Category Archives: Library services

Launching more Launchpads

We have some new Playaway Launchpads! 10 new tablets recently arrived with a new selection of apps. If you’re looking for the orange boxes, we’ve moved them to the Secret Garden (to the right of the Children’s Services desk). If you would like to have one device per child for your next car trip, this is an easy way to do it! You can check out one Launchpad per library card. We have also recently lowered the overdue fines for Launchpads and eBook readers from $5.00 a day to $1.00 a day. If you haven’t tried the Launchpad tablets before, here is a quick introduction:

Help, I need something to read!


The summer reading program is just about to start! What if you can’t figure out what you want to read? Don’t worry, we have some tools for you to use!

When you’re in the library, you’ll see some brochures with suggestions for different grade levels. We also have a list of staff favorites.

Already read all of those? The Association for Library Service to Children creates lists of recommended books all the time. This includes new lists of suggested summer reading every year.

Print their lists for

Birth-Preschool: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_Birth-PreK

Kindergarten-2nd grade: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_K-2

3rd through 5th grade: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_3-5

6th through 8th grade: 170426_ALSC_SummerReading17_6-8

Or search our catalog:


Kindergarten-2nd grade

3rd through 5th grade

6th through 8th grade

Since these lists were created by an outside group, there might be some books on the list that are not in our collection. If you place a hold, the library that owns the book will send it to Fountaindale and you can pick it up here. There is no charge for this service– just be sure to pick the book up within 5 days after we let you know it has arrived. You can also use the fill-in form on our website to ask us to purchase an item.

If that’s still not enough books, you can also look at the nominees for the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards.

Bluestem in OPACIf you type in “Bluestem” or “Monarch” or “Caudill” as a keyword search in our online catalog, at the top of the results you will get a “You might also like” box. When you click on the first sentence, the catalog will do a search for the 2018 nominees of the corresponding award. All of the different formats that we own are included. You can then sort by title or author to look at the results.
Don’t forget that your librarians are also a great resource for finding books you want to read! Just stop by and ask. We’ll talk to you about what you like and what you’re in the mood to read and help you come up with suggestions. The library has something for everybody, even kids (and parents) who tell you they don’t like reading.

Exploring natural history

Summer is a great time to visit museums. We have some books to help you get ready for a museum visit, and we also have books that are like a virtual visit to a natural history museum all in themselves.

Animalium by Jenny Broom; illustrated by Katie Scott
Like Botanicum and Historium, below, this is part of the Welcome the Museum series and has “galleries” of images that are like taking a tour of a museum.

Bees: A Honeyed History by Piotr Socha
Learn about the science of bees and how humans have interacted with them in this unusual book from Poland.

Botanicum by Kathy Willis; illustrated by Katie Scott
Showcases dozens of full-color plants from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by identification information and brief descriptions.

Evolving Planet: Four Billion Years of Life on Earth by Erica Kelly and Richard Kissel
A book published in association with The Field Museum to go along with the Evolving Planet exhibit.

The Field Museum of Natural History by Joy Gregory
This would be a nice introduction before a trip to Chicago to visit the museum. The publisher provides online extras like audio and videos.

Historium by Jo Nelson; illustrated by Richard Wilkinson
Here you will find a collection of objects from ancient civilisations. Objects of beauty, functionality, war, life, death and burial.

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessica Hartland
From outer space, across the eastern US, to the roof of a car in Peekskill, New York, and thereafter to be verified, tested, and exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. By the same author: How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum and How the Sphinx Got to the Museum.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Charlie is struggling to get through a cross-country trip to see his father, who will undergo brain surgery. He’s coping by checking off birds from the list he and his dad made of all the species they hoped to see someday– at least one of which is rather inconveniently extinct. Perhaps the Field Museum can help?

Want to do more to explore museums? The Field Museum has online resources for educators (the specimens toolkit would pair nicely with The Someday Birds). You can use the Museum Adventure Pass for discounts at some local museums (call the Information Desk for more details). You can also look at Summer’s Free Museum Days in Chicago to find out when there is free or discounted admission at some of the big Chicago museums that aren’t included in the Museum Adventure Pass.


New Spanish books and new Spanish blog



Thanks to a tip from a wonderful teacher, we were able to stop at a local book fair and pick up a box full of great new children’s books in Spanish!  They will be added to the collection soon.  If you would like to stay up-to-date on library programs and new books in Spanish, check out Fountaindale’s new OYE blog.  This Spanish language blog will have information for children and adults on library services, events, and new items in our collection.

New Launchpad SuperPacks

img_1530We recently added a dozen Playaway Launchpads to the library collection. Compared to the originals these are supersized, with 20 apps per tablet instead of the usual 10! You can read descriptions on the Findaway World website or visit our catalog to place holds:

All your Harry Potter reading in one place

Are you waiting for your copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?  Did you want to read J.K. Rowling’s new short stories about Hogwarts?  Or did you just want to check out all the Harry Potter books without having to carry all that weight?

You can get all that by checking out a Fountaindale Children’s Services nook.  The NOOK eReaders are currently loaded with 184 apps and more than 400 books or short stories including:

      • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
      • Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
      • Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide
      • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
      • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
      • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
      • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
      • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
      • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
      • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
      • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
      • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
      • Animales fantasticos y donde encontrarlos
      • Los Cuentos de Beedle el Bardo
      • The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Presents: 10 Summertime Treats

If you have not checked out a NOOK before, please take a look at the information on the Checkout a Nook page.  Parents will need to sign a waiver, and it is also required to have a photo on your library card record.

Cut it out

Leaves Lets createAttention educators!

Did you know you can use the Ellison die-cutting machine at the library to cut shapes for classroom crafts or bulletin board decorations?

  • We have Halloween shapes like a ghost, spider, witch on a broom, skeleton, and masks
  • We have fall shapes like an acorn, leaves, pumpkins, apples, turkey, and squirrel
  • Looking ahead, we have winter and holiday shapes like snowflakes, snowmen, gingerbread men, mittens, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and a sled

How can you use them?

Please email at least 36 hours in advance.

Include in your email your name, organization (i.e., Girl Scouts if this is for your troop), list of dies requested (up to 20) and date and time you would like to come.

Bring your own paper or other materials (such as thin foam) for cutting.

Hours for use are as follows:

  • Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sunday 1-5 p.m.

You can see the available shapes at

Questions?  Please call Children’s Services at 630.685.4181.