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Songs of Woody Guthrie with Bucky Halker

Bucky Halker will perform a tribute to Woody Guthrie, the “Dust Bowl Troubadour,” in the last of our free Americana Rhythms concerts. Drop in on Sun., Dec. 5, at 2 pm.

An emotionally powerful vocalist and seasoned guitarist, Halker calls himself a scholar (with a history PhD), labor songster, and rabble rouser. He is also the author of For Democracy, Workers, & God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest, published by the University of Illinois Press in 1991.

Halker’s newest CD, Caskets in the Cornfield, was recorded with his Johnsburg 3 trio and released this summer. Halker describes it as “Illinois song noir,” an ironically energetic collection of Prairie State folksongs about death and disaster.

The Americana Rhythms series is sponsored by the Library Friends. Read more about Bucky Halker.

Become a Library Friend for Two Weekends of Savings

There are rewards for being a member of the Library Friends: monthly discounts at our FriendShop used book store. December offers two sales for members only. On Dec. 4 and 5, bring your own grocery-sized bag and fill it with nonfiction books for just $5. On Dec. 11 and 12, enjoy BOGO savings--buy 1, get 1 free--on almost everything. Membership starts at $10 a year; just sign up when you shop. The FriendShop, on our lower level, is open weekends from 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Proceeds benefit the library. Note: Specials do not include individually priced “special items;” free item of same type, of equal or lesser value.

Gift Books: Our Staff Picks

Wondering what to give this holiday season? Each year, our staff puts together a list of new titles that they are giving — or hope to receive! See our lists of great books for teens, for adults, for younger children (picture books to first chapter books), and children’s fiction and nonfiction.

Meet Sid the Science Kid

Join us for some super science fun and meet Sid the Science Kid, from the animated PBS TV series, at a special version of our weekly Goodnight Storyshop. Bring your family to the library on Tue., Dec. 7, at 6:30 pm. We’ll learn about the science behind inertia, through activities designed for children aged 3 to 5. This event is presented in partnership with WILL-TV, Illinois Public Media.

Sustainable Living: Transforming a State Street Home

In a process guided by the principles of sustainable design, a 1950s ranch house in Urbana’s State Street area was reborn as a beautiful, energy efficient, and comfortable home. Vidar Lerum will discuss the principles and practicalities of the project, including recycling materials, reconfiguring the floor plan, and creating a sunspace, a roof deck and garden, and a ventilation tower with solar collectors. Join us for this free talk, part of our Everyday Architecture series, on Thu., Dec. 9, at 7 pm. Lerum, an associate professor of architecture at UIUC, is the author of High-performance Building.

Successful Garden Hills Reading Program Continues

A $10,000 grant from the Marajen Stevick Foundation is continuing and expanding a unique reading program at Garden Hills Elementary School, designed to boost reading skills by encouraging children to read for their own enjoyment. Students in grades 3 to 5 benefit from much-needed new books for their classroom libraries, class visits from our librarians, and field trips to our library, with transportation funded by the Library Friends. Every student chooses two new books to keep. Last year, teachers reported encouraging results. Students looked forward to independent reading time and read books from start to finish — “a huge achievement,” one teacher noted.

Give to Keep Our Award-Winning Library Strong

Private funds keep our award-winning library strong, especially in difficult economic times. If having a quality public library is important to you, we encourage you to include the Champaign Public Library Foundation in your charitable giving this year. It’s easy to give online, or sign up for our new automatic monthly giving option.

Learn English with Mango Languages

Pass the word on to anyone you know who is working on improving his or her English skills: our website links you to a great tool for learning English — simple online lessons from Mango Languages. ESL lessons are available for speakers of Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and 12 other languages. You can hear and see each phrase, and repeat lessons as often as you’d like. Create an account to keep track of your progress. For free access, look for the link at champaign.org/find_answers. A Champaign library card is required. If English is your first language, Mango offers 22 languages for you to learn, including Spanish, French, German, Korean, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese.

December 2010

Event Calendar

See all of our events on our website calendar; use the month selector to view other months. Click on an event to sign up for convenient e-mail reminders. Also see this month’s events on our print-friendly PDF.

Sign Language Storytime

Bring your 3- to 5-year-olds for a special Sign Language Storytime, the last in our series of free, bilingual story events this fall. Drop in on Thu., Dec. 2, at 6:30 pm.

Balloons with a Twyst

Families can enjoy stories and amazing balloon creations with Robin of Twysters Balloon Art. Join us on Sat., Dec. 4, at 2 pm. How do you become a balloon artist? In Robin’s case, she answered a “Help Wanted” ad for a clown. Balloon animals were part of her clown training, and she’s been twisting fun shapes ever since.

Step On the Beat with Kate Kuper

Celebrate the release of Step On the Beat, Kate Kuper’s new book, CD, and DVD, in a free, family-friendly program of rhythm, rhyme, song, and dance. Join Kate for a hands-on, bodies-on experience that will put a smile on your face and pep in your step! Stop by the library on Sat., Dec. 11, at 2 pm.

Like Large Print?

Go easy on your eyes — and your wallet! The FriendShop has a good selection of used large-print books to add to your home library at bargain prices. Take the elevator down to find the shop, open weekends from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.

Magazine Clearance Starts January 2

Load up on older issues of your favorite magazines for just 10 cents each. Our annual Magazine Clearance will be in our FriendShop used book store on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30 pm, starting Sun., Jan. 2. The sale will continue for several weekends, or until everything is sold. Note: The shop, along with the library, is closed on New Year’s Day.

Shakespeare: Truly an Inimitable Writer

What makes Shakespeare so great? At this month’s Lifelong Learners @ the Library, examine passages from the Bard’s works with Seth Mendelowitz, a Parkland College professor who’s taught beginning Shakespeare for 15 years. Drop in at the library on Wed., Dec. 8. Refreshments, provided by the Library Friends, are served at 9:30 am; the program begins at 10 am. This series is a community collaboration with Parkland College. Registration is not needed.

Book Lover’s Calendars

Give the gift of a great book each day! Our FriendShop used book store offers Book Lover’s Calendars, with daily book recommendations, for just $7.95 (list price is $12.99).

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