Friday, January 31, 2014

"Like" Your Library

Show us your likes! During the month of February, if you 'like' one of our Facebook pages - Collinsville Memorial Library Center, Collinsville Children's Library, Fairmont City Library Center or The MVLD Online Book Club - you will receive a flower at our Main Desk (limited supplies per week) and become eligible for a special box of chocolates to be given away at the end of the month to show how much we love our patrons! Don't delay, 'like' us today!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Best Picture Winners at the Library

It’s almost Academy season and already there is a buzz over this year’s nominees for Best Picture. Gravity, American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street are among the heavy hitters fighting it out for the prestigious award. Of course an “Oscar” is much more than a golden statue of a miniature-man, it recognizes mastery in the art of film and represents the legendary history of the Academy Awards. Almost every Best Picture ever honored is offered through our library system with many available in our building! Come in today to revisit and research the Academy Award’s history before the big show.

All of the Best Pictures from this millennium are available at the Collinsville Library:

Argo received seven nominations and won three including Best Picture. In a highly unusual snub, director Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for Best Director.

The Artist
The Artist was nominated for a staggering ten Academy Awards and impressively took home half of them. It was the first French film to ever win Best Picture and the first silent film to do so since the very first Academy Awards in 1929. It was also the first black and white film to win Best Picture since 1960.

The King’s Speech
In addition to winning Best Picture in 2010 The King’s Speech won the awards for Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker won six out of nine awards that it was nominated for and made history when director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to ever win the award for Best Director.

Slumdog Millionaire
In 2008 Slumdog Millionaire dominated the Academy Awards when it won eight out of ten nominations including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men won four Academy Awards including Best Director which was bestowed upon both Joel and Ethan Coen, marking only the second time in history the award was split between two people. Javier Bardem winning the award for Best Supporting Actor marked the first time a Spanish actor had ever won an Oscar.

The Departed
The Departed produced two landmark wins for the celebrated Martin Scorsese – his first “Best Picture” and (most surprisingly) his first “Best Director”.

In 2005 Crash upset the favorite Brokeback Mountain to take home the award for Best Picture. The decision was criticized by some for being a “safe pick” but Crash’s five other nominations (including two other wins) prove the film can stand on its own.

Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood had a very good time of it in 2004 when his film Million Dollar Baby won Best Picture, netted him his second Best Director award, and also garnered a “Best Actor” award for himself.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Few movies in history have left as much of a mark on the Awards as Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King. The film is tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic for largest number of awards won while also setting the record for the highest Oscar “sweep”, winning all eleven of eleven nominations. The film is also the only fantasy film to ever win Best Picture as well as being only the second sequel to do so in history.

Considered to this day to be one of the Academy’s darlings, Chicago won six awards in 2002, mostly for sound and production design. The film was the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver in 1969.

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind won four out of eight awards it was nominated for including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Lead actor Russell Crowe starred in his second Best Picture winner in as many years and also received back-to-back Best Actor nominations.

Gladiator’s dual groundbreaking commercial and critical success is a rare feat that many Best Pictures never enjoy. The film was not only nominated for twelve awards, winning five of them, it grossed over $400 million worldwide.

Many more winners from years past are available in the building or through our system including popular titles such as Titanic, Braveheart, Forrest Gump, Schindler’s List, Rocky, and The Godfather. Come in today to check out a piece of cinema history!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Best Children's Books of 2013

It’s so hard to choose just one book of the year, so we have a short list of great books for children we came across in 2013. We hope you will enjoy reading them with your families.

• Ling and Ting Share a Birthday by Grace Lin

This funny little chapter book is designed for beginning readers, and it also makes a fun family read aloud. Ling and Ting are identical twins who are not “exactly the same” since Ting sneezed at the barber shop and has a missing patch of hair. The six short stories in this book show the sisters shopping for presents, baking cakes and celebrating birthdays. Kids will enjoy the honest mischief that the twins get into, and the gouache illustrations really bring out the twinkles in their eyes. Children with siblings will appreciate how the girls are as close as can be, but still have their own very unique personalities.

• Animals Upside Down by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Steve Jenkins can do no wrong when it comes to making beautiful non-fiction titles for the younger set. This interactive book with flaps to lift, pull, or turn shows fun facts about twenty six different animals. Kids will love the darkling beetle who defends himself by tipping up his tail and farting an obnoxious liquid. The illustrations are collages of torn and cut paper and the 3D pop-ups will be greatly enjoyed. The best thing about this book is that it is as fun as it is informative. Recommended for kids in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

• Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein

Dinah, a baby dinosaur, is just out of her egg and ready to explore her green, swampy home. She learns to walk (stomp!) and to eat (chomp!), but the next thing Dinah sees (a kiss) she has to learn more about. She stomps all over looking for a special someone to kiss, making unsuccessful and funny attempts along the way. A fishlike creature gets a “whomp!” a dinosaur gets a “chomp!” and a reptilian critter gets a “stomp!” Realizing that she must pucker up politely to get her elusive kiss, Dinah finds her next would-be smooch, but she accidentally eats him. Finally, she befriends another baby dinosaur, and the two noisy buddies chomp, stomp, and whomp kisses to their hearts' content. Kids will love the cheeky but thoughtful expressions on Dinah's face, and the bottom-bitten dinosaur is sure to bring gleeful chuckles. Rendered in pen-and-ink, charcoal, watercolor, and crayon, the illustrations are bold, simple, and humorous. Dinah's big, goofy smile is sure to be reflected in the faces of her young admirers. Kids in preschool through first grade will enjoy Dinah!

• How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland

There are a lot of non-fiction science books out there. There are not a lot of non-fiction science books out there like this! This interesting story teaches kids about meteorites in a fun, contemporary way that is not didactic or dull at all. Kids will learn a lot about many different careers in this book as well as scientific facts; geologists, curators, firefighters, cosmologists etc. all play their part in this accessible, informative little gem. Recommended for children in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

• Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure

This fascinating true story tells of a boy aged between nine and twelve found living in the wild in a French forest in the late 1700s. The author has done an amazing job with her research in this book and tells the story in the third person, which makes the narrative flow like a novel. Once the boy was captured, he became known as the savage of Aveyron, and this mysterious child grew to live, albeit uncomfortably, around others. This is a great book for kids who devour non-fiction and those who are curious about the lives of other children. The illustrations are moody and evocative, reinforcing the text beautifully. Recommended for kids in grade four and up.

The great news is that if we do not have these books in stock today, we can order them for you!

We hope to have whetted your appetite to do much family reading in 2014!

-Posted by Alison Donnelly, Children's Librarian

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review - George Washington's Secret Six

I am a Fox News junkie.  I enjoy nearly all of the on screen personnel and have an innate need to know the latest news.  That being said, I will confess that one of my least favorite Fox anchors is Brian Kilmeade.  Despite this, the subject of this book intrigued me enough to pick it up and read it.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised with George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

As the title and subtitle indicate, this is the story of the Culper Ring, a secret circle of six spies who worked under George Washington and helped the fledgling nation win the war of independence.  It is a story that includes great daring and risk taking, cover stories, and invisible ink.  The tactics used by this ring are still taught by the CIA and with some modern refinements still form the basis of much of the intelligence work done today.

These largely unknown spies, one of whom remains known only by her code number, deserve a spot alongside the heroes of the revolution, and it is Kilmeade’s hope that this book will help bring them and their story to national prominence. 

The book includes some useful maps and interesting photographs and illustrations, but I believe that the reader would have been better served if these appeared near to the text they referenced or if there was a footnote sending the reader to the illustration. 

Posted by Jim Ritter, Library Clerk

Health Insurance Sign-Up

The Madison County Health Department will be at the Library on January 24 from 1:00pm-4:30pm, January 28 from 12:00pm-4:00pm and February 22 from 1:00pm-4:30pm to assist people with enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Get Covered Illinois). This event is FREE and open to the public. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are also welcome. Please contact Caitlin at 618-296-6114 to make an appointment or for more information.

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian

Friday, January 10, 2014

Express T.V. Shows

The hottest shows on television are now available in Express at the library! Shows such as Breaking Bad, Dexter, and the Walking Dead are among the heavy hitters now featured on the Express shelf. An Express item cannot be held, requested, or renewed and has a strict one week limit – so the shows you love and are dying to see will be more readily available than ever before! Just be sure to check in with us regularly and see what is on the Express shelf: what you’re waiting for could already be here! 

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad has received nearly universal critical acclaim alongside groundbreaking commercial success. The show is widely recognized as one of the greatest television programs of all time. Breaking Bad has received countless awards and honors including winning a staggering total of ten Primetime Emmy Awards and recognition from Guinness World Records as the highest-reviewed TV series of all time. The show tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who resorts to drug manufacturing and a life of crime after being diagnosed with cancer. Through five seasons Walter and his partner Jesse fight, climb, and sometimes crawl up the seedy ladder of drug production in the Southwest. 

Dexter tells the blood spattered tale of Dexter Morgan, a crime analyst who works for the police but in secret is a serial killer who preys upon criminals who have escaped the jaws of justice. In eight seasons Dexter has been nominated for 23 Emmy Awards as well as nine Golden Globe Awards. The show is based on the book Darkly Dreaming Dexter and its sequels by Jeff Lindsay. 

Homeland is just now in the midst of its third season and has already won an impressive amount of critical acclaim including wins in the “Outstanding Drama Series” from both the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes. Homeland is a political thriller with themes of patriotism, war, terrorism, and betrayal. 

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is a fantasy epic based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R. R. Martin. Never has a television show attempted to present a world quite as massive and in depth as the lands of Westeros and Essos and Game of Thrones has succeeded with spectacular results. The story follows the families of numerous royal households and their conflicts with one another. If you ever tire of the backstabbing and political bickering, the show features massive battles and dragons too! The show has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards and Golden Globes and has helped to reignite a fantasy craze in popular culture. 

American Horror Story
American Horror Story doesn’t only feature the complex characters and deep storylines one might expect from an award winning television drama – it produces more shocks, thrills, chills, and scares than even the most lavish big budget horror movies. Each season is disconnected from the last and focuses on an entirely new set of characters in a completely different horrific setting, making the show almost like a horror anthology, as is popular to do in the genre in print. American Horror Story consistently receives critical praise and booming ratings. The show has already been nominated for ten Primetime Emmy Awards and is only in its third season. 

Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman. The show is based in a post-apocalyptic world overtaken by flesh eating zombies and traces the story of Rick Grimes, a police deputy, and a ragtag group of survivors who he leads. By some accounts The Walking Dead is the most successful cable television series of all time, breaking numerous viewership records and launching a merchandise line with everything from action figures and videogames to lunchboxes and key chains. 

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Winter Reading Club

Take an adventure with the Library this winter! Join our Winter Reading Club and travel around the world without ever leaving the warmth of your own home! This is the perfect time of year to cozy up and read. Simply enjoy any book of your choice and fill out a raffle ticket at the Main Desk to enter the raffle drawing. The program lasts through the end of February. We will have monthly prize drawings and there are no limits to your travels! Adults and young adults (7th grade and up) can participate and younger kids can participate in our Children’s Winter Reading Program. 

Posted by Jessica Lawrence, Librarian