The Youth Services play area is getting a makeover this Spring.

Mural artist, Sawftsea, is creating a Lake Superior scene outside the Great Room. Using chalk outlines, she sketches the water scenes and then paints for a few hours each day.

“I took an underwater direction”, says Sawftsea, who notes the abundance of natural light that hits the walls. “I plan to paint Great Lakes fish on the walls. I decided to feature the Stannard Rock Lighthouse because it’s an icon in the area.”

Sawftsea says it will take the rest of April to complete her mural. It is her third Marquette mural. She painted an Anishinaabe Mural on Peter White Public Library’s garage on 3rd Street and the Evolve mural on Loyaltees on Baraga Street.

The regularly scheduled Board of Trustees of the Peter White Public Library is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20 at 5:00 pm via Zoom.

This meeting is open to the public. Please follow the link below to attend. All are welcome.

Join Zoom Meeting

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Time: 5:00 pm EST.


Meeting ID: 882 5050 2033

Passcode: 461880



Libby/Overdrive Updates Mean More Access

There have been some exciting updates happening on Libby/Overdrive! Great Lakes Digital Libraries, the cooperative that provides e-books and e-audiobooks to Peter White patrons, has partnered with three other cooperatives in an agreement that allows patrons from all four systems to have access to each other’s digital collection.

If you enjoy Libby/Overdrive and are looking for more access, follow along with this video for the basics of wish list syncing, tag enhancements, and more.

For help getting your Libby/Overdrive account linked with our new partners, please contact us.


Get Digital Magazines from Your Libby App

Another new and exciting feature that was just introduced on Libby/Overdrive is digital magazines. There are thousands of issues available for adults and kids. Adults and teens can find Crafting, Home & Garden, Hunting & Fishing, Celebrity, Movies, and TV & Music, among others. Kids will love discovering that there are now magazines for them such as “Animal Tales,” “Minecraft, “Girls’ Life,” “National Geographic,” and many more.

Magazines are formatted to fit computers, tablets, and phones. If you are having trouble seeing the article on your phone, just tap down at the bottom of your screen on “Read the Article” for a larger more phone-friendly view. To learn more about your options for digital magazines on Libby or Overdrive or how to download them to your smart device, contact the reference department at 906-226-4311.

Tails & Tales: Summer Reading 2021

We are excited to announce our 2021 summer reading program, Tails & Tales, kicking off on Monday, June 14th, 2021. This year, there will be reading programs for Youth, Teens, and Adults. This is the first time we have done an Adult Summer Reading program in a while, and we are pretty excited about it! We hope you join us.

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.

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.

Natasha Trethewey is an American writer and two-time former US poet laureate. Trethewey will be reading from her most recent book, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, as well as from her collections of poetry. There will be a question-and-answer section following the reading. This special Authors Reading Virtually Event is co-sponsored by NMU’s Department of English, Beth Casady and Jim Cantrill, Rosa and John Diddams, Pat Micklow and Judd Spray, and Karlyn Rapport. The reading will be on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at 12 p.m., via Facebook Livestream.

In Her Words – The Works of Natasha Trethewey

Trethewey has established her footprint as one of American’s most important poets. She has written five poetry collections, including:

  • Monument(2018)
  • Thrall (2012)
  • Native Guard(2006)
  • Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002)
  • Domestic Work (2000)

She’s also written Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010), a book of creative nonfiction. Her first book of poetry, Domestic Work, won the Cave Canem Prize. Her collection Native Guard won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

We are so excited to be a part of this amazing event. It is free and open to the public, but donations to the Women’s Center of Marquette are graciously accepted. Suggested donations: $15. To donate, follow this link:

In anticipation of this virtual event, PWPL will be hosting a book club discussion on Bellocq’s Ophelia on March 29 featuring Dr. Lynn Domina, head of the English Department at Northern Michigan University and hosted by our own Martin Achatz, all via zoom.


Five copies of Bellocq’s Ophelia are available at the reference desk for those interested in the book club. Additionally, Memorial Drive, Thrall, Domestic Work, and Native Guard are also available for check out, though you may need to put them on hold ahead of the event. Memorial Drive is available through our Libby app as a digital read or via audio, where Trethewey reads the memoir herself.

The Awards and Honors of Natasha Trethewey

Her work explores the deep connection between identity, place, and what it means to be someone who lives in the space of between. Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, and the daughter of a mixed-race marriage who was raised between Atlanta, Georgia, with her mother and New Orleans, Louisiana, with her father, her life as a mixed-race person in the south informs all of her work.

Trethewey’s many awards and fellowships include:

  • Guggenheim Foundation
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute as a Bunting fellow

She has held appointments at:

  • Duke University as Lehman Brady Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies
  • Emory University as Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing
  • University of North Caroline-Chapel Hill
  • Yale University as the James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library

Awarded the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts as well as named Georgia Woman of the Year for 2008, Trethewey has received numerous accolades. She is a recent inductee into both the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame and the Fellowship of Southern Writers, was the Poet Laureate of Mississippi from 2012-2016, and is currently the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.

It is certainly an honor to have her read for us. Here are a few of her poems:

Find more of her poetry via the Poetry Foundation.

For viewing, consider the following:

Natasha Trethewey on PBS

Natasha Trethewey – Why I Write

Natasha Trethewey – Cave Canem

Natasha Trethewey – Lunch Poems

Natasha Trethewey – No Bones About It

Find out more details about these two happenings on our events calendar!


Do you finish reading a book and then flip back to the first page to start reading it again? Do you get so excited when the library book you’ve been waiting for comes in that you skip out of school or work to pick it up? Do you measure a “quick trip” to the library in HOURS instead of MINUTES? Is the library website in your smartphone’s Favorites?

Do you scour the interwebs for fresh listening material or wait for your favorite podcasts to update each week?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then Library Nerds with Words is the podcast for you. Join the Peter White Public Library Nerds each week as they discuss everything library. You’ll find out about new books, upcoming events, new and old services, concerts, and much more. If it’s happening at the library, the Library Nerds are here to spread the word!

A new episode drops every Monday!

Library Nerds with Words—Peter White Public Library’s new weekly podcast that proves being a nerd can be cool!

To listen and subscribe to a podcast on an Android device, follow these instructions.

To listen and subscribe to a podcast on an Apple device (iPhone/iPad), follow these instructions.

To listen and subscribe on a PC or mac, follow these instructions.

April 2021 Events

There is no month so cruel as April, especially if you live in the Upper Peninsula. At Peter White Public Library, we are staving off the challenges of a post-pandemic spring with science and poetry.

Check out what’s happening this month @PWPL.

April 5

National Poetry Month: U. P. Poet Laureate Finalists Reading. U. P. Poet Laureate finalists Tyler Dettloff and Rosalie Sanara Petrouske ring in April with a night of inspired and inspiring words. Join Peter White Public Library for this kickoff event to National Poetry Month with some Yooper verse. Monday, April 5, 2021, 7 p.m., via Zoom.

This event is free and open to the public, but donations to the Great Lakes Recovery Centers are graciously accepted. Suggested donations: $15.

To donate, follow this link:

April 6

What’s Up? A monthly series on astronomy. Scott Stobbelaar of the Marquette Astronomical Society will provide a monthly guide as to what can be seen in the skies of the Upper Peninsula. Join via Zoom as we reach for the stars at Peter White. Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 7 p.m., via Zoom.

Beginning Genealogy: Learn how to find and organize your family history with Joan Ball, researcher from the Marquette County Genealogical Society. This session will cover pedigree charts, family groups, census records, and organizational techniques. Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.

To receive handouts, please register for the class at 906-226-4311 or

April 8

Women in Science: Doctor Amy Barnsley: In this monthly series, Dr. Amy Barnsley of NMU’s Department of Math and Computer Science will discuss her journey from biology to math education. Get ready to be mathematically, algebraically, and geometrically inspired. Thursday, April 8, 2021, 7 p.m. via Zoom.

April 13

Strings & Strums: Dylan McKenzie-Trost in Concert: In celebration of International Guitar Month, Peter White Public Library will host a livestream concert by singer/songwriter/musician Dylan McKenzie Trost. Tune in for an evening of strings, strums, and songs from one of the area’s most popular performers. Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 7 p.m. via Facebook livestream.

April 15

Online Genealogy Resources: An in-depth presentation of the online genealogy database will be held with Laurie Johnson, researcher from the Marquette County Genealogical Society. Thursday, April 15, 2021, 6:30 p/m., via Zoom. To receive handouts, please register for the class at 906-226-4311 or

 April 17

Authors Reading Virtually: Natasha Trethewey. Peter White Public Library’s Authors Reading Virtually series is excited to host two-time U. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. She will read from her work and participate in a Q & A. This special Authors Reading Virtually is co-sponsored by NMU’s Department of English and The Women’s Center of Marquette. Saturday, April 17, 2021, 12 p.m., via Facebook livestream.

This event is free and open to the public, but donations to the Women’s Center of Marquette are graciously accepted. Suggested donations: $15.

To donate, follow this link:

April 19

National Poetry Month: U. P. Poet Laureate Finalists Reading. U. P. Poet Laureate finalists April Lindala and Beverly Matherne continue the celebration of National Poetry Month. Join Peter White Public Library in honoring with an evening of words and inspiration. Monday, April 19, 7 p.m., via Zoom.

This event is free and open to the public, but donations to the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition are graciously accepted. Suggested donations: $15

To donation, follow this link:

April 21

Genealogy LOG-In

The Spring GENEALOGY LOG-IN presentation on Mining Fatality Records will
be led by Beth Gruber, Librarian at the J.M. Longyear Research Library, housed at
the Marquette Regional History Center.  Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 6:30 p.m., via
Zoom. To receive handouts, please register for the class at 906-226-4311 or

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, allowing participants to find their own deep centers, clearing their minds and freeing their spirits. Wednesday, April 21, 2021. 7 p.m. via Zoom.

April 26

National Poetry Month: Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula. Newly-selected U. P. Poet Laureate M. Bartley Seigel caps off Peter White Public Library’s celebration of National Poetry Month. Join in for an evening of words filled with the waters and wisdom of the U. P. Monday, April 26, 7 p.m., via Zoom

This event is free and open to the public, but donations to the American Indian College Fund are graciously accepted. Suggested donations: $15.

April 27

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.

This month, our speaker will be Kathleen Heideman Rydholm, a participant in the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Join us at 6:00 pm via zoom.

PWPL has a limited number of Briefing Books available at the library for checkout. 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.

What’s Happening in Youth Services in April

Youth Services always has something happening to keep your kids’ imagination active. This month, plan on DIY bird feeding kits for pick up on Monday, April 5th. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We also are looking to spread good cheer and kindness with “the Kindness Crew.” Learn more by contacting Youth Services, or check out our events calendar. For the teens in your world, Ms. Amanda is keeping social connections alive with the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and the Junior Teen Advisory Board (jTAB). These monthly meetings are grouped by age and encourage volunteerism and community-mindedness, but they are also a lot of fun, with cooking and art kits.

For LGBTQIA+ teens and allies, PWPL hosts a monthly meeting called Outword. Meet with people who understand the challenges you face with every first Wednesday. You aren’t alone. Contact Amanda to learn more.

Springtime Fun at PWPL

Whatever your plans are for Spring, pencil in some time at the Peter White Public Library, where there’s always something to look forward to!

This Women’s History month we want to feature a few juvenile books that feature strong female characters. The new shelf in Youth Services at the Peter White Public Library is teeming with great reads about girls facing dragons, migration cruelty, finding their voice, positive change, fighting for their education and more. Check one out today.


In Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar, the writer draws picture poems for her father. First, she draws pictures of the stories he tells of their ancestors – cranes – flying away from predators destroying their nests – much like how they left Mexico when cartels threatened their family.

Then, she draws picture poems when her father is detained by Immigration Officials and later deported. Finally, she draws picture poems for her father when asked by an immigration attorney to document harsh, inhumane living conditions when she and her pregnant mother are placed in a family detention camp without beds, adequate food or medical care. Told in verse, this story is not to be missed.


In Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park, 14-year old Hanna moves with her father from California to the Dakota Territories. She deeply hopes she will finally be able to attend school. It’s been impossible in other frontier towns when people see that she is half-Chinese. When she’s met with unfriendliness Hanna determines she will work to help people see past what they think they know about her and get to know all of her before casting judgement. Hanna’s love of dress design and frontier spirit is relatable to all readers making their own way into adulthood and life. 


Newberry Medalist Sharon Creech introduces readers to a lovely dreamer – Gina Filomena in One Time. Gina has never met anyone who can match her active imagination. When Antonio moves in next door, she feels emboldened by his willingness to share his imagination with the class, the neighborhood, the world. It’s a step Gina wants to take to find out who she is and how she fits in. Their teacher, Miss Lightstone, is champion for creativity and helps the pair and the peers direct their creativity into beauty. 


In The Dragon Thief, Kavita has stolen her brother’s friend, Jaxon’s dragon, and is trying to figure out how to return it to the realm of magic. Jaxon has been tasked with returning the dragon to stabilize the imbalance of magic in the other realm before it’s too late. But when a magical trickster kidnaps the group and tells them a different version of what they’ve been told of the realm, they will have to listen to their hearts to make a choice. Set in Brooklyn, this urban fantasy features a diverse cast of likeable characters that use teamwork to reach their goal. 


In Zoey Sassafras:Caterflies and Ice, by Asia Citro, Zoey uses science experiments and animal research to help magic animals who come to her barn for help. When caterflies ask for help protecting their eggs during a spring freeze, Zoey comes up with a solution that might have done more harm than good. She’ll need to come up with an experiment of another kind to save the eggs and their food source before it’s too late. 


In Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem by Kate Dicamillo, Stella is tasked with writing a poem with a metaphor by her second grade teacher. While she struggles at first, Stella is able to finish the homework for school the next day. But when she shows the poem to her annoying classmate, Horace, they get sent to the Principal’s office for getting into a loud argument. The pair soon find themselves locked in a dark janitor’s closet, talking about metaphors, friendship and the poem called life. This quick read is funny, relatable and pure Kate DiCamillo.

What to Read and Watch for Women’s History Month with PWPL’s Apps

March is Women’s History Month, and it’s a great time to honor women across history. Like February’s Black History Month, our take on Women’s History is that it’s all our history. However, setting aside a month to relish forgotten or overlooked artists, writers, and other creatives widens our perspectives and boosts our reading lists.

If you’re taking advantage of our Express Walk-In Hours, you’ll likely see some of our favorite books written by women on our displays. You can also check upstairs for books about women in history. A few of our favorites include the following. Click on the title to find them in our catalog. 

Nonfiction Books by Women Writers and Available on Libby

As we know, women are historians and anthropologists, scientists and engineers. Women writing nonfiction offer unique insight into roles traditionally and historically held by men. Check out what a few have to say with the Libby app.

  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
  • Dolly Parton, Storyteller by Dolly Parton
  • Dear Girls by Ali Wong
  • Grit by Angela Duckworth

Contemporary Women Writers on Libby

If you’re more of a fiction fan, here are some staff recommendations of contemporary novels written by women on Libby, artfully read by women voice actors for audio options.

  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  • The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Classic Novels Written by Women and Available on Libby

If classics are more your speed, Libby won’t let you down. Consider these recommendations for classic novels written by women.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Women at the Movies

We’re accustomed to seeing women on film, but it’s only been in the last few decades that they’ve been a regular force behind the camera. Explore the DVD shelves at Peter White Public Library for plenty of options, but Kanopy has a host of options as well – and you don’t have to leave the comfort of home to access them. Sign up for Kanopy with your library card’s number and pin, then enjoy the following films directed by women.

Fictional Films Directed by Women Streaming on Kanopy

  • The Bookshop, directed by Isabel Coixet
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
  • Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gerwig
  • In the Fade, directed by Faith Akin
  • Daughters of the Dust, directed by Julie Dash

Documentaries by Women Directors

These documentaries take on surprising stories from the experience and perspective of women. If you haven’t heard of these films, you are in for some fascinating discoveries.

  • Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, directed by Pamela B. Green
  • The Mask You Live In, directed by Jennifer Siebol Newsom
  • Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, directed by Jennifer Baichwal Nicholas de Pencier
  • The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, directed by Sophia Fiennes
  • Kedi, directed by Ceyda Torun

Find More Women Writers and Directors

Fortunately, these recommendations just scratch the surface of what’s available in the stacks at Peter White Public Library and through its digital options for women writing, directing, and producing. Are you looking for more recommendations? Follow #StaffRecWednesday on our Facebook and Twitter pages. This month is dedicated to recommendations by women writers.

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