Articles written by Karen Keefe

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  • New ways to tell timeless stories

    Karen Keefe|Updated Nov 21, 2023

    Whenever I talk about my Uncle Bob, my kids always say, "Is he the one who hated cats?" This is actually not something he is particularly known for. But, one of my dad's favorite stories to tell about his older brother was how Bob hated Lucy, a particularly spoiled and clever cat my grandparents had taken in one summer. When the rest of the family would troop down to the ice cream shop where Bob worked in high school, they'd buy an extra scoop of vanilla to take home for the...

  • Library spotlights great Windy City reads

    Karen Keefe|Updated Mar 22, 2023

    Watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" at Northbrook Court in 2002, I did not understand why the line, "I'm going to the Jewel," drew howls of laugher from the rest of the theater. It wasn't funny. None of the characters on screen laughed. But, the people around me roared. They were laughing because it was real. That insignificant little article in front of the grocery chain was how people in Chicago talked. They got it right! All those laughs were little "That's us!" high fives...

  • Online events bring authors to library, living rooms

    Karen Keefe|Updated Jan 26, 2022

    A sure sign of success is when your brand becomes a verb. Whether it's Xeroxing a form, Ubering to a meeting or Googling an answer, some services become synonymous with how they are used. The video platform Zoom is one of the latest companies to earn its place in this lexicon. As we've searched for new ways to engage, entertain, and inform community members over the past two years, the Hinsdale Public Library has invited you to Zoom storytimes, tech and travel programs, and au...

  • Enjoy games galore at Hinsdale Public Library

    Karen Keefe|Updated Jan 27, 2021

    Often, people use the library to learn more about something they don't know. Why are my stupid houseplants turning yellow? How do I make a tagine? What does Doris Kearns Goodwin have to say about leadership in turbulent times? Sometimes though, we turn the tables and give you a chance to show off what YOU know. In our latest "Maple Street Mixer" for adults, we'll test your title recall with book riddles. And readers will race against each other to find phrases in one of their...

  • Fictional characters offer vicarious return to school

    Karen Keefe|Updated Sep 23, 2020

    A friend of mine recently texted me a picture of the iconic children's book character Miss Viola Swamp with the message, "I can't go into it right now. But I need to know what book this is from." I quickly typed back, "Miss Nelson is Missing" by Harry Allard. Illustrations by James Marshall ("George and Martha," "The Stupids," all the good fairy tale retellings.) You're welcome." This year more than any other, there is special comfort in reading about classrooms and lockers...

  • Life, liberty and the pursuit of libraries

    Karen Keefe|Updated Jan 22, 2020

    My fourth-grader is studying the American Revolution. Which means our family is constantly being told or quizzed about the American Revolution. ("No, I don't know the date of the Boston Massacre. ... Yes, I'm sure that it was before 1776.") It has also caused me to reflect on how scary, courageous and amazing the founding of our country was. And, how puzzling and wonderful that the pursuit of happiness is one of the first rights granted to citizens of this new land. The pursui...