Blog

Online Genealogy Meeting - Irish Ancestry

Learn tips and tricks for researching your Irish ancestry during our Genealogy Group program via Zoom Thursday, June 25, 1 p.m.

Register at least 24 hours in advance.

IPPL cardholders still have free access to our library's edition of Ancestry from home at any time. Go to swanlibraries.net/ancestry/ and sign in with your card to get started.



Donate and recycle

The school year has wrapped up and you have leftover supplies. What can you do? As of yesterday, SCARCE, the wonderful environmental education organization, began accepting many materials for reuse through their tools-for-schools program. In addition to educational supplies, SCARCE recycles many other items. Check their acceptable items list and procedures here

If SCARCE can't take certain materials, search for other options. Spend some time exploring their website; this organization provides many resources and services, including a calendar of recycling and shredding events.




Craft the Zoo!

We know you miss the LittleShop activities, but you can receive them via email this summer!

We're going to "craft the zoo," making eight animal projects over the next several weeks. All you'll need are paper, scissors, glue, and crayons or markers.

Each project will also be sent with a catalog link to find materials for learning more about all of these favorite zoo animals. IPPL cardholders can request these materials for curbside pickup.

To be added to the LittleShop at Home list, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Activities are designed for ages 7 and under.

If you signed up for LittleShop at Home projects for May, you are already included for Craft the Zoo emails.


This Week in the Prairie Patch: June 14-20

Did you know the Prairie Patch is Monarch Waystation? We have certified we have created a habitat that helps preserve the species and support the butterfly's amazing migration every year. Click here to learn more about the Monarch Way Station program.

Another great resource to help support Monarch habitats and migration is with Journey North, a citizen scientist program that helps track the migrations of a variety of species including monarchs and hummingbirdsClick here to learn more about Journey North's Monarch tracking program and how you can participate as a citizen scientist.

Sensory Garden: The globe alliums are near the end of their blooming but 'look' for the hollyhock to bloom soon in the same bed. Have you gotten a chance to 'taste' the mint yet? We have two types of mint growing in the same bed, one has a darker stem, the other a green similar to the leaves. One is definitely a sharper mint flavor. Which one do you like best?

Weekly Garden Giveaways: We will hopefully start these in July depending on local health guidelines.

Book Recommendations:

Non-Fiction

Butterfly Gardening: The North American Butterfly Association Guide

Vegetable Gardening Wisdom: Daily Advice and Inspiration for Getting the Most from Your Garden

Fiction

Up in the Garden Down in the Dirt

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Seed Library:

It isn't too late to plant your own garden! If you are interested in getting seeds from our Seed Library, email Natalie Williams: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Volunteering:

If you are interested in helping us in the garden this summer, please contact Natalie Williams about volunteering: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Honoring Bonnie Pointer

Bonnie Pointer, a founding member of the Pointer Sisters, passed away on June 8 at the age of 69. Bonnie and her sisters grew up singing in the choir at their father's Oakland church. Bonnie and June Pointer formed The Pointers in 1969 which evolved into The Pointer Sisters when their older sister, Anita, joined the group. Bonnie was a singer and songwriter who embraced elements of soul, pop and jazz. Bonnie and Anita wrote the group's country hit, "Fairytale," in 1974, which crossed over to become a Top 20 pop hit and won the group their first Grammy for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group. Anita and Bonnie also were nominated for Best Country Song at the same ceremony. The group performed "Fairytale" at the Grand Ole Opry making them the first African-American vocal group to appear there. Three years later, Bonnie and Anita wrote "Bring Your Sweet Stuff Home To Me" with Stevie Wonder, and recorded it with him for The Pointer Sisters' album, Having A Party.

Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977 to pursue a solo career. Her biggest successes were on the dance charts. When Bonnie signed with Motown Records in 1978, "Heaven Must Have Sent You" was among the tracks chosen for her first album there. The entire project was produced by Berry Gordy and Jeffrey Bowen whom she married in 1978, but later divorced. It became a major hit when released as the second single from her first album, Bonnie Pointer. The album featured Bonnie's version of another Motown classic, "When I'm Gone," as well as new material composed by Jeffrey Bowen and Donald Baldwin. Pointer released another album, If the Price Is Right, in 1984, but then largely stepped away from recording, except for Like a Picasso released in 2011. She also occasionally reunited with her sisters to perform.

Listen to some of Bonnie Pointer's solo performances or the Pointer Sisters music on Hoopla. 

Don't Miss Out! Interactive Programming for Littles

We are having so much fun engaging with our littlest patrons on Zoom! Our live, interactive programs create a more personal way to connect with you even if we can't be together in person just yet.

Check out the programs we are holding throughout the month of June below. We'd love to have you join us!

Follow the links below for more information about the programs and to register.
You only need to register once per program, and you will be set for the whole month.

If you want to hear stories and sing songs, check out....
Family Storytime LIVE via Zoom* on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.

If you like to move and groove, check out...
Rollick & Roll LIVE via Zoom* on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

If you like to tinker and learn, check out...
Stories + STEAM LIVE via Zoom* on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m.

If you've got a baby 17 months or younger, check out...
Baby Book Bees Storytime LIVE via Zoom* on Thursdays, at 9:30 a.m.

And as always, you can find a little bit of everything on-demand at any time on our YouTube page!

*Make sure to register 24-hours in advance so that we can send you a Zoom invite. If you want to register after that window closes, just contact Miss Lexy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Census Follow Up Calls Are Underway

Follow-up calls ensure that everyone is counted, counted only once, and counted in the right place.

If you get a call from (844) 809-7717, it is not a scam. It is the US Census with a question about some part of their self-response.

If you don't pick up, you can call them back at the same number. For those concerned about spoofed calls, this is the safe way to handle incoming calls. 

Learn more from the official Census page.


Business Owners: Webinars and Mentoring

SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has several  live webinars scheduled in the coming weeks. You can view Protecting your Business from Fraud on June 18 and  Protecting and Increasing the Value of your Business on July 2, among others.

Take advantage of SCORE's industry experts by using Real Time Mentoring Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Register here.

The library partners with SCORE Fox Valley.

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Mid-Kid Program Highlights

The Summer Challenge has started - have you registered? The Summer Challenge runs from June 6 through August 8 and just like in past summers, you can earn a new free book and raffle tickets for gift cards to local restaurants and book stores. This summer we are using an online tool called Beanstack to earn badges for completing your reading goals and activities on how you can "Be The Change". You can also use Beanstack for Mission Math!

In addition to the Summer Challenge we have many fun and exciting programs. On Tuesday mornings (10:30 a.m), Miss Tricia  hosts a weekly Online - Fractured Fairy Tales for kids going into grades 1st - 4th.  Miss Tricia's lively and  often silly tales includes activities with a twist. Your child  will receive extra STEAM and recipe activities that are emailed on Wednesday and Thursday each week. This program is shared through Zoom and registration is needed.

Also for grades 1 - 4, on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm, Miss Heather hosts Online - Mid-Kid Music 101. This is a once a month program  to learn about composers and listen to music from various genres and times in history. Each month will feature interactive listening activities. This program is shared through Zoom and registration is needed.

Online Teen Town Hall coming up June 16th

Our virtual program, Teen Town Hall is coming up on Tuesday June 16th.at 3:30p.m. This program is open to teens grades 7th through 12th. Town Hall is a forum for teens to discuss issues they and their community may be facing. Teens can register here or email the the Teen librarian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register for this event. 

This Week in the Prairie Patch June 7-13

Fun time in the Play Patch last summer. Currently our toys are bug and bee related. Enjoy!

Plant Updates:

Several volunteers and team members from the Kids & Teens department planted most of the remaining seeds and plants in the Prairie Patch over the weekend. We tried to label everything, so keep your eyes out for what's growing. Look for blossoms on pumpkins and zucchini and don't miss 'Tomato Town', a whole bed full of tomato plants.

Sensory Garden:

Toys for the Play Patch have been added to the sandbox. Please try to keep the sand in and the rocks out!

Weekly Garden Giveaways: We will hopefully start these in July depending on local health guidelines.




Book Recommendations:

  • Non-Fiction

Gardening Projects for Kids

The Little Gardener: Helping Children Connect With the Natural World

Six Seasons

  • Fiction

Darling Dahlias Mysteries

Seed Library:

It isn't too late to plant your own garden! If you are interested in getting seeds from our Seed Library, email Natalie Williams: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Volunteering:

If you are interested in helping us in the garden this summer, please contact Natalie Williams about volunteering: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spotlight on Storytime One-on-One!

One highlight to come out of our time staying at home has been the unique opportunity to offer Storytime One-on-One sessions to your children. We love spending time connecting with your children and giving them something special to look forward to. 

What people are sharing with us about their experiences:

  • "I just wanted to tell you [my child] absolutely loves story time with you! He looks forward to it. Thank you so much!"
  • "Thank you for the storytime! [My child]'s older brother has been having daily Zoom meetings for school and [he] has been feeling left out"
  • "I appreciate your efforts in choosing books that [my child] will enjoy :) He is so fascinated with the bubblegum song, he looks forward to it. On the whole, we are really happy that you are reading to him each week."
  • "[My child] was over the moon to have a one-on-one storytime with you!"

Want to set up a Storytime One-on-One for your child? Just contact one of our storytime librarians to schedule a 15-minute session!
*For ages birth-kindergarten

Miss Lexy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mr. Jack: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Miss Heather: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Miss Megan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Business Owners: Virtual Business Forum

Back to Business: a Virtual Conference takes place June 9 - 11. A librarian from the northern suburbs shared these details. Although some programs pertain specifically to those towns, it looks informative and helpful for all, with topics ranging from new service models to financial support. Register separately for sessions.

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KidLit Rally for Black Lives

Around the nation, people are hurting. Kids in particular may be feeling unsure and questioning how they can help their family, friends, and neighbors. Several award-winning authors such as Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, Jason Reynolds and many other leading voices in children's literature are hosting a KidLit Rally for Black Lives on June 4th for a talk with young people from 6:00-6:45 p.m. CT and 6:45-7:30 p.m. CT with parents, educators, and librarians. You can access the rally on Facebook Live @THEBROWNBOOKSHELF

By learning together, having conversations, and listening with openness, we can support understanding and community healing.


​This Week in the Prairie Patch: May 31-June 6

Plant Updates

Fans of the Prairie Patch will be happy to know that the garden's progress has not been slowed by Covid-19. There are a variety of perennial plants and bulbs already growing and blooming, and we will have other new seedlings planted in the garden in the next few weeks. Our globe alliums started blooming last week and you can experience them in addition to the rest of this summer's first Sensory Garden tour. Look for the blue signs throughout the garden to see what to hear, see, taste, smell and touch.

Weekly Garden Giveaways will be announced soon. Last year we gave away over 120 pounds of food to patrons and neighbors and we're excited to see what this year's bounty will provide.

EBook Recommendations

Non-Fiction

Kitchen Garden Revival
Common Backyard Weeds of the Upper Midwest
Gardening Lab for Kids 

Fiction

Grandpa's Garden 
The Secret Garden 
A Victory Garden for Trying Times

Volunteer Opportunities for the Garden: If you are interested in helping us in the garden this summer, please contact Natalie Williams about volunteeringnThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.