What’s Happening at Your Library

December 2023

Here is what’s happening at your library in December 2023—a news round-up, recommendations, databases, holidays, and celebrations.

Holiday Closures
December 23, 25 & 30 | Monday, January 1, 2024

Crossword Puzzle Day

December 21

What is Crossword Puzzle Day? First released in a New York World newspaper edition on December 21, 1913, the crossword puzzle soon became the pastime of the more astute folk. The modern version of these ancestral puzzles is the invention of Arthur Wynne, a British-born violinist, and journalist who immigrated to Pennsylvania when he was 19.  

Crossword puzzles are a great way to keep your mind sharp! They help build memory skills and expand vocabulary. Whether starting your day with a mental challenge or using crosswords as a nightly wind down, crossword puzzles are enjoyed by millions of people of all ages and backgrounds.   

We recommend: 

Boat Load Puzzles

The Atlantic Free Daily Crossword Puzzle

Toys For Tots- Picked Up 12/18/2023

Thank you to everyone who donated!

PCL has four boxes throughout the library: one in the lobby, one near the front desk, one in the Barclay Family Children’s wing, and one near the Friends’ Book Shop.

Donation Requirements: Ages up to 12, but extended to 14-16.

New, unwrapped toys are welcome. Toys for Tots would rather our donors consider an appropriate gift for their child/relative, purchase the item, and donate it.

Does NOT accept realistic-looking weapons and gifts with food.  If donated, such items will NOT be distributed.

Brief history: 

The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. This assistance includes providing day-to-day leadership and oversight of the Program, raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots Campaigns, providing promotional and support material, and defraying the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots Campaigns. Other Foundation support includes providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistic, and promotional support to local Toys for Tots Coordinators; managing funds raised and monies donated based on the use of Toys for Tots name or logo; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs about Toys for Tots that call the general public to action in support of this patriotic community action program.

Computer Assistance

December 2 marks World Computer Literacy Day, highlighting the importance of computers in society. At PCL, it is part of our mission to Connect, Discover, and Grow with our community. We are committed to providing services to support our patrons.

Drop by our Tech Center this holiday season with your new device. Our talented team can assist those who need help navigating their new interface.

Wildlife Conservation Day

December 4

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) goal is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 14 priority regions, habitat for around 50% of the world’s biodiversity and a wide range of charismatic megafauna.

The challenges are greater than ever, but with the focus, dedication, and passion of a committed staff—combined with a unique mixture of field, zoo, and aquarium expertise—WCS will continue to set the bar for science, conservation action, and education that has driven our success in protecting wildlife and wild places for over a century. We hold ourselves to the highest standards, adhering to core values of respect, accountability and transparency, innovation, diversity and inclusion, collaboration, and integrity.-WCS

We recommend: 

Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction by Michelle Nijhuis (podcast)

Storytime Break

Youth Services will take a break from
December 24, 2023 – January 6, 2024

Thank you all for your interest and for attending our storytimes!

Due to high demand, indoor storytimes are for LCLC and My First Library (Share) cardholders living in Parkland School District or paying nonresidents—one session per family only.

Coming Soon: Winter Reading

Our Winter Reading Challenge will return in 2024. We will have games for participants that will expand your library use and open doors to library services you may not have tried or knew your card granted you access to.

Coming Soon to the Library of Things, Puzzles & Games

As promised, we are working on expanding our Library of Things Collection. We are selecting challenging puzzles and games that will surely be a hit with the whole family.

Sign up for our eNews at the bottom of this page to stay up-to-date on announcements.

We Recommend

Harry Potter Almanac

Discover magical places, study potion-making art, encounter fantastic beasts, and learn about the witches and wizards who lived in Harry Potter’s world. From the Sorting Hat to the secrets of the Forbidden Forest, it’s all inside this official companion to the Harry Potter books.

New York Times

We Recommend These Best Sellers

Fourth Wing

Rebecca Yarros

Released in May 2023,  it has been on The New York Times’s hardcover fiction best-seller list for over six months—with three months at No. 1. 

The sequel Iron Flame was just released on November 7. 

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail has been ordered to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite dragon riders. But when you’re smaller than everyone else, death is only a wing beat away. She’ll need every edge of her wits to survive.

Place a hold.

Tom Lake

Anne Patchett

Ann Patchett once again proves herself to be one of America’s finest writers in this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up. She combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother and are forced to reframe their understanding of the world they thought they knew.

Place a Hold.

The Woman in Me

Britney Spears

The Woman in Me is a brave and astonishingly moving story about the freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope of the iconic pop star Britany Spears. For the first time, her book reveals her incredible journey and the importance of a woman telling her story on her terms.

Place a Hold.

Celebrate The Holidays with hoopla

Check out these great titles!

hoopla is a Free at-home streaming courtesy of your library for Parkland School District and Northwestern residents only!


December 7-12

Create cherished moments of learning and celebration for children and families alike with the Hanukkah for Kids collection available on hoopla!

Go to our blog for PCL’s holiday selections.


December 25

hoopla Christmas for Kids collection, where enchanting stories and festive adventures await, creating unforgettable moments of joy and wonder for the whole family to share.

Go to our blog for PCL’s holiday selections.


December 26-January 1

Celebrate Kwanzaa with your family! Explore the holiday traditions with the hoopla collection.

Go to our blog for PCL’s holiday selections.

Featured Databases

Free with your library card! These fine tools are exclusively available to PCL Home Library Patrons (Parkland School District and Northwestern residents).

PCL patrons have access to Consumer Reports

Full access to Consumer Reports’ entire online database. No fake reviews. No advertising. Consumer Reports buys everything and tests it. 100% unbiased for over 80 years. Consumer Reports surveys millions of consumers yearly to learn which products and vehicles work the best and last the longest.

New! Creativebug

Creativebug has thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. By signing up for Creativebug, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to thousands of online art and craft classes. Watch our classes anytime, anywhere. Since our classes never expire, you can start and stop projects at your own pace. No pressure, just possibilities!

Mango Languages

December 18 is World Arabic Language Day! For PCL patrons interested in exploring Arabic, check out our latest database, Mango Languages. Choose from Egyptian, Iraqi, Levantine, and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Mango Languages also has specialty courses like Superstitions and Etiquette! Start exploring the many languages Mango has today!

March News 2024

What’s Happening at Your Library If you stopped by the library in February, thank you! We hope you picked up a heart-shaped stress ball for Library Lover’s Month! Just a little cheer for our patrons this winter from your library! With Winter Reading complete on February 24, we hope the program helped you start your…

Continue Reading March News 2024

Neighborhood Forest

Gives free trees to kids every Earth Day. Parkland Community Library is celebrating Earth Day! We are participating this spring in the 15th annual Neighborhood Forest Free Trees for Kids program. Trees will be distributed during Earth Week (April 22-30). Fill out a simple form. Families will receive a free tree (6–12 inches in size)…

Continue Reading Neighborhood Forest