It is a librarians eternal task to answer the question, “What should I read next?” The librarians here at Y.P.L. are attempting to answer that question with our Staff Picks series. Each entry will include a different recommendation from a staff member.
Today’s Staff Pick is brought to you by me, Monica Thomas, Y.P.L. Technology Coordinator!
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
I’m recommending this book because…
Honesty time: I had no idea that one of my favorite movies, Practical Magic, was based on a book. When the news dropped that a prequel to Practical Magic was being released, I knew I had two books to add to my list!
I read Practical Magic first, and I enjoyed it, but it was a little forgettable. You definitely don’t need to read Practical Magic to enjoy and understand The Rules of Magic. (But if you’re like me, you probably will anyway.) The Aunts, who were one of the best parts about the movie, are barely in the first book, and not at all the eccentric, fun characters I remembered and adored.
To my delight, The Rules of Magic is all about Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet (for most of the book, just Frances and Jet) as they grow up in 1960s New York City, developing their powers. The story is beautiful, tragic, and remarkably human. Yes, they’re witches, but The Rules of Magic is about so much more than curses, herbs, and superstition. At its heart, it’s a story of family, relationships, and the heartache that shapes us into who we are.
“I’m fated to lose everyone I ever love,” April said. “I already know that.”
“Of course you are,” Jet responded in her calm, measured tone. “That’s what it means to be alive.”
― Alice Hoffman, The Rules of Magic
The story spans several decades against the backdrop of real events like the Stonewall riots and the Vietnam War, and ends where Practical Magic begins. By the time I closed the back cover, I felt like I really knew these characters, like I had been through a lot with them. It was one of those books I was sad to finish, because even though I followed these characters from adolescence to old age, I just didn’t want it to end!
I adore the Frances and Jet I got to know in this book more than their Practical Magic movie versions, because they are real, fleshed-out women instead of just the eccentric, powerful aunts of Sally and Gillian. It’s a book I will revisit many more times over the years.
(Although, the midnight margarita scene will always be headcanon. I can’t help it.)
Interested in reading The Rules of Magic? Click one of the options below:
It’s a question we’re asked often, and for good reason! eBooks are convenient, more portable than physical copies, and with your library card, they’re totally free! (Not to mention, they’re perfect for getting in those Summer Reading hours on the go!)
If you’ve wondered how you can access our eBook collection on your devices, expand the sections below for step-by-step guides.
These instructions are for Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, and Kindle Oasis.
Click to expand step-by-step instructions.
Using a computer or a device with the Overdrive app installed, head to our catalog.
Sign into your library account using your library card number. Unless you’ve changed it, your password is your phone number without the area code or dashes.
On that same page, click the Overdrive logo under Electronic Resources.
Now you’ll need to sign into Overdrive.
Once you click the yellow ‘Sign In’ button, you’ll be taken to a drop down menu. Scroll all the way to the bottom and select Yorktown-M. Pleasant Township Public Library.
Type in your full bar code number. Again, your password is your phone number without area code or dashes. To skip this step in the future, check the box that says ‘Remember My Card Number on This Device’.
Now that you’re logged in, you can search for, browse, and download eBooks!
When you’ve found the one you want, click the yellow ‘Borrow’ button.
Choose how long you would like to borrow the book: 7, 14, or 21 days. Click the ‘Borrow’ button again.
Click the ‘Read now with Kindle’ button.
You’ll be taken to Amazon. Make sure you’re logged into the Amazon account that your Kindle is registered to. Select the Kindle you would like the book to be delivered to and click ‘Get Library Book’.
You’re all done! The eBook will be downloaded to your Kindle the next time it connects to Wi-Fi! When your borrowing period is over, the book will automatically disappear. You never have to worry about late fees with Overdrive.
Tablets, Phones, & Kindle Fire
These instructions apply to Andriod, iOS, and Kindle Fire devices.
Select Yorktown-M. Pleasant Township Public Library.
Input your full bar code number from your library card. Your password is your phone number without the area code or dashes.
Tap ‘Sign In’.
To continue, tap ‘Add a title’.
You’ll be directed to the IDDC homepage, where you’ll need to sign in one more time. To prevent having to do this in the future, check the box that says ‘Remember my card number on this device’.
When you find the book you want, tap it and then tap ‘Borrow’. Select how long (7, 14, or 21 days) you’d like to borrow the title.
Select your preferred format. You can download it directly to your device and start reading immediately, or you can connect through your Amazon account and read it as a Kindle Book. Tapping ‘Read now with Kindle’ will redirect you to Amazon.
To view and open the titles you have checked out, tap ‘Bookshelf’.
That’s it! When the borrowing period is over, your book will automatically disappear. You never have to worry about late fees with Overdrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: “What if the title I want says ‘wait list’?”
A: Because we share our eBook collection with other libraries in Indiana, the title you want may be checked out by other users. However, just like physical copies, you can place a hold. Just click the ‘Place a Hold’ button, and you’ll receive an email when the title is available for you.
Q: Does Overdrive have audio books?
A: Yes! Overdrive has audio books and a few movies/videos. Once downloaded to your device, just press play and enjoy.
Q: How do I return a book?
A: As mentioned in the instructions above, when your borrowing period is over, the title will automatically disappear from your bookshelf. If, however, you finish early and would like to return, click the three vertical dots next to the title on your bookshelf and select ‘Return to Library’.
Q: I have an original NOOK. Can I download eBooks from Overdrive?
A: Yes, you can. But that process is a bit more complicated. Check out Overdrive’s article here.
Have a question that’s not answered here? Leave a comment below or contact us.
NEW: Meet Libby! Overdrive’s user-friendly new app.
It seemed like winter was going to last forever in Indiana, but we made it! The trees are blooming, the sun is hot, and it’s time for Summer Reading! This year’s theme is Libraries Rock, and we have a great series of events lined up to prove just that. Keep reading to find out what’s in store!
First things first: You have to register to participate. Registration for all ages opens Friday, May 25 at the library.
Here’s how the age groups are divided:
Tigers (Kindergarten-5th grade*)
Teens (6th grade-age 17)
To register, you’ll just need to fill out your information and grab some reading logs or review sheets. Cubs, tigers, and teens will register at the desk in the children’s area. Adults will register at the desk in the adult area.
That’s all it takes! Once you’ve registered, you’re ready to start reading and earning prizes.
*Homeschooled children are welcome to participate! Grade years are meant as an age guide.
We’re kicking off the Summer Reading Program with a fun carnival in Morrow’s Meadow! On Saturday, May 26 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm, you can join us for carnival games, a tiger bounce house, and a very special visit from the Troll Princess.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the carnival will be moved to the Pleasant View Elementary School Gym. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information.
How to Earn Prizes
Reading is fun on its own, but the Summer Reading Program is all about those prizes! Each age group earns prizes a little differently, so check out how it works for your age group below:
Since many participants in this age group aren’t reading on their own yet, Cubs earn a prize for every hour that they read or are read to.
There is a limit of 3 prizes per week.
For every 10 hours that your child reads or is read to, they will earn one ticket into the drawing for the Super Reader Prize.
Tigers can earn a prize for every hour they read.
There is a limit of 3 prizes per week.
For every 20 hours read, Tigers will earn one ticket into the drawing for the Super Reader Prize.
For every book you read, you’ll fill out a short review sheet.
For each book review you submit, you’ll earn one ticket.
Tickets will then be used for the weekly prize drawings:
Laser Tag Passes
Holiday World Tickets
Big Splash Adventure Tickets
Fire TV Stick
Cincinnati Reds Tickets
Splash Island Tickets
Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
All tickets will be saved and put into the drawing for the Super Reader Prize.
For every book you read, you’ll fill out a short book review or recommendation sheet.
For each book review or recommendation you submit, you’ll earn one ticket.
Tickets will then be used for the weekly prize drawings:
Fire TV Stick
Keurig Brewing System
All tickets will be saved and put into the Grand Prize Drawing.
To be counted toward the Super Reader Prize, Tigers and Cubs must turn in their reading logs by noon on Wednesday, July 11.
Adults and Teens must turn in book review sheets by 3:00 pm on Friday, July 13 to be counted toward the Super Reader/Grand Prize drawing.
Every Wednesday in June, we’ll have a special event for families. Check out this year’s entertainment below!
CR Ryan brings his entertaining magic show to the Summer Reading Program every year, and we’re so glad to have him back again! CR Ryan preforms with his sons for a show that’s fun for the whole family!
Surf the sound waves with Paul Odenwelder as he shows the many ways we can combine sounds to create music! With lots of audience participation and crazy instruments, this show is one you won’t want to miss!
Magic Don is back again this year with his water magic show! Celebrate the end of Summer Reading with this fun and crazy event. Dress to get wet!
Wednesday, July 11
*Any show marked as taking place at Morrow’s Meadow is weather permitting. In the case of inclement weather, those events will be moved to the P.V.E. Gym. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to be a patron to register and participate in the Summer Reading Program?
A: No! While we would LOVE for you to sign up for a library card, it is not a requirement for participation.
Q: Do I have to read only library books?
A: Nope! Again, we would love it if you checked out books and/or eBooks from the library, but it’s not required.
Q: Do I have to be present to win the prize drawings?
A: No way, Jose. All winners will be notified via phone or email after each drawing.
Q: What is the deadline for registering?
A: There is no registration deadline. You can start participating as late into the program as you want, but keep in mind, the longer you participate, the better your chances are of winning!
Q: Do audio books count?
A: They sure do! Tigers and Cubs, just record the hours you listen. Teens and Adults, just fill out a review like you would with a regular book.
Have a question that’s not answered here? Contact us.
We are so excited to kick off the 2018 Summer Reading Program with our community! We strive to make it as fun and inclusive as possible, and we hope everyone has a great time!
To end, we would like to thank the wonderful sponsors who make this program and all the prizes possible:
Gold Level Sponsors:
Yorktown Family Dentistry
Silver Level Sponsors:
Animal Medical Center
Ingram’s Floor Covering
Mark’s Service Center
Rachel Tucker-F.C. Tucker
Reed’s Plumbing LLC
Ryne-Wood Builders, Inc.
Scott Metzler- State Farm
Bronze Level Sponsors:
5 Tool Academy
Academy of Model Aeronautics
Advanced Carpet Care
Big Splash Adventure
Great Kitchens and Baths
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Michael Burke- Re/Max
Muncie Children’s Museum
National Model Aviation Museum
Player’s Club at Woodland Trails
Royal Pin Leisure Centers
Terre Haute Children’s Museum
Before we became the Yorktown Public Library, we existed in the 1990’s as the Wright Memorial Library, a community library supported solely by donations and volunteers. At that time, Yorktown had a population of about 4,800 and the tiny library filled a community void. However, it wasn’t long before we had outgrown the small Wright Memorial Building.
In 2000, the Yorktown Public Library officially opened its doors in a larger building, formerly Bonnet Drugs, where it still stands today.
Now, with Yorktown’s population approaching 12,000, we are outgrowing ourselves once again.
Our staff has increased by 260%
The number of public computers has increased by 380%
The number of materials in the library has increased by 365%
The number of patrons has increased by 417%
The circulation of materials has increased by 380%
Our building size has increased by 0%
As you can see from the infographic above, we have grown a lot in the last 15 years! The problem is, our building hasn’t grown with us. If you have visited the library during after-school hours, you can attest to our lack of space.
Along with our expansive material collection, our 24 public computers are a draw to teenagers and adults alike, which creates a competition for space when school lets out each day. One of our main goals for this expansion project is to create distinct and separate spaces for children, teens, and adults. We want everyone to feel welcome at the library anytime they visit.
As a newcomer to Yorktown who plans to raise two kids here… I LOVE the idea of a library expansion!
-Patron petition message
We will be working with an experienced architect from a small company called Stair Associates to expand and renovate the library.
The renovation and expansion will include:
A 3,000 square foot addition
More public bathrooms (we currently have one)
Separate children, teen, and adult areas
Relocation and enlargement of conference room to create a more usable meeting room for the community
A local business touchscreen kiosk in the lobby that would advertise Yorktown businesses for free
The addition will also create an opportunity for a new main entry, with a new circulation deskfront and center. It will also give us an opportunity to create an attractive gateway into downtown Yorktown. Parking will be moved to what is now the back lot of the building.
We are still early in the design process, because we haven’t yet had the funds approved. But this is what the library could look like:
Our Library is used by all age groups. The special sessions held there, the summer reading program for children (and their parents), and the shear number/volumes of books, DVDs and periodicals is bulging at the seams. A new attractive Library would be a great addition to Yorktown. We need some of the old buildings in town renovated and this would be a good start.
-Patron petition message
The total cost of this project will be $1.8 million. The library will contribute $400,000, bringing the amount we need to $1.4 million. This is the amount we are requesting the Yorktown Town Council to approve the library to issue in bonds.
We understand that the community’s biggest concern surrounding our proposed expansion is increasing property taxes. We’ve broken down the projected cost for households, business, and farmers in a few examples below.
A town image is enhanced by the presence of a good library. The current staff provides wonderful service to patrons. The proposed expansion will allow them to provide even better service, thereby making Yorktown a more attractive community.
-Patron petition message
From the information above, you can see that expanding the library will require a property tax increase. However, money spent on public libraries yields a return on that investment.
I save loads of money every year by utilizing my library’s fine collections. I love seeing it crowded with children and adults, nearly any time I’m there.
-Patron petition message
On average, every $1.00 Indiana communities spend on their public library yields $2.38 in direct benefits. This figure comes from a 2005 report by the Indiana Business Research Center and is, by many estimates, conservative. Direct benefits increase depending on services that libraries are able to offer, especially to local businesses.
Because the study by the IBRC is over a decade old, modern library services aren’t taken into consideration. We are able to provide a variety of beneficial services at no cost:
High speed Internet access
Prolific and comprehensive databases
legal forms, automotive manuals, marketing tools, ancestry.com library edition, resume builder, foreign language education, and so much more!
One-on-one computer classes
The services listed above help local businesses. By expanding the library, we would be able to expand these services as well. An enlarged conference room, for example, will enable local businesses and groups to have a free meeting space that fits their needs.
A local business touchscreen kiosk in the lobby would advertise businesses in the area for free.
In addition, by separating the adult space from the teen and children spaces, you’ll have access to a quiet work space no matter the time of day.
Many benefits for local businesses also directly benefit patrons. High speed Internet access, comprehensive databases, a meeting room, and computer classes can all be taken advantage of by patrons.
A library should be a gathering place for the community. The Yorktown library is not attractive and does not have the space for very many activities.
-Patron petition message
By expanding the library, we’ll be able to offer our patrons additional services to those listed above:
More square footage will mean more room for shelving units
More programs and services
More space will allow us to host more events at the library, including classes and guest speakers/authors
We’ve discussed using some of the extra room to create a maker’s space. Maker’s spaces typically have things like sewing machines, 3D printers, and more.
Many of you have asked us about self-checkout stations. With more room for these stations, that will be a viable option.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to sign our petition to the Yorktown Town Council, we hope the information presented here has helped. We are asking the Council to approve $1.4 million in bonds for this project. You can review the potential cost for your household, business, or farm in the examples above, under Tax Impact.
I would love to see are [sic] library grow with growth in knowledge would mean a stronger community and with a stronger community backed with knowledge what wrong would we be doing?
-Patron petition message
It is the mission of the Yorktown Public Library to provide a variety of current materials and services to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of the community. As our community has grown to a population of nearly 12,000, we must also grow to meet their needs. It is a pleasure to serve this community, and we want to do so to the best of our ability.
You can sign our petition online or in person at the library. If you would like to volunteer to take the petition around your neighborhood, or if you would like information regarding our letter writing campaign, contact Liz Rozelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cannot do this project without your support!
Please approve this! What a wonderful idea and would add value to our community!
-Patron petition message
One More Thing…
On the bottom of every checkout receipt you receive from the library, you can see how much you’ve saved year-to-date by using the library instead of purchasing materials from retailers.
We ran a report to see how much all of our patrons have saved so far in 2017.
Apollo Biblionix. “Member Amount Saved Report.” Indiana, 19 Oct. 2017.
This week (September 24-30) marks the beginning of Banned Books Week! During this week, libraries, teachers, and bookstores all around the country encourage you to use your First Amendment rights and read banned and challenged books.
Why do we celebrate Banned Books Week?
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 by librarian activist, Judith Krug. Krug, in partnership with the American Library Association, wanted to draw attention to the issue of censorship after the group Moral Majority, led by televangelist Jerry Falwell, began challenging books in public and school libraries. Censorship incidents jumped from 300 in 1980 to nearly 1,000 in 1982. Banned Books Week was founded as a response to this quest for censorship and has been quite successful. In 2016, 323 challenges were reported to the American Library Association.
Challenges do not always equal a ban. A challenge is the attempt to remove a book from an institution (i.e. schools and libraries), while a ban is the actual removal of that title. This distinction is important to consider. Challenging a book may, in fact, lead to an open discussion about that book’s themes and engage a community. However, if a challenge leads to a ban (it is the first step of a ban, after all), that discussion is cut off.
An argument may be presented that “banning” a book from a library doesn’t totally restrict access to that book. After all, Amazon exists, as well as a host of other retailers. But that’s the problem. Banning a book from a library restricts the FREE access of that book. Libraries exist to serve the entire community, including those who need free access to information. Judith Krug illustrated this point in 2002:
“Some users find materials in their local library collection to be untrue, offensive, harmful or even dangerous. But libraries serve the information needs of all of the people in the community—not just the loudest, not just the most powerful, not even just the majority. Libraries serve everyone.”
It is precisely because libraries serve everyone that one group cannot be allowed to decide what is offensive to everyone. Literature is an art form, and as such, it is subjective. It is our job as librarians to ensure that every member of our community has equal access to that art. As the old saying goes: “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”
As discussed above, before books are banned, they are first challenged. The top ten challenged books of 2016 are listed below. Titles with links will take you directly to our catalog, where you can see if the book is available or place a hold!
This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes
Dramawritten and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
George written by Alex Gino
Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”
I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints
Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
Looking for Alaska written by John Green
Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”
Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit
Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author
Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
Reason: challenged for offensive language
Go forth and celebrate your First Amendment rights!
You may want to read many of the banned/challenged books in these lists, or none at all. Celebrating Banned Books Week is as much about reading what you desire as it is about not infringing on the rights of others to do the same.
Let us know what banned or challenged book you’re reading in the comments below!
September is here! We know many of you are excited for the cooler weather, hot beverages, football, and pumpkin spice flavored everything, and we are too! Not only are we excited for Fall here at the library; we’re excited for the return of another season of great family programming!
The Summer Reading Program was super this year, and now it’s time to return to Story Time, Teen Scene, Toddler Exploration, Family Bingo, and two new raffles!
Beginning September 9, Story Times are back in session. We offer two different story times, each suited to different age groups. Tiny Tots is a story time for our youngest patrons and a caregiver. Enjoy stories, songs, fingerplays, and bubbles! Tiny Tots lasts about as long as their attention span–20-30 minutes, every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.. We encourage you to stay and play afterwards!
Our second story time, Bookworms, is designed for pre-K children ages 3-5 and their caregiver. Sing songs, listen to stories, play games, improve early literacy skills, and participate in art activities! Bookworms lasts a bit longer than Tiny Tots–45-60 minutes, every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Go ahead…be a Bookworm!
In addition to our two story times, we also offer a monthly program called Toddler Exploration. Toddler Exploration is all about–you guessed it–letting toddlers explore the world around them! Our children’s librarian sets up five different, self-directed hands-on stations for the little ones (18-36 months) to explore their senses. The theme changes each month, and September’s theme is ABCs and 123s. Come dressed to make a mess, September 11 at 10:30 a.m.!
Not only do we offer programming for children, we also offer a fun after school activity for teens! Teen Scene meets for an hour, one to two Friday(s) a month. At Teen Scene, you’ll make art, perform experiments, play games, and hang out with your friends at the library. We even provide snacks! There’s no need to sign up; just check out our event calendar, and come to the library to enjoy! September’s Teen Scene is on September 18 at 3:30 p.m.!
Fun For The Whole Family!
We’ve covered children and teen programming, but what about something the whole family can enjoy? Enter Family Bingo Night! A very popular monthly event at the library, Family Bingo has a different theme each month, which the prizes reflect. This month, the theme is Family Movie Bingo, and the prizes are all great movies you can enjoy with your family! Family Bingo will be held September 17 at 6:00 p.m. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up at the circulation desk today!
In addition to Family Bingo, we also have a great raffle going on for the entire family! This year’s Fall Break Raffle offers a prize package of Two VIP Car Passes to African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio, Four Tickets to Muncie Civic Theatre’s Production of Into the Woods, Four Passes to Climb Time Indy, Tuttle Orchards Family Fun Pack: four passes to the Agrimaze, Kid’s Area, Hayride, and four free caramel apples, and Eight Coupons for a free custard cone at Culver’s. Talk about a great staycation! Tickets are $2.00 apiece, or three for $5.00. All proceeds go towards the 2016 Summer Reading program.
As if the Fall Break Raffle wasn’t enough, we’re also offering a great promotion if you sign up for a library card this month! September is National Library card Sign-Up Month, and we are offering each person who signs up for a library card a raffle ticket to win a Kindle Fire HD6! Current patrons, don’t worry! You will also be entered into the raffle if you refer someone to be a new member! This promotion will run from September 1 to September 30, with the drawing for the Kindle Fire HD6 will be held on October 1, at 10:00 a.m.!
As the year continues, there will be even more great programming to look forward to: 12 Weeks of Reading, Blind Date With a Book, holiday programming, and so much more! We love providing our patrons with these programs. There are some who believe libraries to be obsolete. What use would we have for libraries in our modern, digital world? Thankfully, we know that’s not true! Thanks to children’s programming, which improves early literacy and education, and teen programming which provides a safe after-school place for teenagers, and family programming which provides free entertainment to our community, we know that we’ll be around for a long time! We appreciate all of our patrons who make our library so great! If you’ve never been to your library, stop in, and explore all of your opportunities today!
There we go! It’s all over! What a great Summer Reading Program we had this year. A special thanks to all who participated, and thanks to all our sponsors that helped us put the program on.
In total we had 410 young people participate in the SRP; 92 of them were preschool aged, 209 were school aged, 68 were teenagers, and 41 came from daycare programs! Tadpoles submitted 228 early literacy sheets, Frogs read for 1722 hours, and the Teens read 1048 hours. Everyone did a great job and we hope to see you keep coming to the library to get books during the school year.
However the SRP wasn’t just for the children, we had an adult program as well. There was a total of 100 adult readers who read a total of 350 books. That’s more than 3 books a person! We have compiled a list of all the books that were rated with 5 stars, which you can find at Jenifer’s desk.
What more can be said! These kids did a great job reading and won the raffle drawings for the Super Reader prizes. The Tadpoles winner won the LeadFrog Leap Pad, the Frogs winner won an iPad mini, and the Teen winner won a set of Beats headphones. The Adult winner won a Kindle Fire HDX.
Once again, thanks to everyone involved and who participated in our Summer Reading Program. You helped make this year a success and we hope to see you again next year!