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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. 

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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.

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 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:

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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.

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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.

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