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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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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.

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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.