Grow a Reader Packs

Click here to put one on hold today!

Feeling a little cooped up? Are the small children at your house staring at you wanting to know, what’s next? Worried you aren’t providing enough education for your small charges?

The Library can help.

First off, you are rocking this whole parent thing. The kids are all fed and brushed most of their teeth so you deserve a huge gold star! We do have something to help entertain and educate them though. Check out a Grow a Reader Pack.

There are 15 themed Grow a Reader Packs. Each pack comes in a blue backpack filled with books, games, puppets, and more! Everything found in a pack will help strengthen your child’s early literacy skills. Just by bringing one home, you can pat yourself on the back for scoring a few more parenting points.

You can put one pack on hold and then pick it up in the drive-thru. Don’t even take those lovely littles out of their carseat! We are taking extra steps to ensure each pack is clean and ready to go. A couple clicks and you are this much closer to super parentdom. Way to go!

Cathy’s Book Chat

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr Review

                The One Memory of Flora Banks is a wild ride! This story is about a seventeen year old girl named Flora who has suffered from anterograde amnesia since the age of ten. The book is told from Flora’s point of view so she frequently repeats to herself the few things she can remember or she writes them down (on post-its, in her journal, or on her arms). Flora is on medication for her amnesia and she lives with her parents. Paige is her only friend, they’ve been friends since they were quite young, but lately things with Paige are fractured. Drake, Paige’s ex-boyfriend kisses Flora on the night before his trip to Svalbard. A few days later, Flora’s parents flee to Paris to be with Flora’s brother, Jacob since he is very ill. Flora is tasked with staying home and having Paige look after her. The only problem is that she kissed Paige’s boyfriend, so Paige backs out of this plan and Flora is home alone. Will Flora be able to care for herself while her parents are gone? Will things with Drake become more than just a kiss? Read this adventure to find out!

                I found the perspective of this story to be quite interesting. Since the reader only has Flora’s thoughts to work with, you learn bits and pieces of her past as well as her current reality. It becomes a mystery for the reader to connect the dots of Flora’s life. At times I felt annoyed by Flora’s repetitive nature, but overall I really felt for what Flora and her loved ones were going through. It must be annoying and frustrating for them to have to retell Flora about her life, but it would be even tougher to be stuck in a state of unknown. This book teaches the reader to have sympathy for what other people are struggling with. This is a story you will not want to put down! It has adventure, mystery, love, and a unique narrator.

Love, Cathy–Youth Services

Ready to put this on hold? Click here!

Chelsea’s Confessions

Confession: I am a Youth Services Library Assistant, and I do not (typically) enjoy reading elementary and middle grade fiction. I reread my favorites, and introduce them to my kids, but it is quite difficult of my heart to leach on to most books of the genre. I read “Small Spaces” as a suggested project during quarantine, and I must thank Miss Carrie for it.

First line: October in East Evansburg, and the last warm sun of the year slanted red through the sugar maples.

Summary: Olivia Adler escapes the world she can no longer love through her books. After an eventful day at school, the eleven year-old pedals her bike to her favorite spot. There she finds a woman crying; worse yet, the woman is throwing an innocent book into the river! Olivia rescues the book and becomes encapsulated in the mystery it presents. When mystery finds its way into her world looking much like the mystery of her novel, she has to choose her direction carefully.

Highlights: The first line, while beautiful, worried me the novel would be an attempt at a literary award which forgets the plot for the sake of its own beauty. Luckily, I was let down. The writing remains beautiful throughout the novel. The plot does not suffer for its beauty—thank goodness.

One of the first rules a writer learns is “Show, don’t tell”. Arden presents this skill artfully in the example of Olivia’s mother. To my recollection, the words “die”, “death”, or “dead” are never used in conjunction with Olivia’s mother. Her absence is felt like a hole in the main characters heart, ever present and without words.

The characters who join Olivia in her quest, purposeful or not, are also well developed. Each character gets a chance to surprise the reader. All in all, I thoroughly recommend this book to any reader, big or small.

Lowlights: As some parts of this story are quite dark, it is not suitable for all audiences. This is targeted toward elementary and middle grade readers, so be certain of their capability to read “creepy stories” before you put this book in their hands.

FYI: This is the first story in a series! It is a great stand-alone, but I look forward to joining Ollie for another mystery soon.

Chelsea–Youth Services Librarian Assistant

Ready to put it on hold? Click here!

Cathy’s Book Chat

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is about a sixteen year old girl named Shirin. Shirin wears a hijab and is treated extremely unkindly by her classmates, teachers, and complete strangers. This story takes place in 2002 in a town obsessed with basketball. Shirin has become quite good at suppressing her emotions and blocking out the world with music and a tough exterior. The only solace in her day is breakdance practice with her brother, Navid and his friends. Then she meets a classmate by the name of Ocean who makes her think that maybe there are people worth talking to. Ocean is the star basketball player at school and he desperately wants to get to know Shirin. When their interactions make others angry and cruel, the two must decide whether the connection they have is worth protecting.

At the beginning of the novel I felt like Shirin was a bit harsh to those around her. She didn’t have the best attitude and seemed really passive about life. Then I learned more about her experiences with racism and how she felt like she couldn’t confide in her parents about her personal life. When her breakdancing partners and brother confronted her about how she comes off to other people, I could see Shirin start to grow and reconsider her approach. When you are sixteen it’s easy to be angry with the old, on top of normal teenage emotions Shirin was going through both verbal and physical abuse all because of her religion. I began to feel her frustration and wanted to scream at her peers, too. This book may be fictional, but there are enough bigoted people out there that it is easy to be up in arms about the treatment minorities face in this country. Surprisingly Shirin was able to block that ugly side of people out and focus on what made her happy. That was what made her story inspiring and brave.

Happy Reading!

Cathy–Youth Services

Ready to put this book on hold? Click here!

Youth Services Summer Reading Program @Home

Since we can’t be together as we normally would we have a developed a fabulous and innovative Summer Reading Program!  Derby Public Library’s Youth Services Department has created ways to bring those programs you love into your home, while coming up with new programs to keep them busy and entertained.  Whether you have a newborn or an 18 year old at your house, we have planned programs that will tickle their funny bones and engage their imaginations.

Beanstack and Prizes

This will be our first summer using Beanstack, a free app that patrons will use to track their reading and earn prizes!  May 26 is the first day of SRP and the final day for submitting reading times and picking up prizes is July 26. Every child who finishes the reading challenge will win the following prizes:      

  • New Book!     
  •  Derby Bowling Alley for 2 free games
  • Other prizes as available due to Covid-19

Finishers will also be entered into their age groups Grand Prize Drawing:

  • Tiny Tales:  Baby’s first library: $200 gift card to Watermark Books and personal bookshelf
  • School Age: Nintendo Switch Bundle
  • Teen: Beats Headphones and Wireless Speaker

Facebook Events

We will be doing most of the digital programming from a Facebook Event so make sure to click “Interested” to stay up to date. However, you do not need a Facebook account in order to participate in these events. They are available for all the public to see.

New Programs

School Age and Teen kids will be able to pick up a craft kit at the drive thru or the front of the library, roughly once a week throughout the program. We also have put together art supply kits featuring crayons, scissors, four Sharpies, and a glue stick for those families in need just ask for an Art Supply Kit at the drive thru. A special Moviecraft program for teens has been morphed into one that can be done on your couch! We’ve even created a StoryWalk @ the Library has been created to exist on the sidewalk surrounding the library to help our littlest patrons enjoy some library time outside.

Links to the Fun

Check out the links below for our website and the Facebook Events.  Please let us know if you have any questions or would like more details.  We can’t wait to see you this summer!

Thank you for your patience during this time of adjustment. At this time our drive-thru is open to help get you the materials you may want or need. Including any materials available for the Summer Reading Program. We will keep you posted as things change. We miss you and can’t wait to hear from you this summer!

Cathy’s Book Chat

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy is a book filled with spirit, loyalty, and self-discovery. Our story begins with the last few days of summer before Ramona’s senior year of high school begins. Ramona lives in Eulogy, Mississippi where she works two jobs and lives in a trailer with her sister and father. Ramona’s older sister, Hattie is pregnant with her first child and Ramona feels a certain responsibility to stick around and help her sister when the baby comes. Over the summer Ramona has been spending time with a tourist named Grace. Ramona has come out as a lesbian, but Grace is still in the closet. On top of this, Ramona’s childhood friend, Freddie has moved back to Eulogy. Once school starts, Ramona’s relationship with Grace dwindles and Freddie fills the gap. Freddie introduces Ramona to swimming at the YMCA, it’s there that she meets a retired swim coach who encourages her to pursue collegiate swimming. Will Ramona choose to leave her family and try something new? Will Ramona find herself in this year of change? Take a dive and find out!

A lot is happening in Ramona’s world. I think this story does a good job of showing the chaos that is your senior year of high school, all of a sudden you are having to make major decisions about your future. This time can make a person feel lost and insecure. Luckily, Ramona has her friends, Saul and Ruth in addition to her loving family and Freddie. She is able to discover new things about herself when she thought she knew what path she was going to take. I remember the uncertainty of being a high school senior, it was not easy to figure out the “best” direction for myself. I relied a lot on my loved ones during this time as well. I think this novel is perfect for people who feel a bit lost when they want to have everything planned out. Ramona Blue, in typical Julie Murphy fashion, presents the reader with a wide range of characters, humor, and a lot of heart.

Love, Cathy from Youth Services

Cathy’s Book Chat

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver Review

I’ve been excited to finally dive into this book for quite some time. The only thing I knew about it before I started reading, was that the main character used they/them pronouns. Personally, that was enough to intrigue me. Until reading I Wish You All the Best, I had never read a book about someone who identifies as non-binary. I think it’s important to educate myself on topics I know very little about, so I felt ready to read on.

The protagonist of this novel is named Ben. The reader first meets Ben when they are about to come out to their parents. Ben ends up getting kicked out of their home, because their parents are shocked and repulsed by this news. Luckily Ben decides to call their sister, Hannah who moved away ten years prior. Hannah and her husband, Thomas are very welcoming and even enroll Ben at the high school Thomas teaches at. The pair also get Ben a psychiatrist to talk through their circumstances with. Ben loves to draw and paint, so they are excited to have a supportive art teacher and impressive art room to work on their projects. They also meet a boy named Nathan who becomes a close friend and helps Ben come out of their shell. In addition, Ben gains support from a YouTuber named Mariam who has gone through a similar situation as Ben. Will Ben and his parents make up? Will Ben continue coming out to people? Take this book for a spin to find out!

I Wish You All the Best focuses on Ben’s coming out experience and working through the trauma of having difficult parents. I think this book would be really helpful for someone who feels different or alone with their identity. I like that the book shows Ben getting professional help, finding a strong friend group, and dealing with issues even when they are a lot to carry. When you are a teenager (or any age really) it is easy to feel alone with whatever is going on in your life, this story shows you that there is always someone out there willing to help. I’m really impressed and inspired by the direction young adult books are going in these days. I Wish You All the Best is a great example of the power of representation and finding your voice.

Love, Cathy from Youth Services

We Miss You

Normally we see you during your victories and your sorrows. We help you find books about grief when your partner dies. We hold your busy toddler and help keep them distracted while you page through the potty training books. We do a happy dance for that same toddler months later when potty training is mastered. We show you where the books on DIY projects are when you decide to put in a deck. We also show you where the books on back injuries are a week later. We help send faxes to get medical bills squared away or complete your passport for an upcoming vacation.

But this particular strain of challenge has temporarily altered how we can help. We have become creative in reaching out through social media and email. We see your sweet “hearts” and “thumbs up” on Storytime and Yoga videos. We answer your questions over the phone or email. But it’s not the same. We want to be able to hand you new cookbooks to help you cook at home. Or show you where the old movies are to rest your soul from this trying news. Or walk you through downloading an ebook, face-to-face.

For now we will settle for doing those things virtually. We are ready to send you links to a cookbook you can borrow through our eLibrary. We have websites at our fingertips ready to forward you on any topic you may need. Kids bored? Animals antsy? We’ve got you covered.

So for now we will settle for helping you from afar. But know we miss you! We miss helping you find the perfect new book to try out. We miss hearing why that particular book was an utter stinker. We miss seeing your children’s bright faces and ready hugs. We miss your questions, your ideas, and your laughter. We are definitely looking forward to the day when we get to say “inside voices” and “walking feet” to a group of excited children.


Your Librarians

What’s Cathy Reading? Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Click on the book cover for a link to our library ebook copy!

                The novel, Front Desk by Kelly Yang is a middle grade story based on the author’s immigrant experience. The book is centered on a ten year old girl named Mia. She and her parents immigrated from China a few years before the story begins. Mia and her parents have lived in several different areas, since her parents’ jobs keep changing. They eventually land at a motel in California where they are tasked with managing the entire motel. Mia works the front desk when she isn’t in school and her parents clean and attend to the guests.

                Mia quickly bonds with the small group of guests that stay at the motel long term. They refer to themselves as the weeklies. Mia enjoys getting to know their stories and playing Monopoly with them. She becomes extra close with a man named Hank. She learns from Hank early on that the owner of the motel, Mr. Yao is not the nicest guy.

                At school, Mia befriends a girl named Lupe. Lupe loves to draw and Mia soon discovers Lupe and her have something unexpected in common. Also in Mia’s fifth grade class is a boy named Jason (who is the only other Asian student and is Mr. Yao’s son). Mia and Jason have several struggles throughout the story. Mia is good at math, but her true love is writing. Mia ends up using her writing talents to help several of her parents’ friends and other characters in the story, as well as herself.

                Throughout this story Mia comes face to face with violence, racism, class differences, and bullying. This is an original story that deals with a family fighting to obtain the American dream and a young girl who uses talents for good.                 Personally, I enjoyed reading this book, because of its unique storyline. I have not read too many stories of children’s experiences immigrating to America at a young age. The main character, Mia was so kind and helpful to those around her even when she had little to give besides her words. She was able to make friends and discover more about herself, despite the unfortunate circumstances around her. I found Mia’s positivity and determination to really be inspiring and made this story even more captivating. I highly recommend reading this book for a fresh perspective on immigration and kindness!

Hello, my name is Cathy Liebenau. I am so excited to be hired as an assistant to the youth director here at Derby! My professional career began in the education world. I got my degree in elementary education from KU in 2016. I taught for two years as a fourth and fifth grade teacher. Last year I subbed in the Wichita district. This year I wanted a change, but to still be surrounded by books and children, so I got a job at the Andover Public Library. By working there I have been able to help with story time and shelf a plethora of books. This January I found out the Derby Public Library was looking for a part-time assistant position; I jumped at the chance to continue in the library world. I have been loving having not just one job in the library field, but TWO! I am really looking forward to experiencing all things summer reading this summer. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, running, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends and family, exploring Wichita with my boyfriend, and relaxing with my cat (Newton). 

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! Bringing the Library to Your House

Next week is Spring Break but the weather forecast is filled with rain and gloom. Sometimes getting out into the rain is just to much when you have a houseful of little ones. We’ve got you covered! There are plenty offerings from the library that you can use in the comfort of your home to help keep those kiddo’s and yourself occupied.


You can put our physical books, dvd’s, video games, audiobooks, and our Grow-a-Reader packs on hold using our website. Log in using your library card number and PIN, pick out anything that strikes your fancy and then place it on hold. Our librarian’s will pull them from the shelf and let you know when they are ready to be picked up. You can even use our drive-thru!

Libby aka Sunflower eLibrary

Our digital collection is pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. You can find books, audiobooks, and even videos! Download them to your device and you are ready to enjoy. These couldn’t be easier to use, and they will simply disappear when they are due! Go to your App store and download the Libby app to get your started today.


Hoopla is another app that you have free access to using your library card. Hoopla can be connected to any device and even your smart television! You can find movies, music, television shows, ebooks, and audiobooks. There are ten checkouts per card per month. This app can also be found in your app store. You have the option of downloading these to your device or streaming. Whatever works best for you!

RB Digital

I’m old enough to remember the thrill of opening the mailbox to find my magazine subscription had arrived. Now I use my library card to access all the magazines I can handle on my device! Dive in and take a look around. There are so many fun options for kids too. Who doesn’t love a good copy of Highlights? There are audiobooks here as well. All ready to keep you occupied on a rainy day.

Online Resources

Wanting to learn a new language? A new craft? Repair your car? Hiding in the Online Resources link above is an absolute TON of information ready to help you learn something new. Explore today!


Tumblebooks are slightly animated picture books read aloud to your child through your device of choice. They are a wonderful option when some screen time is needed. Children can choose from picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, and more.

The Derby Public Library is ready to help keep you and your kiddo’s occupied and happy during a rainy day. We can’t wait to hear from you!