National Friends of Libraries Week – October 19-25, 2014


We Love our Friends of the Firestone Park Branch Library!


National Friends of Libraries Week

October 19-25, 2014

friends of birmingham (ala.) public library Friends of Libraries groups have their very own national week of celebration! United for Libraries will coordinate the ninth annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 19-25, 2014. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends. Use the time to creatively promote your group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. This is also an excellent opportunity for your library and Board of Trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.

Explore ideas and resources:

More information on Friends of Libraries groups can be found here.

Source:  (


Here is a little bit about our own group, the Friends of the Firestone Park Branch Library:


Firestone Park Branch Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library is an organization of citizens formed for each branch library to assist the library staff in meeting its goals. The Friends of the Library holds regular book sales to raise funds to support activities which include:

  • Co-sponsoring library programs by providing funds for refreshments and special entertainment, or by assisting with program arrangements
  • Providing decorations for holidays and special displays
  • Purchasing special equipment or materials not included in the library budget
  • Attending local community events to represent the Friends
  • Supporting the purchase of Books for Babies, which provides a free book for new babies in the community

The Friends invite you to join them!

 Friends of the Library


For more information about the Friends Groups of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, please click here.  Enjoy!



Ann Landers Debuts – October 16th, 1955


Ann Landers  – “Eppie” Lederer


1955Mrs. Jules Lederer made news. She replaced Ruth Crowley as a columnist in 26 newspapers. Mrs. Crowley, a writer of advice to the lovelorn, had died in July of 1955 and was replaced by the woman whose advice column was seen in hundreds of newspapers. She wrote under the famous pen name, Ann Landers. ‘Eppie’ Lederer, who died June 22, 2002, was also the twin sister of another advice columnist, Abigail Van Buren.


“Early Life

Using the pen name “Ann Landers,” Eppie Lederer became one of America’s most trusted source of advice for decades through her newspaper column. Landers was born Esther Pauline Friedman on July 4, 1918, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Russian-Jewish immigrants: Her father owned a successful movie theater business, and her mother was a homemaker.

Growing up, Landers was incredibly close to her identical twin sister, Pauline Phillips, who would also go on to become a revered advice columnist, under the pseudonym “Abigail Van Buren.” The two even went to the same college — Morningside College in Sioux City — and, on July 2, 1938, had a joint wedding ceremony: Landers married Jules Lederer, who would later found Budget Rent-a-Car, and Van Buren wed a businessman named Morton Phillips.

Becoming ‘Ann Landers’

Living in Chicago, Illinois, in the mid-1950s, Landers decided that she wanted to do more than be a stay-at-home wife and mother: Noticing an advice column in The Chicago Sun-Times called “Ask Ann Landers,” she inquired about helping the columnist out. It turned out that the previous columnist, Ruth Crowley, had died, and the paper was looking a replacement. More than 20 people applied for the position, but Landers won out, officially taking over her now-famous pen name.

Known for her wisecracking and candid writing style, Landers quickly developed a large following, and her column was soon put into syndication and read by a national audience.

Family Feud

In an odd twist of fate, beginning in 1956, she found herself competing with her twin sister: Van Buren had begun writing her own column, “Dear Abby,” which, like “Ask Ann Landers,” garnered wide acclaim. Van Buren hadn’t informed her sister of her column-writing plans, and a devastated Landers severed all ties with her twin. “I felt betrayed. Because she didn’t tell me that she was considering it, she didn’t tell me — she just presented it as a fact,” Landers later explained. The sisters’ dispute lasted for nearly a decade, becoming increasingly bitter as the years passed by, and was heavily covered by the press.

“They became serious competitors,” Henry Ginsburg, Landers’s high school boyfriend, later said of the rivalry. “And it escalated to bounds that nobody expected. Nobody could believe what happened. And the scandal sheets loved it.” On April 7, 1958, LIFE magazine published an article that aired the sisters’ dirty laundry to the world. Featuring the sisters sniping at each other throughout, the piece concluded that theirs was, quote, “the most, feverish female feud since Elizabeth sent Mary Queen of Scots to the chopping block.”

While the twins’ relationship had hit an all-time low, their readership soared. The rivalry had a profound effect on the publishing industry: If a newspaper in town had Landers, another had to have Van Buren in order to compete.

By 1964, the sisters hadn’t spoken in nearly seven years. But that summer, right before their simultaneous 25th wedding anniversaries, Landers buried the hatchet once and for all: She called Van Buren and asked if the two couples could take a vacation together. Her sister responded positively, and the two agreed to resolve their issues and move on.

“I thought, ‘This can’t go on forever’,” Landers later remembered. “So, we met in Bermuda, and I remember she came with a fur-trimmed hat, and I said, ‘Honey, we’re not going to Knome, Alaska, we’re going to Bermuda, get rid of the hat. We laughed, we had fun. And then the relationship, it was back to where it was before.”

Column’s Continued Success

Giving advice on a broad range of topics, from martial problems to drug abuse to petty squabbles, Landers answered whatever questions her readers lobbed her way. Her approach to advice-giving differed from her sister’s: While they both had an ear for the one-liner, “Dear Abby” tended to be more light-hearted and funny, and provided abbreviated responses to readers’ questions; “Ask Ann Landers” tackled big issues head on, through more detailed responses.

Landers also shared her own struggles with readers in 1975, when she informed readers of her divorce from husband Jules Lederer (he reportedly left her for another woman). Thousands of letters poured in after the announcement, with readers offering their support to Landers.

Additionally, Landers championed personal causes in her column, including funding for cancer research and ending the Vietnam War. Some of her views were more controversial with her readers, including her support for abortion rights and the use of animals in medical research. No matter the response, Landers stuck to her guns and continued to speak her mind.

Final Years

In addition to her column, Landers authored several books in her famously candid style, including Ann Landers Talks to Teenagers about Sex (1964) and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (1996). She received a number of awards for her contributions to mental health and medical organizations over the years, including the Centers for Disease Control Champion of Prevention Award in 1996.

After more than 25 years as a columnist, on June 22, 2002, Ann Landers died of cancer in Chicago, Illinois. Today, she is credited, along with sister Abigail Van Buren, with helping to transform the standard “lonely hearts” column into a more profound and candid feature, shaping the nation’s changing moral conscience for nearly 50 years.”

Source:  (


You can find more resources about Ann Landers here in our library.  Cheers!






Teen Read Week – October 12-18, 2014

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.
Some ideas to help you to inspire your teens can be found on Pinterest.  It is a great resource for booklists, crafts, and bulletin board ideas.
The YALSA website also has great links to reading lists, including a Teens’ Top Ten.

YALSA Book Awards & Lists

Find great lists of recommended reading for your teen from our book awards and book lists. Some examples of the book awards and lists are:

Teens’ Top Ten

The Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) is a “teen choice” list, where teens choose their favorite books of the previous year! Encourage your teens to read the nominees from April to August so they can vote for their favorites at the end of summer!

Nominations are posted  online on Celebrate Teen Literature Day, the Thursday of National Library Week, which is April 17th, 2014. Readers ages twelve to eighteen can vote online for their favorites starting in August.  The 10 titles with the most votes become the TTT, and are announced during Teen Read Week, the third week of October.  To access a free toolkit to help you connect your teens with the TTT, and to view the nominations visit



Themed Booklists: Find existing, create new or add to what’s already on YALSA’s wiki.

Teen Book Finder App

Use our Teen Book Finder app to find our book lists and awards at the top of a button. Currently, the app is only for Apple. An android version is in the works for Spring 2014.




Teens’ Top Ten Tumblr: View and follow the Teens’ Top Ten tumblr page for fun YA Lit related images, gifs, videos, book lists, and more!


To find more reading lists from the Teen Department of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, you can visit their blog page.
You can also visit our Firestone Park Library Teen Program page, for upcoming events.  We update our blog frequently, so everyone can learn more about the awesome things happening at the Firestone Park Branch Library!  We highly encourage our Teens to be active in our library.  Please feel free to contact our Teen Librarian, Miss Tori, for more information.  Enjoy!

Teen Iron Chef at Firestone Park – September 26th


On Friday, September 26th, the Firestone Park Teens had their first program of the school year, Teen Iron Chef.  This is a favorite with the teens, as they get to make tasty treats!  This time, they made English Muffin Pizza, fruit drinks, and a dessert.  Everything looked really yummy!  Enjoy some pictures of their efforts.


teenironchef4 teenironchef5 teenironchef2 teenironchef3 teenironchef1


Sensory Storytime this Saturday at Firestone Park Library!


Sensory Story Time

Fourth Saturday of the month, at 10:30am.

September 27th, 2014

October 25th, 2014

November 22nd, 2014

This program offers educational, literacy and social opportunities for children of all ages with differing abilities, their siblings, parents/caregivers and their typically developing peers through the use of story, music and movement to engage the participants.  Sensory Story Time includes a schedule board, a consistent program plan at each location and sensory opportunities.  A call to reserve a spot is appreciated, but not required.  Offered in partnership with the Autism Society of Greater Akron, and the Akron Community Foundation’s Millennium fund for Children.



First Day of Fall 2014

Goodbye, Summertime!  Hello, Autumn!!!
That’s right!  It’s officially the first day of Fall!  Time for football, colored leaves, apple picking, cider, bonfires, and pumpkin patches.  It’s my favorite time of the year!
Here are some great links to activities:
For more great resources on Fall activities, check here in our library.  Enjoy!

Friends Book Sale at Firestone Park on 9/19 and 9/20, 2014


Friends of Firestone Park Library Fall Book Sale

Friends Preview Sale – Friday, September 19th, 2014, 3:30-5:30pm.

Friends of the Library are invited for a sneak peek and to buy books and other materials at the book sale.  If you are not a Friend of the Library, you may join at the door for $5.00.

Book Sale – Saturday, September 20th, 2014, 10am – 3pm.

Come and browse our wide selection of fiction and non-fiction books, audio books, movies, magazines, and more!


For more information, please ask at the front desk or call us at (330) 724-2126.


MBS and the United Disability Service BraVo! Program


bravo group



Mind, Body and Sole!

This summer, the Firestone Park branch worked with Regina Lewis to sign up 31 participants from United Disability Service’s BraVo! program. Of the 31 participants, 16 accomplished both 26 days of reading and 26 miles of exercise! In addition, 5 participants earned their 60 day milestones!

Regina Lewis was pleased with the level of service received at the branch, and arranged to have a photo opportunity with Michelle Alleman, branch manager.

In the photo, 7 of the BraVo! participants are seen wearing the MBS shirts that they earned. Also in the photograph from the Firestone Park Branch are Tori, Erica, and Michelle.



For more information about the United Disability Services of Akron, click here.  Enjoy!






NatureConnect Garden Pizza Party – September 13th, 2014
























On Saturday, September 13th, we held our 2nd Annual Nature Connect Garden Pizza Party!  We made personal pizzas using toppings like cheese, pepperoni, and tomatoes from our garden.  Everyone had a great time, and everything was delicious!  Yum!  The kids had a blast!


For more stories involving pizzas and great pizza recipes, click here to find items in our library.  Enjoy!



Happy Birthday Leo Tolstoy – September 9th



Happy Birthday Leo Tolstoy!

“Author (1828–1910)
Russian author Leo Tolstoy wrote the acclaimed novels War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and still ranks among the world’s top writers.

Early Life

On September 9, 1828, writer Leo Tolstoy was born at his family’s estate, Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula Province of Russia. He was the youngest of four boys. In 1830, when Tolstoy’s mother, née Princess Volkonskaya, died, his father’s cousin took over caring for the children. When their father, Count Nikolay Tolstoy, died just seven years later, their aunt was appointed their legal guardian. When the aunt passed away, Tolstoy and his siblings moved in with a second aunt, in Kazan, Russia. Although Tolstoy experienced a lot of loss at an early age, he would later idealize his childhood memories in his writing.

Tolstoy received his primary education at home, at the hands of French and German tutors. In 1843, he enrolled in an Oriental languages program at the University of Kazan. There, Tolstoy failed to excel as a student. His low grades forced him to transfer to an easier law program. Prone to partying in excess, Tolstoy ultimately left the University of Kazan in 1847, without a degree. He returned to his parents’ estate, where he made a go at becoming a farmer. He attempted to lead the serfs, or farmhands, in their work, but he was too often absent on social visits to Tula and Moscow. His stab at becoming the perfect farmer soon proved to be a failure. He did, however, succeed in pouring his energies into keeping a journal—the beginning of a lifelong habit that would inspire much of his fiction.

As Tolstoy was flailing on the farm, his older brother, Nikolay, came to visit while on military leave. Nikolay convinced Tolstoy to join the Army as a junker, south in the Caucasus Mountains, where Nikolay himself was stationed. Following his stint as a junker, Tolstoy transferred to Sevastopol in Ukraine in November 1854, where he fought in the Crimean War through August 1855.

Early Publications

While Tolstoy was working as a junker for the Army, he had free time to kill. During quiet periods he worked on an autobiographical story calledChildhood. In it, he wrote of his fondest childhood memories. In 1852, Tolstoy submitted the sketch to The Contemporary, the most popular journal of the time. The story was eagerly accepted and became Tolstoy’s very first published work.

After completing Childhood, Tolstoy started writing about his day-to-day life at the Army outpost in the Caucasus. However, he did not complete the work, entitled The Cossacks, until 1862, after he had already left the Army.

Amazingly, Tolstoy still managed to continue writing while at battle during the Crimean War. During that time, he composed Boyhood (1854), a sequel toChildhood, the second book in what was to become Tolstoy’s autobiographical trilogy. In the midst of the Crimean War, Tolstoy also expressed his views on the striking contradictions of war through a three-part series, Sevastopol Tales. In the second Sevastopol Tales book, Tolstoy experimented with a relatively new writing technique: Part of the story is presented in the form of a soldier’s stream of consciousness.

Once the Crimean War ended and Tolstoy left the Army, he returned to Russia. Back home, the burgeoning author found himself in high demand on the St. Petersburg literary scene. Stubborn and arrogant, Tolstoy refused to ally himself with any particular intellectual school of thought. Declaring himself an anarchist, he made off to Paris in 1857. Once there, he gambled away all of his money and was forced to return home to Russia. He also managed to publish Youth, the third part of his autobiographical trilogy, in 1857.

Back in Russia in 1862, Tolstoy produced the first of a 12 issue-installment of the journal Yasnaya Polyana, marrying a doctor’s daughter named Sofya Andreyevna Bers that same year.

Major Novels

Residing at Yasnaya Polyana with his wife and children, Tolstoy spent the better part of the 1860s toiling over his first great novel, War and Peace. A portion of the novel was first published in the Russian Messenger in 1865, under the title “The Year 1805.” By 1868, he had released three more chapters. A year later, the novel was complete. Both critics and the public were buzzing about the novel’s historical accounts of the Napoleonic Wars, combined with its thoughtful development of realistic yet fictional characters. The novel also uniquely incorporated three long essays satirizing the laws of history. Among the ideas that Tolstoy extols in War and Peace is the belief that the quality and meaning of one’s life is mainly derived from his day-to-day activities.

Following the success of War and Peace, in 1873, Tolstoy set to work on the second of his best known novels, Anna KareninaAnna Karenina was partially based on current events while Russia was at war with Turkey. LikeWar and Peace, it fictionalized some biographical events from Tolstoy’s life, as was particularly evident in the romance of the characters Kitty and Levin, whose relationship is said to resemble Tolstoy’s courtship with his own wife.

The first sentence of Anna Karenina is among the most famous lines of the book: “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Anna Karenina was published in installments from 1873 to 1877, to critical and public acclaim. The royalties that Tolstoy earned from the novel contributed to his rapidly growing wealth.

Religious Conversion

Despite the success of Anna Karenina, following the novel’s completion, Tolstoy suffered a spiritual crisis and grew depressed. Struggling to uncover the meaning of life, Tolstoy first went to the Russian Orthodox Church, but did not find the answers he sought there. He came to believe that Christian churches were corrupt and, in lieu of organized religion, developed his own beliefs. He decided to express those beliefs by founding a new publication called The Mediator in 1883.

As a consequence of espousing his unconventional—and therefore controversial—spiritual beliefs, Tolstoy was ousted by the Russian Orthodox Church. He was even watched by the secret police. When Tolstoy’s new beliefs prompted his desire to give away his money, his wife strongly objected. The disagreement put a strain on the couple’s marriage, until Tolstoy begrudgingly agreed to a compromise: He conceded to granting his wife the copyrights—and presumably the royalties—to all of his writing predating 1881.

Later Fiction

In addition to his religious tracts, Tolstoy continued to write fiction throughout the 1880s and 1890s. Among his later works’ genres were moral tales and realistic fiction. One of his most successful later works was the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, written in 1886. In Ivan Ilyich, the main character struggles to come to grips with his impending death. The title character, Ivan Ilyich, comes to the jarring realization that he has wasted his life on trivial matters, but the realization comes too late.

In 1898, Tolstoy wrote Father Sergius, a work of fiction in which he seems to criticize the beliefs that he developed following his spiritual conversion. The following year, he wrote his third lengthy novel, Resurrection. While the work received some praise, it hardly matched the success and acclaim of his previous novels. Tolstoy’s other late works include essays on art, a satirical play called The Living Corpse that he wrote in 1890, and a novella calledHadji-Murad (written in 1904), which was discovered and published after his death.

Elder Years

Over the last 30 years of his life, Tolstoy established himself as a moral and religious leader. His ideas about nonviolent resistance to evil influenced the likes of social leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Also during his later years, Tolstoy reaped the rewards of international acclaim. Yet he still struggled to reconcile his spiritual beliefs with the tensions they created in his home life. His wife not only disagreed with his teachings, she disapproved of his disciples, who regularly visited Tolstoy at the family estate. Their troubled marriage took on an air of notoriety in the press. Anxious to escape his wife’s growing resentment, in October 1910, Tolstoy and his daughter, Aleksandra, embarked on a pilgrimage. Aleksandra, Tolstoy’s youngest daughter, was to serve as her elderly father’s doctor during the trip. Valuing their privacy, they traveled incognito, hoping to dodge the press, to no avail.

Death and Legacy

Unfortunately, the pilgrimage proved too arduous for the aging novelist. In November 1910, the stationmaster of a train depot in Astapovo, Russia opened his home to Tolstoy, allowing the ailing writer to rest. Tolstoy died there shortly after, on November 20, 1910. He was buried at the family estate, Yasnaya Polyana, in Tula Province, where Tolstoy had lost so many loved ones yet had managed to build such fond and lasting memories of his childhood. Tolstoy was survived by his wife and their brood of 10 children. (The couple had spawned 13 children in all, but only 10 had survived past infancy.)

To this day, Tolstoy’s novels are considered among the finest achievements of literary work. War and Peace is, in fact, frequently cited as the greatest novel ever written. In contemporary academia, Tolstoy is still widely acknowledged as having possessed a gift for describing characters’ unconscious motives. He is also championed for his finesse in underscoring the role of people’s everyday actions in defining their character and purpose.”

Source:  (


You can find more information about Leo Tolstoy and his works here in our library.  Enjoy!