Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Ligonier Valley Library will be closed on...
Saturday, December 24 and Monday, December 26, and Saturday, December 31 and Monday, January 2, 2012!

Just because we're closed over the holidays does not mean that you can't enjoy some of the things you love about the Ligonier Valley Library. Our system's OverDrive site for borrowing eBooks and Audiobooks is available 24/7. You can also use the Online Catalog to check your account and to place reserves any time day or night. Browse our website and various databases or keep in touch with us on Facebook and our Library Blog.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Novels - Fiction or Fact? Or a little of both?

Ok, when you are reading a novel have you ever wondered precisely how much research was put into the story?  Where does the line between fact and imagination cross in a work of fiction?

Our Death in the Stacks - Mystery Book Discussion and Lunch Group is currently reading 'Hardball : a V.I. Warshawski novel' by Sara Paretsky. Warshawski, a private investigator in Chicago, is hired by an elderly lady to find her son who disappeared the night before a terrible snow storm engulfed the city in January of 1967. In addition to memories about the storm, this current case is also causing Warshawski to remember being a kid during the race riots of 1966 and worrying about her father who was a Chicago policeman.

I have to confess to not being familiar with current Chicago weather or happenings let alone historical aspects of the Windy City. However, as a native Pennsylvanian used to historical snow falls and events, I became curious to know more about the events Paretsky described in her novel. So, I did want any normal person would do... I Googled it!

The Chicago Tribune happily provided me with answers....

The Chicago Blizzard of 1967
Winter in Chicago has never been easy, but this one was a record-setter.
by Allan Johnson

Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago
During his stay in the city, the civil-rights leader faced a "hateful crowd."
by Frank James

I found some additional insight into Sara Paretsky's research on her website. The author performed the best kind of research possible... she lived it! Paretsky worked as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side during the turbulent race riots in 1966.

"Like her fictional detective, Paretsky lives and dies with the Cubs, runs Chicago’s lakefront with her golden retriever, and loves to sing, taking part in community musicals. Paretsky lives on Chicago’s south side with her husband, a member of the University of Chicago’s Fermi Institute." (

Which brings us around to the advice given to many beginning authors... write about what you know!

Ms. Paretsky's novels are available through our library system, including Hardball and the first V.I. Warshawski novel, Indemnity Only.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is in the air... and on the book shelves

Looking for a good read to put you in the holiday spirit? Need a fun adventure after all of that holiday shopping?  We have some new winter and Christmas titles in the collection that just might help you.

  • The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck
  • I Am Half-Sick Of Shadows : a Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley
  • Lost December by Richard Paul Evans
  • White Heat by M. J. McGrath
  • A Christmas Homecoming by Anne Perry
We also have some regular novels of romance, suspense, intrigue and adventure making their way to our shelves.  Stop in and take a peek at our New Books shelf and hopefully something will pique your interest.

On a side note: not all of the titles listed above are gentle holiday tales of love and romance, a few are murder mysteries - which could be cathartic after a particularly rough holiday shopping experience.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving... The Lost Holiday

'Giving Thanks'
Outside Window Display
Go into just about any store in the United States after Halloween and you will be bombarded by Christmas. But wait! Isn't there another major holiday that all citizens of this great nation celebrate?

This Thanksgiving, we hope you'll take some time away from thoughts of future holidays to give thanks and show appreciation to your family and friends. Don't forget to give an extra big thank you to the person(s) responsible for your delicious feast. And always remember to bestow a genuine 'Thank You' or more upon the nice people who have to work and serve you on the holiday.

"But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck.... We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown." - Marcie from 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving'

We at the library are thankful for all of our wonderful patrons who make us a part of their lives. We are thankful for your smiles, kind words, and friendships.

The library will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but we will reopen at 10 am on Fri., November 25!

We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day 11-11-11

Our Veterans are brave men and women of various ages and beliefs. They are family members and friends... but many are also perfect strangers. They have each defended our country, our lives, our liberties and our freedoms by land, sea and air. We owe them more than mere words could possibly express for their willingness to be placed in harms way for our benefit... for our ability to live in a free society where we can speak our minds without fear and where anything is possible and dreams really do come true!

To all of our Veterans, we say... Thank You!

Want to learn more about our veterans or the wars they fought in?  The library has biographies and personal narratives by various officers and soldiers. We also have many books on any number of wars ranging from the present to the French and Indian War. (We even have books on various battles in Medieval times.) Look online using our Online Catalog or stop by the library and we'll be happy to help you!

The Ligonier Valley Library will be closed on Friday, November 11th in honor of Veteran's Day.  We will reopen on Saturday, November 12th at 10am.

Monday, October 31, 2011

'Tis the Season for... Some Scary Good Fun!

Halloween, despite some bad press over the years, is still a super fun holiday for millions of people around the world. Quite honestly, there is simply something magical to be found in putting on a costume and pretending to be someone or something else for a few hours... or even a whole day!

However, Halloween is about more than just costumes and candy.  The holiday conjures up thoughts of ghosts and witches and vampires and other mysterious things that go bump in the night. All Hallow's Eve is the one time out of the year when many people actively seek to be scared! We visit haunted houses and amusement parks.  We go on haunted trail walks and hayrides. We might even stay up late watching a scary movie or reading a scary novel.

The library is here to help you find your scary experience.  We don't have any ghosts - although we do blame unexplained happenings on a imaginary entity called Bruster - but, we have plenty of books and movies that might frighten you or send you screaming with laughter.

The Books:

The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series, bk #1)
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Night Circus by  Erin Morgenstern
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
The Ridge by Michael Koryta
Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden files, bk #1) 
This Dark Endeavor : the apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel
Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

The Movies:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie & TV series)
Hocus Pocus
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Disney)
Monsters, Inc.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Nightmare on Elm Street
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Silence of the Lambs
Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Depp version)
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Van Helsing
Young Frankenstein

Remember that upon this most happiest of All Hallow's Eves, when the veil between our world and the other is thinnest, and the undead are feared to walk the earth... the hobgoblin at your door... is more than likely the little child (teenager or adult) next door in search of candy!

Still, you might want to keep the lights on... you know... just in case!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fort Ligonier Days - October 14, 15 & 16!

British troops defend Fort Ligonier
Fort Ligonier Days is just around the corner - October 14, 15 and 16!  The Ligonier Valley Library will close at 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 13 and re-open at 10:00 am on Monday, October 17.

Enjoy food, crafters, entertainment, a parade, re-enactors, a street dance, fireworks, more food and more crafters... basically a whole lot of fun for all ages!

A highlight of Fort Ligonier Days is the various re-enactments and demos at the fort. British and French troops will invade and defend and mingle with visitors on Saturday and Sunday, lending a true feel for what life in 1758 was like. For more information, visit Fort Ligonier's website. Don't forget about the parade Saturday morning at 11 am and then stick around for the street dance and fireworks that night.

Official programs are available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Ligonier Valley Library. The programs are free and full of information. You can also visit the Chamber's Fort Ligonier Days page for more information.

The Ligonier Valley Library will be closed over the Fort Ligonier Days weekend. 

However, you can still use the online catalog to place reserves or renew your items (you'll need your library card and password/PIN). You can also use OverDrive to check out eBooks and audiobooks.

Have a fun Fort Ligonier Days weekend!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Biographies

Most of us have someone in our lives that we admire. A family member or a friend. We also have a list of people who we admire but have possibly never met, such as a star athlete, a movie celebrity, an historical figure. When I was studying communication media in college, I admired such people as Edward R. Murrow who for good or bad helped establish a medium that rules the news world today.

It's always fascinating to read about such people... to learn about how events in their lives molded them into the person they became and gave them the courage to achieve their goals. It's also fascinating to read about the people who took decidedly bad turns, such as gangsters and murderers... or to read about the people who dedicate their lives to tracking them down and keeping us safe, sometimes at the risk of their own sanity.

Biographies provide us with a chance to glimpse into the life of another person. They can bring us insight, understanding, humor, inspiration, even awareness. Reading about the courage of another can help us fight our own battles. Biographies can add to our admiration of someone or add to our fear.

Here are some new biographies recently added to the Ligonier Valley Library collection:

Hitman : the untold story of Johnny Martorano : Whitey Bulger's enforcer and the most feared gangster in the underworld
Carr, Howie.

Tales from a free-range childhood
Davis, Donald, 1944-

Paris without end : the true story of Hemingway's first wife
Diliberto, Gioia, 1950-

Beaten, seared, and sauced : on becoming a chef at the Culinary Institute of America
Dixon, Jonathan.

Cocktail hour under the tree of forgetfulness
Fuller, Alexandra, 1969-

Andrew Johnson
Gordon-Reed, Annette.

My year with Eleanor : a memoir
Hancock, Noelle.

Yossarian slept here : when Joseph Heller was dad, the Apthorp was home, and life was a Catch-22
Heller, Erica.

The senator from central casting : the rise, fall, and resurrection of Thomas J. Dodd
Koskoff, David E., 1939-

An accidental sportswriter : a memoir
Lipsyte, Robert.

What it is like to go to war 
Marlantes, Karl.

New Biographies added to the collection can be found on the New Books section of the library near the adult fiction section. If you can't find what you're looking for, we encourage you to ask a library staff member and we'll help you out!

Happy Reading!