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BigLibraryRead


     Families with children in Little Prairie Primary or Prairie View Elementary schools know that last spring the PTO sponsored an all school read they named #EastTroyReads. Every student received a copy of A Boy Called Bat and read a chapter every weeknight. Each chapter also had a video available of a different staff member reading aloud if families preferred that method. At school there were trivia questions about the previous night’s reading and book discussions.  As a librarian, I am surrounded by people predisposed to enjoying this; however, I do think the overall reaction was very positive. It is something they’d like to continue.

      If that sounds interesting, here’s a teen/adult opportunity to participate in something similar. Every two months or so Libby/OverDrive/WDL (see below for an explanation of these terms) offers an everyone read book club they call the BigLibraryRead. The next one runs July 13-27. During those two weeks, every library card holder may checkout a digital copy of the book and read it together. There are several activities created that can be used or ignored. These include a list of discussion questions, a letter from one of the authors explaining how the book came about, an online live interview with the authors, and an online discussion board.

     The July title is The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake. (Spoiler alert: Audrey Blake is a pseudonym for Regina Sirois and Jaima Fixsen who write together.) It’s historical fiction, taking place in the era of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Blake’s book isn’t as dark as the other two, but it does share their focus on science and medicine. At the time females were not allowed to be doctors. Apparently, that was too disturbing for our delicate constitutions and understanding. We could give birth, but not heal others.

     Here’s the promised explanation of the list of terms above. Feel free to skim if you already recognized them. All public libraries in Wisconsin provide patrons access to digital books and audiobooks through the Wisconsin Digital Library. You may have heard it referred to as OverDrive or Libby. They all mean essentially the same thing. OverDrive is the company that sells the items to libraries. Wisconsin Digital Library is the collection of books that our public libraries have paid to access. Libby is the app on your phone or tablet used to read or listen to the book. If you have a child in Prairie View or the East Troy middle or high schools, they can read using the school version called Sora. The details here aren’t terribly important: just interesting.

     Now for the point. Come back to me if your eyes glazed over during the last paragraph. If you’d like to participate in the BigLibraryRead, simply download the Libby app or read on your internet browser at Wisconsin Digital Library. Sign in using your library card and pin number. When asked for your library, you actually want to select Lakeshores Library System. If you’ve forgotten your pin, stop in and we can look it up. You can find more information and a link to the online discussion on the ETLPL’s website.