Little Free Library

Photo taken by John Phelan

Little Free Libraries is a non-profit movement throughout the world that offers free books housed in small containers to members of a local community. The idea for Little Free Libraies began with a gentleman named Todd Bol from Hudson, Wisconsin as a tribute to his mother, avid book lover and teacher. Todd built a small wooden house mounted on a post, filled it with books and placed it near the sidewalk in his yard. A sign on the library read, “Take a book, leave a book” – and people did. The word spread quickly of this amazing little library, and there are over 200 LFL in 34 states and 17 countries.

Plainfield, IN will be adding its name to that growing list of Little Free Libraries in the spring of 2013. The Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library received a grant as well as memorial donations to purchase 4 Little Free Libraries for the town of Plainfield. The purpose behind providing these libraries is to help promote the love of reading throughout the Plainfield community. Locations for the libraries are still to be determined, but the hope is to locate them along the Plainfield trail system, near parks and residential areas. Inside the libraries will be books donated by the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, Friends of the Library, Barnes & Noble, memorial donations and of course, local residents who take a book and leave a book.

The library will host programs for residents to help decorate the Little Free Libraries in early 2013. One of the libraries will be a memorial library to honor Susan Miller Carter, who worked at the Plainfield library for over 30 years as the manager of the Local History department. Susan loved the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library, as well as the town itself, and made a lasting impression while she was here. When she passed away in 2009 a memorial fund was created to honor her. Susan’s family feels she would have loved the Little Free Libraries concept, and so at this time the funds will be used to help support the program. Susan loved Plainfield, reading, and sharing, and the library’s new Little Free Library system expresses those things appropriately.

Take a look at the slideshow below to see our first Little Free Library, constructed by our very own Tim McClelland and his brother Scott. Stay tuned for more information on how you can take part in the Little Free Library movement this spring.

Every Child is an Artist!

Every Child is an Artist!

There’s an art wall by the project table in the Children’s Room, where kids can always find supplies to sit down and make something creative. They can take their projects home, leave them to display, or make two, one to take and one to display.

The projects that go on the table are great for tactile learners and creative kids. They all support one of more of the five practices of the Every Child Ready to Read Initiative of the American Library Association.

The leaf project was to decorate a paper leaf with colorful paper bits. It’s amazing how different they were from each other! It tied in with the Writing aspect of the initiative. Picking up the mosaic bits and working with a glue stick helps develop the fine motor skills needed to write, and reading and writing go hand in hand.

 There’s a lot to do in the Children’s Room these days. When kids visit the library they can CREATE (project table,) DO (crawl through the giant caterpillar, play a board game,) READ (book, magazine,) PLAY WITH (train table, computers,) LISTEN TO (snuggle up with together on a cozy couch,) or ATTEND something (a library program- see what there is for your child!).

I Love Libraries

I love libraries. 

I have always loved libraries and have spent most of my like in them. My earliest recollection of libraries was in elementary school where I read every biography in the Childhood of Famous Americans series. In junior high I spent my lunch time in the school library and my Saturday afternoons at the city library. In college my husband and I often courted at the library. I was a junior in college when I took a children’s literature course and got an A in it. I had planned to teach social studies, but my college counselor suggested I also get a library science minor. When I graduated from college and started looking for a job the first school system I called hired me as a librarian and I have been one for 47 years. I have never lost my love for libraries. I enjoy helping customers find new authors or answers to questions.

Libraries are my life and it has been a happy one.  


*Check out life-long reader Jo’s quarterly selection of new titles.

NEW Library Wish List

Do you ever want to donate to a good cause but don’t know how to go about it? Using DearReader’s WishList program the library has set up an easy way for the public to donate towards items on the library’s wish list.

The process is straightforward: just go to and click on the Library WishList Support button on the right side of the webpage. Then click Wishes and then just scroll down through the items on the list and find one that you like. Click Donate Online to make a donation towards that item.

What’s nice about the wish list is that you can donate in whatever increment you prefer be it $1, $5, $10 or more. It’s just that simple.

The items on the wish list go towards all sorts of library events and activities from programming materials, to toys for the Children’s Room, to helpful items for our patrons and much more. 

The library appreciates your support!

2012 Plainfield Garden Tour

The 2012 Annual Friends of the Plainfield Library Garden Tour will be Saturday June 23, and Sunday, June 24.

Tickets for the tour are $12.00 and are available online now on the Plainfield Garden Tour website. Tickets will be available the week prior to the tour at the following locations:

  • Plainfield-Guilford Twp. Public Library*
  • Marsh Supermarket in Plainfield*
  • Ferguson Hardware*
  • Gear Up Cyclery*
  • Cox’s Plant Farm*
  • Plainfield Chamber of Commerce

*Tickets available at these locations the days of the tour.

2012 Plainfield Garden Tour Art Auction

This year the Friends asked people to submit their artwork in a contest to be used on the Garden Tour tickets. There were so many wonderful submissions! The winners were:

  • First Place: Olivia Roath
  • Second Place: Carol Mongan
  • Third Place: Barbara Harris
  • Under 12 Winner: Audrey Havenor

The artwork is now on display in the library, and you’re invited to purchase it! The starting price for each piece was selected by the artist, and is listed in the book in front of the large display case. Bidding will end May 31st, at which time the winning purchasers will be contacted by phone.

Money from both Garden Tour tickets and the Art Contest Silent Auction directly benefit the library. Have you ever attended a program at the library? If so, you’ve benefited from our Friends group! Friends money helps support library programming, including speaker fees, supplies, and snacks.

Joanna’s Top 10 Movies

One Fine Day
This is one of my favorite romantic comedies. Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney are both amazing in this movie as they play characters who get thrown together for a day when they need help finding a babysitter for their children. They end up having a wild time and learn a few things about themselves along the way.

Nanny McPhee
Nanny McPhee is about a single father searching for a nanny to tend to his seven children. After the children drive away 17 nannies, Nanny McPhee mysteriously comes into the picture to give the children some much needed discipline. I especially love that Emma Thompson and Colin Firth are together in this movie as they are two of my favorite actors of all time. This is a great movie to see with the family!

The Queen
Another favorite actor of mine is Helen Mirren, who does an excellent job playing Queen Elizabeth II in the movie The Queen. This movie focuses on the tragedy of Princess Diana’s death and the difficulty Queen Elizabeth II faced when it came to leading the nation in mourning in the loss of the People’s Princess. The inside glimpse into the Royal perspective during this difficult time in England’s history is riveting to say the least.

Gone With the Wind and Scarlet
Gone With the Wind is a classic for many reasons. My main reason for loving GWTW is the psychology behind the characters Scarlet and Rhett. They always think about what is in it for them and don’t care if someone gets trampled along the way. Scarlet is a sequel movie to GWTW and I like it because it does a fairly good job of continuing the GWTW story. 

The Silence of the Lambs
This is my #1 favorite movie of all time. Those of you who have read my True Crime: Serial Killers blog will know why. I saw the movie poster for SOTL in D. Rose (the local video store in Plainfield back in the 1990s) and I remember seeing this giant moth over Jodie Foster’s mouth, and in the design of the moth’s back were the bodies of five women. Clearly the image stayed with me for years and when I was in college I saw the movie for the first time. I was horrified by the serial killer Hannibal Lecter and his insights into the twisted mind of Buffalo Bill. Even after seeing this movie more than 50 times I still get freaked out.

Gone Baby Gone
This movie is about two detectives investigating the disappearance of a little girl in Boston. The police are making very little progress and something just doesn’t seem quite right. The detectives run into all sorts of criminals from gangs to pedophiles along the way to finding the missing girl. At the end there is a scary twist that earns the movie a place on my Top 10 Library Movies to see.

The Prince and Me
I’m a bit of a sucker for a sappy romance every now and then. The Prince and Me is about a young Danish prince who is sowing his wild oats. The prince takes a hiatus to Wisconsin to seemingly “get it together” and attend college, which is where he meets and falls head over heels for a woman with determination and drive. This movie is pretty much a “wash, rinse, repeat” romance, but I love it for its sentimental predictability.

Into The Wild
True-life stories are one of my favorite things of all time. Into The Wild is based on a true story about a young man named Christopher McCandless who leaves his life behind to pursue his own path in the wilderness of Alaska . The movie is adventurous, funny and truly inspiring. Other favorite true-life movies include: Grizzly Man, which is about a man who video taped his close interactions with bears; Kinsey is another great movie that is about the Alfred Kinsey, the American biologist who studied and taught human sexuality at Indiana University in the 1940s and 1950s; 127 Hours is about a young man who gets trapped between a boulder in a canyon crag in Utah. It is not for the faint of heart and is also an amazing movie!

Jurassic Park
OK, so here’s the deal: I could watch Jurassic Park every single day for the rest of my life. I’d even throw in Jurassic Park II and III and I would be a happy camper. Every single time I watch the “real life” dinosaurs walking around I get a giddy excitement that I just cannot compare to any other movie. I recall vividly back in 1993 when Jurassic Park was released I wanted to see it soooo badly but my parents would not let me. A few years later I watched it and loved it.

Fargo is about a Minneapolis car salesman who is in a lot of trouble. He hires some thugs to kidnap his wife in hopes that the ransom will help him with his troubles. Many things go wrong during the kidnapping, and when Police Chief Marge Gunderson gets on the case things begin to unravel at a rapid pace. The Coen brothers do an excellent job making this movie. Just be prepared for some dark comedy if you decide to see it!

Who Else Loves Traveling?

Traveling has always been a big hobby of mine. I’m always looking for new places to travel. From the beaches of Puerto Vallarta to the streets of London, I enjoy seeing the sites and learning about other cultures.

Books have always been a great source of information for my travels. Books allow you to find information quickly, sometimes even faster than websites. When I travel around the States, I also use the Chamber of Commerce web sites as a way to explore towns before I get there. These town web sites give you a glance at the most important local attractions to visit.

Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library’s open source integrated library system, Evergreen, has broadened my horizons as to what types of travel material I can get. Adding so many libraries together on one system allows for a huge amount of material to be transferred from one library to another. This summer I will be heading to Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Vancouver, Canada. I have checked out several DVDs and books about these destinations from our library. I use the Internet here at the library to search for more information. Using my college degree in Travel and Hospitality has allowed me to dig even deeper into travel information. One of my college books has invaluable world travel information. So: books and web sites help us explore different places in our world. Betty White says, “In a world where technology has taken over way we read, it is always comforting to physically hold a book.”


Meet Jessica

Working upstairs in Administration at the library means I don’t always have the opportunity to meet everyone, so I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Jessica, and I am the Financial Manager. Once a month I have the privilege of helping out downstairs, which I really do enjoy. I have been working here for just over a year, but because I have been a library fan and patron for almost 15 years, it feels like I’ve been here all along.

The primary reasons for my visits early on were for the wonderful children’s programming. My children were signed up for just about every age-appropriate program possible. I’d get the most current program calendar to see what they could do next! After the program was over, exploring books and puzzles and toys was just another reason they couldn’t wait to get here. And, I’ll be honest, it was a great break for me too! The activities that are currently offered here continue to be outstanding. And though my kids have outgrown the programs that they attended as little ones, (we do still love Silly Safaris! Sign up for the June 2 Silly Safaris “Creatures of the NIGHT” after May 1!) there are great activities in the children’s and teen area for them as they get older.

My mom is another big library fan, and would be the first to tell you that she would not have ever considered the idea that she would enjoy reading books electronically. But because of the great services offered here, she found the joy of virtual book borrowing. She still loves to thumb through the pages of a good book, but now knows she has the best of both worlds. So, from kiddos to grandmas, our library is a treasure for everyone, no matter what age, and continues to be a place where we love to be.      


The Hunger Games event at Rave!

Who’s excited about the seeing The Hunger Games this week? Personally, I am over the moon about watching the big screen adaptation of the book by Suzanne Collins. I was obsessed with the story when I first read the book and would discuss it at length to anyone who would listen. Would I volunteer as a tribute? My strategy if I were to participate in the Games? Peeta vs. Gale? You name it, I talked about it. Many years after reading the book, I’m still in love with the story. As we get closer to the movie release, it’s hard to find someone that hasn’t heard of the series. Are you planning to see the movie when it comes out on Friday, March, 23rd? If so, the library would like to sweeten the experience!

The Plainfield Public Library will have a table at Rave Motion Pictures in Plainfield on Friday, March 23rd. If you’re there to see the movie between 5-7pm, stop by the table and show your Plainfield library card. You’ll be entered in a drawing for the chance to win one of five different (and awesome) prizes! How cool is that? Good luck, and…

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”

Meet Maureen…

Hi everyone! I’m Maureen, and I work in the Children’s Room at PGTPL. I’ve been here since August 2011.
Libraries have always been a big part of my life, from when I was little and one of our treats was going to the ‘Big Library‘ in our city. My parents were also big supporters of my reading habit. They had always read to me and my siblings before we were old enough to read on our own. When we could pick out our own books, we would take an old canvas laundry bag to the library and fill it up. I remember graduating to the chapter book area, and then branching out into the teen and adult sections.
When I was in middle school, the school librarian took me under her wing and let me check out as many books as I wanted to. In high school, I volunteered in the school library before school started and in my study halls.
In college, I worked in the circulation department of my university’s library. This is when I really started to consider working in libraries after I graduated. I knew it was something that I enjoyed a lot and would be happy doing in the future. But I also knew that I wanted to work in a public library, where you can meet all kinds of interesting people, and that I was more interested in children’s and teen literature than in adult.
When I graduated, I spent over a year looking for a job. I kept interviewing and eventually applied for a Children’s Assistant position at PGTPL. I had never even seen it before I arrived for the interview, but I was immediately impressed by how friendly everyone was.  I was very excited when I found out I got the job! I’ve only been working here for a few months, but I’m still impressed by how friendly and committed all my fellow staff members are. Yay PGTPL!