystery from the infamous Agatha Christie, this tale is sure to keep you reading.

Friday, July 23, 2021

How to use Beanstack

Summer Reading is still in full swing here at the library and there are a lot of great books waiting for you and your family! One of the best things about Summer Reading is that you can log any of the books you read into the reading challenge. 

For Adults, for every 30 minutes of time you've spent on reading you get a "badge". For Littles, Middles, and Teens, for every 20 minutes of time spent reading you get a "badge". The badge looks different based on whether you get the punch card as an adult, a tracker sheet as a youth, and if you decide to use Beanstack this year.

The punch cards and tracker sheets are fairly easy to understand, but for those who may not be well-versed in Beanstack let me care to explain. Beanstack can be utilized as an app on your smart device or through a browser on your computer. You simply log in using a valid email address and create a password. Then you connect to your library (Portland District Library), once you have done that the Challenges will be associated to your account.

In order to navigate to the Summer Reading Challenge, you will simply locate the Challenges tab and select it. However, it looks different between the smart device app and the desktop version. 

If you are using a smart device, you will want to find the Discover tab at the bottom of your screen. Select it, which will take you to a page where you will see three options near the top of your screen to select from. If Challenges is highlighted, you will see all the available reading challenges (and even the ones you've participated in the past). You will then want to select the current Summer Reading Challenge, "Tails and Tales", and click the button to join. On a desktop computer, after you have signed in, the page will automatically be on the Challenges tab, you simply need to find the current challenge, select it, and join.

Each badge on Beanstack equates to a ticket, so you can use those to enter into the prize pack that you want to win. You simply select the Challenge, find the Drawings option, and select it. Then, find the prize you wish to enter your tickets into, select it, and then hit "Add Tickets". You can add all your tickets to a drawing or divide them up and allocate them as you see fit.

Please visit our Facebook page to keep up on Summer Reading and the announcements for the winners of our prize packs!