“Partakers of Plentie”

thanksgiving letterThe simplicity and stress-less-ness of Thanksgiving — as compared to Christmas, at least — must account for its great appeal, outside of the obvious food factor.  Its association with and historical memorial to the Pilgrims of 1621 cannot be wholly denied, and can serve to remind us of the great stresses that were once endured in order to further simple truths, convictions, ideals, and most importantly: freedoms.   There is a wealth of sources available that speak directly from these folks themselves.  It seems the first Thanksgiving was, in a way, just a traditional harvest feast, complete with beer and plenty of meat (venison and game foul primarily — including wild turkeys).  The causes for lasting relevance could be accounted to the presence of more native Americans than pilgrims in attendance, and the hope that the abundance of the harvest, and other naturally occurring food resources, instilled in them for their future success (and therefore, ours) in this new land of liberty. Continue reading “Partakers of Plentie”

Highlight: How Artists See . . .

photo of a new art series for children
This delightful and visibly engaging art series opens the world of art history to young minds and eyes in a unique, yet simple, manner.  Grouping notable and well-loved works into categories such as People, Families, Weather, The Elements, Animals, etc. increases memory retention through the “science of relations” so to speak.
Each book covers a broad –  yet not overwhelming – amount of artworks, artists, and time periods.  The short biographies and recommended further readings at the end of each book complete this valuable new resource that we are very grateful to now offer.

PrairieCat Now Offers Personalized Schmaling Homepage and New Digital Media Service

PrairieCat is new and improved!
Now when you arrive at the login page which has been personalized for Schmaling, you will see many scroll bar menus featuring national bestsellers and new items from various genres at Schmaling.
Toward the bottom of the page, you will find links to eRead Illinois and a new ebook service: biblioboard.
Biblioboard differs from eRead IL in that you are able to actually download most books that they offer (public domain stuff), as opposed to limited borrowing time or waiting for availability. Furthermore, ANYONE in IL can access this for free – you don’t need a library card! You just must physically be in Illinois when you first create your account due to their geolocation-based authentication system.
To describe biblioboard in their own words: they boast of “a growing assortment of rich historical and locally curated multimedia content–available to all with the ease of unlimited, multi-user access.”  Upon visiting the site a few times, I have noticed a large and changing variety of subject groupings that they refer to as curations.  Some have included British Children’s Literature, Scholarly Works on Film and Media, Shakespeare, Historical Primary Source Documents, Exhibits from National Libraries and Archives, Mathematics, Business and Law, Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Community History … there are seriously to many to name.  There are also video and audio selections, including music.  And while it isn’t necessary in order to utilize biblioboard, they do offer a Kindle app.

Thanksgiving Hours

thanksgivingSchmaling will be CLOSED Thursday, the 23th and Friday the 24th for Thanksgiving; we will reopen for normal Saturday hours.  Enjoy the holiday!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Stranger Books

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After you’ve binged watched the new season of Stranger Things, why not give some strange books a try: GOTHIC. It’s not just a personal statement or architecture. The literary genre was first made famous by Horace Walpole’s  THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO in 1764.  It then became cemented in culture by Anne Radcliffe’s numerous writings at the end of that century.  19th century Gothic was reinterpreted by the infamous Poe and revived by more recognizable titles such as Shelley’s  FRANKENSTEIN, Stevenson’s DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, and Emily Bronte’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS.  Characterized by strange, mysterious, or threatening settings, an exaggerated sense of the supernatural, clashes between the contemporary and the archaic, and packed with uncanny and sublime moments; Gothic literature is a perfect pairing to these chilling evenings.
Continue reading Stranger Books