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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Reading Behind the Headlines: Finding Reliable Information in the Post-Truth Era

Partner blog post by librarians Melissa J. and Teresa A.

Distinguishing Fact from Fiction

A few months ago, one of our teen customers came up to our reference desk to say hello and to tell me about a piece of concerning news she read on the internet. The teen told me she read that ICE had thrown a pregnant woman over the wall to prevent her from having a baby on U.S. soil. At first, I felt a wave of shock upon hearing this disturbing information, which was quickly followed by skepticism. I asked the teen where she had obtained this upsetting news and she informed me that she read it on Facebook. This triggered my inner librarian and I immediately turned to the computer to find the article and check its accuracy. With one keyword search on Google, I discovered the photo with the troubling headline was published on “The Onion,” a satirical newspaper. I attempted to explain to the teen that the article was satire, not real news, and we debated about how fake and photoshopped the featured photo was in reality.

This exchange is a prime example of the current issues surrounding our ability, and often inability, to distinguish between real, false or misleading information. While we would like to believe that this is only a problem amongst our teens, we know that even adults can struggle to make this distinction as misleading information has become more sophisticated and purposefully harder to identify. Finding reliable and relevant information from credible sources is a basic building block for being an informed citizen. Yet, the ability to distinguish between credible and misleading information requires an acute attention to detail. To be sure, the devil is in the details.

Consider the following web addresses:

www.whitehouse.gov

www.whitehouse.com

www.whitehouse.org

Whitehouse.gov is the official government website for information about the White House and the current administration. Whitehouse.com is a website with a controversial history of featuring adult content (“SITES WE hate,” 2002). It currently features short political news stories and surveys. Finally, whitehouse.org is a parody website. While these websites appear to be very similar, the content they feature is very different. It is easy to see that the slightest variation, which to many people may appear to be an unimportant difference, has a significant impact on the actual content. In many cases, details are key to understanding “where” you are on the internet and, in turn, in distinguishing the credibility of a particular web address. Most web addresses ending in “.com” are related to commercial businesses, web addresses ending in “.gov” are government websites, and those ending in “.org” are generally related to non-profit organizations. Simply knowing these small details about a web address can help lead you to credible and reliable information.

This is true too, when it comes to understanding information. It is important to recognize the origins of the information that is being conveyed. For example, let’s review the misinformation provided by the teen. She believed the article was real because she failed to identify is origins. If she had, she would have realized that the article was meant to be humorous because it was derived from a satirical newspaper. Acknowledging the distinction is very important.

The best advice we can provide is to be skeptical of information obtained online and do additional research. Through our library website customers have access to numerous educational and scholarly resources, many of which, can be accessed from your home computer with internet access, a library card, and pin number. Also, included below are links to various fact-checking websites and additional reading recommendations concerning current information issues. Another option is to ask your local librarian and let them do the work for you. Finally, we encourage you to join us for a special event:

Reading Behind the Headlines: Finding Reliable Information in the Post-Truth Era

September 4, 2018 | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Kent Branch Library

Hear local media specialists discuss the work that goes behind publishing the news and learn about resources you can use to evaluate sources and find reliable information.

This program seeks to help attendees distinguish between credible and unreliable news sources. During the program, attendees will hear from local media specialists who will discuss the work that goes on behind publishing the news. We will also discuss how you can use library resources to evaluate sources and find reliable information.

Blog Post Citations

University of Michigan to Help Citizens Spot Fake News – Michigan Radio (written by Tracy Samilton, published on April 18, 2017)

ICE Agents Hurl Pregnant Immigrant Over Mexican Border to Prevent Birth on U.S. Soil – The Onion (published January 18, 2018)

Did ICE Hurl a Pregnant Woman Over a Border Wall? – Snopes.com (written by Kim LaCapria, published on June 26, 2018)

SITES WE hate – Yahoo! Internet Life (published May 2002, vol. 8, issue 5, page 66)

Fact Checking: Internet Resources

  • Whois.com: Use this website to identify who owns a particular website
  • Allsides.com: Compare how news outlets cover the same topic
  • Opensecrets.org: Track campaign contributions on this nonpartisan website
  • Factcheck.org: Fact check popular stories in the news and on social media
  • Politifact.com: Ranks the truthfulness of claims and statements made by politicians and provides explanations for their ranking
  • Snopes.com: Fact checking news stories
  • Blue Feed, Red Feed: See how different your Facebook Newsfeed can look based on your political leanings
  • Media Bias Fact Check: Explore this site to find out about the bias of the information sources you access.

Additional Reading Recommendations

Related Library Books

Overload : finding the truth in today's deluge of news / Bob Schieffer with H. Andrew Schwartz
Finding Reliable Information Online: Adventures of an Information Sleuth by Leslie F. Stebbins
Research Strategies: Finding your way through the information fog by William Badke
Smart Online Searching: Doing Digital Research by Mary Lindeen

Looking for your next great read?

Let us help you!

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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

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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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Make Your Own Natural Homemade Gifts

Make your own beauty products, cleansers, soaps, candles and more at home year-round. These natural products are better for you, the environment and they make great gifts to boot!

Homemade Beauty Products and Natural Cleansers

Fresh & Pure: Organically Crafted Beauty Balms and Cleansers by Jules Aron
Natural Soap at Home : How to Make Felted Soap, Wine Soap, Fruit Soap, Goat's Milk Soap, and Much More by Liz McQuerry
The handmade mama: simple crafts, healthy recipes, and natural bath + body products for mama and baby / Mary Helen Leonard ; photography by Kimberly Davis
Beehive Alchemy : Projects And Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, And Pollen To Make Your Own Soap and Candles by Petra Ahnert

Fresh & Pure : Organically Crafted Beauty Balms & Cleansers by Jules Aron

Tired of wondering exactly what went into her beauty products, holistic health and wellness coach Jules Aron decided to make her own. Whipping up a luxurious face mask using little more than honey, apricots, and coconut oil, and an acne-fighting toner with cooling cucumber and antioxidant-rich green tea, she knew without a doubt that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used. In Fresh & Pure, Aron explains how to use fruit, flowers, herbs, and minerals to craft healthy beauty products that promote radiant skin, strong nails, and shiny hair. With this helpful guide, readers will be able to pamper themselves from head to toe with aromatic, forward-thinking potions like charcoal soap, strawberry rose facial mist, pineapple sunflower body scrub, and aloe and avocado hair conditioner.

Natural Soap At Home : How to Make Felted Soap, Wine Soap, Fruit Soap, Goat’s Milk Soap and Much More by Liz McQuerry

The creator of the natural skin care line Moon Magic, Liz McQuerry offers here a step-by-step guide for natural cold-process soap crafting. Mostly utilizing kitchen ingredients to create a variety of innovative soap blends-including felted soap, beer soap, and seasonal soaps – McQuerry will put you in touch with your inner alchemist. From body bars to hair care bars, with wonderful tidbits and advice on herbs and essential oil blends, you and your family will enjoy a clean like never before. Here are instructions for: Mermaid Kisses Salty Sea Soap. Golden Coconut Milk Soap. Wine and Rose Soap. Felted Soap Stones. Refreshing Lemon Solid Shampoo Bars. Beard Wash Solid Soap Bars. And more! After you learn to make your own soap, you’ll also discover how to scent, color, design, troubleshoot, and even sell your soap. McQuerry’s soaps make for attractive and personal bathroom and kitchen décor at home, as well as nifty gifts for just about any occasion.

The Handmade Mama : Simple Crafts, Healthy Recipes, and Natural Bath + Body Products for Mama and Baby by Mary Helen Leonard

Many of the everyday products we rely on through pregnancy and baby’s first year are actually quite simple to make at home with safe and natural ingredients. Making your own food, homemade skin care products, and everyday objects allows you to choose exactly what you put on and into your body. With help from Mary Helen Leonard, natural lifestyle writer of the blog Mary Makes Good, you’ll create handmade items for mama and baby using sustainable materials. You pick the color. You choose the ingredients. You make adjustments to suit your own tastes and needs. There’s nothing better than custom-made, and when you do it yourself it can actually be affordable! The techniques you’ll discover in “The Handmade Mama” will make cooking, sewing, and planning your own healthy baby projects a breeze. From ginger syrup for upset stomachs to baby powder, changing mats, food purees, teethers, and simple toys, this book is stuffed with useful projects, tips, and sidebars for a natural pregnancy and baby’s first year that you’ll cherish.

Beehive Alchemy : Projects and Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, and Pollen to Make your Own Soap, Candles, Creams, Salves and More by Petra Ahnert

From crayons to cough drops, cookies to candles, “Beehive Alchemy” offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. “Beehive Alchemy” is a continuation of Petra Ahnert’s best-selling “Beeswax Alchemy.” With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees. Whether you keep bees or just love them, “Beehive Alchemy” will become your go-to comprehensive guide for hive-to-home creations.


More ways to inspire your creative spirit …

 

Cool stuff for bath & beauty by Pam Scheunemann
Nature's essential oils aromatic alchemy for well-being by Cher Kaufmann.
Vintage beauty your guide to classic Hollywood make-at-home beauty treatments by Daniela Turudich
Beeswax alchemy how to make your own candles, soap, balms, salves, and home decor from the hive by Petra Ahnert
Botanical beauty 80 essential recipes for natural spa products by Aubre Andrus

This is part of a series of blog posts dedicated to creating handmade gifts.

Crafty Library Blog Posts

Feeling Crafty?

DIY Holiday Gifts

What’s Really In Your Beauty Products (and How to Make Your Own)?


Give 3 Get 3

Personalized Recommendations Just for You!

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!

 

Originally posted by Amy H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/make-your-own-natural-homemade-gifts

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Art Students Prepare for Black History Month

Coming in early February, students from the Toledo School for the Arts will kick off Black History Month with a concert at the Main Library. These students are planning a musical collaboration with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and retired BGSU professor, Michael Peslikis.

TSA students rehearsing for Black History Month music concert.

What started off as a school project, has quickly grown into something more. The high school students take time out of their busy schedules once a week to prepare their performance. They meet every Monday, sometimes with Dr. Peslikis, to rehearse and explore black history through musical interactions. Even with so few rehearsals, much progress and individual discovery has taken place. During rehearsals, young musicians delve into the rich history of African American music, sharpening their skills along the way, while learning more about black history.

Toledo School for the Arts rehearsing for music concert.

From 1800’s parlor songs to the blues, a wide range of music will be featured in the February program, and they are already looking forward to the performance. It will be a vibrant showcase of some of the country’s most influential songs, as well as other tunes, which may not be as familiar to the average listener.

The concert will be held at the Main Library (February 2018). Admission is free and the concert is open to the public. We hope you’re just as excited as we are. See you at our Black History Month celebration in February!

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Celebrating Our Creativity Lab’s One Year Anniversary

A Year of Interactive Learning Experiences

Since it opened last February, countless children have played games, peered through microscopes, learned to code and discovered the joys of healthy eating — and it’s all happened in our Main Library’s Creativity Lab: The Susan M. Savage Family Place.

On Saturday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m., we hope you will join us in celebration of the Creativity Lab’s first anniversary. With tasty treats and high-tech party games, this is an opportunity for visitors to take part in their favorite activities and for first-timers to explore an incredible world of learning.

Creativity Lab

 

Firing Children’s Imagination. Inspiring Children’s Creativity.

Even before they enter the Creativity Lab, children encounter an exciting wall of activity. On the wall outside, there are places to spin wheels, turn handles, and manipulate objects, with a wealth of teachable moments along the way. Once inside, the opportunities for learning expand exponentially. Between board games, microscopes, arts and crafts, iPads, and more, children, as well as teens and adults are certain to find something that inspires their creativity and natural curiosity.

With over 2,500 square feet of space, the Creativity Lab offers a wide range of activities, including:

  • A “makerspace” for making crafts, reassembling mechanical and digital devices, or even writing simple code
  • Movable seating and tables for hands-on workshops and classes
  • A demonstration kitchen to learn about healthy cooking, scientific experimentation, math play and other activities
  • A production space equipped with tools, including a die cutting machine and paper cutter, that will enable teachers, parents and older students to prepare study aids and more
Creativity Lab interactive wall
Creativity Lab kitchen

Fun and Educational Opportunities, Year-Round

The Creativity Lab: The Susan M. Savage Family Place was made possible through the generosity of Robert and Susan Savage, and their commitment to children’s learning is evident throughout the entire space. We’re so thankful and proud to house this space, and hope that you will come back again and again to visit the Creativity Lab during normal Library hours and for all of our fun and free events and activities there.

For more information about what’s happening at the Creativity Lab — and all the kid-friendly activities at your Library — just check out our online calendar!

Creativity Lab programs

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Heather. H at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/celebrating-our-creativity-labs-one-year-anniversary.

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Weird But True: This Lesser Known Fiction Genre is Making A Comeback

When it comes to your leisure reading, are you looking for something a little different? Perhaps you enjoy elements of the supernatural and fantastical but are tired of the same old clichés of most genre fiction? Why not give Weird Fiction a try!

Weird fiction is characterized primarily by its blending of science fiction, fantasy, horror and just about every other fiction genre to create something entirely new. The name “weird fiction” was coined by H.P. Lovecraft in a 1927 essay titled “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” which sought a division between traditional horror at the time and Lovecraft’s own work. The genre has since grown further apart from its close connection with horror and has become an umbrella term for books that can’t easily be placed in any other category.

If you’re new to weird fiction, below you’ll find some great reads to get you started. Keep in mind that nearly all weird fiction still contains some elements of horror, so if you tend to be squeamish these may not be the books for you.

Weird Fiction Books

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman (book)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington / Leonora Carrington ; introduction by Kathyrn Davis ; translations from the French by Kathrine Talbot ; translations from the Spanish by Anthony Kerrigan

 

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

“In these 11 stories, the occasion may be a walking tour of Northern England, a birthday present of a Victorian dollhouse or a stay at a Swedish sanatorium for insomniacs, but it simultaneously traps the characters with dread and opens them up to a new awareness of a greater, deeper and more dangerous world. A remarkable collection by an author who deserves to be better known.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.02

“Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including “Blackwood’s Baby,” “The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven,” and the World Fantasy Award–nominated “Hand of Glory,” The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.” ~ Amazon

 

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads| 4.13

“Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker’s trademark horror.” ~ Goodreads

 

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.9

“Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s new novel after a seven year break, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted – and still wants – to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Complete Stories of Lenora Carrington with an introduction by Kathyrn Davis

Amazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 4.25

“Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of her stories, including several never before seen in print. With a startling range of styles, subjects, and even languages (several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish), The Complete Stories captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Windeye by Brian Evenson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Fisherman by John Langan

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.02

“From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.” ~ Amazon

 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

House of Leaves is a multilayered intersection of wild ideas, ten years in the making, from Mark Danielewski. It is also the story of a seemingly normal house gone wild. The novel intertwines the narratives of two haunted individuals: Zampano, a blind man whose strange manuscript is found in his apartment when he dies, and Johnny Truant, the tome’s discoverer and narrator of House of Leaves.” ~ Fantastic Fiction

 

Windeye by Brian Evenson

Amazon: 4.3 | Goodreads: 4.03

“A woman falling out of sync with the world; a king’s servant hypnotized by his murderous horse; a transplanted ear with a mind of its own. The characters in these stories live as interlopers in a world shaped by mysterious disappearances and unfathomable discrepancies between the real and imagined. Brian Evenson, master of literary horror, presents his most far-ranging collection to date, exploring how humans can persist in an increasingly unreal world. Haunting, gripping, and psychologically fierce, these tales illuminate a dark and unsettling side of humanity.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.89

“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Fisherman by John Langan

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.01

“When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.91

“People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. . But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?” ~ Amazon

 

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.97

“A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader’s imagination.” ~ Amazon

 

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.55

“Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.” ~ Goodreads

 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 3.94

“From the author of the Southern Reach Trilogy (aka: Area X) comes a story about two humans, and two creatures. The humans are Rachel and Wick – a scavenger and a drug dealer – both with too many secrets and fears, ready with traps to be set and sprung. The creatures are Mord and Borne – animal, perhaps plant, maybe company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity, or source of spare parts.” ~ Provided by the publisher

 

Still not sure where to start?

Weird fiction anthologies will give you the opportunity to sample the work of various weird fiction authors and see what most interests you.

If you’re feeling brave, try the work of authors like Thomas Ligotti, Kathe Koja, Jon Padgett, Michael Cisco and so many others in the following collections.

 

The Year's Best Weird Fiction - Volume One edited by Laird Barron

The Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume One edited by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.92

“Welcome to the weird! Acclaimed author and editor Laird Barron, one of weird fiction’s brightest exponents, brings his expert eye and editorial sense to the inaugural volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction.” ~ Goodreads

Also available in eBook (hoopla).

 

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.25 | Goodreads: 4.13

The Weird features 110 stories by an all-star cast, from literary legends to international bestsellers to Booker Prize winners: including William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, China Miéville, Clive Barker, Haruki Murakami, M. R. James, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, and Michael Chabon. “ ~ Goodreads

Jeff Vandermeer, author of the bestselling Area X Trilogy (which is being adapted to film in 2018) and editor of numerous Weird Fiction anthologies, describes what makes Weird Fiction a genre that is greater than the sum of its parts:

Here, in what is actually our infancy of understanding the world—this era in which we think we are older than we are—it is cathartic to seek out and tell stories that do not seek to reconcile the illogical, the contradictory, and often instinctual way in which human beings perceive the world, but instead accentuate these elements as a way of showing us as we truly are. Unruly. Unruled. Superstitious. Absurd. Subject to a thousand destabilizing fears and hopes.


Want to learn more about Weird Fiction?

The Weird: An Introduction – Weird Fiction Review

Weird Fiction – Goodreads

A Beginner’s Guide to the New Weird Genre – Book Riot

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Juliette H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/weird-but-true-this-lesser-known-fiction-genre-is-making-a-comeback.

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Haunted Midwest Travel for Those Who Dare!

I don’t know about you, but I come from a long line of non-scaredy cats! You just can’t spook my family and friends, much as you may try. And yet, they all love scary movies, books, and places!     

My mom’s probably not going to be super happy about my sharing this – but my love affair with all things spooky started in elementary school, when she and my dad made the mistake of letting me watch The Exorcist. They had guests over and I heard the voice of my beloved babysitter Missy – so I crept out to see her, and they let me stay up and watch it with them. I was PETRIFIED, but have been feeding the need to be scared ever since.      

Like my family and friends, I too have a passion for all things scary – Halloween, haunted houses (real and fake), horror movies, and the like. My best friend and I even toured one of America’s most haunted places – The Waverly Hills Sanatorium. It was really cool to walk through the place, but I was (and always am) disappointed that I neither felt nor viewed anything of the paranormal sense. Others in our group said they did…which leads me on my continued search.      

So, do ghosts really exist? I don’t know, but I will never stop trying to discover the answer!     

If you’re like me, and you love to be scared, here are a few regional locations you can visit to get your spooky fix, along with some companion books and movies! 

Ohio State (Mansfield) Reformatory, Mansfield OH   

Have you seen the movies The Green Mile, Tango & Cash, or Air Force One? All three films feature footage of the Ohio State Reformatory!      

This sprawling and legendary prison has been featured in countless TV shows, documentaries, and books, including on Season 3 (episode 4) of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and Season 1 (episode 5) of the National Geographic Channel’s Inside Secret America: Ghosts.      

The reformatory was opened in the early 1900’s and closed officially per a United States Federal Court ruling (the Boyd Consent Decree) in the 1990’s. During its time in operation, more than 150,000 prisoners passed through its doors. Many died due to violence, influenza, tuberculosis, or other diseases. One of the most tragic incidents associated with the Ohio State Reformatory occurred in July 1948, when the farm boss, his wife, and daughter were kidnapped and shot by two parolees known as the “mad-dog killers.”     

I’ve not yet had the chance to take one of the reformatory’s public ghost hunts, but I did attend one of their Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters. It was a blast and the food was surprisingly delicious! I highly recommend it.

Related BooksThe Haunted History of the Ohio State Reformatory by Sherri Brake  The Ohio State Reformatoryby Nancy K. Darbey

Loveland Castle, Loveland OH   

Did you know there’s a castle in Ohio? Well there is, and it’s really cool…and apparently haunted. It also has an interesting story as far as how it came to be!      

The castle was built by Harry Delos, who constructed it (mostly by hand) “as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower.” Loveland Castle has a sense of humor about its ghostly grounds too – the “Activities” section of its website reads:      

Ghosts.  If you believe in ghosts…the Castle has them! If you don’t…fine, be that way! Either way, you will find pictures of the Castle’s ghosts and ghost stories galore at the Castle! 

Related BookOhio Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State by James Willis  

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville KY  

Waverly Hills Sanatorium has a rather sad history. In the early 1900s, the Board of Tuberculosis Hospital constructed a sanatorium that could accommodate up to 50 tuberculosis patients. Eventually, tuberculosis reached epidemic levels in the surrounding communities, and the sanatorium was expanded to accommodated over 400 patients.      

At its height, Waverly Hills was known as one of the most advanced tuberculosis sanatoriums in the country. Despite this, most of the patients succumbed to the disease and (as was common practice) were often subjected to painful and bizarre “treatments” such as having balloons surgically implanted into their lungs.  

Waverly Hills has been featured on Season 3 (episode 18) of the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters, and Season 2 (episode 5) of TLC’s Paranormal Lockdown. As far as hauntings, the most prolific sightings surround a boy (dubbed “Timmy”) who plays with a ball along the 3rd floor as well as sightings in room 502, which is believed (and was told during our tour) to have been the location where a nurse hung herself as a result of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy in 1928.

Today, Waverly Hills is owned by “historical and paranormal enthusiasts,” Charles and Tina Mattingly who operate the sanatorium as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, offering ghost tours, a haunted house, and laser light shows.

Related BooksHaunted Hospitals: Eerie Tales About Hospitals, Sanatoriums, & Other Institutions by Mark LeslieHaunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums : Inside the Abandoned Institutions for the Crazy, Criminal & Quarantined by Jamie Davis  

The Masonic Temple, Detroit MI     

If you haven’t ever attended an event inside of the Masonic Temple, I implore you to do so! It is the world’s largest Masonic Temple – an absolutely beautiful and magnificent Gothic revival building with 14 floors and 1,000 rooms full of winding stairways, secret passages, and ornate sculptures and lighting.      

In fact, the Masonic Temple is so grand that its construction is said to have left architect George D. Mason bankrupt. Unfounded gossip also says that as a result, his wife left him and he committed suicide by jumping from the top of the building – however, in reality Mason died in 1948 at the age of 92.      

That hasn’t stopped it from being included in most “haunted Michigan” lists, nor has it detracted interest from numerous paranormal investigative teams, including 313 Paranormal, the Marter Paranormal Research Team, and the Erie Shores Paranormal.      

Other notable paranormal activity that’s been widely experienced are slamming doors, knocking, and other random bumps in the night. If you’re interested in taking a tour, the Temple offers building tours or if you really want to ramp up the spooky factor, why not attend one of the most beloved Halloween parties in the world there – Theatre Bizarre – which is held each year inside of the Masonic Temple!

Related BooksDetroit Ghosts by Mimi Staver  Ghosts of Southeast Michigan by Kristy Robinett  

Disclaimer: The information included in this blog post is for educational purpose only. The Toledo Lucas County Public Library does not endorse any businesses featured in this blog post.

Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/haunted-midwest-travel-for-those-who-dare by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Heather H.

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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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Great Summer Reads at the Toledo Library!

Top Librarian Secret:

Best-sellers are SOOO overrated! There are tons of wonderful “mid-list” titles out there that are just waiting to be discovered.

Check these out for some great summer reading options:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Lost Empress : A Novel by Sergio De La Pava
Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
The Lido by Libby Page
The Elizas : A Novel by Sara Shepard

The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

This is the perfect summer romance novel, with a sunny California setting and an awkward, tender, and utterly sweet romance between its protagonists. Autistic econometrician Stella and vivacious escort Michael are a very unlikely pair, but when she hires him to teach her how to have a relationship, they’re both astonished to develop a powerful personal connection. Michael’s gentle kindness with anxious, wary Stella will melt any reader’s heart.

Lost Empress” by Sergio De La Pava

A madcap, football-obsessed tale of crossed destinies and criminal plots gone awry, this novel cleverly weaves together a sports drama and a crime story, starring a manipulative mastermind, all told in a style that might best be described as a series of trick plays, fictional feints, and philosophical asides.

Dear Mrs. Bird” by A.J. Pearce

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist— a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”

The Lido” by Libby Page

In the tradition of Fredrik Backman’s “A Man Called Ove,” “The Lido” is a charming, feel-good novel that follows two women at the opposite ends of life bonding over the closure of a beloved local pool —an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship.

The Elizas” by Sara Shepard

Unable to convince anyone that she was pushed before she was rescued from the bottom of a hotel pool, a rising author struggling with depression and memory loss begins to question her sanity as elements from her debut novel mix up with events in her real life. By the best-selling author of “Pretty Little Liars.”


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