Organize Your Life with Stickers & Labels

Part of the problem with having instant access to information at our finger tips is that we are now totally overloaded with that information. There is just so much more to know and keep tabs on! Paper planners and organizers are a great way of offloading some of this burden from our brains. Studies have shown that a paper planner or calendar is a little more effective in helping us organize our thoughts and time than doing it digitally, and let’s face it, modern planners are often their own work of art.

Stickers and labels can add a level of organization to your life that can help you more effectively find what you’re looking for on a information dense planner page. They can also work as a memory trigger or a daily reminder. Getting into the habit of using specific stickers or labels can be a really great memory aid, especially if you’re able to make labels and stickers that are completely specific to you and your needs! Or you can just make whatever your heart desires and have fun decorating your daily planner or journal.

Either way, the Cricut Maker and Cricut Joy in our Create Space can definitely help you further refine your ability to customize your planner, journal, or calendar. We tried out several projects using our Cricuts for ease of use and customizability. We found that using Cricut branded materials makes doing these projects a cinch!

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On the Radar: New J/Teen Books Coming in January 2021

A new year is almost upon us and that means more On the Radar! Check out the titles below for some of the juvenile and teen books coming to shelves in January.

Shaking Up the House by Yamile Saied Méndez

Published by HarperCollins

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Contemporary

Juvenile Fiction

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Published by Disney-Hyperion

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Mythology

Teen Fiction

City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

Published by Rick Riordan Presents

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, Mythology

Juvenile Fiction

Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

Published by Sourcebooks Fire

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction

Unplugged by Gordon Korman

Published by Balzer + Bray

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Contemporary

Juvenile Fiction

Root Magic by Eden Royce

Published by Walden Pond Press

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Juvenile Fiction

The World Between Blinks by Amie Kaufman & Ryan Graudin\

Published by Quill Tree Books

Expected on January 5, 2021

Genres: Fantasy

Juvenile Fiction

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Published by Balzer + Bray

Expected on January 12, 2021

Genres: Contemporary

Teen Fiction

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Published by Wednesday Books

Expected on January 12, 2021

Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Teen Fiction

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers

Expected on January 19, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance

Teen Fiction

Which upcoming juvenile and teen books are you most excited for in 2021?

Let us know in the comments below!

Holiday Baking

This year, the holidays are going very differently for me. Usually on Christmas Eve, we usually go to three different houses, and three again on Christmas day. We visit with a ton of friends and family and share so much good food. This year, while I am totally planning on Zooming my holiday (I got all my nieces great presents and I very much need to see them unwrap their gifts), it’s just me and my husband at home. Since I will be at home this year with some time on my hands, I thought I would dedicate some of the holiday to what I like to call project baking. Project baking is baking that takes some time, that turns out something really, really special.

I have a fairly large list of what I want to make, so I thought I would share them with you, as well as links to the recipes. Some of these are a little more time consuming than a batch of cookies, others homier and humbler than what I might make to bring to my family’s holiday gatherings. No matter what I choose, though, putting one or two of these projects in my oven will make my home feel cozier and more like Christmas. Here’s hoping that if you find yourself with time on your hands this holiday season, you’ll try to make something special for yourself or your loved ones, too.


Kolaches are semi-sweet puffed dough typically surrounding a fruit filling. They originate from Eastern Europe, and according to Wikipedia, they were traditionally a wedding confection. The type I intend to make this holiday has a yeasted dough and aren’t the cream cheese dough cookies that my Hungarian grandmother makes. I have a lot of jam and preserves on hand, and I think a batch or two of these treats will be very nice to drop off to my parents and grandparents.

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Give the Gift of Reading

Looking for a last-minute gift idea? Give the gift of reading! Our booklist of bestsellers, new releases and classics is sure to delight each toddler or preschooler in your life. Whether you are looking to purchase a book or check out a title from the library, there’s something on the list for everyone! Enjoy time together, either in person, virtually or over-the-phone, with an entertaining family read aloud.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty: Inspired by real-life makers Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, this beloved #1 bestseller champions STEM, girl power and women scientists in a rollicking celebration of curiosity, the power perseverance, and the importance of asking “Why?”  

Intended for ages 5 to 7-years

The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak: You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .BLORK. Or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. 

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DIY: Nearly Supply-Less Crafts

Bored? Broke? Snow everywhere? Then look no further than your own home for some crafty fun to share with your littles.

You could of course, draw a maze or create a jigsaw puzzle. You could play tic tac toe or even dots and boxes but if you want to up your game and impress your kids, how about giving these nearly supply-less crafts a try!

Decorated Rock Tic Tac Toe

Skills: Fine motor skills, concentration, hand-eye coordination

Supplies: palm sized rocks, crayons, paper

1. Gather at least 10 rocks (or anything you can color)

2. Choose two crayons and color half of the rocks with each (or you could get super artsy and draw a cool design on your half of the rocks. A beautiful rainbow or a cute little lady bug would make for wonderful TTT rocks)

3. Draw your Tic Tac Toe board and begin a game

4. May the best player win!

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Do You Hear What I Hear? – Holiday Albums to Enjoy from Hoopla!

It’s now that time of year – if you go out shopping, or even turn on the radio, Christmas music is all around. And generally speaking, there seems to be two kinds of people – those who love playing holiday music, and those who detest it. Really, both are valid opinions, but I find particularly on the radio there’s an oversaturation of particular songs (thinking specifically how Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Canon Rock was on once an hour, every hour a couple of Christmases ago). Which means even for the most enthusiastic listener, the songs on the radio can get really old, really fast. However, if you’re looking for a variety of Christmas music, without paying for streaming or hearing commercials, there is a pretty great variety of Christmas albums you can download or stream on Hoopla just using your library card! Here’s a sampling of some Christmas music you can enjoy!

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi Trio: I feel like this album should be considered quintessential for the holiday season. It’s so whimsical that listening to it makes you feel like you’re drinking hot cocoa during the first snowfall of the season.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – Danny Elfman: This edition on Hoopla includes not only the original soundtrack (which I feel works for both Halloween and Christmas – “What’s This” is especially fun and describes all of the joy of the holiday season), but it also includes the film music reimagined by artists such as Fiona Apple, Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy.

A Christmas Together – John Denver and the Muppets: This album has been around for 30 years, and I’m sure you’ve heard the “12 Days of Christmas” as it’s almost a regular radio staple. But it’s John Denver and the Muppets singing classic Christmas carols. What’s not to love?

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Festive Feature Films

There’s nothing quite like the joy of snuggling up with a holiday film.  Picture it: tree lit, blankets galore, and hot cocoa in hand.  The simple joy of staying in has taken on a whole new meaning.  This holiday season is looking a little different, but it’s still important to take time to decompress.  Below are some fun holiday films sure to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.  

Charming Classics: 

It’s a Wonderful Life – This 1946 classic tells the story of George Bailey as he learns what the world would be like if he was never born.  This year has forced us to appreciate the small things in life.  Capping off 2020 with a viewing of this heartwarming tale could be just what you need.  

White Christmas – This classic starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye features some recognizable songs and rousing production numbers.  If old-fashioned music and romance are your thing, then look no further for a feel-good holiday show.   

Miracle on 34th Street – This is the story of what happens when the real Santa Claus steps in to appear at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Filled with nostalgia and wonder, it’s sure to reaffirm your belief in Santa Claus.   

Family Favorites: 

The Santa Clause – Christmas wouldn’t be complete without this magical story starring Tim Allen as the dad who becomes Santa Claus.  If you like this one, there are two sequels that keep the adventure going. 

Christmas with the Kranks – Imagine wanting to cancel Christmas!  Tim Allen is back (with a different take on Christmas) with Jamie Lee Curtis in this wacky farce.  Kids and adults alike will enjoy watching the Kranks get themselves into and out of holiday trouble. 

The Polar Express – No holiday movie list would be complete without some magic.  This classic tale of a young boy who boards a magic train bound for the North Pole on Christmas Eve night is sure to warm your heart.  Keep an ear out for Tom Hanks and his many characters! 

Goodies for Grownups: 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – If you ever feel like your holidays are a total wreck, then this is the movie for you!  Join Clark Griswold and family on their quest to make the perfect family Christmas.  Hopefully you won’t see anything too familiar!  

Four Christmases – They say telling a lie will always catch up with you, and that’s certainly the case here.  Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn play a couple whose holiday vacation plans get thwarted, forcing them to visit all four parents on Christmas day.  Let’s just say it’s definitely an adventure.  

The Holiday – Do you ever wish you could switch lives with someone?  That’s exactly what Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet do in this holiday rom-com.  Not only does this movie have plenty of charming characters, there’s also a fair amount of real estate eye candy (hello English countryside cottage!).   

Currently # 8

Check out what the Lorain Public Library System staff are currently doing in their free time. Whether it’s books, movies, TV shows, music, and more, we want to share what has caught our attention.

Currently Reading

Britta, Domonkas Branch Public Services Professional: The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson

Katie, Main Branch Public Services Professional: Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin by Megan Rosenbloom

Anne, Domonkas Branch Manager: Heather and Homicide by Molly MacRae

Kim, North Ridgeville Branch Public Services Professional: I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

Julie, North Ridgeville Branch Public Services Professional: The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell & Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World by Pema Chodron

Kitty, South Branch Public Services Professional: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Corey, Avon Branch Public Services Professional: I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom & Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

Katie, Content Marketing Strategist: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Beth, Domonkas Branch Public Services Professional: In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren, Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer & Fangirl: The Manga Vol. 1 by Rainbow Rowell & Sam Maggs

Jennifer, Director of Marketing: What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Currently Watching

Annalisse, Main Branch Assistant Manager: Yellowstone

Britta, Domonkas Branch Public Services Professional: The Good Lord Bird

Katie, Main Branch Public Services Professional: Doc Martin, Paranormal & The Expanse

Scot, North Ridgeville Branch Librarian: Peter Gunn

Katie, Content Marketing Strategist: Virgin River

Beth, Domonkas Branch Public Services Professional: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Gremlins, The Muppet Christmas Carol & The Mandalorian

Currently Listening

Annalisse, Main Branch Assistant Manager: Evermore by Taylor Swift

Britta, Domonkas Branch Public Services Professional: Live Your Life : Live at Feinstein’s/54 Below by Nick Cordero

Kitty, South Branch Public Services Professional: Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Beth, Domonkas Branch Public Services Professional: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, A Holly Dolly Christmas by Dolly Parton & A Very Special Christmas 5

What books and media are you currently invested in? Are we reading, watching, or listening to the same things?

Let us know in the comments below!

Navigating a Pandemic Through Picture Books

So you’re at home with your littles and you’ve binged every episode of their favorite show. You made so many crafts that you’ll never manage to peel the dry glue off your table and you’ve given up on keeping all of the toys in one room. What next?!

How about some pandemic picture books. Well, not literally pandemic centered but some engaging and lesson filled books that could give you and your child some new and inventive ideas on how to manage the big feelings we’re all trying to manage right now. They are missing their friends, the playground, their cousins, and story time at the library. Why not bring the library to them?  We’ve got some wonderful books in our biblio-therapy and picture book areas to help with the sadness, anger and anxiety they are feeling. Just come in to any Lorain Public Library System branch and we will be more than happy to help you find what you need.

Your child will definitely enjoy The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. Our main character, Taylor, is feeling sad and a bit angry as a project he spent lots of time working on is destroyed. He searches for someone to understand how he feels and doesn’t have any luck at first. But eventually an unexpected friend turns out to be just what he needs. Do you think the friend is able to listen to Taylor? Do you think the friend is able to show he cares? This book would make a wonderful bed time read.

Next, Kevin the Unicorn: It’s Not All Rainbows by Jessika von Innerebner. This funny page turner follows Kevin who is having a less than glittery, rainbow-filled day. As Kevin tries to smile through the pitfalls; getting glitter in his eyes and clam juice on his shirt (YUCK!!!) he manages to find a like-minded friend who will commiserate with him. Come follow Kevin and his new friend on a day that isn’t so…perfect.

And my final recommendation is, In a Jar by Deborah Marcero. This is a heartwarming story of friendship and memories. Llewellyn, a bunny, collects memories in jars. Things like the whistle of the wind, the colors of the rainbow and the glow of the stars at night. He collects and shares them with as friend who suddenly moves away. He is heartbroken but through the power of another friendship manages to remember his old friend and send new memories her way. This book speaks to the power of friendships near and far and making memories.

We hope to see you at the library soon!

Ten Books to Cozy Up With This Winter

While I think any time of the year is perfect for curling up with a good book, the winter months just take the experience to a new level. The cold weather combined with shorter days provide the unique opportunity to wrap up in blankets with candles lit and immerse yourself in a story. Below are some titles that evoke the holiday and winter months and should definitely be picked up this time of year!

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan & Joanna Shupe

Beartown by Fredrik Bachman

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Have you already picked up some of these titles? Will you be cozied up on the couch with a good book in these coming months?

Let us know in the comments below!