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Author: Melissa Rhoades

Finding out more about racial justice

Posted in Explore and Discover on June 25, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades In recent weeks, people all over the country have participated in Black Lives Matter protests to honor the life of George Floyd and work towards systemic change. For adults wanting to know or learn more about the issue, you can find many resources in the library’s Digital Library. Our librarians have curated […]

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Self-care from pandemic times to the best of times

Posted in Explore and Discover, News on June 10, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades As counterintuitive as it may sound, self-care during a pandemic is basically the same as self-care at any other time. A saying sometimes attributed to Dolly Parton—but actually dating back to at least 1859—sums up the situation nicely: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Perhaps the hardest […]

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Become a fiction frequent flyer with short stories

Posted in Explore and Discover on March 25, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades As a novel enthusiast, I love returning to the same characters, settings, and writing styles for days or weeks at a time. It feels like taking an extended vacation. Short stories, in comparison, can feel like weekend getaways that end too soon. But Neil Gaiman has pointed out the positive side of […]

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Mindfulness picture books for your little ones (and you!)

Posted in Parents and Teachers on January 15, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades Definitions of mindfulness can sound mystifying and impossible to achieve. Take, for example, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition: “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” Luckily, there is a muc […]

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When murder smells like honeysuckle: The allure of film noir

Posted in Explore and Discover on October 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades In adolescence, my impulse towards mysteries and thrillers was satisfied by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mystery! on PBS. But these days when I get the urge, I’m more likely to pick up a film noir or some of the hardboiled fiction that inspired it. Less cozy and more convoluted, film […]

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And Now for Something Completely Different: Monty Python’s entertainment legacy

Posted in Explore and Discover, Uncategorized on August 21, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades If you’ve never experienced Monty Python, you’ve missed a big part of comedy history. The group played an integral role in the evolution of sketch humor. In fact, their influence is so massive that The Atlantic magazine called them “The Beatles of Comedy” in 2013. Like the Beatles, Monty Python’s influence extends […]

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From the Library of Things: Machine sewing at your fingertips

Posted in Explore and Discover on April 2, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades Did you know you can borrow a sewing machine from the Library District? Our Library of Things now offers two Elna eXplore 320 sewing machines to check out for up to seven days at a time. One is available for pick up at the Spokane Valley Library and the other can be […]

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Independent spirit: Films that offer fresh perspectives

Posted in Explore and Discover on January 9, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades Independence is a major theme in the American consciousness. We’re taught from an early age to admire historic figures that bucked the system in order to forge new paths. Most of us like to consider ourselves independent, too. Yet most Americans don’t watch independent films. This is a shame since indie movies […]

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Cozy up to slow reading this winter

Posted in Explore and Discover on November 27, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Melissa Rhoades One specific morning in fourth grade still stands out in my memory. I arrived early to class, sat at my desk, and opened a novel I was midway through. I don’t remember now what book it was, but I do remember becoming completely engrossed, sinking into the world on the page. Which […]

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Banning books silences stories: Reading a banned book celebrates your intellectual freedom

Posted in Explore and Discover, Parents and Teachers on September 18, 2018 at 6:00 am

by Melissa Rhoades Banned Books Week is September 23–29 this year. Did you know that at least 23 of the 100 books on PBS’s 2018 Great American Read book list have been banned or threatened with a ban in the United States? That means almost one-fourth of America’s “most loved” novels (as determined by popular […]

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