Library Life Episode 220

Welcome to Mount Prospect Public
Library’s “Library Life.” I’m Cathy Cushing. Today we’ll get some tips regarding
top-to-bottom home organizing. We’ll also punch a ticket to ride as we peek in on
some of the events available to patrons during the Library’s month-long
cultural exploration of England and Wales, including Super Saturday’s the
World of Pooh, featuring A.A. Milnes lovable characters,
and the story of another literary great, Mary Shelley: Love and Frankenstein. But
first let’s enjoy the music of one of the most prolific British rock bands of
all time: The Beatles. It’s called the British Invasion, a
mid-1960s phenomenon during which various aspects of British culture took
the United States by storm and gave birth to a counterculture on both sides
of the Atlantic. One rock group credited with perhaps kick-starting this invasion
is The Beatles, a foursome from Liverpool, England. Can’t think of any four better
ambassadors. They shook the world. They were at the forefront of the Cultural
Revolution in the 60s, with fashion, music, there’s so many different things. Hal Henderson is a lead vocalist and
guitarist with Kaleidoscope Eyes, an acoustic Beatles tribute band performing
at Festival Night, a cultural series event setting the stage for a month-long
exploration of England and Wales. The Beatles recorded so many things, and
there was an evolution from their early time to later on. Tonight we’re playing a
little bit of more of their older stuff, but it’s a gamut, you know, running from
pretty much from the beginning to the end. Henderson joins fellow performers Pete
Church, Ken Michaels, and Cary Plattau in this ticket to ride concert, which
marks Kaleidoscope Eyes’s fourth performance here at the Mount Prospect
Public Library. The band’s been together eight years,
I’ve been with the band seven years, and then Cary, we picked him up a little
bit later. We brought him in as a drummer. And that was the niche, is that it’s an
acoustic Beatles tribute. We don’t dress up, we don’t do any of those things,
we play acoustic instruments. I’ve been playing since I was a kid. I always loved
music, and fortunately for me I grew up in a time – it’s the greatest music ever, I
think. It’s just part of our DNA, I think, for our generation. More than 100 library
patrons sing along and listen to some of their favorite Beatles tunes, enjoying
delicious British snacks and light-hearted humor along the way.
Everybody knows the music, and the Beatles have stood the test of time, I
mean, it’s just phenomenal that they’re just still so popular. So I say the
challenge is that you have to do it justice, you have to be able to pull it
off, you have to be able to do the harmonies properly, you have to play your
parts properly. Voices have to be strong. It’s a goal for us, eventually, is to
have all of the Beatles songs down. We do over 200 of them now. We really like the library scene. It’s
such a diverse group, but they, they’re Beatle fans. So when you’re playing for
Beatle fans it’s even better because they’re more into the music and they’re
educated about it, so we we play the library circuit and it’s a lot of fun. Sometimes a new year gives us the
impetus to turn over a new leaf and perhaps clean out that closet, garage, or
cabinet about which we’ve been procrastinating. Joining me today on
“Library Life” to discuss her library event Top-to-Bottom Home Organizing is
author and home organizing professional Caralyn Kempner, welcome. Thank you, thank
you for having me. Caralyn, tell me a little bit about your background with
regard to home organization. Well I’ve been obsessed with home organizing since
I was an embryo. I’ve been doing it my entire life. Professionally I’ve been
doing it for many many years. I’ve been a subcontractor for a lot of people in the
industry, and then I broke off and started my own company organizing
interiors, which I currently own and operate. Today I primarily handle the
Chicagoland area, mainly the North suburbs and a lot of the city. Now home
organizing or organization comes really easily to some and not so easily to
others, so what would you say is the main obstacle people encounter with regard to
organizing their houses? Many people that are highly disorganized
tend to have the same personality traits. Very interesting, I found through my
clients over the years that they tend to be procrastinators, which is why clutters,
piles of clutter form in their home. Mm-hmm. They tend to also be people that
don’t know how to go about the process. So they don’t know where to begin and so
they’ll put off- off home organizing projects because they don’t know where
to begin, and also a big huge factor why people don’t like to home organize that
are not natural at it, is because they’re afraid of getting rid of their stuff.
When they have to face the emotions of parting with their clutter, unwanted things
that they don’t love or use, it’s very difficult for them, so that is another
component that actually spurs the whole procrastination process. Now that’s
really interesting because I feel like I’m the same way, I, you know, as you get
older you, you accumulate things, your kids accumulate things, your parents have
things that you get, so what do you say to people who have stress about possibly
parting with items that they love? Yeah well the, the two primary items
most hard for people to get rid of is the sentimental items and expensive
items. And these are the types of items, when they’re actually home organizing
and they’re in the decluttering stage – decluttering means the stage where they
actually decide that they want to get rid of things that they don’t use, love
want, etc. -Mm-hmm.- – they can’t part with them because they
hold a high monetary value to the expensive things, and the sentimental
things are so deeply rooted and so emotional that it is very difficult for
them to get rid of the stuff. So it’s a process, it’s a process of having to be
able to rationalize their items. I have a lot of rebuttals, I try to refute, try
to let them see the other viewpoint, why maybe it’s not practical to hold on to
ten boxes of your baby’s clothes, maybe we can reduce these piles down and keep
only maybe the five top items or maybe, you know, it’s fi- top ten items.
Sometimes we have people that have many boxes, and then this way they could
actually go through the piles, pick their favorite items, and minimize. So let’s
talk a little bit about your method. I know that you’ve developed a three-part
method with regard to home organization, so tell me a little bit about that. Okay,
so it’s very simple, and you can apply it toward any home inventory in your
home, and actually can transfer over to the business world. So it’s a basic
three-step process that starts with sorting. It’s sorting your items, you take
a particular, like, inventory of items, then you sort them down into
subcategories- categories. So for instance, say you have, like, footwear. So you have,
you gather all your footwear for one particular individual in the home, so
you’re gathering your boots, you’re gathering your dress shoes, you’re gra-
gathering your gym shoes, and you’re segregating them into these particular
piles. Then you can further break down these piles more specifically so by
color order, perhaps. Which sounds a little bit particular but it is very
effective when you want to declutter. So when you finish this particular stage of
sorting, then you’re at the decluttering stage, decluttering is a very mental
part of organizing, the hardest part of organizing for most people. But at this
stage if you have everything completely sorted well, it makes the decluttering
process a lot easier because you know your actual inventories.
You know ‘hey I have five pairs of black dress pants.’ You wouldn’t know that you
have five pairs of black dress pants had you not sorted first. -Right.- Then you can
say, well maybe I can get rid of the two pairs that I don’t really like because I
have three that I like. -Right.- It makes the process of eliminating your items
and reducing and decluttering far easier if you follow this stage. Then we
follow up with the third stage, which is storage arrangements. And storage
arrangements means after you’ve completely decluttered and you, and
you’ve gotten rid of the items that you no longer use, need, love, then you want to
place them back into your home in particular arrangements. And the last
thing you want to do is revert back to the old storage arrangements because
clearly that is what failed. You want to try to think out of the box, you want it –
and that’s what my job, is to teach the client ‘Hey, you know, maybe it wasn’t
working that you’re putting your scissors in your kitchen drawer when
you’re using them everyday in your, in your home office. How about we find a
spot for those those scissors in your home office?’ It’s all about putting
things in logical places so that they’re easy to retrieve, and the key is to be
able to place them back in their home. So you want designated places for your
items and that really truly is the key to keeping long-term home order. You know
what’s very disheartening, I mean, I love to help people you know do this
correctly so that in three months I go back to revisit their home to do another
room, and then the room that I had decluttered for them and arranged for them
is back to square one because they’re reverting back to the old patterns of
behavior. So it’s about breaking patterns of behavior, it’s about thinking about
different ways to organize and thinking about perhaps different organizers to
use. Creating a home for each item. I can see where follow-up would be key as far
as organization goes. I do, I like to contact my client after a few months and say ‘hey how’s
everything going, can I just come by and do like a little wellness check on your
possessions,’ you know. So when you go to different places, I know people have
different budgets and, and sometimes closet organizers or garage organizers
can be pretty expensive. What do you tell them with regard to how they can
minimalize or use things that are already in their homes? It’s very
interesting that you say this, and this is, it’s almost so predictable, because
people that are disorganized tend to have all the containers. It is the
craziest thing, they’ll have like oodles of containers, but not anything in them
because they don’t know how to form the organizers, they don’t know how to place
them, that is a big like mental block for them.
Good organizers, well made organizers don’t mean expensive, and that’s what I
try to teach my clients, that you can go into the Dollar Tree – provided you have
great measurements – and you can find great organizers. Sometimes the expensive
organizers are not effective. Okay, case in point, these organizers that are
before us right now. So tell us about some of these organizers, that are pretty
inexpensive, that you can get almost anywhere, maybe the dollar store, etc., but
they, they do handle the job really well. Organizing is very creative. So for
instance, I love this organizer. Now this was purchased at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby
has a 40% off coupon every day of the week, just use it. And these are like $20
but with,with a coupon, 40%, you can get this organizer for like, you know,
maybe ten, twelve dollars. And what I like about this organizer, number one, it
rotates 360, it’s at a turntable. -Right.- These components come out, they’re easy
to maneuver around your, you know, bathroom, and they are, it’s called the
Deflecto it’s a, and it’s a craft organizer. So this was designed to store
crafts, so you go to the craft section at Hobby Lobby, but here I’m utilizing it in
a bathroom. And when you have those corners that are very narrow and hard to
access, especially if they’re deep, -Right.- if you have a circular organizer you’re
able to access these items. So this is just a great way to put like, you know,
common toiletries in your bathroom. Q tips, etc. Yeah, and they all come apart. Oh,
perfect. And you can move them into other rooms of your home. Very easy to clean,
you want to look for an organizer that’s easy to clean, you know.
And then we’ve got this over here, which is th- is a shower caddy, or?… So this
is interesting, This is a actual cutlery, for, you know,
-Oh, yes.- silverware. And so here I repurposed it or reutilized it for a
footwear cleaner storage. And so each one of these components would generally be
holding like, you know, your spoons or forks or knives, but it’s great for, you
know, cleaning products for your shoes. And I place this in my mudroom cabinet,
and it’s very inexpensive. I purchased this at the Container Store,
it was probably 12 or 15 dollars. And then we have this lovely little item,
which is… Apothecary jar. Apothecary jars come glass, is every- you can see them. You
can get them at Marshall’s, Home Depot, whatever, $12. I purchased this at
Michaels. So Michaels, this is actually purposed to use as a gift item, so people
use these to stuff like tissue paper and add like candy and give it as a gift, but
these are hard plastic, very safe for bathrooms, and that’s why I like this
over the glass models. They come in different sizes, they come in different
configurations, and they’re, they’re pretty. This is a hatbox, okay, so
traditional hat box. I am using it [unintelligible] here [unintelligible] sewing, I’m not a
big sewer, so this is mine. And I just actually purchased all these little
containers, these were like a couple of dollars each, again Michaels. I have my
thread because I don’t have a sewing machine, and this is just for quick fixes,
for buttons, what have you. But it’s, I love it, that it’s clear, and clear is key,
especially in closed storage spaces, because you don’t have to do the
labeling. You open up your cabinet, you need compartmentalization in a cabinet,
you need compartmentalization when it comes to home organizing. But this is a
very heavy duty, it’s made by the company called iDesign, this is actually sold at
the Container Store. I’m using here as a sewing box, but it is a hat box, you can
put scarves, you can utilize it for so many multi-purpose things. So basically, clear is
key so you can see your items, and you can just access them pretty easily. I’m
going to kind of plug your book right now. Thank you very much. This is
Top-to-Bottom Home Organizing. Tell me why you decided to write this book. The
book was spurred completely out of passion. I have a passion for the subject
matter, and when I began writing the book, I would, you know, come home from a client,
a client would have a tough time with something, and I would just take a lot of
notes. So first it was actually gonna be a blog,
and then I just started taking notes. The client doesn’t know- understand how do
this, the client needs more help with that, they didn’t under- I couldn’t believe
clients didn’t understand, like, hanger sizes, that certain hangers are for
certain clothing, tall people have lot wider, broader hangers, and that there’s
suit hangers, and people just use these like wire hangers for everything, you
know. And I thought, boy that’s really important. I mean I, I need to tell- teach people
how to, you know, utilize hangers and properly use them, so I did a part of my
book about that. And the book just, just just started becoming like this 137,000
word count just encyclopedia, so I’ve written without
any personal experiences, it’s a true manual, it’s like an encyclopedia on
how to organize, so you’d reference the chapters based on the project that
you’re handling in your home. Now where can people get this book? I- it’s
selling at Barnes and Noble, Target’s selling it, I have it at
Barbara’s Bookstore, a lot of independent stores, Amazon. Okay, well thank you so
much for bringing this over. Now, January’s a great time to start
organizing your house, and you get new gifts in that you have to put away. What
would you say is important with regard to when you get something maybe get rid
of something, just to keep your closet and and your house a little bit more
organized. F.I.F.O. First-in first-out. You know, as you’re, as you’re accumulating items in
your home, new gifts, new items, you know it’s really, it’s really imperative that
you are relinquishing some of the older items that you’re not using. Otherwise
you know, you you’re not going to be able to accommodate the storage requirements,
they’ll become too demanding. So it’s very important as you’re, as you’re
acquiring new things to maybe perhaps look in your home for something that’s
similar that you’re not using and maybe think about donating, selling that item
at the time. It’s actually good to do ongoing, decluttering instead of waiting
for one day that you’re gonna move and you decide to have to hire an estate
planner to get rid of all your stuff. So you continuously want to have, and I have
many different strategies that I write about my book and that I speak about and
my seminars that teach people how to do ongoing tips and tricks on keeping the
clutter from coming in as new things are coming in. So it’s very important, you
know, first-in first-out. You do this with your foods, you know, due to, especially due
to expiration dates, you want to keep them you know, things that are, have
farther expiration dates in the back and the ones in the front – just like a store.
If you could think like a store, just any retail store, how they set things up, they
set things up with that type of methodology. So it’s important to you
know, be getting rid of things as things are coming into your home. Great tips to
keep in mind, thank you so much for being with me today. Thank you, my pleasure. For more
information regarding Top-to-Bottom Home Organizing or any upcoming Mount
Prospect Public Library event, contact the Library at area code
847-253-5675 or visit our website at Literary circles often refer to Frankenstein as the world’s first science fiction novel. Let’s enjoy a virtual visit with its brilliant and pioneering author, Mary Shelley. Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein, comes to life during this Mount Prospect public
library cultural series presentation chronicling how this classic tale came
about. People know the novel, but they don’t remember anymore how significant
she was, and she was the inventor of science fiction. A nineteen-year-old
British girl in 1814 is writing a whole new art form. That she’s a woman in the
first place, writing was, it’s just, she was a creature out of time.
Storyteller, actress, and writer Megan Wells gives library patrons a vivid
account of the era and environment Shelley encountered as a youth in
England more than two hundred years ago. Her father was William Godwin, who’d
written this book, Political Justice, which actually shaped the French
Revolution and shaped the American Revolution, like this huge political
philosophical thinker, who marries Mary Wollstonecraft,
who is the original feminist. And then they have this child. And so she’s
sort of set in the world with this destiny from these two very rebellious
independent thinkers, and then the mother dies.
So she’s plunged, almost like Cinderella, with a stepmother that arrives as cruel
as the story, and the collision of reality on all those idealized dreams
she was raised with. It makes a perfect soup for writing something like
Frankenstein. Wells weaves an intricate yarn introducing her audience to the
life, loves, and rebellious times of an author who’s fame is perhaps overshadowed
by the popularity of her book. But that’s fun, to help people fall in love with her.
Storytelling comes naturally to this talented performer who began her career
as a local actress. I worked in Chicago theater professionally for five years. I
won a Jeff Award, and there was some sort of niggling dissatisfaction, there
really was, and I couldn’t figure it out for a while. So I stepped out and I did
corporate training for ten years and discovered how important education was
to me. I love theater, but this I really love.
Wells throws aside a written script in favor of a more extemporaneous
presentation. I learn the character, and then I write an outline, and then I write
some paragraphs and some metaphors, and then when the audience arrives they meet
Mary Shelley. And then Mary Shelley tells them their
story. I have 186 stories that I tell, and
inside of those are the historical impersonations as well. Mary Shelley: Love
and Frankenstein, and all the events presented during the 2019 cultural
series Ticket to Ride: Exploring England and Wales, are funded through the
generosity of the Elizabeth J. Clough Memorial Fund. You’ll find a number of
versions of the classic Frankenstein throughout the library, and if you’re
into self-help books, here’s South Branch Patron Assistant, Jessica Escutia with a
few recommendations you may enjoy. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed?
Pick up motivational speaker Richard Carlson’s book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff. He was
considered to be one of the top experts in happiness and stress reduction. I
noticed this book at my local book store but luckily Mount Prospect Public
Library had a copy. This book is written in a way that will make you want to read
the whole thing in one sitting. The author compiles a list of ideas that we can all
do in our everyday lives to not sweat the small stuff, and further explains and
gives examples of them in each chapter. Some of my favorite sections from this
book are titled ‘breathe before you speak,’ ‘become a better listener,’ and ‘smile at
strangers, look into their eyes, and say hello.’ I can definitely say that I have
incorporated many ideas from this book and have applied it to my everyday life,
many which we all know and have heard of but could use a reminder. I encourage you
to pick this book up today that will help you live and lead a more calm,
positive, less stressed life. Recommendations from the Adult Services
Department this month are designed to improve one’s daily outlook. You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective by Richard
Carlson explores the author’s theory that rather than outside circumstances,
the individual is in control of personal happiness. Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in your Work and in your Life by Spencer Johnson is a
classic bestseller offering readers a simple way to deal with change quickly
and prevail. Worried?: Science Investigates Some of Life’s Common Concerns by Lise Johnson and Eric Chudler is a witty and informative book subjecting both
common and uncommon fears to scientific scrutiny. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin is a lively
account of the author’s year-long quest for happiness, mixing age-old wisdom with
current scientific research and pop culture lessons. And Life’s Little Instruction Book: 511 Suggestions, Observations, and Reminders on How to Live a Happy and Rewarding Life by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. is a best-seller
offering heartfelt humor, insights, and guidance for readers of all ages.
Recommendations from the Youth Services department this month highlight beginner
chapter book series. In Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro, a
girl finds out that her mother secretly helps injured magical animals,
and is stumped when a sick baby dragon appears while her mother is away. Jasmine
Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence revolves around a headstrong
eight-year-old girl who decides to pound Japanese rice cakes with the men and boys
during a family get-together. In Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce, a talented
young inventor decides to build a doghouse so elaborate she requires help
from two groups of neighborhood kids that don’t get along, thereby pulling off
her greatest project yet. Weekends with Max and his Dad by Linda Urban chronicles
how father-son weekends in dad’s new neighborhood presents small adventures
and a different perspective on what the word home represents. And Absolutely
Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret by Sally Warner tells the tale of a
seven-year-old girl who encounters a kitten she would like to adopt and
decides to challenge her family’s no pet policy.
Finally, here’s Youth Programming Coordinator, Erin Emerick, with her best
book pick from this department. Sam the Man & the Chicken Plan is the first
book in a beginner chapter book series by Frances O’Roarke Dowell. Everyone else
in his family has a job. Sam wants to earn money too, so he turns to his
neighbors to see if they need help doing chores, and then he manages to land
himself not one but two jobs. One neighbor pays him a whole dollar each
time he can convince her cranky old dad to join him for a walk. Sam’s second job
is helping Mrs. Kerner take care of her chickens.
Luckily Sam discovers that he has a knack for watching chickens and that he
enjoys doing it. He’s soon on a mission to get a chicken of his own, one that
lays blue eggs, which he can sell to his classmates. Then he will make even more
money. Will his plan work? What will he do with all of his riches? Find out the
answers to these questions and see what else happens to Sam the man in this
charming and funny series. The Youth Services Department is
brimming with fabulous children’s books targeting a wide range of age groups and
reading levels. Let’s continue our Ticket to Ride
journey with a Super Saturday presentation highlighting the World of
Pooh. English author and playwright A.A. Milne is probably best known for his
beloved children’s poetry featuring the antics of Christopher Robin, and of
course his endearing stories showcasing Winnie the Pooh and the enchanting
characters of the Hundred Acre Wood. Everyone can find a little something in
each character, you know. Like, everybody knows somebody who has characteristics
of Eeyore, or Tigger, who’s kind of frantic, or Winnie the Pooh who’s just kind of
the loving motherly type, or you know, I think you can find a Milne character
that- where you relate to and I think that’s why the material has transcended.
Linda Madonia is the owner and producer of American Eagle Productions, a Chicago
theater company specializing in bringing children’s literature to life.
This is our 27th season of putting on programs. We started with one show and
now we have 14 different titles. We focus on preschool to sort of eighth grade, and
then some of the stuff does transcend and can be seen by families, but it’s all
very specific to history and literature. This Super Saturday event, The World of
Pooh, features a trio of favorites from the Milne collection. It’s three of the
Winnie the Pooh stories combined in musical form. So we do Eeyore’s birthday in
this piece, we do Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit’s front door, we do Kanga
and Roo coming to live in the forest. So I, we felt like those just were sort of
strong, specific stories that we could kind of tie together to make one big piece. One
of the things we pride ourselves on at American Eagle is we stay very true to
the original books, which makes it easy to go into schools and libraries. We
don’t take a lot of liberties when we have our adaptations written, they are
based purely on the literature, we don’t take any dramatic license. Nearly 150 library patrons of all ages
thrilled to the spectacle of live theater here at the Library. It’s
exciting when we go into places where kids don’t normally get a chance to see
a theatrical production, they’re used to watching a cartoon on TV, and you can see
they’ll talk back to the character and you know that that’s because they don’t
know what it is to sit in a theater. So we’re giving them that first experience
that maybe will ignite something that’ll make them want to see more and, you know,
that’s how we create future theater supporters. Libraries are different in
2019 than they used to be, you know, people come to libraries to use
computers and to do all kinds of different things that we never used to
do, but the books are still here. The literature’s here, and that’s, I think it
gives us an opportunity to kind of bring these books to life and then hopefully
they check them out on their way out the door.
Super Saturday’s the World of Pooh is just one example of the many
entertaining, informational, and educational events featured here at the
Mount Prospect Public Library every month. Don’t miss any library programs
that you’d like to experience. Here’s a list of events scheduled in December and
January. Reservations are strongly recommended. For more information regarding these
events, call area code 847-253-5676 or
visit our website at You’ll also find a listing and description of
all upcoming Mount Prospect Public Library events in your library
newsletter, Preview. Earlier in this program we explored the Library’s 2019 month-long cultural series, enjoying a ticket to ride journey
through some of the unforgettable literature and music of England and
Wales. With this in mind, our Library Life camera today asked the question: Who is
your favorite British author or musician and why? Here are some responses. I like
The Beatles because they were the first ones on TV that I can remember from
Britain. Shakespeare because I enjoy reading about him and then finding all
the different references Shakespeare still has in our current day lives. That
would be The Beatles because I like all their music from their earliest years.
That wraps up this edition of “Library Life.” For more information on any of the
Mount Prospect Public Library’s services and events highlighted here, call area
code 847-253-5675 or visit our website

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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