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Both Can Be True

Ash is a middle schooler who loves music, is a synesthete who can see sounds, and is figuring out their gender identity after being bullied at their last school for being a “flip flop freak.” It doesn’t help that Ash’s dad is putting more and more pressure on them to just choose a gender and “stick with it.” Then Ash meets Daniel at their new school. Daniel is a photography fan, kind, in-tune with his emotions, scared his parents are going to get a divorce, and mourning the loss of his dog. When Daniel saves an older dog who is about to be euthanized because the owner doesn’t want to care for the elderly dog, their worlds collide and suddenly, Ash and Daniel are pinned together in this mission—save Chewbarka at all costs.

   
Animals    Bullying    Coming of Age    Diversity    Fiction    Inclusiveness    LGBTQ+    Read    Realistic    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Living With Viola

Livy is starting at a new school and that's just the tip of the iceberg for her! She's growing anxious about making friends and fitting in when she feels different because of her culture as well as family expectations for her to achieve great things. Then there's Viola. The little voice in her head that tells her she's not good enough and that no one likes her. Sometimes Viola's voice is so loud that Livy has trouble expressing her own. She has to find some way to live with Viola.

This fun and funny graphic novel gives life to the concept of anxiety by featuring it as a real figure (Viola) in which Livy can interact with. Negative self-talk, worries, and feelings of overwhelming pressure plague Livy on a daily basis, but as soon as she asks her parents for help, she begins to feel relief as she learns to coexist with her anxiety.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

I Love You Because I Love You

This children's picture book contains simple, poetic words but it expresses powerful emotion. The beautiful illustrations depict diverse characters experiencing the joys and security that unconditional love offers. I recommend reading this book with someone you love just because you love them.

Reviewed by Christa S., Senior Information Assistant

   
Family    Read    Relationships   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Shirley & Jamila Save their Summer

Jamila has to find a way to avoid going to boring old Science Camp and spend more time shooting hoops! So when oddball Shirley Bones offers a deal that will keep Jamila out of camp, Jamila jumps at the offer. There is only one problem - Shirley is weird. But soon, Jamilia realizes that Shirley isn't just weird, she's a detective! The two girls set out to solve the case of the missing gecko and save their summer!

This book is a wonderfully fun mystery with a lovely tale of friendship. If you fall in love with Shirley and Jamila like I did, then be sure to take a look at the sequel Shirley & Jamila's Big Fall.

Fans of books about friendship like Shannon Hale's Real Friends and for fans of mysteries like Kate Petty's The Leak: For the Love of Truth.

Recommended for ages 8-12.

Reviewed by Kim B. Children's Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

MCPL Digital Collection Launches

Text says "MCPL Digital" on a peach colored background with illustrations of an open yearbook and an owl with a graduation cap. MCPL Digital is a growing repository of high-resolution digital photograph collections of Monroe County Yearbooks and other local historical records. Our mission is to bring digital versions of the community's historical records to a broader audience!   Library Director, Grier Carson, says the digitization program has been in full force since early 2020. The first items to be digit

MCPL Digital is a growing repository of high-resolution digital photograph collections of Monroe County Yearbooks and other local historical records. Our mission is to bring digital versions of the community's historical records to a broader audience!

Library Director, Grier Carson, says the digitization program has been in full force since early 2020. The first items to be digitized were the Library’s collection of area school yearbooks.

“We’re excited to make some of the Library’s most unique physical materials, particularly those which represent and/or reflect Monroe County, more accessible,” Carson said.

MCPL Digital currently includes over 230 yearbooks from local high schools, scanned from physical copies housed in our Indiana Room. Spanning 114 years, the archive begins with Bloomington High School, The Gothic, from 1908!

   
Think Library    Adults   

Tween Space Mural Contest

Have you heard of our Tween Space? The Tween Space at the Downtown Library is a place where kids ages 7–12 can hang out, explore crafts and other activities, enjoy pop-up programs, work on homework, or play!

Later this summer, a local artist will be revamping the Tween Space walls with a cosmic mural. We’re calling on kids ages 7–12 to help with the design! Draw the dots of your own imaginary stars (no more than 10), the lines between them, and an outline of the figure or object the group of stars represents. Your constellation might be selected to be included in the new Tween Space mural! 

A constellation is a grouping of stars that forms the base of a recognizable shape, usually an animal, mythological character, or object. Well-known constellations include the Big Dipper, Orion the Hunter, and the constellations of the Zodiac.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Celebrate Pride Month at the Library

Text says "Pride Month Giveaway" over a rainbow background with a photo of a Pride-themed giveaway items including a "Shelf Love" tote bag, pin, socks, and mug

Each June we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning Pride! Many Pride events in the United States are held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion on June 28, 1969. Communities often celebrate with festivals, performances, rallies, parades, family events, film screenings, and other events to honor the history of the LGBTQ+ social movement.

Supporting a diverse and inclusive community is at the heart of our mission to serve Monroe County. While we strive to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community all year long, June offers an opportunity to highlight the contributions of LGBTQ+ creators and to provide a safe and welcoming space.

   

Ellettsville Branch Awarded Gardening Grant

A photo of four raised garden beds outside of the Ellettsville Branch.

The Ellettsville Branch was recently awarded a Growing Together mini grant of $1,500 in association with Purdue Extension–Monroe County!

 

Ellettsville Branch Garden

The garden was created as part of the Branch’s 2019 renovation. The garden was funded in part by a grant from the Smithville Charitable Foundation to install raised garden beds and a bench and provide resources to begin gardening programming.

In the first growing season of 2019, four raised beds and a grow tower produced tomatoes, basil, squash, green peppers, and various micro greens! The produce was donated to Pantry 279, a local food pantry serving the Ellettsville community.

The garden was closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, but reopened in 2021 to produce a harvest of tomatoes and basil!

 

   

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Mary, born into slavery in 1868, loved watching the birds fly free in the sky while she worked in the fields. She wanted to be free too! But she had to keep working. No time for rest. No time to learn. Even when Mary and her family were freed from slavery she still had to work hard.

One day, Mary was given a Bible, but all she could see were squiggly lines! Mary became determined to learn to read but there was always work to be done and a family to raise. Late in life, Mary said, "No more waiting! Time to learn!" You'll be amazed to learn Mary's age when she finally learned to read and became truly free.

This true story definitely shows that you are never too old to learn. I love how this book is full of hope and the vibrant collage illustrations by Coretta Scott King award winner, Oge Mara, really help tell the story in this amazing picture book biography. There are even real photos of Mary on the front and back covers.

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Grier Carson Named Library Director

Grier Carson

The Monroe County Public Library Board of Trustees confirmed the appointment of Grier Carson as Director of the Library, effective May 6, replacing Marilyn Wood upon her retirement. 

“I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead this great library at such a unique and transformative time,” Carson said. “I’m also grateful for the chance to learn so much from Marilyn over the past several years.”

Carson began his path to librarianship here in Bloomington. As an undergraduate at Indiana University, he studied English literature and art history and received his Master of Library Science degree in 2006. His career led him to Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school in Illinois where he worked his way from librarian to Director of Libraries and Academic Technology.

   
Think Library    Adults   

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