APLD’s New Director

Leslie Sutherlin in front of the Aurora location of the APLD. Congratulations to Leslie Sutherlin, the Aurora Public Library District’s new director! For 30 years, Sutherlin has been part of the South Dearborn Community Schools’ family, working as the District School Librarian, but now she will be directing the APLD branches at Aurora, Dillsboro, and the Aurora Depot Local History Library.

Raised in Dillsboro and an alum of South Dearborn High School, Sutherlin brings familiarity with Dearborn County to the job.  Her parents, Paul and Karen Filter, retired from Filter Funeral Homes about 17 years ago, but have continued to be active members of the Dillsboro community. Sutherlin grew up in a home just down the street from Dillsboro Public Library.

Though Dillsboro marks her “hometown,” Sutherlin also spent time living in Aurora at the Filter Funeral Home location on Fourth Street. During her summers home from Butler University and for many years after she started working in education, she enjoyed her time in downtown Aurora, just blocks from Hillforest.

As newlyweds, Sutherlin and her husband started their married life and family in Aurora, but they now live in Milan with their three children: Elizabeth, Sam, and Parker.  She is active in St. Paul Lutheran Church in Milan, Milan Dollars for Scholars, and Aurora Tri Kappa.

Professionally, Sutherlin has been a Teacher Librarian, but her participation in the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) has allowed her to become familiar with public library concerns and operations. She has served as President of the ILF and has served on many committees, most recently the Youth Services committee. Aside from ILF, she has served on the Council of State School Library Supervisors, and she helped create the Mackin Hoosier-Buckeye Shared Digital Collection, which brings thousands of ebooks to students of even the smallest schools across Indiana and Ohio for a reasonable price.

While only starting at Aurora Public Library District just a short while ago, many big plans are on the horizon for APLD. Summer reading kicks off on June 4 with free Donut Day—the first 50 people to sign up for Summer Reading get a free donut. Please continue checking our website for more updates about Summer Reading programming. The Local History Library at the Depot is also undergoing a makeover; the space is expected to reopen in August, after getting a new paint job and some updated organization.

When asked about her new position, Sutherlin commented, “While I will definitely miss my wonderful students and colleagues at SD, this is a great opportunity to serve those communities in a broader, perhaps more impactful way.”

Bleak Books with Olivia: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Have you ever read a book all the way through just to close it for the last time and say “wow, that was bleak”? Well, I’m here to make the case for those dark, dreary, haunting, and disturbing reads that keep you up at night long after you put them down. Welcome to Bleak Books with Olivia, your resident creepy book lover at the Aurora Public Library District.

Let’s switch gears for a minute, shall we? I think it’s time to make the case for teen fiction. I turn 24 in a week, but I still love to read teen fiction. Although it’s not aimed at my age group, recent young adult novels have evolved into darker, scarier, and deeper stories that grip you from start to finish, and the only time House of Hollow doesn’t stick out is when it’s blending into the edgy new class of young adult books.

Iris Hollow just wants to be a normal seventeen-year-old with a normal life, and she does her best to fade into the background at school and in public, but her normal dream is far from reality. When Iris was a child, she and her two sisters, Grey and Vivi, went missing for a month and returned apparently unharmed, but certainly… different. All three sisters’ hair turned the color of snow, matching scars appear on their throats, and each one of them has a new ability more strange and terrifying than they could have imagined. Where did they go? None of the sisters remember. Almost a decade later, Vivi and Grey have left home to live their extravagantly wild lifestyles, leaving Iris with her overprotective widowed mother and nothing but memories of her dead father, who took his life shortly after his daughters returned home.

Iris is finally settling into her seemingly quiet and normal life when her oldest sister, Grey, goes missing. Vivi returns to help Iris search for their sibling, but as they look, the clues they find become increasingly strange, terrifying, and dangerous. Who took Grey, and where did she go? The truth will leave you haunted.

This book was incredibly morbid, haunting, and beautiful all at once. The Hollow sisters were so interesting to read about and were written like real, honest young women. They were tough, honest, imperfect, and brutally beautiful. I cannot recommend this book enough.

So next time you think you’ve run out of things to read, check the teen shelf! You never know what you may find or what may spark your interest. Don’t let the label scare you.

Thank you for joining me on this dissection of one of my favorite Bleak Books. I hope to see you again sometime soon! Please take a look in the Adult and Teen Fiction section at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries for my favorite Bleak Books, or check out our e-books on Libby. If you are looking for this specific title, you can use our catalog to locate it or ask a librarian for help! If you meet me in the library and have any Bleak Books suggestions, please let me know! I’m always looking for a new book to disrupt my life for a couple of weeks.

Hillforest Book Lovers Tea

A relaxing springtime afternoon, spent listening to the written word and enjoying an extravagant three-course teatime in one of Indiana’s most beautiful historic mansions…

If this sounds like your ideal afternoon, purchase your tickets today to attend the Hillforest Book Lovers Tea! In partnership with the City of Aurora and the Aurora Public Library District, the lovely staff at Hillforest invites you to sip on your favorite tea, enjoy delicious teatime snacks, listen to some literature, and take a private tour of the mansion. Feel free to dress up, especially as your favorite literary character!

Tickets cost $30 for members and $35 for non-members and are available to purchase today. Please click here to reserve your spot. The Hillforest Book Lovers Tea will take place at the Hillforest Mansion in Aurora on Saturday, April 9th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. We hope to see you there!

Check Out Our Blu-Rays

The Aurora Public Library District is pleased to announce that Blu-Ray discs are now available for check-out at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries. These discs can be found near the New DVDs displays at each branch. Our collection will be slowly and steadily growing in the coming months. The same check-out limits and fines for regular DVDs apply to Blu-Rays. Blu-Rays may be checked out for one week and cannot be renewed. You can only check out two Blu-Rays at a time, but this does not limit the number of regular DVDs you may check out, meaning you can have two Blu-Rays and two DVDs out at the same time on one card. If you have any further questions about our new Blu-Ray collection, please give us a call at 812-926-0646 or visit the Aurora or Dillsboro Public Library. Come check out our selection today!

FREE Student Success Webinars!

This February, Tutor.com is offering three FREE student success webinars! Read below to find out each webinar’s theme and use the links to sign up today!

Friday, February 4th at 12:00 pm: Overcoming Test Anxiety – Register HERE

Friday, February 11th at 12:00 pm: Collaboration and Teamwork – Register HERE

Friday, February 18th at 12:00 pm: Critical Thinking and Research Skills – Register HERE

Aren’t available at that time to watch? If you sign up for the webinar, a video of the recorded session will be sent to your email after the session ends.

Did you know that you have access to no-cost 1-to-1 online tutoring, resume and cover letter review, and other learning resources through the Aurora Public Library District? Check out all the great services that Tutor.com can offer YOU by visiting our Online Resources page on our website or click here. Happy learning!

Teen Board Game Night!

 

Do you love board games? Looking to meet some new friends? Or maybe just looking for a place to hang out and stay out of the winter weather this January? Come to the Aurora Public Library and play some fun board games with others on January 25th at 6 pm! This month’s board game is Muffin Time, an energetic, quirky card game where the goal is to be the first player with 10 cards. But be warned, the other players are out to get you with the help of their own cards of sabotage and mass destruction!

Snacks and drinks will be provided (featuring muffins of all varieties, of course), as well as other popular board games to choose from. This program is open to anyone 13-18 years of age. No registration is required. Bring all your friends and get ready for Muffin Time!

What is a Hoosier, Anyway?

For almost 200 years, people from Indiana have been calling themselves “Hoosiers”, but every time someone asks where the name came from, an ages-old debate is sparked between favorite wives’ tales and references in literature. It’s time to set the record straight (or at least attempt to do so)! Let’s figure out together what it really means to be a Hoo Hoo Hoo HOOSIER!

The use of the term “Hoosier” first appeared in the 1830s, when a poem by John Finley named “The Hoosier’s Nest” appeared in the Indianapolis Journal in 1833. Since then, the title has been synonymous with the people of Indiana. Several popular theories have sprouted up to explain the word’s origin over time, some more wild and wacky than others. Here are some of the most famous:

  1. Early in Indiana’s beginnings, settlers would answer the door with a quick “Who’s yere?” and the greeting eventually became our title.
  2. Indiana rivermen were notoriously good at silencing subduing their enemies that they became colloquially known as “Hushers”, and the name evolved into “Hoosiers” with our Midwestern accents.
  3. A contractor named Hoosier on the Louisville and Portland Canal preferred to hire his laborers from Indiana, and these men quickly became known as Hoosier’s men”.
  4. The most unbelievable (and gruesome) tall tale comes from James Whitcomb Riley, the famous Hoosier Poet. He stated that the state’s early settlers often took part in rowdy and dangerous fights, sometimes ending in severe bodily harm. Often times, the morning after a major tavern brawl, someone would walk in an find a torn-off ear or two on the floor and ask out loud: “Who’s ear?” Yuck!

What is your favorite theory? I always tell Riley’s story as if it’s truth to all my non-Hoosier friends, just to see the looks on their faces! Do you have any theories on the origins of the Hoosier?

Bleak Books with Olivia: The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Have you ever read a book all the way through just to close it for the last time and say “wow, that was bleak”? Well, I’m here to make the case for those dark, dreary, haunting, and disturbing reads that keep you up at night long after you put them down. Welcome to Bleak Books with Olivia, your resident creepy book lover at the Aurora Public Library District.

I found The Death of Jane Lawrence after scouring the internet for any books that were like the dark, mysterious, gory, magical horror of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I have tried about 10 books after finishing that one in hopes that I would like it just as much and I was sorely disappointed. This was the ONLY one who met and exceeded my expectations. Same type of creepy, disturbing magic and ritual focus, totally different setting.

Jane Shoringfield finds herself approaching old maid status quickly in turn-of-the-century Great Breltain. She finds the solution to her problems in Dr. Augustine Lawrence, a handsome, aloof surgeon new to town who is noticeably unmarried. They come to a clear-cut arrangement: they will marry out of convenience, as Jane wants nothing more to pursue her goal of becoming an accountant and Augustine is in desperate need of one. There is only one requirement: Jane must never enter Lindridge Hall, Augustine’s dilapidated family home. But just as the lines of their platonic arrangement are blurred, Jane finds herself abandoned outside of Augustine’s house on the night of their wedding. When she enters, she finds Augustine to be a changed man, fearful of her and believing her to be an apparition. As she explores Lindridge Hall, she finds that Augustine’s hidden secrets and demons are much darker, and more alive, than Jane could ever have imagined.

Friends, if you are looking for a truly bleak book, this is it. Caitlin Starling perfectly captures the essence of traditional Gothic horror while combining it with the peculiar, disturbing, and supernatural elements of today’s horror films. The sheer sense of dread and fear that entered my mind every time I cracked this book open is inescapable and addicting. Every chapter holds a new truth, more terrifying and haunting than anything we, and our protagonist, Jane Lawrence, can believe to be true. Monsters hide in the dark corners of Lindridge Hall, and no matter how horrifying they may be, as a reader, I couldn’t wait to meet them and know what makes Dr. Augustine Lawrence’s past so twisted and secretive. It is truly one of the best modern Gothic novels I have ever read.

Thank you for joining me on this dissection of one of my favorite Bleak Books. I hope to see you again sometime soon! Please take a look in the Adult Fiction section at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries for my favorite Bleak Books, or check out our e-books on Overdrive or Libby. If you are looking for this specific title, you can use our catalog to locate it or ask a librarian for help! If you meet me in the library and have any Bleak Books suggestions, please let me know! I’m always looking for a new book to disrupt my life for a couple of weeks.

December Take-It Make-It

Beginning on Monday, November 29th, we will have a brand new Take-It, Make-It craft available at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries! Take-It, Make-It activities are crafts that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! Stop by the Aurora or Dillsboro Library anytime in December to pick up the supplies to make a sparkly holiday ornament to decorate your home this season!

Bleak Books with Olivia: Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Have you ever read a book all the way through just to close it for the last time and say “wow, that was bleak”? Well, I’m here to make the case for those dark, dreary, haunting, and disturbing reads that keep you up at night long after you put them down. Welcome to Bleak Books with Olivia, your resident creepy book lover at the Aurora Public Library District.

Spooky season is upon us, friends, and you know what that means! All things thriller, horror, and cheesy 80’s slasher have returned to my reading list! After scouring the dark corners of the internet for something truly terrifying to read, I came across Riley Sager (or should I call him by his real name, Todd Ritter?). Sager hit it out the park on his first try with Final Girls, a hair-raising novel that follows Quincy Carpenter as she adjusts to her new life as a member of a club no one wants to be a part of: the “Final Girls”, or girls who survived horror movie-level murderous rampages. Just as she starts to settle into this unsettling reality, each one of the “final girls” is picked off one by one. All of his novels have a sense of that classic 80’s horror flick that I just love. I just had to see what all the rage was about, and picked up his newest novel, knowing I wouldn’t regret it.

Survive the Night follows Charlie, a college student in 1991, who is looking for a ride home, and fast. Her roommate was brutally murdered by a serial killer just a couple months ago, and she is riddled with guilt. She may have not been the one who killed her, but she did leave her roommate and best friend alone at a bar that fateful night after a massive fight, and may have even seen the killer, but she just can’t bring herself to remember their face. She posts a carpool request in the student commons and soon meets Josh, a charming older man who offers to drop her off on his way home to Ohio from Olyphant University. The journey starts off smooth, but soon, Charlie develops a suspicion that Josh isn’t who he claims he is. He may even be the Campus Killer himself.

What ensues in this novel is a rollercoaster of events that had me visibly gasping in coffee shops and gripping the armrests of my plane seats. I see lots of book reviews that say “Gripping from start to finish” or some variant of that phrase, but I never truly experienced that until this book. Considering this is my first Riley Sager novel, Id say he’s just gained a permanent fan. He knocked it out of the park on this one, and I can’t wait to read more.

Thank you for joining me on this dissection of one of my favorite Bleak Books. I hope to see you again sometime soon! Please take a look in the Adult Fiction section at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries for my favorite Bleak Books, or check out our e-books on Overdrive or Libby. If you are looking for this specific title, you can use our catalog to locate it or ask a librarian for help! If you meet me in the library and have any Bleak Books suggestions, please let me know! I’m always looking for a new book to disrupt my life for a couple of weeks.