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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Halloween Costumes, Crafts, Cookies & More!

We have many titles with oodles of great ideas for a spookily festive holiday. Everything from creating your own unique costume to creative holiday treats. Get creative and have fun with the help of your local library!

Costumes

1000 incredible costume & cosplay ideas : a showcase of creative characters from anime, manga, video games, movies, comics, and more! / Yaya Han, Allison DeBlasio & Joey Marsocci a.k.a. Dr. Grymm

1000 Incredible Costume & Cosplay Ideas: A Showcase of Creative Characters from Anime, Manga, Video Games, Movies, Comics and More by Yaya Han, Allison DeBlasio, and Joey Marsocci (a.k.a. Dr. Grymm)

Provides a broad and detailed glimpse into the ingenious artistry and attention to detail behind some of the most fabulous costumes you can find.

 

Duct tape costumes / by Carolyn Bernhardt

Duct Tape Costumes by Carolyn Bernhardt

Easy to follow step-by-step guide on creating costumes using duct tape.

 

The hero's closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming / Gillian Conahan

The Hero’s Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming by Gillian Conahan

A skilled crafter and avid cosplayer presents a DIY guide to creating unique and fantastical homemade costumes that provides an abundance of inspiration, technical tips and advice on pattern selection, alterations, fabrics and more for creating an awesome costume.

 

Crafts

Glitterville's handmade Halloween : a glittered guide for whimsical crafting / Stephen Brown

Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween by Stephen Brown

Celebrate the season of costumes and candy with Glitterville’s guide to creating a wondrously wacky and whimsical holiday! This title is also available as an eBook.

Treats

Halloween treats : simply spooky recipes for ghoulish sweet treats / with recipes by Annie Rigg

Halloween Treats: Simply Spooky Recipes for Ghoulish Sweet Treats with recipes by Annie Rigg

There’s nothing more exciting for them than hosting their own Halloween party, complete with ghoulish sweet treats. In this spooky new book, queen of cakes, Annie Rigg, turns her hand to simple, cute and creepy cakes, cookies and other edible sweet treats to delight any Halloween-loving child.

 

If you’re looking for more great books on the topics featured in this blog post, search the library catalog using the following keywords:

  • Halloween cooking
  • Halloween costumes
  • Halloween decorations
  • Handicraft
  • Holiday cooking
  • Holiday crafts
  • Cosplay
  • Costume design
  • Sewing

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/just-in-time-for-halloween-costumes-cosplay-crafts-and-cookies.

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National Day of Listening

Everyone has a story to tell and everyone deserves to be heard. People feel appreciated, understood, and even loved when someone takes the time to really listen to them.

Lately, I’ve been reading articles and watching videos about how we’re all so connected yet less happy. I know just thinking about it is a bit of a downer, but really it’s an interesting topic and one that deserves more attention. In the age of social media we’re sharing more, but connecting less. What’s wrong with this picture? After all, how can you share more and yet still feel disconnected? So, ask yourself this: when was the last time you had a real conversation with someone and truly listened to the other person? By truly listening, I mean you weren’t just waiting for your turn to speak.

What is the National Day of Listening?

Launched in 2008 by StoryCorps, the National Day of Listening takes place every year the day after Thanksgiving. The project encourages people to sit down with a loved one and record a meaningful conversation.

An Intro to StoryCorps from our Founder Dave Isay


Let the library help you celebrate the National Day of Listening

Record Your Story

Storycorps launched the National Day of Listening as a way to encourage families to set aside the day after Thanksgiving as a time to share and record the history of their family, friends, and community.

Visit StoryCorps.org for a DIY guide and to upload your recording to Storycorps’ Wall of Listening. #NationalDayofListening

Use the Library’s recording studio to capture your interview on our equipment or use your phone in our acoustically ready space. Call the West Toledo Branch at 419-259-5290 or the King Road Branch at 419-259-5380 to learn more about our studio spaces.

Check out the Adrene Cole Collection

The African American Oral History Collection of Lucas County connects people and generations by preserving and sharing local voices and perspectives for future generations.

Claude Black | Adrene Cole Collection – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Check out Sight and Sound

Join host Tom Walton as he interviews Toledo’s top public figures; celebrating their unique impact on Toledo history.

Sam Szor | Sight & Sound – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Videos by StoryCorps

Two very curious brothers ask their dad some outlandish questions
Two nurse practitioners talk about treating infants exposed to opioids
Brian talks to Matt, who has been living on the streets, about the day they met
Ronald Clark remembers living inside a branch of the New York Public Library
The Bookmobile

Books by StoryCorps

Listening is an act of love : a celebration of American life from the StoryCorps Project / edited and with an introduction by Dave Isay
Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay
Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps - edited by Dave Isay
StoryCorps OutLoud: Stories from the LGBTQ community, gathered by StoryCorps and heard on NPR - hosted by Ari Shapiro, featuring Dave Isay
All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps edited by Dave Isay

Ted Talks about technology, listening, and conversation

Connected, but alone? | Sherry Turkle – Ted Talks
 

The Power of deliberate listening | Ronnie Polaneczky – TEDxPhiladelphia

 

10 Ways to have a better conversation | Celeste Headlee – Ted Talks

Books about conversation and listening

The lost art of good conversation : a mindful way to connect with others and enrich everyday life / Sakyong Mipham
The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols, PhD
Reclaiming conversation : the power of talk in a digital age / Sherry Turkle
We need to talk : how to have conversations that matter / Celeste Headlee

Articles about conversation and listening

The Lost Art of ConversationUSA Today

Is Conversation a Lost Art? – Wonderopolis

Saving the Lost Art of ConversationThe Atlantic

10 Tips to Talk About Anything with AnyonePsychology Today

The Art and Value of Good ListeningPsychology Today

Active Listening: Hear What People are Actually Saying – Mind Tools


Featured Image Credit: Conversation at the ‘IJ’ lake, Amsterdam by Thijs Paanakker (flickr)

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/national-day-of-listening.

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Happy Little Trees: A Playlist

I was going to write up a playlist of songs that make me happy and songs that make me sad, but as Dwight said in the Office “I’m just tired. The days are short. I don’t know. Maybe I’m depressed,” so I jettisoned the sad to cheer myself up. Not all of these songs are traditionally happy, but they uplift me just the same.

Below, you’ll find a collection of songs that make me happy, none of which are “Happy” by Pharrell Williams (no offense to him. I really like N.E.R.D. and the Neptunes!)

Songs That Will Put You in a Better Mood

The Monkees - Goin' Down / Daydream Believer
The Best of Bill Withers - Lean on Me
Way to blue : an introduction to Nick Drake
The Sunset Tree by The Mountain Goats
Album cover for Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron and Wine

1. Daydream Believer by The Monkees

I grew up watching The Monkees’ TV show and went to Seligman Brothers records on Sylvania to score some vinyl. I found the single for “Goin’ Down” which had “Daydream Believer” as a B-side. I absolutely loved it. And I still do. Hearing it makes me think of when I was a kid. Still. Every single time.

2. Lovely Day by Bill Withers

Someone who gets way less credit than they deserve. Bill Withers was a factory worker (the photo of the cover of his first album Just As I Am was taken on his lunch break) who just happened to be an incredible song writer. He wrote amazing folk/soul for a while but by 1977’s Menagerie he had moved into a more adult contemporary style. I prefer the earlier stuff, but that’s just me. What Menagerie did have was “Lovely Day,” and wow. It’s so sweet and upbeat! The choruses are incredibly uplifting but I have no idea how he can hold the note on the word “Day” for so long. Just like he kept going with the “I know” part on the earlier “Ain’t No Sunshine.” That’s some real vocal control.

3. Northern Sky by Nick Drake

Ok, so Nick Drake is probably the poster boy for sad fella music. His songs run the gambit from “melancholy” to “hey, where do you keep your razor blades?”. They’re all wonderful songs, they just aren’t terribly uplifting. Except “Northern Sky.” Released on his second album, Bryter Layter, it’s absolutely glorious. Beginning with the line “I never felt magic crazy as this” the song builds and builds until the Hammond organ swells over at around the 2:15 mark. A blaze of sunlight from
someone surrounded by darkness.

4. This Year by The Mountain Goats

Not a happy song, not by a long shot. But for some reason, I find it incredibly uplifting. The tale of a teenager taking a bottle from his stepfather and going to the arcade to play video games with a girl he likes, the song takes a nasty turn when he returns home. Acknowledging how awful his life usually is, the chorus is simply “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.” See? Not exactly Chicken Soup For The Soul. But, for some reason, it fills me with joy.

5. Walking Far From Home by Iron And Wine

A song filled with allegorical things that Sam Beam saw when out walking, none of which I understand! The lyrics (which, again, I have no idea what they mean) are wonderful! Lines like “I saw sinners making music, and I’ve dreamt of that sound” or “I saw kindness and an angel, crying “Take me back home.” Seriously, no clue. But I love it just the same. It just seems so hopeful.

Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie
The Very Best of The Lovin' Spoonful
B.O.B. by Outkast
Stay Positive by The Hold Steady
Odessey And Oracle by The Zombies

6. Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie

Sure, the lyrics are some sort of claptrap about oceans being born and moats and boats and whatever, but when Ben Gibbard sings “So come on!” over and over, it lifts my soul so high that the rest of the words doesn’t matter.

7. Do You Believe In Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonful

A great song but, wow, do those chants of “Do you believe like I believe?” make me happy? You know? I just might believe!

8. B.O.B. by Outkast

I’ll admit Outkast slipped by me. As amazing as their first three albums are, I missed it, I don’t know why. So when I first heard “B.O.B.” off of their fourth album Stankonia on a CMJ compilation, my jaw just dropped. The song was so fast. It was basically speed metal with incredibly nimble rhyming over it, then a breakdown with chanting over it, THEN a midtempo part with almost gospel-like vocals. W.O.W.! And it still thrills me, although it’s best if I don’t listen to it when I drive.

9. One For The Cutters by The Hold Steady

Although “Massive Nights” off of Boys And Girls In America is a way more fun and joyful song with its chanted “Whoaaah” vocals, “Cutters,” from the follow up album Stay Positive, is the song that gets me. Neither fun nor joyful, it tells the tale of a college student who gets mixed up with “townies” (The Cutters in the title is a reference to the wonderful film “Breaking Away“). There’s a fight and a stabbing and a trial where “her father’s lawyers do most of the talking” (Craig Finn is probably my favorite lyricist right now), and I sing along at top volume no matter where I’m listening to it. Don’t know why, just do.

10. This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies

British Invasion band The Zombies had already broken up by the time (of the season) their masterpiece Odessey And Oracle had come out. It’s absolutely incredible. Baroque melodies mixed together with majestic vocals in three minute songs. And my favorite is “This Will Be Our Year.” I’ve never been the most optimistic person, but this song makes my soul half full. I play it every New Year’s Eve, which would probably annoy all of the others at whichever party I was at, but it’s so glorious, I have a feeling they don’t mind.

11. Georgy Girl by The Seekers and Windy by The Association

The Seekers and The Association
“Georgy Girl” was the theme song for a movie of the same name. Co-written by Jim Dale (who narrated the Harry Potter books on CD and the TV show Pushing Daisies, and also appeared in the British Carry On movies) and Tom Springfield (Dusty’s brother!), it was performed by Australian band The Seekers, who would soon become The New Seekers and would like to teach the world to sing.

“Windy” was written by Ruth Friedman (who also wrote songs featured in the cult biker movie The Peace Killers). It was performed by American band The Association, a sunshiny pop band with psychedelic aspirations who would have close to a thousand different members throughout their lifetime (exaggerating, kind of). Both of these songs sound somewhat similar and they both make me happy.

Originally posted by Tim P. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/happy-little-trees-a-playlist.

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The Steinem Sisters Collection: Feminism at Toledo Library!

An exciting new collection is available at the Toledo Library!

Introducing – The Steinem Sisters Collection:

Ms. Cover featuring Gloria Steinem

In December 2017, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) began working with the Steinem’s Sisters Collective to acquire their lending library when their previous home, the People Called Women Bookstore, changed ownership. The Steinem’s Sisters Collective Lending Library was formed in 2014. It was established to honor Gloria Steinem in her hometown and fill an information and community need. The collection includes a wide variety of feminist resources designed to sustain feminist thought, values, and culture by inspiring learning, spreading knowledge, and strengthening the local feminist community.

Housed in the Humanities Department at the Main Library, The Steinem Sisters Collection celebrates the lives and achievements of women; champions their historical, cultural and political contributions; and strives to provide a welcoming space for women of all walks of life to share their truths. The types of materials we collect are first and foremost “feminist materials” – which are those materials that uphold women’s rights and interests in defining and promoting political, economic, personal, racial and social equality. In partnership with TLCPL’s institutional values, the Steinem Sisters Collection seeks to be welcoming of all the complex and diverse voices that comprise the modern feminist movement; to be innovative in the programming we provide; and collaborative with community members and local women’s organizations in order to broaden the reach of the collection.

Steinem Sisters Temporary Location At Main Library

Above all else, the Steinem Sisters Collection is meant to be useful to our community, to reflect the diverse nature of that community and the way feminism intersects with the various aspects of identity.

Please visit The Steinem Sisters Collection at its temporary location in the Humanities Department at the Main Library. The collection will be accessible by request while the
Main Library is closed for renovations and we will have a permanent and dedicated space when Main reopens in 2019!

In the meantime, please keep a look out for some exciting feminist programs we will be hosting throughout the system starting in September.

Why Feminism at the Public Library?

Feminism is cool

Feminism.

It is a simple word that can provoke a variety of passionate responses. With the introduction of the Steinem Sisters Collection at the Library, it is important that we investigate the question of why and how a public library can participate in critical librarianship in relation to housing a feminist collection and providing related programming.

I think this discussion could start with Dr. Angela Y. Davis who said:

Feminism involves so much more than gender equality and it involves so much more than gender. . . Feminism must involve a consciousness of capitalism and racism and colonialism and post-colonialists, and ability and more genders than we can even imagine and more sexualities than we ever thought we could name.

Public Libraries and professionally trained librarians are in a unique position to be engaged in our community, by creating programs, providing access to archival materials and encouraging discovery. Where Davis reminds us that many forms of feminism can give us a way to name multiple forms of oppression, feminism can also liberate us, and provoke us to imagine and name possibilities. Librarians as gatekeepers hold the key to these possibilities for every individual who walk through our library doors.

Feminism can be, and has been, defined in many ways and from all different perspectives. But when I talk about feminism, I’m talking about a lens that makes visible, and gives voice to, the unique and intersecting oppression women experience due to the dominant patriarchal culture; and thus, by naming it and making that oppression visible, feminism in a public library setting allows for the transforming of culture so that women are humanized and treated with the respect owed to all of humanity.

Upcoming Steinem Sisters Collection Programs: July-Dec. 2018

Steinem Sisters Collection Opening Celebration

July 9 | 6:00 p.m. | Main Library – Huntington Room

Talking Circle With Steinem Sisters Collective

Sep. 5 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Nov. 7 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

The Silent Witness Project Exhibit

Oct. 1 – Nov. 2 | During Library Hours | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

Feminist Book Discussion

Oct. 3 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Dec. 5 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Oct. 4 | 1:00 p.m. | Waterville Branch Library
Oct. 25 | 6:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch Library

Children and Domestic Violence

Oct. 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Oct. 24 | 7:00 p.m. | Maumee Branch Library

A Sampling of the Steinem Sisters Collection

My life on the road / Gloria Steinem
Eloquent rage : a black feminist discovers her superpower / Brittney Cooper
Missoula : rape and the justice system in a college town / Jon Krakauer
Reset : my fight for inclusion and lasting change / Ellen Pao
Women who run with the wolves : myths and stories of the wild woman archetype / Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Sharp : the women who made an art of having an opinion / Michelle Dean
Not that bad : dispatches from rape culture / edited by Roxane Gay
Sex object : a memoir / Jessica Valenti
First they killed my father : a daughter of Cambodia remembers / Loung Ung
A room of one's own / Virginia Woolf ; foreword by Mary Gordon
Ain't I a woman : Black women and feminism / by Bell Hooks
The essential feminist reader / edited and with an introduction by Estelle B. Freedman
When everything changed : the amazing journey of American women from 1960 to the present / Gail Collins
Geek girl rising : inside the sisterhood shaking up tech / Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens
The Warrior queens / Antonia Fraser

Related Toledo Library Blog Posts

For the Feminist Curious: A Steinem Sisters Collection Book List

Jane Austen’s Hidden Feminism


Looking for your next great read?

Let us help you!

Tell us what you’ve enjoyed reading, watching or listening to, and our librarians will give you personalized recommendations.

No algorithms, cookies or data mining – just real experts in your community sharing their love of great books, music and movies with you. We call it Give 3 Get 3.

Get started today at

toledolibrary.org/Give3Get!
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Become a Part of Toledo’s History

We’re creating a photo collection to preserve the history of Toledo/Lucas County and we need your help! We are looking for pictures depicting scenes from Toledo and Lucas County or of residents out in the wider world. We would love to include your vacation photos in the Smoky Mountains from the 80s, snapshots from your 4th of July picnic, Instagram selfies from Jeepfest, or your hundred year old historical photographs; absolutely anything so long as it is about Toledo/Lucas County or its residents.

Community Photo Album Details

Up to five images can be contributed at a time, and we ask that you provide a little context for the image, as much of the “who, what, when, and where” as possible. For digital photographs there is a short online form to submit to the Community Photo Album. If you have physical photographs you would like to submit to the collection, there is a PDF form that can be filled out (be sure to download it to your computer before filling it out, your progress won’t be able to be saved if you fill it out in a web browser), and either mailed in to the library along with the photographs, or you can drop the form and the photos off to a TLCPL branch library who will take care of sending them along. Staff at the branch libraries can also help you fill these forms out if you have any questions. For physical photographs, we’ll be careful to take good care of them and then mail them back to you at no cost.

Rebecca Louise Law: Community display from The Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio

The image above shows the gorgeous flowers on display at the “Community” art installation at the Toledo Museum of Art and you’ll find more examples from the collection below. The first image is a tintype portrait of a young woman; the original photograph was quite tiny, less than an inch high. The second image is a snapshot from the 1960s showing flooding along a residential street in western Toledo. The third image was taken in late 2018 at the Momentum festival held at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo.

Full collection of images in the Community Photo Album

A Sampling from the Community Photo Album

 Louise Emma Bollman Rippel [approximately 1895]
Louise Emma Bollman Rippel, approximately 1895
 Flooding on Portsmouth Street, May 1966
Flooding on Portsmouth Street, May 1966
 A Giant Inflatable Sculpture at the Momentum festival at Promenade Park on September 15, 2018
Momentum festival, September 15, 2018

Form to Submit Digital Images

Form to Submit Physical Photographs

 

Originally posted by John D. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/become-a-part-of-toledos-history

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The Toledo Troopers Digital Collection is Growing!

Beverly Severance, former middle linebacker for the Toledo Troopers during their 1974 and 1975 seasons, recently loaned her personal collection to the Local History and Genealogy Department for digitization. The first item of her collection is a 1975 photograph of Toledo Troopers Coach Bill Stout driving a convertible with five players in an East Toledo Parade. The players include, from left to right, Pam Schwartz, Mitchi Collette, Sheila Browne, Beverly Severance and Dorothy Parma. Two of the additional items are visible in the photograph. The vintage t-shirt is nearly identical to the one she is wearing in the photo. A mini souvenir football, like the ones the players were throwing to the crowd, is another item. Her collection also includes her portrait in uniform, number 53.

Samples from Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s Toledo Troopers Online Exhibit

Photo of Beverly Severance - Toledo Troopers 1970s

Beverly Severance photograph, 1970s

This colored photograph belongs to Beverly Severance. It is her portrait taken during the time she played middle linebacker for the Toledo Troopers, number 53, during the 1974 and 1975 seasons.

 

Photo of a Toledo Troopers souvenir football - 1970s

Toledo Troopers souvenir football, 1970s

This miniature, souvenir football belongs to Beverly Severance. It is yellow with green lettering, and “Toledo Troopers; League Champions, National Women’s Football” is printed on it. Footballs like this one were thrown to the crowd in the parade in which Beverly, some of her teammates, and her coach were photographed in. The footballs are also visible in the photograph that is a part of Beverly’s collection. She played middle linebacker, number 53, for the Toledo Troopers for the 1974 and 1975 seasons.

Toledo Troopers - Vintage T-Shirt 1970s

Toledo Troopers vintage t-shirt, 1970s

This vintage, Toledo Troopers t-shirt belongs to Beverly Severance. It is white with green print. Beverly played middle linebacker for the Toledo Troopers during the 1974 and 1975 seasons as number 53. The t-shirt is similar to the one in which she was photographed with her teammates and coach in a 1975 parade in East Toledo.

 


Beverly’s loan enriches the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s digital collection that several other Toledo Troopers have also generously loaned their items to, in order to record their incredible history. They include: Guy Stout (former waterboy and son of Coach Bill Stout), and former players Mitchi Collette, Pam Hardy Fisher, Linda Jefferson, Gloria Jimenez, and Eunice White. The entire collection can be viewed at Ohio Memory.

Toledo Troopers Logo

Toledo Troopers Movie and More

If you haven’t heard of the Toledo Troopers yet, get ready to hear a lot more about them! During their nine-year existence from 1971 through 1979, they won seven national championships and held an impressive record that boasted only four games lost out of sixty-eight played. They were recognized in 1983 as the “Winningest Pro Football Team Ever” by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Be on the lookout for …

A book by Steve Guinan, titled “Perfect Season.”

The Ohio History Connection in Columbus, Ohio, is planning an exhibit highlighting Ohio’s contributions to sports that will open on March 16, 2019, which will include the Toledo Troopers.

A documentary is also in the works, by Communica – check out the trailer.

 

Originally posted by Gayle H. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/our-online-toledo-troopers-exhibit-is-growing

 

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Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is here! We’ve chosen 101 Picture Books and we want you to read them, too! The Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians chose the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

How Do You Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge?

To get started, register online. You can track your progress online or if you prefer a paper log booklet, pick one up at your neighborhood Library. The books are organized into categories but you can read the books in any order and at your own pace. When you read all 101 titles, you earn a free picture book (while supplies last).

Favorite Book on the 101 Picture Book Challenge List

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

My favorite book on the list is “Bark, George,” written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The book is hilarious and has been a favorite for years! I absolutely love sharing this book with kids – probably because I get to ‘moo,’ ‘meow’ and ‘bark’ with glee. Published in the late ’90s, this beloved new classic is a perfect title for the challenge.

Also available in Read-Along Audio [Book on CD]DVDeAudio and eVideo.

Reading Beyond The 101 Picture Book List

If you like the humor in “Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer , you may also like …

Petra by Marianna Coppo - picture book

Petra” by Marianna Coppo

A little rock who believes she is a mountain has her perspective changed by a series of movements, including a dog playing fetch, a bird’s nest, a pond, and a little girl.

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker - picture book

A Visitor for Bear” by Bonny Becker

Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse — small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse — who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places — just won’t go away!

It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle - picture book

It’s a Tiger” by David LaRochelle

Kids and parents alike will rejoice in this lively read-aloud picture book, as the main character runs into (and away from) a tiger over and over again as the plot gets sillier and sillier.

Also available in Audio [Book on CD] and eBook.

Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough - picture book

Marigold Bakes a Cake” by Mike Malbrough

Marigold the cat likes everything just so, but when he sets out to bake a perfect cake one Monday, he is interrupted by one finch, two pigeons and three loons.


This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.

Looking for reading, listening and viewing suggestions beyond the 101 Picture Book Challenge? We can help! Just visit us online and fill out a short form. That’s all it takes to receive personalized recommendations from our knowledgeable staff.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Cindy V. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/take-the-101-picture-book-challenge-today.

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The Art of Storytelling: 5 Tips on Crafting Compelling Storylines

Are you an aspiring writer trying to get started on that next bestselling novel?

Are you an experienced writer, but need a little help creating compelling storylines or dynamic dialogue?

No matter where you’re at in the writing process your Library can help! We have a ton of great writing resources to help you from start to finish.

5 Tips on Crafting Compelling Storylines

Tip 1: Avoid Common Plot Cliches

We all know a cliche when we see it in a movie or read it in a book. It’s important to think about how cliches annoy you when you come across them, so you’ll be less likely to include them in your own work. By writing a story that only you can tell, instead of borrowing from popular formulas, it will be fairly easy to avoid common plot pitfalls.

We read so that we can be moved by a new way of looking at things. A cliche is like a coin that has been handled too much. Once language has been overly handled, it no longer leaves a clear imprint. ~ Janet Fitch

Tip 2: Generate New Story Ideas by Asking – What If?

If you’re having trouble generating new story ideas – try the what if question game. What if you lived in an alternate universe? What if you had to change occupations? What if you were alive during the early 1900s? By asking a series of what if questions with your personal experiences and interests in mind you’ll be able to ensure your stories are coming from a place of sincerity.

Alternate history fascinates me, as it fascinates all novelists, because ‘What if?’ is the big thing. ~ Kate Atkinson

Tip 3: Use the Power of Emotion

Engage readers with emotional content. Readers that feel emotionally invested in the characters or story won’t want to put the book down. After all, emotion often overrides reason in the human brain (compelling reasonable people to stay up all night reading).

A plot is nothing but a normal human situation that keeps arising again and again….normal human emotions—envy, ambition, rivalry, love, hate, greed, and so on.
~ Louis L’Amour

Tip 4: Create Characters That Resonate With Readers

It’s important for readers to feel connected to your characters. Think about what you can do to make them seem more real to the audience. Research facts, build backstories and create character profiles to ensure they are truly authentic.

As a writer, I demand the right to write any character in the world that I want to write. I demand the right to be them, I demand the right to think them and I demand the right to tell the truth as I see they are. ~ Quentin Tarantino

Tip 5: Draft Dynamic Dialogue

Effective dialogue helps to bring characters to life and advance the story. Read authors renowned for dialogue to find inspiration when writing your own.

If you are using dialogue — say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech. ~ John Steinbeck


Craft Compelling Stories With the Help of These Great Books

The Writer's Guide to Beginnings: How to Craft Story Openings That Sell by Paula Munier
The Irresistible Novel: How to Craft an Extraordinary Story that Engages Readers from Start to Finish by Jeff Gerke
Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict: Techniques for Crafting an Expressive and Compelling Novel by Cheryl St. John
The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers by Matt Bird
Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer
The Emotional Craft of Fiction - How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface by Donald Maass (eBook)
Crafting Dynamic Dialogue: The Complete Guide to Speaking, Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction from the editors of Writer's Digest; foreword by Cheryl St. John
Damn Fine Story: Mastering the Tools of a Powerful Narrative by Chuck Wendig (eBook)
The Art and Craft of Storytelling by Nancy Lamb (eBook)
Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig (eBook)

Learn More About the Art of Storytelling With These Helpful Articles

Three Powerful Ways to Brainstorm New Story Ideas – Well-Storied

5 Golden Rules for Writing Authentic Dialogue – Writer’s Edit

5 Elements for Crafting a Compelling Story Your Audience Will Love – Write to Done

5 Tips For Creating Characters Readers Can’t Wait to Come Back To – The Creative Penn

5 Tips on Writing Dialogue – NY Book Editors

7 Simple Ways to Make a Good Story Great – Writer’s Digest

Ten Authors Who Write Great Dialogue – LitReactor

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Dialogue – Write to Done

10 Tips to Avoid Cliches in Writing – Writer’s Digest

The 7 Tools of Dialogue – Writer’s Digest

Emotion vs. Feeling: How to Evoke More From Readers – Writer’s Digest

Novel Settings: 7 Tips to Get Setting Description Right – Now Novel

Some of the Greatest Writers of Dialogue (And What We Can Learn From Them) – Gizmodo

Story Plots: 7 Tips for Writing Original Stories – Now Novel

Your Novel’s First Scene: How to Start Right – Jane Friedman


Toledo Library Blog Posts on Writing

Writers on Writing: Tips for Aspiring Writers

5 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

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Memoir Writing Resources

Developing Characters that Resonate with Readers

How to Write a Novel in a Month

Learn How to Publish a Book

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Street Photography: Just Point the Camera & Shoot!

This isn’t Humans of New York, it’s humans of the world. People living every minute of a clock’s tick, a step above the law, a season below the weather. In the spirit of the inner-city or among the glass homes of suburbia. In a way that feels right to them and un-casual to us while becoming the collective character that encompasses the make-up of being alive.

Street photographers are documenters of urban and rural society. They travel the world with wandering eyes and intrusive cameras but are not looking for family photos per se. They’re looking for families of happenstance. Gathering an unending collection of moments that slip into eras not thought to be definitive in their time. They capture style, labor, crisis, monotony, color. The act of migration and what it means to look under America’s rug. The type of person that freezes life on the street isn’t looking to exploit the individual, he is looking to tell a truth.

I want to introduce you to a few people I admire. Folks that have been as influential in death as they were alive and folks that are still kicking and moving forward with their craft. Within my choices are both film and photobooks.

Everybody Street - documentary film directed by Cheryl Dunn
Subway art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant
Finding Vivian Maier - documentary film written and directed by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
Back in the Days - Photographs by Jamel Shabazz

Everybody Street, a film by Cheryl Dunn, capitalizes on what raw dedication to craft looks like. Every photographer mentioned is worth researching for pleasure. They fetishize about the film negative, argue about going digital and keep their cameras aimed at life even with risk of attack. It is also one of the last documented videos of Mary Ellen Mark before passing away in 2015. A notable mention goes to Martha Cooper, a legend in the graffiti world. All in all, this film is an excellent introduction to the craft.

Jim Goldberg’s Raised by Wolves chronicles runaways in the same way Mary Ellen Mark documents the life of adult-children in the film and book Streetwise. However, the look and feel of the content present is different: Raised by wolves reads more like a literary scrapbook of waywardness and Streetwise is the book you hand to children when they haven’t a clue about life. If I were to extract a tale from the collective pieces it would be that fragility is a child without a home for understanding. From San Francisco, California to Seattle, Washington we’re given content that represents a slice of youth most of us are fortunate to grow out of.

Vivian Maier will forever remain an enigma. What drove her to shoot to the degree that she did is lost thanks to her discovery posthumously, yet her name is ever growing. The exposure she receives in print and on screen is further magnified in person via the Howard Greenberg Gallery Of New York. For anyone that has watched or plans to watch Finding Vivian Maier, I promise her story will latch onto a branch of you mind. My favorite release of her work is Vivian Maier: A photographer found.

Garry Winogrand’s The Man in the Crowd is a photographic collage of thirty plus years on the street. A man whose nature defined street photography in New York, Winograd died too young and, like Vivian Maier, his unprocessed work was left to our eyes for interpretation, respect and use as a teaching tool for progression.

When I think about Bruce Davidson ‘s Subway I have to agree with Pete Rock who said, “I guess time’s changed since the subway train”. This book is a throwback to trains and its commuters of late 1970’s early 80 New York. The graffiti hand-styles, the eruption of B-Boy and punk trends, new wave and the end of disco are captured along with the grease and grit of people. While the subway photo reached normalcy in the digital world of today, you can’t replicate a time before the Reagan era and Broken Windows. Andre Wagner has recently released a book of black and white photos, Here for the Ride, that covers a three year period spent on the New York transit line. While I won’t compare the two I will suggest the ownership of both as they are staples of time.

Jamel Shabazz. Everything he captures should be studied by fashion students looking into yesteryears for support. His work, while not as candid as earlier mentions, Back in the Days is the nostalgic piece you flip through while waiting for dinner. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or how far removed from the past you might be, this book is worth time spent.

WeeGee. If you’ve seen the film Nightcrawler then you’ve watched inspiration unfold. Weegee was the guy who never needed rules. He saw an opportunity, took it by the reins and didn’t wait for society’s approval of his craft. He chased scenes of trauma mostly at night. He knew what made a story important and what it meant to reveal what was once private in higher society.  Check out Naked City and Weegee’s World for content that changed the way we approach news.

I could not and should not finish this piece without mention of Bresson. Henri Catier-Bresson was the godfather of street photography and the decisive moment himself. The teacher of composition through the viewfinder and from the hip. So much is attributed to him. Henri Cartier Bresson: a biography is an in-depth look at his history and theory. Whelp, it’s time for the shameless plug: I myself am an urban documentarian. When time allows, I spend anywhere from three to ten hours walking the streets of Toledo, Chicago, New York City and Detroit. I share the same desires as the people mentioned and am willing to do just as much as they would to get the shot. Dedication can alienate you. It can separate you from simple things like family and friendship in the off chance you may miss a shot. I applaud anyone that takes this field head on as it isn’t pretty. Photoshop has no place nor does a weak heart. You’re as exposed as the people you capture and if you can’t respect that then you shouldn’t shoot on the street.

Street Photograpy: Books on Technique

 

Street Photography - Creative Vision Behind the Lens by Valerie Jardin
Street photography : the art of capturing the candid moment by Gordon Lewis
The Street Photographer's Manual by David Gibson
Travel and street photography : from snapshots to great shots / John Batdorff

Featured image credit: “Life in Nuclear Activity” by James Dickerson. All rights reserved. © 2016.

Originally posted at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/just-point-the-camera-and-shoot by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger James D.

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