Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Try-It Illinois

What is Try-It Illinois? Try-It! Illinois offers the staffs and library users of the more than 5,000 Illinois libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources.

What kind of information can I find with Try-It Illinois?  There are a wide variety of databases available in Try-It Illinois.  For example, databases are available on investments (ValueLine), car repair (Auto Repair Reference Center), career advice (Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center), genealogy (My Heritage Library Edition), as well as more general resources.

Does it cost anything to try? Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.

How do I search?  You can search Try-It Illinois by product, company, subject or library type.

Try-It Illinois is available at the Lillie M. Evans Library until November 30, 2016.  Please ask at the desk for the login and password or if you need any assistance.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Novel Writer Resources

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the world’s largest writing event.  Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching “The End” by November 30th.  So how can you participate?  Go to to register and for more information.  Peoria NaNoWriMo participants can also find local events and community members at  

Thinking about participating but don’t know where to start?  There are some materials in the Lillie M. Evans Library that can help!  We have books by several famous authors that give some insights on their writing styles.  One of my favorites, Janet Evanovich, has one called How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author.  Anne Lamott has written Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life and Stephen King’s book is simply called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.  In addition to these, we also have Writer’s MarketMLA Handbook and Modern Library’s Writer’s Workshop.   For other titles in our collection, click on the link below: Search RSAcat for authorship

Also, below are links to some helpful websites:
100 Useful Web Tools for Writers
Amazon’s Self Publishing
Barnes & Noble’s Self Publishing
CrimeSpace: A place for Readers and Writers of Crime Fiction to Meet
Grammar Girl: Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
National Novel Writing Month
Writers Write: Your One-Stop Resource for Information about Books, Writing & Publishing

There have been hundreds of novels that began as NaNoWriMo projects and which have since been published successfully.  These include Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Water for Elephant by Sara Gruen, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. No matter where you are in the writing process, NaNoWriMo is a great time to start that novel you've always meant to write!