News from Youth Services

News from Youth Services Blog

Presidents’ Day

Mount Rushmore figurine
Photo by Takefreebies on Unsplash

What is Presidents’ day? To find out, I looked it up in one of our digital resources, Britannica Library Children’s edition. It says:

“Presidents’ Day is a U.S. holiday that honors Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Its official name, however, is Washington’s Birthday. […]

In the 1880s the U.S. government made the birthday of Washington (February 22) a national holiday. New YorkIllinois, and some other states made the birthday of Lincoln (February 12) a holiday, too. In 1968 the U.S. Congress passed a bill to move Washington’s Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. At the time, some members of Congress wanted the holiday to honor Lincoln as well. They tried to change the official name to Presidents’ Day, but they failed.

Today many states and individuals call the holiday Presidents’ Day, despite its official name. They consider it a celebration of Washington and Lincoln, or even of all U.S. presidents. Some states, such as Illinois, also still recognize Lincoln’s birthday as a separate holiday.”

We put together a resource list that includes information on the holiday, individual presidents, and some fiction books about presidents and elections. Happy reading!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, Seollal, Tết, or the Spring Festival, is a holiday celebrated in many east Asian countries, as well as in the United States. According to the lunar calendar, a year is the amount of time it takes the moon to go around the Earth 12 times. The Lantern Festival is the last day of celebrations.  

lunar new year decorations

Lanterns are a way to make wishes for good luck, happiness, and fortune in the coming year. You can also write a riddle on your lantern to see who will guess the right answer.  


  • 1 sheet of red paper 
  • 1 sheet of yellow paper 
  • 1 strip of red paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Glue, tape, or stapler 


  1. Take your red paper and fold it in half along the long side. 
  1. Cut from the fold to about one-half inch from the edge of the paper.  
cutting slits in paper
  1. Keep cutting along the fold to make strips. Remember to LEAVE ½ INCH AT THE EDGE OF THE PAPER. This way, your paper will still be attached on the top and bottom. 
  1. Open up the paper and bring the ends together to make a circle with the top and bottom. The middle will fold out into a lantern shape. You can glue, staple, or tape the edges. Double sided tape is easiest if using tape. 
folding paper into lantern
  1. Use the strip of paper to make the handle. Attach the handle with tape, glue, or staples.  
  1. If you would like, you can put a liner inside your lantern. Form the yellow paper into a tube, and then tape the red lantern over the top of it. It looks a little like there is a light glowing inside. 
  1. Since you want the outside part to bow out a little, you’ll tape the bottom a little higher on the tube. You can cut off the bottom of the tube if you want your lantern to sit on a surface. Or, you can cut it into fringes. 
final paper lantern

Idea from: 

To learn more about Lunar New Year, check out one of these books from the library: Celebrate the Lunar and Chinese New Year

Lunar New Year

lunar new year/Chinese new year books

The Lunar New Year starts on February 12th. Lunar New Year, sometimes called Chinese New Year, is celebrated in China and Chinese communities around the world. The celebration lasts 15-days, beginning with the new moon and continuing until the full moon. 2021 is the year of the Ox.

You can learn more about this holiday by checking out our materials on the subject.

You can also learn more using the databases found on our Homework Help page! A couple of newer databases that we like are Pebble Go, for kids who are beginning readers, and Scholastic Teachables, which is a database that offers fun games, activities and worksheets that you can print and use.

If you need assistance finding materials on this or any other subject, please contact youth services at 847-290-3320 or at

Introducing Dial-a-Story

Looking for some new stories to listen to at bedtime? Need some quick entertainment for your child in the car or store?

Look no further than our new service, Dial-a-Story. Just call 847/232-8600. Available 24/7!

Dial-a-Story! Just call 847-232-8600

Listen to stories, jokes, songs, and more. Some items are read by your librarians, and some by other great narrators, but all have been carefully selected by library staff. Our menu selections vary and change monthly, so visit this Web page for a list of what is playing during a specific month.

a bookcase with headphones

This activity is worth 5 POINTS in the Winter Reading challenge, going on through February 28. Register and log your activity on Beanstack for your chance to earn prizes!

Visit our Winter Reading Web page for more information, or go straight to our Beanstack site and get started.

What is Chasing Duck?

What Is Chasing Duck? (The Giggle Gang, #1) by Jan Thomas book cover

What is Chasing Duck? by Jan Thomas

A delightful, silly, cumulative story. Duck is being chased by something and runs away as fast as he can. Sheep and Donkey are scared too so they run with Duck. What creature could possibly be chasing them and why? Read the story to find out! Perfect for fans of Elephant and Piggie and other funny early readers.

What is Chasing Duck? is on the 2021 Monarch book list, an annual list of books for K-3 students created by Illinois librarians. Students all over Illinois read books from this list during the year and get to vote on their favorites. We have a display with all the 2021 Monarch books in the Youth Services Department, come check it out and read some excellent books!

Review by Anne W.