Archive for Books & Literacy

Summer Reading Buddies Needed

Greetings from the Y!

Each summer we invite community leaders and volunteers to join us during our summer learning programs as Reading Buddies on Thursday mornings.  Reading Buddy visits are among the favorite experience of our summer learners and as our programs continue to grow, we need to recruit more Reading Buddies than ever before!

At this time we still have over 70 Reading Buddy openings for summer 2016!

I’m writing to ask your help inviting volunteers who can contribute to the Summer Learning Program – Y Readers and Power Scholars – experiences!  Can you please forward this link, which includes reading buddy details, to colleagues, friends, and community leaders who would enjoy sharing in our work?

This summer, our Reading Buddies will join us from 10:30-11:30am June 16 -July 21.

Evanston Literary Festival – May 4 – 14

From May 4 through May 14, 2016, the second annual Evanston Literary Festival will be celebrating Evanston’s vibrant literary community and history in venues throughout Evanston. Visit one of Evanston’s independent bookstores, hear local authors (and buy their books) at more than 50 events, and meet your local community of writers.

Plenty of activities for kids and families.


Free Comic Book Day – Sat. May 7

12991088_10154111856898522_3174648755893640223_nWhat is “Free Comic Book Day?”
As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.

When is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May each year.

Are they really free?
Yep! Different shops have policies on how many free comics you can receive, but you will receive at least one free comic if you enter a participating shop location. Check with your retailer for their policies and plans for FCBD.

More information

Student Art Gallery Event – Fri. May 6


Supporting Literacy as a Pathway to Success – Weds. April 27


Eat Pizza for the Library – Weds. April 13

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For Families at EPL in April

purple crayon players

Purple Crayon Players Storytime.
Enjoy this fun storytime & craft with Northwestern University’s Purple Crayon Players. Geared to children 3 to 8; everyone is welcome. The Players read stories, teach games and lead crafts; great fun!  No registration required. Friday, April 15, 4pm, Garden Gates & Art Garden, Main Library (and Fridays at 4pm on April 29; May 13, & May 27!)

parent/child workshop

Parent/Child Workshop.
Starts this Saturday! Children ages 1 to 3 and parents/caregivers experience creative play and visits with interesting guests. The program ends with a fun circle time led by Mr. Brian and crafts with Ms. Robin! Register now online, in person, or by calling 847-448-8610.Saturday, April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 10:00 am, Community Meeting Room, Main Library


Earth day globeCelebrate Earth Day!
Reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose with Open Studio Project. Create your own world to take home using all kinds of recycled stuff! All ages welcome. No registration required. Sunday, April 17,1-3 pm, Children’s Room, Main Library

Jammie TimeJammie Time!.
On the third Thursday of every month, children 2 to 9 wear their pajamas to the library and enjoy a fun mix of stories and songs. A great time for the whole family!  Drop-in; no registration required. Thursdays: April 21, May 19, June 16, 7 pm, Children’s Room, Main Library


Star Wars Day Celebration at the Branches. Join us as we celebrate all things Star Wars! The day will include a visit from the Chicago Jedi who will provide a Lightsaber demonstration, photo ops, Star Wars games and more! Bring your Jedi younglings and Padawans for a day of Star Wars fun!. Saturday, April 30, 3-4 pm, North Branch Library AND 4-5 pm at Chicago Ave./Main St. Branch.

EPL Poetry Month Scavenger Hunt

Poetry Month Scavenger Hunt!

April 1 – 30 Main Children’s Room, Main Library.

Ready for a challenge?

Elementary School and Middle School students are invited to complete our poetry scavenger hunt and win a free gel pen! April is Poetry Month!

Green as a leaf.
Fast as a thief.
My olive eyes are OVERSIZED!

What is it? Who wrote it?  Find out on the Evanston Public Library scavenger hunt!

Stop, Drop & Read – Weds. April 13

Did you know young children need to hear 1000 stories read aloud before they begin to read themselves? The Evanston Early Childhood Community is trying to raise the level of awareness and collaboration around the importance of reading with our children at an early age to build a strong foundation of literacy skills.

On Wednesday, April 13th at exactly 10:15 AM, children in early childhood programs and home day cares throughout Evanston will STOP, DROP & READ, no matter where they are, all at the same time.  Inspired by the Cradle to Career initiative, this effort is being coordinated by the Early Childhood Director’s Council which represents 33 early childhood programs, including District 65’s preschools and Evanston home day cares.  Please grab a few favorites and join our community as we STOP, DROP & READ!

Agencies that are participating:

  • School for Little Children
  • Reba Early Learning Center
  • IWSE Baby Toddler Nursery
  • ISWE Teen Baby Nursery
  • Child Care Center of Evanston
  • Barbereux School
  • D65 Family Learning Center
  • Cherry Preschool
  • Roycemore School
  • Toddler Town Day Care
  • Covenant Nursery School
  • Kim Robinson Home Day Care
  • Unity Nursery School
  • JRC Early Childhood Center
  • Beth Emet Synagogue Early Childhood Program
  • Northminster Nursery School
  • Total Child Preschool and Childcare Center
  • CNE family advocates
  • KinderCare Learning Center

Writing Workshop for Kids Ages 10-14 – Weds. March 23

Writing Workshop for Kids with Author Ted Sanders!
Meet best-selling children’s author TED SANDERS as he discusses his work and leads a writing workshop for kids ages 10-14, on Wednesday, March 23rd at 4:30 PM at The Book Stall, 811 Elm Street in Winnetka, IL. This event costs $10.00. All materials are included, as well as a copy of The Box and the Dragonfly (Keepers #1) Registration is requested, as space may be limited.
Mr. Sanders is the author of the just-released THE KEEPERS #2: THE HARP AND THE RAVENVINE. This is the follow-up to The Box and the Dragonfly (Keepers #1, a Book Stall favorite!) The New York Times said, “What we have here is a winding fantasy adventure that will appeal to readers of J. K. Rowling and Rick Riordan…I was left longing for the next episode.”
Stop by the store or call them at 847-446-8880 to reserve your place!

Jammie Time @ EPL – Thurs. Feb. 18

altJammie Time is Thursday, February 18 at 7 pm; great for working parents.

On the third Thursday of every month, children 2 to 9 wear their pajamas to the library and enjoy a fun mix of stories and songs.  A great time for the whole family!  Drop-in; no registration required.

Thursdays, February 18, March 17, April 14, May 19, June 16,
7 pm, Children’s Room, Main Library

Comic Signing @ Comix Revolution – Weds. Feb. 10

12417976_10153885376463522_8614336714137134429_nVORACIOUS is an outstanding new comic series published by Action Lab. The creators will be in the store at Noon on Wednesday, February 10th to sign copies and draw sketches. Come meet the writer Markisan Naso and the artist Jason Muhr for the release of this (Pre?) HISTORIC book.

JURASSIC WORLD MEETS TOP CHEF! Haunted by the death of his sister, Chef Nate Willner has lost his desire to cook. Forced to move back to his hometown in Utah and work at a coffee shop, Nate’s life is quickly becoming a dead end. But when he unexpectedly inherits a time travel suit that takes him to the age of dinosaurs, Nate’s passion for cooking is reignited!

Wednesday, February 10 at 12 PM
Comix Revolution
606 Davis St, Evanston, Illinois 60201

More information

Chinese New Year Storytime @ EPL – Sat. Feb. 6

Saturday, February 6, 3 pm Community Meeting Room, Main Library

周六(2月6日), 下午3点  社区活动室

Bring the whole family to our Chinese New Year/Year of the Monkey Storytime and Celebration in two languages! We will hear a Monkey King story, enjoy making Year of the Monkey crafts and the children will march in a monkey-themed Lion Dance parade.

讲故事,庆新年。中国猴年故事会        全家一起来参加中国农历新年双语故事会!


Bessie Rhodes and ETHS Mandarin students especially invited.

Both Chinese and English speakers welcome. 不论你说中文还是英文,我们都热诚欢迎你的参与。

Storytimes at Evanston Public Library

Register for February Storytimes


January 18, 9 am, Registration begins for February Storytimes!
Register online, over the phone (847) 448-8610, or in person at the Main Children’s Room.

Sign up your child for a registered storytime geared just to the right age: infants, 1 year olds, 2 year olds, preschool stories & craft. as well as a nighttime family storytime and a wonderful evening program of reading to dogs for K – 2! (Branch Storytimes also available in February.)

Infant Rhymetime (under 1)Wednesdays at 9:30 am 2/3 – 2/24.

Book Babies (1 year olds) Tuesdays at 9:30 am 2/2 – 2/23.

Time for Two’s (2 year olds) Fridays at 10:30 am 2/5 – 2/26

All By Myself (3 -5 years) Mondays at 11 am 2/1 – 2/22 & Thursdays at 1:30 pm 2/4 – 2/5

Family Storytime and Craft (3 – 7years) Mondays at 6:30 pm 2/1 – 2/22.

Tail Wagging Tutors (Kindergarten and up) Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and 7 pm. Registration via phone (847-448-8610) only. 2/2 – 2/23.

Register here


Drop-In Storytimes

Wednesdays at 10:30 am, Children’s Room, Main Library

For children ages 3-5 years old and parent or caregiver.

Drop-in; no registration required.

The Young and the Restless Storytime


Every Thursday at  9:30 am, Community Meeting Room, Main Library

Bring your infant, 1 and 2 year old to The Young and the Restless, our popular sing-a-long storytime for our youngest library patrons. We meet in the Community Meeting Room, the big room off the library’s lobby.  Drop In — no registration is required. Find us every Thursday for songs, rhymes and then free play.

Middle School Lit Fest – Sat. Jan. 23

altSaturday. January 23, 1-4 pm

Hear more than a dozen YA writers talk about everything from their writing, how they get into the heads of their characters to self publishing. Plus they’ll be answering questions from you! On top of that there will be free swag bags, pizza, raffle prizes and a book signing blitz! Copies of the authors’ books will be for sale from our generous partner The Bookstall. You must register for this events space is limited. For Evanston residents in grades 6-8 only.

Featured authors:  Todd Hasak- Lowy, Ami Polonsky, James Klise, Lindsay Currie, Stefanie Lyons, Michelle Falkoff, Peter Kujawinski,  Kat Falls & more.

The event is presented in partnership with the District 65 Middle School Librarians and The Book Stall.

Community Meeting Room
Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington Ave., Evanston

Winter Words: Reading & Talking (0-3) – Jan. 2-31


January 2 – 31,  Main Library, North Branch, and Chicago Avenue/Main Street Branch locations

Register your infant, 1, 2, or 3 year old for Winter Words, our reading and talking program for Evanston Public Library’s youngest patrons. Come get a log to track your reading & talking with your child; then, read together for 14 days in January, and get a brand new board book to keep! Open to all of Evanston’s children age 3 and under.Registration starts January 2. Fun infant activities available at all 3 locations (Main, North and CAMS)  during the month of January. Come in and see!

Reading Aloud:

  • increases the bond between parent and child which is essential for learning;
  • introduces concepts like numbers, letters, colors, shapes
  • builds listening, memory and vocabulary skills;
  • gives babies information about the world around them. Read to your little one today!

Saturday Storytime at Gather – Sat. Dec. 5

Come for a fun Saturday morning at Gather with the Storybook Mom, Nili Yelin, telling stories at 10:30am! Barefoot Books and Usborne Books will be there, too! So come listen to a few stories, play in Gather’s beautiful space and take a few stories home for the holidays!

WHERE: Gather, 602 Davis Street, Evanston
WHEN Saturday, December 5th, 9:00-11:30


Create Your Own Comics at EPL – Sun. Nov. 15

altSunday, November 15, 4-5:30 pm, The Loft, Main Library

Local comic book artist, Zach Lehner will walk you through making your own comics, exposing you to simple tricks and techniques to make your story look amazing and fun! Plus he’ll talk about how he illustrated the awesome graphic novel Junior Braves of the Apocalypse, answer your questions and sign copies of his book! Books will be for sale at the event courtesy of our partner The Book Stall. Grades 6-12. Sign up for a reminder or drop in.

Best Picture Books of 2015 @ EPL – Sat. Nov. 14

Value Reading Aloud to Children? EPL’s Children’s Lit Experts Reveal Their Very Best Picks.

EPL Librarians Betsy Bird and Brian Wilson, two highly respected children’s literature experts, share their picks for Best Picture Books of 2015 on Saturday, November 14 at 10:30 am in the Main Library Community Meeting Room. This lively and interactive presentation will offer those reading to children or with an interest in children’s literature, advice and tips on great books to share and suggestions for how to make these titles come alive. For those seeking them, there will also be plenty of great ideas for books to give as gifts. 

Please note: This event is for adults, and is not a story time for children. No registration required.

EPL Children’s Librarian Brian Wilson was recently elected to serve on the prestigious 2017 Caldecott Award Selection Committee. The Caldecott Medal is the highest honor awarded to an illustrated children’s book published in the United States. Wilson has worked at the Evanston Public Library since 2001.

Betsy Bird joined the Evanston Public Library as collections development manager in 2015, coming to EPL from New York Public Library where she was a youth materials specialist. During her time in New York, Bird, a children’s book author herself, became highly influential in the world of children’s literature. Her popular blog in School Library Journal, Fuse 8, gets tens of thousands of visitors each month, her Twitter followers number more than eleven thousand, and she regularly reviews children’s books for Kirkus and the New York Times. At NYPL, she developed lecture series, storytelling events, and literary salons that attracted parents, teachers, librarians, authors and illustrators–anyone with a passion for the best in children’s literature. 

“So many picture books are published in a given year that it can be enormously difficult sifting through them to find the best,” said Bird. “Brian and I will take the guesswork out of identifying books for kids that really sparkle.”



Mini Maker Faire @ Barnes and Noble – Nov. 6-8