Summer Learning Through WNMU

Exciting news is coming from WNMU-TV’s  Michigan Learning Channel, a statewide project connecting Michigan students (Pre-K – 12th graders) with high-quality distance learning content via a 24-7 broadcast television channel, streaming service, and a robust website with on-demand videos and supplemental materials. Parents and educators alike will be excited to learn that all content aligns with Michigan State Standards and is delivered primarily by Michigan educators.

About the Michigan Learning Channel

This free digital resource has been created to supplement and extend classroom teaching in support of student growth and achievement. An exciting, 8- week Summer Program begins Monday, June 21. It offers students the chance to review concepts taught during the school year, recover missed learning due to the pandemic, and prepare for the school year ahead via digital content, virtual events, and Summer Activity Books. Learn more about this amazing initiative and all its scheduled virtual events here –  MLC SUMMER FLYER EVENTS PROGRAM

Catch Up on Academic Misses for 2020/2021 School Year

This last year was one like none other, and educators in the Upper Peninsula went to great lengths to ensure students got the information they needed to get them to the next stage. However, despite their dedication, many hurdles stood in the way of learning. Some of those hurdles involved quarantining, new digital expectations, and simple anxiety from dealing with such an unusual year. Michigan Learning Channel offers students a way to excel despite the roadblocks of the previous year.

Engage Your Brain This Summer and Beyond with PWPL

Find age-specific learning for your children this summer at the Peter White Public Library and through the amazing partnership of WNMU and Michigan Learning Channel.



U.P. Notable Books Club Announces 2nd Year Lineup of Local Authors

From September 9, 2021, to May 12, 2022, nine authors will Zoom with readers, answering questions about their work. Authors participating in the discussions include Susanna Ausema, Tyler Tichelaar, Craig Brockman, William J. Sproule, Linda LeGarde Grover, Jane Kopecky, Maryka Biaggio, Mikel B. Classen, and Mary Doria Russell.

Find these books in the stacks, or ask at the reference desk to see what is available from our lending library.

U.P. Notable Books Year 2 Schedule

Date Time Book Author Publishing Information
Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern I Spy…Isle Royale Susanna Ausema Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association, 2019
Thursday, October 14, 2021 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern Kawbawgam:  The Chief, The Legend, The Man Tyler Tichelaar Marquette Fiction, 2020
Thursday, November 11, 2021 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern Dead of November:  A Novel of Lake Superior Craig Brockman Curve of the Earth, 2020
Thursday, December 9, 2021 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern Houghton:  Birthplace of Professional Hockey William J. Sproule 2019
Thursday, January 13, 2022 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern In the Night of Memory Linda LeGarde UMN Press, 2020
Thursday, February 10, 2022 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern World War II Conscientious Objectors:  Germfask, Michigan the Alcatraz Camp Jane Kopecky 2020
Thursday, March 10, 2022 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern Eden Waits:  A Novel Based on the True Story of Michigan’s Utopian Community, Hiawatha Colony Maryka Biaggio Milford House, 2019
Thursday, April 14, 2022 6:00 Central/7:00 Eastern Points North:  Discover Hidden Campgrounds, Natural Wonders, and Waterways of the Upper Peninsula Mikel B. Classen Modern History Press, 2018

Tails & Tales: Summer Reading 2021

Adults, teens, and kids are all welcome to be a part of our 2021 summer reading program, Tails & Tales, kicking off on Monday, June 14th, 2021. Unlike years past, this year, reading programs and incentives will be provided for Youth, Teens, and Adults participating in the program. Learn the details of both adult summer reading and youth summer reading here.

Adult Summer Reading 

Visit the Reference Desk or Circulation Desk to pick up a bookmark(s). The bookmarks include a form for a book review. For each book you read between June 14 and August 11, you can fill out a bookmark. Be sure to include your name, phone number, the book you read, and how many stars you would give it from 1-5. You can turn in up to 10 bookmarks to be entered to win a prize, but feel free to turn in as many reviews as you like. At the end of the summer, we will pick 10 winners – one prize per person.

Each winner will receive a $10.00 gift card to Snowbound Books. We will also be featuring the top-rated books in an entrance book display this fall. Questions? Let us know. Email us at or call us at 906-226-4311.

Youth and Teen Summer Reading

For youth, there are two programs. Kids Read! is for youth ages 0-14 and Teens Read! is for youth ages 13-18.

Kids Read! participants will receive their reading logs after we kickoff and will be asked to read a minimum of 20 minutes for 10 days before each book fair. There will be three book fairs throughout the summer, each book fair lasting 3 days to allow for social distancing and other safety measures. Participants will get to choose a book at each book fair as long as they have done their reading! We are also going to have some fun and exciting programs this summer! Stay tuned for information about Storytime in the Park, Wings Of Fire, Percy Jackson Camp Halfblood, Take & Makes, and more!

Introducing the Kids Read! Wall of Fame! Starting this summer, the kids who wish to challenge themselves to read more than the required 20 minutes for 10 days may record their extra time. The readers with the most hours read will be inducted into our PWPL Readers Wall Of Fame in the Youth Services room.

Teens Read! program is back this summer as well. Teens can pick up their first reading Bingo card on Monday, June 14th, and can complete up to two Bingo cards for a gift card for a local store. Teens will be able to participate in our Teen Tuesday Take & Make, as well as some in-person programming such as Candy Sushi. Reading in the summer helps children retain reading skills for the school year, and when they read with PWPL it’s a lot of fun!

Dive Into the Fun With PWPL’s Summer Reading Programs

Join us this summer for Tails & Tales! As Harold Bloom says, “reading is the most healing of pleasures,” and we could all use some healing after this past year.  It’s also a great way to reconnect after months apart. Come to the library during Express Walk-In Hours for more detailed information.

Historical Fiction Recs

Do you need more ideas to fill your summer reading log? Amy, Head of Circulation, has some thoughts for you – and they involve historical novels. Check out her list below.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

This novel tells the story of nurse Julia Power who works in an understaffed hospital in Dublin’s center where expectant mothers who have come down with the “terrible new flu” are quarantined together in 1918.  Two outsiders come into Julia’s world, Kathleen Lynn and Bridie Sweeney.  Over three days in this tiny ward, they change in unexpected ways as they lose patients to the flu pandemic and bring new life into this uncertain world.  But in it all, they do their work with compassion and tenderness.  Finding light in the darkness, Donoghue tells a story of hope and survival against all odds.

Atomic Love by Jennie Field

In Jennie Field’s book Atomic Love, a physicist, Rosalind Porter, has always defied expectations.  During the war, she worked on the Manhattan Project and had a passionate love affair with colleague Thomas Weaver.  After the war, she turns to a more traditional life of a woman of the 1950s but she misses her life in the lab.  However, when Weaver comes back into the picture, so does the FBI.  Special agent Charlie Szydlo wants Rosalind to spy on Weaver, who is believed to be selling nuclear secrets to Russia.  Charlie is haunted by his past as a POW during the war just as Rosalind is haunted by hers.  As her affections deepen for each man, so does the danger she becomes a part of the deepening.  This page-turner will have you guessing…which will she choose?

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

In The Evening and the Morning, the prequel to The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett tells an epic story of 3 people who find their lives intertwined.  Set in England at the dawn of the Middle Ages, a young boatbuilder, a Norman noblewoman, and a monk each come into conflict with a shrewd and merciless bishop who would do anything to increase his wealth and power.  This novel ends where The Pillars of the Earth begins, bringing an epic journey through an intensely rich past, and adding yet another chapter to the Kingsbridge series.

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Inspired by a true story of World War II, The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel recounts a story of a young woman with a talent for forgery help Jewish children flee the Nazis to Switzerland.   Eva is a semi-retired librarian in Florida, who comes across a magazine with a picture of a book cover she hasn’t seen in over 6 decades.  Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer, but it means revisiting a past to reunite those lost during the war.

Find More Historical Titles on the Shelves at PWPL

If you’re a fan of these titles, there are many more available in the stacks. You can also find some of these titles for your eReader or audiobook on Libby.

Summer is a busy time, and whether you have travel plans or are embracing a ‘staycation’ in the U.P., the Peter White Public Library has the resources to ensure it’s entertaining and enlightening.

From audiobooks for driving (via cd or on Libby) to shelves of travel books, you can find what you need to plan an adventure, decide what to pack, and, of course, be entertained along the way.

For the time here in the Upper Peninsula, we are planning to keep you and any visitors who come your way happy with these upcoming events.

June 2021 Events

1. Concert on the Steps: Troy Graham. Live music is back at Peter White Public Library! Join musician/singer/songwriter Troy Graham on the steps of the library for a concert celebrating the release of his new album, UnEarth Your Imagination, featuring new and classic Troy Graham tunes. CDs and 10” Vinyl will be available for purchase. Tuesday, June 2, 2021, 7 p.m. NOTE: Attendees are expected to bring their own chairs, practice social distancing, and wear facemasks out of respect for all concertgoers. This concert will also be livestreamed.

2. Digital Estate Planning. Samantha Ashby, Adults Services Department Head at Peter White Public Library, provides information on how to manage your digital assets (emails, documents, images, audio, visual) and accounts (email, social media, software, financial, file sharing) after your passing. Join in to learn more about this important topic, with recommendations for online resources and books. Monday, June 7, 2021, 7 p.m. via Zoom.

3. Authors Reading Virtually: Judith Kerman. Peter White Public Library hosts celebrated poet Judith Kerman for a reading from her newly released collection definitions. Author Eleanor Lerman says this of Kerman’s work: “With both wit and artistry, each of Kerman’s ‘definitions’ begin with clear prose and slowly flows into the realm of poignant poetry.” Wednesday, June 9, 7 p.m. via Zoom.

4. Women in Science: Doctor Sarah Mittlefehldt. In this monthly series at Peter White Public Library, Dr. Sarah Mittlefehldt of NMU’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences will discuss her background and work in environmental history, environmental justice and policy, geopolitics of energy, and coastal planning and development. Whether or not you’re a scientist, you’re sure to enjoy it! Thursday, June 10, 2021, 7 p.m. via Zoom

5. Chef Val’s Virtual Cooking Class: Brown Rice and Asparagus Sauerkraut Salad: Join Peter White Public Library for a virtual vegan cooking class. Whole grain salads make a balanced, perfect meal. Chef Val will teach you how to make this colorful, delicious, salad that features brown rice and asparagus. Plus, sauerkraut is naturally fermented, high in vitamin C, and full of healthy probiotics to help support your digestion. The recipe is vegan, whole foods, organic, and gluten-free. In the class, you will get step-by-step instructions on how to prepare the recipe.

6. The Joy of Yoga. A monthly Zoom evening of gentle meditative yoga for everyone led by Helen Haskell-Remien, owner of The Joy Center in Ishpeming and certified yoga instructor. Helen brings her 20 years of yoga experience to Peter White Public Library, allowing participants to find their own deep centers, clearing their minds and freeing their spirits. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. 7 p.m. via Zoom.

7. Reconnecting Through Crafts. As part of Art Week, Peter White Public Library hosts Teagan Olivia Sturmer, author of Floral Embroidery, for a crafting workshop. Stop by Peter White to pick up a Take & Make with all the supplies you will need for the class, including the design from Teagan’s book. Teagan will walk participants step-by-step through the creation of a beautiful embroidered piece. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited to 20 participants. Only one registration is required per household, and each household is limited to one Take & Make. Monday, June 21, 2021, 7 p.m. via Zoom.

8. Great Decisions. Join Peter White Public Library for our exciting new discussion group. “Great Decisions” is America’s largest and oldest foreign policy discussion group.

Prior to each meeting, participants can read up on the topic in the Great Decisions Briefing Book. Meetings will feature a knowledgeable speaker or a PBS video, followed by a discussion on the month’s topic. At the end of the program, participants will have the opportunity to submit an opinion ballot that will be shared with government officials and decision-makers. No background knowledge on foreign policy needed!

PWPL has a limited number of Briefing Books to give away for free to participants. The book will also be available at the library for checkout.

When: The fourth Tuesday of the month January-August 2021 at 6 p.m.
Where: Meetings will be held via Zoom unless safe to do otherwise.
Admission: Free
Contact: Dory Shaffer to sign up or get your briefing book phone: (906) 226-4311 email:

This program is funded by the Michigan Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

9. Reconnecting Through Poetry Art Exhibition. As part of Art Week, Peter White Public Library will be hosting this exhibition of poetry broadsides in the Lower Gallery. Poets will display their work starting June 21st through the month of July. An Opening Reception is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22, 2021, starting at 6 p.m. with a concert by musician/singer/songwriter Troy Graham, followed by a reading at 7 p.m. by poets whose broadsides are part of the exhibit. This event will take place on the steps of the library on Front Street. NOTE: Attendees are expected to bring their own chairs, practice social distancing, and wear facemasks out of respect for all attendees. Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 6 p.m.

10. Pop-up Poetry Podium. During Art Week, Peter White Public Library will be hosting spontaneous Popup Poetry Podium readings. Area poets will pop up at various locations and times throughout the City of Marquette, set up a podium, a give free half-hour-long readings of their work. Your job is to figure out “Where in the world is the poet reading?” Clues will be posted every morning during Art Week on the Peter White Public Library Facebook page.

11. Stump the Poet. Peter White Public Library hosts the game “Stump the Poet” for Art Week. Poets Janeen Rastall and Marty Achatz will set up a table on Third Street in Marquette and challenge you to stump them. You walk up and give them a topic. In ten minute’s time, they will write you a poem on that topic or face poetic shame! Stop by and try to stump the poet. Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., on Third Street in Marquette.

12. Reconnecting Through Poetry & Music. To close out Peter White Public Library’s celebration of Art Week, U. P. Poet Laureate M. Bartley Seigel and musician Ani will perform a live, hour-long reading and concert on the steps of the library on Front Street. Come and reconnect through words and music. NOTE: Attendees are expected to bring their own chairs, practice social distancing, and wear facemasks out of respect for all concertgoers. Saturday, June 26, 2021, 1 p.m.

Don’t Forget About Summer Reading

This summer, PWPL has a reading program for adults as well as kids – and the prizes are just a reminder to keep logging your reading time. Learn more about our summer reading programs here: 

Need something to add to your Summer Reading Log? We have Dolly!

Yes, Dolly Parton is here at PWPL. Well, she may not be here in person, but she’s here in spirit – and in our materials collection. And it’s made all of us a little brighter. Last year, during the quarantine, I read that Dolly Parton donated $1 million for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. It was just one more reason to love this extraordinary woman.

Epic songwriter, beloved singer and performer, philanthropist, and a voice for poor, working-class women everywhere, Dolly Parton is adored by legions of diverse fans. She is beloved for her generosity as well as her talent. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, is currently providing books to almost 850,000 children. When her childhood home of Sevier County was hit hard by wildfires, the Dollywood Foundation donated $1,000 per month to families who had lost their homes, as well as college scholarships to students affected by the fires. And these are just a few examples of her generosity!

The Remarkable Journey of Dolly Parton

Some people may still overlook her many accomplishments and focus instead on her over-the-top, trademark appearance, but that is their mistake – Parton’s life, from an impoverished childhood in a Tennessee holler to Nashville and Hollywood stardom and a business mogul, is nothing short of remarkable.

These resources, available for checkout at the PWPL, offer fascinating examinations of Parton’s story.

“She Come By It Natural” by Sarah Smarsh

Parton moved out of her poor but loving Smoky Mountain home, where she was one of twelve siblings, when she turned 18. She headed to Nashville to follow her dreams with almost no money to her name. Smarsh follows the amazing trajectory of her career, beginning with her first big break, recording a top-ten hit ironically titled “Dumb Blond” (an admonishment of a man who calls a woman stupid). Parton started as a “girl singer” managed by powerful men – and she ended up changing the male-dominated country music business.

As Smarsh explores in her book, Parton’s songs gave voice to the lives of women who are often invisible in our society – poor, working-class, and undervalued women, such as Smarsh’s grandma, Betty, who is referenced throughout the book. Parton was a non-political feminist with a great sense of humor – “If I got any charm at all, it’s that I look totally phony but I am totally real, said Parton in a 1990 interview. “That’s my magic.” I loved this book!

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, by Dolly Parton

This is a highly enjoyable compilation, not just for Dolly fans but for anyone interested in songwriting, country music, and its history. Parton has put the lyrics to 175 of the songs she has written into this collection, along with the stories behind them – which are honestly mesmerizing – and beautiful photographs. She’s also shared some captivating memories of the people she’s worked with along the way. The result is a thoroughly absorbing look at Parton’s life and career. I highly recommend!

Country Music, a film by Ken Burns

This fascinating documentary is available on DVD (8-disc series) at the PWPL. It explores the questions of what country music is and where it came from and focuses on the biographies of some of its most important creators, including Parton. Johnny Cash is one of my personal favorites, and the documentary dedicated significant time to him as well.

Country Music also offers a fascinating glimpse into the times in which these artists lived and the influence country music had on rock and other genres. I found the entire series absorbing and would recommend it to anyone interested in American history or music.

Find Books on Dolly’s Life, Music, and More at PWPL

Whether you are looking for a book about Dolly and her amazing contribution to society or are looking for her music CDs (Little Sparrow is an underrated gem), find it all in the stacks at Peter White Public Library. You can also check her out on the big screen in our DVDs section. The film, Nine to Five, has been an anthem for working women across the country. You can find it all here. If you need help tracking any of these items down, just ask at the circulation desk.

Libraries are stalwarts of inclusivity. If you need any evidence, check out this story from last week, when The Linda Lindas, a teen punk band, fired back against Asian-American racism with their song, Racist, Sexist Boy at the Los Angeles Public Library. It doesn’t get more punk than that.

Even Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello thought so, calling it the “Song of the Day.” Musicians weren’t the only ones to take note; writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, the Vietnamese American novelist who won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, also sang their praises, tweeting, “‘Racist, Sexist Boy’ is the song we need now.” Now they have a record deal.

However, as the past shows, things have not always been easy for those of Asian descent in the United States. The Linda Lindas are not alone in their frustration, but they are a glimmer of hope for the future.

An AAPI Reading List

Asian Americans have been a force in American history, art, and music since well before Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month existed. We’re excited to have the opportunity to honor AAPI Heritage Month by offering a selection of novels, memoirs, and films created by Asian Americans. If there is a title that we missed or that you would like us to purchase, please let us know.

Here are a few works from our shelves:

  • Free Food For Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
  • Speak, Okinawa by Elizabeth Miki Brina
  • The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’
  • The Poppy War by R.F Kuang
  • Good Talk by Mira Jacob
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • The Sympathizer by Nguyen, Viet Thanh
  • Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

What to Watch for AAPI Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islanders have made huge contributions to the film industry. These are just a few of the Asian American films available with your library card from Kanopy.

Honor AAPI from Books, Movies, and Art

Books are our bridge to the experience of others, and movies are a great entrance, too. Learn more about the experience of Asian American and Pacific Islanders through their own words. For help finding these materials, just ask at the Reference Desk or Circulation Desk.

Amanda, Books, and Candy Sushi

Podcast Monday is here – and we are all excited to learn what tea Amanda from Teen Services spills on Library Nerds with Words today! Here is the link to listen to it on your computer, but you can also subscribe to it via Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

What’s Up in Library Nerds with Words

Teen Services Coordinator Amanda Pierce stops by to talk about sushi, Teen Summer Reading, cheese plates, and Netflix.

Amanda’s book recommendations:

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life by Marissa Mullen

But Wait, There’s More

If you enjoyed listening to today’s podcast, come back each Monday. There is already quite a collection in our back catalog. If you need help listening, call the reference desk at 906-226-4311.

The long wait for our gallery to reopen is over, and we are excited about displaying art once again. If you are an artist, consider exhibiting your work at Peter White Public Library.

Gallery exhibit schedules are set in the Spring for the following calendar year. If you are
interested in exhibiting at the Peter White Public Library, submit a Call to
Artists for consideration. Submissions will be taken until June 30, 2021. Fill out this jot form for consideration:

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