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Favorite Stuff


Our 44th President
Check out these books about Barack Obama and family before they leave the White House.

American Tapestry

The Audacity of Hope

Dreams From My Father

Michelle Obama

Obama Talks Back

Yes We Can

Need some good music to read to? Click here to listen to the Top 15 Hits playlist put together by our Teen Advisory Board:

Award Lists

Read books from these lists to earn prizes and the opportunity to vote for your favorites. Contact your teen librarians for all the details at

Abraham Lincoln Book Award Illinois High School Readers’ Choice Award

Read for a Lifetime Statewide reading program for Illinois high school students

Teens Top Ten National teen choice list.


Literary Websites

Figment Join a community of readers and writers. Connect, share and discover new stories!

Guys LitWire Bloggers, writers and readers helping teen guys find good books.

LitPick The latest in YA lit, reviewed by a community of young adults.

Readergirlz A cutting-edge literary and social media project for teens.

Reading Rants Booklists for all the teens out there who need a good read, but are wondering if there’s life after they’ve read everything by their favorite author.

Teen Ink This teen-made website is chock full of original poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art and photography as well as book reviews.

Teen Reads One-stop shop for reviews, author interviews, contests and reading lists.

YARN Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.



Stuck in a musical rut? Contact one of the Library’s music mavens for personalized suggestions based on your tastes. Try out some of these other free services while you wait…

Google Play Music Free music, tailored to your tastes, from the same team behind Songza. Sign in with your Google account. Listen to your favorite music online, get recommendations, and discover new favorites.

Music-Map Expand your listening horizons with this music mapping website. Search for a band, and similar bands will pop up.

Pandora Listen to free Internet radio; register to create your own unique stations.

Playlist Create free playlists & share them on Facebook.


Make & Share

ccMixter A community music site where you can listen to, sample, mash-up and interact with music however you want. To get songs to use in your video soundtracks or just to put on your ipod, go directly to Huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples and recordings released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.

Kompoz Join a social workspace for musicians and songwriters. Record & upload your own tracks.

SoundCloud Find the music you love. Discover new tracks. Connect directly with your favorite artists.


Music News & Reviews

AV Club The web's smartest take on music and lots more.

All Shopping, news, podcasts and more on lifestyle & personalities.

Fuse Exclusive interviews, news and reviews.

Pitchfork Get the latest music news, reviews, and interviews.

Yo! Raps Find news, reviews, personality profiles and more on Hip-Hop and R&B.


There’s a Bathroom on the Right…Wait, Huh?

Can’t decipher all the lyrics to your favorite new song? Try one of these sites.

Rap Genius Everything is hip-hop. Read and contribute annotations to your favorite songs.

Song Lyrics Know the words and stun your friends at Karaoke.

Song Meanings Debate song lyrics and their meanings with other music fans.


Movies & TV

Viewing Suggestions

Crackle Free, hand-picked action, sci-fi, horror, crime & comedies

Crunchyroll Watch 10,000+ hours of anime, Korean drama and live-action shows.

Funimation Interact with your favorite shows.


News & Reviews

AV Club Pop-culture news, features and interviews: the web's smartest take on TV, film, music and lots more.

Hypable Breaking entertainment news by and for fans.

The Mary Sue A Guide to Girl Geek Culture; for entertainment geeks, female or otherwise. Coverage includes movies, comics, tv/movie fandom and other cool stuff.

Television Without Pity Reviews & forums with extra snark.


Down the Rabbithole

WARNING: Once you venture onto these sites, you may have trouble finding your way out. See you on the other side…

IMDB How tall is Tom Cruise?  What year was the original Star Wars movie released?  If you have a question about movies or movie stars, chances are you’ll find an answer in the Internet Movie Database. Can you describe the plot for every single episode of The Simpsons?  This site includes just about everything you could want to know about your favorite shows.  Rate individual episodes and watch trailers, too.

TV Tropes This endlessly entertaining wiki is a catalog of devices, conventions and tricks of the trade for writing fiction. Called "TV Tropes" because it started with TV, its scope has expanded to literature, film and even games.