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World War I- 
A Series at the Wilmette Library
August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. This fall the Library will offer a series on "The Great War."  
Register for the book discussions and programs via the
Library's online calendar or call 847 256-6930.
Click here for a list of the World War I materials.
Book Discussions    7 pm

Led by Paul Grasmehr, Reference Coordinator 

at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

October 8  

Catastrophe 1914 : Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings     
A history of the war's outbreak from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battles that occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches.


November 12  

Storm of Steel  by Ernst Junger
A memoir of astonishing power and lyricism, the book illuminates not only the horrors but also the  fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. 
Registration required.  Sign up here.
World War I -How and Why the US Got Involved 
Wednesday, September 10
Dr. Paul Herbert, Executive Director, First Division Museum at Cantigny, will discuss the US entry into the war, from the initial stance of neutrality, to the evolution of President Woodrow Wilson's thinking and policies amid a changing international scene, and finally to the declaration of war in April, 1917.  Using materials from the McCormick Research Center at Cantigny, he will cover the experience of Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick during these years and the organization and deployment of the first combat troops sent to France, the First Division. 
Military Genealogy-Finishing the Story 
Saturday,  Sept 27 at 11 am
Tracing a World War I or II soldier can be challenging. Many researchers are unaware of the records and resources available outside of the usual genealogical sources. Explore the lives, service, and deaths of three soldiers,  and learn about numerous military resources available. Through a brief reading from her new book  Stories of the Lost, Jennifer Holik will demonstrate how to write the stories of your Soldier.
Mike at the Movies : Global Perspectives on WWI 
Saturday, October 18 at 2 pm
Film scholar Michael Smith will examine cinematic depictions of the "Great War" from a variety of perspectives. Film clips will include portrayals of the conflict as seen by Hollywood in the silent as well as the sound era not to mention responses from France and Germany, where the reaction was more "coded" through the bleak movement known as Expressionism.
Myths and Realities of World War I 
Sunday,  December 7 at 2 pm 
In the popular imagination, WWI consisted of repeated attacks  by neat rows of infantry against trenches defended by barbed wire and machine guns, resulting in the slaughter of a generation of young men. The reality of war was far more complex. Thomas Mockaitis,  PhD, Professor of  History at DePaul, will consider  the significance of the war in historical context.
Film Screenings
2:30 and 6:30 pm
October 10       
 All Quiet on the Western Front  
A group of young World War I German recruits pass from idealism to disillusionment with war.
November 7  
Paths of Glory
 During WWI, a French battalion is ordered on a suicide mission that is likely
to fail .When it does, the general that planned the mission selects three soldiers from the battalion to be executed for cowardice, and selects their leader as their attorney.   
December 5
Joyeux Noel 
Based on the true story of three armies in the bloody trenches of World War I and the miraculous Christmas Eve truce they unexpectedly forge.   Subtitled.
For more information contact Nancy Wagner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or (847) 256-6930.
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The Future of the Book - A weekend of fun activities

for book lovers of all ages, February 28 - March 2


stephencropGaming as an Interactive Book

Friday, February 28, 7:00 pm, Auditorium

Virtual Services Manager and gaming aficianado Stephen Koebel shows you his favorite gaming software and how it may operate much like a book.  It has narrative, plot, and characters, and requires critical thinking skills.  Tell us about yours.

Photo of Narae Kim

Workshops with Book Artist

        Narae Kim

Families welcome.  Registration required. Use the Library's online calendar.


Saturday, March 1, 9:30, Auditorium, Register online    Open to ages 8 and up
Upcycle, recycle, & create paper that is a product of your imagination.  Supplies provided.


Saturday, March 1, 11:30 Auditorium, Register online  Open to ages 8 and up
There’s almost no limit to the form a book takes. Design and make your own book from provided materials.


For Kids! Writing Past, Present and Future

Saturday, March 1 and  Sunday, March 2, Drop in 2 to 4 pm, Youth Program Room
Explore Different ways of writing through history.  Decorate an illuminated letter, experiment with a typewriter, make a simle book, and create stories on an iPad.

McKettrick photo

  What is the Future of the Book, Literally?

Saturday, March 1, 2:30, Auditorium

Newberry Library Librarian Helen McGettrick talks about the life of the book What makes a book published in 1750 survive better than one published in 1895? Helen will also talk about digital preservation.  Will today's e-book be accessible in 20 years, or will it be the equivalent of an 8-track, a format no longer used?


From Clay Tablets to Apple Tablets; The Evolution and the Continuity of the Book

Sunday, March 2, 2:00, Auditorium
Jeffrey B. Garrett, Associate University Librarian for Special Libraries & Director, Special Collections and Archives, Northwestern University Jeffrey Garrett, is a born Evanstonian, a New Trier graduate, and now Dir. of Special Collections and Archives at Northwestern University. He will lead us on a brief but richly illustrated tour through five thousand years of book history. Along the way we will consider Martin Luther as the first blogger and what the computer screen owes to 18th century Baroque architecture. Join us for this romp through book history at warp speed!

Exploring Books

February 25 - March 1, Recent Arrivals Area

Explore books in all shapes, sizes and formats. Try out different e-readers and tablets and learn about digital collections.





Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

(2013 selection)

About the Book  About the Author 
Reviews Events
Awards and Accolades Discussion Questions
Of Related Interest Partners
Photos Village Proclamation


 Village of Wilmette Proclamation Supporting the Wilmette Public Library's
2013 "One Book, Everybody Reads" Program



Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.


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Wilmette Public Library has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).  These grants aim to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

The first grant: Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys includes 25 books, 3 films, and a one year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online The collection is located in the Recent Arrivals area of the Library. 

The second grant, Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys  provides funds for a scholar led book discussion group.  The series is moderated by Dr. Norma Moruzzi, Associate Professor and Director of the International Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

See details and events for both grants below. 

Upcoming Events - All programs take place in the Auditorium

 Reading and Discussion Series

To register for the discussion sign up via the Library's online calendar or call 847-256-6930.  Copies of books in the series will be available at the Recent Arrivals Desk. 

Discussion Schedule

The series concludes in March. 

Date change: March 11, Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi


Area Libraries Blog

Evanston, Morton Grove, and Wilmette Public Libraries are all participating in Muslim Journeys.  Check the blog, Muslim Journeys at Your LIbrary, to find out about events at all the libraries.


Oxford Islamic Studies OnlineOxford Islam Online link

This resource features reference content and commentary by renowned scholars in areas such as global islamic history, concepts, people, practices, politics, and culture and is regularly updated.  It's ideal for student research and the general public.

The Muslim Journeys Collection

The collection is comprised of twenty five books grouped around five themes, three films and the Oxford Islamic Studies Online.  Five essays written by renowned project scholars tie selected books together using themes designed to help draw connections among the varied voices represented by these books and to facilitate conversations in libraries and other settings.  Please visit the web site for this comprehensive resource. You may check the Library's catalog to determine availability of individual titles in the collection. 

For a list of the titles and accompanying materials which may enhance your understanding and discussion of the themes, visit the NEH web site at http://bridgingcultures.neh.gov/muslimjourneys/.

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     The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, Oxford University Press, and Twin Cities Public Television. Support was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

(2013 selection)

About the Book  About the Author 
Reviews Events
Awards and Accolades Discussion Questions
Of Related Interest Partners
Photos Village Proclamation



(captions are below the photos)

 Author Jess Walter Discusses "Beautiful Ruins" (May 5, 2013)

Row 1: (l) Author Jess Walter spoke to a packed auditorium of readers, who delighted in hearing his insighful and keen remarks about "Beautiful Ruins" and his other work. (r) A full house anticipated Mr. Walter's remarks. (Photo courtesy of Wilmette Beacon)

Row 2: (l) Library Director Ellen Clark with author Jess Walter. (r) Library Director Ellen Clark welcomed the audience and offered introductory comments about Mr. Walter and his work.

Row 3: (l) Heather Hehman, President of the Friends of the Library, and Emily Spectre, Vice-President of the Friends, also welcomed the crowd. (r) Mr. Walter shared some of his own story while talking about the importance of storytelling. (Photo courtesy of Wilmette Beacon)

Row 4: (l) An enthusiastic crowd listened intently to Mr. Walter's witty, poetic, and thoughtful remarks. (Photo courtesy of Wilmette Beacon) (r) After his remarks, Mr. Walter fielded questions from the audience.

Row 5: (l) Mr. Walter signed books for his admiring readers. Books were available for sale courtesy of The Book Stall at Chestnut Court. (r) Mr. Walter exchanged words with a patron before signing her book.

Row 6: (l) Mr. Walter signed a copy of "Beautiful Ruins" for Library Director Ellen Clark. (r) Jon Grand of The Book Stall at Chestnut Court with a stack of copies of "Beautiful Ruins" for Mr. Walter to sign.

Row 7: (l) Mr. Walter autographed the poster announcing the Library's 2013 One Book selection alongside Adult Services Librarian Leslie Litoff. (r) Jess Walter with Heather Hehman, President of the Friends of the Library.

Row 8: (l) The Friends of the Library set up a festive display to let event-goers know more about the volunteer organization that supports the Library. (r) Promoting the Friends.

Row 9: (l) Volunteers from the Friends staffed a lovely table of delicious treats. (r) Author Jess Walter with Library Director Ellen Clark and members of the One Book, Everybody Reads committtee. (Left to right: Barbara Goodman, Leslie Litoff, Ms. Clark, Mr. Walter, Betty Giorgi, Amy Barrow)

Row 10: (l) Poster announcing the 2013 One Book selection, autographed by Jess Walter. (r)  With thanks to the Friends of the Library and the 15 local organizations that served as partners for the 2013 One Book program.

Barbara Rinella Presents Cleopatra (April 9, 2013)

Row 1: (l) Literary dramatist Barbara Rinella posed for the camera before she performed as Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.  (r) Librarian Amy Barrow introduced Barbara to the audience.

Row 2: (l) Cleopatra came to life. (r) A full house in the auditorium enjoyed Barbara's portrayal of Cleopatra.

Row 3: (l) Librarian Amy Barrow, Barbara Rinella, and librarian Leslie Litoff. (r) Barbara with our One Book, Everybody Reads poster.


Armchair Travels Visits Cinque Terre, presented by Select Italy

(April 4, 2013)

Row 1: (l) Alison Duray and Martina Mullen of Select Italy presented a "you are there" visit to Cinque Terre, on the Italian coast.  (r) Select Italy provided a lovely taste of Italy, including Italian cookies, bread and pesto, and Italian wine and water.

Row 2: (l) While sampling pesto, attendees viewed the presentation, which included a video demonstration of pesto-making. (r) Alison and Martina's presentation gave a full overview of Cinque Terre past and present.

Row 3: (l) A full house viewed the presentation. (r) Alison and Martina concluded with a heartfelt "Grazie!"

Small Tastes of Italy, presented by The Noodle Café in Wilmette

(April 15, 2013)

Row 1: (l) Wilmette's own Noodle Cafe presented the flavors of Italy with tastings and recipes. (2) Chef Molly McGrath and owner Rob Garrison prepared an array of treats.

Row 2: (l) The menu included Sweet Ricotta Tart; Marinated Calamari Salad; Cod and Potato Spread; and Trofie with Pesto, Green Beans, and Potatoes;  (r) The full-to-capacity crowd learned about the recipes and enjoyed the tasty treats.

Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.

  • One Book, Everybody Reads

    About One Book, Everybody Reads

    Photo of book cover:State of Wonder

    "One Book, Everybody Reads" is the library's annual community-wide reading and book discussion program, funded by the Friends of the Wilmette Public Library. The library selects one book that is the focus of the program, which takes place each spring. In order to facilitate the experience for the community, the library offers numerous copies of the book in various formats for patron use. 

    We are thrilled to announce that the 2012 "One Book, Everybody Reads" selection is Ann Patchett's newest novel, STATE OF WONDER. 

    Local residents are encouraged to read the selected title and participate in a series of events that explore the book and its themes. The various programs are designed to create opportunities for shared enjoyment of the selected book as well as enhance an individual's personal reading experience. The culminating event takes place when the author visits Wilmette to discuss his or her book. 

    The "One Book, Everybody Reads" program began in 2006. Previous selected titles were:

    Funding for "One Book, Everybody Reads" is made possible by Friends of the Wilmette Public Library.

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