Stranger Things with Poster to Download

stranger things.jpg

Novelist just posted some info on how to search for books for fans of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things. It’s a science fiction-horror series that pays homage to 1980s pop culture.  Here’s more info about the show from IMDb.

Here’s a poster with readalikes that you can download for fans of Stranger Things

In the Novelist database (you can link to Novelist through this link to the county database page, or through the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh website), use limiters in the search box.  The limiters are appeal terms (AP) and genre terms (GN).  So in the Novelist search box, here are 4 sample searches:

  • AP Creepy AND AP Nostalgic
  • AP Nostalgic AND GN Horror
  • GN Fantasy AND GN Horror
  • GN Coming-of-age stories AND GN Horror

Using Novelist to search for these read-alikes, here’s a recommended list for adults who like Stranger Things:

 jacketamnke0d1 The Girl with All the Gifts  by M. R. Carey
If Eleven (“Elle”) is your favorite Stranger Things character, then this is the book for you! Melanie can’t remember life before the base. Sheltered there from zombie-like “hungries” that have ravaged England for decades, Melanie spends her days confined in a cell. Then the base is attacked, and Melanie escapes. Melanie is about to show everyone just how gifted she really is.



Neverland  by Douglas Clegg
Beau and his family spend summers at his grandmother’s rambling Victorian home on Gull Island.  This year Beau’s older cousin Sumter decides to show him the secrets of “Neverland,” a tumble-down shack at the far edge of the island. In it, a crate houses someone (or something) calling itself “Lucy.” Mesmerizing and terrifying at once, Neverland brilliantly captures the conflicted desires of a child on the cusp of growing up.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Part quest, part coming-of-age novel, and part love story, this spectacular genre blend is a must-read for fans of the show Stranger Things and 80’s pop-culture buffs. In a grim, dystopian near-future world, high schooler Wade Watts spends his days jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, on any of ten thousand planets.  You’ll be charmed by the adventures of this book’s resourceful, diverse, and determined young protagonists.


The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
Emotionally scarred by a near-drowning experience, young Jack Keenan spends all his time indoors, fanatically preoccupied with drawing strange things. The Boy Who Drew Monsters offers a compelling coming-of-age tale with a straight-up horror twist. Like Stranger Things, it illuminates the complexities of boyhood friendships as well as adult relationships.


My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
As girls, Abby and Gretchen bond over their shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. One night’s lame experimentation with LSD changes Gretchen. Darker than the film Heathers — but no less a testament to the power of friendship than Stranger Things My Best Friend’s Exorcism dishes up 80’s nostalgia with supernatural creepiness to spare.


It by Stephen King
Stranger Things pays homage to Stephen King’s 1980’s horror heyday in various ways, notably the distinctive lettering that announces each episode’s title in the opening credits — a nod to the original 1986 It cover. Stephen King’s It introduced readers to the world’s creepiest clown: Pennywise.  Much darker than Stranger Things, this modern horror gem is well worth a read (or re-read) for any fan of the show.


Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay
13-year-old Tommy sneaks out with friends one night, to visit a site that local legends claim is cursed. Tommy disappears. His grief-stricken mother Elizabeth can barely hold it together. Like Stranger Things‘ character Joyce Byers, Elizabeth is a believably flawed but sympathetic single mom willing to face unholy powers to learn her missing son’s fate.


American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
Wink, New Mexico, lies under a perfect pink moon, a perfect little town not found on any map. Its perfect, pretty houses conceal the strangest things — as ex-cop Mona Bright discovers, when she inherits a home in Wink from her long-dead mother. This cool, claustrophobic horror story will is a good fit for fans of Stranger Things.

This has content written by Novelist specialist Kimberly Burton, a member of the Novelist Book Squad.

Posted by:

Ann Andrews
Cooper-Siegel Community Library




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Tackling the Issues

It’s a presidential election year, which means hot topic political issues are being discussed and debated.  Not just by the candidates but also our library users young and old.

This might be a good opportunity to tell people about Opposing Viewpoints in Context to get up to speed on both sides of the important issues.  Opposing Viewpoints presents viewpoints from all sides of issues like: minimum wage, national security, global warming, racism, and many more.

They make the information easy to find by organizing it by topic and featuring timely, well written viewpoints, biographies, and statistics.

Have an informed opinion and go beyond commenting on a candidate’s hair and outfit!

Dustin Shilling, Sewickley




Zinio For Kids

I recently had a patron come in and ask for the children’s magazine Cricket. We do not carry that at our library, but I was able to point her in the right direction. But that got me thinking about children’s magazines and my collection. Upon doing a little research on the databases, I found that Zinio has a section on their site for kid’s magazines – including Cricket and their other publications for the different ages.

This is not something I had thought about and it’s not a database that I was marketing to the younger patrons. But I am now!


Here is the flyer that I created to hang in our children’s section. Please feel free to use it as an example for your own library. If you would like the file to edit – please email me at



So next time you have young patrons looking for magazines – send them over to Zinio!



Robinson Library

Common Sense Media

This week’s Virtual Lexicon entry is about Common Sense Media ( It is a freely accessible reliable resource that I cannot believe I have lived so many years without! I’m admitting my ignorance here, but yes, I never heard about it until I was in a meeting collaborating on a Digital Citizenship project with our local school districts.  Common Sense takes the approach of “sanity, not censorship” and as a librarian, I can definitely get behind that! Their mission:

Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.

Because I am a completely honest person, I should also tell you this website is overwhelming!  It’s filled to the gills with information for parents, teachers, and kids. There is even a “Latino” option. Prepare yourself.

Having only recently discovered the glory that is Common Sense Media, I can’t go into all of the aspects of the website, so I thought I would give you my top 5 favorite things:

  1. Reviews. The reviews cover Movies, Games, Apps, Websites, TV Shows, Books, and Music. Each entertainment type offers valuable filters to maximize your search.
  2. Common Sense Education’s K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. Designed to be used as part of a school curriculum, lessons can be downloaded and used individually. They can be easily adapted for use at home.
  3. #DeviceFreeDinner. This is a challenge from Common Sense. In addition to offering tons of information about the good parts of technology, the website also has suggestions and data about when to unplug.
  4. “Best of” Lists. Yes, I love the reviews, but I love the “Best of” even more. I don’t always have time to sift through the information. It’s like the New York Times Bestseller list for parents!
  5. Family Guides: Essential TV. I’m not a TV person. I need someone to tell me there is such a thing as “essential TV’- I finally found someone to do it! (Thanks, Common Sense!)

I really cannot say enough about this website. Just trust me and go check it out.

Alexis Rittenberger

Northland Public Library

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is a wonderful resource offered for free by the library.  By offering patrons access to 7,000 databases and billions of records, it can help support research into local history and genealogy.   Ancestry Library is available to patrons only at the library.  That is good thing because it compels people to come to the library to see all the other wonderful things we offer.

Ancestry is easy for patrons to use.   It has an intuitive search interface, detailed search indexes and helpful tools.  Patrons can search through records such as:

  • Birth, Marriage, Death and Military Records
  • Tax, Criminal, Land and Wills
  • Stories, Memories, Histories and Pictures
  • City, School, and Church Directors and Histories
  • Newspapers, Maps, Atlases and Gazettes

ProQuest has some YouTube training videos.  They are nice and short, so you can share them with your patrons.  Here is the link:

Instead of paying for an Ancestry subscription, our library edition is a great alternative for patrons.

Lisa DeLucia, Upper St. Clair Library








Promoting eMagazines with Your Print Collection

A simple way to promote eMagazines is along with your actual print display.  Many of the magazines that we have in print are also available through Overdrive and Zinio.  Our library has placed a small sign with each magazine on display that may also be checked out in a digital format.  For those patrons who love eMagazines this is a nice reminder that their favorite magazines may also be found on their device.  For those patrons who are unaware of eMagazines it’s an eye-opener. Download an easy template HERE.


Other marketing and promotional resources and templates may also be found at the Overdrive site —





OverDrive – Tips & Tricks

As much as I use OverDrive both personally and helping patrons, I find myself still discovering more ways to have a better experience with OverDrive. Here are a few that may be of use to you and your patrons.

  • IMG_1851OverDrive History: On certain devices in the OverDrive app, under your menu there is a section that is “History.” This feature only keeps track of your history with OverDrive on that specific device.  Additionally you can delete these titles off and remove them from your history two different ways: 1. Under the history tab, you can select different titles and remove them individual or all at once. 2. Under the Settings Tab, you can select clear device history.  According to the OverDrive help page, OverDrive does not have access to your history and it is only for your personal use.
  • Filter by Subject: Often when I am assisting a patron with Capture
    OverDrive, they just want to browse as opposed to searching for a specific author or title.  On the left-hand side of the page there is a way to filter by subject.  While this fields a lot of results, it is an easy way for patrons to have a more specific browsing experience and may help to jog their memory of a title or author they would like to investigate further.  Another way you can filter by subject is at the top of the page, clicking the “View More…” link, sends you to a list of different subjects as well.  While there are a number of ways to help patrons browse on OverDrive, these two are incredibly user-friendly and ones they can do easily on their own.

Pam Calfo – Baldwin