Monday, March 31, 2014

Film Review - The Lego Movie

The idea of a big budget Hollywood movie based on toy building blocks that are over sixty years old sounds ludicrous on the surface. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then that the execution is suitably zany, imaginative, and off-the-walls wacky. The Lego Movie is fun for both the young and young-at-heart, making it the perfect family movie and a treat for all ages.

Lego has come to be one of the most powerful brands in entertainment with tie-ins to the biggest franchises around, such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, and a slew of DVD releases and video games. Most of the A+ top-tier brands, from Star Wars to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, at least make a cameo in The Lego Movie. Poetically, in a movie filled with such an awe-inspiring all star line up of beloved fictional characters, it is a little ordinary “yellow guy” lego man who is the most relatable character and the hero of the story.

The Lego Movie’s plot is so steeped in humor and subtlety that a synopsis doesn’t do it justice. Needless to say all the elements of a grand adventure story are at work with epic spectacle, explosive action, and even heart tugging emotion coming in to play. For a fun children’s movie there is a surprising amount of depth to The Lego Movie.

At first it is a little jarring to have everything on screen, from the locations to the characters, represented by the famous little cubes. However the characters are so likable and the animation so gorgeous that the novelty remains inspired throughout and never felt like a gimmick.  The visuals are beautiful and unique, offering a trademark look for the inevitable ensuing franchise.

There is already a video game and toy line. A sequel has been announced and with all the television Lego already does a spin-off show is likely. The Lego Movie has already successfully created an encompassing world for all of its star power and thus solidified an empire.

Grade: B

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On This Day In 1969...

On this day in 1969 author John Kennedy Toole committed suicide by running a garden hose from his car's exhaust pipe into its window. Toole is best known for his comedic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces, a novel he completed in 1964 but was unable to get published in his lifetime. It was not until 1980, eleven years after his suicide, that A Confederacy of Dunces was finally published. A year later Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Being dead made it difficult for Toole to follow up on the success of Dunces, and it was another nine years before his second and final novel The Neon Bible was released.

Key Library Checkouts:

A Confederacy of Dunces - Rory Gilmore once flirted in front of a poster of this book's cover. There is no greater endorsement.

The Neon Bible - Toole was just 16 years old when he wrote this coming of age novel. It holds up incredibly well though, and a film adaptation was even made in 1995.

Posted by Grahm Underwood, Library Clerk

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friends of the Library Book Sale

Grab your reading list and join us at the Collinsville Public Library for our Friends of the Library Book Sale, which offers books, records, videos and more all ready for you to take home!  Held every other month throughout the year, this book sale offers hundreds of items on every subject including biography, romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and cook books to name just a few! Our sale dates for 2014 are Tuesday March 25th, May 27th, July 22nd, September 23rd, and November 25th, from 9-8pm. Please call 618-344-1112 for more information.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Page to Screen

On the main floor of the library we are currently showcasing a display called “From Page To Screen” which features stories that have crossed mediums between book and film. In most cases it was a bestselling or highly acclaimed book that received the “Hollywood treatment” years after its release but there are also a few novelizations of narratives that sprung from cinema. All genres and reading levels are included, from Harry Potter to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Stop in today and check out a bundle and have fun analyzing how the art of storytelling differs between mediums.
Here are just a few of the titles available on display:

Harry Potter
In print Harry Potter is one of the most successful series of all time, breaking countless records and igniting a mainstream popular culture frenzy like few other brands in any medium ever have. The unparalleled success of the books was nearly matched by the box office shattering reception of the movies. Most fans seem thoroughly satisfied concerning the transition from page to screen, perhaps with an understanding that considering the massive size of the books there was never a chance the story could be copied verbatim. 

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games trilogy was always well received but there is no doubt that the book series exploded in popularity following the release of the 2012 film starring Jessica Lawrence.  While the trio of books were all on the New York Times best seller list prior to the film adaptation, only a few months after the ground shattering success of the movie announced that the series by Suzanne Collins surpassed the Harry Potter series to become its top seller. The second film, Catching Fire, was the highest grossing film in 2013 with more than 400 million dollars in domestic revenue alone.

The Dark Knight
In recent years superheroes have become almost more synonymous with the big screen than their pioneering yet comparatively humble roots in graphic novels, aka comic books. Many reading careers start in the company of heroes like Superman and Spider-Man and considering the genres nearly century old history there is no denying its significance in print narrative. However the heroes have blossomed with the times and their high octane, special effects laden adventures are perfectly suited to the fast paced, high stakes, spectacle driven blockbusters summer audiences crave. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is arguably the pinnacle of this courtship and is most inspired by Jeff Loeb’s Dark Victory.

The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown’s professorial super sleuth Robert Langdon is a character born for the big screen. Langdon’s episodic adventures take him to exotic and famous locales all over the world in pursuit of mystery and adventure. Cinema characters like Indiana Jones and James Bond (sorry Ian Fleming, Bond belongs to film now) are clear components in the character’s make up. The overwhelming success of Langdon’s adventures at the box office and a string of copycat historical adventure films like National Treasure are evidence to the concept’s staying power with audiences.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure unlike any other. In both book and film the story’s heavy themes of spirituality, isolation, and death are in contrast to its remarkable imagery, high stakes action, and sometimes playful tone. A string of writers and directors falling through on the production of the film adaptation led some to call the story “unfilmable”. Any thought of that was subsequently silenced when the film, directed by Ang Lee, grossed more than 600 million dollars and won four out of eleven Academy Award nominations.


These are just a few of the beloved stories that have made the jump from page to screen. Other favorites on display include The Lord of the Rings, The Help, The Devil Wears Prada, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Twilight, and many more. Stop in today to check out a book and movie bundle!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cooking Classes

Join our delicious and fun-filled cooking classes at the library! These classes will be presented by Certified Culinarian, Kathy Seibel. You will learn cooking basics and some quick and tasty recipes. Space is limited and registration is required. Please stop by the Main Desk or call 618-344-1112 to register. The cost of each class is $5.00 and is due at the time of class. The cost covers food supplies for the class. Classes will be held April through July on the last Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30pm in the Community Room. Please call Jessica at 618-344-1112 for more information.

April 24 "Spring into Health" – Start the season off right with a healthy turkey burger recipe and top it off with a lovely spring cupcake.

May 29  "Party Time" – Learn some quick and easy recipes for light dishes perfect for bringing to that Summer party or get-together.

June 26  "Fresh and Delicious" – Enjoy the fresh produce that Summer has to offer. Learn some recipes for summer veggie and fruit salads and how to pick the best produce.

July 31 "Homemade Ice Cream" – Learn how to make delicious and refreshing homemade ice cream, perfect for cooling off during those hot summer months.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Affordable Care Act Informational Presentation

Join us for an informational presentation on what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act. Diane Newell from the Guffey Group will provide an introduction to the Affordable Care Act, its implementation, and how you will be affected by the healthcare changes. There will be time for questions from those in attendance. The presentations will take place every Thursday evening in March (13, 20, 27) from 6:00-7:00pm in the Community Room. Please contact Jessica at 618-344-1112 for more information.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Monday, March 10, 2014

On This Day In 2010...

On this day in 2010, actor Corey Haim died of pneumonia at the age of 38. Haim made his feature film debut in 1984 and quickly ascended to teen heartthrob status, becoming a regular fixture on the covers of magazines like Tiger Beat and Bop. Although he was one of the highest paid teen stars of the 80's, appearing in a string of successful films throughout the decade, serious drug problems quickly derailed Haim's career. By the early 1990's, before he was even 20 years old, the Haimster was relegated to the lowly direct-to-video market. Still his drug problems continued to spiral out of control, leading Haim file for bankruptcy in 1997. Although he continued to pursue acting for the rest of his years, Haim spent more time in rehab than in front of a camera. And even in the has-been sanctuary that is reality television a comeback proved elusive. 

Feeling nostalgic? Checkout some of Haim's movies from the library.

License To Drive – 80’s teensploitation cheese at its finest! This film was released at the height of Haim’s popularity and was one of his biggest hits.

Coreyography by Corey Feldman – The two Coreys were BFF both on and off screen. This new memoir details the behind the scenes abuse at the heart of Haim’s self destruction. 

Posted by Grahm Underwood, Library Clerk

Friday, March 07, 2014

NEW Online Collections

Did you know you have convenient, online access to thousands of e-books, videos, music, magazines and audio books to enjoy? These online collections are easy to use and are available 24/7 from the comfort of your own home or while on-the-go from your mobile device. To access these great online collections, have your library card handy and click on the links from your library’s website – OR Instructions are also available on the library’s website to help you utilize these resources.

The world’s largest online newsstand, Zinio, is now available to MVLD patrons! We are very excited about the new addition to our online collection, which makes reading magazines on your mobile device super easy. Zinio offers almost 100 digital magazines, including Billboard, Car and Driver, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Do It Yourself, ESPN, Family Circle, Forbes, Ladies Home Journal, Men's Health, National Geographic, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Rolling Stone, and Us Weekly. These are just a few of the magazines available to you for free! Users can access their magazines through a web browser or on custom apps for phones and tablets, and also to download magazines to read offline.

Did you know that in addition to the plethora of books you have access to at the library, we also provide you with thousands of e-books and e-audio books. You can check them out anytime, anywhere from two of the largest e-book providers in the nation – 3M Cloud Library and Overdrive. These items are free to download and work on most mobile devices and there are never any late fees! Visit for Overdrive e-books and browse the online card catalog to download our new 3M Cloud Library e-books.

Tired of buying all of those DVDs and CDs only to use them once and then have them take up space on your shelf? Try Hoopla, which provides instant access to hundreds of thousands of video, music and audio book titles for you to stream or download using mobile apps or over the internet. No waiting and no late fees!

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Open-Mic Poetry Night

Gather up your friends and family and join the Collinsville Public Library for an Open Mic Poetry Night at the Blum House (414 W. Main St.) on Friday, March 21 at 7:00pm! Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. Local poets are strongly encouraged to attend and share their works. Free refreshments will be provided along with music by local Collinsville artist Wiggpaw. Please call Grahm at 618-344-1112 for more information.

Posted by Jessica, Lawrence

Shamrock Shindig

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Collinsville Library at our annual Shamrock Shindig celebration on Sunday, March 16th from 2:00-3:30pm. The Shindig will feature live Irish music by the local 'Oak Hill' band and bag piping from the wonderful Mike Edwards. Refreshments and crafts for the kids will be offered. Don't forget to wear your green! Call 618-344-1112 for more information.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian