Greetings from T.J.

Greetings. Along with the many other great reasons to visit the Lake Villa District Library (tax forms are here!), I’d like to offer two more. The first is to say hello to me. I’m T.J. Szafranski, and I began working in Adult Services on March 4th. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008 and from Dominican University with my Master’s in Library and Information Science in August 2012. I look forward to implementing programs and services that have not been offered by the library before, including technology classes and workshops. Keep an eye out for my upcoming blog that will be featured on the library’s website.


The second reason to visit the library is to lend us a hand. We need your help. From March 10th until March 19th, the library is asking patrons to fill out a short survey that will help us better understand how we can serve our community. Additionally, the library will be hosting two focus groups on Tuesday March 17th, one at 1:30 p.m., and one at 7:00 p.m. (Registration is not required, just show up).Like the survey, the focus groups are a way for the library to engage in a conversation with the community about what works, what doesn’t work, and what we could do better. Any person who completes a survey, or participates in a focus group, will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of two Kindle Fire HDs. For more information, visit the reference desk at the library, or call us at 847-356-7711.  

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Holiday Music

I must admit that my personal holiday music collection is ridiculous.  I started collecting holiday music when my children were born because I really wanted them to grow up in a house full of music.  I wasn’t very particular what I bought; I just wanted songs that we could sing along with.  I played them over and over during the month of December and then carefully packed them away until the next year. Unfortunately, seventeen years later, we are still listening to the same CDs!  Actually, I’m the only one listening now, as they refuse to be in the same room if any of it is playing.  It sounds like it is time to update the collection.

With a quick browse on iTunes, I realize with a shock that a CD is really expensive. The little snippets I heard sounded great, but was I really in the mood to buy?  I decided that I would peruse the free aisle at the library before I made any major purchases. In just a few minutes, I had found some Julie Andrews, a Celine Dion collection, and a little B.B. King.  Nice, but I was still missing something.

One of my all-time favorite holiday songs is “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” I couldn’t find it anywhere on the shelves.  I logged into Freegal, our wonderful online music database to see if I could download it for free.  From Kenny Chesney, to Bing Crosby, to a group called Team Christmas, I had over 60 different artists to choose from.  Just for that one song! How would I ever pick?

 I had the family download three songs each and with eighteen new songs, our holiday collection is a now little less ridiculous.  And the kids stay in the room even after I turn the music on.  Imagine that!



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