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October 2020 - Posts
Draw It!

Grab a pencil and paper - it's time to Draw It! 📝 Our staff member Kristin shows how to draw whales!

Show us your whale in the comments and tell us what you'd like to draw next!
Posted by  On Oct 22, 2020 at 1:43 PM

National Novel Writing Month: APL Edition!
by Elizabeth

“Sorry, I need extra pie and an hour of silence! For, uh. Writing inspiration.”

As October comes to a thrilling close, we’re getting closer and closer to one of the library’s most celebrated holidays: a time when our patrons come in looking haunted, horror stories are whispered and recorded and candy is consumed at alarming rates. No, not Halloween, though I love October’s spooky spiders and skeletons! No, I’m talking about AFTER Halloween: National Novel Writing Month.

What is This Holiday?
National Novel Writing month

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is one of my favorite times of year. It was founded in 1999 by a group of friends who realized their lives seemed…kind of empty. When they were kids, they’d been wildly creative, but as adults, they went to work, came home and collapsed into sleep. Winter blues and the holidays were just around the corner. What could they do before then that would actually mean something?

Well…write a novel, of course!

The goal? Write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s as long as “The Great Gatsby”, which my English teacher always claimed was the Best Novel Ever Written. Sounds promising, right? (And kind of exhausting!)

Other novels around 50,000 words long include:
⦁    “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
⦁    “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
⦁    “Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson
⦁    “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
⦁    “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks
⦁    “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk
And more!

Novels 50,000 words long

Okay, But…a GOOD Novel? (Short Answer: No.)
Most of the time, what you write for NaNoWriMo won’t be fantastic. Writing just under 7 pages a day is a ridiculously fast pace, even for the most experienced writers out there! If you’ve got the Great American Novel bottled up somewhere inside, this might not be the time to write your stunningly perfect masterpiece. Making a perfect story isn’t really the point! This is more about getting creative and adding one more life goal to your bucket list: climb Mount Everest, finally finish watching the Great British Baking Show, learn to juggle, write a novel…

Some books have been published after National Novel Writing Month, though; it isn’t entirely impossible!

From cute romances to wild fantasies and everything in-between, here are some NaNoWriMo novels:
⦁    “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer: cyborg Cinderella falls for the attractive Prince Kai and must save him when the Moon’s residents plan an assassination
⦁    “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen: an orphan joins the circus, befriends an elephant and falls for one of its star performers
⦁    “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell: a first-year college student balances new life experiences with writing her favorite familiar fanfiction
⦁    “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern: two young rival magicians at a mysterious one-night-only carnival fall in love
⦁    “Not Your Sidekick” by CB Lee: a high school student desperate to improve her college applications gets an internship working for a supervillain
⦁    “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan: a girl in a mysterious fenced community discovers…zombies!

Published NaNoNovels

Check out more published NaNoWriMo novels here.

Some of these books are deliciously weird. Some are familiar and comforting. Some NaNoWriMo books get published; others (like mine) sit on a computer’s hard drive in a folder marked “Never Look at This Again.” Still, I’d say even those novels that never go anywhere are worth it. (Mine all were.)

Why Even “Failed” Stories are Worth It
My first National Novel Writing Month adventure was in high school, my junior year. Suddenly, my friends and I needed to get ready for the Real World. That meant applying for colleges, taking the PSAT, and staying up half the night with homework. It also meant no more time for hanging out. Every conversation with family members revolved around My Plans and Being Productive: had I aced this test, taken that class, filled out enough applications, figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life?

I missed my friends, so I started a campaign those last two weeks of October: who wanted to write a novel with me? It didn’t have to be good. It didn’t even have to be the full 50,000 words long. Who wanted to meet on Saturdays and write silly stories while we ate too much popcorn and candy? We could say we were writing novels for college and spend some time together.

They agreed.

Honestly? Almost none of us finished! The stories were terrible: teenagers storming Neverland, intergalactic emperors fighting space blobs, vampires quoting Hamlet word-for-word and swooning all over the place. We made terrible bets, joked about our stories, quit because there was too much homework, finished and danced around Walmart in victory.

I’ve tried NaNoWriMo 9 times since, and I’ve only “won” twice. Most of the time, I don’t come anywhere close to 50,000 words, but I still have a great time.

Save Your Thanksgiving (and Your Sanity)
So why should you try NaNoWriMo?
⦁    Want to finally finish something big?
⦁    Longing for something to brag about over those family holiday Zoom calls?
⦁    Wish you were as creative as when you were a kid?
⦁    Already watched everything good on Netflix?
⦁    Need to stay off of Twitter and stop obsessively checking the news?

Join the Aurora Public Library for National Novel Writing Month! We’ll have writing prompts, encouraging words, write-a-longs and virtual help all November for your virtual noveling needs. Whether you want to write about vampires, zombies or cyborg Cinderella, there’s a place for you here. We can’t wait to see you!
Posted by  On Oct 22, 2020 at 11:05 AM

HELLO stands for Hand-on Early Literacy for Little Ones. In this program children will sing songs, work on fine and gross motor skills, learn about letters, numbers and science and develop early literacy skills. Ages 0-6.

Posted by  On Oct 22, 2020 at 9:55 AM

City manager and police chief lay out five-point plan to guide change and reform

(October 20, 2020)– Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly and Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson on Monday presented to City Council their plan of action for restoring trust in the Aurora Police Department, titled “A New Way.”

The plan has five points that specifically address reforms and changes to organization, policies and practices, both in response to recent high-profile incidents that have raised community concern, and to implement the priorities of Chief Wilson, who was named chief in August. The points are: A New Way of Operating, A New Way of Leadership, A New Way of Service, A New Level of Accountability, and A New Way of Engagement.

“We are committed to not only a more diverse police department that is reflective of the people of Aurora, but also a more racially equitable, bias-free and culturally competent agency that is responsive to the residents we serve,” Chief Wilson said. “I have heard the concerns of the community and have already made a number of decisive steps to change the way we operate. Restoring the trust of the community is rightfully the No. 1 priority for me and the Aurora Police Department, and I am confident in the support of our dedicated officers in moving these initiatives forward.”

There remain several ongoing internal and external reviews and investigations into the operations of the Aurora Police Department, including a city-commissioned comprehensive independent review of the department by 21CP Solutions, a global firm of national experts in the areas of civil rights and public safety. Every aspect of this review will inform and influence changes that are made in the Aurora Police Department and be incorporated as part of “A New Way.”

“A New Way builds on the direction and foundation set by the Mayor and City Council and the Public Safety, Courts and Civil Service Policy Committee, and we thank them for their leadership and attention to this crucial role the city plays in serving Aurorans,” City Manager Twombly said. “We recognize there have been problems in the past, areas that will need to change, and the paramount importance of the work ahead of us. The continued pursuit of a safe community for all requires the cooperative and engaged involvement of residents, and we must work tirelessly to ensure a thoughtful approach from our many professional officers, and from our community.”

Elements of the “A New Way” plan remain under development and will continue to evolve, but some of the key components include:

A New Way of Operating

Comprehensive, external review of the Aurora Police Department by national experts in the areas of civil rights and public safety is underway, which will inform and influence changes in the department, such as practices regarding use of force, and recruiting, hiring and retention

A New Way of Leadership

Commitment to community-focused and community-oriented policing.

Refocused department mission and vision.

More diverse leadership team.

Civilian (non-sworn officer) additions to the chief’s leadership circle.

A New Way of Service

Training will include voices of the community, with panels of residents sharing their fears and hopes and past interactions with police.

Implicit and unconscious bias and cultural competency training.

Incident reviews to reinforce good policing and address areas for change.

A New Level of Accountability

Expanded roles for Force Review Board and Independent Review Board.

Community voices on Chief’s Review Board and key vendor contracts.

Learning from and adopting recommendations of ongoing reviews.

Increased transparency in Internal Affairs reports and body worn camera videos.

A New Way of Engagement

Community Police Task Force review of potential oversight on critical incidents.

Changes to Civil Service role in hiring and discipline in pursuit of a department that better mirrors the demographics of our diverse city.

Increased mentoring opportunities with community leaders.

Further information about “A New Way” is available at, including an opportunity for residents to provide feedback on the plan. Because the plan will continue to evolve as the results of different reviews and investigations come in, the plan details will be updated on the site to allow the community to see the progress of different plan elements and additions.

City of Aurora Communications Department  & Aurora Police Media Relations Unit

Posted by  On Oct 20, 2020 at 11:17 AM
Read It!

Family Book Club

Song for a Whale

"Song For a Whale" by Lynne Kelly is our Family Book Club pick for October! 
Aurora Public Library and Jefferson County Public Library will be hosting a LIVE Book Talk with the author via Zoom on Monday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m.! Register here and get your hands on a copy (available in hardback and as an audiobook).
Call the Tallyn's Reach Library at 303.627.3050 to put a copy on hold today! 
(Jefferson County Public Library patrons,  find copies of "Song for a Whale" in print, as a book on CD and as an eAudiobook and eBook via Axis360.)

Chapters 26-38 Questions
· Do you think Iris and her grandma should lie to Iris's mother in order to go to Alaska?
· Have you ever been on a cruise? Where did you go?
· Would you have told Andi that you were coming or surprise her?
· Have you ever seen a whale swimming in the ocean, jumping into the air?
· Do you think the waterproof speak Iris made will work?

Register here to meet the author of "Song for a Whale", Lynne Kelly, on Monday, Oct. 26 @ 5pm!
Posted by  On Oct 19, 2020 at 2:45 PM
Create It!

Create It! Halloween Spider Decor
by Karen

Oh what a tangled web we weave! In this video, Karen shares a festive Halloween DIY, perfect to create wall decor or decorate a trick or treat bag!

Posted by  On Oct 19, 2020 at 10:14 AM
with Brandon & Elizabeth

Today on Pop Culture Den, Brandon and Elizabeth discuss horror past, present and future. Come join us as we discuss everything from childhood terrors to what makes horror work! 

Do you have a favorite horror movie, TV show or book? Tell us in the comments!
Posted by  On Oct 17, 2020 at 9:22 AM
Lions, tigers and bears - oh my! That's the old saying, right? People feel more comfortable with creatures of familiarity. that's what people like to say happened to Mr. Morgan...but there's no description. There's no way to describe the damned thing. 

Leave the comfort of your book covers this Halloween as we share haunted tales right here on your computer screen. Every Thursday at 8 p.m., tune into Facebook for new spine-tingling tales!

Do you have a spooky story of your own? We're taking scary, terrifying or spine-tingling submissions! Staff will choose their top five favorite stories to read on Facebook the day before Halloween, and allow Facebook to vote via reaction! The winner will receive a prize from Aurora Public Library. Submissions must be 1,000 words or less, rated PG-13 and under, and must be emailed to by Sunday, Oct. 25.
Posted by  On Oct 15, 2020 at 9:26 AM
Make & Learn

Make & Learn: Coloring the Alphabet
with Sara

Welcome to Make & Learn! In this program, our librarians will be sharing easy-to-make games and activities that support cognitive development and practicing early literacy skills. In this video, Miss Sara shares a fun craft to practice writing and encourage print motivation, print awareness and letter knowledge.

Posted by  On Oct 15, 2020 at 9:12 AM
A Yarn About the World - Barcelona
with Tyler

Our resident globetrotter Tyler shares his travel experiences. This time, take a trip to England! Learn about London and its history while taking in the beautiful sights of the northwest England countryside!

Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Posted by  On Oct 13, 2020 at 1:50 PM
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