Friday, May 22, 2015

Create! Make! Invent!

What do LEDs (light-emitting diodes), Bluetooth technology, and Artificial Skin have in common? Answer: Their inventors were inducted this month into the National Inventors Hall of Fame!

Great ideas, new inventions and new technology always amaze me. Where do all of those cool ideas come from? Well, tinkering, of course. It starts with curiosity, some motivation and a whole lot of trial-and-error.

I remember years ago when I wanted to start sewing home decor stuff. I knew most of the basics of how to sew (thanks Mom!), but I didn’t have a clue about making chair cushions, draperies or roman shades.

I checked out a few books from the library and surfed the Internet for some instructions. Then I started experimenting and making lots of mistakes. But with practice I got better. I even invented some of my own techniques for making roman shades and draperies, and then put my new skills to good use creating items for interior designers.

Do you want to create? Or invent? Then start tinkering! There are lots of resources at the library to help you get started -- from mobile device programming languages for apps to jewelry making books to learning how to make things with our new 3D printer (my newest interest) -- right here at the library.

And check out our maker classes and events coming up this summer! We have technology classes on Maker Mondays scheduled June - August, as well as middle school and high school teen tech camps in June! Register online.

Let’s create! Let’s make! Let’s invent together!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tentatively Tattooed

So you want a tattoo? But you have questions: Does it hurt? What should I get? Is it weird if I…?  Well, head over to the library to get answers for all of it.

The Body Art Book by Jean-Chris Miller explains the basics of artistic body modifications. The book starts off with a brief history of body modifications through time before explaining different styles of tattoos and piercings. Later, the book discusses what will happen when you get a tattoo or piercing and has an index of vocabulary the artist may use while tattooing. The last section of the book is dedicated to listing reputable tattoo studios all around the country. (including some in Indiana!)

Pen and Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them by Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton has amazing hand drawn illustrations of tattoos with the stories of the people who they belong to. The stories range from “I just really like pizza” for a tattoo that says “pizza party” to a girl whose “I forget” tattoo represents everything she's never remembered thanks to a long term memory disorder. If you’re looking for tattoo ideas or life inspiration this book has it all.

Finally, Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories and My Life in Ink is a book by Jeff Johnson, owner of the Sea Tramp Tattoo Company the oldest tattoo shop in Portland. The book focuses on his life as told through the lens of his personal tattoos as well as his experiences in the tattoo business. For those who like their memoirs a little edgier..


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May School Visits to 6th Grade

Dear Kesling and Boston 6th Graders,

Can you believe the school year is almost over?  Here's the link to my LAST book talk of the year.  Don't forget to sign up for the Summer Learning Adventure!  Drop by the library and earn awesome book prizes.  You might even be one of our grand prize winners this summer!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beauty Books

Fashion week may be over and done until September but that doesn’t mean it’s time to dress poorly. Below we highlight some of the best books for every age and style, all available at your LaPorte County Public Library!

For the Vintage Vixen:

Check out Alligators, Old Mink and New Money by Alison and Melissa Houtte for the 
autobiography of a New York flea market junkie as told through the vintage clothes she’s 
collected her whole life. 
If you prefer the business side of things, there’s always the Vintage Clothing Price Guide by 
Kyle Husfloen and Madeleine Kirsh. This handy little book is great for making sure you’re not being swindled by unnecessary markups or for estimating how much your amazing Goodwill find is really worth buying.

For the Makeup Maven

Choose any one of the five Bobby Brown books that the library stocks to up your makeup game no matter what level you’re at.
Those who love their online blog tutorials are in luck! The library has Michelle Phan’s Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success-Online and Off.

For the Art Aficionado

Take a look at the Met’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty for a gorgeous retrospective on one of the 21st centuries most talented designers. It shows highlights from each of his runway collections going all the way from his first college collection up to his final collection which was released by his team after his death.
Another great choice is Sonia Delauny: Art Into Fashion. The book showcases the work of Sonia Delaunay, an avant-garde designer in Paris during the Jazz Age. 

For the Seasoned Sartorialist

Are you done following trends and ready to dress for yourself? Check out Forever Cool: How to Achieve Ageless, Youthful and Modern Personal Style. Sherrie Mathieson dishes out great tips on cleaning up dated looks to keep you looking your best no matter what age.
Last, but not least, Ari Seth Cohen has turned his wildly popular blog, Advanced Style, into an equally fascinating book of the same name. He showcases older women (and men!) who are amazingly dressed and wearing the gorgeous clothes they’ve collected their whole lives.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Readers Collection

Do you know what the New Readers collection on the library's mezzanine is? If not, come and take a look at it. It consists of books for adults who are increasing their literacy skills and their tutors. The books are in the process of being arranged by Dewey Decimal number. They also have color tabs on them to signify their reading levels. They're in bins to make it easier for you to look at them since many are too thin to have spine labels. You can find books to help with reading comprehension, work skills, citizenship test preparation, math skills, pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling, and more. Plus there are story books just to read. These books check out for four weeks and may be renewed for another four weeks twice.

Undead Understanding

Calling all zombie enthusiasts, May is Zombie Awareness Month!  The Zombie Research Society is encouraging supporters and concerned citizens to wear gray ribbons throughout the month of May, but this librarian recommends checking out one of these titles from LPCPL instead.

Zombie in Love and Zombie in Love 2+1 by Kelli DiPucchio
Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More! by Christen Haden
The Very Hungry Zombie: A Parody by Michael Teitelbaum
Zombelina by Kristyn Crow
iZombie by Chris Roberson
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Shaun of the Dead
Z Nation
The Walking Dead

Don’t see your favorite zombie book, movie, or TV show listed?  Check our online catalog for more zombie-themed items.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cross-Country Cycling Scientists Will Teach in La Porte This Summer!

Rachel Woods-Robinson and Elizabeth Case started biking from San Francisco to New York City on April 17.  They will stop along the way to teach hands-on science lessons to middle school students using the Sol Cycle, a miniature, 3D-printable, solar-powered bicycle they designed.

Here's the REALLY exciting wet-your-pants jump-up-and-down NEWS.... they will teach a pop-up workshop at La Porte County Public Library this summer! We expect them to arrive near the end of June, but it's impossible to predict the exact date of their arrival. Middle school students who wish to participate in this innovative workshop should register at, and we'll contact these students by phone a few days before the cycling scientists arrive with the date, time, and location of the workshop. Registrations are limited - reserve your spot soon so you don't miss out!

To find out more about Rachel and Elizabeth and track their progress, visit