We are here to help you find what you need, including answers to your questions. Even when we can’t answer your questions ourselves we will do our best to point you to a resource that can.
How do you ask a question? You can go old school and come into the library if you like. We have an Information Desk at the top of the stairwell on the second floor. You can give the Information Desk a call too, at (309) 524-2470. You can email us as well, at email@example.com. You can even go through our website and fill out a question form that will be sent to us automatically – just look for the Ask a Librarian button on the library website.
What exactly can we help with? Well, as you probably would expect, we are very good at answering library related questions – about your account, about library services, the Friend’s Bookstore, our collection and so on. If it is about the library we’ve got it covered. Outside of that, we are happy to answer brief factual questions and to help people determine how to proceed with more complex research questions.
April, amongst it’s many distinctions (its Fools’ Day, its famous showers, National Pillow Fight Day, the normal home of Tax Day – cruelly stolen by May this year, and so on and so on) also has the honor of being America’s National Poetry Month. What better way to honor American poetry than with a poem by one of the most important and well-known American poets, Emily Dickinson.
The choice of poem was completely random. The fact that it is about a library is merely a happy coincidence.
In a Library
A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is To meet an antique book, In just the dress his century wore; A privilege, I think,
His venerable hand to take, And warming in our own, A passage back, or two, to make To times when he was young.
His quaint opinions to inspect, His knowledge to unfold On what concerns our mutual mind, The literature of old;
What interested scholars most, What competitions ran When Plato was a certainty. And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl, And Beatrice wore The gown that Dante deified. Facts, centuries before,
He traverses familiar, As one should come to town And tell you all your dreams were true; He lived where dreams were sown.
His presence is enchantment, You beg him not to go; Old volumes shake their vellum heads And tantalize, just so.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Her last visit to a library being around a century and a half ago, a few things have changed. You won’t find a lot of vellum on the shelves these days (or antique books for that matter, at least not in public libraries) and many people are as likely to come in to check out a movie or video game or use our computers as they are to come looking for the wisdom of the ages. Still, a lot of what she describes holds true, and hopefully always will. The wisdom is still here, along with Plato and Dante and the others (and a good deal more). On the shelves with them you will also find Dickinson (which would likely have been a surprise to her) and her fellow poets; just the things for an April afternoon’s reading.
This pandemic business has been rough and while there is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve got a bit to go yet. Just like everyone else that has had to figure out how to continue to function during this time, libraries have been doing whatever they can to continue to help their patrons. They’ve expanding their online resources and, in many cases, developed new ways to continue to provided important services and access to materials.
The theme for National Library Week this year is “Welcome to Your Library.” It highlights the idea that libraries are more than a physical building – that there is a lot your library can do beyond being a big box to keep books in – and that everyone is as welcome to use their online and extended services as they are to come in and see us to check out books.
How can you celebrate National Library Week?
It’s pretty easy. Go to the library. And, as explained above, that doesn’t necessarily just mean our physical location. We are always happy to see people, but you can visit our website, our blogs, social media, event calendar, our various online resources, whatever you like. We do our best to have materials and services that will be of interest or use to our patrons and we are happiest when they are being used!
Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri Movie: Concrete Cowboy When it comes out: April 2 What the book is about: Twelve-year-old Cole’s behavior causes his mother to drive him from Detroit to Philadelphia to live with a father he has never known, but who soon has Cole involved with a group of African-American “cowboys” who rescue horses and use them to steer youths away from drugs and gangs.
French Exit by Patrick deWitt Movie: French Exit When it comes out: April 2 What the book is about: Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Prices’ aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts.
Shrine by James Herbert Movie: The Unholy When it comes out: April 2 What the book is about: Alice, a deaf-mute, has a vision of a lady in white who says she is the immaculate conception. Suddenly Alice can speak, hear, and perform miracles. The visitation site becomes a shrine. But Alice is no longer the guileless child overwhelmed by her new saintliness. She has become the agent of something corrupt, a vile force centuries old.
Moffie by Andre Carl van der Merwe Movie: Moffie When it comes out: April 9 What the book is about: At the age of 19 he is conscripted into the South African army and finds his every sensibility offended by a system close to its demise, and yet still in full force. Moffie transports the reader into this young man’s world with evocative realism – sometimes heart-rending, sometimes with humour, always with brush strokes of hope.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge Movie: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train When it comes out: April 23 What the book is about: In Taisho-era Japan, Tanjiro Kamado is a kindhearted boy who makes a living selling charcoal. But his peaceful life is shattered when a demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the demon who ruined his life.
“How’s Amanda” A Story of Truth, Lies and an American Addiction” (Washington Post) by Eli Saslow Movie: Four Good Days When it comes out: April 30 What the story is about: She had already made it through one last night alone under the freeway bridge, through the vomiting and shakes of withdrawal, through cravings so intense she’d scraped a bathroom floor searching for leftover traces of heroin. It had now been 12 days since the last time Amanda Wendler used a drug of any kind, her longest stretch in years. “Clear-eyed and sober,” read a report from one drug counselor, and so Amanda, 31, had moved back in with her mother to begin the stage of recovery she feared most.
Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse by Tom Clancy Movie: Without Remorse When it comes out: April 30 What the book is about: John Kelly, former Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, is still getting over the accidental death of his wife six months before, when he befriends a young woman with a decidedly checkered past. When that past reaches out for her in a particularly horrifying fashion, he vows revenge and, assembling all of his old skills, sets out to track down the men responsible, before it can happen again. At the same time, the Pentagon is readying an operation to rescue a key group of prisoners in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. One man, they find, knows the terrain around the camp better than anyone else they have: a certain former Navy SEAL named John Kelly.
You could do a lot worse than to be a fool – literarily speaking at least.
Typically speaking, most of us would not take kindly to being labeled a fool, but when dealing with The Fool as a literary archetype, it’s not so bad.
Fools are everywhere – from Shakespeare (he made famous and frequent use of fools in his plays) to SpongeBob (Patrick Star is perhaps the ultimate Fool) – and they are almost always fan favorites. The Fool did not always refer to a dolt, but often just a low person; the commoner amongst nobles, the servant or jester at court, the laborer amongst scholars, etc. Couple this with the fact that they were usually funny and good natured and it is little wonder that crowds could not help but love them.
I addition to winning the goodwill of the people they are often indispensable to the story. In situations where they are the protagonist, they are the lens through which the story is viewed and made relatable. In situations where they are a secondary character they help put the happenings and the other characters in perspective.
In fact, fools make great sidekicks. Sancho Panza was Don Quixote’s sidekick before there was a word for it… Well, there was a word, it was squire since Quixote (arguably a Fool himself) fancied himself a knight, but I digress. Loyal to a fault, too foolish to be overly troubled by risk, kind hearted, optimistic and frequently wise in a down-to-Earth sort of way – what protagonist wouldn’t want a companion like that?
Wisdom without pretension. Humor without cynicism. Optimism without reservation.
More of a category or descriptor or tag, if your hip or into metadata, then a traditional genre, Gentle Reads are still something that a lot of people look for.
So, what constitutes a Gentle Read?
Essentially it is a novel that does not contain graphic violence, sex or offensive language. The stories can be about anything and fit into any genre but women’s fiction, inspirational fiction, cozy mysteries and some romance and classics are the most common places you will find Gentle Reads. The protagonists of Gentle Reads (which are often women) generally experience some sort of personal hardship or are presented with an unusual situation or challenge but triumph in the end through their inner strength and positivity. Other common (but not necessarily universal) elements are a rural or small town setting, upbeat, humorous and/or positive tone, and inspirational themes.
Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it? We’ve taken the liberty of listing some suggestions below in case this has put you in the mood for something gentle.
Join the Moline Public Library Bestseller’s Club and you will automatically be placed on the reserve list for any of the popular fiction authors you choose from the list. After completing this form, we’ll automatically add your name to the waiting list for each author you’ve selected and contact you as each new book by that author becomes available. In order to participate, you must have a valid library card from a PrairieCat Library. If you have any questions, please contact the Library at 309-524-2450.
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Need something new to read, watch, or listen to? Let us help you with our expert suggestions! This service means a library will work tirelessly to find you books, movies, TV series and/or music that you will love… or like… or, at least, not hate. After you fill out a form. We know – there is always a catch. But it is totally worth it.