Online events bring authors to library, living rooms

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 author visits.

In 2022, we join 200 libraries across Illinois in a new collaborative effort, Illinois Libraries Present, to bring virtual events with bestselling and esteemed authors to our communities. The collaborative effort kicked off in January with an event featuring Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the bestselling and award-winning author of Mexican Gothic. She discussed her new book, "Velvet Was the Night," and her genre-defying mashups of cultural noir and Lovecraftian horror.

Author events are often a cornerstone of library programming. Throughout the pandemic such events have continued, but in a virtual format. As these events have flourished, libraries have joined together to host a variety of bestselling and award-winning authors.

Joining forces for such events allow libraries to bring speakers to their communities that might not be possible due to budget constraints or production capabilities. By working together, libraries are able to bring an event to multiple and diverse communities, providing access for many library patrons to attend, while at the same time, expanding the platform for the author.

Illinois Libraries Present will feature an event with Jasmine Guillory on Feb. 16. The bestselling and romance author has written six novels, including "The Wedding Date" and "The Proposal." The library has copies of Guillory's books in print, as well as eBook and eAudio. (Just a note, Guillory's books can get a little steamy.

So, if you're listening in the car, be ready to hit pause when you roll up to daycare pickup.)

On March 30, Illinois Libraries Present will host blogger and essayist Jenny Lawson. You might know her from her sidesplittingly funny observations as "the Bloggess." Or, her NYT bestselling memoir "Let's Pretend This Never Happened." (Another note. Jenny Lawson is hilarious. Also, she can swear a lot. So, if you're reading one of her books in public and you start snort-laughing and someone says, "What's so funny?" – be prepared to paraphrase.) Her books are also available at HPL in print and to download or listen to through the library's subscriptions to eRead Illinois (Axis360) and eMediaLibrary (Overdrive/Libby).

These are just a few of the online gems you can watch to discover new authors or learn more about an old favorite. I just learned about "AAPI Communities in Conversation," a series of live online conversations between writers, creators, and librarians that center on Asian American and Pacific Islander voices, books, cultures, and experiences. These free events are sponsored by The University of South Carolina's Augusta Baker Endowed Chair, Publishers Weekly, and Penguin Random House Library Marketing. On Feb. 1, they will be featuring Gina Apostol, author of "Bibliolepsy." (You can find the link

You'll also need a link for HPL and Illinois Libraries Present programs, so please register online at: And you can catch up on programs you may have missed on our "Recorded Programs" page:

Online programming has enabled us to share costs and resources with libraries across the state to bring nationally-recognized authors right to your living room - where pajama pants and snuggly pets are welcome, you're steps away from a snack-filled pantry and parking is not a problem!

- Karen Kleckner Keefe is the

executive director at the

Hinsdale Public Library.