Upcoming Events: Weaving, Gardening, and Saturday Story Seeds!

Looking for something cool to do? Stop by the Russell Memorial Library for stories, songs, and crafts!

Pop-up Workshop: Weaving!


Thursday, April 26th between 3 pm and 6:30 pm
Friday, April 27th between 9 am and 1 pm

Spring Break Weaving Workshop: Children age 8 and older will do best, but younger participants may come if they bring along an adult helper. Adults are welcome too! Come try your hand at weaving on a homemade straw loom.

Saturday Stories


Saturday, April 29th from 10 am – 11 am

We’ll have stories, songs, and simple crafts to learn all about seeds. All are welcome!


An Evening
with Master Gardener Cooter Bushey


Thursday, April 26th from 6:30 pm

Master Gardener Kathleen “Cooter” Bushey will meet with us on Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 pm to talk about her experience as a Master Gardener and answer your questions about planting. Cooter, along with Patty New, helped to plant, and continues to maintain, the flower bed in front of the Russell Library.

Call us with questions (453-4471) or stop by for some fun. Please mark your calendars. We hope to see you soon at the library!

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Give YA Books a Chance

Young Adult Literature (abbreviated YA) is technically literature aimed at teens, usually from about middle school up through high school. Some famous titles of the genre have been turned into movies you may have heard of, like the Hunger Games, the Maze Runner, and the Harry Potter series.

But YA as a genre consists of much more than dystopias and magic schools. There are plenty of fantastical and science fiction-based stories, yes, but there is also historical fiction, romance, and just plain fiction. In fact, the book often credited with creating the idea of “young adult” fiction, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, has no fantastical elements whatsoever:

The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider.


Fun fact: this was also made into a movie. With Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise.

Ponyboy’s story deals with issues of class and poverty, of gang violence, and even of what it means to be a man. These are not the simple ideas outlined in classic fairy tales, or even earlier fiction aimed at children, but complex concepts that are just as relevant to adults.

Such universal themes continue in YA today. Take Maggie Stiefvater‘s The Raven Boys, an often humorous book delving into the mystery of a long dead king that also tackles problems of economic class, privilege, and abuse. Or Patrick Ness‘s A Monster Calls, which explores all the stages of grief. These books speak to more than just the age group they’re meant for. And they do so in the easily accessible, often incredibly lyrical language of a book ostensibly meant for younger readers.

YA also has the advantage of being one of the most diverse genres around in terms of not only characters, but also authors. For instance, it is one of the very few genres where more women submit manuscripts to publishers than men.  Massive online communities drawn to the genre have also supported movements like We Need Diverse Books and Disability in Kidlit, bringing visibility and support to diverse stories within the genre. There’s so much to explore, that a person can spend years just beginning to get into YA.

And in an increasingly busy world, these complex yet accessible stories are often a ready escape from the tyranny we face every day in America. Sometimes you need a story about a guy who can read characters out of books into the real world or a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a pirate crew or a bunch of troubled teens who set out to pull off an impossible heist. Maybe you just want a sappy romance or a family drama or a lyrical mystery with a twist. Whatever you want, there’s probably a YA for it. And chances are it will be an engaging read that will take you much less time to get through than the average adult fare.

At RML, we are currently working to expand our YA collection to include more newer works. If you’re curious, come in and try one of the many titles hyperlinked in this piece (we own all of those titles in hard copy), or talk to one of our librarians for a recommendation. You never know, you may find a new favorite book among the YA stacks.

YA is worth your time. But don’t just take my word for it:

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers: In Defense of YA (video)

In Defense of Reading Young Adult Literature as a Grown Up (article)

Why I read YA (article)

9 Reasons Why Reading YA is Books is Good for Adults too (article)

Grownups: You Can Read YA, and Why not read it with your kids? (article)

Look Homeward, Reader: A Not-So-Young Audience for Young Adult Books (article)

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RML Resources: Internet Archive

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Internet Archive  is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. This can mean anything from music to software to books and old webpages. Everything on this website is free (and legal) to access and download, as it is out of copyright.

Some collections that may interest you:

LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection: LibriVox – founded in 2005 – is a community of volunteers from all over the world who record public domain texts: poetry, short stories, whole books, even dramatic works, in many different languages. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain in the USA and available as free downloads on the internet.


Live Music Archive: enjoy live concerts, without the hassle or cost of going to the venue. Offerings include anything from Blues Traveler to The Grateful Dead to John Mayer.

Internet Arcade: play classic video games from 1970s to the 1990s right in your web browser!


Free Feature Films: watch any of these classic titles right from your computer!

Sci-fi / Horror

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Book Review: The Bookshop on the Corner

The Bookshop on the Corner
by Jenny Colgan
narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis
Review by Anonymous


Genre: fiction, contemporary, chick-lit
Format: audiobook

Would you listen to this book again?

Did you like the reader’s performance?
Yes. I felt transported to England. The performer’s voice was well suited to the main character.

What was your favorite part of this audiobook?
I loved the idea of a mobile bookstore and the thought of taking your “job” with you wherever you go.

Who would you recommend this audiobook to?
This audiobook is very sweet and sentimental. I think it would appeal to any book lover with a romantic side.

Available in paperback at our library and audiobook / ebook via Overdrive.

(Not sure how our digital copies work? We have instructions available here.)



* If you are interested in writing a book review for any item available at our library (or through our digital collection), drop us an email at russellmemlibrary@gmail.com

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Overdrive Finds: Awesome Author/Narrators

It can be intimidating to read for an audiobook, especially when you’re not formally trained for it. There are some authors, though, that just have the knack for bringing their works to life in audio format. Below are some of the very best of those author/narrators that you can find through our digital audiobook collection.

Click on any of the covers to see the items in full detail.

Neil Gaiman

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You may have heard of Gaiman’s work. His books have been made into movies, TV shows, and radio plays. He’s written for kids, teens, and adults in every medium from comics and TV scripts, to picture books, short stories, and massive novels. His style tends toward lyrical prose, with most hove his work incorporating fantastic elements into tales about everyday people.

His reading style is similarly rich and varied, with a wide variety of accents and tones that he uses for his huge casts of characters. There’s something earnest in his narration–a friendly, almost librarian-like quality that makes you just want to sit and listen to him tell each tale.

More here.

Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou is known for her autobiographies, essays, and poetry, but people forget that she was experienced performer and public speaker. Her oratory skills, polished in varied locations from night clubs to operas, come through vibrantly in her narration. There’s something beautiful about listening to her tell her own story, told in the lovely, lilting tones of a singer and poet.

Continue reading

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Upcoming Events!

Looking for something cool to do? Stop by the Russell Memorial Library for stories, songs, and crafts!

Pop-up Craft: Puppet Making!

Thursday, March 29th between 3 pm and 7 pm
Friday, March 30th between 9 am and 1 pm

Stop by any time during our open hours to make a puppet to take home! There is no charge, and materials will be provided.

Don’t forget, there’s no school this Friday!

Saturday Stories


Saturday, March 31st from 10 am – 11 am

We’ll have stories, songs, and simple crafts to learn all about dogs and cats. All are welcome!
Call us with questions (453-4471) or stop by for some fun. Please mark your calendars for some “make and take” projects. We hope to see you soon at the library!

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Meet RML: Requesting a Hold

Did you know you can request holds from RML now? Holds mean that as soon as the book you have a hold on comes back in, we hold it at the circulation desk and contact you to come pick it up. Holds only last one week after we contact you, so be sure to come pick them up before we put them back on the shelf.

To hold a book, you first have to find it in our online catalog:

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simply type in the name of the author or title of the book you’re looking for:

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and hit the magnifying glass button to the right. This will bring you to a screen showing all books that match that search.

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If you notice, on the far right of each item you will see a button labeled “Request a Hold.”

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If you click that button, you’ll be taken to a screen asking for some information from you:

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The only thing this form needs is your name, but it helps quite a bit if you give us your number (either long or short form is fine) and some way to contact you. The form asks for an email, but if you’d prefer a phone call, feel free to leave a number instead.

Once you’ve put in all the information you want to add, click “Request a Hold” at the bottom of the screen. You’ll be taken to a page like this:

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As soon as the item comes in, you’ll receive an email or call. After that contact goes out, you will have one week to pick up your item. Just stop in at the desk and we’ll check it right out to you like normal.

If you have any questions about how holds work, or have trouble getting a hold to go through, feel free to stop in or contact us at (802) 453-4471 / russellmemlibrary@gmail.com.

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