What are you going to do on Spring Break? The answers are in!

chalkboard question

… and sleep wins by a mile, but our favorite is *vote.* Illinois Primary Day is tomorrow, so don’t forget to do your civic duty before heading off to class.

Be sure to stop by the library to answer our next Chalkboard question: “If someone narrated your life, who would be your narrator?” Answers are fun, free, and for all to see!


Book of the Month | March | Spring 2018

It’s spring break time here at Prairie State, and time to catch up on that most elusive of pastimes for busy college students– reading for pleasure!

Our recommended read for March is Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn.


Book description: “August returns to Brooklyn to bury her father, and a chance encounter with a friend in her old neighborhood prompts a flood of memories from her youth. Her memories explore what it was like to be an African-American girl (and teen) in the 1970s, what possibilities existed — and what challenges. This tale of friendship, love, and loss cuts back and forth through time.” — Description by Shauna Griffin. 

Another Brooklyn is a 2016 New York Times Notable Book, a Booklist Editor’s Choice for adult and teen fiction, a recipient of the Black Caucus of the ALA’s award for fiction, and a 2016 National Book Award finalist. Another Brooklyn may be checked out from the Prairie State College Library.

If you enjoyed Another Brooklyn, let us know! We also have some readalikes for you:

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson  (JUV WOO)

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (FIC WAR)

Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (FIC BAL)

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (FIC ISH)

(Click here for a printer-friendly version of this page.)

We hope you are enjoying your time off, but you can still pop in to the library from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during Spring Break, just in case you missed us. Rest up, rejuvenate and read something that’s not part of an assignment. 🙂

Last day to enter the library’s Oscar ballot prediction contest!

favorite movie

A reminder that today is the last day to participate in Prairie State Library’s Oscar Ballot contest. Every right answer is another chance to win a $5 Marcus Theatres gift card. Getting all the winners right gets you a chance at the grand prize of a $35 Marcus Cinemas gift card. You can fill out the online form or stop by the library until 2 p.m. to cast your ballot. Good luck!

Book of the Month| February | Spring 2018

This month’s recommended read is Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of the Living God.


Ian Stade of LibraryReads provides a summary: “From the author of the National Book award-winning novel The Round House comes an exploration into the possibility of evolution reversing and is told from the perspective of a pregnant woman who is writing a journal to her unborn child. Along the way we meet her adoptive parents, her birth mother, and she reports on society unraveling and detaining pregnant women. Erdrich provides compelling characters and a strong storyline about a near future in this piece of innovative dystopian fiction.”

Or, as the New York Times puts it, ‘What if evolution stopped, and then start running backward?”

Click here to read an interview of Louise Erdrich by Margot Atwood, author of A Handmaid’s Tale. If you like this title, we definitely suggest reading (or re-reading) this modern dystopian classic.

Other readalike authors to try: P.D. James, Sherman Alexie, Isabel Allende, Ian McEwan, Megan Hunter

If you like Future Home of the Living God, you may also like the following three books available for checkout:

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

The Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solmon

Click here to download our flyer with a list of readalike books and authors.

Happy Reading!

Darwin Day coloring contest at the library!

The 209th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth is this Monday, February 12th, and Prairie State College has cooked up some fun activities to celebrate the scientific method!

darwin day picture

Would you like to win a $5 bookstore gift certificate? Then head over to the library to participate in a Charles Darwin coloring contest! Children of Prairie State students are encouraged to compete in the under 18 category.

On Monday, February 12th, check out the Conference Center for the following:

  • 1 pm and 3 pm: Activities, games, lessons from fossils and what Darwin didn’t know.
  • 2 pm and 6 pm: A presentation and discussion about common misconceptions, led by Biology Professor Angela Hung.

Download the Darwin Day flyer to get a full list of activities sponsored by the PSC Natural Sciences Department, or contact Erica Lannan at 708-709-3720 for more information.

And finally, check out Charles Darwin’s beloved Shrewsbury School; it’s now the Shrewsbury Library!

Favorite Super Bowl snack food?


blackboard superbowl snack food

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles in last night’s upset game!  And, just a reminder– PSC’s Fitness Center is available to you after you’ve eaten all that delicious snack food.

Next blackboard question: “What do you want to get this year for Valentine’s Day?” Stop by the library to write your response and to see what others have to say!

Oh no, tax season is here!

Today is the first day you can file your return with the IRS, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. Find a provider near you!

You can file your federal tax return for free if you made under $66,000 last year. Click here to access IRS Free File software and fillable forms.

Or, if you’d rather do your return on paper, come to the Prairie State College Library to download and print the tax forms you need. Printouts are ten cents a page.

Federal tax forms

Illinois tax forms

Indiana tax forms

Audiobooks on the go

Prairie State College recently added e-book and audiobook lender Overdrive to the list of resources available at your library. If you have a student ID, you can sign up for a library card and instantly have access. Overdrive can be reached through the library website, or by downloading the free Overdrive app to your phone or tablet. Check out 5 titles at a time, and since items automatically go back to Overdrive when the lending period is over, that means no late fees– ever!

One audiobook to try on your school commute is Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers, by Suze Yalof Schwartz.



Urban Fiction


Urban Fiction, also known as Urban Literature, Street Fiction, Gangsta Lit, Ghetto Lit, or Hip-Hop Fiction, is a relatively new but fast growing genre in the world of literature. Urban fiction excels in its compelling portrayals of modern characters dealing with the gritty realities of life on the urban streets. Its stories and characters help expose problems facing the black community. According to popular Urban Fiction author Teri Woods:

“The content is shedding light on a people who were, for many years, swept under the rug. It’s showing you its world, it’s giving you that whole lifestyle of drug infestation and poverty, which are the two biggest problems in black America. If you want to sweep that exposure under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist, then it’s not going to fix the problem.”

The gritty reality and topics of this genre are what make it popular. According to Kevin Johnson, a Harlem, New York street vendor, “They are popular because they reflect the reality of the black experience, readers identify themselves with the characters and they can relate to those stories.” In addition to its intense and abrasive story lines, attention grabbing titles and ‘eye popping’ cover art also help in getting urban fiction books selected by patrons.

At PSC we are growing our collection of Urban Fiction novels. Stop by the library to check out our Urban Fiction display and the rest of our collection!