Posted by on

You are probably aware of the popularity of “Selfies” these days, as smartphone-wielding folks enjoy photographing themselves in various settings. But have you
heard of a related phenomenon called BookShelfies? Take a look:

We're celebrating National Library Week (April 13 -19) by honoring our patrons, and their favorite books. Do you have a shelf at home where you keep books that are meaningful to you? Perhaps there's a shelf at the library that you visit often to see what's new on a certain subject or to find the next book in a series you are enjoying.

Send us a photo of yourself with your bookshelf of choice or stop by the library and ask a staff member to take one for you. Email pics to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We'll post them on our Facebook page.

Here's Reference Librarian and cookbook fan Haley Samuelson with her  favorite bookshelf:


Posted by on

Here’s the latest database news:

We are delighted to announce a new database for job seekers: Cypress Resume, an online resume builder that lets you create professional-quality resumes in three simple steps. You can find Cypress Resume under Jobs & Careers on our Research page.

If you read eMagazines using Zinio, you may have noticed that Zinio no longer has Consumer Reports available for libraries. The good news is that we subscribe to the terrific Consumer Reports database, and you can use your library card to access it from home. Here's how:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose the Research tab.
  3. Click on the databases in alphabetical order link.
  4. Choose "C" and find Consumer Reports. If you are using a computer or device at home, you will be prompted to sign in with your Cook Memorial Public Library District library card number.

If you use the Learning Express Library to prepare for exams or take online courses, you may be concerned about the transition from version 2.0 to version 3.0. As of today, you can choose to continue with 2.0 or register for 3.0. All courses in 2.0 will end June 30, 2014.

Not familiar with our full array of databases? Take a look! Any time you have a question about one of our subscription databases, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Posted by on

We have an especially busy week-end coming up at our Cook Park location. Our annual Friends of the Library Book Sale will be held Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 6 in the Cook Park Meeting Room. Here are the particulars:

Friends Preview:
Friday, April 4, 12-2 p.m.
(Join the Friends of the Library at the door for $5.)

Open to the Public:
Friday, April 4, 2:30-6 p.m.
Saturday, April 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday, April 6, 1-4 p.m.

Proceeds of the Friends' book sale will underwrite the costs of the library's reading programs and finance equipment and supplies not covered in the library budget.

Parking alert: Sunday only, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. We are hosting an opening reception for a display of artwork created by homeschooled students from Lake County, so parking will be in great demand. Please use public parking spaces, lots, and structure as needed. We apologize for the inconvenience. To learn more about parking options in downtown Libertyville, see this brochure from the village.

Posted by on

How are you coming with your income taxes? Need some forms, instructions or publications? Here are some options for you:

All federal tax forms, instructions and publications are available free on the IRS web site. As long as you have Adobe Reader installed, all forms can be printed and some can even be completed online and then printed with your information. You can also learn about e-filing options on the IRS site.

With the Adobe Reader installed, you can also access and print Illinois State Tax Forms and instructions. Need forms from other states? will get you to those.

If you prefer not to print out forms yourself or e-file, you can find paper copies of many of the most popular forms and instructions for individual taxpayers available at both our Cook Park and Aspen Drive locations. At our Cook Park location we also have a binder of federal forms and instructions that can be photocopied.

Some forms and publications that we ordered have still not arrived, and the government has been willing to send only limited quantities of others. We have already run out of the instructions for the Illinois 1040, and we will not be receiving any more.

If you need paper copies of specific forms or instructions, please call 847-362-2330 and ask for the Adult Reference Desk at either Cook Park or Aspen Drive to check on current availability at your preferred location.

Posted by on


We are excited to announce that iPads were rolled out on February 1st  in the children’s departments at our Cook Park and Aspen Drive libraries.  With puzzles, math games, early literacy applications, eBooks and other fun learning-based content, the iPads are configured for use by children ages 2-13 and their caregivers. The activities include old favorites such as an interactive Pat the Bunny app, the very funny Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App from Mo Willems, apps to encourage drawing and writing, a tangram puzzle that is a fun challenge for all ages, and more.

The library has placed the iPads in locations that encourage and support parent-child interaction when using the device, mirroring the shared experience over a book. Each device has two sets of earphones to allow both participants to listen and respond. The iPads are available whenever the library is open. 

To learn more about the library iPads, come in and give them a try.  Parents, adults, and other caregivers are also invited to attend the Best Practices: Using Devices with Children presentation on Tuesday, March 11, at 7:00pm in the Cook Park Meeting Room. (Register beginning February 25)

Posted by on


Are you registered to vote? If you aren’t and you want to vote in the March 18th primary election, your last day to register @ your library is Tuesday, February 18. If you aren’t sure whether you are registered at your current address, check the Lake County Voter Registration page to find out. You can find the answers to all these questions there:

Voter registrars are available at the Reference Desks at both our Cook Park and Aspen Drive locations through Tuesday, February 18. To register, bring with you two pieces of identification. At least one of the two forms must show your name and current address.

Besides selecting candidates for Governor and other offices, Libertyville residents will also be voting on a referendum to determine if the Village of Libertyville should issue $11.5 million dollars in bonds on behalf of the Brainerd Community Center, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, in order to rehabilitate the Brainerd Building into a Community Center.

Detailed information about the Brainerd referendum from the Village of Libertyville


Posted by on

 We’re offering something new to brighten up this long, cold winter – weekly film matinees for adults. The films are screened at 1:30 pm and no registration is required. They are shown in our Cook Park meeting room on Thursdays and at Aspen Drive on Fridays. The movies are free and so is the popcorn!

This month, as we near the date for the Academy Awards ceremony, we are showing some outstanding films from 2013. Due to our licensing agreements with the films’ distributors, we are not allowed to reveal the titles of the featured films on our Web site. However, you can subscribe to receive an email at the beginning of each month informing you of upcoming titles.

Here are some clues about the February offerings. See which movies you can identify:

  • February 6th and 7th: The late James Gandolfini teamed with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in this critically acclaimed story of midlife romance.
  • February 13th and 14th: Legendary actor Robert Redford waged a solo battle for survival at sea in this thriller.
  • February 20th and 21st: Tom Hanks’ cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in this Best Picture nominee.
  • February 27th and 28th: Cate Blanchett is favored to win the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in this Woody Allen film.

And speaking of Oscars, the always entertaining and thought-provoking Reid Schultz will be back to present his annual Afternoon at the Oscars at Cook Park at 1 pm on Saturday, February 15th. Register


Posted by on


One of the happiest collaborations between Cook Memorial Public Library District and District 128 High Schools is our "night before the start of finals" study fest. This past Monday over 200 students came to each of our libraries (Cook Park and Aspen Drive) to study together, get help from teachers (20 at each location) and munch on snacks provided by the D128 Federation of Teachers. While this is the third year for the event, it was the first time the teachers were joined by school social workers, who offered tips on managing stress during finals.

Students expressed their appreciation and left feeling better prepared for their exams. Special thanks to teachers Dennis Duffy and Kristi Robertson, who coordinated the evening. And thanks to our non-student patrons for their patience and understanding when our libraries turned into giant study halls for one night.


Posted by on

Welcome to Ear to the Community! The purpose of this blog is to keep our patrons informed about what's happening at Cook Memorial, in our buildings and in our online offerings. If you have a question about the library, the online catalog or our Web site, just complete and submit the Ask Ear to the Community form. We'd love to hear from you.

We are thrilled to announce that on Monday, January 6, we are launching an updated Web site with a fresh new look. The redesign reflects the way people use the Internet now, and emphasizes the content most patrons come to the site seeking. It is also much more friendly to tablet and mobile users. If you've had trouble using our RSS feeds with your preferred browser lately, you will enjoy using our New, Popular and Coming Soon page instead.

Our mobile site has also been updated and features a mobile-optimized version of our online catalog.

Please explore either or both new versions of our site and send any questions or other feedback to Webmaster.

Posted by on

Happy Thanksgiving! To celebrate this season of thanks and giving, Cook Memorial Public Library District is once again collecting food and books for distribution to those in need. Donated items will be given to the Libertyville Township and Vernon Township Food Pantries. Nonperishable food items and new and “like new” books are being collected now through Wednesday, December 18. Deposit bins are positioned inside the main entries at both our Cook Park and Aspen Drive locations.

New and “like new” books for children, young adults and adults are being collected since they make good gifts for all ages. Needed food items include canned goods such as tuna, chicken, vegetables, fruits and soups; peanut butter and jelly; pasta, rice and Ramen noodles; spaghetti sauce and gravies; flour, sugar and baking mixes; cereals and oatmeal; and condiments. Paper goods, including toilet paper, tissues and diapers, as well as personal items such as bar soap, shampoos, deodorant, and toothpaste are also welcome.

Posted by on

If you borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks from Overdrive through the MyMediaMall consortium, you may welcome two recent changes. Here’s the scoop:

  • You can now opt for a three week check-out instead of two weeks.  If you wish to change your default lending period, login to your MyMediaMall account and then choose Settings. You will see a screen that allows you make the change.
  • You can now renew a digital item you have checked out, as long as there are no holds on it. How to renew digital titles

Of course, MyMediaMall is just one of the digital services available to Cook Memorial patrons. To learn more about all of them, take advantage of this upcoming event:

Always Open eLibrary: Drop-in Demo Fest
Tuesday, November 5    7-8:30pm Cook Park
Our eLibrary is always open, and your Cook Memorial Public Library District card gives you access to all sorts of great digital content, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMusic, eMagazines, and eVideo! These digital materials are compatible with a variety of computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices. Come to our drop-in demo fest and learn how you can enjoy our always open eLibrary. No registration required.

Posted by on

Cook Memorial Public Library District is the proud recipient of this year's Demco Library Innovation Award. Children's Librarian and student services coordinator Jan Hastings accepted the award at this week's Illinois Library Association Conference at Navy Pier.

The prize was given in recognition of the student art shows the library district has hosted in recent years in partnership with Hawthorn School District 73 and Libertyville School District 70. The opening night receptions for the shows typically host over 1000 visitors at our Aspen Drive and Cook Park locations. In 2013 a third art show was held for the library district's homeschooled students.

The art shows, which will be held again in 2014, are exciting events for children and parents alike. They serve to strengthen the bonds between local schools and the library, as well as to introduce the library to district residents who may not previously have visited one of our locations.

Posted by on

If you are a Libertyville history buff, you may already be familiar with the Local History pages of our website. There you can find links to our obituary index, online essays and pictorial displays about Libertyville, digitized old phone books, and much more.

Our local history librarians have recently started a blog, called Libertyville’s Past is Present. The latest post is about the history of Milwaukee Avenue. You can subscribe to receive new posts via email if you’d like.

And that’s not all…we have also launched a Tumblr account called, A History of Libertyville in Photographs. You can sign up to follow it here.

Questions about local history? Call 847-362-2330 and ask to speak to one of our specialists: Sonia Schoenfield, Jenny Barry or Thomas Hillier.

Posted by on

During October and November the State Library of Illinois is providing access to a wide variety of databases. This is a wonderful opportunity to use electronic resources the library doesn't subscribe to, and it's free. Go to TryIt! Illinois to see the list of databases available.

We are not permitted to put the login and password information online, but you can ask for it by visiting or calling the Adult Reference Desk (847-362-2330).

Posted by on

OverDrive, the company our MyMediaMall consortium uses to provide eBooks and eAudiobooks, launched a new and improved media console for tablets and smart phones this week. Depending on your device, you may be prompted to download the new console, or it may happen automatically.

You will see a new splash screen, prompting you to add a library or add some books to your bookshelf, complete with visuals to point you in the right direction. Once you have your libraries and/or books added, more tutorial screens will walk you through the new interface, showing up when you go to your bookshelf or open an eBook. Each tutorial screen shows up once, but is available again using the option in Settings to show tutorials next time the app is started.

Aside from the tutorials, OverDrive has simplified getting around in the app. The Home Menu is your one stop for navigating the improved OMC v3.0. From there, you can go to the My Libraries list, the Bookshelf, Settings, History, OverDrive One and more. In addition to the ease in navigation, the Home menu also provides a better in-app help experience, offering detailed solutions to common questions and issues within OMC.

History is a list of titles that have been deleted from the app upon expiration, or returned to the library. This feature will allow you to keep track of the titles you have read – options range from the last 10 deleted titles to the last 100 deleted titles – so you will run less of a risk of listening to/reading the same books over again, unless you want to.

The biggest new feature in the Home Menu, OverDrive One, allows you to sync your title bookmarks and furthest point read between devices. So, you can stop reading on your Android phone, pick up your iPad to continue, and you’re back in the same place – much like when using OverDrive Read in your browser.

When reading a book, you  can view another menu, called the Book menu, which allows for simpler navigation within the book, providing access to the table of contents, book details, and editable bookmarks.

If you use an iOS device, such as an iPad or iPhone, 3.0 also has a new feature for your MP3 audiobooks. You will be able to change the playback speed to suit your preference for a faster or slower delivery. OverDrive found this to be the most requested change from audiobook listeners.

OMC 3.0 is just one example of the way digital media keeps growing and changing. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed of developments as they happen.

Posted by on

Teen Tech Tutors---a new one-on-one program at Cook Park Library, in which volunteer teen tutors help out patrons with questions about their computers, mobile devices, social media and downloading library books----has been a huge success this summer! The last summer session will be Thursday, August 15, from 9:30 to 11:30am. But don’t worry if you can’t make it that day. The popular service will be offered from 9:30 to 11:30 on Saturday mornings in the fall, starting September 7.

This summer the teen volunteers have helped library patrons set up email accounts, add pictures and sound to PowerPoint presentations, play Candy Crush, upload pictures to Facebook, talk on Skype and download library ebooks onto their ereaders.

Although the summer program has been focused primarily on helping senior citizens, Teen Tech Tutors welcome patrons of all ages with technology questions. Bring your question (and your device if that’s what’s bugging you) and a Tutor will sit down with you and walk you through the solution that’s eluding you. You’ll find that even when teens initially seem to be stumped by a tech problem, these members of “the digital generation” are generally able to figure out the answer.

  • What: Teen Tech Tutors Drop-In (no reservations necessary)
  • Where: Cook Park Library in Libertyville
  • When: Saturday mornings starting September 7, from 9:30 to 11:30am.

Posted by on

Perhaps you have noticed that now when you open our website on a mobile device, you see a new, slimmed down version of the site. Our regular website is difficult to navigate and read on a smartphone or any other device with a smaller screen. The new mobile site brings some of our most heavily used online functions to the forefront with an interface that is much better suited to small screens. This version loads automatically on mobile devices, but you can easily switch back to the regular website if you prefer.

Also, we now have a mobile-friendly version of our online catalog, which is specifically designed to be easily viewed and used on mobile devices. New features will be added to our mobile site as certain services, such as databases and the Events calendar, become more mobile friendly.  All of these changes are designed to help you enjoy library services while on the go!

Posted by on

Our recent survey regarding digital materials yielded some useful patron feedback. Here are some highlights:

  • An overwhelming majority (73.1%) of respondents think we should balance digital services and collections with traditional print and media.
  • Most respondents feel that providing eReaders or other devices for check-out is not important, while increasing our eBook and eAudio content is very important. Our digital content offerings have recently expanded with the addition of the 3M Cloud Library and Freegal Music.
  • Of the software and new services suggested, the one survey participants were most interested in was a VHS-DVD conversion tool.
  • The survey revealed which video game platforms are used in most households, as well as the fact that many adults play video games. Additional games on the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 platforms are being added.

Our thanks to everyone who completed the survey!

We are proud to announce that we now have VITA, an online index for use in local history and genealogical research. Currently VITA indexes obituaries from the Libertyville Review and a small but growing number of articles from various Libertyville newspapers, dating as far back as 1894.  Using VITA, you can do research electronically from anywhere!

Users can search using a name, phrase, or keyword and can even limit the search by year. Once you locate information in VITA, you can visit the library’s Cook Park location and use our new microfilm machines to read and print the obituary or news article. If you prefer, you can obtain a copy of a listed obituary or article by sending the relevant information (name and date) along with a SASE and $5 per item to:

Sonia Schoenfield
Reference Department
Cook Memorial Public Library
413 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048

Try VITA now!

Posted by on


Announcing one more way to connect with us online! Check out the featured video above and go to our YouTube Channel to enjoy some of the numbers performed by the Encore! musical group at Aspen Drive on June 10th. More videos will be added, so stay tuned.