We have e-books for you! You can browse our e-book collections here and here. If you’re having trouble, feel free to stop in and ask at the Information Desk. We’re happy to troubleshoot with you!
Author Archives: Matthew Stevenson
Wine and Cheese Festival
Join us on Saturday September 14th from 7pm-9pm for a festival of wine and cheese featuring wine from Chateau Thomas Winery, harpist Linda Owens and a Silent Auction. Admission is $5 per person which includes a 2013 Friends membership. Cash or checks accepted at the door. Must be 21 years of age to attend.
Ready Player One
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a fast paced action-adventure story set in a future dystopic America, complete with shanty-town-skyscrapers made from mobile homes and armored bus service between cities to guard against roving bands of highwaymen and thieves. Good stuff in and of itself to be sure.
But what really made this premier novel so much fun was the setting within the setting. Turns out that in Cline’s vision of the future, people are positively obsessed with ’80s pop culture and frequently retreat into an immersive computer simulation allowing them to escape the drudgery of living in a shanty-town-skyscraper while also indulging in movies by John Hughes, Atari video games, the music of Rush, and Cold War paranoia. Don’t you just miss those days?
There’s nothing terribly ground breaking in Ready Player One; I’m not disclosing classified information to say that the hero saves the day and gets the girl in the end. (Don’t be mad; you’d have figured out the ending after the first 50 pages anyway.) The journey though ’80s pop culture (which incidentally includes Journey) is a real treat and brought back – at least for this child of the ’80s – a flood of nostalgia. Ok, time to play some Pitfall!
One County, One Book
The libraries of Hendricks County are teaming up to promote the work of Hoosier author Gene Stratton-Porter. Stratton-Porter is best known for her novel A Girl of the Limberlost which depicts life in early 20th century Indiana near the Limberlost swamp. Stratton-Porter was a naturalist who frequently wrote about the Limberlost.
Get a library card
Library cards are free to residents of Guilford Township, to students and teachers within the Plainfield Community School Corporation and St. Susanna Catholic School.
Residents outside of Guilford Township who would like a library card are required to purchase a Public Library Access Card, which entitles them to a library card from any public library in Indiana. The fee for a PLAC is $50 annually.
To apply for a card (as a resident, non-resident or student/teacher) please bring in a current, government issued identification to the Information Desk. If you have recently moved to Guilford Township and have not updated the information on your ID, please also bring a utility bill, bank statement, lease agreement or some other document that will allow us to verify your residency.
Police Academy Tour – Aug. 24
For the second year in a row, the library is teaming up with the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to offer an interactive tour of the Academy on Saturday August 24th from 11:30 – 1. Included in the tour is a Police K-9 unit demonstration, a self defense instruction, and – most thrilling of all – a high speed trip in a police cruiser around the Academy’s test track. Ever wanted to know what it feels like to chase after a fleeing felon? Now is your chance! To register for this event, call the library at 839-6602.
Mars on my mind
If you’ve never visited the campus of Butler University and enjoyed an evening at the Holcomb Observatory, you really should! It’s free (though they do suggest a donation) and fun, and on a clear night, the observatory’s telescope will be directed at Venus, Saturn, Jupiter or Mars (and some non-planetary objects too). You’ll be surprised at the level of detail you can see with a (relatively) small telescope in the middle of a light-polluted city.
One of my favorite experiences at Holcomb was seeing the polar caps of Mars, which got me thinking about the place of this red planet in our imaginations. Lots of authors have used our closest planetary neighbor as a setting for some great fiction.
The movie may have bombed at the box office last summer but you’ll still want to read Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter series starting with The Princess of Mars. Of course after reading the source material, you should also see the movie (since you, like most of America, didn’t see it in theatres). The library has it on DVD.
A recent homage to Burroughs’ iconic series comes from fantasy writer S.M. Stirling’s The Lords of Creation. Set against the background of the Cold War, this series journeys to both Venus and Mars, playing up the Soviet-American rivalry with all kinds of nostalgia.
For a futuristic look at the Red Planet, I highly recommend Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy (the first in the series is called Red Mars.)
Ray Bradbury also speculated about Mars colonization with The Martian Chronicles.
Dan Simmons combines the mythology of the Trojan War in an epic set on the Red Planet in two books – Ilium and Olympos.
July App of the Month: Shazam
Shazam lets you identify, discover, and explore music that’s around you. Whether you’re listening to a song on the radio, in a restaurant, or on TV, Shazam can identify the title and artist of the song with one tap. The app also links to the song’s YouTube video, information about the artist, and your device’s online music store for easy download.
Apple users, download it here!
Android users, download it here!
how it works…
When you’ve come across a song that you’d like to identify, open the Shazam app and tap the button in the middle of the screen.
Shazam will identify the title and artist.
To explore more about the artist, scroll to the bottom of the screen.
Here you can find links to the song’s YouTube video, iTunes or Amazon MP3 store, lyrics, and more.
Once you’ve identified a song on Shazam, that title, along with the other titles you’ve identified, are stored for later review. To access these saved songs, or tags, tap on My Tags.
Shazam also has a social component. After signing in to your Facebook account, you’re able to see what songs and artists your friends are tagging.
The Shazam app can be fun to use alone or with your friends.
Try these ideas:
- While traveling on a road trip in the car as a passenger, try scanning the radio stations in the area every once in a while. Shazam songs you’re unfamiliar with.
- Head to a local music show or concert and try Shazamming a live performance to see if the band’s or artists’ songs appear.
- Watching a commercial and trying to pinpoint that song in the background? Shazam it!
- Link your Shazam account to Facebook and encourage your friends to as well. Check and see what songs everyone is Shazamming. Are there any similarities? Try listening to what your friends have tagged to discover new music.
- Shazam an artist you’re familiar with, and then try to guess what will show up in the “Artist’s popular songs” section. Check to see if you’re right!
Organize your reading with LibraryThing
Ever browse the library’s shelves, find a book and wonder if you’ve already read the book? LibraryThing is a great service to organize your personal library, keep track of what you’ve read, review your favorite (or not so favorite books), find and offer suggested next reads, or connect with other like minded bibliophiles. You can share as much or as little as you like. I’ve found LibraryThing to be a great resource for information on read-a-likes, series, and favorite authors.
Local history books from the library staff!
If you love history and looking at nostalgic photographs, you’ll want to check out these new pictorial books on Plainfield and Hendricks County, Indiana. The library has several copies in the collection–if they’re all checked out, be sure to place a hold through Evergreen so that you’ll be next in line when a copy is returned.