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'how to'

Aug 27

How to Get the Most Out of Your Read Aloud Time by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 27, 2021 at 9:21 AM by Genesis Gaule

Research shows that one of the best things you can do to prepare your children for school and later success is to read aloud to them. Even just 15 minutes a day is enough to make a big difference. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your read aloud time.

1) Book Choice 

When you’re looking for your next bedtime book, look for something that will interest your child. You can choose books related to their special interests, like tractors or spiders, or you could choose books that relate to experiences your child has had lately, like losing a tooth or visiting the zoo. Whatever it is, find something your child will be into and at an appropriate reading level. (Need help choosing? Any of our librarians would be happy to help!)

2) Pre-Read

Take a look through the book before you start your read aloud. This can help you identify jokes, figure out what kind of voices you want to do, and familiarize you with the plot and the text.

3) Use Some Expression

You don’t have to have an EGOT* to be a good reader. Your child will love reading time because they love spending time with you! But a little vocal expression never hurt anyone. Find places to slow down and speed up, get louder or softer. You can even try out some voices! (I personally love making teeny tiny squeaky mouse voices.)

4) Point Out Words and Letters

As you read, follow the text with your finger. Point out specific words that you see, or specific letters that your child might be familiar with. This helps children to understand that you’re reading the words and not the pictures! You can talk about what new words mean and point out when words are BIGGER than others and what that might mean.

5) Ask Questions

You can make read alouds more engaging by asking your child questions as you read. These can be as simple as “What do you think will happen next?” or a little more complex like “What would you do in that situation?” Gear your questions toward your child’s comprehension level (for example, you might ask a three year old “What’s that?” and point to a picture on the page, but you’d probably ask a six year old “What does this remind you of in your own life?”)

6) Have Fun!

Reading time should be fun. Make silly faces and laugh. Don’t finish books you don’t like. Choose another one instead. Above all, enjoy the time you have together.

Some of Miss Andrea's favorite read aloud books:

read-alouds cover collage


Elementary School: 

Chapter Books (Elementary and up):

*EGOT: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards (People who have received all four awards are said to have an EGOT and include Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, and more)

Dec 18

Is It a Memoir or an Autobiography? Good question! by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on December 18, 2020 at 1:04 PM by Genesis Gaule

Well, is there a difference?  Most certainly.  

An autobiography will have facts that are provable. All the dates and details will have matching paperwork like birth certificates, graduations, and arrest records--not mine. Of course, there could be a mistake made by a human or machine on any of these records so at least a second source would be included as part of good research. In a reputable life story, there will be a bibliography at the end of the book that cites all the sources used.  Many times, there are pages and pages that make up a bibliography for a well-known person, maybe only a few sources for a less known person.  

The majority of biographies, including autobiographies at the library are found in 921 with the subject's name, such as 


Yes, if anyone wrote about me or I wrote my own provable story, it would be found there. 

Sometimes, we put a biography in the subject area that made that person popular. You might find an athlete's biography mixed in with materials about her sport. We do this if that is the focus of their fame and it will be the place where their readers will most likely find them.

I enjoy reading a good biography, but more often than not, I prefer a memoir. Learning why someone does something is fascinating to me. I'm not talking about logistics and recordable details. I'm talking about their stories. The way they remember it even if others don't remember it the same way. One of my teachers said that a memoir is an autobiography told through an emotional filter.  

The emotional filter simply means that if you were having a good day, the memory would be good. If your brother was having a bad day, that same event might be a bad memory for him.

Have you ever disagreed with a sibling about an event in your life? Your memory versus your sister's memory is what makes up a memoir. 

A person's memories are hard to rewrite. Even with a fact on paper, our memory tries to supersede it. Memoirs give us the happy and the sad all mixed up just like they happen in everyday life.

Memoirs I've enjoyed:

Travel Light, Move Fast by Alexandria Fuller



To Hair and Back by Rhonda Eason


We Were Rich and We Didn't Know It by Tom Phelan

A Memoir of My Irish Boyhood
823.914 LP PHELAN

Aug 28

Keeping Track of What You Read by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 28, 2020 at 11:55 AM by Genesis Gaule

I read A LOT. I read science fiction and fantasy novels, true crime, historical fiction, graphic novels and picture books. So many picture books. In any given year, I will read between seventy and one hundred and fifty books. Because part of my job is to recommend books to you, it’s important for me to keep track of what I read. There are lots of different ways to do this and today I’m going to highlight my favorites.


I would be lost without Goodreads. It’s primarily how I keep track of what I want to read, what I’m currently reading, and what I’ve already read. When you’ve created your Goodreads account and profile (it is free to create a Goodreads account), you can then start curating the books you’ve read or want to read.

The way you keep track of books on Goodreads is by shelf. You start with some default shelves - read, currently read, and to read – but can add an infinite number of shelves. I have shelves for each year, different genres, even books I own vs books I borrowed from the library. That isn’t all that Goodreads is good for. You can write reviews and give star ratings to books you’ve read, read others’ reviews, join discussion boards, and enter book giveaways. Goodreads has an app and a website and I like that I can access it on the go (especially if I’m in a bookstore or the library and want to look back on what I’ve shelved as “to read”)

screenshot of my account in library catalog
History and Lists in the Library Catalog

To turn the History feature on,
you need to log in to your library account in our catalog using your library card number and password. (Don’t remember your password?Give us a call and we can reset it in a jiffy!)

  • Click on My Account in the upper right hand corner, then click on Account Preferences.

  • In Account Preferences, click on Search and History Preferences.

  • Click on the checkbox next to Keep history of checked out items? and all the items you check out after that will be kept in your account!

Now you can see your list under Items Checked Out and Check Out History tabs.

If you are browsing the library catalog and see a book that you want to read but are already in the middle of five, you can add it to a list. You can create a list from My Lists or directly from the catalog.

  • When you’re logged in, you will get a button next to the title of a book that says Add to my list.

  • From there you can create a new list or add it to one you’ve already created.

I have lists for Possible Storytime Books, Picture Book Biographies, and Nonfiction I Want To Read Eventually.

photograph of handwritten book log book
Pen and Paper

There’s nothing like good, old fashioned pen and paper too. I’ve kept several lists of books I’ve already read and books I want to read throughout the years. My mom even bought me a notebook for this that had space for titles, authors and even a review!Some library patrons will write their initials on the date due sticker at the back of the book, letting them easily flip to the back to see if they’ve read that one or not. (We’re cool with this – we still put the date due stickers in the back of books specifically for this reason).

Whatever way you decide to it, keeping track of the books you read is a great way to supplement your memory. If you want any more insight or help with any of these methods I’ve mentioned, let us know at the library!We’re happy to help fellow book lovers!